January 24, 2010

Yes Dad it is true, with 1 hour of computer time in the library sometimes it is hard to find enough time to write to the family after writing to the President and then reading the emails that I have received from the previous week. I also realized last week that I am filling some of my emails with information that is not necessarily useful, worthwhile, or informative. So, I have recommited to sending out better uplifting emails for the family to read. Also feel free to let me know what you want to know specifically or don't want to know at all and then I will write accordingly.
Lets see, the two investigators that we are teaching at the moment are a young man named Luke and a Chinese student named Angela. Luke we have taught twice and he has come to church. With him it is a bit hard because he is young at 18 and somewhat immature. He is very intellectual but doesn't always know what to do with that intellect. He had some good comments in church and seemed apt to learn, the only problem is he doesn't know how much he wants to know if there is a God. Our focus is to help him understand why a knowledge of Gods existence would be beneficial for him in his life.
Angela is a Chinese student who is very bright, has great English, wants to know more but is super busy with school and exams at the moment. We taught her once and she had many great questions and was very interested. We then ran into her on the street two days in a row and were able to find out that she had been reading a little and praying to know. She said that she felt great when she prayed, calm, happy and confident for her tests. She said that she thinks it helped her on her exams. I know it did. She is somewhat of a flirt which you really have to watch out for because we don't want to become the wrong kind of friends to investigators. Overall, after this week is over we should be able to teach more chinese students. Yeah!!!
Why do we get dropped? Whew, great question. Depends on a number of variables why certain investigators drop us. The week that we had double digit new investigators they were almost all college age students. The reason they drop us is becuase of fear of change and lack of commitment and true lack of a broad vision of what this could mean for them. Also they are not willing to take the time to actually see if it IS true. They key in conversion is the BOM and of they are not willing to read the BOM themselves they are certainly not going to find out that it is true, and if they never do that, we as a church are not much different than any other.
Loss of contact is another factor in losing investigators. After you teach them the first time, you really really really need to teach them no later than 2 days later. To do so will mean too much time for the adversary to distract them from the real importance of our message. Rarely do we see a person again if they set up an appointment for the next week at the same time. Constant contact is what brings the people the spirit everyday. Also people are just too "busy". If I had a dollar every time someone told me they were to busy I would be very rich. :)
The saddest thing is that people do not know God and could care less if he WAS there. Everyone is about me me me. They say they want to be happy and they do what THEY think is right to make them happy. Some people are happy without God, but that is because they don't know what more happiness they could have. I don't blame any of them, this world has been raised up to have no belief in God. Why should they listen to people who do. Sometimes I wonder if I would have accepted God if I was not born a member of this church. Fortunatley I was and do know that God lives and loves us. Now to find out how to let other people find out for themselves that he is there....
Have a great week my wonderful Family!!
Elder Fawcett

January 17, 2010

First off, I am sorry something so boring as my weekly letters is the highlight of the week! I feel bad because most of my weekly letters are completely the same now. Went out finding, taught lessons, found new investigators and wallah! There is the week!! :) Haha, I hope that they don't seem like that to you, but just in case I will try to think of more unique or specific items to talk about.
Well for this week.... There is not much new that has happened, but I will try to make it slightly interesting for your sakes. :) Tuesday we had a District Meeting with the focus being on planning. It was a perfect focus for me because our daily and weekly planning has been a little less than good. Our main problem has been planning with exactness and with one purpose in mind. Also one of my three goals for this upcoming year is better specific planning. Once I get down all the specifics about how I will go about completing it and my other goals I will let you know.
On our way to that District Meeting we were a bit late (again) so we were running and Elder Jin hit and edge and twisted his ankle. So we ended up carrying him the rest of the way to the meeting and back home. So we ended up having to stay in that day. I took advantage of that time to study some much needed Chinese. We got him crutches and we were back at it the next day. A bit slower than usual, but back at it nonetheless.
I than had the opportunity to go on another exchange, but this time with Elder Sanders (Elder Moses our DL companion). He came out the same time as me and it was nice to work with him and to help each other out with our goals and improvements. We were up in Crosby and boy did we talk to some crazy people or what. Twice Elder Sanders almost got hit before we booked it out of there and then half the time people were yelling at us. It was a lot of fun. :) It is really interesting to see how people react to you talking about God. It seems to be a subject most people get REALLY uncomfortable with and that results in anger. They figure what does a 19 year old punk in a suit trying to help them out think he is doing. I think I will just yell and swear at him until he goes away.
Unfortunately because of my slightly sarcastic attitude and frustration I say things that I probably shouldn't say. For example: Hello ma'm, we are sharing a message about how God has a pla... Swearing mingled with yelling.... Well ma'm I am only worried about you and your families salvation. Escalated swearing and yelling. Then I leave. :) Then the man next to us had heard us and I try to talk to him and he says leave me alone in a less nicer way and I said, "are you going to yell at me as well." The answer was yes. This world is full of very old babies. :)
I know I need to control myself, but sometimes it is so hard. :) This week was hard at first. We were dropped by all 11 of our new investigators from last week. Then we were blessed because of diligent efforts with 6 new investigators, 3 of which are super solid. I testify that God helps those most who work hard and help themselves while calling on his name.
The other thing this week I really learned was the importance of attitude once more. Lately it has been hard with Chinese and the lack of speaking thereof and I was having a bad attitude towards it and that was effecting my missionary work as well as my companions. I was then chastened because of the love my companion Elder Eliason has for me, and now I know and understand now more than ever the impact attitude has on your life. Now I have recommitted to working hard, and working hard with a good attitude.
I hope everything is going well for all of you and that everyone is having a great week.
I love you all, keep the faith!!
Elder Fawcett

