Monday, August 31, 2015

The BIG Change   8/30/15
Sum Up
Moves. Prayers are answered. Fun facts post-script.

The Epistle

I hope you are ready for the big news! I was excited to hear what was going to happen with moves on this island. We still have two flats so we were anticipating more missionaries moving in. I half expected to be moved back to Ryde (my old flat). We opened the moves email Saturday to find out the BIG change will be..... nothing. We're staying how it is and nobody is coming to Ryde. I am very pleased that I am staying on the Isle of Wight. I love the people we have been working with and we're just getting to know the ward here. I wouldn't mind staying for a while. Honestly, I was hoping to train either here in Newport or in Ryde but I know that this is what the Lord wants. Elder Graham and I still have a lot more to learn from each other. More importantly, we have a lot more people to help. 

FYI, Next moves (in six weeks) we'll probably be emailing on Tuesday instead.

We are continuing to try and strengthen our recent converts. Most of the people that have been baptised in the last five years on the island are less active so we're doing a big push with the ward council to strengthen the people that have been baptised in 2015 and to recover the lost ones from years past. The members here doubt whether converts can stay active so if we can help these people endure and reactivate a few then the members will get excited again about more baptisms. That is the plan anyway.

Paul is as solid as ever. The other day our plans changed and Paul's phone was broken so we had no way to tell him, but our prayers were answered and we found him at the bus station. It was cool. He is still extremely shy but he is breaking out of his shell.  He said the opening prayer in Gospel Principles. Eventually he'll be blessing the sacrament. 

Friday night we watched "Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration" movie with Karen and her family. It really struck me how I many visions, visitations, and miracles happened in Joseph Smith's life. Often as missionaries we teach about the First Vision and the restoration of the Priesthood in the first lesson, but I had forgotten about the rest of it. Joseph Smith truly saw his season of miracles. The Spirit was strong and I know that he was in fact the Prophet of the Restoration. Karen was moved by the Spirit during the movie as well. She repeatedly expressed that she had no idea about the persecutions on Joseph Smith. Her daughter is asking questions but claims that religion isn't for her. We will see.

This Sunday the mission will fast together to begin the plentiful harvest! We're all going to kneel wherever we are in the mission at 7:30 in the morning and plead for the floodgates to open and for the miracles to begin.

I have finished Mosiah this morning which means I completed the Book of Mormon challenge from our mission president. The impact it has had on my testimony of the Saviour has been astounding. President Gubler continues to remind us in difficult times that our faith is in Jesus Christ, not in outcomes. It is easy to get the two mixed up. People do it all the time when they explain how they used to believe until ______ (insert common yet difficult trial here). It makes me wonder what is our faith in. Did not the Saviour experience the most vile types of persecution, hatred, temptation, and trials?

I was struck by a declaration by Alma Jr. in Mosiah 27 after he is born-again. He relayed:

 31 Yea, every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess before him. Yea, even at the last day, when all men shall stand to be judged of him, then shall they confess that he is God; then shall they confess, who live without God in the world, that the judgment of an everlasting punishment is just upon them; and they shall quake, and tremble, and shrink beneath the glance of his all-searching eye.

Alma confesses that He is God and that His judgements are just and has this "born-again" experience even though he's been a member of the church for years. (He is the prophet's son.) Even people in the church may not have experienced this type of conversion. His faith is manifested through his works. Verse 32, "And now it came to pass that Alma began from this time forward to..." teach, preach, repair, and live the Gospel. There was loads more that stuck out but I'll leave it for you to discover. ;)

More prayers have been answered this week. I know that Heavenly Father is listening. I marvel to think that he loves me, even though I am relatively puny and insignificant when compared to him. I know that he sent his Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to atone for me and because of that I can be forgiven of my mistakes. Then, if I'm truly changed by his grace, at the day of judgement I can have the confidence to confess that I have given my all to honour the gift of life that I've been given. I love my Saviour!

Elder Price

PS Other fun facts:
·                     One of the best missionaries in the ward isn't even a member. He's been coming to sacrament for eight years but refuses to join. He's what I call "patriotic CoE" which means he claims Church of England because of his love for the country. It's a generational thing maybe?
·                     In England you need a license to own a telly.

·                     We approached a man this morning who went on for an hour about how God sent the government after him, the media is trying to destroy his life, and someone needs to take care of the pigeons (nobody is cleaning their homes).
This is a miracle seems how Elder Price has allergies, especially to cats!!

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

 Anything Can Happen     8/24/15

Karen was baptised over the weekend! A few of her family members came to support and Mick was there to be a witness for the baptism. We are blessed to have been able to work with people who are sincere in their search for truth. This week we really want to start teaching friends and family of these recent converts to allow them the blessings of the Atonement. Than they can also support each other in the church. One solid referral from either Paul or Karen would be more effective than a weeks worth of knocking doors and street contacting.

