Monday, April 24, 2017

First Week of Travelling

This week has been crazy, but it's also been awesome!

So far we have been mostly in Leeds Zone and York Zone.

We spent a day or so with Elder Walker and his current companion Elder
Saylin! They're doing really well! We also went to work with a few
companionships in other zones too. It was pretty fun and lots of cool
stuff happened!

This next week we're going to be in Bradford, Hull and Barnsley - and
then I think we'll be in York for church maybe. We're not really too
sure yet, but it should be good!

Elder Rhea my companion is super cool. He's from Utah, near Provo. He
is so generous and loving. He is the best person ever that could've
been assigned to go around the mission and visit missionaries because
he just lifts everyone up so much. It's so much fun to serve with him
and live with him, and we've been able to do a lot of good so far.
It's been awesome.

Love you guys!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

New Assignment -- "I'm like an Adventurer" (his title)

So this week was crazy! I'm not sure I even know where to begin. Okay I'll start with the biggest news: I got transferred! 

It's a bit of a complicated one. Last year between July and October, there were loads of new missionaries that were called to this mission. Nowadays, most of the Zone Leaders and Assistants all go home in the next few months. Besides 3 I believe, all of the rest of the leaders of the Mission go home in July or August. Because of that, there are a lot of new missionaries that are going to be called to be in leadership positions. Anyways, because of how new all the missionaries were last year, a lot of the missionaries didn't really have a lot of opportunity to receive very much training. 

Long story short, President called another Zone Leader: Elder Rhea, and I to travel around the mission and go on two day exchanges with the younger missionaries in the mission who have potential for leadership but need training. So he's giving us a list of a load of missionaries, and for the next 2 transfers before I go home, Elder Rhea and I will be staying in various missionary flats and going on exchanges with the missionaries there. Travelling Assistants we're called. We're technically living in the York 2 area with the Zone Leaders there, but that's just gonna be more of a home base where we stay maybe once or twice a week. 

So for the next three months, I'll let you know every week (hopefully I'll still have time on a Monday, and if I don't it will be on a Saturday) where I've been in the previous week, and with what missionaries etc. I'm quite excited, but I'm really nervous, and this is going to be the hardest type of missionary work I think I've ever had to do. 

But - I'm so sad to be leaving Newcastle. I love this place, and the people here. Let me tell you about a few.

Okay first, a guy named Gardi. Last week on exchange with Elder Hardy we went to visit Godwyn, a potential we'd found, and when we pulled up on his street there were two guys standing outside. One was Gardi. Gardi is from Northern Iraq, known as Kurdistan (the same place Akram is from - who's moved to Birmingham btw) and upon chatting with him for a few minutes Gardi told us that he wanted to become a Christian. We told him that we were teachers from a Christian church and he asked for the church address and then showed up last Sunday. This week we visited him 3 times, and he came to church yesterday with his 2 daughters! He told us in one of the lessons that since he's been learning about Jesus (which he has been doing loads - he's read most of the Gospels now) he has been happier, and his wife has been asking him loads about why he's so much nicer and happier all the time! It's so cool. He was such a miracle, just the way we met him and everything. He's planning on getting baptised on May 6th, and I'm hoping that Elder Rhea and I will just happen to be visiting missionaries in the Sunderland Zone around that time so that we can go. We taught him the Word of Wisdom this week too, and he smokes, but he's made a whole big plan to stop smoking before his baptism. It's so cool. 

There's also a girl named Emma who we met last Monday! We taugh her on Monday and on Wednesday! She's keeping all her commitments! She's way cool. 

We did 3 exchanges this week too! One with Elder Glenn from Utah, who is a homie. One with the Assistants, I went with Elder Klingler from Idaho, and with Elder Lewis from Utah as well. 3 days in a row. 

We went to our friend Hasan who owns a takeaway to eat loads this week! 

There was a lady who got baptised in the Chinese branch named Pat, and it was the funniest thing ever. She is just a funny lady! I played the guitar because she asked me to: 'Elder Tomson will sing the song,

We organised all the transfers and logistics for all the missionaries coming in and out and everything! 

