Monday, February 24, 2014

"Consecration is the only form of surrender that also results in victory"

Mum PahPea, Family and Friends!

Why hello!!! So again, I've heard so much of Uncle Bob's baptism and how incredible it was and I am so happy to hear that!!!! I was praying that all would go well and the Spirit would be strong, so I am glad to hear that it did! :) This week as been wonderful in the service of our Lord, so many miracles and excitement about the area! We're preparing for this busy week, as today is our preparation day, tomorrow is MLC (Mission Leadership Council), Wednesday is Zone Conference and a shortened Zone training on the same day, Thursday is weekly planning, and then 2 back to back exchanges on Friday and Saturday, and then Church on Sunday with appointments taking up every evening! WOOH! crazy busy week and so excited for it!!! :) Hope you are too!! :)

let's jump into.....QUESTION TIME!!
1.  What were you doing on Saturday at 6pm (3pm in Elko, Uncle Bob's baptism time)?
We were just heading out the door to an appointment after having our dinner. I thought he got baptized in the morning so as we walked in the neighborhoods in the morning, we sang "I know when I am baptized" :) Just for you, Uncle Bob!! ps. LOVE the pictures!! You look so happy, and for good reason, eh? :) I love you, congratulations again on being baptized, confirmed AND receiving the priesthood!! You truly are a powerhouse and will do great things for God in His Church! :) Love you!
2.  How high did the temperature get this week?
7*!!!!!!!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS IT FELT SOOOO GOOD!!! I mean, it was still pretty cold because of the Ontario windchill, but it was in the positives!!! We were pretty excited when we got in the car, to say the least! :)
3.  Where did you go on splits, and with whom?
actually we didn't have any exchanges this week because the sisters we were going to go with have a huge bed bug problem, so in order to keep it from getting spread even more throughout the mission by us going with the other sisters, we moved their exchange to next week. Please keep them in your prayers, bed bugs are a nasty thing up here! haha
4.  What time is Joe's baptism scheduled for on Saturday?
Well actually with guidance from the Lord, we moved his baptism to the 8th, so next Saturday. It'll be planned for around 12:30, so just after English class that is taught by our fellow missionaries :) We're SOOO excited!!! :) and So is he!!! :)
5.  Are the ward members supportive of baptisms (meaning, do they come)?
I don't know, I haven't been to a baptism here yet!  But I've heard that a lot of people attend, the ward here in Mississauga is SOOO supportive of these wonderful individuals that we are teaching! They fellowship all, truly are Christlike members! :)
6.  Are Victor and Anna Paula continuing to progress?  How is she feeling?
They aren't truly progressing in the Gospel at the moment but she is feeling much better! She is gaining more and more strength each day and members continue to be there for them and help them be comforted through this hard time. They are so sweet and I am sure are very grateful for your prayers on her behalf! Thank you so much! 
7.  What about Khaleel?
He's doing well! Wasn't able to come to church yesterday though, and haven't been able to contact him today so more update will come next week :)
8.  Anyone else I'm forgetting to ask about (or that you haven't told me about yet)?
So, awesome story of how God guides us to where he needs us to be...about 3 weeks ago, we knocked on a door, #811, and a man named Zach was on the phone but told us to come back another day. we weren't in the area until a week later where we prayed before leaving our car and then opened our eyes to see a man crossing the street and a gentle whisper from the Spirit telling us to go talk with him. So we jumped out of the car and met him across the street. His name was Reza and he told us we could come by another time to meet him and his wife Cathy. We got his information and went off to our appointment. after the appointment, we went towards the elevator where Reza and Cathy came out of their door, #811, with their laundry. Realizing they and Zach live in the same building, I'm starting to realize that God really needs us to teach these people. So upon their invitation, we went up with them to the laundry room in the apartment building and taught them about the Restoration of the Gospel and they invited us back again to meet them and their 11 yr old son Bradley. When we arrived for our appt, Reza and Cathy said they were no longer interested but that we could share our message with Bradley and he could choose for himself. well, ok! So we taught him and he wants to get baptized in March!! :) He has such a submissive heart and desire to find God's true Church. He said he's gone to a few different churches and doesn't really feel the Spirit all that much, but he wants to. He's such a prepared 11 yr old!! His parents are very willing to allow him to learn and come to church with us, so we're excited to have him come this Sunday! God truly does know which of His children are ready for the restored Gospel, and in this case, it's an adorable 11 yr old! :) How grateful I am for the guidance of the Spirit, He's SOO great! :)

