As full time missionaries we represent The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on our mission. Our blog represents our own personal experiences. The official website of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is: https://www.lds.org/?lang=eng
The greater Toronto area has a huge number of people from other parts of the world, notably India Pakistan, China, Italy but many others as well, including people from the Philippines, Malaysia, UK, all European nations and dozens and dozens of other countries. The greater Toronto area now has close to 6.5 million people. In Toronto over 50 percent of the population are foreign born, there are over 140 languages and dialects spoken and half of the people have been here 15 years or less.
Some of these people are only in Canada for a few years to obtain their education or gain the work/professional experience they are seeking, and then they go back to their home countries. Some of them join The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints while they are here. As fledgling members they need a great deal of support, then soon they leave Canada, go back to their home country and bring their Church beliefs with them. For this reason the church in the greater Toronto area is somewhat transient with many novices participating with strong newly found faith but limited in experience. Core members of the Church, those who have been around for years and even generations, are often holding down two or three callings. Our Bishop and his wife of the Mississauga ward are busy with ward callings, but they also serve as temple workers once a week. High Councilors may also teach Sunday School and other stake leaders often teach in Primary. There are many senior couples in the Canada Toronto mission to add stability to the area. It is a great opportunity to learn of and try to understand different cultures and peoples
Phillipino family volunteering their time in the storehouse. The wife and daughter came to Canada 3 years ago and once she was established her husband came, just arriving 2 months ago.
Sikh temple we see every day on our drive to work
A few hundred miles north, as Steve found on his visit throughout the Sudbury Zone, First Nations and French speaking, along with vast distances and some degree of wilderness, sets the tone.
narrow roads, and over a 500 km stretch between Timmins and Sault Ste. Marie, Steve and Elder Cannon passed only 3 cars but dozens of logging trucks, with little or no cell service, sometimes poor roads but there is always transportation to get around
Seldom a service station, except on First Nations reserves, some of them requiring a tribal status card
PFK (or our KFC) in Notre-Dame-du-Nord, Province of Quebec
Steve in Rouyn-Noranda, Province of Quebec
Across the street from the rented office space used for the Church chapel in Val-d'Or, PQ
HUNDREDS AND HUNDREDS OF LAKES IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
one source says that there are 250,000 lakes in Ontario
this lake is in Ontario
this lake is in Quebec
some lakes have small islands with houses
sunset just outside of Val-d'Or, PQ
LAKE TEMISAMING IS RIGHT ON THE BORDER OF ONTARIO AND QUEBEC
We will soon be leaving for Timiskiming Shores where we will serve the rest of our mission. Depending on road conditions, it is about 6 hours north of Toronto. It is majorly in the snow and cold belt due to the influence of hundreds and hundreds of small lakes in the northern regions, which impact the humidity and the weather. We look forward to a full and complete winter of shovelling snow. The books say it can get hot and humid in the summer.
Sunrise in Haileybury, Temiskaming Shores, where we will be living.
a mild winter in Brampton but the occassional blizzard as seen from our apartment
Barb says that she thinks all the reunions we have had here in the Toronto area are similar to what it will be like going to Heaven. We have been reunited with dozens of people we knew 30-35 years ago and served them or with them, loved them and cared about them, befriended them, wept and laughed with them. Then we went for a long time without seeing them. So, when we see each other after such a long absence, there is such a joyful experience! Any of the petty annoyances in relationships have been long forgotten so all we could do is rejoice together. It's been like Heaven for us.
a special visit with Walter Saunders. Walter used to home teach us 35 years ago. Then Dane and I used to home teach the Saunders family. When we moved from Ontario back to Alberta in 1986 and the temple was built, Walter and Tina served in the temple Presidency for 3 years. Sadly, Tina has passed away. At 89 Walter is as sharp and spry as can be. It has always been great to hear Walter's wonderful Jamaican accent and hear his laughter and feel his strong commitment to the Savior. Our visit was a grand reminder of the wonderful friend that he is. Ya mon, its goood ta see yow.
another special visit with Dave and Liz Aiton. Somewhere around 1982 Dave came into our life. In many ways he became an 'uncle' to our kids and a wonderful friend to our family. He is the reason we had 'turnip' ice cream. Our kids used to love going to his place to see the animal heads on his walls, elephant foot stools and guns. What a great friend he was to us. He took the missionary discussions in our home and Steve had the opportunity to baptize him. After he was baptized Dave married Liz and they were sealed in the temple. Dave served as High Counselor, Bishop and then was a sealer in the temple. Currently, Liz is strugglig with ill health and Dave is looking after her. It was a joy for us to see the love and commitment in their relationship and to hear their humble observations of how the Church and Savior have helped them on their journey in life.
some of our kids will remember this room at Dave Aiton's and the following 'foot'
some personal joy
Barb's delight. She found some extra large pomegranites!!!
A daily experience we have had in Toronto we really (feared, anticipated, shirked, been awed at, loathed, complained about and shaken our heads and rolled our eyes over) ok, enjoyed, in driving the 1/2 hour to work early in the morning, then when finished driving the 1/2 hour back in the late afternoon, is trying to get through the maze of many trucks that are not only on major highways, but also on minor roads, and some of the most narrow minor roads. Sometimes we feel that it is better to drive the city roads by closing our eyes and praying as we drive than to take our chances at dodging, avoiding, rushing, weaving and swerving in and around the big trucks.
Steve's view on the way home from work
our 'together' view heading home
THANKFUL FOR A LITTLE BIT OF NATURE BY OUR APARTMENT
AQUARIUM one pday we had the privilege of going to the Ripley's Aquarium
16,000 aquatic animals
5.7 million litres of water
a great experience reminding us of this beautiful earth and the Creation story in the Bible
WE LOVE THE MISSIONARIES. BEING AROUND THEM IS A GREAT EXPERIENCE!
FRENCH SPEAKING MISSIONARIES IN VAL-D'OR
missionaries signing in to give some of their volunteer time to the Bishop's Storehouse
senior missionaries gathering for fun and support
A HAPPY REMINDER
JUST BEFORE HEADING OUT TO TIMISKIMING SHORES, WE DROVE TO MILTON AND UP ONE OF THE ESCARPMENTS TO RATTLESNAKE POINT. WHEN WE LIVED HERE 30-35 YEARS AGO, NUMEROUS TIMES WE WENT TO 'RATTLESNAKE' FOR OUR FAMILY HOME EVENINGS, OR TO HAVE A WEINER ROAST AND PLAY THE GUITAR AROUND THE FIRE, OR TO SEE IF WE COULD FIND AND CHASE SOME RACOONS. A HAPPY REMINDER OF HAPPY TIMES!