Monday, September 28, 2015

Two Weeks of Letter because We Were Away!

Monday, Sept 21

Hi guys! 

That is the best surprise ever! [referring to the fact that we took the kids to Disney World last week -- and we didn't tell them in advance, we just woke them up and took them!]  And Olivia's reaction was the best!  I'm so jealous! It's already getting colder and darker here, it's raining today, which is....    England, haha. It hasn't rained here for my new companion's first week that much though so that's nice! 

But anyways, let me tell you about the week:

Monday, transfer calls - I found out I was being called to train a new missionary. Found out all the info how and where the meetings were etc.

Tuesday was p day, but after p-day, well at about 4:30 me, Elder Diaz (from North Shields, you remember, he's in my zone now again serving in Dewsbury) who got called to be a new district leader, and Elder Amende, who also got called to train, took a train from Huddersfield to Leeds, and then from Leeds to my old chapel in Wharfe Valley where we had a training meeting for all those people getting called to train and to be a new district leader (I had that meeting last transfer).

Then that night, we didn't have time to get home - so all of us just slept over at missionary flats in Leeds - so Elder Diaz and I went and slept at none other than the Wharfe Valley flat, where Elder Dickson is still serving! So that was fun - staying in my old flat for a night, but I had to sleep on the floor....

On Wednesday Elder Diaz and I made our way on trains back to Leeds, where we attended Transfer Meeting! In transfer meeting all the new missionaries bear their testimonies and all the returning missionaries bear their testimonies and then the trainer and trainee pairings are announced and that was really fun! My new companions name is Elder Boswell! He is from Portland, Oregon! He is maaasive. Like he's 6'8'' and his feet are size 16. He is also only 18, he turned 18 in July I believe and he graduated from High School in 2015! So he's just like I was when I first came out. 

And he is so great, he's obedient and ready to work hard and he's fun and nice and I'm excited! 

The rest of the week was back to regular missionary work - but with me showing Elder Boswell the ropes, and it was great! We taught a lot of lessons and contacted a lot of new people as well! 

And then to wrap up the week! Last night President Pilkington put on a youth fireside about going on missions - and he got all of the Leeds and Huddersfield missionaries to come and sing and inspire the Youth. 

And Dad - you used to always tell me growing up, I remember this clearly, that attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. I remember saying something like ''Alex made me mad'' and you would always say ''no one can make YOU mad, you are just CHOOSING to be mad''. Outward emotions are a choice. 

I'm sure I told you about the mission President's fireside that I went to here in Huddersfield last year in November where I had to sing a solo - and we sang ''pack up your troubles''.

Well we sang it again last night and it was such a throwback! Same place, same song, close to a year ago it was weird, but it was amazing. But dad what you always taught me about choosing to be happy is what the song is about! It says:

Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag 
And smile smile smile.
Don't let your joy and laughter hear the snag 
Smile boys that's the style
What's the use in worrying?
It never was worthwhile, SO! 
Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag! 
And Smile Smile Smile.

It was great! And the youth loved it! 

AND on top of that! After the fireside - all the Polynesian, and Australian and southern hemisphere missionaries did the HAKA, you know the tribal war dance thing! ANd it was really scary and fun to watch! Two of my previous companions were doing it - and Elder Ma'a led it! It was really cool and a good way to end off a good week! Especially for Elder Boswell's first week! It's been soo good.

Also, Jenny came to church and to the Fireside and is getting baptized on October 10th, the week after conference! 

Love you guys! 

Elder Thompson

Monday, Sept 28

Hi guys! 

Disney sounds so fun! I'm jealous! I miss going on those family vacations they were the best! It just reminds me of going to Hawaii last summer which was so much fun. 

Well actually I bet it's a lot different now with only the little kids and Sammy. How is Sammy doing btw with High School Senior Year and everything? 

Training a new missionary is fun - but it's also a bit different, like there are a lot of things that I find are just so normal now that Elder Boswell is like ''what the heck why do they do that?'' It's interesting and funny too. Like driving on the other side of the roads - I'm so used to it now but Elder Boswell keeps looking the wrong way! 

This week was really good though. especially for Elder Boswell's first full week! It was really good! 
You remember Jenny? The investigator who came to church when we invited her to listen to my talk? She is getting baptised on the 10th of October, the weekend after conference! Which is exciting. 

We were able to meet a lot of new people this week as well! We met a lady named Sam Thompson haha! She wants us to come and teach her in a few weeks. We also met a guy named George Washington! We also met a lot of crazy people this week - like a lot of crazies, it's really funny. There's this guy in one of the areas that we keep going to who's name is ''Mad Pete'' that everybody knows who is convinced that he is a chosen vessel/angel of the Lord - and it's the funniest thing ever because he loves missionaries and it's really fun to mess with him. I asked a few people as a stopping approach if they knew Mad Pete and we got some of the funniest stories too! 

On Tuesday we had a district meeting - like every week, which now that I am a district leader I have to run. But this one on Tuesday we had the zone leaders come to, and we had President and Sister Pilkington come to as well! So the meeting was the biggest district meeting I've ever been in and I was the one who had to do all the instruction! There was me and Elder Boswell, Elder Korte and Elder Ma'a, Sisters Cziesla and Lee, Elder Larsen and Elder Lapu'aho (the zone leaders) and President and Sister Pilkington!

So I instructed on one chapter out of the Book of Mormon - Alma 58. It's a war chapter where Helaman, Gid and Teomner take the city of Manti by a stratagem, and I related them setting and achieving their goal of capturing the city to us fighting Satan and achieving our baptismal goals for this coming transfer. And it went really well! It was a lot of fun and everybody loved it - so that was a lot of stress relieved after that! 

Speaking of Elder Lapu'aho - he is Polynesian from Tonga originally, but his family grew up in Utah and he came out on his mission the same day that I did! And now he is my zone leader and we got to go on exchange this week which was really fun! 

One of the biggest lessons I learned this week is that it's when we have the most opposition, that we have the most growth. Somehow we always perform our best when we're pressured to have a good performance. When the worst things are happening to us - and we have pressure to succeed, if we keep a good attitude and press forward and work our hardest, we will become much better and stronger than we were before, and we will appreciate the challenges that were placed in front of us! 

Another story:

WE knocked on a ladies door yesterday who is from Belgium and left to move here because of racism (she's black) but she only speaks French, so when she found out I speak French she was really excited to invite us back and we are going to go so I can teach her in French!

Love you guys! Hope you have a great week! 

Elder Thompson

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