Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mosquitoes = Spawns of Satan

Hello everyone, hope you all had a great week! We have had a pretty good week. Looking back on it now, it seems like it's been a long one, but it has been filled with good stuff! It was Elder Parkers Birthday on Sunday so that was fun. We could have fit everyone at church in a van! So it got cut short to the 2 hour block and we had a lunch after where we got free food! So that's awesome, because once again the dinner calendar was untouched. But we are still looking forward to this week nonetheless because on Saturday we get to leave the mission! We are going to Meadow Lake Saskatchewan for a service project building homes on a native reserve and some members from Lloydminster got it approved and they will be driving us, so I'm pumped!

So my companion and are doing really well with Comp unity, we are in so deep we even both have in grown toe nails! So that has been fun. Mine isn't too bad, just enough to be super annoying and Parkers looks like he should just cut his toe off! So we bought some Epsom Salt this week to try and make them a bit better.

We did service yesterday out on a Ranch taking down a barbed wire fence. I now know why so many of the Canadians swear so much out here. Not only is there thistle everywhere, so thick it cuts through your jeans, it is a breeding ground for mosquitoes who seemed like they hadn't ever before seen any living thing with blood. I was eaten alive...

We went on exchanges again this week, with Lloydminster and I went out there again. We had a pretty cool experience and I had a funny one. So we had a priest with us for a lesson that fell through and I guess the elder hadn't planned any backups, so we went tracting. We knocked on 3 doors. The first one was a slam, second no answer and the third one was the best. We noticed a no soliciting sign so they didn't want to knock it, but I just told them that if they brought it up, we just ask them to define soliciting for us (everyone has a different definition) so we knocked and sure enough the guy pointed to the sign, so I then told him to define it for us. He didn't, but just asked us who we were with, so we told him The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and he said, oh Jehovah's, we said nope, Mormons! He then said " oh well I don't have a problem with you, do you want to come in and share a message?"  We were just like "uh... Yeah!" Haha it was pretty strange. He was super nice to us from then on and even offered us stuff out of his garden. Then we went to the branch activity which was bump. So there is always this guy, nonmember, there who is a bit prideful, and a loose canon, and has a short fuse. He kept getting out and would complain and cry and what not saying we weren't letting him play for 5 seconds. So the last game he was in front of me and I took it easy on him the first 3 shots or so, I'd let him make it before I'd shoot. The branch mission leader was right behind me, and he was just like, "Go hard!" So I shot and got him out, and the guy said "oh I knew it, you little bas*ard!" Haha I have never been called that playing a game of bump! We all had a pretty good laugh at it.

Quote of the week is from Thomas S. Monson
"There is no tomorrow to remember, if we don't do something today!" This is something I have learned especially out here in Canada. We will be so much happier if we live in the present. Sure there are always those times where we have crappy days and look forward to the next day, but we can't just live waiting for the future because that one big event rolls along and goes, what then? Do we just wait for the next one for excitement? It also will not be as grande as it could be if we enjoy the little moments in the daily life. That's what makes the big events grande and exciting.

Keep it real,
Eat some Mexican food for me.
Elder W.Chad Thompson

All About the Finish

Hello everyone! Hope all is going well with ya and that you had a great week! It was our week 6 of the transfer which means transfer calls yesterday. Elder Parker is getting shipped out and I am getting Elder Robinson, some kid who has been out for about 4 and a half months. Parker gets to go to Meadows! Im actually really jealous of him! It is a great ward. It also means that this is week 1, the first week of my last transfer... pretty crazy!

Back in Fort St. John, me and one of companions, who actually goes home this thursday, would always joke with each other about being finishers. So we had Filipino ball every week(For those that need translation, basketball with Filipinos) and there was one week where He started out playing really well, and i didnt, so he was jiving at me the whole night, but i finished playing really well, while he didnt, so out of that came the phrase "it doesnt matter how well you start, its all about how you finish." I guess with it being my last transfer and all, it really comes into consideration now. President Monson gave a talk awhile back where i found this poem. 
"Stick to your task 'till it sticks to you
Beginners are many, but enders are few.
  Honor, power, place and praise
Will always come to the one who stays. 
Stick to your task ’til it sticks to you;
Bend at it, sweat at it, smile at it, too;
For out of the bend and the sweat and the smile
Will come life’s victories after a while." --Author Unknown

Will I falter, or will i finish? I am excited to go out and get it done and be a finisher.

