Monday, 23 November 2015

My Plan vs. His Plan

This week was interesting. In all honesty, it was kind of rough. Things kept coming up that kept us from doing our work! One day we had no appointments so we filled the day with pass-bys and not one person was home. Another day we had zone training meeting and then a dinner appointment and then correlation meeting, so there was no time. On another day we spent a long time on the phone with the mission presidency and then tried to donate blood but got rejected (it still took time to get that far though). One of the days was P-day, another was weekly planning followed by an exchange where nearly every appointment fell through..... I just feel thwarted.

Nevertheless, we did what we needed to do this week. The day we did pass-bys, we ended up following the Spirit to be exactly where we needed to be at exactly the right moment. We had just finished praying to know where to go next when a young man walked into the entrance of the apartment where we were sitting. He talked to us for a long time and over the course of the conversation went from "No, I'm not really into that. I can't think of anyone else here who would be either...." to "Yeah, I'll check that out! I promise you I will read some of the Book of Mormon. I'm so glad I met you today!" and gave us his name, number, and email. This is just one example! The week was FULL of small miracles and tender mercies. :)

It's nice to be reminded once in a while that God's plan is always better than my plan. Even though I may be frustrated because my plan isn't working, it's actually all part of His master plan for the salvation of His children. Sometimes we see the immediate results, and sometimes we don't. But if we are living righteously and doing our best, we can be confident that He will lead us.

   Ottawa Zone Conference with Elder and Sister Golden

You didn't think I would write this whole email without mentioning the temple, did you? Of course not! My companion and I went to the first session of the dedication. It was beautiful! I wish I could have stayed for all three. We couldn't, because we had work to do. We did also get to watch the youth cultural celebration with one of our investigators. It was so fun! It brought back memories of the Vancouver temple dedication, when I was a youth! I love temples! 

The only handkerchiefs we found were pricy, so instead we bought a white tank top 
and I made some for the sisters in our apartment
I also tried to embroider? Didn't turn out great... 
but it was a first attempt and I didn't know how, so I think it was pretty good :P

Have a great week, everyone!

Sister Shaver

  Temple Training with  Elder Richards

 Morning jogs along the Rideau Canal :)

Some scenes near where we live

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

If this email is too long, read the last paragraph

So. Yesterday was going to be a really good day. It was the Primary presentation, 3 or 4 of our investigators were going to come (including one, we'll call her Samantha, who has a baptismal date next month and hasn't been to church in forever and really needed to come), and we had been asked to teach the Relief Society lesson on missionary work. We were planning to bring a box of copies of the Book of Mormon for the sisters to write their testimonies in and give to their friends and everything. Then, as we were walking from our apartment to the bus station Sunday morning, we got a phone call from the elders. Guess what?

Church was canceled. 

How devastating!! There was a gas leak in the building, so we couldn't meet there. Sister Cunningham and I ended up going to another ward's meetings in the afternoon with a member from our ward and one investigator. It was still a good day, but not nearly as successful as we had hoped it would be. I am so sad!!! Mostly because of Samantha. It has been such a struggle to get her and her less-active husband to church - and they were finally coming! :( 

But, other than that, it's been a pretty good week. Transfers were this past Wednesday, and two other sisters moved in with us! One is a sister who entered the field with me, and the other was in my district in my last area. It's so fun! 

This week we also acquired a table, two chairs, hand-made soap that may or may not turn our skin pink, and chopsticks from Taiwan and Japan. We didn't buy (or steal) any of these things. People are just really cool.

Speaking of people, I can't remember if I've mentioned this, but I'm keeping a list of countries from which I've met people on my mission. This week, I added Chad (not sure on spelling of that) as country #57. 

