Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 12

Aye family!

This mission thing is a lot of fun! This week has been hectic though! Busy busy busy. Finally we have real time to focus on our area, I feel like last transfer we were at a meeting every other day.

It is slowly getting colder here. Doesn't sound too warm at home. The rain isn't there? Everyone says that it rains all the time here but I am not seeing it...let's hope it stays that way! The English people love talking about the weather.....and their gardens. Two of possibly the most boring subjects in the world. But hey occasionally you meet a Cannucks fan on the bus and it is alright.

Okay story of the week. Me, Elder Krylborn, Elder Graham and Elder McAlister (as if names mean anything?) were driving from North Shields to Newcastle and stopped at Mcdonalds (or should I say Macdonalds) they really can't speak here. Well it is a common known fact that Elder McAlister is more than a little bit addicted to diet coke. We pull up and order and he says "...and a large diet coke." and the man replies "I'm sorry sir but we are out of diet coke." *gasps from all in the car* Elder McAlister is silent...." diet coke at all....?" and the man replied saying no. Well Elder McAlister made it obvious he was upset and ordered a large cup of ice, confusing all of us, then pulled forward. When he got in the line he put the car in park and got out. Walked to the back opened the hatch grabbed something then came back saying "you never leave home without an emergency diet coke". This could have been one of the funniest experiences in my life and re reading this story made it so apparent that you had to be there. Mom it made me think of you, go enjoy your diet coke.

So there are a lot of rumors flying around about the next transfer. We suspect our flat will be getting two more elders as will has the zone will be getting several new companionships. We currently have the biggest zone so there is a chance it could split! The work is progressing!

Yesterday we were a little bummed because we had two of our very investigators confirmed for church the morning of, then they just didn't come. They have been before so we are little concerned. Hopefully we can meet with them soon and resolve some concerns.

This week I am going to focus a lot on developing Christlike Attributes. I encourage everyone to find a Preach My Gospel and read chapter 6. Complete the Attribute Assessment at the end of it and then study it! I know that as you do you will find a joy in the gospel you never knew before!

Love you! I pray for all of you everyday!

Elder Gurney

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week 11

Hello everyone! Or should I say hiya y'aright?

England has been so brilliant! It warmed up a little the last few days so that has been a blessing! I still need to buy a coat and stuff though.

So some sad news...Charlie does not want to join the church anymore! "I am a definite supporter or the Mormons but I just don't feel it is right for me". So hey that bummed us out a little. Thankfully the Lord watches out for us! This week a man named Leroy walked up to us on the street and told us he used to meet with missionaries in the past so we started teaching him. He is brilliant! He has been in and out of prison in the past but the last time he came out he went to church in Leeds with his sister who had joined while he was in prison and he loved it. So we are really excited to see where that goes.

Have I mentioned the Chinna family before? Well Sheela Chinna has 11 daughters. Yep, 11. She lives with her partner who is pretty anti and thinks he is a born again prophet of sorts? I don't know, we don't see much of him but the family is so great. Indion who is 12 loves coming to church and has only missed once since I have been here. So much potential in that family.

Something I learned this week. Oh! so at the start of the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi if you look at the footnotes it talks about how out of the 433 verses of Isaiah that are quoted only about 200 are the same as the KJV of the bible. Less that half! I thought that was super interesting.

This morning during breakfast I was reading an Ensign article about receiving revelation for ourselves. It uses the story of Nephi and him breaking his bow and how he doesn't just complain and pray asking for a new bow, he went to work! He built a new bow and starting hunting and while he was hunting he asked for guidance. He was already working when he asked for help. I cannot remember who said it but a quote I love is something like "Pray as if it all depends on God, then work as if it all depends on you."

I know that as we seek to learn we will find. "ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you" is repeated 120 times in some form in the standard works. I know that as we ask and pray often, then work and study and knock, God will answer our prayers. He loves us enough to help us reach our potential. He knows and loves every single one of us.

I pray for you all the time! Love you

Elder Gurney

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 10

Wow what a fantastic week! I love being a missionary!
Okay so I found out it doesn't rain as much here as everyone says....or maybe I'm just getting used to it. It is nice and sunny today, a little cold and windy, but sunny. There are some days where it just pours though sometimes. Last week we we're going to tea at a members home and it was like a 10-15 minute walk to and from the metro and it just poured. On the way back my coat was just a joke. I was absolutely drenched. But hey I was loving it. Me and Elder Krylborn were just singing Taking Back Sunday songs the whole way (that's spiritual.....right?).
We finally are in our new flat and finally have beds and finally are settled! It felt like that whole process took entirely too long. But hey the mission takes care of us. We are living way above missionary standards right now. The flat is just massive. It is a house actually. That means in the next few transfers the area could be getting two more missionaries but we will see.
So in Newcastle yesterday there were people from like the Ensign doing a story about the chinese teams in the area, so yeah i know all of them when you see the next ensign! I went on splits with Elder Liu from mainland china. Such a good elder.
So miracle at church yesterday! We have been working with this indian lady named shiela and her 11 (yes 11) daughters. One of her daughters comes to church every week and is twelve. We have been trying to get her mom to come to church for weeks but she just won't. Sister Thompson invited them all after a really powerful lesson on friday and she said eh probably not. But then on Sunday part way through sacrament she walks in with 3 of her daughters! It was amazing! We then sung Our Lovely Deseret (307). Yeah worst hymn ever for investigators. Look it up. But she loved it! We are meeting with her family again tonight.
I wish I could write more because there are so many different things this week that are truly blessings from the Lord. I have been studying a lot about like where happiness comes from the last little bit. Not really consciously, but just looking back. It is so simple. Not easy, but simple. I promise everyone that reads there scriptures and prays everyday, will generally be happy. Or at least happier that they would be without. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful book ever written. I have come to have such a love for my personal Book of Mormon. I hope everyone strives to have that.
I love this Gospel and I am so happy to be sharing it with people. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. His gospel has but one purpose, to bring joy unto all of us.
I love you and pray for you everyday!

