June - A Very Busy Month – Installment #1
We keep thinking that we will get this done before a month passes; but, so far we are a month and one half behind. We feel that it is still important to write.
This is the same place we took a picture 2 months ago. Much nicer weather.
We are teaching institute this summer on Wednesday nights until August 12. We are really enjoying it. The YSAs are receptive and offer a lot to the class. In June we continued to teach in St. Matthew. It is a great experience to learn more about the Savior and strengthen our testimonies. We taught them that Matthew wrote for the Jews to show them that what was foretold came to pass through Jesus Christ. That Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah that the Old Testament Prophets prophesied. We have been able to teach His parables, His miracles, the Mount of Transfiguration and Priesthood keys. We have been able to use power point, video clips of the Bible Videos as well as video clips of modern day Prophets and Apostles. These are very powerful resources and we are glad that we can use them. We have had about 8 in our class. On Wednesday night at Institute there also continues to be a mission prep class and a class Brother Turner is teaching. All in all there are about 25 students.
We were able to see the locks in action. We have a couple of locks next to our apartment that move boats between the Ottawa River and the Rideau River at Hogs Back Locks. this canal is called the Rideau Canal. We went for a walk down by the canal and over to the beach. Coming back the locksmith (ranger) was standing by the lock so I asked if boats have started coming through. He said yes one is coming in just a few minutes. So we ran home to get the camera. I mean Sister Payne walked fast but I broke out in a sprint. It felt good and we got back just in time to get some good pictures. We were able to see this huge boat that sleeps 200 and comes from Kingston, a city by the St. Lawrence Sea Way, up the Rideau River, through several locks including the Hog’s Back Locks by our place, to the Hartwell Locks. It is a five day trip up and five days back. As you will notice, this boat had to pull up its bough to get into the lock. It was fun and we stayed about 45 minutes watching the process. It was the first boat we saw going through the locks. One note is that the locksmiths crank the winches that move the gates by hand. There are no modern gages or radios or engineering or hydraulics or other high tech stuff involved at all.
That day we were able to talk to three people, one had been raised as a Mormon but quit going to church ten years ago because she works on Sunday for Costco. I think some good seeds were sown during this experience.
The ward during summer is small. We have about 35 to 45 YSAs in the summer. The Bishop told us that we would get to know the members that come in the summer better because it is so small. We are looking forward to that. We have a big diversity of members in the Dows Lake YSA Ward. Not only do we have several colors of skin, but we have every level of socio, economic, education, testimony, and church experience in our ward. It would be very challenging to any bishop; but, our bishop has been a bishop before, has been a counselor in the Stake Presidency and is very, very good at it. We are here to help him.
This month we got to go on a District Hike to Luskville Falls Trails. We have the Dows Lake Sister Missionaries, the Dows Lake Chinese Elders, the Chapel Hill Elders and the Chapel Hill Sisters. They are so great! We are so lucky to know such incredible young men and young women. The church is in good hands in the mission field. They are so ready to teach and preach the Gospel and their love for the Lord is very evident. We cannot say enough about them. It was about a 4 hour hike to the Fire tower at the top. There was a beautiful look out place with a view of the Gatineau valley.
The missionaries were so good to us. They seem to really enjoy being with us. We certainly enjoy being with them. Luskville Falls Trails is in Gatineau Park, a large park with several lakes, trails, as well as canoeing, kayaking and camping. Last month we went to Pink Lake.
So far our service projects have been, clean the meeting house every Saturday every other month. Also, we get to go help at the Garlic Farm. The money earned by this farm helps to supplement people with disabilities. It helps provide some housing and other expenses not covered by the government supplement. The land is owned by Canada and they lease for 1$ a year. The farm is run by a retired church member. Each ward in the stake volunteers one week at a time and other churches and charity service groups also volunteer time to help. This time we weeded. This is an ongoing project that many of our YSAs grew up helping with their families. Those that have been doing this for a long time feel a great satisfaction and love doing it. In our assignment, we would weed and then make sure the little garlic mound was covered with hay. This keeps the garlic plants moist and helps keep out the weeds. We had about 16 there. Sorry no picture.
We were able to go on somewhat of an historical tour. It was Open Door day in Ottawa so several historical homes, buildings and churches were open for public tour. We went to see the Royal Canadian College of physicians and surgeons that is located in an old nunnery. This is where they make the rules and regulations for the doctors. We also went to see the Laurier House the historic home of a Prime Minister. We also went to see the Saint Francois d’Assisa Church that was built in 1915.
We had three marriages in June of YSAs. Hopefully we will have more. They are all strong young people with strong testimonies and they will be a great benefit to both the church and the community wherever they live.
This month was Stake Conference. We had a sweet elderly sister that was recently baptized speak. What a powerful testimony. After the session the visiting area 70, Elder Jack N. Gerard asked new converts or those investigating the church to meet in the Relief Society room. There were about 12 with either the missionaries or a bishopric member there. It was neat to hear about their interest in the church. They were well taught by him and our Stake President, President Nemeth.
More to come