Monday, 25 July 2016

Strengths and Weaknesses

Hey everyone!

So I've been thinking about a verse in the Book of Mormon, Ether 12:27. Most of you probably know it; "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

When I first read that verse, I understood it to mean that my weaknesses would be fixed and changed so that in their place I would have strengths - for example, if I ran really slowly before, I could turn to Christ and He would help me run faster. But I've come to realize that while this is true, it is also true that sometimes when we turn to Christ and have faith in Him, rather than change something about me, He shows me ways in which those very things that I thought were "weaknesses" are actually strengths. Like, maybe instead of helping me run faster, He'd help me appreciate that by moving slower I can be more observant and enjoy the beauty around me.

I have no idea where I heard this, but it reminds me of a story about two buckets. One bucket had a hole in the bottom, so every time the man went to draw water, it would leak slowly until it was only half full by the time he got home. But as water leaked from the "weak" barrel, it nourished the flowers growing alongside the path. I guess it's kind of like that. 

I've had the privilege of seeing this promise fulfilled in both ways this week. In the first sense (running faster), we've watched our numbers of lessons taught and progressing investigators skyrocket. Not only did we achieve the standards of excellence this week, we DOUBLED them! Unheard-of!   And in the other sense, I feel like God has been showing me so many reasons why He needs me right where I am because of who I am. For example, early in the week I met a man on the metro who opened up to me and described some challenges he's going through. I've had similar trials so I was able to relate to him and testify powerfully of the Saviour's Atonement. I could tell him that it would help, that I knew it, because I have lived it, I live it, and I will continue to live it. He was touched, and later in the week we taught our first lesson to him, and yesterday he came to church!

So basically, our week was very busy, and we're just loving it! Have a wonderful week!

Sister Shaver 

I got an envelope with a letter thanking me for my missionary service and my flight plans. 
And there was an enclosed tissue for when I cried. Haha!

 what do this milk jug and my name tag have in common? 
(hint: see the expiration date)

Monday, 18 July 2016

The Last Transfer

Okay, first things first: TRANSFERS!!!! 

I'm staying where I am. With the same companion. :) So no need to freak out! I'll be "dying" in Montreal Ward with Sister Hoffmann! 

Let's look at some numbers for a minute: By the end of my mission, I will have spent 1 transfer in Spanish, 3 in French, and 8 in English. My longest area is this one, Montreal Ward, for 4.3 transfers. My shortest area was Kirkland, for 0.7. I've served in all 5 zones in my mission! 2 transfers in Longueuil Nord, 1 in Montreal, 3 in Ottawa, 1 in Longueuil Sud, and 5 in Mount Royal. That's also 5 transfers as a sister training leader! Trained once, "killed" thrice. It's been GREAT!!! :D (In case you had any doubts!)

Anyways, so other than getting all worked up over nothing for transfer calls, this week I went to Lasalle for an exchange with Sister Cruz Arenas. We were on bikes, and I was unprepared and I almost died. Not because biking itself was hard, but because we did 3 hours of it in the hottest part of the day. It was actually really nice though, other than the sunburns. I like biking, and it's been a long time. We also went to Kirkland to sit in on their district meeting, which was great. :) We met a lot of interesting people on the way back. 

And so it begins! The last transfer! It's going to be amazing. We have a lot of wonderful people to work with right now who are really progressing, and I love my companion and I especially love this area - Montreal Ward feels like home now. I look forward to seeing what miracles the Lord is going to work in these next 5 weeks!

Sister Shaver

 We had a goal to be more "cool" this week!!

Sister Hoffmann

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

It's amazing!

Hola hola! 

Okay, so quick comment on reality - I opened my email just now and a particular email caught my eye - it's the one that tells me I've been enrolled in MyPlan!!!!! My Plan is a 6-week training course to be completed online during the last 6 weeks of your mission. It's real!!!! D:

Um, but other than that, we've just had another wonderful week! I've had the pleasure to run into my new mission president and his wife and kids multiple times this week. Sister Hoffmann and I are basically in love with the Phillips family! They came to our sacrament meeting yesterday because they're still choosing between attending church in French or English. (We hope they choose our ward!) President and Sister Phillips have so much fire for this work and I can't wait to see what comes next for our mission! Transfer calls are coming this week and we're anxious to see what happens! 

