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

The Search for the Harvest – Seaon 1 Episode 1

 

April 19, 2017Ben and missionary

At the quad zone conference with Elder Wilson

Phase 10 Ben

Playing Phase 10

Train missionaries

Elder Wilson with a 1000 yard stare and Elder Fauraa and Elder Burningham.

 

Here we go! New week and I wanted to share something deep with you to start it all off. However at this moment in time my mind cannot think in such depth. I spent the past five minutes trying to figure out how to say Banff. I was really struggling. Not dwelling on such a moment I want to share with you the wonder this week has been.

Thursday was our Quad Zone Conference. We’ve now had them each transfer for 3 transfers and each time we stay over night we move further and further away. This time we were in Southampton which is a very large port. There’s a lot of shipping containers. It was a decent night though. We were all sleeping on mattresses on the floor and I guess I stole another missionaries blanket. I must have because part way through the night I was awoken by their blanket being violently ripped off of me.

The conference was top notch as always. So every conference is on the Doctrine of Christ: Faith, repentance, baptism, the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end. This time we learned about faith and repentance. Sister Gubler talked about faith and I enjoyed that. President Gubler talked about repentance and it was all centered on Godly Sorrow. It blew my mind a little bit. It was really poniant. After a Mexican lunch with brownies we role played for two hours a new way we’ve been shown to do the first lesson. It mostly about teaching to needs and the Doctrine of Christ. It works really really well.

On the train ride home we ran into our baptismal date William. Chances of him being baptised are running into single digits at the moment but we’re still trying. It was cool because he was catching the same train as us so we talked for almost an hour on the journey. It was good and we got to use what we had learned just a couple of hours prior.

Friday I finally started journaling again so I have a record since then. We stopped by a lady who said we could come back and her daughter actually answered. We talked for a bit and she said she was interested in us coming. So we had two people in the house who were interested. That was pretty sweet except for when we went yesterday they hid in there house and didn’t answer the door. Fun fact we had 10 appointments this week, possibly more and only one went through. Maybe I’m a rubbish finder or maybe people need to be honest. I guessing it’s a bit of both. A lot of what we’re learning as a mission is all about how to prevent and stop this so hopefully by the end of my mission 3 out of 10 will go through.

Elder Wilson and I talk a lot. And something I’ve learned as theres such thing as getting along too well. It starts to degrade the effectiveness of the missionaries. Trying to come up with a solution can be hard as well as its so positive and you like it. So I’ve gotten a bit torn trying to find a balance between having conversation with my companion and having conversations with strangers. It’s taken some effort.

Sunday was a miracle. A blessed easter miracle! We had a lot of people who we didn’t think we would see or even knew. We had a guy named Gordon who came. I think I’ve seen him around before but he just really walked in and sat down. We also had a semi active family bring a non member family to sacrament. On the less active front we had 3 generations of less actives come from one family. From that is a older couple, their daughter and their daughter’s daughter. Also not present but interested is the daughter’s daughter’s son and her partner that aparently will be coming in the near future. Those two aren’t baptised as well. Finally we also had a younger sister approach us to a as that her boyfriend had been learning about the church with her and had already quite smoking and drinking and wanted to be baptised! Flirt to convert works apparently. It worked for my first baptism so I don’t see why it can’t happen for this one. He’s coming in a couple of weeks so I’ll give some updates then.

Also on Sunday we had a DA with a South African family. I told them I had never really had South Africa food so they made some for us. We had bunnychow, Boravos, green Cream Soda and some simple deserts. Bunnychow is a curry put into a hollow half loaf of bread. It’s eaten without utensils as the bread becomes the utensils. Boravos is Afrikaans for farmers sausage and apparently everywhere has to have different colored cream Soda. Weather it’s pink, yellow, clear or green. It was good food and I really enjoyed it. However it did wake me up at 2 in the morning. On the plus side I can say that “I’ve had diareah since easters.”

Monday we had a intense teach. There was a lot on the line so we were really hoping it went well. We didn’t think it would be like it was but things happened. Our most solid investigator who wants to be baptised was talking to her mother between our visits and she brought up becoming a Mormon. Her mother, then with storm clouds in her eyes seemed to elongate. Her small frame raising up until her back was arched across the roof. With the sound of nails against a chalkboard she shot flames from mouth. Her skin peeled from her skull revealing her old bones which seemed to glow with rage. She cried out promising that no greater doom could come upon our investigator! Then as all light seemed to fade, all air and warmth seemingly gone like our investigators hope the mother cried with vile solemnity and with all power of the underworld that if she were to follow this path that she would be disowned and cast out! never again to return.

