Monday, March 20, 2017

14th - 20th March 2017

Hey family and friends,

My trials and difficulties in waiting for the visa and serving in this area are still here but I'm finding enough spiritual sustenance from members and scripture reading to keep me going. I think I'm serving in this area to learn patience and optimism but there may be other reasons too. 

So on Wednesday I received my first package, it was full of candy with a scripture attached to each packet as well as some other supportive pieces of paper like a scripture for every emotion I feel and also a pair of socks. There must have been 12 packets of candy stuffed into that box. I read the note at the top saying it was from the mother of a sister missionary serving in Josh's mission in Croatia who heard I was having a hard time. I have never felt so much gratitude for a stranger before, and I have already had to rely on some of the scriptures she gave me like doctrine and covenants 121: 7-8 " My son, peace be unto thy soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment;
And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes".

I'm trying really hard to love this area and to accept the situation. We taught 0 lessons... the entire week was finding. Yesterday we had a tough time getting sworn off a drunk guys porch and that really cut me. but afterwards we had a Meal with the Trotters who just calmed my spirit and really inspired me to go on. Brother trotter had a rough life having been so desperate to the point where he fasted from food for 30 days in the woods. In this he found God again, is a member of the church, gives inspirational talks, and wrote a book called 'a different kind of strong' which we each received a signed copy of. 

My focus and goal is just to always stay happy and to not let my over thinking get the better of me as we spend half our day walking from place to place. We intend to have bikes in about a week so that will mean we will get to places faster. 

In a few weeks it will be general conference: an annual event which is broadcast to members all over the world. There the leaders of the church all speak including the prophet, it would be amazing to stay here long enough to get to see that live! We are going to order tickets soon and can only get tickets if we bring an investigator so we will start thinking about that. 

I am loving my companions and zone more and more and elder workman's unwavering optimism always supports me. I have met multiple previous mission presidents who served in Australia so we had some great conversations. Some stranger who just got off her mission gave us $20! 

I also met Melanie who sings in the tabernacle choir! She said that to get in you need to do a 3 hour theory test, send a recorded audition and then audition in person and after that you might just get put on stand by because there are 360 members of the choir who don't all sing.

Elder Liam Winfield 

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