Monday, August 28, 2017

my sweet summer is gone (Week 54, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

my homies! what's up guys thanks for tuning in again, especially after last week's book I wrote haha. it's been an up and down week. the beginning of the week was pretty rough just because I felt so sick but I started getting better and this weekend was just so so amazing! 

here's the update on my health: so after a month or so of going dairy free I came to the conclusion that I don't have a diary intolerance which is good and bad, bad because I still don't completely know what's going on but good because I'm NOT DAIRY FREE anymore!!! the joy is so real! I talked to sister Leppard about it and we think it's IBS caused by stress, anxiety or nerves, which I didn't even think I had but I guess the more I think about it the more I realise I do have it more than I would like. I think when I admit to myself that I have that it becomes a lot easier to deal with though and I have more power to control it. I also stopped taking omeprasole this last week and that helped a bit to.

the work went pretty well this week! I've never been so excited for summer to end cuz now our homies are coming back from vacation! who remembers that song where it says "my sweet summer is gone"? Alright, We had a lesson with Axxled and shared with him bits from Joseph smith history, he had a lot of questions and we committed him to read the Book of Mormon every day for three weeks so we will see how that turns out. we also had another lesson with the home girl Syyophia from last week! she had read from the Book of Mormon in pretty good detail since the last time we saw her and it was so cool cuz she was asking about the jaredites and so on without even looking at the book as she asked so it was cool to see someone actually keep a commitment! we taught her the plan of Salvation and she really was touched as we bore our testimonies of Jesus Christ and how he is the very centre of our heavenly father's plan. we brought a member out to visit Pxxaul Pxxace (a less active boxer guy) and it was such an amazing visit, we shared with him the "good things to come" Mormon message and it was exactly what he needed, his words, I'm so grateful for the spirit that leads and guides us as to what to share with others. Heavenly Father truly knows what each of us needs! Pxxaul also came to church yesterday and he told me that one of the talks seemed as it was just for him and his situation and my heart was full of pure joy. I love Pxxaul Pxxace! He's such a beast! I'll try getting a pic with him next time we see him!

we did a lot of service this week which was awesome. had interviews with president and sister leppard which was great as always. last Monday we went to a place called st fagans which is some Welsh history place, it was kinda cool. I feel like there's more that happened but I can't remember it so here's a spiritual thought

An old proverb says that a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step, so watch your step. remember that little decisions have big effects on our lives and the lives of those we love. think of those who love you and would be shattered if you let them down, including your Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ. it's so sad to meet people whose family has been destroyed because of a few foolish decisions which led to major problems. for those of you who feel that they have made too many mistakes or that they are unforgivable, please remember that the atonement of Jesus Christ leaves no scars. whatever you have done or whoever you have become, you can improve and become better, you can leave behind the past. it isn't too late, and Jesus Christ welcomes you home with open arms. I have felt his unfailing love again and again, all we have to do is turn to him. and please remember that every action has consequences so watch your step.

I am alive and well, please don't worry about me. I flipping love these Welsh homies and I hope I don't get transferred next week cuz this place is sick! I love you all! Look unto Christ in every thought, doubt not, fear not ✌😘

Elder Varner

Pix: DA with the winters, bakers, district meeting ft the mission dog, st fagans last pday and the BEACH, and one of the million rugby fields here

Monday, August 21, 2017

half way?!?! (Week 53, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

family and friends,

what is good! to start out I gotta give a happy anniversary shoutout to my dad and mom! love you guys and hope you have a great day 😘 this week was baller, and I'm not saying that just because we balled out at 6:30 every morning at the chapel for morning exercise. having the basketball court in the chapel so close to us has been a major blessing!

this week all around was just great! the only rough parts was having to stop meeting with dyyianne, we are gonna stop by every few weeks just to chat but her heart is so hard against accepting the gospel. she won't even read the scriptures anymore because she says she knows it all, it's really sad but we tried our best to help her commit to living what she believes, and I guess now just isn't her time. there were times this week where we just took too long to get from place to place so one of our goals is to be more timely. ok now to the good stuff, we were knocking doors and the third door we knocked on this street has four flats inside of it, and we rang the bell for the first one and told this lady what we were doing and she said wait a second and to our surprise, she actually let us in! i almost forgot what to do next. her name is Syyophia, she is an Indian student at the uni and doesn't have a strong Christian background but wants to learn more and try it out. such a miracle! and then our main homie Axxled just got off his trip and he texted us asking when we could meet up so things are heating up over here!

