Well, it sounds like you've all had an interesting week and I have lots to tell you, but there's never enough time to type it all down, but I'll do my best!
Firstly, just to update you on Steve, he has committed to baptism on February 16th!!!! He hasn't met the local missionaries in England yet, but he went to church on Sunday all by himself and because it snowed in England, everyone freaked out and things shut down. So, when he got to the chapel, the sign on the chapel door said "Closed for sledging competition!" I was a little disappointed because our investigator braved the snow to attend church so he could meet the missionaries and it was closed. Not the greatest first experience at church, but he is incredible and excited to meet the Elders. The other day we taught Steve about the Plan of Salvation and we were about to say goodbye and he said, "Oh, I'm going to start living the Word of Wisdom now!" We were like, "What!" Honestly, we haven't even taught him anything about that principle yet and he's already done his research and committed to living it. He even asked us about the possibility of himself serving a mission in the future. We asked him if he had received an answer to know if the church was true and he said, "I had a dream the other night, and you're going to think I'm crazy but God was chasing me through a forest and I was trying to run away from him and then he stood in front of me and put his hands on my shoulders and said to me in a dad-like way, "Why are you trying to struggle?" He then handed me the Book of Mormon and that's when I woke up."" Isn't that amazing? He said he knows the church is true. This is our third lesson with him and he's our miracle investigator and we are so excited for his future. We learnt today that the Elders in England have finally contacted him and they are meeting together tomorrow. YAY!!! Tender mercies for real.
Well, you know there is opposition in all things and that each day is different from another. Not every day is rosey and filled with amazing miracles like Steve. On Monday we had one of those not so rosey days. We were on chat with an Athiest who used to believe in God but doesn't any more. So sad. Later, we met a man on the Square standing next to the Priesthood statues - the one with Peter, James and John ordaining Joseph Smith with the Melchizedek Priesthood. He was a religious man and a Christian and he started reading things to us from the Bible that weren't making too much sense. He used the ESV version of the Bible and we felt the spirit leave as soon as he started drifting in his comments. He firmly believes that all you need to do in this life is to accept Jesus Christ and you will be saved by his grace. I asked him about what James said in James 2:5-6 about works and he agreed with me but then contradicted himself and said we don't have to do anything to be saved. Due to the cooler temperatures outside and with the weather here averaging around -9 degrees celsius during the day, we invited him in to view the Christus. We lead him into the Visitor's Centre which I believe is a wonderful, peaceful, place and he seemed to act a little strange. He said, "So you know in the Bible where it says, "Thou shalt not make any graven images" well what do you say about that?" (pointing to the Christus). We graciously informed him that we don't worship the statues and that it represents our Saviour and reminds us to always think of Him. Well, I knew there was no point wasting any more of the Lord's time because he had come to bible bash and was very anti and said he felt sorry for us wasting our time doing what we do. I thanked him for his time after bearing my testimony. We left him staring at the Christus. I am so grateful for these people because everytime they try to use the scriptures to prove their point it motivates me to go and study them more and use the modern revelation we have in the D&C and the Book of Mormon to clarify things and then I can better understand it for the next person who comes along wanting to bash. So, my personal goal for this week is to have more love for everyone even when they are anti. Argh! The Church is true and I know it more and more each day.
It's crazy to think that there are organizations who make it a full-time job to prepare their people to come and bash with their anti-mormon literature. They come to the Square to take the tours to study us and learn what we teach and then go away and study up on our doctrine then come back with scriptures to dispute it. In the summertime we have bus loads of anti's come to the Square to see if they can stump us in our teachings and to try and "Save our souls!" The people that are anti-Mormon are really sweet people who come across as genuinely seeking the truth and then they try to corner you and pull out their anti material to share with you. They remind me a lot of Korihor and Zeezrom in the Book of Mormon. I love how the Lord protects us against the adversary and while these people actually think they are right, it's our knowledge, testimonies and the spirit that keeps us strong. I could never appreciate the miracle of Steve if I didn't experience the opposition that we are faced with on the Square. The moral of the story family is that there needs to be opposition in ALL things! In 2 Nephi 2:11 we read:
11. " For it must needs be, that there is an aopposition in all things. If not so, my first-born in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."
Remember to read your scriptures and say your prayers EVERY Day so that you will be protected from the opposition!
I love you all and keep being awesome. Go hard on the biggest loser. We did lunges the other day for our exercises and I haven't been able to walk properly for two days. We have a good little group that exercises at 6:10 a.m. each day so if you get to exercise later than that then count your blessings because sleep on a mission is sooooo precious. Walking up and down the stairs in the Beehive House was torture! I'm going to win the biggest loser but I have no scales so you'll just have to take my word for it.
Sister Chadderton xoxo