One chapter ends and another begins…

Pratt's & Leavitt's

President & Sister Pratt arrived last night to the Canada Halifax mission. President & Sister Leavitt picked them up at the airport and drove them to the mission home, where they will be living for the next three years. This morning they came to the mission office with the Leavitts and with mixed emotions we said good bye to President & Sister Leavitt and welcomed President & Sister Pratt. It was a rare picture moment for the first 25 minutes as we, Elder & Sister Stewart, Elder & Sister Harding, Elder Erickson and Dudley, all danced in and out of photos so that we could create fond memories to treasure of the friendships we  had formed and the ones to be formed.

After the Leavitts left for the airport we sat down as a group with President & Sister Pratt and had a wonderful lunch filled with moments of laughter and getting to know one another. It was a wonderful beginning to another chapter of the Canada Halifax Mission.


President and Sister Pratt

150 Canada Halifax Mission

James Ray Pratt, 56, and Debra Susan Moss Pratt are both Utah natives. President Pratt is from Springville, Utah and Sister Pratt is from Bountiful, Utah. They moved to Florida about 30 years ago, They are in the Winter Park Ward in Orlando Florida.

They have 4 kids and 4 grand baby girls. Pres. Pratt served as a mission presidency counselor and is a former stake president, bishop, ward Young Men adviser, and missionary in the Belgium Brussels Mission. He was an attorney at Burr & Forman LLP (Orlando managing partner).

Sister Pratt is a former stake Relief Society presidency counselor, stake Young Women secretary, ward Relief Society president, ward Primary presidency counselor, and public affairs specialist.

Legacy of President & Sister Leavitt July 2012- July 2015

pres leatvitt
President Brian Leavitt began his service as mission president on July 1, 2012. President Leavitt had a vision for the Canada Halifax Mission and he implemented  many an idea to accomplish this goal.

Some of the ways he inspired the missionaries were:


* The “Back To Basics Binder” – This binder was created to help missionaries be their best. It included ways to grow and improve, exercise, a 12-week program (for new missionaries), adjusting to missionary life and working with ward members.

* Facebook – President Leavitt was a huge FB fan and he created many a FB page to help us as missionaries reach out to members, less-active members, prospective members and each other. He created the CHM secret group page — In this group page he included daily thoughts and videos to help inspire us in our daily work and weekly district meetings. He also created the Mormons in Atlantic Canada, where he posted many pictures, stories and updates on the missionaries.

* President Leavitt was a very visible mission president. He attended many a scattered sacrament meeting, gave many sacrament talks and taught many gospel essential classes. He made a point of getting to know those members and leaders he served. He also made time to visit and interview all of the missionaries he was responsible for and never missed a beat even when some of those visits required him getting back at 1 am and driving in a blizzard. He flew thousands of miles and drove thousands of kilometres.

* President Leavitt was also very big on healthy missionaries, feeling that their health has a large relationship with their being happy and productive missionaries. He implemented an exercise program called the 5BX to be part of the daily missionary morning routine. Many a zone conference included missionaries having fun with demonstrating their 5BX ability. And he also started the AB AB WheelWheel Challenge and had a plaque displayed on the accomplishments of this challenge. This exercise program resulted in many complaints from people living below missionary apartments, which then resulted in the mission moving as many missionaries as possible to first floor apartments.

– President Leavitt wanted the missionaries to catch the vision of missionary work and he often quoted Proverbs 29:18  “Where there is no vision, the people perish,” and Hastening Ourselves in the Work of Salvation. He then shared with us The Canada Halifax Vision: “Members, Leaders and Missionaries actively working in a balanced and unified way to establish the church and hasten the work of salvation.” It was repeated daily and at every district/zone conference to remind each of us of our divine purpose and how it could be accomplished.

*President Leavitt was noted for his many quotes, including this from Joseph Smith: “You might as well baptize a bag of sand as a man, if not done in view of the remission of sins and getting of the Holy Ghost.”

— A negative mind will never give you a positive life.

— This thought from President Thomas S Monson, “Vision without effort is daydreaming; effort without vision is drudgery; but vision, coupled with effort, will obtain the prize.”

— The importance of a principle based missionary verses a rule based missionary.

— Follow Up, Follow Up, Follow Up

— I am convinced that those who can find on a consistent basis are using a balanced approach consistently.

Sister Leavitt was just as amazing as was her husband. She has  mothered hundreds of missionaries through physical problems, through emotional problems and through the countless meals she prepared in the mission home as missionaries constantly came and went. People used to say about Ginger Rogers, she did everything Fred Astaire did, but backwards and wearing heels. Sister Leavitt may not have danced backwards in heels, but almost everywhere President Leavitt was, there was Sister Leavitt supporting him. And sometimes there were places she was that he wasn’t, moving the work of the Canada Halifax Mission forward with full purpose and full heart. Bless her heart, and his. We of the Canada Halifax Mission will be ever grateful to the Leavitts.

