Hi, we have just had your lovely son for lunch with his new companion Elder Singsam. Elder Tarbet is a big part of Southport Ward. He has settled in really well we are glad he stayed this last transfer. He gave a lovely message after lunch. Hope you and your family are well.
Friday, January 29, 2016
This has been a pretty busy week with transfers and yet there isn't that much to tell you about. Just a lot of figuring stuff out and getting Elder Ahlström from here to there to get ready to get home.
Monday—We did some trunky shopping and got ready for him to head home. I met this man in one of the shops who loves to chat. He wanted to talk so bad hahaha. We ended up in his shop for about an hour. Elder Ahlström was going crazy because he has the shortest attention span. That evening we went to Bro. Baker's and had dinner and then went to visit Teresa. Teresa is our Polish investigator, she is very inquisitive, but is afraid to make a decision. She is scared of choosing wrong so she just doesn't choose. She also doesn't want to see us very often so she is hard to teach.
Tuesday—Elder Ahlstrom went to the temple, so I went in a trio with Elder Launer and Elder Carling. It was hilarious—those too are so funny together. We spent the morning together and they are fantastic missionaries. They are very bold. I can't understand for the life of me why they don't have much of a teaching pool. That evening, with Elder Ahlström, we went to the Brown's and had a bonfire with all of his old stuff. We burned 2 pairs of shoes, some older shirts and a suit. It was fun. We were there for like 2 hours eating and burning stuff. We also helped get rid of some stuff for Bro. Brown. It was a really fun night but I need to get my tie and trousers dry cleaned, they stink.
Wednesday—Dropped Elder Ahlström off at the train station and then hung out with the other elders for a few hours. We then went back and picked up Elder Singsam from the station. He was waiting in one part and us in another, so we waited for each other for about an hour. That evening we went to a worldwide missionary broadcast from Salt Lake. It was really good. Lots of things that we can work on, especially with member work and less active work. It was really good. Aaron gave us a lift which made it way more fun than just taking the train.
Thursday—I had my appointment with Sister Beech. It was the hardest meeting that I've had with her. We went through and made a plan to keep me well now that I've gotten well. After weekly planning, me and Elder Singsam went to see Bro. Baker and give him a blessing because he was quite sick. After that, we went and introduced Elder Singsam to the Browns. Bro. Brown is doing really good with some of his goals. I don't know about the others, I haven't had a good chance to just talk with him.
Friday—We had my physical therapy appointment. My back is getting better, most of my upper back and neck problems and stiffness were stress caused and so the stress got managed and now that the knots have a chance to go away they are. My hip is about the same. Better than when it first flared up last year but worse than I have been the last few weeks. It seems to be getting worse again. Oh well, as far as I know it's not causing any long term effects so I just have to bite the bullet sometimes and push forward anyway. The thing I can't figure out for the life of me though is why it moves. Some days it's in my lower back, others it's right in my buttocks and sometimes it just goes down to my upper thigh. Really strange hahaha. My body is a mystery and seems to be a study in contradiction. Oh well, such is life haha. Anywho, we went and saw Nanavati and had a good chat with him and are going to help him sort out his house. It used to be a local surgery and so it's set up like a clinic right now. He only lives in about 3 rooms of this massive house. We are going to help him strip the wallpaper so that it can get re-plastered. The end of the evening was dinner at the Kamati home. They are a funny family—super, super crazy and high energy, I’m not sure I want to have kids or at least not have kids so close together. Too much craziness for me.
Saturday—We went to Margaret and had a good laugh and lesson with her, we then went out to a place called Ormskirk and worked out there. It's the place where Henry lives and we have a few less actives that we are working with in the area. It's a really fun little village based around the hospital and the university. The miracle of the day is that this man came up to us and started talking to us, he kinda followed us around for a bit and we had a really solid lesson with him. He is (hopefully) going to meet us at the town centre of Ormskirk next week. We then had a great lesson with Henry. Every time that I meet with him I notice that he is more happy, more relaxed, he smiles more, he has started joking with us and he is just a different person than he was not that long ago. I think that he is applying some of the things that we have discussed with him and the things that he has learned for himself.
