Hull - April 30, 2013

It's been a lot warmer here in Hull. I love it being warm. It rains every once and a while, but I think that Hull gets sheltered a bit from most of the rain, so it's not too bad.

Daniel was baptized on April 28th at about 9:00 in the morning. I was able to perform the baptism in Polish and Elder DeShazer confirmed him, the first part in English and the blessing in Polish. He has turned out to be a great friend to us. He is a man of great faith. I know that he'll do well, and I've heard his testimony many times. I took pictures, but forgot my camera today...I’ll send them next week! Daniel is so amazing and I'm so happy for him; he looked so happy. He has been so prepared for the gospel and also has come a long way. When talking about his experience in church, he simply said he was baptized "because it's true".

Well, Elder DeShazer and I are now training and we'll find out who our companions will be tomorrow. I'm excited, but also a bit nervous to train. I think that we'll do alright. We're both staying here in Hull. I've been assigned as a district leader, so things are about to get very busy and interesting real soon. I hope things go well. In our ward there are now 12 missionaries!! Two Polish teams, two Chinese teams, one English team, and a senior couple. That's pretty intense. One of our zones got split and we are getting a ton of new missionaries. The work truly is hastening. I know that's good.

To be honest, getting referrals from members is the preferred way to find investigators. I've gotten a few. If a member can refer someone, it gives that person more of a chance to be baptized because 1) they are fellowshipped, 2) they know someone who is normal (not just a missionary), and 3) they can develop friendships and it's easy to trust that friendship with the members.

We're really trying to find people to teach. There is a great guy named Mark who we are trying to teach and his family.

In the Polish language they like to use the last letters of the alphabet. For example, a word I'm learning is wzywac, which means to summon/call/or appeal. But, there is a wzyz all next to each other. I do like Polish a lot, though.

I don't feel in danger when I go out, even to dodgy areas, because I know that God is protecting us and I've already seen my life being protected as a missionary here, so I know that nothing is going to happen without Heavenly Father knowing it.

There is no way that I could have learned Polish as much as I have without the gift of tongues, something I guess Brendon will experience soon. I've never prayed so much in my life. There are several times when a word I didn't know comes into my head and then I'll use it; then look it up later and, sure enough, it was the right word I meant to say. Also, there are people out there that are seeking for the gospel; they just don't simply know where to find it. Daniel was baptized on Sunday. You know that we saw his house in Poland on Google maps. He lived in a small village with only about five houses and miles away from the nearest town. He never probably would have heard the gospel if he hadn't come to England. He was so prepared and was seeking for the truth, but didn't know where to find it. Two weeks before we found him, he prayed and asked God "where the true church was" and then one night a while later we knocked on his door and he asked, "Are you Jehovah's Witnesses?" and we said "no." He asked, "Oh, then what are you?" (with a face full of relief). Then, we started teaching him and it all just clicked. Now, here is the other end of the story. Elder Ball and I were struggling to find Polish people to teach. We met a lady who lived a ways off in an area we wouldn't normally go to. We started teaching her and also finding in the area. I remember specifically praying to know where we should go to find a Polish person who is seeking the gospel. We went to the next street over. Then, we said another prayer and asked if we should try the side streets on the right. We knocked on the first door of one of the side streets and asked the lady if any Polish people lived in the area. She directed us to the next side street over. The first door that we knocked on was Daniel. I know for certainty that it was no coincidence that we were led to him. I know that it was inspired and I know that this is our Heavenly Father's work.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - April 22, 2013

Not a bad week. We have happy and exciting, as well as frustrating times, but that's just life. England is getting a lot warmer, that's one nice thing. And we don't have to go out with another jacket all the time, just our suits.

It is hard to believe that it's been over a year on my mission. To be honest, time just goes by really fast and I lose track of it. We've been working hard and my Polish is improved quite a bit from a year ago. I hope I still continue to get better.

I've gotten used to being called Elder and Starszy, it's just natural now to call myself Elder or have someone call me Elder Ressler. In fact, it's weird to be called by anything else. Sometimes Polish people will inquire what my 'real name' is and I tell them Jakub, for Jacob. And they say something along the lines of "Oh, that's a Christian name," or "Oh, like Saint Jakub," and then I end up earning a lot of respect from them. The reason why is because James in the Bible translates to Jakub. I think that Jakub is closer to the original Hebrew translation. But, I end up earning some respect points.

