Friday, October 9, 2015

August – Less than one month of summer festivals left. Part 2

We went to the Greek Festival here. This is for our Greek neighbors, Jamie and Chris Petrigeorge. This festival is large, is located next to where we live and lasts for 10 days. We went to have some Baklava. It reminded us of the Greek Festival in Salt Lake. We had fun eating their delicious food.

Alisa and John and family came for a visit. We showed them the town and had a great time. Thursday they arrived in time to rest, walk around our place and have dinner at our apartment. We took them to see the beach the locks and the falls near our house. There was even a boat in the lock.
Friday we toured the city walking some five miles around all the great places. We saw the locks, the Champlain monument, the War Memorial and changing of the guard there, the canal from the Laurier bridge, the East block building next to Parliament and had a treat at Beavertails. We had Poutine for lunch and after watching more boats we went to dinner at the BaJa Grill on Dows Lake. The Northern Lights, a light show on the exterior of the Parliament Building was a great way to end the day. Saturday Sister Payne and I went early to get tickets for the center block tour of Parliament and then went to a baptism while the family went to the museum of History.

On Sunday, between the church block of meetings and the fireside, we had a potluck meet and greet. We had asked John if he would speak at a fireside for the YSAs while they were here. Both Alisa and John spoke and did a great job. We had promoted this even as the first monthly fireside of the year. We knew that with summer we would have very few YSAs in our ward, but we were hopeful. We were impressed that two senior couples from Montreal came as well as our Stake President and his wife. We were happy that fifty people came. We considered it a great success for the Institute and the YSA ward.

Monday was the Monson family’s last day with us and we went to Alexandria Bay on the St. Lawrence Seaway and took a boat tour of the 1000 islands with them. Then, the hard part, we had to say good-by. They went to Julies and we went home to go see the light show another time with the home evening group. We were so glad they came, we had only a few months with Jaymes after his mission and had not seen Tyler in two years. It was great because Sister Payne can’t hug the Elders in our mission and she was able to give these two past elders long and hard hugs. Megan graduated from high school while we have been here. Jaymes, Tyler and Megan all start at USU in a couple of weeks and Brayden is in 9th grade. How time flies.

Tyler asked what we like most about our mission. There are a lot of answers. For today the answer for Elder Payne is the study time and the baptisms. We have been able to study the scriptures more on the mission than before and that has been great.
And we have been able to witness and be part of new members lives.  This is one of the two baptisms we told you about before but we want to tell you again. The baptism last Saturday was for a Chinese YSA. When Chinese come here or to the states, they take on an English name. He goes by Bruce Lee. Some giggle at the name because as you know there is an actor named Bruce Lee. No, our Bruce is not famous, he is just humble. He just graduated from college and is now looking for a job so he can extend his visa and stay here. He has expressed his happiness with having been baptized and having the spirit with him and it shows. His smile is much bigger now. That makes six new converts in our ward in the six months we have been here. And there a number of others who have joined the church in the last year before we got here who are equally exciting to know. The first year can be a test of faith and they need support. The  returning members are just as exciting to see and work with. We have three or four of those all with amazing stories of rough times and recommitment. The point is the Church is alive here. It is not a place where everyone is gliding along at the same level of commitment year after year.
We were helping Brother Turner and his wife out with their house for the time they were gone. We stayed there a couple of nights and enjoyed the space, the yard, the big windows with a lot of natural light and the relaxing feeling at their place. They live in the country about 40 minutes from where we live. When we went home we took the ferry across the Ottawa River to Quebec and had dinner at a small restaurant.  The smoked meat sandwich and poutine were excellent. Smoked meat, poutine and beavertails are all delicacies here in Ottawa and Montreal.

Our Institute Class was supposed to stop on August 12th, giving us 3 weeks before Fall Semester starts. However, everyone wanted to continue. They like Institute and they like seeing each other. So we asked 3 students each week for the next 3 weeks to teach. We assigned topics to all and they did a really good job. They had fun doing it and everyone was glad they came. We were glad that they enjoyed coming. That is what we want to happen.

We have a new retired couple that will be helping with the up-coming YSA Committee.  They are pretty wonderful. He was the Montreal Temple President and she, the Matron from 2006 to 2009. However, they were in the Temple presidency before that. This committee will consist of two co-chairs, representatives from each ward in the stake. The Institute of Religion Council is also on the committee, with us, this new couple, Brother Turner and Brother Martinelli from our ward Bishopric and a High Councilman. President Piper of the Stake Presidency is over the Committee. We are excited for this committee to be formed. It will help the stake find those YSAs that we don’t know where they are as well as have a stake YSA activity once a month. They will be taking over the Firesides that we started.
Mission transfers were this month. We got a new elder from Belgium. He speaks 8 languages and will learn Chinese while he is here. Every transfer day they need Elder Payne to help shuttle the missionaries leaving the area to the bus station so that they can go to Montreal where the transfers take place. In the evening the missionaries coming to Ottawa, Petawawa and Abitibi come back to the church. It is quite a day and starts at 5:30 am. We are lucky that we are Senior Missionaries and can go back to bed when Elder Payne gets home.

We have Mission district meetings every week. It is a great experience to be around the missionaries as they tell stories. This particular meeting the district leader asked if the missionaries had any questions and no hands went up. Then he asked if there were any miracles to report and everyone’s hands went up. The sisters in Dows Lake told that they found a new investigator and felt that a certain new member needed to go with them to a lesson. The first meeting they were to have fell through the next day the new member called and asked if they had a lesson she could go to so they set it up again. It was a hour and a half bus ride and a long walk but they all got there on time. The meeting went so well they are going to set a baptismal date on their next visit.

The Chapel Hill sisters reported that last week the district leader encouraged them to lookup old investigators so they went through the long list and picked one to go see. When they got there a girl opened the door and said she had been waiting for them. Where had they been? As the story unfolded a set of sisters had taught her a lesson or two about a year ago and then were transferred and the new missionaries didn’t know to go see her. With their visit the Sisters have a great investigator who has been reading the Book of Mormon and is really ready. We heard more stories like this throughout the hour and a half meeting. It is absolutely amazing. The Lord is in charge and he works through us when we let him. The church is alive and working in Ottawa.
Saturday we got up early and went to see the changing of the guard on Parliament Hill, very British and much pomp and ceremony. It was spectacular. Two groups of soldiers in red coats, one group with white feathers and one with red feathers. The old guard comes to the Hill to be relieved of their duties and the new guard comes to take their place. They march about three blocks onto the parade ground, the big lawn known as the east block.
Then they do several manuvers and line up for inspection. There are two bands one Scottish and one brass band. After the inspection they march back three blocks to the guard station room. During the summer they do this every day at 10:00AM. But this was the last time this year. Sister Payne loves the bagpipes and is so excited that they use them so much in Ottawa. You know she is 1/2 Scottish and that explains a lot.

At the end of the month Ottawa had the Olympic paddling tryouts. These included kayaks canoe races for both men and women. It was at the Moonies Bay on the lake by our apartment. It lasted for about 4 days.

Institute is just around the corner. and we are getting serious ourselves about studying and getting ready for our many anticipated institute class this fall semester. Institute has a welcome out week as well as institute and then the fun starts, getting time slots to teach at the Universities. Let the fun begin.

We love this work. We are excited to spend full time working for the Lord in building His Kingdom here in Ottawa. The YSAs we meet are great. We love the missionaries we work with.

Love, Elder and Sister Payne



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