Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Finding people

Elder Jensen at the mission conference talked of Divine Rendezevous- when you just meet someone unexpectedly on the street who needs the gospel. Well, it keeps happening to us!

We have been concerned about a young man named Brandon, as we were in on the first discussion, and hadn’t seen him since. He seemed golden. The elders hadn’t been able to reach him either – we thought we’d lost him. We met him on the bus! We visited and invited him to FHE – hope he comes. 

We went into a charity shop to look for picture frames and found Claire and her mother Rose. Claire has been to FHE and promised to come again and Rose and I connected (spiritually) at stake conference.

We went to the city centre to apply for a free bus pass, and were wandering around lost when Beth (a recent convert for whom we had been very concerned) came and helped us find the council office.
This city is pretty big - about 300,000. This is just an example of a few, there are more.


We are restricted with our miles, so the Stake Relief Society President invited us to go to Louth, a branch about 75 miles away. We met so many great people and found a couple of YSAs that we didn't know about. We are blessed by the members and we get to see the countryside as we travel. This is a beautiful place.

More picutres of countryside.

Riding the train and FHE

Monday, May 21
Family Home Evening was incredible. We had 35 attending - eight of them were non-members. It's a new record. 

May 22
We actually rode the train to York for Mission Conference! We caught the bus at 6:20 to the Interchange and then took the train from there. After we arrived in York we walked to the church with four other young missionaries - they walked fast but we kept up with them. Elder Jensen of the First Quorum of Seventy instructed us and 120 other young missionaries for four hours and then we retraced our tracks. We arrived home at about 5:00. We were beat, but invigorated with the gospel. After about an hour, several young single adults showed up at our flat after "hanging out at the park" to visit. What a great missionary day.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

this last week

This week has been way busy. Today is Sunday and we had stake conference. Elder and Sister Boon from the Netherlands were visiting. He is the area seventy and is a very humble man. We had a feast! I will share two highlights, well maybe three.
Tender Mercy - The young single adult choir sang at the Saturday session of conference. I was blessed to be able to lead that choir. We have been prracticing for a while, and it hasn't really gone all that well. But I knew that if we did everything we could to make a success, that the Lord would make up the difference, which is what happened. When we sang, there were two non-members, some who sang were there for the first time, and some of the people who had practiced were not there. But angels were there helping and it turned ou very goodt. Dixon, a Chinese student who lives in Scunthorpe, about 50 miles away, played the organ and piano. Elder Olson let one brother use his tie as he was the only male without one. They congregated at our home afterward in celebration!
Tender Mercy - The elders brought Rose, a non-member, and sat her down by me and then they sat elsewhere. Rose and I were both touched by the Spirit and it was a blessing that I brought lots of tissues as we both needed them. She is now very excited to be baptized in a couple of weeks.
Tender Mercy - Alex Rouse, who is studying to be a doctor and is in the final stages of finals, etc. asked Elder Olson and Elder Boon, visiting authority, to give him a blessing. He is a great young man.


We had zone conference in Harrogate this week, which is about 100 miles away. It was an all day affair, but well worth it. The next day we traveled with the young single adults to the Preston Temple. Cherry is going back to China and has never been to the temple and Victor is going back to his homeland of Nigeria, so Brother Wileman thought it appropriate to schedule a temple trip to do baptisms. There were 17 of us in a van, and we were grateful to be able to go as chaperones as it is out of our mission boundaries. We ate at the Pizza Hut!
We also hosted P-Day for the 16 missionaries in our area on Monday. James, a young single adult who is studying to be a chef, orchestrated the meal with help from Elder and Sister Olson. The same day was Family Home Evening, so we let the YSAs eat the leftovers. It was definately a day of service, but a blessing.
When we walk early in the mornings we see a Chinese man feeding the pigeons. He doesn't speak English, but he waves and bows to us as we see one another quite often. The pigeons land of his hands all over and around him as he feeds them. Sometimes he gives us bread to feed them as well.


