Monday, August 19, 2013

BONUS POST: From City Mouse to Country Mouse

[Editor's Note: Mallory is in culture shock as she is now going from being a City Missionary to a Country Missionary.  I'm sure this reminds you of when Anne of Green Gables had to leave Queen's College and said "When I left Queen's my future seemed to stretch out before me like a straight road. I thought I could see along it for many a milestone. Now there is a bend in it. I don't know what lies around the bend, but I'm going to believe that the best does.”  So here are some additional Mallory thoughts about it]:

The ward here is predominately white. Which was a really big change from Etobicoke, where white was the minority. There were about 200 in church yesterday, I think, maybe closer to 180. We have a lot of less active and part-member families we can be working with, so that's exciting. They have a great primary and the YM/YW program is extremely small. I think maybe we have one or two young men, and a couple more young women than that.
The largest of the towns that we work in is Bowmanville. All the other ones are a couple streets. Maybe similar to Trossachs and Klahanie combined. We currently have about 8-10 investigators, I believe. I still haven't met them all yet, only a few of them. In my last area, we mostly found people through the members, investigator referrals, and through street contacting. We never tracted. Out here, the missionaries tract a whole lot more. I'm kind of determined to avoid tracting as much as I possibly can, because I think that for the most part it's a waste of a day. So far we've been getting a lot of member referrals, so hopefully our focus on finding will be through member referrals and through working with part-member families.

The missionaries are spread pretty far apart out here, so I only see other missionaries at district meeting every Wednesday. It's a lot different than Etobicoke, where I was running into other missionaries several times a week! Our farthest town North is called Nestleton. And we go all the way to Lake Ontario in the south.
There is a pretty wide variety of employment for people out here. Some people are farmers by profession, some farm by hobby, and a lot of people work outside of Bowmanville, commuting to other places. We helped a wonderful lady move this weekend, and she works for a law firm in Toronto... So she has a nice 1 1/2 hour commute each day.
We don't really have any form of public transit. I see a couple bus stops here and there, but they're few and far between. So we basically drive everywhere. We sometimes drive to the middle of a town or neighborhood, park the car, and then walk around for the rest of the time, to save kilometers.
Last supper in Etobicoke with the bishop's family
The members are great out here, they're so willing to help. They're extremely loving. It's odd because we teach in so many houses, and we teach a lot more families! It was a rarity to teach families in Etobicoke. And we almost always taught in apartments or in public places, like in fast food restaurants or in parks.

My companion's name is Sister Elizabeth Noker, and she's from Omaha, Nebraska. She's 22 years old and has been serving for the same time that I have been, a little over six months. She is the third of six kids and is the third one to serve a mission. She's been serving in this area for the past three months, and served in the town of Kitchener before that.

The mission is definitely getting new missionaries, it's slowing down a little bit on the sister front, but we're still getting about eight or so a transfer. We just got a ton of elders this last transfer. The new social media policy has yet to come into effect in our mission. I hope that it does while I am out, but from the things that I've heard President Scott say about it, it doesn't sound too promising :/

We come to the public library to email on P-days (today). It's a really nice and fancy public library! It'll be a lot like P-days in Etobicoke. After this we will go grocery shopping and then a couple errands, then head home to relax and furiously write a ton of letters. There's a famous zoo here in Bowmanville that we want to try to go to on a P-day... Apparently the tiger from the Life of Pi was borrowed from this zoo... I bet he's back by now! I could see Richard Parker in the flesh!

My car is silver, so basically it's exactly like my old car, but less new... The weather is a little bit colder out here. It's rained less since I've been here, so hopefully that'll change. I hear that the winters are colder out here, so I'm scared out of my mind to see how that will go if I'm still here for the first snowfall!

Each week we work in a senior center preparing and serving food, and also we work at a thrift store called Second Chance, where all the proceeds go to the women's shelter nearby. We've also had the chance to far to do typical missionary service things this week, like helping people move :) I love stuff like that. Most of the buildings and houses out here are VERY old and so dang cute. All uneven wooden floors with big gardens. I love them.

There have been about three or four baptisms in this area in the past year. I feel really strongly that we can work with part-member families and help them come to the gospel. So hopefully we'll find investigators there.
What do missionaries do for fun in this area? Ha ha I don't really think much of anything. We drive through corn fields, eat delicious ice cream, and maybe we'll make our way to the zoo.

I forgot to tell you: Michelle Amandy got baptized this last week!! Woo hoo!!! I was so happy when I heard that everything worked out and there weren't any problems. I love that family. I wish I could have been there, but nevertheless, I know that she and her family will be blessed incredibly being united in the gospel.  


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