Hull - June 24, 2013

I'm doing terrific. It's rained quite a bit actually. I've been soaked, but I don't really mind. I'm experienced somewhat now days with the rain.

I'm really excited about Tomek. Tomek is doing amazing and, if all goes well this week, he'll be our second Polish convert and a huge asset to the future Polish group that we are trying to start. We've started to teach a few more people, It's still very early to tell if they're progressing or not, but we'll see in this new upcoming week. We are constantly in need of people to teach.

We saw a miracle with Tomek. He had a meeting with the health clinic to get more nicotine patches for him on Tuesday, but he was at work so he missed it. Then he realized he doesn't need them and is living the Work of Wisdom. He passed his interview yesterday and is looking to be baptized hopefully this Sunday right before church. I'm happy for him.

Also, the other missionaries in our area found a Polish lady and passed her off to us. She is really nice and accepted a Book of Mormon. Also, a member had a Polish friend and she's come to two activities and the other Polish team is going to try and teach her. I'm really excited for some of the good people we're seeing.

Our friend Pedro brought a friend to church from Spain. He doesn't speak English. Oh how bad I wish I could remember Spanish from high school, but I've lost pretty much all of it to Polish! So he sat there awkwardly as members tried to come up and introduce themselves, but he couldn't understand...

I can write alright in Polish. I'm not perfect at it, but I've realized that Heavenly Father has given me the skills I need to speak and write, understand and read Polish.

As far as advice for finding new people to teach through members, I don't have much experience. Mostly, I feel because I've been focusing on Polish people and there is a huge language barrier, so I mostly do a lot of finding on my own part. Like I mentioned to Mom a member brought her Polish co-worker to two activities and she is very promising. It's good to have friends in the church. It's good because now the member is excited for her friend's progression in the gospel. And also her friend has her as support. It's really more effective if a member can do the finding for us because then you'll know that they'll most likely be in the gospel as friends forever pretty much.

I hope Grandma and Grandpa are doing alright. I think you're right, I think life will be a whole new world when I get back. Truthfully, I can't even imagine doing anything right now other than missionary work. I think it'd just be too weird not too. To be honest, it just seems foreign to me. So, luckily I'm still a missionary :)

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - June 16, 2013

Happy Father’s Day! I love the Mormon Message about fathers, "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father".

My week has been well; we met this new investigator, Czeslaw. He's an amazing Polish man. He doesn't drink or smoke and is a strong Catholic, but at the same time doesn't mind talking with us. He also talks real fast. It's hard for even me to understand. He mostly tries to talk to Elder Owen and then turns to me to translate for him. It's actually sort of funny to think about.

We taught a decent amount, mostly to Tomek. We saw him about 4-5 days in a row last week. So as far as learning all the doctrine, he's on track and we're trying to get him ready to be baptized on the 29th. We can only hope and pray and encourage him. I believe that it is very well possible; he is progressing really well. The man really does have a testimony that it's true. He's really kind and humble; I really respect him a lot. Starszy Owens was trying to say Savior (odkupiciel) to him in a lesson, but said zakupiciel which means "shopper", we all had a good laugh. I've made tons of mistakes like that, so that means he's learning.

Recently, I've been studying faith a lot. I've come to realize that any miracle that we have is because we have faith. We shouldn't ask for a sign or a miracle in order for us to believe, but simply believe and then watch the miracles unfold. I've seen that happen. I have faith that if we have faith and do all that we can, Tomek can stop smoking by Wednesday! He's already made so much progress! And if he doesn't, maybe it's just not his time yet and there's still more to learn and grow from. I believe that if he doesn't get baptized next week, that it'll still be very soon. He gave us a lift to church on Sunday and last Friday he gave us a lift to the ward BBQ. He brought his two year old son, he is really cute. He loves children and is a real gentle person.

Justyna, Daniel's wife, and their family came to the BBQ as well. I think that they really enjoyed it. Justyna also came to church. I hope that things start to progress with her so that someday that family can be sealed in the temple. They are the cutest family. I love them a lot. Justyna made a Polish salad and some kind of dessert. It was really good. In fact, the salad got wiped clean; the ward ate it up! I think she's making friends.

I believe that Heavenly Father is about to work miracles here in Hull among the Polish people.
Brendon is coming close to leaving on his mission; that's really strange to think about. He's still got about a month and a half left though. That's about as much as I had. Those shirts I got are now too big for me. I'm thinking about buying some smaller ones :) My shoes are alright. I'm wearing the ones that sister Martin bought me. She's such an angel.

