Monday, December 19, 2011

Angels in the Lord's Hands

Hey Y'all,
On my end life is great!
first a bit of business.
the ~Nicholls gave me an address to forward to you for skypeing it is charlotte_nicholls1.
So calling brigg. I will call Wednesday morning your time if that does not work then Brigg (brigg only so i can talk to the rest of you on christmas morning at 8 your time? ) can call me Tuesday morning (your time) It will cost me only five pounds to call y'all from my card.
I Have ten mintues to go. Brigg i look forward to talking to you before you go. I've been trying to gather my best advice and everything that i wish they would have told me before i went to the MTC. It would be great if you prepare a list of things you would like to know. Or we can just throw that all to the side and just tell eachother how much we love each other........ but thats kinda a sister missionary thing to do.
So inlight of the season President Patch allowed us to have another zone meeting. So we had one today. I organized it a bit different so that instead of training on skills the whole time it was a bit more spiritual. My frist baptism was Hubert Borges De Silva in the Ilford Ward. I called him and invited him to share with us his conversion story and talk abit about how the missionaries (previous to me) impacted him. It was amazing. I'll always remember that he descibed us all as angels in the Lords hands sent to answer his prayers. by our words and by our deeds. Thats what you are getting into Brigg... Are you ready? President Patch also attended our meeting and gave some excellent remarks about change. I love the work that we are engaged in. It is the Lords works.
Love Elder Solomon
If there is any confusion about calls or anything and you need to get ahold of me just drop a message to the Nicholls via facebook.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

New Comp- Elder Potts

Elder Potts from Pennsylvania, looking chappy the Brit way!

Hey Thanks for your email dad. I love your emails. I had to cringe a bit at the story of Coon's Bluff. I'm really glad that you didn't send any pictures. I don't blame the poor young mens for not wanting to go down after that. So it's now the most wonderful time of the year. we are now within the 12 days of Christmas and within 10 days of Briggs departure! I would ask that you please include in your email what time it would be best for me to call him and on what number! So with dads story running through my head i have completely forgotten what i wanted to say in this email. I've included a picture of my new companion. Elder Potts. So we have had a great start to our time together. Elder Potts is on fire and super motivated to work hard and do the Lords will. Its a bit refreshing to get a companion that will work without being pushed and will push me if necessary. So Im emailing today because yesterday was a bit manic and we ended up not haveing anytime to do it. Yesterday was our zone meeting. and of course being zone leaders we had the responsibility of organizing the whole thing. Yesterday ended up being full of sacred experiences. So you know how the Lord says that who He loves he chastens? Well I know that the Lord loves me. On Saturday we had a Zone Leader Council (Jedi Knight Council as Elder Potts calls it) and right before the meeting the Lord began chastening me. One weakness another, one sin after another just kept reeling through my head. Then President Patch gave his opening remarks and I just wanted to hid. I just wanted to run out of the room and go sit in some dark corner. Now i haven't done anything horribly wrong in fact most of it was is what i haven't been doing. So i was feeling a it down for the rest of the day. Truly humbled and a bit sad. Then Sunday was the complete opposite. As i read the scriptures during the Sacrament it seemed that the Lord opened my view and I was able to see how i could become and how i could over come all these weaknesses. Well Monday morning we were about to start the meeting and the assistants called to get the weekly report. Elder Potts did the report and i decided to sit down with the zone and have a bit of a study. Together we read through D&C 6:29-37 and discussed each verse. It reminded me of a time in the priest quormn that we sat down with Brother Dees and Brother Anderson and read 3 Nephi 11. The spirit was present and spoke to each of us individually. it was amazing to see how each person in the zone was receiving revelation to help the with there personal concerns. Well then zone meeting began and the trainings were fantastic. We gave a training of having a vision of who we can become and how through the grace of Christ we can become that person. Its hard to describe really what happened I think it was one of those 'hd to have been there' things. The words that Elder Potts and I were saying were not our own. It was the first time I have gotten emotional while teaching on my mission. the healing power of the Atonement is real. Christ is ever near. Even standing at the door. If and when we let Him in He will come and heal us (2 Nephi 26 8-9). I know it. I've seen it. I have felt it. Well after the meeting one of our district leaders pulled me aside and asked for a blessing. He is serving in a really tough area and at moves call when his companion found out that he was going to stay for another six weeks he kinda shut down. The ward its self is about to die. The stake has had to 'call/assign' members from other wards to go there and help them out. Basically he was just feeling a bit overwhelmed and had no idea what he was suppose to be doing in that situation. I think I will always remember that blessing. I testify that the power of the priesthood is real. That God does inspire men. Each word was given to me and I spoke. I will not relate what I said, but through the inspiration I receive I was able to figuratively see into heaven and gain a greater understanding of our purpose as missionaries. We are about the Lords work. This is His work. This is not just another 'American church' set up by a farm boy. This is the Kingdom of God and Christ stands at its head. All miracles and blessing that once existed in the primitive church are found and are abundant today.
Elder Solomon

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Elder J counting down

Elder Jankowski and Ben Beechey
Monique Plane
Ties made out of wood!

Hey Y'all,
(I'm still a bit of a hick)
It seems like this whole week i have had a clock ticking away constantly reminding me that soon Elder Jankowsky will be leaving. After three months I'm not sure how I feel. He has been a great missionary and has left a great impact on the people he has served, served with, and around. But is time that he go. I was really sad to har about the Mustang, but all is vanity at the end of the day. However I am really happy that Sheldon was ok, that looked like a nasty wreck. Inpatient drivers suck. They do no good to anyone includeing themselves. Well Brigg you have about fifteen days left. That is crazy!! I got permission to call Brigg before he leaves. When would be the best time? Could you call me on your way to the airport or something? Also since you are going to be home for Christmas ( thats a wierd thought) Can you fix the skype? I'm going to try to skype from bishop nicholls house.
Ok let me tell you about my life. This last week was pretty cool. Unfortunatly the focus was a bit distracted due to upcomeing departures but we still had out baptisms!!! Ben Beechey and Monique Plane were baptised on Saturday. The service was a bit crazy (started half hour late) but the ordinances were great! I forgot to turn off the font water so it overflowed when Ben was baptised but that was just a minor detail. Ben has a great story. We first met him at Natalies second lesson. He was there for all of her lessons and at her baptism he really felt something different. He quite smokeing that and wanted lessons for him self. At our first proper lesson with him we invited him to be baptised. After a long pause he gave the best answer ever. 'You know, i've been thinking about it and praying about it and I really think I'll be ready to be baptised on the 3rd of December.' We had no complaints. He has been solid ever since. He loves reading the Book of Mormon even though he is a dyslexic. On Sunday he asked me to confirm him and then he also asked me to confer on him the priesthood. That was a realy cool experience. Monique is just so lovely. She is twenty and has a four month old baby. This baby has been the greatest tool for fellowhipping. every mother or want to be mother is just queing up to hold him. When we first contacted monique we thought she was already a member of our church but when we had our first appointment with her she told us 'I've always wanted to be baptised but i just haven't known how.' Well we could help her out with that no problem. She progressed at a steady pace and a she began reading the book of mormon she really came to feel that these things were ght. she said last night that she cant understand why no other christian churches dont have a temple. Whichi reminds me. Bishop and our awesome Welsh Ward Mission Leader have organized that all the new members are going to do baptisms for the dead tomorrow. I'm So excited for them! Sunday evening was the stake christmas choir concert in Romford. It was incedible! I completly enjoyed it even if I had Natalies kids slobering all over my trousers and shoving biscits in my mouth like i was some kind of parrot. At the end our new stake president had all the full time missionaries stand and told the whole congregation that instead of appaluding the choir to show appreiciation they should invite the missionaries into there home. That was really cool.
Moves calls brought some intesting news. My new companion will be Elder Potts form Pennsilvania. Elder Potts and a bit of some kind of mental break down about six months into his mission. He is coming from and area called Kings Lynn. In Kings Lynn is a church phycologist who is really good at helping missionaries. Elder Potts has been there for Six months now. I have no idea what to expect. I have no idea what the Lord wants me to learn. I have no idea even about what i think! Christmas holidays are great and im excited for all lthe jollyness.

