Greetings from Winnipeg, we have been here four months and enjoying our opportunity to serve as missionaries. The daily contact with the Sr. and young missionaries is wonderful, they are all grand people. We are still learning lots in our daily duties as well as being instructed in our weekly District Meeting. President Paulson told all the missionaries that we should be spending over 50 % of our study time in Preach My Gospel. He said everything we need to know in order to simply teach the Gospel is in that manual. Everyone should be familiar with it.
Last Saturday March 10th, was a pleasant but cold day. We went to the park to walk and make some vitamin D since there was plenty of sun to enjoy. We ran in to two women who saw our missionary tags and began visiting with us. It turns out one woman had had the discussions but said the Branch President wouldn't allow here to be baptized because of her race. She is Mate, half native and half French. I told her that couldn't be and she wandered off into how we weren't Christians etc. Anyway through the conversation we found out there were legitimate reasons for her not being baptized and it wasn't her heritage. I don't think we convinced her about us being Christians because she attends another church and they have swayed her thinking. Our visit was pleasant enough and maybe we will see Ruby again at the park.
We attended Church in a small town called Selkirk which is about 35 miles north of Winnipeg. Selkirk has about 10,000 people and is known for is abundant catfish population. We went there to check a missionary apartment and car. It's one of the jobs we have. While there we were able to watch the ice breaking machines called Amphibex' working on the Red River right at the town bridge. It's really fascinating but watching for any length of time is like watching paint dry eh, it's a very slow process. Check them out on u tube it's worth a look. There were three machines working in tandem making a pass up river then down breaking out the center ice. Just up river from Selkirk were many (?) ice fisherman out on the ice with trucks, snowmobiles and ice fishing shanty's. I think there days on the ice are numbered because here in the city the rivers are showing thin spots and even open water in places. On the way back we saw snowmobilers riding alongside the 4 lane road in the wide ditch line at a brisk pace.
On Monday the temperature began to warm up and is still climbing. The last several days have been in the mid 50's F so spring has sprung here and the snow is almost gone. Just a few piles here and there. Lots of potholes and sand on the streets. It's amazing to see all the dead grass appear as well as all the trash and leaves from last fall that were buried under the snow all winter. I saw my first tank top today although most people are still wearing boots and a light jacket. In one week it has gone from being in the mid 20's F to nearly 70F. Crazy weather.
I have been waiting to transfer money from our US account to our Canadian but the exchange rate is not the best. The rate seems to be tied to world unrest and hasn't gone up even though there is lots of talk about the US economy improving. We watch the news most nights on the computer trying to keep up with what's happening in "the states". There always seems to be a problem everywhere we are located overseas. The Republican primary race is quite interesting as well.
We had a chance to go with our Ward and work an evening ( March 1st) at the Salome Mission in downtown Winnipeg. It occurs four times per year. Last time we cut up heads of lettuce, this time it was mounds and buckets full of sweet potatoes. Mom raised her hand to help serve and I kept cutting. After cutting I got to peel even more sweet potatoes then I manned a broom and swept the kitchen for awhile. Finally we helped mop the floor and wipe down tables and chairs. It was a good evening and when we left for the night it was snowing.
That's all for now. Take care eh. Love Dad.
Elder Paulson & Elder Basting
Shoveling snow at the mission office