Wednesday, November 30, 2016

November 21st—November 27th: Thanksgiving in Wales

    Well, it has been a good week this week. Just a few highlights to bring up then I will talk more about the branch (by popular request). So first of the week I got to go on exchange with Elder Cowdry from Adelaide Australia. He has been out for about 6 months now and is a great missionary. He is in Porthmadog, which I think is about the farthest out that you can get in the mission besides the Isle of Man. While I was with him, we met a few good people. One of them was actually a born again christian who was sincere enough to actually take a Book of Mormon and say that he would ask God. That is a very rare occurrence. Normal born agains are very hostile and will only bash you and try to destroy your testimony. This man, Simpson, was really sincere in his desire to do what God would want him to do. The only problem that made me cry on the inside a bit was that when we were leaving he said that we had had an interesting chat and that he would need to bring some of this up with the elders at his church.  Inside I was just screaming "Ask God!!!! Don't ask man!!!!!!!!!!!" But what can you do. We will try and go back and see him later this week. 
    Back with Elder Cossa we had a Thanksgiving dinner with a family that have an American daughter-in-law. That was really fun. The Carders take very very good care of us while we are here. The daughter from Texas even made pumpkin pie and sweet potato with marshmallows on top. That was so good! She put orange oil in them so they were orangy as well. Boy they were tasty. 
     We were able to start teaching the friend of a less active girl which is really good. It gives her a reason to be an example and it makes it easier for her to want to be an example. This young man started out by telling us that he is an atheist but is interested in different religions. We told him that the Book of Mormon is really interesting and then told him what it is about and what is in it—about the plan of salvation and the love that God has for each of us. At the end, he just really quietly asks, "Where can I get one of those books?" Made my night.  He then came and watched Meet the Mormons later in the week and had a good experience.  He asked really good questions about the Book of Mormon as well. He has a very sincere desire to know and understands that it's not going to just happen, he has to work for it. To be fair, I would put him as being farther along than I was at 14 and I was raised with the gospel. 
     The other really major miracle of the week that I would like to tell you about is these two girls that referred themselves on from a pass along card that I had actually given them. I've never had that happen in my whole mission—someone refer themselves. We went around and they wanted a Book of Mormon. We gave them each one, taught them the restoration and set a return appointment for two weeks. That is going to be great.
     Other things that I havent told you (at least I think), is that we are going paperless. Our paper planners are no more. We now do everything on the iPad. Not sure that I like it to be fair.  It takes alot longer to do everything but at the same time it makes it easier to keep up on recording things. If you dont record what happens in the lesson, it doesnt record the lesson as happening so you dont get credit for anything unless you do everything. Keeps us accountable I guess. 

     Right so the branch has about 30-40 out on a Sunday. Mostly older. The primary is like 5 kids. The youth is quite small as well but they are good. The young men are recent convert brothers, the young women are good, but there is only one very active one and one that we are working with. The branch feeds us pretty much every day, sometimes twice a day. It's not good for me, I'm going to get fat haha. We are still working to get people to come to church but we need to liven up our teaching pool first, a lot of them are pretty dead investigators. They are changing over slow and steady. I think that by the end of the transfer we should have people at church. I just am praying that I get to stay for Christmas here.

     Thats about me for the week. Sorry for the kind of rambly email. My mind has been all over the place today. 
     Everyone needs to look at for the Christmas video and then share it with their friends.

Love you all!

Elder Tarbet
Caelitus Mihi Vires

My Strength is from Heaven

Monday, November 21, 2016

November 21st: Crazy Weather Today!

The tide was about mid and it was crashing over the sea wall. Crazy!

November 14th—November 20th: From Hospital to Radio Station, From Rhyl to Anglesey, and From Now and Onward

It's been a weird week. I think that I might have to do more of a play by play than usual haha.

