Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Week 1 Ajax

My dearest family, 

Hello! I'm in Canada safe and sound. The flying wasn't the best and by the time we got here I was SO exhausted. I'm not going to miss the airport for a year and a half:) I'm going to miss the MTC though. It was one of the greatest experiences ever. I'm ready for this new one though. I saw Austin several times.. I actually cheated and gave him a few hugs. It was nice to see him, a familiar face is always great. I'm going to attach several pictures. 

The night before we left the MTC we went to bed pretty late because we were packing. We got up at 2 to be at the bus at 3. Yeah, I was tired and sick. It was miserable. Lots of people in different groups didn't show up for the bus! So they missed their flight haha. The Elders from our District were waiting for us by the bus to help us with our luggage. It was so sweet of them! Let's just say.. hauling around 3 huge suitcases isn't the easiest thing I've ever done. The ones I checked were both over 50 pounds.. but the girl was really nice and just let it slide. Thank goodness! 

We made it to the airport kind of late, which is why I couldn't call for very long. But that's probably a good thing because hearing everyone's voices makes me kinda sad! 
When we got to the gate to fly to Texas, the lady told me my carry on was too big. They said I would have to pay 150.00$ to check it! I was like NO WAY! So I worked with it for a long time to get it down. They kept calling "Final Boarding" and I was still not on the plane. Haha, but a sweet man that worked there was helping me. I had to throw some stuff away though (Just cheap things like envelopes from the Dollar Store). It finally went down enough. Let's just say, American Airlines isn't as cool as Delta!

On the plane I sat next to a nice old man. He leaned over and said, "Do you know when Sister Monson's funeral is?" I had to inform him that I didn't because I've been in the MTC. He then asked me where I was going and was so sweet to me. When we got to Texas he offered me his phone to call you guys.. but I couldn't do it on the plane because I knew I'd just cry! Haha, that's too embarrassing. I'm glad that I got to talk to some of you again in Texas though. 

The flight to Canada was great. I slept the whole time. I woke up as we were landing. (Winner winner chicken dinner)!! Customs wasn't so fun though:( When the guy asked me why I was coming to Canada I told him it was to serve a LDS mission. I handed him all the documents he would need. He looked at me like I was crazy. He then went on to scold me about how I need to say Latter-Day Saints, not LDS. Great first impression of Canada, eh? It was discouraging. But then I went to get my visa, and the lady was really really nice. Then I met my mission president and his wife. President and Sister Scott are SO amazing. I feel so blessed. We took two big vans back to the mission home with the AP's. 

Once at the mission home, we had the best dinner I'd eaten the whole time. Homemade mac and cheese, hot dogs, hamburgers, salad.. ahh it was so yum! We were all interviewed by President Scott. He is so nice! He asked about the family and why I'm on my mission. He said he got chills when I told him how I dreamed about serving in Toronto, Canada. We then had a testimony meeting. It was great. Then we went to a hotel! The next morning we went back to the mission home and had lots of orientation meetings. It was really overwhelming. We got our health cards, debit cards and tiwi cards (for the cars). By the way Dad, I'm covered on the church insurance, so I won't be using the insurance card you sent me with. 

We then went upstairs and met the trainers! They all bore their testimonies to us, and the assignments were then made. My trainer is Sister Stats. She is 22 and from Centerville Utah. She has been out for 5 months and has been training since her 5th week here. Just goes to show how amazing she is! We are whitewashing an area called Ajax. It is a beautiful city outside of Toronto. It is right off of Lake Ontario, but I haven't seen the lake yet. Haha, I've only been here for a day:)

We live in a basement apartment. I'm not going to lie and tell you it's nice.. but it's okay! It has a washer and dryer, so there's a plus! Also a tub with jets.. that I won't have enough time to use :) but that's okay. We had a dinner appointment last night with the Tunney's. They are incredible. They have the missionaries over every single Tuesday. They are both converts. We had curry.. I hated it.. but pretended to like it! THEY SAID EH AFTER EVERY SENTENCE! Haha, and my companion says it all the time. It's already rubbing off on me. Canadians are crazy. 

