Monday, September 28, 2015

First Month :)

Well this week has been an adventure, there's been plenty of interesting things happen.  This week I spent 2 of the 7 days locked in the apartment cuz my companion got strep we had to quarantine ourselves...needless to say a part of my soul is still laying on that was a LONG 2 days...
Blessings and miracles continue to happen here in the CTM!  We've met some really prepared people, and are working with them intensively to prepare them for baptism!  It is such a blessing to be able to be a disciple of Christ, and testify of His Love for everyone.  I have definitely felt Christ in my life this week, as I've prayed for strength and the ability to labor diligently.  I have a knowledge that the power of prayer is real.  Never ever stop praying.  We taught a man named Pete this week, who has two 20 year old sons.  The last set of elders tracted into him, and it has been amazing to see how prepared he has been.  He had just kind of come to realize that God had been absent in his life for far too long, and that it wasn't God's fault, but his.  His faith is so strong, and through his prayers and reading the Book of Mormon he's seen miracles in his life.  He desires so much to share this message with his sons, because he recognizes that his life was lacking for so long because he ignored his spiritual needs.  It will be interesting to see how he progresses.  We set him with a baptismal date, and he is super excited!

We've also been working with a Less Accountable(Special Needs of sorts) women named Kimberly.  We've considered dropping her so many times because there are days when she really struggles to grasp it.  On the day we went to meet with her and drop her, she bore such a sweet testimony of how this message has blessed her life, and the power of prayer.  We realized this was a sign from God that He had other plans for Kimberly.  We have been working with her very intensively to prepare her for baptism.  She is grasping the concepts very well, and her testimony is so strong!  There are times when her answers to questions astound us, and are so deep and inspirational that there is no doubt that she is very close with God.  She is a sweet spirit, and we love working with her:)

My companion and I are really working hard to apply the Work of Salvation in our missionary work.  We have been blessed with great success!  Testimony meeting yesterday was so sweet and tender.  Many people bore powerful testimony of the strength and affect that Member Missionary Work can have on investigators and other people.  They often testified of the power of missionary work in their lives, and how the missionaries changed their life.  I know that our influence as members of Christ's church is much larger than we can even comprehend.  The Lord is hastening his work, and not just out here in the field.  The Lord needs us to reach out to those who may be struggling, our friends outside of the Church, and those Less Active members who could use the feeling of the Saviors love in their lives and homes.  I testify that the reason people are Less Active is NOT because of their excuses for why they are not coming.  People who are less active need to feel their Saviors love in their life.  Once they feel that, it makes coming back to church all the more appealing.  I know this is true.  The Lord needs us to Listen, to understand, and then to testify of Christ's love for them.  We can do that in many different ways.  Above all, remember that the Church is centered around Jesus Christ.  It is through Him that we bring others back into the fold.  

It is Christ that has been the constant this week.  I have felt His love intimately and personally through the struggles both as a missionary and in my personal life.  Through Christ, I can do all things.  I have felt His hand in my life this week, and His strength given to me at times when I wasn't sure if I had it in me.  It is such a testimony to me of Christ's constant companionship in each of our lives.  I know that because of my relationship with Christ, my burdens "are made light".  To those who may have heavy burdens, or aching hearts, I testify that Christ is there.  He has been there all along.  As you seek Him, and come to know Him, I can promise you with all my heart, that He will comfort you.  He will guide you through the deep waters, and when you ask, in His time, He will command the waves of your lives to "Be Still".  He is my anchor, my closest friend, and the shoulder to lean on when climbing the hills of life is simply too much.  My testimony, my conversion is to Christ.  When I put my faith in Him, nothing else matters, and everything makes sense.  Jesus Christ is my Savior.  I know this.  I cannot deny it, and I will proclaim it for the rest of my life.  Come to Know Christ.  Learn of Him.  Seek to understand his Character, His attributes.  Apply those to your life.  He will come to you in your afflictions, and take our burdens.  I know this to be true.    

I feel all of your prayers daily.  It is a blessing to feel so strengthened by those who love and care about me, and I am so grateful for the people my Father in Heaven has placed in my life to strengthen and care for me.

We got some Canadian Flags for doing service.  So we're repping that Canadian Spirit;)

THE CLEANSE!!!;)  Haha green healthy protein shakes are a big thing here in the CTM, so that's been my "WHEY" for the past month:)  #gains

Sick Elder Smith...

Me when I found out we have to spend the next 2 days locked in our apartment...

