The wonderful Honn Family!
Brother George Stevens from Maldon, great to see him. 95 years old and still cleans the chapel twice a week!
How are you?
This week has been great for our area, we have some wonderful friends
we are teaching and they are progressing so well. We have our friend
called Pare who we found two weeks ago and she is preparing to be
baptised on the 9th August. We found her after praying where we should
go in all of London after a day of phone calls with the zone leaders.
We felt prompted to travel to a place called Vauxhall - and so we set
off with a spring in our step, confident that the Lord had a work for
us to do there. As we walked we were finding by the way and after a
few dead end conversations we stopped this young, Thai student who had
a lovely cross necklace. It's always a great opener to point to that
and ask about their time as a Christian (it's incredible how many
people just wear it as a fashion item!). We then had the most amazing
step in lesson with Pare, the Spirit was so strong and she said she
felt like she wanted to cry. We talked about Ether 12:27 in the Book
of Mormon and it brought such comfort to her. We extended a baptismal
invitation and set a date on the spot. Since then she has met with us
3 times and we talk nearly everyday about her wonderful experiences
with the Book of Mormon. She is keeping the word of wisdom and when
she was taught the plan of salvation she expressed that now she
understands just how much God loves her 'this gives my life so much
meaning and purpose', we feel so blessed!
Next week we have the baptism of our friend Gem who is from Burnley of
all places! She is so great and is progressing really well. She
brought her friend to the church a few weeks ago and we taught them
both with President and Sister Stevens and it went really well. Gem
has quite an incredible story, she had some health trouble and
suffered some memory loss, when she woke up after the ordeal the only
thing she could see in her minds eye was the Book of Mormon despite
not remembering what the missionaries had previously taught her! How
crazy is that? And what a blessing in disguise when you think about
it, I think it really solidified her feeling that this was the most
important thing she could choose to do. So we are really excited for
her this week.
We've been on 3 exchanges this week which has been fun! I was in St.
Albans with Elder Williams , then back to Maldon with Elder Helisto
who's only been out 3 months - he thought he was in big trouble when
he found out he was exchanging with us - he is a really promising
young missionary and we have planned to work more with the young ones
as the mission will need young leadership very soon. And then lastly I
was with Elder Patterson in London. Going back to Maldon was awesome,
I saw Irene again, Mani, Kavita and sveta and of course the Wheelers!
Such great people over there, I love it. Bro wheeler asked me what my
favourite meal was before I came, so I jokingly replied 'steak
and ribs', we got there on Thursday night and he had gone and sorted
it out hadn't he! What a lad! We had some good fun. It was just great
to see how well everyone was doing. Irene is just so pure and faithful
- she is preparing for the temple. Mani swung by the chapel just as
we're teaching a lesson and he was able to join us and bear testimony
of his experience with the Church and his testimony of Jesus Christ
and it was so powerful, it really benefitted our Romanian friend who
we were teaching. I really enjoy exchanges, it's such a blessing. In
the missionary handbook leaders are counselled to always remember that
exchanges are a time for learning just as much as they are a time for
training and I can testify that that is true. I think every exchange I
have been in I have returned as a better missionary because of the
example of the missionary I was with. This mission has awesome
missionaries and in a few transfers it will have the best missionaries
in the world.
So, transfer weekend. It has been quite the task getting it sorted,
but we got there. It is always a spiritual experience when we work on
the transfer board and organise the missionaries to where they need to
be and more importantly who they need to be with. The Spirit works
with you in a very particular way. Your mind feels quickened in
organising and discerning what will happen in a certain
companionship. At each stage of the moves a feeling of rightness or
the opposite will testify to all of us in the room and we will know who
needs to stay or change. On my mission, one of the challenges that I have
loved most is problem solving and finding the best solution for
multiple parties and so doing the moves, whilst being challenging and
long, has been a lot of fun for me as well. I'm just so grateful for
these experiences. Sister Stevens cooked a wonderful meal for us last
night as well! Three courses, we were her guinea pigs for next weeks
departing dinner! This meal came after I had been taken by Elder Leite
to a Brazilian barbecue for lunch. So much meat! It was amazing. His
family friend from back home dropped by to take him out for dinner on
behalf of his parents for his birthday! It worked out that his
companion Elder Jackson and my companion had a family they baptised
together come and visit them. So I got to go to this epic feast.
Whenever me and Elder Leite are together we just get taken to the
fanciest restaurants - we got taken to the Langham together last time!
It was a lot of fun.
In other eating outings, the Honn Family came to visit on Friday! They
are from Idaho and Sister Honn was raised in Norwich, their son Ethan
enters the MTC in 3 weeks. We went to a chicken restaurant in
Piccadilly Circus and it was so good! It was such a blessing seeing
them again, they are a wonderful family and I have really bonded with
them. Me and Ethan talked about the mission and he asked for some
advice so I gave him Mosiah 24 to read. I love how many great people
we get to meet on a mission, I really hope I can keep in contact with
all of these great people.
In other news, I bought a suit this week for £30 from tesco's so we
will see how long that lasts. Hopefully for 6 weeks, right? Yikes!
Have a great sabbath!
I love you all
Hugs and handshakes