Still in Nanaimo for now

Still in Nanaimo for now
Elder Samis on the ferry

Monday, 29 December 2014

December 29, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Green Christmas

Good tidings! This is Elder Samis reporting from Clearbrook. There is much to talk about with Christmas being last week and the new year is well on the way. Not much happened worthy to report leading up to Christmas Eve except that I got my glasses taken care of. We also dropped off a bunch of gifts for the ward's secret Santa project. 

On Christmas Eve we visited Tim and Sylvia. We played with Tim's old electric race car circuit for a while. At the end of our visit, they gave us each a really nice basket filled with a bunch of treats of all sorts. If there's one thing we got a lot of for Christmas this year, it was chocolate! For dinner we went to Sister Lougheed's place for a turkey dinner in Aldergrove. She brought a non-member friend named Bill whose been to church a few times, but says that he doesn't have any interest in learning from us. After that we went to the Hara's place where we hung out with a bunch of ward members and played Scrabble.

As soon as we woke up on the 25th we said our prayers and opened our presents. We studied and went to the Cervo's for a crape breakfast at 10:00am. Then came the moment most missionaries long for, making a Skype call home! :) I used the Cervo's computer to do it. What a cool feeling it was talking to my parents and my siblings face to face for the first time in 11 months! There's not much else quite like it! It didn't make me homesick at all even though it was a little hard to hang up once my time expired. After Elder Lamb finished up his call, we went with Bishop Vidal to contact a referral he gave us. We told him what our purpose was as missionaries. His name is Dan. He has a strong belief in Christ and he's willing to listen and keep an opened mind and learn even though he says that he won't become Mormon. After we made our calls we saw the Noftle family. For a gift they gave the 2 of us matching ties. From there we went to the Olson's for Christmas dinner at 3:00pm. Because Sister Olson is actually Bro. Noftle's sister, there was a big gathering of Noftles from Chilliwack and Abbotsford, all of them members of the church. Next up we went to the Kozak's place. We met Sister Kozak's father and younger sister there and we played the board game "Catan" in which I lost badly. It was my first time playing and there's no such thing as beginners luck when it comes to Elder Samis. To finish off what was a great Christmas Day, we visited Bishop Vidal at his home. He had the day off work so he wanted to come out with us to stop by some less active members the next day.

On boxing day we did just that! We saw several less active families and members. Our bishop is just so awesome! President Burt called us in the afternoon and said that he wanted to come over from Richmond to have an interview with everyone in the district. He took us out to eat at Wendy's first! Speaking to President Burt is a lot like talking to your father. He's very loving and its easy to talk to him.

Saturday was great! We contacted a potential the YSA sisters gave us named Gary. He's native and had somehow lost part of his right arm. We taught him the restoration and he's really intrigued by everything. He's Catholic and doesn't really see too many differences between them and the Mormons' beliefs. He's having some struggles but wants to change. A few hours after the lesson, we got invited to come to a pizza dinner party for the 12-14 year old youth at the Taylor's place and he suggested that we bring Devin and Nolan to it. We stopped by about an hour before the start to invite both of them but Devin wasn't up for it. We answered some questions Nolan had from things he learned at church and had a mini lesson before the party. The party itself was a lot of fun. We played board games and Nolan really seemed to have a good time!

Sadly, Nolan couldn't make it out to church on Sunday but Gary and Raj did. Gary loved church and the lesson that the sister missionaries taught in Sunday school. He said that he for sure wanted to come next week. Well, as I have named these events, I truly have been graetful for them, especially at this time of the year. It was hinted during our interviews with our president that there was a chance that Elder Lamb and I will be leaving the area after this transfer. I have loved being here but I almost feel like perhaps a change would be best... If so I'll sure miss the ward. Without their help, things just wouldn't be the same. Clearbrook has been a tougher proselyting area then Nanaimo, but there is still much to be grateful for. May you all enjoy the rest of the Christmas season and achieve your new years resolutions! Cheers to 2015!

Elder Maclean Samis          

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

December 22, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Winter Solstice Miracles

Today is my 11th month mark. Never would have dreamed that I would be able to make it this far! Well we have some good news in our teaching pool. These miracles happened over the last couple of days. The first half of the week before seemed to be quite slow. Our finding efforts seemed to not be very productive. 

Thursday evening, we helped set up Christmas lights with the sisters and a couple other members of the ward for the ward party. First we had to test a lot of the strings because many of them were the kind that would go out altogether if only one went out. We had to use a ladder to hang them on these small hooks that were nailed to the wall of the gym. It took quite a while. 

Friday was really fun! We went to the Mays out in Aldergrove. Elder Lamb and I didn't have a Christmas tree so Brother May suggested that we could make one in his shed. We took some scraps of wood and stapled them together. The result was perhaps the trashiest artificial tree ever made. It was awesome! The same evening was the Christmas party in which Elder Lamb and I sang a parody of the song "We're Gonna Be Friends" by Jack White about missionary life around Christmas time. We wrote it around a week before we actually performed it. Even though neither of us can sing that well, it was great to just have a little fun. I didn't even feel too nervous about it.

On Saturday morning, we had a brunch appointment after our studies with the Bumby family who fed us enough Bacon, eggs, and hash browns to last us well until late in the afternoon. It had to have been the best breakfast I've had in close to a year. After we were done eating we received a call from one of the assistants who told us that they wanted to split up and have one of them join us while the other would go with our zone leaders. That exchange was EXACTLY what Elder Lamb and I needed to give us some motivation so close to Christmas, a time when everyone is "too busy to meet". 

We went contacting at the high street mall as soon as we began the exchange which was busy with shoppers. Let me tell you, it rained hard. So hard, that there was security workers walking around giving away free umbrellas to everyone who needed one! The assistant that we went with was Elder Gomez who used be a Chinese speaking missionary before he moved to English work in Richmond. When he began speaking Chinese to a group of Asian college students at the mall, one of them blurted out "What the- this white kid can speak Chinese!" Like seemingly all assistants, Elder Gomez can keep talking to people and make it sound like he's talking to his best friend and not some random stranger on the street. It's a skill I covet sometimes...

After racking up a bunch of quality gospel conversations, we dropped by a few potential investigators and 3 of them are willing to start meeting with us again! Elder Gomez had heard all about Devin so he was keen on meeting with him. We went over to his place and taught him with Bishop Vidal that night. We met his step dad and his younger brother, Nolan. We asked Nolan if he wanted to join us. He told us that it was best he didn't but listened from the other room. Eventually, he came out and sat in.

After the lesson, he told us that when the YSA sisters found and taught Devin for the first time, they also taught Nolan. He told us that he lost interest but wanted to start learning over again because he wants to do what he can to change his lifestyle. Both him and Devin wanted to come to church but Devin sent us a text the next morning saying that his mother wanted to take them to visit their cousins and they wouldn't be able to come. (D'oh!) About a half hour later though, Devin sent us another text saying that Nolan wanted to go to church! This really surprised us, but he was able to go and it was a great experience for him. We thought he would feel uncomfortable but he interacted with the young men really well. It was great seeing how happy he was there. He's a really sociable guy while Devin is more quiet and shy. 

Our friend, Raj also came out to sacrament meeting but he was called into work and had to leave right after. He said he enjoyed it though and wanted to meet with us on Friday night. And thus ends the last week before Christmas. My family will be thrilled to know that the zone leaders called us this morning to inform us that President Burt has permitted the missionaries of the Canada, Vancouver Mission to SKYPE their families! :D Wha hoo! So stoked for that!

Also a very special thank you to all those who signed the card I received in the mail from the Kingsway YSA ward in Edmonton. You guys Rock! Christmas is gonna be a good one indeed! We'll be going to the Hara's for dinner on Christmas day and then to both sets of Noftle's, the Olson's, and the Kozak's for some fun on Christmas day. Have a wonderful Christmas and don't forget why we celebrate it. Talk to you face to face Thursday Samis family! :)     

Elder Maclean Samis    


Monday, 15 December 2014

December 15, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Some Holiday Cheer!

