Monday, December 29, 2014

Last email of 2014!

So, this week was really great. On Monday we had a short p-day and then we went and visited Vita Williams, we had a really great lesson with her and talked to her a lot about the Plan of Salvation and Jesus Christ and how it can help her in her situation. Vita is a 42 year old woman who has been beaten several times by different partners, she has a court date in a few weeks to testify against the man  who most recently beat her. She has post traumatic stress disorder and probably some other mental problems too. We went back again yesterday and her door was hanging open, and her TV was on, but she wasn't there. Talking to her neighbours they think she is crazy and she leaves her door open all the time. Hopefully we'll get  to meet up with her soon.
Then Christmas Eve we had a district meeting (see picture) and we did a gift exchange (I got the lego movie) and then we talked to people on the street for several hours before coming in. Elder Jaegers mom sent us matching T shirts of red and yellow m and m's. (see other picture) it was really fun. Then Christmas day we went to Bishop Millingtons and had a full English breakfast, and opened presents and then we went to the Johnsons where they had this huge Christmas dinner with all their family and we brought and investigator named Sarah, (Who btw is getting baptized on January 10) and that was great. Then we went to Sister Thompsons and Skyped!
That night the zone Leaders (Elder McGinnis and Mullen) came and picked us up and we spent the night in their flat in Gateshead, and then we got up super early the next morning and went to the Metro Center (the biggest mall in the UK) which is right near their flat. We got there at 630 and left at about 11, it was great. I bought a skinny grey suit at Topman 50% off, it's super nice (see picture as well).
Also another thing that has been on my mind a lot, Elder Jaeger and I talk about it all the time, and we are meeting tonight with a guy named Peter who is struggling with this concept a lot. It's the concept of our potential as human beings to become like God is. We have been studying this talk by Tad R. Callister called 'Our Identity and Our Destiny'. [It's Janine -- you can click here to read this talk]  It has enlightened me quite a bit. For anyone that has not read it - I highly suggest it. It speaks about our potential to become like God, if we follow the plan he has set forth and keep the commandments that we have been given to keep in this life. It has helped me a lot to put my problems and the temptation that I face in check because it helps me see how short this life really is in comparison to the eternity that we have to live in after this life. It strikes me that this life is just a test, and that if we don't make and keep all of the necessary sacred covenants in this life, or in the Spirit world, then we will just hit this brick wall in the next life where we will not be able to progress, and I really don't want that.
Anyways, that's what I've been thinking a lot about. Also how short this life is in comparison to eternity. And how short a mission is in comparison to the rest of my life.
Love you guys.
This is from an email to James:
So every week we do weekly plannning to talk about what investigators were gonna teach this week. Right now were teaching Cheyvonne, an older woman who is a spiritualist and smokes a lot, Margaret, an older woman who drinks a lot but loves what we teach, Vita, And Tracy and her son Peter, who we helped move. We've taught lots of other people but these are the ones were mainly focussing on this week.
Side story you might like to hear, about a month ago we knocked a street and this Elderly born again Christian lady let us into her house. She was a heavy smoker and she had three massive dogs and a talking parot. IT was really funny becasue the parrot kept being like 'Jesus is Coming!' 'Praise the Lord!' it was strange. Anyways this woman watches all these preachers on TV and was convinced that we were wrong. We went twice and then accidentally the second time left a book of mormon on her couch, like not even on purpose, and the next time we went she freaked out at us and told us she'd thrown it away because it was blasphemy. She then showed us all this anti mormon stuff and these preachers on TV and tried to convince us we were wrong. She then had the audacity to pray that we would know the book of mormon wasnt true in her prayer before we left. Needless to say we are not going back there again. Nothing we said could help her.


Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Pictures that Coleman mailed to us

