Wow - Happy Birthday to Elsie tomorrow! I can't believe you're already one!
I have the greatest news in the entire world that I forgot to email about a few weeks back. Do you remember Mary, from Hamilton? Michael was baptized in January and Mary is his mom. Sister Woolf and I found Mary last November, and she was just recently baptized! It's hard to describe the joy I felt when I found out about this! Also - Stephanie, the investigator that Sister Puruganan and I found, then passed off, was also baptized! Hopefully I'll be able to get some pictures and send them. :)
Transfer news....Sister Puruganan and I are staying in Napanee together! We are both kinda shocked. We were definitely expecting a call. At the end of this transfer, we will have spent 1/3 of our missions together. What a blessing! She has been such sweet companion, and we have been through a lot together. I wouldn't want to be serving with anyone else or anywhere else right now!
Man....Canada can't make up it's mind on the weather. It rained soo much, but it was also soo hot at other times. Crazy crazy. But so fun! On Tuesday we went to this tiny town called Newburgh where one of our investigators with a farm lives. Well, we decided to park our car and walk, and we totally got caught in the rain. Even with umbrellas we got soaking wet. Haha, all we could do was laugh. To make things better, someone called us claiming to be Satan. He wasn't very nice, and he is now labeled in our phone as "Do not answer." Haha, the life of a missionary. So unpredictable!
So, when it was sunny, we went to see Allen (the one with the farm) and I felt lots of his animals. Let's see....A goat, kitties, chickens, and I stood next to his fox, but I wouldn't hold it. I'll tell you a little more about Allen. He is really good friends with the Branch Mission Leader, and we met him back in May when he had dinner with us. He works a lot, so it's been tough to see him since, but this past week we saw him several times! Hopefully he can start to progress. We are actually going fishing at his place later on today!
Brother Jim Leavens....He is so awesome! We had a solid first lesson with him last week. It was one of those lessons when I felt myself get out of the way and just let the Spirit work with him. He has such a humble heart, he just has lots of questions. We've been taking things back to the basics and that seems to be helping him. We told him at the beginning of the lesson that we were going to invite him at the end to be baptized, and he said he would say no. Well, guess what folks? When we invited him at the end of the lesson, he said yes. No date yet, because he wants to finish the lessons first. As we were leaving, he told us that he really hopes we don't get transferred. Well, woohoo! Looks like we get to work with him at least a little longer, which I am so grateful for. When I first met Brother Leavens he wasn't very open to speaking too much, and now I feel like he's become one of my closest friends. I've been able to witness his heart change, and it has been incredible.
We had a picnic with James this pastnight at the park, and it was super fun. We read from the Book of Mormon with him from the very beginning. I love reading 1 Nephi 1 - haha, think about how many times we have all read that chapter! But there is so much in there. We paused after every verse and talked about what stood out to us, and James loved it. He's doing well with passing the Sacrament and reading every day! Such a solid guy.
Our Branch President is one of 13 siblings....and most of them paid him a visit this weekend, so there were LOTS of people at church. We even had to change the way the chairs were facing so that everyone would be able to fit. There were nearly 100 people there, which is a big step up from the normal 40-50. No complaints though.
Yesterday Sister Puruganan and I were able to go see the Lindsay boys. The boys whose parents passed away. We got them a care basket and dropped it off. Only Shawn (17) and Shantelle (24) were home. I'm not going to lie, as we were walking up to their door my heart was racing so fast. Every time we would go there we could hear the dogs start barking, then Patsy would answer the door. I knew it was going to be different this time, and it was really hard. However, Shawn was so grateful to see us. I know he's been struggling a lot over the past month, as you can probably imagine. Losing both of your parents and having 3 younger brothers would probably put a toll on you. We expressed our love for their family and asked if there was anything we could do to help them. He then said, "You guys have done so much for my family already," and that's when the tears filled my eyes. He then gave us both a hug (not sure if that is allowed, but I wasn't about to tell him he couldn't hug us). As I was walking away I felt sooo much peace. So much closure. We will hopefully be going back on Tuesday to see the youngest 3 boys. Thank you so much for the prayers you have all extended on behalf of this family.
This past transfer has taught me a thing or two. Haha, it's actually taught me a lot. I am thankful for it. I've never struggled so much on my mission before. I think back to when I first got to Canada and how homesick I was for the first little bit in Ajax. Well, this past transfer was WAY harder than that. The heartbreak that has been felt has been more than I thought I could handle at times. I was writing in my journal last night just about my feelings and the experiences that I've had here in Napanee, and it dawned on me that everything has been worth it. I've learned what it means to utilize the Atonement. I've had my heart made more tender and my Spirit built up stronger. I wouldn't trade it for the world.
Heavenly Father wants me in Napanee for at least 6 more weeks, and I am excited for the adventures that are in store. Thank you for the continued support and love. I love my mission with all my heart. I know that the remaining months that I have left will be sacred, and I hope they go by slowly. :) Have an amazing week.
"Have Faith, Have Hope, Live Like His Son, Help Others On Their Way"
|I don't like cats, but you gotta admit this one is adorable!|
|I'm holding a goat. Her name is Marble!|
|The Kingston Zone! Look how tall that Elder is!|
|The one and only Sister Woolf!|
|Ahhh Hope. Our best friend in downtown Napanee!|
|Gotta love it.|
|A little toad....|
|I also held a chicken....|
|Brother and Sister Wales! Love them SO much!|
|World....meet Todd the Fox!|
|I love him!|
|Brother and Sister Leavens!|
|The Melhuish's - they feed us every Friday. :)|
|Darrelle DeRush - Favorite less active!|
|The one and only Mike Horner!|
|The Horner Brothers!|
|Party at Cortwright's!|
|Love you all. :)|