Monday, July 15, 2013

Innisfail chapter 4

This weeks email. This mission is making him actually write quite a bit, for a man of few words! hehe I love it. Sheila July 15, 2013

Wow what a week.
Thank you for all of your emails and support. I haven't gotten any packages yet, since the ZL's don't go to Edmonton very often. They went a couple of weeks ago, but I didn't think there was anything there yet. There might be something today, but that depends if they brought down the mail when they went on exchanges with the AP's. If not I might get it Thursday when we go up for follow-up training meeting. There are a lot of chances, but everything is subject to change. There have been a lot more trips to Edmonton than normal.
Oh and Grandma. Tell her to calm down. Help her understand that the only time I can tell you anything is on Monday's when I have P-Day. I just thought of something. Make sure she can't find out the mission's phone number.
Well now to tell you about my week. It was pretty packed with cool experiences. So I'm pretty much going to do a run down of each day.
It was P-Day and the zl's came down to Innisfail. We went to the church and played around in the gym until we had to go. Put 4 missionaires in a gym and see what they can come up with. We played hide-and-seek, basketball, chair soccer, and in between some dodgeball. It was super fun. We then went to Robertson's, out in the middle of nowhere, for dinner. Our area is Springbrook, Penhold, Innisfail and Bowden. They live, technically, in Bowden, but it is about 30 minutes from there. Very spread out countrysides.  We went out there and I learned that we become part of their family home evening. There family is big enough. Total they have like 14 kids, adopted and biological. Most of them are older and moved out, but they have some younger and pretty much always have grandkids staying there. Before dinner Bro. Robertson showed us what they floods did to the river. It totally diverted the course from where it used to be. It was amazing to hear what it was like before and during the floods. Well then we had dinner and FHE. Everything goes as normal, but of course we have the lesson. We then played fruit basket. It was super fun and I had a close call with a chair. We then headed back home.
We got to go to the Ellis Bird Farm with the Ellis' and their non-member friends the Beckwith's. IT was an amazing place to go. It was a bird farm so their were a lot of bird houses, but there was also a lot of flowers and it was a great place to go. I took so many pictures and some of them make me seem like I'm a real photographer. I got really good with my camera that day. We had a great time there. When we went to leave the manager told us she would take us to some blue birds that were on the way back. We went and there was a bird house with a nest of baby blue birds. They were so cute looking. They were only like 4 days old. Blue birds don't have a sense of smell so she grabbed one of the babies and let Elder Marsh hold it. He was in heaven. He said it was one of the coolest moments of his life. She then took us up the road and we got to see a male blue bird (as typical with birds the female is the dull color). I could get a pretty close shot with my camera, but I was able to zoom in on the review and get a really cool picture of it. It was a super fun time. We then headed back, changed went and met with Bro. Day and then went to dinner with who else but...The Ellis'. So we pretty much got to spend the whole day with the Ellis'. I didn't mind because they are such great people.
We had ZTM that morning. It was cool to meet as a zone and be able to learn with each other. The theme was Christmas in July, don't know where it came from, but it was cool. They strung Christmas lights in the relief society room. They had places for each area and at my chair they had a bunch of happy birthday napkins and bags. It was really nice of the zl's to do that. We then went on exchanges with Rocky right after. I got to drive. I went to Rocky with Elder Coombs and he is x'ed from driving. So I had to drive. Cruise control really does help out here. It was interesting, because they had to get their car fixed so they switched with the zl's since they were going to Edmonton. We switched keys, but not all of them. When we went to get in the apartment, we didn't have the keys. We called the zl's and found out they were locked out too. Luckily Elder Coombs left the screen door of the balcony (they are on the second floor) unlocked and the zl's left a window open. We just had to make a detour Thursday to get the right keys.
