Monday, May 25, 2015

"There's way too much to do to think about getting trunky!"

Sorry, busy day today... Ward barbecue for the bank holiday took up most of preparation day so far... I'm just hoping that I'll have time to hit the shops before they all close... They close so early here... Anyway, I'm glad that everything is going well back home. I feel like you're giving me less information by the week, but that's okay, I'll be getting it all soon enough anyway.

The week's been great, actually, we're picking up a lot of new people in these last few weeks, and seeing a lot of great improvement with the people that we're working with. So, I'm quite happy. The start of the week was kind of slow, since we had lost a lot of time last week with Elder Fifita being ill, but we picked up awfully quickly. I honestly thought that with the end of the semester, all the university students would be gone, but funnily enough a lot of the uni students are sticking around for the summer, so we're finding all these uni students who don't have anything to do but meet with us! Hooray!

No, but in all seriousness, it's filling out our weeks quite nicely. We're fairly packed for this last week. People keep telling me not to get trunky, but I don't even know how to. There's way too much to do to think about getting trunky.

A few of the things from last week: Millie's doing great, I just spoke to her last night, and she seems to like her home branch president. They had Stake Conference yesterday, so she's not had a chance to meet her branch yet... It is honestly kind of sad not having her here in the ward, but I'm glad that she seems to get on no matter what ward she's in.

Sarah's doing great as well. She's been having a lot of opportunity for spiritual experiences lately. As I said before, I recognise that it's a matter of when, not if for her baptism. So, we'll keep at it with her, and I'm sure it'll continue to roll on.

We picked up one new investigator this week that was especially cool. His name is Mark. When we showed up, I was a little flustered, because he told us, "Alright, you've got five minutes out here on the doorstep." So we tried to cover everything that was important, handed him a Book of Mormon, and started to explain about it. He stopped us after a minute and said, "If you haven't noticed, I haven't put the book down. I can feel something different with this book. This isn't just a book -- it's a lot more than that." We bore testimony, and committed him for baptism, and he accepted.

What else... I was accosted by a drunk woman again. That seems so normal now... She's one
I've met before, as well, when Elder Mercer was around. Oh well, c'est la vie missionnaire.

That's really it... I honestly can't think of much else to say.

Love you!

- Elder Green

Monday, May 18, 2015

"So, as I said, not really much to report."

Thank you so much for all the gifts... Honestly, you didn't have to. I loved the cuff links -- I've been showing them off to everyone. I've already filled up one of the notebooks with all of the songs I've finished. Also, the deodorant is fantastic (still seems like such a strange thing to be so grateful for...) I have yet to make the cake, as so many people have been so good to us... The Pinney's made a huge Victoria Sponge that we're still eating, and Sister Randall made me promise her that I'll come by this week so she can bake me a cake... Honestly, this ward is fantastic.

So, I'll give you a short synopsis of the week. It only needs to be short, because... Well, nothing happened.

Elder Fifita's been ill with something for over a week now, so we were only out four days this week. Monday was spent shopping for everyone back home, and then going down to Eastleigh where we were supposed to meet the other Elders, but they weren't able to catch a train, so we just bummed around down there until it was time to come back for a dinner appointment with Millie. Tuesday was DLC. Wednesday and Thursday we had to stay in, as Elder Fifita was ill. Friday was interviews with President, and then Mandy had us over for Fish and Chips for my birthday. She was so nice -- she bought a bottle of non-alcoholic champagne for us to celebrate. Saturday was another day inside, with Elder Fifita being sick, and then Sunday after church, the Pinney's had us for a nice big roast dinner. Let me tell you -- I love Sister Pinney's cauliflower cheese and cabbage. And they bought me all sorts of British sweets. It was really kind of them.

So, you may ask yourself -- what does a missionary do when his companion is ill? It's second only to being ill yourself in bad things on your mission. See, while he's there in the other room sleeping, and between telling him that he needs to go back to sleep and rest, you sit around and try to be productive. Calling people who said they'd meet up with up you sometime, trying to organise your paperwork, reading your scriptures (and trying not to fall asleep doing so)... I even cranked out a song that I'll see if I can send you. But it gets really old, really fast... I started talking to myself, just so that I had someone to talk to, and thought about trying to teach the construction workers out back, and then realised there weren't any there...

It all paid off in the end, because he's a lot better now, but man oh man, I pray that I never have to do that again,

At least on Saturday we had our iPads to play around with, but even then, I need to be in the same room as him where he can see my screen... So, we sat there for about an hour or so trying to plug in all of the ward list into our contacts, since England's got privacy laws where they can't put anyone's personal information onto the Gospel Tools app, unless they personally authorise it (which very few people do)...

