How has your week been?! These has been one of the best weeks of my mission with some crazy miracles that I wanted to share with you all :)
Now, I'm real sorry that I've skipped my blog for a few weeks over the last transfer or so... we have been hectic and rushed off our feet, even on our preparation days (not a bad problem to have though!), and I've actually been out of Poquoson on exchanges for the most part over these last two weeks. However, it's also given me a great opportunity to work in different ways and learn from the great missionaries in the Virginia Richmond Mission!
One of the sweetest things I've seen is the story of a girl called Jocelyn. Elder Burke (if you look back on my blogs, you'll hear his name A LOT - he's my main man!), Elder Perrault and I were working in the singles branch and decided to hand out some hot chocolate on a nearby college campus. As we were doing this, this young girl came up and started talking to us about how she dated an LDS guy who served a mission in Paris (that's a surprisingly common experience... EVERY girl wants a Mormon after all). Well, she left and then, about half an hour later, came back with mugs for us and helped us hand out hot chocolate! We talked about the Church and she expressed interest in learning more.
Well, I've been SUPER BLESSED to be able to teach her the first three lessons, even though I'm technically not in her area ha! Each time, the Spirit has been really strong and we've been able to help her understand more about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation! One of the craziest things is how close you grow to those you teach as a missionary... you grow to love and care for them and really desire for them to feel the same joy you do! And that's what seems to have been happening with Jocelyn so far... we're excited as she's working towards a baptism date at the end of March! Watch this space :)
In fact, I was able to spend four days with Elder Burke whilst Elder Ovard was in Richmond and I absolutely loved it - we worked SOOO hard and barely had any time to eat or sleep! There is a fulfillment that comes from serving God and your fellow men and, this week in particular, I felt very grateful that I can do this 24/7! For example, we were prompted to drop by a ward member (who I absolutely adore... she's an amazing lady) the other day and came at the right time to give her a priesthood blessing - it was a very powerful experience for me as I felt Heavenly Father give me direct guidance as to the words that would bring this dear sister comfort! It's becoming a lot more natural for me to discern that 'still small voice' and I have become very reliant upon it's constant companionship... it's a lot like oxygen; even though you need it to survive, you don't recognize it until a) there's a lack of it or b) you sit back and pay attention. I have felt the Spirit on a few occasions comfort and guide me in those rare quiet moments, testifying to me that this work is true!
Heavenly Father also taught me an important lesson this past week... 'being busy doesn't always equate to being purposeful' ha! My mum commented last week about how much my life has changed over these last seven months (yes, it's really going that quick... can someone invent a way of slowing down time?!) and I wrote back about all the things I'm doing and how busy I felt... does that sound familiar to anyone? President Uchtdorf describes this tendency as 'wearing business as a badge of pride' and I think I may have missed the mark... well, this week has still been busy but I've tried really hard to prioritise the things that I engage in according to how it helps to accomplish my purpose and I've really felt a difference; I don't feel as tired and have been able to feel the Holy Ghost a lot more! So, there's my invitation to all the busy people out there... remember to 'be still and know that I am God' (a great place to do that is the temple!) and don't get confused as to why we are here!
Well my friends, I love you all dearly! I took a few moments this week to read over past letters and the notes you wrote in my farewell book and my heart was touched... please know that you are still very much a part of my life! I'm grateful for this opportunity to serve the Lord with 'ALL my heart, mind, might and strength' for these two years and am super excited to share this expereince with my wonderful cousin <3 I understand you are busy but drop me a line with some info about your life sometime... I might not reply but it'll keep my prayers for you and your families current :) May God bless you and bless His work,
Elder Marcus Pelham