Wednesday, May 29, 2013


With permission from Caitlyn, I am recording her story in her own words.  Caitlyn is just beginning her graduate studies at one of the most prestigious universities here in Montreal.

"Today I'd like to bear you my testimony of the power of friendship in sharing the gospel.  Last summer I had the privilege of going to work at a camp in Eastern Township for adults & children with disabilities.  Little did I know that this camp would change my life in some significant ways.  Over the course of the first day I met three people, Courtney Wilson, Rachel Desjourdy, and Guillaume Lussier-Houle.  To me they were just three individuals, Courtney and Guillaume new to camp like myself  and Rachel who had been there for 6 summers.  I didn't know they knew each other.  I knew nothing about them but there was a light or positive energy that said, "I want to be friends with the."

The summer wet on and we got to know each other, and became closer, and yet I couldn't figure out this amazing positivity that streamed from them and in my naiveness I chalked it up to, "well gosh, they have so much camp spirit!"  Still I had no idea that they knew each other from someplace else.  Guillaume had once mentioned that he knew Rachel from Church but nothing registered for me until about 3/4 of the way thru the summer another counselor said to me, "Well, you know they'r Mormons right?"  Ohhhhhhhhh, well that's interesting, I thought.  As curious as I was, I wanted to respect the fact that none of them had told me themselves-and so the summer ended and a few weeks went by and as anyone who's worked at summer camp will know, one becomes restless and homesick for camp and the people that make it.  But then one Monday I received a text from Guillaume saying, "Hy want to come play volleyball with some friends of mine?"  Cue that Wednesday I emerged from the Laurier metro with Guillaume.  I looked up and saw printed on the outside-The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ohhhhhhhhh!

That evening I was introduced to many of the YSA, surprised both Rachel & Courtney by my presence there, met Sister Howard and of course the missionaries.  I left that evening overwhelmed by the kindness and welcome I had been shown.  A few weeks later after playing my first game of gator ball, I was standing on the platform of the metro thinking to myself, I want to know more.  I have so many questions and sure enough I turned to my left and there was Elder Baker & his companion.  And, one of his first questions to me was, so what religion are you part of?

In looking back on last summer I know that the energy and light that radiated from Guillaume, Rachel & Courtney was not just 'camp spirit', but it was the fact that they are shining examples of the love of the Savior; what moved me to befriend them was the Spirit prompting me into the fold, and coming to the YSA that night in September and encountering the missionaries on y own weeks later was truly the hand of our Father in Heaven.  I stand today, a member of the one true Church.  I know this gospel is true and I know that my faith has found it's everlasting home.  This is in many ways because of the friendship and acts of kindness and selfless love of friends within the YSA which now goes beyond those original 3.  In Luke 22, verse 23 it says, "But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren."  I am so truly grateful for all the friends that I have in the Church, particularly among them for the Elders that taught me, and because of all of them for the friend I have always in my Savior & the companionship of the Holy Ghost.

If my experience can testify to anything it is that acts of kindness and friendship, of service ad of selflessness can all hep someone who is searching to find the light; if we are humble and open to standing as disciples of the Lord, we can make a difference in someone's day, spark their curiosity to ask questions, and to help them find their faith.  Small acts of kindness is all it takes.

In Doctrine and Covenants 88, verse 133 it reads, "Art thou a brother or a brethren?  I salute you in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, in token or remembrance of the everlasting covenant, in which covenant receive you to fellowship, in determination that is fixed, immovable and unchangeable, to be your friend and brother through the grace of God in the bonds of love, to walk in all commandment of God blameless, in thanksgiving forever and ever, Amen."

I leave this testimony, most gratefully, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

ER Visit

 Yesterday was a national holiday, Victoria Day in Canada or Patriots Day in Quebec.  It was also zone conference in Quebec City.  We were supposed to drive down and spend a little bit of the afternoon doing a little sightseeing.  Instead, I got to spend the day in the ER in Plattsburg, NY.  I actually had 3 really bad nights the past week where I couldn't sleep because of leg pain and one night I also had terrible cramps in my left foot and my right, inner thigh.  I was very tired to say the least.  We still went to zone conference for 3 of the zones to do training and car inspections.  We also did all of our regular office work.  (Posts to follow)
Well, Sunday I wasn't feeling great, but didn't think much of it.  Sunday night I couldn't sleep again with my leg hurting from the hip to the knee.  Also when I tried to get up, I was in so much pain in my hip area that I could barely walk.  We got up as usual to go to the office, but I just couldn't walk.  I had to hold onto the walls and furniture to even walk.  I was in a lot of pain, so I took an 800 ibuprofen and decided to go back to bed and rest.  John went on to the office.  After trying to sleep for a few hours with no pain relief, I was just in too much pain and decided that instead of going to QC, that I should go to the ER.  John came home and we made the drive to the hospital in Plattsburg.
The hospital staff were very nice, but it was also quite busy.  We ended up spending the entire afternoon in the ER.  We waited over 3 hours to be taken into a room and I then waited over a couple of hours before the Dr. finally came in.  Jacqueline, the doctor was VERY nice, very kind, and very thorough.  I really liked her.  After doing lots of blood work and x-rays, she told me that I had a very inflamed bursa.  No wonder I was in so much pain.  Luckily all of my blood work came back excellent.  They, the doctor and nurses, told me several times how good the blood work was.  I am so grateful for that.  Also the test for blood clots came back negative and I didn't have to have an ultrasound.  I'm certain that the blessing I had before we left helped me a lot.  Even before the x-ray, I had an iv put in to hydrate me and also to get an anti-inflamatory and pain meds.  It sure helped a lot to have those pain meds.   We finally left the hospital close to 8:00.   We stopped at KFC for a quick bite to eat and then began the trek home.  When we were 2 miles away from the border we hit the traffic.  It took about 3 1/2 hours to drive those 2 miles.  By the time we got home it was after 1:00a.m.  Today I feel so much better and can walk with no problem.  Of course, I am still on drugs.  I stayed home today and slept in.  I'm supposed to rest.  I think I will be able to go back to the office tomorrow.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Notre Dame Basilica

