So this week has been pretty uneventful, a few interesting bits happened though.
Early in the week we cleaned out the old Stockport flat that I was in so that the mission could close it down, I'm so happy about that, that flat is horrid. Between that at district meeting it took the entire day. The rest of the week was just finding and appointments, a lot of time on the bike hahaha my bum is not as sore as it used to be for sure. One interesting thing that happened on Friday was we were sitting on a bench in the park taking a moment when a random man came over and started filming us and talking to us. We taught a full lesson on camera to him, it was super strange. He was a Korihor-type personality, every man to himself and we don't need God. Funny enough I had actually been studying Korihor and his arguments against God and Christ the first part of the week. It's always nice when you have a super random study that comes in helpful.
The end of the week was a lot more interesting. On Friday night, we got a call from Elder Rongo saying that the part member family that we had been working with in Stockport—the husband—was getting baptised Saturday morning. He was dated at 9 Friday night and baptised 3 on Saturday. Talk about quick. They also had 2 other convert baptisms and a child of record baptism that day so we got to see them all. It really brightened up the weekend. Then Sunday was the primary program, it was so impressive those kids were so good! They had 33 kids participating. The older ones actually helped the younger with the talks and they also have quite a few of the older kids sing solos. So impressive!
Yesterday we found the first new investigator that we have in Mac since I've been here. It was a road that a member told us to go to and the 3rd door was a lovely lady who had lost her husband and daughter recently. We basically just bore testimony of the plan of salvation. It was really good, we have an appointment on Friday with her so I just hope that she felt the spirit that was there.
That's about all for the week. Sorry for the lame-ish email, there wasn't a whole lot to share this week.
Love you all! Elder Tarbet
PS: I am staying in Macclesfield with Elder David. Also, we just found out the general authorities that will be coming on Oct 15:
President Russell M Nelson, of the Quorum of the Twelve
Elder Donald L Hallstrom, of the Presidency of the Seventy
Bishop Gerald Causse, Presiding Bishopric
and Elder Paul V Johnson of the Europe Area Presidency
Your son Elder Tarbet is serving here in Macclesfield at the moment, you must be very proud of him . He and his companion left my home about an half an hour ago to go back to their flat, as you probably know they are not allowed to come in as I am a single sister (old enough to be their grandmother) so we sit outside. Elder Tarbet has been trying to show me how to use my tablet to underline scriptures and so on. The poor lad has a big task to undertake ha ha. He doesn't know what he's let himself in for. He said you wouldn't mind me getting in touch. He's only been here a week and I can tell what a great missionary he is. You can really feel the spirit when he's here, thank you for accepting my friend request.
So this last week has been pretty insane. On Tuesday, it was zone meeting and guess who shows up unannounced? President and Sister Ulrich. I was able to have a really good conversation with both of them, it helped so much. The outcome of the interview with me, Elder David and Elder Rongo was that Elder Rongo will stay in Stockport with the zone leaders, and I am now in Macclesfield with Elder David. The area is much more rural and more middle class. It is actually a semi similar feeling to Southport. We have bikes here as well and it is killing me. My legs are destroyed. We are right on the edge of the Peak District so it's quite hilly here which doesn't help my poor out-of-shape body. The area is so beautiful though. It so green and it also is very historic as well.
I love Macclesfield. This feels like the place I was meant to serve this transfer. I've been thinking a lot about the chaos that this last transfer has been and how I've now changed areas and companions midway. It feels right though. I was truly meant to serve with Elder Rongo. He taught me a lot and I hope that I was able to help him in some way. I also think that Elder David was meant to be with Elder Peck, he isn't too sure, but he was meant to learn from him, to be forced to grow. Now I am here with Elder David. I don't feel too strongly one way or the other about serving with him but I do like him for sure, but this area is where I am meant to be at this time. Pretty much as soon as I got here I just felt at home. I never felt that in Stockport. I felt super anxious and uncomfortable the whole time I was there. I almost had a panic attack the first Sunday. Here I was nervous (I always am when speaking) but I just felt like I had come home. I love it here. I hope that I get to stay.
