Sunday, 5 August 2012

More catch ups

I can't believe I've got behind already.  Here are the last emails that I've missed - sorry about that everyone.

July 16

Hey everybody,

Hope you are all doing well. It is great to get emails and letters from you all. This week has been good. The challenge is remembering it all to tell you all haha!

We have been able to teach a few people this week which has been good. We are also working with a few less-actives and have been helping do some service for a member who is moving into a new home, but is replastering the walls and everything, so we have had fun destroying things haha! well, by destroying things I mean taking the old plaster off the walls, I just wanted to make it sound more exciting.

Well one person we taught this week, her name is Jess. Her grandparents are members and she stays with them, so we had a DA with the family, then we taught her a little bit. It was good, and we were meant to see her again on saturday but she had to cancel for some reason.

We also taught this guy called Markus and his fiance Laura. Markus is a less-active (or more of an in-active I guess you could say, he hasn't been to church since he was 15) but Laura is a non-member. We actually met them through our Ward Mission Leader, he had a birthday party and they were there and he introduced us. He is really into bikes and trucks, so needless to say, him and Elder Martin got on like a house on fire, as Elder Martin loves bikes! It was great to see them this week though and get to know them better. Hopefully we can see them sometime this week, but they are getting married next friday so they are probably going to be really busy!

I really need to bring my planner with me when I email so I can remember what I have done this week... I'd say I have a memory of a goldfish but... that's unkind to the fish. err...

Oh yeah, I will tell you something interesting that happened on saturday! Well two things really. First, we got to have an interview with President Millar. It was only a short interview, just enough for him to get to know us a bit more, maybe about 10 minutes or so, which was good. The interview was at the Wells Road chapel though, and getting back was... interesting.

So we got on a bus to the city centre (bad thing about Bristol, you want a bus anywhere, you have to get a bus to the city centre to go back out to the part you need to be at, aka Downend) and just before we got to Temple Meads train station, we found the road had been closed off by Police, so the bus had to double back on itself and find another route. But me and Elder Martin decided we would get off and walk through the city centre. Probably wasn't the best idea... our first clue should have been the road being closed, but our second clue was as we walked by Temple Meads station, we saw loads of police on horseback, and tons of riot vans and police in riot gear. So we thought there must be something going on, but we had no other was to go, so we kept walking. Then just past Temple Meads, we saw loads more police in riot gear, and we could hear music playing loudly and people shouting, and to our right, about 300 yards away or so, there was some sort of demonstration going on. So we had to go left (which was the way we were heading anyway, but we had no choice. But just down the road there was a line of police there in riot gear and they stopped us and wouldn't allow us down the road for a few minutes, just to make sure it was safe. After they let us though we carried on walking and realized because of whatever is going on, we will have to walk nearly the whole way around the outskirts of the city centre. Then further up the road, we saw a big crowd of people, shouting and carrying banners and things like that, obviously another part of the demonstration. Luckily, there was a road to the right, which we could go down and still go the way we needed to go. After that we didn't really see any other trouble, but there was police in riot gear everywhere! There were units down from as far as Manchester, which is really far away. There was even a helicopter. But we managed to get back to Downend safely. We only found out afterwards though, at the teach we were heading to, what was actually going on. There were apparently 3 demonstrations going on. One of them was Gay Pride which, unsurprisingly to me anyway, needed no police. I only say unsurprisingly because I have met gay people, and they don't really seem like people to cause trouble. But the other two were the trouble makers. One demonstration was called the English Defence League, basically from my understanding, a racist group, and the other group was the Anti-English Defence League, so that's why there was so much police.

Just realised how long this email is... sorry guys haha!

Oh yeah, one last person we taught. We taught Paul on saturday (after we got back to Downend) in a pub which was interesting. quick explanation. We had dropped him and his wife Alison, a less-active, because we felt we were not getting anywhere with them, and apparently Elder Martin had been praying about them and saying if you want me to teach them, you will bring them to me, so thursday night we got a call from Paul saying he would like to meet us and talk about the church as he wants to get more involved with it. So he arranged to meet us in a pub, play some pool and talk a bit. We also saw him yesterday and discussed how we can help him. He does want to get involved with the church, but he drinks, and he smokes and he doesn't know how he can overcome it, as he does want to stop. Well us and his wife Alison are all supporting him, and we asked him if he would prepare to be baptized on August 25th, and he said he would. It is going to take a lot of work but I know he can do it. And I hope I will still be here to see it.

