Monday, May 29, 2017

good touches galore! (week 41, Wylde Green, England)

Family and friends,

I just wanted to start out by asking you all to pray for everyone affected by the devastating terrorist attack in Manchester this past week. These kind of attacks are always tragic, but this attack on the people of this country seemed a bit more personal to me this time, I've grown to love the English people and that kind of attack truly is devastating. Despite that tragedy and also feeling extra sick this week, I absolutely loved this last week.

On Wednesday morning I woke up with a knarly cold and its lasted all the way til now. There were some hard moments in the last few days, but I had an absolute blast and it was cool to see the stuff that happened! So none of our current investigators answered the phone or their doors this past week so we were left with a lot of finding time. Elder Kinard's bike tire is flat right now so we walked everywhere, we wandered over ten miles last Tuesday alone in the lone and dreary wilderness of Sutton Coldfield. Now that might sound miserable, and in the moment it was, but we talked to everyone because we were walking rather than biking. We saw so many miracles from that and got so many "good touches" as my homie Trevor Thompson would say it! We left so many people with good impressions of the church and of Jesus Christ, hopefully one day that will lead to something!

One cool miracle we had was leading up to to a dinner, we had about 20 minutes to knock doors, and at the end we decided to do just one more. Satan didn't like that and he even put a devilish cat right in front of that last door. Courageously we pressed onward and the man who opened the door was interested in learning more and reading the Book of Mormon. It truly was a fourth floor last door kind of miracle, at least in the moment!

I got a kind of funny story this week, so we were walking near this playground where 15 or so chav kids who were all about 15/16 years old were just chilling in their natural habitat. Elder Kinard dared me to go up and yell out a gospel principle to all of them so we could do a bunch of invitations to learn at once so I went up to the fence surrounding the playground and yelled out "hey guys, who wants to talk about Jesus?" They all said no but we still got talking and once they heard our American accents they all slowly started gathering to the fence and then all of the sudden we had the whole group as captive listeners. Me and this one kid named Alex got in a good conversation about the restoration and basketball meanwhile the other kids were just pestering elder Kinard with questions about the law of chastity and questions of that sort. After like ten minutes we said we had to go and offered pass along cards and they all screamed and ran at us like we were handing out autographs. Then we told them we were all gonna take a selfie and they all screamed even louder than before, I got a pic attached because picture or it didn't happen...

We had all sorts of cool stuff this week like district meeting and district finding, it being in the low 80s for most of the week, dinner appointments, church, knocking doors, Sutton Park round 3, and more, but nothing too out of the ordinary. Despite some hard moments, I was able to remain pretty optimistic throughout the week which was nice. Having an optimistic attitude is a choice that we have to make day to day. Gordon B Hinckley said once "We have every reason to be optimistic in this world. Tragedy is around, yes. Problems everywhere, yes. But … you can’t, you don’t, build out of pessimism or cynicism. You look with optimism, work with faith, and things happen. Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open to you. Cultivate an attitude of happiness. Cultivate a spirit of optimism. Walk with faith, rejoicing in the beauties of nature, in the goodness of those you love, in the testimony which you carry in your heart concerning things divine" We need more optimism in the world and less pessimism. Being negative will never get you anywhere, keep your head up and push through the hard times with faith and always look out for the good things in life, that's applicable to those who are Mormon and those who are not.

Well i gotta run so I can go get my jammer on in Walsall! I was down 12-0 last week and I came back and won 21-13! Haters can just fredette about it! I love you guys, congrats to all of you cool kids who are graduating this week, have a lit week and don't fredette that elder V loves you! Look unto Christ in every thought, doubt not, fear not 😘

Elder Varner

pics 1-2: with the brotha danny
pic 3: chavs galore
pic 4: elder ey and athey
pic 5-8: countryside photo shoot

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