Monday, 15 June 2015

Battle of the Roses

Hello friends!

How are you?

This week has been a refiners fire. It's feels like a month rather
than a week. Monday to Wednesday consisted of organising and executing
a missionary transfer which is best described as acutely organised
chaos. Elder David and I parted on Tuesday night after a delicious
departing dinner prepared by Sister Jordan. Elder Gore is my new
companion, he is a beast and he is from Yorkshire! Most of you
probably know him or his family. I'm so grateful to be serving with
him, he has really inspired me to more fully consecrate myself to the
work for these next two transfers, and we are working out hard in the
morning! We went all the way to Cambridge on sat to clear out a flat
which he began his mission in, in the process we recovered the bench
press he bought whilst he was there! Our new flat has turned into gym
and this morning we had other missionaries turn up to exercise with
us, we might start charging.

So, Friday was the day that the whole mission had been waiting for -
Elder Holland came to see us. I was really feeling the Spirit in the
build up to the meeting, London South mission joined us and I got to
see all my MTC friends including Elder Belnap who was my companion.
The meeting began with Elder Holland shaking all of our hands. When he
stood up he said, 'I just stared into each of your souls and
interviewed you, for the most part you are doing okay, some are
struggling and some are working on changing a few things - you know
who you are'. Right now , this day I am more certain of Elder Holland
being an ordained Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ than I ever have
been before, especially immediately after the meeting on Friday. His
message on Friday was uncomfortably frank and his delivery of it was
fearless. Parts of it seemed to stick in my conscience and as I look
back at my internal reaction to what he was saying, my thought process
was that of a prideful little boy. 'That's a bit much', 'We didn't
deserve that', 'this surely doesn't apply to me', 'this must be for
the South mission'. Alas, the words of Nephi have provided me with a
powerful learning experience 'For the guilty taketh the truth to be
hard'. I hope tevery missionary left that meeting feeling sufficiently
pricked, all of us feeling the pain of it in different areas of our
souls and if their resolve to repent wasn't as immediate as mine, I
really hope it is now. For the record I left that meeting feeling
confused, offended and less than edified. Since then, I have pondered,
prayed and fasted about the message Elder Holland gave and I have now
realised just how inspired and on point he actually was. He didn't
waste time on tell us the things we did know, he didn't talk about any
program, initiative or teaching method. He spoke about his conversion
and our conversion, what it meant, what it should mean and what the
fruits of it should be. He spoke directly about the effect a mission
should have on a young man or young woman and declared is pain,
confusion and lack of empathy for those who stray after coming home.
What struck me about him was just how brilliant his mind is, he is
scarily fast and quick witted - which also effects his ability to
expound the scriptures and quickly take away the comfortable traps we
can sometimes let ourselves fall into. He was like an immunisation
jab, one of those ones where the needle is massive and the nurse is
brand new and takes no time to warn you about the incoming spike into
your unsuspecting arm and then proceeds to inject a throbbing wave of
calculated sickness which then leaves you with a short course of
discomfort and mild regret. But then what you find, is that when you
are alone on the borders of Babylon, when your downtrodden whilst
wading through the wilderness and when the mighty storms of the
adversary are trying to sink your sail boat, the sickness that could
arise within in you is muted and you realise that distinctly
uncomfortable jab in the arm has saved you from a pitfall you have
have never climbed out of. So simply, I am grateful that Elder Holland
loved us enough to hurt us, just a little bit - because I can testify
that It did and will continue to do me a world of good.

There is so many things that have happened this week and I just don't
have time to list them off to you, I really hope we have a highlight
reel in the spirit world and that our loved ones get to watch it with

I love you all,

Hugs and handshakes

Elder Nolan


                          Departure photos - Elder David is going home.

                         Elder David, Nolan President Jordan and Elder Gore


Elder David's Family waited patiently for his return ... but wait a minute isn't that Elder Nolan??

I took this last night at the Chinese dragon boat festival held at President and Sister Jordan's! It was so cool, they had a powerful testimony meeting and some delicious food

                                         Me and The Piano Guys

What a week!

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