First week in Canada! On Tuesday, Sister Jackson picked me up here in Spokane to head up to Grand Forks, but first we needed to head to the mission office to pick up my passport. They are kept there in case we are transferred to Canada. Well, when we got there, we found Sister Richins looking all over the office for it. She told me that it might have been lost and if so, that my transfer call might have to be changed because it takes 6 weeks to claim it as lost and to get a new one, and I couldn’t go to Canada without it. My jaw was on the floor. Sister Richins called my mom and asked her to look for it there at home, just in case I had accidentally left it home when I went home with health issues. At this point I was in tears. Fifteen minutes later my mom called back and told sister Richins that she had found it! What a blessing!! That’s when Sister Richins burst into tears. :) My parents had to overnight my passport to me, so we got to stay the night in the mission home. I love staying in the mission home with President and Sister Dymock, the spirit is so strong there! Sister Jackson and I got to catch up and laugh until we cried.
The next day, my passport was here by about 10am, so we were then able to head up to Canada. It’s about a 3 hour drive to get up there from Spokane. We did our grocery shopping in Colville, since there aren’t many stores in Grand Forks. The only things I can’t take across the border are apples and peaches and pitted fruits, which I can’t have anyway. We got to the border by the afternoon and then on to Grand Forks.
I love Canada! If I could dress up as a big maple leaf and walk up and down the streets singing “Oh Canada!”, I probably would. :) It is so beautiful here! Our apartment is being renovated, and is almost done. It’s nice. It’s right above a barber shop which is nice. :) So, we cover a bunch of small towns mostly here on the Canada side, and a few towns across the border into Washington. There is a small branch in Republic Washington of about 30 or 40 members, and a small “unit” in Grand Forks with about 12 members, and we cover both. There is a senior missionary couple named the McCullough’s that live right next door to us, and then a set of elders that serve here in Grand Forks that are Russian speaking missionaries. Apparently there is a Russian community here settled by immigrants from Russia.
I’m having to learn to measure everything using the metric system. Good thing I learned that in school. :) We have a Nissan Rogue to drive, which is good, because there are a fair bit of dirt and gravel roads here. And everything is spread out. But, I can now drive about 100 on the roads! Well, okay, that’s 100 kilometers per hour, which is just over 60 mph. :)
I’m going to have to send some candy home from here. They have some different candy here, and it’s awesome. Some different candy bars and things like that.
Sister Jackson is awesome. I knew her when I was serving in Green Bluffs, and she and her companion lived in our same apartment. She’s a hard working missionary, and loves to talk to anyone in sight! :) She also makes the work fun which is good. I’ve been blessed with great companions on my mission, and she is one of them.
As far as the missionary work here, we met this week with a few less actives members, and shared a lesson/message with them. We also went down to Republic and taught the new member lessons to a couple of recent converts of Sister Jacksons, Jeremy and Austin. Austin is 16 and wants to serve a mission, and he has such a strong testimony. After we taught them, Jeremy got talking to this random guy on the street, and asked if missionaries could talk to him, so we visited with him for a bit. We taught him the restoration. Turns out the guy is a legit drug dealer, and wasn’t interested in the message. I think he was more interested in us, so we got out of there quick.
We also visited the D___ family. They live in a little town near here. There is S___ the dad, and he has three sons, the oldest of which is J___ who is turning ten. S___ is a less active member, and J___ has been taking the lessons from the missionaries. During our last lesson, he committed to being baptized on October 22nd. The D___ family lives way out of town, and my heart broke when I saw the conditions they live in. They have no running water, no heat, and no regular electricity. They occasionally use a bug zapper for a light at night. They just sleep on the floor, and they only have a few pairs of clothes. The boys don’t have any toys, so they just play in the dirt. It makes me feel sick that my life has been so easy and we have so much, when people and little kids are living like this. :( S__ would like to baptize J___, but he needs to quit smoking and alcohol first. We taught him about the word of wisdom, but he wouldn’t give us his weed or beer to throw out. We’ll keep working with him.
We also visited with Brother Tinsley this week, who is a recent convert. He let me play his electric acoustic guitar. I haven’t played the guitar since I was home, and haven’t ever played on an electric acoustic. It was nice! :)
It is a bit different for me to only have a few members to church. In Grand Forks, we meet in an office building next to the fire station. But we had five investigators to church though, which is great! In Republic, Washington there is an actual LDS meeting house for the branch, but it’s about a fifth the size of the church buildings at home.
Well, that’s about it. A great week! It’s good to be settled up here now, and jumping into the missionary work here with Sister Jackson. I love the area here!
You all have a great week!
|One of the rivers on the edge of Grand Forks|
|Brother Tinsley let me play his guitar|
|Sister Jackson and I right outside our apartment|
|We ran across this door with no stairs when we were|
tracting. We knocked on it anyway.
No one answered. :(
|Some of the different candy bars they have here.|
Unfortunately, I can't eat them, so we
gave them to some of the kids here in the area.
|Sister Jackson and I|
|Another river here in Grand Forks|