Meredith in Montreal

Letters and Photos from Sister/Soeur/Hermana Hanna

Meredith’s mission update Mar 14, 2016

This was the last week of transfer. Hard to believe I only have 10 weeks left on my mission. But I try not to think about it because I refuse to lose pace!  Monday for p-day we visited the famous St. Joseph`s Oratory. It`s beautiful. The mission myth is that everyone who serves on the island who visits it gets transferred, but with only a transfer (6 weeks) and a month I felt safe.

On Tuesday a member came with us to a lesson that ended up being cancelled. We asked her if she wouldn’t mind coming with us to drop by to visit some other people. We ended up being driven around Montréal for the last part of the day by this kind member, visiting people that we had been wanting to visit but who are hard to get to without a car with GPS. It was so nice. On Sunday the same thing happened. Members who love and care about missionary work really are the best. I want to be a really faithful member missionary so badly when I get back.
Wednesday we had another training meeting and after that we had an exchange. For this one we were going to the other area instead of having the exchange in our area. I was the one that went to Laval. It was fun to be back on the North Shore, at least for a day. As a side note, I have been compiling recipes from my mission to use later on, and this exchange provided me with a couple more so I was pretty happy about that as well. Thursday we had a couple appointments after Weekly Planning. Due to some recent things that happened in the mission we are on hold for talking to people in the metro. It is not permanent but it is a little odd to just talk with your companion every time you enter a metro station. I love you all so much!

Omni 1:26 And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel, and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/omni/1.26?lang=eng

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Meredith mission update Mar 7, 2016

imageI don`t have a lot of time to write today, but I just want to share one experience that I had on Friday. I went with my companion to an appointment with a mission doctor that she had scheduled at one of the chapels in Montréal. I was all alone in the Relief Society room, which is an interesting situation for a missionary as normally you are constantly with your companion. I was sitting there and had a lot on my mind.  But after a while I realized I had to do something to pass the hour so I started playing the piano. Almost right after I started playing, a girl walked in.  I couldn`t really tell who it was at first, but she gasped, and I realized it was one of the great members I had served with in one of my old areas. I was so happy because I had been wanting to see her and her family for some time but on a mission it is not usually manageable. She told me her mom was there too, and so I ran out and there she was! It was such a beautiful reunion, and I was so grateful for it.  Every time I think about it it brings a smile to my face.  I know that God cares about us, even though we are imperfect and go astray but he is mindful of us, always!

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2005/04/the-tender-mercies-of-the-lord?lang=eng

PS Meredith didn’t send new photos this week so I included 2 from last spring.

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Meredith’s mission update of Feb 29, 2016

Officially got to 16 months on my mission this week!

Monday, for p-day, my companion and I ate at a great Montreal smoked meat sandwhich place and hung out in Old Montréal until we did our emails at the location we had reserved next to the mission office. We visited the Cathedral in Old Montréal, and it is beautiful. A lot of the images inside are of the first Catholic missionaries in Québec, and so it was cool to see that as a current missionary in Québec, albeit of a different branch of Christianity.

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Tuesday we had interviews with the mission president. We were on exchange,  which means that we worked with different companions, and got a bit lost around Montréal (because that always has to happen on exchange). It would have been a nice scenic drive around downtown if we weren`t so stressed.

Wednesday we had a normal day of appointments after District Meeting.
Thursday we did weekly planning and had some meetings. Friday was another exchange after mission leadership Council.  After the meeting we had lunch and cookies made by Sister Patrick. Saturday we stopped by to see some members and investigators.

Sunday we had Church and a delicious Haitian dinner with members.  We are speaking a lot of French and hearing back a lot of Haitian Creole.  We have a pretty equal mix of Quebecois and different immigrant groups of Africans, Latinos, Haitians, etc (so the food is amazing!).

We are still trying to find more people to teach, so please pray that we can find them. 🙂

I love you all!

