Week 23-November 2, 2015
HAPPY HALLOWEEN J SQUAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ashley, did those three people get baptised saturday!? I hope so! How was your halloween?
Our week was nuts! to begin with, yes the UK sort of celebrates halloween and it is beginning to become more and more popular. but it is nothing like american halloween. i missed decorating our front yard and house and making all those ghosts out of bed sheets and soccer balls and scaring people with the microphone and hiding in the bed of the truck. we had dinner at a members home on halloween and they gave us a ton of candy which was super super sweet. but the real halloween celebration didnt happen until we got home after planning that night... Elder Tinao, my super cool buddy from australia brought a full bunny suit from australia and it has a mask and everything- he put it on and him and I went downstairs and onto our street and tried some trick or treating. didnt really work out too well but he scared some people and i was just about dying from laughter hahaha so we did what we could to celebrate but we werent able to do much. still a super fun great halloween! i was ranting to my companion though becuase people here in england dont know how it is supposed to be done... there are just tons of creepy people in their 20's who paint their faces and walk around being creepy. halloween is all about little girls dressing up as disney princesses! i was so angry. i only saw ONE disney princess the whole day.. i got on a bus to go home and behind me was a young girl in a princess costume and i was so happy ( i had all the candy the member gave us) that i turned around and gave her a big peice of candy. she made my whole night the way her face lit up and she smiled at me. I am going to teach england how halloween is meant to go down! her mom said it wasnt fair so i had to give her a peice as well..
So last week was super super crazy because we were supposed to have the baptism for Mike, but he didn't go through with it. It taught the sisters and I a very powerful lesson about the adversary- when he came to have a lesson at the chapel he asked me to be there for it during the week and he talked about our interview and how he had thought more about it since and decided he didnt know if the Book of Mormon was true or not yet and he didn't want to do it until he knew. basically he wasnt himself at all and we were all devastated. it was really sad the way you could see all of his doubts overpowering his faith. it makes me realize that what president uchdorf said in the last conference is very true- it takes no honor, no strength of character, or integrity to live a life of unbelief and skepticism. the mark of a truly great man is one who decides to believe in something and to live according to it.
this week was full of crazy exchanges! i did a lot of street contacting for other areas and for other companionships and we had some good success finding young single adults which was cool. i also spent some time in a portugese speaking area which is a long story but for the first 3 or four days of the week i didnt spend much time in our area. i really enjoy being with all kinds of missionaries though and my zone leader and i had a ton of fun contacting the other day- we worked super well together and it was really productive. i think that unity is a very important thing.
i really think that i am getting extremely awkward. i am now way too comfortable tlaking to people all the time and in all kinds of places and i think i am developing an immunity to feeling the awkwardness i create and that worries me- but oh well it is serving me well as a missionary!
to tell you all about my week would be impossible- in terms of investigators, we are struggling and it is hard but we are getting super close to many of the members and that has been a great blessing. also, I CANT WAIT FOR CHRISTMAS!!! I will almost surely be leaving Hyde Park in the end of november because it will be 6 months which breaks my heart. i also hope that i can serve somewhere in london during christmas so i can say i was in london for christmas.
Dad- the picture i sent is of me wearing trousers from home- they are a little baggy in english missionary terms! i have some tighter ones that i wear a lot as well that elder leite gave me when he left the flat.and i started wearing a cardigan another missionary gave me and some sweaters (we say jumpers) that i found as well so i think that i am looking more and more english each day... someone told me i have a nice twang in my accent though, that was funny. i still sound american but some of the rougher edges of american accent is getting smoothed off i think. also, i cant tell you how much it helps to remember the good that I can do simply by standing on the street sometimes. i know that everyone is watching and looking at us and that they way i conduct myself is very important... i focus on being Christlike and then pray that it will make a difference on someone, somewhere, but my selfishness makes me wish i could see more results now- not hope that they will happen one day in the future and i will never know about it.
The more i study the scriptures, the more true i see that they are. also, i begin to understand that this life and the gospel and what we do is far more important than i ever before realized. it used to be a nice thing that made me happy and made my family happy- now i realize that this is a much more serious matter. "wherefore men are free according to the flesh... and they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death according to the captivity and power of the devil, for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself."
I know that Heavenly Father is more than the Creator of the Universe- he is our father! how willing are we to listen and trust Him? for me, not as often as i wish that i would. but all we can do is press forward with a steadfastness in Christ and rely on the mercies of him who is mighty to save.
I love you all so much! i hope that the wedding goes really well and that Grandpa is really happy! Have a wonderful week!!!!!!!!!!! praying for ya'll. best family ever
with all the love in the world,
p.s. jonathan reeves (from duarte ward) is in my ward here! also i gave a blessing to Ezra Taft Benson's great grandson... pretty neat. his wife knows trevor schramm and is from los alamos! dad, i dont know her maiden name so i doubt i could tell you what family she is from... sorry!