Be Good!
Elder Solomon

Monday, November 28, 2011

Something in the air!

Ok so i think Christmas season is finally here I can't really deny or delay it any more. It is so crazy how there is such a different feel about the air and people just have a general different attitude. So this week was pretty loaded but slow at the same time. We had zone conference and stake conference and Elder Jankowsky spent two days ill in bed.
Zone Conference on Tuesday was pretty crazy. It was a 10-4 one rather then the normal 10-2. We had a visiting Area Seventy and he was really excited to be there. So excited that the conference lasted until 5!!! Elder Wright in just a English guy who has been about the Lord business since he returned from his mission. He served as a bishop and stake president before he was called to be an Area Seventy. Through out the day I really enjoyed his teaching and comments. Zone conference was like a spiritual oasis in a dry desert. As missionaries you spend 100% of your time worring about, planning for, and teaching other people and sometimes it is really nice to get it in return. Elder Sheppard (my latest companion) shared this feeling abit when he told me that the thing that he was most excited about going home was recieveing home teaching visited and letting someone else nurture him. So zone conference was a bit like that for me. We (elder jankowsky and my self) gave at training on extending baptism invitations in the first or second lesson and man I really felt the Lord put words in my mouth and testify of what I was saying. I know that should be happening every time that i teach but for some reason it was really strong that time. The general theme as it were of the conference was gaining a vision of what the Lord wants of us. Elder Wright invited us all to study Numbers 13-14 and look for what made Caleb and Joshua different then the rest of the spies sent to scout out the promised land. I took that direction us this morning and had a wonderful study about it. It is intesting what the Lord said about Caleb. if i remember right it said something along the lines of 'he fully followed what I said and had another spirit' this is what set him apart from the others. So he was 100% obedient and therefore had a different spirit then the other spies and was able to see the potential of the land and have confidence that the Lord would be able to deliver the land into their hands. The others did not see this. The reported that the land was good. But when they saw the giants and the mighty cities that were already there they changed there report and turned the people to rebellion. So lesson learned. Be obedient and you will be about to see with an 'eye of faith' (Ether 12:19) and gain a vision of what is possible with the Lord. What a wonderful blessing for all of us and especially with missionaries. Having a vision of the possible builds hope and hope leads us to act in faith then faith brings miracles. I love the simplicity and depth of the gospel!!!
So then Elder Jankowsky was sick and we didnt get much done this week. I lied I got to clean the flat... then rearragne the furniture, then clean the flat, and put up the Christmas tree. I still however have not decorated it. That won't happen until December. Stake conference was great. Our stake presidence was rearranged so we got a prominate member in the ward back and then lost another one to replace the first! it was cool. I think that the best part of he weekend was that we didnt have to organized any lifts for Sunday. our amazing Bishop did it for us! Ben and Monique are doing great! both past their baptism interviews this weekend and are set for the baptism on Saturday! We have taught them everything and they have loved every little bit of it. I'm so happy that they all have a wonderful support group. So our new assistant ward mission leader (Vijay) was baptised a little over a year ago and never fit into the ward. because of drama he went less active. When i came he went on a trip to Utah to visit the old missionaries who had taught him. (among the was Elder Gallagher my trainer!) When he came back he started comeing out bit by bit. Well we started baptiseing and all the people who have been baptised recently are forming this perfect fellowshipping group. Vijay now has the support he needed and is back in full activity. The best part about it is that he is now prepareing to go on a mission!!! How awesome is that! I was so excited when i heard that he was working on his papers.
Well bottom line. The Church is true. The Atonement does work and Salvation is possible through Jesus Christ
Elder Solomon
ps Hey Brigg I sent you a little surpirse that has some few things to help you out on your mission. also in it is chocolate (to share) my journal (keep it safe) and a letter for you (inside the front of the journal). Let me know when it gets there.
Enjoy!!! :)

