Sunday, 29 December 2013

Christmas Day

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!

Christmas photos

Our tree

Elders Tidwell and Mitchell

Elder 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

Addlestone District

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....

Hello everybody!!!

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

One more week till Christmas...

Hey everyone!!!

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

Oh Christmas tree, oh Christmas tree......

We received an email from a sister in Addlestone Ward, Sis Tarr, who sent us a picture of Elders Mitchell and Tidwell.

Hello Families,
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!

Brenda Tarr

Addlestone Ward Family Home Evening

Hey everyone!!!

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

December's here!

Hey everyone!!!! 

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

P-day Activity, Visit to Brooklands

Elder Mitchell loves his F1 and any sporting activity - he got to visit Brooklands recently.

Elders Darcey and 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

Monday 25th November

Hello everyone!!

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