Right so Tuesday we had zone meeting in Rhyl. They have an actual chapel and it is the geographic centre of the zone and so that's where our meetings are the most convenient. After the zone meeting, I went with Elder Cepeda from Dublin, Ireland. He is super funny. It's his second transfer and he is a firecracker. He is a very natural missionary (I think that he is from a similar country helps) but he loves to learn. First thing he told me was that he wants to learn so I should give him pointers. Not sure I was good at that but I was impressed at how humble he is. While I was with him we found one really solid investigator Ian, and one really dodgy one Michale. We had a lot of fun but we were also able to have good success. I think that he needed that exchange, he struggles a bit with his companion.

Wednesday was chaos. We went from Colwyn Bay to Rhyl, to exchange back, then from Rhyl to Anglesey, then from Anglesey back to Colwyn Bay. Elder Cossa had to do a baptismal interview for the sisters out there. It was a pain to do all of that traveling and it took the whole day.
Thursday not too much happened, a pretty normal day. Finally, I was so glad to get back to normal work.

Friday, I woke up and my knee was massively swollen. I was kinda flipping out. I couldn't bend it properly because it was so big. It didn't hurt specifically, but I was really concerned. I called Sister Hillem and she had me go to the hospital to figure out what was up. When we got there they were really quick this time (20 minutes vs 6 hours last time) and the doctor told me that there wasn't much to be done. He told me not to walk, ice, ibuprofen, and elevation. I then called Sister Hillem and told her what they said. She agreed and so I went home, iced and elevated it over lunch and then went on like normal the rest of the day. The walking less was a total failure.

Saturday, my knee had gone down a lot and so that was good. We talked on the radio on Saturday though and that was terrifying. The host was one of our investigators and she was brilliant and had good questions for us. We basically bore testimony over live radio and taught some basics like how is God there when all these bad things are happening. We also talked about the love that Heavenly Father has for each of us regardless of what we do, he loves us and wants us to have the happiness that only the gospel can provide. It was a good experience and I'm glad we did it but I was so nervous going in. Elder Cossa was too but he has just this calmness that is always around him and it's hard to tell if he is nervous or frustrated at any point. It's a very good thing for a leader to have. An air of confidence that brings a sense of peace around him.

Sunday was another day of chaos. We got a call Saturday night telling us that we are teaching young men's. Right. We then get to church that morning and get told that one of the speakers cancels and so we will be on for 5 minutes each talking about self reliance. Right. I then get convinced by my companion to play the piano for priesthood. That was a fail. Even with the top hand. It's a lot harder when people are singing. Luckily the young men weren't there because we used all of our lesson material in our talks. The Lord works in mysterious ways.

From all of the chaos that I have had this week I've learned that we just need to know why we are here in the uk and roll with what comes with a big grin. Life is more fun with a smile.

Elder Tarbet

Caelitus Mihi Vires
My Strength is from Heaven

November 9th—November 13th: The Importance of Reading the Book of Mormon

This week has been great. I love wales! It's so beautiful. This week we have done a pretty good amount of finding with marginal success. We met a few people that were interested. One of them, Jamie had us come back and she actually invited us to talk on her radio show that day. We declined but maybe next time, we aren't sure if we would be allowed to do that anyways, but we taught her the restoration and left her with a Book of Mormon. She isn't sure that religion is for her but she sees the value of others. If she will read the Book of Mormon and pray about it, with sincerity, then she will see why it's of value to her. We have met a few other people whilst we have been tracking and whatnot but that's the only followup appointment that has actually taken place up till now.

