Sunday, 29 December 2013
Elder Mitchell originally said we would call on Christmas Day between 2 and 2:30, but we missed a call from him on Christmas Eve while we were at our Carol Service, saying that there were some problems and he would be calling later. Needless to say we were disappointed to miss his call and that he couldn't say when we he would be able to call. So we waited and waited and waited and finally he called about 8 o'clock when we were at Linda's, his sister. She then took him on a tour of her house via Skype and the only way we could include Becky, his girlfriend was to get her on another device on another Skype account and talk via 2 different phones! It was so funny!
|Elders Tidwell and Mitchell|
|Elders Tidwell, Mitchell, Callmore and Tauman|
|Elder Mitchell calling home to say there was a change|
of plan for calling the next day (Christmas Day)
|Elders Mitchell and Tidwell|
|Presents from the Ward and the Primary - mini missionaries|
|Mini Elders Tidwell and Mitchell|
|Close up of the mini missionaries|
I bring you glad tidings of great joy! IT'S CHRISTMAS!!!!!!!!! sorry, got a bit excited....
Well this week has been a week full of finding! Again we have had an unsuccessful week of getting in contact with any of our investigators. They have all been busy and cancelled appointments or we just haven't been able to get in contact with them. Nothing better then finding in the rain.
We did get two new investigators this week which was good. One of them is Betty, we met her on the street last week, she is from Ghana and she has friends that are members of the church, which is cool. We actually got to teach her this week which was really good. We aren't able to see her again until the new year, but hopefully we can see her again.
The other his name is Elliot, he was a guy we found knocking.
So, on tuesday I got to go to the Temple which was amazing!!! I love being at the temple, the spirit was so strong there and it was great to be there with so many missionaries as well! The temple was almost bursting at the seems from the amount of missionaries that were there. It was great, and they had the nativity set up at the visitors centre which I was so happy to see. And after going through for a session, they gave us a really good lunch too! (There was this really nice carrot cake that was so good, I wanted some more, but they didn't let me). It was good though, and coming back on the train with all my packages during rush hour was interesting but it was all good.
On thursday, we went on exchange with our Zone Leaders, which was good. Elder Tidwell got to go with Elder Holmes in the car which I was a little jealous about, but it was good. I learned a lot from the other Zone Leader Elder Popa so it was a good exchange and we worked hard.
Well sunday at church was good. Everybody else was teaching the lessons this time, so we got to relax! (Ha! if there is such a word!) We did have the opportunity to sing with the ward choir which was good. Pretty much us 4 missionaries made up 80% of the men's side of the choir. It went well though, and sounded good.
Also, yesterday, our ward had a baptism from the other missionaries. It is a bit of a miracle story. Basically, about two weeks ago they received this referral, her name is Shabnam. They got in contact with her, and she asked if she could get baptized before Christmas. Turns out she had a friend in Spain who was a member who was sharing the gospel with her, and then she was chatting online with missionaries in the visitors centre. She got baptized on sunday after church and she will be confirmed next week. I know it wasn't our baptism, and we had nothign to do with the teaching, but it is always great to see another one of God's children enter the waters of baptism.
So pretty much, that has been my week. Well, moves was meant to fall on Christmas, but they have moved it to next week now, but I still don't think anyone will be moving. I'll let you know though as soon as I know.
Well I wish you all a very Merry Christmas!!!
Lot of Love
Elder Zach Mitchell
Tuesday, 17 December 2013
I hope you have all had a good week! One more week until Christmas!!
Well, my week has been a pretty tough week if I am honest. We have been flogged a lot, and had quite a few days that we weren't able to teach a single person, even on the street. One day, we had four appointments lined up, and they all fell through or flogged, which was discouraging, but never mind.
We are still working hard though, and hopefully this week will be better. Something funny I must share from this week though, I have no idea how it happened, but we ended up teaching a gay couple.
We met one of them, James I think his name was, on the street. He was friendly and as it was cold, he invited us back to his for a drink, and a chat. Just after we got to his though, we hear the door opening, and he goes "oh, that's Charles, my Partner" which was interesting. They asked some pretty good questions though, and we managed to teach them the restoration, and we gave them a Book of Mormon. It was an interesting experience though... very awkward.
Another good thing from this week is that we had our Ward Christmas party which was fun. We were hoping to have our investigator Innocent come, but he flogged but anyways. It was a good party, there was lots of food, which disappeared very quickly (before anyone says anything, I had hardly any!). It was good fun though.
Sunday, church was an interesting day. Me and Elder Tidwell nearly ended up running the whole day. So a few weeks ago we were asked to give the Priesthood lesson, so we had to give that, and then on friday night, we got a call from the 1st Councillor asking if we could both speak in sacrament meeting on sunday, so we agreed to that, and THEN a few minutes before sunday school starts, the gospel doctrine teacher comes up to us and asks, as relief society were having a special thing, if we could cover the lesson for her. Thankfully the 1st Councillor took over that for us. But it was a busy day.
Then, I'll share a little miracle we had. By sunday night, we had no lessons at all that day, and we were just heading back to account with our District Leader, when he calls and says we can move our accounting time back 50 minutes if we wanted, so we had 50 minutes to go finding. In that time, Elder Tidwell wanted to get 3 other lessons, so we went out and talked to everyone we could. By the end of that 50 minutes, guess how many lessons we had? 3! It was a small miracle, but after the week we had, it made me feel so much better.
Well I am so excited for tomorrow, we are getting to go to the temple which will be amazing!!! I haven't been to the temple for such a long time, it will be great.
Well I hope you all have a good week.
I love you all!!!
Elder Zach Mitchell
We received an email from a sister in Addlestone Ward, Sis Tarr, who sent us a picture of Elders Mitchell and Tidwell.
We have the privilege of having your sons serving on our ward. They are
wonderful missionaries and good, respectful men. Thank you for sharing them
with us. We have enjoyed having them in our home and hearing their
As a mom of two missionaries, one serving now, I know what it's like to get
a note here and a picture there. Enjoy!
I am starting to hope I have miscounted somewhere and this really isn't my 85th email, it is getting scary haha!
