Wednesday, July 29, 2015

And another week

Hi ! 

You had a tornado in Calgary? That's crazy. The weather here this week has just sucked. It rained all week. All week! And it was freezing! The weather now is the same as what it was back in like February and March. Cold and Rainy and not fun. Elder Duff is feeling better - but not too great, and the cold doesn't really help him out very much because he's from Texas and he hates it. 

Other than the cold though the week wasn't too bad. We've been going to some new places in the area that I've never seen before and there are really cool things to see. Every now and again I kind of just sit back and think, what the heck am I doing here? Hundreds of miles from home? Walking around, in the pouring rain, in Hull, somewhere that if I were not a missionary, I would never go. Especially when we go into all of the side streets and things - it's like if I were a tourist, I would not ever see places like this. You really develop a love and a deep understanding for the culture of the place where you serve your mission. There are so many places that I've been here it's crazy. So many people I've met or talked to or visited. I sometimes get frustrated here when we have a lack of people to teach or a dearth of things to do - but I always remember why I'm here and what I'm doing, and I remember to cherish the moments that I've been given to be in another country like this - giving to others in a significant way. 

Missionary work right now is pretty slow. A lot of students are home for the summer, but there are still a few, but people are flaky. We've found a lot of new people to go by again this coming week though, so that should be pretty good, I'm excited. I went on an exchange this last week in Hull 2, and this week I'm going on exchange again here in my area. 

And funny enough Olivia just reminded me haha, I speak French but none of my companions understand what I'm saying so I often have conversations with people who speak French and it's really funny to try to see what my companion has gotten out of the conversation. They never have any idea what we're saying, but I've found out that they can often understand because I use my hands so much when I talk, that people just know. I've gotten pretty good at communicating with people who don't speak English as well. Elder Duff and I are still teaching a free English class to a bunch of people every Saturday, and that is honestly so rewarding and fun. 

But yeah I've been teaching Elder Duff a bunch of french nursery rhymes, like ''On va prepare, aujourd'hui, on va prepare un salad de fruit'' and stuff like that and he thinks they're the funniest thing ever. 
So, lot's of rain, lot's of knocking on doors, lot's of talking to people, not too much teaching, but a good week nonetheless. 
btw, if anybody reading this as well wants to e-mail me, it should be attached (see the sidebar!) and I would love to hear from you! Also I love letters...

Elder Thompson 


Thursday, July 23, 2015

This Week in Coleman's Life

Hi guys! Wow there are so many things going on for you guys right now! Wow.

Also that is so funny about the Elder's in your ward.[I told him how the elders in our ward had asked to come to dinner twice last week!] It's funny because as missionaries we do interact with all of like the major families in the Ward. Like in Wharfe Valley we would go to the bishop's house for dinner every week, and so I knew his wife and kids really well, and here all the main families invite us over and I have all their phone numbers and things, so it's just so funny to think that to them you guys are just this other family in the ward who feeds them and stuff like that. 

So family. Every time I go to people's houses for dinner - we share a spiritual thought or a scripture or something like that. Often we just come up with them on the spot, and just flip open a book of mormon and read something and relate it to missionary work. But our thoughts always end in some sort of searching questions to the family, like: ''what are you guys doing to increase the work of salvation here in this ward?''. And of course we always get answers like doing their calling and reaching out to less actives and being a good example to their friends and things like that - which are all great! All of those answers are good answers, and keep doing them. In fact mama the stories you send and how you talk about how you help people by doing compassionate service is incredible and I am inspired by your example. I wish more people would be like you. 

But let me speak about what the missionaries REALLY mean when they ask things like that, coming from a REAL missionary. When they ask missionary minded questions and give out missionary work challenges, the end goal that they have in mind, and that the Lord has inspired his Prophets to tell us how it should be, is for the members (You!) to do the finding! For the members to invite their friends to be taught by the full time missionaries. That is the end goal, for the missionaries to be so busy teaching people all day, that they don't have time to waste to find more people to teach, and the members are doing that for them. The idea is to move from two full time proselyting missionaries in a ward, to two full time proselyting missionaries AND a fleet of part time proselyting missionaries! Does that make sense? That's why missionaries in Utah don't knock on doors very much. They cant! They're too busy teaching! But in places like England and Canada, they need to find people. 

So ideally, that's what would happen. Of course, Satan is at hand as well. But I have been part of a few occasions here in England even, where a member refers their friend to be taught, and has been present for the teaching! And it is incredible. I am so lucky to have been able to be part of experiences like that.

