Monday, May 12, 2014

Monday, May 5, 2014

Almost Time

Hey yall.
We had a good week up here in the 3R. The weather has improved but it's been pretty gloomy all week. The sun hasn't shown its face much. At least it's not freezing cold anymore. We met a ton of cool people this week. We've had a lot of time to do tracting and contacting. Now we have to focus on following up with people and getting in a good teaching situation. I'm doing my best to stay focused and make the most of every minute. It's been weird having people ask for my information and stuff. At the beginning of my mission I never thought the end would actually come. It snuck up on me. Time flies. Gotta make the most of it.
Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, April 28, 2014

April in Canada

We had fun this week. We had a very interesting lesson with Anita (Pierre's wife). Up until this point she had been pretty reserved during the lessons (or always just in the other room). With Pierre in Québec city, it gave us a good opportunity to see how Anita was progressing. We taught a lesson about the Restoration and talked about baptism. She opened up to us a lot about what she had been feeling. We found out that she had felt pushed a lot by her mom and by some missionaries in the past to come to church and to get baptized. We didn't really know about that before so it was good to see a bit more of her point of view. It will be interesting to see how it goes and how Pierre feels about everything when he gets back.
Stéphane has been on fire lately. He's really been changing. He also came out with us for a couple lessons this week. He has a strong testimony and loves sharing the gospel. I went on a split with Elder Williams this week. We get along pretty well so that was fun.
We taught Marc the 1st lesson this week. We did pretty well keeping him focused on the lesson. He jumps topics quite a bit. He didn't make it to church yesterday cause he hadn't slept much but he should be at FHE tonight.
Besides that, we pretty much just had a good amount of time to do a lot of knocking and personal finding this week. It had been a while since I was able to do a lot of that so it felt good. We met some really cool people.
I hope you all have a great week! Thanks for all the support! The church is true!

Love, Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Sugar Shack and Quebec

Hey y'all!
Sorry I wasn't able to write yesterday all the libraries were closed so we had to move our e-mails to today. Last Monday was awesome. We were in Québec for a zone activity so I got to stay the night in my old area (Ste. Foy). I was able to visit a couple old friends while I was there. It's crazy to think that It's been a year since I was serving there. Tuesday was our Zone Training Meeting followed by interviews with President Patrick. It went well. The first thing he said was "Just to clarify, this is not your exit interview" good to know I'll still have one more interview with him before I go home haha.
This week we did a bit more searching for service opportunities. It's been very hard to find in this area especially. No seems to need or want our help ha. We may have found a couple openings this past week though. We'll see how it plays out. I think the highlight of our week was church on Sunday. Pierre is in Québec City but his wife Anita and the three kids came with their mom for the first time! It was way cool. We also had Marc at church again for the second week in a row. Yesterday he even come to the family home evening group that we do. We're starting to see a lot of good happening in the area.
Yesterday for our p-day we went to a "Cabane à Sucre", or as they call it in English, "Sugar Shack". You may remember when I went last year. Basically there are cabins in the woods that open up every spring time when maple starts running through the maple trees. You go there and they give you a traditional meal with an endless supply of real maple syrup. It is delicious. It was a slight break from our no sugar diet haha. I am happy to say that I didn't have any chocolate on Easter though.
I'm loving the people and loving the work. I learn more and more every day. Sometimes I catch myself fearing that I won't learn all I need to by the time I go home but then I remind myself that our progress is eternal. We all need to make consistent efforts every day no matter where we are in life. I'm cherishing every moment.
Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, April 14, 2014

