Monday, March 2, 2015

First Email in the New Area

Hi Hi Hi Hi Hi!!!

New area - new companion. It is a lot different. A lot different. Anyways first I want to talk about my last night (tuesday night) in North Shields.

Tuesday was p-day. We spent the day doing.. I don't even remember what actually. It was pretty uneventful and cold. But that night we went and saw Vida. And oh my gosh will that night forever be imprinted in my mind. Maybe not the exact events - but the feelings for sure. We went over to Vida's house and she was excited to have us but so so sad that I was leaving. We talked a lot about her potential. She thanked me so much over and over again for saving her life. She would tell everyone about it, that ''little Elder Thompson, he saved my life. I was on my way to end my life but he talked to me''. She called me and Elder Jaeger her saving Angels. Tuesday night she cried a lot. I bore very strong testimony too about the importance of baptism and of following God. I said to her - Vida I may never see you again, but if you do what is right, I will see you on the right hand of God in the Celestial Kingdom after this life. 

I cried in her house quite a bit as well, I am ashamed to say.

After we left, well when we left she couldn't stop crying, and I was fighting it in. But after we left we walked down the stairs and out of her building and walked right up to the sea front which is about a hundred yards away from her building and looked out at the sea. I couldn't hold it in. I sobbed. Elder Faingata'a is a trooper. He gave me a big hug and that was nice. But I couldn't help it. It was like it all hit me:

All my life I have just lived for me. Selfish. What do I want. What is in it for me? How does doing this help me? Until I came on my mission. I barely think about myself at all. Well... not true, but I try not to and I'm good at that most of the time. But before this what things of significance have I really done in my life? Some things I guess, like in church and in school and stuff. But not that much. In sacrament meeting last Sunday (so still in North Shields) a High Counselor spoke. One story he shared was something like this, he said: 

There was a man walking along a long beach and he saw that there were millions of Star Fish that had been washed up by the tide high on to the beach and were all dying. He kept walking and he met a boy who was one by one picking up starfish and throwing them back into the ocean. The man thought this was foolish and he said to the boy: ''Don't you see the millions of starfish? Your effort isn't going to make a difference''. 

The boy looked at him - picked up another starfish and threw it into the sea and said: ''But I made a difference to that one''.

That is how I feel. I saved one life. Literally saved it. I could go my whole mission without baptizing a single person and I would feel that as long as I worked my hardest - I have been successful. I already did one thing right. And that concept hit me really hard especially that night as I had to leave behind the starfish that I had saved - Vida - maybe forever. It's like I have now done something significant in my life. I am here making a difference in people's lives. There is a reason, a point to all of this. And I am finding it. 

She gave me a card. I'll keep it forever. It says: ''Thank you for saving my life and my family''. I can hardly hold in the tears when I look at it. I hope she remembers me. I left her a picture of Elder Jaeger and I. She pinned it up on her fridge.

Anyways I felt so good, but so sad to leave North Shields. I felt accomplished, but heartbroken.

But my new area!

I moved in on Wednesday. We live in a really posh flat in this super quaint little town in West Yorkshire called Otley. The towns in our area are Otley, Menston (where the chapel is), Ilkley, Addingham, Burley in Wharfedale, Pool, Guisely, Yeadon and Rawdon. All the towns are super super posh and full of rich people. The area is so so beautiful - I'll try to send more pictures soon.

The ward also is amazing! The Wharfe Valley Ward just recently became a ward about 4 months or so ago. Before that it was a branch. Also our ward and our area is also the assistants to the President's area. SO that's nice. We only really see them on Sundays though because they're so busy with other things. But also we get fed tea appointments 6 or 7 days a week! Pretty much every day someone feeds us! Which is awesome...

Church yesterday was awesome. The chapel here is like the most modern and fancy chapel in all of England and it is so beautiful. And everybody is like super smart and there's a bunch of like young families and recent converts in the ward here. Oh and this weekend a girl in the ward came back from her Mission in Jamaica! So she bore her testimony in sacrament meeting, followed by yours truly. (I one upped her. Haha just kidding) But that testimony meeting was so good! And then gospel principles was awesome! And then for elders quorum we had another testimony meeting and that was fantastic! 

Elder Trassiere - one of the AP's talked about a story that President told last week at zone conference. A story that a missionary e-mailed him one week that made him weep. He could barely even talked about it because he couldn't compose himself at zone conference. And Elder Trassiere talked about it during testimony meeting in Elders quorum. It was a story about a woman on a train who on the way to kill herself was stopped by two missionaries and is now being taught by missionaries who she calls her saving angels. Sound familiar? The story is famous in the mission now. 

Anyways, in this area the teaching pool is really small. But... there is one woman named Lindsay (I think she added you on Facebook mama) who is getting baptized this Saturday! SO I got to meet her this week and I think I'm singing at her baptism. Other than that we don't really have any solid investigators and I found out why.

In North Shields, we would stop people on the streets and knock on doors and we would find tons and tons of people who were interested, who would invite us back and stuff. We call them 'potentials'. Last transfer I filled out 4 and a half pages in my planner of potentials - which equates to almost a hundred names and addresses of people semi interested.

Here, oh man. This week I have stopped almost every single person who we walk by. And do you know how many are interested? Two. It's ok! But its a lot harder here than it was way up north. It's hard to be diligent and talk to everyone when the majority of people don't want anything to do with you and often get offended if you try to talk to them at all.

But its okay. Were pressing on. I love this area already its so pretty and the members are amazing, I really feel at home with this ward and I've gotten to know lots of the members already, but the work here is hard.

Also my companion Elder McBride is great. Really easy to get along with. So that's gooood.

Um, anything else? Oh yeah dad I got your talks. And my new mailing address is 
1A Bridge Street
Otley, West Yorkshire
LS21 1BQ
Also we live in a two story flat above a hairdresser, our door is actually in the hairdressers back room, like we share a key to that back room and then we have another key for our door. But inside its super super nice! But yeah if you wanted to like street view it or something - we live above the hairdresser haha. They're super nice btw.

Elder McBride is a straight up redneck from Arizona - loves country music and stuff too. But he's fun. He's ready to go home though it's kinda hard to get him to work. But he does it as long as I encourage him.

Anyways. I've been thinking again (like always) lately about our potential to become gods. How everybody has that same potential. I read that talk (Our Identity Our Destiny) to Elder McBride on morning and talked a lot about how everybody - everybody! Has the same potential that we have to one day be like god. To rule over planets and to be perfect, but all they need is to have somebody tell them about it.

Also the way to perfection is through Christ. I've been studying a lot about Christ Like attributes. This week a lot about patience and diligence. So yeah. Through Christ we can become perfect even as HE is. If any of us are imperfect, it is our duty to pray for the spiritual gift that will make us perfect. 

Love you! Byeeee

Oh also everybody speaks so differently here oh man it's like learning a whole new language again....   ahh

Elder Thompson

Old apartment in North Shields

Saying Good bye to Vida

And to Sarah

And to Sis. Thompson

And to Elder Faingata'a

Seeing Elder Jaeger at transfer meeting

The Wharfe River in Otley

With some people in Otley

Elder McBride

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