Thursday, December 8, 2016

Week 44 - Calgary


Hace un poco frio aqui y me gusta:

NO WAY!!!!??? Elder Jared Reinen is going to the Philippines and speaking Tagalog! That's so crazy! Wow I am so excited for him and he leaves January 11th? It has already almost been a year since I left! Time is flying so fast. His mission is like the opposite of mine. IT'S SOOOO COLD HERE NOW!!!! It started to snow so much during church yesterday and its like -13 celsius, don't know what that is in fahrenheit but it's cold! I am loving it so much and it actually feels and looks like Christmas - haha. It's so funny too, because other missionaries just laugh at me because I am freaking out because it's so cold and so much snow and they are just like "this is nothing! Just wait haha." Also I don't think I told you but I am driving again. I have seen like 3 accidents already and see people sliding around all over the place and tires just spinning. This is Elder Sorvaris 2nd winter year so he knows what's up. He's got my back but still pray for us so we will be safe. Don't worry mom and dad, I will drive real slow and safely.

Alright so I have time to tell one story, so these past 2 weeks have been pretty rough because some of our investigators dropped us and Carmen and Jorge and their family have been really sick with the flu and our other appointments have been canceling. So we have been able to spend a lot more time finding but we havent been able to find anyone interested and have experienced some people rejecting us pretty hard. So after like 3 full days of rejection of course you dont feel as great but then there is always something that lifts you back up. So Elder Sorvari and I downloaded all of the talks from this past General Conference and listened to them all in Spanish (I can actually understand it now! :D). "El gozo y la supervivencia espiritual" by president Elder Russell M. Nelson. As I was listening to it I thought of all the troubles I have had learning Spanish and wanting to be able to be fluent in the beginning and not being able to and just feeling super sad because I could not understand the people here and I just wanted to help them come unto Christ and I felt that I couldn't. Also all the other hard times during my mission but as I was listening to the talk I felt the Spirit super strongly and these thoughts kept coming into my mind that its alright, your life is centered on Jesus Christ, as long as you are having troubles or trials and continue to press froward then you are growing and that is what Heavenly Father wants. Then I really felt the Spirit say to me that throughout all my mission I have had a deep joy in my soul and no matter what happens or doesnt happen, I will have this joy forever if I continue to live a Christ centered life as a member of His church. I love this quote by President Nelson "Cuando centramos nuestra vida en Jesucristo y en Su Evangelio, podemos sentir gozo independientemente de lo que esté sucediendo —o no esté sucediendo— en nuestra vida." This joy is really like no other and you can only experience it and have it with you forever if you live a Christlike life as a member of His church because you will have the gift of the Holy Ghost as a constant companion. Then yesterday in fast and testimony meeting one of the testimonies was centered on this talk by President Nelson. It was amazing and then last night during the Christmas Devotional when Elder Henry B. Eyring spoke I was thinking of yall and then the same thoughts and feeling from the Holy Ghost flooded into me and I felt joy. No matter where you are in your life or what you are going through you can always have this joy with you. You just have to follow Christ.

I love all of y'all so much and hope and pray that y'all have this joy with you at all times. If you don't then I know what you can do to receive it. Live the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't have much time now but I want y'all to know that I am loving it here serving even though it can be hard sometimes because I have this joy with me and I want to share it with others! It's getting super close to Christmas!!! Can't wait to see y'all again and talk and laugh together!  time to send some pics :)))) 


Merry Christmas!!

Elder Sorvari and me out in the cold.

slip, sliding...

Rene and me


Friday, December 2, 2016

Week 43 - Calgary


Transferencias y la Navidad esta aqui!! :D

I am staying here and I got a new companion!! His name is Elder Jared Sorvari and he is from California. So yeah I will jump right in and start off with transfers! It's been such a crazy week. Lots of stories to tell but not enough time. So like I have said in the past the Spanish program of missionaries here are pretty close to each other and since we just have 2 areas to go to we all like to guess where each of us will go. It's fun and I have been right a couple of times but not this time! So I am staying here in the Spanish branch and Elder Sorvari came down from the Spanish Ward which is in the north part of Calgary. And get this! He has been on his mission for 20 months and has never been to the branch! So crazy, he was in Lethbridge for a little bit but now President Miles closed Lethbridge for Spanish missionaries for a while. Anyways he was in the ward forever and it's just like me with the branch. I have been in the branch all my mission! I love it so much though. The members are incredible and now I get to still teach Carmen and Jorge and hopefully see them get baptized this month. So happy I am here with Elder Sorvari.

So here is a funny story. We had our last lesson with René on Tuesday, we were going to have a lesson with Carmen and Jorge and bring René with us to the lesson but Carmen and Jorge never answered the phone. So we just taught René at his house and when we were talking to him about bringing him to lessons with us we were saying "yeah you can bring your new scriptures too an use them and help us invite others to come unto Christ and repent and have faith in Him" and then somehow it got to him acting like he was picking up his scriptures that we got him and they're the huge ones and he raises them above his head saying "Arrepiéntanse, Arrepiéntanse!!" slamming the book on their heads. We started to die laughing and René was like "noooo es una broma." But yeah that's what René will do if we bring him to lessons. He is so funny and awesome. After we stopped joking around we taught him all about  chapter 8 and 11 of 1 Nephi in the Book of Mormon which is the vision that of the tree of life that Lehi had. He loved it so much and it was such a spiritual lesson. It's amazing how much I have learned from René even when I'm teaching him. He just has so much faith and has changed so much and still is changing and learning. He definitely has a repentant broken heart and a contrite spirit. At the end we shared 1 Nefi 8:11-12. "Y aconteció que me adelanté y comí de su fruto; y percibí que era de lo más dulce, superior a todo cuanto yo había probado antes. Sí, y vi que su fruto era blanco, y excedía a toda blancura que yo jamás hubiera visto. Y al comer de su fruto, mi alma se llenó de un gozo inmenso; por lo que deseé que participara también de él mi familia, pues sabía que su fruto era preferible a todos los demás." The tree of life represents the love of God and when we eat the fruit we are living the gospel and we feel the amazing peace and joy that comes from living the gospel. We invited René to share the gospel with all his family and if we could meet with them too and he said they all are supportive of him and how he was baptized and has changed but they just aren't interested really in the church. That is always hard to hear and then Elder Tate shared some of his experience because he is the only member in his family and they weren't supportive of him joining the church. As time has gone by his family are more supportive now and Rene really loved hearing that. Then we talked some about the Atonement of Jesus Christ and really how He makes it all possible, being able to share the gospel and live it. Its really amazing how every time we talk about the Atonement of Jesus Christ, the Spirit really comes into the lesson strong. So I just want to invite y'all this week to talk about the Atonement and study some scriptures and talks about it, especially "The Atonement and the Value of One Soul," by Elder M. Russell Ballard.