On Sunday night there was a musical Fireside in Newcastle, and loads of people came! I played a song on the guitar. I said goodbye to loads of people, and it was pretty sad. Then Elder Peck and I(a missionary who is also getting transferred) went with President Turvey in the mission van to Leeds, dropped them off at their house, and then I drove us to Bradford to stay with Elder Kearl. 

Today we woke up and went to the office to have a meeting with President and the Assistants, and Elder Rhea and I (the new Assistants) to talk about what we are going to be doing for the next while and planning things out. 

Long story short - I'm not gonna have nearly as much time to e-mail, and I might e-mail on random days too, I'm not really sure yet. We'll take preparation time Monday and a little on Saturday I think. 

So yeah, new calling, no area - just travelling around for the rest of my mission training missionaries. I'm excited but super nervous too, I haven't been able to sleep very well for a few days. I'm so excited though! 

Love you guys! 


Kieran and Shannon

Susan and Sophie



Thursday, April 13, 2017

This week's email (late just because I was lazy)

This week went by so fast, but it was so full. We did so many things I
don't even know where to begin!

There's a few people I'll talk about first.

We met this guy last week named Godwyn, who is from Italy! He was
walking down the street and we stopped him and his son, and after
talking to him for a few minutes and talking about religion he said
"I'm just looking for the true church" because he didn't like the
church his wife was going to. So we were like "we go to the true
church, we can come tell you all about it!" And this week on exchange
Elder Hardy and I went to his house and taught him and his wife about
the restoration. Godwyn loved it, but his wife isn't sure. We're going
to see them again tonight!

When we went to go visit Godwyn, we pulled up into his street (we had
never been there before) and there were two guys talking outside their
houses. We went up and talked to them and found out they were from
Kurdistan (Northern Iraq) which is where Akram is from, and a member
in our ward named Gary.

Side note - Gary owns a garage in Byker, and he's always there, so
about once a week we go and stop by his garage to talk to him and the
guys that work there, and they're hilarious. Also, Gary has a
roommate, and one night we were in his area and decided to try by his
flat, and Gary wasn't there but his roommate Hassan let us in and told
us all about his plans to open up a takeaway. Long story short now
we've been to this takeaway loads and he gives us half off every time!
Kurdish guys are awesome.

But anyways back to our new Kurdish friends. We met these two guys
outside of Godwyn's house. Their names are Gardi & Adnan. Adnan is a
Christian, who converted about 6 years ago and is fully active in a
Christian church here in Newcastle, so wasn't really interested in
changing, but he speaks fluent Arabic, and we just happened to have
one copy of the Book of Mormon in Arabic in our car, so we gave that
to him. Gardi on the other hand just decided the day before that he
wanted to become a Christian. We explained that we teach people all
about how to do that. He asked us for the address of the church and
then he showed up on Sunday! And brought two of his friends! We taught
them all the restoration and now tonight we're going to visit Gardi
and his whole family!

We also met two guys from Iran this week who's English is very sub
par. But luckily we have a recent convert in the ward who is from Iran
and speaks Persian! So we're going to bring her to their house this
week. Their names are Akbar and Amir. Such funny blokes.

Other than that our Investigators Alvin & Gemma both came to church
again on Sunday. They are both University students. We're going to
play basketball with Alvin at Northumbria University again on

Funny story - this week Alvin watched this program on YouTube called
meet the Mormons (not the same as the movie) but this one was not
produced by the church, it's about a Mormon missionary named Joshua
Field, and it portrays serving a mission like a cruel punishment, it's
really funny. Anyways after watching it Alvin called us and asked us
if we wanted to have dinner with him, and he made us like a delicious
meal haha. So that was awesome.

Gemma is a funny one. She never replies to texts, or if she does it's
like two days later. There was one week a few weeks ago where she
asked us to text her every morning to remind her to read the Book of
Mormon, and we did, and she read it every day. And then we stopped,
and she stopped. So this week she asked us to do it again. Also she
really hates being late, but she also hates being early. Church starts
at 10:30 on a Sunday morning, and this week at like 9:50 we got a text
from her that was like: "is there a park near the church?" So we
called her because we thought she was lost, and she was just like "no,
I'm here but I just don't want to be early, so I'll just go sit in a
park" and we were like "ok Gemma" so funny. She'll get baptised
eventually because she definitely knows it's true - she just doesn't
recognise it.

