Monday, October 26, 2015

Sock it to me.‏  10/26/15

Respect gained for Islam. America.

The Epistle
Well I suppose that I should write this group email that I have been neglecting. A lot has happened this week, and I'm almost positive that I say that every week. Most of it are things that you have heard similar stories of before though so I will skip the boring details.

Wednesday we had zone training in Addlestone because the Staines Stake centre roof is having repairs. The logical way to get there would be through London, but since that is out of our mission we had to take an hour long bus and THREE TRAINS. Illogical travel plans are nothing new here though.

In Zone Training Elder Baines and I gave a presentation on companion unity. We have an advantage because we get on so well. We'd only been serving together eight days at this point but we were pretty unified. We focused on how you can look inward to improve a relationship. You focus on their strengths, work on your weaknesses, and pray about those exact things. It turned out to be a great discussion and I learned a lot as well.

Tuesday we had one of teaching appointments fall through. Our backup plan was to contact on this dodgy road in the Muslim area. We were thinking about changing our plans but I decided, "No, when we prayed and confirmed these plans we consecrated them to the Lord. If it doesn't go well we will pray again and seek guidance and where we need to be." Talking to people up that road was pretty brutal for a bit. Then we approached three guys chatting outside of a shop. Two of them had beards and one was in a traditional robe. As we started talking to them one went inside and another left, but the third stayed to become one of our new friends. We'll call him "Wiz" for my blog.

Wiz is a unique guy. When he was basically returning to Islam after years of inactivity, he prayed and asked God (Allah) for guidance to the right sect. I was confused in his story what happened from there but I was touched either way. We have met with Wiz a couple of times now to ask each other questions. He was intrigued to hear Joseph Smith's experience because of it's similarities with Mohammed's. He's asking questions about the Book of Mormon and we're asking about the Quran. I don't agree with all the theology, but I have gained a lot of respect for the values most Muslims have. Many live higher standards than most Christians.

We had dinner with this American couple from the ward yesterday. We had taco soup on tortilla crisps!!! His career is connected to the military so he has access to American food. He even offered to go buy groceries and snacks next time he's up there. Best day ever! He took us home in his Suburban which was MASSIVE! Brother Hope was saying that people would give us funny looks as we drove down the road and he was right. The first guy we passed was as guy in a Mercedes G-Wagon that flagged us down, backed up to talk to us, and proceeded to compliment his SUV. Apparently this funny man had a Suburban in his garage at home.

On my birthday (Saturday) we celebrated just a tad. After my first experience at Nando's we knew daylight savings so we had an extra hour. We played the Settlers of Catan with a big bag of Swedish Fish. Pretty good!

Sorry that's all for now. I love you!

Elder Price

Happy 21st birthday.  Elder Price wore his traditional birthday shirt which he has worn since 3rd grade

Monday, October 19, 2015

Elder Price, Elder Baines (Yorkshire),Elder Hartshorn, Elder Reynolds (Manchester)

Living the dream ;)  10/19/15

Sum Up
Diversity in High Wycombe. Small flat. Working hard is satisfying. 

The Epistle
I am struggling to know where to begin with this email because there is so much to fill you in on! I will try and cover all of the bases.

High Wycombe is close to London. They say that London isn't English anymore. High Wycombe is the most diverse place I have ever been. There is a large Pakistan community here as well as Bangladesh, which means we meet Muslims every day. I'm proud to smile and say hello has they read my name tag. There is also a lot of people from various African countries, eastern European, and a few Asian. Most areas around are perfectly safe.

The other companionship in High Wycombe is opening a new area but they don't have a flat yet so they're living in ours. We live in a ONE BEDROOM FLAT. This is not good. It can be loads of fun, especially with the elders we have here, but it's not effective for the work. Every night they have to lay out their mattresses and every morning they have to put them back up. They are living halfway out of suitcases and we are tripping over each other. It's just my luck, I finally get a clean companion and we have these other hooligans living with us. Organization is once again, a struggle.

It is convenient to live so close to the centre of town. In a city all you have to do is be willing to open your mouth and you will get lessons. We met so many interesting people. They didn't have a teaching pool to start so it is almost as if we are starting from ground zero. We've done a lot of finding but with a great companion it is enjoyable. This week we had 20 total other lessons, which is about the sum of what they had here in the previous five weeks combined. We have three return appointments so fingers crossed we should have someone progressing towards baptism soon. Elder Baines wants at least one baptism before his visa comes through so we're going to do all we can to make that happen. In the end though, our faith is in Jesus Christ, not results.

My opinion of Elder Baines is very high. I have a lot of respect for the positive attitude he has kept this far into his mission and his desire to do great things. He knows the doctrine well and he is also intelligent so training has been simple. The best part is his strong desire to work hard be obedient. I know we are going to see miracles together.

