Monday, November 21, 2016

Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving.

Hey everyone!
It's been a little while...
Let me just update you on what's going on.
These past few weeks have been some of my favourite on my mission. Elder Tinker and I have been having a lot of funworking away. I've been losing myself in the work quite a bit, and that's the way I like it. Nottingham is a great place. It is so diverse, and there is so much potential for sharing the gospel. We had been in a bit of a rut for a while and decided we would go about things differently. So we started working in  the more middle/upper class areas and surprisingly have been seeing success. We met/ have been working with a guy  named Caleb, and he is absolutely astounding. I've never met an 18 year old in England with such a level head, In or out of the church. It's astounding how well the principles of the gospel resonate with him. It's been really fun teaching  him. The night we met him he asked if we drink and smoke, and we told him no... The next time we met with him,  (5 days later or so) he told us he had stopped smoking. He keeps surprising us with his ability to comply with the
gospel. So that's been pretty exciting.
I'm not sure what else to say really. Things have been going quite well.
Hope everyone has a great thanksgiving.
Love you guys

Monday, October 3, 2016

Life is trucking along nicely.

Hey everyone!
      These past few weeks have been pretty eventful. For one, our investigator friends are doing nicely. We had a couple incidents of our friends getting into anti-Mormon literature which set them back a ways, so that was pretty disappointing. In one particular incidence we could tell something was wrong from the first minute. Our friend was acting odd and being strangely quiet, and then after a while started being really challenging and quite aggressive. It was totally out of character. The spirit definitely gets the credit in how the situation was handled, and I remember one thing that was particularly memorable. It was noted that in the literature our friend was reading, it would always advise her to steer clear of us. And specifically to avoid coming to church, reading the scriptures, and praying. It was then added that everything we do is to invite her to do those three things. Those are the three major things we can do to invite revelation into our life, and it was a good reminder to see that the fruits of something are the evidence of the character and nature of the thing we are studying. If a source is saying stop doing the things that will bring us close to God, we can know from where that source is receiving it's inspiration. (And know that it's not from God)
     On a different note however, general conference was the very opposite of that experience. It was seriously inspiring. I really appreciated the talks from President Nelson and .... There is always something for everyone in general conference. We had to walk from town to the chapel and back many many times over the course of the two days. (About a 35 minute walk) so that got a bit tiring....
But it was worth it. Unfortunately a couple of our investigators who would have benefited the most from conference had things come up last minute. Fortunately, we have the means to revisit the talks as much as we want. :)
     So that was pretty much our week. Oh, We met a few people who are way cool as well this week. They seem to be interested in what we share, so that's nice. University is back in session, so there are loads of new people here. We have been enjoying it.
Hope everything is going well for everybody.
Hope you enjoyed conference!
Love you guys

Monday, September 12, 2016

Heeeere's the latest.

We had everyone at church, Susan had asked a member to baptize her, the whole lot. Then she called her mom. Well her mom didn't approve, so as typical of Chinese culture, Susan decided to follow her parents. When she called, she was devastated. That was pretty sad :/
But other than that, things are going so well. Our friend Gloria is a Chinese girl, studying at the university here in Coventry. She has been with us to church for the past few weeks. She is so awesome! Even growing up in a Godless culture, she has a faith in God. She doesn't really know him yet, so we are teaching her who God is.
Our friend Anu who we met a month or so ago, has finally come to church and brought her son Ashwin. (I love Ashwin, he is the funniest little guy ever) 

On top of all that, we met an awesome family from Texas last week. Well, the dads a Texan and the mom is a English woman gone Texan :) Anyways, they came to church and brought their 4 children this week.
So There were a lot of people with us this week, it was amazing. And to top it off, it was fast Sunday. So church was all that much more touching. We're definitely happy about the people we are working with. Other than teaching, things are also going well. I'm just enjoying the time I have left.
Lately, I have really been feeling the strength that the past year and a half have brought to me.
While still as human as ever, but I definitely feel the strength it has given me in regards to decision making.
Oh yeah, cool story.. all of our investigators mentioned some touching spiritual experience at church. I was fasting that our investigators would feel the spirit at church, so it was amazing to hear.
I was a bit worried for our investigators that came for the first time. I was just hoping they would be in touch with the spirit and enjoy it... But after a short period a thought came to my mind, which was something my mission president always says... "Let the spirit do the heavy lifting". I put my trust in the spirit and my focus on that nervous hope eased immediately. And in the end, they all recognised
the spirit in some form... So that was awesome.
But yup, that about sums up things here. Oh yeah, transfers are tomorrow. My new comp is a Canadian Chinese guy, elder Lo. He's a pretty cool guy, I'm way excited.
Hope things are going well for everyone.

