3 weeks in one post

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August 9, 2017
This has been quite a slow week… at least in comparison to last week. I have actually had to fill time rather than time simply being full. I think this is going to be a bit of a shorter email as well. Not as much to write about.
I’ve started a 40 day fast from using my iPad after 9 p.m. and it’s really helped me to take time to journal so that makes me really happy. Time management is just as much a struggle on the mission than it is anywhere else. I’m happy that we have the opportunity to choose and that our days are not 100% structured. Otherwise coming home would be a massive nightmare and a lot—if not most—missionaries would flop coming home.
On Thursday we taught some our investigators and I kept calling the husband Chris even though his name is my middle name (Scott.) I was pretty frustrated about it. They’re progressing decently and we’ll be seeing them tonight so we’ll see how things are progressing.
Saturday we woke up as normal and started driving to sports. We texted the wrong sisters that we we’re picking them up and the actual set of sisters we we’re picking up weren’t even coming so we sat outside of there house for 10 minutes waiting in a half slumber. That morning I got a ball to the face, narrowly missed a groin shot and fell over the ball. Not my best morning performance. I finished the Book of Mormon and ended my study looking for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I now have a technicolor book of Mormon I’ve marked it up so much. War chapters are still pretty empty though. It’s an interesting thought that Mormon spent so much time on that generation in his transcription. Alma, Aaron, Ammon, Moroni and others get a lot of time in the book of Alma compared to others like the 12 apostles in the america’s and the people in the time surrounding the book of fourth Nephi. Mormon was definitely inspired by God and the war chapters we’re inspired to be there. Although they are not our first source for doctrine they illustrate a lot that is very much applicable for our day.
later Saturday evening we had DA with a relatively mew convert and his wife. He is a gardener at the temple and has been a member for just under a decade. they fed us a wonderful shepherds pie (one of my favorites) and we had good conversation. It’s so good to see the diversity of the saints. They were in humble circumstances but still had the same faith and feeling as those that live in much more grand circumstances, and, going the other way to those that had very, very little. The gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone rich and poor, educated and not, etc. It helps everyone, no matter the situation.
On Sunday we had a baby blessing in the ward and we had a lot of non members attend which was fun. There’s an easy missionary opportunity. Who doesn’t like the welfare of the youngest among us? What makes people more religious than the beginning and end of life? Just a suggestion.
Tuesday was MLC (Missionary Leadership Conference) and we we’re there a long while. Not a ton got done sad to say as we were stuck on a debate for what we should have as the monthly baptismal goal for the mission. 29 or 31 was what it came down to and we were split 50/50 for a long time on the vote. We also got direction that we weren’t allowed to travel outside of our districts for preparation day. This means that for us that we’re not allowed to travel outside of our area as it is our district. You win some, you lose some.
Today we’re going out of our district to go shopping (Presidents permission was granted) and I’m going to get some shoes so that I have more than the single pair. Hopefully I won’t need to buy another one on my mission. They’re really pricey if you want good ones. Have a great week!
Love, Elder Palmer
August 16, 2017
Let’s Go Muddin’
I’ll start my email off with that. So Wednesday after I emailed we went out into the pouring rain to go to Crawley for shopping. We took the mission’s nice new van to get over there as we were going with some of the sisters. There was an accident that happened quite close to the temple and so we decided to take one of the side roads. After half a mile the road ended and came to a farm so we had to turn around. The road we were on was very narrow and was walled by hedges. We needed to back up quite a ways. On the mission in order to back up a car a missionary needs to be outside the vehicle to direct the driver. So I directed the van, in the pouring rain back about a quarter of a mile. We then got off again and went to the next side road to skip the traffic at the accident. We had been on this second side road and we knew that it was a dirt road for the majority of it. We soon got to the dirt and after less than 400 feet in the van gently slid off the road into the ditch. We were very much stuck. We stood around it, in the pouring rain, trying to get it out. We ended up going to a farm at the beginning of the road and asking for help for some men working in a garage. They were great. They brought a tractor and pulled us out with little problem. By the end of all this I was soaked and very muddy so we went back to the flat quickly to change. We did go shopping and I got some nice dress shoes that we’re comfy and Gortex so it was all worth it.
Thursday was our DLC… and I just realized I forgot my journal. So now I’m trying to remember details and it’s a bit fuzzy. DLC was fine. In the afternoon we had a dinner with the Parkers our financial senior couple. They’re a lovely couple and so very kind. They work super hard with their assignments and work a lot with us so it was good to have interaction outside the office. After that we traveled to a lesson with a less active man. He’s had some big issues with his health and wants to come back into activity so it was good to touch base with him. Hopefully he gets the help he needs from the ward, he deserves it.
Not a ton has happened this week. I love having time with returned missionaries an we’ve had a good amount of time with a couple. It opens my eyes to how missions work so much differently. It’s the same gospel but the way missions operate can have a lot of differences. Also I feel that my mission is really “calm” compared to other missions. The crazy stories we hear are miles less dramatic and doggy than stories I hear from other missions. Each mission is different and sometimes there are truly one of a kind missionaries who’s whole legacy is trouble so I’m in no way saying my mission is more obedient or better than others. We struggle with using Facebook effectively and a lot of other things.
On Sunday we ended up having to make a small thing for the mission which everyone enjoyed so that was good. and the past two days we’ve been working on other projects and generally things have been well. Exciting things are happening in the mission. This past week we found 327 new investigators! that just over 4 new investigators per companionship. These numbers compared to last year or even earlier this year are amazing! We’re doing spectacular.

Love, Elder Palmer
August 23, 2017
Taking First Class to Gospel Town
Guy: Hi there, I’m Guy Fieri and this is “Districts, Developments and Drives”

[Theme Music Plays]

Guy: Today on triple D we’ll be taking a look at some of the most popular meetings in the south of England! We’ve got Penta-zone in Crawley where some of the greatest insights are made. later on we’ll Check out district finding in East Grinstead and to wrap it all off we’ll go where miracles flourish: exchanges in Burgess Hill.

video cuts to Crawley chapel

Guy narrating: First stop is The Crawley chapel where we’ll be checking out the Legendary Penta-zone conference. Heralded mission wide for its crowd pleasing appeal and spiritually filling talks.

Video cuts to Guy and President Gubler outside the chapel

Guy: I’m here with the legend himself President Gubler, mission president of this whole shebang. President tell me a little about what you do here.

President Gubler: Well Guy here at Penta-zone we’re all about feeding the hungry souls here in the eastern part of the mission. We strive to create uplifting experiences and to bless the individual and their investigators.

Guy: That’s awesome! I’ve heard that you’re quite the master when it comes to that?

President Gubler: Well thank you but I can’t owe it to myself, I have my Father in Heaven to thank for that. But I don’t think I can disagree.

Guy: That’s awesome! You seem like a swell kind of guy. So I was hoping you could give me some instruction on how you make such delicious meetings because I’m all about that tasty stuff.

President Gubler: Certainly.

Scene cuts to inside the chapel

Guy: So what are we going to be doing?

President Gubler: Well we first need to take a look at starting it off. You’re going to want to get it going by getting everyone there early and allowing them all to settle. Timing is key. You’re then going to want to really kneed in the success of the past, I like to show a slideshow of all the baptisms from the year so far. Then once that’s in I add a good amount of testimony and mix it in with a couple of questions. This really gives it the impact that a lot of people like.

Guy: Looking good. So I hear that you like your meetings to be ‘interactive.’ What’s that about?

President Gubler: Definitely. If you’re going to make a meeting last I’d definitely recommend roleplays. Some people neglect them and I really feel they’re missing out. So I add a good helping of them in.

Guy: Man this is smelling good!

President Gubler: You bet it is. After all those roleplays I hit it with another dash testimony and then layer on the doctrine. By this time you need to really fan the fire of faith otherwise it caves in on itself so you have to be careful. After 30-40 minutes of this you should be good to go with a spectacular, spirit filled zone meeting.

Guy: we’ll the only way to know is to give it a try.

Takes an enormous bite of the meeting

Guy: Welcome to gospel town ladies and gentlemen! Oh! Oh man, you weren’t kidding about the testimony! That is awesome! Man that is good, the roleplays mix so well with the doctrine as well which is really hard to do. 10/10.

