Monday, November 25, 2013


Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!
Oh my goodness, hi!! What a tremendous and actually shocking week!! haha I will we have been working with Kim to get baptized and had planned originally for yesterday for her to be baptized, but all last week, she expressed concerns and hesitation to be baptized so soon, but we continued to visit with her, pray and fast with her to receive her answer. Come sacrament meeting, she was not at church. We were a little sad, but realized that everything works out in God's timing. and sometimes that timing happens just 5 minutes later! Because as we just partook of the sacrament, we look behind us and the elders are waving to us from the foyer and telling us that Kim was here. um...WHAT?! So we go outside to find Kim all dolled up with her two little girls all dressed in white!! SOOO precious! So...SHE GOT BAPTIZED!:):):) It was such a wonderful testimony builder for me, of fasting and prayer and that God really will let things happen the way they should, the way that's best for us. Kim was SO happy yesterday and it was the sweetest thing to see!:) Hope you can see it in the picture as well!:) (the little one holding my hand is Kailee who's 3 and her sister, Keraih is 7. Such a cute family!:)
And it's thanksgiving this week!! woohoo!! I love food. and being thankful. :) I'll look out the window on thursday and see if the balloons in New York at the Macy's day parade are big enough for me to see from here!;) 
ok, let's jump in to...

1.  What packages (if any) have you received this week?
oh my goodness, I got a package of a tremendous amount of chewy candy that I shared with our distict, and it literally was all eaten! haha Elder Gibb and Elder Kearl officially love you, mom! haha They are in the Etobicoke ward with us and as we drove to kitchener with them and a few other elders for a specialty training last week, they were like little kids on Christmas morning! haha They say to say thank you!!!:) and me as well!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!:)

2.  Did you and Sister Williams sing "Did You Think to Pray?"  if so, how did it go?
yes we did but at Kim's baptism was....good....haha yeah, no it wasn't very good but that's ok!! haha I vote mom, you need to come play piano for us next time!;) But thanks for getting it to me, we GREATLY appreciated it!

3.  Have you done your car fast yet?  if so, how did it go?  If not, when are you planning on doing it?
We weren't able to this past week because of exchanges and driving to Brampton and kitchener, but we are going to do it on Sunday:) I love doing it then, because then you can just go up to people and ask them what they're doing that morning and if they say nothing then you rope them into coming to church, cause they don't have an excuse!!! haha just kidding, but works like a charm. ;)

4.  Will you be having an American Thanksgiving anywhere?
We don't have anything planned, but if not, we'll have one together, sister williams and I!:)

5.  Do you attend Gospel Doctrine, or does the Etobicoke Ward have a Gospel Principles class?  Who teaches it?
We have Gospel Principles, and it's normally Nermine but she just moved to another ward, so right now it switches between us and the elders :)

6.  How is the teaching pool looking these days?
Right now we have Paul who's getting baptized on Sunday and is SO excited! (like I said, miracles here in Etobicoke!), David who wants to get baptized on 15 December, and a few others who are on the fence at the moment, so I'll let you know a few more next week :) Have I ever mentioned that I love teaching?? well...I do. so much. :) I love seeing the Gospel change lives, for that is God's plan!:)

7.  The strangest thing I ate this week was....
mooshy rice. mooshy rice is kinda weird...:)

8.  I laughed so hard when....
Sister Williams and I were too cold to be serious. I think we laughed merely to prevent freezing. ha!

9.  My face turned beet-red when...
I accidentally burped in front of the elders. I was laughing really hard and then out it came! bad....

10. I was bubbling over with excitement when....

11. The ward takes care of us missionaries by....
Praying for us. I think sometimes people overlook the power of prayer. I can literally feel the prayers of the members of the ward and from all you back home, so I deeply appreciate the fact that you take time to mention my name and sister williams. We both are so eternally grateful!:)

12. All I Want For Christmas Is.....
my two front teeth. :) ah. if I could only whistle. mmhmm.

13. The most uplifting moment of the week was....
Seeing Kim baptized and being flooded with the Spirit. such a beautiful ordinance, baptism, is. How cool it is that there really are men who hold a part of God's power to do His work! :) How I love His church!

