October 11, 2017

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With the Lad’s at 5 Guys. Guy without the tag served here 6 months ago and trained elder Dickey. Good lads.

I have repented and written in my journal this week. It’s been a struggle for me but I’m gettin it done. So Thursday we had a (as always) legit zone confrence. Sister Gubler did a great talk on enduring to the end. One thing from it was how things will always be hard, you can’t really escape that, so what makes the difference in life is how you react to those challenges. President talked about the missionary and how important it is for us to be anchored in Christ.
Ere was nothing from him about helping others but all about helping ourselves, you have to save yourself before you can save others.
During lunch we took photos of all the new missionaries for our Christmas yearbook. We borrowed a nice camera from an office sister so they actually look really nice. We also took pictures during some of the events. (Not in the chapel though.) we’re also doing hat for the west Zone confrence tomorrow. More on that later. The whole time though I was dying. I got a wicked cold and there were many tears shed and only some of them were from the spirit.
Took a lie in the next day and that helped but I’m still trying to fully recover. What a blessing it is to breath through you nose. Friday was pretty standard with a DA and pig pong with our investigator. Saturday I woke up at 6:30 but was still feeling trash so took another 30 min and from that I experienced inception. It was a pretty sweet experience. I woke up in my dream and thought it was reality so when I actually woke up it was pretty surprising.
We also had a lunch with the office and the visitors centre at a Thai place as there was two RM’s that came down. They served in the office and VC at the same time and now they’re dating and they got touchy and I was so awkward. It’s heresy! They’re cute together though.
Sunday we good. The talks were all solid and that’s a good feeling. Monday we chill made stuff and had fun. So forever ago, when I first got here I broke a mirror on the car and finally it got fixed. It feels like a different car now. Not really but it’s a welcome change.
Also this week we had a work with the ZL’s and got flogged on a first lesson. We’re working on a lot of small projects and because of that I’ve come to learn how artistic this mission is. Some of the newer ones are great!
Right now we’re in Croydon in London with missionaries as a small detour to Poole. We went to the Crystal Palace stadium and having great fun.
My paragraphs keep getting shorter.
That’s all I guess.
Love, Elder Palmer 
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Comp jerseys
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October 18, 2017
It’s the weekly!
Hello lads, ladies, birds, bruvs, and mates! It’s good to be able to talk to you after another week of living. The worlds almost ended once this week so it’s been nice. Why don’t we hop into the weekly events.
Monday we had some weird weather. Thanks to hurricane Ophelia we had some Saharan dust that blew up nice and high blotting out the sun and causing the remaining light to appear a light red. Compound that with strong winds and a eerie calm that settled on everything and you got yourself an end of the world scenario. Luckily it blew past us but you could see it come over you and move on like a teaching hand of DEATH! That was cool.
Yesterday we had MLC and got to discuss preparation day. Finally after four transfers we got to talk about some controversial rules. What happened was that we are limited to travel inside our districts. This is a bit lame for us as our area is our district. That and The fact that you need to get permission from the AP’s instead of the district or zone leaders. The AP’s are really strict about it and have hindered a lot of ministry efforts and simply put good old wholesome fun. We talked it over and we decided that we would stick with it. That’s fine in all honesty because we don’t need to travel here there and everywhere but sometimes it is very beneficial to go somewhere else and our leaders know that quite a bit better now. So a victory for all.
Sunday was my birthday. We had a good DA with some members and had a great Europe Area broadcast. The Europe Area broadcast was the highlight of the day. There were great things said and Elder Ballard lovingly and with clear intentions rebuked Europe inviting them to believe in miracles. Every time I think about his talk I think of the song about miracles from “Prince of Egypt.” I haven’t watched that in forever but I just hear “There can be miracles, if you believe…” blasting in my head. Every time. Elder Ballard comments and teachings were poignant! Like a spiritual suplex with a chair, he smacked it down, throwing everyone to there proverbial backs and waiting for them to tap out after the count of three. Okay maybe not like that but I went away very much uplifted. MIRACLES HAVE NOT CEASED!
Wednesday night we stayed with my favourite, named after a country, senior couple; the Germanys! We stayed at the pentagon with them, Plymouth ZL’s, Poole ZL’s, and to our surprise, the AP’s as well. The Germanys and I had a gay o’l time talking about good o’l weymouth. It was like I was back in the good old days. People are doing well so I’m super happy.
Thursday was the Poole zone Confrence and we took many pictures and had a good time. We had a wonderful lunch and got to bless lives. We headed back around three in the afternoon to get over to our exchange with the Crawley ZL’s. It was a good exchange where I could learn again and again what it means to be a solid and happy missionary. Talk to everyone, be yourself and try and connect with people. There’s also talking about Jesus Christ and the Book of Mormon, those are of paramount importance.
In he exchange I had a shower and on getting out there was this cross type shape made of sticky notes on the floor. After a second more of inspection I recognised it as a poorly shaped maple lead and that there were more of these down the hall. At the end of the hall were the other three missionaries singing happy birthday and holding cake. It was like nothing I had ever experience before, it was awesome. God bless nice people… And not so nice people as well, hey need blessing to.
Saturday was a baptism as well. Great job sisters! They found another absolutely golden person who is simply spectacular! She would read the Book of Mormon every day for an hour and acted like a member right from the beginning. She is such an awesome person and Holland is lucky to have her. She moved over there to be with her fiancée today. She will be missed.
Also this week was a temporary car trade (diesel’s suck), Many DA’s, more time than expected with President Gubler, no moves doctrine whatsoever (moves is next week), great scripture study, and some very good sleeps. There’s also my new monitor that “officially” I am curating for president (with church policy I can’t have my own), there’s the new Christmas initiative to be hyped about and 100 other things. I can’t write them all.
Mosiah 26:14-20 is this Alma’s calling and election? Possibly.
With all the love in the world, Elder Palmer 
*casually walks into cathedral*
Winchester Cathedral from the outside.  It could almost fit a temple inside.
This is a better way to look at the weather we had on Monday.  Flipping Crazy!!
A nice day
Another nice day thanks to my comp and zone leaders.  Love them!
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Things go terribly wrong then I get them figured out

