Monday, November 30, 2015

One More Month Done!

Hi guys!

It's almost December time again I can't really believe it, I barely remember what I did at all last December...

And I love to hear the good stories about home teaching - and about hearing what's going on in the home ward right now - there are so many people there who I just took for granted that I knew, but when I think about it there are a lot of amazing people in our ward at home.

Sam, the story that Brother Bishop told about not enough equipment, I remember that story he told it to me in Sunday School too! I love that guy his stories were always so helpful. I remember he always talked about music and harmony and how we need to be on the same wavelength as heavenly father. But also that's something that I remembered here on my mission in a real sense - that the cold means nothing if you have the right equipment! It's getting colder here and we have to bundle up to stay warm.

This week for Elder Boswell and I was sooooo cold. It's freezing cold here, and sooo rainy. It rains every single day and it's freezing cold and humid. It's like no cold I've ever experienced in Canada because this cold gets right inside of your bones because of the humidity! And then on top of being freezing cold I'm also always soaking wet from the constant rain and wind, and umbrellas are useless because it's so windy they just break.

But nevertheless we were able to do lots of good things this week, and see lots of nice people!

Probably the highlight of the week was last night - one of the members of the stake Presidency held a new member fireside at his home (which is super nice he is a dentist and has a big house) and a lot of missionaries and investigators and new members showed up and it was really nice! We talked about the 3 degrees of glory and the Plan of Salvation and it was really helpful for lot's of people. And then at the end of the fireside President Siswick just says: ''and now Elder Thompson is going to sing for us, a couple verses of a hymn'' and I was like ''uh.... ok'' and I stood up and sang 'I know that my Redeemer lives' and it was really nice - but totally out of the blue. Afterwards lots of people said it was nice and he thanked me for being willing haha.

So yeah once again all the members know that I can sing and constantly call on me to sing things. I sang a solo at remembrance day and Elder Boswell and I sang at that baptism a few weeks ago etc.

There is a lady who I taught last week when I went on exchange with Elder Larson who has recently had her husband pass away, and then a week later the missionaries knock on her door who came to the fireside last night as well, and who came up to me afterwards and thanked me for the singing and said that it had touched her, and she really has been looking for some peace in her life and coming to the fireside helped her really feel the Savior's love for her, and I talked to her about how music is good and it can touch people's hearts and it's meaningful because we really believe in what we sing.

And that's something that I have come to realize on my mission especially - when you sing something and you really mean it, the spirit is there. When I sing songs like 'I believe in Christ' and 'I know that my redeemer lives' I really mean it. I know that he does live.

I know that that's the same testimony I say in every e-mail home, but I have once again been thinking about it a lot - I really know that Jesus Christ lives.

I have a lot of people who will tell me on the streets ''Well nobody can really know that God is real. we'll only find out when we die''  but that's not true. This week again I've had the opportunity to really talk to my heavenly father in prayer and receive answers from him. Prayer isn't just a one way channel, it's a two way communication. If you open your heart and listen, the spirit will whisper truth to you. And that truth can lead you to believe and then to know that he's there.

I know that my Redeemer lives.

I love you guys, I hope you have a good week!


Monday, November 23, 2015

Coleman's Email and One from a Sister in his Ward

Hey guys! Sounds like a fun week for you! I'm glad everyone is doing so well!

That's really cool about the temple thing being broadcast that's awesome! Was it good? What did they talk about?

This Sunday we had a child of record baptism in our ward as well, and the little girl Eleanor asked us to sing at it - so Elder Boswell and I sang with our ward mission leader a little song and it was really nice, the family really enjoyed it.

Honestly I don't remember a lot about what happened this week, it has been getting really cold here - not Canadian level cold, but it's still really cold! Plus it's different because it's really humid here so that makes it more cold and it's like -2 or -3 and super super windy so it's just freezing, and we're outside for most of the day.

I've been wearing two pairs of socks, thermal trousers underneath my trousers, a sweater, 3 jackets, a pair of gloves underneath my Canadian mittens, a scarf and a hat. So it's pretty cold...

But it's okay! Things have been going alright, a lot of our investigators are just not keeping their commitments right now, not reading the Book of Mormon or coming to church and things like that - but everyone has their agency! It's up to them to do those things, Elder Boswell and I just invite!

But yeah if there's anything that I've learned this week it's just more about the atonement of Christ and how repentance is the purpose of our existence here on earth. The reason that we came here to earth is to learn and to grow and to become more like our Heavenly Father so we can have his level of happiness, and the only way that that is possible is through repentance and being sanctified by the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I know that it's all true, God really listens to prayers, no matter who you are!

Love you guys!

Elder Thompson

And now from the sister in his ward:

Dear Sister Thompson, just a quick email to share our gratitude for your son Elder Thompson. 
Whilst he has been serving here in the Huddersfield 1st ward it has been our distinct pleasure to become acquainted, especially with his love for music and singing. 
We sing in the ward choir and it was wonderful to hear Elder Thompson and his companion Elder Boswell sing during the remembrance service 2 weeks ago. 

( we had a mini-break in Scotland) the elders called us to go out on a teach but as we were 6 hours away in another country we had to decline. 
My husband Paul asked can we bring you anything? The reply I'd love a Scottish tie. 
So we bought three ties as they were serving with Elder Korte as a trio. Before Sunday Elder Korte was transferred and 2 new Elders were transferred in. So what to do with the third tie? 
My husband ended up wearing it and they constantly referred to themselves as the three tie-migos. ( which they all found extremely entertaining) 

Ellanor our daughter asked the ward choir back in March to sing her favourite song at her baptism. It is entitled "Come into the water" it is a beautiful song about John the Baptist  preaching the gospel and baptising many including our Saviour Jesus Christ. 
What started out as a small ensemble of 6 become 2 the ward mission leader  Joshua Tomlinson and his wife. (however with several parts/harmonies) it didn't sound quite right. 
Elder Thompson and Boswell to the rescue! 
The trio all sang solo parts and harmonised beautifully. It was quite a moving performance right before Ellanor went to be baptised. 
They then fulfilled the role as witnesses at the font. So happy to serve the members of the ward. 
Ellanor was baptised by her friend John. He is a convert to the church of 10 years and has become adopted into our family (another Grandpa) . Ellanor and John truly love each other  and sit with each other during sacrament meeting each week. When we were preparing for Ellanor's baptism we asked her who she would like to baptise her? Without hesitation She said John! 
My husband was a little taken aback at first ( Dad duties cut short ) but he had already baptised her older brother so John performed the baptism
( the 1st time in doing so and aged 76 probably the only opportunity) 
While her Dad performed the confirmation. 
Today has been a wonderful day made even more special by a beautiful performance by your Son. 
Thank you for supporting him in his missionary service. 
Much love 
The Vousden Family 
X X 




Tuesday, November 17, 2015

One Week Closer to Being Home (but still a long time to go!)

