Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 71: A Stellar Week

Alright, so I don't have a ton of time today, but I'll try and update you with everything that's been going on.  Life has been good this week in the mission.  On Monday and Tuesday we were pretty busy with office stuff, and then Tuesday afternoon we went up north, and that's where I've been since.  I've been hanging out with the French missionaries, and they are awesome!  It's actually been a stellar week.

Obviously my French is far far far from good, but it's been good enough to get out some basic phrases, and I'm loving the chance to listen to Quebecois, which is basically French most of the time, and then sometimes they just do their own thing.  It's been super cool.

This week we spent a fair amount of time on the native reserve, which was really cool.  I've never spent time on those long term.  We shoveled some snow, and helped one guy stack a bunch of fire wood.  That guy was ancient.  You know how in the movies there's like a town elder who looks like he was alive when the world was made.  That was this guy.  he didn't speak a word of English.  He only spoke Algonquin (Lamanite) and his son spoke French with an Algonquin accent, and I speak
French with a Chinese accent (probably) so it was really interesting.  The people there was honestly SO nice though. They were all super talkative and very hospitable.

Dad - Haha, gotta love the turkey bowl :) Thanks for the update on the ward back home.  I keep you guys in my prayers.  Sorry, i gotta be a bit quick this week.  love you!

Mom - Ya, we got quite a bit this week.  i don't know what it's like in brampton, but up north we got dumped on.  I'll send some pictures today, don't worry :) i'll head back to the office tommorow.  It's about 8 hours away, which is quite a distance.  Ya, Elder lemon was fun :) Also, I love that quote. I hung it on our bathroom mirror

Unknown - I'm on an old computer today, so i wasn't able to read a lot of your email.  I just got a bunch of boxes.  However, I do appreciate the wish for me to be warm and toasty.

Kidding.  love you ellie!

Hadley - Mashed taters? That was your favorite. Goodness, it's like I'm living with Elder Lau all over again.  haha, Sounds like you had a fun week!  I love you!

Hayden - haha, there's a member here that takes us out to Wild Wings all the time.  Sounds like you guys had a blast. 

Ashleigh - Ashleigh, sometimes its exhausting reading your emails.  Honestly, I might just not try this week.

Fine I'll try.   Yep.  Hmmm.  Uh huh.  Moana was good.  Something about singing to a gas station guy.  Moana was good again.  Who the freak is lin?   Alright, shakespearean english, i can probably skip that.

Alright.  Good stuff.  have a good week ashleigh :)


Elder Sabin

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 70: Heading North to Speak French

It's been another good week.  Miracles are abounding up here in Toronto, and Elder Carroll and I are having so much fun.  The weather is finally getting cold up here, and I've given in to using my big coat.  It's a matter of pride for some of the elders up here to try and see how long they can get by with flimsy jackets, but this year I've decided I'd rather be warm than a man.

Anyway, the week truly has been wonderful.  One of the highlights on Tuesday was that we got to welcome another Mandarin missionary.  His name is Elder Myers.  For the Chinese missionaries, this is usually quite an occasion, because there are not too many of us.  It's also fun to see a window back to the beginning of your mission; when you showed up at transfers and there's all these white guys testing how good your Chinese is.  It was fun to be on the other side of the experience.  He's going to do great things.

This week, Churchville YSA (our ward) hosted a huge YSA temple conference, which was fantastic.  We didn't spend a ton of time there, but I got to see quite a few of the people that I worked with in Hamilton and Kitchener. Both of those units are doing wonderful, and it was great to hear how things are going.  There are a lot of people that have decided to go on missions, and I had a good chance to commend them on their decisions.

There were people coming in and out of the temple and stake center all day, and there were a lot of classes and workshops provided by our mission president and a lot of the other stake leaders.  We didn't attend any of the classes, but we were pulling investegators and new converts out of classes for 10 or 15 minutes to meet with them for a while, so it was really cool.  There was a lot of good stuff shared, and I've heard nothing but positive feedback from everyone who went.  Also, they had a ton of leftover lasagna that they gave to the elders, so we appreciated that ;)

Kenneth, one of our new converts was able to attend the temple that day, and it was a really good experience for both him and us. He's been doing really well, and I'm excited to see his further progression in the gospel.

DJ, another one of our new converts, gave me a chance to ride his hoverboard, which was a ton of fun.  I don't know why it's called a hoverboard, because there's actually no hovering involved.  It's really just two wheels side by side with a platform in between that moves the way that you lean.  Also, before they sell them, they program them to sense if you're new to this whole "hoverboard" thing and if so, then they spin repeatedly in circles and move at highway speeds for the enjoyment of those watching and the confusion of the one riding.  At least, that's how I felt for the first couple of minutes.  It's really fun though.  I'm thinking about buying one for when we go tracting.

