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! 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

week 98

First off, sorry I didn't email yesterday, it was a bank holiday here yesterday and the libraries were closed.  We also went out hiking with an awesome family, the Leslies, and also this other family in the ward and an elder came back to visit for the week so he and his wife went with us.  It was sooooo beautiful and soooo fun!  

Thursday was really good actually.  There were four of us there bearing our testimonies.  It was hard to be honest, but I did feel a lot better after I was able to bear my testimony so that was good.  I was able to speak with some other chaps in my group and it is comforting to me to know that I'm not the only one who is has these feelings and thoughts.  We all are.  

Elder Brewer (in my group)

Elder Frary (in my group)
Things here really are good, we are so blessed here.  We have a good ward and a good area.  We are finding people and we had at one point this week 6 people we were going to be teaching but half dropped us so now we are down to 3.  We hope and pray we will find people to teach this week and invite them to be baptised.  It should be good.  
The members are awesome!! They are soo supportive and nice to us, it makes the job alot easier when the members are nice. 
Things are on the up and up!  I'm excited for the rest of this week!  Good things should be happening!   

Elder Call

Sisters Forbes and Goulding

Elder Quilter

Monday, May 20, 2013

week 97

This week is going to be soooo incredibly busy, it is just going to fly right on by.  We have a meeting tomorrow, then we have a pretty busy day on Wednesday, then we have zone conference on Thursday and sports night, then Friday we have weekly planning and a couple of appointments then Saturday we have an appointment and Sunday is church!  It's going to be insane.  Thursday will be a good day and hard-- I give my departing testimony on Thursday at zone conference.  Weird. 
Things here are good. I will finish in Lufbra and Elder Steel will be my last companion.   I really wouldn't have it any other way though. I love Lufbra and the people are awesome!  I love it all!!
We are seeing miracles happen really just this last week or so.  We are working with a part member family, the husband is not a member. Well they fed us the other night and we taught them after and he said he knows the Book of Mormon is true because it doesn't teach anything that goes against what God said in the Bible. And I was like wait what hahaha SWEET! So we are having him pray to know the priesthood has been restored because we feel that is really the only thing that could hold him back--but I'm soooo excited to see how it goes, we are seeing them on Saturday!  Plus we found this new investigator that lives in this village north of us called East Leake.  He used to be taught and he says that when he knows these things are true he will be baptised.  He has a wife and a son, we aren't too sure how interested they are but who knows still a miracle!  So much potential this transfer for miracles to happen, I'm soooo excited!!
The weather is back to its unpredictable English blah.  Yesterday it was baking and today it is a sheet of mist hahaha gotta love it :) 
Things are good here.  I'm looking forward to an awesome week!  So it shall be good!

Monday, May 13, 2013

week 96

We will know tonight about transfers! So thats going to be crazy.  I'm pretty sure there is about a 95% chance that I will stay here.  But I have no idea hahahaha!
This experience has changed my life forever.  I'm truly grateful I have had the chance to serve a mission.  The time really does go by soo fast, but I have had soo many amazing experiences that have helped my testimony grow.  I have had hard times, a lot of them. but I have had some of the most memorable and happiest moments as well.  Words can't explain how great this has been besides AWESOME!!  I'm soo happy for this experience I have had. 
Elder Lyman goes home on Wednesday, he called me this morning to say goodbye. That sucked hahaha but that is something I have learnt to do and that is to say goodbye to people I love and care about.  I have learnt that life is not always sunshine and roses but we have to keep going no matter how hard it gets.  I have learnt that in the hardest times we can still recognise miracles if we look and we can still see tender mercies!  I have learnt that love is the greatest attribute one can gain in this life.  I have learnt that obedience is a blessing in its self.  I have learnt that when you love someone you will do anything to help.  I have learnt to deal with some of the biggest dips and climbs of emotion. I have learnt that God loves us all, that Jesus is the Christ, that we can pray to our Creator. I have learnt that in a short time frame, if you are being yourself and working and loving life you can make some of the best friends you have ever made.  One of the most important things I have learnt, is that attitude changes everything.  Your attitude toward a situation can make it or break it.  You have to have a good attitude in life and be happy otherwise your only making yourself miserable.  I have learnt soo many things i could go on forever.  I have loved this opportunity to be here in England.  I love this country, these people and this work. 
This week is going to be awesome!  We have some meetings, some teaches with investigators, some dinners, some service projects.  It's gonna be a good week.  Im excited to hit the pavement and give it all ive got this last one.  Im gonna make it count and I'm not gonna think about the end.  Just the present.  Someone said if your always looking in the rear view mirror you wont be able to see where you are going. Well I see it the same but if your always looking into the future you will miss the blessings and miracles that are happening NOW. 

