Well, it's been a crazy week, but I've written down a list of things that I wanted to touch on from it :) The dullest pencil is more powerful than the smartest brain...or was it the dullest knife is more effective than the most accurate stormtrooper? Eh, something like that.
The week begins with something that's become a sort of Witney-flat-tradition. In our main room, there is a dust bin that sits about five feet from our study chairs. Whenever we have small bits of rubbish, we shoot them into the bin. Now, here comes the fun part. Lately, we've been staking baptisms on making these shots :) "If I make this, Vincent get's baptized next week!" Of course, if we miss, we spend the next two or three minutes searching for rubbish to shoot until we make it. Fun stuff.
Quick update on the area and the people we are teaching:
Ok, the area. It's underwater. That's right, Witney and Oxford are seeing some serious flooding. In fact, on the last few days, we have been trapped in Witney, because the buses can't run through the flooding. For correlation on Tuesday, we did some tricky route-redirection and still had to wade in order to make it to the chapel :) Only to have that meeting canceled, ha. No effort is wasted!
The people. Oh the people. We've found three families this week :) It's been a week of seeing blessings because of persistence and obedience. Elder Ganta and I did some goal setting and had a massive "New Transfer and New Year Goal Setting Session." It went really well, and we've obviously seen the results. One of these families, a little Taiwanese family, let us in the next day after we met them because we "actually showed up when you said you would." That's what Vincent, the father of the family, said, with quite a bit of surprise on his face :) We've met some truly wonderful people this week, and hopefully one of these families is the one we have been praying to find and baptize.
Ian came to church! Again! He reappeared from the Christmas season and has been reading the Book of Mormon :) He's also praying, which is a huge step for him, even though he still doesn't quite believe there is someone who hears his prayers. That faith is what allows people to receive answers and confirmations, thus increasing their belief in and relationship with their Heavenly Father.
Alright, another few stories about the Suttons, the family that literally cares for us like they do their children. I'm telling you, I'm in for a life of service to missionaries after my experience in this ward :) First of all, we're having a P-day at their home pretty soon here where brother Sutton is going to teach us how to make "proper Yorkshire pudding" and a few other traditional English/Welsh dishes. Sooo awesome. Also, they have a line on their table now that says "baby reach zone" since their little one is up and walking. It's about a half foot zone at the edges of the table, where things can be placed at your own risk.
We went to the Eagle and the Child this week as a district. It's the pub in Oxford where C.S. Lewis and Tolkien wrote their famous novels. It was really cool :) I felt inspired to write an epic as I ate the most delicious bangers and mash I've ever had.
Lastly, I've begun something that I've seen interesting results of in my nightly routine. Preach My Gospel has many suggestions in it's "Accounting" section. For those of you unfamiliar with how the missionary system works, let me explain what accounting is. Each companionship in the field accounts twice a week with their area leader, and once with a leader in the ward called a Ward Mission Leader. An accounting session basically comprises of a report on what you were able to accomplish that week, the people you helped, information on those who are investigating the church, and (with the ward mission leader) how the ward can help these people (whether that be getting a job, a ride to church, or just friendship with members in their area). As we are accountable for our actions, we become more responsible and gain a desire to work hard.
Anyways, we read in PMG (Preach My Gospel) to add another accounting session to our routine: one with our Heavenly Father. So, each night, I have been going over the events of the day and looking at what I was able to do, the desire that I had that day, what I've been blessed with, and how I can do better. I can promise you that, whether you believe in God or not, that this is something that will not only make you a better person, but help you to understand who you are and why you do the things you do. If you want to improve in anything, be accountable to yourself :) You'll be able to know where you are, and it's only then that you can set where you want to go.
Well, that was forever long. Pray that we don't have to start contacting on Canoes. I hope that all is well back home, and I'm so grateful for the support of my family :) I love you all.
Jesus Christ taught love and boldness, and stands for what the Father stands for. My greatest hope is to do the same.
Cheers, Elder Foster