Leeds - December 30, 2013

I'm well, not bad in fact. This week went by so fast. I think that time is continually speeding up, well it must be. This was my full year that I spent as a missionary and it went by really fast. It seems as if I'm still walking the streets of Hull with Elder DeShazer in my mind. But nope! I'm in Leeds.

Yea, it was good to Skype you all. That's the last one of those, for a while.

I'm so glad you had a relaxing time this holiday season. I'm really excited to play all these games with you (when I win, of course). And well I guess more importantly spend time with you and catch up. But that'll all have to wait till the spring, because I've got some work to do here still.

Ah, so I spent a day and a half with Elder Mast in the flat. I was so bored!! All we pretty much did was sleep/read/eat. Yikes, I can't imagine how he feels doing that for two weeks already. I really don't want anything like that to happen to me.

We are teaching a new family and another man who is really promising; he came to church in a different ward in our zone because he is dating a member. He said he is impressed with the church.

I've realized on my mission, well and before I guess, that family is super important, well actually I was thinking about it today. In our ward there is a family. Well half of the ward is pretty much this family and their brother died, so we went to his funeral today to support them all. I saw how big their family was and just thought a bit about how important family really is.

I find when you are teaching, you don't want to teach, you want the audience to teach themselves. If you ask the right questions, and have open discussions you can just get it to work out that way. But you must realize that as much as we would want otherwise, this is an imperfect church, run by imperfect people (who are not paid, making them not professional), we're all human. But with a bit of practice, and training, and experience, we can improve a bit.

I thought you'd be proud of me; I played the prelude music for sacrament meeting on Sunday until the pianist turned up. That was a big step for me.

This week we've sort of had a miracle. A member’s son came to church. Sadly, he and his partner split up and he went looking for help. An old friend, (his old Bishop) came and gave him a blessing; after the blessing he said he felt like coming to church. Mind you, that he was completely against the whole thing about a week and a half ago. I think that Heavenly Father knows how to push the right buttons sometimes and things work out better in the long run. He really is an amazing guy. All of us missionaries have taken a liking to him. He's praying and reading the scriptures again as well and trying to quit smoking. To be honest, it's nothing that we missionaries did at all. It was 100% Heavenly Father and I suppose his mother as well.

Tuesday we have off after 4pm (I think everyone will be partying, so they won't want to listen to missionaries) and we don't do missionary work on New Year’s Day.  People will be spending time with their families on the holiday as well I think.

Well I love you lots, have a terrific Week!


Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 23, 2013

Cheers. We went caroling this past week, it was great!

I did get to see Elder Ball the day before he left England! He's home now, that's so weird to me. But it's good.  I love the Olsons they are so nice. If you talk to them again, tell them I say hello back and Merry Christmas!

I am planning on Skyping Christmas day around 3:00 my time. That's 7 hours different I think. Sorry, but I think that's about 8:00 in the morning your time. It may even be an hour earlier since we are going to the bishops around 2 or 3. I'm not 100% sure. I hope that works for you. Love you and look forward to talking to you all.

Wesolych Swiat

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 16, 2013

Wesolych Swiat

Christmas is pretty much here. Where has December gone? We have a Christmas party this week, I'm really excited; a bunch of us missionaries just getting together to relax a bit. Other than that, I don't really have many plans.

Here they have something called crackers. It's like a thing you pull and it pops, then there are little gifts inside...pretty neat tradition.

This week was good. We had a general authority come, Elder Kearon. Ah, it was so good. It was a life changing meeting. He talked about changing and just doing it, also about doing things with real intent. If you don't have real intent, then what's the point of doing it? I've decided that one thing I want to work on is being more confident. I remember so many people telling me that I can be more confident. So I figure it's a choice to be confident, so I choose to be confident. Recently I've been studying in 2 Nephi chapter two. It talks a lot about things to ACT and things to be ACTED upon. I think that fits really well. We need to act, or else it's just a thought or a theory.

This week we taught a woman who was in Germany for about a month, so this is only the third time we've seen her. We brought Brother Morrell along, he's so great, really a nice guy. And her family has been going through a hard time, so we showed her Elder Holland’s most recent talk and it was a really powerful lesson.

Yea, the food is bland. I've also found that a lot of it is just that I sort of lose my appetite a bit. I eat often, in fact, and I snack a lot. But I tend to eat smaller portions; that's something I learned from Elder Owens. He lost a lot of weight. He eats often, but not a large amount. My stomach has shrunk a bit. Plus I do lots of sit-ups in the morning. But some of the food here has no flavor! I'm not really a fan of mushy peas either. And fish and chips are so oily now days that it hurts my stomach. I tend to eat oatmeal in the morning and pasta or a sandwich, or just a snack. Polish food is really good though. :) I've become an alright cook after almost two years of cooking for myself.

Around this time of year the sun is starting to go down around 2:00 pm. I'm addicted to the work here. When I have a good conversation with someone or if I am outside working and talking to people I'm usually happy. There are a few odd moments when no one will answer the door, but if you can talk to someone, you're alright. Something Elder DeShazer says is "sometimes, you just got to power through it" just get to the end of the day. There's a really good Mormon message about Daily Bread by Elder Christofferson; you should look them up, there's three of them.

I think this is the fun time of training. You become good friends and you start to work together better. And also you see them figuring out how to do it themselves, instead of just copying you. I haven't heard anything new about the missionary work here. And the amount of missionaries coming in has slowed down a bit. Our mission is HUGE THOUGH! Over 200 of us.

I miss Elder DeShazer so much! He looks good. I hope he's doing well. Thanks for the picture. THAT'S SO CRAZY, I remember Sister Wild. She was so nice.

At 6:00 on Christmas Eve there is a carol service I'll be going to.

I’m not sure what else to say. Elder Mast, in our district tore his ankle really bad. He was in so much pain, so he's been taking it easy. Also an Elder from Samoa got his Wisdom teeth out. You know British people do not like the dentist. But other than that nothing too exciting has happened.

Love you tons, hope all is well.

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 9, 2013

We had a really good week. We taught 6 lessons, that's really more than we've taught in a few weeks.
I don't really mind knocking doors sometimes, but to be honest teaching is more fun. This week we went on exchanges, I stayed in Leeds with Elder Brase, who used to be a zone leader, he's going home before Christmas (with Elder Ball). That was pretty good. I enjoyed that.

Ah, it's so weird to me to almost be 21; I really don't feel that old. I feel like I did when I was 17, or 18. You know I think age is just a state of mind, if you don't want to, you can just stay the same. But then again progression is good.

And the time is going by so fast. It's already almost 1/3 of the way through December. Christmas is pretty much two weeks from Wednesday. That to me is strange.

This week Elder Kearon is visiting the mission, I think that he's the one a few years ago who gave the talk in Priesthood session about getting stung by a scorpion, well that'll be exciting.

This week for District meeting, I've prepared to talk about having a vision, you know timberline, and wood-badge stuff, but I'm teaching it from the scripture, well I'll attempt to, I hope it goes alright.

Ah, mate! I've lost so much weight... I can see the difference. I looked on the scale this morning and it said I weighed 13.5 stone, and that's like 190lbs. I'm not sure that scale is right. But I do do me sit ups in the morning :) (Yes, people really talk like that "that's me son" "that's me scarf" ect...)

I can't believe it's that cold back home. It's luckily not too bad here yet. I suspect though, it'll get cold. I really don't like English winters, from last winter. I remember the longest, coldest day of my mission, out knocking in freezing cold for about 7 hours with Elder DeShazer. You know I think trials help us to become who we are. I wouldn't want to go through it again, but looking back I've grown from it.

I have a few jackets, I have one I wear a lot because it's warm, then I have a water resistant one for when it's wet and that big black one I brought with me. I think I'll get some new gloves though. If I can find the one's I like, if not, I have a pair.