Monday, November 21, 2011

Learning My Lessons

Right, so there was so much to that last email and i think that i read it to fast........ So let me talk about my life then i can talk about yours. My life is good. I'm learning a lot of lessons on the evils of self righteousness. For some reason i feel that i have these lessons all the time and although i feel like I'm 'learning my lessons' there is always a new lesson to learn and deeper understanding to gain, a different perspective to see and such. So Being with Elder Jankowsky has been a quite humbling experience and just recently the Lord granted me a bit of an insight to how i have been acting... When i was a child i distinctly remember in elementary school misbehaving and the teacher telling me to change my behaviour card. then i remember sitting back and mentally beating myself up for acting stupid. i didn't want to do it, i hadn't planned on being naughty, in a moment of distraction i stopped thinking and acted on impulse. this is how most of my schools years went. That is how i felt the other day. Why was i acting like that? Did i have any idea what i was really doing? What message i was sending? so what brought this realisation? In a recent letter i received a friend told me about how some people close to her were attacking her for her beliefs. It really got me upset. Why would people do that. It is totally unfair to do that. How can someone become so bitter against something that is so good? Then the answer came loud and clear. Maybe not completely applicable to this specific case but i feel that the answer that came was a cause of similar results. Self righteousness. Not necessarily a 'holier then thou' attitude but more of a judging condemning attitude. Such as 'You do not do what i know is right, therefore you are a sinner.' That is not what Christ taught. Christ taught us not to judge but to love and pull out our own 'beams'. I have pondered this question for a while. 'God holds us accountable for the knowledge we have and what we do with it. Does spiritual confirmation play a factor in accountability concerning following spiritual truths?' For instance will a person be held less accountable if never received a spiritual witness that it is right before God to live the Word of Wisdom? So then who are we to judge if a person has ever received a spiritual confirmation concerning a truth. It is interesting how Alma (Senior) counselled the teachers and priest of the newly organised Church of Christ to 'teach nothing save it be faith and repentence' not hellfire brimstone and damnation. I feel and have noticed that people for the most part always make the best decision in their own view, according to their knowledge. So how can we expect someone who understands nothing of spiritual sanctity and Family importance to abstain from sexual intercourse until they are married. Especially since all they have ever been taught mocks the very idea. How can we expect a person who does not have an understanding of the fallen and carnal state of man to accept whole heatedly Christ as their Redeemer. We can't. Of course people must feel the spirit and act in faith and then gain a testimony, but to have an enduring testimony which doesn't shrink or go away in the face of temptation and its ugly brother persecution a person must understand the principles of the gospel on an intellectual and spiritual level. If they do not then they will not have any reason to continue to fight up stream. motivation comes from aspiration. So then why would we be motivated to live the life of a disciple of Christ with all that it implies if we did not have a hope to receive a fullness of joy? I feel it all goes back to the Quote from Joseph Smith 'We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves'. Knowledge is power. Power to act and choose the more excellent way. Why is it power? Because it provides the motivation and the vision to see through, and endure valiantly through the temptations of life. Where am I getting with this? It is not our place to judge. It is not our place to condemn others because of the knowledge we have. There is always the solemn reminder 'unto him who much is given much is required'. Our responsibly then is to 'waste and wear out our lives in bringing to light the hidden things of darkness wherein they are made known unto us from heaven' (D&C 123:15) To teach and to instruct in a loving manner that thereby we can give people the power and motivation to return to their Father. With out love all other efforts are for nought. (For if i have not charity i am nothing. and am as the sounds of tinkling brass) Everything in this existence responds to love. Pure love casteth out all fear and then infuses faith and confidence. Brigg if there is any other advice i can give it is to love as Christ loves and teach with all diligence. Then you will have the greatest possible influence on your Argentinean brothers and sisters and the Spirit will guide your words and back your testimony.
We had a great week. Did alot of teaching! Super happy. So Ben and Monique are solid as ever. We went over the baptism interview questions with them this week and heck i would pass them. It is so cool to see conversion take place. it seems at first that every one begins investigating almost casually and doesn't really know why. then there is a change (usually soon after they agree to be baptised) and it all becomes very real. They recognise and relish the Spirit. Their minds are enlighten and they begin to see life from a whole new perspective. They repent without invitation and seek to improve their own lives. Basically they become new creatures. It is cool I love it!
Brigg My timberland shoes have really served me well. they are 'Sunday' style shoes but are hiking appropriate. I would say bring bare minimums for the MTC then buy the majority of your stuff in the Field. You will probably find that they have a different style and dress standard there so you will want to fit in. For every day use just get a plain watch that you would wear running or working out. leather bands are not a good idea. (sweat really makes them mangy). And above all else be ready and excited to adjust. dont be surprised to live in a one room flat. and bring a brand new set of scriptures. dureable big ones to study and maybe a mini quad to take teaching. make sure that your study scriptures are not all four in one. that makes it hard to flip back and forth compareing scriptures. also being a person hard back Book of Mormon. I have two and they are my favorite :)
DAD STOP GETTING HURT! It sounds like there isn't going to be anything left of you when I get back. take up knitting or something productive like that. (on second hand maybe not you might hurt yourself with the needle thingys)
Hey Sheldon!! it was good to get your little note on Kassidee's letter. I kept hearing about this little brother that i have it was good to get a bit of evidence that he really did exsist.
Mom please know that your emails letteres and packages are better then anything i might receive from any girl.
Thanks for the package. Honestly I don't have any Christmas requests. I'm just happy that ya'll love me enough to send me something
Elder Solomon
ps my prayers were heard!! They are now selling Reeses Peanut Butter Cups in English Stores!!!!!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Funny Feeling

I have a horrible confession to make. I think I might be the worst son in the world. I completely forgot the significance of yesterday. I woke up thinking, 'today is important... but why' I knew that it was some one's birthday but I just couldn't remember who. So I just decided it must have been a girlfriend from years past or something then put it out of my mind. Well I think I had a guardian angel around me for the remainder of the day constantly trying to get the attention/remembrance that she deserved. Yesterday was Remembrance Sunday. Its a bit like Memorial Day for us. It was a day to honour those who had served in the military and remember those who had died. I really felt something special as our Bishop talked about families being reunited. I remembered Grandpa (who also seems to be on my mind alot) during the two minute of silence that we had in sacrament meeting. Well after church we went and had a roast dinner and trifle ( Dad you're drooling) at a less actives home and we happened (unplanned but inspired) to watch Together Forever which is a church video about eternal families made in the 80's. Again I was struck and felt the solemness of the idea and the joy of the prospect. Well finally we taught one last lesson (with Ben and Natalie) in the evening and we began just talking about life, death and Gods intervention. I was sharing all my infinite wisdom (it took about ten minutes) and during it all I talked about how our Heavenly Father used the opportunity to teach me some very important lessons and how through it all I gained a testimony and understood the importance of having an eternal perspective. You would think that by this time it would click in my thick head what day it was ( I actually mentioned in the lesson that I had this funny feeling that that day was significant but I just couldn't remember who's birthday it was). Well it was not until got home that i received a call from Bishop Nichols. His wife had been on Face book and say moms status and then learned about London. ( I don't tell everyone.... in fact I don't tell most companions about it) Well he just called to see how I was doing and if i was having a good day and then we talked about it a little bit. After the phone call I was surprised and a bit confused. I didn't understand why the normal gut wrenching heartache typical of this time of year was absent. I kept wondering if there was something wrong with me because I wasn't feeling to sad or empty. While I was thus pondering my own words came back to my head from the earlier lesson with Ben and Natalie about eternal perspective and then the stupid tune from the eighties movie ran from one ear to the other 'We can be together forever someday. we can be together forever some day.' Then I learned that the very result that I have been desiring for the people of England has been realized in my life. Through living the gospel and learning the teaching of The Church of Jesus Christ restored again on the earth but most importantly through the Atonement of Christ I have been healed spiritually and emotionally. All that was unfair about the event had been made right. All the grief and pain had been 'swallowed up in the joy of Christ'. All despair was replaced with a brilliant hope and a calm assurance that families can be together forever. I hope to prove faithful.
Anyways missionary update. The work is great!! Ben finally was able to come to church and fit right in! I was so proud that whenever someone threw out a scripture he could find it on his own. I was also so proud of the Recent Converts we have a good handful of them now! The Investigator class (gospel essentials) is getting quite full and it seemed like whenever any of them would open their mouths they came out with the greatest answer. I think the best was when our WML asked Ben and question and he answered it by refering to a scripture story in the Book of Mormon... SO GOOD!! Well after church we had a Ward Missionary Training Meeting which was awesome then they set apart six new Ward missionaries. It was amazing! Some really great things are going to be happening in the Basildon Ward and it is all because the Lord is pouring out blessings and the Ward members are full of Faith...
I love the experience that the Lord is blessing me with right now. I'm so gratefull for all the wonderful people I get to meet and I'm so gratefull for the person the Lord is helping me become.
Love You all!
Elder Solomon
Brigg Loved your email!
Sheldon Congrats bud!!!

