Hull - December 24, 2012

Our week was good! The mission Christmas party was really fun; it was good to see Elder Ball and Humphries again. Our investigators are doing great! A man was recently baptized and confirmed who has been meeting with the missionaries since April.

David is looking really good to be baptized on Friday and Piotr just needs his wife’s permission for him to get baptized. If we can get that by Friday, then it'll happen. Other than that we found a lady from Latvia who speaks Russian and English and we also four other Polish people.

We met a Polish lady on Saturday who was a bit drunk. We tried to teach her, but she was flirting with Elder DeShazer the whole time. We had anticipated ahead of time that she might be a little flirty, so Elder DeShazer brought a picture of his girlfriend and I cut out a random picture of a sister missionary from the Ensign and taped it up to look all nice (so mine was fake). Well, she bought mine (also she thought I was Chinese), but said that Elder DeShazer's wasn't real (which it was really real). Well, we got out of there safely and I don't think we're too keen on going back. Oh, she also invited Elder DeShazer to go to Poland on a trip with her. I think it's good that we teach the gospel in twos and that we’ve got each other's backs. I'm glad we got out of there safely.

I'll see you tomorrow. I'm excited to talk to you.


Starszy Ressler

Hull - December 17, 2012

I'm doing great! There isn't any snow on the ground and the grass is all green. That doesn't mean it isn't cold! I try to wear thermals all the time when I can because they are mostly helpful when we're out finding at night. The thing is though that's half the day as it gets dark around 4:00 pm now. Around 3:00 pm the sun starts to set. Time goes by so fast here on a mission.

I'm excited for Christmas; sounds like it'll be an exciting time for you all. It is for us too. Piotr, David, and Rachel all are planned to be baptized on the 28th. I hope they can all make it. Piotr will be Elder DeShazer’s and my first Polish baptism. So the first baptism by missionaries coming to England assigned to speak Polish. It's really exciting. I think this Polish group will happen and I'm happy to be a part of it. David is really good too; he accepted everything in the gospel. He says he's been looking into Mormonism since he was 12. I'm excited for him and his family is supporting him as well.

We gave Daniel the address in Poland where the branch meets and the time. He said that it's only about an hour and 20 min from his house. Be happy we live so close to a church and a temple. In fact there isn't a temple in Poland, yet. I hope that someday there will be though.

Piotr came to church on Sunday! He and Daniel seemed to get along really well. It was funny, they were talking in Polish and I heard the conversation go something like this, Piotr: “They just come over to my house a lot and talk with me about God.” Daniel: “Me too” It's really good for both of them. In Doctrine and Covenants section 90 verse 11 it talks about how everyone should hear the gospel in their own language. Everyone should be able to understand it in their own language and be able to accept it.

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas.

Love you tons,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - December 10, 2012

IT'S REALLY COLD!! But, we survive. I miss the summer. Polish is going great. I talked to a man yesterday, but had pretty much no Idea of what he was saying! He talked really fast. But it's coming.

On Monday Elder DeShazer, Elder Christensen, and I all got food poisoning. We all had a rough night, and I think that effected our week a bit. But we're all feeling a lot better now, except for Elder DeShazer whose kidneys are giving him grief again. We're going to see a doctor today.

So now we're teaching a man who was first contacted by Elder DeShazer and Christensen on the street. They gave him a pamphlet on the Restoration of the Gospel. He read it and it made sense to him. Then about a month or two later, Elder DeShazer and I found him on the street. He said that he read the pamphlet and it made sense to him and he's interested. We went over and taught him on Tuesday. We taught him the first lesson, and he accepted the message and is super excited to be baptized on the 28th of December. He says he doesn't really drink and that he feels that Mormonism is the religion for him; it's the one that makes the most sense to him. In the past he said that from religion he felt it was always negative, like ‘fire and brimstone’, and ‘you are all going to hell’ type of thing. But, he feels we teach with him, instead of to him. I'm really quite impressed with him.

Also, on the 28th of December a Polish man is going to be baptized (the first Polish person by us). I'm really excited for that. He has a firm belief in following the ways of God and has strong faith. Also, he pretty much accepts all the lessons we've taught him.

Our other Polish investigator is doing well, but we haven't taught him this week; and also he didn't come to church due to not feeling so well. But, we're still meeting with him. We have a similar English investigator who is still learning the gospel and I believe he's doing alright too.

On Saturday it was the ward Christmas party. That was good and interesting. I really enjoyed it. Elder and Sister Olsen were Mr. and Mrs. Santa Clause. When Elder Cumming saw them in the hall all dressed up, he burst out laughing. It was really cute I thought. English party foods are really interesting...

I've already learned so much on my mission and changed a ton. I've come to realize more of who I am as I try harder to be like my Savior. Through the success I've seen, I can rejoice in the changes people have made and come closer to God. And through the hard times I've seen, I've grown so much.

One of my recent converts just got a calling and also, I think, went to the temple (not inside, just to the lobby; for now).

Everything is going great. I really do feel good, Mom, so don't worry about the food poisoning. It was something we all ate. We're not sure what it was, but it's gone now. Yesterday, we gave a Book of Mormon to a man and then said good-bye and crossed the street. I told Elder DeShazer to walk slow because I was watching him and he was reading it as he walked. He stopped for a while and just read, walked a bit more, then stopped again. I hope he gets into it.

Love you all so much. I hope the family is doing well.


Starszy Ressler

Hull - December 3, 2012

It is good to hear from you all every week. England is great! Elder DeShazer and I are speaking more Polish. I hope I'm getting better; I feel I am. I understand a lot more of what people say than I used to. Sorry, I haven't been taking too many pictures lately. The thing is I’ve already been in Hull for four months and I feel like I've seen a lot of it. For P-days I can't really travel too much, I can't really go places. I'm supposed to stay in my area for P-days. But, there are a few things to see here in Hull, no castles, really. There's a harbor that is famous for the Humber River and there's a huge bridge that goes across it. I've gone across the bridge once for a P-day; that was neat. There aren't really any castle walls in Hull either, but if I do go visit one, I'll make sure to take pictures.

