But what a week! The craziness just never seems to stop, but I guess it's a good crazy. If you've been counting, you've realized that I've been in this awesome place for about 9 months now, which isn't normal. You're also probably wondering if I'm still here. The answer isn't just yes, but YES! I was thrilled to find out that both Elder Reynolds and I will be holding on a bit longer here in good old Witney. I can't believe it either. The one change is the Didcot area... we aren't working there anymore! 2 sister missionaries are coming to Didcot tomorrow and we're all really excited to have them here in Oxford. So glad to be here though...Witney or die!
I did, however, have some last parting moments with Didcot. I'm really not a huge fan of Didcot, but it was bitter-sweet to leave because I was "born" there. We got to do some last minute work there on Saturday and it was really effective! Had some really weird experiences there though, as usual. During a lesson with a recent convert, some lady poked her head out of a window above us and started asking us if we were JWs, what's the Book of Mormon, is it the play in London, etc. So we started teaching her as well! She wanted a Book of Mormon but wasn't willing to come down and get one from us, so I decided to attempt to throw one up to her. It was a PERFECT throw, but the Book of Mormon slipped out of her hands and fell...into a bucket of water. I didn't know what to do, so I just stared into the bucket in disbelief for a while. It was really sad! Turned out to be a pretty ok day though. And yes, to top it off, we got Caprinos Pizza, which was really good. In fact, a few people tried to take it from us as we walked back to the flat. Just shows how good Caprinos is. But I have taken my last step in Didcot, which is a real milestone in my mission!
Got to do a lot of service this week as well. We got to help Brother Rathbone set up his greenhouse in his back garden, and we got to pull weeds at the Suttons for a few hours. I was surprised at how badly I wanted to pull weeds...never thought I'd actually enjoy it! Must be a mission thing.
Sunday was a great end to a great week. Right before church I was asked to give a talk in Sacrament meeting and to teach a lesson in Gospel Principles. I had a few seconds to get my thoughts together, but it went really well! Like, better than it would've if I had actually prepared. I went Elder Holland style.
We had a surprise investigator show up at Church, which was great! He's called Ian and he's from Brazil. He grew up in the church but was never baptized. He's in the Didcot area, so lucky sisters! We're excited to work with him a bit. Miracles never cease in the ELSM! Skyping with my family was the perfect end to an awesome day. It was a real treat for me to virtually introduce my real family to the Rathbones (my mission family). My joy was full and I cherished every moment of that Skype. The best part was getting to see my Mom on Mother's Day! I think I speak for every missionary when I say that I could not and would not be here with out my Mother. In my opinion, she's the best mom in the world! Just wanted to let everybody know how
much I love my Mom. Thanks Mom!
I guess there's only 7 & 1/2 more months until the next Skype...it will go by quick.
Looking forward to some more time here in the promised land! Even though I'm glad to still be here, I know I'm here for a reason. Just as a baby doesn't understand what the parent understands, so it is with our Father. He knows our needs, challenges, shortcomings, and trials. Even in the hardest times He is there with His angels to bear us up. I'm grateful for the strength He blesses me with and I know that all things are possible because of His son, Jesus Christ. I know He lives! In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Thanks so much for your emails and prayers! I love you all so much. Happy Mother's Day and have a great week!
Love, Elder Thomas
|Goodbye... stay classy, Didcot!|