Still in Nanaimo for now

Still in Nanaimo for now
Elder Samis on the ferry

Monday, 13 April 2015

April 13, 2015 - Area 3: Campbell River

Candace's Progression

Hello again! It's been a great week. There are many great items of news to report, none better then our visit with Candace last night. We tried stopping by a certain less-active member who happened to be living close to her place. When we found out they weren't home, Elder Heiner suggested that it would be a good idea to see if Candace was home. She was and her husband and kids were there. We taught her the last little bit of the Plan of Salvation. When we asked her what she remembered about what we taught her a while back, amazingly, she remembered most of it! This had been the first time we had seen her since she showed up at church a couple weeks ago. Candace told us that she had been reading bits and pieces of the Book of Mormon and she really likes it! She also still wants to be baptized and we set a baptismal date for May 2. It seems like she won't have much of a problem with anything as long as she can come to church on a regular basis. We meet with her again on Wednesday. Everyone please pray for her!

As for our friend Britaini? Well, she's been going through some hard luck since her move. We had an appointment all lined up with her on Wednesday night but less then an hour before, she phoned saying that she had a family emergency she had to deal with. We tried texting her the next day but she hasn't replied. We'll keep trying.

On April 11th, the Book of Mormon Musical began it's stop in Vancouver which has caused a bit of a stir among British Columbia. Anyone who is familiar with this play knows that its meant to poke fun at Mormons and the stuff we believe. To keep the people who attend the play from getting even weirder ideas about our beliefs then they might already have, our mission has decided to have a "media blitz" which requires us to work with the members of our area and have them take pictures of us doing what Mormon missionaries REALLY do for work, contrary to the way they are portrayed in the play. The members are then to post these photos of us on Facebook, or Twitter, or whichever social media site they use with the hash tag "#RealBCMormons" to show their friends. We only had a small number of them by the end of the day, but they are sure to go a long way in counteracting the effects of the musical. It was quite fun to be a part of!

We've been working with a less active named Brother M who has been wanting to come back to church for quite some time. He's been working with his team on a construction project for a while, but with work slowing down he's been able to come to church for the past few Sundays. He was first introduced to the missionaries many years ago as a young man living in Montreal, Quebec. Since just after joining, he moved to Calgary where he got married and then moved to Campbell River just after he was divorced. He was able to stay very active up until moving to BC. He had us over for ribs last night and boy were they good! During our spiritual thought he bore powerful testimony of the church and how he knew it to be true. He truly is an amazing man and it's so great to see him come back to church!

So ends another chapter in the mission field. I wish Mom and my sister Sam well on what promises to be a great trip to Holland! Have a great week!

Elder Maclean Samis

Monday, 6 April 2015

April 6, 2015 - Area 3: Campbell River

Back to Nanaimo

Happy Easter! It's been one of the more interesting weeks on my mission. On Monday as part of Elder Briscoe's farewell, him and I played a few games of croquet with the Knowles family. I won the first and my companion won the other 2. It was far more fun than I anticipated and the kids loved it!.

Elder Briscoe was taken down to Nanaimo Tuesday night and we stayed in the north apartment for the night. The zone leaders were busy driving Elders (including Elder Briscoe) to and from the ferry terminal to get them with their new companions all day long. On top of that, Elder Heiner didn't get to Nanaimo on his ferry until 7:45 pm. as a result, they decided to place me with Elder Whited who is serving in Powell River. I spent much of that afternoon visiting old friends. I visited Brother Marshall, and then Bruce who I'm very pleased to report is fully active in the church! :) He seems a lot happier being a member then while we were teaching him.

Lastly I visited Sasha who had us over for dinner! It was such a great reunion. She had a few of her friends from Taiwan over. It's moments like these as a missionary that make you forget about all the negative experiences you go through. It's all totally worth it. Sasha told me that I had changed a lot since I began my mission. That I've become more confident and not bulged-eyed whenever I'm spoken to. The change has been a product of my mission, something that I will forever be grateful for.

The trip back to Campbell River the next morning once I was placed with Elder Heiner was troublesome. We didn't have much issue coming back until we got a call from Elder Haskins, our new district leader and Elder Whited's new companion. They told us that Elder Whited had left a couple things in our car so we had to drop them off in Courtney so that they could come and get them before getting on the ferry back to Powell River. It should be noted that I was driving on this trip, and even using the map it was very difficult to know how to get back on Highway 19 once we started making an attempt to leave. We went through a few logging roads before finally calling the Courtney Elders for directions. Getting back into Courtney off the old roads was a little hairy! After that we got home still in one peace but also exhausted from all the worry and the driving. The fact that we had our weekly planning right after sitting for all those hours wasn't too fun either. 

Our teach pool isn't bare but everyone of our investigators is on hold. Not one of them went to conference at the church and we haven't heard from Amanda at all since our first meeting with her. Britaini has been wanting to meet with us but she's been busy moving. We asked if we could help but as a lot of people answer, she said that she was fine. She says that she'll be available Wednesday. While we were in Nanaimo, we called Mary to see if there was a time we could see her before General Conference but she couldn't make it. Candis never showed up either, despite telling us over the phone that she would come a day earlier... Between conference and our traveling, we had next to no lessons.     

And what can I say about Elder Heiner? He's been great! He loves everybody and is one heck of an athlete. He loves sports, especially football and he's a fitness freak! Very strong for his size. He claims he's 5'7 which is what I measured myself at before my mission. This indicates that I'm getting taller because I'm clearly a little taller than him! Mwahahaha! For the first time since I was like 15, I'm actually growing!  

Easter weekend has been pleasant. General Conference was good though I'm a little disappointed that there were a few who apposed the sustaining of President Monson and the apostles. It's apparently been the first time that has happened since 1980. I also admit that while eternal marriage and families is a good topic to emphasize, it's something you don't get overly excited about hearing as a missionary.  Hearing President Tilleman's name announced as a member of the seventy was very cool! He was my mission president long enough to know that it's a position I could see him in one day. Not much of a surprise really.

Sunday night we had Easter dinner with the Knowles family. We had a bit of a scary experience the other night. We had finished working in a certain area that was a short distance from home. The only way to get through it was through trails through a grove of trees. It was close to 9:00 pm and we had to go back home in the dark. The trail wasn't lit by any source of light but the moon. About half way home we heard a low rumbling growl! Frightened by this, we turned around and went the other way! Nothing followed us, but there was no way we were going back in there. Fortunately, we got a ride home from Brother Emery who took us the long way home. The result of all this? A story to tell long after the mission!      

Thus begins my 11th transfer in the Canada, Vancouver Mission. I'm still alive and well. Now comes the task of continuing to work with Elder Heiner to find and teach more people. I hope you've had a wonderful spring break and Easter. May we continue to reflect on the life, death, and resurrection of the savior. Till next Monday, goodbye and enjoy the first full week of April!

Elder Maclean Samis