Monday, January 12, 2015

Miracles Everywhere!

The arches at Winchester Cathedral

I am so excited to come home to another dog. Oh my days. I'm with Tay, I mean, I like the name George, especially having been here this long now, but I do like the name Fitz... Or we could go all out and name him "Pug", or something clever and ironic like that. I met some guy here that named his puggle "Puggle". Anyway, I'm struggling with my vote on the name, because he does kind of look like a George, and Taylor's going to hate me for saying that. I'm up for either.

In response to Maddie's question, honestly, I think that sheep are fantastic, as well as capybaras and pugs. I think that funny looking animals are so much better than normal looking animals.

Goodness, I'm grateful that things are picking up here, this is such a fantastic area, and Elder Mercer and I are having a ton of fun getting the work done. We've had some awesome experiences in this past week: first off, Elder Mercer can't stop talking about this one. I guess last transfer, he and Elder Treadway met this guy named Jack from Poland, and when they stopped him in the street he said, "Hey, sorry, I'm just off to get some coffee... Can I buy you guys something?" So, they went and got hot chocolate with him, and taught him the Restoration, and he was so excited about it, had tons of great questions. Still, he wasn't comfortable giving his address, so he just gave them his email.

Well, this week, as we were walking along the road, Elder Mercer and I felt impressed that we needed to talk about families. So, we walked down the road, and I passed two mothers with buggies. I felt bad for not stopping them, and so I determined that the next woman I passed with a buggy, I needed to stop. We started talking to her, and she said, "Oh, I think you met my husband Jack a few weeks ago! He was very excited to meet you guys, and told me all about you." So, we'll be seeing them later this week.

Our next big miracle was someone actually giving us referrals! Something that I've become quite aware of on my mission is the fact that people feel like someone has to be absolutely golden to give them as a referral to the missionaries, where in all reality, often the people that we don't expect are the ones that accept the Gospel. Well, we met up for hot chocolate at Costa (kind of like Starbucks) with one of the YSA in our ward this week, and after we shared a lesson with him, we asked if he could think of anyone we should stop by. He sat there, got a cheeky grin on his face, and then said, "Oh, they'd hate me for this... But here, try by her." And then he thought for a moment, and said, "Actually, her too." By the end of it, he had given us five people for us to stop by, even though he couldn't remember the exact addresses of all of them.

That actually proved to be a miracle in and of itself, though, because in our knocking one of the flat complexes where one of the referrals lived, we found a new investigator. His name is Mark, and all we basically had to say was, "Hey, we're talking about how we can come closer to God," and he said, "That's awesome. Want to come in?" What was really cool about the teach with him, was that we've been trying something different in our lessons. We're not taking as much time to actually teach, because too frequently, missionaries talk too much. Instead, we teach him the doctrine according to his needs, and then we basically said, "Well, we'd like you to pray about it. Start whenever you like, but after you finish, we'll just sit here quietly for a minute, and you break the silence when you feel comfortable." The Spirit was so strong. Like, you don't even know. It was amazing. And I think it really changed something for him. Honestly, he was pretty happy and confident before the prayer, but right afterward, though he was still happy, he was a lot more sober... It was amazing.

Hmm... ¿Qué más? P-Day was fun last week. Elder Mercer and Elder Law took a lot longer to Email than Elder Johnson and I, so we set off around town to go see some of the sights. The Cathedral is absolutely gorgeous -- we're going to see if we can get Bishop's tickets so we can go look around inside. Jane Austen is buried there (we actually saw the home that she lived in when she died) as well as a number of other amazing people. Later on, we climbed St. Catherine's Hill on the South end of town. It's not the most beautiful hike, but at the top of the hill, they had this old turf maze that was kind of cool, and a copse of trees where the old Roman fort used to be. Now, there's just a nice rope swing. We tried to find what are referred to on the map as "Plague Pits", but could find no sign of them...

The beautiful Cathedral

An old Turf Maze

Rope Swing!

Members of the ward are great here. They've already got me singing a solo for ward conference... Oh days. Sister Pinney kind of sprung it on me in the middle of choir practice yesterday, so I sounded pretty awful for that first go, but I'll have time to get my breathing and placement back to where they need to be.

Oh, and just right now a less-active member texted us saying that she wants to come back to church and asking if we can meet with her this week. Miracles everywhere!

And that's about it. I'm super jealous you guys got to see Wicked. That's one I've been wanting to see. I'm excited to go see Phantom with you guys when I get back, though.

Love you so much!!

- Elder Green

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