Tuesday, September 2, 2014

First Week in Toronto

Just finished up my first week here in the Toronto area. It's been a great first week.

I'm in Brampton, so something like 30 minutes northwest of Toronto proper. Specifically, I'm in the Heartlake South area. It's pretty packed here, but there's only a few skyscraper/apartment buildings in the area. It's interesting because there's literally this underground culture - almost every house has another tenant in their basement. I've met people of all different religious beliefs: Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Muslims, Jews, Christians of all denominations, Buddhists, and a few athiests. Haven't met any Confucians or Shinto (Japanese religion) believers yet though, so I can't cross that off yet. :) Everyone's so diverse here, it's crazy.

The weather's been great so far. Nice and sunny. It's definitely more humid than Utah though, and there are no mountains to be seen. The only sources of direction I have are streets (with not-so-useful names like Queen Street, instead of 700 North) and the sun when it's still up.

My companion is Elder Mangakahia, from Melbourne, Australia. He's great. We get along really well. He's all I ever could've hoped for in a companion. He was formerly a professional ballet dancer that performed in the Sydney Opera House. He's a great example for me, especially with contacting people on buses. He's so great at striking up conversation with people and then redirecting it to the gospel of Jesus Christ or missionary work.

For those of you that this means something to, my companion is our District Leader, and this week, we achieved all Standards of Excellence!

This week, I want to share a few stories. 

The first story is that of our investigator, Duna*. She's this really nice Hindu woman from India. She's a grandmother, who lives with some of her children and grandchildren. Communication with her is a little difficult since her English isn't great, but she can understand simple terms very well. This week, we taught Duna about the Plan of Salvation. She likes everything that we taught and she has a strong testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration. However, she doesn't want to be baptized. In her words, in her heart she really wants to be baptized, but in her head she doesn't want to, since she says it won't work out. Her entire family is Hindu, and she doesn't want to convert since she would likely be ostracized. Having investigators with testimonies not getting baptized due to their families is heartbreaking.

The other story is a time when I could really feel the Spirit. It's the story of when we met with Raj*. Raj is a former investigator that we met on the sidewalk last week. Raj is this Hindu man with a firm belief in "All religions - one God." As I would later find out, he was previously dropped for not following up on commitments to pray about what was taught, etc. We met him on the sidewalk and he asked us to come over later that week. Even from a former investigator, having someone invite you into their house to share a message, unprompted, is an offer that you don't turn down as a missionary. We got there and he had some juices laid out on a table for us, surrounded by a few chairs for us to sit down on. He wanted to share a bit about his beliefs with us, so we agreed to spending the time roughly half/half. The most interesting part is what happened roughly in the middle of our meeting when we began to share our message. It was absolutely fascinating, since there was some back and forth as we were beginning. Whenever he would speak, primarily in his belief about this Diety Cycle, I could not feel the Spirit at all. When we would share, and bear testimony, the Spirit would come rushing back so strongly. Perhaps it was the contrast that made it so much more memorable, but that was a day that I could really feel the power of what we were sharing. Long story short, Raj refused to pray about the message we shared on the grounds that he had already logically deduced that his religious beliefs were true.

Those were some of the more interesting, but disappointing, stories of the week. We've had a lot of success though. This week at church, several of our investigators came, including one that we just invited to church on a street contact and haven't taught yet. That was very exciting. 

Life's been good here in Brampton. It's also great having the only temple in Ontario within our area. So many people know where the temple with the little golden angel on top is.

With love,
Elder Crye

*Names have been changed

No comments:

Post a Comment