Yes, it has been raining a bit more and it's been a bit colder. But it isn't the dry cold that you get in Utah, it's really cold (I don't mean to sound like a wuss, but I don't like English winters) But it's warm today. On Thursday we had some really bad winds, we were told to stay inside and do weekly planning. Our rubbish bins got knocked around a bit, but we're alright.

We didn't get to see the devotional, (it would've been at like 2 in the morning our time) But the Leeds institute had a Christmas concert, and that was pretty good.

This week we met with a man, he's really busy, but we had a really powerful lesson with him and I felt the spirit. I really do think that he can be baptized, he reads the Book of Mormon and he likes it. We got it for him on CD, so he can listen to it in his car. I think he likes that as well. He's from the Congo and his native tongue is French.

Then we met with a lady, she's doing well. We had a good lesson with her as well. She is really looking for something. We're trying to help her to find it, but that's all up to her in the end.

Also the Polish lady we were teaching is back from Poland, she's so nice. We watched the Restoration in Polish with her and she said that she believes that could have happened. She asked people in Poland if they had heard about "Mormons" but sadly no one had heard anything about them. Then we showed her where the closest meeting house is in Poland where she lives on her laptop. That was good. She also showed us where she lives. I showed her our house in Utah, and she liked that. I always show people a picture of my family; it's something to sort of "break the ice".

I think that the best way to influence someone is to love them and show them your love. If you love them, then that's the best way to share the gospel; you know it is a gospel of love.

This week went good and the time is flying by so fast.

Love you

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 2, 2013

I love my mission so much!  I love just talking to people and then when we share the Gospel we're giving them something that if they take it, it makes them so much happier. I've seen people change so much.

Sounds to me like you had a terrific Thanksgiving Day! I realized on Thanksgiving that it was Thanksgiving! It was weird we had sort of forgotten about it.

My week was good. To be honest it was pretty much the same as most weeks, we do the same things every day, but it doesn't get boring if you do it right. When you talk to people then it’s fun. Because everyone is different and has a different story (even if someone slams the door, or yells at us or something). I like it, I sort of just laugh I think, because some people just act so weird when someone says two words...Jesus Christ.... for some people that's all they hear and then they're like "No!" It's really immature to be honest, but fair enough, I did my part in sharing it and it's not my fault they said no. You know I've come to realize that no matter how many times that people say no, it wasn't our fault. It's only our fault if we don't share the gospel. If we share it and they say no, then we did everything right and it was a success. I think that if more people realized this then, they would be a bit less scared to share the gospel. We don't see a whole lot of success, but I think that we are becoming better people in the process.

We met a lady who has one cat, but all the neighbors cats come into her house as well, so she usually has a few cats, that aren't even hers hanging around. She's in her 70's and shares a lot of stories. I think that some people just like to be listened to. If everyone did a bit more listening there'd be a lot less contention I think. We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her about our church. She was very interested in what happens after this life. I think that if we share more of the Plan of Salvation with her, she'll hopefully take more interest.

That Polish family came home from their trip to Poland. We went by on Sunday, and they had just gotten in at 1:30 that morning, so they were tired. But they still remember us, so that's good, and they seem to not mind us coming by, so that's a plus as well. I hope they read a bit of the Book of Mormon. We'll find out on Tuesday.

Leeds is a lot bigger than Hull. It's not a ton different, but it is different. Leeds is HUGE! It's ton's bigger that Salt Lake City. In fact I think that Salt Lake City is about the population of Hull. But it's nice. I only have a section of Leeds to work with.

The food is not too different. But they eat something called sausage rolls; they're not that great, because they are cold.... :( But I've gotten used to them since I've been in England.

This last week, was really, really fast! I can't believe that it's already December. Time is going by so fast and this month is going to go by super fast as well. This week is the only "normal" week that we'll have this transfer. Next week we're having a mission tour. That is when the Area Presidency comes and sees how the mission is doing. So we've got a meeting of some sort.

Then the week after is a Christmas party. It's sad because I'm in Leeds, which meets up with some of the other zones up north. Leeds is classified in the Northern zones. Elders DeShazer and Owens and Olson all are in the Southern zones and so I don't see them at meetings. Also the Christmas party got split up to three different days, and so they'll be in a different day as well. I'll survive though. Elder Ball is going home in about three weeks, that's so weird. I'm going to miss him a lot, but I think we'll meet up after our missions because he's going to BYU, I think. Then the next week after that is Christmas, and then the week after that is New Years, then its transfers again. That's so fast!

I've really changed a lot on my mission. I can't say that I'm the same person that I was at the start of it all. I've learned so much. And even the hardest moments of it all I've learned from. I guess that's what a mission does for you. I heard somewhere that even if no one in the world, ever got baptized they would still send people on missions. I think that it really does turn us into who our Heavenly Father wants us to be. I think that I'm at a stage in my life where I need to become the person that God wants me to be. He knows the man I can be and all I need to do is trust him enough, because he'll help me get there.


What is the hardest thing you've done on your mission? When we've taught someone who was about to be baptized, and then for family reasons dropped us, meaning they stop meeting with us. It's really heart breaking.

Do you get a lot of snow in England? Do you have any yet? It depends on the year, but we don't have any yet, which I'm grateful for. I like it when I don't have to be out in it for long hours of the day.

We're doing well and all is good.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - November 26, 2013

I'm good; I'm still here in Leeds with Elder Eisert, so no changes for me. I can't believe that Elder Ball goes home in only a few short weeks, nor can I believe that it's already December pretty much. Ah, time goes by so, so fast!

Here's an exert I wrote about a family we visited on Sunday: We recently tried by a family, and they welcomed us in warmly. I think they know that they should be going to church. We talked for a while and got to know them. Then, we shared a spiritual though with them and they all listened intently. We felt the spirit enter the room as we testified of Jesus Christ. I hope they all felt it as well and hopefully we can rekindle that fire of testimony that once burned within them. I think they are a lovely family and can help build up the ward a lot. They're a great family and I hope that they'll come back. The daughter Megan is 16 and goes to church and Young Women. I think she begs the rest of the family to take her, or to come themselves, hopefully we can help them come back too. I think they really like missionaries, so we are able to see them, but now it's the hard part of trying to love them so they come back. It's not really hard to love someone. It's part of developing charity, which is the love that Jesus Christ has for all of us. I think that this is key, loving them enough so that they feel it and come back. We're doing our best here; I know that our efforts aren't wasted.

Sounds like everyone is doing good; I can't wait to see you all at Christmas time. I think I'll be at Bev's for Christmas Eve, so maybe I could Skype you all then. That way you'll have plenty of time to Skype Brendon on Christmas, I don't know, it's up to you.

Thanks for all that you've encouraged me to be. There's a quote I read somewhere, I think from Preach My Gospel, "More important than what you do however, is who you are." I know that from a lot of experiences I've had on my mission that have helped me be someone that Heavenly Father wants me to be. I know that there is “who I'd like to be” and there is “who Heavenly Father wants me to be” and I know that if we're humble enough, hopefully the person that we want to be and the person that Heavenly Father sees that we can be, aren't too far off. We just need to trust him I think. I've learned so much about life and myself. And I know that I still have a lot to learn.

I really do like being on a mission, I think that it's been fun. Well, it's gone by so fast and so it must've been fun. There isn't any other time in the world that I'll be able to do this. I need to make the most of it.

I can't believe that it's December next week! I love the autumn and I'd argue that it's one of the most beautiful times of the year. I always reflect a bit of the symbolism of the old dying (autumn), being washed clean (winter) and then a re-birth (spring). It's not too different from the symbolism of baptism; the old self dying, being washed clean through the blood of Christ, and then the re-birth.

I love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - November 18, 2013

This week was good. Elder Eisert and I are starting to do better in the area as well. It was amazing we picked a street one day and we felt like we should knock the right side of the street and on the first house the lady said she was Christian. I smiled and said that's great! We got in with them and found out that they had just been baptized into another church about three years ago. The husband told us his conversion story. A friend of his, had always been trying to get him to be religious, but he was simply just not interested. One day his friend asked him to read a scripture and said something like, "I don't want you to miss out on all this," so he started to wonder a bit. I felt the spirit as he told us that he went to his room and asked God to forgive him for all that he did. It's interesting to see that even though people aren't members of our faith, they do know one thing and that is that they can be forgiven of their sins through Jesus Christ. I felt the spirit, so I don't doubt that the experience that he had was true. They searched for ages for a church that they agreed on, (they even thought about making their own), then they found this other one. They are so prepared. I can't wait to go back and share about the Restoration with them!

Sadly, that Polish family is going away to Poland until December, (well half of them are). Wouldn't that be amazing if they ran into missionaries there?

I think there must be a reason I came all the way to England to speak Polish. I know that I've been able to teach a few Polish people, but there's got to be another reason as well. I don't really know though. I'd love to go to Poland someday, I think I will. Mom's cousin lives there. I tell all the Polish people that my mom's cousin lives in Warsaw. So I've got some sort of connection to Poland.

Elder Eisert is good, he’s a fun Elder. Yea, it's Elder Eisert's birthday next week. It's funny how I've been companions with all my companions during their birthdays. Yes you can buy cakes here :) You can pretty much buy anything here. We'll have to plan something special for his birthday.

Sounds like stake conference went well. We have it here in Leeds this Sunday and the stake president has requested that all full time missionaries go to the adult session on Saturday night, so that'll be good. We have stake conference in a different city because the stake is so big, and the building over there (about a 25 minute car drive away) is big enough for us.

I really do enjoy talking to people. I've learned as well that I need to develop more patience. I guess it's just one of those things that we all need to work on in life.

We had exchanges with the zone leaders last week. I went with Elder Grimaldi; he is from Italy and has learned to speak English. He's pretty good, (he still struggles with it at times though, but speaks pretty well). He told me that something I could work on is "looking people in the eyes and smiling" so that's something I've been trying to do and it's been working out alright. I think that I used to not be a very confident person, but I've gotten a bit more confident, so that's real good.

Sadly, I am not allowed to write to other missionaries here in my mission boundaries. But I think I'll see Elder DeShazer again. We'll probably be the only two Elders going home in our group I think. I hope he's doing alright. I hear Elder Mullen is alright. I think Elder Ball is happy to be back in Hull.

Well, I love you; hope you have a good week.

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - November 11, 2013

Sounds like the family is doing great! I think it's great that you make time to spend with each other. I suppose it isn't really important the activity, just the fact that you do it together.

Today is Remembrance Day here. Everyone wears a poppy; it's a little red flower. I got a pin, so that was nice. It's in remembrance for those who fought in the war. I like it loads. And then at 11:00 everyone stops and takes 2 min of silence no matter where you are.

So this past week we had interviews with President Pilkington. I like him; he's really great and a great speaker.

I got your letter it was so great, thanks! I sent you one that you should get this week I think. I also mentioned in it my release date, it's March 27th. Ah, time goes by too fast. I can't believe that it's already November! And November 11th at that!

This week we taught a Polish family. It's interesting because I rarely teach Polish now days. And I pretty much never teach a whole family. It was really good. I felt the spirit. I hope they did. I was so happy after that lesson. We met the mother the week before and came back and taught them on Thursday! They are the nicest people. She cooked for us a desert called Naleszniki. It's like a pancake crepe. So good! She had looked up a bit on the Internet about Mormons and loves the fact that we don't drink or smoke. She asked if I'd ever drank and I said I've never, ever drank and she pretty much clapped her hands with joy. Then, when we asked to pray the father asked, "When was the last time we prayed together as a family?" and the daughter said, "Never." Then the father was like, "That's not good, let's say a prayer together." Ah, it was a really good lesson!

That's so great you met that lady who is Polish in Moab! What are the odds right? I really, really, really, really, don't want to lose the Polish that I have learned. I'd like to keep using it. I'm not really perfect at it, but I've done alright for someone learning it in England. There are so many words I still don't know! But I love talking in Polish; it's my favorite, just having a conversation. I think I have a strange ability to understand people who don't speak English well.

Recently, I've been eating with chop-sticks for pretty much anything I can, pasta and rice, that's my diet so far. I made this really good pasta the other day. I've become not too bad of a cook I think.

I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, not from seeing him, but from my experience in the gospel.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler


1. What is your favorite thing to do on P-day? I'm not sure. We usually watch movies, or play basketball. Today I might get my hair cut. I like to go to town and check it out.
2. What is the coolest thing that happened this week/on your mission? We taught a Polish family!!
3. What is the best food/yuckiest food you've had so far? Black Pudding :( the best is Naleszniki (Polish)

Leeds - November 4, 2013

It's going amazing. Some days are better than others, but this week hasn't been too bad.

We got to stay in for Halloween because well...it'd be odd two missionaries knocking on doors Halloween night. People wouldn't take us seriously, I think.

Ah Thanksgiving. I love Thanksgiving and your pies!! But it's all good. It's sad they don't have that here in England. But this Tuesday is Bonfire night. That'll be interesting. I heard that in Hare Hills cars and houses sometimes catch fire. I'd hate to be a fire fighter here.

Ah so, so, so, so good!! The highlight of my week...We were knocking in an area where I knew a few Polish people lived. We approached one house and there was a car and a man unloading a wooden table from his car. So that the situation wasn't awkward we approached the man thinking that he lived there. He said he knew who we were and why we were there and that he wasn't really interested and he didn't live there. Then he said that his friend spoke Polish and didn't really understand English, so that wouldn't be a help. So then after the man left we knocked the house. I saw a lady in the window, but she didn't answer :(....So we knocked part of the street, and continued on. At the time it was to go to a different street. I felt that we should try by the house again. As we opened the gate the lady was outside walking towards us. I talked to her. We ended up talking in Polish for about 30 min. (so, so, good). That's the longest I've talked in Polish for weeks I think. And she had heard of the Book of Mormon and we gave her a copy. And we are going back on WEDNESDAY!!! That totally made my week! Elder Eisert jokes with me that I talk to foreigners better than English people. I think this is true. I love Eastern European people. I think that Heavenly Father has allowed me to serve them because he knew I'd love them. I love speaking Polish when I get to use it. Even if it's only a brief conversation it makes me so happy.

Elder Owens is in Scunthorpe!! I had heard there were Polish people there, but I didn't see that one coming. I wonder if President is finding out where all the Polish people live.

I bought a new jacket; it was cheap, but really nice. I realized I like jackets here better than back home.

Ah this week has been good. And this next week holds more adventures. I'm way excited.

I love you loads!!

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - October 28, 2013

I'm super good. Our investigators are good. We're teaching a young woman who is studying theology. She's so nice and makes good cakes. She came to conference and said she would like to come to church sometime. We see her with Bev a lot, which is good because those two get on really well. Bev is like our missionary mother here; she is such a great lady. We're having a family home evening at Bev’s with her.

A man who is from India came to church yesterday and I hope he enjoyed it. I hope that he can feel the spirit with us.

We're not teaching any Polish people which is sad to me. I also think that I'm losing my Polish. I know I am. Except sometimes I forget words in English still and almost say the Polish word. I almost said to someone "have a nice Niedziela" instead of "Sunday".

I realize that I've still got a while one my mission and that I shouldn't really be thinking about coming home. When I was first out I saw missionaries who were burning out and close to being home. I decided then that I'd work hard all the way through my mission. So I'm going to continue to work hard even on my very, very last day, if I'm out knocking on doors, then I'll do it the best I can. After all, this is the only time in my life I'll get to do this. And also I love my mission so much; I converted Elder Mullen to knocking on doors because we made it fun. You just got to make it enjoyable.

I haven't had a chance to read the General Conference talks yet, but when they give us the ensign then I'll be able to.

I had to sing a solo in polish in the Primary program last week.

England has so many accents. If you travel about 30 min somewhere, they have a different accent.

For p-day we missionaries are going to have a Halloween party today. We're going to carve pumpkins. I'm excited!

Love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - October 21, 2013

Things are good here in Leeds.

I'm training Elder Eisert, who is English speaking. He is from Salt Lake City, Utah and is the first companion I've had who is from Utah. He is 18 and has four older sisters. He's really energetic and excited.

Yea, our flat is super small. Elder Eisert bumps his head in most of the doorways. I don't really have a problem though. I've hit my head a few times. It's alright though. Our neighbor is really nice.

Right now we're not teaching a ton of people, but that's alright. We're working with the people we have and in our spare time (the rest of the time) searching for families. This ward really needs a few more good families.

This week we offered to do some garden work for some people. So we borrowed a mower from Bev  (she's so great) and carried the thing (it was in a box) all the way to our flat (which is about a 20-30 min walk) then to the lady’s house (another 15 min) she wasn't home, so we tried again the next day. My arms were so tired. So it's been a strange week. Luckily the zone leaders have a car and they drove it back to Bev's two days later for us.

I talked to a Polish guy the other day and actually had a decent conversation with him; first one in a while. Sometimes I get to speak Polish but only like "hello", then they say that they are busy, so it's "goodbye". But I really enjoyed the conversation. He said he'd heard about us and would like to look us up on the Internet. I gave him Mormon.org/pol which is the Polish Mormon.org page. Thanks for your prayers and fasting.

This week I've had three people try to argue religion with me. You know at first on my mission people would do this ("bashing" we call it). I hate it. Why are we arguing religion? It doesn't really matter what we think, only what God thinks. But to be honest, at first I didn't know what to say or how to cope with it. But being a "dinosaur" of a missionary I've gotten a bit of experience. You know it's really true what Nephi prophesied in 2nd Nephi 29 about people saying "a bible, a bible!" I experience that quite a lot actually. But I've learned to just handle the situation calmly and I find if you can do that then you have a better chance of the spirit being there. I don't know, I think it just frustrates me. But I've learned a lot.

You know it's true I don't feel as naive anymore, meaning that I know a lot more about life, I think. I'm sure I've still got tons to learn. I figure that in life we are continually learning new things and growing. I like to learn.

It's really true about what you said that we learn from the experiences that we have. I've grown so much here. It's like Heavenly Father knows what type of person we need to be and he gives us experiences to prepare us for becoming that type of person.

You know I think of you all often. I think of how much I love you and how much you have helped me grow and learn. I've also learned about living on my own. I'm grateful for what you've taught me. I'm super grateful for the fact that you've taught me how to work. I love to work hard. I'm grateful you taught me how to do a job right. I'm grateful that you and mom taught me how to clean (we cleaned the flat this morning).

It really doesn't feel like I've been out 18 months. I love my mission. I'm sure you know the feeling. What a great experience.

Love you

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - October 15, 2013

So it was transfers and I'm staying here in Leeds 2. Elder Mullen is leaving and going to the Sheffield Zone to a place called Mansfield. And my new companion is.....I have no idea actually. I'm training again, it looks like it'll be another adventure for me. Tomorrow I'll find out who my new missionary will be. I'm excited to train again. When we train we usually call our trainers our "father". So we see this lineage of missionaries going on. So Elder ball is my trainer or "father" in the mission, and now he's got two grandkids and one great-grandson. He's probably super happy. So is having  kids really this stressful? I know Dad, you've got gray hairs now but was I really that much of a stress? I'm kidding. I know it'll be great but a lot of work again! It'll be interesting, I'm worried I'll get lost a lot because I still am figuring my way around here. It'll be alright though.

One exciting thing is that Elder Krylborn who lived with me in my flat in Hull last winter is going to be serving in Leeds 4 which is right next to us. So I'm super excited to see him again. It'll be fun.

This P-day we're going to get together with another zone and I think even President is coming and we're all going to play football (English football).

I'm at a point and place, where I really don't speak much Polish anymore. I really, really, really want to teach another Pol. You know speaking Polish has ruined my ability to spell that I never really had. I now put w instead of v all the time. It's weird.

I like my new suit. The neat thing is that Elder Mullen got the same suit, so we've got matching suits and we also bought matching gloves. I think I'm alright there are loads of warm stuff here. Actually, I think I need a new jacket. I sold one of them to an elder who really wanted it. So now I need a new one. I looked and saw some for about £40 but I don't really like any of them. We'll see if I can find something. I have a fleece jacket, but it's getting to be really wet; that jacket is warm but not water proof. I have that one I came out with, but that is super long and I don't wear it all the time. And I have a water resistant jacket but it's really light, so I need a middle jacket I think. We'll see. I want to buy an English jacket that I like and will bring home with me. I think I can find some winter wear here to buy.

Thank you, thank you, thank you so very much for the Polish music! I've been listening to it and am starting to understand somewhat of what they are saying. It's hard because I don't speak Polish as much as I used to. I fear that I'm losing my language skills. I'm trying my best though. I mostly have a gospel vocabulary.

That is so neat that Jake Wright is in Brendon's mission! Isn't that crazy. Ah, he's going to be having such adventures I think.

Have an amazing week!


Starszy Ressler

Leeds - October 7, 2013

Leeds is treating me well. It's getting colder, but not too bad yet. It does rain a bit though.

Yea, I was able to see conference. It was really good to hear it. I enjoyed the sessions I did see. I didn't get to see the last one because they play that one at 9:00 at night. But we will get the Ensign so it'll be alright, I'll get to read them later, or I can just look them up on the computer if I get the chance. We went to the Crossgates Chapel to see them. I think that that is the stake center.

We're good. We’re working with a few people. Martine came to church. She is studying theology at University and is looking to teach theology someday. She came and also a man from India. We're not teaching any Polish or Slovakian people at the moment.

I know that the work is hastening. It was interesting because so many of the talks were related. I didn't get to see the part about Sheffield, but I think I would like to.

It rained a bit over the weekend, and then it was sunny for conference (when we got to be inside). But I guess that's just life and English weather.

This week I went on exchange with Elder Mast, he's from France and is really funny. I like him. He's only been learning English for about 10 weeks and already speaks it pretty well. The funny thing is that I got lost. Elder Mullen usually takes the lead in where we are going because I don't have a clue (I have a better idea now days though). But we ended up going out of the area and almost out of the zone! But we were safe. I saw a sign that said Dewsbery Town Center and decided that we had better get off. When we got off we saw the Elders walking on the other side of the street. They came over and talked to us. So that was kind of an adventure.

I'm slowly getting used to the area. I still call it Hull by accident sometimes. In one of the talks in conference, I can't remember who it was, but the man talked about his ancestor who came from Hull Yorkshire. I was like "I'd just been there!"

Thanks for the pictures, I miss the mountains. We just don't really have mountains here like back home. Leeds has tons of hills though. Hull was really flat I think. I sent Mom some pictures.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - September 30, 2013

We had a super good week. We started going to a few new areas and the people there are super nice, I love it. We've just had fun these past few days and we've been working really hard. I'm really good. I think that I'm getting used to Leeds a little bit more and more. It's still really different and seems a bit foreign at times. Last week we went into Leeds city center and I bought a new suit. It's a really nice suit, but I think I'll only wear it for meetings. You know people here in England are a bit stylish, they like their style I think. But hey that's alright.

I took pictures that I wanted to send to you. I brought my camera, but I forgot the cord to upload the pictures. So hopefully next week I'll get them to you.

We ate at a burrito place. They really don't have Mexican food here so it was okay, but not really that good. I think Elder Brendon Ressler will be eating loads of Mexican food on his mission. I'm a bit jealous, but I've gotten to experience Polish and English food.

