Monday, April 24, 2017

FROM FUNERALS TO WEDDINGS (Week 35 Wylde Green, England)

this might have been one of the most loaded and lit weeks of my mission to date...and today is my eight month mark of being in the UK! this week I proved to be a champion dealer in monopoly, got blood drawn, and a lot more so let's get it!

last week we were pallbearers at a funeral and this week we were at a wedding! PxxJxx and Syyonya got married on Saturday at the chapel and it was such a cool experience. There were so many non members at the church and while it wasn't a church service, there were still hymns and prayers, hopefully it softened some hearts! Elder Clayton and I spoke at it. While elder clayton was speaking, he mentioned how they were getting baptised this upcoming week, which I would've thought was fine, but PxxJxx didn't tell any of his family yet so...yeah haha. We didn't get permission to go to the reception but it's all good, it was fun to talk to people outside the church and stuff before they all left for the reception! It has been so cool to be a front row seat for their journey, I remember the first time us bringing up marriage, we honestly never could have imagined all of this happening. They are like family to me, I love them! We also wrote a speech for PxxJxx's cousin but he wimped out and didn't read it, it was loaded with gospel doctrine and stuff but unless you were a member of the church, you wouldn't even know it! Oh also, so we went to their house on Thursday night, and Syyonia's mom, and sister, and way more family was there. At the beginning of the night Sonyyia's mom was totally not down for us being there, but at the end she was almost in tears and accepted a Book of Mormon. We showed them the will of God video as well, everyone check that one out!

Zone Conference
We had this giant zone conference thing with half of the mission last week in Coventry. It was actually pretty cool, Elder Phillips, who is a general authority around here came and spoke to us, what's cool too is that he only came for our half of the mission and he said some things that really touched me, and it was a huge answer to some prayers, I'll explain more one day. I had to say the prayer on the food as well and of course, my voice cracked so flipping bad at the beginning and the ending, jeez I just can't escape the middle school years

Exchanges with the homie hill
I got to do exchanges last week with elder hill, like the elder hill from Ladera ranch, the Ladera ranch in California, the California in the United States, like the same United States I'm from. It was way fun to be with someone from back home again but it was kinda weird too, but good times!

Random ish
Lots happened this week but I don't have a lot of time right now so here's a few other random stuff:
-yesterday we were walking back to our flat and I felt strongly to go visit one of our potentials, we did and were able to show her the Easter video and got invited back this week, I'm so grateful I listened to that prompting
-we had a ton of dinners this week with PxxJxx, the Willmores ( they work in the office), the Robertsons, the Ruberys, the Owens, and more! This ward is stacked!
-we went to the belfry, the place they have played the Ryder cup at, this morning to hit balls on the range, I would kill to play one of these courses, i felt like I was on the mission viejo country club range again!
-there is a new basketball hoop outside our chapel in the car park (that's how they say parking lot here) so we woke early on Saturday morning to play with the homies Elder Searle and Smith

Spiritual thought
This email is already pretty long but I can't leave yall without one. Ezra Taft Benson once said about the Book of Mormon, “There is a power in the book which will begin to flow into your lives the moment you begin a serious study of the book. You will find greater power to resist temptation. You will find the power to avoid deception. You will find the power to stay on the strait and narrow path.” I can testify that this is true. I finished the Book of Mormon again this weekend and everytime I've read from it, I've always felt happier. It's brought so much peace during my life, and there's so much crap on the internet about it that's absolute garbage. I'd challenge you all to read the Book of Mormon sincerely. It will bring you closer to god and Jesus Christ, and to your families, more than any other book.

hope you guys had a good easter! happy birthday to Adam and the homie Sam Hunter! love you guys! and I love you all!

Elder Varner

pics 1-8: the world famous BELFRY
pic 9: easter dinner with the willmores
pic 10: easter lunch with the robertsons
pics 11-13: wedding pictures

video 1: still got game!

so many pictures this week, sorry guys haha

pics 1-4: birmingham baby!
pic 5: the homie bishop mason
pic 6: the homie josh 
pic 7: exchanges with elder hill
pics 8-9: miner, claboux, and gilbert!

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