Last week I told you we were going to Beacon Hill.  It was beautiful!

There were gorgeous bluebells

And we found a frog (this is my friend Tom)!

Monday, May 6, 2013

week 95


We're at the Leslie's emailing and spending the p-day with them.  Today is bank holiday which means it's an excuse to not work and to lie around and do nothing.  So indeed that is what people do.  We're going to hike Beacon Hill today.  It's the highest point in all of Leicestershire, which isn't saying much because we are in England and there are no high points hahaha but it should be pretty awesome!! 

Oh my days the weather here has been absolutely amazing, outright weird for proper English weather.  Since Elder Steel has come to the country, it has been sunny all day everyday and it hasn't rained once!  He probably thinks this is how it always is!  hahaha Well he will soon learn when it tips it down all day everyday all next year.  I have been wearing short sleeve shirts the whole time and I have a nasty farmer tan on my arms and on my neck.  But I can't complain, I would rather that than rain and gloomy weather.  Right now its 21 C with 50% humidity!  That's awesome!!!!

Seeing one person embrace the gospel and progress in it makes it all worth it!  It really makes everything we do as missionaries worth it, to see one person change forever.  We are continuing to find find find!  and we will find someone eventually!  In the Lord's time, we will find someone.  I will continue to be diligent and obedient because it's the only way to do this work really, there is no other 
way to be happy and successful.

This week will be crazy! We have a couple of meetings, and I'm going on exchange and some other stuff!  

Sorry this is sooo short but they want to get out of here!! 

Monday, April 29, 2013

week 94

This week was good, but trying for sure.  We haven't had a new investigator all transfer.  We are finding loads of really cool people, but none of them hold out to turn into investigators.  But there it is, that's missionary work for ya!  Again, God wants me to learn something that I need to know.  I have learnt that lesson the most on my mission, there must be an opposition in all things. In order to know the good, we must know the bad. 
The Good!  Wayne got the priesthood and was ordained a priest!!!  So that was sooo amazing to be a part of!  He is beaming!  When I saw him he really did look brighter and glowing! It was awesome!  Its moments like that that make this work amazing.  We are in the business of saving lives, both spiritually and physically, and when people take the message we share on board, it changes their lives forever.  I feel so blessed to be involved in this work.  We have the opportunity to help people come unto Christ and change their lives.  Yes it may be challenging at times, and other times we might see loads of success, but no matter what happens we are helping people to return and live with their Father in Heaven. 
The zone leader's had a baptism on Saturday, but apparently the chap getting baptised didn't get the memo.  We had a ward party at the chapel and then the baptism right after, but when it came time, the guy just didn't show up.  It was really sad because he was doing soooo well. He was sooo happy!  I felt bad for the ZL's. 
This week will be good we have district meeting, and a trainers meeting and I'm going on exchange with the ZL's.  It should be a good week, hopefully we get a couple of teaches, and we have 5 DA's so that is always a plus!  Oh and we have sports night! 
There is about 2 weeks until the end of the transfer and then it is my last transfer. 
I have set goals and made plans and I'm going to work so hard and talk to everyone!  We are going to rely on the Lord and turn to him and as we work we will see his hand in our work and see miracles.  I'm sooo grateful for this chance I have had to serve.  It is an experience I will not forget.  I have had sooo many experiences that have shaped me and made me who I am today!  I love it!

Monday, April 22, 2013

week 93

Things here in Loughborough are doing great!  Time is just flying by though!  It's almost May! and the transfer ends in like 20 odd days!  Oh my days!! It's ridiculous!!  I'm really happy that I am able to stay in Loughborough.  I love it here sooo much! The members are amazing the area is amazing it is all just amazing and I wouldn't trade it for anything!!  

So some news of things going on here.  The zone leaders have a baptism on Saturday of a former investigator named Michael!  He is amazing and has changed so much!  We have a zone meeting in a couple of days so that will be good.  Oh my days here is one it has been soooooo sunny the past couple of days!!!! It has been awesome to roll around in a short sleeve shirt!  I'm loving it!  It might get sunny today not sure.  But things are good we have sports night again Thursday so hopefully we can get some people to that.  Things are good, we're getting fed, I'm dry, have a good companion, the ward is good.  Can't complain it's all good. 

