Monday, February 25, 2013

We felt like these masks on the walls in our apartment were a good representation of our personalities

My new desk. Scary how similar this color is to my bedroom color back home. This is such a darling apartment. We have no complaints other than the fact that the kitchen sink only has two temperatures. Volcano scalding hot and polar ice caps cold. 

This is Yuong, she is one of Sister Pace's recent converts. She is from Vietnam and has the most beautiful spirit. She makes me look HUGE! 

Mes parents Francais. Rodhain's are the greatest members! This is our "last supper" before we left Quebec. 


From what I've heard everyone is doing really great:) I'm also doing great and I'm really excited for the countless crazy stories that have already taken place. Oh my goodness, the stories. 

This week, like I said, was memorable. We knocked, and knocked, and knocked. It was pretty great! One of the days we went knocking (Wednesday?) The first door we knocked on was this cute little Asian man. And when I say little I mean little. I was easily a head taller. He started talking to us in an unidentifiable language and me, being the airhead I am, decide that he's just mumbling and this isn't a language at all. So, then I decide to try to speak to him in sign language only to realize that this poor man is indeed speaking another language and is not deaf. So, then we show him our tags. His little eyes got huge and then he ran into the backroom of his apartment. We just stood at the door. Then he came back with his residency card! We were dying. He thought we were the "bobbies" as Sister May put it. So, then we pull out a pamphlet and say "Jeeez-us". Then he smiled and took the pamphlet. He was cute. Then we knocked on another door. We did our little missionary thing and the girl at the door said, "I'm already a member." Whoops!. (funny sidenote: The Qubecoise use whoops when they've learned something new that is contrary to previous thoughts. Like 'Whoops! Nephi was a prophet.') Then the third door we knocked we were let in and invited to Bible Study. Sweet! We couldn't stop laughing. Pretty sure Heavenly Father has a sense of humor. 

Further proof being that yesterday the Branch President introduced me as "Sister Jenkins" then they did it again in relief society. Now Sister May thinks it's hi-larious to call me Sister Jenkins. So, I guess I'll just finish my mission as Sister Jenkins. Maybe I can get new tags? Speaking of which they all keep breaking. I think it's an omen of the end. Boo!

This week in personal study I read in 1 Nephi 17 about when the Lord commands Nephi to build a ship, his brothers are scoffing at him and everyone keeps telling him he can't do it. But Nephi kind of just blows them off, because he knows what the Lord has asked him to do. Nephi goes to the mountain to ask the Lord how he should make the tools he needs to build this boat. And the Lord gives him the answer. Then the Lord tells Nephi how they will receive nourishment and how they will essentially survive on the sea. "And I will also be your light in the wilderness; and I will prepare the way before you, if it so be that ye shall keep my commandments; wherefore, inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments ye shall be led towards the promised land; and ye shall know that it is by me that ye are led.Yea, and the Lord said also that: After ye have arrived in the promised land, ye shall know that I, the Lord, am God; and that I, the Lord, did deliver you from destruction; yea, that I did bring you out of the land of Jerusalem" Later in the story we see that as the kept the commandments they were taken care of. Their nees were met, but once they rebelled life got pretty rough. This story is such a good example of how when we do things in the Lords way we have no need to fear. .I feel a lot like Nephi. Here we are in the uncharted land of Ste. Foy. We have been commanded to do something that seems impossible, but we haven't been discouraged. We know He is in charge and we know He keeps His promises. I don't know what the future holds, but I do know that as long as we are the Lord's side we really have no need to worry. Tout ira bien. 

I hope you have a beautiful, sunny, happy week! Read, pray, go to church! 

I love you!

Bisous Bisous!

Soeur Perkins

Monday, February 18, 2013

 We did service for Carnival, which is a huge winter festival here in Quebec. 
We were in charge of this kiddie slope. Before they left us they gave me about two hundred instructions in really thick Quebecois and then gave me this radio that I had no idea how to use. Ah technology why must you bother me so?

