Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Bank Holiday... Library closed... late and short email! ;)

"This has been a week full of growing experiences! The Lord definitely knows both mine and Elder Hill’s weaknesses and has been helping us a lot to just grow so much!
I love my calling to train! I think you find out more about yourself when you are training than any other time! I guess that is what it will be like to be raising children. As for my son, he is doing so well! He gets better and better by the day! He calls me his daddy the whole time so you bet I feel like a dad! haha Something I love about Elder Hill however is how teachable he is! He sees Improvements as a way to learn and grow, not as criticism. I am so happy about that as I am always scared I will offend someone’s feelings whenever I give improvements. He also understands the WHY behind the things we do. He understands that every single principle we learn is there for a reason and can help our investigators get where the Lord wants them to get.
Our flat is spotless! <3 You should have seen our half hour cleaning yesterday! We were machines!But neither of us is brave enough to even try to clean the microwave :/ BLEURGH! haha
I am also having some of the best companionship studies because him and I keep on speaking about the things we have learnt throughout the day. I am so happy to have Elder Hill as my new companion!"

Thursday, 28 March 2013

In Ashton 2 with... my son Elder Hill!

"I am still in Ashton 2! However, Elder Lesueur has moved in the Chorley Stake. My new companion is my new born son Elder Hill from Layton, Utah! He is just as tall as me. xD He is a basketball player. He is SUPER spiritual! He is always looking for ways that we can help others and has CRAZY AMMOUNTS OF FAITH! Oh my goodness! It is so good to be around someone with so much faith! :D
I'm so grateful for the opportunity to train Elder Hill! I am so excited for our time together! We have been together for nearly 24 hours now and I already love him! He is so excited about the Lord's work! He is very excited about working with the members and so I just know that Ashton 2 is going to keep on seeing Miracles happen.

If that wasn't good enough, I get to have my trainer in my Zone as well! So that's three generations in one Zone! I am so excited! Wow!

As I have spent some time speaking to Elder Hill, it has already reminded me of what I felt like and the sort of person I was when I first got to the mission. I have changed so much. The Lord has changed me so much! I feel comfortable in situations that 1 year ago would have terrified me. I love speaking to people, and I love going to bed at 10:30pm!

I did love my 6 weeks with my great friend Elder LeSueur here in Ashton 2 though. We were blessed to see great Miracles happen with J., T. and M.'s baptisms. They are all so solid as well!

One of the greatest Miracles this week though was on Sunday. As we were seating in the chapel waiting for Sacrament Meeting to start, Elder LeSueur and I look to the side and B. and B. are standing at the entrance!! We met both of them during my first week here and they said they'd like to come to church someday. There they were! 5 weeks later! They loved it and they said they were really glad that they made it to church.

I am excited for this transfer! Hopefully I get to spend 2 transfers with my son as this is only a 5 week transfer... But whatever the Lord has instore for both of us, "come what may and Love it"!"

From right to left: Elder Hill (Elder Pereira's son), Elder Pereira, Elder Lesueur...

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Elder Pereira's family would like to apologise for not updating his blog in 8 months, but we promise to be much better at keeping you updates with what's going on in his mission from now on!

Monday, 18 March 2013

The Gospel is true! :D

"This has been quite a crazy week! In a good sense though! I am just so happy to be a missionary! It was my 10 month mark yesterday... It is weird to think that one day I won't be doing this anymore. Well, not as rigidly as I am right now anyway. I love my mission. I don't want to stop being a missionary. I just keep thinking each day that I have to work that much harder, be that much more diligent and obedient, and speak to many more people. The Gospel is true! :D
Our dated Investigator, M., is amazing! Even though she is 9 she sounds like a 20 year old. Every time that we go over the lessons with her, either she already knows it or she will try to understand it. She asks such good questions as well! I see exactly why the Lord wants us to be as humble as a little child! She is so teachable! And, if we ask her if she has any questions, she does, which always gives us something to study about the next day. She is starving for knowledge! She is such a good example.
During Weekly Planning we were able to put into practice skills that we had learnt to help us have a better revelatory experience than we’d previously had. As we put these new skills into practice, the Lord blessed us with a referral! I love referrals!
The other piece of training that we really wanted to apply was the Member Lessons Skills, but, to do that we needed to meet with people!
Our first opportunity was at the M’s home. We shared with them the message of the Restoration of the Gospel and there was such a sweet Spirit in the home! We invited them to renew their testimony of the Book of Mormon often, and the next time we go over we will definitely make sure we sow and harvest and sow some more! I am sure that is because we were working with one heart and one mind, to build the Faith of all those around us rather than just sharing a nice spiritual thought.
We also had the opportunity to visit the W.’s on Sunday evening and share a Message with them. Oh yeah! And they had T. (Our Recent Convert) over! How great is that?! We were planning to share with them about the Plan of Salvation, but as we got talking about Preach My Gospel, we felt the need to adapt the lesson slightly. We spoke a little bit about “Teach when you find. Find when you teach” and about how people are accustomed to brief and powerful statements. Once again, there was a really sweet Spirit in the room as we shared testimonies with one another.
But my favourite part of the week had to be Sacrament Meeting. I don’t know why, but as a Missionary I just keep on loving church meetings more and more! The talks in Sacrament meeting were given by Bro Lowe, Sister Longmore and Brother Bell. I absolutely loved Bro Bell’s talk, as did everyone else. I don’t think I have ever felt the Spirit so strong in a sacrament meeting before, but it was such an amazing talk that even the children were listening. Yesterday, throughout the whole Sabbath day, I really learnt about who I am, about who I need to become like and how I can do it. I thought I already knew the answer to those questions, but turns out that when you think you know something the Lord humbles you down to the dust and tells you need to become better.
I love the Plan of Happiness so much! I am so glad that I can be sharing it with others at this time."