Hi guys!

So about pictures - at zone conference this week I forgot my iPad. So the AP's have it, but I haven't gotten it back yet, so I don't have any pictures to send now because I usually just use my iPad to take pictures.

Also from the stories and the pictures - everybody sounds so grown up! How tall is Will now? In pictures he looks so much bigger than he did when I left! And how tall is Olivia? She fits in your shoes?? She's going to be tall. But the biggest question is how tall is Sam? Do you think he's passed me yet?  Also, I'm pretty sure I've grown a little bit on my mission, I think I'm about 6'3'' now...

And it was also our stake conference this week here in Huddersfield, and we had a visiting member of the seventy as well - but his remarks at the session were really long - I almost fell asleep, I'm sure he was great though. It's funny too because I was sitting next to a recent convert named Michael and he made fun of me for falling asleep once in sacrament meeting a few months ago, and I almost did it again...

That's interesting about the reaction you had to the policy change Mama, it's funny because recently we seem to be coming into contact with tons of gay people. Like all the time. It's something you don't run into that often on a mission but has been really common recently. I've become very adept at explaining the reason for the church not believing in homosexuality and maybe that's helped me understand the reasons for the policy change - I didn't really think much about it. It just makes sense! If anything it's just that with studying the doctrine of the Plan of Salvation thoroughly comes a better understanding of God's eternal love for everyone like you were saying Mama. As well there comes an understanding that everyone has the same potential to achieve eternal life, no matter what circumstance we're placed in in this life.

And Olivia - no my companion does not have a blog. Sorry to disappoint he says.

And Sammy! How's the choir doing? Who is in choir that I would still know?

And Dad, about the story from the seventy. I've seen that click that happens with people. Sometimes it takes them having to actually think for themselves and learn what they actually believe to have that click. It takes learning of the doctrine with an open heart and mind and honestly evaluating where you are at. I've seen it here with converts and less active members, where they recognize that it all makes sense and it becomes wonderful, even delicious to them.

But yeah this week I got to go on exchange with the zone leaders here in Huddersfield as well - with Elder Larson, who was my district leader when I was in Wharfe Valley, and that was awesome! We had so much fun.

Also this week it rained so much. Like it rained every single day here - and some days it rained a ton.

Crazy story - Elder Boswell and I decided to go and knock some tower flats so that we could get out of the rain - they are these council house buildings that have 6 floors with 6 flats on each floor, and they are so dodgy. One of them, we were knocking on this guys door - and the guy who's house it was got in the elevator downstairs and we saw in come up to our floor, so we were waiting for him to come out of the door so we could talk to him, and he came out and his face was just covered in blood....    and he was pretty out of it, so we just helped him inside and made sure he was okay and then left....    needless to say, we are not going back there.

But we also found a lot of nice people this week that want us to come back! So it should be a good week this week!

I love you guys! Sorry I cant send any pictures - I'll make sure I do next week!

Elder Thompson

Friday, November 13, 2015

Extra Email this Week - (I love this kid!!)

So yesterday we had a zone conference, the day before Remembrance Day, and President told us to find a computer and e-mail our families about what we learned.

Zone Conference was yesterday in Leeds Crossgates chapel and it started at 1030 ish and ended around 430, so a long conference, but it was filled with so many great things. There's no way I'll be able to describe everything I learned at that meeting, but I can tell you some highlights!

First of all - we talked a lot about war. Read Ecclesiastes 3:1-8. It talks about how there is a time and season for everything. There was once a time for war, and it had to happen, and I'm grateful it did happen because now I'm here getting to share with people a message of peace.

Just briefly as well - I told you about how I've been looking at all the family history we have recently, and I just wonder, but who are the missionaries that found your parents mom? I want to find out who they are. As well Dad, do you think there would be any way to find out who found and taught the Thomsen's in Denmark? I read in their history that they joined the church in Denmark and then moved to Salt Lake with the pioneers. I would love to find those things out.

Sister Pilkington talked about language and words and how our words reflect who we are inside. Our words reflect the condition of our hearts. She asked are our words charitable? Or are we quick to wrath? D owe gossip? Do we say negative things about people? Should we do that?
''There are only 2 types of people in the world: those we love, and those we don't know''
When you have a critical thought about someone - ask yourself these 2 questions: What do I really know about this person? What do I like about this person?
We don't really know and cant judge the motivation behind someone's actions.
Before you speak out negatively about someone or criticize them, first THINK! Is it:
T - True?
H - Helpful?
I - Inspiring?
N - Necessary?
K - Kind?
We need to have charity. ''If you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all''

Overall though, the biggest message of this zone conference was just about how we need to give. It was about having charity. About loving other people more than ourselves. It was about losing ourselves in the work. It was so helpful.

One of my favourite scriptures mentioned was from Psalm 46:10 which says ''Be still and know that I am God''

He also told a story about being at a Mission President's training meeting and how Elder Holland told the President's ''You can do this. You can do this.'' and how that was exactly what he needed to hear at the time.

He talked a lot about putting our hearts in the right place and about how the lessons we learn on our missions will take us through the rest of our lives.

He showed this video about a situation in Thailand - where there is a boy who steals something from a shop, and the shop lady gets really angry and demands to know what he is doing. The timid boy replies that he stole the medicine for his sick mother, and the woman doesn't even listen. But then another poor shop owner intervenes and pays for the medicine and gets his daughter to grab some soup for the boy and then allows the boy to take the medicine and the soup.
30 years later it shows the same soup shop owner working with his daughter when a poor man walks in and without even saying any words the man knows what he wants and gives him some soup to eat.
Soon after that the man suffers a stroke. The daughter is left with medical bills too high for her to pay and she is desperately trying to sell the little shop to pay for the debt.
But then one morning she wakes up to find our that the doctor had paid her debt for her - and that doctor was the same little boy who had 30 years earlier stolen the medicine for his mother from the shop.

Anyways it was a short video but we sat and discussed it for the better part of 2 hours and I learned so much from it! About charity and reactions and how do we deal with people, and how to teach our children and how to do things right. And how we shouldn't expect anything in return for our charity and kindness, but God knows the end from the beginning.

We learned about planning, we practiced teaching, I learned so much.

We talked a lot about how life isn't easy, because it's not supposed to be easy. If it was easy there would be no point. We're here to learn and grow and opposition is a necessary part of that. Missionary work isn't easy either, because it's not supposed to be easy! After this life we will have the opportunity to live with God forever IF we make good decisions in this life that lead us to happiness. It's not going to be easy, but like Elder Holland said to President Pilkington - YOU CAN DO THIS. You can do this.

