Monday, November 26, 2012

So this last week was pretty crazy. First news is that Hedley and Brandy came to church yesterday! It was so great. They enjoyed it much more this time than they did last time. So that's a plus. Last evening, we also went to continue teaching about the Plan of Salvation. We were talking about the Atonement for most of the lesson. Bro and Sis Regnier came with us, and they were very helpful during the teaching. And the best part is that Brandy prayed at the end of the lesson! It was the first time she has ever prayed with us. It was amazing!
Last night we traveled into Moose Jaw. We have spent the day here, and we will stay for district meeting tomorrow. We played a ton of sports this morning. I am so out of shape! It's pathetic. I am going to be sore.
This week we got another pretty decent snow storm. It's really a plus for missionary work cause we've had so many service opportunities. People who say no to hearing our message very often take us up on the offer to shovel their walk. When it was cold and windy, this one lady told us we had a less than desirable job at the moment (maybe with more colorful language). We offered to shovel for her, and she said that would be great. We shoveled her walk, and she gave us hot chocolate! Service is great. It really opens people up. In the same day, we shoveled an old lady's walk. She asked us how much she owed us, and we  told her nothing. She shoved money into Elder French's glove. Ha ha. He looks at me, "What was I supposed to do?!" I don't know Elder French. Classic
On Saturday, we went to Kisbey to make some visits with the elders quorum president, Bro Brown. The visits went pretty well, the member we visited didn't come to church. I'm not sure what happened there. After our visit, Sis Brown volunteered us to help Bro Brown hang some doors. I'm pretty sure the branch is determined to make a carpenter out of me. Whenever there is something that needs what seems to me to be a professional effort, they look at me, "Elder Lyons, do you want to try?" Come on, I just stand here and hold the flashlight. That's my job! But I do it anyways, and I'm learning. It all works out in the end.
We met a couple of great people this week. We met with the guy Elder Hodascek and I met last week, Ian. He was interested in learning more, but he's just super busy. Story of my life. But we also met this guy named John on Saturday night. When we first met him, he offered us a beer. Of course, we politely declined. He asked us if we thought drinking was a sin. We said yes, and he just looked at us and said, "good." John is a pretty funny guy. He's from Romania, so he has an incredible accent. We talked with him for a while on Saturday, and we met with him yesterday afternoon. He wants to lean more, but he's super busy as well. But he told us to try back. He is married with 2 very active little kids! They were very entertaining.
I'm pretty sure that's all I've got. It didn't really feel like Thanksgiving this week. Go figure. Transfer calls are this Thursday or Friday. We'll see what happens.
Love you all!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Since when is Freezing warm?.

So this week it's warmed up quite a bit. Well, at least this weekend it did. I was sweating! But turns out it was basically just right around freezing. It felt like summer! Pretty confusing.
Anyways, we've had a bit of a difficult time getting a hold of investigators again. We did have a few good lessons with Hedley and Brandy, though. We were teaching the plan of salvation. Basically all of it is new, so it sort of blew their minds. I guess they were pretty funny at Friday's lesson. I didn't get to go because we were on exchanges, but Elder Kuhre went with Elder French. And he said it was pretty great. They understood well, and they were their normal joking around selves. And after the lesson, our branch president volunteered to come to our next lesson with them tomorrow. It's great to have members that are excited about the work!
While they were teaching, Elder Hodascek and I were out finding. People were actually more short with us than usual. I was a little surprised. I don't know what the deal was, but we pressed on. The last door we knocked, we met a guy named Ian. We told him that we were sharing a message about Jesus Christ, and he just said, "Great! let's hear it!" We told him about the restoration, and we have an appointment with him tonight. It was really neat.
My birthday was pretty great. We went to Radville again to help Bro Regnier at one of his houses. We were working with the dirt again. It was very interesting this time because it was frozen, and there was about a foot of snow. But we were still shoveling piles of dirt. It was funny because about the first foot into the dirt pile was solid as a rock, so we just dug around it. We made a big cave. It was great.
After we finished working, we went back to Bro Regnier's, and he said, "let's go inside and see if we have anything for Elder Lyons." We went inside, and he gave us a DQ ice cream cake. It was funny cause we already had a cake in the freezer back at the trailer. We ended up staying for dinner, and eating a bunch of cake. It was fun.
Another great thing that happened this week is that we happened to be by the Abad's when his nonmember brother pulled into their driveway. He invited us in, and we talked with him for a minute. He's moved from the Philippines to live with the Abad's. And he wants to talk with his brother and set up a time to meet with us.
Basically, right now the biggest thing that we're working on with our investigators is coming to church. We didn't have anyone at church again. We've been really working to help them have the desire to come. Clearly there's still some more work to be done! But it will work out.
That's about all I've got for today. I love you all. Have a great week
Elder C. Lyons
Elder French's idea of a joke.  "Bunny poop!"  Rasinettes

Happy Birthday to me, I love my icecream!!

