Monday, October 29, 2012

October 29, 2012

Bonjour mes amis! Comment-allez vous aujourd'hui? 

Look at me, typing in French, I'm so good hey?

So, first off, I heard there were some natural disasters this week, and I have no idea what happened. My companion who is from BC didn't get any news either. Anyways...

Lets see. We went bowling last week! On Monday, it was super fun! I suck! Hahaha, BUT, Elder Beaumont and I each got a strike, only one. We played two games, but each strike was caught on camera! I happened to be videoing his go, and BAM! STRIKE! Then, much later I told him, OK, I need a video too, get me, and then BAM! STRIKE! Haha, I didn't even bowl over 100. That is not that good at all. But it's OK, we had tons of fun.

We had kind of a rough week this week, not a ton of success, but that is OK, because we laughed a lot. We kept ourselves in good spirits. Elder Beaumont and I have a very similar sense of humor. It's really strange. We get along well, but most eeryone else thinks we are just crazy. =D 

We made a cake though, and brought it out to our friends. It's amazing how quickly people open up when you bring baked goods to their house! =D mmmmm... Cake and whipped cream! So delicious! 

We got a crazy phone call this morning though! Haha, we knocked for like 3 hours last night, and the sun went down at like, 5:30, so it was dark out all evening long. But lots of the time, people get mad when we knock on the door after like, 8:00 because it's "Soo late". Ridiculous. it's not even 8:30. =P Anyways, we like to leave pass along cards at all the houses that don't answer the door! And we put our name and numbers on them, so if people want to call us, they can! Well, this morning this man calls for "Monsieur Beaumont" And then starts chewing him out because when we came to his door it was already super late, and he was in bed so he didn't answer the door, and that when we pass by so late out people might think we are coming to break into their houses and they might answer the door with weapons, and so we were like, thank you sir, but may we ask what time we passed by your house? Thinking that because we tracted from 6 till 9 that we must have got him around 8:30, 8:45ish, but no. He said "Oh, it was at 7:30"  Uh..... Really? Hahahaha, it was so funny! People around here live a  "To bed with the sun, wake up at noon" kind of lifestyle. It's funny. 

But that's about it for this week. The next week will be a better email because We have splits planned again for this week, and then... Oh, actually, it will be a super fast email. Because NEXT week after that we are headed down to Quebec. From Monday till Wednesday. That is so long. Haha, But we are super duper excited!!!

Anyways, I love you all, and I shall try and actually get some pictures sent this week!

Elder Austen Oviatt

Not just the Hobbit, but the Hobbit in FRENCH.

 Fire Alarms in Quebec. Safe or not? It's up to you to decide

 Happy Birthday to Frere Ouellet!!
This is possibly the most embarrassing signs I have ever seen in my entire life... 

Monday, October 22, 2012

October 22, 2012

Dear Everyone. In the world.

How is it going?! Goodness, I sure hope life is as awesome for all you as it has been for me this week!

1st, We have eaten terribly this week. Not in that we haven't been eating well, but in that we just have so much food in our cupboards that we kind of just had to make space. Last monday after we did our shopping, we needed space in the freezer for the stuff we bought, so we had corndogs and french fries for lunch, with Red Champagne to drink (a Lac-St-Jean special, sparkling apple juice sort of deal), and then finished off with some Banana Split Ice Cream. Yeah you are all jealous. I don't know how we are doing it, but we are steadily acquiring an increasing amount of food. And we still have plenty of our monthly budget left over too? I don't know, but I aint going to complain!

2nd, we had splits with Chicoutimi. Again. It seems like we are doing splits every stinking week! But it is ok, because it is so much fun! Elder Christensen and I were together up here in ALma, and Elder Beaumont went down to Chicoutimi  with Elder Thia. We rocked socks. Elder Christensen hadn't met any of our investigators in Alma, so I scrapped our plans for the day and we went to try and introduce him to as many investigators as possible! He met Pierre and Sophie and Kevin and Celine, and Bertrand and a few others too. It was a great day. Elder Christensen and I talk very well together. He is also ridiculously insane. So that helps. 

