Monday, 24 December 2012

The end of the World hasn't arrived!! ;)

"Looks like the end of the World still hasn't arrived! But if I am honest, I am not too surprised! It kind of makes me feel invicible though! In my lifetime I have survived the Year 2000, Swine Flu, the Rapture and now the End of the World according to the Mayan Calendar! And I am not even 20 yet! I have to admit though, it does sort of make life more interesting!

Now onto things that really matter! It's Christmas time! How exciting! I truly have had a great week, and now I am looking forward to this week to strengthen our relationships with members, speak to my family back at home, and play some games!
I really enjoyed the Christmas training at the Mission Home! I had no idea what we were going to do!In the Wrekin District, none of us has had a Christmas while on our Mission yet, so I couldn't even really ask anyone what usually happens. I loved it!
I enjoyed doing the mini Preach My Gospel chase! It looks like my Scripture Chase skills are slightly rusty! I need to start practising properly! I really hope that during this Christmas Season, as we work and go from place to place, that we can find many people that we can render service to and help them learn about the Gospel.

I also really enjoyed the Zone Leader's training. I completely agree with what they said about Obedience and Pride. As our Harvesters say, Everything is underpinned by Obedience! However, just knowing about that does not make it easy to be obedient to every guideline and rule that we have. I really want to make sure that I am as obedient as I can possibly be though. The reason why we have Law is so God can bless us according to our Obedience, and not just us, but also those around us.

What I love about the Gospel, the Plan of Salvation and the Atonement, however, is that we can improve, always! When I went to EFY in 2010, one of my favourite songs had really great lyrics! My favourite part is where it says that "Mistakes of the past don't define you, they refine you" - I am excited for this new year!  I want to bring to pass many things out of my own free will. I want to accept counsel and commandments with a glad and willing heart. In short, I want to serve the Lord with all my Heart, Might, Mind and Strength that at the last day I may stand blameless before God.
We had such a great Sabbath yesterday!
First, the chapel was FULL! Instead of the usual 70 people in Sacrament Meeting, we had about 110! How incredible is that?! A lot of members got their family and friends to come to Church for the Nativity and Carol Services, many of which were Less Active Members and Non-members! After the Meetings there was a Munch and Mingle where I got to talk to some of these Friends of ours! There was a couple that had been to Portugal on holiday so it was easy to get a conversation going with them! And I also had a really good conversation with a lady whose daughter is a member. Apparently, that lady and the daughter still keep in contact with the missionaries that taught and baptized her! I love Missionary work!"

Monday, 17 December 2012

Great week... planting lot of seeds!!

"This has been such a great week! I really enjoyed it and had a great time!
This week I had another opportunity to go on exchange with my great friend Elder Coomes! I am always excited to serve with Elder Coomes as we were in the same District at the MTC, and so, our friendship, trust and faith just makes us see 1000s of miracles!
On Tuesday, our first day together, we spoke to a lot of great people! We were working in an area here in Shrewsbury called Sutton. We were tracting there, and guess what! We didn’t have a single door shut on our faces. In fact, everyone that we spoke to we were able to have a Gospel Conversation with. If our maths was right, we had about 25 quality gospel conversations in the space of an hour or so. I loved it! Even though we weren’t able to get any return appointments, we were able to plant a lot of seeds!
As we were approaching a car that had just pulled into the drive way, the phone rang so I took the call while Elder Coomes approached the man. Turns out that when Elder Coomes first spoke to him, the man actually swore at him and said he’d had a terrible day at work. Elder Coomes asked if there was anything that he could do to help at all, the man’s heart was immediately softened. By the time I actually joined in the conversation the was already smilling and having a great conversation with Elder Coomes.
Also, as we were street contacting in town, we met a lady. The Spirit completely guided our conversation with her. We were able to quickly find out about how she had lost her daughter and her brother, and her marriage had broken up, and how she had turned to Alcohol for comfort. We were able to tell her that she has a Heavenly Father who loves her and knows how strong she is. We gave her the hope that she can see her daughter again and be with her. As we prayed with her, I just felt so much peace and love from Heavenly Father. Hopefully as we visit her, she will want to learn more about the Gospel and take the necessary steps she needs to take to bring her life in harmony with Christ’s teachings.
On Wednesday we also saw a great Miracle together! We were once again Street Contacting. We were making our way to the flat to have some lunch. I just felt impressed to speak to a lady who was walking past us, so I did. She told us that she didn’t believe in God, but she believed in a life after this one. She told us that the only thing anyone can believe in is themselves. We told her about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon, but she told us she thought it was all false and that we could not convert her. As a final try, I bore my testimony of the Book of Mormon. I told her that I know life is not easy. I haven’t gone through the same things as she has, but that as a missionary, life is not easy either! Sometimes things happen, or people do things that demoralize us or just brings us down, but because of the Book of Mormon I have been able to find that Courage to keep going despite what everyone else says or does, because I know that I have a loving Heavenly Father. The lady, then said that maybe what she needs in her life is that courage, to what I said “We can help you with that! When can we come see you tomorrow?” She set up an appointment with us and she was in waiting for us and everything! :D"

Monday, 10 December 2012

District meeting and exchange!!

