Sunday, August 23, 2015

Our very busy June – Installment #2

There is a lot of work to be done here. We are starting to work on the list of all the YSAs in our ward. We have a list of about 181, but during the summer we see about 40 coming to church. Some on the list are at home for the summer, but the majority we don’t know where they are. Let me review the numbers. The stake has 540 YSA members of which about 50 chose to stay in their home ward for one reason or another and 12 are on missions. So we, mostly Sister Payne, are going over the lists making notes and getting help from the missionaries in each ward to find out where everyone is. It is a daunting task but necessary because the Young Single Adults are vulnerable so we need to support them in any way we can. We hope that soon the Stake will call some people to be on the YSA counsel and the IRC counsel who can help with the effort.
During HEG (Home Evening Group) this month we have played sand volley ball on Moonies Bay. We also brought our Kubb set. They have had a lot of fun with it and It is fun to see the energy of these young people. We hope to continue to get to know them better. Picture of Moonies Bay with the sand.

Spiritual experiences abound and the Lord works in mysterious ways.

We had appointments to take the Chinese Elders shopping at 2:30 and bring our Kubb set to the HEG activity later at Moonies Bay. We headed downtown to find the Elders. We called to find where to pick them up and found they were very close to where we were. As soon as they got in the car I, for some reason, asked them if they had had lunch, I don’t normally do this. No, was their answer. So, I said, how about Subway? There was one right where we were and there was a parking place right in front of it. That never happens. I parked and instantly a lady walked up we recognized as the mother of a new convert. She was so happy to see us and agreed to come to church next week. She was Chinese and the elders spoke Chinese with her. Just as she was starting to walk away and Sister Payne was putting money into the parking meter, another Chinese lady came up and asked her for directions. As the missionaries started going into Subway.Sister Payne called them to come back,  Collectively, we were not sure with which way to send her, so Sister Payne got the GPS out of the car and the elders found the street she was looking for. It was close and instead of sending her on her way, these smart Elders offered to walk with her to her destination. By the time they got there they had explained that they were missionaries and she had expressed her interest in finding a church so they set up an appointment for a lesson. The Elders returned so excited that they had found a new prospect. We bought them lunch.

Now on to Moonies Bay. We picked up a YSA and went to the beach where the HEG activity was to be but when we got there we couldn’t find any ward members. So I set up the Kubb game and started playing with him. The missionaries and a couple of other YSAs started coming while we were playing Kubb and Sister Payne was sitting on a bench close by. A young man came up and sat by her. He was from Iran, a Muslim and was working on his PHD at U Ottawa. He finally starting asking Sister Payne about girlfriends. Which one should he date and how do you date. He had never had a girlfriend before and had never dated before. Sister Payne was so impressed with his beliefs and his moral standards she told him he believes a lot of the same things we believe in our church. They talked for the longest time and he was so grateful for the talk, he asked if he could possibly call her if he had other questions. She gave him a pass along card and we hope that eventually he calls to ask about the church. We count that as special spiritual experience. During that time the RS president came and told us that she read on facebook that the activity had been cancelled. She and another couple of YSAs had come and the elders and sisters were there because investigators were supposed to come. We ended up having eleven people there. So I said, let’s sit on the grass and make a home evening out of this. We had prayer and passed a book of Mormon around and each read a verse or two. Then we had a closing prayer. That was significant because HEG activities almost never have a spiritual component. I felt great about it because one member was less active and another boy and girl sat by each other and seem to be developing a relationship. We hope so, they would make a great couple. We are on a mission and the Lord is in charge around here.

We visited the National Gallery of Canada with Elder and Sister Christensen, the MLS French speaking couple that lives by Albion. We had a great time.

This is a large art gallery and the building inside and out is just as much a piece of art as the art in the building. There is a large spider sculpture in front. It is amazing, we couldn’t believe it, because we saw this same sculpture in Sao Paulo, Brazil in the park while visiting Sister Payne’s cousin, Bettye and Roberto and their family.

Sister Payne and Sister Christensen
After seeing some of the art inside, we walked around the building where there are other sculptures on the grounds. We got some good pictures of Ottawa City from a point overlooking the Ottawa River. We could see the back of Parliament Hill.

Parliament Hill and the surrounding buildings are in Uppertown. They don’t use the term Uppertown anymore, just Parliament Hill and centre-ville or downtown. However, it is the highest point in the city. This part of downtown was settled by the English and Scottish. To the east of downtown is called lowertown and was settled by the French. It includes Byward Market, a quaint artist and farmer’s market area and has Ottawa’s famous Beaver Tails.

This is a picture of Champlain off the point behind the Art Museum. You can see a lot from here.
The green space and canals and rivers always amaze us. There is so much of it. When we walk to the falls, we have to laugh because there are always ducks up on one of the ridges of calm water next to the raging water. It is such a big contrast.

There is a machine we call a water Zamboni. It paddles its way down the canal and brings up the grass that is growing in the water, puts it on a conveyor belt and dumps it into a hopper. This keeps the weeds and grass down in the canal so the boats do not get it in their props.

At the end of the month was our YSA “Conference in the Capital”.  The theme was Coming out of Obscurity” and Brother Goldthrop from Toronto was the keynote speaker. He took a fascinating hour to introduce the theme. Then we had a dance, which all YSAs love, with the gym decorated in an Hawaiian theme.
Our ward helped with those who came from out of town to find someplace to sleep or billeting as they call it here. The members of the stake were very gracious. Saturday we had six workshops and two service projects. Provident living, the Temple, one completely French speaking class, the power of influence, dating 101, and social media were the workshops. The service projects included the garlic farm and making sleeping mats out of plastic bags to send to 3rd world countries. That was amazing.
We ended up that evening at Mont Cascade, a ski resort turned water park in the summer and had a great time.
Sunday, we had our Mission President, President Patrick, as well as Brother Goldthrope speak in our sacrament meeting. We had YSAs from Toronto, Montreal, and in between as well as a few from New York. Friendships were formed and testimonies were strengthened.

We love our mission, we are very blessed and we know that trials can be overcome with the help of the Lord. We know that Jesus is the Christ and is the Son of the Living God. We know that Joseph Smith was the prophet of the restoration and that through him the Church of Jesus Christ was restored to its fullness in this the last dispensation.

We think of you often and hope that all is well.

Love, Elder and Sister Payne

1 comment:

  1. It sounds like you are having a wonderful time. It is so awesome you get to serve together.
    Love, Naomi