Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

Hello family and friends!
It's only been about a half of a week since my last e-mail. Basically we just did a lot of knocking this week which isn't fun in the cold. We started knocking one of the few buildings in our area and everyone just kept kicking us out so we gave up on that building haha. So basically we're stuck to knocking outside. It's not too bad except for when it gets windy. We've got zone study tomorrow so we'll get to see all the missionaries. Should be fun. It's crazy how huge the banks of snow everywhere are. Yesterday there was a pile of snow about 20 feet high. Happy new year!
Elder Oxborrow

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Happy Christmas...after

Dear family and friends,
What a great Christmas season! We had a great missionary Christmas party last week and got to see a lot of old friends from the MTC. We got to watch Princess Bride, and did a white elephant exchange with all the missionaries. I ended up with a tie. Pretty original haha. We got our Christmas packages from home which was cool. On Christmas eve we were at the Christmas family's house haha. It was a lot of fun. We had beef wellington and built gingerbread houses.They decided to make it a competition which was a mistake on their part because Elder Wilbur and I created the most beautiful gingerbread house the world has ever known. We also got to watch It's a Wonderful Life! It was awesome. That made it a real Christmas. After the movie, they gave us a stocking full of random gifts including deodorant and a Wal-Mart gift card. Good stuff. On Christmas day we got to sleep in! Best gift ever, although I couldn't sleep any longer than 8. We opened our packages and then we went to the Verstappen family for lunch and to call home. It was great to hear from everyone. Sounds like everyone's doing well. Since we had the rest of the day off we went to the gym at our chapel to do some physical activity. Great Christmas! Hope you're all enjoying the holidays! Happy New Year!
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Christmas

Hello family and friends!
The Christmas spirit is in full swing here in Ottawa! We had an awesome week this week. Our investigator Zoe has been coming to church for the past couple weeks, but her dad has kind of been convincing her to go home with him after sacrament meeting each week. This week she decided to stay and she loved it! The young women were awesome in fellowshipping her. After the second class Mark asked her if she wanted to go and she quickly told him she wanted to stay for the third. Mark also enjoyed the meetings and is planning on coming next week and singing with the men during sacrament meeting!
Tomorrow we have district study in the morning and then we're headed straight to Montreal to do splits and stay the night. On Wednesday we have our mission Christmas party which is actually only with half the mission so I won't get to see everyone but it'll still be fun. On Christmas eve we've got dinner with the Christmas family (that's their last name) and on Christmas we've got dinner with the Verstappens who have a son in France on a mission.
Should be a white Christmas up here I hope everyone is enjoying the season back home. Have a merry Christmas!
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, December 10, 2012


Dear family and friends,
It's been an eventful week. Wednesday was transfers, so I received my new companion, Elder Wilbur. We were in the MTC together so I already knew him, but he's been in Quebec for the past 4 months. I'll be in Ottawa for at least 1/4 of my mission, possibly more if I stay here again for another transfer (which is very possible). Thursday was zone study so the whole zone was here. On Friday we had a less with our new investigator Awuet (a wheat). She is from Egypt and has 2 kids. We committed her to baptism and she accepted and asked if her kids could be baptized too, so we should have 3 baptisms coming up soon! On Saturday we met a lot of very friendly less actives in the ward. Our ward christmas party is this Saturday, so it's a great opportunity to invite our investigators and less actives out. Sunday wasn't quite what we were hoping it would be. If everything had panned out we would have had 6 investigators at church, but we ended up with two. Such is the story with missionary work haha. Still a good week though. I'm a bit jealous that my best friend and my brother get to be in the MTC together, but I'm excited for both of you! The work is pressing onward here. This week the zone leaders were asking all the companionships if they think there's room in their apartment for another companionship... The mission is going to explode with missionaries before too long! This morning we woke up to freezing rain. I have never seen this before in my life. Apparently it's an eastern thing. It happens when the water in the clouds is still liquid when it starts to fall, and it drops below freezing as it falls through the air, but it doesn't freeze because it's being stirred by the air around it. When it lands, it freezes instantly to whatever it hits. When we woke up this morning there was a thin layer of ice on everything. It was pretty crazy. Well I'm gonna go play a board game or something. Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, November 19, 2012

Good Week

Dear Family and friends,
Happy Thanksgiving! We had ours over a month ago, but a family is going to celebrate American Thanksgiving and have us over so that's good. I don't have much time today, but thought I'd tell you about our new investigator Diane. She was a referral from her sister Darlene who is a recent convert. We met with the two of them On Thursday for the first time. Diane has had some diseases which have left her a bit crippled and some days in pain. Despite her physical disablilties, she has a wonderful spirit and knows where to turn for strength. We had a good lesson, and the spirit came in strongly on many different occasions. After talking about the restoration and the Book of Mormon, she said she's willing to be baptized without us even needing to bring it up. A few days later, we got a call from Darlene who said she'd like to come to church this coming Sunday. It's a breath of fresh air to have an investigator who is actively seeking to know more about the gospel. Hope you're all doing well!
Love, Elder Oxborrow
p.s. 1st pic- Thanks for the signed poster from the Snow side of my family!

2nd pic- we were proud of this meal...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Don't Look Under the Fridge

Hello family and friends!
This week has been pretty exciting. We've had tons of success finding new investigators, but when it comes to the second appointment, they haven't been holding up haha. On Tuesday Zoe went to mutual and had a lot of fun. It sounds like the young women really reached out to her. We helped a less active guy rake some leaves on Thursday, that was pretty fun. Saturday was a pretty big day. We started off with 2 different service projects, then we went home and showered. We had a lesson with Zoe at 3 and we brought one of the young women from the ward. She bore her testimony of the Book of Mormon, and it was a good lesson. At the end we committed her and her dad, Mark, to come to church the next day. They accepted but Mark said they'd probably only stay for sacrament meeting. The rest of the day we were knocking and doing some passby's with a member. We found four new investigators in less than 2 hours! It was a good day ha. On Sunday we had a service based on Remembrance Day. A military wife and Naval officer spoke. I think Mark and Zoe enjoyed it. Mark wanted to go but I think Zoe wanted to stay. Next time maybe they'll stay for the whole time. We have zone conference coming up this week. Should be good. Gotta run we have zone activity today.
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy November!

