Friday, November 18, 2011

Wigan--a place of miracles

This week has been full of miracles!

First, the baptism. Everything came together smoothly, except that we got caught in a rainstorm right before. Sister Maughan was able to come back and David asked her to be one of the speakers. I played piano. Sister Jack conducted. We all did a musical number, "Baptism" from the Primary Songbook, together. Elizabeth said the opening prayer! She was so brave, even with Sister Jack prompting her a little bit. I know it meant a lot to David and it was a great symbol in my eyes of just how the Gospel is going to bless her little life! She really is adorable.

The ward showed a lot of support and it was beautiful to see the room just packed. When they opened the curtains to the font they realised the glass had been fogged up. He and Brother Aspey just laughingly rubbed the steam out and everyone chuckled. Even with his usual humour, you could tell David took it seriously and we really feel that he is a convert that deserves the title “convert” (to coin a phrase of President Kopischke.) He bore his testimony afterwards and it was really touching. Now we just need to find him a wife so he can be the next Wigan Ward Bishop!

Miracle no. 2: remember Peter the organist? We felt prompted to send him a letter about family history and he called us! We went over with Brother Barrington (the FH Consultant) this week and taught him about it. I could tell that although he is scared of his vicar (who told him off for reading the Book of Mormon) he enjoyed feeling the Spirit with us again. Moreover, he wanted to come to the Mission Home Fireside, which he did last night! And guess who else was there? Burt! That room was so full of joy! Burt thought that I might be there so he brought a bag full of fresh vegan baked goods for me :) Bless him! Sister Babbel and I did an impromptu musical number (Consider the Lilies) on violin and piano. I also saw other recent converts and acquaintances from exchanges I've done. It really was a little taste/glimpse of heaven. I’d imagine there will be so much love, joy and excitement in the Celestial Kingdom as we reunite with loved ones! It’s those glimpses that I believe the Lord grants us to help us endure to the end.

We attended ward council last week (I LOVE this Ward, by the way.) We told them about President Kopischke’s visit and “the experiment.” We showed them that we feel loyalty towards accomplishing the 2011 Wigan Ward Mission Plan baptismal goal and they expressed the desire to support us. They came up with idea of doing a 40-day fast leading up to the New Year with a different member fasting for the goal each of the 40 days. We are so excited! We feel their enthusiasm rising and we know that with their faith we will accomplish the goal the Lord has given us.

I also got another exchange with Sister Gong this week. In the EMM we set goals and come up with expected miracles before the exchange. Whilst in Liverpool we were able to see three out of the four miracles they wanted! We taught both their dated Chinese investigators, Nicholas and Niles, tithing (and they accepted it) and we saw a real change of heart in one of their progressing investigators, Taralyn, who’s still struggling to accept the existence of God. It always inspires me to teach these Chinese! I feel the Spirit of the Lord working in them and I just know that they will become a great strength to the Church someday.

We had Stake Conference in Liverpool yesterday and so I got to see them all again. President and Sister Preston spoke at Stake Conference. We drove with two single sisters from Wigan, Sister Clark and Sister Wilson, and they could not say enough good about the Prestons on the way home. Truly, those two have been called for a reason and they are building so much enthusiasm in the members.

Our teaching pool is dwindling a little bit. No one has dropped us, but they also aren't progressing so we will likely be dropping them. It's in the Lord's hands but this week we are praying for many new investigators.

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