How is everyone doing? I'm doing really great! This week was pretty crazy we received information last week that this last Saturday we would be getting a surprise transfer call because 4 sisters would be arriving early from the MTC. So this whole week we've all been in a panic trying to figure out who would be leaving, because President told us that one of us would be leaving to open an area in Ste. Foy which is about 15 minutes from my current area. I really wanted it to be me. Not because I don't like Quebec but Sister C and Sister Pace both served there before it closed last year, and I just felt like it would really complete my mission to be able to open an area that meant so much to both of them. I've never asked to go anywhere or to be put with a specific companion, I've trusted that the Lord knows who I need as a companion and where I need to go. So, instead I prayed that I would be able to be happy with whatever He decided. Early on Thursday morning at about 5 am I received this beautiful confirmation that all is well. I knew that whatever President felt inspired to do, would be exactly what I needed for this last month. Well, we got our call and Sister May and I will be opening the Ste. Foy area and Sister L will be staying here to train a new sister. I am so excited! I was literally jumping up and down. I know it won't be easy, but I'm excited for that. I feel like I've reached a point in my mission where I need big scary challenges. No plateauing here. The next four weeks are going to be busy, but I'm ready. 

In other exciting news... this week there was a huge young single adults conference with YSA here in Quebec, Montreal, Toronto, and my beloved Ottawa. I didn't want to get my hopes up but I really, really, really wanted to see the amazing Jeffrey Chen who is the most incredible recent convert that I could have ever asked for. I wanted to be able to see him one last time as Sister Perkins. Can you imagine my surprise when I saw him walk into the chapel? I was so stunned and so proud. He is such a great member of the church and such a good example! You should have seem how he beamed!  I felt so blessed to have had a tiny little part in his conversion process. I was also able to see a lot of other familiar faces  which made my heart ache and rejoice at the same time. It will never be the same again. I know these beautiful friends that I've made from Gatineau to Quebec will be people who not only influence me here today, but will be a driving force for me long after I've moved back into "normal" life. I feel so blessed to have met so many dear people. They are so special to me more than words could ever express. Ottawa you are a part of me. I love you! 

This week was emotionally charged. I think the end of anything feels that way. But I've been thinking a lot about change. How I've changed, how you have changed. I have changed a lot on my mission, but at the same time I'm the same. The thing that I've noticed the most in this whole process is that I'm not really afraid of change anymore. This week Sister May was asking me about my experience flushing and training in Zarahemla. Oh is that ever a story! It's funny now, but at the time it was scary. But amongst all of the insanity in Zarahemla, Hochelaga, Dows Lake, or wherever. I have never felt closer to my Father in Heaven. I knew He was there, and that He was aware of my situation. I often used the words of Mormon verses 7-8 for extra strength:
"And I do this for a wise purpose; for thus it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me. And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will.
And my prayer to God is concerning my brethren, that they may once again come to the knowledge of God, yea, the redemption of Christ; that they may once again be a delightsome people."
This whole process is not to just change the lives of other people but to help us, the missionaries or members, of this church that we too need to change and return to that God who created us all. Change is good and is a divine manifestation of love. Our God is good. 

I hope you have a great week! I know mine will be crazy and busy:) Keep your chin up! I love you bunches!!

Bisous Bisous!

Soeur Perkins

Monday, February 11, 2013

 Sometimes I feel this way after dealing with 19 year old boys:) Or worse people who act like they are 19 when they are not:)
  : Sister May and I hanging out on some lovely ice furniture
 the entrance of the Ice Hotel
 Eskimo wedding:) So cute!
A nice, cozy ice bed.

That's when you know you've been on a mission for a long time. I was trying to turn on the computer from the backside of the computer, like the side where all of the cords and fans come out. Yeah. So my companions just had to explain to me the difference between the monitor and the computer. I don't understand technology anymore. It's pretty weird. 