Training is good-- I really do love it, but it does come with its challenges.  He is only 18! I wasn't even graduated yet in spring when I was 18! It's insane!!  So with that comes increased homesickness, more than I had and more than Elder Dutton had.  But he is a rock and he is pushing through.  We have level up'd on our comp unity, because he is a quiet one. We agreed that whenever a thought comes into our mind we will say it out loud so now there is much more talking than before.  All I can do is my best. I try to teach by example and words if needed and I do my best.  Sometimes Elder Steel struggles approaching people, but we are doing role plays and working on it.  He can talk to people it's just the initial stopping them that he struggles with, well fair play so do i hahaha.  It's always scary!  Elder Steel is awesome and is a better missionary than he thinks!  

Our finding has picked up a lot we get about 2 potentials a day with a couple of books but the hard part is turning those potentials into investigators.  We are just finding and excited to start teaching some of these awesome people we are finding.  We aren't teaching loads, but we do have 3 or 4 people we are working with so that is good.  Service is something we haven't been doing as much of to be fair, we will for sure start doing a lot more hours a week of service!  
“You are a part of this special generation.  It is not be chance that you are here at this important time in the history of the Lord’s work.  It is your opportunity to declare this message of the Restoration with greater force and effect than any of the previous generation. “--Elder L. Tom Perry

That is an amazing quote by Elder Perry!  It really lifts you up a bit!!  I'm excited to have the missionaries over for dinner and to go out with them and stuff when I get home!  I'll be an old fart and way smaller than both of them probably lol.  

Monday, April 15, 2013

week 92

So here is all the news. 
Elder Steel, Michael, Elder Dutton (Michael trained him several months ago) and Elder Dutton's new missionary.
My new missionary's name is Elder Steel.  He is one of the 18 year olds. He is from Gooding, Idaho.  He has 2 sisters and 2 brothers.  It was a rough week I won't lie. Not only am I training a new boy but I'm district leader as well.  hahaha what is happening?

Michael and Elder QB
I was with Elder Quackenbush for 4 1/2 months and I really loved being with him. We got along great and totally knew each other and it was a little bit of a shell shock to go to someone completely new.  
Elder Steel is is a quiet kid which is also hard because Elder QB never stopped talking hahaha but I've realised that this is life and we get comfortable and like being with someone and then everything changes and we are kind of frazzled.  So thats all. I'm doing well, I just pray and read the scriptures and just try and talk and laugh a lot. 
We had a moment last night. I hit breakthrough and we talked about not being perfect and how we can't expect to reach it in the mission.  We will always make mistakes and he was saying how he just thinks he can do better and we just talked about it. It was good. He needs to relax, have fun, and enjoy being here.  So we're good. 
But I'm still in Loughborough, which means I will finish my mission here in Loughborough.  That will make it 9 months hahaha sooooooo long but I wouldn't have it any other way.
The ward is amazing, the area is amazing! IT is just AWESOME!!!
Yesterday the ZL's came and worked with us for a bit and we gave out 14 Books of Mormon and got about 11 potential investigators!!!!  It was an amazing day!  So that helped us alot with building our teaching pool so now we just hope they hold and we can get at least 1 new investigator from it.  So things are good here. 
Yep, my  hurts a bit but it is soooo much better, I haven't been on the bike in forever and I've been wearing my saddle bag for ages. The doctor still is saying take it easy and no biking but we have found loads of people anyway, that's one thing I love about our area, you really could walk it all the time it's gonna take time but you could.  It takes about 1 hour to get to church and that's about the farthest we would walk.  

Things here are good. I'm excited to be here but I won't lie its hard knowing i dont have long left.  I want more than anything to finish strong, I've worked hard my whole mission I can't just stop now!
Michael and some of the elders (except probably the one in the middle) 

Monday, April 8, 2013

week 91

I loved conference! I loved Quentin L Cook's talk and L. Tom Perry's talk.  I love how you only get as much out of conference as you put into it.  It was really cool!  We caught a lift with the Zone Leaders and drove to the Stake Centre in Leicester, Evington, and we watched it there.  Donnella was in Utah watching conference and Wayne watched it at a member's home and he really enjoyed it.  He said it was a "revelating experience" hahaha he is awesome. He is preparing to recieve the priesthood next week. 