Hello family and friends!
Hard to believe it's already a new month again. The weeks are starting to go quicker and quicker. It's been a good week. I'm adjusting to training more and more. It's a new challenge for sure, but I'm growing a lot from it. This week was a really good week of finding. We did a lot of knocking, and got 6 new investigators because of it! Hoping some of them are pretty solid. Our district leader asked me to give a training at district study on Wednesday. It was the first time I've done that but it went alright. I'm used to teaching non-members, it's a bit different teaching other missionaries. We also met with our 15 year old investigator, Zoe and got all the details for mutual on Tuesday ironed out so she'll be going to that! We're hoping the other girls reach out to her and she has fun. We also had splits this week. I stayed in Fallowfield and Elder Kastendieck, the district leader came in for the day. It was a good split. He's from Edmonton and is a pretty good guitar player. We had a dinner appointment with Steven (recent convert), and Kristal (his girlfriend) so Elder Grant was able to get to know them better. We had a good Sunday yesterday, but we had a dinner appointment 45 minutes away so that took a lot of the productiveness out of the day. Luckily we got a ride though. Overall a good week!
Happy 19th birthday to my brother Clayton!
Elder Oxborrow
p.s. President allows us to e-mail family and friends, so feel free to e-mail.

Monday, October 29, 2012

First Week Training

Dear family and friends,
It's been a fun week here. Elder Rasmussen had to say goodbye to his friends and converts (photo is us and Steven). I got a new companion on Wednesday named Elder Grant and he is from SLC. He's a hard worker so I'm grateful for that. He's been enjoying the dinner appointments we get. It's definitely been an adjustment being the one who knows the area better. It's been stressful but good. I'm learning fast. We had a lot of good lessons. We taught Zoe, our 15 year old investigator twice this week. We brought one of the young women from the ward. We talked about mutual activities, and I think she's excited to come. We also taught Myrium, our Haitian investigator. It was a good lesson. We were able to invite the spirit pretty well and I think it hit home with her.
We fixed up a guy's trailer this week. He's not a member but he lives with members so he knows the missionaries. It was a pretty dirty job and he left us there to go the store twice, but he took us out to a steakhouse after. It was an interesting day to say the least.
I've been hearing of a lot of girls who are leaving on missions soon. I'm sure there are a lot more I haven't heard about. I've also heard some pretty crazy statistics about the number of missionary applications going through. Well I'm learning lots and working hard. Hope all is well in the US of A!
Elder Oxborrow

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Transfer Calls...

Hello family and friends!
It has been a pretty eventful week. Actually mostly just an eventful Saturday. We started off the day with the baptism of our 9-year old investigator, Isaac. It was a great morning. There was a pretty good turn out from the ward. His grandparents were also there and were very emotional. His dad (who was recently reactivated) baptized and confirmed him. We did some knocking for the rest of the day, until we turned in an hour earlier than usual for transfer calls. Elder Rasmussen and I were both anxious because we knew there was going to be a change. He has been here in Fallowfield for 7 transfers, or about 10 months. He kinda had a bit of a spoiler a couple weeks ago when he was interviewed by President Cannon. One of the first things president Cannon said to him was "Well you've been here for a while, I think you're ready to move on." I figured I'd probably stay if he left so I was just wondering who would come in to replace him. By the time Saturday night came around we were both quite on edge about it. Calls start at 8 and you just need to pretty much be in your apartment waiting for the phone call. Last transfer it didn't come until 9:15 so you basically never know when it will come. We waited and waited, and finally the call came at 8:45. It was from Elder Bagnall, one of the AP's. I answered, and after he made sure we were both there he spilled the beans. "Elder Rasmussen, you're going to be training a new missionary on the island of Montreal. You will be opening up the area and you are going to be the district leader." I've never seen him so shocked haha. He's been here for so long that I think it was hard to accept that he's actually leaving. He continued: "Elder Oxborrow you will be staying in Fallowfield and you will be training a new missionary." Although I was surprised, I knew that there were a lot of missionaries coming in this transfer, so it was a possibility. I won't know who I'm training until the moment he gets off the bus in Ottawa. He'll get here Wednesday and then I'll be the senior companion in Fallowfield. I hope I'm ready, but ready or not it's coming.
The same address works for letters since I'm staying.

Elder Brenden Oxborrow
3231 Steeple Hill Crescent
Richmond, ON K0A-2Z0

Feel free to write. Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow

P.S. The photos are from the baptism and some I took around our apartment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Transfers Coming up...

Hello everyone,
I hope you all enjoyed Canadian Thanksgiving last week, I know I did. Last p-day we went to Canadian Parliament in the heart of Ottawa. For those who aren't up to par on Canadian geography, Ottawa is the capital city of Canada, and is in the province of Ontario. The Canada Montreal Mission covers all of Quebec (province), and Ottawa (City). So Ottawa is the only part of Ontario that is in my mission. The rest is in the Toronto mission. I am in the western part of Ottawa, so almost as far west as I could be in the mission. The Canadian parliament building is an exact replica of the British parliament building, and you could say it is Canada's version of the White House. We were able to get a tour through some of the rooms, and play ultimate frisbee with the other missionaries on the front lawn.
On Wednesday we had a dinner appointment at a quebecois family's home. Their native language is french, and they speak it to each other. I can tell I'm gonna have a hard time learning to understand what people are saying when I get transferred to a french area.
Our investigators are doing well. We have a baptism coming up this Saturday. It's starting to get cold ha. We hit freezing for the first time this week. 32 degrees feels a lot colder in humidity I've come to realize. I'm looking forward to seeing how -30 feels. One of the mission rules is that you're not allowed to go tracting in -40, so in -39 I'll be out knocking doors. That'll be fun. The fall has been beautiful up here. The leaves turn way red. I've started collecting maple leaves. Expect big news next p-day!

Elder Oxborrow

Friday, October 12, 2012

Note from the Mission President...

Greetings from your wonderful son who I am sitting here with during interviews! 
He is a great and obedient missionary;-) he sends his love to one and ALL! 
Love Sister Cannon CMM

Happy Thanksgiving!

