Hello everyone! This week had some exciting things happen! First was the church history tour. We traveled around different parts of North-East England and visited some of the site of the earliest missionaries! I learned so much and felt my gratitude grow for those early, faithful saints who sacrificed so much for the cause of truth. My favorite part of the tour, of course, was the race! It was really fun! I am not as unfit as I thought! Although, I think I was about 10 meters shy of pulling my quad. I could barely walk afterwards! And it was only 120 meters or so! I have a lot of work to do when I get back…
In other news! I learned a very big lesson this week! That lesson was- I am prideful! How did I figure that out? I listened to a talk entitled “Humility” by Spencer W. Kimball. Woah. It opened my eyes and enlightened my understanding as to what pride is. I never realized before or really understood what it is. But woah. I have work to do! But is it a bad thing that I realized I am prideful? I don’t think so! It just helps me to fix it! So, to be fair, I will share what I learned about pride!
There are many different definitions of pride, but the kind I am talking about is the pride within ourselves that says, “I know better…” We know better than everyone else. Or as President Kimbal put it, “Pride is knowledge that says, ‘I am glad I know so much’. Humility is wisdom that says, ‘l am glad that I know no more’.” So does that mean that pride is noticing our strengths and humility is not noticing our strengths? No that is not true. Pride is recognising our strengths and believing that they are the result of our efforts and our efforts alone. Humility is recognising our strengths as gifts from God, given to us to bless both our own and the lives of others. Pride is destructive. Humility is healing. Pride is weakness. Humility is strength. Pride is yielding to the natural man. Humility is yielding to the Spirit. So we get it I hope. Pride is bad. Humility is good. So then, how do we get rid of pride? Do we have to think less highly of ourselves? No. President Uchtdorf gave a profound and true statement as to how to fix this problem of pride. He said, “We don’t discover humility by thinking less of ourselves; we discover humility by thinking less about ourselves.”Get it? I sure hope so! Let us be humble! It really is a choice. Just find someone else to focus your attention on other than yourself! They will be blessed and so will you!
To be honest, I do not even entirely remember this week. I just don’t know what’s happening! Either A) I am developing some sort of memory lost or B) the saying, “time flies when you’re having fun,” is true. Or maybe they are both true. In any case, I am a missionary so life is good! This coming Wednesday I will get to race for the first time in over a year! To commemorate the first baptism in England of George D. Watt, who won a foot race to the river, we will be having a short sprint race! It will be fun to race again! We have some good sprinters in this mission so it should be interesting. As long as I don’t pull my hamstring I guess I will be ok with whatever result. I will let you all know how it goes!
Yesterday in church, a question was posed by one of the speakers in sacrament meeting, “Are you daily becoming a new and improved you?” Now, this question really did poke me in the heart. It poked so hard, that I actually wrote the question down so I wouldn’t forget it. But, what does this question mean? Well, I tried to think deeply about it and see the “deeper” meaning and make it say something profound and mysterious and what not, but after all that the question remains just as simply as it started, “Are you daily becoming a new and improved you?” Are you? Whatever that means to you, are you daily becoming better? If not, why? Why are you choosing to be mediocre? Why are you choosing not to reach your potential? I don’t know the answers to these questions. But, I do have some ideas! Maybe it is because we do not know how to become a new and improved us. Maybe it is because we do not even know what our potential is. Or maybe we do know the answer to both those questions, but have forgotten the why. All I can say is learn how and what! And, remember why or why not! Then DO something! Learning plus remembering plus doing when applied appropriately is the combination to happiness, to hope, and to healing. It is the way to peace now and forever! Does that sound good or what? Who doesn’t want that?
I love you all!
What a jam-packed week! A lot was going on that made the week go by so fast! It was one of the best weeks of my mission though! I can’t remember if I already talked about this, but the British Pageant was fantastic. It was just so good! I left with such a feeling of gratitude to be where I am doing what I am! Not to mention I bumped into an old friend from my YSA ward when I was in Provo! And she said I have a British Accent! My companion didn’t agree, but that’s just because he is in England. Tell everyone Heather! Also I met a lady who’s parents are in my home ward! She lives in England now, but is originally from my hometown! Both on the same night! Small world huh? A few nights later, two of the Twelve visited us. It was amazing. I learned a lot from them! Now I just need to figure out what I will do and become as a result. In other news, time goes by much much much too quickly… August 8th was my one year mark. But moving on!