Monday, 11 March 2013

This is the Lord's work!

"What a great week it has been!
On Monday I had the opportunity to teach my very first Restoration lesson in PORTUGUESE! It was kind of crazy as the words at first were simply not coming out, but as I relied on the Lord and kept a prayer in my heart, we were able to teach a man and his two children about the Restoration of the Gospel. We are seeing them 3 again tonight so that should be exciting!
Tuesday started out with a huge District Meeting! We have half the Zone in the District, but I love it! We spoke about listening to our investigators and the Spirit as we teach, as well as developing love for those whom we work with so that they can feel like they can talk to us. Then I went on exchange with Elder Adair!
The exchange with Elder Adair went pretty well! On my first day there we went to a Park to do some park contacting as the sun was out and we knew it would be full of people. We met such an amazing man. When I said hello to him, he actually turned around and came over to us. He was in the park with his daughter and so we knew that we could talk about how the Gospel blesses family. He seems so solid and I am sure that when the Elders in Ashton 1 meet with him again he will continue to be amazing.
When I got back from the exchange, I had a wonderful surprise! T. and J. were going to the Temple on Thursday! It was so great to hear from them about how they enjoyed their experiences there and how they felt the peace and love that comes from God.
But my favourite part of the week was definitely Sunday! I just love how Sundays usually have so many Miracles!
In the morning, when we went to pick G. up from his house, his mother told us that when we got back she wanted to talk to us about her niece, so I was pretty interested about that. After church, when we got to G.’s house, his mum told us that her niece wanted to be baptized! Her niece then came downstairs, she is Portuguese. When her husband heard that the niece wanted to be baptized he said “A., you do realise that if you get baptized you have to go to church every week, right?” to which she replied “I can do that!” We are going to go see her tomorrow and I am so excited about it! Now I just need some Portuguese copies of the Book of Mormon! 
Yesterday I also receive a letter from my best friend serving in the Sierra Leone Mission, who I hadn’t heard from for 10 months! He hadn’t received any of the 3 letters I had sent. Turns out that that letter was the third letter he was sending me, but it was the first I got! It was so good to hear his testimony and his experiences from his missionary service in Africa!
It is so great to know that this is the Lord’s work!"

Current district!
Going clockwise: Sisters Allston, Orr, Ballantine, Longmore and Dunn; Elders Pereira, Lesueur, Webb, Adair, Omot and Miranda. Elder Miranda is the one at the bottom

Monday, 4 March 2013

God works in mysterious ways!

