Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Expect Miracles

Ok. HUGE miracle. So there was this man I met my first transfer here in Liverpool and we ended up teaching him about the restoration right on the spot. After the lesson he told us that he felt we were a sign from God. He accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon and gave us his contact info before he had to leave. I have called him on multiple occasions hoping he would pick up and he never did. One of the last times I called, maybe around two months ago, I left a message on his voicemail. Last week he finally called back! He is willing to meet with us and learn more! Never give up on investigators! I have learned this week that miracles happen when we have the faith to expect them.
This week was full of pre-Christmas celebrations:
On Friday, we had Christmas training at the mission home with part of our zone. We had a big feast prepared by wonderful Sister Preston, performed skits, watched Ephraim rescue, and had a white elephant gift exchange. So much fun! We also got our Christmas packages afterwards. I had quite the stack of packages.. Thank you family! Thank you Sister Wutzke too :)

Saturday we went to watch the play A Christmas Carol that the members in the Liverpool stake have put together. It was fantastic. President Preston came and we were able to get permission to stay for the whole thing. We didn't get home until after 11pm. I was surprised that I was so awake Sunday.
Sunday we watched the Christmas Devotional at the church.
So excited for Christmas!
While traveling on the train to get to our Christmas training, I met this young man that was a student at the Liverpool Uni and was leaving to go home to the Ukraine for Christmas. I asked him about his journey home and he told me that he had a 2 hour flight to Germany and had a 9 hour layover before his next flight. I asked him what he planned on doing while he waited and he told me he was going to drink and read a book. Perfect segway into the Restoration and the Word of Wisdom. I explained that we stay away from alcohol because we can't feel the promptings, comfort, and guidance from the Spirit if we partake of certain substances. He said it made sense and if he understood it a bit more he would probably live it. (Woah!) I got his info and sent it to the mission office for it to be passed on to the Ukraine mission. He will be baptized on day. I know it. His mom too because she is ''very religious''.
A girl in the ward got set apart for her mission to Temple Square this weekend. She had 20 plus members/ family at her setting apart and all 4 of the Sister missionaries in the ward stood in as well. It was weird thinking that only 7 months ago I was in her very position. Nervous, excited, sad to be saying goodbye. I know Sister Andre will do great.
Sacrifice brings blessings
An Elder trio in our district only had one tea appointment this whole week. The Sisters are fed pretty often and Sister Loh and I had already two and one more scheduled for Sunday. Sister Loh and I gave up our Sunday tea appointment so that they could have another one this week. Then after church on Sunday we were talking to a member and he asked ''do you have a tea appointment today?.'' We told him we didn't and he invited us over to have tea with his family. Sacrifice truly does bring blessings :) Heavenly Father takes care of His missionaries.
C Minor still doesn't feel prepared enough for baptism. We have tried our best to encourage him and express our confidence in him but we have reached a point where we just can't push him any farther. We respect his agency and we hope he will feel ready to be baptized in the future. He wants to be baptized, and that is huge progress since 4 months ago he wanted nothing to do with religion and considered himself and atheist. The time just isn't right for him right now.
A lot of our Chinese investigators are leaving or have already left the country for holiday. One of the only downsides to teaching Uni students.
Last week we set up a appointment with this Uni student I met on an exchange. He arrived at the building we planned to meet up at and he had invited two friends to join us-- Great! But they are all Muslim-- Not so great.. We weren't expecting to teach three of them and when ever you met with people from a Muslim background it takes a lot of mental preparation. They asked us a lot of questions such as the typical ''how do you know Jesus is the Son of God?'' We tried our best to answer but they were too skeptical about our responses. The least I could do was bear testimony that I know Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he is our Savior. One of them mentioned how he didn't think it was fair that someone would have to die for us. That comment sparked an inspired thought in my head that I have futher pondered the rest of the week:
 If our Heavenly Father could have, He would have gave His life for us. Since He is God with a perfected and resurrected body, He cannot die anymore. He, however, has a plan for all of us to be able to return back to live with Him again. That plan required a Savior that could die for us and who could stand in our place and pay the price for our sins. Our Savior, Jesus Christ, willingly came to this world to die for us so that we could return to live with our Father in Heaven. He inherited from his mortal mother Mary the ability to die and from his Heavenly Father he inherited the ability to take up his life again. Because of the Atonement, we will all overcome physical death and through the Atonement we can also over come spiritual death. God's plan is perfect.
 I hope we will all gain a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Atonement. I am grateful that my Savior, Jesus Christ, died for me. He did it beacause he loves me. He loves us all:
''Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends'' (John 15:13).
Love you all!    
Sister Jordan
                                            MIssion Home at Christmas

                                               Shloer It Up:)

                                                    Christmas Training Feast

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Are You A Nun?

