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!
 
Love,

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!
Love,
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!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

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

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Transfers!

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!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Meetings, planning, exchanges, headaches!

This week was another crazy one. We were on exchanges from Monday evening to Thursday evening. It was insane. I didn't even have time to think! Well, here it goes. Monday was really good. I was on exchanges with Elder J. Garner. He is form Utah. He's a super funny guy, and we learned a lot. We had an interesting experience Monday evening. I got a call from one of the missionaries in Swift Current, and he asked if I could give a member from the branch a blessing. Sister Trifaux was rushed from Swift to the Regina General because they weren't liking what the saw with her heart checkup. When we came to visit her she was as chipper as ever. She's an upbeat lady, sorta like Grandma Lyons. Never would've of guessed she was having health struggles. We gave here a blessing, and we were on our way. It was nice to see her again...but not so much to see here in the hospital.
Our next exchange was with the Assistants. I exchanged with Elder Pickett. He's from Declo. He's a funny guy. He's pretty much just like Hyrum. So we got along quite nicely. Not much too crazy happening there...besides that he totally forgot how to make KD. Ha ha...
Anyhow, we got taken care of for Thanksgiving weekend...even though I pretty much forgot it was even Thanksgiving.
We had some powerful experiences with some of our investigators this week. One was with Nicole and James. We haven't been able to teach them consistently....well, ever. But this week their lives just fell apart! And the experiences that they've had are just helping them realize that they need to take the gospel way more seriously. Nicole just kept saying that if they would be living the way they knew they should, they would be feeling tons better. It was an eye opener to hear from them how they were feeling. I'm impressed with how they are reacting to their challenges. It's amazing to see them really reaching out for the gospel!
Other than that, we've just had a junk load of meetings and planning which has lead to terrible headaches. Not fun. But after this week, things should quiet down as far as meetings go...whew!
Well, I sure love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Grey Cup!!

This week was another crazy, eventful one. Monday we took the car in to get the window fixed, and then Tuesday morning we were on the road again. We made it out to Yorkton and spent all day there. It was a good exchange with the elders there. I learned a lot. Especially about finding. It was a good experience. Hopefully we were able to help them out a bit. We were really focused on helping them work in unity as a companionship. Yorkton's a great place. There's a lot going on out there.
We had a few good lessons with Charlie this week. He's moving right along. He just struggles because he lives alone, so he's just a lonely man. But he's starting to cheer up a bit. So that's been good to see. We also had an excellent lesson with Jack. We made strides in helping him understand the gospel! We asked him at one point what he understood baptism to mean, and he told us that he thought it was something that would "purify" his heart. It was amazing! He's really starting to understand a ton more.
We stopped by this man named Stan that we helped with some yard work about a month ago. When we stopped by his two roommates, Troy and Carla, were there as well. And, man, they are prepared. As a result of the service that we did, they are so kind and open towards us! They told us we were welcome back any time. Troy even made us chili! They have all had super rough lives and are receptive to learning more about the restored gospel. It's going to be great teaching them! And that chili was incredible!
So this week was the Grey Cup. It is the CFL equivalent to the Super Bowl. And...it was here in Regina last night. And the Saskatchewan Roughriders won. So the town was nuts! There were cops and...yeah, we live in downtown where all the hotels and what not are. So it was just crazy all weekend. We could hear the noise from the stadium 20 blocks away! Yeah, so it was a noisy night last night.
So that's the crazy week. It was another blur, so I'm afraid I don't have too many details. Love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Birthday Breakfast!!

This week was pretty crazy. We had some good lessons with Charlie this week. He is still learning and progressing very well, and he was at church yesterday. He loves church! The ward is really good at making everyone feel welcome at church. So he's had some really positive experiences. We also had a great lesson with one of our investigators named Bodie. I can't remember if I told you about Bodie.. so If I have you can tune this next part out. Bodie is a student at the U of R. He is currently majoring in Religious Studies. He is a very smart, young guy. He's very open minded. He loves the Book of Mormon, and he's just making sure that he's ready to make the commitment to be baptized. He's a great guy, and I can see him being a kingdom builder for sure!
We had some really different experiences this week. I'll start with Thursday. On Thursday morning, we went out to the car, and well, there was a huge hole in the window on the back door. All the glass was completely shattered and just about broken in to the back seat. Nothing was stolen. Someone just wanted to be dumb and break a window. Ha ha, one of the best parts was when I called to file a police report. The lady asked me what my date of birth was, then she said, "oh, happy early birthday." Yep, happy birthday and have fun driving in the snow! It has been pretty interesting not having a back window and driving in a Canadian winter. Luckily it's been pretty mild lately.
My birthday was super good. The Hamon's invited us over for birthday breakfast. It was amazing! Personally, my favorite part was when Sister Hamon brought out the cake and everyone was singing happy birthday, including Kasper ( who is almost 3). And then, this is the best part, Kasper and his sister Elsa helped me blow out the candles, ha ha. Turns out I actually needed the help. I don't know if you knew this, but I'm awful at blowing out candles. It was kind of embarrassing actually. I'm pretty sure little Elsa blew out more that I did. And she's not even 2! It was an excellent banana cake. Totally made my eternity! I was super happy. So don't worry, I was beyond taken care of!
That's about all I can remember. Like I said it was a bit of an insane week again. But I sure love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, November 11, 2013

Take a Deep Breath!

This week was pretty much insane! Tons of stuff happened, so it sorta feels like it was a month. We had tons of meetings and planning to do, but we survived. I feel for  Elder Beacham because he literally had all of the responsibilities of being zone leader thrown on him in one week. But he did so good! It was great to be a part of it! So first on the list was MLC. President and Sister Thomas came to Regina, and we broadcast the meeting from here. It was great to see President and Sister Thomas. They are some of the best people I have ever met! The meeting was a bit overwhelming. There was a ton of instruction and information to pass on to our zone! And the fun part was that we had to have it all organized and planned by the next day...Yep. We had MLC Tuesday, and we had ZTM on Wednesday. Usually we have a few days to prepare and get everything figured out. It was nuts. But it was a great meeting. It was so much fun. We actually invited members to help us practice our teaching. They were excellent! They helped us out so much! Their evaluation was spot on with the instruction President Thomas wanted us to pass on. It was a very instructive and spiritual meeting if I do say so myself!
So that's how the first week of this transfer began! It was even a little overwhelming for me! But I loved it. One of the highlights of the week is that we got to go to the Hawke's for supper. I had never been to their home for supper, so it was an excellent opportunity. Their family is so good! They have a son named Jude and a daughter named Sadie. They are both under the age of 5, so it is so much fun to be around them! It was great to be in there home.
In other news, we had a man named Ravi come to church for the last couple of weeks. He was a turnover from the other elders. He is a champ. He's from India, and he's in the masters program for computer science at the U of R. One day we called him, and he said that he was too busy to meet. So Elder Wilson invited him to church (this was before he left). Ever since, Ravi has been coming to church. We gave him a tour of the church before sacrament meeting started yesterday, and we just talked about Jesus Christ. It really seemed to peak his interest, and now he's making time to meet with us! Before he left, he told me that he would be at church every Sunday. It caught me a little off guard, but I'm am super impressed with his commitment. It's really incredible. Hopefully he continues to learn and progress.
We had a pretty good week for teaching, but this week will be tons better because we won't have any crazy meetings to plan for. Elder Beacham and I have been teaching pretty well together. So I'm sure that with more experience that we will see a lot of success.
Well...that's all I got. I love you all! Have a great week!
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, November 4, 2013

Madness!!

