Miracles this week: amazing support from the Wigan ward as we taught triple the lessons with a member present than a normal week! Someone at church snuck homemade cookies into my bag. I truly feel so blessed to be serving here; the saints are wonderful!
We had a great exchange with the Liverpool sisters. My beloved Sister Gong came to Wigan to work with me! She has grown and strengthened so much since our transfer together! Especially her testimony and her love for the Saviour and those around her. I felt charity exude from her as we worked together. She is seeing blessings in her family back home; she's so strong! I know I've grown a lot since then as well! We just couldn't stop talking about how fun it was to be together again and witness those changes.
It also made me more aware of the changes going on in the mission. I didn't realise just how much I have incorporated "teach people, not lessons" into my work. It's been a focus in the MTC and in missions around the world for a year now and we're finally seeing it take hold here in the EMM. We are seeing more fruit as we do it and the Spirit comes into our lessons more powerfully. In addition, it makes the work much more fulfilling personally because I feel I have the permission to connect with people! Which reminds me, Mum, you'll be happy to know I can now get the life story out of the grocery teller in 30 seconds flat : D just taking after you.
The exchange also helped Sister Jack and I appreciate one another's strengths and hit the road with new found enthusiasm! Sister Jack never ceases to amaze me. She's a gem! (banister ; ))
Just to interject: This is an ode to Martin, the library worker. We've made friends with him and last week we mentioned how this is our only day to e-mail our families. He was so concerned! Suffice it to say, he loves us and we get special treatment now : ) We always get just a bit more time even if there is a que to use the computers after us. So, if you are enjoying the longer e-mails, thank Martin. (THANK YOU, MARTIN!! from Mum)
There were a few stressful moments this week as we tried to support our two dated investigators who are both wavering. Jim is just getting cold feet in general and Alex is struggling with tithing. I've learned a lot from it. It came to the point last night where I knew we had done absolutely everything we could. I turned to the Lord in prayer and realised that it has been a long time since I've actually asked the Lord to do something for me. I have learned to follow Nephi's example of prayer, "Okay, that's what you want me to do? Where do I go? How should I do it?" But last night I knelt down and just felt helpless. I had done everything in my power. I didn't need revelation or information; I just needed help. As I prayed that the Lord would take care of our investigators I was reminded that they are His children first. I was calmed by the Spirit and these words flooded my mind: Be thou humble in thy weakness and the Lord thy God shall lead thee by the hand and give thee answers to thy prayers. I have learned to love humility. When I am humble I feel safe; I feel the Lord's relief at being given permission to support me. I do feel his arms around me when I am humble. I don't know what the future holds for Jim and Alex who I love so much, but I know that I am right with the Lord, and I suppose that is what counts.
We have continued to teach Harold this week. He's mildly enthusiastic...he's only read up to ALMA 29!! In a week! He knows the Book of Mormon is true : D now our goal is to help him connect that knowledge to his actions. It will be difficult for him to leave his own church. But the Spirit has moved in his heart. Keep him in your prayers.
I've continuously been struck this week by the word "minister." I've found its meaning has morphed in my mind. It used to mean to me a pastor or a teacher. Just lately I've thought of it more as a spiritual nurse, or nurturer. Almost like someone "administering" spiritual treatment. In the scriptures, ministering angels not only teach, but they console. They lift and encourage. I feel that my "ministry" can be that, too. As the Spirit attends our lessons, our investigators are consoled! And as we anchor all of our teachings in the Saviour and the Atonement they are ministered unto. It's beautiful to be a part of.
Here's a picture of Molly from a few weeks ago...