Monday, 24 December 2012

Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat,

Elder Mitchell gets to call home, how about that!!!!

Hi mum and dad

just to let you know I will probably be skyping home around 12 o'clock tomorrow, 11.45am at the earliest. We have been asked to keep our calls to half an hour to 45 minutes.

Also, I did get your big box on tuesday, but as I was training back I had to give it to the zone leaders to bring back, but they are comign up today to give it back to us :)

Love you all, speak to you tomorrow :D

Hey Everybody

so... we survived "the end of the world" it was crazy down here, you should have seen it! nothing... nothing happened, absolutely nothing. but anyways...

This week has been really good. On Monday for P-day we went to bournemouth and played capture the flag against the missionaries in the Poole zone. I'd like to say we won, but either we were too good, or we all sucked so we declared it a draw! (but Plymouth zone won really! haha!)

Then on tuesday we got to go to the temple which was just amazing as always! and the christmas conference was good. We got fed (most important thing) and then President Millar spoke to us a little, then we sung some christmas carols then we got all our post and presents and then headed home. Unfortunately, as our travel plans met going by train, we had to give our packages to the zone leaders so they could take it back by car. This was a great idea as we had to go via london, via the tube (which is always an enjoyable experience...) during rushour, (which added to my joy...) but thankfully we got to stay the night with the elders in Newton Abbot as we got back to their falt at nearly 11pm. it was great though.

Then, this week we had two main miracles. so after Christmas conference Elder Pettersen decided to just call all of our investigators and potentials to try and arrange a time we could see them. At first no one answered, but then almost right away, Vanessa called back and we arranged a time to see her for the next day :D so we went around to see her and she let us in, and we got to teach her and her two daughters Abbie and Lusinda. It was great! We watched the restoration with them and it was a really good teach. Abbie asked a lot of good questions like, whats the true meaning of christmas and how prophets are called which is great!! I think she will definately go somewhere. Also, just a head's up, she is looking at going to Uni this next year and is looking at Aberdeen, St. Andrews or Edinburgh, so I may request some of you keeping an eye out for her if she does go to Uni up there. It was great though. And just before we left, she ran up to our room and quickly wrote us each a Christmas card, which was funny. So that was miracle number one.

Miracle number two. Simone, who we saw last sunday wanted to come to the carol service this sunday, so we managed to arrange a lift for her and she came yesterday! it was great!!! She said she really enjoyed it too. She has been to other churches but says that she liked this one the best as everyone is so friendly and there is a nice spirit there and she really enjoyed it. She wants to come back again which is good :)

So those have been the main parts of our week.

Well I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas and remember why we celebrate Christmas (christmas begins with CHRIST).

Love to you all
Elder MItchell

Saturday, 22 December 2012


Over the past 9 years I have had the pleasure of working with many missionary couples in the archives in Edinburgh.  Recently, one of the couples, Michael and Linda Flynn transferred from the archives to serve for a while in Ireland, and have now transferred to finish their mission at the London Temple.  There they met Elder Mitchell and they kindly sent us some pictures.

Yes, we saw Zac (Elder Mitchell) today Tues the 18th Dec at the London England Temple. In fact, Elder Flynn received Elder Zac at the veil. He still has that enthusiastic, happy glow and smile. You can tell he is loving his mission. We've attached a couple of pictures that we took of him and with his companion and with us. We'll let you post them on Facebook since we aren't very good at that.
Merry Christmas!

love, Flynns

Elder Mitchell

Elder Bendall and Elder Mitchell

Elder Flynn and Elder Mitchell

Elder Flynn, Elder Mitchell and Sister Flynn

Off to the Temple.....

Hey everybody,
Well if this is a short email I am sorry but we have a stuper long day today so Idon;t have too much time to email. So what's going on is tomorrow we are going to the temple for a Christmas conference (get to go through the temple too, exciting stuff!!) so today, Plymouth and Poole zones are meeting in Poole for a joint Zone P-day which NEVER happens!! so today, we have to leave Paignton at 10, to get the train to Exeter and be there for 11.30 where we are meeting the rest of our zone, then we are travelling to Poole to meet the other missionaries, then tonight or tomorrow we will be heading up to the temple. and then tomorrow we are travelling back to Paignton.... I know, Long day.
So this week has been okay, ups and downs as usual. Bad news out the way first, we haven't been able to contact Jane this week, she is never in and when we call her it always goes straight to voicemail, so I think she may be avoiding us... and we have other potentials but we haven't been able to contact them either.
Some members on Sunday were having a fireside though and asked us to bring investigators (which we dont have much of to be honest) but we did try to call all of them to invite them, but no one answered. Then Simone, someone the senior couple in Newton Abbott were working with before they went home, called back, so we invited her and she wanted to come. She lives out in Totnes though, so needed a lift but some members brought her which was great. So that was good, and she had a really good time. We answered a lot of questions she had about reincarnation and things liek that which was good. She is really interested in finding out more though which is awesome. Hopefully we can see her sometime this week.
We have also been working with quite a few less-actives as always. which reminds me, this week I held a Python!! :D It was only a little one, but it was still cool. We have a less-active who has like 3 snakes, a tortoise, a lizard, a chicken, a tarancula and a dog (and I'm sure he has more), so we saw him this week and he is the one with the Python, so he brought her out and we both got to hold her. I have pictures, that I will send sometime :)
This week should be good. on sunday, the ward is having a nativity and a christmas carol service which they are trying to invite a lot of less-actives and non-members to which should be good.
Well sorry this email is so short, but not too much has happened this week and our train leaves in about half an hour and we need to get to the flat grab our things and get to the station (its not too far but we can't be late because the next train is an hour later).
Hope you all have a good week.
Love you all
Elder Mitchell
ps. incase the world ends on december 21st, I was wrong... if it doesn't end, talk to you on monday :D

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Moves came and went, but Elder Mitchell stays put...

I'm back on the road again, so I'm late in adding this to the blog, but as you can see from the heading Elder Mitchell is in Paignton for another 6 weeks, which means he's been in Devon long than I was on my mission.

