Still in Nanaimo for now

Still in Nanaimo for now
Elder Samis on the ferry

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