14. I especially felt the Spirit guiding me as.....
I taught with Hermana DeLong on exchanges a woman named Tanya. She's being taught in the Young Single Adult ward but she has no belief in God and I felt the Spirit as we testified to her of the reality of His existence and His love. I love my Father so much!

15. The weather here in Etobicoke has been....
just a wee bit cold. :) There's a little bit of snow on the ground! WOOHOO!

16. I served in (insert areas here) with (insert sisters here).  My favorite exchange was....
(Etobicoke and Mississauga) (Hermana DeLong and Sister Duran) BOTH! they are both so cute and sister Duran is from the phillippines and she's TINY! I just love her so much!:)

17. In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to say that I am especially Thankful for.....
The restored Gospel of Jesus Christ
My Family
Letters and packages-Love from home :)
my companion
everyone that I love
New berry apple cider from second cup that warms my belly
this guy in the library who is wearing swim goggles :)
Scriptures to study each day:)
everything about my life! I have been SOO blessed
I love this gospel so much! I am so thankful for so much, I could never finish my list of gratitude! This Gospel is true! Not because I say so or my parents or president Monson, but because my Heavenly Father has declared it! I love my Savior, Jesus Christ with all of my heart! Thank heavens for the beauty of His plan, His creations, His love! How wonderful it is to be apart of His great and marvelous latter-day work! How great is our calling!!
Love for now and forever,
Sister De Groot:)
Missionary Invitation: Just be grateful and share it this week! Whether on facebook, twitter or whatever else has evolved that I don't know about, share 5 things your grateful for this week with others! how I love being grateful!:)

so...this cop who was a member out in cambridge sees us all the time and one day when we were filling up our car with gas, he comes up and tells us we should get pictures in her car...yeah ok! haha he has a cool hat too. good times. :)

 this is what you see when you drive through downtown! I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M SERVING IN TORONTO!!!:)

