It seems to be the tradition in Canada to snow after a big holiday. Or at least that seems to be the trend this year. When it was Halloween, it snowed the day after. The same goes for Christmas, so we had a white Boxing Day instead this year. Did you know that Boxing Day was the day that the servants got off in England for Christmas? Me neither. Basically it is just black Friday after Christmas here (And everywhere else but America).
This week has consisted of a lot of finding and waiting. We had to be inside by 6 pm on Christmas Eve and Christmas, so we spent a lot of time with the Peter's Family. Both Sister Gardner and I finished the scarfs that we were crocheting, however it is kind of maddening staying inside all day when you are so used to being out.
As I said on our Skype call home, the Evergreen area is full of many different types of nationalities. We seem to be finding a lot in the way of Filipinos and Chinese, however because the Mandarin Elders like to teach the Chinese, we work mostly with Filipinos in our area!! I have learned to really enjoy Filipino food. It is funny because when I was waiting for my call letter to come in the mail, I was quite determined that I did not want to go to the Philippines, however Heavenly Father has blessed me to work with the wonderful people that have immigrated from there to Alberta. On Christmas day, we had the opportunity to enjoy dinner with Sister Fernandes, who is from the Philippines. She made the obvious Turkey and Mashed Potatoes and Green Beans, but everything else was a little less traditional (which was really sweet). She makes the best spring rolls and she also made this great rice dish that had shrimp and scallops in it.
So last week we had dinner with a less-active family in the ward. Both the husband and the wife are from the Philippines, so every time we go we are treated to great food and more left overs. What was different about this visit was that their sister Virgie was there. Now, she has been there before, but Brother Watson decided to spill the beans that she wasn't a member and that she would like to take the lessons from us. After talking to her, and asking if she really wanted to or it Brother Watson was just saying so, we picked her up as a NEW INVESTIGATOR!!! She is super nice, although quite, and we hope to be able to actually sit down with her soon to teach her.
On Friday (boxing day), we received a referral from the mission office for a new investigator named Christie. We called the number we had because she was expecting a call that day, however the number we had was incorrect, so we just stopped by. The sisters met her on the Train coming home from downtown contacting, and she has been here in Canada for more than 5 years, but she is also from the Philippines. We haven't actually gotten to teach her yet, but we gave her a Book of Mormon is Tagalog and said that we would stop by on Sunday (The best part about this story is to come).
On Saturday, we had the opportunity to go to a Filipino Christmas Party at the Stake Center. All of the Filipino missionaries (And companions) where there, and because it was at our Stake Center we were able to go. Sister Wagstaff was there (my MTC companion) so it was really nice to be able to catch up and see how the work in the NW is going. They had all sorts of food from a giant roasted pig to tiny squids (which I did try... it is weird when you can see their faces). It was fun to take part in the cool Filipino Christmas traditions. However, the best part was that the Watson's and Virgie where there, which meant extra time to learn about them and to build that relationship.
Sunday was pretty amazing. This was our last week for 11 o' clock church, and although Janet (one of our investigators) didn't come, all of church was pretty fantastic. We have three amazing talks and one about the Savior that was given without notes. SOOO GOOD. However, after church was probably more cool than church itself. The Condron family signed up to have us over for dinner, so at 5 o'clock we went over there for breakfast for dinner. Afterwards, we asked them for any referrals or if they knew anyone that needed some strengthening. Sister Wolsey (their mom) told us about the Prete family (whom we knew had moved). However, we decided that we could still check to see if they really had moved, so we went over anyway. When we knocked on the door a couple named Claudia and Steven answered. They are two really devoted to Christ wonderful people and we gave them a Book of Mormon and will be stopping by again after they get back from Arizona!!!
Now for the pretty crazy part of the Friday story!! Sister Gardner and I decided on Sunday that we would be going back to Christie's house. Now remember how we had to stop by instead of call because her number was wrong? Well while we were there we met her nephew Kingston (24). When we went back on Sunday, he was the only one home, but invited us in. Since we can't come in without another female we declined, but Sister Gardner felt inspired to ask him is we could come back in 10 minutes. He said yes and we quickly called the YSA sisters to come to the lesson with us. The cool thing is that they were at the Stake Center (not even 5 minutes away) and their lesson has just cancelled on them!!!! When they showed up, we had a pretty great lesson with him, and asked invited him to be baptized!! Really cool ending to a pretty great week.
Thank you to everyone for the amazing Christmas gifts and the cards! I hope that you had an amazing Christmas and that your New Year is wonderful!!! I wanted to leave you with my testimony. I know that Heavenly Father knows and cares for each and every one of us personally. As we come to recognize the love that He has for us, we grow in confidence and purpose in life. I know that through my Savior Jesus Christ, I can become the person the Heavenly Father knows that I can. I know that He gives me strength through His atonement, and that because of it, He knows how to succor me and all of His people. I know that through the Book of Mormon, I have found guidance and answers to my every day questions. That it testifies of our Savior Jesus Christ, and that it likens to our lives completely. I know that it is true. And that because it is true Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I love you all so much. I hope that your Christmas season has been wonderful and that your New Year’s will be just as great.
"Dearly beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still , with the utmost assurance to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed." D+C 123:17
I love you all,
Thank you so much for the gifts!! You knew exactly what I needed so now I don't have to go out and buy it!! I really like the shirt that you got for me from Dressbarn, and the skirt is super cute (and not to long!!!). I haven't taken the ring off (except to shower). I can now proudly say that I have driven in snow!! Let me know/send me pictures of what you make! The Peters got a cool massager thing for Christmas and let us use it, not as cool as a spa, but pretty sweet. I am glad that you liked Into the Woods!!! Don't forget to take dad to a movie he will like!! However I have no idea what is out. OH DID YOU GET TO GO SEE MARY POPPINS??? OR DID MAZ? I love you lots!! Tell everyone hi and that I love them.