Monday, August 4, 2014

Lost in the Hundred-Acre Wood

It's been quite a week... It seems like so much has gone on, and yet it went super fast. I was told that it gets this way, but I don't think I ever really believed everyone.

It's been a really interesting week, honestly. We're still trying to figure it all out. We've been working a lot harder at trying to make sure that the Spirit's in our lives more by focusing ourselves, but little things got in the way of a lot of that this week. For example, after (kind of) cleaning on Monday, we got a call from our landlord telling us that night that they were going to come inspect on Wednesday... So, we spent a good part of Tuesday super cleaning it. Which was more fun than a barrel of monkeys... (I don't think that a barrel of monkeys would be fun at all, so it's probably more fun than that.)

Had my first district meeting as the District Leader here, which was pretty good. I tried relating graphic design to contacting... I think it worked. Elder Blair said that he really enjoyed it, as did Elder Barney.

Oh! The Hundred-Acre Wood was pretty good on P-day. That's where all the pictures for this post will come from. It was kind of lame, because we got super lost... I literally grabbed the GPS coordinates off Wikipedia, and we plugged those into the car's GPS, which ended up getting us stuck down some crazy little private road, which was really close to the Pooh Sticks Bridge, but we couldn't park there. So, we reversed out of there, tried to follow the directions some man gave us, got lost, backtracked, followed them again, got lost, ended up at the Winnie the Pooh Gift Shop and Tea Room, ran out of gas, drove to find a gas station, got food, backtracked, and then parked where we were supposed to. We probably spent about twenty minutes total in the actual Hundred-Acre Wood, but it was fun walking down the path surrounded by little kids and their families while we stuck out in our missionary proselyting attire... Hahaha.

We finally made it!

The Pooh Corner Tea Room

Pooh Sticks Bridge

"The Hundred-Acre Wood is now the 99 Acre-Wood..."

Being "gloomy" at Eeyore's Hut.

Our Karate Kid poses.

As I was telling you before, we've seen some super miracles this week. Like, we've found somewhere around five new investigating families in the last week or two who all have connections to members already. It's crazy, like this never happens. One of them is a large Portuguese family that we've been doing our best to teach... We had a first lesson with them last week, and I tried my best in broken Spanish/Portuguese to explain about Joseph Smith and the Restoration. The problem is whenever they had questions, I couldn't understand them to save my life... So, Brother Marcos (who has known them for the past twenty years from back in Madeira) is going to help us out. It was so cool, though! We got lost on the way to the teach (because Bewbush is an absolute labyrinth) and when we got to their house a few minutes late, they were all outside looking for us because they were so excited to see us. They seemed to think my prayers were something magic, and kept asking for me to pray for their son, and other people.

We also had a first teach with a woman named Tina. She and her daughter Poppy are good friends with a less-active member of the ward, and we just ran into them on the High Street. When we met them, we were trying to talk to absolutely everyone we could on the street, and people were rushing past with no intention of stopping and talking to us. We got talking to them for a minute, and they were like, "Oh yeah, we know your church. We've been there a few times. We know the Mann's (the ward mission leader) and Penny and Karl (the Bishop and his wife)." Then some guy came up behind me and started playing my guitar that was slung over my shoulder really awkwardly, and other people were trying to get me to play it... It was kind of awkward for a second, but we got an appointment with them for last Friday, which went pretty well, in my opinion.

What else... Met another woman in Bewbush Town Centre who used to come to church as a girl. It was totally random. I had my mandolin from District Meeting and we had a half hour or so before going home, and so I said, "Hey, let's just go to Bewbush shops, and I'll play my mandolin, and you can make calls to people." Well, we were sitting there for about five minutes playing, when a woman over my shoulder said, "That was really pretty. You're awfully brave to be playing this time of night here, though." I started talking with her a little about the gospel, and she was like, "Yeah, I used to come to church actually, until I was about eight. I don't have much faith, though. But, my nine year old daughter loves church, you should come over and teach her!" Solid, right? We actually were going to have a dinner appointment at her place on Sunday, but she had to go help out her mother.

The Lord's been giving us tons of these miracles this week, but I feel so humbled by them. Like, we haven't done anything that we weren't already supposed to be doing... We're trying to talk to people more, we're trying to involve members more, but we're falling short. And, the Lord's just loading us up with sheaves. I almost feel bad to receive them all...

We've been smelling a lot more marijuana drifting up from the downstairs flat...nice, huh? Also, we've been trying to play a prank on the Zone Leaders. We bought a box of cat food last week, and since there are tons of cats in the forest behind our flat, we've been putting food out for them at the Zone Leaders' back door every night. We need to be better about it. We've also got two fish that we're thinking of hanging just above their window, but we have to get a better audience of cats before we do that.

A cat at the Zone Leaders back door.

Anyway, that was our week. I love you guys!

- Elder Braiden Green

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