Sunday, 31 March 2013

Bus stop, bus stop.....

Hey everyone!

This week has been a pretty good week. We haven't had as many teaches as we would have liked, but there are some of our investigators that we can't get a hold of, but we are still working hard.

So first off, Chanai. Her date has been moved back to the 30th of March, and to encourage her to read the Book of Mormon more, we have made a reading calendar for her, which we will give her tonight when we hopefully see her. She seems really excited though which is good. Just hope she is getting baptised for her and not just because it is what her family wants to do. Hopefully we are going to get Ishmael to perform the baptism, but he doesn't feel he is ready for that just yet, so I don't know who will be doing it.

Arthur and Christiana are doing well. Arthur enjoyed youth on tuesday and both were at church on sunday which was really good. Unfortunately though we have not been able to teach Christiana. We were supposed to teach her on thursday, but arthur didn't check with her if it was okay for us to come round so she wasn't in. Kids huh? haha! But as far as I know she is doing good. That is two weeks in a row now she has come to church and hopefully she has started to read too. We will try and see her this week though. Arthur is doing good though, he passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday which was great, him and Ishmael were doing it together which was great to see.

Best news of this week though, we have found a family! they are from Equador (I think thats how you spell it) there is a dad, mum and 3 kids (but the oldest who is 20ish lives in spain). How we found them is quite amazing. We were waiting for a bus and the mum walks past, Elder Castro goes to speak to her, but she says "I'm sorry, I don't speak Spanish." She meant to say she doesn't speak english, but spanish slipped out instead, so Elder Castro starts speaking to her in Spainish and we get a return appointment for later that day (this was tuesday). So we went around, met the mum Katy, and two of the three kids Ana and Ishmael who are both youth age, so we managed to get them to young womens and young mens on tuesday night. Then we went by again on thursday and met the dad Fernando and we got to teach them properly on saturday and gave them copies of El Libro de Mormon (spanish Book of Mormon). It was interesting for me, being in a teach where for once, I was the foreign speaker and didn't know what was going on. But I did get to teach, as they understand basic english, and anything they didn't understand Elder Castro translated, and the were so excited to get the Book of Mormon, and they made it out to church on sunday too. Translating for them was a little hard, but luckily there are at least 3 members that can speak spanish in the ward so we had them all helping to translate for us. So that is our miracle of the week :)

Other then that there isn't much to tell for this week. We have spent a lot of time finding or trying to contact potentials.

So yeah, that has been my week.

Hope you are all doing well.

Love Elder Mitchell

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Mother.s Day and other news

Hi Dad, just to let you know, as it is Mother's Day on sunday I should be able to call home. I don't know what time yet, as I don't have any solid plans about it, but I will ask the members to see if anyone will be nice enough to let me use their phones. I should have the new home number, but would you be able to email that to me again asap please? thank you :) I hope you are all doing well. I love you all very very much!
Elder Mitchell

So on Sunday 10 March, we all got to speak with Elder Mitchell.  Thomas had been practising Called to Serve" bit we all had to join in and sing along with him.  Even little Caitlan was trying to talk to him.  It was nice to talk to him again.

Hey Dad, it was great getting to talk to you all yesterday. It was weird seeing the missionaries there too, were they calling their families as well? How is the work going there by the way?
I really did enjoy getting to talk to you all though. I know it will be a long time now until Christmas when I get to call again, but I had to wish mum a happy mother's day.
Well, I hope you have a good week. This email would be longer except having talked yesterday, there isn't much I can say without repeating anything I said yesterday haha.
I love you dad!
Elder Mitchell

When he call, we had the missionaries from Livingston at home, so thet got to meet briefly too.

Mon 11 March

Hey Everyone!

I hope I'm counting the number of emails right by the way, to be honest I lost count about 8 months ago but never mind haha! (wow that's a scary thought, I have been out 10 and a half months already!)

Well this week has been pretty good. We have been working hard and things are going really well. so just a quick run through of everyone we are teaching:

Arthur is getting baptised on saturday which is great! He is so excited and is so ready. He is doing well, and is being well fellowshipped by the youth which is great. We are hoping to get as much of the youth as possible to his baptism and get them involved as much as possible as well. We are actually hoping one of the youth who has been on almost every teach with us to see him will baptize him which would be great, but it is Arthur's choice of course. Christiana still hasn't read the Book of Mormon, but she has an exam today and has another exam on the 19th and so she is focussing on studying for them and then she says, once she has finished with those, she will sit and read and pray about the Book of Mormon, I think once she does that, she will get a witness that it is true and then she will want to get baptized as well. But its still a working progress.

