Another week gone and here I am! It's been a great week here in Swinton for Elder Palmer and I!
Congrats Dallin for the new calling as a ward missionary, and as the gospel principles teacher! Nothing will help you prepare more than going out with missionaries and teaching basic principles of the gospel.
Maurice is doing fantastic, he came to another baptism this past Saturday and said the closing prayer. And then on Saturday we had a chance to go up to the temple with him and have a look around the complex. We took a picture of him with the temple in the background, once he was looking at it he commented, "Well, looks like I'm a proper member!"
For the past couple of weeks we have been teaching a family of four, Geoff, Mandy, Kieron, and Lorreta. They referred themselves through the website, and were taught some before I arrived. But since I have been here, they had been pretty stagnant in their progress. They were getting caught up in not understanding the Book of Mormon, and it seemed like we were going to have to drop them.
But Elder Palmer being the great missionary that he is extended them a challenge with a promise, he said that if they were to read from the Book of Mormon for 20 minutes everyday, praying every time before and after, whilst coming to church for three weeks -- they would receive an answer that it is true. They accepted, well Geoff, the father mainly accepted the challenge, and since then he has had a different attitude when we come around. He was able to explain to us in great detail what he had read, and began to see reading the Book of Mormon a joy. We are excited about this family and are looking forward to seeing them quite a bit this week.
A couple weeks ago I told you about Bro. Lancaster and him coming back to church after 5 years. Well, he has been every week since, and we continue to see him. Just yesterday we popped around and caught him and his wife in. It was the first time she had been there, and that was great! A couple of years ago she was the Relief Society President and then slowly fell away... We were able to establish a great trust early on and ease into finding out how we could help her. She explained feeling exhausted and overwhelmed with all that was going on at church. What came to my mind was a talk that I read a bit ago called "Believing Christ: a Practical Approach to the Atonement by Stephen Robinson". He explains a story that was related to hers, and he talked about how we need to "believe Christ" when he says what he says, and when he says "Come unto me all ye that are heavy laden, and I will give you rest" He means what he says...
And so as we shared some thoughts along those lines you could tell her heart was being softened. Right before ending we felt she needed a blessing and so we offered and she accepted. I cannot even tell you how great it was to leave that lesson, it felt like so much good had happened in that hour we were there. I love being able to teach less-actives, it is just about helping them remember what they that had once felt.
This week we also taught a family from Pakistan. They were so warm and friendly to us, and such great people. The language barrier is making things difficult, but there is great potential...
The Swinton sisters had a baptism of a mother and her two children this past Saturday. The ward is really buzzing with all of the blessings of baptisms we have received in the past couple months. It is because the ward is doing so great in bringing new members in! The Lord knows he can trust them with more.
We went to the Bible study again this week, and it is still going very well! They are really warming up to us!
I'm sorry, but today we are having our Zone activity, which is playing sports down at the Manchester South chapel, whilst celebrating Chinese New Year with Chinese food, so my time is short...