 Here are photos that I got from google of Notre Dame Basilica.  My blog about our visit there is in the previous post.

Notre Dame Basilica of Montreal

  We went to visit this gorgeous basilica Thursday evening with a few of our friends.  This magnificent basilica has lots of exquisite art work, paintings, sculptures, stained glass, gold work, and bronze work .  It was constructed between 1824 and 1829.  The architect James O'Donnell moved to Montreal from New York to oversee the work.  It has two towers.  The western tower is named Perseverance and it houses the huge bell which weighs 10,900 kg.  The eastern tower named Temperance houses a carillon with 10 bells.  

        The statue in the middle of the square is of Paul Maisonneuve, the founder of Montreal.
                     They have a light and sound show which plays several times each day.

                   All of the rows in the middle section have these carvings at the end of each bench.
     The organ has 4 keyboards, 9 stops, and 7,000 pipes. It was built by the renowned Casavant       brothers of Saint-Hyacinthe.

 The pulpit was designed by Henri Bouriche and modified by Victor Bourgeau.  The sculptures are by Louis-Phillippe Hebert.

 All of the stained glass windows depict events that occured either in church history or in Montreal history.

                         The pillars holding the different floor levels are all ornately decorated.

                                           Buildings on the streets around Notre Dame.

                 Alongside the old, very interesting buildings are sleek, modern glass buildings.
 The building with the dome, across the square from Notre Dame is the First Bank of Montreal.
                                          The Bank of Montreal was established in 1819.
     This reddish building is the very first bank build in Montreal.  It was established in 1818.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Joe Paul and Conway's farewell

 Joe Paul is the fleet manager for Eastern Canada and the Southern and Eastern United States.  He comes up here every so often to see how things are going and to do training.  He was here for a few days a couple of weeks ago.  He is such a nice guy.  He spent a lot of time with Papa, but also some time with the financial secretary for the mission.  One evening he took us out to dinner.  He is extremely pleasant and we enjoyed our time with him.
 Last Sunday we had a farewell dinner at the mission home for the Conways.  They will leave to go home this coming Wednesday.  The couple above are the Cannons.  Elder Cannon is the father of our mission pres.  They have only been married one year.  Elder Cannon and his first wife served as Mission Pres and wife in Nashville, Tennesse.  They live in SLC now.  He is 86 years old and she is in her 70's and still going strong.  What a great example they are.
 These are the Allen's.  He was an engineer and she stayed at home to raise their 9 children.  They are from Gilbert, Az.  This couple works in the records preservation department at the Quebec Archives.

 The Woodruffs are from Calgary.  He worked for several phone companies for his occupation.  He was in administration.  He is a descendant of Pres. Wilford Woodruff.
 The Bendios are from Orem.  He is a software engineer.
 Here are the Conways again.  I have loved working with both of them.  They are wonderful people and very pleasant to be with all day long, every day.  Elder Conway was a math teacher and also an entrepreneur.  He also has several mobile home parks that he owns and maintains.  Sister Conway was the administrator for an adult education school.  They are from Tooele, Utah.  I will miss them.

Here we have George and Kathryn Jarvis.  They were Mission President and wife in Romania.  As a profession he taught psychology and sociology at several different universities including BYU, U of Hawaii, several universities in Canada and also at Stanford.  She has also taught in the past.  They have homes in both Alberta and in SLC and also have dual citizenship.
   President and Sister Cannon will complete their 3 year term at the end of June.  We have President Patrick and his wife and 4 of their 8 children coming to replace them.  They have served long and hard. I am sure they are quite tired.

The Cheneys spent their life traveling a lot because he was a Colonel in the US Army for 30 years.  Then he worked for 3 years in the Department of Defense.  Now they make their home in Provo.

All of these couples are wonderful and it has been so nice to get to know them.  They are all diligent in their different responsibilities. They all want to serve the Lord the best that they can.   That is what we want to do also.