Monday, March 23, 2015

March 23 email

Hi guys!
So first of all, Dad. Thanks for the door approaches: I've tried them all except for the 2015 one so I'll try it. But - door approaches that involve us saying anything about God or religion in my experience here in England have a 95% chance of a door being slammed in our faces. For example, back in Tynemouth, Elder Faingata'a and I were knocking once in the rain, a super cold rainy day, and we knocked on one ladies door and I'm not really sure what we said to start off the conversation, but she was friendly and we had some small talk for a bit and she seemed really genuine. Then she asked what we are doing coming from across the world to England for (a perfect transition - that is the ideal, let them get to the question of why we're here and then tell them!), so I said ''We're missionaries..'' and she cut me off and said: 

''Excuse me, but there are children here (her son was standing next to her, 5 or 6 years old probably), so if you have any respect you'll just stop talking right now and walk away. Please don't come back.'' (*slam*)

I was pretty mad. So I knocked on the door again - not a quiet knock either. And then I knocked again. She never opened back up.

Also the one about do you want to be happy - people always ask us about money. They say, can you pay my bills? And we try to explain ourselves but it never goes anywhere. I have probably knocked on over a thousand doors in the last 6 months. I rarely have a day go by that I don't knock on someone randoms door. I've gotten really used to it. 

This week was another challenging week. We taught 3 lessons this week, and that's all. The rest we knocked and tried by people and got stood up for a lot of appointments (flogged). I've found that finding is only really effective for an hour or two a day before you just get worn down and it gets really really hard. But it does work - kind of. We have more people again to go see this week (hopefully they're there). We're trying really hard. Also the ward here is great - super helpful. WE have a tea appointment every day pretty much. It makes life a lot easier.

Also I spoke in church yesterday. I gave that talk that I told you about a couple weeks ago. It went really well. 

Okay, so you want to hear more about Elder McBride? There's not too much to say really. It's really different living in a two man flat, but it's also really nice, and Elder McBride and I get along really well. He's the kind of missionary that has just gotten used to missionary life and is comfortable with everything that goes on, but is not super motivated himself. I have to be the one to motivate us, but when I am excited about something, he gets excited too. But when I'm feeling a bit down or don't have energy, he is the same - he just feeds off me when I'm enthusiastic, which is great! But when I'm not feeling that awesome, neither is he you know? It's different than my other companions. Like with Elder Jaeger - he was the senior companion and I was the trainee, so he always took the lead. With Elder Faingata'a I knew the area, and he'd only been out a few months longer than I had - so nobody really felt like the senior companion, but we motivated each other. There were times when he would be lazy and I had to get him to work, but then the times that I felt lazy he did the same to me. Whereas with Elder McBride, he's going home soon but he doesn't feel like the senior companion, even though he is supposed to know the area better than I do (which he doesn't). But he is so easy to get along with, and we have fun together. We have lots of funny videos and things - but I cant send those by e-mail. 

We met this guy this week, a guy who was on the ward list who lives in Otley - so we went to try by him one night. HE came out of his house and had a long chat with us about how his whole family is mormon, but when he was sixteen he left the church and actively rebelled against it and produced anti material. Now he's a bit older and has a wife and kids and he's more pacified and he respects the church and he regrets the active rebellion, but he is still strongly atheist. I was just astounded at how much he was against the church. We bore our testimonies to him and I could see that he felt the spirit but was fighting really hard to ignore it. When we finally parted ways, he had this really sad look on his countenance, and I asked him what it was that was bothering him, and he basically just explained how he regretted missing the opportunity to go on a mission because when he sees boys like us he wishes he could have been as mature as we are when he was our age - but he still thinks its wrong. I really pity people like that and I went home that night and had a long chat with my heavenly father about his existence and about how I was confused about people like that. I had a strong impression that God was listening to me, and he comforted me with the knowledge that he is there, and people like that are just lost. 

I've spent a lot of time on my knees this week, pleading for strength from my heavenly father to continue to work hard and be diligent. It's really hard to be exactly obedient and super diligent when there is no one around to motivate you to do so - but I've been doing it. I study hard and I work hard. The Lord is giving me the strength to keep going. It's kind of hard to explain. It's like if I were at home, I would literally not have at all the motivation to keep exerting myself like I am. The work I am putting into this is literally more than I could ever do by myself. There must be some external being helping me to do this - and it is Jesus Christ.

Anyways, that sounded really melodramatic, but this week was challenging. But at the same time we have had a lot of fun, and I'm still really happy, so not to worry. 

Love you guys! 

Elder Thompson

I didn't think this would hold my weight

Someone told us you could balance an egg upright on the spring equinox. We didn't believe them. Then we tried it and to our surprise...

Then we balanced two

We were amazed

Then we balanced a lot

We helped this non member family move into Otley - and were going to go visit them again this week. Yay! They're really good - I think you can see they're house in this picture, it's like right to the left of the bridge


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