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

Monday, July 10, 2017

Week #98

Week 98:

Hey Fasting works. True stuff. This week was good.

We had preparation day on Tuesday and had like an outdoor sports day with some of the zone . It was super fun but after playing sports in the sun you are just drained. After we went and visited one of our new converts Hayden. We read the talk from Elder Sabin in the last conference and he really enjoyed how it said "we haven't sinned tomorrow." Each day through the Atonement we can have a fresh start with the zeal to do better and to be better. We haven't ruined our tomorrow and with Christ we are offered forgiveness and power to become more than what we are.

On Wednesday we had to go a meeting with a bunch of other missionaries and discussed some things going on in the mission.

Thursday we had interviews with President and a couple district meetings going on so things were crazy. My companion Elder Taylor had his departing interview because he is going home soon. We also got to go to a volleyball activity which there were 3 nonmembers present.

Friday we tried out this cool chips and fish place that we actually found out from someone we contacted called Hutchs.

On Saturday we had a fast for one of our investigators Sam who we had had a bad feeling about and hadn't seen for for a while and hadn't had contact with for a couple days. At the end we finally heard back from her so that was a mini miracle. Sunday we went to Brampton for a Ysa conference where a man by the name of Brother Turley spoke. So the interesting thing about Brother Turley is that he is head of Public affairs in the whole church in the world and also was the assistant Historian for the whole church as well. So he is pretty much an expert at both of those things and after sacrament meeting there was a question and answer session for over an hour. A lot of good questions were answered. This guy is like the closest you can be to being a general authority without actually being one and knows a lot. Some people from Oshawa ysa where there so I was able to get a photo with them which I was pretty pumped about. Also got to do a baptismal interview for a guy from the Philippines named Sam. As a kid he went to a baptist church all by himself because his parents were less actives or back sliders so he took the initiative while his sister(s) went to the LDS church. One of them went on a mission even. And later he met a lady that was also a return missionary who introduced him to the church. He was super sincere and very nice so it went well and he passed!

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Week #97

Week 97:

So I think the catch phrase of this week is that there is always a message or something we can learn from anything and everything.

Monday we tried to go for a hike out by st. cats area, but it started hailing. We went and met with our investigator Sam and taught the Law of Tithing and she committed to living it after baptism which was nice. After we went to FHE and watched a video on the labourers in the Vineyard and how some will be there longer than others. So in my group that's going home with me, a lot of them are going early about like 2 weeks and some like a month early, some for school even though their schooling starts at the same time as mine and others for I guess other reasons. I, on the other hand got rejected to go home a week early to get ready and prepared for school which will happen less than a week after getting home. I won't lie I kinda was like " what the heck?" and wondered why my reason for school to go home a week early was rejected compared to others, but after watching the video I realized that it isn't the commitment to others as to why I'm here, but rather it's my commitment to the Lord as to why I'm here and if he needs me to work a little more than others than I should be willing to do it. It was a good learning experience.

Tuesday we met with a couple people and helped with some service.

Wednesday we had a district meeting and a big lunch after which was made by the senior couple in the zone. We also got fed by a member in the branch too which is pretty rare! We also went to the funeral of our friend Alonso who is the cousin of our investigator Celeste whose uncle and Aunt are members and he would always sit in on our lessons. Sitting in the chapel for the service was interesting and when there's a loss of life it causes one to contemplate and think more deeply about life. One thought that came to mind was if you died would the way you lived your life be remembered among people that knew you and also what was the last thing I said to Alonso and how we should always speak with love to all because it could be the last thing you say to them.

