...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, August 13, 2011

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

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