President Gubler: I’m glad you like it. What do you feel?

Guy: Happiness and Peace.

President Gubler: What does that mean then?

Guy: I’m feeling the spirit.

President Gubler: Exactly and so what are you going to do?

Guy: Preach the Gospel.

President Gubler: Awesome!

Guy: You need to make me another man!

Looks into camera
 
Guy: Come check this place out, you won’t be disappointed.

Scene cuts for a commercial break

FIN

I would write more but it takes a long time and I don’t actually talk about the week. As you could tell we had a great Penta Zone this week. We did a lot of role plays about using the Book of Mormon. we also because of our success we all were treated to Magnum Gold bars which were a decadent treat. In the words of a fellow missionary we “splashed the cash.” for a special treat. I’m grateful that almost everyone got there on time. Right after we had an exchange with our zone leaders. I was with elder Aguiar again which was great fun. It’s really awesome working with someone like him. He’s such a nice guy.

Sunday we had some district finding which was great as well. We got together with the district and with the ZL’s and STL’s and all went out. We saw a guy who couldn’t back into his driveway to save his life and watched as he drove into the opposite curb. We knock 5 doors while he inched forwards and backwards. It was an interesting sight to see. We sadly didn’t find anyone in that time and so dawns another week of having a much too skinny teaching pool. We did have a great little dinner though with everyone afterwards. Elder Roper made some delicious mint BYU brownies.
Monday we had to scramble to try and finish travel plans (We were unsuccessful) and so we finished them on tuesday. Later in the evening though we had a great dinner at a members home and we’re able to go and do a baptismal interview for an investigator from our district. I didn’t do the interview as I’m not the district leader but it’s exciting to know that he’s good to go for his baptism on Saturday. it’s going to be great!
Yesterday was chill as we did some service, our shift and got some other needful things done. This week I had some interesting learning moments. yesterday while talking to some senior couples I learned about what happens with the death of the prophet. I’ve wondered how the keys are moved over since the prophet is the only one with those keys. I then learned that all the apostles are prophets, seers and revelators and that the only difference between them and the prophet is that the prophet is set apart as a prophet while they are set apart as apostles. They all are ordained to the same office.
I also went though my study journals and was surprised by all the things I had relearned. it was awesome! Its been a good week with a couple of kinks and some great times. Thanks for reading this unorthodox email. Cheers!

Love, Elder Palmer

 
sorry but no pictures. 😦

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The Moves Epic

morning sports crew
Dear everyone,
This week has been a hectic one, mad really. So it’s been moves week and I’ve got to experience first hand all the stress that comes to us as office Elders. We did very little actual missionary work. It’s been so busy our preparation day for this week was moved to Thursday (today.) I can’t really remember what happened last Wednesday/Thursday because it has been such a blur since. What I can remember was that we had a nice DA with a family and then the next evening we had a good lesson with a youngish family. The wife is the really interested one, the husband not so much. But they’re both really friendly and so we had a good teach about the Plan of Salvation.
Friday was when things started to kick off. Our mission has made wonderful progress the past year and just had a spectacular month. We had a goal to baptise 31 people in the month of July. The last time the mission has reached that number was at least two years ago. This month though we not only reached 31 we exceed it. We baptised 36 souls, 36 children of God and we were elated! We’ve broken our glass ceiling. As office Elders we got to have some fun with a ePub we made to celebrate the momentous occasion.
The mission was on a high and so were we but moves had loomed ever closer. It was Friday when Elder Dey created the moves sheet to send out to everyone and we knew that we were going to have our hands full. After calling out different interesting moves, people go into be Zone leaders and people moving to different places, looking out for old companions and of course ourselves we learned that we would have to coordinate travel for over 80 missionaries in here days time.
This is the epic of moves Week. The madness truly began on Monday. This is where we had to stay inside on computers all day working on spreadsheets and train booking sites to get those 80 people from A to B and sometimes back to A or even C. Our mission policy requires that missionaries not be alone unless travelling. It’s a game of connect the dots mixed with Tetris in a time format and with imperfect missionaries that don’t know how to catch trains even though they’ve been out for 20 months! We got it done though and then got to do some work on the other stuff we do.
Tuesday is when we ceased to be missionaries and become instead drivers and problem solvers. Our phones were off the hook and we drove a ton. Monday night we picked up three missionaries from Guernsey and Jersey (Islands off of the French coast) at the Gatwick airport and didn’t get home until 10:25 pm. We went to bed at midnight. That’s the latest night I’ve had on my mission. We woke up at 6 am and were at the mission office for about 8 am. We started to bring missionaries into the temple and to organise travel finally for some other missionaries out on the islands. There was a very large group departing the mission. 27 in all with only three sisters. All of them had to be at the temple for 11. We had them coming into Lingfield (the nearest train station) for 10:40 but three didn’t make it. They missed trains. Advice for the day: Don’t miss trains.
Two of those three were so late they didn’t get to go and do their departing session in the temple which is not fun at all. I got to go into the temple cafeteria though to bring the bad news to our president so that was nice. Can’t go in to do work though. After all that kerfuffle was over we finished making travel palms for our island missionaries and had a nice lunch. Our two train missing friends got in soon after and we helped take care of them. We had moments now in then to slow down but a lot of time was spent ferrying messages and fixing up final details.
Later in the day we took an Elder and sister to the Gatwick Airport to go to Guernsey and Jersey. We dropped the elder off first thinking we were going to miss his flight and then drove over to the other terminal to drop off the sister for her flight. We wracked up over 25£ in parking costs for our trips out there. We then went back to the temple to fix some other things and then went back out to pick up another sister from Jersey. We got her to the temple at 9:30 as her flight was the one the other sister was going on and that was delayed and so her’s naturally was delayed as well. We got in minutes before the departing group left for the hotel at the Heathrow Airport. I got to give a final hug to Elder Wilson, my last companion and a bunch of other legends and role models. That group was described by president Gubler as “the backbone of the mission.” They are held in very high regard by most everyone in the mission.
We got home at 10:10 and were in bed on time miraculously. We slept well to wake again at 6 am to take a sister to the Heathrow Airport. We also had to find a Elder who had forgot a bag. The interesting thing about that situation was that we had no way to contact him. No phone, email, nothing. We had left a message and he managed to contact us telling us where he might be. We dropped off the sister and travelled to him with his bag. We said that we’d meet him at the WHSmith. Little did we know was that there were two on the floor we were on and he was actually at a different one on the furthest floor from us. We only found this out because we talked to a departing missionary from the London mission. Anyways we got his bag to him.
Also on the way to the airport we got word from our mission president that a missionary’s flight was cancelled and that we were going to have to pick him up. He had the same situation of no way to contact us. He would ask people to use there phone but would contact the mission president who would then contact us. It took us a while to find him. We got him back and he got send a new flight itinerary that would have a 12 hour Layover and wouldn’t leave until 10 pm. He woke up at 3 am. I did not envy him.
After we helped with the new baby missionaries and their trainers. That was fun because like moves we found out before most people who would be going with who. Our district got changed around a lot. Both Elder Dey and I are staying  but one of the three Visitor Center companionships is gone so now we’re down to two. Both of them are training new sisters so it’ll be a lot of fun. It’s also only the new sisters who are allowed to drive so it’s going to be an interesting situation for them.
Getting all of the trainers and trainees was our final hurdle and after only a couple of hiccups we got it done. We were so tired. I’m glad it’s done but what a ride it was.
For preparation day we got to go with some members to Areundel Castle which is at least double the size of Highclere Castle and up to five times as old. It’s really awesome. One of the most interesting things was a floating crown kept up by a jet of water. With gravity the motion was cancelled out so there it sat bouncing up and down midair. There was also a super cool grand hall with two massive fireplaces and the largest private collection of 16th century furniture. Well nice.
That’s about it. Very busy, very fun, very tiring and very rewarding. Have a great week!
Love, Elder Palmer
Arundel and gardensArundel CastleArundel Chapel CeilingArundel Great HallView from castleGorgeous Flower StreetDCIM/100MEDIA/DJI_0077.JPGDCIM/100MEDIA/DJI_0036.JPG

The Office: Season 1 Episode 4-5 “Play Days”

 

Ben at Downton

At Highclere Castle (Downton Abbey)

July 12, 2017

Welcome friends. Settle in and get comfortable. It’s time for another story, another week. Let’s take some time to set the stage. It takes place in England, wet and green. Our characters are young men, a bit foolish at times but they’re good boys. Chances are you already know some of them. We’ll have in this story a couple of conundrums, conflicts you could say, but for most of it I’ll bet we’ll find a lot fun moments and triumphs. I’ll tell you now that this story has a happy ending. Or does it?