Hey everyone!!
So this week is moves weeks, so the big news is.... I'm still going to be in Paignton for Christmas and New Years (that's if the world doesn't end on the 21st like the Mayan's ellegedly said it will.) so nothing has changed here. I am still with Elder Pettersen too so we will both be here until end of Janurary at least.
Well this week has had good and bad points. I'll get some of the bad stuff over with. We haven't been able to see any of our Investigators or Potentials this last week. Jane text us early last week saying she would be really busy that week but she should be alright to see us this week, but we are still trying to contact her. Also a potential Vanessa said she was busy all last week too as she is a carer and they get busy around Christmas, but she said this week she should have more free time. We are still trying to get a hold of her though too. And any other potentials we have anytime we go around to see them it is always a bad time. (They say this year is "the most wonderful time of the year," well not when you are trying to teach people!)
So we have been spending a lot of time seeing Less-actives and trying to find more people to teach. Finding doesnt help though when you pick a road on the map to knock, go to knock it and find out it isn't in fact a road but a little path that could have never been in the history of mankind a road, even when people walked everywhere as it is just a little tiny path. So that doesn't help.
A good thing from this last week though, is that on saturday the ward did a christmas Panto (this is the first big event that they have ever done since they got the chapel here in Paignton) of Aladdin. Bishop got me and Elder Pettersen to go around the street nearby to post flyers for it which originally I felt was a bit of a waste of time as I was sure there were better things we could have been doing with our time, but it was a good thing we did that. There was a massive turn out. there were some members from some other wards, there were quite a few less-actives there and there were apparently 42 non-members which was amazing! I didn't get to speak to many of them, but quite a lot of them came because they had flyers posted through the door. Elder Pettersen even gave a Book of Mormon out, but we haven't heard from the lady since. It was really funny though, people kept forgetting their lines, or getting them wrong, or forgetting props, but they improvised really well which made it really good. No one came the following day to church but never minds.
Then sunday was good. Me and Elder Pettersen both spoke. I talked about Joseph Smith and Elder Pettersen talked about the Book of Mormon. I was quite nervous when I gave mind, and didn't say half the stuff I wanted to say, and thought of so much other stuff I could say after I sat back down but apparently it was good. A lot of people came up to us afterwards and said thank you for the talks which was good.
So plans for today, I don't know really. We were going to Newton Abbot to spend time with some of the other missionaries who are waiting for their new companions but I'm not sure if we are or not. I'm sure we will find something to do anyway :)
Well I hope all of you are doing well. If you still have snow enjoy it, we don't have any down here, it is just freezing cold, but never mind.
Love to you all
Elder Mitchell

Monday, 3 December 2012

Hey everyone, I keep losing count which email this is, I always have to go back and check what my previous email was. I have been out here for so long!! but at the same time it feels I only just left. it is strange :S
Anyway, my week has been pretty good. It has at least been dry most of the time.
Well on wednesday we had the multi-zone conference in Poole which was great. President Millar and Elder Kerian spoke to us, and he showed us something quite alarming. He showed us the number of baptisms in the mission over the last three years compared to the last seven years, and they have dropped over the last three years, quite badly actually. He wasn't using this to rebuke us though, and tell us we are bad missionaries, he did it is inspire us and show us where we can be, and what it is possible to do. They both talked about getting the desire and the vision to baptise so I think the whole mission now is ready to baptise everyone they meet. It was great though and the spirit was so strong there.
So this week we did get to see Jane, but unfortunately we did not get to teach her much as she had other things she wanted to talk about, and needed advise with some things. We were plannign to invite her to be baptized if the lesson went to plan, but unfortunately it didn't, maybe next time.
We have been working hard to find new people to teach though, and we have quite a few potentials that we just need them to have some spare time so we can see them. Things are picking up though, slowly.
On sunday, Elder Herbertson didn't come to church, he cancelled on thursday for some reason, so it was just a normal fast and testimony meeting. It was strange though because quite a few people thought I had already left. I guess, because we did a workover with our district leader on friday, someone saw Elder Pettersen with another missionary and thought I had left, so spread it around that I had gone (gossip, gets you nowhere). I have a feeling I will move at the end of this transfer though, I just have that feeling in my gut. That and Bishop has me and Elder Pettersen speaking next sunday, so that might be my farewell talk to Paignton. We will see though.
Well I am getting a bit more confident in speaking with people, thank to Elder Pettersen. He is a great missionary and yeah, there's times when we don't see eye to eye, and we have needed some emergency companionship inventories but we seem to be getting on fine just now. He is being really helpful as well :)
Well, sorry this email is kinda short, time always manages to escape me (we only get an hour on the computers and there always seems so much to do!!!) but before I go I will just let you know, on the 19th December I will be at the temple, so if you send any Christmas packages, make sure they are sent by then.
Thank you all for your letters, emails and prayer. and to those that have wrote to me, I will get around to replying at some point, I promise!!!
Love you all!!!
Elder Mitchell

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Safe and sound, if not dry......

Hey everybody!!

First, apologies for not emailing yesterday, I shall explain the situation. So, tomorrow we are going to Poole for a multi-Zone Conference, where Elder Kerian of the Seventy will be there. Unfortunately for the Cornwall missionaries, this would mean that they would have to travel for most of tuesday just to get there, so if they had P-day, and then a day of travelling, obviously they wouldn't get much work done. So the Zone Leaders had an idea that the whole Zone changes P-day to tuesday and then we can have a Zone P-day on tuesday (which normally isn't a big thing, but in this zone, because of how spaced out it all is, is a massive thing!!) So that is why I am emailing today, instead of monday.

So, if I could use one word to describe this week it would be this: Wet! I swear (except I don't because I am a missionary and we aren't allowed to swear) that everyday this week we have had a complete downpour of rain. As you may have heard there has been all sorts of flooding in the west country, but don't worry, I haven't seen any of it. Well... funny story, on wednesday, we were heading to a District Meeting in Newton Abbot, it started at 9am so we got on the bu at 8 (takes about an hour to get to Newton Abbot on the bus), at 9, we were still in Paignton... Just outside of Paignton, there was a river of water, wider then the length of our double decker bus running across the road, which caused all the traffic that made us an hour late. It wasn't deep, but it was still quite impressive if I am honest. And as we were gettign to Newton Abbot all the fields just outside newton abbot were just covered with water. Otherwise we have avoided the flooding.

So our investigators, unfortunately Paco did not make it to church on sunday, and we have no way of getting back in contact with him. We just have to hope and pray that he will get in contact with missionaries in Spain somehow.

Apart from that, we picked up a nwe investigator this week. We finally got to meet with Jane. last tuesday I think it was, we were just walking and we happened to pass her house, and as we did so, she was heading off somewhere, so she literally came out of her gate as we reached her gate, which is awesome! So we talked to her for at least half an hour, and she invited us back on thursday. So we went back and were able to teach her about the plan of salvation and how God has a plan for all of us. She accepted everything we shared with her and it all seemed to make sense to her. She is amazing, as we feel that she is looking for pretty much everything that the church has to offer, which is just a miracle. We invited her to read and pray about the book of mormon, and we will follow up with that and teach her more on thursday.

We have also been trying to find more people to teach. Scariest thing I did this week, we went High Street contacting in Torquay. So Elder Pettersen took one side of the High Street, and I took the other side and we walked up and down it for maybe an hour talking to people. I have no idea how but I was able to talk to people! It was incredible. I can do it, I just need to get better at doing it haha.

So this week should be good. Obviously we have Zone Conference tomorrow which should be awesome, and then on Sunday, Elder Herbertson of the Seventy is coming to Paignton which is quite unexpected, and I am not sure if there is a specific reason he is coming to Paignton but it should be good.

Also, I want to share with you something President Millar shared with us in his weekly email this week:

As of Oct 1,2012 we had the complement of 126 elders and 20 sisters. This has increased to 188 elders and 58 sisters.   That is an increase of 102  proselyting missionaries. That doesn’t mean we will see this increase immediately, but we could see this come over the next few months.  This gives me a sense of urgency that the work of the Lord is hastening.

Impressive hey? It should be interesting.

Well this has been my week, hope all of you are well.

Also just so you know, next week P-day will be on monday as normal.

Well I lvoe you all!!

