Leeds - January 27, 2014

To be honest, I can't believe how fast January is moving on. It's amazing how fast time flies when you're focused on something.

I'm super glad I came to England, it's a beautiful place and there's a ton of good people.

I like the rain, but I don't like being in it for too long. But it's pretty nice. I do like a sunny day every once in a while though. It really hasn't snowed here. It did one day, but it all melted away about an hour later, so not a huge change.

At the start of my mission, I felt a bit tired and wondered if I'd ever be less tired on my mission. I've found this is not true! I always feel so tired, but I suppose that's a sign I'm working hard.

We had an alright week and taught a couple lessons.

Monday we went and met with a young woman and we brought a member with us. The woman studies Theology, and it's looking like she'll teach it when she graduates. She has come to several ward activities, but not to church yet.

Tuesday we went by to see a man who doesn't really believe in God because he is looking for a sign. But he says he’s open minded; and is also trying to quit smoking. We also had “tea” (dinner) with Sister Wilson, she's so great and she has a really strong testimony of baptisms for the dead and temple work. She is a convert and when she learned about baptisms for the dead, loved it.

Wednesday was interesting. We went to the hospital to visit an elderly member who had a heart attack. When we got to the hospital we found that he went to the hospital on Saturday, and left on Sunday, so he's alright.

Thursday was good. We went by to see one of our investigators, but she wasn't home, so we went to her sister’s and taught the children there. At first they were all over the place and I could tell the mom was getting a bit frustrated. So we taught them about prophets and I brought a picture book, that had pictures of prophets and they were hooked!

We just had a meeting with our zone. It was good. President Pilkington is trying to get us to not say that we're from Utah. He wants us to tell people that "we've come all the way from the Rocky Mountains to share a message that makes people happy" Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I've had people say "where's that?" But sometimes it's good.

Friday we had interviews and zone specialized training. President talked to me about sprinting to the end of my mission. During the meeting we were instructed on finding and talking to people. It was good. We were taught how to approach people in a more human and less robotic way. It seems to work well too.

So that was most of my week. Hope you have a good one.


Starszy Ressler

Leeds - January 20, 2014

It's good to hear that you're all doing well. I'm good, although sadly I chipped my tooth this morning, I don't think it's that bad though. I was biting on something too hard; well, lesson learned.

I'm happy Elder DeShazer is using his Polish again. Elder Olson is in the Leeds A Zone. I'm in the Leeds B Zone though. So I'll probably see him on Friday.

Yea I agree I need to get a picture with President Pilkington and his wife. They are really good, I like them.

I'm really happy that it's warm here. I'm really hoping that I can just skip winter this year. That would be really nice for me. And hopefully it will warm up over there in March.

Ah, that's sad about Aunt Donna’s passing, I know she's in a better place, and isn't suffering anymore. I was talking to someone about this the other day and I told them that I believe that after this life, we all will go to a place that simply isn't as bad as it is here.

Oh, I finished "Jesus the Christ" today. It was really good. I'm now reading another one of James E. Talmage's books "Articles of Faith" and when I go home I want to find another of his books called "The Great Apostasy.” I've also finished the New Testament on my mission and I am reading the Old Testament as well.

Yea, I have about 10 weeks left. Time is really flying by. I seem to wake up, exercise, and the next thing I know I'm going back to bed. It's crazy!

Uh...concerning dodgy things happening to me on my mission; yea, well I've never been robbed, but, yea let’s just say there are some things I leave out of my emails. I'll have to tell you about them when I get back or something. If you even want to hear them. Let’s just say this, I feel safer than I've ever been whilst on my mission. I know that Heavenly Father protects us.

There are so many false ideas out there. I see that one a lot, the "oh, I'm a good person, so I'll be alright" idea. No! God has commanded us to make sacred covenants with him, like baptism. Or like, “oh just one cup of coffee won’t hurt, it'll be alright”. Then there are the people who believe that all you have to do is believe. I just want to say to them "come on!" But of course I am polite. But yea some people need to read the Book of James, where he says faith without works is dead. And then there are the people who don't believe in modern revelation. You wouldn't have the old stuff if it weren't for revelation in the first place. Of course God still speaks to man today.

In the Leeds Stake conference, someone shared five points that are good to share with people.

1) When Christ was on the earth he established a church.
2) Men changed it.
3) It's back! How?
4) God spoke to a man.
5) God speaks to man today.

I think it's brilliant!