I really have so much more to tell but I just want to say this, that if we really are focusing on living a Christ centered life and always learning of His Atonement then we will have so much peace and love come into our lives and all the little problems we deal with everyday will just go away and when a big trial comes you will be able to really turn to the Savior for comfort and feel the love of God. When we do this Christ lifts us up and gives us strength. We just have to let him by following the gospel. I love y'all so much and can't believe its already December and I get to Skype with y'all on Christmas Day!! I am so excited and I love Christmas like you Chrissy haha. There are Christmas lights all over the place and we started listening to Christmas music and I love it! I will send some pics of the lights. Its so cool how we celebrate Christmas because of Christ. He is the light of the world and I love the new Christmas video the church put out on mormon.org. We all have the light of Christ.

Love, Elder Proctor


Stylin' in Calgary

Sister Grange with photobomber

Tri-panionship no more :(

Sweet decorated house (they weren't interested)

Working at the soup kitchen





Saturday, November 26, 2016

Week 42 - Calgary



FELIZ DIA DE ACCION DE GRACIAS :D HAPPY THANKSGIVING (No subject)

Alright so like always I will jump right into it! So it is getting SUPER cold here now!!! And right now it has only gotten to -6 so I just can not wait for -30 or -40! haha just kidding so crazy. So last Tuesday I got pretty sick, maybe from the cold. I got some kind of flu I think, I was super weak and my body ached and pretty bad stomach and head ache. So I was in bed all morning and tried to work in the afternoon but it didn't really workout so I had a good amount of time that I thought about y'all and just home in general and all the sweet, loving, and awesome memories we have. I really had such an amazing childhood because of you mom and dad, for basing our house and life on the gospel and sacrificing things to do things in the church and help people and really love the gospel. I owe everything to y'all and really can't repay what y'all have given me. So I thought about all of this a lot while I was sick and also all the amazing miracles I have seen and lived throughout my mission and how everyday I am able to feel the Spirit so strongly. So then I got out of bed an knelt down and said a long prayer of gratitude for my mission and for y'all and for the gospel. It was so amazing. As I was praying this thought really sunk deep into my mind. From what I have seen in my life I have learned that the greatest miracle of all is the change that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings to someone's life according to their faith in living it. Living the gospel is such a sweet and great everlasting joy. That night I still wasn't feeling a lot better so Elder Ibañez asked if I wanted a priesthood blessing and I said sure. So Elder Tate and Elder Ibañez gave me the blessing and I really felt the Spirit and I know I received counsel from Heavenly Father. It was so cool. He said that my future family will be blessed for the decisions I make everyday to be serving here and that I am learning so many important things here that will help my future family. It was Elder Tates first time giving a blessing in Spanish and it was so good. He also said that I will be healed when I raise up in the morning. I was! That morning I woke up and felt great and was healed. So crazy and awesome. Then that night we had another lesson with Carmen and Jorge(from Venezuela) and Carmen's daughter was there too, Omaira. Omaira is pregnant with her second child and their family is super sweet. We brought Hermana Wichita Ferro with us to the lesson, she is the relief society president and is such a strong, faithful, and fun member in the church. We taught them all the Plan of Salvation and the lesson could not have gone better. At the end we shared 2 Nefi 31:3-"Porque mi alma se deleita en la claridad; porque así es como el Señor Dios obra entre los hijos de los hombres. Porque el Señor Dios ilumina el entendimiento; pues él habla a los hombres de acuerdo con el idioma de ellos, para que entiendan." We shared this because Carmen and Jorge have been going to the Evergreen English Ward because they want to learn English and also that chapel is a lot closer to their house. They really can't understand a thing in English right now though so we read that scripture and invited them to the Spanish branch but then of course they say they would much rather learn English. Then Hermana Ferro threw down on them and shared her experiences with coming here to Canada and trying to go to the English wards to learn English but it just didn't work. It's harder when you are older and you can feel the Spirit way stronger when you hear and listen to it in your own tongue. After we invited them again to the Spanish branch after reading the scripture again and they all said yes! Then we invited them to be baptized on Diciembre 17 and they all said yes! It was so funny and cool because right after the question Jorge was like "well I have already been baptized twice, three times won't hurt" Jorge is so cool. Then Carmen and Omaira say yes they want to be baptized and explain why and it really is so simple. Carmen just said "well if the church is restored and if we want to follow Jesus Christ and be clean from sin then why not?" We were all so happy and they all are so ready for baptism. It is such a fulfilling feeling to see people have faith and accept to prepare for baptism. We meet with them again this Tuesday and Wednesday. I am so excited! BUT we get transfer calls this Tuesday! AGH!! I really do not want to leave but now Elder Tate and I are finished training Elder Ibanez and we have been in the branch since the beginning of our missions so we will just see what happens. In the end though I know I will be happy wherever I go because I know that will be where the Lord wants me to be. I will let y'all know what happens next week and I really love and miss y'all and hope y'all have an awesome Thanksgiving with all our family at our house!! Looking forward to seeing pics!