Transfers are on Wednesday. But p-days will always be on Monday, no matter what, so that's quite nice!  We find out tonight what will be happening. But this is what I do know. Last Monday evening I got a call from President Rasmussen and he has asked me to train.  I said yes, so my last two transfers I will be training. I do not know where I will be training, but I hope I stay in Loughborough!  I'm soooo excited and nervous and all sorts of feelings hahaha it's weird.  So I went to the trainer's meeting on Friday and in the room were 31 trainers because this group coming in has 31 lol and the next group has 31 and the next group has 31 hahaha that is 93 new missionaries in the next 4 1/2 months! INSANE!!!  Also I saw Elder Dutton at the meeting! He is training!!! Hahaha it's awesome!!
Things here are going well, we are finding and having success and seeing miracles.  We have some good potentials that are turning into investigators and our investigators are progressing.  The Lord is really blessing us here. 
Thursday we had sports night and I hurt my back, but don't worry I'm fine. I'm quite mad at myself for doing it because it's my last 3 months and I want to work hard and I'm getting a boy in 2 days but this won't stop me. I'm going to be smart and effective and work hard but relax and heal as well. This simply means we will have to work smart and with members to get referrals.  Last night I had a thought that there must be an opposition in all things.  But IF we are OBEDIENT THEN we are blessed.    
I'm so excited for the next couple of days and what will happen.  I'm going to do what I can do and trust in God to take care of the rest. I have an obvious weakness now but that hasn't stopped God in the past from turning it into a strength so I'm excited to see what my new companion, God, and I can accomplish this upcoming transfer!

Monday, April 1, 2013

week 90

Our easter was good.  We spent a nice easter meal with the richeys!
It was awesome.  I love them so much!

President's interviews went well, he was asking me what I wanted to accomplish
in these last two transfers and I froze. Because the way he phrased it was scary.
But I said I wanted to accomplish whatever the Lord asks of me and I want to put my
all into doing it.  I'm excited!!!  I have no idea what is going to happen this transfer all
I know is that 31 missionaries are coming in this one and the one after that and the one
after that hahaha so that will be in the next 4 1/2 months 93 missionaries coming in!!!
Absolutely crazy!  So transfers are on the 10th of April.

This week has been good.  It has definitely been a finding week.  We have probably
tracted 3 streets a day, if not more.  It's been good.  We have seen miracles and we got
8 potentials this week. It has been amazing!  The Lord is truly blessing us for our work.
We were doing some tracting and we met a Scottish Muslim. He offered to give me a koran, the english translation and i was like yea! and he laughed and we got a return appointment--it was awesome!!!

We found this guy a couple weeks back and we taught him this week and he became
a new investigator and he came to church on Sunday!!!  He enjoyed it and said he felt
the spirit so that was good.

We went to this village, Normanton which is along the River Soar and so we head off and
take the canal paths because it will be quicker, well we get to this point where the path
turns into a trodden over a section of a field hahaha so we are walking our bikes through it
and it is muddy as!  It was so bad. Well we get to the village....just one problem, its on the
other side of the river hahaha. Well no worries, we will cross the bridge, oh wait there isn't one!
There were only ferries but they weren't running. So we walked back and it was soooo dark
so we took a wrong turn but we saw some lights above a football pitch so we just walked toward
that and ended up by the ZLs flat, we were like what the heck!  How did we get over here!

This week has been good!  We have seen the Lord's hand in our work and we have truly been
blessed.  I am excited for this week! We are going to finish the transfer strong, since this is the
last full week.  We will see miracles this week I know it!

Above--This is Kebab--basically it's donner meat which is supposed to be lamb, but nobody really knows.  Sounds good right, well you get it on chips with a ketchup and garlic mayo sauce.  It's quite good, but you can feel your arteries clogging.

Below--Jenga Tower

Monday, March 25, 2013

week 89

Wayne was a former investigator and when I first got here we taught him a couple of times but he flogged(cancelled or didnt show up) us 14 times so we dropped him.  Then we picked him back up with QB and taught a couple of times and then the same story; and he really wanted to be baptised before Christmas but he wasn't keeping commitments like church, reading, and praying. But he called us one day and said he would like us to come over and he was keeping appointments but not commitments and we were wondering what Wayne needed to progress. So after some time we set him with a date and told him here, this is your date--the 13th of april.  If you want to be baptised on that date, prove it.  And off he went . He came to church and he was reading, really well, and he was keeping commitments and over those two weeks Wayne changed so much.  He wasn't even the same. He embraced the gospel and allowed it to change him. It was amazing teaching Wayne because of the change we saw in him. It was awesome.  So we prayed and discussed and felt we needed to move his date forward because he was progressing and ready, so we moved it to the 23rd of March and he was soooo excited!  He continued to progress and keep commitments, so on Wednesday after district meeting President came down and interviewed Wayne for baptism, and he passed!!! 

Then on Thursday and Friday it snowed alot. Which was amazing and beautiful....

But, the baptism was supposed to be Saturday after the ward party so everyone could be there.  But the ward party got cancelled because of the snow.  So Saturday morning at 8 o'clock we got a call saying the party was cancelled, and we went into missionary extreme planning.  We called people to come to the baptism, got to the church and filled the font, shoveled the car park so there was no snow, and called people to bring cakes.  And on Saturday, 23 March at 11:00 Wayne was baptised into the church!!!!! 

