Monday, August 14, 2017

Week #103

Week 103:

Alright, so this last week was pretty cool as we did something I had never done before....after writing last week we got permission to leave our zone and went to an African Lion Safari!! Its this zoo park place outside of Cambridge and Hamilton with animal shows and you drive through the animal exhibits. We were literally within 50 feet of lions and rhinos. It was insane and soooo fun! We even met a couple members while we were there. We took the Oakville elders with us and just had a blast. Words don't do justice but hopefully the billions of photos I send you will.

Wednesday we had a zone conference where 3 zones attended. It was pretty good. I got to go up and bear my testimony at the end and pulled out a letter I had written my dad a while ago in my mission and read out some key parts of when I was struggling and really didn't want to be on a mission. I then pointed out how many personal pronouns I had used in that letter and how I made it all about me and bore testimony that its not about us. "The perfect society is one wherein an old man plants a tree of a fruit he will never get to taste." I bore testimony that in my mission I've made some changes, but that the main thing was my desires for what I want in life have changed. It was a pretty interesting and nostalgic day. After I went on exchanges will an Elder Staheli out to Stoney creek. This Elder is on his first transfer and it was his first exchange of his whole mission. He's from St. George and he's straight out of high school and his first name is Noah. It was like being with my brother, and was pretty trippy. It was good though and we talked to everyone and also had a service opportunity with a non member.

Friday we had a few lessons, one with a new convert and also met with a couple investigators which went pretty well and Celeste committed to praying about a date which was awesome! Sunday we had a couple investigators at church which was really great! Anyways enjoy the photos!

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Week 102-A perfect society is one wherein a man plants a tree of which fruits he will never get to partake of!

A perfect society is one wherein a man plants a tree of which fruits he will never get to partake of. This week email consists of how we sometimes don't see the results of good works.

This week was Jam packed with things on Monday Elder Trump and I received some pies to the faces. We challenged the zone to achieve a certain number of new investigators and they achieved it. Pics will come next week. Later that night we met this guy named Will who was just coming from the gym shooting some hoops. We started talking with him and we invited him to church and he was down to come.

Tuesday the stake had asked for help with a stake activity. They had BYU-I dance traveling team touring the area and they were going to perform in Hamilton so we helped out and ended up getting to watch the show which awesome! You should check them out as they are extremely talented.

Wednesday we went to a meeting in Brampton and I got bear me testimony seeing that it was the last one of these meetings I would attend. I actually had 5 of my companions there so I got a photo with them.

Grateful for my these Elders and the one I just had last transfer too and the others. So I got to share a cool experience as well. When I was in Lindsay we were contacting and went out of our way to go and talk to this kid who was in high school. We later met with him and taught him a couple times but it kinda faded away and we didn't teach him anymore. Anyways that was may 2016 and then in the end of April 2017 when I am in Oshawa I go on exchanges to a place called Peterborough right by Lindsay with a greenie and I am talking with this lady and this guy comes up to me and says he knows me and its the same high school kid from Lindsay now in university! We then talk and he is down to meet up with missionaries there but not for a couple weeks because he has exams so I tell the elders there to call him and meet with him to which they are skeptical but I tell them he will meet with them. They later meet with the guy and teach him and to one of the lessons he brings a friend who then goes on to get baptized! How crazy is that! More than a year later after talking to this high school kid who I thought nothing came of it resulted in a kid getting baptized later. So I shared that story at the meeting and later during the break one of the other missionaries tells me they thought I was going to share a story about Alex and I'm like what? And I find out this guy I found and taught in Lindsay was getting baptized this week! Here's the story behind that one..... So I had just been called to train in Lindsay for my 4th transfer in Lindsay both of which I didn't want to do. I was extremely stressed. The first week we went tracting on this street near the church and do this one house but no one answers so we go to the next one and I'm about to knock and I see I guy at the house previously knocked smoking and I feel like I need to go and talk to him. So we do and we end up teaching him. He almost got baptized while I was in Oshawa but because of stuff he didn't but he did this Saturday! I got to watch on skype too which was a huge blessing! I had spent so much time thinking I hadn't done anything in Lindsay but that wasn't true. I just didn't see the results of the good I did there and I think that's sometimes a problem for us and maybe gets us discouraged when we do something good but don't see the result. Trust in Gods timing. It's not on your clock. We also had a cool media referral. This guy who was living in mainland china found out about the church while living there for two years, online and as soon as he got back he met us and we took him on a chapel and I just felt the spirit pretty strongly it was awesome. We also met with the guy we had tracted into a couple weeks and taught the plan of Salvation. he had been reading from the Book of Mormon and had some really good questions. Really awesome lesson. Committed to pray about the book of Mormon. The next day we met with a girl named Bridgette, her aunt had just passed away that morning so we talked about the plan of salvation. One of them members with us told of his experience of his mom passing away and he really brought a good feeling in how it's ok, God loves us and his plan is perfect. We also met with Sam and read over the tree of Life. We also drew pictures so it was super fun.