Also we met this less active this week named Vincent. I called him
last Sunday night and he's from France so I spoke to him a lot in
French. We went and visited him and invited him to come back to
church, and he did! And he bore his testimony! It was awesome but it
was the kind of thing where we're not sure he's all the way there so
when he got up to bear his testimony we were like holding our breath -
but it was fine. Awesome and hilarious guy Vincent. Seeing him again

We also knocked this massive Terrace one day, it took us a long time,
and we found one bloke who let us in! His name is Adam and he's
actually from Somalia. He told us his whole crazy life story about
fleeing from Somalia because he didn't want to be Muslim, and how he
worked as a safari driver in Kenya for ages before he got enough money
to get himself out. Pretty cool story. Also hilarious he let us in to
talk to us because he'd had a friend give him a Book a few days prior
called 'the four major cults' and one of them was "Mormonism". So
funny, we were like okay mate it's not a cult, nor is it called
''Mormonism' and it ended up being a really good lesson about the
restoration and now he wants to come to church. We're seeing him this
week again too.

Also spent some time singing with the ward choir in North Shields
again because the choir lady called and asked if I would come. So that
was fun.

We also had a Zone Training meeting that Elder Nielsen and I ran on
Friday. It was three hours long and included several instructions and
role playing and musical numbers, and videos, and scripture studies
etc. It was so good though! The spirit was really strong! Near the end
we played the new Easter Video that came out recently called
#PrinceofPeace (go watch it if you haven't yet) and after the video we
recalled the action points we wanted to take from the meeting, and
then we bore our testimonies and I cried so bad, and then because I
cried it made Elder Nielsen cry, and so the whole Zone was like
bubbling up, and we had to make a bunch of jokes so that we didn't all
just cry. The spirit was really strong though.

And then to top it off I bore my testimony again in church for
testimony Meeting, and I cried again....

I just talked about how much peace knowing about the Gospel of Jesus
Christ can bring into people's lives, and I talked about how I've seen
it do that for me and for other people. I love this new Easter video -
it's one of my favourites that the church has made so far. It
highlights the peace and then the joy that the gospel brings into my
life. Especially I the world we live in today that contains so much
hate and turmoil, people really need the gospel of Jesus Christ to
feel that peace they they long for. He is real, He lives, His
Atonement has the power to change lives, to turn guilt into peace,
sorrow into joy, hate into love. I want everyone to know.

Anyways there's so much more, and probably so many more people I could
talk about - but those are the ones I thought of. Oh we also had
interviews with President and Sister Turvey and mama Sister Turvey is
just like you it's so funny. In our interviews we just chat and laugh
and I miss you lots.

Love you guys!

Sunderland Elder: Minnich, Tervort, Campbell, Cornish

North Shields Elders:  Lewis, Anderson, Gary, Crittendon


Saltwell Park ft. Newcastle United shirt

Monday, April 3, 2017

This Week's email and pictures

Hi everyone!

This week has been really really busy and loads of stuff happened. I
feel like I say that every week, but it's true it keeps happening! I'm
just gonna give the highlights of what happened, if I explained all
the stuff we did every day this email would never finish.

On Tuesday Elder Nielsen took his theory test, and failed...   haha I
told him he needed to study more, but he thought it was gonna be fine,
lesson learned.

On Wednesday we attended 2 District Meetings, in South
Shields and in Gateshead, so that was sweet, I actually learned a lot
from them, and was able to give some good feedback about the meetings
to the District Leaders, so that was good.

We also went on exchange that day! I went with a missionary named
Elder Minnich, who is in his second transfer in the Mission, and he is
so funny. He is from Fort Worth Texas and loves his Dr. Pepper! But he
always tells me that the Dr. Pepper in England is way worse haha. We
were knocking on doors and we met this guy who was deaf, so he
couldn't really talk to us, and so we just kind of awkwardly gave him card and then left - and afterwards Elder Minnich was
like: "I would rather be deaf than be blind. Like if I was blind how
would I know if my clothes matched? Oh, I know - I would just FaceTime
my mom every morning and be like 'does this match?' And then she would
be like 'you forgot your pants!'" I was dying.

Anyways on exchange we found a bunch of people to go visit within the
next few days - and we did, and it was good! We found this guy named
Rocwan, who is from the Congo and speaks semi good English, but mostly
French. So we brought him the next day a french Book of Mormon and
tried to teach him in English, but it wasn't working so I just taught
most of the lesson to him in French, and he loved it so much! It was a
really cool experience! Teaching in French is really cool because I
don't know as many words so I have to be very simple, but sometimes
using simple words actually gets the meaning across better. Like for
example in English when I'm describing how I know that the Book of
Mormon is true, I'll explain the feelings I've gotten etc. In French I
just say like 'you feel warm in your heart' and 'peace in your head'
and stuff like that, but it totally made sense to him!

We also while knocking on doors this week talked to this Muslim guy,
and usually they all just tell us to go away, so we've gotten in the
habit of just asking if they have any Christian friends - and this one
guy this week was like, yeah my friends are from Iran and they're
Christian now, go visit them. So we did, and they were both super
happy to see us! Well what happened was one day we went and visited
one of them, and then two days later we went back to see him but he
wasn't there, but his roommate was so we taught him too! Should be
fun. We have one lady in our ward who is from Iran who was baptised
last year, and so hopefully we're going to bring her with us because
she speaks Persian, so that will be sweet.

On Friday was Mission Leadership Council again, so we drove down to
Leeds for that and were there all day on Friday. That's two Fridays in
a row now we went to Leeds, and three Fridays total this month that we
were in Leeds all day. It was a really good meeting though!

And then on Saturday and Sunday we watched General Conference, and
that was super sweet too! Susan and Sophie went and watched some at a
Members house, and some of it at home too. Some of our other
investigators watched it at home as well, so that was awesome.

Oh, a few more stories about knocking.

On Saturday we went knocking and while we were knocking (in a place
called Benwell, which is not such a nice area) there were some little
foreign kids playing football on the street. One of them kicked the
ball in our direction so I started to play with them a little, and
then one of the kids was like "are you guys knocking on people's
doors" and we were like yeah, and he was like "you should come talk to
my mom, she likes talking to people about Jesus" and we were like
okay. So we went to their door and his mom answered, but she was from
Slovakia, and couldn't speak much English. We showed her the Book of
Mormon and told her we had one in Slovak in our car (which we did,
somehow...) and told her we'd be right back. So we went to the car and
grabbed the Slovak BOM, and called some Slovak speaking missionaries,
and then went back to her house and handed her the Book of Mormon and
the phone, and she talked with the Slovak Elders! And now we're going
back on Tuesday so that the Slovak Elders can teach her a lesson over
Skype. Pretty cool stuff.

Also that same day we were knocking and across the road and a bit down
from where we were (it was a major road so a bit wider than usual,
which isn't saying much it was probably only as wide as my side Street
at home) there was this kid who was having a major argument with his
drunk dad. It started tame, but then got really bad and they started
throwing stuff and screaming and all kinds of nastiness. Then the kid
like ran out and was freaking out - and then a police van showed up,
and the kid ran away, and then another police van showed up, and then
another, and then another, and they like surrounded the area - and
then a helicopter came, and a drone went up, and like all this crazy
stuff started happening, and we just watched the whole thing while we
were knocking on doors - and actually found a few people whilst
watching haha. Crazy tho. We have no idea how the story ended because
we had to go!

Also I loved watching General Conference. I spoke to Sophie on the
phone after one conference and she was talking about how one of the
talks had stuck out to her and how much she loved it - and I was just
so happy. We are doing god's work and bringing people closer to him! I
was just so happy to hear a recent convert explain how much Conference
had meant to her - it was really cool.

A few talks stood out to me, but one of the ones that stood out the
most was by Jeffrey R. Holland, where he spoke about being unique, and
about how we need to be tolerant of others, and respect everyone and
accept each others individuality. I loved it and it made me so happy
to know that the church isn't full of people trying to be better than
one another, it's about loving everyone despite their imperfections.
Everyone in the world could benefit so much from loving their life
they way.