We're trying to get a group here in Hull. It might be a mixed Chinese and Polish group. We’ll be doing a lot of translating and even blessing the sacrament in Polish; that'll be fun, I think. I'm excited for this week; we've seemed to meet some good people and we're working with some really good people. Daniel is doing well; he not only came to church, but brought his family. I Love that family so much. Daniel has so much faith.

We met a man a few weeks ago that Elder DeShazer and I found, and later he and Elder Humphries taught. They ended up losing contact with him. We recently found him and he is reading the Book of Mormon. He is scheduled to be baptized on the 28th of December. His name is Piotr (Peter). He's really tall, maybe 6 feet 4 inches, and really broad. He's married and his family is living in Poland. Also, we met a Lady who recently moved here to Hull. She is also scheduled to be baptized on the 28th.

Yesterday I had an interesting experience. We were walking to an appointment and Elder DeShazer started talking to this guy. He was a bit drunk and was swearing like crazy and kept saying really discouraging things about how we think we're doing a lot of good out here, but in the end we're doing nothing; how we can share our book all we want, but that it does no good. After a while I could see it was affecting us a bit and I had had enough. I don't think I've been bolder with anyone before in my lifetime. I testified to him that the gospel means everything in the world to me, that it's done everything for me, and I know it'll help everyone who accepts it. I don't even think it was me. It was the Spirit; it was also a testimony to me that I do know this is true. I know that God lives. I know that Jesus is the Christ. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and that it has been given to me, a 19 year old boy, so that I can know its true and so that I can make a difference by sharing it on a mission. The other Elders and I have seen many miracles. We've seen men stop doing drugs, drinking, and smoking. I've seen lives change and differences made. I know that this is God's work and this is the way to make the world better.

I think that I'll get to Skype you on Christmas, so that's exciting.

I love you all so much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - November 26, 2012

So, on Thursday we were sitting in our flat having Tea (dinner), I suddenly looked up at Elder DeShazer and said, Oh! It’s Thanksgiving. We had both forgotten that it was even Thanksgiving. So that was sort of weird. My first Thanksgiving away from home and I forgot it was Thanksgiving. Eh, that's alright though.

I'm glad to be with Elder DeShazer again. Also we've been speaking more Polish together than we originally did. It's hard though because we're talking to everyone and that includes English people as well as Polish, so we have to speak English as well. But when we're walking to go somewhere and/or there's no one around we try to speak Polish.

Our investigators are doing great. We taught a class of four Polish people this past week in the Olsen's flat. It was alright. I don't really think any of them were interested in the gospel. it helps me learn Polish though, and we're planting seeds I think. Elder DeShazer and I are covering the Hull 1st Ward, which is basically West Hull. If you look on Google Maps the boundary is the Hull River and it goes a ways westwards. But we mostly stay in the city and Hull, although once I've been to Borough and South Cave. Also a lot of the members live in Wilerby. A lot of the older Polish people are deep Catholic, but some of the younger ones start to venture off, but a lot are still very Catholic. In the Hull 1st Ward there are eight missionaries, including the Olsens: one Chinese speaking, three English speaking and two Polish speaking missionaries and then the senior couple, who work with the YSA.

A Chinese group is going to be started soon in this ward and I think that will help the ward get ready for an upcoming Polish group. Hopefully, things will kick off again soon; we just need one good person to come. We have Daniel and he's amazing. He only sleeps four hours the night before, but comes to church anyway. I know that we were led to his door; I remember praying to find someone and then being led to that street. I know that God has a plan for all this.

So Elder DeShazer and I were searching for potential Investigator when it was raining late at night. An older Polish man answered the door and started asking us questions. Then, he let us into the hallway (in was a shared living house above a store) so we were dry. He said he was very strongly Catholic. At first he started referring things as to our religion and his religion, but then at one point he realized that our religions weren't very different. And I guess he sort of started to take a bit of a liking to us. He invited us in for a chat and offered us coffee or tea. We told him we don't drink that but that we can drink milk. So he left us sitting alone in his kitchen while he traveled downstairs to the store and bought milk for us. Then we talked and were able to give him a Book of Mormon. He was drinking a bit and it was funny because he asked where our ancestors were from and I told him from Germany. Then he was like, 'but you don't look like Hitler'. That was sort of weird. Well we planted a seed with him I think.

Also the other night we were walking when we heard some people talking in Polish. We got excited and felt like we should go back and talk to them. We met a man who said that he'd turned his life around before to religion and to Christ, but had a bad experience in his church. He said he'll bring his family to church.

I've realized that in these seven months I've learned more than I ever had before (life wise). I think I’ve grown a lot already, and I fell that I’ll continue to grow a lot as well. I used to be scared to talk to random people or to talk to store clerks and stuff. Well, I'm getting better I feel. I've been forced as you might say to talk to people I usually wouldn't want to talk to.

I love going on a mission. I love meeting people and learning all about them. Because it really isn't a building that we meet in that makes a church, it's the people that meet there. I think that this world is about people. Its people that make it up and its people that live in it. We all have different lives, different stories, different things that make us tick. I love just making friends with random people on the street and then giving them the opportunity to learn more about their Father in Heaven who loves them even more that anyone could. And about their Savior who died for them and took their pains in life.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - November 20, 2012

I love England and I love being in Hull. So, transfer calls were last night. Elder Ball is going to Peterly, which is up north in the cold. He will be serving with Elder Richards. Elder DeShazer's companion, Elder Christensen, will be staying and serving with another elder. And I will be going to the great land of...Hull! (I’m staying) and I will be serving with...Elder DeShazer! So, I guess we'll serve together again. I'm excited, this is a good opportunity for me to speak Polish more, and also we will be focusing a lot on Polish people. Hopefully, we'll see some good things happening this winter.

My cold has died down. I've been on medicine and that's helped immensely. Also, I feel a lot better, not all the way, but a lot improved.