It's finally truly starting to feel like the holidays in Clearbrook. Monday night we went to Mandarin Garden Restaurant and ate with the seniors of the ward for their family home evening activity.   

Tuesday night was a night to remember! We went caroling with the youth at high street mall. We took some pictures by the big Christmas tree after.

We had a big zone meeting on Wednesday. We watched an old short film the church put out some years ago called "Missionary Christmas"  which was a really touching story about a new missionary and his companion who find a family while shopping for a Christmas tree. They teach them in their homes and all three of them get taught and baptized. 

We saw Devin on Thursday and we invited him to the big stake conference on Sunday in which Elder Bednar came as a special guest, unfortunately, he got sick and couldn't come.

Friday I went on an exchange with Elder Orr, who just became our zone leader this transfer. He's a remarkable missionary. He's a little more quiet and reserved, much like myself. He's from Salt Lake City. We taught Chris and we showed him and his brother Richard the "He Is the Gift" video. Richard really seems to liked it and he said that he would be happy to start learning! 

We exchanged back the next morning and ate dinner at a big gathering at Sister Jonasen's home. The Taylors and Noftles were there. We went to the adult fireside. Elder Bednar was at this one too and he spoke in a humorous way you don't see him use in general conference. He told the congregation about the time he was on a tv broadcast getting interviewed. He answered all the questions he claimed even a primary kid could answer. The message? That telling our friends about the gospel is easier then one would think. 

In the session the next morning he gave an analogy of how the Christmas tree symbolizes the exact same idea as the tree in Lehi's dream found in the Book of Mormon. The tree itself represents Christ and the white lights represent the love that he has for us. He also pointed out we are the only church with doctrine of eternal families. 

Before I close up this week's email, here's a photo of me with Santa Claus (aka  Bro. Newman)!   

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

December 8, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Referals in December

Its hard to say that it feels like Christmas. Today it's 12 degrees and the snow is nowhere to be seen. Tuesday night we went to Aldergrove to contact a referal from Sister Lougheed. His name is Raj and he's lives in the same multi-suite home as she does. Sister Lougheed told us that he is very interested in learning about the church. We didn't teach him much since we caught him right as he was about to leave for his night shift, but he seems like a really friendly guy. He told us that he moved from India about 6 months ago. His English is pretty good. We told Sister Lougheed about the visit and she told us that he came with her to the "Why I believe" fireside and that he really admires and respects the way we present ourselves. Those suits and ties sure are good for something!

The week started off pretty slow. We taught the Bernards on Tuesday and they basically dropped themselves. :( They just don't believe there's enough evidence to suggest that the book is true. Brother Kozak was there and the 3 of us bore testimony that it was true before leaving. There was no hard feelings between us. They're still an awesome family and we were really glad they let us teach them for a while. 

Wednesday we taught Devin at Briana's place. We read a chapter in the Book of Mormon since he's been having trouble understanding what he's reading. A couple days later he went back to Kelowna.

Friday I finally went on my first exchange in Mission, a town a few kilometers north-east of Abbotsford. I was placed with Elder Petillot (pronounced Ped-a-low) and we spent a good part of the day tracting on a chilly day. I also got to drive again! We ate dinner that night with a part-member family from Mongolia. They're a fairly young couple, and the husband is the member and his name is Okna, and the wife who is interested in being baptized is Ogma. We taught her the first lesson and set a date with her for Jan 3. The spirit was so strong in that lesson as Elder Petillot exercised his great teaching ability. It seemed to be a little harder for me to try and simplify since Ogma doesn't speak English that well. Her husband did some translating for her so things were just fine in the end. 

Meanwhile in Clearbrook, Elder Lamb and Elder Butler received word that Brother Newman's new roommate, Bill wanted to hear about the gospel! I wasn't at the lesson but it sounded like it went pretty good. They also took Brother Newman out to teach Chris! We didn't have much luck with our investigator attendance for sacrament meeting. Only Kurtis came and he's decided that he wants to take a break form being taught.     

Sunday we saw most of the Christmas devotional after church. We went to the Hara's for dinner towards the end and missed the last speaker. As Christmas gets closer, the miracles are starting to arrive. It will take some time before the people we're teaching are baptized but I know that God works in his own time and no matter what happens, all will be well as long as we keep working hard. Hope you're all staying warm up in the Chuck and have had a great week!

Elder Maclean Samis   

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

December 1, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Staying Together
Yep, Elder Lamb and I are both staying in Clearbrook this holiday season. Meanwhile, Elder Maura and Elder Walker have both been transferred and Chilliwack has been closed down. Elder Lamb is also now the district leader. December is here and so is the cold! If you happen to be living in Alberta however, it doesn't seem that bad. It's only -5. It's unreal how close 2015 is. My year mark is not too far distant. 

Wednesday night we drove into Vancouver to pick up an Elder from the airport and drive him to the Mission. We had to take our car in for repairs so we took the Mission Elder's Subaru. Then it rained real hard the whole night and it took us seemingly forever to get back into Abbotsford in time for curfew.  

It's been a pretty quiet week. Thursday we helped a new family move into the ward from Mission. The family just so happened to live 4 doors down from the Noftle's home and a couple of their kids went to help out.  

On Saturday when we got our car back, we met with a new investigator at his home in Aldergrove. His name is Nick and he had a hard time with the restoration. He's still willing to read the Book of Mormon despite feeling skeptical about things. The problem is he's going with his wife to Australia until the New Year so we won't be able to see him for a while.

Once again, we taught Devin, this time at the church, Sunday evening. There's enough proof to say that he wasn't ready to be baptized. Elder Lamb and I have decided to just re-teach him everything. It'll be a little while before we set another baptismal date with him but we have no problems with that.  

And so ends another transfer in the Canada, Vancouver Mission. Looking forward to writing about next week. Sounds like there's plenty of snow in Edmonton, so it should feel easy to get into the Christmas spirit! Cheers!

Elder Maclean Samis 

Monday, 24 November 2014

November 24, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Good News from Nanaimo

Well everyone, I hope your enjoying the warmer Alberta weather. The colds are all but gone now. Still got a bit of a cough but I'm feeling so much better then I did last week. Elder Lamb is at 100%! It's the last Monday of the transfer and that means that there's a chance one or both of us could be moving in the next few days. Calls are tonight! I'd certainly like to spend Christmas here, but we'll see what happens.

On Tuesday I went on an exchange with Elder Walker who came from Chilliwack. We helped Tim out by digging some trenches in preparation for the new shed he's building. The weather was nice enough to work in a tshirt. It was sure a great workout! Sadly we never got a chance to see the Bernards who said they were busy all week.  

Wednesday was pretty packed. We ate at a sushi restaurant called Mandori. We got a buffet and filled ourselves pretty good. Next we stopped by a less active member named Saul. His family is from El-Salvador and we taught his nephew, Christian about the plan of salvation. He seemed to really enjoy it and our 2 week investigator drought came to an end with that. Saul also came to church on Sunday. The same evening we found a potential named Faith who seems pretty cool. She's ysa aged and is interested. After finishing up a bit of tracting we ate out AGAIN this time with Brother N. I ordered a pork schnitzel that turned out to be the size of my face, complete with a baked potato and veggies. I don't know how some people can eat that much in a sitting. 

On Friday we had another cottage meeting at the bishops house. These meetings are one of my favorite parts of the ward. We met a recently returned missionary named Reese who showed up with his girlfriend there. When he told Elder Lamb and I that he served in the Canada, Toronto mission, I asked him if he knew an Elder Gedleman. He replied "I did! In fact he used to be one of my zone leaders!" Then I told him that we're cousins! 

