Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 75: Christmas Miracles

I'm so tired. 

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Stranded!

This video was taken last month with by Elder Stowell.  Thank you to the Sister Missionaries for rescuing these Elders! : )

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Week74: Christmas Miracles

This week was super good.

I don't know if I mentioned this, but last MLC Elder Carroll and I stood in front of a lot of the zone leaders and made a promise that we were going to help raise our area.  We were going to teach more and baptize more.

In the past, this area has always been interesting because we don't have a lot of time.  The ward is incredible - seriously, it's just chuck full of return missionaries - and we have a ton of support.  In the past it's just been an issue of balancing the assignment with the area.

Well, this week was transfers, and so Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday were all shot.  We had to manage transfers, we had to help the new missionaries with all their stuff and we had to get all the old missionaries stuff taken care of as well.  Obviously that's super important and needs to get done, but we've really been trying to make the area amazing.  It's always been good, but I've just known that it can be better.

Well, anyway, we tried to be really creative this week.  We've been putting up posters for our church services. We're trying to set up a bunch of activities.  We've shoveled some people's snow.  Basically we've just been trying to be as productive as we can be.  I'm exhausted, but we've seen some cool miracles.

I'll share one of them.  Yesterday, we had planned to go out contacting and put up posters for our church service for an hour or so.  Well, it was freezing.  I was in the car, and I could just tell it was cold outside.  You know when you can tell something is cold just by looking at it?  You look out the window and you just say "Wow, it's cold outside".  I don't know where that comes from.  It makes no sense to say that when you haven't been outside, but for some reason we still do it.  Anyway, we got out of the car, and got to work.

The first person we talk to is interested.  We walk with him for a mile back to his house and set up an appointment for later that day with him at 4 o'clock.

Then, we go to a shopping mall in the area.  We talk to some awesome people.  Put up some posters.  Have fun.  Then, one of our members texts us and asks if we have anything going on that day.  Well, we have an appointment later that day at 4 o'clock :)

So we go pick him up, and while we're waiting at his house, I felt like I should get out of the car and go talk to this lady that's walking down the street.  As I start talking with her, Jeremy (the member) comes out and joins us and we have an awesome gospel conversation.  Set an appointment with her as well :)

So then we go back.  We teach the first guy (Javane) and have an awesome lesson!  We taught plan of salvation and set him with a baptismal date.  He's super cool :)

Anyway, it was a really good day of a lot of miracles.

The rest of the week was awesome as well, but those stood out to me.

Anyway, it finally snowed a bunch this week.  Lots of cool stuff happened. It's really funny when it snows here because a large portion of Brampton's population is Punjabi, and they just don't know how to deal with all this snow.  I'm half expecting to see people outside with turbans on yelling something to the effect of "The gods are displeased!  They have released the heavenly dandruff! What do we do?"

Just kidding. They're not going to do that.  It's just funny when they drive in the snow.  The foreigners here are all new to this whole "no traction" thing.  I'm not kidding either when I say that there are a ton of Sikh and Punjabi people here.  They all have the same outfit as well.  Turban.  Beard.  Robe. A while back someone was distributing some Missing Person advertisements all over the place.  The only thing on there to help us was a fuzzy picture of a Sikh man with a turban, a large beard, and a robe.  There was a question at the top that said "Have you seen this man?" and I thought to myself "Yes! I've seen him 9 times today! There he is! No, wait.  There he is!  No wait..."

I bet the cops got a lot of calls that day.

Hayden - Yeess!! Doing missionary work!  That's super cool man.  Keep spreading the Christmas fire! There are a lot of people out there that need the gospel and you can bring it to them :) Also, I'm glad ski season has gotten rolling.  Keep it up man!

Ellie - I like how the three emoticons you signed with were a volleyball, a paint kit, and a basketball hoop. Since when did you start playing basketball? Also, are the Royal Blueberries having a reunion this next year?  With a name like that you guys can do anything :)

Hadley - Yes, I did get the package, and no I haven't opened it yet :) Sounds like you're going to have an awesome birthday!  Also, you know why 8 is important, right?  Something else important is going to happen. It starts with a B and rhymes with maptism.  Did you guess it?  Haha, have a good week!

Mom - Sounds like it was a busy week :)  How are the youth doing back home?  Sounds like Christmas caroling was a lot of fun.  We're planning on doing something like that this Christmas. We can't really do much else :) I mean, it's not like we can go tracting. Anyway, Merry Christmas!

Ashleigh - Okay, you have the advantage of Google right now, so I may be wrong, but I don't think Alexander Hamilton endorsed Thomas Jefferson.  He was a Federalist and Jefferson was a Republican.  Hamilton was one of the most avid supporters of the Federal government while Jefferson usually supported the individual rights of the states.  In other news, I'm glad to hear that you have gotten no saner since I left ;) Also, tell Spencer that his brother is an awesome missionary.  I'm assuming his brother is Elder Kimball?  Ya, he's pretty awesome.  Anyway, I hope you have a good week.

