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!"