Monday, January 25, 2016

I Like the Christian Life 1/25/16


Summary
Serving and loving makes you feel good! This one is worth the read. :)

Extended

This week a few service opportunities made me feel good. We helped an older member pump the tires in their car at the service station, I helped a struggling older gentleman retrieve an item he couldn't get to on the floor, and we packed clothing for refugees at this warehouse. Helping people makes you feel good. Do it!

I got an email from the girl I sat to on the airplane almost a year and a half ago! She was on her way from America to a Bible school in the north and I was on my way to he MTC. I had no idea what to say but we had some nice conversations. How cool is that? It'll be so fun to be pen pals and talk about our beliefs.

Wednesday evening we attended a live broadcast of the worldwide missionary conference titled "Teach repentance, baptise converts." I learned a lot, especially from Elder Bednar. I was reminded that our responsibility is to be capable instruments to carry the Spirit unto the hearts of the people we teach, but they have to be open and allow it into their hearts. Only then can they learn the truths we are trying to teach.

A similar situation exists with each of us every time we have an opportunity to learn. We can be taught but unless we are willing to let it sink into our hearts we won't be changed.

It was really cool to know that missionaries across the globe were watching the same broadcast. It was just like I was sitting there with my missionary friends and my cousin Ted. :)

Another big lesson to remember is how joyful repentance is. Sometimes missionaries get so excited to talk about baptism that they barely mention repentance. The process is faith in Jesus Christ and his atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. Without repentance they will never come unto Christ and have eternal life.

A 'coincidence' that happened this week was when we felt like taking the 32 bus instead of the X74. A few stops down the road a potential that we lost contact with got on the bus. She has enjoyed reading in the Book of Mormon and she has questions. She doesn't have a phone but we're hopeful to get in touch with a mutual friend we have.

Yesterday evening we had an opportunity to switch plans to go to a teaching appointment, but I really felt good about stopping by the potential that we'd planned. The buses were late and there wasn't much time but we decided to go to the whole opposite side of town anyway. When we got there we found out they had just had their baby THE DAY BEFORE and they were so excited! This young family was in a great mood and the mum was on her feet. We didn't get inside the door but each of them expressed the connection they felt with God when they first held their newborn boy. As we said a prayer with them (progress!) I felt the Spirit so strong as we asked Heavenly Father to bless the baby, family and home. It was nice.

On the way home from their house we stopped this bloke that didn't speak a lick of English. I made three attempts and his response was, "Don't know," every time. I stammered for a second then blurted, "Romania?" He gave a confirmation so I used all the Romanian I knew, "Ce faci?" and pulled out a Restoration pamphlet in Romanian. He lit up when he heard his language. With a grateful thank you he took the leaflet and raced away. It happened so quick it was quite a laugh. Good thing I always carry them in Romanian, Polish, and sometimes Hungarian or Portuguese.

Scripture of the day is found in Moroni 7:48. It is one I have been ponderizing (no matter how much I dislike that word) over this last week. It is all inclusive for how I feel about my personal journey currently.

 48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.

I feel a change in the wind. I was feeling worn and beaten but now I am reenergised and excited. I love this gospel and I love my Saviour! I have received so many answers to prayers this week. I actually can say that I absolutely love praying now! I like the Christian life. :)

Loves!
Elder Price



We just finished with our district p-day playing ultimate frisbee and
football. It was so nice to get some sport in!



Thursday, January 21, 2016

Prove it!  1/18/16


Summary
Spiritual truths must be learned by the Spirit.
Random thoughts.

Longer Edition

When we showed up to Mila's to teach she had a friend over who was interested to learn more about the gospel. Best thing ever! It's a bit funny because she doesn't live in Wycombe but she'll be back next weekend so we'll get to teach her a third time. She's interested in different religions and seems really excited to discover the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon for herself. On top of it all, her name is Connie so I can't forget.

Besides that the most exciting thing that happened was moving into a nice big flat. It's so good to be spoiled again!! Now I have some personal space in the evenings.

