Hey, folks! This week was one for the books!
Well, things are going great here in Staines. Although "Staines" sounds like a horrible place, it's actually not that bad. This week was honestly so great though...if I could give you some of these experiences, I would. It's just that great!
Our ward Christmas party was last Saturday night, and it too was one for the books. It has been a much anticipated event, as it was announced to the ward about 100 times. In young men's it was announced that it would be a "crazy part-ee, so ya'lls betta be there." It was a crazy party indeed! It had a Bethlehem theme, so people built some stables and we had a live nativity. Our bishop decided to go all out out by dressing up as a middle eastern guy with robes and all that. You'd expect somebody dressed like that to speak Arabic or something, but it was hard to mistake him after comments like "hey, what's up, dude?", or "how are ya, eh?" Gotta love Canadians...
Another crazy thing happened this week. We got a random call one day from a missionary in the London mission. He notified us of a new referral for us in Richmond, and his backstory is nuts! Apparently there is a member who lives in Georgia who is a counselor. He works with people by teaching them the gospel of Jesus Christ, and slowly helps them live the gospel. One of the steps is meeting with missionaries. And one of his students happens to live in our area! We haven't met him yet, but we will see him this coming week.
This week we also had to kiss our car goodbye. Due to the increasing number of senior couples who need the mobility of a car, we sacrificed ours. So we had one last drive to the temple and it has been public transport ever since then! Losing the car is like ripping off a bandaid...hurts pretty bad. But the good news is we are now talking to loads more people by riding the buses everywhere we go. It just takes ages to get places.
Our week ended with a bang. As it was fast Sunday, we decided to fast for our investigators, especially the Huerta family. To be honest, our expectations were not that high as we walked into church, but the Lord gave us an awesome surprise. Although the Huertas didn't come to church, a less active lady and our investigator Sophie came to church, for the second time in a row! Sophie even bore her testimony in sacrament meeting...what investigator does that? Hearing our investigator bear sweet and sincere testimony is music to any missionary's ears. Sweet tender mercies!
This week I've made an effort to pay attention to my feelings as I've read the Book of Mormon. I finished it again this week, and the feeling I get at the end of the book is the same every time. I remember reading it for the first time with my dad when I was twelve. The spiritual high that I got after reading it all those years ago allowed me enough physical strength to do the unthinkable...do over 5 pull-ups, which was my record at the time. Even though I probably can't even do a pull up anymore due to my worn out missionary body, the spiritual strength I receive from that Book is something I need everyday. The Book of Mormon is true and will help you in every circumstance. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Merry Christmas, and don't forget to do the Christmas initiative on Mormon.org: 25 ways in 25 days!
Love, Elder Thomas