Tuesday, March 27, 2012

week 37

One of our investigators said she would come to church, but then she wouldn't pick up our calls and she didn't come to church and we havent heard from her since saturday :(  Hard when that happens but there's agency for you.  It stinks sometimes hahaha.   We hope to see her soon, that would be really cool!
As far as our other investigator goes, she keeps setting up appointments and then flogging us.  I'm not too sure what's going on, but I really just want to teach her.  I haven't taught her since I've been here and I've only seen her 3 times.  
The kid we met on the bus is good, we met with him and his friends and gave them all Books of Mormon.  He is reading and I think he is really enjoying it!  I'm excited for the future with him!  We have some amazing things happening in our area!
We have a dinner appointment tonight, tomorrow, Thursday, Friday and Sunday.  It will be good.  They do a good job at feeding us.  The members are alll scattered around.  It is good though.  There are members who have been in this branch for over 40 years and there are recent converts, move ins, all sorts of people.  It's a good branch and they are getting a building!  Its soo cool to see, and its the talk of the town so publicity is through the roof.  You drive right past it on the main road, so everyone sees it!
Conference this weekend!  We will go up Saturday to NewCastle to watch the Priesthood session.  Then on Sunday we are thinking that there is a family in the branch who have 4 kids.  The two older boys are married and have families so that makes about 15 people or so.  We are probably going to go over to their place on Sunday and everyone will be there.  We will watch conference have a BBQ in between the sessions and have a good ole time!  I'm excited for that because everyone in that family is not only way awesome but hilarious!!  So those are our plans.
Our flat is 3 stories.  You walk in and it's a tiny space for the bikes and supplies, then you walk up the stairs and it's the lounge and the kitchen.  The kitchen has two frigdes and two freezers lol and a washer and dryer!  Awesome!  The lounge has two chairs, our desks and a basketball hoop mounted on the wall so we play a game of horse or pig every now and again. lol its awesome!  Then you walk up the stairs and its Elder Lyman's changing room, the bathroom and the bedroom, my changing room, workout room.  It is a really nice flat!  I dont think anyone else lives around us.  its all businesses and shops.  We live right in town centre.  Its cool because on Friday before weekly planning we cross the street and there is a market with bread and cinnamon rolls and loads of baked goods!!  Its awesome! 
Man the weather here is amazing, it is for sure spring time.  The sun is out and the grass is green.  Short sleeves from here on out.  It is nice when it is nice weather because people are happier and more willing to stop and chat with you. 
Michael and his "daddy" Elder Dahl--Elder Dahl trained Michael

Mythyr madness

Elder Wright (zone leader) and Michael
We had mission football the other day.  It was good!  Our team Mythyr Madness got 2nd place!  We were highly out numbered but still did good!  
Things are going well here in Milford.  Good weather, a couple of investigators, a good branch, what more can you ask for!

Monday, March 19, 2012

week 36

Elder Lyman and I singing a little somethin on our ukes:

Happy St. Patricks Day!   I don't think they celebrate St. Patrick's Day here, I didnt know it was St. Patricks day til I got that card from you.   
One of our investigators is doing really well.  She asks 500 bajillion questions. We are going to help her move tomorrow and then teach her after.  It will be good fun.  I'm excited to see how she progresses.  We have tried to see our other investigator twice now and each time she has flogged us.  Basically we go to her house and knock and she isn't there.  So we're not too sure about her right now. 
We are doing loads of finding!  Talking to everyone!  People will stop but only a few will listen.  The branch is getting a building and it will be finished in November, so thats soo cool.  We were on the bus and we drove past the site and we were saying, "ahh yea its looking good" and some kid behind us started asking us questions so we were chatting with him and we gave him a Book of Mormon and we are seeing him tomorrow.  He is awesome! 

The other day we went up to this village called Mathrey, which is in the middle of nowhere wales byt the coast.  We had to take two buses to get there hahaha.  We were speaking to a member and he said he had a friend in this village but he had no address.  Well we got there and we tracted the whole village hahaha it was pretty awesome! 
Last week after we emailed we hopped a ride with a member and we went to this place called Barafundel Bay which is supposed to be one of the top 10 most beautiful beaches in the world!  So we got there but we had to walk some distance. The member didn't come because he is older and he didn't want to walk. So we walked, but we went the wrong way beacuase there was a fork--and we went to Stackpole Quay( pronounced key).  Hahaha we didn't even make it to Barafundel but Stackpole was gorgeous so here are some pictures. 

For conference we will be traveling to New Castle Emlyn which is about 3-4 hours from here northeast.  So we go up there to do that!  I'm excited that will be way fun! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

week 35

Wales is really so beautiful!

Our area is very big and we find people all the usual ways.  We tract, we stop by potential and former investigators' houses, we get referrals from members and we contact people on the street.   Funny story about street contacting and me not speaking Welsh. We were walking up this street and there is this older women so I go up and say something like, "Hi ma'am how are you?" and she grunts something in Welsh.  And I thought, its a good think I speak Welsh--not.  It's a funny language.  We also use the area book, which is a book that has everybody in it that has been taught and baptised, who was taught and never baptised, who is being taught, people we meet on the streets. It has an area map in the front, it's full of everything and we look at this everyday and use it to plan out our days and what not.
Out tracting by the ocean!