"Wow! What a week! Both T. and J. were able to get baptised by the end of the week even though it meant we had to see them EVERY SINGLE DAY! It was great though. It helped me to build strong relationships with them both and it became easier to know that they truly were converted to the Gospel.
Quite a lot of people showed up to the baptism! There were some of J.'s friends, T.'s boyfriend, about 8 other missionaries :P and President and Sister Preston! There were also quite a few members there, and it all went SO smoothly! :D I am so happy! I love members so much! Their baptisms were the smoothest baptism I have ever been in and the most spiritual also! I loved it so much. I have to admit something, back at home I wasn’t a big fan of going to baptismal services. I get what has changed though. I have realised that it is NEVER the same. Each time, there is a different child of God coming back to their Father. As I have worked with E. and J. in Barrow, and T. and J. here in Ashton, I have been able to enjoy their services not so much because of the organization that I put into it, but because like Alma, ‘when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy’. I love all 4 of those people so much!
On Sunday, I had the opportunity and privilege to confirm and give the gift of the Holy Ghost to J. and participate in T.’s confirmation also. It is such a blessing to have the Priesthood. You never really understand what the Priesthood is, and its blessings and power, until you use it. There is nothing like clearing your mind up and letting the Lord speak through you to give a blessing to one of His children.
J. brought her best friend to the baptism. She also took her to church the next day! In Gospel Principles, the teacher started the lesson by asking what miracles everyone had seen this past week and J.'s friend said that it had been her first time watching a baptism so that was something very special to her. She also said that J., had told her about how she felt as she was baptized and that she would like to feel like that also. Wow! What example J. was to me at that point! She had just been baptized and she was already standing as a witness of God to her friend. We have arranged to meet her at J.’s place this Thursday and I am really looking forward to it!
Elder Lesueur and I didn’t stop seeing miracles at the end of church meetings. They kept happening throughout the day. Now these are slightly crazy miracles - Aren’t they always – and I truly believe that what it says in Alma 17:3 is true! When we fast and pray, we can have the spirit of prophecy and revelation!
After the meetings, as we were still fasting we decided to do a couple of hours of tracting. We went by a Potential Investigator’s home who wasn’t actually home. So we spoke to all her neighbours who lived in her street. Nothing came out of it. So we started making our way back to the flat while street contacting. At one point, Elder Lesueur said hello to a lady who was pushing a pram and had two African children with her. As I looked up, in my mind I had kind of a flashback. Just the day before we had been looking through the Area Book and some progress records we had found in a drawer. While I was looking through the Area book, I stopped on a lady called S.’s record, and Elder Lesueur looked at the Area book and said ‘I am just reading about S.! Apparently she has two African foster children’. So, back to Sunday while finding, when Elder Lesueur said hello to this lady, I immediately knew who she was and did the craziest thing of all. I asked her ‘Have you ever spoken to missionaries before?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Is your name S.?!’ ‘Yes…’ ‘No way! S. God wanted us to meet today!’ It was slightly mad! But God works in mysterious ways.
Then, yesterday, we went to see a family we hadn’t seen all week. After seeing them, we had made plans to try by a few PIs and Las that lived in the area. As we were walking to one of the houses, I saw a street that I felt really good about, but we were already heading somewhere else. We knocked at the LA’s home and got no reply. So we were about to head somewhere else but the Spirit kept telling me we should go back and tract the other street I had felt good about. So we did! When we got to the street I relied on my Companion’s spiritual sensitivity to decide which side to tract as I asked him whether we should go for even or odd numbers. He chose evens and for a while I thought we were wasting our time in that street. In fact, it wasn’t until the second from last door that anything good happened!
We knocked at the second from last door, and as I was close to the door I could hear what was going on inside. A lady looked from the window and started saying things like ‘Those flippin’ Jehova’s Witnesses! What are they doing knocking on my door on a Sunday?!’ I had to think fast before she opened the door. When she did, she had her index finger up and was about to speak when I interrupted her and said ‘We are not the Jehova’s witnesses!’ She was absolutely confounded and told me to go ahead. We had the most amazing conversation with her! She is only 21 and still remembered a girl from school that was a Mormon! She had also heard of “the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints” but had never connected them with Mormons which I thought was really funny. Even though she started the conversation by saying she didn’t believe in God, we managed to break the ice and develop a good and solid enough relationship for her to admit to us that she hoped there was something else after death. We bore testimony and let her know that she can receive an answer for herself. We set up an appointment with her for Friday without any struggle at all, and we really feel she will be amazing!
I love receiving Inspiration from the Lord! Every time I do, I am thankful that the Lord placed me with Elder Matute who truly helped me to recognize promptings of the Spirit and to actually follow them. The Gospel is amazing! I love my mission so much! And more than anything, I love my companion, my investigators, my recent converts and the members I work with. I love it."

Baptism of J. and T. with Elder Lesueur and Elder Pereira

Monday, 25 February 2013

Feeling super rough all week!!