District Missionaries

Hermana Amaller with Mama Lola


Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Week 41 - Calgary


Estoy aqui de regreso! Yo he tenido muchas experiencias espirituales esta semana :) (No subject) 

Alright so I am going to jump right into it!  So I will tell 2 quick but incredible stories about following the promptings that you get from the Holy Ghost. They both happened yesterday and it really is so cool how many miracles there are each day if you just following the Spirit and trust Him. So Saturday night as we were nightly planning we remembered that Sister Linares invited us to go to their primary program because her husband would come. He is kind of less active. Our church starts at 9:00 and theirs starts at 11:00 so we were trying to decide if we should go or not because it is far away in Cranston and Rene was able to come to church. So we ended up deciding to stay and then that night in my personal prayer I had the feeling that we should go and support Sister Linares and see Hermano Linares. So after sacrament meeting we went and got to see the primary program and it was probably one of the best decisions I have made in my life! It was sooooooo crazy and different being there at church and everyone is white and it is all English and there were sooo many kids! Haha and it was cool because the design of the chapel was just like ours. So we watch the program and of course it is super funny at points when the kids speak and some of them are dancing and stuff but you still feel the Spirit and the love that Heavenly Father has for them. At the end the primary president shares her testimony and it was really strong and then the story about one of the primary kids whose name is Ethan and he is 7 years old and super smart and just an amazing primary kid. But just a month and a half ago he got hit by a car and is now paralyzed and when he talks now he speaks super slowly and it is all drawn out really long. So when he was in the hospital all the primary kids fasted and prayed for one day and then the next day Ethan was out of the hospital! So amazing and the primary president really testified of miracles and of prayer and fasting and how special children are in the eyes of the Lord and how powerful the Atonement of Jesus Christ is and His love for us. Then after she testified Ethan came up and recited John 3:16 and the Spirit really penetrated my heart as he spoke the words so slowly and drawn out and was looking at all of us. I started to cry and so did Elder Ibanez. It was sooo powerful. Then all the kids sand the last song called "The Miracle." After the program Sister Linares thanked us so much for coming and then she introduced us to 2 Spanish families! We got both of their numbers because their grandparents live here and dont know English. So we are setting up for them to come to church with some of the members from our Spanish branch! So awesome. So that is just one story and now I will try to tell this one faster.

Last night we still had not gotten to do language study and do our 12 week training study we do with Elder Ibanez and President Miles said we really got to do it. Then Elder Ibanez says I feel like we really got to go to the Hermanas ESL class and Elder Tate and I were like no way, why?? And he just said I dont know I just have a feeling that we should. We said we have to study and do 12 week. Then about 20 minutes later he says it again and so Elder Tate tells me "remember what President said? if your trainee has a prompting or an idea, you should probably follow it." So we go to the Hermanas ESL class and our new investigators Carmen, Jorge, and Luis were there!!! Then Hermana Amaller says "oh my gosh! I was just about to text you guys to tell y'all that you should come!" So crazy right? So each of us taught them English one on one and towards the end I noticed that every single one of us were talking about the gospel with them! It was so cool. After the class was over and they left each of us talked about what we talked about with them and wow it could not have been better. This Wednesday we meet with them again and we are so pumped and excited. They are so ready to receive the gospel! So this week I have learned more clearly how important it is to follow the promptings you get from the Holy Ghost and also you have to be living your life centered on Christ and His gospel so that you are worthy to always have the Holy Ghost to be with you as your constant companion. It really is such an incredible gift that I am so grateful for and just want to share. The joy that comes from feeling the love of Christ and the Holy Ghost really drives you to share it with others. As your understanding of the Atonement of Jesus Christ grows, your desire to share the gospel and the love of Christ will grow and you will do it and you will do it very well because you will have the Holy Ghost with you.

Alright I don't have much more time but I want to say I love y'all and I hope y'all have an awesome week and remember to follow the promptings you get from the Holy Ghost and do what you got to do to receive them! Live the gospel! Alright time to send some pics :))


Trump and Hillary


I got a bunny... Chrissy!


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Week 40 - Calgary


Ya es Lunes de nuevo. COMO!?! :D

Another amazing and super fun week!! So I will try to do this as fast as I can because we have a lunch to go to. Here we go! We had exchanges this week with the zone leaders, Elder Ibañez went with Elder Pugh and Elder Forsyth came here with Elder Tate and I. Elder Forsyth is hilarious because he took Spanish in high school and actually paid attention so he can say just a couple of things but during companionship study while we were practicing teaching he just listened to us speak Spanish and at the end he tried to speak the little Spanish he knows and he said this "Sé Libro de Mormon es bueno. Hermano (pointing to me) y Hermano (pointing to Elder Tate) ... es Dios." Then Elder Tate and I start cracking up because it kinda sounded like he said that we were God. Elder Forsyth is awesome haha. And what's great about him is that he is super obedient but still has a lot of fun. We prayed during the day a ton when he was here and we ended up finding 2 potential investigators! One guy from Guatemala and one from Venezuela. It really is amazing how if you just really believe in the things you know and do them, it actually works!! Like prayer.

I loved that talk by Elder Bednar this past general conference about the four steps to actually get to know the Savior. I think believing is the most important one. We know that prayer is super important but yet some of us don't really pray too often. It's because some of us don't truly believe that it works wonders and how incredible it is so we kind of forget to do it. Elder Bednar and Elder Forsyth helped me realize that. Prayer works!! So we have been praying much more often now. Also while we were on exchanges Geomaira called us and said she is super busy now with her new job that we helped her get and busy with the kids and everything so she said we can't meet until maybe next month. Same sort of thing happened with René, after his baptism he started working for the job that we helped him get so now we are only able to meet with him like once every 2 weeks. And he has only been to church 3 times since because of work so maybe we should stop trying to get people jobs! Haha no I'm kidding. Work is pretty important especially right now because there has been a bit of a recession here in Calgary and it's super hard to find and get a job and a lot of people get laid off. Anyways if we put God first in all things and apply His teachings and live His gospel that we know to be true and actually believe that the miracles will happen and the blessings will come then will find a higher level of happiness in our lives because we will be closer to our Savior Jesus Christ.

