Monday, April 18, 2011

April 18, 2011

Hello familia,

Before I forget, I got both packages!! Thank you very very very much, they were brilliant. The sour skittles are the hit of our 4/5 American flat. Elder Samueli loves them as well. Mother, I put your package right outside the missionary office... after I had removed the talks and letters. Therefore it was a box of candy... and someone stole it from the Chapel. It was so sad because I wanted those Reece Eggs so bad. Recces and Sour Skittles are my favourite. I guess someone needed them more than me. This week has been very productive. We have three investigators that are excited to progress toward baptism. Hoshar, Yordanos, and Lei. Hoshar is fantastic and from Iran.... he doesn't know if he believes in God but he wants to find happiness. It is great to see him not want to leave the chapel because he feels happy there. 

I love the Spirit! I am beginning to see how powerful it really is and how it can penetrate every aspect of our physical and spiritual bodies. Yordanos is quite golden, except her husband doesn't like her learning about other religions, but she knows that if its what she wants to do... he'll join as well. She is from Eritrea and can already recognize the spirit when she reads and prays about the Book of Mormon. Lei is from CHINA!! I love Lei. She speaks very basic english. I love asking for her to explain how she is feeling during lessons. She says the most pure and innocent things. For example, its like I have a chair back behind me to hold me up and support me, or it feels like my father is holding me berry tightly. Or its like a whoosh feeling that comes over me and calms my body. She took 2 pages of notes on three chapters that we invited her to read! She just wants someone to teach her about how she can get closer to God. She currently has a baptismal date for May 14th! We are praying that she makes it, and that we will be able to teach her all that she needs to know before that day. To teach her thoroughly, we need to have a member named Douglas come with us. 

I should spend more time on my language study. Lei has been teaching me some things as well. I love our lessons with all three of these people, I always feel the spirit and that builds my testimony that I am doing the Lord's work. I am proper excited that I have so much longer left! I am still learning loads from everyone around me. I am so grateful to be her in the center of London. How lucky I am to be doing the greatest work, it a great city. Today we are going to play frisbee and fly kites in Hyde Park :) its a cool 20 degrees and the wind is just right for kites in the sky. We made some lovely ham sandwiches on baguettes with honey dijon mustard and Nando's Peri Peri sauce. Life doesn't get much better than that.

We had some interesting lessons this week with some new people we've been finding. One particular lesson that stuck out was a man named Allen. He is a African from Ghana, and has so so so many questions about everything. He is confused and so confused, that when he hears an answer, he won't listen. I love him to bits though. Such a hoot. In the middle of the lesson, he said... "I don't get it... why would God put a Serpent in the Garden of Eden? Didn't he know that it would be up to no good? It makes no sense, why didn't he put a chiwahwah in the Garden. It wouldn't have caused any problems and we wouldn't have the sin of Adam and Eve on our heads." We were laughing way too much, but the enthusiasm he had and the general concern were hysterical. He was laughing as well... such a proper funny lesson. The sad part is, that he didn't want to listen when we told him about Adam and Eve, or that he could have his questions answered by an appeal to the Bible and Book of Mormon. The root of his problem was that he did not believe in Jesus Christ. He didn't think that we needed to have His help in this world, we would pay for our sins and that's the bottom of it. Nothing would change him and he no longer wants to meet with us anymore. My heart aches when I see someone that can benefit greatly from our message, but they won't listen. It causes my knees to get tired and sore. I want them to listen. This message is free, and gives us everything we need and want. Where do our true desires lie? In the things pertaining to God, or the things pertaining to this world. We don't need the world to be happy, but the world needs God to be happy. Peace and happiness are hard to achieve, but Jesus Christ set the way. The Book of Mormon provides a iron rod to follow, baptism is the gate to begin and prayer gives us the strength to continue and endure. I know this, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is true. I feel it burn in my heart each time I say it. I have no way to communicate my gratitude for my lovely parents who sacrificed everything to teach me how to find never ending joy. I will never have joy without my family. Thank you to everyone that helped my grow. And thank you for your continued support.

