March 18, 2015
We are in the middle of our second week and still do not have the routine down yet. We have had something to do every day and it seems busy. We do have time in the morning to read and study, something we have not had much of before. In case you are interested I will tell a little about Ottawa.
Today, Wednesday, we taught at Ottawa University. It has about 40,000 students and is located in an urban area with tall buildings crowded together and surrounded by older apartments. It has a commuter train and almost no on campus housing. It is a highly desirable University and draws students from all over the world. It’s reputation is more for liberal arts subjects but it has a big medical school and a lot of other medical related schools as well as a good Law school and accounting, thus a good percent of the students are graduate students. We have between 3 and 5 students (2 are recent converts) plus the chines missionaries who come to institute at Ottawa University.
These are our students at Ottawa U. They include the two missionaries Elder Morier and Elder Weber.
On Monday we teach at Carleton University. It is a newer campus also with a commuter train but it has walking trails and open spaces. Carleton is known more for business and engineering schools and has mostly undergraduate students. Students at Carleton can walk across a bridge and through an experimental farm to the church in about 10 or 15 minutes. We have 4 or 5 regular students come to institute class and they are all very sharp returned missionaries.
Algonquin Collage is located in the suburbs and is more like Salt Lake Community College. It has 2 year and 4 year degrees and certificate programs in things like graphic art and art automation as well as radiology tech and hair styling. We have 4 or 5 students coming there. In a way this is like our first callings as a married couple to the University 13th Ward in Salt Lake.
This week on each campus we taught about Tuning Your Life to the Spirit, a CES talk given by Sister Burton. At the stake center Wednesday night we taught about preparing for celestial marriage.Today we attended a lesson with the missionaries and a single new YSA convert. Guess what, he was converted by a man from Sigurd, Utah, who is married to a cousin of mine (I think). Tomorrow we will go to the Missionary District meeting in the morning and have a meeting with the Institute Director, Brother Turner in the afternoon. Saturday we are going to drive a van full of kids to the temple in Toronto and back. Sunday we are going to speak in church.
On Monday, March 23rd, we went with our District (3 sets of missionaries including us) to Parliament Hill. It was amazing that we were only there for 20 minutes and we were able to hear a presentation on a bill for traditional marriage. There were not very many Parliamentarians there. The House of Commons is beautiful. We were unable to take pictures and had to go through screening 3 times and had to leave our coats and things outside the House of Commons.
After we went to get some Poutine. The basic Poutine is French fries, gravy and cheese. Where we went you could have several different kinds of toppings - prime rib, nachos, etc. It was OK! And it was Cold, especially the wind.
We asked to be busy and we are. We are loving our mission.
One thing I have noticed here is a strong sense of nationalism. Canadians move around between cities; but, always north of the border. They do not move into the US or out of the US. Most of them do not have visas to get into the US other for short trips to Utah. That is why we are going 5.5 hours to the temple in Toronto, instead of 4 hours to Palmyra this weekend.
Also everything has its own Canadian brand names. The stores sell a lot of the same things but with different names and everything is labeled in English and French. For instance our fridge is a Crosley but it looks like a Maytag. Our range is a Moffat but looks like a Hotpoint. Or our crackers are Vinta by Dare but they look like Kebbler. Since 9-11 it has been more difficult to get a Visa to cross the border. This is a picture of our kitchen.
One of the best things has been to watch Sister Payne (Jeanette) teach the Gospel. She is wonderful. She teaches the missionaries and the investigators as well as our students and bears strong testimony she even commits them to action. She got one new member to commit to come to the temple with us. She got one young man to come to church. She told the story of Heather with real emotion twice. Sister Payne has learned the names of most of the YSA ward already and in not afraid to get into their lives. Yesterday she teamed up with the Sisters to commit a man to pay his tithing. We were all blessed to hear her testimony. Any wonder why I love her so much. I couldn’t ask for a better companion.
Our Love goes out to all of you
Elder and Sister Payne