Monday, May 1, 2017

Dearest Family,

I thought about teasing mom and telling her that I extended my mission. But alas, my 2 year Visa won't allow it. So we shall meet next week XD 

It's been another good week. We've talked with lots of people, had some good lessons, and good experiences. Here are some juicy dets.

The People
We've decided not to teach one of our investigators for now until things are more clear/safe, due to her religious background. She drove all the way to Watford yesterday for Stake Conference though. Pretty neat.

Cherdale... Ahh sadness. We had two really good lessons with her this past week. On the second, we asked her how she was feeling about her baptism. Her response: "I want to do it". Next thing you know, a day or two later, we got a text from her saying she won't be at church on the weekend because she's visiting her aunt. We texted back, and got no response. We call her, and it rings once and goes to voicemail. It seems as though she blocked our number. My feeling is that she came across some anti material. The saddest thing, is that she's felt the Spirit many times as she's met with us, read, prayed, and came to church. She was keeping the Word of Wisdom. She believed the Book of Mormon was true. Then all the sudden, everything changes and it's like she forgot all of those experiences. Even though we're no longer meeting with her, I know that a seed was planted. And I hope one day she remembers the great experience she had, and has a change of heart.

I wore holes in my right shoe, so much that it gave me a blister. It was bad enough that I needed another pair of shoes. So, with permission, saturday morning I wore my basketball shoes with my suit, and bought a new pair of shoes (hence the withdrawal on my account, dadda :).

I sang the "En un lejano bosque ya canta el cucko..." to my companion one night. Apparently he knows the song in portuguese, and there's another verse about a wolf. Good stuff. 

While talking with people last night, we met a guy that was selling Frankinsence. He gave us some for free. It smelled really good. 

Elder Sabin (of the 70; he spoke at General Conference in the Saturday AM session) was at Stake Conference, as the Watford Stake Presidency was reorganised. He shared a story from Elder Christofferson. Elder Christofferson was about to speak when he looked at the pulpit and read a message that said "speak slowly for you are being translated." Elder Christofferson then looked up towards the ceiling. 

It's pretty strange to be writing my last email to you right now. It doesn't feel real. I think back over the past almost-two years, and I've had so many experiences and learned so much. I'm really grateful for the opportunity I have had every day to talk with my brothers and sisters, and bear testimony of Jesus Christ, of His Gospel, The Plan of Salvation, the Book of Mormon, and many other Restored Truths. I feel such joy from something as simple as opening my mouth, and talking with people. I know the Lord approves my efforts. He's concerned with the process, with my efforts, and commitment, which are things I know I can give my all for. I look forward to this last full week, to giving my all in talking with everyone, and giving my mission one final push. I will forever look back on my mission with gratitude for how the Lord has shaped me during this time of my life. Thanks for all your support for me! It's been so long since we've been together, but it feels like the blink of an eye. Have a wonderful week! I look forward to seeing you soon. 

I'll close with a powerful scripture that sums up and missionary or church service. It's the Lord speaking to Nephi in Helaman 10:

4 Blessed art thou, Nephi, for those things which thou hast done; for I have beheld how thou hast with unwearyingness declared the word, which I have given unto thee, unto this people. And thou hast not feared them, and hast not sought thine own life, but hast sought my will, and to keep my commandments.
5 And now, because thou hast done this with such unwearyingness, behold, I will bless thee forever; and I will make thee mighty in word and in deed, in faith and in works; yea, even that all things shall be done unto thee according to thy word, for thou shalt not ask that which is contrary to my will.

Much love,

Elder Withers