Elder Mitchell

Earlier I wrote

Hi Elder Mitchell,
We have heard on the news how wet it has been in the West Country.  I even heard that a hole appeared in, or should I say under, a canal, just North of you and swallowed all the water!!!!
The weather hasn't been to bad up here, though Hazel lost a fence panel and Aunty Margaret's fence was blown down too.
We have a new missionary in the Ward, an Elder Alison from Leicester.  He knows Damian and his family.
We finally had a baptism this weekend.  Ann, Pres Campbell's friend finally got baptised.  Elder Neilson worked out that they taught her for over 50 hours, that's including teaching on Sundays in Gospel Principles class. 
Did Becky tell you I was in Brixham in the months of August and September?  It was only a short time.  I remember only a few people.  I had a good time there.  I hope the work goes well and that you will see someone enter the waters of baptism soon.  Have any of your investigators in Bristol got baptised yet?
You'll have to let us know what plans there are for Christmas and for you calling home.  I've offered the use of our phone to the missionaries so we will have to plan.  If you are planning to Skype, then we need to know and let you know who's profile to use.
Looking forward to next week.  We will try to pop in to the office and say hi to the missionary couple there.  As we are flying down we wouldn't be able to bring anything down, but I may be wrong.
The house is beginning to look like it's usual self this time of year - a Christmas Grotto.  Caitlan is fascinated by all the toys and ornaments.
Well It's time for me to get off the laptop so your Mum can get on.
Take care my son and work hard.  Love the people and they will love you.
Till next time,
Love Dad

Hey dad, I have been fine. been drenched by the weather quite a few times this week, but we have avoided most of the flooding, nothing major in Paignton. Have you guys had any snow yet?
That's great to hear that you got a baptism! I hope I can see at least one of my investigators baptized before I leave Paignton, but that's up to the Lord, not me. I haven't heard if any of my investigators from Bristol have got baptized although I have heard that they have had some baptisms, so hopefully.
Well, for Christmas, I am still not sure if I will be in Paignton for Christmas, next moves is 12th Dec, but hopefully I will stay. If I do we will be going to a members home around 1.30 and they will let us use Skype at theres which is nice of them. I think Becky said she will try and set up a Skype account for me, but until I know for definate if I am staying in Paignton I do not know for sure yet what is happening.
I'll let you know more about my week in my big email to everyone.
Love you Dad
Elder Mitchell

Monday, 26 November 2012

Weather update....

Some of you may have heard that the UK has been hit by severe weather this past week.  Zac, sorry, Elder Mitchell is fine.  We had the following email today:

Hi all,
just a quick email to say due to a zone conference we have on wednesday, our p-day has been moved to tomorrow, I will explain more tomorrow, I just wanted you to know so you didnt worry that I didnt email. I am still alive :) I will email properly tomorrow.
Love you all!!
Elder Mitchell

Below is a link to the Daily Mail from last week in case any of you want to check out what's been happening.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Ward Conference and Christmas come early....

Hey everyone!
Well this week has been, not exactly uneventful, just not very full of events to be perfectly honest. We have been working hard though, and there have been some great things that have happened this week.
On wednesday, the Zone Leaders came up from Plymouth to help us work our area, so I got to go with Elder Jones for the day. It was great (we had the car :P) so we went out to totnes to contact some people there but after that we came back to Paignton. I don't know how, but I somehow had confidence to speak to people, Elder Jones says I'm actually good at contacting, but I dont think so. Anyway, one person we met, his name is Paco and he is from Spain. He didn't understand too much english but we told him we wanted to give him a spanish book of mormon, so we told him where the chapel was, and set an appointment to meet him there the next day.
So the next day came (I was back with Elder Pettersen) and we went to the chapel to meet him at the arranged time, and he was there!! So we got to teach him the restoration! It was a great teach and the spirit was there strongly. He accepted everything we taught him and accepted the book of mormon. only bad thing is, he is only over here for a month, then he goes back to spain (to his wife and little boy, young family :D) so we will keep meeting with him and hopefully get his details for back in spain and pass them on. He said he was busy sunday just gone, but he wants to come to church this coming sunday which is great!!!
We also had ward conference yesterday which was good, it was great to hear from the stake leaders. I would tell you more but my time is running out.
Sorry this is so short an email, I will try and make up for it next week.
I love you all
Elder MItchell
Oh yeah, is it bad that we already put up our christmas tree? haha
Also: Titus 2:3 how many times have God the Father and The Son appeared at the same time? Somethign for you all to think about :)

Sunday, 18 November 2012

Miracles and dogs.....

Sorry this is a little late - I had some problems with my emails this week.

Hey everybody!
Well this week has been pretty good. We are working hard and I feel the Lord is beginning to reward us for that (after testing our patience first).
This week we have had 9 teaches with Less-actives and recent converts which has been pretty good. We nearly got into double figures with our teaches, but not to be. We did have some people cancel appointments with us though at the beginning of the week, which was a little bit frustrating but it happens. Unfortunately, one of those who cancelled was Vanessa, she was going to be away so we rescheduled for this wednesday. She still really wants to meet us though, which can only be a good thing.
So unfortuntately (I know that is spelt wrong, but my spelling is failing me at the moment) we haven't been able to see any of our potentials this week. That is why we have had so many teaches with Less-actives. It has also meant that we have been able to spend a lot of time finding! (yay!). It has actually been quite good this week though. We have 9 potentials that we have to work with, and return appointments with about 3 of those, which is pretty good.
I shall share a little miracle we had this week though (I have been telling everyone this, so I can't leave you guys out now can I?). I will call it, "The Banbury Park Miracle". So in planning one day, we were trying to find a street to knock. Then Elder Pettersen suggested that we both look at separate maps of the area we would be in that day by ourselves, pick two roads and then come back together to see what we came up with. So I went and looked at our map on the wall, and picked two roads. Then when he had picked two roads, we told each other what roads we thought we should knock. One of the roads I had picked, he had picked as well! (Banbury Park). So we went and knocked it. by the time we got there it was around dinner time, so not really the best time to knock maybe, and at first it did not seem to be going to well, and at one point I remember thinking about suggesting we give up and go knock another road, but I didn't and we kept knocking. By the end of the road, we had 3 potentials to work with, and all of them were young families. Miracle? Okay, its not like we walked on water or anything, but its still a miracle in my eyes.
So yeah, next week should be good.
so... what else can I share about this week... I can't think of anything, except I forgot to mention last week, I experienced my first getting bit by a dog! Nothing serious, I still have all 10 fingers. basically, we were knocking, and this woman answered the door while trying to hold back her dog (it was a Jack Russell, nothing too big or menasing... so I thought...) and she wasn't interested so went to close the door, but as she did so, her grip on her dog slipped and he came charging for us (got itself shut in the door the stoopid mutt!) then when she opened the door again to let it in, it ran out, so obviously I thought it was going to try and run away so I put my hands down to stop it, and it bit my thumb! Its lucky it was on a higher step or I might have kicked it, but its okay, I'm not bitter or anything (stupid dog!) haha!
So yeah, that has been my week.
Hope you are all well
Love you all!!
Elder Mitchell

Monday, 5 November 2012

Remember, remember the 5th of November, gun powder treason and plots...

