Monday, February 24, 2014

February 24

Good to hear that you had a good and enjoyable week! And don't worry I hear all about the Canada Hockey Team from almost everyone we saw here, and made sure that my USA companion heard it a few times too haha. 

This week was not too great. I was sick with a cold all week, lost/ someone stole my camera with almost 1000 pictures on it. Our most solid investigators told us they don't want to be taught anymore, just want to be friends, and J was in Jasper and Battleford all week so we couldn't meet with him either and he leaves on Wednesday to go back to Korea, and some of our other investigators are mad at us because a member from our branch called to invite them to church...

Monday we had P-day and taught a lady (who we know from volunteering with the old people at hill top manor) She is Presbyterian and her friend was also there who is Lutheran. The lesson was all right but they don't really want to change their ways. After that they gave us pie and ice cream which was good. We also were able to take one of the 19 year boys that recently moved to Weyburn, who is waiting for his mission call, with us to the lesson so that was good at least.

Tuesday almost everything fell through and everyone we met/ stopped by were not interested. We helped the old people play their card bingo game. We had basketball, where only 4 other people came so there was only 6 in total. A good thing was afterwards we were able to teach one the guys there, a16 year old boy. Taught him the restoration and committed him to read and pray.

Wednesday we went down to Estevan and had our District meeting there because the Estevan vehicle was in the shop getting bodywork done on it. That was good; we came back and had lunch at the A's, and got to know them pretty well. We found out that brother A used to work in the Lakeside Packing plant in Brooks for a few years so he knows Medicine Hat pretty well. We weren't able to share with them the message we wanted to because their friends came and we had to leave so we went and volunteered at another special care home and played cards with one of the residents there. He really enjoyed our company. We then met G at McDonalds with brother R and had a good talk with him. He got the job we had all been praying for and some other problems we had with him earlier on in the week got sorted out. Then we went to the "Church of Christ" Bible study which was really just this one guy getting mad at the people for not living the Gospel as they should be. We didn't even read from the actual Bible the whole time, but it was good to get our presence out there. Lots of people like us there.

Thursday we had a good meeting with D, then we went to the Welsh Kitchen (Owned by Sister J, who lets us eat there for free) but she wasn't there that day. She was at home with her granddaughter so we had to pay!!!! It was awful!!! We are super poor!! So later that night all I could afford to eat was a chunk of Broccoli. But any-ways, while we were there we saw and talked with a few people that we know and met these very interesting ladies, who have never been married and are volunteer missionaries (don't get paid) and will be for their whole life (both have been going at it for over 30 years and apparently there are missionaries like them in the same ministry are all over the place!)  But they are from no denomination, they are just Disciples of Christ and they share and teach people "Gospel Conversations" and hold services on Sunday wherever they can get places for free or have someone else pay for it. They invited us to their service and we invited them to ours. We then stopped by and visited the Mayor for a bit and she didn't really have any other referrals for us to do. Then we were able to talk to J for a bit on Facebook. We stopped by the J's and had a good discussion with them.

Friday I lost my camera and went to the mental institution and coloured some colouring pages with some of the residents there. We had an interview with a lady from one of the newspapers here in Weyburn. Got some information from the other newspaper place (for some reason Weyburn a town of like 10000 people has more than one newspaper...) Then we had lunch and the Langston's (Senior Missionary couple) came to access the situation at our trailer and not too much they can do right now. There is going to be some new flooring and other repairs done but they have to wait until the snow all melts. They got us a new furnace filter because they didn't like how ours looked. Then they left and we found that we had caught a giant rat (there are rats in Saskatchewan because it is not Alberta) in one of our traps around our house. So now I am super paranoid whenever I put anything down on a surface that a rat may have walked over it and spread their disease everywhere. We later met with G, and after shaking his hand, he told us he thinks he might have pink eye so he probably gave it to us. But he was doing better and gave us a chocolate pudding cup so that was good.

Saturday we did our dishes at the church because we ran out of dishes and our water is still poison, and then we got back and some other Elders showed up at our apartment because Elder R (the one who baptized a man who recently lost his infant baby to unknown causes) had special permission to come down form Regina  and visit him. So we went to KFC all you can eat buffet (only one in all of Canada apparently) and caught a glimpse of the Olympics on the T.V. right as the men's Canadian bob-sled team decided to do a flip and smash their heads on the ice. Later, we stopped by a few others. Everyone was sick or not home or were super busy. Even later, we taught D again and gave him a church tour. We taught the S's later that day, where they informed us they love us and want us to still be great friends and come by still but they don't want us teaching them any more. Then we had dinner and later on the Estevan Elders came to stay the night for church the next day and we made cookies for the pot-luck dinner.

