Monday, October 23, 2017

Hiyerr! This week I spent a day with a Canadian, I saw the coolest tattoo and investigators are a rollercoaster!
Hello hello, it's been another canny week up here in Norf Shields. I went on 2 exchanges in one weekOn Monday and Tuesday, we spent it with Elder Watson and Kull (From Idaho and Germany) over in Newcastle. I love the city of Newcastle so much! I've been pretty lucky in my mission to serve in or near a large city. All I need to do now is serve in Leeds. When I was with Elder Kull, we spoke with loads of Uni students, which is always a funny experience. 
On the other day I went with Elder Watson. We had a proper miracle I'll illustrate it for yous. So we were walking up this street right, and we see these two blokes with loads of tattoos... haha. We were asking them if there were any Christians around and one of the guys pulls off his shirt and tells us how hardcore of a Christian he is. Check out the picture! We told them about how God has called a modern prophet and they let us in! We taught their whole family, consisting of a mum and dad and their 3 kids in their 30s. It was a really cool experience to see. They live in the Newcastle area, so I haven't heard back about all of the details and how they're doing.
The other exchange I went on, I was with Elder Bennett who is from Spring Coulee in Alberta, Canada. He knows about "homestarrunner" so we were quoting it a bunch... haha! We taught a guy about the Restoration on some stairs near a bingo too. It was minter than Colgate toothpaste! We're still teaching good old Chris and we had to move his baptismal date back a bit, but he will get baptized!
Life is good, Elder Davies has 3 weeks left in his missionary life. So I'm making sure he's sprinting to the end. Next week we have Elder Foster from the 70 speaking to our mission, oh and he's someone I knows grandpa too! Talk to yous later, take care cheers!

-Elder Holyoak 

Hardcore Christian


Monday, October 16, 2017

A day with a Fijian and loads of conferences!

Hey up everyone! Just a quick update this week. We had glorious zone, stake and European conferences, I spent a day with a Fijian, and we chopped down a tree!
So the main miracle is the metro man from last week. His name is Chris by the way. He's been making so much progress and growing in the gospel. He's super excited to get baptized on the 27th this month! He has completely stopped drinking tea and smoking and we've introduced loads of members to him. He's a super cool guy. He's in his mid 30s and is super into the Chinese culture. He's currently learning how to speak Chinese. Maybe we'll introduce him to some of the Chinese speaking missionaries over in Newcastle.
Yes, we've been having loads of conferences lately. I'm a bit tired of sitting down and talking about how we can improve ourselves, rather than actually going out and working. This next week is gonna be pretty action packed though. On Sunday, we had a big European conference broadcasted to us from Germany. Elder Ballard spoke and it was really, really good! After the conference we got a lift back to our flat with the Bishop and Bro. Johnson. They are seriously the some of the funniest guys in the ward... haha! 
We chopped down a tree over at he Millington's this week. We took a canny pic too! Also, this week we went on exchanges over in Alnwick again. I went with Elder Hawea from Suva, Fiji! It was so fun spending the day with him! It was crazy, because we were talking about my trip over there in 2014 when I was with my HEFY group. He says that he remembers seeing a bunch of kids come to one of his Stake dances.... haha. That was probably us! He is such a good missionary already and he's only been out for 2 weeks. He reminds me of why I came out on my mission and has helped me to love the people of England even more! Anyways, that's my update for the week. Hope you all have a good one. 