Dear family and friends,
First off, I just wanted to wish you all a happy Canadian Thanksgiving! I'm looking forward to eating turkey tonight with a family in the ward. It's been a great week in Ottawa! It's starting to get quite chilly... I've already started making some purchases for the Winter season. While I'm excited now, I'm sure I will soon be wondering why I was ever excited ha. The leaves are amazing in Canada this time of year. They turn extremely bright red. I'll try to remember to take some pictures to send.
This week we went on splits with the zone leaders. I stayed in Fallowfield and Elder Talbot came in for the day. We had a lot of knocking that day so I learned a lot from him. We also taught a less active guy in the ward who always talks trash on America. On Thursday we taught Zoe who is the daughter of a former investigator. We found out that she had been telling some of her friends that she had been reading the Book of Mormon, and "liked" on Facebook. Hopefully she's able to keep reading and feeling the spirit.
While we were doing our weekly planning on Friday, Elder Rasmussen and I decided that we were going to commit our 9 year old investigator, Isaac, to baptism. His parents are members and were less active when he was 8 so we've been teaching him. He accepted the date and will be baptized on the 20th of October. There are a lot of areas in Ottawa with investigators being baptized that day so it will be a good day for the zone. Friday night we had a dinner appointment at the home of James Reece who is preparing to go on a mission. He lives with his non-member uncle who is a funny character, and we were excited that he was ok with us coming over. James also invited his friend Marco who we've been teaching. It was a great dinner, and we shared a message about helping others. I think that everyone who was there enjoyed feeling the spirit in the room.
Saturday was conference, and with it the awesome announcement of the new missionary age! I assume a lot of people are reconsidering future plans. I was feeling disappointed that we didn't have any investigators with us at the Saturday morning session when Russell M. Nelson spoke directly to investigators, frequently repeating: "Ask the missionaries, they can help you". I felt like we had missed a huge opportunity, but after the session ended we got a text from Queen, our investigator from Naimibia, and she had been watching at one of the members' home! It's so great when members extend a helping hand without being asked. Queen loved the conference sessions (she watched both on Saturday). Afterwards, as the members were giving her a ride home, they asked her if she had any questions about anything, to which she replied: "I think I'll ask the missionaries". Haha she's awesome. We're planning on committing her to baptism soon.
The rest of the sessions, of course were amazing. Just one short line that stuck out to me from President Uchtdorf's talk in priesthood session:
"Constantly increase in righteousness!"
I think we can all apply this in our lives. Improvement is a process that is accelerated with consistency.
This morning we had zone study and interviews with President and Sister Cannon, so P-day got pushed back to tomorrow, but today we're doing e-mails since we won't have access to the computers tomorrow, so it's all just confusing haha.
I hope everything back home is going well!
Elder Oxborrow

Happy October!

September 24, 2012

Dear family and friends,
This week was pretty good. We didn't quite meet all our goals but we worked hard. Last Monday night we visited a former investigator who was in our area book. He's a member of the "Community of Christ" aka RLDS. It was interesting. We had to resist the urge to just ask him about his beliefs cause we were curious about how that organization came to be haha. It didn't take long to see that he wasn't interested so we didn't stay for very long. On Wednesday we had splits. I went with our district leader Elder Odle who goes home in 4 weeks. It was a good split. On Thursday we did service for a part member family. She grew up in Utah and is pretty active but her husband isn't a member so right now we're working on developing a good relationship with them. We helped them stain their shed and I think we'll be going back to do another layer this week. They're a cool family. On Saturday we had pretty much the whole day for knocking, so we went to a complex where the doors come in sets of four on each building. We spent about two hours there and estimated that we knocked about 100 doors and only talked to about 10 people. Apparently no one is home on Saturday afternoons. We did find two new investigators this week though. One thing that has been surprising about contacting people is that the older they are, the less interested they are (generally). This week, however, our 2 new investigators were both over the age of 70. A couple weeks ago we helped a family move who weren't members because a member in a ward knows them through work. Last night we had dinner at that member's house. His friend had given him to give to us gift cards to the movie theater as a thank you. I think I'll just put it in my journal. Things are going well in Fallowfield. Still searching for those who have been prepared.
Elder Oxborrow

October 1, 2012
Dear family and friends,
First off, shout out to my brother Clayton on his call to the Mexico Puebla South Mission! Congratulations!
I can't believe it's already been 4 months! I've been on my mission longer now than I was in Alaska last summer... That feels weird. Fall is starting to fall and everyday Canada gets more beautiful. The members we live with have a lot of property with large trees and a river flowing behind so it's very beautiful, especially this time of year. Transfer calls come again in less than three weeks. I'm hoping I stay in Ottawa. Quebec will be cool though when I get transferred east.
It's been an eventful week. On Tuesday we had splits again, only this time I stayed in my area and Elder Messinger who has been out as long as I have came into the area. We were mostly knocking for the day. After our dinner appointment we continued knocking and found a new investigator.
On Wednesday after we unsplit we had more knocking (we were low on kilometers since it was the end of the month), and we found two people we were able to teach a quick discussion to. One of them, however, was very drunk haha. He probably doesn't remember much of what we talked about, but maybe he'll remember feeling the spirit.
Thursday was district study, which means it was the day we go get our free subway! Then we had a lesson with Myrium. Can't remember if I've talked about her before. She's haitian and has a great spirit, but has some family problems holding her back. She met with the bishop though and is doing pretty well. That night we went home teaching with brother Norman to a less active lady. She didn't let us in but we talked for a while at her door, and she came to church yesterday so that was good to see.
By the time Friday came around we were really scraping the bottom of the barrel with kilometers, so after weekly planning we had no choice but to ride bikes to our lesson at 5:15. It was a 16 mile round trip. My legs were tired. It's scary riding bikes on main roads with on ramps. That night we had a lesson with Mark Kaiser, who is a former investigator whose information we found in the area book. Elder Rasmussen talked to him on the phone for quite a while a couple days before, and it sounded like he had had some good experiences with the missionaries, so he wanted us to come over when his two kids were at his house. We went at 7:30 Friday and just tried to get to know him for a while and follow the spirit. His kids, Matthew and Zoe were really cool, but a little shy. I think they warmed up to us quite a bit the longer we were there. We ended up giving them both a Book of Mormon and testified of how it can help them. Mark seemed pretty open to us teaching them. We were able to set up another appointment for 2 days later (so yesterday).
On Saturday after studies we did more bike riding, this time not quite as far. We went to Richmond which is just south of our apartment. We knocked there for quite some time since we didn't have anything until our dinner appointment.
On Sunday we had two investigators at church. We were able to teach one of them after church. His name is Marco and he is a friend to a 19 year old in the ward named James. He's used to a church with preachers so he said he was a little bored haha but still enjoyed it. Our dinner appointment that night cancelled, so when brother Potter (the member we live with) saw us come home he invited us over for dinner. It was a much better dinner than we would have had otherwise haha. After dinner we headed to the follow-up lesson we had set up with Mark, Matthew and Zoe. Matthew wasn't there but we taught Zoe and Mark. We talked about prayer, and I shared a personal experience with the Book of Mormon. It went off course from what we had planned, but we both felt good about it. We also taught Steve, our recent convert.
So it's been a full week. Looking forward to conference next weekend! We're planning on going to the chapel a half hour early to catch music and the spoken word. Since we're two hours ahead here, priesthood session will start at 8 and end at 10, so we'll have to hurry home after. Enjoy the colors of fall!
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, September 17, 2012