Sunday—We had church and it was ward conference. I have been absolutely knackered these last few days and so sacrament meeting was brutally hard to stay awake during, but I came out victorious. We helped this hilarious 91 year old lady with her primary class and had a reasonable decent priesthood lesson. It was a good time. We then had dinner at the McManus's. I had a good time I just talked to Mark about computers about what he does for work with Microsoft, trying to understand how the cloud works better. It's really fascinating. The other elders felt like it was super awkward but I had a good time hahahaha. They just missed out. After that we went to the Grey's and introduced Elder Singsam to them. He was super close to falling asleep on their couch but it was good. The Greys get on pretty well with anyone.
So that is my week. My spiritual thought to leave with you all is about J.O.Y.
J stands for Jesus, if we will put Christ as the centre of our lives then nothing bad is permanent.
O. is for others, if we look outward and not inward then there is a lot more to see and a very great deal more that we can do. If we do these first 2 two things then we will find—
Y yourself. It has to be in that order or it just doesn't work.
Hope that you all have had a good week. Love you! Talk to you soon!
Friday, January 22, 2016
January 11th—January 17th: The End of Elder Ahlström's Mission and an Interesting Visit to the Doctor
It's been a pretty full week, we've been going from appointment to appointment and also getting Elder Ahlström ready to go home. Back to his banishment in great North (Sweden)!!!!
Monday—I had physical therapy and then went to Liverpool for the day. We went and saw the Albert docks which is where the Saints departed from back in the day. There is actually a statue donated by the church to commemorate it. The docks are quite small but rather interesting. They would never come close to handling commercial shipping today, but they are still impressively large for the time they were built.
Tuesday—This was an interesting day I tell you. It started out with me really not feeling well. I've had a really nasty cough for about 3 weeks now (it was two weeks on Tuesday) and I didn't like the way it was deep in my chest so the mission nurse had me try and go to a “Walk-in Centre.” I think they are similar to an Instacare-type place. It's all free and I just go in, they check me out, and tell me if I'm actually sick or just being a wimp. Well, we find one in the area and head to it. We get there, I don't see where to go so I walk up to the front desk and ask where the Walk-in Centre is. She tells me it's upstairs so we head up. There is just a big child clinic there so I ask at the desk there, where is the Walk-in Centre? The secretary tells me it's back behind me through some doors. Ok. We head back there and this waiting room is full of the most scared looking people and so I figure, perfect I'm in the right place. I walk up to the desk and this is the interaction:
"Hi, is this the Walk-in Centre?"
"This is the place."
"Right, so how does this work I have never been to a place like this. I'm not used to the medical care in the UK."
"Oh don't worry you just fill out these forms, it's totally confidential."
(This is when the alarms start going off)
"Why is it confidential?"
"What do you mean?"
(She looks at me, then down at my badge, then at me)
"You’re not in the right place are you?"
"Well I'm not so sure that I am, I'm looking for a place to see if I have a chest infection."
"Oh honey, you are in the wrong place, this is a walk-in Centre for sexual diseases."
"Oh! Well I am definitely not in the right place, can you tell me where I can get a check-up for my chest?"
"There's a GP office downstairs."
My face was fire engine red. I was so embarrassed. Elder Ahlström was dying. It is definitely one of the best mission stories I will ever get hahahahahaha.
Wednesday—Went to a doctor for my cough, they told me it's nothing, I'm still not convinced but hopefully it will go away like they said it would. I kinda miss Dr. Doug, he actually knew what he was doing, I don't feel like these English doctors do. We went to one of our investigator's homes and he wished us goodbye. I've only really met him twice but his goodbye was so sincere it made it hard. Good thing I'm not leaving. We also went to a lessish active member who is Irish and super funny! Something about that accent just makes everything better hahahahaha.
Thursday—Had a meeting with Sister Beech and she was really happy with where I'm at. I am a totally different person than I was 2 months ago. I have gained a new perspective on life and new skills on how to handle it. I have learned to turn my life over to the Savior and allow him to help me. I have been asking for help for a while but I haven't been allowing him to help. Sounds kinda strange but it was a pride thing I think.