Hey everyone!
How are you all doing? I am doing good.
So how has my week been? Well, unfortunately we have not had any teaches again, which is not too good. We have not been able to contact any of our investigators. Alice and Jimmy aren't replying to any texts or answering the phone at all, so we may unfortunately have to drop them. I don't really want to, but if we can't contact them we can't teach them. I will continue mentioning them in my prayers though, that one day they may be more open to hearing about the gospel and will be more comitted. Also Mike really hasn't been feeling well lately so we haven't been able to see him. So we have been doing mainly finding all week.
It has been interesting as I still seem to struggle to talk to people on the street. I seem to say in my head that I am going to talk to them, but as they approach my confidence just disappears and all I manage to say is a quiet "good morning" or "hello." It does frustrate me at times, but I will keep trying to do better. We have done a lot of knocking as well this week, and we have a few return appointments from that which is pretty good. Also we have been trying by some former potentials and former investigators that we have found in the area book. We have seen a little success from that, as we found Vanessa and her two daughters but so far we haven't seen many of them.
We got to see vanessa briefly on saturday though, she was just back from holiday, but we have a return appointment with her for this week which is good :)
Also, something that Elder Pettersen has found success with in his last areas is working with Part-member families, so we have been trying to find out who all the part member families are, and trying to work with them. So things are picking up here in Paignton. Also I am getting along with the ward great now. Bishop actually said yesterday at church that I am "a Keeper" which I thought was pretty funny. Yes the Bishop may have an interesting idea for how to do missionary work, but the ward is still good at doing missionary work. We have one member who has given a work friend a book of mormon and has invited him to a family home evening tonight that we will be at (there will be fireworks! :D) so we shall see if he makes it. So yeah, things are pickign up here.
Me and Elder Pettersen are getting along great as well.
Well hope you are all doing well.
I love you all!
Elder Mitchell!
oh yeah, Elder Akebrand says hey! I got a letter from him this week and he says to say hey to all of you from him, so consider it done!

Sunday, 4 November 2012

The Shamos

Every 3 years the mission presidents get released and so July Elder Mitchell and the rest of the missionaries said good bye to Pres and Sis Shamo.

Pres and Sis Shamo, Elder Mitchell's Mission President served from July 2009 to July 2012.  Lyle Eric Shamo and Tracy Jean Bedney Shamo have eight children.They come from South Jordan Utah. Pres Shamo is a former counselor in a stake presidency, bishop and counselor, ward Young Men president, high councilor and missionary in the Southwest British Mission. Retired managing director of the Audiovisual Department for the Church. Sister Shamo is a gospel doctrine teacher and a former member of a stake Young Women board, counselor in a ward Relief Society presidency, ward Relief Society teacher, Cub Scout leader and ward activities committee chairwoman.

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Changes at home...

I had not intended to include emails from me to Elder Mitchell, but considering the news I had to share, I feel I should include this one and his response.

Hi Elder Mitchell,
It was a big day at church yesterday, we had lots of people at church - I have no idea how many people were there, but we had the entire Stake Presidency, the Stake Exc Sec and others.
The big news is that I am no longer Bishop!!!! I really didn't see that coming - I was expecting to still be in place when you returned home. The new Bishop is Neville and when I met with him last night to do a bit of a hand over (and to receive a new calling) he promised me he will write to you, Thomas has been recalled and we have the Jacks back in the ward as Willie has been called to be the other counselor.
I was released 3 weeks tomorrow, but Bishop Henderson wasn't available till yesterday, so it's been an interesting few weeks trying to carry on as if it was business as usual! There were times, and still are when I just start weeping because I've been released. Certainly there has been a great weight lifted off my shoulders and I no longer have to worry about those things that kept me awake at nights. It seems that the ward knew that the bishop loved them, but here's something you should remember - it's easy to love people when they love you back. Which ever way you look at it, whether the people love you because they see the love you have for them, or if you see the love of the people for you so you can love them back! It's a circle and it was easy to love the ward. I don't know if you still feel unloved by the members in Paighton or not, but learn this from your old man - love the people unconditionally and they will return that love, eventually if not immediately.
There were a few times over the past few weeks that I wished I could have talked to you and explained how I felt and to let you know how grateful I am that you are serving the Lord! That day will come, when we can once again enjoy each others company an a daily basis.
Don't worry about me, I'm happy to have been released - I know it's time for another to be the bishop. I have a new calling, but for now I'll keep you guessing - I'll be called next Sunday. I'm glad I'm not waiting and having to rest for too long - I need to be busy.
I got to sit with the family for the first time in about 5 years, in fact I got to do something I have never done before - sit with my grandchildren during Sacrament meeting! I had Caitlan sit on my lap for most of the meeting having been released from the stand. I shall have to start wearing my bow tie again!!!
Well I need to get back to work, I didn't get to write this yesterday as I was showing Mum and Becky how to do indexing.
Take care my beloved son,

Hi Dad,
Wow! I cannot believe you are no longer bishop! I really didn't see that coming. I am sure Neville is the right Bishop for Livingston Ward at this time though, and I know you were a fantastic Bishop. I am also glad to hear you have another calling already, its good to keep busy in the Lord's work, we all know what the scriptures say about idolness (should have paid more attention to that in my earlier teenage years haha!)
Well sorry for a short email, I have a lot of emails to catch up on, and not a lot of time. Sorry for not emailing yesterday, it was a long day, I shall explain in my big email.
Hope you are all well.
I love you all
Elder Mitchell

Now for his regular weekly email:

Hello everyone!!
First of all, big apologies for not emailing you this yesterday, but I have an excuse. Yesterday I was travelling from 8.30am to 9.30pm. Me, Elder McCook and Elder Keller and a Sister who was also moving had to get in a car from Newton Abbot, drive to Weston-Super-Mare, where we dropped off the sister (who is serving in my birthplace Downend, Bristol) then we had to drive from there to the Temple (getting there about 2.30) and there I had to wait for my new companion, and then together we had to get a train from Godstone, to Redhill, to Reading, to Newton Abbot, to Paignton. So yeah, that's why I couldn't email yesterday.
So.... my new companion... I'm not training, don't worry haha. My new companion is Elder Pettersen, who is from Norway. He seems a pretty cool guy and we are getting along well so far. Funny thing is, guess who his last companion was.... Elder Martin (my Daddy!!!) which is funny. He also trained my good friend Elder Lamb, small world, small mission haha!
So, to sum up my week... it has been pretty tough. Elder Van Der Put as much as I hate to say it was dead. He also got sick near the end of the week which doesn't help but anyway. So last week we didn't get to see any of our investigators (not just down to Elder Van Der Put) because we were not able to contact them. Alice we still can't contact, Jimmy and Kathrine are in the process of moving, Mike we will hopefully be able to see sometime this week, and Andy, sadly we had to drop him. Me and Elder Bendall tried by him at the weekend, and his wife answered the door and pretty much said that she doesn't want us to come back, which is a shame but never mind, it happens.
We also haven't been able to contact any of our potentials either but we will keep trying.
Sorry this email is short, but I don't really have a lot of time plus last week was kinda uneventful to be honest.
Dad, I can't beleive you have been released as Bishop though, that was not expected!!! I know you did a fantastic job though, and now the Lord needs you to do something else for him. Whatever that new calling is, I am sure you will do amazing!
I am excited to work with Elder Pettersen and we will work hard.
I love you all
Elder Mitchell

Monday, 22 October 2012

The latest news from the mission front....

