Monday, 23 September 2013

Another major catch up

Email 69 - 19th August
Hey everyone!

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!

Elder Mitchell

22 Aug

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

Elder Mitchell

Email 70 – 26 Aug
Hey everyone!

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!

Elder Mitchell

Email 71 – 2 Sep

Hey everyone!

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

Elder Mitchell

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
Hello everyone!!

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!!

Elder Mitchell

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

Hello everybody!!
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!
Elder Mitchell!

Email 74 – 23 Sep

Hey everybody!
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

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. 
Hey Dad,
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

Elder Mitchell

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