Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 6--Visa, food and music

Dear family and friends,

After doing the basic P-day stuff, Toronto Chinese-speaking Elders and our companionship went to get the best food ever in Toronto, and we had some fun talking to each other and all that good stuff. When we finished eating, we had zone sports, and with that we played a bunch of different things. We started playing handball. Handball is so fun, and there are some crazy missionaries that must have been top athletes before they came out. Then, we played some chair soccer and that was intense. This one big Portuguese Elder is a ninja and he almost never gets out but he gets everyone out. There's always that one guy who is super good. We ended off Zone sports by playing Volleyball. That was really fun even though I can't play it very well. I did have some good hits, though. We had FHE with a member who I believe is the Chinese companionship's investigator. We watched the Easter video, and talked about it, then we played some group games. In one of the games, we went around the circle saying a word each, and the next person has to say a word that starts with the ending latter of the word before and if they take too long to think of a word, they have to sing a solo in front of everyone. That was really fun. When we finished up, We had exchanges with Toronto Chinese, so that  night, I went with one of them to their apartment and that was great. We got along and got to know each other better and planned for the day ahead of us. Because the numbers have been pretty low in their area, he figured we might as well set our goals as zero for new investigators. We've heard over and over, however, to set goals, THEN make plans, so I said, let's make a goal for at least one new, and then pray for help. He agreed, and then we set goals to find the new people. 
     Tuesday, I woke up and worked out, despite the very small apartment size they have. We read different things in our studies, like the mission vision, but with really weird voices. It was really fun. We had language studies because he's in the Chinese area, and I tried to learn how to say a blessing on the food in Mandarin, but it was too hard to learn in that short time. We had perogies for lunch and then headed out to get it done. We ran into a guy who was Chinese (actually a lot of them) and he started to talk to the guy. He was very interested in the things the other missionary was saying and accepted an Easter card and made a return appointment. As we walked, I said, "See? it works." We were both excited and we continued to talk to people. After our exchange, Elder Gibb and I went to visit one of our new convert families. We had heard from a member that the father owns and plays guitar. We mentioned it when we got there and he grabbed his guitar after dinner and we pulled up some primary songs like, 'I Am A Child Of God' and I played the music and the family and kids and Elder Gibb sang along with the words. It was a really amazing memory and it was great to be able to do that with them. The father also took the opportunity to play the same songs and I could tell he had been practicing. We played 'Families Can Be Together Forever' and when they kids sang that together it was really sweet.
      Wednesday, At 11 we headed out the door and traveled to see a member lady. We met her at a pizza place and boy was the pizza good. I got a Philly steak pizza. We talked to her and got to know her, as well as set-up a dinner appointment with her for another day. She was a really cool person, and a lot of the people in this ward are pretty sick. We went to drop by several different less-active members and none of them were home, or they had moved. We have a lot of editing to do on our ward list, let me tell you. At the end of the day we headed with a few other missionaries to a different area near Toronto, and there we stayed the night because zone conference was the next morning. It was cool, and i met the missionaries who live there, of course. There were a lot of make-shift sleeping arrangements, but it was alright. Apparently I kicked someone in the middle of the night, sat up, looked at them,then fell back to sleep. 
      We left to the Stake Center where Zone Conference was held early, and it was so cold, and the roads were so bad. They were icy and snowed on. We eventually got there and we were one of the first groups there. The sisters with keys to the building showed up and they let us all in. The warmth was nice, and so was seeing people I haven't seen in a while or have never seen. Basically the meeting consisted of a bunch of different companionships giving brief instructions about different aspects of weekly planning, and after a few, we'd put them into practice. We had a break for lunch, and continued. The lunch was so good, and it was gone too fast in my opinion. It was great while it lasted and they gave us cupcakes and cookies. They were peanut butter flavoured (Sorry Elder Blanscett) which was awesome. We talked with people for a while, got caught up, Elder Gibb gave his dying testimony (departing testimony). and then we got going. We scraped all the snow and ice off the car, and let it warm up by turning it on too. We soon found out that we were locked out. we had to borrow money from President Clayton to pay a locksmith who did a really simple job for $50. Ouch! We finally got on our way after being delayed a while. We then had some Americanized Chinese food and then went home.
      Friday, we also left early for an ESL conference. We were late though because we were scheduled to meet our investigator, but work schedule and our scheduled didn't end up working. We headed in and were pretty late, but things hadn't officially started yet. We talked about interesting new ways to change our English class, to make it more helpful for their conversational skills. It won't be fully implemented until after I leave, however. I ran into the other visa waiters I know when I was there and I found that they had not received their visas yet, but I had. I'll be heading to Arkansas on April 13th. We had a good lunch, eating pizza, then we went to visit a new investigator who is pretty awesome. She had food prepared but we didn't have a member to come along so we took it to go and went out to the Tim Horton's to meet with her. We had a great discussion about the restoration and she feels like this is where she is meant to be. It's great to meet with her, and we invited her to baptisms and she said she'd be honoured. That was nice, and afterward we set a return appointment and we went home.
      Saturday, we met with our investigator as previously scheduled, which was great, because we had a breakfast appointment with one of our investigators. He likes to buy us food and it's so cool of him. We talked about the plan Of Salvation further with him and then we got on the bus to get to our meetings. He took it with us and then we got off and said goodbye. One of our English students gave us fruit and it was very tasty. Afterwards, the three male companionships in our district met together and we talked about how we can increase missionary work and the ward mission goal. We were there for a good productive while, and then we met with a new family in the ward and it was great. We got to know them and share a message from the Easter video, and then we went out for dinner. We had one and a half pizzas left over and they had us take it all. I was so excited. Eventually, while trying to meet with the zone leaders for an appointment, we saw a homeless guy and had to give him some of it, then the zone leaders ate a bunch and there were two pieces left. Then, we prepared for fast Sunday.
      We arrived at the church earlier than needed and a member gave us a ride, which is nice. We had a productive ward council as we had time to talk about our missionary efforts. We were given cookies and treats on Sunday which we took home with us afterwards. On Sunday we talked about having a testimony of Joseph Smith and what it means to be a prophet. It was a pretty good lesson and we missed the other one due to talking to people. Afterwards we set up as many appointments as we could and we don't have a huge amount of dinner appointments so we told them its their last chance to write their names down on the missionary calendar. At night, we went out to a busy street and there were four of us. We sang Easter hymns and other hymns, and it was great. There was this comedian who came up to us, saying jokes and trying to get us to not sing and listen to his jokes. Eventually we just went on singing even down in the subway as we waited for our subway. One lady really enjoyed it and we talked with her for a while.
      Monday, we met as 3 companionships again and we discussed the ward list and all the different changes we needed to make to it. There are so many people who need to be taken off, changed, numbers are wrong, addresses have changed, and so we did that for a while, and we got it done. We visited a bunch of less-active member houses but none of them were home or correct. One of them was actually occupied by an active member. He gave us some referrals and asked to be given a blessing. We had to do something so we passed those on to the other elders. We went to check out some other names and still nothing. Later that night, we visited the lady we had visited at Tim Hortons on Friday, and also with her fellowshippers for a Family Home Evening. That was helpful to her, I think, and then we went home.

That was my week, I'd love to hear from you if you get a chance to email me.
Elder Rodgers

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