Our zone's (maybe the whole mission's?) focus this transfer is on bringing members with us to teaching appointments with investigators. Elder Smith and I have been working hard on doing that, and this past week some really good things happened. Last night we were teaching a very deep-thinking, intelligent man named Chris who's been coming to church for a while now and has a strong testimony of prayer from his past life experiences. We brought a couple of members with us, including Daniel, a member of the elder's quorum presidency who joined the church a few years ago when he was about twenty and is now preparing for a mission. The lesson was great - Daniel and Chris struck up a great rapport and (in part due to that) the Spirit was very strong. I think it was a good experience for everyone who participated and helped us and the members get excited about missionary work here. Daniel and the other member who came are both coming to teach Chris again next week.
Ian's doing great. His baptismal date is now the 29th, due to a conflict with a ward event. I'm pretty excited.
This morning the four of us Blackpool elders went to a college (kind of like the British equivalent to a high school - 16-18-year-old kids) and did presentations to two different religious studies classes. Teaching the Restoration in a classroom is very different from teaching it to a small group in a home, and we were all a bit intimidated about it I think, but it went really well. We played Telephone (known as "Chinese Whispers" here, in that culturally-sensitive European style) to illustrate the corruption of Christ's teachings during the Apostasy and showed the Restoration DVD to teach about Joseph Smith. I'm not sure the kids understood everything, but I think most of them took something significant from it. If nothing else, I think they got to know us a little bit and recognize that missionaries are human. The religious studies teacher was really nice to us and thanked us a lot for coming. He also told his students to pay attention because they would be discussing this later on in preparation for their exams. It was exciting to be sharing the gospel in a school and having students taking notes on what we were saying. A bunch of people took pamphlets and pass-along cards from us at the end.
Yesterday morning we went to the temple with our district, which was nice. I'm lucky to be in a mission with a temple and to be so close to it - Blackpool's about a 40-minute drive.
I think I sent you some pictures awhile ago of me in my big knee-length overcoat. It's keeping me nice and warm in windy Blackpool. The other night Elder Smith and I were waiting for a bus and started talking to a young man who was walking past the bus stop. He had to rush off somewhere, but I wanted to leave him a pass-along card, so I reached into my coat to get one. All of a sudden the man jumped back from me with his hands up in a defensive gesture. I guess it looked like I was about to pull a weapon out of my coat! Elder Smith has been teasing me about it since: "This is our bus - otherwise you could go pull a knife on those people too." : )
Happy birthday Ruth!