-Elder Holyoak

Welcome to our flat

Stretching  after another meeting

Chopping down a proper tree

Elder Hawea from Suva, Fiji


Monday, October 9, 2017

The Metro is #1

Heyuh everyone...... This week has had one of the biggest miracles in my mission so far! I went to Leeds with people from around the world for some training, we're getting smart phones, we did some more service over in Gateshead and the biggest miracle we found was on the metro!
North Shields is still on fire guys, man it's been such a good start to the transfer! I'll give you the run down. So on Tuesday, I was able to party it up in a 2 hour drive to Leeds with a bunch of good lads. I was in a car with a Canadian, a Norwegian, an Austrian, and a German. The meeting was super good. Some big changes are going on in the mission. We're getting smart phones tomorrow! I've gotten so fast at texting on the old Dino phones, but it's gonna be nice to have a phone from the 21st century. Some missionaries are freaking out, because they want to be separated from the world, but to be honest, it isn't going to change too much. One funny thing that I forgot to mention, is that a member in our ward is actually making the phone cases for our mission, so we got it leaked to us early.
We did some more service over in Gateshead with the different peeps in the zone. We painted a shed. I was chatting with Elder Bennett about Bridlington, where he just came from. It's always fun talking about all of the funny stuff that goes on in areas that you have served in with other missionaries and getting the update on the area after you leave.
So I've been saving this miracle for the end of my email. Last Monday night, Elder Davies and I were talking to lots of people on the metro and we got off at the Wallsend stop. When we got off, we walked around the corner and a man stopped us and asked us if we were lost and that my accent didn't sound like from around here. We chatted for a little bit and of course talked about the Book of Mormon with him. He told us how he had been really struggling in life lately and how he recently lost his job. When we gave him a Book of Mormon he held onto it like it was precious gold! He asked us if we could meet with him that next morning. When we saw him the next morning, he was super open to hearing about the Restoration. We've seen him almost every day since this week. He came to Amelia's baptism on Saturday and had a really good spiritual experience! He came to church as well yesterday and really enjoyed it! It's a proper miracle to meet someone so willing to accept the gospel in their life! He keeps asking us what can he do next.... haha. He's been asking so many questions about the church and I love it!! 
So, a lot of new stuff is going on! Hope yous have a good week! Cheers!

-Elder Holyoak

District Leaders Training

Life on the Metro

Monday, October 2, 2017


Hiyuh again everyone! So the transfer calls came in and...... I'll be staying in North Shields for another transfer. I'll also be serving with Elder Davies for his last transfer. This makes it the first time I'm "killing off" a missionary, so wish me luck.... haha. This week was Mandy's baptism, I interviewed another person for baptism, General Conference and Moana!
I'll give you guys the run down of transfer calls before I blue scadoo into the week. The North Shields district is going to look quite different in couple of days. In Alnwick, Elder Mills is leaving (R.I.P previous companion. He gets moved around so much, bless him.... haha) and the legendary Italian Elder Sicardi will be training and Ashington will be getting Elders instead of Sisters. During district meeting last week, it was Sister Filikitonga's last one before she went home to Tonga, so naturally I had to get a hold of a Moana clip and tie it into the meeting. It was a nice touch. We are are swapping out those lady legends for Elder Sheffner from Sandy, Utah.... Hey wait a second that sounds familiar? Sheffner is from my MTC group and he want to Alta.  I mean the Bengals are still better than the Hawks, which I'm sure my freshman little brother well understands. It'll be ace being around him again. His companion is gonna be Elder Bennett, who is coming from Bridlington and was trained by Elder Livingston (my old companion). The North Shields sisters are staying the same. So lots of familiar faces, iz gon be lit!
Mandy's baptism went really well, the Sisters organized it amazingly! The highlight of it was definitely hearing James give a talk during it. I teared up when I heard him say, "Mom I know that this church is true and I know that you know that it's true!" Everyone in their family is now baptized and we just need to get them to the temple! It's amazing how much the gospel can transform someone, if they just accept it in their lives.
Speaking of baptisms, the Sisters have another one in the works. The Bishops 9 year old niece is getting dunked this Saturday and I interview her a couple of days ago. She is one of the sweetest little girls that I've met! Now it's up to Elder Davies and I to find the next person!
General Conference was sound. Holland was savage as always. We watched it in the Newcastle chapel with the other members and missionaries. So overall good stuff going on! I'll be spending the spooky season in North Shields. Hope you all have a rubbish week and remember, life is as short as a British summer, so make it count! Cheers!

-Elder Holyoak 

District Meeting

Whoa! It's a double rainbow all the way!

Monday, September 25, 2017

Wake me up when September ends...

Hey everyone! There's some big stuff going on in the ELM. First off, I interviewed Mandy for baptism and SHE PASSED, Facebook Facebook and more Facebook, we ate at a Carvery, and we did a Ward service project.
So, for the highlight of the week, it was definitely interviewing Mandy for baptism. It's been amazing seeing how much joy the Gospel has brought her! She and her husband have both said that they feel so much more peace in their home now. The Sisters did a really good job teaching her and she's very prepared for her baptism this Friday.
On Wednesday, we went over to the Stake Center in Sunderland to be trained on how to use Facebook haha. It's funny because most of us already know how to use it, but only for entertainment purposes. I'm excited to be using it to be able to talk to more people about the Gospel on the global inter-webs! Also, it feels a lot more comfortable and casual asking people, "Hey do you have a Facebook so we can talk to you more about this?" And if people are too busy, we can video chat with them! So yeah, lots of new stuff going on! 
On Friday, we went with the Priesthood to eat at a Carvery. I had no idea what a Carvery was until I got there. It was basically like an English dinner buffet. They had all sorts of meat, gravy, veg, and Yorkshire puddings. I'll make sure to take pictures next time. It was quite delectable! We were able to catch up with James because he was there too. On Sunday, he passed the Sacrament for the first time. Everyone in is family has just been beaming the past couple of weeks.
On Saturday, we did a ward service project. We went to a park and picked weeds and other stuff. It was good because I got a free Mormon Helping Hands shirt! One last thing, I forgot to mention to you is that it isn't just General Conference weekend that's coming up, but it's transfer calls as well. I'm predicting that I'll "kill off" Elder Davies with his last transfer, we will see though. I'm loving it here in North Shields, so I hope that I'll stay a bit longer. I'll keep you guys posted, here and on Facebook haha. Hope you have a canny week! 