Friday—Started with my physical therapy appointment and that was good. My hip is getting about better. It's more manageable now and doesn’t hold me back. It still lets me know it's there but it's getting better. He did acupuncture on me and that was strange. It helped that day but the next was worse so not sure about it. Then that evening we had dinner with the O'neils who are a recently activated family. They were baptized, then went kinda less active, but now are here and they want to fully commit. I love them; they are so fun. They have 5 children under 12 and are amazing parents hahaha. They met in the army and its super fun to listen to some of their stories. My favorite from Bro O’neil is from Desert Storm when he was sitting there, waiting for something to happen, drinking war water and eating nasty food, when over in the American part of camp a bunch of cheers went up, they all turn around from what they were doing and low and behold a Pizza Hut wagon is pulling into camp. It was fully outfitted and was basically a full mobile restaurant. The way he told it was better but it was so fun to talk to them and get to know them a bit better.
Saturday—We had a really, really good lesson with Henry. He is having a hard time with something, we don't really know what, but we think that it's his son is struggling. His son lives in China with his ex-wife. Henry feels a lot of responsibility to help his son but being on the other side of the world makes it hard for him. He Skypes with his son a lot and tries to help him with school however he can. I can't imagine doing that, it would be so hard. He is also super busy with work right now because he is a Chinese culture teacher and it's coming up to Chinese New Year. What we talked about with him though was the role that Christ plays in our lives and how the Atonement works. The thing that I love about Henry is that he wants to understand fully. So if he doesn't, he will drill you with questions and ask to understand. He doesn't judge, he doesn't attack, he just wants to know the answer in a way that makes sense to him. If every investigator would be like him the church would have no problems with retention.
Sunday—We had church, which was good. A man that I didn't really know came up and shared an amazing story with me. It was super random but it was really nice. He had lost his job and was really struggling, but within a few months he had a new job closer to home. Funny how that works. He was telling me about how the bad is not permanent to those who are centered in Christ. That evening we were walking back from a lesson with a less active family and ran into the other Elders. As we were walking with them we found a couch. They don't have a couch in their flat so they knock on the door, ask if it's free, it is so we take it. That thing was soooooooo heavy. It must have weighed 270 pounds. It was brutal to carry. All 4 of us took a corner and walked for a bit. Put it down rotated, walked a bit more rotated, etc. until we got to their flat about 4 blocks later. Then the fun began. It didn't fit through the door, so we stood it up and man handled it through on its side. It still barely fit top to bottom. That thing was awful. It was also soaked so that didn't help. It was a leather electric couch so that's why it was so heavy. We got the strangest looks walking down the street. Good times hahaha.
It's been a good week and Elder Ahlström goes home Thursday. He has pushed hard to the end and I will miss him. My new companion is Elder Singsam from New Zealand. He's the new district leader and so the rest of the district will stay the same. It should be a good transfer and he sounds like fun.
Hope you all have a good week—love you all!
Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Here is a run-down of what my days looked like this last week.
Monday—We played badminton with the other Elders which was fun and that was about all that happened.
Tuesday—Nothing too big happened on Tuesday, but I was able to have a really good time with Elder Ahlström. He's just really a fun person to be around and I quite like him. We were just doing some tracting and laughing with people and what not, it was fun.
Wednesday—We went to the physical therapist and I'm pretty sure that he thought I was part of a cult and that I was totally crazy hahaha. He is much better than the last one that I had. He gave me some things to do at home and is very confident that it shouldn't be too big to sort me out. This is probably something that I will face the rest of my life but I should be able to control it with the exercises and stretches. That evening we went and saw Margaret. So, Margaret wants to come to church but has a hard time getting there. She has M.S. and is pretty much confined to a wheelchair. She can't get her chair on the bus and a taxi would cost £30 round trip. We are working to get her on a government sponsored special bus thing that some of the other members use. She does want to come to church though and has a solid desire to learn more.
