Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Our Entries for Novmeber

      This month brought about the first baptism for the Chilliwack 2nd Ward in a year or so.  Sister Neese and I, along with the Elders taught Carol Koch who is from Bolivia and witnessed her baptism, Sunday, November 10th.  Carol has a son 17 years old and will be baptized very soon as well.  Below are pictures from her baptismal  service.

Carol Koch on her baptism night, Nov. 10, 2013
Elder Bradley, Carol, Andrew (her son) & Elder Pont

Elder Bradley and Carol before her baptism

Elder and Sister Neese at Carol's baptism with Andrew, her son.

       Another investigator we are teaching, we are hoping will be baptized in December or January.
       November 11th, Veterans Day, Remembrance Day for Canada, we found that patriotism and honoring veterans is very big here.  The people here in Canada love their country and their military.
      The second half of this month was almost totally dedicated to visiting less actives and a trip to the beautiful Vancouver Temple.  Next month, December, will be the busiest month since starting our mission.  We love what we are doing and enjoy watching the lives of each person we work with and serve.
October was a really good month for us.  The month started out with the LDS General Conference broadcast Saturday October 5th and Sunday the 6th.  We always look forward to these broadcasts every April and October each year.  It is so inspiring to hear the words of our Prophet and Apostles and sisters and other leaders of the church.  And we love the music of the Tabernacle Choir.

Don had the opportunity to teach our Ward Seminary class, Monday morning with our young men and young women.  Two young men are getting ready to serve missions soon.

Monday, October 14th was Thanksgiving Day her in Canada.  We were invited to two homes to celebrate their Thanksgiving dinners.  Bishop Dale Guenther and his wife, Shirley on Sunday, Emily's birthday and Monday the 14th to Sister Lyn Smith's home.  The food was quite similar to our traditional Thanksgiving dinner, except they both served brussel sprouts!

Fun things outside of missionary work included the visit of our son, Spencer, his wife Kimberly and their little one, McKay.  We celebrated McKay's 1st birthday and Emily's birthday as well.  See pictures below.  A day in Vancouver with the kids, pictures of a train show here in Chilliwack and Birthday celebrations for McKay and Emily at a favorite British sweet shop called Dicken's Sweets and a museum there as well of English memorabilia as well.  Lot's of fun.

Table setting for McKay;s 1st Birthday
McKay checking out his birthday hat
McKay with his Birthday presents
A really Cool Dude/Birthday present
More presents

Nice Yellow shirt and warm sweatshirt for birthday
Emily opening birthday package
Pretty Canadian Maple Leaf necklace from Spencer & Kimberly

Bringing McKay's birthday cupcakes
McKay checking out his cupcakes
He was really enjoying the cupcake, smearing it all over the table
Entering the park for the Train Show

A volunteer conductor at the Train show

Grandma and McKay watching the trains
Grandpa showing McKay a wood train set we bought for him
Grandpa and McKay watching the trains
Kimberly, Spencer and Grandma with McKay at train show
Getting back to Missionary work
Elders in our District, 2 on left are 2nd Ward - 2 in middle are 1st Ward

On the left are some pictures of young Elders and Sister Missionaries we are working with currently, taken in District and Coordination meetings.  We enjoy working with these young missionaries.  They are a great spiritual strength to the work and fun to be around.

District Meeting Elder Pont leader, Bradley, Alden & Butler

Coordination Meeting with Sisters Dockstader & Struempler,Bro. Calling & Bishop Guenther in back

  Part of missionary work is to help people with packing and moving.  At the end of October that's just what we did.  With 3 trucks and a trailer and eight of us helping, we got Sister Lyn Smith moved from a city called Hope, B.C. to a city called Agassiz, B.C.  Sister Neese and Sister Lyn Smith packing up her garage
Helping Lyn Smith pack boxes for moving to another home

Lyn would hate us for posting this picture of her.

The month ended as all Octobers do with Halloween.  All missionaries were told to go to their apartments for the evening from 5PM on, and do their November planning.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Another beautiful P-Day trip

Please excuse the extra pictures in the last post.  We are still trying to figure this program out..

On this P-Day trip we discovered the beautiful Minter Gardens in Agassiz some 15 miles from Chilliwack.  As you will see this is one of the most beautiful gardens in British Columbia.  Minter Gardens is the creation of Brian and Faye Minter.  They first discovered the area on Christmas Day of 1977, it opened in May of 1980.  There are 12 themed gardens covering 32 acres with lakes and waterfalls and Chinese bonsai rock gardens.  Enjoy the pictures below which can't begin to display the beauty found in the gardens.


Notice the two trees growing out of the trunk of a fallen tree.

Second August Entry

Looking towards our deck

For those of you interested in our living situation.  We send these latest pictures.

Notice Skipper in picture.

And of course we have to have some plants and flowers to complete our home.

These next pictures are the missionaries now serving in the Chilliwack 2nd Ward with us.  Sister Mullen and Sister Nelson are the newest arrivals last Wednesday, the 28th of August.

The two Elders at left are Elder Bradley and District Elder Cheung.  At right Elder Lazenby and Elder Alden who work in the Chilliwack 1st Ward.

You might know this Senior couple in front of the Chilliwack Ward building.
Sister Mullen on the left and a Sister Nelson.

Some three weeks after arriving here in Chilliwack, Brother and Sister Colling's said we have to make a day trip with them to Mt. Baker.  These are the cascade mountains located in the Northern part of the state of Washington.  These are some of the most beautiful mountain scenes that we have seen to date.  See for yourself.

This picture of Nooksack Falls is in route to Mt. Baker.  

Brother and Sister Colling
with Sister Neese

Beautiful Mt. Baker, WA

Keep in mind this picture was taken in the middle of August

Sister Janet Colling's and myself

On our way back down the mountain, beautiful lake with Mt. Baker in the background.

In the short 7 weeks that we have been serving in beautiful Chilliwack we have spent many hours visiting active and less-active members.  We have found them to be very warm and happy to have us in their homes.  What we have found different here in our area many of the people live under a common law marriage and we are finding among the members of the church numerous divorces and due to the economy many are forced to work horrendous hours.

With these challenges it has made it very difficult for many of these members to be active church members which weakens their faith and desire to keep all the commandments.  So what we are trying our best to do is reawaken their desires and testimonies to live the lives or Father in Heaven would have them doing.  We know that taking an active part would bring them happiness and blessings to their families.

This month we will be talking in Sacrament meeting regarding "Missionary Work" and the blessings that come from it.  We will be working hard to get ward members involved in this work, working hand and hand with the missionaries.  We have a wonderful Bishop who loves missionary work and stands behind us 100 percent.  We also have plans for the 5th Sunday of the month to have ward member leaders presenting talks and video's regarding "Every Member a Missionary".  We feel through these efforts that we can raise the activity of the members to bring back our less actives and bring investigators into their homes to share the gospel of Jesus Christ.  President Thomas S. Monson says we must "Hasten the work".  Each month over the last few months the baptismal rates in the Canada Vancouver Mission have broken past records.  So the work is going forward, the missionary effort is very strong with wonderful missionaries throughout the mission here in British Columbia.

We love our calling and enjoy each hour spent with these good people and know that Heavenly Father has sent us here to share our love and knowledge of the gospel.  We look forward to each and every visit and have found all of them to be an opportunity to share our testimony of the truthfulness of the gospel of Jesus Christ and how it has brought lasting happiness to all of our families.  We bear witness to them that it can do the very same for their lives and families, this is what brings us joy in this work.  And these things we say and do in the name of Jesus Christ.