The work is good. On Sunday we had a Polish fireside where we tried to get as many Polish people there as we could. We only got Daniel and Justina and their family. They are doing great. They're making plans for their holiday in Poland, which we are keeping our fingers crossed for (or in Polish, our hands in a fist with our thumbs tucked in). Daniel is pretty solid on joining the church. So we told him of our experience finding him. He told us that he had prayed about 2 weeks before we first met him, asking for God to show him where the truth was and when we knocked he was like, 'maybe so'. So, I think things will go well. We also taught a Polish Lady this past week. It was an interesting lesson, but we'll be persistent. She said she'll read the Book of Mormon, and that's a good start, I think. We've also been trying to meet with a man from the Czech Republic named Peter who's hit a hard time trying to find a job. I called Grzegosz and Anna last Friday, and Grzegosz said that things still aren't too well, but they are better the baby has made some improvement but is still in the same critical condition room. They spend a lot of time in the hospital. We haven't been able to see Nikola again yet, but hopeful someday. We met a new Polish man who is a lorry (truck) driver and so is his wife. He says they've talked to the missionaries in Poland. We'll be going back there on Sunday, which I'm excited for. I hope things are going to explode in this area. I feel like they can, we just need to be ready so that the Lord can trust us with these people who are seeking the truth.

I love the Polish people. When I meet one I get excited and I just love them. I think things are going to start picking up with them as well, well I have hope it will. We're meeting with some really good people.

It hasn't snowed yet, but I've seen some frost on the ground in the mornings, and I think they're preparing for some snow soon. But, it is getting really cold. It also gets dark at five at night and I hear at its peak will get dark at 4pm, which is kind of weird to be out knocking in the dark and it only being 4pm. But we'll survive.

I actually find a lot of people who speak Russian here, as well as Lithuanian, Latvian and Slovakian, and Czech, and so on. There is a dear older lady here, Nelly, and her daughter Ala, who live in our ward. They are so kind and so nice, and so humble and grateful. They speak Russian, and Nelly loves the missionaries. I think one day I’ll give learning Russian a shot. It is a language I want to learn someday, but I think Polish is good enough for me right now.
An elder from Sweden who is leaving soon gave me one of his old suits that he was about to just leave behind. Since I’ve lost weight my suits were really loose, and now we have to wear a suit everyday until it gets warmer. So, this one is a bit smaller and fits me a bit better, but the other's still fit as well.

Ah, sadly, no they don't celebrate Thanksgiving here. But, did I tell you about bonfire night? They celebrate a guy burning at the stake by having bonfires. That was new to me. Hey, it's only temporary that I’ll miss Thanksgiving, and it's worth the sacrifice. I've found I've grown a lot already on my mission, and lost some of myself (my weight a bit) but I hope that I'm not done growing because I'm still very imperfect. One thing I've come to realize is that pride is not a good thing; I need to strive to be a more humble person. I didn't think I was prideful, but I guess we never do. I guess the change comes when we realize that it's not about ourselves.  Enjoy Thanksgiving, eat some turkey for me, alright?

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - November 12, 2013

We’ve been doing a lot to try to find people who will listen to our gospel message this week. I'm really glad I made the choice to go on a mission. I've grown so much (and lost so much weight) and also I've seen the difference it can make in other people's life, even with just small and simple things. I often think ‘what if we didn't go down that street?’ or ‘what if I didn't talk to that person?' You never know what difference a little decision could make.

The past few days I've been sick with what I think is a sinus infection. It's not so bad that I can't go out and work, just a bit irritating. But I found that I can't be angry about it and be effective at missionary work. Elder Ball tells me that one secret to missionary work is to be happy, even when you're tired because you'll always be tired. I've found though that I really enjoy talking to people

The other Elders said that I talked in Polish in my sleep one night, so that's sort of a good sign. Some Polish people still like to speak super fast. One day I'll be good at it, I just need to be patient.

Just earlier today I was pondering on how amazing it is that Heavenly Father gives us the authority to act in His name, to heal the sick as long as it's according to His will and our faith. I've been studying about how to give a blessing in Polish because I will need to do that someday. It's helped me realize that we need to be always worthy and always prepared and willing to use our priesthood authority to help Heavenly Father's children in His name.

Also, there are some members of the church here from Peru. I told them that you, Dad, served there and they said they joined when they were a lot younger, but they are going to ask their mother who is staying with them right now if she knows you. Wouldn't that be amazing if she did? It's amazing to think how much your mission in Peru has affected other people and your own life. I hope that my efforts and my mission can have that kind of impact on me and the people I meet.

I know that this truly is the work of Heavenly Father. I know that the Church is true. I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, our Savior, we can overcome any obstacle, any hardship; and also that if we have faith in Him and repent of all our sins, we can once again return to live with God.

I love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

P.S.  No snow yet, but it gets really, really cold in the night. It looks like we aren't going to have Thanksgiving; maybe we'll celebrate in a different kind of way, though.

Hull - November 5, 2012

Hello everyone,

I think it's amazing that we're going to get quite a few more missionaries in the world. I know that it is no mistake me being here in England. I know that this is what I've been preparing to do since I was small. I also believe that I was meant to be part of the work here.

Dad, ah, I remember the wood cutting. One of the things I'm ever so grateful you and Mom taught me is work. Now I know I'm not the hardest worker, but you taught me that sometimes you don't want to do everything, but you just got to roll up your sleeves and get the job done. That applies to missionary work as well. You just work hard and get over yourself, ah, miracles happen Dad. For example, I met a police officer who was over here visiting his bother from Poland (Polish police officer). He and his brother are very large and it was a bit intimidating, but I just talked to them anyway and we had a really good conversation.

I've had funny stories with translating Polish. There are a couple of Polish supermarkets around the city. One time we went in one to buy some sandwich meat because we wanted to practice some Polish and talk to the meat lady in Polish. Elder Ball told me to ask her what her favorite meat is. This is what I get from learning Polish from the scriptures. So I said, “co jest twoja umilowany?” which is interpreted “what is your beloved?” So I asked her what her beloved meat is. I also just realized that I've been telling people that we're “dividing” a message about the Book of Mormon (dividing mathematically). So I've been there, Dad. All you can do is laugh about it.

I hope elections go well. I think I'm the only one in my flat to vote. I sent the absentee ballot off about a week ago. Isn't it crazy that it's already November? It doesn't feel like it. Tonight is Bonfire Night. It's a holiday here in the UK because someone a long time ago tried to blow up parliament and they burned him at the stake. And so to remember it they set off fireworks and such and have a bonfire. That’s what I hear anyway. We aren't allowed to go out finding tonight, but we can teach lessons to people who we know. So, that should go well, hopefully. It is getting a lot colder; I think I'm going to buy a warmer coat today. I have about five blankets, so I'm all toasty at night.

