Sunday, July 31, 2011

The Grand Shuffle

This was the week of the grand shuffle, when the two missions really came together. Officially, the Canada Toronto mission came to life on the first of July, but it wasn't until this transfer that the missionaries of the two missions merged, like a deck of cards. Almost all companionships were changed (fortunately, not ours). We traveled to Brampton four times this week (including Sunday which we mentioned in our last blog).

We got a call to drive to the mission office on Tuesday, leave our car in Brampton, and drive a mission car back to be used for the transfer. This is the first time we have been involved in a transfer, so we needed to watch a safety video (staring Elder Holland) before we could drive a mission car. Since we were going to Brampton we arranged with the Zone Leaders to help load up our car and the Lindsey's car with all of Lindsey's belongings that will be shipped back to Utah. As you may recall, Elder Lindsey had a blood condition (probably picked up as a senior missionary in the Philippines) and had to return home. We were able to get everything in the two cars and take them to the mission home. After we unloaded, we drove our car to the mission office to trade for a larger car.

Wednesday was transfer day. Our assignment was to 1) Pick up Hermana Wheeler from her Christie apartment and take her with her luggage to Black Creek (she had other arrangements so it ended up just taking her luggage); 2) Pick up Sister Crosby with her luggage as well as Sister Tillet's luggage (she's going home) and return to the Christie apartment; 3) Pick up Sister Seller's luggage (she is also going home) at the Christie apartment and take the luggage to the Toronto Stake Center; and 4) Take all the luggage that we could carry of those going home  from the Toronto Stake Center to the Brampton Stake Center. We had luggage for five missionaries packed in the mission car.

Previous Christie Sisters: Fotheringham, Wheeler, and Sellers

New Christie Sisters: Fotheringham and Crosby

Waiting at the Toronto Stake Center for the transfer
When we arrived at the Brampton Stake Center we ran across the other Elder Wheeler (from the East Mission) who was on his way home, There is also an Elder Wheeler from the West Mission. We went to the mission office to turn in the mission car, get our own car, and wait for the zone leaders to arrive with their van. they needed to use the mission truck the next day for moving furniture so they drove it back to Toronto rather than returning with us.
Three of the four Wheelers
 Hermana Wheeler, Sister Wheeler and Sister Brown (Hermana Wheeler's new companion)

With transfers over, we had a big day planned for Thursday. We needed to get some mail from the old mission office (which we couldn't get earlier because they changed the locks), attend zone and district meeting with our new zone, and attend a 2:00 PM temple session with the senior couples and missionaries going home. We didn't do any of our planned activities. We got a call at 9:30 AM that one of the missionaries needed to be in Brantford (1 1/2 hours from Toronto) by 11 AM for a doctor's appointment. We got there as fast as we could arriving after 11:30. Fortunately, the doctor (LDS) was understanding about arriving late. While waiting, we took the car into a Honda dealership for servicing. We finished just in time to pick up the missionaries from the clinic. We arrived in Brampton about 3:30 PM, and were able to make it for a pot-luck dinner with the senior couples, then back to Toronto.

By Friday we were dead tired. We got a notice that our window air conditioner couldn't be in the bedroom (safety reasons - something about a 19 story drop on someone's head) so we moved it to the living room on Thursday night. We couldn't use cardboard to fill in the gap of the open window so on Friday we got some plexiglass from Home Depot, cut it to size, and installed it. It really looks good. The city was really socked in with a dense fog so our plans to walk the city center didn't materialize. We didn't get the break we needed this week.

Taught another Mandarin class for ESL on Saturday. It is really brain wracking trying to teach someone English with the very limited Chinese I know. We walked up and down Bloor Street near the church. We found a Portuguese butcher shop that also had guarana, a gluten-free cheese bread mix, and manjoca flour. Toronto is hosting a Caribbean Carnival downtown. We didn't go, but passed some people in "costumes" headed for it. We didn't take a picture since it wouldn't have been appropriate for a mission blog. We did get a picture, however, of two lovely ladies in front of a painted fence.

Sister Hodgkin and Sister Phillips - new Toronto Ward missionaries
As we look out over the city from our apartment we can see the roof of the Ossington Chapel. It is easy to find because of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church close to it. As I passed the church one day I was curious to find out which church it was. After reading about the church from a sign in the Cyrillic alphabet, I noticed the same thing in English right below it. Why do I always have to do things the hard way?
Ukraine Orthodox Church next to our chapel
Well, it is Sunday and our brains are fried. Elder Wheeler was down to about 10% comprehension in Spanish today. Even the Portuguese was low. The Portuguese elders are gone. Elder Lima is a district leader in London and Elder Workman is a follow-up trainer in Midland (in the north). We are alone in the Portuguese effort in Toronto and feel quite lonely. We are focusing on Portuguese members of the ward, but just this week we have had several possible referrals, including a young couple (soon to be married) who came to church today. We will have to see how things go in the future. We do know that it is all in the Lord's hands, not ours.


Kate said...

Wow, your mission does transfers very differently from they way mine did, it is very interesting, we had to figure out how to get us and our luggage wherever we needed to go, bus, train or car, we almost always got there.

I am wondering what a "Follow up Trainer" is? I called myself the "Re-Trainer" because was must about everyone's second companion and I found that after leaving their trainers, new missionaries had insecurities that I was able to help them overcome...maybe I should have called myself the "Follow Up Trainer".
Love you guys, You are in the Lord's hand and he will continue to put you exactly where he needs you.

AZ SMITHS said...

Our transfer days were very different as well. I'm sure they were glad for all of your help and driving. Change is the one constant thing about a mission! :)