Monday, December 11, 2017

Baptism and Kebab's

What's up! In this weeks update Chris had his special day, we got kebabs with our Bishop, we had a district breakfast, and it's a cold one out there!
The highlight of the week was our beloved Chris' baptism! It all happened so fast getting him to that point and we are so excited for him! It was Elder Manaligod's first time baptizing someone and he was super pumped! The whole service went really well. I love the busyness of preparing right before a baptism and then seeing your hard work pay off. Chris McGrath (the other Chris who was baptized) spoke at the baptism. It was his very first time giving a talk and he did a brilliant job!
After the baptism, we went over to Sister Thompson's house to have some kebabs. Bishop drove to a take out place and showed up with these monster sized kebabs for us to feast on.... haha. And not a kebab that's dinky meat on a stick. It's a proper portion of lamb meat. It was the Sister Missionaries first time trying it, so now they are officially kebabtized! It was a fun night with the two Chris's over as well. I'm so grateful for these memories that I'm making right now on my mission!
It's been a cold one this week. No snow, just cold....brrrrrrr. Elder Manaligod got sick for a little bit this week and I'm praying that I don't catch it. Something fun that happened this week was that we had a District Breakfast! We decided to switch things up a little bit and have breakfast before District Meeting. All of the teams brought different foods and we ate together. The North Shields District is the best!
On Saturday, we went up to Ashington to interview one of their Lads investigators for baptism. He passed! In order to get back home, we needed to go through the Newcastle city centre for a little bit to catch our Metro. And guess what, it was right after a Newcastle United Football game! So the Metro was packed with people! It reminded me of after Utah Utes football games with everyone talking about the game and wearing their teams colors. We were sardined on the Metro ride home..... haha.  It was a little funny and cool situation.
Wells, transfer calls are next week. We will have to see if I get moved or stay a little bit longer in North Shields. I've really wanted to serve in the Leeds zone at some point in my mission, but we'll have to see what happens. Hope you guys all have a great week and enjoy this wonderful Christmas season. Cheers!

-Elder Holysmokes

Chris' baptism with Elder Manoligod

Lamb Kebab's with both Chris', Sister Thompson, 
the Sister Missionaries and the Bishop

District pot luck breakfast

Package from home

Monday, December 4, 2017

Snow in England!

You alright everyone! It's been another good week in the kingdom. We taught a Romanian lady, went to a groovy ward Christmas party, and I'm dreaming of a White Christmas!
Well, it's that time of the year when everyone's putting up their Christmas trees and the sun starts setting at 3 o'clock. I love serving in the North Shields area, because when there are no people in the streets and we don't have any lessons planned, we talk to people on the metro! 
One cool thing that happened this week was that I taught a Romanian lady in Romanian. Was it the gift of tongues? No, it was the gift of Google translate... haha! This super nice Romanian lady let us in, because she really loves Jesus Christ. Her husband wasn't too bothered. We tried initially to speak very slow in English to her, but she couldn't understand. So we taught her the Restoration through Google translate! We would speak into the tablet, then it would translate into Romanian and speak to her. In the end she is a very busy lady, but we have scoped out someone who speaks Romanian in the stake to visit her.
Yes, our ward Christmas party was this week. There wasn't Zumba like in York last year, but there was Karaoke haha! It was a good time. The Chris that was baptized in November, came and is adjusting really well into the ward and is actually going to Institute next week! We tried to get him to do karaoke, but no success. Some ward members brought their non member friends, so we chatted with them a bit. Overall, it was a good laugh time!
I'm defiantly dreaming of a White Christmas this year. On Thursday, there was a big snow storm. Like the most snow that I've ever seen in England! I was super exited to for it!! It only lasted that day, but it reminded me of back home and was a nice treat. I'm hoping that we'll get loads of snow on Christmas Day!
Another reason why it's going to be a White Christmas is that we are going to be having another baptism this week! Chris passed his interview and is getting dunked on Thursday!! The Lord has blessed me so much with prepared people and it's such an exciting thing to see. There's another lady that we've been teaching that is working towards her goal of the 23rd of December
Anyways, I hope that you all are having a good one and playing in the snow in America, because I will for sure be doing that next year haha. 
Have a good one ..... cheers!