Transfer Calls! (and this weeks letter too)

Hello family and friends,
Due to a busy P-day I have 2 minutes to send this e-mail haha. Well we got transfer calls on Saturday and...... I'm staying haha. So is my companion so nothing new. I found out, however, that my two MTC companions, Elder Pehrson, and Elder Hansen, who have been out as long as I have, will be training this transfer! And they are both in a French speaking zone! So crazy haha. Well this week was better, things are starting to pick up. All is well. I'll send more details next week.
Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow

Dear family and friends,
This week has been a big relief. We finally saw some of the results we've been working for. We concentrated a lot this week on getting member present lessons since that's what we've been struggling on for the past few weeks. So this week we made sure we were bringing members to almost every lesson we had. We were getting some here and there although many were still falling through. We decided we'd fast on Sunday to see if that would help us meet our goals. When we got to church, James (a convert about a year ago, preparing to go on his mission) told us he wanted to come out with us for the whole day. We started off visiting less actives and went tracting before dinner. While tracting, we got one lesson, then headed to our dinner appointment. After dinner he texted two friends and asked if they wanted to learn about his church and they both said yes! So we got three member present lessons that we didn't have planned in one day! That was an awesome day. We've got a lot of so so investigators so we're working on solidifying them. Having a ball out in Ottawa! Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow
P.S. the photos are:
1. Snake a lady had who we found knocking
2. Different languages of BoM we have in our apartment
3. Our new pet
4. Steve's (our recent convert) ring from when he was with the Maple Leafs and they won their conference

Monday, September 3, 2012

Almost Transfers...

Dearest family and friends,
It has been a good but tough week here in Fallowfield. We've been struggling to get member present lessons since our solid investigator was baptized, so we decided to put emphasis on that this week. We planned member lessons with four different members throughout the week, totalling ten lessons. Then... they ALL fell through, so we got zero member present lessons this week for the second week in a row. So I guess at this point we're just being patient in the trial of our faith. We're working hard though and we know we'll find some more solid investigators soon. Transfer calls come this Saturday and then transfers are the following Wednesday! Pretty crazy. I think I'd like to stay in Fallowfield, even though my pants are getting a little too tight out here. The members are awesome out here and love missionaries. Today there was a ward party for the Champlain ward so all the missionaries came to that. We played ultimate frisby for a while which was fun. I'm kinda sweaty now though. I hope everything is going well back home. Sorry not too much to report this week... I'm pretty sure a miracle is just around the corner. Happy school year!
Elder Oxborrow

Another Great Week!

Hello family and friends!
First off I'd like to say thanks for the letters! I'm working on writing back, but P-day is often one of the busiest days of the week. Well Everything has continued to go well. After the baptism last week we don't have anymore serious investigators which means we've been doing a lot of finding this week. I'm learning to like knocking doors more and more. Especially when it works. We also tried to visit a lot of less actives this week... which turned out to be equally as adventurous as knocking. We have a list of less actives so sometimes we just drop by the ones we're close to so we can introduce ourselves. So we were doing that one day and we knocked and a Haitian lady came out and started speaking French. We told her we saw her name on our list. Turns out her daughter who used to live there is a member but her and her husband are Jehovah's Witnesses. So she invited us in (most Haitians do) and after a long religious discussion, she offered us some orange juice and we left. A few days later, we were doing some less active hunting again and we knocked a door and a kind looking lady opened it. The first thing she said was "Oh they're not home but we're the more active side of the family." Apparently the couple who lived there were downtown getting things ready for their daughter's wedding, but all the extended family from Toronto was at their house. So after being fed by them and finding out a little more about the family, we headed off. You never know what's going to happen when you knock on a door haha. Hope all is well for all of you!
Elder Brenden Oxborrow

P.S. The last address I sent was only mostly right. So don't worry letters still got here, but here's the more accurate one.

Elder Brenden Oxborrow
3231 Steeple Hill Crescent
Richmond, ON K0A-2Z0

Monday, August 20, 2012

First Baptism!

Hello everyone,
It's been another great week here in Ottawa. We've knocked a lot of doors, taught a lot of lessons, and... had a baptism! It was so awesome. His name is Jesus Rodriguez. He's 18 and the missionaries have been working with him for a while but the baptismal dates kept falling through, but finally everything worked out. The baptism went great and I there spirit was there. He asked me to confirm him in church the next day! I accepted but I was so scared. First time I've ever done that. Hopefully my voice didn't sound too shaky because it felt shaky. It was an awesome opportunity though. 