Also, I got to spend a day working up in Sudbury, which was ton's of fun. Sudbury is the farthest north zone in the mission, and being a Chinese missionary, I've never been up north :) It was a really fun experience.  I served with Elder McBride, who is a celestial man, and we did some fun stuff.  It was quite an adventure to see the north, and I hope that I can go to Sudbury again sometime.

Also, for those of you who know Elder Lemon, and even more for those of you who know I know Elder Lemon, it may interest you to know that we went on exchanges this week!  He got to come down to Brampton with me, and we killed it!  It was really fun to talk to him and to catch up on old times. He's one of the zone leaders up in Barrie, and they're doing super well. He took some pictures (My camera was dead) so he'll be sending them out.

One of our investigators, Celeste, has been doing amazing this week! She was really going through a hard time with some family and relationship problems last week, but she is just on spiritual fire now!  She came to the temple conference, she came to church, she's got some awesome members friends, and honestly, I don't know if there's much that we need to do.

Also, our investigator Nav came to church, and he loved it.  Nav is a really cool guy.  He's a little bit quiet, but once you get to know him he's just a super friendly person.  Also, he boxes.  And he has awesome hair.

Also, remember how I was talking about how I haven't been very far north in my mission?  Well, that's going to change quite a bit this week.  Our mission recently absorbed a portion of Quebec within the last couple of months, and it's super far out there.  There are two areas up there in Rouyn-Noranda and Val d'Or and they are both French speaking.  Since we have so few French speakers in our mission, it sometimes gets complicated with transfers and where people are needed. Also, since it's such a new region, president want's to have a better idea of what it's like up there, and basically the final verdict is that I'll be going on exchanges up there for a week.  So one of the French elders is going to come down with Elder Carroll, and I'm going far to the north in French work!  It's kind of scary, but also kind of awesome.  I've been listening to nothing but conference talks in French for the last couple of days trying to pick up what little I had before my mission, and I definitely have a testimony that God helps us out when we need it.  Those French elders are all awesome, it's gonna be so fun.  So next week I'll probably be emailing you guys from up there.

Mom - Ya, sorry about the pictures.  I've taken a few that I just haven't sent home, but I promise I'll do better. As far as the shoes go, yes, that sounds fine.  I'm just worried that without you there, and with my fashion sense I could definitely go wrong, but I've got Elder Carroll here, and he's pretty stylish.  Ya, the flu is no fun.  It spreads almost as fast as the gospel.

Hayden - I'm extremely sorry, but due to the fact that our two mother tongues are mutually unintelligible, I cannot make an educated guess as to what you are attempting to communicate.  Despite my months of dedicated practice working with foreigners in the municipality of Toronto, my broken English is far from fluent, and I must refrain from responding to your email.  I am aware the the word "bra" or "bruh" can be used as a clipped form of the word "brother," indicating a close relationship between the speaker and the listener, but I am still unfamiliar with it's usage.  I will also endeavor to learn the meaning of words such as "sah" and "wa" and I will look into the exact usage of the word "lit".  As soon as I have ascertained the meaning of the above words, I will reply promptly and without error.  I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience that this has caused, and hope to one day be able to communicate with a culture of your kind.  Good day to you sir.

Love you Hayden ;)

Ellie - 不好意思。 我的英文不太好, 所以我就没有办法跟你沟通。很抱歉。可能有一天我会能够说英文说地好,但是现在我还是再学习。我不知道这个flrm的意思是什么。你可不可以给我解释一下?

Put it in google translate :) love you Ellie.

Hadley - On P-day, my favorite thing to do is actually to go to other houses of worship, like cathedrals, Hindu sanctuaries, and Buddhist temples.  I know you probably don't know what all those are, but basically they're just other churches.  I think it's really fascinating.  What's your favorite thing to do on Saturday? Of course I'm excited for christmas :)  Every missionary's favorite holiday is Christmas.

Dad - I just realized that I forgot to send an email to you last week.  Super sorry about that.  Ya, it's been really busy.  We haven't had zone conferences yet, but starting next transfer we're going to have them every six weeks.  They just changed the regulations, and in a mission this big, it's going to be really interesting logistically.  Elder Carroll is from Tuscan, Arizona, and I like him a ton.  He's a really good missionary.  So if everyone thought she was going to win, why didn't she?  Did all the democrats just not vote, thinking that she would win for sure?

