Leeds - December 30, 2013

I'm well, not bad in fact. This week went by so fast. I think that time is continually speeding up, well it must be. This was my full year that I spent as a missionary and it went by really fast. It seems as if I'm still walking the streets of Hull with Elder DeShazer in my mind. But nope! I'm in Leeds.

Yea, it was good to Skype you all. That's the last one of those, for a while.

I'm so glad you had a relaxing time this holiday season. I'm really excited to play all these games with you (when I win, of course). And well I guess more importantly spend time with you and catch up. But that'll all have to wait till the spring, because I've got some work to do here still.

Ah, so I spent a day and a half with Elder Mast in the flat. I was so bored!! All we pretty much did was sleep/read/eat. Yikes, I can't imagine how he feels doing that for two weeks already. I really don't want anything like that to happen to me.

We are teaching a new family and another man who is really promising; he came to church in a different ward in our zone because he is dating a member. He said he is impressed with the church.

I've realized on my mission, well and before I guess, that family is super important, well actually I was thinking about it today. In our ward there is a family. Well half of the ward is pretty much this family and their brother died, so we went to his funeral today to support them all. I saw how big their family was and just thought a bit about how important family really is.

I find when you are teaching, you don't want to teach, you want the audience to teach themselves. If you ask the right questions, and have open discussions you can just get it to work out that way. But you must realize that as much as we would want otherwise, this is an imperfect church, run by imperfect people (who are not paid, making them not professional), we're all human. But with a bit of practice, and training, and experience, we can improve a bit.

I thought you'd be proud of me; I played the prelude music for sacrament meeting on Sunday until the pianist turned up. That was a big step for me.

This week we've sort of had a miracle. A member’s son came to church. Sadly, he and his partner split up and he went looking for help. An old friend, (his old Bishop) came and gave him a blessing; after the blessing he said he felt like coming to church. Mind you, that he was completely against the whole thing about a week and a half ago. I think that Heavenly Father knows how to push the right buttons sometimes and things work out better in the long run. He really is an amazing guy. All of us missionaries have taken a liking to him. He's praying and reading the scriptures again as well and trying to quit smoking. To be honest, it's nothing that we missionaries did at all. It was 100% Heavenly Father and I suppose his mother as well.

Tuesday we have off after 4pm (I think everyone will be partying, so they won't want to listen to missionaries) and we don't do missionary work on New Year’s Day.  People will be spending time with their families on the holiday as well I think.

Well I love you lots, have a terrific Week!


Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 23, 2013

Cheers. We went caroling this past week, it was great!

I did get to see Elder Ball the day before he left England! He's home now, that's so weird to me. But it's good.  I love the Olsons they are so nice. If you talk to them again, tell them I say hello back and Merry Christmas!

I am planning on Skyping Christmas day around 3:00 my time. That's 7 hours different I think. Sorry, but I think that's about 8:00 in the morning your time. It may even be an hour earlier since we are going to the bishops around 2 or 3. I'm not 100% sure. I hope that works for you. Love you and look forward to talking to you all.

Wesolych Swiat

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 16, 2013

Wesolych Swiat

Christmas is pretty much here. Where has December gone? We have a Christmas party this week, I'm really excited; a bunch of us missionaries just getting together to relax a bit. Other than that, I don't really have many plans.

Here they have something called crackers. It's like a thing you pull and it pops, then there are little gifts inside...pretty neat tradition.

This week was good. We had a general authority come, Elder Kearon. Ah, it was so good. It was a life changing meeting. He talked about changing and just doing it, also about doing things with real intent. If you don't have real intent, then what's the point of doing it? I've decided that one thing I want to work on is being more confident. I remember so many people telling me that I can be more confident. So I figure it's a choice to be confident, so I choose to be confident. Recently I've been studying in 2 Nephi chapter two. It talks a lot about things to ACT and things to be ACTED upon. I think that fits really well. We need to act, or else it's just a thought or a theory.

This week we taught a woman who was in Germany for about a month, so this is only the third time we've seen her. We brought Brother Morrell along, he's so great, really a nice guy. And her family has been going through a hard time, so we showed her Elder Holland’s most recent talk and it was a really powerful lesson.