So this week was just insane. At the start of the week I think that Elder Wilson and I were just in denial that we were going to be separated with transfers. We sorta just kept working like nothing happened. Then, on Wednesday, the day before he left, we realized that he should probably start saying his goodbyes because he would definitely be leaving. We crammed all of the goodbyes into one day! We even had breakfast with a member family. The Hamon's. They're the best. I've never felt more anxious in my entire life! We were literally flying all over Regina, and we were late to every appointment. It was a sad day. Most of the people we said goodbye to were tearing up. It was the worst! It was super hard to say goodbye to Elder Wilson. We've had tons of fun, and we worked really well together, too. It was just nice to be serving with someone who was as relaxed or more relaxed than I am. Elder Wilson really kept everything in perspective and did not overstress. Anyhow, the time came, and we had to say goodbye.
This week has actually been pretty good as far as teaching goes. Elder Beacham is from Southern Utah, and he works super hard. I love that about him. We really haven't missed a beat. He just jumped right in! We are still adjusting a bit to our teaching styles, but I can see that when we become united we will do incredible!
Ha ha, Elder Beacham's second full day here in Regina, we helped out at one of the most ridiculous moves I've ever seen. The lady was a less-active member who had been kicked out of her home....due to failure to maintain a healthy living environment. It was pretty gross in there to say the least. Anyhow, there were about 5 members there helping, and we had 2 companionships of elders. To make things even more exciting, the landlord came by a couple times to yell and swear at us and make sure that we knew that we were doing something "wrong". It was interesting. The neat thing is that one of the members, Bro Tondevold, talked with him the second time he came around. Bro Tondevold was completely calm and even had the landlord calmed down in a matter of minutes. It was incredible. The landlord walked away like they were best friends! I couldn't believe it! This ward has some truly amazing people.
We had a crazy Sunday! We had a few new investigators come to church for the first time. One is our investigator named Charlie. The other we've actually never taught. He was a turnover from missionaries in another ward. We just called him and invited him to come to church, and he came. His name is Ravitesa. He's from India. Ha ha, so we have a pretty big Gospel Principles class. (That's the class for new and returning members.) And it just so happens that for our investigators first Sunday, the lesson was on the law of chastity. It was slightly awkward, but our investigators still want to come back, so it must not have been too traumatizing.
 That's about all I can think of from this week. My brain is still recovering from transfers. But I love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Transfer calls!

Aye Aye Mate!

Stake Activity!
So first things first, this week was transfer calls. I will be staying here in the Wascana Ward, and I will be welcoming Elder Beacham. He came out as the same time as the missionary I trained....and that's about all that I know about him. He's spent all his time on the other side of the mission. So I haven't talked with him much at all. I'm super happy that I get to stay, but I'm really sad to be losing Elder Wilson. We've had a ton of fun together, and we really work well as a companionship. So it will be a hard adjustment. But I'm excited for him. He gets to open a new area in Manitoba. It should be a good change for both of us.
This week was crazy. I am so tired from everything that we got to do. At the start of the week, we drove out to Yorkton to go on exchanges with the elders there. During our exchange, we went out to a small town called Kamsack which is a part of the branch. We went out to some of the native reserves to find some less-active members. It was amazing! The people were so nice, and I could see a lot of growth occurring in that part of the branch. That night, a member invited us to stay the night at his house. Brother Blowers is the one who makes all the work in Kamsack possible. He sets up lessons for the elders, drives them around, and lets them stay in his home. He is the nicest and most thoughtful man I have ever met! It was an incredible experience to be in his home!
This week we also had a few service opportunities. We were asked to help out at the temple baptistry. It was so much fun. And it was also 10 times better because the Regnier's were the ones who were assigned to work there that morning! So I got to spend some time with them. While there, I had some powerful spiritual experiences. It was a great opportunity, and I'm thankful that we got asked to help out.
We also helped out with a stake activity on Saturday. It was a lot of work, and the members really needed our help. I was glad that we could help out and ease the burdens for them a little.....There's really no way to explain this without it being weird, so here it goes. We had to dress up as pirates. We were "instigating" the entertainment, but clearly we know what the truth is. And we were handing out the prizes and what not. Essentially, all eyes were not "supposed" to be on us, but seeing as how we were the only ones dressed up as pirates, we got a little bit of attention. It was a little embarrassing, but I'm glad we could help out... even if it was in a bit of an unusual way.
This week was a bit of a crazy one, but hopefully things can start settling down for us. I'd really like to be able to focus a bit more on those we are teaching. Our zone has split, so we won't have to be out of town as much. That will be a blessing as we work to build our area in the coming transfer. It should be excellent once the dust settles after transfers this week. So...yeah. That's all I've got. I love you all! Have a great week!!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, October 21, 2013

Let it Snow!!!!!

So we woke up this morning to some snow. Pretty amazing. It's still lightly snowing, and it's starting to accumulate a bit. I love Canada! The winters here are crazy!
This week has been pretty busy. I sorta lost my mind progressively as the week went on, so this will probably make zero sense. But we started off our week by going out to a small town called Odessa.  A member family invited us out for thanksgiving. It was super good! Go figure, I ate myself into a stupor....cause that's what we're supposed to do. It was nice to be taken care of over the holiday weekend.
Tuesday was super fun. I went on exchanges with one of the missionaries in the ward. His name is Elder Barton. Basically, he is a carbon copy of Mark Parry. So what I'm saying is we should be companions at some point. We get along super great, and we just taught in unity with the drop of a hat. It was amazing! It was great to have a learning experience with him and to provide what training I could. We had a lot of good discussion, and it was great to get to know him better.
Wednesday morning, we got a random call to go help out the senior couple in Carry the Kettle ( I know Canadian names). Carry the Kettle is a native reserve. So they needed our help to get their trailer placed. Yeah, trailers! I'm basically a trailer trash missionary, so that's probably why they called me....OK they were desperate for help. We had to dig a trench underneath the trailer for the electricity line. I tell ya that was something else to get done! We had about 3 feet of space to get under there, and then we still had to dig. It was crazy, but I'm glad that we could help out.
We had some great experiences finding and teaching this week. I just wanted to share one amazing thing that happened yesterday. We've continued teaching Cory this week, and his lessons continue to be some of the most spiritual of my mission! During sacrament meeting, I noticed that he got up and left with tears in his eyes. While we were teaching him after church he explained why. He said that as he took the sacrament, he just had memories flood into his mind of when he was active. He said he felt an overwhelming sense of love, AND he felt his testimony coming back! He said that it was now clear what he had to do to get back on the path. The Spirit was so strong as he told us about his experience. It was incredible! I know that obedience is the key to allowing God's power to take effect in our lives! This was just another testimony builder to me that God will bless us when we do what he says. It's amazing how simple and profound the gospel truly is!
I love you all! Thanks for your love and support! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Turkey Day!

