JULY 20, 2016
Tuesday, August 9, 2016
We'll it's been about twenty three and a half months since I left good old Centerville and it's time to come home. This last week in the mission field has been surreal, truly a strange experience. Not too much excitement happened but a lot of thought and preparation has gone into this last week. I don't know if I'm ready for this whole real life thing, but I'll give it a good shot.
I did have one amazingly crazy experience this week and it happened yesterday at dinner. So I'm just chilling at my bishops house waiting for my last dinner appointment to start and sitting across from me on the couch was a single sister from the ward. Her name is Sister Brown. Well we got to chatting about me coming home and she asked where I was going home to. I said oh a little town called Centerville in Utah, you've probably never heard of it. Turns out I was wrong she had heard of it. She got excited and said I know Centerville! "Do you happen to know the Clays??" "As in Tom Clay," I said!! "Yes," she exclaimed. She went on to tell me the story of how 33 years ago Tom Clay, then a young and handsome missionary with a full head of curly hair, baptized her and her husband Albert. Truly an amazing experience and what a small world. I'm just glad I found out before I left!!
Meet Sylvia Brown
Other than that whopper nothing much else happened this week. I am overly exciting to see you all in just a few short days!! Love you all and see you soon!!
Thursday, July 14, 2016
Thanks for the Sacrament meeting subject, (talk about your mission)..... I hate not having any direction to go but hey such is life! I guess I just talk about what I've been up to for the last couple of years. I will definitely be talking about freedom Dad! I love America ( MURICA), Haha!!
The baptism of Courteney and Brianna was so amazing!!!! We had quite a few people show up and everything just went very smoothly. I had the privilege of being able to baptize both of them and what a privilege that was. What a way to finish off my work here in England. Not that I am done but yeah that will probably be the last big event of my mission. But is was a very special time especially for the girls and Patricia.
Courteney is next to me in the red and Brianna is two away from Elder Lam next to the pink hat.
That's way cool that Kristen and Nate are moving up to Bountiful! I bet now we will be seeing a lot more of them. That is exciting that they have extended the parade route. I wish so badly that I could have gone with you guys! I miss salt water taffy! They don't have it over here in England and it is just a shame because it is amazing! So if there just happened to be some watermelon and caramel apple taffy's around when I get home that would be much appreciated! Ladder ball sounds fun! I don't know that I have ever played it before? And I am sure that Samwise cooked up some dang good ribs! Ah I miss good BBQ...... And I miss Sam but mostly BBQ, Haha!!
Ah I am so happy that Ems had such a good time with the Book of Mormon read-a-thon! It has changed my life and I know if anyone reads it that it will change their life too. There is a reason that it is the keystone of our religion because without it we would have no religion! Read it, I dare any of you! You will definitely find out that Joseph Smith is a prophet and then you will know that we have a Prophet on the Earth today!
A thought for you all that I had at the baptism this Saturday. It was the closing Hymn of the baptism and we were singing, "I am a child of God." It was in the third verse and we sang the line, "If I can learn to do his will" and the Spirit hit me very strongly that learning to do little acts of Obedience is the reason that we are here. Not to show God that in a time of great crisis that we can stand by him, but simply to learn, "His Will." If we can learn his will by doing the simple things then the promise is sure, "We will live with him someday." How amazing is that. All we need to do are small simple things and we can again live with God and receive the greatest of all of his gifts, the gift of eternal life. That is a gift that I want very badly.
Well, I hope you all are doing well and that you have a wonderful week! See you in 9 days!!!
Thursday, July 7, 2016
Oh man I missing you guys a ton on this beautiful Fourth of July! But I'll be home for the 24th and we can blow some stuff up then!!!! Haha, I can't believe that I will be home sooooooo soon!! It's blowing my mind and I just can't believe it. But to answer your question the girls are getting baptized this Saturday!!!!
This week was good, nothing really exciting to report. Honestly I can't be bothered to email that much today seeing as it is the Fourth of July and I am out of my mind trunky!! I hope that you all have a wonderful day without me, haha. Tell Pete and Evy that I love them and also Torie you can tell James and Clara that I love them!
AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!! The land of the free and the home of the brave!!!!
God Bless America!
Love you all!!
P.S. I also forgot to ask what my topic is for my homecoming talk?? I would like to start preparing for it.
Tuesday, June 28, 2016
What an amazing week it was!!!! We had a great lesson with Patricia and the girls and and even a greater lesson with Howard! Things are continuing to roll forward and as we know, "No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing!" No matter what anybody does this great work will continue to press forward until it has entered every continent and sounded in every ear! What a privilege it is to help that work progress! To answer your question Dad Brianna is 13 and Courtney is 10.
Congratulations on making me super trunky Mom and Dad!!! Those pictures are amazing and I am soooo excited now to go down to St. George and see some of those amazing red rocks. Yes, I'm going to miss the crazy amounts of green here in England, but I am not going to miss this darn rain..... Yep another week of heavy rainfall here and I'm about to freak out... Where is summer!?!?!?!? Apparently it is all in St. George and they are not sharing!!
Emma has got it easy if she is working with the 5-8 years olds!!!! When I worked for the city they put with the the 3-4 year olds.... Seriously those children where little monsters sometimes. Seriously the only way that I could entertain them was to scream, I bet you can't catch me and then to start running around!!! Haha, but I really enjoyed working at the city and working with the kids they are so fun!
So on to the most exciting and epic part of my week! I Got to go back to Nottingham!!!!!! You remember me telling you about Boris right? The older Polish guy who just walked into church one day. Well anyway Boris was baptized this weekend and he asked if I would come up and baptize him! It was such an amazing experience and I was absolutely overjoyed to go back Home to Nottingham. I got to see a lot of members that I was close with as well as baptize one of my favourite investigators! It truly an awesome weekend and I was so lucky that I got to be a part of it! It was also really nice to see Elder Wagner again and catch up!!
|Me, Boris and Elder Wagner|
Besides that it was a week of the same old stuff, Find, Teach, Baptize!! Haha, things are good on my end and I am so excited to see you all in just a few short weeks!
