...and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he? Therefore, hold on thy way, and the priesthood shall remain with thee; for their bounds are set, they cannot pass. Thy days are known, and thy years shall not be numbered less; therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever. (Doctrine and Covenants 122: 7-9)

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Some new photos, England

 Crossing the Tyne River near South Shields, England

 My new companion, Elder Bensberg from South London
 A really BIG gingerbread man from a member. Yum!
 English goodies
Gifts from the members.

December 19, 2011

I'm settled into South Shields now. It's really, really cold up here. Just like before, I'm alongside a major river, except this time I'm close to the border of Scotland and also the border of the North Sea. The wind makes things even colder. We did get our first snow of the year last week. That was a lot of fun until it started raining, which melted all the snow, then hailed on us while we were out, and now whatever's left of the snow has just turned into ice, so walking around all day can be a bit dangerous. This week we won't be doing too much walking around, though. Tomorrow is our Mission Christmas Party, so we'll be spending the whole day at the Harrogate American Army Base. We'll get to see all the missionaries in the whole mission, play bowling, basketball, watch a Christmas movie, open presents, and eat a really nice dinner. It's basically what missionaries look forward to all year. I'm in my third area in 4-1/2 months now, but I've gotten to meet tons of missionaries because of it, so getting to see all of them will be lots of fun. Other than the weather, I like it up here a lot. The people are difficult to understand because they speak in what's called a Geordie accent, which is borderline Scottish. The people are very nice up here though, especially compared to my last two areas. The main city we're near is Newcastle, which we drove through on our way to the flat in South Shields ( actually in a town called Chichester), and it is one of the most beautiful cities I've ever seen. I'll have to take pictures around the city next time I'm there and send some home. Our district is split by the Tyne River, so we have to take a ferry across the river (only about 5-10 minutes) to North Shields when we have district meetings. My companion is great. Easy to get along with like Elder Dundee, but really experienced and knowledgeable like Elder Bentley. He's from a town in South London and converted to the church just about five years ago. The members are, just like Leeds 5 and Grimsby 2, fantastic here. Our flat is full of presents we got from the members yesterday at church. They're almost too nice. Well, that me this week. Hope you all have a good week leading up to Christmas!

Love, Elder Winder

December 12, 2011

Hey, literally no time to write an email today, but I figured I should let you know I am being emergency transferred. There are some elders going home halfway through the transfer because of when they came in, so they had to shut down Grimsby 2.1 along with some other areas to fill their spots. So I am being transferred about 100 miles north to a town called South Shields, near Newcastle and Sunderland, some fairly large cities. It's pretty close to the border of Scotland and it will be very cold since it is also right along the seaside just like Grimsby, except Grimsby is a lot further south. Also in my zone are two of the places  they used to film Hogwarts in Harry Potter. There is a castle in Alnwick (pronounced Annick), which is the furthest north area in the mission, which they used for a lot of the first movie, especially when harry learns to fly a broom, and a cathedral in Durham, where they filmed a lot of the hallway scens in Hogwarts. Definitely will be visiting both of those if I get the opportunity. My companion will be Elder Bensberg from somewhere in Southern England. He has been described to me as a life-sized teddy bear. Anyway, I wish I could write more but I've already used too much time as I will be traveling all day today, but that will give me loads of time to write letters. Be sure to send things to the mission address in Leeds until further notice. Love you all, Elder Winder

December 5, 2011

We saw drastic improvements this week. We went from teaching nobody all week long to finding 4 new investigators and scheduling 3 of them for baptism. Woo! We weren't even able to schedule 3 most weeks in Leeds 5! We dedicated all our efforts this week on building our teaching pool, and it's beginning to take form now. Of course, we cannot be satisfied with this since a teaching pool of 4 is still very small, but it's a good foundation, especially since 3 are scheduled to be baptized before the end of this year. I got too comfortable with Leeds 5, having a very experienced trainer and working in a very blessed area, so the lesson the Lord is teaching me here in Grimsby I'm sure has a lot to do with diligence, full-hearted work, and patience. I was told by one of the APs today, Elder Turvey, who
I grew pretty close to in Leeds, that I was sent to Grimsby for a very specific reasonl He didn't know what, but he said it was a very speiritual experience when they were doing transfer work with President Lindley and the inspiration came to send two extra elders to Grimsby, which is known as a tough area for missionaries. For whatever reason, they knew it should be me and Elder Dundee serving here, even though we are both very inexperienced and opening up a new area. It's a new week now and after having a much needed P-day, we are ready to get right back out to work to build up our teaching pool again. We had a really fun P-day today. We took an 1-1/2 hour train ride to Doncaster where the Hull Zone played both American and English football against the Sheffield Zone, and afterward we had Dominoes (it costed 225 Euros for the whole two zones) and watched Kung Fu Panda 2. We also had a Secret Santa, which missionaries use each year as an opportunithy to get gag gifts for other elders. I had Elder Blome in Sheffield and I got him a Twilight beauty kit, and one of the missionaries with me in the MTC, Elder Lee, got me a sock (inside joke) with some Pokemon cards in it.
I have gotten to like a few things I never ate before. Well, maybe not like, but tolerate. I can eat brocolli, cauliflower, green beants, mashed potatoes doused in cheese or butter, and even brussel sprouts. I also like two of the traditional English Christmas desserts most missionareis don't being fruit cakes (if they're warm) and minced pies.
Gotto go. Love, Elder Winder

Monday, November 28, 2011

November 14, 2011

Woah, first transfer! I found out last night that I am being sent to serve in Grimsby 2.1 and a Swedish missionary named Elder Dundee! I'll be heading out tomorrow after the transfer meeting. I'll be in a 4-man flat, so we'll all be serving in the same area/ward, but technically we're whitewashing since they've never had a Grimsby 2.1 before. So don't send anymore letters to my Leeds 5 address! In fact, the mission office is always the best address to send letters to, even if it's a little slower. No matter where I am in the mission, they can get letters to me. Anyway, Grimsby! It's quite a ways away from Leeds, but so is everything since Leeds is the center of the mission. Grimsby is south of Leeds on the east coast of the country, right up against the sea. If you look on a map, it's right under a little jut of sea coming into the land. The nearest big city is Kingston-upon-Hull, so the zone I'll be in is called the Hull Zone. It's a pretty spread out zone with not nearly as many teams as the Leeds zone, so I won't get to know the whole zone as well as I have serving here in Leeds. There are no sisters serving in the Hull Zone, so it's just MAN-POWER all the way. And scripture power. It'll be exciting! Elder Bentley serving in Grimsby 1 and told me some great things about the area. Anyway, I'll tell you all more about it next week! Also, Christmas is coming up and I'd love it more than cake if I got tons of letters from everyone! So hope to hear from you all soon and I love you!
Elder Winder

