Monday, Sept 8th, 2014

Dear Fam, Friends, and Somewhat Acquaintances…

Hello again all from your friendly neighbor to the north. Canada is starting to cool down quite a bit. I really enjoy the weather we have been having. Sometimes it’s rainy, except the sometimes bit. Well it rains quite a lot, but I absolutely love it! Rain is the best! It’s 9 degrees Celsius today. Yeah go and convert that… Canada is weird because it uses the metric system, but I’m finding it actually quite nice. Though I do laugh when someone says “Oh yeah for sure we are out of 4L of milk, eh”. Ha ha okay just kidding they don’t all sound like that, but it’s funny when a gallon of milk becomes 4L of milk. 
Ummm let’s see what else? Oh I hope my mom is still posting my emails on my blog (*cough *cough because I know she hasn’t…). So this past week has been interesting and I am just really grateful to a companion who is understanding. It was hard Saturday/Sunday because we went to Stake Conf and had to stay the night in Regina. I did not sleep well, but do not fret all is well now. My Comp is really the best. She takes everything in stride and is just so very great. 
Moose Jaw is good too. We are working with a few less actives. One of the things that I have found about the people here in this area of Canada (can’t say it’s true for all of Canada) is that they are either too lazy to change or too stubborn to! Plus they are crazy drivers! Okay and while we are on the subject of driving… Can I say I will never complain about utah roads ever again. After driving Saskatchewan (and sometimes having a full bladder while doing so) let’s just say that the roads in UT are things of beauty. So be grateful that you have them. 
Okay so I’m not sure what else to share. I really am loving this work and even though it is hard and sometimes we struggle through either missions or just life in general remember that God loves us and that we will be lifted up and supported in our trials (Alma 36:3). 
People here in Moose Jaw are actually really good. Though we are struggling with just getting referrals. It’s like people worry that they will lose their friends if they refer the missionaries to them… People give Missionaries referrals! It’s hard enough to do this work, but if we don’t have help from the Members we can’t do much. Your friends will understand that it is done out of love. We haven’t gotten 1 referral in my whole 2+ weeks here! Canadians… golly!
Any way things are going here in the north. I hope to hear from some more of you and hear about your lives. It helps to hear things from home, and plus if you make it really good it’ll be like reading a book and all adventure like ha ha! 
Anyway I love you all and hope things are going well in the States. Remember that God loves you and He wants you to be happy! Â  
 
~Sister Veylupek
P.S. Don’t complain about gas prices either… it’s 1.23 a liter. So roughly $5 or so a gallon… AND on that note too things here in Canada are super expensive. I don’t know why people want to live here, I suppose just the weird ones do… 😉 (ha ha that was a joke for my Canadian friends who are reading this)
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Late posting this one- Letter from Mon. Sept 1st

Hello everyone,

Things here in Canada are going well. It’s still weird sometimes to see the Canadian Flag instead of the American one. I did see an american one outside a hotel today and it sort of made me miss the states. Things in canada are weird. They spell things strange (hence the labor day with the u where it doesn’t belong). Another instance of them spelling things weird. I was at the ATM today and it said Chequing…. LIKE REALLY?!? I was super confused for a moment.
But other than that stuff things are going well. My companion and I have been trying hard to work and to spread the gospel. We are actually seeing a lot of success on the thing called Facebook. Maybe y’all have heard of it? Well it’s so neat to see how the world is changing and how the gospel is being shared now. If we could all strive to share with just one of our friends on FB who is either less-active or a nonmember think about how many people would be able to come unto Christ…? MIND blowing isn’t it. Over a billion users a month on FB…. There you go that was me on my soap box for the day.
I have been learning to rely on the Lord a lot more. It’s hard being on a mission and everyone tells you that before you go, but you never know what to expect or you don’t realize then just the kind of struggles you’re going to face. It’s been interesting to see. There would be no way that this work would move on if we as missionaries didn’t rely on the Lord almost 100% of the time. It should be 100% but let’s face it we are all stubborn people and we like to pretend we can do things on our own, but we can’t.
My companion and I are teaching mostly people on FB and we have been trying to find new “real” people to teach, but sometimes it’s hard. We always seem busy, but we are trying to apply that good, better, best thing to how we spend our time. It’s good to go over to a member’s house, but it’s better if we bring an investigator, and best if the members bring someone for us to teach. We are trying to get members in our ward to get more involved by giving us referrals, but that seems to be one of the hard things for them to do….
Also I’m going to climb back up on my soap box for a moment. If you get the chance to feed the missionaries please take it!! We don’t get a lot of money each month and they base what we get off of if we get fed 1 meal a day by members. I have started to become a better budget-er because the reality of it is that members don’t feed the missionaries as much as they should…… Now I’ll climb back down from my soap box.
Ummmm what else? Oh I was going to talk about the Mosquitoes here. THEY ARE EVIL!!! EVIL I tell you. I think they are immune to deet and all the other bug sprays too! Any way it is getting cooler here so I hope that they all DIE!
I’m not sure what else to write about. Things in Canada are going well. I miss you all and the states. I miss my car too… Oh man she is such a good ol’ thing. Any way not that y’all needed to know that. I hope that your week is fabulous and remember the Lord loves you!
Sincerely,
Sister Kaitlin Veylupek 

