Monday, April 16, 2012

All our Investigators are Leaving!

Right, so usually the drill is that we missionaries move around, to the chagrin of our investigators. But Jacob has gone back to Bournemouth, Lina is all baptized and headed to Taiwan to visit her mum, Carla and Bruna are in Portugal...depression. It's actually really sad. But even with all these investigators gone, we've got plenty to get on with--moving flats is no mean feat, especially when the missionaries have been there for over ten years (we'll be leaving fun treats for the neighbors...and a few Book of Mormons...)

Fun things from this week:
-The few seconds we have to go finding are brilliant. Late to an appointment, we asked directions from what turned out to be a move-in from Croydon. He talked to us about being missionaries, and we gave him a Book of Mormon and found out where he lives. Such a cute man. And we basically taught the Plan of Salvation to a lapsed Catholic who came to check the insulation (I feel like that's not allowed, but too late!)

-Jacob is amazing! He's read all of the Pearl of Great Price, and we met his mum this week. She was studying with the Jehovah's Witnesses but determined that their stance on blood transfusions is a bad idea, so gave up on it. We did our utmost to praise her son and help her realize the incredible changes he's been making to be a member of the Church. We've got a veritable army waiting for him--YSAs, bishopric, missionaries--when he gets back to school. Praying desperately that everything stays on the up and up.

-Lina is still solid, but we are going to need help from the Chinese elders. We've gotten to the point where she looks at us like we're aliens too much for comfort, so we'll see if Elders Chu and Huang can give us a hand :)

-We finally got to see the last session of conference, and I loved Elder Ballard's talk. The man gives such good stats every time he speaks. I'm bummed they can't speak about what they REALLY want to talk about because we're not there yet.

-1 baptism for Southampton and 3 baptisms for Hamble River (they totally got mugged by Chavs on Easter) so that means 5 baptisms for our little district in less than a fortnight. Whew! If their other family goes through on the 28th, it'll be like 9 or 10 total. Amazing! The Lord of the Harvest is hastening the work out here. Really fantastic kingdom-builders as well.

We've been discussing why the droves aren't joining like they did in the days of the Apostolic Mission, and I have a few factors: 1) There have been missionaries going over these areas for over 100 years, so caches of super-prepared hearts are difficult to come by, 2) the General Authorities say life is much more difficult now than it ever was for pioneers--what with all the distractions and family breakdowns and busy pace of the world, it's hard to sit and think, 3) the standards for missionaries as well as for those considering baptism have gone up several notches, and 4) We missionaries need to build our faith and learn how eternal life and salvation is NOT cheap and very hard to gain. I'm grateful to be the missionary who plants and the missionary who prunes and occasionally get to be the one holding the bucket while fruit falls from the sky. It's incredible work and the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I don't feel special out here or like my talents matter, but I do love feeling part of this well-oiled crew working for the Lord. It's such a blessing to see the fruits of so many hands.

I hope everything is well at home, and know that I'm thinking about you all! Keeping sharing the gospel in a natural, normal way and you will see miracles happen ;)

Love from,
Sister Willard

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