Sunday we shoveled the snow at the church and it was like -45 with wind chill. We had branch correlation and a good sacrament meeting. J and G came as per usual and we had a good gospel principles class with them followed by a really good pot-luck dinner. Later we went to the "Gospel discussions" meeting which was super interesting; nothing not true was said, it was just all taught from the bible. Afterwards the people were super friendly and super welcoming, good quality people. Potential Kingdom builders for sure but if only we could proselyte there and talk more about the restored Church I am sure we would have found a ton of people. But that was good. We met an old man who used to live in Dryden and met with missionaries in Weyburn before. Overall it was pretty good. Super weird though, one of their Hymns went to the Tune of  "Israel Israel God is Calling" but was completely different lyrics. It was something like "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus." But later, we went out to McTaggart and had no luck there. Everyone was busy not home or not interested, so after slipping and smashing my knee and shoulder on the ice,we came home, and I found my camera in the depths of the couch. We planned and that was our week.

Was kind of a depressing week, have lost a bit of hope and patience lately.

But love you take care!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Dinner is served!

Can you tell which one is the new one?

Our rat!

Monday, February 17, 2014

February 17

This past week Monday was P-day we went bowling for free because a somewhat recent convert's parents own the bowling place in Weyburn. We then met with C (I met him for the first time) and we had a good discussion with him while he was on the run getting ready to go to a show, but he made us super good chicken unexpectedly and told us his wife, who lives in the Philippines, is pregnant and when he heard my name "Dola" he really liked it and said he wants to call his kid that... he's kind of crazy but he is a super great guy, just super busy. I am sure he will do great as long as he settles down and will find more time to meet with us!

Tuesday we drove into Regina and had a specialized training meeting, which was pretty good. After that we came home and had dinner and then had our Basketball night, not too many people came out this week, but it was still pretty good. We were able to give a Book of Mormon to one of the guys that comes a lot!

Wednesday I went up to Estevan with Elder Dillon for exchanges. We stopped by a few places and looked for some service opportunities and then we stopped by a school and contacted the Principal  who was super nice, but not interested. We then had dinner and went running at the local arena and were able to talk with this one guy, who apparently they saw there all the time, and he ended up being a return missionary from another church. We were able to share a book of Mormon with him. Lots of good potential there. We then came home and taped up the Black mold outbreak in their house...

Thursday we woke up and shoveled the entire block that our house is located on, which was good. We had a conversation with a thankful neighbor with 2 little kids. Then we showered and recently their shower was draining into the floor, but it was "Fixed", but not really. After I showered, it wouldn't drain and we ended up vacuuming out giant rotting hairballs and other sludge from the drain (which now works perfectly well.) We then spent the day going around town looking for other places we could serve or do things, like the police station, radio, newspaper, etc just trying to get our name out there. Later, we stopped by an investigator and had a good talk with him. We'll see how that goes (his wife isn't too fond of us) and then later that night we went to this other church where they run a program called "warm welcome" which is basically a homeless shelter. We go there basically as supervisors. We talked with them and played a card game for a while before they went to bed. Then we were able to have a good conversation with some of the other volunteer ladies that help out and were able to teach them the restoration and had a really good discussion with some really good questions and what not. So yeah that was an experience no other missionary has probably had; teaching a lesson at midnight to two women without having fellowship while in a homeless shelter.(but it is all good because it was all approved by President Thomas) But after we served our 5 hour shift from 8:00PM-1:00AM we went home and slept.

Friday, we got up and volunteered at this old folks home and forced all the old people, who had no idea what was going on, to shake/hit instruments while they listened to music. Then we helped out at the Salvation Army and made a few hampers, and then ended our exchange and went back to Weyburn. Elder Stoker and I went and snowblowed the church and shoveled the huge drifts out.

Saturday, we weekly planned and stopped by a few service opportunities and potentials and former investigators. We found a new lady who lives in McTaggart, then cleaned out the baptismal font at the church and had a lesson with J. We watched the Restoration in Korean and showed him the Baptismal font and invited him to be baptized and he said he would think about it. Later we had the branch adult valentines party, which was a great success. We had a total of 8 investigators come out, who the members and we invited, and a few less-active members as well. We had a good time eating pizza and playing cards and board games.

