Monday, April 6, 2009

England London South Mission hosts Elder Neil L. Anderson

Barbara at Reading Chapel

Mission Conference in Reading

Reading Chapel

Another busy week has passed and we were rewarded by a nice long weekend of listening and being spiritually blessed by General Conference. The London Temple was closed on Saturday so we were also closed at the Visitors' Centre. We went into London and helped our friends, the Perrys, put on a baby shower for a young Bishop and his wife in the Wandsworth Stake. It is always so much fun for us to go back to visit with our friends that we grew to love so much in our 9 months of living in the City. We went to the Wandsworth Stake Centre on Nightingale Road to watch the Saturday morning session of Conference which played here at 5:00 pm in the evening. The Stake Centre was filled with at least 40 missionaries from all over London and the outlying areas so we had a great time greeting all of the young and old ones that were there. There were also many members from the Mitcham Ward and the Stake as a whole. We then returned back to the Temple grounds to our little room. As we walked down the hall to our living quarters, we could hear a TV going with Conference playing on it. When we opened the door to our room, there was Carol all snuggled down into our grey leather recliner and Quay was laid out comfortably on our big king size bed all settled in for a long evening of Conference watching. We broke up their party but after finding us a place to sit, we also enjoyed watching the Saturday afternoon session of Conference until 11:00 pm. We were thrilled with the announcement of the the new Apostle, Elder Neil L. Anderson. He had come to visit our mission here in England last spring. He was so personable and gave such a wonderful talk to us that I thought I would give you all a few of the highlights of his talk that he presented to us in Reading at the Stake Centre last March.

He talked about how belief in Christ throughout the world is in decline. He stated that over 70 Lutheran Churches in Germany were closed in just one day this past year, but the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is growing under the radar all across the world among the humble. He gave several examples of the great growth that the Church is experiencing: There were 47,000 people baptized in Brazil last year, there are now 75 stakes in Mexico City alone, there are over 700,000 members now in the Philippines and missionary work only started there with 4 missionaries in 1961, there were over 60,000 members at the San Paulo, Brazil temple dedication when it was dedicated, and he gave us a goal to work for here when he further stated that everytime we knock on a door in Europe, they baptize someone in Mexico!!! He suggested to all of the missionaries that they should never, never, never delay a prompting and they should reach out to all.

In D & C 62:3 it states, " Nevertheless, ye are blessed, for the testimony which ye have borne is recorded in heaven for the angels to look upon; and they rejoice over you, and your sins are forgiven you."

He also gave us some great council that was particularly good for the young missionaries. Here is a sampling of what he said, " A mission should be the beginning of your spiritual journey, not the culmination of it. Enjoy this time of your life - Relax. The theme of missionary work should be - Work, Work, Do Your Duty! Read the Book of Mormon and finish with HONOR!" He then spent some time answering questions from the missionaries, talking to them, and encouraging them to always do their duty and make these two years the very best that they can possibly be.
We were very impressed with his caring attitude and loving manner. He will be a great Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ. What a great conference this was.

We have lots of things to work on here to improve our lives in Jolly Old England. Life goes on here at the Vistors' Centre. We have groups coming this week from the Netherlands, all across England, and already several missionaries and investigators have made appointments to come in and see the Centre this week. What a blessing it is to have the Christus Statue here at the Centre, the only one in Europe. We are doubly blessed to be able to work there everyday.

We hope all is well with our wonderful friends and family there at home. We think of you often and pray for you daily. May the very best that life has to offer come your way.