...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