16.6

We need to learn what we should learn, do what we should do and become what we should become – Thomas S Monson

Hello! i cant believe its already week 6. The transfer is pretty much gone ): Way too quick for my liking.

Anyway, the week was great! The highlight of the week was definitely going to Brampton to the temple. Its really a different atmosphere there, situated on a busy intersection, its really neat to walk in and hear the doors close behind you and immediately all the sound dissipates. Its peaceful, quiet and everyone really knows why they are there and gives the place its respect. This past session, i managed to have many impressions on things i can improve on 🙂
I’m really excited that we managed to meet with so many members this week. I feel missionary work when done alone is so boring and uneventful. When you work hand in hand with members, you can really feel more accomplished and fulfilled. Its also really nice to hear the conversion stories of the members and its so much easier to relate because of the similarity in age and life experiences. Its neat that despite the different upbringing and culture, its really the feelings of happiness, love and hope that is the universal language for everyone.
As everyone in the congregation is between 18-30, many have served missions and its also awesome hearing of their mission stories and the principles they have learnt. Hailing from Hungary to the Marshall Islands, its also fun to learn some phrases in languages i’ve never even heard of. It really makes me want to learn a 3rd language when i’m home 🙂
This week, we also got treated to Mel’s Diner where E Healey attempted the Mel’s Challenge. Quintessentially summing up dietary habits, in North America, you have to finish a 3 pound burger with fries in an hour. it was 2 buns the size of dinner plates and 9 fat patties of beef with the works and various sauces While it provided a good show watching him attempt to chow down the burger, unfortunately he couldn’t finish all of it and had to take about half of it home ): It made good leftovers though. haha
I’m really excited for General Conference this upcoming week. Its like the superbowl for missionaries and its going to be so good hearing the advice and counsel that will be given. Its really the LDS version of TED talks and there’s so so many things that can be gleamed from the speakers. Broadcast live from Salt Lake, its free for everyone who’s interested and can also be viewed at lds.org Times are 10am and 2pm on Saturday and Sunday (Mountain Standard Time)
As i approach the tail end of my time in Canada, i’ve often reflected on what i’ve learnt and who’ve become and something i’ve learnt that if one wants absolute fulfillment, one should never touch anything with half of your heart. Always be present, loving endlessly and being kind towards everyone. Challenging situations are meant to be overcome, understand before reacting and its always important to remember that what’s right for someone else may not be right for you (and thats okay!) but we should never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help because we also have a choice in all things. Life really is about living and something if we stopped and remembered that, we be a little happier. I saw a quote that once said If we hug a little tighter, our hearts will be a little closer. Its true.
Have a good week! 🙂
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16.5 Time flies

 When you come out of the storm, you wont be the same person who walked in – Haruki Murakami 
Great quote. Trials in life give you experience. Experience that you can use to uplift others to overcome greater hurdles and ultimately to make things better.
This week was dopeee. it was busy but i’m thankful for the many things we were able to accomplish in our area.

We had the 2nd mission tour of the year and E Craig Cardon of the seventy came to visit. The meeting was in Burlington (one of my old stomping grounds) and.. he wanted to meet the MLC group at 7am in the morning. waking up at 430am and driving on the 401 was probably one of the most tiring things i’ve done in a long time but it was definitely worth it. He shared some experiences in his life in which the principles gleamed will definitely help me in my life as well. He talked about the principle of self-reliance and how we need to let ourselves and the people we meet be self reliant and not be dependent on others for their progression. I feel that is so important and its something that stressed in the church. The things taught at church don’t make people better. people make people better, the church teaches correct principles to be better and helps people be aware on how to self govern themselves. Mission Tour was great though, i got the chance to see my friends from previous areas and we took many photos 😀

There was a wonderful experience shared this week about how a father rolled his car while sending his son off to the Missionary Training Center in Utah. The family was hurt but the injuries werent serious, unfortunately, the father passed away. As both mother and son were being treated for injuries, the doctor had to break the news to the 2 girls, aged 10 and 14. While the 10 year old burst into sobs, the 14 year old girl put her arm around her sister and told her that everything was going to be okay because their family had been sealed and started singing “Families Can Be Together Forever” softly to console her sobbing sister. Despite that story being over 20 years ago, there was a really strong presence in the room which personally told me that there was truth in those words. ahh, good times. 🙂
I’ll miss it.
Other exciting things that happened this week is that we’re meeting with Tyler and he rides/speeds down roads in a unicycle. i’m gonna try and convince him to let me try and ride it. hopefully i dont grate my face on the gravel.. i also rode in a back of a truck this week. haha cheap thrills
Hope everyone is having a great week!
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16.4

Hello!

