Dear Mum and family,
Thank you for all of your wonderful letters this week. I really enjoyed them all.
I had a great birthday this past week. Thank you for the video of you all singing happy birthday to me. I really enjoyed it. I will be honest the morning of my birthday I had forgotten that it was my birthday and I didn't remember until about the afternoon. Haha the other missionaries found out it was my birthday and we went out to an all you can eat Chinese place called the real China. It was really good and one of the missionaries said he would buy for me because it was my birthday which was really nice of him. I really didn't do anything else fun until later that night when we had a ward coordination meeting at a member’s house. Somehow a couple of members had found out that it was my birthday and the family that we went to that night was one of them. We had a great dinner with them and a wonderful meeting. They had a cake and they sang happy birthday to me. They gave me a card and a box of Lindor chocolates. Mums favorite and I don't have to share with her. Haha. That was really all I did on my birthday other than the regular missionary work which was great to do on my birthday.
We have found this Chinese person named J***** ( that's his English name) and he is such a solid investigator. When we found him he said that he has always wanted to learn more about Jesus Christ and when we told him that is exactly what we do he was way excited to meet with us. We have taught him a couple of lessons already and he loves them. He came to church yesterday and he said that it was amazing. He has a friend that he said he is going to try and get to church next week. We will be seeing him again this week which I am really excited for. I have picked up a couple of Chinese words from him which is really fun to learn. He is a way cool guy and is studying at the Uni here and his English is pretty good.
Other than all of that there hasn't been a whole lot more going on other then regular missionary work like finding haha. I always talk about that because this is a finding mission. You really grow to love something when you do it almost 24/7. We have found and talked to some great people its just we haven't found enough solid people that want to meet again another time. I am really enjoying it here in Leicester though. Lots of great people here and it seems like the area is a lot more energized probably because it is a university area and there are a lot more younger people than older people. My past areas where the opposite. So it has taken time to get use to it but I am loving it. I am always so tired though. Missionary work drains you every piece of energy that you have. I guess it must mean that I am doing something right if I am exhausted at the end of the day.
Well I don't really have much more to say so I will leave you whith a spiritual thought.
Following the promptings of the Spirit
Once while President Monson was on assignment in Louisiana, a stake president asked him if he would have time to visit a 10-year-old girl named Christal, who was in the final stages of cancer. Christal’s family had been praying that President Monson would come. But their home was far away, and the schedule was so tight that there wasn’t time. So instead, President Monson asked that those who offered prayers during the stake conference include Christal in their prayers. Surely the Lord and the family would understand.
During the Saturday session of the conference, as President Monson stood to speak, the Spirit whispered, “Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God.”
“His notes became a blur. He attempted to pursue the theme of the meeting as outlined, but the name and image of [the little girl] would not leave his mind.”
He listened to the Spirit and rearranged his schedule. Early the next morning, President Monson left the ninety and nine and traveled many miles to be at the bedside of the one.
Once there, he “gazed down upon a child too ill to rise, too weak to speak. Her illness had now rendered her sightless. Deeply touched by the scene and the Spirit of the Lord … , Brother Monson … took the child’s frail hand in his own. ‘Christal,’ he whispered, ‘I am here.’
“With great effort she whispered back, ‘Brother Monson, I just knew you would come.’”
There are many times in our own lives where we are prompted by the Spirit to help someone whether we recognize the prompting or not. Most of the time God uses us as His disciples to help others. After baptism we are given that special gift of the Holy Ghost, we just need to remain worthy enough for it to be with us at all times.
President Monson shows the perfect example of following the Spirit. I have read many other stories of him leaving meetings because the Spirit was prompting him so strongly. We need to follow his example so that we can bless others.
Also I would like to share with you a experience my companion and I had yesterday….
27 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased because Christ hath ascended into heaven, and hath sat down on the right hand of God, to claim of the Father his rights of mercy which he hath upon the children of men?
28 For he hath answered the ends of the law, and he claimeth all those who have faith in him; and they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing; wherefore he advocateth the cause of the children of men; and he dwelleth eternally in the heavens.
29And because he hath done this, my beloved brethren, have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.
