Thursday, 28 June 2012

Water melon and Books of Mormon....

Some of you may remember how fussy an eater Elder Mitchell was, so read on and be surprised.

Hey everybody!!
Well this week is the end of my Greenie transfer! It has gone by so fast!! The good news though is that trainers and trainees stay together for at least 2 transfers so we should not be going anywhere this moves (unless we get whitewashed!). But these 6 weeks have flown by.
The members here are looking after us, and we have a dinner appointment most days. I would say I am getting fat but I still weigh the exact same as I did when I left home (no idea how!! They fed us lots in the MTC haha!). But I am getting used to eating different food that I've never had before, I ate my first watermelon yesterday (not a whole one) and I liked it. So you don't have to worry about me being a fussy eater anymore (I guess).
This week has been really good though. It started with us travelling to Crawley after our P-Day (on monday night) for a mission conference on tuesday. It was great to see a lot of missionaries there who were in my MTC group and who I had never met before but were really friendly which was cool. Most importantly, President and Sister Shamo addressed us one last time before they go home this Friday :'( It is amazing how much you can grow to love someone in just 6 short weeks. And then after they spoke to us, we got to go through the London Temple with them. It was amazing and the spirit in the Celestrial Room afterwards when Sister Shamo came ound to say goodbye to us all personally was amazing. I just felt so much love there, and Sister Shamo was crying as she hugged all us missionaries goodbye. (I didn't cry by the way... nearly did) but the spirit was so strong. As much as I wish I could have served here with them longer, I am over the moon that I had the priviledge of meeting them and getting to know them just for these 6 weeks. President and Sister Millar get here on the 30th June.
Since we got back from the temple, I have no idea how but I have just felt so much more confident when talking to people. Obviously I still have a lot of improving to do, but its a start :) The other day me and Elder Martin gave out 4 Book of Mormons (Book's of Mormon if you want to be grammatically correct :P) and we have one return appointment with one of those we gave a book to. We shall see how that goes.
We don't have much progressing investigatos really, but we have a lot who we saw this week that were busy so we had to arange another time for this week or next week. I was amazed that Emma and Jo, although we had not seen both of them for a while they were both really interested to meet with us still which is amazing! And we have not heard from Lisanne yet but we are going to pop by her today.
Biggest miricle of the week though; This week Elder Martin got a call on Friday from Dhruba... He is moving back to Bristol!! His job in London didn't work out (some stupid immigration law meant he couldn't work for that company) so he has a job back here in Bath. We haven't heard from him since, but hopefully he is living inside our boundries still (because Bath is expensive, and we wanna baptise him!) but me and Elder Martin were over the moon!!
I would like to thank all of you for your emails and letters etc. Oh! yeah! I got my greenie package when I was at the temple!! So Happyyyyy! :D Thank you everybody who contributed something for it! When Becky said it was a big box I wasn't expecting that big... had to sit in the middle of a car for like 4 hours with in on my lap on the way home, but it was worth it (and better then having to cary it on a tain back haha!) And thank you to all you Young Woman fo the letters and everything in the package (I'll be honest, the sweets are all gone...) but thank you to all of you :)
Oh, and just so you know for future reference, when it's moves weeks, we don't get P-Day until wednesday (thats the day people move) but we still get to email on mondays (obviously as I am typing this :P) But yeah, can you please let Becky know that her package for me came on tuesday when I was at the temple :( but I will go to the post office and pick it up on P-day (wednesday) and will also reply to any letters I get then.
Hope that all of you are doing well. Love to you all!
Elder Mitchell
p.s if there any any spelling mistakes, it is not my fault, the libary computer keyboards are weird and keys don't work sometimes :S

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Can it be 2 months already?

Well yes it can!  I'm not counting, but it seems others are.  This is Elder Mitchell's 8th weekly email.

