Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Long time no speak

Hello, This is Sister Young's last blog as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints, as she will be returning home soon!...To follow Sister Young please add her on her facebook by clicking on this link - https://www.facebook.com/ginapachina?fref=ts 

Mei Young

Hi everyone,
Sorry you haven't heard anything from me in a while. Things have been crazy. 
Well, my time here is shortly coming to an end. Half the reason why i haven't written is because i honestly don't know what to write. Things are very hard to describe right now. It's very strange!
I'm still loving my mission and I'm trying really hard to be just as focused as ever. I don't want this experience to pass me by. I still have so much left to do!
For those of you who have been asking: I will be arriving home on Friday the 13th of March!! What a date! Haha.You can expect a zombie at the airport. 
I'd like to thank all those of you who have taken the time to support me these past 18 months. Your words of comfort and council have at times literally been exactly what i needed to hear. Thank you for everything.
I also want you to know that I love my mission. So much! This has been the best experience of my entire life! :D Hopefully, i can come home now and continue to apply the many things i have learned and will be a better person because of it. 
The gospel is true! <3 

Monday, 29 December 2014

Merry Christmas! Have some food poisoning and a happy new year!

Hey ya'll! (As my old companion Sister Kunz would say)
Firstly, thank you all so much for working to make my Christmas such a wonderful and special experience! Thank you Sheffield stake for my amazing Christmas tree and messages, and Barnsley YW for you're cool picture and sweets and For Aberystwyth Primary and their Christmas card! And all the many other things! I really really appreciate your kindness especially being so far away. It means alot to me, so thank you!

This is just going to be a quick update.
We saw so many amazing things happen in our area this week and we had such an incredible experience serving the people and feeling the spirit of Christmas.One of my favorite things was participating in a make shift 'mish-tab' Christmas choir and singing for the old folks in a place we do service here. What was funny was that we all met as a zone just prior to going and we split up into parts and we sounded terrible! Ok, not terrible exactly, but not incredible :) (It was quite entertaining). But when we got to the center and we all started to sing we sounded so good! It was amazing!
#sweet blessing from heaven.  
I know i felt the spirit and i know it was something i will always remember. I love being a missionary! 
We got to do a couple of other neat things too, one of them being to go to Catholic mass. I really had an incredible Christmas all round :) On Christmas eve we even saw the Northern Lights! They were behind a cloud and we really could see much of anything clearly at all but they were there!
Other news: yes i did get food poisoning, yes I'm all better now. Also- come January we will be a FB proselyting mission! So we'll get to try out the whole facebook thing! Crazy!
We'll I've had too many experiences that i want to write but not enough time.
Just know that I know i'm in the right place and still working as hard as i can. We're seeing success!

<3 Sister Young

Christmas caroling with some of the sisters

Christmas Morning

New gloves from Jamie! Thank you so much!

A Christmas gift from my investigator in River Valley,Vera :)

Bracelets from the boys! Hahaha. Made my day! Thanks for the great hat mum!

Merry Christmas from Greenfield!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Merry Christmas!

The Koides
Well, i'm just going to keep it short and sweet! 

It's been a different week for sure. I definitely know why I'm here. I'm excited to serve and keep working hard. This area will definitely help me do that. 

Well I love you and hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 
Family- I'll see you this Thursday at 10.45/11am (I think 6 pm for you...may wanna check) 


Sister Young

Some final Pictures of Edson/ Christmas conference
District family :) Sister Galovich (My trainer went home!) 
MTC District
The Rockies

The Honch Family.They just got sealed!

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Merry Christmas! Transfer news.

Hey everyone!

I'm going back into the city! 

On Wednesday Sister Budge and I will be packing up and shipping out of Edson :) Sister Budge will be home for Christmas so i'm really excited for her! Just before she leaves we'll be having our Christmas conference so we're really excited about that. 

I'm going to be headed back into the city and into a walking area (first time on my mission) So im excited! But im going to freeze! Haha. Wish me luck! 
My new ward is the Greenfield ward and they're one of the 4 congregations that meet in the same stake center as River Valley, my old area before Edson. It's going to be way different. I definitely wasn't expecting that! Haha, but it's allllll guuuud ;)

I believe my new companion Sister Wamsley is also from Utah. So that makes 7 total from the start of my mission! Apparently Utah is the place to be at! Haha. Also i hear that 'her missionary' served in the Barnsley Branch since I've been away and apparently he knows my family?! I have no idea who he is or what his name is but i'll keep you posted. It's a small world!!

Anyway just a quick run down of the highlights of the week. I got to facetime into Dave's baptism! Hhaahaha. It was one of the weirdest/coolest experiences yet! Funniest part was when the person who was conducting announced: "And we have a special treat all the way from Edson..." And then long story short i had to bear my testimony over the iphone. It was hilarious! Sister Jones (my former companion) is currently serving in Red Deer where he was baptized, and she was holding the i-pad. She turned it around and all i could see was a sea of people and my first instinct was just to laugh! But i held it together and shared an impromptu testimony at his baptismal service, so that was nice to be involved with that :) It was such a great experience!