Tuesday, June 21, 2016
Seriously, I am soooooooo SICK of the rain..... It has been raining like crazy this last week and I am done! It is like impossible to do anything when it is raining cause nobody wants to talk to us in the rain. We can't even do service projects when it is raining. Needless to say if it decides to rain when I get home I am going to be hugely disappointed. So if everyone could just join with me in prayer that it won't be raining in Utah in July, that would be much appreciated! I am sooo insanely excited to go to St. George! Thank you mother for being the best and probably putting a lot of effort and planning into making this happen! Love you!
DAD!! Happy Fathers Day!!!!! Yesterday we had a great program at church all about dads and how great they are. I couldn't help but think about my amazing father and just how very much that he has done for me. Love you dad and again happy Father's Day! One perk of being a missionary is that when they have leftover Father's Day chocolate they usually share it with us! Also Happy Fathers Day to Craig and Cameron! And Happy birthday to Craig! Someone call him an old fart for me!
Ahh, that is so exciting that you got to meet the Solomon's! Brother Solomon is quite the joker, haha. We had some good times up in Nottingham together. I hope that he only told you guys the good stuff!! It is really cool that you met them. I also really like the garden boxes and can't wait to eat some zucchini bread from the zucchini that you are about to grow!!
The Chishiri family is amazing! Patricia is the mother and the two girls that we are teaching are Brianna and Courtney! The girls were born in England and so they sound pretty English but Patricia sounds very African! It's great and they are an amazing family. Cool story about them. We had a lesson with them this week and since Patricia is a Single mom and there aren't any males in the house we have to take a member with us to every lesson. Well are usual member broke his hand this week and so he wasn't able to go. So we were calling everybody trying to find someone who could come to this lesson with us and we could not find anybody!! Well the lesson was a 7:00 and we had dinner with some members at 5:30. They are an older couple so I didn't think they'd be able to help us out. But as our last ditch effort before we had to cancel the lesson we asked if he could come with us at the end of dinner. Turns out he drives, (even though I didn't see a car in the driveway), and he was able to come teaching with us. It was a small miracle but it was big to us because the baptism is coming up fast and we have a lot to teach them before that happens! Heavenly Father bailed us out on this one.
Not too much else happened this week, we just got really really wet and kinda irritated, but we saw the hand of the Lord and had some good fun. Love you all and hope that y'all have a great week!
We enjoyed a nice game of Laser Tag today! It was way fun!!
Tuesday, June 14, 2016
Father sometimes I question whether or not you actually read the emails that I send. No I don't think Costco was a shock for Elder Lam because he is not from China, he is from Hong Kong. I swear on my life that I mentioned that but anyways, yeah he wasn't too shocked. It was great though and I am enjoying my peanut butter a lot.
We did not get to go and see the BYU Dancers perform, but they did come to our church on Sunday, so we still got to see them. They also had a pretty cool little fireside that we got to go to last night. It was cool because one of the Dancers served in the Quezon City mission with Brigham. So he was like your Elder Kmetzsch's little brother! And I was like yep I'm little Kmetzsch. It was cool to talk to him and all the other dancers. They won the British Championships this year which was way cool for them. They are a very talented bunch.
So did you guys end up getting to meet the Solomons?? If you did you probably know that they are from Nottingham. They are a really great couple, Brother Solomon is actually related to Elder Shaw by marriage so that was cool. I hope you did get to meet them cause they are great and if you did I hope you took pictures, haha.
I will definitely keep Uncle Al in my prayers. But somebody has got to tell him to stop getting sick! It has been crazy humid here this last week. It was quite warm and really humid as well. The English term for how the weather has been is "muggy" not a nice warm to have. But we actually had a really big thunderstorm this last Friday as well and it cool things down. It cleared the air out and things are much nicer now. Though we got absolutely soaked in the storm, but such is life.
In exciting news we have been working with a part member family from Zimbabwe, well the mother is from Zimbabwe and the girls were born in England. She is a single mom with 3 daughters and her and the oldest daughter was baptized but the younger two are not. They have been less active for a few years and recently have been coming back to church. We had a amazing lesson with them on Friday and have set a date for the girls to be baptized! It's very exciting for them and they are progressing so well! Howard is also doing well but he hurt his back this week and we were able to see him as much as we would have liked.
Things sound exciting back home. You know you are getting old when you start getting more into gardening right Dad?? Haha, but I'm excited to eat some of those fresh zucchini maybe in a freshly baked zucchini bread?? I'm glad Dads calling is going so well. The Book of Mormon is such an amazing book. It truly does change lives and when we read it every day it can change ours.
I love you all and am so looking forward to seeing you all soon.
Thursday, June 9, 2016
It has been a fun week of catching up with Elder Lam. I'm really glad that I'm serving with an old friend rather than someone that I don't know here at the end. But unfortunately for Elder Lam that meant that he had to come and experience the cold weather of Leicester. For the last week or two we have just had a crazy cold spell and I'm just thinking to myself, what the flip it's flippin JUNE!!! Why is it soooo cold and rainy, but that's just England. The sun finally came out yesterday and today looks like it is going to be a winner. I was talking to someone at church and we decided that the Angel in charge of the weather for Leicester pushed a wrong button on accident. Then left for a bathroom break only to come back to see that he had sent us back into winter. One of the days this week was actually colder than it was on Christmas Day. Needless to say I'm excited to see the sun again cause I haven't see him in a week or two.
This week was cool we got to go to Costco!! There is a Costco in our area and one of the members offered to take us along. Of course I said yes, haha! We walked in and I looked at Elder Lam and said, "Welcome to America." It was just great. I bought some Skippy peanut butter and some Pop-Tarts, good stuff! And we of course got a hot dog and a drink. Which was soo good. I'm a happy guy now that I have my American peanut butter cause the English stuff is just wrong.... And Pop-Tarts
what a great invention.