Luckily this isn’t what happened but the mother was upset. But then we were able to pull it back. Want saved us was Matthew 17:14-21. The scripture talks about how it’s is through prayer and fasting that we can overcome big problems like demon children and mothers. She said that she was gutted about having to stop and so she was excited to fast. Were fasting this Saturday with her to help her to keep find an answer. It’s pretty exciting. Were excited to do it. Exciting…

It’s been a good week. Were spending our preparation day in Taunton with the district. We have burgers and football should be fun. Have a great week and God bless.

As youuuuu wishhhhhhhh…
Oh my dear Wesley!

Ben and Statue

April 26, 2017

*In an incredibly deep and epic voice*

“In a world, where people are confused. Two Elders will brave the costal town of Weston-super-Mare in search of ‘The Golden Investigators.’ Join them in this epic quest through the streets of Bournville, Worle, Milton and more. It’s time for ‘The Hunt for the Harvest.'”

[The Hunt for the Harvest theme music plays]

Staring: Elder Palmer and Elder Wilson

Co-Staring: Elder Baum, Gordon and Bishop White.

Guest Starring: President Gubler as President Gubler.

[Theme music end in a great flurry of sound and screen fades to black]

It’s been another 7 days and it’s good to be here with you! We have had a wonderful week and I’m excited to share it with you. Why don’t we get started? Thursday coming out of the gates faster than Kishkumen we had El Presidente interviews. It was a very good time. We had one activity put on by the Zone leaders which was especially fun. For all those Zone Leaders, District Leaders and Leaders this is a great activity to try.

There was 25 questions. They consisted of things such as; Who is your Celebrity crush? (Emma Watson) if there was only one colour in the world what would you want it to be? (Blue) And if you could have a lunch with anyone in the First Presidency or Quorum of the Twelve Apostles who would you go with? (President Eyring) The companionships were split between two groups and we had to then guess from the other groups sheets that they had written, which was our companions answer. Our score was based on how many we got right. We came in close second.

It was fun but that wasn’t the actual interviews. Interviews were Mucho Bueno. Me and president talked about a couple of things. First was about the four basic principals to coming unto Christ. They are prayer, scripture study, obedience and service. These four things are highlighted over and over again throughout the current and past general conferences. It was a really interesting revelation as It helped me to focus on four key areas for deepening my conversion.

In the interview we also talked about getting people interested. Last week I said that we had 10 teaching appointments and only one went through. President Gubler talked about how we need to find needs and then help them to see that the Gospel will fulfil that need. I’d say I’m pretty good at finding needs but that second part was really good counsel. You can know what they want but if they don’t want you then why would they ever take time for us? Hence the need to really help them to see the need.

Friday was also blast. All we did was go to and from wonderful appointments. We started off by going to see a less active sister. Then we had a lunch DA. Then we did some service for another less active sister painting a fence. Then we had a DA with the Elder Quorum President and had a good chat with him. To finish off the day we got to go play football which was so much fun as always. This time there was even 14 people there so we played on a full pitch. It was a happy day.

Saturday we had a predominately finding day which was good as we hadn’t done any really for the previous three days. Sunday was also good as we had a man by the name of Gordon come to church for the second week in a row. He’s a great guy. Turns out he’s coming to church because his fiancé wants him to. His fiancé is actually a less active member of the Downend Ward in Bristol. He is coming now because he really has been enjoying it. Funny enough we had a good talk with his fiancé about a month ago. She came to Weston one week as she’s thinking of moving down here. Flirt to convert works.

Monday we had a good exchange. I was down in Taunton with Elder Baum. It was one of my more mellow exchanges. We had a good time talking with people on the streets and with each other. It was really just a nice time. Did some good learning and had a really awkward moment with a lesbian couple. Elder Baum asked them what made them happy and naturally one said to the other “her.” It went downhill from there rather quickly but it was a laugh more than anything. Awkward moments are like the junk mail of life. Unwanted but occasionally you can get something good from them.

