Friends Old and New

“Make new friends, but keep the old; one is silver and the other’s gold.”  Author unknown, traditional Scouting camp song

19 August 2013

Old friends: The joy of seeing familiar faces!

Old friends: The joy of seeing familiar faces!

I had a lovely surprise this week! I got to meet with some friends from Wales, L and E, who are here visiting relatives. They came bearing gifts for Sestra Johns and me from my family: peanut butter and marshmallows (pretty rare commodities around here!) and some *Suku Laku, from my relatives in Finland. I was also able to share a gift with them, it is a simple thing, but of great worth to me: a copy of the Book of Mormon in Slovak, along with my testimony of its truthfulness. We had just a few brief moments together, but it was wonderful to visit with them! It was a lovely little miracle. Both Sestra Johns and I were delighted, and touched by their kindness in taking the time to see us.

(*Suku Laku = A tube of black licorice about 4in/10cm long, filled with chocolate cream. Licorice is one of the all-time fave flavours of the North Countries! They even have licorice ice cream and chewing gum…).

It’s been another very rough week for teaching lessons: we’ve taught only 8 out of the desired 21. Are we lacking in faith? Not applying ourselves? I feel that my flaws and weaknesses are mercilessly displayed in this weekly battle to work effectively, and make connections with the people around us. My bus contacting needs lots of improvement; I still have to steel my nerves to talk to anyone, let alone start a gospel conversation while on public transport (and public display!). Captive audiences are great – it’s not like many people have much else to do except talk to the interesting people around them anyway 😉 – but it feels like a hostile environment with everyone watching.

I guess I’ll just have to apply my heart to prayer, put my shoulder to the wheel, and I’m sure I’ll eventually figure it out!

Nevertheless, we’ve been blessed with so many miracles this week! M is getting baptised this Saturday! He had been having concerns about some of the gospel principles we shared with him, but this week he called us and said he’s willing to live by all the standards. He had his baptismal interview yesterday, and emerged with his fist aloft in triumphant salute: “Meet the new Saint!”. 🙂

New friends: happy times, good food, and smiling faces!

New friends: Good times in the great outdoors!

We taught a lovely young couple K and H again, they’ll be away for two weeks but are reading the Book of Mormon and want to attend church. I know I have to be patient, but I can’t wait for them to receive an answer that it’s true and strengthen this branch that needs them so much. Speaking of the branch, we had an awesome BBQ this Saturday that was a brilliant success: well-attended and fun for all!

I know that this is the Lord’s work. I know that as we wage war on the “natural (wo)man” (Mosiah 3:19), Christ is fighting alongside us as our closest comrade. D&C 88:67 – 73 really touched me this week: 

“And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things. Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God…Behold, I will hasten my work in its time.”

I need to sanctify myself, give my all to His sacred purposes, and live to bring happiness to others.

I love you all so much!

Sestra Jones


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