Wednesday, 17 September 2014

A man without eloquence

Hey everyone!

How's it going?

It has been a very long week; so much travel, I feel like I have been a taxi driver more than a missionary. Nevertheless the Lord has blessed us with miracles and the work of salvation is definitely moving forward in the Norwich Zone!

Elder Johnson finally got over his sickness and jumped straight back into action, he had KFC for his first proper meal after 4 days of nothing, surprisingly he kept it down and so we are going to celebrate by going there for lunch today!

Buddy received the Aaronic priesthood yesterday! And he is so excited about it, this is what it is all about – progress. I have been amazed at the progress of Buddy, he taught a lesson with us last Monday and his testimony was riveting, in preach my Gospel it teaches that the time will come when someone is backed up to the wall of faith and at that point they must take a stand, this comes after someone bears testimony of the truth they have received by the power of God. At this point all tact, all argument, all philosophy and all doubt is drowned out by the insistent witness the Spirit gives that the testimony given is true. It reminded me of the video 'A man without eloquence' , the power of a simple testimony is unmatched and I am so thankful for the testimonies that Illuminated my understanding  and ushered in the hope of eternal life.

 We had a mission wide leadership conference this week, which is much like MLC but the district leaders are also invited. The trainings given were really inspiring, the mission has a lot of very experience senior missionaries; in priesthood leadership, business and many returned missionaries. Elder Phillips gave training on communication, and we had a game in which we had to navigate across an expanse of pieces of paper, it was almost like a minefield, the whole team of about 10 had to get across, the catch was that you could not speak or point. I was a referee and it was fascinating to see how the missionaries did this, they had 20 minutes, they could call everyone in together for a team talk and re-evaluate their plans, but once that was over they could not talk to one another. This dynamic was so interesting; I really believe they were more successful because they didn't speak. They didn't have one missionary shouting the loudest and taking control, it created a great sense of unity and people actually listened to the team talk and then observed how they as an individual could influence the team's effort for good. In the evaluation given by Elder Phillips he talked about how listening is the most important form of communication, I have definitely found that to be true on my mission. When someone is talking we are sometimes so hooked up on what response we are going to give that we don't even focus on what the person in front of us is actually saying! He also said that 'There is no failed plan, there is only feedback', I loved this, it is such a misunderstood principle. We feel like when our original plan has failed, that means that our goal is now impossible to reach, but it is quite the opposite, it means that you are progressing towards that goal as you have identified what doesn't work! Therefore you now have the opportunity to start a fresh, make new plans and learn valuable lessons in the process. Before my mission I had no understanding of what it means or even what it takes to be successful, now I know that 'failure' is the evidence of fault and success is the quest to correct it. #CaptainMoroni

We met a lovely lady called sally last Sunday as we were getting Elder Johnsons medication, we talked to her about all sorts of things and gave her snippets of the Gospel ; she told us of her time spent teaching her friends how to crochet and how she really loves to give of herself. She was such a lovely lady and had a wonderful spirit. I asked her 'do you know how to sew?', she confirmed that she did and we established that she could sew at quite a high standard, so I put her previous expression of charity to the test and popped the question (we met 10 minutes ago) 'Will you sew up my trousers? You see they have split at the seam and I just don't know how to fix it' to which after a few seconds of neural digestion she replied 'Yes, alright'. WINNER! The next day we dropped them off and the day after we picked them up. It was her birthday on Saturday so we posted a card through her letterbox; we are having an uplifting text conversation and are planning to teach her this week! My mother always taught me 'If you don't ask, you don't get!' Amen to that. PMG tells us that in every conversation we have we should commit someone to doing something; I don't think it meant this though haha


I love you all

Hugs and Handshakes

Elder Nolan

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