Tuesday, June 26, 2012

We had a visitor this week:) Frere Corbett taught each of us. It was really good to see him again!

 Just like the robbers!

  Yep. That all came out of our apartment:)

SIster Rodriguez also served here and we got to see her as well:)

Hola mi familia y mis amigos!

How is everyone doing? I feel like the past week has been a blur. We have been running around like lunatics or like my greenie baby says "en una locura":) But like here is Zarahemla is good, it is oh so good! Good to be in Spanish. Good to be close to the mission home. Good to be with my companions. Good to see the work we have ahead:) 

So, first of all my heart broke to leave Ottawa but as soon as I got into Montreal the madness started and hasn't really ended. It's been one crazy thing after another and now I wish I had taken better notes of it all because I can't believe what has happened in one short week. My greenie baby is named Sister Lucas, oh how I love her! I have never laughed so hard than in the past five days with this little chica! Sister Lucas is from Guatemala City, so as you can imagine I'm learning a lot from her. She makes me feel like a greenie again:) Did I mention last week that I'm in a trio? Well, I am. Our second companion is Sister Cantu, she is from Texas and is also a native Spanish speaker. These girls have already helped me out so much with my Spanish, even though I know I still have miles to go, it's good to know I have two really good teachers:)

Our ward is HUGE! I think someone told me there's something like 290 members! It's so exciting! We didn't get to know very many of them this Sunday because there was ward conference and so everyone was running around in kind of a havoc. I think I'm really going to like it here though, the members are very carinosos. And sooooo happy to have sisters:)

Our apartment nearly made us cry when we got here. And not because it was beautiful, it was so bad! Sister Lucas said, "Not even the worst hotels are this bad." I guess that's what happens when Elders live in an apartment for 5 years, but hey, after about 12 hours of (authorized by Sister Cannon) cleaning, we can almost call it home:)  Our first two days in the apartment it was as hot as Hades outside (about 38 degrees with like 80% humidity) we wanted to die. And then we got to our apartment and found out our AC unit wasn't installed....pretty cool. So a couple days later after we pretty much sweated out all of our impurities the Elders came and installed out unit for us. They did a really good job using packing tape and particle board to get in there nice and tight....yeah robbers would never think about just removing that. Well, the next day the landlord and her husband come and about knock down our door. Crazy Greek Landlord:  "WHERE DID YOU PUT THE WINDOWS?!!" Us: "What windows?" Crazy Greek Lady: (storms past us) "I paid $5000 DOLLARS for those WINDOWS. At this point she ran into our bedroom and Sister Lucas followed her in there to show here that the window was open and just covered in an AC unit, packing tape, and particle board. Meanwhile I'm standing at the door with her husband who is talking about how expensive the windows were and how we can't remove them. Then he storms past Sister Cantu and I who are so confused. Finally they both realize that just like we said the window was not removed just opened like we said. And then they started complaining about the packing tape and particle board (which I'm not going to lie, I wasn't exactly thrilled about either, but hey we were desperate). So they called our housing Elder and now he's going to be fixing our Robber-proof AC unit:) After they left we went into the bedroom and asked Sister Lucas if she had moved the dresser and she said, " No, the old crazy lady moved it in her locura!" I was dying! I'm crying from laughing as I type this. 

In other news, we have an AMAZING investigator here named Tatiana. She is as golden as they get and pretty much knows everything is true. The only thing she is waiting for is a sure answer from the Lord. We feel super blessed to get to work with her. Other than that, our area is pretty dead. It's going to take a lot of work, but I know we can do it:) However, your prayers are, as always much needed.

This week I have been thinking a lot about my greenie days and I remembered this scripture from D&C 50 that helped me through some really hard moments, I hope it helps you:)
"40 Behold, ye are little children and ye cannot bear all things now; ye must grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. 41 Fear not, little children, for you are mine, and I have overcome the world, and you are of them that my Father hath given me; 42 And none of them that my Father hath given me shall be lost. 43 And the Father and I are one. I am in the Father and the Father in me; and inasmuch as ye have received me, ye are in me and I in you.44 Wherefore, I am in your midst, and I am the good shepherd, and the stone of Israel. He that buildeth upon this rock shall never fall. 45 And the day cometh that you shall hear my voice and see me, and know that I am. 46 Watch, therefore, that ye may be ready. Even so. Amen."
Have such a good week! Remember to laugh at those crazy moments. Remember I love you. Remember that Tout ira bien! 
Sister Perkins

Monday, June 18, 2012

Leaving Ottawa...

This was at a dinner appointment at Kyle Saunderson's and his sister Camille's appartment. He is one of the kindest YSA members! He helps us so much and is always kind enough to feed us. 
Sister C and I on the balcony of the LaSalle sister's apartment. Oh my goodness the view was incredible! Montreal is one vibrant city:)

                             We are trying to convince President that this is a much better car option for us. He's not budging

I hope you all had a wonderful week! And Dad I hope you know that it was a struggle for me to not pick up the phone and call you! I missed you so! But I hope you had a wonderful Father's Day! You are a giant among fathers and I feel blessed to call you mine.
I know you are anxiously awaiting to hear news about my transfer call. Let me tell you was anxious. On Transfer Calls we are supposed to be home by 8 o'clock which is a struggle because we're usually running in circles to get home on time. Well, we practically ran in the door with enough butterflies in our stomachs to drive a person crazy. And then we waited and waited and waited. It was unnerving. And then finally at about 9 o'clock we received a call from President Cannon. He told us that I will be flushing into an Elder's area on Montreal island called Zarahemla. It is a Spanish speaking area! He also told me that I would be training and that I would have a second companion as well. Sister C is going to an area called St. Jean. And our beautiful gem, Dows Lake, will be closed for the rest of the summer. I was and I think still am in shock. I actually just laid down on my bed for a while to let it wash over me, and then I got really nervous and excited and scared and sad. It's such a rollercoaster of emotion, but I'm happy to know that it is the Lord's will. I feel really under qualified for what is to come, but I know the Lord will help me.
I think only an R.M. or a missionary could understand the bitter sweetness  you can feel in leaving an area. Ottawa has become a second home for me. More than Provo ever felt like home. I love Ottawa! It was here that the Lord and I became best friends. It has been Ottawa that has taught me the true gift of the Plan of Salvation. And in Ottawa I realized my potential to overcome obstacles if I but trust in the Lord. My eyes get wet everytime I think about leaving this beautiful city. I love it here, but I do know that there are many more friendships to be made and lessons to be learned in Zarahemla. But please, oh please, pray for me! This little Sister is scared and worried. I think I feel like a new mom, or at least how I imagine a new mother to feel. I'm so worried that I'm going to lead my little ones astray and that I won't teach them everything they need to know. Mostly because I still feel like a greenie.
Yesterday we had to say good-bye to our wonderful ward to the amazing families who have so lovingly cared for us and to our little investigators who feel like we are leaving them unfairly. Oh my heart broke over and over again. And this morning I pleaded with the Lord to take care of them. I know he will. But in the quiet moments of my own wallowing, the spirit reminded me that we break our hearts to have them put back together the way the Lord needs them. I know as I leave my home here in Ottawa, I will find a new home in Montreal.
The sweet side of this process is that I will get to be Hemana Perkins! Oh that makes me so happy! It will be the thrill of a lifetime to get to speak Spanish and serve with this beautiful Sisters! I know the Lord has big things in store for us.
I know this letter is unlike my usual prose. But I'm afraid my muse is too frazzled to write about anything other than the brokenness that come from leaving my Ottawa and the nervousness of going to Montreal. But as always I pray that you have a beautiful, safe, and happy week! That you may never forget how well the Lord knows what is best.
Hermana Perkins

Monday, June 11, 2012

Could Jeffrey be any more amazing? This was pretty much the best/funniest/most perfect lesson. Bing jiling!

Sister C pass this sign everyday and the first time we passed it I pointed it out to her and in my best serious face and voice said, "Do you think church headquarters knows about these people?"

Yep. Elder and Sister relations are still as awkward as ever. We were asked to present a booth at the annual Family History Fair. This is a typical Friday night for us:) So cool!

Ignore the fact that I look atrocious in this photo. There is no AC in our chapel. Gotta love Ottawa in the summer! This was at Steve's baptism and our favorite Jeffrey was the one who baptized him. With none other than the Riverside Elders (Meza and Shaver).

So as you can see. I'm happy (Dad), I'm healthy (Mom), and I'm not freezing anymore:) Each moment here in Ottawa has been more dear to my heart than I can possibly ever put into words. All I know is that it's become a part of me. I feel changed and I know that the Lord has given me that change. As transfer calls loom this Saturday all I can think to say is that I have loved every minute here in Ottawa and whatever the Lord has instore for me will be as equally gratifying.
This week I studied a bit about the plan of salvation. I have a bit of bad news....I didn't actually understand, I mean really understand the plan of salvation until I had been on my mission about 5 months. And I'm sure I still have more to learn. But one day in the middle of a lesson it really struck me what the plan means to me personally. What it can do for my family collectively and how important it is for the world as a whole. The plan is a promise of Eternal Life. Like it says in John 17:3 "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." What an increidble gift the promise of Eternal and everlasting life! It also reminds me of a poem that I found in the scriptures given to me by my dad before I left on my mission. The poem says,
"What the King has, that have I.
Rose-gold of dawn bejeweled sky,
A wealth of days slipping by.
What the King has that have I.
Hope deferred, ambitions high,
Hungerings to satisfy.
What the King has that have I.
A crown of love naught can buy.
Once to live.
Once to die."
Once we have passed from this frail existence we will be able to go on living in the glory of our Father inheriting all that He has. The gift of Eternal Life is the ultimate sign of affection our Father in Heaven could bestow upon us. But what really struck me about the plan of Salvation is that we are the ones who will choose to inherit or not. "Should we not go on in so great a cause?"
I hope you all have a wonderful week! There is not doubt things in Ottawa will be interesting. We will have highs and lows, but after it is all said and done we will count this week with all of the rest as a integral part of who the Lord is changing us to be. Never forget that you are so loved. Never allow yourself to believe that you have strayed to far to be an heir to the Lord. All that He has is yours, if you choose it.
I love you so.
Sister Perkins

Monday, June 4, 2012

Hi from Ottawa!!

This has been a funny/interesting/sad/weird/gratifying week! Oh how the Lord teaches His children! I love Him so and I know especially after this week that He loves me infinitely more so.
The funny: This week Sister C and I had a full day with nothing but our District study and a D.A. with a part-member family set up. So, we decided to do some finding which includes: street contacting, bus contacting, train contacting, knocking, and our new favorite only for this spring/summer season...PARK CREEPING! Essentially we walk around the park and creep on all the lonely people:) Oh and feed the squirrels. Disney princess meets missionary pauper:) Anyway, we decided to do some train contacting for the first little bit. We got on the train and both sat down in different areas. Well, we started getting near the end of the route and I couldn't remember what stop Sister C wanted to get off on so I stood up as the train was stopping to see if I could find her....well, everyone thought I wanted to get off of the train so in order to not appear creepy I got off the train. New problem: my companion is still on the train. So, I decided to go in through another set of doors on the same train as I'm about to get on I see this boy walking towards me and then I realize he's a Russian investigator that Sister C and I found one day when we stopped a basketball game (desperate times call for desperate measures). I don't think it would be unfair to say this particular investigator is probably the most attractive person I've met here. And that isn't the point, but it does make the story more interesting because Sister C and I joke about how he is soooo dreamy! Well, he walked up to me put his arm around me and bisoused me on the cheek. I nearly died. He saw the look of sheer and utter panic on my face and asked me if everything was okay. The only thing I could say was "I have to find Sister Chadburn." Well, I found her and she was stuck talking to this old creepy guy. Meanwhile, I'm trying to stop blushing while sitting as far away as possible from Yura. When we got off of the train I told Sister C, "I have to tell you something." "Oh I know! I saw the whole thing!" I was so mortified....but then my district leader reminded me there is no rule in the white handbook against getting bisoused by your dreamy Russian investigator;) Only kidding. Also, he went back to Russia this week for the summer so I probably won't be getting bisoused again.
The interesting: This week Sister C and I had an appointment scheduled in our squirrel park which is known by normal people as Confederation Square. Well, last week at Zone Leader Council we were warned like 7x by President and Sister Cannon to "STAY AWAY!" from the protests in downtown Montreal and Quebec City. Well, we thought "No problem!" considering we're in Ottawa. Sidenote:the students and teacher unions are protesting because the Quebec government wants to raise student tuition rates like 70% or something crazy like that. Anyway, we kind of shrugged off the advice because we're two hours away. Well, we're walking to our park and we can hear someone talking really loud like on a megaphone or a speaker. And as we came around the corner we realize there is a group of protesters in the park.....not exactly conducive to the spirit. Quoi de neuf? So we are waiting just outside of the park for our investigator and meanwhile all that's racing through my brain is Sister Cannon's voice "If you can take a picture you're too close!" "If you get caught in one of these crowds they could send you back to the states." Eventually, our investigator came and we decided to have our rendezvous at a little roof top terrace. However, mid-lesson we hear the crowd of crazies down in the streets screaming and yelling and banging their little pots and pans. It was pretty epic. That night we called Sister Cannon and told her about it. She thought it was pretty funny...so I guess I over-reacted? Surprising, right?
Oh boo...the sad: We haven't been able to get a hold of Leah for the past week. We're almost certain she was anti-ed. Boooo! Hopefully, she will change her mind one day!
The weird: Our dear sweet Fallowfield Elders have been working themselves into a tizzy trying to get new investigators. And instead they keep finding pass offs for us:) We're not complaining:) On Saturday we had two lessons planned with them for pass offs. The first lesson was planned for this guy named "Mo" if you're wondering that is short for Mohamed. The Elders told us he had converted to Christianity and was totally Golden. Well, he showed up about 35 minutes late to the appointment and starts telling us that we're all wasting our time and that the Quoran is the only book from God. Which was interesting because he also told us he's never actually read it. Mid-lesson we get a text from this girl who really wants to meet with us. Well, missionaries are pretty excited about anyone who wants to talk to us. So mid-lesson I make an appointment with this girl who is super excited to meet us. Well, Mo never even noticed I was texting because he was busy telling us that God can do anything, but he can't answer our prayers. And then he was telling us about this prophet who had a really unfortunate name...he said his name was Sheetz. And then he said, "Maybe not. I cannot remember his name. But he was a man of God." Aye yi yi. So, eventually the Elders manage to tell "Mo" we gots to go. So, we head over to our next lesson and we knock on the door and a woman answers. Elder Rassmussen says, "Hi! is Mac here?" She told us he wasn't there and as she was shutting the door guess who is standing behind her? Mac. Mac tells us we need to set up another appointment for another day. So of course we do. Then we parted ways with the very frustrated Fallowfield Elders and on our way to meet Jeffrey we get a text from the same girl who texted earlier asking about our French and little questions like that. Well, we had a glorious lesson with Jeffrey, who if he was any sweeter would get translated. But then after the lesson we checked our phone and we had a text from the little chica that said, "HELP! The police are going to arrest Linda! HELP!" I handed the phone to Sister C and said, "Well, you thought this day couldn't get any weirder." Would I sound like a bad missionary if I told you we turned off our phone? Well, we did.And when we turned it back on we had a million more texts about Linda and the cops. It was awesome.
The gratifying: This week we had two investigators at church who are both incredible. I'm trying to figure out how to possibly express how much I love both of these investigators, but I don't think I could possibly do it justice. I love them. I think the same way a mother loves a child. It's this love that I would do anything for them. Whatever it took to bring them happiness. Watching them at church was among some of the sweetest moments I've had as a missionary. Oh of course I teared up multiple times, because sometimes I can't believe the Lord trusts me to do this work. I feel so humbled by all of the sweet moments he has given me with our dear little investigators.
This week I finished the Book of Mormon again. Oh how I love that book! I know that book has brought me more joy, peace, and happiness than anything else in my life. My heart brimmed with love as I finished the last few pages and prayed to know "If these things are not true" as Moroni admonishes. I can tell you the spirit bore witness to me that they are true. There is no greater love of a Father for His children than is written on the pages of that dear book. If you haven't read it. Read it. If you have read it. Read it again, and again. If you do I promise you will never question what significance you hold to our Father in Heaven and to His Beloved Son. These words at the end of the Book of Mormon really hold true for me as I think about you my dear family and friends. "I am mindful of you always in my prayers, continually praying unto God the Father in the name of his Holy Child, Jesus, that he, through his infinite goodness and grace, will keep you through the endurance of faith on his name to the end." I pray for you. I love you. He loves you. You are being cared for by His angels.
I pray that you will have a beautiful week full of funny and interesting, and gratifying moments! And that in each of them you will remember that God who gave you life. Because I can testify that he will never forget you.
I love you.
Bisous Bisous:)
Sister Perkins