Now I can tell you a bit more about my companion Elder Cofone. Like I said he is from Trinidad and Tabago and a great Chef. He used to be a head Chef at a restaurant back home. Too bad we don't have much time to actually cook as missionaries. It has been somewhat of a strange experience to have Elder Cofone as a companion because of the age difference. Me being only 19 and he 24 with me being the Senior companion makes the whole situation feel a bit awkward to me. He is always looking to me for what to do and permission and I am thinking in my head. I should be turning to him. He knows a lot more about life than I do. Haha. Yet another experience that will help me grow.
Something I made clear from the very start of our companionship was that I was the senior but we were completely equal. Every idea, no matter who it comes from is equal and will be kept that way. I have seen too many people get too power hungry over leadership and they then prevent themselves from growing any more. I am very excited to be able to learn from Elder Cofone and find our more about him and his life experiences. With Elder Peterson, Elder Chan and Elder Boswell leaving our 4 man flat has gone down to a regular 2. The first time of my mission..... It is too quite only having 2 missionaries in a flat!!! At some times it drives me crazy. The hardest part is the lack of a Chinese speaking companion. With all of the Chinese leaving and no one to speak to at home I don't have very many opportunities at all to use the Chinese I have and also to improve. It just means more studying during the day. :)
Last Wednesday on transfers we had the wonderful opportunity to go to the Temple and then also Yesterday for P-day because it was Bank Holiday we were also allowed to go. The experience of the Temple twice in one week was splendid!! I am excited for the opportunity I will have to go to the temple more often when I get home. I know life gets busy and everyone makes goals to get to the temple often, but I hope that I will be able to find the time/make time to get there. How often are you and dad able to go to the temple?
Also I have been able to have some fun experiences going to the Driving Range with some of the other missionaries here in Preston. Driving Range as in Golf. The first time we went I was not too great, all the golf balls went way to the left. This last time I did a bit better. :) We will have to play sometime Dad, then you can teach me all of your golf skills from your long years of playing the sport. The best part of the mission is the people you are able to meet. This includes the people on the street, the investigators, members, and also the other missionaries. Relationships are one of the few things we can take out of this life and I have come to learn to treasure them much more as a missionary.
I have been very grateful for the opportunity our mission has had to do a 40 day fast in order to help our mission rise to a new level. I have seen many miracles in the mission but also specifically in our area of Preston. I have gained an even stronger testimony of how fasting and prayer need to go together in order for the other to actually work. With this fast I have seen my prayers take a greater effect in my missionary work understanding why prayers are so key. My testimony of sacrifice has grown stronger as well as I have seen many of our investigators progress because of the sacrifice they have put forth in their lives in order to gain faith in God.
Since the beginning of my mission I have been surrounded by many great missionaries who have taught me many specific skills in missionary work. I have been pondering on what it was that made them such strong missionaries. I have concluded that it essentially comes down to the basics. They are all missionaries who want to be sacred and realize what their role is and what they need to do in order to fill it. Then they work. Diligence is the most important aspect of missionary work in my eyes. If we are willing to give all we have to the Lord he can't do anything but bless us. As it says in preach my gospel. Work, work, work, there is no other substitute.
We have been meeting often with one of our investigators (Sun Wei Di) and it has been remarkable to see how he has progressed from the first time that we met him until now. He is still struggling with the concept of God and how he could possibly be there. Last night we taught him and essentially had a finding and solving concerns lesson. We asked question after question and it kept coming down to one thing. He was looking for specifics in everything. He wanted to know everything about everything. He is a very smart young man and wants to know if it is true, but when he can't find the answer to a question he fills that blank spot with doubt and feels that it just can't be true. We told him that it comes down to the basics. If the basics are true then the following concepts and principles will also be true. Teaching Sun Wei Di has taught me a wonderful lesson as well. When doubts come in it is because we are looking for all the answers, and we will not receive all the answers all the time.
Well my family I hope that everything is going well for you in your lives. I can't help but express how blessed I am to be a part of this family while knowing what we know. Eternity is a long time and I couldn't have picked a better group of people to spend it with. I am excited for all of the experiences we will be able to have together down the road of life while applying what I have learned and will continue to learn on my mission. As was always told to me. Do good, be good, and be good for something!!!
Have a great week,