Sunday was cool as Will the baller came to church and was fellow shipped well.

Super awesome stuff! Also had Sunday dinner with the Hobbs which was good!

Love you all!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week #101

Week 101:

A great week.

It was hard, but good. It all started with a trip to Niagara Falls with the Downtown Elders which was fairly delightful. We took some good photos and got to go to a bird zoo thing because a member gave us some coupons.

In terms of appointments this week, it was hard because no could meet or they didn't respond back, but that didn't stop us as we "hit the pavement' as they so call it out here in the mission field.

Tuesday evening we took a member out contacting, tracting and teaching with us. It was pretty fun having him around and the lesson went well as we taught this guy named Jonathon who we had found the week before. It went pretty well and he seems pretty humble and willing to learn more. I think more and more I've taught and learned the gospel I've come to not just know, but truly feel and understand how humility is such an essential ingredient in our salvation. We are all here to grow spiritually and need to realize that we need to change to do so, but if we never realize that we need to change because of our own self pride then our way to progress is frustrated and the plan will be void. Humility is key and its still something I wish to improve upon.

So Wednesday we were out by the university contacting and we talked to this one girl even though it was kinda raining and have an extremely good conversation and it was pretty natural and for the first 15 minutes of the conversation we didn't even really talk "gospel" with her but just talked and pretty soon it was more natural to share the message and I guess that s how the gospel works, just loving people to a point where sharing is natural.

We also had a cool lesson with Samantha before volleyball on Thursday about callings and service in the church and we had three members present which was awesome and they taught a large portion of the message and she is going to get baptized this September. It was sad at first to realize that I won't be there, but the most important thing is that she gets baptized and I guess we sometimes need to realize its not all about us.

Friday we sent most of our day out east in the St. Catherine's, Niagara, Welland region which really is just gorgeous country out there. Well I believe that s all I have for this week!

Hope you all are doing well and know that I love you!

-Elder Toly

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week #100 Listen to the spirit!

Week 100:

So I would just like to point out that I have now completed 100 weeks in the mission field. That is all.

This week was pretty good. Monday we were able to go down by one of the beaches for FHE and then Tuesday I had to say goodbye to Elder Taylor who is going home and Elder Kaku who got transferred.