On another note and back to missionary work. But it was a good week. Nothing too exciting happened. We did however get to practice our missionary skills for selling stuff. So the BYU Dancers are coming to Leicester and they needed people to market for them and pass out fliers in town. It was crazy trying to pass out cards for a dance group rather than talk about the church. It felt really strange, and I realized that people are not just avoided me as a missionary they just hate people that are handing out stuff. Or maybe it's because I looked like a missionary and they thought I was pushing religion on them. Finally I was like hey, it's a dance group. Then they were like, oh okay I'll take a card. Funny how people blow off stuff before they even realize what it is. The dancers are coming this weekend and we might actually get to go watch the show but we will see what happens.
Our investigators are doing well. Howard is doing really well. We get to see him once a week and he is progressing really well! It's going to take a bit of time because of circumstances, but he has already given up smoking and drinking and has come to church the last few weeks in a row! He is a really funny guy and it's fun to teach him.
It sounds like you guys had a crazy week! Emma sounds like she has just done waaaaay too much partying and needs to calm down and start doing some work around the house, Haha! I remember those days though, we had some good times. Especially the first few days after school ended. I'm sure Dad was feeling it, he is an old man now!! But I wish it was 90 degrees here.... Can't wait to be back in the sunshine! I am sure that Mom did a great job with all the little primary girls, she is an actress at heart!
Elder Lam has been out about 18 months so between us we have about 40 months of missionary experience. Things are going really great with us and things are just good. We are having fun and working hard.
Hope all is well for everyone! Love you all!
Thursday, June 2, 2016
Well we have had our transfer calls and I am staying here in Evington for my last transfer! I will however be saying goodbye to Elder Davis and saying hello to an old friend from Birmingham Elder Lam! We served together in a tripanionship for a week in Harbourne and I was his district leader for a transfer! We get along well already so I am excited to spend my last transfer with him. He is from Hong Kong which is pretty cool. I am excited!
I did see Brigham's record player and it looks way sweet!!!! I can't wait to listen to it. There are absolutely loads of places her that have lots of old records for really cheep! So if Brigham wants I could look around for a few classics. Weird to think that he is 23 and I'm going to be 21 in just a few months. Hey, I hope all goes well with the girl from Kaysville, haha! I guess Kaysville girls are okay! Too bad that she probably went to Davis High... It is just too bad.
This week was good. Slow but we did see a really amazing miracle. It was Thursday and not much had happened yet in the week. We decided to go visit a part member family that has been showing a lot of interest in the church and has been coming out. Howard the father of the family is the nonmember and so we decided to go and stop by. He let us in and we got talking and found out that he genuinely wants to learn about the gospel. He is going to try his best to find out if it is true. I was just so excited to see someone so excited about trying, in his words "I really wanna give it a go". We talked more and agreed that we would come over a couple of times a week to teach him. Which is so amazing considering we don't have very many other investigators. It was a small but tender mercy from the Lord.
Ah I wish I had gone to one of the colour festivals! They seem way fun and I will definitely be going to one in the future! I'm glad Ems had fun. You guys are really getting old! It really has been 26 years since Cameron, Torie and baby Nate signed the cement, wow! But I don't know how I feel about this whole taking part of the basketball court for a garden thing! But I won't really be living there anymore, plus we don't even have a basketball hoop anymore. I guess I'm okay with it. I do remember Connor Child he is a good guy, keep an eye out for him! Speaking of seeing family when is the Kmetzsch family reunion this summer?? Cause if you could persuade them to do it after the 20th of July that would be great, haha!
Well that about does it for this week. Hope you are all doing well and that life is treating well.
Love you all!
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
Well I'm just going to tell you now that I feel like my emails are going to get shorter and shorter in the next 8 weeks, haha! But don't worry you will get to talk to me soon enough!
This week had an exciting beginning with a Parade for the Leicester City Football club winning the Premier league! It was absolutely mad!! CRAZY!!! They say that there were Two hundred and Fifty Thousand people there!!!! And can I just tell you keeping track of your companion in a crowd of 250,000 is no easy task! But it was extremely fun and I was delighted that it happened to be on a P-day so that we could go. I took Cameron's advice and I bought a few Leicester things. I got a flag and a "fake" jersey! I am definitely a bang wagon Leicester fan!! It was awesome and we had a lot of fun.
On to the week. Well it's nothing that you haven't heard before. We did a LOT of finding this week and hopefully a few of the people that we talked to will become new investigators. It is pretty normal in Evington to spent a lot of our time with the less actives. We have some really nice less actives here and they'll be back at church soon!!
Well, that's about it, haha! The bike is working great. We don't bike all that much because we are so close to town it doesn't make sense. But we do use them when we go to visit members that live like 4 miles away from us.
I am excited to see this new toy of Dads in action! We are going fishing very soon after I get home! Then me and Dad are gonna have some father son time and go fly fishing!!
Also Happy Birthday to by Big Bro Brigs!!! Crazy that you are 23!!!! You old man!!
Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
HAAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPYYYY BIRRRRRRRRTHDAAY TOOOOOOOOO YOU
HAAAAAAPPPPYYYYY BIIIIIIIIRRRTHDAAAAAAY TOOOOO YOU HAAAAAAAPPPPPY
BIRRRTHDAY DEAR DAAAADDYYYY HAAAPPPYY BIRRRTHDAY TOOOO YOU!!!!!!!!!
Happy Birthday Pops glad that your day was so special. I love you so much and am so grateful for the incredible example that you are to me. I wouldn't know how to work hard if it wasn't for you. The things that you have taught me are of greater worth to me then all the knowledge that the world could possibly teach me. You taught me in a much more spiritual way, you taught me the things that I'm going to need after this life and how to get through this life. I've always looked up to you and watched everything that you do. You are my Hero Dad, and your the best guy I know. I love you loads.