This week's email

Hi Hi Hi Hi Hi!
This past Saturday a girl was baptized who lives in Alnwick, but she was baptized in Newcastle! It was really exciting. Last Saturday Elder Jaeger and I (because he is the district leader) had to travel up to Alnwick to interview her for baptism and that was an adventure. We took the Metro into Newcastle so the central station there and it was freezing cold that day and the train station is outside ( so stupid) and it was like -5 or -6 so it was pretty cold, and we had to wait for like an hour to catch this train up to Alnwick. The train we were on, the next station was Edinburgh Scotland. So if we had stayed on that train we would have just ended up in Scotland...    but we didn't haha. Anyways the countryside up there is beautiful and Sarah was super ready to be baptized her baptism was wonderful (1 dunk, first try). Elder Kiss baptized her.
Anyways also this week on Tuesday was the zone Christmas party! that was super fun we got there at around 10 and we played a bunch of games and then had a big lunch with all the missionaries and President and his wife, then we had a talent show! I played and sang with a guitar that I borrowed from Brother Phillipson ( a member of the bishopric in our ward ) and that was super fun lots of people told me I was really good. Then we watched this really funny movie called Nativity, you guys should watch it!
Also on Monday on p day we went into Newcastle city center, it's this huge shopping place it's really cool I'll take a picture to send to you next time I'm there. I bought new shoes - because I wore through the soles of my shoes that I've been wearing, so I bought some really thick ones. I'll send a picture of the soles too haha they're really destroyed.
That video you sent worked great they sound really good! Our Christmas Sunday was pretty lame - the bishop was gone and the choir lady was in Idaho and so we just sang a bunch of Christmas hymns and had a normal sacrament, but next Sunday they asked me to sing Oh Holy Night in Sacrament so that'll be good.
And wait, did both Elders leave the area? Who are the new ones? What are their names, what are they like etc.
And ah man that makes me pretty sad to think about missing the Christmas party :(
But thinking about the Ockeys, is Hayden back yet? If not when does he come home?
We have four Elders in our ward so between the two pairs we get about 4 or 5 tea appointments a week, so about 2 or 3 each (we're not allowed to have 4 elders for tea somewhere) so that's pretty nice. The rest of the time we have pasta or pizza or sandwiches or rice and chicken and stuff. Elder Shrieve (the new guy in our flat) is a really good cook, so sometimes he makes us good meals.
Olivia and will are so funny I miss you guys! Elder Jaeger thinks the poop jokes are really funny. I told him about the time Olivia called me poop fire on that note and he laughed for days about it. I've told him lots of stories about you guys (we have a lot of time to talk) so he knows about all you guys.
Sammy! I love your hair! This week (probably today) I'm gonna go and cut my hair a lot shorter, just to see if i like it. So on Christmas my hair might look a lot different. And dude how was the play? What was it again? Who are you hanging out with now?  Also how's driving? Do you drive a lot? Is it different at home without me there? How's everything going? And school what's up with that? How is everything?
Hi dad,
I've been thinking a lot about the atonement of Jesus Christ and I'm amazed about how hard it is to understand it fully. I'm always learning more about it. I've been teaching a lot of people about Him, and when I have to explain what the Atonement is in simple terms for people so they can understand - it helps me know it better and understand it more. I love Jesus Christ and teaching about him.
And Alex, you suck for not emailing me. you don't have time? I only have an hour and a half of internet access! Email me more! haha its okay but seriously. also das cool about the music stuff. I played guitar at the missionaries Christmas party! And I sing at church all the time! I'll see you on Christmas love you bye

Monday, December 15, 2014

Coleman's email and some pictures from his ward munch n mingle


So, mail. I have gotten a lot of mail from you guys I love it all. I got a few of Dad's talks and I got a bunch of the talks that mom has been studying. I read and studied them all thank you very much. Also I got all the food you sent (a lot of it) and the socks which I use every day, I still wear two pairs every day. Also I got that package with my Instagram books thank you! And the USB! I also bought Micheal Buble's Christmas album at a pound shop and we listen to that all the time.

I don't know if you would be able to find one (because I can't) but I've been looking for a pitch pipe, you know like a thing you can blow into that will play notes so I can know what note I'm singing, so if you find one and could send it to me that would be swell. Oh and a harmonica, I can't find any of those either.

Tomorrow is the zone Christmas party and I borrowed a guitar from one of the members of the bishopric (brother Phillipson) so that I can play something for the talent show (hurray!) Last night was the first time I've played guitar since I left home. My fingers hurt.

Also about Bro Spackman. I'm really sad to hear that he passed away. I still have the pin he gave me on one of my suit jackets. I've met a lot of old men knocking on doors and visiting, and lot's of these old men are full of sorrow and regret because they wish they could have done more with their lives. (Charly for example is this guy who drew me a hand drawn map of the area around Newcastle by memory, he was never married nor had any children and he is so lonely and loves to talk to us, we visit him about once a fortnight) I'm so inspired by Grant and how he lived his life as best he could and I know that he'll be ready and waiting for us all to join him on his way to the Celestial Kingdom.

 I'm feeling great btw, I got over the flu, but now Elder Wright has it...    haha..

Okay another story. Last night there was a cottage evening (it's like a fireside except with like 10 ward members at someone's house) and it was literally at this woman's house (Sister Steele) who lives in a cottage. But anyways we took the Metro (like always) to get there and on the Metro this woman got on and stood near us who was crying a lot. I felt the Spirit really strongly that I should go and talk to her, but before I could Elder Jaeger asked her if she was alright. She turned and looked at him and said ''No!'' and he asked if there was anything he could do to help and she said no again, so he sat back down. After a minute or so she turned to us and asked us why we cared, and we talked to her for a long time on the Metro and then got off with her and kept talking. She was upset because she had been beaten and abused by her boyfriend, and now he is in prison for beating her, and she has a court date in January to testify against him and she doesn't want to see him it was just a mess. We spoke about how we help people find peace and comfort in life through Jesus Christ's atonement and we're going to visit her sometime this week. She was very thankful that someone stopped and listened to her problems.

