Surprise! Sister Wallace and I are no longer just the two of us as the dream team. We have an additional member, Sister Teng! There was an emergency transfer and so Sister Teng, Sister Wallace & I are now serving together. We have already had a wonderful time together & it’s good to get an Asian companion again! I’ve been slacking on my Chinese.
OK so this week was awesome so hang tight.
Tuesday. A couple came into the Visitors’ Centre saying they wanted to pray in the chapel to know if they should get married. The guy ended up proposing to his girlfriend in the chapel and they want to get married in the Hyde Park Chapel now! Totally random people off the street so that was legit.
Wednesday was epic. Sister Teng joined the best companionship ever & was thrown back into Visitors’ Centre life (she was just outside of the Visitors’ Centre doing full time proselyting). Gave a powerful tour to a couple from Arizona and then oh man, Sister OSMOND was there with her dad!!
Background story- Sister Osmond served her mission in Wisconsin and actually taught a girl from my high school who then joined the church and is just an amazing person. When I saw Sister Osmond, I basically started crying. Any piece of home sometimes brings a whole sort of emotions, but it was just the best ever. And her dad is super famous & was in London doing a performance so you know that’s cool too.
We then visited a friend Barbara and her daughters (who lives right by Big Ben!!), and on the way to see Jason, the bus driver hit a bike rider! The police were called and an ambulance was there quicker than I’ve ever seen. The dude was fine, but oh drama. So that was just another day in London. But we made it to Jason, and HE IS AMAZING. Just so blessed to know this incredible man. Then visited another woman who’s father just passed away, so it was humbling to be with her.
Thursday was super fun with a random gal from Salt Lake City taking us to lunch. Our classic Franco Manca pizza. So whenever this girl’s dad travels, he takes the missionaries for a meal, and she wanted to share the love! Super awesome (you should do this dad!)
Friday & Saturday were great. Had meals with two super cool couples from the Whitechapel Ward. Love the people here! Also one of them has a dog named Bronco. I think their dog should be friends with my dog Champ named after the one and only Champ Bailey.
Now onto Sunday. My friend ADRIANNA in Ghana GOT BAPTIZED! She was such a miracle. Adrianna came onto Mormon.org desiring to learn more about the church. Sending information to the missionaries in Africa is generally a long, slow process, and so I sent Adrianna the missionaries phone number. Within that very hour Adrianna and I first met, she contacted the missionaries and met with them. A month later, despite some pretty intense opposition, Adrianna stood strong and was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. So proud of her!
And then…RAFAEL GOT BAPTIZED! A month ago, Rafael came into the Visitors’ Centre exclaiming that he had just moved to London and was searching for the church, as he had attended the church previously in California. We were then able to teach him online while the elders in Lea Valley taught him in person. Sunday was a beautiful day to attend his baptism and when he saw us he said, “These were my very first friends in London!” What a sweet heart this man has. After the baptism was performed, he stood in the font for a moment and gave Elder Santiago the biggest hug. It was a priceless moment and Sister Wallace & I were so blessed to attend!
Thought that was it for Sunday’s baptisms? No way. Dunkin’ all day because then… BAJI GOT BAPTIZED! We attended his baptism with Jason and he’s so pumped for his baptism. Oh April 8 cannot come soon enough!
Side note: I’m fairly disappointed with the sports fans here. This week I saw a man with a Green Bay Packers hat and another guy with a Milwaukee Bucks hat, and after I complimented their hats, they had NO IDEA what their hat even was! They must think they’re cool just wearing some kind of American sports team hat hahaha
Well what an incredible week it has truly been. So many happy, beautiful moments! I am thrilled to be a part of the Lord’s marvelous work, and I am grateful for His everlasting help.
In all complete honesty, serving a mission throws a constant wave of emotions towards you. Mixed within all the incredible, uplifting moments that makes everything worth it, there is also homesickness, heartache, people desiring to attack your beliefs, self-doubt, and even just said to me by a security guard this week, “You’re fat. Stop eating.” I knew a mission was going to be really, really difficult, but I truly did not expect it would be this trying in so many different ways. Satan knows how to work on us and as selfish as it may sound, a challenge of my own self-image & self-esteem has seemed to crawl in.
But there’s one thing I’ve come to learn thanks to the different challenges, small or big, that appear. The Lord does not necessarily create these, but He allows them so we may grow. The adversities we face are for our own good, and they may be for the good of others as well. There have been many times when I felt like I just overcame something, and I then meet someone going through a similar challenge. I am able to counsel with the person and learn from them. We both become stronger and ultimately create a unique bond, something that would not have happened if I had not experienced my personal trial.
I was amazed by a simple story of a child and a master piano player. I first read this story from an email sent by my grandma earlier this week. But then because God is aware of everything, as I was looking for a General Conference talk regarding “self-image,” the first talk I read included this very story.
“A young boy’s mother bought tickets for a performance of the great Polish pianist, Paderewski. The night of the concert arrived and the mother and son found their seats near the front of the concert hall. While the mother visited with friends, the boy slipped quietly away.
“Suddenly, it was time for the performance to begin and a single spotlight cut through the darkness of the concert hall to illuminate the grand piano on stage. Only then did the audience notice the little boy on the bench, innocently picking out ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.’
“His mother gasped, but before she could move, Paderewski appeared on stage and quickly moved to the keyboard. He whispered to the boy, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’
“And then, leaning over, the master reached down with his left hand and began filling in the bass part. Soon his right arm reached around the other side, encircling the child, to add a running obbligato. Together, the old master and the young novice held the crowd mesmerised.
“In our lives, unpolished though we may be, it is the Master who surrounds us and whispers in our ear, time and time again, ‘Don’t quit. Keep playing.’ And as we do, He augments and supplements until a work of amazing beauty is created. He is right there with all of us, telling us over and over, ‘Keep playing.’”
This small boy’s simple attempt at a song, then amplified by the master’s perfect talent, not only left the boy with a remarkable memory, but also blessed all those in the audience. The Lord takes what we have and makes it into masterpieces. He allows us to face challenges so we become who He knows we can become. Becoming the master piano player wasn’t easy. It took hours of practice and dedication. Becoming the Savior of the world was not in any form easy. It took sacrifice, agony, and a selfless Atonement.
So why should it be easy for us? If we just played the same simple piano score over and over, would we ever improve? No. We must keep playing and continue to be challenged. And even if we get to a point of wanting to quit, we need to trust the master to take our small efforts and create them into a magnificent piece; one which would not only be for our good, but for the benefit of those we meet.
This week with whatever you may be facing, think about the good to be learned, for you and others, and even mastered with the Lord’s help. Whether it’s missing one you love, standing up for what you believe in, or trying to brush off a snarky “you’re fat” comment, don’t quit. Keep playing!
Sister Fuhriman 🙂