Still in Nanaimo for now

Still in Nanaimo for now
Elder Samis on the ferry

Monday, 28 April 2014

April 28,2014 - Nanaimo South


Hello Again! What a week it's been in Nanaimo! With transfer calls tonight, it will be interesting to see if I stay or go. Sadly, it's unlikely that Elder Glover and Duersch will be staying. Both of them go home in 6 weeks. Elder Lawter is now on an extension and will be moving on in 3 weeks.

It appears that the devil is trying to do everything he can to keep our 4 baptismal dates from happening. Elmer ended up moving on Sunday (we still knows where he is and he said that he felt bad and really wanted to go the week after) Tanya got sick, and as it turns out Shawn and Violet are common law and don't plan on getting married for quite a while. :( We will still keep on praying for them and I have faith that God will prepare a way.

Tuesday was a bit of a rough ride. Elder Buchanan and I who both can't drive due to lack of experience asked Brother Back to give us a ride to see an investigator named Marie who is originally from Haiti and is a devoted Catholic. When we discovered that the other Nanaimo Elders could give us a ride we decided that it would be easier for Brother Back to just drive straight to the lesson. They had something that came up and then we had to call Brother Back again to ask if he could give us a ride when he had already was almost there! After we finally got to the appointment we were able to have a great lesson with Marie about the Restoration and things somehow miraculously worked out! After the appointment, Brother Back and our companionship went back to his house for a while and ordered pizza from a place called "Little George's" which some claim has the best pizza in Nanaimo. Those people didn't lie!     

On the more positive side of things, we did find 6 new this week! Elder Glover and I went on an exchange together on Wednesday. As we drove down to the reserve by Ladysmith to visit Jackie and Jerome, we received a call from them that Jackie was sick so we decided to turn around and tract in Ladysmith for a little while before driving back to Nanaimo. Later that evening we found 3 investigators in a large complex not too far from our apartment. We taught another investigator we found last week named Kevin who said that he had a dream about the two of us and him "crossing paths." Kevin is incredibly solid and it almost seemed as if he was meant to join the church! The only reason why we couldn't set a baptismal date with him was because of the fact that he has some word of wisdom issues. He told us that he feels like as he learns more about the message of the gospel, he will strive to overcome his addictions. When we told him about the Book of Mormon and gave him a copy he stated "I feel like this book was made for our day." This was very surprising to us because we had forgotten to mention that part all together! It's almost like he can see into the future or something! We will meet with Kevin again tonight.

The miracles didn't stop there! Last night Elder Lawter and I went street contacting downtown. We needed to find just a couple more people to teach about the gospel before the week was over in order to reach the standards of excellence. The first person we found was a man named Matt who was originally from Edmonton of all places and is currently living outside of Nanaimo. He said he is looking for some guidance in life and we gave him a Book of Mormon. We agreed to meet him at the church this coming Wednesday. The second person we found was a little more interesting. As we walked away from Matt, we noticed a couple of young adults goofing off and making loud noises just across the street from us. My first thought was "Oh please no, anybody but those two!"  And sure enough, Elder Lawter began crossing the street towards them... When we told the two of them who we were, the young woman said to us "Hey that's really cool, I'm actually looking for a church to join."  My eyes must have gone to the size of softballs. This had to be a joke, but it wasn't. The Lord sure knocked some sense into me that night! Her friend walked away but the young woman stayed. Her name is Jessica and she was originally baptised a Catholic. She asked all kinds of stuff about what makes us "different" from the other churches. We told her and she loved all the stuff she was hearing, especially the bit about life after death. We agreed to meet with her on Saturday.

Well that sums up the week! It will be a sad day when I have to leave Nanaimo. I never thought I would say it, but teaching is actually my favorite part of the mission! I've met a lot of great people here and I'm looking forward to meeting many more as time goes on. I love you all and miss you!


Elder Maclean Samis

Monday, 21 April 2014

April 21, 2014 - Nanaimo South


Happy Easter everybody! What a remarkable week of miracles it's been! This week we managed to find 9 new investigators and set 4 baptismal dates! It's not something to brag about since without God our numbers would not have been possible to reach in what I can say has been the greatest week on my mission so far!

On Tuesday we taught a Native couple named Shawn and Violet. They investigated the church before I came out on my mission but eventually stopped. We were able to meet up with them once again and they seem to really want to be baptized! We set a date with them for May 24 and although they said they would be out of town that weekend, they wanted to start coming to church.

Elmer is continuing to progress. We saw him on Tuesday and set a date with him for May 24 as well after teaching him the plan of salvation. He came to church this Sunday and he really enjoyed it. He loves having us teach him and he's very excited about being baptized!  

We ALSO set another baptismal date with a First Nations woman named Tanya who happens to be the niece of a recent convert Brother M. On Friday we took Brother M to an appointment with an investigator who blew off their appointment. He told us about Tanya and that she happened to live near by. We went to visit her and she said that she was a former investigator that was taught by one of my zone leaders. She never went to church but she was having a lot of personal struggles. She said that things went "bad" after she stopped meeting with the missionaries. We taught her a bit about the gospel of Jesus Christ. We taught her again on Tuesday and we set a baptismal date on (you might have guessed it) May 24!! :) She came to church as well yesterday and enjoyed the meetings!