 I'm feeling happy, and yes I do feel like a real missionary mama.
Elder Jaeger and I sang Angels We Have Heard on High in sacrament meeting this past Sunday, Elder Wright played the piano. Also for the nativity yesterday and on the 28th of December in sacrament I'm singing oh holy night with Elder Wright playing the Piano, and I thing the arrangement we got it by Sally Deford and Alex used to play it for me a lot. Anyways I love singing it it's great.

love you guys!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Short and not so sweet

Hi guys!
This week was kinda crappy for me. It was transfer week, so p day was last tuesday, and then wednesday we had to drive with Sister Thompson to drop off Elder Diaz and Wright at the meeting so that took up our whole morning that day, and then we had a bunch of appointments this week where people cancelled/just werent there when we showed up. (It's called getting flogged here) So that sucked. And then I got pretty sick this week, like with a bad cold and s fever one night, so I had to stay in the flat for a few days, I missed church yesterday which sucked, and I was so bored! There is not much to do. We have some Disney movies to watch but thats about it. And read the scriptures.
Anyways I dont have too much more to tell it was kind of a boring week. Hopefully today were gonna go get our pictures taken for a Christmas Card and send that to you.
Also just btw, I got a cool European style haircut and now I wear my hair up every day and it looks cool, I'll send you a picture of it soon.
Bye! Love you guys!
Elder Thompson

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Pictures of Elder Diaz's transfer

These are from Sister Thompson -- a sister in Coleman's ward who gave them a ride today to the Stake Centre for Elder Diaz's transfer

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Transfers -- so it's a day late!

I didn't get transfered, calls were last night: Elder Diaz in my flat is leaving tomorrow and Elder Shreve is coming in. I've never met him but I'm sure he'll be great!
Funny Story - Elder Diaz is really good at card tricks, like magic card tricks you know? And he has like 4 or 5 decks of cards and he walks around and plays with them all the time, like on the metro and in the flat and stuff. Anyways a few days ago Elder Jaeger and I hid like 3 decks of cards everywhere in all his stuff so that he keeps finding them in random places its really funny. Like everytime he puts on any clothes they're in his sleeves and in his pants and stuff. We hid them like in the shower and stuff and just everywhere he got really frustrated it's funny. But then he's getting transfered so hopefully he finds them all before tomorrow when he leaves!
Also this week I went on exchange with Elder Summers our zone leader, and that was good, but he also got transferred!
I love you guys miss you so much love you mama cheerio
Pic 1: elder Diaz who is leaving tomorrow :(
Pic 2: Just a normal street in Whitley Bay - at the end of that street is the ocean btw.
Pic 3: Elder Jaeger and I taking a selfie
Pic 4: The Normal weather for North shields - and teh ocean!
Pic 5: Me!
Pic 6: Elder Summers and I
Pic 7: The Priory old castle in tynemouth
Pic 8: Me!
Pic 9: My desk one morning (it was really messy it's not always like that)
Pic 10: Elder Jaeger was mad because the rain messed up his hair (it rains every single day)


Tuesday, November 25, 2014

It's a little late - I'm on vacation!

Hi!! Love you! Miss you!
Yes I'm journalling of course, every day.
We went back to those potentials and none of them were in when we went so I'm not sure yet well have to go again sometime. I have so many stories to talk about this week!
So first of all I've been reading over my patriarchal blessing about once a week and I realized that I don't have one of those laminated cards for it, and I was wondering if you could get one and send it to me? That would be champion.
Okay on Tuesday I think it was Elder Jaeger and I were knocking and this one guy named Ani, young guy like 21 let us into his house (yes!) and we taught him all about the Restoration, and it went really really well and we bore testimony and he was asking questions it was great! And then at the end of the lesson we were trying to set up a time that we could come back and he didn't want us to come back :'( Oh well. So first time someone let me in while knocking, it went great but also not great so yeah.
Also there's this super old guy who lives in a town called West Monkseaton who just lives by himself and stays home all the time cause he's really old, and we went and talked with him for an hour or so like 3 weeks ago and he told us so many cool stories but he wasn't really interested in listening to what we had to share but that's okay! Anyways he talks a lot and he's been to tons of places (like he's been to Calgary twice and he's travelled all of Canada and lot's of the states) but like a long time ago. So anyways On wednesday I think we went back and visited him again and he had drawn for us specifically this hand drawn map of like all of the towns and area in like a 30 mile radius of Newcastle, that he drew from MEMORY! Elder Jaeger and I played rock paper scissors for it and I won so I get to keep it haha.
Also yes I did sing with the choir this Sunday, and I totally forgot to tell you that I spoke in Sacrament meeting last week! Brother Johnson (bishopbric member) asked the four missionaries in North Shields to choose a hymn and speak about it's spiritual meaning, so I chose 86 how great thou art and spoke about it, it went great.
Also one of the sisters from my district in the MTC (Sister Nagy from hungary) is being trained by Robin, just btw.
Okay on Friday we were knocking again and this very elderly born-again Christian lady let us into her house (2nd time ever, and same week!) and we talked to her for about an hour as well. But this lady, her house smelled so bad, like she was a heavy smoker and she had 3 big big dogs and 3 cats and a bunch of birds. But she had two parots that talked, and one of the parrots kept saying ''Praise the Lord'', ''Jesus is coming!'' and stuff like that it was hilarious. I reeked of smoke for the rest of the day though, but it was cool. She invited us back.
Weve been teaching lots of people I dont have room to expalin it all.
Okay so...  long story time.
Yesterday President Pilkington gave a fireside in Huddersfield, a town that takes about 2 and a half hours to drive to from Newcastle. All missionaries that have never been to a Presidents fireside were invited to go (i.e. me). So Elder Jaeger and I needed to get a car so that we could drive some elders down to the fireside last night. So anyways, my district is the most northern district in the whole mission. North of North shields (where there are four elders) there are two elders in Ashington, and two elders in Alnwick (pronounced Annec, the castle there is the castle in Harry Potter). So anways the Alnwick area is massive, like really really big, so they have a car up there. So on Saturday morning Brother Jessecooke (the ward mission leader) drove us up to the Elders flat up there, and that area is beautiful. Like so so pretty. The highway is like barely big enough for two cars and it's windy and we go like 70 mph the whole time it's pretty scary but it's so cool and that place is so pretty! So anyways we had to go up there, talk to Elders Kiss and Brown (from hungary and New Zealand respectively, and also Elder Kiss' name is prounounced like keesh) for a bit and then drive back.
So then yesterday after church we drove to Newcastle and picked some guys up, and then we drove all the way to Huddersfield and started to practice the songs we were singing for the fireside that night. One of the songs that we sang was the ''pack up your troubles in your old kit bag'' song from zone conference, and President was like ''can anybody do a solo for this?'' and Elder Jaeger was like ''Yeah, elder Thompson can'' and I was like ''sure ok''. So I did I sang a solo for the fireside. There was about 300 people there :D. The words to the song go
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile
Just think of all the happy times well have, Smile boys that's the style.
What's the use of worrying? It never was worthwhile.
So, pack up your toubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile!
It's a great song and it makes President cry. It is very powerful when there are 50 or so missionaries singing it really loudly too. It was great. The fireside was phenominal. We didnt get home last night until 1130 or so though, so I'm pretty tired today. But today were going to a thanksgiving feast at teh Newcastle Chappel that the senior missionary couple are hosting for our whole zone, it'll be great

