Hello from London Town, folks! Happy March! Literally can't believe it's March already...February went by ridiculously fast. The mission goes too fast as it is, so the fact that Feb only has 28 days just doesn't help. Thanks to a few of you pointing it out, I've realized that I now only have 5 months left before I report back to the mother land. Gonna make the most of them!
First of all, I need to give you the run down on the London Peckham District. Since most of us share one very geographically small area, we see each companionship pretty much everyday even if we don't plan on it. Because of this, I've been able to get to know the members of my district pretty well! This is the closest district I've ever been in. It's made up of a lot of young missionaries--the total amount of time they've been on their missions combined barely amounts to how long I've been out. I love it though! The only problem is I can't really understand anyone: We've got a Scottish Elder whose accent is so thick he needs subtitles and 2 French sisters serving together who just speak French all the time. Then there's my companion whose accent isn't too bad, but I'm clueless when he comes out with his Yorkshire lingo. He's the king of British slang...we're working on it. The only people I can understand is Elder Rivera from Arizona and Elder Reynolds--and him only because he used to be my companion! Anyways, my point is we've got a pretty awesome district. If you ever want to see the gathering of Israel, come to the ELSM.
Despite his slang, Elder McEwen is a blast. One of the best things about serving with him is that he has a lot of motivation and self willpower. We share a really strong motivation to figure out what God wants us to do and then we do it. In my mission I've learned that problems in a companionship are more likely to surface when one companion wants to keep the rules and the other doesn't. Since Elder McEwen and I both strive to be strictly obedient, we don't have very many problems and we get along really well for the most part. Of course there is the occasional disagreement, but we abide by what the prophet has told us: "Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved." Elder McEwen's teaching me how to love more! That's probably the second best thing about serving with him...the best thing is when his parents order a cheeky Domino's pizza to our flat at night. Perks of having an English companion!
We have some good times, but sometimes things can be a drag--Like street contacting all day in the rain. That happened this week and eventually we just got tired of it. That day we were walking down the road, an appointment had just cancelled, and it was chucking it down. We weren't happy. But all of the sudden this massive hill seemed to appear out of nowhere, so we decided to go to the top and check out the view. At the top we noticed that there was a long, metal, steep, wet slide going all the way down. We had to do it! I went first and immediately regretted it. I can't really remember how it was going down, but at the end i felt like I had been punched in the ribs 3 times and then flung into a fence...which makes sense I guess. Then came Elder McEwen. As he got into position he expressed that he just didn't want to rip his suit trousers. He came flying down and tried to stop himself, but he ran into the fence too. He stood up thinking all was well, but then he looked at his leg and yes, his worst fear was confirmed: ripped trousers! Not only that, but his knee was shredded as well. Elder McEwen's slang became very very colorful and started kicking the fence for some reason. His anger has since faded, and now we just laugh about it. We got some good footage as well!
But enough banter, we've been so blessed this week! Brothers and Sisters, the fog has lifted, the curse has been broken, the ceiling has been shattered--we got some people to church and we found 8 new investigators! The ward has given us some people to visit and it has been really effective. We taught two less active Portuguese sisters and one of them came to church. The other one is trying to get work off so she can come next week. We had a powerful lesson with them and funnily enough, we all know the missionary that baptized them a few years back. He's in the Oxford ward. We also had an investigator come to church. She's a young mother from Nigeria and she's definitely searching for truth. Hope to put her on date this week. The best feeling in the world is when you see an investigator walk into the church on Sunday. So good!
The work is so good. Some days are better than others, but overall it's so good. I'm dead tired right now, but I wake up every morning so excited to see what the day has in store for us. I love London, I love Jesus Christ, and I love missionary work! Nobody can stop the work...the gospel will go forth until everybody has heard it. I know the importance of the message we carry and I'm grateful for the privilege it is to bear it. Love you all!
Love, Elder Thomas