Sunday, May 1, 2011

LONDON: Building up Zion

Today we went to the London Hyde Park Ward, which is only a 10 minute walk away. We also have our two classes in that chapel. I am struggling to put all my thoughts into words, but in a nutshell I really miss diverse wards and family wards. Singles ward in Utah is great for different reasons but I am so grateful to have a break from them. I forgot how much I missed being around converts. They are such an inspiration to me. Today was fast sunday so we got hear the members' testimonies. They bore beautiful but simple and humble truths. I thought coming to church I would hear British accents the whole time, but I really only heard a few people with them, while many were members from Asia, Eastern Europe, India, New Zealand and Africa (many visitors also travel through).

Afterwards the stake president spoke to us in a separate "sunday school" meeting. He was young, probably early thirties and was completely led by the Spirit. He had such a passion and a love for the people of the London stake. He spoke to us of the people who have come through that have touched him and changed his life forever, and how they would do the same to us. He gave inspiration, hope, and a desire to serve and build up the Kingdom of God that I haven't felt in a while, especially being at BYU where everyone is a member, making it is easy to blend in, sit back, and let others step forward. We are only passing through for 6 weeks but he took the time out of his schedule to talk to us and say what he felt we needed to hear, and I loved every minute of it.

The stake president had prayed about each one of us and gave us our assignments to serve in the wards/branches throughout the stake to help the members and new converts there. We had a fireside tonight where our professors spoke about the Gospel and the Arts which was also amazing. And afterwards we were split into our groups for each proceeding Sunday. I have been assigned to the South Kensington Portuguese-speaking Ward! It is in the same chapel, whereas other groups even have to travel as much an hour. I am so excited to serve them. I don't speak Portuguese but I am hoping that my four years of Spanish in school and growing up in Florida will come in handy. But no matter the language, I know that that is where I am supposed to be, serving the people through love and action. As one of my professors said today, we go in (just as with baptism or with creating a piece of original artwork) and come out a completely changed person. I am looking forward to what they can teach me and it just solidifies my desire to serve a mission even more :) and makes me excited to be with the members in Thailand soon as well.

A picture of the chapel from the internet

ps- sorry this is such a long post I don't usually put this type of post up but I thought I should share :)


Steve and Donna said...

We are very proud of you and so excited for the experience you'll have!

Amber said...

that's awesome! good luck!