Well I hope you all have had a good week. Our week has been a mixed week, full of fun and games (not really fun and games, we have been working hard, but it has been interesting)
So the week started great. We had a ward family home evening, that was better announced at church on sunday than it was attended, but that it no problem, we still had quite a few of us there (10 if you include us 4 Elders). We were doing the lesson, so we did it all about faith, and I set up a maze of chairs they had to navigate while blindfolded, and they had to listen to their guide and have faith that they would guide them the right way. It was fun and went well. No one was hurt, which is always a bonus.
This week we did have some better luck with seeing some of our investigators. First, we were able to get back in touch with Justin, which was good. We lost contact with him again for a while, but we should be able to see him again tomorrow. We also got back into contact with Osa, but we haven't been able to see him yet.
We were able to see Crystal again on friday which was good. She has been doing a lot of reading which is great! She has already finished 1 Nephi, which is amazing! She has been going through and making notes too which is great! We did invite her to church on sunday, but she couldn't make it. She did say though, since meeting us she is praying a lot more than she used to. She used to only pray and ask for help, but now she prays even when things are well which is good.
We also have a new investigator called Innocent. We met him a few weeks ago, but we weren't able to arrange a specific time to meet him. But we saw him again on saturday, and he says he has been reading the Book of Mormon that we gave him, and he has some questions about it, that he will ask us next time, as he has them written down. So we will be seeing him on saturday and going with him to our ward Christmas party which should be fun.
Something I learned this week is that the adversary will do anything he can to get in the way of this work, even if it involves messing with some plumbing... So, since we moved to the flat the bath has had trouble draining water, and over the last week is gradually got worse until it wouldn't drain completely until about 3-4pm (after we finished using it around 7.30ish). So we called the office, and between them and the landlady they brought out a plumber. He managed to clear the blockage and it was draining great, and then the next morning, Elder Tidwell got out of the shower and stepped into half an inch of water all over our bathroom floor... So the Plumber had to come back again on saturday and he spent all morning and part of the afternoon tearing out our bathroom to find where the water was coming from, and he had to replace the whole pipe. So that took out a chunk of time this week.
So yeah, we have had quite an up and down week, but we are working hard, even though its cold, and gets dark at about 4... which is annoying. people keep telling us that we should knock on their doors so late, we are like "it's only 4.30!" its funny. We had someone threaten to call the police on us the other day, which I shouldn't laugh about, but it is just funny.
Well I hope you all have a good week!
Attached is some photos of my maze from last weeks Ward F.H.E
Love you all!!
Elder Zach Mitchell
I hope you have all had a good week!! December is officially here! I have no idea where the other 11 months went, but alas we are here now! I hope you are all getting excited for Christmas, but at the same time remember the true meaning of Christmas.
This week has had ups and downs if I am honest. We haven't really been able to meet with any of our investigators sadly, so we have spent a lot of time trying to find more. At the start of the week it all seemed to be going well and we found 3 new investigators this week, but the weekend was pretty tough. No one we spoke to wanted to listen and we got quite discouraged. It is a new week though so we will move on and work hard.
We had a great Zone Conference on friday which was great! We had a visit from Elder and Sister Teixeira which was great! there shared some really inspirational ideas with us, and they gave us a lot of encouragement and advise. (obviously the adversary didn't like that as it was after that conference that the week got tough). It was a great conference though, and I got to see quite a lot of the missionaries from my MTC group which was great!!
I wish there was more to tell you from this week, but we haven't been able to meet with any of our investigators like I said, so it is difficult to tell you how they are doing. We did get three new investigators this week though, so we will see how that goes.
Well I hope you all have a good week.
I love you all!
Elder Zach Mitchell
Hey Dad, I'm glad you've had a good trip and have travelled safe. I'm sure it must have been great seeing everyone.
Glad you got to attend church in Norwich again. That is what I loved about serving in Reading, is that the building reminded me of Norwich.
I had laready heard that Elder Riki was an AP, he has been for a while haha.
I'm not going to even comment on Mathew's hair...
Oh, guess who I met on friday at Zone Conference, do you remember an Elder Darcy fro Dublin, he served his mini mission in Livi with Elder Neilson. He met and I asked him where he was from and so he asked me (I said Edinburgh because no one knows where livingston is) and he was like "where about's in Edinburgh?" so I told him Livingston and then it clicked and he was like "Are you Bishop Mitchell's son?" He says he loved serving in Livingston, and he was telling me how great a ward mission leader you were, which I already knew. I have a picture that I'll try and attach.
Love you Dad!
Elder Zach Mitchell
I hope you are all doing well and have had a good week!
Mine has had some high and low points, but that is life I suppose, so I won't complain.
So I guess I will just run you through everyone we are working with.
Justin, we were able to get in contact with, and we meant to meet with him, but he hasn't been well these last few weeks so we weren't able to get to see him. Osa, we were kinda able to see him, but it was hectic at his place and we weren't really able to teach anything. Steven we were hoping to see this week also, but he had some family stuff he needed to sort out. He did text us on saturday night asking if he could come to church with us on sunday though, but sunday morning he text again and said he wouldn't be able to make it. And finally Charles...
We managed to get a member to come with us to see him on tuesday, and the member we picked remembers going to see Charles 6 years ago with the missionaries... The member told us in advance all his reasons for not reading or praying or anything, and Charles brought up the same reasons why he wasn't able to read or pray. Anyway, the next day, we got a call from Charles asking if we could stop by at some point that day, so we went by and he basically told us he didn't want to meet with us anymore. He wasn't reading the Book of Mormon because it didn't interest him and he wasn't praying because he says he physically can't pray (except he says the Islam prayers fine). Anyway, he said that he doesn't want to waste our time, so sadly he dropped us. Never mind. It happens.
One good thing about this week though is that we met a girl called Crystal. We taught her on friday and it was a really good teach. She seemed really interested in the Book of Mormon and in finding out more. It was funny though as when we told her about the first vision, she said she had heard it before from this tv show ages ago that was just back talking all religions, and of course, as they do they took a dig at us. It was funny though, her telling us some of the things they said about Mormons, it was so ridiculous that you just had to laugh at it! but we should be seeing her next friday.
So yesterday we had our primary presentation which was really good. It is always great to hear the children bear their little testimonies in their own little way. It was good to hear all the primary songs I remember from singing them when I was in primary (all those years ago).
So, as I promised last week, here are the 10 things we as members can do to help the missionaries without giving them a referral (note these are from Elder Walker, with my own insights added):
1. Learn the names of the Missionaries in the Ward. I know for myself this is a big help to the missionaries, as for me there is nothing worse than someone on sunday coming to shake your hand and having to look at your badge before they actually say your name, so I agree with this.
2. Pray for the Missionaries in the Ward by name.
3. Pray for Missionary experiences. If you pray for them, they will come. Big or small, pray for an opportunity to share the gospel.
4. Feed the Missionaries. I am sure all Missionaries will agree with me on this one.
5. In Sacrament Meetings, look for those you don't know, and introduce themselves. The signs on the front of our chapels say "Visitors Welcome" we need to make them feel welcome, whether they are less-active members who haven't been for a while, or someone who has never been before, make them feel welcome.
6. Invite the Missionaries to teach you and your family the Missionary lessons. Sometimes it is difficult for Missionaries to get a proper sit down teach, so they need practice.
7. Offer to fellowship investigators and new members. Many times, us Missionaries struggle to think of somehow who would be good to fellowship our investigators when they come to church, so if you offer to help, it will be much appreciated.
8. Offer your home for Missionaries to teach investigators in. Allowing and investigator into your home will help them to feel the spirit more, as your home will be somewhere that the spirit can more easily enter.
9. Decide not to be so shy about sharing the gospel. Just make the decision not to be shy.
10. Offer to take investigators to the Temple and Visitor's Centre. I know this one does not necessarily apply to all of us as nto all of us have a temple nearby, but for those who don't you can start by regularly attending the temple as much as your circumstances allow, to show the Lord that you want a temple nearer to your home. (that is my personal opinion anyway, I don't know if it works like that, but no harm in trying right?)
Well, if there was more time, I would tell you about last P-days activity, and attach some photos, but I am short on time, so maybe next week.
I hope the 10 steps are helpful.
I love you all!!!
Elder Zach Mitchell
Sunday, 24 November 2013
I hope you have all had a good week this week. Ours has been quite a bit better then last week, thankfully.
So, first of all, Osa and Justin we have not been able to see them this week. Justin we haven't even been able to contact, which is quite strange. He hasn't answered our calls or replied to our texts, so we don't know what is going on there. Osa, we have spoken to over the phone, but every time we call him to set something up, he is always busy. So we don't know what is going on then.
We have at least been able to meet with Brian briefly. We stopped by last night, and he was busy, but he seemed happy to see us at least, he has just been really busy. He said he would call us at the end of the week and arrange a time we could meet though, which is at least a good sign.
Then we have an Investigator called Steven. I don't remember if I have mentioned Steven before, but he is quite interesting. He comes from a very Catholic family, but we have given him a Book of Mormon and he is really interested in it. He says he feels that it is true, and he always calls it "the Third Testament" He has at least read up to 1 Nephi 4, and we have read some other bits with him, but he was telling us when we met with him this week that he has always felt that there must be more out there, that the Word of God didn't just stop at Revelations. It will be tricky though, as he has a few issues with some "worldly things" is probably the best way I could describe it, and he says that he won't change from being a Catholic.
Our miracle of the week though is Charles. Charles is a self referral from Mormon.org. He is an 81 year old man, who has been through 6 different religions in his lifetime, including Islam. He remembers meeting with Mormons 20 years ago, and he remembers how happy they were, and he remembers feeling good at any meetings he came to, so he wanted to find out more. He wants to come to church with us too, but as yesterday we had Stake Conference in Reading it will have to be this sunday. He seems really promising though.
So Stake Conference: It was great! We had a new Stake Presidency called which was good, and because of that Elder Walker, of the Temple committee and Elder Herbertson (from Scotland) were there. It was really good. At the adult session on saturday evening, Elder Walker gave the members 10 easy things they can do to do missionary work WITHOUT giving the missionaries a referral. I would share these with you as I had planned to, but silly old me left my notebook back at the flat, so that will have to wait until next week.
It was great to be back at Reading though, as we drove though, I was able to reminisce a little at seeing all the streets I used to walk down on a regular basis, and seeing the Reading buses (sad I know, but they are all different colours!) and being back at the Chapel again! It was great! And then, during the session, a member of the Reading Stake Presidency, who was in Reading ward came in and sat next to me which was great! And as Elder Holmes is our Zone Leader he was there too, so we got to see some of the members there, including the Bishop. It was good fun.
Well I think that is all for my week.
I hope you all have a great week, and that you are all getting your Christmas shopping done! (no hints or anything :P) Haha! I'm kidding!
Love you all!!
Elder Zach Mitchell
Sunday, 17 November 2013
Mon Oct 28th
So this weekend just gone, I hit my 18 month mark! I am long over the hill and plummeting towards the bottom now! 6 months to sexy has officially begun, and it started today with 50 push ups!! How many I will get done tomorrow or the rest of the week is yet to be seen (but I'll be honest it'll probably be zero!).
So this week was really good. It started with us having a multi-zone conference on tuesday which was great! It was good being able to meet with so many other missionaries and to hear from our Mission President and others who spoke to us.
So the only one of our investigators we have really been able to see is Osa. We are still not sure how interested he is, but he has been reading the Book of Mormon, and he says he still wants to come and see how we worship, so we shall see.
Someone else worth mentioning though is Brian. So Brian, a few weeks ago we were knocking and we met Brian. He said he doesn't have much beliefs in God, and he didn't have time to talk with us, but he was interested in finding out more about the church.We gave him a mormon.org.uk card and he said he would check it out. Then we received him s a self-referral from the website. We got in contact with him, but weren't able to set up an appointment, so we stopped by one night this week, and we caught him in. He recognized us and he let us in. We were able to teach him, and answer some of his questions which was really good. At the end he said the closing prayer and he thanked God for leading us to meet with him at this time in his life when is is trying to make some changes. It was really good. Simple, but amazing. We are seeing him later this week, and I am feeling really hopeful for it.
Sunday was really good. At church we watched the final session of general conference as a ward which was really nice. It was good to get another spiritual re-boost from conference. We also had a munch and mingle afterwards too which was really good.
