really - the week started last Monday and then it was just gone, and I
couldn't believe it was done already.
This week we went hard in the paint. We went on exchange every day and
did the work. We were in:
- Leeds 4 w/ Elder Tobler & Elder Bailey, both from Utah
- Sheffield 1 with Elder Beadle & Elder Fife, both from Utah
- Huddersfield 2 with Elder Southwick & Elder Crittendon. from Idaho & Utah
- Grimsby with Elder McTavish from Calgary & Elder Nelson from Idaho
- Mansfield with Elder Gibson from Utah & Elder Mulonga from Angola
- Sheffield 4 with Elder Campbell & Elder Christensen, both from Utah.
Also - big announcement this week.. my brother Sam got his mission
call!!!!!! He's going to the Peru Lima North Mission, Spanish
speaking! He leaves on August 15th and reports to the Mexico MTC. I'm
so excited for him, he's going to be amazing.
I learned a big lesson this week from Elder Rhea. On Monday, one the
Leeds Zone Leaders, Elder Buckhoff, was feeling a bit sick - so Elder
Rhea went and took care of him while I spent the day with Elder Peck
going to Leeds 4. Elder Rhea is honestly such a Christlike bloke, he
will just give up his time to help anyone and it continually amazes
me. I've learned so much from him.
So we actually went on exchange with Elder Tobler and Elder Bailey
last week as well, but on Sunday Elder Rhea was like: ''we should do a
blitz with them tomorrow as well'' and I was like ''if you feel so
inspired. go on then.'' Then Elder Rhea didn't even end up coming with
us, it was Elder Peck and I that split with Elder Tobler and Elder
Bailey, and on top of it being a really positive experience for those
Elders, we met this bloke and his Dad who were from Kosovo. For any
who don't know, my Dad was deployed as an Optometrist with the US
peacekeeping troops that entered Kosovo in 1999. This guy was
translating for his Dad who said that they were both really grateful
for the US troops that came into Kosovo and for what they did for the
country and for their family - it was really touching and I believe
that that was one of the reasons Elder Rhea felt so inspired to have
us go back there that night.
I also went on exchange with Elder McTavish this week! He is
originally from Edmonton but has lived in North Calgary for the last
few years and knows the Taylor's pretty well. He is doing good - and
it was fun to be around him and talk a little about some people we
both knew from back home.
We also went on exchange down in Mansfield this week - so I've
officially been to the most Northern part of the mission and the most
Southern part of the mission. On a side note - from the most northern
town in our Mission (Berwick Upon Tweed) to the most Southern
(Mansfield) is about 200 miles - and looking at my Brothers Mission on
LDS.org, the Peru Lima North Mission is about 14 miles or so at the
longest point... crazy.
So in our Mission for the past 4 years or so there has been a branch
of Slovak speakers in Sheffield 4, but it unfortunately closed this
week. Elder Rhea is actually a Slovak speaking missionary and speaks
fluent Slovak, and he served the first 11 months of his Mission in
that Branch. So for the last Sunday that the branch ran, we went and
attended church there. It was sad, but also a really touching
experience, and it's so cool that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the
same - no matter what language you speak. Heavenly Father lives and
understands us all.
One other thing that I learned this week. We went on exchange with a
lot of missionaries - and the experiences that we have being around
them are always so positive and encouraging, but sometimes there are
things that they do that are less than ideal. When Elder Rhea and I
drive away from these exchanges, sometimes our tendency is to
immediately spout out all of the things that happened, and sometimes
there are negative experiences. What I've learned this week is that
there is not one use in talking bad about someone ever. Not even in
confidence with a trusted source, there is just no room ever for
negative comments or criticism or ridicule of someone. I realised this
week through various experiences that when someone says something
negative about another person, it often reflects and reveals more
about the person who criticises that the person who made the error in
the first place. I've thought to myself this: if I were to do
something less than perfect in front of Jesus Christ, would he then
turn around and complain to someone else about the way I'd done that
thing? No. But he also would not condone that error and would seek to
correct it in a loving, private, positive way.
We did a lot of travelling this week, drove a lot of miles - stayed
with and worked with a lot of missionaries - 2 different ones each day
actually. That is how Elder Rhea and I have been doing our exchanges
for the last month or so btw - we spend the first half of the day with
one Elder and then switch and go with the other Elder for the rest of
the day - it's ridiculous how many missionaries you end up working
with in the course of a week. Sometimes I can't believe that I have
the energy to keep going with it - and then I remember when I learned
about what the Apostles travel schedules are like and I'm like - this
is nothing, and I stop thinking about it and just get on with the
work. I hit the pillow every night and I'm just out like a light. I
love every minute of it.
The best part about all of this is that every single day I have the
opportunity to meet loads of new people, different people. No day is
the same - and everywhere we go, I find myself testifying and teaching
the same principles: no matter what you are going through in your
life, whether it's a good time or a hard time - the principles of the
Gospel of Jesus Christ will help you. All of the problems or
difficulties or ambitions or worries that people express to us, it all
can be benefited positively from living the principles of the Gospel
of Jesus Christ. I've found that to be true for myself. Over the last
few months I've learned so many principles about the kind of person
God wants me to be - the attributes I need to develop to become more
like Him, and these will benefit me through my whole life.
Once again - to anybody who doesn't know what I'm talking about when I
speak about the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ - please
investigate further. If you are not a member of the Church of Jesus
Christ of Latter-Day Saints, look into it. Find one in your area and
attend on Sunday. Go to mormon.org and read, and then request a Book
of Mormon or for missionaries to come teach you more. There are only
blessings on blessings on blessings that are in store for you as you
come to know who you are in the sight of God. You can find more peace
of mind, more purpose and direction in your life and you can be
happier and more optimistic because of what you learn. Try it. I
promise you will see the results in your life.
Love you guys.
|Elder MacTavish from Edmonton and Calgary!|
|This is someone's house|
|Sherwood Forest near Mansfield and Nottingham|
There is a Slovak speaking Branch in Sheffield that Elder Rhea served in - and it closed this week, so we went to the last sacrament meeting there.
|All the Slovak speaking missionaries --- and me|
this guy we met is from Kosovo. He's the first person I've met in England from there, and he said that he remembered the US peacekeeping troops that came in in 1999 and that he was thankful for what they did for him and his family.
Exchange w/ Elder Fife & Beadle
Exchange w/ Elder Southwick & Crittendon
Exchange with Elder Mulonga & Gibson...Also - these are not all on the same day, I just only brought one tie with me for the past few weeks...