Monday, April 28, 2014

Area 3: Mitcham (Greater London)

It's Elder Green's birthday in a couple of weeks...May 15th! I know the best present he could get is to hear from friends and family, so if you have time...send him a note. They can be mailed to the mission office address located on the right column of this blog, or I just saw that he has added his new flat address at the bottom of this post...(Remember, it takes a week or more for mail to get to England from the states, and requires $1.10 postage.)

Oh my days, this last week has been so good. I love it up here in London. It was honestly a shock to the system, at first. People actually want to talk to us (sometimes). And we're actually able to go out and get work done. We haven't picked up tons of new investigators yet, but boy, they're coming.

Elder Munson is such a good, hard-working missionary. He wants to get work done, and wants to help me in any way he can. He and I get along super well -- I can totally see him hanging out with Tay, Sammy, Tahoe, Henry and I. He's from Pleasant Grove, but acts very California. So, we work hard together, and have a lot of fun doing it.

So, the area's much different than any of my previous areas. Where I actually felt like I was in England when I was in Newton Abbot and Havant, I feel like I'm in Little Ghana here. Kind of. The majority of the ward is African -- Ghanaian, Mauritian, Ugandan, etc. There are a few English people in the ward, but not too many. So basically, the culture that I was used to isn't how it is here. The ward members here are so happy to share the gospel, though. We get plenty of referrals from the members, and have gone to both a DA and an activity this week where members have brought friends and talked to them about coming to church. And they said yes! Granted, they didn't actually come to church yet, but we'll get them there.

The biggest challenge in this area is getting new investigators. When we talk to people on the street, they're very happy to listen, and have a lesson with there on the street. However, when we try to get contact details, a good many of them aren't too willing. They say they'll get us on, or they'll call us, but many don't. I understand, it's a busy life here in London, but we're working to actually start teaching more people.

The food here, is so nice. My first day here, we had a member who had given us some foo foo and peanut soup. It was really, really tasty. I'm a big fan. I'm determined to learn to make it so that I can bring it home, but I've heard it's quite difficult to do correctly.

Everything else is going pretty well. I'm the new organist for the ward (as Sister West and Elder Munson are both tired of doing it). The Sisters are an incredible example to us, as they're tearing it up. I mean, they're baptizing left and right. Sister Yoshimura and Sister West work together really well, and want to work their hardest, so it's not hard to follow their example.

I think that's pretty much it. I love you guys,

- Elder Green

P.S. I'm trying to get permission to go see Hamlet at the Globe Theatre for P-Day next week. Tickets are £5. Crazy, huh? Cross your fingers.

P.P.S. If you want to send post to the flat, my current address is:

8 Netley Gardens
First Floor
Morden, Greater London

Here's a few more pictures...

Our very messy kitchen...

And our messy study room...

And our dorky selves...

And our messy bedroom!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Me and my instruments are moving to the city...

The flax seed fields are in bloom...

I'm glad that Easter went over so well! We had a great day at church. The Bishopric all spoke, and they are very inspiring speakers. We had two choir numbers (I had to read it off the paper as we sang, because we couldn't attend the choir practices for the past few weeks with correlation), and Sister Perry -- a good friend of Sister Hall -- sang a solo. It was really quite nice.

We didn't get invited to anyone's home for dinner, but Bishop Grant had Elder Gull and I and Joss over for a barbecue on Friday. And even though the Grant's have been in my book of favorite people for a good while, they've just solidified their spot there: I now have a mandolin. And a really nice one at that. I know Mom, even sending me to another country couldn't stop my instrument collecting. I don't have a picture of it now, but I can stick it in tomorrow, or the day following when I get a chance to Email.

Speaking of which, I'm moving. I've been here an awfully long time, and they've decided that they would like to stick me up in London proper, in a place called Mitcham. I'll be District Leader up there with Elder Munson, who's Elders' Quorum President. And I'll actually have Sisters in my district. Luckily, Sister West is one of them, so she'll be able to tutor me on how to work with Sisters.

