Elder Sabin

Elder Sabin

Monday, June 26, 2017

Week 101: Gosh I Love Canada

Gosh I love Canada.  The land of maple syrup and free health care truly is a blessed nation.  May God smile upon it's leaf spangled flag and may the winter demons be merciful in the coming years so that missionaries may effectively preach the gospel at all times of the year.

Anyway, life's good.  This week was pretty interesting.  On Monday we played some sports again which was fun.  We did a lot of stuff, but the most memorable was World Cup, during which I represented the non-sovereign nation of Quebec.  I tried my best to live up to my nation's reputation by going for the strangest goals that I could.  Admittedly, I didn't perform the best according to the scoreboard, but I definitely had the most fun.

Tuesday was great as well.  We went down to Cambridge (aka mini-Portugal) and ate some food with a guy named John.  He served in the Philippines and he's a pretty cool guy.  We had a delicious dinner of waffles and mangoes, which is what I hope they serve in the Celestial kingdom's cafeteria.  It's a good combination.

Also, we tried to go to the Kitchener Second ward council, but got sent to the wrong address not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES!  In the end, we ran out of time and didn't even show up.  It was interesting for sure :)

On Wednesday, we had exchanges with the Brantford Elders, and so I was with Elder Pollard.  Elder Pollard is from Southern Alberta, and he's a convert of about 2 years.  Man, he's a sweet missionary.  Also, we were on bikes because we had to put out car in the shop for about 3 days (not our fault, it was the past missionaries)  and that was actually great. Like, super fun.  I would love to just be on bikes all the time.

Also, on Wednesday, we continued planning for a huge Hindu event that's coming up.  There's going to be a ton of organizations there and a whole ton of people.  They're using the chapel's lawn to do it, and so they're giving us a tent to have throughout the day, as well as a 15 minute presentation to have in front of the several hundred people that will be there.  It's going to really cool I think.  I won't explain the whole thing, but basically all the missionaries in our zone from different countries are going to speak about their backgrounds and how the church has helped them.  We'll also sing "I am a Child of God" with a bunch of primary kids to enhance our cuteness factor.  It'll be fun.

Also, this week I ran into quite a few people that speak French.  There's a new member in the YSA that speaks it, as well as the second counselor in the Kitchener 2nd ward.  Man, that was fun :)

We had dinner with Sister Kang this week. She's a very sweet lady.  She was baptized in Calgary, and then she moved here.  Her and her husband made us some delicious Chinese food, which was much appreciated.  Also, they're both tiny.  Like... miniscule.  I felt pretty weird at first considering I felt like twice as tall as everyone else :)

We had dinner as well with a family named the Moraes.  They're both from Brazil, and they're a very sweet family.  The dad served a mission in Brazil as well, and he spent a lot of time showing us all the sketchy places he went to.

Then on Friday we had zone conference which was good except for one thing - I had to share my dying testimony!  Ahhhh!!!! It was so sad.  I never thought that day would come!  They make all the dying missionaries share a last testimony.  It was sad.

Other than that though it was super good. Elder Kohl and I instructed about how to listen and how to ask questions, and I think it went well.  We talked a lot about the stuff I had mentioned in my last district meeting, so there wasn't too much too prepare, but it was cool to mix it with Elder Kohl's ideas.  He's dying with me, and he's a cool elder.

The AP's Elder Taylor and Elder Shu recruited me as well to play the part of an angel in their instruction, which was super fun. They played some "Alma the younger"-esque characters, and I was to be the angel that rebuked them.  Considering it was in the chapel, it might have been a bit irreverent, but still so much fun.  We did it right after lunch to wake everyone back up, and I think it was successful.

Also, I got to see the other Elder Taylor (the one I'm rooming with) and that was cool.  All it all, it was a good zone conference.

Then that night we were planning something super exciting like contacting, but we decided to go stop by the soccer activity and ran into Mei and Ailsa, two of our chinese ESL students!  Someone had invited them to come over and play, which was super fun.  The guys who were playing were a bit too extreme for them, but we walked over to the side and started our own Asian soccer match which was fun.  Mei is like 50 but probably more committed to physical fitness than any 50 year old I've ever met, and then she has a 20 year old daughter named Ailsa who is like the least athletic person out there.  It was a funny match, and we invited them to come to the carnival the next day which they did.

