Sunday, August 11, 2013

The beginning of our trip to Canada

July 6th 2013 - Saturday
We wanted to get away at 10:00AM so by the time we went back to the house and get the last minute things and pick up Skipper, we were able to get away at 10:05AM.  We drove all the way to Ontario, Oregon where we found Americas Best Value Inn where we only had to pay $10.00 to have Skipper in the hotel with us.  

July 7th 2013 - Sunday
Drove on to Yakima, WA for our next motel.  We had a nice room that was had 2 Queen beds and the air conditioner worked much better than the last motel.  Skipper is doing well on the trip, as long as I give him his pill for traveling.

July 8th, 2013 – Monday, Drove in to Bellingham, WA to stay the night.  We were given a King suite which was right by the exit door to the car, so it was really convenient for us.

July 9th, 2013 - Tuesday, after leaving this motel we drove up through the border with no problems crossing, we told the border agents we were going to be in Richmond for a couple of days for a religious meeting.  They didn’t give us a hard time at all, even with Skipper when we told him we had a dog, all they asked was if he was in good health.  

On to Richmond, BC to the Mission home for our meeting with President Tilleman.  We arrived at 12:00 noon and saw Elder and Sister Mason, (who were at the MTC with us) sitting in the foyer area waiting for their interview with President Tilleman.  We visited with the Sisters in the office bringing in Skipper for a short time before we took him back out to the car before Pres. Tilleman and Sister Tilleman arrived at the Mission Home for our meetings.  Sister Tilleman came in and greeted us with a nice happy smile and a hug.  She was so glad to meet us and was thrilled that we were there. 
President Tilleman wasn’t with the Masons for very long when he called us in to talk to us and to assign us an area he wanted us to work in.  He said he received this revelation (prompting) of where to send us this morning and was so excited about it he called the Bishop right away in the morning saying he felt like he was Santa Claus being able to tell the Bishop that he was sending us to help him to work with his ward.  He told us he felt very strongly that we were needed in Chilliwack to work with Bishop Gunether.  The ward includes also the cities of Agassiz, Rosedale and Hope. The Bishop was so excited he told Pres. Tilleman that he thought he was going to stay home for the day and that he couldn’t work thinking of the news of us coming to help out with the ward.  Pres. Tilleman gave us a rundown of the ward and the struggles of the less-actives.  Told us that Elder Cheung, (District Leader) and Elder Bradley (new to this area) were the full time missionaries for this ward and we would be working closely with them.  He gave us the Bishops phone number as well as telling us to call him before the day was over and introduce ourselves to him.  He also gave us the names of a couple in the ward who recently returned from a mission that could help us out, since they have been called as ward missionaries, they are Brother and Sister Colling.  He also told us about a Sister Smith whose husband just recently passed away having a heart attack on the way home from the hospital.  Sister Smith asked him to speak at her husband’s funeral.   He wanted us to make sure we talked to her and to tell her he sends her is wishes.

We were told by Sister Jones in the office of what Hotel we were going to stay in after calling them to tell them we had a dog coming as well.  On our way to the hotel we went to the bank to deposit our money we brought from the bank in the US.  We found the Hotel by using our GPS, of course.  It was a 5 story hotel right across the street from the Costco in Vancouver.  Having Skipper with us was no problem, we just had to pay for him ourselves instead of the Mission home paying for it all.   It was a really nice room with a king bed that Skipper really liked to lie on top of, especially on top of the pillows on the bed.  

July 10th, 2013 Wednesday -We made contact with Brother and Sister Collings who invited us to have lunch and chat about the area and the people.  

We decided to head to Hope to look for an RV park to stay at so when we pick up our trailer we will have a place to park it. Took us all the rest of the day to get things taken care of leaving Skipper in the hotel room all this time.  We did call the mission home to let them know that we wouldn’t be to help out with the dinner tonight because we had to take care of this business with the trailer park.  We missed the welcoming of the new missionaries, transfer announcements and the welcoming dinner tonight.    We checked out 2 parks along highway we but didn’t feel good about being there during the winter time and the snow that they will get. We did find one in Chilliwack along the freeway that we were pleased with.  It is called "Cottonwood Meadows RV Country Club". Staying here for 6 months or more will cost us $480/month +hydro.  Seemed like a good deal to us at this moment. 