WOW Canada Day we actually did not do anything crazy. Had a couple meal appointments and service so we weren't out and about too much which was ok because a lot of people are generally not as receptive on that day. We did see some fireworks from our apartment, but we didn't really watch. Church was good. Most of the YSA were gone at a conference. Bore my testimony by starting out with a story from when I was in Lindsay with my other companion Elder Taylor. We dropped by someone in the middle of the country in the winter time who wasn't home so we decided to work the area, but the problem was all the houses are spread out with driveways the length of football fields so we tried one that was uphill and since we had rain that winter, it was icy and took some effort and work and time to get up there and when we did the lady opened the door and said she was sorry we made the climb, but that she wasn't interested. We hiked uphill on a road that was icy and the length of a football field only to get rejected and explained in my testimony that even though the gospel is the right path it will always be uphill. And even when we do all we can and still not see the outcome we wanted we can find the joy in doing what God wants us to do. After we had knocked on this ladies door we had the opportunity to slide down the icy hill the length of a football field which was fun. We can always gain something from our trials.

Yesterday I went on exchanges with Elder Kaku from Ghana who was working on talking to everyone after a few hours on the exchange he says yeah I need to do a better job at talking to people. We had literally talked to everyone in our path and even out of our path and met so many people who could have been ready but we would never have known if we didn't talk to them. As a once was said "you miss 100% of the shots you don't take." It was exchange that was well learned from.

Anyways I hope you all have a great week and look for the good in everything!

-Elder Toly

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week #96

Week 96: So this week was pretty good!

On Monday we went to a Korean BBQ place which is quite interesting, you order meat off an i-pad and they bring it to you and you cook it on a stove built into the table. All-you-can-eat too which is awesome!

Tuesday we met with Chris and it went pretty good. Got to catch up on some things which is good after a years time. He has been fighting some demons is his life, but is wanting to work on them slowly, but surely.

next day we met with Sam and shared the Law of Chastity which went really well and also talked about Prophets and Thomas Monson. Thats the cool thing about the Restored gospel is that we have prophets just as God has always called throughout time and that have always taught us more about Jesus Christ and will always help us stay on the right path even when the world is deceptive.

Thursday we did a blitz which is where more than one set of missionaries work in one companionship's area to help boost it. Later on we went to Institute which Sam attended as well. The next day we went to a zone conference in Kitchener. Really good and there were two other zones there and I think five of my companions were there which was super cool. Later I went on exchanges with Elder Welch who was in the Oshawa zone with me in the past.

Saturday we met with Celeste and it went well and a Spanish speaking member came. She still doesn't feel ready yet for a date, but after the lesson the member told us its kinda a culture thing in South American countries where they don't feel quite ready for big commitment things even though they really are. After we went to this neighborhood fair thing with tents and bouncy castles and different booths from places in the community and the Burlington Ward set up a booth that we helped with. Super fun.

Sunday we had church and Sam came and afterwards there was the baptism of Andrew this guy that the Chinese Elders are working with. It was a little disorganized and I ended up conducting the service, but after he got baptized he bore his testimony and told his story of how he had first met missionaries 6 years ago, but had turned them down. Really cool and powerful.

A scripture I wanted to share from this morning is Alma 17:31 so this is about Ammon and what he said after the kings servants after the flocks were scattered and how everyone started freaking out because they were going to be killed for losing the flocks. "And it came to pass that he flattered them by his words, saying: My brethren, be of good cheer and let us go in search of the flocks, and we will gather them together and bring them back unto the place of water; and thus we will preserve the flocks unto the king and he will not slay us."

Even though things were not going well Ammon still had a positive attitude and Everything turned out good because he trusted in the Lord and also helped others feel good. A good example of this is Austin. He is the dog that belongs to the member who we live above and we often see him in the backyard on our way to the garage. Yes, I realize he is a dog, but dogs are the perfect example of being happy and uplifting all the time and that is what Ammon did in this scripture and it lifted others just how Austin does that to us so we decided to give him a shout out this week.

Love you all! -Elder Toly

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week #95

Week 95: The Prodigal son part 2 took place this week.....

So on Monday this week was a little interesting as we had to help a couple other elders with some stuff, but we were able to go to a conservation area and see a couple falls.