Monday, August 22, 2016

This week was really awesome. We had an awesome experience, with our investigator Susan. She has been struggling to commit to baptism for a long time, but she finally did it. She was so excited on Sunday, she was telling everyone and getting so pumped up... Then she called her mom in Malaysia to tell her. Well her mom told her not to get baptized until she had a job and house and super stable life, etc. She was devastated.
So that was sort of hard. But we are trying to help her out through that right now.
Pray for her!
We also met a girl named Gloria and she is so elect. It is amazing.
We are sooooo excited to continue teaching her. I will definitely write more about it later.
Oh yeah, this week I went back to Swindon for a baptism of a guy I found while still there. That was fun.

That's basically life over here. We went to Warwick castle today. That was fun!

Random guy with a matching shirt.

Anyways. Talk to you later

Monday, August 15, 2016

That which we persist in doing

Hey guys :)
     Things are going great over here! This last week was a lot of fun :) we had a mini missionary called elder priest. He's a prospective elder from Nottingham. We had a few good laughs, a few good scares, and a lot of miracles. We got a couple of investigators to commit to baptism. One has been investigating for a long time and really feels the spirit at church, but she is just way afraid to get baptized. But she's going to do it!
     Also the awesome Indian lady we are teaching said she wants to get baptized. But she got sick, so she couldn't come to church yesterday :'(      But she is so cool and I love teaching her.
     As you are aware, we had no car last week... Which was fun. So We rode bikes and rode the bus. It was way less convenient, but we realized that we made everything we did more quality, because it took more effort to get places. Reflecting on it, I think there is a good lesson there. The easier things get in our lives, the more complacent we become, and it often does us harm. So I'm trying to keep that mentality of making every moment more valuable.
     Also something interesting happened this week. We talked with someone on the street and I realized that I need to be able to communicate Christ's message with more clarity. So I decided to study up in the New Testament, from a more general view. So most nights this week I've been skipping a few hours of sleep to dig into different material. It has brought me a great deal of peace and joy. I find that one of my favorite pastimes is immersing myself into scripture, for long periods of time.
     Interesting that something that was so unfamiliar to me has become one of the greatest aspects of my life. It makes me think of a quote I heard recently, and quite like... It goes like this
"That which we persist in doing becomes easier for us to do; not that the nature of the thing itself is changed, but that our power to do is increased." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.  
That is so true. I have see that over and over out here. The mission hasn't just been a spiritual testimony builder, but it has really altered the way I perceive the world around me. It has shown me that the only things that are impossible to accomplish are the things we don't persistently strive to obtain.
     The light of the body is the eye. Even so, if we nourish hope, we will obtain faith. And if we engage our faith persistently, we will obtain the reward of our desires. In things both spiritual and temporal.
This week has been sunny and wonderful here, and I have just been so happy. Life is good.
Hope everything is going well at home.
Love you guys  Here are some pictures from district meetings.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Coventry update 8.8.16

Hey guys!

