So it begins. After a couple more days in Surrey, it was time to pack up and move on. Wednesday afternoon Elder Nielson and I were in my new area which will quite likely be my last.
Port Coquitlam has been a great place to be so far. It's a lot smaller then Surrey and sits close to the mountains. It's also probably as diverse as Surrey but with a lot more Chinese people than Indian. Our apartment is actually right by downtown Coquitlam. We cover all of downtown which makes it nice and easy for us to street contact. The name "Coquitlam" is apparently a Native word that means "stinky fish" because for whatever the reason, the fish that come out of the nearby river smell unpleasant.
The members? They've been terrific so far! We helped them out with the annual BC food drive on Saturday, in which we put the bags that had been donated on scales to weigh them most of the time. The members seem really warm and friendly, especially when I told them I was Canadian.
Elder Nielson is from Logan, Utah. He loves sports (like pretty much everyone down there) I was pleasantly surprised however, when he mentioned that he liked watching hockey too! He seems to take the work very seriously and the members of the ward love him. He knows what he's doing even though he's only been out 3 months. Elder Lopez taught him well.
Our teaching pool has been looking very good so far. We've been seeing this Filipino guy named Noel who had a baptismal date, but for reasons that are hard to explain, we don't know if he should be. He goes on tangents a lot and never really seems to respond well to the questions we ask him.
Among others is Leah, a 16 year old Chinese girl who comes from a Christian family but wants to know if there is a single church that's completely true. She has a friend who is her same age named Ember, a member of the church who is also from a Chinese family. Her mom loves feeding the missionaries! Leah has instant fellowship, which will surely help her progression a lot. We shared a brief review of the restoration with her to make sure she understood it well. She's a little concerned about the need of priesthood authority, but she's willing to pray about it to figure out if such a thing is needed.
There's also Jessie, the mother of a Mexican family who has been taught on and off for quite a while. She loves the missionaries but says that it seems to be taking a long time for her to get an answer on whether or not the Book of Mormon is true and if she must be baptized.
Yesterday we went to Bishop Ashton's house for dinner. He lives in a large house that overlooks a lot of the Greater Vancouver area. You can see Surrey from up on the hill. Bishop Ashton was called to be bishop over the ward the Sunday before I came in. He's got a daughter that's getting ready to put her papers in for a mission soon, so missionary work is truly "a big deal" to him.
It appears that my time in this city will likely be a very good one. There are lots of people to bless and a lot left to learn as the twilight of my mission appears to have arrived. We need to sustain this teaching pool and baptize some people before the time is spent. We'll need the direction of the spirit more then ever before. Too often have I gone into investigator's homes, not knowing quite what to say. I guess that just means I'll have to pray harder for the spirit to discern what our investigators need. So ends the first week in a new area. Talk to you all next week!
Elder Maclean Samis