Monday, August 29, 2016

The District
It's been another great week. It's gone really fast! Right now I'm in the Hyde Park chapel, and someone just started playing the organ and it's pretty cool. Just bought I'd share that with you. Now about my week!
English Culture

In a lesson a couple weeks ago we taught the restoration to a guy named Herve. After the lesson, Moroni (not the Angel, but the member that taught with us) told me I said "Peter" with an English accent in the lesson. I'm proper English, mate. 

Spiritual experiences

I gave a talk yesterday in sacrament meeting and I felt the Spirit so strongly as I was up there. I really enjoy giving talks! I shared the story of Drake and I sliding down the stairs on a blanket. My talk was on receiving promptings of the Holy Ghost. 
Alex Breda (recently baptised) has been less active for the past little bit. His family has had some struggles and his wife and son are now in Brazil. We've reached out to him through messages and calls, and we stopped by on Saturday night but we usually get limited to no response. But on Sunday, a man that usually attends the Portuguese Ward in central London came to our church. And he brought with him Alex! It was so good to see Alex again. I felt a little emotional to be honest that's how happy I was. He said the only reason he came was because Cesario came and knocked on his door. He didn't want to come to church alone. I'm so grateful  that Cesario followed the Spirit and reached out to a struggling member. 


We were talking with people on the street on Wednesday and there was this woman on a bench that we started talking with. We joined her and sat down, and taught about the restoration. She said a couple of funny things when we were using some picked in our teaching like "Jesus is handsome" and "Jesus has a six pack". She also asked if I had a girlfriend at home. 

We found a Jamaican lady named Denise! (Side note: I like to imitate the Jamaican accent and say things like "Waa gwaan me fren" and "everyting bless".) She added me on Facebook and said I looked thinner now than I do in the picture. She also said Elder Mthombeni "had some meat on him". But she said that's different from being fat. She called herself fat and said she wasn't going to change because she doesn't want to perish like all the skinny people when there is a famine. 

I was talking with a Malaysian at a bus stop and he was with his wife on his honeymoon. They were leaving and I told him to have a great marriage. His response: "same to you". What a nice thing to say. 

The work

America came to church yesterday! She's unsure about her baptism (ironically scheduled for 11 September). She has some doubts, and hasn't been reading and praying as she should. We will watch "Joseph ?Smith the prophet of the restoration" with her tomorrow!

This ward is a struggle... We had a very disorganised ward council yesterday. And it was the first one that has happened since I've been here. I really want to make a difference and help the ward to grow, but it's very difficult... We've taught with increasing amounts of members since when I first arrived to the area, but it's definitely a slow moving train getting missionary work going in the ward. We brought up doing a 40 day fast as a ward, having a dinner calendar, and doing missionary moments in priesthood and relief society. These should make a difference!

I love you guys! Hope you've had a great week

Elder Withers
Bathroom selfie


Sunday, August 28, 2016

[SENT AUGUST 22, 2016]

Alec, Elder Mthombeni and investigators

Hello familia. It me again. Hope you enjoy this juicy emaili!                                                           

The Work

We taught Jorge and Marcela on Monday night! long story short, we have stopped meeting with them. They weren't willing to step up to the level of commitment needed in order to really experience conversion. Hopefully one day they will receive the gospel! They are an amazing couple... Super cute. They have been married for 9 years as of Wednesday. To top off their cuteness, they frequently hold hands during teaching visits.

On Tuesday we went finding in Finsbury Park, and we talked with a woman sitting outside an italian restaurant. After talking a bit, we sat with her, and basically taught about the Restoration. She is probably the most prepared person I've talked with on the street. haha She asked us if she could come to church! She even offered us food and drink. We didn't have the blessing of teaching her again since she lives in another zone, but it was cool to meet her. 

Cool things

Connor and his fiancé took us out to Pizza hut! And I had too much ice cream because it was unlimited. oops.

I found another suit in the flat! Its blue. Me gusta mucho! I will get it tailored and wear it to MLC next week. I will send a pic next week!
Wow Experiences

There's a woman named Bernita that were teaching. We had a really good lesson with her in Costa. But to mix things up, there was a rude guy that interrupted at one point and asked if we have children. saying to Bernita "if you want moral advice you should think about who youre getting it from" Wow. I didn't realize Satan sat in on our lessons...

I was talking with a woman in the underground. We got on the tube together and she sat down while we continued talking. Then, out of nowhere, a man raises his voice and says "Hey. Stop that. You cant to push your religion on people on the tube. Youre not in America and you can't do what you want." I responded saying I'm just having a conversation and he raised his voice even more, even telling me to shut up at one point. A woman sitting down in the tube said in my defense that I was just having a conversation. I decided to just turn my back and walk away to another part. To be honest, my legs felt a bit shaky. Lol what an experience. I even felt a bit emotional. In another part of the train I tried talking with a guy there but he wasn't very talkative. But I pressed forward thinking maybe the adversary was giving me resistance because we were going to find someone good! We change tubes, and the next person we talk to on the tube gives us her address and phone number. 


I was accidentally very bold with a Jamaican guy. He asked me if we believed in Mohammed as a prophet. And I bluntly said no, Mohammed wasn't a prophet because he didn't testify of Jesus. I guess this isn't that funny, but I find it kinda humorous. 

A bird pooped on me. AGAIN! Why does this happen to me... We went to a coffee shop, and Elder Mthombeni helped me clean it off. Hopefully no one noticed us going into a single bathroom together... lol


Elder Mthombeni shared a quote with me recently. @When someone pleads fervently in prayer for an answer, the answer may be more conditioned on repentance of personal sins than on any other factor. Faith must be unto repentance to result in spiritual experiences! Investigators praying for forgiveness may be the powerful spiritual experience they need to recognize that this church is true! 

Love you guys! Have a great week.

Elder Withers



Monday, August 15, 2016

Como estaca?! 

Mabute. It's been a good week! They always go so fast... It's muy estrano. Here's my sum up 

The Work

We had a Skype lesson with America and she decided she wanted to fast! Sadly she wasn't able to make is to church because of a late night with her friend on Saturday.  

Roseanne accepted a baptismal date, even though she was originally planning on getting baptized in another church. We had dinner with Abi's (a recent convert of about a year ago) which was Arepas and scrambled eggs with super good hot chocolate. We watched some Mormon Messages afterwards. We even watched Lindsey Stirling's "I'm a Mormon" since Roseanne plays bass. 


We had an exchange with the Stratford Elders this past week, and that went well. Since we had an extra set of Elders in our flat, we were short beds. So Elder Moulton and I slept on couch cushions. This, in combination with playing basketball and being out of shape resulted in back soreness. But I'm alright now. I also didn't sleep that well that night, and I woke up early. So I just started reading Jesus the Christ while I awaited the alarm to go off. I guess that's humorous.

On Roseanne's first Sunday at church, there were a few members that referred to her as an "investigator" which is a pet peeve of mine... anyways, at one point during our dinner with Abi, Roseanne asked "What's an investigator?" She said she was thinking it was someone that was there to check out the building or something.  

Spiritual Experiences

We had a meeting in South Kensington, and after the meeting finished we met Roseanne at South K station and went back to the Visitors Centre with her. We had a nice tour of the place, and then watched a video titled "God's Plan". It was the first time I'd seen that video too, and it got me right in the feels. Conclusion: I am a cry baby. I really felt the Spirit while watching. It essentially tells the story of the Plan of Salvation through one family's experience. Maybe see if you can find it online! 

I love you all!

Have a great week

Elder Withers

Sunday, August 14, 2016

[SENT 8-8-16]
                                                                                   The Zone 
Hello family!

Hope you had a great week. I shall endeavor to type fast to share some experiences from this past week. 

Events in my week

We had MLC! It was super good to be with Elder Jensen again. We received training on online   proselyting (ex. using Facebook, facebook messenger, skype, etc.). It's very exciting! We've already used skype a couple times in lessons.  

Skype Lesson
After MLC, I was able to see Connor Richardson! He told me he was in London, so I told him to come to the Hyde Park Chapel! It was so cool to see him again. He will be getting married in the London Temple on 4 Feb! How exciting is that?! He's been a member for over a year. 

Alec, Connor and Kalyleigh
I failed my driving test on friday.......... I was turning left, and as I was doing so I saw a red light that was intended for the cars opposite of where I was going. I stopped, but by doing so I automatically failed the test. Yay me. haha but it's alright. I'm still a missionary so that's fun.  

The Work

We found this girl named Roseanne. She's 18, plays Bass, and is a funny girl. She reminds me of Aubrey Headrick! She came with us to an 8 year old baptism on saturday, and to church for half of sacrament meeting. She really enjoyed how welcoming everyone was, and said she wanted to go for the whole thing next week. We will see her on Tuesday with a recent convert named Abi and then have dinner with Abi's family and Roseanne! It'll be super good. 