Uh... Thursday we were out doing knocking and we came up to a door and there was someone standing in a doorway, and I thought to myself "oh great, these are always super awkward..." THen I noticed that he had a bible in his hand (he was looking away from us, so he didn't notice us) Then he turned around and saw us and his friend came out from the doorway too and they said "Hey! Were Jehovas Witnesses and we had a meeting here with these people, but it doesn't seem like they are here!" We then stopped and had a super quick conversation with them, but they had to leave. All in all, it was super cool, because I don't know how often you ACTUALLY run into TJ's doing their prostelytism. And also, it was comforting to know that we aren't the only ones who get smurphed (Stood up). =D

Then Saturday we made a pie for our Pentecostal friends and we gave that to them. They are pregnant. What a strange saying. They are pregnant. No, THEY aren't. She is, and he isn't. But what ever... Idioms. The recipe said to cook it for about an hour, and we had it in the oven for almost 2... so we were a little worried that it would be all burnt on the bottom, but it just wasn't done being cooked!! But then after 2 hours the top burnt a little (Surprise) so we made some whipped cream to cover up the burned spots. And I wasn't paying attention and I whipped the cream a little much and almost turned it into butter. It started getting a  little chunky. =D Chef Oviatt and Beaumont here, ready to take your order! But they said they really liked it, so that was good. 

Then Sunday we had supper out with our Branch President and his wife. And it was delicious..... It's nice to eat food that takes longer than 30 minutes to prepare. And Bless, Blueberry pie...

But here is our crazy spiritual experience for the week. Are you ready?

Saturday night we had a lesson planned with Pierre and Sophie. We had spent about an hour preparing for this lesson, which is ridiculously long, normally we spend 15 -20 minutes prepping a lesson. So we were so ready to go, and were ready to commit them to baptism and all that good stuff, but then Pierre and Sophie had friends over, so that blew those plans. THEN, Pierre invited us out back to his swing set (everyone here has 2 things. A pool, and a gliding swing set) to "talk" with his friend. It was super weird, Pierre was being super dark and like, not himself. He then started talking to us about conspiracy theories and the evil in the world and how EVERYTHING is evil, even when we are happy and good, that is evil, because there are so many poeple in the world who are suffering and... He talked about the Illuminati, the Free masons, (or stone masons?), the 9-11 attacks, the earthquake in Hatie and Japan, and it was just not an uplifting experience at all....  I just kept on trying to keep things as positive as I could, and testified about prophets and how important it is to have someone who has the light to guide us in such a dark world. Someone who was called by god and speaks the words of God for us specifically today. We ended up having to leave (Thank heavens) for transfer calls, but we left feeling totally sad, that Pierre was thinking of those things, and that we didn't get to invite them to church or to baptism... But then Sunday after church we got a call from Pierre, but we were in meetings so we couldn't answer the phone. Then we called him back, and his wife Sophie picked up the phone and said that Pierre got up at noon today because he stayed up really late. We were thinking "Oh great, now Sophie is going to think that we fed his conspiracy theory ideas and hate us..." But she said that he was up late reading that one book that we gave him. That one book would happen to be the Book of Mormon. He had read a little bit of it before, gotten a bit through 1st Nephi, but we hadn't had a chance to talk to him about it yet. But anyways, she gave him the phone and we talked to him, and he said that last night he just oped up the Book of Mormon to a random page (somewhere in Alma) and started reading and ended up reading for a few hours. He said that the things he read were like they were written yesterday for today. And that he doesn't know why or how, but that he just knows that this book is true. We were so excited we almost couldn't even speak. We may have felt like our "lesson" that we had with him was brutal, but it obviously flipped some sort of switch in his head that made him even more prepared and open for what he was going to read. We plan on going and meeting him as soon as possible, but he is out of town unfortunately for at least 2 days. I know that the Lord is preparing people here to recieve this message that we have to share. He is preparing people to accept the truth. "There are many people kept from the truth only because they know not where to find it." 

Doctrine et Alliances 84:85

Ne vous souciez pas d'avance de ce que vous direz, mais amassez continuellement dans votre esprit les paroles de vie, et la part qui sera attribuée à tout homme vous sera donnée à l'heure même.

Doctrine and Covenants 84:85

Neither take ye thought beforehand what ye shall say; but treasure up in your minds continually the words of life, and it shall be given you in the very hour that portion that should be meted unto every man.

I know that because Elder Beaumont and I took the time to prepare for our lesson with Pierre and Sophie that when it came down to it, even if we didn't know what we should have said to Pierre at that time about that specific subject, The Lord gave us at that very hour what we should say. 

Sunday, October 21, 2012

October 15, 2012

Well Hello!!!

My week this week!! 

Last Monday, we were getting into the truck after sending emails, and there was a Cop who drove by, so I waved at him. He then pulled into the parking lot and started talking to us. He was at the blood donor clinic with us, and first thanked us for donating blood, then asked us what we were doing briefly. It was kind of cool! Also, we saw the Northern lights on Monday. They were a little pansy compared to what I've seen before, but they were still good! 

Tuesday we were talking to a man, and he had a cord running from this machine in his shirt  pocket into his pants... weird, right? Yeah, well I didn't really want to ask him about it, but Elder Beaumont did... =D It was just a little electric thing, like they do at the physiotharapy clinic, just to help relieve pain. But both of his legs were super sore, so he had these things on his butt cheeks. And when Elder Beaumont asked about it, instead of just explaining what it was, he thought it was a much better idea to just SHOW us instead. =D =D It was so funny!! He stood up, undid his belt, turned around, and BAM, Luckily it wasn't too bad, the electrods weren't very low on him, so we didn't really see anything, but it was still a really funny experiance! We also got a media referel (from someone who visited Mormon.Org or and wanted something, like a BOM or a DVD) And it was from this guy who read the Book of Mormon like 15 years ago and KNOWS that it is true, and he lost his so he needed a new one. But his dad is a member, and his sister is a memeber, (In Ontario and Alberta) And he said that he wants to meet with us really really badly. But he works in Fort Macmurray, so we can only meet with him a few times ever few weeks, I believe he is out there for like 2 or three weeks and here for 1 or 2? I don't really know. He will be baptised though. =D

Wednesday we got a great quote from Elder Beaumont. We had been knocking and not having much success, and I said "well, at least were trying... And I can't think of anything that really rhymes well with trying to make a good inspiration thought for us..." And then Elder Beaumont said "If we're not trying, we're not.... Uh..... Um.... Uh... Frying............ Pan." It was basically great. 8]

Thursday it snowed for the first time here. It was just a few snowflakes, but it was snow none the less! Didn't stay, and in fact, this morning we woke up to a huge rain storm and it was been raining for like 3 hours... 

Friday was mostly uneventful as far as things that I need to tell you about go.

Saturday was awesome. Have I told you about our investigators Pierre and Sophie? Oh, I have, but I haven't used their names. Pierre and Sophie and the young couple that I talked about last week, with their daughter who came out with lipstick on? Anyways, they are super cool. They have been prepared to hear this message. Sophie loves asking us questions. and they are completely random and have seemingly no correlation from one to the next. But she told us "I love asking you guys questions because all your answers just make sense, they are good, and that is how I see it too!!" And we have answered questions about tithing, missionary service, Homosexuality, marriage, the bible, how the church is organized, prophets... Basically, all the things that people could get tripped up on =P And when we were explaining the Plan of Salvation/Happiness, we asked them where they believed we came from before we got to the earth, and Pierre said "I don't know where I came from. I know that I was somewhere, and that I will go somewhere after this earth too, but it's almost as if something was placed in my memories to stop me from knowing where I came from for some reason. But I know that my soul is old." So we explain that we are in fact children of God, he is the Father of our spirits. We lived with him and learnt and grew but were sent here to learn and to get a body and to have our own families. And Pierre closed his eyes while we were telling him this, and Sophie was on the edge of here seat, just soaking it in. Pierre after told us that he just stoped thinking and listened, and he could feel in his spirit or soul that what we were saying was completely true.  We are so excited. I can't even begin to express how I feel right now.  8] 8] =D

And of course, church was awesome. As always. I love Alma so much, and I don't know how I am going to survive when I get transfered out...   Oh, and Sunday night we had dinner with Kevin and Celine. We had steak. It was AWESOME. And we made a dessert, called Ambrosia. it was marshmellows and sourcream, and pineapple chunks and mandarin orange slices, and coconut. It was really good! But we didn't have a real recipe, so we just sort of tossed stuff in together. And you have to let it sit overnight, so it wasn't even like we could have added or changed things when the taste was off, we just had to eyeball it and hope for the best. Luckily it tasted great! Pfhew... if it hadn't we had a pumpkin pie we could have made and brought just in case. 

Oh right! It was thanksgiving last week! We made a super sweet thanksgiving dinner. I'll send a picture. 

This week we have splits on Tuesday!! I'm SO excited to spend some time with Elder Christensen. He is 'Da Bomb. I love that guy. And he is our district leader, so he is doing an apartment check, so we have to uber clean today to make sure everything is spotless! 

Big news guys. This Saturday we receive transfer calls. Can you believe it has already been 6 weeks since Elder Heder left?! I sure can't! Dang, time is just flying by. I actually had a dream not to long ago that my mission was over and that I had to go home and I just started to cry because it all went by so fast and I literally couldn't remember anything from my mission except for the time I spent in Alma. haha, but then the last few nights my dreams have been ridiculous and completly random. Normally I'm a missionary in all my dreams, and they at least have something to do with missionary work, but not these dreams. I don't even know... they are just weird. =D I like them.

Oh, So we totally forgot our pillows in Quebec when we were down there 2 weeks ago, and we get them back tuesday. You have no idea how excited I am. we borrowed some of those ergonomic pillows, that are supposedly super good for your neck so you can sleep on your side and not kink your neck. Well, there is a problem with that. The pillow is way to tall to be comfterble to sleep with on your back, and I can't sleep on my side for very long because of my shoulder. So I have been sleeping not so well here, and I am excited to be able to have a nice decent sleep tomorrow night...

But anyways, I love ya all, and am excited to hear about all the people who will be getting mission calls here soon now with that announcement! I expect to see many a girls headed out too!! You have no excuse anymore! =P

Love, Elder Austen Oviatt

Alma 31:38

Et le Seigneur pourvut à leurs besoins, afin qu'ils n'eussent pas faim et qu'ils n'eussent pas soif; oui, il leur donna aussi de la force, afin qu'ils ne sourrfissent aucune sorte d'affliction sans qu'elle ne fût engloutie dans la joie du Christ. Or, cela se fit selon la prière d'Alma; et cela, parce qu'il avait prié avec foi.

Alma 31:38

And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea, and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions, save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.

The Lord is providing for us. We are finding super sales at the stores, we have running water, and we go jogging, even though it is nasty cold outside. (OK, we haven't gone jogging for like 4 days...) But, things are a little difficult on a mission. It is not all walking on cloud nine. Sometimes you drop down to cloud 8 or even 7! Gasp! But, like it says, the afflictions that we suffer will all be swallowed up in the joy of Christ. And I have seen that already. I love the Lord and I love this work that I am doing. I am so grateful for this chance I have to spend two years serving others with all my heart, might, mind and force. A good friend sent this to me as her prayer for me, and I would like to pass this along, to all the other missionaries out there, Alma 31:38 is my prayer for you!

1. Thanksgiving dinner. It was basically awesome. Oh yeah, we bought bryers icecream on sale for 2.50, regular $7.00. Regular bargain finders here!

 2. Here is another steal of a deal! Or... just a steal... Babies are on sale this week for buy one, get one free!!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Goodness Gracious, I am so pressured for time Again...

Hello all my friends!!!!

How was life been? Great! Glad to hear it!

Lets see! Monday we drove down to Quebec for our Zone Study! We took a crazy back road to Canyon Saint Anne. Beautiful... And I think I may have actually seen real mountains!

Tuesday, we drove back, saw some more beautiful sights. Man, Autumn is truely beautiful. I mean, it's nice in Alberta too, but it only lasts like 4 days. It has been bright and orange for like 2 weeks up here!! We have been working hard, and have found an awesome young couple. They have 2 children and she runs a daycare in her home during the day. But their 4 year old? daughter asked us if we had girlfriends and we said no. Then like 2 minutes later she came out of the bathroom and was wearing lipstick. it was ridiculously cute! 

We have been working hard to find people to teach, and the Lord is watching over us and providing for us, but he is making us work for our success too. ; ) 

HAHAHAHAH,  I have to tell you about Tuesday... Dang... So we were coming home up the road to Alma from Quebec, and we saw the  "Portes do L'Enfere" sign (I'm sure I sent that one.. the one that means "the gates of hell") so we decided to take a few minutes to go check it out! Thinking it would be some beautiful nature thing because in Rimouski there is "gates of hell that is a waterfall and apparently it is stunning! So we go and ended up driving for an hour and a half on this crazy back road, dirt and rocks and stuff because there was nothing there. It was absolutely beautiful though! And the road connected right back to the Highway, so that was very lucky. The worst part was we were at the end, like, could see the highway, and we came to this little bridge with a "Pont fermé" sign. Which means bridge closed. We were so so so chapped, if we had to drive ALL the way back, then drive ALL the way back AGAIN... Gah!! =D But the bridge was actually fine. We had to use our 4 wheel drive a few times actually, it was a little sketchy in parts, but it made for an awesome adventure I will never ever forget.

