Wednesday, July 15, 2015

July 13, 2015

Hey, hope you all had a good week!

Yesterday we had a huge freak thunderstorm all day, and the lightning got super duper close, with deafening thunder and pounding rain. There were power-outages all over the city, and unfortunately, flooding. Luckily, our place is on a second floor, but some other missionaries were not so fortunate, and got pretty wet. So now it's a matter of clean up ... 

This week I got to try a bunch of new experiences: I learned how to build a trampoline, how to make homemade tortillas, how to change a flat tire, and best of all, got to try some new foods! There's a Philipino family who fed us dinner this week, and made a whole bunch of authentic dishes for us to try. Panzit, Halo Halo, and ........ BALUTE! That's right, we got to try fertilized duck eggs! They weren't too old, but mine did have a hint of feathers. Turns out if you put a LOT of salt on it, and try not to look, it's not too bad. Just kidding - to be honest it was pretty gross. I would rate the experience a 10! and the texture a 1 . Needless to say, the family got a kick out of watching us missionaries squirm :)

Yay Balute! The elder in the background expressed the sentiment perfectly :)

Anyway, not much else to report. We are just working with a lot of less actives and our investigators are slowly but surely progressing! It super fun to proselyte in this area, especially tracting, because it is so international we have to be prepared with materials in a variety of languages. My companion has a natural ear for language, and so she is really good at getting by with a handful of phrases in a dozen different languages.

"For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding' for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding." (2 Nephi 31:3)

Anyway, I love you all! Next time you hear from me I will officially be 21 years old - HOORAY! Have a wonderful week :)

Lots of Love,
Sister Patterson

Sunday, July 12, 2015

July 6, 2015 - Pictures

My new companion, Sister Creech, and me at the Sikh Temple! (you have to cover your head upon entering out of respect)

Sikh Temple

Canada Day!

July 6, 2015

Happy Independence / Canada Day !!!

I am so grateful to celebrate my freedom!  As we celebrate the freedoms of whatever country we live in, I suggest that we remember our Lord, and Savior, Jesus Christ, who provided the ultimate blessing of FREEDOM from sin!

For July 1st everyone rocked the red and white for Canada, but I gotta say, celebration is nothing like what we pull in the states. (It was weird singing "O Canada" in Sacrament instead of our own national anthem) Rather, everyone here gets super pumped for STAMPEDE (which begins on the 3rd and goes for 10 days). Cowboy hats and boots come out in abundance, and it kinda takes over everything. Unfortunately, we as missionaries are forbidden from going downtown during this time, so no stampede for us. We are however on equal grounds when it comes to the weather: in one day we experienced all 4 seasons. That's right, temperature dropped from the sunny 20's to thunderstorms to snow... FUN :)

For stampede, the big tradition is to do a pancake breakfast, and there are dozens all over the city. Calgarians love and make the most of it. Our ward threw its own, and we got to help out with game stations for the kids. (it was Saturday, so that was our 4th fun. But you will be happy to know I did rock a red white and blue outfit in recognition of home :) The best part though was that we ended up having 20+ investigators, less actives and other nonmembers show up! This area is the BEST - I love being a missionary!!!

Oh, this past Monday we also got a bunch of missionaries together to go to the Sikh Temple nearby. Anyone can walk in (although we definitely stood out), and we got to see and learn about their worship and beliefs. It was actually SUPER interesting, I loved it! Turns out they have a lot of practices and beliefs very similar to ours. And the most interesting thing happened, as we listened to the tour guide explain, I felt a strong reminder from the Spirit that God loves ALL His children, and that pieces of eternal truth and light can be found all over the world. Whenever a Truth was spoken (for example, that there is a path of righteousness we all must follow) I felt the Spirit testify of that specific Truth. It was remarkable. Going there and learning more has really helped as we have conversations with people of that faith. And I have discovered a great respect for their best efforts to come closer to God.

This past week we also got to meet our new mission president, President Miles! They are from Utah, and super young (early 50's), full of energy and enthusiasm, though when we met you could tell they were still a little shell shocked at being here. They took the time to shake each missionary's hand and say a personal hello - twice!! I am excited to see what kind of leadership they provide, and I know their call comes from God - it is what this mission needs here and now. It's going to be fun!
So long 'til next week!

Sister Patterson

Thursday, July 9, 2015

June 29, 2015


So, crazy week, but it seems that is always the case...