It’s been a super exciting week here in waterloo! 🙂 The students are out in full force and everyday is a party. We walked around Laurier’s campus and Waterloo’s campus like week and they looked really sweet. The school spirit is really strong here you can really see the pride the students had in their schools.
We had Zone Conference in London the past week and we got together with the London Zone for instructions and training. Something that i took out from it was to always prioritise the hardest things you want to do least first. Also, sometimes the way we want to do things are wrong and we should try and do things that can be uncomfortable but will ultimately cause us to stretch and become better. Taking a leaf from Nike, President Clayton told us to always act and just do it even if it seems hard because it will be good for us in the long run. I look back on my time here in Canada and i see that principle ringing through. Doing this has definitely been the hardest thing i’ve done and i’m always tired but reflecting on it its because you’re working on all fronts, physically, emotionally and spiritually you’re getting a beating. BUT man, its been so so good. you find yourself and you become more independent and mature and self sufficient all at an incredibly quick rate. Compressed into 2 short years, you get battered left and right with all these experiences that will be crucial in your character development. Something i’m excited for is to go back and apply the things and principles i’ve learnt into regular life  #trunkycomment
So we had a scary/cool experience this week in our apartment. E Healey and I were trying to make fries and we left a pan covered sitting on the burner on high while we were prepping the potatoes. When the taters were ready, we poured the oil into the pan but because the pan was sitting on the stove for eons, the oil started to bubble and immediately caught fire. No pictures obviously but the height of the fire pretty much stretched from my torso to my shoulders and the handle of the pan was starting to get really warm. We just stared at the fire knowing if we threw water on it, the oil will splutter everywhere throwing fireballs all over the apartment. The smoke alarm was screaming as we both threw out ideas on how we could quelch the flames and somehow the impression came to both of us as we both said cardboard at the same time. Running to the  closet where every missionary apartment has tons of cardboard boxes from BOMs. we grabbed the nearest one and ran out to the balcony and covered the pan with the box, hoping to starve the flame. After what seemed like forever we peeked underneath, thankfully the flames were extingushed and we heaved a sigh of relief…. haha what an adventure.
Aside from our culinary disaster we had some success in the kitchen this week. It was H.Mckinley’s birthday a few days ago! E Healey and I made her some brownies and just to make it look posh we dusted icing sugar on top. hahahah. thankfully she said they tasted good and we’ve had no reports of food poisoning. they probably blessed it twice or something….
Other than that, the week was really routine but still awesome with us trying to get to know everyone and getting to know the area 😀
Hope you have a good week! stay safe!
the aftermath of the fire
We could probably drive to detroit on a full tank of gas 🙂
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16.3

Hellooooo!