It isn't a rare occurrence for someone to try to prove or disprove the Church, the existence of God, the resurrection of Christ, miracles, etc. This morning I studied in D&C 50 and I had this sudden realisation that there is only one way to develop a real testimony that will last. That's through the Spirit. I don't know if I can explain what's in my heart properly but here we go.

17 Verily I say unto you, he that is ordained of me and sent forth to preach the word of truth by the Comforter, in the Spirit of truth, doth he preach it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

18 And if it be by some other way it is not of God.

19 And again, he that receiveth the word of truth, doth he receive it by the Spirit of truth or some other way?

20 If it be some other way it is not of God.

I have expressed similar thoughts before but now I understand that if we try to convince people about the truthfulness of the Restoration or try to prove it in any other way than through the Spirit, than it's not God's way. He has given us the way to do missionary work in Preach My Gospel. People sometimes want a big secret to easy success, but there is no secret. The manual is there. People want a big epiphany to know of the reality of God, but he has told time and time again of how to know. It's the same thing we tell people repeatedly. 

In the information age people are more inclined to trust a dodgy website more than ecclesiastical leaders inspired by God Himself. The part that bothers me is why? This mistrust may come from a limited perspective on a piece of history they cannot understand. For these people I recommend a prayerful study of Jacob 4:14.

Thinking about the early Latter Day Saints being persecuted and banished reminds me of Jesus telling a group of skeptics, "A prophet is not accepted in his own country" (Matthew 13:57, Mark 6:4, Luke 4:24, John 4:44). It's probably the same reason missionaries are sent away from home. How would the neighbours in our area respond to my teaching if they have memories of me speeding down the road with the music bumping or doing wheelies on the bike? Plus it'd be pretty weird to see people I know on my mission!

I guess what I'm saying is that there is a lot of things I don't know, but I know that the Lord's hand is in this work. When we are humble enough to trust Him we experience miracles. The only way to ultimate joy is through the gospel of Jesus Christ and that was restored by Joseph Smith.

Elder Price


PS We woke up to a whole inch of snow Sunday morning! :)







Monday, January 11, 2016

Beautiful sunset on street we were tracting


Church in town centre






We had to scrub the walls in the old flat to prepare to move. This
flat has had missionary occupants for ages so it is requiring a deep
clean.



What's new?   1/11/16


SUMMARY
Finally moving into a new flat, getting deeper, and teaching some Hindus. Pretty good.

EXTENDED
After three months of having four of us crammed into a one bedroom flat we are finally upgrading this week! It's not in town centre like the other one but it does have three bedrooms and two bathrooms so it's going to be awesome. I won't need to go sit in the tub to get personal space anymore.

What's happened this week.... missionary work. Surprised? You shouldn't be. I don't want to write a whole email about knocking door and stopping people in the street so I'll try and think of unusual things to tell you about.

We were visiting a less active recent convert who is from London. She lived a godless life until a year ago and she is very opinionated. She is a Cockney but I don't really know how to explain what that is. Anyway, we sit there for about 5 minutes while the member and her chit chat and out of nowhere she demands, "Where did God come from than?" It caught us a little by surprise but now that I've got some experience it wasn't overwhelming. We began a scripture chase and asked, "What do you think that this means?" She doesn't get it yet but she's almost there.

Last night we had a cool experience. Our ward mission leader, Brother Holt, gave us the name of a road that he had been praying about and wanted us to knock. We'd been there a couple times because it's a long road but last night I felt like we should knock on the doors of these four houses again because none of them answered last time. At the fourth door she was chatting with a piano teacher who was about to leave so she said to come back in five minutes.

When we came back her husband was there to greet us. They're Hindu but he went to a Catholic school growing up. He was really interested in the Book of Mormon so after a couple minutes he invited us in to help him understand. We taught about Joseph Smith and the restoration of Jesus Christ's gospel and priesthood. It wasn't too out of the ordinary for a missionary, but it was different to teach a Hindu man from India who knew quite a bit about Catholicism!