First of all, temperatures have been in the low 30's (that's upper 80's for all us Fahrenheit folks) all week, and you can feel the city slowing down as everyone tries to cope with the heat wave. Such temperatures (with humidity) are unusual for Calgary, despite it being the sunniest city in Canada. And I quickly discovered that practically NO ONE has A/C!!! So, we have been doing all we can to not roast... I know that's nothing compared to weather back home, but it's different when you're accustomed to milder weather and then BAM heat wave! Hopefully it cools off by the end of the week...

I had to say goodbye to my north area after only 5 weeks, which is super sad.. I've really grown to love the ward and my companion :( But I am also super excited for her to train a new missionary! As for myself, I've been transferred to Calgary East, Prairie Winds Ward! So far I'm loving it here. I am super excited to be in the east, because it is the most unique part of the mission! It's the poorer part of the city, and the area is heavily populated with east Indians and Philippinos. I feel like I stand out like a sore thumb. Our chapel is right next to a Sikh Temple. Instead of English and French, everything is in English and Punjabi or Philippino. Even the breeze smells of curry spices, no joke!!
But the best part of this area is the work - there is more to do here than in my previous two areas combined. My first day in I discovered we have 14 active investigators we are working with, in addition to lots of less actives and part member families. Whether it be lessons on a doorstep or helping someone move, we always have something interesting to do!

Also, within the next couple of days we will be getting our new mission president!! There is definitely an undercurrent of anticipation amongst the missionaries,  so it will be interesting what changes occur. I know President Nicholas will be missed, and am so grateful for the sacrifices he has made over the last 3 years to serve. They have given so much to be out here, and there are so many that love them for it. I would like to share his final email to us:
This will be our last message as Mission President and Companion.  We are saddened by the prospect of not being able to be part of the work in this mission on one hand, yet anxious to return to family and see the growth that has occurred in grandchildren and even in our children’s lives as well.  We will always have fond memories of the time we spent in the Great Canada Calgary Mission.
President Spencer W. Kimball says that the most important word in the scriptures is “Remember”  In Helaman Chapter 5, we are to “…remember…the words which King Benjamin spoke…that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ…” and “…remember the…words which Amulek spoke…that the Lord surely should come to redeem his people…And he has power given unto him from the Father to redeem them from their sins because of repentance…”  Finally, we are to “…remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that you must build your foundation…” 
We are to “…always remember Him…” as we covenant each week to “…keep His commandments…” so that we might “…always have His spirit…” to be with us. 
Paul says in 1 Cor. 9: 24-25, that “Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain…Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible.” 
We all are running a race called full-time missionary service
As you run this race we call a mission you run against no one but yourself.  This mission is not a competition with other missionaries and you only have to prove yourself worthy of the incorruptible crown to one person; the Savior Jesus Christ. 
Activities, temptations, distractions may pull you away from your goal of finishing this race.  Though you may have to struggle against these things, never let them distract you from the importance of serving faithfully and finishing honorably. 
There is one who doesn’t want you to finish.  He will do all that he can to keep you from finishing.  He still believes that he can thwart the great plan of happiness that our Father in Heaven has laid out for each of you.  He would lead you to believe that you can’t grow in the gospel and that you are hopeless and hapless, unworthy, unfruitful creatures that are forsaken and left to your own devices to fend for ourselves as you serve.  Nothing is further from the truth. 
Listen and heed the counsel of those who love you.  President and Sister Miles will be your greatest coaches and cheerleaders as you move through this race of a mission.  Heed their counsel just as athletes heed the words of their coaches and trainers.  Listen in order that as a runner you may finish this race. 
Always remember as you run, that you can rely on one who has finished a great work and led the way to the finish line.  “I am Alpha and Omega, Christ the Lord; yea, even I am he, the beginning and the end, the Redeemer of the world.  I, having accomplished and finished the will of him whose I am, even the Father, concerning me—having done this that I might subdue all things unto myself— Retaining all power, even to the destroying of Satan and his works…” (D&C 19: 1-3)  
The Savior and Redeemer of the world stands as our great example, our defender, and finally as our advocate when we have all finished our mortal race. 
May you so run is our final prayer for each of you. 
President and Sister Nicholas
I would like reiterate his message, that the same applies to each of you; though you may not be currently serving  as a fulltime missionary, you do have a full time mission as disciples of the Savior Jesus Christ, to follow and serve Him to the best of your abilities. I know He will help us in our individual races, so that we all may finish well.

