Monday, February 29, 2016

Alec and Elder Wright with sisters at London temple

This week went fast! On Wednesday we went into London for super MLC at
the HP chapel. Elder Wright and I gave a training on District Council.

On Friday, Honeysuckle got baptized! She's a 10 year old girl. Elder
Wright and I's shenanigans as the font fills up:

Alec and Elder Wright filling the font

Honeysuckle's baptism
On Saturday, we got to go to the temple because Elder Wright had a recent convert that was going to receive his endowment and because it's Elder Wrights last transfer. It was good to be at the temple! Super cool.

Elder Withers and Elder Wright at the London temple
Saturday night there was a food/culture night at the chapel and people brought different cultures foods. I love eating so it was fun.

Sunday I bore my testimony in sacrament meeting! I shared the good timber poem as part of it. I love the Colchester ward!

I got to go to Mark and Julia's baptism last night! It was so fun to be back in Chelmsford. Lots of familiar faces. Sam wheeler baptised both Mark and Julia. Julia was baptised first, and she got all emotional after she came up out of the water. I could totally feel the Spirit! They are strong converts and I'm grateful I was able to be there for their baptism.

Have a great week!

Elder Withers
Alec in front of the London temple


Monday, February 22, 2016

Alec with Elder Wright from Compton, California

This week went fast! I'm enjoying being a zone leader. I'm looking forward to developing myself even further to serve in this capacity.

We have a gym here that we can use! It's so nice. It'll help me with my fitness!

On Wednesday I found out that Tas and Somaya are ok to be baptised! It'll be this Sunday. And I get to go since its within the zone!!! 
I'm so excited for them.

Elder Wright is 23 years old, a (former) sports guy, he's "fat tryin ta be fit" , convert to the church at 16, 1/10 kids, half black half Samoan. He has 6 weeks left on his mission. He's a baller! 
he's hilarious, and has crazy dance and beep box skills. He's straight outta Compton, CA.

This will be a fun transfer!

Love y'all!

Elder Withers

[SENT FEBRUARY 15, 2016]

Hope y'all had a good week. I did!

On Tuesday, we met Tas and Somaya for lunch (which took 3 hours of preparation on their part before we arrived) and a lesson. The food was a bit spicy but super good. Fun bangladeshian cultural thing: the hostess has to put food on your plate before you finish what's there already... Basically I ate wayyy too much food.

Julia was really concerned about her baptism. I felt prompted to explain that we had the priesthood and could give blessings. I asked Julia if she'd like a blessing. She accepted, I gave her a blessing, and afterwards she was much more at ease. The Priesthood is a real power!

Julia's nickname is Sunny! She got it because she'd always be outside doing something. Cute cute. 

We had a special training meeting in Ipswich with President and Sister Stevens and the APs on Thursday! It was great. 

Elder Marzahn and Elder Alec Withers
On Friday we saw Mark (Julia wasn't there ). He made the comparison of getting baptised to holding your first baby for the first time; you'd be like "this is my whole world". He's super excited to be baptised. 

Saturday I played football! With my new boots! It was nice to not be slipping around...


Mark and Julia came to sacrament on Sunday! They left immediately after the ordinance of the sacrament, missing all the talks, but I'm glad they still came! Elder Marzahn said he thinks Mark might've said to Julia (referring to the young men passing the sacrament) "this is what our sons will be like". I don't know if Mark actually said that, but if he did, how cool is that?!

I opened my Valentine's Day package on Sunday! I loved it. I think it was Sunday morning that I forgot how to tie my tie... Lol I figured it out eventually but it was a weird feeling. 😅

President Stevens called yesterday morning! Elder Marzahn will be the new District Leader in Maldon and he'll be training, and I'll be a new zone leader in Colchester! I'm excited! Also there's a private gym that the ZL's go to in Colchester so I'm going to get ripped. 

Mark and Julia got interviewed yesterday for baptism! They're worthy and ready, the only concern is whether or not it's safe for them to be baptised. President Brooks (who interviewed them) talked to President Stevens who will talk to someone in the Area 70 or Area presidency (I don't know which one) about it.  

Since I'm moving and staying within the zone, if Mark and Julia can get baptised I can go! Yay!! 

Hope you have a great week! 


Elder Withers

Monday, February 8, 2016

Basket at Zone Training Meeting
Hujambo everyone!

Credits to dad for the greeting! It's Swahili. 

Time to talk about my week. Let's get innit bruv. 

On Tuesday we taught Mark with Sam Wheeler (Julia wasn't there). We had a nice spiritual thought. Mark said the closing prayer and he said he felt something during the prayer. Neat! 

I also bought a hat, scarf, and a pair of gloves. I've never been a scarf person, but it's amazing how much of a difference it makes in warmth. It's also very nice to have a hat and gloves.  

That night, Sister Hastings brought us dinner to the chapel. It was spaghetti and meatballs with salad and one chocolate bar for us to share. Yummy. 

Sadly on Tuesday, Julie Batts dropped us... We were finding in Town Centre, and we got this text from her: "Hi I've not been well this week and I have a lot on I think it's best if I leave it for the moment as I'm. not in a good place right now I am very grateful to you both for your help and I do have faith but I don't want to commit myself at present I'm sorry. Julie x" 

Sadness! But she has her agency, and hopefully one day she'll come around.  

On Wednesday, we were finding in TC. We were talking to this girl named Jennie that didn't believe in God. At one point, I looked her in the eyes and said that "I know that deep down some part of you wants to believe in God" And then she agreed... I later asked when we could meet with her, expecting her to not actually want to meet. Turns out she does! And she asked if she could bring her friend! We're still waiting for an appointment to be set up but we've had some contact via text.  