Elder Dyck goes home today, and he's feeling pretty bittersweet about it all. I'll definitely miss him tons. I've only had one transfer so far on my mission not serving with him, so it's definitely going to be strange.

Our last week has been pretty good. Not really too much different. We worked with a few less-active members, which was nice to jump into again. It was funny, because I've noticed that in this area, more than ever, I've run into so many less-actives on the street. We met one in the mall last Monday or Tuesday, and the Chinese Elders in Portsmouth called last night about another one that they found street contacting in their area. They'll be working with him, as he's Chinese.

Anyway, not too much else to report this week. Elder Gull just got finished fleshing out a rabbit hide for president, and boiling and bleaching the fox and rabbit skulls. Our flat still smells like boiled head. Yuch!

I can't think of anything else that I would need... I always think of that in the middle of the week when I'm not Emailing... Don't worry about it, I'm happy as it is.

I hope you guys have a great rest of the week, and I'll probably write again once I'm up in London.

Burning old records...again!

Love you,

- Elder Green

Friday, April 18, 2014


In celebration of Easter, has posted a new page explaining the whole meaning of Easter. It includes a new, very powerful video of scenes from the Savior's life that explains just what He actually did for us. It really shows just what a difference He has made in our lives.

Monday, April 14, 2014

"Our flat smells like boiled head and bad air freshener..."

Elder Lusty's view of our district...kind of creepy!
(Elder Dyck, Me, Elder Lusty and Elder Gull)

Heck man, what's up with everyone getting married? I'm excited for Alyssa. She emailed her invitation this last week, and Mikey sent me a copy of his as well. It's just weird, still, thinking that so many of my friends will be married by the time I get home...

Weather's warming up beautifully. It's supposed to hit 20 C (about 70 F) this week, which means it'll be beautiful. It's been sunny and warm, and everyone's out on the weekends. Elder Gull and I were sitting on the bridge yesterday watching a group of people playing Cricket in the park. We still can't figure out the rules.

A beautiful lake up in Petersfield.
Work's still going well. It was a bit slower this week, as we spent a good amount of time sorting out the area book. It's been a bit messed up for a while now, so we went through and took out absolutely everything that was of no use to us. Now we can actually update it regularly without having to re-sort it out every evening.

I had to do my first baptismal interview last week for Chichester's investigator Katie. It was a great experience. She was brought to church by her friend Josie last November, and she's been working with the missionaries since January-ish. Absolutely prepared, which is so wonderful. I asked her towards the end of the interview if she felt like she was ready to be baptized, and she said, "Yeah, I definitely do. But I feel more ready to actually just be a member of the church." She and Joss both are fantastic additions to the ward that are already beginning to build it powerfully. It's really good to see.

The baptism this weekend went off without (much) of a hitch. the only problem was the dodgy television set that won't play our DVDs. Oh well. We just pulled out an old church movie of Wilford Woodruff's conversion, which worked just fine.

Transfers are next week, as this has only been a five-week transfer. I think that I'll probably be moving on (for real this time). I'm going to be sad if I have to leave Chichester ward behind, but I'm happy to do what the Lord will have me do. Elder Hayes is in Kennington already, and his companion (Elder Aichele) is going home this transfer, so maybe there'll be a spot for me. Whatever happens, I'm happy to do it.

As a side note... I think I mentioned it, but the Chichester elders picked up a dead fox that got hit on the side of the road... And they skinned it out... And now they're having Elder Gull bleach out the skull. So, our flat smells beautifully like boiled head and bad air freshener... Yeah.

Elder Gull getting the fox ready for the Chichester elders.

And, as another sidebar, I've actually been thinking a bit about my career when I get home. I was talking with someone on the bus on Saturday about how I might be going for Chemical Engineering, and another man piped in saying, "Well, you'll always be poor!" He himself was a Chemical Engineer, and a lot of what he was saying about it didn't sound my favorite. And Civil Engineering as well doesn't hold the same shine anymore. I mean, I love math, and the ingenuity of engineering, but I don't know. I think if I do go the root of engineering, I'll be shooting more for architecture. But, anyway, all that combined with that Elaine Bradley "I'm a Mormon" just made me more desirous to perform. I don't know. I'll probably keep to Dad's advice: "Work on your engineering degree, start a band, and do that on the side. And if you end up like U2, then wonderful. If not, then you'll still be able to provide for yourself and your family." (I'm sure this won't be the last plan we hear from him...)

