Wednesday, February 25, 2015



First off Happy Birthday Torie! I knew it was coming up but didn't know the exact date. I can't believe you are 28. It seems so old.... In my eyes you will always be 22 and going to Utah State! But I hope you had a happy birthday none the less.

I like driving and all but this is getting ridiculous! First on the list was Zone Conference. Zone conference for us is in Cardiff. Which is about a three hour drive depending on traffic. So that was fun. But the drive was absolutely beautiful, I definitely can't complain about the view, but you know how I get motion sickness... Well imagine a small winding road and then add about 60 miles an hour. It is a darn good thing that you guys sent me some gum. It really helps. But besides the ridiculous drive Zone Conference was amazing. We talked a lot about expectations. I've found that when I expect miracles to happen they happen. Too often I limit how the Lord can bless me by having doubts coupled with low expectations. When we have high expectations coupled with hard work things work out. Remember Faith and doubt can't exist together. The Lord blesses us according to our faith. It's that simple, just doing what we are supposed to and expecting good things to happen. It isn't doing what we are supposed to and I sorta hope that they could happen, No! When we do good works the Lord has to bless us. "I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, you have not promise." The Lord promises miracles and blessings when we do what he says, but when we doubt he can't. So I am going to stop doubting and just work hard and watch the miracles happen!
Me and Elder Ruttan, in the corner is Elder Dehann. 
He is Kelly Dehann's son! It was cool that I got to meet him.
Second on the list of road trips was yet another trip to Swansea. We traveled down for a stake conference of sorts and it was really fun. But the 4 hour round trip is long sometimes. Our EFY and MOTAB music can only get you so far.... Good thing we have started listening to some talks and that makes the time go by faster, plus you learn a lot!

Me, Elder Worlton, and Elder Ashby
It was a family photo because Elder Worlton trained both of us.
On to a more spiritual note. I had a bit of a wrestling match this week. We were out street contacting and we talk to people on this big hill. And I mean big! We just walk up and down and up and down talking to people. It was a particularly hard day for me and I was really struggling with focusing and connecting with people. My mind was very preoccupied, and I was getting frustrated with myself for not doing better. So I took it to the Lord. We had a nice chat as I walked up and down this hill. I knew exactly what he was telling me and I honestly had Zero desire to do it. I proposed several other options to how I could do better, but it just kept coming back to one thing, "Stop Everyone." Why did I have to stop everyone? There are plenty of students on this hill, so I should get to pick and choose who I want to stop, right? Wrong, it isn't up to me. As soon as I was done with my wrestle I realized just how judgmental I was being, by picking people that I wanted to stop.  I picked people that I thought were my best chance. To put it bluntly people that looked normal to me. When I stopped judging and started finding immediately people were more receptive and I was able to get a few solid potentials. And just as a bonus we got a text from an investigator about an answer to a prayer and that we could meet with them soon. When we just do it the Lords way it works better. I thought I knew what that meant but apparently I didn't.

It was a week full of miracles and learning. Dominique is progressing towards this weekend at a lightning pace, and her friend Tania surprised us and is hopefully going to be baptized on the same day! Pray for them that they will be able to fight any opposition that comes their way this week. Satan tends to hit us hard right before the big stuff happens.

Hope you guys have a great week. You are in my prayers.

Elder Kmetzsch

P.S. Nate how big was that fish? It looked nice!  

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Sleepover in Swansea & Sacrament Talk


What a week. An extremely long week. But a very rewarding week non the less.

It started off like any other week. We had some appointments set up and a lot of finding to do. But it quickly went the other direction when we found out that there was a district leader council meeting in Birmingham on Friday. Since Elder Ruttan is the district leader here he had to go. I was hoping to get to go too but instead I got to go to Swansea. Swansea is about a two hour drive away from us. We drove to Swansea Thursday night and stayed the night with the Zone Leaders there. One of the Zone Leaders (Elder Lowe) is from Australia. It was fun and refreshing to hear the accent again after living with one for 3 months! We had a fun little sleepover, but had to wake up at 5:00 in the morning to get ready and go exchange with other missionaries. We exchanged and I got to spend the day with Elder Magda from Hungary. He is really funny and super crazy. We had a fun time together. Swansea is a beautiful city full of hills and right on the beach like Aberystwyth. Anyway, after the meeting Elder Ruttan got to drive the 3 hours back to Swansea from Birmingham, and then the 2 hours back to Aberystwyth. The poor little guy was just beat! We got back to our flat around 9:30 and went strait to bed. It was a very tiring day.