Mosiah 4:9-10

9 Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

10 And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them.

Meredith’s mission update Feb 22, 2016

Tuesday I did my first training presentation as a Sister Training Leader at Zone Training. The topic was “Permanent Change” so it had a lot to do with repentance and making ourselves better permanently rather than just hearing a good lesson, pushing forward with greater resolve for the next two days and then falling back to old habits.  I think it turned out well. The rest of the day I was on exchange and exchanges are fun when you know what you are doing and where you are going, but when you don’t things are a little hard. We came quite late to a dinner appointment due to mixed up buses.
Wednesday we had a great correlation meeting with our mission president and the stake president to discuss missionary work in the area. Thursday we had Weekly Plannning and dinner at a recent convert’s home. She lives in a house where people from around the world pay to learn French, so it was a fun crowd. That Sunday a Brazilian couple that was at the dinner came to church! On Friday we were on exchange again (so many exchanges!) and we taught some great people. Saturday and Sunday we visited former investigators. Sunday we also had a great lesson with a new investigator who has the desire to be baptised. He would drive by the temple in Haiti and could feel the Spirit there.

I love you all!

https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/topics/repentance-and-forgiveness?lang=eng

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Stained glass of the first catholic missionaries in Quebec

 

Meredith’s mission update Feb 15, 2016

Again I’m using a French keyboard.  Hopefully it will actually let me write coherently.
On Monday we bought our grocery caddy, one of those hip grocery carriers that every Montréal mom has. We felt pretty cool until it broke on the stairs of the metro and two kind passers-by helped us bandage it together with ripped plastic grocery bags. image

Tuesday we did a lot of pass-bys of former people that had been taught, talking with people on the way.
Wednesday we had a meeting and we met with the Relief Society president to talk about how we could help the women in the ward. Thursday we planned and had a great lesson with an investigator. Friday I was on exchange with another sister and the whole day I was feeling kind of sick. By the end of the night I wasn`t doing too well so we went home a little earlier. Saturday we went to a baptism with an investigator and Sunday was Church, so obviously it was awesome! Happy Valentine`s Day to you all! I love you, and I love my mission and everything that I am learning. I often don`t feel like I have changed, but I do know that I have learned a lot and that I love people more!

https://www.lds.org/scriptures/bofm/moro/7.47

Moroni 7:47 But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

 

 

Meredith’s mission update Feb 8, 2016

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View from my new apartment in Montreal

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Saying goodbye to Elder and Sister Payne, our couple missionaries.

I can’t believe I made it through this crazy week and am here to write about it in a public library in Montréal.

Last Monday for p-day I planned to pack for my transfer, but right when studies ended one of the sister training leaders called and said she was planning a surprise for her companion who was going home. Of couse we couldn’t resist participating so we immediately headed to downtown Ottawa to see Winterlude, the big ice festival where they have ice sculptures and freeze the canal (some photos of the sculptures were posted in last week’s email). The only issue is that since this has been a very mild winter many of the ice sculptures have melted and the canal became very mushy. However, the beaver tail stand was still up so we got one of those. Afterwards I realized that I had never been out to eat at the famous ByWard market, so we got lunch with some other sisters there. By the time this all ended, we had to send emails then go to a lesson. In summary, no packing got done besides what was already finished. I have been transferred three other times so I know that packing needs to start almost the moment you get the call.
Tuesday we had rapid fire lessons ending with dinner at my favorite Chinese place. And Wednesday at 5:30 am we left for the bus station. I like leaving super early, it makes you not really realize you are leaving because you are so tired. This time the way we did transfers was diferent. Instead of all meeting up at the mission office then going to our areas, we were told to head directly to our new area, mine being the middle of the island of Montréal. I had two suitcases and two bags and my companion who was training and going to the island as well to pick up her new companion was able to help me out at the beginning with my luggage as she didn`t have any. But then they left me in the metro to wait for my new companion who met me with her own three suitcases and two bags. We were left alone in the metro to transport all five suitcases and four bags to our new apartment. This was a struggle, but kind people in the metro helped us and one man even stopped his car and asked us if he could run our luggage to the apartment. Usually we would say no, but in this case we were about to pass out so we accepted.

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Lots of luggage for 2 sisters to carry 

The next few days we just tried to get our bearings in the city. We are opening a new area so there are no established people to work with. But that`s ok, we are seeing lots of miracles. The Lord is truly blessing us!

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Super cool grocery thing for shopping on p-day

 

Meredith’s mission update Jan 31, 2016

 

On Monday, faced with the impending transfer calls, we did some of the last-minute things I wanted to do in Ottawa in case I got transferred out of Ottawa.