Thursday—We had weekly planning and talked about how Elder Ahlström feels he is losing motivation since he goes home in a couple of weeks. We are just kinda going through the motions of things, if that sometimes. Then he will randomly get super gung-ho about things and just goes for it. It's kinda funny. We also had coordination that afternoon with our ward mission leader who is super funny. He really knows the doctrine. He knows the church and he served in this mission about 3 years ago and so he knows the area as well. He is a crazy fellow.
Friday—We went to Chorley for a multi-zone conference. It was really, really good. I learned a lot. It was about changing nature vs just behavior. If I do something because of the consequences of not doing it or if I do it because I want to. Things along those lines. There were other trainings about different aspects of the work, finding, member work, stuff like that. It was really good because I got to talk to Elder David for a while and I love that man. He is such a great missionary and probably the nicest person that I have ever met. Later after the meeting I talked to Sister Ulrich for a while about my back and some other stuff. Talking to her is wonderful.
Saturday—Exchanges with Elder Carling. He is from Kaysville and went to Davis High. He is only 18 and is quite shy. He is very bold though as well and he has managed to overcome his shyness. We had a good lesson with one of their investigators, he isn't really progressing very well but we are trying. He is a heavy, heavy smoker and is very skeptical of the Church. He keeps learning though as they teach him so that’s something I guess. It was good to go on exchanges—it's something I always enjoy.
Sunday—We had church and taught everything but sacrament. The Elders Quorum President texted us at 11:30 Saturday night and asked us to teach. Gospel Principles felt like a fiasco as well. We had dinner at Bishop's and they convinced us to sing for them. It sounded really bad though hahahaha. It was kinda a one off thing.
Love you all and hope you have a grand week!
Sunday, January 10, 2016
This week so far:
Monday—For pday, we went into Liverpool and did some shopping, I bought some football cleats and insoles for my shoes. I haven't completely worn a pair out yet but I have worn a small hole in one and the insoles were destroyed on another but so far they've more or less held up. After we did some shopping we went and saw the Liverpool Cathedral, it is massive! It is so huge, bigger than the Salt Lake Temple for sure. It is just massive. (The organ was ugly though). That night was drunk night. We taught a couple of drunk people who were quite different. One was adamant that he was a world champion bike racer (he was like 80) and that he didn't drink much. He was totally plastered. The other man was so determined that we couldn't answer his questions that he would ignore us when we tried and then ask the same question again. It was a bit obnoxious but good fun.
Tuesday—We had district meeting and talked about setting goals. We then went to the Browns because Brother Brown had wanted us to come over and help him with something. We got there and he had a small little thing for us to do and then he decided to burn some things he had laying around. So we helped with that which was kind of a pain that we were still in our suits at this point so we ended up with smelly shirts for the rest of the day. The suits themselves got away unscathed. The real reason that Brother Brown wanted us to come over was that he doesn't have the testimony that he wants and he isn't where he wants to be as far as the Church is concerned. He wants to get to the temple, he has been married for 16 years and hasn't gone yet and he really wants to get there this year. We helped him work out some goals and told him we would follow up and make sure he had sat down with his wife to work out the goals with her so she could help.
Wednesday—We had a New Year’s afternoon with Sister Monserott who is a Spanish sister in our ward. She was super kind to invite us over and show us what a Spanish New Year is about. Her son is a total whirlwind. It was a super fun day. She had gotten some Spanish sweets and made some Spanish food for us and was so kind. She shared some of the Spanish traditions with us and we just had a really good time. It was so much fun. Polverones are super tasty. They are like a churro tasting doughy substance which are really good. Until you put 3 in your mouth and try and say something.
Thursday—We went to see Henry that day and had a really, really good chat with him. He is the best!!! He actually gave us a Chinese zodiac book thing that has traditional art of each of the 12 years. Super pretty and very nice. He gave one to each of us including the fellowshipper that we brought. We talked to him for about 2 hours and just answered questions that he had and tried to help him resolve his issues with the Word of Wisdom. We also talked about fasting which actually was a very new concept to him and he was telling us it was years since he had felt hungry. We then went to the Wilsons for dinner and New Year’s stuff. That was pretty fun, we had a good meal and then played a quiz game and then did sparklers. The sparklers were fun because my camera has a mode for fireworks so it gives you about a 2 second exposure time which is really fun with sparklers. I will have to send you the pictures sometime. You might have to wait for a bit because we don't have computers just iPads so it's a bit more difficult.
