Still in Nanaimo for now

Still in Nanaimo for now
Elder Samis on the ferry

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March 30, 2015: Area 3 - Campbell River

Early Transfer Calls

It's that time again, and this time, it came early. Elder Brisco and I got a call on Sunday night instead of the traditional Monday call. Elder Brisco is moving to Richmond South while I'm staying in Campbell River with Elder Hiener. I've been around Elder Hiener only a couple of times. He seems like a really likable guy. A little quiet but loves to have fun! There's no telling what our travel plans are but it seems likely that we'll leave for the ferry terminal on Wednesday morning to Nanaimo. 

What of our week? It certainly went much smoother then the last. Andrian hasn't been contacted for a while now and we've decided to just leave it at that. Maybe she feels pressured somehow. The Nanaimo zone leaders came up for an exchange on Tuesday and we saw a lot of blessing from that. They came up along with Elder and Sister Burns, a senior couple who is stationed in Nanaimo. They were such a big help that day. Elder Brisco and Elder Lewis went to give a lady we found in a trailer park named Mary a tour of the church and a lesson. She's really receptive but isn't quite ready to commit to set a baptismal date. It is however, something she will consider.

Meanwhile Elder Swallow and I talked to a young man named Shayden. Elder Swallow held out a picture of Jesus getting baptized by John and explained to him what proper baptism is. "I need this!" Shayden exclaimed. "I'm all in." Sadly he perhaps wasn't, because he didn't show up for our church tour we were planning. We haven't been able to contact him since.

On Saturday night, I had to use the washroom at a Tim Horton's as we were contacting along the road. During my break, Elder Brisco decided to talk to the young woman next to him. I came out seeing them involved in a conversation about the gospel. It was awesome! She told us that she lived down in Blackcreek, just outside of Campbell River but she was happy to accept the invite to church. She ended up getting busy and being unable to come but told us via text that she would be happy to meet with us at the same Tim's Monday at 8:00pm.

I believe I forgot to mention in my previous email that the week before last Elder Brisco and I traveled  with Bishop Cox up to Sayward, a small logging town, to help reactivate the members. We weren't all that successful, but we did see some great scenery along the way by the waterfront. Here are a few pictures I've taken since arriving in Campbell River.

Here's Elk Falls

Here's a look at the shore of Quadra Island

Here's Sayward!

Thanks to to new SD card reader I picked up at Staples today, you'll be seeing photos more often. Till next week when I'm in my new companionship,

Elder Maclean Samis

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

March 23, 2015 - Area 3: Campbell River

Tested Patience

Missions are full of ups and downs and this week is no exception. On Friday we managed to see the Bammon family but the result of the visit was very disappointing. Jeff got himself into anti-church sources and has clearly been studying with us for the wrong reasons. And so there was no point in continuing our visits. We just couldn't believe it.

Earlier in the week we began teaching a woman named Adrian. We taught her the Restoration and she seemed to zero in on what we were saying, even with her young kids making a fair bit of noise. She accepted the possibility that everything we told her was true and she agreed to set a visit up for the next day. When we went to the appointment a friend of her's answered the door telling us that she was sick and in bed. We tried again the next day. This time Adrian answered and seemed happy to see us. She agreed AGAIN to have us come back the next day. We did, and this time the same friend told us she wasn't home...

Well, we'll try her in a few days I suppose. It just seems like we've gotten stuck in a rut. One of the ruts that naturally comes when you serve as a missionary. It feels like we've been doing all we can to work with people but they have refused to use their agency to choose the right. There's just nothing we can do about it. If you have or have ever wanted to serve a mission, you'll learn that the Lord's timing doesn't always seem convenient but it's still ALWAYS for the better. You also begin to see a lot of the tender mercies that come to you in times like these.

A good example of this is the fact that yesterday, as a week of trial was ending, the Knowles decided to place us on the dinner calender that night. The Knowles family also happen to be our landlords and they've done a fine job of providing us with some of the things we need. 

