Saturday, 29 September 2012


This has to be a quick letter as I've not got a lot of time ha! Sorry...
This has been a weird week! Some of the highs included Barbara's baptism and an exchange with my Zone Leader, Elder Burke; some of the lows were  the bust up I had with my companion Elder Bernfeld and feeling tired constantly! But, as always, my week has been worth it... I love my job as a missionary and love the part I can play in helping someone come unto Jesus Christ!
Hope y'all okay - I will write my journal entry from the baptism next week when I have time - sorry! But the suspense will make it better, I promise :)
Love Elder Pelham

Tuesday, 18 September 2012


This has been a crazy week!
I guess I'll start with some cool miracles. At the moment, we have two investigators set for baptism - Barbara is getting baptized this Saturday (heck yeah!) and Brendan (otherwise known as Subway Guy) is working towards the 13th October! It's really exciting to see both of them progressing towards that covenant with Heavenly Father and, we've had some experiences which have really affirmed my testimony that God is willing to do everything in order to guide them towards the baptism font!
For example, we've been visiting Barbara a lot recently to help her quit smoking! She's been doing great but her body isn't liking the change so much and she's got pretty ill. It got so bad on Friday that she fainted four times! So, at 11.30pm, Elder Bernfeld and I are called over by another investigator to give Barbara a blessing (even though she didn't know what they were ha!). It was amazing - I was drugged up on sleeping medication but I could still feel the Spirit really strong as we used our priesthood to bless her. She was even well enough to come to church the next day! The priesthood is pretty cool!
As for Brendan - he's been progressing really well. He works A LOT so we've been meeting him at work ha! We spend more time in Subway at the moment then anywhere else. Anyway, we had a really cool experience at the chapel the other day. We walked round the building, explaining the various pictures of the Book of Mormon that were on the wall until we reached the picture of Christ in the New World. As we stopped and looked at it, I felt prompted to bear my testimony of the reality of the scene that the picture depicts - that Jesus Christ did indeed visit the Nephites and establish His church to the 'other sheep that were not of [His] fold' (John 10:16) in Jerusalem. There was then a silence and Brendan just looked at the picture and said 'I just got goosebumps' ha! We then took him to the baptismal font and read Mosiah 18:8-10 with him and invited him to be baptized! It was so cool - he's working really hard to be ready for then! Missionary work is awesome!
One of my favourite experiences so far happened with the Zambranas this week - I LOVE that family! We had dinner with them during my first week on my mission and they've just been so welcoming - it's great! We've been teaching Christian the past few weeks but it hasn't really changed anything - he's very happy for us to come round and teach but I don't think he's felt the Spirit yet. Well, that was until Saturday evening anyway! We went round for a FHE (it's basically an excuse to play with their kids ha!) and we asked Vanessa to share a spiritual thought. It was fantastic - she gave a very simple message about gratitude and the Spirit was intense and she bore her testimony of all the blessings she has received. And then, out of nowhere, I felt we should ask Christian to pray... and he did! It was crazy! After he prayed, we asked him how he felt and he just said 'I feel better'! That might seem small but to see someone pray to God for the first time and feel an answer is incredible - I love my job ha! I'm really excited to help him progress - he's an awesome guy and his family are such a blessing to Elder Bernfeld and myself!
We've also had some cool finding experiences - we do service at a local charity shop every week and, normally, we just talk to people about the area ect. Well, this week, we met two 18 year old girls - Brooke and Bri! And they are so legit! It's weird - I felt like I could be myself around them and still by a missionary (that may sound obvious but it's been difficult to find that balance). We instantly got on and we're teaching them this week so we're hoping they're interested in the Gospel and not just my accent ha! We'll see... I definitely feel there's potential there! :)
There's many more miracles I could share - we see them all the time! I could spend a whole afternoon talking about all the cool times we've spent with the members but I don't have time ha! But that's what my journal is for right?! It's sufficient to say this - I feel very loved! We are fed everyday, we get regular cookie drops and the members are always keen to drive us places or come on lessons with us! Poquoson will definitely be the place to be soon - it's a place of miracles!
Just one last thought (and this is a quote from my weekly letter to Mama Susu) - 'This week, prayer has been my anchor! I've always struggled with the idea that, if I speak my inner-most thoughts out loud, then God will hear them. But that's changing quickly - I can't wait to get on my knees each night and thank Heavenly Father for the miracles He's allowing us to work. I'm praying for twenty minutes at a time and I can actually feel myself having a conversation with God! I have had peace 'whispered to my soul' on a number of occasions now and it never ceases to amaze me... God hears my prayers Mum!'.
I know God hears prayers - it makes perfect sense. He is our Father so He wants to hear from us! So, speak to Him!
Elder Pelham
ps. I'm allowed to have e-mails from anyone now! So, e-mail me at please! I'd love to hear from y'all

Monday, 10 September 2012


Hey y'all (yeah, I've started saying that! It sucks ha),
So, here's my update for week six! It's been a great week with a lot of awesome things happening. For example... I SET MY FIRST PERSON TO BAPTISM - YEAH MONEY! Her name is Barbara and she is getting baptized on the 22nd September. Please pray for her! She is an amazing lady who is applying a lot of faith in this decision to follow Jesus Christ - she's quitting smoking and doing really well so we're really proud of her! She has a great love for this Gospel and it's humbling to see her willingness to sacrifice so much to do what she feels is right - it's a testimony to me of the converting power of the Holy Ghost. In the last week, we've really noticed a change in her - she is more positive about her future and excited to share the truth with her friends (we're actually teaching a girl called Britney because of her!). It's fantastic to watch how our message can give someone hope - that's why I'm here after all!
We've been incredibly busy this past week - we got the highest amount of lessons that the ward has seen for years so we're happy! In fact, we got 100% member attendance for each lesson which is a straight-up miracle ha! We're really grateful for the members in this area - already, I consider them my family! I love going to church on a Sunday, just because it means I get to see them (and no-one will slam a door in your face either!).
Our referral scheme is going great - we've met a great young man called Ian through it and he seems really interested in our message. He came to YM's on Wednesday and loved getting to know some of the priests and wants us to teach him! We will happily oblige ha! We've coupled that scheme with 'Saturday Soccer' (the name wasn't my idea, I promise!) which is the exact same thing we did back in Haywards Heath! It's great for two reasons - one, we get to meet some real cool guys and two, I'm actually pretty decent for once ha! And they say miracles don't happen?!  Anyway, it's going great here with the youth - Elder Bernfeld and I feel prompted that the youth is where the growth of the ward will come from and, so far, it seems that that's the case.
As for Brendan (or Subway Guy) - we had out first lesson with him on Tuesday and it went really well. I really felt the Spirit as we read the First Vision together, especially as I considered what that meant to me. Y'see, it's important that we understand that the First Vision enabled the Restoration of Christ's church on the Earth to occur and it highlights some key doctrinal clarifications. BUT, it's meaning is a much deeper than simply that.
It comes down to this - because God answered Joseph's prayer, He WILL answer yours. That is a fact. And if God will answer your prayers, it means that we are able to receive revelation or direction from God Himself. What a powerful thing! We never need to feel alone, lost or confused because God can and will listen to us and then He will reply! Consider that and apply it to your life - it will improve it, I promise!
There's been a lot more that has happened but I'll leave that for another time - have a great week and pray for us!
Love Elder Pelham

Tuesday, 4 September 2012


I can't believe I've already been gone for FIVE WEEKS! Time goes really quick here - I've only got 23 months left ha! Better start sending out the invites for my homecoming (I joke but those of you that know my mum know that this might just happen!).
It's been an interesting week as well and the weather here really seems to sum it up. A day can start here with a thunderstorm that floods the entire apartment complex we live in, meaning we can't leave the flat at all! Nothing is more frustrating than knowing you could be teaching an investigator (and that's rare here in Poquoson) and yet, not being able to get there. And yet, despite the crazy weather, we can be out tracting in the humid sun by 3pm til 9pm the exact same day, without a sign of a storm at all.
And that's been just like these past few days - I haven't been sleeping here at all since I arrived and, with riding a bike all day, I get pretty exhausted. So, when the alarm sounds at 6.30am and I've only had an hour or so of sleep, the last thing I want to do is wake up! The morning starts slow and the three hours of study before 11am is tough and, the last few days, I've found myself pleading with Heavenly Father that I'll have enough energy to work today and that I'll be able to keep a positive perspective and invite the Spirit into our lessons. And, as consistent as it has been that the sun will be out by the afternoon, each day we have seen miracles happen! It's simply amazing to see. For example, on Monday, I had my first teach (YAY!) with a recent convert called George. As we were teaching, I felt prompted that I should test both mine and George's faith and promise him that, if we were to pray at that very moment, he'd feel the exact same Spirit he'd felt when he was baptized. So, feeling pretty scared, that's what I did! And it was amazing. As I prayed, we both felt a significant change in ourselves as the Holy Ghost confirmed that baptism was an essential part of God's plan for His children and that the gift of the Holy Ghost is real!
Then on Wednesday, we managed to teach our first investigator! They are called the Zambrana family - Vanessa was baptized a few years back but went less active soon after. She, and her non member husband Christian, have just moved into the ward so she set up a dinner appointment to get to know us in preparation for coming back to church. After dinner, we began to teach the first teach - The Message of the Restoration. But, the more we talked, the more I felt prompted to focus on the first two principles of that lesson: that God is our Loving Father in Heaven and that families are essential to God's plan for us. As we asked what that meant to Christian, a distinct change came over him as, for the first time in his life, he considered how that would change his life. We invited them to pray as a family to know if God knows who they are and if He loves them - we've got a follow up appointment this evening and I'm really excited to see how it went.
We've also taught an FHE (or family home evening) with Danielle and her son David and she's really excited to be baptized - hopefully, her husband will support her and she can be a member in October time :) On another teach, we were able to encourage a less active husband to give a blessing to his wife (another result of asking inspired questions - there is nothing more amazing than having Heavenly Father's words coming out of your mouth!) and we've also had around 8 referrals from the YM in the past week (thank you Bishop Gilboy - I've been using the 'card scheme' that we have in Haywards Heath and it's working wonders!).
One of the coolest experiences so far though is how we met Brendan. We were coming back from a teach one evening and I had to use the bathroom so we popped into the nearest Subway. And there's this young guy behind the counter who's really friendly and calling us 'brother' and all. We start talking to him about Jesus Christ and he shares how, a few years ago, he ended up in rehab. He felt really lost and had no sense of purpose or direction. At this point he prayed and, from that moment on, he's had a testimony of Christ which has encouraged him to get clean and work three jobs! He has so much faith! So, we gave him a card and told him to check out ''. Ever since then, we haven't been able to get him out of our minds but we didn't know how to contact him! Until last night, when we see him at work again (just at the right time ofc ha!) and set up an appointment for tonight! I'M SO EXCITED - it's my first experience of finding and then teaching an investigator! I can't wait to see how our message of Joseph Smith affects him - hopefully, it'll be what he's looking for! I'll keep you posted on him anyway!
And finally, we should have our first baptism on the 15th September - her name is Barbara and she has an exceptional story! Maybe I'll share it next time, when the ending includes the words, 'and then, after she was confirmed....'
Anyway, I best be off! I love it here in Poquoson - it is a place of miracles!
Love Elder Pelham