Meredith in Montreal

Letters and Photos from Sister/Soeur/Hermana Hanna

Month: February, 2015

Meredith’s mission update 2/23/15

Ca va mes potes?

All is well here, though the past weekend was considered one of the coldest this winter.  Canadians keep telling us that it will warm up soon, but I will believe that only when I see some of this snow melt.  Monday we had a hearty meal of Amir (I really need to stop with my Lebanese food intake, no one wants to talk about the gospel with someone who smells heavily of garlic).  I have had some good Quebecois food though, such as poutine, on other p-days.  We continued with our P-Jour, and then, in a similar manner as two weeks ago, our beloved vehicle started sputtering and spattering and overheating and then stopped.  Tuesday was spent figuring out what was wrong with it, and then we tried passing by some members and contacting at Tim Horton’s.

meredith w soeur brimhall and a member

Wednesday at District Meeting I led a discussion on the most recent mission newsletter.  Afterward, we figured out how to get onto the island again to get to the garage. We traveled in a metro car along with some vomit (definitely one of my less fragrant public transport experiences). We were able to get the car and get back in time for our Branch Council meeting. Missionaries in our stake are going to start attending Relief Society Presidency meetings and will start being assigned as Visiting teachers to less-active members, so that is quite new.

Thursday before our weekly service we made a program for a baptism on Saturday, putting to work the skills I learned making programs in my first semester at BYU-I. After service we went to the Flynn’s for dinner and then to the first part of a Relief Society activity. The activity was watching a RomCom (romantic comedy), so we definitely had to leave before we got tempted to watch the movie.

Friday was our lesson with Mario!!!! Yesssss!!! We brought Soeur Salm with us. Honestly, I think the members’ testimonies are often the most powerful in our lessons. Our lessons with Mario are half French half English, an example of just how bilingual the Quebecois are. Mario loves talking with us, loves learning, shares what he learns with his friends, but he doesn’t feel comfortable yet with coming to church or praying. He is really fun to teach, we love talking with him, and we really felt the Spirit.

Saturday was the baptism of a sister who was excommunicated and less-active for years. We had been trying to teach her for a while. Last Sunday we talked to her husband, who has always been active, and he said his wife would be baptized the following Saturday. We were so shocked. We were invited along with a few others, and it was so wonderful to see this brother baptize his wife in front of his family. The Spirit was so strong. This sister is one of my heroes.

There are 2 boys in our branch.  Xavier is 12 and a deacon and Tom is 3.  Tom wants to follow Xavier everywhere.  He follows Xavier to where the Aaronic priesthood sits, and Tom sits next to Xavier during Sacrament meeting.  Xavier plays with Tom and takes care of him.  On my mission I have come to respect and admire the priesthood more than ever before. Sunday after church we passed by members and talked about the Family Mission Plan.

I love you all!!

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Good morning!

This week has been great and full of miracles, as usual. I find that a mission makes one rather cognizant of these sorts of things, something I want to keep up after I get back.

Monday after our P-Day we had a dinner appointment with the Branch president’s family. Soeur Brimhall and I later discovered that we are the worst at bus contacting.  All those fancy Cégep students and their “forcefields” aka headphones. Tuesday we had another great lesson with Stella and got to know her daughter better.

Wednesday was our District Meeting. Oh the joys of Haitian cooking. I have decided that I want to eat the majority of my meals with plantains. After that we called Elder Hayward, the head of vehicles for the mission, and asked about the car. The call was a little disheartening, and we had another moment where we resolved ourselves to another week of no car. But then, only about 5 minutes after that call, Elder Hayward called and said our car was fixed and we could go pick it up on the island {Montreal city center} as soon as we could! With our Sister Training Leaders we found out how we could take the metro the next day. We also ate with the Bouchards, our mission leader’s family, and Soeur Bouchard offered to take us to the Longueil metro.

Thursday we departed for the metro. It has been so long since I rode on a subway, but I was able to put my metro map-reading skills I learned in Europe to good use! The other sister training leaders in Kirkland picked us up and took us to the garage! Later that night we had a dinner appointment with Soeur Lagace.

Friday we had a lesson with Ginette Delorme. She said she had been looking forward all week for her lessons from her two little angels! She even gave us little Valentine candies! She is so kind and open and so Christlike.

Saturday we learned how to make lasagna with Soeur Groux. Also, Mario called and moved up our appointment to the 20th instead of the 23rd! Prayers are answered!

Sunday after a celebration for the 1-year birthday of our branch, we went and saw Mary. She is a kind, elderly woman who isn’t really interested in the message but who definitely needs service, so we are excited to help her.

I love you all and miss you!

P.S. I speak French all the time! In this part of Quebec there are mainly Franco-phones. And there aren’t too many English or bilingual schools so essentially everyone has to learn French 🙂

Sacrifice brings blessings

This week:

On Tuesday we had splits with the Sister Training Leaders. Sister Guevara stayed with me in La Prairie and Sister Brimhall went to Longueil. We passed by less-active members and were able to meet again with Stella, our recent convert. The Spirit was so strong in that lesson, but it always is when we meet with people who are anxiously trying to do the right thing, like Stella is. Soeur Guevara is on her last transfer, and she’s trying so hard to improve her area as much as she can before she leaves. I hope that I will be like that at the end of my mission — throughout my whole mission actually.