It all starts off with Thursday morning when we went down to Sodom and Gomor…  I mean Brighton—sorry—from a couple of things. We started off the day there by going to a funeral. There was a man in the ward who had had a son die and so we went to support him. It was an interesting experience. We were some of the only members there and it simply felt so much less hopeful. I will never say that it wasn’t done in love or that it wasn’t meaningful but there were some things that made it stand out. The biggest thing was that it was done at a crematorium which feels very different. It was conducted by someone who worked at the crematorium and you could tell that it was very canned. There were words spoken but it felt cookie cutter and disingenuous. Instead of celebrating someone going beyond into the next life, it was about holding on to memories and overcoming grief.
it was also a rather hot day and in the cramped “chapel” it was much too toasty for a suit. I was glad that we went though partially because I learned a lot and it was a big boon to the father who had lost the son. We stood out and we showed that we cared and that we were important to each other. I had never met the bloke who died before but life is precious and remembering those that have passed and there triumphs and mistakes. If we forget the past we are doomed to repeat it after all.
After that rather somber event we headed over to McDonald’s for some cheep food before going over to District Leader Council. There from the second story window we got to see Brighton in all it’s glory. It’s a university town with a lot interesting people, fashions, attractions and ideas. it’s considered by many to be the Gay capitol of Europe and is chock full of over tanned and scantly dressed hipsters. Not the greatest place for missionaries. after lunch we headed back to the chapel and had a decent DLC. Not much to report on that as it really was just a lot of talking about how to help people with this and that and particularly how to motivate people.
That was the bulk of Thursday. Friday we had district meeting. Last week I prepared a presentation for it and didn’t get to do it so i did it this week. it went well although I forgot a couple of pieces of information that I needed to drive a point or two home and so it lost some impact. Elder Dey who planned it all was really excited for it. The district had been going through some strife and this was suppose to help fix it. Things in the end got pretty cut and dry and so hopefully things sunk in. In the afternoon we did service in our dress clothes and I got my suit trousers dirty so that was a bit lame but we got a decent steak dinner out of it so I can’t complain.
Sunday was pretty darn swell. Church went well. We got to help a recent convert with him family history and he started telling some pretty interesting stories that have really helped me to understand him better. We also had a dinner with a Spanish family which was a happy time. They were very bubbly and excited. We played some gospel charades and had not Spanish food. Also the Tour De France was on so I got to see snippets of things going wrong and NASCAR style crashes. It can be pretty brutal when there cruising down hills at 80 kilometers an hour.
Monday we did stuff… Elder Dey tells me that we did accounting and we went and visited a member in hospital. As I remember things a bit better now we did do that and I spent most of the day looking at a computer screen trying to get pricing on printing a wide margin copy of the Book of Mormon and getting boxes to be in the right places both in reality and for online stuff the past two weeks we haven’t had any Book of Mormons. Sorry, Books of Mormon. Actually the correct way of saying it would be copies of the Book of Mormon. In any case all of our copies were missing pages so we had to wait for a fresh shipment. We finally got 25 boxes of them air mailed to us from salt lake and so we moved them to the usual resting place of the woman’s loo. It’s a cluttered office and that was where there is the most space. In our visit to the hospital we talked with a member who had had four stints put in by his heart. Stints are tiny titanium springs that hold open arteries allowing them to continue to function. They can go in via your wrist or groin and apparently you don’t feel them moving around until they get close to the heart. The member was looking just fine when we saw him so it’s looking to be a speedy recovery. Happy days.
Yesterday I drove for the first time. it was only a wee bit of a nightmare as it wasn’t that big of a change. The hardest part is understanding the profile of the vehicle. Driving on the other side you think you have space on the left but in reality your 2 inches from the curb. I smacked the mirror or a tree trunk and got some good road rash on a tyre but that’s it so far for me. It’ll take some getting use to. There’s barely any room for error because the roads are so darn small. That and the brakes are so much more sensitive to the car I drove back home so my stopping is rather jerky.
That was most everything interesting this week so I’m done. Thanks for the emails and your handsome/beautiful faces.
Pillars and MissionariesCanada Geesebroken mirrorBen Downton 2Ben Dey templeBen and hydrangeasBen and big stickBen and A&W
July 26, 2017
Wow! hope you all are having a great week. Sorry I didn’t write last week, we had a bit of an adventure. It’s been fun as always. Had some lows to go along with it but those are swallowed up in the joys. I keep forgetting to bring my journal and stuff so I’ll forget some things but to go along with that I haven’t even been writing in my journal much so I couldn’t even remember if I wanted to…
Last week was good. We went to a place called Pooh stick bridge for preparation day. This is where Winnie the Pooh was inspired and the real version of the 100 acre woods is. We played pooh sticks (racing sticks under a bridge by using the current of the water) and had a nice lunch. We also found Eeyores hut and a tiny fairy door.
Thursday we had the eastern zone conference which was a good time. I got my drivers licence so when it happened I had about an hour of English driving experience under my belt. I had successfully stayed on the right side for the most part and had only smashed the left side view mirror on a tree. You can still sort of see out of it though. We had to drive missionaries to the Crawley chapel from the train station. In order to get everyone there as soon as possible me and Elder Dey had to split up and go on a mini “splits” as we’re some of the only ones who can drive. I got to drive Big Ben; our aged and semi automatic high capacity van. It was almost easier driving that than our car. Luckily I had no accidents in that. Zone conference was great as always and I learned a lot about how we need to be simple in our teaching, bear frequent testimony and help people gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. After the conference I had to go on a split again and drive back tot the temple. Round abouts get confusing when you add traffic lights to them and multiple lanes but regardless of my inner panic we got to the temple safe and sound.
Friday Elder Dey had a baptismal interview for some of the sisters in our district. we went to the woman who was having the interviews house. She lives with her parents and they don’t like us very much. Me and the sisters who taught her sat on the landing of the stairs as we waited for 45 minutes for the interview to happen while the father stayed silent downstairs. it was not a very comfortable experience. Sadly she passed but decided that now was not a good time to be baptized. Circumstance got in the way for the moment. It’s now not a matter of if she gets baptized but rather where and when she will get baptized.
The mission has been doing a Christmas in July initiative to help us break our monthly baptismal record and help get us back on track to our year goal of 280 baptisms. I am the chief propaganda maker for this push and its been fun. I might attach one of the things I’ve made. I really liking this job. Although I don’t chat with people on the street all the time its still a great form of missionary work. we’ve been putting in Easter eggs for people to find and people have enjoyed it. Yesterday however we did get a bit of a chewing out from our mission president because he found one. He’s fine with the as long as their not worldly so sadly we won’t be able to drop in snippets Shila Lebouf’s inspirational speech in future issues. JUST DO IT!
Wednesday we had a special assignment from the mission president to go a pick up a departing elder. It was on our preparation day but we were up for it. We didn’t have any plans. We quickly realized however that as a result of our travel we’d be able to do anything along the way to the missionary for preparation day and Highclere Castle (aka Downton Abbey) was on the way! I’ve wanted to go there my entire mission. we also had an exchange with the zone leaders after preparation day so we decided to take them along with us. We had a great time and I’ll have a photo essay for it. It was super posh, really busy and gorgeous. That was proper opulence. Afterwards we drove back to Crawley and I was the one driving so I didn’t have a chance to email. (I had procrastinated earlier.)
Now I’m on to this week. I got to go an exchange with a Canadian! Elder Aguiar is from Ontario and we had a ball. We knew what each other were taking about and we even said bag the same way eh! Not a lot got done though as we had minimal time to do anything. we played tennis in the morning which was great. We then also had district meeting and made some stir fry and laughed so hard as we talked about all the weird stuff tat’s happened to us on the mission.
I’ve been getting to know the members now and we’v had some good dinners. Two recent converts in the ward got to the temple and do baptisms which was awesome. We couldn’t go with them sadly though as we can’t go to the temple. Mission rules. Seeing them progress and grow is the best.
Tuesday we had presidents interviews and it was a lot longer than expected. It was three hours behind schedule. We didn’t even have our interviews and so we’re having them today. Our zone leaders didn’t get home until 11 pm. WE had some fun little training though and got to hang out at the mission presidents home and so that was a nice plus.
I wish I could write more about some investigators but we don’t have much happening on that front. We did actually have a great miracle with one lady though. We had met her previously but had forgotten her name and where she lived. We had no idea really. One day we were doing some work in a town and were moving around trying to find out where we were suppose to be. We remembered that we were suppose to follow up with this woman and were racking our brains trying to remember where she lived. We wandered around and with hindsight: after two or three promptings we came to a street. We suddenly realized that this was the street where she lived! we had come right to it after we had given up trying to remember. We knocked and apologized for forgetting to come earlier and set up a new appointment. Elder Dey taught her on an exchange and she is really keen. She was cross referencing the pamphlet with the bible and had obviously spent some time doing her homework. We’re excited to see what will happen!
Thanks for being patient with me and thank you very much for the emails. Cheers!
 