Partway through the week I was griping in my head and I looked up the talks "To Men of the Priesthood" and "The Greatest Generation of Missionaries" from the October 2002 Priesthood Session of Conference when the decided to "Raise the Bar" on how prepared missionaries need to be before they leave home. It didn't take long into my reading to look inward and recognised great things that I can do to make sure I can become the man I want to be in life and how  this mission can play a vital role in that. I recognised ways that I had prepared for a mission without realising it, and also how I should've done better. Everyone considering serving a mission should prayerfully read "The Greatest Generation of Missionaries" to recognise practical ways to prepare besides the advice you get from every RM which is, "Study Preach My Gospel, especially chapter 3. It will help you so much!" And it's true! I love PMG but there is a lot more to a mission than just knowing stuff.

The part that struck me the most taught:

We know that the most profound influence on helping young men prepare for the Melchizedek Priesthood, marriage, and fatherhood is the family. If your sons understand the basic doctrines required to become a faithful father, they will surely be ready to serve as a full-time missionary.

My greatest motivation throughout my education, work, and personal life has been the desire to be a good father. This drive coupled with gospel teaching applied in my family, prepared me more than I understood. Pretty interesting innit?

The family is the best place to teach the gospel. This is because it applies so well into family life, but also because of how many analogies we can draw between a family on earth and a heavenly family. Heavenly Father is a perfect father who loves us more than we comprehend. Knowing that  true relationship will help all of the gospel teaching begin to make sense. We truly are children of God with great potential. My Saviour makes it possible through his infinite Atonement. There are so many religions in the world that teach good values and strengthen families, but without these key pieces of doctrine they will fall short. That is why it's paramount that the gospel is preached to every creature.


Love,

Elder Price

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Dirt biking and the Light  ‏     1/5/16

Summary
Learning to be bold and testifying of the Saviour. Cool analogy from my life in the long part of the email.

The Long Part of the Email

Soorrry about the lack of responses lately. Last week we typed up our emails in the flat and went to a shop to catch Wi-Fi to send them. My iPad was full and it didn't save any of my drafts. Just remember that I love you all and appreciate the support. :)

Not loads new has happened here. We're working with a few of the same people and seeing slight progress. My companionship is improving. I am focusing on serving and loving instead of on what we lack. Elder Chiu Falck has been trying a lot harder and he's done quite well! He's still terrified to talk to people but he made it a goal to speak to someone every day. We've been bonding over chess in the evenings on good days too. It's nice to have something we both like as a reward (and I'm up 6-3).

We were knocking in an area that has a lot more Muslims and I decided to get bold. Normally I'd adjust my approach slightly to get into a conversation more but this time I saw all the signs and said, "Nah, forget it."

The door underneath the Arabic bumper sticker opens, the curry smell comes out, and a nice bearded man in a robe says hello. I continued, "Hi, we are disciples of Jesus Christ and we are sharing how God has lovingly called modern prophets to restore the truth that was lost. We have proof in this book. It is..." He listened politely for a minute, took a card, and said thanks as the door closed.

Sifting like this yields less religious conversations but we are called to find the elect. Plus I've heard about the same six miracles that Mohammed performed too many times.

Studying I was reminded of an experience I had. The first time Dad and I rode up to Ben Lomond Peak was the first time I had ridden single-track on a dirt bike. I was on the XR200 and enjoying the new challenges like switchbacks. There was one part that had a small landslide that took half of the trail down with it. This landslide was a minor obstacle I had to face but if I rode on the wrong side of the trail, it would prove to be detrimental. I skirted it just fine but as I passed I curiously looked down the landslide. This shifted gaze caused my shoulders to twist and I veered off the trail ten yards past the obstacle. I then had to wait for Dad's help because it was steep and I couldn't get the bike back on the trail by myself.

This would've turned out differently if I would've kept my goal in sight. In the vision of the tree of life (1 Nephi 8 & 15) Lehi focuses on the tree of life and he never worries about falling into the river of filth nearby. Although some people lost sight of what it most important and fell. This even happened to some who had partaken of the delicious fruit.

