Monday, March 27, 2017

Zone Conference

Hey again from Bridlington. Here's another weekly update on my doings. I went to Billingham on Tuesday for Zone Conference, somebody passed their baptismal interview, Mother's Day in the UK and I watched a couple people play the drums!

On Tuesday this week, we had a dandy old Zone Conference over in Billingham. Elder Mills and I spent the night in the zone leaders flat after a mint Zone P-Day. I have to be honest, it was a lot of traveling going from Brid to Billingham, but it was awesome seeing other missionaries in 2 zones, seeing my MTC companion again (Elder Ramirez) and hearing from President Turvey. This conference, President Turvey told us a bit more about his personal life before his mission. He told us how important church is and was to him. And more importantly, how he was in a rock band haha just kidding. He did mention it though. He told us that a lot of the experienced missionaries are going home and that it's time for us to step in and fill their shoes. 
Traveling back to Brid on Tuesday didn't go as planned. We missed our train and had to spend the night over at Scarborough with the other lads. Our new district is down to 4 Elders. Elder Mills, Barber, Barf and myself. Elder Barf is from Tahiti and is a guitar wizard! I'll probably be going on exchange with him sometime next week. I'll let you guys know more about him then.
One of the highlights of my week was Josiah passing his baptismal interview!! After his interview, he showed off his electric drum set. On Sunday, Joe, his parent and all of his siblings came. I was so happy and excited to see them all there. He's still shooting for the 9th for his baptism. Speaking of drumming, there was another person that we saw who showed off his drums, Brother Shire. He's a funny and quirky man that loves the Dixie Chicks. 
Yesterday was Mother's Day in England.  I could've called you yesterday mom haha! During church on Sunday, the children handed out flowers to all of the women and mothers in the branch. 
As far as how the missionary work is going here, it's going good. This week has been a lot warmer and as a result, many tourist have come to Bridlington. The locals say that it will keep getting worse, but the work will continue! It's been a bit difficult to get in contact with the people that we've been teaching, but I know that someone else is here and is preparing for baptism.
Next week is General Conference and I'll be watching it in the chapel here in Brid. I'm super excited to listen to the General Authorities who are the living modern day prophets and apostles. I hope that you all get the chance to listen and spend some time with your families. Have a good week again, cheers!

-Elder Holyoak

Elder Ramirez (MTC companion)

Zone Conference

The Chapel (my second home)

Running on the beach

Brother Shire

Monday, March 20, 2017

The Ogden's visit Bridlington

Hello peeps. This week was that start of a new transfer. Elder Mills and I had a really funny / productive week. First of all, a crazy spiritualist lady tried to kiss me, we have some new investigators, I saw the Ogden's and someone is defiantly getting baptized on the 9th of April next month!
This week has flown by! After the other guys left, we transitioned the flat to a two-man space and we combined our two teaching pools into one teaching lake. So that's been a lot fun haha! On the crazy side of things, some funny stuff happened this week. Elder Mills and I were knocking on people's doors, bothering people as usual, and we met a really strange lady. She said that she was a preacher in the spiritualist church. We asked her what they do in that church and she told us how our bodies are a medium for the afterlife, really strange. Then as we were saying goodbye, I saw a pair of wrinkly lips coming for me. I didn't know what to do, so I held her away from me. Elder Mills was watching and was not sure what to do either. So I held her away from me and told her that I could just give her a hug. I didn't enjoy that experience haha!
 On Tuesday of this week, the one and only Ogden family, minus Elder Benjoles (who's serving in Alaska currently), took us out for dinner! We ate at a restaurant called "Wise Guys." It's a New York City styled pizza place (shout out to Elder Budge). It was so good / strange to see them, more good though! I know that they're reading this and I wanna thank you guys again for popping by and seeing me.  
On the productive side, we taught a lot of new people this week. There was a lady that we met knocking doors and she really wants to check out what our church service is like. When we taught her about the restoration at her door, she listened really intently and she told us, "Hold on a second I need to grab something." She grabbed a piece of paper and started writing down what we were saying. We gave her a Book of Mormon and she said that she would love to learn more and check out the building on Sunday! She said that she would be coming this Sunday.  We also met a man on the street that said he wanted to learn more and we taught him the Restoration. There are a couple more people that we're working with that I'll tell you about next week.
My current favorite investigator is the one and only Josiah! We taught him a couple times this week and he and his family are coming back to church and the official big for him will be on the 9th of April! After one of our lesson with him, his dad drove us over to Burger King and it was brilliant and awesome! I'm so excited for him and his family. Joe told me that he has an electric drum kit that he really wants to show me.
Well it's Zone P-Day today and I've spent most of today traveling to York on the train and visiting the York Minster again with other missionaries and we're gonna play some games. 

Hope you guys have a nice week...... CHEERS!
-Elder Holyoak 

Dinner with Kurt and Lisa Ogden from my home ward

"Spider Queen"

Daffodil's are growing everywhere!

Monday, March 13, 2017

Transfer Update

Howdy again from Bridlington. This update contains what happened during transfers, massive Yorkshire pudding, more train rides and the consumption of English pancakes made by a 9 year old.

