Wednesday, April 16, 2014

39th Letter from England (Sheldon)

This week has flown by.  I had a lot of interesting experiences... You're right mom, tonight is dodge-night.  I'm excited and nervous to find out.  Everyone thinks I'm leaving because I'm finished  training, but you never really know.  I've had a couple of dreams, one that I was going to somewhere in the Cheltnum zone and one last night that I was going to Aberystwyth in wales.  I'm fairly certain that they weren't reveletory dreams but we'll see (:    It's been weird lately because I feel like I've grown so much as a missionary these past two transfers but am still struggling to get people to progress.  Though, Maria and David are doing great.  They didn't come to church yesterday though which was a bit of a heart break.  It's amazing how much sorrow these things can bring.  As a missionary you really care about these people and to quote preach my gospel, 'desire their salvation.' 
By the way, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D  What are you going to do for your birthday?  Anything special? 
I am so proud of you spreading the Avett Bros to our family and friends.  They go through my head a lot.  And on the front of most of my planners I write their words 'decide what to be and go be it.'  as a motivation to work hard.
I'll start with the week now.
Monday,  I mentioned last week that last Monday we watched conference in the morning with our whole district. That was really good, the rest of the day we just hung around and didn't do much.  I let Elder Tupou cut my hair.  He was really proud at the job he did.  After that we went to teach English but nobody showed up. 
Tuesday right after our studies we exchanged with the other Sheldon Elders.  That was good because I was going to their area with Elder Chardon, so Elder Ruka and Elder Tupou would be together in our area.  One member said 'you put those two together?  They don't speak a word of English!  Just hope they don't get stopped by the cops!'  That's not true though.  They did amazing and ended up teaching two lessons and finding a couple of potentials.  I'm extremely proud of them both.  Elder Chardon and I went and visited some less actives.  One of them has a wife that has really bad Alzheimer's and it was incredibly sad to watch.  I really enjoyed that exchange.  It was weird, because it was the first time I stayed the night with a really good English speaker in 12 weeks. 
The next morning we had Zone meeting.  Elder Chardon and I went early for his district leader meeting.  It was a good meeting as usual.  They talked mostly about sincere prayer and scripture study rather than just praying and reading the scriptures.  It was really eye opening and did really change my prayers and the way I read the scriptures.  We exchanged back there and didn't have too much time to do other things.  We stopped by a couple of potentials but no one was really in.
Thursday was a really good day, we were able to go and see brother Rollins that morning and had a nice chat with him, then we went to teach Salin.  We taught him what we learned at zone meeting and had a really powerful lesson.  We studied 1st Nephi 3 with him and each said a personal prayer out loud.  The spirit was so strong and hopefully it influenced him.  After S we got to go and teach Maria with Jenny M, the member from Portugal.  We taught the plan of salvation.  Basically Jenny taught it while we kept their 2 and 4 year old occupied because we aren't allowed to go in the house without a male present.  Maria has still been reading and praying daily and is really feeling the spirit.  Things are going great with them, except they couldn't come to church.
Friday was our weekly planning day, so we hurried and did that then exchanged again so Elder Ruka would have the opportunity to be the leader in his Area.  Elder Chardon came to my area and we went to a Less active, Tony B that had just had an operation.  We talked to him a while about his testimony and desires, then I gave him a blessing.  The spirit was so strong during the blessing that he started crying and we nearly all were.  He started talking about how much Jesus suffered for us during the Atonement and how he just wants to get better.  After Tony's house, something interesting happened.  I could tell the story in two ways, but I like to say we got kidnapped.  Which in reality we didn't.  We GQ'ed this English Arab named Wasi and he just started talking and talking about us and comparing us to Bedouins and really respecting how we are doing our part in spreading the word of god.  He was essentially trying to convert us to Islam.  He said several times, so when are you converting?!  He wouldn't let us go for about 2 hours!  We were just walking outside though.  And he bought us chicken and chips... a lot of it.  He was a really nice guy.  It was just hilarious a lot of the things he was saying.  'you can't teach an educated man!'  'Tie up your camel, then trust god!'  which I will talk about later.  We went to visit a family Elder Chardon is teaching after we escaped Wasi.  He actually dropped us off at their house.
Saturday we went to see a girl named Mandy.  Turns out that she has to be out of her house in 2 weeks but has no where to go.  She kept saying that she's just waiting on God to provide a place for her, she's looking and doing her part and is trusting that He will provide.  Her faith was inspiring.  We then exchanged back and Elder Tupou and I went to see the Watsons for our dinner appointment.
Sunday was a good Sabbath, fast and testimony meeting.  After church we went to see Tony again and he's doing well.   We then had to study for most of the rest of the day.  We finished our 12 week training program though and I'm officially done training.  Well, I guess Wednesday I'm done training.  We made so much food for dinner to break our fast: scampi, chicken steaks, fried chicken, rice.  It was really really good. 

So today we will be playing sports with the district. and tonight we get the big call.  We'll see what will happen!  I'm happy you don't know until next week though!  I want it to be a surprise!  Check the other mom's rosters, maybe I'll be serving with one of their sons.  How do they know though?? 

So a little spiritual thought today, inspired by Wasi.  'Tie up your camel, then trust God.'  He explained this to mean that if you don't tie up your camel, and it runs away or is stolen, or is blown away in a storm or something you can't complain to God asking why it happened.  We have to do our part.  Basically it's a funny, Arab way of saying Faith without works is dead.  I came across this in my studies this morning too with the Brother of Jared.  He knew he wanted light in his vessels so he went out, came up with a plan, carved rocks, then went to the Lord.  He did everything he knew to do, then asked God to help.  When we pray for things we need to make sure we are doing everything in our power to achieve the things we pray for.  Especially with revelation.  We have to search diligently for our answers, pray, search some more, and when we've done everything, we will be answered.  Tie up your camel, then trust God.
I love you all!
Again, happy birthday mom! :D
Elder Pogue the way, I may need shoes soon.  The shoes I bought fooled me and are wearing out quickly even though the sole looks like it will last.  I may need some eccos, maybe get taylor to pick some out?  I dont need them right now immediately though.  I also may want to get a suit soon.   Also, SEND ME TONY'S.  I'm running out.

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