"Alright! It's been kind of a crazy week! My cold developed into a high fever on Saturday (39C) and I have just been feeling super rough all week, but so has half of the Zone! Haha! The Zone Leaders are both sick (I think they made me sick last Monday), Elder McMeikan is sick, the Sisters in Bolton are sick... Everyone is sick! :P We also had a Multi-Zone Training with Elder Kerr which was FANTASTIC! I really enjoyed it! By the end of the 5 hours all everyone spoke about was love :S But it was such a spiritual meeting! I learnt quite a bit!
Tomorrow I will be going on exchange with Elder Omot! He is from Ethiopia.
But yeah... It's been kind of a slow week as I haven't been feeling the greatest, but this week will be great! :)
I am so lost when it comes to buses! I don’t think I will ever be able to get the hang of it… I’m supposed to be follow up training, but I almost feel like a brand new missionary again because of how lost I get here in the city! We are going on exchange tomorrow, and guess what… I am staying here in Ashton 2 with Elder Omot! I think we will have a lot of fun trying to figure out which buses to get! I’ve already told Elder Lesueur that if when he gets back he cannot find me, I will probably be on the other side of Manchester completely lost! hahaha
The work here in Ashton 2 is progressing really well! Yesterday at church we were able to see 3 of our investigators at church, and a few recent converts too. In fact, let me tell you a little bit about both of our dated investigators.
T., is amazing! She is so excited to be baptized this coming Saturday! She just cannot wait for it! And we explained to her last Thursday that if she was to still get baptized on the 2nd of March, we had to see her everyday. She willingly accepted that! She loves the Gospel! And she accepts any commitment we give her because she knows it comes from God! She is absolutely incredible! I am so excited for her. Then there is J., a recent convert's daughter. She is also really excited to be baptized!
I also had the opportunity to attend my first Ward Council since Barrow, 4.5 months ago! And what a Ward Council! I really enjoyed!  It’s kind of crazy how much work the ward actually puts into helping members and non-members alike.

Also, on Saturday because of my fever I asked Elder Lesueur for a Priesthood Blessing. During the blessing Elder Lesueur said something along the lines of ‘that you may have a timely recovery’. Now, whenever I ask for a Priesthood Blessing I’m hoping the person will just say ‘Be healed’ because I hate being sick! So when Elder Lesueur said that, I started pondering about it, and 2 Nephi 25:23 came to my thoughts, about how grace is what saves us ‘after all we can do’. I realised that if I wanted God to heal me I couldn’t just expect to be healed without doing anything, I had to do my part. That included, taking medicine, place a damp cloth on my head to keep the fever down, etc. And why did I want to be healed so badly? So that I could go to church the next day, and keep teaching our investigators. As I did my part and trusted in the Lord, yesterday I was feeling well enough to go to PEC, Ward Council, Church and teach both J. and T. I love how the Lord works!"

Monday, 18 February 2013

Getting to know the EMM President's Home Ward!

"It seems like I only just wrote you a couple of days ago! But I guess that I can always find some things to talk about!
I finally got to meet the ward! Apparently there are usually a little bit more people than there were yesterday, but it seems like a nice sized ward! It was really funny to see how much people were excited to have Sister Missionaries in the ward, but hopefully I can win their love too!;) Sacrament meeting was incredibly smooth.
Gospel Principles was interesting! Turns out that only one of the investigators speaks English! So the Sisters were having a slightly hard time teaching the class because there was no participation going on. Bless them! They did a great job though!
In Priesthood I got an opportunity to translate the meeting into Portuguese. But oh my goodness! I hadn’t translated anything into Portuguese in over 9 months! It reminded me of back at home when I used to translate Sacrament Meeting into Portuguese, and why it was that we always had a glass of water by us! It was great though! I do love to speak my mother language! Even if yesterday I was making some crazy mistakes and struggling to remember Gospel words!
We have some good investigators and recent converts here! There’s a lady that was there at church who is going to be baptized on the 2nd of March! She is so excited! She thought it was this coming Saturday and so she was already telling everyone about it! She is from Nigeria, and she made her own way to church. I think she is pretty committed! I am very excited!
Elder Lesueur is so good! He is always trying to improve which is great! And he is very humble and teachable. On Saturday we had our first opportunity to Roleplay together and I really enjoyed it. He doesn’t talk too little or two long. We are able to have a balance between the two and have unity. It’s great!
It’s weird to think that on my first transfer I could barely say two sentences before looking at Elder Leimgrub because I had no clue what to say, but now I struggle to stop talking once I get going! I trust him though, and I know Elder Lesueur will be such an incredible missionary.
I truly believe that when you magnify your calling, your calling magnifies you. I love this work so much! I know that the Lord is with us."

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Reporting from... Aston 2nd Ward!

"I am so excited for this transfer! I am very sad to have left Shrewsbury, but I am excited to serve here in Ashton 2 – or Zion as I like to call it now! The last three transfers were a great opportunity to do a lot of learning and growing, and I will forever remember the things I learned there.  My new companion is Elder Lesueur from Arizona, USA. He is only 6 weeks old so I am follow-up training again. Elder Lesueur seems like a fantastic missionary! It’s fun to be follow-up training and doing 2 hours of Companion Study again! But let’s see… This last week was my last chance to give it my all in Shrewsbury, so we definitely did that!