Yea, the food is bland. I've also found that a lot of it is just that I sort of lose my appetite a bit. I eat often, in fact, and I snack a lot. But I tend to eat smaller portions; that's something I learned from Elder Owens. He lost a lot of weight. He eats often, but not a large amount. My stomach has shrunk a bit. Plus I do lots of sit-ups in the morning. But some of the food here has no flavor! I'm not really a fan of mushy peas either. And fish and chips are so oily now days that it hurts my stomach. I tend to eat oatmeal in the morning and pasta or a sandwich, or just a snack. Polish food is really good though. :) I've become an alright cook after almost two years of cooking for myself.

Around this time of year the sun is starting to go down around 2:00 pm. I'm addicted to the work here. When I have a good conversation with someone or if I am outside working and talking to people I'm usually happy. There are a few odd moments when no one will answer the door, but if you can talk to someone, you're alright. Something Elder DeShazer says is "sometimes, you just got to power through it" just get to the end of the day. There's a really good Mormon message about Daily Bread by Elder Christofferson; you should look them up, there's three of them.

I think this is the fun time of training. You become good friends and you start to work together better. And also you see them figuring out how to do it themselves, instead of just copying you. I haven't heard anything new about the missionary work here. And the amount of missionaries coming in has slowed down a bit. Our mission is HUGE THOUGH! Over 200 of us.

I miss Elder DeShazer so much! He looks good. I hope he's doing well. Thanks for the picture. THAT'S SO CRAZY, I remember Sister Wild. She was so nice.

At 6:00 on Christmas Eve there is a carol service I'll be going to.

I’m not sure what else to say. Elder Mast, in our district tore his ankle really bad. He was in so much pain, so he's been taking it easy. Also an Elder from Samoa got his Wisdom teeth out. You know British people do not like the dentist. But other than that nothing too exciting has happened.

Love you tons, hope all is well.

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 9, 2013

We had a really good week. We taught 6 lessons, that's really more than we've taught in a few weeks.
I don't really mind knocking doors sometimes, but to be honest teaching is more fun. This week we went on exchanges, I stayed in Leeds with Elder Brase, who used to be a zone leader, he's going home before Christmas (with Elder Ball). That was pretty good. I enjoyed that.

Ah, it's so weird to me to almost be 21; I really don't feel that old. I feel like I did when I was 17, or 18. You know I think age is just a state of mind, if you don't want to, you can just stay the same. But then again progression is good.

And the time is going by so fast. It's already almost 1/3 of the way through December. Christmas is pretty much two weeks from Wednesday. That to me is strange.

This week Elder Kearon is visiting the mission, I think that he's the one a few years ago who gave the talk in Priesthood session about getting stung by a scorpion, well that'll be exciting.

This week for District meeting, I've prepared to talk about having a vision, you know timberline, and wood-badge stuff, but I'm teaching it from the scripture, well I'll attempt to, I hope it goes alright.

Ah, mate! I've lost so much weight... I can see the difference. I looked on the scale this morning and it said I weighed 13.5 stone, and that's like 190lbs. I'm not sure that scale is right. But I do do me sit ups in the morning :) (Yes, people really talk like that "that's me son" "that's me scarf" ect...)

I can't believe it's that cold back home. It's luckily not too bad here yet. I suspect though, it'll get cold. I really don't like English winters, from last winter. I remember the longest, coldest day of my mission, out knocking in freezing cold for about 7 hours with Elder DeShazer. You know I think trials help us to become who we are. I wouldn't want to go through it again, but looking back I've grown from it.

I have a few jackets, I have one I wear a lot because it's warm, then I have a water resistant one for when it's wet and that big black one I brought with me. I think I'll get some new gloves though. If I can find the one's I like, if not, I have a pair.

Yes, it has been raining a bit more and it's been a bit colder. But it isn't the dry cold that you get in Utah, it's really cold (I don't mean to sound like a wuss, but I don't like English winters) But it's warm today. On Thursday we had some really bad winds, we were told to stay inside and do weekly planning. Our rubbish bins got knocked around a bit, but we're alright.

We didn't get to see the devotional, (it would've been at like 2 in the morning our time) But the Leeds institute had a Christmas concert, and that was pretty good.

This week we met with a man, he's really busy, but we had a really powerful lesson with him and I felt the spirit. I really do think that he can be baptized, he reads the Book of Mormon and he likes it. We got it for him on CD, so he can listen to it in his car. I think he likes that as well. He's from the Congo and his native tongue is French.

Then we met with a lady, she's doing well. We had a good lesson with her as well. She is really looking for something. We're trying to help her to find it, but that's all up to her in the end.