One last thing: This morning I read a story that really inspired me. It was about a couple from Singapore who sacrificed and saved money to be able to go to the nearest temple to be sealed as a family and receive their temple blessings. That mother had gone without shampoo for 7 years as part of her sacrifice to save money to go. It got me thinking - how much am I willing to sacrifice to attend the temple, or sacrament meeting, or to read the scriptures? Over the centuries, many people have risked their comfort, health, safety, and lives in order to have these blessings which we sometimes take for granted. I know people who won't commit to going to church because getting up an hour early is too great a sacrifice for them. And that kind of makes me mad. After all that Heavenly Father has done for us, the least we can do is go a little bit out of our way to keep his commandments. Whether it be a 5-hour round trip to the temple, 10 minutes of missed sleep to study the scriptures, or popularity in order to comply with God's standards, it. is. SO. worth. it. Remember the Lord's promise: "Verily I say unto you, all among them who know their hearts are honest, and are broken, and their spirits contrite, and are willing to observe their covenants by sacrifice—yea, every sacrifice which I, the Lord, shall command—they are accepted of me"(D&C 97:8).  I'm not saying that I'm perfect - I have a lot of work to do, too. But I encourage you to reflect on how merciful God has been to you, and how you can better show your appreciation to Him.

I love you all! :)

Sister Shaver

Monday, 9 November 2015

Montréal Temple :)

This past week was one of those once-in-a-lifetime, only-because-I'm-a-missionary experiences. Last Monday we drove down to Montreal to be at the temple in Longueuil. There, we received a training from Elder Richards of the Seventy. The spirit in that chapel was overwhelming - even before the meeting started. As part of the training, we walked through the temple and listened to Elder Richards as we sat in one of the instruction rooms. It was beautiful!

The whole experience was incredible. I am SO lucky to have been able to participate in the open house! My testimony of temples has definitely grown, and the same probably goes for all who came last week. (The open house is still going on this week too, but we're back in Ottawa now.) This might sound funny coming from a missionary, but one of the things that I've learned the most about on my mission is eternal marriage. I thought I understood the doctrine pretty well before, but now I realize just how much I didn't know! Missions are basically marriage prep. It's great. 

One of the fun parts of being in Montreal all week was that we got to be with all the other sisters!! Hermana Perdue and I went on exchanges with each other for a day in her Spanish area, and it was so fun! I hope someday I get to serve in Spanish. I would like that. But if I don't, that's okay. I am confident that transfers are inspired and that wherever I am, it's where the Lord wants me to be.

Me and Hermana Perdue! Serving together in Spanish!

Speaking of transfers, they're happening this week! Sister Cunningham and I are both staying. The only change in our district is we're losing one elder who's going to Zarahemla (a Spanish area). He's being replaced by a Chinese-speaking elder from BC who came in at the same time as Sister Cunningham. 

Have a great week!

Sister Shaver

 We all wore poppies :) 

                          el templo :)

              Me with Sister Davis!!! :)                       And here's a picture of me, Sister Cunningham and Sister       
       She goes home next transfer!!                              Arreola (she was also trained by Sister Davis). 

Monday, 2 November 2015

Maybe the best week ever?

Hello hello! 

Today is the start of what is going to be an INCREDIBLE week. As in, the highlight-of-my-life kind of week. Do you know why? Because we're going to the Montreal Temple!!! This is the only time in my life that I will be a young full-time missionary during the dedication of a temple - and I get to be a part of it! :D

Besides that, do you know why else this week is going to be amazing? It's because while we're there, we'll be staying with my MTC companion, the wonderful Hermana Perdue, and even going on splits with them to work in their area for a day - in Spanish! YAY!

I have two more awesome things to tell you about: 1) yesterday I held a conversation in Spanish for like 30 minutes (didn't understand everything, but that's okay) and 2) we had a baptism yesterday!!! A 9-year-old boy we've been teaching was baptized and confirmed after church yesterday afternoon. :) It was so great! The member who was supposed to give the talk on the Holy Ghost was sick though, so I had to step in at the last minute. It was fine though - our little recent convert made faces at me the whole time. Oh, children. Gotta love 'em. 

Well, that's about it! I'm looking forward to writing all about it next week!

Sister/Soeur/Hermana Shaver 

Halloween! Cupcakes, our contribution to the district's pumpkin-carving contest, 
and our non-costumes.... 
 they were just, you know, Frozen-inspired outfits....
but not costumes...

This is how much of my journal I've used (a lot) 
and all the postcards I've opened so far!