Monday, November 18, 2013

2 Nephi 32:8-9

"8 And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the aSpirit which teacheth a man to bpray, ye would know that ye must cpray; for the devil spirit teacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
9 But behold, I say unto you that ye must apray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall bpray unto the Father in the cname of Christ, that he will dconsecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the ewelfare of thy soul."
~2 Nephi 32:8-9
Mum, PahPea, Family, and Friends!:)
Have I ever mentioned that I love missionary work? Because I don't think I've ever conveyed how much I love this work! so I just thought I'd let you know...I seriously LOVE this work!!!!!  I want to share a quote I came across this morning in studies... "As we feast upon the scriptures, the menu seems to change each time we open them. I (Elder Oaks) was reading the Doctrine and Covenants for the 15th or 20th time. Their direction on a particular subject came to my mind with such freshness and impact that I thoguht they might have been newly inserted in my book. That is the way with prayerful study of the scriptures. The scriptures do not change, but we do, and so the same scriptures can give us new insights every time we read them." FEAST upon the words of Christ, for the words of Christ will tell you ALL things which ye should do!:) and my friends, I can testify that that is God's truth!
Alright, let's go into....
1. Do you get much snail-mail? From who?  Well this week I've gotten one from Mom and one from Trisha and Mike and the kiddos. I know...since I've been here I've also gotten letters from Keri and Amber and their fams, but I haven't written back yet because I STINK at writing...I know I know, I'll repent I promise!!! I have a plan, don't you worry. but you can't know of that plan'll get something soonish, let's just say that ;) LOVE YOU!
2. How are Paul and Kristen doing? (To aid them in their quest to become smoke-free, you can tell them about my Grandma Gandolph....she had been a chain-smoker (lit her next cigarette from the one she was finishing, smoking non-stop (2 1/2 packs a day!) for 50+ years (she was 69 at the time) when the missionaries challenged her to live the Word of Wisdom. She accepted the challenge, snubbed out the cigarette she was holding, and never smoked again! With the Lord's help, ANYTHING is possible!!) I actually did share that, thank you so much!!! They're doing well, continued prayers on their behalf would be greatly appreciated! Faith is growing SOO much in their home and their love for each other is blossoming! It's true; a home that is centered on the Gospel of Jesus Christ can be a safeguard from the perils of the world and allow the family members to increase in love and unity!:)
3. Other than family members, is there anything (or anyone) else you would like me to send you pictures of?hmmm.....that's all i can think of, unless you want to send me a picture of anything else, that'd be cool!:)
4. When are you and Sister Williams singing "Did You Think to Pray?" (Did you get the music from Sister Caldwell?)Possibly tomorrow...we're not sure yet...haha and yes I got it, thanks so much!!!!
5. How are you feeling? Are you staying warm?I am feeling fantastic! and yes I am staying warm but I'm realizing that I really need a warm cardigan or sweater. I have a coat but in order to stay warm out here, I've been borrowing my commpanions sweaters, but my sweet companion will be going home soon and I'm not sure if my next companion will have what I need to prevent me from being an icicle. :) So could you either send me one or give me a tid bit (and by tid bit, I mean ooper tid bit:)) of money to purchase one out here, if that'd be easier. Either way would be fantastic! Thanks so much!
6. What did you eat for breakfast today? Lunch?OOH! I love random had an apple waffle for breakfast given to us by a member and for lunch...haven't had anything yet! but something tastey, that's for sure!:)
7. My favorite study session this week was about....Feasting upon the words of Christ! I like food, and I've decided spiritual food is my favorite kind!:)
8. The highlight of my week was when...Ted came to our appointment this morning with 2 pages of notes from his reading in the Book of Mormon! WOOT WOOT! :)
9. I couldn't believe it when....this lady literally dressed up her little dog in a sweater, little booties, AND a santa hat. Oh Canada and its animals. gotta love it. :)
10. I laughed so hard when....sister williams and I were so sore from exercising and had 1 minute to run up the stairs to be in on time for curfew...why is it that being sore makes me laugh hysterically?? :)
11. I'm especially excited about....ALL THE CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS!!!!! I love the Spirit of Christmas so much!!! after all, it's the Spirit of Christ!:)
12. I felt the Spirit so strong as....Sister Hadley, a sister I went on exchanges with, bore testimony to a man on the street who knew not that Jesus Christ is his Savior, about how she knew He was, and how he could know it too. Boy, I feel like I'm being trained all over again when I go on exchanges with these incredible sisters!!! I am so blessed!!!
13. I've been excited to tell you about....My love for you! I LOVE YOU! :)
14. I went on exchanges to.....Mississauga and stayed here in Etobicoke for another :)
15. And served on exchanges with....Sister Hadley and Hermana Andelin
16. This week I am most grateful for....
      a. dreams...they are so entertaining!! (recap; sharing the gospel with aliens invading our building on Mabelle because of this guy telling us aliens were coming...every problem can be solved with the gospel, that's for sure!:)     b. Holidays! Happy almost thanksgiving!!!:)     c. The letters and emails from people of whom I love so much! sorry I stink at writing back, but they'll come, I promise you!:)     d. The sacrament! boy, I love remembering my Savior's sacrifice for me and all, and my baptism 13 years ago!      e. Sister Williams and her dedication to this work. I want to be like her one day :)

Well, I need to head out, but I sure hope you can feel of the Spirit I attempt to share with you each week! I know, without a doubt, that this gospel is true! I know that my Savior lives and loves every single one of us! I know there is only one way back to our Father in Heaven, not set by man, but declared by our Father, himself! I know that the strait and narrow path is through our Father's restored church - again, not made by man, but restored through a prophet upon the Earth at this time! I only know these things because I have read the Book of Mormon, I have pondered long and hard many times throughout my life what it is saying, and I have prayed to know of its truthfulness, and I declare with all of my heart that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is just that; it's our Lord and Savior's, Jesus Christ, Church upon the Earth in these last days! I know it, and I cannot deny it! Because of that knowledge, I will share it everyday out here and for the rest of my eternal life! How great is our calling!!!
Love for now and for ever,Sister De Groot:)
Missionary Invitation: I had an epiphany this morning!!! Christmas is coming up and you know what we all do? 12 DAYS OF CHRISTMAS! pick someone who is having a hard time and do it for them coming mid December, but for now, just make the plans and ask God to direct the plan so that you may accomplish that which he has commanded (hint; share the gospel ;)) Make it fun! I'd love to hear how it goes!:)

I Love to See the Temple!  :0)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

1 Nephi 9:6

Mum, Pahpea, Family, and Friends!

