Monday, June 27, 2011

We Thank Thee O God For A Prophet

LDS Girl's Camp Dedication
Saturday was a long day. We left before 6:00 am to go to the dedication of the Thomas S. Monson girl's camp. It took about 3 hours to get there (arriving about 9 am) so we could use the van to shuttle drivers between the parking area and the ceremony. (We didn't have authorization to drive the van so we just waited). It is a beautiful camp on a lake. It was a rainy day so umbrellas were abundant. It stopped raining before President Monson started speaking. After the dedication we waited around (shuttling) for a few hours. It was an interesting experience.
Elder and Sister Wheeler on the lake
The lake

Waiting in the rain

President Monson tells of his scouting days

Sisters Wheeler, Mayo, Bolin, and Dodge

Now back to the first of the week. Monday after laundry and shopping we visited Edwards Gardens, just up the road from us. It is a beautiful site to get away from the city for some peace and quiet.
Stream in Edwards Garden

Edwards Garden

On Thursday we had a zone temple day. There were 21 missionaries. We were the only senior couple that went. We had the opportunity to be the witness couple. After the session we all went to the Mandarin (a Chinese buffet). Yes, I found something to eat.
Zone 300 at the Toronto Temple

Sister Wheeler at the Mandarin
Elder Te'o, our zone leader, went in for surgery following our zone meeting on Wednesday. We visited him at the hospital (we called it the sanitorium) on Friday and took him back to his apartment on Sunday.

Elder Te'o recovering from surgery
The church had the parking lot resurfaced this week. We usually park on it when we visit the mission office. After it was dry we parked on it again, but when we were ready to leave we noticed it was blocked off because of the newly painted arrows. Believe it or not,Sister Wheeler had the courage to move some of the cones so we could escape. Watch out for the mounties :-)

Sunday was a busy day. As we mentioned, we picked up Elder Te'o and took him back to his apartment. Some of the elders had a baptism planned for Sunday, but he didn't show up for church and didn't answer his phone so Elder Wheeler took them to his house - not at home. He finally called and told the elders he was in Montreal responding to an emergency. Both Luiz and Isabel were at church today. We didn't have a gospel principles class scheduled so Elder Wheeler gave one on prayer.

It's been a busy week, but next week looks even busier.

Monday, June 20, 2011

An expensive week

When we looked up information on mission costs it said to expect about $2500 a month. With the current exchange rate we loose money every time we convert money and the prices are a lot higher than in Utah. The sales tax is 13% so that adds on to the price of everything. This week was especially expensive. The hard drive failed on the MacBook which cost a bundle plus the McNabbs decided they preferred a king-sized bed so we purchased  a new queen-sized bed. We hope to make up for it next week when the NcNabbs and Eyers leave. We can have any of their furniture they are not taking themselves.
Elder Payne and Elder Pike moving the bed out
This was transfer week so everyone was excited. They finished up ESL classes on Tuesday evening by having root beer floats. The missionaries stayed around afterward to write notes in each others journals before everyone separated.
Missionaries writing notes to others

Wednesday was new missionary orientation. We had three new missionaries, Elder Ashton from Utah, Elder Lau from Hong Kong, and Elder de Moura from Brazil. Since Elder de Moura spoke good English, he only stayed in the MTC for three weeks instead of 9 weeks so he arrived early. For this reason Elder Woodruff was transferred to Picking (leaving Elders Lima, Workman, and de Moura as a threesome). Since we were also new, we joined the new them at the new missionary orientation with Pres. and Sister Eyre.
Elser de Moura with Adla (a new member)
On transfer week zone and district meetings are held on Thursday instead of Wednesday. It was fun to have new elders and sisters in the zone.
Zone conference
One day two weeks ago we were walking over to the store across the street and a boy from Bosnia on a bicycle stopped us. Seeing our name tags he asked about attending our church. We got his name and phone number which we passed along to Elder Duce who covers the area where we live. He called the phone number and started teaching the Basim family. No one seems to know anything about the boy who stopped us, but we were invited to join in on a lesson with the family. It was an interesting experience.

Elder Aston and Elder Duce with the Bosnian family

Saturday was a very busy day. We started the morning with a new session of ESL classes. We were assigned to teach the Portuguese class (the beginning class for those who know very little English). No one showed up so Elder Wheeler joined with class "C" (low level of English) while Sis. Wheeler waited to see if anyone else showed up. There was an older man in the class who spoke Chinese (Cantonese) and very little English. Elder Wheeler had to do a lot of translation into Mandarin for him. Sister Wheeler is really being put to use playing the piano for district meetings and ESL. We had a 4:30 appointment across town for the elders to introduce us to an inactive member. The member was not home so we rushed back just in time to attend a farewell social for Pres. and Sister Eyre at the McNabbs house.
Elder de Moura and Elder Lima with Adla

Elder and Sister Wheeler at a cancelled apointment

Farewell social

The Eyers with a book of memories from the senior couples
Sunday was a busy day, beginning with Sacrament Meeting and ending with a Portuguese fireside. The gospel doctrine class is taught by Sidy who taught Portuguese in Brazil. She speaks beautiful Portuguese which flows off her tongue very rapidly. Elder Wheeler ended up teaching the Portuguese class for priesthood meeting and giving a talk at the fireside. Sister Wheeler played the piano for Relief Society.

The Wheelers with Sidy
Well, another busy week has gone and we are still alive. We hope everything is well at home. Soon we should be in our permanent apartment and connected to the internet so posting a blog will be easier.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Mission Conference

Big news this week, but that will wait until later. Since Elder Wheeler was asked to help out with coordinating mission supplies for the combining of the mission we went to the Toronto West Mission office in Brampton to talk with Sister Carroll from that mission. We were able to meet Pres. Brower who will be the mission president for the combined Canada Toronto Mission. The Elder and Sister Lindsey from our mission had flown home to Utah for the funeral of their daughter-in-law. We picked them up at the airport that evening.