9.  I'd have to say that the highlight of my week was....
teaching Bradley as well as seeing Joe when we told him that they announced his baptism in our meeting. his face was so smiley. aw man. He's so excited!! :)
10.  I love learning new things every day.  Today's "new thing" was...
learning why consecrated oil is called 'consecrated' oil! Thanks to Elder Dearden!! also. I discovered last transfer what a 'selfie' was. Did we, as humans, really give a name to when we take a picture of ourselves? wow. so funny. that one was learned from Elder Rowley! haha, who knew...
11.  Sister Edwards and I loved...
being in a bus area this week for 3 days!!! oh my goodness. so great. it took me back to days in London. ah London. how I love that land. :)
12.  I get so excited when...
I talk with people who have previously met with missionaries in another country. I met someone from Wales who is here, in Mississauga, for cancer research. I began to talk with him and he said that he was really good friends with Elder Boysen and Elder....I forgot, in Wales. But yeah, he said that they were sharing with him exactly what I was sharing and it was such a blessing to know that no matter where you go, in whatever land and in whatever language, the message of the 85,000+ missionaries is all the same! Said differently and tailored to individuals needs, but the same! :) I LOVE the restored Gospel! *he's unable to meet due to his schedule to cancer research but he said he'll try to come to church sometime. we sure hope so!
13.  Speaking of excited, I could hardly wait to tell you about...
the one time when I said hello and goodbye to a polish lady in polish and she was so proud of me and only THEN accepted a pass-along card! haha It's true, when you connect with people, they are more open! My goal is to learn "hello" and "goodbye" in 25 languages, and that's a small number for how many languages there are here in this mission! right now I have spanish, polish, odoo (Nigerian), Tagalog, Twee,  and Mandarin. 6 down, and 19 more to go! I only started this 2 weeks ago so I'll reach my goal in no time! :)
14.  If I could describe today in THREE WORDS, they would be....
sister edwards says, and I quote, "HAPPY GO LUCKY!" eyup. let's go with that. ;)
15.  Since tomorrow will, once again, end in "514", our plan to "find 5" is....
well...have a lot of referrals present at our lessons, because we have MLC (mission leadership council) tomorrow til mid afternoon and then appointments for the rest of the evening so we'll need some referrals! :) love 514. :)
16.  My favorite teaching moment was....
Bradley. hands down. :) He's just so excited to read from the Book of Mormon stories and follow Christ's example! The Spirit is so strong when he speaks, it's such a blessing to be teaching him! 
17.  My testimony was strengthened as....
one of my prayers was answered yesterday during our ward conference's ward council. I won't go into details, but just know that God truly does answer every prayer, no matter how small you think it is! :)
18.  I am so grateful for...
buses! and cars! :)
Serge, who works at a car shop we're trying to share the gospel with :)
Family History
the incredible leaders in our ward and stake
Uncle Bob Pepin :)

Well, I need to head out, but please know how much I love you all!! This Gospel is so true, every part of it! There is no greater work than that of our Father in Heaven's, and I testify that that is true! The Bible and the Book of Mormon are scripture from our Father in Heaven "These last records, which thou hast seen among the Gentiles, shall establish the truth of the first which are of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, and shall make known the plain and precious things which have been taken away from them; and shall make known to all kindreds, tongues, and people, that the Lamb of God is the Son of the Eternal Father, and the Savior of the world; and that all men must come unto him, or they cannot be saved. and they must come according to the words which shall be established by the mouth of the Lamb; and the words of the lamb shall be made known in the records of thy (Nephi) seed, as well as in the records of the twelve apostles of the Lamb; wherefore they both shall be established in one; for there is one God and one Shepherd over all the earth." 1 Nephi 13;40-41 This work is true, and oh, how great is our calling!!!