This week we went out of our mission! But with permission :) after a 2 hour drive on terrible roads, and I was of course in the middle seat, we got to meadow lake Saskatchewan to the flying dust First Nation reserve and helped build part of a seniors lounge for their elders as part of Habitat for Humanity, it was a lot of fun! They made us wear hard hats and everything. For lunch we ate Indian Tacos (not politically incorrect, the chief called it this) which were amazing. The chief was giving his little spiel to all the volunteers and then he said "and traditionally we always let the elders go first" we were like yes! There were 6 of us missionaries but of course he meant the old people haha. Pretty fun times.

We went to the senior lodge at the hospital this week and helped them play bingo. The lady i was helping had dementia, so that was fun. at one point, she looked at me and another guy that was helping across the table and said you guys should call me tonight, and then winked. haha it was pretty funny. 

We also helped out a lady named Paula in her yard. we mowed her lawn, weed whacked, and rototilled part of her yard so she could have a bigger garden next year. She is already preparing for winter... kinda scary, but she does like the winter more than summer, so hopefully its just her, and i can get out of here before the snow sticks :)

Quote of the week is from Babe Ruth "It is hard to beat a person that never gives up." Stay strong, keep at it and things will turn out ok in the end.

Elder W.Chad Thompson

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Vermillion Fair

Hello everyone, hope you all are enjoying your summer! We had a really great week that went by pretty quick.

The Fair was Thursday through Saturday and we volunteered there all week, and it was awesome! They had Chuckwagon races, Heavy Horse shows, Tractor Pulls, and of course all your normal carnival type things. We literally helped with just about everything. Monday and Tuesday we were getting all the stalls ready, Wednesday we cut down some trees, and then when the fair was going on we were helping out with the heavy horses doing traffic control, opening and closing gates, picking up horse crap... Lots of fun stuff. The town about tripled in size over those three days as well. But it was really cool because we got to work alongside a lot of people in the community and we put in some long hard work and people noticed, so hopefully that will help a bit in the heart softening department. If there was anything that I learned from the fair, it's that Albertans sure are Redneck! And I'm tellin ya, I my as well just become a farmer, I've had a ton of experience with that already since I've been here... but it's been fun and I have enjoyed it.

The great thing about being in a branch is that missionaries are really involved! We get to bless the sacrament each week and we usually teach one of the classes. We also get to give more talks than usual, and ones that are longer than usual. I gave a talk this past Sunday about the blessing of scripture and I think it went pretty good. I spoke for 30 minutes and had to cut some stuff out. Planning a talk with iPads is so much easier than it was before! But I based it off of Elder Christoffersons talk The Blessing of Scripture a few years ago. Read or watch it! It's a good one.

I am really looking forward to this week. It will be the first full week that we can proselyte here and I'm excited because I feel like there is really great potential here. I realize that I don't have a ton of time left, but there is still plenty of time to work hard and see miracles. Even if we can't find a couple families to baptize while I'm here, if we are able to get the work back on its feet here and on its way, then I would be able to live with that. But you best believe we will be working our butts off to find people to baptize. I would love to see this branch become a ward in the future.

Scripture of the week is Omni 26
"26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved."

Quote of the week is from Reggie White
"God places the heaviest burden on those who can carry its weight."
Who He calls, He upholds! Life isn't easy, but God can help. All we have to do is trust in him and let him take the reins.

Keep it real,
Elder W.Chad Thompson

Vacation? Right Now?

Hello Family and Friends! I hope this finds you all doing well and that you have had a great week! If not, tell me about it. If you did, tell me about it! (Yes I'm soliciting emails from you)

Not much has happened out here in Vermilion. We are still just trucking along. Most of the members are on vacation for the majority of this month (Canadian Logic: let's leave our country when it's actually nice and habitable and not freezing cold!) so there is even less people at church. This week in our third hour we were asked to teach, but the only other person their was a older man nicknamed old faithful. Great guy with an even greater heart, but unfortunately the effects of age have gotten to him, and he is going a bit insane. So that was fun! New experiences every day out here, which isn't a bad thing I suppose. 

