The ups and downs of a young missionary serving the Lord in the Canada Vancouver Mission. 2014-2016.
Elder Reynolds Nametag
Tuesday, February 17, 2015
Beautiful British Columbia
Greetings from your northern sister country, in the beautiful province of British Columbia!
I’ve been a Canadian for almost a week now, and I want to start by saying that I have never before seen such kind airport security. All through the airport, from police to customs, the staff were smiling, and each person seemed to have a different accent. So my first impression of Canada has been spot-on so far.
They say that America is a big “melting pot” of culture, but who ever said that has never tried Canadian soup. I’ve met people from a lot different countries, including but not limited to: England, Scotland, China, Korea, Taiwan, Mexico, Zimbabwe, First Nation (which is the Canadian way of saying “native american”), and the Republic of Texas.
Our travel group was warmly welcomed by President and Sister Burt. They have been in this mission since July, but they are amazing and everybody loves them.
We have a 9 a.m. prayer every morning where every companionship in the entire mission prays for unity, charity, and that every companionship will find a new person looking for the gospel each month. It’s a really neat idea. This mission is also extremely loving, including certain mission rules, which threw me off a bit at first. For example, every morning when leaving the apartment, we have to tell our companion we love them and love serving with them.
My companions are Elder Smith and Elder Sloan. Both of them are really cool guys, and have been out for a while. Elder Sloan has down syndrome, but he has such great faith and does not fear anyone. He’ll talk to everyone he sees, and it’s really admirable. Elder Sloan lives in Surrey, which is about 30 minutes away from where we are, so we pick him up from a bus stop in the morning and drop him off at night. Elder Smith has been out for 16 months now, and we’re getting along very well. He’s fairly laid-back but we’ve been keeping exactly to the mission rules.
My first area here is a city titled Willoughby, which is located in the Langely zone. There are a lot of really strong members up here, and the Vancouver temple is located right next to the Willoughby chapel, so we can see the temple every Sunday. As for the mission work, we’ve been working closely with the ward council and have received many referrals in the last week. However, we’ve had no success yet. We’ve gone door-to-door with no avail, and people on the street tend to avoid us. We have had some very good conversations with people, but nobody really wants to see us again, and every appointment reschedules at the last minute. As such, I’ve had no lessons, but I’m slowly becoming more comfortable with talking to and trying to help anybody I see.
We have done a little bit of service. My second day here, some members needed help moving, so Elder Smith and I were there to move boxes and such. As the project was coming to a close, Elder Smith and I were put on grilling duty because the members had promised burgers. Now neither of us had much experience with a grill, but I’ve seen my dad grill hundreds of times, and I’ve use several mini-grills on scout campouts, so I grilled while Elder Smith assembled the burgers. When it was all said and done, the burgers were delicious, and some of the Chinese youth told me it was the best burger they’d ever had and that the beef was grilled to perfection. That was a relief, because I still haven’t figured out how to work with Celsius thermometers.
As for Canada itself, the place is beautiful. There are trees everywhere. Huge trees of all kinds everywhere. Every route feels like a scenic route. The mountains tower over the city on the East, and the flat horizon in the west hints at the presence of the ocean, though we cannot see it from here. Places like McDonald’s, Wendy’s, and Walmart are very common, but they try to sneak a red maple leaf into every logo, just in case you forget you’re in Canada. They also work on a dollar ($) system, though the Canadian dollar is not worth quite as much as the American dollar. Prices here are much higher than they are in America, but everybody gets paid a lot more, so it balances out.
Also all the teachers in British Columbia are on strike for some reason, so there’s a lot of schools that are shut down right now. Lots of community centers and churches are offering day camps to compensate with the lack of schooling.
One more thing: If you want to send letters or packages, you can save a lot on postage by sending it to this address-
Canada Vancouver Mission
P.O. Box 149
Point Roberts, WA 98281-0149
Every Monday and Thursday, people from the mission office drive down to that address in Washington so you don’t need to worry about out-of-country fees. They take the mail back to Canada and distribute it among the zone leaders, who then get it to us. If you send a package, write everything that’s in the box on the outside, either on the box or an attached paper, so it can make it across the border much easier.
Keep the emails, letters, and packages coming! I love hearing from everyone!