Monday, January 25, 2016

Elder Withers in his Christmas blanket

Yet another P-Day! Amazing how fast the time goes. 

On Tuesday we had a great lesson with Mark! We taught him with Sister Bridge. Julia didn't come out because she was ill. We taught about the Plan of Salvation, using the diagram mom sent me. After we finished, we had Mark teach us the Plan of Salvation and he did amazing. He understood it really well. We taught him Sabbath Day, too. 

On Wednesday we watched a worldwide missionary broadcast! It was great. After the broadcast, we had a wonderful lesson with a woman named Abby. She was someone we met on 4 December... She was in the Area Book. Because she was busy, and she is a single mum, we set up a return appointment for 10 Jan that ended up getting cancelled... #missionaryLife. We were finally able to meet with her on Wednesday night! We taught her the Restoration and the Sabbath Day with Jacob Fagg, and it went really well. She originally accepted the invitation to be baptised, but then when I extended a date she said "I'll think about it". We hope to see her this week!

On Thursday I went on an exchange with Elder McAvoy and I went to their area. We had a lesson with his investigator named Michael. Michael has a brother named Gordon who speaks some Spanish, and he said "mi espanol es (insert Spanish swear word here)". I didn't recognise the word he said at first, so I repeated him, trying to understand what he said, after which I realised I said a Spanish swear word. Ha!

We had a great lesson with Mark and Julia on Friday! We taught the Plan of Salvation (because Julia was ill before when we taught Mark) and the Word of Wisdom. Brother Bridge and Dan Bridge were there. Mark accepted the invitation to keep the word of Wisdom, and then we looked at Julia, and she didn't. :') She explained that when she was younger she used to smoke. Her father told her to stop, and she said she would, but the next morning she smoked anyways. She eventually gave up smoking (gratefully for us and for her). She just doesn't want to break her word to us, so she said she'd try. Brother Bridge was great- he shared a great testimony of the Word of Wisdom (as a convert).

The next day, we had a miracle! We texted Julia on Saturday about how the Word of Wisdom was going, and she sent us a text saying "I skipped coffee!". So cool and so happy for her. 

On Saturday, I bought 2 cans of tomato soup, 2 packs of mini tissues, chocolate, cough drops, and a bag to give to bishop because he was sick! I wrote a little card, too. It's nice to be nice! And fun to do things out of the normal routine. 

Sunday came around, and we were expecting 4 people for church; Julie, Averall, Mark and Julia. Julie and Averall came, and then we were waiting for Mark and Julia (they said they'd drive themselves). We waited for them until a little after 9:10am (church started at 9). Tim Boon (a great guy) walked in, and then we went with him to sit down in the back on a row of chairs. We were disappointed that Mark and Julia weren't there. Then, lo and behold, at about 9:35am Mark and Julia walked in. They're wonderful! I was so happy that they came. They left after Gospel Principles, but they had a good experience. 

I love reading the Book of Mormon! I'm reading it from cover to cover with the mission; I finished 2 Nephi this morning. I've really grown spiritually as I've read, and I feel more power and clarity in my life. Hold to the rod! It works 
Love you all! Have a great week.

Love, Elder Withers

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Risky parking!!


On Tuesday we had interviews with President Stevens in Ipswich! President Stevens said something kind about me and Elder Marzahn being right for our area to regain the trust of the members. 

Later that day we had a lesson with Mark and Julia! We taught part of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and re-invited them to be baptised on 21-Feb. They both accepted. Julia requested Sunday off from her manager (sshe prayed quickly before asking) and her manager have her Sunday off. They were confirmed for church on Sunday, and the Bridges were planning to give them a lift, but sadly Mark was ill yesterday. 

Julie Batts is progressing towards her baptismal date as well. We watched the 19 minute "Restoration" video with her on Tuesday. She feels the church is true! She was at church yesterday. 

