England London Mission

England London Mission

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Celebrations and "How have you changed on your mission?"

First all the holidays-  Halloween- 4th of July (5th on November here) - Christmas

What happens when you wait until Halloween to buy pumpkins....

We had a few appointments that day and we wanted to carve pumpkins, so we went after the last appointment to buy a little pumpkin… little did we know they were sold out… everywhere!!! So we didn’t carve pumpkins, but we got something better.   I got a pineapple and the other got a watermelon. It was sooo cool.  Probably the most memorable Halloween. Just cut the top off and ate away with a spoon.  Until it was empty at which point I cut into it. It was kind of a dull and boring face, but it was in a pineapple, so that makes it ever cooler!   We were able to go to the ward Trunk or Treat party, it was super fun. We used fake mustaches as our costumes.  Pretty cool though. 

Let’s just say, eating a whole pineapple was too much acid, it burned my tongue!

So looking forward to the 5th of November.   It like the 4th of July here in England.  It’s a huge celebration here.  Our flat is on the lake, and they launch fireworks off of the boat on the lake. So this week we are going to have an awesome time with that. Apparently like thousands of people come to watch it here every year!

Also got my birthday package (a little early) I put the packages in the my suitcase to open on my birthday, but I did put in the Christmas tree already! 

We had some great happenings this week.  Several appointments again this week.  One of our appointments was particularly great.  We had a lesson and watched some Mormon Messages about the spirit and then watch “Finding Faith in Christ.”  Afterwards we talked with the investigator- he talked about having a shiver down his spine, feeling like goosebumps, and having a good warm feeling as if someone threw a blanket on him.  He wondered if that was the spirit- we responded “yes.”  We had a few other lessons during the week and had more time finding this week as well.   Also have companion exchanges on one day.  We were able to do service for one member, another had to cancel as she was sick.  But service is good! Also able to attend the Birthday party of one of our investigators. 

And highlight of the week- two baptisms. It started a few minutes late, and everyone knows how I feel about that.  But it was still great, a very spiritual baptism.  A great experience.  Family members of both being baptized were there to show support.  Both of them have worked with multiple missionaries in the past, I am so grateful that I was able to be here when they finally decided it was time to be baptized. The one said she knew that Heavenly Father had it in his plan for me to come here and help her.  It was a wonderful experience being able to help them get ready for baptism! And to see how the gospel changes lives!

There is a red pin on my jacket that represents the poppy flower. Which is a special flower in England, it’s for remembrance Sunday. Kind of like our Veterans day, but it’s in remembrance of World War I and this is the 100th year Anniversary of it.

This week we had a great training and interviews with the President and Sister Jordan. We learned to not just focus on the numbers as numbers, or to use “I don’t focus on numbers” as an excuse to do nothing.  We should focus on Key Indicators in the sense that these “numbers” represent people and these indicators are what they need to go through in order to be baptized.  Not to say “ha, I got more than you”- but they are to track how our area is doing in what areas.  We need to think that we are baptizing missionaries.  If we think we are only here to plant seeds, then you will plant seeds, with no hope of harvesting them.  Which will be done in vain.  There will be times when we are having a hard time on our mission and we are planting those seeds, but if we don’t have hope to be able to harvest some seeds then we will never harvest any our whole mission! It was a really good one. Also about how one disobedient missionary can bring down the whole mission, and how one obedient mission can bring up the whole mission.  Sister Jordan talked about fearing no man.  She talked about how Peter had been converted more fully following Christ’s resurrection.  How he no longer feared man and became an effective tool in the Lord’s hands.  She talked about a missionary companionship that was struggling.  One obedient companion and one less obedient companion. The obedient companion said Elder I am going to baptize with or without you, so you can choose to do it with me, or have me drag you along.  It was a really good talk! Then during the talk, the spirit was really strong and Sister Jordan just started going around the room asking- What has changed you in your mission? How have you changed?  And she called on me. I just started tearing up before I even started to say anything.   I talked about how before my mission, I used things to bring me temporary happiness.  That I would use the things of the world to cover the problems I had in my life. But that when I came on my mission, I was being cleansed. In the sense that I was getting stripped of all worldly things and I had nowhere else to turn for peace except to turn to God.  At that point I began to feel the power that the gospel has for people.  And the power began to change my life, bringing me true happiness, and bringing me peace and comfort with things that have happened in my life.  That the things I was using for temporary fix were taken away and I began to find the permanent fix. The gospel of Jesus Christ and began to actually use it in my life. It was a really good meeting.

Studying this week a few things stuck out.

One was the two great commandments.  To Love God and the second to Love our Neighbors as ourselves.  That we need to keep this in priority.  Could you imagine if Nephi would have loved his neighbor more than he loved God. He would have not have killed Laban.  We must love God more than man!

And second- Why Can’t the Dead by Made Perfect without us?  Hebrews 11: 40
“The greatest responsibility in this world that God has laid upon us is to seek after our dead. The Apostle says, ‘They without us cannot be made perfect’; (Hebrews 11:40) for it is necessary that the sealing power should be in our hands to seal our children and our dead for the fullness of the dispensation of times—a dispensation to meet the promises made by Jesus Christ before the foundation of the world for the salvation of man.

“Now, I will speak of them. I will meet Paul half way. I say unto you, Paul, you cannot be perfect without us. It is necessary that those who are going before and those who come after us should have salvation in common with us; and thus hath God made it obligatory upon man.” (Smith, Teachings,p. 356.)

And the final thing, we must act. If we receive what we feel is a prompting, whether it be from ourselves or from the spirit, we will not know until we act. You have to act to find what the revelation is from.

That’s about all.  Thanks for the letters, emails and everything!

Love, Elder Stevenson

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