Elder Gurney

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 9

Hello Everyone!!

So I am glad people are catching on to the letters are better than emails thing....I really wish I had more time to email but President just made email restricted to an hour. Before it was an hourish....which ment for the sister missionaries 3-4 hours (I'm not joking). This doesn't mean quit emailing me though!

This week has been absolutely hectic!! Meeting after meeting I can't believe it's already past. So I mentioned that Elder Krylborn is a district leader now. They didn't quite mention how much harder that makes my job. He is so busy doing DL stuff that I have to pretty much run the area myself. I absolutly love doing that it is just a lot to do! I used to have a goal to write in my journal for 15 minutes every night, that has gone out the window. I am lucky if I get two. But it is also so fun to plan everything and really have that huge hand in helping the area progress. I am learning so much.

One of the unique things I did was attend a funeral this week. Elder Krylborn had to go to transfer meeting because he was made DL so me and 6 other missionaries attended a funeral in South Shields. It was massive. Probably 600 kids. The funeral was for a man named Jonothan who took his own life he was 21 I think. It was so spiritual and amazing. Near everyone there was a nonmember. I am so greatful for the comfort of the Plan of Salvation.

So I just got a phone call. We are moving one wednesday! Finally we have a definite day and time!

I guess this week has been pretty slow for me as well! But I'll tell you of one miracle. Our zone focus this transfer is having the members at lessons invite the individual to church. Super simple but it is so powerful. We went and visited two Less active members one saturday with a member because they live so far away. We taught Sister Armstrong and it was so powerful and Sister Thompson invited her to church and she hestently agreed to next week. Then we just stopped by another less active a few minutes away who is really not too bothered. Sister Thompson asked her if she could give Sister Armstrong a lift to church next sunday, she agreed!! Two birds with one stone! Missionary work is inspired!

Love you guys!
Elder Gurney

PS read Mosiah 2:41

BONUS:  a couple of excerpts from Nick's letter to Mom:

I wish I had time to listen to or read Elder Uchtdorfs Talk (mom forwarded his talk from April's conference to Nick last week), maybe later this week. But the best part about it is your testimony. I would rather read that any day. Testimonies are so special and powerful, I feel like that is where members struggle the most in missionary work. They have no clue how powerful and influencial their testimony is. Share it, live it, don't ever hide it.

I love getting quotes! You should see my study desk. It is bombarded with quotes. A personal favorite from another missionary:
"If your heart is pure, you cannot fail."
-Elder T. McAllister

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week 8

Hello everyone!

Wow I can't even believe it is week 8. I actually had to look that up I couldn't even remember. A month feels like a week honestly. It is transfer week! But don't worry I am staying in North Shields! My companion, Elder Krylborn, is being made a district leader! So we are pretty excited and nervous for that.

We are moving this week! I am not sure if I mentioned last week but we have a new flat. It is so big and so clean (something we are not used to) compared to the current one. Judging on the size of it, we could be getting two more missionaries in the area in the coming months. We are getting all new furniture and beds and everything so we are really pumped for that. The new address is:

Elder Gurney
20 Cecil Street
North Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE29 0DH

I can recieve post there as well so no need to send it to the member in our ward. Packages might still be best to go to the member or to the mission office though. Lisa that would be fantastic if you could update the address on the blog/facebook.

So it is starting to get a little chillier. But not really. I've heard some terrible things about the winter here though so it is time to grit my teeth and love it all the way through. But we also have good heating at our new flat and are getting new beds and blankets so that will help.

The area is doing fantastic. We are really seeing the work progress. It is nice when you are planning and you actually have things to do other than just knocking doors all day. I'll give you an update on Charlie just because I mention him every week. So he has been doing fantastic. He has been reading, praying and he says he will join the church after he feels in his heart he is ready. But then when I called him this morning he said he has felt a little overwhelmed with religion the last little bit and to call him when he gets back from holiday in a week and a half. So hey now it's just time to pray and leave it up to the Lord.

I love seeing the effect the Gospel has on people. It is hard to see sometimes when your helping people make these commitments but as you look back on their progress you get to see how happy they are. It is honeslty one of the biggest blessings of the mission.


Elder Gurney