The transfer is FLYING. Can’t believe its already week 3.  So! The past week went super well. I’m having so much fun in waterloo. School started last week and the kids were out in droves. I’m not sure if its the fashion in waterloo these days but there  were so many people wearing basically nothing and while i’m not a prude, it just makes it really hard to talk to girls because they think you’re trying to ask them out or flirt with them while all i’m doing is trying to advert my eyes from the cottage cheese that seems to be everywhere. yikes. Aside from that, it’s been really fun striking up conversations with people my age and talk to them about philosophy and about what they hold dear and important in life.
Being in a YSA unit, it also gives us the neat opportunity to plan events for the 20-30s year olds in the community! Something that we’ve come up with is a party in October. Titled Sober in Oktober, its really a fun contrast for the Oktoberfest drinking parties for people that want to have a night of  soberfun. There’s a member who’s a resident at Pearl, some club in waterloo and he’s gonna be manning the decks and instead of beers and Jägerbombs its gonna be gingerbeer, rootbeers and apple cider. haha. i’m stoked.
On tuesday we had a mini emergency with one of the missionaries in cambridge. He was biking and had an accident where he flew off his handlebars and landed chin first onto the pavement. Apparently according to his comp, you could see the bone and there was blood everywhere. We flew down from Kitchener in record time and sent him to the ER where we had to wait a couple of hours for him to get stitches. Thank goodness nothing was broken and there wasnt any immediate things that had to be done. We got home at about 1am.
Recently i heard, 2 of my friends i met on the mission are now engaged after 5 weeks of dating!! It’s insane how fast that is but man, i’m really excited for them. haha they seem like they know what they are doing so hopefully everything goes well. i’m pretty sure i wont be really be following that example though. haha
The transfer is really gonna speed by. There’s zone conference tomorrow in London, Next week we have a mission tour with E Craig Cardon and then its the temple trip and then we have general conference week 6! and then… its the final countdown. oooohboy. Have a great weeek!!!!
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– a mennomite carraige we saw on one of our drives in the country
– Julie and I!
– radical.
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16.2

Oh man, what a crazy week! so many things have been happening but the biggest thing is arriving in kitchener and waterloo! Its so different from Tdot. Its a smaller town with lesser traffic so its been wonderful to drive around in! The people are mostly students so i’ve had many engaging conversations on various philosophies as well as life in general. It’s great. School starts this week so we spent a lot of time helping college kids move last week. It’s been a blast meeting so many new people from the ward and getting to know them. 
 
We met a girl, V who is the french ambassador for the dairy farmers of canada. she pretty much drives a ford 150 around ontario and she’s such a boss. juggling between work, school and even finding time to meet with the missionaries, its really remarkable how people can maximize their opportunities and accomplish so much within 24 hours and how others, even with the same time frame procrastinate and end up idling away.
 
I think that’s something i really wanna focus on post mission, the principle of not drifting and doing things that dont add value to myself. I have grand plans post mission but it ultimately all boils down to discipline so achieve them. haha #motivationvsdiscipline
 
We headed out to Brampton for Mission Leadership Council and we had the opportunity to stay overnight at the Mansion. (a fancy name for the house the assistants live in) It was so much fun. In all, the Zone Leaders from London, Kitchener, Sudbury, Barrie and Kingston were there and there were pranks, jokes and pillow talk that ended us all sleeping way past the witching hour and left us as walking zombies for our meeting the next morning. It was great though, i didnt really know the other ZLs that well and that night was a good “bonding” session for everyone. 
 
The next day, we headed out to RDs for southern BBQ food. My new comp E Healey heard of the mammoth challenge. 6 pounds of poutine and the old record was 12 minutes by E Peterson…and yeah the new record is now 5 minutes and 13 seconds. hahahah man, i didnt even try to eat that mammoth. he even went for a large turtles blizzard at DQ after. i dont know how people eat so much food and not get morbidly obese. haha 
 
Anyway, i’m really excited for this month in kitchener, there are so many things i wanna change up in the zone so its gonna be good. i’l let you know how it goes! 
 
6 pounds of poutines with pulled pork and beef brisket. mmmm
E. Healey, Skirvin, Anderson, S Felix 🙂
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16.1

Hello!
 
Transfers have come, transfers have gone and Im bidding toronto farewell! I’m heading to Kitchener! specifically, i’ll be mingling with the 20 yr olds at University of Waterloo!! While i’m extremely sad to leave the NY zone because of the many wonderful experiences, the hardworking missionaries i get to be around who are a great example to me and the lessons that i’ve learnt, i’m actually really excited. I really didnt want to leave toronto but if i had to go i wanted to go to kitchener. I’ve heard so many great things about the place and the people! 
 
It’s also really cool because i’ve now served in london, kitchener, hamilton, brampton, barrie, etobicoke, north york and toronto. I’ve pretty much covered the entire western ontario. It’s been awesome to be able to see all the sights and meet all the people that live in those areas. 
 