Celebrating my trip into adulthood and out of teenagerdom

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

So this week was sort of crazy since we started off the week out of our area in Regina. That always makes things interesting. Luckily, we didn't have to reschedule anything. But on our way back to Weyburn on Tuesday morning, we got a text from Bro Regnier. He asked us if we could come help him out again in Radville. He had had 20 yards of dirt/gravel dropped at one of his houses. This was before it snowed by the way. So on Wednesday we helped him with some landscaping. They have had some struggles with flooding in Radville, so he was raising his yard and making a slope up to his house. Basically we just had to move a million pounds of dirt! I don't need to make this sound so complicated! It was out of control. We were shoveling and wheel barrowing for hours! I don't think I've been more sore my entire mission! It was nuts! But Sis Regnier made us homemade pizza after, so it paid off.
So, while I was super sore, we also went to help a less-active member lower one of his windows. It's a massive window, so I was sure I was going to drop it. But luckily, while I was bracing for impact on top of the scaffolding, it just slid right into place. It was a close one! I would have been done for sure!
Also on Thursday we met with Hedley and Brandy. They are doing well. We made sure they knew what our purpose was as we come and visit them. We are helping them to read the Book of Mormon and to pray. They really wanted to be at church, but their daughter ended up getting the flu. So that didn't work out. We also met with someone we found named Chad. He's actually from the same area as Elder French. Kind of weird connection. But he's a great guy. He met with missionaries 10 years ago. He's really looking to make some changes in his life. So of course we're here to help him out. We'll see how it goes. We have an appointment with him on Thursday.
The huge snow storm was interesting. We have a tiny car, so we've had to dig ourselves out at least 4 times in the last few days. It's pretty crazy. It literally snowed nonstop all day Saturday! We were out knocking doors, and we saw this lady shoveling snow. We offered to help, and she just kind of looked at us. She thought about it for a while, she looked at her shovel and said, "why is this so hard for me? I think it's because I have 2 boys inside that are probably just playing video games." We laughed and said that if she let us help she would be justified when she beat them up! OK, we said something along those lines. She's super nice, we helped her for a while. Turns out she's from New York. She laughed and told us that she wonders why she's up here sometimes, but her husband is Canadian. While we were working, her son came out and helped. He's hilarious. I guess he was sleeping. After we  finished, we talked for a minute. Patty, the lady, says that she doesn't fully agree with the doctrine of the Catholic church, so her and her husband have been floating between different religions. She knew a bit about the church. We talked about the Book of Mormon, and she said she was excited for us to come by again. And so am I!
Yesterday, we went over to Laurie and Shane's to have lunch and play games. I hadn't eaten with investigators before, so it was a good experience. Plus they are just a hilarious family. They would have been at church, but Chase their little boy stayed up until 3 in the morning. It was his birthday party, and I guess he was a bit riled up! So he was impossible to get up on Sunday morning. He's a funny kid. He will wrestle with Shane, and he likes to do the hammer punch. We were teasing him about it yesterday, and he informed us that we were saying it wrong. It's hammer fist. We played Monopoly, which was super funny. It was a Canadian and an electronic version. Shane is super competitive, so it was just funny to hear all of his comments. I was doing pretty well, so everyone cheered when I got sent to jail. It was really great. My technique was just to buy pretty much everything I landed on. I thought I would go bankrupt in the first 10 minutes.
Well, that's about all I've got. Thanks for all the packages and birthday wishes. It's pretty great. I'll have to sing "As Zion's youth in latter days" a couple times in companion study before it's no longer applicable. I sure love you all and hope you have a great week!
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Canada Winters! BRRRRR

So it's been pretty cold and snowy already. There's also been some insane freezing rain. I forget to bring my camera, so no pictures. But we had to take off about a 1/4 in of ice off of our car!

ha ha...I think Greg is about 6'6" or 6'8". We actually had a lesson with him and the Regnier's. He told me to sit by him, so I did. Sis Regnier kept looking at me and laughing. I couldn't figure out why. Afterwards she told us she wished she had her camera cause I just looked so small. We took a picture next time we met with Greg. Pretty great.

