Monday, March 30, 2015

The Life of an Islander‏ 3-29-15

SUM UP:
-I'm living on a posh island.
-Prayer should be refreshing.

THE NOVEL:

Paignton
I will miss Paignton Ward but I am stoked to be here on Guernsey! I can't recall everything that happened leading up to moves because it feels like it's been donkey's ears since I have been there.

The Travel and Airport (skip this section it's boring)
Wednesday morning Elder and Sister McBride picked us up early to go to the moves meeting. During our long drive we listened to Elder McBride's travel stories. He gave me lots of ideas of how to get the most luggage on the flight. His ideas include a lot more than strategic packing. Basically what I got out of it was: queue up for the employee who is smiling and be really nice to them and, "Only believe." Using this plan he claims he has never had to pay for his overweight luggage.

At the Staines chapel I find out that the missionary I would be flying with is my MTC companion Elder Hernandez! Neither of us were properly prepared to fly because we did not know our flight plans or weight limit on the suitcases. It is my fault as much as anyone who helped plan it, but there almost needs to be a section in Preach My Gospel about communicating with missionaries and conveying vital information.

Let me explain the challenge. Missionaries are allowed two suitcases at 50 pounds and a carry-on. Missionaries transferred to Guernsey are allowed one suitcase at 20 kilos and one carry on. Between the moves meeting and the flight we ended up in the mission office to get our itinerary while trying to repack our suitcases to make it under the maximum weight. I had to get rid of half my clothes and put all of my books in my backpack.

If airports don't already stress me out enough, we arrived at Gatwick Airport only 45 minutes before the flight was departing. Once we found where we check our suitcases in went up to Kevin, the employee who was smiling, called him by name, explained that we were missionaries and we are new to flying. Elder Hernandez's suitcase was 22 kilos and he somehow ended up with an oversized carry-on, a grocery sack, and a shoulder bag with his scriptures but we didn't pay anything. Security took some time because Elder Hernandez tried to carry-on nearly a dozen full size bottles of bathroom supplies which all got thrown away. Two different people told him he should only have one carry on but we just smiled our way through.

While I tried to navigate from there to the gate I was worried about getting lost so I continued to pray we would make the flight. I saw on the screen that our gate was closed but as we rushed through the airport I just keep thinking, "Only believe." I know I was guided because somehow we managed to find where we were supposed to go without getting lost. We were the last people to board and we sat down about three minutes before the plane was scheduled to take off. That prayer had to be answered especially because I don't think there was another flight to Guernsey that day.

Guernsey
Living in a full size house with another companionship of elders and the senior couple makes it feel like we are a big happy family. We have morning and evening prayers daily and eat together when we can. We have the nicest accommodations and the elders here know how to cook. I feel like a king. My companion is Elder Anderson and it's confirmed, he's from Kaysville again. How the did that happen?

Biking was the most fun thing ever for about two minutes, then I had to go through a two lane round-a-bout with traffic. It has challenged me in ways that I never anticipated. Not only are the roads narrow and full of traffic but there are hills, bad weather, and road features called filters that I haven't previously experienced. After only one day of cycling my seat was sore and I missed the luxurious bus seats.

The work in Guernsey is hard. The character of an offshore financial center doesn't typically breed humble people. It is a drastic contrast to the area I just came from where unemployment was high and abuse of benefits was higher. The people here are so posh. The first time we walked up the high street everyone was wearing classy suits and sunglasses. The sights are beautiful and our house overlooks a bay. It's a dream here but the only problem is its a tourist's dream and more like a nightmare for missionaries.

Sacrament meeting had a total attendance of 10 adults and 1 toddler. Out of those 10 adults, 6 were missionaries and the other 4 were sisters. Convincing investigators to attend  church is going to be a lot different but it helps me recognise how much it  would strengthen the ward to have a strong family or even a priesthood holder. Guernsey branch for days!

One of the coolest things I got out of my study this morning was a detailed explanation of the Lord's Prayer in James E. Talmage's Jesus the Christ. He expounds each characteristic into a paragraph, like he does, and helps the reader understand how to make prayer more meaningful. In a Preach My Gospel self evaluation of prayer I learnt that our prayers can be guided by the Spirit, and even refreshing. Mum reminded me of the Bible Dictionary definition of prayer which I love. It reads:

As soon as we learn the true relationship in which we stand toward God (namely, God is our Father, and we are his children), then at once prayer becomes natural and instinctive on our part.  Many of the so-called difficulties about prayer arise from forgetting this relationship.  Prayer is the act by which the will of the Father and the will of the child are brought into correspondence with each other.  The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them.

Through focused and spiritual prayers I have developed a personal relationship with my Father in Heaven. Each time I sincerely pray I feel the Spirit burn inside of me. I know he loves me. I know Jesus Christ is our Saviour and Redeemer and is our only way back to the Father. Please remember Him during this special Easter week. If you haven't already, check out easter.mormon.org and share the video. I love you guys!

