"Go ye therefore and teach all nations . . ." Matthew 28:19

"Go ye therefore and teach all nations . . ." Matthew 28:19

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Week 19 - Cette semaine était fou...

This week was NUTS!!! We knew we had a mission wide devotional on Tuesday in Montréal so we were planning on driving to Québec City Monday and spending the night. However, for some reason the AP's told us not to drive down Monday which meant that we would have to drive straight through (7 hours) and leave by 4:00 am on Tuesday if we wanted to be there on time. So on Monday we were emailing in Rivière-du-Loup (RDL), which is halfway between Rimouski and Québec City, and since the AP's had instructed us not to drive down on Monday we didn't have any of our travel stuff with us or the suits that we needed. 

Halfway through emails around 4:00 pm we got a call from our Zone Leaders telling us that since it was snowing A LOT we needed to drive down to Québec City that night after all and spend the night. So needless to say we booked it back to our apartment to get our stuff then turned around and drove all the way back past RDL to Québec City and spent the night. 

Tuesday we drove to Montréal with the Ste. Foy Elders while also carrying 4 tires for the Québec Sisters who didn't have room for them and a big microphone stand for the Trois Rivière Elders. Needless to say we were pretty crammed for a good 3 hours. The devotional was great. I saw everyone from my MTC District as well as Elder Carr, Elder Bird, Elder Rouché, and Elder Rudolf (all from Kaysville UT, except E. Carr who grew up there until High School). 

There were a lot of musical numbers, scriptures read, and a really good lunch. We all received our packages, we dropped off the tires at the Mission Office then drove back to Ste. Foy. Once we arrived in Ste. Foy, we went caroling which was really fun! We sang for a member's family who directed us across the street to one of their friends whom they said would really love some Christmas music. So we went and sang a couple verses of "Venez tous, fidèles", "Les anges dans nos campagnes", and "Au loin, dans l'étable", which are "Oh Come All Ye Faithful", "Angels We Have Heard On High", and "Away in a Manger" for a super nice old woman and her son. 

Afterwards she hugged the sisters and when she came towards us the new Ste. Foy Elder extended his hand to shake hers, because we aren't allowed to hug, and she grabbed his hand and pulled him in for a hug. She then proceeded to hug each of us, including me, and gave the shorter Elders a kiss on the neck.  The Sisters were laughing hysterically and all of us Elders laughed because of how uncomfortable we felt haha. 

Afterwards we went with the Ste. Foy Elders and ate poutine at Planet Poutine. 

FYI, on Tuesday my older sister was married in the Salt Lake City Temple!! 

When we got back to Rimouski on Wednesday we ate dinner with a family in our branch and had a game night with them which was really fun. Christmas Eve we went to the Dupont's for dinner, exchanged some gifts and then came home.

Christmas was amazing!! We spent the day with Mark Parent, a recent convert who is from RDL.  Mark is home for the holidays and is working on his masters degree at the University of Texas at Austin.  Mark and his family invited us to their home in Rivière-du-Loup. We skyped/face-timed with our families which was awesome! It's so great to see and talk to my family after 4 months of not being able to see them and hear their voices. We ate dinner with Mark and his family, played board games (Life and Payday), then drove back to Rimouski.

We shared the new Mormon Message with Kathleen and her dad on Saturday and had a few lessons with some of our members on Sunday. It was a crazy busy week but it was incredible. One of the presents my family sent me was a small plaque with a quote from Winston Churchill that says, "Success is not final, failure is not fatal; It is the courage to continue that counts."

I love you all! Happy New Years!! Continue in faith, hope, charity and love with an eye single to the Glory of God. Continue with courage to face and overcome whatever comes your way! Stay safe!


Elder DiReda

FaceTime with the Family
Mark's Family - Christmas Dinner
Mark Parent and I - Christmas Day
Christmas Day

Christmas Day - The Game of Life
Branch Christmas Party

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Week 18 - Joyeux Noël!!!

Salut à tous!! Joyeux Noël!!! C'est fou que c'est Noël déjà!! Comment va la vie? Man vous me manquez beaucoup!!! 
This week was really good. Mark, a recent convert, who attends school at the University of Texas, Austin, but is from here, introduced us to 2 more of his friends when we all went out to lunch together.  We had a really good lesson with them on who we are as missionaries and what we do. They expressed interest in learning more so after the holidays and finals they want to meet with us and hear more!

On Saturday night we had our branch Christmas party.  We had 2 part member families, 2 investigators and almost all of our members come!! It was so awesome to have them all together eating and talking and creating friendships!! Since it was the week before Christmas it was harder to meet with people.

In a BYU Devotional talk by Elder Holland that I listened to recently he talks about Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail. Elder Holland said, "...everyone, including (and perhaps especially) the righteous, will be called upon to face trying times. When that happens we can sometimes fear God has abandoned us, and we might be left, at least for a time, to wonder when our troubles will ever end. We identify with him when he cries from the depth and discouragement of his confinement:O God, where art thou? . . .
How long shall thy hand be stayed . . . ?
Yea, O Lord, how long shall [thy people] suffer . . . before . . . thy bowels be moved with compassion toward them? [D&C 121:1–3]
That is a painful, personal cry—a cry from the heart, a spiritual loneliness we may all have occasion to feel at some time in our lives."
When in these troubled times we must remember what Heavenly Father replied to Joseph,

My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes. [D&C 121:7–8]

We will all face trials and pains and times where we may even question the existence of God. I pray that when we face these times that we will rely completely and fully on the Lord. The Lord will not forsake us.

I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up. [D&C 84:88]

I love you all so much and am so grateful for everything each one of you has done for me!

Merry Christmas!! 


Elder DiReda