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

Missionary Invitation: There is a reason the Church is focusing more on Family History Work, because it's apart of the Hastening of the Work of Salvation. So go to and update your family! and also, mom, thank you so much for the story of your grandma, could I have more stories and memories of your grandpa and daddio, from yours as well? :) Thanks! love you all!!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HAPPY (Ontario) FAMILY DAY!!! :)

Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!

Well, hi! I hope you all had the best Canadian Family Day in the whole wide world! Do tell...what does your family mean to you? go ahead. share it with someone, somewhere, sometimes. :) oh my goodness, guess what this week is??? UNCLE BOB PEPIN'S BAPTISM!!!!!!!! I hope you don't mind, Uncle Bob, but I've told like 70 people that you're getting baptized. :) I'm just so proud and so excited for you!! my mom and dad have also told me in their emails to me that you are going to be an INCREDIBLE addition to the Lord's Church! He needs you, and I am SOO excited for you! I wish I was there for this incredible experience, but I will be in Spirit! Just know that on Saturday, I'll be smiling pretty big here!!! :) I love you kind of a lot Uncle Bob! :)

This week was so wonderful, full of miracles and testimony builders!! and, in addition, neither of us tripped. what a blessing. seriously. :) I'm glad to hear PahPea's doing better each day, I'm praying for you every day, dadio! :) hang in there, you'll get better in no time! :) here's a scripture for you pops: D&C 121:7-8 :)
it's also for anyone else who is having a hard time physically or emotionally or spiritually. It's from God, so it's for all! :)

so...Question Time!
1.  Do you hear much about the Olympics, there in Mississaugo?  (Did you even know they were going on right now?)
I've heard from people on the street that they were going on, and saw Canadian bobsled on ha! 
2.  Time for "investigator updates:...
   a.  Victor
doing very well, he and his wife came to church on Sunday and loved it! they couldn't stay the whole time because their daughter was at home but it was so good to see anna paula out of the house and the hospital, and at the church! thank you so much for all the prayers on her behalf, she feels them! :)
   b.  Shelley (not sure if you're teaching her or not...)
not right now, but missionaries will in the future! :)
   c.  Jas and Tanya
Unable to contact, but again, I know missionaries will be able to teach them when they are fully prepared :)
   d.  Joan
She doesn't have the time to meet with us sadly, but if you could continue to keep her in your prayers so that her health stays strong, I'm sure she'd appreciate that.
   e.  Khaleel
so good, he came to church yesterday!! He's searching to find the truth, and we know that if he reads everyday and asks those specific questions, he'll find it! :)

also, he's not listed but JOE! I can't believe that I haven't mentioned him before, I thought I had! Joe was taught previously by missionaries, and we began teaching him a few weeks ago. He's from Ghana and SOO excited to be baptized on March 2nd! eyup, that's right, 2 weeks and he's taking the step of baptism by one holding the priesthood authority of God to follow our Savior Jesus Christ! we are SOO excited for him, and the joy on his face as he comes to church after not going for 8 years, is exquisite!!! He LOVES it and he knows that the Book of Mormon is true, he told us last night!! :) ah. I love when I hear that individuals pray specifically "Is the Book of Mormon true?" and other specific questions, because I know fully that God will answer!!! we just need to ask, and he did! and now he's getting baptized! :) Like you, Uncle Bob!!!! :) SOO excited for you!! ps. PLEASE send me pictures!!!! If you wanted to bring my head on a popsicle stick to take a picture with him, I'd be ok with that. but nothing bigger. that'd just be weird...;) I LOVE YOU!!!

