Saturday, June 15, 2013
Faithful family and friends,
Where do I even begin? Even if I used the entire two hours of allotted email time, I couldn't begin to describe half of the incredibleness that happened this week. I suppose I should start with the most exciting thing, which will help all of you understand why I did not have a chance to email yesterday.
On Saturday night, my companion was doing his normal accounting. Elder La Mazza said that at the end of accounting he had an announcement that would blow everyones mind and apparently was the best announcement of his mission. I, having a tendency to be slightly cynical when it comes to announcements, kind of brushed it off... until we heard the announcement. He said "we might not have P-Day on Monday." He then continued that there MIGHT be a special Zone Conference. In Hyde Park Chapel (central London.) With the London Mission (also, IN the London Mission might I add!) With a "special speaker." The western zones would not get to go. Here was the catch though, we wouldn't know until 10 AM on the day of! We needed to be in our very best, ready to shoot off to London at 10 AM. Sure enough, at 9:45 Monday morning, we received a message instructing us to call our Zone Leaders for travel plans. We did just that. The whole Zone congragated at Reading Station at 12:15 then we all took a direct train out of our mission to London Paddington. We then walked through London, explored Hyde Park (we took a Zone picture out of the mission... hahahaha), and met up below the Hyde Park chapel. I was then able to have a joyous reunion with my wonderful trainer (who I hadn't seen since he left Trowbridge), Elders Astle and Erickson (who I hadn't seen since the MTC... Elder Astle and I have lost 90 pounds between the two of us), and many others.
After about an hour of waiting, we went up and for ten minutes, Elder M. RUSSELL BALLARD OF THE QUORUM OF THE 12 addressed both the London and London South missions. Then, the London mision was dismissed (they had had most of their conference already) and we moved into the actual chapel. First, we heard from our Area President, Elder Texeira. He gave a wonderful presentation about how we needed to set higher goals and raise our visions. Then, Elder Ballard addressed us. He said we needed to "find more, teach more, baptize more, and reactivate more." He invited us to teach with greater simplicity and turn the balance of our missions over to the Lord. We then heard from Sister Millar and President Millar. President told us that several months ago, in the very building we were in, he was told that the work could explode in Europe... but if it did, it would need to start in the UK. If it was going to start in the UK, it needed to start in the London and London South missions. He then said "The gauntlet has been thrown down, do you accept that challenge?" With smiles on our face and our MTC experience a year prior fresh in our minds, Elder Grachyov, Elder Astle, and I looked at each other and said in unison "CHALLENGE ACCEPTED!" We all left the meeting fired up and ready to find, teach, and baptize.
Needless to day, yesterday was pretty awesome.
The work is going wonderfully here. Our investigators are all progressing again. The members are getting excited. We're getting excited. I had an amazing interview with President Millar last week. We are calling down miracles from on high on a daily basis.
I hit my year mark last Friday. That is strange. It's going by far too fast...
I love you all. I hope your week is half as wonderful as mine is going to be!
PS The picture is me with my trainer- Elder von Allmen. It was so good to see him!