Sunday, October 30, 2016

Alec, Investigator and Elder Burgess
Hi everyone! 

The weeks here go so fast. It's incredible. We are just busy, busy, busy. I wouldn't have it any other way! Gratefully I'm still learning and growing a lot, individually and as a leader.  

The Work
Our investigator is incredible. We taught him last night, and he's already read everything in the book of Mormon up to and including 2 Nephi 2. I'm so impressed with him. We met him on General Conference Sunday, and he's been amazing at keeping commitments ever since. He will be baptised tomorrow, and he's bringing 1-2 friends from his work. I feel so much love and gratitude for him! All we did was teach him the gospel and extend committments, and he's risen to all of them. It'll be a great day tomorrow. 

Our other investigator is doing super well, too. We challenged her to invite a friend to our lesson with her, and she's bringing 2 friends with her to our dinner/lesson today (Elder Burgess and I will make a Lasagne dinner for her, her two friends, another friend (A recent convert Elder Burgess taught about 5 months ago when he used to serve in Britania), and us, of course. It will be a fun time! She passed her baptismal interview and will be baptised on Mom's b day! Fun fun.  

We gave a training on Obedience at MLC, that was rolled out to each individual zone yesterday. Obedience definitely is the price of spiritual power, of faith, and of any blessing! 

Hyde Parke Zone
Did I ever tell you about the guy from St. George Utah that was following me on my blog? So he started his mission (his name is Elder Sharp) in Ipswich zone (where Elder Jensen was ZL). He already knew a bit about Elder Jensen from my blog, specifically the story where Elder Jensen ran over a squirrel with the car. Anyways, he is now in Britania and we see each other quite frequently! He's a great missionary. Very hard working, very diligent, and very humble. Sometimes he runs and sometimes he plays basketball with us, but it's pretty funny that we're around each other now, especially since he followed my blog. 

To be honest, I didn't write in my journal this week. So I can't really think of any funny things... Except for the fact that I'm a goon and enjoy making funny/random noises sometimes, and I still occasionally imitate Gollum. 

Elder Burgess
Spiritual Experiences
On Wednesday we had MLC. President Alldredge (Sis Stevens brother, former ELM President, and former SLC Temple President) along with his wife spoke with us. President Alldredge was incredibly powerful. "Ear hath not seen, neither eye heard such marvelous things as we saw and heard that day" (Intentional swapping of the words ear and eye, for humourous effect :). He bore a powerful testimony of Jesus Christ and temples. It was amazing to listen to him speak.  

I love you all! Have a great week. 

Elder Withers



Friday, October 28, 2016

Alec, Elder Steuer and President and Sister Stevens
Hello everyone!  

Let us dive right in to my past week.

Elder Steuer and I were talking last week and we both wrote in our letter to President that we are like brothers. I truly loved serving with Elder Steuer. 
Alec and Elder Steuer
I now have a new companion. His name is Elder Burgess. He's 11 days older than me. He's English, from Cheltenham. In his own words he describes himself as: "stylish (cuz I'm english), hmm... (sigh) It's interesting being put on the spot... haha my whole conversation is going on... I joined the church 2.5 years ago, more or less. I'm just an all around great guy. I have 2 younger brothers. I played saxaphone. I used to do a lot of running until I got fat as a missionary."  
Elder Steuer, Alec and Elder Burgess, Alec's new companion
The Work
President and Sister Stevens are amazing. It was fun doing transfers with them, and eating with them last weekend. I took a couple pictures in their flat/of some food. I'll send them in a bit! 
Transfer board
Dinner with the Stevens
Our investigator came to church to "learn more about God." She had a great experience. In addition to our teaching appointments, she's went to a dance class on Thursday night.  

We went through the baptismal interview questions with our investigator last night and he passed! He's worthy and ready for baptism. He said a prayer at the end, and thanked Heavenly Father for the restoration and prophets in this day. He will be baptized on the 30th of this month.  
Alec, Elder Burgess and investigator
On Tuesday, we went to a restaurant called "The Ritz"by Green Park station. Brother Evans (from  apast ward Elder Steuer served in) paid for lunch for us. It probably totaled up to about £300-400 for all of us together. He's an amazing man, with a deep testimony and understanding of the gospel.  

This morning we played Basketball! We got Elder Gale (one of the office elders) to play with us. It was great! He played well. He has a nice shot. 

Spiritual experiences
Quentin L. Cook came to our sacrament meeting... He bore a POWERFUL witness of Jesus Christ. It was incredible. 

Tuesday night was the departing dinner. The departing missionaries bore testimony, and it was incredibly powerful.

Wednesday we welcomed a group of 9 missionaries to the field! Then on thursday, we welcomed another missionary named Elder Henrie. We had lunch with him, and went through a few things. At the end, we read the scripture in 3 nephi 5:13 (this was on the back of a mini card that Sister Stevens gives to all the new missionaries). The spirit was very strong as we read this scripture together, and I expressed to Elder Henrie he was called of God and meant to be here.  