Last Monday we had a really cool opportunity to go to the famous Hotel de Glace (Ice hotel). That's right a 44 room hotel made of ice!!!! AND people pay to sleep there! Like hundreds of dollars! Crazy, right? It was a lot of fun but suuuuuper cold inside. Naturally, right?  Except for half of the Elders thought it would be warm so they didn't wear coats. How in the world could a giant ice cube be warm? We had a lot of fun, even though we were freezing!:) The next day we had Zone Conference. My last Zone Conference. It was weird. It's been really weird for the last little while I've had a lot of "lasts". But I know that the Lord has a lot of "Firsts" in store. I said "Good bye" to an Elder going home this transfer and it just felt too surreal that I would be seeing him soon. It's all too weird. The worst part about talking to people on my last ZC was the fact that I decided to curl my hair that morning. If you think I'm bad with computers, I'm worse with hair styling tools. So I burned my neck with the curling iron and even though it left this really lovely burn mark that looked like lungs, in a room full of immature 19 year old boys it looked like something else. I was so mortified! C'est la vie, pas vraiment...c'est MA vie! 

Three weeks ago when Sister May arrived we knocked for like a million hours and found a new investigator named Nancy. There was something special about her. We set up a return appointment, but when we came back she wasn't there, her boyfriend told us she went to the hospital for some stomach problems. For the last 3 weeks we've been stalking her house. We knew there was a reason she was the only person that day who let us in. On Thursday we had a member to go with us to a lesson and on our way to pick her up our investigator cancelled his lesson. So we had a member and no lesson. We racked our brains and felt very strong about passing by Nancy. We passed by and Voila! she was there. We taught her about prayer and she was a little confused because she had learned how to pray in the Catholic church with the book and the chaplet. The whole nine yards. After we taught her how we pray she asked if she could try. We couldn't have been more excited. So she prayed and gave one of the most tender and beautiful prayers. We all sat in amazement, including the member. Then she asked, "What that a bad prayer?" We told her that it was a perfect prayer. She looked at her chaplet and prayer book and asked, "So do I need these anymore?" We told her that she didn't need them but it was her choice. "I think I'll just throw them away, now that I know how to say my own prayers." And then she stopped and said, "Wait! I'll recycle them, that's better for the environment." 

We went knocking on Saturday, I've found that the last few doors are usually the most important. It seems like it's a test of how far we're really willing to go to do the Lord's work. By the last few doors, after everyone saying "No" you kind of feel like what's the point? Back to Saturday we're almost done with a building and we get to this point where the last two doors are in this dark creepy hallway. Of course my two chicken companions are too scared so I knock and no one answers the first door. I knock the last door and this Quebecois man opens the door. So I explain who we are and what we believe. I usually have no clue what I'm going to say at most door contacts, but I asked him if he believed in God. He said "No." Pretty typical around these parts. Then I launch into how much God loves him and that he is indeed a child of God and he is infinitely important. Then I asked if we could come back and much to our surprise he said, "Yes." I thought I heard him wrong until he went to check his work schedule. It was an amazing testimony to me that we never know who will be interested. 

In my personal study I've started the Livre de Mormon again. I'm so excited! I love the beginning! I love Nephi! It's so basic. So simple. Every time I read those words "I Nephi having been born of goodly parents..." my heart leaps. It's like home. I love gospel basics: Faith, Hope, Love, they are simple, and so beautiful. One thing that's really stood out to me as I've started the LDM again, is sacrifice.  Lehi and his family sacrificed a lot. Money, land, comfort, food. Why? To be obedient. I often ask myself why I do the things I do, why do I sacrifice the things I did to come on a mission.Obedience. We are constantly asked to give things up a lot of the times we don't know why and more often the not we are questioned by those around us, but we do it because we know he can make more out of us than we can on our own. Elder Russel M. Nelson said, "Once we know who we are and the royal lineage of which we are a part, our actions and our direction in life will be more appropriate to our inheritance." We sacrifice things, in order to learn who we are. Without fancy houses, or cars....or computers:) We sacrifice to learn what is really important to us. We sacrifice to learn what we can live without. We sacrifice to remember who we are. And when we've given all that we have our Father in Heaven gives us blessings that are so unimaginable. In Malachi the Lord invites us to test him to see that if we give up our tithes if he will not open the windows of heaven. If you don't believe it works, try it. The Lord always keeps His promises. 

