Dear wonderful people,
I wanted to drop you a quick note to share the joy I feel right now! MISSIONARY WORK IS THE BEST ha! To work side by side (well, a little step behind...) the Saviour is a 'great and marvellous work' and it's one that I feel privelaged to be a part of! I'll start with my testimony this time... God lives and is mindful of you! He knows and loves His children. Because He loves us, He created and perfected a plan... the plan of salvation! The teachings of Christ are essential to growth because they teach us how to become heavenly beings. These things are true!
This week has been AMAZING and I've had some of the best experiences of my mission. I wanted to cut and paste a little part of my e-mail home and then share one in particular (it includes me speaking espanol):
'So, you'd be proud of me... these past six weeks have been INTENSE ha! I have been working my butt off (not physically... I'm still 40 pounds heavier than when I left!) and feel exhausted. In fact, I saw President last Wednesday and he commented on it; 'Elder Pelham, I just don't get it. How are you teaching 18 lessons a week, keeping the district so united AND dealing with your companion?!). I laughed and told him that I have no idea but I've never been happier ha! He promised me a third companion to help look after the area but, as you've heard, it wasn't to be this time... that's okay though! It's funny because, rather than giving me another companion, he made me district leader of the biggest district in the mission... I think Heavenly Father wants me to be so tired I can't get into trouble! I'm excited but also nervous... we're going from 9 missionaries to 12, including two brand new missionaries. Also, this transfer has been relatively 'drama-free' but, looking at the companionships, I'm gonna be on damage control most of the time! I know I'll have divine help though... this is what the last six months has prepared me for :) We did 6 overnight exchanges over the last 6 weeks (it's my job to train each elder for a day, one on one - the Zone Leader's train me) but this transfer, we'll have 9 in 5 weeks... oh, and we have to baptize still ha! Pray for us in Poquoson!
Speaking of which, Poquoson is doing SOOO well! We've had miracles galore this week... Barbara's (you remember her right?) boyfriend has been investigating and is ready for baptism but, in order for it to happen, they need to get married... SO YES, A MARRIAGE AND A BAPTISM IN POQUOSON IN FEBRUARY :D I'm super excited - it started with Barbara, then Seth and now Kavin... they'll be a sealed family by next year (if all goes well!). It's amazing how perfectly Heavenly Father prepared this to happen and I'm super grateful to be a part of it!
Also, we've been working with a sweet part member family (the Coulsons) over the last six months and, through some divine intervention, we started teaching Fanny last month! Well, she's praying about baptism! Which doesn't sound like a big deal but, when I first arrived, she wouldn't even let us talk about church! I love that family... she just opened up to us in our last lesson and started crying and I couldn't help but cry with her! Her Father in Heaven loves her SOOO much <3 She's amazing and you'd love her'
I hope this gives you a little glimpse into the day-to-day life of a missionary! Anyway, now with the sweet experience... On one of these exchanges, I went with Elder Perrault, one of our Spanish speaking missionaries (he's such a good guy... we had TOO much fun: we saw this girl pick her nose and eat it and couldn't stop laughing for twenty minutes ha!). Anyway, we were visiting some potential investigators and met this guy from Mexico called Cruz! It was freezing outside so he invited us in to share the first lesson. Now, for those that know me, I DO NOT speak Spanish... I studied it for four years so I can listen and understand but I cannot talk. Well, I'm listening carefully and can hear little snippets of the lesson ('Jesu Cristo', 'aposticia' ect). Well, it gets to part about the First Vision and I ask if I can share it... as I read from the pamphlet, the Spirit was crazy! I'm certain my pronounciation was awful but it was one of the most powerful time I've shared that scripture. Elder Perrault continued to teach and, as he asked Cruz to read the pamphlet, I felt prompted to promise Cruz that, if he read that pamphlet on his own, he'd feel the exact same way he did as we shared our message. I asked Elder Perralut to translate and, as he made that promise, Cruz just changed... he gazed at the pamphlet for 30 seconds and then said 'really?'. It was SWEET ha! It goes to show that the Spirit has no language barrier and it was a blessing to me to see the power our message has to change people!
Anyway, I best be off... I love you all! Please pray for us here; we are going to need added strength but I know that, 'with God, nothing is impossible'!
Love Elder Pelham