NOTE FROM SHERYL:  Forget the popsicle's Janelle with Uncle Bob  :0)

3.  Did you receive your Valentine's Package in time for V-day?
sure did and thank you SOOO much!!! ok those ice cream oreo's were insanely amazing. Boy, do they get creative around holidays!! haha Thank you so much, mom and dad, honestly we are both SOO grateful!! You're both so sweet!:)
4.  Any other packages arrive?  (If the answer to these last 2 questions is "no", I have to give a "thumbs down" to the Canadian Post Office!)
Yes the other one came as well, thank you SOOO much!!! those gloves are so wonderful and oh so very warm, thank you!!! oh. and the dipping cheese you sent? yeah. gone the 3rd day. :) some things just never change....yikes... 
5.  What did you do special for Sister Edwards on V-day?
*see attached picture :) I was quite proud of myself that morning

6.  How did you spend FAMILY DAY?!?
on exchange with Hermana Aparicio here in Mississauga North!! and with the Lord's guidance, we found a family to begin teaching! Elizabeth and her 2 kids as well as her 5 year old daughter! Definitely a very blessed Family Day here in Ontario!! :)
7.  How will you spend the rest of today?
grocery shopping, apartment cleaning, car cleaning, letter writing and sending off (eyup, I actually did write a few letters. I know. I'm proud too. :)) and probably making a stop at krispy kreme :)
8.  How big (square miles) is your ward area?
oh yikes....I don't know...I'll attempt to figure that out this week...? :)

9.  When you mentioned that the Winter Olympics were going on, I thought...
10.  My favorite teaching moment this week was....
Teaching the Sloat family last week about the Plan of Salvation, using our agency to become like our Father. The Spirit was so strong. and the tears tip toeing from Brother Sloats eyes only made the Spirit more present. They expressed changes they had made in their home throughout the past week that we were not aware of, and the difference they said it was making in their home. They are such an incredible family, they are teaching me about being proactive in decision making for the benefit of the home. Those who are truly wanting to be close with our Father in Heaven never get complacent, they make changes, and that's what this tremendous family is showing me through example. 
11.  My favorite "finding" happened...
on Saturday. So for those of you who don't know, my favorite "big" number is 514 (mine and Alexis Johnson's birthday) and I discovered that every 10 days for the entire year of 2014, the last 3 digits will be 514. :) so naturally, when I realized this on Saturday the 15th, I with Sister Christenson on exchange in our area made a goal to find 5 new individuals to begin teaching the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. (a little side note here, Alexis and I in high school joked about being missionary companions when we served missions. Since the 2nd week of the mission, I was reminded of that and realized then that we ARE companions, with one on either side of the veil. :)) When the realization of 514 came on Saturday, we prayed for specifics and for the guidance to find and begin teaching 5 new individuals. With the help from many individuals and especially with our Father in Heaven, throughout the day, we were able to find and teach 5 new individuals in many places, including doorsteps, being let in to homes knocking on doors, and an apartment complex laundry room. How grateful I am for prayer, and how unexplainably grateful I am for answered prayers! :)
12.  There was no doubt that the Spirit was present when...
we were let into one of these homes and taught a couple from Pakistan, Rafat and Dalia. The Spirit was so strong in their home simply as we walked in seeing pictures of our Savior everywhere and they're sincere desire to raise their children in a Christ centered home. We talked about His Atonement for all, including the Jews and also the Gentiles. We shared the Book of Mormon and talked about the importance of prayer and afterwards, each one of us said a prayer and the Spirit was almost tangible. It was so incredible. They are such a tremendous couple and we are so excited to meet with them! God truly is mindful of who is prepared to receive our Savior's Restored Gospel.
13.  The talks in Sacrament Meeting this week centered on....
scripture study, making sure that we're sincere in all that we do. Such a wonderful reminder!
14.  In personal study, I have concentrated on...
helping the individuals we teach know what it means to be sincere, to have real intent, to be consecrated to the Lord. I've learned SOOO much, I would deeply recommend studying consecration. ah. tremendous. :)
15.  My testimony increased as....
I was studying consecration but also obedience. On a tag on to last weeks comment about becoming who God intended us to become, when you get to the point where obedience is no longer an burden or a question in your mind, you allow God to open your understanding to a bit more of His Plan. I whole heartedly believe that the more obedient and repentant we are each day, the thinner the veil gets between us and our Father. As we prove to Him our worthiness and loyalty through our obedience, He trusts us with a bit more of His knowledge to work with. It's incredible. and oh so humbling.
16.  I am so grateful for...
warm gloves
valentine candy corn
dipping cheese. why is it so good?
Specific questions in prayers
covenant reminders :)

