My first week in Canada has been wonderful! I have been assigned to the Gateway Young Single Adult Ward. My area is on the south side of Edmonton, Alberta. This Ward is big and hilarious and I love it!
I already had to speak on my first Sunday. The Bishop asked me to speak 10 minutes before Sacrament Meeting started. Amongst other things, I talked about my passionate love for missionary work and my deep gratitude for the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
My companion/Trainer is Sister Bowie. She is from Canada and is teaching me how to be a proper Canadian. She is the answer to months of prayers about who my trainer would be! Sister Bowie is so kind, patient, and loving! We have so much fun talking as we go about the work!
We have the best Ward Mission Leader. He just got off his mission a few months ago and is still going strong!
The city of Edmonton is very diverse! This week we met a HUGE man, covered in tattoos! As we talked, he told us that he gained his faith in God while he was in jail. He was so humble. I felt so much love for him. We also met a Chinese man named How. He has been studying the Bible. We introduced him to the Book of Mormon to study along with the Bible. He says he is going to meet with us so that he can learn more! We taught a lesson to a family from the Congo and we also talked to some cute Filipino kids! I tried talking to them in Tagalog, but I butchered it and they laughed!
We taught several people from India! There are so many Indians in this part of Canada and they are usually Muslim. It has been interesting learning about their beliefs as we share ours. Their hearts seem very open as we teach about Jesus Christ being our Savior.
Adjusting to missionary life is crazy and overwhelming and awesome! I love it even though it pushes me out of my comfort zone. I repeat the phrase, “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable.” to myself everyday!
It’s so cool living in the City! We always get on the LRT, which is a train/subway that goes right through the center of the city. We get on it and just start talking to people we meet. Sister Bowie is good at approaching people. She is fearless! I really look up to her and want to learn from her! I think “approaches” are my biggest weakness right now. I feel kinda awkward that I may be bothering people while they’re minding their own business. With The Lord’s help and Sister Bowie by my side, I will get better at approaching strangers!
I absolutely love being a missionary! I am so honored to represent Jesus Christ everywhere I go. It’s a serious undertaking and asks all of my heart, might, mind and strength! I pray that my weaknesses will become strengths as I continue to turn to The Lord in all my doings and look outward as I open my mouth. I truely want to be an instrument in The Lord’s hands.
Please take good care of yourselves and of everyone around you. Always remember that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us and is watching over us. He knows us and hears our prayers!
Love, Sister Arwen Ballas
p.s. If you want to contact me, please email me directly: firstname.lastname@example.org