Monday, November 17, 2014

It's been over a month!

Thank you for the candy! And the socks, they're really warm. That bag of skittles is huge holy crap. (Crap is a really bad word in England btw, but hell and damn are fine to say all the time)
This week I knocked on a lot of people's doors. Like a lot. Like probably a hundred or so. Next week we have time set aside every day to knock on doors for at least an hour and a half. Also it rains here a lot. Like a lot I'm always wet and my feet get cold. I love this jacket it's a life saver.
So on Wednesday elder Jaeger and I fasted (I told you about it in my other email) for Saturday, to be able to find someone. So on Saturday we went to Tynemouth, by the oceanside and walked around for a while talking to people. We walked all around this old broken castle called the Priory, it's so cool. I forgot my camera but I'll take some pictures eventually. The ocean side is really pretty and cool, but it's like really cold here and there's tons of people on the beach, but they're all in like winter jackets its a strange sight.
Anyways after that we knocked in this little town called Shiremoore for a long time, and we got 4 potentials out of it, and we handed out a couple of book of mormons to them, so hopefully one of those people will be ready to listen to us when we go back to see them.
Elder Jaeger and I had such a good day that day though it was great. The spirit was with us all day and we were happy and laughing and people were nice and it was great.
This week we taught a grand total of 3 lessons, but it's okay. On Friday Elder Diaz was sick so I went on exchange with Elder Wright and got to teach 3 more lessons (but they don't count as my lessons) but they were so fun to teach it was great. I'm really getting good at teaching I feel. And I like it a lot.
So the Ward here in North Shields has a bout 75 active members. So its really small, and I know a lot of the members well already. The bishop is nice but he's really busy all the time and we don't get to see him very often.
There are no normal families in England! I swear not a single one. On Saturday one girl opened the door and she had a wedding ring on and after Elder Jaeger and I were like ''Did you see that ring!'' She's married! Or engaged! Wow!'' (But she wasn't interested. like everyone else...)
Elder Wright and elder Diaz have 3 people scheduled to be baptized next Saturday though (the 29th), and two of them, Amy and Sarah, are just a little older than us, like 20 and 21, and are really excited. I got to teach them with Elder Wright and they are so easy to teach they just want to listen to everything. They have really good questions too which make us think before we answer.
McDonalds here sucks. In fact all burgers are pretty crappy.
Fish and chips though... yumm.
I bought a thing of fish and chips the other day at a little store around the corner called gill's (which btw like a week and a half ago, 3 chavs got arrested right outside of, we were there) and I got a large and it was so big! Like it was 14 or so inches long! It was delish tho.
All pizza boxes are the same. They don't have their brands on them.
SO many things here are different. The roads are dumb. People park fully over the sidewalks all the time. The houses are so small.
I'm happy though! I got to play a guitar for about 5 minutes this week hurray.
Love ya!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

A message from the Mission Pres about Christmas packages

ATTENTION mark these packages as Christmas
Our policy is to deliver all mail to the missionaries as soon as possible. If you don’t want your missionary to open the package, please put Christmas – open on 25 December -  on each package. Our goal is to get all of the missionaries. We will not necessarily wait until the Christmas Parties to deliver them.
All Christmas mail and packages need to be received at the Mission office by 12 Dec 2014. Mail all Christmas packages to the Office because of the 3 Dec 2014 transfer. You will not have time to send mail after the transfer and get it to the missionaries flat by Christmas unless you live close. If we do not receive the packages in time for the parties, we will do our best to get them to the missionaries before Christmas.
Mission office address:  England Leeds Mission
                     Lister House, Lister Hill,
                     Horsforth  LS18 5AZ
1.                  Send all Christmas packages and letters directly to the office.
2.                  Parents need to mark packages as “personal items NOT FOR RESALE” – “Gift” – “Christmas gift” - Declare the value of $20 or £20 OR less (NOT MORE). Because it is a gift you don’t need to put a declared value on it. England can charge a tax on anything that is a declared valued of more than $20. We have had missionaries pay up to £70 to receive a package.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

An extra email this week!