Friday—We had the football game. So this game was a lot more intense than the last. We had an additional 10 or so people that came. So this game was a lot less wet and muddy than the last one. The pitch (field) was still destroyed from the previous week but there wasn't any standing water on it that day. The ground was soft and muddy still but it mostly stayed on the ground and on our shoes. I had gotten cleats for the game but they lost the point about half way through because the mud had totally coated the bottoms and were hiding the spikes hahaha. It was really good fun though and nobody got seriously injured. My hips was actually really good and it was good to get to move and exercise properly, I've gotten super out of shape. The ground was really soft and so that made it possible to run. I don't think I dare go running yet. I still have a pretty constant pain in my hip and leg but it seems to be getting better. It has it's ups and downs but overall more ups than downs. That evening we went to the McManus's and had dinner there. They are a super great family, I really like them and they have been very good to me. Aaron (the son) had his friend from the states there that is going to be spending a few months here. He's a ballroom dancer and is actually one of the dancers from the Christmas concert with Alfiè Boe. We ended the night there with our little quartet. That was fun, we had cooked it up about 3 days before, went though it once in our flat before going to their home and it turned out OK. The rest of the day we watched Mormon movies. All of the actors are the same its funny. The RM, Singles Ward, Home Teachers, those kind of movies. The only one I didn't get to see that I really wanted to was the Best Two Years. I've never seen it. Oh well next Christmas. maybe.
Saturday—Nothing too much happened. We went and saw Margaret that evening. She is super hard to understand, she's from Glasgow and has a very thick Scottish accent so it's very difficult. She's really funny though. She was teasing us about how we can't understand her so Elder Ahlström started speaking in Swedish. She listened for a moment. Looks at me. Then flips him off. So funny!
Sunday—Church and the dinner at the Fullwoods. I don't think they sent a picture this week. They had a lot of people in their home this time but they have the home to do it so it's good. That evening we went to the member missionary fireside in Manchester. That was nice, not my favorite one but still good. I had the chance to talk to Elder Nelson after that was really good. He became assistant last transfer but was my Zone Leader in Blackpool. He is a fantastic missionary and a good friend. He found out about my hip at the Christmas party so he was asking me about that and telling me that if I ever need someone to talk to I can always call him. He's fantastic.
So that's about it for the week.
Love you all hope you have a great week!
So I was told while on Skype that I'm supposed to write a proper weekly email to y'all so here goes the attempt.
Monday—We had pday which was super super anti-climactic because we went shopping in the morning, got drenched in rain, (I finally broke down and bought an umbrella, my hatred of them was beaten by my hatred of the rain) and then we emailed in our flat for about the rest of the day. After I had emailed you all I took a nap because Elder Ahlström had some letters to write. That evening the appointments that we had all fell through so we just tried to do some finding but nobody was out and it was too late to knock doors.
Tuesday—We went by this fun older lady that joined the church not too long ago and she fixed a pair of my trousers for me haha that was nice, the hem had come out of them so I couldn't really wear them. Later that evening we had dinner with the Wilsons. They are a fantastic family and he is so British it's great. He's an IT person and loves his cars. It was good fun, sometimes I still miss some of the British sarcasm and just feel dense (or offended depending haha).
