Sunday, 29 June 2014

Summer Solstice, World Cup, and A Baptism Coming Up!

Dear Everyone,
I've never really understood why the height of the sun's light in the Northern Hemisphere is the beginning of the official summer and not the middle but thus it is. I can't remember if it's the 22nd or 23rd either but that's ok. English people don't seem to mind the official beginning of summer-they just care that it's hot. It's funny.
So, a few things (sorry for no pictures--Mom will have to provide some!):

1. The rhyme Humpty Dumpty is apparently about a cannon that was part of the siege of Gloucester a long time ago.

2. The World Cup is a Big Deal. I've meant to say that for a few weeks. There are some houses with massive England flags out. Some people put England flags on their cars and then just drive around honking their horns randomly. There are loads of Brazil things all over as well. They've made up the word Braziliant which, along with the Brazilian and English flags, can be seen all over town. There are also jokes about going Brazil Nuts about the world cup as well as new flavours of cup noodles and flavoured drinks for Refreshing Rio and Brazilian BBQ steak. That's just a few. I got some cheap Brazil and England socks to celebrate and keep as mementos. With all this excitement, you'd think that England would be really good at football. But they're not! They lost every single game that they've played and they're already going home. I've even heard slightly serious jokes about an American victory. It's kind of sad really. There's a lot of grumbling about how the English leagues just import loads of foreign players so when the World Cup comes around, there aren't any strong English players. Anyhow, England is headed home and World Cup stuff is now cheap.

3. We had a fantastic Zone Conference at the Rhwibina chapel which is in a sort of suburb of Cardiff. It's cool that we can take an hour train trip to another country sort of and fun as always to go to a big city and see the sites while busing up to the chapel (Cardiff Castle mostly). Cardiff is really cool. The conference was amazing as well. Unfortunately, the Cardiff Zone (who all live near) were told it started an hour later than it was supposed to so we all had to wait and it did end up starting an hour later than it was supposed to but that was ok. There was great training on working with members and using time wisely as well as some testimonies from departing missionaries and etc. The spirit was strong and I loved it. Sometimes, I wish we could have Zone Conference every day because it's just so great.
This week, it's been really hot and slow. Things have actually gone remarkably well for missionary work. the people we're working with are doing well. It's just tough to get everywhere and have time to do everything when you're on bikes and live out of your area and it takes 30 minutes to get there (and about an hour to get to the far end.
Our Investigators are doing well. One question we got this week was why there are so many people who join the church but then eventually leave and oppose the church. It's a tricky question. Why would anyone who has come to the Well of the Waters of Christ ever leave and why would they then seek to keep others away from the truth which they once held dear? Although it doesn't answer this question specifically, I think the root of it all (as with most sins) is pride. Pride is refusing to submit one's will to the will of God and that is what we often do. If we are willing to listen to and heed the counsel of God's living prophets, we will be able to successfully navigate through this earth life. If we refuse to sacrifice our own will and carnal nature for the eternal purposes of our creator, we won't. It's simple but also difficult. I've learned a lot about Pride and I've been greatly humbled on my mission as I'm sure I will continue to be for the rest of my life (and I definitely need it!). I pray that we, like the Saviour, will be able to humble ourselves before our Heavenly Father and accept His will in all things. I know that by doing so, we will qualify for his blessings and help in our lives. In the Name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
Elder Houghton

P.S. Gary is going to be Baptised on the 5th of July! It's going to be Amazing!

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