Still in Nanaimo for now

Still in Nanaimo for now
Elder Samis on the ferry

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