So as you may have gathered, today is Canadian Thanksgiving. This ward is amazing, so every day so far this weekend we have had a turkey supper! And we have one tonight. It's the best! I'm going to be so fat.
Anyhow, this week has been a little tough for us as far as teaching goes. We've had a ton of appointments fall through, and investigators have just not been committed. Or they have moved out of our area. Or they are just no where to be found. So we gave it one last focused effort to contact and teach everyone this week. Now, we've decided it's just time to build up our teaching pool. It's sad to have lost touch with so many great people, but we'll keep trying with them. However, our focus will be on finding those who are prepared to act.
Well, that being said, we had a great week working with a less-active member named Cory. He just moved from Winnipeg, and he's amazing. He works doing drywall, and he reminds me a ton of Hedley in Weyburn. Teaching him has been incredible. I've had some of the most spiritual lessons of my entire mission with him. He just wants to change, and his life has been pretty tough lately. Great guy. We really look forward to working with him.
We also had some good success working with members this week. We volunteered to help Bro Cardona with his landscaping. He was really impressed and put us right to work. It was super tough, but a great way to spend a morning. Bro Cardona is an amazing man, and it was a great opportunity to get to know his family. They fed us lunch after, and well, they're Filipino. So it was amazing! Bro Cardona's granddaughter, Gabriana is a doll! She is 3 years old, and she is so funny. Apparently, she needed to change out of her school clothes. So when we first came into the house, she came up to Elder Wilson and said, "I'm gonna to go to my room, and I'm gonna get naked!" Elder Wilson told her that he would be staying right where he was, so she could go do that. Then she told him, "sometimes I run around, and you can see my butt!" Ha ha, Sister Cardona (her mom) was the best. She just told her to make sure that she didn't tell the missionaries all of her secrets. They're an amazing family. They are very missionary minded and just love to serve and help others. It was great to be in their home.
That's pretty much all that I have to report for this week. It was a challenging but good week. I love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, October 7, 2013

Numb Bum!

So this week was absolutely insane. We only had a day and a half in our proselyting area. It was ridiculous. I've never sat on my butt more in my life. OK, that's a lie, but still. By bum was completely numb by the time it was all over!
So this week we started off with exchanges in Moose Jaw. We drove out Monday evening and spent the day there on Tuesday. It was so much fun. I was on exchanges with a brand new missionary from Germany! His name is E. Frenkel, and he is my new favorite! He is so amazing. It was like he had been out a year! I was doing his training in the morning, and he was basically thinking 'duh' the entire time. It was so fun teaching and talking with people with him. They would ask where I was from, then they would ask where he was from. They didn't care about me from that point on, ha ha. But he's an excellent teacher, so he's going to do a great job. Plus, he's got an excellent sense of humor. The man is obsessed with fruit loops. Apparently, they don't have those in Germany. It was even the terrible, cheap Walmart kind that leave a wax coating in your mouth and a terrible aftertaste that won't go away no matter how many times you brush your teeth! But the man loves them.
So we got back from Moose Jaw, and Wednesday was zone conference. So began the butt sitting. There was a lot of it, believe me! But it was very informative, and we learned a lot about what we can do in our area...if and when we have time.
I learned so much from General Conference! It was amazing to see how much was focused on missionary work. I have been inspired to be even better and to step up in areas where I am weak. One thing that I loved is something that Elder Scott said. He said that weakness is different than rebellion. I feel I have mixed those two up a ton on my mission. I beat myself up a lot for the weaknesses that I have thinking that I am turning completely from our rebelling against our Heavenly Father whom I love completely. But really, these weaknesses are just a part of our mortal experience. Something that brings opposition that, If I humble myself and turn to God, will only make me stronger. This is much different to the view that I had previously. And it has helped me to feel a lot better about the challenges that I have. Conference always makes me feel so good! I know that our Heavenly Father speaks to us today! I love you all and thank you for listening to my ranting each week! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Fiesta!

This week was a bit of a slow one as far as teaching goes. We had a lot to deal with, but that's no excuse. Elder Wilson and I have talked a lot about it. And we both feel that we are better than we've ever been on our missions. We've really been working hard, and my desire to serve is SO high right now! It's just been a little tough to fit everything in with all the responsibilities that we have.
We were able to go on exchanges this week in Swift current. I love that place! It was just pouring the entire time! We were so drenched. I was with a relatively new missionary named Elder Binning. He's a champ. We had a good time working. We were knocking a few doors, and we talked with this really nice lady. It seemed like an average contact to me, but after we were walking away E. Binning said, "Well that was the longest I've ever been able to talk with someone." He was pretty excited. That's my favorite thing about exchanges, helping missionaries do things that they don't even think are possible. It's the best!
Anyways, our investigators have insane lives, so meeting with them has been a challenge. But we have had some success this week working with members. We've really been making that a focus lately. It's really hard for both of us because we are the 'old school' type missionaries who like to knock on doors and let the members do their own thing. But there's a better way. We've really been making an effort to get to know members and see how we can help them to do  missionary work. Mostly we've just taught members as part of meal appointments. As a positive side note, we got fed Mexican food this week! Twice! It was so good. The Wood's are an amazing family. They are a young family, and they made us fajitas. And the Remington's are also a young family, and they made us Cafe Rio burritos.. yeah! It's been so much fun getting to know them and seeing how we can better work together.
This next week is going to be very busy. We are going to Moose Jaw tonight, and we will be there all day tomorrow. And Wednesday is zone conference. And then it's general conference. I'm excited for all of it, but I just might lose my mind!
I love you all! Thanks so much for your support! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, September 23, 2013

Grey Skies and Thunder Thighs!!

This week it's really cooled off a ton. It's starting to get colder. It's exciting! I love the fall.
Anyways, this week was so insane! At the beginning of the week, we went out to a town called Yorkton. It's northeast of Regina about 2 1/2 hours. It was a unique experience actually. I thought I had just about seen it all, but Yorkton and Melville are pretty nice places to serve. We had some good exchanges. We learned a lot and provided some timely training. It's been neat to see how much we all can learn from exchanges when they're done correctly. Anyways, Melville lives in a house! They have a house all to themselves! And they have a piano! It's crazy. There's about 5-10,000 people in Melville. I would love it there! The church building they use is a little different. I think it's the basement of a business or something. It's so amazing!
This week with transfers...to be honest I think I lost my mind! We are literally the middle ground of the mission, so everyone passes through us. Coming and going. We had to billet 13 missionaries in Regina on Wednesday night! Every apartment had 3 additional Elders. It was a headache. And of course, the train is never on time. All the missionaries didn't get here until about 10:15 PM. Then, we saw them off to Winnipeg at 5:30 AM the next day. It was a long day on Thursday. We had to send them off Thursday evening to Saskatoon. It's always a mess.
Let's see....for lesson this week, we were able to teach Mike and his family again. Mike is a great guy. He is super excited about church. He just wants us to help him to change. They had us over for supper again. They are so nice. It's been a miracle teaching them.
Something super embarrassing happened yesterday. We were eating supper at the Terry's. We were sitting out in the living room, and I was about to sit down on the couch. I was making my descent with ice cream cone in hand. Then the unspeakable happened, there was a gunshot like pop....and I blew out my crotch. Yep, it happened. And to top it off, the sisters were sitting across from me. One of them saw the whole thing, so she completely lost her composure. That made it difficult to keep the matter on the down low. So, yeah, there's now about a 2 inch hole in my pants. Never going to live that down. Pretty dumb. I didn't even think that I had thunder thighs!
That's about all that I've got for today. My head's gonna explode. Love ya! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, September 16, 2013

Transfer Calls!

So this week was absolutely insane! I can't hardly remember what's happened. But anyways, as the title denotes, this week was transfer calls and.....I finally get to stay!!! Elder Wilson and I both get to stay together. We're super excited to have another transfer! And it works out with transfer travels that we'll get to see my mtc companion. All the group's together again! Alright! But yeah, we're stoked about transfer calls.

Early this week, we got to eat supper at the Hamon's. This is a highlight because they are just about my favorite family in the ward....OK, I'm not supposed to choose favorites. But they're my favorite. It was so fun to be at their home. They have 2 kids that are both under 2 1/2 years old. They have a boy named Kasper and a daughter named Elsa. They are so cute! They pretty much speak their own language. I can't understand a word they say. But the Hamon's love good missionaries. So they love us :) They volunteered their home for us to teach. It's a pretty big deal. They're amazing.

