Alright, well the beginning of this week marked the beginning of my very last transfer of the mission! People are so right when they say that time moves more and more quickly on a mission. But I'm excited to have these last few pages of this chapter of life. This week's been so sweet!
Right, I'm just going to cut to the chase with the Good family. We felt prompted to just do a Q and A with them in our lesson last Monday and it turned out to be just what they needed! A lot of their questions were about the message of the Restoration, and that allowed us to teach the bulk of it again which was good because the 2 older kids weren't there the first time we taught it. But something monumental happened in this lesson. I think a huge milestone in every investigator's journey is realising the potential value of the gospel and envisioning what it can do for them in their lives. We asked them what it would mean to them if everything we have shared thus far was true, and after a few moments of silent pondering the mother expressed that it would be good and that she really hopes it's true. Music to our ears! We invited them to act on those hopes to really find out if it's true. Guys, this family is going to get baptized. Might not be during my time here, but they will! They've also had their neighbor around for the last 2 lessons. Her name is Amanda and she too sees the importance in the gospel. She read 1 Nephi 1 on her own last week and is interested in coming to church. We are going over there next Monday for a lesson and also for dinner! Miracle.
Our sisters baptized their friend Ed last Wednesday. He asked Elder Ferreira to baptize him, so he got off the boat and into the font. It was great to witness and there's not many things better than the sound of the water after a baptism. I had the opportunity and privilege of acting as voice for his confirmation last Sunday. I'll tell you, confirmations are one of the most profound spiritual experiences ever. Seriously, the Spirit almost knocked us over. Miracle.
In the ELSM we have a mission wide goal to baptize 280 souls during the year of 2017, and to help us to get there we have a weekly goal to have 1 baptismal date, 1 investigator at church, and 2 new investigators. We call this the "mission vision" and it stands in front of every companionship, taunting them to do more. In the last few weeks we've been just out of reach because it's been a huge struggle for us to get somebody to church! We had a few people committed to come last week including Gary, but he bailed at the last minute and nobody else showed up. But while we were sitting there feeling sorry for ourselves, a member and her non-member husband who we've been visiting walked into church. Miracle! We were high on faith after that. After that, we just needed 1 more new investigator to lock up the mission vision for the week. We had 1 hour in the evening set apart for finding that one person, and we went out in faith determined to find them. As we were speaking to a lady called Anna, her friend joined in and offered to hear our message over fish 'n chips. We accepted her offer and taught them. Anna became that new investigator we were searching for! What's even more awesome is that I was fasting that day, and we didn't get home in time to have dinner so the Lord literally provided a meal for us. Absolute miracle. And that sealed the deal for the mission vision!
Elder Ferreira's been hungry this week too, but he hasn't always gotten what he wanted. One night I was washing the dishes. Elder Ferreira, being his sneaky Portuguese man he is, decided to sneak up on me and grab me from behind. My first instinct was to turn around and push whoever it was away from me, but I didn't have time to remember that I had a soapy sponge in my hands, which resulted in the sponge traveling with my hand to his face and partly into his mouth. Definitely not what either of us expected and not what Elder Ferreira deserved or desired. Of course he thought it was intentional, and so thus began the soap war! I escaped with only a few suds on me, but Elder Ferreira got a full cleanse!
So anyways, I have a testimony that the Lord does indeed provide for his servants down to the most minute detail. He knows our needs and is anxious to help and support us. As the scriptures say, "Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith." He just asks that we have faith and choose to believe, because "all things are possible to them that believe." I know from experience upon experience and witness upon witness that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live and love us. Their entire focus is to help us along our journey back to them. These things I know to be true!
Keep the faith, folks!
Love, Elder Thomas
|Pics of Jersey from our boat tour last week|
|Throwing it back to Staines with Elder Christofferson and the mission|
|Celebrating Sister Gaston's birthday|