Saturday was an interesting day though, we start off in the morning and the first 4-5 houses we knocked on were born-again christians. Oh boy. Some were pleasant, others less so, but then from those onwards we had nothing but atheists the rest of the day. We even had some bashing atheists. I'll tell you about one whom I found very amusing and extremely sad. So, we start off telling her about how our message can help her and bring her peace and happiness, well she immediately starts going on about how religion is just all people making up things to make them feel better about death and it's all a scam. She then starts talking about "if there is a god then" things like war, dying people, etc etc the list goes on. The problem with all of this is we didn't get any chance to speak because she wouldn't stop and would talk over you if you got a chance. This is where it got interesting. She started talking about why would she worship a god that kills people, (notice how god now exists) she told a strange version of a story in the Old Testament about how Moses was commanded by God to kill loads of the Israelites for idolatry and how that didn't make sense with "thou shall not kill." She then told us this wonderful and fantastic story about how Satan was actually the good one. Satan never killed anyone, Satan never caused anyone any harm. All he wanted to do was to save us from a god who wasn't doing a very good job, he just wanted to be in charge for a day and if God was loving and caring then he should have let him. What! That was the strangest argument I have ever heard. She basically was the spokesman of Satan. She was telling us that religion is all just people wanting money and that we should be having fun because that was all that mattered. She was telling us that Satan was good and God was bad, that Jesus Christ was pitiful and didn't do a very good job. So basically on Saturday we met an antichrist who with her denial of everything is worshipping Satan. I felt really sorry for this lady because she was obviously not happy and I don't believe ever will be because she has rejected God for some reason. She has rejected happiness for "fun," very sad. (Also, I hope that this story makes sense).

We met a few other people but really what I have learned this week is that people really should read the Book of Mormon before they can say it isn't true. Before they say that we are bad or wrong, learn from both sides. If you want to read the anti stuff go ahead, but read the Book of Mormon, pray about it, and know for yourself what God would have you follow.

Elder Cossa is from Harare, Zimbabwe and he has been out for just a transfer less than me. He is super great and a hard working elder. It's good to be with him. He works hard but is also a lot of fun and very obedient but not a nazi. He has a great balance and so he is good to be around. He is 25 and has been a member for 3 years. He was the first in his family to be baptised.

Anyways sorry for the long drawn out letter of random rants. It was a good week full of crazy people. Wales is fun.

Elder Tarbet

Caelitus Mihi Vires
My Strength is from Heaven

Friday, November 11, 2016

October 31st—November 8th: Transfers—I'm in Wales!

It's transfers. I'm going to Colwyn Bay. I will be with Elder Cosa from Africa. Not sure how much time I will have to email properly but will try. Love you all!

Elder Tarbet
Caelitus Mihi Vires 
My Strength is from Heaven

And later....

Well, here is the closest thing you will get to an email today. We are in Colwyn Bay (look on a map).  It's in Wales almost about as far as you can go. The rest of the district is the farthest you can go. Me and Elder Cosa are covering this bit of the world and supporting a branch here. Apparently the branch is quite good and loves missionaries so that should be enjoyable. They have a very tiny building that is just a converted shop front I think. It's going to be fun! It's warmer here than Mac but more wet I think because we are on the coast. I know that we have a few castles in our area and more history so I am looking forward to exploring a bit. Elder Cosa is from Zimbabwe and has been out for just a transfer less than me. He's super nice and very humble. I think that this will be a very good transfer. 

Monday, November 7, 2016

Five Things I Have Learned on my Mission

5 things that I have learned on my mission:

Patience: Both with your self and with others.  Life will not always go the way you want it to and people won't always act the way you would want to be treated. 

Hard work: I thought that I knew a little about this before my mission, but this has been a place that I have learned the true meaning of hard work

Humility: When you are with someone 24/7 you learn really quick that you don't come first and that you don't get to be right—to be happy is better than being right.

Love: I have found through my mission that I have come to love people and to really understand them more.  Instead of seeing their flaws, I try to see their virtues. It's not a natural thing to do and it takes a lot of the first 3 things, but it is a thing that changes the way that I meet people.