Paul participated with his priesthood and helped prepare the sacrament this week. My favourite part about teaching him is that he understands the doctrine well and enjoys studying. He's finished Our Heritage and he continues to study the Book of Mormon and other church materials. He's a star!

My testimony right now is stronger than ever and it's not just from the success we have had, I think it's from the sincere Book of Mormon study. President Gubler's challenge was to finish it by the 1st of September, which gave us only two months to read the entire book. As of right now I am behind schedule with 104 pages left but I''ve been doing it for the entire hour of personal study so I'll finish. When he started the challenge I was already through Mosiah so I continued in Alma to the end. Now this last week I've read 1 Nephi and most of 2 Nephi. I'm even starting to understand pieces in the Isaiah chapters!

There are times when I want to pray for miracles to happen but I'm nervous. I have no doubt that they can happen or even that the Lord wants them to happen, but rather, that I will be able to follow the direction of the Spirit properly in order to enable them. Hopefully I will be more confident in a couple weeks.

A week Wednesday is the next moves. They still have the Ryde flat so it's likely that the isle will get another companionship back. Rumour has it that 32 new missionaries will be coming in and only a dozen are going home this transfer. Maybe next week you'll find out I'm training a new missionary (that'd be mint).

I've read so many chapters this week that I don't even know what to share with you so... 2 Nephi 20 says:
 15 Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith? Shall the saw magnify itself against him that shaketh it? As if the rod should shake itself against them that lift it up, or as if the staff should lift up itself as if it were no wood!

Pretty much it is saying that you can't fight against God and win. I remember Jace G, cheeky as he is, saying, "You can't hold a grudge match against God because you either lose or are damned." Just like Hymn 19 declares, "The wicked who fight against Zion will surely be smitten at last." I'm not really sure why I'm sharing that with you but I was studying Isaiah today so hop off.

Anyway, the church is true. I know God is there and I know he hears my prayers. Joseph Smith restored the fullness of the Gospel in response to a sincere prayer. I am grateful that since then, we have had prophets to give us the word of God in these latter days.


Elder Price

Mick came to be a witness for the baptism in the tie I gave him. He'd
murder me if he knew I sent this picture home. Bikers don't wear

Elder Price

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Ryde Pier

3 Nephi 5:13


Sum Up
Miracles are real, prayers are answered, and the church is true.
Karen is being baptised Saturday!

the Epistle

This week has been overloaded with experiences I don't even know where to start. I honestly feel like this has been the fastest week of my mission. Monday night we stayed in Portsmouth to travel to Zone Conference Tuesday morning. Tuesday night we were in Portsmouth again until Monday morning we were rushing to loads of appointments. Ever since Zone Conference I have been more focused than ever. We are at the doorstep of a season of miracles, similar to the early days of missions in England when Heber C Kimball, Wilford Woodruff, and Dan Jones were baptising thousands. It will start on the 6th of September with a mission fast for the Lord to open the floodgates. We are preparing now by becoming exactly obedient and increasing our faith.

Zone Conference in Reading, with all of the central zones, was exactly the boost I needed to get back in gear. It was the kick in the trousers that helped me recommit to strive for perfection in my ministry. Here, I'll tell you about it!

Our mission is like the Army of Helaman. They trusted in what they had been taught and they were willing to do what was necessary but there was one condition, Helaman had to be their leader. They knew he was inspired and they trusted the Lord to guide and protect them. Alma 57:21 says:

 21 Yea, and they did obey and observe to perform every word of command with exactness; yea, and even according to their faith it was done unto them; and I did remember the words which they said unto me that their mothers had taught them.

At Zone Conference there were many points were I felt nearly overwhelmed with the burning of the Holy Ghost. I became fully converted to our mission training plan and knew that President Gubler is our Helaman. He likes to quote in Mormon chapter 9 which reads:

 19 And if there were miracles wrought then, why has God ceased to be a God of miracles and yet be an unchangeable Being? And behold, I say unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles.

 20 And the reason why he ceaseth to do miracles among the children of men is because that they dwindle in unbelief, and depart from the right way, and know not the God in whom they should trust.

 21 Behold, I say unto you that whoso believeth in Christ, doubting nothing, whatsoever he shall ask the Father in the name of Christ it shall be granted him; and this promise is unto all, even unto the ends of the earth.