April in Trois Rivieres

Hey everybody! Good to hear from home as always. Sounds like everyone is for the most part healthy and happy.
We had an awesome week full of miracles. On Wednesday we had a dinner appointment with our investigators from Cameroon. They taught us how to make fried plaintains. It was pretty fun and always delicious. That is something I will be making after the mission for sure haha. We taught them how to make homemade bread as a trade-off. It was cool. On Thursday I split with Elder Gutierrez who is the new missionary in our apartment. We had a good day of lessons. It was nice to be able to take the bus and do some walking. I hadn't been able to for a while since Elder Read needs to take the car because of his knee. We don't have as many opportunities to talk to people in the street when we're car bound. One of the people Elder Gutierrez and I ran into was Marc. He's a guy I had met a few weeks prior and seemed pretty crazy like he was on drugs the first time we met him. This time he seemed like a different person. He just seemed super humble and like he had a desire to change his life. He mentioned that he was having a hard time paying for food. We were in a hurry to catch a bus but we told him we'd come by his place the following day. We had an extra loaf of homemade bread we had made so we brought that to him the next day. He was very touched and said he wanted to come to church. We gave him all the information and left, hoping he would show up on Sunday. He did! He came and stayed for all three hours and really enjoyed it. He was touched by the Spirit for sure. We have an appointment set up with him for Wednesday. It's cool when people who are prepared started showing up seemingly out of nowhere.
Saturday was the biggest miracle. We had dinner and a lesson with Anita, Pierre and their kids (investigators from Ivory Coast). Anita's mother, Gene Vieve is a member. We've been teaching them for a few months now. Last week we were over there to give Gene Vieve and Anita a blessing. Afterwards Pierre, who had just been observing, asked us if he could have a blessing as well. This week when we were teaching them we told Pierre that he could have the Priesthood which would allow him to give blessings to his family as we had done. The Spirit was very strong in the room. We taught him that he would first have to be baptized. He accepted. He (and soon the rest of the family) has a date set for May 31. It may get moved slightly depending on how the teaching goes, but at this point it's looking like I might be coming back to visit my mission sooner than I had been expecting. I wouldn't want to miss his baptism for the world. We'll see what happens.
To top off our week, Yesterday we did a bit of knocking with Stéphane who had been wanting to do some missionary work with us for a while. We only ended up knocking two doors since the second door was a girl who let us in to teach her. Gotta love it when that happens. Her name is Edwige (pronounced: edveege) and she is from Togo in Africa which is actually where Elder Read started his mission before he had to return home for knee surgery. They were able to talk about that which was way cool. She was super kind and super open to the message. Stéphane also appreciated the experience.
I've been having a lot of mixed feelings lately. It's going to be very hard to leave these people who I've grown to love. After 8 months somewhere you start to feel at home. Last night it was pouring rain as Elder Read and I were knocking a few doors before heading home for the night. As we walked back to the car it hit me how much I'm going to miss this. Despite how difficult it is at times it is so rewarding to be a missionary. I gotta make this last month count!
I love you all and wish you a great week! Happy Easter on Sunday!

Love, Elder Oxborrow

Monday, April 7, 2014

La Nouvelle de Trois Rivières!

Hey fam!
Hope you all enjoyed your weeks as much as I did. Conference was awesome, despite the snowfall during the Saturday afternoon session... It didn't stay long though. Yesterday and today were pretty warm. Snow is melting little by little. Seeing the shots of Temple Square let me know that we're still way behind Utah in warm weather though. We still have no shortage of huge piles of snow in front of people's homes and next to parking lots. It's about the time of year when you start seeing the remains of all the gravel used to melt the snow (Trois Rivières doesn't use any salt) and the world starts to look really gray and dirty. Things will start blooming eventually though and it will look better.
On Saturday we watched the first session of conference with our investigators Williane, Alvanie, and Aïsha (sisters from Cameroon). They seemed to enjoy it. They said they would watch the rest of the sessions at home too. Afterwards we headed up to the chapel of our neighboring branch to watch the next two sessions. We had a good dinner before priesthood session (we're two hours ahead so Priesthood Session is from 8-10). On Sunday we watched both sessions at the chapel and had a dinner appointment right after.
We also got a brand new missionary in our apartment with the transfer this week. His name is Elder Gutierrez from California. I'm in an apartment with 3 Californians. It's uncommon for the Utahn to be the minority haha.
Anyway I'm just having fun working and enjoying the beginning of the warmth! Elder Read and I are hoping the snow at the park will hurry and melt so we can play basketball during morning exercises. There was still a good layer last time I checked.
Anyway, love you all! Have a great week!
Love, Elder Oxborrow

P.S. The only picture I had from this week was a poutine. Part of every new missionary's initiation.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Finishing in Trois Rivieres

