Monday, December 1, 2014

Hyde Park, Elder Cook, and trying to stay focused with holiday distractions!

Man, congrats to Rory! I really hope that I'll be able to be there for his wedding. You know how much I look up to Scott and Rory both. I really owe them a ton. If I can't, though, maybe you can make one of those cardboard cutouts of me and take it along. (Not because it's that important that I'm in the pictures, but because it'd be sweet to have a cardboard cutout of myself.) Honestly, though, I'm very excited for my best friend.

We did have a pretty nice week. I'm grateful for the lessons learned therefrom, and Heavenly Father's patience with me... Honestly, Christmas season has got to be one of the most distracting things ever. I find I'm constantly being pulled from one side to another by someone saying, "Hey! Look at this! Hey! Over here! Hey! Look! Christmas! Thanksgiving! Home!" And man, it's not easy. I guess that's one of the challenges posed by living in a big city as a missionary. There's pretty advertisements everywhere, and connections to back home, and all sorts of exciting things that really aren't that important. But it's nice, kind of, having the opportunity of focusing and forgetting about all of this.

I've had a lot of help, too. Elder Cook's talk was great. We all had the opportunity of meeting him, which was great. His talk was mostly about the great history of missionary work here in England. It was cool to hear about his experience serving as Jeffrey R. Holland's companion here in the British Isles mission, and to hear about how he keeps in mind the importance of his calling. That was a great strength to me. He also left a blessing that we wouldn't be too concerned with the things that are going on at home, because our work here would be of far greater blessing to everyone we know than our involving ourselves in home matters. I have faith that will be true.

Me and "my cousin" Sister Green!

Hyde Park Stake Center

Eating lunch at Jimmy's!

In addition to that, we had Zone Training this week. One of the topics that was addressed was constant diligence, which I know is a challenge this month. But, it was addressed in such a good way. I was able to really feel the Spirit, and to recognize ways in which I can put that more in line, which I'm grateful for.

And then, to top it off, we went with James to the temple on Saturday. That was a blessing being able to see the progression he made there. But even beyond that, I was able to see a number of the people from previous wards. Chichester was there with the Youth, and a few of the people who just got baptized this last year, including John Turnbull that Elder Dyck was teaching while I was there. They were all getting ready to do baptisms for the dead, and it was really good to see that the ward is still going strong. Kind of helps me to feel like I was able to be the Lord's help there.

Elder Ocando, James, and me at the temple.

I remember reading scriptures when I was younger that said things like, "The Lord is our strength." and I thought, "Oh, that's nice." But, now I'm really starting to understand that. I see so-called "coincidences" too often, things that are there to help me grow and become stronger, or help me out when I'm struggling. And it's always exactly what I need. Yeah, sure, you can rationalize it by saying that I'm just adapting to the situations that life gives me, but I know otherwise.

Hmm, what else... Oh, thank you so much for the Thanksgiving dinner you sent. It was very much appreciated, as was the box of clams. I felt so cool walking around Brixton with a box full of clams. I was just hoping it would be the day someone mugged me, and I had to tell them, "I'm sorry, all I have in the box is this clam juice!" It would have made my day. I hope you get the video I sent, all the other guys were very appreciative of the dinner as well.

Mom had groceries delivered for us to make some of my
favorite "Thanksgiving" dishes from home.

Well, moving flat this week. We'll be moving up into Vauxhall on Friday, the ward's really excited that 1. We'll be in the ward boundaries, and 2. We'll be super close to a lot of the ward members. Oh, and it's exciting for us because the flat's apparently super nice. We get to tour it tomorrow.

Still really excited about the Christmas initiative the church is doing. Have you seen any of the ads for it yet? Take a look at my last post to see the Christmas video "He is the Gift."

Anyway, love you all,

- Elder Green

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