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!!