I've been reading the Book of Mormon in Polish, and right now I'm in the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nefi (Nephi in Polish), so that's a bit hard to understand. But, I'm soon to get to my favorite part of 2 Nefi, chapters 29-the end. There's some good and useful stuff that I found on my mission. For example, if someone simply will not accept the Book of Mormon and even try to read it, there is chapter 29 (which is really straight forward and bold) and also chapter 33:10 to the end which is really good.

I haven't had any visiting general authorities come to the mission while I've been here, but I heard that Elder Texiera from the area presidency came and talked to the mission. I haven't had any though.

The Deep was good. It was a bit overrated I think for the 9£ it cost, but it was neat to see a bunch of fish and sharks and stuff. I'm not sure what makes it famous. I think because it's really the only aquarium in England or something like that.

Well we're getting a lot of new missionaries. President has a few more months left. I haven't heard really of any future special training, just that we're focusing on getting referrals from members. Because missionary work is so much more effective if it comes from a member. If a member can help people first learn about the gospel, then they also have a friend who's in it. Also, to be honest, people are more willing to listen to a normal member at first than to someone in a suit and name tag who looks 'official'. That's sort of my opinion, but I see that a bit.

Daniel is getting baptized soon...finally. Patience is a virtue. He's really an amazing person and he's going to be our first Polish baptism and he's so ready for it. He has a testimony that the Church is true, and certainly has a lot of faith. I tell you, he's an example to me with his faith. We looked up where he lived in Poland. He never would have heard the gospel if he hadn't come to England, so I know that there are people, even Polish people, who are put in the right place to accept the gospel.

Friday night we got a message from a Polish man we had talked to weeks ago. He asked us simply, "What are you doing tomorrow?" We told him we were free. Then, he asked if we could meet with him. He's very curious in learning about things. Miracles do happen!

We knocked on a girl’s door and without opening it, she told us to go away. We told her we were missionaries and she was like, "hold on a second" and opened the door. She said it was odd we came by that day because her grandfather died that morning. Interesting, huh?

I got a haircut last week. I tried to tell the guy to use a 4 on the top and 2 on the sides, but I think he only heard the 2, because I basically got a buzz. Not really, it's just really short. I actually like it a lot; it takes no time to do my hair!

Here’s my daily schedule. Normally. we wake up at 6:30 and exercise. At 7:00 we get ready, shower, eat, etc. We study for an hour at 8:00, and at 9:00 we have companionship study. Then, we go out and work. We get an hour for lunch and an hour for tea (dinner) and an hour to study Polish.

One thing I've learned on my mission is patience. Sometimes it's hard and I want things here and now. But truthfully, I need to wait and be diligent.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - April 15, 2013

Things are good here. It is weird that it's been almost a year on a mission. I do feel like I've developed some skill. It's weird too because a few weeks back we were sort of going through a drought of people to teach and with finding new people to teach. We felt like we were doing some of the best finding that we had ever been doing, but yet, no one wanted to listen. I wonder if sometimes we get pushed just a little bit more, even when we are already at our best. But this week was a lot better we found a family that has a lot of potential.

Daniel and Justina were married on Saturday; it was a nice service. Usually in England, people get married in the Church of England, but now people get married in town hall, too. So, that's where they got married.

Also, I sent you a picture of a satellite dish. If you look closely, it says "pol-sat". That means Polish TV...thus meaning Polish people live there. That's one of the ways that we do some of our finding (well we talk to everyone, but that's one way we find Polish people). Pretty nifty, eh?

I heard something about a war, but I really don't get to hear much news. Most news we get to hear about is from people we talk to. Sort of a "You haven't heard?" experience. It's a bit scary, but to be honest, we hear rumors of wars and about wars. As long as we’ve got enough faith, we can handle it. Here's a link of a Mormon message by Elder Russell M. Nelson about that (Men's Hearts Shall Fail Them).

