My dearest Mom, Pah-Pea, familia and friends of whom I love so much!!
Oh my goodness, hello! Greetings from Canada!!!! So, you know how you all told me it's pretty cold here, well you were all spot on! It's quite cold but we have this tactic where if we are going to be outside for more than 5 minutes at a time (aka: every second we leave the apartment...:)) we need to wear at least 3 pairs of fleece-lined tights, 2 pairs of wool socks, our combat fur-lined boots, 2 coats, 1 thick scarf wound up to our chins, and thick gloves. Needless to say, we look like 2 marshmallows with name-tags on the side of the road. :) And by we, I mean Sister Messer and I! She's my new companion from Logandale, Nevada (but mom already knows this assuming she already Facebook stalked her...;)) and we get along SOOO well! We're whitewashing (2 new missionaries in a new area) an area in London in the London 2nd ward. *side note for Matthew Porter: we're in the same apartment all you elders were in before and that Tim Horton's drive thru sign, eyup, still here with your name on it! and all who say hi: President Scott (haven't met S. Scott yet), E. Somerfeldt and E. Marshall along with the rest of the missionaries whose names I don't remember, Brother and Sister Brown from the ward and everyone else in the ward whose names I don't remember...:) London says hi!:) side note ended...* So yeah, the area is one of the smaller areas in the mission, but we're on bus so it seems much bigger without a car. :) that's why we look like marshmallows. :) But, we have an absolute blast! We both love the work and are working hard and we're making each moment count, too! We laugh SOOO much. seriously. so much. :) we're taking lots of pictures, too, I'll try to include some for your enjoyment!:)
Let's inform you on investigators, eh?? We're devoting most of our time to visiting the less actives in our ward and getting referrals from them so we can help them come back to church and find more investigators. We're trying to get all the members names down and we're making some serious progress!:) We visited one less active in our ward who referred us to a man named Charles. We met him that night and discovered he's from Jamaica and has met with missionaries before but hasn't really progressed. We taught him on Friday night about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the Spirit was SOOO strong. Since the Spirit prompted us, we followed that prompting and invited him to be baptized. Guess what?? HE ACCEPTED!:) We committed him to be baptized on Feb 24th so if you could, please pray that he'll stay true to that commitment!:) We're so excited for him!! We gave him a Book of Mormon and he's SOO excited to read it! He's pretty golden!:) We're also teaching a woman named Maria. She has been committed to baptism before, but has had some doubts. So we're working with her and she came to church yesterday, saying that it resolved some of her thoughts, but not all. So we're going to see her again on Saturday and are praying that her questions will be answered. We have a couple more investigators we're going to visit this week, so I'll fill you in on them next week, for sure!:) Ah goodness, I already love it here! and I may or may not be saying "eh" every now and then already. True Canadian, I guess. ;)
so...who's down for question time????!!!!:)
1. Tell me ALL about your companion (the things I don't already know...) haha
Well, she's a dancer, absolutely hilarious, and such a hard working missionary! working with her is soo much fun! You'll meet her one day, don't you worry:)
2. How are you two getting along?
remember how Amber and I got along-laughing all the time? yeah. basically that. :) oh! and she has red hair, too! just sayin...:)
3. What was the BEST part of your first week in the field?
teaching Charles! He's so great and wants to follow Christ! Who knew you'd find someone that golden in your first week in the field, eh?:)
4. What were your thoughts/feelings as you met your Mission President and his wife?
Oh, instant love and adoration for President Scott! I have not yet met Sister Scott but I am looking forward to meeting her! I hear she's adorable!:)
5. Did you sleep your first night at the mission home, or head right to London?
Neither. We actually slept in a Hotel for the night, because there were too many missionaries to fit in the mission home! haha
6. How are you holding up in the weather?
simply splendid thanks to my warm coat and fleece lined tights!!!:) operation Marshmallow never fails!:)
7. Is there anything you wish you had brought with you, that you didn't?
my canadian mittens...but I figured, since we can't find them, maybe they were stolen by someone who needed them more than I do, eh? let's go with that...:)
8. Do you have a car?
negative. Buses!!! (we're still trying to figure it out. it's an adventure...:)
9. Are you teaching anyone?
yup! Charles, Maria, Sheila (she's leaving town for a week so hopefully we still get in contact with her when she's back. she's really stressed with life and her divorce and custody issues and all that, so we're hoping she'll keep making progress with us and allow us to teach her)
10. How do make contacts? (tracting, referrals, etc...)
street contacting and referrals mostly. Tracting doesn't work very well for us, but we're trying to figure out how we can make the best of it to find more people to teach!:)
11. Tell me about your ward/branch?
haha well about 65% of the ward is over the age of 55 and boy, do they love to talk! haha wWe have a hard time keeping our dinner appointments on schedule! haha but they're all soo sweet and they're taking good care of us! They're thrilled to have sister missionaries for the first time in like 4 years or so. so we're getting fed a lot. and I mean I lot. :)
12. What was the best (and what was the worst) part of your week?
Teaching charles was the best by far, and the worst...well nothings really been that bad. we did find one of our mormon.org cards on the ground, so we left it there, thinking someone passing by might need a little pick-me-up. :)
13. Is being on a mission what you thought it would be like? Easier or harder?
Honestly, Sister Messer and I were talking about this last night. I knew it was going to be hard, so that was no shock for me, but I didn't think it was going to be as much fun as I've been having. I knew I was going to make the best of it and laugh, but Sister Messer is just the greatest and she's made this past week awesome and incredibly fun! :)
14. How much time online do you get each P-day?
about an hour
15. What else can you tell me?
I love it here! You're Sister De Groot is doing just splendidly and loves her mission so much, already! And I know it's just going to get better and better!:)
I need to head out now but I want you to know that I LOVE this gospel and I absolutely LOVE this work! Of course it's hard, but it was hard for Him. Why should I expect that this would be easy when it NEVER was for Him? I know my Heavenly Father lives and is leading Sister Messer and I to those who He has prepared for us, and I am going to do my absolutely best out here, every day! I love you all and appreciate your love and support, I truly can feel your prayers on my behalf, every day! I love you all, until next week....GOD LIVES!!!
Love for now and eternity,
Your Sister Janelle De Groot :)
Missionary Invitation #2: Talk to someone you've never met before and serve them. Whether it's carrying their groceries, opening a door and then having a conversation, home teaching or visiting teaching someone you never contact, or some random person on the sidewalk, just serve someone. Pray that God will lead you to someone who needs help and then follow that prompting. God may need you to be an instrument in helping one of His lost children come back onto His path. and I'll do the same. :)
p.s. hope the pictures come through!
1- those going to Toronto from my MTC zone.
2- Sister Mendenhall my MTC comp and I on a day when we oppositely matched:)
3- Sister Tycksen and I crossing paths at the Provo Temple:)