Monday, January 27, 2014

Peter, Pirates, Princesses, and Snow!

Hello from the Great Frozen North,

My first week in Wolfville wouldn't be complete without a blizzard. Wednesday we had another big snow storm that covered everything in white again. Prior to that all of the snow had melted. One of the members said we should be getting another big storm this week. 

We had the first two concerts this past weekend. The first one was in Dartmouth, and if I remember correctly there were somewhere between 300 and 400 people in attendance. We had a lot of fun putting the concert together, complete with props for the singers and video clips for some of the instrumental pieces. The second of the concerts was in New Glasgow. There will be three more weekends of concerts (happening every other weekend) and I am excited to continue to be a part of such an inspired idea. Hopefully there will be some clips of the concert on the YouTube channel soon.
Peter, Pirates, and Princesses Concert in Dartmouth, New Glasgow, Nova Scotia

Sister Aslett and I are teaching a few people that are preparing for baptism. One of them is from Ghana. He is a student at Acadia University. He has a few Mormon friends back home and even went to church with them there. We are excited to continue teaching him and helping him prepare for baptism.

As always, thanks for your support and prayers! 
Favorite scripture for this week: 3 Nephi 9:13. Christ has the power to heal us, spiritually and physically through His Atonement. Trust in Him. :)
Sister Renda
She looks so happy!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Hi All!

Wolfville is wonderful! I have always wondered what it would be like to live in a small town and now I am getting that opportunity. So far, I love it! The scenery is beautiful and I can only imagine what this area will look like in the spring. Breathtaking. Agriculture is big in this area. Sister Laxton called it the Garden of Eden when she served here. It is so different to be serving in a family ward now. I love the YSA in Halifax and I will miss them, but now I have the opportunity to meet some of their families! There are two new missionaries in the Kentville ward this transfer, Elder West (who is from Morgan, UT) and me. The Bishop asked us to share our testimonies on Sunday, and I mentioned how excited I am to serve in a family ward. The gospel blesses families and I am looking forward to seeing that more and more as I serve in this area. The members I have met so far are incredible! They are so solid in the gospel with great desires to follow the Savior and share the gospel in any way they can. The Kentville Ward is a good mix of people age-wise. 

We are teaching a college-age guy who is preparing to be baptized on January 30. He seems like a member already and is really progressing well. I don't know if I mentioned an older gentleman that Sister Pizzey and I found knocking when I was here on exchanges. We taught him a lesson yesterday with Sister Redden, a member from the ward. He has an incredible story and has a very strong relationship with God. His only desire is to do God's will. He knows that God sent us to him. We invited him to prepare to be baptized on March 8 and prayed at the end of the lesson to know if that is something God wants him to do. We are also working with a few less actives in the ward. Sister Aslett and I are excited for the good things that will happen this transfer as we act in faith and seek to truly become fishers of men. We discussed our vision, goals and plans for this area and decided to base our vision on Luke 5:1-11. I am excited for the progress that will occur as we act in faith. Sister Aslett is a very skilled missionary. She is from England. It's amazing to see how much each of us have progressed over the past three months since we were in the MTC together. Her British accent is contagious and her diligence, faith, and positive attitude is so inspiring to me.

I hope that you have a good week!  Love you!

Sister Renda (Brenda without the B)

Note from Lory,

They have released the dates for their upcoming concert tour, in which Maren will be playing. Directed by Dr. R. Kevin Call, professor of music at Brigham Young University - Idaho; the concert includes special numbers performed by ten talented vocalists and instrumentalists. Includes numbers from:

The Pirates of the Caribbean
The Little Mermaid
Beauty and the Beast
Peter and the Wolf
The Phantom of the Opera
... And many more!

The musical tour travels throughout the Atlantic Canada region. All are invited to attend free of charge. The Orange Blossom Family Special could be coming to a town near you!:

Fri, Jan 24 - Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, 6 PM
Sat, Jan 25 - New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, 2 PM

Fri, Feb 7 - Moncton, New Brunswick, 6 PM
Sat, Feb 8 - Saint John, NB,2 PM

Fri, Feb 28 - Truro, Nova Scotia 6 PM
Sat, Mar 1 - Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island,2 PM

Fri, Mar 14 - Fredericton, NB, 6 PM
Sat, Mar 15 - Caribou, Maine, 2 PM

Monday, January 13, 2014


Transfers are here again! I feel like they just happened. I am being transferred to Wolfville and I will be serving with Sister Aslett! She and I were in the MTC together, and I am really excited for the adventures ahead of us. I'm sad to be leaving Halifax. I am so grateful for the experiences that I have had here and all of the amazing people I have met. Sister Laxton will be staying here, as well as Sister Jungheim and Sister Coleman. Sister Starkie will join Sister Laxton in the YSA branch. They will be serving together as sister training leaders.

