Tuesday, July 12, 2016

[SENT 7/11/16]

Windsor Castle
Hiya Family!                                                                           

I shall format my letter in a similar way as I did last week. Enjoy :)

English Culture
Today we visited Tower Bridge and a Freemason temple. Both were amazing! I think we were at Windsor Castle as well... I'm not sure the name of the castle we saw. I'll send some pictures.
Events in My Week
We had Zone Training Meeting on Friday in the Hyde Park chapel! It went really well. 

We had lunch with Alex and Rhama on Saturday! Elder Parkin and I helped prepare food. 

We did two hours of service for a lovely Ghanain family that we met last week! We helped them clean up their back garden, and then taught them (Mom, and two daughters) the Restoration. Service softens hearts :)

My Growth
My perspective on leadership continues to develop... I realize more and more how much of an opportunity I have to impact missionaries for good; to really help them and make a difference in their work. 

I have lost over 10lbs since the middle of June! I'm still not where I want to be, but I'm committed to get healthier. Follow up with me next week and keep me accountable! :)

Alec on Tower Bridge
This is kinda a miracle/heartbreak story... But here we go. On Tuesday while street contacting we come across this woman with a cup of alcohol in one hand and a cigarette in the other. Her name is Marie and she's 31. She's had a tough life; she lost both her parents, she no longer has custody of her 2 kids,  and she's practically thrown her life away because of drugs and alcohol. Since we found her in Walthamstow, we were close enough to walk with her to the church. We took her into the chapel and to the sacrament table. We talked about how Jesus could help her since He knows what she's going through. I was prompted to play the Mormon message that tells the story of a man who went through a similar experience to her. It's called "The Savior Wants To Forgive." Watching the video with her invited the Spirit so strongly! She was crying at the end of the video. We set up another time to meet with her, but sadly she didn't make the appointment for Wednesday, and the successive appointment for Saturday. She has lost control of her life because of her addictions. It's heartbreaking, especially since I could picture her changing her life. 

So remember how I was debating getting a new suit? I had decided not to get one until the end of my mission. Not long after that decision was made, I was looking in my closet and I saw a suit that I hadn't seen before! It was a suit someone had left behind. I tried it on, and the jacket was pretty good, but the trousers were too short and too baggy. So I took them to a Dry Cleaning/Tailoring place near our flat and got the trousers adjusted! So I got a new suit for about £23. What a deal! "There can be miracles...when you believe" (quote from Prince of Egypt)

Lessons Learned
We had an AP Exchange with Elder Steuer. He's a great guy. He shared a really cool spiritual thought with us from Moses 5:5-7. The "firstlings of our flocks" is the sacrificial offering. In our day, we offer our agency, since it's the only thing we can put on the altar of sacrifice (see verse 5). Some times we don't know why we put our will on the altar, or why we are obedient, but we do it anyways (verse 6). The promise with obedience is that we grow in our knowledge and understanding of the Atonement. We come to know Jesus Christ (7).  Cool, huh?

I love you all! Have a wonderful week.

Con amor,

Elder Withers
Two more categories to add to my list [sent in separate email]

Someone told me they heard Mormons were born dead, and someone else said that we believed black people had no souls. Thanks for the misconceptions, Satan. 

The Work
Last night we had a lesson with a Romanian guy named John. He's a man of great faith, and not as great English. As we were trying to teach him, he confused "prophet" for "profit", as he told us that he wasn't here for money he was here to pray. At one point, we busted out google translate on our iPad's to convey to him the idea of baptism. Thank goodness for technology. He accepted a date for baptism on Drake's birthday :) So we'll see how it goes.

Our investigator is doing well. There's a concern that could keep him from baptism regarding a difficult situation with one of the commandments, but he has a really great testimony and understanding of everything we've taught him. He brought his mother to church with him on Sunday, and we gave her a cake we made (it was her birthday on Saturday) I think we made a good first impression ;)

Alex was confirmed in sacrament meeting. The next project is his wife, Rhama. I love their family so much...

Love you's!

Elder Withers
Inside the Freemason Temple
Tower Bridge

Panoramic from flat

Freemason Temple

On Tower Bridge at mission boundary



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