Monday, 29 July 2013

Unity Day in Hyde Park

I have LOTS to write and lots I want to say, but we'll see how I go. Last week was really good. We had Zone p-day on Tuesday instead of Monday because of transfer calls on Monday. We played football like all day (that's all they do here for Zone p-day lol).  Highlights:

1. Ben. We pop into his shop almost every day and answer his questions and talk to him about the Book of Mormon (which he's smashing by the way). He has a lot of great questions. We talked with him on Wednesday about prayer and the Holy Ghost. He desperately wants to know what it feels like to feel the spirit, but he's been to heaps of churches since he was young. He was born again at 16 and then went to other churches but never felt anything. He told us the first time he prayed in a long time was a week before we met him and he prayed for guidance...and then Sister McReynolds and I showed up :) He recognized that as an answer to his prayers, but struggles to recognize the feelings of the spirit. He then asked where the chapel was again so we showed him on a map. He's the manager of a phone shop in Headingley and he's super busy all the time. After we left his shop we talked about how he smokes, and Sister McReynolds said how she remembers other people she's taught that, as soon as they stopped smoking, (have) felt the Holy Ghost influencing them. We were like 'THAT'S IT! We need Ben to stop smoking!' Also, on our way to our dinner appointment after meeting with Ben, we see him near the chapel in his car. We were thinking "What is he doing around this area??" He was just telling us how he had loads of stocktaking to do at his work and how busy and stressed he was…and then we figured out he was going for a drive to clear his head and to find where the chapel was for the second time around because he couldn't find it the first time we told him about a week earlier. There was no other reason for him to be in that area. We decided to go to the chapel to see if he was there, but we were a bit far away from it and we were walking so he would've probably been half way to London by the time we got there, but as we did we spoke to a couple in the car park. It turns out they're the teachers of the Addiction Recovery Program. We talked with them for a while and they gave us a book all about the program. This is exactly what Ben needs. In the session, you don't have to say anything, you don't have to say what your addiction focuses a lot on the Atonement and the people can basically just sit there and listen. Afterwards, as we walked down the road, we were just counting how many times our prayers were answered one after the other. It was such a great day. Miracles happen all the time, we just need to recognize them. So that's Ben. We're excited to see and talk with him next about the Word of Wisdom. We love him!

 2. So, funny story. On Friday we took out Laurence Mputu (18 yr old YSA) and we went finding in Hyde Park. When we got there, there were quite a few people setting up tents and stages and stalls and stuff. So we went and spoke with some of the people and they told us it was Unity Day tomorrow (Saturday). It's a day where we all get together no matter what our differences etc etc. They then asked if we wanted a stall this year...we were like UMM YES??! We spoke to the organizer straight away and he was so relaxed and was like 'yeah that's fine! Call Caron, her numbers (blah blah blah)…so are you the people who think they know when the world is going to end?" Literally, that's like all he said to us haha he gave us the number of the lady in charge of the stalls, we called her, told her we were coming, she gave us some info, and boommm. We called the Zone Leaders and the Assistants and they were keen as for it. They all helped us out and brought tables and stuff in the morning for us and we set up a great display of Books of Mormon, pamphlets, DVDs, and then we covered the table with lollies lol It was a different way to find people, we planted A LOT of seeds and lots of people were interested and they took lots of things from the display. It was basically a hippy day with lots of stalls and food and things. It was a successful day…even if we didn't get loads of new investigators, we planted the seeds that will grow into something later on.

3. We had 3 at church yesterday, which was fantastic. Kaaron, his sister Shazannah (we thought her name was SUZANNA but it turns out it Shazannah), and Mehrdad (a guy we met at Unity Day who we invited to church and he said he'd come). . It was good to mix up finding a bit. Shazannah loved church. And Mehrdad is a Persian guy who has 2 walking sticks because he has problem with both his legs, but he's in his late 20's I think and he's really amazing.

 I could write for days about what's been going on, but those are the main parts. Prayers have been answered, miracles have happened, and lives were touched.


