I know you’ve all been enjoying the bike mishaps I’ve been sending, and this week I’ve got double the juice. Let me start at last Monday shortly after I got done emailing you, at the moment I ran over a piece of glass and popped the back tire on my bike when we were riding out to a member’s house for FHE. It happened right in the middle of the road, in the rain, when it was getting dark, and it’s probably a good thing I didn’t die or lose control, because it completely deflated in about seven seconds when I was going 15 mph. We walked our bikes to the member’s house, left them there, and took a bus back to our flat. Then on Wednesday we finally had time to go back and for on it, so we spent three hours in the afternoon patching the inner tube in three different places. It took a long time because 1) neither of us had done it ourselves before, and 2) we didn’t have tools. (I guess you could add 3: it was a really cheap puncture repair kit, and all they gave us to rough it up was a measly little piece of sandpaper.)
So anyway, we fixed it, and then rode out to another member’s house for dinner, and by the time we got back home, it was pretty much flat again. So the next day we dragged it on the train to Walsall for district meeting and Elder Wall did some surgery on it.
But that only lasted another two hours. There were seven patches on it at that point. So finally on FRIDAY we asked the assistants to drive us to Sutton to a repair shop, no matter how much it cost, because we were THROUGH. (Good thing they are always looking for an excuse to get out of the office.) So they loaded them in their van, an older missionary couple sister came with us, and we took a little road trip. The woman at the repair shop said I would need a new wheel, tire, and inner tube, and it would cost about £25, so I said do it, because I really needed my bike back. She worked on it for 20 minutes, and when we came back, she said she was only charging me £10, because they used to have their shop at the top of the street the mission office is on, and they got tons of business, but since they moved locations, they don’t get as much. And she said she always liked the missionaries, so she gave me a huge discount. Phew! Thank goodness! but now my bike is running really nicely!
The second mishap is that I almost ran over a lady’s little kid. I was coming around a corner and this little kid was being naughty and running away from his mom and he ran right in front of me. So I screamed and did this weird, “Waahy-y–ya-ya!” thing, almost hit a fence, and then tripped off my peddle and hit my shin. I expected the mom to be mad and defensive like the lady I ran into the day before. I was coming down a hill really fast, went around a corner, and almost flattened her pooch, and she was like, “Don’t squash my dog!” And I was like, ‘That’s a dog?! I thought it was a rat.’ (No, I’m kidding, I didn’t say that…out loud.) But the mom was totally calm and passive and told her frightened to death son that that’s what happened when he tried to run away from her.
Something our mission has been struggling a lot with is getting investigators to come to church. We’ve been getting a lot of training from our zone and district leaders on how to help people make and keep commitments, focusing a lot on church. At the beginning of the week Elder Greyling and Elder Robey challenged us all to get four potentials everyday that week, and invite them all to church, and promised that if we did that, we would have someone at church on Sunday. So we believed them, and every night when we were reporting our numbers, we were reporting about twelve invites to church, rather than four. And we just kept trusting them, and praying hard, and trying hard, and inviting people to church, and having faith in their promise. Yesterday we had three investigators at church. That is the first time we have had ANY investigator at church since I’ve been here, and it wasn’t just one, it was three. And it wasn’t just any three, two of them were Kevin and Jordi. It was their first time, and they really enjoyed it. They could only stay for sacrament meeting, but the testimonies thankfully were VERY good, and the Spirit was very strong. I could see in their faces that they were feeling It’s peace and happiness. They have committed to coming for two hours next week, and three hours the week after, and then on the 27th they will be baptized. I sure am praying that it works out, because they are such good people and being in the gospel is the only thing left that they need.
We got a call from the zone leaders this morning saying that in the month of July our zone only had two investigators at church, and just this week, we had fourteen. What a miracle. That is the major thing keeping people from being baptized. It strengthens my faith in the Lord, in His timing, and in the leaders that we have. It’s such a comfort to know that we are led by servants of God who receive revelation, not just in our mission, but that the Prophet receives revelation from God to guide the Church.
Something really amazing happened yesterday. During the last hour of church, a nineteen-year-old kid with rings in his lips and a rose tattoo on his throat walked into the church, and this newly married sister who works in young women saw him, so she asked him what he was doing. He said, “Is this the Mormon church?” And she said, “Yes, it is.” And he said, “I’d like to learn more about it. How do I join?” So she took off and the first people she found were the office Elders. They showed him around a little and gave him a Book of Mormon, JSH Pamphlet, and Restoration Pamphlet. Then she came and found us right when church got out and brought us out to talk to him. His name is Matt, his great uncle is a bishop in Wales, and he just met him for the first time last week, was really impressed with him, and decided he wanted to join the church. We started talking to him and he has TONS of questions. The first one he asked was about being made clean, so I taught him about the Atonement, and how because Jesus Christ suffered for each and every one of our sins and mistakes, every wrong thing that we do can be fix, and all our feelings of guilt and shame can be taken away forever. He said he used to be a drug-addict, and asked if it was still okay for him to join. I wanted to say, ‘Uh, that’s probably more reason for you to join.’ but obviously I didn’t. The sister from the YW (her name is Liahona Whitehurst) told him that that was the amazing thing about the Atonement; that once he had repented and was baptized, it would be like it never even happened.
