Sunday, 24 February 2013

"I love Reading!"

Sorry this is a bit late, but you know what they say, better late than never.......

Hey everyone!!!

This week has been a good week. Things are still going well here in Reading so I can't really complain.

Ishmael, after his baptism is doing fantastic! he came on a teach with us on wednesday, and was really helpful in the teach. And next sunday, he is giving a talk in sacrament and they are also going to get him to help with sacrament which will be awesome!

We went to see Cindy with Ishmael which was really good. He actually talked most of the time which was great, he was telling her how hard it was for him to get baptized and all the trials he had to go through but he testified that it was much better after being baptised and that he has felt the blessings from that, which really helped Cindy. I also shared with her a personal experience that me and Becky had about making the decision for me to come out here on a mission, and how much we needed to trust the Lord, but how the Lord has blessed us both for making that decision. The Spirit was so strong there though, it was a great teach, and even if it turns out I got sent to Reading just for that one moment it would all be worth it. But we left her by inviting her to pray about a date to get baptised between now and april 17th when two of her favourite missionaries that have served here in the past and helped her go home. 

We also got to teach Christiana and arthur, the friends of the member who came to church last week. It was great, Christiana's first questions was "If I want to join your church, would I have to get baptised again?" so we taught her the Restoration and about priesthood authority, although me may have to go over that again, as we ran out of time on tuesday. WE had one of the young men with us, so we had to finish so he could take Arthur to youth. Arthur really enjoyed youth though, and he came to church again yesterday which was great! Christiana was ill unfortunately so she couldn't make it.

Also, on wednesday we have our multi zone conference which was good. It was good to hear from President Millar, and the mission presidency and the Assisstants too and also to meet other missionaries that are good friends of mine. I got to see Elder Pettersen again which was good. He is doing well. It was a great conference though.

Then on thursday we went on exchange with the Zone Leaders, and I went up to Didcot with Elder Snow (who is the coolest guy ever!) which meant I got to drive as he can't (I love driving haha!) It was good fun though, and we had a Dinner appointment with the Nicholls which was cool. For those who don't know, one of the missionaries who taught and baptised Becky was Dan Nicholls, and it was his family we had dinner with (small world) which was good fun.

Church on sunday was good too. Only one of our investigators came for the whole thing (arthur) but it was good. There were really good talks in sacrament about forgiveness which was really inspiring. Then we found out one of the members has a weird connection to someone we are teaching. So the missionary that baptized this member, has a daughter who is currently serving in Italy, who baptised this man from Nigeria who is the brother on this guy Howard that we are teaching, and the member had a photo of Howard's brother at his baptism, so we called Howard to let him know (as he hasn't since his brother since he was 3) and he came and met the member and saw the photo and he contributed to Elder Quorum which was on by the time he got there which was great. He says he will be coming next week too, so hopefully he will :) Also, a former investigator randomly showed up towards the end of church and said he wanted to get baptised. I love REading, that's all I can say.

So yeah, this week has been good. I hope you have all had a good week too.

I love you all!!

Elder Mitchell

Monday, 11 February 2013

It's a small world.

I got a message from a friend  - Andrew Kilgour - on Sunday evening:
Hi Mike. I'm sitting in a meeting in Reading chapel with Elder Mitchell. He's doing great!
It started a nice little conversation, the short version being that Andrew was at a missionary preparation meeting at which Elder Mitchell was at.  They both had to do a presentation.

This weeks email brought great news!

Hey everyone!

This week has been a good week, mainly because.... we had... A BAPTISM!!!! it was amazing! Ishmael got baptized on saturday. We had to go all the way to the Newbury chapel to do it though, as they are currently working on the baptismal font in the Reading chapel (which we didn't find out about until they already started working on it.) but it was great. I think there were just as many missionaries there as members that made it though but never mind. It was good though as Elder Crystal, one of the AP's was there and he was one of the missionaries that first started teaching Ishmael over a year ago. And then on sunday, I got to confirm him a member of the church and give him the gift of the holy ghost which was great. And then, after church Bishop gave him the priesthood and ordained him to be a priest. Ishmael was over the moon though, he was so happy. His wife and their daughter are already baptized so they are hoping in the coming weeks they can go to the temple together to do baptisms for the dead which would be awesome. So I think that has definately been the highlight of the week. I will send pictures but it will be in another email.

Also an investigator Cindy made it to the baptism. She wants to get baptized she is just worried about what will happen afterwards with her boyfriend and so on, so as yesterday was our fast sunday we fasted with her for strength to make the decision to be baptised. so hopefully we will be seeing another baptism soon.

