Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Innisfail Chapter 14

Hey there again. This week was pretty busy and we did a lot of tracting.
Monday was pretty fun. First thing was that we had to meet up with the RD1 because through the craziness of transfers we left some stuff behind. We then came back went shopping. Did the usual. We went to the church and played around there. We also walked over to a park and took some fun pictures. We had dinner at the Smith's. We didn't really have any set plans after that so we went around trying to find some LA's. A lot of people have either moved or we don't have an address and their phone number is 'not assigned'. It can be pretty tough.
Today we had a lot of plans that didn't ever go through. We ended up spending a lot of time just tracting out a street. We were able to talk to quite a few people. We had supper on own own that night and guess what I made. Pizza cups. I decided last week that our apartment needed some things and so I got a muffin pan and the things for pizza cups. They were great as usual. We then went up to Penhold and were able to meet with the Collissons. They are a LA couple. He is a trucker and isn't home all that often. He just happened to be home that night which was great. We had a great visit with them and hope to go back sometime this upcoming week.
Well we had exchanges today with Rocky. I was with Elder George in Innisfail. It was pretty crazy. He was the missionary I replaced when I first came to Innisfail. He went up to Edmonton for a little while and now is in Rocky as the DL of his first area. CRAZY. It was cool because we both knew the area and so he had some potentials or formers that he wanted to try and spark something new and I already knew where. It was good to be on exchanges with him. He was able to tell me a lot of things that we could start focusing on in our specific area. It was also good to be able to get to know him. We kinda knew each other, because Elder Marsh and Elder Knaphus both served with him and so for transfer meetings and mission tour they would talk to him. Going on exchanges with him was good because we got to fill in the missing connection and really get to know each other a little bit better. Like I said we stopped by some formers and other people that he knew and tried to spark some interest again.
Thursday was crazy. We pretty much had the whole day planned out already which really helped. We went and saw Bro McLeod and Bro Burns in the morning. We were going to have a district lunch, but the Ellis' invited us over for lunch. It wasn't my call. We did have district meeting and were able to get to know each other a little better. Elder George also gave a really cool training on finding. He gave us some really great advice on how to improve our approach. Later that night we had a lesson with Lori. We weren't able to have it at the Wolfes', but the sisters came with us and it was an amazing lesson. We were able to help her resolve a lot of her concerns. We had talked about baptism before and reinvited her to be baptized. She accepted and we set the date for January 3 (her birthday). It was really amazing. It was a really good day.
Well today was a lot of tracting again. We had weekly planning. We went and helped Bro Kinder stack the wood that he split. The wood splitter machine was really cool. It was a hydraulic machine that had a wedge that would push against the log and cleave it down the middle. It was impressive to watch. We helped him for a little while, then went and did some more planning. We ended up also going to the Kinders for dinner that night. Their kids are crazy as always. I love it. We then went tracting for a while. And then went to introduce the PMG lesson to another Ellingson Family.
Today was ok. We didn't have to much planned other than tracting. We were able to meet with Rob and find out a lot of his concerns. We are really able to get somewhere with some people now. We tracted around some more and had dinner. We went up to Penhold and meet with Bro Young. We had a good time talking to him. We then went tracting a little more. It was a little cold and there was a breeze. It's 8:00 at night and people are slamming doors in our faces. We often wonder if people think that we actually enjoy doing this? We drove back to Innisfail and still had some time. So we decided to do some phone tracting. There are a lot of people in the phone that we don't know who they are. So we decided to call them. It was pretty interesting. One lady we called. She answered and asked who it was.
"It's the missionaires. We had your number and wanted to know if you were interested in learning more?"
"Oh sure, I'm in Grand Prairie, but will be back down in Innisfail in a couple of weeks and would love to meet with you again."
It was quite a shock. Another lady we called told us that the sisters had run into her earlier that day. It was pretty cool.
Today at church as a little crazy. We had ward council and discussed a lot of things. We then had to help Sister Mower pick up Bro Votary for church. We brought him in and then went and held the doors while waiting for Lori to come. She never did at it probably was a good thing. Tell about it in a minute. It was the 4th sunday so we were asked to bless the sacrament. Well in the middle of the sacrament you could hear a beeping. It was Bro Votary's oxygen. Some people in the ward were trying to help him. Well I was focused on what was going on over there trying to make sure he was ok, that I missed that the deacons were done passing. I caught a glimpse of a wave and caught on. It was also the primary program. That is why it was probably good that Lori didn't come. She was complaining last week about the reverence. She would have gone crazy with the primary program. Everything else was pretty good. We had a lot of lessons set up and we only really had a little bit of time that we had to fill, but did it pretty easy.
Today is pretty good so far. We started doing our laundry at the Kinders. They just live down the street and were happy to offer. We went and started our laundry. We tried to start our studies but really weren't able until Bro Kinder took all the kids for school. And now I'm at the Library emailing.
Hope everything is going well at home. Sounds like it is.
Love ya,
Elder O'Neill

