It's so sad to hear about Elder Perry passing away on Saturday, it all happened so quickly after Conference. It is comforting to know that he spent so much time dedicated to the service of the Lord and that the Lord has a place and duty for him in the spirit world now. I have to admit that I never had any particular favorite talks given by him but I really enjoyed his talk in the last conference in April. I had forgotten that he set apart Grandpa Draney as a stake president as well. I will definitely be spending a little more of my extra time studying his talks and his life this week.
This week and past month really have flown by. Croydon is so different to any of the areas I have served in before but it felt like "home", as much as a missionary area can, quicker than any of the other areas I've served in before. Working with wonderful members and investigators makes missionary work such a blessing and makes it easy for the time to get away from you. Already due to a short 5 week transfer we have the chance to move to a new area next Wednesday. Elder Belnap has been here for close to 6 months so there is a good chance he will be moving. We will know by next week, but both of us hope we stay because we love the area and the people we are serving.
Jonathan is preparing to be baptized this coming Saturday! He has fully embraced the gospel over the past month and is ready to be baptized and start his new life as a member of Christ's restored church. As I mentioned before Jonathan is a very humble man with a heart of gold. He spends all of his time working to raise money to bring his girlfriend and young son over from Ghana to live with him in England and for the past 4 years hasn't done much but go to work and sleep. Learning about the Restoration and getting to know the members in the Selsdon Ward has helped him to be so much happier and feel God's love for him more everyday. He shines already and he has a deep conviction to follow Christ and continue learning about him all his life.
Yesterday we went with him and a member of the ward(also from Ghana,with a very similar story) to the Visitor's Center at the London Temple. There we were able to teach him more about temples and the blessings that come from the things we do inside. He wants to eventually be sealed to his family and live with them forever. There is a special spirit around the temple and is something that helped him know that this is God's path for him and all of His children. We are all looking forward to his baptism on Saturday!
During the week we also taught Allen, Sadie, and Allen's son Keeyan. We taught most of the Plan of Salvation and will finish teaching it next week but we were able to interact with them more and really grow as friends. It always makes our day to see them and they are so interested in our lives and what we do as missionaries but also us as people. On Saturday they took us out to eat at a Lebanese restaurant that Allen partly owns and we had some amazing food! All of the food was laid out on a big table and we ate little bits and peaces of everything until we were stuffed! They are such nice people and we are excited to keep teaching them more!
We had a lot of teaching appointments this week but also a lot of time to spend contacting. On Friday after we had lunch we were heading out to do some contacting when it started raining and hailing like crazy! The weather turned from nice and sunny to an absolute gale in less than 5 minutes. We got soaked to the bone and everyone was hiding under awnings and at bus stops while we were just about the only ones walking on the street when all of the sudden a bus went flying by straight through a huge puddle right next to us. Like a scene out of a movie a the water sprayed all over us and got us even more wet. Elder Belnap was walking on the side by the street so he took the worst of it but both of us still got drenched!
Editor's Note: Jacob tried to send some pictures, but they didn't come through successfully.