First Email from Canada!

Dear Fam and Friends,

Well hello everyone from our neighbor to the north. I arrived here in Canada safely on Wednesday of last week. We were pushed through customs and they basically just gave us our visas… It took about 15 mins. Ha ha They are apparently really open about who comes to Canada and for how long. My visa is good until March 2016! Which feels so far away, but in reality it really isn’t that far. That first night I stayed in the mission home. My mission president and his wife are actually quite amazing and they really do love the work that they are doing. Thursday I found out where I would be going and then I went and stayed with another set of sisters in Winnipeg because I wouldn’t be leaving for my area until Friday morning.
Okay so I must just preface where I am with saying that Heavenly Father must have a sense of humor. SO I poked fun at my roommate penny for serving in Canada before I got my mission call, and then I got called to Canada…. Then while talking with my mother on day we were sort of picking our places that had funny names and maybe poking more fun at them then we should have… One of the places we mentioned was Moose Jaw. We thought “who names a town Moose Jaw?”. Well friends guess where my first area? Yup you called it I am in the lovely little town of Moose Jaw. It is really small! And with both sets of elders and us sisters we pretty much make up half of the congregation on sunday. Ha ha not really but that gives you an idea of how small it is. It is barely more than a branch.
We are however only 45 mins away from Regina where the temple is located. Which is really nice, because if our ward is doing temple night we only have to as our zone leaders for permission to go. Alright on ward through the week. So friday we get up at 5am to be ready and at the church by 6:30. We traveled like another 8 hours to get to Regina, and then I had another 45 mins with my new companion. It was a long day, but as soon as we got to Moose Jaw we were on the Lord’s time so we set off to work. We helped a member to move in. Then Saturday we did weekly planning and it went really good. Sunday was your typical sunday with church and then trying to meet with people.
In Canada 85% of members are less actives… So that along with other missionary work too is one of our big goals. Becuase 85 is just too high of a number.
We have I think 2 progressing investigators, but we hope to get 2 more moving towards that path this week. Oh I’m sure you are all wondering about my Companion aren’t you? Well here you go. Her name is Sister Tomkinson. She is from Orem Ut she is really just amazing and I couldn’t have asked for a better trainer or companion. She know’s sign language and actually signs all her prayers when we aren’t at a lesson. I think it is so neat. She is hard working and willing to put up with me so that is something, eh? (like how I just used eh? And it’s not just a myth they actually do say it ALLL the time here!) She is understanding and very patient when I am not getting everything that I ought to. We are working well together and I think that the Lord knew we would be powerful teachers together. We are working hard to set a standard for the elders in our area and also for ourselves. We figured that we should put our whole effort into doing this work.
Our mission is actually really quite “liberal” in the music we can listen to also. We can listen to all sorts of church music and I know that’s actually quite different than the North Carolina mission. It’s really good though, so if any of you want to burn me a cd or a thumb drive of EFY music or things like that it would be greatly appreciated. 
Oh and something else I think I should mention. One mail here is sometimes really slow. We are a far way from our mission home and so we don’t always get the mail right away. It can take up to 6 weeks (once a transfer) for mail to come to us, but some times it isn’t that long. Second because it has to go through customs don’t put it’s value over $60 because if you do that they charge extra taxes and then I’ll end up having to pay for those.
Anyway I hope that you are all doing well in the States. It could be worse you could be in Canada 😉 and to my Canadian friends sorry this place is just so weird! ha ha
Sincerely,
Sister Veylupek

Week 2

Well Hello everyone!!

