After six months in the beautiful town of Grays... Elder Krebs is moving on. I have been transferred to a place called Bletchley. I have no idea where or what it is. I know my companion (Elder Lingam- Utah) is going to meet me at Kings Cross station tomorrow around 10:00am. I have (as assumed) mixed emotions. Very excited for change. But very sad to leave Elder Paul and all the wonderful recent converts here in Grays. Last night we had a great Family Home Evening with Gloria and her family, and Gloria's friend and her family. We player games, had treats, and got spiritual as well. I think Gloria (Sister Mangowi) is the best ward missionary in Grays. Tonight we are going to go see Hayleigh and Theresa Deex, and Abana, Adwoa and Felicity.
Abana has been investigating for about 4 months, but because of work on Sunday she struggles. Her 11 year old daughter Adwoa has been about 7 times and is in the Christmas Nativity. Last week... Abana was complaining about a really intense pain in her side. We went by to see her and she said it has been off and on since July. She has been to many many doctors but they do not know what is wrong and has given her many different types of medicine. We explained to her about priesthood blessing and she was all for it. That was on the Saturday... on the Monday... we got a call from her. She was crying and explained that all the pain in her side was gone. She had stopped taking her medicine and the blessing worked. It was a great testimony builder for her and me. She loves this church and is planning to change her job, or quit if they do not begin giving her Sunday's free. I have really come to be close with them and they are a great family. Recently I've been thinking a lot about being a Shepherd, and setting a good example. Now in our mission of 120 missionaries... I have been out far longer than a majority. There are about 15 missionaries that have been out longer than me. The mission has been infiltrated with new blood. It is great... new missionaries are filled with faith and ready to work. They are willing to give of there all and want to serve the Lord. The problems arise when they don't know how to do it. But they learn... most of the time by being thrown into the deep end. Elder Paul is going to be serving with a missionary that has only been out for six months. They will be fine though... because the Holy Ghost is the real guide here. At the beginning of my mission... all my companions had been out over a year... my first companion to be under a year was Elder Park six months ago. I've seen some great missionaries and now I feel as though it is my responsibility to be a good example to all of these new missionaries. They do not know how to do some things... and so they will be watching me. More and more I realise how much they really watch and follow. If I slack off for ten mins... they notice and will think it is okay. If I work hard every second... they will notice. It is very important that they work hard and understand why. As I've been in Grays... I've had many opportunities to ask why. It has changed my mission... as I see and feel the why... it has given me new and revived breath. Elder Uchtdorf said "While understanding the “what” and the “how” of the gospel is necessary, the eternal fire and majesty of the gospel springs from the “why.” When we understand why our Heavenly Father has given us this pattern for living, when we remember why we committed to making it a foundational part of our lives, the gospel ceases to become a burden and, instead, becomes a joy and a delight. It becomes precious and sweet. The “what” and “how” of obedience mark the way and keep us on the right path. The “why” of obedience sanctifies our actions, transforming the mundane into the majestic. It magnifies our small acts of obedience into holy acts of consecration." I feel this to be true. I feel as though I am being honored to understand and experience the eternal fire and majesty of the Gospel. Never before have I been so aware of offending God. If a missionary does not understand his why... the what and how will be empty and hollow. It is the difference between the Hireling and the Shepherd.
"I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep."
A missionary that does not understand the why of this work... He will leave and forsake his sheep. This work is centred on love. And if you do not have it... then you will not enjoy serving your Heavenly Father. I pray that I will be able to love the people in Bletchley. I will be able to serve them and have the excitement necessary to help the ward be better missionaries. There is no reason to bring people to be baptised if the ward is not on track. I love this work... and I am very excited to serve in a new area with new people. I love my family very very much and wish I could be with you this winter... but there are more important things for me to be involved in. I am properly bummed to be leaving Grays right before Christmas... but there is something new to learn. It might be a lonely one. But never lonely when I've got the word and spirit of God ;) You are the best family. This email is kinda all over the place. I can't remember what pictures I attached... sooo hope you can figure out what they are and who they are. One i think is Gloria and her family... and another is John Okorie who was just baptised. I love you all :)
Cheers, see you later. Talk to you soon :)