I think though the biggest lesson I learned - is that life isn't all about me. And if I live my life in a selfish way, it's not going to be a happy life. Joy, true joy is found in the service of others. In the learning of and application of the characteristics of Christ.

People need to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and all that it brings. It compels us to serve others. To think about others. To lose ourselves in service to others. It's about being kind and compassionate and generous and charitable and friendly - which of course we don't need the Gospel to be all of those things - but the Gospel helps us and compels us and gives us a reason to live our lives that way! That's why it's so good! It gives us a purpose, a reason to be good, a reason to make good decisions and live a wholesome life. I cant even begin to describe how lucky I am to have been born in a family with Goodly parents who love the Lord and have been privileged to have received the opportunity to come to England and proclaim such a glorious message to people. I have been able to develop the capacity to see people not as they presently are, but as they can become. To love people no matter what.

That's what this zone conference has been about for me. Just loving people no matter what. No matter what they say to you, now matter who they are - we cant react in a negative way. We cant behave badly. We need to be like Christ. We need to grow and change and become better. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a continuum, there is no start of finish. No matter where you are now in your journey, it's not the end! There's always more to learn. More space to grow.

I have a firm belief and testimony that all of us need to and can change ourselves dramatically if we want to. I know that God can help us with that and he wants us to change to become more like him - that is what this life is all about. And it is possible through the atonement of Jesus Christ!

I love you guys!

Elder Thompson

Monday, November 9, 2015

Pictures!

Hey guys!

Thanks for telling me all about what's going on at home, it makes me feel like I'm still involved somewhat in your lives!

But man, hearing about Nola Bishop makes me really sad. Her and Mark are such a great couple I learned a lot from them. When you go and visit Mark tell him that I wish him and Nola the best and that I'll be praying for them.

But honestly I have so much respect for those two and it hits me right in the heart to hear news like that, I really do feel a lot of happiness when I think back to the Sunday School classes that I was able to have with them and the many wonderful lessons that they taught and that I took in, some lessons that I have even used when I've been teaching people on my mission!

Tell Mark that the story about the Bear, when he tried to chase the Bear on his motorbike is one that I've told tons of people, I actually use it regularly when teaching people. And he used to talk a lot about Music in his lessons and about having righteous thoughts, some lessons that will never leave me.

But really things like that do make me appreciate that much more just how infinite the atonement of Jesus Christ is, that even hurts like losing a loved one can be made whole because we know what happens after and we know that he has felt what we've felt.

I've actually been reading in Hebrews recently, and the first part of Hebrews (chapters 1-3) talk a lot about the Atonement, in fact they probably contain the most doctrine about the Atonement and how it can help us that is found in the New Testament. But it's been really good.

Just another thought, on my iPad I have the family search app, and I've had the opportunity recently to look through a lot of our family history and it's been so cool to read a bunch of stories about the lives of these people! It's amazing. Pretty much all of our ancestors on Dad's side are Pioneers. I've been reading stories about the Coleman Family and the Thompson family and a bunch of the other families that are on there, I was reading a few days ago about a guy named William Crane (like my great great great grandfather or something like that) who served a mission in England in like 1896, and he kept a really good journal and it's been digitalized, and it's fascinating! I feel like I'm really now part of a legacy! It's really cool.

Also this week on Sunday the Huddersfield 1st and 2nd wards had a combined sacrament service for Remembrance Day, and I got to sing a solo with the choir, but it was really nice. They talked a lot about soldiers and wards and things of course, and it was really touching.

Also this week it's been super rainy. Like SUPER rainy. All of my clothes are still damp. Even this morning on the way to the library we got soaked, and we were only outside for like 5 minutes. But missionary work can be pretty hard when it's pouring rain and dark outside and you have no where to go, but it's okay Elder Boswell and I have managed to meet with people and get out of the rain a lot.
But man it was pretty freezing a lot of the time, I've been pretty cold this week.

But out of all of this, the thing that has been the major thing for me this week is that I think I've learned a lot more about the atonement of Jesus Christ. Because all the hard things that I've been hearing about and thinking about this week, he's already gone through. Whether it be my ancestors as they walked across the plains and suffered tremendous hardships, whether it be all of those soldiers that had to fight in War and suffer there, whether it be Mark and Nola bishop getting some bad news from the doctors, whether it be little me, walking around getting cold in the rain - Jesus Christ knows what it all feels like. He's been there. When we feel like there's nobody who can understand what we are going through, there is still one. And on top of knowing what it all feels like, he knows how to heal us from those things. He knows how to take care of us and to help us feel peace even in the midst of trials. He can succor us when nobody else can.

If there is anything that I've learned being here in England for the last year, that is it. I've learned through personal experience that Jesus Christ is real and that his atonement is infinite. I have studied and prayed with an earnest desire to know that these things are true, and I know that they are. Sometimes that's what it takes to learn the truth, it takes study. It takes diligent prayer. It takes hard work and determination, but it's worth it. There is no greater peace than that that comes from the healing arms of Christ. I've felt them. Nothing else that can be found in this world compares. There's no worldly philosophy that can replace it, there's nothing that surpasses the comfort that it brings.

I love you guys!

Our zone last transfer
How our zone really was


Me and Boz on a bus -- an empty bus

Elder Boswell and I with a memorial on Remembrance Day

I'm so fancy

This member Brother Vousden bought Elder Boswell and I Scottish ties in Scotland and we wore them on Remembrance day

This pic was sent from a sister from Calgary who was visiting her family in Coleman's ward

Monday, November 2, 2015

This Week's Message

Hey guys! Halloween sounds like it was really fun! Sounds like you guys had a great week!
 
So last week Elder Boswell and I were in a trio and we worked super super had all week, going all out all the time, and as a direct result of that, we found 5 new investigators this week who all accepted the date of November 28th to be baptized! They have some ineresting stories for sure though.
 
We met this girl on the street last week and got her address and phone number and gave her a Book of Mormon and she wanted us to come over and teach her and her friend! So on Wednesday I think, I called her and she was talking and she mentioned that she was with her girlfriend, and I was like okay, but she's actually like her girlfriend, she's gay. So she asked about what our church thinks about gay people.
 
So imagine this right, I was talking on the phone with this gay couple and it's on loudspeaker and that question gets asked. I've actually been in that same situation before and said what the church thinks and most of the time the people are like ''okay, bye. Not for me then.'' So anyways I started as usual by talking all about how important families are to God and how we believe in being chaste before marriage and how marriage is ordained of God and can last beyond death but it is ordained only between a man and a woman, because that's how children are created. I said how we don't hate people for being gay, we love everyone because God loves everyone because we're all his children! However we don't support the act, and it's counted as a sin in God's eyes.  [for more info visit Mormons and Gays]
 
And to my surprise they started to talk about the guilty feelings they'd been having about being gay, and how they are trying to find God and the right church for them and how they agreed!
 
