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