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,
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
Now for his regular weekly email:
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