HELLO! Another incredible week here in London, Canada! I have had so many experiences that have increased my testimony and love for missionary work, His work and the love He has for his children!! It's very humid and warm here, but we have our random rainstorms that come out of nowhere. I have learned that I am in a very different part of London. I have come across and taught lots of people who are poor or live in just a single-room as their home. I have met some really crazy people. But all is well! Everyone is a son or daughter or God. No matter who I talk to... They are God's children. That has really helped me to see people as Christ does. I have also learned that sometimes people just need someone to talk to--someone to tell them about a struggle or trial that they are going through. This week we were coming home from an appointment and met a man named Colon. He was super depressed and alone out on the street, sitting down smoking, and looking like he was crying. We went over to him and asked him if he needed anything and he said, "No. No one can help me. My child is dead. He died two days ago. I don't know why God did this to me. You tell me why... Why did he do this to me?" As we sat in silence he began to cry. I then sat down next to him and pulled out my Book of Mormon. I remembered a scripture I had read during my personal scripture study the day before that I shared with him. 1 Nephi 11:17, it says, "And I said unto him: I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things." He just fell silent and we sat there for about a minute. I then said something like this, "from being with you for the past couple of minutes, I know that your little son meant the world to you. I know that there is someone else who loves ALL of his children and that is our Father in Heaven. We, as people, don't know the meaning of everything..." I then bore my testimony about the church and how we can be with our families forever and how blessed we are. He took our card and said maybe in the future he would call ..... so hopefully he will call us when the time is right. I will never forget that experience! It reminded me how important it is to be kind to EVERYONE!!
Now for some good news and bad news. The good news: During our lesson on Monday last week, I invited Alli to baptism and she said YES!!! I about cried right then and there with excitement! I kept calm and finished our lesson. She is set for baptism on August 17th and said she will prepare herself for that date. On Tuesday, we met a man named Elias. He is from Egypt and speaks incredible English. We taught him about the Restoration and then I gave him a Book of Mormon and he accepted it! Now for the bad news: Alli texted us on Wednesday and said that her husband (Jamie, who was baptized at 14 years old in Mexico, and is a member) said that no one can come over for a while... Including us. It was SO devastating to hear that! We had a "7 day fellow shipping", CTR rings for the kids, and everything planned perfectly. All we can do is wait and pray for her husband to soften his heart and be open to the gospel! Next, we visited Elias on Thursday to teach him but that went down hill to. We went to his house and he told us to take back the Book of Mormon, take back our missionary card, and to take back the pamphlets we gave him. He said he is to old for change and that we shouldn't visit him again. We tried talking to him but he said we needed to go. So, we did. The lesson I have learned with these two events? That a mission has the highest highs and the lowest lows. I know that as long as we stay positive and put our full faith in Christ... We can make it through.
Now to some funny stuff :) The funniest thing that happened to me this week was something Sister Shurtliff and I continue to talk about. On Wednesday afternoon, we left our apartment and were waiting for the bus to go and meet with 4 less actives and former investigators who live quite far away. While we were waiting I was eating my granola bar when all of a sudden, a big wind gust came along and my bus ticket got caught in the wind and flew from my hand! I went running down the side walk chasing my bus ticket. Can you imagine a sister missionary running down the street with her arms stretched out trying to catch her bus ticket? Good news... I did catch my bus ticket! We were laughing and laughing about it and still do to this day. You want to hear the 2nd part of this story... I was able to contact a guy from it! A man stopped me by our apartment the next day and asked if I was the young girl who was chasing my ticket down the street and I said yes. Well... We set up an appointment from our chat!
On Saturday, Sister Shurtliff and I were able to attend to an international dinner that was being held for the Stake. Most of the missionaries in our district went. It took us about 2 hours to get there but it was great! Odilia, a lady that wanted us to come, was dancing that night with her Portuguese group. Her sister, Cindi, got baptized recently and now Odilia wants to talk to the missionaries to learn more! So... Odilia is like a golden investigator! All she needs is just to hear the lessons, go to church 3 times, and be worthy for baptism! She is seriously so ready for the gospel in her life! Unfortunately... She will be leaving for Portugal in two weeks and won't be back until September. It's a bummer... But I know she will be baptized when she gets back. The international dinner was a great success! There was a piñata for the kids, games, food, and dancing from different cultures. They also talked about family search! Sister Shurtliff and I will be teaching her about family history soon! She is super excited. Can't wait for that!
This week has been great! Through the rain and heat, teaching very interesting people, catching my bus ticket, inviting people to baptism and to read from the Book of Mormon, and cheering the depressed... I have felt the Lord guiding me each day in countless ways. I am so grateful to know that I have a family that loves me, a place to sleep each night, and to have the knowledge of the gospel. I feel truly blessed. One scripture that never left my mind this week was D&C 100:12, "Therefore, continue your journey and let your hearts rejoice; for behold, and lo, I am with you even unto the end."
My time here on the computer is at an end, so I must bid you all farewell for the day. I love you all and want you to know that I KNOW this Gospel to be true! I know that God lives. I know that Joseph Smith saw God, the Father, and Jesus Christ, and helped in restoring the Gospel again upon the Earth, in these Latter-Days!:) I love you all SOO much and want you to know that I pray for you all daily! Keep up your happy smiles and love to one another, because I can promise you, kindness makes a HUGE difference in peoples lives!!! I love you all!!!
I invite all of you to write down one thing you are grateful for in your life everyday. Whether it be in your journal, on a piece of paper by your bedside, or even on the family fridge... It will constantly remind you of the blessings the Lord has given us each and every day. Thank you for all of your love and support! Until next week...