Conference. WHAT!>?!!?! Really truely the only thing I can say about conference is that I am SUPER excited to hear about all the mission calls that will be coming in the next few months!! That is so crazy!!!

But no, really, conference was great, I actually payed lots of attention during it, which was awesome! I took notes too! I learnt a lot more than I usually do, which makes me a little sad that I didn't pay more attention earlier, but Oh well, we live and learn, right?!

Anyways, I love you all, and am super excited to have a nice quiet week here in Alma. No trips, no visits, just plain old Missionary work!

J'aime et j'espére,

Elder Austen Oviatt

It's been a while since I've done a spiritual thought. I have a little bit of time here, so I'll do one, but only in English.

Luke 15:4-6

4. What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?
5. And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6. And when he cometh home, he calleth together his friends and neighbors, saying unto them, rejoice with me; for I have found my sheep which was lost.

I love this scripture. Actually, this whole chapter is amazing. The Lord loves us all, and will do anything to come and help us return to the safety of the fold. Where we are protected from the wolves of the world. The love that the Savior has for us all is something that I am trying to emulate and express in every aspect of this work as a missionary. As a representative of Christ, if we don't emulate his greatest quality, his unconditional love, then people aren't going to be very convinced by us. 

This is (or at least was at one point) the favorite scriptures of one of my best friends. He has set a great example for me, and has been a huge support in my life. We have had fun together, and we may have also gotten in trouble one or two times together too. But I want him to know that I love him, and that I am so grateful for all he has done in his life. I have often looked to him as an example and a guide, and I'm sure he never even knew it. Thank You

Old School Gas Pump!!!

 Yeah, that's my birthday!! 

Canyon Saint Anne!

We may actually have driven all the way to Salt lake city! Or we may not have... 

Water. I want to just go swimming in that lake!

Danger. Mormon Missionaries in the Area.

No one was home... I left a Book of Mormon though!

So Orange! Something we really don't have in Alberta...


Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1, 2012: this one made me laugh


OK! So, first off, I would like to start and appologize to everyone because this is the only email that I am sending out this week. We had an awesome week! And by that I mean we spent way to much time with the Elders in Chicoutimi! We had splits on Wednesday, and I got to hang out with my good friend Elder Thia Soui Tchong. He is from France. Not Asia. Actually, more accurately, he is from La Reunion which is a little island off the Coast of Madagascar. But La Reunion is a French Colony, so he is aFrench citizen, and now lives in France with his Family, oing to school. Actually, he NOW lives in Chicoutimi. details. I learnt a lot from him, because he is a native French speaker, so we talked ni French allll the time, which was cool! And the splits were super super productive.

 I have to tell you about the friend we met! We had a lesson set up with Roger, to go give him a spiritual thought kinda deal and to introduce him to a new missionary. But he had a freind named Manuel there, and we were like, Dang, this is going to be a little bit awkward, but he ended up being crazy interested. I gave him a book of Mormon, and we started the lesson. We were sharing scriptures and stuff, And I was going to take my turn to read, and he was like, Is it OK if I read it? Uhhh..... Let me put it this way.... YES. He was super excited, but actually lives in Chicoutimi, so he isn't our investigator. He.... Ah, I'm just super happy for them!! He has a baptismal date for the 4th of November, and he will be totally good for it too!

 But, I'll tell you about this weekend, then I have to peace, and I will try and update you next week!! 

We had church in Chicoutimi this week, because there was a stake meeting, like the ones you do before General conference and stuff, and so Alma and Chicoutimi met together which was SO MUCH FUN! But, we had Choir practise at 8:15, so Chicoutimi invited us to sleep over at their place Saturday night so we could just get up and go to Church and not have to leave at like 7 to be there on time. So we went there. Then we stayed there Sunday evening, because we have to drive down to Quebec today, and it is a waste of Klicks to drive up to Alma, then back down the Quebec the next day because its like 40 minutes closer from Chicoutimi then from Alma. We went to a DA with Chicoutimi, which technically breaking the rules... because you are only supposed to have one set of missionaries per DA, but it wasn't like we could just go home and eat ourselves... But SHHHHH....... it's a secret, don't tell anyone!! And then after that we came home and went to sleep and stuff, and now it is monday, and we are sending Emails and then will be going to Sainte-Annes Canyon for our P-Day Zone Activity. I'm super pumped about it, a nice day of Hiking! OOH!! And we are having interviews with President Cannon!! I'm so excited about that it's not even funny!! 

Anyways, I have to go. I love you all!! Don't pee into the wind.

Elder Austen Oviatt