Here is a summary of the past few weeks—sorry for the delay! Not Logan's fault, but more the fault of his not so faithful blogging family.
This has been a good week! We actually had some good things happen and Elder Dimartino has helped me get through some hard things and to understand some things better. We have an investigator, Dave, who is progressing nicely. He is facing some challenges but for now, we have been able to help him and teach him. We also taught the Plan of Salvation to some drug dealers when we were tracting and didn’t realize it until 20/20 hindsight which was actually kind of amusing, thinking back on some of the stuff we said.
It has cooled down a lot. It is typically 10 degrees (Celsius, which is about 50 degrees Fahrenheit). I have been buying my winter stuff. I have bought some jumpers (the family was concerned that he was becoming a cross-dresser, but it is the English word for sweater) and a really nice coat. It was good to have my Italian fashion consultant (Elder Dimartino) there to help me if Mom couldn’t be there.
We have been getting to know some of the ward members more. You mentioned being Shirley Watts's Facebook friend. I really like her and she is totally crazy (fun crazy), and she reminds me a lot of Jean Weinberger, our neighbor. She is a regular at our Book of Mormon class. There was an issue last time and she said she wasn’t going to come anymore, but she came, which was a huge boost of spirit for me. She is really great. Mark Hatton is another one who is really kind to us and helps us a lot.
On P-days, we have been going to Liverpool to shop and have gone to a couple of museums. Nobody has been all that jazzed about going to the war type museums which is a shame.
You asked about our transportation. We use busses and trains a lot. The area here is smaller than Blackpool both by population and by area but the busses and trains are so much better so we use them a fair amount.
We taught Damien this week again. It was at a dinner appointment with Brother Hattan. Brother Hattan is a perfect person for Damien. They are both fun. We had liver at the dinner appointment which was the first time I have had liver. It tasted like a strange roast beef. After dinner Brother Hattan took us to Book of Mormon class, and Dave was there too, which was wonderful since we had forgotten to call and remind him. After class we took him on a tour of the church and showed him the baptismal font, and he expressed a desire to be baptized. We have dated him for November 14th.
Throughout the week we continued to work with Dave, who is really good. He is very smart and very sincere in his desire to change himself for the better and see this as a great chance. As we meet with him, I honestly picture that man as a young men’s leader. I can hear him saying. “Alright lads, we are going camping”…in just the proper English accent.
We had a couple of street displays this week. They were okay, but nothing really came out of them to report.
We have been getting to know the Collards, who are a part member family. They are great. Sister Collard has made us some of the best cakes, muffins, and cookies…all chocolate….all are to die for.
Sunday was a good day. Dave came to Church and had put on some dress clothes which was really good. At the end of the day, we went to the other Elder’s flat to hear about transfers. I’m going to stay in Crosby with Elder Dimartino for another transfer. It is going to be another good transfer hopefully.
The highlight of the week was the mission fireside and it was very nice. I really enjoy listening to President Ulrich speak. He has such a strong testimony. Brother Hattan took us and our investigator Dave. Dave said it was an answer to his prayers to be surrounded by happy people. A room full of happy people with no real reason to be happy. President Ulrich’s testimony really touched him as well.
It’s just been a relatively boring week. At the street display a chav came up and was asking sincere questions, which is always good. We did a lot of 2 man street displays which aren’t my favorite, but Elder Dimartino loves them. They are hard.
You asked what I have learned from each of my companions so far. From Elder Fernandez I learned how to relax a little bit and not take myself so seriously. From Elder Faupula I learned that there is a time and season for all things, and I have learned a lot from Elder Dimartino about the gospel because he is very knowledgeable. He knows so much and wants to make sure the people we are teaching know everything too. That makes our lessons go a little long sometimes.
We have been working with Nicole and Becky who have been really helpful. One of them has been less active for years and is just coming back with the help of the other and the other is a convert. They are both very good girls and have been so much help. They are 27 and 31 years old.
Our time changed a week ago, and so the sun goes down about 5:00 and comes up at about 8:00 now.
This week has been pretty boring as Elder Dimartino has been sick. He was sick on Thursday, determined to go out on Friday, which made him more sick so we were in on Saturday and Sunday. I have used the time to read the Old Testament student manuals. I am about ¾ of the way through them, which has been really good. I have learned a lot. I also organized the map of the area on my iPad—identifying the less actives and the potentials that we are working with. I also scrubbed the mold off the window seal and other places. I scrubbed so hard the mold is gone, but so is the paint.
At a street display we taught a lovely Irish woman who was about infinity plus 12 years old. She was crazy, but hilarious. When we were through talking with her me and Elder Dimartino were grinning from ear to ear, which was good because the next appointment wasn’t there. As we were walking away, Elder Dimartino saw a couple working on a garden and didn’t realize that they were contractors, so he stopped and offered to help. They, of course, refused but we got talking. Their names were Kelly and Alan, and we left them with a Book of Mormon and our phone number. I don’t know if anything will come of it, but we can pray that it does.
We met with both Damien and Dave too. Every time we see Dave, I am just impressed with how the spirit works. We go in with one lesson plan, but the spirit directs us to teach something different, and it ends up being a really good lesson. Dave is getting some issues straightened out, but it will postpone his baptism for quite a while. It is better than it could have been, and was actually an answer to Elder Dimartino’s fasting and prayer. Damien is dated for November 21st, but we will see!!!
You asked about the Collards, who is the lady who is Mom’s competition on baking…making wonderful cookies and cakes. They moved here from Wales about 6 months ago. We ran into one of the daughters at a street display and got their address to go stop by. The mother has been a member for about 10+ years and the daughter who we met for about 5ish and the youngest has not been baptized. The mother has poor health but she is very nice and has a great desire to learn. She has had some interactions with the Jehovah’s Witnesses and quite likes their way of thinking so up to this point we have been trying to help her see the difference in how she feels with us versus with them. We are trying to help her understand that we bring the spirit and they just bring facts.
You asked about a gospel principle that I have gained a stronger testimony of lately. It would have to be fasting. When we were fasting for Dave, it was the hardest fast ever, my head was killing me. Things are working out for Dave, albeit slowly, but I received a very great deal of comfort that our Heavenly Father does listen to and answer our prayers. Sometimes we just have to take a bit of time sorting out those answers.