Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sept 11, 2011


A bunch of old ladies were using the family history center like all day today here in the chapel, they finally just got off but left us with not much time for emails today. Me and Elder Simmons and one of the members here (Paul) and Ken, our investigator, are going golfing in a few minutes. It has been rainy and cold every day this week, but today it is sunny and really nice out. So we picked a good day to golf. You're right about the realtionships here. These guys all feel like brothers. After golf we are all going back to Ken's house and Toni is making us a big roast dinner and then we are finishing teaching them about the 10 commandments. Actually I need to backtrack a little bit.
This has been an amazing week. Last week on wednesday, we went over to Ken and Toni's to teach them about the ten commandments. However, when we got there we just started talking about different things. I guess Ken had been looking online at a bunch of stuff about mormons. He had found MOTAB, and absolutely loved it. He said it was the best choir he had ever heard, and he had bought 30 of their songs on iTunes. He then told us he had watched every mormon message on youtube, and most of the other church videos on there. We had left him with an assignment to watch the joseph smith movie, and he did. Twice. he prayed before-hand, and while watching it recieved an amazing spiriual confirmation that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. They both told us they knew this was the true church. Ken asked us if he could possibly serve a mission, like we were. He then asked how long it would be until he would be allowed to be sealed to Toni in the temple. We answered their question, and took the opportunity to extend a baptismal date. They accepted, and they are going to be baptized on Oct. 16! They still aren't married, but they are working with the bishop and are going to have a small wedding here in the church in Helston as quickly as possible.

It was such an amazing spiritual experience. We had Paul with us on this teach, and you guys know I'm not usually an emotional person but there were no dry eyes that night. We have since taught them about tithing, keeping the sabbath day holy, and sacrifice. They prayed and accepted all these things as true. THey are really struggling financially right now but they are still willing to pay tithing because they know they will be blessed. I wish you could meet these guys. Elder Simmons is sure that Ken is going to be like a stake president or something one day. I also see great things ahead for this family.
We finally got them out to church this week as well. It was our missionary sacrament meeting, so Elder Simmons and I were the speakers. I kind of lost track of time up there, and I was the first speaker, and talked for like 25 mintues about becoming better member missionaries. I felt really bad, because I left like no time for Elder Simmons. I don't think I have every talkd that long in my life. But Elder Simmons still gave an amazing talk and Ken and Toni loved the meeting. A lot of the great ward members down here really fellowshipped them also. They stuck around for an hour chatting with people, and were invited over to some members houses for dinner this week. I'm so excited for them, and with transfers coming up, there was nothing I wanted more than to stay and be here as they finish their conversion process.

And my prayers were answered! Me and Elder Simmons were both blessed to be allowed to continue to serve together here in Helston. I felt really bad praying and asking to be allowed to stay here, so I tried praying and saying 'just send me wherever I need to go and let me be okay with that' but I think deep down the Lord knew my greatest desire was to not go anywhere.

So it has been a good week. We also got 4 more investigators, we knocked in to a couple peoples houses. We finally caught up with some people we found like over a month ago and finally had time for us this week. We are teaching a lot of navy families. It seems with navy/army people, they either have a really strong belief in God or none at all.
Josh and Stephanie have gone a little bit MIA though. We stopped by their house and saw them for like 10 minutes late last week, but they hadn't been returning our calls or anything. However, today as we were getting gas at Tescos, stephaine pulled up right beside us! It was a miracle, and we talked to her and it turns out she was DJing some wedding (she is like 7 months pregnant also...) and lost her phone so she didn't know we had been calling. But she said she will call on Joshs phone, so things should be back on track with them. They are so cool also. They have had us over for dinner quite a few times now, and we get on really well with them.

Elder Simmons passed his UK driving test, which was pretty cool and something he was quite stresed about.

Sounds like you guys are doing great. Thats amazing how you did in Banff. I may never beat you in a triathlon at this rate. But I will definitly try when I get back.

Ya you might need to keep reffing if youre going to be able to afford those 17 dollar McDonalds meals we keep getting.