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September 27, 2017
This is going to be a shorter email as I have only 4 days to talk about. Well, maybe I’ll be able to stretch it out. Starting it off Elder Dey found a great talk that he loves to share and I thought some of the quotes would be good enough to share with you.
“Errant or random do-goodism has so often been sincere but has ended up being ineffective or is reminiscent of ‘straightening deck chairs on the Titanic.'”
“Modern science, with its marvel and wonders, has passed technology into the hands of men who now find it difficult to tame that technology because they cannot tame themselves. Absent the absolute values of the gospel of Jesus Christ, and technology becomes a toy or a weapon. It is inevitable that some of those who are insensitive to eternal values will finally tire of their play with the toy of technology and turn it to more invidious purposes.”
It’s from the talk “Eternalism vs. Secularism” by Neil A Maxwell given in the October 1974 Ensign. It’s killer. Maxwell is quite the wordsmith. Reading his words makes me want to really learn how to write, you can say so much more with proficient writing. For those with an insatiable appetite for poignant literature on the vicissitudes of life displayed in an austere and remarkable manner I would recommend taking a look at this. You can also say a lot less with more words, there is a difference between using words to expand understanding and using them to expand ones ego.
Sunday was a pleasant one. We got to go into gospel doctrine and learn all about the construction of the Salt lake Temple. Although it took 40 years to complete it was well worth it. The details found on the exterior and interior are unrivalled by any other temple. There’s the Big Dipper signifying how with the priesthood man can find his way. There’s the all seeing eye which represents how God sees all. There’s a lot of things. I also came across an old church publication called house of the Lord with pictures of the interior circa 1912 and it is as different on the inside as it is on the outside.
In my studies I’ve been going through the Book of Mormon looking for references to Christ, doctrine, Christ’s attributes and the times he speaks. As I’ve read it hasn’t been all the references that surprised me so much but what has surprised me is how much he speaks! Especially with Isaiah Christ has a lot to say. It’s so fun to see that he speaks in the Book of Mormon, and not just in 3rd Nephi!
Monday we had a nice DA and laid some bricks and if I do say so myself we did a half decent job. They were flat which last time we did something like this we were not so successful. Some of the members here are so very good to us. We don’t deserve it but they’re incredibly charitable anyways.
Tuesday we got someone on date, again! So we have our friend Chris who we’ve been working with since I’ve been here. Long story short we don’t want to give up on him because he’s the kind of person that responds to dogged persistence and because we have no one else to teach. Sad reality for us but now he’s on date again so hoping beyond hope we’ll get him ready for baptism on the 25th of November. He needs it as much as anyone.
In other less amazing news the trunk, sorry the boot, on our car is stuck, Some of the files I use on the computer broke so I spent hours fixing them on Tuesday and it is now dark when I wake up. I hate that last one especially.
Because of the short week that’ll be everything.