The missionary work in this area has been quite slow to say the least, the last convert baptism was 3+ years ago. The ward has just barely gotten a ward mission leader for the first time in about 9 months so that's improvement. It's a super solid ward and is so friendly but just needs a push to do some missionary work. My understanding is that it is changing though, the members are seeing that they should and want to do missionary work. There is starting to be a bit of a buzz so we will see how that goes. I am still learning the area, we don't have much of a teaching pool but that will hopefully change, we have a few referrals and the members have a few that they are working with as well so we will have to see.
So that's about all for this week, I can hopefully tell you more about the people that we are working with and all of the detail next week. I just hope that I stay. Two weeks is not long enough in this area.
My week has been interesting for sure! I am now in a trio with Elder Rongo and Elder David. It has been a great week for building patience. Working with three of us is a challenge but we are definitely growing. Elder Rongo is doing a bit better as well.
Yesterday was a super good day. We got to help a man change his tire when it blew out and he told us he is now our best friend!! I'm sure he was so grateful for our help.
Thursday was a super good day as well. Elder Liemer from the 70 came and spoke to the mission. He had some really good things to talk about. The one that I think meant the most to me was about how we need to use the Atonement. He told a story of a little old lady who was out collecting stick for her fire. She went out early in the morning with a basket on her back to pick up sticks of wood a few miles from her house. Throughout the morning the basket got heavier and heavier. When she was walking home and really struggling to carry the basket a kind farmer with a horse and wagon came by and offered her a lift into town. Gladly she accepted and got on the back of the wagon. As they were going into town, the farmer noticed that the old lady, while in the back of the wagon, still had her basket on her back. He asked, "Why don't you put down your basket and rest for a spell, we still have a while before we get to the town." Her reply was that it was still early in the day and she didn't want to make the poor horse work too hard. He compared that to us in the sense that we all have a tendency to do double work with the Atonement. We repent and then we force ourselves to still be miserable. We have repented, the Atonement has been applied, but we stubbornly hold onto the weight of our sins. It really illustrated the point very well for me.
So that's been about my week. Hope that yours has been good!
So this week has been interesting. The reason that I didn't write very well last week is because we drove to Chorley with a recent convert, walked around the temple grounds and came back. Then we went to the chapel and I somehow broke a window by slapping it to get the sisters' attention (all of the bishopric have been trying to reassure me that the glass was already weakened because the door had been broken and spamming in the wind). I call President to ask him what I should do about the broken window (it only broke one of the two panels so the window was still secure). He then asks me about everything with Elder Rongo and so between everything, my timing to email was shot and I just was not feeling it.
We had exchanges on Tuesday which was an experience. It was with a relatively new missionary named Elder Peck. He is from Bountiful and owns the huge house above the Mueller Park Canyon chapel. He's a nice enough kid and we had a good exchange, we got some work done and I got to explore a new area. There is a beautiful town called Marple off on the edge of our area. It is in the foothills of the Pennines and it is so nice. We walked along a canal track talking to the people that were walking it as well.
President came on Thursday and we had a 3 hour talk with him. It was really good. We talked about the area and the dynamics of the mission regarding keeping the rules. It seems like the obedient missionaries are a little confused on some of the rules, and the ones the rules are meant for don’t obey them anyway. He gave me some suggestions on helping a missionary who is ready to go home. I can't control him and I'm not going to force him. I can encourage and I can try to lead out. That's all I can do.
So the area is really beautiful on the outskirts and really populated in the center. The ward is quite big now that everyone is home from holiday. There were a little more than 120 people at sacrament yesterday. The building is actually the same design as Southport just here the builders messed up and so the roof is 15 feet higher. The bishop is really good (he got home mid-week) and Elder Rongo has a really good friendship with him. He seems to be a good bishop and the ward seems to like him. He is quite young as well. The ward mission leader is good but always gone, he travels a lot and so we don't seem to see him much.
The zone leaders are in our area, they actually both came out with me one is Elder Rotajać from Bosnia and the other is Elder Searcy from Spanish fork. The zone is called Manchester Zone. There are 3 companionships here—the sisters, the zone leaders, and us. The district leader is south of us in Macclesfield. He is also from my group—Elder David from Germany.
So yeah that's been my week of interesting randomness. This coming week we have a general authority coming—Elder Liemer from Germany. We will see how the conference is on Thursday. I will tell you about it next week.