Before I wrap this up, something for you all to laugh at. Autumn is a lovely season, its so beautiful with all the leaves turning different colours and falling to the ground. But what puts a dampener on it it what else falls to the ground. Acorns!!! The other day I got hit square in the head! It hurt so badly!! And Elder Tidwell just laughed at me. You are all laughing at me now too aren't you? Just you wait...
Love you all!!! :D
Mon Nov 4th
I hope you are all well and had a lovely week!
This week was pretty good for us, we are getting quite a lot of teaches now which I can't complain about. We have quite a few investigators to work with now, but we have also had quite a few appointments cancel on us or flog, so we have also had to drop a few people.
So just a run through everyone we are working with that is worth mentioning.
Osa is doing great. He came to church on sunday which was really great! We were able to pair him up with a member who is also from Nigeria, who gave him a lift to church. As far as I could tell he had a good experience. He had a lot of questions so in gospel principles we had a good lesson with our wad mission leader. We was curious why, with Joseph Smith being the "founder" as he called him, why there weren't any pictures of him up in the chapel, so we explained to him how we focus our worship on Jesus Christ. Osa does seem really interested in Joseph Smith and how he died for what he believed in, which I feel is a good thing.
Also, I think it surprised the members a little that we had someone at church. When we first got here they were jokingly asking why we didn't have anyone at church, but yesterday when we had Osa there at least one or two of the members said "wow, you guys don't hang around!" So I think it had a good impression on the members.
Brian, we were due to see this week but he ad to cancel. With working freelance he got called into work at late notice, so we weren't able to meet with him. We have spoken to him on the phone though, and he says that he has done a lot of reading and a lot of research and he still wants to meet with us which is good. We also have a member in mind to bring to teaches with him, so hopefully we can get tat arranged this week.
Another one I feel is worth mentioning is Justin. We met him on the street the other week, and we had a good chat. We didn't get a return appointment at that time, but we did get his details and gave him ours. So this week, we got a text from him asking when we could meet up (that like never happens!) so we saw him on friday, and had a good lesson with him. He showed interest in reading the Book of Mormon and does want to come to church to see what it is like. We should be seeing him again on Wednesday.
Elder Tidwell is doing well. He is getting more confident when teaching and finding. e barely gives me a chance to say anything, but thats better then not saying a word. He seems a lot more confident then I was when I was a greenie that's for sure.
Well can you believe this is our last full week before moves week? I still feel like I jut got here! i'm pretty sure I won't be moving though, as President Millar doesn't like splitting up trainers and trainees, so we should be here until christmas. Speaking of which, we are trying to get some christmas music, tis the season to be jolly after all!
I am trying to think of something funny to end this email with but... I have nothing. anyways!!...
Hope you all have a good week!
Love you all!!
Elder Zach Mitchell
With November 10th being Remembrance Sunday I remember the brief period when Elder Mitchell was in the Air Cadets. I mentioned this in my email (posted below) and his response.
I couldn’t help but remember today the brief time you spent as an Air Cadet. They were good times. I never took the plunge and joined the RAF – my preferred choice, but seeing you in uniform was good on the day we remember those who gave their all – the ultimate sacrifice. As a family I think we were so blessed that none of our direct forebears had to make that gift. My dad – Granddad Mitchell was on the way to Singapore when it feel to the Japanese – we can only wonder if he would have survived, but either way being a Japanese POW wasn’t a picnic. At school we had a master who was and although he had some funny stories to tell, he kept the true horror to himself.
This week I have another week at Ashington and tomorrow I’ll find out about next week and going to Wales.
Mum’s watching Christmas movies already!!! Can you believe that? There should be a campaign to kick Christmas back into December!
Well it’s time to go. Make these last six months count.
that is funny you should mention that, I was telling Elder Tidwell about my time in the air cadets the other day too, we saw some air cadets in town with the pots to collect money. I am glad Grandad didn't end up in Singapore either, it didn't sound too great over there.
I can't believe people are getting ready for Christmas already either, although at district meetings I do try and get everyone to sing christmas carols haha!
Thank you for all you have done for me dad, for setting the example by going on a mission and for raising me in the gospel.
Love you dad
Mon Nov 11th
I hope you are all doing well. I hope you are all managing to stay as warm and dry as possible too, winter is definitely on its way now!
This week to be perfectly honest has been challenging. We must be doing something right as we have had quite a bit of opposition this week. I'll give you a run down of everyone we are working with and then you will be able to see what kind of week we had.
First of all, Osa. Osa, for lack of a better phrase, seems to be playing hard to get. We have called him or stopped by almost every day this last week, and he always says he has had a long day at work and is tired or he is never home. We saw him once briefly but he was just about to head out so we haven't really been able to see him.
Justin we weren't able to see last week either. He called us on wednesday to reschedule our appointment with him as something came up, and he mentioned that he had done some research and found out about black's having the priesthood restricted for a time. He wasn't angry about it or anything, and Elder Tidwell dealt with it well and gave an explanation why, and Justin seemed okay about it and we are still meeting him this week. Hopefully we will be able to answer his questions and help him with his concerns.
Last of all Brian. So, also on wednesday, while we were actually in District Meeting talking about how we could help Brian, he text us and said that he has been doing a lot of research and from what he has seen the church is a wonderful church, and he commented on how its teachings seem to be from original sources (his words), but that he does not feel at a spiritual level to be able to investigate it any further at this time. He was prepared to give us the Book of Mormon back as he felt it would be of more use in the hands of someone else. Thankfully we were able to call him that afternoon and talk a little about things. He has agreed to meet with us again but he is busy with work for the next few weeks so we have to wait for him to contact us to set up a time.
So that is the week we have had really. We have still been trying to find more people to teach as always, but with a start to the week like that it has been hard.
Hopefully this week will go better though, and this weekend Staines have their Stake Conference which will be good. However because the Staines chapel is so small, they will have to hold the sunday session at... guess where... Reading!! I'm so excited to go back to Reading again. Even if I don't see any of the members there or anything, just being back there will be so cool!
Anyway, I hope you all have a good week!
Attached is a photo of my boy in his tartan!! (sorry its not that good a pic)
love you all
Elder Zach Mitchell
Moves news – Wed Nov 13th
Just letting you know what is happening, as I thought me and Elder Tidwell are staying put, so we will be together for Christmas (unless president is really mean and decides to change moves to the week before christmas, as moves day falls on christmas this year, but he will probably move it to the week after.)