I would like to share with you an amazing experience that happened to me yesterday that has made this scripture more meaningful to me and has strengthen my testimony of the gospel.
Last night at about 5:30 we get a call during a lesson that comes up as a private number so we can't tell who it is to call them back. And the phone only rang once so we wouldn't have had time to answer it anyway if we hadn't been in a lesson. We didn't think much about it because we usually get those type of calls. We continue on our night stopping by Less Actives and Former investigators. It gets to be about 6:50 and we start heading back towards the flat because we need to be in for nightly calls. On Sunday where the District accounts to me about there last week and then I account to the Zone Leaders about our week along with the Districts. We are on foot so that's why we started heading back so soon.
It's about 7:10 and the phone starts ringing and it's the private number again. A lady named M*** is on the other side and she is talking to Elder Stokes. She said that she was not feeling so well and she would love a blessing. So we literally ran to her flat which was about a 10 minute run and because we wanted to save as much time as possible so we could make it back in on time. We get to her flat and apparently she had also called the Sisters because they arrived the same time as we had. We knock on her door and she didn't answer for close to 5 minutes and we were getting kind of worried. She finally answers the door and let's us in and she slowly walks back to her bed and lays back down and explains how she was feeling. She said that she tried calling us earlier but it only rang once and then she didn't have the strength to dial the phone so she dropped it. That explained the call that we received at about 5:30 p.m. She said that after church her head started to have the worst pain she had ever felt. She described it as her head felt like it was splitting in half. She also had horrible pain rushing down her legs which made it really hard for her to walk. She said she had not felt this type of pain before. She asked the Sisters if they would make her some food because she hadn't eaten since lunch and then she asked us if we would give her a blessing.
She didn't care who did what for the blessing so Elder Stokes said that he would do the anointing and I could do the blessing. So we did the blessing and to be totally honest I don't really remember the words that I had said during that blessing. I know that the Spirit was working through me. I know I said some tipping along the lines of she will heal quickly and regain her strength, but that is really all I could remember. After the blessing we sat there quietly because the spirit was so strong. It felt like quite a while that we were in silence but it wasn't that long before she said something. She said that once we had started to give the blessing she felt this cold rush go from the top of her legs all the way to her toes. As it moved through her legs the pain in her legs became less and less painful until she didn't have much more pain. Elder Stokes and I helped her get comfortable in bed and before we could leave the room she was sound asleep like a little baby.
After we had left I started to think of that miraculous experience we had just witnessed. As I was thinking of it a line from my patriarchal blessing came into my mind. It says that I will have the gift of healing, and those that I lay hands upon can be healed from their illnesses and the problems of the flesh. This line has stuck out to me many times as I have read my blessing over and over again throughout my mission. After that experience I have gained a better testimony of a couple of things. One to be the power of the priesthood and that miracles do not cease to happen. I know that we are instruments in the hands of God and that he is always blessing His children through each of us. Just like Ammon I do not boast of my own strength because I know that I am weak and it is through the power of God that she was healed.
The second thing that I have gained a stronger testimony on is the power of a patriarchal blessing. Like I said before I didn't know why that line had stuck out to me many times. Because it had stuck out to me I had taken a lot of time to ponder it more and now that I had that experience that line meant so much more to me. I know that God is omniscience, or in other words all knowing. He knows what is in store for our lives and how He is going to use us to do His work.
Just like the scripture in Moroni, I know that miracles do not cease to happen today. I know that through the Priesthood power of God that many miracles happen each day and I was blessed to have witnessed one of those many that happen. I am grateful for that experience and how it has strengthened my testimony of this Gospel. I know that it is the Lords church and he is our eternal head. He knows what he is doing we just need to trust in Him and move forward with faith.
Thank you for letting me share this special experience with you all. Have a great week!!
PS I put some pictures in drop box. Some horses we saw today on our long bike ride to get s parcel for elder stokes, a box of chocolates that I got for my birthday from a member, our flat had a crazy fly problem a couple of weeks ago and we caught like 200 and something flies plus all the other ones that we didn't count but killed, I learned to do the rubics cube in my second area when I was with Elder Shaw I just kept forgetting to tell you so I thought I would take a picture. I hope you like them all. I liked the pictures from the reunion