Monday, September 26, 2011

week 11

I have mission football (soccer) practice today, so I don't have much time to write.  It will be fun being with all the elders!  We have mission football next week. 
Our investigators are doing well.  Some are very interested and committed to know if this is true.  We are visiting with a lot of members and building the trust of the ward as well, so that's really cool .  We are trying to get the members excited and more involved in missionary work. We just hope as we show them we are serious they will want to be as well. 
We go to Cheltenham to watch conference.  We will sleep over at the Cheltenham elders' flat and conference is Saturday night and Sunday.  The time change makes it weird. The only one we see live is the Sunday night one.  Its all jumbled around and I'm not even too sure, but at least we get to watch it. 
I don't know if I'll be transferred this time.  Transfers are on the 26th of October.  Usually greenies stay with their trainers for 2 transfers.  It could go either way because next transfer will be Elder Dahl's 4th in Swindon, so honestly I have no idea.  Our District Leader thinks I will get moved, but President decides so who knows.  So if you want to send mail make sure to send it so it arrives here before the 26th--just in case!
We are working hard and staying busy!

Monday, September 19, 2011

week 10

This week was long because it was transfer week.  I didn't think I would get moved just yet, and I didn't so I'll be here for another 6 weeks.  We have a new elder, he is new to Swindon but he has been out 18 months.  He's our new district leader and his name is Elder Stoddard.  
Our investigator who we committed to baptism, got baptized . . . in Long Beach, California :(  All that matters is that he got baptized (and that he is bringing us back oreos haha just kidding).  He is a way cool guy.  I'm so proud that he made this step in his life.  He texted us after his baptism and he said it was the best decision he has ever made and he is excited and happy.  That made us happy, so we celebrated by getting a battered Mars Bar.  What is it?  A Milky Way candy bar, battered.  The first time I had one I smelt it and I'm pretty sure my heart stopped, but they are really good.  

It isn't summer anymore. Fall has officially hit.  Its clear blue skies but freezing!!  I don't even know how thats possible.  From inside the flat it looks like a hot summer day and you step outside and you turn right around and grab a jacket.  I have a feeling it is going to be a cold winter.   
We are starting to get a couple more dinner appointments,  but the ward feels instead of feeding us they just give us bags of cookies.  PLEASE FEED THE MISSIONARIES IN THE MODESTO 1ST WARD EVERY DAY!!!!!  We manage though, we have rice and chicken almost everyday for every meal and we throw burgers in sometimes.  I'm not too sure but I think I've gained weight.  I would weigh myself but no one has a scale in England, so I'm on the search for a scale. 
Town is way fun!  There are a lot of shops.  Primark, Subway, ASDA, which is like Walmart.  Madalans, which is a really cool place (cool clothes but well good suits).  
We are teaching loads of people, about 7 people or so.  Some are Less Active Members or Recent Converts.  We are teaching a woman and her daughter who are amazing!! I love them and they seem interested, they just have a lot of questions.  We are working on getting them to church on Sunday.  
Were staying busy and working hard! 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

week 9 (transfer week)

On top of the world!

Sorry I didn't write Monday.  It is transfers this week and so on transfer weeks our P-day is moved to Wednesday.  So here I am!!
Transfers are today and 13 new missionaries enter which means a couple things:
1.  I made it through my 1st transfer!
2.  We're not the newest missionaries anymore!!
Our district is getting all moved around so we should be expecting some new faces at the next district meeting.  Should be way good. 
Man oh man!  Made it through my first transfer!! Crazy I've been out 2 months today!  We are working hard and teaching people.  Our investigator is still in America, so we dont know when or even where he will get baptized.  We are going to go crazy!!  We're teaching some other people and some are progressing and some are not unfortunately. 
It is fall in England and the leaves are dropping along with the temperature.  Right now it's 13 degrees so I don't even know if that's cold or not because im horrible with the conversion stuff lol!
Out of the mission in Oxford!

As a mission we were blessed to hear from Elder David A. Bednar of the twelve.  Elder Bednar was AMAZING!!  He is inspired and called of God.   He came in and we all went up and each of us got to shake his hand.  He said,  "If we know who we are and we know our purpose for being out here, we don't need numbers or events to justify our mission."  It's so true though---numbers don't matter one bit.  If you are out here working like crazy and you do all you can, then you were successful.  He had some great stories and insights, and he bore his testimony and I'm pretty sure the whole room was filled with the spirit and everyone had tears in their eyes.  It was an amazing weekend.  Starting the new transfer and setting goals so we can be successful but happy and also have fun.  I know this gospel is true.  If it weren't there wouldn't be 150 19-21 year old boys out here teaching and preaching.  This gospel brings happiness to all those who embrace it in their lives.  I know that being out here on a mission will change my life in more ways than I can imagine.  You feel it everyday and you know what you're doing is right.  I was talking with my companion and we said if you believe in the very basics, the rest will come.  Have faith in the small things, bear testimony and then your faith will grow in the big things.  I love this gospel and I love this work.  I love being a missionary!
And for my primary friend:  What do I love about missionary work?   I love meeting new people, teaching people about Jesus Christ, and sharing my testimony with others. 
Thanks for all the letters and cards and pictures you send me. 
(Michael is at the same address for at least 6 more weeks)
Elder Michael Barton
59 Helmsdale
Green Meadow
Swindon SN25 1RA

Monday, September 5, 2011

week 8

Here I am in Swindon, almost through my first transfer!  Crazy to think.  Next transfer we are getting 13 new missionaries!! Thats an insane amount of missionaries. 
We're teaching our golden investigator, and he is moving to L.A :(  sad times for us.  He wants to get baptized with the people that first introduced him to the church.  I'm fine as long as he stays strong and gets baptized.  But then he called yesterday and said he might just get baptized in Swindon because it would be easier. He gets back from LA in a couple of days and he said he would let us know where it will happen when he returns.  This guy is awesome!! He called us up and was like hey I'm gonna bring you back something, what do you want?  We were like uhhhhhhh whatever you feel is good.  He was like okay I'll bring back some double stuffed oreos hahahahaha it was awesome"
Other than that investigator, we are teaching a woman and her daughter.  They are awesome and have been taught by a long line of missionaries, they have questions and concerns but I feel that they have been prepared by the Lord.  They are interested, they just want answers to their questions, which sometimes is hard.  
We have done some GQ'ing (Street Contacting) and we met a couplpe of potential investigators that we are going to meet.  We are focusing on expanding our teaching pool.  Its a good goal that I know we can reach if we just trust in the Lord and put our heart into it.  
Oh yea guess what?  My bike seat cushion got knicked(stolen) by some Chavs(gangsters) ahhh!!!!  We were in Park North, super ghetto place, and some chavs came up to us and started talking and i got distracted and forgot to put it in my bag and they knicked it when we left.  ahhhh!!! oh well lol
T-Minus 5 days until David A. Bednar comes to Birmingham! I'm so excited!  We each get to shake his hand.  I'm gonna take a picture and send it home because it will be awesome!!!  I cannot wait for Saturday!
Lower Lights District

We had a trainer trainee meeting a couple of days ago.  That was cool i got to see some of my MTC buddies and hang for about an hour.  It was a fun time seeing them and seeing how much everybody has grown in these 4 weeks out. 
I love being a missionary.  Sharing the gospel and watching people accept it and grow is an amazing thing.  I wouldn't trade this for anything in the world because it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to serve a mission as a 19 year old.