Saturday night we decided to go to the big Christmas tree lighting by the Cinaplex up on high street mall. We were quite surprised at how many people came to this thing, though I'm pretty sure that the premiere of Mockingjay had something to with the size of a crowd. We had a few good gospel conversations and we saw Chris there too! Sadly, we didn't get to see the actual lighting itself since we had to hurry off for a dinner appointment but we popped by after to get a picture after it was less crowded. The lights on the tree have been programmed to do some pretty intense patterns.   

Sunday we sang with the sisters in sacrament meeting which went okay. We received quite a few compliments from the ward members afterward. That day we finally heard from Devin who apologizedfor not getting back to us sooner. He told us that he was having a really bad week and had a lot on his mind. We'll be seeing him this Wednesday! After church we ate dinner with the Kozaks before heading back to the stake center to practice with the other missionaries from across the zone for choir. We sang the hymn "Hark All Ye Nations" in the mission fireside called "Why I Believe" A lot of non members showed up and President and Sister Burt spoke there. A recent convert from Abbotsford 1st ward gave a great talk about how he got a personal testimony of the Book of Mormon.

I'll end this letter off by sharing some great news from Nanaimo. According to President Burt's most recent weekly news letter, Bruce has been baptized! It's so great to hear that the seeds that were sowed in Nanaimo are at last giving fruit! I'm so happy for him! Elder Burns and Elder Durfee must be thrilled! Elder Burns and I sure had a lot of good memories teaching and getting to know him. With Devin finally back on board and Christian and Faith found, we're just beginning to see a lot of miracles that can occur when you're patient with the Lord's timing. I just hope we don't get transferred before we witness them. On that, I bid you all farewell until next Monday. 

 Elder Maclean Samis 


Thursday, 20 November 2014

November 17, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Sickness, Service, and Setbacks
It's been a week of trial here in the Brook. That's not to say that I haven't grown a lot from it. The weather is getting colder. It feels a lot cooler here then it did in Nanaimo. A lot of the locals we've talked to have said that there's a fair chance of getting a fair bit of snow. The white stuff just loves to follow me it seems!

Wednesday morning I woke up with a scratchy throat and chills. We helped out Tim by replacing a flat tire on his truck and fixed his garage door. We got one of his Norton motorbikes up and running at the end of the day which was cool. After that we helped the McCollums move some stuff out of their apartment in preparation for their mission in Hawaii. I got a fever after that and had to go home. I slept for about an hour and a half. Fortunately, we got to go to dinner with a member that night and the nice hot sea food chowder was very helpful.

My fever was gone by Thursday (thankfully.) We taught Devin parts of the 4th lesson after our weekly planning. We invited him to go to a baptism on Friday just so he could see what its like and then be interviewed after. He said he would, but we haven't seen him since then. More to that little story in a bit. That night we went to see Lori's family. We had just came from dinner at a member's place out in Aldergrove where I ate a little too much food. When it was my turn to speak during the lesson, I began to feel sick to my stomach. I stopped and Elder Lamb took over until I made the announcement that I wasn't feeling good and had to use the bathroom. It's easy to guess what happened after... No mess was created. Perhaps the overeating and the fever was enough to make me sicker then ever! It would have been a forgivable lesson if Lori knew the Book of Mormon was true, but she didn't really believe the restoration or that the book was true. She said that she would pray and keep reading it though so there's still hope.     

Friday we went over to the Gaspars, an elderly couple who live on an orchard farm just outside of town and mowed their lawn.  

On Saturday we saw Chris again with Parker, one of the young adults in our ward. He continues to  do well but has been busy with a couple of jobs and looking after his kid. We went over to his place after that, ate lunch and helped his dad out with cleaning their garage. Close to the time the baptism was going to start and after trying to get a hold of Devin several times, he said he was unable to go. His date is being moved back to a time that we have yet to determine. Briana sure isn't happy. 

The sisters invited us to do a musical number in sacrament meeting on the 23rd and we accepted. I'm pretty sure the last time I sang in front of a crowd was in elementary school or something so it should be an interesting experience. My nasty cough started up on Sunday and it didn't help matters when Elder Lamb and I practiced singing the EFY medley with the sisters! The cough is still pretty bad now.

Well, we made it! We didn't do a lot of tracting this week because of our colds and we haven't found a new investigator in 2 weeks. Despite the hard times and poor results, I've learned that there's not much point in complaining. God has some kind of plan for this area as he does for every in the the mission. I feel like I've been growing and pushing myself more. We just gotta keep going. Miss you all and have a great week. 

Elder Maclean Samis     

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

November 10, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Beautiful British Columbia

The week began with an exchange. Elder Maura and I went to Chilliwack on Tuesday. In one part of the day we tracted on this hill that overlooked the beautiful Fraser Valley below. You could see well into Washington State from where we were and the fall colours were really something. Indeed, it reminded me of all the extraordinary creations that God created for us to behold. We ran into an old guy named Alfred who agreed to let us come back that evening. We taught him and the lesson seemed to be all over the place. Apperently, Alfred is Chilliwacks' first investigator in 8 weeks. We also got to eat dinner with a member who fed us some gluten free lasagna since Elder Maura has food allergies. Tasted no different to me. Elder Lamb and Elder Walker saw Lori's family the same day but they didn't make it to church.

Wednesday evening we ate and ate and ate. We got double booked for dinner by our members which may sound like a great thing but it sure hurt the stomach. First we ate at the McCollums who are preparing to leave on a couple mission for Hawaii (lucky them) and then the Sharmas. They are East Indian and they love to feed their guests. We were fed various vegetables and curry and they kept filling our plates when we got half way through them. I can't recall when I last ate that much. It should be interesting to find out how much I weigh the next time I step on a scale...  

On Thurday, we finally recieved word from Briana that Devin was set to meet with us once more! We taught him that afternoon about tithing which he agreed to live! We may have to move his date back a week since it would be tight on the ward to make it happen this Saturday, but we'll see what happens. We're eating dinner at the Carlisle's place this Tuesday and we'll probably do a practice interview with him the same night. 

Friday we went to London Drugs to get our seasonally flu shots up on high street mall. Elder Lamb got really sick for a couple of days. It sucks when the flu shot GIVES YOU THE FLU! We did some service for a less active member in Aldergrove named Anne. We did a bit of digging in the front yard. She's planning on putting a rock bed and eventually planting grass. 

Saturday I went on an exchange with Elder Angelstad who has a lot of love for everyone. Him and I taught the long lost Chris that day who has apparently been trying really hard to contact us to set a time to meet. We taught him the 10 commandments as he was doing a bit of fall cleaning in his yard. 

It was a pretty relaxing sabbath. Devin went to church in Briana's ward for the week and we ate dinner with the Gordons that evening. We also taught Curtis about the priesthood which went very well. He's only had a couple of coffees in the past 3 weeks which is a great improvement from where he began. I don't know when he'll be baptized but perhaps it will happen while I'm still on my mission.

And now as the 11th comes, let us put on our poppies on and wear them in remembrance of the brave men and women who laid down their lives for us to preserve our freedom. It makes me think about the scripture found in John 13:15 which reads: Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.

Lest we forget.
Elder Maclean Samis

Monday, 3 November 2014

November 3, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Tricks and Treats
Another week gone and another month. The rain keeps falling and the temperature keeps dropping. Yet strangely, there's still no snow in the forecast. Sometimes I wonder whether or not lower BC is part of Canada or not. We could have a green Christmas according to many of the locals. Devin's visit to Kelowna turned out to be longer then we thought. He just got back to town yesterday so we were unable to teach him at all this week. His baptismal date still stands tall for the 15th!    

We taught Loris' family Tuesday night and they are awesome! Some of the friendliest most out going people you'll meet. We met her husband Harold who seems to be totally opened to learning about the church. The belief in God that they have is not so different from our own it seems and we are thrilled to keep working with them. We'll be seeing them this Tuesday night and they are reading the Book of Mormon. 