Elder John William Krebs

April 11, 2011

Hello Family and Friends,

Well, today has been another interesting week for the Hyde Park Area. We have a new companion :) Elder Samueli! How fun it is to be the closest Elders to the mission home. It is that reason why there is never a dull moment. Any extra Elders and they get put with us! I do like threesomes though... they allow you to work much more effectively. You can do double the work. He lives in a place called Hayes... which is west London, and in our mission. He has already be out on his mission for a year in Kiev, Ukraine. He came home for a year and now is going back to a different mission in Ukraine. His passport is not quite ready yet and therefore he is hanging out in our mission for a bit and then rolling on to Ukraine. He is originally from Armenia, but grew up in London. I love Armenians and he is not exception. They are hard working people with big hearts. His humour is very English... i.e. dry and sarcastic. He just makes me chuckle. He could be gone next week... or in two weeks or in a month. We do not know. He is sleeping on a mattress on the floor and living out of his suitcases... so its not the best hospitality.. but the best we could manage.

 This week was also filled with cleaning out a flat here in London because the lease was up. We spent a lot of time clearing and cleaning. I have never lived there... but Elder Zarian has been sick this week and therefore I got to do most of the dirty work :) I enjoy it though. I have found that service always makes you feel better. When I am frustrated with anyone or anything... I find ways to serve them. As I sometimes force myself to serve... I can have my heart expanded and my love will increase for the situation or person. We had interviews with President this week as well (I passed... phew)! It was my favourite interview yet!!! I wish we could have them every transfer like they used to do it... but now we only have them quarterly. Tear.

 This week I was able to really share some of my feelings with President and got to know him quite well. I drilled him and it helped me understand some doctrinal questions I had. Afterwards... I got to talk to his wife while my companion Elder Zarian was being interviewed. I asked her about how President and her met... and she shared with my that it was her cookies that she made for him that sealed the deal. It reminded me of an Apple Pie that played such a crucial role in my parents relationship :) I think it was an apple right? I love Sister Patch. She has great energy and is on top of things. I love the way President and her interact. President Patch is an inspired man of God. He love numbers and equating everything to a numerical value to evaluate effectiveness and efficiency. Slowly but surely this mission is becoming more and more diligent and productive. I can see the inspiration that he receives help the mission. He firmly believes that we can baptize once a month in every area. I believe it because he believes it. I want to baptize every month. I want to help people receive this wonderful message so that they can be happy and hopeful in this dreary world. I want to baptize thousand... but how can I?

 I think a scripture in Alma 26:22 clarifies it for us. "Yea, he that repenteth and exerciseth faith, and bringeth forth good works, and prayeth continually without ceasing—unto such it is given to know the mysteries of God; yea, unto such it shall be given to reveal things which never have been revealed; yea, and it shall be given unto such to bring thousands of souls to repentance, even as it has been given unto us to bring these our brethren to repentance." That is pretty plain and simple. I know that if it be the Lord's will... we CAN baptize thousands. Why not? Why would people not want this brilliant and perfect message in their life? To bless them and their posterity forever? And why on earth would we not want to be a part of it? Put your shoulder to the wheel... push along. We live in a exciting world... with gadgets and media... but nothing is more exciting than to see someone we love... find the gospel of Jesus Christ. No iPad can compare... no tournament can compete. I am happy from my head to my toes doing the Lord's work daily. I feel that I have the right to the Holy Ghost to be my guardian and scepter of truth as I do His work. He promises to be on our left and right as we share this great message. I know that Joseph Smith saw two personages. Not one... Two. I know that they did speak to him. I know Joseph Smith was a mouthpiece to bring opportunities for Eternal Life to all men. The Book of Mormon is more than a book. It is a source of guidance and peace. I know this with all my heart. I know that God gives us comfort through the Holy Ghost. I know that Jesus Christ forgives us of our sins as we have a broken heart and contrite spirit. Let us sacrifice or put our sins on the alter and have no more desire to do evil, but strengthen the desire to do good continually.

