Sunday, April 1, 2012

April Fools

It's a good thing we got our air conditioner in the window last month because we had snow today. We thought it was an April Fools joke on us, but it is general conference weekend and you never know what the weather will bring. We had a big thunderstorm on March 16th and a neighbor mentioned this week that a tree had been struck by lightning. We saw the results on a tree in the cemetery near our apartment. The lightning and thunder sounded like it was on top of us.

Lightning tree
This was close to our apartment
 Monday was our service day at the church again. This time we cleaned out the room in the back of the library, which is really and old cooler for the restaurant that used to be in our building. It looks a lot better.
This is before. The cooler had a lot of junk piled in it - freezer doors on the left side

We have been waiting for good weather to visit Leila Koivuranta, a Finnish lady who lives by Cordova Lake in the extreme north part of the branch. It was one of those bitter-sweet experiences. Because of a bad experience with the branch she stopped going to church. She is now an alcoholic who also smokes and has a brain injury from an accident. When she saw Sister Wheeler she said, "the Lord has blessed me today because He sent you to me".  We really feel for her, but she is in no position to be taught. We can visit from time to time, however. She has no facial recognition so when we come again she will probably not recognize us by looking at us. She may remember our names. 

Cordova Lake
Leila's house
Sister Wheeler with Leila
 We were planning on our district meeting on Wednesday, but were informed that it would be postponed until Thursday because of a special sister's conference in the mission home on Wednesday. It gave us time to prepare the branch mission plan before our branch council meeting on Wednesday night. Branch Council was very good as the members (as few as they may be) planned what they could do to help the less active members of the branch.

We invited our district to have our district meeting in Trent Hills. Many of the missionaries have heard of Trent Hills, but never visited (it's the area that is farthest away in the district). We had a good meeting and we provided a lunch afterward. Next week is transfer week so we don't know what changes there will be.

Elders Tripp, Leasuasu, Davis;
Sisters Yi, Jungart;
Elders Stubbs, Anderson, Cozzens
Lunch time in Trent Hills
Sisters Yi, Jungart, and Wheeler at the Campbellford toonie
 On Friday we decided to take a drive around the back roads of Trent Hills (aren't they all back roads?) We stopped at the Empire Cheese Factory, Church-Key Brewing (an old Methodist church turned brewery), Crowe River Rapids, Healey Falls (finally found it), Hastings Library, Warkworth, and back to Campbellford on back roads.

Church-Key Brewing (no we didn't sample)
Crow River Rapids
Old West facade by Healey Falls
Old boat by Healey Falls locks
Healey Falls

 On the way back we stopped at Seymour Conservation area for a little hike. It was a bit cool, but we enjoyed it.

Stream crossing in Seymour Conservation area
Inuit icon in Seymour Conservation area

 We went to the chapel to be with branch members for all the general conference sessions. There were only a few attending, but we enjoyed the spirit of the meetings. We now need time to digest what we were taught.

We got an e-mail from Sidy, a Brazilian member of the Christie Ward, that gave some possible insight into how the Lord may work. Why would we be called as Portuguese-speaking missionaries in a Spanish ward just to be transfered to an English-speaking branch? Why would Sister Wheeler work so hard learning Portuguese when it was of little use in the missionary work? When we first met Sidy she was a fairly new convert who had just been to the temple. Elder Wheeler was impressed with her Portuguese as she taught the Portuguese gospel doctrine class, just to find out she had taught Portuguese in Brazil.  She made her living cleaning houses, the only job she could get in Canada. We decided to enlist her help as a Portuguese tutor for Sister Wheeler. This supplemented her income a little and helped Sister Wheeler a lot. When we were transfered, Sidy asked for a letter of recommendation for her teaching, which we joyfully gave. In the e-mail we just received, she told us that she now has a job as a Portuguese instructor with a small language school. The letter of recommendation helped her get the job.

Here is the question  the Lord could ask, "How can I open up the path for Sidy, who has shown such dedication to the gospel, to upgrade her employment to meet her skills and capabilities?" The answer could be, "I'll call the Wheelers to Toronto as Portuguese-speaking missionaries in the Christie Ward, knowing Sister Wheeler will put her whole heart into learning the language. I'll prompt the Wheelers to use Sidy as a tutor so that they can write a good letter of recommendation that can be used for a job I know will be opening up in six months. Meanwhile, the Wheelers will be blessed for their service." There may be more direct paths the Lord could use to get something done, but with the experience we have had in other situations, we wouldn't be surprised if that's why we are here in Canada. If that's the case, it's worth it.


John Woodruff said...

That's so awesome about Sidy!!!!!!!!! I'm so excited for her!!!!
But I've told you a million times, you were called there for me!!! ;) Love you and miss you!!!

cindy toms said...

Hello It was just a stroke of fate I found your blog . I was researching actual water wells . Leila is a dear old friend of ours from Fenelon falls . We have been searching for years to see where she is now . Please message me about her . It's such a weird way tontine someone I am I. Shock .