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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Monday, August 17, 2015

And now this week's email

Hi everybody! Hello hello hello
The new area is going great - it's really fun - we have a lot of people to teach actually. A few transfers ago they shut down one of the teams of missionaries in the ward so there is only us now - but we also area booked the area - so we have like 2 full area books of people to go by and work with - and the bus system is really good in this area and it's easy to learn your way around - and yes mama there is a bus stop right outside our house which is great. Also I don't think you can see it in Google maps - but the houses on our street are actually on half houses - so our house doesn't even go out onto the front - we just have the back half of the house...  and the house inside is pretty run down - like our study room doesn't have a light - so in the morning we can study with the sunlight - but when we plan and things at night we have to use flashlights. Also a lot of missionaries have left tons of clothing and stuff around which isn't very helpful either...  but it's okay we spent a while cleaning everything up this morning and it's pretty decent now.
But yes Elder Ma'a is a great guy. I've learned a lot more about him this week and his life is very interesting. He's 21 years old and from American Samoa, and in the village that he was raised in there is only one church, and it's a Mormon church and it's right in the centre of the village of about 2000 people, and every single person in the village is a baptized member, and the activity rate is really high, there are 5 wards in the one village!
He loves to play rugby - and his older brother plays for the New Zealand All Blacks - if you go onto YouTube and look up a guy named 'Ma'a Nonu' there comes up a bunch of highlight videos about him (some members have showed us) and they're crazy! The guy is vicious - and that's my companions older brother. Elder Ma'a actually played junior professional rugby in New Zealand for 2 years before his mission, but he gave up a professional career (at least for now) to come on his mission. He is also the first missionary from American Samoa to be called to a mission in the UK.
And the stories about the cabin are hilarious guys! That sounds so fun! About a year ago now we were in Hawaii - how weird is that?
And glad to hear about you bearing your testimony mama. When I got into this ward I bore my testimony as well, and as I was talking this woman in the front started like yelling, and it threw me off it was really funny she was yelling nonsense, but it was funny because I realized later that she does that all the time, but the first time I heard it was when I was talking so I was really worried haha.
Also quick story, yesterday we went and visited this guy named Paul who we met on the street and who was open to hearing our message, but apparently when we talked, he then spent the entire night and next day looking up anti - Mormon material on the internet, so when we came he was all over the place with this crazy anti made up stuff it was insane. Anyways he invited us in and started speaking about all these nonsense ideas, and we tried to reason with him but he wouldn't have it. So I told him ''You can't put new wine in old bottles'' and he was like ''What?'' and I told him that that was what Jesus said, and then he got offended and aggressively kicked us out of his house. It was an experience for sure.
I've met so many new people this week I cant even wrap my head around it all quite yet, and I have a lot of new responsibilities as a DL, but it's not too bad I'm enjoying life right now. Missionary work is the most fun when it's the most challenging and you have a lot of new people and new challenges to deal with, which I have a lot of right now - which made this week just fly by. Wow.
And dad, for Ward Conference? I think what you talked about with the Youth is Key. Read the Book of Mormon each day and talk to your father in heaven on your knees each morning and each night and we will be able to find help and comfort through the hardest as well as the easiest of times. If we keep Heavenly Father as our number 1 priority in life - followed closely by our relationship with our family, we will find happiness and peace. Also emphasize how important missionary work is, that it is our duty as members of the church who have an increased knowledge about the purpose of our lives, and who have been GIVEN the blessing of having the example of our Savior to lean on in hard times, to share this blessing with others. Bear testimony frequently, invite others to come unto Christ, make it a priority in your life to 1.Invite friends to church/church activities and 2. to make time to teach with the missionaries, in your home if possible. In Alma 26 verse 22  I was reading this morning it talks about spiritual gifts and how we are GIVEN them, I think it says given 4 times. It is our duty to GIVE that blessing to our friends.
Anyways. I love you guys. Have a great week!
Elder Thompson

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Super late post because I was away!