Have a great week!

Elder Withers

Friday, October 21, 2016

Video lesson
Hey there familia. I don't have much time, since we've been doing transfers all day today. I will tell you what I can in the group email, and send short individual emails.
Momma you would be proud! I have a journal entry for each day this past week. Yes! I even told Sister Stevens, that's how proud I was of my journaling.  
Our investigator came to church on sunday. After sacrament, she went to the chinese class without us. It was like I was a dad saying goodbye to my daughter as she went to school. They grow up so fast...
After church we were with our investigator. Somehow, we all ended up doing a shake, initiated by Elder Steuer counting to 3. She also told us that the peace signs aren't as popular in china. She then showed us the "hang loose" motion and told us that was more popular. 
After our tuesday lesson with her, we walked to the tube station with her. There was a chinese person we walked by, who found it humorous that I was trying to speak chinese. We stopped her and told her who we were, and found out she didn't believe in God. I told her that our friend didn't believe in God 2 weeks ago, and invited our investigator to share why she believed in God. This was her first street contacting expereience! It was super cool. 
While playing basketball with our investigator, the game became "give our investigator the ball". She actually improved as she practiced. 
The Ward
It's interesting being in a YSA ward. We went to a dinner appointment with a group of them at a place in Ladbroke Grove. As we talked more together, and I got to know people better, it becoame much more fun. For our spiritual thought, we shared Alma 36:6-7, and had everyone get out there phones. They looked through their friends list, and then selected someone who they'd message. While we were there with them, they messaged something about the gospel. 
On Saturday we thought our appointment wasn't coming to our lesson, but he ended up coming 30 minutes late! A sister in the VC called us when we were with President in his office to let us know he came. We found out that our investigator had read up to 1 Nephi 5, and is keeping the Word of Wisdom. 
On Thursday I was on exchange with Elder Spieser. Before we started street contacting I felt we should walk a bit away from the tube station to where people are less in a rush. There came a point where I felt we should stop and say a prayer before we commenced our finding. We said the prayer, and after "Amen", I went off talking to people. Elder Speiser wasn't able to join me at that moment because his magnetic name badge had fallen off. When he bent down to get his badge, a guy tapped hum on the shoulder and said "I like that" (referring to the public prayer he saw us offer). Of course, I wasn't there for the beginning part of the conversation, but eventually I rejoined Elder Spieser in talking to the man. He's seen religious people out and about before, and he feels it's a sign. During teh convo, we read from Moroni 10:4-5 with him. When he read "sincere heart" in verse 4, he had a powerful spiritual experience. He said he "couldn't stop smiling". We taught him this morning, and it was a great lesson. We will teach him again next week! He seems very prepared.
Yesterday we played basketball at the HP chapel with a bunch of investigators/nonmembers. There were 23 people there in total! It was so fun to play ball again. Our investigator invited one of here friends.  
During our weekly planning companionship inventory, Elder Steuer and I had a great convo regarding personal study and this is what I gleaned from our conversation
1) prayerfully seek confirmation from the Lord regarding what topic to study by
2) Have discipline and study for that topic only while reading the BoM
3) Take time to ponder, ask questions while reading
After church on sunday, we set up 200+ chairs in preparation for Alex Boye. Both our investigators were able to make it (one even came in a suit). Alex Boye did more story telling than singing, but it was still good. He referred to his conversion story, and said that one sunday he sat in church in the 2nd row, in between the two sister missionaries. Ironically, Elder Steuer and I sat in the 2nd row with our investigator in between us during the fireside. 
I started a prayer journal using one of the moleskin notebooks you sent me mom! I know that if I want to be effective in my leadership assignment, I must receive revelation.
We had interviews with President and Sister Stevens. I enjoyed both of them thoroughly. Sister Stevens is so consecrated. She expressed deep gratitude to the Lord for allowing us to be a part of such a great work, getting a little emotional as she said so. I'm very impressed and inspired by her. She had me put my name by one of my favourite book of Mormon scriptures and tell her why I like it. I choose Mosiah 5:13.
I loved being with President Stevens. I look up to him so much and I aspire to be the kind of leader that he is. 
On Tuesday, we taught our investigator about the 2nd half of the Plan of Salvation and temples. At one point I was prompted to relate the lesson to her deceased grandma. As we talked about her and where she was, I felt the Spirit so strong! More so than any lesson I've taught. 
We went to institute with another investigator on thursday, and it was on the Atonement. I gelt that because of the intense suffering of our Saviour, he is intensely involved in our lives. His desires to help, lift, and forgive us are equivalent to the depth of his suffering. And all we must do is "Look to Him and live". 
I hope you enjoyed the juicy details! Today was really great doing transfers with President and Sister Stevens. Lots of work left to do! 
Love you all!
Elder Withers

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Elder Steuer's last district meeting
Hey there! 

Hope everyone is doing well. I had a lovely week in London with some good lads lately. I quite like the alliteration station all the way across the nation. I'll tell you about my wacky wonderful welcoming week. 

Fun facts
Our investigator came to the church for us to teach him last saturday. Afterwards he played the piano. He's quite good! 

On our exchange with a Zone Leader Companionship from St. Albans, we went to Preto's for lunch. It's a Brazilian Rodijio grill (A certain type of grilling). We went in honour of Elder Silva, who is Brazilian. We got the option of unlimited food, and the griller guy constantly came back and forth, bringing different kinds of succulent and savory meats. WOW we ate a lot of food there.

We played some ping pong after our lesson. It's been a while since I've played! 

Lessons Learned
We went to teach a potential investigator, and found that she had brought two guys with her that essentially wanted to bash about our faith. Sadly, we spent about 30 minutes there with them. Looking back, I would've just asked "what are your intentions in meeting with us?", and if they are to "Trifle with our words" (As it says in Mosiah 2), then I would've just left. Their eyes were closed, their ears where shut, and their mind was left in darkness due to the hardness of their hearts. We only understand the mysteries of God as we exercise faith and seek the Spirit.  

Humorous Happenings
It's so funny teaching Asian investigators. They are very pure and very innocent. When they have a realisation they have cute little exclamations and gestures. Haha I wish I had them on video. 

Our investigator put church in her iPhone calendar for every sunday, and she put her baptism in their, too. For our appointment tonight, she titled it "Meet with God [Angel Emoji]". How funny is that?! :D 

The Wonderful Work
We've been teaching a girl. She's 23, from China, and is studying pharmacy. She's making drugs, or something of that nature (AKA very intelligent). She's brand new to England; she's only been here for about 2 weeks. She grew up not believing in God. We've taught her a few times, and she's so amazing. She will often make a surprised/excited face whenever she gains an understanding of a principle. She understood the Atonement really well. We went to the Visitor's Centre with her (In South Kensington), and stood in front of the Christus outside. We asked her how the statue made her feel, and she smiled and made a hugging gesture towards the statue. We went inside, and stood right in front of the statue. This was a powerful experience with her. We then watched the video "God's Plan" in Mandarin with her, and that was amazing, too. It made her think of her Grandma (who has passed away). When we discussed after the video, and told her she could be with her Grandma again, she asked "Is this true?". She loved the idea of being with her again. She will be baptised on 6 November! What a special day, huh mom :) 

When we go finding, we go near universities (since there's a large YSA population). I'm amazed at how prepared many of the Asian students are to hear the gospel. They come from a country which stifles any faith in God, substituting Communism for religion. And when they're somewhere with more freedom, like England, their interest and curiosity are piqued. I find they are very receptive to the Spirit.  

We taught a guy last night over video call. He's Taiwanese, and doesn't have a religious background either. He expressed "hearing a distinct voice" from God, basically to keep going. He felt God helping him when he was lonely. He's a great guy. He is working towards 13 November for his baptism. 

Love you all! Have a Super Sweet Semana!
Elder Withers
Video teaching!

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Elder Withers and Elder Steuer at the London Temple
What a great week!                                                                                             

The Work

Sunday four of our friends came to church. Three of them were Asian :D After church there was a "Break the Fast", and it was fun to get to know some of the YSA.  

I got a haircut this week. 

We taught a Chinese guy. He's 6'6, and doesn't have a belief in God. He said his first prayer with us. We challenged him to pray every morning and night. We followed up the next morning to see how his prayer was, and he said that his throat felt better, and he thought it could've been linked to his prayer with us at night. Sadly he dropped us, since he can't reconcile his lack of belief for the past 24 years with such a sudden and drastic change. He said he may come to church sometime, so we will keep trying with him! He's such a genuine guy. Very pure. 

This week we had lots of meetings; tuesday 4 new missionaries came in (halfway through the transfer since they are visa waiters) so we had a meeting then. Wednesday was MLC. Thursday was the 3 week meeting. Friday we attended our own zone meeting. 

New missionaries!
Hyde Park Zone


The Irish-Korean guy from a couple weeks ago, met with us on thursday! And he's committed to come to conference for today.  


I helped re-write a song illustrating the pattern of talking to people on the street.

Sister Stevens is so amazing. We had dinner with her and President on monday. We had ribs, potatoes, and salad, and dessert. Direct quote from her: "I have to apologise...I left the fetta out of our salad last night. It would've been much better". She's so sweet. Look up her conference talks! She gave a talk in women's conference, and 2 in general conference. The GV ones are called "Fear not I am with thee" (April 2014) and "Become as a little child" (April 2011). 

Special Experience

We went to the temple with President and Sister Stevens today. It was very special. It's renewed my desire to be more obedient and consecrated. I love the temple! I feel very blessed being able to get to know President and Sister Stevens better. They're both so amazing. They're like a second mom and dad.
At the temple with President and Sister Stevens
Love you all!

Elder Withers






Mission Office

Nap/prayer aftermath