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 lds.org 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! yikers....so 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 stick.....here'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 :)

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