Elder Price

OUR HOUSE
So rumour has it that I am staying in the most expensive missionary accommodation in the world at over £3000 a month. I have no idea how true that it but it is too nice here. Our bedroom isn't very big but the rest of the house makes up for it. It is so nice to stand up in a hot shower again. We have a large kitchen connected to a dining room and TV room which overlooks the sea. I saw a gorgeous sunrise over the island Sark this morning.

My address is:

La Salerie
1 St. George's Esplanade
St. Peter Port GY1 2BJ
Guernsey, Channel Islands

United Kingdom

Monday, March 23, 2015


Wild ponies in Dartmoor

#turnuportransfer‏  3/22/15

 
SUM UP:
-I'm moving!
-"What thoughts come to mind if you had a personal interview with your Savior one minute from now?" (Klebingat)
-Take the time to increase your spiritual confidence.

THE NOVEL: 

Wednesday I am moving. Three months in Paignton have gone by too quick. Wait what, it's been six? DANG! Anyway I bet you want to hear where I am going. Drumroll please... Brace for impact... I am being exiled to Guernsey. I don't know too much besides that Wednesday morning I'll be traveling to the Staines chapel, then to Gatwick, and then I'll fly to my area. My new companion is Elder Anderson who is from Kaysville... again. We'll be living with another companionship of elders in the senior couple missionaries' house. I am stoked to get right back at it again in a completely different place.

Elder Tidwell and I are excited to see the progress that comes with refreshing our teaching pool. This week we were able to be blessed with five more new investigators and a few solid potentials. Although new and other investigators rotate through often, a few of the ones that we found are couples that have sincere desire to find truth. If they have real intent I know they will progress. Elder Tidwell and I have been working daily on our teaching skills in order to teach in unity with each other and the Spirit. I have noticed a drastic difference in each lesson as we set the stage with how to begin teaching to explain our purpose. Sharing personal experiences has been another tool to help invite the Spirit. I am so excited to be improving in teaching and recognising potential in these people!

Next week Paignton should have at least one baptismal date. Our neighbor, Cathy, has been seeing missionaries for a while now. She wasn't progressing so we haven't been going over regularly. We stopped by to share the news that I am moving and I expressed how I wish I could have been here for her baptism. During the discussion she expressed that Elder Oleson would be the one that she would want to baptise her so we explained that her baptism could happen the weekend that he is back on holiday. The seed has been planted and I believe she will pray about it and want to be baptised in May when he's here. I know it's not about who does it but if that helps her set the goal than it does not bother me.

I will miss Paignton ward. The people definitely hold a special place in my heart. I truly have learnt to love the people here. Although part of me wants to stay, at the same time I am ecstatic to go to Guernsey. I am sure it will be a culture shock again but I am willing to embrace it and get to work. I remember reading in one of the recent Harvester reports that the Guernsey District did a segment on exact obedience, which excites me to work with missionaries who are willing to be dedicated. I am a bit nervous to adjust to a new ward, area, and companion but I am grateful for that because it will help me to depend on the Lord.

I have been praying to know I have helped the work in this area even though we haven't always had the best numbers. Discouragement from Satan but I have been devastated multiple times in consequence to people we try so hard with still choosing not to progress. I want to share with you these answers to my prayers to help illustrate the joy I feel from changing my life and becoming truly converted. Most of my youth I was making mostly good choices but I discovered, "Selective obedience brings selective blessings, and choosing something bad over something worse is still choosing wrong. You can’t watch a bad movie and expect to feel virtuous because you did not watch a very bad one" (Klebingat).

Two different times this week I received the answer that Heavenly Father is proud of the progress that I have made personally in my life and in my conversion to the gospel. The first was during a lesson with a recent convert who is fighting multiple addictions. Following my testimony of how he can overcome, Elder Tidwell shared a scripture that really struck my heart. I don't remember what it was but I nearly started crying because I just felt so much love in my heart. The Spirit was telling me, "He is proud of you. He loves you."

The second experience occurred during Priesthood on Sunday while studying the talk Approaching the Throne of God With Confidence by Elder Jörg Klebingat. While contemplating how I would approach the throne of God I was reminded of the first experience a few days before. Once again my eyes welled up nearly to the point of tears. I have experienced the power of the Atonement in my life and due to that I would speedily run up to embrace my Judge on that day. I am determined to live the rest of my life in a manner that I will have that confidence.

I would do anything in my power to help you feel the same way. I exhort you to evaluate yourself. Read the talk mentioned above and/or Alma chapter 5. Feel the love that your Heavenly Father and Jesus the Christ have for you. I love you!


Elder Price

Monday, March 9, 2015


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Next messageBack to messagesWhat Matters Most ‏ 3/9/15

SUM UP:

-We're about to have a few serious DTRs.
-A personal testimony is the most important thing you can earn in this life.

THE NOVEL:

Saturday was a really long day for us. I don't think anything went according to plans, we got lost, and we were tired. After church we decided we would rather have a rough Saturday than Sunday though because church turned out great! We had three investigators and six less-actives attending. It was spiritual right from Priesthood meeting (first hour) and an investigator that we had never met before even cried. He was a bit of a let down because he doesn't want visits yet but that's not the point, church was so good! Haha!

