Sunday, November 15, 2015

Week 24-November 9, 2015

Week 24-November 9, 2015
Tie so fly you die eating pie (im just trying to one up lydias cool title)

wasssssssssssssUP fam!? sorry for the title, i was trying to make up a rhyme and we had pumpkin pie and i wear a lot of ties and that was all i could come up with (given i didnt spend much time thinking)

First of all WOW lydia and natalie look like theyre ready to head off to college and take over the world when on earth did you two start looking and getting so old? You both look beautiful though, almost a little bit too much so... mental note to self to start praying harder that no boys in arcadia get the wrong idea. Mandy, you wouldnt believe how jealous i am of you reading by the fire this week a lot. We have started listening to christmas music and i wish so badly we had a fireplace to lay by. It is getting cold here in the UK! Benjamin, way to go winning all your games this week. always remember.. if you arent first, youre last. So always be first. Mom, way to be! elder murri plays the downloaded GC talks in the morning at times while we shower and eat bfast and i love it. also, hyde park 2 had their christmas program this week sa well! i can totally see you sitting there bawling while the kids sing. because i almost did myself! there are two things i love and they are children and primary songs so it was an amazing sunday for me.

We have had the really neat opportunity to teach a 9 year old boy who is the son of a recent convert to prepare him to be baptised and this sunday i had a special moment. I was sitting next to him, the boy (his name is Alister kinda like the one in dad's lab) during the sacrament meeting, and he was in this really nice neat suit all dressed up nice and with his long hair combed and everything. he looked so dashing, but i knew inside exactly how he must have felt while his mom forced him into nice clothes and combed his usually crazy hair because heavens knows me and ben have been there before. (youre the best mom) anyways as we sat there together, him taking up so much less of the bench and his feet hanging off the ground, the primary started singing one of my favorite songs and i suddenly looked down to my side at alister and felt a strong feeling of love for him- i already loved him but in that moment it was so strong! then i realized why, and felt very humble and blessed. I felt like i was in arcadia, sitting next to benjamin at the end of the row in sacrament meeting. they are about the same age, and he reminded me of the little brother i have many miles away. I leaned over down to him and whispered, "i love this song" to which he looked up at me and gave me a big grin and said excitedly, " me too!" i gave him a fist bump (always appropriate no matter the situation) and he smiled really big and i felt my heart melt as i realized that the Lord had blessed me with the friendship of this little boy to remind me just how much i love children and especially my own siblings. I know i am in the right place and i am not often homesick but in that moment i really missed you guys. Its cool to hear that the arcadia ward had their primary program this week as well. 

the other really cool experience i want to share is that we were asked to sing altogether as the missionaries in our zone for a pair of sister's baptism yesterday. A guy named patrick who is 19 years old and who i have gotten to know playing basketball with on friday nights and talking to in the chapel at times was baptised and i learned things i will never forget. His story is incredible- he had tons of questions about 3 years ago and began to do some resesarch. one of his big questions was why modern revelation supposedly didnt exist and why there wwere no more prophets in these days. he was searching for answers when he stumbled across Joseph Smith on the internet. he read all about him and his life and his death and he said that he knew at that time that Joseph Smith was a prophet. things progressed and miracle after miracle led him to read the Book of Mormon and finally he decided something had to be done and he walked into our chapel one day about a month ago and told the sisters he would like to be baptised. His testimony was incredible- and it brought many questions into my own mind. would i be as strong as him and have the faith to be baptised if i were in his shoes? he and I are similar in personality and the exact same age and i love the guy. If i had not been raised in the church, and stumbled across it, would i have walked the same path he had walked? I feel confident that i would. i sat there thinking over my life and realized that not a day goes by that i am not compelled by one reason or another to be a better person because i decided to be baptised a member of the true church -i have never once regretted that decision and my life is infinitely different and better because of it. It was a special experience and when i gave him a hug after the meeting it was a tender moment and i was able to tell him what an example he was to me.

We are teaching a woman named Maggie who is columbian and in her 50's or 60's and is the sweetest lady ever. She is Jehovahs witness but is so sincerely interested in finding out about the Book of Mormon and is willing to join the church when she receives a confirmation that it is true. Besides her and Alister, we are still looking for more people. It is incredible the things you learn as a missionary. to begin to say it all would take ages! but I LOVE YOU EACH SO MUCH ! there is nothing like leaving your family to teach you just how much you love them and cherish them. i am always praying for you all. Thank you for your support and for your examples to me. you are each such an example to me on how i can do better and on what i need to improve. I finished my journal this morning and skimmed over it... reading over my entries in the MTC and while in LAX almost 6 months ago almost gives me goosebumps. it has been so long and i have learned so much, and yet the days and weeks and months pass by like signs on the side of the road on the I-15 on the way to Utah. It's like im already in Las Vegas and i will be through the first quarter of my precious time out here pretty soon. unbelievable.

Elder J

p.s. mom ill send some pics from my ipad.
p.p.s. yea i got the package from the primary. loved it :) please send lana my thanks! 
p.p.p.s. natalie keep up the letters! I look forward to them so much. 

My MTC bud Elder Chiwara from Zimbabwe. Plus sister hannig (in my district)

Me and Elder Wood in front of the ice rink outside the Natural History Museum! Too bad we can't go ice skating I want to so bad

Elder wood snapped some pics of me and this SUPER cute puppy that a less active and his wife have at the moment.. The daddy dog is on the bottom of the pic. The puppy would drive Mandy and natalie and Lydia and ashley nuts... It s cuteness is unimaginable 

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