All the recent converts in the ward are so awesome. Steve Sauve is the one who got baptized just before I came in. He's engaged to one of the members in the ward and they've had us over for dinner like 3 weeks in a row. They are already some of my favorite people. They'll be getting married in a year or so but chances are I won't be able to make it since I'm pretty sure I won't stay in Ottawa for a year. Last p-day we went to the museum of science and technology and it was pretty sweet. Then on Tuesday we had zone conference so President Cannon and the A.P.'s came out to Ottawa. It was really good. Then I had splits... with another greenie... in my area. So I was basically leading everything. Lessons, contacts, driving. It was a growing experience but it went alright. It rained on us again yesterday but I don't mind the rain too much. I prefer it to the beads of sweat down my back haha. We've continued to have dinner appointments almost every night, and almost every night we get fed ice cream. I think I've gained even more weight since I left the MTC. Overall everything's going well. I appreciate the letters! Sorry if it takes a little time to write back. Thanks for all the support!
Elder Oxborrow

Thursday, August 16, 2012

WEEK 2 (in Canada)

Hello everyone!
It's been a great week! It's rained a lot and when it rains here it reminds me of Alaska. It's crazy how many people I've met knocking doors haha. Some pretty crazy ones too. Everything from Jehovah's witness to atheist philosophers to this crazy guy who almost closed the door on us but then he decided to ask us if we believed that the world was going to end this year haha. We actually had a miracle knocking though this week which was awesome. We knocked and this door and a guy named Dan answered and said he had been researching Mormons like that morning so we gave him a Book of Mormon and told him we'd come by later, so Saturday we went back and talked to him. We asked him if he'd read and he said "yeah but I was only able to get through the first book." He read all of first Nephi! Haha so awesome. He said he really enjoyed it and feels like there was a reason we showed up at his door. He said that he's pretty sure that it's a sign from God. He was cooking dinner so we couldn't teach him that night but we have an appointment set up for Tuesday. Hopefully it goes well. We also taught a lesson in French yesterday. She's an African lady who speaks English and French. That was super cool. I feel like I can say what I need to in French but when it comes to understanding everything they're saying, I need to improve ha. I keep meeting so many awesome people. The ward is amazing and the recent converts are so strong. This one guy named Steven just got baptized a couple weeks ago and you can just see how the Gospel turned his whole life around. I'm still working on the Canadian accent and it's coming along eh. Oh yeah and milk comes in bags in Canada. Super weird haha. We get free Subway once a week since there's a member who owns a bunch of them in Ottawa. Today for P-day we're going to the Science and Technology museum. All is well.
Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Family and friends,
I made it safely to Montreal, and met the mission president and his wife and it all went great. I described most of that in the last e-mail. The next morning, I got to find out what area I'd be serving and.... Ottawa! I'm in an English zone so that makes it a little easier haha. It was about a 2 and a half hour bus ride from the island of Montreal, and while I was on the bus I actually sat next to a guy from Western Canada and had a long conversation with him and for a lot of time we talked about religion. He had a lot of questions about missionary work and some other doctrinal things so I answered those and then when we got to the stop I gave him a Book of Mormon and he promised me he'd read it. So that was cool, but anyway the area is called Fallowfield and there's an awesome ward here. My companion is Elder Rasmussen from Highland Utah and he's been in this area for about 8 months so he knows it really well. They actually had a baptism the Tuesday I was flying in. His name is Steve and he's super cool. He invited me to stand in the circle to confirm him so that was cool. Got to stand in the confirmation circle my first Sunday here haha. Since it was testimony meeting the bishop asked me to come up and share my testimony and I forgot to introduce myself haha. I didn't say my name or where I was from ha. Oh well I'm just a greenie. The ward is super supportive of missionary work though so it's awesome. We've had dinner appointments almost every night since I've been here. We have four hours of study every morning. 1 hour each for: personal, companionship, language, and training. We've done a lot of knocking since I got here. It's not bad but I don't like feeling like I'm bothering people but I'll get over it haha. It's been really hot here it got up to like 38 degrees celsius and it's so humid ha. It makes it so you can't escape the heat even in the shade. Our apartment is attached to some members' home and they are really nice. It's funny cause everyone up here actually says "eh" a lot and has a Canadian accent haha. So we had some pretty awesome experiences already. Yesterday we were out knocking and we weren't having any success so just as we were getting ready to head back to the car we saw a guy walking down the side walk so we decided to talk to him. We told him who we were and about the Book of Mormon and it turned out that he had read some of it before and even prayed about it and had a really good feeling when he did and he felt like there was "something to it". He even said he'd buy one from us! Haha so we gave him one and told him to read the introduction and we got his contact information and everything so we've got high hopes for him. I guess fasting works! Then today since it's p-day we were doing laundry (at a laundromat) and a lady approached us and asked us for a Book of Mormon. We were amazed haha. 2 perfect investigators in 2 days! Turns out her husband used to be mormon and it seemed like he still had a pretty strong testimony so I'm not sure why he went inactive but I guess they were going to a different church and didn't like how their church would teach one thing and then turn around and do another. So I guess for a couple months now she's been seeing the missionaries at the laundromat and trying to work up the courage to ask! She knew exactly when we were going to be there! It was pretty crazy. So we talked to them for quite some time and got their information and gave them a Book of Mormon, and they even wanted another one so she could give it to her mom. So we've already had a couple miracles just in my time here. The work seems to be pressing forward strongly in this area. Before this year, the ward's record for baptisms was 3 in a year, and at the start of this year they made a goal to have 8. So far they have 4 and we have one date set for an investigator, and some more promising investigators popping up. We get to drive pretty much everywhere we go since the area is so huge, and we drive a 2012 Subaru so that's super nice. There's a lot of different kinds of people up here. You never know who's gonna come to the door when you knock. Some people like to talk, a lot don't haha. A few are rude which is funny cause we just tell them to have a nice day very politely haha. This one guy and his brother started bible bashing us so we had to get outta there ha. Basically I'm just trying to learn as much as I can and get used to the schedule. I'm always wiped out (and usually sticky from sweat and humidity) When we get back to the apartment. I can't figure out why I'm so tired in the morning though because I sleep way better here than I did in the MTC. I do kinda miss it there though since I could play basketball every day. That was nice. We actually can't play basketball at all here since so many missionaries have gotten injured but at least we can play instruments and listen to music. Well I won't make this too much longer. All is well, and they weren't lying when they said it would be hard work. I hope I'll adjust to it more and be less tired. It feels like it's been a lot longer than a week since I got here, and it hasn't even been that yet haha. Well I'm doing well and I hope you all are too.
Love, Elder Oxborrow

p.s. Since I'm pretty far from the mission office, it will probably be more effective to send mail to the apartment. The address there is:

3231 Steeple Hill Crescent
Ottawa, ON K0A

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm Here!