November 21, 2011

I'm getting used to English food but I still don't care for it much. It's just so bland. Even the people here agree. I have, however, gotten to like Indian food, which is very popular here. Just as long as it's not too spicy. I still like Italian and Mexican most, though, and we get fed both somewhat frequently. I still don't like potatoes, but I have found ways to force it down, especially if it's mashed potatoes. Veggies are more of a problem for me because peas and corn are a staple, and I can't stand eating either, especially corn. However, people understand when I tell them I don't care for vegetables and I usually explain it to them before they prepare the meal. Carrots are common though and I do like them. I have gotten to like brocolli and caulliflower as well as cabbage and I already didn't mind eating lettuce, so I can eat quite a few veggies now. I still wouldn't make them on my own to eat. One thing that I had never really tried before that I have confirmed I don't like at all is beans. I just don't like them at all. So, beans, corn, and peas (especially a dish called mushy peas) are what I look out for at appointments. Some of my favorite English food to eat are meat pies (especially chicken meat pies), Yorkshire puddings, and sticky toffee pudding (which has custard in it, different from the custard we use in the States). Grimsby is a seaside town, so it's really big on seafood, which I'll eat, but I don't care for too much. My companion, Elder Dundee, is actually a professional chef, and he loves seafood, so he's pretty excited. He made pancakes from scratch the other day with no recipe and they were probably the best pancakes I've ever tasted. So things should be fun with him. He's only been out 6 months, so we both still have a lot of learning to do about missionary work, and he struggles with the language a little bit still, but it's going to be a good companionship and a great transfer. We are determined to baptize this transfer. Because we are starting completely from scratch with our teaching pool, we only have 1 investigator (who is scheduled for baptism as of yesterday!) and he was found from another missionary, but we are working very hard and getting lots and lots of potential investigators. Grimsby is known around the mission as a bit of a "tough" area, but really, it's not the area that makes the area tough, it's the missionaries who do. Henry Ford once said "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you're right". We really believe we can do some great things here in Grimsby. We are able to work between the Grimsby 1 and 2 ward because we're Grimsby 2.1, so we have the power to find wherever we feel we need to in the whole general Grimsby area. The other missionaries we live with, Elder Dudgeon (district leader) and Elder Brown, are fantastic missionaries both near the end of their missions. We have a lot we can both learn from them and from eachother. Elder dundee is very easy to get along with and takes advice very well. We have a lot of faith that we can flourish here if we're diligent. Unfortunately I'm out of time to write now, so can you just write a general update for the blog? Thanks. By the way, send letters (not packages) to my address, not the mission office now. It's 39 Humber St., Cleethorpes, Grimsby, DN35 8NN, GBR. Love you all and hope to hear from you soon!
Elder Winder

November 28, 2011

Hey everyone! Sorry I didn't have time to write last week. In fact, I haven't had much time to write the blog posts at all. Even today I have to be quick because P-days are so full of things to do. Well, I am officially a Grimsby elder now. It's a seaside town with weather very similar to Seattle, for those of you that have been there. It's considered a fishing town and was once one of the busiest seaports in England. It's simmered down a lot since then and is just a nice, quiet town on the east coast of England. If you look on a map, it's just under the Humber River, which juts in about 50 miles on the east coast. On the other side of the river is Hull, so that's what separates the North and South sides of our zone. The ward members here are absolutely fantastic. We have been fed close to every night, and most of the time they are able to feed all four of us in Grimsby 2. I'm getting more used to English food as well, including my veggies (I can at least tolerate everything but peas and corn, which is a vast improvement on my tongue's end). Unfortunately, we are stuggling greatly to find people to teach. In fact, this week we taught zero investigators (we did teach a less-active). We saw a lot of success in Leeds 5, but many of them were foreigners, and Grimsby is about 95% English, so I think now I'm seeing more what English people are really like. These have been a very trying first two weeks, and perhaps the Lord is testing our patience, but He knows and we know that we will see a baptism this transfer. That means that we have to find people this week to baptize before Christmas. We are confident that this is possible and we are focusing every last bit ofour efforts on our goal this week. We are going to be more dilligent than ever before, and despite both Elder Dundee's and my inexperience in the field, we will see a baptism before Christmas. Speaking of Christmas, it is very good to see that England at least gets in to the Christmas spirit, even if most people do it for commercial reasons over religious reasons. Lights have been up for quite a while now since there is no Thanksgiving to keep Christmas preparations from beginning early. Speaking of Thanksgiving, we actually did get a Thanksgiving dinner, a proper one, too, by English family. So that was nice. Three of the four of us serving in Grimsby 2 are from the States (and only one from Utah!), so someone was bound to feed us. Well, I've got to be off now, but I would ask that you keep Elder Dundee and I in your prayers so that we can see some miracles this week! I remember a story in the book of Act where Peter is put into prison but then is able to escape miraculously because the whole church had been praying for him. Prayer really, really works. That is one of the great things I have learned thus far on my mission. Letters help too! (heehee) Okay, gotta go now! Love you all!
Elder Winder

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

November 7, 2011

Hey I have no time to talk but just so everyone knows I may or may not be transfered next week so if you're going to send a letter, send it to the Mission Office address, not to my flat because I may not live there after next Wednesday! Love you all bye!
Elder Winder