Why hello!!! ok so I seriously stink at remembering and people's birthdays! I forgot to wish my little nephew, Landon, a happy birthday the same day as daddy's!! so....HAPPY BIRTHDAY KIDDO!!!! You make me laugh all the time, goober, and you're just the cutest little thing in the whole wide world! well...little? maybe not. but I do think you're pretty great!:) Happy birthday bud! I love you so much!
Alright, so if I forgot someone else, I apologize, but man I stink at remembering anything. :) oh mom! I just remembered, all the missionaries are filling out a new booklet we got about our family history up to my great grandparents on both sides, I have names of all of them except my great grandma on your mothers side, so I was wondering if I could get that info as well as all the birthdays/death dates and places and stories if you know anything of them. I would greatly appreciate it, it's a new finding tool that we're using especially with people on the buses to help people get excited about doing family history work! Thanks a bunch, I love you lots and lots!
Alright, let's do some.....
1. What are some goals you and Sister Wiliams have set for this transfer?
To do a "car fast" once a week (that means one day a week, we don't use the car and we ride buses all day!). Some missionaries do it. some don't, but we want to do it for sure!  I am absolutely stoked about it!!! I LOVE BUSES!!!!:)
2. Is it safe to assume you will remain in Etobicoke for another transfer, since Sister Williams will be heading home?
I would assume so....but Sister Williams thought that would be so when she was in Oshawa and her companion went home, yet she came here and Sister Arksey and Sister Stats white washed into her area so....I'm not quite sure! haha My guess is I'm staying though. We'll see :)
3. Investigator updates....(spare no details!)
Paul: he fed us almost every day this past week as we taught him and taught me how to rightfully eat fries from swiss chalet because apparently I do it wrong...:) He's doing incredibly well, he and Kristen have been helping each other to quit smoking and Paul is SOO excited to be smoke free! They are the funniest couple in the whole wide world, I just love them so much! They are also planning on moving to Utah sometime next year, so maybe you'll be able to meet them!:)
Mark and Ellena's mom apparently wasn't told we were coming over to teach them, and she wasn't very happy when we showed up, so they'll continue to read the Book of Mormon they said but we can't meet with them at this time. It's ok, everything works out for a reason! I'm a firm believer in that!:)
4. Any more opportunities to speak Spanish?
no, but I had a dream that I spoke to someone in spanish!!! and the missionaries in my district were astounded. eyup. and then I woke up...
5. What do people do on Remembrance Day in Etobicoke?They all wear poppies and don't work and have a moment of silence at 11:11. except my canadian companion forgot about it and at 11:43 she realized that and felt horrible. so we made up for it. oh! and we sang the canadian national anthem; me in english and sister williams in French. and then we sang the american national anthem as well! woohoo!:) we're just so multipatriotic!:)
6. What did YOU do on Remembrance Day?
See above...and talked to lots of people on the streets!!! and maybe froze a little was a lot colder than we planned. but we sang a lot to keep ourselves from becoming sister ice cubes :)
7. If you could only choose ONE "Highlight of the Week", what would it be?Teaching a former investigator, Kim, and her accepting and excited to be baptized on November 24!:) There are some things we have to figure out, but we're praying that she continues to progress for that day! She's so cool and we're super excited for her!:)
8. The one area I would like to improve on as a missionary is....
coming up with new ideas and new ways to introduce the Gospel to individuals; ensuring that whatever I say is tailored directly to the individual, especially when talking to someone on the street because you only have about a minute to introduce the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to them and how their family can be eternal through God's restored power or how they can be clean from their sins through the Atonement or how to truly find happiness. that's a lot of ground to cover in that short of a time! So not falling into routine, but tailoring every word to their need.:)
9. One of the greatest things I've learned as a missionary is...
how to feel, and express, profound and ultimate Christlike Love. After all, that's the key to opening hearts so others may feel the influence of the Spirit testify to them that God has, indeed, restored HIS church to the Earth! ah, how grateful I am that this is not my work! it is HIS!:)
10. I felt the Lord's guidance the most this week as....
I applied what I talked about in number 8; tailoring everything to others needs. The Spirit is so strong when you truly are concerned about the well being of others, and that allows them to truly feel of the Spirit.
11. I went on exchanges to Toronto N (yes in the middle of the city) and served with Sister Taylor (so precious, so cute, and sings like Regina Spektor! :))
12. My favorite exchange was...
The one I went on with Sister Taylor, the only one I went on last week!:)
13. My most memorable Study Session was...
about covenants: a covenant is a sacred agreement between God and a person or group of people. As you keep your covenants, you will not need to be commanded in everything you do (doctrine and covenants 58:26-28) No matter what comes at you, no matter how awkward the circumstance, no matter how uncomfortable things may seem; always turn to God so you can keep your covenants! It's such a beautiful concept, and it truly works, I can testify of that!
14. I was so embarrassed when....
one of our new investigators came to our lesson with a bouquet of flowers and chocolates and then asked my companion out. about awkward!!! hahahaha we passed him on to the elders to teach....:)
15. Things I am especially thankful for this week include...     National Anthems :)
     The love that's associated with Holidays
     Dinner appointments
     My companion Sister Williams, and looking out for her so no more guys ask her out...:)
     The scriptures that allow me to feel the Spirit so strong!

