...and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. (Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7-9)

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

Hi everyone!

It was a bit of a slow week until the last few days this week. Through Thursday, we had only 3 lessons with investigators (only 1 new) and a ton of finding hours, but Friday and Saturday we turned on the heat and we ended up with 12 lessons with investigators for the week and 7 new investigators. Unfortunately no one came to church, including our progressing couple who promissed the night before they'd come every week. So our focus this week is sacrament meeting attendance. We will be teaching and reviewing the importance of coming to church in every appointment with investigators this week and inviting even people on the street to come. Church attendence is they most important key indicator of progression. Sunday was also a very solemn day because we received a phone call during pristehood meeting that a less-active sister we were very close to passed away. She had been in the hospital for two weeks, but it was still very unexpected because we had heard she was coming out of the hospital and was doing much better healthwise. It turned out she had an aneurism in her heart and she passed away Saturday night. I felt particularly bad because I had a strong feeling we should go visit her Saturday evening and I ignored it. She was one of the most Christlike people Elder Bentley and I have ever known and was only less- active for health reasons. She also made some really delicious meals every time we visited. She inspired us to be better people and we miss her a ton. She was suffering through a lot of pain the last month of her life however and it was her time to go. She is certainly resting from those pains in paradise right now. She was 73. I thought of a scripture after hearing about her death that reminded me of the example she set for us. Alma 13:28-29 read: "But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest." 

Despite the sad news, we are both having a lot of fun here.  Anyway, that's all the time I have and thanks for everything! Love you! 

Elder Winder

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011

Woah! We had a surprise baptism this weekend! We have been working with a 16-year odl girl from Zimbabwe who is in a part-member family. We had originally scheduled her baptism for the 29th because her family hadn't been to our branch for so long, but President Lindley felt she needed to be baptised ASAP, so we moved it to the 15th. It was pretty crazy because of all the sudden preparations we were making. We didn't get the program sorted out until the morning of Saturday. Luckilly we have a very hard-working branch mission leader who really helped get everything sorted out. We are excited to have her in the branch now and to see her family coming each week. She is being well-fellowshipped in Young Womens as well. We had two investigators show up at the baptism, one of which is from Zimbabwe as well, so she and the family immediately started getting along, and she really felt the Spirit at the end when her grandmother prayed in her native tongue (Zimbabwean?), especially since she was pretty much the only one there that could understand it. 

Lots of other exciting things are going down in Leeds 5 as well! We are working with a couple now who we originally thought had fallen off the face of the earth. They are living together, but unmarried, so obviously that is in the way of their baptism. Orginally, this caused an issue with their progression, which was why we didn't see them for so long. But Sister Lindley urged us during Conference weekend to go see her (they met the one time they came to church a couple months ago-- President and Sister Lindley were visiting that day). So we finally made contact with her and saw her on Saturday before the baptism. We lovingly extended pretty much every commitment they need to progress to baptism and they excitedly accepted all of them! They are reading and praying about the Book of Mormon as a couple daily, fighting their way out of Word of Wisdom struggles, very committed to attending church on a weekly basis, and how about the Law of Chastity issue? Well, after extending the commitment to live the Law of Chastity, they decided they want to get married as soon as possible! So not only may we get to witness a couple get baptized, if we're in Leeds 5 long enough, we are going to witness their marriage. Unexpected, but very exciting! They both need the gospel greatly in their lives and they are both willing to make the necessary changes in their lives to have it with them. This is an exciting time to be a missionary in Leeds 5. We also found out one of our investigators who we could not tell the gender of is a woman, so that was a big relief, since she told us she was married. Yeah, funny story about that. Probably not going on the blog. haha. Write me if you really want to know. 

Oh also, I figure I'll just give you all my flat address to write me because it's a lot quicker than going through the mission office. But you all have to promise you'll keep up to date with my address so you don't send it after I've moved away! Promise? Okay. Good. My address is:
4 Melbourne Mills, Melbourne Street
Morley, Leeds
LS27 8BJ
If you're really worried about sending it to the wrong address, just send it to the Mission Office, but if you're good about keeping up to date, I'll have the correct address posted, and I'll let you all know when transfers are coming up, meaning I may or may not be moving. They're every 6 weeks, and during transfers week, it's best to just send a letter to the Mission Office to be safe. This is Week 2 of this current transfer, so no worries for now. You can write all the letters you want. And I'll write back as soon as possible every time because I love you! Well, most of you. But if you send me a letter, I will love you. Deal. Okay, that's all for this week. Good luck with the changing weather! I'm not :(  Bye!
Elder Winder

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011

Sorry for all the preaching last week, everyone! I was just so pumped from General Conference. I still am. 