It was pretty hard to see them go. While they went to transfers I stayed and worked our area with another missionary for a couple hours while we waited for our new companions to come back. I then got my new companion.... Elder Trump from Texas! We got to see a couple people including Samantha where we taught about the temples. It went well, we had a couple members present and she has been reading the book of Mormon and bible doing a study thing which is really cool! So we had planned this week a lunch with a return sister missionary. We had planned to listen to the talk by Elder Costa who spoke in the last general conference. He talked about his conversion story and what investigators need to do to receive answers. He originally started learning about the gospel because of a girl he was dating and ended up marrying her. So here we are in the lunch when it comes up for the first time that this girl has a nonmember boyfriend and we listen to the talk and she asked "why did you decide to share this?" And we were like we don't know we just felt like we should and apparently it made a really good impact on her and she said it was inspired and she told us she was planning on inviting him to church that Sunday to hear her talk and she did! He came and we gotta talk to him! Really cool! Another example of following the spirit this week was one evening we planned to go by McMaster University. So we got there, but were not sure as to where we needed to be so we decided to tract a street near the university where lots of ysa live and we prayed where we should go and looked on the GPS and felt like we should do a certain street so we did and as result we found two different people that were willing to meet up. super cool! Follow the spirit everybody!! One fun thing this week was we got to meet the brand new missionaries in the zone. There are 4 brand new ones in the zone and 1 or 2 are straight outta high school which is crazy because my brother just finished high school! Was I really that young when I came out? It was fun though to see their excitement. Sunday I also had to give a talk on repentance. Crazy because I had not given a talk in like 10 months so I was kinda nervous. In my talk I highlighted on how we are here on earth to become like our Heavenly Father and how when we don't do things that He would do we sin and how repentance brings us back in line. We also had dinner with the Hobbs family who are awesome! Their son actually came out teaching earlier in the week with us too which was good. A good first week of the transfer and look forward to the rest! Have a great week everyone! Listen to the spirit! 9 out of 10 times acting on a first prompting will be right.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week #99

Week 99:

So this was a week with a lesson well learned. It was actually Elder Taylor's last week and so we made some big plans to get a lot of done. I'll explain more in a sec though. Monday we went bowling where I bowled 162 which not to brag (but to brag) I was pretty pumped about and we went to Niagara and had dinner with Emily at a famous pountine place called smokes and after got Ice Cream at this hipster Ice Cream place called "Sweet Jesus" which is a crude name but the Ice Cream was really good. I got Brownie and man it was divine. Also went to FHE. It was a pretty ideal night.

So on Wednesday we had district meeting and there are two in the chapel at the same time so I went to one and Elder Taylor went to the other and since it was the last one of the transfer we planned to sing a song at the end together both districts. So we finished our meeting first and and went and waited outside the room of the other but I went inside and listened in. Perfect timing too since Elder Taylor had been asked to to bear his testimony and he was losing it crying. He had done well the whole transfer and hadn't shed a tear even in zone conference, but I guess the reality of what was happening hit him. After as both districts we sang a rendition of Savior, Redeemer of my Soul which is my favorite hymn and the Elder that played it as a prodigy. There may or may not have been some tears shed. After though we went and had a lesson with Sam and went over the Baptismal Interview questions which she did well with. We still have to go over a couple of things but we moved her baptismal date back a couple weeks so a friend of hers could come. It was bittersweet because Elder Taylor won't be there, but the most important thing is that she gets baptized.

On Friday we got to have a Newfie Dinner which consists of Salted Beef (elder Taylor thinks its horse) with sister pope from the mountain ward who I knew when I was there. After we had a lesson with one of our members Jordyn who took us out for marble slab. I haven't had that in sooo long!

So last night we got transfer calls and Elder Taylor is getting transferred to Utah and will be looking for a new companion and will be working towards helping her to her next ordinance. I am pumped because I get to stay in the Hammer! I will be getting Elder Trump from Texas. Also excited because a lot of greenies are coming into the zone and when that happens miracles usually follow!

So the lesson was this week was that everything is a gift from God. Even if we work as hard as we can doesn't mean we are guaranteed those certain things we were working towards. So with it being Elder Taylors last week we set some lofty goals and absolutely worked our tails off sooo much to achieve them. The results though were 0. We were very disappointed to say the least but it reminds me of the scripture 1 Corinthians 3:6 which says "I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. " It all comes from God my friends! So with it being my last transfer I am going to be going to try to be as focused as much as I can, I know the jokes will come but If everyone could refrain from talking about home with me it would really mean a lot. I want to finish these last weeks running full sprint and to "rest" after I am officially home.

Love you all so much and thanks for your support!-Elder Toly