Hey family. Just a quick e-mail home to let you know I'm safe and sound here at President Cannon's home in Montreal. President and sister Cannon are great as are the assistants. Sister Cannon made roast beef au jus sandwiches. They were delicious. There's a room full of air mattresses in the basement where all 14 of us elders will sleep tonight. It's beautiful here. I'm looking forward to finding out where I'll be serving in the morning. Everything is in French before English haha. The flights were good. Looking forward to getting to work tomorrow! Love you.
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, July 30, 2012

Leaving on a Jet Plane

Well It's Monday night and I leave at 4 tomorrow morning so I hope I'm ready. My day tomorrow will consist of plenty of traveling, then at 4 pm eastern time I will arrive in Montreal where I will meet the mission president and his wife, and the AP's. We will then travel through Montreal seeing all the beautiful views, and then we will arrive at the president Cannon's home where we will have dinner and a testimony meeting with the 15 other elders who are also leaving tomorrow. Then we'll get settled in a little more and president will start interviewing us. Then we'll go to bed on inflatable mattresses, and on Wednesday morning I will meet my trainer and (I suppose) get to work! Pretty exciting if you ask me. I won't know til probably tomorrow whether or not I'll be speaking French or English for my first transfer. Not sure which I'd prefer. Well I got to host again on Wednesday and I hosted one elder who is headed to the Ogden, Utah mission, and the second elder I hosted was my good buddy Derek White. It was awesome to see him. His mom took a quick picture of the two of us, Elder Munns, and Elder Tyrell Stephens (who was also just arriving being hosted by Elder Munns).
Elder Stephens, Elder White, Elder Munns and Elder Oxborrow
That was pretty cool. All the French speaking elders who are headed for Paris or Lyon (the two missions in France) left this morning and this afternoon. It's been kind of a weird feeling all day with them gone and knowing that we'll be leaving so soon. One quite eventful thing that happened this week is Elder Hansen (my companion) and another elder in the zone cooked up (in the microwave) some canned "escargots" and for those of you who don't speak french, or aren't into fine dining, that means snails. It was pretty gross. they were out of a can and they looked just like the ones you find in your back yard. Elder Hansen had no problem chewing it, but every time he tried to swallow it, he almost gagged. Oh so another Elder who came in on Wednesday was the kid who plays Joseph Smith (when he's younger) in the restoration video! It was crazy haha. His name is Elder Nicholas Whitaker. He's going to Charlotte, North Carolina. I think it would be funny if he had one of his investigators watch the restoration movie haha. well I need to go finish packing so I guess the next time I e-mail home I'll be in Canada eh (my companion from Canada really says "eh" a lot)! And hopefully I'll have more alotted time for the task ha. Love you all.

Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Travel Plans!

Well I got my travel plans last Thursday and... I only have one week left from today! I have to week up at 3 in the morning on Tuesday the 31st. I'm excited/ scared/ nervous. Today we sat next to an elder from Quebec during lunch and he spoke a little Quebecois french to us and I could barely understand a word he was saying haha. It's so different. I don't know at this point whether I'll be in a french area or english area to start off, so Tuesday will be the day when I find out if my first six weeks will be in my native language or not haha. I'll arrive in Montreal at 3:57 Eastern time (1:57). Super excited. Trying to learn as much as I can for my last week. We had a pretty chouette (like "sweat" but with a "sh" [means groovy]) tie trade last night. I bad farewell to a couple but I got some real beauties. I got to be a missionary host last week and I hosted a few missionaries which was a cool experience. It was cool to see the first day at the MTC from a different perspective. I get to do it again tomorrow too! I've got a couple friends coming in so it would be sweet if I was their host. I hope I'm ready for the field and I hope I get a good trainer! I'll probably be able to e-mail Monday since it's kind of a P-day because I leave Tuesday. Love, Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Salut famille et mes amis! I can't believe it's already p-day again. It's been a semi-eventful week (which for the MTC is pretty good haha). We lost our teacher Sister Lindsey this week since she's getting married soon. She was a big blessing to the district (and she served in Montreal so she knows what she's talking about). She wrote me and the rest of the Elders a nice letter before she left with some good advice on it. Her fiance also served a French speaking mission and they met at the MTC since they both worked here haha. It was great to hear from all the cousins and family this week. I miss you all (especially since as I write this you're fearlessly battling massive rapids on the untameable Snake River). Last week we got 40 new Elders in our zone. To help manage this, the MTC presidency called another counseler for our branch president so now he has three. It's been cool having more French speaking missionaries. We also lost three missionaries this week. They were the Haitian Creole speaking elders, called to serve in Florida. 2 left Monday, and 1 this morning. Since the one who left this morning didn't have a companion yesterday, I (being in a trio) became his companion for the day, bring my grand total number of MTC companions to 5 haha. But I guess he doesn't really count that much. So I had to sleep in his room last night, and he was supposed to wake up at 2:00 this morning, but at 3:30 a knock on the door came and he woke up and had to hustle haha. After he washed his hair in the sink, grabbed his bags and left, I trudged back over to my room and went back to sleep. On sunday we had an awesome fireside. It was given by Jenny Oaks Baker, who is the Daughter of Dallin H. Oaks. She is also one of the best violin players in the world, having held the first chair position in the National Symphony Orchestra. She said getting into this is like getting into the NBA for a basketball player. She also has recorded various movie soundtracks and solo albums. She would share a personal spiritual experience, and how her testimony grew from it, and then she would play a song that went along with it. She was incredible to listen to. She played Amazing Grace, I need Thee Every Hour, This is The Christ, and I Know That My Redeemer Lives. Her kids were also there and the four of them played I am a Child of God together. They were incredible especially for how young they were. Her three daughters played cello, violin, and piano; and her son played the classical guitar. Her son was the youngest at four years old and he got excited each time he was showed on the screen haha. It was awesome. I finally ran into my cousin KJ Guard today, although I didn't remember what he looked like at all cause I'm pretty sure I haven't seen him since before I can remember, but I knew his last name so I asked his first and it was him so we talked for a few minutes before heading to the next thing on my list. He's going to the Phillippines and seems to be enjoying his time here. The language is coming along better and better. I'm still nervous for the field though (I think I've gotten used to the fact that my investigators and people I "contact" are just my teachers haha). But nevertheless I'm still super excited to get to Montreal. I finally get to host the incoming missionaries tomorrow! I'm excited haha. It's gonna be cool to see it from a different perspective now that I've been here for a while. Outta time gotta go. Love you all! Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Two thirds...