Hope everyone had a great Halloween! Elder Lamb and I sure did. On the 30th, we helped our young men's leader, Brother T. set up a maze project in the church's primary room for a Halloween activity. The maze was entirely made out of card board and was enclosed so the kids that went through it had to crawl on the floor through it in the dark. At 7:00pm we went to the activity to see how well it worked. It was difficult to get through even for the older kids!

On Halloween we found a new investigator named Tara who loves trucks and is opened to learning about the church. When we approached her door, we were concerned about how she would react to seeing us since there was a big "No Jehovah's Witnesses" sign on her door. The two of us were fully aware that we were Mormons but usually signs like this apply to any form of so called "religious solicitation" Fortunately we were wrong that time. We visited a few members throughout the day, all of which gave us some candy. Brother Taylor, was most generous and sent us off with a can of Sprite and a big bag of chips each! Love that guy!

Hope everybody has had a good week. Wow, in less then 2 months I will be experiencing my first ever Christmas in the mission field. That should be interesting! Won't be long before that comes. Until next week, bye!

Elder Maclean Samis     

Monday, 27 October 2014

October 27, 2014 - 2nd Area: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

Changing Colours
It's getting cold here in Clearbrook. The rain has been getting heavier and the sun is coming out less often. The trees are changing colour quickly and the temperature is dropping. Winter is definitely on the way. 

On Tuesday we went to teach Devin at Briana's house again. We taught him Lesson 3 and the Law of Chastity and he has no issues with either one. He's indeed very well prepared and it seems as if there's not much that can stop him from being baptized. He was in Kelowna this Sunday visiting some friends though, so he wasn't at church yesterday. He also went with Briana to the church laurel priest conferece so I'm sure that was a great social opportunity for him. 

As far as bad news go, Les and his family are pulling the plug. Elder Lamb and I tried to set a time to meet with them but they replied to our text message saying that while they appreciated what we were doing, they were ok with where they were at. Tough break. :(

Even so our finding has been decent. We tracted into a lady named Lori who talked to us for a few minutes before letting us in to teach her for a while. She has a couple of young kids and her 15 year old daughter sat in listening to us. We'll be seeing Lori again tomorrow. 

Thursday morning we drove out to the May's place to help them prepare some veggies for the laurel priest conference. The sisters were helping out too and everyone agreed that it would have taken forever for the Mays to do it by themselves, even with one set of missionaries. Thats a lot of of potatoes and broccoli! Later that evening Elder Lamb and I decided to take a walk around the Sikh temple to check out the big De-Wali celebration that was going on there. I'm not sure what the holiday is for, but its a big festive day for the Sikh followers and there was a whole lot of fireworks going off around the place. 

That's all this week. Love you all and talk to you next Monday. Happy Halloween!

Elder Maclean Samis     

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

October 20, 2014 - 2nd Area: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

The Miracles of Fellowship

First off neither Elder Lamb or I have been transferred. Second, we are finally seeing a lot of success in our area! Tuesday we had found a family of 3 who seem to be quite interested. They are Les, Christie, and their 11 year old daughter Quinn. We'll be seeing them on Tuesday. We found another investigator named Zara who is a young single mother from the Philippines but we decided to pass her on to the Aldergrove Sisters. 

About a few weeks ago, the Abbotsford 3rd sisters passed a huge miracle to us named Deven. He's 18 and has been attending church for the past few weeks with his cousin, Briana who has been a member of the church for about a year. We've already taught him twice this week in Briana's home and he's progressing very quickly, so much so that we set a baptismal date for November 15th! :) The first lesson he seemed a bit shy but by the second he really opened up thanks to Elder Lamb's great social skills. He is eager to keep learning. He came to church yesterday and we'll be meeting with him and Briana this Tuesday. We're all really excited for him and it looks probable that he will become my first convert baptism!  

Among some other more cool experiences I had was eating dinner with the Palfrey family on Thursday. Brother Palfrey loves music. He's a really talented singer and acoustic guitar player who in 2010 recorded his own album with 6 songs on it called "Vancouver Rain". He even went on tours around south-western Canada for bit and was fairly successful! He says within the next little while he's going to record another. He gave Elder Lamb and I each a copy of his album and signed the back of it.        

Yesterday we went over to Brother Noftle's to give him a priesthood blessing. He's been sick all week and couldn't come to church. We also taught Curtis and tried to get him to go without coffee for a week, he said he would try it next week.

That's the main highlights for this week. It's been raining on and off really hard throughout the week. It feels a little dreary but thank heavens it hasn't been snowing. Don't miss snow in October in the slightest. Love all of you and have a great week!

Elder Maclean Samis 
Here are a few pictures Elder Samis sent.  The first is him and his companion Elder Lamb, the next is his district in Clearbrook, and last, a picture he took of Mount Baker.  I guess you can get a pretty good view of Mount Baker from Clearbrook!


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

October 13, 2014 - 2nd Area: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

A Transfer of Thanksgiving

As yet another transfer closes, the Thanksgiving weekend has arrived. It's been a lot more chilly as winter gets closer. Sadly, not much has occurred in the following up of our investigators.   

I went on a couple of exchanges this week, the first of the two was in Chilliwack on Tuesday. I got to drive for about the 3rd time in my mission which was nice. Elder Koanohi and I taught a lesson with our ward mission leader, Brother Olson. The lady we taught is Christina. She is from Sudan and has 3 kids, one of them is 19 and is named Akol. It was a difficult lesson to teach with the 2 younger kids running all over the place and making noise but in the end, she said we could come back on Sunday. We couldn't see her on Sunday in the end since she was going to her cousins' house for Thanksgiving dinner. 

There was a zone meeting on Wednesday in which it was made official that working with the members became the number one priority. Rather then just sharing a quick spiritual thought, we will from now on teach a principle from one of the 5 lessons. 

Thursday I went on the other exchange, this time with Elder Davis. We knocked on a lot of doors that day and for the first time I got a taste of what knocking doors is like in the Bible Belt of the lower mainland. There were a lot of people that weren't very happy to see us. The day ended on a high note though when we went over to the Noftles' home for dinner. That family just makes my day!

Friday we helped a family move into the word named the Bambas. They are from the Philippines and used to be in the ward a few years ago. 

Sunday evening we went to the Hara family's home for Thanksgiving dinner. They had a few less active relatives visiting from Kelowna.   

Not too worried about getting moved. It's very likely we will both be staying. Well since it's thanksgiving, I suppose I should make a list of what I am thankful for. I am thankful for my family and for all they have done in helping me prepare for this mission and the rest of my life. I am also thankful for my mission president, my companion, and the members of the Abbotsford 2nd ward. I am thankful for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and am proud to serve as one of the Lord's missionaries. Enjoy the rest of the long weekend! 

Elder Maclean Samis   



Saturday, 11 October 2014

October 6, 2014 - 2nd Area: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)

A Wonderful Conference

It's been a slow week here at the Brook. We weren't able to meet with too many of our investigators this week. We saw Charles last night and he's having thoughts about being baptized. The other appointments we set with people seemed to flake out on us. Lots going on in peoples lives I guess. The temple trip on Tuesday was a nice experience. It's also been a bit more relaxing with general conference sessions to go to throughout the weekend. It's the closest thing a missionary will get to a relaxing day outside of p day. The weather has continued to cooperate so there are many blessings to count despite the hard luck with our new friends.

I've spent too much cash over the past week. There were a lot of office supplies to buy and we had to eat out a lot with all the traveling. On Wednesday we went to Karl's Junior which turned out to be a good place to go. Expensive and bad for you, but still really tasty! :) After that Elder M and I drove out to Chilliwack for an exchange. We knocked on a lot of doors and visited a couple of families. We ate dinner with the S family. They're an awesome family with 3 daughters and a son. When I told them that I had served in Nanaimo, they broke into conversation about how they lived there a few years ago and asked me if I knew this family and that. It was an awesome visit! 

