And now that's it's been so long, I'm afraid I won't do the events and time there justice. But here goes my best shot...!
After leaving Toronto, we drove to the Markham/Richmond Hill area for our next zone conference, held on Tuesday, June 23.
As we drove to the meeting house we noticed that every person we saw , walking or driving, was of asian decent within the entire neighborhood. Toronto is famous for its huge multi- ethnic population.
We saw much evidence of that today. One of the wards, the Etobicoke Ward, which meets in the building in which our conference was held has over 72 different languages represented within it! Here is a photo of that ward showing just a portion of their people and nationalities.
I love it!
It reminded me of this picture below.
We enjoyed a rich conference here and when it was over we were close enough to the temple to be able to attend. We noticed in the entire neighborhood surrounding the temple everyone we was of Indian descent.
It is a beautiful temple and we enjoyed a beautiful day inside and out.
The grounds were lovely.
I call Canada 'Hosta Heaven' !
I've never seen so many, so large and so healthy!
We had a day in-between conferences since the next one was a bit of a drive. This is a huge mission and lots of driving is involved- especially for the Mission President and his wife. We spent the night again in Markham and then drove to the Trenton/Belleview area the next day. We took the scenic route along the coast of Lake Ontario and enjoyed a pretty 2 hour drive.
Love their sense of humor!
And a woodpecker thrown in for good measure just a couple poles down.
You can see how far we traveled here.
Thursday was another great conference. I'm sure I will mix up what happened where but that doesn't really matter.
Here we are with Elder and Sister Lau. She is the mission nurse and she and her husband also are doing a public relations mission. She does an incredible job and it was wonderful to meet her. She will soon be replaced with a full time nurse, however, due to the high time demands of their other mission.
President Clayton taught his flock well. The focus on the Sabbath Day had recently been announced by the church and he instructed the missionaries how they could better observe the Sabbath themselves and how they could teach their investigators of its importance.
He stressed that learning and living the Savior's Gospel in the home is essential to creating and maintaining multi-generation families.
He shared the following scriptures:
Doctrine and Covenants 59:9,10
All stating that the Sabbath is a sign of the covenant.
He is our God and we are His people.
What a happy and good looking group!
As soon as this conference was over we jumped in our car and made the 3 hour drive to Bracebridge where the next day's and last conference was held.
Bracebridge is headed up into the north country of Ontario. The scenery was much different here- forests and hills and huge granite boulders and cliffs.
This chapel where we met was in the woods. Made me feel a little like I was at camp!
We had the blessing and good fortune to meet the "Cookie Missionary" here. Elder Fenske. He figures he has made over 17 dozen cookies since coming just a few months ago. He takes them to conferences, temple trips, food kitchens. He says he wasn't very welcome at the later at first but he went back every week, just visiting with the people and bringing cookies and that opened up their hearts. They even asked him to bless the food the last time he went and it had never been blessed before. I love it! Serving the Lord and your fellow man through cookies. Sounds like my next mission :) ! ( oh, and by the way, his cookies are delicious!)
The doctor doing his thing.
Again, I love the rapt attention!
As a side note...I spoke on dental hygiene here and talked about the importance of smiling and its affect on not only those around you but your own health as well. I used Elder Tom Perry as an example of someone who was always smiling. Afterwards a sister missionary told me that he was her great uncle and she couldn't wait to email home and let her family know about my message.
This was shortly after his passing so it meant a lot to me to make someone in his family happy.
It touches me to see the depth of love these missionaries grow to have for their investigators and converts. Pure Christ-like love.
Beautiful souls, shining faces!!
Thank you to President and Sister Clayton for the invitation to share in their conferences. It was an uplifting and inspiring experience. You have wonderful missionaries and you are doing a fantastic job!
We love the Ontario Toronto Mission!
We love the Claytons!
..."Rejoice in the glorious Gospel
and bask in its life giving light!"