Sunday, October 8, 2017

September Went by in a Blur

September came and went so fast, we don't know what happened to the time.  The flower garden above was done for Canada's 150th birthday.  We saw 2 or 3 just like it around town.
Another trip downtown to the farmer's market.  The produce here is amazing.
We had a nice visit with my family one Saturday.  This is my cousin, Kim, my Aunt Colleen, my  cousin, Debbie, and Kim's son, Spencer.  It was so good to see them and catch up on family news.  I got a bit of information to help me do a bit on Aunt Colleen's line for genealogy.  We hope to get together again soon.  Spencer liked the brownies that I made.  He finished the plate.

This was a stroll around the temple after Church the last week of September.  The flowers are still so pretty.

The group photo is the office staff as it was.  From left to right:  Elder Wolfley (Finance & Apartments), Sister Wolfley (Referrals, Baptisms & Supplies), Sister Cannon (Medical Assistant), Elder Cannon (Medical Adviser). Sister Swendsen (Mission Secretary) and Elder Swendsen (Vehicle Coordinator).  We have served with these two wonderful couples since we arrived her on January 30, 2017.  They have become our dear friends. 

October is a sad month for us.  Elder and Sister Cannon (on the left) left for  home to Tennessee on Friday, October 5th.  We will miss them dearly.  On the good side, we now have Elder and Sister Donnelly (on the right) as their replacements.  They have quickly become dear friends as well.

This Coming week is transfer week which will be super busy for all of us.  We got a new AP (Assistant to the President), as one AP is going home.
This is the group as of last Wednesday - left to right - Elder Shu (going home in December and going back out into the field on Tuesday), Elder McBride, and Elder McBeth (the new kid on the block).  I gave Elder Shu a new name to match his companions.  He is now Elder McShu.  He loves it.  We will miss him in the office.

Our new APs in the office:  Elder McBride & Elder McBeth

Saturday, September 16, 2017

August Was So Busy

We had a very busy set of Zone Conferences on August 9, 10 and 11.  We had Joe Paul come from Salt Lake City to talk to all of the missionaries.  He is in charge of vehicles for about 27 missions in North America.  He also supervised the installation of new TIWIs in every vehicle.  The TIWI helps the missionaries to drive safe (seat belt, speeding and aggressive driving warnings).  Elder Swendsen and I had dinner with him and President and Sister Shields one night.

I love being at Zone Conferences.  I went to some of the Zone trainings that the Zone Leaders do with their zones after lunch.  It was so inspiring to watch these young men teach their missionaries, show by example (role playing) and then watch them teach as they have all the missionaries in small groups doing role playing.  The APs did similar training in the morning.  The Church is in good hands with the leadership and teaching skills of these young missionaries.

We were very busy for August with comings and goings of missionaries.  Official transfer time was Aug 28-30.  With schools starting at so many different times, we had missionaries going home every week.  We  had one of our super APs go home (Elder Taylor).  We now have Elder Shu (since May) and new AP. Elder McBride.  They are all awesome young men.

The above photo is Elder Shu, Elder Taylor and Elder McBride.

The last Saturday in August our Ward (Heart Lake Ward) had their annual barbecue.  There were lots of games and activities for all ages.  We had a good turn out.  We also had a special guest who was a hit with everyone.
This is Brother Sousa in our ward.  He had the voice and the mannerisms of Jack Sparrow down pat.  He was great.

The last Sunday of August, Elder Swendsen was called to be the High Priest Group Leader for our ward.  He taught them in class the week before about the power of the Book of Mormon.  He issued a challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 66 days.  This is the amount of time that it took the Prophet Joseph Smith to translate it.  He gave them book marks with a schedule to help them keep up - 8 pages a day.  I am doing the challenge as well.

Today is Saturday, September 16th.  We are at our 8 month mark.  Time has surely flown.

We love our mission and the opportunity to serve our Father in Heaven.  The Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.
"If ye love Me, keep My commandments."