It was a crazy amazing day! I asked him how he felt after the baptism and he said, I feel different.  I feel good and I about cried. It was awesome to see this man completely turn around and now is a member of the church.   Then on sunday we only had sacrament meeting because of the snow and Wayne was given the gift of the Holy Ghost and sustained andwelcomed into the church and the ward. 

Things here are going great, we are doing loads of finding because now we have one less investigator so we are trying to build our teaching pool.  We have a couple of potential investigators that could turn into something. We will see what happens and this time I promise to keep you updated on it. hahaha  We had sweet dinners this last week with members! i love the members here! I would not mind finishing my mission in Loughborough!  It would be cool and long (lol) we will see, we have interviews on Thursday so I will most likely speak to president about it and see what he thinks. 
Here is the quote of the week for you, this one is from Brigham Young.
"Salvation is an individual operation."   Good huh? I liked it.

This is COSTCO!!  So we went and we couldn't get in! Elder Hansen didnt have the right number, so we tried buying one and they said we couldn't because we were not employed, so we were like can we at least get a hot dog and they were like no sorry we only sell to members!  STUPID. 

This is the funniest little 3 wheel truck hahaha we saw it and I was like yes I must have a picture of that!

Monday, March 18, 2013

week 88

So I have a long list I've been writing out this week of things I want to tell you.

1. So I feel bad about this one, I have totally forgotten to tell you.  So do you remember Wayne?  Well we started working with Wayne again a couple months back and told him how it is and went through a process, but a couple weeks back we invited him to be baptised on the 23 of March!  Well that's this Saturday!!  I have loved working with Wayne because when he started taking the gospel seriously, it changed him and I have seen it work on him and shape him and he isn't even the same person as when I first met him.  I'm serious, he is completely different.  Well he is so ready and excited for Saturday!  He is reading, praying and coming to church and well integrated with the ward, it's perfect.  So yes Wayne is getting all ready and he is praying about who he wants to baptise him.  He is amazing and I'm so glad I have had the privilege to work with him. So yay! Exciting times in Loughborough!
2. Donnella is going to Utah tomorrow with one of the American YSA girls.  They are taking a tour of the west coast and will be gone for 4 weeks because it's half term for uni students. So they get 4 weeks off.  She is going to Utah, California, Oregon, and Arizona and they are going to go to the Confernce Centre to see General Conference!  She is totally loving being in the church she is just soaking up every opportunity that she can!  
3. We started a sports night at the chapel every Thursday night at 7 and we had 8 people there last time and we should have a couple more, there is this kid we met on the street.  He is way cool and he loves basketball so he said he would come and bring his friends so we are doing a creative finding way. 
4. This kid named Ethan just returned from his mission and Sunday was his homecoming. He served in the Athens, Greece Mission.  I thought my mission was hard.  But he seems like a good kid, we are excited to get him out teaching with us. It should be good.
5. Elder Hansen, one of the ZLs possibly has a Costco card, he's checking with his parents today but if he does then that means we can go to Costco in Leicester!  They are so rare to have and we have the chance to go!  I'm sooo excited!  It will be awesome. 
6. Things here are doing well.  We have had some good finding hours this week and got a couple of potentials and some new investigators! It's exciting!  We have a couple of potentials that could turn into something so we will see.  We were teaching one of our former investigators and she gave us a referral, which is one more than we usually get so we were so grateful!  It was just a number and a name, so we called him up and told him we had met with this friend of his and she had said you might need some help and we told him we love to serve and we share a message of Jesus Christ that can bless our lives and would he be interested and he said come over Saturday morning!  MIRACLE!!  It was amazing!  We were so excited, he seemed really nice so there is some potential there.  The Lord is blessing us really, that's all it comes down to, everyone we are working with is a miracle that God has given us.  It is amazing to be in this area because we notice the little miracles every day.  That's something I have been working on--noticing all the tiny miracles, like yesterday my feet were dry.  Awesome. 
The new area and the ZLs are doing great they are just finding and finding and finding. We gave them a couple streets to knock and some people to stop by to see so we hope that they get something from that.  They are good guys and good missionaries and they are seeing miracles as well so it's good.
The ward is doing well.  We have a dinner appointment everyday but Saturday and the other elders I think have the same and they are all separate.  President doesn't want us doing 4 man DAs so they are all 2 man so its quite impressive that the ward is stepping up and the Lord is blessing them for their efforts. 
It has been cold here and it randomly freak snow storms.  It's nuts like it's alright weather then BOOM blizzard hahaha.  It's like BYU-I but the snow doesn't stick so that's good.  It's crazy though!  It has been bitter cold the last couple of days but oh well its England and I'm quite used to this by now hahaha.
"Courage is when you kept pushing on and not giving up when everyone would understand why you fell."
I love this quote. like in Finding Nemo, just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming.  
One last thing--the 6 nations rugby match was the other day. Basically it determines who is the champion at rugby and it was the defending champions, WALES vs ENGLAND hahaha and guess who won.......WALES!  LOL I was loving it hahaha!  Elders Quorum the next day was a bit tense hahaha maybe becuase i wore my IWales socks hahahaha it had to be done. 