     It's been a while. But I just wanted to do a little update so that everyone could see how things are going for me over here in the land of tea and crumpets. In a week from today I have 6 months until I board the plane home, and that has driven me to do quite a bit of reflection as of late! Reflection and 'planning'... Or in other words, fretting over the fact that choices of significant impact exist. But on the reflection side, things have been a bit more impactful. Seeing that I'm nearly 3/4 done hasn't made some huge impact in my desire to 'finish strong'... But it has really driven me to see the significant influence these last 18 months have had on me. So that's been a bit eye opening.  In other light, things are trucking along quite nicely here in Coventry. We've starting working with a couple cool guys who were taught in the past and have a way solid foundation, so that has been way fun.
     Also, last night we taught an Indian lady for the first time, and it was fantastic. I've probably said this before in emails, but Indians are my people. I just love them and their culture (and cuisine). The lesson was absolutely fantastic. We brought a ward member who originally comes from India, and he absolutely made the lesson. He knew the language, the culture, the religions, and he really opened her heart to the spirit. She told us of her search for truth, and how the conventional Hindu path had not answered the questions of her soul. We promised her that we would show her how to fill that gap in her soul. I am so excited to continue to teach her! Most Hindus use their belief in all religions as a means of denying following any particular one, so it was way cool to have an experience like this.
     Differently, we are on bikes right now...
This past week a man we had never before met comes up, takes our keys and drives off in our car. We had just gotten home and were literally right in front of our flat. He was dressed pretty nice, and our guard was totally down..... It makes it slightly better that he works for the auto company and it was a pre arranged occurrence. In other words, the car is in the auto shop. Haha, I gave a couple people in the mission office quite a scare telling the story that way... (Don't worry, I eventually let them know he was with the auto shop).  But yeah, the car is gone for a week so we are biking. My body has gotten so unused to biking, especially since we are covering car distances with bikes. So that has been tiring, Oh yeah, our car and the sisters car got broken into a couple weeks ago and the sat navs were stolen.. So we'd been getting quite lost lately. Which is fun.
     But yeah, I'm not sure what else to add. We have a mini missionary. He came today, seems like a cool guy. Other than that, hope everyone is doing well. Love you guys.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Email is not working this week so individuals won't get the emails that were written

So on Monday we had P hours that ended promptly at 6 and got flogged (stood up) by a waster. On Tuesday my companion and I got separated as he took his theory test, and I was able to just sit on an electricity box and chill (all alone). I thought about setting up a date with this cute Indian girl but I decided against it. Then we went to contact some potentials, but they were nowhere to be found and elder Smith was like "where are the pots?". We stopped by a guy named Clive and set up a lesson for later in the week, and got dropped by our investigator which sucked cause we were going to get a ride from him to church in a 3 wheeled car (reliant robin!)... We took a member out teaching and got flogged by everyone, as per usual whenever we take him out. Poor guy. On Wednesday we got carried away GQ-Ing (street contacting) and made a guy wait who wanted to check out our flat. Then we spent the day trying to find new people and visit less active members. We had this cool guy on a date for baptism but we showed up and his dad cursed at us and told us to leave or he would call the police. So that was exciting. Then we saw Gemma who was way cool, and we get to have dinner with her next week which is a plus as well. She is so solid and her fiancĂ©e is famous on vine! And she wants to get baptised but not till she moves to Arizona (another reason to visit Ash). Thursday we had zone meeting and it was alright. Then we basically drove and ACTUALLY taught Clive and he read the Book of Mormon (like 3 verses but that was better than nothing). We were on exchange with elder Wright and elder On Friday we stopped by this lady named Fungi. Yes, Fungi. Like the stuff that grows on the ground. Then we saw Belinda, and she told us about her date the night before which was kind of awkward. Elder Matus just talked about random stuff but...yep. That was confusing. Then we left for Birmingham where we went on exchange with the AP's. We tried to talk to people on a Friday night in Birmingham, which is kind of like Portland. Then we taught some sweet twins from Iran or something. On Saturday we had sports which was cool, then tried to weekly plan and failed, but got kind of close. We got flogged and had some surprise lessons, and pretty much that was our day. Sunday we had church and taught Fallon which was awesome, then we saw this sweet less active Lithuanian family, and that was our day.