There is a large possibility, well in fact it's probably most likely, that I'll be in Hull most of my mission, if not all of it. I've heard that it took a lot of work to get Polish-speaking missionaries in Hull in the first place, and so we'll probably be staying here our whole two years, if not for a good long while. We still Skype Poland on Saturdays, which helps us out a lot.

One of my favorite things to share with people is the Book of Mormon because it's probably my most loved book. And I tell people that it changed my life and that that is how I got my belief that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - October 29, 2012

It's been a good week. Things are getting on well here. Elder DeShazer and I have been sent to the City of Hull to start a Polish group here (sort of like a branch). Our zone leader Elder Mckay told me that we were sent here not because the president thinks that a Polish group can start here, but because that a Polish group will be started here. That puts a lot of weight on us, but I also know that the Lord doesn't give us something we can't handle. And, I know I was sent here to do this work, I had a feeling that I was headed for hard things.

The stake president here in Hull saw that there were lots of Polish people and told President Lindley and then it moved all the way up until it got approved by Church headquarters, and they called two Polish-speaking elders. We're meeting with a lot more Polish people now which is good, and my Polish is getting better and better. People seem to be amazed with the amount of Polish I’ve picked up in just these three short months.

We've found a few more Polish people to teach. I think we have a couple families. One Polish family we are teaching is planning to go on holiday to Poland in December, and the father wants to be baptized when he comes back to England.  I hope things kick off with the Polish group from this. We're teaching a lot of people to speak English.

At first I was struggling with the missionary work. I struggled to talk to people a bit, still sort of do, but now I'm having some really good conversations with people. I'm sort of happy that most people speak English here, and if they don't I can usually communicate with them. But I'm also sad too because I'm not immersed in the Polish language and won't learn it as well.

This week we met an amazing man. He has a really firm belief in God and is excited for a change in his life, such as baptism. I think as we teach him he will change a lot.

I see a lot of Heavenly Father’s tender mercies on my mission. We are constantly looking for what to do or where to be. We plan where we feel we should go that day or if there's a certain person we need to talk to. We've found people because we felt like we should go to the next street over and then walk down the right side and then two people on bikes ride by and start talking to us. Sometimes we don't really know the reason why things happen, but it doesn't matter how they happen, just that they do. For Instance, we know Heavenly Father and Jesus created the earth. We don't know how exactly, but we know that it happened, so why does it matter. I think people worry too much about the how or the why, and forget the do.

This P-day the whole zone got Nerf guns and had a war. I was able to get this cheap little one that was pretty powerful.

It's weird; England isn't feeling so foreign to me anymore. It seems like it is starting to feel more normal to me. Like the cars driving on the left side of the road instead of the right. Here in England people call each other “mate” and, if you talk to an older lady, you can call her “love”, or if you're being polite.

It's getting colder now. Halloween is going on here, too. The ward is having a “trunk of treat” activity, but Elder DeShazer and I will be teaching two English lessons and another lesson while the two English elder go to it. Eh, I'm fine with it. Halloween isn't too big in England. I guess it's fairly new here and is growing a bit? Ah, time just flies on by. October went fast. I'm still amazed thinking its September, but now here's November or Listopad if you want it in Polish.

I hope everything is going well at home.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - October 22, 2012

It’s getting colder and England is just amazing. This week was actually really good. It's now Autumn; the leaves are falling and the other day there was a cool mist in the morning and you could only see a few yards ahead of you at a time. It turns out that they celebrate Halloween here, too; although they've only started doing that recently. I believe that they carve pumpkins. They have their own holidays here too; I guess I'll be able to experience those. It's interesting, because a lot of people have dogs here, they really love dogs. I saw a black pug the other day.  I've learned to play squash, which is really big here in the UK. It's like racquetball but a little bit different.  I really enjoy it and it's a really good work out.

I love being on a mission. It's probably the hardest thing I've ever done, but it's so amazing. I've met so many amazing people. Some days it's hard when you get yelled at or someone flat out rejects you, but you have to find the courage and strength to face the next person the way Christ would, in a kind loving charitable manner.

The world is full of so many troubles, but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all things can be made right in the world. We need to have faith in him though.

We have been teaching a Polish family and they are amazing; I am filled with joy, pretty much whenever I think of them. The father’s brother should have left for Poland for sure this time I think, he leaves today, and probably won't be back for another year at least. He's going to study to become a baker. The mother is getting more and more interested I think. She understands a lot of English actually; she just doesn't really speak it. We asked her if she could feel the difference in her home and she said yes. The father works really hard hours. Dad worked a lot too, but I hear in Poland some people work like 60-80 hours in a week. He works night shifts and said that sometimes he only gets 2 hours of sleep and he still comes to church often. Yesterday they fed us some Polish food. We had a clear, chicken soup that was really good and also a traditional dish they have on Christmas, it's like cold fish with shredded carrots on top. It wasn't too bad. Then, we had these pancake breakfast burrito things that I think dad would enjoy a lot.

We both think Elder Ball will leave Hull next transfer, but he's still got a good 4-5 weeks left with me. We're doing really well; we're talking to a lot more Polish people and teaching English as well as the lessons.

We had a Polish man who called us and asked us if we could teach him English. We met him about two and a half months ago. When we first got into that house with the Polish men and one said that his wife back home was LDS. He was there and we ended up giving him a Book of Mormon. Since then we'd run into him a few times on the streets. He only speaks polish, but is improving on his English. Now a day he's very good at saying the phrase 'et's nice to meet you'. After the first lesson we taught him I started to talk about the Book of Mormon and explain what it is. He said that we'd given him one and that he's been reading it in his spare time (he works a lot) and he said that he's on like page 375 or around there. I asked him if he knows it's true and said that he does. He also says that he believes that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

We've also found another man who is English. We've taught him a few lessons, he believes it's true, and also wants to be baptized and also wants to go to the temple and to be sealed with his family for time and for eternity. He needs to get married to his partner before he can get baptized. He has two little children and is really quite amazing.

Last night we taught a lesson to a room full of Polish people. We're going to teach them English and one of the Polish men will teach me Polish. I'm not too sure how interested they are in our religion, but if they'll help with the Polish I'm really happy with it. This man is very nice. It’s a bit intimidating and difficult trying to teach six people in English, but then trying to teach in Polish as well. I think it went alright. Elder Ball said I'll get better at that over time. My Polish is improving and Polish people can be really patient and kind.

