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