Hello my friends and family!
This week was easily the craziest of my mission thus far. There weren't really any regular days where went through the normal schedule apart. As well we found out about moves, Elder Ribeiro and I are
staying! There are a few other missionaries leaving the zone as well (Elder Chazuka ☹️) but great missionaries are coming in.
On Monday we had preparation day like normal, but in the evening we had 8 total missionaries staying at our flat the night before we went up into central London to see Elder Oaks! We had mattresses all over the floor and had to wake up at 5 the next morning so everyone could have time to use our broken shower. It was crazy!
Tuesday was the double mission conference with Elder Oaks! We heard from President and Sister Gubler, President and Sister Stevens of the London Mission, President and Sister Kearon the Europe Area President, and then of course Elder and Sister Oaks! Needless to say we were spiritually fed by all of the speakers. President Kearon specifically spoke about how trials are absolutely necessary, both big and small, and that as we turn to the Lord we can thrive in our trials and grow rather than fall. Elder Oaks taught us about bringing people to repentance, that whatever steps we can help others to take towards Christ are good and fulfil our purpose, even if they aren't baptised. I could talk about it for ages but I don't have my notes with me right now so I might share more later, or next week.
Wednesday was crazy! We had MLC for 10 1/2 hours, from 9 in the morning until 7:30 at night! At MLC we council together about what we can improve on in our mission, and then discuss how we will move forward. This one was special as well because of all of the district leaders in the mission were there as well, so with about twice as many people it tool about twice as long to come to the conclusions the Lord needed us to. It was long but it was definitely worth it, the spirit of the meeting was strong as we asked the Lord if what we had decided was right.
Thursday was a bit insane as well, because I had a driving test on Friday down in Croydon I spent about 2 hours driving the Cherringtons'(the senior couple in Wandsworth zone) car to get some practice in for the test. After that we took a train down to the Temple to exchange with Elder Tunnicliffe from York(such a crack up, I love him so much) for about 3 hours before we had to catch another train up to Croydon to stay the night in the flat I lived in for the 10 months I was there.
Friday was my driving test early in the morning. It was pretty intense because I was driving a car that I had never driven before, with big city traffic, and with about 5 hours total driving in England over the past 20 months. But the good part is... that I only failed in the last 4 minutes of the test! As we were coming back to the test centre we had to cross a super busy 2 lane roundabout, and I was in the wrong lane as we went across and someone had to let me into the joining lane. ☹️ I was so close!
On Saturday we had a big service project with the ward to clean up around a community centre. We used little grabber things to pick up all the trash in bushes and things. Honestly it was way too much fun using the grabber, I wish I had one I could use all the time.
On Sunday Ola was ordained a priest! I love that man so much, he's so happy and so willing to serve God the best he can. He's going to come teach with us tonight and then continue working on his family history.
I'll be the first to say, even with amazing things happening everyday this work is hard. It's something often repeated, but something I know to be true, that without challenges we would not grow. When the Lord wants us to be strengthened He sends challenges that stretch us further than we have before. When He needs us to grow a lot, He stretches us right to our limit, but He will never let us fail. I am
grateful for my challenges, because without them I would never be where I am. I love the Lord more than words can explain.(2 Nephi 2:11)
I love you all!