This week in study, Sister McReynolds and I have decided to study the same Christ-like attribute in personal study, and then work on it during the week. 1 attribute  each week. We're (studying) Charity this week. And even though we have 89321321 other things to be keeping track of like the Zone focus for the month, the District Focus each week, our Action Plan we make of 1 of the key indicators that we need to improve on....but we feel it's important to develop these Christ-like attributes because if we love everyone, we won't be afraid to talk to people, we won't be worrying about what they'll think, we won't have any fears, because we love Christ, we love all the people around us, and when we have faith, we need not fear. So that's what we're doing this week and applying it so we can be better. I love studying! I love Jesus Christ. If we have love for Jesus Christ, everything else will fall into place.

Sister Kuhn 

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

A change of heart.

Last week was good…the numbers weren't amazing but the learning wasn't behind the numbers last week. I learnt so much in other ways.  
The highlight of the week…hmm...first, Ben. I think I told you about him last Monday maybe? Anyway…we taught him the restoration, he's reading the Book of Mormon, and is very open minded and interested. We're going to (invite) him to pray so he can get an answer... He's great. Funny story - we were meant to meet with him last Monday at 6pm…but he wasn't there. We were so sad. So we went into his shop on Wednesday (it would've been Tuesday but we had district meeting and comp study and all sorts so we didn't have time) but we went into his work (a phone shop in a place called Headingely), he wasn't in the shop. There was another guy, Alex, ... Basically, we asked for Ben, he looked confused and said Ben wasn't in today, but when he found out we were missionaries…he pointed to the Book of Mormon that I put on the counter and said "This..this is utterly wrong". He basically (criticized) the Book of Mormon for a solid 20 minutes… We then left the shop and had to say a few prayers to get the spirit back lol then the NEXT day we went in again because we knew he'd be in on Thursday…Alex AND Ben were both in the shop. My heart sunk. I was thinking 'if this guy says ONE thing about the Book of Mormon or the Bible…" We went inside anyway and spoke to Ben. Turns out Ben is the manager…which is good... Ben had a lot of questions about the Book of Mormon and he thought it was all so interesting…he'd read a bit as well. We were well impressed. Most of the time, Alex stayed quiet. Long story short, we ended up talking to Alex a lot about things…he asked us questions and then we talked about random things like travel and countries and Australia and food and all sorts. We actually began to be friends almost. Then he was like 'where is your church again?' so we gave him the address. Now, Alex…who at first, just talked and talked and talked and didn't listen to anything we said, …he believed in God but he didn't believe in asking questions, he'd read the Koran and the Torah and spoke 4 or 5 different middle-eastern languages…he didn't really HAVE a religion…but we saw his heart change…all he needed to do was listen. And because we went in and spoke to Ben and Ben was listening, Alex had to listen, we know he felt the spirit… Then he was asking US questions…Ben even backed us up most of the time because what we said made sense and Ben believed it. God can change the hearts of people through the feelings of the Spirit. I've been praying the last few weeks for people's hearts to be changed so they'll be more receptive and will want to listen...and my prayers were answered right in front of my eyes. Alex's heart completely changed. He even said 'I quite enjoy talking to you'. We were shocked. But we knew what he felt was our spirit combined with the Holy Ghost.

And then there was Suzanna. We're teaching her 14 yr old brother Kaaron. She's 10. They're both friends with the M… family who are members just a few doors down from them. We went to teach Kaaron but he wasn't home, so we spoke to Suzanna on the grass outside her house for about an hour and told her about the Book of Mormon and about praying and how she can recognize an answer. She's had some involvement with the church because of her brother going to youth activities and church and things with the M… family but she hasn't been taught by missionaries yet. The highlight of the week would definitely be when Lawrence M… (18yr old member) came out with us on Saturday, the day after we taught Suzanna. She told us that Suzanna came over later that day when she met us and sat in Lawrence's living room and just said 'Lawrence, the Book of Mormon is true!'. Then she proceeded to tell Lawrence about her experience with meeting Sister McReynolds and I and how we said she can pray and ask God and she'll get an answer, and she got a tingle feeling when she prayed and she knew it was true and she wants to come to church. We were all so excited hearing that. Children really do have such a thin veil between them and God. They're so amazing.

