Monday, May 19, 2014
This week seemed to shoot by soo fast! Sister Lee and I have had our days filled with lessons and meaningful street contacting and finding time. Time always goes fast when you are busy. I think I have fully settled into Wrexham and a new way of doing things. I am still getting used to children though.. haha. It is an adjustment going back to a family ward after being in a YSA ward for 5 months but I love it!
We have a lot of really great investigators with so much potential. Lukman is one of them. Lukman is from Nigeria and has great faith in Jesus Christ and has a sincere desire to follow him. He has met with the Sisters for over 2 months now and we invited him to be baptized on the 14th of June. He was hesitant to accept the date. We have been following up with his reading of the Book of Mormon and his prayers. He asked us the last time we meet with him why we keep on focusing so much on the Book of Mormon instead of Christ. I answered with a smile on my face that we already know he has faith in Jesus Christ. Now it is down to knowing that His church has truly been restored to the earth. The Book of Mormon is that evidence and he will know it for himself if he prays about it. The more we talk to him about the Book of Mormon the more his desire to read it and know it is true seems to deepen. We had a really great lesson with him last week about obedience. We helped him to understand that every commandment has an associated blessing. We promised him that if he is obedient, he will see those promised blessings come true. He came to Stake Conference yesterday and really enjoyed it.
We saw miracles using familysearch.org cards. We met this elderly man named John one day and we asked him if he has ever done his family history. He said he hadn't but that he had a son that was interested in genealogy and traced their family line back some 200 years. We invited him to learn about the gospel to know why it is that we do family history and he accepted the invitation.
Saturday had perfect weather and it was a beautiful day to do our 4 hour consecrated finding. Sadly, the 2 members that we had talked to before hand about coming finding with us fell through. Not only did our members fall through but our plans that we had seemed to get a little messy as well. We were hoping to go work on an AUF that is on a farm practically in the middle of no where and have the member drive us there. Without a car we knew it would take ages to complete it. But onward we went. We took the bus as close to the farm as we could get and then we walked, and walked, and walked a bit more. Some 50 or so minutes later we finally made it to the AUF. (Sidenote: It mostly took us so long to get there because we stopped to talk to people along the way). No one was at the AUF address but we definitely saw so many miracles while we were in the area:
The neighbours were all very friendly. There was this one lady from India that we meet and she didn't believe there could be a God because of all of the suffering in the world. We offered her a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and she accepted it. A quarter of mile down the dirt path were more homes. Outside of the next home we went to were these cute little boys. We asked to speak to their parents and the elder of the two ran in and brought out their father. At first he was a bit intimidating because he was super muscular and he didn't look too happy that we were standing outside of his gate. Once we stared talking to him we discovered he was actually really nice. He told us his brother had passed away when he was young and we were able to share briefly about the Plan of Salvation. He said he was interested in our message, just busy working late into the night everyday. It was a miracle we even talked to him because Saturday was his one day off. When we asked if he knew anyone that would be interested in our message, he referred us to his neighbour.
We went to the neighbour’s house and met this sweet elderly lady. She invited us in to sit down and offered us water which was nice because it was a very warm day. We had a lovely conversation with her and she has great faith in God. We talked about the Book of Mormon and how it was about a family that came from Jerusalem and she said she couldn't believe in it. We left her too with a Plan of Salvation pamphlet and invited her to pray about it.
And then on the long journey back to the main road we ran into this group of boys we had talked to as we passed earlier. They were still in the same location we meet them at an hour and a half before but this time they were with a friend that had joined them. We went to talk to them again. That friend asked a ton of questions and we talked about things from the Plan of Salvation to the Word of Wisdom. We needed to head back so I asked them if they would be willing to meet with us so we could share more. All 3 of them became new investigators!
Family history and the Plan of Happiness our Heavenly Father has for our families was a huge theme for our finding on Saturday.