 My companion in all his glory

 Us going nuts...


 More Crazy Elder Smith;)

 Fast Sunday Dinner...KD Dinner(Mac n Cheese), Buffalo Bratwurst, and herb rice on a was dang good:)

My gift from Kimberly hahaha:)  yep, it's a dishrag..used i think..keeping it forever. (I corrected him on the fact it's more likely a pot holder instead of a dishrag. He has a kind heart. He really will keep it forever.)

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A sweet email from a "Missionary Mom" in Canada!

Our ward is so blessed to have your son serving the Lord with us.  He has a very good trainer Elder Smith whom we are also very fond of.  The two of them make a fine team.  Today your son spoke in Sacrament meeting and gave a very impressionable Sacrament talk defining who he is, his purpose here and the fine family he is apart of.   AND he also exposed his musical talent playing the piano at a baptism.  I play the piano in our ward in several callings so was very pleased to know of his talent.  He is a fine young man with purpose and confidence exhibited already, even in his "greenie" stage of his mission.  I do hope he will be with us for an extended period of time although we know the Lord knows all.  I have called myself a "missionary mom" for some time and was quite shocked when a former missionary called me a great "missionary grandma" however, I will take it, knowing I am appreciated by our young men and women serving here.  We take great pride keeping in touch with many returned missionaries who are married with children and still remember us and visit occasionally.  Please know our ward appreciates our Missionaries very much and will extend great care to him in his first family ward.   Hoping our ward will grow with his spiritual intentions to serve here in Canada.  
Cheers,  Norma de Meel 

Piano plus Elder B = bliss

Monday, September 21, 2015

Coman woo yay? ;)

Coman woo yay is "How are you" in Creole:)  I'm learning lots up here;)  Well there's a lot that's happened so be prepared for a bit of a haul:)  I'm starting off with the struggles and ending with the good stuff:)

First off, I found out Monday afternoon after finishing emailing, that my mission president has asked us not to chat back and forth.  I really struggled with this for a couple of days...knowing me and my O.D.D. side.  It was extremely frustrating because being able to talk back and forth with my family and friends has been a great blessing to me while I've been away.  But apparently some missionaries struggled with leaving "home at home".  So he made it a mission-wide rule.  I prayed and thought a lot and even had a personal conversation with him about it.  This is probably the rule that's been the hardest to follow, cuz I just love sharing everything with everyone and talking back and forth.  But I've decided that, even though it's a big challenge for me not to be able to talk back and forth with the loved ones, that I still need to follow the mission rules with exact obedience.  So I can respond to all of you're emails, and read the ones you send in response, but I can't respond until next week.  So Mama if you could shoot a text out to all the peeps, that'd be great:)  
This week has been a huge struggle.  Satan's power is very real and his tools are very subtle.  This week has been a struggle to keep negative self-thoughts out of my mind and realize where they come from.  It has been really interesting, I've caught myself beating myself up over things that happened a long time ago, and allowing myself to let them lessen my worth as a missionary and degrade my confidence in my abilities.  Satan's power to lower our self-esteem is one of his most powerful tools in beating us down, and if we allow him to do so, it makes getting to us in other ways a lot easier.  I've really used Christ and His Atonement and my relationship with Him this week to strengthen me, and I can testify that He has indeed lifted me up.  "Come unto me, all ye that are heavy laden and I will give you rest.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light".  I testify that this scripture speaks truth.  I have felt Him take my burdens this week and heal my heart in new ways that have brought me a new sense of peace and comfort.  I feel your prayers each day, and it seems at times while I'm on my knees as if there are 10 or 15 other spirits surrounding me, giving me strength.  I have felt on multiple occasion's the feeling of being completely enveloped with love, and many times have wondered if my ancestors had been there with me as I prayed.  It is such a special feeling, and one that i know will continue to occur as I strive to follow Christ and be the disciple He wants me to be.