The Atonement: This is the big one.  Before my mission I only thought of the Atonement as something for sins. Since I have been on my mission, I have learned it is so much more, sins are only a small part of the Atonement's healing. Through the atonement we have the strength to become the people that we want to become—to change the things that we want to change within ourselves and to be moulded into the people that Heavenly Father wants us to be. This life is very challenging but through the grace and power of the Atonement we can have joy in our sorrows and peace in our afflictions. 

October 24th—October 30th: Meeting Robert, Celebrating Halloween, and Missionary Life

  Well this week has been pretty good. The first half was pretty uneventful but it picked up the second half. We had a really good lesson with a man named Jan (Yahn) from Germany. We have seen him a couple of times but this was our first proper lesson. We talked about a lot of different things. He had so many questions, most of the time we just spent answering his questions, but we were able to explain to him some of our very basic beliefs that made sense to him. He is very interested in religion but doesn't really believe. His wife is very catholic from Mexico and so she doesn't want to meet us, but he is very friendly and very keen to listen.
  We found this very, very nice man named Robert who lives around the corner from us. He had seen missionaries walking around for quite a while but had never really spoken to us. We got talking and actually spoke for about an hour. We talked about him for a bit and then we taught basically the whole restoration lesson on the spot. He took a Book of Mormon but was leaving on holiday for a week the next day so we have to wait to teach him. He is super funny and we think that he could have a bit of a coloured past. He told us that he was a criminal but was past that. He kinda reminded me of the book "Mafia to Mormon." I think that he has a good chance to be baptized. He was asking, "Well what would I have to do if I join your church?" We taught him the Word of Wisdom—he thought it was great since he had always thought that tea and coffee were awful. He was good with tithing and everything. The only two things that could be a problem is that he was a bit apprehensive of marrying his partner of 24 years, weird huh? And that it could be too good to be true. We will see when he gets back I guess. 
  We had the trunk or treat on Saturday and that was loads of fun. It reminded me of home a bit with all of the things that we used to do for Halloween. It was fun for the kids and I enjoyed getting to go and talk to people's friends that had come. 
  Then on Sunday, Elder David had a really good interview with president...for 2 hours. Then he talked to me for a few moments. I will be honest that I got really bored for 2 hours. I also had to make noise the whole time while they talked because the door was not sound proof. So I read most of the book of Ether out loud hahaa. Mission life.
  So that's about been my week! Hope that you are all well and that you have a good week coming! It is transfers next Tuesday so make your predictions. 

Love you all!

Elder Tarbet

Caelitus Mihi Vires 
My Strength is from Heaven

Pictures from the Week—Serving with Elder David

October 17th—October 23rd: Finding Success in the Small Things

  This week we had a lot of nothing. We have been doing a fair amount of finding and haven't had much success from it. 
  But the success was when a member was asking us how would be the best way to share the gospel with a coworker who has just seen the "Book of Mormon" musical. That was a big success in my heart. This member has also come out of his shell more at church and was very active in the lessons. He also gave us some very good feedback when we taught him. We have another appointment with him. It's incredible because he is strong, but has been struggling a bit and this week seems to have been very different in him. Maybe I'm looking for it but I think that the lesson definitely helped. 
  The other successes of the week were 2 part member families. One invited us over for dinner and we had a bit of a lesson, but right now they don't really want to be taught—they just like to have us come on occasion and feed us and that's about it. We aren't sure how to spark the desire they need. The other part member family is a recent RM whose sister and mother are not members. We taught the sister last night and Jake was an excellent missionary and he just bore the most spiritual testimony about the Book of Mormon. She accepted a copy and said that she would read it. We didn't get a return appointment but we can hopefully see them this week. 
  Anish has been quite elusive. We have been by twice and texted him a couple of times and we finally got a meeting set for Friday with him. I think that he is just a genuinely busy man.
  It's been an interesting week, I had a migraine for a few days that has kinda just died back to a headache but I guess that's all part of the fun!

Hope that you have had a good week!
Love ya! 

Elder Tarbet
Caelitus Mihi Vires 
My Strength is from Heaven