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

Monday, September 4, 2017

Proper Canny Week!

Here's another upd8 on my adventures in North Shields. This week I had another glorious Zone Conference in Billingham, Elder Davies and I tried to swap accents, I took a canny picture at the metro station and Justin got BAPTIZED!
The main highlight of my week was definitely Justin's baptism! We put a lot of time and preparation into helping him get to this point and it finally happened! I could tell that he and his family really felt the Spirit there and that they had a good time. Justin's mum was really nervous about all of it and was worried if he was doing the right thing. After we interviewed him and she saw his name on the board in Primary, it felt like this is where he belonged. Patrick, who is Justin's Step-Father, baptized him. He gave a talk right before it and it was hilarious...haha! He was quoting some things that his 11 year old step son asked him like, "When I go to the Celestial Kingdom, can I come down and visit you?" The whole congregation laughed when he said that. Also, in Primary earlier in the year the children were going around saying what they wanted to be when they grow up and Justin said, "When I grow up, I want to be a Mormon!" He's such an awesome kid and I can tell that he's going to do so much good in the world with his life in the church. 
James, the 14 year old boy that we're teaching came to the baptism as well. His face was lit up the whole time and I can tell that he's pumped for his baptism next week! I love teaching part members families so much! The Lord has blessed me these past couple of weeks and I'm so grateful for it! I'm excited to go through the whole process again of preparing another baptism and finding more people to teach!
Now on the funny side of things. Zone Conference was on Chuesday and it was good seeing familiar faces from the York Zone again. I learned a lot of good shtuff to move the work forward, but the best part was Sister Turvey. She went up and showed us pictures of all assortments of bugs to scare us into cleaning our flats. I think it worked.... haha. Another funny thing that's been going is Elder Davies and I are trying to swap each other's accents. He says that I sound like I'm from Coventry (central England by Birmingham). He's got the American accent down pretty well from all of the American companions that he's had. So yes that's this weeks update. Hope you all have a güd week over in Americar, cheers!

-Elder Holyoak

James' baptism with Elder Davies

James' family - Step Dad and Mum

James' family at home

James being James

My Metro card

Zone Conference Shenanigans

Sunderland Zone
My new British suit