This week was all over the place! We went up to South Shields to join with the other nine sisters of the North to have a little pow-wow. Behold the light of the sisters of just HALF of our mission! They are powerful, spiritual, emissaries of the Lord in this area of England…that goes for the rest of the sisters in the whole mission. They are incredible. This was sort of my last official week as a Sister Training Leader. So mixed emotions there. We went on exchange with the sisters down in Harrogate and I spent most of my time with Sister Sorensen, who is in her first six weeks. It was a weird feeling being with someone who is just starting their mission as one who is almost ending theirs. I tried to give her some wise counsel and advice on some of the things she is facing in these early days. I remember well being in her place just thinking I would never make it! She is great, she will do great things. Plus, she promised to teach me how to fly fish when we are both home. I love making friends around the world…even if she is from my neck of the woods. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again…the friendships I have formed here on my mission are some of the greatest strength I have formed. They have given me the power to overcome things that I wouldn’t have without them. It was fun to spend some time in Harrogate. The ward there is overrun with Americans because of the base that is in the area. That means that we were treated to some A&W root beer and pre-thanksgiving dinner before we left. One of the Americans there is named Bill Pierce…funny enough, his wife is named Cheryl as well. His daughter, Lauren, was on Melissa’s drill team! What a small world! He treats the missionaries in the area (especially the sisters) like pure gold. Good man!
Well the time is dwindling like the bottom of a candle. My time will soon be out and I will be reunited with you all. What a bittersweet experience! I’ve never felt such a strange cocktail of emotions as I have being on a mission. It’s like my heart has grown double its size to encompass all the experiences and relationships I have formed. Maybe it hasn’t grown though…maybe it has just changed? I have to say I can feel that it has softened a lot. President Pilkington speaks much of this “condition of the heart” and his messages have seemed to infiltrate my core. He is a wise man. Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving! Sadly I think we will just be having the average British meal on Thursday. Save me some leftovers!!
This is my absolute favorite video that the Church has put out.I feel as though it encompasses what I myself have felt and experienced on my mission and witnessed in so many others. If you have a chance to actually study this story in the Bible, notice that the man who was healed first just says it was a man who gave him sight. But as the Pharisees question him further and further, he says he was a prophet, a man of God, and finally recognized him as his Lord. This is a process. That means the man, and none of us all in an instant have complete faith without a doubt in God and the things of God, but as we see instances of his miracles and love in our life we can come to know him personally. We met with a lady this week that has been away from the church for a while. A lot of darkness has encroached in her life, but we brought a ray of hope this week. As we sat and visited with her and spoke of God’s love for her personally, tears ran down her cheeks, and I could see what God sees in her and the love he truly does have for her. Life and Satan discourage us and dishearten us, but the Savior has overcome all, and he can help us overcome all as well. I know that to be true
A few doors have caught my eye in this area and so my thoughts have turned to the subject. The Savior said, “Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.” As missionaries we see a lot of doors, and often we see a lot of doors close in our face. I don’t say that with bitterness but just simply as fact. Simply because the Savior does not force himself into our lives, every single person on this earth has the power to choose to let Him in or not. He stands on the other side waiting for us to open. It is the same with us as missionaries. We try to adopt the way of the Savior. We try not to coerce, hassle, or push ourselves and our message into others lives. That is not His way and it cannot be our way. However the Lord is preparing people around the world to heed his message, and every once in a while when we knock they hear.
A hymn we focused on in a meeting this week was “The time is far spent” and particularly the last verse.
Be fixed in your purpose, for Satan will try you.
The weight of your calling he perfectly knows.
Your path may be thorny but Jesus is nigh you.
His arm is sufficient, tho demons oppose.
His arm is sufficient. I think I forget that sometimes as I try to rely on myself more than Him. We had a busy week in trying to get to know the area and the people in Bishop Auckland as well as Newton Aycliffe. Our area is huge! Just like the Darlington boundaries. Vicki and her family continue to flourish in the ward and the other members have really rallied around them. We have set a goal with them to read the Book of Mormon all the way through by the time their year anniversary of their baptism rolls around. This week will be much the same in continuing to become familiar with our surroundings, with maybe a few fireworks in between for Bonfire Night! Cheerio!