we did loads of member visits, we are trying to work better with the members of the ward. this ward has been good at feeding us and this upcoming week is more proof of that. the weather has been decent kind of haha, winter is coming that's for sure. we had a ward picnic in a place called Barry which is right next to the beach, it was so flipping nice to see the ocean again! haha, we got to meet up with that guy from California who came to church last week and we have him a blessing because he was really sick and was by himself out here, he bore his testimony to us of the priesthood and it was so powerful.

alright here's a spiritual thought from week 7 of the arp Manual. this week's studies were focused on humility and one major part of that is sacrifice. we can't expect the lord to change our hearts if we aren't willing to make sacrifices. not all sacrifices are giant, but I'd challenge you all to sacrifice whatever may be holding you back from developing a stronger relationship with the Lord and I promise you he will bless you 100X more than he already is now. Your sacrifice is only a humble reminder of His "great and last sacrifice" on your behalf. 

I know this email is already turning into a novel, but this last week I hit my year mark of being out here in the UK and I just wanted to share some thoughts. this last year has been the hardest, loneliest, and darkest year of my life, filled with disappointments left and right, rejection, fatigue, and so many more things. That being said, this last year has been the best year of my life. I have never felt so much love. Love for the gospel, love for people, love for Jesus Christ. I have never experienced so much joy and happiness, I have never laughed so much, I have never smiled so much, and I have never felt the spirit so much. I have felt so much love over this last year and despite the trials that have had me on my knees praying more than I ever have before, I wouldn't trade this last year for anything. I have grown so much in so many different aspects including confidence and knowledge, but most importantly my testimony of this work. I'm so grateful for Jesus Christ and all that he has done for me and for how he has helped me develop over this last year. this last year has been a rager and it's only the beginning. thank you to each of you who have supported and encouraged me over the last twelve months, I love you all.

here's to year 2✌

Elder Varner

pic 1: nice cars in mini pakistan
pics 2-3: beach baby!!!
pics 4-5: cool british parks
pic 6: five guys!!!
pic 7: another cool park

Monday, August 14, 2017

on top of the world ey' (Week 52, Rwibina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

my homies! what's up! this week has actually been flipping great and this upcoming week looks even better!! wanna start this by sending some love to all of you. seriously thank you for all the support you've given me so far out here so far, it's been a crazy adventure and I couldn't have made it this far without you all. thanks for being the best friends and family a byu fan could ask for 😘 also a big shoutout to one of my best friends Ben Conover who is finishing up his mish this week!
i don't really know where to start. we taught a few more lessons this week than usual, but not the traditional ones where it goes super smoothly, lots of door step lessons. we have so many new friends and potentials but we are struggling to help them become progressing friends. we saw Dyyianne this week and let's just say that it was one of those too good to be real situations. her heart was harder this week. she still wants to meet with us but she says there's no way that she is coming back to church and that she doesn't read the scriptures because she already knows it all and she has a few more major doctrinal issues. she says she knows the church is true but I don't know if I believe that. members have told us it'd be best to stop visiting her because she wastes a lot of missionaries time so we are gonna give it another week or two and then make a decision. we are gonna try to commit her to reading and praying everyday because she has been so deceived, thinking that god told her to wait to follow some of the commandments. it's hard because I care about her and her heart is hard right now, but we will see how it goes. we knocked plenty of doors this week and met some really cool people. one cool experience, we were knocking doors and I saw a guy who was on the sidewalk walking towards us a few houses ahead and usually I'd just keep knocking but we ditched the doors and started talking to him and he isn't too religious but he wants to learn more about Christ because he's been through a lot and has some regrets, he's interested in coming to church especially, and that's where your boy DV came in and told him about the gospel. we are gonna see him again this week, it was cool to see god put people in our path because we weren't originally planning on working in that area but felt we should last minute. 

so much other stuff happened this week so here's a few honourable mentions:
  • exchanges with the zone leaders, Kinnunen and Dastrup, it was a blast. we visited Pxxaul Pxxace, a less active, who is the coolest guy ever, he used to be a boxer and he gives haircuts as well. we also visited the gxxoulds and shared the because of him video, I love how that video always invites the spirit, it testifies of Christ so simply, but powerfully
  • some guy named john showed up to church this week and he's visiting from...CALIFORNIA. it was so cool talking to someone from Cali again, he might come out with us this week
  • we went to a baptism of a young boy this week, jxxosh mxxaizey, who recently turned 8. it was so cool to see how excited he was to follow Christ. no wonder why we are told to be as little children!
  • and let's not forget the guy who screamed at me. we were walking to a house and I saw two guys working on a car and I asked if we could help, and one of them just gives me the look and after a few seconds screams at me full force "ARE YOU A MECHANIC?" alright I guess he didn't need help haha

