We’ve had a nice week here in the good ole land of England. It mostly consisted of getting saddle sore, almost cycling into canals, funerals and weddings.
I knew I’d get saddle sore, but I still got on anyways. It’s worn off much quicker than the six weeks it took at the beginning of my mission though, which is nice. We cycled the roughly five miles to Kinver along the Staffordshire/Worcestershire Canal path and got lost several times and ended up some place else, but the scenery was so beautiful it was all worth it! The canal is literally two feet from the cycle path and just as high as the ground right now, and I kept having images of myself just cycling off into the water! We’ll see if I can make these next two transfers without doing that. Fat chance though.
We met a lot of nice people this week who are willing to talk to us, so we feel very blessed. We tracted one of the streets suggested to us from one of Sister Price’s friends from back home and ended up with a lot of success on that one small street. Two investigators and six potentials!
It’s been a wonderful week! There was also a wedding on Saturday for some people in our ward. It was just kind of thrown together last minute, so I ended up playing the piano for it. Thank heavens I didn’t have to play the wedding march! She walked down the aisle to ‘Faith of our Fathers’ instead. How grateful I am for that! I might have not been able to keep it together.
I’ve been called as the ward pianist because no one in the ward plays the piano. They have a self-playing piano which is what they’ve been using but it only works half the time. The very first question the bishop asked me was if I played the piano.
There was also a funeral for an elderly man in our ward that died. At a crematorium . . . . we just hunted down every excuse we could find to not go because I really didn’t like that idea.
This week has been another week of Book of Mormon testimony for me.
As a missionary, I am offering the Book of Mormon to people every single day, and teaching them that it can change their lives if they read it, have a sincere desire to know if it’s true, and then pray and ask God if it is. The Book of Mormon has such a light about it, and a power that even when you just look at it, you feel something special.
This month in March is our Power of the Word month, and we’ve started a new push where each missionary holds the Book of Mormon in their hand out in the open during all finding activities, instead of holding them in our backpacks. It helps us to use it more, give more out, and teach with it more, and it especially helps us find people to teach. On Wednesday Sister Price and I were walking down the village high street in Kinver at the end of the day toward the bus stop and we passed a couple going the opposite direction. The man looked at the books in our hands as we passed, and then turned and shouted back over his shoulder, “Hey! Christians!”
We held up our books, smiled, and shouted back, “Yeah!!!”
To which he responded with an enthusiastic fist pump and a louder, resounding, “YEAHHHH!!!!!” while his girlfriend fought to keep him walking. It was comical, but quite evident that the reason he recognised us as Christians and servants of the Lord was because of the Book of Mormon we held.
In the EBM, we read the Book of Mormon for 30 minutes every morning, individually. Our mission president promised us that if we read it for at least 30 minutes every day for the rest of our lives, we will never fall away. Studying the Book of Mormon like that has made my testimony, not only of the divinity of the book itself and the reality of Joseph Smith stronger, but it has also increased my testimony of the pure and simple doctrines of the Gospel contained in it. And when I have that, I’m a better person, and a better teacher.
Every time we teach someone about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ through the Prophet Joseph Smith, we introduce the Book of Mormon, and we explain where it came from, and why it is important, using the Introduction of the Book. Then we show them the last two paragraphs where the invitation is extended to them to read it, ponder its message, and then ask God if it is true. It then promises that a witness will come, if the reader has real intent. My favourite part is testifying to them after that that I know the Book of Mormon to be true, because I personally took the invitation. We explain that we’ve just taught a lot of things to them, but we don’t want them to believe us, or just take our word for it. We want them to know for themselves, like we know for ourselves.
Often, it’s that last little bit of testimony that touches their hearts and moves them to accept the invitation to read it and see if it will change their life. But I don’t think it would work if we ourselves didn’t have that testimony in the first place.
I spend so much of my time promising people as a servant of the Lord that He will answer their prayers with a witness of truth if they ask Him, but once-in-a-while, I get to experience that treat for myself, and be reminded with extra strength that the promise is true. I’ve had a testimony of the Book of Mormon for a long time, and I’ve read it more times than I’ve kept track of, and taken Moroni’s invitation and promise at the end to pray for a witness of its truth, each time I finish the Book. We don’t have to read it all the way through to ask God, and I have very often asked Him for a witness after a single chapter on an ordinary day, and received an answer.
But each time I read to the end, and I get to pray about the whole Book, it’s a really special treat, and a more powerful witness. This week on Saturday I got to finish it again, and as I read Moroni 10:4&5, I got to remember the first times I had latched on to that promise, and as it always is, it was a fresh and exciting feeling all over again. I decided to pretend I was a new investigator taking the experiment for the first time, and I got to feel the joy from the Spirit that comes when He witnesses to your heart that it’s true. And now I can say again with just a little bit more resilience that the Book of Mormon is true.
I just want to put in a good word for it and say that even if you’ve done it already, maybe even countless times, do it again! You’ll get another witness to strengthen the others, and you will feel the Spirit in your heart.
If you’ve read the Book of Mormon and haven’t prayed about it, pray about it.
And if you haven’t read it, read it! Then pray about it, and an answer will come.
I love this Book so much! Yeah, it’s hard riding up the hills on my bike with my backpack weighed down with them. And yeah, it makes me extra saddle sore with the added weight. And yeah, sometimes they throw me off balance and make me crash into thistle bushes. But it’s worth it to bring this amazing Book all over England to the people, so that their lives can be changed and they can be happy too!
Read the Book of Mormon, guys! It’s amazing!
Love you all!