March 28, 2015
FYI Definition: YSA’s = Young Single Adults ranging in age from 18 to thru 30.
We have been in Ottawa for three weeks now. It may be fun to tell about some of the adjustments we have had to make. It has been interesting to wear a suit every day and even more interesting to wear a coat and scarf over the suite every day. But I did wear a suit when I worked in a bank and I do have a coat so that was not hard. Wearing a skirt every day is harder for Jeanette when she is so used to wearing pants. She loves keeping warm with her fuzzy lined tights, mostly her white coat and the two beautiful scarves she got, one from Alisa and one from Rita.
Our apartment is small so we have to live in confined quarters, at least more than at home. We only have one bathroom and the fixtures remind me of my first mission. We park in a designated spot on the second parking below ground and need to walk 200 yards to the elevator, not like home. We do not have a dishwasher so we wash all our own dishes and we don’t have a disposal so we need to scrape the dishes, now that is a big change. We have to do the laundry in a coin operated laundry on the top floor of our building. It takes a special credit card so we need to load money into the card every once and a while. It cost about $10 to $20 a week to wash clothes. The heat is radiant so it takes several hours to warm up and cool down. It has been difficult to find a good sleeping temperature. Not only do we wash our own dishes we clean the whole apartment ourselves and iron shirts (Isn’t that amazing?) Learning to text on an old flip phone has been an adjustment. From the tenth floor the sky can look blue and warm but when we go out it is 15 degrees Fahrenheit and cold. Here is a picture of the still frozen river from our balcony. The lakes and canals are also still frozen.
Bank of windows in living room
Front door to our apartment
There are a lot of one way streets and bus only lanes, so driving takes a little getting used to. There are high-rise buildings all over in the suburbs as well as downtown and the downtown is three or four times bigger than Salt Lake. We have also had to get use to how much things cost. For instance it costs $4 per hour to park on campus, $16 to park at the public library, $4/gal. for gas, meat is terrifically expensive (we found a 3lb roast that was $23.00 at Wal-Mart) and some food is about double what we are use to.
The people here, in and out of the church, are very kind and helpful but they still honk if you are slow at a stop light. All in all I think we have adjusted very well.
Here is a picture of our building plus the front door and portico to our building.
Here is a picture of the building across the parking lot from us. This was taken since March 28.
Here are some interior pictures:
Front door to our apartment
I have been studying the Gospel more than before. We have taught institute lessons on Education, Marriage, Health and from CES Devotion talks on Real Intent, Tuning to the Spirit, and Understanding the Spirit. This week we are going to teach Truth and Tolerance. They all take study and prayer. We teach four times a week and since our classes are small we try to get the students to talk about their experiences and we try to add some of our own experiences in a round table discussion format. So far it has worked well. We have had lots of spiritual experiences and have gotten to know some wonderful people, including members, missionaries, returned missionaries, new converts, and students away from home and living at home as well as investigators. It is Interesting that they speak several languages. Most know at least 2 languages and many 3 or 4.
Our Institute Coordinator, Brother Brian Turner, complimented us on a fast start and hitting the road running. You know we had 6 months to get ready and decide on lessons, etc.
On March 21st we drove a rental van 5 hours and took 5 YSAs along with 2 other car loads to the Toronto Temple That was a great experience. We were able to do several baptisms. Julia Yuan, one of our newer Chinese YSA converts was able to have baptisms done for her great grandmother and great grandfather. Akinwumi Abiodun Akindele (Abbey for short) was able to do the work for his father. He was really grateful for that opportunity. He is from Nygeria. (Side note – he was able to go to Salt Lake City and translate General Conference into his native language. He was really excited about it and loved Salt Lake. Also, he is getting his master’s degree in environmental engineering) The Temple trip was pretty special.
As we said before, we spoke in Church the next day. These YSA’s are wonderful children of our Heavenly Father and we are very grateful to be able to serve them.
Elder and Sister Payne