In other news. The work here in Aberystwyth is amazing. The people are so much friendlier than the people in England, and there is so much history all around. In Aberystwyth we actually have a university so we teach a lot of students much like in Coventry. It's like they say, the up coming generation is the future of the church, so we need to find all that we can.

Probably the coolest investigator ever is Dominique. Domi is from London and she is a student here. What else can I say than she is golden. She has such a strong testimony especially of the Book of Mormon. When people try and tell her bad things about what the church believes she answers simply with, "If you can find where it says that in the Book of Mormon I'll believe you." She is the coolest! She just loves the church and is hopefully going to be baptized on the 28th of this month! There is actually a cool story. One day randomly out of the blue her Dad called her. She said that she hadn't spoken to her Father in years and he randomly just called her after she had started taking the lessons. They talked for a bit and ended up talking about her joining the church. He said that he really wanted to come to her baptism and so he is! It was so exciting to see how even just learning about the gospel can bring families closer together.

To answer your question, yes we do do less active work. With how Wales is set up there are just loads of scattered villages here and there. Most of the members of the Aberystwyth Branch live in these villages, not in Aberystwyth itself. It would take about two and a half hours to drive the length of the branch boundaries. Scattered through these two and a half hours are villages that will have maybe a member or two. A little more than half of the members in the boundaries that we know about are less-active. So we will occasionally set aside a day or afternoon to go and visit these members. This would be the main reason that we get the honor of being in a car. Specifically we are working with one less active couple. We go to there house every Wednesday for dinner. Then we play some piano and sing a bit, (Sister Taylor loves music). After that we have a foosball tournament. Brother Taylor Loves fooseball. It is really fun and they love the missionaries. We are just hoping that we can help them get back to church! I definitely hope they come back.

Things are a little different in a small branch compared to a large ward. Especially when it comes to callings. In a big ward you sometimes have to start making up callings, but here you have to combine them. For example the Relief Society President is also a Primary teacher. It has given me a new respect for the members here and in small areas around the world. We have it so easy in Utah it is unreal. Doing our occasional sacrament talk here and there and teaching a lesson once in a blue moon. Yes I understand there are a lot more people to look after, but it is much easier when the responsibly is divided out. But along the lines of helping out, the missionaries get an amazing opportunity here to help out in so many different ways. One of them being giving the occasional sacrament meeting talk. I got to give a talk this last Sunday and it was pretty fun. Different because there were only 40 people there, sitting on chairs set up in the top half of an office building. But it was an enjoyable experience because of what I learned. 

I decided to give my talk on Hope, Faith and Knowledge and how these three are different but the same. While I was preparing, (during personal study Sunday Morning), I came up with an analogy that I really related to. I compared these three things to tennis! I love tennis! But specifically how we are all in the biggest double match of our lives. It is us VS Satan and the 1/3 but don't worry we have the best doubles partner in the world, Christ. I can't imagine having anyone else by my side for this match. As I was thinking about how this relates to hope, faith, and knowledge I thought about tennis. When playing at the net in doubles you have to have a lot of hope. A hope that if that ball gets passed you then your partner has your back. You also have to show a lot of faith. Often in the church we talk about how the biggest part of faith is our action. We show our faith by playing our hearts out at the net, or if we are serving then we make sure that every serve is in. In doubles we can't always see our partner we just have to trust that he is there. It is the same in the gospel. We don't always see Christ behind us, ready to return the ball that satan hits at us. But sometimes we are behind and we can see are partner and it is then our job to be in the right place at the right time. Christ isn't going to hit every ball for us. That would defeat the purpose of this life, if we just got to stand around doing nothing how do we improve. We improve by hitting every ball that comes our way. We improve by learning from our mistakes. Sure we are going to double fault here and there or maybe we will even hit one into the net, but with every stroke comes new experience. What we must never forget is that no matter how poorly we are playing as long as we are trying our best Christ is always there and he is always going to serve an ace. When we rely on him and learn from him our game improves and Satan will never stand a chance against us. Remember we have to have a hope that he is there standing behind us, we show our faith in him by playing our hearts out, and we get knowledge when we see that ball go back over the net. Even though Christ is perfect we can still choose not to play at all, but if we do want to play he will be there every step to help us win the match!

I know that is kinda corny but it connected with my simple mind and I found a new side to the Saviour. Well that is it for this week. Tomorrow we are going to Cardiff for a Zone Conference and I am singing in a group for the musical number! It is going to be fun! Wish me luck.

Hope you are all happy and healthy! Happy Birthday Evie! You are the cutest little stinker ever!

Love you all,

Elder Kmetzsch  

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Castles and Zone Conference


Well I survived my first week in Wales! I love it here. The area is so beautiful, and there is definitely something special about being in a small branch. I've only been here for two sundays and I already feel like I know the branch fairly well. They are a close family here, and they love the missionaries!

To answer your questions. As of right now I'm not actually driving the car, just riding in it. So I may not have to get my license here. Even if I was driving it is legal to drive on my American license until I've been in the country for a year. My address is 39 Portland Street, Aberystwyth, SY23 2DX, Wales. Just about a 2 minute walk from the beach. Elder Ruttan is from Vancouver Island, the city of Victoria! I've see pictures and it is a very beautiful area.

Yes, Wales has there own language, and it is a crazy one at that. Just take a look at a map of Wales and you'll see what I mean. Cymru is how you spell Wales in Welsh. Everyone here speaks English though and Welsh is a bit of a dead language. They are trying to keep it alive by teaching it in schools now, but not many people speak it anymore. I think it is a really cool language, but it is impossible to pronounce anything. The food isn't all that different from England but I haven't had any really w
Welsh food. Like I said last week, there is one family in the branch who run an American diner, and a good one at that. They love the missionaries and give us a free meal every week. So last week I got a Philly cheese steak and thought I was about to die.

It was good to hear that the package arrived safe and sound. I'm glad you liked the chocolate! I will possibly send more if I get the chance because it is really cheap and super good. I thought the ties were pretty sweet and I'm glad the boys like them. Too bad they didn't fit Dad though! Oh well I will just find some longer ones later!

Man Kristen is getting married!!! Thats so great! I'm sure that he is an awesome guy, but I'll have to give my final approval the thanksgiving after I get home, ha ha!

Well this week has been fun. We had Zone meeting which of course is a two hour drive for us. All the way down to Swansea. But it was really fun to see all the missionaries in this Zone. I've been in the Coventry Zone for so long that it was good to see some missionaries that I'd never met and some missionaries that I went to the MTC with that I haven't seen in 6 months. On the way back from Zone meeting we stopped at some ruins we saw. They were the ruins of an old Monastery from the 11th century. I think it was the oldest building I have ever seen. We also have some ruins of a castle in Aberystwyth. I just think that the medieval history is the coolest. So I'm enjoying seeing all of the ruins and castles that Wales has to offer.

The 11th Century Monastery 
The ruins of the Aberystwyth Castle (Aber-wrist-with) 
 I'm hoping you all have a good week and an especially a good Valentines day!

Also Happy birthday Kate!

Elder Kmetzsch

P.S. I discovered a small deep fryer in our flat..... I then decided to put the skills I learned at the Mandarin to the test! I deep fried a caramel waffle things, ha ha! Anyway they were really, really good! I was quite proud of what I accomplished and Elder Ruttan was very impressed! 

Wednesday, February 4, 2015



Well my darkest fears came true. I have been transferred! I am now in Aberystwyth which is on the coast of Wales. Probably the most beautiful area in my mission. Plus I am now in a car. I don't get to drive it as of now, but hopefully that will change. My new companions name is Elder Ruttan and he is from Canada aye, ha ha! He has just barely been out longer than me, with a whopping 8 months of experience. We get along great and have seen some awesome miracles this week.

Last week I did one of the hardest things that I have ever had to do. Leaving Coventry was heart-wrenching. Leaving behind all the amazing friends I had made and all the work that was going to be done was extremely hard. I think the hardest was leaving Elder Costigan though. I don't know that I will ever have a companion that I get along with and work as well with as him. He is a legend! But it was time for me to move on and I will just have to adjust.

Well the branch here is really small only about 50-60 members attend on a good week. They are really amazing though and there are some really cool families. A few of the students are from utah so it is really nice to have them here. And there is a family that owns and runs an American diner! They are really cool and gave me a Cherry Doctor Pepper! Ha ha, I almost died it was so good. But like I said the branch is very small and very short on pianists so I actually ended up playing the piano for my first sacrament meeting here. It was a little bit scary, but everyone was really impressed that I could play. I think I will get to use a lot of my musical abilities here so I am excited for the opportunity to serve.

 Not much has happened that is too exciting accept for traveling for 8 hours on Wednesday. Aber is the farthest area away from the mission home in the mission so some people call it aber-darkness, ha ha! I got a kick out of that.

I hope all is well and that you liked the pictures of the beach that I sent. It really is beautiful here and I will send lots of pictures of the castle ruins, that are in the town and of other cool things I see. The first rule of being in Wales is alway have your camera and alway have it fully charged!

Love you all,

Elder Kmetzsch