Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, April 24, 2017

Week 92:Transfer News; No Sweat

Hey family!

Transfer news came in this week, but Elder Hunter and I weren't stressed at all, because there was literally no chance we were moving :) So it was one of the more relaxed transfer nights that I've had. It was nice.

So I'll be staying here for another 6 weeks.  We'll be getting a trainee as well at the 4 week mark, and you know what that means..

I'll have a son!  It's going to be good.  However, the next transfer call is going to be a bit stressful. It could just be that we all stay up north in a threesome for my last six weeks, but the most likely option is that one of us moves.  Either me (to go back to Chinese work) or Elder Hunter (as he's going to be here most of his mission, and might appreciate a break while we have an excess of French missionaries.)

The suspense!  We'll see.

This week was great.  Gwenda, the only YSA in our branch, has really gotten into the missionary work this week, and she's been coming with us pretty much every day to teach and work.  It's been fun.

We actually had a lot of good stuff happen this week. We were able to find quite a few people, and many of the people we're working with made some good progress.  We've honestly been so blessed in this area.  I think we've done close to no tracting since my second transfer here, and we've been getting loads of referrals.

Also, we had exchanges this last week with Elder Kohl and Elder Deweese, which was great.  This time I stayed in Val d'Or, and Elder Kohl came and joined me.  We had a good day together.  I took him to Au Petit Cornet which is this little ice cream shack close to our place, and we got some pretty good ice cream.  We visited almost all of our investigators who speak English (as he doesn't speak French) and had a really productive day.  We set some good goals with Yvette and Jacob which was great.  On a side note, they came to church yesterday, and she bore a really sweet testimony in Gospel Principles.

We went on a pretty cool hike on Monday with the branch as well, which was entertaining.  The snow wasn't quite all melted, so the trail was a bit hazardous for some of the more aged members of the company, but we all made it through.  It was really beautiful.  I'll send some pictures of it.

Some of the members of the branch have taken advantage of the fact that Elder Sabin is an old missionary, and several have started making trunky jokes (mostly Gwenda and Elder Hunter, but it appears to be spreading to the other members like the plague).  Well, we decided to take advantage of this deadline, and issue a challenge.  We've invited a lot of the people we're working with to finish the Book of Mormon by the time Elder Sabin goes home, and we're all reading it together.  We're doing 3 chapters a day, and we're on track to finish by July 3rd.  We've been going for about 10 days already, so if you want to join you'll have to catch up a bit, but I still want to invite you guys to read it, and just so you know, we're all saving Moroni 10 for July 4th so that we can all read it together.  Then we're going to throw a giant pancake and ice cream party for everyone who finished it.  Unfortunately, if I sent pancakes and ice cream home, the pancakes will get cold and the ice cream will melt, but you'll still welcome to "feast upon the words of Christ" and get the spiritual (and more important) blessings.  So who will take the challenge!?

Also, this week we got a text from a member named Nadia with just an address and a note that said "come quickly".  We were kind of curious and we weren't doing anything urgent, so we went over and some random guy answered the door.  Turns out, his name is Luc and he's Nadia's new boyfriend and he's really interested.  It was a pretty odd way to get a referral, but hey, we'll take it.

Also, the ice cream shack I mentioned above (Au Petit Cornet) has become a favorite of the missionaries.  It's funny because the French on the menu just embodies Quebec's French.  It's a weird mixture of English and French.  Our favorite thing to get is called "brownies" so just imagine someone saying "voudrez vous les arachides sur le brownies?" but brownies is said in a really American accent. It's fun. I like Quebec.

We had a guy visit the branch this week.  He was just here on business from Arizona, but it was cool because he was an RM from Taiwan. And he spoke Mandarin!  So that was cool.  It messed with my brain switching from French with the members and Mandarin with him. It was so fun though.

Haha, doing tithing this week was funny. Both the first counselor and I are pretty new at this, and we were trying to get all the files organized and put together, but he's not very technologically inclined and we had to do some work on a program that didn't have any French translation, so I had to translate for him as he used it, and it just took a long time.  It was hard, but it built my faith in my French.  Blessings from the lord :)

Also, I got a lovely letter from the primary this week, which was amazing :) It had a lot of letters from the kids in the primary, but my favorite was Ellie's.  I don't remember it word for word but it said something like "Hey bro, how's the mission?  I love you.  If I write anything more I won't have anything to write on Sunday."  It made me laugh :) Seriously though, I really appreciated it.