So, as I said, not really much to report.

Our iPads are really cool. We can't use half of the apps the church has for us, because of the privacy laws here, but I've been brushing up on my Spanish, and my accounting notes are all in one place now, complete with charts and everything to show me how each area is doing. Also, the new pamphlets app is really handy. You should download it to your iPad, and Tay can take it out with the missionaries. It works really well, and has all sorts of resources that I've been dreaming of for ages.

Plus, I can now email you from the flat (as soon as one of our neighbours lets us use their wifi).

Anyway, I'm more than down to have Walker speak with me. That's going to be absolutely sweet. I would kind of like to do a musical item... I'm just not sure what yet. I thought about doing Jerusalem -- the one written by William Blake, as that's our mission song, but it's not quite the feel that I want... Maybe a piece from Lamb of God... I don't know, perhaps I'll write one that's appropriate for sacrament meeting by then?

Anyway, I love you guys,

- Elder Green

Monday, May 11, 2015

30 days left...but first, a Baptism!

My favourite back alley in Winchester...
can you see the photo-bomber in the background giving me a "thumbs up?"


I'm kind of with you, I was a bit envious of Elder Fifita calling home yesterday as well. (Braiden and I got to Skype on English Mother's Day in March.)  I felt like such a mom myself, because I was trying to make sure that he was able to call home. Because his family doesn't have internet at their home, and it's a 12-hour delay, we had to go through any channel we could to get him a call home... Which he finally did, this morning.

Dad said you did great on your talk (no surprise). You always do fantastically. I spoke on Sunday as well, and talked about you and Dad. Mine was on daily prayer, but I related it back to the way that the relationship I had built with you and Dad during High School made it so natural to call you about every other day at Uni, and how we should have that kind of relationship with Heavenly Father. I think that I've noticed that that's the way my relationship with Heavenly Father feels, too -- just as if He's another parent of mine. Praying to Him almost becomes just ringing one of you two up. It's become so absolutely enjoyable.

I had thought to send home a bunch of chocolate for a Mother's Day gift, but I know that you'd just have told me that it's not worth it. So, instead I've got a much better idea that I'll start on this week. Four weeks should be just enough time to finish it.

Well, the week was pretty packed with getting everything set up for the baptism. Had a few lessons left to teach her, and an interview with Bishop, and the baptismal interview, and all the paperwork... You know, the usual. In addition, we had so many other things coming up during the week... Moves day on Wednesday, Elder Fifita was ill again all of Thursday. I had two talks to prepare, as well as a musical item (I did sing Glorious), and breaking some really good ground with some of our other investigators... A lot packed in to one week.

Elder Fifita and I with Millie at her baptism.
So much good came from it, though. One of our investigators is doing really fantastically now, and she came to church on Sunday as well. Millie got baptised (Yes I have pictures) and confirmed, and is doing really well still. She got so many invites for dinner Sunday that she had to turn them down, and push back our DA with her. Elder Fifta having to take the day off was really good for me, because it gave me the opportunity to catch up on my Book of Mormon reading, mend some of my trousers, and I even had time left over to bake a pie for Millie's baptism (which wasn't as good as I would have liked it to be...I think I'm losing my touch with cooking).

I can't think of much else to talk about things are just rolling on, as they do. I've been grateful for the help that I've been getting lately to fit everything that I feel is expected of me into every day. There's a lot, for sure, but Heavenly Father knows I can do it all, even if I sometimes feel like I'm just running around without control of the week.

I will share with you one story that I thought was fairly poignant: I've started re-reading the Book of Mormon again, trying to finish it before I go to the temple, and the way I'm doing it this time, is that every time I start reading, I put a sticky note in with a question that I want answered, and then I go through and underline everything that I feel has relevance to my question. Doing so has really helped me to be more attentive to the Spirit. So, as we were walking through town this week on our way to an appointment (one that was not solid in the slightest with a guy who had cancelled on the doorstep last time) we decided to take a shortcut past the Cathedral. As we walked past, I saw a younger student sitting on a bench just thinking. So, I walked past him, felt the Spirit say to go back, and turned around. I asked Elder Fifita for a penny, walked up to the kid, offered him the penny for his thoughts, and then sat down to talk with him. Nothing really came of it, other than a fairly good conversation. In the end, he wasn't really that interested. But, I walked away and felt the Spirit confirm that I had done His will.

In her testimony the other day, one of the girls in the ward said something along the lines of, "I've never regretted keeping a commandment." The story made me remember that, and I know the Spirit always blesses us for trying to follow Him, even when we don't see what comes of it.

Well, Love you!

- Elder Green