Also the Polish lady we were teaching is back from Poland, she's so nice. We watched the Restoration in Polish with her and she said that she believes that could have happened. She asked people in Poland if they had heard about "Mormons" but sadly no one had heard anything about them. Then we showed her where the closest meeting house is in Poland where she lives on her laptop. That was good. She also showed us where she lives. I showed her our house in Utah, and she liked that. I always show people a picture of my family; it's something to sort of "break the ice".

I think that the best way to influence someone is to love them and show them your love. If you love them, then that's the best way to share the gospel; you know it is a gospel of love.

This week went good and the time is flying by so fast.

Love you

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - December 2, 2013

I love my mission so much!  I love just talking to people and then when we share the Gospel we're giving them something that if they take it, it makes them so much happier. I've seen people change so much.

Sounds to me like you had a terrific Thanksgiving Day! I realized on Thanksgiving that it was Thanksgiving! It was weird we had sort of forgotten about it.

My week was good. To be honest it was pretty much the same as most weeks, we do the same things every day, but it doesn't get boring if you do it right. When you talk to people then it’s fun. Because everyone is different and has a different story (even if someone slams the door, or yells at us or something). I like it, I sort of just laugh I think, because some people just act so weird when someone says two words...Jesus Christ.... for some people that's all they hear and then they're like "No!" It's really immature to be honest, but fair enough, I did my part in sharing it and it's not my fault they said no. You know I've come to realize that no matter how many times that people say no, it wasn't our fault. It's only our fault if we don't share the gospel. If we share it and they say no, then we did everything right and it was a success. I think that if more people realized this then, they would be a bit less scared to share the gospel. We don't see a whole lot of success, but I think that we are becoming better people in the process.

We met a lady who has one cat, but all the neighbors cats come into her house as well, so she usually has a few cats, that aren't even hers hanging around. She's in her 70's and shares a lot of stories. I think that some people just like to be listened to. If everyone did a bit more listening there'd be a lot less contention I think. We gave her a Book of Mormon and told her about our church. She was very interested in what happens after this life. I think that if we share more of the Plan of Salvation with her, she'll hopefully take more interest.

That Polish family came home from their trip to Poland. We went by on Sunday, and they had just gotten in at 1:30 that morning, so they were tired. But they still remember us, so that's good, and they seem to not mind us coming by, so that's a plus as well. I hope they read a bit of the Book of Mormon. We'll find out on Tuesday.

Leeds is a lot bigger than Hull. It's not a ton different, but it is different. Leeds is HUGE! It's ton's bigger that Salt Lake City. In fact I think that Salt Lake City is about the population of Hull. But it's nice. I only have a section of Leeds to work with.

The food is not too different. But they eat something called sausage rolls; they're not that great, because they are cold.... :( But I've gotten used to them since I've been in England.

This last week, was really, really fast! I can't believe that it's already December. Time is going by so fast and this month is going to go by super fast as well. This week is the only "normal" week that we'll have this transfer. Next week we're having a mission tour. That is when the Area Presidency comes and sees how the mission is doing. So we've got a meeting of some sort.

Then the week after is a Christmas party. It's sad because I'm in Leeds, which meets up with some of the other zones up north. Leeds is classified in the Northern zones. Elders DeShazer and Owens and Olson all are in the Southern zones and so I don't see them at meetings. Also the Christmas party got split up to three different days, and so they'll be in a different day as well. I'll survive though. Elder Ball is going home in about three weeks, that's so weird. I'm going to miss him a lot, but I think we'll meet up after our missions because he's going to BYU, I think. Then the next week after that is Christmas, and then the week after that is New Years, then its transfers again. That's so fast!

I've really changed a lot on my mission. I can't say that I'm the same person that I was at the start of it all. I've learned so much. And even the hardest moments of it all I've learned from. I guess that's what a mission does for you. I heard somewhere that even if no one in the world, ever got baptized they would still send people on missions. I think that it really does turn us into who our Heavenly Father wants us to be. I think that I'm at a stage in my life where I need to become the person that God wants me to be. He knows the man I can be and all I need to do is trust him enough, because he'll help me get there.


What is the hardest thing you've done on your mission? When we've taught someone who was about to be baptized, and then for family reasons dropped us, meaning they stop meeting with us. It's really heart breaking.

Do you get a lot of snow in England? Do you have any yet? It depends on the year, but we don't have any yet, which I'm grateful for. I like it when I don't have to be out in it for long hours of the day.

We're doing well and all is good.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler