Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 38: Trading Ties With a General Authority!

Hello family!  I really do apologize for not having time to do much writing last week. I felt pretty bad about it, but Elder Lau had to get some last minute stuff in before he went home.  He's actually not leaving till tomorrow, but today we won't have time to do much because we'll be hanging out with all the other missionaries in the zone who are leaving.  It's gonna be so much fun!

Anyway, life's been super good these last few weeks.  I've kept Elder Lau from getting too trunky.  Just kidding.  I've been the worst at that.  Honestly, I make jokes about it every day, and then he just replies with jokes about me still having years to go on the mission.  Transfer plans came last night, but it wasn't too stressful.  Elder Lau is being transferred to Hong Kong YSA, and Elder Hudak will be coming to be my companion.  I heard it was going down like this a few weeks ago, so we weren't too stressed out.  The others elders however did have some changes.  Elder Flake will be staying here in the Catcave, and Elder Ellis will be coming.  I don't have a picture, but he basically looks like Syndrome from The Incredibles.  It's uncanny.  It sounds like he's sweet, so we're excited.  The only problem is that both of the new guys in the house are Canadian, and I don't know how happy they'll be that we sing hymn 340 all the time.

It's going to be weird having a white companion again.  Honestly, it's been too long.  Elder Lau will have a great time in Hong Kong.  We've been taking bets on how long it'll be till he goes less active. My money's on 13 minutes

Elder Butler is dropping down from Zone leader to District leader, and he'll be serving in Brampton and training a new missionary.  He keeps making jokes about how he'll turn his new greenie into a number crunching machine.  He's going to make a monster.

Other piece of big news.  Joe got baptized this weekend!  He's so cool.  Honestly, he had almost no concerns during the entire teaching process.  Also, his confirmation was during Fast and Testimony meeting, and so during the meeting he got up and bore his testimony to the congregation.  Honestly, it's moments like that where you feel like a successful missionary.  It was so powerful, and I am just so grateful that God blessed me with the chance to be able to teach him.  He's amazing, and he's going to do great things.  It also means that our area has a new convert!  Yaaaay!!!  It's been a while since the area had a new convert, and we're super happy that the drought is over.  We're going to take him on so many lessons, and baptize SO many people.

In other news, the zone is changing quite a bit.  Every companionship in the zone changed except for one, which means there will be a lot of new faces here.

Hamilton downtown has still been loads of fun.  There are a lot of people down there that I love talking to.  There's one guy that always dresses up as a cowboy and dances down all the streets.  I mentioned him in a previous letter, but it turns out that we've seen him like 6 times now.  I guess he does it on a regular basis.  We're pretty tight.  Every time he sees us he yells "Who's the Lord!" and we yell "Jesus!" and he smiles and keeps dancing.

Also, there's a bunch of homeless people there that we always talk to.  One of them always yells "Hail Mormon" when we pass by, and we laugh every time.  We've explained it to him before that we don't worship Mormon, but he just thinks its funny.  There's another homeless guy that's Irish, and I always go practice my Irish accent with him.  Mine is pretty bad, but he's a cool guy.  I love this town.

Anyway, the work is going great here in Hamilton.  This is definitely a place that I'll visit in future years.  There are just so many really cool people here.

Hadley - You went to St. George without me?!  I thought you were going to wait until I got home! ;)  I bet you all had a really hard time following those rules.  Elder Lau tried to make some stupid rule where I couldn't text while driving.  Ridiculous.  I am having a buttload of fun up here. Maybe even two buttloads.  For my birthday, I want American Oreos.  Can you make that happen?  The Oreos here aren't nearly as good.

Ashleigh - Well, you would have sounded pretty smart, but you started with Dear Brother dearest.  Am I really that dear to you?  Also, saying "it tis" doesn't work because "tis" is already an abbreviation of "it is".  Also, why would you increase in stamina?  Did you do some cardio? I'll give you a solid C- ;)  By the way, building a fire is really easy.  I'll show you how sometime.  All I need is a cat and an oven.

Mom - Man, I haven't asked President about trading ties yet.  I really want to, but every time I see him it's always a really spiritual setting. Like the other day Elder Lau had his departing interview, and when they came out of it, it was super spiritual, and Elder Lau was super happy, and all that jazz.  I didn't want to spoil the mood by saying "Hey Pres, wanna trade?".  I feel like I might have been chastised :) Also, tell Taylor congratulations! She's gonna love the Portuguese people.  There were a ton in my old area, and they make some killer food.  As far as birthday stuff goes, I don't know.  I still haven't found my camera, which I'm super bummed about.  Aside from that, good ties are always sweet to get.  If I think of anything else while writing, I'll include it.

Hayden - Man, that sounds like a pretty fun week full of things that missionaries can't do ;)  As missionaries we have a handbook that tells us all the regulations, and there's a missionary who just went home who keeps sending me pictures of him doing all the stuff he hasn't been able to do for two years.  The first one is him playing contact sports.  Then one of him doing winter sports.  Then motorcycling.  Then horseback riding.  Then rock climbing.  Et cetera.  It was pretty funny.  He did it all in like a week, so when I get back we're going to do everything, alright?  Also, I have no idea how many days I've been out.  I passed my 1/3rd mark a while back, but other than that I don't know.

Ellie - Here, I'm going to tell you a joke that you will hear at least 80 times once you learn to drive.  You're going to say "I got my license" and then people will say "Oh, I better stay off the roads." and then you'll give them a pity laugh, but on the inside you'll just be sad that they are so lacking in creativity :) I almost wanted to start my letter with saying it, but I decided I'd rather not.  Man, you've been sick all the time lately.  What's wrong?  Are you just sick of not having you're favorite brother around?  Is that the problem?  Just kidding :) You'll be fine.

Dad - Man, I didn't think that Chinese food was that spicy before I came out on the mission.  I mean, I know my only exposure to it was Panda Express, but man.  It get's pretty crazy.  There's a region in China called Sichuan, and the stuff they have is pretty extreme.  It makes your mouth go numb when you eat it.  It's honestly one of the weirder feelings I've ever experienced.  But I still totally want you to introduce me to it. I'm always up for a taco.

Anyway, I know Conference already got talked about by every other missionary last week, and you're probably sick of hearing about it, but I wanted to make a note about how much I loved it. How incredible is it that we have the opportunity to listen to living prophets and apostles of the Lord Jesus Christ?

I especially loved the talk by Holland (I know. Just like everyone else).  During the talk he said "The Lord will be with us even when we struggle - no especially when we struggle" and for me that line meant the world.  I'll be honest.  Being a missionary has definitely made me struggle.  There have been times when I go for days or even weeks and I feel as if I have not progressed.  I feel as if the area has ground to a halt and that I am far too lacking in far to many aspects.  I know that many people around the world have similar feelings of despair, thinking that the present is depressing and the future is bleak.  We will all face times like that in our lives, and maybe someone like that will even read this letter.

We talk a lot in this church about how the Atonement makes things better, and to pre-mission-me that meant that it changes the situation.  It will change the circumstances.  Things will begin to look brighter.  Now, that has happened in my life, and it happens in others as well, but what I have learned is that sometimes our prayers of sadness are answered in a different way.  The Atonement doesn't always fix out circumstances.  It doesn't always change the things surrounding us, because if everything could be repaired with a silent prayer to heaven, God's plan would not be fulfilled.  We would never learn.  That's the plan of Satan.  To give us all perfect lives, and to make sure that no one can ever harm us.  We're all here being tested, and Satan just wanted to give everyone an A

As nice as that sounds, it could never work.  It can't work like that.  We would never learn a thing.  We would never have to struggle.  God has to burn the dross out of us, to make us push our roots deeper.  The atonement doesn't act like that.  It's not a crutch.

However, even though it won't always change the way the situation looks, it will change the way we look.  We will find joy, no matter the situation and no matter the odds. Our lives will be happy because we will realize our divine destiny, and remember that as dark as things are, they have been darker for our Savior.  He loves you, and with every bit of his heart he wants you to understand that.  I promise you all, that when things get dark, the Lord will reach out more than ever.  He has given up his life for you, and he certainly won't give up on you now.  There's a lot to be happy for in life, and a lot of people who need to be touched by someone like you.

Elder Sabin

PS: Just got word.  Pres Clayton said he'd trade ties with me. I'm gonna have a general authority tie!!!  I'm so pumped.  It's gonna be great.  love you!  I sent some pictures this week by the way.  I'm gonna try and repent.

Joe's Baptism:

 Dinner With Some of the Elders:

Me and Elder Lau:

Niagara Falls:

Lots of Elders in a Car:

Paul from Bayview Came to Visit Us:

A Typical Night in Downtown Hamilton:

 Niagara Falls a Few Weeks Ago: