Tuesday, September 1, 2015

July – Continuing Celebrations (Not all we did was sightsee) Part 2

We have found that getting to know Canada helps us to relate to the people here. The YSAs are excited when we know something abut their country. There are some really interesting monuments in the west part of Westboro that run along Wellington St. where one of our YSAs lives. They are marble fire hydrants with sculptures on top of each one. They range from an old computer monitor to corn, asparagus and books. These fire hydrants were donated by the firemen.

This is a marble fire hydrant with a cob of corn on top. There are asparagus, an old computer monitor, books, etc on the top of these fire hydrants that are found in Westboro.

The second Wednesday in institute, we were teaching by ourselves. Brother Turner had finished his spring semester and we had decided to continue to teach until August 12 as we said before. We finished Matthew 27-28, the crucifixion and the resurrection. This finished Matthew’s account of the fulfillment of prophecy. Some of the greatest words ever written were said by the angel at the burial site. “He is not here, he has risen, as he said.” This was our testimony to all who were there, that He lives, that He atoned for our sins and died that we might live again. We are grateful for that testimony and the knowledge we have as well as the opportunity to teach the Gospel to these wonderful YSAs.
Did we tell you before about how great our District Meetings are. We love working with these missionaries and appreciate their service.

It is always great to meet with Brother Turner, our Institute Coordinator. We love to hear his knowledge of the Scriptures. We turned to John 3: 15-19 – “whosoever believeth in Him (Christ) should not perish.” And “God sent His son into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved.” We talked about these two sentences for some time, It was a good meeting.
View toward Parliament from a deck off the Museum

Interesting Architecture and yard art. Below is part of the First Nation Exhibit.

We went to the Canadian Museum of Culture to see two exhibits. The Magna Carta was on display but no pictures were allowed. They only let 30 in the room at a time so as we waited in line a university student came to get in line. He told us how excite he was because this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and how he has read a lot of different religious texts. So we told him who we were and gave him a quick lesson on restoration and modern revelation and the book of Mormon. I was just going to offer to have the missionaries take a Book of Mormon over to his apartment when they called for us to go in the room. So, Sister Payne quickly gave him a “He is Risen” pass-along card with our number on it. After that we went into the exhibit on Canada history and of the confederation. The exhibit started in 1838 and progressed up to 1867 when Canada became a country. Canadians are very proud of their history.

Later we went over to the Parliament building and watched the light show called Northern Lights. It is a patriotic light show shined onto the parliament building every night in the summer months, through part of September. We were very impressed and glad they are so proud and happy with Canada. It was quite the light show.



    This is the picture of the end of the light show. The Canadian flag has red on both ends with white in the middle and a maple leaf on the white background.

We have helped initiate a monthly fireside in our Dows Lake YSA Ward. We are really excited about it. We asked the Bishop and he thought it was a great idea and asked the ward council. They thought it was a good idea too. So, onward and upward. Since we do not have a YSA committee or an Institute of Religion Council yet, we were able to help pull this off. John and Alisa and family are already coming to visit in August so we asked John if he could speak at our first fireside in the series. He said that he would be glad to. We made flyers to put up in the meetinghouses from Kingston to Montreal. We don’t have a lot of YSAs come during the summer and it is about 10 days early for the school crowd to come, so we know that the numbers might be few. We will see. We are excited about it anyway. We remember going to firesides all the time when we were at the Institute of Religion at the U of U. These were times that we could date and not spend money but have a great spiritual experience. We hope that this is so for the YSAs. Time will tell. We have been making the flyer for the fireside series both in English and in French.

Singing on Mount Royal
Alley. Below is a heart sculpture in front of one of the buildings

We had a great experience meeting with the other eight senior couples and the mission president and his wife. We hardly ever get  to see the senior missionaries and were glad that they decided to have this get together since Elder and Sister Christensen were going home. We went to lunch at a little French restaurant,  Restaurant CafĂ© La Petite Marche, then to Mount Royal, the highest hill in Montreal to see the view of the Montreal Valley. There is an ordinance that no building in Montreal can be built higher than Mount Royal. Mount Royal is the place where President and Sister Patrick bring all the new missionaries. They take pictures and sing President Patrick’s favorite hymn, "Let Zion In Her Beauty Rise". We then had time to drive around Montreal and stopped at Montreal Museum of Fine Art. We walked around outside the 3 buildings. There is an alley between.

We had dinner and a great evening at the Mission President’s home. We loved hearing about each of the couples' assignments. Several are newer to the mission than we are and one couple was going home.
Elder and Sister Christensen from Sandy. They live close to Albion Middle School.
With them leaving we won't have any couples close. All are 2 hours away or further. We also met the CES couple in Montreal. They have loved teaching. One teaches Institute in English and one in French. They do a dinner for two wards of YSAs every Friday. After dinner we had a meeting (counsel) with President Patrick. One couple does not speak English and we do not speak French, so President Patrick translated. It was very rewarding and good to know there are so many couples that want to serve a mission.

We will continue to teach each Wednesday through until August 12. We decided to teach out of John because this is the gospel that was written for the saints. We averaged about 20 YSAs in July. They have a thirst for learning the gospel and like Institute. It is fun to teach them and we enjoy being around them. After one of our lessons we had time and turned it over for testimonies. Out of the four who bore their testimonies, two were new members and one was a returning member. The three told the same story of how the church changed their lives and how extraordinary it is to know God and enjoy having his spirit with them. They just want to be around the church because it feels good. It was like they were trying to convince us that it is even better than we know it is. The member also bore a powerful testimony of his knowledge of the church and how grateful he was to be a part of it. We count that institute class a success, a blessing, a spiritual experience, a tender mercy and thank our Heavenly Father for the opportunity to be here on this mission.
As we said, our car is on this mission too and we are very glad we have it. We sometimes, more than once, wish that we had a car with more seats. Our church building sits on Prince of Wales, between Heron/Baseline and Carling. There is no bus that goes in front of our building. It is about a two block walk from the bus stop at Heron/Baseline to our building. It is not so bad in the summer but in the winter it can be brutal. Also, if our YSAs live in Little Italy, Westboro and China Town they have to take a bus downtown in order to take another bus to a bus terminal and then get the bus that goes along Heron/Baseline. Even though they may only live 10 to 15 minutes from the ward by car, it takes them about 1 hour to get there by bus and on Sunday, the bus time is extended. They stopped this part of the bus route about 3 years ago.

We have had the opportunity to help these YSAs with blessings, heart to heart talks, listening, listening and listening as well as offering advice when asked. We are having a baptism on August 1st. Let you know later. We know that the Lord needs us here. We know that this Church is true and we are being greatly blessed here in Ottawa.

Love you all,   Elder and Sister Payne