Love, Elder Palmer 

October 4, 2017
I’m happy. Things weren’t always that way, however. It was an interesting week. Rather than go into details of all the drama like I normally would let’s go into what I’ve learned from it all. Some things right off the bat are to be very careful on changing computer settings even if 93% of your ram is being eaten up and you have no idea why. Also, read that book of Mormon! My favorite promise was from Elder Neilson. He said that if we read the Book of Mormon every day we will make better decisions, every day. I really believe in this promise.

Start of the week (Thursday and Friday) was pretty uneventful. I can’t really remember what happened. I can’t remember what’s happened really for all this week. Conference was the highlight that’s for sure. What a spiritual feast it is. Some other highlights for me include the Three Sisters, the story of the elder who couldn’t read and this quote be Elder Utchdorf:

“I believe that every man, woman, and child has felt the call of heaven at some point in his or her life. Deep within us is a longing to somehow reach past the veil and embrace Heavenly Parents we once knew and cherished.

Some might suppress this yearning and deaden their souls to its call. But those who do not quench this light within themselves can embark on an incredible journey—a wondrous migration toward heavenly climes.”

There was also the great story about integrity in the priesthood session, Elder Oaks faithful and fiery talk on the family as well as Sister Oscarson’s charge to serve close and to do it often.

What a blessed time!

It’s been a simple week really. I can’t think of any certain experience that I’d like to share. We had a good chat with a Jehovah’s Witness, it’s been getting colder and I got some shoes resoled. For the shoes, I am determined to have them last my whole mission. They have more sedimental value than anything but they are comfortable and lovely!

Sinc it is a rather short email I’ll add a couple of fun files that I made this week for the mission. We over here do it Ritzy.

Love, Elder Palmer

Shortest email ever and 10 days later…

 

beachypalmerbeachypanoramaWhite cliffs

September 13, 2017

I know I’ve been out for a long time because Apple is releasing a new iPhone. They’re on X and last time I was around it was 6. What is this world coming to? Fun week was had. Yeah I’m not what sure to write. It’s been crazy at points. It’s a lot of the same. Had good interviews. Went on an exchange with our Zone leaders. Last week was completely full of meetings and it’s getting colder.

Story of my week. Have a great one. To supplement the lack of words have a video.

