...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)

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

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