Yesterday at Stake Conference, one of the speakers made a really good analogy to the gospel that I want to share with all of you. He realated an experience of how in a chilly summer not too long ago, him and his family went to the beach. A family member and him had jumped into the water and quickly got accumilatized to the temperature of the water and enjoyed the day in the water. Another family member, however, tip toed into the water but it was too uncomfortable to be partially in the water and partially out. He decided to dry himself off and stay out of the water that day. The speaker related this experience to how we need to immerse ourselves completely in the Gospel to enjoy all of its blessings. It is way too hard to live both of the world and in the gosepl. My invitation to all of you it to immerse yourselves completely in the gospel. ''Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved.'' (Omni 1:26)
This gospel is true :)
Sister Lee and I! (My hair is crazy big in this picture, I know)
Monday, May 12, 2014
It was so nice getting to skype home last night. Happy Mothers day again!
For the first time in my mission, I am not in a big city but small town. I am settling into Wrexham quite well. I love the area, the ward, and most importantly, I love my companion. I am surprised by how well we get along and how well we work together. We are both on the same page of how to help our area thrive and progress. Sister Lee is a powerhouse missionary. She is so bold and is really focused on the needs of those we teach-- every single time. I know I have much to learn from her.
Now that I am out of a YSA ward I now have tea appointments with members again! It is so beautiful! haha. Another thing I love about being in Wrexham is that I get to see the country side. I saw some sheep the other day and a little hedgehog. Good ol' nature :)
Serving in the Man YSA taught me a lot. I am grateful for the skills and lessons I have acquired from serving there. Some of the few lessons I learned in Manchester was to ask EVERYONE for referrals. Sister Lee and I have received a few referrals from people on the street and the members have a lot of names of people they know that I have been keeping track of. This ward is full of potential referrals! I hope to work with these member referrals. As I was trying to get to know the ward on Sunday, I sat next to this teenage girl named Molly. I asked her who her family was and she told me she wasn't a member but enjoyed coming to church. She lives down the street from a family in the ward. I don't think she is meeting with missionaries.. I will ask her the next time I see her if she is interested in taking the lessons. There are also a few part member families here too. I am praying that those nonmembers will have the desire to learn more about what their member family believes.
The WML in Man YSA also encouraged all of the ward missionaries to teach the members the message of the restoration. I have seen great success thus far as I have applied that counsel to this area too. The members are really feeling the Spirit and gaining a great excitement to do missionary work.
One thing I love about being in a family ward again is that now I can teach families too. My whole mission I have dreamed of finding and teaching a family that can go to the family to be sealed in the temple. My family was sealed in the Nauvoo temple in 2009 and I can't wait to share with families my experience.
There is so much to say about Wrexham but I will share with you some of the miraculous miracles Sister Lee and I had in just one day:
1) We were handing this young mother a pass along card and she told us she was a member. She moved from Liverpool 3 or 4 years ago and hasn't been to church since because she didn't know there was a church here. She wants her little son to come to church. We have her address and will definitely pay her and her family a visit.
2) A man we stopped to talk to wasn't interested in learning but when we asked if he knew anyone he said his girlfriend would be. He gave us her number. We contacted her the other day and we scheduled a time to go see her.
3) Alicia- We were heading back to the flat for tea and every single person we talked to rejected us. We kept saying ''just one more person!'' and we ran into this girl named Alicia. We told her that through prayer she could learn truth and she told us she has been confused about things and she accepted the invitation to pray on her own. We are seeing her again today.
5) We taught a power lesson with George, the Bishop's son who is going on a mission to Greece in July. It was his first time teaching with the missionaries. As we were walking with him after the lesson, we talked about the lesson and he told us he felt the Spirit was strong during the lesson.
This work is great. I love my mission. Even the hard times. I am learning to appreciate both the good and bad for the Lord promises that ''all these things shall give [us] experience, and shall be for [our] good.''
Love you all!