So on Friday we went and taught them the Plan of Salvation and they loved it and want to be baptized! So we'll see how this turns out coming forward, but it's definitely a phone call and an experience I won't forget. It's funny as well because I've quoted so many scriptures so many times that sometimes when I explain things to people I just use scriptures. Like ''the Lord seeth not as a man seeth, for a man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the Heart'' (I think it's in Joshua somewhere) or that we will be judged ''according to our works, according to the desires of our hearts'' and things like that I'll just quote them all the time, to other missionaries, to investigators, just in my own talking all the time.
 
There's another lady who we taught who is overcoming a lot of serious drug problems, and the Gospel is what she really needs. She's been taught by missionaries before, and we found her in the area book. When we went to her house she let us right in and told us ''Whenever I pray and ask god for help, you guys always knock on my door''.
 
So the Lord is preparing people, and he knows the end from the beginning and when we are diligent and obedient, miracles happen.
 
Halloween this week. I cant believe it! I was gone for Halloween last year! Wow. Elder Jaeger has been e-mailing me a bit. It's weird because this time last year he was my companion!
 
Love you guys! 
 
Elder Thompson

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Transfer Week - and pictures!!

Hi guys!

So this week, we were in a trio, and it was a ton of fun! We did so much work! Everyday we would take a different member out with us in the evening, so one of us would go with them and then the others would go somewhere else, and everything ran so smoothly! It was great! In 7 days we went out with 8 different members to teach!

And we found a lot of new people to teach this week as well!

On Friday night I went on splits with a member to go teach, but all the lessons and backup plans that we had fell through, so we just ended up trying by stopping and talking to people on the doorstep and on the streets at night, and I was pretty disappointed because I thought I'd let the member down. But then on Sunday that guy gave a talk, and in his talk he talked about how much he had loved going out with the missionaries and how it had totally set up his weekend! In fact all the members that came out with us are just going on and on about how great it was! It was a good week for sure.

Also, that member who gave the talk his name is Joel Miller and he served his mission in Calgary maybe seven or so years ago, maybe more, but he lived for like a week or two in the Ockey's house when they had missionaries living with them, and he talked about how they would be studying and the teenage son was always playing video games. Small world in the church.

There's also a member who lives in this ward who lived in Calgary for a few years, and his sister still lives out there her surname is Erasmus.

And there's another member who just came back from staying in Calgary for a week with her family in Mackenzie Town.

So lots of people here know Calgary.
I'm sorry Mama but nobody knows Edmonton....    

But anyways, great week here and I love being a missionary, oh and transfer news! I'm staying with Elder Boswell here in Huddersfield, but Elder Korte is moving to Skipton to serve with Elder Narine, who I lived with in Hull, who is the Homie.

And Elder Ma'a is moving to serve in North Shields!

And in our flat we're getting two new Elder's, who are area booking the area, and one of them is going to be a brand new trainee!

So in the district now, there is going to be three missionaries who are in their first 12 weeks program being trained! And I have to be the leader of this group and the good example for them, which should be interesting, but fun!

Also we went to York for a meeting on Tuesday I'll send you some pics!

Love you guys!

Elder Thompson
 
Elder Duff returned home with honour

One of Jenny's friends ran into a bunch of missionaries at a take away in town and wanted to take selfies on my iPad

Some of the youth in the Huddersfield 1 ward

Elder Ma'a

The river in York

The York Minster

Selfie with the Minster

The trio

Another door sign


[When I said -- what?  You have an ipad?  He was emailing home today at a time when i was already awake]

Remember when I was with Elder Dickson and I wrote about having a special mission meeting where they talked all about iPad's and then in July they gave them to us? Well lol apparently not!

We use them for showing videos, I use them for the notes app a lot to store important information. I use the calendar to plan. I use the camera, I use it for the maps, so I don't have to carry a map around, and I use it for gospel library! There's also an app called LDS pamphlets which I use a lot when teaching, you should download it it's really cool





Monday, October 19, 2015

Hastening the Work

Hi guys! 

Thanks for the stories guys. And Dad no I'd never heard those stories before and that's really cool. I've definitely had a lot of learning and teaching experiences on my mission as well already, and I know that I'll have a lot more in the year to come. 

So first things first, this week, Elder Duff my companion from Hull, who was serving in our zone with Elder Diaz, returned home due to his health problems, which was sad for sure to say goodbye to him, but it was really needed. 

So because of that there were some emergency transfers that had to take place, and what happened actually was that Elder Ma'a went to serve with Elder Diaz in Dewsbury and Elder Korte has been placed in a trio with me and Elder Boswell. So that will be interesting! Elder Ma'a only moved last night, so we haven't really had much time as a trio yet, but we'll see how it goes moving forward! 

So let me just fill you in on a few things I've been learning recently. So I've been a District Leader for the better part of 3 months now, and each night I have to make a phone call to the Sisters in the district and follow up with the Elders in the district and then report on all of that to the zone leader's each night. So this last week I've had to do a lot of correction. Similarly to what you were saying Dad, there are a lot of missionaries that tend to do things that are disobedient and it's my job to correct them. Now on the other hand the Sister's here are being very obedient but they are lacking some of the skills required to do effective missionary work and so I've been trying to teach them new things to do and to try and it seems to be working, but I've had to learn how to do that a lot. 

Now for the last couple of weeks, the district has found several new investigators to teach which is great. However, one of the biggest emphasis' in the mission right now, something that is emphasized in Preach my Gospel, is to Schedule new investigators for baptism in the first, and no later than the second lesson. And this is something that our District has been failing to do recently, myself and Elder Boswell included. So we are going to try hard to increase that effort this week.

It's interesting as well because President Pilkington gave me a call this morning that basically stated, but in a lot more words that he is thinking of calling me to be a zone leader at the end of this transfer, but because of the lack of scheduling he's changing his mind, unless something changes. So I'm worried a bit that a. he is going to call me to be a zone leader, and b. that he's disappointed in our lack of scheduling, which I am too so actually it's not that bad. 

But anyways that is what was most on my mind this morning. That's why it all just came out in a big blurb.

Also, Elder Boswell and I have to travel to York tomorrow for a trainer/trainee meeting, so that should be fun! The last time I went to York was for a doctor's appointment with Elder Duff. 

Love you guys! Have a good week! 

Elder Thompson

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

First Email of the Second Year!