Elder Gull's burning socks.

Anyway, Love you guys.

- Elder Green

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Neon Trees!

Well, I believe you all know just how much of a fan of good music I am. I was extremely stoked to see Brandon Flowers put up his "I'm a Mormon" video about a year or so ago when the campaign was first starting up, shortly followed by Lindsey Stirling. I'm super excited, though, to see Elaine Bradley, drummer of Neon Trees, create her own. Watching it really helped me to understand the importance of dedication to family, despite hurry and rush from concerts, recording sessions, and the like. Anyway, check it out:

Monday, April 7, 2014

"This is the best thing I could possibly be doing right now..."

Remember how I said I wanted a portrait of myself? Well, I got it.
One of the members of our ward is an avid painter and did a portrait of each of the missionaries!
I really enjoyed conference. It was pretty heavy this time, wasn't it? A lot of really good talks, a lot of really powerful messages. None of the speakers left any room for thinking their message wasn't of the utmost importance. We haven't been able to watch the Sunday Afternoon session yet -- never do. It airs here around 9:00 PM, but I'll be downloading it so that we have the chance of listening to it throughout the week. So, needless to say, I missed President Packer's testimony... But yes, we'll catch up on it.

I think my two favorites would have to have been Elder Oaks talk in Priesthood session and Elder Bednar's during Sunday Morning. Really powerful messages to be proactive, take your load and share it with the Lord. I picked up so many needed answers from their talks. But man, did Saturday Morning Session scare you a little, too? All the talks were about facing trials and abuse, and holding on to the hope we have in Christ. I don't know what's coming...

The week has gone quite well. I had my first district meeting, and went on exchange with the Zone Leaders. They said they were quite impressed with how I handled the district meeting, which is good to hear. Luckily, the little duties of District Leadership haven't been to difficult or stressful. Really, the hardest part is helping the other missionaries. Not that it's terribly difficult figuring out how to handle situations -- prayer and counsel with the Zone Leaders and Elder Gull really help there. It's the stress that comes in not knowing that there's going to be a definitive answer to every question. But, oh well. I keep on.

As for the rest of your questions:
  • License is coming  along well, Elder Gull and I just got our provisionals, and we're scheduling our theory test today. Elder Gull got to drive while on exchange with the Zone Leaders... Lucky..  

  • Chichester has a baptism scheduled with Katie this Saturday. Jade may or may not make it. If not, no problem whatsoever. We'll do what we can to help her reach it when she reaches it.
  • The electric fence was no big deal... It was just a wire running by. It didn't hurt...too bad.
  • No, we didn't get to go up to the temple with Joss, but she really enjoyed the time she was able to spend up there, which is great. We might be going up with Jade this week, though.
 So excited to hear about Carter's mission call! Man, that guy's so solid.

And yes, I am very happy. You have to understand one thing about missionary work -- it is stressful. It's usually going to be stressful. But, I think Brady put it best in some advice he gave me before I left: "When you're on your mission, you're going to have days when no one wants to talk to you, when every door slams in your face, and when every single appointment you had cancels. But, [when you're obedient], you'll go to bed so happy that you were able to go out and work that day." The bracketed text is my own addition, but it's true. This is the best thing I could possibly be doing right now, and I am so happy to be able to do it.

Zone Conference...serious...
and, Zone Conference...silly...
Our mantle outfitted with beaver and rabbit hides and a fishing pole. Elder Gull is trying his best to turn me into a 'redneck.' We got the rabbit hides from the butcher, and I fleshed and tanned the one on the right, all by myself.

Elder Gull by the seaside on Hayling Island.

I love the rows of brightly colored beach huts on Hayling Island.
People own these and keep them stocked with all their 'beach stuff.' I wish they had these at Rincon!
Love you all,

- Elder Green