Dad i had fish and chips today.... it was great plenty of salt and vinegar

Monday, October 31, 2011


All is well in the life of Elder Solomon. We just got done having an amazing Zone Meeting. Because our Zone Leaders are doing so bad the Lord has really blessed this Zone with some good District Leaders. The both talked about diligence and obedience. I love how different principles and different terms mean different things inside the gospel then they do out side the gospel. I learned the the strongest motivating factor behind a diligent missionary and an obedient missionary is Love. love for the Lord and love for the people. think about it. If you only were obedient because 'any blessing we recieve is by obedience to the law by which it is predicated' then we would not be obedient when we don't understand why. Does that make sense? Also with diligence. A missionary who truly loves the Lord will make the most out of the short time he has been given to serve Him. A missionary who loves the people he serves will be as effective and efficient as possible because he want to give the oppurtunity for someone to be baptised and recieve a remission of their sins to as many people as possible. I love love:)
Had a bit of an manic week. So on Friday we realized that we had nothing to do on Saturday so we decided to surprise the Romford Elders and just show up sleep with them and then go finding with them the next day. Well be did that. Had a horrible cold night sleeping on the hard dirty floor, but the next day me and Elder Thompson had a great time in the Town Center talking to people. will the time came and we headed home. An hour and a half later when we got back I realized that the car and flat keys were missing......
yup i pulled a 'Bright-one' Unfortunatley the lost and found at the train station was closed for the weekend and out renting agents were also closed for the weekend. We didnt want to pay for a lock smith so we tried to break in. We were unsuccessful in that endeavour so we got a few members to help us and got a ladder and tried all the windows (we live on the second story). again we were unsuccessful. So here we were homeless. Unfortunately it is against church policy for us to stay at members house unless we have like a contract so we had to travel back to Romford to stay the night. We got a lift back to Basildon Sunday morning and went to church in the same cloths that we had been wearing for three days now. Church came and went (It was the Primary Program totally awesome) then we found ourselves carless homeless and plannless again. so we wandered around. went to an appointment and found a Book of Mormon and a note in a plastic bag at the gate. (they were not intrested anymore) Later in the evening Bishop picked us up and brought us home for dinner. (He is an angel) then drove us to Grays where we again slept on the floor. this morning we got our keys and finnally got everything sorted. ( i was very gratefull that i had the blanket Kassidee mde for me through it all, a real life saver) it was a humbleing experience. made me really gratefull for grandpa and the mission he served.
Well im going to carve pumpkins and wait for my companion to return from his day out with his visiting Austrian friends.
Elder Solomon

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The coat

'One night a number of years ago, a newly called missionary named Elder Swan and his Japanese senior companion came to visit our home. Fortunately I was home, so I invited them in. When I greeted them at the door, my eyes were drawn to the coat that Elder Swan was wearing. Without thinking, I said to him, "That sure is a nice coat you are wearing!" However, it wasn’t a new coat, and it was rather faded. I assumed that the coat was one that a previous missionary had left behind in the missionary apartment.

Elder Swan immediately responded to my words, and it was completely the opposite of what I had been thinking. In halting Japanese he replied, "Yes, this is a good coat. My father wore this coat when he served as a missionary in Japan over 20 years ago."

His father had served in the Japan Okayama Mission. And when his son was leaving to serve a mission in Japan, he had given his coat to him. This picture shows that coat that two generations of Elder Swans wore in Japan.

I was touched when I heard Elder Swan’s words. And I now understood why Elder Swan wore his father’s coat while he was proselyting. Elder Swan had embarked on his mission having inherited his father’s love for Japan and its people. '

Elder Kazuhiko Yamashita

Of the Seventy

I have asked mom to send me your old mission winter coat that I decided not to take with me because of vanity. I have changed my mind for two reasons. The above quotation is one of them.


Elder Solomon


Elder Jankowsky, Natalie Harrison and me.

Dearest all,
I LOVE BAPTISMS! It is amazing how my perspective has changed as i have gone through the course of my mission. Baptisms have become sacred event now where I truly recongnize the power of Godliness manifested and feel the Holy Spirit of Promise seal the convenant. I Love watching the Atonement work in peoples lives and change them into 'new creatures' The church is so true!
This week Natalie Harrison was baptised. It was a great event she had many friends and family come and they all enjoyed it. Elder Jankowsky baptised and I confirmed. One of Natalies close friend Ben (who we are now teaching!) described it great when he said. 'i just feel so overwhelmed'. The Spirit of God like a fire was burning! Luckily there was no out of the ordinary happenings like someone cannon balling into the font. Natalie bore her testimony during the service, after the ordinance. a couple of highlights that she said were.
' i'm sure you all are thinking Natalie has lost the plot, but let me tell you i have never been more sane or thought so clearly before in my life'
'the first time i read the Book of Mormon it was like a light coming into my life'
'i have experienced and i know that being cleaned from sin is to be healed spiritually'
these are a few examples of conversion. a second highlight of the week is that Lizete, Natalie and Varan all we extended callings to be ward missionaries. Natalie has really taken this seriously and has already begun teaching (not talking to but setting appointments and teaching) her friends. Also I was blessed with the oppurtunity to bless the sacrament with Varan for his first time. That was cool.
Brothers and Sisters the Church is true and is lead by Jesus Christ Himself, The Saviour of the World, the Only Begotten of the Father, and the Author and Finisher of our faith
So Transfer News!!!! are you ready??? We both are staying in Basildon......................................................................................
................................................................................................................... yea.
so the news took me completly off guard. I was expecting a new companion and was really excited to implement changes that otherwise would be difficult because of the status quo. Well looks like the Lord is trying to teach me courage and integity. Good news though is that because Elder Jankowsky goes home in 5 weeks I will have to be here in Basildon for another transfer after that which means that I'll be here for Christmas!!!!!! YEA!!
Well pray for us that we can find new people to teach cause we have baptised them all!
Love Elder Solomon

Add to the list of things to send me... Dad's old winter coat from his mission. I gave my new winter coat to a missionary from Brazil ( he and his family don't have any money).

P.S. Brigg there is a stupid misused quote that goes around from Spencer W. Kimble. He was at youth conference in Brazil I think talking about how young men need to lock there hearts before they go on there mission so that they do not 'fall in love' on there mission. in it he said something along the lines of 'lock your heart so that no one can get in and if you already have a girl in there lock her in' I have seen in the short time i've been a missionary that the best course to take is to yes lock you heart from any affections but dont leave anyone in there. You can not serve the Lord with all your heart if you have someone 'locked' in there. You can not reach the full potential the Lord has for you as a missionary and for your life if you keep one foot in the field and one at home. It can not be done. I'm sure you don't need this advice but i strongly feel this way because right now I'm haveing to suffer the consequences of a companion who only has one foot in the mission.
P.P.S Sheldon congrats!!! You little stud you :)

Monday, October 17, 2011

+2 for Jesus

Me and Elder Jankowski with Charlie and Lizete Mendes

Hello one and all!,
It was good to get an email from dad this week. Tell you what pops you're still my hero. Most people in the world would here that story and say oh man that is so cool and car case and the bad guy ended up in the hospital! but it made me sick even to just hear the summarized details. You are me hero for being so involved in the disgusting causilties of the war with sin. You and I are on to different front lines. Luckily I get to pass over the one who have lost their light and serve as a medic. As a missionary I begun to learn how to really put my self in other peoples shoes and really try to experience how they feel and what they think when they go through certain things. You are my hero for standing valiantly and letting the hopeof the gospel shine through your life. It would be so easy to become pessimistic and cynical not to mention turning to atifical cover-ups to get over the emotional baggage that comes with you job. Thank you for being a good example of a tue disciple of Christ and loveing and respecting the Atonement properly enough to use it in your life. And thanks to mom for putting up with you.
I have decided that true Latter-day Saints are truely amazing people. I know of no other people who volunteerialy are streched so very for to there limits and yet do it with a happy countenance. It is amazing to think how much reponsibility most LDS people hold at work then turn around and manage a happy family based on the highest (and might I and unpopular) moral standards and turn around again and give of their time and talents to strength and stretch the kingdom of God. I really hope that I will be able to fit into such a wonderful profile.
We had an excellent week! This weekend Lizete and Charlie Mendes we baptised!!! it was one of the best baptismal services that i have ever attended. Lizete was the one from African that just walked into church one day. Do you remember that? She has progressed at a solid pace all the way through her baptism. She invited all of her friends and family and in all we had about 30 people who were not of our faith there. It was great. Elder Jankowsky, Elder Paul, Elder Krebs and I sang a special musical arragement of 'Love one Another' Elder Krebs sang one of the versus in Portugese (which is the native language of Angola where Lizete is from). It was so touching. Well I baptised Lizete and saw her out of the font then Elder J. got in to baptism Charlie and when i was getting out i said to Charlie 'hop on in' not really thinking of how a nine year old boy would take the direction. Next thing i knew he cannonballed into the baptism font!!!! It was so funny! so i got dressed as fast as i could and i bore my testimony while everyone else was getting ready. I had to draw the analogy of Peter acting in faith and jumping out of the boat onto the water to walk to Jesus. I love the principle of faith. Yesterday at sacrament meeting I confirmed them both. I love being a missionary! Baptisms are the best. Natalie Harrison is prepareing to be baptised this coming Saturda. She came to the baptism this weekend and had a jolly ole time. Natalie is great because she does all her own research. we tell her what we are going to teach her next and she studys Preach My Gospel on the internet. So all our appointments ever consist of is us checking for understanding. Also she has studyed our missionary rules. Now I'm not saying that I am disobedient in any way but she is constently reminding us if we do something wrong it is so great. So Lizete and Natalie both were studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses before we taught them. Lizete invited them to come to the baptism. they did but refused to come in for the service. afterwards Natalie recongnized them and told them that she also was getting baptised into the 'Mormon Chruch'. The look on their face was priceless. Don't get me wrong I love all men and I understand that these people are not bad (just indoctrinated) but it is so funny to see how some people harden their heart when they feel the spirit.
I know that the work we are engaged in is divinely inspired. I know that the kingdom will roll forth until it has filled the world. Already the sun does not set on missionary work in the Lords kingdom. I know that Christ directs this work and I know that all who are willing can quallify to be instuments in His hands. I know that the Lord specifically is guideing my mission. He is aware of my and my weaknesses. I'm forever grateful for the patience He has for me and the strength and encouragement that He gives me.
Take Care,
Elder Solomon

Monday, October 10, 2011

Press Forward Saints

9 Walnut Close
Laindon, Basildon
Essex ss14 2ds
There, Happy?!
OK it was so good to get your email. I love how at the beginning you told me how boring and mundane your life is then proceed to tell me all these wonderful things that have been happening. I could not help but note in Nana's email that Jel and Ryan built some new steps at the pond at the Cabin. HOW EXCITING!!!! I always found it difficult to take that awkwardly big step from the top of the bricks to the pond edge. I was always a bit nervous cause if I did it unbalanced I would end up head first into that crystal clear blue water staring at the equally surprised goldfish and blue gills. Sheldon's Dive competition and Brigg's mission call were cool too ( i guess). So that's a bit amazing. Sheldon are you on a club or something or was QC invited to a USA Dive meet? Synchronised diving always amazed me. Think about it two men in perfect harmony gracefully falling into water striving for complete unity in their splash. (the Chinese were always the best weren't they?) So i was thinking about it. Preston served in North America (kinda), I'm on a island near Europe (which is part of the EU) and Brigg is going to South America ( I still don't know where Salta is and why the heck you are speaking French) So Sheldon you might have to prepare yourself to go to either Asia or Africa. In all honesty I can see you serving in the Oriental, you would be so good for those cute little squinted eyed geniuses. You'd probably bring one home with you, marry her and have freak little children that win the Olympics at age 15. (I'm so excited for the Olympics!!!) Brigg exciting news!!! Your going on a mission!!! for 24 full months you get to serve the Lord with all your heart might mind and strength!! Please learn before you go the lesson that took me to long to learn 'The way of a fool is right in his own eyes; but he that hearkeneth to council is wise' Proverbs 12:15
OK So who wants to hear about BasVEGAS? Its rocking basically. Lizette and Charlie are super good totally ready for baptism this weekend oh yea!! Lizette found some unfavourable junk on the Internet but she is still good as ever. She has asked that I baptise her. I feel so honoured, it is such a privilege to administer a saving ordinance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to a child of God. Natalie is doing fantastic. Baptism can not come soon enough for her, she is like a sponge that just can't soak up enough of the gospel. Gospel Principles class is great. everyone that we teach gathers in there and we have a lesson. well they all are use to having 100% of the missionaries attention so in the class they all seem to be fitting for our attention and approval. Its like that in every ward. Oh the joys of a mission. We had a leadership meeting this weekend which was great. President Patch and the Assistants focused their trainings on D&C 123 which was really touching for me.
Well i love you all and wish you a happy fruitful week. Feast on the words and be filled!
Peace and Prosperity
Elder Solomon
ps i get to call early in december before Brigg ships off!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Happy, Healthy, Motivated and Hopeful