Sunday, we had a good sacrament meeting where I was called upon to speak last second... then we had gospel principles class with J again and he is loving it; G enjoyed it too. Then we had to do all of our dishes at the church because the water at our place is poison. Then we went out and had a visit with President Tiefenbach and his son, and a lunch appointment out in Yellowgrass. Then we came back and later went to a potluck that Elder Stoker and I were invited to. Then we went out to McTaggart and had dinner with the Regnier family and came back to Weyburn.

So it was a pretty good week. Very busy and very all over the place, to say the least.

But love you and take care!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Monday, February 10, 2014

February 10

My week was pretty good. But seriously, everyone here has at one point in time, lived in Medicine Hat or knows someone who lives there, so it really doesn't really feel like I am on a mission sometimes just another day at home...

Monday we had P-day

Tuesday we had a great meeting with a less-active member and we read scriptures with him with Brother R and he really wants to come back to church and committed to come this week. Also had a meeting with our new branch mission leader (Bro R) who is great and we’re truly going to do great things with him! Then had lunch (Bro R took us to A&W) Later we went to the Old Folks Place (Hill top Manor) and helped all of the old people play some card Bingo.
Then had dinner and then had basketball night, which was pretty good; not as many people came but still was fun.  I clotheslined this one guy accidentally but it was his fault and he was all right so it was all good.

Wednesday we a good district meeting and went for lunch at some pita/donair place then went and also stopped by a bunch of different locations to see if we could go and volunteer there. We had some success. We stopped by some former investigators and found a few new potentials and handed out a few copies of the Book of Mormon to some people who committed to read it. Then we had a great lesson with C and K on the Plan of Salvation, which they loved but at this point C said, "I have nothing against you guys coming over and teaching us, because it's interesting to learn and I enjoy it. I like your doctrine and it is a lot more comforting than what I believe and what is taught at my church but I am Evangelical and am not changing," so we'll just have to continue working with them. In time we'll see what happens. K still knows he needs to read the Book of Mormon and plans on doing so. We then had dinner and had a lesson on having more effective prayers with P and A.

Thursday we made some pass-along cards and met  G at the Pizza Place where he works and read with him "Like a Broken Vessel"  and he loved it and committed to setting a better example to his Girl Friend and not drinking and letting her know that that is not what he wants to do or what he believes in any more. Then we had lunch at Welsh Kitchen for free (Sister J and her family own it) and were able to meet and talk to a lot of other people we know. Later we placed some more copies of the Book of Mormon, stopped by some more formers and potentials, and found a few more potentials, and followed up on a non-member referral for his mother and that was good. Then we had dinner and helped Brother R move a stove to a  house. And I slipped for the first time on my mission on the ice (earlier that day Elder Stoker and I had stated how neither of us had slipped and fallen on the ice our entire mission). Then we saw G again at his request, and he told us how he told his Girlfriend he didn't want to drink or be associated with that any-more and she accepted and that was great because he is super hesitant and scared to do things like that!

Friday was a rough day. We were getting and ready and started our weekly planning and later one of us used the toilet only to find that we no longer had water in our entire house. So we called our landlord ,who lives in Cardston, and he had no idea what was going on or what to do! So we went about the rest of the day with our weekly planning, stopped by the mental institution (Tatagwa View) and set an appointment so we could come back and volunteer there later. Then we met a man named  who once was investigating the church while he lived in Medicine Hat, and he met us at "neutral grounds" (A&W) and bought us Root Beer's and we had a good talk with him and gave him a Book of Mormon (he lost his) and he committed to read it, hopefully we will see him again. Then we stopped by a potential, who cut my hair, and had a good talk with him. Then we came back home and tried to have dinner and rinse off my head and my back because I was super itchy from the hair cut, but there was still no water so I had to lint-roll my head, and we couldn't really make anything because we couldn't wash our dishes (we have like 4) so I think we just ate a banana or something or a piece of bread maybe. We then went out to McTaggart, but had no success. We came home and planned and had to do something with the toilet so we could flush it so we got some snow and filled the toilet with it (not thinking until after that it would be much faster if we boiled it or at least melted it first, so we got more snow and melted it and boiled it to melt the other snow but to our dismay and after much hard work, the toilet still wouldn't flush and it was starting to get late so we went to bed.