Last night we were walking back to our flat and an eastern european guy stops us (imagine it being dark and on a footpath AKA sidewalk). He tells us he has something for us. Out of his grocery bags he pulls out a small box of cigarrettes and offers it to us. (What a nice Christian gesture. After all, sharing is caring!) We tell him we don't smoke. And he puts the cigarrettes back. He has us take his phone number so we can call him if we need anything. He then shakes Elder Mthombini's hand and gives him a kiss on the head. In fear, I await my turn. He then shakes my hand and gives me a fat smooch on the top of my head. I was definitely not expecting this to happen to me yesterday. I hope you enjoyed this story, and I hope you never get kissed on the forehead by a stranger.

What I learned about myself

I will likely develop even more patience as a future father. My patience with kids was tried a couple times this past week. But I feel I did pretty well :D Kids are cute and fun so that makes it not so bad.

Love you guys! I will send some pictures and personal emails.

Elder Withers


Tuesday, August 2, 2016

The District
Hey Gusters,    

I'm trying to think of a non cliche way to begin this. I want to break the routine. "Routine is the enemy of time. it makes it fly by." I'll send the video I got that from. Elder Parkin showed it to me. It's amazing. It'll probably change your life :) Let me know what you think of it. 

I shall share my weeks stories:

Things That Took place in Tottenham

I said goodbye to Elder Parkin on Wednesday and was joined by Elder Mthombeni. I sent this description to mom but here it is for everyone! His first name is Senzo (super cool). His last name is pronounced m(small emphasis)-Tom-Benny. Elder Mthombeni. Last transfer with Elder Parkin is an absolute blur. It's very strange...I mesh super well with Elder Mthombeni.  Hes a funny guy with a great work ethic and sense of humor. He is the oldest of two siblings (17 year old sis Presentia and 15 year old bro Tumelo). His step dad is the branch president in Johannesburg and his mum joined the church when he was 3. He's super good at African dance. He worked at home as a customer service consultant at a bank. People only came to him for complaints (that was his job). So I guess you could say he's pretty patient. He liked lifting at home. He's 5'6 and he packs a (spiritual) punch. No worries, he hasn't hit me just yet. 

I really like transfers; whenever there's a change of companions or areas I feel it gives me more motivation to work hard. It's a fresh start! 

On Saturday there's a woman I spoke with on the bus named Mabel! She was super cool. She's from Ghana and she'll be here until October. We actually missed our stop on the bus by a long shot because I was finishing talking with her. We met with her yesterday and she accepted a baptismal date! I really do know the Lord is preparing His children to accept the Gospel. 
On the bus
Humorous Happenings Here in Heaven
On Thursday, we had dinner with Brother Malcolm. He fed us mucho food, but it was good. Rice, wings, salad, and watermelon. After the lesson, we sat in his living room. His cat decided to make himself at home on my lap. Thus the video that I sent.  

Funny quotes from Brother Malcolm (Jamaican) who fed us: "I think you guys are ready for your melon now" 

Talking about Thomas, the cat sitting on my lap, "He's a spoiled cat. He like that". Ahh  

One of the missionaries said I looked like Riley from the 3rd Twilight movie Eclipse. I don't know who that is or what he looks like. Hopefully it's a compliment.  

Lessons Lovingly Learned 
After a really powerful spiritual experience in Seven Sisters, we talked with a man of great faith and knowledge. It basically turned into a back and forth kinda argument. The spirit left and I just felt angry, annoyed, and frustrated. It's just silly to argue with someone; it brings hard feelings, drives away the spirit, and 100% of the time the person won't want to meet with us. Overall I'm pretty good at being charitable and non contentions, just for the record :D 

There was guy we went on a walk with last night. We talked a lot about reasoning and finding truth. As we spoke, I felt charity for him. I understand the part of the Doctrine and Covenants that says the teacher and learner will be edified and rejoice together. My understanding and appreciation of the gospel has grown so much on my mission. During our conversation, everything he said fit into what I know and feel to be true. It was such a positive conversation, even though he was too busy at the moment to pursue the Gospel. The first time I spoke with him (Saturday) I felt a bit of resistance/contention. But yesterday I felt love, I listened, understood what he was saying, and it was a really positive conversation. I'm actually now really interested in what Socrates taught about.  

Superb Spiritual Sensations
Here's the powerful experience I referred to! We were finding in seven sisters on Wednesday and I talked with a man in Spanish. As I spoke with him, I really felt the Spirit strongly testify of the truthfulness of what I was saying. Sadly this man rejected my invitation to meet with us because he works 7 days a week. It's sad that worldly priorities interfere with what matters most, but I'm grateful for the powerful experience that I had. I actually think that was the strongest I've felt the Spirit while talking with someone on the street! And it was in Spanish :)

On a bus yesterday I talked to a guy and missed our stop by a bit (notice a common theme?). While waiting for a bus, I asked a guy walking by "what's the best thing about your day". After this question ensued a seven  second pause; it was so long I found it humorous. To illustrate this moment, imagine me, my companion, a dark night, a bus stop on one side and a store on the other, with a short Italian man with his shirt partially unbuttoned, playing music from his phone. He answered my question, and we continued talking. Later in the conversation he told us he could feel our presence. This was a neat experience. I felt the spirit while talking with him. Sadly he lives in the London South mission. But hopefully we can get him to move to Walthamstow/Tottenham Hale region ;) 

I love you all! Have a fun filled week. 


