Monday, 28 October 2013

28th October News from the field

I'm into my 5th week! Argh! This last week has been busy as ever!
Last Monday we (Nolan, Hein, Micthell, David) went to Harrods. We needed to do our weekly shop and found very quickly that our budget does not accommodate the purchasing of Harry Potter wands, exotic dogs and silk pyjamas. The place is amazing and obscene at the same time. As we left the great and spacious building we came across a black...Velvet...Ferrari. Yes, Velvet. You know you've made it when you have to take your car to the dry cleaners.
Since I arrived I made a few goals, one of them was to get into ward council. This may seem odd, but Elder Hein has been here nearly 6 months and has not been in one yet. Yesterday was ward council and we were in it! We put forward our ideas about member missionary work and passed around the teaching calendar we had made. It's so that every member of ward council goes teaching at least once a month with the missionaries. President Phillips (hyde park stake) has given us permission to really push this and use his name if ward council members kick up a fuss! He's great. The first person to complain was our Ward Mission Leader! What can you do? I pointed out that this hadn't really come from President Phillips, it's come from President Monson. Which actually means it's come directly from God.

The gospel principles lesson is taught by a recent convert, Mikko. He's a university lecturer who lectures masters' students on Corporate Strategy. The lesson was on Prophets and he posed the question 'how do we follow and sustain the Prophet'.. I've been pondering the stories from the Old Testament lately and Moses parting the Red sea came to mind. The hastening of the work we are seeing now can be likened to that story so well. Imagine being one of the Israelites, standing behind Moses as he did this and think about your reaction as he invited you to cross the red sea. How uncomfortable would you feel? Would you have doubts about how long the water would hold? Would you take your family? Would you have faith enough in Moses and his prophetic call to act on what he has proposed you do?  I've often taken the term Follow the Prophet  too lightly, it's very easy to follow him when the things he asks are easy; reading scriptures, praying etc but when he asks us to exercise our faith not only in him but in God and the power of Christ's Gospel, this is when we sometimes struggle. We're worried about the water not holding. What we sometimes miss is that everything the Prophet does is for the benefit of other people. When it comes to missionary work what we have trouble getting past is the fear of rejection. The wonderful thing about missionary work is that rejection feels good. Believe it or not. If someone rejects the message that we share that's fine, but if we fail to share that message in the first then we have made a pretty big decision for them. People we have found this week are people, who at first we thought wouldn't accept, or they were in too much of a hurry or they won't respond to me. These are little lies that we tell ourselves and you know who supports. The reality is, the people who are prepared will listen no matter how unprepared you might feel. A testimony shared invites the spirit; and the spirit invites them to share the blessings of the Gospel. I know this is true.

So, I have two weeks left here for definite, I have a feeling I'm moving as they need drivers. We have a good pool of investigators right now and we've just started teaching a family and we have another one on wed and Friday! I've wanted to teach a family for ages and now we have 3, the hard work has payed off! Now the real work begins. It's such great fun teaching the gospel and seeing the spirit testify to someone of truth. The other Elders in our area asked us to go and teach Florence who had been dragging her heels to the font for supposedly the second time. Everyone has been under the impression she has been baptised in the Church before but there is no record of it. So we went round (Thursday) and the first thing she said was that she was absolutely not getting baptised. The Spirit told us both that we had to be bold in this lesson and stress the importance of the covenant she may or may not have already made. We went through the baptismal questions with her and she passed with flying colours. She believed she wasn't ready. She thought that because the Church had lost her records that that was a sign from God that she shouldn't be baptised again. See how satan plants these thoughts. So the time came after we had shared some scriptures, when we asked her what her heart was telling her. She broke down, 'I know, I know' she wept. It was amazing, she finally let her mind listen to what God was saying to her, the spirit was so strong. She offered a prayer in which she asked God to make it possible for her to be baptised. She even made me teary! She's on date for this Saturday. I'm going to her house tonight to eat Jollof rice and watch the Prophet of the restoration film! Sweet!
So life is good. My mind is being programmed more like a missionary each day. Which at first is scary but now I'm letting it happen.

I love you all, thankyou for everything.

Hugs and Handshakes

Elder Nolan


haha! I forgot to inform you that the ward had 2 baptisms this weekend, Curtis and Nigel. Great guys. Curtis was asked by the catholic church to become a Priest. Intelligent man. The ward has been in desperate need of preisthood holders and this year the missionaries have baptized 4 potential bishops. Really good men who want to serve. I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost at the baptismal service and was part of the musical item! 

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