Happy Birthday Mom! Yes I did remember, I even mentioned it to a few ward members and explained why so many people confuse your birthday with Feb 2nd. It would have been nice to have P-day on your birthday so I could send an email on your birthday but the day after is pretty close.
Every single week I talk about how much I love England, because every week I realize how much I love so many of the people here and being in this country. I know this is where the Lord needs me to be. Hearing about people from home getting their own mission calls and preparing to serve is a huge boost to my confidence and love for missionary work! I hope and pray that they will find joy and love for the area where they are serving just as I have been so blessed to find in England! I remember about a year ago when I started seriously thinking about where I was going to serve my mission and how close the time was to when I could actually serve and the expectations I had then vs. the way it is for me now. England never even crossed my mind as a place I could go or a place where I wanted to go, but I have felt a confirming witness many times since I received my call that this is where I need to be and I will always love the time I have spent and have yet to spend serving here. As with any mission or country there are differences in the people and the work in general (I know Europe has a certain reputation) but the Lord prepares the missionaries and the people to hear His word no matter where they are.
I don't know if it's just me or something that missionaries do in general but I felt a bit of a slump going into this week after Jasmine's baptism. It was such a spiritual experience and something we were working toward and looking forward to for so long that I wasn't even thinking about what we would do after the baptism. Elder Rife was sick on Tuesday so we stayed at home after going to a member's house for lunch. It was nice to take a nap and listen to talks but I understand why most missionaries never want to stay in the flat. It was so boring! The worst part is that even though I took a good nap and went to bed early I was still just as exhausted when we woke up the next day! I'm more tired as a missionary than I ever have been in my life! I used to only get 5-6 hours of sleep when I was working this summer and I am still twice as exhausted with almost twice the amount of sleep. But it's worth it.
We had a cool experience last Monday that was really rewarding for both of us. Last week we had a dinner appointment in the evening with a part-member less-active family. We were really excited because it was a good opportinity to strengthen the mother (the member) and try to leave an impression on her husband as well. When we came into their home we walked into a room with a little girl laying on her stomach on the couch watching netflix on her iPad with her nose about 3 inches from the screen. Her name is Anna and she has Down's Syndrome. She even had on a Frozen shirt on with Anna and Elsa on it! She was so sweet and reminded me so much of Caitlin! When it was time for us to leave she gave us both a hug and while we were talking to her parents on the way out she tried to sneak her iPad to bed without her parents looking! Ahhh I almost died! I was so happy to have met her and hopefully we can continue meeting with her family in the future.
Working with Bob has been a mixed bag. He has made great leaps of progress and had really spiritual experiences since I've been teaching him, but he goes weeks sometimes without making any progress. He is a really spiritual man, he knows that everything we teach him is true and he knows he needs to get baptized but there is always something keeping him from it. I said it before but I have felt very strongly that we need to focus on his wife as well. Whatever the reasons have been that he hasn't been baptised yet I think the biggest one is that he feels like she wouldn't be supportive of his decision. If we can start teaching Monica as well I know they will both be baptized. Her heart has been softened greatly since Bob started investigating and Elder Rife and I both feel like it's time to be bold and just go for it. Hopefully everything goes well so pray for us!
Jasmine has been in a rough spot recently so it would be good for you to pray for her as well. Everything will be okay but she does need some support.
The library we are emailing in doesn't let us upload pictures but I have a few that I haven't sent yet that I know you would like to see. Hopefully we will be going to the chapel with computers so I can send some but either way I will try!
Thank you for your emails every week! I try not to look forward to it too much during the week but I always love hearing from you. I love you all and grateful for all you do to help me and your interest in my mission! It's such a blessing to be on a mission and meet so many fantastic people!