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 Familysearch.org 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.


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. 

Cheers!
-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

Update!

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!