Monday, August 29, 2011

Week 7

I've been in Swindon for about three weeks and I'm pretty sure I'm directionally challenged because I have no idea where I'm going, I kinda just follow Elder Dahl around like a lost dog.  But, I'm starting to get a little better. 

The view of the road from the top of a double decker bus
(because I ride them now haha)

The weather here is LOVELY!!  can you hear the sarcasm?  of course not.  It is the most bipolar weather ever!  It rains, then it's sunny, then it pours, then overcast, and so on. Ugh its gonna take some getting used to.      

View of a street corner

View from Penn Hill

We went to church on Sunday and the sound system was broken, so we did the whole sacrament meeting with no sound!  To top it all off we brought an investigator to church--we couldnt hear anything at all.  I'm serious, NOTHING!! After Sacrament Meeting we joked around with him, and asked him what his favourite talk was, he liked that.  We were biking around Saturday night and I got asked if I could be a backup speaker in case one of the speakers fell through.  My first thought was, "does this happen often?".  Of course I hesitantly said yes.  And its not like at home where you have all day to prepare a talk.  I'm a missionary, so I have about 30 minutes of free time and that consists of going to bed early, so I wrote my talk in 5 minutes, never thought that would be possible! 

We are working hard and teaching an investigator who is progressing at the speed of light.  This guy loves what we teach.  He reads, prays and desires to learn more.  We committed him to baptism on September 17 and he accepted!!  He is reading and praying and waiting for an answer.  I love him-- he is a joy to teach and  to be around.  Tonight we are going over to an investigator's house and having family home evening!  That will be way fun.  I'm excited for that.  Missionary work is so fun! You have the funniest moments and meet the craziest people, but I love it.  I know this gospel is true!

Monday, August 22, 2011

week 6

Things here in Swindon are going great!  We have three dinner appointments this week and we had one Sunday as well!! I am excited.  We are teaching a lot of people and our goal is to get an investigator with a baptism date this week. Well everyday we ride around and see some potential investigators, former investigators, and less active members.  We went tracting and got 2 return appointments but 1 already fell through.  We're working hard and just trying to reach our goal. 
Today we have flat check, we cleaned our flat sooo good! It is way clean haha.  The cleanest flat gets the clean flat award at the end of transfers so we are working to get that!  We will win, I know it, our flat is spotless.  haha
We are working everyday really hard and seeing people.  I'm tired almost all the time haha but I get used to it pretty fast.  All I can say is when I get home I'm gonna be ripped because we workout and bike so much haha. 
We had district meeting on Wednesday and we had Sister Ogden's paninnis for lunch and they were amazing!!
Other than that no exciting news this week.  Just a normal week. 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Week 5

 As for here in Swindon, England. The rioting hasn't hit Swindon hard at all. Tiny little riot one night so we stayed in our flat that night.  Nothing to worry about at all. I went on exchanges with DL(District Leader) Price and that was well...scary (haha).  He is a really good missionary and he talks to everyone he sees.  I got out alive though so everything is all good.  Halfway through the day my bike chain snapped, haha joys of missionary work! My fault since the bike was cheap (lol). It's alive again though, the store fixed it for FREE!!  Amazing word to hear.  About my bike--My bike is good. PLEASE SEND MY BIKE CUSHION. My butt hurts 24/7 when I ride that dang thing.  Bought it for £79.  Fetching steal.  We bike so much here lol.  Everytime I think of a bike my thighs automatically hurt.  Funny stuff--we were at district meeting and we got all this stuff we had to take home so I strapped up and put it all on haha.  Gear, a dvd player, a fire exstinguisher, first aid kit, area book, and all my stuff.  Then we had to bike home,which is about 3 or 4 miles haha YES!!  
It is my 1 month anniversary though! I've been on a mission for 1 month and it has gone by slow, but at the same time really fast!!  Crazy to think about.  We did some tracting yesterday, which I learned don't tract on a Sunday because no one wants to be bothered and so they just don't answer, and if they do they are pretty angry lol.  Oh well brush it off! As for investigators we are working with 4 potentials.  They are all way cool and excited to learn more about the gospel. Keep them in your prayers.  I witnessed another baptism Friday.  It was amazing, a 16 year old girl who absolutely loves this gospel.  She is amazing and the spirit was so strong at that baptism.  Oh guess who is coming to our mission to speak to us in September?  DAVID A. BEDNAR!!!  I'm so excited! An apostle of the Lord is coming to talk with us! How amazing is that.  I'm so excited I can't even explain.   
Missionary work is hard, I'm not gonna lie.  Its tiring and draining.  I come home everyday knackered(tired).  But we keep pushing foward and we will find those who are prepared to hear what we have to share.  I was telling Elder Dahl yesterday that when they don't listen it makes me feel sad.  We are acting in the name of Jesus Christ so they aren't rejecting us, they are rejecting Him.  But you brush it off and find those few ready to receive.  I love this work.  Its draining and its fun.  Everyday wondering who will we find.  I love this church.  We were talking with someone and they asked us, "why do you do this?".  I said, "that is a good question.  Im 19 years old, I could be in college, hanging out with mates and enjoying life, but I have given two years to help you.  I have happiness through the gospel of Jesus Christ and I want you to have the same thing because I know it can make you so much happier."
Michael's address to his flat:
Elder Michael Barton
59 Helmsdale
Green Meadow
Swindon SN25 1RA

Thursday, August 11, 2011

MTC pictures

If you're interested, our friend Kathy Walker sent a link to these pictures taken while Michael was in the MTC.