Good morning everybody! (incase you are reading this in the afternoon/evening good afternoon/evening)
Well today has been well... not neccesserily (I can never spell that word yet I insist on always using it...) a bad week, but hasn't been extrememly great either. We have only had one real teach this week which isn't that good, but we are trying our best.
Of all of our investigators, we haven't really been able to see any of them. Alice cancelled her appointment and we haven't really been in contact with her since. Jimmy and Kathrine also cancelled the dinner appointment we had with them as something urgent came up, but we should be seeing them this week. We tried by Andy last night but he didn't answer the door, and our only other Investigator Mike, we saw him briefly the other day, but he has recently got some bad news about his health, and currently his sister is staying with him, who is against all religions so he has told us to try by again next week.
We have been trying by a few potentials that the sisters found before I got here though, that has seemed quite effective. On Wednesday, me and my district leader (we were on exchange) tried by one called Nicole, she wasn't home but her mother was, and she invited us in and asked us questions. We left her with a Book of Mormon and we have an appointment to see her tomorrow. Also on saturday we tried by another potential called Vanessa. She was happy to talk with us, and her two teenage daughters as well. We stood on the doorstep and talked with them for close to an hour. Vanessa has a Book of Mormon that she is reading throug hgradually, and her oldest daughter wants to read it too when she is done. So hoepfully we can see them all this week.
We have also been trying by some Lost Sheep that we have been given to check up on. Most have moved or are not interested, but when we were out in Totnes one day, we were knocking the street of one of them, and we met this nice lady called Elaine, who cahtted with us for a bit. We left her a Book of Mormon and she is happy for us to come back and tell her more. Only trouble is, totnes is really hard to get to, buses come once an hour and the only other option is getting a train all the way to Newton Abbot to go back on yourself to go down the line to Totnes. But we will try.
Well sorry this is kinda a quick email, I have just noticed my time is getting quite low....
Today though, as it is Elder van Der Put's last P-day the whole district is meeting up in Exeter to go bowling. It should be fun!
Oh yeah! I have found out what is happening when Elder Van Der Put goes to the temple on friday. I will be serving in Paignton still with Elder Bendall who is serving in Newton Abbot and his companion will be serving with one of the YSA there for a few days (Dann Gooding by the way) and that will be the case until Next Monday when moves are, so just a warning incase I don't get a chance to email you next monday. I highly doubt I will be getting moved, but just in case something happens that means I can't email, that is why.
Well hoep you are all doing well! can you believe on friday I will have been out 6 months already?! that's half a year!!! Its gone so fast!
Anyway, gotta go, Ciao for now!
Love Elder Mitchell

Monday, 15 October 2012

A few emails this week

First email was complaining about the local library's computers......

I know I normally have sent my email out by now but I haven't so
sorry... this is just to let you know that this library computer
sucks! so I haven't been able to do president's letter, and this
computer has been super slow so I have barely had time to read all
your emails.
I will go onto the computer at the chapel later and send you all my
email to let you know how I am doing. Just so you all know though
that... I am alive!!!! (it's not that scary people, come on :P)
Love you all
Ciao for now!
Elder Mitchell

He also managed to get a quick reply to mine....

Hi dad, sounds like you are having lots of fun with Thomas and
Caitlan, sound like they are still getting into mischief as always!
Hope you are all doing well.
Sandra Hancox says hello by the way, we saw her this week, she is
doing well, her husband Ally has been in and out of hosptial for the
last few months but he is getting better.
I will tell you more about my week in my big email.
I love you all
Elder Mitchell

Finally, having gained access to a good pc:

Hello everyone, I am now on a computer that likes me so I can email properly :D
Well I hope you are all doing well.
This week has been good. We have had 3 teaches this last week, so hopefully things will just keep getting better :)
We picked up a new investigator this week, she was a referral from, her name is Alice. She is a young student who signed herself up to meet with missionaries which is cool. We met her with a member called Phil (he used to be a biker before he was a member, he always has interesting stories) but it was a great teach. He taught her about the restoration and Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. it was a great teach and the spirit was there. She was really happy when we gave her a Book of Mormon, she even said a prayer at the end of the lesson which was great! We did set an appointment to see her again tomorrow but she had to cancel as she has a biology field trip. She is very busy with school so rarely has free time to meet with us. She also works at the weekends which sucks, but hopefully we can see her soon though. Her parents are non-practicing Catholics though, so I just hope that they aren't stopping her from meeting with us. Ideally we would like to meet them and maybe teach them, but we will see.
We also saw Mike on tuesday as well. He always asks us a lot of questions, sometimes quite difficult ones too, like the other week he asked us if we all come from Adam and Eve he asked is every guilty of Incest, which was... interesting to try and explain haha. But he asked us a lot about the Holy ghost and the Plan of Salvation, I just hope we answered his questions well enough. He still doesn't believe that there can only be one true church though, but we will keep teaching him, and just pray that he feels the spirit from what we share.
Also we got to see Jimmy and Kathrine on thursday. It was good, although we didn't really teach much, they just had a lot of questions about what missionary life is like. We have a good relationship with them though and they have even invited us around for dinner this week, which is always good. Hopefully we can teach them both a bit more then.
Something amazing that happened though, as we were walking to get the bus after seeing them, Elder Van Der Put noticed this guy who was kinda sitting off by the side of the path on some steps, and he seemed quite down. At first we walked past (I hadn't seen the guy) but Elder Van Der Put stopped us and asked if we should go back and talk to him. As I didn't see him I didn't know what he was on about, but I agreed we should. Well the guy was going through a hard time, and had decided to go on a walk for various reasons and he ended up where we met him. But we talked with him and told him who we were and we were able to testify that whatever he was going through, Heavenly Father and Jesus christ know exactly what he is going through and that they can help. We gave him a Book of Mormon which, he was clutching to his chest and crying as we talked to him. The spirit was so strong then, it nearly had me and Elder van Der Put in tears as well. But when we finished talking to him, he gave us both a hug and thanked us for stopping to talk to him, then we gave him our number and we went our separate ways. We haven't heard from him since, but I am just glad that we were able to be there for someone who was in need.
Other then that, we have seen a few of the less-actives we normally see, and have seen quite a few of the members now too. We have also received quite a few referrals but half of them haven't gone anywhere. One of them, actually seems to be a prank the guys friends played on him, because one referral was a 14 year old boy, and the phone number was wrong and the email was something like idontreplytoemails@ or it was something like that anyway, which kinda frustrates me, that kids would be so stupid to do something like that. They don't understand how much of people's time they waste just to play a trick. Kids are dumb, I'm not having any (sorry Becky, I'm only kidding), so yeah, that annoyed me a little.
Also this week, we had to go all the way to St Austall for a Zone training. We had to wake up at 6am to get there for 10. 6!!! I missed half an hour of much needed sleep!!! I'm not bitter about it or anything, I just like my bed... haha! As much as I like it though, I always get up at 6.30. I have put my alarm clock in the hall just to make sure I physcially get out of bed to turn it off.
So yeah, that has basically been my week.
Thank you all for your letters and emails and so on. Oh yeah, thank the Mackay's for the late birthday package, I got that today so thank you so much! I don't think I could eat all those sweets at once so tell them they don't have to worry about that.
Well hoep you are all well.
I love you all!!!
Elder Mitchell