I'm e-mailing today because yesterday was zone conference and President Pilkington told us that we need to e-mail our families and him to share our experience and feelings about it. So here ya go! And extra hour of e-mail yay.
So yesterday, I woke up at 630, showered, ate breakfast and got dressed for the day. At about 730 I walked out the door with Elder's Jaeger, Wright and Diaz, to go catch the Metro from the North Shields station. We took the Metro into Newcastle, transferring at South Gosforth Station to get to the Fawdon station, where the chapel is. Elder Jaeger, Diaz and I got a ride in the zone leader's (Elder's Sommers and Mullen) car all the way down to Billingham, where zone conference was held. It took forever because traffic was bad.
At zone conference 8 people were chosen at random, like really at random, to give 3 minute talks about a christlike attribute of their choice. Everybody had to have at least 2, 3 minute talks prepared (mine were on humility and diligence, but i wasnt chosen yay). And by 3 minute talks President really means 3 minute talks. He times them and if you pass 3 minutes he cuts you off. No one has ever gone over the 3 minute mark yet ever though. The longest of the talks yesterday was exactly 2 minutes 59 seconds. They were all great. Here in the mission field your trainer is called your daddy, and if you train someone they are your son, so Elder Jaeger is my dad, but hes trained before, so my ''Brother'' Elder Schwartskopf (I'm not sure how you spell it) had to give a talk.
Anyways it was also Remembrance day, and we had a two minutes of silence as well as Sister Pilkington got us to sing this song called Smile, smile, smile. The song is an old soldiers tune from the first world war and President Pilkington couldnt sing it because he got too choked up. The chorus goes ''so pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smile''. It was a very powerful meeting.
In North Shield we havent been having much success with finding new investigators. Most people just dont want to hear about God. last night we had tea with This old couple in the Ward called the Spedding's. Brother Spedding was a mission President in South Africa 15 years ago and he told us full on his conversion story and his testimony for about 45 minutes. He was a man who had been, through various experiences, prepared perfectly to recieve the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The missionaries found him when he was 29, married with two kids, and depressed to the point of attempting suicide. He told us about him reading Moroni's promise and recieving an overpowering witness from the Spirit that it was true, and he joined and was never depressed since.
I feel strongly that there is somebody in the North Shields area who is ready for Elder Jaeger and I to find and teach them. We are fasting today to know where to go to find that person on Saturday.
Another powerful part of zone conference. President told us about a missioanry who came out three months ago into the mission. A perfectly healthy, athletic young man who loved to wakeboard and snowboard and play basketball. He was from Utah. The missionary came out, and after his first few weeks was hospitalized for a dissease that had started eating away at his legs. He had to go home and is now doing intense physical therapy after being cured from this mysterious dissease. He is trying his hardest to be ready to come back out into the field. When I have days of discouragement. I need to remember this missionary, and remember that I dont have it that bad.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Elder Thompson's flat address -- but only for the next month (maybe)

Right now Coleman's address is

20 Cecil Street
North Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE 29 0DH
BUT -- this is just for letters.  All packages need to go to the address on the side bar.
Also - transfers will happen again in the first week of Dec and he may or may not move.

