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