-Elder Holyoak 


Ward Christmas Party

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Funny Bus Driver

Hey everyone! This week's been a good one! I had a fiery Zone Conference, had an exchange with a piano baby, met a funny bus driver and and helped Chris see what baptism is like!
Hiyuh, just a quick update this week. Zone conference was smashing this week! We have an official England Leeds Mission video that shows all of the areas in our mission and videos of people opening up their mission calls.  Idk if it's on Facebook, but it's pretty sweet! (Not on Facebook yet)
I went on an exchange with Elder Schmidt. He was a service missionary over in York for a while, so he was updating me on how it's been going down there. One other cool thing about him is that he's one of the Piano Guys sons! It was a blast and I'm excited to be serving around him!
This week we were able to invite one of our friends, Chris, to a child of record's baptism. He really enjoyed the service and is going to get baptized this month! After the baptism, Elder Manaligod and I took the bus back home, but we were the only ones on the bus. So naturally we just start jamming out and singing random rock songs.... haha. We didn't realize how loud we were because when we were getting off the bus the bus drive told us, "You better not go. Britian's got talent you two!" We were laughing so hard.... haha!

My companion is cool. His personality reminds me of Luke a lot. He super into basketball and video game. He's got 2 brothers and is the one in the middle just like me! He served with 2 other guys from my MTC group. This is his first proper winter, so we're decking him out with warm stuff today. He's been on his mission for 10 months and he's good lad. I hoping we'll stick together for Christmas, but we'll see. Transfer calls are literally a week before Christmas

and I've been in this area for a while.
Life is going super canny, I'll have to catch yous later! 

-Elder Holyoak 

Zone Conference

Elder  Manaligod and I

Fun on the Bus

Monday, November 20, 2017

New Companion

Hey everyone! It's been a super good week with my new Filipino companion. We ate at a posh chippy, had a Chris Kringle at church, and had a fun district meeting.
It was a really good start for transfers. My new companion is Elder Manaligod from the Philippines. Elder Manaligod and I got along right off the bat! We taught loads of lessons to people this week. The best lesson that we taught was to a man named Chris and he actually lives super close to our recent convert Chris. We brought the first Chris teaching with us and they (both Chris') took the bus together to church on Sunday. We had, as Elder Manaligod says, "A Nice little Chris Kringle,"(both Chris' at church) haha..... He's hilarious! So that was definitely a highlight in the week.
We were doing missionary work in a posher part of our area and we came across a posh chippy. The fish n chips were like £9 each and we didn't realize it, but we'd already pulled the trigger and ordered. 
We have three new people in the district and it's been super fun getting to know them. We have a new sister from Utah, a Navajo Elder from Cali, and of course the Filipino. But yeah, other than that there isn't too much else to update on. Life is güd and we have a funky fresh Zone conference tomorrow. Have a good week cheers!

-Elder Holyoak

Holyoake Terrace

Zone Thanksgiving dinner

Elder Manaligod, my new companion

District meeting

Monday, November 13, 2017

Newcastle United and Transfer Calls

Way Ay champions! This week was the final stretch with Elder Davies, we got transfer calls, went on an exchange in Ashington, and I got my favorite gift on my mission from Chris!
Well this week was my last week with the Englishman. He went off to Leeds to the mission office this morning and will soon tour the mission with his family. It's a proper weird experience serving with someone going home. It reminded me of how fast this experience happens and that I need to make the most of it! 
A couple of nights ago we had transfer calls and..... I'm staying a little bit longer in North Shields! My new companion is going to be Elder Manaligod. He's from the Philippines! I don't know too much about him other than he's a funny bloke who's been on his mission for about 11 months or so. I've served around some missionaries from the Philippines in the past and they're super good people. The district is changing around a lot as well. The Fijian in Alnwick is leaving and we're getting a Native American lad from New Mexico I think, and a new trainee sister missionary. 
Last Tuesday, we spent the night in Ashington with Elder's Bennett and Scheffner. It was a freezing blast! I forgot to gear up with warmer winter clothing, so I was colder than an ice lolly (the English word for a popsicle). It was fun because I went with Elder Scheffner from our home town Sandy, Utah. He's really into cross country, so we connected that way and quoted funny movies like Austin Powers and Ace Ventura! It's crazy cause we're only like a 15 minute drive away from each other and we didn't know each other before haha! We found a lady who is a Realtor and they are going to teach her today which is dope!
And finally, last but not least, the Chris update. Chris is doing sound! We received his membership number and now we are going to help him make a family history account and get a name for him to take to the temple! During our last lesson with him, he totally hooked us up with gifts. He gave us some delicious Vimto Squash, penguin biscuits and some SWEET Newcastle United jerseys!! Man they're so cool! I was so grateful to get one from him, because I've been itching to get one for ages! But yeah he's doing good haha. That's the main update for y'all. I'll see yous later, cheers!

