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

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