So, here I am writing my update for week ten! Can you believe how quickly it's going?! It seems like yesterday I was in the MTC meeting everyone and thinking 'what the freak am I doing here?!'. And yet, somehow, now I'm into my second transfer and actually becoming a missionary!
Today has been another great week with - as usual - many miracles! Let me share some... last Monday, we met up for out day off with 32 other missionaries from the stake. One of those missionaries was Sister Allan who was in my group that left from the MTC! We spoke a little and she told me how her MTC companion, Sister Jepson (one of the most amazing people I've ever met!) had been struggling recently because of some family issues. I thought about it and decided I'd ask President Perry if I could call her sometime (we have to get President's permission because Elder/Sister relationships have a lot of rules... I wonder why ha!). So, I'm on the phone to President and he randomly says, 'Elder Pelham, if you feel like you need to call Sister Jepson, please do'! Sister Jepson and I ended up on the phone for a whole hour and, although I can't share too much, I can tell you this... it was one of my most spiritual experiences in my entire life! She is exceptional and her faith inspiring... Through her quiet example, I came to better understand the reality of God's love for His children! No matter what we face, Christ understands and He will 'succor us'. I will always be grateful to Sister Jepson for helping me understand that better :)
Another miracle happened on Wednesday - Elder Bernfeld and I were running late to a dinner appointment and, I'm not gonna lie, I was getting impatient! I HATE being late, especially when a member has made us food! Anyway, we're walking to this appointment when a lady in our apartment complex asks 'are you missionaries?' ha! Of course, we say yes and then she reveals that she is a less active member who hasn't been to church for four years. She'd recently moved to Virginia and had felt lonely and needed help. And then, there we were ha! (sounds like Elder Nelson's talk this weekend huh? 'we can help') We asked if we could help and then this dear sister began to cry, right there on the street. She shared her gratitude for Heavenly Father for sending us into her path that day and we left her with a prayer and a promise to help her move furniture! This experience definitely helped illustrate to me that God's servants follow God's timetable... if we are too obsessed with getting to the next place on time, we refuse to be an answer to a humble sister's prayer!
We also had a great lesson with an 18 year old girl named Brooke. As a quick sidenote (and a way to get lad points I guess), I should share that Brooke used to be a Hollister model... yeah money ;) Anyway ha! We met Brooke three weeks ago during service and, after a lot of persistence, we managed to organize an appointment with her on Thursday! It was an amazing experience for me because it helped me realize how far my ability to teach the message of the Restoration has come from just ten weeks ago - we were able to create a spiritual climate in which the Holy Ghost could testify to Brooke that the things we shared were indeed truths that would develop her personal relationship with Heavenly Father. There is very little in this life that brings so much joy than watching someone change before your eyes... I love my job!
This is an amazing work that I am privelaged to be a part of! I am so happy to have heard the announcement live that young men can serve missions at 18 (I started a trend obviously!) and young women can now serve at 19 - as our dear Prophet spoke those words, I felt the Spirit! I know that this is part of God's plan and I'm excited to see many more missionaries share the joy that comes from missionary service! This truly is Jesus Christ's church... I used to try and play down the differences from our doctrine and the doctrine of other Christians but now, I glory in it - those differences are evidence that this church is true! There really is a Prophet on Earth... listen to his words on lds.org and seek a witness of this for yourself! God lives and loves His children, even each and every one of us!
Love Elder Pelham
ps. if you want a laugh, check out Isaiah 36:12 - the Bible should be rated 18!