A sign with English and Welsh. I am so fascinated by all of them haha
Friends and family... I am leaving the country on Wednesday... Only because I am being transferred to WALES!!!! Woot! I am going to Wrexham to serve with one of the new Chinese speaking Sisters, Sister Lee. President also told me during my transfer call that I will be training in June. Woah. I am grateful to know in advance that I will be training in next month. I'm not sure how other missionaries do it were they only find out less than a week before haha. What can I say? The Lord knows me too well and is helping me to prepare for that moment. I hope I will be ready for the challenges ahead.
Leaving the Manchester YSA after being here for 3 transfers is going to be sad. REALLY sad. There is just so much good happening in the YSA even though this past transfer has been a hard one since our investigators dropped off the face of the map with exams. Not to mention I will miss my recent converts and the members here soo much. It will be sad not to be in the YSA with Sister Merrill for her last transfer. The good news is I will be able to see her a few times here and there before she goes home.
That being said, I am looking forward to going to Wales. Change is always good. It is hard, but it is good. I like to say it is the catalyst to growth. I have high hopes for my time in Wrexham. I hope that in just one transfer I can become Sister Lee's good friend. I hope to build strong relationships with the members of the ward. I hope to find, teach, and baptize kingdom buildings. Those are just a few of my hopes.
The trial we have been facing with our investigators falling into a state of oblivion called exam time and having no consistency to our teaching pool has allowed me to realize just how precious those first few moments with an investigator are and how crucial it is to establish a relationship of support, encouragement, and love from the get go. I think we tried our best with our previous investigators but now I will work at being better. I hope new investigators will feel how much we care and that will help them be more committed to meeting with us even when life gets busy.
Evangeline, a member for a year now, is going to the temple soon to take out her endowment. Amazing! I love her so much. She is such a great example to the rest of the Chinese recent converts. On Sunday she fellowshiped our two investigators Xiao Qi and Melody. Both of them are currently in a fragile stage of their conversion and they were able to openly ask questions they had about knowing there was a God. They have already both witnessed the happiness and love they feel from the members and missionaries. I explained that it was the light of Christ in us from the gospel and not us alone. We read Alma 32:28 together and encouraged them to continue to be diligent in praying, reading, and coming to church so that they could know this is true for themselves.
We have been helping out at a local food parcel volunteer group. It has been so uplifting for us. One of the members of the YSA that goes to get food parcels there has been telling us we have had a great impact on the people that come for food parcels as we have greeted them. He said we have been giving them hope. I definitely feel like our service at the food parcel bank is leaving a good impression about the church on those we serve and serve around.
Lately, we have been teaching about the Sabbath through the Book of Mormon. We run into so many students that are so busy with exams that use the Sabbath to study and do course work. It is so important that they are aware of why Heavenly Father desires for us to keep the Sabbath. One girl we taught from Mosiah 13 about the Sabbath in particular was convinced by the power of the verses and has committed her self to come next Sunday.
I bore a departing testimony in the YSA ward on Sunday and I ended my testimony on the stand by speaking Chinese to the few Chinese investigators in attendance. Those who weren't members yet were surprised, especially the Chinese. One of those Chinese that was at sacrament came with his friend, who is currently dated for batpism, to church for the first time on Sunday. I spoke to him after Sacrament and he was so surprised that I could speak Chinese (I love surprising people like that haha). He also was well fellowshipped and I heard he enjoyed Priesthood class. Because of his great experience and the combined efforts of both the members and missionaries, he now he wants to be baptized. By some miracle he was dated right after church! I love how the Lord can use many of us as an instrument to help just one person come unto their Savior and be baptized.
One of my favorite scriptures from personal study this week would have to be Alma 36:3:
''And now, O my son Helaman, behold, thou art in thy youth, and therefore, I beseech of thee that thou wilt hear my words and learn of me; for I do know that whosoever sh
all put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at
the last day.''
I know that as we turn to the Lord in our trials He will carry us safely through.
p.s- Thank you family for the lovely birthday package! I love everything :) The birthday cards are the best
Probably my last time seeing the Man United Football stadium
Breakfast at Bishop's