So my companion and I have been praying for miracles as we work hard and are diligent, and also the ability to recognize the small miracles in our every day lives. And we had one yesterday! So with all the members being gone, including our most dedicated meal providers, not a soul touched the dinner calendar this Sunday. yesterday we were making some phone calls to some less active members of the church trying to set up some appointments. We got a hold of this guy(a miracle in and of itself) who said he was busy at the moment and said he would call us back. Now, as a missionary, that has come to be known as the "I have no intention of calling you back, and even if I do it is so small I will forget, I'm just using this to get you off my back, etc." People unfortunately tend to use that more often than not to get us off their backs instead of just telling us they don't want to see us. So we take that as knowing we will probably have to call them back. Well this guy was actually legit! He called us back last night and not only set up an appointment, but offered to feed us dinner as well! So we are excited to get to go and meet him  and his family and not get shutout completely on meals for the week. Some may say there are no miracles in this day and age, but I say to those nay sayers that they are wrong. Smaller miracles are miracles nonetheless :)

We have been walking around town to save kilometres this week and it has been a good experience for the most part. We have only had one derogatory comment made at us, the infamous "f-you Mormons." But most people wave when we do, so it has been pretty good. Lots of really nice religious people here, I love it! And of all things in tiny Vermilion, there is even a free mason church. 

This past week we also got to travel in to Sherwood Park for our Zone Training Meeting and exchanges with the Zone Leaders, and I'll be honest, it felt pretty weird being on the opposite side of that one. But it was good, I really enjoyed it! I even made it through the sister training leaders discussion ;) haha no that was good as well. I only joke because the quote of the week comes from a member in Sherwood Park, who is a somewhat recent returned sister missionary, so take that into account. She said "sisters are a high risk investment. They are either amazing missionaries, or... you really wish you had elders!" 

I didn't plan on having another quote until early this morning so I'll put it in. My comp will sometimes say a few words in his sleep before it wakes him up and this morning he only said 2, but it was hilarious. He said "huh?" Then he shouted  "EH? Haha I almost rolled out of my bed I was laughing so hard. And the best part is, he doesn't remember it at all! Canada just gets to you sometimes, you know?

Scripture of the week is Romans 1:16
"16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth;" 
After having been a witness of the amazing peace and joy that comes from the Gospel of Christ, why would anyone be ashamed of the very thing Lehi called "sweet, above all I ever before tasted...for I knew that it was desirable above all other fruit." Sadly enough, it does happen and Satan can get us all if we aren't careful. Consider this question: Are you ashamed to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints when hostility arises and those around you begin to poke fun at the things you cherish? The church has need of more courageous men and women, boys and girls who will stand up for the things they know to be true. I invite you to continually strengthen your testimony so that we all can say, as did Paul, "I, am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ."

Keep it real,
Elder W.Chad Thompson

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Just Don't Drop the Soap

Hello everyone, hope you all had a good week.

This week was pretty good for us, not a whole lot to talk about though.

We got to go on exchanges this past week! It was a nice breath of fresh air, that's for sure. I went with Elder Gilbert in Lloydminster for the day. He is from New Zealand and he enjoys baseball just as much as I do! So that was pretty cool. For morning workouts we borrowed some gloves from members and bought a baseball and had a good throw around. It definitely felt like the first time in 2 years! But it was really great.

For the past couple of weeks, the branch council asked us to share a lesson on the sabbath day with all the members, so we have been basing it off of Russel M. Nelsons talk from this past conference "The Sabbath is a Delight" which is an awesome talk. My favourite line from the talk is "What sign do I want to give to God?" And that is all we have to ask ourselves for what is appropriate for the sabbath. Sharing this message with people has created a greater desire for me to follow that commandment a bit better.

So this week we were trying to find and talk to the 3 solid potential families in this area, so we drove out a ways to where one lived and found out that the dad is in jail, and the rest of the family is in Red Deer... So that was a bummer. But hopefully we will be able to find more solid potentials this week.

Scripture of the week is John 7:17
"17 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."
You mean it's that easy? To know the doctrine you just have to test it out? To know the Book of Mormon is true you just need to read it sincerely with real intent? I don't know, try it and you tell me :)

Anyways, that's all I've got.
Keep it real,
Elder W.Chad Thompson