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.