And we have been able to witness and be part of new members lives. This is one of the two baptisms we told you about before but we want to tell you again. The baptism last Saturday was for a Chinese YSA. When Chinese come here or to the states, they take on an English name. He goes by Bruce Lee. Some giggle at the name because as you know there is an actor named Bruce Lee. No, our Bruce is not famous, he is just humble. He just graduated from college and is now looking for a job so he can extend his visa and stay here. He has expressed his happiness with having been baptized and having the spirit with him and it shows. His smile is much bigger now. That makes six new converts in our ward in the six months we have been here. And there a number of others who have joined the church in the last year before we got here who are equally exciting to know. The first year can be a test of faith and they need support. The returning members are just as exciting to see and work with. We have three or four of those all with amazing stories of rough times and recommitment. The point is the Church is alive here. It is not a place where everyone is gliding along at the same level of commitment year after year.
We have Mission district meetings every week. It is a great experience to be around the missionaries as they tell stories. This particular meeting the district leader asked if the missionaries had any questions and no hands went up. Then he asked if there were any miracles to report and everyone’s hands went up. The sisters in Dows Lake told that they found a new investigator and felt that a certain new member needed to go with them to a lesson. The first meeting they were to have fell through the next day the new member called and asked if they had a lesson she could go to so they set it up again. It was a hour and a half bus ride and a long walk but they all got there on time. The meeting went so well they are going to set a baptismal date on their next visit.
The Chapel Hill sisters reported that last week the district leader encouraged them to lookup old investigators so they went through the long list and picked one to go see. When they got there a girl opened the door and said she had been waiting for them. Where had they been? As the story unfolded a set of sisters had taught her a lesson or two about a year ago and then were transferred and the new missionaries didn’t know to go see her. With their visit the Sisters have a great investigator who has been reading the Book of Mormon and is really ready. We heard more stories like this throughout the hour and a half meeting. It is absolutely amazing. The Lord is in charge and he works through us when we let him. The church is alive and working in Ottawa.
Then they do several manuvers and line up for inspection. There are two bands one Scottish and one brass band. After the inspection they march back three blocks to the guard station room. During the summer they do this every day at 10:00AM. But this was the last time this year. Sister Payne loves the bagpipes and is so excited that they use them so much in Ottawa. You know she is 1/2 Scottish and that explains a lot.
At the end of the month Ottawa had the Olympic paddling tryouts. These included kayaks canoe races for both men and women. It was at the Moonies Bay on the lake by our apartment. It lasted for about 4 days.
Institute is just around the corner. and we are getting serious ourselves about studying and getting ready for our many anticipated institute class this fall semester. Institute has a welcome out week as well as institute and then the fun starts, getting time slots to teach at the Universities. Let the fun begin.
We love this work. We are excited to spend full time working for the Lord in building His Kingdom here in Ottawa. The YSAs we meet are great. We love the missionaries we work with.
Love, Elder and Sister Payne