Well, I'm off again. I hope that you all know you're worth in the eyes of our Heavenly Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ. You mean so much more than you think you do, for so many more reasons than you can, on Earth, understand. They love you unconditionally, and are cheering you on. Stay tough, stay true, and They will carry you in the moment when you can't do so yourself. Remember that all those around us need that carrying force, and you can give assistance, let's help all return to where we want to be more than anywhere else, to live again with our Father in Heaven! How great is our calling!!

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

Missionary Invitation: Invite someone to share their testimony with you. Ask someone about their baptism, their studies that morning, their favorite visiting teacher, how they came to know their Savior, how they build their faith, how they get the most out of attending church. This week, give someone the unplanned opportunity to share their beliefs and then bear testimony of theirs and share yours. Let's bring back our Savior Jesus Christ into a normal conversation. For, that is why we're here, after all. :)

thought from President Scott's email this week..... Elder Dallin H. Oaks made the following comment. “Strength is forged in adversity. Faith is developed in a setting where we cannot see what lies ahead 

Deep. I love it. :)

ps. this picture is from MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) back in January, thought I'd show you the other sister training leaders and zone leaders and assistants and president and sister scott :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Alma 34:40-41

Mum, PahPea, Family and Friends!

You know what's fantastic? Being a missionary. Eyup. It sure is. (didn't see that one coming, did you?:)) We had a wonderful and very spiritual week! There were just so many instances we found ourselves where we just needed to be in order to learn a lesson that God needed us to learn. We've been learning so much in our studies, meetings, and conversations about God's Plan for us. My testimony has grown tremendously as I understand and have a greater reverence for the love my Father has for me and the trust He has placed in me as His missionary. So humbling, and I am so grateful. 

May I wish EVERYONE a Happy Valentine's Day!!! If I had time, I would write every person individually who ever reads these letters and say thank you a billion x's a lot. You are all so incredible and I love you all SOOO much!! Truly, your support, prayers, and love mean more to me than you know, so a simple thank you will have to suffice for now until the resurrection when you'll understand just how much you mean to me. :) so THANK YOU!!! :)

