Tuesday, July 11, 2017



I guess this is the last time I'll e-mail from my missionary e-mail. I
feel a great deal of mixed emotions about all of this.

I've been asked like 5 or 6 times this week to bear my testimony,
because it's my last time doing everything - my last District Meeting,
my last MLC, my last Sacrament Meeting as a full time missionary etc.
Without a doubt, I cry every time - I can't help it.

When I think about what serving a mission has meant for me, I can
barely put it into words. I've learned a lot about myself and what
kind of person I want to be, but also a lot about how to treat others,
and how I want my interactions with others to be for the rest of my

A few of the biggest personal things I've learned/gained from serving
a mission:

1. A testimony of Jesus Christ, and a desire to follow his example

2. A desire to serve others rather than only help myself

3. A vision for what kind of life I want to live, family centred and happy.

This week we went on a few exchanges:
- Elder Livingston & Elder Holyoak in Bridlington, both from Utah
- Elder Barber & Elder Campbell in Scunthorpe, from California & Utah

It still hasn't really hit me I think that this is actually going to
be over. The last 3 ish years of my life have basically been devoted
to preparing and serving as a missionary - and that phase of my life
is coming to an end. The prospect of going back to Canada and moving
forward with other things like University and life is kind of scary,
but it'll be alright. Also - I've been thinking a lot about the things
I'm going to miss from England - and leaving this place is also going
to make me so sad. I'm sad already thinking about it.

Another feeling I've had recently is a feeling that's kind of like
relief - but that's not the best way to describe it. I think it's more
like a sense of accomplishment. When I came back on a mission I
remember that I really felt strongly that this was a responsibility
that I needed to fulfill - there was something here that I needed to
accomplish - and I feel now that I've accomplished that. It's a good

Another thought - about timing. In looking back on the timeline of my
missionary experience, the timing of the whole thing is just crazy. I
was definitely, definitely meant to be here as a missionary now. Not
10 months ago, but now. For any who don't know - I went home in the
middle of my mission for 10 months, and then came back. I strongly
believe that that whole experience was inspired of God. There were a
lot of factors that played into that timing being the way it was - and
I'm still not even sure how it's possible that that happened - but it
did, and I was here when I was meant to be here. The last 3 months
have shown me that God has a plan for every single one of children on
this earth. I know this because he knows me and what I need in perfect
detail - and that blows my mind. He cares about me and wants me to be
happy and knows what I need to learn and experience to become the
bloke that he wants me to be - and if he can do that for me - he can
and does do it for everyone.

I believe deeply that God is my Father, and he is everyone's Father. I
pray to Him every day. I also believe strongly that He sent Jesus
Christ to the earth to pay the price of our sins so that we can return
back to him one day. I've spent the last 3 years on and off teaching
people about this concept and I'm going to miss it desperately.

For anyone who doesn't believe, or hasn't read the Book of Mormon, or
who hasn't been to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints,
go. You will love it, and it will benefit you and your loved ones

Love you guys.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Second Last Email!!!!!

So I can't even believe how close I am to coming home. It's become pretty real in the past few days, not just like an understanding that I am coming home - but like actually having to prepare and think logistically about it - and I don't really like having to think about it, I'd kind of rather just get stuck right in to missionary work - which we are doing! It's a little crazy.

But nonetheless, this week we were all over the place still! We went to:

- Sheffield 4 w/ Elder Campbell & Elder Christensen. both from Utah
- Keighley w/ Elder Pilling & Elder Bailey, from Okotoks & Australia
- Hull 1 w/ Elder Kearl & Elder Saylin, both from Utah
- Gateshead w/ Elder Schmidt & Elder Christensen. from Utah & California
- South Shields w/ Elder Zeck & Elder Hardy, from Lethbridge & Utah

So still a busy, full week!

On Saturday Elder Rhea and I also had a chance to go and look at some of the sights to see in the mission in Northumberland! We went up to Alnwick, and a bunch of other places up there - we even made it right up to the Scottish Border! See the pics for more - they speak for themselves & I'll caption them.

We also had a mission home fireside this weekend - and the Turvey's are taking us out for dinner tonight at a nice restaurant because I'm going home next week. (We'll have another dinner at their house the night before I fly home as well)

But yeah, we've been all around, just working and working hard to train lots of missionaries. 

Here's a poem I found a while ago that seemed really relevant this week:

"Father, where shall I work today?”
And my love flowed warm and free.
Then He pointed out a tiny spot
And said, “Tend that for me.”
I answered quickly, “Oh no; not that!
Why, no one would ever see,
No matter how well my work was done;
Not that little place for me.”
And the word He spoke, it was not stern;
He answered me tenderly:
“Ah, little one, search that heart of thine.
Art thou working for them or for me?
Nazareth was a little place,
And so was Galilee.”