Wednesday after District Meeting we had a cool experience. While Soeur Brimhall was figuring out bus schedules I was calling less-active members. We were having some success with that so I wanted to keep going, but I kept having the feeling I should look through the book of people who had met with the missionaries in the past. I thought I should flip to a random page and pick out one name before we had to start planning. I looked through the names and thought maybe I should call Mary. I called the number and a woman answered the phone in English. After I introduced myself, she said “Well why haven’t you called me sooner? I’ve been trying to get a hold of you for months, but I lost your number!” What? She lives way out in the campagne, in the smallest town, St. Mathieu-de-Laprairie. We set up an appointment for Saturday.

On Thursday we had dinner with the Flynns after doing a service activity. The Quebecois are very healthy for the most part. I have had more tofu here in the past few months than I have had my whole life previous.

Friday we met with a less active member named Ginette. She’s very kind but sees our lessons as more of a Bible study. We’ll try to make it a weekly thing to supplement her Bible study with the Book of Mormon.

Saturday we had scheduled to see Mary but sadly no one could give us a ride. We’ll figure something out for visiting Mary this week. We also had a lesson scheduled with another less-active family, but they canceled at the door after we had secured the Branch President and his wife to come with us. It ended up being ok though, as we met with another less active member.

Still no news on our car.  There seem to be a lot of accidents in this mission, probably because of the weather. IT HAS BEEN SNOWING LIKE CRAZY.  We don’t actually walk, we plow through the snow. My thighs were killing me after an hour of walking through a 6 foot snowbank.

On Sunday we were singing the hymn Reverently and Meekly Now. The last verse is my favorite. In French it says, “Dans les cieux avec douceur, j’intercede en ta faveur. je suis ton plus sur ami, mon amour est infini. Sois toujours obeissant, doit, fervent, et vigilant, sois constant et plein d’ardeur, pour que je suis ton sauveur.”  {English translation:  At the throne I intercede; For thee ever do I plead. I have loved thee as thy friend, With a love that cannot end. Be obedient, I implore, Prayerful, watchful evermore, And be constant unto me, That thy Savior I may be.}

They are the words of a caring older brother imploring us to follow Him. I love the Savior. Nothing can give us more relief or help in time of need, nothing can make us happier, than following the example of Jesus Christ. I love you all!
Meredith

Meredith wrote a note to her brother Christopher this week about how to prepare for a mission:
“My tips for Pre-Mish:
1. Memorize the “Scripture Mastery” scriptures from the Old testament, the New Testament, The Book of Mormon and from Church History.  Here’s a link to 100 of these scriptures:  https://www.lds.org/manual/book-of-mormon-seminary-teacher-manual-2013/appendix/lesson-166?lang=eng
2. Watch “The District” Seasons 1 & 2 (A reality show about missionaries teaching people):  https://www.lds.org/callings/missionary/the-district?lang=eng
3. Learn how to be a good friend — learn to listen, accept criticism, and stand up for yourself.
4. Go out teaching with the missionaries
5. Learn family search.org — a lot of missionary work is also helping people with genealogy. https://familysearch.org/
6. Gain a strong testimony of Jesus Christ if that’s all you can do before leaving.  Actually this is the most important.  A strong testimony of Him is more powerful than anything else.”

Fender Bender

Alright! Hello! I can’t believe I am back to another Monday because some of these days felt so long I thought I was backtracking.

Our Monday was a typical P-Day, including the requisite Lebanese food and shopping for groceries.

Tuesday after slogging through the morning as we had been for the past week we realized something had to change. I asked for a priesthood blessing from the elders and then Soeur Brimhall got one. We felt rejuvenated and ready to conquer anything thanks to the wonderful priesthood! So we set off to deliver thank you notes to members who had fed us. We were at an intersection and I was looking to the side of the car at a Videotron. Soeur Brimhall asked me what I was looking at and I told her that I was wondering why Canada still had video rental places (random and silly, I know). The light turned green and the car in front of us went. Another car stopped in front of it and so it stopped. We crashed into the back of the car in front of us.

While at first it looked like it was just the outside of the car that was damaged we found out later when the car kept stuttering and stopping that something was wrong internally. The next day we inched our way into a Monsieur Muffler and found out that the radiator, the heater, and something else had gotten punctured. The mission office arranged for a tow truck to pick up the car and the Lemoyne sisters drove us home. No one got hurt, of course, but our future is a little uncertain because if Soeur Brimhall gets her driving privileges revoked one of us could get transferred out.

On Thursday we walked two hours to another city (our area is about 8 cities) for service, and then two hours back. However, the difficulty was mended through chocolate and prayer. On Friday we walked to members’ homes in our city after walking to get a bus pass.  Walking is fun though, it feels very old-school missionary, like Brigham Young or Samuel Smith.  We are worried though for tonight because it is snowing so much it just looks like swirling fog.

I love you all and hope you are well!


Here’s a cartoon Meredith sent to her sister.

translation:  Nous sommes les missionnaires = we are missionariespenguin