Hey everyone!!
8 emails? really? I can't believe it! haha anyway, hope you are all doing well. This week has been pretty good. We have a few solid investigators we are working with now.
One of them is Lisanne, we taught her on tuesday. Unfotunately we haven't seen her since, obviously being a vet she is super busy! but hopefully we can see her soon and teach her again, because I think the gospel will really help her. I hope all my typing is okay by the way, this libary computer is pretty rubbish and some of the keys only want to work when they want to, not when I want them to. anyway, Lisanne emembers when she was younger that the missionaries used to come and teach her family which is really cool!
We are also teaching Jo, turns out she doesn't have 8 kids by the way, she only has 4, she had friends over last time we saw her. But we were talking to her on the doorstep (her husband wasn't home so we weren't sure about going in) but she is really interested about what we believe and asked a lot of questions, some of them were quite tricky, but I think we did well anwering all of them, I hope. But she said she will talk to her husband and arrange a time for us to go and see them again when they are both in, so hopefully they will get in contact soon.
We are also teaching a guy named Paul (a different one), his wife Alison is a less-active we have been working with and we taught him on satuday about Faith. It was a good lesson, especially for me because I made a big contribution to a leson for once, which made me happy at least. And we also resolved Alisons concen as to why she stopped coming, or so we thought. They said they would both make it to church on yesterday but... no show. We will have to go and see them to see what stopped them coming. But I am growing to love both of them, they really are amazing. And I love the members here.
It is a small world in the church by the way... a member down here, Don Griffin, remembers Michael Patterson being his young men leader in Paisley! and Bishop Howlett here knows President Freed!! Also we have a young man, Tim Sewell, leaving for his mission in August to... Scotland Ieland!! so keep an eye out for him :)
Well tomorrow we have a mission (half-mission) conference in Crawley so I am really excited to that, may even see some of my friends from the MTC which would be cool to meet up with all of them.
Oh yeah, Frazer Keir, if you somehow get this message... Birmingham Mission? No way!! That is geat to hear, you will love it and love the MTC. When you get to the field keep an eye out for Elders Larsen, Lowry and L'Henaff, they were in my district in the MTC and are good friends of mine. You will be an amazing missionary though, I know that from the proselyting activity at glasow ysa convention and that mission prep weekend when I had the honour of being your companion. You will be amazing!
Also, Shaun Gangel, I hear you are preparing to go on your mission, that is awesome man!! Make sure you know Preach My Gospel and the Book of Mormon. If you ever need any other advise feel free to write/email, I will get back to you as soon as I can :)
Thank you all for your letters, emails and prayers. I love you all!
Elder Mitchell

It's a small world in the church!

Fathers Day

This week I got an email from Elder Mitchell wishing me a belated Happy Fathers Day.

I know it is kina late now, but I didn't want you thinking I had forgotten, as I was thinking of you yesterday.
I am glad to hear you had a good father's day. Down here was pretty good too. In sacrament we sung "O My Father" and as we sung the first few lines; "thou that dwellest in the high and glorious place," I couldn't help but think of you up there in Scotland, It made me chuckle a little. But the primary made all the dads and potential future dads bookmarks, me and Elder Martin got two each, it was really sweet.
Another thing I thought about is kinda in Preach My Gospel, at the end of chapter 5 about the Book of Mormon. It talks about when Jesus appeared to the Nephites and how Heavenly Father introduces him, the story in Preach My Gospel is that the investigator they were teaching said "wow, Heavenly Father was really poud of Jesus wasn't he?" and well that got me thinking, how would Heavenly Father introduce me. I was also thinking how will you welcome and introduce me when I return home. I hope you can say, like Heavenly Father did with Jesus to the Nephites, "This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased." I hope you can say that of me when I return home.
I hope you are all doing well, I wish i could write more but I have a few other emails to write.
I love you dad.
Elder Mitchell

Below is the story from Preach My Gospel that Elder Mitchell was referring to.  This is a true story and names have been changed.

“When we invited the Sniders to be baptized and confirmed, Sister Snider was ready, but Brother Snider said, ‘Don’t get your hopes up, Elders. I don’t know if I can ever do this!’ Although Brother Snider accepted what we taught and was always warm and friendly, he was deeply concerned about how his family would react to his joining another church. 

“After several weeks of watching Brother Snider struggle, my companion and I felt impressed to again read 3 Nephi 11 with the Sniders. I will never forget what happened that night. As we opened the Book of Mormon, my companion explained, ‘This chapter, as you might recall, recounts the Savior’s visit to the people in the Book of Mormon. Here we read about the Savior’s love for these people and what He taught them.’ We each took turns reading a verse or two. After reading through verse 5, my companion interrupted and said, ‘I have always been impressed with the description given here of the voice they heard. The voice was not harsh, it was not loud, and although it was a small voice, it had a powerful piercing effect on them. This voice was not only heard with their ears, but it spoke to their hearts.’ I watched the Sniders as they listened intently to my companion.