No matter what calling or position we are asked by our Heavenly Father to do, we need to do it with excellence. No matter how small, no matter how insignificant we feel in our calling - we should lift where we stand. 

No matter what I'm asked to do in my life, I'll go where the Lord wants me to go, and I'll be the person he wants me to be. 

Love you guys.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Still So Busy

This week has been amazing. I don't understand where the time goes
really - the week started last Monday and then it was just gone, and I
couldn't believe it was done already.

This week we went hard in the paint. We went on exchange every day and
did the work. We were in:

- Leeds 4 w/ Elder Tobler & Elder Bailey, both from Utah
- Sheffield 1 with Elder Beadle & Elder Fife, both from Utah
- Huddersfield 2 with Elder Southwick & Elder Crittendon. from Idaho & Utah
- Grimsby with Elder McTavish from Calgary & Elder Nelson from Idaho
- Mansfield with Elder Gibson from Utah & Elder Mulonga from Angola
- Sheffield 4 with Elder Campbell & Elder Christensen, both from Utah.

Also - big announcement this week..    my brother Sam got his mission
call!!!!!! He's going to the Peru Lima North Mission, Spanish
speaking! He leaves on August 15th and reports to the Mexico MTC. I'm
so excited for him, he's going to be amazing.

I learned a big lesson this week from Elder Rhea. On Monday, one the
Leeds Zone Leaders, Elder Buckhoff, was feeling a bit sick - so Elder
Rhea went and took care of him while I spent the day with Elder Peck
going to Leeds 4. Elder Rhea is honestly such a Christlike bloke, he
will just give up his time to help anyone and it continually amazes
me. I've learned so much from him.

So we actually went on exchange with Elder Tobler and Elder Bailey
last week as well, but on Sunday Elder Rhea was like: ''we should do a
blitz with them tomorrow as well'' and I was like ''if you feel so
inspired. go on then.'' Then Elder Rhea didn't even end up coming with
us, it was Elder Peck and I that split with Elder Tobler and Elder
Bailey, and on top of it being a really positive experience for those
Elders, we met this bloke and his Dad who were from Kosovo. For any
who don't know, my Dad was deployed as an Optometrist with the US
peacekeeping troops that entered Kosovo in 1999. This guy was
translating for his Dad who said that they were both really grateful
for the US troops that came into Kosovo and for what they did for the
country and for their family - it was really touching and I believe
that that was one of the reasons Elder Rhea felt so inspired to have
us go back there that night.

I also went on exchange with Elder McTavish this week! He is
originally from Edmonton but has lived in North Calgary for the last
few years and knows the Taylor's pretty well. He is doing good - and
it was fun to be around him and talk a little about some people we
both knew from back home.

We also went on exchange down in Mansfield this week - so I've
officially been to the most Northern part of the mission and the most
Southern part of the mission. On a side note - from the most northern
town in our Mission (Berwick Upon Tweed) to the most Southern
(Mansfield) is about 200 miles - and looking at my Brothers Mission on
LDS.org, the Peru Lima North Mission is about 14 miles or so at the
longest point... crazy.

So in our Mission for the past 4 years or so there has been a branch
of Slovak speakers in Sheffield 4, but it unfortunately closed this
week. Elder Rhea is actually a Slovak speaking missionary and speaks
fluent Slovak, and he served the first 11 months of his Mission in
that Branch. So for the last Sunday that the branch ran, we went and
attended church there. It was sad, but also a really touching
experience, and it's so cool that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the
same - no matter what language you speak. Heavenly Father lives and
understands us all.

One other thing that I learned this week. We went on exchange with a
lot of missionaries - and the experiences that we have being around
them are always so positive and encouraging, but sometimes there are
things that they do that are less than ideal. When Elder Rhea and I
drive away from these exchanges, sometimes our tendency is to
immediately spout out all of the things that happened, and sometimes
there are negative experiences. What I've learned this week is that
there is not one use in talking bad about someone ever. Not even in
confidence with a trusted source, there is just no room ever for
negative comments or criticism or ridicule of someone. I realised this
week through various experiences that when someone says something
negative about another person, it often reflects and reveals more
about the person who criticises that the person who made the error in
the first place. I've thought to myself this: if I were to do
something less than perfect in front of Jesus Christ, would he then
turn around and complain to someone else about the way I'd done that
thing? No. But he also would not condone that error and would seek to
correct it in a loving, private, positive way.