October 31, 2011

Sorry for not writing last week! 8 hours of P-day just isn't enough to do everything I'd like to do each week. Throw travel time and occasional dinner appointments in there and P-days can be kind of short. I have been doing well, though. I hope you all have as well. I am loving the autumn weather here. It's actually really cold but I'm weird and I like the weather. It has yet to snow, though. The temperature hangs around 10-12 degrees Celsius, and I am not sure what that is in Fahrenheight. Freezing temperature is 0 degrees (I paid some attention in 6th grade science) and it hasn't gotten near that yet, but it's right around the corner. Scotland has already seen snow and Leeds is in the north part of England, so it's coming soon. I remember it snowed pretty early in the year in Provo last year, so maybe the weather won't be as bad here, but at the same time, the winds are much stronger and bone-chilling here. Speaking of bones, Happy Halloween! I get to do nothing this year! Ah! My second favorite holiday and we're not even allowed to go knocking tonight. I did enjoy the branch Halloween party, however. We couldn't stay long because there were no investigators there, but I had enough time to attempt to chug 3 sodas in under 45 seconds. I thought it would be possible because I did one earlier in 12 seconds, but I realized I needed sufficient burps in order to clear room in between cans, so I ended up with 1:23. Not bad, but that record will soon be broken. We have a few people scheduled for baptism in the next few weeks, but we're not sure how many of those will actually happen. Expect to hear more on those in the coming weeks. One of them is as golden as investigators come, so she'll be baptized eventually, she just has to get to church. Hope you enjoy doing fun stuff tonight to spite me!
P.S. Lexi, if you're reading this, I got your letter like a month ago and I sent a reply immediately, and I just got it sent back a few days ago because apparently English postmen don't understand the way Provo addresses work (they are confusing, I will say). So I'm going to get that letter sent back as soon as possible. I think the letter to WIll, Ana, and Jerry got sent but yours just didn't for whatever reason (I had a separate one with your lettter). Interesting situation. Just don't think I forgot you! kbye!
Love, Elder Winder (soon to be Elder Winter)

Monday, October 24, 2011

October 24, 2011

Hi everyone!

It was a bit of a slow week until the last few days this week. Through Thursday, we had only 3 lessons with investigators (only 1 new) and a ton of finding hours, but Friday and Saturday we turned on the heat and we ended up with 12 lessons with investigators for the week and 7 new investigators. Unfortunately no one came to church, including our progressing couple who promissed the night before they'd come every week. So our focus this week is sacrament meeting attendance. We will be teaching and reviewing the importance of coming to church in every appointment with investigators this week and inviting even people on the street to come. Church attendence is they most important key indicator of progression. Sunday was also a very solemn day because we received a phone call during pristehood meeting that a less-active sister we were very close to passed away. She had been in the hospital for two weeks, but it was still very unexpected because we had heard she was coming out of the hospital and was doing much better healthwise. It turned out she had an aneurism in her heart and she passed away Saturday night. I felt particularly bad because I had a strong feeling we should go visit her Saturday evening and I ignored it. She was one of the most Christlike people Elder Bentley and I have ever known and was only less- active for health reasons. She also made some really delicious meals every time we visited. She inspired us to be better people and we miss her a ton. She was suffering through a lot of pain the last month of her life however and it was her time to go. She is certainly resting from those pains in paradise right now. She was 73. I thought of a scripture after hearing about her death that reminded me of the example she set for us. Alma 13:28-29 read: "But that ye would humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear, and thus be led by the Holy Spirit, becoming humble, meek, submissive, patient, full of love and all long-suffering; Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest." 

Despite the sad news, we are both having a lot of fun here.  Anyway, that's all the time I have and thanks for everything! Love you! 

Elder Winder

Monday, October 17, 2011

October 17, 2011

Woah! We had a surprise baptism this weekend! We have been working with a 16-year odl girl from Zimbabwe who is in a part-member family. We had originally scheduled her baptism for the 29th because her family hadn't been to our branch for so long, but President Lindley felt she needed to be baptised ASAP, so we moved it to the 15th. It was pretty crazy because of all the sudden preparations we were making. We didn't get the program sorted out until the morning of Saturday. Luckilly we have a very hard-working branch mission leader who really helped get everything sorted out. We are excited to have her in the branch now and to see her family coming each week. She is being well-fellowshipped in Young Womens as well. We had two investigators show up at the baptism, one of which is from Zimbabwe as well, so she and the family immediately started getting along, and she really felt the Spirit at the end when her grandmother prayed in her native tongue (Zimbabwean?), especially since she was pretty much the only one there that could understand it. 

Lots of other exciting things are going down in Leeds 5 as well! We are working with a couple now who we originally thought had fallen off the face of the earth. They are living together, but unmarried, so obviously that is in the way of their baptism. Orginally, this caused an issue with their progression, which was why we didn't see them for so long. But Sister Lindley urged us during Conference weekend to go see her (they met the one time they came to church a couple months ago-- President and Sister Lindley were visiting that day). So we finally made contact with her and saw her on Saturday before the baptism. We lovingly extended pretty much every commitment they need to progress to baptism and they excitedly accepted all of them! They are reading and praying about the Book of Mormon as a couple daily, fighting their way out of Word of Wisdom struggles, very committed to attending church on a weekly basis, and how about the Law of Chastity issue? Well, after extending the commitment to live the Law of Chastity, they decided they want to get married as soon as possible! So not only may we get to witness a couple get baptized, if we're in Leeds 5 long enough, we are going to witness their marriage. Unexpected, but very exciting! They both need the gospel greatly in their lives and they are both willing to make the necessary changes in their lives to have it with them. This is an exciting time to be a missionary in Leeds 5. We also found out one of our investigators who we could not tell the gender of is a woman, so that was a big relief, since she told us she was married. Yeah, funny story about that. Probably not going on the blog. haha. Write me if you really want to know. 

Oh also, I figure I'll just give you all my flat address to write me because it's a lot quicker than going through the mission office. But you all have to promise you'll keep up to date with my address so you don't send it after I've moved away! Promise? Okay. Good. My address is:
4 Melbourne Mills, Melbourne Street
Morley, Leeds
LS27 8BJ
If you're really worried about sending it to the wrong address, just send it to the Mission Office, but if you're good about keeping up to date, I'll have the correct address posted, and I'll let you all know when transfers are coming up, meaning I may or may not be moving. They're every 6 weeks, and during transfers week, it's best to just send a letter to the Mission Office to be safe. This is Week 2 of this current transfer, so no worries for now. You can write all the letters you want. And I'll write back as soon as possible every time because I love you! Well, most of you. But if you send me a letter, I will love you. Deal. Okay, that's all for this week. Good luck with the changing weather! I'm not :(  Bye!
Elder Winder

Monday, October 10, 2011

October 10, 2011

Sorry for all the preaching last week, everyone! I was just so pumped from General Conference. I still am. 

I don't have a lot of time to write and nothing too unordinarilly excited is coming up, so I suppose I'll tell you all a little bit about what Englad Leeds missionaries do in their free time. Most importantly, the England Leeds mission is a Pokemon card-playing mission, so that is basically a nightly occurance. It was a little odd at first because I haven't played since I was about 11, but it's fun stuff, moreso when you aren't really allowed to do much else for fun. On P-days, we often meet with the elders in our zone at the stake center to play basketball and watch a movie. You're probably thinking we only get to watch like, Ben-Hur and The Best Two Years, but you are wrong if you guessed such a thing. We watched Tangled last week, and we're watching Hercules today. Hook two weeks ago. We have an approved movie list from President Lindley, which is in addition to all animated U-rated (basically G-rated) Disney/Pixar/Dreamworks movies. So that's a blast. We also have Nerf guns, the uses of which are pretty self-explanatory. We have suprisigngly only played football once, but when we did we (the Leeds Zone) creamed the Sheffield Zone 8-3. I touched the ball at least 3 times. That is a success for me. Football is a lifestyle here, of course. Apparently with President's permission, we are allowed to go to Leeds United games if they fall on P-day. I will certainly have to take up that offer one of these days. There isn't a whole lot of time for fun, but we definitely make do with what we have. It's nothing like the MTC where we could goof around all day. The zone leaders try to make things fun as well. Interesting would be a better word, actually. Last month, we had to wear one sock (not two, not none, not three) to bed each night. This month we have to invite 3 people to be baptized every day, even if we don't have 3 appointments with new investigators that day (because we invite all new investigators to be baptized in the first appointment). So we asked a man we met on the street if he wanted to be baptized yesterday. And he said yes! It was pretty grand. We'll be seeing him on Friday this week. 

Well, that's all the story-telling for now. Love you all!
Elder Winder

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

October 3, 2011

Wow, what a conference! I really enjoyed the session I was able to get broadcasted. I was only able to watch Priesthood, Saturday afternoon, and Sunday morning because of the time difference, but I loved every minute of it. Everything seemed to apply to missionary work and the investigators I work with, even the talks that didn't explicity have anything to do with missionary work. I hope you all received some personal revelation during conference weekend. My favorite talk had to be Elder Holland's in the priesthood session. He basically called out the church to serve a mission, for those of you who couldn't see it. The church needs tens of thousands more missionaries than we already have and much of the world hasn't even been opened up for missionary work yet. I can tell it is coming very, very soon. The growth of the church is at a rate now where we are receiving world-wide recognition and the efforts of the members in spreading the gospel need to keep up with that expansion! President Monson said that the rift between the morals of the church and those of the world are growing increasingly further apart. This means the "middle ground" is quickly disapearing. Many more people are going to join the church, and many more people are going to be fighting against it. When Captain Moroni faced people on his own side in times of war that refused to fight, he considered them enemies and put them to death if they would not fight for their freedom. The time to prepare for the last days is thinning out. President Monson said that we have been born in this age because we have been "saved for the final inning". In a baseball game, those are the players who perform best in pressurized, clutch situations. My generation has a lot of responsibility on our shoulders, and it will increase with the next. Are we ready to act when the time to prepare is over? I would sincerely urge all of you to refocus your efforts on spreading the gospel and especially in nourishing, building, or maybe finding a testimony of its truthfulness. A major theme of this conference was preparation and spreading the gospel. General Conference is specific revelation for the whole of the church for the coming 6 months. Everything we heard, we were told because we need to apply it better in our lives. We heard things we heard many times before, but President Eyring said that if you're hearing something over an over again, it's not boredom, it's inspiration. These are inspired leaders who see where the church and the world is going in the very near future. Missionairy work has never been so important as it is now. If any of you who have member friends of mission age who are considering not going on a mission, tell them to think again. If any of you fall under that category, think again. The world now knows The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and every person in it will eventually have to decide for themselves whether they are for or against the work of God. Keep up the amazing work, all of you. 

I really do appreciate every letter you send and every prayer you say for the missionaries around the world. Encouragement is better than gold on a mission. I love you all and I will write again next week!
Elder Winder
P.s. I didn't get transferred thankfully! Neither did my companion. Leeds 5 for another 6 weeks (at least)!

Monday, September 26, 2011

September 26, 2011

Hiya mates! Wow, that sounded dumb. But that's what they say here. Anyway, this was a pretty exciting week.

First off, the Scottish man we're working with got baptized! That was just amazing. I asked him for permission to use his name and he declined, but the picture will be up in the next couple weeks because I'm sending pictures home next week. Pictures should've been sent home this week, but all the pictures I took over the last 3 weeks were accidentally deleted by another Elder using my camera. That was pretty disappointing until I found out I can take the SD card to a computer shop and they should be able to restore those back, so I'll get that taken care of ASAP. Anyway, the baptism was definitely the highlight of the week. He basically prepared himself for baptism, but hey, that's our job, to "find them that will receive [us]" (D&C section 40-something). He was confirmed a member of the Church yesterday and is excited to actually go out on splits with us on Thursday. That probably breaks the world record for least amount of time spent between becoming a member of the Church and going out with the missionaries. Well, probably not, but in my mind, it does. Problem is, now that he's baptized, we kind of have no one to teach! We have dropped several people the last week becasue they showed a general interest in the gospel but wouldn't keep commitments and were dropping appointments as well. They were wasting the time we could've been using to find new investigators, and thus they are called in-waste-igators. So our teaching pool has dropped significantly. This week we will be focusing on finding new, excited investigators and guess how much time we're going to waste? If you guessed anything above 0.4784 seconds, you are wrong! This is going to be a massively productive week and what else, oh, it's the last week of my first transfer period! Where has the time gone? Next Wendesday I'll have been in the wonderful country of England for 2 MONTHS. Who knew? Not me. That means I am very nearly 1/12 of the way into my mission. Thank you for your continued support, love, prayers, letters, and everything you all do to uplift missionaries around the world. Hey! Pray for China to open up, because my brother Tyler is putting in his mission papers in less than a year and I'm thinking he's going to China. It could happen. 

I've got to be off now! I love you all!
Elder Winder

Monday, September 19, 2011

September 19, 2011

I am coming to you from Week 4 (and a half) in the field! That means I am more than halfway through my first transfer. I'm not counting down days, but time is moving so quickly. I feel like I just sent the last post home yesterday. I don't have much time to write today, but what I am going to do is sit down and write some letters because I got some from a lot of you this last week! I will try and write them all today but please don't forget I exist if I am compelled to wait until next week. You all are huge motivations in my life as a missionary and I can't express how excited I was to read letters from some of you. This was a relatively uneventful week, so along with having little time, I don't have much to say, but I will be sending pictures home very soon! Some really exciting things are coming up, like our golden Scottish investigator's baptism this weekend PLUS Saff's pizza and the Joseph Smith movie at his place. Exciting stuff. Saff's, by the way, is the best place in the world to get pizza for £2 (about $3.20). District leader exchanges are tonight and tomorrow, so I'm going to see some college investigators. That'll be grand. Well, unfortunately I have to catch a bus now, so I apoliogize for the short post but I'll write you all soon!
Love, Elder Winder

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


I got a few letters from some of you this week! I will express my excitement in the form of exlamation points. !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That's how much I love hearing from you so many thousand miles away. And a huge congratulations to Kellie Hoskins if you're reading this! Baptism is on my mind all the time, so you can imagine how excited I was to get the picture from the Hjelmstad's from your baptism. 

Speaking of baptism, my first is next Saturday! I can't give the name, but he is a really funny guy in his 40s from Scotland. Things he loves: Pokemon, making fun of Jehovah's Witnesses, Lord of the Rings, and the gospel. So Elder Bentley and I got along with him pretty well. Haha. He pretty much does all the research on the church on his own, and reads the Book of Mormon several times a day. That is GOLDEN investigator status. We really struggle to get all the other people we work with to read the Book of Mormon, even those who are progressing, so it's really exciting to work with him because he loves it so much. 

I have learned some really important things this past week. I was stuggling motivation-wise all week and even questioned at one point if I was really fit to serve a mission because of those struggles. I needed a break, and actually prayed for a break. Guess what? Sunday: church, two meal appointments. Monday: 7 hour-long mission conference plus a dinner appointment. Today: P-day. I feel so much more energized today than I did Saturday. So, prayer answered? You bet. 

I received a lot of inspiration at that conference. An area authority, Elder Donaldson of the Seventy (not sure which quorum), spoke with us along with President Lindley and their wives. They gave some powerful words of advice, but I received a very important revelation that none of them spoke of during the conference. It was regarding the feeling I had that I may have been "unfit" to serve a mission. This is not true. For those of you who may be reading this and preparing for a mission and you  feel it is not right for you to serve, put in your papers anyway, because this is not our work. If you are called by a prophet of God to serve a mission, and I am, it is by ALL means in the Lord's plan for you to go and do. If for some odd reason you are not meant to serve a mission, if you truly are "unfit", you will be informed by the Church as such. But this is rarely the case. The Lord takes inadequate boys with a desire to serve and turns them into might brethren in the Lord (Alma 17, v.2 I think). I don't have much time to say anything else, but I know that this is truly my duty to serve. I have been placed in the area I am in now because the people here need Elder Winder, and wherever you are sent to serve, it will be because the people there need Elder or Sister Soandso (you) and no one else. This is not our work, but the Lord's work. If we trust in him and do not complain, he will make sure it goes along smoothly. There is nothing that can prevent the work from happening but ourselves. And if we serve with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, the work will go on, and nothing will stop it. Be yourselves. 

I'm so excited to come back in what is really not that long from now and see you all again bigger and better people. I have to go now but just know I love you all and I am keeping you in my prayers every single night. Till next week,
Elder Winder

Monday, September 5, 2011

September 4, 2011

Blog post:
Hey! This post might be a little short because I'm low on time. This week has been extremely busy! Surprisingly, our numbers were lower than last week, despite having 3 more days than my first week. It seemed like appointments we had scheduled were dropping left and right. We did a lot of unnecessary walking. People here have struggles keeping commitments, but like I said last week, we do have some really good people who are progressing. We had 3 new investigators this week, but we already knew them from before, this was just the first time we got appointments in with them. Still waiting for my first baptism, but the 12-year old boy I mentioned last week will probably be the first. He is very excited about being baptized and is willing to keep all the commitments we leave him. We have another man from Scotland who is a lot of fun to teach because he does a ton of research on the church all on his own. He doesn't know how he feels about baptism yet, which is funny because he said he pretty much knows the Book of Mormon is true now and that Joseph Smith is a prophet. He has the seed of faith planted in his heart and he is nourishing it well.

The members in this branch are wonderful. They love to feed us. We love to eat. It's a win-win situation. I am starting to feel more British. I've come to the conclusion that if I keep missing America, I'm just going to struggle the whole way through my mission. Don't get me wrong, it will be a joyous day when am home, but I'm really starting to like things here. Even though they don't know what American biscuits are. 

It's still great to hear from all of you though! There will never come a point in my mission where I won't appreciate a letter. 

For those of you reading this who are preparing for a mission: be prepared to work, work, work. There is no time to sit and rest except when we sleep. Even eating is usually on the go, unless we're eating at a member's home. You are a missionary 24/7 when you come on a mission. It sounds obvious, but you really have to leave behind everything that would hold you back as a missionary, including distracting thoughts and desires. Laziness is one of the worst things to bring on a mission. I heard a good quote in the MTC that has stuck with me: "If you ever have doubts, get to work". It's funny, but completely true. Everytime I start getting a little homesick or tired of getting rejected, I just get back to work and the thought eventually goes away. Negative thoughts can't dwell in your mind when you're being a dilligent missionary. Or working at anything, really. Hard workers get places in this life, whether you're a missionary or a student or whatever. If you have a good idea, don't just sit on it. No one who ever did anything great did it just because they hoped it would happen. They just went and did it. So if you want to be a really good missionary, getting excited about your mission is great, but more important than that is preparing yourself to work. I didn't do that and I'm regretting it. I'm pulling through though and I have faith that the Spirit can work through me. I've heard that if you can serve a mission you can succeed in any career whatsoever. We're just worked on every possible end you could think of. But you know what? My life is good. Real good. I love missionary work. 

You know what else I love? All of you! And if you love me, you should, uh, write me letters. For real. If you write me, I'll send you something good. Real good. Deal? Deal. 

