So I had to speak on Sunday. "What I Learnt from My Father". It was so fun...just anecdotes, yes? Everyone came up and announced that either they wanted MY dad instead of theirs (bit awkward) or that they would absolutely recognize him if he'd walked through the doors. I shall mail the talk home in all its messy glory.
Sorry about the lateness. It's my first moves and, to no one's surprise, me and Sister Housley are staying in Weymouth. Good times for sure. We went and played on the raddest park yesterday for like ten minutes--they definitely don't have those toys in the states, no sir. They've combined Poole and Portsmouth Zones, so Elder Smyth, who whitewashed into Poole, has been transferred after six weeks to Chichester to whitewash AGAIN and train a new greenie to boot! He's like a father to us; making sure we have lifts and money and know how to get around. What a great elder.
News on investigators and such:
Victoria: We've dropped the baptismal date because it was too soon (we hadn't prayed about it, just sorta sprung it on her) but she's back on track to be taught PofS Tuesday. She's so hip! Downloading hymns and the gospel library on her phone, and she wanted to be baptized during the first lesson? Come on! You don't GET cooler than that!
Olha: Coming to church with Steve, which is so fun! This week is her third in a row, and I think our influence and Gospel Principles class has made it really enjoyable for her. We made a calendar of Book of Mormon stories and she's liking the Russian version just fine. Hopefully she'll see why this is so important and Steve will get his act together, stop smoking, and get worthy to take the sacrament again.
Adam and Katrina: Knocked into them, first door on a road with ten minutes before our dinner appointment, and they invited us back. The spirit was very strong during that first lesson, and we committed them to read and pray and be taught again. I think she can definitely see the blessings of believing in God and going to church, and he needs answers to big questions he's got. AND they have three little girls that are too cute for words.
Mike: Definitely has issues, abuse in the past, and gender dysmorphia. But he wants us to come back for some reason. If we can just teach him that God loves him and has never left him alone, that will be monumental.
Shekinah: Called Pres. Levi to set up an appointment. She'd definitely run away from Weymouth, but she kept attending in Bournemouth and Ireland. She just can't get away. She called us and said she was really sorry, Levi cleared up her other concerns, and she's back on track to be taught and subsequently baptized on July 11. I'm excited. :)
In other news, I'm announcing that I will NEVER go less-active, expecially not for some guy. That is the lamest excuse ever. A boy, a boy, the kingdom of God for a boy? Totally not worth it and not a good excuse for Heavenly Father in the end. Oh, less-actives. Stop it and come to church. That's when your problems get bearable/drop out of your life. And there are lots of single dudes out there who CAN take you to the temple. Sheesh.
This week has been super hectic, just running around and trying to get everything accomplished. We've really been effective knocking as we get those streets we planned the night before. It's really cool to see how nightly planning really determines how successful your day will be. If you pray and work hard and expect miracles to happen because you've been obedient, you'll see them everywhere. Don't try to work out where the miracles come from or you'll get cynical, and don't track where they're going because people still have their agency and you'll get discouraged. Just count them up and say thanks. It's so strange to hear on the street: I've never had my prayers answered. Oh, what did you pray for? I don't remember. Well doy, if you can't remember what you prayed for, how will you ever discover the answer? Strange.
The gospel is so simple. Have faith. Repent and change the way you see things and the way you react. Get baptized/be worthy to take the sacrament. Respond to the Holy Ghost. Repeat and never falter. Look and live. You can find out for yourself if you study and pray and experiment upon the word (Alma 32), but it's amazing how sometimes we're so afraid to do that and discover the answer. I'm happy to report that if you knew all you had to do was study and pray to find out and you never did, Heavenly Father won't be pleased and ignorance doesn't count anymore. Come to church, everybody! It's the house of the Lord, and He wants to see you there!
For all the ninety and nine, keep doing it! Let trials push you toward the Savior, not away. Keep strengthening others and determine RIGHT NOW that you will endure to the end. As Elder Roe puts it, "I would rather a man be four steps from hell and facing heaven than be four steps from heaven facing hell." Look to the Savior as Peter did, and you will walk on water.
Love to you all!