Love you all!!!
Sunday, 27 October 2013
September 30th brings 2 emails, his general weekly one and another telling us of his new assignment. All will be revealed!
So I don't know what is happening, my emails have been really weird today, I've had emails bouncing back saying they haven't sent, but then I have had a reply to them so I have no idea what is going on...
So this week has had ups and downs I guess. It has been a good week teaching wise, we have worked hard and had a lot of teaches and met some really nice people, but we have also had some disappointing news I guess you could say.
So to run you through the people we are working with. Lucy we were able to meet with again on friday, but we are really considering dropping her now. We were on exchange and one of our Zone Leaders came on the teach with me, and he said it might be an idea to drop her too. She says she is open to listen to us, but she isn't. She has already made her mind up about "mormonism" and just wants to bash with us, prove us wrong and convert us. So we feel it is pretty pointless meeting with her again.
Rebecca, we have some sad news about too. She text us this week and thanked us for visiting her, and being so friendly and everything, but she said that she feels that being a mormon isn't the way for her, and that she wants to stick with catholicism. We asked if we would be able to visit her one last time but she didn't reply. So that was a really down part of our week.
Sonia we saw briefly on friday before she headed to an EFY reunion dance in Reading. She is doing good, but has been really busy with schoolwork so hasn't been able to meet with us. Hopefully we will be able to see her at some point this week though.
We have some other people we are hoping to work with , but it is still early days I guess.
It is also moves week this week, and I already know I am getting a new area, so I shall tell you where, and who my new companion is and my new address when I get to my new area, either on wednesday or probably thursday.
I hope you all have a good week.
I love you all so much!!
Livingston Ward had just sent another 2 missionaries to the London South Mission, and Elder and a Sister. This explains his next email.
this isn't my big email, that is why I am only sending it to you guys.
So we normally don't get moves calls until monday evening, but Leadership calls come out sunday evening now so... we already know what is happening.
So.... Elder Davies, he is staying in Wandsworth, he is staying as the District Leader, and he will be training! So what is happening with me I hear you ask!
So President talked to me on the phone last night as well. He is moving me to a new area. The ward is Aldershot, but I will be opening up a new area in Woking. He also said that I will be whitewashing there, so neither me or my companion will know the area. And that leads me onto my companion.... He also said.... That I'm going to be training a new missionary!!!
I am excited and nervous and just so grateful for the trust the Lord has shown in me in calling me to train. One thing though, none of you tell the Mackay's that I am training a new missionary, just because of who is currently in the MTC.
Oh yeah, just a head's up, I may be sending a package (or two...) home as I have a lot of stuff. We will see though.
I'll let you all know how my week has been in another email.
I love you all!!
As you can imagine the suspense was killing us as we waited to learn if his new companion was to be Elder Mackay or someone else.
First of all, I am sorry that I am emailing so late, and also I am so sorry that so many of you have emailed me and I haven't replied. I am not ignoring you don't worry, it is just today has been a little bit rushed and stressful. Hopefully next week we will have more time to email so I can reply to all of you then. Thank you all anyway.
So, for the benifit of those who have not heard what happened with moves (which I have a feeling is not many of you as the word seems to have spread really quickly...) I will tell you what has happened. So, I would say I got whitewashed to a new area, but that would only be partly true. I have opened up a completely new area in Woking, part of the Addlestone Ward in Staines Stake. The other half of that news is that I am training a new missionary! His name is Elder Tidwell, he is from Kayesville Utah, he is 18 (makes me feel old).
So the new area is good. A few downsides are, there is not really any public transport. There are trains and that is about it. So we pretty much have to walk everywhere. Also, as it used to take so long for the Addlestone missionaries so long to get to Woking, there was hardly any work done here, so we are literally starting from scratch. Also, it takes us about an hour to get to our chapel. We have to get a train to Weybridge, and from there get another train to Addlestone. It only really trains like 15 minutes or so, but what takes so long is makign the connections, if you miss a train you have to wait half an hour. Also, I'm not being ungrateful for General Conference, but we still haven't met the members yet, which makes it a little difficult.
On the plus side though, we have such a nice flat! It is really nice and spacious (mainly because there isn't much in it) and the members they gave us so much stuff! Our ward misison leader (one of the few members we have met) dropped off at least 2 car loads full of food, and cleaning supplies and just general stuff for our flat, including a study table and chairs. Also one of the good things about being here is that Elder Holmes, my first companion in Reading is one of my Zone Leaders, so I am happy to serve around him again. And, one last thing I am happy about, McLaren HQ is in our area. How cool is that???!? We passed it on the way to the flat, just passed a massive sign saying McLaren. So I am happy :)
So there is not much to tell you about work wise, so I will jsut tell you how much I enjoyed conference. It was so amazing to be able to hear from our Prophets and Apostles. A lot of it was what we needed (or what I needed) with our new area and the responsibilities we have. I loved both of President Uchtdorf's talks, especially the one where he shared the skiing story. I also loved Elder Holland's talk, and Elder Ballard's talk (not just because he mentioned visiting missionarires in Europe, and I was there :P) they were really inspiring and uplifting. Also President Monson's tlak in the sunday morning session (I think) was really touching.
Well sorry this is not so long, we don't have too much time to email. We were going to the library to email, but all the computers were taken, then by the time we got shopping done, we had to head through to Addlestone to the chapel to meet some of the missionaries in our district, and so we are emailing at the chapel. Trouble is there is only one computer, so I need to let Elder Tidwell on, so I better wrap this up.
I love all of you!
|Elder Tidwell and Elder Mitchell|
|The Livingston Missionaries:|
Elder Mackay, Sister McKay and Elder Mitchell
Am I really at 77 emails already? I hope I've just miscounted, but I don't think I have...
Well this week has been quite good. We have worked hard, and we are starting to build up our teaching pool.
We have mainly been trying by less-actives, and former investigators, and then knocking houses either side if they weren't home. We have seen some success and we have had quite a few people invite us to come back. We had one of them flog on us, but never mind.
Church was good. We finally got to meet the members which was nice. It is only a small ward but they were all so welcoming and friendly towards us. One family even gave us a toaster (which Elder Tidwell had been bugging me about getting one since we got here haha!). It was really good, and hearing everyone's thoughts of general conference was wonderful.
