Holy cow what a week!
out of the last seven days I have only spent two in London how crazy is that. I was all over the map this week going on exchanges. First was Basildon ( I love that place!) We had a wonderful dinner at Natalie's house and I even randomly ran into Bishop Nicholls, that was really cool. Each time I go back there I am so thankful for the chance I had to serve there. I'm so happy to see how the gospel touched those peoples lives and the positive change that has come to them as they embraced it, made covenants and are now keeping those covenants. It is beautiful. After Basildon I went down to Dover. That was a truly amazing experience, Just being back there brought back so many memories and feelings. I feel it was a great tender mercy of the Lord. I was able to see and compare myself from how I am now to how I was 20 months ago. It is incredible the changes in how I feel about the gospel and my testimony, it has come so incrementally and imperceptibly that I have almost taken no notice of it. When we got there we began street contacting but because of the rain which was coming down in buckets we soon abandoned that endeavor. I was with Elder Helske (from Finland) who had only recently moved to the area. Elder Helske was really excited to go there and work, but once he got there his pessimistic companion tore down his hopes. They hadn't really had anyone to teach for the last 6 months that was any good and they just spent most of their time tracting. Well I began asking Elder Helske about all these different people that I use to teach and he didn't really know any of them. So we decided that rather then stand in the torrents of rain to go contact these people. What a glorious experience that was! First we saw the Anctise family. Chris looked like he had seen a ghost when he answered the door and I was standing there. We had a great chat catching up and then a good lesson before we left. Elder Helske was so elated that now he had a family to teach. Next we went up to Jim. We knocked at the door and with one look Jim looked at me and said 'oh come in.' Now Elder Helske had looked like he had seen a ghost. Turns out Jim had just gotten back from spending ten days in Utah with all his Mormon friends and was ready to start meeting with us again. (no one had seen him since I left a year and a half ago!) Last of all we stopped by Steve and Gemma who live literally right across the road from the Elders flat. They use to knock on our door late at night and give us dinner and all sorts of things like that. Similar story as Jim, they had just gotten back from holiday. While in Spain they talked about how they felt that something was missing in their lives and felt that they should start meeting with us again. The night before Gemma had prayed that we would contact her and low and behold there we were standing at her door step. Elder Helske could have died as the happiest man that night. I was so happy to see these wonderful people again. I put so much of my heart and efforts into that area. I was really sad to see that the Elders behind me hadn't keep in contact with those people but now I'm really grateful that Elder Helske will be able to teach them. All of them were so close to baptism before I left I hope now the Lord will be able to use Elder Helske to get the there. That was Wednesday-Thursday then Friday morning we loaded up in the car and headed off to Norwich. Its about a three hours drive depending on London traffic. That was a fun time. I didn't enjoy just sitting for three hours but i was grateful for the 'think time' that I had. I have now learned for my self which came first, the chicken or the egg and i came to a conclusion as to why the chicken crossed the road. OK time for more trunky talk and then I'll finish my story of the week. During my think time and though out this week I have resigned to the fact that I'm going home soon. I have been living in denial and would get terrified whenever I thought about it. I have learned and gained an assurance that the Lord will be just as willing to give guidance and direction for me when I go home as He is now while I am here. I have realized that I have no reason to be apprehensive about what will happen because if my mission has taught me anything it is that as we rely on the Lord and do things His way then all will be aright. I guess that one of my first things to do when I get home is to gain a vision/ understand about what the Lord wants me to do and then make plans to accomplish it, which will probably require some more think time. OK I'm done now. I had a great time up in Norwich, It was freezing windy and cold ( I was about to say 'as hell' but that is a bit of an oxymoron). Saturday we drove back for a baptism in Lea Valley. Five people were baptised many of which Elder Cena and Elder Paramalingam had taught prior to their coming here. Lea Valley was my first area so it was good to see a baptism there. I ran into our old ward mission leader who gave me a hard time. He reminded me about how 'ripped' i was when i came out. then after poking me asked what had happened. :(
Well I need to start my weekly planning so i don't have time to tell you about our sushi dinner at Trafalgar Square or pontificate about my studies.
Catch ya'll next week!