It was Brother N. birthday on Saturday night so we dropped by his place real quick to give him a card that Elder Lamb made. You have to see it to believe how funny it was! I'll be sure to take a picture of it (if I can remember) the next time we go to visit the N family.     

Really other then what I've mentioned above there isn't too much to say except general conference was excellent! I loved Jeffery R Holland's talk about caring for the poor. Elder Christofferson's talk about keeping your standards far from the world's really spoke to me as well. David A Bednar's talk to those who are not members of the church was easily my favorite of the Sunday sessions. I would recommend it to anyone who is unfamiliar with what the church teaches. It'll be very helpful and help them understand what a missionaries purpose is. 

Well that's all for now. Here's hoping that this week will be more productive for us. Enjoy the fall everybody!

Elder Maclean Samis         



Monday, 29 September 2014

September 29, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook (Abbotsford)


The week has been okay, although a bit on the sore side. Last pday shortly after typing my email, we played some two touch rugby with the missionaries from Chilliwack and Mission. It was rather good fun even though I've never played rugby in my life. The day after however, I regreted playing it. For some strange reason my back was sore the next day and kept becoming sorer and sorer as the week rolled on. It didn't make much sense since I only fell down several times during the game, getting up each time and feeling fine. The fact that we helped a non member with some dry walling Thursday morning and a less active move on Saturday didn't help matters out one bit! Thanks to a massage by Elder Lamb a few hours ago, it's been feeling quite a bit better now.

We taught lesson 3 to Chris on Tuesday and he keeps living the word of wisdom. Only trouble is he didn't come to church on Sunday. The same night we had another great visit with the Noftle family. We briefly met a couple of thier friends from Japan who were just going back home. The Noftles told us that they were keen on investigating the church when they go back to Japan! I know that both of my parents will enjoy this little story as they both served missions in Japan. 

On Wednesday we found a new investigator named Diane who had been sitting in the potential pool for a while. She has a son with various health problems and is looking for the church with the "most truth" in it. She was quite sick when we dropped by, but we shared a quick spiritual thought and said a prayer for her before we left. When the prayer was finished, I thought that her eyes had gotten misty as we said goodbye.  

Thursday was a special district meeting where President and Sister Burt were attending. I have encontered very few people who have been as loving and inspired as our mission parents. President Burt spoke on how much better he believes working with the members to do missionary work is rather then just tracting for hours at a time. He wants us to work hard, yes, but he also wants us to have fun while we do it! After the meeting they took us out to lunch. 

Sadly we couldn't meet Alex this week. We went to the Clarkes' place for dinner but he called and said that he couldn't make it. :( There's still a very good chance we'll be able to meet with him this week. We had a part member family move in a while ago. Brother M. is less active and his wife, Suki is interested in the church. They invited us over for dinner tomorrow.

Well even though the week has been a bit slower then expected, it doesn't mean that it hasn't been enjoyable.  I love it here! I'll be going to the Vancouver Temple tomorrow morning so that should be great. I love all of you and wish you well as the first week of October approaches. Hope the weather isn't too bad. Cheers!

Elder Maclean Samis          



Monday, 22 September 2014

September 22, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook


Another week gone in what seems to be a great transfer, but also strangely a slower one. I guess the reason is because it's a new area and the fact that our teaching pool has been fairly shallow. Regardless, it sure has been fun!

We had another 6 meal appointments this week. The highlight of those 6 came on Monday when we ate with the K. family. They are a younger couple with a kid and its so much fun talking with them! Sister K. made this amazing Mexican styled homemade pizza with avocado in it. All of us are big NHL followers and anybody who knows me well knows that if there's one subject (besides the gospel) that will get me to talk, its news about hockey! ;)  

On Wednesday I went on an exchange in Chilliwack with Elder Kohanhi. I also got to drive for the first time in a while so that nice. We found most of the day without much luck, but it's still fun to see another new place I've never been to.

Friday morning we went to help collect items for the annual Thanksgiving BC Food Drive, which may sound boring, but it's impossible not to have fun when you're with the members of the ward! About half the ward showed up and it didn't seem to take too long to sort through so many bags. At the end of the sorting into the truck, we had lunch and went on our way.  

Our Sunday was filled with miracles! We had 5 of our investigators go to church, including Chris who is as far as we know, living the word of wisdom! He took his son as well. We also had a young man named Alex come to church as well. His Grandparents, who are members of the church took him. We'll be meeting with Alex at dinner this Tuesday to teach him some more. The 4th of the 5 is Curtis who married a member a few years ago. He's been coming to church for quite some time and knows that it's all true, he's just not quite ready for baptism yet.   

Throughout the week the members have been helping us out more then I've ever thought possible! They've been buying our groceries, they've given us referrals, and above all else they love us! I sometimes don't feel worthy to receive so many blessings from the members and from the Lord. We've been working hard with them to gain their trust and to teach those who are prepared to hear about the gospel. Truly, President Burt's instruction to us for building solid unity with the members is taking the way the work is done to the next level. Missionary work is no longer just about knocking on doors for hours at a time. That may be one way to do it, but it's not the most enjoyable way. There are many other ways.

I suppose that I should mention the fact that Myriah (mentioned her last week) is in fact NOT an investigator, but a less active member. We'll still keep working with her, just not prepping her for  baptism. :P That's the report for this week! We sure have reasons to be optimistic about the week ahead. Glad to hear the weather is good across Alberta. Snow in September sucks. Plain and simple. Hard to believe that today is my 8 month mark. I may have been out a while now but there is still plenty of fun and work to look forward to. Miss you all lots!

Elder Maclean Samis    



September 15, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook

Another week gone, and the first full week in the 2nd area of my mission. How crazy does it feel that I'm a third of the way done already?? Pretty scary! The weather has continued to be great here in Abbotsford. It hasn't rained a drop since I arrived and there has been no snow either for that matter. :)

 So glad we have a washer and dryer in our apartment now. I just love our new suite! Now we can actually have a fun pday! We played some soccer last week in the field over by the Siek temple which is just accross the street from our church. The north west part of our area is like 98% East Indian and almost everyone has a huge house.

On Tuesday morning we helped out a member of the ward named brother B. We loaded up his truck and he took us out for lunch before he drove out to his new place in Chillawack. Then we hurried off to Langley for our zone meeting.

On Wednesday we had a district meeting in Chillawack. Our district leader, Elder Maura is awesome! He's from New Zealand and has been out for only 3 months! The fact that he's so new and a great leader is really admirable. His companion, Elder Koanohi is a greeny from Hawaii.    

As for teaching, we've been working with Chris who has lost his baptisimal date for the time being. We taught him the word of wisdom. He likes the idea but isn't too sure about the coffee thing yet. He still deffinately has real intent though. We ate dinner with a member named Brother G. He's from Quebec and he has a daughter. He invited a former investigator named Myriah, who is Native and has a couple of young children. She's been taught by missionaries in the past but over the past few months has gone through some personal struggles. She's rock solid and is sure to be baptised once we've taught her everything.  

Friday night we ate at Jeremy's place. He told us a bunch of wacky stories about his mission in Japan and we had some great laughs. Jeremy is crazy, but in the best way possible. His 4 teenaged kids have been out of school due to the big strike here in BC so they must get bored around the house all day. It seem to be a treat to them whenever we go over for a visit.  

We've had 6 meal appointments this week. I don't seem to be getting fat yet but we'll have to see how long that will last!  If I do gain weight, it may be for the better anyways. :P  Beacuse our apartment is so big, there's a lot you can do for workouts which is nice.