Saturday we woke up and still no water, so we had to go to the truck stop across the highway from our trailer (our trailer is on the outskirts just outside of town so on one side of our trailer we have a train track about 50 yards away, so we get to hear all of the trains, and then on the other side is a main highway, and since they are not in city limits, engine retarder brakes are still good to use, so we get to hear all of the Big Semi-trucks make extremely loud noises on the other side of our trailer) and had to pay a whole $3.15 to take a shower (which was actually really nice, the nicest shower I had my whole mission) We had studies, and then went to get an oil-change, and when we went outside we met up with our landlord, who followed us to the dealership and we dropped off the car and he took us to Tim Horton's and we had a good talk with him while the oil was getting changed. After that we made the trek out to Francis and had a great meal with the L's (Member Family from South Korea) and their nephew was there and so were three other young guys from B.C. But the dinner was great! Super good and then the best part was we were able to teach Brother L's nephew, who was hesitant at first and didn't want to know anything, but we had a good discussion (despite his strong Korean accent) and taught him about Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father for the first time and taught him his purpose and the restoration. He absolutely loved it and was super receptive, committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, and even said the closing prayer. The spirit was super strong and his whole attitude and desire had changed in a short time of less than 45 minutes. After that we came back into town and stopped by a few other people. One guy who we were going to teach slammed the door in our face. And then we came back and ate dinner and then taught P and A the importance of coming to church and not worrying about having kids there. We had Brother B come with us (who has 4 kids under the age of 6) and it went pretty well.

Sunday we woke up G and D Stewardson and they came to church. So did J (bro. Lim's nephew) for the first time in his life and he was super interested and asked a ton of questions, which was super great. We had sacrament meeting and then taught Gospel Principles and taught about Prayer and J had more great questions and loved it, and understood it, and accepted it very well, and said another closing prayer at the end of that lesson. We then had a meeting with Brother R and had an appointment later on with Greg B's parents, which turned out unexpectedly to be a dinner appointment as well so we ate dinner and then went to the R's and had dinner there too and had a good discussion with them. The Estevan Elders were there also because they had to come down because they discovered an outbreak of black mold in their apartment and that was getting taken care of. After that though we came home.

But it's great to hear from you hope that all is well and that you continue to do well. Love you!

-Love Elder Shane Dola

Collecting snow for the toilet

Melting the snow
Dinner when we make it.  
Dinner at a member family.  

Monday, February 3, 2014

February 3

This is my past week:

Monday we had p-day.

Tuesday we stopped by and met a few of the people that we help and serve, including this pastor lady from the Salvation Army and she basically opened up and told us her whole life's story about all the horrible stuff she has gone through including her son committing suicide out of no where, and her other son attempting twice, and all else and what not, and how she knows the only thing that has kept her through it all was God. She expressed how it was still hard not knowing for sure where he is at though and we invited her and her husband to sit down with us sometime and she's considering it. After that we went to a restaurant named the Welsh Kitchen, owned by a less active member whose daughter recently left on a mission. Anyway she never has the missionaries pay so we eat whatever we want for free and we also were able to talk to some guy a bit about the gospel while we ate, and then we set up an appointment with the lady who owns the restaurant. After that we went to this old folk's home called Hill Top Manor and we helped the old people read their cards as they played a bingo game. It’s super sad to see that this literally the easiest game I have ever seen and these seniors in their conditions find it super hard so that's what we do is help them out with that. After that we had a lesson with a guy  (was supposed to be his whole family but they were sick) in his printing press shed in his back yard. We then had dinner and met with a recent convert but now less-active member and his wife and kids and got to meet them. They recently lost their infant child on Jan 1 and the baby was only 1 month 13 days old when it passed. So things have been super hard for them and they are pretty bitter towards God right now and the father isn't too overly fond of me because I am from AB and AB drivers and people are cocky. But I am sure that will change soon enough... After that we went to the Know Presbyterian Hall where we have our Basketball night and we had 12 people come and play basketball, which was great. It was weird, it was the first time I played basketball where it wasn't too serious and physical, everyone was super nice and sportsman like, not your typical experience in AB or in Church basketball. But besides that we also were able to talk to one of the guys that came out, who is Christian, and gave him a BOM and committed him to read it and he accepted. We’ll follow up on that the next time we see him! Over all it was a pretty good day though.