I guess last week, as I wasn't able to share my thought on conference due to time, I will share some this week. Everyone has of course been talking about Jeffery R Holland's talk, which was wonderful don't get me wrong, but I'm sure I cannot say anything about that talk that has not already been said. My favourite talk I think was President (I'm going to butcher the name I know) Utchdof. Both his talks in the saturday morning session and the priesthood session were wonderful. Also I think it was Elder Oaks and Elder Packer who both went through the Articles of Faith and the Ten Commandments was really insightful.
Well I am running out of time so I had better wrap this up. I will wrap it up with an interesting act, and then a scripture.
Interesting fact. Woking is where H. G. Wells (I think that's his name) wrote or based War of the Worlds (there is a big silver martian statue it town centre) which is pretty cool.
Scripture. Jacob 6:12 "O be wise, what can I say more?"
You were expecting something really inspiring there weren't you? fooled you! haha!
Love you all!
Elder Zach Mitchell
So this week has been full of the usual... finding, finding, finding. It has been quite good though, we have mainly be focusing on trying by the former investigators in the area, and we have had quite some success. We have found quite a few people from this.
Just to give you a quick overview of some people we are working with:
There is kayleigh who is a fairly young mum with 2 kiddies and a 3rd on the way. She is married though, but her husband Jamie doesn't seem too interested. But Kayleigh's grandparents are members and just got back from serving a temple mission in the london temple which is cool.
There is also a guy named dave. He is from Dumfermilne, so it is good to hear an accent I recognize (and that sounds better then the weird accent they have down here near london). He has a cousin who is a member in Paisley, and invited us back because she was such an example to him and he was facinated by it.
Also, another guy worth mentioning is Osa. He is from Nigeria. He has seen the church and missionaries around in Nigeria and over here, and has spoken to them, but never about the church. We found him by trying by a former investigator, but they didn't live there anymore. He invited us back and he asked a lot of good questions. He seemed amazed that the Prophet Thomas S Monson is over 80 years old, and he also couldn't get over how Joseph Smith And Hyrum Smith were killed for what they believe in. So he is getting caught up a little bit on the details but there is some potential there.
So this sunday, all of the new missionaries in the ward (3 of us) were asked to share our favourite scripture in sacrament meeting and talk about why they are our favourites. Well I found this a little difficult narrowing it down to one. As I said in my talk, I felt like a little kid who had just been taken to a cadbury's store and told "now you can only have 1!" So I started my picking a topic, and then narrowing it down from my favourite 20 odd scriptures on that topic.
I spoke about the atonement, and how it can bless our lives. I shared, 1 Nephi 8:10-12 and spoke about what the fruit was and why Lehi desired to share it. Then I linked that to 2 Nephi 2:8 and how it is important to share that fruit. Then I went on to talk about Jesus was able to save us an extend us mercy and grace, and I went to Mosiah 3:7 and then my favourite (on this topic anyway) Alma 7:11-13. I spoke about how no matter what we go through in life, the savior knows, as he has experienced it for us, so that when we go through those hard times, He can be there right beside us. Then I shared the 3rd verse of How firm a foundation, then just bore my testimony of the atonement.
I think it went quite well, the members seemed to enjoy it anyway, they enjoyed all of our talks. I just hope I was able to say what the Lord needed me to say.
Well I am going to end this email on a funny note. I have attached a photo, and with it I ask, "At what point does loose change become just ridiculous?" There is £1.90 in 1p's, £2.30 in 2p's and £7.40 in 5p's (this is what I have saved since Paignton by the way, not what I have got since coming to Woking.
I love you all!
Elder Zach Mitchell
Monday, 23 September 2013
Email 69 - 19th August
So I managed to get back on to finish my emails properly as we didn't get too much time this morning.
So highlight of this week was, on tuesday we had a special multi-zone conference in Crawley where we got to see Elder David F. Evans of the seventy. It was a quite inspirational conference and I learned a lot from what was shared.
Other then that, we haven't really been up to much this week. We have been in the flat most of the week to allow Elder Coons to recover a little so that he is well enough to go home. It is amazing that I don't know what to do with free time anymore as I'm not used to having any.
We were at least able to see Tara and her mum Joyce though which was good. We talked with them a little about prophets and watched the dvd about Thomas S monson "on the Lord's errand" with them, as in the baptismal interview our district leader said we needed to go over it again, as she wasn't too sure about prophets, or couldn't remember it very well. It wasn't a major concern though, as she is only 9 years old, so it wasn't anything to stop the baptism going ahead. They are doing well though. Tara will be at her dad's for the next 2 weeks though before she goes back to school so we won't get to see her for a little while. We will keep in touch through her mum though.
So Elder Coons goes home tomorrow, his Bishop and mum are coming to pick him up in the car, so until Wednesday I will be with the elders in Mitcham. Just a heads up though, his sister is going to the temple on saturday to go through the temple for her endowments and so he will be there too, so maybe keep an eye out for him.
Well, as far as I now I will be staying in Wandsworth for one more transfer, but we will have to wait and see, the call should come through tonight so we will know soon. I will of course let you all know as soon as I know.
I love you all!
Hey everyone! just to let you know moves news, I am still in Wandsworth. My new companion is an Elder Davies from Merthyr Tydfil, in South Wales. He has been out 6 months and this is only his second area, and he is our new District Leader, so this transfer should be fun.
Love you all
Email 70 – 26 Aug
Hope you all had a good week. For those of you who were at the temple on saturday (especially Cameron, Sarah and Heather) I hope you all enjoyed the wonderful spirit there.
So this week has been pretty good. My new Companion Elder Davies is a star! We have been working hard to build up the area again. We haven't been able to find any new investigators yet as everyone we talked to didn't want to set a solid return appointment, but we have been talking to lots of people. We managed to get 20 lessons, and that is just really from wednesday evening when Elder Davies got here (As I was in Mitcham in a tri for Monday and Tuesday). So next week should be good.