Excuse my proper English but... Why the hell have you not opened that flippin mission call?!?!?!?!?!? Do you have any idea what it is going to be like for me to sit here for a week knowing that you found out where Brigg is going on his mission just a few hours AFTER i checked my Email for the week? That is SO not cool. Whatever I'm over it. I'll see him in a few months anyhow (fingers and toes crossed). Yea so we had a great week. I absolutely LOVED conference! I think that the church is genius the way they fixed the breathing tubes into President Packers glasses that was amazing. (The TV we watched it on was super good). My favorite talks were Richard G. Scotts talk. (I've already memorized three scriptures since) and Elder Holland. Did you see Elder L. Whitney Clayton? He came to a leadership conference here just last month and gave that exact same talk (only it was about twice as long) Elder Holland made me want to serve a mission. Did you laugh when President Monson announced the new temple in Provo and the whole conference center gasped? i did. I was most excited about the Temple in Congo. We finaly are going to have a temple in the heart of African. there are so many good saints there that deserve it. So Natalie.... The Golden Goose with the Krissy Kid? Absolutely Solid As! So we watched the Restoration DVD with her. at the end she was a bit silent the said 'I have never felt so F___'n good!' well we then talked about the Spirit. Although she had previously agreed to baptism she told us that she was completely unsure about it. But now She said she is 100% going to go for it! That was such a good lesson! Then this weekend her and Lizette (the Lady for Angola that came to church as an answer to Elder Sheppard prayer) Got a taxi together to conference. I missed a lot of the Sunday morning session (which played live at 5pm) because i was chasing around some little thing that Natalie called Ryan. Any how same as with Susie we promised Natalie that if she brought a question it would be answered. Same as Susie she didn't believe us but still tried it. Same as Susie both her questions we answered, After conference she was begging if she could get baptised any sooner then the previously set date. I love the spirit of revelation. I love that fact that we have prophets and apostles that speak the word of the Lord. I love the Restored Gospel. I love the knowledge that we have. I can not imagine holding a faith that was limited to just the information in the Bible.
So a while back i told you the story about the missionary that wanted to go home and the companionship exchange i had with him? Well super sad news he in catching a plane back to Canada today. I could not help but think about the tragic example that he set to solidify what Elder Holland taught about gaining a testimony of the Book of Mormon BEFORE you leave.
Another thought from conference. Preston and Hilary. Sounds like you need to get cracking and get mum and dad some grandchildren (SUCH and weird thought) After Elaine S. Dalton's talk sounds like the first one will be a daughter ;)
I don't know what happened but my studies have continued to be really good lately. I started using the Topical Guide to research different topics that could help my knowledge of the basic principles of the gospel. What a wonderful tool it is. I started a study today about the Atonement. In the Bible Dictionary it gives some key point/steps of the Atonement so I've then began researching theses different points in depth one by one. To say the least its been good.
A while back i got a bit bored with my patriarchal blessing but the other day i was giving it a look over and found something very intresting. Opened my mind to a whole new relm of things and has got me excited to go over it again.
It is amazing how true the Gospel is. Everything thing points to it.
Despite any evidence to the contrary I'm happy, healthy, motivated, and hopeful
Love y'all
Elder Solomon

Monday, September 26, 2011

+1 for Jesus

Me and Elder Sheppard with our self tailored shirts...after this picture,
I flexed and tore the shirt!

My zone

Me and the Nicols family

Serveanvaran (Varan) Navaratnam at his baptism

Me and Elder Sheppard just before he died (went home)

OK What a week let me tell you about it. First Vent Time. OK so Elder J started his mission in the Manchester Mission but needed a knee surgery so had to go home for a bout 3 months. that was four months ago. then he was reassigned to our mission. So i have had tons of dreams throughout my mission of me being home for a brief holiday then returning to the mission field. I didn't want to but it just happened that i was there. so he like lived one of my 'dreams' and now i get to hear all about it. i don't mind to bad but he is practically engaged with a professional volleyball player who he gets two letters a week from. Honestly it wasn't that big of deal. but because one of his last companions liked it Elder J likes to interpret his letters and dictate them to me as i am studying. Whatever. I cant wait for them to get married and have tons of kids who eat apple strudel on their weinersnitchel. I got a call from President Patch while i was on an Exchange, Basically telling me that he put me with Elder J cause he has confidence that i can keep him under control. Elder J is great he is tons of fun and there is never a dull moment with him. A great man once said you have two ears and one mouth, use them proportionally. I think Elder J got that mixed up and them inversely. Its kinda funny because i think he is use to people stop listening to him after the first couple of days and he has tried to tell me stories that do not coincide with each other and when i call him out on it he says 'oh you were listening'. English people dont really like braggers and people that only talk about them self. Elder J is great at that. so Now we already have one family in the ward that wont talk to us...
Vent time is over
So i got to have a companionship exchange this week with the Assistants Elder Scruggs came to Basildon with me and we had a blast of a time. I really miss serving with him he is such a stud. We had a great time finding together.It was really cool to see how he has grown as a person and a missionary over the eight months since i was last with him. Earlier in the week while finding i was in the town center and rudly rejected by a not-so-sweet old lady. right after that i turned and talked to a sweet young lady pushing a stroller (or pram as they are called here) She was really cool and we were able to set up an appointment with her. mean while her crazy 4 year old son began climbing a tree. When he was told to come down he grinned and began licking the tree? (British children are loco) Anyhow later on in the week we went by her home to teach her and found out that she is golden as the egg laid by the goose in charlie and the chocolate factory. Amazing! so she now has a baptism date.
OK Highlight of the Week !!!!!!!!! Varans Baptism!!!!!
I was so excited for this day cause Varan is super solid and it one of those great example definitions of one who has been converted to the gospel. The font was a bit funny to fill up cause the hot water is to hot and the cold water is to cold. so i fillied it up half way with hot water then turn on the cold.... and then forgot about it. Well we were all dressed in white ready to go the spirit of God like a fire was burning. then as we all moved to the font i remembered it was still runnning so i ran and shut it off then went to the font to see it near over flowing. well by that time the cold water had overcome the hot water.... to cut a long story short i said the baptism prayer really quick and Varan didnt have to make any effort to hold his breath. The shock of going under the cold water did that for him. Well it was great he was on cloud nine after the baptism. the best discription he could come up with was that he felt light headed. He bore a powerful testimony at his Baptism about the Book of Mormon. His third time openingin the book he knew it was true from the witness of the Spirit. then he gave my favorite quote of his 'Everything about the gospel is here to make us happy' oh how lucky i am to be a missionary and experience these great things. Then on Sunday we confirmed him. The look he gave us after the confirmation was the Greatest. he looked up at us like we had just poured a bucket of cold water on his head. Complete Awe is all i can come up with. After we lifted him out of his chair he absentmindedly shook our hand and with his mouth still open and eyes wide he walked down to his chair in his own little world. He had a similar look when I ordained him a Priest in the Aaronic Priesthood. Later in the day we saw him walking down the road by himself with a smile on his face just enjoying the companionship of the Holy Ghost. ( I love my mission)
Not to end on a bad note but the low point of the week was when i got lost driving back from Ilford and got wrapped up in an intense story Elder J was telling and had my picture taken by a speeding camera.... not happy
Well after reading the email you sent me i feel like i have nothing to complain about. So is there something in the water in QC that is causing and these cancers to come about? Why do people still live there. Am i going to come home and find ya'll with three eyes and four arms from some genetic mutation? (not to make light of the situation.) My Heart is drawn out to Natalie, and the Hahns. They have been such and wonderful support to so many others i guess now it is their turn to recieve that support. Brigg I have a feeling that you wont see this but i love you and im so excited for you to get your call. (I'm praying for England;)
I have to say i have had an amazingly spiritual week. My studies have been bang on (English phrase) and i have just felt the presence of God so near. I know God lives. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings happyness. I know God cares about our families. And I know that through the Gift of the Holy Ghost we can be constantly connected with the Godhead who rule all that is.
Elder Solomon

