Monday, November 9, 2015

Up and up.  11/9/15

Sorry this one is so long! It's exciting though.
Teaching solid lessons this week.
Interruptions and opposition.
Preaching in a mosque.
Speaking in a church.
Going to London.

Extended Edition

Since the last email we have had some of the highest highs and lowest lows. I'll keep it on the positive note but there were some pretty rough moments. I have so much I want to share I'm buzzing just thinking about it!

Monday evening we went to the Mosque with our Christian friend Ben. This was my second time. After their prayers they come to the back and we all sit on the floor with tea and biscuits and chat. We have had some brilliant discussions. This week I ended up across from other three missionaries with Amjad and his brother on either side. The conversation was fairly light until a Muslim named James, who was raised Catholic, wanted to discuss more doctrinal topics. He shared is conversion story and we all listened. I discovered that they believe that every nation has had a prophet to give them the Quran (Allah's word). They believe that Muhammed was the last prophet. With that in mind, I asked if they believed there were prophets before Muhammed in other lands that we don't have the records of. Interesting enough, the time span covered in the Book of Mormon (600BC-421AD) is all before Muhammed's lifetime (around 570AD). We talked about how the Book of Mormon is one of those records.

I was able to explain our view on Gospel Dispensations. They agreed that from the time of Abraham the people were properly submitting to God's will (As a side note in Arabic Islam means to submit to God's will.) and when they rejected the prophets and went into a rebellious state the prophets were taken away (apostasy). I was able to testify that God has called prophets whenever the people were ready to listen, and that we have prophets on the earth today. When I finished my ears were burning and my heart was pounding. Ben complimented me for defending our faith. They invited us back again but we decided not to go every week. I enjoyed it, but I don't know if that's how we should use our time.

Tuesday Elder Baines and I stumbled into an ambush. We began talking to a Christian man who was handing out leaflets. He didn't take long to show how much he knew about our church. He came out with our divine potential and a quote from Lorenzo Snow. He bashed about polygamy and the Book of Mormon for nearly an hour. Some of it was good for a laugh like the Book of Mormon can't be true because it says, "And it came to pass..." too many times. As we were trying to walk away his replacement came and he took his lunch break. This conversation was shorter and slightly lighter but not much more pleasant. It wasn't good.

Wednesday we had a brilliant district meeting to boost our spirits and remind me of my testimony. Elder and Sister Warner (senior couple that served a mission in Melbourne too) said some inspirational things. We also read a few verses from D&C 138 and talked about a few other things that I feel were tender mercies for me. I know Heavenly Father was looking out for me.

Afterwards we visited our friend Rue. We felt really good about the lesson we had planned when we prayed about it, and it addressed her questions perfectly! We felt the Spirit. She told us that we were sent from God to remind her of how her relationship with him used to be. She wants to strengthen it and she wants to get baptised too! But she doesn't want to be a full member of the church. We'll see how that goes.

Thursday was our holiday to London. We woke up at 4:45 to make it to our train on time. The train was a direct service that all the businessmen and women take and it was quite a short journey. In about an hour we were walking the streets of Westminster. The long part was walking to and from the train stations. I loved my experience there! The US Embassy lives up to every British stereotypes of American government. There were multiple armed guards with assault rifles posted around the premises. I wasn't allowed inside so I had an hour and a bit as a lone wolf. That was weird.

We met up with our Muslim friend I called "Wiz" in a previous email to protect his identity. We discovered that he has quite the reputation. He used a be a cage fighter and he wasn't concerned when people shouted things at us in Arabic as they drove past. We went behind the shops where it was quieter to chat. Wiz makes us laugh with comments he makes. He's a super funny guy! When we were walking away Elder Baines began to laugh and observed, "We just prayed with the hardest guy on Green Street in a dark alley."

Saturday we met our friend Joel at the library. Our discussion was going alright until this crazy woman showed up. I thought she was joking about being his girlfriend at first. I feel a bit bad because she has some mental health issues but it makes a funny story talking about the things she was shouting from the rooftops to the entire 2nd floor of the Wycombe library.

That evening we visited Milla. She was a referral from a member we've been trying to sit down with. She was in with two of her sons and she invited us right in. We had a powerful discussion about the Atonement and forgiveness. We watched the Mormon Message Beacuse of Him and I think it helped her gain more hope. She came to church and seemed to really enjoy it!

I spoke in church about Captain Moroni and the Title of Liberty. I talked about how we need to liken or relate the scriptures to our lives. I related the stories to defending ourselves spiritually and being prepared for when those attacks come. I also spoke about being an example (or hoisting our Title of Liberty) to be a voice for religious freedom. A lot more people believe in God than we think sometimes. It was a fitting topic for Remembrance Sunday. We even sang "God Save the Queen" in church. It was interesting seeing how half the ward isn't British but it was fun.

We were able to sit down with our new friend Kenny to teach the Restoration. I was promised that there would be interruptions at the climax of the lesson in one of my mission prep classes. The lesson was going well. We were having him read the first vision and halfway through there was a knock on the door. His sister was dropping off his son. After she left a few minutes later we  tried to wrap it up but we were interrupted by his cousin only about two minutes later. He is sincere but he seemed a bit embarrassed to be discovered by his peers. Maybe next time will be better.

Wow that could be a flipping book in itself! I hope you have a good week!

Elder Price
This is in Grosvenor Square next to the U.S. Embassy

This was around seven in the morning in the city Westminster. I was
surprised by how busy it was early in the morning.