Wednesday—We had the Christmas party in Manchester South that day so up we were at 6:00 a.m. so that we could catch the train at 7:00 to Manchester. The party was really fun. We had a white elephant exchange and I brought an old guitar that we found in the flat. I ended up with a box of Belgian cookies so that's a pretty dang good trade. (They were smashed to bits so not quite as nice as it sounds) I had a good talk with Elder Nelson who is now one of the Assistants, he was my Zone Leader while I was in Blackpool and I have learned a lot from him. He talked about how the Lord gives us trials but will strengthen us when we humble ourselves. He doesn't take the burden just makes it bearable. He gave me Mosiah 21:1-16 to read. It talks about the Lamanites which can be compared to a reoccurring trial, it's really helpful. At the party, my hip flared up something terrible and I ended up pacing in the back of the room during the end of President Ulrich's closing remarks. It was the only thing I could do to get some small relief. Oh it was so flipping awkward to be just walking around in the back of the chapel overflow but my hip hurt so stinkin bad. All of the muscles in it were cramping up and there were shooting pains going all over my leg and back. Oh it was not fun. After the meeting I talked to Sister Ulrich for a while and that was really really nice. She is an absolutely wonderful lady. She told me some things that she wanted me to do. The first being to call her that night before I was going to bed and she would talk me through a relaxation exercise. That was absolutely beautiful. I fell asleep that night relaxed totally and woke up the next morning feeling rested for the first time in ages.
Thursday—We went to Brother Baker's for a coordination meeting and lunch which was quite nice. He's a good man, super funny. We went and tried by some of our investigators but didn't catch anyone home. We spend the evening at the Brown’s which was super fun. They have a son who is quite similar to me when I was 14 so that was good fun. He's got the perfect sarcastic sense of humor but it's good fun. It was nice to just spend some time with a family and feel like a normal person for a little while.
Friday was Christmas! We went in the morning to Skype with Elder Ahlström's little sister who is in Australia which was pretty cold and boring. We just stood outside the library and used the wifi there so it was super cold. The rest of Christmas we pretty much spent at the McManus's which was way fun. It kinda felt like hanging out at the Tarbet's with Kade and Phil and all them. It was just really fun. I loved getting to talk to you all, and that was the highlight of the day. The time just flew though. I wish I would have been able to talk longer but it was still good.
Saturday—We got up and played football (soccer) with the ward. It's called Dads vs Lads and they do it every year. The Dads always cheat and win but this year the lads won and the missionaries are lads. It was so much fun. It was pouring rain and the field we were playing at was so muddy. We totally destroyed it as well. I'm glad it was muddy though because it made it low impact and so my hip was actually really good. It was good all of Saturday and Sunday and it's just picking back up on Monday today so that's pretty good. Anyway I didn't have any cleats so I was basically ice skating for the amount of control and traction I had. It was super fun. When I get around to using a computer (hopefully next week or so when the library reopens) I will send you some pictures. They are super funny.
That about tells the story of this week.
Love you all!
Dear Tarbet Family,
Merry Christmas from Southport England! We just had the missionaries around for Sunday dinner and we enjoyed their company, they are hard working, polite and good mannered. They gave our family a wonderful spiritual thought before they left. We hope you are proud of your son, he is a wonderful missionary.
The Fullwood Family
This will be short. I look forward to talking with you on Christmas. I like my new area, and my new companion. We really don’t have anyone to teach right now, and people haven’t been too interested that we have talked to on the street.
We received this message from Sister Watts after Logan was transferred out of Crosby to Southport
"I was really disappointed when Elder Tarbet called me to say he was moving to Southport. He is an amazing missionary and you must be so proud of him. We got on really well. Thank you for sacrificing your son for two years."
Sister Shirley Watts
I was transferred to Southport this week. My new companion is Elder Ahlstrom, who is a really good missionary and I can learn a lot from him. He is super relaxed but hard working and genuine. He just really enjoys himself and has fun with life. It’s good. Before I left Crosby, Maria, our investigator in Crosby, gave me a mug with my name engraved on it which was the best gift ever.
Southport is a very posh area, and has a lot of older people as well. We will have to work to find places that are worth tracting. There are two other Elders in this ward, like there was in Crosby. One of them is Swiss, and the other is from Kaysville. It will be fun to get to know them too. Southport is the largest ward I have served in so far. There is typically 60 to 70 people there on Sunday rather than the 45 to 50 I have had in previous wards. The chapel has proper benches and is really big for here. A lovely building.
The headaches that I had in Crosby are much better, and have gone away for the most part. My hip continues to really bother me, and I have been going to physical therapy.