Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Remembering the Fallen

What an incredible week! It seemed to be filled with so many miracles and we felt that our week was very productive! In the middle of last week, we had a wonderful miracle. Sister Manage, Sister Chand, and I had correlation and afterwards we got talking to some members. While being at the chapel, we then saw a couple who had just walked in but we didnt recognize them. We immediately went over to them and introduced ourselves. They said they lived very close to the chapel and wanted to see what it was like inside. We showed them the chapel and shared our contact information because they said they would like to come on Sunday. They left but moments later, the wife then walked back into the chapel and wanted to make a donation. We kindly said that we could teach her more on the principle of tithing and offered to give her a chapel tour later in the week to which she gladly accepted! Amazing! Throughout the week, we were able to get several referrals from members. One of our returning friends who we've been teaching has a son who is 9 years old (not a member yet) and we asked the son if he wanted to be taught and he said yes! We also got to sit down with a family who just recently moved over from Utah not too long ago and set goals with them. It was incredible because the mom wanted to invite one of her friends to the ward Christmas social and the 11 year old daughter wanted to invite three of her friends to activity days this coming week. The following day, the mom reported to us that her daughter did indeed invite one of her friends to activity days! It's amazing how involved the Staines ward is with missionary work. A funny story that happened to us this past week happened as we headed to a dinner appointment. We took a train to an area called Virginia Water (a part of the area I had never been to yet) and traveled to get to the member's home. As we did so, it was really dark and we had no idea where we were going. Sister Manage was leading from the directions given from her IPad and somehow we found ourselves on a dark, thin footpath that lead through some trees. To me, I felt like we were walking through some haunted trail and had no idea if we were going to make it out alive. A shadow came from behind the trees and my heart jumped but it ended up only being a 14-15 year kid who was walking the opposite direction. We finally saw a street lamp and the main road and breathed a heavy sigh of relief. We thought our traveling was over but to our dismay, we came to the road that we were suppose to walk on and it was completely dark and pitch black. We decided we'd take the longer route and find the sidewalk to walk on beside the road but that didn't help to much either because there really wasn't a sidewalk and it was still dark nonetheless. On top of all that, our phone battery was close to dying. I felt like I was living in the thriller movies. Super scary! Not to worry, I'm writing this email out four or five days later so it means that I survived and haven't died. I just love the adventures that you can have on your missions. Looking back, it just seems so funny. We did finally end up making it to the member's home and we were able to get there at a reasonable time. This past Sunday was Remembrance Sunday and that was so fun to be a part of. The bishop of the ward here wanted for all of us to go and support the memorial that they do at Staines Town Hall so we all first met at the chapel and then walked over to where the Main Street was. People were gathered around everywhere and in the middle of the main street was soldiers dressed up in their uniforms, looking ready to march. At the beat of a drum, they marched forward and all the citizens of Staines trailing behind them.  We all then gathered around the Town Hall where they laid the wreaths of poppies, said some prayers, and made a speech about remembering the fallen. It was really neat to be a part of and to be able to see how they did this memorial service here in England. I thought of my Grandpa Miller who was in the war as well and how grateful I am for his great example of service and sacrifice. Thanks Grandpa!  Something that I came to learn this past week is that planning as a missionary is so important! I understand that it's not only going to help me for my mission but as well as the rest of my life.  The three of us-Sister Manage, Sister Chand, and I planned and made solid back up plans with determination to find the prepared. We waited for our bus that would get us to a less-active's home so we could share a message with her. This less-active hasn't been to church due to health problems and she didn't know if she wanted to actually return to church or not. We got on the 203 bus to get to her house but ten minutes into the ride, we realized we were on the wrong bus. We got off, took out our Areabook/plans and felt prompted to stay in the area that we found ourselves now standing in. On our maps, we realised there were a couple of potentials to visit so we took that time to contact them. On our way to one of the former Investigator's homes, we made a man named Glen! Glen had just recently lost his dad and wanted to know more about our message. We got to set a return appointment for Saturday and parted ways. A minute later, we then stopped by the former's home and he was just about to go out somewhere. We introduced ourselves and he (David) mentioned to us that it had been four years since he had been taught but that him and his now 11 year old daughter would be willing to meet on Saturday as well! Miracle! To top that all off, the three of us then headed to the Relief Society Chili Cook Off night and to our surprise, the less-active sister who we had originally planned to stop by and visit that day, was there! Season of Miracles! It was great to learn that we should never doubt in the plans and backup plans that we made but to never be afraid to change them if we feel prompted! God knows how to direct His work so let us all carefully listen and willingly follow to His spirit. I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love,
Sister Burtis 
Traveling to a members home in the dark woods.

Learning how to make fish

video

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