Monday, October 31, 2011

week 16

Happy Halloween!  They do celebrate Halloween here, but not as big as back home.  We have to go in at 7:00 tonight to be safe.  Guy Fawkes day is this weekend and it is crazy.  Guy went into parliament and try to blow it up with explosives.  He was caught and burned at the stake.  So to celebrate, everyone makes really big bonfires and launches off fireworks.  Its like a British 4th of July!

It was hard leaving Swindon.  I loved the people and the area.  It was a great area.  But new adventures are ahead.  I'm in Walsall which is right in Brum.  It's smaller than Swindon but 10x crazier because it is a city. Our flat is really nice, it's quite big and we have a balcony.  It is right on the canal so we see the canal boats a lot and we walk up that a lot.   

Elder Seigel (my companion) has been out about 17 months.  He is from Alpine Utah and he is 6 ft 8 in tall. He is really funny but also really serious at times.  He has been in Walsall about 5 transfers so about 7 months.  And I will probably be here that long as well.  He is very serious at being a missionary but he has his moments of being funny.  

We have 2 investigators with a date and possibly more to come.  The ward has about 60 members and I have had a DA (dinner appointment) every night I have been here.  We tract a lot but the reason is because the Stake President said if the Litchfield stake knocks every door in 3 years we will see miraculous blessings. So that's what we are doing. The ward is great the people are great and I know I will be here for a while so I'm excited for that. 

I have a saying that I live by now, it is my saying that gets me going and stay working hard.
Pray as though everything depended on the LORD, and work as though everything depended on YOU.
I love being on a mission.  In no way is it easy, you experience the highest highs and the lowest lows. It is a great experience.  I never really noticed, but the gospel really does change lives and I have seen it in my own life and in the lives of people we teach.  It brings true happiness if you do all you can to live it.  It is an amazing blessing that we have in our lives.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

week 15

Alright where to begin.  I'll start with transfers.  I got the call and I got moved out of swindon:(  I'm sad but I'm moving on to someone who I'm prepared for.  Transfer meeting was amazing and President Ogden is just so good!  I love him! 
So I got transfered to Walsall, which is pretty close to Birmingham.    Man we moved in to the flat and boy is it nice!  Our flat is really, really nice and it is in the middle of town so everything is pretty close to us.  I'm so excited about it.
My new companion is Elder Siegel and he is awesome!  He is funny and really really tall lol.  He seems like a hard worker and he trained Elder Harper who is in my group. 
I'm excited for what is to come!  I'm excited for this transfer and for all the things we can accomplish.  I can't wait to get out and meet all the people in Walsall and work hard.  I feel this transfer we will be able to have loads of success so I'm happy.
I'm glad I made the decision to come on a mission.  I wont lie, there are days where I'm like why did I do this, I should have stayed home.  But the blessings I receive every day are amazing.  You meet so many people and they become brothers to you.  When I left Swindon it was really hard to say goodbye to some people.  You really do learn to love the people and they become like family to you. 
This is our new address to our flat:
Elder Michael Barton
45 One Gallery Square
Its a little bit easier than the other one (haha shorter).
Sorry I don't have much to talk about because I don't know anything but I'm really excited for this transfer.  We have a Dinner Appointment tonight so I'm pretty excited for that as well.

Monday, October 17, 2011

week 14

I get to send emails from the computer at the library.  The library is pretty big. (This next part is especially for his mom :))  You would love it.  There are loads and loads of books.  Lots of computers and little children.  
I'm having a contest for bike names.  Please come up with wicked awesome names!   Here's some information about my bike to help you out.  I don't have a picture of my bike close up, but its a mountain bike.  It is black and grey, really ghetto looking, like a thug bike.  It is a boy bike and its personality is rough and tough with a slight side of "I wish I looked better" lol.    That is about it.  Elder Dahl did the same competition and his brother came up with a golden name!  His bike's name is Bilbo Baggins McGagger hahahaha so funny. Its absolutely brilliant!! 
We are getting fed better.  We had a DA with the Wheelers.  He is actually from Turlock and he has a brother who lives in Stockton!  So that was really cool.  