One year down, one to go. I don't really know how to feel. On my year mark day since I left home (October 8) Elder Boswell and I got home, planned and then I had to follow up for like 45 minutes and then I had to talk to some sister's in the district again and the AP's were at our flat talking to Elder Ma'a, so by the time I was finished with all of that it was 1030 and I went to bed and didn't even remember that it was my year mark until the next day!

But I do feel like it has been a long time since I've been home - but I've learned so much, like so much since I've been here, and I wouldn't trade the knowledge and experience I've gained (to use one of President Pilkington's expressions) for 1 million Pounds.

I also loved conference and have been re-reading the talks during study, it's great.

So now about our week. So first of all, I don't know if I told you about the district challenges that we've been having in the zone here, but last week our district won the challenge in the zone and the prize was that on Wednesday the Zone Leaders bought our whole district Fried Chicken! So that was great!

But unfortunately, this week our district lost a challenge and the consequence is that the Dewsbury District (whose district Leader is Elder Diaz btw, who was in my first flat in North Shields) is going to cut my hair. I'm scared, I think they're just going to cut it all off......

But yes, the highlight of the week of course, was Jenny's baptism! It was great! It was a joint Baptism with our ward and the Huddersfield 2nd ward where two ladies got baptized, and tons of people showed up, like 75 or so! It was great! We had a little program and two women sang ''I feel my Savior's Love'' and it was beautiful and after I asked Jenny how she like it and she just kept saying ''I can feel it in here'' pointing to her chest. It was great!

And then I got to perform the baptism and it went perfectly and the whole thing was just really nice and everyone was really happy!

So I've done a lot of district meetings that talk about success as a missionary. One of the most basic things that I always tell missionaries is a quote from Preach my Gospel on Page 10 that says ''Success as a missionary is measured primarily on your commitment'' and I emphasize that success is not measured by the number of people you baptize or the amount of lessons you teach etc.

But at the same time, this week I felt... successful! I feel like I was able to accomplish my purpose as a missionary. Jenny is an investigator that Elder Ma'a and I found, came to church the first time because we invited her, and I was there for every lesson that she received and I performed the baptism!

I truly feel like it says in Doctrine and Covenants 18: ''And if it so be that ye should labour all your days in crying repentance to this people and bring save it be ONE SOUL unto me, how great will be your joy with him (or her) in the Kingdom of my Father''

Fulfilled is the word I would describe for this week!

I love you guys! I miss you all! I miss you but I know that what I am doing right now is bigger and more important than anything else I could in my entire life.

One other scripture that I use a lot in trying to inspire missionaries is this in DC 15:6 ''And now behold I say unto you that the thing which will be of the most worth unto you will be to declare repentance into this people, that you may bring souls unto me, that you may rest with them in the kingdom of my Father. Amen.''
(These aren't direct quotes they're just taken from my memory right now so if they're worded incorrectly I'm sorry.. here's the actual scripture)

Funny knocking story: This one guy opened his door and he said he didn't believe in God so I asked him what he believed in and he said ''nature'' we had a bit more conversation where he told me that all religion is actually just about nature because ''it's just so.....     natural.''   

Anyways I love you guys!

Elder Thompson

With the candy cake Mom and Dad sent for my halfway mark


Baptism Day!


We had fish and chips with Elder's Sorenson and Lui after the baptism. ''Victory Lunch''





Tuesday, October 6, 2015

HALFWAY DONE!!!!

Hi guys!

So for conference this weekend it works a bit different than at home - because of the time change. On Saturday we only watch one session, and we watch it live, that's the Saturday morning session in America that we watch seven hours late - so it starts at 5PM.
Then on Sunday we watch the Priesthood session at 10AM, followed by the recorded Saturday Afternoon session at 1PM, then we watch live again the Sunday morning session at 5PM! So our day Sunday is pretty much full, except for a little bit of knocking on doors between the 1-3 and 5-7 sessions.

Oh and last night actually after conference we went to visit an investigator who we met last week on the street who's name is Success...     I'm being legit. Although he is from Nigeria so when he says it it sounds like ''So sess''. but yeah we were still able to fit a little bit of missionary work in even on conference Sunday!

The rest of the week went really well. I went to a meeting on Saturday morning. Well let me back up - once a month all of the zone leaders and the AP's and the Sister Training Leaders have a big meeting/council with President and Sister Pilkington called MLC(Mission Leadership Council) where they discuss the movement of the mission etc. and new rules to come out and things of that sort. Then on the following Saturdays the zone leaders hold a District Leader Specialized Training meeting for the district leaders in the zone where we receive the instruction that they receive - and then on Wednesday we present the information we've received in our District Meetings. So anyways we had DLST on Saturday - and we also went on exchange with the AP's so that one of them could go to the DLST in Sheffield zone. But anyways yes the AP's in our mission right now are Elder Slabbert from South Africa (who was my zone leader for one transfer in hull - and we shared a flat) and Elder Laborero, who is from London, and has recently been called as an AP - he actually just took the place of Elder Sim, who's family lives in Calgary btw, we actually met a few times before our missions. But anyways I went on a split on Saturday with Elder Laborero, which was fun - and we saw Jenny to prep here for conference and her baptism etc.

There was lots of good things going on this week. Elder Ma'a is still in our flat (my companion from last transfer) and he is sure a character. Never a dull moment with Elder Ma'a.

Conference was really good. I never got to watch the Sunday Afternoon session - but that's ok. I'll read the talks later. I think my favourite talk was from President Uchtdorf - I'm not sure what session, but it was about Daniel and Babylon, and it was really good. I think it might have been In the Priesthood session.

And also I loved Jeffrey R. Holland's talk. Because I love my mom too.

You remember that song that we sang one time Mom for mothers day with the young men? I don't remember what it was called nor do I remember the majority of the words, but I do remember a few lines and they pop into my head sometimes and they were going through my head during Elder Holland's talk as well:

''In the arms of my mother I came to believe, that God sent an angel to watch over me''

And Robbie Williams song Angel. Whenever I think of those I think of you Mama. Love you.

I was a little scared for President Monson as he gave his talk as well. I couldn't help but wonder if that would be his last conference address.

I love you guys, and Dad, keep up the good work. I cant tell you how I've seen the need on my mission for a bishop who keeps his finger on the pulse (to use a President Pilkington missionary phrase) and is making sure everything is working and people are happy and that missionary work is being done in the ward! So keep it up!

Also in the Priesthood session - I loved the father and son choir. I miss you too dad, I really do miss singing with you! That touched me as well!
Especially when they ended their songs with ''Aaaaaameeeeeeeen!!!'' that was cool.