On Sunday 3 Jan, after church, I gave a blessing to Janet Matthams (she had a surgery coming up). In the blessing, I said something about her healing, but not as quickly as she'd like. I'd forgotten about this, and on Sunday 10 January, she told me this, and said she was thinking about it, and that the reason for the longer healing was because of radiotherapy. So for whatever reason, the radiotherapy would make the healing take longer. How neat that I was able to be guided by the Spirit in that way. 

On Thursday, Elder Marzahn and I were finding and Elder Marzahn stoppped this woman, asking her something about where he could get shoes. She said to go to town. We found out that she was from Spain, and I spoke some Spanish to her! Her whole demeanor changed, and the conversation was warmer and flowed better. She was born in Ghana, lived most of her life in Spain, and then moved to England 5 years ago. I think she has 2 kids. We were on the footpath next to the Parkway (not far from the chapel) so we walked to the chapel and chowed her around a bit. She liked what we said and she liked the church.

On Friday we had another great lesson with Mark and Julia. We taught them with Sam Wheeler (Who's amazing by the way. He's the Elder's Quorum President. He's the one that popped in briefly into my Facetime home at Christmas!) Mark and Julia really love Elder Marzahn and I. They feel the SPirit when they read the Book of Mormon, and when we teach them. I just love them so much, and want them so desperately to come to church! This Sunday they should be there... :)

On Saturday we had a dinner appointment with a woman named Averall (a nonmember carer) and Julia (a member that's being cared for). Averall has been to church off and on for 12 years. The dinner with Averall was (for the most part) amazing. It was super long though... That woman can talk... :')

Here's what we had: Prawns (Easily the NASTIEST FOOD I'VE HAD ON MY MISSION) with lettuce, juice, crackers, oxtail and tomato soup, bread, lasagne, beef, and ice cream and peaches. Everything except for the Prawns was great. Ironically, this was one of the best meals of my mission, yet it contained the nastiest thing I've had on my mission. Imagine that. 

After the lesson, we went to Tim Boon (a wonderful, but currently Less Active member) to give him a blessing because of his injured back. After the blessing, we were going to our car. We were outside and Tim asked if we'd be around in the week. It was tempting to just set up the appointment at another time, but I was prompted to set a time up right then. I asked about 7:00 on Monday, and he asked if we could do 7:30. We have an 8:00 appointment with a new investigator that we found last week. We decided to meet with tim at 7:30, and then to teach with him at 8! Tim told us that he taught with the sisters in the library in the past. I'm excited to have Tim teach with us.

On Sunday, Elder MArzahn and I taught Priests quorum about the Godhead. I really felt the Spirit as I identified the difference between the Godhead and the trinity. I first read something about the Trinity. 

"Abstract, absolute, transcendent, immanent, consubstantial, coeternal, and unknowable, without body, parts, or passions and dwelling outside space and time. In such creeds all three members are separate persons, but they are a single being, the oft-noted “mystery of the trinity.” They are three distinct persons, yet not three Gods but one. All three persons are incomprehensible, yet it is one God who is incomprehensible."

To me, as I read that, I didn't feel the Spirit. In contrast, I then gave a description of the Godhead in my own words, and I felt the Spirit powerfully. This was a wonderful experience for me, and it confirmed the beautiful truth of the Godhead and that our church is the Lord's true and only church!

There's a scripture that I really liked that I read in my personal study recently. It's in 1 Nephi 15. In this chapter, Nephi returned to Lehi's tent after receiving amazing revelation from God, to find, his brothers "disputing one with another concerning the things which my father had spoken unto them" (verse 2). They had failed to understand what Lehi had said to them because they hardened their hearts and didn't "inquire of the Lord" (verse 3). Nephi explains to them about the olive tree and its meaning. He also quotes Isaiah to them and his brothers were finally "were pacified and did humble themselves before the Lord" (verse 20). 