Now for the good stuff:):)  
I had my first baptism this week!!  Kris is 13, and such a strong young man.  The spirit was so unbelievably strong it was so touching.  I received a special witness of the spirit that this is my purpose, and this is why I am here.  It was touching to see how excited he was to follow Christ, and the joy that it brought him as he shared his personal testimony with us.  I know that this is where I'm supposed to be, right at the right time, and the right place.  This week we also met with Sister Elda "Big Mama" Louie.  She's an older Haitian woman, just the sweetest lady every:)  She has a thick accent and calls me "Elda Bebe":)  She's my favorite so far, but don't tell anyone;)  She taught me some Creole, and we're going to play ball with her 6'4 tall Haitian son as well this week.  Should be pretty fun.  She's one of those ladies who just loves the missionaries.  She's a convert to the church about 10 years ago, and is just wayyy solid.  Needless to say, we're pretty tight:)  It's been such a blessing being in the St. David's area!  We seriously have dinner appointments like every night, it's the best!  I've also learned some other languages as well, but Creole is my favorite.  I also bought a how to speak french book cuz seriously everything here is in french and I wanna know what it says:)  
Yaha bebe-"how are you" informally in Arabic
Salam Alekum-formal "how are you" in Arabic
It's been a good week overall, I feel so blessed to be serving.  It's crazy I've already been away for around a month now.  It feels like 2 days.  I'm just still glad I still have 23 more:)  Anyway,
That's all for this week!
I love you all!
Zone Conference:)

Young Mens activities...😶

Logan's hispanic twin Alejandro😂😂

Perfect Description of my comp

Just cuz bored

Sketchiest Fried Chicken I've ever eaten...cooked by a big black funny guy named Charles:)

Playing with Charles power ranger toys😂😂

Good quote I saw:)


Monday, September 14, 2015

Niagara eh?:)


This week has been nothing short of AWESOME!:)  There was a lot that happened so I'll start from the beginning.  My companion and trainer is Elder Braeden Smith from Las Vegas:)  This is his first time training, he's been out 10 months and is way chill!  It's been awesome having him as a trainer, and we get along great:)  We're currently assigned to serve in the St. David's/Niagara area, so we're literally like 5 minutes from the falls.  I LOVE THE AREA:)  The ward we're in is amazing.  We have dinner appointments every night, members at almost every lesson, and referrals usually 3 times a week.  The work here is amazing.  I won't share all of my experiences in my letters cuz there's honestly too many to share, but my favorite was actually on SaturdaySaturday we met with a 67 year old man named Pete.  He's a really good guy, the previous elders had tracted into him one day.  He's been praying to decide if he should be baptized, but he struggles with smoking, and we hadn't taught him the WoW yet.  We were planning on teaching him that on Monday, but somehow it came up on Saturday.  As we explained it, I got the strongest feeling to share some of my own experiences with him.  I did, and the spirit was so strong as I shared my own personal story of overcoming my challenges with drugs.  He really understood what I was saying, and I was able to testify with the spirit that overcoming this is possible.  I got a little teary-eyed, and testified that through Christ, we can be healed of our imperfections and addictions.  It also so happens that when i was about to leave, I had the impression to grab one of my sobriety coins, and put it in my pocket.  I listened to the spirit, and consequently I was able to give him my sobriety coin I got when I graduated Lifeline.  It was such a testament to me that I was called here in Canada at this time because certain people need what I have to share.  I know that I was called here for a purpose, and it is so amazing to already see that coming true in my first week.  

I also invited someone to be baptized my second day here!!  We're continuing lessons with them to help them understand why baptism is important.  I also had the opportunity to give a member whose really struggling a blessing.  It was again, so amazing to feel the spirit speak to me words to say and things to promise i never would have thought of.  We also have a baptism this Sunday!!!:):)  His name is Kris.  He's 13, and he struggles with his mom.  I've also been able to share my experiences with him, and help him to work through the things he struggles with.  Me and him really connect, and it's been so amazing working with him and all our investigators!!:)  I love this work and I know that I was called here for a reason.  We've got a lot of new investigators this week, and we're working towards baptizing all of them:)  

Salemut-means thank you in Philipino;)  to everyone for all the help and strength you've given me.  I feel your prayers daily, and the Lord has lifted me up to a level far beyond my own ability.  I feel his presence each day in words that I say, the things that i do, and the way I teach.  Satan works extremely hard on missionaries, and I've truly felt that this week.  But Jesus Christ has strengthened me and made me more already than I ever knew I could be.  Ofa atu from Canada:)

Touchdown in Toronto with the Boys:)

Our Fortress of Solitude

The "Steadfast" Elder Smith

 My early morning happy place:):):)

Our Humble Abode:)

More "steadfast" Elder Smith

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

He's arrived!!!

I love Cale's Mission President already. They were in contact with us before Cale flew out and then we just got this letter 5 minutes ago from them, with pictures included! He arrived yesterday in Canada and his P-day is tomorrow, so we will be able to get another letter from him so soon after his last one. Goodness it's a different world now a days versus waiting weeks and weeks for letters from your children as they served a mission...

