Nottingham 3: February 22nd
Monday night was probably the highlight of this week! After p-day was finished, we headed to a Bible class we had been invited to by a Baptist preacher named Joe that we met last week when tracting. We couldn't decide whether we should go to the ward FHE or this, but we prayed about it and felt like it was right to go. They had a short lesson about God and then we all sat around a table to study the Bible. We introduced ourselves as missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The preacher then explained that this was the time where everyone could ask any questions they had about the Bible and we would study them in depth. He opened it up for questions about the Bible and it was silent for a little bit. And then somebody raised their hand and instead of turning to the preacher, they asked us if we believe in the Bible. So we explained that we use the King James Version. Then someone else raised their hand with another question about our church. And another. And it kept going until we explained that we didn't want to take away from Joe's lesson so they could ask us any questions after. After Joe finished, he pulled us aside and started to ask more questions about why we believe in the Book of Mormon, modern day prophets and in our church. We both explained that we had a personal testimony of our church and the Book of Mormon and that we know it is true. This seemed to surprise him that we had a testimony. Then something crazy happened! He invited us to come back the next Monday (tonight) and share those testimonies with the class! Another woman came up and she said she knew nothing about our church and wished we could have just sit around the table and talked about what we believe in and then answered questions all night. We explained that we do home visits and we could come see her and teach her but she wouldn't accept with the preacher there. Joe said that we could have some time to do that as well! So tonight we have the amazing opportunity to teach the restoration and share our testimonies with the Baptists! We asked President Leppard for some advice and they encouraged us bring some members to also share their testimonies. And then we heard this morning from President and Sister Leppard that they are coming tonight to support us and bear their testimonies with us. How cool is that?!?
Tuesday we got to move into our house! It's a proper English house and we've got lots of space! We spent the day helping Elder and Sister Page from the office and our zone leaders move all the furniture in and set it all up. It is so nice to be living in our area now and to finally get a little settled! We spent the night visiting ward members and somehow ended up with two dinners so we were very full when we got home.
Wednesday was pretty crazy! We started the morning with ward missionary coordination and then traveled to a lesson that fell through. We visited with some members and then had dinner with a young family that was so sweet! The elders had been teaching a woman named Catherine who has a baptismal date but she is in our area now and we've been trying the whole time we've been here to get ahold of her. So after dinner we felt like it was a good time to drop by and see her. And when we got there, the elders were talking to her on the porch because they'd felt prompted to go visit her as well! She is a young mom and she is so great! We were so happy to finally be able to meet her and set up a time to teach her.
Thursday we had a zone meeting with President and Sister Leppard and it was so great! We got to have a meeting with just the sister missionaries and Sister Leppard and she taught about our worth as daughters of God. Then after the meeting, Sister Leppard was open to go teaching so we volunteered to take her with us! We were going to teach a man from Nigeria but then he cancelled at the last minute! We were bummed because we were so excited to have her teach with us, but it was still a treat to spend a little bit of extra time with her. We did a little tracting and headed to our dinner appointment. Then we visited some less active members and traveled back home.
Friday was a pretty rough day. All of the lessons we had set and were so excited for fell through one by one. Everyone we traveled far to visit was feeling poorly and couldn't meet with us. Our bike tires were flat and we couldn't get the pump we had to work and it was really frustrating. We had dinner with the Hulse's who inspect all the flats for the missionaries. They're in our ward and they are amazing! Brother Hulse has this tradition where every time he shakes a missionaries hand he has a candy bar in his hand to give them. It's really funny and he's pretty sneaky about it. They fed us their famous missionary soup that they have been feeding to the missionaries every Friday for years. Then we did some service helping to put together a book with scriptures and quotes for a girl in the ward leaving on a mission for Indiana. We went to the ward game night for volleyball again and I did not get injured this week!
Saturday was my first day using the bike I'm borrowing and it was soooo hard! The strong wind really makes it difficult to bike. We biked really far and I was exhausted and really sore by the end of the day. We met up with a uni student that got baptized a year ago to help her with some concerns and doubts she has been having. Then we rushed back home on the bikes and got picked up for the adult session of stake conference. It was all focused on temples and it was so amazing!
Sunday we had stake conference! The spirit was so strong as each of the speakers talked, it was great! It was also a treat to hear from President and Sister Leppard again. We got dropped off at our house to do weekly plan and then decided to bike to our dinner so we wouldn't have to spend money on buses. We got very very lost and were really late but they took good care of us when we finally made it there. We ended up just leaving the bikes there and getting a ride because we were so done with them and it had gotten dark. After dinner, we visited some other ward members and finished our planning.
Have a great week!
Elder and Sister Page helped us move to our own house in our area! We set up furniture and got all settled. It is a cute English house with a stain glassed swan on the front door.
We named the swan Charlotte!