As far as mission preparation goes, I think it would be amazing if you could come up with a way to help them to get good at talking to people they don't know.  I don't really know how to do it, but honestly that's the biggest struggle for new missionaries.  Just talking to people.  I'll keep thinking of other stuff. I know that's not a super useful idea :)  That's awesome about Spencer.  Send him my love!  As far as this week's email goes, I think that's an awesome idea with talking about the controversial issues.  Honestly, there are far too many people with opinions in this world and not enough that realize there can only really be one truth.  I loved the talk "Where will we go" by M. Russell Ballard (I think that's the name in English) last conference.  Either these things are true or they're not, and if they're not, then what is true?  I think people who leave the church forget to ask themselves this second question.  Also, I love Hank Smith.  That guy gives some amazing talks.  If you have anything of him, i'd love to hear it :)

Ashleigh - Ya, Hank Smith is pretty awesome :) I really like his talks.  Glad to hear that BYU is doing well.  Have you been practicing your Chinese so you can talk with me when I get home?  That stinks that you got the flu.  I don't think I've been sick yet on my mission.  That's been pretty lucky.

Anyway, I love you guys!  The gospel's true.  It really is.  Like honestly. It is. So tell EVERYONE!!!!  Anyway, have a great week.

Elder Sabin

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 69: Missionary Work Is Awesome

Hello everyone!

Wow, this week feels like it has flown by.  Elder Carroll will testify that I come into the house exhausted every night.  In the past when I've lived with missionaries there was usually a lot of talking at night as we all fell asleep, but honestly there's been almost none of it here. We're all just too tired.  There's so much work to do here in Brampton!

I've gotten a lot of questions about how much time we actually have to proselyte every day, and I wish I could give a straight answer.  It really depends on the week and the day :) This week, we finally had a fair amount of time, so I was able to get to know some of our investigators and we were able to find some new ones.

So last Sunday (8 days ago) I got to baptize someone! Like actually get in the water.  The only other time I've done that was with Ellie before the mission :) All the other times we've had a member do it.  The sisters in the ward had an investigator who was getting baptized, and she wanted one of the missionaries to do it, and so I was volunteered by my loving companions. Her name is Lydia, and she's super cool.  She went to the temple this week as well, and she's doing super awesome.  Her friends from Utah came out to see her baptism, and it was cool to see them share such wonderful testimonies.

On Monday, we finalized all of the transfer information, and the most of the rest of our day was taken up by picking up the new missionaries.  We had a lot of greenies come into the mission this transfer, and it was really fun meeting them.  Also, we got to drive the huge vans that the mission owns, which was super fun. I honestly feel like I'm driving a tank when I'm in those.

After we picked them up at the airport, we went over to the President's house for dinner and for a devotional.  It was cool to see them, because I honestly feel like I was in their shoes just a few weeks ago.  After that we took them to the hotel and they all crashed super hard.

Then Tuesday was transfers, which is always hectic.  I spent most of the time in the trainers meeting helping the new missionaries get oriented.  Since I didn't come into the mission on the regular transfer cycle, that was actually the first trainers meeting I've ever attended, so it was cool to see what it was like.  President shared some wonderful thoughts, and it was fun to see everyone get so excited when they got paired up with their new companions.

That night, we got to see the other end of the spectrum when we took all the "dying" missionaries to the mission home for their last devotional before they go home.  It was sad to see some old friends go, but the testimony meeting we had was extremely spiritual.  It was interesting actually.  Within 24 hours I got to see two dozen missionaries fresh from the MTC and two dozen "seasoned veterans" of the field.

Wednesday we took care of all the post-transfer information and any hiccups that occurred in the process, at which point we finally had some time to proselyte.

There were lots of cool miracles this week.  There were also lots of Indian people.  Lots of Indian people. There's a restaurant here that sells samosas for a quarter each.  And they're big samosas.  I know where I'm eating lunch for the next couple weeks ;)

Anyway, I really do love this area.  I'll probably make more jokes about how many Indian people there are here and how much punjabi food I'm eating, but just know that I really do love this place.  They are such wonderful people.

We had a chance to meet with some of our recent converts this week.  One of them is named Kenneth, and he is super funny.  He's getting ready to go the temple next week as well.  Temple trips are really easy here, because the temple is honestly down the street. In all the other areas I've been in, there's a bunch of complex travel plans that go into going to the temple.  Much easier here.

Other new converts include DJ, Mandeep (Indian guy), Jashan (Indian guy, likes rapping in punjabi), and Allen (Chinese guy).  We're serving in a YSA ward here, and it's just full of returned missionaries, so fellowship is not a problem at all.

We also had some really cool people come out to church this week.  One of the people we're working with is named Nav, and he's a boxer.  Like a serious boxer.  After church on Sunday, he was trying to take me through the basics of boxing, and I'm pretty sure I could take you all in a fight now. Kidding.  I'm horrible at it. Anyway, he has a baptismal date for the 18th of December, and we're really hoping that he makes it.

