Monday, October 19, 2015

Winter is Coming...

October 19, 2015

Hello everyone! We're going apple picking this beautiful morning, so I have just a few minutes before that to do a few emails. But I'll be back later for the second half :)
How is everyone? I hope all is well :)
Life is great here in Mascouche... but it is getting CHILLY. FREEZING. Negative temperatures (in Celsius...). We are already learning how to bundle ourselves. I  just don't know what we're going to do when it gets down to negative 20 , 30, or 40.... we get enough funny looks as it is ;) But I really do love it here. I can't believe how fast this week flew by. Lots of great things to be doing. It definitely had its ups and downs though... we had some hard days this week. So here's just a few things from our week.
We've been making more of an effort to contact more people. We don't have very many friends... The Ri family (who we love to death :) are really our only solid progressing investigators... so we really wanted to make more of an effort to find some more. So we spent lots of time outdoors, walking neighborhoods, knocking doors, and at the most wonderful park we found. We met lots of nice people, had some great conversations, but so far haven't made any new friends as a result of it. But we're still trying! :) We won't give up this easily. Haha we do enjoy contacting though. There's just too many fun times :) When else do you get the excuse to walk up to every single person you see, regardless of their age or appearance, and start talking about Christ? When do you get such worthwhile and happy experiences? When do you have such hilarious experiences? Probably nowhere else... so we make the best of it and thoroughly enjoy our contacting experiences :) And this park we found.. oh wow. It is beautiful. Tons of trees, lakes, and lots of people walking the trails. So, we get to have the fun of talking to everyone, while soaking in the beauty of the changing fall leaves. It's great :)
Some funny experiences this week.... Thursday we had been out contacting in a neighborhood... we ended up teaching a lesson to a former investigator (Lo). But she kept talking. Which is great, but we had another appointment for 5:15, and it was 5:10 when we left... We had been wandering for 2 or 3 hours, and weren't even exactly sure where our car was. And so, we proceeded to run. In our boots, skirts, and with our heavy bags over one shoulder. We were quite the sight to see I'm sure ;) We definitely got some looks and even some funny comments ;) We arrived to our car SO HOT. But, we only got to our appointment a few minutes late ;) The early morning runs we've started doing came in handy though... ask me to run to our car a few months ago and I probably would have died. It's sad but true :) But yes, that was great :) There's always funny experiences chasing people down too. And the looks some people give you. But you just have to keep smiling and do all you can to help them accept their message. Not always effective, but still fun :) So that was a good week of contacting.
We also had some great lessons with the Ri's. Thursday is our set lesson day with them. We planned to teach the Word of Wisdom to them, and brought Soeur Limoges (bishop's wife) with us, because she's a convert and had to get over smoking. Her story is amazing. The Ri's really appreciated her experience and all of the testimonies she shared. It was great. Easier for her to relate to them since we're just 19 year old girls who have never had problems with the W.o.W. They don't have too many problems with it... mostly just coffee and some drinking. They've always wanted to stop, but had such a hard time. But they recommitted to do so with God's help. I still don't feel like I'm able to contribute as much as I'd like, with  my limited French. But the fact that I can understand pretty much everything they say is SUCH A BLESSING. I can really feel God's help. I've already been able to understand so much more than when I arrived... less than 3 weeks ago. It's amazing :)
Last night we stopped by the Ri's again. It was a GREAT visit. Jaci (the mom) asked US if we wanted to come EVERY DAY to help them read the Book of Mormon. Yes we do! We've been trying a lot harder for daily contact, so we were so excited when she suggested that. She's the one who's been more hestitant about the Book of Mormon. So that made us so excited. We're excited for them. Seriously the best family ever :)
well that's all I've got time for right now. But I love you all! Keep strong and remember the Lord is on your side :)
Love you all!
Soeur Heather Shelley :)