A less active member that we visit made us a lunch on Thursday! We each had a jacket potato with buttter, cheese, and baked beans. I hope you enjoyed that detail. I love it when people feed us...  

On Friday we had Zone Training meeting. I got your Valentines Day package mom! I can't wait to open it! actually I can... and I am waiting until Valentines day to open it... anyways... I'm excited :)
Zone Training Meeting

I also got 10 letters at ZTM. One was from the Zuro family, another one from Grandma and Grandpa Withers, and 8 from me... I accidentally switched the position of the delivery address and the return address. Ha! I wasted a little over £10 on stamps. But lesson learned! I now know how to send letters the right way.  

On Saturday we played football in the morning! I'm enjoying football more and more each time I play. I'll get football boots today and that'll make it more fun and competitive.  

I weighted myself at Boots Pharmacy on Saturday! I've lost weight :) I'm so happy about that. Healthy eating goes a long way. 

On Saturday night I did some preparation for the Sabbath to make it a more meaningful experience; I ironed my shirt, put away dishes, cleaned the kitchen counters, and tidied up some of my stuff. And on Sunday, we listened to MOTAB. It was a great Sabbath Day.  

Mark and Julia came for Sacrament meeting yesterday, although they had to leave after. And Abi came to church as well! Much better than last week... 

Lastly, Elder Marzahn and I were finding and there was a woman we saw holding some bags, and we offered to help her. She was a little skeptical at first, but she relented and allowed us to help. I'm amazed at how quickly she trusted us... She even offered us a coffee (we kindly declined, of course). 

Last story. So I bought Haribo sour gummies last night to give to the Greatwood kids if they come to church, but they didn't come. In an effort to be disciplined, I took 5 out for me to eat, and put the bag back. Soon after, I gave the bag to Elder Marzahn to take some. After he had a little bit, I ended up eating the rest of the bag... LOL so much for discipline.
Hope you all have a great week!  


Elder Withers

Sunday, February 7, 2016


I really need to think of more creative greetings... I'm open to suggestions. 

The weeks go so fast! It's amazing. Here's some information about my weekly station. 

On Tuesday we taught one of our investigators named Michael. We already had taught him the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation, and both were really spiritual lessons, but it'd been a while since we saw him, and he's never been to church. Anyways, we met him at the chapel and taught him with a guy named Owen. Michael won't get work off on Sundays because he needs the money, and he gets double pay on Sundays. We helped him understand how important church was, but he still wasn't willing to get Sundays off. So we had to drop him... He seemed disappointed that we were no longer planning on meeting with him. After the lesson, he talked to us a bit and we messed around with a basketball a bit in the hall. I feel like he really liked us, enjoyed meeting with us, and felt the Spirit when we met with him. But as of right now, he won't progress because he won't make a way for him to come to church. It was sad to let him go. Hopefully somewhere down the line he will find a way to come to church and other missionaries can help him! 

So on Sunday 24 Jan, we found a new investigator named Lucy. She had headphones in when we stopped her. We talked a little bit and she asked us "why'd you stop me?" and we said, a little taken aback, "we're just talking to people. We invite everyone". We set up an appointment with her and we met on Thursday.  

The lesson with Lucy was the best first lesson of my mission. We set some really good expectations in the beginning of the lesson. She committed to prayer and reading, but not church. We then taught the restoration, and I think she understood it well. We taught her about the Sabbath day, and then committed her to church. We then taught her about baptism and committed her to 28-Feb conditional on her knowing that it's true! The miracle of this story is that Lucy told us that she set some new years resolutions at the start of this year. And one of them was to get closer to God, and she even prayed for it, too! And then we bump into her on Moulsham street... and that's why she asked why we stopped her. There are no coincidences. This is truly the Lord's work.  

We taught Tas and Somaya on Friday! They're doing really well. We followed up on the Word of Wisdom, and Somaya told us that she was with some friends and ordered coffee out of habit, drank half, and then felt bad so she didn't drink anymore. I think it was on Tuesday that this happened... and she hadn't had any coffee since. 

Here's a mini miracle: On Saturday night, we called Sam Wheeler (I love this guy so much) at 9:10pm asking if he could have us and Tas and Somaya over after church for a meal. He could'n't, but he said he could ask the Watlings and Andria Deighton because they were in the car with him. Turns out, the Watlings could do it! I called Somaya, and she said they had no plans for after church, so they could go to the meal. She was happy about it!

So we had 4 people confirmed for sacrament meeting Sunday... and then... none of them were there... haha here's why: Lucy was ill, Julie Batts had her grandson stay over Saturday night and the grandson wasn't getting picked up until 9ish (when church starts), and Mark and Julia's car broke down this morning... they got to church a little after 11am. But, Mark and Julia had a great experience for the last lesson in church, great fellowshipping after church, and a wonderful meal with them and the Watlings after church, too.  

Mark texted us yesterday saying "Thank you guys it was an amazing day spent, really loved all of it....Thank you." 

Also, here's part of another text from Julia from 25-Jan "We also loved our visit in the church it was better than my expectation and imagination. We will definitely visit next time" 

Mark and Julia are amazing. 

I'm really enjoying my study of the Book of Mormon! I'm understanding it well, and feeling the Spirit as I read! It's the 

I'm currently reading in Mosiah, and a theme I recognise is that laziness and being idle leads to wickedness, whereas laboring, being industrious, and continually turning to God leads to prosperity! Reading about Zeniff, King Noah, and the people in Lehi-Nephi and their interaction with the Lamanites is so interesting, and I'm grateful that the Lord is opening my mind and my heart to understanding it better. The BoM is the Bomb.  

I love you all and hope you have a great week! 


Elder Withers