Happy birthday Mom!
Hey, sorry I forgot to tell you it was transfers this week. I realized a couple of days ago that you were probably expecting an email on Monday. My apologies. Anyway, I have lots of news! Elder Rose has been transferred to Newcastle (my old area!) to serve with Elder Shull, and my new companion in Oldham is Elder Eichelberger, who has just come from Chester Zone where he was the zone leader for six months. He is from Temecula, California, which is 45 minutes north of San Diego.
The zone has also changed around quite a bit. Among other changes, Elder Adams has been sent to Liverpool zone to be a district leader there. Elder Webb and Elder Empey also went home this transfer – it’s sad to see them go. : ( But everyone has to go home eventually.
I’ve been up since 4:45 today because Elder Rose and I were helping to coordinate transfers and run errands around the mission, including driving* all the way to Liverpool and back to pick up a missionary who is being transferred off of the Isle of Man! It’s been a crazy day but also very fun.
* We got a car last Saturday! Our old one is still being fixed but there was an extra one at the office that we were able to start using again. It is making our lives much easier.
Elder Rose and I had some good experiences this past week and a half. Our investigators have been doing well, although there was a lot of opposition that came up on Sunday to keep them from coming to church. One of our investigators was detained by the police(!) all day on Sunday but was ultimately deemed innocent of any supposed crime and released. It’s amazing how things like that tend to happen right when investigators are progressing a lot. Fortunately this investigator has shrugged it off and is continuing to progress well.
By the way, don’t worry that I am overwhelmed by the amount of mail you send - I really appreciate all that you send to me. It always lifts my heart when I come home and there’s a letter in the mailbox for me to read. I enjoy hearing about what’s going on in everyone’s lives.
This week I have a couple of meaningful experiences to share about the Book of Mormon. One of them came when I was following up with a missionary I’d gone on exchange with. He and his companion had changed the way they worked right after the exchange, but by the end of the following week they’d slid back into their old ways. I heard they were struggling from their district leader and rang the missionary who I’d gone on exchange with to discuss how he could improve. He told me he was struggling to find the motivation to be a good finder. As I consedered how to help him, I thought about the power of the Book of Mormon to change us and asked him if he was planning to read from the Book of Mormon in his study th next day. He said, “Yes, how did you know that?” and explained that he hadn’t been reading the Book of Mormon much in the past week. He had recognized this himself and had planned to read the Book of Mormon in his study the next day. As I saw how the Spirit had guided both of us to his problem I was able to bear testimony about how the Book of Mormon helps us find the motivation to share the gospel.
The other experience came when I was reading the Book of Mormon myself. A couple of weeks ago I was driving the car and bumped into a lamppost. It didn’t cause any serious damage but I had my driving privileges taken away because it was a preventable accident. I was finding it very difficult that I wasn’t allowed to drive anymore during personal study one morning. I finished off my study by reading the Book of Mormon. I read Helaman 11 and was about to put the book down but I saw I had a few more minutes and read on. I read Helaman 12:1-4:
1 AND thus we can behold how false, and also the unsteadiness of the hearts of the children of men; yea, we can see that the Lord in his great infinite goodness doth bless and prosper those who put their trust in him.
2 Yea, and we may see at the very time when he doth prosper his people, yea, in the increase of their fields, their flocks and their herds, and in gold, and in silver, and in all manner of precious things of every kind and art; sparing their lives, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies; softening the hearts of their enemies that they should not declare wars against them; yea, and in fine, doing all things for the welfare and happiness of his people; yea, then is the time that they do harden their hearts, and do forget the Lord their God, and do trample under their feet the Holy One—yea, and this because of their ease, and their exceedingly great prosperity.
3 And thus we see that except the Lord doth chasten his people with many afflictions, yea, except he doth visit them with death and with terror, and with famine and with all manner of pestilence, they will not remember him.
As I read, I really felt like Mormon was speaking right to me. I recognized how when the Lord had blessed me with a car and with the opportunity to drive I’d begun to be prideful and take credit for those blessings and responsibilities. So my accident and its consequences were just the necessary steps that had to be taken to help me be humble again. It was amazing how the words came alive to me, and as I pondered them I felt my frustration and indignation disappearing. It was a witness to me of the Book of Mormon’s truth and power. I know that it is the word of God.
I love you all! Thanks for your support