Saturday, we spent the morning helping to make the Stake Carnival a success which was so much fun.  Basically it was just lots of little kids running around playing games run by the missionaries.  The most popular was definitely our makeshift dunk tank (don't worry, we didn't go swimming.)

It was basically a big bucket of water that hung above someone's head until someone hits a target with a beanbag.  It should have been called "soak the elders" because that's all it was all day.  It's a good thing we brought a change of clothes.

After biking back, the rest of the day was pretty uneventful.

Then on Sunday, I spoke in sacrament about freedom, choices, and using our agency wisely.  I thought it was pretty good, and the other speaker was a just-returned missionary.  It was cool.  She did a great job.

Then after church we went to the Ince's home for the return missionary's homecoming party, which was cool.  I saw the Elliot's from Niagara YSA, which was fun.  It had been a while since I had run into them.

Anyway, it was a good week :)

Dad- Man, you should write a parenting book.  You could call it "Breaking Your Child Like You Break a Horse."  I think it would be a bestseller, especially among Asian tiger moms.

Hayden - I think the way you've signed your letters has become progressively less and less like English :) Lit savage dope AJ boy?

Ashleigh - Actually, I retook the ACT on my mission and got a 37, so good luck beating that!

Anyway, I'm out of time, but I love you!!!!!!!!

Elder Sabin

Our Zone:

These are all the Chinese missionaries that were at the zone conference plus elder Lundberg (the only other white elder):

Monday, June 19, 2017

Week 100: Hey Peeps

Hey peeps.

Well, nothing too crazy happened this week, but for some reason, you all seem to insist that I email you every single week to tell you what happened.  Whatevs.

Well, to begin the week, we went and played some hard core sports with the other missionaries.  Killball, Soccer, Ultimate Frisbee, you name it.  It was a good time.  We also played baseball with a volleyball, which makes it a lot easier to both hit and catch.  So that was entertaining.

Then that evening we had dinner with Brother and Sister Williams.  They're both super cool.  Sister Williams is from the Philippines and served in Micronesia, and Brother Williams is from Ontario and served in Oklahoma.  They're both super nice people, and they made some delicious shepherd's pie.

Then on Tuesday, we had dinner again with the Dixon family.  We spent some time contacting, but the street we were on was full of bars, so maybe that wasn't the most productive hour of my mission.  We met a lot of dudes without shirts on, which is usually indicative of being in a less gospel-oriented area. Of course there are exceptions, but it's pretty consistent.

Then, that evening we had ESL, which has actually been really fun lately.  The students like me and Elder Chen, and so they keep bringing in more Chinese people.  Then, after the class, we had sports night.  Usually that would be a pretty normal activity, but it was made more exciting by the fact that two of our elderly students decided to play.  I think the youth from the ward who were there were pretty confused at first, but they started having fun before long.  The fun was compounded by the fact that these students speak no English.

Then, on Wednesday, we got to help out with the Bishop's storehouse, which was wonderful.  It basically entailed unloading a truck, organizing food, and filling orders.  That was pretty cool.  After that, I had exchanges with Elder Valliere, a Spanish missionary.  He's a cool guy, and we had a good exchange.  That evening we were able to tract into a guy named Lloyd who we contacted on the street a while back.  He's from China, and he's loved music ever since he came over here to Canada.  We had a long conversation, but the most interesting part was when he started asking about church songs and what kind of music we sing.  Then he started humming a melody and asked us if we knew it.  It was the tune to "Nearer My God to Thee!" So that was weird.

We also got in touch with a guy named Jun Shan. He was super cool.  We started teaching him at 9:00 exactly because we were coming out of an appointment and ran into him, so our lesson was brief, but very good.

We also spent some time at institute with the YSA to say goodbye to Brother Bridge.  Nothing too crazy, but we ate some good ice cream and cake.  Blessings.

Wednesday we had dinner with the Gilberts as well, who are this lovely old couple that check the apartments in the mission.  We had just about the white-est dinner you could have.  Like, mashed potatoes, roast beef, carrots, turnips, a tossed salad, etc.  It was lovely.

On Thursday we met with Andy, who is a cool guy. He's a glorious man.  He's been investigating for a while, and we're going to get him dunked.

We also had dinner with Bryce at this place called the Old Marina.  It was awesome.  Super good food and he bought us these massive burgers we had to eat.  Best part: Elder Chen (my tiny Taiwanese companion) finished before me.

On Friday, we met with Jin, a member I knew from last year.  He's super cool, and we had some good hot chocolate together and talked about why the church is important.

Then on Saturday, we did a mini exchange because in the morning we had to go to ESL and we also wanted to attend the YSA soccer tournament because there were going to be a ton of non-members.  Elder Chen went to ESL, and I went to the soccer thing and got really tired.  Man, it was fun.  One member brought all his friends from Cameroon and they spoke French, so that was fun.  They started yelling soccer commands at me in French, and it weirded out the YSA, but whatever.  Also, Jin came, which was fun.

That night we went and ate with the Ribalkins.  Brother Ribalkin is the ward mission leader for Kitchener 2nd ward, which is the family ward we work out of in addition to the YSA.  It was delicious, and we actually had some really good talk about activities to help the branch.  A Chinese culture event, a special sacrament geared towards investigators, and a third hour lesson geared toward writing a list of non-member friends that the members hope will one day join the church.  It was amazing.

Then on Sunday, we went to two churches again.  The family ward in the morning was really good, and we talked to sister Kang, a Chinese member in the ward.  We'll have dinner with her on Wednesday.

Then the YSA was great.  Elder Chen gave a talk, and I taught a lesson, which was good.  Elder Chen did a great job and his English is really coming along.

And that was pretty much the week.  It was glorious.

Dad, regarding your questions, Chinese work has actually not been to hard to get back into.  It's been fun, and I love the YSA in Kitchener.  My companion is brand-spankin new, and he is a good worker.  Elder Hunter stayed with Elder Pineda, the trainee we got while we were there.  And yes, Kitchener is the one were we spend a lot of time at the university.  It's been good.

Anyway, I love you guys!  God speed!

Monday, June 12, 2017

Week 99: Trunky Jokes Every Day

Well, the week has been good :) As you can tell by the subject title, my week has been full of people making dying jokes.  Last year I was here, and I told everyone I was about halfway through, so this time when I came back everyone pretty much guessed where i was at.

So the trunky jokes begin.  But whatever.  It happens to everyone.

But ya, Elder Chen and I have been doing awesome!  He's from Taibei, Taiwan, and he's a really hard worker.  He's a convert, and he got both of his parents active in the church before he left on his mission.  He's a cool guy.  

He's just started learning English, so our conversations are all in Chinese, which I was pretty grateful for.  I was a little worried I would be rusty in my Chinese after 5 months of not speaking, but it was all good.  So that's been fun.

Kitchener is a great place.  I love the people here.  I think out of all the towns I've served in, Kitchener could be the most beautiful.  Toronto was cool because it was a city, and Val d'Or was very beautiful when it came to nature, but the actual town of Kitchener is just a really pretty area.  I like it alot.

It's been pretty warm lately. With the drop from Val d'Or to here, I think the average temperature jumped up like 5 or 10 degrees, so I've been pulling out my short sleeved shirts more and more.  

This week, we managed to meet up with a lot of cool people, one of which was Robin, who I taught last year when I was in Kitchener.  I left 2 weeks before he got baptized, but Elder Earley and I were involved in everything up to that point, and it was super cool to come back and see how he's doing.  The other guy who got baptized right after we left is named Emerson, but he's in the states right now, so I probably won't get to see him before I head back home. 

We went contacting a little bit this week at the university, and I had so many deja-vu moments.  It's like nothing has changed, honestly.  There's still a ton of construction, all the buildings are the same, and the school is still chuck-full of Chinese people.

We also went to the Dixon's home this week for dinner one day, and it was good to see them.  This next week we lined up quite a few dinner appointments with some YSA, so I'm really excited.

