Elder Sabin

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