Big news! I totally got my package on Tuesday--President asked us to email home the day after pday to tell everyone that we were okay and safe from the riots in London...I figured my family was intelligent enough to realize that London is HOURS away from Weymouth, so instead I printed off the tracking confirmation and showed it to Parcel Force. The mail guy didn't give me a come-get-your-parcel ticket on the 27th like he should've, so we tracked it down the old fashioned way (drivers' license and everything), and I am pleased to announce that the BYU Book of Speeches has transformed our comp studies into really fantastic discussions and I don't feel totally isolated from BYU :) Also all the music helps us study, I have a Pez head on my desk, and I won't be so pink now that I've got some good American sunscreen! Happiness and joy all around. Now we have to buy a gallon of mayo and make some ranch...
This week has been so crazy--we've really been tearing it up, and it turns out I like to extend baptismal dates right on the street. You never know when someone will say yes. (You don't say it like Elder Calhoun--you explain it, bear testimony, and invite.) Our goal this week is to get another baptismal date. Yesterday, we had five investigators at church and Shekinah was finally baptized! Hooray! We got her all dressed up and the entire branch stuck around because there would be food afterwards--unfortunately, the font had been struggling with temperature, so they ended up with less that three feet of really hot water. Her dress kept ballooning up because it wasn't deep enough--after the first attempt, everyone was like, "No, no, you have to do it again!" and pretty soon the whole thing felt like a rodeo. I guess everyone was so stoked for the first convert baptism in two years, they just wanted it to happen over and over again...we called it good after three tries, and we ended up back in the chapel for the coolest confirmation ever. The Spirit was so thick in the air. There was definitely a sense of relief from everyone that she finally got the Spirit to help her out. The best part was that she was found later in the loo comforting a very emotional investigator and doing the dishes and putting up the chairs after the food. She's already a superstar member! Carter and Lang definitely got a good one--we called them up afterward and they were like, "No WAY!" I'm so happy for them--eight months without a baptism is rough times for sure.
We're so excited for how Weymouth is taking off. We're rarely going into the other towns because we feel like Weymouth and Portland have some really fantastic things happening. We've been finding tons of new investigators and the branch keeps telling us about the missionary experiences they're having--I really hope that after we leave they keep the spirit of missionary work with them and double their membership like Salisbury and Reading did. (Speaking of Reading, Elder Bednar is coming and we have yet to hear...but President wants us all transferred while he's there, so we'll see.)
Pday today. It's been a tiring week, but really rewarding to end off on a baptism. We're finally going to ride some rides down on the Esplanade (we asked the Zone leaders--they said it was okay.)
In other random news:
-The riots were started because the London police gunned down a black drug cartel they'd been watching for months--all the racial groups in the East Boroughs went crazy, looting and setting fires in Manchester and Leeds and Birmingham...some even came down to Bristol, and a nine year old kid was stealing liquor out of a broken shop window. It looked really bad (this is what we've gathered from people on the street) and then it started raining and everyone went home. Wimps. Keep your eye on the news and President will tell you when it's time to panic.
-I made a map for the Book of Mormon cities and we played Amlicites with a bunch of GI Joes. Best comp study ever!
-We covered up some grafitti on Portland with a giant colorful MORMON.ORG in chalk.
-Do Jehovah's Witnesses not wear colors or patterns?
-I ate a battered Cadbury Egg and it was DELICIOUS. We've got a deep fryer--I don't see why WE couldn't do it--
-Twill be my fourth month on Saturday! Crazy, huh?
Thank you for everyone's post--missionaries have got the mail itch, and when your district leaders forget your mail from mission hq, it makes you grumpy. I'll make sure and call to remind him next time. Keep staying happy and positive--study the scriptures in the morning so you can remember it throughout the day, sing lots of hymns, pray all the time, be obedient, and follow the prophet. These other shenanigans don't have any prophets to follow, unless you count global warming, the Pope, Greenpeace, Tories, enconomists on TV, or a faraway council of pastors. How depressing.
Born-agains are the meanest people we find on the street. (They always quote Rock of Ages--when you can't quote actual scripture, there's a big hole in your religion.) Wizards, witches, and atheists are the nicest. I think the Spirit World will have people who learn a lot faster than others, and it won't be the people you think.
I love being a missionary! Everyone needs to hear this message, and if they won't accept it in this life, at least they can't say they didn't know in the next :) And for those that DO, well, so much the advantage for them.