So we got up and had a couple of appointments before we headed back. We went to the one guys house named Hered. He is deaf. How am I supposed to teach a deaf man, when I'm still figuring out how to teach a regular person?!!! Elder Coombs and Elder McFall have been teaching him and have begun to learn sign language. It was really cool to watch the lesson. If I had anything to say I just wrote it down and passed it to him. It was really cool to watch. We then drove to Red Deer and exchanged keys and drove down to Innisfail. Elder Coombs knew how to get from Rocky to RD or Rocky to Innifail, but not the in between. Luckily I did and I was driving. We ended up getting to Innisfail early and didn't know what to do. We were going to go tract out this street. When we pulled up it was raining. We waited hoping it would stop and it started pouring harder. big rain drops were hitting the car. then it slowed down and started to hail for a minute. Small hail, but hail. It started raining again and we gave up and drove to the church to wait for Elder Marsh and McFall. We then exchanged back and went to go pick up dinner from Sister Teskey. We were going to go over there for dinner, but some things came up so she just cooked us some food to take home to eat. It wasn't quite ready so we went and did time and then went back. We went to our apartment and had sloppy joes and watermelon. I'll eat just about anything while I'm on my mission. We then had one of the coolest experiences ever. We stopped by the Ference's and couldn't meet with them so we were going to go and try and talk with the Tuckers. I ended up telling Elder Marsh the wrong street. So we decided to stop by this guy who is the grandson of an elderly women in out ward, to see if he would come with us sometime to meet with her. He has some issues and wouldn't want to go with us. But as we were talking to him the McPhail's drove past and texted us saying that we could come over. We went over there after. We really didn't get to teach a lesson to them but it was a good chat. We left and as we went to get into the car. Elder Marsh said hi to this women on a balcony. She then asked if we had any literature. We grabbed some pamphlets and gave them to her. She was talking to us about how she wants to change her life and has seen the mormons and how we live such good clean pure lives. We talked to her for a little bit and then set up an appointment to go teach her the next day. It was a once in a mission moment apparently. What a great experience to end my birthday.
We had weekly planning today and were able to accomplish a lot. We decided that some of our investigators weren't really progressing so we had to cut some of them. We are pretty much starting over. It was a really good planning session. We then went with the Ellis' (tried to go with the Blanchards) to talk to Gail. We showed up at her house and felt really good about the whole situation. We were excited and thought that she would be one of the most golden investigators in the whole world. We knocked. She wasn't home. We have gone back many times and she either isn't home or won't answer. We are still trying pretty much everyday. We then went and we had dinner with the Miller's. We stopped by one of her friends down the street that we have talked to before. They are an older couple and his health is declining really quickly. She was a baptized member that went inactive and doesn't remember she was baptized. A little weird. We got to talk to her and decided that we are going over every Tuesday so we can share a little spiritual message with them. It will be a cool experience. We had dinner with the Millers and then went to meet with Sister Woodruff, the Relief Society President, to talk about some help that we would like with some of our potentials.
We pretty much just went around and asked the tough questions of why they aren't doing this or that to our investigators. I'm probably not going to tell about everything that happened. We met with Bro Young who is a LA. We had a great discussion with him and then asked why he doesn't come to church. We then went to the Kachor's and asked if they would like us to teach them the lessons. We then went and met with the Votary's and pretty much just stopped by there. We then had dinner with Sharon and Kerry Davis. She is the one who always bakes bread and treats for us on sundays. We had dinner with them. Their daughter joined the church a little while ago. She was very against it, until one lesson when her whole attitude changed. She told us she will probably never join the church, but she is very supportive of it. "It is because of the missionaries that I have a new view on the LDS religion and will be forever grateful." She is so amazing.
Wow church was quite a rush. Bro. O'Connell called me up last week and asked me to talk about the early childhood of Joseph Smith, as in before the first vision. There aren't very many resources that missionaries can use to look up topics like that. The only thing I could find was a story about Joseph's leg surgery when he was seven. Our Heritage and Teachings of the Prophets were the only thing that talked about it. It was a pretty good talk. Then in Gospel Principles, Sister Dyck was out of town, so we had to teach the lesson. A talk and then a lesson. Oh what fun. Pretty much the only thing exciting that happened yesterday was church. We had dinner with the Woodruff's again and had a great time with them. We really didn't do much else other than trying formers and tracting. Not much progress.
Well that was my week. It was pretty crazy.
We are going up to Red Deer for P-day. There are new dress guidelines and so we (more Elder Marsh) needs to buy somethings. I'm so happy I brought my shoulder bag, because backpacks are out. We can also now where Khaki pants. We also have some other things that we need to do. I might be using the debit card if I don't use cash. Just a heads up there is a 1% out of country fee that will apply.
I love you,
Elder O'Neill
P.S. I will be sending a lot of pictures so it might be a couple of emails with pictures.

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