I love you guys! I just want you to know how happy I am being here in England right now. I love you guys and I miss you guys but I know that this is where I need to be. I am happy to be serving the Lord and doing his work. I know that God lives - that I am a Child of God and that he loves you and he loves me, just like he loves all of us.

I know that my Redeemer lives, and loves me too. The spirit whispers this to me and tells me it is true! I'm so grateful for the opportunity to be here serving God and Jesus Christ and living as they would have me live!

Elder Thompson
 
Me and my companion, Elder Boswell, the gentle giant (he's 6'8")




Monday, September 28, 2015

Two Weeks of Letter because We Were Away!

Monday, Sept 21

Hi guys! 

That is the best surprise ever! [referring to the fact that we took the kids to Disney World last week -- and we didn't tell them in advance, we just woke them up and took them!]  And Olivia's reaction was the best!  I'm so jealous! It's already getting colder and darker here, it's raining today, which is....    England, haha. It hasn't rained here for my new companion's first week that much though so that's nice! 

But anyways, let me tell you about the week:

Monday, transfer calls - I found out I was being called to train a new missionary. Found out all the info how and where the meetings were etc.

Tuesday was p day, but after p-day, well at about 4:30 me, Elder Diaz (from North Shields, you remember, he's in my zone now again serving in Dewsbury) who got called to be a new district leader, and Elder Amende, who also got called to train, took a train from Huddersfield to Leeds, and then from Leeds to my old chapel in Wharfe Valley where we had a training meeting for all those people getting called to train and to be a new district leader (I had that meeting last transfer).

Then that night, we didn't have time to get home - so all of us just slept over at missionary flats in Leeds - so Elder Diaz and I went and slept at none other than the Wharfe Valley flat, where Elder Dickson is still serving! So that was fun - staying in my old flat for a night, but I had to sleep on the floor....

On Wednesday Elder Diaz and I made our way on trains back to Leeds, where we attended Transfer Meeting! In transfer meeting all the new missionaries bear their testimonies and all the returning missionaries bear their testimonies and then the trainer and trainee pairings are announced and that was really fun! My new companions name is Elder Boswell! He is from Portland, Oregon! He is maaasive. Like he's 6'8'' and his feet are size 16. He is also only 18, he turned 18 in July I believe and he graduated from High School in 2015! So he's just like I was when I first came out. 

And he is so great, he's obedient and ready to work hard and he's fun and nice and I'm excited! 

The rest of the week was back to regular missionary work - but with me showing Elder Boswell the ropes, and it was great! We taught a lot of lessons and contacted a lot of new people as well! 

And then to wrap up the week! Last night President Pilkington put on a youth fireside about going on missions - and he got all of the Leeds and Huddersfield missionaries to come and sing and inspire the Youth. 

And Dad - you used to always tell me growing up, I remember this clearly, that attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. I remember saying something like ''Alex made me mad'' and you would always say ''no one can make YOU mad, you are just CHOOSING to be mad''. Outward emotions are a choice. 

I'm sure I told you about the mission President's fireside that I went to here in Huddersfield last year in November where I had to sing a solo - and we sang ''pack up your troubles''.

Well we sang it again last night and it was such a throwback! Same place, same song, close to a year ago it was weird, but it was amazing. But dad what you always taught me about choosing to be happy is what the song is about! It says:

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag 
And smile smile smile.
Don't let your joy and laughter hear the snag 
Smile boys that's the style
What's the use in worrying?
It never was worthwhile, SO! 
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag! 
And Smile Smile Smile.

It was great! And the youth loved it! 

AND on top of that! After the fireside - all the Polynesian, and Australian and southern hemisphere missionaries did the HAKA, you know the tribal war dance thing! ANd it was really scary and fun to watch! Two of my previous companions were doing it - and Elder Ma'a led it! It was really cool and a good way to end off a good week! Especially for Elder Boswell's first week! It's been soo good.

Also, Jenny came to church and to the Fireside and is getting baptized on October 10th, the week after conference! 

Love you guys! 

Elder Thompson



Monday, Sept 28

Hi guys! 

Disney sounds so fun! I'm jealous! I miss going on those family vacations they were the best! It just reminds me of going to Hawaii last summer which was so much fun. 

Well actually I bet it's a lot different now with only the little kids and Sammy. How is Sammy doing btw with High School Senior Year and everything? 

Training a new missionary is fun - but it's also a bit different, like there are a lot of things that I find are just so normal now that Elder Boswell is like ''what the heck why do they do that?'' It's interesting and funny too. Like driving on the other side of the roads - I'm so used to it now but Elder Boswell keeps looking the wrong way! 

This week was really good though. especially for Elder Boswell's first full week! It was really good! 
You remember Jenny? The investigator who came to church when we invited her to listen to my talk? She is getting baptised on the 10th of October, the weekend after conference! Which is exciting. 

We were able to meet a lot of new people this week as well! We met a lady named Sam Thompson haha! She wants us to come and teach her in a few weeks. We also met a guy named George Washington! We also met a lot of crazy people this week - like a lot of crazies, it's really funny. There's this guy in one of the areas that we keep going to who's name is ''Mad Pete'' that everybody knows who is convinced that he is a chosen vessel/angel of the Lord - and it's the funniest thing ever because he loves missionaries and it's really fun to mess with him. I asked a few people as a stopping approach if they knew Mad Pete and we got some of the funniest stories too! 

On Tuesday we had a district meeting - like every week, which now that I am a district leader I have to run. But this one on Tuesday we had the zone leaders come to, and we had President and Sister Pilkington come to as well! So the meeting was the biggest district meeting I've ever been in and I was the one who had to do all the instruction! There was me and Elder Boswell, Elder Korte and Elder Ma'a, Sisters Cziesla and Lee, Elder Larsen and Elder Lapu'aho (the zone leaders) and President and Sister Pilkington!

So I instructed on one chapter out of the Book of Mormon - Alma 58. It's a war chapter where Helaman, Gid and Teomner take the city of Manti by a stratagem, and I related them setting and achieving their goal of capturing the city to us fighting Satan and achieving our baptismal goals for this coming transfer. And it went really well! It was a lot of fun and everybody loved it - so that was a lot of stress relieved after that! 

Speaking of Elder Lapu'aho - he is Polynesian from Tonga originally, but his family grew up in Utah and he came out on his mission the same day that I did! And now he is my zone leader and we got to go on exchange this week which was really fun! 

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is that it's when we have the most opposition, that we have the most growth. Somehow we always perform our best when we're pressured to have a good performance. When the worst things are happening to us - and we have pressure to succeed, if we keep a good attitude and press forward and work our hardest, we will become much better and stronger than we were before, and we will appreciate the challenges that were placed in front of us! 

