NFN (Normal For Norfolk)
Johnson, Torres, Nolan
The first photo was taken at 6. 15 this morning hence the tired eyes
How are you?
This week has been somewhat of a mixed bag, filled with miracles, proud moments and reality checks. I'll start with a miracle; On Monday we were teaching at the chapel, a catholic woman who is really struggling to accept the apostasy. As, the conversation was getting a little heated whilst discussing the 8th chapter of Moroni, my heart said a quick prayer that the contention would cease, just as that prayer was concluded we see a shining, Chinese smile searching for a place to pray beam at us through the front door of the Church. We beckoned her in and as drew closer we could all sense a Spirit of peace and calm, reminiscent of a new born baby. She tells us her name is Sabrina and that she has looked at the church a few times as she has walked to university and wanted to know if she could join us for worship. As we lifted our jaws from off the floor we swapped details and arranged to meet the next day. Since then we have been teaching her the restoration, (we even watched the film in Chinese) and she has accepted the challenge to be baptised on Oct 25th!
The proud moment of this week was Sunday, sacrament meeting. We came into the Chapel at 9.25 to see Neil and Buddy sat together ready to pass the sacrament for the first time. It was so beautiful. There was only one problem; Neil hadn't received the priesthood yet! We told Bishop; luckily Neil was sustained last week, so bishop grabbed him and told us to follow! We frog marched Neil to Bishops office, sat him down and conferred upon him the Aaronic priesthood and ordained him to the office of priest. Despite the rush and mild panic, Neil received a moving blessing which visibly affected him. He and Buddy then fulfilled their duties with great reverence and the feelings I experienced were deeply humbling. To go from seeing Neil read the Book of Mormon in Chinese for the first time and tell us of his concerns about the word of wisdom as he was worried if he didn't drink he wouldn't be able to think o good business ideas, from seeing Buddy stare at the ward notice board instead of going into institute on his first night back at church, to today, seeing them fulfil sacred Priesthood responsibilities in white shirts and ties was a little overwhelming, yet wholly comforting. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is about progress and change; it is about liberating an individual to the point that they do things that will have positive eternal effects on themselves and those around them. I love it so much.
The reality check that I was ambushed with was the arrival of a package from home marking a milestone event in a missionary's short life. I opened the box to find the inscription 'Oooh! We're half way there' (lyrics from an unapproved song I might add), nevertheless it screamed at me the harrowing truth that I am half way through my mission. This past year has felt like a life time played in fast forward, taking about a week in total to experience. I still remember the feeling I had driving to the MTC, thinking about whether I should take the bottle of orange cream soda I was drinking in with me or leave it in the car for my mum to clear away. I remember the feelings I had when I knelt down to pray that first night and telling the Lord 'Well, you've got me for two years' Not really anticipating what He was going to do with me. It hasn't been a perfect year, there are many things I could have done better, but I am comforted in the knowledge that a day hasn't gone by where I haven't testified of my Saviour Jesus Christ and the divine orchestration of the restoration of his Gospel in the latter days. I know he lives, I know he loves us and I know his Gospel is the answer to everything. I feel truly blessed to have another year to bear testimony of that fact, In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
This week we have Zone conference where we will be performing a song that we wrote last week on our exchange with Elder Torres (Assistant). We have changed the lyrics to Jason Mraz'- I'm Yours and have renamed it 'this time is yours (to put people on date)' hehe so hopefully I can get it filmed and send it through next week!
I leave you with a scripture that will cater for a lifetime of feasting upon the words of Christ, we studied it this morning at early morning seminary (we got there in the end Mum!) with the young men,
Doctrine and Covenants Section 4
1 Now behold, a marvelous work is about to come forth among the children of men.
2 Therefore, O ye that embark in the service of God, see that yeserve him with all your heart, might, mind and strength, that ye may stand blameless before God at the last day.
4 For behold the field is white already to harvest; and lo, he that thrusteth in his sickle with his might, the same layeth up in storethat he perisheth not, but bringeth salvation to his soul;
5 And faith, hope, charity and love, with an eye single to the gloryof God, qualify him for the work.
6 Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience,brotherly kindness, godliness, charity, humility, diligence.
I love you all,
Hugs and Handshakes