Anyway, late last night we got a text from Pamela's fellowshipper and she said that she's set her own date for this Friday and she hadn't told the elders in her new ward yet! Hahaa. So that was funny. When we called the Elders they were surprised and excited! They also told us that she's just finished reading the Book of Mormon and has loved it. She's ready to take the next step!  

ANYWAY! I'm sorry im crazy and go on and on about things sometimes.Thanks for all being patient with me! Haha.

Have a great week everyone! 

Pics are of Dave :) Enjoy!

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Called to know the richness of His blessings :)

The longer I'm out here the more that line sticks out to me. All I can say is; it's the truth.

Well, it's been a very interesting week this week. We've had exchanges, we've had our first district meeting of the transfer, we've had passover lessons and we've been here there and everywhere. Physically, spiritually and mentally. What a week.

News from Edson: Tenley didn't end up getting baptised this week, she reset her date for January 17th :) It's a very long story, but it is the right decision :) I'm so happy for her. I can't wait to tell you all about her. Something cool happened with her this week. Several things actually. One of which I will share:

After my companion and the Sister training leader left after an appointment with her, she was praying to know that she had made the right decision. After leaving her home she was walking down the street and literally the first person she met was the Branch Presidents wife, Sister Johnston, who is also her fellow shipper. On that particular morning Sister Johnston had been unable to come to our lesson as she had a commitment at her children's school. She finished 30 minutes early however and that's when she ran into Tenley. We got a call later that day from Sister Johnston who told us that Tenley had looked so overwhelmed and had just put her arms around her. She told her she was an answer to her prayers. I am so grateful for experiences like that. I know that they happen everywhere, all the time. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers our prayers. I know it. I'm just so thankful that He was able to send such a quick answer to Tenley that day. I really do love her so much.
As for Pamela, she had a successful meeting with the Elders in the city and she's still excited to progress and learn. She's now up to 3rd Nephi! I can't even tell you how good that feels :) She's loving it.
Dave- He's getting baptised this Wednesday! We got a call from the Red Deer elders and it looks like, all going well, we might be able to attend it! Just in a very different way than I've ever experienced before... we'll see. Watch this space :) Andra, we're setting up a passover lesson with the Elders this week. She's still working towards her baptism in the early spring.

Well, I guess the only other major thing to report on is the feeling that came over me yesterday as we sat and watched the 1st Presidency Christmas Devotional. The idea of gifts has been flying around a lot lately. Naturally, it is Christmas time and all, and of course then there's the He is the Gift video that has been circulating of late. But yesterday a couple of realizations came over me.
I've been thinking a little back to the start of the transfer, when I felt so gutted that my time in Edson, as I saw it then, was being cut short. And in the time since then, all of the craziness that has ensued. Before I found out the news of closure, I had been anticipating that my final 3 months would be full of new and exciting opportunities for me. I had observed many patterns in other missionaries missions. It makes me cringe to admit, but I suppose I thought my hard work over the course of these past 15 months had earned a gift of something different in my last 3. I guess I felt a little entitled. But yesterday, the realization was; that in all of this time. The time when I had been thinking I was giving something to Him. This mission. This time. This energy. My heart. He was the one that had been giving something to me.

It has all been a gift, and I have been given so much. It is much more than any amount of words or update e-mails that I can provide.

It is so much. It is everything.

How blessed I have been to have been called to Serve as a missionary for Christ in the Canada Edmonton Mission.

The funny thing is, that's the way it always seems to end up. We are always indebted to him. Not because of a one time event that took place in a garden many years ago. Something that is deeply and significantly so intrinsic to everything that we have and are. It is because He is the gift that keeps on giving. Always. All of the time.

I have been thinking about what gift I will give to the Savior this Christmas. Now that I know that the last 15 months have been for me. I will make the last 3 months count for Him.

I love Him. I love all of you.
I know that as you turn your hearts and lives over to Christ you will have the greatest Christmas, and the greatest eternal life possible.

Merry Christmas everyone.

Lots of love & many pictures to follow.

Sister Young

Exchanges with the Londonderry sisters

Deer! It's not super clear because it was taken through the windshield of our car, but hey!

You're gonna kill me but it's another dead moose. Actually, it's just it's head. We were trying to contact a less active lady and we drove to the end of a road an discovered 2 things: a hay bail and a moose head. It was kinda bizzare! Haha. Well not really. When hunters shoot Moose in the bush, they tend to gut it, skin it and decapitate it so they can dump all that stuff and just take the meat home. That's just what happened here. Funny story...I went over to pic up the head. Don't ask me why but yeah, anyway I had to wade through knew high snow to get there and then when I got almost far enough to pic it up I kicked up the snow just enough to unearth it's fur/skin that was lying underneath. I only saw a little bit so I realized that if all the guts and stuff had been dumped in the same spot I was most likely wading through moose body parts. That just freaked me right out and I legged it! Haha. Kinda wish I had it now so that I could get the rack. Anyway..
Climbing the hay bail's

 Sister Budge and I on top of the bail.