Man that is awesome that Centerpoint did "Curtains"! I definitely miss the music and am looking forward to listening to some of it when I get back, haha! But really Viewmonts musical theatre department should just be praised. They do a good show and we had sooo much fun, those were some good times.
I'm glad that Conner is doing better and that he won't need surgery. You should ask him how he broke it, maybe I can give that a try and see you guys a few weeks early, (just kidding)!
Had a fun exchange with Elder Langi this week.
I really liked the talk by Elder Bednar in the last conference. I'm sure it worked well for your High Counsel talk for the YSA wards. The idea of becoming perfect, "even as (He) is," often times overwhelms me. It seems to be an impossible task that we will never be able to complete. But when you think about it and when I had my bash the other day I talked about it, it is by our simple good works day to day that we accept the atonement into our lives and begin to become perfect. As we work our hardest things that seem to be too hard suddenly become easier with patience and with practice. You know what they say practice makes perfect and how true is that. It is through simple acts of obedience even when it doesn't really make sense that we begin to master these things. I often think to myself why do I need to keep all these rules especially when a lot of them on the mission seem so pointless. But when we stop doing the little things then eventually we break bigger rules and sometimes commandments. I would always tell the missionaries when we were doing training that if they stopped waking up at 6:30 every day that eventually it would lead to bigger disobedience. Not because they are not going to go the the celestial kingdom because they didn't wake up every day at 6:30, but because once you justify a little sin then it will be much easier to justify it when it comes to bigger things. Keeping small and simple rules will keep us safe of any harm that could ever come our way.
|I also found the street that Batman lives on.|
There is my rant for the day haha, but things are doing well in the area. We are finding a few more people to teach and things are going really well with the part member family that is coming to church. Not much else to report on, haha!
Well I hope that you are all doing well and that you have a great week.
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Oh my goodness it was so nice to see you all yesterday and to talk. I'm glad to hear that all of you are doing so well.
To be fair this is going to be a very very short email because I don't really know what else to say. It was a great week very, very, very hot, but not really that hot. But still hot for England. We had a part member family that we are working with come to church which was really great. The Bishop gave the gospel principles lesson and it was fantastic. It was focused on the needs of the mother who is a returning less active.
Well I said it before, but I'll say it again. Happy Mothers Day Momma!!!!!! I love you so much and hope that your day was wonderful and that Dad and Emma did all the cooking and cleaning! I couldn't get you real flowers but we found some really nice Spring flowers and so pictures will have to do! But I love you and want you to know how much I really appreciate you.
Love you all and hope you have a great week!
Wednesday, May 4, 2016
Well this week has been physically exhausting! We have walked more this week than I have for a large part of my mission! Absolutely miles and miles of walking. I'm not quite back on the bike because well I just got my bike back yesterday and it is not quite in fighting condition. I'm gonna have to put a little bit of work into in but it should be okay. Note to self though, don't leave your bike with other missionaries when you move to a car area if you want to see you bike in working order anytime soon!! But it's okay cause walking hasn't been that bad, just slow.
The new area is pretty much like a lot of my other areas. Our flat is really close to the city centre so it is pretty easy to just walk outside and start talking to people. We are also near two universities Leicester University and DeMontfort University. It is always nice to have some young people to talk to in your area. The ward though is completely different to Nottingham 1st ward. I went from one of the largest and youngest wards that I have ever been a part of to one of the smallest and oldest wards that I have ever been a part of. There are only two families in Evington ward that have young children and I'd say the average age is about 60, haha. It is nice though on Sunday to not have the roar of children during sacrament meeting. I'm excited to start working with and getting to know all these new members. I felt like just another member of the ward in Nottingham, like it was home, but now I've gotta start over again and get to know everybody. It should be fun though.
Elder Davis is a good lad. He is from the great state of Texas and has been on his mission for about nine months now. I'm a little sad that I didn't get the opportunity to train again but me and Elder Davis should be able to do a lot of good together. I'm looking forward to the next few weeks.
Congratulations EMMA!!!!! WOOT, WOOT!!!! That's so cool that you got chosen as prom royalty. It just proves that you are the prettiest sophomore in all the land and that all the other girls wish they were you, Haha! Don't let it go to your head though and remember to always be yourself and to always be nice to everyone.
Leicester does have a soccer team that is doing very well right now. They are in line to win the Premier league cup which is pretty much the biggest accomplishment that an English football team could win. It is for sure an exciting time to be in Leicester because the city seems to have almost an electric buzz going through it in anticipation of the win. All the shops have the team's colours and crest up and they say we are backing the blues. It's cool to see how such a seemingly small thing is bringing a city closer together. Cool story, we actually were in town and we saw this big line outside of one of the banks. We asked someone what is was about and it turns out that the trophy for the premier league, which is the Premier League Cup was on display in that bank to raise funds for charity. All you had to do was donate £2.00 and you could take a picture with it. I couldn't let that opportunity pass me by so we got a picture with it! Man it is huge and way cool looking.
Brigham sure is a lucky guy! I wish I could go to Hawaii! It seems like since I've been gone everyone is just getting to go all over the place without me! Don't stress the whole St. George thing too much cause I can always just ditch school and go down in September for my Birthday!!
Okay so for skyping I am thinking that 6:00 my time would work best for us. That would be 11:00 for you guys. Does that work? You will have to let me know by tonight if not then that will be the time that I will be calling.
It is sad to hear of another death in the family, but I am glad that everything worked out so nicely and that it was a positive experience for the family.
I hope that everyone is doing great! I love you all and I am soooo excited to get to talk to you this Sunday!