Agh I'm already running out of time so here's the rest, we found 2 new investigators this week. They are an old couple from Colombia. They are Catholic. They loved the Restoration lesson we shared and thought the story of José Smith was super cool. The story of Joseph Smith really is so amazing. It's always such an awesome experience sharing the first vision to someone for the first time and then the Book of Mormon and testifying that if you read and study the Book of Mormon and pray and know it is true then you know that Joseph Smith is the prophet of the restoration and that he translated it by the gift and power of God. I love it. So yeah they are super sweet and they committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. Also this week I had the opportunity to do another baptismal interview for this family from Colombia! It's so cool being the only district leader in the Spanish program because I get to do all the baptismal interviews and see these people commit to baptism and really following Jesus Christ and be a member of His church. I love it and sometimes it hits me that yo puedo hablar Español!! Todavía no puedo hablar con fluidez pero estoy mejorando cada día, poco a poco. So now here are a couple funny stories. I forgot to tell y'all last week that for Halloween we "ding dong ditched" President and Sister Miles house (the mission home) and left them pumpkin chocolate chip cookies we made! It was super fun and Sister Miles sent us a text "Elders!!! Gracias por las galletas deliciosas!" Then we send, "No problema Hermana Miles, que tenga una buena semana!" Sister Miles, "Ok I'm not quite sure what you said-haha" Us, "No problem Sister Miles, have a good week :)" Sister Miles, "You too. Keep up the great work!!" I really love President and Sister Miles. They are so loving and awesome. They definitely are an example for me and have taught me so much on my mission and am so happy that I will have them for the rest of my mission. Alright I have a couple more funny stories but I will tell them when I send photos!! Also I got the Halloween package y'all sent me!!! It was soooo cool! Yall always send the best packages out of everyone! My companions loved it too :) I love y'all so much. Yall are the best! 

Thanks for the Halloween Masks mom!

Bueno!

Chapel in Calgary

Mission Meeting

They got it all wrong here...

We didn't even know we had a cat
until we found this one under Elder Tate's bed...


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Week 39 - Calgary


Me encanta mi mision!!!

Alright so I have 3 stories to tell! The first happened last Tuesday! (What!? It's already been that long?? Its already Halloween? Time goes by in a blink of an eye) So we taught this guy named Sean with the STLs (Sister training leaders) and it was super weird teaching in English but cool. So he is the STLs investigator. Anyways we met him at Rene's baptism and we got to talk with him for a while after the baptism. He has been investigating the church for 8 years!! Like almost fully investigating for 8 years and knows a ton about the church. He is Jewish and loves religion. He is super cool. So Elder Ibañez really connected with him while we were talking with him at the baptism and he said some things that really made Sean think. Also Elder Tate and I bore our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and how living the gospel and being a member of the church has changed our lives. It was really awesome. So the next day the STLs text us and say that Sean really wants to see Elder Ibañez again because he caused him to really think about being baptized and how receiving a testimony works. So finally last Tuesday we got to have a lesson with him and the STLs and the lesson was super deep and cool. We taught the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and what's funny is that the last time, Sean actually taught the STLs the lesson. So yeah and he knows a lot about history and random things but anyways it was a super spiritual lesson and I think each one of us said something that really caused him to think and to feel the Spirit. We shared with him Doctrine and Covenants 6:22-23 and 8:2-3 and when we did he realized that he really feels the Spirit by him making connections with how the gospel works in his mind and the peace that he feels. It was super sweet and then he said I think I have progressed more towards baptism these past couple of months than I have in 8 years! That was so cool to hear. He goes to all the YSA stuff and I think he's like 28 years old. I really believe he will be baptized soon. Also it was super cool to listen him talk about how Jews view Jesus Christ and Christians and it really opened my mind even more. I really do respect and think other religions are super cool. After my mission I would love to learn more about every religion and how it all came to be and how they all think and believe and what they do. So yeah then after the lesson we had to go get "the miracle stick" (a stick that each companionship in our zone writes a miracle on, really cool) from the STLs pad and as we were going to leave I was going to say one more thing to the STLs but I accidentally slung open the door and hit this dudes van.... and he had just gotten home and was getting out of his car. He had quite a few choice words to say. He was fuming and I felt sooooo soo bad and was anger with myself. It scratched off a little amount of paint. He didn't even look at it and then walked off. It was so weird and we had to wait there but then about 10 mins later he comes back with a flashlight and looks at it and says some more choice words and tells me to be careful and walks away. Then we waited to see if he would come back but he didn't and we left our number there and drove off. He never called us back so it was all good. But as we were driving back home that night I felt like really mad at myself and bad for that guy. It's like why did that have to happen? We just had such a nice lesson and then this has to happen? Why did I have to ruin that guys night? Then I took some deep breathes and said a quick prayer and then started to realize that with every small and or big problem or mess up or mistake we make, there is always something to learn from it. We shouldn't get mad or sad or frustrated about it. It's how life works. Obviously we should not choose to mess up but when we do we can always learn from it. What I learned is that the gospel really does bring peace in these kinds of situations. If someone were to hit my car after I had a bad day, what would I do and how would I react? The thing is you can always have a good day, it's your choice, and if I chose to have a good day then I would react differently to someone hitting my car. I would probably be a lot nicer to the person and of course be a little frustrated but it would be different. I would be more thoughtful and ready to deal with the problem. So as I was thinking about all this on the drive home I thought of how much the gospel of Jesus Christ changes you. If you live a Christlike life then everyday will be a good day and you will make all of your problems easier to solve because you will be stronger and smarter. No matter what the problem is there is such a peaceful and happy feeling you have when you are living the gospel of Jesus Christ. This feeling is the Holy Ghost. I love it and I just realized I am running out of time again. It's so crazy how time just goes by!!!

