Monday, August 28, 2017

Saying Goodbye.....I Love These People!

This Is My Last Letter Home...

Hey Guys!

Wow, I can't believe this is my last letter home to you. We had a very exciting week here in good old Mississauga. We think we're going to start up a zoo with all of the crazy animals we've been encountering the past few days. We have a skunk who loves to come hide under our landlord's cars, so when we get home at night, we have to be super careful or he surprises us. We also have a rabid squirrel who has decided that he's going to live on our roof (he's nasty! His tail has lost all it's fur and it has jerky movements). It likes to stand on top of the roof, stare into your soul, and scream at you while you run for your life into the apartment. It really keeps life exciting. This particular story is my personal favourite...I've wanted a dog story my whole mission. You can't go home without a good story about being chased by a dog. We were tracting in an apartment building and there was one door that had a sign that read 'Beware of Dog.' We knocked on the door and quickly found out why that sign was there. The door opened and out came two really big doberman pinschers. They were barking, scratching, growling, and snapping at us. I stood there, clutching my Book of Mormon and praying probably harder than I think I ever have before. Probably the most terrifying experience of my mission. On the bright side, the owner of the dogs finally got them inside and we had a really good conversation about the gospel with her, hahaha. Then to top off our crazy week, pink eye has struck our apartment! We spent our p-day in the doctors office and at the pharmacy, hahaha. Such a wonderful time to get a contagious illness. =)

Super exciting news! Sister Pat set a baptismal date! It's been so neat to watch her faith grow over the past five months we've been teaching her. She wouldn't accept a baptismal date for months. We tried helping her in every way we knew how. Finally last Friday, we read Alma 32 with her and talked about how we don't have to know everything before we act. She accepted a date and is praying and fasting to get an answer about whether it's right. I love seeing the gospel work in the lives of others! It's been one of the most joyful experiences of my mission watching her grow and live the gospel little by little.

I can't believe how quickly the past 18 months have flown by. My mission has been a sacred privilege for me. I have loved experiencing the power of the Atonement in my life as well as in the lives of those I have taught and served with. I remember hugging my family goodbye at the MTC and wondering, "what am I doing?" I struggled through the MTC, trying to learn how to teach and be a good missionary. Then we flew to Canada...I remember being at the airport and seeing all of these signs that said 'washroom' (hahaha) and then stepping out into the February weather. It was so cold and I felt so scared. The first thing my trainer took me to do was street contacting and I hid behind her the whole time because I was too terrified to open my mouth. That whole transfer I wondered, "what am I doing?" I remember kneeling down to pray each night and telling Heavenly Father, "I can't do this. I'm not going to make it through my first six weeks let alone 18 months." But then the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ came in. He helped me change and learn to love serving Him as a full-time missionary. "Yea, methought I saw, even as our father Lehi saw, God sitting upon his throne, surrounded with numberless concourses of angels, in the attitude of singing and praising their God; yea, and my soul did long to be there."  Alma 36:22. Just as Alma longed to be in the presence of God once he had felt the effects of the Saviour's Atonement in his life, I longed to be here serving the Lord as I felt the effects of the Saviour's Atonement.

Canada has become sacred ground to me. I love the people here more than I can say and saying goodbye to them is more difficult than I ever imagined. My mission has helped me learn to love other people and to love the gospel. I have loved feeling the Saviour's love for others and being able to serve them as He would. I have come to not just believe the gospel is true, but to really feel and know it. My mission has been a very humbling experience for me...I've learned how much I really need Him in my life.

I testify that Jesus Christ lives and that His Church has been established again on the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. I know we have a prophet on the earth today and that the priesthood is on the earth again. Through that priesthood power, our families can be together forever. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and I know that God answers our prayers. I will never regret my decision to serve a mission!

I love you all!
Sister Dille

Monday, August 21, 2017

Seeketh Not Her Own.....

Hey Guys!

This week went by so fast! I can't believe it's already week 6 of the transfer! I'm trying to remember what all happened...

Tuesday was kind of a weird day...all of the departing missionaries went to Brampton and we had a career orientation, a temple trip, dinner with the Shields, and a testimony meeting. Some of the missionaries went home early so they flew out the next morning, but the rest of us went back out to work so it was kind of weird to have a day where we were supposed to think about home, hahaha. It was a super good meeting though and I loved the temple trip. The testimony meeting at the end was really neat because we were all sitting in the same room we sat in when we first got to the mission, sharing our testimonies. It was really cool that we all made it, and I loved hearing about how our missions have strengthened our conversion to the gospel.

I learned a really cool lesson on charity this week. I've been studying it a lot this transfer and I've been trying to develop it. While I was studying one day, I read in Moroni 7:45-48. Verse 45 and 46 really stood out to me. "And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail— " I've read that scripture many times before, but it really hit me this time! I learned some really neat things from some of the phrases I didn't understand before. 
  Seeketh not her own = we're accepting of everyone, even when they're different from us. 
  Is not easily provoked = not easily angered/irritated. 
  All things must fail = (this part is the gospel according to S. Varty and Dille, so it may not be 100% correct, haha) eventually, we won't really need faith/hope anymore because we'll have a perfect knowledge when we dwell with God, but we'll always need charity. 
I was also studying in 1 Corinthians 13 and I learned that even if we have great knowledge, great faith, and do great works, we are nothing if we don't have charity. It was such a cool study. I definitely know that this scripture is true! I know that having charity helps us to hope and endure all things! I've seen such a big difference in my life the past week as I've tried to develop charity.