Also at church yesterday, we had 4 non-members or investigators there. One of the members brought a friend and her son, and showed them around the chapel before church and shared her testimony with them and showed them the baptismal area (or what she could as it is all taped off after the work being done) but apparently both of them want to get baptized, so we are seeing them tomorrow.

So things are doing good in Reading at the moment. Hopefully we can keep working hard so the work will keep progressing and we can help more of Heavenly Father's children come to the truth.

We also just got a new ward mission leader who is a RM and served his mission in the current "Preach my Gospel" era, so he is excited about helping us work with the members are strengthen the ward. I am quite excited too. The coming weeks and months in Reading should be good.

As I am sure many of you know by now, last night I met Andrew Kilgour. I didn't know him at first, but the first thing he said to me was "Elder Mitchell, you look exactly like some other Mitchell's I know, Alec, Michael and Dameon, how are you related?" so that was interesting. Shows just how small the world inside the church is, everyone is some way shape or form knows everyone. Elder Holmes found it amusing as he went onto Dad's facebook and showed him picture of me, which was quite funny. So that fireside last night was more of a workshop really for young men 16 and over who are considering going on a mission. Originally we weren't meant to be there, as it was the Zone Leader's assignment, but they dropped us in it at Ishmael's baptism on saturday, but I think our contribution was good and helped the young men.

Well I am not sure if there is much else to tell from this week. If there is then I don't remember, but I have a few other emails to finish off, so I better wrap this up. Also we are going to complete our kababtism in half an hour or so, so that should be good. (for those who dont know what a kababtism is, there is a tradition in the mission that we celebrate baptisms by getting a kabob. I'm going to get fat...)

Anyway, I love you all!!

Elder Mitchell

For those of you not on Facebook, here are some pictures of Ishmael's baptism

It seems another family we know, the Hunters, were also at the same baptism, but they didn't get to meet Elder Mitchell.  Perhaps they'll meet up again at the next Stake activity.

Tuesday, 5 February 2013

Is Reading ready for Elder Mitchell?

Hey everyone,

So first off... I have finally left the West Country!! 9 months down there is long enough haha! So Reading is awesome!

My new companion is an Elder Holmes, he is originally from Utah, but a his Dad got called as a mission president in Michigan before he came out, so he tells everyone he is from there (Fair play, I tell everyone I'm from Edinburgh). He has been out 6 months, which I guess means I'm senior companion... kind of. He is District Leader though. But anyways, he is cool. He is only 18 which is weird, I'm nearly 2 whole years older then him, and I'm only 20! (thank you Elder Holmes for making me feel old!)

Well Reading is awesome, as I said before. I guess the most exciting news is I have been moved right into a Baptism. Our investigator Ishmael is getting baptized on saturday! He was supposed to be baptized two weeks ago, but Stake conference was then (which then got cancelled because of the snow) and then it was suppsoed to be this weekend but that was when stake conference was rescheduled for so it is this saturday. He is so awesome though. He has been investigating for a year but has only been properly progressing for these last 6 months.

We also have another baptism coming up soon. His name is Jacob. Technically it isn't a convert baptism, as its a sort of long story. He kinda went less actives and was  moving a little bit, then through the post one day he got a letter saying if he wants his name removed, just sign the form and send it back, so he kinda felt like he wasn't wanted and signed it just because he was mad at the time, but not so long after that he regretted it and started coming back to church. That was 10 years ago, and he is still coming out and he wants to get baptized by next month. He needs to speak to the bishop, but in the meantime we are going over all the lessons with him again, make sure he knows it all etc. But yeah thats pretty good.

We also have quite a lot of investigators we are trying to teach. I don't know all of them yet, as I am still getting to know the area, and the members and all of our investigators. but things are going really well here. Me and Elder Holmes are working hard and we will hopefully see some success soon.

We had our stake conference this weekend just gone. As I said it was due to be two weeks ago but got cancelled because of the snow (that I never saw because I was in Paignton, not bitter or anything... much) so that was really good. Its hard to get to know your new ward when they are all mingled in with all the other wards but I have met a few members and they all seem really friendly.

Well I'm not sure there is much else to say to be honest, but I hope all of you are doing well.

Love you all!

Elder Mitchell

Sunday, 3 February 2013

On the road again

I discovered that one of the sister missionaries that served in Livingston had a brother serving in the same mission as Elder Mitchell.  I was "speaking" with her on Facebook.  I asked Elder Mitchell if he had come across Elder Corca and this was his reply:

Yes I know Elder Corca, he was just serving in Redruth with Elder Johnson from Scotland. They both are heading home now though. I thought that he was related but I never got the chance to ask him. He was an awesome missionary though.
He also had this to say about my old companion - Mike Boberg:
Hey Dad
You served with Elder Boberg in Newton Abbot? That is so cool!! obviously me and Elder Schmoekel were meant to meet in this district then haha!
Sounds like you had fun at the burns supper. We didn't get anything down here. Not even a sign of a Haggis! (Not that I'm complaining or anything). Well I hope you travel safe.
I don't know where my new area is yet, we will find out tomorrow at the latest, but I will try and at least send you a letter telling you where my new area is and my new address as soon as I can.
Love Elder Mitchell

Now for Elder Mitchell's regular email:

Hey everyone!!

Can you believe I have been out 9 months now?! it's gone by crazily fast!! Oh yeah, by the way, I am currently still in Paignton but we haven't had moves calls yet, that is tomorrow, so as of yet, I still have no idea where I am going to be. I will let you all know as soon as possible though.

Anyway, this week has been pretty good. Missed out on burns night though, didn't even get a sniff of a Haggis (not that I'm complaining or anything... (it wouldn't be right if I got a Haggis here anyway, because it wouldn't be a proper scottish Haggis)). On the plus side though, I have some bagpipe music now, so that makes me feel more at home haha!

Also, I cannot believe (Elder) Keiran casey is home already! Has that really be 2 years? That's crazy! I'm sure he has some interesting stories from South Africa! (We have a member here who served his mission in Zimbabwe! He has some interesting stories...). Okay, now back to my week:

The work here is really picking up. We have quite a few new investigators which is good. Haven't been able to see any of our old ones really, but never mind. We got to see William this week. He is really smart, but seems skeptical about certain things. He asks a lot of questions which is good, it makes us think a lot of the times. He says though that he isn't going to join the church just because of the supporters, as he said, which is good. We are just trying to emphasize the importance of reading and praying about the Book of Mormon, as that is the only way he will know if what we are saying is true, so we challenged him to do that, and taught him how to recognise his answers. He seemed somewhat doubtful about getting an answer and asked "what if God doesn't answer?" So we told him that, as he promised in the Book of Mormon (Moroni 10:3-5), he promised that those who sincerely pray about the Book of Mormon will receive an answer, so I hope and pray that he does so, and that he does get that answer.

We also got to teach Joan this week. We taught her about the Book of Mormon, and Joseph Smith and she is happily reading the Book of mormon. We did leave her 3 Nephi 11 which she read, and agreed it was teaching the same as the Bible, but was confused how the Apostles had different names, so we explained about how, because of their lack of technology, and the distance between Jerusalem and the americas, two different sets of apostles were needed. She also had a concern about hwo we "pray for our dead" which she confused with baptisms for the dead, which we discussed a little. She didn't understand it as she believes that we have one chance to accept Christ and that is in this life, so we explained that it is for those who don't have to oppurtunity to hear about Christ and his true Gospel.

We also taught a guy called Matt. He is really cool, but we weren't able to spend much time with him as he works from home (he is the webpage manager of Autosport, which is cool), but we were at least able to teach him about the Book of Mormon.

We also met a lady called Norma. Norma was getting taught by missionaries many years ago, but she never joined because her husband was against it, but one of our members asked if we knew anything about her, as she is apparently a "dry mormon." Her husband apparently died some years ago now as well, which is sad, but means there would be nothing holding her back from coming to church. Well we didn't so we went over with the member as Norma said that we were an answer to her prayers which was cool. So we will be seeing her (well when I say we...) this week some time.

So yeah, it has been a pretty good week. Obviously we haven't got moves this week yet, but I am curious to see where my next area will be. I have loved serving in Paignton, but after you are in one area for a while, you get kind of fed up with it, and want to see somewhere else. Don't get me wrong, I love being in Paignton, I have just been here too long!

Anyway, I will let you know where my new area is as soon as possible.

In the mean time, hope you all have a great week!

Love you all!!

Elder Mitchell

Then a short email telling us he was moving and to where!

Hey everyone, just to let you know, I now know where my near area is, I am moving to.... Reading!!! That's all I know so far.
Elder Pettersen is also moving to Southampton... so what is happening to Paignton? I dont know but its The Lord's will, so we cannot argue.
I will let you know my new address asap.
Love you all!
Elder Mitchell

Then another short one telling us who his companion is!

Hey everyone, just to let you know I have got to Reading safely! My new companion is Elder Holmes, he is from the USA (my first american companion)
Love you all
Elder MItchell