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.