Love you much and I hope all is going well with the family.

Kocham you

Starszy Ressler

Hull - October 15, 2012

Polish is coming along great. I think I’m understanding more and more. I can read it just fine, but it's the understanding what I'm reading that gets me. I can get the basics of what I’m reading though. I am having better conversations with people. I've found I'm able to translate it all a lot easier. Actually, Elder ball has picked up enough Polish that he can pretty much understand what's being said. I only have to translate and tell him stuff he doesn't know. Now that I’m officially a trained missionary we pretty much still study the same, just for an hour less.

I was also amazed but pretty happy about the age change for missionaries. Sadly, I may not see Brendon for four years, but that's ok, we'll be ever stronger after. I think that we are about to get a lot of sister missionaries soon. I'm not sure if we'll get more Polish missionaries just yet, maybe in a while or so. I think they want Elder DeShazer and me to do something very specific, get a Polish group started. I think we'll be in Hull for quite a long time though. I hope we can; we are continually seeking for Polish Investigators.

This week was good! Elder DeShazer is with Elder Christensen. He’s from Arizona and is a really nice elder. A Polish investigator who we've been teaching said that he would be baptized, but he first wants to talk to his family. He sort of wants to do it face to face and will be visiting his family in Poland this December. And also a man stopped us on the street. He said that he'd just gotten out of jail and wanted to change his life around. Heavenly Father does indeed prepare people and leads them to us. I think that there are angels leading us and leading people to us. I hope that this next week I can have some more really great experiences to share with you all. Sorry I don't have too many stories this week. I'll also have to try and take more pictures. (I’m slacking on my part). Ah, time just goes by so fast on a mission. I need to take advantage of every moment. I also look forward to the day when I can forget English entirely and just speak Polish. Just kidding. Learning a language takes time and I know that I’ll be good at it eventually.

There's an American university student who said she might Invite us over for Thanksgiving dinner. I’m not really sure though. I've heard that we don't go finding Halloween night, but we can have teaching appointments. So I'm not really sure how that'll work out,

I've been reading a lot in the Book of Mormon about Ammon and Alma the younger and their missionary work. I want to be a missionary like them, perhaps, but I also know that I need to be a missionary like me because Heavenly Father called me to do this work.

kocham you bardzo

Starszy Ressler

Hull - October 9, 2012

General Conference was amazing! One of our investigators came to two of the sessions. Here in England, because of the time difference, we watch the Saturday morning session on Saturday night at 5pm. Then, on Sunday morning at 10am we watch the priesthood session. Then, we watch the Saturday night session at 1pm, and then we watch the Sunday morning session live at 5pm. We all watch the Sunday night session at 9pm. However, missionaries can't go to that one because we need to go plan and sleep. I learned a lot. I only watched one session in Polish. For some reason we couldn't get the Saturday night session to work in Polish, but we could get the translation when it was live. So our investigator, Elder DeShazer, and I all watched it in Polish. I could follow along ok. I learned a lot from this last conference and most of all to be thankful for the little things in life.

That was quite amazing when they lowered the missionary age. What amazes me more is how sisters can go when they are 19 years old. I think we'll be getting a lot more sister missionaries now. I'm excited for Brendon to serve. If he chooses to go when he's 18, I won't see him for 3½ to 4 years. But if he chooses that, I'll be proud of him and will support him in anyway. Either way, if he goes then or later, he should start preparing now. I'm so grateful for the way you and Mom have prepared me for a mission with learning the gospel in family home evening and reading the scriptures and conference talks every day. I know that even now China is being prepared for the gospel. Here in the England Leeds Mission we have six Chinese speaking missionaries. Chinese students come here to England to go to school; many of them find religion and God here. They don't usually believe in God in China, but they find him here and then many of them go back home to China. I know that one day the Gospel will be preached everywhere and that there are people and places now which are being prepared.

Transfers were this week; usually Monday is just a normal Missionary day for transfer week. Then that night we get transfer calls and find out what is happening. Then, the next day is P-day and then Wednesday is transfer meeting when we make all the switches. Elder Ball and I are staying together for another transfer, but Elder DeShazer's companion, Elder Humphries, is going to Sheffield to become a zone leader. He's a really good missionary.

I'm warm enough now. For the next six months we have to wear our suit jackets, so I'll wear that and then, if it's any colder, I’ll wear a jacket or coat. I bought a jacket and it works fairly well. My ankle is healing very well. I can still feel it, but it doesn't hurt me. And we still walk a lot, so I'm all good and healthy.

Thanks for your testimony in Polish; it's neat to see that. We're now teaching Polish people to speak English, so that's good as well.

All is going really well. We do a lot of walking, a lot of talking, and a lot of studying. I'm almost at six months. Time has really gone by fast. It seems like only a month ago I left home for the MTC and now I’ve finished being trained.

Recently, I've come to love the hymn “Press Forward, Saints”. At the bottom of the hymn it shares a scripture in 2 Nephi 31. Talking about pressing forward in faith. As we all press forward, and continue to learn and grow in our love and knowledge of the Gospel of Christ and his atoning sacrifice for us all, we grow closer to him and the people who we are meant to become.

I love you all,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - October 1, 2012

zien dobry tata! This past week I've had some adventures. I went to York. We had a specialized training with Hull zone and York zone combined. We took a train to get there, so we were pretty much poor for a while after that. York is a nice place. They have some really neat walls and buildings, but I have to say I missed Hull. When I came back and we walked the same streets that we walk almost daily, I thought to myself 'home sweet home'. I'll probably be in Hull for a while. Yes, it is getting colder. I've started to wear a sweater under my light jacket sometimes. I’m not too worried. I know how to handle the cold, I think. It's autumn here, too. It's getting colder and darker. It gets dark around 6pm or 7pm. Elder Ball says in winter it'll get dark around 4pm.