Today is P-day and we're going to a place called "The Deep". It's a famous aquarium. I'm excited to check it out! Also, we learned of a few more museums and stuff from two of our new investigators.
Also, there is a fun man from the Dominican Republic who we visit. He usually cooks for us some delicious food. He's really, really funny. So funny that I've started writing down quotes that he says. One time he made us a fish soup and he basically just put the whole fish in there, but he didn't feed us the head because he didn't think we'd like it. It was really good though. Here are some quotes: "10 Commandments, 10 different types of love; if you do the food with love, the food will become really nice".

England is finally getting warmer! Health wise we're good. We can finally go out in just white shirts and ties again; it feels really weird not to be wearing a suit jacket. But it's nice as well. We're both doing great!

Yea, I'm a bit nervous to be honest to train. But, I suppose that things will be OK. There is another companionship in the flat with us now; Elders Isaksen and Patterson. Elder Patterson is Chinese speaking.

This week we found a family and taught their parents. I think that they have a lot of potential. It's crazy; we work really hard and don't have success, and then all of a sudden we are blessed and find success. I think that maybe Heavenly Father is testing us, seeing if we'll be good missionaries before He trusts us with some of His children. Also we found a man and he has two sons who are both ten. They also have some potential. Hopefully we'll see some good things happening in the next little while.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Brendon: Oh yea, I realized you're sort of close to the Bible belt. I suggest reading through the Bible before you leave. Just to get to know it a bit. I wish I did. But still, you can't replace the Book of Mormon. That's the most important to read is the Book of Mormon. But, you might get some people trying to "Bible bash" with you. Sadly, I can say I've been in a few of those situations. I don't like it. It's not worth it to argue religion. It's the other people who start it, but they are unwilling to listen to my point of view in the first place. They only want to argue theirs; total waste of time. That's why it's important that people gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon.

Hull - April 8, 2013

It's starting to get warmer!

It's been a good week. We're still looking for investigators to teach but we're starting to find some. We taught a man who is from Slovakia; luckily Slovakian is very close to Polish so we were able to teach him. The Book of Mormon was just translated into Slovakian this past February 2013. Things are going great. I really enjoyed conference. On Sunday, we spent most the day at the church...we practically lived at the church for a day to watch conference. We saw all the sessions, but the last one. Daniel came to all of them on Sunday (except the last one which is played late at night), but it was good they had it translated into Polish. This past week a sister in the ward bought Elder DeShazer and me new shoes, nice ones that'll probably last us our whole missions. She is so nice to us.

Funny thing happened today. We had a nerf gun war at the church for P-day, then we realized we were in the wrong district this transfer so we got switched to the right one....that was weird it took a week and a half to get things sorted out.

(To his brother who just received his mission call to the Texas Houston East Mission, Spanish speaking)

YES!!! Hey I'm so excited for you. Count your blessings; you'll probably be able to use your Spanish forever! Tyler served in Texas, too. Hey, the four years of German you took in school will help you learn others. The more languages you know the easier I hear it is to learn another. We were teaching a guy in Slovakian the other day...well in Polish because the languages are so similar. Hey, I heard that they opened a Mexico City Training Center, I'm so happy you’ll be able to go there. You are going to love it. Time goes so quickly you can't even imagine. Be prepared to see miracles. I know that just as it says in D&C 4, a marvelous work and a wonder is happening on this earth and we get to be a part of it! Here! Right now! This is the time of our lives we've always been waiting for. When I was younger, I often said to myself that I wanted to do something big to change the world. I have realized that that dream is coming true, right now for me. I can see that this world can be changed for big, one person at a time; and that this is the best way to do it. I know that the Gospel is true; I know that you will touch the hearts of the people in Texas. You can learn Spanish...It's easy....compared to Polish... :). When you get discouraged, just know that you have an older brother who is there with you, and I don't mean me, I mean Christ, because He is always with you. When you are rejected and despised of men, just know that He was rejected for us, that He did it all for us because He loves us. I testify to you that Jesus is our Savior and Redeemer of the world and that we as missionaries can help people to come unto Him and find lasting peace.

