Monday, 29 April 2013


Hey all,
We've had a really good week with lots of miracles to share! So, I hope as I share these you can catch the vision of how the Lord is preparing people to come unto Him :) We've definitely seen it this week...
The first miracle I want to share is about a guy called Billy from Texas. Billy's a younger guy who had some seizures and ended up in the hospital in Richmond. Well, someone (we still don't know who) called us and asked if we could visit with him on Sunday night and give him a copy of the Book of Mormon... not a hard thing for three Elders to do! When we visited, he was heavily sedated and said 'what are you doing here? I'm Muslim and don't know Mormons' ha! A little confused, we asked if we could do anything for him; his only request was to have some Bojangles (a southern fried chicken chain here in the States).
So, the next day, we come with our Bojangles in hand and try to cheer him up! He was a lot more awake this time and told us that he'd met with missionaries at home and would love to 'discuss the truth' with us until he was discharged in a few days! And discuss we did - we felt prompted to share the Restoration and talk about baptism and he shared that, weeks before the seizures, he had been investigating the church and had prayed to know if he should be baptized... he'd got an affirmative answer but REALLY didn't want to follow through with it. He shared that having so much time to reflect upon things had helped him realize that God was in the 'coincidences' of life, including our visits. There was such a sweet spirit as we bore testimony that 'whom the Lord calls, He qualifies' and share the blessings that had come into our lives as a result of that covenant!
Billy returned home on Saturday and, even though we'll probably never meet again, I'm grateful for his example of doing what is right even if it's hard to do!
Jacob is THE MAN - we've been teaching him since my first day in Chippenham and we just love him to pieces! He's a very smart guy and has a strong desire to follow God! However, he's been struggling to understand priesthood authority and this has held him back with baptism!
Well, yesterday, we had a SWEET lesson with him and he's going to be baptized on May 12th! We taught him how we came to know that the priesthood has been restored and it was powerful, especially when we drew out the line of authority the Catholics and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints both claim! I have definitely had my testimony strengthened of the Apostasy whilst serving as a missionary - and I love the message of hope we share: that God has not forgotten us, His children! Watch this space... Jacob's a great guy! :)
We had the Midlothian Stake Conference this weekend and it was awesome... we had Elder Jack Gerard of the Seventy visit with us. The adult session was really cool (it focused on family) and then, before the other session on Sunday morning, Elder Gerard requested that we organize a 'recent convert' meeting with those that had recently joined the church in the stake! We were lucky enough to go and it was such a great experience! There are so many wonderful people in this area and it was amazing to hear their individual stories - to hear how God had directed the to the truth! I loved it! It was definitely one of the highlights of my mission and I hope to have other opportunities to meet such amazing and inspiring people :)
Anyway, that is me! It's been a good week - we're seeing success and I love it! For a while, things got pretty tough for me but I really immersed myself in the Book of Mormon and found this gem! It's in 1 Nephi 20:10...
'For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction' <3 This scripture has given me perspective and hope in those lonely or discouraging or challenging times... I know it can do the same for you if you really ponder the teachings contained within :)

Monday, 15 April 2013


Miracle time...
So, I went on an exchange this week with one of my MTC roommates (Elder Todd Fish... yes, we know it sounds like cod fish) in an area of Richmond called Manchester and had a really cool experience. Their area's been struggling a little bit recently and they've been tracting (aka. door to door) for weeks on end now so we decided prayerfully look through the area book and visit some former investigators. We chose some names and went to work...
Well, we try the first few people in our list and, of course, they're not at home! It's getting close to lunch but we decide to visit one more house 'just in case'. So, off we go and knock on the door, only to have a five year old answer the door in his 'Avengers' pants... not an everyday occurrence ha! He calls after his mum and we ask her if the people we were looking for still live there. She replies, 'nope, they're not here.... but, I'm a mormon'!
It turns out that she'd moved into the area two weeks ago and had been waiting to go to church after conference! That's the first miracle! Miracle two is that we felt inspired to ask how she was doing (not a courtesy 'how are you?' but out of genuine interest) and she just broke down... it turns out her mum had been rushed to hospital late the previous night and she was in despair - how could she deal with this on top of everything else?! Looking at this total stranger, Elder Fish and I were just filled with love as we realized God had sent us there to comfort this wonderful lady - we shared D&C 84:88 (thanks to Charlotte Warner for that one) and said a prayer. It's always amazing to see the change that occurs in the faces of those that feel the Spirit... her tears still stained her cheeks but, rather than a sign of despair, they displayed her renewed hope that 'everything would be okay'... that God hadn't sent angels with wings to 'bear her up' but two angels with funny accents and black tags that day!
As we were walking away, she told us that her partner was not a member but was VERY open to the church... could the missionaries come back and teach their family?! Isn't it amazing how everything falls into place sometimes? I know that is because of a loving Father who has the plan already in place! That day, we both received an answer and became answers to the prayers of His children!
I love my job ha! Thanks for your love and support... the work is good and I'm loving the growth in those we work with! Remember, the purpose of the Gospel is to 'transform common creatures into celestial citizens'... be changed!