On Tuesday we had flat inspections. Elder Baum and I had the Taunton flat inspection then caught a lift up with the Bristol Senior Couple. There granddaughter, a recently returned missionary, was also with them at the time. It was weird having a girl our age in our flat. I just thought to myself how disobedient this could be and I was just really happy that the senior couple was there as well. It was also weird when we were in the 5 seater car and I was in the middle seat. Not only was it uncomfortable but it had also just eaten Cheese and Onion Crisps and she was right besides me. Being a missionary you gain this aversion to being within a foot of the opposite gender or in when they’re within your own home.

A final story for the week we had a DA with on of our less actives. He was drunk at the time and I was so ready to call 999. It was pretty darn stressful and all we ended up doing was arm wrestles and listening to him confess his sins to us. I though only sisters needed to consider places to avoid but I was wrong. I now have a place to avoid.

That’s it for this week. There was to many stories to write but I hope you enjoyed. Remember to read your scriptures and regularly clean your vacuums filters. Cheers.

[Instrumental jazz version of Called to Serve plays as the credits role]

Love, Elder Palmer

A New Companion

April 5, 2017

Good afternoon. Or a good morning. Maybe for some of you reading this it will be good evening. What ever time you may see this I hope all is well. Or at least that things are going up rather than going down.

On a scale of 1 to 10 I’m a 25. Things continue to go well for us here in Weston. Blessings are coming in a greater and greater abundance. I really loved Conference. I also really love our investigators and spending my last few days with Elder Dickey. Sadly so, Elder Dickey has now left the land of Weston-super-Mare in favour of the greener pastures of bideford in Devon. In his place has come Elder Wilson from the exotic land of St. George, Utah. He’s been out for 20 odd months now so he’s got quite a bit more experience than I do. Luckily he doesn’t act like a 70 some year old, cranky, decrepit man who feels the need to tell you off because “back in my day.”

He’s fun though. I’ve almost been with him for 24 hours now and we get along well. We quote Princess Bride and talk about other movies, tv shows etc. We both work hard and are happy. So all and all it should be a good fit. I’m excited to see what I learn from him. This week has had some good moments. Saturday especially. So we had a district meeting that day. But it was a special one. We went to Bristol for it because we were then going to watch Conference at the Stake centre there. Before the district meeting however we went as a district to a restaurant called Turtle Bay. We were suppose to go to Zaza Bazzar again but it was all booked up. Turtle Bay was pretty good though. It was Caribbean food and had a great atmosphere. The senior couple that took us had some of there family over so we spent the time with them as well.

After we headed over to the wells road chapel for district meeting. Turns out that the other two districts in the zone were also there. So it turned into a zone meeting. Two of our District Leaders are going to be Zone Leaders including my district leader Elder McSpadden. They’re both legit missionaries and I’m proud of them. They’re great guys. So the Zone district meeting was good fun and after it was off to conference. I’m hoping you all have watched all of Conference. I’ll quickly share some snippets that I really liked.

Elder Saban had some great things in his talk. I really like how he use “we may need to let go of the world in order to hang on to eternity.” That really spoke true to me and it sounds powerful as well. Also there was President Uchtdorf who talked about how to be effective church leader isn’t about effectively directing people but being effective at being directed by the lord. In Robert D. Hale’s talk he used the analogy of our lives as a spiritual tapestry and how we must weave the gospel into it. I really like allegories and analogies as that’s what seems to stick out to me. I hope I can really apply as many of the teachings into my own life. I’ll definitely make sure I follow the council of president Monson, as I should. Read the Book of Mormon. Read it every day and gain your own personal testimony of it and of the gospel. It was pretty darn simple.

I love this church and what it can do for individuals and communities. It really changes lives for the better. In this world of turmoil—as their definitely is turmoil—we need something more than our own compass. Otherwise as we can see people get tossed to and fro. Pushed and pulled by every wind of doctrine, every new thing. I don’t think this is new but now more than ever can it been seen and spread throughout the world. I’ve personally seen it a lot lately where they’re are no set standards. Seemingly the only accountability now is to oneself and to the law and that law is moving further and further from Gods law. But for us,

“We will not retreat, though our numbers may be few When compared with the opposite host in view; But an unseen pow’r will aid me and you In the glorious cause of truth.”

Fear not! We have with us eternal truth! We have no need to fear! My hope is that we can all not fear even though we go against a seemingly ever more rapid current of changing values. In our 2017 mission plan it talk about how
“We understand the importance of attitude in the Lord’s work and in our lives. We are in charge of our attitudes. We will develop a culture of obedience, optimism, hard work, service, and love. Happiness is a choice and comes only when we keep the commandments and choose to be happy.”