On Saturday, after our English class, we gave a chapel tour to some of the students. Seven out of the ten stayed, so that was pretty cool! At the end of the tour, we asked if anyone would like to come to church with us. One of the students, Saida, said she would like to come. (She's a really sweet lady from India). Sunday morning rolled around and in came Saida to church! It was super cool! =) 

Sister Varty and I had a goal to find three new investigators this week, so by the time Sunday came, we had found two. After church, we sat down to plan and set the goal to find one more. We only had about two hours to find though because we had a lesson with an investigator, and we had to make up all of our studies. After our lesson, we went out tracting in an area we felt prompted to work in. We started knocking, determined to find a new investigator. At about six or seven doors in, a Muslim couple named Ali and Maha opened the door. We started talking with them a little bit (we asked them where they were from and he goes, "the moon. And she's from the sun.") They invited us in and we got to share the Book of Mormon with them. It was really neat! In the end, they didn't become new investigators, but they let us leave them a Book of Mormon, and we felt like we were still successful even though we didn't hit our goal.

Okay, now for my favourite part of the week! So on Saturday, Sister Pat came to the baptism for Kamran and she seemed to like it. On Sunday evening, we went to a lesson with her and she started telling us about how she loved how calm he looked when he came up from the water. She talked about how she felt a spirit of love and unity that she doesn't really feel that much at other churches, and she talked about how she felt an inner peace. THEN! She says, "I'm gonna baptize soon." I think my jaw hit the floor and my heart rejoiced! We've been trying for months to help her accept the invitation to be baptized! It was one of the happiest lessons on my mission! Progress has been made! And now, she's praying about a baptismal date!

I love you all!
Sister Dille
We went tracting with Brittany (One of the young women...she is awesome)!

Pictures from our exchanges with the Hamilton Sister Training Leaders.

All of the departing missionaries had to go to meetings on Tuesday, so I saw Sister Holmstead again and we got to ride with President and Sister Shields, so we thought we'd take a picture because it was cool!

Opening my last kinder egg!

We went on a run this morning down by Lake Ontario!

This is our new convert, Mark.

Monday, August 14, 2017


Hi Everyone!

I'm going to apologize in advance, my keyboard isn't working very well.  So as you can see by the por speling so far, it won't let me type in double leters.  Hapy editing, Mom!!! :)

We had an amazing week here in good ol' Mississauga!  We've been trying to work as hard as we can, talk to lots of people, be obedient, etc... On Thursday last week, we had zone conference and that was honestly the best zone conference of my mission (which is a good thing I guess, considering the fact that it was my last one).  I learned a lot about the importance of setting goals and making plans, not just as a missionary, but for the rest of my life.  (Blessings! The person beside me moved, so I have a functioning keyboard now!).  We also talked a lot about the Plan of Salvation, and President Shields shared something with us that I thought was pretty neat.  He told us that he thinks in the pre-earth life, we were probably involved in the planning of the Plan of Salvation to some degree.  Isn't that cool!  My favorite thing I learned though, was at the end. President showed us a video from the last mission president's training.  Elder Oaks gave a talk about the sacrament that encouraged the mission presidents to teach their missionaries to appreciate the sacrament.  He said that in some churches, they participate in communion where everybody eats an identical sized wafer.  In our church, we partake of the sacrament, where the bread is broken in our presence.  Each piece of bread is unique in shape and size, just like the individual who partakes of it has unique sins and needs.  He taught us to conscientiously renew our covenants each time we take the sacrament and to be grateful as we partake.  Isn't that cool?!

At zone conference, all the missionaries who are going home that transfer give their departing testimonies.  It was a very spiritual experience for me to be able to get up and share what my mission has meant to me.  It has really taught me that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can have a change of heart and we can receive strength to do things that were once impossible for us.  The Savior really has become more of a reality to me the past 18 months.  Being a missionary is a sacred privilege that should not be taken lightly.  We have such a great responsibility to represent our Savior.  It has been such a blessing to serve him as a missionary.

After zone conference, we went on exchanges with our Creditview sisters.  I was in Mississauga with Sister Keeslar.  While we were on exchanges, we found a family to teach!  It was so cool!  They are both Christians, but the denomination they belong to only exists in Syria, so they are looking for a spiritual group to join.  I think we can for sure help them out with that!  It was such a blessing! 

On Sunday, four of our investigators came to church!  One of them was a new investigator named Rajani.  She is from India, but over the past several years, she has come to believe in Jesus Christ.  She walked into church on Sunday morning, stayed for all three hours, and then we taught her later that night.  It was such a tender mercy!

