Hope you are all doing well! I'll start off by having you know that this has been the craziest week of my mission. It's also been one of the most rewarding...so much has happened and so many miracles have been witnessed! You might not believe the turnout of these events, and I don't blame you--they are miraculous.
As you read, keep in mind that Elder Reynolds and I prayed at the beginning of the transfer and asked God how many baptisms he wanted us to have during this transfer. Each of us received an answer of 2, independently.
After our golfing excursion last Monday, we got back to work. The following morning we had arranged to go to a town called Thame, located on the eastern side of Oxfordshire. It's on the complete opposite side from where we are in Witney, so it's quite the journey out there! We felt like we needed to go there to work with some members, find former investigators, and also contact a referral we had.
This referral's name is Thomas, and he referred himself to be taught a few months back. Unfortunately, the Didcot Elders were never able to teach him, but we decided to try again since that is now part of our area. So we gave him a call--the call that started it all! He told us that he was being taught by some missionaries serving in a different mission, which is a big no-no. That surprised not only us, but also President Gubler when we told him! It turned into a big issue and it needed to be solved because Thomas was scheduled to get baptized last Saturday! The day of his baptism came but he called it off when he learned that he was actually supposed to be in the Oxford 2nd ward. He just needed some time to think. After some pondering, he felt that Oxford is the place for him to be. He is going to get baptized as a member of the Church into our ward this coming Saturday. WHAT?!?! I testify that this is really happening! And we haven't even met the guy yet! You know you're living right when you can get other missionaries to teach people for you :) Baptisms are fun!
I'm TELLING you, the Lord always prepares the way! Even when there seems to be no hope whatsoever, God always provides a way for us to accomplish His will. He sure does love His children, and I know that without a doubt. The Spirit led us all the way out to Thame and told us to contact this referral. Thank goodness we listened to the voice of the Holy Ghost!
It was a very rewarding week. On Friday we had another miracle: a former investigator called Julia gave us a call and told us she wants to get baptized. We met her in Didcot on Saturday and taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hopefully she comes to the baptism this Saturday and progresses towards her own baptism. It really has been a miraculous week here in Witney. This area will always have a special place in my heart.
Sunday was a great day as well. At church we saw the Rathbones, who were fresh from a trip to the London temple for baptisms. They were literally glowing and I could tell they had a very spiritual time. So proud of them for their incredible faith! Simon even blessed the sacrament for the first time and did a great job. Love that family! It was the perfect ending to a great week in the Lord's service.
The events of this week sure have strengthened my testimony and confirmed my faith that miracles do in fact happen. God works in mysterious ways, but His work will be done. I love serving Him and am honoured to be a full-time missionary. These times are the best!
For P day today we went to Oxford and got a tour of the Oxford Castle. Totally worth it! There is so much history here. If you ever get the chance to come here, I would definitely suggest going to the castle. It was awesome! Hope you all have a great week!
Cheers from Witney!
Love, Elder Thomas
|At the top of Oxford Castle|
|A gift from Brother Sutton|
|Brother Sutton and Brother Rathbone at the temple|