Monday, September 7, 2015

Hi guys!

It's cold season here in England as well, and on top of that - it's already getting colder and darker again. I showed up here last year right at the beginning of winter, but now I've been through the ''summer'' if you could call it that, and now it's going to be winter again soon, which is weird to think about.

So I'm not really sure if I told you about my living situation right now - but at the beginning of the transfer I moved here to Huddersfield 1 ward and Elder Ma'a and I area booked. For the first three weeks we were the only missionaries in our ward, but we lived with the zone leaders, Elder Larsen and Elder Rasmussen (Elder Larsen was my one of my favourite district leaders btw - he was my DL when I was in Wharfe Valley, and now he's my zone leader). But then halfway through the transfer two more missionaries area booked into our ward as well and moved into our flat, and the zone leaders moved into a new flat. so this last week has been a lot different than before.

It's funny because all three missionaries living here are younger age wise than me, but I've been on my mission for at least 6 months longer than each of them, and I'm their District Leader.

I have learned so many lessons on my mission already, but I guess the Lord wants me to learn a few more. This week Elder Vickers and Korte didn't have the best of weeks, and so I had to do a lot of uplifting and encouraging and instructing and inspiring for them. I also have had to do a lot of correction this week with the missionaries here.

You know how it's said that you build a testimony in the bearing of it? Well I think it's the same in everything. I didn't realize how much of a leadership capability I had until I now have to lead people. I didn't realize how much the lessons that I've learned on my mission can in turn help other missionaries. Well I did know that, but I've seen it a lot recently.

This week, I was on a split with Elder Vickers, and he said something that hit me pretty hard.

But let me rewind and say first of all that there have been a lot of missionaries so far on my mission who I have looked to as an example of how to do missionary work. Elder Larsen for example. Elder Jaeger as well. There have been missionaries who I've just thought to myself ''man I want to be as good of a missionary as them''.

But this week Elder Vickers told me that he really looks up to me as a missionary, and tries to follow my example.

I've had several younger (mission wise) companions who have looked to me for an example, but now there are other missionaries trying to follow me as well, and that made me want to be better.

My mission is training me for life I think. For anybody who is not sure if they want to serve a full time mission, just do it. I can't even begin to explain the growth that occurs in the mission field. The Christ like attributes and skills that you learn, the lives you are able to touch, the memories and friendships you make, that doesn't even skim the surface.

But this week I've been learning how to be a shepard. A leader who leads by example. One who says 'do what I do', not 'do what I say.'

And Dad, I feel like you're learning similarly to what I'm learning right now, being a new bishop. Obviously you have a few more things and people to deal with than I do, but that is the testimony that I've learned this week: That no matter how much you have learned or how much you think you know, the Lord knows that you always need to learn more. He will push you to the edge, and it will not be easy, but you will appreciate the trials in the future.

Elder Ma'a and I are happy, and doing good work. We've spent a lot of time knocking on doors again this week, which is great.

I'm so grateful to have the knowledge that I have been blessed with. To be able to know that God is real, and he loves us. He is our father. Every now and again I stop and I look around and I think to myself how wonderful a creator we have, that has put all of the beauty of this world here for us to enjoy.

I know that Jesus Christ is the Saviour of the world, because I've seen in my own life and in the lives of others how much his atonement can cleanse people. He is the one that I look to to be my shepard, the one whose example I am trying to follow. I hope and pray that all who may be reading this will ponder the concept of the atonement of Jesus Christ, and consider the implications that it has in your life. you can be clean, you can be pure, you can be whole. everything that is unfair about life can be made right through the atonement of Jesus Christ.

I love you guys! I miss home, but I know that what I'm doing here right now is among the most important things I will ever do in my life. 'I know that what will be of the most worth unto me in my life is to declare repentance to God's children, because the worth of souls is great in the eyes of God, and if I will labour all my days crying repentance and only ONE person listens, then it will all be worth it.

Also really quick story:

There is a part member family here that we are working with that have a bunch of animals and a maaaasive parrot that knows my name. I said ''Elder Thompson'' to her so many times that now when I walk in she says ''Elder Thompson'' which is awesome.

That reminds me of another story from back in North Shields - I don't know If I told you this one - maybe I did, But there was a born again Christian lady who listened to so much born again stuff that her parrot would say ''Praise the Lord, Thank you Jesus!'' devoutly whenever she would see us, which was really funny.

Elder Thompson

Elder Ma'a and I

Waiting for the bus

A ward member has an iguana!!

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