Monday, July 27, 2015

Warrington #5

Good Morning family, friends, and anyone else!

It's been a great week. I hope you all can feel that. What a wonderful time to be alive! We are part of the force that is preparing the world for the second coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. The dispensation of the fullness of times started in 1820 with Joseph Smith. Soon after the organisation of the church in 1830 the first missionaries left America and came to England. They docked at Liverpool and immediately travelled to Preston to begin preaching. Within days the first baptisms occurred at the River Ribble. On Wednesday we had the opportunity to go on a mission historical tour. We met up at the Temple and then loaded up the coaches. Our first stop was Preston. There is so much church history here, I'm a little overwhelmed with trying to write! Thousands were baptised within a few short years. Many of us have ancestors that were among those converts that grabbed on to this new truth. Each one has their own stories and sacrificed so much to be able to worship the only true God. I know this letter is supposed to be about my week, but the only way to even partially convey my feelings is to tell this one story. Nestled in the English hills are two quiet little towns, Chatburn and Downham. In 1837 Heber C. Kimball felt that he needed to go to these towns to preach, but everyone told him that these people were hard-hearted and that nothing would come of it. In spite of these warnings he travelled to Chatburn, where after preaching once he baptised 25. The next day in Downham he baptised 10 more. Shortly after nearly all of the townspeople in both towns joined the church. Heber C. Kimball walked up a nearby hill, where he felt the spirit so strong he removed his hat and felt like taking off his shoes. Not understanding this, he asked Joseph Smith about it later. "That is a place where some of the prophets of old travelled and their blessing fell upon you," was the reply. We got to go visit both of these little towns. Downham is much the same as it would've been in 1837. The feelings of the spirit that I had while walking there, is indescribable. It was confirmed to me once again that this work is of God. He is leading it and I am privileged to be a part of it. I love opportunities like this, not only because I get to learn some of the history of the area and church, but because it provides a great time to recommit. Spiritual progression is like walking up an elevator going down. If you stop moving you will be going back down so we have to keep progressing. That's why I recommit so many times. "Each of us have sinned and come short of the Glory of God", we should really recommit every day to be a little better.

The rest of my week was good as well with a highlight/lowlight coming just last night. We finished up our dinner at 8 and were going out for one last effort to find a new investigator. Sunday night, nobody was on the streets, but eventually we see a man so we stop him! We had probably the most powerful on-the-spot lessons I've ever been a part of. The spirit was so strong, it was guiding every single word, and I know this man felt it. But he used his agency and didn't want to learn more. It was heart wrenching! He felt the spirit! But something held him back. He was normal too! But you know, I learned so much from that lesson about following the spirit. I learned how to recognise it easier and how to follow it. It's difficult, but this helped so I'm grateful for the experience. I guess I just wanted to share that because it had an impact on me. And seed planted dang it!

So yeah! The church is true, the book is blue

Have a great week! Love you!
Elder Olsen

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