Sometimes I think it's hard to stay in Hull for such a long time. The only stable thing here in Hull is the Olsen’s and us. I'm one that tends to get comfortable to things staying the same; I was expecting to move around a lot. But I know that our Heavenly Father knows us all so much. I think that now change will be hard, because it'll be something new, but that's life. When we get comfortable, it's time to move, and to learn, and to grow some more. I testify that life is all about learning and growing. I know that I have learned so much in my past year and that I have so much to lean in my next year. I'm so happy for Brendon; it'll be hard to not see him for so long a time, but I know that he is needed more by the people of Texas and by Heavenly Father than by me. I have come to learn strongly about the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ. I know that this church is true.

Again I testify of our Savior, and that everything that is from God enticeth us to do good (Moroni 7).

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - April 1, 2013

Sounds like you had a great Easter. Egg in polish is Jajko. Sometimes you'll here "oh, Jajko!" which is like "oh wow". Funny eh? And in Polish, to wish someone Happy Easter you wish them a "tasty egg". It's weird, but good at the same time.

Hull has a lot of history. It looks sort of broken down when you walk around in some areas. In fact, there are some houses left desolate from WWII. This city was the second most bombed city in England (Just after London). And it's not that big of a city. I like the streets sometimes...some places. I've been in the rough areas and in the posh areas.

You know, I try to salt a lot of the food here. Some stuff is alright. The desserts are alright. Some of the desserts are very good. There are a few bakeries. And, you can get this thing called a Yumm-Yumm. It's super sweet and good. Sort of like a doughnut, but with all the stuff that you know is not healthy for you. If you eat one, you can feel all the unhealthiness sliding down your throat! But, it tastes so good!! I also experiment and try to shop in Polish shops looking for Polish food sometimes. I don't like English sausage very much, but Polish sausage (kielbasa) is so good! I tried to cook a bit of rice now instead of pasta, but I still eat pasta a lot.

Actually yea, I have given a few priesthood blessings. One time a recent convert was sick and in fact was so sick he was just lying on the floor, not feeling well. When we gave him a blessing he started feeling better enough to sit up. Then, he recovered after a few days. It is amazing. I've also been able to explain blessings and I tell people what you taught me, 1) it's according to your faith and 2) if it is God's will, then the blessing will happen.

I try to take pictures, but we're not supposed to look like a tourist. So, I can take pictures on P-day and also sometimes sneak one when there aren't many people around. I've started carrying my camera on me more often. I try to write daily in my journal, but sometimes it's every two days. It depends on how much time I have at night.

I became good friends with a lot of people. A lot of them have transferred to new areas, but I am friends with all my old flat mates and then I get close to other elders as well. Elder Vest from Utah, Elder Krylbourn from Sweden, and Elder Griffiths are good friends.

The Church now changed it’s policy so we can email people other than just our family; now we can email friends as well.

The Hull 1 District is all eight missionaries in the Hull 1st Ward (Two senior missionaries, two sisters, one Chinese team, and us). We are in the Hull Zone which covers the Hull Stake, north and south banks of the Humber River.

We have specialized zone training every transfer. Zone conference is usually with one or two zones combined. Zone conferences vary in location, but usually we have one about once every two transfers. And, the mission president comes to that one. York was where the last zone conference was held.

I'm so excited for Brendon to get his mission call. It's crazy how everyone else is going on missions now and it's even crazier to think I've been out on a mission for almost a year. I tell you, it feels like a dream sometimes.

It's sort of a spring break here for the school kids as well; they've had off school for a while. The ward I'm in here too is also trying to do a lot of indexing. I hear about it almost every Sunday. I think the stake president asked everyone to index 50 names this year.

Oh, I'm so excited for General Conference. Sadly, I won't get to see the last session, But I'll get to see four out of the five sessions because of our curfew and the time difference here. The new Polish elders will probably come here on the May transfer day. I don't really know to be honest.

My shoulder feels great. I don't wear a bag very often any more. Oh, I finally bought new shoes! that's one good thing. I like them. They are sort of English style shoes though. I still am breaking them in, so I don't wear them all that often, yet; but they're good.

We are still Skyping Poland each week. We're good and working hard.

kocham cie

Starszy Ressler