Monday, September 16, 2013

Innisfail Chapter 13

Well this week has been pure craziness. I mean I'm really glad I learned how to deal with my frustration when I was with Elder Marsh and was able to keep calm throughout the week.
Well like I mentioned last week, Elder Marsh is no longer my companion. He was called to be an AP. That is one thing about President Manion that is weird, he is totally random. It was usually, that someone would be a District Leader, then a Zone Leader, then might become an Assistant. Well this last transfer President Manion destroyed any speculation. Elder Marsh went from DL to AP. Elder McFall who was in Rocky, went from normal missionary to ZL. It was crazy to hear the changes. So now, no one can be sure of where they might go. 
I really do miss Elder Marsh. I totally understand what everyone says. 'When your with your trainer you hate them. When they're gone you love them.' There were many times that I was very frustrated with Elder Marsh and I just couldn't handle it. We were always getting pretty chippy with each other. I knew that the things he made me do would help me, but at the time I just couldn't handle it. Now that he is gone I really do miss him. I am really able to see how much he really did help out.
Well now my new companion is Elder Sorensen. It really is crazy that we are companions. We were in the same MTC zone and came out together. He was also in Red Deer 1st ward which covers the southern part of Red Deer. guess which area it touches....Innisfail. He moved just south of where he used to be. Really pretty crazy. We already get along really well. We have many jokes and are very open with each other. We are going to enjoy the next little while. He is also learning the area pretty fast.
We also have sisters in the area so we had a lot of things this week that we have had to work out. There is Sister Coull and Sister Tanner. Sister Coull is from Scotland and Sister Tanner is from Huntsville, UT. Sister Coull has been out for 6 months and Sister Tanner has been out for about 6 days. Innisfail really likes to train. It has been crazy the last week trying to get everything sorted out between us, but we were finally able to go through the whole ward directory and be able to know who is in whos area. We have a geographical split for members and proselyting. Investigators and specific LA's are pretty much decided on gender and who would be the best to teach them. It is a split area but with a lot of overlap.
Well I've decided for at least this week I'm not going to do the daily recap, mostly because I don't have any clue what was going on. Also a lot of my week was spent in Red Deer and what we did up there I was just following along. We also had a lot of meetings with the Sisters to get everything worked out. There really isn't much to really talk about.
But I can talk about Lori. I don't think I have told you about her. She was a potential investigator of Elder Knaphus and Elder George when they were in Innisfail. There was no address listed until I went on exchanges with Elder Knaphus and he told me where she was. Elder Marsh and I stopped by and got to know her a little bit. It was on September 1 when we stopped by again. We were going to see if we could set up a time to meet with her and ended up briefly teaching her lesson 1 on her porch. We talked to the Wolfes afterwards and started teaching her there. We had a lesson with her on the 5th where we retaught lesson one clarifying any points. We then went back last thursday the 12th. We taught her about having faith. She came to church yesterday and stayed for Pot-luck. She was at church for about 4 and 1/2 hours and actually enjoyed it. A lot of the members went up to her and introduced themselves. She was really able to get to know some of them. She is great and we really have a great thing going on with her. She is so open and receptive. We just have to keep going.
Well hopefully I will be able to resume normality soon and will be able to write a daily run through again.
Love you all and love hearing from you,
Elder O'Neill

Pic 1- Elder Marsh and I at the Darby's. We had found out he was leaving about an hour before that and had dinner at the Darby's. They wanted pictures with us, before we left and they took a picture of Elder Marsh and I.
Pic 2-The picture of the cake. We were tracting down a street last night and I told Elder Sorensen we can't go too far or we will run into the Hallman's (members). He wanted to go and introduce himself. We went down and said hi. Sister Hallman was about to go see if the neighbors were home to give them this chocolate cake. Bro Hallman just asked if we wanted it. I wasn't going to say no, so we now have a chocolate cake. It's really good too.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Chapter 12 Innisfail changes

So I really don't have much time this week either, so I'm not going to be able to do my usual.
Well pretty much all that happened this past week happened this weekend.
1. Elder Marsh was transferred Friday night because he is the new AP. It was a shock. I guess President Manion was talking to the AP's about transfers this week and was talking about Elder Coe. He was happy that Elder Coe could stay as AP one more transfer and then have two more to train a new missionary. Well President found out that Elder Coe only had 2 transfers left. 15 minutes later President called Elder Marsh. So we had to drop all of our plans, because he had to go up to Edmonton to learn how to be an assistant. So I was left with the ZL's, Elder Vega and Elder Knaphus. It has been a pretty fun weekend. Tri-panionship!!! :)
2. We had transfer calls this morning. We were expecting it because I was going to need a new companion. Elder Vega was pretty sure that he was leaving too since he has been a ZL in Red Deer for 7 and 1/2 months. We were waiting for it. Well my new companion is going to be Elder Sorenson. The same Elder Sorenson that I was in my MTC zone and who I have seen many times since because he has been serving in RD 1 in my same zone. It was pretty crazy.
3. Innisfail is going to have 2 sets of missionaries. Because there are going to be so many missionaries coming out, Most areas in the mission are going to be or are split. So in Innisfail it will be Elder Sorenson and I, and then a set of Sisters, and they are going to be training. So I know that one of the Sisters is going to be a little older in the mission, but other than that it is going to be a pretty young area. It's crazy. I have to fill in everyone on the area. Good thing Elder  Marsh helped me plan out everything before he left.
Well that is the main points of this week. I hope that I will be able to tell you way more next week.
Love you all,
Elder O'Neill