1.  How did your get-together with Victor's family go?
Went very well, they are such a sweet family!! His 8 year old daugher, Lena, is such a cutie, reminds me a lot of Bailey, actually :) The Spirit was so present as we talked about eternal families and the healing that comes through the Atonement of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Wonderful family experience. :)
2.  Did Latavia get to attend a baptism this week?
Sadly no, we've been praying a lot for her this past week, actually, and felt strongly that we need to allow her to progress with her sister for a time, without us visiting her. We're confident in God's timing that all will work out and she'll be ready then. When that "then" is, I'm not sure, but I know it'll all work out. always does! :)
3.  Were you able to meet with Shelly after she got back in town?
We were, actually! She's doing very well and understands the need for a Restoration of Christ's Church, and is excited to read the Book of Mormon but mentioned that her life is super crazy right now, so she's not able to meet with us very often. We'll continue to keep her in our prayers, as well, and help her come to church, which she said she'll be able to attend in about 3 weeks due to her crazy schedule and her son. She has a wonderful testimony of our Savior and is excited to build a testimony of the Restored Gospel as well!
4.  How are things going with Jas and Tanya?
We actually haven't been able to contact them this past week, but hope to be able to this week. :)
5.  Joan?
This week! :)
6.  Is there anyone else you are teaching?
Khaleel is a 17 year old who we taught a 6 minute lesson to in the lobby of his home before he went up to his family (his mom was sleeping or else we would have gone up :)) He has such a BIG heart and accepted to prepare to be baptized on March 2nd! He wanted to come to church so badly yesterday but was unable to make it. He's coming this Sunday, though with his mom and friend! So cool!
7.  What is something new you learned about Sister Edwards this week?
"come what may, and love it" Sister Edwards has such a tremendous Gift to accept whatever comes her way. This week, as you've read, quite a few appointments have fallen through and people no longer wanting to meet with us, but we haven't gotten down, we haven't forgotten our purpose. She helps me remember that everything that happens is supposed to happen and there's a reason to it. She's so wonderful, I'm so grateful to have her as my companion!! :)
8.  What is something new you learned about yourself?
I've become bold and stubborn throughout this mission because I understand my purpose more and more each day. and I LOVE it. :)
9.  How many people (on average) attend your ward each Sunday?
150 maybe?

10.  I've been so excited to tell you about...
I TALKED TO A GUY IN SPANISH!!!! it was so cool. He truly didn't speak a lick of English and I was able to (mas o menos) tell him who we were and what we do, and get his information to give to the spanish missionaries! oh my goodness. so cool! :)
11.  It was so funny when....
I tripped down the stairs this week. Ontario weather seems to line all cement with a layer of ice and our stairs down to our apartment are cement. yikes. good thing I laugh in painful situations! I'm fine now, don't you worry!! :)
12.  My biggest "aha" moment happened when...
I was studying the Plan of Salvation and connecting it with my Patriarchal Blessing. wow. I highly recommend it!!
13.  Our greatest "findings" happen....
when we talk with everyone in our paths! :) Prayer works, people. it truly does. :)
14.  My favorite thing I ate this week was....
raisin banana bread, compliments of Sister Reynolds 
15.  This mornings companion study session centered on...
The Plan of Salvation!
16.  Splits this week included serving in (_____Mississauga North (our area) and Black Creek Central_______) with (_____Sister Rogers and Hermana Reid______).
17.  If I were granted one wish, I would want it to be....
That I make the correct choices throughout my life that allow me to go through the necessary experiences that will help me become whom the Lord knows I'm capable of becoming.

The reason I mentioned the last point is because I realized this morning in my personal study that our Father's Plan is so much bigger than we can presently see. It's so much bigger than simply living commandments, it's bigger than merely not smoking, or not drinking, or keeping yourself pure, or paying your tithing. It's all for a reason and it's all apart of His plan. Not one of us is less important in His Plan than another, there's just different responsibilities, each one tailored specifically for us and our personal growth. I would invite you to utilize that growth! In doing so, you will have accomplished that which the Lord had intended you to become from that experience. I testify that our Savior lives! He suffered in pain, emotionally, physically, spiritually, for who knows how many people so that we might live. Let us not leave that precious gift untouched! I testify that Christ died for you. If you do not believe that, then, at this one moment in your life, don't think of the person next to you or in the other room, but look in the mirror, look at you. Let the reality of the Atonement of Jesus Christ sink deep into your soul and know, without question, that Jesus is the Christ, your Savior and Redeemer! Satan would have you believe that Christ didn't die for you, that you're just not good enough. But that is not true!  He surely died for everyone!  This is for ALL, especially for you!  When you know that yourself, then are you able to share it with all, and bless their lives deeper than you ever thought possible. This is the Plan of Salvation, the Plan of Happiness, the Plan of Peace, the Plan of Truth, the Plan of God! There is no other way, and although it's hard, although it's bumpy, it's still straight! Continue on the path and angels will watch over you, I testify to that from experience! There is so much reverence in my heart to my Father in Heaven and His Restored Gospel, and in Him trusting me, as imperfect as I am, to be a mouthpiece here in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and you in your respective assignment! :) How GREAT is our calling!!!