I don't have a lot of time to write and nothing too unordinarilly excited is coming up, so I suppose I'll tell you all a little bit about what Englad Leeds missionaries do in their free time. Most importantly, the England Leeds mission is a Pokemon card-playing mission, so that is basically a nightly occurance. It was a little odd at first because I haven't played since I was about 11, but it's fun stuff, moreso when you aren't really allowed to do much else for fun. On P-days, we often meet with the elders in our zone at the stake center to play basketball and watch a movie. You're probably thinking we only get to watch like, Ben-Hur and The Best Two Years, but you are wrong if you guessed such a thing. We watched Tangled last week, and we're watching Hercules today. Hook two weeks ago. We have an approved movie list from President Lindley, which is in addition to all animated U-rated (basically G-rated) Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks movies. So that's a blast. We also have Nerf guns, the uses of which are pretty self-explanatory. We have suprisigngly only played football once, but when we did we (the Leeds Zone) creamed the Sheffield Zone 8-3. I touched the ball at least 3 times. That is a success for me. Football is a lifestyle here, of course. Apparently with President's permission, we are allowed to go to Leeds United games if they fall on P-day. I will certainly have to take up that offer one of these days. There isn't a whole lot of time for fun, but we definitely make do with what we have. It's nothing like the MTC where we could goof around all day. The zone leaders try to make things fun as well. Interesting would be a better word, actually. Last month, we had to wear one sock (not two, not none, not three) to bed each night. This month we have to invite 3 people to be baptized every day, even if we don't have 3 appointments with new investigators that day (because we invite all new investigators to be baptized in the first appointment). So we asked a man we met on the street if he wanted to be baptized yesterday. And he said yes! It was pretty grand. We'll be seeing him on Friday this week. 

Well, that's all the story-telling for now. Love you all!
Elder Winder

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3, 2011

Wow, what a conference! I really enjoyed the session I was able to get broadcasted. I was only able to watch Priesthood, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning because of the time difference, but I loved every minute of it. Everything seemed to apply to missionary work and the investigators I work with, even the talks that didn't explicity have anything to do with missionary work. I hope you all received some personal revelation during conference weekend. My favorite talk had to be Elder Holland's in the priesthood session. He basically called out the church to serve a mission, for those of you who couldn't see it. The church needs tens of thousands more missionaries than we already have and much of the world hasn't even been opened up for missionary work yet. I can tell it is coming very, very soon. The growth of the church is at a rate now where we are receiving world-wide recognition and the efforts of the members in spreading the gospel need to keep up with that expansion! President Monson said that the rift between the morals of the church and those of the world are growing increasingly further apart. This means the "middle ground" is quickly disapearing. Many more people are going to join the church, and many more people are going to be fighting against it. When Captain Moroni faced people on his own side in times of war that refused to fight, he considered them enemies and put them to death if they would not fight for their freedom. The time to prepare for the last days is thinning out. President Monson said that we have been born in this age because we have been "saved for the final inning". In a baseball game, those are the players who perform best in pressurized, clutch situations. My generation has a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, and it will increase with the next. Are we ready to act when the time to prepare is over? I would sincerely urge all of you to refocus your efforts on spreading the gospel and especially in nourishing, building, or maybe finding a testimony of its truthfulness. A major theme of this conference was preparation and spreading the gospel. General Conference is specific revelation for the whole of the church for the coming 6 months. Everything we heard, we were told because we need to apply it better in our lives. We heard things we heard many times before, but President Eyring said that if you're hearing something over an over again, it's not boredom, it's inspiration. These are inspired leaders who see where the church and the world is going in the very near future. Missionairy work has never been so important as it is now. If any of you who have member friends of mission age who are considering not going on a mission, tell them to think again. If any of you fall under that category, think again. The world now knows The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and every person in it will eventually have to decide for themselves whether they are for or against the work of God. Keep up the amazing work, all of you. 

I really do appreciate every letter you send and every prayer you say for the missionaries around the world. Encouragement is better than gold on a mission. I love you all and I will write again next week!
Elder Winder
P.s. I didn't get transferred thankfully! Neither did my companion. Leeds 5 for another 6 weeks (at least)!