When all  is said and done, moving forward is the best thing to do. I'll end this email off by saying that I've been so grateful for my mission and all that it's taught me. I know that heavenly father and Jesus Christ are both a lot more disappointed to see people we teach turn away from the truthfulness of our message. Elder Jeffery R Holland in the 2012 General Conference stated: Ours is not a feeble message. It is not a fleeting task. It is not hapless; it is not hopeless; it is not to be consigned to the ash heap of history. It is the work of Almighty God, and it is to change the world.
I know this to be true. May we all remember it. 

Elder Maclean Samis        

Monday, 16 March 2015

March 16, 2015 - Area 3: Campbell River

Busy Bammons

Hello and welcome to a brief summary of what has been a fairly quiet week. Linda has been doing great! We taught her the first new member lesson yesterday. Unfortunately, our teaching pool has suddenly gone pretty bare. With our conference in Victoria taking up Thursday afternoon up until we left Saturday morning, so finding was lessened.

A while ago we talked to a man named Rick who said he was interested but he has been away at his working camp for a long time. He told us that he has been reading the Book of Mormon we gave him and wants to meet when he can.

And the family we have all been waiting to hear about, the Bammons? Sadly, their busy schedule got the better of them this time. Both Rachael and Jeff have been working and dealing with taking their 2 boys to their hockey tournament. Jeff told us to try him at the beginning of the week after this. We'll see how things go. Please pray for them!

The conference in Victoria was great! We drove to stay at the Duncan apartment Thursday night and stayed with Elders Matheson (who goes home in 3 weeks with Elder Lamb) and his companion Hancock. The Nanaimo zone combined with Victoria for a day at the chapel in Victoria. President and Sister Burt each did a training followed by a couple of assistants. The conference was long enough to force us to stay in Duncan for another night before driving home.  

We took another trip to Quadra Island where we were fed dinner from a member family named the Stewart-Webbs. They fed us some homemade spaghetti which was truly amazing. As we were waiting for the ferry to pick us up, I captured some great photos which I can't show because there's no way to upload them. :( There's the week. Have a good one and enjoy the last week of winter!

Elder Maclean Samis     

Monday, 9 March 2015

March 9, 2015 - Area 3: Campbell River

Linda's Baptism

As I enter the 14th month of my mission, another soul has been baptized. Another soul on the right track to salvation! After 6 months of preparation Linda was baptized on Saturday March 7th and was confirmed the next morning. Her church friend Victoria has played a key role in making it possible. She introduced Linda to the church back when Elder Brisco started his mission. He's absolutely thrilled to see the first baptism of his mission! Bishop Cox performed both the baptism and confirmation.

Well aside from the main event we have been seeing a number of blessings, but first I'll go through the bits of bad news: Sam has been dropped. she never seems to be home and doesn't answer her phone. Another classic example of someone dropping off the face of the earth. :P Natalie went down to see her sister in Victoria this past week and she told us to give her a call sometime this evening. Rick is still really busy at work and he won't be available till the 16th. We'll see how things go then. 

The really big miracle we had happened over the course of a few days. It all started on Tuesday when we were walking down a street. We came across a lady sweeping the dirt off her driveway. Elder Brisco said hello and offered her some help. The look on her face was quite hard to describe. She chuckled and declined but we insisted. She told us that her 2 boys were out in the back hauling and staking firewood in the yard, so she told us that they would probably appreciate help. During our work, the woman named Rachael asked us a lot of questions. She told us that she had never met Mormon missionaries before. We continued to talk with her and explain a bit about the restoration once the work was done. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she agreed to have us come back Thursday night and that her husband may be interested.

