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