Well it's been a great start to the new area. Elder Lamb has only been in the area for 7 weeks but he knows everyone it seems. He's quite the popular guy around the ward. The members just love him! He's done a fine job helping me adjust to this new area and I'm really thankful for that. Hope everyones been having a good week at this new year of school. Talk to you all nest Monday!


Elder Maclean Samis 


Monday, 8 September 2014

September 8, 2014 - Area 2: Clearbrook


Yes. It has happened. After 7 and a half month, I have finally left Nanaimo. I went to a dinner last Monday night at Sasha's place on the night of the calls. Knowing that it was very possible that I could be transferred, she cooked up something a little more exotic this time. We ate, and I kid you not, SHARK. It wasn't too bad actually. It tasted like fish with a bit of a stronger flavor. Anyhow, we received a call from the zone leaders during our appointment and they said that they would meet us at Sasha's place to share their own transfer news. Elder Rolfson told us that he was going to Haida Gwaii (a huge island just south of Alaska) and Elder Stapley, who became Elder Rolfson's companion for a couple days since Elder Olsen has become an assistant in Richmond and had to leave a few days before to be interviewed, is going to Westbank in the Okanagan area. Elder Burns and I were stunned! So was Sasha and Micheal. We visited for a few more minutes, took some pictures with the family, said goodbye and then left.

I didn't get my call until 9:45pm just after our daily planning. The new assistant Elder Olsen gave the call... He told Elder Burns that he would be staying in Nanaimo while I would be leaving for Clearbrook, a small regional district within Abbotsford and would serve with an Elder by the name of Lamb. I had heard that he was a funny guy and that he served in Nanaimo South for only 6 weeks before being transferred. Sasha said that Elder Lamb was one of the Elders who taught her briefly in preperation for her baptize.  

I can't even come close to listing off all of the events that have happened in the past few days so I'll get right to what you need to know about life in Abbotsford. I'm pleased to report that life with Elder Lamb has been fantastic, though a bit of a culture shock. The first couple days I was wondering, why aren't we doing a lot of finding? That's almost all I ever did some days in Nanaimo. Well, fact of the matter is the answer is simple: The members LOVE missionary work! :) Elder Lamb told me that we get a lot of referals and that's where a good portion of our teaching comes from. It's a darn good thing too, because the tracting area is very small. It almost feels like a different mission! As for our apartment? Well it's gotta be the nicest in the entire mission, no biggie. Our suite is HUGE. It's got a fire place, a spacious kitchen, a 2 door bathroom that connects the kitchen area and the bedroom, and a view of Mount Baker from the deck. Wait till you see the pictures!

On Friday we helped a lady named Sister S with a move. Her husband is not a member but he has been coming to church for a while. He is interested in being baptized, but just not yet.  

Elder Lamb introduced me to a member named Jeremy who was at a scout meeting. After visiting with him at the stake center for a little while, he took us for a ride in a souped up Volkswagen Golf GTi. Let me tell ya, he punched the gas on that little car like a maniac! He took us to the out skirts of town and we passed Chad Kroger, lead singer of Nickelback's house. Unfortunately it was dark and, we didn't see much of the home itself except the 8 foot tall hedge and the massive iron gate that hid it. That was probably the first "stupid" fun experience I've had on my mission. :P    

Saturday night we drove out to Richmond to hear Elder Johnson of the seventy speak in a special conference for missionaries and ward leaders. It was all about the members and missionaries working together. One of the bishops attending stood up and asked what the rules were concerning having the members eating at their homes. Immediately President Burt stood up and said that he had received revelation that he wanted the missionaries and members to work with each other as much as possible, to take the next step, even if that means eating dinner with them! There was sense of excitement among the pews. A lot of people have been wondering if the rule about having a non-member eating with them would change.

Shortly after church once the announcement had been made, our new meal calender had nearly every day filled! We visited a couple of the members after that and tried to go visit a potential investigator with Jeremy but that fell through. As far as current investigators, our pool is fairly small and we had a baptismal date with a guy named Chris who I haven't met yet. Well as surprising as the area has been, I've felt really blessed to serve in such a great place. It's been a stressful adjustment but all is well as of now. I'm much more caught up and relaxed with everything.

Elder Lamb has been an awesome companion! He is easy to feel comfortable around and shares a lot of the same interests I do. He's from Lethbridge so for the second time in my mission, I have an Albertan companion! How about that? Well it's been a thrilling week and it's nice to get some rest on p day. The weather has been great despite the summer winding down and boy do I ever pity those that are stuck in the snow back home. SUCKERS. Baha, just kidding. :) Hope schools been off to a good start for all of you students and I will talk to you all next week.

With love from,

Elder Maclean Samis      






Tuesday, 2 September 2014

September 1, 2014 - Nanaimo South


Well folks just as you can be sure that every summer has it's ending, a missionary will get transferred to a different area (eventually). August has come and gone fast and so has this past transfer. Now here I am with the pending possibility of receiving a call that will change my life... you know, that call that takes you to a new area for the first time? I'm sure a lot of you former missionaries can relate.

I will be brief with this weeks letter as I don't have much time. Over the past few weeks, the Nanaimo Sisters have been getting a number of baptisms. One of the two is going home on Wednesday so it seems like she's ended her mission on a spiritual high for sure which is great.

Kevin is still struggling mightily with the word of wisdom and missed church yesterday :(, Bruce is doing better. His baptism has been pushed back to Oct 4, but I'm sure he'll pull through. Over the last lesson we taught him we taught about the importance of following the prophet. He loves to read so we read a conference talk from President Monson all about loving one another. With the high possibility of me moving on, I gave Bruce one of my ties for one of his hot wheels as a nice little keep sake at the end of the lesson.

This week we found a couple of potential investigators. One of them is Desike, a young woman from Nigeria who came to Canada literally a day before we tracted into her! She said she wanted to go to church and we gave her the address but she didn't show up. The same can be said about Amanda who we talked to on Saturday. She had just moved in a town complex with her husband and a couple of kids. She said that she had been looking at a lot of churches and is wondering which is right. She said that she wanted to come to church the next morning but didn't.  

Yesterday Elder Olson caught a ferry to Richmond where he will be interviewed to become an assistant to President Burt. It's hard to see him go but I wish him well and know that he will do excellent. Elder Rolfson has been put in a tri with us until the transfers go through. Well the next time you get my email I may be in another part of the province, until then enjoy the long weekend and I'll talk you all later!
Much love from,

Elder Maclean Samis 



August 25, 2014 - Nanaimo South

Resurrecting the Formers
Another week gone and that means another update! It's been pretty eventful in a number of ways. Some just plain miraculous, others mysterious. Our teaching pool has been growing steadily as we've been able to re contact some former investigators. More to that in a bit but for now I'll tell you about some other cool experiences. 

My testimony of the Book of Mormon took a leap in a rather unexpected way on Thursday night. We knocked on a door to this old green house and a lady answered who we had talked to before downtown. She was a peculiar woman. First she seemed glad to see us again when she answered the door but then seemed afraid when we started talking about the gospel. She went on to say that she had been fighting with her boyfriend and sensed that there was "something wrong" with the house. That something evil was in there. We told her about the Book of Mormon and said that it could help her. She didn't want to because she figured that reading it would cause her too much confusion with her religion. Then Elder Burns promised her that if she at least took the book and carried it around with her in the house, the spirit would have no power over her and she would feel peace and comfort within the home. She took the book and clasped it against her chest standing nervously outside the doorway. Then she walked in... a couple of seconds passed until she came out again and claimed that Elder Burns' idea had worked! She asked if we could come by the next day.

I came back with Elder Olson on an exchange but sadly, the visit didn't go too well. She constantly interrupted us and by the end of it, the two of us wondered if she was possessed or unaccountable. Though in the end we couldn't help her further, what I witnessed the night before strengthened my personal testimony that the there truly is great power within the Book of Mormon, even as a physical object.          