Oh yeah, another interesting thing on sunday, I was asked to teach Elders Quorum. I was so nervous about teaching it as I was only asked saturday afternoon if I could do it, and I am not a very good teacher, but I prayed for help, and it turned out a good lesson. Also in Sacrament we had 2 less-actives that were there. One of them, Gary, brought his 3 daughters along too which was great, and it was good to see them there. The other, Her name is louisa, we have been working with her family for a few weeks now, but just as we started singing the sacrament hymn, I saw her and her little 2 year old girl Evie (I don't think that's how you spell it... Eve with and extra -e on the end) sneak in. I couldn't help but smile. I have no idea why, but I was so happy to see them there.

Well that has been my week. It has been interesting, and I hope I have covered everything I have done, if not, I'm sorry.

Hope you are all doing well.
Love to you all

Elder Mitchell

July 23

Hey everybody,

Hope you are all doing well. This week has been an amazing week, things are really picking up work-wise, but it has been really interesting and sometimes frustrating.

Paul is doing amazing. We have seen him a few times this last week and he is doing great. Our district leader has been making sure we have daily contact with him, but we don't need to because he calls us everyday even if it is just to say how he is doing. It is great. He and his wife Alison even made it to sacrament yesterday which was great! He says he loved it and really enjoyed it. Talk about opposition though, he has had a lot of trials thrown at him this weekend especially, but in spite of all of those he is still really excited to get baptized next month which is fantastic!!

This week we also saw Dhruba again. It was fantastic to see him again, and he was so happy to see us again as well. He is still really excited to get baptized as well, so we extended a date to him for the 22nd Aug and he accepted! Only problem is he works on sundays just now. Its strange that what we taught him on tuesday when we saw him was the 10 commandments so the topic of working on sundays automatically came up. But he says he will talk to his boss and see if they can work out a way of him getting sundays off, even if it is just a few hours so he can attend sacrament. Trouble is he works in a restaruant which obviously at weekends gets super busy, so hopefully Heavenly Father will help him find a way to get sundays off.
We also had another investigator at church yesterday. His name is Godfrey (I think that is how you spell it) He is from china, and is a referral from the Wells Road Elders. We met him in town on saturday with the Wells Road elders as they were the ones that found him, and they wanted to make sure he knew who we were as he wanted to come to church in Downend. And he did make it to church which was great. He enjoyed church, and no one showed up for our Gospel Principles class so we taught him the first discussion and made sure he understood where the book of mormon came from etc. It was great though, and we also invited him to be baptized on the 25th of Aug, and he accepted! We will be seeing him again some time this week, he needs to get back to us as he has a busy schedule.

So the work is really picking up here, not just in our District but in our whole zone. We worked out that from our previous district meeting where we only had 2 baptizmal dates in the whole Bristol Zone, this last week we had 14, and that has gone up since Wednesday since we had the district meeting, which is fantastic.
I was really looking forward to Saturday night though, because we finally had an appointment to go and see Jo, who we found on my first day here in Bristol. And it didn't happen. There was some festival going on in Bristol over the weekend which really messed up the buses coming from town. We were just outside the city centre waiting for a bus, and we were waiting for over half an hour for a bus we could get on. Buses were coming but they wouldn't stop as they were packed full of people, so we had to cancel. I was so gutted and frustrated, but I guess someone doesn't want us to see them. We are seeing them the same time next week though, and we will make sure we get there for it.

We have been doing a lot of service this week as well. We were helping brother Griffin with his house (we actually got to kick a celing in, totally didnt enjoy that :P) and I nearly died. Elder martin broke off a bit of plaster from the celing, but because there was like wallpaper on the celing as well, the weight of the paster started peeling the wallpaper off so it swung like right in front of me. I had just taken a few steps back as well, so it scared me half to death. Just proves that Heavenly Father is watching over me haha. But we also stopped by a former investigator we found in the area book. When we went round he was cementing his driveway so we helped him a little with that (in our suits) which was fun. He is a great guy too, from jamaica, and we will hopefully be seeing him this week sometime.

Well That is all I really have time to say, I still have to email President Millar so I had better do that before we go to Bath. The weather is actually decent for us today, not a cloud in the sky! I feel like I am in california or something, its great!

Well hope all of you are doing well.

Love to you all
Elder Mitchell

July 30

Hey everybody! (I was tempted to write "Nehow" which is chinese for hello, but I didn't think you would get it, plus there aren't any chinese characters on the keyboard, and even if there was i'd have no idea how to write it in chinese.)