Another incredible thing that happened came Sunday night while Elder Lawter and I went tracting. We approached a young First Nations couple and as soon as we said "hello" The young woman said "Hey, can I have a book?" After hesitating for a stunned moment I asked "You mean the Book of Mormon?" "Yeah." She replied. "My Grandma belongs to the Community of Christ and I'd like to read from it." I had no idea that there were Frist Nations people that belonged to that church but boy was that ever a cool thing to be told! We continued to talk to them and we found out their names were Jackie and Jarome and that they lived on an Indian Reserve near Ladysmith! We said a prayer with them and made plans to visit them this Friday.  

That sums up the week! I hope all of you have enjoyed this Easter weekend and have turned your thoughts to the Savior and all he has done for us.

With love from,

Elder Maclean Samis



Monday, 14 April 2014

April 14, 2014 - Naniamo South


Hello again everybody! Hope everybody has had a great week. Mine certainly has been! The weather on Vancouver Island has been beautiful as we move deeper into spring. We've found 6 investigators this week, one of them in Ladysmith of all places and our first ever found there! It feels great to be teaching a lot of people!

On Tuesday we taught a new investigator named Loyd who we met last week. Loyd is First Nations and he lives with his girlfriend and younger sister. We taught him the plan of salvation and he took great comfort in knowing that God has prepared a way to live with him again forever in peace after we die. We are meeting with him this Friday

Later that day we taught another investigator named Grant who is concerned about the world around him and why so few people believe in Jesus Christ. We taught him the restoration and although he didn't fully understand why the restoration was necessary, he agreed to be baptized if he reads the Book of Mormon and through prayer finds out for himself what we taught him that day was true.
We were once again unable to meet with Clara and we've decided to pass her teaching record onto the sisters since we believe she would be a better fit with them. Elder Lawter and I will continue to pray for her and hopefully she'll come around sooner or later.

Saturday was easily our best day of the week. Elder Lawter and I have been teaching Conner who is actually the husband of an Elderly sister in our ward. We taught him the restoration on Saturday and He agreed to read the Book of Mormon. He's known a lot about the church from his wife but hasn't shown much of an interest in being baptized until now. Perhaps the Lord feels he's finally ready! Sister A served us some amazing homemade pizza after the lesson that night and we took a lot of leftovers for the next day!

We finally had one of our investigators come to church on Sunday! His name is Elmer and we actually met him at the end of last transfer. I'm pretty sure I mentioned him in one of my previous emails. he's a First Nations man looking after his mother who has been sick for quite some time. Even though Elmer is 31, he looks like he could easily be 19 and he's around the same size and build as me. We taught him the restoration on Saturday and he said he'd like to come to church as long as someone could give him a ride since he doesn't have a car. Thanks to Brother B, who is now fully active in the church once more, Elmer came to church! He said he enjoyed being there but felt "under dressed" since he came in a dark t shirt and skinny jeans.

It's great that we are finally finding people to teach. The Lord has blessed us greatly for our hard work and patience. We can't be sure how far the people we are working with will go but we will keep praying for all of them.

Wishing you all the best,

Elder Maclean Samis

Monday, 7 April 2014

April 7, 2014 - Nanaimo South

Hello again everyone! It's been a good week in terms of finding. Elder Lawter and I have found five new investigators, all of which are very solid. I have the feeling that we'll finally get the lessons we've been waiting for. It was great hearing from the authorities during general conference this past weekend. Elder Holland's talk about courage to stand up for your beliefs really touched me. John Wayne once said that "Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway." It's been odd thinking that there was a time when I thought that I could not serve a mission. I'm sure glad that I haven't missed out now that I'm here!

Elder Lawter and I taught a man name Steve a couple times this past week. He seems interested to learn but we aren't really that sure about his commitment level. He was baptized a Catholic and seems confused about a lot of the things the Bible says, so it's been great using the Book of Mormon to help him out!  We are seeing him next week and it sure feels good to teach an investigator for the first time in a while. Clara Jones' appointment didn't work out this week. We gave her a call a few hours later and she said we could come back another Tuesday so we'll see how that goes.

I haven't really talked about our apartment life much in my posts so I will now. Elder Lawter is a culinary student back home in Las Vegas so I've been learning a lot from him when it comes to cooking! We've been buying the groceries to make plenty of salads. The only trouble is they aren't very filling. I'm a little worried that I may be losing weight (YIKES!) so I've been working out quite hard to insure I gain muscle. The idea of losing weight has always been a  bit scary for me as I'm already scrawny enough. The trouble is gaining muscle for me is a bit like trying to plant carrots on Mars and expecting them to grow. I can finally do forty push ups at a time so maybe it's counting for something!

I'm also feeling tired all the time which is to be expected. I'm pretty sure if you aren't tired on your mission you're probably doing something wrong. I sleep well but it doesn't feel like I get nearly enough of it once I wake up.

That's the week. I'm trying to shorten my reports each week since I have other emails to send. I appreciate your thoughts and prayers and I express my thanks. Love you all!

Elder Maclean Samis