The first thing that happened this week was that we got a new district leader at last! His name is Elder Sinclaire and he is from Sweden. He is in my going home group. So now we have three teams in the ward again! Honestly I feel like we have a really good and a really blessed district. Everyone loves one another and everyone gets along and works really nicely together. We are able to exchange investigators and cross teach them, which is helping them to progress a lot better, as some investigators connect well on different things with different missionaries. We’ve got a really good system down where all the investigators know all the missionaries in the district really well, so they feel comfortable with all of us. It’s kind of like we all share all the investigators we have and we all teach them and help them to progress, and it’s actually working really well and we are seeing tons of success coming from our district being able to work and coordinate so well together. Our zone is performing the best in the mission currently, so we’ve been told; Heavenly Father is really blessing us.
We had interviews with President on Tuesday, which is always really good. We had to travel to Merthyr for them by bus, and then back to Swansea by train, which took over two hours, so our entire day was used to traveling and interviews and we didn’t have time to do any work in our own area.
It has been very cold here this week. Most days I’ve been wearing about five layers on top and six layers on the bottom. Thankfully we were able to purchase monthly bus passes, so we now can use the busses for travel, instead of walking everywhere, and the busses are WARM, which is great. I think I shall end up very chubby by the end of the winter if we’re riding around all the time.
On Thursday was Elder Miner’s birthday so we all took our lunch hour together and went out to get dessert.
Also on Thursday they had the annual starting up of the Christmas lights in city centre. They built a nice German market with DELICIOUS food. Here I am again, raving about food. I’m going to be such a butter ball. Anyways, I wish I had a picture of the German market because it’s really nice and super cool, but it stays up all winter, so maybe I will take one sometime. They set up a big Christmas tree in the city centre and lighted it. I can’t believe it’s getting so close to Christmas! That means it’s almost the end of the year, and 2017 is when I come home. Time flies!
On Friday we’d been doing service and stopped to change back into our proselyting clothes at the church before going to stop by some more potentials before volleyball started, and I guess I locked the inside door to the church, but the outside one didn’t quite lock all the way. So the elders got to the church and they don’t have a key, but they tried to go in anyway, 🙄 so they got halfway in but couldn’t go further, so the alarm started blaring. Good thing we were just around the corner when they called in a panic. We were afraid the cops would show up, but luckily no one did.
Then when we were playing sports in the cultural hall we had several mishaps. First of all, earlier in the week I had been rushing to get my bus pass out of my bag and hurt my hand. I just wasn’t being careful and used it wrong and felt something click inside, and then it started hurting and the pain spread upward into my arm after that. It started feeling better the next day, but we went to the relief society president’s house and stripped wall paper off her walls, and that made it hurt again. And then during volleyball the elders were hitting the ball way too hard, so when I blocked it it jingled something again and the pain began again. So they decided we would play chair football instead, since I didn’t need to use my arms for that. But I’m a klutz, so I accidentally ran into the wall when I was trying to block the ball and jostled my knee out of whack so that it hurt to walk. But THEN, Sister Gjevik didn’t put on shoes, so when she missed the ball and kicked the floor full-force instead it either cracked or broke something in her foot. She almost passed out and I had to catch her with my hurt hand. Her first three toes were bleeding, just from where she broke the skin and her foot swelled up really big. So the elders helped us both limp out to the car and one of the YSA drove us home. Then she brought us an ace bandage for my arm, pain killers for Sister Gjevik, and a bag or frozen peas for each of us to put on our bruises. Needless to say, we’re both kinda beat up. Luckily for us, we bought monthly bus passes earlier in the week so we can use all the busses now, since Sister Gjevik can’t walk very well.
Then we had to go to a charity shop to look for some shoes that her foot could fit in to, because it was so swollen that her biggest shoes were way too small for it. The first charity shop we went on, lo and behold there was a pair of black uggs! The only kind of shoes that would fit her foot. What a blessing!
We’ve been working with T for the past couple of weeks and his baptism is scheduled for this Saturday. It’s always a nail biter at this point, and I’m getting ready for a let down because I’ve had three people to this stage before, and then something goes wrong. But hopefully this one will be different. He’s had his interview, which none of the others did, so maybe it’ll be different. Poor Elder Sinclaire kinda got thrown into the district, as a trainer, and a district leader, and he had to do his first baptismal interview three days into it. He’s a good guy though and he’s handling it well.
Yesterday I make pumpkin coffee cake for breakfast. 👌🏼 Oh yeah.
This week we are going to help with another charity program called Samaritan’s Purse for the Shoe Box Appeal. I’ll tell you more about that once we’ve worked with it a little bit more. Basically things get sent to children in war torn parts of the world. The stuff we are handling will be sent to Liberia, and it will be the first they’ve been able to send in three years since the Ebola outbreak.
This week I was studying Alma 53 and I read the verse that speaks about the people of Ammon being saved because of the exceeding love which Ammon and his brethren had had for them, so I started studying about love, in particular, the love of God. Love is what moved Heavenly Father to formulate His great Plan of Redemption and Happiness for us, His children. Because He loved us so much He wanted us all to be together in happiness for eternity. And because He is our Father, we inherited traits and characteristics from Him, one of those being love. So each time we love we are exercising that heavenly characteristic, and it grows and develops more and more, making us more like our Heavenly Parents. Moroni 7:48 says: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.” I’ve always enjoyed this scripture because we learn that if we develop this characteristic we will be able to recognise the Saviour when we meet Him again, because we will share that common characteristic.
I remember President Monson said that love is the essence of the Gospel, and it truly is. Love is what drove Jesus Christ to offer Himself as our Mediator, and it was the only power by which He was able to perform the Atonement. If we love each other, and the Lord, we will be happier, and we will receive a wonderful reward at the last day.
On that note, I love you all with all my heart! I hope we can all count our many blessings at the time of year, and try our best to give service to others, just as the Saviour did.