I hope we can all try our best to have a positive attitude and to choose the harder right rather than the easier wrong. It’s definitely not easy. Writing this it’s as much for my benefit as it is for yours. In the end this is simply me writing the things that come to mind and hopefully have the spirit as I do so. I really do hope that we can make righteous choices and do so with a joyful attitude. Life is simply better.

I cut it there for this week. I hope you enjoyed. I love to hear from people so if you want to drop my an email please do. If you don’t know my email you can get it from me mum, head of the public affairs office, most dinners, puzzles and the general management division as well as being the chief executive of the hugs conglomerate… I love you all more than this ball of silly putty that I can’t stop playing with. Okay, cheers.

As you wish…

Love, Elder Palmer

 

 

Ben on the waterfrontBristol ZoneBen group dinnerBen sunset

 

April 12, 2017

Great. So I finally mustered up the energy to write this weekly email. Sometimes it feels like I’m trying to summit everest writing these things. I love being able to relate my experiences no doubt but it does really require some effort. Maybe I’ll spice it up a bit this week. Make it more fun, more of a story. I think a wonderful skill to have is the ability to tell stories. Good ones at that.

Looking back at this past week, well, what an adventure it has been. So as you know I have a new companion. Let me tell you a bit more about him. Elder Wilson is a funny lad, a bit shorter than me, and has a tendency to hold his head a bit forward of his chest. For the ladies he likes the outdoors, guns, (he has quite the guns himself) and runs on the beach. He has a lovely sense of humour, could destroy you with his martial art skills and is always optimistic but also quite sensitive. Quite the catch. He also goes home in August so watch out world. Too bad he already has a girlfriend. But she’s going on a mission a week before he gets home so there’s still a chance. Times a ticking…

This Sunday we had a investigat–cough—Sorry something caught in my throat… long lost less active member come to church. Long lost less active member, what a mouthful. Gotta stop stuffing my face with dusty Scottish Shortbread when I write these. So buttery and good though. Imagine sugar with butter pressed together into artsy shapes and dusted with more sugar. Then put the word Scottish in front of it and take the idea that if you feed your children only these it will stunt their growth and cause them to be “short” and shaped like a bowling ball. Then you get Scottish Shortbread. Back to our LLLAM friend I will call Henry.

Henry was baptised up in the north of England about 17-18 years ago. He enjoys some of the finer, less legal things in life but is very friendly and devoted to God. His devotion however doesn’t usually take him to church but rather manifests itself in different ways. He sows seeds to bring others to Christ and has a interesting story to him. He came to testimony meeting and he enjoyed it a lot. He wanted to hug our ward mission leader because he cried in his testimony.

After he started hitting on this YSA who’s getting sealed in a month so all and all a good sacrament meeting. It was in reality a good meeting though, I really enjoyed what I learned this week. Also this week we had some time to learn that people don’t want to meet with any more. Pamala our longest running investigator decided to end our meetings. She just hadn’t been able to get past certain doctrinal differences and she’s never had the opportunity to come to know how to find truth. She’s a lovely lady and it was hard to see her end it.

Going back to Saturday we had a fun time down in Taunton for a couple of hours. We did some district finding with a lovely new banner for the #PrinceofPeace initative. While there we actually found a new friend for us in Weston-super-Mare rather than one for the Taunton elders. After we went to Subway and we realised that we needed to get to the train station proto. So we ran down the high street and we made the train by literally 20 seconds after a 15 min run. It was good Subway, although being all hot and sweaty in a white shirt can be a bit of a detractor on the situation.

The weather this week was also really really nice. There was a high of 20 C on Saturday and in this humidity we really felt it. It felt good to have the sun constantly literally 4 days in a row, what a miracle. We also had good DA’s but thats not the important part is it. Thankfully we did have some solid spiritual moments and it was a good week. One less week to be a missionary now and one more week full of learning. Now it’s time for the holy week. May we remember our saviour and his atonement.

As you wish…

P.S https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2016-08-001-avoid-distracted-driving?lang=eng be safe, be good.

 

It’s True Isn’t It? Then what else matters.

Waterfall

Trying to look handsome at England largest waterfall. (Sorry the 537th largest waterfall… or something like that.

