Monday, August 4, 2014

Enchanted Envelopes and Secret Service


So random... but why are there parrots here? They are everywhere! Just a bunch of green parrots in the trees, all over! I mean granted they're not talking or anything, otherwise I'd take one and put him on my shoulder and he could bear testimony of what I've said. All I would have to do is teach it to say is, "I know what my companion said is true." It'd be marvelous. The new face of missionary work. 
Also, there's pigeons.. they are absolutely fearless. Evil as well. It's so bad,that in food court of the shopping center they had to put up a sign that specifically says NOT to feed the pigeons! They do not know what a personal bubble is.
So enough about birds, now onto envelopes.. Which I guess may have more to do with birds than I thought. We opened our window to the drying room, because well, nothing in it is dry (England), and on the windowsill was this mysterious purple envelope. Neither Sister Cranfield nor I use such stationary, so we were quite confused. Even more strange, it was empty... So either my owl who is supposed to deliver my post has impaired beak-eye coordination, or there's something in the wind. We may never know..

This week's been fun! We have done a lot of service! 
We snuck into the back garden of a member's home (well we actually informed the daughter we'd be doing this beforehand just so none of the neighbors thought anything weird) and worked on pulling weeds and fixing a path that needed to be pulled up. It was a lot of fun to do something different! Plus we knew we were being a big help because the husband has severe back problems and the wife is so busy taking care of her four daughters, one who has a lot of disabilities, that they've had no time. We also have done a lot of baking a delivering of notes and cookies to investigators and members who needed a little upliftment! 

I am sad to say though that our one progressing investigator, Ban Helen, just in the past hour has called us and said she doesn't want to meet with us anymore. So please keep her in your prayers and that me and Sister Cranfield will find more people to teach! Ian comes back from holiday soon so we are excited to begin teaching him again, but Wendy is moving... So this week is going to take a lot of hard work and miracles! Alex is doing great and is loving church and is always happy to learn more!
Another good note, since the summer is about to end, our ward is all slowly trickling back home to England! Most of the ward we serve in consists of American families so they've all been away back to the US, but now we're looking forward to having more than 30 people at church again! Except for this week... church is actually cancelled.. London Bike Races close ALL the roads! 

Thank you all for your love and support! Remember that the Lord is on our side ALWAYS. Our faith and diligence will lead to many blessings.

I love you all,

-Sister Lydiksen

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28th, 2014: Alex's Baptism!!!

This week I am so happy to say that our dear friend Ali Kaviyani (Alex), was baptised and confirmed as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The baptism may have started 30 minutes late and Alex may have just barely made it to church on time the next Sunday morning to be confirmed, but all is well. Alex is the perfect example of someone who the Lord has been preparing to receive the message of the Gospel. I'll never forget how after he was brought out of the waters of baptism, that he paused and took a silent moment to feel the Spirit and just say "Thank you."
I know, just as Alex and many others have come to know, that Christ lives and
desires each of us to follow in His footsteps. He has paved the way and set the perfect example for us to become more like Him and our Father in Heaven.
It has been such a joy and a pleasure to teach someone so prepared for the Gospel and I am looking forward to continue finding God's elect, and bring more sheep into the loving arms of the Good Shepherd.
I hope all is well with each one of you. You are in my prayers. Thank you for your love and encouragement. I learn so much from all of your words and examples.  
Congratulations to my dear sister Michelle and her husband Patrick on their new beautiful baby girl Arya! I love being an auntie!
Keep the faith!
Sister Lydiksen

July 21st, 2014: Narrow Roads


So, narrow roads... there's quite a few of them here. Actually they're everywhere. But I do have to say that these London bus drivers are some of the most talented people I've ever met! They can manage their way through spaces I couldn't even navigate a smart car through! There have been so many times while sitting on the top level of a double decker that it looks like we're all going to hit something or be hit, but somehow we didn't. Either magic is real and London bus drivers all went to Hogwarts, or these bus drivers just have an incredibly superior spatial awareness ability. Whichever the answer is, I'm in awe.

But the other narrow road I felt inspired to write about, is the straight and narrow path that leads to eternal life. While reading in Alma I was studying about Korihor the antichrist, who came out in open rebellion against God and was brought before the high priests and chief judges of the land because of his blaspheme. After being struck dumb because he demanded a sign of God's existence, Korihor was questioned, "Art thou convinced of the power of God?". Korihor, unable to speak, wrote and confessed that he "always knew there was a God...but that the devil hath deceived [him]". (Alma 30:50-53) 
This question, "art thou convinced of the power of God?", struck me with great intensity. How many times do we forget the Lord and rely only upon our own strength or the wisdom of man? How many times do we choose not to see the miracles that are happening all around us? 
The power of God is real! So why do we so easily fall into temptation? It's because the power of the adversary is also very real.
 "Enter ye in at the strait gate; for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, which leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat; Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (3 Nephi 14:14-15)
Let us all lift up our spirits and cast off iniquity. When we are in the service of the Lord we will be blessed, but we will also be tested. This test is one of obedience. Will we obey the loving promptings from the Spirit of God?, or will we obey the evil enticings of the devil? Satan seeks our misery and so he uses the power of deception, darkness, and fear. Heavenly Father desires our happiness and so uses the power of truth, light, and righteousness! If we find ourselves in a pathway that is not of God, there IS a way back. We must all come unto Christ and strive to return and to stay on the straight and narrow  path that leads to eternal life, "in this there is safety and peace". 

I love you all, and pray that this message will strengthen me and each of you. 
Keep the faith.

-Sister Lydiksen


*heatwave in London and our fancy tanlines
* just one of the two pubs at either end of Alma Road... must be Alma the Younger ;)

July 14th, 2014: Kingston is a Blessed Land!

Hiya everyone!
So I just wanted to start off by saying that I am getting scarily good at a British accent, and I fall into it all the time... Mostly when I pray. Not sure why, but it does sound a bit more proper.
This week has been wonderful! We have taught more lessons and had more success this week than in any of the last 6 weeks! Pray. Pray always. Pray with sincerity and energy of heart. Heavenly Father will grant you the righteous desires of your heart when you pray in faith and go forward in faith. And sometimes through nice ward members He throws in little extra gifts just because He loves you ;) (Seriously, everyone just gives us things. A whole cooked chicken, juice, a hair curler and straightener, Goldfish!, coupons, etc..)
I want to tell you all about Ian and Alex, and the marvelous exeriences weve had with them this week.
Ian came to a fireside with us this Friday at the temlple! We had gotten a call from him earlier in the week to tell us that he's not ready to come to church. He "doesnt want to make that commitment". So, we decided to take things a different route and just invite him straitway to the temple instead! ;) He agreed. Thankfully we had a wonderful member, Sister Simmons, to drive us there! Bless her, she is so good to us. Ian was like a moviestar at the visitor's centre. Everyone wanted to talk to him and he felt so welcomed. It was definitely a blessing to have him come to that specific meeting.  
Then just yesterday we had planned on visiting him. Sister Cranfield and I were waiting at the bus stop after church planning on what to say to Ian, and what doctrine he needed to understand. We were waiting and waiting, and the bus FINALLY came, and guess who was on the bus?! Ian! We could not have planned that even if we tried! So we ended up walking (very slowly mind you, he has the intellectual pace of a racecar, but the physical pace of a snail) him back to his house. All the while we were chatting about the Bible and the Book of Mormon and how Joseph Smith was given revelation for certain parts of the bible that needed correction. He was "very impressed by that", the integrity of it. Anyways, it was a wonderful conversation which ended up in him giving me one of his personal copies of the Hebrew Bible with the Hebrew alphabet and the best part, a return apointment. He has so much potential, and I am so excited for him to continue to learn more and to feel the Spirit. He prayed for us on his doorstep and wants us to "evangelise all of Claygate and help them come to Christ as they should". He's wonderful.
Alex. Alex is the epitome of a "golden investigator". He is so excited to be baptised and to learn more. I've never met someone who has the Spirit shine so brightly in their eyes. He came to church and spoke with our mission president and he is all clear to be batised! President Millar said, "he's already made the commitment to be a Christian years ago, his family suports him, and he's aware of what the consequences could be. He's great. As long as he passes his baptismal interview he is ready to go!" During Sunday School Alex told us how his wife, who still lives in Iran, called him that morning to make sure he got up on time to come to church. He bore his testimony about how he knows that there is only one true church, and that this is what God wants him to do. He said he was praying to feel comforted about his decision to be baptised because of the possible danger in it, and he said that he felt so peaceful about it, and that the Spirit also told him that one day it was his job to go back to Iran and share the Gospel. He is truly incredible. He hasnt even had all the discussions yet, and already his testimony is So strong! We are very excited for him!
The Lord lives. God is aware of our every need and he will bless us as we put faith in Him and strive to live like His Son. It is my pleasure to wear the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, and I pray that everyday we will all chose to take upon ourselves His name. The Gospel is true. Don't allow anything to let your light and testimony fade. If our testimony is like a single flame in a dark room, the only way to make the room brighter is to share the light. To light the candles around you. Let your light shine!
I love you all,
Keep the faith
-Sister Lydiksen

Just a few photos....

July 7th, 2014: BOLD & BLONDE

Hello everyone!
How has your week been?
 I hope all you Americans had a wonderful 4th of July celebration! I celebrated by going to 5 Guys for lunch, and it was definitely worth it (:

This week has been so great and we have another fantastic week planned! 
Sister Cranfield went to the doctor and got some allergy medication and is doing much better and we've been able to work hard since then.