Today is going pretty well. I have been able to kind of relax and sort of get over my sinus infection… Yeah my allergies got bad and lead to a sinus infection. So that’s been interesting.

Well this past week has just flown by! We have had a lot going on and I have learned so much. It’s crazy how much can change in just 2 weeks! Everyday is just a blur. We taught our TRC (whose name is Devan and she’s a girl) investigator and she really isn’t a member… SHE IS A FOR REALS investigator. It went alright, but at the same time there were things that we had problems with. We did get her to commit to finish the book of mormon and to continue learning about the church. And also I bore a really crazy testimony to her and I’m not even sure what I said…. It left my comp speech-less (which never happens)

We also got new missionaries here. One is Sister Rentz from Goldsboro NC!!! And she know my Cuz Reba Barnes! Say what?!?! She is basically one of my favorites like ever…. ha ha just kidding but really she’s pretty cool I mean she loves batman so yeah she’s cool in my book.

UH what else? Oh yeah yesterday we had our sunday devotional and guess who it was? JENNY OAKS BAKER!! It was so very amazing!

We learned about trusting the Holy Ghost in teaching and leading where the lesson goes. Yeah that was the best lesson ever!!!! We have some really good teachers and I am amazed at what the teachers do to make a lesson run smoothly.

Um I’m sorry this isn’t terribly long… I forgot my note book up stairs saying all the things I wanted to talk about…. 😦 Oh well I guess I can just add to it later. Or next week. Uhhhhhhh I think that is it. I promise next week my email will be a lot better and a little longer. I’ll be able to tell you about canada!!!!!!!!! Though I am excited I am not excited about having to be at the travel office at 2:30 am!!!

Love you all!!

Sister veylupek

First Email

Dear Family and Friends!

Hello all!!! This was the first time I have been able to get to email people. Being at the MTC is a lot different than anything that I have ever done. It’s a lot harder than you would think… Plus there are stairs everywhere!!! And anyone that knows me knows that I hate entirely stairs. But things here are really good. I have been learning a lot. My companion is from Trinidad and so she speaks with an accent. Sometimes she speaks really fast and most of what she says in those moments go right over my head. But it is a good companionship. She went through the temple today for the first time and I was able to be her escort. It was a really neat experience.

We’ve been learning a lot about the gospel and we even have had to teach some of the lessons in 1 min or less. Yeah that was really interesting. It forces us to really focus on what is important. I really have enjoyed all of it…. Well mostly. I feel exhausted all the time trying to be so close to the Spirit all the time. Plus we get up at like 6 so that we can get all that we need to done.

I’m the oldest in my class and it’s really hard sometimes to be around 18-19 year olds. I have a hard time connecting to them, and yet I have found that they are some really great people. I’m not sure what else to say. I’ll have to write my thoughts and ideas down this week for next week so that once I’m in front of a computer I don’t blank on it.

Any way I love you all and appreciate your support. If you have questions or what ever and want to know more about what’s going on here just send a personal email to me and I’d love to answer!

Love,

Sister Kaitlin Veylupek

A 2 Week Mishap and the Miracles that Followed

Okay for all of you that may not realize, but a month has passed since my last post. This past week marked just two short weeks before I go to the MTC. This post is about what happened on wednesday which marked exactly two weeks. As many of you may or may not know I love to fix cars. I love to get my hands dirty and figure out what is wrong with things and be able to fix them. This week I decided that I would try and fix the things wrong with my car before I hand it over to my mother for eighteen months. Among the things that need to be fixed is my exhaust, brakes, oil change, adjusting of a belt, and topping off of all the fluids in my car (also getting a nail removed from my tire and getting it plugged, but I can’t do that). I started with my brakes first. I did the front driver’s side without a problem it worked perfectly and I was able to do it fairly quickly.

