Friday, July 19, 2013

the final post

So I've been home a couple weeks now and I thought I would write in my blog for the last time.  I loved my mission and all the experiences that I had throughout.  I have truly grown from this experience and I wouldn't change it for anything.  I am grateful for all of the support that I have had from family and friends, it helps so much.  I am grateful for the chance that I had to serve a mission and to be a representative of our Heavenly Father.  I am grateful for my knowledge of the gospel and of our Father and His Son Jesus Christ.  I have come to grow closer to them and KNOW that they are there.  I love this gospel and I know that as we allow Jesus Christ into our lives, He will change us for the better.  I know that He died for us so we can return and live with him again.  I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and it will bring us closer to God than any other book.  I know that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in that grove of trees. I that God still speaks to us today.  I know we can be with our families forever and have the most joy and happiness ever. I am grateful for the gospel in my life and the peace it brings to me.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

coming home

Michael is coming home!!!!


Steve, Cindy, Abby and Buster came for the weekend.  

Monday, June 24, 2013

week 102

We did it!  We made it and have grown from it!  Things here are great. I've said my goodbyes and I'm excited to see you!  
Me and Donella

Me and Geoff

Me and Wayne

Me and the Richeys (one of the coolest families in the ward--he's from Oregon)

It's gonna be awesome, I have soooo many stories to tell you! and so many things to talk about so have your list of questions ready hahaha!

I got my flight plans on Friday!
So I fly out early 6am Wednesday to Amsterdam. 
Then a 2 hour lay over.
Fly from Amsterdam to Portland.
Then Portland to Sacramento!!!  
I promise, nothing will stop me from getting home.  LOL
I'll see you on Wednesday!!!

Monday, June 17, 2013

week 101

The members and missionaries here never cease to remind me how long I have left hahahaha jk but I'm not distracted, excited no doubt, but I know I need to and want to push hard and work hard this week!  This is my last week after all and I want to finish with a bang!
Things here are really good, we have a couple of potential investigators, one of them is a family with two little kids.  They are from Poland. Yakshimash!! haha that's Polish for "how are you?"!  We have a decent teaching pool and a really big potential pool, we dropped two of our investigators this last week, they just weren't keeping commitments so unfortunately we had to say we will still come round because we are your friends, but until you do the important things we leave with you, we can't help you progress.  It's hard but crucial in helping them see that it is important.
We saw the McDonald's ladies at a pub the other day it was pretty cool.  We helped answer some questions but they didn't seem tooo interested, but they brought a friend who seems pretty interested, we are seeing him Wednesday afternoon.  He is pretty cool, he has been clean for 1 1/2 years and he really wants to find God.  He seems pretty cool!  
So I told the dinner cordinator that it is my last week and guess what?  We have a dinner every night up to when I leave hahaha awesome!!
Elder Steel is doing well, I've thrown him into the deep end a couple of days this week in sticky situations and made him get us out of it, not the nicest but it's how we learn.  But this week is his senior week so he is leading out and making the decisions and taking charge.  He is great and he will be fine, I have full confidence in him.  
Today we are going to Leicester to hook up with some other elders and play some ultimate frisbee, so that should be fun! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

week 100

I told you last week about Geoff.  He is from Coventry and I met him back when I was with Elder Gomez. His daughter was baptised a couple years back and lives in Paris!  Awesome!  Well he is the man of men! And I want him to be baptised!!  He has been investigating about 8 1/2 months now, that's a long time and the worry right now is, he knows it's all true and he wants to be baptised, he just isn't sure when.  So now, because it has been long, it is leaving room for doubt to creep in and second guess.  He is wondering again what his purpose is, which is fine we all question, but it worries us because we feel he is digressing.  But we will continue to see him and encourage him!  The bishop is helping us by contacting the bishop in Coventry and we are working to help him. 
I have learnt that life is all about finding clever ideas and ways that work for you to help you endure to the end.  So I'm trying my best.  I'm far from perfect, but I am trying to be my best.  
Oh I love Costco, and we didn't get to go last week because we didnt have enough time :(  So maybe we'll go next week, not sure.  I'm not sure what it is like inside,  I know the rules here are much more tight than in the states.  You cannot have a membership here if you don't run a huge business.  So I wouldnt be able to walk in and have a membership.  Memberships are rare hahaha.  The food court is inside, thats about all I know.
I'm excited to meet the missionaries in your ward and go out teaching with them!  Tell them to watch out--I hope they are ready for an Earths Best Mission missionary EBM=England Birmingham Mission hahaha!