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Monday, March 11, 2013

week 87

I love that I'm staying in Loughborough, and that I'm staying with Elder QB.  He is the man and I love serving with him!  I have been in Loughborough a while, at the end of this transfer it will be 6 months in Lufbra.  

There is just 1 ward in Lufbra, about 150 members. It is such an amazing ward! I love them!  We split the area down this street called Epinal Way and its the main road that runs through Loughborough and so that was the easiest way to split it.  We get the east side and they get the west. The train line runs right down our side so we can still catch the train and get to the little villages that are on our side.  They have a car because they are ZLs so they get all the west side because there aren't any train lines over there so it really makes sense.  The trains are actually quite good, because they got remodeled for the London olympics. Why you ask?  Well the Chinese Olympic team was based at Loughborough University so that is pretty awesome!!  The trains run pretty regular to all the main places we need to go like Nottingham, Leicester, London lol, Birmingham, and all the villages.  It's good.  The members are pretty evenly divided throughout all of the area. Most are in the main part of Loughborough, but there are the members in the villages as well.  

The area is doing really well. We have been working so hard and found some really cool people this week and got a couple of new investigators. It's way good!!!

Here is a note to everyone that is mission age and worthy to go...
DO IT!!  A mission is the best decision you will ever make and I promise you, you will never regret serving, but you will regret not serving.  Go on a mission and find the joy that comes from the gospel. see it change peoples lives. see it change your life.  I love my mission and I have learnt so many lessons and have grown so much in so many ways and I wouldn't change these past two years for anything because they have been so memorable and priceless. I LOVE IT.  So if you doubt or are trying to fight the system, stop it and go and do what you know to be right and serve the Lord with all you have and you will love it!!!!

I love this week because it changed me. I have learnt so much these past couple of days and I know it was just at the right time because I'm ready to hit the ground and work and let everyone know about the Book of Mormon and the happiness the gospel brings into our lives!   A good quote I found this week and applied.  You know me I love quotes lol
"the key to change... is to let go of fear."  

So today will be fun because we're actually in Leicester and we're going to play some basketball with the boys here. It will be a good pday!  These guys are soo amazing, all of them we are good friends and we know that what we do is true.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

week 86

So transfers were on Saturday and boy oh boy do I have news.
So first off, Elder QB and I are staying together again! This will be our 3rd transfer together, he is my longest companion.  Then they split our zone, it used to be the Nottingham/Leicester Zone and now there is a Nottingham Zone with ZL's and a Leicester Zone with ZL's. Which gives more leadership positions to handle all the increase in missionaries.    So now we are in the Leicester Zone which makes sense because we are in the Leicester stake.  So we moved districts as well, before we were in the Nottingham district but now we are in the Westcotes district in Leicester.  Yep there is more.
So we have another set of missionaries in Loughborough now, its the Zone Leaders.  So they have a car and I will bum as many rides as I can lol!  They have their own posh flat on the other side of town.  It is really nice and in a good area.  They are cool and now there is 4 of us so its crazy.  We split the area to make it easier to work and it is good we have the east side of Loughborough and all the villages like Sileby, Quorn, Mount Sorrell, and East Leake. That's where the train line runs so we can actually get out there. So it makes sense.  It's good we are going to hit these areas hard, now that we have less ground to cover we can work more effectively and efficiently. We pick an area and work that area  the whole week so by the end of the week the area has been destroyed lol and we move on to another area. 
We are expected to have an increase of 100 missionaries by the end of 2013.  We have about 150 missionaries right now so that's about 250!  I'm not sure how many sisters we have, but I would guess maybe 20-25 sisters, but we are expected to get loads more.  Every sister in the mission will be training at the end of this transfer. We are supposed to be getting 30 odd missionaries at the end of this transfer and then 20 odd at the end of the next one.  It's absolutely crazy!  So things are pumpin over here!  I see that by the time I go home every area in the mission will have at least 4 missionaries in it!  It will be insane!

The ZLs have a meeting tomorrow where they will find out all the news for the next couple of transfers and whether they will be 5 or 6 weeks.  