I just want to speak a bit on another subject as well. I love playing guitar and singing as you guys know, I still do it here on my mission whenever I get the chance. When I learn a song and the lyrics well, I can just play and sing the song without really thinking about it too much. Like I will be playing the guitar methodically, singing my heart out - but I don't really have to be thinking about what's going to happen next. In fact, I can actually think about different things that are happening, like who's around listening, and what people's facial expressions are, and if they're enjoying the music, i can think those thought in my mind at the same time that a string of words are coming out of my mouth. 

I have been in quite a few lessons now on my mission, where I haven't been the one teaching, even though the words are coming out of my body and my mouth. Just like when I play the guitar, I will literally sometimes as I'm talking just think to myself ''What am I saying?'' because the words are just flowing out by the power of the spirit. The Holy Ghost literally fills my mouth with what to say. I don't even have to take any thought before hand what I will say because it has been given to me in the very hour, yeah in the very minute, what I need to say and what that person needs to hear. It's incredible. 

This week has been pretty slow because Elder Duff has been having some health issues (personal ones I cant share) that have kept him housebound for about 4 days this week. So we have had some time out teaching, and I've gone on splits with the other Elders in my flat - but not too much has been happening. 

Willy! Congrats on your baptism buddy! You look so big! 
The ward here- to answer somebody's question- is great! There are a lot of really big families with nice youth as well which is fun. There's a few boys who are pretty much my age! Also It's really big, like probably almost the size of our ward at home. Well actually no, there's about 100 or 120 active members I would guess? Somewhere around there. A lot of inactive/less active people as well. How big is our ward?

Love you guys! Have a good week!

Elder Thompson

We were out knocking, and someone showed us his old cars

Three Wheeled Car!

Monday, July 13, 2015

And another week goes by

Hi guys! 
Yes Elder Duff likes music and I'm glad you all remember me still even though I'm very far away. 
Okay remember I sometimes don't remember everything I think while I read your letters, but here's some things that I thought:
Alex- you cray that song is not country, believe me. I don't know if I told you but Elder McBride, my companion back a while ago who's home now in Arizona loved country music, and he would sing it all the time and every time he sang he had a country twang to his voice and it drove me crazy, but it was so much fun. He was a blast, but man did he ever like country. But no that song is not country lol.
What I will say about my mission is that I know I haven't gone to school or anything yet, or done much in the way of life experience or education, but coming on my mission I have learned more about how life works than in anything else that I've ever done. I'm learning so much about things that are important in the long scheme of things - and I'm growing up. I don't know. Maybe it's just that while here in England I've had a lot of opportunity to talk to people about what's going on in their lives, and I can see what things people do that end up being incredibly worthwhile. 
So yeah, I don't exactly know what I'm going to do when I get home off of my mission, but being here has allowed me to understand what my priorities are going to be.  The Lord will never lead you astray. People can tell you things - give you advice, but the Lord will take you by the hand and show you what you need to do, if you put your trust and faith in him. So.. yeah.

And Willy!! Good luck with your Baptism!! I'm sooooo sad I'm missing it :(

This week was really good here for me guys. The weather last week was hot - and it was not so hot this week, but it wasn't bad. It still rains a lot and is cold and overcast a lot - even though it's July, but nevertheless that's England for you.

We taught lot's of people and talked to lots of crazies on the street. We went to another church's church service on Sunday night - and that was....   very interesting. I have some vague memory of going to some church that was really similar to this one with Uncle David's family in Edmonton once I think.  But anyways the guys who played the guitar and saxophone during the worship service invited us - so we came. The guy who gave the sermon was talking about how we can't be deceived by false religions - and he looked right at us the whole time it was pretty bad. But fun nonetheless. 

Love you guys! Have a good week!
Some of these pictures are of signs that people have on their doors.


Canada Day --- with pancakes and a Canada poncho I found in the Wharfe Valley flat

Our whole zone


Wednesday, July 8, 2015

9 months finished -- 15 more to go...

Hi hi hi! 

That family reunion sounds really fun! I miss family things like that! 

Speaking of family, I think you guys know this mom and dad, but having a family of my own in the future is probably the biggest goal I have in this life. Well, keeping myself temple worthy is first, and then family. You know I've actually thought a lot about that concept a lot during my mission and I guess I just want to highlight some doctrine about it to you guys.