We were greatly disappointed to find that nobody was home that evening but we decided to drop by last night at 7:00 pm. Sure enough, there were her 2 boys playing street hockey in the driveway! One of the boys went inside to tell Rachael we were there. She came out and apologized for not being there for our meeting. Her car ended up breaking down as she was trying to get back home. When we asked her about her reading she told us that her husband saw the book and wasn't pleased about the fact she had it. Sure enough, her husband came home as we were talking. He greeted us and invited us in while Rachael was cooking dinner. Elder Brisco and I were holding our breathes preparing for the worst. He asked us a lot of questions. When we explained what the Book of Mormon was, to our astonishment, he told us that he thought it was really cool! He accepted the idea that God could call prophets in these days. 

I could write a lot more details about our exchange but that would put the readers of this blog  to sleep, so I'll end the story right here. Before we left, the boys sat in on the prayer, we set a time with the family to meet again on Thursday to share more and they even invited us over for dinner on another day! As much as we wanted to accept, every evening we had was busy and we will be going to Victoria for a special zone conference this Thursday and won't be back till Saturday. It appears that the Lord has prepared a way to find a family for us to teach. We couldn't believe it!

Well, so ends another miraculous week, one that won't be soon forgotten. There will be more to report next week for sure! As always, have a great week and I'll talk to you next Monday!

Elder Maclean Samis 

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

March 2, 2015 - Area 3: Campbell River

Backyard Miracles

Another week has past. March has come and the weather though a bit cold is cooperating. Spring is on the way for sure. Lately we've been having some strange experiences with people who have lived really close by. There's been 3 people we found who live on the neighboring street from our place. All of them are interested. Neil is one of them. He seems pretty close to reflection. He doesn't understand the need for a restoration, priesthood authority, and prophets yet. We taught him on Tuesday with Brother Greep who used to be the bishop of the ward.  We will see where things go.

On Tuesday, we taught a new investigator named Candice. She's Native and has a couple kids. We taught her about the restoration and she agreed to set a baptismal date for March 28th! She said that she would be in Vancouver on Sunday, so she couldn't make it to church. She also seems a little on the shy side so we'll have to find some good fellowship for her. 

On Thursday, we were walking to save our km's and we came across another man named Rick on the same street that Neil lives on. He's Native and works out in a logging camp not too far outside town. He says that he's been really interested in looking back into religion. He seems golden! He said that he wanted to introduce us to his family the next time we visited! The only issue may be his working schedule. It's quite unpredictable much of the time, but we will hope for the best. He's been very well prepared.

On Friday, just a door down from Neil, and AGAIN  the same street we talked to a young woman named Sam. She's a recent college graduate and works as an optometrist. She's really friendly and like Rick wants to get Jesus back in her life! 3 miracles all in our own backyard! Elder Brisco was so surprised! He had tracted that street at least a couple of times and there's almost no doubt that the missionaries in the area before had gone through the place multiple times as well. Just goes to show us that re-tracting can work! 

What about Linda? She is doing just fine! She was interviewed by our district leader, Elder Lee and passed with flying colors. She's going to be baptized by Brother Cox on March 7th, a day I'm sure will be long remembered. 

During the time Elder Lee interviewed her, his companion, Elder White, went with me to tract in another part of the city. We found a lady named Natalie who appeared to be quite interested but she missed church.

Sunday we got quite the surprise in sacrament meeting as the stake president made the announcement that our entire ward bishopric was being changed! Brother Cox became bishop and Brothers Aspen and Marr will be his counselors. Our new bishop during our fast and testimony meeting pointed out: "There's a couple of empty rows in the front pews. Soon they will be filled." This area is a bomb waiting to go off! 

So far, the little time I've been in Campbell River has been well spent. We've been seeing a lot of people with real intent be placed in our path. This morning I had the opportunity to go with Elder Brisco to Elk Falls. It's a nice little hike and there's a lot of big trees to pass along the way to the look-out point. I apologize for the lack of photos lately. These computers the church has don't have a place I can plug in my SD card. I'll have to buy something to make it possible to download them.

I can feel myself growing faster then I have ever before on my mission, trying to do my best in staying focused on this work. Hopefully, next week we'll have a few more dates and some more progressing investigators. Have a great week!

Elder Maclean Samis