Love, Elder Palmer 
September 23, 2017
As always, it’s a mad, mad world. After a much needed nap I am ready to write. So due to moves and the fact that MLC was moved to thursday directly after moves with DLC the day after that we moved our preparation day back to Saturday. It wasn’t ideal but I’m glad we did it. As I too often do I forgot my journal so this is going off memory. Last week really came down to waiting to receive moves from our mission president. This is the beginning to our busy moves period. This time we got it late. We first received moves at about 3 p.m. onsaturday which is a day later than normal. To no one’s surprise we have a lot of people training. Leadership is quite similar but everyone else seems to be opening new areas, whitewashing or at least simply moving. There were only two districts in the entire mission who didn’t have any changes. my district was one of them. Elder dey and I will be spending some more time together. Elder Dey quickly visualised moves and then we cleared up some questions with president. He still had yet to call all 26 trainers and new leaders so we couldn’t get started on travel plans and this is where things get sticky. we need them out monday morning and we didn’t have the go ahead to start until 9 p.m. Saturday evening. We worked until about 10:10 that night then travelled home for bed. We had gotten through about a fifth of it done by then.
Then next day we didn’t want to go spending money on the sabbath but ended up coming in to at least coordinate it all. Four hours later and we had a working model of how everything was going down. We had flights planned for Guernsey and Jersey, trains arranged forMonday, Tuesday and Wednesday and housing set up for people who had to stay the night somewhere. There were a lot of moving part and in all we were moving just shy of 100 people. Sunday we were able to have a nice dinner with a family as well and felt ready for the upcoming week.
Monday we came in to the office bright and early for 7 a.m. We purchased all the tickets and made adjustments to everything. The first people were moving at 1 p.m. that afternoon. After everything was purchased we managed to leave the office for a bit to go home, play some tennis, shower and prepare for the day. Then we got to the office again. We spend a ton of time in the office. Our phone rollout we had recently had gone smoothly enough but we had begun to encounter real issues with them. The management software the church uses for all of the devices and the way we had set them up made it impossible for people to log out and allow others to login. This creates an issue as the phones stay in the area and so the caretaker of the device changes. Thus the user info needs to change. We made over a dozen calls to Salt Lake trying to resolve the problem and it still hasn’t been properly fixed.
Later on Monday we were to have a call with Salt Lake with our president regarding the new Area Book app which is, suffice to say, imperfect. That sadly didn’t go through. We really want the app to change or at least change back. That was another thing on our plate and got us another dozen calls with questions and concerns that we rarely could fix. we got a couple of calls that literally was simply “This app is rubbish, why do we have it?” and all we could say was to hang on and that we’ll make it known to HQ. There was a lot of hubbub about it and so we missed a trip to the airport which I always find fun.
Tuesday we moved people. We moved a lot of people. The VC sisters went and picked up two new VC sisters at the airport at 9:40. We picked up 26 trainers and moving missionaries at the train station at 10:40, and kidnapped someone’s bags by accident for a bit. At the temple were all my previous companions except for Elder Wilson who is now home. Everything went smoothly surprisingly. We had no issues other than two or three people being a bit late. For lunch some members dropped off some food for us and we shared it with some other missionaries. It was great japanese curry.
Wednesday was a highlight of the week. All of the new missionaries and trainers went to East Grinstead chapel for all of the training. Part of it was for them all to pair off and go finding. We had 26 sets of missionaries finding in our area for an hour and a half each. We had a breakfast DA in the morning with a bishopric member and were eating at a restaurant on the highstreet. As we ate we expected to see some missionaries walking around and the first we see is Elder Mee, the old office elder. The member knew him and then grabbed his new phone number off of us and called him. It was hilarious as he messed with Elder Mee a bit talking about how he should turn around and that the person who walk passed him was watching him. Elder Mee was looking around trying to figure out who was calling and from where when he finally spotted us through the window and came over. He came in and the member pulled a table together with ours and had them sit down. We talked and the member ordered Elder Mee and his trainee for the day hot chocolate and a sandwich. He was supposed to be finding but instead we just chatted. DA’s are another form of finding after all.
From all that finding we got about 8 or 9 referrals. We’re still trying to contact them all. We met with one guy named Rich that day actually who is a scientologist. He’s really insightful and understanding. He came up with an analogy of the need for the restoration as pulling a rabbit out of a rabbit hole bring it back to what’s right. It was really great. Great guy.
Thursday we had MLC and it was a good spiritual one. I was pretty exhausted by this point with all the late nights and short mornings. We had yet to have a proper 6:30 to 10 a.m morning that week. I almost dozed off a couple of times. We got Costco pizza and I was very happy with that. The last one was two weeks ago so it was a lot less catch up and more of looking forwards which was nice.
Friday we had our DLC in Crawley. In the stake we have four canadian missionaries which is well good. WE had two new canadians come in the mission and both came here. Now it’s me, my zone leader and those two. Ones from Saskatchewan (I somehow spelt that right on the first try!) and the other is from Raymond. He know the Websters! His name is Elder Tollstrup. After our DLC we went home and got changed to do some service for our new friend Rich. We painted a fence and had gospel talk which was great. Then we got to go on a tour of Saint Hill Manor.
For those who don’t know Saint Hill Manor the second biggest establishment of Scientology in the world. It was well nice and kept to the visual standards of a temple. There uniforms are pretty posh as well but to my understanding it costs a lot more for the individuals as they pay to be there. They do courses regarding the principles and practices of scientology. The only reason they call it a church is because it deals with the spirit but there is no basic belief but rather I guess you could say a “method” to understanding the spiritual part of ourselves. One interesting thing was the purification program which is where you take some vitamins such as B3, run to get them through your body and the sweat them out in sauna. With the vitamins is said to go impurities such as drugs, alcohol and other psychoactive substances. Apparently it works. We got treated to dinner there and it was good food. After our learning we went and played some ping pong with some members and investigators.
Today we went with some members to Seven Sister which are huge white cliff on the coast near Brighton. it was very pretty and was some of the first blue water I’ve seen in a long time, since weymouth really.
Twas a happy week. Cheers!
Love, Elder Palmer

Through Life, Love and Lessons and Good Gospel Music

Must click for this PDF version of his email on August 30
September 6, 2017
So… this week has been crazy. But first on to some of the normal things. So this week we have had a falling off with our investigators. It’s pretty sad because they talk about how this is good and that its true but when it comes to action they are fearful. It is leap no doubt but that’s why we say a “leap of faith” We’ve got to find some more friends.