Take care, cheers!
-Elder Holyoak

Monday, September 18, 2017

Hogwarts and an Italian

Here's another weekly update from the land of North Shields, England. This week has flown by again! Some highlights in this juicy week include, spending a day with an Italian, the Whinhams being canny, and going to Hogwarts!
Man it's crazy, I feel like I was just barely writing my last weekly update. Time flies! On Tuesday, I was able to go on  an exchange with the one and only Elder Sicardi from Rome, Italy. We went up to the Alnwick area to a village near the boarder of Scotland called, Berwick. It was such a beautiful drive! Elder Sicardi is a really good bloke. He's a very diligent missionary and although English isn't his first language, he's very confident in the way that he speaks with people. I learned a lot from him on that exchange. Elder Mills and Davies found them an investigator as well, which was ace!
So back to the North Shields area. You guys remember James, the 14 year old boy that we baptized a fortnight ago? His mum is super interested in the church! She's come to church the past 2 weeks and it's been so good to see the whole family sitting there so happy. The sister missionaries have been teaching her and her baptism will be soon. So they are doing very canny!
This last P Day we were able to go somewhere brilliant, THE HOGWARTS CASTLE! It actually called the Alnwick castle, but it's where they filmed a lot of stuff for Harry Potter. We timed it just right going there as well, because a really posh family owns and lives in the castle from October to next spring. It was such a breathtaking place to be. Elder Davies had a wand and we brought it with us and were messing around quoting Harry Potter....haha! Another thing we did was that we drove to the Boarder of Scotland. Don't worry, we didn't cross the boarder, but we got a picture of it! 
The missionary work is going alright too. We're just trying to find more peeps to teach again. We found one bloke named Colin, the same name as my brother back home. Shout out to him! Colin is from a place called Wallsend. There's something really cool about Wallsend that I learned too. It's where Sting from the band The Police are from. I'm going to try and scope out the exact house that he  grew up in... haha!
On Wednesday, we're getting trained on how to use Facebook in our missionary work, so that will be interesting. It's fun being creative and trying to brainstorm ideas on how to find more people to teach. It should be another smashing week coming up. I'm super pumped! Hope you guys have a great week too, cheers!

-Elder Holyoak 

Scotland border

England border

Missionary exchanges with Elder Sicardi

Alnwick castle "Hogwarts"

Performing a magic spell


Monday, September 11, 2017

Soaring Eagle!

Heyuh friends! This week we did some service over in Gateshead with the missionaries in our zone, Operation Flying Eagle has almost gone soaring, Facebook, and James got baptized!
On Wednesday, we were able to do something really cool. We did service in Gateshead, which is just south of Newcastle. I met up with everyone in our zone and we did some service in a park there. It was a lot of fun moving benches, digging holes for trees etc. It's crazy how many different countries the Elders and Sisters come from in the zone and how fun it is to learn about their different cultures. 
We met with our bishop for a little this week and started working on this new idea that he has. It's kind of hard to explain over email, but I'll try. It's basically creating a weekly email newsletter to send out to people who's emails that we get. It should be pretty exciting! We're calling it "Operation Flying Eagle" for now.
One thing I forgot to mention in my email last week was that our mission will be using Facebook for online proselyting. We will be getting trained on using it at the end of the month and most of the missionaries are really excited about using it to work with their wards and branches better.
And last but not least, James got baptized!! It's been super busy and rewarding planning it. His young men's leader baptized him and I confirmed him yesterday. So many new cool experiences! After church James got the priesthood and is planning on going on a temple trip with the ward next month, which is super exciting!! Hope you guys have a great week talk to yous later! 

-Elder Holyoak 

James' baptism 

Dabbing in the UK

Wallace and Gromit