Elder Steel is doing really well. Today he is Elder Barton because he forgot his name bagde at home and I had 2 on me hahaha so we're more of brothers today lol.  Last week was the week I started cutting down and giving over.  So he has lead us everywhere so he knows the area better, now we switch off every other day so I can still be an example to him.  This week I'm gonna help him really know the area book and give him some more responsibilities, some senior days and full leading days so it should be good.  He has gained a lot more confidence so I'm happy!  I really do love and care about him, even though I dont always show it.  We are getting along a lot better.  I am trying to be myself and I tell myself that THERE IS NO TIME TO WASTE being someone I'm not, an it has really helped me to be happy. 
I almost forgot to tell you about the miracle we saw on Saturday night!  It had been one of those days when no one was listening or willing to listen.  Doors slammed, people yelling, we were tired, but we pushed on and we were gonna head home to do some work on our area book and its about 7:30.  I turn to Elder Steel and say "I dont know about you but I'm craving a McDonalds milkshake right now!"  and he looks at me and laughs and says, "YES!!" hahahaha so we GQ, golden question or street contact, to the McDonalds and Elder Steel waits outside by the bikes and I go in and get the milkshakes.  Well I turn around and am walking out and Elder Steel is talking to these two ladies in their 50's at a table, one is drawing a sweet sketch tiger and so I walk up and we get talking and they ask us a question and then say "Well come on, sit on down and tell us more about your church." hahaha so we were like yes definitely!  So we sit down and Elder Steel is talking to one and answering questions and I'm talking to the other and we pretty much taught them the restoration and why we have the Book of Mormon and how it can anwser questions of the soul and help us come closer to Christ.  We were able to give them both a Book of Mormon and we are seeing them both on Saturday!  It was a miracle in McDonalds!  It was amazing!
Things here are really good!  I'm learning more lessons, like no one can compel us to do anything and grow from it.  We know what it is that we must do, we know we must rely on the Lord, we know we must read, pray, and go to church. The Lord has provided us with the tools to do it, so it comes down to this......JUST DO IT.  That is all it is. 

Monday, June 3, 2013

week 99

The Leslie's are AWESOME!! I love that family sooooo much! 
I think sometimes it's hard right now, because I'm slowly handing everything over to my companion; but, I want to "do it all" because I'm so close to the end.  But I need to let him lead and be in charge otherwise when I leave he will be lost.  And that is the hard part.  I found a quote for that though....
"Some people think its holding on that makes one strong, but sometimes its letting go."
and another......"Moving on, is a simple thing.  What it leaves behind is hard." 
I need to be unselfish and realise, which I kind of have, that if I do it all because I'll never get to do it again, I'm not really helping anyone, I'm just pleasing myself and then when I leave, I leave people to fail.  I am grateful for this opportunity that I have to learn this lesson.  It's good. 
What a small world, that Elder Houghton would be in my mission.  The name Houghton is familiar.  I know Elder Wood, he was in Nottingham in our district.  And Stroud is by Swindon, my greenie area!!  hahaha I will have to call him and see how he is doing.  That's well cool.  
I'm excited to meet the missionaries when I get home, maybe I'll act like a golden investigator and toy with them hahaha (jk I wont that would be mean).  We always joke about doing stuff like that though,  act like an English investigator and give them a run for their money hahaha.
Things in Loughborough are good.  This week actually has been really good and time has gone relatively fast, because I was being myself and working hard.  I only have 3 weeks left- that is sooooooooooo crazy! Where did it go?  I don't feel like I have been out 2 years at all!  I'm excited to work hard this last part of the mission. We are working hard, we are working on our finding.  We want to use the Book of Mormon more in our finding to answer questions.  So it should be good.  We have a couple of investigators, they are doing well, but none too close to being baptised, except Geoff.  He is still around and is SOOOO close to being baptised!  He knows it's true and right he just wants to do it for him, which is awesome!  So he understands. The only thing is he feels he has to prove himself, which he doesn't because he is willing and he is humble!  He will get baptised, I have no doubt about it, I just wonder when. 

I'm loving Loughbourough!  It is probably my favourite area!   Today we are going to Costco!  I'm gonna get me some muffins!  We have a good week planned out, we have some service, some teaches set up, lots of finding, district meeting, I'm going on exchange this week, sports night, weekly planning, and 5 dinner appointments!  Its gonna be a gooood week!