Also it was Elder Dey’s birthday yesterday! Happy quarter century for him! We have had a lot of cake. it’s been fun. He prepared a great district meeting thursday last week where in part of it we did finding with little slips of paper with a descriptor like “smoking” or “american T-Shirt”. We were each given some and we went around handing each other one of the slips and the other person would then have to try and use that descriptor in there finding approach. It was fun and definitely interesting with things like “black dress” or “blue sheet of paper.”
This week we have done extensive work with a special and previously secret project. Our mission has been blessed with the opportunity to pilot smartphones as a tool for the work. We along with half a dozen other missions including the Edminton Canada Mission are using Android smartphones. We as office elders were charged with setting up all the phones and learning them before the roll out. We’ve been hiding them for the past 2 weeks trying not to let it out that this was happening. The phones we are using are the Galaxy A5’s and they’re well nice. They have a fingerprint scanner and all sorts of fun bells and whistles. They’re really helpful and a huge step from the bricks we were using before. I can actually understand people over the phone!
We also had to do a ton of set up for them. We unboxed them all and set up protections for them which took a long while. We would pull three out at a time and try and do it simultaneously, trying to make sure that they didn’t lock after we had applied a password. We then later learned that the security that was installed would have to be reset by church headquarters leading us into this nightmare of how we were going to get them to all work properly. We Got the sim cards and cases for them on monday and were working for another long time recording serial numbers and sim numbers, placing them sims in and then applying a “if lost” sticker to the backs and finally getting the case on. it’s a lot of work for 120 phones. Even the feeling of pulling of the protective plastic gets old. Repetition ruins everything, except for most things like skills or testimony.  Lucky for us we had a lot of help along the way with it all.
Rollout was at MLC and that morning we learned that in order for the sims to be active we needed the IMEI numbers for each phone so we then recorded those numbers during the meeting. I read out 352602/09/… so many times. 352602/09/ something, something, something, something, something, something / something. At least they had that amount of uniformity. It got done and that’s what matters as well as it being done right, for the most part. It was fun presenting the phones and getting all the ZL’s and STL’s to figure out how to transfer their contacts and do a couple other start up things. Luckily for us we didn’t have to apply screen protectors and we are so thankful we didn’t have to do that. We got everyone to do it at MLC and even then it took forever and many looked terrible. I ordered a new protector for mine.
In other news we had an office meeting at our president’s house so we pretty much hung out and talked with seniors all day. Lot’s of good things happening in the mission. We spend a lot of times with seniors and I have no problem with that, they are absolutely lovely people. They like peaches get a bit wrinkly but so much sweeter. Lso this week we fixed some sister’s washing machine, or more accurately simply turned the water on for it. We got stuck in a lot of traffic and had some good dinners. We tried to spend some time finding and had a late night or two trying to get things done. I’m pretty tired.
I haven’t taken many pictures because although my life’s an adventure its spent frequently in the confines of brick walls. Brick walls and fluorescent lighting don’t make for pretty pictures. Luckily on the samsung’s there’s a skin smoothing option so I’ll look hot anyways. Should I use the large eye feature as well? hmmmm. Got some nice floral ties as well for 3£ on ebay which is a proper steal and they’re decent quality so that’s well nice. Listened to alot of Holland as well this week which is awesome but after a while I started to pray like he talks. Lots of gusto and passion. I mimic people that way. One of the sisters in the VC is french and whenever I talk with her I almost can’t help using my very, very limited french vocabulary and a faux french accent. the work “Faux” is so much fun. I’m on such a tangent. This is also me lately, I have the focus of an overexcited dog, constantly scattered and awkwardly placed. I don’t mean to stare alright. It’s not in any way what you think it is!
 
To end it off I’ll leave you this quote from elder Holland. “If you want to make Heavenly Father laugh, tell Him your plans.”
Much love, Thanks for being such great people!

Love, Elder Palmer
p.s.
Working in an office part time we find a good amount of time to jam out. Here are my favorite renditions of various hymns.
Come ye Disconsolate, Adam Wheatley
The Lower Lights and Page CXVI have a bunch of other awesome songs that are worth a listen to as well. Enjoy. 🙂
Love, Elder Palmer

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. 😦

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