Uncle Mike is bound to be at least a 70 someday. If you talk to him, tell him I would love to hear from him. But there were definitly some stupid questions, but for the most part they were really good and we all learned a lot.

Well, we tee of in like 12 minutes. So I better go.

Love Elder Steed

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sept 4, 2011

Emails are also something I look forward too every week. Sadly I wont be able to email again until September 15th I think. Next week is transfer week, so monday we dont get a p-day. We get our assignements on where we are moving to on wednesday and then thursday we move/get our p-day. So Ill write back then. If I am moved out of Helston I am going to be devastated. Im always tempted to pray to ask the Lord to keep me here but I try to remember that he might need me to do something else somewhere else. Wow that is really expensive. I hadn't really realized that. However, it was two meals as I payed for myself and Elder Simmons. He says thank you.

We really do have amazing investigators. This week Ken had a really rough week at work. He is like a bouncer at a pub in Falmouth and works 12-4 am every night. I guess he had a really hard night on saturday night, and he was way too tired to make the 30 min drive to church. He got home that night and couldn't sleep, and went on youtube and just watched mormon messages for like 2 hours and said it calmed him down and he was able to get to sleep. However, he also came across a couple of anti-mormon videos on youtube and had a lot of questions for us about polygamy and joseph smith and some other concerns. What was amazing was that he wasn't really shaken by these things at all. He said he could tell right away that the guy in the video he was watching just felt like a bad person. It was my first time meeting with anti material. It went totally fine though, he understood our explanations and his comment was 'I dont believe that a church that puts so much emphasis on strengthening families could ever be considered evil, regardless of whether or not it is true.' He has really felt the spirit strongly as we have taught him. He tells us of the warm/peaceful feelings he gets when we teach them and when he prays. He has started saying the closing prayer vocally when we go over there and he has a testimony even though he might not realize it yet. We have been talking a lot about baptism with them, and they seem to be warming to the idea. Toni also said her first vocal prayer this week, and was really nervous but said an amazing prayer and I could really feel the spirit as she stumbled through her first prayer in which all she did was give thanks. These people are those prepared people you are talking about (the elect). I wish my descriptions could do them justice or even that you could meet them.

We did find a couple new investigators this week. Joan and Leslie, probably in their 70's. They are devout Methodists, but invited us in and we have now met with them a few times. I don't know if they are just bored/lonely old people who just want to talk yet, but so far they have been keeping their commitments. When we assign them a chapter to read, they will usually read the 3 chapters before and after it as well. And they always pray about it. They haven't got an answer yet, but I know from my own experience that eventually they will.

Sean is such a stud. Im so excited for him to get on his mission. I would give anything for that guy to come to England London South.

I never knew you had the other side of heaven guy meet with you that much. Im sure he would have had some amazing experiences.

Our trip to Reading (pronounced Redding) was amazing. I was the only driver, so I had to do the 7 hour drive on friday and saturday without getting a nap or anything which was tough. Also, we picked up a couple of sister missionaries in Exeter and it was really weird talking to girls again. But the time we spent with Elder Bednar was amazing. It was just us, about 130 missionaries, and Elder Bednar and two members of the quorom of the seventy and all of their wives. And it wasn't like a normal talk. We had been assigned to read two of his talks and study them before saturday, and Elder Bendar just started by having us comment or ask questions about what we read in his talks. We would just stand up and talk to him and then he would answer our question or make a comment and expand on what was said or ask us a question. We then got to have a question and answer session with him. That was amazing, we got to ask an apostle any question we wanted. I had a couple of questions I wanted to ask, but over the course of what he said he answered them as he answered other questions. I would love to tell you everything that was said and everything I learned, but I wrote in down in my study journal which is back at the flat. He really had a few main points he kept on coming back to though. First of all, as we teach the gospel our job is not to teach, but to act as conduits of the spirit and then just get out of the way. Nothing in what we say or how we say it, or in how we look or act, should draw attention away from the spirit. He also kept saying 'this work isn't about you, and it isn't about me,' which really stood out to me. And his main point would have to be that the whole point of our existence is to act as agents and not objects. Agents act, and objects are acted upon. He also told us a lot more about priesthood keys than I have ever understood before. Another thing he kept saying is that this would probably be the last time in our lives we ever got this chance to meet with an apostle in such a small group. I guess the role of apostle is changing, and many of the things apostles used to do (like this confrence he gave here) will be taken over by members of the 70. Ill try to let you know next week if i think of anything else really interesting he said.