Monday, September 19, 2011

New glasses, new companion

Hey Ya'all
Tell you what i had a great week. It was really sad to see Elder Sheppard off. I'm not sure if I have be more insynch with anyother companions then with him. But he had to go the way off all the earth. My new companion is the perfect foil character for Richard Sheppard. Elder Jankowsky's name is Polish FYI but his family has been in Austria for 5 generations now. He is the youngest in his family and followed the family tradition and played as a proffesional footballer (soccer player). He has more confidence then anyone i've every seen and is immune to social barriers. some times this causes offences but more then not it gets the desired result. He has perfected the flirt to convert method and has a powerful testimony. I think i have a lot to learn from him. He refers to me as a Work-oholic and often will sit back and watch me stop people. im not to bothered about that cause he isnt my first companion to do that. What does bother me is that the whole time im working i dont see any positve results but when he does help me that is the time that we do see results. I really dont understand why i am such a bad finder. I think i have it figured out though. If i work as hard as i can a miracle will happen and we have success just not from our own efforts. I can just see Heavenly Father sitting up there watching me. shakeing His head in pity saying 'Well Elder Solomon is working hard. Lets throw him a bone' However it works out. Fine. as long as people are getting baptised. We have baptism coming up this week!! Im a bit nervous cause i will be baptising him. Varan is his short name He is from Sri Lanka so his name will be something rediculous live Sarvasvaran Navaranthi. Anyhow im honored to do it. he has been taught for a while but has progessed the most these past couple of months since he decided to quite smoking.
you'll never guess what happened this week. I blew out another pair of Trousers. Just today I was climbing over a chair and slipped when my companion nugged me. split the seam from the bottom of the zipper to half way up the butt. I'm not impressed that is the third suit i have ruined so far. My comp has a nasty brown suit that i think i will buy for £20 from him.. so What colors go with brown? I have officially walked through both pairs of shoes that i came out with now and have accumilated more ties that i would wear in a year when i go home. So i fit in the ranks witht he rest of the seasoned missionaries. Oh by the way did i tell you that i had to get glasses? Since my junior year of football when i got knocked out when i blized on a pass play and the FB pick me up, my eyes have gotten worse at night. well when i started driving i noticed that i could not read street signs because of the glare. so i got some glasses. So yea almost everything about Elder Solomon is changing.
Well that work is going great we have 5 people now that we are preparing for baptism. Super cool.
Brigg I hope and pray that you can get into the mission field as soon as possible but at the same time i hope to see you again before you come home in two years so pray that you can come to the ELM!
Sheldon love you bud! keep working hard. remember to focus on the important things. Hey how is dive going? i havent gotten any updates.
Will some one please give grandma and nana a hug for me? also apologize for me for not writing them back.
Cheers Elder Solomon:)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fingers crossed and God Willing

what a week. tell you what church was so amazing. Elder Sheppard, Bishop NICHOLLS (not neilson but nice 2nd try) and i all spoke on missionary work. it was a wonderful experience cause we had a handfull of less actives and investigators there. That is really funny that Bishop called you! how cool what a great guy! So Highlights of this week. I think im getting a grip on teaching with the spirit. A year and a half ago if you asked me i would have said that the greatest feeling in the world is overpowering someone else with your momentum and smashing them in the ground right before they can throw the ball. I have had a bit of a change of heart and now i would say the greatest feeling is listening to someone's concerns and fears. Listening to the spirit then saying exactly what they need to hear as directed by the spirit. Absolutly amazing! So i think i told you about Joy a couple of emails ago? the lady with 17 german sheppards? So we decided to randomly pop by one day and it happened to be the worst day she had had in a long time. Well by the end of the meeting she knew that God loved her and was proud of her. I love makeing peoples day. Elder Sheppard goes home tomorrow :( super sad i have gotten on so well with him it is a bit unbelievable. For the last week of his mission he decided that he wanted to beef up a bit so he had me be his personal trainer. this guy has like zero percent body fat so after a few days of using an elastic band to work out his arms are looking quite nice. Honestly it is incedible i'll have to take a picture before he leaves.. he is going to have all the girls hanging off of his arms in a few days.

ok so big news transfers are this week! I will be getting my 12th companion now. Elder Jankoski will be my new companion and he is a bit of a funny story. he began his mission up in Manchester but went back home for a couple of months then came back to finish his time here in the ELM. I will be his last companion with makeing him the 6th companion that i served with in their last six weeks. Can anyone blame me for being trunky? half of my companions have been missionaries who next companion will be an eternal one. Anyways Elder J. has quite a reputation. It is really sad but i have not heard a positive thing about him yet. Elder Sheppard was not happy with the call and asked the assisitant why. he response was ' i don't know. i know that president is inspired and he has great confidence that Elder Solomon will be able to keep him in line.' What that is suppose to mean i havent got a clue. I'm really excited for this transfer though cause some really good things are going to be happening. We will be haveing (fingers crossed and God willing) three baptisms in the next month and out of the five wards in the zone we have 12 baptism dates set.

i was a bit down the other day and i realized something that i already knew. I have had very littel success by my own efforts on my mission. the the only time that i ever really have success is when miracles happen and the Lord just drops a bit of gold in my lap. I've seen the harder i work the worse the rejection gets (which was my initial fear of serving a mission) but also the harder i work my self the more i am blessed with rays of sunshine. take for instance Bedford for six weeks i didnt do anything (well very little at least) and i didnt see a single miracle that transfer. Hayes I worked my tail end off and miracles were dropping out of the sky, but not of my own effort. There is a lesson to be learned here.
I love the gospel. One scripture that i have been sharing alot with people is 2 nephi 10:23. i was studying one morning reasons why the Lord has told us to be of good cheer. the reasons include
1. the atonement
2. the chance to serve a mission
3. the gift of agency
2 nephi 10:23 says something along the lines of Therefore cheer up your hearts for ye are free to choose for yours self, Everlasting death or eternal life.
What a wonderful thing to cheer about. God have given us the ability to think, to reason for ourselves and make a choice. I'm grateful for a Father in Heaven who loves me enough to give me this oppurtunity. For a Father who has confidence in me that i will be able to make the right choices and reach my potential. In grateful for a Father in Heaven who trust me enough to allow me to walk by faith.
I'm not sure how this transfer will turn out but i know that there is always something to be learned. Please pray for me that I'll be able to learn whatever God wants me to learn and that i will be able to make a difference in some souls life.
Elder Solomon