Hi mama!

I don't have very much time to e-mail today so it might be pretty short. We're e-mailing in the central library here in Huddersfield and there was a line up so it took a while to get a computer and now we only have about 40 minutes to e-mail because Elder Ma'a has to go to a dentist's appointment right away.

But so far I've really liked Huddersfield - Elder Ma'a just moved from Huddersfield 2 ward to Huddersfield 1 ward so he didn't even change flats! But the area is all new to him as well. So we're figuring out together how to get around the area. But it's really nice here! Elder Ma'a is from American Samoa and he is so nice and really friendly. He's only been out for about 3 months and he didn't get along that well with his trainer - so when I came here he kept telling me that I was an answer to his prayers!

Being a district leader brings a bit more stress than I've had before and I also have a few more meetings that I need to attend - and I have to correct missionaries when they are being disobedient - but it's okay.

My address is:

520 Leeds Road
Huddersfield HD2 1YW

Love you guys! Sorry it was a short e-mail!

Elder Thompson

Here's a picture of the letter we got from Coleman's mission president.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Another Move!

Hi guys!

So, as you may have noticed by the lack of e-mails yesterday...    it's transfers this week! 
I have :
1. A new assignment - I've been called to be a district leader
2. A new area - I'm moving! To Huddersfield 1
3. A new companion! His name is Elder Ma'a and he's from American Samoa! Apparently he's another big islander guy, but not as big as Elder Faingata'a, and he's been on his mission for only 2 months or so. I'm going to finish training him. 

So a lot of things are changing this transfer! I'm excited but I'm also nervous. Kind of like when I came out on my mission.

But yeah, so don't send anything to Haworth Street, because I'm moving out of that house tomorrow. 

This week was good though! Elder Duff is feeling okay, but his health issues are long lasting so his next companion (which is Elder Diaz btw, who lived in North Shields with me my first transfer) is going to have to take it really easy with him. I'm definitely going to miss Elder Duff though, we would always sing together! It reminded me of singing with Alex actually! 

So yesterday I had to take a train to Leeds to go to a training meeting for new District Leaders, and it was great. I learn so many valuable things whenever I get a chance to meet with President and receive instruction. I have learned a greater amount of life long valuable knowledge and information and advice and council on my mission than I have in the rest of my life combined. Yesterday a great deal of the meeting was talking about Moral Authority - how basically you can't teach/tell somebody to do something that you yourself are not trying your hardest to do as well. Leaders need to lead by example and not by telling others what to do. The greatest example of a Leader of course is the Lord Jesus Christ, and they advised us to continue to study his life and develop his qualities and attributes. 

And mama: that quote from Elder Holland ''So today we celebrate the gift of victory over every fall we have ever experienced, every sorrow we have ever known, every discouragement we have ever had, every fear we have ever faced'' is really good. The concept of the atonement of Christ as a healing and cleansing power is the message of peace that we share with people every day. The Gospel or the ''good news'' of Christ's atonement is that because he suffered and died for our pains, sins, temptation afflictions, hardships, and every other negative feeling or emotion we have ever felt - we don't have to have the pain of any of those things weigh us down any more. The miracle of the Gospel is that because he did that we are able to have lasting happiness and peace in our lives, a peace that can not come any other way. There is no other way nor means whereby a man can enter into the kingdom of God, save through Jesus Christ. There is also no greater amount of happiness we can find in anything in our lives than what we can find in the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

So yeah. I'm moving areas again. This next area will be my fourth area, and I'll be with my 7th companion, and it's gonna be another big Polynesian guy! 
Huddersfield is just South of Leeds, but it has it's own stake. I'm honestly pretty excited to go there - but i'm also really sad to leave some of the people here in Hull. There's quite a few members here who I really like and who I'm sad to leave. 

Anyways I do have a few pictures to send, I can't remember what of yet - but you'll see. 

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

Elder Thompson
Elder Duff and I and some youth from our ward