Love, Elder Palmer

DLB to MLC and Halfway to YYC

Study on the Temple GroundsOffice EldersPlaying Axis and Allies

June 28, 2017

What a time. It’s still quite the ride over here. I’m pretty unsure what to write. the work is a heck of a lot different that’s for sure. Our goal at the moment—and I know it’s lame—is to talk to at least one person each day. Sometimes we get tied up in things and don’t get out of the office all day. It’s really busy at times. Our responsibilities include making a weekly president’s letter and monthly newsletters, training materials, moves, travel plans, accounting systems, iPad issues and an myriad of other small things. Because of the computer I’m using and the missionary I’ve replaced I’m in charge of all of the artsy sort of things. I get to use a program called InDesign by adobe which is used for publishing. It works really well and its fun to make something look good. it doesn’t always turn out spectacular though. I’m no artistic genius.

The area is interesting. The boundaries are rather small and it consists of smaller towns. Luckily even though we have 8 missionaries in a relatively small area we all have other assignments in the office or visitors center so it really turns into something closer to two full time companionships. The area has struggled in the past but we’ve had some good success lately. I really hope that this doesn’t turn into an office job but that I still really feel like a missionary.
Elder Dey and I like I said are an interesting companionship. Elder Dey is 24 years old so I feel like I’m actually working with an adult. I just can not understand how he works. He’s a smart cookie though. I do enjoy being with him. We’ve had some pretty great conversations.
This week we have been blessed with Dinner appointments. We have about 5 while the three sister companionships had about 3 total. It’s an interesting conundrum and we’re not sure why but we can’t complain and we can’t necessarily change the sisters lot or our own. On Sunday afternoon we had a pretty hilarious dinner with some members and our recent convert Albert. Albert is originally from China but has spent almost all his life in England. He’s in a wheelchair and is just so funny. He talked about how he was at the best restaurant in East Grinstead but then he ate barely anything. he also got a call from one of the sister missionaries right before the prayer and then talked with her for 5 minutes. It was probably the funniest DA I’ve been to. As well we had a great curry so it was a solid one.
Right now I’m playing a game called axis vs allies which is a very fun board game. I am the japs and the Germans and trying to take over the world isn’t all that easy. It’s also super in depth and so it’s take 45 minutes to do one turn rotation. It’s real good fun and very, very long.
It’s been a good week and I’m happy. I hope your all happy!
July 5, 2017
This has been a good week. One of the biggest pieces of news is that I hit my year mark! I am now closer to the end of my mission than I am to the beginning… I’m going to die in less than a year… I die in 362 days… Of course when I say I’m going to die I mean in mission terms. My departure date as far as I know is July 2nd 2018. I’m not counting down but it’s a thing to know. hashtag I’m not trunky. I didn’t burn a shirt. I haven’t burned anything actually except maybe some popcorn in the microwave. 

 
Office life is the life. I mean to brag because it is. The only thing that could make it better is casual friday‘s or personal segways. I won’t actually brag because that’s rude but I am well chuffed about the situation. The weather as well has been delightful. to quote a popular hymn: “There is sunshine outside today.” It’s happy days cruising in our Meriva Turbo with the widows down and cranking some GC. I’ve put in my papers to get my English licence so hopefully I’ll be able to drive in a week or two. 
 
East Grinstead where we work is well posh. not all of it mind you but not many days go by without some sort of gorgeous Lamborghini, Ferrari or Porsche pass us going the other way down the road. You can’t really pass people going the same direction because I’ve been hard pressed to find a road with two lanes on each side that extends for more than 500 feet. Well there is the M25 which is four lanes for either side but I’ve only been on that once. 
 
This week as I said at the beginning has been a good one. Thursday we had a district meeting where I had an hour to make a presentation. In the end I didn’t even give the presentation but this week it’ll get done. That was an hour of intense effort that I’d rather not go to waste. We did in that district meeting make sugar cookies though which were very decadent. It’s fun and different being in a district with three sets of sisters. Since they also work on temple grounds we get to see them a lot. Luckily because we attend a lot of meetings as well we also get to spend some quality time with the lads. 
 
This week I’ve also been working on The Harvester which is the missions monthly E-Magazine. It has a lot of good videos and articles and fun pictures and stuff. I did a complete overall of it as I thought it was rather tacky. Not sure how much everyone else is going to like it but hopefully it goes over well. I put a lot of effort into it. There’s also a easter egg or two.
 
Canada day also happened on Saturday as I’m sure you all know. I found a Canada poncho in the flat and wore it for a total of probably five minutes before I got bored of it. That day we also had an interesting district finding activity. We went around in an amazing race to different places near or in town center. we had to sing for some people, used balloons with questions inside for people to pop and answer and also had to get a picture of a family to segue into the Plan of Salvation. It was an interesting time and we had some good miracles. One of the companionships came back with a huge bag of baked goods which was from a bakery that was closing up. We also had a district dinner after that was really nice and made everyone nice and happy. 
 
Sunday we had two dinners. One was with all the senior couples to break the fast and the other was with the bishop and his family. They have a daughter who looked really young and Elder Dey asked what she wanted to be when she grew up and then she said she was 20. That was a bit of a laugh. They’re a really nice family and it was a fun DA. In the evening we went to an awesome fireside. It was by a man named Brother Cook and it was about how our souls can delight in the scriptures. WE talked about how our patriartical blessing and the Hymn book are both scripture and some ways we can enrich our study. Brother Cook shared this great quote from Elder Holland 
 
“Read more slowly and more carefully and with more questions in mind. … Ponder, … examine every word, every scriptural gem. … Hold it up to the light, and turn it, look and see what’s reflected and refracted there. … Such an examination may unearth a treasure hidden in a field: a pearl of great price; a pearl beyond price”
 
Just yesterday I got to go to MLC or the Missionary Leadership Conference.  it’s for Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders as well as us and the AP’s. Since it was July 4th aka ‘America fireworks expenditure and freedom Day’ We has MLC at President and Sister Gubler’s Home which is a very nice home. Mission president couples are well looked after. We had a good barbecue and learned some good stuff. It was all about how we can improve as a mission regarding four days worth of mission presidents training done by most of the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve. We have some good action points and will be making some improvements mission wide and we are at the center of those in a way. We’re going to be busy and i don’t know how well we’re going to do at reaching our goal of talking to one person each day. 
 
Anyways have a great week and please feel free to email me to ask any questions or if you have any comments, cool stories or free time please email me. I like reading about things. 

 
Much love, Elder Palmer
 
 
P.S DLB means District Leader Boy. I am the companion of the district leader and therefor I am a DLB. 