"So the week started with a great District Meeting from Elder Bunker! I loved it! He is such a great District Leader! I love how humble Elder Bunker is as he teaches the district, and yet at the same time, he is so knowledgeable. The most amazing think is that he already is such a great example of what a missionary should be like, and he is not even a year old!
After the District Meeting I was on an exchange with Elder Watts until Thursday morning. It was really nice to see how he works! He is definitely himself as he speaks to people! In fact, I was able to learn a couple of “tricks” from him to get people to stop and chat before introducing the gospel! It’s fool-proof! Whenever I use them, people always stop for long enough to have a conversation (even if only for about 10 seconds)
We were able to see quite a few miracles together. Last week I had been looking through the Formers in the Area Book and decided to try by a couple of them.
We also spoke to a Jehova’s Witness, and his next door neighbour. Because he was walking his dog, Elder Watts ended up speaking to him while I spoke to his neighbour. We both had really good conversations though! The lady I was speaking with has a son and has gone through some hard times in her previous relationship – that is the reason why she doesn’t believe in God. I pointed out to her that she was a lot stronger due to the experiences she went through, and her eyes kind of changed, almost as if she hadn’t realised that God HAD answered her prayers, but in his own time. I shared with her my testimony of how God answers prayers in his own time, and shared about how reading the scriptures helps me through tough times. The change in her eyes and face made it obvious that the Holy Ghost was working within her.
As for the JW what interests him in his religion is that, in his own words, “we are persecuted! In some countries we aren’t even allowed to speak to people!” I think that once he watches Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration he will realise that Jesus Christ’s real Church on the Earth has suffered even more persecution, as Satan really does not want anyone to know about the truth."

Monday, 3 December 2012

Power of prayer... I love miracles!!

"Although we had a bit of a rough week, it wasn't without miracles or positive events.

Going to the Temple was really refreshing for me. There is just so much peace inside that building! I love to do Endowments! But I have to admit that most of the time, what I am looking forward to, is that peace, quiet and love which can only be felt in the Celestial room. As I think about my feelings and desires, it also makes me think of it as a type for what life is truly about.
As we go through the temple we are reminded of what it feels like to live with our Heavenly Father, it increases our desire to return back to Him. As we go about our lives, there is nothing that we want more than to feel that sense of belonging that come from feeling God's love. Although we have ups and downs, joy or pain, what we cannot wait for is the love, peace and quiet that we will feel when we return to Heavenly Father one day.
I think that one of the reasons why the Temple had to be built, aside from the fact that in there we receive saving ordinances, is that God wants us to keep on having high hopes. He wants to remind us of why we are here, and where we are meant to get to.
I love the temple so much!

The other miracle is something that I am actually quite glad it happened as it didn't actually start as a miracle.
You see, after going to the Temple, the trains to Shrewsbury were all messed up and so we ended up staying the night in Crewe. That was a very long and cold night! I kept waking up because I was cold and because I was sleeping on an armchair. The following day, due to such a terrible night, I was in a bit of a grumpy mood, had a headache, and could not wait for 10:30pm to arrive so I could get to bed.
As we were street contacting, I approached a man in the nicest way possible despite how I felt, however the man took offense for some reason and started cursing at me. Because I was slightly annoyed I was annoyingly persistant even though I knew perfectly that he wouldn't accept the Gospel. After I left the man I just felt anger and tiredness. I'd let the natural man take over, and for that I felt terrible. I felt horrible for the way that I had acted! Whenever I wasn't talking to someone I'd be praying for forgiveness. At night, during my personal prayer I also added the plea that if I ever met the man again, that I would remember him and have the courage to apologise to him.
On Thursday, I was on exchange with Elder Bunker and we had a great day. We spoke to a lot of people and were having a lot of fun. At 9pm, as we were making our way to the flat, Elder Bunker stopped man ahead of us in the middle of a tunnel even though it was dark and noisy. When I finally got close to them, I realised that the man Elder Bunker was trying to speak to was the man who I had enfuriated the day before. God gave me my chance to apologise to him, so I took that chance. After all of that, it felt like a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders! The man actually told me he forgave me and even shook my hand - something he had denied to do the day before.
I just love the power of prayer SO MUCH! I love Miracles!

I am excited for this week! I am hoping to see a lot of changes happen."