First of all, two Mondays ago, during our p-day, Elder Debenham and I managed to find our incredible investigator, P., again! Hopefully the elders there wont lose contact with him again and will help him to be baptized. Later on that week we taught him about the 10 commandments and Keeping the Sabbath day holy. When we asked him if he would live it all, he said “Let me pray about it”. And then went on to promise God to keep – not try to keep – His commandments. I will remember P. forever!
I also passed my theory test! I felt so relieved after it. Like, seriously, I was getting a headache because I was so nervous! But it is all ok, and we might even have found an amazing Investigator, who used to be a Driving Instructor and spoke to us after pretending that he was going to run over us. Yes, I was scared when he kept moving his car onto our direction…
My favourite part of the week though, was applying what the Zone Leaders taught us at the Zone Meeting and receiving 12 referrals! I had never received that many referrals in the previous 8 months of my mission! It was incredible. Member work is so important, and the fact that Ashton 2 has a goal of receiving 400 referrals this year makes me excited! Member work is so important. I don’t think I had quite realised how much we could actually do to help members become more missionary minded, but now I know how to, and even found scriptural evidence to support it! “And now it came to pass that I, Enos, went about among the people of Nephi, prophesying of things to come, and testifying of the things which I had heard and seen. And I bear record that the people of Nephi did seek diligently to restore the Lamanites unto the true faith in God.” It was as Enos went about prophesying and testifying to the people of Nephi (or the people of the church) that the Nephites (or the people of the church) tried to restore the Lamanites to the knowledge of God.
When I look at Elder Lesueur I can kind of imagine myself at the end of my first transfer! At the moment he is slightly quiet when talking to people on the street, but so was I! And I am sure that if my mum saw me talking to people on the street as if I’d always known them she probably wouldn’t even recognize me! I love how much a mission helps us grow. I remember on my exchange with Elder Francis back in my first transfer, he told me that it is not so much that the mission changes us, it just magnifies the Christlike qualities already within us."

Monday, 4 February 2013

"For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things"

"We seriously got all sorts of things happening!
Let’s start from the beginning though.
On Monday we taught our Investigator the Plan of Salvation Part I which went really well I believe! We taught her in the Library and she seems to understand things alright. During our lesson though, a member of staff here in the library asked to speak to me and told us off for approaching people in the Library. I explained to her that we hadn’t approached our investigator in the library, it was just a warm place where we agreed to meet. The lady was speaking quite loud, but she let us be once she realized that we weren’t approaching people in the library.
On Tuesday we saw a great Miracle happen! Before going to a tea appointment we decided to try by a Potential Investigator from Romania. He was in and invited us in. We ended up teaching him, his girlfriend and her daughter! They seem pretty promising! The lady and the lady’s daughter are actually from Bulgaria! Elder Miranda and I will be visiting them tomorrow so I am excited!
Wednesday Miracle was that we managed to get two less active young men to Mutual! They were doing remote controlled car racing and I think both of them had a great time!
Thursday was just a blast! Although it did start with quite an adventure! Elder Debenham and I got to Piccadilly at 8:10am but only got to the chapel at 10:15am. Why? Because we got on the 43 bus instead of the 101 which got us completely lost, but we were rescued by Elders Cox and White.
I loved playing Sports with all the missionaries, but I have to admit, it was surprisingly strange to do it, and time went incredibly slowly! Even though I had a lot of fun at Sports Day it was also the longest day of my mission!
I got to see Elder Matute which I was really happy about. It was good to hear about all the amazing Miracles him and Elder Honour saw up there in the last 4 months. I think that the best part of Sports Day was definitely the catching up – and the volleyball!
Saturday… Wow… Definitely what made the week so weird! I feel like Satan was trying to step on us and squish us all day! We met a man who seemed to have been possessed by some kind of evil spirit. Also, Elder Debenham got threatened “do you want a slap?” An old man swore at us and when he shut the door almost hit Elder Debenham’s face. Then his neighbour started shouting at us because we were knocking on elderly people’s homes on the Weekend. Yet another man seemed possessed when he walked past us and started shouting abuse at us and saying things like “Devil worshippers”.
But the one thing that was really sad on Saturday was that a Less Active Member's brother passed away at age 38. We spoke to her on the phone and she was really upset. However, she bore testimony to us that she knows he will go to a better place and that he will be with their grandma.
It’s always so weird to think what kinds of things I am exposed to as a missionary even though I am only 19, but I thank the Lord so much for this opportunity to serve him, experience life and grow.
Sunday was amazing though! I think it was one of my favourite Sundays EVER.
Testimony Meeting was all about the scriptures and encouraging youth to stay active. It was brilliant! There were three members that spoke to us about friends they have that they are sharing the Gospel with so we asked them to invite their friends to meet with us. We then helped to teach a Primary lesson and it was all about the First Vision. We even sang Joseph Smith’s First Prayer with them!
I love Shrewsbury so much!"