Saturday, 13 October 2012

General Conference

Hello everybody!
Wow! how amazing was general conference!! After 8 hours of talks from the Prophet, Apostles and general authorities, I feel pumped and ready to take on the world again!! (we should have general conferences more often, they are so good!!!)
Well this week, it may not sound like much, but we have had 1 teach!! One!!! Our only teach in the last 3 weeks, I was so excited afterwards I called our district leader to report it as a miracle! But it was a miracle because it was a great lesson! We got to see Jimmy which was great. We had to go over a lot of things we taught last time as we last saw him like 3 weeks ago which is fine, and he had quite a few questions which is good. He told us that he had tried reading the introduction of the Book of Mormon and praying about it, but he said he didn't feel anything, so we went over how to recognise the Holy Ghost and both me and elder van Der Put shared our experiences of how we knew the Book of Mormon was true. strange thing about the lesson though, in the middle of the lesson, he just had a laughing fit, which me and Elder Van Der Put were quite confused about, But when he calmed down, he apologised and said he just felt so happy, and always does when he sees us missionaries so inside both me and i'm sure elder Van Der Put were just like "Yes! he can feel the spirit!" so we told him that was the spirit that was making him happy. Then at the end of the lesson, we asked if we could say a pray, and Jimmy came up with the idea that we should all say a prayer! It was Jimmy's idea! And when he started his prayer, the same thing happened, he had a small laughing fit, which was, i will admit, strange, but so good!!! and the best thing is, his partner came in part way through the teach, and she started asking us some questions too, as she was raised a catholic (but catholic school kinda pushed her away) so I hope we can teach her too.
Also yesterday, during conference we had a referral that we have never caught in get in contact with us and ask to meet up this week which will be good. We also have a few other potentials that we will hopefully get to see again over the next few weeks.
We have continued working with less-actives as well, and have a lot of information for the ward list like people who have moved or don't want visits etc which will be good for the ward.
Sorry this email is kinda short, but I only have 10 minutes left on the computers so I have to kinda wrap it up soon.
But how amazing was general conference!!! I have to admit 2 of my favourite talks were from Dallin H. Oaks and Jeffrey R. Holland, both of those talks were amazing though. I love hearing Jeffrey R. Holland speak though. If you missed his talk, watch it online, reading it does not do justice to the power he spoke with! It was amazing!! All of General conference was amazing though. I got so much out of it and now feel like I can take on the world!!! (I just hope I can keep that enthusiasm for the rest of my mission.)
Well time is running out so I better wrap up. Thank you all though for your emails, letters and prayers. If I don't reply to you directly then I am not neglecting you don't worry, I appriciate every email and letter I get, I just don't have as much time as I wish I had.
thank you all though.
I love you all very much!!!
Elder Mitchell

Sunday, 7 October 2012


Paignton is the middle Seaside town of Torbay. Torquay is to the North and Brixham is to the South. This area is know as the English Riviera and as I recall benefits from the Gulf Stream, hence the palm trees that Elder Mitchell sees. It's history goes back to 1086 and was a Celtic settlement. It was a small fishing village and a new harbour was built in 1847, with the railway arriving in 1859.

One of the famous residents of the area was Agatha Christie who often visited The Torbay Picture House, sitting in her favourite seat: Seat 2 Row 2.

I have fond memories of my time there. I arrived on the train, and had to get a bus to continue onto Brixham. When I was there, the Radio 1 Roadshow came to town and I had to introduce my companion to this piece of British culture.

I'll try and add some pictures.

Catching up.......

Moves again, but Elder Mitchell stays put......

19th September 2012
Hey everyone. Just to let you all know I am staying in Paignton, but my daddy Elder Martin has left me, he is now a District Leader in Epsom. My new Companion is Elder Van Der Put, who is from Holland. I haven't met him yet, I am currently at the Newton Abbot chapel with our Zone Leader Elder Livingston, and Elder Keller who is serving in Helston. All of us are waiting for our new companions (Elder Keller's companion is Elder Romney, of some relation to Mitt Romney which is pretty cool.) and we have been here sine half past 7 this morning with nothing to really do (there is a mcdonalds across the road though, so guess what we had for breakfast and probably will have for lunch and dinner too if we are here that long... man I am so fat!). We actually had to wake up at 5 though because we were staying down in Plymouth and had to drive from there to here, and there were 5 of us to get through the bathroom etc so it has and will be a long day! Anyway, just thought I would let you all know I am staying put for now.
Love you all
Elder Mitchell

24th September 2012
Hello everybody,
Well this week has been interesting. Driving back and forward to Plymouth was fun, but I am back to bussing it around everywhere. Only thing I will say... buses suck! :(
My new companion elder Van Der Put is great! We are getting along so well. This is his last transfer though, so I have to make sure he works hard for these next 6 weeks, and that he doesn't die too early. The strange thing is though, he has already served in Paignton before, about 4 1/2 months ago, so it is funny seeing all the members reactions when they see he is back. We are getting along really well though.
Well, this week teaching wise has... well let's be blunt, it's sucked! We have seen none of our investigators! Oh yeah, think thats bad, yesterday morning we had 2 baptismal dates, by about 3pm yesterday afternoon.... zero! Andy, we saw him briefly yesterday, but he told us he and his wife are not well, and he doesn't know when they will feel better so he asked us to try by again in a few weeks time, so we had to drop his date. He is still interested though, as he asked us what he could read in the Book of Mormon while he is off work, which is ace so hopefully we can see him again in a few weeks. then vincent, he was at church again yesterday, but he apparently felt pressured into being baptized so all the ward leaders told us off for inviting him in a first teach (which is what the MTC and preach my gospel tells us to do...) and so we have had to drop his date and they don't want us teaching him again just yet. Vincent though is apparently looking to marry a member of the church and they want to ease him into the gospel slowly and make sure he is doing it for him, and not for her, which I understand but, grr! I don't know, but I'm going to stop there before I say anything I don't mean.
We were also meant to see Jimmy on wednesday but he texted us and cancelled (which is good as we were stuck in Newton Abbot all day wednesday), but hopefully we can see him again this wednesday. We have a lot of potentials we are trying to see as well, but either we catch them at a bad time, or they are out. But we have seen a lot of Less-actives this week which has been good. Other then that though, we have done nothing as all of our finding efforts aren't effective as we don't find anyone interested and they all slam the doors in our faces or just tell us to go away, but I'm getting used to that.
Best thing about this week though... we finally got our new washing machine! Yaaaaaaaayyy!!!! :D I shouldn't be that excited about it should I?.... it means no more washing clothes in the bath though so I am happy.
Crazy story from this week though... no ice cubes getting thrown or preachers telling us to burn the Book of Mormon... craziest story from this week is on wednesday, I did have McDonalds for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner. It sounded a good idea at the time, but I felt ill afterwards and I don't want to see another McDonalds for about a century but never mind. I'm sorry if I come home fat Becky, I really am.
So that has been my week.
Hope you are all well.
Love you all
Elder Mitchell

1st October 2012
Hello everyone.
Hope you are all doing well.
Well this week teaches wise has been... well its sucked! For the last 2 weeks we haven't had ANY teaches to investigators. Vincent wasn't at church yesterday (and I don't know if the ward actually want us to teach him yet), Andy we will be trying by next week as he said to try by in a few weeks to let him recover, even though I actually saw him down town the other day and he looked fine (I will give him the benefit of the doubt though) and our other investigators Jimmy keeps flogging us so we have had nothing.
So yeah, this week has been kinda hard with no one really to teach. We have still been working with Less-actives though, but we haven't seen as many as we did last week. Miricle of the week though, on wednesday, we went on splits with the Elder's Quorum President and his dad to see some less-active friends of theirs. From it, we saw 3 less-actives between us, and are welcome back at two of those families which is good. We will hopefully see them this week sometime.
We have also been trying to do a lot of finding but it is not working. We have been trying by Potential investigators and former investigators but they all either aren't home or they have moved. We have tried knocking but no one is interested and most people as soon as they see we are missionaries just shut the door without even saying anything which is harsh. We have tried talking to people on the street, but both me and Elder Van Der Put have trouble speaking to people so that has been hard as well, and anyone we do speak to just aren't interested, or are crazy. Like one guy we spoke to, he was a member of the church of england, but he had a theory that God was once a Dragon, but somehow when he created light when he was creating the earth he became a man. He did "explain" this theory to us using scriputres, but how he got that from the scripture he used I have no idea.
On the plus side though, me and Elder van Der Put are getting on great. I am gutted that he is in his last transfer, I wish I could serve with him longer than for 6 weeks, but that is the way it works I guess.
Well sorry, this email isn't all happy clappy etc, but I will work hard and make sure I have happier stories to share in next weeks email.
Oh yeah, mum and nan, I got your letters so thank you so much for your uplifting words, I loved reading them, so thank you.
I love you all!
Elder Mitchell
p.s just a bit of random information for you, I was on exchange in Bideford on thursday (its a massive area in north devon) but there is a place there called "Westward Ho!" I found it funny so I thought I would share that with you. God bless the West Country! bunch of pirates... :P

Monday, 17 September 2012

Ice cubes and cars.....

Hey everybody!
This week has been good, but has been tough at times. A few interesting things happened, from getting ice cubes thrown at us to having two evangelical preachers trying to convert me and Elder Martin. It has been pretty interesting.
We have been working a lot with Less-actives, and on saturday we spent nearly all day doing gardening for 2 different less-actives. It was hard work, especially having to push a lawnmower UP a hill. Never again! But it was good fun and the Less actives really appriciated it.
We haven't been able to see Andy this week, I will explain why in a little bit, but we did get to see Jimmy this week. Jimmy is someone we found when we were out knocking, he was actually round his mum's and we knocked on her door and his mum was out but he answered. He is a really cool guy, and we taught him the restoration. He was pretty interested and accepted everything we taught him. We left him with a book of mormon and invited him to read and pray about it, and we also invited him to be baptized, which he accepted but he didn't commit to a date.
Also, at church yesterday, a member randomly brought her friend Vincent. So in gospel principles, we had nothing to really teach so we decided to teach him the Restoration. He understood everything and he already has a strong belief in God which is great! He accepted everything we taught him as weel, and said he felt good about it, and we invited him to be baptized, and he accepted! So we have two people scheduled to be baptized on the 13th October which is cool!
I would say more, but I am not sure how much time I have on the computer so the rest will have to wait for another time maybe.
This week is transfer week, I have a feeling I am moving so don't send any post. But anyway, one of our Zone Leaders Elder Sima is going home, so currently I am in Plymouth with our other Zone Leader Elder Livingston and Elder Martin. The reason I am here is, Plymouth have a car, but Elder Livingston failed his test, and Elder Martin doesn't have his licence so.... guess who is driving! :D oh yeah, me! It is so cool to drive! Yesterday we had to drop Elder Sima off in Bristol so the office Elder could pick up him and my old District Leader Elder Wan up, so I got to drive back from Bristol to Plymouth. It was good fun! Apparently I am a good driver so don't worry (that's mainly to you Becky, don't worry I am driving safe :P)
So yeah, that has been my week pretty much. Hope you are all doing well.
Love you all lots!
Elder Mitchell

Broken washing machines - a day, well a week, in the life of a missionary!

Hello all!
Hope you are all doing well.
This week has been okay, it started out pretty tough. Our washing machine has been broken since last week, with half of my clothes locked inside it until friday, so we have had to wash our clothes in the bath which has been interesting... the office are getting us a new washing machine but chances are we wont get that until friday... more bathtub washes then, fun!... the joys of missionary life ay?
I have just noticed that it is raining outside... that sucks! its the first time it has rained since I have been here, I thought I had finally found somewhere that was immune to rain... I guess not. ah well!
This week has been mainly finding and working with less-actives though. We have only been able to get one lesson with an investigators this week, which does suck, but our other investigators have been out of town or we haven't been able to contact them. It has been good to get to know some of the less-actives here though and working with them. One of them actually made it out to church on sunday (although I didn't see them there, for reasons I will explain in a bit). And finding has been quite hard when let's be honest most people around here are quite... how can I put this nicely without offending anyone... Elderly? Yeah, I know we should preach the gospel to everyone and we do try, but nearly all of them say the same thing... I am *insert age here* I am stuck in my ways and so on. But we are trying our best.
The one investigators we were able to see though was Andy, we saw him yesterday and taught him the Plan of Salvation. It was a good teach and I actually amazed myself at how well it went. When Elder Martin first started talking I was kind of panicing inside as I wasn't sure what to say or what scriptures I could use, but when Elder Martin finished his bit, and it came to me, I somehow knew exactly what to say. It felt amazing. Obviously it wasn't the perfect teach, but I am getting better :) But we invited Andy to be baptized on the 13th of october, and he accepted! The reason we set his date so far away is because we can only see him on sundays as he is super busy and works two jobs. It was a good teach though, and he is a great guy.
Well this weekend was interesting. Newton Abbot ward had a baptism, which we were invited to as Elder Martin was asked to speak. The guy being baptized though, Ian, is in the process of moving from Paignton to Newton Abbot, so currently he still lives here, but he spends most of his time in Newton Abbot with his friend, so that is why he was taught there. 
So yeah, this sunday I spent in the Newton Abbot ward. they are a really nice ward, really friendly and welcoming. The funny thing is my good friend Dann is in that ward, and he taught Elder Quorum which was actually a good lesson. It was great to see him though, and to hear he is still preparign to go on his mission.
But yeah, that has been a sum up of my week pretty much. Let's hope that next week we can get more teaches (and a new washing machine).
Hope you are all doing well, Love you all!
Ciao for now! :P
Elder Mitchell

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

News from Devon

Two emails this week, the first the usual weekly email and the second a brief note to me.  He loves his new area!