New Area and Apostle Visit

June 7, 2017

Week number something or other is now complete. Now I know that’s too much celebration so I’ll move on. I don’t want to get myself trunky now. Anyways, what a week it has been. Like seemingly every week prior something exciting has happened. This week we’ve had some surprises. Last week we invited one of our friends to baptism. As we progressed with her we recognised that there were some problems. Turns out we’re not going to be teaching her any more. That’s what happens here in the rehab centre of England. I’ve learned just how many people suffer from mental health issues and it is a very large number. There is many a care home in Weston and sometimes we simply can’t continue with people due to mental health.

That’s not the end of the world though. We have four member referrals that we’re trying our best to work with. It’s always a slow start with them but it’s always something to look forwards to. One is friends with one of the Relief Society Presidency and she’s started to come to church and shows up without invitation. She’s doing really well. Another who sadly has been deported to Poland at the moment is making a 2 hour trip to a small branch in Poland for Sunday‘s with his member fiancé. Members help people be driven and if there’s one thing that makes missionaries go over the moon it’s people who are driven. Members can fellowship in ways we missionaries can’t even dream of i.e. Flirt to convert.
Some other experience from this week was we met this guy who said he had been trafficked by gypsies for over a decade and had recently got out of that way of life. He wanted to start coming to church again and we of course dropped him an invite to our church. He was really happy and it was a interesting little conversation. Later that day we were stopping by LA’s and we came to this incredibly run down home where a LA was suppose to live. The home was proper dodgy. We’re talking grimy stuffed animals peeping through super dusty blinds and a foot tall stack of uncollected mail. There was some broken windows and a chain with a large rusty padlock keeping the back gate closed. We were sure it was uninhabited but then we started to ask the neighbours. We hoped to see if they knew who lived there prior and it turns out that the person that we were looking for actually still lived there. I think even good old Holmes would have trouble fixing that one up.
Sunday there was a baptism for one of the 8 year old children in the Ward. It was really good and most of the ward stayed for it. She was bright and happy and will be a great example to her two younger sisters. Sunday we also stopped by a potential. He was home and to our surprise he let us in. It’s honestly an irregular occurrence when that happens. We go in and we started to teach and it turns out that he has 11 daughters. Many are quite older now but some are still at home. He also told us that he knew a guy with 14 daughters! Fourteen! To make him even cooler turns out he had a heart transplant and showed us the more than a foot long scar going down the centre of his chest. He’s had the new heart for 13 years now and works as a builder 6 days a week. He’s very dedicated to his children and is an awesome guy.
Monday and Tuesday we had harsh weather. Monday was constant rain. Light rain, heavy rain, sheets of rain, misty rain, no rain, you name it we had it. It was surprisingly good fun though. I was not miserable in the rain which is always a happy day. Tuesday we had severe winds. The sea front was as if you were walking too close to a sand blaster as we were being peppered with sand all the time. Further inland we’d be walking and suddenly a burst of wind would come either compelling us forwards or making us feel like we were the only pioneer pulling a handcart full of a sick and rather hefty family up a hill.
Luckily we didn’t eat like pioneers though. The Ward was very generous to us this week. Instead of leather and water stew we had some lovely meals. One last experience for the week happened yesterday. We have one investigator named Lisa who is absolutely wonderful. This week her daughter moved in with her and her partner from her fathers house. We had a really good time with the three of them and they are all so awesome. They are bundles of fun and all of them are interested in church. I love working with families! I also watched “The Testaments” today and that’s pretty great. It’s worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.
To end everything off here’s a thought from the week: “Charity never faileth” is like how “love conquers all.” Love and charity will dispel all other feelings and emotions. All fear, pride, shame, negativity, etc are swallowed in charity and all good emotions such as meekness, temperance, joy etc comes from or are a part of Charity. Charity is the encompassing goal. For like the light of Christ drives out darkness, charity drives out all other emotions. Referencing: Kindness, Charity and Love by President Monson, April 2017 General Conference.
Have a great week wherever you are, near or far!
Love, Elder Palmer 
 
 
P.S WE GET TO HAVE A MISSION CONFRENCE WITH ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON FROM THE QUORM OF THE 12 APOSTLES NEXT WEEK!!! HYPE TRAIN IS SET FOR TAKEOF!!
beach pier
The dilapidated and condemned Brinbeck Pier.
Wilson beach wall
Elder Wilson on the rocks
Garbage England
A foolish man lives here
Wilson is wet
Soaking wet and THANKFUL for it.
Love, Elder Palmer 
English panorama
It’s big blue!
Zone England
Ship shape and Bristol fashion
weird face missionaries
Squad Goals
June 22, 2017
It’s been the craziest of weeks. I might say that seemingly every two weeks but this week in particular has been insane. Lets see what I can share. Thursday was the calm before the storm. We did some good service on an allotment for Weston’s most famous member Brother Jones. (Besides Patrick Kearon) He’s a legend. I think he’s met ever prophet and apostle going back to Brigham Young He’s got so many stories. That was the highlight of the contextually boring Thursday.
Friday was the anticipation for the start of the apostolic storm that was about to strike the mission like a spiritual freight train taking a nonstop route to exaltation. We taught one of our investigators the Word of Wisdom which we were very concerned about. Teaching her would mean that we would be condemning the fact that she lived in the same house with her boyfriend. Teaching it though went much more smoothly then we thought. She’s resistant to being married but the partner isn’t. She hasn’t had a good example of marriage her whole life almost so she decided to avoid it. However now she’s giving it some thought. it’ll be good to see where she goes. After that and weekly planning we hopped on a train to Staines for Elder Christofferson the next day. After 5 hours of train travel and a long walk we got a quick lift from Elder Dickey and his new companion from Bideford. We got to the Staines Zone Leader flat at about 8pm and… they weren’t there. They were at a teach. They said they left a key and we couldn’t find it or call them. Luckily the weather was nice and it did eventually get figured out. We got in but Bideford had to go a pick up the zone leaders. We were in a flat neither of us knew for almost a hour before anyone else got there. By the time everyone was in it was 10:30 which is bedtime. We didn’t go to bed until 11. There was also 12 of us in this tiny flat and so sleeping arrangements were less than ideal. Luckily I got a air mattress so I slept rather well. Another great detail was that we all woke up at 5 am. One shower seemed to require the early wake but turns out we had plenty of time. Then we traveled to the chapel for the man, the myth, and the apostle: Elder Christofferson!
It was an awesome conference. We got to first hear from President and Sister Gubler as they bore their testimonies. Then we got to hear from Sister Christofferson. She gave some really good words of Wisdom to us. One thing I learned from her is that the Book of Mormon can work on those that seem to be impossible to convert. It softens hearts and changes lives. It’s changed my own life. After Sister Christofferson we got to hear from Elder Christofferson. He opened a question and answer session for the rest of the meeting and some good questions were asked. Although I don’t remember any questions I did write many answers. My favourite quote by him was that “If we give gratitude for what the lord has given us he has more to give.” I gained a testimony of that the day after. Here are some other great things he said.
– “There are truths that supersede circumstances.”
– “When in doubt hold a meeting.”
– “A silent prayer is a yearning desire to learn his well and that all things that need to be known will be known. ‘pray always.'”
– “Thank Heavenly Father for the opportunity to help. It’s a miracle that he lets us touch anything.”
It was really good to be there. With every question Elder Christofferson would think for a moment and then open his scriptures and using the scriptures answer the questions. It showed me how much the scriptures can answer life’s questions. After we President Gubler presented the Christoffersons with a large wooden plaque with Jesus the Christ engraved on it. Elder Christofferson only half jokingly asked that all of us sign it. That’s what ended up happening and so they now has a plaque with my signature on it. We also to a mission photo with them which makes us look like Australia. Check out the picture.
We then Traveled home and got in at about 5:30 pm. We did some work and waited and waited for moves to come out. Finally at 8:30 it was out. Turns out I am moving. I’ve been in Weston for four transfers and now I’m off to East Grinstead. But we’ll go back to that in a minute.
Sunday I had the opportunity to bear my testimony and had a splendid and miraculous church meeting. As I said I gained a testimony that gratitude allows for us to gain greater blessings. I acted on that Idea he night before giving thanks for the success we had been experiencing. On Sunday we had another woman who had apparently been contacted by missionaries 8 months prior turn up. She stayed for all three hours and really enjoyed it! I could really feel that she had come in part because of gratitude I had expressed and faith in my Heavenly Father. It was also a great Sunday as we also had some of our other investigators there and had a interesting gospel principals class. One our members was in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami and related his experience in rather terrifying detail. Suffice to say it was a emotional rollercoaster for certain individuals.
I also got to say goodbye to people and that was really nice. For sacrament I even got to conduct the music and that was really good fun. If you want a calling where you get a seemingly disproportionate amount of complements become a youth(ful) ward chorister. I say that from experience. Thanks for the complements! I won’t inhale them I promise. After church we had steak at a members home which was wonderful. It was a good last DA in Weston. In the evening I had to pack quick because I was leaving on Monday morning.
Usually moves is on Tuesday but because of my assignment I had to leave early. The interesting thing about being in the East Grinstead Ward as an elder is that it means that you work in the mission office. I’m an office elder now. That means computers, a car and a light that mimics natural light because we’re at the back with no widows. It has been a crazy 72 hours so far. It’s great fun. I’ve been working on mission made publications, dropped people off at the airport, answered so many phone calls and only knocked two doors. It’s a very different experience to normal missionary work. It also means that my preparation day was moved this week to Thursday. It will usually be Wednesday.
I work on temple grounds and get to be with the senior couples all the time. We’ve been fed a lot and they’re all super lovely. In the district is us and three sets of sisters working at the London temples Visitors Centre. We do sports with them most mornings and have a lot of fun. I get a car!  I’m working on getting my drivers license at the moment which won’t be hard at all if I do it right. I’m not sure how long I’ll be here but I’m excited to be doing it. We work in the office from 1-4pm so we get 7 hours to do normal missionary stuff.
My companion is Elder Dey who was one of my first Zone leaders. He’s from Charlotte, North Carolina and doesn’t sound very southern which I’d say is a plus. He’s a convert to the church and is pseudo-engaged. He’s a good missionary and good fun. We’re an interesting combination.
Crazy week and I’ll have more to share next week. Have an awesome one!
Love, Elder Palmer 