Another story:

WE knocked on a ladies door yesterday who is from Belgium and left to move here because of racism (she's black) but she only speaks French, so when she found out I speak French she was really excited to invite us back and we are going to go so I can teach her in French!

Love you guys! Hope you have a great week! 

Elder Thompson

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Transfer Time Again!

Hello everyone!

Yes my birthday here was great! It was kind of just another day of missionary work, you know - but this nice member family fed me and got some cake and then afterwards we had a co-ordination meeting with the Ward Mission Leader and he bought us pizza, so we were really really full that night! But it was really fun, not super eventful, but it was a good day!

And also yes guys - it is transfer week again. And surprise surprise: I'm getting a new companion again! In case you didn't realize, I was with Elder Jaeger for two transfers right at the beginning of my mission, and since then I've only had companions for one transfer! I had 6 in a row: Faingata'a, McBride, Dickson, Stahle, Duff and Ma'a.

But the news this transfer is that I'm training a new missionary! So my next companion I should have for 2 transfers at least! That's how it normally works when someone is trained usually, because during the first 12 weeks of your mission, your trainer runs through a special program with you. So I'll be doing that starting tomorrow!

At transfer meetings (I've been to a bunch now) all the brand new missionaries bear their testimonies, and then all the missionaries going home bear their testimonies, and then the trainee's are introduced to their trainers - and beforehand nobody knows who it's going to be, so when they announce - ''so and so is being trained by....    Elder Thompson!'' I'm going to jump up and run up to the stand and hug whoever it is I'm training, but I won't find out who it is until right then!

So that should be fun! And I'm excited but a bit nervous to show the new guy the ropes!

So anyways - I think somebody maybe Sammy was asking about do we do any service as missionaries? And to answer, yes we do - not that often, but whenever we can, especially if they're not members or less active or something like that - and in addition we always look for unplanned acts of service, we just ask people if we can help with anything, and sometimes people say yes.

But this week the Ward organized a helping hands activity where we cleared all the plants and dirt from some really overgrown paths in the area, and it was really fun - tons of ward members showed up and it was really nice!

Dad was asking for some stories about some people were teaching so let me just tell you a bit about a lesson we had this week with a lady named Thethe Kanghi who is originally from the Congo but has moved around quite a bit - and her daughter Jenny who is scheduled to be baptized on the 3rd of October and their neighbour, another African Lady named Rita. Basically we wanted to go and teach Jenny a lesson to prep her for her baptism - but when we showed up their neighbour was in the house and so we taught the first lesson to all of them, and it was so funny because Thethe doesn't really speak English, but Jenny does and Rita thinks she does but she doesn't really - but they all speak French! But because Ma'a can't understand French they all did their best to talk English, but often I would have to translate in French and English and it was just really funny! 

But jenny is excited to be baptized and Rita wants to meet with us again on Thursday and come to church! So we'll see how it goes! Plus that'll be an interesting lesson for the first full day of whatever new missionary I'll have with me! Should be fun!

So the rest of transfer news - Elder Ma'a is not my companion anymore but he's staying in the area and is going to be with Elder Korte from Australia! And the other Elder in our flat - Elder Vickers is moving to Leeds. So this next transfer should be fun! Ma'a always keeps things exciting.

Thanks for the letters from the cabin and the talk from dad! I really liked the talk you gave in Ward Conference Dad. The poem right at the beginning really sunk in with me, I like it. There was a few other quotes as well - one from some book, about atheism? I really liked it too.

Sounds like you guys are having a fun week! Everybody here is going back to school too! The busses are always filled with College students - but University hasn't even started yet, this town is goin to be a madhouse when that starts!

Love you guys!

Elder Thompson

Monday, September 7, 2015

Hi guys!

It's cold season here in England as well, and on top of that - it's already getting colder and darker again. I showed up here last year right at the beginning of winter, but now I've been through the ''summer'' if you could call it that, and now it's going to be winter again soon, which is weird to think about.

So I'm not really sure if I told you about my living situation right now - but at the beginning of the transfer I moved here to Huddersfield 1 ward and Elder Ma'a and I area booked. For the first three weeks we were the only missionaries in our ward, but we lived with the zone leaders, Elder Larsen and Elder Rasmussen (Elder Larsen was my one of my favourite district leaders btw - he was my DL when I was in Wharfe Valley, and now he's my zone leader). But then halfway through the transfer two more missionaries area booked into our ward as well and moved into our flat, and the zone leaders moved into a new flat. so this last week has been a lot different than before.

It's funny because all three missionaries living here are younger age wise than me, but I've been on my mission for at least 6 months longer than each of them, and I'm their District Leader.

I have learned so many lessons on my mission already, but I guess the Lord wants me to learn a few more. This week Elder Vickers and Korte didn't have the best of weeks, and so I had to do a lot of uplifting and encouraging and instructing and inspiring for them. I also have had to do a lot of correction this week with the missionaries here.

You know how it's said that you build a testimony in the bearing of it? Well I think it's the same in everything. I didn't realize how much of a leadership capability I had until I now have to lead people. I didn't realize how much the lessons that I've learned on my mission can in turn help other missionaries. Well I did know that, but I've seen it a lot recently.

This week, I was on a split with Elder Vickers, and he said something that hit me pretty hard.

But let me rewind and say first of all that there have been a lot of missionaries so far on my mission who I have looked to as an example of how to do missionary work. Elder Larsen for example. Elder Jaeger as well. There have been missionaries who I've just thought to myself ''man I want to be as good of a missionary as them''.

But this week Elder Vickers told me that he really looks up to me as a missionary, and tries to follow my example.

I've had several younger (mission wise) companions who have looked to me for an example, but now there are other missionaries trying to follow me as well, and that made me want to be better.

My mission is training me for life I think. For anybody who is not sure if they want to serve a full time mission, just do it. I can't even begin to explain the growth that occurs in the mission field. The Christ like attributes and skills that you learn, the lives you are able to touch, the memories and friendships you make, that doesn't even skim the surface.

But this week I've been learning how to be a shepard. A leader who leads by example. One who says 'do what I do', not 'do what I say.'

And Dad, I feel like you're learning similarly to what I'm learning right now, being a new bishop. Obviously you have a few more things and people to deal with than I do, but that is the testimony that I've learned this week: That no matter how much you have learned or how much you think you know, the Lord knows that you always need to learn more. He will push you to the edge, and it will not be easy, but you will appreciate the trials in the future.

Elder Ma'a and I are happy, and doing good work. We've spent a lot of time knocking on doors again this week, which is great.

I'm so grateful to have the knowledge that I have been blessed with. To be able to know that God is real, and he loves us. He is our father. Every now and again I stop and I look around and I think to myself how wonderful a creator we have, that has put all of the beauty of this world here for us to enjoy.