Church was good.  A couple of people recognized me which was fun, and I enjoyed catching up with old friends.

We had quite a bit of success this week with finding, and so we have a couple of people to work with.  The whitewash was a bit disoreintating, but I think Elder Chen and I will handle it just fine.  Anyway, love you guys!

Elder Sabin

Monday, June 5, 2017

Week 98: Back To Chinese Work

Well, we got the call.  I saw it coming :) but I'm going back.  To Kitchener!

Which I'm really excited about.  But also super sad to leave Val d'Or.  Ahh! I'm so conflicted.

Anyway, I'll also be training a new guy, which will be fun.

President did kind of let me know that it was coming a few weeks ago when we had interviews, so I guess that softened the blow, but it was still a little sad after I got the call.  Luckily, the branch gave us a really good send off.  I got released as second counselor in the branch, and after the meetings the sisters played a really great song on the ukulele that they wrote about the branch.  Pretty much everyone was crying, and the spirit was strong.  We also got some good pictures with the members.  It was really bittersweet.

Well, after that we drove down to North Bay and we've been there since.  We'll be spending p-day here and then I'll be driving with Elder Lemon and Elder Shepherd (the Sudbury elders) to Brampton for transfers.  Man, I'm so conflicted right now.  I'm training!  But I'm leaving Val d'or... But I'm going back to Chinese work! But there probably won't be tons of French there... But I love Kitchener! But Quebec just started turning really green....

Anyway, I'm a mess.  Whatever, it'll be fine.  I'm pretty excited to go back to Chinese work honestly.  It's been a long time, and I had a few people there that I helped get baptized.  I hear they're still doing well, and it'll be fun to check up on them.

Val d'Or is doing wonderful.

Jacob and Yvette are going to rehab this week in different places, which is a huge victory.  We're really praying for them.  They have so much potential!

Ben is great.  He introduced us to two of his friends this last week, and one of them named Jessie seems pretty interested.  He came to our FHE and he and Elder Pineda had a lot of fun talking about a ton of movie references and pop culture that me and Elder Hunter are pretty clueless on.  It was funny.

Speaking of FHE, it was really good.  Sister Racine kept calling me trunky though, even though I'm definitely not, but she just thought it was funny.  Uggh.

Also, on Friday, we ate with Sister Boucher.  That was lovely.  She cooked hot dogs on her grill and we ate them outside.  She works for the Quebec Geological Survey and Sister Racine was there as well.  Sister Racine works for a mine, and so the two of them basically gave me the run down of how mining works and it was really interesting, actually.  So ya.  That was fun.

On Thursday we spent the day in Rouyn saying goodbye to some friends as well.  We had dinner with Valida which was wonderful.  She made us a pizza and cake and just talked about how she needs to get baptized.  We agreed with her and she promised she'd start reading the book of Mormon more :) Also, we stopped by Lise's house, which was wonderful.  We helped her move a fridge and get her yard ready for summer.  I'll miss Lise :)

Anyway, that's pretty much the week.

Mom - Yes, the office still has my passport.  It's still good for several more years, so it should be okay.  And don't worry about the kitchen :) It'll be wonderful I'm sure.  

Regarding the subject title of the email you sent me, I think they probably eat lots of Mac and Cheese because that's what many of the missionaries survive on for their first 6 months before they learn to cook a few things.

And Hadley, congrats on bearing your testimony!  That's really cool!  I'm so proud of you.

Ellie - Wow, good for you :) Giving talks is always fun :) Did you win the swim meet?

Hayden - Happy birthday!  Joyeux Anniversaire!  Shengri kuaile!  Feliz Cumpleanos!  Love you bro!  I wish you a very "lit!" birthday!

Ashleigh - Sounds like a donut day well spent.  And yes, I say Eh after every sentence.  Like, every one.  Every time.  I'm going to drive you crazy with it.

Kidding.  I say it sometimes.

Dad - That sounds really cool :) Sacrament in Temple Square has to be pretty cool.  And who knows, maybe that lady from Israel will talk to the next missionaries she sees.  I've talked to several people that were interested because of a visit to temple square.

Anyway, love you all!  The church is true!

Elder Sabin