‪Sister Kuhn

Thursday, 11 July 2013

"It's Time To Change"

Firstly, I'm sending you the email I sent President this week.  
"This week this week turned out ok. The start was good, then appointments fell through, it got hot, we were getting exhausted, nobody was interested, and everyone we went to see wasn't home. So towards the end it got a little hard. Yesterday was the most exhausting. We finished our tea appointment with the Mases which was lovely, then walked what seemed like 38489032 miles to a less-actives house, she wasn't there, then tried to find another less active's house but we kept getting lost so we took it as a sign to go elsewhere. So we did our 2 hours of companion study and our nightly planning which followed. We had a great testimony from bishop yesterday during church. He's doing a big 'IT'S TIME TO CHANGE!' campaign sort of thing in the ward. We've heard his speil about it about 3 times now but I love hearing him talk to the members about how it's time to change everything we do when it comes to missionary work. Sister McReynolds and I spoke to each other a lot about what he said last night and came up with the brilliant idea that instead of us trying and trying and trying to find investigators and not having any success when it's really the member's job, we're going to strengthen the members and get them excited and confident about missionary work! We shared our vision with the other sisters in our flat and they're pumped too. We're all excited and ready to work with the members to get them excited to do missionary work and show them how easy it is. I went from being tired and exhausted and stretched to the maximum from the week of having not much success to feeling like Heavenly Father has lifted me up and dusted me off and given me a boost of energy and faith and motivation. It's exciting! Sister McReynolds and I are calling it 'Member Month July 2013' :) it's written on our white board. So that's the news! My week has turned around in the last week. It's exciting and I can't wait to keep working hard to strengthen the members so they can strengthen each other and reach out and do missionary work."

I'm also sending you a part of the email I sent some friends…

"I am LOVING being a missionary! Last week was really hard in the way of finding investigators and all our appointments were falling through and nobody was home. I had a really good first week being out, we committed 2 people to baptism and finding people was no problem. I think Heavenly Father was easing me into missionary work lol it was all really easy. So I knew that something hard was right around the corner. And that hard thing was last week. We currently have 4 scheduled for baptism, we have about 6 or so investigators but they're all a bit non-commital at the moment. My trainer and I are basically whitewashing the area...which means starting from scratch and finding new investigators etc. Last week went down hill about Wednesday…nobody we went to visit was home, it started getting really hot, we were exhausted, tired, nobody wanted to talk to us, we didn't know what we needed to work on to be successful. We prayed a lot for answers but for the whole week nothing came…it was hard! But then on Fast Sunday we had one of the (church leaders) Elder D visit and he unofficially spoke to all of us missionaries. There are 2 sets of sisters and 3 sets of elders (the ZLs, the DLs and the APs are in our ward lol). He spoke to us and basically said that he was reading Helamen 3 and how tens of thousands were baptized and he stopped reading and got revelation that missionary work for members and missionaries was soon going to explode in the way of people joining the church. He said the time is closer than we think and we need to be working hard and be ready. … it was way cool what he said to us. And then…the OTHER cool thing that happened was that the bishop in the ward is doing this campaign thing at the moment called 'IT'S TIME TO CHANGE!'. …I love the bishop, his love of the Saviour is so strong and so inspiring. And the reason why his vision of the ward is cool is because after his testimony, Elder D spoke to all the missionaries about HIS vision/revelation he had about basically the same thing as bishop. It just confirmed my testimony that leaders of the church really do get inspiration from God and they are just His instruments used to help us all. And after Elder D spoke to us, at nightly planning my companion Sister McReynolds and I (who's great by the way - she's so smart and patient and always has my back) were talking about everything that happened at church and then we were talking about what we need to do this week to get investigators...and then it dawned on me, why aren't we strengthening the members and getting THEM pumped up about missionary work and about change, then they'll find us people to teach and those people will be more likely to be retained converts because they have good fellowshipping! Missionaries are basically just consultants, it's the members who should be finding people for missionaries to teach. So we're turning our attention to the members starting with the presidents of quorums and RS and YW/YM etc and then working our way to the other members."