After dinner, we knocked on doors for about 2 hours. Lots of people were super nice, but weren't interested at all. My trainer would do the first couple doors, then she let me do them. Then we switched off. It wasn't scary at all! Everything just came naturally. We gave out a lot of cards. Side note, we have already received TWO referrals from Technology is great! Anyways, we got one appointment after all those hours. Her name is Lindsay and she looked pretty young. She said she would have her friend or mom there. We'll see how that goes on Friday. We saw a guy mowing his lawn, so we talked to him. He tried to convince us that God isn't real because he's taken psychology classes and humans are too scientific to have been created by God. It was ridiculous. We gave him a card though. We talk to everyone. Pretty exciting, eh? We then saw another guy on the street. I approached him this time. We got his number, then my trainer repeated the number back to him to make sure it was right. As we were walking away she said, "He gave us a fake number". I asked how she knew that. She said that when we repeats it back, she'll change a number on purpose to see if they gave us the right number. Man, I'm learning so much from her already. 

I had to use the washroom really bad so we drove around trying to find the church. Oh did I mention that we drive a 2013 silver Chevy Cruze? IT'S SO NICE!! Anyways, we got lost for a long time. We finally found the church, and there were a couple of cars in there. We went up and started talking to one of them. Turns out, he's not a member, but his friend it and they play basketball every Tuesday night at the church. He's a very nice man named Anthony. He said that his wife is super religious but he would want to know more. So we are meeting with him this weekend. TENDER MERCY - Getting lost so that we could find Anthony. Love it!

By the time we were done at the church, it was time to head home. We got home safely and unpacked. I'm so glad I brought a comforter and everything. My pooh bear was great to cuddle with last night. Did I mention that my companion collects pooh bears? Meant to be, eh?

So, I'm still really sick. I was coughing all night! My poor companion! We just stayed inside to work out this morning because I can't breath outside, haha. We went shopping today.. I bought a lot of things :( (Sorry mom and dad). I bought a new jacket because it was on sale. Then a few random things. It was fun to hang out around the shops with Sister Stats. We're a LOT alike. She's a goofball. I'm a goofball. It's so great. 

Here are some of the weird/cool things about Canada so far, 
-There are squirrels everywhere. They are about the size of a cat. I'm not joking. And they are black. They're freaky. They are outside of our apartment all the time. 
-The milk comes in bags. Yes. Bags. And it's so expensive. 
-Tim Horton's is on EVERY CORNER. 
-They spell center, centre. 
-They're in the metric system. It's super weird. We'll be driving in a residential area and it'll say "Maximum 60" and I think wow that's fast. Then I have to remember it's not miles per hour. haha
-Food is so expensive.... gahh
-Canadians are super nice. Last night when we kept getting rejected, I told Sister Stats that even when they're mean they're still being nice! They were all super respectful and kind. They would say, "Have a good night eh?" haha I love it!
-It's just been raining the whole time. Last night we knocked doors in the pouring rain. No joke, there were literally puddles all over the place. 
-The city of Ajax is beautiful. Big trees and quint houses everywhere. 

I'm going to love it here. I already do. I love being a missionary. I love having the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. I love talking to people and hearing about their lives. I love that I am involved in the Lord's work. I know that I cannot do this without Him. I'm grateful for my Savior, and I know that He lives. I know that the Book of Mormon is real and that it can change people's lives. I know that our Heavenly Father is looking out for all of us. I hope you all know how much I love you! I will email again on Monday, and that will be my P-day from now on. Pray always, and carry on!

Have a great week everyone. I love you all.

Sister Hardcastle

P.S. I can only attach one picture at a time... SO yeah. Here is me being as happy as ever  :)
OH! Write me! And send me stuff  :)
30 Wright Crescent - BSMT
Ajax, ON
L1S 6S6 Canada

Good thing I bought an SD card reader. I'll attach some links of my voice on Monday. Sorry I don't have time right now. Love you!

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