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

Missionary Invitation: Slow down a bit this week and truly take time to read your scriptures. "If you haven't read your Patriarchal Blessing recently, read it. and record impressions that come to your mind and heart. For they will come if you pray for them!" Patriarch Warner from the Brampton, Ontario Stake

Monday, February 3, 2014

2 Nephi 31:19-20

Mum, Pops, Family and Friends!

Oh my goodness, hi!!! What an incredible week here in Mississauga, Ontario! Can I just say that I LOVE when it snows here?!?! 2 reasons. 1. it's BEAUTIFUL. and 2. it's warmer. I like that. :) The work in our area is progressing wonderfully and we are having so much joy and love as Sister Edwards and I serve alongside each other in this work! We had a wonderful meeting with President Scott and the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders where the Spirit was SO strong. I love our Father's work, there truly is nothing more miraculous than being apart of it! and you are too! how great is our calling, eh?!:)
let's jump into....

1.  Any message for Uncle Bob?
UNCLE BOB!!!! I AM SO EXCITED FOR YOU!!! Seriously. so. excited!!! :) After mission leadership council, we all went to the mission office for supplies where Sister Green told me she had a message for me, then walked over to the computer. I'll be completely honest, I thought she was going to tell me of a tragedy in my family the way she said it...yikes I was so scared. so I picked up the letter that was sent to her from mom and lo and behold it wasn't a tragedy but the completely opposite that you are getting baptized!!! among 20+ other missionaries, I squealed and jumped and hugged my companion out of excitement! I am so proud of your Christlike example that you have shown to me since I've met you and now your steadfastness in embracing the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. You are INCREDIBLE, Uncle Bob and I wish so badly that I could be there for your baptism, but alas, I'll be there in Spirit! I love you so much!! Congratulations on this exciting and perfect decision of yours!!! LOVE YOU!!!

2.  How about for dad?
PahPea, silly you for tearing your rotator cuff and not doing anything about it for 20 years. silly goose. I hope the surgery goes well, I'll be praying for you over here and that the Therapy goes well. Promise me one thing; don't push it too hard. I know you, and I know you like to get better quickly and suck up the pain and just get it done, but please. Take it from someone who took anatomy and knows the importance of the rotator cuff; be careful and smart, pops. cause, let's be honest, you want to hug me one day, don't you? how can you hug me if your still in pain because you strained yourself to get better quicker? line upon line, pops. food for thought. :) LOVE YOU!

3.  How did your first week of this transfer go?
Went just swimmingly! We were able to see Joe and Victor at church yesterday and Joe was SOO excited to be there! He expressed the opposition he felt when he awoke deciding whether he should come or not (he hasn't been to church in 7 years). He said something was just pushing him to come and ultimately, he came! The joy that was on his face was incredible. He is so excited to be more involved and for his baptism, he even wanted to go to the temple trip on Thursday and had to explain that he could go after he was baptized, and he was pretty excited about that still. :) I love the Lord's work, there is no greater assignment!!!

4.  Is Victor still progressing?
Yes :) He was also able to come to church yesterday but couldn't stay after sacrament meeting. We are wanting to visit with his family this week and get them more involved as well so it becomes a family focus rather than him on his own. We'll let you know of the progress :)

5.  Was Latavia able to attend the baptism with her mom?
sadly, no. We actually haven't been able to see Latavia or get a hold of her for a bit. She's not a very big talker on the phone or texting and she also sleeps a lot because of a sleeping disorder that she has, so we can't get a hold of her a lot. A member said they'd help contact her this week, so we'll see if she can come to another's baptism this week.

