Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Farewell, Canada 1/20/14

Good News!
So after a ton of asking and asking, President finally granted my request for an extension! See you in March!!

Elder C. Lyons

OK, so I thought I could fool you, but apparently not :) As I have clearly expressed, it's just very sad for me to see my mission coming to a close so quickly. It's not that this has been the best 2 years ever. I've had my fair share of challenges and difficulties. It certainly has not been a relaxing vacation. But, Dad is right, this has been the best 2 years for my life. I wish I had another way to describe it, but that's just truly how a mission is. I've had many powerful and poignant experiences this week that have just confirmed my overall feelings that I have for the service I have been privileged to give. So today, rather than share the many positive experiences I have had this week teaching, finding, serving, learning, and growing, I would like to share some of the most important lessons I have learned from the 2 years of experiences I have been blessed to have.
So here it goes: I have met and grown to love SO many people in the last 2 years. It has been so incredible getting to know these friends. Each one has touched my life and impacted me very powerfully. However of all the relationships I've gained, the most important relationship I have developed is the relationship I now have with our Heavenly Father and His son, Jesus Christ. I don't have the words to describe the love that I have felt from our Father and our loving Savior. I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. I have a powerful testimony of personal revelation, and God's timing in that guidance. I know that the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I am coming to know that its effects are far more vast and powerful than I could have ever thought possible. Christ truly has felt every single hardship, heartbreak, sorrow, and pain that I have ever experienced. And I am learning that with his help, I can overcome all of these complications and have peace restored to my heart. I am so thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that our Heavenly Father has a plan for us. I know that as part of that plan, God knew that we would experience challenges that would be more than we could bear. I know that that is why He, in His infinite love, provided us with a Savior. I know that He does not want us to suffer. We can all choose to overcome by choosing to use the Atonement in our lives. I am so thankful for the Restoration that has allowed me to gain this knowledge of our Heavenly Father's plan. I know that the church is true. I know God and His son, Jesus Christ live. In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder C. Lyons
PS. I love you! See you Friday

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Working hard, definitely not hardly working!!

We had some really good experiences this week. It's been great. A lot of what we've done has been serving members. You see, we've done this thing where we love and serve and it generally results in us teaching. Let me explain, back about a month ago we called a member in the ward for some help. (I can't remember what. Sometimes I feel like we're kind of needy). She was very helpful, so we asked what we could do to help her family. She just laughed and said, "you can come and shovel my walk anytime." So we did. She didn't expect that we would, and anyhow, long story, short, we got invited for supper and the rest is history. We just saw that it was a very effective way to get to know members and to have opportunity to be in their homes. Elder Beacham and I love to show that we will do what we say we will do. So we've been just shoveling walks and clearing driveways of members who need the help. haha, and this week we got caught almost every time! So we got invited to supper unexpectedly, and we were given opportunities to share messages. So good! I love it! This ward is amazing, and we've really gotten to know some great people!
This week we were able to teach Dami again. I think I told you about him. He's studied a ton of religions, so he has a very high level of thinking. It's been great teaching him. He had a junk load of questions about the Book of Mormon. We were able to help him get answers to all of them, and he is just in love with the Book of Mormon. It's great.
We had quite a few positive teaching experiences this week, but I just want to talk about one in particular. Tuesday evening, we were teaching a less-active member we've been working with named Cory. We were helping him to read in the Book of Mormon, and we started to talk about the Atonement. He didn't seem to understand or believe much about the Atonement. At one point, he made the comment, "maybe I've gone too far from the path." I testified that there was no where too far away for the Savior to reach him. He looked at me and said, "that's powerful." When he said that, the words to the hymn 'Dear to the Heart of the Shepherd' came to my mind. "Will you not seek for my lost ones?" With those words came the assurance from the Spirit that I was doing just that. That I was seeking those that were lost and bringing them back to the fold. This was such a powerful and timely experience for me. I know that the Atonement is real, and that Christ is calling us to come to Him. And then he is calling us to help others to do the same.
The rest of the week went well. We had a ZT
More Sun dogs!

Sun dog
M to plan and execute which is always a pain. But I've had some experiences that have definitely changed my life. I love it here!
I love you all! Thanks for your letters and prayers. Have an great week!
Elder C. Lyons

Thursday, January 9, 2014

1/6/14 Survival of the most.... Insulated??