Monday, 28 January 2013

Some weeks are rough, but... miracles always happen!

"Oh my goodness, some weeks are so rough! I don’t think that I have had so many appointments fall through in a week! I always get quite upset when on paper it looks like it will be an amazing week, but then everything goes against your plans. But of course, I’ll focus on the bright side of life and the amazing experiences that we have had here in Shrewsbury this week!
Yesterday at church I had such a blast! I absolutely love the ward! Sometimes I feel tempted to ask the Lord to let me stay here another transfer, but I haven’t done so because I’m trying to live His will instead of mine. But this is definitely a ward that I will visit ASAP after my mission!
Bishop’s wife asked us to come into the Youth Sunday School class as the lesson was about teaching by the Spirit. There is a young man that shared an experience he had during the week as he followed the Spirit. It’s so good to see that even though the Youth here is pretty small, they all have strong testimonies. I loved spending time with the youth and just listening to their thoughts. We also had an opportunity during the lesson to share experiences we have had as missionaries to teach by the Spirit which I loved, because I just LOVE sharing Miracles! The Youth also got some time at the end to ask us questions, which was a lot of fun.
Since I have gone through the Temple, things have started making a lot more sense! Through my Doctrine and Covenants study, one of the key things I have been able to learn was that Missionary Work is the way to receive eternal life.
As we fulfil His Purpose, we fulfil our Potential” – His Purpose is to bring to pass our immortality and Eternal Life. Immortality has already been given to us, but Eternal Life is up to us. So how do we obtain Eternal Life?
Well, we need to become blameless before God. One of the first things I learned was that I can become clean of the blood and sins of this generation and that is, from what I have been able to gather from the scriptures, the only way that we can be truly saved. Now, the only way that we can become clean of the blood of this generation is by preaching the Gospel to everyone. That is why the first few sections in the D&C repeat the same thing over, and over, and over again! Preach the Gospel and it will bring you Joy. Preach the Gospel and you treasure up salvation to your Soul. And so on.
Missionary work IS the Gospel. Without it we cannot be saved. It becomes the duty of those who have been warned to warn others. This knowledge that I have gained will definitely change the course of my whole life as I want to be a missionary forever and not just 2 years.
I am very excited for this week! I will get to see my brother Elder Matute at Sports day! And of course, I will see a lot of Miracles happen here in Shrewsbury."

Monday, 21 January 2013

From snowy Shrewsbury

"What a mad week it has been! I would have never guessed it would have snowed this much even though it had already snowed last Sunday!
Anyway, this week despite it being very cold has been a great week! I finally saw Elder Packer’s talk about all weather being good weather being put into action! On Friday was when it really started snowing heavy here in Shrewsbury. Elder Debenham and I had made plans to go to a little town after lunch however, so we got on the train anyway. While we were on the train we got a phone call from Elder Cox telling us to try and see as many members and Less Active Members as possible, and stay out of the cold. Too late! We were heading into a town which has a total of 4 members! 3 of those are Less Active members who I have never met. When we got to Wem we tried to find the LA’s homes but only 1 of them actually existed! We decided to knock on 10 doors on each side of the house. By the 4th door we knocked, this lady and her husband invited us in for a hot chocolate because of the snow. It was great! They put our coats by the heaters, they had the fire on, and the hot chocolate was pretty fantastic too! This couple, plus their daughter, are believers of the Bible, and even though they go to a Baptist church, they don’t really say they are part of any denomination. Although they had asked us not to preach to them, soon enough they asked us why it was that we became Mormons. Of course, we shared with them about the Restoration! It went so well! I definitely think that Elder Debenham and I were led by the Spirit as it went so smoothly!

I am excited for the Miracles that will happen here in Shrewsbury. Even if I don’t get to reap any fruits myself, we are planting seeds like there is no tomorrow! It has been a fantastic week! Despite the weather, my heart is still warm and I love Shrewsbury. I love missionary work so much!"
After church: one of the counsellors in YMs, Steph and some of the youth in the ward :) Namely: Jared, Elyse, Jack, Josh and Eve

Monday, 14 January 2013

A God of miracles!

