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

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

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Week 32 - Cabane à Sucre

Salut à tous! 

How's springtime? I only ask because we are still having snow storms so I'm not too positive Québec even has spring. Anyways this week we had a great lesson with our investigators Sarah and Noémie. They both opened up more and we helped answer their questions using the Book of Mormon. For example, they asked why God allows bad things to happen in the world so we turned to 2 Nephi 2:11 and talked about opposition in all things as well as agency and how agency is a gift from God given to everyone, but the problem with agency is the consequences that follow certain actions. They also asked about how to find the motivation/strength to change their entire lifestyles around to live in accordance to the Gospel. With that question, we left them with Alma 32 to read.  We will talk with them about that next time.

On Saturday we were invited by Mark and his family (he was back in town from Texas for Easter) to go with them to their cousin's Cabane Sucre. This was my first cabane sucre and I had no idea what to expect. I had heard rumors that it's a giant potluck where you drench what you eat in syrup, as well as it being an event where you see how syrup is made from the maple water from the trees through all the processes. My experience was neither. Basically what happened was they gave us these small wooden spatulas and we stood behind this long trough-like structure made of wood that was filled with snow. 

Fresh maple syrup is then poured onto the snow in front of us and as it cools you wrap your wooden spatula in it and eat it like taffy. For a solid 10-15 minutes they would come around and pour more and more and let me tell you it was rich! So good though! That was only stage 1. Stage 2 was a plate of maple butter the size of my palm. SO MUCH SUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Inside the little store where you can buy maple products the air was thick with the smell of maple. I thought I was going to get a sugar high/diabetes just from being in there! Such a great experience though! 

How was everyone's Easter? We had an incredible talk and lesson on simplifying our discipleship (Elder Uchtdorf) and choosing liberty and Eternal Life (2 Nephi 1-2). We learned about simplifying our lives and focusing on basic truths as we move through more complicated times in our lives. What an incredible series of lessons for Easter as we reflected more on the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior Jesus Christ. As we each spent time (introspection) considering things we need to change in our lives to be better and the mistakes we need forgiveness for I thought about how, at least for me in my life, the things I've struggled with have resulted from a lack of the simplifying. 

Busy days, late nights with homework and sports, left me in a condition where I never made time for scripture study and fervent prayer the way I should have. Without those two basic things in my daily life I became more stressed, less patient, more quickly angered, more selfish, judgmental and arrogant. Alma 37:6 "Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple means are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise." 

Even during my mission I've learned this lesson time and time again. Days are long, the work is at times hard and stressful, but we start everyday with a few hours of fervent dedicated study and prayer to start the day right. It brings the Spirit and puts you in a good mindset to go about the day in whatever lays before you. It brings a happiness and a feeling of love that is hard to lose. It puts the Savior and our Heavenly Father at the forefront of our minds where we constantly think of them and may say more silent prayers throughout our day. It teaches us things we may need that very day such as a message of charity, service, and kindness. 

By small and simple means, great things are brought to pass. Being in that mindset with the companionship of the Holy Ghost we are better able to be where the Lord needs us to lift another or to be an answer to a prayer. Never give up on the little things. They pave the way for miracles. 

I love you all and pray that you all had a safe and joyous Easter! I hope as we advance toward this General Conference weekend that we all do a bit of introspection and searching.  And I hope that as we listen to the words of our Prophet and his Apostles that we have open hearts and minds to find the things the Lord wants us to know. 

Stay safe, stay faithful!


Elder DiReda

Mark, Elder Perkes and I

Mark and his Family
Mark and I by the St. Lawrence 

Trough of snow and maple syrup
Don't even think about taking my
maple goodness
My wooden spoon

Elder Perkes loves maple syrup!!!
And so do I!!!!!!!

Maple butter - yum!!!

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