This week we said goodbye to Miguel Pompa, well now Elder Pompa, as he was packing up to leave on his mission to Argentina and all the memories of me packing up and leaving flooded into my mind. But then I thought, I have been out here for 9 months and it seems like last week I said goodbye to all of y'all!!! Before I know it I will be coming to the end of my mission. Even just the thought of that makes me a little sad because I would love to just stay out here forever serving God and the people here. It is so amazing and I am learning so much everyday. I always find myself wanting to tell y'all like 5 stories and miracles but then I run out time haha that's ok though. Just know that I'm loving it out here and doing my best and have grown so much closer to Jesus Christ and my desire to serve has increased a ton and also my desire to be obedient. Over the course of my mission I have learned more and more of how much Heavenly Father loves us. He has given us our life. He has given us our freedom to choose. He has given us commandments. He has given us everything. Most of all He has given us the gift of His Holy Beloved Son Jesus Christ. We should show our love to Him by choosing to follow Him and obey His commandments. As we do we start to get an idea of how God works and how much He really loves us. We are His children and we are brothers and sisters so let's be kind to each other and love one another. Every person you see or come into contact with this week, think of the Atonement of Christ and how each of us have that same connection with Christ and our Heavenly Father. We are family. We have the same goal to be happy, so live the gospel and take your commitment to live a Christ like life to another level and do not let little or even big problems overwhelm or get you down. If you are living the gospel you will have the strength of the Lord. :) Well now it's time to send some pics. I have a lot!!! We went hiking this morning and it was incredible!!!!! I love y'all and hope y'all have a fun and awesome HALLOWEEN!! (My favorite holiday other than Christmas, I'm gonna miss being with y'all tonight)

Nice aftermarket . . fin?

Awesome Hermanas

You will be obedient. . .


Christmas tree up already.


Thursday, October 27, 2016

Week 38 - Calgary


Muchas experiencias misionales y mucho éxito :)

This past week started off super strong. So last week when we were helping out at the food bank like we always do on Wednesdays, Elder Tate  was helping this one family who have only been here for 10 days!! They are from Venezuela and don't know English so Elder Tate asked the dad if we could help him with English and also share the gospel with him. He said yes!  He was so grateful. Also he needed help getting his food to his house because they couldn't take it all on the bus so we put their food in our trunk and dropped it off at the house they were staying at later that day. They all thanked us so much. Then 5 days later we go to their new nice little house to give him a list of jobs the church had posted up on the wall because he needs a job and then we would share a message. As we got to talking it turns out that they are refugees and he sold everything they had in Venezuela to make it here to Canada. Listening to how rough it is in Venezuela right now and some of the things he and his family have gone through was really humbling. Really hit me hard on how great a country Canada is and how blessed I am to be here. Then we shared a scripture on Jesus Christ and explained how even the Son of God was once a refugee and how the sacrifice He made for us blesses us so much and because He has been through it, He really knows the best way to help us overcome our trials. Juan 16:33 "Estas cosas os he hablado para que en mí tengáis paz. En el mundo tendréis aflicción. Pero confiad; yo he vencido al mundo." I really love this scripture and as I have been studying the New Testament I have been truly so amazed at the miracles and the teachings of Jesus Christ and how simple it is. We just go to Him. He solves everything. I told Hermano Volcán(the dad) this and he agreed 100% and accepted to take the lessons. Then he and his wife thanked us so much for everything we had done for them and pointed to all their food and said that's all because of you and said that this house is your house and told us really how welcomed we are. It was so nice and I really felt so happy that we have been able to help them. So yeah that's just one short version of the story and I still have like 4 more to tell!!

It is so awesome how many wonderful and miraculous things happen when you are serving God. It is the best thing you can do to fix your own problems and feel better. Forget about yourself and go to work and as you help others and love them then you will start to see that God blesses you by making you stronger. God might not make your problems or trials easier but He will give you His strength as you pray for it and forget about yourself and serve others. So I have time for 2 more stories. First was with the family Linares. They are really awesome but struggle some with the gospel. The dad is from El Salvador and the mom is Canadian. They have 7 kids! Some of them are young and while we were there they were running around playing and being crazy. It made me miss my family and being little and having so much energy and fun doing whatever. I really love kids (yesterday was the primary program at church and WOW! Incredible. An when they sang "Mi Padre Celestial Me Ama" I teared up. I love that song. Then Hermano Alvarez shared 3 Nephi 17, read it! It really shows the love that Jesus Christ has for kids) So Sister Linares has been struggling a lot with anxiety and depression and raising the kids so I talked with her a lot about my mom and how great she is and the similar struggles she has and then I shared some of my story with West Nile and anxiety and depression and how because of my mom I was able to have so much help to overcome my anxiety and depression. So I know that Sister Linares will be able to overcome it and be able to help her kids maybe one day and others. I really am so happy that I have learned and experienced this point. With the trials and problems and stresses we have to go through in life we are given the chance to turn to Christ and we are able to have that experience to help others and invite them to do the same, turn to Jesus Christ. So I have learned to realize that I still will have joy and happiness through any and every problem and trial I will have in my life because I can live the gospel and follow Christ. Juan 16:33 "Estas cosas os he hablado para que en mí tengáis paz. En el mundo tendréis aflicción. Pero confiad; yo he vencido al mundo." Jesus Christ has experienced and has overcome it all. What really blows my mind is how He was willing to suffer everything and also the penalties of sin for each of us even though He has never done anything wrong. I am now starting to realize how great the condescension of God really was. His love for us is something that I really want. I have a long ways to go and a lot more to learn though. So yeah sharing that with Sister and Hermano Linares and some of their kids was really awesome. I look forward to having a family one day and putting all of what I have learned here into practice. Living the gospel in your home is so important. I love the quote by President Harold B. Lee, he said, "The most important of the Lords work you will ever do will be within the walls of your own homes." I have seen this so much in my mission. Well I am about out of time but I want y'all to know that I love y'all and love being here serving in Calgary. I know that God has called me here and to learn the gospel and share it in Spanish and I really do love it. There is no other thing in the world I would rather be doing. The Lords work is the best work and gives you the most fulfilling and everlasting joy. 

