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.