“After some discussion about prayer and listening to the Spirit, it was Brother Snider’s turn to read: ‘And behold, the third time they did understand the voice which they heard; and it said unto them: Behold my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased, in whom I have glorified my name—hear ye him.’ Brother Snider paused, looking intently at his Book of Mormon. Then he looked up at me and
said, ‘Heavenly Father was really proud of His Son, wasn’t He?’ ‘Yes,’ I said. Brother Snider looked back at his book again and stared at the open pages as if deep in thought. Finally he said, ‘I would want Heavenly Father to be proud of me too. I wonder how He would introduce me. I guess, if I . . . well, if I want Him to be proud of me then I had better do what He wants me to do.’ ‘Yes, I think that would be important,’ I replied. ‘Well,’ Brother Snider continued. ‘I think I’ve been worrying too much about what everybody else thinks and not enough about what God thinks.’ After a brief pause Brother Snider nodded and with a determined look said, ‘I think I had better be baptized.’ His response was so unexpected that my companion and I looked at him with blank stares. Finally, my companion said, ‘Yes, that would be the right thing to do. In fact, later on in this chapter the Savior
teaches . . .’ As my companion talked I felt a burning in my heart and gratitude for the power of the Book of Mormon.

I am truly pleased that Elder Mitchell is serving our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  I often say that he is missed, but I don't miss him.  Yes it it strange not to have him with us every day, and although I can not say that I know where he is at any given moment, it is enough that I know he is on his mission and I know that God will watch over him.

As for what I'll tell him when he comes home and I see him again, I have thought about that already.  May be I'll sing something instead, but that would be telling.  You'll just have to wait and see!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Elder Mitchell was pushing his luck.......

as we didn't receive an email on Monday!  Finally we got one, with apologies.

Hey everyone, sorry this email is late, I was planning to email when we got to the Weston-Super-Mare chapel on P-day but that didn't happen, I am sorry.

This week has been good, we are potentially teaching 3 families, that I will tell you more about next week as I do not have much time (I am writting this after district meeting)

Just to quickly let you all know I am doing okay.

By the way, I still haven't received that package yet, but I asked Sister Shamo about it last week at Zone Training and she got me to phone the office to make sure it is there (which it is) and she will work out getting it to me. It is just hard for them to get all the packages around because we are so far away from the mission office, but Sister Shamo is on the case!

This week I had my first exchange, which was good. Our district leader Elder Kankkunen came to downend to serve with me for the day on friday, it was interesting as I was the lead missionary in the area. It was good expience. It was also good for me to see him stopping and talking to everybody, it gave me confidence to do it myself, but I still need a lot more confidence and can improve a lot. It was really interesting though.

Yesterday we got to see a referral we got last week. Her name is Lisanne. She has 3 teenage children, 2 puppies (one of them said hello to me b peeing on my shoe...), 3 cats, a hedgehog and 9 tortoises (she is a vet by the way). Anyway, we will be seeing her again tomorrow, so hopefully it will all go well. I feel she has a lot of potential.

We are also seeing Jo today (our potential with 8 kids) so hopefully that will go well.

I apologise for this email being so late, and so short, I will make up for it next week I am sure.

I hope you are all doing well.

Lots of Love

Elder Mitchell

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Elder Mitchell's latest email

Hey everybody!!

Wow! 6 emails already... have I really been out 6 weeks already? Doesn't seem like it, time is flying by so fast!!!

Well, last week I told you all we are down to 1 baptismal date. well.... after I sent that email we were down to none. Dhruba is great, he didn't suddenly change and not want to meet with us, he got a new job and moved to Stansted in London on tuesday. Me and Elder Martin were devastated!! Don't get me wrong, we are so happy for him that he got a new job, but we didn't expect him to have to move so soon. And although we will not be the ones to baptize him, we have referred him onto the missionaries there, and he have done our part in helping him to the waters of baptism so we cannot complain.

This week has been interesting though, because us and our ward mission leader want to try and focus our efforts on working with the members, we do not seem to be finding many people to teach through our own efforts. I don't know if that is Heavenly Father trying to help us concentrate on working with the members or what, but we feel like our days aren't really effective. But hopefully we will get to know the members better and help them find their close friends or family that are ready to hear the gospel.

On friday, me and Elder Martin had an interesting experience. We had just got on the bus heading back to the flat for lunch, and one woman on the bus we walked past as we were getting on the bus said "aw! I hate when these guys get on the bus!" referring to me and Elder Martin. That really got to me, and I don't know why. I just felt like we did nothing wrong and didn't deserve that, and that all we were doing is trying to share a message to make people happy, by letting them know we have a loving Heavenly Father and that he has a plan for each and everyone of us, and I just had the feeling that, not only did the world not know about this, but they didn't want to know and didn't care. So I felt me being here on a mission was going to come to nothing. But then the next morning in personal study, I was reading randomly in the Book of Mormon and came across the story of Alma and Amulek when they were trying to teach the people of the city of Ammonihah. I read what they had to go through, they had to watch the righteous be burned, and they were imprisoned and stripped of their clothes and mocked and beaten, and they endured all of that for days and days, and it just told me how stupid I was being for getting so down over one silly comment one person had made. So that really helped. And from that, I know that the Book of Mormon has an answer to anything, any problems life throws at us, we can use the Book of Mormon to help us through it.

Also on friday, we had an impression to go and visit someone. The lady we wanted to visit, we actually found on the first street me and Elder Martin knocked together in Downend. We were meant to actually see her on wednesday, but have been so busy we didn't get a chance to, but we went to see her. She was in, and she was happy for us to meet with her again, except friday was not a good time. She asked us to come back not this wednesday, but next wednesday, this is because it is half term (good enough reason I guess) and she has to look after her 8 kids (yeah! that's what I thought!). We are really excited to teach her though, as quite a few of her kids are possibly baptismal age, so fingers crossed she will still be interested.

We also have 2 potential investigators we have spent all week trying to catch them in and see them, but all the times we went to see them they either weren't in or were just ignoring us. But we will keep trying. Actually, yesterday we caught one of them in. First though, I will just say that the heatwave has officially ended, as it was bucketing it down yesterday evening. It of course didn't start raining until me and Elder Martin left our dinner appointment, so we got soaked. We spent about 3 hours or so in the rain trying to visit people in the nearby area. But all our walking in the rain and getting soaked was made worth it but that one of those two that we caught in yesterday. His name is Andre, and we knocked on his door last night, and he was in! He was busy so couldn't talk to us then, but he was happy for us to come back and teaching him more about the Book of Mormon (the elders before I got here and given him one to read) so hopefully we can teach him more and he will be willing to listen.

Oh yeah! forgot to mention, saturday was helping hands!! we did some painting for a local youth centre which was pretty good, the owners were really thankful. After that me and Elder Martin stayed for the ward BBQ, and us and the ward mission leader were made judges of a cake competition which the Relief Society had planned. Now as missionarires, our first thoughts were "err... is this gonna effect our D.A's?" but we were happy to do it haha! and then at the BBQ I had one of the little primary girls become very attatched to me... literally. Now as a missionary, in our little white handbook, it says to avoid like holding children etc for like legal reasons, so when a little girl has clamped herself to your leg, as a missionary you have absolutely no idea what to do! so that was err... interesting haha! But it was great to do service and to get to know the ward members more. Hope your various helping hands activities went well (I presume you all had one).

So yeah, that has been my week. Hope all is going well for all of you back home. I hear my Becky is doing amazing on the Primary Presidency, I am so proud of her ^.^

Oh yeah, to those of you who have birthdays, but especially Dan, Happy Birthday for today!! and Becky, Happy Birthday for tomorrow!! hope you both have a great day!! and any one else whos birthday it is, happy birthday!!

By the way, I doubt it is like this is Scotland, but Bristol is covered in Union Flags for the Diamond Jubilee. And on sunday we sang God save the Queen. It is weird seeing and singing that, I must be too used to you Scots! :P Everywhere is getting covered in England flags too for Europe, I have seen who is in England's group, France, Sweden and Ukraine, should be interesting... It isn't the worst group though (group B; Netherlands, Germany, Portugal and someone else, can't remember, and Ireland's group with Spain and Italy) I know I shouldn't be thinking about football but I like to know whats going on, its a good conversation starter. There are also a few rainbow flags in the centre of town which I think is gay pride but thats another story... pretty weird but never mind.

Anyway, hope you are all doing well.

Love to you all

Elder Mitchell

ps. I still haven't got my greenie package.... I think it is at least at the Mission home, but I have no idea how they are gonna get it from there to here... hope there was nothing important in it...

Any one else detect a change?