So this time I do have my camera! So here come some pics!

-3 degrees - oh yeah!

Vin del mar

I'm in the car, and I'm singing!!!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Week 37 - Calgary


Hola!! Buenos días!!!

I love y'all! and like always it's been such a great week. I feel like I have really gotten so accustomed to missionary life now. Seeing miracles everyday and learning so much about the gospel and really getting to know Jesus Christ better by starting the day off everyday with studying the scriptures  and Spanish and praying. I loved the talk that Elder David A. Bednar gave this conference about actually believing and knowing Jesus Christ and our Father in heaven. If we know who Jesus Christ is then we will want to follow Him and we will know our Heavenly Father the same. I have been thinking how no one would follow someone who they don't trust and don't know. So many people don't really know who Jesus Christ really is so why would they follow someone who they don't really know. We have been doing a lot of contacting/finding this week because we dropped some of our investigators who don't progress. And pretty much everyone said "no not interested" or "we don't have time, too busy" this week. I have realized this that it all starts with hope and faith and a desire to know Him. It just depends on how big your desire is to know. If you really want to know Him you will search the scriptures and go to church and pray and keep His commandments and then start to know Him. I started studying the New Testament in depth for the first time and I am just on chapter 6 of Matthew. And WOW!!! I am feeling the Spirit so much and it's the same feeling that I had when I studied the Book of Mormon for the first time!! I love it so much and everyday in the morning I just feel so pumped for the day and to apply what I learned. I would love for all of y'all to study the Sermon on the Mount in chapters 5,6,7 of Matthew. It's so great and imagine if you were there with Jesus Christ listening to Him speak and how you would change your life after listening to Him. That's really what it's all about. Putting what you know and have learned into practice.

We had a lesson with Nedy (she is from Columbia and is really nice but her husband isn't interested in learning, we haven't been able to meet with her for awhile but we did) this week and I really tried to get this point into her head. I said something like this to her "Satan tempts us not to actually do anything about what we know we should do, I believe you know you should take a little time out of your day to just read the Book of Mormon and learn from it and pray about it because I know you have a desire to know, I know a lot of people who say they are too busy or too tired to do it but really that's not true. Also if it is true that you are too busy then you should sacrifice something to make time for doing the things of God. God should always come first. He has given you everything. He loves you and wants you to know Him and follow Him." I said that at the beginning of the lesson (we taught the restoration again because it's been awhile since we taught her) then at the end of the lesson she said she really loved what I said and she said that she knows that she hasn't been putting God first and that Satan tempts her to not read and pray. Also that she really does have time because at some points during the day she is just on her phone for like 20-30 mins on Facebook or whatever. She said instead of doing that she really will read and pray about the Book of Mormon. As she was saying all these amazing things I really felt the Spirit. There really is no greater joy than seeing people take steps to follow Christ, whether they be big or small, it's incredible. The same thing is happening with Geomaira. She is so awesome! She finished the Book of Mormon and is now reading it again and praying still and this time she is going in depth and she even wrote a full paper filled with questions prepared for us to answer our last lesson with her! She is so into it. Some of the questions were anti mormon stuff but I was surprised at how easy they were to answer. It is so easy to answer questions if you have the Spirit with you and have confidence. That's another thing. We are not the teachers. The Spirit is.

Well I still have a ton more to say but it's about time to wrap up again this week! Still can't believe how fast time is flying by. Life is so easy and amazing and great when you live the gospel of Jesus Christ. It's just the way you look at things. Have an eternal perspective and the love of God in your mind and heart. All is well. Jesus Christ lives and His church is restored. This is His church and He leads it. Follow His teachings. Matthew 11:28-30. Come unto Him and He will make your burden so light, He will give you rest and peace from your troubles if you take upon His yoke, if you live His teachings, His gospel. Just take that leap of faith and do it, put it into practice and He will reward you like you can't even imagine. You will feel the Holy Spirit. And then you will just keep wanting to know Him and believe in Him more. This is where I am at and I still have long ways to go but I am loving the ride even though it can be hard at times. Really Jesus Christ makes it great and easy.

Love y'all and can't believe it's almost Halloween! Oh yeah and forgot to say this last week FELIZ CUMPLEAÑOS LANDÓ!!!!!! :D

Elder Proctor

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Week 36 - Calgary


Happy Thanksgiving!!! And I love snow!! Canada is the best

Alright so I do not have much time to write so I will try to do this fast! Here we go, so an update on Geomaira. She is soooo into learning and reading and praying and everything! We taught her the plan of salvation last Wednesday and during the lesson we asked her how her Book of Mormon reading has been going and how she feels when she prays about it. She responds like this "I am really sorry guys but I have only made it tooooo... (she flips to 3 Nephi) I have only made it to here but I feel good and peaceful when I pray and read." As you can imagine we were utterly shocked!! haha we gave her a lot of praise and we were smiling so much and so happy for her. Really such a great miracle because the night before I was really praying that she would read even just a little bit of the Book of Mormon and say a little prayer because I have really seen all the investigators who do not read the Book of Mormon much and do not pray, they do not progress and don't have their questions answered.

The Book of Mormon really is the key to conversion and the keystone of our religion. I love it so much and was so happy that she had read and God answered my prayer. God is amazing! Also an update on Rene, he is just incredible. We have not been able to meet with him hardly at all because now he has work but thats good! The last lesson we had with him was so cool just because now he is a member and is baptized and has the gift of the Holy Ghost and the Aaronic priesthood and you can really see the change in him. He is following Jesus Christ and His teachings and you can literally see the happiness in his countenance because of the choices he has made to live the gospel. For me that is literally evidence that the gospel of Jesus Christ is true. I love it. It really is bring me so much joy and happiness to be here living in Calgary and sharing the blessings that come from God when we live the gospel and choose to obey His commandments. Every single point in the gospel for me has been expanded in my mind and heart so much as I have been here serving this mission. I have been blessed so much to be able to serve here. There are many nights right after I pray and then lay in bed and just try to think how great God is and how He answers all of our prayers and how much He loves us. It really is incredible and I do have a testimony of it. God loves us and this is His church and He guides it everyday.

