Monday, January 9, 2017

Missed Bus - Saved From Being Stabbed! (Week 21)

never have I ever...had a weirder week in my entire life. this last week has been a blast out here in england, the area is so sick and I can see so many sweet things happening here, and it's only the beginning! there were a few hard points at the beginning but the hype is real right now! 

last Monday was such a good day, but it was probably the saddest day of my mission. I felt kinda sick throughout the day but I was not gonna let that ruin my last day in Swansea! No chance! Me and miner went to visit Royston and Fionna, and then the Fishes for the last time. After emailing me and elder Sinclaire, the sisters, kxxxx and Kexx Hxxx, and Axxx all went to Five guys for my farewell dinner, cuz there's no five guys in my new zone. Saying goodbye to these people had to be the hardest thing I've ever done, like for example I was talking to Royston over the phone at night and by the end of it I was just in tears, I never thought I'd grow to love a place so much.

Tuesday I woke up and had to be at the train station early for the coach to pick us up in front of it, kayleigh and the sisters came to say goodbye and that was super sad to leave. Swansea will always have a special place in my heart. On the coach ride to the mission home I had to say goodbye to elder miner too, which was sad. I got to talk to Ben hill for a bit though. Once I got to the mission home I was reunited with my mtc group which was soooo sick! The squad!! Then I met elder Clayton, who is super rad, and we went to go visit a potential and went knocking doors. These people in England are way nicer than people made them out to be. Two catholic priests let us in and fed us some food and just talked with us, and they lived in a MANSION! So tight! The day had its hard points because I missed Swansea so much and the people there, it's so weird being in a new place, but I'll press on! The flat is super sick, way nicer than the flat in Swansea and everything seems good!

Wednesday was a pretty good day. It definitely started out harder just because of how much I missed Swansea, but we had a boss comp study and studied the talk Choose Wisely by Elder Cook! It was so sick, check it! After that we did some grocery shopping cuz we had NO food except a mega bag of krusteaz pancake mix that a senior missionary couple got us from Costco, so we are set for good pancakes! we knocked a ton of doors and it was an interesting time to say the least haha, these English people are actually pretty nice, but they aren't too interested. We knocked one door and these two girls came up to us and said that the lady at that house was old and we should've already known that and that we were annoying the lady, well, the lady answers the door and the girl tells this lady she is looking out for her, and the lady thinks she said something different, she comes out slow as a slug and starts yelling at her, then laughs, kisses her on the cheek, walks back, smiles at us, sees our name tags, immediately says no repeatedly, walks into her doorway still saying no, shuts the door, and then we finally got a word in by saying ok, oh my gosh I was dying. If that story didn't make sense, the moral of it is that England is weird. We stopped by the O'Gradys couple, young couple from chelmsey wood, shoutout to the homie elder Gilbert! (And also elder ey! Love that guy! Keep having fun in the hood dude!), and they are super cool. Then we had ward coordination with our ward mission leader, brother Owens, then he took us back to his place to have dinner with him and his wife, it was SOO good, they are such a cool couple, they remind me of the Mehners, 100%, i love it!

Thursday was good I think, to be honest, I can't remember it at all and I'm too lazy to check my planner over it. At night we had the Walsall elders, elder Blair from Arizona and elder Campbell from Scotland stay at our flat which was fun, super late night. Oh I almost forgot! So we were about to get on a bus but we barely missed it, so we walked to the next stop and the bus was stopped there and apparently some guy in between stops tried to stab someone so god really saved us on that one! that could have been us haha

Friday was probably one of the best days of my mission! We had interviews with president in the morning and it was so sick to talk to p-Leppard! I asked him about patriarchal blessings and other sick stuff! My favourite thing he said was how patriarchal blessings are for our entire life's, meaning pre existence, this life, and the life to come! We shared some good heart to heart personal stories and more. I love president and sister Leppard! After that we did district finding in wylde green which was tight cuz we got 10 new people for us to visit out here! Then me and elder Blaire, homie from Arizona who has been out one month less than me, went on exchanges. We went to Walsall to a dinner appointment with a member named Sue who is super sweet and also an investigator of theirs, he's had a rough past but we got him to commit to being baptised in two weeks and he is so hyped up about it, like so sick! I'm hyped for the Walsall elders and more importantly, this homie Dxx! We walked back to their flat which is in the hood, I swear this part of Walsall is so sketchy, we almost saw a fight break out and I was ready to jump on those cats!

Saturday was a great day too, me and elder blair went to the town center in Walsall and  just talked to pretty much everyone, we found a few interested people, but also had two weird encounters. One of them was a big black guy holding up a straw with a paper that said "Jesus" on it, I went up and said "heck yeah!" and he gave me a high five and we were hyped and I thought I'd be on my way, but then he starts talking to us and out of no where a super weird old lady comes up to us on one side and then an Asian lady with two young kids on the other, and in a ten second span it went from two of us and one guy to two of us and five others. They started talking about there religion, it might have been the j-dubs but I wasn't too sure, they were trying to get us to convert to their thing for like 30 minutes and I was just so confused, they were contradicting themselves so much by saying things like only grace can save you, your works will never do it, but in the bible it says faith without works is dead, and they were saying we could do anything, i don't know, it was dumb, it almost got to a bash, but we held back cuz we didn't want to wreck them. After that we met up with two other elders in Walsall to get Nando's for lunch, did some knockin and then met up with one of their investigators which was good. While knocking some guy lectured us about body language for twenty minutes too, not cuz we had bad body language, but it came up some how and then he just shredded (jokingly of course) elder Blair apart, I was dying! we had to stay again in Walsall because the train schedule sucks and the other elders came too late for us to make it back, so we had a late night of playing darts and just relaxing.

Sunday was good as always. The ward here is so cool, it's not as funny as Swansea ward, but the people are sooo kind and there's youth here so that's cool! The bishop asked me to bear my testimony at the beginning of the meeting and then I also taught gospel principles about fasting, but there were only missionaries and the ward mission leader there so not a big crowd haha. Also we got called into relief society to bear our testimonies of the restoration and what it means to us individually, so yes, I went to relief society (women class at church for those who aren't mormons) haha.

I guess this will lead into my spiritual thought, this week I want each of you to think about what the restoration means to you individually, and if you feel comfortable with sharing, email me about it because I think it's so cool to hear from others what this gospel means to them. For me, the best part of the restoration is that through Joseph Smith, temples were restored. In most churches, you are married "til death do you part", but in temples you are sealed for time and ALL ETERNITY. There is nothing more comforting to me than the fact that I know I'll be with my family forever. The restoration wasn't just an event 200 years ago, it's something that is still going on today. As you constantly reflect on it's personal meaning to you, your hearts will flow with gratitude for that sacred moment. 

This area is pretty sweet so far, it's definitely been one of the more interesting weeks of my mission. Still keep me in your prayers, I miss Swansea a ton but this place is rising and we are grinding out in the work! I'm hyped for what will be another LIT week!  I gotta run and kick these other elder's butts in 9 holes of GOLF, DV classic English rain edition! Hope you guys have a sick week and always remember that I love you!!

Elder Varner

send all letters/packages to:
187 Penns Lane
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
England B76 1JU
United Kingdom

video 1: tracting life (golf ball idea from trev thomp!)
pics 1-2: nandos with blair, garrick, and ohare
pic 3: part of the mtc squad
pic 4: miner man
pic 5: last look out at swansea
pic 6: axxx

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