Temple trip




Our morning walks


Elder Olson unlocking church gate.

Sister Olson and Dixon

The O'Neils

We arrived in the Hull Stake on a Sunday. On the following Tuesday we attended a District Development meeting at the Hull Second Ward chapel. Brother O'Neil was the very first member we met, or as we might say, "The O'Neils are the first people we met off the boat". He had the Driver's Code and video in hand to give to Elder Olson. These are the books to study in order to pass the driver's test in the UK. Brother O'Neil also gives driving lessons. He presently cleans the church. His wife, Linda, is my UK "sister", and teaches school. We see both Linda or George at every meeting we attend and are always greeted warmly with a hug and a kiss. They have been very sensitive to our needs whether it's driving advice or travel information, as well as information only an UK citizen would know. Vanessa, their daughter, comes to all the YSA activities and is brought by either her mom or dad. We love the O'Neils and have eaten at their home, met their dog and their injured birds. Please visit a recent video made about their conversion story on YouTube. It is called "Rescuing Others". This is the O'Neils and England at it's best!

Friday, May 11, 2012

Church History

Today we visited a church in the little village of Etton where a John Lathropp once presided. He joined the LDS church and now claims many very prominent church leaders, among whom is Joseph Smith, and presidents of the United States and others to be his descendants. Check out this website - for more information.
We also visited the first LDS ward building that was ever built here in Hull. It is now a Mosque/Islamic Center.


School presentation

We were asked to go to a local school - Kelvin Hall - and do a presentation today and yesterday on what our church does to alleviate world poverty. So on two different days we talked to a classroom of about 20 14-16 year olds about the LDS Church and the welfare and humanitarian programs. We loved it! The school still has construction going on around it as they have only been in this school for about one month. It was a beautiful school and very very secure. You had to have a security pass to get in or call ahead or wait for someone with a pass and walk in with them.

trees, music, FHE and countryside

We couldn't resist taking pictures of all the trees in bloom. These are a few of them in the park in front of our apartment.

Sister Olson has been asked to lead a choir of young single adults for stake confernece, so we went to Scunthorpe on Sunday to practice with the young single adults on the South Bank. We love meeting the people. From left to right is Amanda Hatton, Brother Dean Spencer, Elder Olson, and Antony Leadenham. We met the Metcalfes who know and remember Angela Nielsen and Jay and Gayle Hansen, who served in this mission years ago.

These beautiful girls are Beth and Emily Whall from Scunthorpe who are singing in the YSA choir. They are cousins I believe.
A typical Family Home Evening. Yes, some of these are the elders, and we always eat. James is our chef. He is actually studying at the university to be a nutritionist/chef and recently lost 175 pounds! The menu is homemade pizza. Yummee!!

These are Sarah and Naomi and Vanessa is sitting. The FHE is always in our home. The kids really like coming here.

We had to get out of this city for an hour today and this is some scenery that we came across.

Yes, every once in a while we see amazing things: a horse-drawn lorrie in the middle of the city and a Woodhead bakery all in one day.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

the Bishop

This is Elder Olson with Bishop and Sister Skelton. The Skeltons have served at least three missions, including one as a mission president. They are great people!

We sometimes travel out away from the city looking for young people whom the Bishops think may be interested in coming back to church. This scenery is rather typical of what we see on such an outing.

More picutres of the countryside.

This is the train station and a plaque commemorating the passage of emmigrants from Europe to Liverpool on their way to the United States, many of whom were Mormons on their way to Salt Lake City. One of the members here told us that it was there. We also let Sunny and Suki (Chinese) take us on the bus to the same Interchange, so that we can begin riding the bus. Wahoo! No more parking tickets.

More train pictures. We couldn't help but think about Harry Potter trying to find the 9 3/4 platform. The buses remind us of those crazy buses on Harry Potter too, and there are places in the city which reminds us of that Sherlock Holmes movie.

This week was transfer week. Elder Parham and Sister Savage went home.  
Elder Gee and Elder McCoy went home.

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