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
What a week. It was the last week of the transfer and it has been a pretty sad one.... We got the transfer calls last night and I will be leaving Nottingham. I am taking possibly my last step of this mission journey to my last area and I am going to Leicester. A place called Evington and my new companion is going to be Elder Davis. I am a little bit gutted to be leaving Nottingham, but it has been a good 6 months and it's definitely my time to leave. I'm gonna miss Elder Wagner loads, but it's okay cause there are good things to come. But I'm also no longer going to be in a car. I will be back on my bike, with no more responsibilities as well! I am going to be a regular old missionary and finally be able to just get it done. I'm gonna miss having a big influence on other missionaries, but I am also looking forward to not having to deal with there problems, haha! Plus I am going to lose tons of this darn car weight, haha. I'm gonna be a slim trim good looking Jim!
The Nottingham City Centre
Well the mission wide challenge week went really well. Loads of people went mad about it but no one in our zone won anything and the zone took 3rd place overall. We were a little bit sad, but it's not the end of the world. But it is amazing what a little bit of competition does to males.... What can we say it is just in our nature!
This week was pretty normal. Our investigators are doing well and not too much went on. We weren't able to see everyone that we planned on, but it worked out in the end.
Oh yeah and Happy Birthday to James!!!!! I cannot believe that he is already 4...... He is soooooo old.... But it's okay I'll see him soon enough!
I forgot to mention that I got to go back to Birmingham on exchange with the AP's this last week. It was pretty cool to be back in my old area. This is a picture with the Bull from the city centre that happens to be named the Bull Ring. As you can see I am going to be taking these next few months by the horns and going hard, haha!
|Birmingham's Bull Ring|
I hope you all have a great week and I love you loads!
Tuesday, April 19, 2016
Man those pictures are amazing! Evey looks soooo BIG like wow.... And little Clara is so adorable, I cannot way to meet her. I'm glad that everything went well with the trip and that everyone had fun and is safe. Mother you make sure that you slow down and let yourself heal!
The AP's car is a European car but it is really long and you feel really high up in it compared to our little hatchback. It was cool to be on the same level as the bus drivers! Dad you should definitely go all mid life crisis and get a really nice truck, or a Jeep that would be cool. Ooooor you could get some motorcycles and me and you could go cross country father son style! I like the last option the best you should really look into it. But it was really nice to get our nice little small car back after a few days, the roads are much too small here to be driving a car that size.
Have I not always said that I have the cutest little sister in the whole of Centerville. I'm not even surprised that she got nominated to be prom royalty! All the boys love her!!!! Haha, but that's really amazing Ems, good work. You tell those boys to stay away!!
I'm glad someone finally went to church with Emma. I think the ward probably thinks that you guys are going less active or something! But you'll have to let me know who the new stake presidency is if I may know any of them. I love coach Hymas and that would be way cool if it was him.
On to the week. So this week was the first ever Birmingham Mission Challenge Week!!!! It was a zone vs zone competition to the Death! Basically there were three challenges a day with the occasional mission president challenge. Challenges could range anywhere from teaching 6 lessons to touching 10 cats. It was absolutely insane and people were going crazy....... The rewards were a zone P-day for the winning zone, hoodies for the winning district and dinner with President Leppard for the winning team. People were going crazy and some of the challenges were really hard. We did our best and we will find out who won tonight. It should be interesting. But I don't think we are going to win, haha.
Things in the area are still going really good. Callum is doing well and so is Boris, keep praying for them!! I hope you all have a great week!
Love you all!
Thursday, April 14, 2016
Well I will just jump straight into it! This week has been yet again full of miracles. First off just a quick update Callum, (he is our investigator who's mother passed away), is doing absolutely great. He was offered a new job over the weekend after he quit both of his jobs because he was surrounded with things that were causing him to break the word of wisdom. Which was a miracle!!!! He is doing awesome, keep praying for him. Boris is also doing well your prayers are much appreciated on his behalf. We also had yet another investigator find us this Sunday! A new member named Iby in the ward just happened to bring her friend along to church with her and we will be meeting with him later this week. Plus we are having quite a few media referrals come in from the website which just doesn't happen that often! It is blowing my mind with how much has happened within the last few weeks. Truly the Lord is blessing us beyond comprehension.
Man Mom you better get better quick, I will worry way too much if you don't. But I am glad that you guys had such a great time with all the grand-babies! I can't say how excited I am to see them all! And it's good that you got to watch conference! That is important. It is weird to me that next conference I will be home..... AHHHHHHHH!!!!!! But I loved conference, they say that conference on a mission is like the super bowl, ha ha and that is true.
Picture of the zone at zone meeting this week
I had a pretty sweet experience this week. I got to drive the AP's Car, haha!! We had to transport a couch within the zone and so we switched for the Transporter. It was absolutely huge!!!!! It is almost as big as the sequoia, haha. But is was fun to drive a big car again. English cars are just not big enough!
Well I don't have too much to say. I hope you all have a great week.
Love you Bwtts,
Wednesday, April 6, 2016
Man it looks like you guys are having waaaaaaaaay too much fun over on the east coast. There is actually a sister missionary in my district from South Carolina and she was pretty excited to hear that you guys went there. I hope you don't use up all the fun for the year cause I'm gonna need you to leave a little for me for when I get back!! But cool story, we found an American breakfast place here in Nottingham run by an actually American!!! We went this morning for breakfast and I got the southern fried steak and Elder Wagner got biscuits and gravy. It was pretty darn good! I'll probably go back for a return visit. Actually I will definitely be going back to try one of there burgers.
Alright so on to the Miracles! Okay so Saturday morning at about 6:33 I wandered downstairs in a zombie like fashion, as you do when it's 6:30 in the morning.... But I looked at the phone and we had a message. It was a message from a guy whose mother had just passed away who was a member up in Scotland. He said he had been chatting with missionaries all night and that it was his mom's dying wish for him to find faith. Anyway we set up a return appointment for that very morning and we went to see him. We taught one of the most powerful Plan of Salvation lessons that I have ever taught in my entire life. The spirit was so strong and he is soooo prepared for the gospel. He came to general conference yesterday and loved it. Please pray for him. He decided that in order to fully commit to the gospel he needed to quit his job, because he is surrounded by alcohol and coffee and things that he didn't want to be around anymore. But he definitely needs your prayers.
