Sunday, September 4, 2011

The Bus At Last

We did it! We got bus passes for the month of September. On our way back from the stake center on Monday we encountered an accident which meant a detour upon which we encountered another accident which meant a lot of traffic and a long delay. We have not driven the car since then. We have either walked  or taken the bus (and/or street car and/or subway). For some reason we don't mind it a bit. We do meet some strange people on the bus, like the old man from Portugal who has been in Canada for 50 years that we had to help get off the bus at an unscheduled last stop and wait for the next bus.

Side yard in our neighborhood
Roofing project
The guardian lion of our apartment building
 We have spent a lot of time this week getting ready for our institute class that was moved up from Sep 15th to Sep 8th. We learned this when we met with Brother Goldthorp, the institute director, for orientation on Tuesday. Yes, we walked to and from the church for the orientation and again to and from the church for ESL in the evening. We figured we got our 6-mile walk in for the day. This was followed by zone and district meetings on Wednesday (another walk to and from the church).

We finally got to take public transportation Thursday afternoon after spending the morning preparing our institute lesson. We caught the trolly (Sister Wheeler insists they call it a street car in Toronto, but it would be a bonde in Brazil) then a bus to Whole Foods to check on gluten-free food. This is the same place we went last month, but could only find 1-hour parking several blocks away so we didn't have time to look for anything. We then went walking around Bloor Street in the city without worrying about a parking ticket. We caught the subway at another location followed by a bus right back to our apartment.

Our first street car
Yorkville - the ritzy area of the city
It looks like the Masonic order has purchased MTV
Sister Wheeler is color coordinated with city walls

Thursday evening we were invited to a missionary dinner at the home of Angel, our ward mission leader. It seemed like a Young Single Adult gathering. Many of them may be in our institute class. We had tacos (of course, those that lived there were Mexicans).  We rode the bus there even though we have walked there in the past. On the way back we just missed the bus so we had a pleasant walk back to our apartment.

Angel (the ward misson leader) and Victor (who will teach the Spanish institute class)
Marco - a new member of the church

This has seemed like a busy and tiring week (even though we don't know if we have done anything) so we were ready for a p-day on Friday. We spent the morning in slow motion the decided to go to see Fort York. It played part in the war with America (or what we call the war of 1812). Again we were glad we didn't have to drive. There was the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) going on in the neighborhood with a lot of traffic and $25 parking. Once we were at the fort it was nice and peaceful, even though you can see the city all around.

The war between Canada and the United States
Officer's halls
Officer's dining room
In the kitchen
Fire the canon
 After ESL on Saturday (in which Elder Wheeler tried reading from a Chinese Book of Mormon with a student) they had a picnic at Christie Pits park for the priesthood. Fortunately, Sister Wheeler wasn't the only female there. We were, however, the only Portuguese speakers there. We really felt like outsiders, even though everyone was friendly.

Ward barbeque
We took a little walk through Korea Town before going back to the apartment. It's nice being able to ride (and then walk) anywhere we want in the city. Since this is a holiday weekend, the Canadian Air Force put on an air show which extended to where we were.

Sidewalk flower painting in Korea Town
Flying high in the sky
Large truck blocking all traffic trying to turn a corner
On Saturday morning we got a conference call from our new mission president, President Scott, from Huntsville, Utah. He told us that the mission vision is:  1) Being pure in heart, 2) exact obedience, and 3) being a "Preach My Gospel" mission. We will learn more as we have zone conferences during this month.

We might even know what we are doing here in Toronto. Jesus asked the Nephites the question"What manner of men ought ye to be?" the answered it, "Verily I say unto you, even as I am." (3 Nephi 27:27). Peter described what manner of man Jesus was: "How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good." (Acts 10: 38). Maybe all we need to do is have the spirit with us and go around doing good - simple, isn't it?

Meanwhile, we figured out we have six roles here in Toronto (in which we can do good). 1) We are working with the Christie Ward (especially the Portuguese-speaking); 2) We are working with CES as institute teachers; 3) We are working with the younger missionaries in ESL, district meetings, and zone meeting; 4) We are helping the mission office with the supply room and other chores as needed; 5) We are proselytizing by teaching Portuguese-speaking investigators an "letting our light shine" as we go around town; and 6) We are trying to keep our sanity, which may be the most challenging role we have.

Meanwhile, it looks like everything is going well at home without us. Here are a couple of pictures by John Edmond of scenes from the yard. These are real pictures from Logan.

Summer flowers

1 comment:

AZ SMITHS said...

I love seeing all the different parts of Toronto. What an interesting city.