Recently I have thought a lot about one particular verse in the Book of Mormon. Alma 5:14- “Have ye received [Christ’s] image in your countenances?” What does that mean? Does anyone have any idea? Does it mean we should grow a beard like Christ? Does it mean we should wear what he wore? Does it mean we should have long hair? Personally, I do not believe that that is what it means. Because of the experience of visiting with two of the Lord’s Apostles, I now understand a bit more what it means. I do not think I can explain exactly what we will look like when we have received his image in our countenance, but I can explain how that process begins. It begins with our desires. Desires are a powerful thing. What we desire is what we will think. What we think is what we will consistently do. What we consistently do is what we will become. And what we become is what will, in large measure, show in our countenance. Does it make sense? So to keep it short, what we desire is ultimately what our countenance will show. Or vice versa, what our countenance shows is what we ultimately desire. I hope I haven’t lost any of you. But remember, to receive His countenance, it will begin with our desires; desires to do good. Is this not what Alma meant when he said, “let this desire work in you…”? I would ask, where are your desires?
I love you!
Wo ai wo de ma ma (I love my mama). Just thought I’d throw that in there! As you can tell I’ve learned a little tiny bit of Chinese! The language is great! I want to learn it really bad, and so, hopefully while I am in Liverpool around so many Chinese speakers I will pick some of it up! This week has been another good one (I will say that every week because its true)! This week I think I found out that more of my friends than at any other point have gotten engaged! Today alone I found out that 4 are engaged! What good news! Why? Because families are a good thing! Of course they cause us a lot of problems at times and can really annoy us, but in a family is where the greatest sense of love and joy can be felt. That is true. This week we have had the priviledge of attenting the British Pageant twice! It was fantastic. As I explained, it was expected to be more than just a play or a performance. It was expected to be an experience with the Holy Spirit of God. Now, even with these expectations, I still didn’t quite grasp what it would be like. So we traveled up with Neville, one of our investigating friends who has a PhD in Genetics and a very strong science based belief. As the Pageant began, I think we all quickly realized just what the night would be like. It did not disappoint. Personally, I left with a profound feeling of gratitude. I left with a strong sense of joy and feeling in my heart that God loves every single one of us. I felt it. And I wasn’t the only one. Neville felt it, and he admitted it. And I would venture to say that every sinlge one of the 1000+ people felt it. It was simply incredible. It was a real experience. So with strengthened faith, we went out the next day ready to see miracles, and we did.
The next day Elder Ford and I were going to see a lady named Betty. It was raining heavily outside, but it just so happened that she wasn’t at home. So, we were out in the rain. Getting soaking wet, we said hello and started speaking to the first person we saw. After having a short conversation a young couple walked by and stopped to see what we were saying to their friend. They asked what we were doing, so we told them. “We are missionaries,” we said. The young man replied with a sharp, “Oh really? There is no God!” We assured him that there definitely was a God, but told him that the only way he could know was to try it for himself. This young man then said something interesting. He said, “Ok. If it stops raining, I will believe in God.” Now it is not our job to go around proving to people that God exist by granting unto them according to their tempting and taunting pleas of “if.” In this particular case, however, his words hit me. I verified with him to make sure I understood what he said then said ok. Elder Ford continued to teach the young couple while I began to pray in my heart that the rain would stop, if only for a moment. No more than 90 seconds later, the rain completely stopped. Amazed and grateful, I pointed out to the young man what had just happened. He had no idea what to say and of course he wouldn’t! He had witnessed for himself what had just happened! There wasn’t anything to say other than, “Woah.” For the next 45 minutes we taught this couple in the dry, nice weather God had given us. We then prayed, said our good byes, and got into our car. No more than 15 seconds after getting into our car to leave, the rain came down! And it came down more intensely than before. We watched as the couple scrambled for safety, again looking shocked at what they were witnessing. Lesson learned? Be careful what you ask for! Coincidence? I think not! Does God exist? That young man would now say yes! But, what do you say? There is only one way to find out!
I love you!