I seriously am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that he just walked into the church and basically asked to be baptized. We are meeting with him tomorrow. You never would have guessed it from looking at him. In the first four minutes of talking to him it came out that the 2nd of September would be a good day to be baptized, so we’ve got a lot of work to do, especially in making sure he understands what the commitments are that he needs to make and keep, and making sure he understand the accountability of being baptized. But I know with the Lord’s help good things will happen. Whether it works out or not, it was a miracle. We asked for new investigators and tried really hard to find them, so God just decided to drop one right in our laps.
The other good thing about that, is that Liahona and her husband haven’t been sealed in the temple, because her husband Jake is a convert of less than a year, and they are currently in the temple preparation class, but not seeming very committed to it lately. But yesterday with Matt coming in, they really stepped up to the mark in helping us teach him and talk to him. Matt started talking about how giving up tea was probably going to be the hardest part of his conversion, and Jake jumped right in and told him about his difficult experience giving up tea before he was baptized, and told Matt he could do it, and he would help him, and bore his testimony that Christ would help him as well. Then they exchanged phone numbers and basically became best friends right there. Liahona and Jake have now offered for Matt to be taught in their home, which is the first time ANYONE in this ward has done that in about five years, so I’m told. So they seemed to blossom in the space of about 45 minutes. I think watching someone else come into the gospel, while helping to teach him, and realizing how much the gospel means to both of them is really going to stir them into be recommitted.
It’s amazing how much the ward pulled together at the occasion of the missionaries having investigators at church. They were all super friendly, and went out of their way to greet them, and did a fantastic job bearing their testimonies of the sweet and simple truths of the gospel.
You wouldn’t believe how many people have told me this week that my American accent is so lovely and charming. Who knew! I thought I sounded like a redneck. This one lady heard me talk and said, “Oh! I do love the American accent! How charming! Do keep talking dear!” That was kind of a shock for me after the usual, “I’m not interested. Don’t talk to me.” So naturally, I just started talking about Jesus Christ. I knew I loved America…. Elder Greyling is from South Africa (I think I already mentioned that, oh well) and his accent is really fun to listen to. At lunch at MLC on Friday he was sitting across from me and asked, “Sistyer Wadswyrth, what if they put yrou with the uthyr Sistyer Wadswyrth?” Haha! I wish you could hear all the different accents here. It’s quite entertaining and very educational.
Also, I am embarrassed out of my skin whenever any elders are around, because I am teased so much, and this is why. Jordi decided to get a little flirty over text, and so Sister Christy passed it on to the district and zone leaders that “Our investigator is falling in love with Sister Wadsworth, and we don’t know what to do.” But I wish they would quit teasing and actually help us, because it kind of is a real problem. We need him to get baptized for himself, not for anything anyone else asks of him.
I was riding to the store today and they were doing construction on the road, so this construction worker directed us to ride on the path (that’s what they call the sidewalk here) instead of the road, and as I rode past him he looked at me, and he was like, “You’re beautiful you are.” But I didn’t hear him, so when we’d past Sister Christy was like, “Did you hear what that guy said?” and I said I didn’t and that she probably didn’t hear him right, and then forgot about it. Then on the way back we past him again, and this time I was going slow, so I really did hear correctly when he said, “Love, you’re beautiful, you are.” And I just about popped my thigh muscles trying to speed up in sixth gear. The guy had three gold teeth and one silver one! And I don’t know where the heck he’s been, but he didn’t smell like one of the places was a shower. It was so embarrassing, and now, of course, everyone knows about THAT as well. I think I should just curl up and hide. If another elder tries to tease me one more time I’m really going to get angry.
I think the sun here is making my hair look really red.
Today Sister Christy and I went to eat at this place called the American Diner, and Sister Christy got the All-American Breakfast. She said she’d heard about pancakes and maple syrup and bacon and sausage and egg and stuff, but she’d never actually tried it before. I WISH you could have seen her first couple of bites. Her eyes got huge and sparkly, and then she started giggling. When I asked her what was the matter, she went, “It’s so good I literally can’t swallow!” And it really did take her about a minute to get the first of it down. I thought she was joking, but she was serious. She devoured it and smiled like a giddy little kid the whole time, and she is beginning to admit that America has it’s strong point, specifically in breakfast.
It’s amazing how hard things make you more sure of yourself. We went through a lot of tough things this week. I’ve been sworn to, cussed out, yelled at, argued with, and a million other things, but I still know that the Gospel is true, and I still know Jesus Christ lives. No matter what anyone says about the Book of Mormon, I’ll always know it’s true, and no matter what anyone says about God, I know that He really does exist, that He’s our Heavenly Father, and that this is His church.
I’ve really loved all the emails I’ve gotten from you all this week! Lots of pictures, exactly what I like! Looks like you’ve all been having a good week. I’m glad third crop is almost done. Sister Christy and I have started praying for each others’ families in companionship prayer, and you’ll be pleased to know that Sister Christy now prays for the dew every night. She’s so funny and catches on quickly.
I love you all so much! I’m getting giddy for Eve’s baby to come, and Mary Ann to get her call. I can’t wait to see and hear what you will be up to this week!