May 23, 2011

Well I honestly must say that this week has been quite uneventful. There was one experience that I did want to mention though. Elder Cofone and I had the opportunity to teach an older Chinese woman about age 40 in Chorley on Thursday. First you must know that Chorley is in a completely different Zone than ours and we are only allowed because I can speak Chinese. :) It was a referral from the office. This chinese womans name is Lucy. We actually taught her on a bench in the courtyard of the Church of England. Slightly Ironic.
She was very excited and happy to learn more. She doesn't believe in God. Yet.... She really wants to better her English and meet new people that she can become friends with. Those will just be side effects of finding the true Church of Jesus Christ. :) We met with her again at the Temple on Saturday and showed her the restoration DVD. She LOVED it, she was going to go to church on Sunday and take her son as well. I don't know if she did yet though. We will teach her a few more times and see how she is doing from there and then pass her fully off to the Zone Leaders in Chorley.
One of the greatest things I have learned thus far on my mission is the Charity or Love that I feel towards the people of China. Through working with them I have come to experience even more of their culture and realized more of the way they grew up and why they believe what they believe. It is amazing to find that essentially they are all the same in that they just don't really know or even care if God is there. They were brought up knowing and expecting nothing from God. As my companions and I have been a part of the wonderful teaching adventure and the process of changing with these Chinese investigators, my love for them and their fellow country men has increased. I am ever so grateful for this unique opportunity to be teaching them about their Heavenly Father in the place of my family roots.
This week I have learned yet another valuable lesson in Mosiah about the Atonement of Jesus Christ. In the talk by David A. Bednar on the Character of Christ he emphasized the fact that Christ would not have been able to sacrifice himself for us unless he was who he was. Not him being the Son of God, but who he had made himself into by making specific and correct choices his whole life. As he emphasized the word ACT in ChACTer it led me to think of the culture of our mission here in The EMM. We have been taught correct and profound principles leading us up to making the choice of whether or not we want to BECOME something. If we truly want to come unto Christ, we need to develop the attributes he set for us to actually become like him. When we do so, we are telling him that we are willing to accept who he is and what that enabled him to do for us.
Over this last transfer I have been humbled again and again by my companion. Once again, not because of what he tells me or corrects me on, but simply by his own humble attitude. While learning more and more about his background I realize that I have been taking for granted what I have been taught in my youth and should be using here on my mission more. Elder Cofone has told me more than once how he wishes he had stayed in the church and from that been able to learn more about the Gospel to better help those that we come in contact with on the street. He has consistently taught me the principle of using our talents whatever they may be to help those we teach. Once again my faith in the Lord for putting us in the right place at the right time with the right people has been strengthened by this last transfer with Elder Cofone.
I love Mondays because I am able to learn how you have all been the last week and as well relive the wonderful experiences I have as a missionary through my letters home. "Kindness is the essence of Greatness". So go out and do something kind for someone else. That is my challenge and commitment to you!!
With Love,
Elder Fawcett

May 16, 2011

Like I said, this last week has been very busy. First off we had the Elder Alan F. Packer fireside as you know, then we had P-Day. The next day half of the mission got together and had a mission Conference with Elder Packer. (you received a picture of it right?) He talked a lot about recognizing the language of the spirit and how we need it desperately as missionaries to really fulfill our calling. Afterwords all of the Chinese missionaries got together and had a Chinese Meeting specifically to talk about effective Language Study, Finding, and Teaching. The meeting was very beneficial for myself because it helped me realize more of what my calling is. I am called to speak Chinese. Not halfway speak Chinese. I need to motivate myself to learn all I can to best help the Chinese people here. I am not fulfilling my full calling. I must say it is somewhat hard with an English speaking companion, but that is no excuse!!

On Friday we had a Chinese activity which I had the tedious task of organizing between four different cities. Lancaster, Liverpool, Preston and Manchester. We took all the Chinese investigators and recent converts along with the missionaries to the Mission Home to have an activity where they could all talk together and have fun to realize that there are many Chinese all over England who are learning about God and Jesus Christ. To help them realize that they are not alone in this process. I must say that it was a very big success and I was happy to be a part of it. President Bullock expressed his thanks once again for all of the Chinese speaking missionaries who are the pioneers of this work. The activity really helped our investigator Sun Wei Di feel the spirit and meet more Chinese Members.

Then of course we had the Baptism and Confirmation of Sun Wei Di. The best part of missionary work taking place. Being able to see the fruits of our labors come forth and see our brother and now friend enter into the waters of baptism. There is not a better sight to behold. One of the Recent Converts who was a big help in the teaching process baptized him which was a blessing in and of itself. Sun will be leaving back to China this week for the summer to be with his family. This for me is the hardest part of missionary service, saying goodbye to someone knowing they know all the essential and basic parts of the Gospel, but not being able to help them much longer beyond that. Especially with the Chinese students who are going back to a place not supported much by the church. I am looking forward to his return to England this Fall to see how he has progressed in the Gospel. Missionary work is great!!

This week in one of my personal studies I came across the line in PMG that said, "You cannot convert somebody beyond your own conversion." Over the week I have pondered that line many times and asked myself how converted am I to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Every time I make a mistake whether big or small, it shows that conversion in some part of the Gospel has not fully happened yet. I have learned more and more that as a missionary, my job is to know the Gospel as well as I can, and then be able to communicate and teach that Gospel to someone who has no idea what it is. If I have not truly learnt a principle then I cannot truly teach it with the spirit. In Mosiah Chapter 12 it talks about the importance of first understanding and then keeping a principle of the Gospel. We need to know what it is like living a principle in order to truly teach that principle.
I wanted to give another report on the status of the Chinese work in the Preston area. Over the past month many of the Chinese students have returned back home to China for the Summer and the ones I have talked to said they would be returning sometime at the end of August. Many of the Chinese we have been working with have already left and 3/4 of them will be back in the Fall. By the end of May all of the Chinese that we have worked with, Recent Converts, Formers, and Investigators included will be back in China for the summer. Elder Cofone and I are still taking some time to look for Chinese in the University area but we are starting to spread out into new areas while they are all going home. I must express my appreciation for the opportunity and responsibility I have to work with the Chinese people here in England.

This week has been splendid for both of us is what it seems.  Keep up the good work, and remember who you are and what we are all called to do. Be an example of the believers. I love you all!! Onward & Upward.

Elder Fawcett

May 9, 2011

These last couple days have been full of spiritually uplifting experiences for myself, my companion and a couple of our investigators. I have been able to learn much from those around me by paying attention to the way they deal with certain ordeals in their lives and experiences that they share with us as missionaries. Recently we were able to have yet another wonderful Zone Conference. The whole Zone Conference was uplifting and inspired me to BE a better missionary. I was pleased with the opportunity to take part in the PMG chase and realized it was not about studying like mad to cram for the chase, but it was the reading and preparation done long in advance that really made the difference. The Preach My Gospel Chase was like a scripture chase with 130 quotes throughout picked by President Bullock. I did pretty well.

This week I learned yet another of Elder Cofone's admirable traits. He is always happy to be a missionary and keeps his sights high by keeping his attitude up. We had an experience the other day when a car drove by us while we were walking along the road. The passengers yelled something out at us which I didn't understand and I turned to Elder Cofone and asked what they said. He replied, "Good Job." Surprised I asked if that was really the case, beaming from ear to ear he said, "Of course not Elder Fawcett, but that is what I heard." We then both had a good laugh about it. We have had more of those experiences since and I can't help but return to that memory and laugh. Elder Cofone is teaching me how to be a joyful missionary.

This week we have seen Sun Wei Di go through much progression. We have had multiple Member Present Lessons with him and he has grown to understand the importance of feeling the spirit when others speak and when he is praying himself. Yesterday after Elder Packer's fireside we were driving home and I asked him how he felt about the Fireside. (Elder Alan Packer from the first quorum of the 70) He said that he really felt good and comfortable with what the speakers were saying. Yet again, he was able to feel of the spirit. We then explained that that is often how the spirit works. We then asked about his upcoming baptism on Saturday and he said that he was a bit nervous but excited because he knows it is a big step that will change his life. He then added, for the good. Oh how I love being a missionary and seeing an investigator like Sun Wei Di progress from not knowing God to understanding what he needs to do to live with him again.

I wish you all a wonderful week full of great learning experiences and smiling faces. I love you all!! Doubt not, Fear not. D&C 6:33-37.

Elder Fawcett

May 3, 2011

Despite the craziness of the world today, the work here in our mission is going well. Here in Preston we have been blessed to meet and work with many wonderful people these last couple of weeks. The upcoming weeks for us will be hectic as well with President Bullock leaving and a new president coming in in June. There is alot to prepare for. Here are a couple of thoughts and experiences from this week.

This week in my Book of Mormon study I was reading in Mosiah chapter 2. There were two verses that really stuck out to me and I recieved revelation from. They were verses 36-37. These verses said that if at some point we went from knowing certain things to be true and then turned away from them and followed after other principles we would be turning ourselves away from the spirit. Often times people refer to the spirit withdrawing itself from us, but it is the exact opposite. We choose to turn our own life and self away from the spirit. Just like Jesus Christ, the spirit is always there to help us, but we have to be turned the right way in order to take the guidance or direction being given. It also says we become and enemy to God and all righteousness. Why is that? I believe a part of it has to do with the fact that we start to be a bad example for all around us and we are inviting others to follow us.

This week I have learned many new principles from Elder Cofone. I have found that Elder Cofone fits Mosiah 3:19 perfectly in that he is very submissive, humble, and patient. He has been a great strength and example to me of how we as missionaries should act in all situations. He never gets frustrated or mad when things do not go our way. Instead he looks at the bright side and is humble enough to realize that events played out a specific way for a specific reason. He is very willing to learn from everyone and then tries to apply that into his own missionary work. I am very grateful for this opportunity to serve with Elder Cofone. Did I tell you he is a head Chef back home. He cooks for the Zone Leaders and I get to benifit. :)

We have had multiple splendid lessons in a row with one of our investigatos Sun Wei Di. We had been teaching him often for a while and he still had a problem with finding and answer if God is there. In the turning point lesson the key was having a Recent Convert Member come with us and share his own personal experience and conversion to the Gospel. Sun finally realized that everyone recieves answers from God differently and that he had been looking too hard for something very specific. With that members help Sun has now accepted a Baptismal date of the 14 of May. We are excited and feel very blessed for this time we have to teach Sun and help him strengthen his Faith in Jesus Christ.

Did I enjoy the Royal Wedding? Funny that you would ask that. We were actually given permission to watch it. At first I was very confused as to why they would let us do such a thing. When we started watching it at a members house I began to understand. This was huge for England and its culture. Us Americans are so oblivious to what the rest of the world treasures and believe. (At least I am) The Wedding opened my eyes in many ways to what the culture is, why it is important and also about the church of England and how work. I recieve multiple spiritual insights into the church of Jesus Christ and how blessed we are to have the sealings of the temples restored to us today. I was able to go to the temple again yesterday. So blessed. :)

Well family, it was great to write you and fill you in a little bit on the experiences I am having as a missionary. Know that I love you and am constantly praying for you temporal and spiritual welfare. Continue on the path that you have been brought. Straight is the way!! Onward & Upward!!


Elder Fawcett