You know that we are all children of God, created in his image. God created us spiritually before we were born and we knew and loved him. But here's the thing that gets me. In Moses 1:39 the Savior explains to Moses that ''(his) work and (his) glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man''. A further look at what 'eternal life' means leads to the concept that God has created us as his children, and has created this earth for us, and has given us this wonderful opportunity to come to this earth and learn and grow and experience mortality, all so that we can one day eventually not only return to his presence, but return to his presence and receive everything that HE HAS. That means that the entire purpose of our existence is to BECOME LIKE OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN. That is why the earth exists. We are here to learn to become like our Father. Of course its only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that this is possible, and that is why God's plan is perfect. 

I think of that concept sometimes, that our father created us only for us to become like him, and I relate it to our earthly life as well. Eventually I am going to have children (well I really want to). Well side note - I think all men have a natural paternal instinct. I've seen that as I've been in England getting to know people. I think that all men naturally want to have a jurisdiction over something, they want to take care of something. I think the happiest moment of my life will be when I see my child for the first time, and I think that that rests true with most people. But anyways my entire purpose in having children is ALSO going to be to raise them to receive everything I have. 

I then think of my earthly father, who is and always has been a shining example to me. My dad has raised me right. He's taught me morals and values and principles and lessons that have made me into the man that I am today. If it weren't for his guidance, I don't know where I would be. My biggest aspiration in life is to become as much of a noble and honest and caring of a man and a father as my father was and is to me. Love you dad.

But yes. I want a family. When I received my patriarchal blessing and it stated that I would be a father, I remember feeling so happy - because that honestly has always as long as I can remember, been my biggest hope and dream. I just hope that I can be a good enough father to bring up my children in the Gospel and teach them correct principles so that they can live a noble and spiritual life as well. 

So anyways, Elder Duff and I get along great - we laugh all the time because our sense of humor is really similar. Funny enough, Elder Duff is a music producer and he really likes my singing and guitar playing and he keeps telling me that I need to come visit him in Dallas and let him record me. 

We didn't teach as many people this week - but that's okay, we've been finding lots of people to go teach.

Elder Duff had to go see a specialist doctor this week... in York! So we took a 2 hour bus ride (because it was £30 cheaper than an hour long train) to get there and a 2 hour ride back. But is was okay because the countryside between York and Hull is beautiful, and York itself is amazing! We walked briefly on the wall during a ten minute wait for our bus to get there, and we took some pictures, but I forgot my camera today so I'll have to send them next week.

Also this week has been super hot and humid here, like 30 degrees Celsius and really humid - so we got permission to proselyte without suit jackets (finally!) and we wore short sleeved shirts all week, which funny enough this is the first time I've ever worn them, and I only have one! So I just washed it like every night haha. But it's been great! 

Also this week we visited this Ugandan lady named Judith and her two twin boys, and it was probably the funniest visit I've ever had. When we first met her on the bus she was like almost yelling about how much she loves Jesus, and wanted our phone number - and when we went and visited her we found out that she is a born again Christian who is very in love with Jesus and praises his name a lot. Like a lot. It was so funny we said a prayer and during our prayer she kept being like ''mmm''  ''amen'' amen!'' and stuff it was hilarious. And at the end she said a prayer for us and it was so awesome she was like ''Lord, in the name of JESUS! Bless these boys! Don't let Satan rear his ugly head! She started out quiet but got like more intense and then was like almost yelling and she kept saying ''in the name of Jesus!'' it was so funny. We're gonna go see her again soon.

Also we were knocking this week and this one catholic lady invited us in and on her table there was a prayer card that just said 'Jesus' and on the back it was like '' the name of Jesus is the shortest and most powerful of all prayers. When you say Jesus' name devoutly you: 1. Give God great praise 2. Receive great graces for yourself, and 3. Help the souls in purgatory'' And I don't know why but it made Elder Duff and I laugh so much. We took a picture when she wasn't looking. 

***Also! We found a song this week on Elder Clifford's iPod by a born again singer named Chris August called ''Amen'' and it's been our jam for the last week. Look it up though it's actually really good! Tell Alex and Dad especially to look it up and then picture Elder Duff and I walking around the streets of Hull singing it all day long, because that's what we've been doing. ***

***This means important***

Love you guys! Hope you all have a good week!

Ta love

Elder Thompson

Elder Stahle and I

Former Flatmates

Elder Stahle, me and my guitar

Elder Duff and I