First off, I have to tell you that I passed my driving test!The burden has been lifted... and I now can drive the Merriv! My test was on Wednesday morning in Widnes, which is the place I have taken it for the past 2 times, with my first being in Chester...yes... I have failed three other times...So in anticipation for the test I couldn't help but think, "What if I fail again...." I didn't want to spend a year on trying to get a license, and then just not get it...
So the Sunday before Elder Palmer and I fasted for the purpose of my test (Elder Thomas also did, wow he's so sacred). And let me tell you, I was praying my heart out that the Lord would sharpen my mind and calm my nerves for the test. I also continued to pray that I wouldn't have to parallel park, which is why I failed last time (long story).
Elder Palmer was so great at keeping things positive and getting me "pumped." He had so much faith in me. Now let me tell you the miracle of it all... When I arrived I soon realized I was going to be tested by the same man the second time I took it, who was just so down to earth, and nothing like "Wayne the Pain" from Chester. And right before I got in the car he took me to the side and he said, "Look, I know you've got an American license, just show me that your a safe driver."
The best part was as I started the test I soon realized that it was the exact same route that I took just 2 weeks earlier. Now how could that happen? There are over 30 different route's that are run, and I got the exact same one that I had, which gave me such an advantage as I always knew where I was heading. Miracle.
But the scary part was that this was the same route that had the parallel park, which is just not my strong point. And just as I was thinking about this Roy had me pull into a side road and do a 3 point-turn, which is the reverse maneuver that I knew the best, and I nailed it. From then on all I had to do was drive... When we pulled up to the test centre and he told me that I had passed, it was like I had just won the Superbowl. Pure relief that was!
I was tremendously blessed with regards to my driving license. From that entire process I have learned how to accept the Lord's timing and not mine. The entire time the Lord was teaching me patience and the importance of resilience through trials. After failing one of my tests I came across a scripture that I felt was directly for me at that time in my mission...
"Therefore, let him contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church, saith the Lord; and when he falls he shall rise again, for his asacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord."--Doctrine and Covenants 117:13
I hope to cultivate this into my own life, and it can be now of me "...when he falls he shall rise again."
The great thing about me now passing my test is that all the money invested in the license will soon start to pay for itself! With the respect of the England driving standards, and with having two licenses the car insurance that I will have when I get back will be lower!
This week I also had the opportunity to head back down to Wythenshawe for an exchange! It is a special thing to go back to your first area and spend a couple of days there. It blows my mind that it has been over a year since I was back there. Time is on the move and no matter what I do it just doesn't slow down.
While I was there I had to stop by and see Mike Lohman again. He is doing very well testimony wise, but is having a hard time getting time off work on Sundays to come to church. He was excited to see me, as I was him - and just loved being able to tell me all the great things that have happened to him. He organized a church study group that went on for awhile and has participated in many of the Church activities, one being a part in the Roadshow.
Also while I was on exchange we went up to the temple with one of the Chinese recent converts of the Wythenshawe ward for a mission wide Chinese New Year celebration. There were over 50 Chinese people, mainly university students. With there also being about 20% of them nonmembers. And yes, I saw Sam there! She was snapping pictures the whole time and looks like I got in a few (check her Facebook page). I also was able to see some of the Chinese kids from Liverpool that I taught. It was a moment to remember, a coach load of Chinese people coming to visit the temple.
This week Jeff and the family came to church. Mandi, the wife, Loretta, their 17year old daughter, and her friend Elizabeth all came to church and caught right on to the routine. They are doing very well and keeping commitments. One of the big ones we taught this past week was the Word of Wisdom, it went very well as they knew it to be true.
This next Monday is transfers, so expect to hear from me on Wednesday!