Boris also came to conference! We asked him to bring a question that he wanted answered and afterwards he said that his question was answered,so that's pretty good! Things are really picking up for us over here! Life is good, Truly Miracles on Miracles!
We also had a great Mission leadership council this week. It was full of great training and I can't wait to train the zone on the things that we have learned.
Life is good and I hope life is good for y'all back in the good old US of A! Have a great week.
What a week it has been. A long hard week, but after the trial of our faith comes the miracles. And miracles we did see! But I will start at the start of the long hard week. It actually started really good with a wonderful P-day spent at the Nottingham Castle with one of the districts in the zone. The weather was actually really great and we had a blast!
Second was a long hard week of really not much. We found and we found and we found and just nothing was happening. It was pretty discouraging but we made it through the week with a smile on our faces determined to do it again this week. Okay so now for the miracles. So it had come to the end of the week and nothing had happened. We were just chillin at church without any investigators.... And in walks a man that no one recognized. Turns out his name is Boris and he had found the church on the interweb and decided to come check it out. He couldn't find the exact time so he came near the end of church but we gave him our number and he said he would come again next week. After that we were finding in town and as we finished talking to someone, a girl ran up to us and started telling us about how she had just spent a year in Florida and had been attending a YSA ward there for about 8 months. She was still really interested and just hadn't felt the courage to come to church in Nottingham yet. Then she told us that this week she is flying out to Utah for general conference!! How crazy is that? Anyway it was a miracle that we ran into her and we are going to meet with her before she goes. AH!!!! Good stuff.
Man I am jealous of all of you guys just chillin out it in Kansas with the kids.... I can't wait to see you all and I am glad that you are all having so much fun.
Well to end things off I just want to say the He Lives. He rose from the dead on the Third day and just as importantly he really did appear to the people of ancient America. How incredible it is to know that we worship the living God. He is the living Christ and he really did pave the way back to our Heavenly Father. He is the way and all we need to do it follow him.
I love you all! And Hope you have a great week.
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Okay just to clarify Elder Tukuafu went home exactly right on time, not sooner than expected. When he came to Nottingham he was on his last transfer so we knew that we were only going to spend one transfer together. Now he is probably flying to America as we speak for a vacation and to go to general conference. It is weird that a lot of my companions are home now.... I only have one more companion that is older than me and he goes home at the end of this transfer, after he goes home I will only have younger companions. But my new companion is....... Drumroll! Elder Wagner from Washington State, near Seattle. It has been one of the funnest weeks of my mission and we have become fast friends. So this six weeks is going to fly by....
Man I am super jealous of Nate and his bro fest, I can't wait to go party it up with the brethren! There are going to be some good times. But those pictures are awesome. Who in there right mind has already asked Emma to Prom??!?!?!?!?!? I am going to need the email of this boy so that I can interview him. Now you all think that I am joking but there is no joking when you are a missionary! So I expect him to make first contact and to give me a brief summary of why he thinks that he should be the one to get to take my little sister to her first Prom.
|The district at Nottingham Castle|
Well we have had some miracles and things are continuing to look up for me and Elder Wagner. A few weeks back we had a family just walk into church and we didn't really get to talk to them at all but we found out they weren't members. The next week they came again and we got talking to them and they really wanted help with the woman's English cause they are from Hungary. So we started teaching them that week and helping her learn English as well and teaching them about the gospel at the same time. They came to church again this week so something must be going right! Please pray for them that they will continue to progress well in the gospel and in her English. There names are Lui, Sylvia, and Jay.
Not too much exciting stuff has happened this week. It was transfer week so we have had some shuffling in the zone and I am excited to get to work with a few new missionaries. But I am really excited to be serving with Elder Wagner.
Love you all!
Wednesday, March 16, 2016
What a week. So much has happened this week it has been a bit crazy. But it sounds like you guys have had a pretty fun week as well. Did Nate drive to Utah with a boy friend or with a girl friend? Ha ha, but Emma sent me a picture of his man bun, Oh Brother my Brother.... I am an awful human being and was totally planning on saying happy birthday to my dearest older brother but then I forgot... But I know that he will forgive me. But here I am now saying Happy Birthday Nate! You old fart... Man you have no idea how much I would love to go to the Broadway Bingo concert! That seriously is one of my new favourite events. I hope Mom continues to do Utah Voices so that we can go every year! I hope Emma repents and is able to do enough practicing on the piano to at least make federation worth it. I miss piano insane amounts and can't wait to get back into playing it a bit more.
Well first off for my week was our Zone meeting. It was on Wednesday so we had a few days to prepare and I think that it went really well. The spirit was really strong. Me and Elder Tukuafu's main training was on Faith and Obedience. Mostly we talked about how obedience is an act of faith and how disobedience has an effect on everyone. We shared a pretty extreme example from Joshua 7 about how disobedience effects the people around us, you can read it in your spare time if you want to. The rest of zone meeting went really well as well. We are starting a new Easter initiative which is called #hallelujah and the Sister training leaders gave a great training on that and how we can share Christ with people during this season. We also had the departing testimony from our beloved friend and brother Elder Tukuafu, as they say, "Another one bites the dust," He happens to be going home this week and today is our last day together and his last real day on this mission. He has a wonderfully relaxing 26 hour flight back to Tonga not including the lay overs and the time difference. Anyway he leaves to the mission home tomorrow flies out on Thursday and gets home on Saturday. Ha ha, I am not jealous. But he gave his final testimony and it was all emotional and such. All in all zone meeting was a success and hopefully someone learned something.