We had three investigators come to church yesterday. One was a 10-year-old boy who comes pretty regularly because his mom is an active member. Another was a 10-year-old girl who came for practically the first time, but we had to go to their house and pick her up (and her parents) so that she would actually get out of bed. We were SO happy to see her there though! And the third was a young man named Sajad from Iran. He has a muslim background but is very interested in learning about Jesus, and this was his first time in a Christian church. I got to sit next to him and explain the basics like how to read a hymn book, what the program was, and the significance of the sacrament. After the water tray passed us, he whispered, "It's amazing." And that got me thinking.

Isn't it amazing? Isn't it just so incredibly wonderful that there is someone out there who loves and cares about us so much that he not only walks with us, cries with us and smiles with us - he not only suffered our every sorrow, heartache, fear, injustice, bitterness, frustration, pain, sickness, and weakness and took upon himself the load of our sins, but he also paid the ultimate price by dying so that we could have new life. In a song we recently heard from some other sisters on our mission, it's explained quite beautifully: "It vit, et parce qu'il vit la mort n'aura plus de victoire! Grace a lui, nous pouvons prendre un nouveau depart." (Rough translation: He lives, and because He lives death will never have the victory. Thanks to Him, we can have a new start.) IT'S AMAZING!

I heard another beautiful thought from a Moroccan I met on the metro. He said, "I cannot be an Atheist, because I look around me at nature and the world and I know it had to be created by Someone." Which reminds me of a scripture: "...The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is God; yea, even the earthand all things that are upon the face of it, yea,and its motionyea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is Supreme Creator."(Alma 30:44)

To add one more quote, this one from an elder at mission leadership council, "It's the Gospel. It works!"

Yeah, it does.

Sister Shaver


Tuesday, 5 July 2016

A Marvellous Work and a Wonder!


This week has been insane. Not to brag, but it is worth mentioning that we got the best numbers I've ever gotten on my mission this week, the coolest of which being FOUR investigators at church and SEVEN new investigators! 

However, we worked ourselves sick. Literally - my companion is sick and I don't think I'm there yet but I might be close. We got caught in a big storm one day and had a lesson right after in a building that had the A/C on full blast, and that plus the lack of sleep was what did it. We got up extra early a few times this week for different reasons - stake correlation meeting, delivering a suitcase at 7am, and picking metro passes up at 6am.... we're really tired.

Can I just tell you about Thursday? So we were supposed to meet some sister for an exchange at 4 but they were 2 hours late (because of traffic) and we had double booked appointments at 5. Because of a lot of confusion we ended up at the mission office to get extra metro passes at 4:30, and while we waited we met President and Sister Phillips!!! THEY ARE SO COOL!!!! We love them a TON already. So we waited and waited and waited and got more and more stressed until finally we were like, "We need to leave now." and the sisters we were supposed to meet were still far away - conveniently, the Ville-Marie sisters were there and had nothing going on for a few hours, so we asked our slightly flustered brand-new mission president for permission to do a short emergency exchange with them until we could meet the other sisters and he said yes! So we took off at the speed of light and didn't look back!
President and Sister Phillips

I was with Sister Guzman (we're not even in the same zone - it was so funny!) and at one point we were with a member from my ward at the apartment building of the investigator we were supposed to see, but we couldn't get in. The buzzer was broken. So we said a prayer that someone would let us in and within 10 seconds someone came over and opened the door. But when we knocked on the apartment door, no one answered. So the member we brought said, "It sounds like someone's home next door. Maybe we can teach them!" I don't know if she was serious but I thought it was a great idea so I knocked and a Haitian girl answered. She let us in and we taught her the Restoration in French. She accepted a return appointment and a baptismal date! Now Sister Guzman and Sister Fleming will get to teach her! It was perfect! 

After that I met up with Sister Mejia and we taught the investigator I'd been supposed to see with Sister Guzman and then got ice cream and had a lovely exchange the next day. :) The rest of the week was not quite that crazy, but almost!

Me with Sister Mejia
 I LOVE being a missionary. I firmly believe that this gospel is the only thing that can heal us, give us hope, and bring us home. I know that the Lord directs this work and I am so grateful that He has given me the opportunity to be a part of it.

Sister Shaver

The Patricks with the flag signed by all the missionaries.
Michelle and her companion thought up the idea, bought the flag and... voila!