My three companions (# 14, 15, 16) Elder Hales, Elder Hall, Elder Giboin (counterclockwise from me)
I've been starring at the monitor for five minutes trying to think about what to write and nothing is coming. Elder Jacob left me with a great quote, he said 'what a missionary chooses to think about when he doesn't have to think is indicative of his dedication.' Today is P-day so i don't really have to think as much as usual and it seems like whenever I don't have to think my mind is just blank. What does that say about my dedication? ...At least I'm not distracted. This morning we drove up to St. Albans to pick up my companions (from a work over) and to play football. This morning it was stupid degrees cold and i forgot to bring a sweater so i was freezing my face off. Well we got to playing and it warmed up right quick (well i did at least). Then my competitive side kicked in. In England there is no such thing as a dry football pitch (soccer field), that was the case this morning. I was playing in a pair of canvas shoes (not football cleats) and i was slipping all over the place. It was basically playing mud football. Then i had a brilliant idea. I've played mud football before and i was really good at it because of my exceeding great skill at running bare foot. Well I took off my shoes, everyone said i was crazy then the game proceeded. It was great i didn't fall (to many times) after that! I'm tired now.
This week was a bit strenuous. We went on three work over with six different missionaries. Since we are in a trio we send two Assistants to the area then one stays in this area with two missionaries from the other areas. Now remember I just got here. I hardly know what is going on, mostly I'm just following the footsteps of my giant companions. Well for two of those work overs I stayed in Britannia. (this is me shooting myself in the head). Now on top of that we schedule work overs with all the struggling companionship's. (which normally involve one struggling missionary). Well on both work-overs I got two struggling missionaries. I'm not complaining now we had a great time it was just at bit stressful.
By the time I go home I will be an expert at Heathrow Airport. Last week we took a sister there who had finished her mission. This week it was a different story. We have a missionary who developed a serious problem. The amazing NHS told him that it was cancerous and it was probably a tumor. Bit of scary news. His parents were notified and Travel arrangements made. Well after a few more test it was diagnosed as a blood clot in his thigh. Still pretty crazy. So they put him on blood thinning medication and he stayed at our flat for a week. Meaning that we had 7 missionaries in a 4 person flat. Absolutely manic. Well Thursday morning, while the real assistants were in different areas, I had to take him to Heathrow Airport. It was one of the most depressing things I've had to do on my mission. The only thing I could compare it to was when i had to drive people home after they got let go at work. But its more intense. He is from Idaho, of course a strong Mormon community. I just remembered over and over again hearing that having a missionary come home early, for medical reasons or not, is almost as tragic as having a death in the family.
We will be going to Heathrow again tomorrow. Elder Gregory Hall from Yorkshire has been serving in this mission for 4 months while he has been waiting for his visa to go to the Salt Lake City South Mission. He has really become a fantastic missionary. I was teaching with him yesterday and wow i was just really impressed. Its hard to expect any different results since he has served with 3 zone leaders, 3 assistants and one district leader, in his short time here. The cool thing is that he is going to be in the MTC (with Brigg) and will be miles ahead of everyone else. Its going to be crazy for him to see the difference between missions.
I think that the worst part about being an Assistant is that I don't really get to focus much on my studies, it is putting a bit of a damper on things. Studying the scriptures is so essential to spiritual health. I guess I'll just have to find time during the day to squeeze in my studies. We had a great meeting with President Patch on Monday for the weekly key indicator. He shared a spiritual insight that he had received while meeting with the Area Presidency. He read Helamen 3:23-25 which talks about how thousands were baptised then a verse later how 10,000's were baptised and he attributed that to member (namely recent convert) referrals. With this inspiration he collected his favorite 40 baptise stories from the last year and has asked us that each time we meet with a ward leader that we share one of the miracle stories. I'm going to attach the file. Have a read through. All of them are true, most are accurate :)
p.s. I'll come home and take you to England another time :) Hold me to it!