October 20, 2014
Mom. You did the best you could at being my mother as I grew up through childhood and adolescence and that's all that god expects of you. Yeah of course you made mistakes, Christ was the only perfect teacher to ever live, things that I do and mistakes that I make are mine alone to bear until I repent of them and take advantage of the atonement. In every situation no matter how big or small, no matter how much I'm influenced one way or another, it's still my decision as to what action I take. That's what makes me a free agent. The support that you and dad gave me is what got me through those hard times. I'm always going to be tempted. I have no confidence in myself, but I have full confidence in God and his ability to strengthen me against anything that I encounter.
ITL's are invitations to learn. I really wish I had been more open with you guys growing up, but it's time to look forward. I can't wait to get back and actually get to know you guys on a personal basis and learn more about your lives. I don't really have any new pictures or videos this week, although I am looking forward to seeing all of my pictures and videos from my mission with you guys, you guys only get like a... very small fraction of what all happens out here.
I know, It'll be our last skype call before I come home! This week was pretty uneventful. The whole week was pretty much service mixed with some finding and youth on Tuesday. On Saturday we had our first Bible study, we had a discussion about how the Bible came to be and what exactly it is. It was alright, only one person showed up, but they learned alot! haha Next week we're starting with Genesis chapters 1-5. Hopefully as we do it more regularly we'll be able to have more people show up. On Sunday we had a cottage evening with one of the members. None of the less-actives he invited showed up, but we had a good discussion. This week will be packed. On Wednesday we'll be going to Birmingham for a sleep specialist appointment for me. It'll take AGES to get there and back. Not looking forward to that. Oh and by the way I may have to buy the train ticket with the credit card which might be up to 50 dollars... I think that's about it.
I love you guys!!!
October 7, 2014
That sounds like an eventful week. Tell Dan and Kelly I said hello! My mission really has changed me. I can't begin to describe how grateful I am to my heavenly father for what he has given me and what he has done for me. I really understand Ether 12:27 ( And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them: Ether 12:27) and if I had to put one scripture to describe my mission, that would be it.
I loved general conference. I can't wait to get the written version because I can pay attention to it easier and re read things that I miss the first time. All of the general authorities seemed to be pretty emotional this time. I love it. It reminds you that they're human. I really need to write people letters, but life is so busy at the moment. With missionary work and trying to fix/clean the flat in all of our down time, we haven't had any time for anything really.
I've got a really nice pair of Ecco boots off of another missionary for free, they're proper posh. Things with my companion are awesome. Today is his birthday, so we are hopefully going out somewhere nice to eat with a member family. The area is a really slow area, but we've got a lot of cool things in the works to get it going though, we are going to start a scripture study class on Saturdays if we can get it approved by bishop, and we're trying to get the YSA going with activities and stuff. We are focusing on ITL's right now for our personal finding efforts. Since we're starting from scratch we thought it would be easier to set goals for something that we can actually control, something that we can actually make happen.
On Tuesday we had a Dinner appointment and a flipping crazy night at youth. It started out as (kind of ) five aside football, but turned into an almost all -out brawl haha it was loads of fun. On Wednesday we traveled 2 hours up to Nottingham for interviews with president. That was awesome, president always knows exactly what you need to hear and how to make you feel awesome. Then we went 2 hours back and that was the whole day gone. Thursday was a complete day of finding. It’s kind of annoying because probably 4 out of 5 people will say they don't speak English even if you can tell that they do. Friday was the same plus a DA with a really nice old lady called Mary. She’s hilarious and awesome. Saturday we had a lesson with Kyle that went really well, loads of finding, and general conference the rest of the weekend. Bishop was sick on Sunday, so we had to stay at the chapel from 10am to 7pm for all the sessions :(. That was the week! Please don't send me any sweets or candy for Halloween. I'm trying to get into shape for my return home.
I love you guys more than you know
October 14, 2014
It's a big thing over here as well (Meet the Mormons) but President Rasmussen hasn't said anything about it.
I love to see how you guys have grown spiritually, but there is always room to grow more. We should never stop trying to improve. It's awesome to stop and see how well we are doing and appreciate it, but it' equally important to look at the next step as well, what can we do next? I was listening to "For All Eternity" by John Lund yesterday for Pday eve and it was really making me think of you and dad and grandma and grandpa and how little time I spent getting to know you guys, I feel like I was such a little jerk before my mission. I seriously think of who I was before I came out and I can't believe I had any friends or people who actually liked me. I'm eternally grateful for how far I've come, but I'm even more grateful for who I have the potential to become, and it's all thanks to the atonement.