Just a few things to add on now that I have time... :)
Sadly, apple picking actually didn't happen today :( I guess the orchard is closed because it's too cold. We were pretty sad about that, but we've had a good day bundled up in our apartment with hot chocolate, just doing some good organizing, cleaning, and other good stuff :) Tonight we're driving down to Montréal for a Trainer meeting and then zone conference tomorrow :) So that's fun :) :) But back to the week....
Another cool thing about the Ri's family.... church yesterday seemed to be planned exactly for them. Holy cow it was AMAZING. Sister Beaumont and our District Leader, Elder I don't remember his name right now ;) gave the talks in Sacrament. On being converted, and then on preparing for the temple. After church, Jaci commented on how interesting those talks were.. and how the examples Sis. Beaumont shared about Laman, Lemuel, and Nephi, were so understandable because it's exactly what they'd just been reading in the Book of Mormon. So that was amazing.. especially that Jaci was the one who seemed so inspired by it all :) And then Sunday School was on... the law of health (not sure the exact english words for it ;). So, a huge portion of that was the Word of Wisdom. Which was PERFECT for the lesson we just had with them. Really, so amazing. And so many people baring testimony of the Word of Wisdom, and even Jaci and Vi were making comments and offering their support of the idea behind it. So that was awesome :) Jaci kept mentioning how applicable church had been. So that was so so great. :)

And then we had some hard times this week... we've been visiting a member named Denise. She's only in her 60s, but had a degenerative disease that made it so she could barely talk or walk. But her mind is completely here and you can tell it's so hard for her to be so confined. So we usually visit her at least twice a week in the care center she lives in. So Saturday we went for our visit, to find probably 6 to 8 people in her room... her daughters have been saying for a while that they knew her death would be coming any day. But that didn't make it any easier to arrive at that moment. Her daughter, Soeur Paquet, came out to talk to us. She hadn't passed on yet, but they were basically waiting for her last breath, they said. It was pretty overwhelming when they invited us to come in and see her one last time. She was unconscious, but pretty uneasy in her breath. I've known this woman for only three weeks, been hardly able to understand what she's said for me, yet I have grown to love her so much and felt SO MUCH PAIN as I stood there watching her take those last breaths. That was hard. We sat in that somber room for a number of minutes, watching her children and grandchildren crying, while we ourselves were crying to. It was so overwhelming. So sad. But at the same time so hopeful, because you knew how welcome this probably was. Her husband's been dead for quite some time. She's been confined to a chair. Dying really was like letting her finally be free of the confines of her deteriorating body. She died later that night, we found out the following day. But it still was so hard. Not the moment you hope to walk in on, yet still we were so grateful that we were able to have that moment to say goodbye. We really did love her. I know Sister Beaumont did even more.... she was able to know her before her health deteriorated this much. She's seen her steadily decline, and kept visiting with just as much love. It was so hard for both of us though, and affected us for the rest of the day. We both were just so grateful for our knowledge of the gospel though, and of the plan of salvation. It really is so hopeful and comforting to know that she did move on to be with her wonderful husband again. A really tough moment to experience though.
So that affected us for the rest of the weekend. But really just gives you so much more desire to spread the message of the gospel that we have. We really do have such a worthwhile message to share. It's sad knowing how much joy and peace and hope our message would bring to people if they'd listen, yet so few are actually willing to listen.

So there's our week. The biggest details I can think of. We really need to find some more friends to teach. Had its ups and downs, but a good week nonetheless.
All week we've been working on memorizing the scripture masteries... so have been singing the scriptures all week long ;) The best is 2 Nephi 25:23 and 26 to the tune of the song "Bad Day". It's become our theme song. Definitely helps to lift us up when times are hard :)
"for we talk of Christ, rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ. And we write according to our prophesies that our children may know to what source they may look for remission of their sins..."
Really, it's what we're all about. It's a great song to sing the entire time we're out contacting :)
Well, again... I love you so much!
Also, just wanted to share D&C18:15&16... it's so true. Spreading the gospel really does bring SO MUCH joy. So I'd invite you all to do all YOU CAN to help invite others to Christ. It's most definitely not the  missionary's job :)
Love you!

Sister Heather Shelley :) :) :)












I love you lots and miss you! But not too much... I'm keeping nice and busy and happy in this work here in Mascouche :) Loving life, Canada, and Soeur Beaumont :)





Our humble thanksgiving dinner we made the other night.. purple mashed potatoes... gravy, frozen corn, and canned turkey. hahahahah :)




 it really is SO COLD here. Holy cow. I've been freezing. We laugh quite a bit about how ridiculous we look all bundled up. In the middle of October. haha, it's great ;)




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