I wanted to share two things I learned in my studies this week.

1).  On Thursday, I was studying the talk Our Father's Glorious Plan from general conference.  This part really stuck out to me.  "Another of the great blessings of my life has been to feel the closeness of heaven during those moments when I sit at the bedside of people as they pass away.  Early one morning some years ago, I entered the hospital room of a faithful Latter-day Saint widow who had cancer.  Two of her daughters were sitting with her.  As I went to her bedside, I quickly discovered that she was no longer suffering, because she had just died.  In that moment of death, the room was filled with peace.  Her daughters had a sweet sadness, but their hearts were filled with faith.  They knew that their mother was not gone but had returned home.  Even in our moments of deepest grief, in the moments when time stands still and life seems so unfair, we can find comfort in our Savior because He suffered as well.  It was a privilege for me to be in the room."  As I read, it really strengthened my testimony of the Atonement of Jesus Christ and of eternal families.  Death is not the end!  Because of Jesus Christ, the grave has no victory and death has no sting!

2).  First, can I just say that the Book of Mormon is so amazing!  Wow! I don't know how I missed this before!  I was reading in 1 Nephi 16, and as I read, I realized that so far, the Book of Mormon has been all about how Lehi's family deals with one trial after the other (like the effectual struggle in Mosiah 7:18 and the muddy creek story I shared a few months ago).  I started comparing the different responses to the trials, and I put them in three main categories.  A.  Laman and Lemuel Level:  Whenever something goes wrong, you immediately begin to murmur by your words and your attitude.  B.  Lehi Level:  You're very faithful and want to obey, but sometimes murmur.  C.  Nephi Level:  No matter what, you do not murmur.  You trust the Lord and instead of just sitting around, waiting for your trial to end, you get up and act with the faith that solutions will come in God's timing.  Our lives are like the first chapters of the Book of Mormon.  There will always be challenges and trials to overcome which we cannot control.  However, we can control our attitude.  When we don't murmur, it is a sign of deep faith.

Wow, this email got really long!  I love  you all so much!

Sister Dille

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

She Calls Us Her Little Daughters...

Hey Guys!

Wow, it's August! When did that happen?! July just started. This week was such an amazing opportunity for Sister Varty and I to learn patience and diligence. We've lost almost all of our investigators, most of our appointments cancel or don't show up, and for those of you who have served missions, you know that it's not exactly the funnest situation to be in. It's been really good though because both of us are learning patience and humility. Last night, we were talking about it, and we decided that even though our area is not doing very well, we can still make these last three weeks of the transfer fun. We've both learned on our missions that the greatest joy comes as we obey with exactness and have urgency about the work. We've set goals and made plans to be exactly obedient and work super hard. We're doing our best to talk to every person the Lord puts in our path. (Haha, we've started talking to people through their car windows and inviting them to church while we sit at stop lights. It's pretty awkward, but it sure keeps the work exciting!) We both have so much more energy and a renewed love for the work! =)

Last night, we had such a good lesson with Sister Pat. (I love her...she calls us her little daughters!) We taught her the Restoration again because we really want to help her understand the priesthood authority. While we taught, we both felt so much love for her! Because we felt so much love, we were able to be very bold with her and we testified that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is the one true church upon the earth. We promised her blessings and invited her to read and pray. It was such a powerful lesson!

We had MLC last Wednesday! It was my last one. =( It was such a good meeting though! I love going to MLC because the Spirit is always so strong. It's such a great opportunity to learn from other missionaries who are trying so hard to do their best. I wanted to share one thing that really stood out to me from what we learned. The assistants gave an instruction about how we need to lead our missionaries in the Saviour's Way. To help us understand our role as leaders, they shared the story from the Bible when Jesus asked Peter if he loved Him. We watched the Bible Video and it was so powerful. Each time Peter answered the Lord, he got more and more serious that he truly did love Him. The elders taught us that Peter's responses represent our conversion. The first 'yes' was us at the beginning of our missions. We really want to tell the Lord we love Him, but we're struggling to leave home behind and be on our missions. By the time we end our mission, we should be on the third 'yes' where we're deeply committed to obey and serve. They taught us that our job as leaders is to help our missionaries when they want to say 'yes' to the first 'do you love me,' but are still struggling to obey. It was such a powerful lesson for me!

So now for the funny stories...
1. Yesterday, we were walking down the street and we were trying to start a conversation with this guy walking away. He wouldn't stop, so we just said by and turned back around. As he walked away though, we noticed that he just had this random snake in his hand walking through the middle of the city. What? 😕

2. Haha, this is probably my most embarrassing moment of my whole mission. Sister Varty and I went running this morning and it was a really good run. We were keeping a pretty good pace and we both felt pretty good. We turned a corner and I'm not quite sure what happened (maybe the side walk was a bit uneven or something), but with I totally face planted on the sidewalk! Right off of the highway! It was hilarious! I wish somebody would've gotten it on camera. Wow, I'm so graceful. 😂

I hope you all have a good week!

Sister Dille