Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Elder Withers and friends

The weeks go so fast. Time is just blurring together!  

Elder Cook and I have been pretty good about running in the morning. We often run to the chapel, do some fitness things there, and then we run back to our flat to get on with the rest of our day. 

England culture:

-Elder Cook and I were called "pretty" by an elderly lady.
-Apparently there's no whistling on a Wednesday afternoon in Hitchin. This is an old law, that hasn't been revoked. The reason being that during archery matches, a boy would stand behind the target, and when the archers were done shooting they'd whistle, to signify it's safe. And these took place on Wednesday afternoons! good thing I can't whistle...
-"trolley" = shopping cart
-"TK Max" = TJ Max
"Advert" = advertisement
people say "proper"
Some cars will turn off when at a complete stop to save money ("petrol" AKA gas is expensive)
"posh" is a slang word people use for nice, fancy, or for the rich people
Hot dogs are smaller here
the Mustard is strong
Dates are typed as 21/07/2015 (today)
The toilets are smaller and there's not near as much water in them :)
People say "zed" for the letter 'z'
"hatche" = pronunciation for 'h'
"footpath" = sidewalk"
"bat" = ping pong paddle
Squash = like concentrate - put a little in a cup, add water, and you have like a fruit juice or something.
Quotes that I like: 
"Brethren sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will work wonders" 

"If we want it badly and deeply enough we can rebuke the devourer by the power of the Redeemer Lord Jesus Christ"
- Both from Jeffrey R. Holland

I did a training this week in our district meeting, and I spoke on studying and preparing to teach. By me giving that training, I feel it was more for me than anyone else in the district. There's a lot for me to work on! Something that came to me (I believe as I was listening to someone else speak), is that if we are not progressing as missionaries, how can we expect our investigators to progress? That is to say, if I'm not growing in faith, testimony, and my commitment to the Gospel and Jesus Christ, how can I expect those I teach to have a different result? 

I also recognize that I need to change/develop the reasons for why I do things. I was my motive to be out of LOVE for Jesus Christ, and a desire to serve Him. That's when true conversion will happen! When I act in obedience out of love for my Savior.  

Also, repentance should be a joy to us! When we truly repent, we have a "fresh view of God, ourselves, and the world." the Savior truly wants to forgive. 

This week we got to serve Brother Freeman and his family! He was extending his house so we got to help with some grunt work out back. We were placing these concrete beams, and then stacking these granite(I'm not sure what kind of stone it was) bricks to make the base of the house. It was neat! It was almost like we were building with Legos... but they were really big Legos. 

We also were able to serve Brother Amos and his family! I was painting a fence with Elder Green, while Elder Cook and Elder Kalabanko did some work smashing concrete and putting up fence posts and makeshift supports.  

Here's a nifty analogy I thought of: As I painted the fence, there were often spots where I missed with painting. It was somewhat tricky to paint by where the wooden panels crossed. I can look at those spots, and focus on those, and say "wow, I'm bad at painting." But when I step back and look at the big picture, I see a well painted fence! In addition, it's sometimes hard to recognize the progress and work I've done, but when I look at the unpainted fence, there's quite the contrast between the painted and unpainted sections. Also we were volunteering to serve! We're not professional painters.  

As a missionary, it can be easy to pick out the many mistakes and shortcomings that I have. But when I step back, recognize the good I've done and the people I've helped MORE so I can feel blessed and grateful for the people that I've been an instrument in helping. This "stepping back" is something I feel I can and should do better.  I'm not a professional missionary! I'm a volunteer. Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ are both very patient with me, and are working with me to turn me into a beautifully painted fence. Metaphorically speaking, of course. God loves us and wants us to be happy with the work we do! 
This transfer (6 week period) ends tomorrow! Our P-day was today. Tomorrow, Elder Cook is moving to Wembly to serve as a District Leader there, and I will remain in Hitchin with Elder Mabingo as my follow up trainer. For the first 3 weeks of next transfer, I will be in a trio with Elder Kalabanko (the new district leader) as well, and we will cover the Hitchin and Letchworth areas. After 3 weeks, Elder Kalabanko's companion will arrive, and he will train a new missionary. 

I love you all and am grateful for the love and  support I feel from you. 

Have a fantastic week! 


Elder Withers

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