Beach Contacting: So I can't think of a more beautiful place to find and teach people about the gospel than by the ocean! There is a long stretch of side walk by the ocean so one day we planned to walk it and were just talking to everyone in our path. Some stopped, some didn't but we were able to teach 4 lessons and meet some really cool people. Seriously I felt like the luckiest missionary. Plus people in Devon (that is the county we live in) are so friendly. When I say hi, people say hi back! I really am appreciating it. If I had to live in England, I think I would live in this area. It is so quaint and peaceful.
Thanksgiving: The Julians are this family who joined the church about 2 and half years ago. They are the type of people who embraced the gospel and are extremely active and strong members. They have the elders and us over everyand so this week we had an early Thanksgiving dinner and it was so much fun. They are having us over for Christmas too, so we are pumped for that. This week we have zone conference and they are making a Thanksgiving feast. I'm still in the western zones, so I am excited to see Sister Chamberlain and hear how Bath is doing. Since it takes so long to travel to Poole we have to stay 2 nights with the sisters in Yeovil. There are two other families too who invited us over for Thanksgiving because they lived in America/or are American. So oddly enough, I'm getting more Thanksgivings in England this year.
Interfaith Forum: They did this interfaith forum in Paignton and wanted all the missionaries in our district (Sister Jacob and Erasmus in Torquay, Elder Allen and Anderson in Paignton, Elder Blackner and Smith in Newton Abbot, and us) to be there. There were about 10 faiths represented, and they were expecting loads of people to be there, but not a lot of people came. But on the a good note, we got to wear saris for a little bit so that was cool.
Striking a Balance: Our area is Teignmouth and Dawlish, but we are also working with single woman, recent converts, and less actives that the elders can't really go to in Newton Abbot. I would love to stay in Teignmouth every day because I feel like there is so much potential to work with, but we are trying to find that balance between the two areas. The bus systems are not as solid as they were in Bath and it takes about 40 mins to an hour to get to Newton Abbot. Our baptismal date comes back from Africa this week and so I'm excited to meet him and see how he's feeling about the gospel.
Obedience: I have never appreciated the importance of obedience as much as I do on the mission. It is so important to our success and has made me a happier person. It is really simple. Obedience brings happiness and blessings and disobedience brings sorrow and guilt. God is our Heavenly Father and He knows what is best for us. We just have to trust in Him and in his commandments and then everyone is happy! Anyways I love you all and wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving. I am thankful for the gospel, family, friends, and to be serving a mission in England. I think I'm finally understanding how to be the happiest missionary and person I can be, and I am so thankful for the lessons I learn everyday.
My commitment for you: To seek out a family or a person who is either overlooked or not very pleasant to people in general and find ways to serve and love them. I am learning on my mission what type of member I want to be when I get back. I want to be a member who takes those struggling or lost sheep under my wing so I can love them unconditionally until they can feel God's love more abundantly in their life. I think that is what it means to truly be a disciple of Christ.
Love and Cheers,