Chanai is doing great! She is also getting baptised, the week after on the 23rd of March. She seems pretty excited and all her family are doing great. It seems that since Ishmael got baptised and is coming to church it is just bringing his whole family which is great! We had a family home evening with them this week and they are doing so well. We just need to get Chanai more involved with the young woman, at the moment she sticks with her sister Martha who only turns 12 in june or july so if we could even get both of them involved with the young women that would be great. I am so excited for them though and for them being able to go to the temple to be sealed.

Cindy still doesn't have a baptismal date yet. We are trying not to get frustrated with her, no, frustrated isn't the right word, thats too strong of a word, but I hope you understand what I mean. She knows everything and she knows she should get baptised and she wants to, she just has something holding her back, and she says she doesn't even know what that is herself so we aren't sure how we can help her. I guess all we can really do is keep teaching her and help her understand. As a quote in Preach My Gospel (I think its from there, it should be in there anyway) says "true doctrine understood changes behaviour" (this is where my memory of the quote gets hazy but basically if they understand the teachings properly, they will be willing to change their actions or whatever, so that's all we can really do.

There are lots of other people we are trying to teach at the moment too, its just getting a hold of them is the hard part.

So it is moves this week. No news as of yet, but I am pretty sure I am staying in Reading. I will be shocked if I'm not anyway. Chances are I may have a new companion though as Elder Holmes has been here 7 and a half months now, but we will see. I will let you know by wednesday at least though.

Well as it was Mother's Day yesterday, I wish all of you women, whether you are a mother, a grandmother, and even if you are not yet a mother or have never had the opportunity to be a mother I am sure you have still been a motherly figure to someone, I wish you all a (little bit late) happy mothers day!

I hope you all have a good week, and enjoy the snow (we don't have any down here yet, and I am a little jealous).

Love you all!!

Elder Mitchell

Moves news......

Hey everyone, Just to let you know, I am...... (trying to build suspense)...... staying in Reading! Sadly though, Elder Holmes is leaving me! I am not surprised, as he has been here for so long. He is moving to Salisbury, which is not too far away, but he is happy as it means hopefully he can come to arthur's baptism on saturday. Anyway, my new companion is Elder Castro who was in the MTC with Daniel Casey! He is from Honduras and he seems a really great guy and a great missionary! I am a little nervous about taking over the area but clearly The Lord knows I can do this, I just hope He knows what he is doing haha! I'm sure I'll be fine though, with The Lord's help.

Anyway, hope you are all doing well. I will email again on Monday.

Love you all!!!

Elder MItchell

Mon 18 March

Hey everybody!

I was just about to start typing this email, but them I stopped to see some skiving school kids get escorted out of the mac store by security, and then the missionaries from the other ward in Reading called us to tell us they have a baptismal date for us, so it has been a good day so far. Will let you know how that goes though.

Anyway, this week has been fantastic, but hard as well. So most important event this week though, Arthur got baptised on saturday!!! It was a great baptism and it was well supported by the ward and his family which was good. The young man that helped us teach him was the one who baptised him which was cool, and yesterday I got to comfirm him, and then after church another of the young men ordained him to be a priest which was great! He is so strong though and I am sure one day he will go on a mission, but we will see. 

Christiana as well has her last exam tomorrow so hopefully after that she will get to sit down properly and read the Book of Mormon and will get a witness that it is true. I'm sure she will want to get baptised after she does that. Arthur even made a joke at church on sunday that when she wants to get baptised he could get to do it. Arthur is so awesome!

Chanai is doing good. We haven't been able to see her lately but we are seeing her tonight. Ishmael though has asked us if we could push her date back a little, just because he wants to make sure that she is reading the Book of Mormon properly and has a witness that it is true. That would probably work better to be honest to push it back, just as there is an all-day youth activity at the chapel on saturday and it will give us a bit more time to teach her everything else and to get everything prepared for her baptism.