Push Up Miracles

May 24, 2017

“When the Lord said, “Lengthen your stride, quicken your pace, heighten your reach, widen your vision, and stretch your capacity,” he was in reality saying “expect a miracle,” for these are the stuff from which miracles are made.” –Hartman Rector Jr., April 1979 General Conference.
I really enjoy this quote. Expect miracles. That phrase in itself seems quite prideful, to in a way say to our Heavenly Father give me something miraculous. To say; give me something that will changes lives, bring healing, cause things to happen that have never before happened. We must understand that these miracles come because of our faith.
“Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain.” 
 
Hebrews 11 and Ether 12 are prime examples of what faith can accomplish. The way to these miracles as Elder Rector says is as we lengthen our stride, quicken our pace, heighten our reach, widen our vision and stretch our capacity. In short go further, longer and harder than we have ever gone before. To push our limits and go the second mile.
 
“Make the sacrifice. There is no such thing as “something for nothing” with the Lord. Blessings come because of obedience to the law upon which they are predicated (see D&C 130:21). The Lord requires sacrifice, meaning something above and beyond the minimum. The Master spoke of the “second mile” and told us to go there (see Matt. 5:41). Why? Because he wants to bless us. So he put all the blessings in the second mile, but we must go where they are before we get them. The first mile, we owe; that’s what we are getting paid for.”
It’s a good talk. It got me super hyped on miracles.
This week has been a pretty decent one. So to explain it all I will continue to use words. Good fun. Thursday we had a prime district meeting learning all about waking the sleeping giant (aka the members) we are in a constant effort to wake the members to do missionary work. It was really good. We had another good lunch as always. The Elders have upped their baking game. This week we had sugar cookies, Bannofie pie (not sure how to spell it) and a German sweet bread dessert. It was all very rich and wonderful. I’m proud of the districts cooking abilities.
Saturday morning at about 1am I was awoken to an unpleasant experience. I had started to feel a little woozy Friday evening but it wasn’t until then that it really manifested itself.  I was sick and I saw it, smelt it and felt it. I ended up calling sister Gubler in the morning and got permission to stay in for the day. I slept a lot which was wonderful. That day I also had no appetite, I didn’t end up eating anything really until the evening. Luckily I was able to go and work for a bit in the evening and so the day wasn’t a complete loss. By Sunday I was well enough that their wasn’t any real worries.
Sunday was pretty great. We had 3 investigators at church. One investigator had dropped us but came anyways an bought a friend. He wants to be taught again so we’re really excited for him. As well a friend of one of the sisters in the Ward has been coming out to relief society meetings and decided to come to church. She stayed all three hours and said that she enjoyed it. It was a really nice surprise for us.
We had a blessed Exchange on Monday as well. I was down in Taunton with Elder Baum and we had a blast. So we decided to do something called push up contacting. You go up to someone and offer them a treat. Chocolate bar or whatever. You say that they can have the chocolate totally free. The only catch, you have to do ten push-ups. They’ll probably say no thank you then but quickly your companion comes in and says “don’t worry I’ll do them for you.” They pound out 10 push-ups and then bam you give the person the treat. You can relate this to how Christ gave us a free gift and that he did our “push-ups” for us.
This worked really well. We found two solid investigators from it and we only had to do about 20 push-ups. The hardest part was getting people to accept chocolate from strangers. We had some awesome conversations because of it. Putting yourself out there brings fruits. It was also wonderful weather so that made it even better. I was sweating just by being outside. It was one of the best exchanges I’ve been on because of that.
Tuesday to end the exchange me and Elder Baum went to a flat viewing as they’re trying to move flats. Flats are expensive over here. There’s been some interesting experiences this week and I’m excited for more to come. We have good people that we’re working with and some real promise.
Here are some pics:
It looks like an awesome movie poster or something. It’s on a very misty day at the beach in Weston-super-Mare. I only wish I was wearing proselyting clothing.
Cool Ben on Beach
Swans in England
Also baby swans in Taunton.
Love, Elder Palmer 
June 1, 2017
What a time to be alive. Its summer, I’m a missionary and this week we got to have President Kieron join us for our Quad Zone Conference. Yes that is the same President Kieron that is a member of the Presidency of the Seventy and formerly the Europe Area President as well as being the one to make President Utchdorf cry during the April 2016 General Conference. Yes it is the one and only. The man, the myth and the General authority. I could write this whole email on what we learned in our conference and I will take quite a bit of time regardless on detailing the events.