Tuesday we were surprised to have the ZLs outside when we were heading out for the day. They joined us for an hour and then afterwards they had a serious talk with us about dropping investigators that aren't progressing. They had been praying with the APs about our district and they asked us to find greater commitment in or investigators or move to people who will commit. I think I have justified working with these people that aren't progressing because of the ward's unusual attitude towards bringing people into the church slowly. Another big struggle has been adjusting the expectations of these people because of the relaxed attitude of past missionaries. Time to have a nice DTR (if you don't know what that means just ask Angi). Next week we might have big news, but maybe not because I hate breakups. ;)

So England is pretty much the same as it was last week so I'll talk about something more interesting, the Gospel! The New Testament has been unfamiliar to me and I discovered why. The first semester of studying the New Testament in seminary I was a peer tutor in Brother Hedulnd's special needs seminary class so we usually studied the picture book and did activities instead. As I dive deep into the testimonies of Matthew, Mark, and Luke I have come to feel so much closer to my Saviour. I feel like I know Him better. I am better understanding how I need to be as I learn about His perfect example. I love spending time learning about His teachings and examining how much charity He had, even in awful situations.

This morning I read a talk by President Uchdorf called Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth. He includes a simple, yet complete, process of how to develop a testimony. It is a promise received by revelation from God. He concludes the process by promising:

If you will do these things, you have a promise from God—who is bound by His word—that He will manifest the truth to you by the power of the Holy Ghost. He will grant you greater light that will allow you to look through the darkness and witness unimaginably glorious vistas incomprehensible to mortal sight. 
Some may say that the steps are too hard or that they are not worth the effort. But I suggest that this personal testimony of the gospel and the Church is the most important thing you can earn in this life. It will not only bless and guide you during this life, but it will also have a direct bearing on your life throughout eternity.

A personal testimony is the most important thing we can earn in this life, I really believe that. A mission has shown me it truly is more important than a day on the slopes or a motorcycle, the education or career, today or this year, because we need it for eternity. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to eternal life and eternal families. I am so grateful for the testimony which I have been able to shape and develop here in England. It has been tested and tried but it always comes out stronger as I turn to the scriptures and turn to my Heavenly Father in prayer.

If your testimony isn't where you want it to be then please, take the time to read the talk suggested above and heed his advice. You won't regret it.  

Love,


Elder Price

Monday, March 2, 2015

Cloudy, with a chance of sunshine... maybe.‏ March 2, 2015

SUM UP:
-Pray to discover your priesthood leaders are inspired.
-Trust that the inspiration they receive is from God.


THE NOVEL:

I have tried not to get discouraged this past week but it can be disappointing seeing those investigators and less active members that committed to come to church this week decided not to attend. I know it comes down to their agency but I want them to experience the joy that has come into my life as I have become converted to the gospel! I am determined to do everything we can to help them make those steps. Anyway...

This past week we were able to share some very spiritual moments with people we are working with. My favourite was a Family Home Evening with Aaron and Tabby (young couple) about Joseph Smith. I typed up an agenda and everybody had an assignment. Elder Tidwell and I started off with a duet, Joseph Smith's First Prayer to the tune of Come Thou Fount, which set the tone for a spiritual evening. We watched the Restoration movie and had a short testimony meeting. I was so grateful to hear how Aaron and Tabby's testimonies have grown but I couldn't help being a little upset that they decided church wasn't worth the bus fare for them. This week we will have to have a serious lesson about the blessings of sacrifice, sabbath day worship, and priorities.

This morning I read a talk by President Eyring titled Continuing Revelation that helped strengthen my testimony of inspired leadership. I am grateful for the direction we receive from the mission president, from the zone leaders, and from the ward leadership. I know President Monson is a prophet of God, and so are his counselors and the Apostles. We each need to receive a confirmation from the Holy Spirit that our leaders are inspired, so that we can trust the guidance we receive. When we have that confirmation, we know we aren't trusting in them but in the inspiration they received from the Lord. This can include guidance given to entire wards or individuals.

The first scripture mastery I ever memorised in seminary was 1 Nephi 3:7 and it has been a favorite since then. While studying this talk by President Eyring I learnt that Nephi's response wasn't, "I will go do what my father Lehi commanded," but his response was "I will go and do  the things which the Lord hath commanded." The difference between Nephi and his waster brothers was that Nephi already had that confirmation that his father was a prophet of God. His brothers thought Lehi was visionary man AKA a complete loon.

My brothers and sisters, think of a prophet, bishop, parent, or any other leader in your life. Then pray with real intent, meaning you are willing to act, to find out that they are inspired by the Lord Himself. I promise you will be able to receive more direction with a humble heart and see the Lord's hand in your life.

With love,

Elder Jordan Q. Price


PS Please forgive my spelling. These Brits have me so confused adding the letter U and swapping S for Z.