Have a great week everyone. Eat some pizza, sing in the rain, and give a man with a moustache a high five.  Have a good week

Monday, June 13, 2016

New Area

Hey guys!
This week Richard and Angela from my last ward got baptized so we went back for that.
So that was way cool :)
It's been a while, so I think it's time for an update. I don't remember what my last update was all about, so I'll just talk about Sheldon from the beginning. When I came into Sheldon we weren't teaching too many people, but the ward was so amazing. I felt welcomed by them from the beginning. Over the couple transfers I was there we focused a lot on finding the less actives, and we met so many great people. We didn't meet loads of new people from street contacting, but we had a really good time. Every Saturday we would play sports and two families would come almost each week. The Smiths and the Blackwells. A couple of the children had disabilities, and I quickly found a great love for them. It seemed that I lived for Saturday's. The thought of spending time with my dear young friends brightened my days, even in the dark times. Being able to build that trusting relationship with them was one of the most touching things that has happened to me on the mission. It really shaped my time there. When I got the call that I was moving, I felt really mixed up. I love the Sheldon ward so much. Coventry has become a great blessing to me as well. We wake up at 5:30 to play sports with the district for an hour. It shapes the whole day! We have a car, so we can be way more effective. We have so many things pulling at our time that it has made me use my planner more frequently and effectively. It's been pushing me out of my comfort zone lots, and I'm so grateful for it. I sang at a baptism with a sister last week, I've had to meet loads of new people, and I've committed myself to finding in more daunting ways. All in all, it's pushing me a lot and I'm so happy because of it. I haven't slept much because I've been so excited. I'll start to get sleepy when I pray but by the time I lay on my bed my mind is racing over what has happened in the day. It's been teaching me so much about the potential power of a mission, and I know I've only hit the tip of the iceberg. I'm so excited for this transfer. I love the things it's offering me. My new comp is a great guy, and we get along well. So that makes everything better. Especially the fact that he laughs at my stupid jokes. Ha :)
So things are definitely going well. On a different note, I want to share a little bit about how I came to have a testimony of the gospel. You all know that I'm the farthest away from the 'faithful' kind of guy. I never was interested because I was never really engaged. I prayed for years, but my lack of sincerity caused me to receive seemingly nothing. Ultimately when I decided that I would read the Book of Mormon, the sincerity to find out entered my heart and subsequently, I began the process of becoming a candidate of receiving Moroni's promise. Or in other words, my heart began to change to really listen to God when I started to read the Book of Mormon. That book has proved to be a constant guide to joy in my life since. Anyone who will give 30 minutes of their time each day to the prayerful study of it will come to know by the witness of the spirit that Jesus is truly the Christ, and that he watches over us. Lately I have been learning the importance of a sincere heart in conversion and have started looking more specifically for those who will act rather than wish to simply be given answers. It has open the windows of heaven in his great work. I still may not be the most spiritual, but I do have a testimony, and it is dear to me.
We had a Tri stake conference with elder oaks this Sunday and it was the most down to earth meeting I've ever been to. It was a witness to me that following the will of Christ is far more significant than being 'spiritual'. I wish everyone could consider Moroni's promise, and take him up on it.
I love you all.
Keep your heads up :)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Conference really touched my heart.

Hello everybody! :)
This past couple weeks have been so great for me. I just wanted to share a snippet of some of the thoughts and things that have been going on in my life.

In large part, I think General Conference is what I'll be relating to. Conference really touched my heart. Let me backtrack a bit...

My mission thus far has been me consciously trying to urge my prideful heart to humility and falling back after every small victory. A living testament to me, of the Book of Mormon in action. My inability to overcome the cyclical nature of pride (seemingly in the slightest) has brought me to a close relationship with the Book of Mormon and a sad realization of my own inadequacies. Those inadequacies have driven me to the extremes, both being apathetic toward the gospel/ totally focussed on myself, and feeling like I must be in some enlightened state at every waking moment. While in reality the answer (as in most things) lies in a carefully constructed balance... But I find balance ever so hard. So I've been drifting back and forth on my mission wishing I could get stuck somehow in the middle. Being my best self, and feeling that my actions are right. In reality, I don't have the capacity to be perfectly constant, and that's where Christ comes in. Conference caught me In an incident of apathy. Not so much toward the work, but rather, the way that the Lord wants the work to be done. Having a desire to improve, I went with three questions... regarding how I could give my heart more fully to the lords work as an individual. What marvelous answers I was given! Answers I've been longing to know for a great deal of time were spoken with such simplicity that they were unmistakable. This truly was a conference of renewal and invigoration. What a blessing it is to have such an opportunity as that so frequently in our lives.