And that is that! :) so yes, very pumped at the moment! Basically, whatever England does when it comes to missionary work, the rest of Europe follow. So we have a lot of pressure to always be working hard so the rest of Europe can prosper! It's good pressure though :)

As you read, my week has been a bit rubbish mid-way towards the end…but it got better yesterday and now I'm feeling GOOD. It's a huge lesson for me and built my testimony so much that Heavenly Father will give you trials so you learn something, but when you've learnt the lesson, he'll lift that burden and make it light and he will make you strong enough to bare whatever burdens he places on you. I was pushed and pushed…nothing worked out, we were hot (it's been hot these past few days!) exhausted, tired, sore feet, feeling pretty defeated…but then we were lifted up, dusted off, and strengthened 1000%!

We had a good lesson with Frank on about Friday though. We didn't have a member with us so we taught him outside. It was a beautiful blue skied day with the sun out. Perfect! We talked with him for like half an hour, tried to teach him the Plan of Salvation but it didn't sink in. He's tough… So instead of teaching him doctrine, we asked about his childhood … He's been through a lot. His Mum put him in a care home at 14 ...he did a lot of bad things, but he loves his wife and family…and he got married to her just before she was baptized... So he's changed a lot. He's got such a soft heart, he just hides it and acts tough all the time. We asked him inspired questions…listened to the Spirit and went with whatever we were inspired to do. There was this one point, we asked him a question, and we know he felt the Spirit. He looked like he was going to cry. But he shrugged it off and distracted himself with his grandson he was looking after at the time. We made progress. Slow, slow, slow process. But he's so worth it. The atonement would help him so much. He's been through so much pain and heartache and problems that knowing what the Saviour did could lift those burdens from him. He'll be a long project…but we're willing to work our hardest. Because we know he can be humbled by the Lord and he can have a change of heart. I believe that.

Love you so much! Thanks for keeping me updated!

Sister Kuhn    xxxxxx

Thursday, 4 July 2013

Monday July 1st 2013

Okay so basically I can't send you photos because it takes too long and I have 38901283921 of them. The picture that did send was of us at the Temple. Sister Seymour is a wife of one of the MTC presidency. But I have loads of other photos to send!

So, I have 14 minutes to smash out this email. I won't be able to write everything.

Within the first 5 days of me being here, we committed 3 people to baptism. We teach lessons whenever we can and I'm learning a lot super quick. I could be training next transfer, but if not, definitely the one after because there's a whole bunch of missionaries coming in every transfer now. Our teaching pool is small at the moment because we're basically starting from scratch. We do A LOT of walking and lots of bus catching. That's all our transport consists of. We talk to everyone, we invite people to be baptized in the first or second lesson. My favourite investigator we have at the moment is called Frank. His wife Susan and son Dominic joined the church just over a year ago now. Frank has tattoos on his arm and has almost no teeth in the top of his mouth. We've seen him 3 times in the last week. The first time we met with him he was loud and swore all the time. We took our gun Tracey (who's a member in the ward here - basically a missionary herself) with us… We got a feel of how Frank is and then the second visit, I took control… he was the only one there so Tracey, Sister McReynolds and I sat with him and talked to him for over an hour. We know he has a kind heart, he loves his wife and he loves his grandson and kids. He even thought about it before he said a swear word. ..He's great. Loads of potential. We're going to work more with him. I wish I could tell you way way way more about him but this is going to log off in 9 minutes. :(

 I met Pres Pilkington and his wife on Sunday. They're in our ward but they probably won't be there much because they'll travel a lot. They're really great. I look forward to getting to know them.

Tell everyone who you know has written to me that I'm super super sorry but I'm so busy and hardly get time to do anything! This hour has gone so quick already!

Thanks love you heaps and heaps xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

‪Sister Kuhn