Cindy, to be honest I don't know what her deal is. She is happy to come to church and everything, but she just won't commit to baptism. We are seeing her on wednesday anyway, so hopefully then we can work out what the problem is.

Apart form that, this week has been hard at times. We have had promising potentials drop us like a stone, we have not been able to see a lot of our investigators this week as they are busy with work or haven't been able to contact them and I am still not confident with my knowledge of the area and the ward. It is hard taking over the area, especially when things seemed to be going so well. I guess I just have to trust that the Lord knows what he is doing, and that He is giving me this to teach me something and help me be a better missionary.

Serving with Elder Castro is interesting. He is the first companion I have served with that has needed language study in the mornings to help him learn english. He didn't speak a word of english before he came out, only spanish and so his english is really good considering a year and a half ago he didn't speak a word of it, but it is hard for me at times. I hope I will be able to do a good job of helping him speak english properly though. I find it quite funny to be honest, to help him learn english, he gets put with a missionary from scotland where, even though they speak english, its totally different. Reminds me, bishop at church yesterday called me american, I was a little offended, but its cool, we had a good laugh. Just thought I'd share that.

Well I hope you all have a good week.

Love Elder Mitchell

More news from Reading

Hey everyone

This week has been a good week. I'm sorry I am emailing later then usual, but as it may be Elder Holmes' last P-day in Reading as it is moves next week (I know, already?) a member wanted to show us around a little bit, and then we were playing football, and met some really cool guys who invited us to play with them every week. Should be fun haha.

So where to start... first our recent convert Ishmael. He is just doing great. Hopefully this week we can get him out on a few teaches with us which would be great! We also started teaching his daughter Chanai (pronounced Sha-nay) this week, as she says that she wants to get baptised! That would be great as she is the only member of the family who isn't baptised now and so once she is, the whole family could go to the temple in a years time and be sealed which would just be the greatest thing ever!

We saw Arthur and Christiana again this week. Arthur is doing great and he is so excited for his baptism on the 16th. We still have a lot to teach him though so hopefully we can meet him enough times to teach him everything. The youth are doing a great job of fellowshipping him though and he loves youth and being in young mens. Christiana is not doing so well however. She has not been reading the Book of Mormon, but she has been praying that she will be guided to the truth, and she still wants to take a serious amount of time, like just her day off or something to just sit and read so she can find out for herself if it is true. She is quite happy for Arthur to go ahead with baptism though, which is good.

We also saw Cindy this week. She still doesn't have a date for baptism. We have talked to her about it and what would be holding her back. She doesn't know what is holding her back but there clearly is something there. she just needs to pray for whatever that is to either be removed or for her to have the strength to overcome it so hopefully she is doing that.

Chanai, Arthur and Cindy all made it to church on sunday though, which was great! They all really enjoyed it too which is good. Also, our miracle find Roland made it to church for at least gospel principles too which was good. He had to leave part way through priesthood though as he had to get to work but he made it which was great.

So things in Reading are going really well. I cannot believe I have been here for nearly a whole transfer already! Elder Holmes reckons he is going to leave which, if that is the case I am a little nervous about taking over the area as I'm still not 100% familiar with the area and I still don't know all the members but if I need to take over the area, I am sure I will be fine.

Well I love you all so so much!

Elder Mitchell

ps. Spam's off!

Sunday, 3 March 2013

The work continues....

Hey everyone!!

I hope you are all well, and are keeping warm! The weather has been baltic down here, but I am keeping wrapped up warm!

So this week has been pretty good. First things first though, one of the highlights of this week, was seeing Ishmael pass the sacrament, and also give a talk on the plan of salvation. It was amazing and he is just so strong in the gospel now, it is just amazing!!!

Also this week, we got to teach Christiana and Arthur again. It was a great teach and we invited them both to be baptised. Arthur accepted and has a date for the 16th of March, but Christiana still had some concerns about needing to be baptised again, so we taught her about priesthood authority and the second part of baptism beings the gift of the holy ghost by the laying on of hands. She seemed to understand that, but she wants to read and pray about the book of mormon first before she commits which is great! She actually seemed apologetic when she told us she wants to read and pray about it first, but we were like Perfect! Go ahead! Compare it with the bible, do whatever you need to do. So we will be seeing her later today so hopefully that will go well. unfortunately neither of them made it to church yesterday as they had a funeral to go to, but they are doing well. Arthur went to youth on tuesday where they played basketball. One of the youth leaders told us that, he isn't any good at basketball, but he put his heart and soul into it which is great, and he is getting along great with the youth.