We'll watch general conference at the church, or maybe at the home of an investigator. The mission home is close, but out of our area. I think maybe 30 min by bus. I'm still the district leader in this area. I love my district! There's Elder Mast who I'm going on exchange with today. He is from France and is still learning English. He's so energetic and happy. I love them all. Now I'm the oldest missionary in the district though, the rest all haven't been out longer than about five months. The zone leaders are in our area, but in a different flat.

This week we found a lady and she accepted a date to be baptized. She knew the Book of Mormon is true so that was exciting. I used to not talk a lot in lessons, but now I think I talk too much. I need to let my companion speak a bit more. We're still getting the hang of teaching together; every companionship has to figure out how to teach effectively together. Also we met a guy from India, who met with missionaries five years ago. So it'll be interesting to work with him as well.

Elder Mullen says that since I've gotten here we've ran into more and more Polish people. So I think that Heavenly Father knows where they are and leads us to them. In fact I know that we run into them on purpose. He is putting them in front of our path all the time. I like speaking to foreigners. It's weird, but I am a foreigner here too.

It's interesting when people say that they don't really care about salvation or that they don't want to be with their family forever (yes, I've had people tell me that they don't want to be with them forever), sad day. But I've come to realize what I've been blessed with and that I'm so glad to come from a religious background that wasn't forced on me but I chose it. I tell people that before I was baptized my parents asked me if this was what I really wanted. I'm grateful for that.

One thing I've learned about the spirit is that it often times will only lead us to the next step. And then we need to search again for the next step. I've had many experiences where I've been led to the next step and then had to go a little farther. It's like walking through a foggy day as Elder Bednar puts it; you can only see in front of you to see the next few steps, but as you take them, the next few steps will show up. That's how we found Daniel. I can't imagine what would have happened if I hadn't taken the next steps.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - September 23, 2013

I'm terrific! The change has been good but really different. I like Leeds though; I always wanted to serve here. It's super big! I thought Salt Lake was big, no. I thought Hull was a decent size. Leeds is HUGE.

It really was strange for me to give a talk. I don't really like public speaking, but I'm not horrible at it. So I think that maybe Heavenly Father is preparing me for getting better at it. I give instruction at district meeting, but that's only about 4-5 missionaries. Its fun, I'm starting to enjoy it.

Yea, Elder Mullen is really nice and down to earth. He's about six months younger than I am and is super good and humble. He's really confident and I like working with him and we're becoming pretty good friends. Elder Mullen was a welder before his mission.

I’m grateful Mom showed me how to do stuff like clean out a fridge; because we did that today.

They do talk different in Leeds; I can hardly understand some people. And a lot of times people don't understand me. There are two teams here, us and the zone leaders. We just went on exchange and I went to work with Elder Crabb in the Dudley Hill area, which is near the city Bradford. It was good. Elder Mast who is a new missionary from France came and worked here with Elder Mullen. I have a really good district. Leeds is Huge!! So huge. Today we are going to go into the city center; it’s probably going to be big. I haven't even seen all of it, but I'm slowly getting used to the area that I'm in.

It's getting colder because it's winter, but it's not too bad though. I think Hull was pretty sheltered as far as weather goes, but it'll be interesting to see what's up in Leeds.

There are other missionaries who play the piano better than I do, so they play it at church, but we need to baptize someone who can play the piano... (We are listening for piano music when we go finding). But also now, we're starting to try and knock in posh areas so that we can hopefully find a piano player. But also in the poorer areas (cause that's where I like to go). It's like in Alma 32 how they find more success with the poorer part of the people.

Ah getting sick. NOT FUN. I hate getting sick. Well I try to tough it out the best I can. I can only think of a few times. If you get a cold or runny nose you try to treat it, but can't really do much, so just have to do the best you can. They really don't like missionaries to stay in and waste time (it's the Lord’s time) but if you are sick enough that you got to, then you just have to lay in the flat all day and sleep. I remember Elder DeShazer and I were sick for a couple of days. One time three out of the four of us got food poisoning (horrible night). Mostly I just have a runny nose or sore throat though.

I love the Olsons. I'm so glad that you got to meet to them; they are so great. I loved serving with them! They are so nice and kind and really became like family to us (the four of us were the only missionaries to stay in Hull while all the others got moved around). I think they have a lot to do on their farm because they haven't lived there for 18 months and a farm takes continual maintenance. But I think they'll slowly, but surely get it back up to snuff.

Isn't it so great how the church is doing missionary work? I like how they are stepping it up with the computers.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - September 16, 2013

Leeds is....Huge! There are about five wards in Leeds. Elder Mullen says that he doesn't even know his way around the city center because there is just that much stuff. My new companion is really nice and humble. He's from a small town in Idaho and the youngest of a lot of children.

This week we did lots of finding. We've been hitting it hard, trying to find families for this ward. It's a lot smaller than any ward I've ever been in and it needs some good families. There are lots of inactive people as well, so that's also a big focus. As far as missionary work though they are very supportive, it's a change for me, because I wasn't really used to working with members.

I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting (about 10 min). Ah, I really don't like giving talks I've decided. I'm getting a bit better at giving instruction to missionaries every few weeks and that's about 20 min. But when you give a talk it's a bit scarier I think.

I've realized that I love to speak Polish. It's so much fun. But I'm not using it as much, sadly, but we met a Polish guy who we might go teach!! So that'll be good.

There's a lady named Bev who is really nice and likes the missionaries. The ward feeds us a lot of food. I've got to be careful not to gain too much weight. This area used to be the assistant's area I think and then the zone leaders area so they didn't have missionaries on foot for a while about until they had Elder Mullen come with his trainer. So we're trying to work up the area.

Anyway, the ward is really, really good. There's a few who have mission calls, so that's good. The area is really culturally diverse. There aren't a lot of Polish people; but I find some every once in while which means there are some.

Oh yea, we went knocking in an area that was rather posh. I got to pretty much knock on a mansion, I felt really brave...then no one was home. But it was quite the experience. I think since we are trying to find families for the ward and families that will help build up the ward, we may go back.

Usually missionaries play the piano in church, so we need to find a piano player for when there aren't any missionaries that can play. In our area it goes from poorer areas all the way up to posh areas, so there is quite the difference. Most of the foreigners live in the same area. 

We knocked on a strange guy’s door, who believed in God, but does it "his way". He told us that the gift of discernment is a gift of the spirit, and that he has it so he can tell our church is wrong and that we're preaching the work of the devil (strange chap). I'm pretty sure he is mixing up the spirit with some other feeling then. He really didn't even check to see or pray about it, so I don't think that he'd get a different answer than what I got. But...like I've learned here on my mission, when people say weird things, just handle it calmly and politely. Oh, and this older black lady brought up about black people not being able to join the church (she obviously got it confused with not being able to have the priesthood) and it was apparent that she'd argued with missionaries before about it. And when we talked with her, we could tell she was looking to argue again with us. She asked us if there was anything we had to say about it. I simply apologized if for any way we had offended her and explained that there are lots of members of the church who are black. I think she was surprised a little bit and hopefully we softened her heart. But I'll probably never know in this life. I've learned that arguing never really gets you anywhere.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - September 9, 2013

I think it's colder here in Leeds. We are a bit more north than Hull and it is going to be winter soon; summer is over. I can't believe that it is already September!! 

I'm in the Leeds II area. The ward members are super missionary minded and really nice (I like ‘em). I'm serving with Elder Mullen. He's great. This will be his third transfer. We are in a smaller flat, but it's a bit nicer that the old one I had in Hull. It's only been a few days, so I'm trying to adjust.

Leeds is a lot different than Hull. I had a bit of a culture shock I think because I'd been so long in the one area. But I like it here. It's mostly English except for an area called Hare Hills were a lot of foreigners live. There are lots of Middle Eastern people and I think that missionaries used to live there until September 11th happened.

So there aren't as many Polish people as in Hull; but lots of Slovakians and Czechs and Romanians and Hungarians and a lot of Gypsies (Slovakian and Czech). I'm really trying to learn bits of all sorts of languages! So it's really adventurous!! I understand a lot of the people (the Slovakian ones). There's a lot of Slovakian people and  the language is really close to Polish, so I can talk Polish to them, and they speak their language to me, and we understand each other!! Crazy, huh?

I like it lots though. We started teaching a Romanian family that met with missionaries about two years and were taught for a long, long time. It's hard because there is a language barrier when teaching them, but I'm working on that... (I definitely believe in the gift of tongues). As well we are teaching some Hungarians. I understand Slovakian pretty alright, but it's the Czech that I don't understand...but we're doing our best.

Elder Dallin H. Oaks came on Sunday because we had stake conference. That was so neat!!

Well, I love you a lot. Have a good week!

Starszy Ressler

Hull - September 3, 2013

So the weirdest thing happened. I got transferred. I'm going to serve in Leeds with an English speaking companion. So many memories of this place; I've spent 14 months here! It's so strange for me to have to pack my stuff. I've sort of gotten a lot of stuff now, and it’s not good! Elder DeShazer is going to Sheffield to serve in the Slovakian branch. In a month he will train an elder who is learning a language (we are guessing Slovakian, Polish or English). And both Elder Owens and Elder Olsen are training English speakers here in Hull and Elder Olsen is the new district leader! I'm both excited and nervous to go to Leeds and have a new companion who I know nothing about (I don't think he's been out longer than six months) and to an area I don't know. I am really going to miss Hull, but maybe even more I'm really going to miss Elder DeShazer. I've also become really close to Elders Olsen and Owens. And not to mention all the people I know here. I'm pretty sad about leaving them. I don't think it'll really hit me that I'm leaving until I get to Leeds.

Samantha didn't get baptized, but we set a new date for her in a month. She wanted to feel more ready. I know she has gotten an answer that it's true, but wants to feel more ready. But I think she'll one day be baptized, I mean she's come to church five times in a row, lives the Word of Wisdom, and the Law of Chastity, and studies the scriptures, and all the rest. She even is spending time with other Young Single Adult friends. I think she'll get baptized some day, but patience is the key. I can't really do too much more about it.

I bore my testimony as well on Sunday, I just felt like I needed to do it. Now I'm glad I did it because I got transferred. It's a bit odd when you have 12 missionaries in one ward. You don't want it to seem like the missionaries are taking over the meeting, so we usually try to let the members have more of an opportunity to share (12 missionaries could talk for well over an hour I think).

I'm so happy for Brendon; he’ll love every second of the MTC! I think he'll do just great. I've emailed Brendon and he's emailed me back, so that's all fun. I'm really excited for him, I know that it'll be hard, but if it wasn't hard then there'd really be no point in doing it I suppose. That's sort of my thinking on doing hard things. (Remember 1 Nephi 3:7). I don't think that Spanish is a terribly hard language to learn; in fact Samantha is studying Spanish in university, I think.

Now I get to try and get things going with the Polish people in Leeds! But I'm on my own in a way now, but I know that it's got to be possible. I'm pretty alright at Polish, I can survive talking to people and I understand a lot! I'll have to. I'll be the only Polish speaker in the area, in the city! I am confident I'll survive. The hard part will be when I have to say goodbye to Daniel and his family today, and to everyone else I taught.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - August 26, 2013

I'm super excited for Brendon! He'll do great!

Ah, the Olson’s! I love them. That is so good of them to go visit you! Elder...Brother now...Olson has his way with people, and when he shakes you're hand, it's like he is reading your soul! He is such an amazing man! And Sister Olson is a fire ball and she is so loving and caring. I miss them as well. You'll have to tell them hello back! and that I love them. The Gibbs are doing great; they are starting to settle in a bit and yes, they are kind enough to let us still teach English in their flat.

Justina is good. She came to church a week ago, but other than that I don't ever see them much. Daniel is still coming to church and is really doing terrific.

I've been thinking lately of all that I've grown on my mission. I can honestly say that I've changed a bit, but I've changed for the better. I'm a lot better and stronger person. I know that what we're doing is good and I know that I'm here to plant seeds. It's really funny when you try to talk to people on the street and it ends up that a lot of the people you've already talked to! So you can say "Ah, I remember you! How are you doing? Do you think you'd be interested this time?" Sort of funny;  I've found that one of my strengths as a missionary might just be talking to people on the street, because I'm sort of doing that a lot and getting pretty alright at it. (Jumping in front of them to get their attention, sort of helps sometimes, especially if they are wearing headphones).

Ha, I know I'm in a foreign land, but it really doesn't feel like it anymore. Strangely enough when I imagine driving a car, I imagine all the cars on the left side of the road; it's now strange to switch over (even though I don't drive). Yea, I know what you mean about Hull. It's not the prettiest city and when I tell people I'm from America they usually say something like "then, why did you come to Hull!?" Then we can tell them why (and share a bit of Heavenly Father's love with em!).

There's a scripture D&C 90:11 that talks about the gospel preached in all languages. What a miracle that is, that that is possible. Here in Hull there are people from all over the world. I've given Book of Mormons in so many languages to people from all over the world! There are people from Africa, Asia, South America, Europe, Eastern Europe, all over!

I think member missionary work would be a lot different in a place like here, where the majority of people aren't members, but a lot different in a place like back home where the majority of the people are members, but I suppose the principles are the same. And there are a ton of missionaries in just our ward alone; ten full-time missionaries, not including the senior couple. That's a lot of hastening of the work, I think. And the ward is starting to grow a bit more rapidly; well we'd like to hope that. This past week our district went on exchange with the mission assistants. There are three assistants at the moment, so one team was a three person team and the others just normal two. Elder Olsen said that the elder he worked with said that this city seemed a bit crazy. So that was sort of humorous.

Oh yea! So Starszy means "old" in Polish. And I gave our number to a Polish man last night and he speaks good English, so he translated it and wrote "old Ressler" in his phone!!!

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - August 19, 2013

This week has been good. So we did a lot of finding and I've got a few stories, but I don't have all the time in the world, so I'll tell you some highlights.

I went on exchange with Elder Olsen on Tuesday! We were trying to contact a referral that a member gave us. Sadly, he only told us which street and which side of the street they lived on. So we just knocked the whole side of the street. Elder Owens and I knocked half of it earlier and so we were knocking the rest of it; but we started on the opposite side and then worked up to where we left up on. So, the first house that we knocked on we could hear music. We knocked twice, but no one answered. Elder Olsen tapped on the window because we could hear music (He told me he never usually does that) and a Chinese lady answered and I tried to talk to her in the very little Chinese that I know ("Hello", "How are you", "My friend speaks Chinese"...that's all I know). So then with what English she knew, we got some details from her. Then, we passed on her information to the Chinese speaking sister missionaries, Sister Lam (from Hong Kong). And it turns out that she was looking to go to church, but couldn't because she doesn't speak English! And then she took it as a sign that God wants her to go back to church, because just recently before we knocked she was talking to someone about it! After that we continued knocking and turns out that the last house that we left off on was Julie and she let us in! She is a single mom, with a two year old daughter, Megan. She is really receptive to the gospel and accepted a date to be baptized, so hopefully we can continue to help her progress! Also, Samantha came to church again and is progressing really well!

So, Elder Owens and I on Saturday took a little adventure. We decided to go out into a smaller city called Hedon and a town close by called Preston to look for Polish people. We were out there for about six hours. I remember praying and asking Heavenly Father that if there were any Polish in the area, that he would lead us to them. So out of those whole six hours we only talked to one Polka. She was super nice and had a 10 month old baby. We gave her a Book of Mormon and invited her to read, pray and find out for herself. I remember feeling such joy because we had left the 99 and went after the one. After that I felt like the whole journey was worth it! In Hedon, I ate some greasy fish and chips and felt really sick afterwards. I think I'll take a break from fish and chips for a while. Also in Preston we found the factory where about 90% of all the Polish people I talk to work at!! They live in Hull, but travel all the way to Preston to work!

It's been a week full of adventures; I hope you are all well.


Starszy Ressler

Hull - August 12, 2013

Wow, summer has flown by hasn't it? Well, I'm not too happy now, because winter is coming and now it's going to start getting darker and colder. But I suppose I'll survive it again. Life's pretty alright.

There are some things, like the actual missionary work, that are alright. It's getting easier I guess, just because I'm more experienced, but there are other things that are challenging. Like now I'm a District leader, so I've basically not only got to worry about myself but other missionaries as well, and have to teach them at district meeting, but I'm getting better at that as well, so it's not too bad.

Elder Ballard said some things that were really powerful and good. He said that if we as missionaries want to baptize more, then we need to talk to more people. That was something good for me because the past week we were working on talking to more people (talking to everyone section in Preach My Gospel). And it was really helpful and I feel has helped me a bit to be a better missionary. We took a bus to Huddersfield, not too bad. It was good to see a lot of the missionaries that I know who I served around. I got to catch up with Elder Ball again. And he admitted to stalking me on my blog, which was sort of funny. Our mission president is really good. He sees things in a new perspective, which is good and refreshing. I think he'll do a really good job.

Sadly Piotr who we had been teaching stopped taking discussions. He was in Poland for a long time and his father passed away. I think that all the things going on didn't help. And also he said he felt like he'd be betraying his father and family if he changed his religion. But they are teaching a woman who is looking good for baptism.

We're working with an English woman, Samantha. She is doing really well and having spiritual experiences at church. She got to go to the British Pageant and said she liked it. So we taught her the Word of Wisdom the other day. She told us that about 6 months ago she decided that she didn't want to smoke anymore, so she stopped. Then she realized that if she drinks then she ends up smoking a cigarette, so she doesn't really drink much, so she's fine with that. She's been prepared!

We also taught Luke, he's open and friendly, so hopefully he'll progress. Other than that we're still looking for new people to teach, but we're not doing too badly.

I'm super excited for Brendon! It'll be a terrific experience for him! He'll do just great!

To Brendon: Hey you'll be a great missionary. Strive to be diligent, and obedient. I was thinking last night about the first day. It's crazy how much I've grown. I was also reading up on notes from past meetings I had. I've changed quite a bit. But now that I have to actually give the instruction instead of just taking notes on it, things are a lot different. I've also been reading the New Testament. I want to read the whole thing and I love it! So many things I've never really thought about before. Hey you're going to learn so many things, things about the gospel, things about the world, and things about yourself. I know that you'll do great!

Well today I plan on getting a haircut. I'm going to get it really short; I'm tired of long hair.

Love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - August 5, 2013

We are mostly teaching English people. But this week we started teaching a girl named Samantha; she's really nice and came to church. She seemed to like it. She is planning on getting baptized on the 1st of September (just barely I couldn't remember what September was in English, I thought of the Polish word).

Also we were knocking and this guy Luke answered the door, he's about 22, I think. We told him we were talking with people about religion and he looked at us and asked "do you want to come in?" When we went in his roommate and their friend were there playing x-box, and they turned it off and then talked with us. We went back a few nights later and Dan's girlfriend joined us, as well, so I'm excited to teach them all (we offered to cook them Mexican food if they cook us traditional British food).

So not a bad week, we are still hunting for Polish people to teach. John is participating well in Church.

You know in October there is a fair in Hull; I hear it's the largest in England or something like that, maybe just for the area. But last year it was pretty neat to check out on P-day.

I love the Olsons. The Friday before they left Elder Olson came to visit us and gave us hugs with tears in his eyes. He said Sister Olson didn't come, but if she had she'd have been a wreck, so we had to say short goodbyes. We are planning on going to visit the new couple today. They should have gotten here yesterday. I bet they are still unpacking.

This week should be adventurous we have a mission wide conference in which Elder Ballard will be attending, so I'm excited for that.

I'm super excited for Brendon; I suppose things will get a bit lonely now.

Note to Brendon: Wow, hey I'm glad you also had the experience of going to Pennsylvania. I really love G-pa and G-ma Ressler, and enjoy their company. I hope you had a good time too. Wow, I guess you're just now counting down the days. The nice thing is you aren't spending as much time as me in the MTC, after about 6 weeks....yea...but it was a good experience! If you ever get discouraged with the language just remember that Polish is harder, so buck up! (Ha!) No, you're going to do great, I'm excited for you, it'll be the time of your life. 

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - July 29, 2013

England is great! It's pretty warm, but also raining a lot more now. I think we've reached the rainy season. It's almost August, I can't believe it. You know I talked to a senior couple and the husband said that when he served his mission, he served in an area for 13 months as well. He said that he knocked a sky scraper apartment building seven times! So I guess it's nothing too new. Members sometimes joke and laugh about how long we've served here, but whatever; I'll go wherever I'm needed.

One night (I think Thursday) we got a visitor during our planning. It was Elder Vest and his Dad. He's gone home now, but his father picked him up and he was showing him around. I'll really miss Elder Vest; he was our district leader a while back and a good missionary. I've seen a lot of friends I've made go home and now I'm getting to the point on my mission where the missionaries that I know, or the ones that were our leaders are going home, like Elder Griffiths, Elder Taylor, lots of legendary missionaries. There are more and more newer missionaries. We got three brand new missionaries in our ward (out of the 10 of us) and then we are also going to get new senior missionaries. The Olson’s are going home this week. I'll miss them as well. The Gibbs, I think, are the new ones. They come the day after the Olson’s leave, I think.

Daniel really liked the temple. Justyna didn't go with him. He tells us that she feels something it's just that she is shy (a lot of it has to do with the usual Polish concern of family and tradition of being Catholic). He said that he wants to take her there and walk around the temple grounds with her and then maybe she'll take an interest. I haven't seen the family in weeks, but Daniel at church. He's good and faithfully and comes each week.

Brendon seems like he's getting closer and closer to leaving. It'll be crazy when he actually goes. You'll have to get me his address (the mission home) so I can send him letters. And he can email me as well so that's all good. He's only got a few weeks left. I hope the family is well and safe and having fun. Enjoy the time left you have with Brendon, make some fun memories cause you'll not see him for a few years. Also, Harrison will he not see him for three or four years, if he goes on a mission right away.

I'm really glad that I went to Pennsylvania before I left. I really enjoyed connecting with family and hearing my grandparent’s conversion stories. He'll have to ask them about that. Funny enough English people are fascinated with Amish people!

I miss the temple. I'm excited to go again someday. I think I'll understand more as well, just because I've got a whole new perspective now on life and some experience in the work of salvation. Oh, I long for the day when Daniel and Justyna get sealed in the temple. I've come to love Daniel and his family so, so much!

Thank you for your prayers and your fasts. I know now what it's like to come to love someone and then see them not accept the gospel even after they have had a spiritual witness. I can understand just a little bit more what Heavenly Father feels when we aren't obedient either, even when we know it's the right thing to do. I'm not quite done with the work and as far as I'm concerned I'm going to try my best to move the work along.

Elder Owens and I are doing really well together. He's getting used to me. I've realized something about myself. I don't understand some forms and concepts of sarcasm! I first really realized this when serving with Elder DeShazer in the MTC. I think there is some sort of social sign that I just don't pick up. I've been told every once and I while that someone is just being sarcastic! Elder Owens is a great elder. He is very obedient and does well. I've seen his Polish improve quite a lot in the past 12 weeks I've been with him. I think that it'll continue to improve. I hope that my Polish will continue to improve as well.