Elder Withers
Benjamin Rhama, Alex and Elder Parkin
The Vargas Family


[SENT JULY 26, 2016]

Hiya everyone!  

Its been a great week. 

I have a lot of funny things from this week. Enjoy! 

There was a funny Jamaican woman we talked with. My nose was a bit runny, and when I went to wipe my nose with my sleeve she slapped my arm. Ha! She gave me paper towels, and gave us advice to take care of our mums.  

On a blitz with the Sisters in London North, there was a guy that we were talking to and we asked something like "Do you have any religious beliefs?". When we asked it, he was looking at Sister Fitts' name badge so he said "I see Jesus". The timing that he said it was perfect; it was as if he was answering my question about his religious beliefs. And I was like "Whoa you've seen Jesus?" After talking a bit more I think we found out he was Buddhist... 

On the blitz, there was another guy that we were talking with. He asked about the Book of Mormon I was holding, if it was the only one. I told him it was the only copy in the world. I of course told him I was kidding, and I later gave him "the only copy". 

I texted a Seventh Day Adventist and invited him to the ward barbeque on Saturday. He responded saying he'd be going to church. Classic :) I got him to commit to meeting with us by asking him to share some scriptures with us about the Sabbath day. 

In Alex and Rhama's house, I had to use the toilet. Their bathroom door isn't' the best, and sometimes it opens while you're in there. While I was standing and using the toilet this happened. To maintain privacy, while using the toilet, I balanced on my right foot, and used my left to close the door. Yes.

At the Barbeque on Saturday, there were games. One of them involved me wearing a skirt over my trousers and running back and forth. I sadly tore my trousers on one fateful change of directions. A couple of members noticed as well... Brother Roosendaal helped me out by giving us a lift home in his car. You could say that he 'saved my behind'. I got some nice tan/burn lines from the barbeque. 

I had my first DA in 5 weeks at the Ojukwus. They don't feed us very much here :) 

Things in the week
We had interviews with President and Sister Stevens in the Hyde Park chapel. 

We went to the Vargases on Friday for dinner. Our appointment was for 4pm, and the food was ready at 5:30... So we had to eat quick and go. The food was Columbian and it was AMAZING. So Sabroso. Rice, juicy pork seasoned amazingly, and super good salad, with a good bean soup.  

The missionaries in Lea Valley ward hosted a barbeque on Saturday! Alex and I were the cooks. It was fun!

Spiritual Promptings/Experiences

On the way to the church on Tuesday, we took the tube. There was a sleeping woman across from us. I was prompted to wake her up and talk with her. So I did! She agreed to meet with us again, but she didn't show. I feel good anyways for talking with her. 

We saw Hanson! I may have said this in my last email, but he and his family have moved to Brixton...When we first saw him he told us he felt sad. We talked to him and watched a couple Mormon messages sitting near our flat in Tottenham Hale. Afterwards Hanson felt much better. He told us as well that he's been reading the Book of Mormon and praying every night! And that's with no recent follow up from us! 

The Work

We met with a former investigator named Fernando. Elder Parkin called him. He originally met Elders Parkin and Tonks in the Tottenham hale retail park a while back. He actually approached them, and called them Elders. He's been to the church in Columbia and he likes it. The only concern is his busy work schedule. He had a job interview on Monday (what a miracle) and we fasted for him yesterday that he'd get it. He is working towards 4 Sep as his baptismal date! 

We taught Jorge and Marcella last night with Brandon Vargas. He shared a cool story of how his brother was in a coma and he prayed hard and long for him. His prayer was answered and his brother was alright. I applied this to all of us; if we just pray and say "is the BoM true? Amen", that's good, but when we are really invested in what we are praying for (ex. a brothers life), when we put our heart into our prayers, that's when we are more likely to receive an answer. Maybe that's what Jorge and Marcela lack? I don't know.... I need to study and pray more about it because they are still not receiving/recognizing an answer to their prayers yet... 

Elder Parkin will be transferred to Northampton tomorrow! I am staying in this area and will be joined by Elder Mthombeni, from South Africa. He is from my MTC group! He's a good guy. I'm excited! 

Love you all! Have a great week 

Elder Withers

Brother Ojukwu