08 September 2015

Dear Brother and Sister Bybee,

We are grateful to receive your son, Elder Cale Bybee as a new missionary in the Canada Toronto Mission.  We are including a picture that we took with him when he arrived.  His testimony and enthusiasm for the work are evident.  As his mission president and wife, we thank you for the sacrifice you are making in being separated from him in serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 

Dedicated service to the Lord brings many blessings. As a full-time servant of the Lord, Elder Bybee will be blessed with a greater knowledge of the gospel and a more vibrant testimony.  He will touch the hearts of many people, and those whom he will teach will be able to change their lives as they receive the peace and knowledge that comes through the gift and power of the Holy Ghost. “Let them go up, for many shall believe on their words, and they shall have eternal life.” (Mosiah 28:7) 

Elder Bybee’s current address is:             5257 Drummond Road #602
                                                                  Niagara Falls, ON  L2E 6E8

We are sure that Elder Bybee will love his mission as he is devoted to and focused on the Lord’s work.  We promise to love and care for him.  We testify of the truthfulness of this marvelous work of bringing souls to a knowledge of the Savior.

Serving a full time mission can be the most significant and rewarding experience in a young person’s life.  It is rigorous and challenging and requires great spiritual focus.  Successful and happy missionaries abide by a strict code of conduct and obedience. Thank you for supporting and sustaining your missionary in this great work.

Once again, we thank you for the faith you have shown to the Lord and the sacrifices that you are making.  We feel it a great privilege and responsibility to care for your missionary while he serves the Lord and pray daily for his happiness, well-being, and success.

With love and gratitude,
Weatherford T. Clayton

Saturday, September 5, 2015

HI!!!! Week 2


Week 2
Haha so this week has just been the funnest!!  I've laughed so hard I think I grew another two abdominal muscles ;)  Spiritual experiences have been in abundance this week.  We had the chance to really connect with Chad, our investigator.  I was able to really use my experiences in life to help him understand and connect with Jesus Christ, it was amazing!!!  I really feel so blessed to have been able to have those experiences.  This week has been a week of figuring out what type of missionary God needs me to be.  Through this week and my experiences in the MTC I've really come to understand that God needs me to be the missionary to comfort the sick and afflicted, bring back the one, and welcome home the prodigal son.  I've received confirmation after confirmation that this is my area I need to focus on.  So I've been sharing my experiences in my lessons as much as possible and I've seen amazing results.  I don't think I've cried more due to spiritual experiences than I have this week!!!  I'm so excited to get into the field!!!  We had some fun times too:):)  I got to meet a lot of people from Viewmont High School, so that's been cool!  I also had some mischievous pranks I pulled on others, which was to say the least, quite entertaining:):)  All in all, I've LOVED the MTC!!!  Life's been so good and I've really come to understand how blessed I am!  I love this gospel, and I've really come to realize how much the Savior and my testimony of Him is going to play into my mission.  My patriarchal blessing talks a lot about that, and I've really striven to focus on that.  
I also got to watch probably the most spiritually uplifting and life-changing talk I've ever listened to.  "The Character of Christ" by Elder Bednar is a talk that can only be listened to in the MTC.  But it was so powerful, it was an answer to a lot of prayers I had had.  I'd been kind of struggling with a few things and that talk just bore such a powerful testimony to me of what I needed to do.  This week I've striven to become as Christ-like as possible and it's really been such a blessing to me.  Applying the concept of "turning outwards" instead of "turning inwards" has helped me tremendously.  I encourage all of you to seek out what it means to be Christ's version of selfless.  I promise you that as you seek to "turn outward" and focus your love and attentions on others that you will find answers to the problems you struggle with and you will find that Christ will help you with things you can't do yourself.  I know my Savior lives, and I love Him so much.  So excited to get to Canada!!!
Talk to you guys soon!!
Pictures hand selected by Cale, with his titles he sent:
My mission companion who is also going to Toronto; Elder Olsen
Elder Cena

The Squad...Temple Bound

 The gents lookin' fresh

 THEE District!

 Cover for GQ

 Elder Newey!!

 So my comp is freaking awesome:):)  he got tired of waiting til Saturday to wash his clothes, so he's hand washing those bad boys:):)  laughing so hard, he's the best:):)

King Benjamin Status with Elder Taylor, whose from Layton and also going to Toronto:)

 Signing off for this week.....LOVE YA!!