Monday was a bank holiday (again!) so I couldn't email you. Sorry I forgot to tell you! : ( I believe the next bank holiday isn't until August, though, so I should be back to the every Monday routine for a while.
It's been a crazy week! We had both zone leaders' council and district leaders' council and we moved flats. The flat we originally lived in was close the middle of the city, but our new one (which until this transfer was inhabited by a senior couple) is out towards the hills in an area called Springhead where tons of the members live. Although it will take us longer to get down to where most of our investigators live, it will be easier for us to get to know the members and to take them teaching with us. My new address is
12 Lauren Close
I really love our area. In many ways it’s a very typical Manchester area – shaped somewhat like a slice of pie, with the thin pointy end in the inner city coming right up to Manchester city centre and the outer edge covering the higher-end suburbs out near the countryside and bordering (in one part at least) on the beautiful Peak District. It means we have a great variety of different kinds of areas to work in with different kinds of people in them. Add to this our very nice new flat and our car, and as Elder Rose pointed out this morning, we are kind of spoiled.
The Oldham Ward is great too. I feel very united with the ward leaders. Our ward mission leader, Kieran, just returned from his own mission in South Africa where he was the assistant to the President. He is very organized. The other day, we met with him and some of the ward missionaries and he gave the ward missionaries special binders he’d made with different sections outlying their various responsibilities and how to do them (how to organize a cottage meeting, how to write a letter to a member inviting them to fellowship a certain investigator, etc.). The bishop is also very involved, and in fact taught our Gospel Principles class on Sunday. It was probably the biggest Gospel Principles class I have ever seen on my mission – there are tons of recent converts and a good number of investigators who come to church too.
It looks like Oldham will be a good place for me to use my French, too. There are a lot of Congolese people here who speak French better than English. I used a little the other day in a lesson with a recent convert who speaks relatively little English and managed to come up with a good Preach-My-Gospel-style question to ask and even understand her answer. Better yet, when we were street contacting over the weekend I had an entire QGC and set up an appointment all in French with a Congolese lady named Christiane. It was pretty exciting! I hope we can get someone who speaks French better than me to come to the teaching appointment, though.
Let me tell you a bit about our district leaders (since I will probably be telling you a lot about them over the next few weeks).
Elder R. Larson (different from the Elder Larson I served around in Newcastle) is our district leader in Bolton on the west side of the zone. He grew up in Orlando, Florida but his family has now moved to Provo. He was trained by Elder Rose. He is supposed to be training a brand-new missionary named Elder Green, but Elder Green has had visa problems so for the moment he is with Elder Brown instead. Elder Black is serving in Bolton District too, so it’s a very colourful place this transfer. : ) President Bullock promised us that he didn’t take that into account while planning transfers, though.
Elder Hastings, who was trained by Elder Garcia, is serving as the district leader in Littleborough at the northernmost part of our zone. He is from rural Idaho and is a very hard worker. I’ve heard a good bit about him and am excited to serve around him.
Elder Taylor from central Utah is the district leader in the Ashton 2nd Ward. Elder Taylor is a great storyteller and has an infectious laugh. He is also training a new missionary, Elder Parry from Provo, Utah. Elder Taylor and Elder Parry are great bus contacters, and I’m looking forward to going on exchange with them.
Let me also tell you about Elder Rose. He is from Goffstown, New Hampshire. He and his twin brother, who was in the MTC with him and is now serving in Scotland, are the youngest of 9 kids. He is very talented at wrestling and at singing. He is one of the humblest missionaries I know and is very exactly obedient. I’m really excited to be serving with him!
I’ll have to tell you about all our great investigators next week, because I’m out of time. I love you all, though!