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Baptism and Mission Leadership Conference (MLC)

Sunday, July 30, was a great day.  Chukwido (early post referred to as Chuck) was baptized.  It was a very spiritual meeting.  He bore a very strong testimony after his baptism.  The ward members of the Brampton Ward were there to support him.  There were over fifty people attending his baptism.  They had refreshments afterwards - it was dinner - chili, sandwiches, chips and salsa plus a huge Costco cake all decorated up for him and lots of other desserts.

This past Wednesday, August 2nd was MLC.  Mission Leadership Conference is the first Wednesday of each month.  This is for the Assistants to the President (APs), Zone Leaders and Sister Leaders.  The morning starts early with the office senior couples preparing breakfast for 7:30 am - waffles, fruit and yogurt.  The missionaries then have their morning training by President and Sister Shields.  Just before lunch, they had a service project.  Elder Swendsen and I planned a cleaning of the Credit View Chapel where the mission Office is and where their MLC was happening.  There is only one ward in the building and they have a hard time finding people to clean it.  I handed out assignments to teams of missionaries and sent them to the Member Custodial closet where Elder Swendsen handed them supplies.  Then we stood back and got out of their way.  40 minutes and they were done.  There was a lot of laughter and singing.  They had a ball and it was a good experience for all.  They even cleaned things that weren't on their lists.  Every angel that resides in that building had it's halo dusted and polished.  We just said WOW!!!!

Transfer Week, NYO, Senior Zone Conference

Well the last three weeks have been super busy.  You know you are busy when you have to schedule time to do your laundry.

Three weeks ago was transfer week.  July saw 23 fabulous missionaries go home and 22 enthusiastic missionaries arrive.  We had a lot of zone leaders, district leaders and sister leaders go home.  Over half of the mission has new leadership.  It is so exciting to watch the young missionaries step up to the plate, learn new responsibilities and carry on with enthusiasm and vigor.  In August we will have about the same numbers as July coming and going.  The big challenge is the ones leaving as they leave on four different days.  We are having many go home a couple of weeks early to go to school.  There will be seven trips to the airport next month with the comings and goings.  President and Sister Shields car will probably go there on auto-pilot. LOL

Last Tuesday we went into Toronto with Elder and Sister Wolfley and attended a concert by the National Youth Orchestra and Choir.  It was amazing.  They were as good as any Philharmonic Orchestra.  They were ages 16 to 28 and from all across Canada.  The concert was held at the Royal Conservatory of Music at the University of Toronto.  It is a beautiful old building with a modern addition.

Friday and Saturday of last week (July 28 & 29), we had a Zone Conference for all of the senior missionaries.  Friday afternoon, we went to the Toronto Temple to attend a session.  It was just senior couples in the session.  The two temple workers who were running the session were Temple Missionaries.  It was a very sacred and special time.  There were a lot of very tender feelings while we were there.  After the temple, we went to the Mission Home for a pot luck dinner and some training by President and Sister Shields.  Saturday morning, we met at the Mission Home for some more training.  After a pot luck lunch, we had a field trip.  We went to the Credit View Cemetery where a placque had been erected a month ago honoring the early Mormons in the area.  We had Brother Everett Palin speak to us about the early Church History in that area.  We then went to a park in the Black Creek area, where early baptisms were held in the 1830's and 1840"s.  Brother Palin spoke to us about the history in that area.  Brother Palin is a fount of information about early church history in Upper Canada.  He was a counsellor to President Monson when he was the mission president here.

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Family Visit - Part 2

Saturday was a big day - off to the Zoo.  We were there for nearly nine hours and walked 9.2 kilometers according to Mike's phone.  We were totally wiped by the end of the day.  There was a special panda exhibit with baby pandas (nearly 2 years old).  We saw lots of animals, birds and all kinds of critters.

Sunday was a quiet day with time spent at Church.  After Church, we went for a walk around the temple.

Monday was our last day of adventure, and we went to the Aquarium.  It is in downtown Toronto right beside the CN Tower.  Barbara loved the jellyfish.

We ended their trip with a BANG!  It was a fun day.  Tuesday morning they headed back to Calgary and we headed back to the Mission Office.  It was a sad morning.  We so enjoyed their visit and were sad to see them go.