March 22, 2017

I don’t know what to write this week. I don’t. I forgot my journal and its just been a blur really. Okay lets take a look back. Friday we had a zone quad conference which was awesome. Sunday was solid. Monday we had dinner with a drunk less active member and today we went to the Bristol Zoo and a gorgeous buffet.

So Thursday was a day, taught a depressed guy which was interesting, had a nice lunch and then traveled for 4 hours back down to Poole. slept on the floor in Christchurch which is near Poole on a duvet which was actually a lot better than I thought it would be. Friday was taken up completely by our conference and travel. We learned quite a lot and for me it really had a lot of emphasis on prayer. Hopefully I’ll continue to apply it considering we take almost a day and a half of our working time and a lot of money to be there. On the train back I spoke with a nice lady named Andrea about the church and talked with a member we bumped into about missionary work.

Saturday was weird. We had a ward quiz night in the evening which was good fun. Sunday was a solid Sunday, good church and good fun. We love members. I’m sorry this is a really lame email this week. Monday we had a dinner with a returning less active but that night he was far from sober so we had a colorful time going to one Indian food place, him leaving angrily because of the pricing and how the waiter spoke broken English. Then ever 100 meters to the next Indian restaurant he would stop to say hi to someone he knew. Then at the next one our waiter was so frustrated with him and our less active friend kept speaking to him in Arabic which I don’t think he understood. We had some good food though and we didn’t get into a physical fight so it wasn’t all that bad. He’s an interesting character though and a nice guy when sober.

Tuesday we had a push up competition with some of the youth and found out one of our investigators was good friends with some members that lived right next door. That and another investigator is one of the Relief Societies Presidents least favorite people. Well its been an interesting week and sorry for the short email but I spent to much time at the zoo and eating food today. I am sorry. He’s a joke to make everything better. “An old man walked into a well. He didn’t see that well.”

Thank you for your time and have a lovely day. Cheers.

Love, Elder Palmer

Ben on a cliffLots of missionaries

March 29, 2017

An new email! This one looking back at the week may not be the most exciting. It’s been slower than most weeks. So I think to fill this up with something actually interesting I’ll share some great things I’ve learned on my mission. You learn a lot on your mission. A lot of you probably already know that in one way or another.

So what have I learned? A simple thing is that in order to be considered “English” one must own a high visibility vest. The colour is not important and the only stipulations being that it is of the neon variety and makes you look like a construction worker. On another note a great way to make English people terrified is by acknowledging there existence and in the process make them acknowledge your own self. Some shut down, others become confused and some seem to have a burst of energy as they then vigorously walk away from you. Maybe that’s a bit harsh comment but for the ageing population especially, it is a reality.

On the topic of weather I’ve learned that the sun does shine here in United kingdom. To my wonder and amazement it shined for nearly four days, in a row! Sadly we didn’t have the opportunity to pull out our short sleeved shirt until literally 15 minutes before the clouds once again came in and peppered us with rain. Those 15 min felt like bliss though. Onto another thought I think now it’s time that I share something spiritual. I don’t have any huge mind blowing insights for you. If I did then I think that would be really cool. As I think about it however spiritually is more about being able to have regular little moments rather then sporadic and often rare ‘larger moments’. I’m not discounting the larger experiences though. Those most definitely have a place but if we had, as you could say “turning points” in our lives then all we would do is go around in circles.

Each time I go through the Book of Mormon one promise always seems to stick out in particular. Last time it was that if we are righteous the lord will prosper us. This time I’d say that the promise that’s stuck out to me is that we can ask God questions and receive answers. They’re simple promises but if we think about it they hold a lot of weight. If we ask God, in faith, we will receive answers. Makes you think what questions you want answered.

I really wish I could write more but sadly we’ve been moving flats all preparation day. It’s been rough and we’re going to have to spend more time another day. This week in closing, although slow, has been fun. We had some good lessons and had a good Sunday. As I said it was sunny and we capitalised on that. This upcoming week is General Conference which will be a stellar 8 or so hours of pure testimony and teaching. I’m on my second of 4 now. Time flys when your on a mission. I don’t have much else I want to write about so I’ll bid you all adieu.

Love, Elder Palmer

P.S here’s a great talk for you eyeballs and soul to consume: It’s True Isn’t It? Then What Else Matters?, Elder Neil L. Anderson, April 2007 General Conference.

Red Couch

When your moving flats with some Germans and you fail to take in
account the size of objects compared to the size of an opening.