Wednesday, February 22, 2012

End of Week 2 in Canada - Presidents Day and Family Day

Sorry about not writing on Monday! I'll explain what happened later in this email!
Canada is COLD! I'm getting used to scraping the windows (inside and out) of our car every morning! It snowed the other day for the first time since I have been here and the snow was so cold and dry that you blew it off the car in the morning! Some people use leaf blowers to clear their driveway in the morning because it is so cold that the snow doesn't stick to itself!
This last week we lost our dinner calendars on Sunday, so we had to make dinners every night for ourselves for the whole week which is expensive when you are on a budget! It was okay though because Elder Kember and I have gotten really good at making exquisite cheap meals! On Valentines day we made chicken with pasta, mashed potatoes, and sparkling cider and watched the Joseph Smith Movie on a 5 inch screen! We wanted to celebrate Valentines Day the best we could so we made sure we at least still had a dinner and movie! haha! I also said, "eh?" for the first time last week on accident... I used to make fun of Elder Kember for it, but now I said it for real on accident! oh well.... ha, ha!
I had my first "Donair" last week as well! it's like a big taco with Donair meat and all the condiments you would put on a hamburger... deep fried... It's way good! but I felt like I gained 5 pounds after I ate it! We taught a family from the Philippines and they gave us "Longans." They taste like a grape, with the skin of an orange, and a pit like a cherry! They are pretty good and juicy! Also, in Canada, "smarties" are like M&Ms! They are chocolate with a candy cover but I like them better than M&Ms! and Rockets" here are like our "Smarties" in the States!
The money here is way cooler than the states! It looks like Monopoly money! Every bill is a different color! The $100 bill is plastic and soon they all will be plastic!  The lowest bill they have is a $5! They use "Lunies" (one dollar) and "Tunies" (two dollar) coins! So you always have to break a $5 or carry around change! When you get change back you feel like you got ripped off, but you really didn't! So it was kind of hard to get used to at first! Also, their coins are magnetic... which I thought was strange and I can't remember if ours are or not...
It's so fun being a missionary because everywhere we go we talk to any and every one! A couple days ago we were eating doughnuts in the bakery at a store and a woman sat down next to us. She was doing a lot of paperwork and she could have been the manager of the store or something. The phone rang so she got up and left her stuff behind to answer it. When she wasn't looking Elder Kember and I put a "Plan of Salvation" pamphlet under her paperwork and a card as well! Hopefully she found it though because we had to leave! But we "accidentally" leave things a lot, everywhere we go, in hopes that someone will see it and it will change their life!
We are working way hard everyday! Phil and his son Zachary, two of our investigators are getting baptized this Saturday at 2:00! It is so cool to see this really happening and to realize that this hard work really does change lifes! We have taught him almost every day since I've been here! There is a lot about Phil that I wish I could share, but he really turned his life around! He asked Elder Kember and I to be the witnesses which is way exciting! His son is 9 years old and really looks up to his dad! I'll send pictures of them next week!
Instead of Presidents Day this Monday we had "Family Day" which is where no one works or goes to school and if your business is open on that day, you get fined! So everyone is at home with their families! It was a way cool concept and I wish the States had that day!
Our P-day got switched to Tuesday this week because it's a temple p-day and the temple isn't open Mondays! So yesterday I got to attend a session at the Edmonton, Canada Temple which was so nice! The temple is way small but it was a good experience! We didn't have any time after that to get anything else done that we needed to though so that's why I had to wait until today to email!
Bishop Gatt (the bishop in the ward I'm serving in) had us over for dinner last night! After dinner we went to his garage and we had a dance off! He's from London and grew up on the streets and danced and made music everyday! He wasn't joking when he said he was an OG! He's way good and it was fun to dance with him! We only stayed for about 5 minutes though because we had to get back to work, but I'm going to go there on a p-day and dance for longer!
It's so cold out side that there are Ice sculptures around the town that never melt! It is way cool! I am sending a picture of a bird ice sculpture that is in the front of the library in St. Albert!
Mom, I went through the temple yesterday and I had a feeling to put your name in for the sick.. I had no clue why I was doing it but the feeling didn't go away. So I wrote your name down and no one else's came to mind... So as the session went on I kept praying for you to get better but I had no idea if anything was even wrong. Then today I read your email about your tooth pains and how you've never been in so much pain... I almost starting crying here in the library when I read that and realized that you really needed me to do that for you. The Lord works in mysterious ways, but if we listen to that still small voice, miracles do happen. I love you and I hope you get better! You and the family are in my prayers everyday. I love this gospel and I love how I  get to take these 2 years and dedicate it to serving the Lord. He's watching over me and as long as I put Him first, I won't have to worry about the small things! Read 3 Nephi 13:31-33 :) I  love it!

Love and miss you all!
-Elder Stevens, the younger

P.S. Anyone that reads this, please take 5 minutes out of your day to make a  profile. It simply just asks how you gained your testimony and how this gospel has changed your life. You never know who is going to be online and come across your testimony and they will feel the spirit and want to know more. At the bottom of the website (which is owned by the church), they can click a button and order a Book of Mormon for free. Within a day missionaries will be knocking on their door and teaching them. You never know who's life you can change with that simple testimony that you have! Imagine in the next life, if you had someone come up to you with their whole family and they thanked you personally for taking that 5 minutes out of your day. Now they get to enjoy Eternal Life with their family and all their future generations to come! Sounds like a good use of time to me :) Thanks!