Six weeks gone by and only three more to go. It's starting to go so fast. So Independance Day in the MTC was pretty classy. For most of the day it was just like any other MTC day but at 8:00 P.M. we got out of class early to go to a 4th of July devotional. Since all the missionaries were settled into their seats about a half hour before President Brown thought we would be, he had us sing a few songs to pass the time. Since this was a little more laid back than other devotionals, we started off with happy birthday to President Brown's wife, followed that up with "Popcorn Popping", "Once There Was a Snowman", and "Grand Ol' Flag". Then he finished the prelude music by having all the elders and sisters who had been "Dear John'd/ Jane'd" go up to the front and we all sang "Love One Another" to them. It was pretty funny haha. Then the meeting started and the first musical number was "You Raise Me Up" sang by a sister. It was also cool because this was a meeting where clapping was acceptable so she got a pretty good applause. We then had a speaker who was followed by two elders who played a mean fiddle duet. The "finale" of the meeting was composed of bagpipes playing the old tune that Praise to the Man comes from, accompanied by a snare drum (I was a little disappointed that I didn't have a chance to try out for this). As that was playing, flags from every nation, as well as banners with pictures of Joseph Smith were marched to the front of the building. It was pretty awesome.

After the meeting, we were informed that we would have the chance to watch fireworks that night. That was pretty exciting news. As I watched, I could hear the faint sounds of the Beach Boys coming from the Stadium of Fire haha. Then the next day it rained! Such a great break from the hot sun. I can't believe how hot it's been but when it really started coming down in the evening it was an awesome feeling.

Well my companion, Elder Garcia left for the field on Friday. He was pretty excited about it. It was pretty crazy though cause he didn't get there until Sunday. That would be a long trip. Yesterday I got a package from Alaska that had a couple fun things as well as post cards from my friends from last summer who are back up there. I didn't realize how much I missed it up there until I started reminiscing on some of the fun times we had. That was really exciting for me. Well I'm short on time so gotta run. Love you. Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Thursday, July 5, 2012

More Than Half Way...

Dear family and friends, It's been a great spiritual week here. We heard from L. Tom Perry last Tuesday, and there were nine other apostles there with him. It was awesome to see all of them. All of the new missions presidents who were being trained were there as well. Among these was my boss from my time in Alaska, Kirk, and his wife, Pam. Although I didn't get to talk with them, I saw them from a distance which was pretty cool too I guess haha. Both of the sisters who merged into our district last week left this week, and my companion leaves on Friday. I'm pretty sure I'll be back in a triple companionship at that point. One thing I've been striving to do is read the Book of Mormon, and it's crazy how I can get into it way more now than I ever could before. Some days it's hard to put it down when I have to teach or do companionship study. I'm so much more intrigued by the stories in there than I've ever been before. Don't have much time to write more this week but all is well. Love, Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Bonjour, tout le monde!

It's been a fun/crazy week. I've had fun adjusting to my new companion. He's a big help for me since he has a good memory of what we plan for lessons haha. He doesn't speak the language specifically well but he always does his best and always remembers what we have planned for the lessons (when I sometimes forget). Saturday was the start of the training of all the new mission presidents who will be serving in various missions. That takes place here at the MTC, and is done by the general authorities, therefore, the main building is pretty much on lockdown. That also means that the dining hall got cut in half, and is much less capable to handle the growing number of missionaries here. On sunday the line for dinner extended far outside the doors of the building. That part isn't fun, but it has definitely been a strong spirit here knowing the general authorities are among us. I'm pretty sure we're going to be hearing from either an apostle, or a member of the first presidency tonight at the devotional. It's crazy trying to get a good seat. We go a half hour early to line up, and I'm pretty sure we're the last ones there. This morning a member of our district flew out to San Francisco for his visa, and all but three of us (including me) in the district will get to do this. I don't get to go since I don't need one for Canada. This morning we did a session for Elder Guymon's (Elder Alex Munns' companion) family names. It was the last temple trip I'll have here since the temple will be closed down starting this week through the end of July. On Sunday night after the fireside they showed a video of a talk given by Elder Bednar a few years ago at the MTC called the Character of Christ. It was crazy how much it inspired me. He talked about Christ's tendency to turn outward when the natural man wants to turn in and seek self pity. He gave the example of Christ's infinite suffering in the garden, followed by finding his disciples had fallen asleep on him, followed by finding that he had been betrayed; and after all this, the first thing he thinks to do is heal the soldier's ear who was there to take him captive. So incredible. It's really the first time I've heard a talk and consciously pondered about how I could apply it to my every day life. It was a great experience. Well all is well here. Still learning as much as I can. Love you all. Love, Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Week 3: "Sometimes I close my eyes and picture myself in a fireside when I want to sleep"

