Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Great to See Austin!

The following is an email from our good friend and next-door neighbor, Trent Howell.  He went to Toronto on business last week and hand delivered a package to Austin at church on Sunday.  It made my day (more like my week or month)!  It was so fun to read these extra details about the ward where Austin is serving and to get these great bonus pictures.  Thanks a million Trent!!

I thought I'd send you the full version of the photos from seeing your boy. 

It's interesting how they do the English and Mandarin wards in this chapel. 
The English ward (Don Valley) has sacrament at 10:00.
Then at 11:20 the Mandarin (Bayview) ward begins starting with gospel doctrine. The adult classes are held separately between the wards but the youth are combined.
During the last hour for the Priesthood/RS it's the same where the youth are combined and the adults hold their classes separately. 
Then at 1:10 the Mandarin ward holds their sacrament mtg. 

I opted for the English option and met a bunch of elders before and after the English sacrament mtg. The program listed 8 elders covering the Don Valley ward (2 sets English and 2 sets Farsi). One elder spoke in sacrament mtg and said he was serving as a Persian missionary and would therefore be with them for 18 months. I checked later to realize that Farsi is Persian. 

It was the most diverse English ward I've ever been too. Visibly different nationalities all around. So cool. 

I tried to spot him after the English sacrament mtg, but no luck. So after gospel doctrine I met a few more folks there and found the Mandarin priesthood area. But he wasn't there either so I went to the other side hallway and there is and his companion were walking my way. 

It was so great to see him. And thinking about you longing parents I felt my eyes start to get moist as well. I couldn't stop with just a handshake so I gave him a big parent hug saying it came from both of you. (boy he's a big man)

We chatted a little bit in the hallway as they related the places they've served and that it's funny to have MTC companions serving together in the field. 

I showed them the care packages and Elder Stowell was so surprised to have one too. It was one of those "I guess our moms talk together. Well, duh. That's how moms are." kind of moments. Very funny. 

A couple times Austin mentioned it being so weird to see a face from home there. It's just so unexpected to have those worlds cross. 

I told them we needed a photo together and since everyone was now in classrooms, there was just an elderly Chinese couple walking down the hall and both elders called out to ask if they could take our picture. Of course, my Mandarin's a little rusty, but I'm pretty sure that's what they said. 

I also mentioned how much I enjoy reading his updates that you post - and that I love his writing style as well as his testimony. 

We chatted just a bit about Jaden's call and departure in a month and that they had an MTC instructor that served in Malaysia. 

Like a good missionary, he wanted to get into priesthood and I didn't want to hold him up much longer. So I passed along the care packages and wished them the best. 

Most importantly they both looked so happy. Such outstanding young men!

Cheers from far away!