Sunday, April 2, 2017

[SENT 3-20-17]

Three-week meeting
Hi familia,

It's been another great week. Time is such a blur. I couldn't believe yesterday was already my 4th Sunday in Hayes ward. 

We played some 1 v 1 basketball last week. Elder Nelson is a baller. He dribbles really well, can jump, is quick, and can shoot well. My back was sore from it for a bit... Haha definitely not in basketball shape. 

The work
I've been trying to really love members into doing missionary work. We've mainly invited members to have friends over in their home for fhe, or pray for an opportunity to invite friends into their home. I feel many members here want to do missionary work, but have fears or competing priorities that interfere. 

We've talked with a lot of people recently. It's been really good. I determined just to be happy no matter what and really enjoy talking with people as opposed to having this self imposed pressure of channeling every discussion in a particular way. This makes a world of difference

If you ever wonder what it's like to be a missionary, here's what basically my life consists of. Wake up, pray, drink some water, go for a run, push-ups/lift, get ready for the day, breakfast, planning for the day, personal study. We leave the flat at 10, talk with people as we travel to an appointment or something else. Sometimes we pack a sandwich wi us (literally putting it in our pockets) so we don't have to come back to the flat for lunch. We'll travel on buses or tubes, talking with people as we go. We teach people in their homes, ask them for referrals, have dinner with members, and teach and ask them for referrals. We spend 30-60 minutes during the day with companion study, and another 30 minutes for "12 weeks" a study program for new missionaries and their trainers. We return to the flat by 9 or 9:30 exhausted as we get ready for bed, pray, sleep, and wake up the next morning ready to do it all over again. That pretty much sums up missionary life. Let me know if you have any questions :)

Our Friends
We found an older gentleman at a bus stop. He's Christian from Egypt. Super willing to meet with us and come closer to Christ. He speaks English and Arabic. He came to church Sunday for the first time! We're working towards 22 April for his baptism. 

Also we found a girl from Brazil on Saturday. I talked with her in he bus, and had a lovely discussion (mainly in Spanish). We did some arrangements for her to get to church and bishops wife gave her a lift. She is so cool and we're excited for her. 

On the bus!

Often when I run in the mornings Elder Nelson likes to put a big stick on the path, providing an obstacle for me to hurdle over. What a goof.

We had lunch with Brother Hidalgo (Ecuador) last week. He PILED the food on our plate. 2 chicken breasts, hecka potatoes and beans, and literally broccoli he size of a tree. And then dessert. Haha what a guy. The food was probably the 2nd best quality I've had on my mission. 

Random thoughts
I've thought a bit about the difference between that living the gospel makes. Those that follow the gospel definitely have a light and joy to them. I find it so ironic when we talk to people offering to "share a message about Christ", to which the response is "I'm alright I'm catholic" or "I'm Christian". Or even when people aren't willing to have a discussion on a bus or tune, or street. There are people that are cranky, disengaged, and standoffish at even the invitation to speak with them. True happiness only comes from living the gospel and I'm grateful for the many blessings that come from that. 

Love you all!
Elder Withers

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