Well, I need to head out but please know that I love you all tremendously!! This work seriously is the greatest work in the world, and I'm not just talking about the work here in the Toronto Canada mission, I'm talking about His work throughout the world, members and missionaries alike! This truly is the work of salvation and He is hastening His work! let us hasten ourselves, again, missionaries and members alike! I know my Savior lives! I know this is His work! I know we can be cleansed from ALL our sins if we simply allow Him to do so! I know His truth is eternal and I know it can save lives! How beautiful the knowledge is! and oh, how great is our calling!

Love for now and for ever,
Sister De Groot :)

Missionary Invitation: This one is ooper simple; ensure that you pray for the missionaries in your ward by name every single day. :) In fact, could I get the names of the missionaries in the Alpine 5th ward, please? after all, they are the missionaries in my ward!:) Thanks so much I love you all!

Monday, November 4, 2013

6 weeks is not that long to wait for a miracle

Mum, PahPea, Family, and Friends!

Oh my goodness gracious, hello! I hope you all had a wonderful week, because you know what? We sure did!!!:) So this past transfer was tough, I'll be honest. We would begin teaching people and they just wouldn't progress. We kept our heads high though, and kept going strong and on the last day of the transfer, yesterday, we saw SOOO many miracles! To start off, Merle came to church yesterday and loved it! then after teaching an incredible lesson with Mark and Ellena (brother and sister) from Vietnam, we got a call from Paul, he's the husband of a less active lady whose been wanting to come back to church and he has not yet been baptized. They've been working hard on coming each week for almost a year and yesterday he called us up and has us meet them quick before we taught a lesson, and asked us when we were baptizing him! WHAT?!?!?! haha it was so exciting! We made a game plan to help him overcome smoking and he's committed to 1 December!! woot woot!! he's so cool, I love them both so much!!! Miracles are happening here in Etobicoke!:) oh wait, but it doesn't stop there! later on last night we went to teach a lesson but he didn't show up, so we were off to our back up walking to the car, and I decided to contact 1 more person before we got in the car and lo and behold it was a less active lady that we've been trying to contact for 12 weeks!!! ah! I cannot even tell you the joy we felt as we were driving home last night! The Lord really is aware of the effort that is put into His work, whether full time or member missionary, and I promise that He will allow everything to work out in His timing!!! No doubt! Don't let it get you down, no matter how long it takes. For SIster Williams and I, we've decided that admist the many little miracles we saw throughout the transfer, 6 weeks really is not that long to wait for a day of miracles!!!:)