Hey everyone!
Hey everyone! Happy Birthday dad! I'm glad I'll be there for #50.
It's a pretty weird feeling today as I start my last transfer. It just kind of hit me this morning. I'm doing my best to give it my all and not slow down in the end. Just like a good cross country race. :) Last Monday after I e-mailed home we went to the music store with Stéphane cause he wanted to hear me drum ha. It was pretty fun but after I had played for a few minutes the lady came in and I could tell she wanted me to wrap it up so I played a couple guitars before we headed home for dinner. It was fun.
On Tuesday Elder Read and I gave blood. We had been looking for a blood drive for a while with no success. Finally the university here had one. It was a good opportunity to talk with a lot of people while doing some community service. Plus you can't complain about free juice boxes. There were a ton of people there.
This week were so blessed. When we called to set up an appointment with our investigators Anita, Pierre & kids (see photo), they told us to come by at 6 so we could have dinner with them. They made us a delicious African meal (see photo). We ate with our hands and it was awesome! Afterwards we watched a conference talk with them and they really enjoyed it. We're hoping they'll make it out for a couple sessions this weekend.
I made my first loaf of homemade bread this week (see photo). A lot of missionaries in our mission have been trying different things to get more contact with less-actives so I thought I'd try it. It turned out pretty good. It wasn't too heavy or anything and it raised pretty decently.
Yesterday we had a lesson with our investigators from Cameroon (the four sisters). The object of our lesson was to really help them understand our purpose as missionaries. We explained to them that we want to help them make positive changes in their life. The spirit was very strong and our member bore a strong testimony of the reality of the Gospel. It was really good.
Yesterday we had a pretty wicked snow storm all night and all day. Today it's a bit more calm. Spring comes late in Québec...
We also had transfer calls this week... I'll be spending another transfer in Trois Rivières, bringing the total to 6. I will also, therefore, be finishing my mission here. :( I'm glad to be staying with a lot of awesome friends for another 6 weeks. It's going to fly by.
Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow

Monday, March 24, 2014

Still cold in Trois Rivieres

Hey everyone!
We had an awesome week! I guess it's hard not to when an apostle visits your mission. It was an awesome meeting with him. Bishop Caussé of the presiding bishopric spoke first though and I was glad cause he addressed us in French. When he spoke in Conference last October I was wishing I could hear him speak in his first language and voila, wish granted. He had some awesome things that he taught us about. His wife also addressed us in French. Elder Andersen's wife addressed us as well and shared a powerful testimony and some awesome spiritual stories. Elder Andersen taught us for about 45 minutes. It was awesome to see him pause, receive spiritual promptings, and then teach us accordingly. I learned a lot from him. Elder Read bought a voice recorder and recorded the whole thing so we'll be able to listen through it again. One of the things Elder Andersen taught us was that big doors swing on small hinges. The little things that we do in our lives affect us in huge ways. He gave the example of the people we associate with. That's a huge influence for good or bad. He also said "you can count the seeds in an apple, but you can't count the apples in a seed" while talking about our efforts as missionaries. As long as we are giving constant efforts, we can know that we are helping in the Lord's work. Elder Andersen also conducted our stake conference yesterday and called a new stake presidency. President and Sister Morin were released since they've been called to serve as the mission president (and wife) in the Benin Cotonou mission in Africa. He had been leading the district/stake for 18 years I think. You could see he was happy to have a bit of responsibility taken off his shoulders. He's a great man and will be a great mission president.
Well I hope it's warmer out west cause it's still cold here. The wind is still fierce. April should show some more warmth. We'll see. Anyway, take care. Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, March 17, 2014

Apostolic Visit

Dear everyone,
I loved reading all your e-mails. Looks like Wade's birthday was a good one, and I'm glad he was able to squeeze in his eagle haha. We had a pretty awesome week this week. I was still in a trio with the other two Elders up until Friday when Elder Read arrived. He's pretty mobile, just has to take it easy to avoid post-surgery pain. He's able to move enough to get to lessons though which is good. We saw tons of progress with our investigators this week. Pretty much everyone made a good step in the right direction. Freddy and Claudia from Columbia had us over for a delicious lunch. We hadn't had a lesson with them for a good while so it was good to regain more contact. Our lesson went well with Tao who is from China. He comes from a non-religious background and has been making very small steps in gaining more faith. This week he expressed to us the desire to know why he's even here and what his purpose is, which is more than he's told us for a long time. We're hoping he'll gain a real desire to learn so that he can find the answers to his questions. Anita and Pierre are our investigators from Ivory Coast and we also had a great lesson with Pierre this week. We had been committing Pierre to read Mosiah 24 for a few weeks straight and he hadn't made the time for it... until this week. He read it and totally loved it! He soaked up the whole chapter and was ready to discuss it. It was awesome. I think our highlight of the week was with Williane from Cameroon. We had a lesson on the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation. As we read through the pamphlet, the Spirit was in the room for sure. Afterwards we told her that the way she can know if it's true is through prayer. I asked if she had prayed to know if the church had been restored (which we've committed her to do multiple times). She said she already believes in the restoration of the Gospel. We were all just like ''Ok... now what do we say?'' We asked her if she would be baptized and she said she will continue thinking about it. She's getting so close. It's been a great week.
So this Saturday we have a pretty big-time meeting in Montréal for our whole mission. These are the details that were sent out to us:

