Dear family and friends,
I'm sorry I was not able to write last week, as I had the chance to play football (the European kind), so it was either play or e-mail. Oh, how I've missed it. Anyway, the last two weeks have been pretty good. I had been really looking forward to coming to Britain because of the weather. I hated the hot and dry Utah weather, and some nice British weather was exactly what I wanted. Well, it's really starting to cool down and it's absolutely superb. I thought that it would be raining pretty hard most days, but instead, it actually does this lovely thing I like to call misting. It really just mists all around you for hours on end, and you feel like you're in a fairy tale. Anyone who knows me, knows I love rain and fog. But now I really love the mist. It's one of my new favourite things. But, enough talk about the weather. The missionary work here in Rhiwbina is going quite well. Seriously, 95% of the peoople here are at least 100 years old and remember when America used to be under British rule. They're absolutely lovely, but I think they mostly just need someone to listen to. When they realized that we'll actually sit and talk with them on the street, you can see them start to light up, and really get excited as they beging to tell you about their lives from day one, which most of the time can actually be quite interesting. Many of them also ask about our accents, and when I say I'm from America, a lot of them will get all pumped up and say "My grandson lives in America! His name is Josh. Do you know him?" Usually I just tell them yes, and it makes them really happy. So in summary, I really love the people here. Each of them have incredible stories and lives, and I've loved learning about the culture while also helping them to come closer to Christ by teaching them about the restored gospel.
Also, a couple people have asked me about how the biking is going, so I thought I'd tell you in the big letter. My bike is toast. The highest two gears are broken, so I have to work with four gears, which means I peddle like a maniac to make it places. At one point this week, one of the elders in my district tried tying my bike to the back of his on the way to a district meeting. It really didn't work as well as we thought, and we got quite a few funny looks, but at least I'm getting places. Haha, I'll work on getting a new bike soon.
To conclude my e-mail I wanted to tell you a bit about what I've learned about myself this last week. Each week is hard, but I honestly love the work; however, I've had to rely completely on the Atonement and my Saviour as I've gone through the last few weeks. It's been absolutey essential for my progression as a missionary. One person I met this week, upon telling him that I could help them come closer to Christ, replied "I can rely on myself for things. Why can't you be self reliant too?" I was sorta taken aback, and I almost got offended because I've always taken great pride in being quite independed. I would hate for people to think that I couldn't fend for myself. It's something my mother might not like that much, but it's just how I am. But as I thought about that question, I realized I really am self reliant; however, I'm glad that I have trusted in the Lord and relied on Him as well, because I have now been able to become the BEST version of myself. Sure, I could rely on myself and disregard the Saviour. I could actually make it through life doing just fine. But why settle for fine, when I could settle for exceptional, extraordinary, or incredible? There are definitely exceptional people out there who have made it without Christ, but think of what they could have become if they let Him into their lives and let Him bring them just that little extra ways to their best selves. God knows everything. He knows how to guide us so that we can become our best. I've been learning more and more how to apply the Atonement to every single aspect of my life. Alma 7 and Romans 8 have been two chapters of scripture that have changed the way I look at my mission. I have the potential to be pretty darn good in this life. But it's my divine potential that makes me excellent. There's my thought for the day.
Good luck to everyone starting school this next week! You'll be fabulous. I'm so happy I'm not there.