It is starting to pick up on the temperature here, but it goes up and down all the time.  So one day it's warm and sunny and the next it's grey and windy. Welcome to England. It's okay you really do get used to the fact that everyday is a gamble for the weather.  I usually end up bringing everything so that I am prepared for whatever weather happens hahaha!
Yep so we met the DVD man in the park Saturday and we taught him the first discussion and did a how to begin teaching (which is basically where you go and figure out their religious background and what their beliefs are) and then you tell them what your job as a missionary is and how we are guides here to help you find answers to your questions--something like that. Then we taught a brief introduction to the Restoration and the Book of Mormon.  We left him with a Book of Mormon and we are seeing him next Sunday :)  He is cool, he is looking for a religion and believes in following God in his own way. So we asked him if he had ever prayed to know what God wants him to do and he said, "no not really, I always thought He just wanted me to believe in whatever way works for me", and we commited him to read the Book of Mormon and to pray to know what God wants him to do.  It went really well!

Monday, February 25, 2013

week 85

We cut off the superdry tag on QBs jacket and it stuck to our badges hahaha so here is Super Barton!

So here is the quick news about transfers. Well it's not quick but its news.
ok so first off.....
1. we find out what is happening tomorrow night! 
2. so usually pday is on Monday except when transfers its on the Wednesday, well now pdays will always be on Monday no matter what. 
3. I HAVE NO IDEA WHATS HAPPENING LOL  It's driving me mad. but I have hints, clues and Iv'e come up with a theory.  So we were told to update our map and area book. Then they dropped the words "so that they know where people live and they will have something to work with"  WHAT WHAT they?  Also they purchased another flat in Lufbra so there will be 4 missionaries here COOL!  
So here is my theory.  I thought at first they were going to whitewash us, so both of us would leave but I asked them and they tried to avoid it but they said no. So I believe one or both of us will move into the other flat they have bought and either zone leaders or sisters will move into our flat!  So that is my theory but I have no idea and we will know tomorrow night.  CRAZY!

I have what is called a T-book (testimony book) and missionaries write their testimonies in it and it's a cool little book but I've upped mine and made it like a picture journal, aka a scrapbook! 
Donnella is doing really well, she is on track to get her patriarchal blessing so that will be awesome!  She is solid!  There aren't too many YSA in the ward (not as much as you would think for a university town) but there are about 10 and she is good friends with all of them and she is good friends with the YSA at institute as well. so we are making sure she is well integrated.
We were walking through town centre today and this guy who is selling some dvd stuff comes up and is like hey mates you have gaming consoles?  And were like nope (and you could tell he was like wah! ) hahah then he said seriously?  He was like, well do you watch movies? And I was like well no because we're missionaries and we don't do that stuff and then we witnessed a miracle!  He was like out of the blue "I've been looking for a church and a religion for a long time and I would love to talk to you, but my boss is right there so here is my number, call me."  YES!  he is prepared by God and I love it!  
I love this work.  It is a great work we are in!  I LOVE MY MISSION!  I can't say it enough. Especially as it is drawing near to the end,  it is making me realise how much I have learned in these past two years.  I have changed and I have seen others change.  It's amazing!  
Gods plan is perfect!  It is simple.  It is made individually for us.  God is in the details of our lives, each one of us.  He is involved in our lives.  I know that the little things that matter to us matter to him because he loves us.  I know God is our Father in Heaven.  Our goal is to live with him again and he has provided a way. I know that way is through Jesus Christ.  I KNOW the atonement is real. I have seen it work in others lives as well as my own.  The path is strait and the gate is narrow, but there is always a way back, no matter how far off the path we walk, there is always a way back.  I know that to be true.  

Monday, February 18, 2013

week 84

Things here are going well. we were able to put one of our investigators on a date for April and now the ball is in his court, so to speak.  He gets to make all the moves and decisions.  He now needs to prove to us and the Lord that he is ready and willing to do what it takes to be baptised.  I pray that he will rise up and commit and come to church and do the things he needs to.  We have a couple of other investigators but our teaching pool has been the same 2 or 3 people like this whole transfer so we are working to find new people to teach.  We are thinking of setting up a scripture study class at the university so that students who want to learn and read from the scriptures can do so, we might get some more investigators that way.  Also we want to start up a church tour, so we can take people around the chapel and they can see what it looks like and what goes on. So that should be good. 
We are doing a lot of service with  the members and trying really to work through them when it comes to finding people to teach. We are asking at each one of our dinner appointments to pray for a street that we can go and tract.  It has worked in the past, we had prayed for some streets and had some written down and we were at a members last night and we did the spiritual thought and asked them to pray and we said the closing prayer and right after the prayer he was like what about this street and it was the one we had picked!  Crazy, so we will see what happens!  I LOVE THIS WARD!
Transfers got shifted a bit and its on the 2nd of March.
Lately this scripture has come back to me again and again. It has helped me through my mission, it's Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest."  I love this scripture! it helps me know that the Lord is always with me, when im doing what I'm supposed to be.  He loves me and leads me. We don't always recognise His presence in our lives, but He never leaves us.  That has brought me comfort time and time again on my mission and I love it.  So remember, Be of good Courage for the Lord God is with you.