Whew, now what time is it, you ask? Why, it's QUESTION TIME!!!
1. Any post-Birthday message for your dad?number 1. SOO sorry I didn't send a wish last week, but I did the week before!!!:) sorry...mission time is seriously messing with my brain. Good thing you still love me, eh?;) I hope you had the greatest birthday in the whole wide world pahpea! I love you more than you'll ever know, but I guess a simple "I love you" will have to do for now :) I love you daddy!!! ps. you're old. but I love you anyway. ;)
2. I believe Transfers are this week. What have you heard?staying here with Sister Williams in her last transfer! crazy!!!
3. Did you receive your Halloween package on time?SURE DID!!! thank you SOO much! I'm pretty sure we've overloaded on candy this week. but guess what? I'm A-OK with it!;)
4. How is Merle....and Merle? :0)one decided she'd rather stick with her church and the other is doing very well! she came to church yesterday and LOVED it!!! She has such a beautiful testimony of Jesus Christ, and knows that only through Him is she going to find peace. so sweet, and she just gets it!:) I love her so much!
5. Ella?We're really worried about her, she's insanely sick, so please just keep her in your prayers. We can't teach her right now because of her medical issues, but please please pray for her! thanks so much!!
6. Did you receive all the pictures I emailed you, and were you able to view them?yes I did, thank you so much, the little ones are all so stinking cute!! and SOOO big!!!
7. Are you sending pictures home today?I will definitely try!!:)

8. My favorite exchange this week was...Going with Hermana Dudley in Black Creek Central. It was so much fun and she taught me SOO much!!! and!!! I CONTACTED SOMEONE IN SPANISH!!! not just the usual "hola, como estas?" but literally, I actually talked well...jumbled taught a bit of the gospel to a lady!!! BAHHH!!! so cool. I love the Gospel so much!:)
9. My most memorable Study Session this week was about...Alma 8 and returning speedily to that which God has called you to do, no matter the circumstances. I highly recommend it!!!:)
10. I couldn't believe it when...We found out that Sister Williams and I were staying together for her last transfer. So stinking happy!!!!!:)
11. What am I going to do with my TTC tie, you ask? Well...I don't know! haha keep it! maybe I'll give it to my son when he goes on his mission....? Clip ons are definitely needed, eh? haha just kidding. but seriously...:)
12. I'm excited about Transfers because...we're together and we're going to have a baptism with Paul!!!!
13. Something I would love included in my Christmas package is...a picture of each one of my siblings and the new additions to their families!:) yes Ryan, that includes you with your puppy Jade!:)
14. My Funniest and/or Most Embarrassing moment of the week was...getting smooshed in between 2 drunk guys on an INSANELY crowded bus...twas slightly awkward. gotta love toronto transportation! haha
15. This week I am especially grateful for...The spirit of Christmas. Yes it is officially Christmasy here in Canda because all other holidays are past for now and there are Christmas decorations everywhere! But it's not just the decorations or the excitement, but it's literally the spirit of love, of peace that is everywhere to be found. The spirit of Christ! It's so beautiful, so simple, and it's my wish that we can bring it to someone this year who is lacking that particular Spirit. Let us remember to lift up one another and be kind to one another, remember that the person in line next to you in the grocery store is here for the same reason as you; "to prepare to meet perform their labors." Alma 34:32. Let us help out one another on this journey back to our Father in Heaven! That's why we're here! let's help each other out!:) God lives and He loves us so so much! and we have the calling to help each other to get back to God as well, and how great is our calling! :)
Love for now and for ever,
Sister De Groot:)
Missionary Invitation: What are you thankful for? make a list! and then post it wherever people see it the most, and then invite them to do the same! This is the most non-aggressive way in the sharing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ! If you know something is true, why not share it??:)