Monday, August 29, 2016

2nd week in York

How do chums!

This week has been a lot of work and a lot of fun. We went on splits earlier this week and it was fun. I

went with Elder Shäfer from Switzerland. He's a really awkward and fun guy. He's one of the zone leaders and he had a car to drive us around. I normally walk or take the bus. It was very interesting driving on the wrong side of the road.

I really like my flat.  It is located just outside downtown York in an area called Acomb. It's one of the nicer missionary flats and I have no complaints at all.  My companion is a good teacher and he jokes around with me a lot.  I haven't seen any unusual animals yet, just lots and lots of DOGS!

We've had a lot of member lessons this week which has been good practice for me. We also have a progressing investigator that has an upcoming baptismal date. He's special needs, and we've taught him a couple times.

One of the ward member named David is really into Larping (live action role playing) and we played

with his foam weapons. There is a picture below. All of these days are blending together and I've learned so much. 

The food has been good! We eat like college students for breakfast and lunch and the ward members have been giving us pretty American dishes about 3 times a week for dinner. Elder Barney said that we should be fed more often when members get back from their vacations. 
I tried my very first kebab. It's not a kabob. It's this weird meat that I'm not sure what's in it. But it was good. I'll talk to you all next week! 

-Elder Holyoak
Something looks different ??

British Lane

Larping with Elder Shafer

My Flat - Bedroom

 My Flat - kitchen

My Flat - study area

Monday, August 22, 2016

First area......York

How's it going chaps! 

I'm in my first area, York, with my trainer Elder Barney from Houston, Texas. He's a funny redneck! He's been out here for 18 months so he's been showing me the ropes. My address is 5 St. Pauls Court Yarburgh Grove York YO264TP England. I would love it if you sent me a letter! Sorry for the two week gap of no contact with anyone. My P Day is on Mondays from now on. 

Last Tuesday, all of the 26 missionaries going to the Leeds mission took a coach from the MTC to a chapel in Leeds to meet up with our trainers. At the time, I was really nervous. Once I was assigned to Elder Barney in York, we went to a crazy busy train station to get here. It's been an interesting week so far haha. I've been working on a lot of creative ways to approach people without sounding like a salesman. We've been doing a lot of knocking, street contacting, and bus contacting.

Horse races are huge in York and there's been one going on in our area this week. It's not effective to talk to the race goers because they're usually drunk. There are so many pubs in this city and drinking is a big problem here. The ward members I've met are awesome! A lot of them are gone for vacation, but I've been able to meet a quite a few of them through member lessons and going over for dinner.  

It was a little overwhelming not knowing anyone at all, but I'm getting most everyone's names down and introducing myself. A lot of the British people, outside of the ward, don't know where Utah is so I just say that I'm from the Rocky Mountains of America. I think that sounds cooler. I just bought a guitar today on P Day! It's a small travel guitar that I'm gonna get all of my mission friends to sign. 

It's been a really busy week and I wish that I could've taken more pictures. Life is really good right now! This city is amazing and packed with history. Elder Barney and I have a baptism in a couple weeks from an investigator that the previous set of missionaries were teaching and I'm super excited!! I'll make sure to keep you updated on that. 

-Elder Holyoak

Elder Barney and I in front of York Minster Cathedral

York Minster Cathedral

The Breakfast of Champions

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Safe Arrival to England Leeds Mission Home

Wonderful surprise this morning.

Elder Holyoak's mission president (President and Sister Turvey) sent us an email and pictures letting us know that he made it safely to the mission home and also told us which area he would be serving in first.

He will be serving in the York 1 Area in the York Zone.  No address yet, but we are hoping to hear from him personally on Monday to get all of the details.

His 1st companion and trainer is Elder Barney from Texas.

 Companion - Elder Barney

 President and Sister Turvey

 25 new missionaries 

New missionaries with their companions standing behind them

Double decker bus transportation from the mission home to their first areas

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

2nd week in the MTC

I've never read as much as I have this past week!

It's been a really good week for me. The day after I sent my last email we took a church tour into the city of Preston. We were able to see where the first missionaries came to England and where they taught and baptized new members. It was really awesome being able to leave the MTC for a little while and see the more rural part on Preston. We took a tour in a church named "St. John Church of England" and we sang church hymns in it. Members of the church of England own it, but President Preston said that they're good friends with him. 

It's been a really powerful week for me too. We had a fast and testimony meeting last Sunday and it strengthened my testimony a ton. Most of my days here have consisted of role playing, studying, and praying. I'm just trying to soak everything up as much as possible because I'm gonna be out on the field in 6 days! 

Tomorrow we're taking another trip to downtown Manchester and we're going to proselyte! It's really exiting! Oh something random too, Shawn Bradley's daughter is in this MTC. Pretty funny. I've been trying to get to know as many people as possible out of the 95 Elders and Sisters here. 

Yesterday my companion Elder Ramirez broke his glasses so we were able to leave the MTC for a couple hours. We were able to see downtown Chorley. It's a really small run down town. The owner of the repair store asked me where I was from. And I jokingly said, "Utah, Where the greatest skiing on Earth is." And he laughed and he told me, "Europe is where all of the good skiing is. You people have pebbles with no history!" I thought that really funny. But yeah, I'm super excited to get out in the field! I'm doing my best to prepare myself for my first area. 

Elder Holyoak

 St. John's Church of England

 Rain in England?

 Beautiful Preston, England

 The Missionary "Oak" 

 Lehi district

Role playing with an "investigator" in the TRC room

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

1st week in the England MTC

     Hey Everyone!! I've been in the England MTC for one week now and it's been awesome!  Most of the teachers here are returned missionaries that were born in England. So most of them have really cool accents. The first day here was pretty rough after our 12 hour plane ride into Manchester, but that's all worn off and I've never worked harder in my life. 

I'm in the Lehi district which includes: Elder Kim from New Zealand, Elder Meyer from Germany, Elder Zek from Canada, Elder Ramirez who is my companion also from Canada, Elder Stuts from Idaho, Elder McTavish from Canada, and Elder Edwards from Kaysville, Utah. I room with Ramirez, McTavish and Zek, all from Canada. They have hung up a Canadian flag in our room so I'm slowly loosing my nationality, but I love it here so much! 

Most mornings we go out and play football. They get mad when we call it soccer. We have class in the afternoons and evenings. I was afraid that I was going to get brainwashed when I came here by crazy teachers, but the teachers here are amazing! We have this thing called TRC, that is where a teacher acts as an investigator that they've taught on their missions in the past and you and your companion go into TRC rooms and teach a mock investigator. I've learned so much from doing this and it actually feels like real life sometimes. I want to thank anyone who's reading this post for the effect that they've had on my life, even if it's small. Thank you and I can't wait to share my experiences next week! 

Elder Holyoak

Enjoying the long plane ride to Manchester, England.

England MTC

Preston, England Temple

My companion Elder Ramirez

 The view outside our classroom window

Lehi District

Yummy dinner with Yorkshire pudding