The ward here may have had a few struggles recently but they were excited to meet the new missionaries. Church attendance was around 50 people. The bishop is a military man which means he is very strong and organized. They were all very excited to have four energetic missionaries in church on Sunday. Hopefully the attitude is improving.

Honestly I can't believe how fast things are happening. Leaving the Isle of Wight felt really sudden and now I am with my 7th companion already. My gospel knowledge is continuously growing, my understanding of Preach My Gospel principles is strengthening, and my faith is deepening. I know director of this work is the Lord Himself. Doing what is asked isn't easy but I know that it is worth it. Overall, I love being a missionary!

Elder Price

Missionaries don't go thrift shopping, they go flat finding! Each of us are wearing a couple things from the closet.

Now that I'm close to London I get to experience much more diversity. Joshua, our EQP, is from Zambia and he cooked us Nshima with beef for dinner. It's a common African staple food made from maise and it'sdelicious! We ate with our hands too.
We're just posing in the subway (tunnel under the dual carriageway).

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

New place, new face, new excitement.  10/13/15

Sum Up
I'm moving to High Wycombe.
The Atonement.

The Epistle
A lot has happened since the last email! At Zone Training President Gubler was teaching us how to be more bold and direct (and still loving) to find people who are willing to progress. We're going to use the Book of Mormon as a sifter when we find and teach people that will read it. If they aren't willing to experiment than by their own declaration they aren't ready so we thank them for their honesty and move on.

We also had interviews with President which is always a good time. I love one on one time with spiritual giants. For lunch we had "Cafe Rio" homemade by a lovely senior couple. I snagged a delicious sweet pork burrito and sat next to President to ask doctrinal questions. That was my favourite part of the day.

We have two new solid investigators but I'll spare the details because I'm being shipped northward. Elder Graham will stay on the island to train and I will go to High Wycombe to finish training. It's like déjà vu (like it's happened before). The only thing I know about him is that his name is Elder Baines and he wants to work. I think we can arrange that.

Over the weekend was madness trying to visit everyone and invite them to be faithful one last time. We started to get ill Thursday night so we prayed that exchanges the next day would get cancelled. Our district leader called the next morning with a changed mind. Are you surprised? By Friday night I felt awful so Elder Graham gave me a blessing. He promised I would sleep well and then wake up on time with energy and feeling well. I nearly leaped out of bed the next morning. Unfortunately, he didn't bless me with my voice back and I could hardly speak ALL SATURDAY. I told him it's the Lord's way of making him take the lead in teaching and talking to people. I even saved pictures off for a lesson and used them while he spoke.

Two of Bishop's grandsons who are best friend cousins were baptised Sunday and we were honoured to participate. Standing in on confirmations is always powerful.

Paul blessed the sacrament in church for my last week there. If nothing else happens the rest of my mission, teaching him made the whole thing worth it.

To get to the moves meeting we slept in the Portsmouth flat last night and took a train to Crawley chapel. Then I got a lift to meet my companion in High Wycombe. Elder Baines is from Sheffield and he's a star! He's actually been called to the Orem Utah mission but he is waiting on a visa. He's eager to work and no doubt we're going to work harder than we ever had before. One of the best parts, he loves a clean flat as much or more than me. I am so happy to be here with him!!

A scripture I enjoyed in my personal study today was about gathering the House of Israel and specifically the Jews. 2 Nephi 25:16 which reads:

...they shall be persuaded to believe in Christ, the Son of God, and the atonement, which is infinite for all mankind--and when that day shall come that they shall believe in Christ, and worship the Father in his name, with pure hearts and clean hands, and look not forward any more for another Messiah...

When they believe in their Messiah then they can enjoy the blessings of the infinite atonement. So if we believe in Jesus as the Christ do we actually use the Atonement as much as we should to shape us?

More to come next week!

Bishop's grandsons baptism
Elder Price
Beautiful sunset

Monday, October 5, 2015

Aaron and Tabby from Paignton joined us for conference

Just a quickie.   10/5/15

Some books are long and some epistles are just a few verses. I have neglected the group email this week but I want everyone to remember how blessed we are in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day saints. We know that God loves us and continues to speak. We have heard His council in these last few days from His dedicated servants. I have learned a lot and my testimony has been strengthened.

One talk mentioned the phrase, "What lack I yet?" which has been a theme in the mission. It went hand in hand with our inspired mission plan. The Holy Ghost reaffirmed to me that President Gubler is inspired and that the second harvest of the season of miracles in the England London South Mission is at hand. It hasn't been our turn for something dramatic yet on the Isle of Wight but the mission is seeing amazing things happen. I know the church is true!


Elder Price

Elder Price & Elder Graham at sunny Sandown seafront