A message from the mission home:
We would like to notify you of our Mission Office move on February 21st , for the purpose of sending individual mail and packages to your sons and daughters.
Our new office address will be 1624 Wanless Drive, Brampton ON L7A 0A7.
Alrighty. Let me start off with a follow-up about the mail man. GUESS WHAT. He’s golden. We’ve met with him I think 5 times since last week and he is just the coolest. The last time we met with him, we actually called him the moment he put the last letter in the last mailbox of the day (my physic skill is still strong, mom). Then we met with him at McDonalds because there was no one else in the chapel and read through 3 Nephi 11 with him, which is where Christ comes to the Americas! McDonalds is definitely not the most spiritual setting, but every time we teach somewhere this spiritual bubble/force field goes up around us. (Sister LaPoint told me afterwards that there was some guy causing a ruckus and cussing out the employees… neither the mailman nor I noticed hahaha) So anyways! Mailman TOTALLY understood, without us even telling him, that the Book of Mormon fills in the gaps and clarifies the words of the Bible. Like when Christ was talking about baptism in chapter 11, Mailman says “This is why we need more scripture. Things like this get lost in translation!” His wife is not a Christian and is ultimately what’s holding him back from attending church. But he’s going to watch the Restoration DVD with her next week and hopefully that’ll soften her heart! I don’t think she knows he’s meeting with us, actually…. He took a copy of the Book of Mormon to give to one of his coworkers. Look at him doing missionary work already 🙂
There are no crazies dancing in the library this week. There was, however, an interesting guy on the bus. It was pretty crowded, and this guy was walking down the isle harassing people with complements. “Is this your wife? Wow. You did well, man. Treat her like a queen. High five!” Then he walks a little further, “Look at this guy. What a champ. He looks like Jackie Chan! I bet you’re a boss. A studly boss of a boss. Rock on.” Then he came to us. “Look at these angels. Wow. Straight from Heaven.” And onto the next one. Harassment: Canadian style.
Last preparation day, a lady stopped us in the store and asked if we had any Bibles. We didn’t at the time, so we scheduled a time to meet with her later in the week and we taught her the restoration! She stopped us in the middle of the lesson and said, “I’ve heard some people say that baptism is really important. Is it? Cause like I wasn’t baptized when I was younger… so did I miss my chance? Is it really that important?” Boy, do we have an answer for you! She’s soaking everything in and is looking forward to her baptism on Valentine’s day.
The church has a website called Mormon.org where people can learn more about the church and request to have a Book of Mormon or Bible sent to them for free, or to have the missionaries come by. Turns out there were a TON of those who never actually got contacted in our area so we spent some time sifting through those. Unfortunately, a lot of the time these media referrals aren’t real people… Like Hugh Jass, for example.
Sister LaPoint and I have been setting daily goals for ourselves every day this week, and one day we set a goal to talk to ten people each, individually. The first bus we got on that day, there was only one guy on the bus. Normally I find it uncomfortable to single out the only person sitting on the bus, but we had a goal to achieve so I talked to him. His name is S. Gave him a card and went on our way. Then he actually called us! We set up a time to meet later that night and taught him in the second most spiritual place in Toronto…. McDonalds. BUT HE’S SO COOL. At the beginning of the lesson, he was kinda meh about God and religion and then by the end he was all “I need to stop drinking, don’t I? And I probably shouldn’t get that tattoo I’ve been thinking about, eh?” Well hey, S, if that’s what the Spirit is indicating to you right now then that’s absolutely what you should do!
An hour and a half later we saw him on the street on a payphone so we stopped to talk to him. Right after we met with him, he ran over to his friends house to tell him about this amazing meeting he just had, and his friend told him we were a cult! And he told him all this awful stuff about how the church started in Utah (I love it when anti stuff isn’t even true. Oh man) and how the Book of Mormon doesn’t even have Psalms in it (maybe because the Book of Mormon isn’t the Bible…) which really confused S and made him really sad, because he really trusts his friends and thought we had tried to trick him! Well, we were able to help him recognize the spirit and calm him down. What are the chances that we would run into him an hour and a half after our lesson with him? God’s timing is perfect.
And then he came to church the next day 🙂
Wow this week at ESL was bananas. We had 23 new ESL students register this week. The last three weeks combined we’ve had 27 new students. One of those 23 new ESL students came up to me after class and said “Can I ask you some questions about your church? I’d like to join the Mormons.” Honestly, guys. I don’t know where all these miracles are coming from!!! He came to church, too. His name also starts with an S. Why does this keep happening!??! Okay, this guy is ESL S.
Remember J, our friend that we had helped quit smoking and was super close to baptism? WELL HE’S BACK. And he’s still not smoking! He told us to call him in 4 weeks, so right on the day, we called and he said “Oh, you didn’t get transferred? Well why didn’t you call me sooner?” What a punk… He didn’t come to church this week, but he did attend female L’s baptism!!!
Female L’s name is Lily. She was just so prepared to receive the gospel. Her friend brought her to church back in the summer, and she started coming pretty consistently. But we couldn’t teach her because of our stupid missionary rules because she lived outside our ward boundaries. So the Weston missionaries tried to meet with her but it just wasn’t working. Then, back in November, we FINALLY got permission to meet with her. So silly. Anyways, we taught her the restoration and then we went away on a cruise for a couple of weeks. We met with her again near the end of December and God had been working with her the whole time away and she was ready. When we invited her to be baptized on the 25th of January, and she said she would be honoured. What a beautiful response! Ever since then her relationship with God has been growing rapidly.
She was so excited for her baptism that she brought her 3 siblings and their families!! A few of her friends also came with their families! It was such a beautiful turn out. The baptismal room was filled with supportive friends, family members, and church members. Sister LaPoint and I sang at the service, and if my parents can figure out how to upload the recording of that, you can listen to it! We never explained that we usually don’t clap after musical performances so at the end of the recording you can hear the applause haha. Oh well.
After the ordinance, Sister LaPoint and I taught the Restoration and gave everyone a pamphlet to study and pray about. All of her friends left with one in hand. 🙂
Lily shared her testimony and it was beautiful to hear how the gospel has helped strengthen her relationship with God. That’s what this whole process has really been about for her- strengthening her personal connection with God. It meant so much to her, that she kept referring to her baptism as her “wedding with God” haha.
What a week. Many, many miracles. I love Toronto, I love the ward, I love ESL, I love how God always guides us to where we need to be, I love being a missionary, and I love you all!