New email again

Hey guys! I love you and miss you guys!
Mama, just for future reference, I don't have much time to e-mail, so if you have talks or spiritual writings that you want me to read, mail them to me! As long as they're thin enough to be in an envelope then you can just mail them right to my flat. I would love to get talks or similar things, or more pictures of you guys that I can keep with me and look at through the week.
Also it hasn't snowed here, people say that if it does snow, pretty much everything shuts down. It's pretty cold and it rains a lot though. I bought a good coat and I wear it every day.
We take the Metro (the train) pretty much everywhere because it runs through our area in North Shields pretty well. I'm starting to memorize the stations and memorize where certain people live.
On the fifth of November it was Guy Fawkes day (Bonfire Night) and so we had to be in our flat again at 6 o'clock and there were so many fireworks going off it was kind of crazy. Our area that we live in is kind of sketchy so we had to put duct tape over our mail slot so people wouldn't throw fireworks through it.
One of our investigators named Tracy is getting rid of her old Christmas tree so she's giving it to us so were gonna have a Christmas tree this Christmas and a bunch of decorations thanks to Tracy! She's been going through a lot of things with her family and she doesn't like the memories associated with her old tree.
Also okay. I am loving my Mission, but I honestly am starting to hate England. Nothing makes sense. They drive on the wrong side of the road and there's traffic circles everywhere and the houses are so tiny. Even people who have nicer houses, they're like the size of our main floor pretty much. Also they do this thing where the Council (which is basically like the city government) gives people benefits if they don't work , and houses to stay in if they don't have houses, so there's tons of people that just don't work, and spend all their money on drugs, alcohol and cigarettes and just waste away their existence and do nothing. There are whole neighbourhoods full of just bummy people (they're called chavs) who just walk around the streets and bother people for fun.
One chav on the street the other day was talking to us and his friends were all yelling at us (Bible bashers! Jesus people! Where's Jesus now?) but he seemed legit and we carry around books of Mormon in our hands right and he wanted one saying he wanted to read it, so we gave him one. The next morning we were in the same neighbourhood and the street we gave it to him on was covered in book of mormon pages. They had torn it apart and spread it down the street. I don't know if it was the guy we gave it to or his friends but it sucked. We picked up all of the pages we could find and threw them out.
Also say Bible bashers and Jesus people and stuff in like a Dudley Dursley voice, that's what they sound like. Btw I found out that that type of kid, like Dudley is the most common type of kid in England. Fat, rude, chavs. I love my mission but loving the people is a struggle that I work on every day.
Peoples teeth here are gross.
We knock on doors every day trying to find people for at least an hour. There are no normal families here I swear. And no one gets married! It doesn't make sense to me. All the families are all messed up.
We joined (we were forced to join) ward choir. Elder Jaeger is not happy about it. I am!
Sammy!!! you got your license! First try? How many points did you get off? Drive your friends everywhere they'll love you.
Also mama send me letters, like real ones and I'll send letters back. Tell family especially. If they want to send me talks or letters of encouragement its all good. And pictures! Just send as many pictures as you want. I miss you guys and my friends.
Also I found out that one if the Bishopric members (Brother Phillipson) has a guitar and were going to visit him this week (Yes yes yes !!!) I haven't gotten to play a guitar since home. My fingers feel funny.
On Saturday Elder Jaeger had district leader specialized training, so we took the metro into Newcastle to the chapel there. To get there we have to take one train and then at South Gosforth Station we have to get off and cross the tracks and get on another train. Anyways our train and the train we needed to get on got to the staion at the same time, and so we jumped out and ran across the bridge to get to the other train, and I made it in time but elder Jaeger was behind me and the door started closing so he just like barelled his way throught the door and made it inside, but he like barely made it and it was really loud and the doors like closed on him. We made it though!
We're going to the metro center today ( its the biggest mall in England)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Letter from the Mission President - Oct 26 2014

Dear Brother and Sister Thompson,


It is with pleasure we welcome your son, Elder Coleman Andrew Thompson, to the

England Leeds Mission. We find him prepared and committed to serve the Lord and to

share the message of the Restored Gospel.


Your son's first companion is Elder Jaeger who was prayerfully selected to ensure the

best introduction to missionary work for Elder Thompson. They will be serving in the North

Shields 1.1 Area in the Sunderland Zone. We are confident their relationship will be a

mutual blessing.


Weekly encouragement from home will certainly help inspire Elder Thompson's missionary

effort. We encourage you to write him once a week with your letters uplifting in spirit.

Please let other family and friends know how important it is to write positive, encouraging

letters that support missionary work. Your son's permanent address is now:


Elder Coleman Andrew Thompson

England Leeds Mission

Lister House, Lister Hill


Leeds LS18 5AZ



You can send letters and packages to your son's flat address, but make sure you

remember transfers happen every six weeks. Families and friends are asked to not visit

or call their missionaries in the field. Such calls and visits will undermine the effectiveness

of missionaries and their companions. Please feel free to call the mission president in the

event of an emergency at home. Missionaries are not to call home without the president's



Any anxiety of the missionary about finances will hinder the work. Please do not send

excess funds, too much money can be as detrimental as not enough. Personal, practical

and inexpensive gifts from home for birthdays or Christmas are permitted but adding

money to their personal funds is more cost effective. However, because missionaries

move frequently, and space is very limited; large, heavy or unnecessary items are

discouraged. Your missionary is limited to two bags and a briefcase. The best gifts are

consumables, such as ties, socks, small personal items, and goodies.


I want you to know that Sister Pilkington and I consider it a privilege to serve with your son

and promise to help all we can, and strive to direct his efforts in the Lord's way. We are

available at all times, and Elder Thompson's physical, emotional and spiritual welfare is of

utmost importance to us.


Sincerely yours,


Graham Pilkington


Just a note from the sister in Coleman's ward

During an email about some other things, this sister in Coleman's ward said this:

Elder Thompson is doing great, his map reading skills are good for getting a round the area, and he is a natural at contacting people. Elder Diaz told me that, when they'd been out together on splits.

From a couple of emails this week (Mon Nov 3, 2014)

This first is in response to my email, in which I mentioned that I spent 6.5 hours at church things on both Saturday and Sunday:
Haha 6.5 hours of church that's nothing. I walk around all day going to visit people. We knock on doors a lot. On Tuesday we were knocking doors on one street and it was super nice out so we didn't have jackets or anything, and then all of a sudden it started raining and then like a big downpour and we got stuck in it and we got so soaked. The next day Elder Jaeger started feeling sick and then on Thursday he was too sick to go out, so Elders Diaz and Wright and I took turns staying in with him while the other two went out and proselyted. I walk around all the time with a Book of Mormon in my hand I feel like a real preacher it's kinda funny. We talk to everyone that we see.
I bought a new jacket last Monday and it's working great. It's getting cold here and it gets dark at like 4 already. Has it snowed in Calgary yet? I'm so far really enjoying my companion and the elders in our flat they're all really nice and easy to get along with and this week just flew by because Elder Jaeger and I talk so much just about everything which makes it so enjoyable for me.
I don't know what else to say.  I don't have very much time to e-mail. I got a library card today. Oh and did I tell you I bought a monthly Metro pass (like bus and train public transport pass) and it cost 90 pounds! But it gets reimbursed by the mission office so I'll get it back in a few days.
Okay I've been wearing two pairs of socks everyday because my toes were getting really cold. Like I wear my wool socks underneath my dress socks. Do you think there's any way you could send me more of my wool socks from Costco? I love those things and you cant get them here there's no Costco in our area or even our zone. Which by the way I'm in the Sunderland Zone.
I miss you and the kids I talk about you guys all the time everybody wants to see pictures.
I've been wearing those Canadian mittens and they're a good conversation starter.
This is in response to an email from Alex, when she shared a favourite scripture:
One of those is gonna go on my missionary plaque. You stole my favorite scripture. Just kidding I dont have a BoM with me right now but I know it's one of the one's in 2 Nephi 4.
I dont have too much time to write a long e-mail but everyday we get up at 630, we excersise for 30 mins or so and get ready. At 8 we do personal study for an hour, and then at 9 we do companion study for an hour. Right now becauseI'm being trained we do two hours of companion study. We take an hour for lunch and an hour for tea unless we have a tea apointment. In between we go to previous investigators houses via public transit and knock on their doors and if they're in (which often they're not) we either teach them right then, or we try to set up a time when we can come back to teach them. We also do things like we choose a street and go and knock on every door on the street and we usually say something like ''Hi, y'aright?'' and then ''me and my friend we're full time service volunteers and we were wondering if there was anything we could do for you?'' and just like start out talking to them and often people are really rude and stuff but sometimes they invite us in and we had one guy who were going back to visit again. It gets dark like super early though and it's getting pretty cold, so often it's like pitch black and were like trying to read a map and it takes us like an hour to find some guys house and then they're not home and it's disapointing. Or they yell at us or tell us not to come back.
Also there's a lot of pubs here and everybody smokes and there are no pretty girls I swear everybody is super ugly and their teeth are all rotting.
I'm having a good time though. I miss my guitar a lot. The week flew by this week it was cray.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Virtual Stalking

Okay -- I google street viewed Coleman's address!

And his church

Monday Oct 27th 2014 -- First Area

So yeah, on Saturday we got up way early like 545 and got ready and then took a bus with just the missionaries going to  the Leeds mission to a chapel in some town I cant remember the name of, I really don't even know where it was. Anyhow we got oriented and taught by the senior missionaries and the Assistant to the President missionaries and we had interviews with the President and got taught by him and fed lunch. My companions from the MTC are both going to the Manchester mission so I said goodbye to them for good probably on Saturday morning.
After all the orientation a bunch of missionaries showed up for a transfer meeting and all the outgoing and ingoing missionaries bore testimony and then we were assigned to our new trainer companions. My companion is Elder Jaeger and he is really great. He's from Southern California and he's been out on his mission for 17 months. He has been a zone leader for the past 7 months or so and now he's been assigned to be my trainer and our district leader. He is very obedient and knows his stuff but is also super nice and funny and easy to get along with it's nice.
We moved into a flat with two other elders, Elder Diaz and Elder Wright, both from Utah, who are both funny but also very hard working missionaries. Our flat apparently is one of the nicer flats but it is still rather small and amenities are slim. Were at the library now down the street renting the computers for an hour, we might pay for another hour if were not done.
Sister Thompson is a nice old widow from our ward (North Shields ward) who is in a wheelchair and loves the missionaries. She fed us lunch after stake conference yesterday. Oh yeah btw yesterday and the night before that was stake conference. It was great but I was really tired and it was hard to pay attention. Anyways yeah sister Thompson took a picture of us and sent it to our parents, apparently she loves to talk to missionaries moms. Do you know the Sims who live in Calgary? Joe Sim was in my area apparently for a long time and his mom knows sister Thompson. But yeah she is nice and drives us around places sometimes and she said that if we need to get things mailed to us to send it to her house because she is almost always there to receive it and is more than happy to get it to us when we go visit her, which is often.
Some rules I wasn't aware about that I found out yesterday: We have to wear suit jackets all the time in public. So all those trousers that we bought are not going to be used because they don't match my suit jackets. Also there's a new rule in the mission because of injuries that we are not allowed to play any sport at all. No basketball. No football. Nothing at all ever. On the bright side a lot of movies are approved for us to watch and tonight were meeting up with some other elders to watch a movie I think.
Yesterday we spent some times knocking on doors around our area, in a neighbourhood called Marden. We talk to everybody on the streets too. I haven't taught any investigators yet. We are white washing our area which just means that neither elder Jaeger nor I have been in this area before so all the information we have on investigators is in the area book and that's pretty much it, it's almost like starting from scratch. You could probably find marden where we were yesterday on google maps but if you look for the actual township of North Shields - that's where I'm staying.
I'm not feeling too homesick yet but I miss my guitar a lot. I'll probably be homesick soon. Love you guys and I miss you lots. I'm feeling a lot better now that I have a good companion and I'm out in the field.
Also the people here talk really funny. This area is where the Geordie accent is from and people say things sometimes and I jsut say ''what was that?'' Instead of hi they say 'yaright' and they call us canny lads and they use the word champion a lot, like how was your day? 'It was just champion'.
Also another story. On Friday night (our last night at the MTC) we went to the temple for one last time. I felt the spirit more strongly in that session than I ever have in a temple session before and I remember thinking a lot about certain phrases and thinking, 'did they ever even say those before?'  I had entered the temple with a specific question in mind and as I sat in the Celestial room I prayed again and asked Heavenly Father my question, which was just how to be a better companion, and answers started pouring into my head and I felt enlightened and inspired. I was thinking through all of these thoughts and the spirit witnessed to me that all of the qualities I need to have to be a good companion in the mission field apply to the relationship I'll have one day with my eternal companion, and dealing with people now will help me understand how to be a better husband and father someday. I also felt inspired that I knew that I would return here one day , or to some temple one day with my eternal companion. I've realized that that is my primary goal in my life, to be worthy to be married in the temple and raise up a family in the Gospel of the Lord, and I know that that is what my future has in store for me. I love the Lord.
To continue the story I was walking back from the temple to the MTC after the session and a man came out of the stake center and invited us to come in to get some cake because they had just had a cake competition and therefore had an overabundance of cake. This morning I was reading in first Nephi chapter 1 and he talks about tender mercies of the Lord. That was a tender mercy, coming out of the temple already on top of the world and then ''hey free cake''. It was wonderful.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