To conclude our meeting President asked a newer missionary to pray that anyone who was not fully converted to this mission training plan to receive the witness. All of the missionaries present, which was a third of the mission, knelt in the chapel together. As this young elder said one of the most beautiful prayers I ever heard I had the most sacred experience I have ever witnessed outside of the temple. I began to cry because I felt so much peace and love it was unreal. Heavenly influences were present. I wanted to open my eyes and look up but I feared what, or who, I might see. 
After cleaning up we had extra time before our lift would take us back to Portsmouth. Elder Graham asked if I wanted to go contacting. I was so stoked that he had the fire in his bones so I eagerly agreed. In half an hour we had a two good discussions and taught one lady the first lesson on the street. We thought it spectacular until we returned to the chapel to discover another companionship of elders finishing a chapel tour with a bloke they just found. He committed to be baptised in three weeks time.

I don't have time to write everything I want to but I can promise that my prayers have been answered this week. Literally, everything we have asked for since Tuesday has happened. Some of the experiences are unreal and can only be described as miracles.

Despite some opposition from a couple sisters in the ward, Karen is on track to be baptised this Saturday. If everything goes according to plan you'll see more baptism pictures next week. Paul got the Aaronic Priesthood so we're looking forward to seeing him participate in the sacrament next week.

Christ is mighty. Miracles happen. The church is so true! Love,

Elder Price

Monday, August 10, 2015

Overlooking Sandown

We are the sheepdogs.‏  Aug 10, 2015

Sum Up
Progress is steady and sure. I read 3 Nephi this week and found out good news, the Book of Mormon is true!
The Epistle

Saturday we were able to go help our friend Karen in her garden and meet some of her family. We were concerned about some drama going on with Karen's less-active friend/acquaintance but I'm confident she has the courage to do what's right. She came to church and is well on the road to her baptism, which is on the 22 August now. Due to my companion's vast knowledge of country artists and me showing off my football skills her grandson took to us as well. Fingers crossed they'll all come to the ward BBQ Saturday. 

This week I was reminded of Guernsey, back to my second visit with my friend James. Like most people do, he asked for evidence in the Bible pointing toward the Book of Mormon. We responded how many missionaries might. Opening to John 10:16, we explained that Jesus is telling the Jews he will visit his "other sheep," which included the Nephites. Many Christians will tell you this verse is referring to Gentiles that he'll visit.

The very next day in Sunday school we happened to read in 3 Nephi 15: 16-24 which explains, "And they understood me not that I said they shall hear my voice; and they understood me not that the Gentiles should not at any time hear my voice--that I should not manifest myself unto them save it were by the Holy Ghost." James pointed out that it seemed convenient and I didn't disagree. It wasn't until reading 3 Nephi this week that I understood why and it also answered the question of why the Bible doesn't mention Nephites even once.
3 Nephi 16:4 And I command you that ye shall write these sayings after I am gone, that if it so be that my people at Jerusalem, they who have seen me and been with me in my ministry, do not ask the Father in my name, that they may receive a knowledge of you by the Holy Ghost, and also of the other tribes whom they know not of, that these sayings which ye shall write shall be kept and shall be manifested unto the Gentiles, that through the fullness of the Gentiles, the remnant of their seed, who shall be scattered forth upon the face of the earth because of their unbelief, may be brought in, or may be brought to a knowledge of me, their Redeemer.

They don't know about the Nephites, or the "other sheep," in Jerusalem because they never asked! Revelation almost always begins when we humbly say, "Speak Lord, for thy servant heareth" (1 Samuel 3:9-10). After reading this it hit me that it wasn't until the 10th chapter of Acts that Peter is commanded to take the Gospel to the Gentiles, so it wouldn't make sense to me that Jesus gives his word to them yet.

The day that I read this my heart was burning again. I learnt a lot more about the lost tribes and the gathering of Israel, but I also learnt that the Book of Mormon is (still) scripture. Twice that day other Christians brought up the other sheep reference. One was an evangelical preacher that approached us, and the other was a new investigator that had accepted a Book of Mormon the week before. It took a lot of testimony and explaining to get him to agree to read it, but when we came back we were saddened to hear him request that we never come back. My newfound knowledge didn't help convert them, because they weren't listening, but it was a tender mercy that I knew who the other sheep were and I knew the book I hold dear is not false.

James once pointed out to me that if He is the Good Shepherd than we are His sheepdogs. It makes us sound small and energetic but I don't mind. We'll keep on steering the sheep in the right direction until the end.

The church is true. Jesus is the Christ. Love,

Elder Price
All things are possible.  Elder Price does not like snakes!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Paul's baptism

Happy Day!‏  August 3, 2015

Sum Up
Paul was baptised. Miracles happen. Being a missionary is difficult but the rewards are well worth it.

The Epistle

This week was potentially one of the best weeks of my life. I've said that before but that's just because of how many great things happen! On top of it all Elder Graham and I are getting along well. I really enjoyed my time with Elder Tunnicliffe but there is a culture difference between the English and Americans that can add more challenges to sort through. I think I have learned a lot over the last two months that would have helped me be a better companion earlier in my mission (like not crying over spilled milk). Plus E Graham likes really good music and used to go to concerts at Usana all the time so we never run out of things to talk about. And we went to a breakfast buffet with the Ford family... so good!