I have made the goal to help people understand why I do what I do.  I want them to know that I do it not for me not for money, because we dont get paid, not for anyone but them!  Because this gospel is for them, to bless them, to bring them comfort, peace and a greater happiness.  Because i know this message is true and it can and will bless their  life right now. That is why I do it.  Because I know that this gospel brings hope, peace and joy and that we all can feel it if we try and allow it into our hearts. 

Monday, February 11, 2013

week 83

We tend to not think about how parents reactions are multiplied by 10,000 in our Heavenly Father.  He acts and feels the same way as a parent, we forget we are like Him in everyway.  I was reading the teachings of Lorenzo Snow this morning which is well good i would reccomend it. He was discussing how we are children of our Heavenly Father and he goes on to talk about the truth taught by Joseph Smith,
"where man is, God once was.
where God is, man can be"
We are made in the image of our Heavenly Father and our spirits have divine characteristics.  As we choose the right, be obedient to the commandments,and purify ourselves, we can become like God in all His wisdom and power. It's amazing.  God is LITERALLY our father. He loves us, cares for us, wants us to be happy.  We can turn to Him in prayer and receive guidance and inspiration.  As members of the church we have that knowledge that brings peace, and happiness.  Not to say others don't pray or receive guidance, but maybe they dont have a clear understanding of who they are and who God is and the relation between us.  Because with that piece of truth it changes the perspective and it changes how we pray.  it's amazing!  Good study this morning!  
Things here are good, we are trying to build our teaching puddle to a teaching pool, so we are talking to loads of people and tracting and all sorts.  We have a couple of new finding ideas this week, so we will test them out.  We are trying to think outside the box for a bit and see what happens.
The bday was crazy!  We got cancelled on 2 times but we had two youth investigators at YM so we went with them and played basketball which is always fun.    We have a zone conference on Valentines Day hahaha and some service and appointments and streets to tract.  We have been working hard and being obedient.  All is well!
It snowed last night, not a lot but some, it's been so bitter cold here and the wind doesn't help.  Good thing I have a really big warm coat, otherwise I would be stuffed!
So here is a funny storyy hahaha  Last pday we went out in the back garden to chill and shut the door behind us, habbit.
We were chilling and time to go in and... no keys hahahaa. So we are like oh great its getting dark, cold and we are locked outside hahaha.  So we MacGyver it and find this wire and a hook.  We bend the wire around the hook and shove it through a slot between the frame and door, and we attempt for ages!  We almost got it and the hook fell off inside hahaha so then we use the wire and make a lasso and finnnnnnally get in the house hahaha it took us 1 hour lol FAIL!

We had to take a picture of a duck. That was the challenge of the day.
                        (we have a challenge each day and it gets us taking pics so here is a duck lol)

Monday, February 4, 2013

week 82

I love more than anything being busy because it keeps your mind occupied and there is less temptation really.  It is nice as well though to lounge around and do nothing don't get me wrong hahaha. 
Well things are going great here!  We are loving life really.  We are doing loads more finding and we have a couple of investigators.  They are keeping the small commitments and it is so important we keep the little things.  It's great when we live the word of wisdom and whatnot but we ALWAYS need to pray and read and come to church. That is why those are the three smallest and first commitments we leave with people. to read pray and come to church.  If we keep these small commitments, then the Lord will bless us with strength to keep the big ones.  By keeping the small ones it helps us have the Spirit which helps us keep the big ones. It all works out.  So CHURCH.READ.and PRAY  Sooooo important!!

We were teaching Donnella on Tuesday and she basically wants to serve a mission!  Which is soo cool.  She hasnt come out and said it, but she is dropping little hints all over the place.
She had an interview with Bishop on Sunday to get her patriarchal blessing!  I'm so excited for her!
She is progressing so much it's incredible!
On Thursday we helped this awesome family move out of the ward :( I was sad because they were really cool.
They moved down to Sussex to be closer to her family because she is having twins and she hasn't lived near
them in ages.  But it was a sad day, for sure they will be missed. 
We are going teaching with the Stake President tomorrow night, wow it will be good.  And we are hoping to later in the week go teaching with Pres. Rasmussen.  We will see.