Tuesday, May 19, 2015

An Exciting Couple of Weeks

April 10, 2015
On P-Day, we help the missionaries by taking them grocery shopping. Here Elder Mourier and Elder Weber are coming out of the back door of their apartment.
We went to Parliament Hill with the Elders and Sisters on P-day. Sister Matos and Sister Arizmendi are absolutely darling. They are incredible missionaries as are Elders Mourier and Weber.

It was really a neat experience. The middle tower was closed, so we got to go into the House of Commons. We went through several metal detector machines and had to check our coats and bags. We watched someone present a bill (not many MP – Members of Parliament there). This bill just happened to be to make marriage between a man and women part of the law of the land. We were only there for 20 minutes and have not heard anything else about it, but it was interesting.

 After Parliament. we went to get some Poutine. Poutine consists of French fries with a poutine gravy and cheese curds. It is a lot like mashed potatoes and gravy with cheese on top. At this little shop they had several different types of toppings with roast beef, chicken, pork or a Mexican style Poutine. All in all it was an interesting afternoon and a lot of fun with our District.

We are busy having a great time in Ottawa and want to share a few highlights. This week we taught our last class for the semester at Carleton University, but Algonquin College and Ottawa University still have one more week to go.

 Carleton University
Algonquin College

Institute graduation or Recognition Night is going to be on April 17th. There about 50 students who will receive some level of recognition. It could be from one semester class to as much as 8 semesters of institute classes. We have been assigned to do an ice cream bar after the meeting. A lot of the students are now starting to go home or away for the summer to work so we will have a smaller crowd during the summer. We will have one wedding in May and three weddings in June. Things can be exciting around here.

This week we got to attend the missionary zone meeting and were so impressed with the level of leadership in this mission and it was so fun to be in the presence of so many great young missionaries. We also were able to attend the seminary in-service meeting with the early morning teachers. Elder Holland said that there is a throne in heaven for early morning teachers and I think they deserve it. But even better is the Seminary and Institute coordinator who is so great. We are going to go help Brother Turner with training at his home this Saturday for some Seminary students who are having a multi-stake activity.

We went to a farewell party on Friday for a darling girl, Kiffyn DeSouza. She will be leaving next week for a French speaking mission in St. George. If any of you go to the visitor’s center, she will be there.


We were told that we were going to have the fire alarm going off on a Wednesday during the day to test it and make sure it was OK. Unfortunately it also went off at 2:30 am and it was no drill. There were about 3 or 4 fire trucks and we walked down 10 flights of stairs and went outside in our pj’s, and warm coat. Sister Payne picked up her purse. It was cold and we finally went in the stairwell on the first floor to keep a little warm. We knew we could get out easily if needed. There was a family with a little baby and another with an 18 month old in the stairwell. The alarm finally turned off after about 45 min and we hiked back up the 10 stories to our apartment. They said that there had been smoke on the main floor, but they found no fire. Actually, not very many people left the building to begin with.
We have planned our lesson schedule for this summer and the school year and are now starting to read and prepare for those classes. It is overwhelming if you think too much about it, so we have to bite off only as much as we can chew at a time; but, progress is very exciting. We are going to teach the New Testament – the Four Gospels for Spring and Summer at the Institute (ward meeting house) on Wednesday nights. We hope to offer a couple of classes next academic year at each school, teaching the same subject so that more students can attend Institute. The thing is, we have only club status at any of the schools and we depend on the students to reserve study rooms. We, then come in and teach, or more like lead discussion groups, as invited guests of the club. I dream of a time when we will have enough students to justify a better facility arrangement.

On a personal note, the sisters asked us to invite them and a new member over for dinner so we did that. We learned her story. She has been a member only about eight months and lives on her own.  She has given up much for the church and is glad to have our friendship. She graduated as a civil engineer and was in the middle of a master’s program when she joined the Church. Her parents are atheists, are not at all happy that she joined the church. They stopped supporting her and have made it impossible for her to live at home. She works at Nordstrom ad Subway and is saving money so that she can finish the one year she has left this fall. We went to see her at Nordstroms and are grateful that we know her. We hope that we can help her even more. Several of these YSAs have given up a lot to join the Church.
We also followed up with the missionaries who we gave a referral to a few weeks ago. They reported that the lady we sent them to only wanted money to Haiti. Apparently she thought missionaries got paid for our work. Anyway it was fun for us to be involved.

Elder and Sister Christensen are French speaking MLS missionaries in Gatineau, just across the Ottawa River but are in the same Stake as we are. We were able to go to a great restaurant, St. Hubert, with them and enjoyed their company. The funny thing is they live close to Albion middle school and are in a neighboring stake. It is amazing to our members here that we can live so close, not know each other and not be in the same stake.

Most of the snow has melted but it is not yet spring here. It snows or rains a little almost every day.  We have had above freezing temperatures several days and the sun came out a few times but it is still cold, at least to us. We tell the locals that the weather is like living in the mountains of northern Utah or Idaho so we are used to it, at least the end of their winter. Everyone is ready for spring to come. 

Dow's Lake is still frozen

The Rideau Canal is still frozen.

General Conference was wonderful. We went to the Church and watched all four sessions, Elder Payne – 5. It was great to be around these wonderful people in this part of the Lord’s vineyard. We had a few investigators that came to a couple of the meetings. One is going to take the discussions and is very interested in the church. It was a great and powerful weekend.  

We Love You All,

Elder and Sister Payne

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