Also, this week we got to go out to Bishop's farm to help him out. We just went as a district. We pulled a junk load of weeds! Their kids were out helping us. They have a daughter named Vivian, she is 4 years old. She is so funny! She had us laughing the entire time. She's a lot like Natalie. She asked us what our names were, so we told her. I was with Elder Campbell at the time. She said his name like Elder "Camel", so she asked, "why do you both have animal names?" She's such a doll. It was so much fun to work on the farm! The Walter's have bees that make them honey. It was super good! Yeah!

We also got to teach the family from BC this week, Alicia, Mike, and Gord. They invited us over for supper. It was really good! They even had some more friends over that were not members. After supper, we taught about the Restoration. Mike is a champ! He's been investigating for a year solid! He loves the church, but he just hasn't gotten his answer yet. But he is so close! We can just tell.

We had another baptism for our ward this week. Our ward is on fire! There are so many people being brought into the fold! It's really neat to be a part of it. We also had supper with our ward mission leader and his parents. Bro Hawkes and Sis Hawkes and their family are so great. They are really involved and active in the gospel. They are so helpful and loving. It's the best!

Well, that's about all that I have for this week. Just remember that I'm staying here, so get ready to here some more amazing miracles! Love ya! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Shower of Blessings!!

This week was probably the most insane week of my life! We had exchanges early on in the week. We went out to Carry the Kettle ( I know you'll appreciate that name) to bale hay (which was an amazing experience). We prepared and presented a zone training meeting. We went to the temple. But, most importantly, We went to Weyburn to BAPTIZE! It was the best day of my mission. When Hedley and I saw each other, we were just speechless. I teared up a hundred times that day. Standing in the font, I had one of the most powerful feelings I've ever had in my life! I will be a changed man forever! Hedley has changed so much! I could just tell by looking at him that he was ready. So amazing. And Elder French came from Alberta to be there. I have never been more happy in my entire life!
So I would like to tell a little bit of a back story that will help you understand how much this baptism means to me. As you could probably tell, Saskatoon was a bit of a trying time for me. So at the pinnacle of my struggles, I prayed to ask if what I was doing on my mission was even helping the Lord at all. I prayed that I could be done with mediocrity and accomplish miracles for Heavenly Father. Shortly, after that prayer, I was transferred here to Regina. There have been many miracles that have happened here since that day. But the biggest one, of course, was being able to be close enough to Weyburn to participate in Hedley's baptism. I know that Heavenly Father is mindful of me. He has heard every prayer I have ever offered. I am so thankful that he has magnified my meager efforts in order to help His children. This is truly the Lord's work!
One of the miracles that happened this week was that we came in contact with a family that has moved from BC. They have been searching for the church for months.  Alicia saw the APs at the A&W where she works. She gave them her info, and we contacted her. Her husband, Mike, is not a member. Her father, Gord, is a member. And they have an 18 month old boy named Gabe. And they all came to church! We are going to be teaching them! In addition to them, just about every investigator we had texted us yesterday morning to tell us they were coming to church. We had a total of 9 investigators and less active members at church! It was insane! It was such a good day!
That's about all that I've got time for, but I sure love ya! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons
Elder Chris Lyons, Hedley, and Mason French

Cowboy Elders!

Elder Lyons, Hedley, Elder Reay, Mason French

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Good News!!!!

This week was pretty crazy. We had a ton of meetings, and we did a junk load of traveling,too. But it was great. I got to back to Swift! It was so much fun! We went on exchanges. And it was amazing! I got to see a few of the members. It was a good time. We were walking most of the day. At one point in the evening, it just started pouring! We were drenched. As we were crossing this bridge, the missionary I was with (E. Jones) turned to me and said that it would be his dream to get picked up in some ones car, so we could teach them. No lie, seconds later, this car pulled over, and the driver told us to get in! We were both so shocked! The guy was so nice, but we only had about 30 seconds. So we hardly even recovered from the shock. It was so crazy. That evening was so good. Just miracles happenin'! It's the best.
Pretty much other than that there was a baptism this weekend. It was the sisters'. It was for these 3 kids, 2 Filipino kids and 1 other kid. Anyways, the sisters conned one of the Filipino kids named Ruby to ask Elder Wilson and I to sing at the baptism. So Ruby called and asked Elder Wilson. All he could say was, "how do you say no to a 10 year old girl?" Anyways, we were so nervous. We had only an hour to practice, and I sang alto and Elder Wilson sang melody. It was rough. Yeah...it was a good baptism, though.
This is a short email because I forgot everything when I got a phone call a few days ago: here's how it went down. The Weyburn elders called me and said that there was someone who wanted to ask me a question. Well, it was Hedley. And he asked if I could baptize him this Saturday!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah!!!!!! I have permission from President to go. So I'll be in Weyburn this weekend. Yeah! And Elder French is coming from his home in Alberta to be there, too. I'm so excited!
So...yeah. That's all I've got. Love ya! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Crank it up a Notch!

It seems like this week sped right on by twice as fast as last week! It was a crazy week up here. At the start of the week, we went out to Moose Jaw for exchanges. It was a good time. I got to see some of the elders that were in my district a few transfers ago. It was a good time. I was with the district leader for the day. He's into creative finding, so it was good to see what he did. I'm sort of a simple man, so I'm partial to tracting and street contacting mostly. But what he did was good, and I can see it producing great results. Plus I just like Moose Jaw. It's a great town. With a name like Moose Jaw it's gotta be great!
After we got back, I was pretty exhausted. This week was a little slow as far as lessons go. Our investigators were busy for one reason or another. Ha ha, but I do have a pretty funny story, though. There's this Filipino family that has 2 kids that will be baptized this Saturday. There names are Ruby and Rachel. They have a son named Ryan, but he's not ready to be baptized. So we've been trying to meet with him. We stopped by to talk with him...and he was gone. But we were talking with the mom, Lolita and her 2 girls. They asked where Elder Wilson was from. He told them he was from St. George, and that it was basically a desert. Then Rachel just looked at him and said, "Wait you're from a desert? Than why are you white?" Ha ha, kids are the best.
We were able to teach a family that lives out of town though. That was super neat. They are from Kenya, and they are friends with a family in our ward. So they expressed some interest. It was great, they asked a ton of good questions. And they have 3 of the cutest most well behaved kids over. It was great to teach them, AND.. they want to learn more. So we'll be teaching them again soon. Their names are Ayan and Malak.
We decided to do a temple grounds tour on Sat. I can't remember if I told you this already or not. Anyways, we had quite a few people just walk up just because they saw the sign. It was incredible to see the interest that there is in the temple. I would predict that it's going to help us out tons with missionary work. It was exciting!
This week was also stake conference. It was really good. We had a general authority come and speak. He spoke all about missionary work. It was great. And I got to see some families from old areas. Including the Regnier's from Weyburn. It made my month! I was so excited to see them. We talked for a while. It was the best.
That's about all I've got, I'm afraid. But I sure love you all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Sunday, August 25, 2013

8/19/13 Hittin' the Pavement!

