Monday, September 16, 2013

5 weeks in England

 We are teaching a 14 year-old girl named M______ and her mother has had her named removed from the church, and is working to come back. Her mother, T_____, wants to be an example to her daughter, and she is doing a great job. M______ only has a few lessons left, and she knows that the church is true, but she hasn't committed to a date. Last night, we showed her the testimony of the Book of Mormon by Elder Holland. She hasn't gotten far into the BofM, but she has a testimony of it. We asked her the baptismal questions (without telling her what we were doing), and she did great. She wants to watch general conference before she can say she believes that President Monson is a prophet, but she believes that God would still call prophets today. She also said that she wants to have all of the lessons before she gets baptized so that she doesn't do something bad without knowing it. I literally laughed at that, and explained to her that that is a good thing because we aren't allowed to baptize her until she has had them all! She laughed and was like, "oh, ok, that makes sense!" I then explained why we set baptismal dates with people early on, and that it is a goal for the investigator to work toward. I told her that she doesn't have to feel ready to get baptized for us to set a date, but that she should feel confident that she will be ready by the date we set. I then told her that Elder Mannucci and I were going to pray about it and I asked her if it was ok if we could set a date the next time we taught her. She said that it was ok. I expressed to her that we want her to feel comfortable, and that we don't want to rush into anything, but that we also feel confident hat she will be ready after general conference which is the first weekend in October. I think that she feels much more comfortable now that she understands a little more. We also picked up a new investigator through a member. We ate dinner with the member, Kathia, and her friend, T_____. She asked us about why we don't drink coffee or wine, etc. So Elder Mannucci and I taught her the word of wisdom lesson, and committed her to live it. She came to church on Sunday, which was awesome. It is not very often when you teach a commandment as your first lesson. It is usually the Restoration or the Plan of Salvation. So it was a little weird, but the spirit was there, and Kathia, the member was a huge strength, and it was the first time that Elder Mannucci and I had taught in nearly perfect unity, which was funny, because it is also one of the few lessons that we haven't practiced teaching together. Tania, the investigator seemed to understand quite well, and she expressed that she thinks she could live it pretty easily! We are going to teach her at Kathia's house again on Saturday, and Kathia has invited another friend who has expressed interest in the gospel as well. Kathia is a GOLD MINE! She is also the one who introduced us to the Spanish family that I talked about previously. And the best part about it is that she has only been a member for a few years, and she can't speak English extremely well, but that doesn't stop her! Working with members is the best way to do missionary work, so keep it up! You don't know how much the missionaries will appreciate it!
We are also teaching an Excommunicated member. He is probably in his sixties, and his name is J____. He has had all of the missionary lessons multiple times, and he knows everything is true. He is one of the most active people in the ward, and he isn't even Baptized! He just has to work with the bishop and stake president, but the bishop told us he will be ready soon, and that we should just continue to teach and strengthen him. He is one of my favorites because he used to work in a bakery, and every time we visit, he bakes us an amazing cake!
Jaren  keep up on the piano. Don't ever give it up! I seriously regret it because so many missionaries in the MTC were really good, and one of my zone leaders, Elder Fingerle, from Germany is really good. Every time I hear someone playing I want to play, but I am not very good. I still know the basics, and have been getting better. We also have a guitar in our flat, and we play it while waiting for food to cook! I knew some of the basics for guitar from watching tutorials this summer, and I am picking it up better as well! But that is not why I am here, so I don't spend a lot of time on it, only when we have a little free time while cooking lunch etc.
So elder Mannucci made this Italian desert, called tiramisu, for district meeting on Wednesday. He wanted to do something special, because he felt like it was a disgrace to have tiramisu without a specific reason. So, he told everyone, including me that it was Elder Fingerle's b-day on that Wednesday. The sisters in our district actually bought him a present and I brought the party poppers that I got from a member on my b-day and we organized this huge surprise for him. His b-day is actually October 15, so it was a month early. I think the funniest part is how much elder Mannucci laughed, because no one knew that it wasn't his b-day until the very end! We also did a fake interview with him about the experience!
Speaking of b-days, I got my gift Saturday night, thanks so much for the camera card! I don't have any worries about space at all now! Also thanks for the sour-patch kids! You know they are very different from American ones! They have a purple one and a yellow one! The green ones are a very gross color, because they don't use a s much die, I think! but they are still very good!
I also attached a pic of the average meal we eat in the flat when we don't have a dinner appointment! I love having an Italian companion!  I actually made this one, but still!
I love you all, and thanks for the b-day cards from the Acton's with all the signatures it means
a lot.
Love Elder Brown, Your favorite missionary from Montana serving in England!

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