i studied so much good stuff this week but my favourite was studying step 6 of the arp manuel which is about "change of heart". there's so much good stuff in there so I'd recommend you all to study it and I'll just share a quote from it. president ezra taft benson once said “The Lord works from the inside out. The world works from the outside in. The world would take people out of the slums. Christ takes the slums out of people, and then they take themselves out of the slums. The world would mold men by changing their environment. Christ changes men, who then change their environment. The world would shape human behavior, but Christ can change human nature. …" how you may ask? first is to recognise your weaknesses and to ask for Christ to help you overcome them. once you have that change of heart and beat those interior demons, nothing on the outside can do anything to you, nothing else really matters so turn to Christ.

some of you skimmed this email and some of you just read a book of an email, thanks to you all. if you skimmed I guess in a sentence here's my week: IM ALIVE AND WELL AND AM LOVING LIFE AND THE CHALLENGES AND TRIALS THAT IM FACING, God is so good and I fetching love you guys 😘

Elder Varner

Sent from my iPad

pic 1: some welsh for y'all
pics 2-3: squad
pic 4: exchanges
pics 5-7: coolest place ever
video 1: jimmer or dallas?

Monday, August 7, 2017

ELY (Week 51, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

hey everyone!
how the heck is it August? I never thought August would come again. this week went by pretty fast and there were some great moments and some rough ones. i got food poisoning which is always fun but I'm feeling better now, I've officially started my dairy free diet so in a few weeks time I should know if that's the issue or not. I know that everything will turn out fine and I'll grow from this trial.

all of our investigators are on vacation for the month of August so that means we hit the finding grind hard this week! we found several cool people in the Ely (pronounced E-Lee) hood but I'll just take the time to talk about one new gator of ours. Her name is Dyyianne. She was just a number I saw in the phone and we decided to text her to see if we could meet up and to our surprise she said we could come over. So on Friday we went over and she let us right in. Dyyianne is a 78 year old woman who heard of the church 25 years ago, and investigated it for 18 years. She has a full testimony of the Book of Mormon and the restoration, in the front of her Book of Mormon she wrote "this is the truth". I was about to ask her right then why she hadn't been baptised, but I felt like I needed to wait and she kept talking about her history, she has faced and continues to face loads of persecution for believing what she does. And then the reason why she never was baptised, she prayed and asked god if she should and she said that he told her "not yet", which was 18 years ago but she won't pray and ask him again because he already answered her then, she also believes that there is no heavenly mother. She has to be one of the most prepared people I've ever met, and I know we can work with those concerns so keep her in your prayers, she's a miracle!

district meeting was sick this week, I gave a training on setting goals. we balled up on Saturday night and had a total of ten people at basketball and it got so lit! I felt like jimmer! Also just a few random things about Ely: there are 12 year old chav gangs everywhere and their parents don't care about anything they do, there are still posters up for movies that came out over three years ago, it smells like weed. But most of the people are much humbler than people that are in Rhiwbina itself.

this ward has been so amazing at feeding us it's unreal, we had dinner appointments almost every night last week. last Monday we had a family home evening with a family whose mom is less active and it was so amazing. we also ate with the maizeys, Verena, the winters, and Leon! we went to visit a less active man named Sxxtephen, he's in his late twenties and he's a convert to the church, he served a mission and was a stud of a missionary but just fell always for some reason. We are trying to work with him on resolving some of his concerns so we committed him to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it everyday.

the Book of Mormon is the best way to resolve doubts and concerns. Preach My Gospel says "All objections, whether they be on abortion, plural marriage, seventh-day worship, etc., basically hinge on whether Joseph Smith and his successors were and are prophets of God receiving divine revelation...The only problem the objector has to resolve for himself is whether the Book of Mormon is true. For if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus is the Christ, Joseph Smith was his prophet, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true, and it is being led today by a prophet receiving revelation." I'd invite each of you, who have some concern or doubt, to find out for yourself if the Book of Mormon is true or not. It all comes down to whether or not it's true, and I know it's true.

Love you guys, have a baller week! 😘🏀

Elder Varner

pic 1: cardiff city stadium 
pic 2: this picture doesnt do it justice, this hill was so flippin steep
pic 3: the jones fam
pic 4: found this tagalog book of mormon in our flat and thought of the brothas adam and garrett
pic 5: district lunch last pday