Ok.. I bet you are all wondering why this week's email has such a weird title. Well, let me tell ya! I was on exchange with another sister who is in my district and we had just called by a potential investigators house when a group of children outside became curious about what we were doing. One of them asked us ''are you a nun?'' to whence I replied, ''Close.. I'm a missionary!'' Sister Hansen laughed at my response but hey, you would be surprised how often we get asked if we are nuns. Nope. Just Sister missionaries. We are allowed (encouraged actually) to get married when we return home from our missions. Nevertheless, we do share about Christ like nuns do? I actually don't know that much about nuns haha.

I'll start off with some somewhat bad news. This week we had to drop  Xing :( We weren't expecting to but in last lesson we had with him it went that direction. We were so close to teaching him all of the lessons and this last lesson we read D&C 20:37 with him which talks about the qualifications for baptism. When he saw that the verse talked about ''desire'' he told us he didn't have the desire to be baptized. I was shocked. I guess some things got lost in translation as we have been meeting with him because I was sure he wanted to be baptized. He hasn't been praying as we have invited him to. Consequently, he still feels like he doesn't have a relationship with God nor does he really understand right now why he should. We bore testimony to him that he has a Father in Heaven who loves him and wants to talk to him. He just won't progress anymore if he hasn't developed an understanding of/relationship with his Heavenly Father in prayer. It was sad but I know that he will be baptized one day. In the mean time, we told him he can still come to church, attend institute, and that he should still try to pray everyday but we won't meet with him anymore. We told him that when he likes the feeling he gets from come to church meetings and events to contact the missionaries.

Now some good news- This past Saturday was another consecrated 4 hour finding here in the EMM. Sister Loh and I decided that we would ask everyone what their Christmas wish is and have them write it down on a piece of paper and add it to our lovely ''Christmas wishes'' box. It was a great way to stop people. We didn't really gain that many new investigators despite our efforts finding most of Saturday. On the bus on our way to our tea appointment guess who I saw again? Thomas!--The man I met my first transfer here who was not at all interested in religion when I first met him but his heart has been softening as I have seen him each consecutive time. I feel that each time I see him again is a miracle because I feel like he has such great potential. I asked him if he wanted to write his Christmas wish and add it to our box of Christmas wishes. He asked what we were going to do with them and I was like ''we will pray that they will come true!'' He said he wanted to be richer (-_-). I told him that perhaps he will be richer in Spirit this Christmas. Before we had to get off the bus I asked him if we could come and share a Christmas message with him soon. He said yes! I finally have his contact information! The Lord has been so gracious to me for letting me to slowly work with this man whom I have come to feel the Saviors love for.

I thought it would be creative to sing Christmas hymns as we went tracting this past week. Not effective at all. The people answer the doors, run back in, and come back with money to give us. Turns out they donate money to Christmas Carolers here in England. I don't want your money! I just want to save your soul!

C Minor update:
We followed up with C Minor on the priesthood blessing he received and he told us he has gained so much for self control from it. He has continued to be able to keep the Word of Wisdom! He still hasn't been dated for baptism but he is so close! I had a really great lesson with him while we were on exchange. I asked him how he feels about being baptized and in his response he mentioned that he hasn't received an answer on whether or not he should be baptized this month. He also feels like he should work on more of his weaknesses before he is baptized. I shared Moroni 10:32-33 with him and told him that it is only through Christ and following his example (being baptized) that we will become perfected. We cannot reach perfection on our own, neither will we reach perfection in this life. I think this scripture helped him a lot. I was bold with him and invited him to pray again if the 21st was the day he should be baptized. The following appointment we had with him he told us he hadn't prayed about a date yet.. Weishenme! (why!). Patience, Sister Jordan. Patience. He did receive answers to his other questions he did happen to pray about so that's great. Now pray about the date please :)

The power of prayer:
For a couple of weeks now, we have been helping these two Chinese students, Louise and Carol, with their English and they in return, help us with our Chinese. We have been hoping and praying that this service opportunity would turn into a teaching opportunity. While I was on exchange, we prayed that we would be able to teach them and that they would become new investigators. As I was helping Carol with her English she asked ''what does your church believe about death? I have been thinking of death and I am scared.'' Oh. My. Goodness.!!! It was the perfect teaching moment. I was able to share a little about the Plan of Salvation and I also taught her how to pray. The other Sister that was practicing English with the Louise also taught about the Plan of Salvation. Louise had a similar question to Carol's. They are both new investigators now!

There are two Chinese families in our ward that have been members for only a couple of years, one of the moms will be baptized a year in February. Sister Loh and I have talked for ages how we need to talk with them all about going to the temple to be sealed as Eternal families. We were finally able to yesterday. We committed them to go to the temple next February and take our their endowments and be sealed to their children. I would love to see these two families sealed in the temple. I am so grateful that the Priesthood has been restored here on earth and that we can be sealed to our families for time and all eternity. What a special opportunity I had to be sealed to my family in the Nauvoo Temple :)

Love you all!
Sister Jordan
                                          Recent P-Day Adventures

                                         Multi-Zone Conference

                                             The Infamous Fell Street