Tuesday, January 31, 2017

[SENT 1/28/17]
At Natural History museum with giant sloth

Hello family!

Happy Saturday. Hope it's filled will movies, popcorn, and fun! With maybe a few cleaning chores, and other duties sprinkled here and there. My Saturday so far has been great! We visited the Natural History Museum this morning and that was really neat. It's a GIANT Museum with all sorts of stuffs. I'll make sure and send some pictures. 

Elder Burgess and the Dodo bird

My Thoughts
The longer I've been out on my mission, the older a missionary I feel. Isn't that surprising? :) Yesterday marked 20 months since I left home. Everything between now and then seems like a dream. It's interesting thinking about things for post-mission life. Example, where I will live at BYU, what I will study, what I'll do in the summer, mom and dad picking me up. I strive to maintain focus on the here and now, being 'where my feet are', while being smart and planning ahead for the future. It's almost as if I'm torn between two worlds, both of them with so much to offer. I'm so grateful for the amount of time I have left to serve here, and the good that's still left to be done. Being a missionary is the most unique, soul stretching, rewarding, blessed time of my life. I have no idea of what my life would be like if I wasn't serving the Lord on a mission in London right now. Missions are the best!

This past week we had interviews with President Stevens. This past interview was a milestone moment. One in which I will forever be grateful. I won't go into too much details because it was quite a personal and powerful experience, but coming out of my interview with President Stevens I came away with an intensified knowledge that God knows and loves me personally, prayers are answered, and President Stevens is called of God. 

Thanks for your emails each week, and your love for me. I credit much of the person I am today to my wonderful upbringing. Mom and dad you are both such wonderful examples of living the gospel. You work hard, you are selfless, and you are my friends. Drake I will forever be grateful for our friendship, and the blessing it was to be in High School together. You paved the way for me, and I'm grateful for your example in serving a mission. Brock my dear pal, I'm grateful for all the time we were able to spend together, whether it be on Minecraft, or playing Kickball in the basement or around the playset, or playing cowboys and Indians in the back yard. 

Have a wonderful week!

Elder Withers

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Street contacting in London
Hello everyone!

Another week gone by! Still enjoying London. Even though it's cold. Thank goodness Santa gave me some super thick socks.

We were talking to one of our new converts after church. We invited her to play basketball on Friday and her response was "No basketball. It's too tired for me". We also asked her if she had any questions for us. She asked us (in essence) "Why do you always wear neck ties and never bow ties?" Good question, huh.

The Work
Our new convert received her temple recommend on Sunday! Super neat. 

Students are coming back from uni. It's been a bit rough finding people to teach, but we keep working. I know we'll find those who are prepared as we're worthy and work hard!

We've stopped teaching one of our investigators because she doesn't have the needed commitment right now. Although, she still wants to come to church. Hopefully that she comes around one of these days. 

Hope you all are doing well! 


Elder Withers

Dinner with members

Saturday, January 14, 2017


I'm happy to report that I was excellent in my journal writing this past week! However, I left my journal in the flat so I'll be going off of memory as I reflect on the week.

Elder Burgess gave a training at District Meeting, and at the end of it he showed a picture of our recent convert at her baptism. It was such a sweet picture, and it made me think about one day showing that same picture to other people. I love both of them so much and I'm grateful to have played a small part in their conversion. Seeing that picture brought such a nice Spirit into the meeting.

Hmmm.... A new group of missionaries arrived! It was a small group this time (5). 3 of them came from the Provo MTC, so they were very tired when they got here. Sister Stevens gave them permission to stand up during her training so they wouldn't fall asleep XD Bless their hearts.

Elder Burgess and I got to wear aprons at the departing dinner on tuesday night! We looked pretty good in them... I'll have to send you a picture. 

Sorry this email is a bit non-descript. Hope you enjoyed it.
Love you all!

Elder Withers

Friday, January 13, 2017

[SENT JANUARY 7, 2017]
Elder Dryden's visit!!


Happy January. Strange that it's the new year. 

Elder Burgess and I went to Costco for groceries last week! We got a bunch or eggs, some nice powder peanut butter, oats, and some apples. Another fun fact, we always have tuna and rice for lunch. Yum yum. We like the bens microwaveable rice because it's super easy. I never thought I'd eat so much rice or tuna and enjoy it, but here we are.  

The work
On Wednesday Elder Dryden of the seventy joined us at MLC. He is a powerful man, with great teaching abilities. I took TONS of notes in my fancy Joseph Smith study journal (courtesy of Father Christmas).  

We taught an investigator earlier his week and he had doubts about coming to church every week because of a sports club that happens on some Sundays. We had a very bold, yet loving lesson with him, about the importance of decisions and following God. Looking back 10 years from now will he wish he played sport on Sunday or followed God's commandments? I shared my experience of not playing b ball on the Sunday of a basketball tournament at OU, and ultimately we invited him to 1. Pray to know if the Book of Mormon is true and 2. To know if he should attend church every Sunday. The next lesson we had, we followed up with him. He had a wonderful spiritual experience in answer to his prayer; he felt peace confirming the truth of the Book of Mormon and this led him to feel that he should attend church every Sunday. Amazing!  

Alec, Elder Burgess, Elder Kalabanko and President Stevens
Elder Kalabanko recovering from ACL surgery
Spiritual experiences
Elder Kalabanko (if you remember he was one of my companions in my first area; we were in a trio for 2 weeks) recently had an ACL surgery before he returns home from his mission. So he's recovering from his surgery in president's flat. He came with us to Zone Meeting yesterday and bore a departing testimony. I'm so grateful for his example. He bore a simple, humble testimony of how he knows how to pray and receive answers, study the scriptures, and of the value of our time on a mission and on earth in general.  

Alec and Elder Kalabanko

Transfers weekend
We're working on transfers with president this weekend! Good stuff. As per tradition, President made us a green smoothie this morning :) 

Thanks for your thoughts, letters, and prayers.  


Elder Withers


Sunday, January 1, 2017

Matching Christmas ties!

Hi familia! 

It's been another great week. Probably just like I've said every day for the past year and a half :) London is getting a bit colder! I wore my thermals today and that was nice. I watched "Finding Dory" on Monday and that was quite enjoyable.  

The Work
We had a few exchanges this week so those were good. Yesterday we began getting ready for MLC next week. Today we were outside finding for a couple hours and met some nice people that we should start teaching soon! Life is good.  

Spiritual experiences
We taught a lesson to a Chinese girl yesterday. During the past week, she's been taught Lessons 1-3 and all the big commandments. She's so sweet and has a great appreciation for the restoration and the plan of salvation. There was such a sweet spirit as we taught her yesterday about Temples. Sadly, she's leaving for China soon, but we will continue to teach her online and she will get baptized there! 


Hope you all had a great week!

Elder Withers
Christmas dinner with the Stevens

With new converts