This week was really intense. Laurie and Shane were committed to coming to church and so were their kids. But some family problems came up last minute. Hedley and Brandy were going to try to make it, but they didn't come. Hedley really wanted to, but his back is shot. He's had like a smashed vertebrate for maybe 3 or 4 months. And he's been working construction. Lately, he's been working 2 jobs! Yeah...our investigators have crazy lives. But through everything that happens, they still want to meet with us! It's amazing! They're all just searching for the truth. It's great to be a part of!

I'm actually in Regina right now. The zone leaders asked us to come in last night for our meeting tonight. They said I might have a package that they picked up from Winnipeg on Wed. I'm sorry I haven't picked it up yet, so I don't know who's it is. But thanks!

Oh yeah, Halloween was last week. Ha ha...that was fun. We didn't go out after 5, but I guess some kids start coming out at about 4. We didn't see any, so we kept going until 5. This one guy said we had nice costumes, haha. Super nice guy. He said we could come back, and he gave us candy! This old lady who wasn't interested at all also gave us candy. She answers, looks at us, "I'm not interested, but I am going to give you some candy." I took 1 and she looks at me, "and take more than one!" Weyburn's so great!

We had probably the most spiritual lesson we've ever had with Hedley and Brandy this week. Hedley was done cause of his back. But Brandy was great. We watched the Restoration with them. She's becoming more and more sincere as we've continued to meet with them. It's really great to see the both of doing all they can to learn the truth.

Because I'm in Regina, I got to go to P-day activity again. It was so much fun! But I'm exhausted! I am not used to this kind of physical activity. We played basketball and indoor Frisbee. Yeah, my team lost at basketball, but we won at Frisbee! I made sure to pick all the runners and such for my team. Yeah!

It sounds like life is just as crazy back home. Try to keep sane. Good luck in b-ball, tap, choir...if I missed anything I apologize. Meagan, 2 words: dump him! Ha ha...yeah... Whatever, just take it easy. Love you all!
Elder Lyons

Friday, November 2, 2012

The cold is here!

So I've already had to bust out the parka because it has been below freezing pretty much all week. They weren't kidding when they told me winter starts in October up here. It's been pretty cold. I have to be honest, I didn't think that it would get this cold this early...crazy.
Anyways, we got to go to Regina yesterday to watch the Calgary temple dedication broadcast. Pres. Monson was hilarious! It was snowing in Calgary, and there was all sorts of people outside at the cornerstone ceremony. Elder Ballard was also there. It was just so funny when Pres Monson was calling kids up to help put in mortar. He called up a little girl. She was struggling a bit, so he just says, "the backhand, show her the backhand. Every good woman knows the backhand!" And he swings his arm. It was so funny. I had never heard Pres Monson talk like that before.  ( First, I owe everyone who has ever read this a sincere apology. I hope this is not too little, too late. But please bear with me because I have some explaining to do. The reason I have not already responded is because I did not start this blog. This blog was started on my behalf while I was serving a mission. I did not even see the blog until about a year ago. When I saw the comments on this post, I was unable to post a personal comment, so I quit trying because I thought that, after all, it may have been too late. And everyone had already moved on. But I have been informed of some recent attention to this post, so I feel it is worth addressing my comment. To give some context, this blog was started as a way for my extended family and friends to have access to my personal emails home without necessitating a large email chain. These family and friends are well acquainted with me and the way I speak, so they have all understood the intent of my comments. But there are many who don’t know me, so they have misunderstood my statements. For that reason, I would like to make it perfectly clear what I personally meant by my statement in this post regarding President Monson. When Pres. Monson made his comment about the backhand, he meant that every good women knows HOW to backhand, not that every woman should be hit or abused physically. Let’s be honest, EVERYONE in this world has needed to be put in their place by their mother. And I believe, along with Pres. Monson, that it’s a commendable quality of a good woman that she is willing and able to give her children that necessary direction (although I’m not particularly advocating physical discipline). I am personally grateful for my mom’s willingness to counsel and inspire me, and even though I am certain I deserved physical discipline, she never gave it. In this context, I found Pres. Monson’s comment to be enlightening to his childhood, and that’s what made it humorous to me. It was funny for me to picture a young Pres. Monson acting much like the rest of us did while we were young and standing in need of being reprimanded. I am truly thankful for how transparent Pres. Monson is. He often shares his personal experiences that show that he is very much human. My biggest concern about this whole misunderstanding is that it has tarnished his reputation. I hope that this post clears up any confusion about his character. I recognize my own personal flaws, and you can form any personal opinion of me based on this misunderstanding that you would like. But PLEASE do not form your opinion about Pres. Monson based on this misunderstanding. He is a kind and caring man and a true prophet of the Lord. To learn more about his life and character please visit: .Sorry again for any confusion. )

