This week has been good, and I apologise in advance that this letter is a bit all over the place... but let's just get right into it!
This week we had another appointment with our investigator named Raymond, the young-looking grandpa, and let me tell ya, this guy is soooooo hilarious. I think we were laughing for about half of the lesson. At one point he asked us what our full time job was, and when we told him that this is what we do for 18 months, his eyes got about as big as the moon. He was SO taken back by the fact that we do this full time and even more amazed by the fact that we pay for it. But we have had really cool experiences with him. He told us that after reading the introduction of the Book of Mormon, he felt he needed to read it. He has a strong desire to know if it is true. We are so excited to continue to teach him how the gospel can bless his life.
I think this picture proves that missionaries might just be the most unphotogenic group of people on this planet hahaha.
On Friday this week my companion got sick, so it was my first day being stuck in the flat all. day. long. And since I was NOT feeling sick, I didn't feel like I could sit back and relax, so I cleaned. And cleaned some more. Listened to tons of conference talks. Updated our area book. Studied the scriptures. And by the end of the day I truly think I was more exhausted than on a normal day in the field. But hey, our flat looked dang good haha!
On Saturday night we gained an hour of sleep which was sooooooo nice. But the not so nice part is that Sunday night Sister Mekonnen and I literally thought it was like 8:30pm and we looked at the time and it was only 5:15, and we were both like WHAT?! And it was so SO cold. Let me tell ya, England cold is wayyyyyyy different than Colorado/Utah cold. It's humid and wet and just plain coldddddd. And it's not even winter yet hahaha. Poor Sister Mekonnen is not used to any sort of cold weather. She came out on the mission in March, so she just hit the end of last winter, but the cold literally makes her bones hurt. It's all ok when we bundle up nice and warm, though. I will just be practically living off of hot chocolate for the next 6 months.
Something I am not a fan of is whatever their garbage (or should I say rubbish) system is here. It is just not good at alllll. Pretty much you just throw your bags out whenever they're full, and then they just sit in the open until workers come by and throw them into the dumpster truck. By garbage day the streets are disgusting. Seriously, there is just tons of stuff throughout the streets and along the sidewalks, and I pretty much just feel like I'm being contaminated by breathing in the air. And people drop a ton of stuff, so there's always nasty food spilled everywhere. Good thing we have the lovely pigeons to clean that all up (can you sense the sarcasm there?). That is my random rant about garbage. Moving on.
On Sunday night we got to go to bishop's house for dinner, and like I've mentioned many times before, the food is soooooooo good there. We had a whole crowd from the ward over with us. We sang happy birthday to the bishop, and to give you an idea of the diversity, we sang it in SEVEN languages: English (woohoo! I'm so cultured haha), Portuguese, Italian, Bulgarian, Chinese, Spanish, and Amharic (go Sista Mekonnen). It took a good chunk of time, but it was still so cool!
How do you get kids to love you? Let them play with photo booth haha.
This week I read an AMAZING talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland called The Grandeur of God. Elder Holland was recounting scriptures that give us an idea of God's love for each of his children. Beginning by recounting Enoch, he said,
"There, in the midst of a grand vision of humankind which heaven opened to his view, Enoch, observing both the blessings and challenges of mortality, turns his gaze toward the Father and is stunned to see Him weeping. He says in wonder and amazement to this most powerful Being in the universe, 'How is it that thou canst weep? ...Thou are just [and] merciful and kind forever; ...Peace...is the habitation of thy throne; and mercy shall go before thy face and have no end; how is it thou canst weep?'"
"Looking out on the events of almost any day, God replies: 'Behold these thy brethren; they are the workmanship of mine own hands. ...I gave unto them...[a] commandment, that they should love one another, and that they should choose me, their Father; but behold, they are without affection, and they hate their own blood. ...Wherefore should not the heavens weep, seeing these shall suffer?'"
"That single, riveting scene does more to teach the true nature of God than any theological treatise could ever convey. It also helps us understand much more emphatically that vivid moment in the Book of Mormon allegory of the olive tree, when after digging and dunging, watering and weeding, trimming, pruning, transplanting, and grafting, the great Lord of the vineyard throws down his spade and his pruning shears and weeps, crying out to any who would listen, 'What could I have done more for my vineyard?'"
"What an indelible image of God's engagement in our lives! What anguish in a parent when His children do not choose Him nor 'the gospel of God' He sent! How easy to love someone who so singularly loves us!"
This talk is seriously so. good. I suggest that everyone take 15 minutes to read it! God truly does weep for us when we suffer, and rejoices with us when we do what is right. He wants us to make those decisions that will bring us eternal happiness.
I love you all! I hope your upcoming week is magnificent!