It was a wonderful time. President and Sister Gubler spoke first about power. To demonstrate this we saw them go head to head to see who screw a screw into a block of wood. Sister Gubler had a power drill and President Gubler had a screwdriver. The funny part about this was that sister Gubler ran into a slight problem as she had the drill on reverse making it next to useless. President could have technically won but thankfully because of a love for his dear wife and a desire to show the principal of power he lent her a hand. Going into their presentation they covered four things that bring spiritual power from the saviour. They are, simply put: Scripture study, obedience, service and prayer. President had already talked to me about this in an interview but it was great to see it again. I have a testimony of the Necessity of these four things in allowing us to be converted and changed.
Then it was time for President Kieron to take the stage. The overarching theme of his talks to us was on the idea of us as agents. We can choose to do and we can act. We are to act, not be acted upon. (2nd Nephi 2:14) We are blessed with that ability and he wanted to make that very clear to us. Something that was very interesting was how he consistently pulled back to worry. His advice for those that worry? He simply said: “Don’t.” Stop worrying. As he went through he gave us a couple of tools to help us to worry less. A lot of it comes down to simply working hard. Not in a dramatic end of the world way but rather in a focused and joyful way. If you worry to much, don’t.
President Kieron also shared with us some wonderful analogies. President Kieron is not a fan of the phrase non members. He related it to us this way. Say your walking across the street and you pass this large and ornate building. From the steps comes a man in fancy robes and stops you. He greets you in a posh voice and then pointing to the building behind him asks
“Are you a member of my club?”
You’d look at him a bit puzzled and the say something along the lines of
 “no, I’m not.”
Then his response to you, saying it with a hint of a chuckle.
 “Oh… So your a non-member.”
It sounds both pretentious and makes you feel like quite the alien so this made me decide to strive not to call our friends non-members. Especially when we’re actually with them.
There were some good stories told as well. He talked about how he had enjoyed the way we sang and related to us this experience as a new Stake president. They had sung the intermediate hymn in the program and the visiting general authority got up to speak. One of his first remarks was to President Kieron and he said that he wanted him to sing at his funeral. President Kieron said he was rather flattered. This was until the general authority then followed it up saying that it was so that people knew that there was something worse than death. That would have had to sting.
We learned a lot of things. We learned the need to not extend wooden invitations but rather to show the royal majesty of what we have to offer. What we’re trying to give people is in essence is a crown of immortality. If we can show people that there is such a crown waiting there within our reach— all thanks to our saviour— then who isn’t going to want that crown? We learned about how we should rewrite in a more excellent way ones thoughts and feelings towards themselves. We should see ourselves in a more positive and loving light. We should nurture that which is good and develop ourselves continually. As it says in D&C 6:33 Fear not to do good, my sons, for whatsoever ye sow, that shall ye also reap; therefore, if ye sow good ye shall also reap good for your reward.
It was a wonderful conference. All my past companions were there and the food was great as always. We had safe travels to and from the conference and although we had to get up at 4:30 for it it was worth it. Learned a lot and really had a good time.
Also this week we had a couple of other opportunities. On the weekend we had the opportunity to set up the chapel of a wedding reception. It was really pretty by the end of it. We didn’t get to go to the reception though but that’s alright. I wouldn’t know what to do anyways.
On Friday we had our weekly planning to do and it was a wonderful day. Not a cloud in the sky and it was a balmy 24C° so we had weekly planning in the park. It even made us a bit more focused! Also on Tuesday we had a teach with a new investigator named Sharon. She is struggles at the moment but we were able to extend a baptismal date to her promising her that the gospel will bring her the peace she wants. We’re excited to help her prepare for baptism on the 8th of July. We’ve lost some of our investigators but we’re so glad that we were able to find her.
It was a very decent week. Some of the days were pretty bland but we had some awesome highlights. Then missions not all that bad eh. Have a blessed week.
Love, Elder Palmer 
 
P.S Haec Dies Amari means “these are days to be loved” In Latin. It is pronounced something like “HAYke DEE-es AH-mar(ee)” 
Here are some photos:
double chin Ben
Waiting for our ride to conference
Parking lot sunset
Sunset over Sainsbury's.

These are some photos I took on our train ride back to Weston. 

The route we take from the conference to our area. It takes about 4 hoursTrain Map
The station of Sway on our way to Southampton CentralTrain Station
Southampton Docksdocks from train
Looking out at the City of Bathcity of Bath
A game of Cricket
Cricket Game
Farmland as we pass Yaton
Yaton Farmland

Three Weeks worth of emails and photos!

May 3

This train is the delayed, twelve thirty one, England London South Mission train service for Conversion–via–Baptism. Calling at: Finding, Finding Parkway, Knocking Lane, Faith Castle, Repentance, Setback–for–Dropping, Baptism Service, Baptism by Immersion, Confirmation, Holy Ghost, and Conversion. Mind the gap between the head and the heart, mind the gap.
Many of you may not truly understand this but if you have ever taken British Rail you will understand quite clearly. Getting tickets with that oh so familiar ticket printing sound and being told endlessly not to leave any baggage unattended anywhere in the station. Train travel is quite the experience. Expensive even with a railcard but simple and easy.
This week has been a pleasant one. We had our first and second last district meeting this transfer and it was a bundle of fun. We had both the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders attend so there was 12 of us in all. I gave a study council on the Foundations of Faith talk that was given By Elder Cook in April. For me I learned about what I want to try and master and how I can continue to build my foundation on Christ so that I “Shall not fail” (Helaman 5:12) Those things mainly but also I decided that I really want to read the Malcom Gladwell books again.
On Saturday we had a teach with an investigator and we didn’t have anyone to come with us. It had slipped our minds a little bit but hours before we got a text from a member. He asked us who we were going to meet and when and so we thought awesome yeah it’s so and so at this time and place. The teach went well and the more we thought about it the more we realised that we had never told this member about any teach for today. We hadn’t really contacted him in a week actually! So that was honestly a miracle. As well the member was going through a tough time and we were able to provide a blessing for him. God moves in mysterious ways.
Sunday was another blessed Sunday. Our baptismal date stayed for two hours of church which is more than he ever has and enjoyed it greatly. We got to pass the sacrament and no one dropped a tray this time. As well we had a great 5th Sunday 3rd hour all about home teaching. It was a needed discussion and I really felt the spirit. We now have 50 less actives to go hunt down with nothing but a name and an address but that’s awesome! I love searching for those lost sheep. As well we had no dinners for the first time since I got here on the calendar. But then one of the ward missionaries picked it up and within 20 minutes we were booked up for the whole week. Miracles!
On the evening we were searching for one new person to teach. Our mission has a mission vision which means that we all strive to have on person with a baptismal date, one person at church and two new investigators each week. We had it all except for one more new investigator. We were on our way home when Elder Wilson felt the need to talk this one man. So we walked over and said hello and soon we had his interest and an appointment. We’re meeting him in a couple of hours. The lord is kind.
Monday I had an exchange with the Brazilian Elder Dos Santos. He’s a great guy and a two year convert. We had a good time travelling to a small town and the realising that we got off in the wrong small town so we had to walk an hour to get to the actual small town we wanted to visit. Monday was also crazy weather. It was as if someone was flipping a light switch on and off as it would rain, be sunny, rain harder and go back to being blindingly bright. We had a good dinner with the a young couple in our Ward and had a very successful teach with them. If you want the missionaries to love you have people centred goals for missionary work and take action regularly to achieve those goals.
Tuesday we did some good service moving a shed and had a very interesting teach. One of investigators is bent on vengeance to a growing list of people and honestly it’s crazy. He harmless as he couldn’t physically harm anyone but he said a prayer that I couldn’t say amen to. That was a first for me. On a brighter side though, all is well.
Thanks for reading ❤
Love, Elder Palmer Ben skull colouringEnglish blossom treesMission Pathmore colouringPalmer and Wilson
May 10, 2017

Let’s start off this email with something nice and spiritual. Or at least I’ll make an attempt to edify and expand your knowledge regarding spiritual things. We’ve started as a mission to read through the Book of Mormon looking for the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We’re looking for Faith, Repentance, Baptism, The Holy Ghost and Enduring to the End. Simple enough yet surprisingly powerful.

My understanding of these principals is growing rapidly as I’ve been able to see the story of Nephi and how those very principals worked in their lives. I’ve learned that faith is often times recognising God’s hand. I’ve learned that repentance is more about humility than sorrow. I’ve learned that baptism and covenants are always two way promises. I’ve learned that the Holy Ghost through our faith can work in others. I’ve learned that enduring to the end is less of a step and more of a repetition of the previous steps. This has brought a lot of flavour to my Book of Mormon studies and would really recommend trying it. We all need to make sure we’re applying the Gospel of Jesus Christ and so learning about it is of paramount importance. Yes, the facsimiles are interesting and yes, an answer to whether or not we have a belly button as resurrected beings is something that would require discussion. However it is of minute value compared to the redeeming power of the gospel. After all we’re all here to gain a body and accept this divinely appointed plan to eternal life, not to debate about the particulars of the nature of exaltation.

In other news we have had some progress with our friends. Our baptismal date sadly dropped us but no worries as we have a new friend! No baptismal date at the moment but she’s got desire and that’s good as gold on the mission. Thinking about it right now our teaching pool consists of only mothers. They all have teenage children and partners as well. It’s really fun working with them. Moms need the Gospel like everyone else.

Finding people for us has been a challenge this week. It’s hard to be finding and talking to people all the time and so sometimes you miss a lot. It gets easier but it still isn’t all that easy. For others this might be different, I’m not sure but in my case this is what I’ve found. At other times though your fell like your on fire (in a good way) and everyone you see knows that your a missionary with a goal for conversion! On those down days though it’s easy to dig further down as you consider shortcomings etc. My advice is to do your best you can do in the moment, stretch yourself and then hey, things get a little brighter. This apply to everything.