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve will preside at
the meeting. He will be accompanied by Sister Andersen, Elder
Donald L. Hallstrom, one of the Presidents of the First Quorum of
the Seventy and Sister Hallstrom, and Bishop Gérald Caussé of the
Presiding Bishopric and Sister Caussé. Elder David Homer, the Area
Seventy who supervises our Mission, will also be in attendance, and we
expect all four of our Stake Presidents.

Needless to say, I'm pretty pumped for Saturday! It's gonna be sweet. And then we have General Conference coming up not too long after. As Elder Williams put it, ''General Conference is like the Super Bowl for missionaries''
Love you all! Have a great week. Enjoy the mild temperatures. We're still freezing and waiting for snow to melt...

P.S. The photos are a pile of snow and our columbian dinner appointment.

Monday, March 10, 2014

March in Canada

Well it was another exciting week. Not sure if I mentioned this last week but Half way through our p-day last week we got a call from Elder Ahrets (Senior missionary over cars) telling us we had to drive in that day to Montréal to get our car replaced. Kind of destroyed our p-day but hey, we got a new car so you can't complain. The Malibu wasn't the greatest for Winter.
So Tuesday was quite the day. We had an early combined bithday dinner for Me and Stéphane. His birthday is on the 12th. We decided that we would allow a one-day exception to our sugar fast to celebrate (see photo). Elder Read and I slightly over-estimated the amount of desserts we would be able to eat. After eating a bit of ice cream and cookies, we just felt way too full. I was excited to get back on the no sugar regiment afterwards.
Elder Read got picked up on Wednesday for his knee surgery on Thursday. It went well and he's staying in Montréal for a week or so. I've been in a trio with the other elders in the apartment since Wednesday. It's been busy covering both of our areas but I've enjoyed being able to visit the people I worked with when I covered all of Trois Rivières.
Probably one of the most exciting things this week was when I got to see my old MTC companion Elder Hansen (see photo) who I haven't seen since August 1, 2012 when we arrived in the mission.
Thursday we helped a member put in a railing and do some other work on her staircase. On Friday we had a lesson with some Columbians and they fed us some good Columbian food. I wish I could speak more Spanish.
On Sunday I gave a talk on Seeking the Spirit. Afterwards we had branch council and then we stopped by the funeral for Stéphane's dad. He had some good support from the members of the branch. I learned a pretty big lesson while we were there. Stéphane's sister is semi-famous in Québec because she was a finalist on "La Voix" (French version of "The Voice"). I don't mean to judge, but it just seemed that a lot of her friends at the funeral were very materialistic and saw it as more of a social gathering. Meanwhile, Stéphane was having meaningful conversations and sharing memories with those who were close to him. It made me realize a bit about what matters most in this life. None of our earthly possessions will come with us when we go, but the friends we have and the lessons we learn will.
I've been learning so much lately and I only hope I can continue the trend. I love the people I've been blessed to work with and I'm starting to feel at home here. It's hard to believe I've already been here for over 6 months.
I love you all and hope this finds you well!