This week was pretty fun. On Tuesday it was Elder Burke's birthday so after long day of finding, I surprised him with a batman birthday cake (he's pretty into batman He liked that. I'll put the video of him finding it up. Umm the rest of the week was pretty dull, just lot of finding, we got a lot of potentials and appointments set up, but we haven't had any of them hold through yet, hopefully some of the ones we've made for this week will hold. Today I'm going to get myself a few pairs of trousers, I just ripped another pair and I'm down to 2 so it's time to get probably 3 or 4 more which should last me until the end of my mission. I don't think I have anything else. I love you guys more than anything!!
(Sorry for the rather long post, but I wanted to get caught up)
September 22, 2014
Some of your responsibilities as a ward missionary are to be the example of missionary work in the ward (IE sharing the gospel with your friends and introducing them to the missionaries, as well as giving the missionaries referrals, and going teaching with the missionaries) the ward mission leader can also ask you to come to be a part of the missionary coordination meeting.
Can you believe we only have 3 months until our last Skype of my mission??? That is completely insane. It so completely ridiculous how fast time is going!!! This week was pretty awesome, on Monday we had a lesson with our new investigator that I think I already told you about last week. Yep, just checked, I definitely already told about it. Then, the very next day, we put one of our investigators on date for baptism!! It was a really good lesson, halfway through the lesson (gospel of Jesus Christ) she asks, “Why was Christ baptized? I've always wondered why Christ had to be baptized, because he was Holy, so why should he be?" Those were her exact words. I immediately replied, "Well actually this is one of the things that we learn from the book of Mormon which has been lost from the bible!" and then we read 2 Nephi 31 with her. I love that scripture. Other than that it was a lot of looking and not finding. We had a lesson with Fred again and he kept coming to us with all of these reasons why the Book of Mormon couldn't be true and he even started pulling out some anti-literature. We pretty much rebuked all of that nonsense and then invited him to research reasons why the book of Mormon was true. We told him that he had spent all of this time and effort into finding out all of the reasons that it was wrong and talked to him about how a fair assessment weighs the Pros as well as the Cons of any given subject and that if he was going to have an unbiased stance on the book of Mormon that he needed to research all of the reasons that the Book of Mormon is true. So, we'll see how that goes if I'm still here in 4 days. IDK we'll probably drop him if he comes back with nothing. Tonight we hear about transfer information... I'm kind of split, I've developed a really good relationship with the people in the ward here, but I'm ready for a change. I really just want to be thrown into the deep end of a new challenge. I also hate anticipating transfer information. It's killing me to have to wait another 10 hours to hear what's happening... anyway that was about everything!!
September 28, 2014
Boston is nice! I put up a few pictures and a video on Dropbox. My new companion is Elder Burke, He's from Australia. Yeah he's pretty cool, I don't really know him very well yet, but he seems like an alright enough guy. I totally forgot to get Sister Retallick flowers! oh well, they knew that I liked them.
Well now I'm going to tell you straight up that I invite you to bare you testimony next sacrament meeting! No excuses next time. Testimonies aren't meant to be super incredible and interesting; it's just a statement of truth that you've come to know. That's awesome that you guys are being consistent with your prayers and reading, I'm sure you're seeing the blessings from it.
I got the Jesus the Christ book and the suspenders haha tell him thanks! And I love you.
Tell dad not to stress out too much, the Lord is happy with him trying his best at doing genealogy. Plus angels are going to correct the mistakes that we make during the millennium:
Gospel Principles Manual:
"Many people have died without receiving these ordinances. People on the earth must perform these ordinances for them. This work is now being done in the temples of the Lord. There is too much work to finish before the Millennium begins, so it will be completed during that time. Resurrected beings will help us correct the mistakes we have made in doing research concerning our dead ancestors. They will also help us find the information we need to complete our records." (See Joseph Fielding Smith, Doctrines of Salvation, comp. Bruce R. McConkie, 3 vols. [1954–56], 2:167, 251–52.)
This week has been pretty cool. Not very much has happened. It's just been a bit of finding and unpacking for the past few days. We live in a house that is apparently more than a hundred years old. It's pretty huge as far as missionary housing goes. It's a typical British house and we've got a fair size back garden as well. I'll send you the video tour I made of it. The town seems pretty cool, It's finally a change from the scenery of the midlands! It does seem like a coastal town even though it's about 45 minutes from the beach. Our ward boundary covers ALOT of the coast, so we've got some plans to go out to a lot of the coastal towns and beachy areas to keep things interesting. Hopefully next week I'll have some more exciting stuff to tell you guys! That's about all I have for now.