...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

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

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