The terrorist attack at Westminster. Thank you to those who reached out to me and have kept the people of London in their prayers. This week has been a bit scary to be honest. But first let’s look at the latest and greatest happenings here in the England London Mission!
Jason passed his baptismal interview! He’s so ready. And my friend Bob in Tennessee got baptized! So happy for him and his fiancee too. They’re doing great and strong in the faith.
The General Women’s Conference was so good. We watched it during church on Sunday because of the time difference. But it was also extra special to watch it then because it was “Mothering Sunday” aka Mother’s Day! The history of “Mothering Sunday” in England is pretty awesome. But you should really check out the General Women’s Conference (& get pumped for General Conference this weekend!!) here: https://www.lds.org/general-conference?cid=HP_SA_25-3-2017_dPFD_fGC_xLIDyL1-B_&lang=eng
One cool thing was a reporter from KSL (news station in Utah) was here reporting the incident at Westminster & she gave me her name & said when I finish my mission she’d give me a tour of their station so that was sweet!
Also I ate fish. Elder Koponen was so excited I had fish that he recorded me eating it. Great.
Well here is my side of the story to the attack that occurred on Westminster Bridge and Parliament on Wednesday.
Tuesday afternoon we were supposed to go on exchange (going to another area in the mission) with the Sister Training Leaders (STL’s). However, they were feeling pretty overwhelmed with a presentation they needed to finish. They asked us if we could meet up later that evening, and then have our exchange all day Wednesday. (Normally exchange is half of one day and half of the next, so then we can go back in our area and work that evening.) Therefore, we went to their area Tuesday night & rearranged our schedule to be in their area (not ours) all day Wednesday.
Near the end of the day on Wednesday, we were about to leave the STL’s flat. Our phone began to blow up with calls and texts informing us about the terrorist attack. At first we were really shocked and a bit afraid. But then we realized that if we had not been with STL’s at that time, we most likely would have been in that area, where the attack occurred, visiting our friend Barbara.
Out of all the missionaries in the England London Mission, there are 4 (well technically now 5) missionaries that are over the Westminster area. Sister Wallace, Sister Teng, and I are those missionaries over Westminster and our friend, whom we originally planned to go see at that time, lives right there near Parliament.
At first we were a bit frustrated about the timing of our exchange with the Sister Training Leaders, but after what happened, we were beyond grateful. The Lord knew. One of the sisters said, “We were going to cancel the exchange, but felt we shouldn’t have. What if we had?” There are always “what if’s” but the reality of the situation is that God knew, and He did not allow us to be anywhere near our area during that time.
We traveled home and felt it would be best to just stay in our flat for the last couple hours of the day. As we traveled, it was quite interesting because on the tube they would announce things such as, “The Westminster station is closed for an unknown reason.” They were not really informing us with what had happened. I think everywhere else in the world knew before us in London.
The rest of the night was followed by sirens and helicopters circling our flat. They continued for the rest of the week. We just counted our blessings over and over, while praying for those afflicted from the attack.
As I reflected on the day, I then remembered how that very morning my studies had been on war and peace. I read a few talks given by President Gordon B. Hinckley during the time of the 9/11 attacks, as well as another talk given by Elder Cook after the Sandy Hook shooting. Initially my studies were in regards to peace and how to find peace. Little did I know that that very day we would find ourselves in an area where peace had been further disrupted.
This coming Friday, March 31, the new Easter initiative will be launched. This year it is titled, “Learn Principles of Peace from The #PRINCEofPEACE.” The initiative focuses on learning from the Prince of Peace Himself and could not come at a better time, especially for those in London still shaken up and searching for peace.
The Savior knew when He was born into mortality that peace was difficult to find. During His birth the scriptures pronounce, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” Yet following His birth, King Herod commanded all little children to be executed, further disrupting this so called “peace” yearned for.
So how could He be the Prince of Peace? I’ve come to recognize that the only true way we can achieve peace is through Him. And it isn’t “world peace.” We always hear that beauty pageant contestants or political leaders want “world peace.” The Savior didn’t achieve “world peace” during His earthly ministry. The peace He offers is personal peace, which then further leads us to share the peace we’ve found to those around us.
When teaching His apostles, the Savior explained He would give them peace. “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
He reminded them that in Him they would find peace, despite the tribulations of the world. “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
When He first appeared to His apostles as the resurrected Christ, His words were, “Peace be unto you.” They touched His hands and His side, and He again said, “Peace be unto you” (John 20:19-21).
He knows very well that we will have much tribulation, but He won the battle no one else could. He overcame death. He overcame sin. All that may seem unfair or unjust is made fair and just through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Broken souls become whole through His sacrifice. Troubled hearts find peace through Him. Not as the world would pronounce peace, but as He gives us, leaving our hearts no longer troubled nor afraid.
I love what has been posted around London since the attack: #WeAreNotAfraid & #LondonIsOpen. London is open and not afraid. Are we personally open to allow the Savior to help us not be afraid and to find peace? I sure needed some myself this week as helicopters encircled the city, police were stationed, and news continued to unfold. In a world so far from peace, I began to find peace through Jesus Christ.
After the initial video for #PRINCEofPEACE is released, starting next Sunday and leading up to Easter, small videos will also be posted so we can learn these principles of peace. The principles are: Faith, God’s Word, Compassion, Gratitude, Prayer, Forgiveness, Repentance, and Hope. As we approach Easter, I would invite each of you to study these principles and notice the Prince’s examples of peace Himself.
President Monson once said, “May we ever follow the Prince of Peace, who literally showed the way for us to follow, for by doing so, we will survive these turbulent times. His divine plan can save us from the dangers which surround us on every side. His example points the way. When faced with temptation, He shunned it. When offered the world, He declined it. When asked for His life, He gave it.”
I am grateful that we can find peace through Him. I love you all and hope you can really embrace learning from the Prince of Peace this Easter season! With whatever you are facing, I promise you can find peace through Him.
Sister Fuhriman 🙂
PS: and enjoy General Conference! Wooooohoooo!!!! & don’t forget to watch the #PRINCEofPEACE video on Friday!! It’ll be on mormon.org & youtube I’m sure.