Sometime earlier in the month we received a phone call from a less active member named James  who recently moved into the Nanaimo area. He said he was up for coming back to the church. Unfortunately, we totally forgot to call back and set a time to meet. Then We got a call from him on Friday and we were able to get together with him on Saturday. He told us that he couldn't go to church this week, but the next.
Just prior to seeing James, we went to the nearby reserve to see how Mel was doing. This time we decided to try and teach him the restoration in a way that he would enjoy. He would occasionally add a thought or two of his own, but we continued to teach it without as much trouble as with the previous times we taught him. He seems to understand that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints was not part of "White Christianity" in referring to the thing that scattered his people. He finally came to church on Sunday as well and though he had a hard time staying awake in parts of Sunday School, he really enjoyed it.
And now to return to the resurrection of the formers. Saturday night we popped by Tanya's house and lo and behold, she was home! :) Unfortunately we couldn't stay long due to an appointment (which sadly fell through) but she agreed to let us come back in an hour. With the appointment not going through we tracted on a remote dirt road called "Rugg" which was as rough as the name sounds. There were a lot of "no trespassing" signs all over a number of the properties. This place was quite literally in the middle of nowhere On this road, we met a guy named Paul who is a pretty interesting fellow. He has studied the art of Ti-Gitzu over the years and loves Japanese culture. Did I mention he loves to talk?? He told us that we could come back the following Saturday.
We got back to Tanya's place and Brother M came out with us. It was more of a chat/update rather then a lesson though we shared a quick scripture with her. I also asked her if in the time she was away she had thought more about getting baptized. She told us that she hadn't really with so much going on, but she said that she was still interested once things settled down with her and her family situations. There's just a lot on her plate right now but she said that she would prefer getting baptized this fall.  
Then perhaps came the greatest miracle of all came yesterday night... Elder Burns and I ended up losing our gas card at the beginning of the week so we had to walk, and walk... and walk due to our low fuel. We talked to plenty of people in that time but we didn't seem to find much success otherwise. We walked all over town and we were so tired that we had to stop at a members house for a breather and to ask if they could refill our water bottles.

Then we decided to go down to Gillespie Road to visit Clara's family. Some of you may have remembered me mention her a couple time over the course of my mission. Shes Native and lives with her mom and boyfriend along with a couple kids. We hadn't talked to them since the beginning of last transfer. It was late that night and the old houses along the street in the darkness created a bit of an eerie atmosphere. Those who know Nanaimo well know that Gillespie Street isn't exactly the most comfortable place to be at night. Tired and sore, we knocked on the last house on the left hand side of the street I had been to many times... This time Clara's mother answered. She greeted us with a smile and we had a lengthy conversation. Apparently in the times between our visits, the Jehovah Witnesses had talked to her. She told them that she was opened to being taught, but said that she had been waiting for these "two young men from another church to come back and teach her first..." We couldn't believe it. We felt really happy, but also really bad! She told us that we could call to set an appointment the next day and she would make sure that Clara was there. Turns out she also knows the Marshall family who lives nearby! Can you say miracles? :D
Bruce and Kevin are doing alright. Bruce's date had to move to September 20th. Not sure what to do with Kevin quite yet as we have taught him everything required before baptism. He's still struggling with the word of wisdom but he says that he wants to come up with ways to live it. Well that's this week's update. Can't believe that there's only two weeks left before transfers. It almost feels like I'm waiting for the bomb to be dropped or not with being here for so long! Guess we'll just have to see what happens. Till next week,

Elder Maclean Samis           



Monday, 18 August 2014

August 18, 2014 - Nanaimo South


The summer is drawing near it's close, but that hasn't stopped the weather from being nice. We also finally have some great news outside of Kevin and Bruce's progression towards their baptism.

As we were emailing at the church last week, we got a call from a non-member named Bob who was requesting some assistance with a move from his apartment on Wednesday. He's related to a member in our ward and we happily agreed to help out. The move itself lasted quite a while. Bob's daughter, wife and mother were all there, but it made things a little tricky because Bob had to follow us wherever we went due to our rule about being alone with someone of the opposite gender. He had a bit of a chuckle when we told him that we couldn't be alone with a woman in the same room but he agreed.

We helped out with the move from 12:00pm until 3:00pm to take a dinner break and then to teach Kevin. We agreed with them that we would come back for the last hour. After lifting out the last few heavier items in the truck, the Whites gave us 3 boxes of food and a Tim card for each of us as a reward! I almost cried when I saw how much food they were giving us and I couldn't thank them enough! It's people like this that will always have a special place in my heart.

Yesterday we contacted a couple of former investigators from over a year ago, a young couple named Eduardo and Ashley. Eduardo was working on his pick up and kind of preoccupied, but Ashley seemed quite happy to see us. They were apparently taught around a year ago and became too busy to have time to meet with the elders at the time. Eduardo will be gone for a couple weeks at work in the north but they were more then happy to have us come back and teach them once he got back. 

Later that night we talked to a homeless guy while street contacting downtown named Randy. He was looking for a place to stay. We'll be seeing him tonight and teaching him under an underpass so that could be interesting... Perhaps our teaching pool is about to become a little deeper. :) That's all for now! Glad the family had a good trip down to the states. Also happy 50th Dad! Your the best teacher I know and you taught me a lot as I've grown. Enjoy summer while it lasts everyone!


Elder Maclean Samis

August 11, 2014 - Nanaimo South


Well with the exception of our trip down to Victoria to the John Bytheway fireside, the week was almost a repeat of the last. Kevin and Bruce are both progressing towards their baptismal dates for August 30th and we've been working with them frequently. Our teaching pool has been thin otherwise.

 I suppose the focus of this email with be about seeing John Bytheway in Victoria. We left for Victoria just after our zone meeting from the Nanaimo stake center. It was about a two and a half hour drive with the Port Alberni Elders in the backseat on the long and winding Island Highway. We arrived in Victoria at about 3:00 pm. The landscape in Victoria is pretty similar to Washington. Much of the highway that runs through the city is almost completely enclosed in trees that shade the road. 

President and Sister Burt as well as all the missionaries on Vancouver Island were there. The Burts are good friends with the Bytheways and said a few opening remarks before John began to talk. For those of you who don't know who John Bytheway is, he's a remarkable motivational speaker, regarded by many as one of the best. He speaks for a living and is very passionate about what he does. He's also quite humorous. We had some good laughs when he told us about some of the experiences on his mission is the Phillipines. 

He told us about how we were "unusual" in the sense that we chose to serve missions. Of course, serving a mission is something very few people in this world are willing to do. He went on to explain how there is a much larger collection of evidence of the restoration then one would expect. Thomas Jefferson for example knew that there would have to be a restoration of the gospel as America would progress as a nation. Less then 60 years after this "prophecy" the gospel was restored through Joseph Smith! How's that for a cool bit of history?

The first session was for missionaries only but there was another one for the youth shortly after that we sat through. John talked about the invitation to come unto Christ. I preferred the first session but both were great! We stayed at the Victoria Chinese Elder's basement suit before leaving the next morning. 

Well that's about it. The weather has been very hot this week but things should be cooling down within the next few days. Hope the family continues to enjoy their trip to the states. Hard to believe the summer is close to being over now. Enjoy it while it lasts!

Elder Maclean Samis          

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

August 4, 2014 - Nanaimo South


The temperature has risen once again here in Nanaimo as August has begun, but with the heat has come success. We've been visiting Kevin a lot this week and his testimony of the gospel has really started to get stronger. He's still having a bit of trouble with the Word of Wisdom, but he's come a very long way from where he once was. We brought him over to dinner on Sunday with a member named Patrick. Kevin has been fitting in very well with the members it seems, partly because he is very easy to talk to. He currently has a baptism scheduled for August 30!

