Monday, August 27, 2012
Good morning! Most of you are probably (hopefully) still asleep! How has your week been? It's absolutely nuts that summer is pretty much over and that school starts next week! I'm excited for everyone though, I cannot wait to hear how it goes.
'Twas another great week in Trowbridge, but that is to be expected. We kicked off the working week with Zone Training! We went to Bristol early Tuesday morning and made our way to the Wells Road Chapel. Upon our arrival, the majority of our zone had arrived, but the Zone Leaders, President, the APs, and the Bath Elders had yet to arrive... (oops!) It is all good though. We all sang together for about 45 minutes, accompanied on the piano and organ by the marvelous, multi-talented Elder Huang. Once, before District Meeting as a zone was abolished, he played the Pirates of the Carribean on the organ while everyone accounted to the Zone Leaders. It was pretty awesome. Anyways, training was wonderful, which was to be expected... even though there was a bomb scare in Bristol at the Cabbot Circus Mall! We all knew we were okay though, because we ere in the presence of President Millar. The main issue was that it took FOREVER to get home, as the busses were down for several hours. We eventually made it back to Trowbridge, although it wasn't until the late hour of 9:30 (that's what I consider getting in late now... hahhaha.)
Wednesday was not quite as crazy of a day. We spent the morning and afternoon in the flat, waiting for the package containing my contacts. What a relief to be able to have 20/20 vision again! Afterwards, we visited a really cool member named Cameron and talked to him to see how he was doing for a while. We finished the day with some finding. It was a simple, but good day. Thursday is always our favorite day of the week, as we always have really cool teaches in Westbury and Warminster followed by Thursday night basketball. It is so much fun. I love playing basketball, getting to know the members, and meeting new people that we can teach. We also made cookies with a less-active member and we MIGHT have forgot the flour... might have, nobody knows for sure. Friday was also great. We did some cleaning of the chapel and had a teach with the Hicks! They are one of my favorite families to work with. We always have a good time. After that (and a couple of other visits in Frome) we had a DA with our ward mission leader at Flames Kebab (we do this every Friday, yet somehow I have lost 30 pounds... would someone like to explain that to me?) to talk about the work and to see if we needed any help. It's always fun.Saturday was another relatively uneventful day. We did some service at the Hicks (tearing down some walls... that was awesome!) and then some finding. We got a referral for a Nigerian guy named ... who we are apparently supposed to call on Tuesday? That'll be sweet. We also had a great dinner appointment. Sunday, as always, was great! I love the Trowbridge Ward. We taught Gospel Principles (as per usual) and enjoyed some great sacament meeting talks. Afterwards, there was a munch and mingle for a family who is moving out of the ward. It was a great Sunday.
We are not quite sure what we we are going to do today. We were going to take the train to Bristol so we could buy clothes at Primark and see these graffitied streets... but seeing as it is raining, we are going to stay in Trowbridge. I'm sure we will do something fun though! :) Moves are in about three weeks and my three month mark is next week... is that weird, or what?! I find that hard to believe... the time is just flying. I just hope I stay in Trowbridge! There is a pretty good chance that I will.
I have been lacking in the postage department as of late. I still enjoy getting the Weekly Report from Becky, it's always great hearing about what is happening on Capitol Hill, even when Congress is on recess. I just love getting letters in general as well, so don't be afraid to write :) I am working on some letter responses right now, so those will be out soon.
Monday, August 20, 2012
Hello everybody! I hope you all had an awesome week! I sure did. We've made a lot of progress in the last week. I've personally learned so much.
One area I've especially noticed growth in throughout the past week is my personal scripture study. A goal I set for the week was to be more alert during personal study... which, as those who associate with me often will know, was quite tough... seeing as personal study is daily at 8 AM. In trying to be more alert, I found that I was able to learn far more throughout the week. Not only that, but I was able to apply what I learned whilst teaching throughout the day.
I've also grown a lot in our finding activities. The more and more people we talk to on the street, the more I improve at it! Last Wednesday at District Meeting, we talked extensively about praying with an "eye of faith" and asking for specific people to teach. On exchange, Elder Price and I prayed to speak to a young person who is troubled and has deep questions. That day, we gave Book of Mormons to not one, but FOUR people who were leaving for university that weekend who we would not have found otherwise.
Miracle of the week: on Tuesday morning, we were going through the Area Book and found a former in Melksham... we could NOT find their street anywhere on the map. We prayed that we'd find it but it was to no avail. That night, we had a dinner appointment in Melksham (about 12 miles away) we missed our bus so we had to walk. On our way, we looked to our left and THERE WAS THE STREET. It was in an area that wasn't on any of our maps. The Lord truly answers the prayers of his faithful servants, what a blessing.