I just want to share some cool things that happened this week. First of all, I spoke to my first person on a bus. Normally that is way out of my comfort zone, but this time I managed it. We got on the bus at the same stop, and I saw this girl before the bus came, and felt I should speak to her, but just as I was building up my courage to do so, the bus came. Luckily though she sat at the back of the bus, and the rest of the seats at the back were free too so I sat next to her and started talking to her. It was really good and she was really nice. She was from Atlanta which was cool. I was gutted though because, just as I started sharing the First Vision, she hit the stop button as her stop was coming up. I at least finished the first vision and gave her a pamphlet, hopefully she will read it and give us a call.
Also, last night, we had about 10 minutes before we had to jump on the tube so we could get back to the flat for dinner and to account with the district, so we were outside Tooting (yes there is a place called Tooting, I think its halarious!) Broadway station, and looking for someone to talk to. I saw this girl by the road just standing there and felt we should talk to her, after getting that feeling a few times I said to Elder Davies lets talk to her, so we did. She was really nice and seems really receptive. I just hope she will give us a call at some point so we can meet up with her again.
For me, those are the two main highlights from the week I guess.
Well I hope you all have a good week. And Heather, as you will probably be gone by the time I email next, good luck on your mission, you will do fantastic, and I will see you in 18 months!
Love you all!
Email 71 – 2 Sep
A few of you have emailed saying you can't believe I only have 9 months left. Well in that case you really won't be able to believe it when I tell you I actually only have 8 months left. I'm not counting or anything.
Well this week has been pretty good. We have been working hard and things are starting to pick up. We are getting the ward more involved and starting to work more closely with the ward council. The Relief Society President gave us a list of some people she hasn't seen at church in a while so we have been visiting some of them and it has been pretty good and those people has been receptive and friendly so we will hopefully be working with them. We are also trying to work with the ysa and with the youth. There are some of the youth who are a little bit shakey at the minute and so we want to strengthen them, especially one particular youth, who is the son of our ward mission leader, he hasn't been to church for at least a month. His name is Brigham Young, which I find quite funny, having to reactivate Brigham Young.
Cool miracle that we had this week. One of the Ysa brought her 15 year old cousin to church on sunday so we started talking to them. Turns out they both went to EFY this year and the cousin (a non-member) loved it! So we asked her if she wants to find out more, and she said she would be interested in finding out more of the teachings. It is great as the ysa has just started her mission papers and so we can help her learn what she will be teaching and teach her cousin at the same time!
Apart from that we have just been trying by some former investigators and some less-actives. It has been quite good and we have met some really nice people who hopefully we will be working with soon.
Oh yeah, something else exciting. On the 10th, Elder Dallin H Oaks will be coming to Wandsworth for a special fireside, or something like that. Elder Kerian and Herbertson will be with him too, but that is really exciting and the whole stake is excited about it. So this will be the 2ndApostle I've got to see since coming to London, cool or what?
Anyway, I can't think of anything more to share with you guys. There are some funny stories I could share, especially from last monday when we ended up in Peckham for lunch, but I think that is a post-mission story.
Well I hope you all have a good week. Oh and Andrew (Elder Patterson) I'm glad you will be able to re-join me in the harvest! You'll do great bro!
Love you all
ps. Is there a specific wrist men should wear their watches on? We have a less active that if I go to hers again with it on the wrong wrist she will slap me, and she actually will because she is from Jamaica!
Email 72 – 9 Sep
I hope this is actually my 72nd email, if not, ah well!
Anyway, not too much time today as we are currently in an internet cafe emailing as the zone leaders are using the ones of the chapel preparing for Zone Training later this week, and the other computers are out of order at the minute. So I only have an hour this week to do everything...
This week has been good, me and well I would say Elder Davies, but he hasn't been here for part of the week as we have had 3 exchanges this week and he only stayed in his area once! (the joys of being a District Leader) Anyway, we have been working really hard this week. In total we got 27 teaches this week, which is the most I have ever achieved on my mission so far. It's not a competition though (which is good because the rest of our district got more than us!) those are 27 people who we helped come closer to Christ.
Just a quick word about Sonia, we were able to see her twice this week which was good. Her Cousin was there and even one of her young women friends from the other ward was there one time which was great. It helps that both of them have a solid testimony and are there to support Sonia which is great.
Joyce and Tara are both doing well also, Tara is back from her Dad's and was happy to finally meet "the new guy" Elder Davies. They are both doing well though, and Joyce just got a calling in the Young Women's presidency which is cool!
We had a good Ward Council meeting on sunday too, I feel it was effective. We were only in there for an hour (quite a record) and then we had to go as we were teaching Sonia afterwards, but we got the whole hour to talk about the people we were working with and to report back on people they had asked us to see. It was good and I feel the ward council is beginning to trust us more which is going to be a great help.
Anyway, I just realised we only have 5 minutes left on the computer so I better wrap this up.
I will let you know how Elder Dallin H Oaks goes. I nearly got to be in the choir but one of us has to be free to welcome our investigators so Elder Davies is singing instead.
Anyway, gotta run.
Love you all!!
ps. I have a funny story to tell about Bishop Cooke from Clapham ward, (the guy in the mormon message from jamaica who talks all about the book of mormon) but it is another post-mission story haha!
Email 73 – 16 Sep
So this week, there has not been too much that has happened, but a lot has happened, if that makes sense... It doesn't, does it? I know what I mean!
So, where to start...
Okay, first to let you know how everyone is doing quickly. Sonia is doing good, we saw her at youth night on thursday. She is being well fellowshipped by all the youth which is good to see. We haven't been able to see her this week apart from that though as her dad was back from Dubai, as we works there a lot and only gets to come back every now and then, so she wanted to spend time with him, which I think is reasonable. We will hopefully see her this week though.
Also, I don't know if I told you about Lucy. She is a born-again christian that we met the other week. We have met with her a few times now. She seems to have the mindset of, yes she wants to find out if "mormonism" is right, but if it isn't she wants us to know, which is interesting. She seems to be trying to prove us wrong on everything though. She studies everything we give her, but that comes back and brings all this "evidence" of how its wrong, for example the prophecy in Amos 8 about the great apostasy (well, dual prophesy) she studied and told us it isn't about the great apostasy, so as you can imagine that is difficult. She also can't accept the Godhead being 3 seperate beings (even though it is biblical) and she is hung up on how we believe we can become like God (even though it is biblical also), so yeah, we will see how that goes.
So other things that have happened this week.