General Conference is coming up and I’m excited for it! I may be watching it in Polish, either at the church or at some of our investigator's homes. That's exciting, which reminds me. Daniel and Justina came to church yesterday. We watched the video with President Monson when he was a bishop and went looking one Sunday for the priest who was working in the garage. Daniel told us afterwards that when President Monson spoke there was power in his voice and he was like, 'this is true'. I’m so excited for them and I’m excited to watch conference with them.  Luckily there's a sister in the ward who speaks Polish and can translate and befriend Justina.

I'm glad you're a hard worker, Dad. Polish people here, some of them, are really hard workers and have really good work ethics. Some of them work in factories pretty much all day. They say in Poland it's harder to find work and they work longer and get paid less, so they come here to find jobs. Sometimes that makes it difficult to teach them, but things are starting to get rolling with Polish people.

This past week we met a young father named Ryan. Ryan works with computers. He has two young children who mean the world to him. He says that when he became a father his whole outlook on life changed. He loves his family enough that he quit his dream job and moved to Hull to make amends with his family. I'm very impressed with him.

Elder and Sister Olsen seem like parents to us out here. They really are kind and loving and make sure we're doing alright. When Elder Olsen shakes your hand he really looks you in the eye and it feels like he’s looking into your soul! They're so kind and loving.

This week we went to teach a man named Tadeusz. When we went to teach him a man that looked like him opened the door with a confused face. I said to him 'Do you remember us?' and somehow he let us in any way. He was on the phone a few times with his 'brat' on the phone and about half way into the lesson said something like 'Tadeusz will be here in an hour' and we were like 'who are you?'. It turned out that that was his brother Patryk. So we taught Patryk a lesson and gave him a Book of Mormon. He prayed with us and I think that went well.

Everyone has usually got some things to give up or to change or something they can do a little bit better. I feel that there is so much Heavenly Father gives us and so many little things we could change to give back to him.

I'm happy for Brandon Smith. Now all my cousins older than me are getting married. That's sort of weird to think about.

Love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - September 24, 2012

Thank you for your much love and prayers.

Dad, I'm sorry you and Addie got sick. I really hate to be sick. My ankle is feeling a lot better. It was weak for about a week, and I almost rolled it two days ago, but luckily I was wearing those boots! It's recovering just fine. I like Grandma's and Grandpa's new car. I hope they like it as well. I'm glad I learned how to clean up, clean bathrooms, wash dishes, and cook. My cooking actually isn't that bad. But I guess I’m the only one who has to eat it. This week we did some service and weeded a garden, so I’m glad I know how to weed and work hard. I've also decided I’m trying to become a do-er, and a more bold missionary.

Mom, I’m glad you are doing family history. Just be careful that you spend as much time with the living as you do the dead. But, I love that you're so into family history. Leigh and Sean got a Family History Packet.

Doesn’t Solomon’s family look so happy in their picture? I'm so happy for them. Becky, or Sister Amoah, cooked for us last night. It was delicious. I hope one day they will be sealed in the temple; I think they're working towards it. I believe Sean and Leigh have pictures of temples and want to go there. The ward has monthly temple trips, so someday they will make it there.

It is definitely getting darker and colder here! I'm not really excited for the winter, but I know that I’ll be alright. I’m at the south part of the mission so it'll be warmer than it is up north. Elder Ball tells me that York is a posh area, sort of rich. It'd be really nice to serve there. A lot of people suggest going to York. There really aren't Polish people there, so I don't think that I'll be going there. I like Hull though. Things are starting to pick up a bit with teaching Polish people. And I definitely feel that my Polish is coming along a lot better.

Yesterday we got some “address unknowns”, or people who we aren't sure live at a certain address. We travelled all the way out to South Cave. We talked to the neighbors and found that the lady still lives there. Then, our next closest one was in Brough. A bus comes from South Cave only every hour. We missed the bus by about two minutes. We set off to walk. It was probably a good hour to an hour and a half to get there. We were both so tired.

We're teaching a few Polish people. Kszystof, who is a Polish butcher. Daniel and his Family are amazing. Daniel was sick yesterday, so he didn't come to church. We’ll probably see him next week. They're OK with us coming over and teaching them. Daniel’s brother Kamil is going to Poland. He is reading the whole Book of Mormon and trying to find if it's true.

I'm out of time.

I love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - September 17, 2012

Ah, I miss and love you all so much. Our week’s been pretty good. Andy came to church for the first time in weeks. I guess he is going to be leaving Hull or unable to come back to church, so I guess we weren't able to help him be baptized. But he has a strong testimony and knows the Book of Mormon is true. He's read it twice now. He might move down to Huntingdon and can be baptized there. The Brigham City Temple does look beautiful. Leigh was telling me how amazed he was at the Salt Lake Temple, that it took 40 years to build. Sean loves to look at a picture of it. Leigh is planning on going to the temple soon to do baptisms. I'm so excited for him.

We've been working with a lady who hasn't come to church for a year. Her son is eight and hasn't been baptized. She kept putting it off because she wanted to be ready to come back to church before he was to be baptized. She's been coming to church and last week Solomon was baptized. Their family seems to be so much happier. It's been a testimony to me that this gospel really does strengthen families.

You know that Mormon Message “Saved by Christ”, with Brother O'Neil and the one winged owl, Arthur? Well, he's a driving instructor and Elder Ball knows him. Elder Ball is working to get his driver’s license and Brother O'Neil gave him his first driving lesson on Thursday, with a manual transmission. It was a little scary, but Brother O'Neil is so funny that he made it fun. He has to have a lot of patience to be able to help a missionary from America drive on the left side of the road and to learn stick.

My Polish is improving, I still don't know everything that people are saying, but a lot of smiling and nodding helps get things by... no, I'm really understanding a lot more than I did a few months ago. I look forward to the day when I can speak the language well and understand it more fully. I'm glad that you're cousin is enjoying her visit to the U.S. that's good that the children know how to speak Polish. Do they know English as well? We go by a Polish shop every once and a while and try out some Polish food and also to try and small talk in Polish with people. It's good practice. I was able to find this Latvian chocolate that tastes almost like cookie dough in the middle (at a Polish shop). It's really good!

We had a lesson with some Polish people. Krzystoff, Januszcz (probably not spelled right), and Anna. Januszcz and Anna are older. Januszcz speaks just a little English and the rest only really speak Polish.

