Saturday, May 24, 2008


Last Sunday was a thirteen and a half hour day. I loved it.

We left at the usual 8:15 time to make church by 10:00. There was a lot of traffic in Mitcham, however, and we got out there about 15 minutes late. Bummer.

For weeks the ward has been advertising a missionary open house, inviting all the ward members to get out and invite non-members, less-actives, inactives, friends, family, everyone and anyone willing to listen to a message while simultaneously improving their lives and understanding of the gospel. We were asked a few weeks ago by the senior couple of the ward to be there and help out. We were glad to offer a hand.

So last Sunday was the big day. After meeting, teaching, singing, sharing, and practicing we hopped on home with the senior couple for a spot of lunch/dinner before having to skip back a few hours later to set up.

The bishop's wife was asked to do "light refreshments." Let me tell ya, I'd want her to do light refreshments for me that her version of "light" is the spread she had last week. Homemade donuts, spring rolls, chips, sandwiches, biscuits . . . It was delightful. My catering skills and instincts came in handy as we helped fix and set up the goods and the night was a great success. Investigators came and were fed in more ways than one, and we got a chance to be right on the missionary front lines and see the seeds being planted.

Earlier this semester I tried ordering one of these to hand out while I was here in London. FYI shipping from the Distribution Center to the London Center is over 35 greenbacks. Ouch. Then the bright idea dawned on me to snag one off a missionary from the ward. My brilliance was realized when I obtained a copy at the open house. A thrill ran through me as I put it in my bag and felt the weight of responsibility resting on my shoulder. Now I had a physical reminder to be brave and share.

I was thumbing through it at the bus stop and reading parts of a pamphlet the missionaries slipped in the front cover when a woman behind me asked me what bus I was waiting for. The 118, and you? She was waiting for the same one and we were both headed to Tooting. The bus arrived a few minutes later and we got on together. She asked me where I was from and why I was in London. I told her a bit about the program and how long we're staying and asked her where she is from. Maylasia. She's been here for over 20 years and has worked as a librarian. Conveniently, she loves to read. My mind was a reeling: Should I give her the Book of Mormon? How do I bring it up? What should I say? Do I say anything when I give it to her? And then she practically spoon fed me the opportunity. She asked why we were dressed up and I told her that we were at church. She asked what church we go to. I told her. She asked where it is. I told her.

She was concerned about us walking home and getting to our next bus transfer this late at night so she accompanied us and led us through a better lit ally rather than taking the street. As her bus approached we said goodbye and the book burned hot in my bag. I ran up to the door of the bus as she was stepping inside and said "Wait! Can I give you this book as a thank you for helping us tonight? It's one of my favorites." She graciously accepted and gave me a hug.

Later I was talking to one of the girls with me about the experience and she told me that the woman had been reading the pamphlet over my shoulder at the bus stop before we started our conversation. I was so excited.

Seeds are being planted. The work is going forth and it is an amazingly exciting opportunity to be part of a little bit here in London.


Jenny said...

I am so impressed. You're so brave. Good job.

Michelle said...

Paige, what a cool experience. It is amazing what opportunities the Lord provides to those who are willing and actively seek missionary experiences. You are wonderful. I can't wait for you to get home!

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