January 10, 2011

This week HAS been a splendid and spiritual week, along with one of the best of my mission. There was nothing super spectacular, just a combination of events, experiences and feelings of the spirit that made it great.
As I already told you I was sad to see my trainer "dad" Elder Smart leave Liverpool and me and Elder Jin behind. It was sad, but it allowed us all to gain new experiences to help us learn and grow. We were able to show him around the city and introduce him to the ward members which helped me take a bit more responsibility and learn to trust myself.
Elder Eliason and I get along well, then again I think elder Eliason gets along with everyone. But he is helping me to become more bold and to sharpen my teaching skills. He is also a very good mediator between me and Elder Jin, something that i need to work on, because like you said dad, you tend to lean towards the people you get along with and that just creates stress and problems between the other. So thank you for pointing that out as well.
This week we were super blessed to find many many new investigators and we had many appointments. So it was hectic, missing a few dinners here and there, and we were completely tired (shattered in British) at the end of the night and mornings. But truly it feels so good to know you are doing your best to serve the lord and help others in any way possible.
I was able to go on companion exchanges for two days with my District Leader and I learned a lot from him in regards to keeping your head up and just doing your best. He is a great District Leader and I feel so grateful to be surrounded by missionaries really striving to be sacred. That is something that I really love about my mission here, the EMM is one of the most obedient missions there is which is largely in part to President Bullock. I don't mean to brag, but I truly think this mission is special and I feel it is because of President Bullock and the vision he has that most of the missionaries have caught. This mission is helping change my life now and forever.
We had a Zone conference that outlined the goals and the mission plan for the upcoming year and I am excited to be a part of it. Thank you parents and family for helping me become what i was before my mission to prepare me for my learning. I am constantly told I am ahead of the game as a missionary only in my 2nd transfer and I know that is because of the way I was brought up to love the gospel and to work hard.
Sorry to cut the letter short and not explain too much that happened this week, but time is short. Just know that I love and appreciate every one of you and that each of you need to have a good week for me ok? Ok. By the way dad, I have borrowed your quote "Life is good because the gospel is true" for my mission standard. So thank you for that!
Love you all,
Elder Fawcett

January 4, 2011

Well everything is going well here in Liverpool. We had a great New Years Eve and Day. Wow that seems so far away. On New Years Eve we stayed in our flat and wrote letters and just relaxed and boy was that relaxation needed. On New Years Day we went to the Church at 11:00 am and stayed there most of the day. We were blessed with the opportunity to attend a baptism of yet another Chinese Student. Her name is Fiona and she is the most energetic Chinese person I have ever seen!! The baptism was wonderful and full of the spirit. Two recent converts gave talks on the importance of baptism and it was so touching to see the strength of their testimonies in inviting another member into the church.
The rest of the day we played basketball in the Gym, Football afterwords and then of course we ate. That night we relaxed as well knowing it would be the last time in a long time. Missionary work is hard, fun, but most of all it is tiring. You get in bed, fall asleep and the next thing you know it is 6:30 and time to get up. The same thing happens every night and I don’t understand how. I am sure I will get more and more used to it as time goes on. Sometimes the hardest part is Sacrament meeting, sitting down for three hours in a nice heated building. I have to keep reminding myself of what Dad says about maintaining the trust of the members and not looking like a bum.

I really don’t know what to say now, it has only been half a week and one and a half of those days were not much. Let me think of some interesting things that have happened recently. Oh yes! Funny story #1: We were at a members home for Christmas and we were introducing ourselves and Elder Jin was saying he was from China. A 16 or so year old boy asked what part and Elder Jin told him. The boy then replied, “hmm, I don’t know where that is, the only city in China that I know is Tokyo, how far away is it from there?” Haha, one of the funniest things I have ever heard. J

Also the other day we were returning to our flat and we were about to open our outside door but a lady opened it up from the inside looked at us with a puzzled expression on her face. So we tried to walk in but she held up her hand and said, "no want". So we tried to explain to her that we lived there but she didn't speak any English. So we stood there for a couple of minutes explaining we were residents there. We ended up pointing to the top floor and then back to us saying we LIVE here. Basically we almost had our own door shut in our faces while on a mission. Fun times.
Everything is going well here, we have been having a hard time finding new people to teach because all the Chinese went back to China for the long break and everyone else didn't want to schedule something during the break. But last night we were able to find 4 new investigators which meant we met the standard on the first night of the new week. I am looking forward to doubling that number hopefully. All I know is God blesses those who try their bests.
Elder Eliason is a great missionary and I am learning every day. I have good relationship with him now and I hope to strenghten it. Unfortunately me and Elder Jin are not getting along at all which mostly stems from the not speaking Chinese. This is seriously one of the most frustrating situations of my life. My Chinese has gotten worse since I have gotten here in England. One Chinese Recent Convert looked at me puzzled and said, "why has your Chinese gotten worse?" Those blunt words hit me hard and I didn't have a very good response to his question.
Truthfully the reason is I have no constant use of Chinese and we have not taught a Chinese lesson in a while except two last night. I knew my Chinese was worse but I didn't know how bad it was until last night. I truly don't know what to do, I feel like I am not fulfilling my calling but I don't know how to change anything with the situation as it is. If there is any advice you could think of giving me that would be great. :)
I hope everyone is having a great week, I know I will because I am on the Lords errand and I know he will bless me as long as I let him. Also this week we have a Zone Conference that will lay out the new goals and expectations for the new year. I am very excited to find out what we will be striving for as a mission. I love you all and good luck with starting the new year!!
Elder Fawcett