Monday, August 8, 2011

week 4!

This week has been weird because of transfers! 
  • Thursday we got settled and got all my stuff like my bike and groceries. 
  • Friday we did service and prepared for a baptism then we were at that all night. 
  • Saturday we were in Warwick(war-ick) all day for a wedding/baptism of Elder Dahl's old investigators. 
    Michael and Warwick Castle
  • Sunday we were at church and meetings all day.
  • Today is pday so were gonna go shopping and stuff. 
There are Swindon A elders and Swindon B elders.  Me and Elder Dahl are Swindon B elders and Elder Price and Reed are Swindon A, so we see them a lot and at church.  Its cool to see other elders all the time, doesn't make you feel all alone.  We haven't done much tracting or even teaching and our numbers show, but me and Elder Dahl are feeling really positive about this week.  We already have 4 appointments set and we're gonna visit some referrals.   We also have three potentials for baptism so that should be great!  We have a 10/10/10/10 vision.  Talk to a person within the first 10 minutes----talk to at least 10 people a day----hand out 10 Books of Mormon a week----have at least 10 appointments a week.  That will keep us nice and busy so I'm excited.  I pray all the time to be happy and have fun, and it is working so I know I'm getting answers to my prayers.  It's hard, but I have a quote that says you only grow when you're out of your comfort zone.  So I'm growing a lot!!      
There are so many little people in our ward that it is crazy loud in there.  The Bishop and Ward Mission leader seem cool.  The ward mission leader is from Hungary. I haven't had much interaction with the members, but they seem nice.  We haven't had one Dinner Appointment.  I'm praying next week we will get some.  We live off pizza and cereal.  But last night I made rice and pasta.  Pretty dang good. 
The people are awesome everyone is like "hey alright mate" which means hey how ya doing.  You answer
"alright mate".  And when you leave you say "alright cheers mate" which is alright thanks see ya.
Its so cool.  I love the language and want an accent!
We bike...a lot hahaha.  We bike on the street; and here if you bike you're like a car, so we bike as close to the curb as we can and cars just go around us--its crazy (I promise I'm safe).  We bike uphill, downhill, in the mud, everywhere.  Im getting more used to it but I was sore at first haha. Its cold!  It rained so hard yesterday and I was soaked. So today we're going to buy me waterproof trousers (like rain gear for golf lol).  My jacket works though!  The city is small but big.  Its a classy little English town but it has its big parts to it at the same time.  Its really awesome though--I love it. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

In the Field!

     I'm officially in the England Birmingham Mission, or the EBM, which stands for Earth's Best Mission!! haha  We woke up at 5 on Wednesday and we drove to the mission home in Birmingham.  Here we met the President who is awesome, to say the least; and the greenies got some hazing lol. We stood on a wall and introduced ourselves and everyone cheered and stuff.  We then went in the transfer meeting to meet our trainers.  My companion is Elder Dahl.   I'll be with him for at least one transfer, so 6 weeks; and even possibly 2 transfers.  We then rode the bus and train to my first area --Swindon, which is the southernmost part of the mission.  Pretty small area--way awesome though. 
     But anyway the language is awesome everyone is like, morning mate, alright mate, oh bless, he's so dodgey.  It is awesome.  I don't have an accent yet, but my companion does when he talks to local people haha. It's so cool how it turns on and off like that. 

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

week 3 part 2

We went proselyting in Manchester!  We caught a train to Manchester and proselyted for about 3 hours.  We contacted 14 people and got rejected by . . . . all of them.  Oh well, lots of good experiences and real stuff, gotta keep pushing forward!  Like Elder Helski says, "each rejection is another brick in my palace".  I love this so much, but get distracted sometimes, I'm working on staying focused.  There are "testimony shaker" days but you pray more and push through.  Elder Bednar said that "moving forward is all we can do in those times."  I'm so excited to just get out in the field and do the work.  My testitmony has grown so strong since I've been here.  I know this is the true gospel of Jesus Christ.  He atoned for our sins and because of that we can return to him again.  He loves us so much and wants us to be happy by following him and being baptized.  I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. 
P.S.  Tell all the peeps to write me and send pictures--that would be nice!

week 3

 Michael and his MTC instructor (left)  The Helaman District (right) 

Today is my last day in the MTC. We have a transfer meeting today, and leave bright and early tomorrow morning.  The bus ride to Birmingam (I'm going to type it how it's said) is about 2 hours, so I'll be in Birmingam by 10 am which is awesome! Maybe I'll get to do some contacting on my first day, and even a baptism! (haha optimistic but I like it!) I"m excited and scared at the same time to get out but it will be good.

Well my next email will come from the field, and I will be living the missionary life with a bike and what not!

Monday, August 1, 2011

new address

Michael is leaving the MTC this week.  His new address is:

Elder Michael Barton
England Birmingham Mission
187 Penns Lane
Sutton Coldfield
West Midlands B76 1JU