Dad - I'm glad to hear that you and Hadley are still friends.  That would be kind of awkward if you weren't.  As far as Christmas concerts, they sometimes have stuff for the missionaries to be involved in but our ward hasn't had anything like that.  Elder Carroll and I are going to be speaking in the Mandarin unit down in Mississauga though, and so that will be really fun.

Anyway, I hope you all have an awesome week.  I love you!

Elder Sabin

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Week 73: Cutting the "Fluff"

Alright, I know you're all not expecting an email today.  Sorry for the surprise :) Transfers are coming up this next week and there will be a lot going on on Monday, so we got our p-day moved.

Anyway, this week was really amazing.  I've had a lot of fun serving with Elder Carroll.

This week we had a visit from John Gonzalez and Shane Littlefield.  You probably don't know who they are, but I just want to say that they are amazing.  They're both from the mission department, and basically their job is to go around and train new mission presidents.  Since we just got a new one this year, they wanted to come, but they try not to come around the time when general authorities come.  Since we had a visit from Elder Arnold and Elder Ballard pretty close together, he had to delay his trip.

Well, they finally came this last week, and we got to spend an evening with Brother Gonzalez.  He's super smart and he really does know his way around missionary work.  We had a ton of good discussion with him as we were driving around to different appointments.  He basically just pointed out everything we were doing wrong, and told us how to do it right.  It was useful to say the least :)

It really was a super cool night.  We had a few meetings with them and president in the following days, and we just talked about what our mission really needs.  A lot of what was said was basically that the leadership in the mission needs to set the example.  I was really humbled, because ever since this new assignment I've been frustrated with a lack of proselyting time and the area hasn't been doing as well as other areas that I've been in.  Don't get me wrong, we're doing fine, but I've been feeling for several weeks that we need to pick it up and be better. Elder Carroll and I have been talking for a long time about how to get around the administrative stuff, but we didn't really see a whole ton of solutions until this visit.  We talked a lot about what actually needs to be done in the office and what is really just fluff, and in the future I think we're going to cut a lot of the "fluff".

Anyway, I'm really excited for what the future holds.

I'm a little short on time today, because the zone has a meeting later today that Elder Carroll and I have to get to, but I'll do my best to get as much as I can in the email :)

I don't know if I've ever mentioned Rohit in my emails before.  He's been investigating for a while, but this week he had a massive change of heart.  He's started seeing huge miracles in his life, and he wants very badly to be baptized.  I'm really happy for him. We taught him this week about why we have commandments, and he basically knew more than we did :)

Also, Penny has been doing awesome.  We met with her twice this week, and we shared about the Plan of Salvation.  She took a little while to wrap her head around it, but I think she gets it now :)

We had kind of a funny experience this week.  On Thursday we had our monthly leadership council, which is always super fun.  This month it was attended by Brother Gonzalez, but that wasn't the funny part.  The night before, we had an elder come in to the airport who wasn't supposed to be coming until next week.  Well, he arrived at the airport around 8 in the evening on Wednesday, and waited for about 2 hours for someone to come and get him, but no one did.  So he just handed out Book of Mormons (Books of Mormon?) and pass a long cards for a while, and he finally decided to send an email to Church Travel saying that there may have been a problem.

Us, thinking that he wasn't coming until next week, had no idea.  So basically President got an S.O.S call at 3 in the morning saying that he had to go and get this elder.  Since then he's been bouncing around between companionships until next week, and we got to take him out for a few hours with us.  He's from Indonesia, and he speaks decent Mandarin (he's called to speak that language) so we got to talk a little bit with him.  It was a lot of fun.  He had quite an adventure getting out here.

Anyway, remember this Christmas season to always be focusing on the Savior.  You will be blessed!

Elder Sabin

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 72: Light The World

I'll be honest.  I'm pretty wiped out.  These last two weeks had Elder Carroll and I running around the mission a ton, which was really fun, but I'm so tired.  Saturday night was the first night that Elder Carroll and I had slept in the same house in 14 days.  We had the Quebec exchange and then the last 5 days we had back-to-back exchanges with other zone leaders throughout the mission.  I've had a lot of fun :)

I have had a lot of questions about whether I'm still in Quebec.  I was there until Wednesday morning, at which point Elder Carroll came up and we came down and exchanged back in the city of North Bay.  It was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed spending time with the elders up there.  They are a ton of fun :)

More recently, we've been preparing for a visit next week by a man named John Gonzalez.  He's from the mission department, and he's going to come and do some exchanges with the missionaries here.  This week is our Mission Leadership Council (which we're also preparing for) and I'm really excited for what he's going to share there.

Also, next week is transfers, which means that we're making final arrangements for the movement that's going to happen in the mission.  But enough with the boring stuff!

This week we met with Rohit, and had a stellar lesson.  In the past he's had trouble recognizing his answers from God, and he didn't feel like he had a witness.  However, he had an experience that really built his faith this week, and it made me laugh a little bit.

He was looking for his key one day, and he couldn't find it.  It was some important key for one of his classes or something like that, and he searched and searched, but just couldn't find it.  Then, after some time, he threw his wallet down on the table in frustration.  The wallet opened, revealing his key inside of it.

It was a small experience, but it got him thinking.  He started watching more carefully for when things happen in his life, and he saw a lot of miracles.  This week he came to church with newfound faith and a desire for a baptismal date.  We sat down, and after some discussion, I asked him how he felt about a baptismal date.  In the past he's been really reluctant, but this time he said "Ya, I'm busy these next couple weeks, but how's January sound?"

I was pretty stoked, and pulled out my phone to pull up the calendar so we could set a date.  Before I even looked at the phone though he said "Is the first a Sunday?"

It was.  And so that's his date. I'm pretty happy :)

Also, one of our members Kenneth shaved his eyebrows.  That doesn't really have anything to do with the week.  I just thought it was really weird.  He looks angry or surprised all the time now. Remind me not to shave my eyebrows.

Also, this week the Christmas initiative began!  Family, I know you already said that you've started but for those of you who will read this that haven't begun, REPENT!  It's awesome, and it's going to bring many miracles.

One of the reasons that Ontario is so much fun to serve in is the diversity of the people here, and the different backgrounds they all come from.  Christmas, being a holiday that has spread to many cultures, is almost universally celebrated in some shape or form but many of the festivities have little to do with the birth of Jesus Christ.

By now, I'm sure that worldwide there are stores pulling out decorations, people going shopping for gifts, and lights being put up on roofs all around the globe.  People tend to connect this with "The Spirit of Christmas" but I disagree.  This is a happy afterthought, but I worry that in the commotion of the holiday season, we forget the real reason we celebrate.

The first Christmas was a very small event.  There was no shopping to do, there was no Christmas feast, and there was only one light put up - the star that would guide the wisemen from their native lands to find the Christ child.  There was one family; no turkey; no Christmas tree; and no tinsel.  That was Christmas.

And yet, there was something memorable about that day - something that has inspired the lives of billions around the world who believe in Christ.  It had nothing to do with flashing lights and fancy toys, but it was memorable.  It was inspiring.

So this Christmas season,I want to invite you all to worry a little bit less about what you'll be getting and focus a little more on what you can give.  Take a little time.  Cook a meal for that new family that just moved in down the block.  Stop by the rest home and see those who could use a visit this season.   Find some way to express your love to others and most importantly to the Savior.  In two words: be inspiring.

Best of luck this Christmas season.

Ellie - Haha, I'm glad to hear that you've really taken off with this swimming thing.  I bet by the time I get home you'll be able to beat me at swimming.  Also, your favorite classes are health and math?  Interesting.

Hadley - Loving the nicknames this time around.  Also, thanks for the run down on the latest fashions back in Utah :) I'm super excited to hear that you guys are doing Light the World!  Keep doing it!

Mom - Yes, I am always with a companion, Even on the exchanges, we drive somewhere to meet with another companionship and trade companions, so we always have someone with us.  In lessons, I obviously don't usually use mandarin, because there's some chinese missionaries that cover our area, but Elder Carroll and I usually speak to each other in Chinese, so I can still practice lots.  It's been good.  Also, I love the quote :)

Hayden - Yes, I know the difference.  Are you ready? Think of Chinese as a written language, but not spoken.  Each character (letter) carries a meaning, but the pronunciation of the character can change depending on the dialect.  Originally in China, there were lots of dialects, but a long time ago, the government made Mandarin the main one, and so everyone was supposed to learn Mandarin pronunciation.  About 80 percent of Chinese people speak it.  Cantonese is just another dialect that is spoken, and it has survived really well because it's what they speak in Hong Kong, which wasn't part of china for a long time, and therefore never really experienced the government's push to learn Mandarin until recently.  For instance the way to write missionary in Chinese is 傳教士.  In mandarin those three characters are pronounced "Chuan jiao shi" but in Cantonese they are pronounced "Chuhn gaao shi".  But the same writing.  It's complicated.

Ashleigh - You know that Alexander Hamilton was kind of crazy, right?  He died because he challenged another guy to a duel and lost.  You better get an A in english class this year.  If you don't, I'll never let you live it down :)

Dad - Ya, we have a few investigators looking good for baptism, but the closest is probably Rohit.  He's doing awesome.  Yes, I'm healthy (I think).  Anyway, I'm running low on time, but I appreciate your thoughts.  Tell Chase that I approve 100 percent of his idea.  That sounds like it's amazing.

Anyway, I love you!

Elder Sabin