Ah, you'll have to tell all our Timberline friends HI for me. That'll be fun for Harrison.

Love you

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - January 13, 2014

Life is good here, it's not too cold, and so I can't complain too much. It rains, but it's not freezing. I'm happy for that; hopefully I can just skip this winter.

Today we had to clean our flat for 3 1/2 hours because President said that some missionaries got evicted because of negligence to their flat and it cost about £3000!! So he told everyone to clean today until it was spotless! My hands are all rough now from the cleaners.

I got a new grey suit for about £40. It's not bad and Elder Mast showed me how to hem my trousers inside (the European way I think). Also he gave me a haircut, I like having a French barber :) Elder Mast is really good; I like him a lot (we were on exchange).

Yea! Bigos are so good! and Peirogies. (If you cook up some tiny pieces of bacon and mix it in with them after....sooo good!) I also Like Golomki (L with a line through it) and Naleszniki (a pancake dessert).

This week was alright. The zone leaders found a Polish lady who they said understood them. They got her phone number and address and then we went by. They told me she understood them, but like pretty much every polish referral I get from other missionaries she didn't understand anything (it's sort of funny). She was wondering if she'd talked to Jehovah Witnesses (Polish people tend to not like them very much). So she asked if we were and I said "no", and she asked if we were Christian and I said "yes", so she said "come in". They're super nice. Sadly they work every day and the time they work is during church, but we'll do our best to deal with that.

Also we are teaching several Polish families whose two oldest children are 7, but we're planning on focusing on them since their mothers have said that the children don't really know about God, so we'll do that and hope the adults pay attention as well. Another Polish family who lives nearby has a daughter I swear I know from somewhere before. Maybe I've already met the husband and the daughter, but just can't remember. I'm sure I'll figure it out soon enough. It's strange though, I've seen that girl before.... Yea it's super good! and we're really trying to help a lot of the less actives here as well. Hopefully we'll have some success.

Yea, I guess I'm a stayer, but that's alright. At least I don't have to pack my bags every six weeks like all the other missionaries and I'm getting close to some of the members here in Leeds.

I believe my release date is the 27th of March, that's what I've seen, but I haven't seen anything official, yet. I hear that this is the transfer I'm supposed to find all that out, so we'll wait and see. This transfer is my last zone conference, so that's weird...

Love you

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - January 7, 2014

I'm super good, working super hard though. Our investigators are alright, they still meet with us, so that's good! We don't have anyone with a baptismal date yet, but some people who are sort of close to having one. We're still trying.

It's crazy. I hadn't really had a chance to knock doors for a while because of the holiday season and we've been busy with trying to reach out to less actives, but this past week we did it. And the funny thing is it felt strangely good. I actually enjoyed it because I like to talk to the people. It’s fun when they answer the door and you've got a smile on your face, and they want to know why, so they ask you something like "what do you want?" Then you get to tell them why. And you meet interesting people. I think you just have to do it right, to make it fun.

Well yea it was transfers, but we're both staying here. I guess I just am not supposed to change much. Part of me is sad that I don't get to see too much of these places, but hey, what can you do about it.

We recently started teaching a man who went to church in a different ward a few times. He says he is really impressed with the LDS faith. We'll see what happens. He told us he really didn't know how to pray, so we were able to teach him about prayer and how it is a conversation with God. A lot of people don't really pray like it's a conversation. Many churches don't teach that we can talk with our Heavenly Father. An investigator once showed us a gospel television channel and on it there was someone talking and then underneath it had a number to call to say a prayer. I think there was an amount of money it cost as well, but really I thought that was ridiculous. We can talk to God anywhere or at any time.

I might be playing the piano a lot more in church now, we'll see; because the missionary who normally played in church has just got transferred.

I worked out that I've got about 11 weeks left, that's not a lot of time. I really got some work I need to get done first.

Today I'm going with Elder Mast shopping; I might buy a new suit or a jacket. I've under grown them all and my suit I have from America is in really bad shape. We went to a funeral yesterday and I almost felt embarrassed wearing it, so I'm thinking of getting a cheap-ish suit for working and then have a nice one for meetings. I think I can get a cheap suit for about 40£, because, it'll probably get worn a bit. We'll see.

Yea, so yesterday we went to the funeral of a member that passed away. I remember him because he was always there greeting people and he always had a smile on his face. And he'd come up and give me a hug and it'd make my day a bit better. That's two funerals I've gone to in two weeks. It's sort of sad. You know though, that's the circle of life I suppose.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler