Thursday, May 28, 2015

This Email is Late This Week Because I Was Away

The people in Hull are really diverse. We're teaching a few lad's from different parts of Africa. There's this one guy, his name is Olif and he is from The Congo, and his native tongue is French, so he always wants to talk to me in French. Funny enough actually this week I've probably talked to a good fifteen or twenty people in French, at church and on the streets, which is really cool. I am so surprised at the amount of words and phrases and sentence structures that I remember! When I told Olif that I hadn't spoken french since I was about 15 he didn't believe me. 

But there are people from Ghana, from France, a lot from Poland, from Romania, and tons of other places that I've met already in Hull my first two weeks here. Plus we meet a lot of University students from all over the UK and other places because we live right by the university. It's great.

This week was zone conference again, so we went back to Leeds to the Cross Gates chapel on Thursday for that. The Conference basically took up our whole day because it took forever to travel and then the conference was really long. I really enjoyed it though. My companion Elder Stahle, it was his first zone conference and it was really funny because he doesn't know too many missionaries yet, and I was just reminded of my first zone conference like a month into my mission where I went with Elder Jaeger and I was shocked how many missionaries he knew, and now I go to these things and I know a lot of the missionaries there and I love it. It's a lot of fun to get to meet up with guys that I served near and were in my zone at one point, it's really fun to just talk and catch up with these guys. 

Also Elder Jaeger is going home at the end of this transfer, so about a month from now, and this conference might have been the last time I'll see him before he goes home which is crazy, so we took some pictures. 

We taught a guy on a park bench yesterday near his house and he wants to be baptized, his name is Liam and he has I think it's called Asbergers, I don't really know how to spell it, but that form of Autism, but he is really nice and is looking for something to fill a hole in his life, and he thinks this might be it. There are a few other people we've had really powerful lessons with this week as well, and I love being able to teach with the Spirit. 

I love you guys and I hope you have a great week!

Elder Thompson
Elder Wright

Elder Wilkins

Elder Jaeger


Monday, May 18, 2015

First Email from Hull

Hi guys! 

So. I moved to Hull on Wednesday, and I met my new companion. His name is Elder Stahle and he is from...          Bountiful, Utah. Sorry to disappoint he says.
But, Elder Stahle is awesome! He is I will say, very Mormon. But we are getting along so well! He has been out on his mission for just about 3 months now, he just got finished being trained, and he is so excited to be a missionary! Oh btw, Elder Stahle knows Elder Higginson, you remember him who served in our ward?

I'm living in a 4 man flat again! Yes! It's so much fun! I like the 4 man's so much better than the two man! We're living with the Zone Leaders, and they're great. Elder Slabbert is from South Africa and Elder Westergard is from Utah. They're great. Elder Westergard served in Newcastle when I was in North Shields, and I went on an exchange with him once when I was there and he is awesome. 

Okay about Hull. We live like right next to the University of Hull. So we live like literally right in among all the Uni Students. Finding people is so easy here! We just walk around and stop Uni students and explain where were from and what we do and then we get their phone numbers and they wanna meet it's so easy! There's also a Senior Couple that live 2 streets over from us who have this big house where they hold student activities and where we can teach people, and it works so well! We are teaching a bunch of people and we have like 10 return appointments with potentials that we've set up for next week! I love it here so far! 

The ward I'm in is the Hull 1 ward, and it's the biggest ward I've served in on my mission. The accent here is waaay different from the accent in Leeds/West Yorkshire and of course waaay different from the accent in North Shields. Funny enough I met a student yesterday who is from North Shields. I haven't met any Canadians yet though but I'm keeping my eyes peeled.

On Sunday we brought this guy to church his name is Olif and he is from The Congo, and he is a native French speaker, so I got to practice my French with him for the first time since Junior High, and I was shocked because I could carry a full on conversation with him! He told me that I sounded like I'd spoken it for a long time, in fact when I told him that I hadn't spoken it since I was 15 he didn't believe me! 

Another cool story (kind of). We were one night walking through the Hull City Center, and this group of 5 foreign Muslim kids stopped us, one was like: teach me about Christianity, so we were like okay. So we proceeded to teach them the entirety of the first lesson right there on the street. I felt like a full on preacher from early church history, I had to like stand on a little ledge so they could all see me and Elder Stahle helped a little as well. It was cool but it's one of those things that they couldn't change religions even if they wanted to because their families would disown them, but one of the kids really wanted to read the Book of Mormon so I gave it to him, and who knows what'll happen to it.

We taught a bunch of Uni students this week. I probably taught more lessons this week than the last transfer combined it was great. Such a relief. I love it here.

I do miss the ward in Wharfe Valley though. That ward felt like home to me. This ward is still new and foreign. I miss a lot of the members there, but I'm sure I'll get to know the ones here very soon! 