I hope your week is lovely and warm! Happy Valentine's Day!!!!

I love you!!!!

Soeur Perkins

Monday, February 4, 2013

This is our "View" table. We feel like we're on a talk show every time we eat dinner. These are the wine glasses we got from an investigator who forgot we don't drink wine. Word of Wisdom lesson coming right up! So we're drinking grape juice and this particular evening Sister May taught me that in England they say "Cheers big ears!" before they cling their glasses together. 

So this week was: tiring, amazing, funny, WINDY, cold, silly, short, and a miracle. 

Let's start with windy. So on Tuesday we were driving to visit an investigator and we had ridiculous 100kph winds and the night before we had something called freezing rain. Which is basically when the sidewalks get covered in thick sheets of ice. It's pretty epic. So, we are driving (on cleared roads) to visit this investigator and we're parking at the same time this guy is walking out into his driveway. Well this huge gust of wind starts pushing him towards us and he's on a thick sheet of ice so he can't stop himself. Everyone was screaming and then all at once the wind stopped so he stopped. It was like a movie. I couldn't stop laughing until it almost happened to me like two minutes later. 

Miracles: Wow. We had two really amazing miracles this week. The first one took place on Saturday. About a week ago we went knocking in this area called Wendake. It's an Indian Reservation. (family, you take the girl off the indian reservation but you can't take the indian reservation out of the girl.) So, we're knocking and this lady opens her door and says "I'm really sick today, so please come back another day." People says this all of the time but rarely mean it. Later we met another man who told us we could come back. So this last Saturday we went back to meet him. He ended up not being super duper interested, we decided to pay the woman who told us to come back a little visit. She opened the door and as soon as she saw us she opened the door and said, "Come in!" So with big eyes and our mouths hanging open we went in. This poor woman was indeed having a very hard day. So we talked to her for a while about her life and found out that that very day was the same day her mother had passed away. We shared a little bit of the Plan of Salvation and she was so touched she asked us to "please come back!". Well, you don't have to ask us twice or even three times:) It was a really tender experiences and manifested to me that God is indeed in the very details of our lives. We just have to be where He can find us. 

If that beautiful miracle wasn't enough, yesterday we were having our after church correlation with our WML and someone knocks on the door to tell us there is an investigator waiting to talk to someone. We invited her in and find out her name is Sofie and she just decided to finally come and check out what Mormons believe. Once again my mouth was opened and my eyes were huge. This beautiful 18 year old girl talked to us a little more about her life and why she wants to have this church in her life. She said, "I realized that I want to be a better person and you have a community of beautiful people." She asked us about a million questions and then left happily with her own Book of Mormon and an appointment to see us again next Sunday. 

What this experience taught me is that miracles are still happening today. Everyday. They happen on ordinary Saturdays, ordinary Sundays during ordinary correlation meetings, they happen on the sidewalk, in living rooms, in grocery stores. I'm reading (during my "free time" I finish eating early enough to read) this amazing book I found in my apartment called "A Return to Virtue" by sister Elaine S. Dalton of the General Young Women's Presidency. In one of the chapters she talks about the "little lad" who gave up his five fishes and two loaves. And how this was probably just an ordinary day for him. He was probably coming home from doing the family shopping or out selling bread and fish and decided what he would get in return for giving up this bread would be worth more than what he could earn selling it. Whatever the case this was an ordinary day. But what happened that day was a miracle. His small contribution fed over five thousand people. There is a quote from Sister Dalton's book from Elder James E. Faust "It has been said that the church doesn't necessarily attract great people.but more often makes ordinary people great. Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition. feeding literally thousands."  I have a testimony that whatever we give to the Lord whether it be 5 loaves of bread and two fishes, or 18 months of time, hours working on a relief society lesson, hours in prayer for a wayward family member. Whatever we give him the Lord will take our efforts, multiply them and give us a miracle. Look for miracles, because they happen when you least expect it.

I hope you have a lovely week! I love you ever so dearly!

Bisous Bisous!

Soeur Perkins