Hey everybody,
firstly, apologies for sending this on a tuesday (It's not P-day but I have an excuse) yesterday we had to get ourselves library cards to use the computers here, and then found out that the whole system was down so we could not get on to email. We couldn't even send president's letter which is not cool. They were down this morning, so we spent the morning going around Brixham and Paignton trying to find an Internet cafe but non exist, but the system is back up and running now (Hence the email :P)
Anyways, I have now left my Greenie area, but am still half a Greenie as I am still with my trainer Elder Martin. I think it may be the first time in history that someone has left their first area before they left their first companion. Anyways, It was sad to leave Bristol, and quite sudden too, as I said in my last email, we only got a call on monday evening to say we were moving on thursday. So monday to wednesday was full of trying to visit people and say our farewells. It was really sad to leave everyone I had come to love there but I knew it would come sooner or later.
So Paignton, it is a beautiful place! My area covers at least Torquay, Paignton and (wait for it...) Brixham! Dad, finding out you served here in Brixham was amazing! I cannot believe I am serving in the same area you served! I found out you served here on Sunday actually, when I can't remember what her name is, but she remembers you serving here as a missionary when they had their Fish and Chip shop. But the area is a beautiful place, Lovely beaches, beautiful scenery, there are even palm trees here. PALM TREES!!! IN ENGLAND!!! I KNOW!! that's how hot it is. And just so you can get an idea of what kind of an area it is (if the palm trees didn't give you an idea) it is an area where they need sisters here during the summer... yeah when I found out that i was like uh oh! but its okay, I'll stay focused.
We have been working hard here though since thursday. The sisters here before us had left us loads of helpful notes as to who we should go see etc which was helpful, so we have been seeing Less-actives and trying to contact the people they were trying to work with before they left. We have also been trying to contact people on the street which has been tough and we have seen a lot of rejection but that is okay, because we have the odd success as well. We have actually found 3 potentials already since friday (one we found in Primark who's name is Daniel Martin something which is Elder Martins name). One of them their name is Andy, he has a wife and a 13 year old son, and we saw him saturday and gave him a book of mormon. He works 2 jobs though so has a busy schedule, we are seeing him next sunday.
Anyway, that has been my week basically. Anyway, sorry I don't have too much time to email and that this is a pretty short email. Hope you are all doing well. I love you all!!
Elder Mitchell

Elder Mitchell expanded a bit more in a second short email how he feels being in Paigmton:

Hey dad, just to let you know, I have met Sister Hancox briefly, she mentions about you serving in Brixham and you going to her fish n chip shop :)
Brixham is part of my area and is a beautiful place :) really hilly though...
It seems my mission so far has been a family history tour which is great, I have loved beening able to follow in your footsteps (literally as well as metaphorically), Being places on my mission where you also were on yours has helped me feel so close to you, even when I have been so far away. I am thankful for the example you set me by going on your mission and I hope me coming out here on mine can influence my future children to want to follow in both of our footsteps.
I love you so much Dad!
Pass my love onto everyone back home, I would email you all individually, but I only have an hour on the computers here and it is nearly up.
Love you all so much!
Elder Mitchell

Sis Hancox, or Ma Hancox as we called her, and her husband had a fish and chip shop.  It was a second home in many respects.  Her husband, Ali Hancox was the Ward Mission Leader.   I was in the Newton Abbot Ward which has grown and divided in the last 30 years and now Paignton is a ward.  All those years ago I had a real Cowboy and a real American Indian as Zone Leaders - Elders Corbett and Nez.  They were in Newton Abbot.  There were sisters in Torquay, the District Leader in Paignton and I was in Brixham, the southern most town in Torbay.  How times have changed!

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Now he's here, now he's there!

This week's email brought exciting news!

Hey everyone! 
Sorry this is getting sent late, but monday was a Bank Holiday and libaries are closed on bank holidays :( 
This will probably be a short email too, which I do apologise for but it is 4.20pm and the libaries close at 5pm so I do not have much time and tomorrow is going to be super busy for reasons I will explain in a bit. 
This last week as been pretty good though, well in some ways, and tough in other ways. One good thing about this last week is that we had a Zone training with our Zone Leaders, Assisstant's to the President, and President and Sister Millar were there too. It was a good meeting and lots of inspired instruction was given. That and there was the excitement of while that was going on, there was a bomb scare in the centre of Bristol! Don't worry, we were at the Wells Road chapel which is away from the centre, btu it caused havoc with the buses and traffic etc. Was pretty exciting. Turns out it was only a bag full of sandwiches which, I'm sorry but is halarious that the whole of bristol got shut down because of some sandwiches. Thankfully it was just sandwiches though haha. 
This week we have continued to teach Paul and Naomi. Paul we have now taught everything, but I am not sure if he will be ready to be baptized on 1st Sep (plus it will be difficult to arrange considering the news I will tell you at the end of this email) so we may have to push his date back. Naomi we have only been able to teach once this week as she has been unwell, she wasn't able to make it to church again on sunday which is a shame. She still has a lot to be taught before she can get baptized. A surprise on sunday though was that Jess made it to church which was great. In Gospel Principles we were able to have a teach with just her, and as there wasn't a lesson planned we were able to focus on her and her concerns. It was good and it really helped her. 
Another interesting experience I had this week is my first proper encounter with some Jehovah's Witnesses. We found this family knocking one day and they invited us back to get to know more about what we believe. We had a feeling that it was not going to go well and turn into a bashing session so we went with just the intention of teachign them and giving them a Book of Mormon to read and inviting them to read and to pray about it. Well it did turn into a bashing session, but from them. They were polite about it, if that is possible, but they just tried to prove that everything we believed was wrong and pulled out scriptures from the Bible that "disprove" the need for the Book of Mormon (when the scriptures they used they misunderstood or misinterprited). It was tough and there was so much I wanted to say, so much I wanted to share with them to prove that this church is the church of Jesus Christ on the earth and the only true church, but somethign stopped me. I couldn't remember where scriptures were to disprove their points or anything. Looking back now though, I know it was the spirit stopping me, and Elder Martin agrees, because anything we did say would have turned it into a big debate and contention which is not how we teach. Plus the spirit of contention is of the devil so that is why we were stopped from saying anything. Since that teach though I have found scriptures that disprove everything that they said, not so I can go back and prove them wrong, just to give my own mind peace, because a lot of what they said hurt, and both me and Elder Martin left that teach completely disheartened. But thankfully after that teach, we saw Alison and Paul and we watched 'Joseph Smith: The Prophet of The Restoration' DVD and the spirit we felt from that was exactly what we needed. It confirmed to both of us that what we are sharing is true, and people can throw their doctrine at us all they like, but they only know the doctrine because they have been taught it since they were very young, we know the truth because the Spirit of God has testified to us that it is true. 
Okay, time for the big news..... me and Elder Martin got a call from President Millar yesterday evening.... We are getting Whitewashed. We are both moving to Paignton (in Devon I think... near Exeter anyway) and sisters are coming to Downend and we are going to Paignton. So, we leave on Thursday. So please don't send any post from now on, until I can let you know my new address. My first experience of moving and whitewashing in the one go, this should be interesting... 
So yeah, this has basically been my week. I am quite gutted to be leaving Downend but The Lord obviously needs me in Paignton, so I can't really complain. 
Well I hope you are all doing well. I will get my new address out as soon as I can. If you do need to send anything before you get my address send to the mission office (although by the time I get it you may as well wait to get my new address) 
Anyways... Ciao for now! 
Love you all! 
Elder Mitchell

I couldn't believe the news!  30 years ago I moved from Llanelli in South Wales to Brixham in Torbay.  If any of you are unfamiliar with the area, Paignton is just above Brixham and both were in the same ward.  I'm glad to see that the ward I was in has grown and divided in the last 30 years, but these 2 seaside towns on the English Riviera are still in the same ward.  I look forward to hearing if there is any one still there who remembers me, but I was only there for 2 months.