On tuesday that Stake had a visit from Elder Hebertson and his wife, Elder Keiran and his wife, and Elder Dallin H Oaks and his wife. It was amazing and really inspirational. Elder Oaks is also really funny. He shared a story from his first visit (of only three) to the UK as an Apostle which was to Hull and he shared how a 10 year old girl gave him a letter which he read part of, but the end is the funniest. It read; "I know you are an Apostle because you are clean, and your head in shiny." But there was so much to get from what was shared, it was truly amazing. If I shared with you everything I got from it, this would be a seriously long email, and it wouldn't even do justice to how amazing the meeting was.
So that was really good, and yes I did get to shake Elder Oaks hand (crazy fangirl moment, I haven't washed my hand since... Joking!). 2 Aposltes down, another 10 to go! Haha!
Also on thursday we had a Zone Training which was really good. The best thing about it though was because of some news I got from on of the Assistant's Elder Curran. I don't know if you remember me mentioning a Blake Jones when I was back in Reading? He was the 13 year old boy, who had seen the book of mormon musical, and signed himself up to meet the missionaries. We lost contact with him for whatever reason. Well, it turns out that, we lost contact because his parents weren't too keen about him meeting with us, but he kept reading the Book of Mormon, he got right up to Helaman, and then somehow got back in contact with the missionaries and now his parents take him to church every sunday. So hearing that news made my day!
On saturday as well, we were supposed to have a Stake Sports Day, but it rained so it was a really poor attendance (really poor, there were more missionaries then members there). It was good fun though, we played some touch rugby in the rain, and my team won of course! The advantages of having a welshman (Elder Davies) and a South African on your team haha!
So yeah, that has been my week.
I love you all!
Email 74 – 23 Sep
It is a scary time for Elder Mitchell just now, the Sister missionaries from my group go home next week. It is a sure sign that my time is coming, and coming fast... uh oh.
So this week has been good. We have been working hard and have been able to teach a lot. Our teaching pool is slowly getting bigger as we have a few more people to work with. I wish I could tell you everything from this week, but we are getting low on time as we are meant to be meeting with the rest of the zone at Elephant and Castle (genuine place name, Elder Davies thought I was playing a trick on him when I told him we were meeting there) at 2pm and its currently 1.39pm so.... I better make this quick!
Just to let you know how everyone is doing. We haven't been able to see Sonia last week as she was busy, but hopefully we will see her at youth night on tuesday. She is still doing good and her cousin is encouraging her which is great.
Lucy, we haven't been able to see either as she was away at a wedding when we normally meet with her, but we have kept in contact and she is still reading the things that we have left for her which is good. Hopefully we will be able to see her this week.
A miracle to share this week. We were in a far out part of our area (so far out that we were nearly in another Stake) trying by a less-active. He wasn't interested, but we decided to knock some doors nearby. We found a house with 7 university students living there (there were 4 there at the time, we later found out there were 7) and the first girl we talked to, Rebecca, invited us to come back. So we went back on friday and we were able to meet with Rebecca. She had a friend that also lives there that wanted to meet with us but she wasn't there at the time. But we were able to teach Rebecca and share the restoration with her. She asked a lot of good questions which we were able to answer, and the spirit was really strong there. All of us felt the spirit it was incredible. She said she would love to find out more, so hopefully we will be able to see her later this week.
So that is all I can really say about this week (mainly because I am really out of time) but I hope you all have a good week.
Just a head's up, next week is the week of moves. I should be able to email quickly on monday, but if not don't panic.
Love you all!
Elder Mitchell was fast approaching his 18 month mark. I don’t normally include my emails in the blog, but I include this one and his response.
Dear Elder Mitchell,
I know it’s not often I start my emails to you that way, but there’s a reason. I’ve been thinking that very soon you will be out for longer than I was. I’m not sure now if it was 19 months or 18 and a half that i was out for, but for two weeks I was the longest serving missionary in the mission, not even the mission president had been out longer than me! Well the reason I’m telling you this is that I finally realised that I knew what it was to be a missionary but I was going home. It seemed to me that it took me 18 months to figure it out but then it was too late. Maybe I was a slow learner, maybe I was very shy and lacked the self confidence that others seemed to have in abundance (how else can missionaries get to be APs, Zone Leaders when they haven’t been out for very long?) Either way, I’m telling you now you know all there is to know. That’s not to say you wouldn’t learn things in the remaining months of your mission, but you know what it takes to be a missionary, you have found and taught and baptised. I think one more and you will have had as many baptisms as I did. I know it’s not a competition, but you can still do more. You will be one of the senior missionaries of the mission – an elder statesman if you like, and the missionaries that have been out less than you will look up to you. Always lift them up and tell them they can do it. Be positive and joyful. When your Mum and I were doing Amway or Kleeneze, they would say things like “You have a bar of gold you want to share, but when you do, they have their bar, but you still have yours.” I know that that was due to the nature of the business plan they used, but it is also what the Gospel is about – you have something to share that is way beyond gold or jewels, but just because you share it and try and give it away, you don’t lose any of what you had, in fact it’s increased! This is better than any worldly business plan or model!
Go to, till the garden, work hard and thrust in your sickle with all your might that ye may lay up treasure in Heaven, not treasure that moth and rust corrupts, but treasures of brothers and sisters who have excepted the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who will be forever grateful that Elder Zachariah David John Mitchell knocked on their door. They will praise your name forever and call you blessed!
Work hard, these last week months will fly by and before you know it, you will be standing at the steps of the Temple for the last time as a young missionary. Don’t waste a minute of it.
Take care. I know you are on the Lord’s errand and you are where you are meant to be. Jesus is our Saviour and loves us. All we need to do is to give him all our sins and follow him. This is my testimony and I leave with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.
thank you very much for your inspirational email, it is really uplifting and insightful. Yeah, its not too long before I will have served as long as you, you part-timer! haha I'm teasing. It is a scary time though as the sister missionaries in my group go home next week, shows me my time is coming, so I just have to work as hard as I can with the time I have left. John 9:4 comes to mind when I think how long I have left "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work." it is so true, my days out here are numbered so I need to work as hard as I can, while I can.
I love you Dad, and I am ever grateful for your example by serving your mission all those years ago. I hope I am setting a good enough example for my future children.
Love you Dad