Canadian Montreal Mission
12 October 2016—26 October 2016
Dear Family and Friends:
I decided to highlight 3 topics in this letter: “Service, Stake Conference and Souper (Dinner)”
Wednedsay, October 19th—Service--The ward Relief Society President (organization for women 18 and older in the church) wanted to prepare some items for Christmas baskets. She invited the sisters over to her house to make “roses.” Apparently this idea has been on Pinterest and the internet, but I never saw it.
About 7 of us, including the sister missionaries, gathered to make the roses. We used puff pastry, rolled it out and then cut it into 6 long strips. Next, we spread apricot jam (or probably another one would work) over the strips. We had sliced apples very thin—from the stem end—and cooked them about 1-1/2 minutes in the microwave to get them soft and pliable. We used Cortland apples, but I think you could use any hard, crisp apple. Then, lay the apple layers touching each other along one edge of each strip. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Next, fold the other edge over the apples and roll up like a cinnamon roll. Put them in a muffin tin lined with cupcake papers. Bake at 350 for about 20-30 minutes until slightly brown on top. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.
We didn’t get to sample any as the RS President froze them for the baskets, but they looked terrific. I have attached pictures. We figured that you could also do a savory “rose” by slicing potatoes and adding cheese and bacon. Try it—you’ll like it.
Friday October 21, 2016—“Souper” (Dinner in Canada)—The YM/YW (youth 12-18) in the ward held a “Crazy Dinner.” It is one where you “order” items off of a “menu” by ranking them 1-9. Then, the kitchen staff serves you dinner with 3 items every 15 minutes off of the menu you ordered. Our theme was “Thanksgiving.” So, for example, you could have selected the words gratitude, service and turkey. Those words may have corresponded to the crazy dinner idea of a fork, napkin and juice. That is what the person was served for the first 15 minutes. The next 15 minutes, the person may receive spaghetti, a spoon and the pudding. It was really fun. We have attached some pictures. We only have about 7 active youth, plus their friends, so they all seemed to enjoy it. Elder Scott is the 2nd counselor in the YM organization.
Saturday, October 22, 2016—Stake Conference—In the morning, we had district meeting. This is the weekly meeting that we hold with the elders and sisters in our area—those that meet in our building. We had a new district leader. They live in Ottawa. Their ward boundaries are within that area, but it takes them 1 ½ hours each way on a bus to get to the chapel. I usually try and have a snack for everyone at these meeting; they really seem to appreciate it.
Elder Scott gave a talk at the 3:00 PM Priesthood Leadership session of conference on how to involve youth in the activities. I hear that he did a great job. That left me to drive to Orléans where our stake center is. (A stake center building covers a larger geographic area that would encompass several smaller buildings or wards). That normally wouldn’t be a problem, but it was raining and I was to pick up 5 people in different parts of Gatineau in Ottawa. We took 1 new member and her mother in the other ward, 1 new investigator in the other ward, 2 returning members in our ward.
They held a light supper and a Q&A period for all of these people in the stake center. The mission president and the stake president answered questions. They were allowed to ask whatever they wanted. Several questions were: “Why do I continue to have struggles in life”, “How can I pay tithing on a limited budget”, and “How can we overcome addictions.” The stake president encouraged people to contact their bishop for resources.
Saturday and Sunday October 22, 2016—Stake Conference Saturday night and Sunday morning sessions. The theme for the conference was “Making and Keeping Sacred Covenants (in the Temple)”. Some of the most incredible talks I’ve ever heard on this topic.
President Carter, the new Montreal Temple President, told us that he welcomed us in the temple and wanted us to feel at home there. He expressed it as an “exhilarating experience” to be called of God to this position. He talked about the great plan of happiness that our Heavenly Father laid out in the pre-existence. He knew that men would fall, so He provided a Savior for us. There were, as we know, two plans. Jesus’ plan followed the rules of the Father and all glory would be to Him. Satan wanted to follow the plan on his own terms. He was so persuasive that 1/3 of the host of heaven followed him.
He handed around to the youth in the choir an old nail given to him as a gift when he was a Mission President in France. He said that it reminded him of part of the covenant that Christ accepted in his palms, wrists and feet. He is still making covenants with us. He went to the end of the covenant. We can all be part of the Celestial Kingdom and have eternal life.
Tuesday, October 25th—We went to Pembroke to visit the elders there. It is about 2 hours west of Ottawa. There are beautiful farms, cows and gorgeous trees of autumn along the route. We do periodic apartment inspections. We helped them take out the air conditioner and store it, fix about 5 chairs in the apartment, hang pictures and white boards. Of course, Elder Scott did most of this, but he is really good at showing the missionaries how to do the work themselves. We then took the elders out to a Chinese buffet. It was fun to see them again as one of the elders had been in our district for about 5 months.
When we got home, we discovered that there was no water in the apartment. Apparently, a city water main had broken. Luckily, I was invited out with some ladies in the ward to have dinner with a sister that had moved and came back to visit. (Restaurants have restrooms). I kept calling Elder Scott to see if the water was turned back on. Everytime I asked, he said “no.” The restaurant was kind of slow getting our orders. I ordered a steak with vegetables and a baked potato thinking I could bring half of it home to Elder Scott. Well, when the steak arrived, it was really rare, so they offered to put it on the grill for 2 more minutes. I waited about 15 minutes and by then, most of my friends had finished with their dinners. The waitress was picking up their plates. By now, I had eaten all the vegetables and half of the baked potato. She came and asked me if she could have my plate and I said, “J’attends mon steak,” or, “I’m waiting for my steak.” She got one of those looks like, “Oh, my gosh, I forgot the steak.” So, they said they would cook me another one. So, I waited another 20 minutes or so and kept texting Steve to see if the water was back on. “No.” To my surprise, the waitress brought back another complete order with new veggies, baked potato and steak. Well, by now, I was full. (But, I hadn’t drunk any water—out of FEAR!) So now, I took two bites of the steak and was full.
It was already about 9:30 and the stores close early. I excused myself from the restaurant and found a store nearby that didn’t close until 10:00. I went in and asked for LARGE bottles of water so we could at least flush. I got 6 huge bottles (8 liters each) and paid for them. Just then, I got a text from Steve saying the water was back on. Obviously, I no longer needed 6 big bottles of water, so I asked if I could return them. They said no because the return desk was closed. I couldn’t imagine carrying those 6 heavy bottles of water to the car and then back the next day. So, I explained to them the problem with our water being out, then getting turned back on. They said if I had paid with debit, I could return them, so I got to return 4 of them. Lucky me.
So, in the long run, God was watching out for me, even amid trials. I got a nice steak dinner, Steve got a nice steak dinner, I got to be with friends, the water came back on and we had water storage!
Wednesday, October 26th—One of my callings in the ward is to help with the activity days for 8-12 year old girls. They have discontinued the Scouting program for the 10-12 year old boys in Canada. So now, once every 2 months, the two groups get together. There were about 20-25 kids there. The other ward had arranged a lot of fun activities for the kids. Many of them were like the “Minute-to-Win” it games on U.S. tv. The kids seemed to really enjoy it—I have attached some pictures.
We continue to enjoy and learn from the experiences we are having. We have made some great friends and enjoy serving here.
Have a great week—Love, the Scotts.