Sunday, November 5, 2017

St Jacob's Market and the Amish - 2nd Visit

The first Saturday in October, we took Elder and Sister Donnelly to St. Jacob's Market in Amish country.  We had a great time with so much more to see than the first time we went in the spring.  There were the usual indoor vendors and so many more outdoor vendors.The quilt shop was open and there were some gorgeous quilts for sale. 

While we were there, we took a horse and wagon trip to a Mennonite Farm.  It was a very informative trip.  We learned a lot about the Mennonites.  In this area of Ontario, there are about 30 different groups.  They basically fall into three categories:  Old Order or Amish, the Conservative Mennonites, and the Progressive Mennonites.  We saw their apple orchard that still had many apples on the trees.  They also have a large maple grove.  It takes 40 gallons of sap to make 1 gallon of syrup.  We also saw their different buggies in their buggy barn.  Malls in the areas also have buggy barn for them to park in while they are shopping.  We got to go into their store in their home and make a few purchases.

October was busy with transfers.  Monday, October 9th, we had a new group of missionaries arrive - great Thanksgiving to get these new enthusiastic elders and sisters.  Wednesday, October 11, we said goodbye to some awesome missionaries.
This is the going home group.  We miss them already.

Mid October and the flowers and fountains at the temple are still beautiful.

Near the end of October we had a new office couple arrive, Elder and Sister Anderson.  They are taking over for the Wolfleys, who left on October 30th.
Elder Anderson is in charge of finances, apartments and phones.  Sister Anderson is in charge of referrals, baptisms and supplies.

Andersons are on the left and Wolfleys are on the right.  Elder Anderson is the older brother of Ray Anderson who used to live in the Richmond Ward with his wife, Jane, and their family.  He was the bishop for many years.

This is the new office staff - Andersons, Donnellys, Wofleys (gone home) and the Swendsens.
We love serving with these wonderful senior couples.

October - a Beautiful, Warm Fall in Ontario

October 1st, in between Conference Sessions, we went for a lovely stroll through Chinguacousy Park.  Beautiful flowers still blooming every where.  The huge wading pool was still being used by many children like it was a summer day.  It was still very warm.

In September, a lot of places dug up their still blooming summer flowers and planted fall flowers.  Weird concept to us from Alberta.

Fall here, in Ontario, is quite pretty.  We haven't had as many reds in the trees this year as there hasn't been a light frost yet.

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!!!!