Monday, September 5, 2011

Glory, Glory, Hallelujah

Hi y'all
its good to hear that all is well on the home front. Mother thank you for the kind words you sent on to Sister Jones she was quite complementary of you. She's great isn't she? I had such a good week this week i wish i had four hours to tell you! so early this week i went on a companionship exchange in Ilford and loved it! i got to see most people i wanted and got tons of good work done. I got to see my old companion Elder (brother) Sam Siddiqui and also i got to see my first son in the gospel ( well that is what he feels like to me) Sanjay. He only had a few minutes to see us on his lunch break which is awesome cause now he is working. It was touching to hear his testimony again and he gave a bracelt from India. its a cultural thing for them to tie a bracelt onto the wirst of a really close friend so i was quite honored. it is a cute red and gold braclet with little flower. Then this weekend was Amazing. One of our district leaders is Elder Machen from El Paso Texas. He was in the MTC with me and if im honest he was the only missionary that i didnt like. Well that all changed after the first day i came here and we had a district leader council. So we had an exchange friday to saturday and i had a great time. He told me all about how he thought i was self righteous in the MTC I was a bit embarassed but then he said that the he saw that i had the most potential the do the most good once out in the field i was humbled by that. Elder Machen has made some major changes on his mission and being around him i was able to learn so many things. I think that is one of my favortie part about being on a mission, learning from other peoples experiences. So then on Saturday we had a Leadership meeting in Watford that we left for at 0600. that was a bit hard cause Elder Machen and i stayed up well past midnight the night before talking. Anyhow the meeting was a special one becaue we had two area 70 there and President L. Witney Clayton of the Presidency of the first quorum of the seventy there. it was qutie amazing. He spoke mostly of seeing the bigger picture and looking at things witht the eye of faith. Then of course all of his wifes remarks were concerning the next life. stuff like marriage and raisieng kids.... blah. however i was quite impresed by her she was using words that i didnt even know exisited. to say the least she was educated. the best part was the Area Presidents wife Sister Kopicika (i think thats how you spell it) she had a thick Bulvarian accent and was talking the whole time about being 'wizitoers' which is vistiors. it was very difficult not to smile because it sounded like she was saying wizards the whole time. anyways it was inspireing. When we got home we visited Joy properly for the first time. all the other times we came by she was to occupied with her 17 german sheppard. So we had a great appointment where we talked about our purpose and the investigating process. and the end we said a prayer. during the prayer she gasped and after she commented I felt someone give me a cuddle there!' well Elder Sheppard was praying so i knew it wasn't him and i know i didnt sneak over and give her a hug. so as we were standing on the doorstep on the way out we identified with her the witness of the spirit and invited her to be baptised. she excepted! So now we havbe that out of the way we just need to teach her everything else that comes with the gospel! Sunday morning we didnt have anyone schedualed to come to church which was a bit sad. especially when Bishop Nicholls asked if had had any investigators coming. my shoulder shrunk and my eyes droped to the floor as i said no. then durning the opening hymn a lady from Angola walked in with her two kids. she was real confident walking right infront of the stand that i thought she was just a member that i had not meet yet. Well we proceeded to have and amazing testimony meeting. The Stake president is in our ward and his father passed away this week so many people bore their testimony about the plan of salvation. the best was when a disabled lady stood at her seat and rather then go to the stand just shouted her testimony from her seat. it was so good. Come to find out later the lady that came in had been living by the church for ten years and had been trying to find her faith in Chirst for the whole time. she went to various different churches but nothing could satisfy her hunger. till over the past two weeks she had this prompting to come to our church. during the week she came by, wrote down the name of the church and found on the internet the meeting times... Her hunger was satisfied she loved church and we are going by later today to teach her and HOPEFULLY Inshala (God Willing) set a baptismal date with her.
yea so things are going well.
love Elder Solomon
ps funny story. every one that i saw in Ilford said the same thing. ' man! are you ok? you look horrible. hove you been sick?' I guess i look like i have lost tons of weight... i kont know i feel fine

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I'm a licensed driver! Watch out!

Hi there Sorry im late getting this email sent. Monday was a bank holiday so all the libraries were shut down and we couldnt get to one. Anyways big news on my part! I am now a fully qualified British drvers license holder!! YEA!! thats a ton of stress off my back. i know enjoy driving down narrow roads with blind turns and round-abouts at every corner. its ok though cause these little egg shaped cars are well equipt for it. We had a pretty good week. I had to travel back to Hayes for my test so i got to spend another day with Elder Brower. He was so happy. it seems like Hayes kinda fell apart since i left but its all cool now. i only spent one day with my companion all week and that was Sunday crazy huh? we had a ton of companionship exchanges that we had to do. I really enjoy doing exchanges you get to learn how other missionaries do work and take the best from each one. i spent my time with new missionaries while Elder Sheppard went with there senior companions. i had a really humbleing experience. One of these new missionaries has asked President Patch if he could go home. President told him to wait it out for a bit then they would talk again. We had a good time together and i kinda forced him to participate a bit more then he normally does. then it came to do some finding. i was finding like mad putting my whole heart and effort into it trying to set a good example but i just keep getting rude rejection after rude rejection each time they got worse and worse. after 45 mintues i wanted to sit down and cry. This elder hadn't stopped a single person. In frustration and a little dessperation i turned to him and said Elder this is getting really hard for me i can not do it by my self please help me. for the rest of the day he had no problem stopping people. he was actually motivating me to do the work! now he is the humbleing part. As hard a i worked that whole day we only found two people and the other missionary stopped both of them. I learned a really good lesson when a scriputred i had read cam to mind 1 corinthians 3 5-8 'Who then is Paul. and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have plandted, Apollos watereth :but God fave the increase. So then neither is he that plantedth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the Increase. Nowq he that planteth and he that watereth are one; and every man shall reviece his own reward according to his own labor.'
I have learned so much from this scripture let me make it brief
  1. Who the is Paul? or rather who then is Elder Solomon? Im not anything more special then an instrument through which God reaches to his children. (which in its self is pretty darn special)
  2. I can plant and sow and water and prune and sweat and cry and find and teach and tract but it is God that gives the increase. Like dad said in his letter. true conversion only came come through the testimony of the Holy Ghost which is given to man by the Lord
  3. Every man shall recive his own reward according to his own labour. Although some aspects of the gospel can be very algebraic (reading the scriptures=learning, or praying sincerly=coming closer to God) some are not I can not say if i teach 40 lessons a week i will have seven baptisms. its doesnt work like that. God has in reserve his own blessing/rewards which He will give me according to my labor. What it is (or who she is) isnt for me to worry about. I just need to do my labour and trust that he will up hold His end (which he always does or he would cease to be God)
anyways it was good. I really enjoy being a zone leader. I feel that the Lord is increaseing my capacity to serve and fill my responsibilites. Thank you for your prayers i can feel your support. I didnt think i was special enough for President Patch to send a letter to ya'll but that is cool i guess. i hope it wasnt like the first one i got from him
Dear (insert missionaries name here),
To say the least i didnt feel special.
Love you all!
Keep strong and do it. do it right. do it right now!
Elder Solomon