Wow I am so excited for Ethan!! haha What an exciting mission call!!! I have been in so much suspense waiting for this email! haha since the date was moved up!! WOOHOOOO!! missions are the best Ethan, you'll do incredible, good luck with the super quick turn around, the Lord (and Mom and Dad) will help you :)
As for us here in Chorley this week, we are having great things happen!! We are still keeping busy, and have started teaching a South African family this week ( reason 1 million and 3 why I want to go visit s.a. after the mish!) and they are incredible and so prepared! They moved here 2 years ago and haven't found a church here to attend yet. They have strong desire to "find God again" and have some sore trials going on that have helped them to really turn to Him. I am so grateful for miracles like this family. We tracted into them when I first got here, mid november ish? and then kind of called by when in the area. as we were walking towards the flat, I had this distinct impression that we needed to call by them. I was also praying about what we could say to get a return appointment. When we had met them tracting, we had just met the father, and when we called by , the wife answered the door. We asked if he was in, but then the spirit told me to really explain to her who we were. She was excited to hear what we do as missionaries, and eagerly told us to come back to teach the whole fam! We did, and the lesson was so powerful, they have been reading in the Book of Mormon, and we are so excited to help them keep progressing!! Woohoo!
The other bigger miracle from this week was when one of the members got really excited about missionary work, and when he saw kirsty at a party of a ward member, invited her and her boyfriend to come to church and to keep meeting with the missionaries. We haven't been able to get into contact with Kirsty, and have been kind of unsure of what to do for her, and so this was a HUGE answer to prayer. They both came to church, and her boyfriend, who lives down near manchester, wants to meet with missionaries down there!! YAY!!
I have been thinking a lot lately about change and repentance and what a joy it is. I had a particular experience this week as I prayed to know how I could improve and change. I was reminded of King Lamoni's father in the Book of Mormon. He wanted to know if God was there, and declared he would give away ALL OF HIS SINS to know Him. I had a very real reminder from the spirit that I need to leave behind all of my sins, to give away all past guilt, regret, failures, sins, and even weakness. That even though I didn't want to, somehow I was still holding on to all of that, but really I didn't have to at all! I felt that I was willing to give over my will to God, but that amount of will was significantly decreased because of all of those things I let linger in my mind and bug me. It is the moment when we clear those things away, push them off the table, realise that the Atonement can literally cleanse us, and take those things away, that we can really give our whole will over to the Lord. I felt that incredible power and cleansing this week, and I know what a difference it can make. I have felt a greater ability to do this work, and to focus on what really matters most. I love my Saviour, and I am eternally grateful that we can repent daily and improve because of Him.
One kinda funny story to tell you: So this morning, we got our shopping done, and were waiting for the bus... 20 min later, after complaining about how our precious pday time was ticking away, we decided to walk the 15 min walk home.... dang it! haha so that kinda sets the stage for what comes next. We put down our groceries and set out to catch the next bus into town to come email. We are walking around the corner to the bus stop, and... it drives right past us!! IT WAS 5 MIN EARLY!! WHAT!!??? dahhhhhh! i was just not so happy about that. we sat there, waiting for our bus that was meant to get there in about 15 more min. When all of a sudden i look up, and see our bus driving towards the stop!! We jump up and hail it, and happily board, realising, opps, that other bus that just passed was super late, and ours was right on time ;) hahaha oh the joys of public transport, welcome to the life of missionaries in the UK hahaha It also was another evidence of God's love for us, tender mercies are just so sweet :) and sometimes quite humorous.
Oh! one more for you! We decided to spend some time calling by less actives, and as we knocked on the door of one near us, we got the most interesting welcome. The husband answered the door, and goes, "Oh, hey everyone, the wicked witches from the west are here!!" haha turns out he is just cheeky as ever, and was happy to have us come in and chat with him and his wife :)
I am so grateful to be here in Chorley right now! Things really are looking up, and the sun is FINALLY starting to peek from behind the clouds. British springs are so beautiful! The daffodils are everywhere, yay!!
I love you all and I am so excited to hear about all of your amazing news and fun adventures! Keep smiling, keep up the good work!
Sister Carter xx