Bruce now has one for the very same day! Like Kevin he is struggling with the Word of Wisdom but Elder Burns and Elder Olsen set a date with him during an exchange. Both Kevin and Bruce came to church. Elder Stapley has currently been placed in a tri with the Nanaimo North Elders. Over the last transfer, Elder Buchanan got moved to New Westminister and Elder Stapley began training while being district leader. His companion went home for unexplained reason so now all our leaders are in the same apartment.

As for the finding, its once again been pretty quiet. It seems like there's less and less people home during the day since a lot of people have been on vacation. Even so there has been a lot to enjoy about working here. A big miracle we had was the fact that one of Port Alberni's investigators has moved into our area! Her name is Laura and she came to church on Sunday. I wasn't able to talk to her for too long but she seemed excited to be there.

Well that's the week. Hope everyone's not boiling this summer. We sure have been with all the humidity in the air! Fortunately we have been given another fan from a member. The current one we have is a smaller one from Wal-Mart that isn't really helping us too much. This Friday I'm going to Victoria for a special youth fireside featuring John Bytheway (yes, that is his last name) as a guest speaker. All the missionaries on Vancouver Island have been advised to go. I hadn't heard of John Bytheway before but he's apparently a widely known motivational speaker so this should be a pretty fun event. What I learn from that will be given in next week's letter. By for now!

Elder Maclean Samis        


Monday, 28 July 2014

July 28, 2014 - Nanaimo South


Surprise! I'm still in Nanaimo! :) You heard correct, I will be staying in the city I've grown to love for another 6 weeks and I am very excited. Overall it has been a VERY slow week for finding. This comes as almost no surprise since the way we have been finding has changed dramatically. We didn't find anybody new to teach this week, a personal all time low. The good news is we had 3 current investigators come out to church this Sunday, a personal all time high! I also had the privilege of seeing some old friends from my homeward just before sacrament meeting. Anyone in the Edmonton North Stake know the Bachelder family? Well I saw them at church yesterday! :) If anything made my week, it was that church meeting!

I'm very excited to report that we have been working with Kevin again! Elder Burns and I have been working really hard with him to overcome the habits that he's been facing lately. It was his first time ever coming out to church and he said that although he has been to many churches before, this one is the closest thing that there is to the full truth! During one of our lessons with Kevin we read Moses Chapter 1 with him in the Pearl of Great Price. He was fascinated with the idea of the book of Moses being extracts from the book of Genesis. It really helped him understand why Joseph Smith was considered a prophet of God and what type of person he is. Once he is able to give up his addictions, he should be baptised soon after.      

Bruce came for the second time and we've began meeting with him again as well. Slowly but surly he is understanding what "sets us apart" from other churches. The third person who came to sacrament meeting was Paulette who is moving out of town. We helped her with part of the move with Brother May.

We met with the Sternal family on Friday in Ladysmith and ate dinner. After we shared a brief spiritual thought, Brother Sternal taught my companion and I some remarkable things he came to know when he studied energy in university. The human body uses energy in so many ways it's actually mind blowing. Almost supernatural. I can't really explain a lot about the things he told me but it made me further understand that only God could design the ways that our bodies use energy.

Well there you have it for this week. Also, Happy Birthday to my younger brother Hunter! Can't believe you're 16 now. Where does time go? We had a lot of memories together back home that will last forever and I know that there will be plenty more in the not too distant future. Bye for now!


Elder Maclean Samis    



Monday, 21 July 2014

July 21, 2014 - Nanaimo South

Well folks the weather has cooled down considerably on the Island and it's a good thing too! It's rained for a couple of days which should help out the fire fighters quite a bit. Though I can't stay too informed by the news, we've been told by the ward members that there's been a lot of forest fires in BC this year.

Teaching and finding has been pretty low this week. President Burt has adjusted the way we find investigators. It used to be easier, now it's harder but I like the idea. It's helping us learn how to become better teachers. The way it used to work is that you could talk to someone on their door step and if they said you could come back and say a prayer with them, the person would become a new investigator. Now you need to get the return appointment to go through to make it happen so it's more challenging.

Dail has stopped meeting us again. Perhaps for a while. He sent us a text explaining that one of his family members told him to "STAY AWAY from the Mormons" so I guess we did all we could without being too pushy. We'll keep on praying for him and he'll come around one day.   

On Saturday we taught a homeless guy named Scott in the park downtown. He listened but it didn't really seem like he was "buying" what we were telling him. We gave him a Book of Mormon though and he said he would read it.

The brightest part of the week was the fact that we found Tanya! :) After over a transfer we dropped by her place and she was happy to see us again. The north elders had a baptism going on that night so we invited her to go to it. She did but for some reason she didn't come to church the next day. She has been traveling all over the island so maybe she's worn out. We'll be sure not to lose her this time!

Another miracle we received came this morning. We recieved a call from a family called the Sternals who are members and moved from Ontario to Ladysmith last week! This was huge news to us since it seems like little happens there. We felt prompted to go there on Friday and spent the entire day trying to contact less active members spending and finding without much success. The Lord must of blessed us with putting the Sternal family in Ladysmith. Who knows, maybe some other missionaries will be able to work with them and the handful of other members to get a branch there one day!   

That's the week! transfer calls are coming up. Within under 24 hours I could be told that I'm leaving Nanaimo. By the time you get my next post, I may be some where else in the province. Stay tuned!

With Love from,

Elder Maclean Samis 




Monday, 14 July 2014

July 14, 2014 - Nanaimo South

Well it's July now, and as you might expect, Vancouver Island has been a hot place to be. The temperature has been going up to the mid 30s consistently throughout the week. I don't know how the missionaries survive in the southern interior. It's apparently common for the temperature to reach around 50 in places like Clear Water! Fortunately Elder Burns and I managed beat the heat (sort of) by placing a fan in our apartment study room. I've had to start taking cold showers each night after daily planning and that seems to be helping me sleep.

The Nanaimo Ward had a barbeque at a local park on  and we showed up for lunch there. The food was great and it was fun to see so many people we knew there. 

Well even though it's been a hot week in Nanaimo, the miracles have been everywhere especially on Tuesday. Elder Burns and I were going to see a couple of investigators named Edmund and Karen, but they weren't home. We decided to tract their townhouse complex and we found 7 new investigators within something like 26 doors! Even those who weren't interested were polite to us. It was difficult to feel happy about the finding but only because I was so surprised! We knelt down and thanked our heavenly father for helping us meet so many great people despite baking in the heat. We found another couple street contacting downtown as well!

On Friday we met Dail over by the Macdonalds close to our apartment and we taught him a couple of the commandments and part of the plan of salvation. We brought Brother B out to the lesson with us. At first he seemed ok with what we have taught him but he texted us the following night and told us that he wasn't ready to give up everything and didn't want to come to church with us. Brother B heard about this as well and he gave him a call to rest assure that we didn't expect him to give up everything all at once. Though Dail didn't come to church yesterday, we got a spiritual prompting to see him shorty after a dinner appointment with the McCallums, a member family who live in Ladysmith. We had a good chat with him and he told us that he misunderstood our expectations and agreed to keep meeting with us. Boy were very relieved that we hadn't lost him!

We've been teaching a woman named Paulette who once investigated the church when she was younger. She knows a lot of the members there and she seems pretty excited about being baptized! Elder Glover and I actually briefly met her on the street as we were tracting. She's really friendly and because she lives on her own she really enjoys our company. She also came to church yesterday. :)

Well with the transfers call looming and the fact that I've been in Nanaimo for all 6 months of my mission, it is quite possible that I could be packing up and moving to another area. Something tells me that I'll end up going somewhere more remote. Possibly in a more northern based area. A place like Terrace or Quenel. Whatever. It's not for me to decide. I'll let you know if I'm staying or not by the week after next. That's the week! Hope everyone enjoys summer while it lasts! As always, thank you for the support and I will email you on the day of transfer calls.

With love from,

Elder Maclean Samis