Meredith in Montreal

Letters and Photos from Sister/Soeur/Hermana Hanna

Month: January, 2015

Greetings from the South Shore

Dear family and friends!

The weather this week wavered around a balmy 1 degree Celcius (about 34 degrees F), so talking with people was wonderful. There is a park near our apartment and they transformed part of the nature path into an ice-skating path. On Saturday there were so many people there, so many cute families teaching their children how to ice skate. In California ice-skating seemed to just be something that people did for their 7th birthdays, but here everyone has been playing hockey or ice-skating since they were toddlers.

AmirMonday as usual we ate at Amir, a Lebanese restaurant in the mall. We had a Target run, perhaps our last as apparently they are shutting down all of the Targets in Canada? Alas.

We had so many dinners with members! I love them all so much!! I love all their families and all their children.  They are so inspiring to me! Also they all cook really well. Often they remind me of my family, so it feels like being at home.

Thursday we had an Enrichment Night where we did yoga. I had forgotten the comfortable nature of pants. Before then we had service. A man accused me of being brainwashed and manipulated by my religion, nothing new really. I actually enjoyed the experience.

I saw that I made it on the program at church! I am so honored! I love my ward, and I am so happy that I was able to be raised with such amazing people to look up to.

I’ve been reading some talks in French for study, and it seems that I’ve read a lot on peace. When the man at service was going on and on about how I have no freedom, that I have been restricted from “real life” for all of my twenty years, I felt peace knowing that this mission was my choice, and my decision to be a faithful member of the church is also my choice. And I am so happy I made that choice.

I love you all so much!

Your “brainwashed” associate,

Soeur Meredith Hanna

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Cette Semaine

Goodness, another week over? This week consisted of finding activities upon finding activities. At one point we drew an entire Plan of Salvation diagram in the snow at a park in Sainte Catherine.

On Monday after P-Day we taught a recent convert named Stella the Plan of Salvation.envelope cartoon  She is so amazing, and reads the Sunday School manual on the way to work and the Book of Mormon at night!

Tuesday was a little disheartening. At a certain point rejection upon rejection gets to you and you sort of break. But after talking through it with Soeur Brimhall and having some Tim Horton’s we were able to get back to work. Wednesday was knocking and contacting again.

Thursday was my first official mission president interview. It was nice to talk about the area and ways we can do a better job of finding people to teach. He suggested instead of teaching 5 member families all the lessons to just teach all the members one lesson and show them the hastening of the work video with Neil L. Anderson. We then went and served at the food bank. The lady I was working with said that she can always tell who the Mormons are because “they’re just gorgeous!” Always nice to be flattered when I am wearing about five layers of bulky clothing and am dead tired.

Friday we volunteered for the Red Cross then had weekly planning. Saturday was transfer calls, no surprise I’m staying in La Prairie!

Sunday was church. I have never realized how much I need church as much as on my mission. The peace I feel no matter the lesson, and just the knowledge that I’m where I’m supposed to be for at least 3 hours in the day gives me help for the rest of the week. At the end I can walk outside knowing that I can face whatever may lie ahead.

I love you all! Keep sharing the gospel!

Meredith


Meredith wrote that she still isn’t able to upload any photos because of the computers they use at the mall.  In the meantime I’ll continue to improvise with her cute drawings. 🙂

Cold to Serve

This week has ups and downs, but what is mission life, or life in general, without them? We got dropped by the family we taught the week before. I went to a training meeting at the mission office where the president spoke to us. I realized that after having limited people to talk to, I had begun to lose my complete faith in the area that I had when I first started out. It’s winter, and that means something completely different here than it does in California. In California winter is when the girls wear short-shorts with Uggs instead of Converse, but here no one goes outside, and it is difficult to talk with those Eskimos who are outside.

One thing that always brings me up is church. I was sitting in sacrament meeting, and I just felt like I belonged. I’ve never felt more like I was needed in one place at one time, and I’ve never felt more love for a group of people. It’s freezing (as in, actually below freezing level) outside, and I have had to pound on the car to break the thick layer of ice congealed on it, but I love this place!

We had one lesson this week with a rather interesting man named Thomas. He tried to convince us he was one of the Twelve Apostles in a former life. It was sad, because he is an elderly man living alone, and we were the only ones who would listen to him.

It was so fun seeing my friends from my MTC district at the training meeting. I almost cried when I saw Hermanas Fox and Meldrum, I had missed them so much! They always make me feel so much better about what I’m going through, something I always needed in the MTC.

We’re going to try and teach missionary lessons to members in an effort to get to know them and practice our French, so that will start this week with a part-member family.

I love you all so much and hope you are all doing well!

Bises!

Meredith


Dear friends and family, in Meredith’s mission farewell talk, she talked about miracles and that they still exist today.  Please join our family in praying that Meredith and her companion will experience miracles in being able to find the people in her area who are ready to accept the gospel.

FYI, tomorrow the forecast for Montreal lists a high of 0 degrees fahrenheit and a low of -11 degrees F.

In letters Meredith sent to her family this week, I gleaned these little tidbits that I don’t think she would mind me sharing with everybody:

  • Yes my companion and I devoured the holly clusters (thank you Grandma Barbara)!
  • I think I might actually be transitioning to a Quebecois accent. I can understand most everyone and all of church and videos!
  • In Canada, everybody buys their milk in a bag, and they put it in a pitcher and snip off a part of the bag so they can pour out the milk.
  • Members have told us it’s the culture to sort of hibernate from December to March.
  • There are a lot of Swiss and French immigrants here, so I still hear a lot of fancy French! Also there is a family and the dad was a bishop in Neuchatel Switzerland while you were on your mission there! His name is Bishop Groux, he was so interested that you served in Suisse!
  • We do live in our coats! We are cold all the time, I don’t even notice it most of the time, and then I realize I’ve lost feeling in the majority of my body and we have to go back inside!
  • My toes have actually frozen together on a couple occasions, but it’s not because I had bad gear, it’ what happens to everyone. We can only spend like 2 hours outside at a time.
  • Here’s a cartoon Meredith drew in a letter to her brother Spencer (she wrote “Frostbited” referring to an online video we’ve all seen).  Double click on this link to enlarge the cartoon.
  • frostbite

Many are Cold but Few are Frozen

IMG_3118Canada’s variety of weather types has definitely made itself known. Freezing rain, snow, and wind that rattles our apartment have been going on for the past week.

On Tuesday we had  probably my busiest day out in the field. Two lessons and people to see all day. We had a brunch with a member family and a family that was interested in learning more about the church. After eating we shared the message of the Restoration, and the couple asked questions throughout. They are both searching after truth, and we hope we can meet with them again. We contacted a woman who was at church with her less-active friend, and she invited us over. She is Sri Lankan and we hope we can get her a Book of Mormon in her language. We passed by some members for the rest of the day.

This week we have been focusing on how we can strengthen and help the members. We made individualized notes for all of them and gave each family a different scripture. As we passed by we asked if we could share a short message on Joseph Smith. We know so many of the members have amazing testimonies of him already, but it is always so nice to reaffirm simple truths that we take for granted. As I’ve been studying Jesus the Christ, I’ve begun to see Him as less of a distant figure and more as my friend and my brother. Its so wonderful to learn more about Him and see how He talked to people and brought them to know the truth.

We discovered a nature walk where we can walk and talk to people (which is a big deal because not a lot of people want to walk anywhere outside, unless it’s to walk their dog). By the end of three hours I could neither feel my knees, my toes, my mouth or my cheeks.

I hope you are all staying warm wherever you are this week!

I love you all!

Meredith