Great to hear I'm still your favorite missionary! Yes, the Canadian mail is very slow, and the soonest I get letters is about 2 weeks after they were stamped for mail, so I apologize in advance for any slow mail.
Ga, the tab button does not work. As for bed bugs, I have not been bit for a while, but we have caught a few small bugs in traps we set in the corners of our rooms. Cross your fingers. I tell you, mosquito bites are not bad at all after bed bugs! I still get bit by mosquitoes all the time but I really do not care after enduring bed bugs. Yes, the garlic seems to help.
Great to hear about Dawn Romero. I think about Dan a lot. I want to be that walking encyclopedia he was, and also be as enjoyable to be around as he was. For those who do not know him, he convinced me the name Terje means "rat-killing dog". I still believe it.
As for transfers...I am almost done with my first transfer. Ah! I am not sure where the time went. 6 weeks gone in no-time. I hope to stay with Elder Woods, but I have met a lot of great missionaries that I would not mind serving with either. One being a British Elder, Elder Mansfield. Oh, I love that Elder, but that is for another time. Back to transfers: I hear where I am going and who I will be serving with this Sunday, so yes, you will know next Monday. The thing is that my apartment is closing down and the area is being combined with another area, so I am guaranteed a move. Scary. I could stay in Winnipeg, go to International Falls, Minnesota, or up to Prince Albert. Who knows?! Ga. But I am trying not to dwell on it. I just want to keep teaching the people I am now! I want to be at Edilyn's baptism so badly. More about her later, but she is a rock.
To finally answer your question, yes, I am in a car now. All missionaries will be in cars by December because the mission is shrinking.
I have pondered as to why I have been sent to the Canada Winnipeg mission. I know it is not just for my Canadian citizenship (which I am SO excited I am getting). President Paulson is wonderful. I really respect him for his knowledge of the gospel and effective ways to teach people and for the manner he runs the mission. He is not a "you have to do this or else" kind of person, rather he tells us what is expected of us and lets us govern ourselves, assuring us that we will find success if we are obedient to the rules in the White Handbook and etc. We missionaries are to always be dignified, so the first thing I worked on was my "dignified language". But all this is perfect for me, because I know I will be blessed throughout my life according to my obedience here on the mission. Talk about growing up! I want all the blessings I can get! So I am doing all I can to first: be obedient, diligent, and energetic in His work, and second: to have fun and enjoy what I am doing (have fun when appropriate). That balance between dignity and having a good time out here has been something I have been focusing on. For me, dignity and obedience come first. The hard part is I want to express myself (ball of energy, etc.) in the work. The past 2 days I believe I am beginning to find that balance. What a relief!
More about why I think I have been sent here: Yes, the obedience is huge for me. I do wish there were more baptisms here, but when I think about that, having perfect success and constantly having baptisms and going through people really does not fit my personality. I really enjoy connecting with people, and I feel I have done that with Roel and Edilyn. I so badly want the best for them. I have seen her grow so much, even in the 5 weeks I have been here. So, being in this mission I feel I can connect with people and teach PEOPLE, not lessons. I feel I can be more personable up here in Manitoba/Saskachewan (spell it right?) (Dad - should be Saskatchewan) As for what I do, I tract every day, my knuckles are rocks, like me, just kidding, but my knuckles are getting to be super-tough! Next email I will try to share with you what a normal day for a missionary is.
Oh, my investigator Edilyn. She is a rock. She is quitting her job so she does not have to work on Sundays. She was on her way to apply for another job that would not require her to work Sundays when she was in a bad car accident. She was truly protected by the Lord because the cars were apparently going pretty fast and struck her side (the car spun several times in the intersection I am told) and she walked away with very minor bruising a slightly stiff back. She was in the hospital for the afternoon is all. Talking with her afterwards, she said the first thing she thought of after the crash was Christ and a feeling that he has a plan for her. She was immediately grateful and was actually happy walking out of the car. She was also grateful for God's presence in her life. At the end of her next lesson, she said her first prayer in front of us and thanked God for her new life! I was like "What...?!" She was crying; of course I was crying (still not ashamed). She is better than the investigators in the District! The District is a missionary "this is how you should teach" kind of thing and the investigators seem like perfect people. Yes, Edilyn is even better than them. Like I said, she is a rock! I mean, she committed herself to living the Word of Wisdom before we even taught it; she just knew that Mormons do not drink coffee.
Tidbits...the Church is very small here. Yes, .2% of Manitoba are members of the Church. Very different, even from Seattle! One of the chapels here only has 5 rows of benches. Ya. The chapel I meet in has something like 9 rows, and it is about 2/3 full, which is not a whole lot. Definitely some work to be done.
Apparently about 10 years ago, the missionaries were insane and destroyed the member's confidence in missionaries. I am here to regain that trust. Bring it on.
So that British Elder taught me a few great British sayings. I do not know why, but I laughed so hard when he told me "chav". Basically its a punk kid who has terrible style and wears tight pants and boots. Why did I tell you that? Anyway(s), I loved that! And I put the (s) for Nate and Devon to quarrel about, because missionaries say both.
There is a member up here who has been banned from bearing his testimony through the end of this year! He is not in my ward, but I have sure heard stories. He goes up and says the most ridiculous things, totally sacrilegious, but hysterical! Fast Sundays are semi-scary to bring investigators to because you never know what will happen. Oh dear.
Ok, this is so funny: I ran into a totally drunk man a few days ago. He immediately invited us downstairs (sketchy) and he and his drunk buddy were absolutely wasted. They had a recording studio and showed us a few songs, "religious rock". At a guitar wail he stood up and was like "Oh, he's dying! He is on the cross! He is dying!" all while sticking his arms out. Then he would suddenly get inches from Elder Wood's face and always say "I respect you man", shake his hand, and say something, then get close to his face again and repeat it again. I was doing all I could not to laugh! I laughed the entire way home. Oh man. Oh ya, he asked if Jesus smoke pot. I was like wha....? We were like, no. He asked, "how do you know?!" Then he said "just kidding". How am I supposed to keep a straight face after that?! But seriously, the Word of Wisdom is inspired, how can someone like that feel the Spirit?
Oh, so I know its early for this, but a few Christmas ideas may include spandex garments because playing sports in normal garments is still weird and kind of uncomfortable. Sports on P-Day, do not worry!
So it was 7 degrees C the other morning...in mid-September. I'm scared, but excited to tell people that it will be 30 degrees F colder outside than the typical freezer.
There are houses with addresses like 220 1/2...
Thank you Jenny for the picture of you, Brieccia, Nate and Bern!
Elder Woods points out to me that I say "howdy" a lot to people and other "cowboy" things. I think of myself as a city-boy! The only thing I can think of is Dad growing up on a farm and telling me when I was little if my arm hurt that he would have to take me out behind the barn and shoot me. I remember saying "Nope! Second thought it really does not hurt that bad." Anyway, the cowboy in me...
Well I am out of things to say, other than to tell my family that I love them more than anything!
Oh ya, even though I am in Rough Rider and Blue Bomber territory, I would love a Stampeders shirt or sweatshirt or something. Loyalty!