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Innisfail chapter 11

Wow!! I can't believe I've been in Innisfail for 11 weeks already. Sometimes it seems like I just got here yesterday.
Well I'm glad to hear about all of the fun at Swiss Days. I almost forgot that it was labor day weekend. The only way I was able to know was because it was September long weekend up here. First monday of every month pretty much is a holiday. Kinda sweet. Except nothing changes for us.
Well this week was a little crazy. A lot happened and I hope that I will be able to explain everything.
We had p-day today obviously. We just relaxed around the apartment a little, until the O'Connell's picked us up for dinner at the Dyck farm. Well we had to work for our dinner a little. They have a cattle ranch and some of the cows had hoof rot. We had to give them some penicillin. So we had an experience herding cows. Not too much fun. It was just trying to get a few of them down the chute into the squeeze to give them the medicine. Dad it reminded me of Weimer's Neighbor's. Darcy, "Looks like there having problems down there" :) It made me laugh. We had dinner then went back and met with the Byam's to share the PMG lesson. (YLM turned into the PMG lesson)

Today was pretty great. The afternoons aren't usually too exciting. We had dinner with our neighbors which was fun. Across the hall from our apartment is the Georges. It's cool to have member neighbors in an apartment building. We had a fun time there and then shared the PMG lesson. She is a school teacher and really enjoyed how we are presenting everything. She is also going to help us to make the lesson more kid friendly with pictures. We then had a lesson with Rob. He is a great man. He knows a couple of families in the ward really well. We were able to go over and start talking to him. He is incredible. He really wants to find out more and really wants his whole family to be baptized, He is just trying to find out if this is the right church. It is a really promising situation.
Today we had exchanges with Rocky again, but this time we drove out there. They weren't doing so well on clicks and we were so we drove out and had a district meeting. We Then exchanged and I brought Elder McFall back to Innisfail with me. It takes about an hour to drive out to Rocky and an hour to drive back. I was a little sick of the car. We had a couple of cool experiences. We were just getting back into Innisfail, when the mission office called. You never know if that is a good or a bad thing. It was actually good. Someone had a referral for us. It was sweet. We also went to try by a former and went tracting around there. We were able to meet Yesenia. It was so cool. We talked with her for a minute or two and set up a time to come back Tuesday (today). I loved it. Possible new investigator. We then had dinner with the Ellis'. We then had Ward correlation. It was pretty much all on me and I actually did really well. I felt really good about it. I was able to talk about each of our investigators and talk about there situation, all by myself. I was impressed.
Well we tried stopping by the referral that we got, but she wasn't there. The referral is actually one of the hotel managers. She is apparently gone for another week. We then went to drive back to Rocky. We planned some extra time to stop in Spruce View to do some finding. Spruce View is in our area, but it is like half way between here and Rocky and there are no members. We really never had a reason to go to Spruce View, but since we would be driving through we thought that we could try. Nothing really happened, just were able to share some mormon.org cards with some people. We then continued to drive out to Rocky. We came back and I had time to do some family history. Mom again you might want to check my progress, but I do feel pretty comfortable with it. I checked out Maria. I was able to find some Census records with her and Henry. Then a couple more with her kids in later years. As I kept searching I was able to find more about Henry's family. I found a Census from when he was 8 and added His parents and siblings to the picture. It was really amazing. I pretty much ran out of time before I could continue on. It was pretty amazing. I'm really finding a love for it. I'm just very limited. We had dinner with the Clarks and then went to one of the Ellingsons for the PMG lesson.
We had weekly planning today and we tried to do it as quickly as we could but it took an hour longer. The goal is to be able to do it in two hours and I don't possibly see how that can be done. We always take longer. We were able to get another haircut from Sis. Dyck (they are the ones that live in town). We then shared the PMG lesson with her and her kids. They gave us a great idea for kids. We then went for dinner at the Blanchard's. They had a crazy day and were both just getting home right before we came and planned on that so they bought some Thai food. It was Spicy fried shrimp with rice. I call it rice with inferno Thai shrimp. It was way too spicy for me to finish. I graciously passed on taking the leftovers. Elder Marsh did which surprised me. The Blanchards are so incredible. They have really taken the PMG lesson seriously and the next step with them is to start learning lesson two. I didn't think that we were going to go that far for a while. I guess it has been a while since we started it though. :) We were able to see Todd for a little bit though. It was his first day off of work yesterday. He was off until Monday, so he said he would be able to come to church. It's a miracle!!!
Well I know that I didn't get through my whole week and I hope that I will have time next week to finish up and write about this week. Things are going great up here and I'm truly loving it.

I love you,
Elder O'Neill
P.S. I finally was able to get the package home yesterday. Thank you for all of the clothes. That was definitely more than what I was expecting. Thank you. I'm wearing some of the Khaki's right now. :)