May 9, 2012

We had sports day Yesterday. We have it once every six months or so, which means this was my last one. Despite the fact that I am quite sore today from all the running around, I am very grateful for the time that we sometimes have as missionaries to rest our minds from all the worries of missionary work and get together and enjoy each others company. I just want to say how much I admire President and Sister Preston for all that they do in order to help us as missionaries fulfill our calling. I think I have told you before, but I am pretty sure that President and Sister Preston do a lot more work and sleep a lot less than all of us other missionaries. The way I can show my gratitude for them and for you as my family as well is by going out and giving my all to the lord for this opportunity I have. Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

Something that we have started again as a Zone as our Weekly Focus this week, is to speak to the first person out of every door in order to get into and then keep the mentality of forever finding. Just two days ago we were able to see a miracle from this. We had just finished a lesson and we were walking out the gates of some student accomodations with a member when we said hello to a man standing outside the gates. Imediately he replied, "hello Elders." At which point Elder Cai and I looked at each other in surprise and continued the conversation. He is a student here at the University of Liverpool and went to church with his family a long time ago in Wales. He was very willing to invite us over to his house and speak with us despite the time he has spent away from the church. We have an appointment with him tonight and we look forward to speaking with him then. This whole experience came from us making sure to speak to the first person out of a door.

I believe that when we set goals to do something right, God gives us experiences that will help build our testimony in that principle so we will be stronger and more consistant in doing it in the future because we know it is true and it works. It makes me think of missionaries when they first come on their missions. They dont' know much but they do know it is right for them to be there, so God often blesses them for their faith right away and they see many miracles which will lead them to further the work with stronger faith. To me that suggests that the more often we lift our vision and strive for something more in our Goal setting, the more God will bless us because we are trying to do something that is right and he is blessing us so that we will continue to do those actions. It all starts with our desire to do what is right, then it turns into an amazing cirle of truth and growth.

This past week I have enjoyed my time with Elder Cai emmensely. He has such a strong desire to share the gospel and give everyone a chance while at the same time recognizing their agency and letting them excersize it. He will do all he can to help them hear the gospel in the best light and then leave the decision up to them. Essenstially you could say, putting the ball in their court. The time of year is coming again that students are preparing like made for their upcoming end of year test, reports and essays. This means that it is continuously getting more difficult to see people on a regular basis or set up appointments. It has been really interesting how my mission has gone on cycles depending on the time of year it is for students and their schooling. I can't say I fully appreciate this cylce, but it has given me a basic understanding of what will be happening in the future. Once again, I must say how much I love Liverpool, I guess it would be too much to ask to stay here until the end of my mission right? :)

To be honest, Kjanela asked a question about my companions, it is not easy having a companion 24/7. No matter how good your companion is you always end up finding something you don't agree on or get along about. Really there have been few companions on my mission that I did not have trouble with. Both Elder Moss and Elder Eggers were extremely easy to get along with, but all others have been a struggle at some point or another. Frankly it probably comes down to my own personality and inability to let things go and my hobby of debating. If you think about it, it is really strange, but you literally have to be within sight and sound of your companion all day every day except in restrooms or in the flat. That is a lot of time with one person. I probably spend more time in 6 weeks with one of my companions than mom and dad with each other in 4 or 5 months. Interesting thought right? It takes work, but boy does it prepare you for the future.

Kind of funny story. The other day we were teaching one of our investigators named Serena, (named after Serena Williams the tennis player). She is one of the most expressionless and emotionless people I have ever met. You say something funny and it is not until a few seconds later that she even cracks a smile let alone laughs. Then the other day she told us that she was a summer girl, meaning that everything shows on her face all the time and that she gets excited easily. I have no idea how she got the idea that she is like that. All I know is that Elder Cai and I now refer to her as the summer girl. We will be seeing her later today, so we will see if she shows more expression now. Also right now I am on exchange with Elder Stubbs from Australia and have found out that the most poisonous of pretty much everythign is in Australia. Fish, Snake, Spider, Frog, leaf, shoe. you name it and Australia has it, well, probably minus the shoe part. Then again you never know. Elder Stubbs is extremely intelligent and has a large vocabulary that he actually uses. It is great to be able to learn a plethora of principles from him.

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