I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, because I've seen in my own life and in the lives of others how much his atonement can cleanse people. He is the one that I look to to be my shepard, the one whose example I am trying to follow. I hope and pray that all who may be reading this will ponder the concept of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and consider the implications that it has in your life. you can be clean, you can be pure, you can be whole. everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love you guys! I miss home, but I know that what I'm doing here right now is among the most important things I will ever do in my life. 'I know that what will be of the most worth unto me in my life is to declare repentance to God's children, because the worth of souls is great in the eyes of God, and if I will labour all my days crying repentance and only ONE person listens, then it will all be worth it.

Also really quick story:

There is a part member family here that we are working with that have a bunch of animals and a maaaasive parrot that knows my name. I said ''Elder Thompson'' to her so many times that now when I walk in she says ''Elder Thompson'' which is awesome.

That reminds me of another story from back in North Shields - I don't know If I told you this one - maybe I did, But there was a born again Christian lady who listened to so much born again stuff that her parrot would say ''Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus!'' devoutly whenever she would see us, which was really funny.

Elder Thompson

Elder Ma'a and I

Waiting for the bus

A ward member has an iguana!!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

First September Email

Hi guys!

I can't believe Brent is already home from his mission! I feel like it was just yesterday that we went to his setting apart...
And Jordan is taller than him?? Oh man that's funny! I hope Sam's not taller than me when I get home.
But yes, to answer somebody's question - I e-mailed Brent every week for my whole mission pretty much so far. Sometimes it would just be a sentence or two, but it was an e-mail nonetheless!

I miss playing games with you guys! And with uncle David!

Also - my birthday is this week....      I can't believe it's been this long.

And just looking at those pictures! Holy cow Luke is soooo big! There's a missionary here from the Marshall Islands in our zone called Elder Hanchor and his English is really bad and his favourite words are ''maaasive'' and ''it's a miiiiracle'' and all I thought when I saw that picture was ''wow Luke is maaaasive''

And J is so grown up too! When does he leave on his mission? It's weird to think that Sam might have a mission call by the time I get home too!

This week has been full of miiiiiracles here for Elder Ma'a and I too. A few days back we went to go visit this Recent Convert in the ward, who is a French and Italian speaker, her name is Thethe (pronounced Tay tay). She was originally baptized by two Italian missionaries about a year ago - but since that time not many missionaries have seen her because she cant really speak English. So when I heard about her, we started going to visit her so I could speak French with her, and we found out that she has a 17 year old daughter who knows next to nothing about the Church and speaks English perfectly. Her daughter though hasn't ever met with missionaries though because they stopped coming after her mom was baptized and the Italian missionaries left. So anyways we knocked on the door and the daughter, Jenny, opened because her mom wasn't home. We had a really long chat with her on the doorstep and invited her to church to hear me speak in Sacrament meeting, and she agreed! And on Sunday her mom was out of town, but Jenny came by herself! And she loved it!

After church, the Brother in the ward who taught her Sunday school class invited her and us to come to his house, and we taught Jenny the Plan of Salvation and she cried when we showed her the Mormon message 'Because of Him' and we scheduled her to be baptized on the 2nd of October! She is really excited about it, and that was great.

Anyways there has been lots of stories like that on my mission but I just don't always get around to remembering to write to you guys about them, but that's one that happened this week!

Love you guys!

Elder Thompson

Monday, August 24, 2015

Summer is almost over!

Hi guys!

Okay, but anyways this week was really good! Lot's of things have been going on in the last week. A little bit about my situation right now: My companion is Elder Ma'a and he is such a good guy, we've been working really hard at teaching together in unity, we practice and practice all the time to be able to teach better, and it's working! We live with the Huddersfield zone leaders (which funny enough about a year ago was Elder Jaeger, who is now home in California btw) who right now are Elder Larson, who was my district leader when I was in Wharfe Valley, and Elder Rasmussen, who I've met before a few times when he was in my zone in Leeds and Sunderland. And they are great!

Every night I have to follow up with the teams in my district, so I make a few phone calls around 9:35 - 9:50 ish and then I follow up with the zone leaders, either in person if they're home, or over the phone if they're busy somewhere. So that usually takes me right close to 10:30, so then I do a few things and then go to bed. My nights are a lot busier than they used to be...

Also every Wednesday I have to do a District Meeting, which lasts between an hour and an hour and a half, where I have to instruct the teams in the district and teach them areas to improve on and practice things with them, and it's fun, but now a lot of my study time is devoted to preparing that meeting each week.

Also I'm giving a talk this next Sunday! Funny story though, the bishopric member gave me a slip last week with the info for my talk and all it said was that my talk is on ''lift us - May'' and that was it, and there is no talk in any May Ensign called Lift us.....      and when I asked him he didn't know what I was talking about. So I'm just going to talk about service and missionary work. I'm thinking of sharing the story about Vida from earlier in my mission.

But yes also this week we had a zone conference where one of the Seventy came and spoke to us. HIs name is Elder Moreira, and he used to be a mission President in the highest Baptising mission in the world in Brazil! He is from Portugal though. He was presenting and he asked if anybody wanted to input some missionary stories from the book of acts and I volunteered and shared one story, but he made me come up to the front and stand at the mic with him and it was really fun and really funny.

But yes the ward here in Huddersfield is really nice! There are tons of nice families and there are actually quite a few people who have lived in/have family in Calgary! There's a family here in the ward, and the wife's name is Emma Bland, but her maiden name is Forsyth and she is related to Bill Steward! There's also a guy here who name is Miller, who served his mission in Calgary in like 2008 ish time I think, right around the time they rearranged the wards, and he served in the Woodbine Ward and lived in the Ockey's basement! He was telling me about how one of the kids would be in the other room playing Call of Duty while they were trying to study!

There's lots of nice families here and they feed us pretty much every day, so life is good!

Quick story as well - this week it rained a ton, and yesterday Elder Ma'a and I went knocking after church, and it was super humid and hot and sunny, so we just wore suits, no rain coats. Biggest mistake ever. Like two hours after we left it all of a sudden got really dark and then the heavens were opened. I've seen it rain pretty hard in England, having been here a year - but the rain yesterday was the most I'd ever seen. I even had an umbrella - but that didn't help one bit, like we even stopped and ran over to a bus shelter to get out of it, but we got absolutely drenched. Like it was as if we had just jumped in a pool of water - and the non top of that we just kept working the rest of the day. When I got back my feet were so soggy - good experience!

Love you guys!

Elder Thompson


Some Muslim guy bought us KFC!

The missionaries from Hull

Elder Ma'a
 These pictures were sent to me by Sister Amy Georgson!
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