Wednesday, the Estevan Elder's drove in and we had our District meeting lunch and then we went to the Old Folk's place again, after meeting another Potential lady, and we helped out with their Hawaii party. We then went to the Library and made some pass-along card things to hand out to people and then we went out to McTaggart and tried contacting a referral and ended up tracting a bit and were able to place three copies of the Book of Mormon (one guy chased us down and gave it back, he ended up being a Catholic Priest and decided that he would have none of that) and met some people who already had a copy, but one guy seemed super great. He's Christian and accepted the invitation to read it and told us to come back later whenever his truck was there and we could teach him and his family. We then came back into town and had dinner and then went to "THE CHURCH OF CHRIST" and participated in their Bible study, which was super weird, but still pretty good. We were able to add our insights and opinions; everyone there was super nice.

Thursday we went out to Kisbee (about an hour east) and met with a member and his family. We taught the Plan of Salvation to the kids using an object lesson and those are the smartest kids I have ever met. Seriously one was 2 years old, and he was telling us the importance of keeping the commandments and praying to receive answers to what is true and what is not and the other who is 6 (she only goes to school for gym class and recess because "I am just ahead of everyone else") answered all the questions we had for her and can read the Book of Mormon without pausing at any words (better than lots of investigators) but that was good and after that we were so far out we decided to venture out to the White Bear Native Reserve and  stopped by some investigators and less-active members houses but no one was home. We escaped and stopped in Carlyle for lunch, then headed back to Weyburn and saw K & C and went to their house to "practice teaching" and we taught them the Plan of Salvation and had a really good discussion and K without us saying said. "In order for me to know Christ more and understand Him better I am going to have to study his word" so he committed himself to read the BOM. After that we had the appointment with the J  and we watched “Come Join with us” with them. Sister J loved it and expressed how she intends on becoming fully active before her daughter gets back from her mission so she has 18 months to do that! And Brother J liked the talk until Pres Uchtdorf was telling people to come back and Bro J said he has no intentions of ever coming back. "I have taken off my tag and am more comfortable that way, just happy living my life, still am a believer and always will be you just don't need church," but just wait, he will eventually put aside his pride.

Friday we weekly planned and helped the old folks again with their birthday party and then finished the cards. Then we had dinner and followed up on a referral for a former investigator from a member. We then stopped by the Youth center to see if there was anything we could do to help out and offer service and the guy ended up being a Pastor and told us straight out he didn't want anything to do with us and didn't want us around the place so we left. Pastors I have met so far here aren't quite as nice as the ones in Dryden.

Saturday we did a ton of former investigator and potential investigator contacting and stopped by G and gave him some soup because he has been dying from the Flu and also gave him a priesthood blessing. We then stopped by the Church to print something off and Bro Regnier was there doing some clerk stuff and he was just finishing and took us out to Subway. After that we went out to McTaggart again and I decided to try a new finding idea by seeing how many people would stop and help us out if I got stuck in a rut near the ditch when I tried to turn the car around at the end of a street. One guy came and tried to help us out and just decided he would jump in our car and drive forward and reverse until he eventually dug us deeper and we slid further into the ditch, then got out and went home, saying "You're just going to have to call a tow truck." And since I didn't want to call a tow truck and have the mission have to pay for that I said a prayer asking that we would be able to get out without having to get a tow truck. So we sat there and called the only member out there, brother Regnier, to see if he could help us and he said he would try to get some people together. Mid conversation a man drove up next to us in his car and said he was going to go get his truck and pull us out. Before he could get back however, another two young oil-rigger guys in a truck (the last two guys you would think would help out) came and offered to pull us out and did. In the mean time, the other guy with the truck showed up and was happy that we got help, then we saw brother Regnier and his family drive up in their car and they don't have a truck, but were going to try and push us out. It was seriously humbling to see the kindness of the people here, always trying to help out. Miracles of Prayer, I asked for help and the Lord sent 2 trucks and an entire family to help us out! After that we were able to contact the less active member who is super nice, but told us she has no interest in coming back.

Sunday we got up and we shoveled the snow at the church, and had a great fast and testimony meeting and ward council. The members here are super great! After that we went to the Morrisettes and they had dinner for us, which was fantastic. We spent the rest of the day with former investigators and gave out a few Book of Mormons to new people we had never met!

But I Love you and hope that you continue to get better!

-Love Elder Shane Dola