Man this week has been absolutely nuts.  We worked so hard and it was one of those weeks where you just get nothing.  But we did get a lot of tender mercies and I am grateful for that.  I'm excited for this upcoming week.  We are gonna work sooo hard!  We are teaching a couple of people right now, two women.  They are way cool.  One of them actually stopped the previous elders and wanted to know more.  We are starting from the beginning teaching her about the Restoration and what not.  The other wants to be baptised we just have to set her on a date, we are teaching her and helping her to recognize the promptings of the spirit. 
The branch is small, probably 30 active members if not less.  It's pretty mixed there are families as well as older people.  I'ts good, but the problem is the area is sooo huge that everyone is all spread out.  It makes it hard, and not everyone has cars and ugh it can get frustrating sometimes.  The branch president is AWESOME!!  He is the funniest guy ever!  He has two 10 year old boys, I think they are twins. 

He lives on a farm so we help him work on the farm every Thursday.  I should have brought my boots lol.  Last Thursday I cut wood and fed chickens--pretty awesome! 
When we were helping at his farm last Thrusday we took lunch break at the beach because you can see the ocean from his place its about a 5 minute drive.  So yea hahaha awesome--never thought I'd be at the beach!

Elder Lyman is the man.  We are getting along way good!   Things are good.  Our flat is great!!  Man it has a dryer which is soooo rare in England/Wales.  We mostly just air dry using drying racks but its soo much faster this way hahaha I love it!  We are right in town as well so we don't have to travel to far to get to places.  On Sundays we teach the investigators' class when any investigators come. Besides that we just help set up because we aren't in a proper building. We are actually teaching the sharing time in primary next week so that will be fun!  But we haven't been asked to teach or speak in sacrament meeting.  

Monday, March 5, 2012

week 34

I live on a street called old bridge and its right next to a canal with.....an old bridge that leads to an old castle--its AWESOME!!! 
Elder Lyman is 1 transfer older than me.  I have been out just about 8 months and he just hit his 9 month mark.  It's cool because were both young!  He has served in Nuneaton in Birmingham and Evesham and now here.  He was here last transfer as well so he knows the area a little.  He's from Fruit Heights Utah,  graduated from Davis too (hahaha)!  We're going to work crazy hard!
The country of Wales is absolutely BE-A-U-TIFUL.  There are loads of beaches, and gorgeous countrysides!  We live in a city called Haverfordwest.  It is a nice city and really big as well.  We live right in town centre, so thats convenient. We have a two story flat.  It's way nice, it's above a tattoo parlor hahaha ironic.  We're like pretty much besties with the guy that works there haha he is a way cool guy!  Most people here speak English, that is their first language, but then they can speak Welch.  It's a weird language hahaha.
Our area is the biggest area in the mission.  We cover hundreds of miles.  There are big cities and small ones and villages as well.  Our main form of transportation is bus.  We bus everywhere and walk as well.  We spend loads of time traveling.  We were on a bus to church and it was about an 1 hour bus ride. 
The closest missionaries are like a 2 hour train ride away, so not much contact with the outside world.  Here we have a branch.  We don't have a chapel yet, but one is being built and should be finished in November.  We meet in the Johnston Institute Building, which I think is like a community centre.  So we get to church early and set up chairs and the sacrament table and all that.  The branch is very small, yesterday there were probably 30 members there.  It will be different but I'm excited!   

Thursday, March 1, 2012

week 33

I'm happy :).  I finally got my birthday package 2 days ago hahaha! What had happened was that it arrived, but the postman never gave me anything saying it was here or anything so it sat in the office for a month-- hahaha fail!  But I finally got it!  Im having the mac & cheese for lunch today!
The new bike--much more solid!
The milk from the milkman.  It is awesome!  It is soooo thick it is like drinking a milkshake!
So I broke my foot.  I was playing basketball with some less actives and non members like we do every Thursday.  Well literally 5 minutes before we ended I landed on my foot wrong when I came down from a rebound.  I originally thought it was a sprain, but the bruising indicated otherwise.  I went to the A&E (accidents and emergencies) at the hospital and they brought me into the xray room.  I got an xray and I broke off a little piece of bone along my 5th metatarsal.  It's along the outside of my foot.  I told President Ogden.  The area mission doctor, Elder Hales came and he examined it and basically its not a serious break.  He said it's one of those things you have to just let heal.  He said I could put you in a boot but it wouldn't heal it faster, only make it more comfortable for you.  So, I said no its okay.  So I'm not in a cast, or a boot.  I'm walking just fine and I can bike :) all is good!
Michael and Elder Garroway

Michael and Elder Lyman (his new companion)

Michael and Elder McGregor (his last companion)
So where do I even start.  February 29, 2012.  Transfer day.  We get up and leave to transfers at around 1000.  We catch the train to the mission home.  We have the transfer meeting where we received 20 new missionaries-- a EBM (England Birmingham Mission) record!!  I did indeed get transfered :(  I got with my new companion Elder Lyman.  Me and Elder Lyman met my first transfer and just clicked!  He is like my best friend.  So I am serving with my best friend, it's pretty awesome.  
Elder Harper and Elder Lyman on the Wales Coach
We're in Wales in an area called Milford Haven.  It's the biggest area in the mission and its a bus area :)  so we get bus passes provided by the mission!!  So after the transfer meeting, we hop on the Wales coach around 1300 and drive all the way to Swansea, Wales. We arrived in Swansea at about 2100--longest bus ride ever!!!  But it's not over, we walk to the train station and catch a train that leaves at 2227.  and it arrives in Haverfordshire West(our area) at.......Midnight.  We get off the train, at this point completely shattered, walk to the flat and got to bed around 0100. Longest day of my life hahaha.  So our area covers the coastline so I am the closest to home I will ever be while still being on a mission!  Im excited to be here in Wales and with Elder Lyman.  
All is good here in Wales.  It's a beautiful country.  It's so green and it' the countryside as well so I'm sure I will have loads of beautiful pictures coming your way :)
Here is my new address...
16 A Old Bridge
SA61 2ET
Some of the friends Michael left behind in Walsall: