Hull - February 26, 2013

I'm glad you are all doing so well. Things are good here for me as well, although it's still really cold and I'm super tired all the time. Not because of illness, but just because of being a missionary I think. You're always tired, I've noticed, and there isn't really much you can do about it. I don't think I've ever been busier than I am now. We’re going all over talking to a ton of people; not too many new people, yet. We're teaching pretty much the same people.

I heard that we're getting a new mission president, too. I don't know anything about him except he is from Manchester England. I also heard about all the new missions. We're getting about 90 new missionaries more than what we originally have. It is crazy, the growth of it all. The work really is being hastened.

I've found that Hull is quite unique to the rest of England, it's quite different in many ways, but it's not a bad place, I like it here. And, I'm starting to recognize accents a bit more.

If I were to teach about the doctrine of Christ, I'd probably share just a few chapters, later in 2 Nephi 31 is really good on talking about why Jesus was baptized. It talks about how we need to have faith to repent. Faith leads us to repentance, it’s the first step. We need to have that faith to act and repent, and then make a covenant with God by being baptized and to follow Christ and his example, because there is no other way or name in which we can be saved. Also, we need to have the Holy Ghost to purify our hearts. And there is no point in doing any of it if we do not endure afterwards and continue through the rest of our lives. Even if we are baptized, that does nothing for us if we don't live it afterwards. I would say I've seen the doctrine of Christ work first hand in changing people's lives.

I remember teaching a man, who asked the question to a very new and green missionary (me), "Why do I have to be baptized?" To which I answered, "Because it's a commandment from God." I think now I'd show him that scripture and that Christ set the example for us. If Christ being holy needed to be baptized of water, then we, not being holy, how much more need we to be baptized.

I think and worry about a lot of the people who I've grown to love. I can only hope and pray for them sometimes. But I can hardly imagine how much more our Heavenly Father loves them and hopes for them.

Our investigators are doing well. Daniel is getting married in April, and then baptized two weeks later. Piotr's family is coming from Poland to England in July. We're working with a part member family and Sophie who is nine years old is looking to get baptized next month. And then we're working with another couple who are planning to get baptized in April as well.

Our flat is alright, it’s for sure in a lot better condition than when I first got here and the problem is a lot of missionaries leave a lot of junk behind that they gather. It's sort of sad. There are belongings from different missionaries that I don't even know how old they are.

My old glasses finally broke (the black ones that I've had for years). We were playing basketball and they got smashed.

I hope things are going well with everyone.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - February 18, 2013

Life's good in England. Yes, another transfer and I'm still here in Hull. I'll be here probably my whole mission. I'm fine with that. I bought a new belt to fit me last week it was £2.5 so no worries, you'd never guess what size I had to buy; a medium. I don't know maybe the sizes are a bit different here in England. I think it would be easier to buy things here, as I can make sure they fit with less hassle probably.

It's crazy that everyone is leaving for missions. I'm excited to hear where Brendon goes, he'll love it. It's hard to leave all the people you love, but the funny thing is you'll find more people to love that you'd never would have met if you didn't serve a mission. There are people here I honestly love so much. I've never felt so happy at times. Also, I've never felt so tired at times. I think I've never been this tired, physically or mentally. But it's a good tired. I hear that the second year goes by way fast. But honestly, I can't believe that it's already been ten months. Oh yea, I got a smaller suit from another missionary who left it when he went home, so don't worry.

The spirit will guide you to people so that you can give them the opportunity to either accept or reject the gospel. I've seen that with the Holy Ghost and the difference it's made in peoples’ lives. I've got two stories about that and they both involve less active members who we are seeing. The one lady we are meeting with was baptized about twenty years ago. She looked into a lot of religions. She stopped coming to church after a while and then started to meet with the Witnesses. But, she remembered the feeling that she felt when she was baptized, the feeling of the Spirit witnessing to her that it was true and that the covenant with God that she had just made was good. They told her that the feeling that she felt was from Satan which really confused her. She never joined the Witnesses, but still didn't come back to church. We talked to her and I asked her if she thought that the feeling that she felt was really from Satan and she said no, she doesn't anymore. The next story is of a man who was also baptized about twenty years ago. He keeps saying, 'no, it's not for me'. We left him our number on a pamphlet and the next day he called us saying that he had read it several times and that he's interested in coming back, but not too quickly. Then, the next time we met him his response was the same 'oh, it's not for me, not for me.' But, you can sense that he misses it, that he does want it. Then, he also explained to us that he felt that there was something missing in his life. He felt as if there is something incomplete. He is feeling the absence of the Spirit he once felt and knew.

It's really funny because everyone that we meet who is less active, tell us that 'they are a lost cause'. The funny thing about that is we missionaries don't believe in a lost cause! I think they'll come back. Everybody is a shiny diamond inside they just need a bit of polishing.

I know that the Church is true, I'm so grateful for the influence of the Holy Ghost in my life. I've felt when it's been with me and I've felt when it's gone for whatever reason. I know that it's there. I've seen it lead me to people. I don't believe in coincidences. I know that Christ is my Savior and Redeemer that he paid the price so that I can have peace. He took the heavy load off of my back and onto his. I know that Joseph Smith was called of God as the prophet to restore the Church and the authority from God in the latter-days. I know that President Monson holds that authority today.

I love you so much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - February 12, 2013

Things are going well in Hull.