Snow Storms of 2015

Elder Stewart and snowman         It didn’t snow in October. It didn’t snow in November. It didn’t snow in December! Snow shovels were in existential crises as they questioned the reason for their very existence. Then came January.  Monday January 4, 2015, the weather report showed an intense low-pressure weather system that was expected to wind its way across the Maritimes on Tuesday. It reported that in Nova Scotia, the storm could leave behind 20 to 30 centimetres of snow. The snow would start along the South Shore at about 4 a.m. Tuesday and would continue throughout the day and change to rain in the evening. The rain would change back some snow, possibly before daybreak Wednesday. Winds could reach as high at 80 to 100 kilometres per hour on Tuesday, resulting in potential blizzard-like conditions. And they weren’t kidding!

Dozens of flights were cancelled and transportation officials had to shut down a 170-kilometre stretch of the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia as the blizzard wreaked havoc on travel across nearly every county in the Maritimes.

That was only the beginning. The storms continued to pound us for the next few weeks, one after the other.  Snow shovels rejoiced. On Feb. 15  travel woes continued across the Maritimes as crews worked to clear the remnants of another powerful blast of winter.

downtown Annapolis Royal      Forecasters called it an old-fashioned nor’easter, but Maritimers dubbed it White Juan in recognition of the hurricane that had hit Nova Scotia five months earlier. During White Juan, snow fell at the rate of five centimeters per hour for 12 hours. With the heavy snow, Environment Canada weather historians chronicled fierce winds gusting to 124 km/h and zero visibility. Halifax, Yarmouth and Charlottetown broke all-time 24-hour snowfall records.

For the first time in history, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island declared province-wide states of emergency lasting four days. Halifax issued a nightly nine-hour curfew over three days for all but essential workers in order to give them a fighting chance to clear the snow, estimated to weigh six million tons. Miraculously, there were no serious injuries or deaths, just a million unforgettable stories.

Fort Anne

Fort Anne

One newspaper story reported that the Nova Scotia RCMP was asking for the public’s assistance in apprehending Old Man Winter, who was wanted in relation to a series of storms in Nova Scotia over the past two weeks leaving behind massive amounts of snow across the province. Old Man Winter, the RCMP explained, hails from the north, moves quickly, and drifts around. The suspect was last know to have dumped up to 60 centimetres throughout the province. His known associates include Shubenacadie Sam, Jack Frost, Mother Nature and Frosty the Snowman.

The final winter storm in a long line of storms was called “winter storm Neptune” and dumped over 40 centimetres of snow in parts of Nova Scotia.  Snow remained on the ground throughout the Maritime provinces well into May.

Evans and Astle

Elder Evans and Elder Astle enjoying the beginning of the snow
  storms but Elder Astle was transferred before the real storms hit Annapolis Royal, Nova Scotia.

Snow piles were high and tSNow Pileshere was so much of it Dump Trucksthat
they had to start having large dump loaders come and take it away because there was ultimately no were to put it after a while!

Elder Evans & Elder Walker after walking to our apartment from theirs to see if we were ok..walker and evans

Canada Halifax Mission Boundaries

Boundaries Include:

  • New Brunswick
  • Nova Scotia
  • Newfoundland-Labrador
  • Prince Edward Island
  • and part of Maine in the United States


“The earliest settlements in this area date back to the early 1600s, and there is a unique cultural blend of Irish, English, and French. There are many communities that boast a predominantly French population, and that, combined with unique and colorful Nova Scotian/Newfoundland expressions and accents, makes it a fun and interesting place to serve…

“Missionaries have served here since the early days of the restoration of the church. The first missionaries came to Nova Scotia in 1847. Such well known leaders as Truman G. Madsen, Boyd K. Packer, Paul H. Dunn, and David B. Sorensen have presided over the area in the past. Much has been accomplished, but there is much more to be done.”

-Brian D. Leavitt
Mission President
Canada Halifax Mission (2015)

….in the beginning

The Canada-Maritimes Mission was formed August 1, 1973, as a result of the reorganization of the New England Mission. The new mission included within its boundaries four of Canada’s ten provinces—New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland—as well as two branches in northern Maine and a branch in far-off Greenland, covering a total area of 105,625 square miles. It was reorganized as “Canada Halifax Mission” on June 20, 1974.

At the time of this BLOG creation we were in the process of saying good-bye to Pres. & Sister Leavitt and welcoming Pres. & Sister Pratt.

Here’s a list of current and past Mission Presidents of the Canada Halifax Mission.

  1. 2012-2015, Brian D. Leavitt
  2. 2009-2012, Craig W. Simpson
  3. 2006-2009, S. Gardner Jacobsen
  4. 2003-2006, Allen Brice Gurney
  5. 2000-2003, Lynn Holt Blake
  6. 1997-2000, Byron R. Christensen
  7. 1994-1997, Bradley C. Miller
  8. 1991-1994, Richard I. Winwood
  9. 1988-1991, Lynn W. Wood
  10. 1985-1988, David E. Sorensen
  11. 1982-1985, Ray D. Hassell
  12. 1979-1982, James A. Kenning
  13. 1976-1979, Merlin O. Baker
  14. 1973-1976, Thurn J. Baker