Sincerely, Elder Oxborrow

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Amazing Week

Hey everybody!
I wish I could have been there at Jarin's baptism! I'm sure it was an awesome experience. I'm grateful for the many lessons I've been learning lately. We had such an awesome week this week full of life-lessons and great opportunities.
Last Monday Elder Read went into Vermont for a doctor appointment (since Canada's health system makes it impossible to set up an appt.) for his knee. He's going in on Thursday to get it scoped and probably have a surgery. Since he was in Montréal Monday night, I asked President Patrick if we could come in to pick him up the next day so that we could go to the temple. He said he thought it was a great idea. I would have missed out on that since the temple will be closing for construction before I go home. It was awesome to go through for the first time in 18 months, and it was even cooler since I got to do the session in French!
On Friday I had probably one of the most humbling experiences of my mission. Stéphane's dad had been having health problems for a few months, and Stéphane called us and told us he was in the hospital and that it was probably his last day. He asked us if we would give his dad a blessing. We went over there feeling a little sheepish, and as we put our hands on his head and I started to give a blessing, he started thanking us for each thing that we blessed him with. Afterwards, he kept saying how grateful he was and how good the Lord had been to him. Stéphane told us that he usually never talks like that. Later on that night he passed and I had a strong feeling that he did so peacefully. Stéphane showed a strong example of faith and said he knew his dad was in a better place. He felt at peace with it.
We had great lessons with the 2 African families we're teaching right now. Both are progressing pretty well.
I love you all and hope you have a great week! It's still freezing cold here!
Love, Elder Oxborrow

p.s. I received my departure date for May 15th

Monday, February 24, 2014

Winter in 3 Rivers

Hey fam,
Consider yourselves lucky that the snow is already pretty much melted. We still have huge piles everywhere. What's worse is that we still have another two months of snow storm potential. I can't complain too much though because the Winter is Trois Rivières was much more mild than the Winter last year in Québec city. Time is flying though so I'm sure Winter will be over before we know it.
We had another semi-packed good week. We finally had some investigators at church! It had been a while that our investigators hadn't been making it out. We had an awesome African meal Friday night with our investigator Williane from Cameroon and then Sunday morning we walked with her to church. She seemed to enjoy it. She loves discussing the word of God. Stéphane has really been doing well he's been coming out to church and family home evening without too much emotional distress. One of the most rewarding things about being a missionary is seeing people progress and truly change.
We've been having some good success in building our relationships with the members here. We've done it through service and just having visits with them. Remember that when the missionaries come by for a visit it's not just for fun but it's to have stronger ties with members so that we can work together more effectively. Do all you can to act on invitations they leave with you.
So President Patrick has requested that some of the missionaries from my group stay one more transfer which would mean 4 weeks past the 2 years (June 26) rather than the transfer 2 weeks before which would put me home May 15. I'm not sure yet what I'll be doing since I do need to get going on work and school. Let me know if you have any thoughts. I'll let you know what I end up deciding. In any case, time is absolutely flying.
Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow

P.S. I keep leaving my camera in the car so next week I'll try to remember it so I can send pictures.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Staying in Trois Rivieres

Hey everybody,
We had quite an eventful week. There was a lot more going on than usual. We had a good zone conference on Thursday as well as interviews with President Patrick. He's got quite the prowess. He just seems like such a powerful man haha. It's cool but a bit intimidating in an interview setting. I learned a lot from the trainings which were given. We also found out we'll have a visit from one of the apostles next month! That will be an awesome experience.
Thursday night and all of Friday it dumped snow like crazy. Our weekly planning day turned into snow shoveling day. It was worth it since we were able to strengthen our relations with the members as well as show our investigators we care about them. We were pretty sore the next day though. Saturday was a big day... Marcel Croteau has been working super hard to get back into the church got baptized! He was pretty emotional as were the rest of the people there. We had a hockey game before the baptism (in the parking lot, no ice-skates) and it was the Trois Rivières branch vs the Shawinigan branch. We ended up losing by 1 but it was only because their goalie was so good. That night was transfer calls! They are supposed to start at 8:00 but ours came about ten minutes early and we were still in a lesson with Stéphane. He was freaking out when we got the call because he had been telling me for a couple weeks that he was afraid I'd be leaving. When they told us we'd be staying here Stéphane starting celebrating and clapping his hands haha. It was pretty funny. I'm excited to spend at least six more weeks here. The people are wonderful and the area is making great progress.
Sunday we had an awesome lesson with Williane, Alvanie, and Aïsha. They are the sisters from Cameroon. They are progressing super well! We brought our branch president with us to teach them and they invited us over to have a big African meal on Friday. I think they'll get baptized (knock on wood). Sunday we'll be walking with them to church to make sure they get there haha.
I'm doing well and I'm excited to keep working here. Hope everything is going well back home! Already more than half way done with February... Time flies!

