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