6.  Has Shelly returned yet (or not until this week)?
This Thursday! :)

7.  How is Joan feeling?
Better! We're going to see her tomorrow:)

8.  Anyone else to tell me about?
Jas and Tanya! :) last week, Sister Edwards and I made a goal to pray more specifically, because we've seen the change in our exchanges as we've been praying for these wonderful sisters by name each day. So we decided to pray specifically to find a family; a father, mother, son and daughter, to whom we could share the Restored Gospel with. just 4 days later, God answered our prayer as we dropped by an individual who I talked to about a week ago. He let us in his home immediately and we taught him and his wife and his 2 yr old son and 1 yr old daughter (didn't really mention in our prayer for them to be baptismal age ;)) it was incredible to us to see how quickly God answers prayers, sometimes, and how, when we pray specifically for individuals, blessings come. They are an AWESOME family, both said they never talked to each other about their beliefs, and it turns out Jas believes in God and Tanya has no idea, both from Czech Republic. We're so excited to begin teaching them and they are so in tune with the Spirit. Jas prayed at the end of the lesson for the first time in his life and said that he felt a very powerful energy go through him. The Spirit is so strong when individuals are humble enough to exercise their faith. SO wonderful!

9.  Did any mail (including packages) arrive this week?
No....maybe this week? :)

10. Now that I've described a typical Sunday, here is what my Preparation Days usually look like....
normal morning schedule, out the door at 10 to email, then eat food, then grocery shop, then clean the car, then the apartment/zone activity/write letters/oil change/buy desks/anything else we need to do. then begin proselyting at 6pm til 9! They are harder to classify what happens rather than sundays, that's for sure!

11. I was SO EMBARRASSED when...
uh.....oh my goodness! I wasn't embarrassed this week! woot woot! :)

12. Sister Edwards and I couldn't stop laughing when...
ok, so here's a story. we just got out of teaching jas and tanya, and we had just talked with 2 men who didn't quite understand our purpose and were flirting with us....anyways we left and began walking and with the incredible amount of the Spirit within us from that day, I was thinking of all that happened in the past 15 minutes, and I was laughing in my head what those guys has just said and Sister Edwards yells "ah, and they're CUTE, too!!!" to which I just burst out laughing. I knew she was talking about the family, but because I was just thinking about our most previous situation, ah man, it was hilarious! haha she felt a little bit embarrassed....haha:)

13. I jumped for joy when....

14. My FAVORITE scripture study centered around....
The Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Diving into Chapter 3 of Preach My Gospel, lesson 1 is one of my favorites!!!

15. Today I am hoping to accomplish...
writing some letters...:) 

16. The Spirit was so strong as....
Jas prayed for the first time in his life. So so special, and so personal!

17. Something new I learned this week was...
God truly does prepare those whom he calls. I have a testimony about that now. so grateful.

18. I am most grateful for...
patriarchal blessings
setting apart blessings
the priesthood
fast and testimony meetings
the opportunity to serve the Lord as a missionary for His Church

Well, I need to go, but know that I KNOW that the same Gospel taught by prophets of old and our Savior, Jesus Christ, has been restored to the Earth today through a living prophet. God has worked in this way since the days of Adam, why would He change now? I testify that He is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and He has called another prophet to head His kingdom upon the Earth at this time and has restored the priesthood authority for His children to receive the necessary ordinances to bring to pass the salvation of His children. This is truth. Now let's share it. :) How GREAT is our calling!!!

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

Missionary Invitation: Read the introduction of the Book of Mormon, members and nonmembers, and truly ponder what it's saying. Then take the invitation from the witnesses of the restoration. Let it change you. :)

 my old area in ETOBICOKE!!!:)
Snow from my old apartment :)
Exchanges with Sister Duran! :)