Mansfield - February 24, 2014

I love Mansfield. I've had a great week. The people we are teaching are great and it's a really great ward I'm serving in. I've been super happy of late. The people here do talk a bit differently than from Leeds and Hull. But I like it. It's a lot smaller area I'm serving in, but I love it a lot. And there's a load of Polish people, which makes me super happy.

I'm so pleased to hear that my ancestors come from Nottingham. I'm no longer in Yorkshire, but in Nottinghamshire. I'm so sad that Nottingham is out of our mission, so close, but so far.

My companion is Elder Michael Hill. He is from Los Angeles, California. I am sharing a flat with him, Elder Mullen and Elder Hoxa from Albania. There really are a lot of Polish people here and as well since it's a town and not a city people are a lot nicer. Even the accent and way people speak here is different than from Leeds and England. It is sometimes hard for me to understand.

I've been here only a few days and we started teaching two different Polish households with return appointments for more. I've always wanted to serve in Mansfield, I've heard about it before.

Mansfield is in the Sheffield Stake, but is closer to Nottingham than to Sheffield. Sadly the journey to Sheffield I hear takes about an hour and a half on bus. Zone Conference is Wednesday and so that's a journey I'll have to take, I'll see Elder DeShazer then. I got to Sheffield by coach and then some members, the Davison's, picked us up from there (I met Elder Hill there) and they took us to Mansfield.

I enjoy working with Elder Hill so much. I told him my first impression of him, he reminded me of "fix-it-Felix" from the movie Wreck it Ralph. He thought that was funny. We get along really well. And I love sharing a flat with Elder Mullen again. To be honest this is becoming one of my favorite areas. I'm really happy.

And there is an Elder Giboin who is from England and finished his mission, but is now going to school here. He was one of my district leaders about a year and a half ago, that's crazy.

Love you

Starszy Ressler

Leed - February 18, 2014

So Yesterday we got transfer calls. I'm moving, I'm going to Mansfield. It's down south by Sheffield, sort of. I think it's almost as down south I think. I'll be serving with Elder Hill, who I don't know and don't think I've ever heard of before. Actually, no one that I talk to knows who he is, but I've heard he's been out for about a year. It's exciting. Elder Mullen was in Mansfield last transfer and might still be there, I'm not sure though. I've heard that there is a factory down there where Polish people work, but we'll see I guess.

Elder Eisert is leaving, too. He is going to Barnsley and they are white-washing the area, meaning moving in two missionaries that are unfamiliar with the area. We are both really going to miss the people here. This is a really good area and I have loved serving here. I'll miss it a ton.

Yea it was an amazing week. We were also teaching an amazing Polish family. (I forwarded you the picture). This will be my last full transfer. Then, I will only have part of a transfer.

Today is a really nice day and super sunny. If Beverly is flooded, then Hull will be super flooded I'm guessing. I've heard about the floods, but here in Leeds we're fairly dry. We had some rain and some strong wind, but no floods. Leeds is really inland and has got some nice hills, so does Sheffield I think. I really did like Leeds though, and Hull. I think I'll miss them both, but it's also good to see another area and meet another missionary I didn't know before. I heard from Elder Ball that at the beginning of your mission and the end of your mission you know the least amount of missionaries, but because I was in Hull for a majority of my mission, I think it's pretty much always been like that for me.

You know though, I think I have changed, I don't see it too much, but I can tell I think. I'm still me, but a better me I think. Elder DeShazer at the beginning of him mission said that he didn't want to change, and our MTC teacher told us that we won't change, well we will, but we'll still be us. That's sort of how I feel. I think I've grown a lot, but I still have loads to grow.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - February 10, 2014

I'm pretty good. This week is over, that was quick.

Yea I cut my own hair and I don't think I did too bad of a job. I like it. I think if I keep practicing then I'll be really good at cutting my own hair and won't ever have to pay for a haircut again. I remember my first haircut here in England, then a few months later I just always cut it really short. But now I'm figuring out my own style.

My tooth is better, so I'm doing alright. But my shoulders and chest are really sore, because I got to go to the gym with Elder Mast who is recovering his ankle. The doctor tells him to do certain exercises every day, and he really wants to recover as quickly as possible. So I got a chance to work out too, yea I'm sore.

