Saturday, December 7, 2013

Wild adventures in the Canadian wilderness

It is Christmas time here in Utah which usually means that winter has arrived and everybody is hoping for a white Christmas.  But in Ponoka Canada where Katelyn is serving, winter arrived about six weeks ago and there is no sign of it letting up anytime soon.  Katelyn has sent us several pictures of all of the snow and cold weather that they are getting now.  So just to give you an idea of what a short fall and a long winter is like in Canada, take a look at these pictures.  Also, in one of Katelyn's most recent letters home, she told us a great story about a car, a snow packed road and a couple of moose that you aren't going to want to miss.   But I'll get back to that a little later.


Every week Katelyn writes home and tells us all about how crazy her week has been.  She and her companion have been visiting people in the hospital, working with some of the less active members of the church in the area, helping out with service projects and teaching lessons to people that they have met.  Katelyn told us about a recent experience that they had in Edmonton a few weeks ago. 

Recently they got a call from the Sister missionaries in Edmonton who had been teaching a lady from Korea.  This lady had only moved to Canada a few weeks before and must have been struggling a bit with having to learn English.  Since Katelyn's companion is also from Korea, the Edmonton Sisters wanted Katelyn's companion to help teach this lady just to make sure that she was understanding everything correctly.  So Katelyn and her companion traveled to Edmonton to go on splits with the Edmonton Sisters.  While Katelyn's companion went with one of the Edmonton Sisters to teach in Korean, Katelyn and the other Edmonton Sister went to a dinner appointment with a member family nearby who had invited some of their friends to listen to the missionaries.  After teaching a great lesson to this new family, they went on some other visits and then ended up doing a little tracting just to finish up the evening.  Katelyn and her companion ended up staying in Edmonton that night and then going on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders the next day.  It turned out that the Ward where the Sister Training Leaders were assigned is also the same Ward as one of Katelyn's friends from Ecuador.  So this gave Katelyn an opportunity to stop by and catch up with one of the girls that Katelyn served with in the orphanages of Cuenca just last year.  Katelyn told us just how much fun it was to see her friend again and to catch up on some memories of their time in Ecuador.

A few weeks ago, Katelyn and her companion spent the day in Lacombe which is a few miles south of Ponoka.  They spent most of the day visiting with some of the elderly sisters in the area which Katelyn said was super fun.  While they were in Lacombe, the young women leaders in the Ward asked if they would stay and help with a young women's activity that they were having.  Apparently this activity was a blind make up/spa night.  I'm not exactly sure what that means but when you see the pictures that Katelyn sent home, they might lead you to believe that maybe it had something to do with doing your makeup with your eyes shut or something like that.  Take a look.

Katelyn's Raggety-Anne look.

Now I said previously that this was a young women's activity yet none of the women in these pictures look like they are part of the young women organization.  Well, since some of the young women didn't have their Mom's there, they invited a few others to help fill in. 

In addition to everything that they have been doing in Ponoka and Lacombe, Katelyn and her companion were also suppose to go back to Red Deer for Stake Conference over the weekend.  This is where the snow comes back into the picture again.  The day that they were supposed to go to Red Deer, it had been snowing so much that the Mission President told them to stay in Ponoka.  Then the next day (Sunday), they were going to try again to make it for the Sunday meetings.  But again there was too much snow.  So they ended up just going to the chapel in Lacombe to see if they could listen to the broadcast there.  Unfortunately, the audio was so bad that after about 30 minutes the Bishop there in Lacombe turned it off and decided to just hold a testimony meeting instead.  Apparently fast and testimony meeting had been cancelled just a couple of weeks earlier due to the snow, so this gave the Ward an opportunity to make up for that.

OK, here is the story that you have all been waiting to hear.  This is the story that I mentioned at the beginning about a car, a snow packed road and a couple of moose.  So this last week Katelyn wrote home and told us about a little adventure that she and her companion had.  It all started out when they drove down to Lacombe for a dinner appointment.  They got to Lacombe a little early so they decided to go and visit a few of the less active members of the Church there.  No one was available at that time of the day so they next decided to drive out to a smaller community called Morningside just to see what was there and maybe do a little tracting.  One their way to Morningside they turned off of the highway where their were a few homes.  They drove past the homes to see if there was anything else.  That was their first mistake.  As it turned out, there really wasn't anything else beyond the few houses that they saw and by this time they were really out in the middle of no where.  So they decided to turn around and go back, but when they did, they made their second mistake.  They underestimated just how soft the snow was on the side of the road and ended up driving their car right in to a ditch.  Obviously with the roads being as bad as they are in those little rural areas, they were really stuck good and not getting out anytime soon.  But the two Sister Missionaries pulled their little red shovel out of the trunk and tried to dig themselves out anyway. 

Since nothing was working and they were still stuck, they decided to call the Elders for help.  Right about then Katelyn looked over her shoulder and saw two big moose.  That is when Katelyn freaked out and made her next mistake.  She had heard that moose can be extremely aggressive and so rather than just getting back in the car for protection, Katelyn started running the other way and shouting back to her companion, RUN!! WE ARE GOING TO DIE!!!  Katelyn's companion just froze right there but at least she had enough sense to try to get back in the car.  Meanwhile Katelyn is still running down the road yelling back at her companion to run.  Right about that time a truck comes driving down the road and it just happens to be one of the members of the Ward in Lacombe.  They didn't have a rope that was heavy enough to pull the car out and the rope they did have just kept breaking each time they tried.  Not too far down the road there were some men working on a gas line working, so they finally drove down and asked them if they could borrow a chain or something to pull the car out of the ditch.  Well, before too much longer, all of the gas workers were there helping to pull the car out as well.  So after all was said and done, this little dinner appointment in Lacombe turned out to be an adventure that involved two young Sister Missionaries, a stuck car in a ditch in the middle of no where, a couple of huge ferocious moose and a group of gas workers donating their time to help out the two stranded missionaries.  If that doesn't make your day, who knows what will!  Check it out.

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