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