The great thing about being in the Hamilton zone is the outdoors are probably the most pretty in the mission. Most of Ontario is pretty flat with just hills and not much elevation but here we have an escarpment or raised land and so you can see some cool views and do more actual hikes. So we went by a couple falls, Websters and Tews and went on a hike and took some fun photos. We later had dinner at the Branch Presidents house and then Fhe where they really just talked about fathers and all they do.

Tuesday was good. We didn't have much planned that day, but we helped do some service with food orders and basically did some finding for the day. So a background story, when I was in Lindsay we got a call from someone wanting to meet up and when we did it turned out to be a 19 or 20 year old guy named, for the sake of this I'll say Chris. Chris had been baptized a couple years ago in the ysa branch here, but had had some struggles and was kinda MIA for a while and he had gone to school out in Lindsay. So My companion K. Taylor (not the elder taylor I'm with right now) started meeting with him and he was able to overcome somethings in his life that he had always struggled with and we even started bring him teaching with us. He then moved up North and then back to Hamilton and we lost track of him. Later K. Taylor went to Hamilton and tried to find him and when I was told I was going to Hamilton he told me I had to find him. So the first transfer I will admit, I thought about him, but didn't try too hard. But we finally this last week decided to try a member in st. Catherine's who knew him to see where he would be so we texted her husband and were waiting for a response. We then get a call from a senior couple who sat in with the family ward sisters up on the Mountain with a guy that was ysa and they say his name and its the same one and they can't remember the last name so I say his last name and they're like "yes!Thats it!" I then later get his number and call him up and Elder K. Taylor who is in Brampton and we do a three way call catching up on things. It turns out Chris just a couple days before I had contacted that members husband for her had contacted her and asked for the missionaries number because he decided it was time to meet back up with missionaries again so the member had given him the mountain sisters number. So sweet and we are seeing him later today at 7. So cool to hear from this guy almost a year later and to see that he is mindful of people and how I could be there when this guy first reached out for help and the second time in a place over 3 hours away. So awesome!

Wednesday we met with our of our investigators who has a date for July 15 and it went really well and we taught commandments and why they're important and specifically highlighted on the 10, and reading the scriptures, praying and keeping the Sabbath day holy. We then later met with an Indian guy we were supposed to meet with yesterday and taught the restoration and he committed to Baptism in August and said he was wanting to come to a Christian church.

The next day we went on exchanges with the Niagara Elders in the morning. I went to their area. It was a super hot and muggy and humid day..... and their car was in the shop so we walked all day.... and their ac in their apartment wasn't working.... Oh well it made me much more grateful for where I am living .

The next day we exchanged back and later taught our investigator (for the sake of this I'll say Sam). We taught the word of Wisdom and she committed to it and has already apparently been trying which was really cool and the members we brought with us had awesome experiences of the word of wisdom and really helped. We later went and taught our investigator from south America who I'll call Celeste. We read through the scriptures and taught more on faith and committed her to look through her calendar in June, July or August and pray for a day that she should get baptized and promised her God would answer.

The next day we are on our way to appointment when we get a text from Sam who tells us a cool story from yesterday. She hadn't received an answer that this was all true, but yesterday was by the temple and had an experience that she said helped her know this was the right thing to do. So cool! The next couple days were really good as well. Some awesome things happening here!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week #94

So the moral of the story this week is sometimes you have have to go a little deeper or be in all the way and it involves a storm drain.

So Monday was just a regular day since Elder Taylor and I are both staying.

