Monday, May 30, 2016

Birthday Miracles and Stand Your Ground

Hi there everyone! Hope you're all doing alright and seeing God's hand in your lives... we definitely have this week! The Lord has magnified our efforts and never fails to help us to keep going every day. It was a super fun week in the service of the Lord. So many miracles this week!

-District contacting in Oxford
-Intense knocking
-Found more unknown less actives
-Almost got beat up
-Birthday miracles

We got to do some district banner contacting on Wednesday! After a district lunch at Pizza Hut, we hit the streets of Oxford. For those of you who are unfamiliar with banner contacting, we got an enormous banner with a picture of Jesus on it and threw it up in the busy streets for everybody to see. Then we talked to everybody who glanced at it, even though it was hard to miss! I haven't had the nicest experiences while banner contacting... the last couple times we've just been bashed and sworn at a bunch. But this time was a little bit different--still lots of swearing (not from us!), but we really worked as a team to find the lost sheep. We shared the Gospel with numerous people who saw their Savior's face smiling at them from the banner. I absolutely loved it, even though my voice was nearly gone afterwards.

Loads of knocking this week! We are working on a street called Halton Road, which was given to us by a member doing the street initiative. Naturally, I was pretty excited because we've had some awesome experiences with knocking streets. We found a former investigator from Leeds who invited us to teach her again, so we are eager to follow up on that this Tuesday. We didn't have much more luck after that, but we spoke to some really cool people in the RAF (Royal Air Force base) and walked with a pilot onto the base for a bit, which was spectacular.

That night an interesting thing happened. While having a glass of water, I noticed that the glass had some decorative writing on the side of it. Note that I've been drinking out of this glass for the last 10 months, right? Well, the word written on the glass was "Halton". No joke! So that confirmation made me all the more excited to knock Halton Road. I think it's no coincidence! God definitely has a sense of humor :)

One of the greatest miracles occurred on Friday when we decided to return a missed call from a random number. A young man called Cody answered. After a lengthy discussion, we learned that Cody is from Leeds, he lives with his family here in Witney, they are all less active members of the Church, and he wants to become active again. WHOA! I'm starting to think that Witney is populated with hidden members. It's going to be great to work with that family and bring them back into the Gospel. I hope it all works out!

That's how our miraculous weekend began. Then some interesting things happened. After a long day of working and traveling, we were street contacting in a part of Witney where we don't go too often, and now I know why: a guy called to us as we had turned around to head home, so we turned around and approached him. When he figured out that we were sharing a message about God, a flip switched inside of him and he went berserk! He was yelling and swearing at us and threatened to "bash our heads in" if we ever set foot on that street again. Despite his boldness, Elder Reynolds and I remained in front of him, unfazed. While one part of me wanted to run for my life, something else told me I was going to be alright, so I just stood there and took the heat. Something similar must have happened with Elder Reynolds because he did the same! Looking back, I've realized that there were angels round about us at that time, but for different forces. Angels for one force on our side and angels for the opposite force on His. I know that God's team always prospers, and I know that the angels on our side greatly overpowered those on the man's side. Eventually we walked away with our hearts pumping, but with a greater testimony that we can overcome the adversary! I know that God watches over and protects His missionaries.

Sunday was my birthday, and it was the best one yet! I got to go to church, bless and partake of the Sacrament, teach Gospel Doctrine, play the piano, and watch an inactive man attend and even participate in church! So many blessings--not to mention the munch & mingle after church. Turns out that it wasn't exactly for my birthday, but I called it my birthday party because it just so happened to fall on the 29th. :D That night we had a birthday dinner at the Suttons. I am blessed more than I deserve to be surrounded by loving, caring, Christlike people in my life. I want to thank you all for supporting me and for helping me to be where I am. I was touched by the packages, emails, letters and prayers, so thank you so much. I definitely felt of God's love. 19 is going to be a good year!

Thank you all for keeping me posted in your lives, I love to hear from all of you! This Church is the only true church on this earth, and I know Jesus Christ is leading it. I know it! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Have a great week!

Love, Elder Thomas


Last moments being 18

One spoiled missionary!

Birthday roast at the Sutton's house

Me and my companions!

Opening birthday packages

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