He definitely has a sense of humor. After the dedication, I talked with some of the members from the Wascana ward. They thought I was coming back to stay. Some of them even thought that when I left Wascana I had finished my mission. I don't know how they got that idea. I was as green as grass! It was nice talking with them. It was funny, I was also standing with some of the members of our branch. They told one of the Wascana members to stop trying to steal our elder. This stake is just fantastic!
We got invited to lunch by our high council men. He is from Vietnam, so we ate this noodle and meat soup stuff. And we ate it with chopsticks! It was so good! It was authentic...I found some chicken bones in it. Unfortunately, I found them with my teeth. Other than that it was a fantastic meal! We had this soda, milk stuff. It was delicious. They are a very nice family. It was great. We also got invited to dinner last night at the Regnier's. We had homemade perogies and cabbage rolls. Sounds pretty weird but taste really good!
This week was sort of a miracle. Well, not even sort of, there's no short selling it, it was for sure a miracle. Hedley found a new job and received an insurance check just at the moment they needed it most. As of right now, it appears that their financial struggles are over! I know that the Lord will always keep His promises. I was thinking about Mosiah 2:41 a bunch since we met with them on Sunday. I wondered why they hadn't been blessed temporally as the scripture said. They were doing what they could and trying to be obedient. Then, they were blessed within a day of me wondering when they would be blessed! It was amazing! It continues to be a slow and steady progress with them. We'll be continuing to meet with them and helping them strengthen their testimonies.
We helped Bro Regnier with one of the houses in Radville he's going to rent out. I had to stuff insulation between the wall and the ceiling in the basement. It's an old house, so it's not a basement like you're thinking. There's no home theatre down there! At one point, I was crawling along this pile of rocks and dirt that was just about to the ceiling. It was pretty dark, and it was thick with cobwebs. I was taking out all of the cobwebs with a stick and crawling along, all of a sudden, I feel something hit my back. I looked behind me to ask why Elder French had thrown something at me, but he wasn't behind me. I backed out of there pretty quick! When I went back in there, I found what looked like a dead mouse. Best I can figure is that I knocked it loose from the ceiling with the stick, and when I crawled by it fell on me. At least that's what I'm going with! Well, I might have exclaimed something about spiders, so I got teased by Bro Regnier a bit. He was in the other room, and I just hear him yell, "Elder Lyons, you should be in here. There's a bunch of spiders!" All, I'm saying is if I could feel something land on my back, that's a big spider!
Oh, I can't forget about Tuesday! Sorry this email is really scattered. Anyways, on Tuesday Pres Thomas skyped into our district meeting. He wanted to talk with us about how the missionary announcement at conference is going to effect our mission. Apparently, before the announcement, about 700 missionary applications were sent in every week. Now there has been about 4,000 a week! They expect that the number of missionaries will increase from about 58,000 to 90,000+ in just the next 6 to 18 months! It will then level off to about 75,000. But most of these missionaries will be staying in North America in the central areas. My mission! So our mission is expected to triple in size. Increase from 56 missionaries to about 170! Yeah, all in the next 6 to 18 months! So basically Pres Thomas was telling us to step it up! It's really an exciting time to be serving!
Elder Lyons and Greg

Central Canada looks a lot like S.E. Idaho!

Elder Lyons chillin in his new trailor

1st snow!
Our one spot of bad news is that the family in McTaggart had a bit of a set back. Cory broke his ankle pretty bad, so one of our appointments fell through. The poor guy was in a lot of pain. But we'll get in touch with them, and hopefully set something up for this week.
Thanks for all your emails! It was great to hear from you! I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
Elder C. Lyons