Love, Elder Oxborrow

Monday, February 10, 2014

Transfers coming

Hey everybody!
It's crazy that transfer calls are already coming up again. This transfer has flown by. A mission is like a roll of toilet paper- the closer you get to the end, the faster it goes!
We had a good week this week including splits with the zone leaders, a lot of lessons with less-actives, and a lot of personal lessons as well. We've also come to a realization this week that our branch needs a lot of work and a lot of help. We've realized that before we put a lot of focus on bringing others into the church, we need to strengthen the members we already have. We've been trying to focus on that more. The branch council is strong which is a good base. It wasn't very long ago that the branch divided in two so it's still a bit of an adjustment phase (and we don't even have our own building yet). I'm enjoying Trois Rivières and I think I'll end up finishing my mission here. If I don't get transferred next week, there's no way president would transfer me when I only have 6 weeks left. We'll see what happens.
Today the senior couple took me and Elder Read out to a buffet for lunch which was pretty good. Since I'm still on my sugar fast I didn't have any dessert which made the buffet experience just a little less satisfying but it's worth it in the end!
Not a ton to report on this week but still just trucking along. Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, February 3, 2014

February in Canada!

Hey everybody!
I was sad to hear the news that Grandma Toni, probably the most loving and caring person I ever knew passed away this week. :( She was always going so strong I always just thought she'd be around forever. I wish I had been able to see her again before she passed but it'll just be a short time apart before I see her again for eternity. :) Sometimes I wonder what we'd do without the knowledge we have from the gospel.
We had a great week this week. Between working with addiction recovery, teaching lots of Africans (who have beautiful French), and being used as a psychiatrist by one of our less-actives, we have stayed pretty busy.
We have started to see a lot more real progress from some of our investigators. Yesterday we had an awesome lesson with Williane and Alvanie, two girls from Cameroon. They are so prepared to receive the Gospel it's crazy. During the lesson, they asked "Is there a church you go to or do you just do home visits?" we told them we meet at the cegep building and they are excited to come. We will be setting up baptism a date with them soon. They read multiple chapters in the Book of Mormon since the last time we were there and they're starting to recognize the spirit testifying of it. Another good lesson this week was with Pierre who is Anita's husband I wrote about last week. She was the referral we had gotten through He loves the spirit we bring and is willing to keep commitments but the main struggle for him is going to be coming to church since he's pretty involved in the church he's going to.
One person I who I've been working with since I got here in September is Stéphane. He's the less-active we've been working with on cigarettes and other things pretty much since I got here. He is an awesome guy and I've really come to love him a lot, but I didn't realize quite how much until we were at church on Sunday. He told me he didn't want me to get transferred any time soon and I told him there's a chance I'll stay here for the rest of my mission until May. He asked me for the President's phone number so he could call him and tell him to keep me here. I told him it didn't really work that way haha. It made me realize how many awesome friends I've made and how many awesome experiences I've had and really how much a mission is worth it. It's hard at times, but the lessons learned far outweigh the sacrifice. I love these people! I've made some friends who will never fade for sure.
Love you all!
Elder Oxborrow

p.s. Sometimes batman swings into our apartment.

Monday, January 27, 2014

News from Trois Rivieres

Hey family!
I can't believe it's already been another week. Time is flying by. We stayed pretty busy this week. We helped a lady in the branch install a floor in her basement. That was the first time I've used power tools on my mission haha. The next day I went on a split with Elder Boscan the new missionary in our apartment. He's a good worker and is a natural with French (plus he already speaks English and Spanish). We had some good appointments. On Thursday we had to drive into Montréal for Elder Read's doctor appointment. He has some knee troubles. He started his mission in Africa but had to go home for knee surgery. He got reassigned to Montréal and has been here since October but now it's looking like he's going to need another surgery. I feel bad for him. It would be hard with so much pulling your attention away.
Lately we have been finding and teaching tons of Africans. It's awesome how humble, open, and faithful they are. We got a referral this week for a lady named Anita from Ivory Coast. We passed by and found out her mom is a member in France. She lives with her husband Pierre and their 3 kids. They already had a Book of Mormon, a bunch of pamphlets and we also found out they used to get the Ensign. These people have been living in Trois Rivières just around the corner from where we have our church meetings for over 6 months and we didn't even know about it. The power of a referral. We had even knocked her street before but they most not have been home when we were there. Moral of the story: if you know someone who should be in contact with the missionaries who's not, refer them! We had a good lesson and we brought one of our less-actives with us to teach them. It was a good appointment and the member was strengthened as well. I'm starting to wonder if I'll finish my mission in this area. If I don't get transfer with the next transfer I'm pretty sure I'll finish here. That would mean I was here for over 8 months. We'll see what happens.
Anyway, I'm doing and feeling well and just trying to make the most of every day. Thanks for all the support! It comes from so many different people in so many different ways. Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, January 20, 2014