The ungraceful decent had me pulling out hay for days!

A river Valley

The snow glitters here

With Lou- a member in Hinton. I love this lady!

The view from the car. I Love this one.

Driving down the highway. This is a logging truck. Fingers crossed nobody slips up on making them secure!

Our District

 Odd antlers. These things are hea-vy

Add caption

We did some snow shovelling this week for some members of our branch. Couldn't resist.

Yeah.... we took a lot of pictures this week. I want to send them just in case something happens to my camera! You can stop now if it's getting to you. Haha. Plenty to follow.

We went to contact a potential and on my way up to the door a huge animal jumped on my back. These dogs were the friendliest dogs ever! They're like flippin' Polar Bears! (Ok... not really. Polar Bears are really vicious. Ignore what I just said.)

Sunrise. That is actually the moon. Pretty cool- we were driving to church in Hinton

Can you see the mountains?

OK, i'll spare you all the rest. I can see that it may get a little dull if you're not the one that's here.

I just love Canada! Hopefully some of you can enjoy these as much as me :)

Have a great week!

Monday, 1 December 2014

Haha, what a week!! (WARNING. Some pictures may be disturbing to animal lovers and small children. To everyone else they'll be pretty cool!)

This is Mei, I placed all the disturbing pics at the bottom of the blog with a Warning before it...in case some people may really be disturbed by it.
OH little town of Edson :)
The ice on the main highway. It's like arctic tundra!

Oh the weather outside is frightful
Where do I even begin?!

For a start- missionary work!
This week we had Tenley's baptismal interview with the district leader and had her meet with the branch president and all went well! If everything works out, her baptism will be being held this weekend and we're thrilled! Oh if all of you only knew the blood, sweat and tears that goes behind reporting good news like that! I received an e-mail from Dave too, and he's scheduled for baptism on the 10th! I'm so happy!!
Our other investigator Pamela just moved to the city, but we are super excited for this step for her too. Lot's of emotional rollercoasting going on over here!

Well, that was one aspect of our week. The other is that a great Canadian winter storm hit and we were  out of (fully functional) action for a solid couple of days. It was mental! Within a period of 1-2 days between 1-2ft of snow fell and completely changed all of our scheduled appointments and plans. For the first time in my life, I was able to experience the true reality of being snowed in! Hhaa, wait until you see the pictures of our car! It was something else entirely :) On the 3rd day we got a few texts through from members telling us it was too dangerous to go outside in the cold. When we called the weather department it was -47 with the wind chill! Holy cow! It was freaky because it was so nice and sunny outside. If they hadn've text us we would've had no idea. (We're not supposed to leave our apartment or be outside for any length of time in anything below -40, as your skin will freeze in minutes. Kinda cool, but not really!) My trainer still has frostbite on her toes from last winter! Haha! (not really, but still, it's unreal!)

That being said- we got a call from one of the ladies that we work with in our branch. She's a hunter and we'd made her promise that she'd call us when she shot a moose! (You have to get special permission to do that and not everyone gets to do that every year. It's cool because i's not really a hugely big deal over here. People don't always shoot them for trophies. Most times it's literally only to eat the meat. I thought that was really interesting. I thought it was going to be some sort of delicacy, but it's actually pretty commonplace. But then again, maybe that's just Edson) Anyways! She shot a small male and we got to go see it! I'm thinking of using it as a Christmas card picture, what do you think?! PRETY COOL, ehh?!!

So all in all, it's been a pretty exciting week.
Sister Budge and I are getting along pretty great and are enjoying our time together in this winter wonderland! I'm going to send pictures, so beware because there's a ton that i'de like to send. You should all get the opportunity to see how beautiful it is over here in the amazing country of Canada!

Also- I also think it's really wonderful to hear all of my missionary friends and relatives sharing the great news of the He is the gift initiative! If you haven't seen the short you tube movie you can see it here: http://www.mormon.org/christmas.
I am so grateful to have discovered the gift for myself. He is the gift that continues to keep giving and my life is so blessed as a result of his presence. I know that as we embrace the true meaning of Christmas our lives will also embrace more meaning, more direction, and more lasting happiness. Don't forget to #sharethegift!

P.s the Moose is in the process of being skinned! It sounds worse then it is! I promise you it's way cool!

(P.P.S Nic- I'm so sorry!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ^)


I love you all and I hope you have a wonderful week!

Sister Young
It started, and it didn't stop! (Our apartment balcony)

Look its our car

Where a car used to be

Cars have to be plugged in at night
WARNING - Some pictures may be disturbing to animal lovers and small children begins here:

Moose only have a row of bottom teeth. They grind their food against the top palate of their mouth. Cool, hey?

More collections in their home. It's pretty crazy!