That was longer than I thought it would be. Well, pictures will be up soon if they are not already up. If you ask me to take pictures of specific things in England, that would make my life pretty fun. Just one extra challenge to add to the day. In fact, yes, I'd love that. But in order to do that, you have to write me. Remember to send letters to the mission office and not the MTC! I'm pretty sure DearElder works here too. Somebody try that so I can get a sure answer. Or if you want, you could even give messages to my family (2269 Ripresa Place, Henderson, NV) and they could relay it to me since they have my email and flat addresses. So there are a variety of ways to keep in contact with me. I am a missionary of many flavors. Anyway, yeah. 

That's uh, all for this week pretty much. Stay sweet.
Elder Winder

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

August 30, 2011

Dear Everyone,

I am a legit missionary now! I have been in the field since Wednesday (so almost a week now) and I am loving it. England is a funny place. I don't understand what a lot of the people say and they don't have boxed mac n' cheese. Such an odd thing.  They don't have American biscuits, either. Not even at KFC. Imagine a KFC with no biscuts or mac n' cheese.

It really is wonderful here. Even when it rains, which is almost every day. It's already gotten very cold some days, so I envy those of you still in 100+ degree desert weather. But you should be envying me in return because I am in such a wonderful area. The area I am serving in is called Leeds 5 (that's not the city, just the mission area). We live in a tiny little town called Morely. The church building is here and we cover an area with about a 20 mile radius. Leeds City Center is the northern most part of our area, but we rarely do proselyting there because everyone there is just stuck up and wants to shop. It would be like trying to do missionary work at Town Square in Vegas. Just wouldn't be effecient.

The area around, though, is great. It's pretty run-down for the most part, especially in the areas of Holbeck and Beeston, where we do most of our finding. But the people are very humble and generally nice. Apparently there are many parts of this mission where no one will listen and you're very lucky to get into a non-member's home. Not here. There are many people willing to listen. We had 11 new investigators last week. Several of the investigators we work with are preparing for baptism, but most of them struggle to keep committments. That's what yoe get in run-down areas for the most part: very nice people who will listen and want to improve their lives, but really struggle to keep committments like reading the Book of Mormon, going to Church, and keeping the Word of Wisdom. Those three are pretty much consistent problems with all of our investigators. We have two very good investigators though, both of whom are pretty much ready for baptism. One is 12 and the other is in her 30s. They're both really good people. Everyone is really good here, they just all have problems to face, just like everyone. Just like me, or my companion, Elder Bentley.

Oh yeah, Elder Bentley. My first companion in the field. He is a great trainer who knows a lot about being an effective missionary. I can tell he really wants these people to progress for their salvation, not just to produce numbers. I feel the same way.

Some people are a little crazy here, too. One lady was yelling about being forsaken by Jesus the whole time we were in, but then told us to come back because she said I was an angel with a nice face. I think she was very drunk when we spoke with her. Another man has very strong beliefs in aliens and legitimately believes that gorillas may take over the world some day. But they're good people, really. Everyone has to be just a little bit crazy. It's part of being alive.

The members are really nice, too. Very genuine people. They offer us rides a lot, especially as we're walking back to our flat (apartment). The flat itself is nicer than I expected. There is a washer/dryer in the flat, two couches, a full bathroom, somewhat small bedroom, but a separate room for the closets, a kitchen with an oven and stove, and two study desks. In fact, the kitchen/living area is bigger than my dorm at BYU, and there are just two of us living there. We had 6 of us at BYU. I am really excited to be back at BUY in a couple of years. I have learned how to study and go to bed on time. Haha.

Well, I really miss all of you and I am sending pictures home in a letter today since I can't get them on the email. So hoepfully pictures will be up within a week and a half. There will likely be a few on my blog, but my mom will put all of them on my facebook account so you can all stalk me while I'm on my mission. I still love letters! They take about 5-6 days to get here and the same to get back, but it really brightens my day when I see a letter to me in the mailbox. Remember to write to the mission home address (on the side of this page) since I am no longer at the MTC. Thanks! You all are the best!

Elder Winder

August 22, 2011

Thank you for the letters. I really enjoyed hearing from everyone. I will reply to everyone who sends me letters, but it may not be so quick.

I am really pumped up to get to Leeds tomorrow. I am really excited to meet Pres. Lindley and my trainer companion, who I will spend the first three months of my mission with. That's four times longer than my time in the MTC, so hopefully he's a good one, haha.

I have enjoyed my time with Elder Kelley even though he and I are nothing alike. He is very, very quiet and rarely smiles. Elder Kelley is a good person though who has been through a lot in his life. I have learned a lot from him. I am thankful to have had him as my first companion on my mission. I have really enjoyed the MTC in general. I am really close to several elders, some of which will be in Leeds, and some of which I may never see again. The schedule is just as tough as it was on day 1, but I am pulling through strong.

I am really loving it here. I did get to practice proselyting last Wednesday. Oh boy, was that an experience.  I got rejected pretty quickly all but one time. One man listened to what we had to say in the park, but eventually wasn't interested at all because he had no belief in religion. So the park didn't go too well. HOWEVER, the train ride to Manchester Picadelly (downtown Manchester, where we were) was a different story. After being too nervous for much of the ride there, Elder Kelley and I had a very good conversation with a Hungarian couple for about the last 15 minutes of the ride. We were sitting and the train was full when they got on, so naturally we offered them our seats. This was really the first thing that opened up a conversation with anyone without having to walk up to them and speak with them about the gospel, which is what we had to do for everyone else afterward and had too much of a fear to do beforehand. The couple had been married for about a year and though the man spoke decent English, I doubt the woman understood a word we said. He asked us several questions about our missions and we were able to reply with doctrine. He accepted a Book of Mormon and a passalong card. He said he would request a copy in Hungarian when he returned home. We were so excited to speak with him we forgot to get his name! No one after that was very receptive, but we put in our best effort and so we considered ourselves successful. That's what makes successful missionaries: committment.

I love you all and I am very excited to write you soon and tell you how real missionary life is.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

2nd Week, April 16, 2011

Hey everyone! I am through with my second week here in the MTC and I will be leaving into the field next week! So if you write me, use the Mission Home address on the right side of this blog because by the time the letter gets to England, I will likely already be in Leeds. That, or I will only wait a couple of days to get it. Letters take a long time to get here. Just so you know, when you write, make sure to put an international mail stamp on the envelope and not a U.S. stamp. Otherwise it'll be sent back to you for lack of postage. I'm a little jealous of my friends here because they've all received letters and I haven't yet, so please, please, please write me! I really look forward to hearing from you guys!And you can send me e-mails too, I just can't email back (but I can write!). My e-mail address is alexander.winder@myldsmail.net and if you write me that way I can print off the e-mail and read it later.
Anyway, about this week. I wrote about what the schedule is like here last time and it hasn't gotten any less intense. But you know what? I am still absolutely loving it. The Spirit works through you when you're working hard. I have felt the Spirit so much more greatly this week than the first week.

I am learning how important missionary work is. We are helping people change their lives. We are helping people find eternal life, and there is no work better than that. I've also learned that no matter how much I study, no matter how thorough my lesson plan is, no matter how profound the words I say are, I do not convert people, and the truth of what I'm teaching does not come through me. I teach simple gospel truths and the Spirit testifies to the investigator that it is true. I have to be ready to throw everything I prepared for out the window and teach what the investigator needs. One of the main things we focus on is that we teach people, not lessons. I think I said that last time, but it is so important. If we don't teach by the Spirit, why would anyone want to listen to us? They want to know the truth, and we can testify that we know the truth, but in order for the investigator to know, they have to have their own confirmation, and that comes through the Spirit. I know I talk a lot about the Sprit, but it is absolutely central to the success of missionary work. It wasn't until last night that I really understood how that works. I thought teaching by the Spirit meant praying during our planning meeting and coming up with the perfect lesson plan, but that's completely wrong. We prepare a lesson, we talk to the investigator, we find their needs and we teach to their needs, even if it means literally tossing our lesson plan out of the window. And then we testify. And then when the time is right, the Spirit testifies. And that is a real thing that you can feel happening in the moment. I know that because I felt it last night, even though it was a practice investigator. Next week we begin teaching real people with real problems. We don't get feed back on how to improve our teaching or the knowledge that it's just a practice situation if we mess up. The Spirit is the perfect teacher. Know how to teach through the Spirit, and you become a successful missionary. There's no other way to become a successful missionary.

I am really excited to get into the field, and even though it's so far away at this point, I'm so excited to come home. Not that I don't want to be here; there's nowhere else I'd rather be right now. I can't wait to come home and face life with all the growing up I'll have done here in England. I have learned so, so much the last two weeks about the gospel and myself.

I miss all of you so much. I won't let it distract me, but really, I can't tell you all how much I miss you. You all know who you are.:) I wish I could send pictures but that's more of a challenge in a 30 minute email session than one would think. I am going to fill my SD card up a little more and then I'll send it home in a letter, and all the pictures will be up from that.

Thank you all for your support and prayers! I love you all, and please please please please please please please please write me!!!!

Love, Elder Winder

Sunday, August 14, 2011

First set of photos! Received August 12, 2011

Just arrived at England MTC, July 5, 2011

Time to go to bed!

Waiting to hear about companionship.

Helaman District

Waiting at Atlanta Airport

Just got my nametag! (Taken before he left)

Saturday, August 13, 2011

First Week ! 08/10/11


It feels so good to be writing home today! It's been a long first few days here in the MTC, but let me tell you I have absolutely loved it. I have learned more about myself, the gospel, and teaching in the last six days than I think I ever have. I don't have too long allowed to write, so let me tell you a little bit about life here.

I used to think going to school seven hours a day was tough. Here, we have a 15-hour work day. We wake up at 6:30 am, and we have an hour to get ready, run (if we want), shower, etc. before breakfast at 7:30. We have meetings (full MTC and district) from 8-noon with short bathroom breaks in between. The we have lunch for 45 minutes and go to class from then until 5, when we have dinner. After dinner, we have investigator study and planning until 9:30, after which we have an hour to prepare for bed. Lights are out at 10:30.

It seems like a ton of work and it is, but I have already realized that when I follow the schedule exactly, I am blessed with endurance, and when I neglect to follow the schedule, even going to bed at 11 instead of 10:30, I feel really groggy and unmotivated the next day. Sometimes (a lot of times) I goof off a little too much, too, and then work is hard to get done as well. That is mostly because there are so many great missionaries here and we all love to have fun. Believe me, it's not the idea of a mission to suppress all fun in a 19-year old boy's life, but we are on the Lord's time and He doesn't exactly condone laziness.

Most of the time we just try to have fun with the lessons and that's usually okay. Like, we have to pretend we're investigators a lot so the other elders in our district can practice on us, and we usually end up goofing around when we're pretending to be another person rather than take it totally seriously. I was a man named German yesterday and I accepted baptism halfway through the first discussion. The missionaries practicing on me had no idea what to do. It was funny, but really doesn't' help the practicing go along. Another time I broke out laughing in the middles of a serious discussion because of something one of the elders in my district said earlier.

I love my district a lot. There are eight of us, so four companionships. Two of the elders in my district don't speak great English, but they are great missionaries. Elder Reina is from Madrid, Spain, and probably knows just a little more English than I know Spanish, but he is one of the funnest elders I know here, and Elder Methorst is from the Netherlands, and he is very gospel knowledgeable and is also really funny. In fact, most of the elders here are funny. We all know how to have fun, and I love that about the group of guys here. It'll probably change when we get into the field and get paired up with guys who have been on their missions forever and actually know how to prioritize. But I'm excited for that, too.

Having a companion is something to get used to. Like, really used to. Some companions hit it off really well right at the start and work super well together. That hasn't been the case for me so far. My companion, Elder Kelly, is probably the quietest guy here, with me being one of the loudest. He has a good testimony of the gospel though and we've gotten him to open up a bit. He has some great stories to tell from his life. It's just getting him to speak up and make conversations happen that he needs to work on. But we get along pretty well.

Because the MTC here is so much smaller than Provo (like, ridiculously smaller), we know basically everyone here, including the MTC presidency. President Walker is a really great man who knows the scriptures better than possibly anyone I've ever met. And guess who his wife is? President Hinkley's daughter! Yea, like Gordon B. We didn't find that out until Sunday.

We also listened to a Provo MTC fireside broadcast with Elder Bednar, and it was a really great fireside, probably topping all the ones I had at BYU even. He talked about knowing when we were actually feeling spiritual promptings and when it was just us, and the basic answer was that as long as we're good boys and girls and going out and working, it'll be the Spirit. We can be guided by the Spirit without even knowing it at the time, which I though was really cool. In hindsight, we can see a lot of things we do were guided by the Spirit. We just have to be obedient and always try to be like Christ.

