Aviline and her family are doing well! Their house had to be rewired by the council and they are having to redecorate it, so we went over and helped them strip some of the old wallpaper. Joseph and TJ's brother Junior came with us (because we couldn't go into the house without a fellowshipper), and after a few minutes of work he asked if we wanted some more people and rang up and invited his family and one of their friends to come down and help us out! So we ended up with quite a big work crew and we were able to complete a lot of good work. Latrecha and her little sister Stacey also went to the Stake Sports Day on Saturday morning and enjoyed it a lot.
Joseph and TJ are also doing really well, and the ward is really helping them out. It sounds like they may be moving away from Oldham soon to live with other relatives for a while, but we're hoping to keep the missionaries visiting them even if they do move.
We found a new investigator this week named Shepherd. He just arrived from Zimbabwe and he is looking for a church to join. Perfect! We taught him the Restoration and asked him how he felt after we shared the First Vision. He said his heart was beating very quickly but that he also felt relieved, and that he felt good. I love hearing people describe the Spirit, especially as they recognize it for the first time.
We're in Bolton today on exchange. We just came from a district activity where we played something called "towel hockey," where you tie a knot in the end of a towel and use it to whack a soccer ball around. It turned out to be a lot of fun - the kind of game that people of very different skill levels can all play and enjoy. It was pretty difficult to get the knot out of my towel by the end of it though.
I had a nice birthday. Thank you for all the cards and the package! I also received a nice card from the Bullocks. On my birthday itself, I went to Ashton on exchange with Elder Parry. We worked really hard and I had the best day of finding that I've had in a very long time. We had a very cool experience in the course of our work as well. As we walked down a certain road, I remembered a really promising potential investigator named Mark we'd stopped there on our last exchange two weeks before. Elder Parry told me nothing had happened with him, though - they hadn't been able to make his appointment and hadn't been able to contact him to reschedule. Later that night, as we walked back along the same road, I saw Mark coming towards us the other way! We stopped him again and he remembered us and set up another appointment. I felt really blessed. On the way home we got a donner kebab to split (Elder Parry had never had one before) and once we'd gotten back to the flat and planned for the following day I opened up the birthday package. Elder Parry took a video of me opening it up but I think it's too big to email to you. Thank you, though! I blew up the balloons (still need to get a picture of them) and Elder Eichelberger and I have been enjoying the Kool-Aid.
I had a good experience the other day reading 3 Nephi 27 with an investigator. We read verses 19 and 20 out loud very slowly, thinking about what all the different words meant. As I read the last part of verse 20, I thought about what it would actually feel like to stand spotless before God. It made me feel willing to do anything I have to in order to return and be with God again. It was an amazing feeling. I'm so grateful for how Jesus Christ's Atonement gives us the chance to actually experience that someday.
I love you all!