Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Wow!  We had an incredible week!!!  I told you our experience of meeting with a couple, the wife an inactive member and her husband is not a member.  So on Wednesday night we had our first experience of a solo discussion!  What an awesome thing!  We taught the Tillbrooks the Restoration lesson.  I put a lot of prayer and faith in the Lord that when I opened my mouth, He would tell me what to say.  What was miraculous, was I was able to quote the scriptures from memory.  It was a very humbling experience for me.  Both Brad and I were nervous, but as we got started, the spirit took over and Andrew and Gail were very kind to us.  They want to learn more.  We were trying to set up the next appointment and we were having difficulty trying to find a time good for all of us.  I told them we could send the young missionaries and they asked that we come back, not that they didn't like the young missionaries, but that they are more comfortable with the old ones!!!  Gail was born and raised in the church and bore testimony of the Book of Mormon and the truthfulness of the gospel.  As we meet with them further, I think she will open up to us to let us know what her issues are.  Andrew was born into the Church of England and really doesn't understand who God is.  He believes in being kind and loving, and in the Beatitudes, but finds that the miracles in the Bible are just stories. They are lovely people and are so very kind to us.  We are anxious to teach them and pray that they can feel the spirit.
We continue to teach Callum.  He is like a sponge and wants to know everything.  He is inquisitive and asks some very thought-proking questions.  When we asked him how he felt about the first vision, he said, it is so incredible, it just can't help but be true.  The spirit is working on him, I can tell, but he has a ways to go before the conversion is there.  We love this young man and feel such a bond with him.  He is also in our prayers every day.  This week we've invited a beautiful YSA to join us in our discussion with him to share her conversion story with him.  I think she can really touch his heart, not because she is lovely, but that her spirit is on fire!
I am finding as I meet these valiant spirits in the young adults, I am amazed at how many are the only members in their families.  They don't have a foundation of gospel strength from their homes or close associates, and yet they are so very strong and faithful.  We pray for them and hope we can be a source of support for them.
We had a zone conference this week and came away inspired and motivated to be better missionaries.  President and Sister Stevens are inspired leaders and so full of love.  And as we look at these wonderful young missionaries, we are amazed at their spiritual strength and the light in their countenances.  I wish I could describe the sense of comradery we feel with this England, London army of stripling warriors.
 Missionary work is very challenging here as the people are mostly Church of England and agnostic or apathethic toward organized religion.
And yet, on the other hand we meet the most Christlike committed people on the planet as well.  We visited with an older man yesterday who has been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. (not caused by smoking), Barry Palmer.  He is a long time member of the church and is so pure and full of faith.  As we visited with him in his living room, (he was in a bed there) he expressed his gratitude for the gospel and the blessing of the knowledge we have of the plan of salvation.  I am finding that the longer I am here, the more I feel the strength of my testimony growing.  Perhaps that's why they say that we are our own greatest convert on a mission!!!
We were able to meet with a wonderful director of the local homeless shelter here in Cambridge to find out about opportunities for service here.  We were inspired by her enthusiasm and genuine love for these sweet people.  We are looking forward to regular service starting in the new year with the shelter.
Brad and I teach the Temple Prep class each week in Sunday School.  We have some great people attending and we've had some wonderful spirit filled opportunities.  I called a sweet sister that has not been there for a couple of weeks, so I called her to find out if she is ok.  She told me that she was fine, just had family issues, but she doesn't feel she is ready for the temple.  I was worried that she was done with the church as well.  She said, no, I will still come to church.  I'm not ready to go to that level of commitment.  I had to respect her honesty and her feelings.  As we've thought about it, we thought how the temple has added so much to our lives in every way.  It hasn't been a source of more to do, but a source of strength and power in every aspect of our life which has only enriched our existence.  Somehow, we need to convey that message to these wonderful members!
     We went to Boots to get a jab!  Now, to all you Americans, try to figure out what that means?  Try to figure out the riddle, and I'll tell you next week what it means!!!!!
We cherish you all!  I've been doing ok to be away from my little ones, but this week, Becca sent us a picture of our 3 youngest stripling warriors and I cried!  My heart ached to love and hold them!  Please hug them tons every day and thank Heavenly Father for all your precious little ones, even on the hard days!  We love you and know we are doing the Lord's work here!  I feel my life is changing in good ways.  I feel such love for my Savior and His gospel.  I love your Dad more and more every day.  He reminds me more and more of his dad!!!!  I love that!  He constantly makes me smile!  Oh, by the way, I drove for the first time this week and I'm still alive to tell you about it!!!  It will take some getting used to!
Love you all,
Dad and Mom
Grandma and Papa
Our walks along the Cam River watching the rowing teams practising

People dock their "houseboats" along the Cam.  Some even live in them I guess all year around

Our favorite swans on the Cam
Our three little stripling warriors, Asher Brown (7 months), Grayden Miles, (3 weeks) Charlie Jackman (4 months)

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