I think you're right about my release date being extended. I figure there is someone else that I'm supposed to meet, or serve with or something. I'm not sure what, but something good will happen. We helped a less active family come back to church and the 9 year old son wants to be baptized. I'm real excited. They are a good family and I could tell his mother was happy to come back to church and meet people. This week we found a family from Portugal and they're pretty good. I'm picking up a bit of Portuguese. Then we also stopped by a Polish potential and her husband was home and he is really nice. We had a good conversation with him. Also I interviewed a lady for baptism; she is amazing, she found the church online and is ready to be baptized. We are just waiting for her husband's permission. But she is really good.

It's strange to me that on my mission so far I've only served in two areas and had only five companions. I wonder if this gives me an opportunity to have another area. I suppose we'll see next week with transfers. I've seen the ward here really grow a lot. There is now a new spirit of missionary work that wasn't really there six months ago. I'm really glad to have been able to serve here and learn all the things I've learned.

Lately President is stressing to district leaders about improving our district meetings. One important thing is getting people involved and not just us talking the whole time. The thing is that my district is really quiet and doesn't really speak too much. I'm trying to assign them things to talk about instead of just instructing by myself. That way they learn as they teach us. It should be good I hope.

Love you,

Starszy Ressler

Leeds - February 3, 2014

It's been a really intense week. On Monday I got a call from sister Wilson. She told me they were trying to figure out my release date. To be honest I think it was originally in March or something. But she said my visa doesn't expire until May 1st and that they would've sent me home April 2nd, but that would be a whole month earlier than I could be here. As well there are no missionaries leaving that day. So they fixed it so I can stay until about 2 days before my visa expires. If I'm in the country on May 1st they stamp me and I can't return to England for 10 years. I really don't want that. I am leaving one week before a transfer, so all the other missionaries will leave then, including Elder DeShazer I think. His visa doesn't expire until June, so he'll leave then. So I'll leave all alone (I guess that's just the way it is supposed to be). Maybe there is one more person I'm supposed to teach.

On Tuesday one of our investigators took us on a tour of St. James, the church really close by us. I took some pictures. She let us up into the bell tower and it was really neat. And there's a beautiful Bible there.

We had some really powerful lessons this week. We taught at the Kite's and asked them to share their conversion story. It was really powerful. Brother Kite was an agnostic scientist and didn't really believe in God (he was on the fence). It took about six months for them to be baptized and Brother Kite prayed to know if there was a God and asked five questions, all of which were answered, and I felt the spirit really strongly. Since then Brother Kite has served faithfully in the church including being a bishop twice.

Also, we got back into contact with another investigator who's been really busy. We brought a younger couple, the Kings, with us. It was a powerful lesson and he said he's prayed and ask if the Book of Mormon is true. I think he has a lot of questions, but is making good progress. He also came to church on Sunday and said he liked it.

Ever since I found out I'd be serving longer, I've seen blessings, I think.

Yesterday at church, the pianist wasn't there, so I got to play the piano for sacrament meeting. At the end Brother Jackson (he's in the bishopric) got up, so I went on the stand because I thought that he was ending the meeting, but no he was sharing his testimony! So then he thought I was getting up to share mine (I really got up to play the piano) so he said, "after we hear from Elder Ressler we'll close by...." But I was glad to share my testimony. I bore it about the Atonement.

I've been studying the Atonement recently because I plan to share it for district meeting on Wednesday. It's so amazing what love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for us. That Jesus was sent and sacrificed himself for us. Just like the hymn, I really do stand all amazed.

I haven't seen any Polish Elders in a long time. About school. I don't really know I'd love to go to school, I just don't know how I'll afford it. I'm thinking of soon after I get back get a good job and then earn some money so I can go to school. Otherwise I don't really know how I'll be able to do it. Oh, and I'm taking my vitamins everyday (I try to), I've been pretty good at that. My chipped tooth is fine, but I've now got this tooth ache, I spoke to sister Pilkington and she thinks it's a gum infection, I really don't want to go to the dentist because it'll probably be expensive (that's what she said). She told me she sometimes gets things like that and they go away after a while, so I'm waiting it out. If it keeps up though I will call her again and she'll help me go to a good dentist. She used to be a dental hygienist, so I trust her judgment.

I bought some hair clippers so I can cut my own hair, I'm really excited.

Oh, wow, Harrison, Sadie, and Addie are growing up. Well just Sadie and Addie. Harrison still looks like I remembered him, which is a good thing too :)

Love you,

Starszy Ressler