Sunday, December 11, 2011

'Tis the season to be ...

Another week has gone by and we are one week closer to Christmas. At least it is beginning to look a lot more like Christmas. There are some houses that are decorated, but most are not. We wondered what to do for a Christmas tree - buy a real one (costs too much), get a small artificial tree (what do we do after Christmas is over?). We decided to get a small Christmas setting and use it as a tree.

Decorated house on Ossington Ave.
Christmas tree at ward party
Christmas trees for sale
Our Christmas tree

We needed a day to catch up on everything, especially on finances, so Monday we registered the car, went to the bank, mailed a bunch of letters, and got our institute lesson (as well as other things). Why does it take us so long to catch up on a lot of things the other missionaries don't even have to worry about?

Tuesday was zone conference (for 3 zones) in Oakville. We left early so we could get there in time through the snow (not a lot of it). We took the three Don Mills elders with us - Elder Johnson, Elder Bode (from Germany), and Elder Roy (who is from Brampton, but awaiting a Visa to serve in Las Vegas.
Elders Johnson, Bode, and Roy
Sister Gay, who has a PhD in psychology (or something like that) was asked to give us a workshop on "The Best Two Years and How to Survive Them". It was about how to deal with stress, which ends up being the biggest struggle we have on our mission. She said stress occurs in response to a gap (gaps between needs, expectations, shoulds, etc.). It was very helpful. Maybe we are just normal. We need to identify the gaps and reduce them.

Safety sign on the subway
Pres. Scott reviewed 2 Nephi 31 with us and gave us a chance to role-play, our favorite activity (jk). We were able to role play with the terrific threesome - Sister Rosenlof, Sister Jungert, and Sister Klein.

The terrific threesome
There is another interesting threesome in Black Creek (a Spanish Ward). Sister Camejo was in the Christie Ward for three weeks (her first three weeks in the mission) when she was transfered to work with Sister Cottam in Black Creek (who also had only been in the mission three weeks). They are now training Sister Ence who just arrived on her mission. Does the color "green" come to mind?

Sisters Cottam, Ence, and Camejo
The assistants held a Jeopardy competition among the three zones with questions from the "white handbook".
Jeopardy competition
Some missionaries know the answers

We ended with a special Christmas program with music and a very insightful talk by Sister Scott.

Wednesday brought an organ workshop by Sister Wheeler at the Weston Ward. For the first time she is using her musical knowledge to help others. We had our next to last class for institute on Thursday. We are trying to determine what we should do for Christmas for the missionaries, our institute students, and members. This means trying to see what is available in the stores around. We went to see the PATH which consists of walkways connecting major buildings downtown that are underground. There are many stores on this underground path but because they are downtown and in the financial area they have things that are expensive. 

We had ESL on Saturday morning (three students from Korea). We finally were able to contact Tony and Simone by going to the Gym where he works. We were told they are too busy for further visits. He is getting his business going and needs Sunday to do it. She is enjoying attending the Pentecostal church with a friend. They did say (with some hesitation) that they will continue to read the Book of Mormon. Maybe they will be ready some time in the future.

Saturday brought the Ward Christmas party. There was a big turnout with dinner and a special program. We did wish we could understand what they were saying. They seemed to do well, but we had no clue what was going on.
Story from Mexico?
Your guess is as good as ours?
We got the nativity scene (with a real baby)
Every so often we are reminded that we are in a foreign country. For example, cows don't give their milk in cartons as in Utah, but in plastic bags. We put a bag in a small pitcher and cut a corner of the bag to pour out the milk. 

Milk from the store
Milk on the table
Here are a few shots around Toronto.

A praying mantis?
The musical missionary
Tree trimming time
The "straight and narrow" tree
Where's the beef?
Four penguins
So that's where Canadian milk comes from
Skating in Toronto

 Here is Bishop Ferreira working at his desk just prior to Ward Council. He asked if I caught his mistake on film.
Bishop Ferreira

 Finally, here we are at the tri-zone conference.

Still alive in the Canada Toronto Mission

1 comment:

Nancy W. Jensen said...

Very fun! The ward party pictures made me laugh. The PATH sounds really interesting; kind of like the Seattle Underground, only on purpose? I also like "Mind the Gap." I'll keep that thought in mind as well. "Frustration always comes from expectation. Change the expectation, and the frustration disappears." I remember learning that--although I haven't implemented it well yet! But "mind the gap" is more fun.