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