We had a baptism in the YSA branch this last week. His name is Ryan Gao Xi. He is Chinese Korean and he has an incredible testimony! He loves the gospel and adds so much to the branch. The Spirit was so strong at his baptism. I had one of those moments where the light went on in my head and I realized that this is what missionary work is all about. The gospel makes me so happy. Sometimes it is hard to open my mouth to share the gospel, but when I have those powerful moments when I feel the Spirit testify to me that this is true, I can't help but want to share it with others.
I got your package this week. We stopped by the mission office on Monday last week, but I guess it came the next day. Thank you for everything! I am excited to have a new set of scriptures. I'm sorry your emails didn't send for some reason last week. Crissy told me you all had cake and ice cream on my behalf.  Tell David congratulations for me for his award! That's awesome! The mission has a Facebook page. I don't know if you have already found it or not. It's "Mormons of Atlantic Canada." Also I think there is a trailer up on the youtube channel for the upcoming concert series. It should come up if you search The Orange Blossom Family Special Commercial. You'll have to let me know about Ben's job interview. I hope everyone feels better soon! You can hold onto the journal for now. Will you send me Sister Davis's address? I will send her a thank you note. I don't know if I ever told you, but I got the letters from the ward Christmas party. That was so sweet of them to send that. 
I love you all! Keep pressing forward. There will always be opposition. We wouldn't be able to progress without it. Christ is the reason.
Sister Renda

Monday, January 6, 2014

Birthday Blizzard

Blizzard Jan 3, 2014
Hi Mom!

I hope you all had a good New Year! This last week was filled with adventures. Sister Laxton and I traveled to Wolfville for exchanges with the Sister Training Leader and her companion. It was fun to be in a different area and to learn from working with Sister Pizzey and her companion Sister Aslett. While we were there, the temperatures officially reached snot-freezing cold. -20 C with wind and humidity. Knocking and contacting in that weather was quite the experience! The next day we had a blizzard. One by one all of our appointments dropped until we only had one left. Sister Laxton and I got all bundled up to go out in the snow.  We got to the bus stop amid being pelted by snowflakes (that doesn't sound that bad, but it hurt!). When the bus pulled up the bus driver leaned out and said that all the buses were cancelled and being pulled off the roads. We decided that we should go back home and do what we could inside that day. Sister Jungheim took those pictures of us when we got back.

The YSA are slowly coming back from Christmas break and yesterday we had a good turnout for church. A few of our investigators came and some less actives as well. It was such a good feeling! Sister Laxton and I are excited for things to get back to normal as school starts. Someone that the Elders are teaching is being baptized this Saturday.  He is Chinese-Korean. There's a long story behind that, that he loves to tell. He's hilarious and everyone is so excited for his baptism this Saturday. Theresa came to church yesterday as well, and she shared her testimony of Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost in testimony meeting as well. I am so amazed by the faith of others. I have met so many amazing people since I have been here, each one offering something that only they can teach me. Often, the Lord works through them to answer my prayers and to teach me the things He wants me to learn. Hopefully the reverse is true as well, that the Lord is using me to teach His children as well.
I haven't received your package yet, but I'm sure it will be here soon.
The Book of Mormon challenge is going well. I'm in the Isaiah chapters right now, which takes longer to read. The more I read Isaiah, though, the more I like it and can slowly start to chip away at his imagery and poetic style.
I hope that things are well back home. I love you all! I hope you are feeling better, Mom! (Or as they say here, Mum) Tell Dad that I love him too. Have a good week!

Sister Maren Renda

Sunday January 5, 2014 was Maren's 21st Birthday.  Her companion and the other sisters in her apartment gave her a little party.  We also celebrated at home with a cake and ice cream and singing happy birthday to her on video and then attached the pictures and video in her email this week.