We also saw Cindy, unfortunately she hasn't prayed about a date yet, which is a shame, but I just hope she will. She knows that the church is true and that she needs to be baptised but there just seems to be some personal problems that are holding her back, whatever they may be.

Another cool experience I want to share with you from this week. We have been getting our members to pray for roads we can knock, and we got one from a member the other day so we knocked it. After two hours of the nastiest people in reading probably, we knock on this one door and an african answers. As soon as we say we are missionaries for Jesus Christ he lets us in. He is the coolest guy ever! Talking to him, he says he believes in God, but not in religion because it is so corrupt, perfect right? so we taught him about the restoration and the Book of Mormon and he said he would read it and come to church on sunday. He didn't come to church on sunday unfortunately but he seems really cool. And guess what his name is? Roland Monie. That is genuinely his name! Cool or what?

So that has more or less been my week.

Sorry this is quite a short email.

Love you all!!

Elder Mitchell

p.s yesterday there was a rugby game on, between London Irish and London Wasps. Maybe someone could explain to me why London Irish play there home games in Reading? Also, I saw Scotland have 4 points in the Six Nations, how has that happened? haha!

Hasn't he grown!

Elder Mitchell asked:

How is the missionary work going in Livingston? Enjoying being Ward Mission Leader? What are the missionaries like? yesterday, we had one of the members thank me and Elder Holmes for being "outstanding missionaries" I don't feel I'm doing that good a job at times, but I'm glad someone thinks so.
The work is going well here in Reading though, so I can't complain.
Well, I hope you are all doing well.
I love you
Elder Mitchell
I told him:
Hi Elder Mitchell,

You asked how the missionary work is going.  Well we have Elder Park from Utah, and Elder Allison from Leicester  (he knows Damian and his family).  Elder Park has been out about 3 weeks longer than you and Elder Allison has been out a bit less.  Elder Park has yet to have a baptism and Elder Allison has only had one.  They have a few investigators and seem to be keeping busy teaching. need We’ve set a baptismal date of the 30th March – no idea who, but I feel we need a date to work to. It’s not enough just to have a personal goal of how many baptisms each missionary wants for this year (as Pres Brown has asked each missionary to do).  I want, if I’m not out of order, to have each missionary that serves here to have the joy of seeing someone enter the waters of baptism.  It’s taken me this long to realise that.

I enjoy serving as the Ward Mission Leader – not sure how well I’m really doing at it, but I’m doing my best.  I haven’t been to Ward Council since I was released as bishop – I’ve just not been in town due to all the travelling I’ve been doing for work.

Two areas I want to see the Ward do better at and that is holding Cottage Evenings and service projects.  Delia and Spike have accepted the assignment of planning one in the next 6 weeks, so that’s a start, and we have the chance of a few service projects too.  I want the investigators to be involved in giving service – to show that we care for others.  I don’t know how important that is, but I know it is important.

Take care Zac, I love you as only a missionary’s father can!

God bless,


He responded:

Hi Dad, its good to hear that the work is going well. So President Brown has got the missionaries to set a goal of how many they want to baptise this year? is that for the missionary alone? Down here President Millar has got us to set a goal for baptisms in each area. So Reading has a goal for 10 baptisms in 2013. It is interesting to see how different mission President's work, but even though they are differences there is no doubt that they have been called of the Lord and are the best ones for the job at this particular time.
I'm sure you are doing a great job at being Ward Mission Leader. Cottage evenings is a great idea though. As we get the investigators into members homes, they can have a friend in the gospel who will always been there to support them, even long after the missionaries that taught them have left. It is really important to get the members involved in the work. I'm sure I've said this before but with the amount of new missionaries coming in, it is goign to get to the point where simple tracting will not be good enough anymore. The members and missionaries need to work together as a team. For years and years the Prophets and the Apostles have been teaching us that every member is a missionary and now is the time that needs to come to pass. Us missionaries can't work without the hep of the members, the work will not progress. That's my little two pence worth haha.
I hope you are all doing well. I love you all so very much.
Love Elder MItchell