We're doing really well. I can't complain. You know a friend once asked me about how my mission was going. He asked if I'd been successful in bringing anyone into the gospel and I said that I've helped five people get baptized, but that only a few were still active. He just looked at me and said something I wasn't expecting. "Then it's been a success!" Remember in the scriptures is says "oh how great shall be your joy" if you can bring one person to the gospel. I know that you'll be a great missionary. No matter what work you do, or even how small or big it is. If you do your best, then your mission was a success!

I love hearing from you all!

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - July 23, 2013

It's a bit cloudy and rainy today, but it's been pretty hot lately.  We had transfers and I'm staying (slept in the same bed my whole mission, so far). This week should be good. We are on a hunt now to find more Polish people to teach.

Daniel went to the temple, he described it as majestic! You know, I don't think a lot of missionaries get to stick around long enough to see people they work with go to the temple. Daniel said that before he felt stressed, but when he went in the temple he felt the spirit and felt that peace that you and I know is like leaving all the worries of the world behind you. I wonder if they had trouble pronouncing his last name. I had trouble at first, too. I miss the temple a bit.

I'm super excited for Brendon to go to the temple today. I hope that it'll be a good experience for him. And his mission will be something that'll bless him in all aspects of his life.

John was baptized and confirmed! It was terrific! Elder Olsen was able to connect well with him when we went on exchange, so he got to baptize him (his first baptism and he didn't think that he would baptize at all on his mission), so I'm counting this one a "district effort" since we all pitched in a little. I gave the talk on baptism.

Right now, we aren't teaching very many Polish people. The other elders are teaching two pretty solid people, Ivy and Tomek (different Tomek), who seem to be doing well. Our Tomek, sadly, we haven't been able to get in contact with him.

Starszy Ressler

Hull - July 15, 2013

I'm doing terrific!

John is getting baptized soon on Sunday. At his baptismal interview he studied and prepared a five page presentation on his journey to baptism. He did it on his own and it was almost identical to the Doctrine of Christ in chapter 31 of 2 Nephi. He did it because he said that anyone could just simply answer ‘yes’ to the questions and get baptized, but he wanted to show that he is serious. He's pretty much a member now; he participates in church and is really good. I get to give a talk at his baptism.

Also, I got to conduct my first baptismal interview. Her name is Pauline. She's a very nice lady. It sort of hit me with amazement that Heavenly Father trusts me enough to call me as a missionary and as a district leader, and that I have the authority to judge in His place if someone is ready to be baptized. It was quite the spiritual experience. I felt the spirit and could feel God’s love for her. It's hard to explain, but I know that this work is true and of God.

In the Ensign there is an article about a Slovakian group being started in Sheffield, England. I know some of those missionaries! The 'new companion' Joe McKay was one of my zone leaders after that happened. And Elder Page (in one of the photos) was an assistant (both are home now). And the missionary shaking hands (the Czech Republic missionary) is Elder Juran, He's still here in the mission and is a really powerful missionary. I've met the group leader, Ferro, and talked to him in Polish/Slovakian! Pretty amazing stuff; that group is now a branch.

I can't believe how fast time has flown. I've really been here for a whole year (longer now). I'm a dinosaur! But looking back I have really seen myself grow a whole lot. I know that Brendon will enjoy his mission, the hard times to grow from and the good times to remember forever. There are so many spiritual experiences. I've felt it's helped me grow my own testimony as I try to help others grow their own testimonies.

I've realized that God is preparing me to be a parent someday. We had a meeting for district leaders and basically it was on obedience and how we need to be a bit more diligent because the standard of obedience doesn't change, it's us who just get lax about it. They made a comment about how this will help us be a better parent someday. So that sort of hit me that I need to prepare now for that blessing someday. I think Heavenly Father is a perfect example of a good parent. He has his standards (the commandments) and he blesses us when we are obedient to them.

Yea, Elder Owens is a great cook; I sometimes see what he does. He said he's going to make popcorn with coconut oil or something like that. I'm excited!

Daniel has his temple recommend, but didn't get to go. The ward organizes temple trips where they all pitch in and drive together or rent a coach (bus). So maybe in a few weeks he mentioned something about taking Justyna and walking about the temple grounds... :)

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - July 8, 2013

On the Fourth of July we had a tea appointment, which means that we go to a member's house and they feed us. We went to the Taylor Family. They are really funny. There are nine kids living there currently! We usually share a spiritual thought. We read a scripture about America and then all four of us (the Polish Elders) burst out and sang to them the National Anthem. It was really good and patriotic. Then, the dad was like, "that's a lot of rubbish" (because they're English). I didn't realize how much I love our country until I left for two years.

In Hull there were at one point two teams of Chinese speaking missionaries, because this is where the Chinese group is. It's crazy right now, Sister Lam from Hong Kong is the only Chinese speaker and she's basically running the whole group. She’s pretty stressed I can tell. They need backup for her or she'll burn out. Training usually takes 12 weeks. This is her first area. She was trained for six weeks then asked to train. And now she's pretty much trained a new sister and the only Chinese speaker. I know that there are about eight other Chinese speakers in the mission. I think they'll have someone come help her out or something. If Elder Li does come to Hull, I'll have to tell him I know the Roberts. Oh, the Oreo and doughnut thing was a zone P-day. Once a transfer, we get together as a whole zone and do something. The zone leaders planned out some fun activities. They were trying to do a bob for apples thing, but instead they bought eggs (they're cheaper), so it was like a bob for eggs. It really didn't work out too well.

I remember a man that we contacted on the street said something like that leaving the Catholic Church is like saying you're not a Pol. I guess that's what I've been facing this whole time. And now I can see even more what a miracle it is that Daniel got baptized, even more that his family was okay with him being baptized. Daniel told an experience. He went to a friend’s birthday party and was the only one not drinking! Then, one of his friends told him that he would like to not drink like that as well. Justina keeps commenting to Daniel on how much he's changed. I told him that he is setting the example for his friends and family. Daniel got a temple recommend to do baptisms, he is going this Saturday!! I'm really happy about that.

Well, we got a new mission president, President Pilkington. He is from England and is pretty funny. He's not used to shaking hands or giving hugs, yet....that'll change soon, I think. He talked to us in York and he gave a speech and reminded me a bit like Winston Churchill. I wrote in my notes "President Pilkington=Winston Churchill? (then a few minutes later) yep!" I like him.

We've been teaching a great man. We met him knocking and he was only sort of lukewarmly interested. We missed our first appointment with him, he wasn't in and we also forgot about it. But then we ran into him on the street. When we went by, he wasn't in, so we continued knocking on the street where we left off. He showed up about 15 min later, he was late for some reason. It was quite a miracle, I suppose, that we even started teaching him. He will even testify to that, that there had to be some divine intervention to us meeting. He hasn't had the easiest life. At first, I didn't really think that it was going anywhere anytime soon. But on Wednesday was the start of the turning point. He had so many hard and difficult questions and we really had to be tested on our patience. Then, we met again on Friday night and it just all (for lack of a better word) exploded. I felt the spirit so strong, it was really weird, I just could feel love for him so strongly, and the spirit was there so strongly. It's a feeling I don't think I could forget very easily. I don't really know how to explain it. Then, we saw him on Saturday and we were all a bit emotionally and spiritually drained a bit. But he’s going to be baptized on the 21st of July. He even bore his testimony on Sunday. He's doing really well.

I'm really happy for Brendon! It's all happening so soon. Soon enough he'll be gone, then it's Elder Ressler. That's crazy to think there'll be two Elder Resslers at the same time. I'd be happy if Brendon, Harrison, and maybe even Sadie and Addie go on missions! I know that it'd be worth their time and effort and that they'd have the time of their lives. I won't lie a mission is hard, but it's definitely worth it, being able to see so many changes in people's lives. Even though a lot of people don't really care, or listen, there are a few who do, a few who this affects. I'm grateful to be here. I'm grateful you (Dad) served a mission and set that example for me.

Love you much

Starszy Ressler (the 2nd) (Brendon will be the 3rd, Harrison the 4th, and possibly some Sister Resslers?)