|Elders Sorenson, Dyck, Cullen and Me at the the London Temple. |
This week we were blessed to attend a temple session and then enjoy a Christmas Dinner at the mission office. It was fun meeting with missionaries from all over the mission.
Sorry to hear you've been sick mom. I had a bit of a cold last week as well, but by overdosing on clementines, cough drops, this "Lemsip" stuff (which is so disgusting) and taking a few naps at lunch, I was able to rid myself of it. So, try doing that...especially the naps!
This last week has been extremely rewarding. Steve and Terena took Elder Sorensen and I out to the aquarium and to dinner. It was good fun spending time with them--it really helped me to refocus my desire to help more people. I was just jealous that I didn't get a chance to stay in the haunted hotel they spent the night in.
We saw a lot of blessings in strange places, this week, though. We found that many days, we weren't finding many people to teach, and that things weren't quite going the way we planned them. It was honestly kind of annoying for a little while. But I learned so amazingly much.
One thing that came to me quite clearly came as a result of our trip up to the temple. While there, we ran down to the distribution center, as we had to pick up some things for some less-actives we've been working with. Looking around, I saw the mini Book of Mormons that they had for about £2, and decided I'd pick one up, as I wanted one I could carry around with me. I've started from the beginning again, and have been trying to mark all the little things that I learn in my reading of it this time through. If you look at the very first verse in the entire Book of Mormon, Nephi gives a quick background of his life. He speaks first of his parents, who have done so very much for him in teaching him what he needed to know regarding the gospel and regarding things of the world. That really made me appreciate you and Dad and how much emphasis you two have put on learning. But then, he talks about how he himself has faced "many afflictions in the course of his days". I looked down at the footnote for afflictions, and it gave three topics: affliction (duh), blessing, and gifts of God.
If I've learned anything on my mission, it's that hard times need not be feared. Ever. Of course, let's not bring them upon ourselves--that's not worth doing. But, it's through our hard times that we learn so much. And we gain so much. Honestly, I am such a different person from the Braiden Green who left on that plane nearly six months ago. But, none of that is my doing. It's all because of Him. It's Heavenly Father who has done these things for me in my life. We can't do anything of ourselves, and that's why when we give everything we can to Him, we gain everything He has in return.
I love you guys so much, but I'm glad that I'm here. I love the States, and I love the UK. I love my Heavenly Father and my Savior.
Happy Christmas, guys,
From December 23rd ...
The Christmas program here was quite nice. We had the Bishopric speak, and instead of Sunday School and Priesthood/Relief Society, we had a nice Nativity for church. Brother Taylor in the ward is a carpenter, and so he made up an entire stable, which was quite impressive. We were able to throw it all together in about ten minutes, and then the Nativity Program (performed by the primary and Youth) proceeded. It was really quite nice. I've really grown to love this ward.
Well, we've been contacting quite a few potentials this previous week. With focusing on knocking around every member's house for the past while, we've not been able to keep up with our potential investigators, but we're starting to work through that now. We've seen a bit of success, but we're just waiting for our little harvest to explode. I understand, though -- it's awfully hard around Christmas for a lot of people, as there really is so much to do. We know that we'll be seeing good success soon.
We did have one miracle working up in Petersfield, though. We were knocking around before an appointment, and met a woman who knew a little about the church already. She lives in what used to be a very small church, and is herself Church of England. However, she was very very interested in the Book of Mormon, and after a little while was asking how she could get one herself to read. We'll be following up with her, and a few others up in Petersfield, after Christmas.
As for what's going on this week -- we only kind of get Christmas "off". We've still got to maintain the same study schedule, and such, but we'll be off to the Grants' home at about 9:00. I can probably call you from there just before we leave... I don't want to have to wake you too early, but we'll be there until about 3:00 (or 5:00 AM your time), and with Sister Grant having the majority of her relatives in New Zealand, she has unlimited international calling on her plan. So, a quick call then, and then we'll probably Skype two hours later at 7:00 AM your time while I'm at the Powell's, if that's okay. Sorry, time change is difficult. But, I think we should get around 40 minutes to an hour... Not quite sure. White Handbook says preferably no longer than 40 minutes, but I'll wait on Elder Dyck's word.
Oh! We also had a Christmas Carol concert on Saturday. Big surprise here: I actually didn't do much. I've been so used to the Musical Firesides in Newton Abbot where I performed on every other number because they needed me to, and now we've got quite a decent choir here, and a number of musical people. So our choir sang for the majority of it with readings and a few solo acts in between. They wanted "one of the American missionaries" to sing the solo on The Christmas Song, though, and so I was asked to do that. It was alright. I think I overdid it. Oh well.
Well, this weeks going to be lots of food. We've got at least one dinner appointment everyday but today and Sunday -- two on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. So... we'll be doing quite well. The ward has been so good to us. I want to cry because of the many gifts they've bought all of us. Know that your son is being taken care of.
And yes -- we did get the package. Thank you so much. I've been telling anyone who will listen about it. Elder Sorensen was quite grateful as well. Gratefully, the Lord has blessed us with desire to work, and less homesickness than we might otherwise expect.
I love you so much, and can't wait to see you Wednesday.
Happy Christmas, Ron.
-- Elder Green