Monday, 25 April 2016

The Farmer's Son

Transfer calls came and.... we're both staying!! :) We are SUPER happy about it! This is Sister Clement's last one, so she'll be my third "kill." Mwahaha. There are relatively few changes in our zone. It's nice and quiet. 

This week has been good. We're still doing lots of finding and not so much teaching - but we are successful! We've gotten two new investigators, lots of referrals, and many phone numbers from people we talk with. I've gotta say, even though I'm not always very good at opening my mouth, talking with strangers is one of my favourite parts of missionary work! Especially here in Montreal because there's so much diversity! One minute I'm talking to a Haitian businessman from New York, the next it's some 20-year-old from Korea, then later it's an elderly Iranian woman who's lived here for decades. It's awesome!

We've had a couple of unfortunate things happen this week too. My companion got really sick and spent a whole day in bed. The power went out and the fire alarm went off while one of the other sisters was in the shower. We're losing two great elders from our district this week.

But! It's all good. I gave a short training in district meeting this week, and I wrote a poem. The 8 elders really liked it and asked for a copy, so I guess it's okay. I figured I'd share it:

There used to be a farmer’s son
Whose dad was always gone.
He worked ‘til late, came home to sleep
And left again at dawn.

The son grew up not knowing much
About his parents’ lives.
It led him every now and then
To question, “Who am I?”

‘Experiment’ became his theme.
‘Adventure’ was his goal.
“To find myself,” he thought inside,
“I’ll travel every road!”

As time went by and carelessly
He threw his time away,
Confusion was his great reward;
No satisfaction came.

One day Father sat him down
To ask, “What’s in your heart?”
The son replied with teary eyes,
“I don’t know who you are.”

The farmer smiled and kindly said,
“Because you always leave.
Forget yourself and go to work –
Come, and follow me.”

At dawn the pair arose and left
To work just as they should.
The day was long and hard, and yet,
The son somehow felt good.

Weeks and months and then two years
Flew by and something changed.
The farmer’s son now found his life
Completely rearranged.

His outlook changed; he didn’t feel
The need to search for more.
Each hour spent by Father’s side
Had changed his very core.

Working arm in arm with Him
He really learned a ton.
In knowing Him, he knew himself,
Because he was His son.

The answer he’d been yearning for
Impressed upon his mind:
He couldn’t find his place until
He left himself behind.

In connection with this poem, I shared Matthew 16:25: For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.
One of the greatest things about serving a mission is that we get an inside look at how God works with His children. We get to know Him personally. As we move along the ladder from sacrifice to obedience to consecration, we "lose ourselves" in the work, but in so doing, we learn who we truly are: eternal beings with divine destinies to one day become like our Father. That is beautiful.

Sister Shaver


Monday, 18 April 2016

Fear Not

Hello hello!

So this week was really good! The work is picking up pace little by little. This week we visited the Mandarin Chinese district's district meeting (and they mostly spoke English for us), we did a member split - I got to spend a few hours with a 17-year-old in our ward who's preparing for a mission - and we did a regular exchange with the Greenfield Park sisters! I was on exchanges with Sister Prince. It was so fun because this is her first transfer and we got to ride the metro together (her first time on metro!) and teach and find and it was awesome. I love that new-missionary enthousiasm! 

I have a funny story. Our apartment has wooden floors and normally that's no problem, but the other day, just as we were about to leave, I spun on my heel and got a small sliver in my foot. When my companion asked why I was taking my socks off, I explained. As soon as she understood what a "sliver" was, face lit up and she said, "Stay right there!" and disappeared to another room. I started trying to pry it out with some tweezers, but a few seconds later, Sister Clement was back - with two HUGE knives from the kitchen and this scary look of determination on her face.

Yeah...that didn't happen! I convinced her to find me a sewing needle instead... She was like, "Sister, don't you trust me? I chop vegetables all the time. What's the difference?" The horrified look on Sister Arizmendi's face was pretty great when she said that. Fun times! :D 

Anyways, transfers are coming up! We're getting our call this week. I hope we don't change, but Sister Clement has been having a lot of dreams about moving, so we'll see! We've been focusing a lot on boldness lately, and we're getting better at talking with everyone and pushing past boundaries of comfort. I mean, it's a little awkward to sit next to the only other person on the bus, and a little scary to approach a group of men standing outside in the dark smoking and speaking Russian. But hey, sacrifice is what it's all about! When you think of it as, "What am I willing to sacrifice in order to bring someone salvation?" it's a lot easier. Doubt not, fear not! 

Sister Shaver
My awesome district!

Me with a member.

Tuesday, 12 April 2016


So when the sons of Mosiah (people in the Book of Mormon) went on their mission, basically the first thing that happened to all of them was they got thrown in prison and were threatened to be put to death. They eventually all got out of prison and had wildly successful missions, baptizing and bringing thousands of souls unto Christ. 

But let's think about that time they were stuck in jail. They were great missionaries, they had good goals, and they had the Spirit with them in full force. But let's face it, they were not getting anything done. Despite everything they were doing right, nothing was going the way they thought it should.

For most of the past 2 weeks, Sister Clement and I have been "in prison," meaning that nothing is happening! It was so frustrating because we planned carefully, set goals inspired by the Spirit, prepared diligently, and worked hard - but every appointment we had fell through. Every person in our already-too-small teaching pool was either too busy or too tired or just dropped off the face of the planet. To make things more awkward, as missionary leaders, our area is supposed to be an example from which other missionaries can learn and we had an exchange last weekend. With the new way of doing exchanges (determined by the First Presidency), both sisters come to work in our area, leaving theirs empty for a day, which means we get twice as much done. Except that we had no appointments scheduled, let alone enough to fill two companionships' schedules....

President Patrick loves to bring up the definition of insanity (doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results) and then encouraging us not to be insane. Sooo we looked at the things we'd been doing to find new investigators and what things we hadn't tried. We hadn't really spent time knocking on doors yet, so we decided to give that a shot. And guess what! This weekend, we found 3 new families to teach and several more potential investigators - one of those new investigators has even accepted a baptismal date already! MIRACLES! 

The moral of this story: God will always bail us out of prison if we let Him.

Other than that, we had a really good zone conference this week. :) Have a great week, everyone! 

Sister Shaver

 We made sushi

It snowed

There are weird monkey murals in Montreal

Monday, 4 April 2016

Dinosaur Day

On the way to the church to email home this afternoon, a woman stopped us because she thought Sister Clement was someone she knew. When she figured out that we were mormon missionaries, she gave us a loud, long-winded rant about how we have a different bible and we don't believe in the Holy Ghost or that we need to be born again to enter the kingdom of heaven. I asked her, "Where did you hear that?" And she yelled in my face, "In the Bible!" So then I had to explain, "No no, I mean where did you hear that we don't believe that?" We then had the opportunity to calmly explain that yes, we do believe in the Holy Ghost. We do believe that every person must be baptized, or "born of water and of the spirit." We do believe in the Bible. And we believe in ongoing revelation from God. She calmed down pretty quickly and chatted with us for a few minutes before her bus came. By the end of the conversation we had given her our card (and she had given us her own) and had a group hug. Sigh. People. 

Other than that, this week has been swell! My companion passed her 3-year anniversary of being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! We also had GENERAL CONFERENCE, which is always AMAZING. We visited my last area, Kirkland, to attend their district meeting, which was fun. We gave a training on having faith to find, and we managed to incorporate trust falls. That was entertaining. :) 

Oh, and one of the BEST things about this week is that we went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead with a recent convert in our ward! She was able to submit names of two of her own ancestors. It was a joyful moment when she entered the water of the baptismal font to perform this essential ordinance for her very own cherished grandmother. Now her grandmother will have the opportunity to accept or reject baptism, whereas before, she didn't have the option. If she accepts, she may also accept the higher ordinances of the temple performed in her behalf later on, the highest of which being sealing to her loved ones, to live with them forever. I wish everyone in the Church could have this experience!! Imagine that - a soul who has passed on who was previously powerless to change her fate now has the opportunity to be justified and sanctified by the Atonement of Christ and to receive eternal life in the celestial kingdom. What could be more beautiful? I myself got to go in the water to do baptisms as well. (It's the closest thing to going swimming I've experienced in over 13 months.) It was awesome!

AND guess who was in the parking lot when we arrived at the temple!!!!! RAFAEL AND MAXIMO!!! My recent convert from the Victoria ward and his 4-year-old son!!! I was SO HAPPY to see them!!! :D :D :D The blessings of temple attendance are endless!!!

I hope everyone had a chance to watch General Conference. What insights did you get? What are you going to change? I'd love to hear from you all! :) 

Sister Shaver