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