Michael and Elder Lyman

Michael and Elder Muir

Michael and Elder Stoddard
During personal study I usually read a little of Preach My Gospel and then some Book of Mormon.  Sometimes I will read a little in the Ensign.  For companionship study we study what we did in personal study.  Read the white missionary handbook, a chapter in the Book of Mormon,  and then do role plays practicing how we will teach lessons for that day. 
We are teaching this lady from Nigeria.  We are still teaching our mother and daughter investigators.  We weren't able to meet with them for a while because they were so busy, but we were finally able to see them Saturday and we are seeing them tonight as well. 
Transfers are next Wednesday! Insane!  So my next comunication won't be until Wednesday or possibly Thursday.  Then I can let you know if im staying in Swindon or moving on.  I'm excited and nervous all at the same time.  It will be good though.  Life is good here.  We are working hard, playing hard and having fun.  
New words Michael used in his letter this week that made him sound very English:  fret, well good, lad. 

Monday, October 10, 2011

week 13

Michael on a Ram

It is officially winter/fall.  It is windy and cold haha.  We were biking home from the church on Sunday and it was so windy I had to exert effort to get down a hill that is usually really easy.  We got home and I was absolutly shattered!  
I'm really excited because Zone Conference is on Wednesday and it should be really good to hear from President Ogden and the Assistants.  I'm excited for that! 

I love Swindon and don't want to leave, and who knows maybe I will stay here!  Transfers are in 2 weeks so we will find out soon.  I'm coming up on my 3 month mark.  Its crazy time has flown by but seems like it is going slow too haha crazy how it works. We have 4 dinner appointments this week!  The ward is getting more involved and I'm excited about that.  We have 2 investigators and 5 potential investigators.  We are just trying to make contact and get them to progress toward baptism. 
We are working hard with our two investigators to get them to church.  We are working and finding like crazy.  We have potentially 8 people we will be teaching in the next week so I'm excited for that!  It will be a good week!  

The Swindon Elders

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

week 12

Mission Football was yesterday.  There are two Mission Football's.  One in the North Zone and one in the South.  I'm in the south zone so we met up in Cardiff, Wales and played at a local field.  There were three teams.  Team Cardiff, Team Myrther- Tydvill, and us Team Cheltenham.  There were three games and then a final for the best two teams to duke it out for the championship.  We played Cardiff first and won 3-1.  We then played Myrther- Tydvill straight away with no break and lost 2-1 :(  Its ok because then we got a break and played in the finals and WON!!  CHELTENHAM CHAMPIONS!!!  In the final match I got the ball and broke away on a fast break and almost scored but then I got tackled hahaha.  It was really fun and I loved just hanging out with other missionaries and having a good time. 
Michael and Elder Lyman
Michael and Elder Tonga


Cardiff Castle
We were able to watch General Conference.  I'm pretty sure the only one we watched live was the Sunday Morning session, but we watched it at night haha.  The Provo Temple--Thats so cool!!  We watched one session at a member's house and the rest at the stake centre on Sunday.  We were there from 9 til 7--long day. 
Here in Swindon it's been crazy busy these last couple of weeks.  I mean it's October!! We were able to see our new convert last night and he is going back to America to secure everything.  He said when he comes back he hopes to have the Priesthood and to have been to the temple to do baptisms for the dead.  He is awesome and a really good guy.  Even though he got baptised in America it was the best thing for him. When he got baptised the ward was notified 1 hour before and tons of people showed up and he enjoyed it and felt loved. We are working with 2 other way cool investigators. I love them, and they are determined to find out if this is true and for them. 
We were able to do service for a lady in the ward.  All the lawn mowers in England are electric....
and small hahaha
We are working a lot with the members to get referrals and gain the trust of the members.  We feel that it is really working and making a little difference.  We are working hard and staying busy.