-Elder Holyoak 

See ya Elder Davies

New Castle United Jersey

Yeah, baby! (with Elder Scheffner)

Monday, November 6, 2017

Baptism of Fire! 🔥

Hello, hello family and friends! This weeks update has a spooky pizza in it, hot peppers, Bon Fire night and CHRIS' BAPTISM!
First and foremost the highlight of the week was definitely Chris' baptism. It happened on Saturday and it was so good! The past couple of weeks we've been introducing him to loads of members and teaching him super in depth about the church. We got him doing family history and we'll make sure to get him an account on once his membership number goes through, so we can help him go to the temple for his family names. Our Bishop baptized Chris, I spoke at his service and Elder Davies did his confirmation. The next step, that's right the temple! The missionaries are now allowed to take recent converts to the temple, which is outside of our mission. The Ashington Elders brought their friend that is learning about the church to the baptism and he's super excited about his baptism next week too!!
After the service, Sunday came rolling along and he received the Holy Ghost. It was Fast and Testimony meeting and during the Testimony meeting, guess what happened? Chris asked us if he could go up and speak, and we said of course! He bore a super confident powerful testimony. It was one of the most powerful testimonies that I've heard during my whole mission. And it doesn't stop there. During priesthood, the Bishop asked me if I could give him the Aaronic priesthood and set him apart as a priest. I've never done anything like that before. Speaking of priesthood, my boy Dave over in York emailed me the other day and he is preparing for the Melchizedek priesthood! After Church we gave Chris a basket of surprises with a picture of Christ and a fancy hard bound Book of Mormon oooh! It's the most rewarding feeling seeing people that you've taught make good decisions and progress in the gospel.
Now for the funny stuff in this week. Tuesday was Halloween, so we were required as missionaries to be in our flat by 6:00 p.m. The next day was district meetings early in the morning in Gateshead for another day of service. During service, we raked and got rubbish out of the creeks with super fashionable wellies(rain boots). The other lads spent Halloween night in our flat in order to get there on time the next day. So we had a mini Halloween party! I got a spooky gummy pizza from Aldi, it was delectable. After district meeting, Elder Bennett gave Elder Davies and I some chocolate, aw so nice of him. No! It had the Carolina Reaper Pepper inside of it and it burned my mouth...... haha! 
Bon fire night was last night. We didn't need to stay inside this time. As we were walking around, we saw loads of fireworks going off.  Nothing like the 4th of July, but it was the most I've seen in England. 
I can't believe that I've already been in North Shields for 4 months. Transfer calls are next week and we'll see if I stay a bit longer. Hope you all have a good week, take care cheers!

-Elder Holyoak 

Chris' baptism

Halloween party 

Monday, October 30, 2017

Chalk Finding

Hiyur everyone! It's been another canny week over here in North Shields. I did some chalk finding with an Italian lad, went to York and Huddersfield for some meetings, Spooky season is coming and some super good news for next Saturday!
Hello peeps! I did a lot of traveling this week... haha. On Friday, I went all the way to Huddersfield, which is the most south that I've been in the mission so far. We had a leadership meeting with Elder Foster of the 70. It was a proper good meeting with a lot of traveling. The next day we took a coach with everyone in the zone to go to York for Conference from Elder Bradley D. Foster. It was really good seeing my homies around the other north zones! I was sitting next to Elder Anderson during the meeting and was able to do some catching up with him. I saw Elder Livingston, Lewis and more! 
Something unique that happened this week was doing some chalk finding! When I was on exchange with Elder Sicardi, my Italian hitman, we went to the fish quay in North Shields. It was right next to the Tyne river, so there were a lot of people walking around getting fish-n-chips. So we got some chalk out and wrote on a busy part of the pavement, "What makes you happy?" We had people write their answers down on ground. We had some good conversations with people and gave away some Plan of Happiness pamphlets too! We will defiantly try it out again in the future. It's good to mix things up!

Yes, they Trick or Treat in the dandy old UK. It's not as popular as the US, but it happens. York was a bit more festive than North Shields. Our ward had a little Halloween party last week for the youth, and the stake did a Trunk or Treat that we weren't able to go. 
So the update on Chris is... HE PASSED HIS BAPTISMAL INTERVIEW!!! It's official, he's getting dunked this Saturday and I'm so excited! Bishop is going to baptize him and Elder Davies is gonna confirm him one week before he's released as a missionary. Chris is loving the church! He just finished reading the Book of Mosiah and is doing great! The ward is excited about him too! But yes, I will keep yous posted on it. Until then, I hope you all have a good spooky week, take care cheers!

-Elder Holyoak

"What makes you happy?" - chalk finding

Elder Anderson

                                                                          Why I went on a mission.