Love you guys! 
Another postcard from Maris

Saying good bye to Elder Dickson

This member family in Hull is from California -- they gave us KD!  We can't get it here!

Elder Stahle and I

I bought this hoodie at Primark
Coleman's Street (From Google street view)


Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Transfer News Again!

Hi guys!

It was so great talking to you guys on Sunday, man I miss you all so much. When I hear about the Sunday night activities and Will only acting out Godzilla I can totally picture it in my mind and I miss it. (I'd told him how we played charades on Mother's Day). But like you said mama, I know that this is where I need to be right now and I would rather be no where else.

So, yeah last night was transfer calls...    and I am moving again! 

I am moving to a town on the coast again called Kingston Upon Hull, or just Hull as most people call it. I am moving into the Hull 1 ward, which apparently is a pretty decent sized ward, like 150 ish active members, which is going to be a big difference from the two small wards I've served in so far. So today I am still in Wharfe Valley, and Elder Dickson and I are going to go into Leeds for  p-day today, and then I'm packing and moving to Hull tomorrow. So I'll let you know what my new address is next Monday. 

As for how I feel about it, I'm mixed again. As hard as this area was, with the lack of people to teach, and learning to deal and live with new companions, which were all generally eye opening, learning experiences, I really am going to miss this place a lot. Otley where we live will always hold a little place in my heart. And the members here! Man the members here are amazing and I am going to miss them a lot too! But I am also really really excited to go to a new place and start fresh again, and hopefully actually have some people to teach! 

So I am happy and excited, but also a little sad to leave Wharfe Valley behind. Plus, next Sunday is stake conference in Leeds, and I was supposed to sing a solo.....    so somebody else is gonna have to sing it now. Lol.

I learned a lot of important lessons while I've been in this area, things that I will take with me through the rest of my life. I am grateful for the opportunity that I was given to be here, and I am leaving with no regrets. 

Love you guys. 
Grandpa Robert and Grandma Joanne sent me a package and this is what was inside, as well as a 'Army of Helaman' shirt. So tell them thanks for me! 


Tuesday, May 5, 2015

This Week


Let me tell you a story. It's a good one I promise, even though it starts off rough.

Last week, as in last Monday to Sunday reporting week for a missionary, Elder Dickson and I had it rough. In the entire week, the only lesson we taught to someone not of our faith was to Margaret and Keith on Saturday, and Keith really isn't interested in learning about the Gospel, he just likes listening to me play guitar. But for the entire rest of the week, Elder Dickson and I have been walking around and knocking on door after door after door after door after door...    with little to no one who was interested in listening what we have to say. There were many very nice people, but they all say : ''I admire you and what you're doing, but it's not for me, I am not interested in hearing about it''. 

So we were getting tired. We were trying hard not to get frustrated or angry as well. I kept thinking ''two months in this area and still nobody to teach''. Man it was a rough, hard week, and most definitely the hardest of my mission so far.

So on Sunday we fasted. We fasted that we would be able to accept that our timing isn't the same as the Lord's timing, but also that we would be able to find some one whom the Lord has prepared for us to teach. I have not prayed with that much faith in my life. 

So Monday came along. Yesterday. It was a bank holiday. And we had nothing to do. And no one to see. The plan was go one place to knock doors in the morning, then come home and eat lunch, then go knock more doors in the afternoon, then come eat tea, then go teach a FHE to a member, then talk to people on the streets. 

So we got to work, and I kid you not, the very first door that we knocked on yesterday morning - this nice girl opened and told us that she had recently had her mother pass away and was looking for answers from God about why this happened and where her mother was. She told us it had caused her to start to lose her faith, and she was unhappy with the way her church leaders (C of E) were approaching her about it. So we taught her about the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, and Elder Dickson and I both boldly testified about it to her, and she loved it, and we are going to meet with her again, and she wants to come to church.

We were so happy!

But that's not all - then, after lunch we went out to knock doors again, and maybe the 20th door or so, another young couple let us in - and later the girl's parents came home, and they were all fascinated with what we had to say, and they had all met mormons before and we are going to go back and teach them again on Sunday, right after I Skype you guys! 

And then, more. After FHE we stopped by a potential we had previously found, and his Dad opened the door, and we talked to him for like an hour, and we are going back this weekend to teach him as well! 

So let me tell you - God is good. He does answer prayers, and I know that missionaries are led by the Spirit of the Lord, and are just instruments in his hands - and all Elder Dickson and I had to do was accept that and we saw the blessings.

So we'll see how all these visits this weekend go! I'm so excited to Skype!! Love you guys!

Elder Thompson
I went on exchange one day this week which was awesome - they had a sword in the flat.... and a mask

Elder Wilkins from Birmingham

Our district right now