It's crazy to think it's already been another week. I've only been in the mission field for 2 weeks, but it's flying by. Crazy to think I've already been gone a month. I'm loving it here though. This area really is wonderful. The members are amazing. Spreading the gospel is wonderful. The people here are so kind... even if they tell you they're not at all interested, it's almost always with a smile on their face. Haha so that's nice I guess ;) It's been a kind of weird week, but a good one. :)
This last week I've been trying to study and ponder more about the temple... I realize how significant it really is. The temple is so important, and such a blessing. I realize that more than ever as I'm in the mission field teaching people who don't have the blessings of the temple in their lives. As we closed our training session, we sang "I love to see the temple". I couldn't help but get emotional in that song. We are SO BLESSED to have a temple. To have the knowledge of the restored gospel, and all of the blessings available through the temple. Just singing those words struck me with the profundity of the temple blessings. I was just overwhelmed with gratitude for that in my life. Last night we had a family home evening and sang "Families Can be Together Forever"... another one that just gets to me. I love the translation of the French version. The final line translates into something like, "Lord, do thy will". I just love that. Our families can be together forever and we are promised so many blessings through the gospel and the temple... but we need to be willing to submit to the Lord's will, plan, and timing. I love that :)
The rest of our week was kind of weird, plans fell through a lot and we had some things take a lot longer than planned. We started learning a Christmas song to sing together though (us and the Terrebonne Sisters who live in the apartment with us... I LOVE that everyone in there loves to sing with me :) So we started a beautiful arrangement of Silent Night... so exciting!one of the Terrebonne Sisters (Sister Schmull) was sick. They had some really important lessons, so we had a weird day of exchanging back and forth between companions, so they could meet their appointments (we didn't have a ton of solid plans). It felt weird sitting home for quite a few hours straight that day. You never sit home and talk as a missionary. But Sister Schmull and I got some nice time to talk, which was good since we haven't gotten to know each other as well yet :) And then Sister Lonas and I went out around Terrebonne for a while too. We went to the most beautiful park there and just walked around contacting. We met so many nice people and had some GREAT experiences. One woman, I went up to her and started speaking French.... when she said the best thing ever: "Do you actually speak English? My French isn't the best" Yes I speak English! Haha I was so grateful to hear that request :) So we had a great talk. We asked if she or anyone she knew might be interested in hearing more. And then, straight up she just said, "yeah, I think i would be." haha it's kind of sad when your initial response from that is "what??? ARe you sure?" (haha don't worry I didn't actually say that out loud ;) ) But really though.... people never say that here. So she seemed really interested. Apparently just the other day her son had been asking about Christ. So that was cool :) We also met a very nice JW... so that's fun :) She was so sweet though. She stopped US. (which also never happens ;) ) to tell us she just really appreciated our modesty and classy appearance. Like a warm hug when most people won't talk to you once they see your nametag. So that was nice. The Terrebonne sisters actually have an appointment with her this week... so we'll see if that goes anywhere. :) But yes, that was a strange day. We only spent an hour or two in our area that night, but still had some good experiences.
Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving. We were initially worried we were going to have a very long day with no appointments and no food... but then we ended up being stuffed all day (although not with Turkey dinner :( ). We did service in our Bishop's garden in the morning... which is WONDERFUL! I loved it so much. And then I did some barefoot gardening, which made my heart happy. It's been way too long since my bare feet touched the dirt ;) *** ( I just have to insert a mother's comment here... The thought of Heather gardeniing barefoot just made me smile...I can just picture that scene so well...that is Heather for you..loving life and making the most of it!! ) Really, it was wonderful though. I could do that all day every day. And it was the most BEAUTIFUL day. so unusually warm for this area in the middle of October. But I loved it :) We had a bbq with them after the service, and then had a little lesson as well. So nice! And they're one of the few quebecquois families I can understand... so that's a plus :) After that we stopped by a member's house. He fed us two different kinds of chocolate costco cake. I felt so sick. Haha but he was such a funny guy, and we shared a thanksgiving message out on his back deck. Seriously that weather was AMAZING. To die for :) We went contacting after that for about an hour. You never know who you're going to have success with. A little hesitantly, we began talking to a guy who was sitting out in the sun drinking a beer. He was so nice though! And we ended up talking for quite some time with him and his girlfriend. Didn't want to hear the discussions, but it was a great contact nonetheless. Haha I feel weird with how much I actually love contacting. It's actually one of my favorite things ;) I just love all the people we talk to :)
We then had a dinner appointment. Holy cow we were full Eating almost constantly since about. That was lovely... I was going to explode. And then we had an FHE with a family... and of course they gave us dessert at the end of all that. So that was an adventure. The FHE was great though. It was with the Ri and the Vallées (a member family). So great. We had a huge lesson with the Ri last Thursday.. where we really tried to help them understand the importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. Vi (the dad) seemed very willing to rededicate himself to reading. So this was a great night :) I LOVE their family. Seriously the sweetest people ever. I just hope they'll choose to be baptized. Agency is a hard thing. Sometimes I just wish I could plant my knowledge and testimony on everyone I met. Not easy waiting for them to listen and accept it ;)
But life is wonderful, as usual. I really do love being a missionary. I feel SOOOO blessed to be here right now. In this beautiful area with these wonderful people. Really it's such a blessing. I love you all and am praying for you! Thanks so much for your love, support, prayers, letters, etc. It means SOOO much. Again, I love you!
Soeur Heather Shelley
p.s. The good thing about an earlier Thanksgiving is that I feel more justified about listening to Christmas music now ;) haha so I'm slowly working to convert Sister Beaumont to the idea... gotta love Christmas :)
6:00 a.m. The beautiful view as we run in the mornings! I LOVE the run we do :)
Cute little house along the river, surrounded by trees :)