Monday, January 18, 2016

Awesome News and Happy Clappy Church


Hi guys! First off, out of all my emails, this is definitely the one you need to read. It's been such an awesome week! It was a long week because so much happened, but it might have been the best week of the mission. Good things happened, and good things are coming. As you read, keep in mind that it is the Season of Miracles in the London South Mission.

I guess I'll get started then. Last week got off to a slow start with not much going on. Loads of street contacting and tracting. However, things got rolling on Wednesday, so that's where I'll begin...

We didn't have anywhere we needed to go on Wednesday, so we decided to make it a total finding day. We figured out where all the former investigators lived and started knocking on their doors. On the way to each door we'd talk to everybody in sight, even if we had to chase them down! We talked to a lot of people, but only a few were the slightest bit interested. For some reason, the majority of the people we talked to were attractive young women who were roughly our age. Now I'm not complaining, but it can be difficult to stick to a gospel-centered conversation when they are more interested in talking about other things. Talking to older people and children is no problem, but young women can be a struggle. On one occasion, Elder Raveneau boldly approached a young Jehovah's Witness. Although he started out smooth, I could tell he was beginning to be seduced. We got out of there, but he still managed to secure a return appointment with her! He is French, after all.

Anyways, after 5 hours of straight contacting, we were about to call it a day. We were tired, cold, and hungry. As we walked down the road, the phone started going crazy in my pocket. I looked at it to see that we had received three new texts and a missed call--something was either terribly good or terribly wrong! The texts were from Imm Rathbone. The first few words were "We have news," so I assumed that she was either committing to get baptized or she was pregnant. I opened the text. Not to our surprise, but to our utter joy and amazement, the Rathbones have committed to get baptized. My fatigue instantly turned into excitement! I read the other texts to learn that they want to get baptized on the 30th of this month...only 12 days from today. I can't express the joy that I felt in words, but I know that they are ready because the Lord has prepared them. He has led us to them. If this isn't convincing evidence of the goodness of God and the Season of Miracles, then I don't know what is! President Gubler was told by Heavenly Father that the Season is here. I know for myself that this is true, and I'm beyond excited to watch this family follow the example of Jesus Christ.

That's not all, though! On Sunday, President and Sister Gubler came to speak in our ward. The Rathbones came to church for the second week in a row, so we wanted them to meet the Gublers. As the Rathbones took their seats for sacrament meeting, I watched as President Gubler entered the room. Immediately, he looked across the room to the Rathbones, whom he had never seen before. I swear he can smell investigators. He made his way over to them and introduced himself. Then he got serious, looked them in the eyes, and testified that they were doing the right thing. The Rathbones agreed as Elder Raveneau and I admired the scene. President Gubler then delivered a powerful talk on standing firm to the faith in dark times. I asked the Rathbones if they felt good and they all nodded. I told them it was the Spirit! It rocked! After church we had interviews with President. He told me how much he loves the Rathbones, and he also told me that I'll be staying in Witney next transfer. Cool. I walked out just in time to say bye to the Rathbones, who had obtained their baptismal clothing already.

It turned out to be a fantastic week! One of our investigators invited us to come to his church on Sunday, so we ended up doing that as well. I didn't know what to expect, and what I found surprised me. The congregation was 99 % African. We were the only white people there! They were preaching loudly while one guy played the electric piano and another played the drums. It was interesting. It was a very friendly place, however. Every single person there greeted us. It soon turned into a gospel concert with African women singing. Every sentence was followed by an "Amen!" It was a total Happy Clappy chuch. Every culture can be found here.

That's all for this week! The experiences I've had have strengthened unfathomably (without fathom). I love my companion, President Gubler, the ward, the Gospel, and Jesus Christ. I'm not alone in this work. People are being prepared by God in this area this very second, and the Lord has trusted me to find them. He's trusted me with a family. I'm grateful to be his servant and I know he loves me and is proud of me. Missionary work makes me happy! Cheers, and have a good week everyone!


Elder Thomas


A sweet, AMERICAN 1964 Mercury.  Took it for a spin.

New way of contacting

The new crew

The district

Found this toilet while tracting

T-27 days for Elder Raveneau

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