Thursday, January 12, 2012

Happy New Year 2012!

Hello and Happy New Year from Canada,

    We had a very pleasant but quiet Christmas.  We ate an afternoon breakfast at the Mission President's home; he being chef.  We have never had ham gravy on Belgium waffles.  It is a rival to sausage gravy on biscuits.  That was Christmas dinner.  Of course we went to Church; that was nice, and Elder Basting was one of the speakers.  After, we talked to our family and saw two families on skype.  Modern technology, isn't it great!
     I have to hand it to Canada for advertising it is a Christian nation.  Everything shuts down for Christmas, and not just 1/2 day but for 24 hours.  They have billboards and school reader boards with Christmas messages.  The Muslim people here don't seem offended by it, everyone is accepting of different races and cultures.  They are very tolerant.  We have been told that there are some places in Canada where it is the law to close all business establishments on the Sabbath.  Wouldn't that be neat in America?   People could worship according to the "dictates of their own conscience" and it would save $$$$ in electricity, gasoline, etc.  What a novel idea! 
     Commenting on Canada's socialized medicine: we met an elderly less active sister.  She is in an assisted living facility.  She was vacuuming and tripped, falling against the couch.  Some how her glasses penetrated her left eye.  The ambulance took her to the hospital.  I guess there was nothing they could do, so they removed the eye, replaced it with a glass eye and sent her home on the bus.  The bus!  I was mortified.  They hustle everyone through hospitals and clinics like so many cattle.  She had an amazing attitude, I have to hand to her for that.
     We have traveled much of this big city.  We have been to 43 addresses.  We have been invited into maybe 10-15 homes, I have lost count.  We have had one mother and son come back to church and one other elderly sister (not the one previously mentioned).  We don't live in our area so it complicates how long in a day you stay out if you want to eat.  Petrol has gone up, it is somewhere over $4.40 a gallon but no matter.  Even if the people visited are not interested, they have been very nice and polite.  Sister Paulson and I went on a service project Friday.  Her Bishop asked her to help a Native Sister who lives in a very poor area.  She is a hoarder which is only one of her mental challenges.  She suffers from some form of anxiety and becomes volatile without warning.  We tried to help clean.  I offended her by putting on gloves.  I calmed her by telling her that I have eczema and break out from certain chemicals, etc., (which is the truth).  But that wasn't why I gloved up in her one room apartment.  I got to clean up the mouse droppings I could reach.  We emptied 4 or 5 loads of garbage and helped do one load of 15 waiting piles of laundry before she couldn't take it anymore.  I felt sorry for her plight and the fact that her 3 children and all grandchildren, she never said how many, were all in the grave.  But I didn't deal to well with her outbursts towards Sister Paulson, so we departed.   Sister Paulson was much relieved to find her Acura still in tact with no missing parts or damage.  We were just thankful for God's protection.  Although, I have never felt in danger or the least bit threatened, she was warned of this particular area.  By the by Elder Basting & Paulson were working in the office that day, preparing for transfers coming this week.  That is why our protectors weren't with us.  4 people would never have fit in there any way.  Oh, this is funny, well kind of.  Elder Basting and I climb stairs and walk the hallways in our building for exercise.  One morning we were crossing the ground floor.  There was a group of older people sitting in the foyer waiting to depart.  One older gentleman said (when he could finally see us well enough)  "I thought we were being invaded by big bikers."  I said no, "big is right, but Americans not bikers."  We walked on giggling and thinking, we have got to lose weight!  We are scaring old people. 
     I think we told you before that this mission is the largest in the world, bigger than the state of Texas.  Our ward is also very large, but I can't tell you how many square miles.  We visited a member farm that was a 96 mile round trip.  What fabulous people!  Out there the roads are made on the square mile.  They can get snowed in but he has a snow blower of his own to clean their driveway.  They are our Gospel Doctrine teachers and ward missionaries.  Lots of people wear more than one hat up here.  There are just not enough committed people to share the work.  We visited another Filipino family.  They are endowed with great musical talent and marvelous senses of humor.  By the time we left, we had been serenaded with piano and song, ukulele and song and guitar and "I am a Child of God."  They said they felt blessed to have a visit from the missionaries; but I can testify that we are the ones that came away uplifted. 
     In Closing for now, I want to share a quote from the Prophet David O. McKay, about the lost sheep, which seems to be the main reason for the first month of our mission, searching these wonderful people out and inviting them to come back...."Sheep go where grass is.  It seems apparent that the sheep in the parable was not lost through willful disobedience or careless neglect; it simply strayed away in search of greener pastures and soon was lost.  I ask you tonight, how did that sheep get lost?  He was not rebellious.  If you follow the comparison, the lamb was seeking its livelihood in a perfectly legitimate manner, but either stupidly, perhaps unconsciously, it followed the enticement of the field, the prospect of better grass until it got out beyond the fold and was lost.  So we have those in the Church...who wander away from the fold in perfectly legitimate ways.  They are seeking success, success in business, success in their professions, and before long they become disinterested in Church and finally disconnected from the fold;  they have lost track of what true success is, perhaps stupidly, perhaps unconsciously, in some cases, perhaps willingly.  They are blind to what constitutes true success."
     Well dear family, I will sign off now.  We love you, we pray for your well being, health and everything  that Heavenly Father knows you are in need of.  I know you invite your friends to learn of the Restoration and the blessings of living the commandments.  I know you strengthen each other and your friends.  I also know you reach out to the lost sheep.  May God bless you as you live the commandments and reap the joy of raising your children in the Lord.  That is where is greatest joy comes from.  We miss you but feel our Heavenly Fathers strength as we try to lift others.  Happy New Year.  I hope you set realistic goals and in them find success and peace.

 All my love, Mom, Grandma, Sister B.

No comments:

Post a Comment