This week we have worked so hard. It's been so much fun! We've really seen our hard work pay off this week with many successes....so the order of this email will not make sense, but I'm going to relate some of the great things going on in Regina.
First off, we had a great week for lessons with our investigators. We were able to teach a young man named Yanshao Tan. He is from China (bet ya couldn't guess), and he's the best. His Canadian name is Jack. So with Jack, we're really trying to help him recognize the Spirit. Faith and the godhead are completely new to him, so we are really trying to help him have experiences that will build his faith. He has a strong desire, and he came to church yesterday. He loves church, so he's on the right path!
We were also able to help Kim and her son Cruz come to church this week. They are in the same boat as Jack in a lot of ways. We are really working with them to help them have spiritual experiences. A few doors up from them is a part member family we are working with, Nicole and James and their kids, Felicity and Lexa. They are a great family! We helped mow their lawn this week. I say we, but it was mostly Elder Wilson and Brother Hammon. We got bombarded with phone calls, so I was on the phone just about the entire time.....yeah, I hated it. It's literally insane how many phone calls we get. We actually have to turn our phone off sometimes just so we can breathe! Don't tell anyone, though. Anyways, we had a short lesson with Nicole and James, and they're already committed to come to church Sunday. Nicole is not a member, but she wants structure in her life so badly. And James is a member, so he knows that the structure is in the gospel and the church. Ta da! So they are both in it together.
And last but not least, we met with a man named Darcy. He is best friends with a returning less-active member named Reo. She and her brother Cody are excellent help for Darcy. He was the one that contacted the missionaries. He actually just sent a text and told us that he wanted to be baptized. He's had difficulty meeting in the past because he lives out of town, but he's committed to meeting now. And he's preparing to be baptized! So we're excited about that.
Let's see...we've also had some amazing service opportunities. One was actually at the temple. We had a meeting with the temple presidency, and we discussed how we can make the temple grounds more available to the public. So we are working on inviting others to come to the temple grounds and feel the Spirit that is there. We are even helping with the gardening to make the grounds neat and orderly. We are inviting investigators and less-active members to serve with us as well. So it's going to be an excellent opportunity for us. Another opportunity we have done this week is something called fruit for thought. It's a group that receives permission from fruit tree owners throughout the city to pick all the fruit they do not use. Then, they donate it in some form (preserves, baked goods, etc.) to those in need. Pretty good idea. The first day we went, it was really good. We were able to talk with a ton of people, and they were kind and asked us questions. Now it's mostly women that come, so we might be turning this one over to the sisters. It was good while it lasted, ha ha. We'll see how much we can still stay involved.
And now.....I'm pulling a huge blank. There's a lot going on here, and it's an exciting time to be serving. I love you all, and thank you for you love and support. Have a great week. I love you!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, August 12, 2013

Craziness!

I'm pretty sure this was one of the most insane weeks of my life. So do your best to follow this. OK, so back in Stoon we still had a Zone Training meeting to plan and present for on Tuesday. Which I was feeling terrible for, but I feel it actually went quite well. Our focus as a mission right now is to better teach and find with the Spirit. Sounds like a big "duh!" but for some reason we're just not getting it. And it's quite difficult to master in all actuality. We're a young mission, and we NEED to master some skills that will allow us to better follow the Spirit. So we focused on listening. Our portion and practice were very good, and I learned a lot.
Then, it was packing, and I drove to Regina on Wednesday!!!!!! I was so excited!!! I love it here so much. It's crazy. I've actually spent a year in the Regina zone, so clearly it's the best zone. Anyways, I saw a ton of former companions. Elder Shepherd was one of them. We served in Swift. We cried tears of joy when we saw each other again....not really....but it was close. He's going to Winnipeg to serve with my boy Elder Burnett. Then I saw Elder French as he was getting ready to go home....sad day. We reminisced for a long, long time. It was super sad to see him go for good.
So now I'm with Elder Wilson, and life is good. It just got even busier, though. I don't think I've ever had more phone calls in my life! It's ridiculous. I might as well forget my aspirations to be a doctor and just become a receptionist!....seriously. But it's good. We've got good missionaries in this zone. I'm telling ya, some of the missionaries that are coming out right now have to be the strongest I have ever seen! It's amazing to be a part of it.
Well, I don't really have any mind blowing experiences for this weekend. I gave a talk on Sunday. I got up to speak, and I was handed a note that informed me that I had twice as much time than I had prepared for. Let's just say I'm glad there was a good circulation of air in the chapel. Yeah, I just about pooed my britches. Seriously though, I felt like I should've prepared more, and I didn't. So it was all my bad. It was good to see many familiar faces. It made it super easy to transition. I love this ward! It's great to be back.
I thank you all for writing, and I hope that you have a great week. Love ya!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, August 5, 2013

Transfer Calls Again!

 this week was insane. We got our transfer calls this week. I'm going to be going back to Regina to serve in the Wascana ward again. I will be zone leader with Elder Wilson. I'm really excited. I love the Wascana ward, and Elder Wilson came out at the same time as me. We had some good times in the MTC. It's going to be super fun. And I get to go Swift on exchanges! Yeah! I'm looking forward to it. I will be travelling down there on Wednesday.

This week was pretty good as far as teaching goes. We were able to teach Rob from PA a couple of times. He's doing really well. He really wants to be better and become active. It's a great experience to teach someone with that much desire. We were also able to teach this family from Nigeria for the first time. They're super great. They both want to learn how they can have the Holy Ghost with them all the time. Yeah, we can help ya with that! Binga and his family are super great. Elder Kuhre will have a good time teaching them in the future. It's a little sad that I won't be able to teach them. We had to try very hard to finally set an appointment with them.

We helped a less active family we've been working with to load up their granite counter tops in their truck. I don't think I've ever lifted anything heavier! I was getting teased like crazy by the Thomson's too. Just because I'm small....seriously. 

Well, mostly I've just been trying to not die this week. I've been pretty sick this transfer. Hopefully, I'll be getting better soon. But we keep on working, so it's all good. 

I love you all. Thanks for you emails and pics. Have a great week!

Love,

Elder C. Lyons

Monday, July 29, 2013

Silver Linings

To be honest, this was one of the most challenging weeks of my mission. Elder Kuhre and I ended up getting pretty sick early last week. We weren't sleeping well, and we were just completely wiped! And to top it off, we had several of our appointments fall through this week. I feel like I've become an optimist over the course of my mission, so I've been trying very hard to keep my head up....It's just been extremely difficult.
But I would like to share a few of the silver linings of this week. We have several young missionaries in this zone, and as zone leaders we have the privilege of going on exchanges with many of them. This week, I got to go on exchanges with Elder Leishman. He is from Calgary. And he reminds me a lot of myself at the start of my mission. He's very quite, and it's intimidating for him to talk with people. So, we talked a lot during our exchange. He is so pure! He has nothing but a pure desire to do what's right! During comp studies, we were practicing, and he taught like a pro! It was amazing. He just about brought tears to my eyes! And I've been at this a while! It was great to talk with him and serve with him for a day.
Another sort of crazy thing happened this week. A less active member named, Robert, and his family moved into our area. I don't know if any of you remember Rob from PA, but it's the same Rob. It was so crazy when we walked though the door to teach him. He saw me and was all, "what the? you're here?" He is just full of desire as ever. He asked us to teach him about repentance, so he can stop doing stupid things! His family wants to get more involved as well. Yet another second chance for me on my mission. Very grateful for it, too :)
Other than that, I had the most amazing Mexican food I've ever had! The Martinez family (bet ya can't guess where they're from) cooked us some amazing taco things. So good! We ate them with guacamole and salsa that was to die for! It had been ages since I had eaten decent Mexican food. There were tears.
Other than that we've just been dealing with stress the best that we can. Hopefully we can make this week better than the last! Love ya all! Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons
Here is my address before I forget. People have been asking for it: 205- 103 Reindeer Rd
                                                                                                          Saskatoon, Sk S7K 4W8

Friday, July 26, 2013

Fighting Death!

