It sounds like you have all had a great week this last week and I was really glad to read all of your letters. I want to start off by letting Grandma Crossley know that I am really glad that she has cancelled the Halloween party this year so that I don't have to go without it. I just want her to know that everyone might be mad at her because she cancelled it, but I totally agree with her decision. I think that it is a great choice.
We have been having some nice weather again. We had a total of 10 days straight of just rain and the past couple of days have actually been quite nice. There have been some blue skies with very little clouds. It's still a little cool because it is fall over here, but at least it's not raining. The weird think though is over here all of the leaves don't fall off the trees until about January or February. Some of the leaves have fallen, but most of the trees are still pretty full with leaves. When you look outside it doesn't feel like fall, but the cool air definitely makes it feel like it. The coat that I have is actually really warm even though it seems light. There is a fleece lining in the inside and I have actually taken that out for now because I have been too warm. So the coat that I am wearing might not look too warm, but it is definitely warm.
I have really enjoyed the packages of Twinkies that you have sent me and the great reeses candy bars. When I picked those packages up I also received the two letters that you guys have sent. I have not opened them up yet though because they say I have to wait until my birthday so they have been sitting on my desk just waiting to be opened. Thank you guys for the great American cake and the letters even though I haven't opened them yet. I hope that you guys enjoy the cake that Grandma Crossley said she was going to make for my birthday.
Please tell Dennis thank you so much for all that he is doing. Tell him thanks for the birthday money that he had you put in my account. I will make sure that I go and get fish and chips with the money that he gave me for my birthday.
Lyndsey I figured you didn't know about chair football because I know you don't know a lot about soccer. Pretty much we go to the gym in the church house and we have a soccer ball. We each have a corner in the gym and we each have a chair that we have to protect. The same rules in soccer apply so you can't use your hand and you have to kick the ball and try to hit other people chairs. Once your chair gets hit 3 times then you are out and you have to sit on your chair. The last person up wins. It is actually quite fun and it is really competitive. Especially when we play with the other Elders.
Mom you asked if we have seen any miracles this last week and we definitely have. First of all we met up with I*** and he told us that he has officially given up smoking. He has been trying for quite some time and he has finally given it up. He has been working really hard and he has been doing really well with reading his scriptures and praying. I have really seen a difference in his life and I definitely know that the Lord has been helping him.
Another miracle that we had this last week was really cool. I haven't really told you much about our tracking experiences, but in England it is really hard to find people that want to learn. We always get doors slammed in our faces and we are always being rejected. I can't think of a single time that we have found anyone since I have been out other than this last week. We went tracking on a road that we both felt we should do. We followed the spirit and we didn't start off too hot. We had quite a few doors slammed and lots of people rejected us. But with the things that I have learned in sports is you just need to keep going no matter how hard it is. We eventually knocked on a door of an older lady whose husband just passed away about a week ago. It was very sad because when she told us she just started to cry. She invited us back and we will be meeting with her on my birthday and of course I felt prompted that we need to share the Plan of Salvation with her so we will definitely be doing that. We knocked on a few more doors after her and we kept getting rejected, but I didn't care at that point because 100 slammed doors are definitely worth one potential investigator.
We then went to another house that we both felt really good about knocking on. A younger mom had answered the door and she said right off the bat that she was going to go pick up her kids in 2 minutes and that we need to say whatever we wanted to say fast. We just took our time though and said the thinks that we felt we should say. Apparently the lady was converted to the Catholic church not too long ago, but she was actually interested in what we had to say. She listened to everything that we had to say and it was really funny because we ended up talking to her for almost 10 minutes. I definitely felt the spirit work through that experience and I know that both of those ladies that we met were definitely prepared for this time and this time only. Had we not gone tracking down that street at that time they probably wouldn't have heard the Gospel and I am really grateful that we decided to tract that street. Those experiences definitely strengthened my testimony of how the Lord is preparing people for us to teach at this time. It is definitely worth all of the rejections.
The bishop's wife came up to me in church yesterday and said that she has talked with you on Facebook a little. I am glad that you got to meet her on Facebook because they are an amazing family. They are very spiritual and they are just all around great people. She said that she was interested in Family History work and that she was going to talk with you about it. She asked if I could show her the pedigree chart that I have, but I didn't have it at the time so I will have to wait until I see her next time. They are such a great family and I am glad that you were able to meet them.
You asked about how big the ward is over here and I am sure you will be surprised like I was when I got over here. I was thinking it was going to be a really big ward, but I was shocked when I showed up on my first Sunday to see a really small ward. There are about 40 members that are at church every week and sometime there are a few more than that. It was definitely a shock going from a huge ward to such a small ward. They are a really good ward though and they are definitely really strong in the gospel. Most of the members are converts and it is kind of rare to find members who have been a member for all their lives. They are all really great people though and I enjoy talking with them every week at church and sometime during the week.
The thought that I want to share with you guys is probably one of my favorite quotes that I have found out here on the mission. It is from President Uchtdorfs talk about having no regrets.
He says: "Life is not a race, it is journey. Sometimes in life we become so focused on the finish line that we fail to find joy in the journey." I have really thought about this scripture a lot lately. I have heard a lot of missionaries out here that are just counting down the days until they go home. Some missionaries are always going so fast to get to some place. Ever since I read this quote I have slowed down what I have been doing and have started to enjoy the fact that I am in England serving the Lord for two years. I am blessed to have an opportunity to be in a different country, live the gospel for 24 hours a day 7 days a week and for 730 days. Really all I have to do is wake up do studies and then go out and teach the wonderful Gospel that I have grown up learning my whole life. Yes it is hard, but why would it be easy. We definitely learn more when we go through hard times and I have learned to face the fact that we are going to go through hard times and the best way to go through those hard times is with a smile on your face. I know that you guys are going through trials of your own back home because we all have them. That is just the way life is. But I know that if you go through those trials with a smile on your face and if you learn to find joy in the journey then life will be so much easier and you will enjoy life so much more.
I hope that you guys have a great week this next week and I hope you have fun in St. George for those of you that are there. Have fun enjoying the nice weather mom, but don't get too use to it because I want to be coming home in 2 years to Newton not St. George.
I am really going to enjoy my birthday in England because this will only happen twice in my whole life. Thanks for all your letters that you have sent me even though I haven't opened them yet. I know that I will really enjoy them anyways.
Have a great week and I love you all.