July 11, 2013 – Thursday, Today we had training from 8-4 at the Mission home.  As we walked into the building there were missionaries arriving for the day, with their luggage which was being put all together into a large room, totally filling the entire room.  As we sat in the chapel watching all the missionaries coming in it was such a wonderful feeling seeing them all gathered together in the chapel.  Hugs and handshakes were given to each other; you could tell who were the older missionaries and the new missionaries. 
We had a good day today at the Mission Home with all the elders and sisters in the Vancouver mission for a transfer/training meeting (mainly for us new missionaries - the other missionaries needed the training as well to keep them on track or were involved in the training).  It was so neat to see the whole chapel, and it was a normal size chapel, filled with elders and sister missionaries.  There were hugs and hand shakes, and greetings going on all throughout the chapel.  We were among 2 other senior missionary couples as well.  

Sister Tilleman conducted the meeting sharing a beautiful testimony, introducing the outline for the meeting.  After bearing her strong testimony she talked about being exactly obedient, live the laws and commandments and you are going to be happy and successful “Be Exactly Obedient”, work up to the last minute each day, knock right up to the last door, live the hand book exactly, listen to the prophets, be bold with your words and testimony, love the Lord, love the people.  There’s no such thing as rain in the Vancouver mission.  Repent, pray and be faithful.  Preach the gospel, get out the door.  We love the doctrine of Christ, live it, love it, and share it.  It is more important to repent than to forgive.  “You are never alone.”  (Ezra Taft Benson was Sister Telemann’s grandfather) this is what he used to tell her.

Sister Tilleman did ask for us to pray for President Tilleman, he still suffers from his neck injury.  He does well but is still in pain.
We were served sandwiches on a hoagie bun with ham and lettuce; we then added cheese, slicer pickles, and tomatoes.  At each table we had a bag of chips at each setting with a cup of water and sliced watermelon.  As the sisters were helping to clean up the tables, they were eating the rocks used along side of a flower vase. I said "you can eat the rocks?" and one sister said, Yes - it's just chocolate!!  We had no idea they were chocolate!!

To the chapel again for more training from Sister Tilleman who spoke again quoting Matthew 9:35-38, about missionaries are needed.  She talks about how they needed senior couples, she prayed and all her prayers have been answered. (The Masons and we were sent).  

Sister Tilleman gave us an assignment – Write down some of the things you want said about you at the end of our missions.  Write it down and make it happen.    

July 12, 2013 - Friday, Picked up our trailer in Burlington, WA to go park it in the RV park we found in Chilliwack.  When we came through the border in Sumas, into Canada we had to park the trailer and go inside to get our visa stamped and approved for 1 plus years.  I had most of the paperwork with us but I had to go into the trailer for our SS statements and my pension statement to prove we are able to support ourselves while here in Canada.  They didn’t even inspect the trailer as we were told they would, but we did have to wait about ½ an hour for them to look over all our papers and decide how long to allow us to stay in Canada, which it turned out they gave us a 2 year visa with the stipulation that we would not obtain work or attend a college while here.
July 13, 2013 - Saturday, We met with the Bishop for the first time at his home for an annual B-B-Q he puts on for the ward.  Met lots of members of the ward who we will never remember their names tomorrow when we attend the ward.  Lot's of nice members that wanted to know all about us.

July 14, 2013 – Sunday, We were greeted by several people in the ward when we came into the chapel.  We sat with Brother and Sister Cox whom we met last night at the B-B-Q and visited with them for quite a while.  Brother Cox in the Executive Secretary of the ward and they are both really nice people.

The Bishop had told us that he wanted to talk to us during Sunday school time so we followed him to his office after Sacrament meeting.  We started with prayer, and then he gave us each a ward list to mark and make notes.  He told us of about 10 people he wanted us to try to visit, then told us about them and their inactivity and why.  We did ask for a list of people in the ward with callings so we could refer members to whoever they had a need to visit or call.  He told us he wants to meet with us regularly as well so he can keep abreast of what we have found out in our contacts in the ward.

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