Monday, February 21, 2011

The Gift of Tongues!

Some fun facts about my new area:

There are Elders that also serve in the ward and one of them is Elder Davis from Nevada! The wards given us some cheek about being siblings, etc. but there isn't any relation that we can tell. Amazingly, though, he knows Daniel Rust really well! Practically grew up with him. Such a small world.

There is the most beautiful Argentine family in our ward: the Abrechts. They should be models and they have four adorable children and an even more adorable accent. I spoke with Sister Abrecht all about your mission and she loved it. She loved that I knew a bit of Castillano.

Some fun stories this week:

I spoke to a young man from France (in French) and experienced the enabling power of the Spirit. As we were speaking I had many old words come back to my mind and understood him much better than I should have considering it's been over three years since I really spoke it. I'm reading the French BOM and leaflets whenever I get the chance and I hope the Lord gives me more opportunities to testify to our French-speaking brothers and sisters!

I had an amazing experience on a bus where I started the conversation with a Persian boy (who was really English but has a Persian father)...that I will have to relate next week. Blast this time thing!

This is the view from Molly's third floor "flat." Looks green and quaint, I think.

The Spirit Leads and Teaches

Sister Wilde is lovely and wonderful. This has been a great transfer so far! The Lord is so good to me.

It was a great week! We are truly being blessed with opportunities to do the Lord's work. There are transfers where it seems we were scraping the bottom of the barrel to find someone to teach or to serve, but here they keep falling into our laps! We are striving to remain worthy of it by being exactly obedient and constantly thanking the Lord. I really can't believe that he would be so kind to us! We are teaching an 82-yr-old woman, Maria, from Slovania. She has so many stories, especially about WWII, but luckily she has begun repeating herself now, so we're able to do a bit more of the talking. It used to be very hard for me to cut people off because I felt rude and because I am genuinely fascinated by them. I've really learned that our role is not to be chatty and friendly but it is to bring the Spirit and very seldom does the Spirit come during chats; it comes from sharing together true principles of the gospel. If that means we have to be bold in steering the conversation then so be it! This work is just too urgent to chat.

The Lord seems to be teaching me a lesson about following the Spirit. The subject keeps cropping up at church, district meeting, study - it won't leave me alone! At district meeting we were discussing how we qualify for the Spirit and Elder Cannon shared something that really affected me. He said a lot, but what I remember most was, "The Spirit is a gift. We don't earn it...we can only be grateful when the Lord gives it." He also assured us that although at times we don't feel the power of our testimonies or the Spirit in our conversations, those we speak to feel it. He shared an experience he had where he was sharing the gospel with his friend. He walked away from the conversation feeling like the friend got nothing out of it but later discovered that it had a profound impact on his friend. It gave me pause and I reflected on how many times in the day I am being prompted by the Spirit, I simply don't recognise it. My eyes have truly been opened this week and I feel that I am reaching a new level of sensitivity. The Lord wants to work miracles through us - I have no doubt of that - and I'm becoming increasingly more willing to do what He asks in order to accomplish those miracles.

Last night, Sister Wilde and I were waiting at a bus stop in the rain. Sometimes the bus stops don't have times posted and this was one such stop. We had no idea when the bus would be coming but Sister Wilde turned and said, "I think we need to knock a few of those houses." It was a risk since it was late and buses run very seldom on Sundays; if we were to miss our bus we would be stranded, but we both felt good about it. Lo and behold, what was behind door number three but Wendy. She's spoken to missionaries many times in the past and never been interested but has just been thinking lately that she needs to decide what she really believes (imagine that : )). She invited us back before we could even ask! We will be seeing her later this week. The Spirit confirmed that our task was accomplished and we bounded back to the bus stop just in time to catch our bus home. Being an instrument is one of the best feelings in the world!

This is Molly's Blackpool District. Elder Dantas (far right) has been her District Leader for three transfers. He's from Portugal. Elder Jackson (the TALL one) was his Trainee.

This is a picture of Sister Rae on a field trip Molly took on P-Day.

Denford is from South Africa and attended Church many weeks before Molly and her companions realized he had never been baptized! He looks like a leader to me!

Mr. Wilson is one of Molly's favorite people! He looks so English to me. Charming.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Goodbye Lancaster. Hello Withington and Sister Wilde

President and Sister Bullock are in my ward! Or, should I say I'm in their ward? No pressure to be perfect or anything! Let's just say my shirt was starched stiff on Sunday. The Manchester South Ward is so great. Their enthusiasm for missionary work is so strong! The members seem to be constantly giving out pass-along cards and sharing the gospel with their friends. Sister Wilde has been feeling for a few months that the ward members have referrals who are ready. Consequently, we have been brainstorming ways we can increase the members' trust in us and begin teaching their friends. I am really excited! I feel like we are on the verge of something great and it will wonderful to watch it unfold.

We have found a couple of new investigators from our own efforts since I got here (Georgia from Jamaica and Dave from England) and we are teaching one that the sisters already had: Cathy. Cathy is from England as well. She is in her late forties and has a twelve-year-old daughter. Like everyone in the world today, she's had a hard family life but she loves the peace that the gospel is bringing to her.

Every month, the Bullocks hold a fireside in the mission home for missionaries and their investigators. I've always been too far away to come, but yesterday Cathy wanted to go! The mission home fireside was so good for her. I think she was able to finally identify the Spirit last night and determine that it is something she wants in her own home. We want to help her flush the negativity from her life and really focus on the hope that comes from the Gospel. We have high hopes that she will accept a baptismal date soon! The mission home fireside was also fun for me to see some of my Elders and Sisters! There were about twelve companionships there and amazingly I knew most of them. The Spirit was so strong and it was just lovely hearing about the experiences they've had since I served with/around them. There truly is power in gathering! Sister Bullock made a bunch of homemade treats which just put the cherry on top of an already perfect evening.

Sister Wilde is teaching me so much. Specifically this week I have learned from her about following the Spirit. She is reverent and soft spoken all of the time and the silence really gives us the chance to hear the voice of the Spirit as it whispers. She is from Alberta, Canada and grew up on a farm. She plays piano and used to play violin so we share some music in common : ) She wants to be an Elementary School teacher when she gets home. I think she has a year left of her degree.

Last night at the fireside I was speaking to one of my previous Zone Leader's investigators, Simon, and he explain that it was listening to President Monson that gave him a testimony. He felt the Spirit so strongly when President Monson said, "If the Lord calls me, I'll always run an errand for him." That really touched me too! basically all I'm doing everyday is running errands for Heavenly Father! What fun : ) It tied in nicely to this quote I found recently from Joseph Fielding McConkie,

"We can hardly profess to be on the Lord's errand, to be his messengers, if we let the Adversary dictate our agenda. If someone can find a doctrine that does not make the minions of Hell protest, then he has found a doctrine that does not matter. A doctrine that Satan does not seek to distort and attack is hardly worth preaching. Those that he rants the most about are obviously the ones which he fears the most and thus the ones we ought to be preaching the most."

It's so true! People get so upset sometimes when we share true doctrine, but the wicked take the truth to be hard.

Here's to running errands for the Lord! The church is true,