So, wow, what a week! We are truly seeing miracles here in Lancaster. We feel so blessed. I want to tell you a story. The bus drivers in Lancaster have been nasty in the past, threatening to ban Sisters from riding and so forth. When I arrived, Sister Anderson told me it was good for us to not bus contact for a while and let them cool down. About a month ago I started really feeling a push from the Spirit to contact on the buses. I felt there was someone I needed to find. Bus contacting is scary to me in the first place and then extra scary because of the bus drivers, but I determined to dive in. As I have the Lord has blessed me with confidence and greater skill! There was one day two weeks back that I struck up conversation with a man who was pleasant but by no means enthusiastic. I didn't know how close our stop was and was about to ask for his information when Sister Anderson was getting off the bus! I quickly told him where and when church was and jumped off without leaving him with so much as a website card. Sister Anderson kindly explained to me the importance of keeping bus conversations short and to the point. I felt regret but this gentle thought rested in my mind: I am proud of you. Don't worry. If he is prepared, you will see him again. Well, guess who was at church on Sunday? Geoffrey! I almost fell over when I saw him walk in. We have met with him twice and he is really pure in heart. He says he is looking for meaning in his life and I have great hopes for him! The Lord truly works through us despite our imperfections.
Andrew's baptism on Saturday was such a spiritual feast! You know when the Spirit is so strong you feel like you are swimming in warm molasses (only not sticky)? That's what it was like. The ward showed a lot of support and love. I don't know how much I've told you of him. Andrew Collinson is in his 40s. He's had really rough things in his life which shows on his weather-worn, pierced face. He has an absolute heart of gold. We found him by the hospital and taught him a lesson on the street. What really changed him was understanding the Plan of Salvation and realising that he will be able to be with his mother again! He has met with us consistently ever since and never missed a church activity. Although his conversion process was longer than we expected, it was thorough. He had so much to change. By Saturday he was spiritually prepared for that sacred ordinance and he emerged from the water with tears streaming down his face. It was such a joy to witness! He cried for the rest of the service as well as sacrament meeting yesterday when he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I think in that moment I finally felt the joy of missionary work! In that moment I discovered how sacred this mission really is to me. I'm sure as my sacrifices increase my understanding of the sacredness will deepen.
Another special moment was at church yesterday when Bishop Johnson called us into his office for a moment between classes and looked at us in amazement. With a big grin he told us that an excommunicated member showed up at church asking to be retaught and a less-active from Barrow (who just moved but was in hospital) called asking for a visit and a priesthood blessing. He had also noticed the two new investigators at church. He smiled,"I can't believe what is happening in the Lancaster Ward!" I am amused that he thinks it is because of us, when I know it is a combination of faith coming from many different directions. Though I cannot take any credit I can try to live up to the blessings of the Lord.
In short, this week was wonderful.
Oh my goodness I almost forgot! We have District Meetings in Preston every Tuesday. Last week, Sister Anderson and I were walking through the town center to catch our train back to Lancaster when we heard, "Sisters!" THERE WAS A RELIGIOUS STUDIES TOUR GROUP FROM BYU-IDAHO! Fifty some odd students thronged us! We were like celebrities! They found it very amusing that I was from Rexburg (I only knew one of the teachers, Brother Allison) and I was just asking if anyone in their group was from Rexburg when I hear, "MOLLY!!!!" It was Elizabeth Zenger! It was so trippy first of all to hear my NAME (so weird...) and then to see her! It felt like the Twilight Zone! She got a photo, so when she gets back from Europe you'll have to see it! Such a tender mercy. As I saw all of the students I remembered how fun it had been to go to Europe with Max, Annie, BJ, Carlie, Renee and the Geddes. It reminded it's just fantastic that I'm living in England! AND it made me realise how truly important this work is when compared to touring. My head just kind of snapped back into place and I thought, "Pull yourself together, Sister. You are having an amazing experience!" As Sister Anderson and I rushed off to get our train we both had the distinct impression that this clandestine meeting was very carefully planned by the Lord and not just for our sake. There was a girl in that group that has been wondering about a mission and she is going to go because she saw us. I feel that very strongly. SO cool.