An email from a sister in Coleman's new area

I got an email today -- from a Sis. Heather Thompson curiously enough -- she just wrote to let us know that Coleman arrived safe and sound in North Shields.

She also mentioned that we can send packages to her house (I'm not sure, but maybe they're living with her???  More to come with details I'm sure!!).
Here's her address:
Heather Thompson
3 Cleehill Drive
North Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE 29 9EW

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Letter and Pictures!

Oh man I miss you guys a lot. I know Olivia's whiny all the time but she's still cute. Okay so this week has been super crazy for me we've been doing so much stuff. We do all these practice lessons with 'Investigators' and we learn how to teach simply and clearly and how to make commitments and how to plan study time and all sorts of things. On Saturday I had an interview with one of the MTC presidency and he asked me what I had learned and I told him that I'd learned a lot of patience and humility because of learning to deal with people (my companions mostly) who don't think the same way I do and who frustrate me because of the way they behave. I talked about the goals I made to develop certain Christ like attributes specifically LOVE for my companions and for everyone. I read Dad's e-mail and he was right in that between last week and this week I've grown a lot in learning especially how to love people who are different than you and who annoy/bother you because of those differences. Elder #1 and I have been both doing really well in explaining our feelings to each other and allowing that to strengthen our relationship and allow us to work better together, but Elder #2 struggles in every aspect of missionary work including, I'm sad to say, his testimony. He refuses to acknowledge weaknesses or change at all which is frustrating. He is definitely one of those kids that is on a mission because his mom made him.

Anyways after talking to President Durkin, of the MTC Presidency, at the end of the interview he expressed that what I said was exactly all of the things that he thought that I needed to learn when he first spoke to me and my companions the first day here. He said that the way in which I have grown was exactly what he wanted me to do and had been praying about. He said that what I had said amazed him and strengthened his testimony and was exactly the part of his calling here that he loved so much, seeing missionaries develop. He said I made it into his journal that night.

Anyways, we got here two weeks ago on a Thursday, so usually we would be leaving the MTC tomorrow on a Thursday as well, but all of the Mission Presidents and MTC Presidents are in Portugal for a big meeting this week until Friday, so our stay at the MTC is being extended a few days, we're leaving now on Saturday. The funny thing is that tomorrow we're not leaving, but a whole new bunch of missionaries are arriving, so this place is going to be a jungle for the next bit.

We have district classrooms that we spend most of the day in having lessons and studying for teaching appointments, and before this the biggest district was 8 Missionaries. My district was called 'Abinadi' (which by the way all the British people pronounce weird) and we had 7 but now were combining with another district and were gonna have 13. It'll be okay though most of the missionaries are really well behaved.

The roads here are so small and there are tons of traffic circles and they drive on the left so to answer Sam's question yes it is so confusing and disorienting. Also there are no straight roads. Like none. They're all super windy I have no idea where were going all the time.

Last Thursday and tomorrow we'll be doing this again, we took the train into Manchester to go finding. That basically means that we just go around and talk to people on the street about the gospel. Even on the train there and back we talked to tons of people. Anyways one of the guys we talked to in Manchester was a music prof at Manchester University on his lunch break and he was devout Christian. He tried to convince us that maybe the reason we ran into him was because God out people in our place to prove to us that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet and that our religion was based on lies. He also said in his own words ''Lot's of stuff you read on the internet really cant be reliable because who knows what sources they came from, but I read some stuff about how Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet and that stuff was totally true''. My testimony in Joseph Smith was actually strengthened because of the ignorance of that man. Hopefully tomorrow well find some people who are more open to hearing our message.

Anyways I'm doing a lot better this week and today is P-day again so I'm probably gonna have a nap and then play some basketball, or in some order like that.

Also we went to the temple this morning. It was great.