28 And after they had tasted of the fruit they were ashamed, because of those that were scoffing at them; and they fell away into forbidden paths and were lost.

If we have our eyes set on the Light of the World, the Saviour, our Redeemer, we will never fall (Helaman 5:12). I know that Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten of the Father and that His Atonement can save me from falling and get me back onto the trail when I do.

Love,

Elder Price


Laugh of the day: Ask Siri what zero divided by zero is.

Looking outside of our flat on Christmas Eve morning.


Christmas day


Monday, January 4, 2016

Get Back Up Again  12/28/15


Summarized Version
Christmas was great! We have a Saviour so if you fall, get back up again.


That Long One Though...

Every Monday when I begin this email I want to start with one of these overused lines: "A lot has happened this week..."
"We've had a lot of ups and downs this week..."
"We saw miracles this week!"
"We met some really interesting people this week..."
This past week was every one of those. That's life (especially missionary life) and if you are living it right, it should be busy, rewarding, and sometimes stressful.

Just a little insight about me (this also applies to most humans), I can get really stressed or frustrated when I can't see any results or when the learning curve isn't happening as quick as I want it to. I've also mentioned that developing patience applies to being patient with yourself as well. Keep those two thoughts in mind and you'll understand how I have been feeling.

Once upon a time, ages ago, I bought a snowboard at a garage sale. I already knew how to ski but I thought it would be a fun experience. The first evening on the slopes with the board brought new challenges. When I was riding groomers I was exciting to feel the familiar motions I had felt on a Ripstick and a longboard on the groomers.

On the second run we decided to go right off the lift (Sundown Lift at Powder) to the snow type we would call "the crud." The motions here were unfamiliar. I didn't have the right form or experience to handle what I had gotten into as well as I wanted. I fell loads of times and began to become more and more frustrated with myself.

Life brings challenges that makes all of us fall down. I have fallen many times this transfer. It feels as if before I was bombing down the hill before then I got transferred to try a snowboard. This companionship has brought struggles that I never anticipated.

President Uchdorf reminded me when I fall I need to remain hopeful and get back up again. Of this he said:

"We have a champion, a Savior, who walked through the valley of the shadow of death on our behalf. He gave Himself as a ransom for our sins. No one has ever had greater love than this--Jesus Christ, the Lamb without blemish, willingly laid Himself on the altar of sacrifice and paid the price for our sins to “the uttermost farthing.” He took upon Himself our suffering. He took our burdens, our guilt upon His shoulders.

When I remember this I can back on my feet straightaway. If I fall and forget how well I was doing previously or forget to persevere and improve than I will never reach my potential. If I focus on my daily successes and failures I lose sight of what is most important. Christmas reminded me of my Saviour and higher goals for me to focus on. President Uchdorf also said:

"Satan’s purpose is to tempt us to exchange the priceless pearls of true happiness and eternal values for a fake plastic trinket that is merely an illusion and counterfeit of happiness and joy.

"We acknowledge that your path will at times be difficult. But I give you this promise in the name of the Lord: rise up and follow in the footsteps of our Redeemer and Savior, and one day you will look back and be filled with eternal gratitude that you chose to trust the Atonement and its power to lift you up and give you strength."

I can testify of this promise. As long as I am willing to sacrifice whatever is required than He will help me overcome any trial, challenge, or opposition. After being willing to do anything the Lord asks I feel like I have had a change of heart (see Ezekiel 36:26-27, Mosiah 5:2, and You Can Do It Now!, Oct 2013). I hope we don't forget, it is difficult but it is worth it. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Don't you get so annoyed when missionaries get so preachy? LOVE YOU!!

Oh right, Christmas was really nice. We were able to visit a few people, get a new investigator (Muslim lady), have some delicious food, play games... it was all good! The best part was being able to Skype the family though. Instantly I was reminded of the bond that we have. I felt so much love for each of you. I would do anything for you, and I know you're there to support me. It has helped me so much. Next Christmas though, I say we bag the Skype call. :)

Next week is moves so preparation day will be on Tuesday.


Elder Price