We did a lot of travelling this week, drove a lot of miles - stayed
with and worked with a lot of missionaries - 2 different ones each day
actually. That is how Elder Rhea and I have been doing our exchanges
for the last month or so btw - we spend the first half of the day with
one Elder and then switch and go with the other Elder for the rest of
the day - it's ridiculous how many missionaries you end up working
with in the course of a week. Sometimes I can't believe that I have
the energy to keep going with it - and then I remember when I learned
about what the Apostles travel schedules are like and I'm like - this
is nothing, and I stop thinking about it and just get on with the
work. I hit the pillow every night and I'm just out like a light. I
love every minute of it.

The best part about all of this is that every single day I have the
opportunity to meet loads of new people, different people. No day is
the same - and everywhere we go, I find myself testifying and teaching
the same principles: no matter what you are going through in your
life, whether it's a good time or a hard time - the principles of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ will help you. All of the problems or
difficulties or ambitions or worries that people express to us, it all
can be benefited positively from living the principles of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. I've found that to be true for myself. Over the last
few months I've learned so many principles about the kind of person
God wants me to be - the attributes I need to develop to become more
like Him, and these will benefit me through my whole life.

Once again - to anybody who doesn't know what I'm talking about when I
speak about the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - please
investigate further. If you are not a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, look into it. Find one in your area and
attend on Sunday. Go to mormon.org and read, and then request a Book
of Mormon or for missionaries to come teach you more. There are only
blessings on blessings on blessings that are in store for you as you
come to know who you are in the sight of God. You can find more peace
of mind, more purpose and direction in your life and you can be
happier and more optimistic because of what you learn. Try it. I
promise you will see the results in your life.

Love you guys.

Elder MacTavish from Edmonton and Calgary!

This is someone's house

Sherwood Forest near Mansfield and Nottingham

There is a Slovak speaking Branch in Sheffield that Elder Rhea served in - and it closed this week, so we went to the last sacrament meeting there.

All the Slovak speaking missionaries --- and me

this guy we met is from Kosovo. He's the first person I've met in England from there, and he said that he remembered the US peacekeeping troops that came in in 1999 and that he was thankful for what they did for him and his family.

Exchange w/ Elder Fife & Beadle

Exchange w/ Elder Southwick & Crittendon

Exchange with Elder Mulonga & Gibson...Also - these are not all on the same day, I just only brought one tie with me for the past few weeks...

Monday, June 19, 2017

Substance to My Soul

This week it got proper hot here in Northeast England! It was up into
like 30 degrees Celsius and things like that.

We went all over the place this week too! We spent time in:

- Chesterfield with Elder Grey from Utah & Elder Manaligod from the Phillipines
- Bradford with Elder Tuita & Elder Stanley, from Arizona & Oregon
- Barnsley with Elder Watson & Elder Stumpp, both from Idaho Falls
- Dudley Hill with Elder Shiew & Elder Monroe, both from Utah
- Leeds 4 with Elder Tobler & Elder Bailey, both from Utah as well.

This week was crazy busy - but awesome.

In thinking about things - I've realised that I have this next week,
and then only two other full weeks of proselyting before I'm done,
which is crazy. I can't believe how fast the time has gone!

I don't have much time to send an email today -  but when Sam's
Mission call comes, make sure you take a video of him opening it so I
can see it! And let me know right away!

There are lots of highlights for this week! Good memories - mostly I'm
just working my butt off - finding loads of people to teach with a
different missionary every day, soaking in the English accent and the
funny things they say - enjoying the time I have to spend with
missionaries and help their progression, visiting different famous
landmarks when we get the chance, playing lots of basketball - and
reading loads of scriptures and conference talks to feel the spirit as
much as we can. I am loving every minute of it and I'm so sad that
it's coming to an end soon. I'm learning loads of lessons.

Anyone who is thinking about potentially serving a mission in the
future - it's an amazing experience.

If there's any quote that's described how I've felt this week it's a
quote from Spencer W. Kimball (a past prophet and president of the
church) that says:

"The more we serve our fellowmen in appropriate ways, the more
substance there is to our soul... we become more substantive as we
serve others... indeed it becomes easier to find ourselves, because
there's so much more of us to find"

And it's so true. Before I served a mission I did some things of
value, but serving a mission has enlarged my soul in a way that
nothing else could. I truly feel that serving others, and therefore
serving God, has changed my life and has been the most valuable and
worthwhile thing I've ever done.

Love you guys!

Chesterfield - the famous crooked spire. Why is it crooked? Still not sure, everybody gives you a different answer

District Meeting in Bradford

Exchange in Bradford

Exchange in Barnsley

Exchange in Dudley Hill