"It's been a good week, and it's passed so quickly! We didn't have many lessons, all of our friends weren't available for different reasons, and we ended up having just the one lesson this week. But we made a lot of visits to less-active members that have had no contact with the church for years, trying to find it they still live at the same address. It turned out that most don't, but we did find one man who hasn't talked to missionaries for years, and he said that I look exactly like the missionary that taught and baptised him, and that I reminded him of him a lot. He's a nice guy, and hopefully Elder Reed and his new companion will be able to work with him and get him coming out to church again.
I'll fly down to Athens today (Monday 25.01.16) at 5pm, then I'll be with Elder Peel and Elder Dastrup until we fly out on Thursday. Tomorrow we'll have Mars Hill as Elder Potter will leave tomorrow afternoon, and on Wednesday we'll have leaving interviews as well as a meal at the mission home.
I had a talk at church on Sunday about humility, and it went really well. Lots of people came up to me after and told me how much it had touched them, it was a really nice last Sunday at church here. It was strange to say bye to everyone, but it's the third time I've said bye to all the members here, I'm almost used to it! And I'll see them again when I visit at some point, and if any of them come to the temple in England, so it wasn't too bad. I think it's been much easier to finish my mission this way after a short transfer than it would have been to come home immediately after 10/11months in the same area if I had stayed in Athens! And it was really nice for Thessaloniki to be a sort of bookend on my mission, at the beginning and end."
"S.'s baptism on Friday! She was taught by Elder Burton and Elder Shaner"
Elder Teal was wearing white to go in the sea and be one of the two witnesses
From Me to Elder Teal...
2 John 1: 12
"Having many things to write unto you, I would not write with paper and ink: but I trust to come unto you, and speak face to face, that our joy may be full."
The return email from Elder Teal...
"That sums up how I feel so well. It's impossible to sum up two years of amazing, life-changing experiences with an email, so I won't try. But I am so grateful for these two years and for everything that they've taught me. I've met wonderful people, seen beautiful places, and done amazing things! I think the most important thing I've learnt is how accessible Heavenly Father is to each one of us. He is not only able to bless us, but wants to, and all we have to do is ask. I'm grateful that I've been able to build and develop my relationship with Him and with my Saviour Jesus Christ.
I think another scripture that sums up well how I feel is Alma 26:16 -
"Therefore, let us glory, yea, we will glory in the Lord; yea, we will rejoice, for our joy is full; yea, we will praise our God forever. Behold, who can glory too much in the Lord? Yea, who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part which I feel."
I can't wait to see you all on Thursday, and tell you all about these last two years! I think it's going to take a long time for me to share with you all of my experiences and the lessons that I've learnt, but that's okay because we have the rest of eternity!"