Secondly we had an exchange this week. We are definitely trying to make the new exchange policies more effective and less of just a sleepover but it is a work in progress. We will get there eventually, maybe after I get home.... But it was a fun exchange though. Next on the list I must mention the Pila and his family came to church yesterday!! They dressed in Traditional Tongan attire for church as did my companion. I will make sure to sent some pictures of him and them in there outfits. The ward really loved seeing them there and especially seeing Elder Tukuafu wear flip flops to church! But it was pretty amazing that they came and seemingly had a great time. Later that night we had a"missionary fireside" really we just watched meet the Mormons and invited ward members to bring there friends. Well it didn't get the greatest turn out in the world..... No nonmembers came and it was just us and the other missionaries and a few ward members. But it wasn't all bad because I have never seen meet the Mormons before and I have been really wanting to watch it! What a wonderful movie, my favourite part was definitely the Navy Head coach. I am soooooooooo excited for the season this fall!! But the spirit was really strong there and at the end we all sang, "God be with you till we meet again," to Elder Tukuafu and Sister Banchini cause they are leaving Nottingham.
Well that's about it for our exciting week, I hope you enjoy the pictures of the Tongans and of me and Elder Tukuafu in the new mission car.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
First off I'd l like to say that my prayers and thoughts are going to the Blodgetts right now. I have a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation and how much comfort it brings into our life's. Just yesterday we were teaching a man from Ireland. He is Presbyterian and he asked us a question that he asked his preacher. He asked what happens to those people who have never heard of Jesus Christ? Do you know what his preachers answer was strait up, that they are going to hell..... We were then able to testify of the Spirit World and of the Plan of Salvation. I just felt such a strong sense of peace and assurance that it was truly Gods plan and that it is a fair and just plan for all of Gods children. What a blessing it is to have the Priesthood so close to our family all the time.
I am so jealous that you guys got to see the Grandkids again! I cannot wait to see those little stinks. Family truly brings us pure joy in this life. Speaking of family, it was Mothers Day yesterday and man I miss my Momma.... I ever bore my testimony on the powerful influence that Mothers have in our lives. I told the youth that if they would just follow their mothers they would turn out just fine and I truly believe that. Thank you Mommy for being the absolute best Mom in the whole world! I love you so much!!
Hello um... Is your refrigerator running????? No?!!?!?!!?! Well neither was mine.... All week! Basically our refrigerator gave up the ghost on Monday morning and we didn't get a new one until this last Saturday. I don't think I realized just how important a fridge is until it was gone. We basically just decided to eat out everyday that we didn't have a dinner appointment... Not a smart idea... Taco Bell just isn't that good.
Well we had a mini/big miracle in our area this week and her name is Beth! She is sooo cool! Basically what happened was that it had been another long hard week of finding with not much success. It was Saturday and we were about to wrap up our finding for the day and we saw someone walking towards us so we decided to talk to her. Turns out she knew pretty much everything about the church and had previously met with missionaries in Manchester and was still interested in the church. So we invited her to church the next day and she came!!!! AHHHH Basically she is the best, so would you pray that she continues to progress well.
Well that about wraps it up, I hope all is well, I love and pray for you often,
P.S. Do you like my new Skirt?
Wednesday, March 2, 2016
I don't know why I always mention food but it's probably because food is very memorable to me. So when I am typing these emails I always seem to remember what I ate during the week..... Guess it's just in my blood.
I hope that Emma got better for her performance. I remember the stress of being sick when you have a performance coming up that you have worked really hard for. You definitely feel robbed of a lot of time, but I know Ems will do her best!! And that Mom will cure her if it is the last thing that she does!!
That is cool that you got an email about the funeral, ha ha, which one?? I have actually helped out with two funerals here in Nottingham. The first was for a less active member and they needed a pianist and so of course I offered to help. I played two hymns that I have never played before and one of them was an old Church of England hymn that I have never even heard of before. I was a nervous wreck because there were going to be loads of nonmembers there. I didn't want to ruin there first impression of the church with awful piano playing but I did my best and practiced at every chance that I got. The other funeral was for the parent of one of the families that I am very close with, it was a great aunt. We didn't do much but show up for moral support and help clean up after so that they didn't have to stress about it.
The Taco Bell was way heavy but it was worth it, ha ha! We were actually the first people to order that much food from Taco Bell in Nottingham. They were like you want what????? Ha ha!
We had a pretty crazy meeting this week. It was the self reliance meeting for returning missionaries. So about 5-6 months before you go home we have this big meeting with everyone in your MTC group and you talk about college and finances and jobs and my favourite, ha ha dating!!!! We as a mission have nicknamed it the, "Trunky meeting." It was a pretty awesome meeting and I really enjoyed it.
Well the rest of this week was boring so I won't waste your time with the details. We did missionary work and we did a lot of it. It was a decent week of normal missionary work.
Tuesday, February 23, 2016
What an exhausting week! First off we had meetings for days, and I mean for days. On Thursday we had a zone meeting with President Leppard in attendance which was really awesome. The only thing we really had to worry about was making sure that everything was set up right at the chapel and getting lunch organized for the zone. I don't know if I mentioned that Nottingham just opened up its first ever Taco Bell! We thought it would be pretty awesome if we got Taco Bell for everyone, so we decided to do it. We were allowed to spend around 100£ so we decided to get 50 tacos and 50 bean burritos. Man that was a lot of burritos and they were actually pretty heavy. The nearest car park to Taco Bell is like a ten minute walk out of town and so we had to carried all of the food, and my arms were dying with that box of burritos! The Taco Bell was a big hit though the tacos did get a bit soggy. My stomach didn't really appreciate warming up the leftovers the next day for lunch...... After our zone conference we started an exchange with the Elders from Lincoln. They have changed the way we do exchanges and now instead of us switching places with one of the missionaries we just bring both into our area and take them out separately for the day. Our flat is not very big and it is definitely not big enough to be housing four Elders. Plus the more missionaries that you have, the more talking that you do and the less sleep that you get. The only other bed in our flat besides our beds is a hide-a-bed couch that we have. Being the charitable and loving person that I am, I gave up my bed to Elder Toshimitsu who is a new missionary being trained. So me and his trainer Elder Nogueroles shared the hide-a-bed. I did not get any sleep and was absolutely wiped the next day!
