We had an absolutely wonderful time at the MTC. Abbey, Lynaea, Ella, Faith and Vi ran up the street as we left.
We were lucky enough to go with our study group friends, the Uzelacs.
We stayed at Wyview, ate meals with the young Elders and Sisters and were taught by returned missionaries and CES specialists - Brother Oldham, Brother Anderson and Brother Udy.
We found Sisters Allard while there. They are both from Ottawa and are as sweet as can be.
The spirit was strong and we loved every minute of it. We were in a group of 38 senior missionaries and were in a district with 4 super couples. We were married the longest.
After 1.5 weeks at the MTC, we packed our car and left Salt Lake packed like sardines on Friday, February 27th.
We drove hard for five days stopping briefly at Winter Quarters, stayed at Ron and Mary’s house and went to church with their daughter Karen in Iowa.
We saw the Mormon Bridge at Winter Quarters with ice flowing.
We stopped for lunch in Duncan, Illinois, where President Regan lived for a short time.
We stopped at Nortre Dame and drove and walked around.
We visited Elisabeth, a lady Kellie helped convert in Rochester on Tuesday before driving to Julie’s through the first real snow (blizzard) since we left. We arrived at Julie’s in Syracuse, NY, late afternoon.
The snow was really deep snow so we helped build a ten foot snowman.
I also helped plow the driveway and build the snowman with their tractor.
We went cross country skiing (just down the driveway).
We went with Lentz’ to The Piano Guys at a beautiful theater in Syracuse and had a lot of fun.
Eric asked us to teach early morning seminary at 6:00 am on Thursday. We had a wonderful stay with Julie and Eric and family and drove the rest of the way to Ottawa on Friday. We stopped at the border for 1 hour and finally made into Canada about 11:30.
We arrived in the afternoon and were met by the missionaries who carried our things into the apartment. The senior couple, Elder and Sister Adams, who we replaced, showed us around the city for two days. That was VERY helpful. They took us to Beavertails. They are a scone with any type of topping. They were very good. (This picture was taken later. You can see Elder Payne by the FedEx truck.
We met Elder and Sister Christensen, the French speaking senior couple, and our coordinator, Brother Turner on Saturday. Brother Turner took all three of the Senior missionaries to a Sugar Shack in the mountains, where they tap the maple trees and make maple syrup. It was a great breakfast/dinner.
We attended Stake conference on Sunday where they rearranged the boundaries. This change will allow each ward room to grow. The Stake President, President Nemeth, is a wonderful person. He has a vision for this stake that the Stake Presidency will present during our ward conferences. He is an amazing man.
We immediately dove into the work. Monday was the first day to teach a class at Carleton University. We were lucky enough to have Brother Turner teach that class with us there and we were introduced to the 5 YSAs in the class. We taught 5 YSAs at Algonquin College on Tuesday and at Ottawa University on Wednesday we taught 3 plus the missionaries. Then Wednesday evening we taught at the institute at our ward and had two in our class. So we have had a big first week. But that is not all, we have had four good missionary experiences this week. One resulted in less active committing to come to church and one resulted in a new referral for the missionaries. It is amazing that people want to know about the church. They ask a lot of questions. We find it much easier to talk about the church here because people do not know much about us and are interested in the topic of religion.
Until this afternoon Sister Payne and I have been very busy and have hardly been able to sit down. We are adjusting to everything and loving our mission.
Love, Elder and Sister Payne