Transfers were this week. Nope, I’m still in Poland, England (Hull). I love it here. I feel I know so many people, but at the same time, not enough. It's funny that way. Elder DeShazer and I are serving again together (real shocker there, eh?). I think we'll know each other pretty well by the end of all this. I have some sad news though. Our four man flat is going to turn into a two man flat. Elder Christensen is going to Leeds to be in a trio and Elder Krylborn is going to Hull 2 (the other side of Hull river) So, it's just the two of us and the zone leaders in Hull 1 now; the zone leaders live in their own flat.

I'm not sure I like food so much anymore; I don't eat as much now days. I think it's partly to do with having to make the effort to cook a lot of it. I think my stomach has just shrunk quite a bit and I don't want to eat as much. I may see if Sister Olsen could fix my trousers up a bit. In England the word pants means underwear, I still say pants a lot though. It's just something I’ve got to try not to say on the streets. Kind of reminds me of the Wallace and Grommet movie.

What do we eat for dinner? It depends on who feeds us here in England. We eat a lot....lot of potatoes (almost every meal I'd say) or spaghetti some times. We get Yorkshire pudding, potatoes with meat and gravy, carrots, brussel sprouts, beans; they love sweet corn here, chips... (fries), and for dessert we get cakes, puddings, or rice pudding.

Most Polish people are Catholic by tradition. English are usually Church of England and a lot of people don't really believe in God, or do, but don't practice their religion. It just varies a bit. But there are loads of good people here. I love serving in Hull, I know the streets pretty alright, especially Beverly Road and Newland Avenue and Springbank and Princess Ave. Those are the places I've been a lot and they're pretty alright.

I like Sundays because they aren't as stressful, but sometimes even more stressful. It depends on how you look at it. It's a stress to try and get people to come to church. Also, if Polish people show up, then there is the translating, usually. This next week should be a bit stressful though because they are getting rid of the other team here in hull. So now we'll have to pick up their people to teach. That's good but also stressful. I think we'll be alright though.

This week we found a man named who is one of the most humblest, amazing people I've ever met. When he was 10 years old he had a dream to come to England and play professional football. He's currently studying English and other stuff. He likes prayer and the first time we prayed with him he told us he felt a different feeling he'd never felt before. We were able to testify that, that feeling is the spirit. That's God telling him that this is true.

Also, we met a Polish man who is very good. They let us in because they believe strongly in God, too. He was interested in the Book of Mormon and also the restoration of the priesthood. He said that he needs to read for himself and learn about it.

I can't believe it's already been about 10 months on a mission. I'm already almost a year out. It doesn't feel like it. I've come to realize that this time goes fast; also that I only have a few months in my life to be a full time missionary (young missionary). I need to make it count.

I miss you all a bunch, too. I love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - February 4, 2013

It now gets dark around 5:30 p.m. instead of 4:00, it's staying lighter longer!!

My companion and I are both healthy now, so things are going good. We've had a full week’s worth of work and now we're starting to see some good things happen.

We have experienced a change of heart story. There's a man who we just met with last night for the first time. Funny enough, I've knocked on his door about three times before. The first time his father answered and said he wasn't interested. The second time he answered and said ‘no’ then shut the door in our face. But then a few weeks later, we were in the area and met him on the street. He said that he wouldn't have done that if he had known who we were and what we were about. He saw Mormons on the television and says that he is really interested. He studied to become a priest in Poland, so he knows quite a bit about religion. He likes to ponder and think about it all rather than just read the scriptures. He said he'll read the whole Book of Mormon, if he can, and find out if it's true. He's really busy and is the manager at a factory and works a lot. But, he'll give it a try.

Also, we met with a less active man, Steven. He joined the church in the ‘90s and hasn't been back for a long time. He originally said that he lost his faith because of all the sad things that were happening in the world. We left him our number on the back of a pamphlet. He read that pamphlet over and over again a few times and then called us back the next day saying that basically he'd like to get back into it.
I know that the gospel is true and that the spirit does work on people and that they are being prepared. Sometimes it just takes a little bit of time. I know that the gospel is the best way to find peace in this world; because it brings me the most happiness.

Daniel came to church yesterday. He also said the prayer in Sunday School in Polish! It was amazing. It's interesting because, even though I don't know everything that Polish people say, I still somehow know what they are saying sometimes. I feel it. I'm not sure exactly how that works, but it does, and I'm so grateful for the spirit to help me. Without it, I’d be nowhere.

Our ward is pretty good. It's apparently pretty big for a ward here. It's about the size of our ward back home, except the area is a lot bigger (enough that we can't walk across it in five minutes like you can). The members here are really nice. A lot of them are related, but they all are close friends and are really kind to other people. There are a few who feed us regularly: Sister Waslin, who is originally from Beverly, is kind enough to have all six missionaries over once a week. She has a dog, Bella, who is a Jack Russell terrier. Also, the Levitts are here. Brother Levitt is super funny and works in the music industry. The Roys are a young family, which I love to see, and are into football. Brother Roy's father tries to run us over with his car when he sees us. He came within a foot of me one time. He's just joking around...I think. Also, the Taylors are here. They have a few foster and adopted children. They have one of their daughters is looking to go on a mission soon. Also, the Gregorys are also a young family in the ward. Sister Gregory makes the best seasoned potatoes I've ever had. Bishop Sanderson is one of the kindest men I've met. He does a good job looking after the members in this ward and he's super busy like all bishops are (I think you know a bit about that, Dad). Also, there is Sister Ryan who we go and do service for every once in a while (we painted last Friday). I've come to love the members here; they are the best. I really don't want to leave Hull. I've grown fond of the people and the city.

Love you tons,

Starszy Ressler