So it sounds like all of you have heard that it's been pretty crazy cold this last weekend. The temperature ended up dropping to about -51 with wind-chill yesterday. Because of the extreme weather, church was actually cancelled. So that was kind of weird. It was for sure a smart thing to do, but still I've never heard of church being cancelled because it was too cold. Anyhow, I've included some pictures of some of the cold weather phenomenon. Enjoy :)
This week was pretty good. Earlier on this week, it was only about -20 or -25 C, so we were out shovelling a bit. We completely demolished this one driveway that had about 6-8 in of packed snow and ice! It was a lot of work, but it's resulted in us teaching the less-active family we did it for. Totally worth it.
We also shovelled for a couple we've been referred to. Same story, lots of packed snow. But Mike and Doris invited us in for pizza because...well they caught us shovelling. It was super good homemade pizza, so I was somewhat glad that we got caught :)
We had the usual crazy meetings and exchanges to work with this week. But something super good that happened this week is that we took a priest named Garrett out with us for most of the day on Saturday. We taught Charlie while he was with us. It was a pretty good lesson. Charlie is super funny! We set a baptismal date with him! Whoo!! He's loving life, and is really progressing. So we're excited for him.
I'm afraid that's all that I've really got that was out of the ordinary. Like usual, I'm sure tons has happened, but unfortunately, I'm sick...and quite out of it. I'll have to fill you in some day on all the experiences that I've had. Love ya tons! Have a great week!

Elder C. Lyons
Sun Dog
Sun Dog


Ian and Aaron

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Holiday Madness!!

So this last week was super fun. On Christmas eve, we went to the Rouse family's home for supper. It was amazing. Bro Rouse has a ginormous Christmas village. I took a thousand pictures, but you won't be able to see them this week because I forgot my cord...I know. After supper, we met up with the rest of the district and went carolling to a few of the members and investigators in the ward. We went carolling to Charlie. He absolutely loved it. It totally made his night. It was great.
We spent a few hours on Christmas day at the Hamon's. I'm pretty sure that I told you about the Hamon's, but just a reminder, they're the best. I thoroughly love my life when we're at their home. Anyhow, after we skyped we hung out and watched a movie...which is super weird by the way. I didn't really watch one last year, so that was a new experience. We had lunch, which was amazing!! I was so full! But Sis Hamon called me a lightweight, so it's apparent that my eating capacity may have decreased a bit. Bro Hamon served his mission in Denmark, so we took part in a Danish Christmas tradition. It's called eat rice pudding til you puke. The object is to be so ill, that the thought of food is repulsive. That's really what the goal is, but Bro Hamon told us that the object is to eat all of the pudding until the one and only whole almond is found. Here's the catch: there's quarters and half almonds and even almonds with just a tiny wedge taken out of them. So it's a real mess. And turns out that you don't even have to tell everyone when you've found it. I got onto that really quick cause I thought I found it early on in the race, but I didn't know about the stupid wedge thing. When push came to shove, Sis Hamon found the stupid thing in her first bowl....and she kept it a secret until Elder Beacham and I were about to explode. Anyhow, the prize for the winner is something ridiculous like more food. That's just what I want after I've downed 20 years of pudding. I'm pretty sure they made up the whole prize thing. I think their prize was seeing us in pain. The best part was after we finished the pudding we had apple pie and ice cream, ha ha. So good!
We had exchanges and everything this week as well. It was just a crazy week. We had some good lessons. Charlie is super close to having a baptismal date. He's progressing quite well. He's a funny guy. He was at church yesterday and enjoyed it. We also had a lesson this week with Ravi. He is the one that is from India. He had never shovelled snow before. So he shovelled snow with us this week. Pretty sure he enjoyed it. It was good to be able to talk with him a bit more. As we taught him, I realized there's more of a language barrier than I thought. He's only been here for 4 months. And also, he is very firm in his beliefs. But it was good to teach him, and he's still open to learning more.
Yesterday we were able to teach Dami for the first time. He was the man that we helped shovel his driveway a few weeks ago. He's a great guy who's lived just about everywhere. But I think it's safe to say that he's from Nigeria. It was a pretty good lesson. We met with him at the church just after church was finished. So he actually bumped into one of the members that he knew. Dami had no idea that Bro Terry was a member. But we had Bro Terry join in with us. Dami's really open, so it will be good to meet with him again.
Anyhow, that's pretty well all I've got for this last week. I'm sure lots more has happened, but it's a blur for me. I love you all! Have a great week!

Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

This week has been really crazy with zone conference and exchanges and everything that was happening this week. Zone conference was great. I got to see the missionary I trained! It's been 6 or more months since I've seen Elder Burnett! It was so good to see him, and to see how much he's changed. He's really so much more positive and happy. It was so good to see. It was also really sad because that was the last time that I will see a lot of my friends in the mission. It was a combined zone conference, so it was the last opportunity for me to see them this transfer. It's so weird that things like that are happening.
We've had a lot of amazing things happen this week. Members being amazing and taking great care of us. We've met some really great people. And we've been able to see some of our investigators beginning to change their lives. It's really an amazing time to be serving.
I just want to share my testimony that Christ lives. That he invites us to come to Him just as he invited those at Jerusalem and the Americas in times passed. Although we cannot come to Him physically today as these people did then, I testify that we can come to Him today by living his Gospel. He has taught us and showed us the way to come to Him and receive His strength, peace, and comfort. I know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored through the prophet Joseph Smith, so that we may all have the opportunity to experience the blessings of the Atonement. I know that the Atonement is real. While it does not change our circumstances, it does something far more powerful and lasting. It changes us. This is my testimony, and I share it with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you all! See you on Christmas!
Elder C. Lyons
Me and Elder Beacham

All our junk food!

Joseph, one of our members kids!

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Transfers are Over!!

This week was absolutely insane! Transfers are never fun, but due to winter conditions, travel in now prolonged. So that means we have to find places for thousands of missionaries and make sure that they all get sent off in the right places. Let's just say that there was a lot of yelling this week. It's kind of nice cause sometimes there's some pent up feelings that I get to vent while instructing everyone to please put their stupid bags in the vehicle if they want to leave. But, needless to say, it's been a bit of a stressful week, and I'm glad that it's over. That should be the last of the big transfers of missionaries coming in. So we'll no longer have to deal with thousands of missionaries coming in and out of our zone.
This week has actually been a really good one though considering all the distractions we had. We've been able to get to know a few more of the members, so now I almost know every person in the ward. I should've known them all sooner, but I feel like the people I do know, I know quite well.
We've had some really good experiences this week teaching less-active members and investigators. One was on Saturday with Charlie. We helped him understand the Apostasy so well. It was as clear as day to him. It was amazing! The Spirit was really there as we testified of the Restoration! At the end of the lesson, we invited him to pray and ask if the Book of Mormon was true and if Joseph Smith was a prophet. It was so good! His prayer was so sincere.
Another amazing experience we had happened yesterday. We were driving down the road, and Elder Beacham just says, "hey let's stop and help that guy." There was this guy out trying to clear his drive way of the 3-4 in thick ice all by himself. We helped him get it all done in about 20 minutes. We talked with him as we worked. His name is D

ami, and he's from Nigeria. After we finished his driveway, he said, "I'm going to go ask my neighbor if she needs some help. So she came out and we talked with her a little as we cleared her driveway. Meanwhile, his neighbors on the other side had come out. Elder Beacham was talking with them, and it turns out that one of them is a less-active member. He said we could come back. Then, as we were finishing up, Dami invited us into his home. But, unfortunately, we had to get off to an appointment...that we were late for already ( I felt super bad!) But Dami said we could come back any time. He said he'd love to learn more. It was the best! And, he has a family! Yeah!
Anyhow, that's about all that I've got for today. I'm just lovin' life here in Regina. I'm super glad that I get to stay. It's going to be an amazing transfer! I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder C. Lyons

 Pics: 1) Elder Beacham and I
          2) Elder French (former comp) and I
          3) Charlie Brown!!!

Thursday, December 12, 2013


This week was a crazy one. First off, I was super anxious because I didn't want to be transferred right before Christmas. Luckily, I was busy enough this week to hardly think of it at all. Anyhow, we got the call, and we're both staying. So I am so happy!
Anyways, like I said, this week was insane! We had to plan a zone training meeting....which was quite difficult actually. Usually they're not that rough. But it was good. We had an early morning temple session before, and we had some members help us again with the role playing. It was really good, and we learned a ton. As we were practicing and preparing before ZTM our ward mission leader helped us out tons. We role played with him. Bro Remington served his mission in England which means he's practically perfect, ha ha. He gave a ton of helpful pointers, so it was amazing.
ZTM took up a lot of our time this week. Other than that it's been freezing cold! We've been shoveling a junk load of walkways, so I had to buy some more heavy duty mittens. My hands were about to die! It was good, though. We helped a member family that really couldn't do it themselves, so they really appreciated it. It was good to get to know them a little better, too.
We've done a decent amount of teaching this week as well. It's been a little tough, though because most of our investigators are university age, and it's finals time. So that's been a bit of a struggle. But other than that, we're just trying to help our investigators overcome their crazy challenges.
The gospel's true! I love you all! Have an amazing week!
Elder C. Lyons