Yesterday was transfer calls yet again and......... I'm staying! However, our 4 man flat is now a 2 man flat. My new companion is Elder Mills. Elder Wilkey and Vickers left this morning. Wilkey went down to Mansfield the most southern part in the mission and Vickers is on his way to the mission office.
The picture of the massive Yorkshire pudding that I sent comes from the lady legend Ross Grimley. She's in her 70s and has been consecutively feeding us almost every week. Everything that she gives us is in larger proportions... haha. Elder Wilkey and I showed up to her house playing some of the EFY music the other week and we told her that this is the church's music. She told us, "Wow! The church is very with it. Could you make me a CD with those songs?" So we burned her a copy of them haha!
I mailed 5 train tickets to the mission office for reimbursements because I have spent a lot of time on trains this week. They aren't long distances just 11-13 miles. We met an amazing young bloke in one of the outer villages. We taught him the restoration on his doorstep and he was coming up with loads of metaphors relating to a car mechanic. He told us, "Oh, so we're like a car, prophets are like the mechanic, and Jesus is like the master mechanic that everyone goes to! And you guys claim to be the legit 70s Mustang F150, not a new one but the same restored one haha." We had a really great conversation with him and gave him a Book of Mormon. A couple days later, we called to confirm when we were going to see him again, his dad answered the phone really angrily. Long story short, the family didn't want us meeting with him again which made me really sad.
That same day something really brilliant happened to make up for the negative though. We went knocking doors and we met probably the nicest lady in the entire U.K! We told her what we were doing and she warmed up to us a ton. She told us how much respect she had for us and what we were doing. She's a recent mum that moved to England 3 years ago from Morocco!! She and her Turkish husband are Muslims. She told us how important respect was in her religion. She asked us if we wanted any biscuits and tea. We asked for hot chocolate and told her that we couldn't come into her house because there wasn't another male in the house (Missionary handbook rule). She told us oh no that's alright. Then she grabbed two chair out of her home and then came out with a tray with amazing hot chocolate and authentic Moroccan biscuits! It was nice getting treated like kings after a day of getting yelled at haha. She told us that we were free to come back later and visit her.
Now to the English pancakes. I explained in the video that I sent how Josiah, the 9 year old boy that we've been teaching made us some English pancakes. They make them really thin here kind of like crepes. I still prefer the American style. We've been teaching Joe for the past couple of weeks and he's such a great kid. He's a footballer, fisherman and drone driving crazy 9 year old! He's going to be baptized in the beginning on April by his dad. It's super exciting!
I don't know what else to say in this letter other than, I'm still alive haha. Along with all of the cool and funny things that I've seen, I'm still constantly talking with people and telling them how much this church can help them. I know that there will be someone else that will be baptized after Joe this coming transfer. I didn't come to this soaking wet island just to baptize people though. I'm out here in England to find someone that is searching for the truth and to help them experience the peace and joy that they desperately need that only the this gospel provides. I'll keep you posted on how the work continues to go here in the coming months. Cha-Cheers!

-Elder Holyoak

Pick up your dog dirt!

Look at that MASSIVE Yorkshire!

Moroccan Biscuits

                                                           English Pancakes

Monday, March 6, 2017


Hey family and friends! I'm really tight on time because during P Day we did a hike around the coast. This update includes: an exchange in Scarborough, our teaching pool is actually a river and the final judgement is just like the X Factor haha!

As you can see by the pictures we went on a hike for the most of today. We walked to Scarborough by foot and got to see the lovely scenery. I found a trilobite fossil and soaked up the sun today. 

Other than this P Day, this week the work has been like a roller coaster. The low light of the week is what happened with Scott, the guy that I was talking about last week. Elder Wilkey and I were on the train this week and we got a text that every missionary doesn't want to see. The young man that we just scheduled for baptism a couple days earlier told us that he wasn't interested anymore. He respectfully told us that he wasn't interested in hearing more about our beliefs and didn't want to be baptized. This left a pit in my stomach, but we kept moving on.

However, the next day we got a really positive text from a less active father that we've been working with. We've been trying hard to get a hold of him so that we could help his 9 year old son be baptized and to re-activate them. He was asking us if we would see him and his son on Saturday. So... we taught him and his son on Saturday and we had a brilliant lesson with them. We taught him the Plan of Salvation. Cheers to Colin for letting me bring the Plan of Salvation puzzle on my mission. I've never taught anything so simply before. It was amazing to learn more about our Heavenly Father's plan by asking a 9 year old boy about it. When we got to teaching about the final judgement the boy said, "So it's like the judges in the X Factor?" We all laughed and had a good rest of the time. He is shooting for the 25th of March to be baptized and I'm stoked for him and his family!

I had an exchange with Elder Barber in the lovely area of Scarborough. Elder Barber is the first missionary that I talked to after I said bye to you (my family) in the airport. It was good catching up and talking with someone from the MTC. We saw a really large orange face and I said, " Is that who I think it is?" And yes it was Trump haha!

So because of the lack of time, that pretty much sums up my week. I hope you all have a good one. Cheers!
-Elder Holyoak

Scarborough Castle

Elder Barber

Elder Wilkey and I

British Propaganda 

Flamborough South Landing