The highlight of the week was the mission historical tour. We went and toured around Preston, seeing Pres. Hinckley’s flat, Vauxhall Chapel site, the place where the Apostles got attacked by legions of demons, and Market Square where they preached from the obelisk in the middle. We went to the River Ribble where many baptisms took place. Then we went to this little town in the countryside, called Downham, where a bunch of people were baptized and the town is still the same as it has been since the 1800’s. There were two parts that really stand out looking back. The first is something that President Ulrich said when we were next to a creek that hundreds were baptized and confirmed at. “We are never alone. The saints on the other side are here with us helping us to continue their work.” The other highlight was in Downham, me, Elder Jolly and three others sang in this Church from the 1600's and it was amazing. I don’t have the best voice but I could follow along when someone else knows what they are doing. It was also nice to see Elder Jolly (Blake Jolly, we graduated high school together).
Karina and Paul are giving me stress ulcers. The have dropped us 4 times and then they come back. Karina has such a strong testimony but she just gives up and goes anti-missionary for a few days. We haven’t been able to find Peter (the one with cancer who came to the Church for a blessing). We keep stopping by. We did meet a new person Amy this week on the bus, and had a great conversation with her. Right now we really don’t have much in the way of sincere investigators. One thing I have learned in my first month in England is that English people are very nice until you start talking about the gospel. I have also learned how to be more bold and just walking up to people and go for it. We have been here over a month and don’t have a lot to show for our efforts, which is a little frustrating. I worked with the District Leader on exchanges two days this week, and worked with one of the Zone Leaders on Saturday at a Zone Street display and learned a lot from both.
To answer some of your questions:
Bikes: The way it works is the bikes do not transfer with you. We have bikes but they are rubbish and would need some serious work to be usable.
Money: We get GBP129.00 a month for food and miscellaneous expenses. We get reimbursed for travel. It has been kind of scary this month because I lost my bus pass and would have had to buy another one (and not be reimbursed), which would have been really hard, but when we went to the bus place to inquire about what to do, they gave me another one that someone had left on the bus, which was a true tender mercy.
Weather: Humidity is a killer. The weather is so unpredictable. We have no clue what it will be in the evening judging by the morning. It’s quite a pain. The rain over here is super strange as well. We don’t get proper rain, it’s more of a mist that gets you wetter than normal rain.
Flat: My flat is a shared house, we have 4 rooms and a bathroom, it is the worst lay out for a house that I have ever seen in my life. So much wasted space, and terrible design. We have a washer, dryer, oven, stove, fridge (it’s tiny), blender and a knock off George Foreman. Yeah, it’s not much but we get by.
Food & Exercise: I eat a lot of chicken, and not as many veggies as I should. My companion eats boxes and boxes of cereal. I try to have an exercise routine in my flat most morning. We do a lot of walking. I wouldn’t be surprised to find holes in my shoes in another two months. I have lost 7 pounds.
Temple: We went to the temple twice in the MTC and that was a wonderful experience.Elder Tarbet