This week was great though. As it was E Bramwell’s (and on hindsight, my) last week here, everyone suddenly treated us like royalty. people were wanting to meet with us in droves. haha we had a good balance of teaching and finding and meeting with people though so it was good. He’s coming back in October with the family so it wont be too long before they see him again anyway. 
 
We also went to Pacific Mall last which is pretty much like stepping into a portal to China. From the walls, to the lighting to the type of merchandise sold. everything screams, chinese. He went shopping for his sister in laws, nephews, friends and parents. it took forever  but we made it. I had a ton of fun because i had the opportunity to bargain and hassle for price discounts. haha i havent done it in forever, ever since i visited thailand’s night markets but it was great. 
 
Tonight we’re going to Bai Shu Ren Jia with the people we’re seeing and the new members. some szechuan chinese restaurant that’s probably gonna scorch my tongue again. Im certain my tolerance to spice has increased a hundred fold since i started living in toronto which is pretty ironic.
 
Really short, almost mindless email but i have to run! a better one next week i promise!
Random thought, this week, i learnt a new word from none else than E.Whitney- Persnickety which is a fancy word for fussy. 
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Transfer 15.6

One night to save the day. We’ll show them all, Lets go! – Icona Pop

It was a fantastic week full of wonderful moments. We were at church listening to our friend 16 year old Wayne sharing his experience the recent youth camp where they engaged in cliff jumping where kids took turns jumping off a high platform onto the rushing waters below . He shared about his group mate Jackson running up but instead of leaping off the platform, slipped on the wet smooth stones and tumbled over the ledge and collided head first onto a rock formation and lay there in a crumpled heap. Wayne shared that at that point, the entire mood of the camp turned from one of fun and excitement to one of grave emergency. There were people in shock and some kids were crying as they feared that they just witnessed a first hand death scene. As he was taken away in an ambulance. Many prayers were said and according to Wayne it was a huge spiritual moment at that point that everything would be okay. Hours later, the report came in that despite falling from a great height, all Jackson needed was stitches on his head for a gaping wound. Naysayers might call it fortuitous luck  but others, including myself call it a heaven-sent miracle.
 
Week 5 went by really quickly. We had a specialty training where all the various Zone and District leaders from the North York, Ossington, Oshawa and Kingston zones came. It was a good discussion and training on welfare and caring for the missionaries we have stewardship over. I feel it was especially timely because of the amount of new missionaries coming in to the mission. July and August are the times where the mission sees the biggest changes with the old guard leaving and a slew of eager greenies enter the field. While some adapt quickly to the vigors of missionary life. Many are unused to the huge change in environment.
 
For many, its the first time they are away from home and to make it even more challenging, the crux of their adaptation is how well they get used to a lifestyle devoid of technology without the immediate support of family and friends. Obviously, it isnt all that bad, its awesome actually once you get used to it. Thankfully, the closest form of immediate support are their leaders and thats where the usefulness of the training came in. We learnt the psychological side of things and how we can help them to the physical side of things where we were coached on exercises they can do to overcome their initial nerves. It was great!
 
Something huge that was mentioned was that leadership is an attribute, not a position. So many of us in this world that hold a form of leadership position often feel that they are choice and qualified over someone that doesnt. I feel that as soon as pride gets in the way, that opportunity to showcase leadership gets diluted with the ambition of rising to a higher position and it in turns affects those under him/her. It was a good reminder to me that leadership is all about service. It’s about giving proper direction and changing the culture and helping people see the same vision that you have and allowing them room to grow and showing and giving them that example that they need to progress further and succeed in the goals that they set.
 
Anyway, its week 6. It’s E.Bramwell’s last week in Toronto! Thats crazy. I’m trying not to actively think about it but im running out of time too!! Its crazy how time flies. I remember my first day in Toronto, in Markham thinking about how there were Chinese people in every corner and wondering if that was what Canada was like. That perception changed when i got transferred to Brampton but thats another story. hahaha.
 
Have a great week!!!
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