Also, Rohit Indian guy) came to church on sunday.  He's super funny.  He's pretty much as tall as me, and when he came to Canada he brought all the swagger from India.  He's got a baptismal date for November 20th, and we're really trying to help him make it.

This weekend, I also got to go on exchanges in Ossington Zone with some of the elders down there.  That zone covers what's basically the downtown of Toronto, so we were on busses all day and we talked to SO many people.  Also, I got a pineapple from a guy, and I had no place to put it, so I just carried it around for a few hours until I could drop it off at home.  It made for some interesting conversations.  We talked to a lot of people that were super prepared, and also a lot of crazies.  Lots of them.  People may have thought I was one since I was carrying around a pineapple and talking to people about Jesus.  Missionary work is awesome.

Anyway, I love being a missionary.

Mom - Yes, the trash talking is going extremely well :) I'm glad I made you proud.  And yes, we are super duper busy.  We drive a lot. And go work in a lot of different areas. And go to some meetings. It's really fun, but pretty exhausting as well.  Ya, the weather here has been really good as well.  Today was extremely warm.  Everyone keeps telling me to expect a rough winter, but honestly it hasn't been bad at all thus far.

Hadley - Congratulations Hadley :)  You're "so" was exactly one O longer than Ellie's.  Was that on purpose? Anyway, not much is new.  Wow, that's a lot of money from the tooth fairy.  Pretty soon you'll have enough to go on a mission :) Kidding. You can spend that on whatever you want. Are you guys watching movies every night and having a party?  Haha, I hope you have a good week.

Ellie - Wow, that's too bad that Riley threw up.  Don't get sick, okay?  Are you still reading a whole ton?  Are you still eating lots of plain lettuce because you think it "tastes good"?  Haha, I'm glad to hear that you guys are having fun.

Hayden - Haha, sounds like you're really getting into politics.  Ya, I heard the election was crazy.  Did Utah almost vote for a third party?  I just heard a rumor about that.  How was the scout campout?  What kind of guns did you shoot?

Anyway, I love you guys!

Elder Sabin

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Week 68: Trash Talk

Sorry for emailing again on Saturday.  No, this is not our P-day.  Transfers are this week, so we're going to be really busy on Monday organizing everything and our P-day got moved. Next week it should return to normal schedule.

Quotes from this week.

"Sometimes I look at Elder Scofield, and I just try and imagine he's my eternal companion, and not just for a few transfers." Elder Taylor (Elder Scofield's Companion)

*During a role play at Mission Leadership Council*
     Investigator "I didn't read the Book of Mormon"
     Elder Sabin *Flips table* "WHAT!"

These next couple of quotes require some context.  All the zone leaders were having a huge competition these last couple of weeks, and one of the challenges was to see who could trash talk the best.  To spice up the competition, we all ran under the name of a country, and so when the scores and stuff were texted out, no one knew who was in the lead.  These were some of our favorites:

“Your country is probably something like Denmark where they stay inside all day and do nothing.” Elder Taylor.

"I was going to go to church in your zone, but I realized the J-dubs have better missionaries, so I almost went there instead.” Elder Sabin

“Sorry, we don’t have time to trash talk. We’re too busy trying to bring back all the less actives you baptized.” Elder Sabin

“They have missionaries in your zone? I didn’t know that.”    "That's okay.  Neither did anyone else."

“You’re a great example of how you don’t have to be smart, handsome, or athletic to be a zone leader.”

"Elder Sabin, when I’m done trash talking with you, one of us is going to leave the church for sure.” Elder Madrigal

As you can see, some of us got pretty into it :)

For the record Elder Stowell and I totally won the competition.  The only downside is that for the last few days of the competition I wasn't his companion anymore, but he finished strong and we got first place :)

Frankly this week has been nuts.  Transfers are this week, and we also had MLC with all the zone leaders.  Both of these events require a lot of planning from the assistants, so we've been pretty swamped.  We haven't had a lot of time to proselyte this week, but it's still been really good.

We have a few really cool people we're working with.  One of them is named Celeste, and she is super cool.  She's had a really rough background, but this week she had a lot of miracles happen in her life.  She kicked her boyfriend out, and she want's to be baptized super bad.  She described her feelings when she reads the Book of Mormon as "feeling all tingly" which I think is awesome :) She's doing great.

Also, I have to apologize.  I'm going to have to cut this email short.  I'm running low on time. I promise I'll put more into it next week, and I'll answer your emails from this week and next week.  I really do love you guys though!

Elder Sabin

Last Richmond Hill District meeting:

When we went to the ROM:

Dinner with the Youngbergs (an office couple):