I want to share an experience I had with a new investigator named Horsar from Iran. We were teaching him that God was there and gives us feelings of peace and comfort through the Holy Ghost. I knew that this was true... but I couldn't remember a time when I needed comfort and received it. I remembered small instances of relief and peace. As the lesson was growing to a close... I asked Horsar if he felt the Holy Ghost right now. It was a scary question for me to ask, because what if he didn't? As I asked it... I knew that I had felt to Holy Ghost in the lesson, and if he were paying attention than he felt it as well. I was still doubting as I asked it... but I had faith... that's why I asked it. He paused for a second or two and said... yes. "Its something I've never felt before... it is like a new sense. I want to feel it and experience it more" WOW! My heart was full of love for the acceptance to the Holy Ghost that Horsar had enabled. He had his mind open enough to feel the Holy Ghost and then recognize it. I loved that he explained it like a sense. What a great way to explain it. Something that can be felt and improved as we have more experiences. Line upon line, here a little, there a little.

I am loving being independent on my mission. I am learning how to cook and clean and be a respectful person in society. I cook a mean pasta with a homemade meatballs and sauce. Curry and Mexican food are great favourites to cook as well. On Sunday morning, one of the AP's was making a tie, I was sowing on buttons and the other was ironing, while my companion cooked breakfast. I found it quite entertaining that four 20 year old boys were doing that when the majority of 20 year old boys were hung over from Saturday night. How lovely the gospel is and what light and independence it brings. So many great blessings are being poured out upon me as I serve and I am very grateful for them. I can feel the power of Heaven as I faithfully do what my Father wants me to do. No unhallowed hand can stop me from doing this work.
I love you more than the absolutely BEAUTIFUL 22 degree weather we've been having :)
Elder John William Krebs
England London Mission
64-68 Princes Gate
Exhibition Road
London, SW7 2PA

April 4, 2011

Hi family,

I have had a great and inspiring week. Conference was brilliant and I was able to have answered some of the questions that I brought to conference. My missionary mind was all in a muddle, but conference was able to sort it out. We were able to go to the Zoo as well today and that was fantastic. Expensive but great fun. We have a very eccentric zone. 3 of them are from the UK and let me tell you... the UK boys are crazy. The mission is great fun because there are people from every where and you are able to learn so much from them all. The mission is about to change completely. By August... about half the missionaries now in the mission will go home. And they will be replaced by new missionaries. It should be a exciting time... but sad. I have made some really great friendships with the older Elders and now they are going to leave me here. I will be in the second oldest group of missionaries!! How crazy is that? Only 7 Elders will have been out longer than me! And I feel like I just got here. I am so grateful that I have time to work here! I love missionary work and the fruits of our labours.

Conference was great. The talk that motivated me the most was President Uchtdorf in the Priesthood Session. He talked about living below our privileges. As a missionary... I have been given so many great privileges. I have been promised the Lord to be on my left and my right! I know that if I am obedient that I can teach with the power and authority of GOD!! but am I using that power and authority to it fullest potential? am I relying on the Lord enough? do I think I can do it on my own? am I depending on the Lord with my heart, might, mind and strength? If I am not... and if you are not? Why are we denying ourselves the blessings of heaven? God is willing to help us, it is just dependent on us asking for that help. Something that has really helped me is as I'm praying to have a notebook by my side so I can record my thought and feelings with our investigators. Which are fantastic... some are progressing faster than others... but all have an interest to learn. We are focusing this week on finding more people to teach and expanding our teaching pool. This will include some brilliantly spirit filled preaching in the streets of London. I have full faith that the Lord will answer our prayers and that we will find the elect. We will be placed in their paths. Conference taught me to serve as well. To never let a day go by that you haven't served God's children. It taught me that it is the little things that matter. As we serve, we forget ourselves... and it humbles us. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve daily in some of the greatest work on the earth.

My companion is a great old missonary! I am thrilled to work with him for the next six weeks. To see what I can learn from him and to become better missionaries together.
If anyone is itching to send me a package... a big bag of sour skittles sounds great for Easter. They kinda look like Eggs.
My life is going fantastic. I am really struggling to become the missionary I know I can be. I really want to use the Spirit more in my activities and to be more patient and trusting in the Lord.
I hope everything is well at home. I will be able to send a great long email next week. It'll knock your socks off.
Elder Krebs.
P.s. Will someone tell Ethan Pike hi for me:)