Sister and Elder Lindsey
We worked in the supply room of the mission office on Tuesday and counted Books of Mormon in 95 differnt languages. There were only 12 languages in which the Book of Mormon has been translated that we do not have. (Does anyone have a Book of Mormon in Hawaiian?) Sister McNabb is the missionary in the office who is in charge of supplies. They are headed for a small branch in the Southwest of Ontario when th mission office closes.

Sister and Elder McNabb

We had zone and district meetings on Wednesday. We really enjoy working with the young missionaries. To introduce us the missionaries put us on the "hot seat" where they could ask us any questions they desired. When Elder Wheeler was asked about his favorite Disney princess he said, "whichever one my granddaughters are pretending to be at the moment".  We will now introduce you to some of the missionaries in our district.
Elder Te'o and Elder Herycz (zone leaders)

Sister Braithwaite and Sister Phillips (Toronto ward)

Sister Tillet and Sister Sellers (Spanish-speaking)

On Thursday we got a new bed. Since th McNabbs are moving they didn't want to take their king-sized bed so we traded two twin beds (now in mission storage) for their king bed. We also got a new dresser in the trade. Elder Kim and Elder Payne (Korean eldrs) helped us move.

Elder Kim and Elder Payne
Since we haven't had much of a break to see toronto we decided to visit the Ontario Science Center across the street from us. It is huge with many vacant spaces and luxurious (complex). There were many school childrn there who increased the sound level.

Ontario Science Center

Sister Wheeler in the rain forest
Now for the big news. We were informed that there would be a mission confernce in Brampton with Elder Ballard so we went there on Saturday. He informed us that President Brower would be released in August and we would have a new mission president. This is because of the health of sister Brower (who is the daughter of Elder Ballard). We had a glance of the Toronto Temple while we were there.

Toronto Temple
Time to go, but we wanted to share mac (our doorknob).
Our happy doorknob

Monday, June 6, 2011

First Week in Toronto

I told Sister Wheeler that the first week on a mission was the longest week in your life. I think she agrees now. Yesterday was fast Sunday. On our way home from church we saw Sister Wheeler (the other Sister Wheeler) and her companion Sister Fotheringham talking to two ladies near our apartment building. They and Meifang Gong (a sister from their ward) were meeting with another lady. We invited them for dinner. Sister Fotheringham wanted to have top billing for our blog, so here they are.
Sis. Fotheringham, Sis. Wheeler, Sis. Gong, Sis. Wheeler
Saturday (May 28)
We unpacked then went to the stake center where they were having an openhouse, focusing on emergency preparedness. We then picked up some things from the store. We moved in to an apartment close to the mission offices (but far from our area).
Living room

View of the Science Center from our bedroom window
Sunday (May 29)
Meetings in Christie Ward started at 1pm so we had a relaxed morning. The Cristie Ward meets in the oldest LDS chapel in Ontario. We were asked to introduce ourselves and bear our testimonies. Diane gave hers in Portuguese and did very well. Most of the meetings were in Spanish, but we got along OK. A home teacher asked if we could visit an inactive family (the Roccas) with him. Luis was born in Brazil of Spanish parents and Isabel is from Portugal. We had a good visit and invited then to attend meetings on Sunday.
Toronto Chapel where the Christie Ward meets
Luis and Isabel with Elder and sister Wheeler
Monday (May 30)
We needed to do some major shopping today. We also went to the mission offices to get e-mail and to post our blog. There were a lot of missionaries there since it is Preparation Day for the younger missionaries. The office couples are Elder and Sister Mayo and Elder and Sister McNabb. We had a Family Home Evening at the church in the evening. Elder Lima (from Brazil) gave the lesson (in Portuguese of course). We then played charades from the scriptures.
Elder and Sister Mayo
FHE activity
Sister Wheeler playing charades
Tuesday (May 31)
We had a zone conference all day today. It was well planned and presented. One of the issues discussed was the uniting of the Toronto East and West missions. It is lively around here with everything going on.
President and sister Eyre with the Wheelers
Wednesday (Jun 1)
 Today was spent in getting our Canadian bank set up. We then visited with Elder and Sister Lindsey who work in the Toronto Ward. They gave Sister Wheeler some old curtains to cut up for curtains for the Portuguese elders apartment.

Thursday (Jun 2)
We had a planning meeting with the Portuguese elders in their apartment. We are very impressed with the Elders here. Elder Woodruff in the district leader. He lived in Brazil while his father was a mission president and speaks Portuguese very well. Elder Workman is from Idaho. He spent a year of his mission serving in an English speaking ward and is just now getting back into the Portuguese language. Elder Lima is from Brazil (and the hardest to understand). I am very impressed with his teaching ability. We are fortunate to be working with such fine elders. Sister Wheeler spent the evening working on the curtains.

Elder Workman, Elder Woodruff, and Elder Lima

Sister wheeler making curtains for the elders
Friday (Jun 3)
We went with the elders to visit a family who lives close to our building. We had a lesson on the temple. The daughter moved here from Brazil recently and was baptized about two months ago.

Tomaz, Dina, and Elda with Elder and Sister Wheeler

Saturday (Jun 4)
We had English as a Second Language classes at the church. We were not part of it, but were observers. They have a software program (written in MS Access) used for mission supplies. Sister Carroll from the West Mission was interested in using the program (with some changes) so Elder Wheeler spent the evening learning about Access.

Sunday (Jun 5)
Luis Rocca showed up at church today. I guess we had some success for our effort this week. He said he will bring Isabel next week. She is not a member of the church, but has received the lessons.

Well, it has been a long week. We hope all is well with everyone.