Here are some of my thoughts from this past conference- The gospel is true and it is simple and it is one, it is all interconnected. As we struggle in the smaller aspects (of the gospel), the answer is to improve the bigger aspects in our lives. It will cast out the doubt and bring understanding to our mind. Many of the problems in our lives would be solved if we were to turn more fully to the gospel and rely on the Savior. At least for me I know... That most of my problems come from acting or thinking in such a way that is not in harmony with what Christ taught. Which leads me to see that As we put more faith in the promises of the gospel/the scriptures, the converting power comes more fully into our hearts. We obtain the faith through study and pondering. (Gradually) Sometimes we get a spiritual boost that enlightens our vision, but if we do not act on that heightened vision, it avails us nothing, for (as was said by president Uchtdorf)... if faith does not change the way we act, our religion is vain. After a major spiritual lift such as conference, If we do not act more in harmony with the gospel, we de-sensitize ourselves to spiritual understanding. As president Monson said, our actions have eternal significance. Choices are perpetual. Our realities today are created by what we chose yesterday, and tomorrow will be a result of how we deal with yesterday's choices today.

This gospel is either true or not. It's either full of wisdom or lies. We must let the gospel itself prove to us of its truthfulness. As we act in faith by following the inspired wisdom the leaders of the church (especially the prophets), we will see wisdom and power will enter into our lives. This is an unavoidable result of the heavenly laws by which we obtain blessings. Let the gospel prove its truthfulness or its falsity by its fruits. God does not and cannot lie. By nature, the gospel is unmovable and constant. Moreover, we are either spiritual beings having a physical experience or we are physical beings void of any spirit. Therefore if the gospel is true, it is the single most important thing for us to dedicate our lives to. Which means, we must ponder what God desires for us to do in our lives and then act, having the faith that gods promises will be fulfilled. It all boils down to being obedient to the teachings of the gospel. Like president Uchtdorf said, obedience is the lifeblood of faith. As we obey the letter of the law, we learn the spirit of the law. Which when entertained, will guide us to eventually being able to follow both. We cannot however let the spirit of the law become an excuse to disregard even partially the letter of the law. For in the spirit is the law, and the law and the spirit are one. Anyways, I'll just say that conference really spoke volumes to me. I can say that I know Conference is guidance from the Lord, out of the mouths of his elected leaders. The words spoken are the most significant words and counsel we could follow over the course of the next six months. There is no book or work more significant than those words. I felt the spirit testify of this to me, as I had my heart stirred by the words I heard.

The work here is going really well. I am finding slowly that by applying the counsel from conference I am being able to magnify my ability to fulfil my calling. Even if my capacity to do so is only 1.01x zoom. We are working with some great people, and my heart is really going out to the ward and a few people we teach. Yesterday we stopped by a member family, and the parents were so sincere in telling us of their concerns in raising their children in the world we live in today. Praying for them and their children before we departed was the most love deepening, touching experience I have had with members on my mission. When people are sincere, my ability to be open with them increases 100 fold... And this area is so full with sincere people. It warms my heart. I hope I never leave.
Anyways, that's all for now.
I hope this finds everyone well.
With love,
Elder Jarvis

Monday, March 28, 2016

Sheldon is awesome

Hello again!
I always start these the same way, so sorry for the monotony...but things really are going great here. I love all the people here, the ward, and the investigators, and my companion! Companions make such a difference in your life. It's crazy how differently life goes depending on who you're surrounded by! The last two weeks in Sheldon have been awesome. We've been having such a good time teaching and finding, and doing all that we do. The ward here is so welcoming, and that makes a world of difference. I learned a lesson I will never forget in my last two wards after members found out about dad being in the accident. Most members don't see us as regular people! They focus in too much on the fact that we have this calling, and forget all the other bits. And sometimes it takes a near death encounter for them to realise that we have human problems, and at the end of the day we are the same with different focuses.
     The reason I mention that is because I want to say, it's a shame if we place our missionary responsibility as members on the missionaries. Members not currently serving a mission have the great blessing of being able to fellowship their friends as their heart desires. Full time missionaries do not however. The ability to friendship and fellowship our acquaintances is a divine gift! I think it's a serious mistake to bundle missionaries with the whole package of missionary work. As missionaries, we're not actually called to find people to teach. When members obtain the heavenly perspective of the beauty and power of their righteous influence on friends, and care enough to invite them to learn... The missionaries and the members join together in the most joyous and fruitful work this world has to offer. I've been feeling that in this ward. While it's far from perfect,the members here treat us like part of their family. There are still plenty of fears and misunderstanding etc., but to be accepted is the first step to being unified. I've been having such a wonderful time here with this ward, and it has defiantly boosted my desire to do the work. It's definitely become a model to me, to show me what I want to aim for in all the wards I'll be in throughout my life.
     So to my friends and family, go out and use that wonderful gift you've been given! And because for basically everyone it's scary to do so.... Just choose what you can do today that is only outside of your comfort zone a little. With time and diligence that mentality will turn you into a fearless stripling warrior >:-)  Haha but really, this work is too great to let alone.
     Invite a friend to watch general conference! Don't be shy to be who you are! Anyways, I hope everyone is doing well and had a great Easter weekend.
Love you guys, take care.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

3.22.16 update

     That's awesome to hear about the convert baptisms in the ward. It makes such a difference when the ward is strong and growing. Especially when a ward has the Spirit strengthening and growing it.
This ward is amazing. They're all older people here pretty much but the ward is so strong and it is amazing.
      Things are going so well out here. I'm serving with elder Corso, an Italian elder. We've been friends since the start of my mission. The work is so much easier when you're serving with a friend. Everything has been so lovely. This week has been spiritual, exciting, and just so joyous in general. This has been probably my favourite week on my mission. Things are going so well here. I'm learning so much already in this area.
        I hope you have an awesome week. I know it will be a busy one here, I bet it will be a busy one there as well.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Transfer time.

Hello everybody!

Sorry it's been a while since the last update. There's plenty to update about, just not enough time! This week we got the transfer info. Both elder Pedersen and I will be leaving the area tomorrow.
They're closing the area due to an influx of missionaries coming in. I'm going to be going to Sheldon, which is east Birmingham... Birmingham again! But this time in the city of Birmingham rather than just the Midlands.
Sheldon is a densely populated Muslim area, so that should be fun :D We're pretty sad that things are closing down here in Swindon. There will still be a team of sisters and elders in Swindon, so we can hand our investigators over... But it's still a worry that they won't transfer over well. We've spent a lot of the last few days making sure everything is in order to have the flat go empty, so we haven't even had much time to say goodbyes.

Looking back, this has been one of my favourite transfers. We met so many great people and saw so many great and hilarious things together. One great thing that happened recently, is we met a really cool girl named Sophie. She's a really nice Chinese girl, that we met in a park. She's come to a couple church activities already and she's loved it. She's looking for new people to meet, as she's new here, and she's a Christian. We were so excited to work with her, but it sounds like the sisters will have to teach her now. :,-(

This transfer has really been so great. There's a lot of mentalities and philosophies that missionaries live by, and I always wonder which is the best. This transfer has taught me a lot about it. Above all doing what the Lord wants is always the most important thing, but we need to work/live while we're doing it in such a way that we come to
love doing what is required of us. Sometimes I see missionaries who live by the work hard play hard mentality, and it's like turning what is expected into a sad obligation that should be rushed to reach the end goal of freedom to be happy. But in reality the power to choose to be happy in every moment, is a real and supernal result of the gift of agency. It can become our way of life as we fight to achieve it over and over. Enjoying every moment in the tough and easy. Especially in learning to enjoy working hard. I've been amazed at how charitable some people can be out here, and in observing them I've recognised something. Somehow on the quest for
charity, gratification begins to come from a different source. As we act out of charity, we begin to gain gratification from the effort and principle, not the result or the reward. And that is when you win in life. When the journey of life is more enjoyable than the result of good fortune. Enjoy working hard, then you never lose. This past transfer has been training in just that, and I love it. I love any chance to go out and do my best. It seems to fill the hunger in my soul. I'm sad to leave my friends here, but happy to face new situations and have new adventures.
I love you guys,
Have a great week.

