Monday, February 27, 2017

Time Flies

I don't know where the time is going. Every Monday I sit down to write
and it feels like it was Monday yesterday. So much stuff happens, but
it goes by so fast. We are crazy busy all the time, but it's awesome.

So you've been asking about my companion - yeah he is really good. He
is from Nephi, Utah and he is 18. He graduated from High School in
2016, and he started his mission last June. It's his birthday on
Wednesday though, so he's turning 19! He likes sports, and is a good
basketball player. He was in the MTC at the same time as Josh Cooper,
so they know each other. He's a really good leader and he helps our a
lot with training all of our district leaders in the zone. He is also
a really hard worker and we have a lot of fun together! He'll be on
his mission still a long time after I go home! He says to look him up
on Instagram: nolan_nielsen1

This week we've found a bunch of new investigators to teach, but we've
also taught a bunch of people who for various reasons just aren't too
bothered about learning. There's a few people, one guy named Andrew
from Scotland, and one guy named Robert from Kenya who referred
themselves on this week and we went and taught and invited
to church. Andrew is way cool, but his wife is not super happy about
him meeting with us, so that's a bit of a problem. Robert is cool too,
but he said he would come to church and then didn't, so we'll see
where that goes.

We're also teaching several Uni students. One is a lad named Alvin who
is from Malaysia, who is here on a brief stay for only about 5 months
studying renewable energy. He's way cool and he's come to church twice
now, but can't seem to grasp the concept of God answering his prayers.
We're going to play basketball with him and some of his friends this
Saturday though at Northumbria University - which I'm stoked about,
and so is Elder Nielsen.

We're teaching another Uni student named Gemma, who is from West
Yorkshire, actually pretty close to where I lived with Elder Kearl in
Shipley (she's from another town called Skipton) and she is studying
Law. She's way cool too, we just knocked on her door a few weeks ago,
and now she's been to church a few times as well.

Then there's Rory, who we also just knocked into while knocking a
heavily student populated area, he is from England but lived in New
Zealand for two years and knows some Mormons over there. We taught him
the first lesson this week and are going back soon to teach him more,
we'll see how it goes.

We also met a student this week named Heather, who has lots of health
problems and her mom meets with missionaries up in Scotland, so she
was curious to know what we believed, but then basically said that she
doesn't agree at all and sent us away haha. Well actually she was fine
with us coming back but she won't listen so we're not going to.

And then there was this guy this weekend that Elder Nielsen found when
we went on exchange this week (oh yeah we went on exchange, Elder
Nielsen went with Elder Lewis, who is the DL in North Shields right
now, and I went with Elder Anderson) they knocked on his partners door
and gave her a BOM. Later that night we got a call from him and he
said "I'm really interested in your book, when can you come around and
explain it more?" And we were like woah this is too good to be true.
And....     it was. He was kinda crazy, he believes that he's a
prophet, and basically the whole concept of a true church was beyond
him, and he had lots of crazy views. Unfortunately his partner was
actually genuinely interested but he was like nope nope nope, he
basically just invited us over to tell us we were wrong and to Bible
bash. It was low key really annoying.

Oh and it was Zone Conference this week! It was awesome!

Oh and Susan and Sophie went to the temple to do Baptisms for the dead
with the Ward on Saturday! They loved it! They are so well integrated
with the Ward it's so amazing!

And we ate a lot of McDonalds this week. We've been really busy and
our flat is on one side of town, and all the people we teach are on
the other side of town, and right near all those people is the
McDonalds - and so it's way quicker and easier to eat McDonalds than
to go all the way home and make food and drive all the way back. So we
have a jar of change and we've almost emptied it because of all the
McDonalds runs.

Ok. Spiritual time. I was thinking again about just how grateful I am
for the opportunity to come and finish my mission. I have really felt
since I've been here the love that Jesus Christ has for everyone.
Sometimes I meet someone and I think to myself that there's no way
they would ever change, but they can. Sometimes I am afraid to do
something bold, or to talk to someone who seems like a waste of time,
but "perfect love casteth out fear." We just do it. We just invite
everyone to hear the message if the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.
It may sound strange to someone who's never heard about Jesus, or
doesn't believe in God, but I know that Jesus Christ can heal any
wound, can cast out any burden, can make light any dark part of
someone's life. Through him we can find "peace in this life, and
eternal life in the world to come." The Gospel and the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints has the Priesthood authority, which is the
power of God, which can bless and heal any soul. God is real. He is
our Father in Heaven. We can pray to Him and He will answer us. Jesus
Christ is the Saviour of the world. If we learn about his life and do
the things that he asks us to do, we can be happy now, and be with our
families forever. There is no joy that can come into our lives like
the joy that the Gospel brings.

Love you guys.

We went to Durham Cathedral this morning

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