Well, we do't have a lot of time to write and I wish I could send pictures (forgot the card upstairs), but I love you all and please write letters! Please please please please please! I'll write again next week.

See ya in (almost) two!

Elder Winder

FIrst Missionary Email ! 08/05/11


Hello family and friends!

I am typing this email from the Missionary Training Center in Preston, England. It is beautiful here! I stepped off the plane and felt the first cool breeze I had felt in maybe months. It is humid but not hot. Probably around 70 degrees.

The flight from Atlanta to Manchester, England was very long, but I sat next to Elder Griffiths, who is in my same mission, and we had some good talks the whole way when we weren't sleeping. There were actually several missionaries on that flight, as opposed to the five I flew into Atlanta with from Vegas. I didn't get a good count, but there had to have been about 25 of us just coming from Atlanta to Manchester, including about 5 sisters. I am only aware that one of the sisters is in my mission. I am forgetting her name, but she is from Bullhead City and flew in with us from Vegas. I have met about six or seven guys going to Leeds in total. They are taking all the northern England missions this week, so only missionaries going to Scotland/Ireland, Leeds, Manchester and... something else (Birmingham?) report today. The missionaries who reported three weeks ago are already out of here as of Wednesday, so I missed seeing my friends Elders Tingey and Polo, both serving in London. I won't have any trouble meeting the other elders though, I don't think. They all seem like fun, outgoing people. There is only about 50 people in the MTC here, so I could get to know all of them plus the MTC presidency really well in the 19 days I'm here. That is one big difference from the Provo MTC. We still have exercise five days a week though, and we have access to the stake center nearby which has a basketball court. So I am not completely away from basketball despite living in England now.

I had to change my shirt as soon as I got here because I spilled marinara sauce from the in-flight pasta dinner all over my shirt. I didn't bring any bleach, so hopefully it comes out, ha ha. I have felt a little clumsy the whole way here, actually. I accidentally let my suitcase fall into the same lady twice, and as I was taking out my boarding pass to get on my flight to Manchester, I promptly spilled my soda and pizza all over the floor (the pizza actually also burned the inside of my mouth fairly bad as well). But really, I am loving it here so far, though that could be because I am not traveling anymore at this point, ha ha.

It's really beautiful here. I haven't seen so much greenery in my life. Like I said, the weather is cool and a little moist and I will cherish it greatly coming from the 100+ degree weather. The temple is literally right next to the MTC and we will be going there twice while we are here. I won't be going the the entire time I'm in the field, so that'll be really nice. I share a dorm-style room with five other guys who I haven't met yet (or I may have and just don't remember the name).

I have been highly fascinated with all the British people here. I guess that's because it's England. We had some British elders on our bus from the airport to the MTC and they poked fun of us for only associating England with Harry Potter and soccer (but really, who wouldn't, they have a stadium literally every few miles!). Still fascinated with them though. There is one talking in the room I'm in and it's a little distracting. I'm sure I'll get used to it, being in England and all. Also, little known fact, the actor who plays Neville Longbottom is from Leeds. I'll let you all know if I baptize him or something.

I hope I don't get any tomatoes thrown at me while I'm here. One of the Elders said he had a friend serving in Leeds that got tomatoes thrown at him on two different occasions. That would be an interesting story, though.

Well, life is good. I don't have much to talk about or much time to do so anyway, so I will have much more to write on Tuesday (my p-day).

Love you all and please write me!

Elder Winder

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First Post!

Onlookers, ho! In the chance you may not have figured it out, this here is my blog. The blog of Alexander Keith Winder (the First). More specifically, in a few short weeks, it will become the MISSION BLOG of ELDER Winder. How cool does that sound? I am posting this at quite a late hour, so I will be brief in my introduction. Three weeks ago, I received a letter from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints informing me that I would be serving a two-year mission preaching the gospel in far-off Leeds, England. I was pleased to know that I would be encountering a foreign language, and an odd one at that: Yorkshire English. Here is a wonderful Youtube clip with an example of the accent:

I can only hope every girl in Northern England is as cute as little Millen there (and carries the exact same accent). Anyway, I'll be leaving on a jet plane August 5, 2011 all the way from my home in Las Vegas, Nevada, across the Atlantic to the Manchester, England Airport and from there to the English Missionary Training Center in Preston, England, conveniently located next to the Preston Temple, and a short 2-hour drive from my final destination, the mission home in Leeds, England, 3 weeks later.

I don't know much about the area yet, but here's a short description of what I know, and I'll be sure to send updates later on when I find out how wrong I am. The weather, despite the area being about in line longitudinally with Southern Canada, is fairly mild all year round, since it's surrounded by water. I should expect high 60s in the summer and low 30s in the winter, and very frequent precipitation throughout the year. The food is probably more similar to American food than any other country but Canada. They have pizza, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, etc. and that is common to eat day in and night out. They do have traditional English food, of course, but it is less commonly served nowadays than it used to be, with the exception of Sunday feast, which is nearly always a large traditional dinner. Traditional meals almost always include a meat of some sort, usually lamb or pork, but often chicken and bangers (sausages) as well. Potatoes and beans are very common side dishes as are puddings, which are really more like dough and not always eaten as a dessert in England. Desserts after meals, however, are very common, and often include puddings, pastries, biscuits (cookies), cakes, and custard (which is like a sauce-like ice cream). Of course, fish and chips are very popular, and pies are common lunch items, though they are more like Pot Pies than dessert pies. Cheese is also a very common part of meals or snacks in England, and if anyone knows me well, they know I am A-OK with that. Other than food, football (soccer) is a staple in England. Well, that's an understatement. It probably comes 3rd on the daily-life-importance list there, right behind breathing and going to the bathroom (that would be a close 3rd). Again, the accent is funny, funnier so than what we're used to hearing in the London area, because it sort of mixes with the Scottish and even Welsh accents. That will make my time there all the more enjoyable, I presume. If you want to read up on England and see where I'm studying up on it, head on over here: Project Britain. It's a very helpful site.

Well, that was longer than I expected it would. That tends to happen. I will post more as the days come nearer, including my mission address, thoughts leading up, favorite scriptures, etc. When I leave, my mom will have access to this blog and my Facebook account, making occasional updates as well in my behalf. I thank you all for being such inspiring figures in my life! Except for you. You know who you are...

Just kidding. You too. Group hug, everyone.

Until next time,