After I was done I moved to the front passenger’s side. Now this side was a little more difficult, but I kept pushing forward. I had my leg out in front of me, and so that meant they were under the car I was working on that was jacked up. I was getting frustrated with the caliper pistons because they weren’t reseting as easily as the driver’s side. It was because of this frustration that I failed to be aware of my surroundings. It wasn’t until the car started to roll forward that I realized something was about to go horribly wrong. Imagine with me a couple thousand pound car with no wheel on it heading straight for your legs. I panicked and wasn’t sure what I could do. I had no time to move my legs, and there was no way I could catch the car and make it stop. So it happened and I had to watch as the car came down on my legs. I will now explain the abundance of miracles that happened.

First, the way the car came down on my legs there should have been no way I could have gotten my legs out on my own. I had no way to call for help because my phone was in my room charging. So the fact that somehow I was able to free myself still astounds me. I have no doubt that there were angels there helping to get myself free.

Second, and I know this sounds silly, my prayers were answered. They were answered in the fact that I was able to re-jack up my car and finish the brake job.

Third, after finishing the job I went in to clean my wounds. Realizing that the gash on my leg probably needed stitches I tried to call out to my roommate for help. She didn’t answer. I was however supposed to meet a friend and not trusting myself to drive at this point text her and asked her to come and pick me up and take me to the doctors office. She being the awesome person that she is quickly called me. She was in the car and on her way over to help! Also she stayed with me through the visit and even drove me to the store to get my prescription. She bought me ice, and all around was just an amazing friend.

Fourth, up until this past month I did not have health insurance. Due to some wonky stuff going on at the beginning of this month I decided to get some just to be on the safe side before going on the mission. Holy lucky/miracle! I had to get stitches and they took x-rays to make sure nothing was broken. Which would have been super expensive otherwise.

Fifth, as stated above I got stitches, but that was it. No broken bones, granted I have some grisly bruising. I’ve heard stories about people who have lost appendages or worse their lives due to cars falling on them. All I got was seven little stitches. And because there was no significant damage done I didn’t have to postpone going on my mission. I will still report to the MTC on August 6th.

Now I’m pretty sure there are so many other miracles that happened that day, but I decided to just name a few here. Probably because that’s all I can remember at the moment. Writing an email to my friend today I realized that there are some real life applications to this accident. First and foremost always double check your jack, have a jack stand, and to be super save put your tire under the rotor in case it falls. Then it won’t fall on you but on the tire. But I’d rather talk about the spiritual things that I learned from this. I had such a strong impression after the accident that I was helped so much because I am meant to go on my mission on August 6th and not have anything delayed. It was a confirmations to me of how much the Lord is looking out for me.

But in a more wide view of it let’s consider a few other things. Now I know I had angels helping me that day, but let’s consider something real quick. It would have been so easy for me to get upset that it even happened at all. I have been praying for strength and protection to be able to serve ever since getting my call. I could have looked at this accident and wondered why it even happened at all. Heavenly Father could have kept the car from rolling off the jack… but He didn’t and from this accident I have learned so much. God doesn’t always keep all the bad things from happening to us. It’s not because He doesn’t want to, but it’s because through our trials we learn. No parent wants to see their children hurt, but children learn the most sometimes when they do fall down. Likewise Heavenly Father doesn’t want us to hurt.

I have decided to look at the positives of this accident instead of the negative of it even happening. Miracles happened on Wednesday and I cannot deny it. I know that if we can look at our trials and find the positive we will see how much we are being helped. I love this gospel and I love the fact that as I try to live it I know that angels of protection walk before me. God loves us all and He is helping us everyday. I know this and I have seen it this past week. I know that there is someone up in Canada that is meant to teach me something, and perhaps I’ll teach someone too. There is an appointed time that I am meant to go, and I will go. Heavenly Father is great, Jesus lives, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church on earth. These are things I believe and am having opportunities to learn and know everyday.

Here are some photos of my legs incase you wanted to know what it looks like to drop a car on them….

photo1 (1) photo4 photo3 photo2 photo1

“Our doubts…” 6 weeks and some change

It’s late as I am writing this, but I have been inspired. What you have to understand is once I am inspired it puts me in a crazy state where I won’t be able to concentrate on anything else until I have the words out of my head. That includes not being able to focus on sleeping. Therefore I have decided to write what is in my heart and mind, and I will ask your forgiveness (all like 6 of you who have read or will read this blog) if there is anything misspelled or if my grammar is not what it ought to be.