Wednesday, 10 April 2013


Another week in the mission field and wow, has this been a quick one! It seems like God isn't just hastening His work... He's also hastening all sense of time for us missionaries!
I wanted to share a few things with you all...
Firstly, I had a little 'accident' I think you'll enjoy! I decided to save some money and give myself a little haircut... simple right? I trimmed it down to a 5 and it seemed to be great... well, until I went to trim a little bit more, forgetting to put the guard back on... NOT SMART HA! I've got some pictures that my mum can add but end result was a total shave to the skin on the back and sides and a 1 on top... a military haircut :/ Anyone that's seen my hairline knows why this might be a little 'amusing' to everyone else ha! And they said missionaries can't have fun!
I also had a really cool experience whilst on an exchange in the rural area of Buckingham. Part of the reason I was there was to interview a 9 year old girl for her baptism this past weekend (which went ahead!) - now, whilst visiting with their family, it became apparent that her parents had some concerns that hadn't really been addressed and so we shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon and the Atonement. It was during that time that I felt a distinct prompting to ask the mother when the last time she had a priesthood blessing was; she replied that it had been eight years! I invited her to exercises her faith and expect comfort at the hands of the servants of God and, in a wonderful display of humility, she obliged. Words cannot express the power we felt in that room as we laid her hands upon her head and, in the name of Jesus Christ, placed very specific and personal blessings and promises upon this woman! It wasn't long until we were in tears as the Holy Ghost witnessed the truth of the things we had felt prompted to share...
I share this because it was yet another encounter in my life that strengthened my faith in the priesthood of God. I know and bear my witness that the 'power' given to the apostles of Christ has been restored and that it is God's plan to bestow that privilege upon any and all of His children that desire to serve their fellow beings!
However, we are only found worthy of that promise according to our integrity. That has been a theme firm pressed on my mind this week - the concept that one can do what is right despite opposition. I have had my integrity tested and have found strength in the Atonement - the light from which the purest form of empowerment emanates. Our integrity is the foundational element of our character and our constant remembrance of it will allow God to shape and build us into the people He intends us to be!
I'm proud to be a missionary; I love my calling! It really isn't easy (they never tell you that part ha!) but I'm almost glad it isn't... the soreness after a work out is evidence that we are growing (an analogy more appropriate since Elder Dayton became my companion... I'm gonna be stacked). I plead for you to continue, to 'press forward'... 'eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him' (1 Corinthians 2:9) and I am only beginning to see the blessings the Lord is preparing me to receive. Keep it up... it's worth it!
Love Elder Pelham


