Tuesday, February 14, 2017

February 14,2017 Email :D



A 2 hour flight delay, 4 hours in immigration, and some waiting around here and there later...I arrived in Vancouver. :) President Burt personally came to pick us up from the airport!! He is an amazing man!! I love him so much already and he has already made us all promise he will be at our weddings and big life events from now on! XD We all were able to have personal interviews with him, and let me tell you...that man is called of God. He will send me exactly where I need to be with who I need to be with. I trust him completely!! Speaking of who I need to be with....my new companion! My new companion hails from Houston Texas, and is named Sister Thurber. (Rhymes with Gerber. Love it!) She has been out 9 months! In fact, Saturday was her exact 9 month mark! She is a sweetheart and is teaching  me all I need to know to be a successful missionary here in Kelowna. Also, she eats rice and eggs for every meal. OH! I'm in West Kelowna/West Bank! (pronounced cologne-a or kill-own-a) My area covers pretty much all of West Kelowna and a town called Peachland. And it is all one ward! Shows how many people here are LDS!! (soon to change, right? ;) ) It is absolutely beautiful here!! Mountains surrounding us, right on the edge of a lake and all covered in snow! There are so many people here with European accents! So that's always fun. :) Oh! And yes, people here do say "ay" and just about everyone has a dog. EVERYONE! 

I love being a missionary :) I mean, there are hard moments just about every day where I may feel discouraged and/or physically tired, but my heart is always warm and I always have a prayer in my heart! A cool experience: On my first official day in the field, we were knocking doors and when a lady opened her door, her dog (I'm telling you they're everywhere!) got out and we helped her chase it down! We were able to get it in the house, then teach her the entire restoration on her doorstep! She acknowledged that when she was closer to Christ and going to church, she was happier and has more direction in her life. She said she has always been searching for the true church. I wanted to do a dance!! And hug her and shake her and be like HERE IT IS!!! CONGRATULATIONS!! YOU FOUND IT!!! But of course I just smiled and bore testimony. :) We were able to give her a pamphlet on the Restoration, and a Book of Mormon AND make a return appointment! We will be teaching her on Thursday if all goes to plan! It was such a special experience for me to have! We have had days since then without even one person interested in hearing our message, but the Lord knew she was ready and I'm so grateful we were led to her! 

Another really cool experience, we were knocking doors (we do that a lot) and it was about time for us to head back home. We knocked on a door and a guy, maybe in his 50s answered the door. He was all embarrassed, not wearing a shirt and not "having his teeth in," but he talked to us. He had rolling stones blasting in the back, and at first I was just expecting another "no thanks, I'm atheist" or something. But the Lord loves all of His children! He talked to us for a minute about the weather and such, we started in a bit about our message, and then he interrupted is. He started telling us how he has cancer and a surgery on Friday for it. He's a single dad of a 14 year old daughter and that he isn't ever open to religion or God, but that is kind of is now because of his situation. He asked us to pray for him! We prayed with him right on that doorstep, gave him a pamphlet, promised to pray for him every day and got permission to come visit him again after his surgery. He may not know it, but God is preparing him and I am so grateful for that experience to learn for myself. :) 

A little plug for Tim Horton...AMAZING donuts. :) Which reminds me...I've been keeping a list of "Just Canadian things" :D 
- they call it a speed "hump" not a speed "bump"
- It is a "washroom" not a "bathroom"
- There is a store called "Dollarama" I laugh every time :)
- The letter "Z" is pronounced "Zed" not "Zee"
- They call beanies (the hat) tooks/tukes
- They call dinner rolls "buns"
- they love ketchup chips. Which apparently just taste like ketchup.

more to come :) 

For those who are curious, my Pdays are actually on Mondays, but yesterday was a Canadian Holiday (Family Day!) so we have Pday today. :) 

Well!! That's just about everything!! Please know that I know Heavenly Father is always looking out for all of us!! We are all placed exactly where we need to be with who we need to be with. We are all children of God, with a purpose here on earth!! The gospel is so true!!! 

Sister Alissa Van Valkenburg

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