Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Canada Eh?

Off to BC!

Tim Hortons...Canadian Food
At the Osoyoos BC Branch 
Sister Holm & Sister Larsen

November 19, 2013

Dearest friends and family,
I'm a missionary. Can you believe it? It's unreal. I'm serving in the Osoyoos area, which is in the Kelowna zone, which is in the Okanagan Valley. A little recap on my crazy week!

Wednesday: Left the MTC and took a bus, train, AND plane to get to Vancouver. There were 16 of us total. We had to wait 3 hours in Canadian customs. I loved traveling with my zone though! I sat by Sister Jones who had never flown before and that made the flight much more interesting. After we arrived we met President Tilleman and had an orientation meeting at the mission home.

Thursday: I met my wonderful companion Sister Larsen! She is from Murray Utah, graduated in 2012, and did a year at Snow College. She's been out for 3 months. I'm so grateful to have her as my trainer! We get along so well and have a lot in common :)

Friday: We are assigned to the Osoyoos area (pronounced "O-su-yoos"). We cover two towns, Oliver and Osoyoos. We're the only missionaries out here. It took a 7-hour bus ride from Vancouver to get here, but it wasn't too bad. I found a new love for Greyhound buses! Oliver and Osoyoos are very similar, they are small touristy towns right on the [US] border. We can see the US mountains. There are a lot of wineries here, and I don't just mean a lot. Like A TON. The vineyards are beautiful! There is also a lake in Osoyoos.  It's amazing to drive by! After we finally got here, I had time to settle in and unpack... which was needed. Our apartment is the perfect size and it a lot nicer than I was expecting! It already feels like home.

Saturday: My first real day as a missionary. I met some of the members, who I already love! We see a recent convert, R, almost every other day. He has been trying to quit smoking. After going back and forth with him I finally just asked if I could buy the pack from him. It didn't seem like a dumb idea until we were walking away and I was $6 poorer and my coat smelled like cigs from the pack in my pocket. Oh well. At least he knew how serious we were. Then we saw Sis B, who I love! She is so sweet and faithful, but also has a smoking problem (most people around here do). We're trying to help her as best we can. It really is up to her and The Lord. She has a granddaughter who she watched, K. K is sooo funny! She makes the silliest comments and loves to pray. Her prayers are always "Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the visit from our missionaries, in Jesus's name amen." SO CUTE. I also met the M [Martino] family who already feel like my second family! They were baptized a few years ago and have been strong ever since. They take care of the missionaries. Sis M adds our parents on FB and sends them pictures and videos of us! I'm so grateful that my mom had someone to talk to. Sis M is an angel!

Sunday: Very eventful! My first Sunday at the branch! Our branch is small, around 30 members. Most of them are elderly and hearing impaired. Some of them wear these massive headphones during sacrament just so they can hear what's going on. Luckily I worked at CaptionCall for 3 months and had to talk to old people on the phone...so I'm used to yelling. God has a wonderful sense of humor! Our chapel used to be a funeral home. Ironic, I know. An investigator, JJ, always comes to church with his dog Annie (ha. ha. ha.) He sits and talks to her. It's the cutest thing! FYI she's a good dog. That's why they let her attend church. The branch president had me get up and bear my testimony. I said "I'm so grateful that I get to hang out with all of you!".... yeah I'm an idiot. Missionaries don't say 'hang out'. Oh well. I'm just being me. Every third Sunday is potluck. I've become a less picky eater because usually I'm so freaking hungry that I'll eat anything. I tried something called a Perogie, which is like a Hungarian dumpling. It's amazing! Go try it! I'm also speaking next sunday so pray for me. After potluck we went out tracting. My first door-knock was a Jehovah's Witness (we call them J-dubs). I was so freaked out. He argued with us for a while and we held our ground, but it was still pretty terrifying. The rest of the door knocks were okay after that though! We also started talking with J, who was walking to his friends house. We walked with him for like a mile and a half (he's old so it took a while) and chatted about religion. He's had a very hard life and has been living in a motel for the past 5 years. I'm excited to see how he turns out! That night Sister Larsen and I were so tired that after we finished daily planning, we grabbed some frozen yogurt and sat on the floor and watched The District from our tiny DVD player. It's like our reality show. Hahaha oh well! We do the best with what we have!

Monday: P-day is boring. Enough said.

Thank you for all the emails! I loved hearing from everyone! I'll try to email when I can! If you want to write letter, my address is:

PO BOX 1337
Oliver, BC V0H IT0 (yes those are zeros)

Go read D&C 6:34. It's my new favorite! I love and miss you!

xoxo A

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