I had such a great time going on exchanges with my sister trainer leader, Sister Polidario. She is such a dedicated leader and she taught me how to be bold when speaking to people. One thing that amazes me is how much love I feel for perfect strangers. But I know that this love is because the Lord loves them and I am His ever faithful servant. 

One of our favorite ward members is our dear Sister Burgess. She is turning 86 on Wednesday and is always looking for ways to serve us. Even at her age she does missionary work. At her home she receives reflexology work on her feet and legs due to her being confined to a chair, and she had us come over when she was getting this done. This gave us the wonderful opportunity to do some teaching and fellowshipping for her friend Maurine. Also, she tells us how when we come to visit that it's the highlight of her week and that we are like her daughters. 

We also have a baptismal date! Alex! He was found by some Elders that used to be in our ward a while ago and he is so amazing. He is from Iran though, so he will have to talk to the mission president before he can get baptised. But he has such a love for the scriptures and loves to serve people. He is always smiling, even though he is away from his wife and family because of work. He also does a lot of missionary work and tells everyone he knows about the Book of Mormon and the good news of the Gospel. Brothers and sisters, it truly is good news!

So I guess I should explain my "Bold and Blonde" moments for this week. 

We were teaching this 80 or so year old man named Ian. He is a Hebrew professor to this day and definitely knows his bible. He whole heartedly agrees that the King James version is the most accurate translation, as do we. He even volunteers to help vicars prepare their sermons. So needless to say he has a strong religious background coupled with a wide historical knowledge. I mention all of this to show that he is pretty set in his ways. He's been more than willing to visit with us and have theological conversations, but I had a feeling we needed to be bold with him and teach him in a way that would lead to progression. Because the Spirit was so strong I was able to tell him the he needed to come to church, that he needed to follow through on his commitments and actually read from the Book Of Mormon. I spoke to him with power that was beyond my own. I told him to put his fears of others opinions behind and show God his faith. He said that he was becoming convinced and that he would come to church and read and pray. He said he wished that everyone was Mormon and that the world would be a better place for it. So he may not know it yet, but he's at the top of our list for who we are focusing on this week and I'm very excited!

Blonde moments:
I somehow managed to run into a wall that I've successfully walked past every single day without injury, but not this time. 
We were on the phone with a member who said she was in " Gloster" and wouldn't be able to come on a teach with us. Mistakenly I thought I heard  her say she was eating "lobster" with her family. I was very confused why her meal would take over 4 hours. My companion lovingly explained the error of my ways. 
I also went into a fit of laughter while trying to account with our district leader, so that was interesting.
I make mention of these things to assure you all that I'm still being myself :)

Oh! and the most important event of all... We went to the temple yesterday with an investigator named Carol Ann (mom, she was so amazed you had the same name as her, and it actually was a tender mercy that helped us bond with her more). We took her to a beautiful musical fireside about the Savior. She also has a lot of potential, and I'm really excited to begin teaching her more!

I love you all.
Life is good, and God is good.
Keep the faith,

-Sister Lydiksen (:

June 30th, 2014: Hello From London!!!!

Hello everyone!

Well another week has come and gone, time has really started to fly. 
This week has sadly been spent mostly in our flat... My companion has been sick. But on a good note it's given me a lot of time to study and clean and organize! 
We have been able to teach a bit this week, including Wendy, our progressing investigator, and I just love her to pieces. She is such an incredible woman, and even though she faces so many people who disapprove of her meeting with us, she is always defending the LDS church and us as missionaries. She has a heart of gold.

I wish I had more to share as far as events for this week go, but I have a big week ahead!
Suddenly our ward wants to feed us and we have dinner appointments planned for almost every night this week (which is unheard of here), so we will be spending a lot of time getting to know the members and gaining their trust so that we can find ways to serve them and hopefully even teach their friends!
Tomorrow I also am going on my first exchange, and I will be with my sister training leader, Sister Polidario, so I'm sure I will learn a lot from her!

I just wanted to share a spiritual thought I had regarding our dedication to the Lord:
There is no room for slothfulness in the Gospel. 
 We know that it is by small and simple things that great things come to pass. We all have weaknesses, but we can turn to the Lord and through faith, repentance,and diligent effort, He will make weak things strong. Enduring to the end isn't just passively waiting for good things to come and for bad things to leave, but rather it is being proactive in the Gospel, and looking for ways to do much more than just the essentials. While being true to the fundamentals of the Gospel is necessary for salvation, staying true to your covenants is necessary for exaltation.

I love you all! Thank you for your support and prayers, they definitely help! Miracles are just around the corner, I can feel it! 

Sister Lydiksen (: