This week was so crazy! Sister Lou and I went to the British Pageant on Wednesday, we had a full mission conference on Thursday (more on that later), and on Saturday we had a double baptism in our Zone. Whaaaat? How is that for your first weeks on your mission? This week was definitely a week of firsts.
First things first, the Pageant. It was fantastic! My favorite part would have to be when they sang, more specifically when the missionaries filed in and sang Called to Serve with the rest of the cast and choir. The spirit was so strong when they sang and it was like I was getting a spiritual slap in the face after every wave of sound washed through the room. Sister Lou and I brought our one investigator, who was getting baptized this past week, and her husband, who is currently not interested in the church but is so supportive of his wife. We did not get to sit by them and translate but our investigator told us that both her and her husband enjoyed it. The pageant took place on the temple grounds and the Preston temple looks beautiful in person. Cannot wait to go inside. I also hope that when we all get to be in England as a family, when ever that may be, that you will all have the opportunity to watch the British Pageant if we time it right.
Here comes some big news so you may want to buckle your seat belts... So when I arrived here to the mission, the assistants and my companion told me that we were having a full England Manchester Mission conference, where all of the missionaries, and couple missionaries, and what not would come-- super rare. They then proceeded to tell me that we had FOUR general authorities coming (ready for this?): Elder Holland, Elder Nelson, Elder Evans of the Seventy, and Elder Kuran(sp?) and all of their wives as well. Yeah.. Woah. I have never been so close to the Apostles of the Lord. When they walked into in chapel, the room was filled with the spirit and I felt so much peace. It was an unreal experience and I still can't believe it happened. So blessed to have this opportunity. Our Mission President encouraged us to take notes of what we feel and not word for word of what they said so I do not remember every thing but the biggest impression I got as they all spoke was that something big is about the happen in this mission. The work is going to explode and I am so grateful to be able to take part in it.
The baptism was also a great experience and I am so proud of our investigator and Sister Merrill and Hubbard's investigator for their decision to be baptized. They were both so happy. Can't believe I have already been able to attend a baptism!
Well, those were the big 'firsts' but here are some smaller first experiences that I was able to have this week:
We taught this little boy and his mother last week. Their family (including the father) has been coming to church for the past month with their member neighbors and no one had taught them yet. The little boy is so funny because he has basically set up all three appointments thus far. He is five and I think he has a little crush on my companion haha. So cute. Anyway, our first time teaching them we gave them a simple lesson on the Godhead and when I spoke toward the end of the lesson I ended up inviting the mother to be baptized. I asked her that if she learned and receive confirmation from the spirit that God loved her is she would be baptized and she said that she would but wants to learn more first. I'll take it! I was nervous about asking her but I felt that she was ready for the invitation.
On one of bus trips into town, I sat next to an older lady and we started talking. I eventually asked her if she had heard about the church and I think she told me that she hadn't but that she was a member of the church of England and wasn't currently interested in the church. I gave her amormon.org card in case she changed her mind. We also talked about how important it was to be a good person in this hectic and dreary world and I told her that I know that one day good will triumph evil. I shared with her Ether 12:4 which reads that we should hope for a better world. I handed her a copy of the Book of Mormon (my first time handing out one) and at first she did not want to take it but I told her I wanted her to have it. I also told her that if ever she needed comfort, that she could turn to the Book of Mormon and I promised that she would find something that would bring her peace. I got off the bus and my stop and she looked very grateful and like she was pondering the conversation we had just had together. She was a lovely lady and I pray that she will seek the truth one day.
This past weekend, my companion both gave our first church tour. To make a long story short, we invited an Chinese investigator from the previous Elders to come play sports on Saturday and he brought his friend with him. The plans for playing basketball fell through and we were all waiting at the chapel for an hour. We told them sorry but asked if they would like a tour of the church before they left. They agreed and so off we went with out really knowing how to give a tour. We went around the building explaining the painting on the walls, looked at the YSA room, viewed the baptismal font area, and the greatest part of the tour was when we went into the chapel. My companion played Nearer my God to Thee on the piano while I sang. When the song ended they told us that they felt peace and we explained these are the feelings of the spirit. One of them also mentioned that he could tell that the chapel was the most sacred part of the building. We ended the tour with a prayer which I offered. It was simple. I said amen and opened my eyes to see that both of them still had their hands clasped, head bowed, and eyes closed and they stayed like this for 10 seconds or more after my prayer. I think they were definitely touched by the spirit.
On a less spiritual note, one of the members took the missionaries out for food to be ''kabaptized''. haha. Kababs here are a full on meal and a pile of deliciousness on a plate. They are meat and lettuce over fries and then you can eat it with warm pita bread. My mouth is watering by just liking about it. Yum. So good.
I am so happy for all of my friends and family that are getting/ have been married this summer. Karlee looks so beautiful! Thanks for all of the pictures.
Until next time,