We spent a good amount of time this week preparing Paul for his baptism. He was definitely ready to join the church. Being a very quiet person he was nervous to tell his friends at the church he's been going to that he was actually getting baptised into the "Mormon Church." He had been telling some friends about his experiences with us but after we had the baptismal programme all completed and the interview scheduled, he decided that he needed to tell the preacher at his church. The response wasn't the best but we will see if they still want his help with the administrative things he has been helping with.

Paul had a few challenges leading up to the baptism. Right before we partake of the Atonement in amazing ways (tree of life) there are always trials to try to steer you off course (mists of darkness and people mocking). Fortunately prayer is real and he received multiple tender mercies at just the right moments to confirm to him that this is still right. Saturday E Graham baptised him and Sunday I confirmed him. We heard that it only takes an hour to fill the font but I would recommend at least an hour and a half because the font was only mid thigh deep on Paul and just over E Graham's knees. I was wondering if we should postpone it another half an hour but it turned out alright. We had to do it twice but Paul felt the Holy Spirit of Promise confirm that the ordinance was done properly.

Helaman 6:3 reads, "Nevertheless, the people of the church did have great joy because of the conversion of the Lamanites, yea, because of the church of God, which had been established among them. And they did fellowship one with another, and did rejoice one with another, and did have great joy." The kingdom of heaven rejoices when someone repents and comes to Christ, and that is exactly how we've felt this week. I love helping people come to Christ.

Wednesday our district leader and his companion came over to go on splits the island. Basically like exchanges but we all stayed here because of travel. The two elders that came over were both diligent in speaking with everyone and they got me really excited to be a missionary. Increased diligence and faith led to miracles. I swear every third person Elder Johnson and I spoke to were interested, to some degree, and we were able to teach a few of them.

We made it to a DA about ten minutes early so we knocked on the neighbour's doors. The first guy wasn't interested but then we spoke to a lady who was walking her dog and got her address to deliver a Book of Mormon (and salvation) another day. After dinner we went to the nearby road that we planned to knock. E Graham felt sure that was the right road in planning so I was excited to see miracles. We knock on the first door and a pretty cool looking chap, mid-twenties, opens the door. He's nice enough but he says he's on the phone in the other room (not true, young people use mobiles) so we leave a card. He promised to check out the website and we start to turn away. Before we leave we heard his Mum shouting, "Chris, what do they want?!" I smiled and said, "Cheers Chris!"He opened the door back up and smiled, quickly said thanks and shut the door.

The next door was a bust. As we walked away from it Chris was out on his porch waving us over. "You can come in now." His Mum was just sitting down for tea but they allowed us to share our message as soon as they made sure we weren't Jehovah's Witnesses. We had a proper sit down teach with Chris, his Mum, and his girlfriend. His Mum just recently started going back to church and has been encouraging them too as well. It's difficult to say after one meeting, but I think they are prime for the gospel! I am really excited to see them this week.

The next morning we stopped a guy who had just recently been changing his life and wondering why there are so many different churches. We sat him down on the bench right there and explained in twenty minutes the first message. I have been doing a lot better recently at listening to the Spirit in lessons and adapting the lesson to their needs, which has created an environment that the Spirit is strong in. It seemed to go really well but unfortunately people in this country often don't remember their mobile numbers (11 digits) or carry their phones with them. Then I was a bonehead and scheduled to meet back up in the same spot Saturday morning at half ten. After we left I thought there was something Saturday at 10:30 so I opened my planner to see "PAUL'S BAPTISM! :)" Oops.

Before I forget I met Brother and Sister Pike, here in the IOW ward, who are friends with the Alvey's in our home ward. They stayed at their house one block away from us before!!

I want everyone to know that the church is true. Heavenly Father loves each of his children and knows them individual. The Good Shepherd has his sheep numbered and is gathering the lost ones. I know that I am given tender mercies often to recognise his love. I record them in my journal so I will never forget (see Mormon Message O Remember Remember).

Elder Price

Yeah that happened...

The one on my left loved the Book of Mormon musical in Westend and it
was a dream come true to meet real Mormons on the Ryde Esplanade. "You
are going to love my name than," I smirked. Yeah the main character in
the musical is Elder Price.

It was actually really cool to be able to explain why we do this and
the standards we choose to live by. Younger people are usually most
interested in the commandments (why we don't do fun stuff) and so I
enjoyed testifying of commandments as Heavenly Father's loving counsel
to have a happy life that lasts much longer than the weekend. Plus I
like the attention. ;)

Elder Price