Monday, July 27, 2015

Elder Withers and second companion Elder Mabingo from Burundi Africa
Hello family and friends~
 English Culture:

There are lots of roundabouts here - and they work differently than the U.S.! You yield to the right and to cars in the circle. Fun fun.
"Tarmac" = asphalt
"dodgy" = sketchy
"Biscuit" = some kind of cookie
"Taking the mickey out of ya" - making fun
"mum" = mom
motor bike instead of motorcycle
People say "isn't it?" a lot, and some blend the two into "i'nnit" 

So I'm serving in a trio now! Elder Mabingo (from Burundi Africa) is my new companion. And we're serving with Elder Kalabanko (from Ukraine) for half the transfer until his companion (From Brasilia, Brazil) leaves the MTC! And in our district, there's another Elder from Switzerland, and another from Okinawa, Japan. We went from 3 American missionaries to 1 this last transfer! As they say, diversity is the spice of life! It's special to serve with and serve around missionaries from different countries! Sidenote: We are staying in Letchworth (because the flat is nicer), but we're covering both areas as a trio. 

Elder Kalabanko from Ukraine, Elder Mabingo from Africa and Elder Withers from Ohio

Elder Mabingo is a kind, and humble Elder. He has 4 brothers and 3 sisters. He joined the church when he was 20, and he is currently 24. He loves to laugh, and has a kind heart. He loves rice, chips (AKA fries), and bread. He's been on his mission for 21 months! 

For the first time in my life, I feel a need to watch what I eat. If I'm not careful I'll put on some serious poundage! 

It's so important to "forget myself and go to work" - so many blessings, and so much happiness come as a result! 

So here's a neat experience I had: On Friday morning, there was some contention before we left the flat... We were travelling from the flat in Letchworth all the way to Stotfold to help a family move into their home. We walked a LONG way, and if it didn't rain the whole time, it rained for most of it. I didn't have an umbrella and I got quite wet. I was in a sour mood, and needless to say, I did not have the Spirit with me. 

The walk to Stotfold was actually quite beautiful. We took a path that ran alongside the stunningly beautiful English countryside. While we're on the topic, I absolutely LOVE the English countryside. It's so big, so open, and just breathtaking. There's an awe and a sense of peace that accompanies the scenery.
Anyway, I wasn't appreciating or enjoying the amazing view. I remember Elder Mabingo singing a bit, and just feeling not in the mood to sing or join in. We actually weren't quite sure which way to go, and Elder Kalabanko asked if I could say a prayer. I said the prayer, and I apologized for the contention I caused that morning. During the prayer, I remember the phone ringing (it was the sister we were helping move, and she said she was going to be 40 minutes late). We ended up choosing to go right, and we eventually found the way. But the most meaningful part of that experience, was the sweet peace and forgiveness that I felt during and after that prayer, and I was able to let go of the issue that we had in the morning. I even sang a little in the rain! I was happy! 

This may seem like a little thing, but to me it was very meaningful! There's nothing like feeling the Spirit :) 

I've learned/continue to learn how important it is to laugh, and make other people laugh. It truly is "medicine for the soul" 

I'm grateful for the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the many ways that it has blessed me. The best and only way to be truly happy is through Jesus Christ! 

I hope you all have a great week!  


Elder Withers

Random pictures of food because it's very important to Alec :)


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