So we continued on and finished the exchange and drove the Elders back to Lincoln planning on doing a power hour of finding in their area but got caught in some traffic and just had to drop them off. We did however get to see the Tongan family with them for lunch before we left for Lincoln which was awesome! They gave us a Tongan snack to take with us called mango skins, basically it is a dried mango skin covered in Kool-Aid powder... They are nasty!! But Elder Tukuafu likes them. I don't know how but he does, ha ha. We finished the exchange with Lincoln and when I got home I was out like a light.
As well as the zone conference on Thursday we also had a Stake Presidency meeting that night. Basically it is a meeting that we have to discuss the missionary work and problems/successes we are seeing in the Nottingham stake with the Stake President and with the Mission President. It is always a good meeting, and I love the Stake President here he is an amazing man. Next meeting on the list we had the adult session of Stake conference Saturday night which was good. Then we had Stake conference on Sunday. I feel like we spent the whole week with the zone which was really cool cause we don't get to see them all that often. We also had another sleepover with some missionaries that couldn't get a ride to stake conference. So they came and stayed with us Saturday night after the adult session and we took them to conference in the morning. Needless to say another night of less sleep then I should be getting. Though Elder Tukuafu took the Hide-a-bed this time and actually enjoyed it. I think he will take it every time we have a sleepover from now on, ha ha!
Man oh man, it sounds like you guys are just having too much fun! I can't wait to drive through the canyons and the mountains and go fishing. Just some thoughts and ideas potentially for when I get home, ha ha. Did things work out with the housing? You never did really confirmed that me and Landon are actually rooming together.
Man I am definitely going to hit up an institute class with Spencer Hewlett! I would love that so much, those YSA's are really lucky to have such great teachers. You better watch out Dad you might just get called into the Stake Presidency!! I have read Elder Nelsons talk and it is way good. I'm sure that you will give a great talk on it. It's too bad that Emma is going to have to go to church alone though! I'm sure that the Tanners will adopt her. The Daines are in my prayers and I hope that all will go smoothly for them.
Well I love you all and hope that you have a great week.
Love ya Bwtts!
Thursday, February 18, 2016
What a week it has been. What a long week it has been! We don't have much going on in the area which just means that we get to do a lot of street contacting and tracting, like a lot. But we are pushing through and hopefully getting some new investigators soon who will meet with us more than once.
Yes Elder Tukuafu is Tongan! His parents actually tell him all the time how skinny he is and that he needs to eat more, if only my parents would encourage me to do the same. But you are right he is probably the skinniest Tongan that I know, ha ha. Speaking of Tongans, turns out that there is a professional rugby player from Tonga that lives in our area. He is less active but is always willing to have the missionaries over. Elder Tukuafu knew about him because there is another professional rugby player in one of his old areas that is very active and told Elder Tukuafu to bring him back. So we called and he invited us over and told us he would cook for us. Well we went over to the house and it turns out that some of his family was there and so there were a lot more Tongans than we expected. They cooked a massive meal just for us!! They were all going off in Tongan and I was left to play with the kids. But once we started eating we weren't allowed to stop, ha ha. I would but down my fork to get a drink and he would just look and me and go, "You must keep eating!" I was happy to oblige, but after three massive plates I was about as full as it gets. I finally had to just convince him that I was really, really full and that I loved the food, which I did. But they weren't satisfied so they packed the rest of it up and told me to eat it for breakfast, ha ha! I now know the reason I am not serving my mission in Tonga! I would be huge!!! But they are an incredibly nice family and I am looking forward to seeing them a lot, even though I don't speak any Tongan. On a side note just highlighting just how nice these people are without us really even talking about it, he went upstairs and brought us down some rugby jerseys. One for a team Elder Tukuafu call the Tigers in Leicester and one for me that is an actually a jersey for the USA rugby team that was worn in some international games! They are way cool! He also included some of those nice rugby short shorts!
Happy Birthday Evie!!!!!! I can't believe she is already three...... I have been gone for way too long! But at least I'll be there when she turns four! I do believe I missed Kate's birthday or it's coming up anyway Happy Birthday Kate! Whenever it happens this month.
Emma needs to just stop going on dates! I would be perfectly okay if she just didn't go on any more until I get home and then she can be allowed to date again. But she is sure a cutie pie and I'm glad that she has a lot of fun. Valentine's is always a pretty chill dance. I don't know if it was worth a drive to Provo either especially for the boy who did all the driving! I hated being the driver for dances.... it scared me to death! But you are alive and that is all that matters.
I love the idea that by sharing our testimony our sins are forgiven, (D&C ). I am convinced that is the only reason missionaries have the spirit with them all the time! Because when I bear my testimony at every chance I get, I always have the spirit with me! Whenever I get into a rut with finding or am just having a bad day, I just make it a goal to share my testimony about the Book of Mormon with everyone. As soon as I switch my focus from trying to get people to meet with me, to testifying of the Book of Mormon my day always seems to go a lot better.
Not much happened this week that was too exciting in our own area besides a load of finding but we did have a zone meeting this week that went sooooooooo well! I honestly have not had as spiritual of a zone meeting my whole mission! All of the different training from the different missionaries just linked in together and just flowed so nicely. Me and Elder Tukuafu gave a training on what we want to accomplish as missionaries and how we need to be what we called, "Anxiously Accountable," for our efforts and how it really isn't about the numbers but the people that we are teaching. I was so happy with how it turned out and the Spirit was Soo strong.
Well I love you all and hope that you have a great week!
|The River Trent right by our flat|