Ashleigh, we thoroughly enjoyed the questions you sent us.  It was much appreciated :) Congrats on the Secret Garden :)

Ellie, I have still have zero idea what your play is about, but I'm sure it's awesome.

Hadley, my favorite part of your email was that fact that there's no punctuation except for exclamation points.  It really communicates how much candy you ate :) Miss you too.

Hayden, je sais pas non plus. I have no idea what tubular means. I would guess that it denotes something in the shape of a tube.  Congrats on the test though, and it sounds like the campout was fun :)

Mom - Ya, it's fun being in the branch presidency.  Really weird though.  It's just odd being involved in the basic stuff like sacrament scheduling and planning callings for members.  I've never had to worry about it in my other areas :) Yes, I still play the piano, but Elder Hunter and Sister Allred play as well, so we rotate around.

Dad - Haha, I've been happy about the weather as well.  We've been able to go running, which has been a nice change.  I love the scriptures you shared as well.  "Be still and know that I am God." That's been a good one for me on my mission.

It's been a good week my friends.  The work goes on, and it will continue to do so until the whole world hears about this crazy group of people called Mormons that don't drink coffee.

There's a scripture I'd like to share before I end the email this week. It's in Alma 36, verse 22.  This is Alma speaking to his son Helaman and to the church, and this is the feeling that he gets after he feels the power of the Atonement.  It says "I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there."

It's that last line that I love.  My soul did long to be there.  The reason I share this is because we've been talking a lot about sacrifice lately in church, and every lesson what it seems to come back to is the principle of "where your treasure is, there will your heart be also."

The modern world is a tricky place.  One that promises "treasures" of all kind, and to some extent every single one of us is wrapped up in them. I just want to leave an invitation for everyone to reflect on what that means for you.  Like Alma, does your soul "long to be there" with our Father in heaven?

I ask just because I promise you that that's where the lasting happiness is found.  Our father in heaven doesn't often require every earthly possession of ours in order to attain that goal, but he does ask us to be willing.  To do anything.  To live the law of consecration, which is a law that I think very few people understand.

So think about it.

Love you guys :)

Elder Sabin

Monday, April 17, 2017

Week 91: Speaking of Donald Trump...

Hey guys!

Elder Hunter and I had a really good week :)

One of the highlights from this last week was zone council, which was wonderful.  We all drove down to north bay, which was quite fun.  It's about a 5 hour drive, which can be exhausting, but it's good to be able to see other missionaries.  The Zobells, our senior couple from Temiskaming, gave a wonderful instruction about how competition shouldn't always be at the forefront of our minds.  Unfortunately in order to do this, they had us play a lot of games in teams against other missionaries, and I, being a person who doesn't like losing, was very competitive.  Basically I illustrated their point :)

Jokes aside though, it was really uplifting. We had our interviews with President as well, which was good.  We talked a lot about the future of the area, and I'm really excited to see what happens in the future.  Basically, I'm almost guaranteed to stay here one more transfer (starting next week).  There's not really anyone that can take my place, and so I'm pretty sure I'll stick around.  4 weeks into the transfer, we're getting a new french-assigned missionary in the mission, and he'll probably come join Elder Hunter and I.  For 2 weeks, we'll be in a three-some, but for my last transfer, I don't know yet.  I could either stay in Abitibi and train the new guy with Elder Hunter, or I might go back down south to train the new Chinese missionary.  Or maybe President has other plans.  We'll see.

Haha, we've had some good memories this week.  We've had a guy named Mohammed start coming to our English class, and he's really fun.  He's from Algeria, so his first language is Arabic, but he also speaks french and some good English.  When he found out I speak Chinese, he started asking me all these questions about it, and at the same time we've been trying to learn English. Which makes for some good classes.  Also, he keeps trying to talk politics, and I (being a servant of the Lord) am not supposed to talk about those things, so I just have to nod my head a smile and say "Hmmm, interesting thoughts.  Speaking of Donald Trump, what do you know about Jesus Christ?"  Also, he's totally down with polygamy (he's Muslim) and so he felt some kinship with out church. He was pretty disappointed when he found out I don't have multiple wives. Oh Muslims.

Also, Elder Hunter wants me to ask you guys a question.  He needs idea's for creative questions that he's going to ask to another person he's emailing. I need all of you guys to send a good question that he can use next week.

Anyway, we're a little short on time this week. We're going to do a hike today with some members, and it's going to be fun.  Wish us luck!

I love you guys!

Elder Sabin

Exchanges with Elder Deweese.  Took some pictures in Cobalt.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Week 90: Coaching Hockey

It was a good week here in Val d'Or!  I'll have to keep it a little short this week

The other day, one of our members, Gwenda was coaching a team in a hockey tournament, and she had need of some other people to help her run things.  Long story short, Elder Hunter and I got asked, and we were more than happy to help, even though neither of us has ever played hockey.  It was pretty fun.  Mostly it just involved yelling phrases like "Patinez!""Lache-pas!""Ca-y-est!" and "Vas-y!" at the players while giving them encouragement when they came off..  I learned some good vocab, and it was pretty fun.  I can now add "hockey coach" to my resume.  We only did it for one game (which we lost) but the team went on to make it in the semi-finals, which was cool :)

Also, this Sunday was branch conference, which meant that some of the stake people came up to Abitibi.  It was pretty fun.  We also had a senior couple from the Temiskaming branch come up, and they had fun too I think.  Their names are elder and sister Zobell, and they're really great.  They brought some good food and it was a really good time. We had a little social dinner thing afterward, which was awesome.  We baked a cake and the sisters made scones, so for a good portion of the dinner, we were trying to get the members to say who's was better.

For FHE on Monday, we played apostasy Jenga, which is just Jenga, but on the blocks you write things like "baptism" and "priesthood" and you pull them out until the original church of Jesus Christ falls over.

Haha, funny experience from this last week.  We met with a member named Nadia, who is an amazing person.  She has kind of a rough past, and she's not incredibly educated, so I have a pretty hard time understanding her French sometimes.  Well, we met her at McDonald's and basically listened to her talk about her life for a while.  She was complaining about her son, and she has what I would call an "interesting" vocabulary.  Needless to say, we drew few glances, which is saying something for Quebec.  Then, her friends came over and sat with us, and one of them was interested in the Book of Mormon, so it was a validating experience.  One for the books :)

We did online institute with Gwenda again. That was cool.

Also, we went and did service in Rouyn for some members.  I think the sisters were a little offended, because some of the members refused to ask them for help because they were girls, but it was a good laugh in the end.  We changed some tires, moved insulation, got rid of hornet nests, moved big logs, and other manly stuff like that.  It was cool.

Haha, we met with Benoit, and I think he was a little tipsy.  He's got a drinking problem, but he's got some serious desire, and he decided he's going to stop asking what "you" believe.  Instead, he's started asking "what do we believe" because he wants to join. He keeps saying "I'm totally joining" but he doesn't like calling it a church.  He calls it "the team" because he doesn't like the word church.  It's pretty funny. Also, he's coming to church next week in Rouyn, which is an impressive distance.

Language is going well.  I usually spend language study reading in French and then evenings doing the same in Chinese. I'm trying to get through Jesus the Christ in Chinese before I end the mission, but I don't think I'm going to make it.  Oh well :)

Anyway, sorry, I'm a bit short on time.  I love you all!

Our native hockey team.  They're all from the Lac Dozois reservation.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Week 89: Lots of Driving

Hey family!

This week involved a heck of a lot of driving.  Let me run you through our week.

Monday - P-day
Tuesday - Leave at 12 oclock to make it to Orangeville by 9
Wednesday - Zone Conference in Brampton!  Also, we spent most of the evening doing errands.
Thursday - Drive back to Temiskaming (6 hours) Exchanges, so I stay there with Elder Deweese
Friday - Still in Temiskaming
Saturday - Exchange back in the morning, make it back for Saturday afternoon session of conference. Watch conference.
Sunday - More conference.  Make up the session we missed Saturday.

In other words, I haven't spent a lot of time in Val d'Or this week.  I left Tuesday at noon and got back Saturday morning.  It was pretty nuts.

This week should be quite a bit better :) A lot of good things happened though.  Zone conference was amazing, and I really enjoyed that.  Also, I got to see some old friends like Elder Carroll and Elder Scofield.  That was pretty fun.  We had a good time down there.

It was pretty funny, because the Abitibi branch (the one that cover's Val d'Or and Rouyn) kept coming up in the conference. The sisters in our branch instructed a bit about diligence.  They kept talking about how nervous they were to come up to the branch, and how much they had heard about it, but how they came anyway.  I mean, I understood what they were trying to say about how they were diligent despite being scared, but they kept throwing the area under the bus, so I kind of had to raise my hand and tell everyone how incredible the Abitibi branch is.  They did a good job, but I just wanted to make sure everyone knows that this is the best branch in the world.

Also, President gave me a tie!  I gave him one before I left, and he wanted to give me one back, so now I have one from both mission presidents.  I'm pretty happy about that.

Working with Elder Deweese on exchanges was fun. He played lacrosse for Riverton, and his cousin played for Lehi, so he actually came to a lot of our games.  Dad, I think you're the only one that would know, but do you remember Landon?  We called him "Spanish."  That's his cousin.  So that was a cool connection.  It was kind of fun talking about old games, and he actually remembered quite a few cool games and plays I was involved in.

While in Temiskaming we met with Ray, who is one of their investigators.  He was really nice, and it was fun teaching him.  He's pretty old and lives in a retirement home, so we visited him there. He's a former Jehovah's Witness, and he's really sincere about wanting to know if the church is true.  Also, when we arrived at the retirement home they told us they were having a "gastrointestinal epdemic," and that it was highly contagious.  Since my brain has had to make room for a lot of French and Chinese words, I've pretty much had to kick out any word over three syllables, so I didn't really know what that was, but you better believe I washed my hands.  I don't want no gastro-something-or-other.

Also, we helped an old lady move and she had boatloads of stuff. Like two Uhaul truckloads.  And her apartment was only about the size of one Uhaul truck. Don't ask how it worked.

Also, General Conference was incredible! Elder Clayton wore a tie that 10 of the elder's in our mission bought for him.  So I have that same tie.  It was a cool moment.

I loved all of the talks, and I can't really come close to choosing a favorite, but I can promise all of you that the more you listen to the words of living prophets, the more you'll be blessed.

Mom - As far as a birthday package goes, I'm not sure what I want.  Just not tons of junk food.  I'm trying to cut down on that stuff now that summer's here.  My running shoes are getting a bit beat up?  I don't know.  That's kind of pricey.  I don't know. I don't really have anything I'm desperate for.

Ashleigh - Wow, your emails definitely win for being the most interesting.  Not sure if that's an award you want, but congrats nonetheless.  So what plays are you seeing?  Oh wait, never mind, it's okay.  I actually heard them because you SCREAMED THEM AT ME IN CAPITOL LETTERS.  Seriously, whenever someone does that, I just get this image of a screamfest from DragonBall Z followed by explosions.  That would make a good episode actually. (Hero screams "I'M GOING TO SEE HAMILTON!"  followed by nuclear mushroom cloud). Also, nothing screams "consecrated missionary" like a theme song inspired by Katy Perry.  I think I'll use it when  tracting.  Nothing opens up the hearts of those drunk natives like some jammin tunes from America's top 40.  Maybe we'll just have porch dance parties with them.  Regarding Elder Sabin, if they switched him at birth, it wouldn't make much sense to have him keep the name Sabin.  It's kind of a dead giveaway. Thanks for the inspirational quote.  How did you know she was my role model? Here's a good quote in return: "Wasn't me" - OJ Simpson

Hadley - When are you going to send me pictures of the puppies?  I need to see my glorious son in all his radiance!  Askim is da bomb!  Tell Ashleigh to write a song for him.  She's thinks she's good at that.

Haydog the Beast - You know, "Beast" in French literally translated means "stupid" or "silly."  So I'm having a hard time getting past that.  Regardless, I'm glad you had a good week.  Keep killing it in lacrosse :)

Ellie - What do you mean by your second question of "did you get any new investegators yet"? Do you mean since I started my mission? Because that answer is a resounding yes.  Lots of new investigators.  Also, that sounds like a pretty cool present.  Hope that goes well for you :)

Dad - I'll try and watch the face to face sometime.  I saw the musical number at the beginning but that was it.  Wow, that's pretty cool to hear about the Jazz game.  And yes, the weather has actually been wonderful lately. I'm getting by on just a light jacket, which has been nice.  I'm pretty content that my mission has encompassed what are pretty much the two warmest winters in history.  It means summer is hot, but it's better than tracting in -40.  As far as BYU goes, I don't know.  Should I look around on the website at classes?  I know I want to keep taking French and Chinese.  I really want those to be a part of my life, but I don't know what level I would be at.  Where should I look?  I haven't put too much thought into it lately, to be honest.

Anyway, love you guys!

Elder Sabin