I love you all!

Sister Patterson

P.S. Have a happy 4th of July!

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

June 23, 2015 - Pictures

Me and Sister Widgren (at the start of the transfer)

Calgary Zoo - found a moose!!!

At the Calgary Zoo

Calgary Zoo - found some new investi-gators! ;)

(My companion loves practicing her photography skills)

(More photography practice...)

Lori's BAPTISM!!!
Randomly found this downtown

One of many beautiful sunsets...

A reverse of the other sunset picture, 2 different ways

Another sky picture...

and another sky picture... I'd bet half the missionaries up here go home with a ton of them- the sky is always so beautiful!!!

Calgary Temple


June 23, 2015

 Hello everyone!

Sorry it's been so long between emails, just don't have a lot of time lately. Here are a few highlights from the last few weeks:

First of all, HAPPY FATHER's DAY!!! (I know it was Sunday, but hey, better late then never!) Just wanted to express how grateful I am for my own wonderful dad; what a privilege to be the daughter of such a hard-working, loving and generous man. I love you!!!!

For a P-day activity our zone went downtown to the Calgary Zoo! It was a really nice park, with plenty to see, even a dinosaur exhibit - hooray ;) We had a ton of fun exploring though ...

Additionally, you should know that this has been a 5 week transfer, so this week is transfer week!! It just flew by, and I can hardly believe its about to be over... My companion got a training call, so tomorrow (Wednesday) we pick up her greenie, and Thursday I go who knows where for the next 7 weeks. I'm excited to see what happens...

At a recent zone training meeting we had a wonderful discussion on the principle of God being our loving Heavenly Father. I realized that knowledge is a huge part of why I decided to serve a mission; I know that His love is real - I have felt it for myself and experienced the peace and comfort that comes from feeling a father's deep and genuine love for their child. I have evidence of His love from knowing He answers prayers, and having experienced the enabling and redeeming powers of the atonement of His Son Jesus Christ. "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) What a priceless gift! I want to share that with others so that they too can feel the joy that comes turning to our loving Heavenly Father. I would invite you to ask yourselves: How do you KNOW that He loves YOU?

We went on exchanges, and I got to go to central Calgary, downtown area. Interesting place to be, variety of people to meet. There's definitely a different feel to try and street contact such a busy area. Re-emphasized to me that people really do notice the missionaries, that we stand out as representatives of Jesus Christ. Got to teach some awesome lessons though!

My companion and I also had the privilege of going to the Calgary Temple! What a beautiful place, not only for it's architectural and designed beauty, but for the Spirit that's there, the peace within it's walls, and most importantly, for the work that it done within. I was able to take another family name, and felt an added sense of gratitude in doing so. I know that the temple is the house of God, that it is a place where we can be strengthened to endure the storms of life. I know that we have a great privilege and duty to do work for those who have passed on, and that because of it, families truly can be together forever!

Our mission had a goal for them month of May to have 50 investigators on date to be baptized, and it was amazing to watch as we all worked to achieve that number. In a month we managed to nearly double our number of people on date! Having that unified goal really helped us all keep our focus on our missionary purpose of inviting others to come unto Christ, by helping them receive the restored gospel, through faith in Jesus Christ and His atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Not only did we meet our goal, but we were able to see miracles in the process. In my new area alone there were 2 baptisms in the month of May. I wanted to tell you about one in particular. Her name is Lori, and she is a single woman in her 50's. Her dad and brother are long time members of the Church, and they have hoped and prayed for years that she would join. At a move, her brother asked us to visit her and see if she would be interested, and turned out she finally was! After knowing her for only 3 weeks she was baptized and confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I couldn't be happier then to know that this wonderful daughter of God has been prepared for years for this time, and that it doesn't matter if we are 8 or 80, we can all receive the same blessings of discipleship when we choose to follow our Savior and keep His commandments. It's been a miracle to watch her progress in her testimony and faith, to know that she is making and keeping commitments that will bring her peace in this life and the greatest joy in the next. I know what the scriptures promise to be true, that those who keep the commandments are truly blessed and happy, "for behold, they are blessed in all things, both temporal and spiritual, and if they hold out faithful to the end they are received into heaven, that thereby they may dwell with God in a state of never-ending happiness." (Mosiah 2:41)

I love you all!
Sister Patterson