Dear Family and friends,
Three weeks down and only six more to go... It's going so fast yet so slow. It's been a fast week since last Tuesday. The days are starting to go faster and faster. It's also been a pretty eventful week. About last Wednesday, my companion Elder Rice had started having some appointments with a doctor here. Just a few days later on Friday, he found out he was being sent home so he could get taken care of. We were both pretty shocked. He had been such a blessing for me since I arrived here. He had great study habits which were exemplary for me and exactly what I needed. He flew back out to Oregon Saturday morning. The district misses him. As for me I got put into a triple companionship for a couple days, and this morning I was paired up with a new companion, Elder Garcia. He's a cool guy and I think we'll get along pretty well. He's from St. George (Desert Hills HS), and did a semester at Dixie before coming on his mission. He has been here three weeks longer than I have, but his old district got here three weeks before he did, so they all just left for the field. He will be serving in New Caladonia, and from pictures I've seen, I'm pretty jealous. His only concern is the spiders there which grow larger than a person's hand haha. I've been continuing to teach discussions in French about six times a week. Our two "Amis en progres" (progressing investigators) are played by our teachers, Brother Sybrowski, and Sister Lindsey. They both served in Montreal. The roles they play are from investigators they taught from their missions. The other lessons we teach are to volunteers who happen to know french (usually RM's). I haven't taught with my new companion yet since he's been my companion since this morning and it's P-day. I'm not yet sure what level his french is at but hopefully we'll work well together. It's been pretty hot this week. I kinda wish it would rain, but it does feel good in the morning and at night (for the 30 seconds it takes us to walk from our classroom to our residence hall). I'm realizing that for me the biggest sacrifice of coming on a mission is music. I miss music haha. We're not allowed to even listen to Motab or anything like that until we get to the field. Still enjoying it and taking it all in. Feel free to write!
Elder Brenden Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Week 2: Another Day in Paradise

Hey friends and family,
It's been a good week here in Provo. Getting more used to the schedule and the days are really starting to blend together in my mind. I've had a lot of cool experiences even in the little time I've been here. It really is a place where the spirit is strong and blessings come through obedience and hard work. Thanks for the letters and dear elders I've received. Mail is always a good way to end the day so thanks for that. I love hearing about what's going on with everyone. Although there is one thing I'd like to request; somebody keep me updated on the playoffs! Haha.
Well I've seen a lot of friends since I arrived two weeks ago. Elder Jacob Rees, Elder Hunter Payne, Elder Landon Hobbs, Elder Steven Christensen, Elder Alex Munns. I see Elder Munns at least once a day since we're in the same zone and his class room is right next door to mine. It's always cool to see old friends. Yesterday when I was on my way to pick up the mail, I ran into Elder Jones who is from Ketchikan and I got to know while I was up there. It was the first time I'd seen him since I was up there so that was way cool. He leaves the MTC in two weeks for Argentina. I was thinking, if I was one of the missionaries called to an english speaking mission, I'd be out of here in one week. I'm kinda glad I'm not going that quick though. Especially since I learn more and more new things every day so I want to try to take in as much as I can from the MTC while I have the opportunity. Seven more weeks.

I mentioned last time that I got called to district leader, and I've come to realize it's only because it's such an easy district to lead. These elders are seriously awesome. We all get along so well and they all have a desire to follow the rules. Every time I need to pass something along to them, they are receptive and supportive. I've been blessed by them. There are eight of us in good ol' district 46C My companion is Elder Rice. Elder Christensen is from Salt Lake and then a year at UofU. His companion is Elder Whatcott and he's from Boston. He's 6'5" and is a super nice guy. He went to BYU before the mission. Elder Brady is from everywhere since his dad works for the government. He's lived in Switzerland, Virginia, Oregon, and various other places. He also went to BYU. His companion is Elder Foote. He has got to be one of the funniest people I've met. At first he seemed kinda weird cause no one really understood his humor but now we basically can't have a conversation without him cracking us all up. He also did a year at BYU. Elder Hansen is from Alberta, Canada and he is the definition of firm and steadfast. Not only physically but spiritually as well. He's pretty muscular too though. He kinda reminds me of the Hulk show back in the day with the big strong guy who they painted green and he just grunted. His companion is Elder Pehrson who I really like. He's from Kaysville and went to Davis. He's a really good ball player and has a really nice shot. He made ten half court shots in a minute! He claims it's the world record but I don't know... haha. He also did a year at BYU. Elder Pehrson and Elder Hansen will be serving in Montreal and the rest will be serving in France.
I wish I had more time to tell all the experiences I've had but I don't so hopefully next time. One thing that I thought of the other day at a fireside was that in Moses 1:39 it states that God's work and glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. Then I realized that in serving a mission, I'm helping to accomplish exactly that. By sharing this gospel, I will be improving the lives of others, and that's really what it's all about.
Love you!
Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

First letter. Week 1: MTC.

Hello All!
It has been a great, busy, spiritual, amazing week I've had so far at the MTC. The spirit is so strong here and I love feeling it every day. Wednesday seems like it was at least a month ago. Since then I've done so much. On Wednesday we received our companions. Mine is Elder Rice from Oregon. He is very studious and pensive. He is good at concentrating on the task at hand which helps me to remember to stay focused. Wednesday night I didn't sleep well (probably because I haven't gone to bed at 10:30 since I was like 10), but I've been able to sleep well since then. Thursday we had a meeting at which we all got called out individually for an interview. After all the interviews, they called the district leaders for the new districts, and I happened to get called to be one of them! My district consists of 8 elders and we all get along well. I have been praying for help in my added responsibilities as district leader. Our district is the one with the most french experience of the new districts. Some of the elders have had not only 4-5 years of high school french, but also at least a full year of college french classes as well. Since I first arrived, My companion and I have taught 3 all French discussions to a french guy named Chris. I feel that they've all gone very well. I've been able to start saying all my prayers in french, and on sunday I was able to bear my testimony in French. It's been awesome to feel the difference in listening to talks and watching church movies here when I'm constantly striving to have the spirit as opposed to at home when I was probably more distracted. We get to have 50 minutes of gym time 5 days a week which I thoroughly enjoy. Nothing like a little 3 on 3 to shake out between sitting in a chair all day. Running out of time so gotta run. Au revoir! Je vous aime!

Elder Oxborrow

P.S. Please feel free to write as I can only use e-mail once a week and everyone loves letters here at the MTC. An easy way to write is by using you don't even have to use a pen but I still get a real life piece of paper with words on it! ;)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Address (for now)

Missionaries love mail...
just sayin.

Elder Brenden Lynn Oxborrow
MTC Mailbox # 233
CAN-MON 0731
2005 N 900 E
Provo, UT 84604-1793

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Farewell... come join us!

 Brenden Oxborrow's mission farewell will be May 27th at 1pm.
175 S Main StGarland, UT 84312
Come join us!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Is called to....

Brenden Oxborrow is called to serve...
in the Montreal Canada, French speaking mission.  
He will be entering the MTC on May 30, 2012.

Farewell is set for May 27th in Tremonton, Utah.