At the close of the meeting, when he bore his testimony, he was literally glowing. I was blinking and stuff because I thought I was just tired or my eyes were just playing tricks on me, but as he bore his testimony he looked like he was shining. There was a golden light around him. I cant really explain what it looked like to be honest. I think it was just pure glory/spirit/light. Regardles, it was amazing. This confrence really helped to strengthen my testimony, especially in the fact that we have living prophets on the earth today.

Thanks for the letter,

Elder Steed

Sept 4, 2011

I know you are probably no longer at the Orrs house, but if you are tell em that I miss them also and that Im doing just fine. Those guys really are so much fun.

Im sure Rileys place is much better than mine. Maybe you and sis Draycott could fly out here and fix up our place for us.

Please do send me that picture and any other cool ones you have. I would love some pictures of you guys, I think I might be forgetting what people look like.

Sounds like school should be good for everyone. I have been talking to alyssa a little bit about how hard it was for me to start at a new high school but im sure she will do great. Jackson I hope will be fine, have that kid email me and tell me about it. And what happened to rebel drifters emails?

Im sure you guys will find your niche in that ward. You can always seem to make friends wherever you go.

Thats really nice of you to feed the missionaries. I always remember thinking it was weird/awkward when the missionaries came over for dinner, but I dont know if thats just because we had weird missionaries or we just didnt see them enough. But over here I feel like we just have such a great realationship with like all the ward members. We have a member feed us (a dinner appointment) at least once a day, sometimes twice, at there is one family (the Morris', who I think I mentioned briefly in my last email) in particular that honestly feels like my home away from home here. We were at their house last night for dinner and to share the sacrament with Laura, who has been sick, and it was so hard to leave. They got three kids from ages 6-9 who are so cool and Paul and Laura are both just so loving and kind, going out of their way to feed us even when we know they are stuggling financially. Actually a lot of the ward here is not doing well financially at all, and I find it amazing that they are still so willing to feed us.

But in terms of what we cook... so far we arent doing that well. We actually just finished our grocery shopping. We always plan out a list and try to keep it around 15 pounds a week each, but we get in to the grocery store and just lose control. we ended up spending 53 pounds on this weeks groceries. We bought 4 litres of pop, 6 litres of juice, 2 tubs of ben and jerrys ice cream, frozen pizzas, frozen cornish pasties, a kilogram of bacon, 2 blocks of cheese, a kilo of egg noodles and 4 bags of ichiban, and a bunch of other things we should never have bought. We need to stop shopping while hungry. At the end of the week we end up throwing out like a ton of expired stuff because we always buy way too much food.

We actually had a really great church service sunday as well. We sadly had no investigators this week, but because of this we were able to attend the gospel doctrine class instead of teaching gospel principles. I would love those notes also, so send em next week.

It sounds like you and dad have been spending way more time together than usual. I don't know if this is because dad is an emotional wreck because of his two sons moving out or just for fun. But anyways, it is really great you are, I have already learned so much about how important our family really is to me out here. And how important it is that we stay together forever.

Shes marrying like a 53 year old or something isnt she? Thats crazy, she seems way to young. I took her to mcdonalds once after seminary. not like a date or anything, just because we both wanted a junior chicken.

That RS president sounds a little bit rude to be honest with you. In my YSA everyone was really nice but maybe I just think that because I sat in the back and didnt talk to anyone except brooks and tyler for like the first 3 months. But im sure they will find some nice 18 year old girls who are looking for some cute preemies and not some R.M.s who are going to propose on the first date. Ive been emailing sean every week. Sounds like he really is doing great. Him and Katianne were hanging out a lot this summer, im sure she had a great influence on him. I actually havent heard from carson yet. Hopefully he is still doing well though.

Ill talk about Bednars talk in my email to dad. But it was amazing.

Love Elder Steed