We went to my favorite store in the city where they only have products made in Ottawa then took the city train to take photos next to the canal. Later we had a night walk around a nature park in Gatineau.image
Tuesday a kind RM member took us out to a Mexican restaurant. It has been the first Mexican restaurant I have been to on my mission, which is a stark difference from my life before Canada. We also had a lesson with our investigator who is getting baptized in two weeks!
Wednesday we had a lunch after district meeting for our district leader who is going home. I made my famous meatballs ( my family knows what I am talking about hehe). We got lost on our way to an appointment but ended up finding a great potential investigator. So thankful for the way the Lord changes our plans for us so that we can do His work better!
Thursday we served at Ottawa Mission and after had sushi for dinner with our wonderful investigator 🙂 Friday we were busy teaching lessons all day. Saturday we had our the transfer call. I will be going back to Quebec, this time to Montreal. Like all changes it is bittersweet but I am happy to go wherever the Lord wants me to serve. Sunday I took a lot of pictures! I love you all, and I love that we have so many opportunities to experience change and be changed in our lives!

 

 

Meredith’s mission update Jan 25, 2016

Monday we did the usual things.  However, heading to an appointment after Preparation Day ended, I looked behind me after I got off the bus and my companion was gone! I spent a frantic 10 minutes looking for her, sat at the bus stop alone, then decided to head to the appointment and ask the recent convert if I could use her phone.  Someday walking alone will be normal again. I got to the library on campus and there she was! She had gone the opposite direction after getting off the bus, and then she couldn’t find me. Another crazy thing this week was when we were rushing out of the house to get to an appointment. We went to the library to check the address, went downtown, and then at the bus stop I realized I wasn’t wearing a skirt.  I was wearing a shirt and leggings (to keep my legs warm) under my knee-length coat, but missing was the skirt to complete my missionary outfit.  🙂 We quickly stopped at the mall and got a dress then went to the appointment.  Otherwise this week we taught some lessons and stopped by to visit members.  There was also a missionary broadcast, which was great, and we served at the homeless shelter.  Then we had a zone conference –that most hallowed of days that comes only once every two transfers:  Eight hours of edification, a free lunch (in this case there is such a thing), and mail!
I love you all!

Meredith’s mission update January 18, 2016

On Monday we had a pretty usual P-Day, except that we also got some Beaver Tails. I have found that all the heavy food at the beginning of my mission that I could only have about once every three months is now becoming very easy for me to eat often. I don’t know what that means…
Later we had Family home evening with a person we’re teaching.
Tuesday my companion had a doctors appointment and then we stopped by to see some people.  Wednesday we had some good lessons and spent time talking with students around the uOttawa campus. Everyone is very nice and busy. But then so was I as a university student.
Thursday we did service at the Ottawa Mission and Friday we had a packed schedule with a lot of lessons. It was a great day.
Saturday we had a lesson earlier in the morning, then a dinner with the family of a former member of the YSA ward. He’s over 30 now so “aged out” of the YSA Ward 🙂  Sunday there was a potluck and a re-broadcast of the CES fireside with President Nelson and his wife speaking. I love you all!
Meredith

Mission update Jan 11, 2016

The end of my mission is seeming more and more near…I got a call today from the mission office about what airport I am flying into when I go home.  This phone call is known to missionaries here as the “death call.” My sister training leader told me to expect it soon, but I was thinking like in-the-next-month soon.
This week was a great week. I feel so much love for the people here and so grateful for every day that I can spend serving them. On Monday we went to see a potential investigator at what we thought was his apartment, but it turned out to be some sort of Catholic shelter for refugees. They told us he had left earlier, away from the shelter and wasn’t allowed to come back. Utterly perplexed, we went home.
Tuesday we had a great lesson with a member who is coming to church again.  We planned a movie night to see “Meet the Mormons” with an investigator at a member’s house, which was fun. We had lots of junk food so it felt like we were at a very edifying video party.
Wednesday we stopped by to see several former investigators. Thursday we finally met the potential investigator we tried to see Monday from the Catholic shelter.  He was leaving that day to move to Montreal. It was a great lesson though, and he is already in contact with missionaries in the YSA there.  Later we went to Ottawa Mission to serve food. The spaghetti was delicious. Friday we went on exchanges. I went to Gatineau and my companion stayed in Ottawa. I had probably some of the best poutine of my mission on that exchange. It was called “ptit cochon” which means “little pig.”  I don’t know if that is making reference to the pulled pork on the poutine or the fact that you look like a pig eating it. In any case, it was delicious.
Saturday I came back to Ottawa, always good to be back!
I love you all!
Meredith