This week has been amazing, although before I tell you about it, just a quick reminder it is my birthday next monday (hint hint ;) :P) Because it is on a monday I was expecting to have my birthday on a P-day, but, next week is transfers which means P-days are moved to Wednesday which sucks! Honestly, what are the chances of, first my birthday being on a P-day, and then that P-day actually being the week of moves so that it isn't a P-day. What are the chances? I'm not bitter about it, I just think it's funny how bad my luck is! haha!
So, my week. It started good. Last P-day we finally got to go to Bath!! It is a beautiful place though (so expensive though!!! There is a street there, where 1 house costs £8million. It's just ridiculous!!) But the weather was great, it was great to see some of the sights, and all the missionaries enjoyed it, but none more then me. I can definately say I enjoyed it more because I know that, when Dad was my age, he could have walked the exact streets that I was walking. So Dad, I have walked metaphoically in your footsteps by coming on a mission and now physcially as well :P

The weather this week has been so amazing though! It has been close to 30 degress at least, and the sky has been so blue for most of it (I had forgotten the sky is actually blue, not a dark grey colour). It made me think if I had by mistake got on the plane with Elder Patterson to Nevada.

But the work here is going great! We have 5 people with baptismal dates in Downend alone, and 10 in total in our District! We haven't done anything differently, so it is not down to us, but I guess God has just prepared these people for this time. So obviously we still have Paul, Dhruba and Godfrey (i finally worked out how to spell his name) but we now have Lisanne and Naomi, both with a date for 1st September.
Lisanne we saw her on thursday, we were meant to see her on tuesday but she slept in, so we went round thursday morning (she has quite a big house) we knocked on her door, called her about 6 times, no answer. So we gave up and started heading home when we got a text from her apologising, she had been in her kitchen at the other end of the house and didn't hear us knock, and she didn't have her phone on her. But we went back and talked to her about the book of mormon and invited her to read and pray about it. and we also invited her to be baptized and she accepted, as long as she gets an answer.

Naomi is a referral from the Southmead ward, her daughter is a member. She is from Jamaica so her accent is hard for me to understand at times. But we gave her a book of mormon and asked her to read and pray about it, which she said she will do. We also invited her to be baptized and she accepted. She was even willing to come to church on sunday, but she was really ill when we saw her saturday evening so she didn't make it.

We had a miricle this week though, Dhurba made it to church!! He had talked with his manager/head chef and was allowed sunday morning off (he had to go in from 4-11pm) but he was still able to attend church which was great and he loved it!! Only thing is, it was only this sunday he was allowed off, so I don't know if he could make it out again. He wants to get a new job so he can get sundays off, but he is not allowed to leave his current work until the 26th september due to his work permit, which sucks! Dhruba is so golden though! This week, I was on exchance with our district leader and we taught him the word of wisdom. Now I remember from reading the pamphlet on the word of wisdom before the lesson and that it talks about our bodies being temples, so I started along those lines, told him that our bodies are gifts from God and that because of this we should respect them and watch what we put in them. He didn't really have a problem with the word of wisdom, he would have a beer and a tea every now and then but at the end of the lesson he said he would do those things now more as he said "I know my body is a gift from God." It was amazing!!
Oh yeah, we also got to see Jo and her husband Paul this week!! Have only been waiting 10 weeks to see them but it was worth the wait. She amazed me at least at the start of the lesson by saying that obviously we feel that they are missing something because if we were just going to say we have the same beliefs we wouldn;t be going around sharing the message with them. She asked a lot of hard questions that even made Elder Martin think. She wanted to know how we believed we got salvation. She believes that we are saved only through faith on Jesus Christ, which is part true, but we told her also that it depends on our works as well, as the Book of Mormon says, we are judged of our works, and as long as we have done the best we can, we will be saved through the mercy of Jesus Christ (as none of us can be perfect) I think we may have to go over that again next time we see them.

Funny thing about that lesson though, she asked if she could know what our first names are, which there isn't a rule against, so we told her. But when she said the prayer at the end of the lesson, she prayed for us using our first names. I was like "Who on earth is Zachariah? wait... that's me!" It was strange haha.
So that has been my week. I wish I could write more, but I still have to email President Millar before we go to wells road. But I hope you are all safe and well. I feel your prayers for me everyday, and I pray for all of you too.

Lots of Love
Elder Mitchell

Well this week is moves, so we might not get an email tomorrow.  It is his birthday tomorrow, so I hope he has a wonderful birthday.  I'm still on my travels, but I hope to be able to update everyone on Friday.

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