Did this week even happen? It seems like I wrote the last update just yesterday. Crikey.
Anyway, let's give credit where credit is due, America was on the money when it decided 'Thanksgiving' was a good idea. This is a holiday that the whole world needs to celebrate. A brother compared the knowledge of the Plan of Salvation to thanksgiving dinner and said the latter just loses out. Alas, after eating at Brother and Sister Leavitt's house last Thursday, this comparison has been put into question. OH MY DAYS. I'm proudly announcing that I managed 3 platefuls and 2 slices of pie. Street contacting for an hour and a half proved difficult. But not as difficult as the meal appointment we had directly after. Haha.
Growing up in the green hills of a north England village, I would watch Hollywood movies and television series' seeing through the scripted scales of these shady reptilian characters, not for one second believing that people like this actually exist. And it wasn't just the dark character's but the ones who would travel the world and have completely ridiculous background stories as to why they were in there particular situation. Having served in London North ward for nearly 2 and a half months now, I've been body checked by reality and can testify solemnly that these people do exist.
It's come to our attention that a certain Antiguan amputee who we visit each week, whose mail we sort through and who makes the most incredible ginger tea, is feared by all honourable drug dealers in the Area. Quote 'they (drug dealers) are all in Herbert's pocket', 'If he goes to church then there really is a God', 'Losing his leg really slowed him down; before he lost it he was the biggest Gangster around here!' I love it. This man now attends church, gives us countless referrals and is working towards the temple. The gospel is the real deal man. Once you know it's true then you ain't got time to be playing the role of an original G. Instead he became an inspirational Home Teacher. Boss. He's still crazy though; Just last Wednesday we helped him load his wheel chair into his Renault Modus as he wanted to take it to the auction (as in sell the car, not his wheel chair). This man has one leg and attempted to navigate the streets of London having not driven for about 2 years. We read him a psalm as he sat in the driver's seat and prayed with him. Heaven knows if he made it. Just kidding, of course he did. He's Herbert West!
And then there is Andreus. A greek man whom we have been visiting and who has been attending church. We believed that he was an investigator to the church and so we began to plan for baptism with him. He responds to this 'suppose I was baptized in your church many years ago', 'well were you andreus?' 'yes I was'. He has been playing us, he wanted to see if the church had changed. The plot thickens, he would not give us his date of birth (as we needed it to find his records) as he thought we would hack his bank account with it. He then began to express the true depths of his paranoia when he claimed that he witnessed the Bishop of the time receiving the tithing slips from the ward as he basked in his power and hackled as if 'possessed by a demon' . He believes that every woman in the ward fancies him and the man is outrageously racist. It came to the point where I just needed to leave this man's house, he'd gone way over the line and so I stood up and announced that we were leaving. Elder Hein felt I should've been a little more polite, which could be true but I feel leaving at that point was more polite than throwing him out of his own window. Ha. We still love him obviously and I hope he comes round one day. But for now we won't be seeing him and it seems he's happy with that also
Our Friend Margarita is a saint, Elder Hein has probably written a great entry about her on his blog as he thinks he's her favourite, so head over there to hear about this spectacular woman.
So Christmas is fast approaching and the mission band gave its first full performance to a sold out chapel of people (no one had to pay to get in, just so you know!). It was such a great experience. The choir sounded wonderful and me and my trusted kajun box were in beat with the band! Woohoo. We performed today at a community centre in Ilford after we had served Christmas dinner to an array of elder and disabled people from the area. It was such a lovely experience. I introduced the Choir and I think the people liked the fact that I'm English very much! President Jordan then appeared as Father Christmas and used his missionary elves to distribute presents to the crowd. This was a pretty unique experience for a missionary to have and I'm really grateful to have been involved. We were assigned a table to serve and eat with and so we got to meet some of Our Father in Heavens choicest of children. It made me think of the talk that Jeffrey R. Holland gave in the recent GC 'I bear witness of that day when loved ones whom we knew to have disabilities in mortality will stand before us glorified and grand, breathtakingly perfect in body and mind. What a thrilling moment that will be!' I know that this is true.
I love you all and I love this mission. Miracles are happening everyday and lives are being change by the Good news we have to share!
Hugs and Handshakes,