Elder Olsen is 25 years old and from Utah. He's nice and bold. He likes yoga and does that in the morning for exercise or when he's stressed. Elder Owens is from California. His parents are both converts. He likes to make YouTube videos. He doesn't like sports and is very gentle and wouldn't hurt a fly. He likes to cook. They're both still adjusting to mission life, and they are really dedicated.

I love you much. I hope you have a terrific week.

Starszy Ressler

Hull - June 11, 2013

This week was good. We really do have up and down weeks and it’s been an interesting past few weeks. It's the start of a new transfer, though. I know that after the trial of our faith comes blessings. We've been seeing that a bit now. I don't know how much I've already told you about Tomek. When we met Tomek, he told us on the street that he was interested and that he "has time.” Since then he has read the Book of Mormon a bit and has gained a spiritual witness that it is true. In fact, a friend told him to only just stick to the Bible, but he says he believes the Book of Mormon is true. He is accepting the gospel and has come to church two times already. He will be baptized on the 29th of June. I know that miracles do happen.

Other than that we’ve been doing a lot of finding. But we're doing alright. Right now we're not teaching lots of people, but hopefully that will grow. I've met a lot of ...interesting...people. There was this lady that was wearing a big cross and had all these bright but different colored paint on each fingernail. She was also wearing a yellow dress and had multi-colored make up on. We met a man who says he's a descendent of Moses and carries a stick around and likes to talk about conspiracy theories. But things are good.

Just yesterday we crossed the street and I was drawn to a man on a bike that we talked to. It's weird because there was something different about him. I think it was the light of Christ that I could see it in him. I know that there are good people out there searching for the truth.

I've seen how the Holy Ghost guides us. I've also seen how I was able to be bold and say something to someone who was contending with the work. Also, I've felt comforted in times of trial. I think some of the best moments I've had are watching someone who've come such a far way do something like become baptized. I also enjoy the companionship I have with other missionaries. It's good to bond with those around you.

There are lessons in life that we learn by giving service. I know that's true. I've also seen my own growth on a mission. I think that this mission has helped me grow so much more than I could have imagined. I'm becoming who God wants me to be.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler

Hull - June 3, 2013

It's strange to me to think about how long I've been away. It really doesn't feel that long. Know that I love you all and miss you. I'm also grateful for the fact that two years are such a short time compared with eternity and that the blessings of serving a mission have already brought me such joy in my life. I'm glad I came.

Timberline truly changed my life. I have to say it was one of the things that helped shape me into what I am today. I was able to give up a week a summer and grow a lot in character. I'm glad that both my brothers are going this year; I know it'll be a blessing to them as it was to me.

Elder Owens and I are still getting to know each other. Its weird going from knowing your companion really really well to just getting to know your new companion again. I hope that we become good friends.

I thought the Olsons are going home in September, it's probably different for senior couples and they probably have a lot more to deal with when they leave. We came in one day and Sister Olsen was looking at all the pictures of missionaries they took on their mission. I know that they are going to miss it greatly. They really have done tons here. I will miss them a lot.

I felt totally rebuked by the spirit the other day. We had some time to knock in an area that we don't really knock because there aren't really any Polish people there, but circumstances brought us there yesterday. We went down a street to knock and I saw an older lady working in her garden. I didn't want to talk to her and interrupt her, so we knocked on the other side of the street. I kept feeling "Talk to her". No one answered any of the doors. I kept feeling it over and over again but the natural person in me kept saying "No, I don't want to". I saw her reflection in one of the windows and I just felt terrible. So after about four houses, I finally just went over to talk to her. "We're missionaries from our church," I said. "I thought you might be," was her reply. Nothing really happened out of it, but we had a really nice conversation with her and I think that we planted a seed in her heart. I hope someday she takes an interest in our message. The lesson I learned is that even if we're scared, even if we really don't want to, it's far better to listen to the spirit.

We're trying to teach anyone really both English and Polish or anyone else we can find. Hull is really culturally diverse. The other day we saw some African ladies carrying furniture on their heads. We helped them to carry it because it looked like it was uncomfortable to carry on her head.

Elder Owens’s and Olsen’s Polish is alright. It kind of reminds me of how I started and how far I've come.

My health has been alright. I think I'm thinning out some more. I think I ate something not so good the other day though, but I'm alright.

Piotr and his brother Tomek are good. Elder DeShazer and I met Tomek a while ago then his brother Piotr came to England and he's been pretty interested in the gospel. He respects us for our dedication so that's neat.

Things are good. I'm glad that everything’s going good back home.

Love you much,

Starszy Ressler