My dear friends,
How is everything going in your life? How has your week been? I'm sorry I skipped the blog last week - there really is no rest for the wicked and, right now, we're going 100mph every minute of every day!
That being said, I felt prompted to share some specific experiences this week... I'm hoping that you can identify a doctrine or principle that you can apply into your own life and that, as well as feeling a little more updated on my adventures, you'll feel the Holy Ghost testify of the truths I want to express... no pressure huh?!
So, this has been my third week in my new area (Chippenham YSA Ward). Now, I don't know if I shared this before but, for this assignment, me and my two great companions (Elder Dayton and Elder Drew) cover a whole stake with our main purpose on working with people between the ages 18-30! This is DEFINITELY a change from Poquoson, where we worked with families with young kids and covered a mere fraction of this area now! This has meant I've had to do a lot of adapting which, as you all know, takes some stretching... for example, I got fed every day in Poquoson; Chippenham... let's just say I'm using my limited cooking skills a lot more (and that's if we can grab time to make anything more ambitious than cereal). It's also meant that the issues we encounter differ from back in Poquoson - we meet a lot of different people, especially at the VCU campus!
These changes, combined with some 'custom thunderstorms of opposition' (that term was coined by one of my best friends, Elder Burke), have made this week pretty challenging. We were blessed to teach 14 lessons this week (which is miraculous in this area) as well as attending a four hour meeting with President Perry, holding a zone meeting for the 38 missionaries in our stewardship (which included training), uplifting and sustaining some companionships that have been struggling, trying to organize a musical fireside to help promote the church in Richmond, trying to find time to study, helping Jasmine and Jacob prepare for their baptisms, work in unity with the three sister missionaries in our ward, build ward trust... oh, and make sure we're not all dying of exhaustion ha! Elder Drew commented on how we probably work harder and give more of ourselves to this work than most adults to their jobs ha :) So, to say I felt a little stretched would describe this week well...
Now please don't think I'm moaning ha! I love being a missionary and I'm grateful to have been given the responsibilities God had entrusted me with. However, isn't it human tendency to get lost in the day to day details and feel completely and utterly overwhelmed? I felt I needed to express the intensity of our calling in order for gravity of the miracles we've witnessed to be portrayed with justice!
The main miracle is the very thing we commemorated this week... the miracle of the Atonement of Jesus Christ! It is a beautiful concept that, simply because He loves me, He suffered to cleanse me of my sins and wrongdoings as well as enable me to bear the burdens my mortal sojourn would inevitably bring. I testify that there is power in that message; that the Atonement of Christ is real and is available to all that seek His comfort and understanding.
That Atonement allowed my wonderful companions and I to soften the hearts of a group of recent converts, an investigator and the bishop and his wife last night after we ate an Easter meal together. As we taught the message of the Restoration - that the authority to perform the ordinances, such as baptism, necessary to access the Atonement had been reestablished today - we were able to feel the Holy Ghost testify of the reality of our Saviour! Now, some may say that's our job but, for the first time in a while, I was in the same position as those we taught... I needed to feel the peace I had been promised! That, if I continued in diligence and obedience through a trying week, I would feel the enabling power in my life - my friends, I felt it last night! I know that I can do what the Lord requires of me but only if I am willing to let Him strengthen and steady me! Life IS hard - it was designed to challenge and stretch us in it's very nature - but we can still find peace in the midst of the storm!
I love you all - I pray for you and feel your prayers in my day to day life! Keep working hard... when the time is right, you'll know that you are engaged in the cause of truth!


Hey y'all,
So, this week has been transfers... that was a different experience! It was tough to say goodbye to Poquoson; I feel it's the place I grew from a boy to a man and those homes are the place where I found myself! There's a lot of people I love there and have become like family to me... I was blessed to see everyone I really needed to though and be able to share one last time with them! Can you remember how disappointed I was with Virginia?! Not anymore ha! Hopefully, we can all come out here some time... that way, you can love them all as much as I do! And I can't forget the missionaries down there... keep praying for them!

However, I'm so happy to be here in the Chippenham YSA Ward! I'm serving with Elder Dayton and Elder Drew (there was a last minute 'revealation' and a change of plans) and I love them already - they've both been out for over a year and their experience definitely makes me feel more comfortable! We're all very focused and have a desire to work until we drop... which is actually how the last four days have been ha! I just love them already :)
Yesterday was our first time at church and it's a different experience without screaming children ha! It will take a little time to get used to it I think but there's a lot of good people here... in fact, even though I've only been here for a week, I know most of the ward by name already! You know me... never been shy (just ask the librarian who gave me this card... I love talking to people!). We've also got some AMAZING investigators... in our first lesson together, we set this guy Jacob to a baptism date on the 27th April! He's a really cool guy... an artist who loves to have intelligent conversation :) It was cool to see how the Spirit helped the lesson flow, especially as it was the first time we all taught together!

We also tract very differently here... we did a lemonade stand for 4 hours on Saturday afternoon and I loved it! I don't think I've ever tracted so hard in my mission... I just wanted to talk to everyone! And the cool thing was that I could still be me - I think Dad would have been proud of some of my 'cheeky' comments ('you look thirsty after that bike ride... let me grab you a glass! I'll even pour it for you'). I'm excited to be stretched and adapt to a different type of missionary work! Although I know my purpose is the same as it was in Poquoson :)

Maybe the best thing about it is the truck though... I LOVE IT HA! I've been driving a lot these past few days and for long amount of times! It surprised me how quickly it all came back and yes, I'm being safe! It's just a stupid guy thing... I'll try and get a picture soon!

Last thing: our address is 11506 Clintwood Terrace, Midlothian, Virginia, 23112 :) I look forward to all the packages and letters ;)
Thanks for the support,
Love Elder Pelham