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