Oh my new address is as follows.
Banbury house, 65 Shirestone Rd, Birmingham, West Midlands B33 0BZ, England
Take care

Monday, January 25, 2016

Swindon is definitely my favorite area so far.

     Sorry it's been so very long since I've written out a proper update! Things have been so busy here, and the time has been flying. I can't believe it's nearly February. Perhaps I'll start with the basics... Swindon is a working town, so basically anyone who wants work gets it.. Which means there lots of foreigners and very little free time. We have met people from so many different nationalities. French Guinean, Goan (a state in india), Brazilian, Polish, Ghanaian, Italian, Portuguese, Romanian, etc. I love those people, they make the work so fun. All the foreigners are so humble, they just see things in. A different light. You'd be hard pressed to find a Goan who doesn't believe in God, and if you did, you would see that he's more humble than half the worlds Christians. I have taken a particular liking to the Goan people. I know a bit of their language( Konkani) and it's amazing to see how they smile when you stop them in their native tongue. We are teaching one Goan family consistently, and teach others from time to time. They're all staunch Catholic so they don't receive the message particularly clearly, which is interesting to see. But they are amazing people. There is something like 40,000 Goans in Swindon and most of them live on about 10-20 streets in one area near town. I LOVE going there. Swindon has taught me loads about contacting people on the street and understanding people, and just conversation in general. I really love all the foreigners here, I'm gonna find it hard if I ever go back to a staunchly English city. (Fortunately EBM is the most culturally diverse English mission) I've learn how to say little phrases in Portuguese, Romanian, Nepalese, and Polish... And it's awesome to see how much respect people have for you for simply learning how to say hello in their language. So I keep ranting about the foreigners but yeah, Swindon is definitely my favorite area so far. In Swindon I find myself constantly noting the significance of perspective in happiness and success. Something I have definitely learned out here... Every morning I wake up, I'm not vamping up to fight for success that day. Rather, I'm trying to truly obtain the perspective that is necessary to carry me in the work that day. When your perspective matches with your task, it becomes so simple. I've been learning over and over in Swindon, the power of mentality.
     The Book of Mormon is the guide to that mentality. It's like a book of Wisdom, and when I align myself with the spiritual reverberations that are contained through out it... That same spirit permeates in my mind and through my actions all the day long. When we study the book daily, we become living testaments of its truthfulness. Moreover we cannot preach the faith if we do not live it. The rich man knows that he will not remain wealthy, if he does not have a source of continuing income, as expenditures are inevitable. Similarly the wise Christian understands that expenditures of faith are inevitable, and he must increase his spiritual accounts daily. There have been days when we don't have time for morning studies... Those are the only days I've been furious on my mission. I find that it takes quite a lot to be angry personally... But not on the days where I haven't made the effort to obtain a higher perspective. And particularly in this demanding field of labor... I find it impossible to succeed unless I refresh my mind/ spirit daily. But back to Swindon! We are teaching a lot of people! We have been so blessed in finding people so continuously. This last Saturday we tracked into a guy called JD, and he ended up coming to church the next day and bringing his friend. Hopefully we can start teaching him this week. It has been great, we have worked really hard and seen so many blessings! We have many investigators who recognize that they have a testimony, which is amazing.
     Our biggest struggle is that people work too much here, so many investigators we can only see on weekend... And many investigators can't make it to church unless they quit their jobs. But nevertheless it is amazing. I have met so many amazing people out here, and am learning so much. I'm loving it. It's so hard, but it's so worth it. I won't go into detail about of the investigators because it would take too long, but we have a few really special people were working with right now. One is a Welsh man who lost his faith over the years of difficulties, it's been amazing to teach him. He came to church yesterday for the first time In many years. That was great to see. The Goan family I spoke of earlier is amazing, we're going to visit them tonight. And the list carries on. But at this point I think it is sufficient to say that the work is going well. Transfers are next week Wednesday, so that will be interesting.
Hope everyone is doing well,
Love you all.

Monday, January 18, 2016