Monday, February 27, 2017

Hey family!

What a crazy semana. Seems like a lot has happened since last week. 

Tuesday night was great. Walking into President and Sister Stevens' flat I almost got emotional. It's been so special to be there. I took some pictures so I'll send those over. 

Last picture with Elder Burgess and the Stevens

Sister Stevens' fabulous salad - what lovely watch-care she provides
for the missionaries serving in the England, London Mission.

In closing the testimony meeting, President shared Ether 12:27, discussing how the Lord will show us our weakness as we "come unto me", in a loving, positive way. So nice. 

I heard a funny story through the grapevine. An Elder, as he came into the mission, originally thought I was an office elder. I had given him an apple, since we had some in our fridge. He said something like "Elder Withers is pretty nice. He gave me an apple. APs. Apple People."

My companion
Elder Nelson is from Alberta Canada. He has two younger sisters (age 16 & 8). He played basketball and football. He did one year of University in Canada before he came out. We get along well and I'm confident good things will happen in the area! Sidenote, we went on half hour runs thurs-sat so that was good. 

Alec and Elder Nelson
The Work
Hayes is a great area. There are lots of people (of which I am grateful for). We use the buses and tubes to get around. The church is in Ickenham, which is about 30 minutes away. It's kinda funny whitewashing, because at first everything is new. You don't even know where your flat is, where the church is, who the members are, or anything. The area was dead coming in. D-E-A-D dead. The previous missionaries didn't do much at all (I worked with the zone leaders over them last transfer, so I was aware the area was not in good condition). That should hopefully change soon enough.

My feelings
I know I'm in the right place at the right time with the right companion. This is slightly humorous, but I don't think it's coincidence. As a bit of a back story, I've developed a love for oats and eggs for my breakfasts. Anyways, we got into the flat on Wednesday night. There was some food left in the flat. Among which were eggs in the fridge, and oats on the counter. Heavenly Father is mindful of me :)

Boy is it strange to be training, after having similar-experienced companions for the past year and 3 months. I completely forgot what this felt like. To be honest it's quite the challenge. He's working through the adjustment process, and developing planning, teaching, finding, organisational, and communication skills. This is a totally different challenge than the leadership role I've had for the majority of my mission. I can't really express it adequately, but this is quite the experience. 

Thinking back to last time I trained, I'm a much different person and missionary. I feel I have a greater vision of what and how things need to happen. Being with him makes me think back to the start of my mission. It's strange to think back of my firsts as a missionary. He bought his coat today, like I bought my coat in my first area. We even look similar. 

I really love training, although it's quite the challenge. I need to invest in helping him to grow as a missionary, and we need to find people to teach, teach them, and prepare them for baptism. I feel since wednesday I've just poured out my heart and soul in this work, talking with absolutely everyone I can on tubes, buses, etc. There was a scripture we read recently in companion study, saying something to the effect of "And he shall open his mouth at all times; and he shall be given strength such as is not known among men."

I had a wonderful experience during the sacrament, and during my testimony on sunday. I attribute this to all the hard work this past week. 

Life is good. The Mission is tough. And that's why it's great.

Love you all so much!

Elder Withers

Departing dinner

Beautiful table!

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