December 1, 2014
As usual I never remember what I did during the week and some how still end up writing long emails? Honestly this week was just full of tons of traveling and seeing people and traveling some more. I went home teaching with a really cool guy from our ward. He is just so strong in the gospel and knows his doctrine so well. He is just a whole other animal. The thing that I do like about England is that its a lot harder to be lukewarm in the gospel. Most the people are either super solid or just don't go to church or could careless. But it is frustrating cause more and more people are going to the latter of the two. Anyway home teaching was great and I can't wait to do it when I get home! I remember always complaining when I would have to go do an hour of fast offerings and home teaching once a month. I thought it was so hard haha. Those of you that haven't served missions enjoy just doing fast offerings and home teaching because when you go out to serve for two years you have a whole lot of knocking and teaching ahead of you.
We had quite a few dinner appointments this week which is unusual for the area I guess. But my favorite one was last night because for the first time in my entire mission a family had made their own family mission plan because they are just that awesome! I just wanted to cry and kiss them. So epic! Also had a good time talking about pranks the husband pulled on his mission when he was in a 4 man flat. One of them involved rapping suramwarp (I can't spell) around the toilet and then watching some go in and then yell because they got pee all over their feet haha! Another great meal was that we got Thanksgiving dinner from the ward this year! They just had a huge feast so tons of non members came and had a proper thanksgiving dinner. My favorite part were the candy yams and all the American missionaries were fighting over it. So good, but still not as good as my moms;)
We have what we call a seminar every Friday. Just where members, nonmembers, and less actives can come listen to the basics doctrines of the church and learn more and feel the Spirit. We had to teach it this week and did it on the Family. It was a ton of fun and the Spirit was so strong. I had to make the PowerPoint and the first picture I used was one of my Grandma's wedding from earlier this year and it had basically my whole family on my moms side besides about 10 people. I talked about how my Grandma lost her husband and both her parents in the same year and had kids from 10 years old to 6 months old to raise by herself. I said she decided to allow God to help her instead of turn against him and because of that decision I was sealed to all those amazing people in the picture. The greatest part was the Spirit was so strong and everyone was all teary eyed and it was just an epic way to start of the seminar. Families are just so amazing and I'm so grateful to be able to have the knowledge that I can live with them forever. And just as a side not to brag I used sports photos of my brothers in the PowerPoint so I could brag about how huge and good they are. Every time I said little brother everyone laughed at me.
I don't know if you all know, but the church is doing a big Christmas Initiative called "He is the Gift." They came out with a video similar to "Because of Him" and it is so powerful and will really help with remembering what Christmas is all about. Something my companion had said the other day that I thought was really cool and never had really thought about was how to get the Christmas Spirit. And that is to just give of yourself to others. Isn't that so true? Isn't that what Charity is? We all know that charity is the pure love of Christ. When I thought about this is put Christmas into perspective for me so much. We all talk about the Spirit of Christmas and love it so much at this time of the year. Yet if you just drop the last syllable you get the Spirit of Christ. We all want to have the Spirit in our lives more and all we need to do is give the best gift to our Heavenly Father that we can. And that is our Ourselves. I hope you all strive to do more for others then to expect things done for yourself. Something I will never forget is what my Bishop told me in an interview one time. He was talking to me about how when he got home from his mission he wasn't as happy as he used to be. Not that anything was wrong with life he just found that he wasn't as happy as when he was on his mission. He came to realize that it was because while on his mission he thought of others more then himself and now that he was home he was thinking more of himself more. I can agree with this. I have never been happier then when I get to share with someone for the first time that that they have a Heavenly Father that loves them so much that they are his son and daughter. And then to just watch the light go on in their eyes and to see them change and catch the fire of the gospel. I've never been happier when I just reach out to someone by listening to them and giving a helping hand. To end I would like to just quote President Packer. Its not an exact quote but close enough so bare with me. Hope it makes sense.
"We must share the gospel with everyone all the time, and on occasion use words to do it"
I love you all and have a great week!
My companion Elder Mackay and the Thanksgiving dinner!