I am running out of time and have a ton of pics to send so I just want to leave you with this, that God loves you and that Jesus Christ is the leader and head of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. His gospel is true and if you change your life and come unto Him, all will be well and you will find the happiness that you have been looking for. I love each of you because I know that God loves each of you and His Son has suffered for you the same way He suffered for me. We are here to help each other out and serve and love one another so do it! Forget about yourself and serve and love one another.

Love, Elder Proctor

Happy Thanksgiving Canadian Style!

Notice the snow on my left shoulder...the Hermana's did that :)

Elders of Love

Perfect swimming weather!


Snow Day!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Week 35 - Calgary

 
Hola familia! Les quiero y les extraño!
 
So I'll jump right into it! During general conference this weekend I felt the Spirit sooo much and at times I thought of y'all and us all sitting together and watching it and even though we are in different places I felt that we were together still. During the talk by that Japanese seventy Yamashita really got to me. I thought a lot about how much going on a mission blesses all those you serve, even sometimes your mission president (such a cool story), and also it really blesses your family. I thought of when Mason left to Japan and the hard times he had had and also the language. (Japan is so cool) Then how immediately after he left I started to gain my testimony of the Book of Mormon by studying it everyday and praying. Also I just felt a big change with Mason being gone.  Now I am gone and serving my mission and have gone through some hard things and have had a lot of trouble learning the language. But now I am able to speak it and Mason can speak Japanese! Really we can do anything if we have faith in Christ, everything is possible if we have faith in Christ, even learning a language you never thought you could learn. Then tons of other thoughts and feeling came to my mind about how much living the gospel blesses the family. Then I said a quick prayer of gratitude during his talk to Heavenly Father for my family and the gospel and my mission and then the strongest feeling of.. well Galatians 5:22-23 and Philippians 4:7 describe the feeling I had. It surpassed all my understanding. I felt the Spirit like I never had before. I felt the pure love of Jesus Christ that He has for all of us. I was just so happy and content and felt so much peace. When I felt it I said to myself "this is why I am here, to share this with others." 
 
I'm going to try to write fast because we are going to do a service at 11:45 for this lady who has one leg, her name is Mary and she is awesome and she's a long story haha so maybe another time I'll write about her. So I want to tell y'all about Geomaira and her kids! So. Two Thursday's ago we went to ESL(English class) Usually about half the class is Latino so about 8. There we met Geomaira who's been in Canada for just a month! She is from Ecuador. It was her first time at the class. She speaks great English considering on how long she's been here. At the end we talked to her and offered to teach her and her kids English. She was so happy and that made my night because we had had a long day with people rejecting us. Her kids are Danny she's 9 and Mateo he's 5. They're so awesome and cute and just speak Spanish. So last Wednesday we went to the house of her brother-in-law where their family is staying and taught them how to say I am hungry, tired, smart etc. and it was great. It blew the kids minds that "ser" and "estar" are the same word in English haha it means "to be." At the end we shared with them who we are and all that we do and why we are here as missionaries and Geomaira thought it was really cool and said we can meet again next Wednesday. But then last Sunday we get a call from her and she said that she has been looking into our church and she is super interested and needs questions answered!! (Missionaries dream) so we meet her at the library and teach her the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and she loves it. It was such an incredible first lesson. We answered all her questions and one of them was "so girls aren't allowed to play sports or workout in your church?" And we were like what???? Of course girls can play sports and workout! Haha we told her about mormon.org and lds.org and that's where you will find the real stuff.  Anyone can say anything on the Internet. So she was happy about that haha. She was supposed to come to conference yesterday but she called us and said she was busy at the house and couldn't make it. Sadly her husband is completely against religion and she told us that so that's pretty rough. It's ok though, I really feel like she is going to progress.
 
Alright so here is the crazy cool things that happened this week! I got to do 2 baptismal interviews this week! Well 1 and a half. The half one was with the Hermanas Amaller and Calls investigator who is 95 years old!!! Yeah 95. Her name is Mama Lola and she is so cute. Like in a old way haha she's so funny. I also gave her a priesthood blessing before the interview because she kept saying "tengo miedo tengo miedo no puedo no puedo hacerlo" she was scared about going under water but after the blessing and Hermana Amaller talked to her she felt better. So she can't really see out of one eye and can't really hear out of one ear so we kinda have to yell at her and be close to her for her to hear us. So I had to leave with the zone leader when the interview started because we went on exchanges (btw exchanges made me so happy that I serve Spanish speaking! English was still fun though). So here is Elder Tates words from his email of how it went - "That 95 year old who got baptized.. Well I was asking her questions and she could barely hear me. So her grand daughter who's like 35 was there to help ask the questions(she's not a member) usually that's not allowed but I the zone leaders said it was ok. We got to question 3, have you ever committed a crime? She said yes and then the grand daughter asked it again and Mama Lola said oh oh no!!
 
So crazy right!? So the next day she was baptized and it was sooooo sweet and I'll never forget it. She got permission from Salt Lake City to have to go all the way under the water but she ended up getting all the way under. Elder McLaren and 3 Hermanos in the branch were all in the font to help with the baptism. So cool.  
 
Then the other baptismal interview I did for the Hermanas in north Calgary, Hermanas Dean and Ratliff. They were a beautiful Columbian family and it was so amazing to see them all say yes to following the example of Jesus Christ  to be baptized and obey Heavenly Fathers commandments and everything. I could really tell they were ready and excited about it all. And this time there was no abortion so that was good. So yeah I am loving being district leader and enjoying my time with Elder Tate and Ibañez. This week is already transfers!!! I don't like 5 week transfers. I might leave or Elder Tate might leave or we might stay all together. Personally I would love to stay all together but we will see! Alright time to get back to work and to have another incredible week and have more crazy awesome experiences! I love y'all!!!! Time for some pics :)
 
Temple Trip

The Temple is Awesome

Wonderful "young at heart" new member baptized

Mission home dinners are the best!