We also had another miracle. We felt impressed to go to an area that had already been knocked. I sort of felt hesitant, because that's a bit awkward when the other elders have already knocked that area and talked to those people. But, we found a university student that had just moved in and were able to teach her a powerful lesson about the restoration. So I know that we are guided to people that are ready to hear the gospel if we just listen to the promptings of the Spirit.

Kockam cie

Starszy Ressler

Hull - September 10, 2012

This week, was good!! Life is going alright. We're finding and teaching a lot more Polish people now days and I’m really happy about that. Hopefully, I can understand what they are saying. Elder DeShazer and I speak Polish together a lot. I think I’m improving at the language. I need to be better about that though.

I love being in England. It's sort of weird when restaurants advertise that something is 'American style'. I read about Addie’s pirate ship. Aye, aye captain!! Sounds like a lot of fun! We don't have anything fancy like a pirate ship, though we did have to kill two HUGE SPIDERS in our flat!

Hey thanks so much for sending a package, that'll be nice to have something from home. I don't want anything too expensive; I really don't want to inconvenience you. Now and again we all miss home a bit, but I’m happy to be here, and to be a missionary is such a wonderful thing. Tell Brother Gundersen ‘hello’ and thanks for all he taught me in seminary. I'm glad I got to be a part of seminary and feel the spirit in my teenage years. I can't believe that time goes by so fast. I'm still being trained, but it feels like yesterday I was graduating high school. And now I’m 19½. It'll be interesting to see myself at the end of this mission. I believe that Heavenly Father is helping us all to become the people that we can be. He see's our potential and knows what's best for us better than we do.

I'm not too worried about the winter, I’ll live through it. I bought a new jacket that's lighter for the summer and fall rain when it's hot. We have been going through a heat wave, so it's been really hot. Hey, I found out 'Mercy Me' is approved music, and I have music like that. Brendon should know who I’m talking about. We’ve had people who were so close to baptism and I’ve seen it just go downhill. I know that when times get tough, that's when we need to be at our very best, and sometimes that's what makes us grow the most. If you can't climb a hill, how can you expect to climb a mountain? It's been so interesting to see just how my life has prepared me for this moment. I know that this is where I need to be and I’m going to trust that what I do won't go to waste. If someone doesn't accept the gospel now, maybe I can put the thought in their head so that they will later.

We're teaching a man named Daniel and his family. He has two really cute children. He's lived in England for eight years and is reading the K.M. (Book of Mormon) and he speaks really good English. His partner Justine has only lived here for about three years and is still working on her English. Tonight we are scheduled to meet with a man named Krzystoff. I've only spoke to him over the phone and he doesn't speak too much English. I think our testimonies grow as we do spiritually scary things, and sometimes speaking in Polish can be quite spiritually scary since you don't know everything everyone is saying. But the work is going well, and I feel like I’m becoming a better missionary.

I hope you all are doing well,

Kocham was

Starszy Ressler

Hull - September 3, 2012

Two weeks ago we went to an art museum and a whaling museum. This past P-day we spent the day cooking Mexican food. And I'm not really sure what we are going to be doing for this P-day.

Oh wow, camping. Sounds like you're all having fun even though school has started up already. That picture of the food I sent you is a kabab. It's processed lamb meat on pita bread. They have it up in the kabab shop on this rotating cooker and then slice off pieces of it for you and put it into this oven cooked pita bread like thing with sauce and vegetables on the side. It was delicious.

Leigh was baptized and confirmed this past week. I had the honor of baptizing him. Sean came to the baptism and to church yesterday. He seems so much happier when he comes to church and reads the Book of Mormon, and I think he's realizing that. I know that when I do those things in my life I am a happier person. Well, I've almost lost a stone (about 14 pounds) and I credit it to us walking all the time. Ever since we discovered it's actually faster to walk to Boulevard Street and that area from our flat than taking two buses to get there, we've walked a lot. I'm not too worried about winter, actually I am. It gets cold some nights. Two of the Elders gave me two more blankets, so now I'm all toasty. I think in winter time I'll still have the two blankets, so I'll be warm.

So this past week we had a miracle. We've been looking a lot for Polish investigators to teach. We decided to try a part of the city called Gypsyville and for a while we were sort of scared to go there because we thought it would be full of gypsies. We set off with the thought that we'd finds some Polish gypsies. Well, it's just like a normal city, not at all like we expected. We started asking people if Polish people live in the area, and everyone said that not many did. We searched for hours and became a little frustrated I suppose. We said a prayer asking if we could be lead to Polish people and that they'd be friendly and willing to listen to our message. We walked to the next side street with about 8-10 houses and I felt like I should knock on the first door to the right with the light on. A lady answered. She was a member of the church, so we asked her if she knew of any Polish people in the area. She directed us to the next side street over and said there used to be, but she didn't know if they were there are anymore. We went to the next side street. I felt inspired to knock on the door to the left with the light on. Inside I could see a woman holding a baby. When Daniel opened the door, we discovered that he is Polish, and we talked with him. Two days later he and his family came to church! I have no doubt that we were inspired to go to that house, in that area, with very few Polish people. We're teaching his family again on wtorek (Tuesday). Daniel has lived in England for around eight years and speaks really good English. After finding Daniel and his family, we tried some of the other houses in the street, and they all said that no Polish people live on that street. It's amazing the first house we knocked was a member who led us to the next street, where the first house we felt impressed to knock was this really amazing family. Daniel said that they don't go to church because where he was from it was too political, or something to that matter. We explained to him that no one gets paid in our church.

Some of the Polish people we find just simply aren't quite interested in hearing the gospel. But we don’t have too much trouble making friends with them. For example, I enjoy seeing a Polish man, who's usually drinking or drunk, and waving to him when we see him. Plus, I can practice my Polish a bit. Sometimes, since they all come over from Poland, a lot of them will share a flat, so there'll be a lot of them living together. We know of a place like that where we visit, and we sometimes meet new people when we go there. So, maybe someday we'll find someone who's interested.

OK, so another story. Elders Humpheries and DeSazer are teaching a family, well the man, Danny isn't a member, but the lady is. The lady, Steph, hasn't been active for a while and Danny is looking to get baptized, but they are just waiting to either have him move out or to get married first.

