I'm not really sure where to start. It's hard to remember what you know and what you don't. So much happens every day.
|Police Cars in Belfast|
First, St. Patrick's day is not an Irish holiday, so it was just a normal Tuesday here in Belfast. And everyone gets drunk every day here, so that wasn't much different either. But there was a big segregated gathering of the Catholics and Protestants in the middle of City Centre. This city has so much history, and so much pain has happened here. The police cars look like they could get hit by a tank and come out looking better than the tank.
|Elder Crowe's first driving experience in Ireland|
I went on my first exchange this week, and because of the driving laws my district leader can't drive anymore. (You can only drive for one year, and then you have to get an Irish license, but they're expensive) So guess who had to drive. ME! And I rocked! It was so fun. I never thought I'd miss driving, but it was so great. And driving on the other side of the road wasn't even weird.
My district leader is so funny. I started to teach him the ukulele and some music theory. We'll just stick with chords next time... hahaha. He’s so great though.
We went to a member’s house for breakfast the next morning and had the biggest breakfast I've ever had in my life. It was easily the most food I have ever eaten in my life. I thought I was going to throw up. But no one ever finishes his meals and I had to beat that challenge! No one has finished one of his meals in several years, so I feel pretty much amazing that I did. Haha That night I was back with my companion, Elder Hatch, and we went to another member’s house to get to know them. They fed us so much food as well - I thought I was going to die in my sleep that night!
We had a cool experience this week: We were out doing a try by and the person wasn't home, so we tracted a street instead, but no one really cared to listen. As we were walking home Elder Hatch remembered another man we could try by before we went to our flat. His name is Jim, and every time we've tried by Jim before he hasn’t been home. Well this time we went by and he was home! We asked how he had been and how work and family life was. Eventually he made it pretty clear that he wasn't actually very interested in the church but he appreciated us stopping by. My heart just dropped. I knew we had lost him, and I was just getting ready to thank him for his time and leave when I got an impression. I thought of my family, my loved ones, people that I get to spend eternity with, and I decided to bear a quick testimony about how our families can be together forever. Well then his attitude completely changed. He asked us about how our families could be together, and how he could find out if what we were saying was true. It was such a powerful moment, and as we walked away I couldn't help but smile—and jump up and down and hug my companion and scream and shout!!
This Gospel is not just for selected people. We are to carry this Gospel to all the ends of the Earth. The Lord is preparing people. He wants the immortality and eternal life of all His children. I have been praying so hard to be able to see people the way my Heavenly Father sees them. It has been so hard. There are times when I get so frustrated at people. If only they could feel the things inside my heart, then they would understand. Or if they only could see themselves the way Heavenly Father sees them, they would understand. But I can't force people to do anything; all I can do is invite. And I think that is the hardest thing for me as a missionary. I have been called of God. I have the power and the authority to act in His name. I represent Jesus Christ Himself. But I cannot force anyone to do anything. Even when they know it is true, sometimes they say no. I have seen people touched by the spirit and deny it. But all we are asked to do is be perfect in trying. I'm not even close to being perfect in trying, but I am trying to be.
We had Zone development yesterday and it was insane! And I might have been a little too competitive... But that's fine. It was amazing. J
So much love from Belfast.