So this week has been quite the mess. I was sick earlier last week with some sort of flu type thing. I finally caved when I was on exchanges and bought some....flu medicine. Let's just say that I was stretching during exercises; and well, my legs were still pretty tight, but my stool was loose. Ha ha....bad joke. I'm tired. Well, long story short, I got over it fairly quickly, but now I'm sick..again...with a cold. And Elder Kuhre's sick, too. I don't know what my immune system's doing, but it's probably nothing.
 
Despite being sick this week was pretty good. Exchanges were incredible! I was with a young missionary. He's been out 3 weeks, but it's like he's been out 3 years. He is on fire! It was so amazing. My plans for the day were terrible. Everything was falling through, but nothing got him down! He just kept it up, so....I fought through my sickness. And turns out we had a fairly productive day. It was great. Elder Simister is going to be a leader for sure.
 
Anyhow, this week got ahead of us quickly, and before we knew it, zone conference was the next day. So we had to plan for 2 portions to present. We were giving a much larger portion of the training than I ever remember any zone leaders giving. And to top it off we had in attendance: Pres and Sis Thomas, the assistants, and the stake president, Pres Robertson....no pressure. But for our first zone conference, I feel it went OK. It was really great to have interviews as well. I love Pres Thomas so much! He made a pretty funny joke during interviews. He said, "we are paying $57,000 for apartments per month in the mission right now. We are not even close to returning that in tithing funds received from the converts we baptize! It's down right embarrassing when you think about it!" He then went on to explain that clearly for our Heavenly Father hastening the work is for much more than convert baptisms. He wants us as missionaries to experience deeper conversions and become life long, devoted members. That really helped me a lot. Sometimes I don't feel like I'm having the success that I should be. But now, I can realize that this work is meant to help me, not to make me feel worse! I just love Pres and Sis Thomas. I had a good talk with Sis Thomas before my interview as well. Actually, when Pres Thomas came to get me he said, "Sis Thomas probably already interviewed you." She just smiled, "I did!" She's so great :)
 
As far as the work goes, it's starting to pick up. It was in a bit of a slump....and it still sorta is, but we're working on it! We've started working with a less-active member named Larry. He's a great guy. He's got a few challenges, but he's got a heart of gold. We'll be working with him to help him come back. Other than that, we just have a few potentials. We're really just want to find a family. Families are the best. Well....that's about it for this week. I love you all! Enjoy your vacation!
 

Love, Elder Lyons

Monday, July 15, 2013

Still Alive!

This week was crazy. We had to plan for our Zone Training Meeting on Wednesday, which was actually pretty difficult to do. But we pulled it off. The assistants were there (no pressure, it's just my first ZTM). But they said that we did a really good job. I thought I was going to pass out! But, I'm still alive!

Honestly, this week is a bit of a blur. Ha ha, I don't remember much at all. But we did have an interesting lesson with an assistant pastor. I seem to be teaching a few pastors and stuff lately. It's pretty interesting. But, anyways, we had a good discussion with Kurt. He's really open minded, so it's nice. 

I went on exchanges this week with an elder that was in my first district when I was in PA. It was really weird. He goes home soon. I'll be the only one left! But it was a good exchange. I enjoy talking with him. He's a really good guy, and he does good work.

This last weekend was pretty good. Sunday was a bit rough. We had a few families committed to church, but they did not come. It's always going to be the worst feeling for me. But it's a new week, and we're excited to get things going stronger for us. It's zone conference this week, so we have a little bit of planning to do for that. We'll see how it goes. It should be much easier than ZTM. That's about all that I can think of right now. I love you all! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

This is Nuts!

I'm not sure if I'm ever going to get my feet underneath me! If you have ever seen the comic Calvin and Hobbs...yeah the one where he's running in the rain. That's exactly how I feel right now. We've got a thousand and one things going on right now, and I just might have a handle on one of them. It's just crazy, but it's crazy fun.
 
Early last week, we had a solid lesson with a couple that we barely started teaching. Rob met with missionaries back in Calgary, so he pretty well knows what we're going to say before we say it. But both Rob and Samantha have really been open, and they just get that they need to pray to know if the Restoration really did happen. It's been grand teaching them.
 
We've had a bunch of crazy meetings this week. One was on Wednesday with the Stake President and the other Stoon zone leaders. We were discussing the needs of the stake as far as missionary work goes and coordinating our efforts. It was a really great meeting. Pres Robertson is all over it! Another meeting we had was on Friday. It was a Missionary Leadership Council meeting. Yeah...really neat actually. But we had to drive to Regina on Thurs evening (about a 2 or 2 1/2 hr drive). Then we left by van Friday morning at 6:30 to go to a little place called Moosomin ( about a 2- 2 1/2 hr drive). Then we had the meeting about Pres Thomas vision and instruction for the mission. Yeah...now it's our responsibility to pass all the info on. (Sort of a hefty responsibility, eh?) But then we had to drive all the way back to Stoon. Saturday morning was rough!
 
We had a great lesson on Saturday. We went to meet with this guy from Nigeria named, Dipson and his roommates. But they weren't there, so Elder Kuhre called them and texted them. Then, we saw Dipson pull up to the house. He was in Regina (remember that 2 or 2 1/2 hour drive?), but he wanted to meet with us. So he came back. It was a great lesson, and his prayer was powerful. So great!
 
Then on Sunday, we were actually waiting for Dipson. He said he would be late. But he didn't show. But because we were in the foyer, we were able to greet this stranger who walked into the church. He came to Sunday school and had a junk load of questions. But unfortunately, he's not too interested at this time. But it was neat to be in the place that we needed to be!
 
I love you all! Thanks for all of your support! This gospel is true, and I'm so thankful for the blessings it brings into my life! Have a wonderful week!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, July 1, 2013

What?!

I'm very tired. This transfer traveling has been insane. We didn't leave Regina until pretty late on Thursday, so we didn't get to stoon until about 11....yeah this weekend has been rough. But I got to see a bunch of my missionary friends, so it was good.

It was weird saying goodbye to everyone in Swift so soon. It was actually pretty much the worst. I think I wrote how some of the Palmer kids said goodbye to me at church. I about cried! You're not makin' this easy kids! But it was good. We had a bunch of last meals with members, so they sent us off full.

We've mostly been trying to settle in a little bit, and we've been trying to get everything organized. This weekend has been a little rough because I've been half asleep. But we've hopefully finished all the running around so we can go ahead and settle down. That's the thing that I don't like about leadership. I just want to be a regular missionary and do work! But there's other things in store for me....man. The ward seems pretty great. A lot of people are gone for the holiday weekend. But hopefully I'll get to know everyone soon. 

I'm afraid I don't really have anything interesting to report. Besides that I love Elder Kuhre, and I can't wait to get to work and find some people to baptize. It should be a good transfer. Love ya all! Have a great week!

Love,
Elder C. Lyons

PS. I'll be sending my SD card home with all the pics at swift. I have a bunch to send. Love ya! 

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Transfer Calls!

So first things first, we got transfer calls on Friday, and they're kicking me out already! I was so mad. The assistants called us, and when they gave me mine they told me that they needed my leadership. It's sad to hear that the mission is so desperate. I will be a zone leader in Saskatoon. But I will be companions with one of my former district leaders who I really love. I will be in the Wanuskewan Ward. It's the same ward as Kevin Willoughby I believe. So that will be pretty neat. It's a bitter sweet transfer call....mostly bitter. It's been sad saying some of the goodbyes. I said goodbye to the Palmer kids yesterday. I was about to cry.
 
Anyways, this week was really great. The Cypress hills are beautiful! It was so fun going out there last week. The Iwaasa's are the best. Turns out that Bro Iwaasa served his mission with Anthony Esplin's dad. Small world. Bro Iwaasa might be emailing you did get their info because they'll be heading south in a bit.
 
We had a pretty busy week. We got invited to eat supper with a less active member and her husband. Marvan and Craig are so funny. She's actually from Blackfoot. So we get along really well. I think we've had about 30 minute conversations about potatoes. It's the best. It was so great eating supper there. We had a very spiritual message with Marvan. She's a great lady.
 
We had exchanges with the zone leaders this week. It was so fun. I was with Elder Wilson. He is in my MTC group. It was great to be able to work together. We've been waiting for a while for that experience. He's a funny guy. We were laughing quite a bit. They had us do a teaching evaluation. It was an eye opener. I've got a ton more things to work on than I had thought. We've been working on teaching simply and focusing more on people as a result of that evaluation. It was very helpful.
 
On Saturday, we got to volunteer at one of Swift Current's biggest events. It was the summer wind scape kite festival. It was an amazing opportunity. There was a junk load of people. We were actually the greeters....well I was actually directing traffic, but Elder Shepherd got to talk with almost everyone that came to the thing. It was pretty fun. Tons of people were thanking us for volunteering and what not. Good experience....too bad they're kicking me out.
 
That's about all that I've got for now. I will send my SD card home next week when I get settled into Saskatoon. I've taken a ton of pictures here, but have never been allowed to send them with an email. I hope you enjoy them! Love ya!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

6/17/13 Whoops! I blinked!

So this week was another quick one. We had some great experiences though. We've been working very hard to make sure that we are doing our best. We've learned a ton in the last month. It's been incredible. Pres Thomas came to breakfast with us last week, and he asked us if we thought we could split Swift. We said that we could. He called us Wednesday and asked us how we wanted to make the new boundaries. Yeah...that was crazy. So there's going to be 2 more missionaries here in the middle of nowhere. So we've been pretty stressed.
 
We went to Moose Jaw again this week. District meeting was good. It's interesting because all of the elders in our district are in almost the exact situation I was in a year ago. The challenges and trials they are going through are the same trials and challenges that I had. It makes it quite easy to relate to them. I just hope that I'm helping them. It was actually during exchanges while we got the call from Pres Thomas.
 
We had an investigator at church yesterday! Betty came to hear me speak...whatever gets her there. It was good. I think that she had a positive experience.
 
This week I got to know a member family a little better. The Iwaasa's have two boys. One on a mission and one at home. They are so great. They made us a seafood feast, and yesterday we had a ham. It was so good! They're going to be taking us somewhere today for a p day activity. It's called Cyprus hills. I'm not sure what it's all about. But I'll take my camera :)
 
That's all I've got for this week. I love you all!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons
 
ps. Mom, I got your letter. Thanks!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Running on Empty!

This week I have been the most tired I have probably been in my entire life! We did quite a bit of traveling this week. We went in to Regina to go to the temple as a zone and to have a zone meeting. So what happened was this: we drove in Tuesday evening to Regina (about a 2 1/2 hour drive). We woke up at 4 Wednesday morning and went to the 6 am temple session. We had a 3 hour meeting. Then we drove back. That was most likely the worst drive I have ever done in my life! Driving by braille is not fun!
 
The rest of the week was pretty interesting because we were so tired. But it was a good one none the less. On Tuesday, we went to stop by a former investigator, and well, a pretty common occurrence, the guy had moved. But we talked with the young guy who answered the door, and we set an appointment to come teach him on Thursday. It was a really great lesson. Hayden is just searching for a relationship with God. He was so excited to learn how to pray. It was so great...even though we were sleep teaching. Unfortunately he has a bit of opposition in his family. Hopefully he can come out on top.
 
I made chocolate chip cookies last Monday, and we gave them to a few people. We gave them to our investigator, Betty, and she really liked it. Then we gave them to a family in the branch to thank them for inviting a nonmember into their home to be taught. They have 3 little girls, and they were just going nuts when they saw the cookies. It was so funny Sister Steed just looked at them and said, "it's okay to get excited, but don't get crazy." I think that's some good advice for 3 other little girls I know :)
 
This weekend was pretty good. We ate supper at the branch president's home again. It was so good. The Palmer's are just so funny. Elder Shepherd and I have ties that look like Slytherin and Griffindor colors. Clearly I'm Malfoy, but we didn't know who Elder Shepherd was. Apparently they watched Harry Potter, and they say he's Sheamus (no idea how to spell that). It's so funny. We're recruiting members to be on our teams. One of the Palmer boys, Diego, is on Griffindor, and he wore his Griffindor tie to church. It was so funny. We wore our ties to a branch breakfast on Saturday. So funny.
 
Other than that it's been a pretty slow week. Investigators have been sick/busy. But this week should be great! Love you all! Have a great week!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Thursday, June 6, 2013

June, so soon?

This week has just flown by! I can't believe that it's already June! I just love it here in Swift so much! It's been an amazing past few weeks.
 
Last Monday, I decided to show Elder Shepherd what deep fried mars bars were like. So I made some. They were so good :) The thing is, we ate them about an hour and a half before we were going to eat supper at a member's home....yeah, we weren't hungry for supper. But they had a BBQ, and so we ate so much! I thought I was going to explode! Elder Shepherd and I were hysterical. He was like, "if that's not a sin it should be....I just want to die." It just reminded me of Wascana ward, so I was OK. Ha ha, just makes me think that I should work on my foresight a bit.
 
We had some really good teaching appointments this week. It's been really fun. Elder Shepherd tells me we're finding and teaching more than he ever has here in Swift. So it's good to know the area's doing well. We just want to keep it up. So this week we taught a few first lessons, but just didn't set any return appointments....yet. We are close to finding some new investigators, so we should find quite a bit this week. We also taught a lady who Elder Shepherd taught before I came. Her name is Betty. It was one of the best lessons of my entire mission! I didn't really get to teach much. I felt like I wanted to talk several times throughout the lesson, but it was hard to know when I could insert my comments because I didn't know her well enough. At one point in the lesson, she expressed that she has a hard time feeling like her prayers are answered. She asked me to say the closing prayer, so I did. At the end of the prayer, I looked up and she was crying. Apparently I prayed for help for things she needed that her husband doesn't even know about. I thought it was just a normal prayer, but it was a huge testimony builder to me that Heavenly Father knows us and that we are His hands in this work. I know she felt the Spirit, and it was amazing!
 
Yesterday, we taught a Korean lady in a member's home. Sister Steed invited her to English Class, to church, and to learn more from us. It was really great! There was a language barrier, but it was neat because she asked how she could feel close to God every day. The Spirit was there, but it was definitely one of the more challenging lessons I've taught. The Steed's are really great. They have 3 of the cutest little girls in the world! It was great to be in their home!
 
That's about all that I've got for this week. I love you all! Have a great week!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, May 27, 2013

Hard at Work!!

This week has been so tiring. We are working so hard! And it is so much fun! We have really been focusing on finding because we don't have much of a teaching pool. So we've been trying very hard to talk with EVERYONE. We really kick ourselves when someone walks by and all we say is 'hi'. As we've been doing this we've been blessed with people to teach. This week we found an older lady named Elaine. She is a former investigator who stopped meeting with missionaries because she was in the hospital. She is really funny. Our fellowship, Austin, just got home from his mission. She was teasing him about finding a wife. He told her he was still fishing, so she told him to make sure to throw back the blood suckers cause they're no good! She can't believe that there's women out there who don't sew or cook or clean. Boy will you love the relief society! She's really great. I'm looking forward to helping her resolve some of her concerns and start progressing.
 
We were also blessed this week to find a young man named Jessy. He's an amazing guy! He is very well versed in the bible. He's smart and he really wants to make sure that what he does is what God wants him to do. We found him by tracting. He let us in, and he shared some of the questions that he has with us. We tried to help him answer some of those questions yesterday as we met with him. Man! He just makes us think, and in turn we try to make him think. We're really excited to continue meeting with him. I hope he just continues to make an honest search!
 
It's been so much fun trying our very hardest to find people to teach. We've been talking with so many people, and it's been so amazing to see that we can be guided by our Heavenly Father! Teaching this week has also been tiring! We are teaching a Mennonite pastor named Brian. He asks a bunch of questions like Jessy does. We've really, really had to use our brains this week, ha ha. But it's incredible to me to see that every single time I honestly search out these questions, my testimony of the restoration is immensely strengthened. Nothing has ever made me doubt the truth of the Restoration. It is true, and I know it's true. But I'm tired from all the effort we've exerted to help others to know it's true! That's for sure, ha ha.
 
Our first district meeting....it was a mess. About 15 minutes before we were supposed to start, I remembered that I only new how to join an online meeting. I had no idea how to start one. So long story short, we finally got help and started our meeting....30 minutes late. It was good when we started though. I've evaluated and made plans on what I can do better. But on the plus side, I learned that the district is very patient...thank goodness.
 
A funny thing that happened while we were tracting was these 2 kids in a wagon. The little boy saw us standing there on the sidewalk and he asked, "...hey, who are you guys...?" Then we were moving towards the next house and towards him. He then proceeded to say, "oh my goodness, oh my goodness, oh my goodness,"  as we got closer and closer. I'm afraid we scared the poor little guy. But it was still super funny :)
 
There are some great families in the branch. We ate supper with a couple of them, and oh man, their kids are so cute! The Palmer kids ran up to me at church and started to talk with me. It made my day:) We even had Thai food for supper on Saturday. It was excellent. It was just a great week.
 
I love you all! Have a great week!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The Hills Are Alive!!!

First off, Swift is the most beautiful place I have ever been in my entire mission! There are hills, beautiful trees and grass, and rivers. Ah, it's amazing I love it. Equally as amazing is my new companion, Elder Shepherd. He's from Lehi, and basically, he's the best ever. We've had so much fun in the last few days. I don't think I've ever laughed so much on my mission. The best description I can give of him is that he reminds me a lot of Troy Bell. We both tease each other a bunch, and it's just so much fun. Well, you know the drill when I'm in the middle of nowhere, so here's the new address: 7A Jenmar Development
                                        Swift Current, SK S9H 3X6
                                        Canada
 
To back track a little, E. Burnett and I finished off the week really well. Our last night, we taught Shengtao and Amy. We got their info, so we'll keep in touch. It was a ton of fun teaching them. Most of the early week was packing, and to be quite honest, I can't even remember most of it.
 
Thursday was a full day of driving. It was ridiculous. I was so tired of sitting! But I got to see some friends and former companions, so that was good. We were supposed to go to Moose Jaw on Thursday, but the transfer train was late. So we stayed the night and left in the morning. On our way to Moose Jaw, it was just me and E. Allred who is in MJ now. But, anyways, on our way, our tire was having troubles, so we had to stop at this dinky town to fill up our tire. Ha ha, I mean we stopped at a mechanic garage that was just run out of this guy's personal garage, ha ha. The town is called Pense, if you want to look it up. That's just one of our adventures for the day. We finally got to swift, but we realized that we left our phone with E. Allred in MJ. That was not a fun drive to make. We had to call our phone from a pay phone, and I think the best part was when the mj elders told us, "hey you forgot your phone."...thanks.
 
But we are all settled in now, I hope, and we're off to work. We will be walking a ton thanks to the hole in the k allotment, but that's OK, we're learning. I love this branch. I love the people, it's just going to be a ton of fun serving with Elder Shepherd. We're going to tear it up!
 
I love you all! Have a great week!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons
 
PS. I would send pics, but this computer hates me!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Transfers/ Mothers Day!

Get Drugs Here!!
In the Ghetto

Mr Big Bar Ice Cream!!

Way better than a Croissant!

So first off, it was super great to talk to all of you yesterday. It was pretty funny when little Bobby tried to come and beat me up, ha ha. That little guy's great. He was taking a nap in the next room over....I may have woken him up, whoops.
So like I said yesterday, I am getting transferred to Swift Current, Saskatchewan. I love Saskatchewan! And I love trailers! I'm excited, but sad that we will be leaving Shengtao and Amy. They are doing so good. We gave them a church tour on Saturday, and then Shengtao came to church yesterday! I think Amy is still concerned about her kids misbehaving at church. Shengtao stayed for all 3 hours as well. He knew the investigator that the ap's are teaching. Allen is taking some of the courses that Shengtao teaches at the university. So they were excited to see each other. They pretty much fellow shipped each other. It was so great! At the end of church, they were handing out flowers to all the mothers, and someone gave Shengtao a flower for his wife. He was standing next to one of the ap's, and he turned and looked at Shengtao. Shengtao just looked back at him and said, "it's not for you!" It was so funny. We'll be meeting with them one last time before we go.
We've been contacting and teaching a bunch of less-active members. It's been really great to get that going. Most if not all of these members have nonmember relatives, so the work will really progress if the next elders are diligent. It's nice to feel that I'm not leaving the area completely dead, ha ha. But it is sad. It's almost like someone came and kicked my Lego tower over. (ha ha Meagan remember when you did that to me when we were little? thanks)
That's about all I've got for this week. We had some pretty good meetings, and there's a ton of change going on in the mission. Hopefully it will just help us get better and stronger :)
I love you all so much. Have a great week!
Love,
Elder C. Lyons

Monday, May 6, 2013

Bust out the short sleeved shirts!


So first off, those pictures are great! You all have changed so much.... It's sorta weird actually. But I sure love ya all!
 
OK, secondly, I'm not sure what time that we'll be able to skype. I have a rough estimate. I think at the earliest it would be around 3:30PM your time. Which makes it a little rough for church, I know. But if you miss me, I will leave a message with our skype address so you can accept my call after my companion takes his turn. I don't have that address right now, but I'm pretty sure you're not going to be having a ton of people skyping you, so we'll get it figured out. So the time frame will be around 3:30-4:30 your time.
 
This week was really fun. We had our first ESL class in downtown on Wednesday. It was really great. On our first class, we already had 3 people. It's been pretty crazy getting a bunch of phone calls from people who don't speak the greatest English. But I think we've been able to work it out for the most part. It looks like we'll have a lot of Indian, Chinese, or even Korean and Filipino students. Super fun. I love teaching English.
 
We had a good week working with less-active members. Meeting with less-active members is possibly my favorite thing about a mission. We have quite a few to work with. We just starting meeting with a less-active lady named, Colleen. She has a great testimony. I can't wait to see her start to take steps to coming back to church.
 
A really neat experience we had this week happened on Friday when we decided that we wanted to try tracting for a little bit. We pulled up to the street, and we saw a woman working in her lawn. We offered to help, and she declined. I could tell she wanted help, so I just started helping. We helped for about an hour, and we just talked. She's super nice, and she told us that we could come back any time. Just a reassuring experience to know that we are led by the Spirit to people who are prepared.
 
That's about all that I can think of. I'll talk with you all Sunday! Love ya!
 
Love,
Elder C. Lyons