So, we had just visited this Polish flat and talked to a man named Peter and his brother who are really nice, but didn't have a lot of time that day to talk. We felt like we should knock somewhere in the area and went to a side street, prayed, and then started knocking. The first house, no one answered. The second house, a young boy was outside playing. We asked him if his parents were home and if we could talk to them. He said his nanny lived there and went and called her. An older lady walked up to the doorway. And for a moment, just paused and looked at us. Then she said something like “I'm so glad to see you two missionaries.” We talked with her for a while. She's a member of the church who is not active. And then we found out that she is Steph's mother! She looked at us and said “Ah, I can feel you two have the spirit,” and she started crying. It was pretty amazing how we are guided to places and to reach out to people who need the Lord in their lives.

Starszy Ressler

Hull - August 28, 2012

Ah Pennsylvania! I love Pennsylvania and Grandma and Grandpa Ressler a lot. English people seem to be really interested in Amish people. I tell people my grandma was Mennonite, and that's similar to Amish. I'm glad you got to have a good time. We get to talk to and see so many families here, and I'm so glad that I have a family as amazing as I do. I show your picture to lots of people that I talk to because I love you so much and am so proud of you all.

Packages are so expensive to send, I'm not really sure actually. Maybe you could send my thumb drive. I can't remember where I put that at home. Actually, you could send me a CD of approved music. Maybe you could send some Paul Cardall or other spiritual, gospel music. No pressure, I'm alright here.

Leigh didn't get baptized because some of his family members that he wanted them to be there couldn't make it. So we moved it to next week. I think it's great that he's involving his family to see the change in his life that he's making.

Sadly, we haven't been able to talk to that Polish man again. We've tried a few times, but that one flat has several Polish men living there. It seems like they work all the time. It's sad that a lot of them don't like it here because, even though they get work and get paid well, they're away from their families and turn to alcohol because they don't know what to do. They work a lot and it's hard to find them or come back to meet with them because of their crazy work schedule.

This past week was amazing. First, a funny story. A few weeks back we met a drunk man and made friends with him. At first he wasn't very receptive and was cussing up a storm. But as we talked to him he softened up and actually started to like us. He invited us in and us a glass of milk. We talked with him for a while and taught him a lesson. We tried later to come back, but lost contact with him. Last night, it was late when we were walking down a street and we saw this lady that looked sad. We asked her if we could do anything for her. She said something about her boyfriend. She has had a hard time recently, and was in a car accident in which a five-year-old child died. We talked about what happens after this life and I was able to share about last Christmas with the Pack Family's car accident and how Colum died on Christmas Day. After we talked to her for a while this man came up the street yelling and cussing. She said, “Oh no, that's him.” I was a little scared for a second, but my companion recognized him and the man recognized us. The man said, “Hey! We drank milk together!” and he softened up. The man really likes us. He put his arm around me and said, “I respect this lad.” So, that's my funny story for this week.

It rained this past week really hard, probably more than I've ever seen before in my life. I didn't know it was going to rain because it had been sunny for a long, long time. But out of nowhere it just poured and my white shirt got soaked. We ran under a bridge for a while and then made our way to the street we were knocking at. Luckily, a university student took pity on us and let us come in to dry off. We got to teach a lesson and tell about Joseph Smith. The spirit is so strong when we teach the Restoration and the First Vision.

Missionaries in our mission can have the chance to drive. There's a senior couple in our area, the Olsons, who are from Idaho. I love them, they are so kind. They drive and the zone leaders all have cars and drive. So, there might be a chance that someday I might be driving on the left side of the street. You may have to re-teach me how to drive in America when I get back. Summer is just starting to end here in England, except they don't call it vacation, they call it holidays. Things are going well here. This past week was the end of the transfer and transfer calls, and I'm staying in Hull. That's good because I'm not through being trained, yet. I'm really excited about this next six weeks. I think it's going to be good.

Love you tons,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - August 20, 2012

It sounds like the family is doing fantastic. I can't believe that Harrison is in high school and Brendon's a senior and Sadie is in junior high. And Addie's having a birthday. I feel so old! The gospel really does strengthen families. I tell people that all the time, and I know it's true. I've seen it in my life. I hope that this week goes well with everyone starting school.

Wow!! I'm really excited for Will Cameron’s mission call. If you see him, tell him that a mission is the best thing in the world. He'll be able to use the experiences in his life to help other people come to the Savior and His gospel. Brazil, so he'll be speaking Portuguese. That'll be fun. Mike Morris is already back? Time really, really goes fast. It feels like a week ago I was back home getting ready to leave and now I've been here for four months. It sounds like everyone is doing really great.

This past week on środa (Wednesday) we had zone conference. The zones in the lower half of the mission got together. The mission president spoke to us. It was really great. Then, on czwartek (Thursday) we were knocking down a street and I met a Polish man named Lucas. He was talking on his phone, but we talked a bit. He asked me if we'd like some coffee or tea. I said, “woda?” (water) and so he invited us in. In his flat there were about five Polish working men living there. We talked and I tried to understand and answer their questions and teach. We gave out all the Polish Book of Mormons we had. One of the men has lived in England for eight years and speaks really good English. They had us sign their K.M.'s (Book of Mormons in Polish) because they said that this could really change their lives and they wanted to remember the moment. We're going back to teach them this week, I'm so excited to teach in Polish, and they're really solid. One of the men's wife and children go to the church back in Poland. They're moving here with him! There really are no coincidences I find. Heavenly Father knows what's best for his children even better than we do.

Oh, yea, so when we met Sean, we also met his friend, Leigh. We've been teaching him and now he's going to get baptized this Saturday!! Ah, it makes me so happy. He's such a good man. Yesterday, he came to church in a suit and Sean had bought a shirt and tie to wear to church. They both looked great.

We have to make some difficult and scary choices. Our zone leader gave us counsel that we could do the scary thing of dropping our not-very-solid English investigators and go and focus on finding Polish investigators. So, we'll see how things turn out.

We have about 30 minutes to exercise each day, so we jog or do push-ups or sit-ups. Sometimes we aren't so diligent in our exercise and just stretch.

It's so amazing being a missionary. I have no doubt that I have had the experiences in my life to prepare me for my mission, to come here at this time to England and to speak Polish. I know now that I have been called by God through a prophet of God to come here. That's a bold statement, but it's true.

Kocham cie
Starszy Ressler