January in Canada

Hey everybody!
We had a fun week this week for sure. It's been weird as I get closer and closer to the end. I try not to think about it too much. It has, however, helped me really focus on the work and have a deeper desire to give it my all. Recently I've gained a testimony of not having "one foot on the boat and one on the dock". Often on my mission I've spent time thinking about what I missed from back home and how I was excited to do those things when I get home but lately I've just realized that thinking about it too much is a waste of time and it'll all be there when the time comes. For now, I'm just trying to focus on giving it my all.
My area is doing alright. We're having success in finding people to teach, but the challenge comes in helping them to keep commitments, progress, and take steps in the gospel. This week we set up an appointment to go visit a former investigator, Julie from Cameroon, and her three sisters were there too. We ended up having a great lesson with 4 very spiritual African sisters. I'm gonna miss meeting people from all over the world when I come home to Utah. It's not quite as diverse over there.
So we've been working with our less active Stéphane for a good while and helping him to quit smoking certain things. The church has published an awesome addiction recovery program to help people overcome their addictions. Elder Read and I thought it would be cool if the three of us did it together instead of just him doing it alone. I decided that at least for the rest of my mission I'm going to try to give up sweets, desserts, soda, and candy. So far it's been about a week and it's been a bit of a challenge but I've been doing alright so far. Even though our "addictions" aren't quite equal in extremity, it still gives us the opportunity to discuss our experiences together and it's been helping him out a lot. And to my family members who are doubting my ability to not eat sugar: this time it's for real! Haha.
Anyway, I'm doing well and enjoying the work. Love you all, have a great week!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, January 13, 2014

January news from T.R.

Hey everybody!
It's warm up here! After some killer cold we've been on a warm spell. It's been nice cause it's taken down some of the snow pack and melted some of the ice. I heard it's supposed to get super cold again soon though. Last year at this time I just remember pretty much freezing everytime I stepped outside and today I was ready to switch to a lighter jacket. We'll enjoy it while it lasts I guess.
So this past week was transfers! I successfully dropped off Elder Yan (it was sad) and picked up my new companion. Elder Read is from San Diego. He's a stud. He started his mission in Africa but tore his maniscus so had to go home for surgery. He got reassigned and spent 2 transfers in the YSA branch in Montréal and now he's here with me. We've been enjoying it. I'll have to write more about the area next week.
Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow

Monday, January 6, 2014

News and New Year from Trois Rivieres

Hey everybody!
I'm doing great even after a bit of a down week. We had some drama among members in the branch which caused 2 recent converts as well as an investigator to not make it to church on Sunday, but other than that we had a good week and some good lessons with our investigators.
We had transfer calls Saturday and I'm staying here but losing Elder Yan. I've loved this guy since we first met back in September and I'm a bit sad to be losing a good companion but we knew it would happen eventually. He's going to a Chinese area where his language skills are needed. He's a bit nervous since he'll be senior companion and he doesn't know how to read Chinese, just speak it. It'll be a good learning experience for him though. As for our apartment I'll be receiving Elder Read (who I don't know) as well as another team who will be joining the apartment, making it a 4-man again. Transfers are always full of mixed feelings.
I got the package from you dad, as well as a bunch of Christmas cards from family and friends. Better late than never. :)
Today the weather is pretty crummy. We had a warm spell last night and it's been raining for hours which has just put a layer of water on top of all the ice which is pretty scary.
I'm doing and feeling well. Love you all!

Elder Oxborrow