Moving over I want to touch on a different topic. I think we’re all familiar with the mote in the brothers eye and a beam in your own eye parable. Saying that I would like to say that this is sadly, oh so very true. It is very easy to forget your shortcomings when looking at the shortcomings of others. Whether that be with rules, skill, wisdom or whatever. I had a stinging realisation in the week regarding this and man, hello reality! What I’m trying to apply now is to simply not look down on people and instead look up. Judge only righteous and loving judgements. Look for positives. Otherwise I’ll be finding myself in far greater judgement and I don’t want that.

Also this week we’ve had a couple of good laughs. On Saturday we conducted an iPad inventory as a companionship where we look through each others iPads in search for anything less than obedient. I gave Elder Wilson my iPad and he asked me what my password was. This simple question seemed to create a hole in my head large enough to allow the answer to this question to run from my mind. I sat their blankly for a moment, looking at my iPad screen realising that, in the words of Ahimaaz “I knew not what it was.” (2 Samuel 18:29) It took me 24 hours to remember it. The only way I could get in my iPad in the mean time was to unconsciously muscle memory my way in. I did it twice still not remembering what I had just typed. It was a great laugh and only slightly frustrating. It’s not like I had a base to take care of in Clash of Clans or that one level in Candy Crush to beat. The most gamey thing we have on our iPads is the doctrinal mastery app.

Also this week we did jousting with the young men. It was a blast. Everyone had their phones out filming and when something was a close call we had half a dozen angles to consult from for video footage. The jousting was done on longboards pulled with rope by teammates. The jousting sticks were thick foam pieces connected to a cardboard carpet role with plywood shields to boot. Elder Wilson and I got to go a couple of times and his 4th degree back belt ninja balancing skills ended up defeating me 0-3. Not my most glamorous performance but a man can only do so much right…

Other than those highlights I don’t have anything else to terribly interesting to report. We bought a pork shoulder to make some Carnitas with and cutting the fat off of it with a slightly dull knife was a marathon of squishy torture. I don’t know how your suppose to do it but their must be some better way. It smells good now though cooking in the slow cooker with herbs and spices.

Love, Elder Palmer

 

May 17, 2017

 

Well. Once again I am unsure what to say. I wanted to share something wonderful with you but any solid ideas on what to write have eluded me. Instead here I sit listening to a organ play a dull and rather slow version of the hymn “I’m a Pilgrim, I’m a Stranger.” Outside the rain comes down as the wind blows softly in the trees. The only thing to break the dreary view is an occasional seagull moving from rooftop to rooftop. The diffused light from outside enters the window gently, bringing faded shadows and a weight upon the room. The soft music and the ticking of clock are the only sounds that permeate the silence. A feeling of content isolation lies in the room bringing with it a deeper calm to the whole scene.

It is all rather pleasant and it brings me joy to know that I’ll be in car driving from place to place tonight rather than travelling by foot in the relentless rain. For as much joy comes from being indoors in the rain a similar yet opposite feeling comes when one is stuck outside in it.

This week has been a cooler one. Not to mention the perpetually dark sky’s and the accompanying wet. We’ve had regardless of the weather though simple joys and blessings from heaven. There has been some truly wonderful moments. To the wonder of one of our investigators this week her small cat affectionately named Fizz became a mother. It was one of more interesting reasons for having to cancel a teach. Lucky however we had a wonderful lesson about the Gospel of Jesus Christ with her the day after and got to see the newborn kittens ourselves. The kittens were very small and weak. Our investigators young son had to be looked after carefully when he was around them to prevent them from meeting a fate at the hand of his little hands.

To our great joy as well regarding this particular investigator was for the first time ever she came to church. Not only that though but she made the extra effort to come out to Stake Conference nearly an hour away. She caught a lift with some wonderful members and they got along very well. She really enjoyed it and took a special liking to the temple president and his wife that spoke at the conference. To our luck we were able to get a copy of the “Temple Edition” of the Ensign to her before she got to Google. While we dropped off the Ensign something she said to us struck me. She related about the drive back and how she had noticed what a beautiful place she had the opportunity to live in. For me I have felt that England although pleasant could not be considered beautiful. I felt that it fell below the standards that I had set based on my upbringing in Canada. However after she said that it opened my eyes to how truly beautiful this land is. It is beautiful.

Especially now in the spring, green covers everything and sunlight as it streams through casts beautiful scenes. Those scenes are smaller then what we’re use to in the True North but looking into those small spaces of natural beauty it’s not hard to see the intricacy and engendering awe that comes from them. Ancient Great Oaks, Blackcurrant Bushes, Ivy and hundreds of other plants team together to create murals of life across he countryside. Intertwined amongst the greenery is the creations of man older than even the grandest of trees. Small stone walls, pleasant cottages with thatched roofs and vibrant fields pepper the rolling hills and flat plains. Small rivers and even smaller streams cross the land creating a latticework of blue through the earth. Although it is not my desire to live here permanently I couldn’t say that I am living in a place void of wonder.

The day before this realisation we had a wonderful time with the Taunton District. Accompanying us as well was our Zone leaders and sister training leaders. We were able to do some Banner Contacting using a whiteboard, banner and a dozen missionaries to entice people to learn about the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a rather different experience than we expected. Everyone left it with the distinct feeling that this had been one, if not the toughest times we had done District finding. The rejection was strong for that hour and a half. We had a whiteboard with a question of “what brings people peace” and the answers we received were, to put it gently, less than ideal. Similarly with other methods everyone else came across little success. However some of the sister found a woman who has shown good promise. Weston-super-Mare seems to not be the most optimal place for such an activity but we are not here to have faith in outcomes, we’re here to have faith in Christ.

Afterwards we Traveled to Bristol and were able to enjoy a meal together at my favourite restaurant, Zaza’s Bazaar. A thriving second floor restaurant with most anything ones stomach could possibly desire. Through visually stimulating hallways between occupied tables you come to one of seven bustling buffets with everything from Indian curries, Italian pastas and English favourites. It is a true Bazzar and offers enough for anyone. after such a glutinous experience of pure taste heaven you feel that you can’t not come back. This may seem like a very positive Yelp review but in actuality It is so splendid.

After this salmagundi of a feast we travelled to the Stake centre where we as a Zone of missionaries would preform two hymns for the evening session of Stake conference. Two hours of cacophony turned choir later and we had ourselves two half baked hymns to sing. All and all things went well. The biggest struggle that came from this experience was the powerful heat which cooked us as we sat on the stand. It came to the point that by the end of the meeting we all seemed a bit baked. Our eyes had become rather red. The conference was very insightful and worthwhile. We heard again and again by all the speakers the importance of understanding our eternal worth and godly parentage. Remembering who we are as individuals was definitely a powerful theme of the conference.

After that powerful weekend of the conference we came to some interesting moments. Monday we can to the stark realisation that last Wednesday for preparation day we had not bought enough food. So down the single flight of stairs and around the corner we went to quickly get some bread and milk. After we travelled to the next block over to drop off an umbrella we had borrowed from a member. They didn’t answer the door but luckily it fit through the letterbox so, in it went with a clatter as it hit the stone floor on the other side. In the later day we went in search of more investigators and now even still the eternal hunt continues!

Yesterday I had another awesome experience. We had gone to he chapel to pick up a member for a teach but he had to drop out. So since we couldn’t go to the teach we had planned we decided to stick around for a little bit and mingle with all the members. To our surprise the Washford Elders were at the chapel. They had come to support there two youth as the other dozen members of the branch had come to do family history. Because they where there some of the YM thought that we had left and had been replaced. When they saw us they actually said that they were relieved that we were still there. They were afraid that I had left all of a sudden. That made me feel that we were doing something right here in Weston, to have the youth not only remember our names but be interested in us. Definitely shows me what sort of example I should be setting.

It has been a blessed week. I am sorry if I have gotten out of hand with some things but I hope it was of some good to you. Keep up the truly wonderful work. The lord is mindful of all you do. Don’t think any good you do will be wasted. God bless each of you.

Love, Elder Palmer