Nephi's brothers then ask him questions about the meaning of Lehi's dream. Nephi's brothers asked him what the rod of iron meant. Verse 24 answers that question and is the verse that stands out most to me. It says, "And I said unto them that it was the word of God; and whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction."

There is such a real power that comes through scripture study, especially through the Book of Mormon. Church, prayer, and reading the scriptures are emphasized so much, and they're so fundamental! But I feel we don't really grasp the reasons for these fundamental things until we fully do each of them! My studies have been better recently, and I feel that there's a difference in my life because of it! 

The Gospel is Great!  

Have a wonderful week.


Elder Withers

Monday, January 11, 2016

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Christmas Conferece

Hopefully nobody (*cough*...Mom...*cough* *cough*) panicked that I didn't email yesterday. Today is my P-Day because of Transfers! :)

Moves calls was last night! Elder Marzahn and I are both staying in the Maldon area. We have a lot of work to do here and I'm excited that we're staying together. 

On Monday 28-December I started doing "The Daily Face" because Elder Williams does it and I like it. Basically, I take one picture each day and see how my face changes through my mission. It's funny to scroll through the pictures that I have already. Sadly I already missed 1 day. But all is well :) 

I love the plaque that you sent me mom! It quotes part of Alma 57:21. I really do want to "obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness" as a missionary. Obedience brings blessings and exact obedience brings miracles!  

On Wednesday we had a dinner appointment with the Faggs. We knocked on their door, and a shocked Brother Fagg opened the door and let us in. We went in, took our shoes off, and went into their living room. Soon after we walked in, Sister Fagg walked in and realised she forgot about the dinner appointment. So Elder Marzahn and I hopped into Brother Fagg's car with him and he drove us to a place where he bought dinner. I had chicken and chips. Fun fun.  

On Thursday we had a District Meeting. I based my training oaround 2 scriptures; Alma 5:26 and Alma 26:22. The message of it was that as we become more converted to the Lord, we will be successful as missionaries, and this conversion will bless us for the rest of our lives.  

Happy New Year everyone! I set some New Years resolutions that I'm really excited about. There's nothing more satisfying than making positive change within yourself. 

On Saturday we played football at Chelmer Park. Afterward we finished playing, us and the Chelmsford Elders went into our car for a mission-wide conference call in which President Stevens spoke. He told us that in 2015 there were 344 baptisms. The goal for 2016 is 400! I will do my best to contribute to this goal.  

We had a lesson with Mark and his wife Julia on Saturday! It was good. Julia said she was going to talk to her manager about getting Sundays off of work. I'm so excited for both of them. They're busy this week, but hopefully we'll be able to meet with them soon when their schedules free up. :D

Church began at 9am for us on Sunday! It switched from last year, when we met at 1pm. Elder Marzahn and I blessed the sacrament. I also bore my testimony!

We got a text from a woman named Averall (nonmember) at about 8:45am on Sunday. She wanted to know what time the service was so she and her member friend Julia could come. We told her there's a service at 1. So, Elder Marzahn and I stayed for the other wards sacrament meeting.  

Yesterday we went to get Diesel for the car. We'd forgotten the PIN for our fuel card, so we went to the flat to get a piece of paper that had the PIN on it. We returned to the petrol station and put Diesel in the car. After the pump automatically stopped pumping, I topped it off in order to have £X.00 to pay. I placed the pump back on its rest, and looked at the price again, and it somehow bumped up to £X.01. The final price ended up being the exact PIN number of the fuel card. Hopefully you could follow all that. President Stevens has a "miracle line", where after 9:30, missionaries can call him to share a miracle. Elder Marzahn called President last night to share this miracle. funny funny.  

We asked Danny More to teach with us at a 7pm apointment yesterday. He invited us over for dinner before (we had chicken wraps), we taught with him, and then returned to Danny's for dessert (we each had a donut). 

Have a wonderful week everyone! 


Elder Withers

Mission pillow case, gift from President and Sister Stevens