Now what inspired this post is in part to the fact that I wear an eight year old hoodie. More like I wore an eight year old hoodie when it was all raining and cold outside. This sweater is from high school, more specifically it is from Shakespeare team my junior year. No I wasn’t on the team, but I did go to support them. After all who doesn’t like to get out of school? Now on the back of this sweatshirt there is a quote from one of Shakespeare’s plays. The play is Measure for Measure and the quote comes from act 1 scene 4. 

“Our doubts are traitors and makes us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

I’ve thought this quote through a lot over the past few days. As a back story I suppose I should tell you about the last few months since getting my mission call. I got my call in March, but I wasn’t to leave until August. Which will have left me to waiting about five and a half months. These past few months have been rife with trials, and a lot of them come from within. Granted there were a few hard things that were out of my control that came from outside sources, but those aren’t the ones I am focusing on in this blog tonight. Right now I want to talk about the challenges I have created in my own mind.

I feel woefully unprepared to do this work that I have been called to do as a missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Only last year I was changing my entire lifestyle as I was coming back to the church. Everyone says that I will do great, but in my head I wonder if it is true. How can they possibly know that I will be able to preach about Jesus Christ? I get nervous in crowds of strange people. I am not great at talking and sometimes I am not nice. These things and many more have been weighing on my heart. The weight seems, sometimes, too much to take. There have been times where I have considered giving up, and not going. There are times that I get scared to leave what I know to venture into the unknown. It scares me that in just a little over six weeks I will be going to the Missionary Training Center, and from there going to Canada. 

Granted I know that it is just Canada, but it will be the first time that I have left the United States. I have been pushing it out of my mind as the time seems to whoosh by so fast. I hope that ignoring it will make my nerves go away or perhaps I ignore it because I am unsure how to deal with my insecurities. It really doesn’t matter why I have been ignoring it. Now, though, you are all caught up. Let’s refocus on that quote that I brought up before.

“Our doubts are traitors and make us lose the good we oft might win by fearing to attempt.”

I bet you can see where this post is going now, but before you decide you’re done with it please finish reading. These past few months have been filled with doubts ranging from different things to others. In those moments I allowed my fear of being inadequate (or whatever it was at that time whether it was failing to make a difference or just plain failing) to overcome what I knew I was supposed to do. I allowed my fear to overcome my faith. I let it overcome the faith I should have in myself, but more I allowed it to over come the faith that I have in my God. You see I wasn’t entirely sure I wanted to go on a mission, but I just kept feeling like it was the place that Heavenly Father wanted me to be. In these moments of fear and anguish I lost sight of what was really important. This work isn’t about what I can do, and it isn’t about what I can say. It is about what the Spirit can teach people about Jesus Christ. 

Now let’s talk a little about how I allowed my doubts to almost make me lose the the good. In my life I have seen a pattern where I almost don’t do something because I don’t believe I can. How many times have I lost out on something amazing just because I didn’t try? I can’t tell you, but I am sure you all have had a number of times in your own life like that. There’s a quote that goes something like this: “Don’t let the fear of striking out keep you from playing the game.” Who am I to meet in Canada? And if I don’t go how would that change my life? I think that it would seriously diminish it and I would lose out on the opportunity to help and to serve, therefore losing out on so much good and great things. 

Can you understand what I am getting at? In the end will you be a person of regrets because your doubts held you back? Or are you going to be the person that looks back on their life and says “Look at what I have done. It wasn’t easy, and yes I failed many times, but look at what I HAVE done!”? In closing I will just let you know that no matter what fears of being a missionary I have it will not keep me from reporting to the MTC on Aug 6th. Whatever fears I have about the future will not hold me back from running towards my goals. I hope that you will do the same. Run at whatever you want, and put all you have into it. And if you fail, which you are apt to do at times, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and keep going for it. Remember “Doubt your boubts, before you doubt your faith.” Do not doubt your faith in yourself, your fellow man, or your God, but rather doubt that voice that is telling you that you cannot do something.