Calgary
 

Monday, September 26, 2016

Week 34 - Calgary



Hola!!! Mi familia!! Les quiero! 

Esta semana realmente fue la mejor de todos. Tengo dos historias/milagros para contar y también algunas historias chistosas. Entonces Rene was baptized and has received the gift of the Holy Ghost and also has received the Aaronic priesthood and is a priest!!!! Que increíble. Also we found such a sweet women from Ecuador at our ESL class and she is called Geomiara and is soooooo interested in the church and she's incredible. So first I'll start off with Rene's baptism. (Can't wait to send y'all the photos) First I just got to say that it was one of the most incredible, memorable, happiest, and best moments/experience of my life and I will always remember it. The amount of cool miracles and details throughout the entire day and especially the baptism is just too much to write, let alone the whole week! but I will try to tell y'all some! So last Friday at 11:00am we got to go to "Retrainers" meeting with President and Sister Miles and it's just a meeting of all of the trainers and new missionaries tell what they have learned and cool experienced that have happened since we started and how we can improve. The meeting was so spiritual and I was reminded of a lot of things that I should do to magnify and fulfill my crazy awesome calling as a missionary. Things like charity and really having charity and love for others and showing it, forgiveness, virtue, obedience, setting and achieving goals, and also having fun and enjoying my mission and being myself. I love all the meetings we have because they always drive me to be better and improve and also sometimes they make me realize just how imperfect I am and all the things I have to improve. But it's all good if I am really trying my best because that is what God asks of us. So after the meeting we went to go prepare for the baptism like 5 hours earlier to fill up the baptismal font because it takes forever to fill up and also to get everything ready and we also used that time to do weekly planning. So you know that feeling of waiting in line about to ride a roller coaster, that's the feeling I had as the time kept coming towards Rene's baptism. It was so crazy and it wasn't a nervousness of being scared but just being excited. I loved it. Then finally Rene arrived at 7:00 with his white shirt and we showed him how everything would go and how I would baptize him and everything. Sooooo cool. He said he was nervous and then I said trust me I am nervous too haha. Then at 7:30 we started to greet the members and then we went to go get dressed in our white clothes. In was so special to have that time with Rene and changing into white. Loved it so much. Then we went to greet the rest of the members and also President and Sister Miles! Yeah they came and that was super special. President and Sister Miles really are the best "mission parents" every. I love them so much. So then the program started and Hermano Ruiz and Hermano Miguel Pompa who is going on his mission to Argentina next month gave amazing talks on baptism and confirmation. Then it was time for the ordinance, Rene and I walk over to the font and step down the steps into the water and then I just had such an amazing amount of peace and joy that filled me and then I do the prayer "René Alonso Canales Valle, habiendo sido comisionado por Jesucristo, yo te bautizo en el nombre del Padre, y del Hijo, y del Espíritu Santo. Amen." Then Rene submerges completely under the water leaving all of the sins and mistakes and wrong things in his life and bad and sad feelings and I brought him back up.. Then we walked back dripping wet to get dressed. I loved it so much. Really one of the sweetest moments of my life. Talking with Rene and saying we did it and we aren't nervous anymore and we just feel peace and joy was so special.

This whole experience has really strengthened my testimony a lot. The amount of symbolism in the church and especially in baptism is so cool. Because of Jesus Christ and His perfect love for us we can choose to follow His example and be born again. We can repent, we can change, we can leave behind all of the the sins and the sad and bad feelings that come from them behind and Christ will lift us up from the drowning feeling that life brings sometimes and he will give us happiness and peace and joy for the choice we made to follow Him. He will bless us and those around us if we do what He asks us to do. All He asks of us is to come unto Him and He will do the rest. He has suffered the penalties of our sins so that we may repent and has died for us and then was resurrected for us so we can be resurrected too and return to the presence of our Father in heaven and be with our families forever.

Like always I don't have a ton of time so now I will tell y'all just a couple of funny stories. So Rene is a super funny guy and likes to joke and he's  just awesome. He asked if we could just climb onto the roof part of the baptismal font and just dive in because it would be more entertaining. Then after the baptism he showed us all a photo of him on his phone when he was like 18 years old and he had a 8 pack of abs!! We were all freaking out and then he starts to count in English "yeah! 1,2,3,..5,8!!!" And we were like what!!? Haha Rene! And then he says but now I just have one and points to his belly haha we were dying laughing. He is so awesome. Then also I forgot to tell y'all about Elder McLaren, my last companion, he sleep walks and sleep talks a lot!! It's super crazy and one night I was sleeping and our beds are right next to each other and all of a sudden he grabs all of my toes super tightly and holds them for like 10 seconds and then lets go real fast and flips around the other way like nothing happened haha. Tons more but gotta get going.

I truly love my mission. I really have developed a great an huge amount of love for the Spanish people here and also the members. I wish y'all could have been at church with me yesterday because it was alllll about missionary work, at the end of sacrament meeting all 8 of us missionaries in the branch sang "Llamados a servir" and some of the members started to cry and even Presidente Jaco our branch president was crying and then he gave his testimony on missionary work. Soooo amazing. I felt the Spirit so much. I truly believe that the greatest thing in the gospel and in the church for me is love. If we focus on and understand the love Jesus Christ has for us and what He did for us, life will be awesome and incredible all the time. Even through the hard times. Jesus Christ makes it all better. 

I love y'all and hope y'all are enjoying school and having fun and living the gospel. Share the gospel by being an example. It really works. Also I can't believe it's already general conference again!! So crazy. Well till next week! Oh!! Forgot to tell y'all about Geomaira and her kids and How awesome they are. I will next week!! Time for a ton of pics! 

Wonderful Experience!

Missionaries of the area with Rene.

Sweet!!!

He is Awesome!