"God lives! And He is most definitely a God of Miracles!
So first of all, let me tell you a little bit about P.! He is an Investigator that approached Elder Desir and I. He was incredible! By the second lesson we had with him, he’d already read from 1st Nephi to Jacob! However, when we were supposed to meet him on Friday, after transfers, he didn’t show up so I didn’t speak about him at all in my last letter to you. My whole family asked me about him though and I had to tell them we lost contact with him, as he does not have a phone, and we don’t know his address. I finished my email to my family telling them that I knew a Miracle would happen and we would get to teach him again someday. What I didn’t realise was how quickly this Miracle would happen! As soon as we step out of the Library, we saw P.! We spoke to him and he told us that he had been sick on Friday and asked God to let us know he wouldn’t make it. So this past week we were able to meet with him twice more. We taught him the Gospel of Jesus Christ and he understood it all pretty well, in fact, he was really excited to go home and pray for repentance so that he could feel all his burdens be taken away. Then when we saw him again we taught him about the Word of Wisdom, and let me tell you something… It was amazing! Unfortunately he wasn’t able to make it to Church  but God obviously wants him to keep meeting with us as we got to the Library and who happened to be sitting just behind us? P.!
We see Miracles every day! It is so great! And I have been able to learn a lot of amazing things about the Lord during this week. For example, on Thursday we had a free evening without any appointments so we decided we would go tract. During Weekly Planning Elder Debenham and I prayed for the Lord to give us a street to work on, and we both felt good about a street. Before we went to the street however, we had a tea appointment at some members’ home which was on the other side of town. It was alright though, or so we thought, because those members ALWAYS offer us a lift. Not this time though. We both felt terrible as we would never be able to make it to the road on time by walking, but neither of us was able to muster the courage to ask the members for a lift either. So we decided to street contact back to the flat. We spoke to two amazing women!
One of them just lost her dad 2 weeks ago, doesn’t believe in God, and has lost 2 children to adoption. She must be in her early 20s. We had an amazing conversation with her and the Spirit was so strong! We set up an appointment with her and should be seeing her tonight.
The second woman when we first started speaking to her, she was very atheist, but by the end of the conversation, she came out as an agnostic who is very close to believing in something. The moment that I could see in her eyes the spirit working within her was when we spoke about the Pre-existence and how we accepted God’s plan for us. Such an amazing experience! We confirmed the appointment with her yesterday and she is very excited to see us again.
The thing that I learnt from these experiences was that God inspired us with the name of a street because we asked for it, and we were trying to bring to pass righteousness out of our own free will, but even though he gave us an answer to our prayer, we forgot to ask him that His will be done. Obviously, His will was that we would meet those two ladies.
Another great Miracle I saw this week was during my exchange with Elder Cox. We had an appointment at the library with a young man who seemed amazing. While we were waiting for him, we were contacting people, one on each side of the road. I tried to stop a young man carrying a suitcase, and his response was “I will be back!” which I just dismissed really because no one ever comes back. However, he came back! I don’t know why I have so little Faith at times! There ARE people prepared! I spoke to him for a while and he asked me if it would be ok to ask me a few questions that he always thinks about when he sees us walking about but never had the chance to ask. When we realised that first young man wouldn’t show up, we invited him to come to the library with us. He was about to get a train to go see his girlfriend in Oxford but he said she could wait. At the library he asked us A LOT of questions, and really he answered most of them himself! When we told him what we do as missionaries, he asked if he could have a copy of the Book of Mormon so that he could read on his train journey. It was amazing! My favourite bit however, was when it was obvious that the Holy Ghost was working through the Light of Christ within him."

Monday, 7 January 2013


"These last 3 days with Elder Debenham have been amazing so far! I don’t think I have ever biked so much in my whole life! If you are wondering why I had never biked so much before, it was mainly due to the fact that I had never understood how bike contacting was supposed to work until Elder Debenham got here. Now, bike contacting is definitely my favourite contacting style – even if I still find it hard to speak properly after cycling up all the hills here in Shrewsbury.
The first miracle I’d like to share is about a young man. He must be in his early 20s and is a pretty average person. Well, I was on the phone speaking to a Less-Active Member so Elder Debenham went off to some tracting and street contacting. He stopped young man and had an amazing conversation with him, about how families can be together forever which he was really happy to hear! When I joined the conversation they were setting up an appointment – a super solid one in fact – and then before leaving, we prayed with him. We actually invited him to pray, but he said he was slightly scared but he would do it Monday. So we are seeing him today! Should be amazing!
Then, the very next day, we had my favourite Miracle of all! There was this boy cycling towards us so we say hello and he immediately stops! It caught me off guard!  He was also in his early 20s. We asked him if he had any religious beliefs at all and he said “I’ve read the Bible, but I don’t think I have enough Knowledge and Information to know which church is true”. I thought he might be quoting Joseph Smith or something! That reply helped us to briefly teach him about the Restoration and the Book of Mormon. He is very excited to meet with us on Wednesday! The best is still to come though. As we were saying goodbye, I explained we would love to leave with a prayer, and explained how we pray. Before I even had the chance to say “But I can say the prayer today”, he said “So you want me to pray?” and prayed right there and then. Elder Debenham and I could not believe what had just happened when the young man rode off, and we had to thank God for such a great Miracle and call Elders Cox and Coomes to share this amazing Miracle.
Elder Debenham and I are getting along so well! We have a great desire to see Miracles happen, and to find those who will receive us."

Thursday, 3 January 2013

In Shrewsbury with.... Elder Debenham!

"My new companion is... Elder Debenham! From Sandy, Utah! He is great! Such a good Missionary! 
“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”
I think that that quote clearly represents how I have felt this past week!
This past week was the best of times! It was so great to see and speak to my family again! It was really strange though… 7 months is a lot longer than what it sounds like! And the one hour went a lot faster than I thought it would. Anyway, it was good to catch up with them and see how they were all doing. I had a lot of laughs while speaking to them, and even though I think I have changed quite a bit since I have left home, I think I’m still myself in the sense that it wasn’t awkward speaking to my family at all.
Spending Christmas and New Years with the members here in Shrewsbury was a lot different to what Christmas and New Years were like back at home! But I truly enjoyed that opportunity to build and strengthen relationships with members here. I have met people who I had never met before, who are less active members of the ward, and I think the members also got to know Elder Desir and I in a more personal level.
This past week was also the worst of times. Obviously, every time you or your companion moves away it is a sad event. You learn to love them and trust them. They are your best friends, your brothers even! And then you are split up. Very sad indeed! But luckily enough, we always get a new best friend also! Some things that I loved about serving with Elder Desir are that he is very fun, and he built very strong relationships with the members.
But what shook my week the most was the news that I got yesterday. While I was in Barrow, Elders Leimgrub and Matute, and I taught Sister Jenny Singleton and helped her to progress to the waters of baptism. In fact, she was the very first person that I taught when I got to Barrow! I grew very close to her and the rest of her family. It wasn’t always easy for her but she had a pure heart and good desires. However, Jenny had been in a fight against cancer for the last year or so, and even lived 10 months longer than what the doctors expected her to survive. Yesterday I found out that Sister Jenny Singleton passed away last Saturday. It was really hard for me when I heard the news! She was such a good lady, and like I said, during the teaching process I grew very close to her and her family. As I kept thinking about her, I realised that maybe it was for the good. Now she isn’t suffering anymore! In 2 Nephi 2 it talks about how God prolongs the days of Men so that they can repent and that is exactly what happened with Jenny. She lived long enough to be baptized, help reactivate her family, and now she has returned to the God who gave her life, and she can be with her grandson once again. I am so thankful that we have the plan of Salvation! God is definitely a loving God!
Elder Debenham is such a good missionary! Obviously we haven’t had much time together yet, but he KNOWS how to do bike contacting! I have never gone backwards and forwards so much in such a short amount of time and space! I was feeling dizzy almost! But he is great. He is very personable and likable. He teaches simply and clearly. And we are getting along very well indeed! It seems that we have a lot of the same likes and dislikes, and we have been able to be completely honest with each other so far.
Another Miracle that I would like to share is about a man called P. So, last Thursday, during our lunch break during Weekly Planning, Elder Desir and I needed to pick something up from town so we quickly biked there and back. In town, while Elder Desir was putting his helmet on, a man approached me and started asking me questions about myself and the church. I then found out that he’d been taught by missionaries before (about 10 years ago) and that he had read the Book of Mormon! We were in a rush so we set up an appointment with him for Saturday at the Park. He doesn’t own a phone and told us he lives in the hills so we had no way of contacting him… I was a bit suspicious!
On Saturday, we got to the park 15mins early, and guess who was there waiting for us… P.! We taught him the Restoration lesson and he pretty much remembered it all still. He accepted to be baptized, and we invited him to read from 2 Ne 31.
We then met him at the Park again on Monday. When we sat down we asked him if he’d read from the BoM and he said he read a chapter or two. When I asked him which chapters, he said “Nephi 1, Nephi 2 and… Jacob.” Those weren’t even chapters! They were books! But I decided to asked him what he had learned from his reading. This was his response: “Well, in one of the Nephis it talks about ‘A Bible, a Bible, we need no more Bible’ and that really struck me because that is how I used to think. And in Jacob, I think, it talks about a vineyard and how the Lord plucks branches and plants them somewhere else, and grafts them again and just gives them lots of chances. That really struck me because that is what the Lord is doing with me”
I was absolutely dumbfounded! Not only did he actually read the first 3 books of the Book of Mormon, but one the bits he really liked was Jacob 5, the Allegory of the Olive Trees?! He is such a golden investigator!"
Elder Pereira and Elder Debenham