Tuesday was a little different so let me begin. With the way transfers were Elder Taylor had to go up to Brampton with a couple other Elders to bring one of the new Chinese elders back since he couldn't drive and so I went on mini exchanges with Elder Huang in the morning where we went to the church and on the way we decided to drop by the apartment my dad used to live at while he was a missionary.
When we were looking over the fence to see the backyard a man across the street greeted us and it turned out he was a less active member and we ended up walking down the street with him towards the church. Now he didn't come in with us due to his wanting to stop at Mr. Sub instead, but we did have a good conversation. As we later walked back to the apartment we ran into some Jehovah's Witnesses and had a lovely conversation with an elderly lady. We then exchanged back and went about our day. So we then are at the end of the night, its 8:30 and we got an awesome text from a member who had been talking with one of our investigators. We then get out of the car, I with the phone and my companion with with keys. We start walking and my companion drops the car key and it falls hits his shoe, bounces off it, onto the sidewalk and right off onto a storm drain and then right in. Its 8:30 and our way home is down a storm drain. Elder Taylor then goes and opens the storm cover and he starts to go down and gives me all his stuff like watch, tie and jacket. He goes in and the water (if you can even call it that with all the other stuff mixed in there) is up past his knees and he tries to find it with his foot.

I then am like just go in and he ends up reaching down into it and fishing through it all and finds the key. Some of our witnesses included a man who walked by and said "not the first time I've seen that" and a handful of elderly people across the street at the an old folks home. I guess the lesson of this is that sometimes you gotta do the things you don't feel like doing in order to find success. If we had not found the key we would not have gone home. Sometimes I feel like we give up because the consequences don't seem too drastic but when things are on the line you are more compelled to go the extra mile. Like for example, what happens if we don't open our mouths to people? Is it "oh thats ok maybe next time" or is if we don't share this message, they could miss out on soooo many blessings. After we got the key, my companion hopped in the back (because he was dirt) and I drove us home where he took a nice good shower. Probably the best transfer day of my mission thus far.

Wednesday we met with one of our investigators out in st. cats and brought a couple members, one of which is a convert and the other a returned missionary and we taught the plan of salvation. It all went quite nicely.

The next day we were busy at a meeting in Brampton and came back for another meeting. We then went to institute and met with a returning member and talked about repentance and how the Atonement (what Christ did for us) is so powerful that it can even change our deepest desires for good.

Friday had district meeting and found 2 new people, Christians from India to teach and also met with one of our new converts who just moved here and is originally from Nigeria so hes pretty cool.

Saturday We went and met with a couple people in the morning and did some planning. Sunday we went out to St. Cats (St. Catherine's) for church because thats where one of our investigators was going and one of our members was giving a talk there. After we went to church back in Ysa where another one of our investigators came and really seemed to enjoy herself and participated quite a bit. After we visited an Arab family where only a couple spoke English and had to translate, but we taught the whole Restoration and it made sense to them and they asked at the end what they were supposed to do when they got their answer that the book of Mormon was true. Some cool things happening here in the Hammer, Have a great week!

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week #93 Don't pray for patience

Lesson of the week: Don't pray for patience.

On Monday the zone went to a conservation park which was super nice. 

Tuesday we had a baptismal interview and met a couple people. Also had dinner with the Hobbs which is always fun. 
Wednesday we had interviews with President and so there was two district meetings the same day one after the other.
For the one district meeting the theme was agents of Shield because our mission president is President Shields and so at one point we were all mock versions of super heroes and had to develop our powers. Super fun stuff and my interview with him was super good. I love President Shields and am so lucky to have him. We also met with one of our investigators and taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ. SO crazy thing about that is that she was on 1 Nephi 13 or 14 last week and this week we found out she is now on 2 Nephi 21!!! So crazy!
 Next day we went to Elder Dardons last district meeting and I did a roleplay with him and he was dressed up as a Sikh person so that was fun haha. 
Friday we had a couple of ysa Emily and Efe go out to sushi and we wore the ties she got us hence the picture.
We also met with another investigator out in Burlington and it went pretty well as we talked about faith. Saturday we went and helped out with a service project geared towards older people called Nostalgia days and there were some old cool cars. 

that night I decided to pray for patience and the next day we had the day where my patience was most tried ever and it was transfer calls so I was even more stressed haha.
 Church was good went out to the St. Davids family ward because our one of our investigators went there and we also had another investigator at Ysa. Got calls and I am staying here in Hamilton with Elder Taylor. 
So pumped for this transfer!

Love you all!