Basketball contacting continues to be a huge success. We are finding people every single week and inviting them to play with the ward on Thursdays. It's so much fun! Plus, my basketball skills are always on the rise hahaha. Our teaching pool has grown soooo much this week. We have dropped the people who aren't progressing in favor of the "good" investigators who don't flog us all the time! Also we have started working with two less active Fijians who invite us over ALL the time and tell us to "bring our sleeping bags" HAHAHAHA. They are teaching us to cook Fijian style. Yesterday they invited us to a Fijian bbq and we had chicken chop sui with Fish cooked in coconut milk... SOOOO DELICIOUS. It was seriously amazing.
Okay that's about all for this week!
I'd love to see some letters in the mail this week :)
Love you all so much and thank you for all the support. I feel your prayers every day and am so blessed to be serving the Lord.
- Elder F
Monday, August 13, 2012
Hey everyone! I am VERY short on time this week, so I'll fit in what I can!
This week was chalkful of miracles. I gained an incredible testimony of the power of priesthood blessings. Last week, I gave a less active who has throat cancer a blessing. A week later, we found out that her outlook had drastically improved. She only needs to go in to get radiation a few more times. It was an incredible experience and I am so grateful to hold that incredible power. We also got a call from a member in our ward saying that his daughter, who has been less active for eight years, wanted to come back to church and that she wanted to start by having the missionaries over. Elder VA and I stopped by and taught/talked to her and her fam for 2.5 hours- it was awesome!
Yesterday I gave a talk in Sacrament Meeting on "Gifts of the Spirit." It was my first time talking in church without having all the words right in front of me haha I was way nervous but it felt really good whe I was done. As he was introducing me, Bishop said that it was a priveledge to sit in front of me because my singing voice was so good hahaha so that was obviously a great feeling!
Also, I got the package that the Oakton Stake Youth sent... you guys are all the best! Seriously, Oakton Stake for life. To those of you who included your address, I'll write you when I get the time! I sent out some letters this morning to various people.
I'm sorry I'm out of time. Being a missionary is the greatest thing in the world! :)
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Monday, August 6, 2012
Hello everyone! It is the begginning of another great week in Trowbridge. Happy birthday to Michael and Joey. I am sure that the Deep Creek celebrations for both were as marvelous as they always are.
It should come as no surprise that the Olympics are the buzz of England right now. We have been given permission to watch the Olympics, so long as it does not interfere with our proselyting efforts (so we can watch them whilst visiting members.) Excitement was especially evident on Saturday night. Luckily, we were able to watch Jessica Ennis (that's her name, right?) win her gold medal. We were also able to see that British guy who (Elder von Allmen and I could not help but note) looks EXACTLY like Neil Patrick Harris aka Barney Stinson. Could that be considered a tender mercy? I don't see why not! Regardless, it was such a priveledge to be able to watch several Olympic events this week.
We were also able to visit the family twice this week. Their coming back to church is truly a miracle. Niki then asked me to give her a blessing which, given her extreme circumstances, was VERY scary... especially because I thought that she would ask Elder von Allmen. I had about... one minute of mental preparation. We had been fasting since the previous night and we both had the spirit, but I was nervous nonetheless. I said a quick prayer and just said what came to my heart. It was such a marvelous experience. I know the words I spoke were not my own. I hardly remember what I said. But I know it was exactly what I was supposed to say. What a powerful experience. She now wants us to give blessings to both her children some time this week.
One thing we have also tried over the past week or so is basketball contacting. Every few days, we go to the courts at the park and play with whoever is there. We now have a group of six or seven Yugoslavians that regularly invite us to play with them. Several are coming to the church to play with us on Wednesday. It's a fantastic finding tool, they ask all sorts of questions about the church, missionary work, and why we do what we do. These are people that we could nto have found any other way. I am so excited to see what happens with them.
I also was able to go on exchange in Bath once again last Tuesday and Wednesday. I love being able to work with Elder Perry. He is such a great example to me and an incredible District Leader. Bath is also a pretty cool place as well. I cannot imagine a flat with a better view than the one in Bath! So cool.
I again feel the need to express my endless gratitude that I am seriving in Trowbridge. The ward gets more and more supportive by the week. I am so happy I am here and hope I get to stay here for a long time. It's so hard to believe that I'll have been out two months tomorrow! The time really flies, doesn't it? It feels like I just reported to the MTC.
To those reading this, I'd like to say the following: the Book of Mormon is true and it was translated by the power of God as given to the Prophet Joseph Smith. Christ's church was restored through him. If those things were not true, I would not be out here doing this. I just wouldn't be. If you take the simple steps of reading the Book of Mormon and praying to know if it's true, you can come to this same knowledge. I pray that each and everyone of you do this, whether it be for the first or fiftieth time.