I really do believe that a God speaks to men and women today just like
he has in the past. I really believe that Thomas S. Monson is the
Lord's prophet on the earth at this time. I believe that the Apostles
are chosen of God and inspired leaders. I know their we heed the
messages shared at this conference, our lives will benefit so much. I
believe that Jesus Christ is at the head of this Church.

Love you guys!

There's a recent convert in our ward from Iraq named Gary who works in a garage. We go visit him there and have invited a few of his friends to church, but they haven't come yet. One of his friend name is Sam, and Sam's English is really bad, so sometimes we have no idea what he's saying. The other day Sam was pointing at this one car and calling it 'scooby' and we were so confused. We couldn't tell if the car was called scooby, or if sams nickname was scooby or what He was like "I'll show you" - and showed us the inside of the car and we were still just like "what's scooby??" hen we came back like three days later and the car was turned around - and we finally found out what scooby was...

MLC tables - one of them has Elder Joe Laborero's name on it...  Also notice a blurry Elder Boswell in the background

It was too sunny so we went in the shade

Saying goodbye to Sister Shaw

South Shields

2 Weeks Ago

It has been getting really warm here in England for the past week or
so! Most days it's nice enough to go out with just a suit coat, no
extra jacket or anything - so that's been well nice. Also the days are
getting really light, and we just had daylight savings change on
Sunday, so now it's light even later in the evenings, which is

This week was eventful! On Monday we went to St.Mary's Lighthouse and
Whitley Bay with some of the lads - as you can see from the photos.
That was sweet.

On Tuesday it was Zone Conference! We got a bunch of people to stay in
our flat in Newcastle and then we all took a coach down to Billingham
where we stayed all day for the conference. It was really good! I
played some guitar, and spoke a little as well - things went smoothly.
I quite enjoyed this Zone Conference actually.

And that evening we took Alvin to institute, and he quite enjoyed it
so that was nice!

Wednesday and Thursday are a blur - Elder Nielsen had to take some
driving lessons, we had a few lessons, we knocked on doors, you know
the normal missionary stuff - it was pretty good.

On Thursday night we drove down to Leeds, again. I've done the drive
so many times now it's ridiculous. But we went on exchange with the
AP's in Leeds on Friday, so that was something different, and it was
really fun!

So on Friday morning we got up early and went to the Leeds 1 chapel to
play Basketball with a bunch of Elders for an hour or so - and that
was crazy fun!

Then I went with Elder Mikkola (one of the AP's from Finland) to go on
a split with the Huddersfield Zone Leaders! So I then went with Elder
Norton (one of the Huddersfield ZL's from California) to the
Huddersfield 1 Elders flat to visit Elder Walker and his comp for
their weekly Planning! So that was way cool - just randomly showed up
at the flat in Huddersfield all the way from Newcastle and Elder
Walker opened the door, pretty cool if you ask me. Elder Walker is
from my home ward in Calgary for anyone that doesn't know.

We knocked on doors in Leeds and we also went and taught this crazy
guy they'd found from Turkey who straight up thought we were spies.
Like we were talking all about the Book of Mormon and stuff and he
just after a while was like: "so why are we really here" and we were
like "what?" And he was like "stop lying to me, why are we actually
here, what do you know about me?" And we were like "just what you've
told us about yourself man" and he was like "no. Stop lying" and we
were like "we're not lying, we're not like spies or something." It was
really funny.

We came back Friday night and then on Saturday we had a baptismal
interview to do, and then a baptism to attend. Gemma, our investigator
was going to come with us to the baptism, but she like lost her phone
or something and we couldn't find her in the bus station and we ended
up going without her because she never came, but then we finally got
ahold of her later and found out that we'd just missed her, it was

And then on Sunday was Mother's Day here in England - so the primary
kids all got up and sang, and all the talks were about mothers - and
it was really nice. I quite enjoyed church this week.

So those were the highlights of the week! Things are just happening,
life keeps going on! Things are fun, and I love it!

Jesus Christ is at the head of this church, and he is at the head of
this work. I'm really excited for General Conference this week where
we'll have the opportunity to hear from God's chosen prophets and
apostles, who will speak in the name of Jesus Christ, and deliver
messages to all the world. If you've never watched General Conference,
watch it this time! It's great.

Love you guys!