Tuesday, December 28, 2010

How cool is that?

Hey real quick note. You email was awesome!

So I remembered that my emails get sent to the blog so I decided to give everyone an update on my Christmas... It was freakin awesome!! We stayed with the Pratt family who are an American family working for the military. I had a great time being a kid again opening the packages that I got from home. I think the best present I got was a highlighter actually used by Zack [my cousin Zack Manis, is serving a mission in Brazil]! I could not believe my luck. Between the package from work and the package from home I think I have like 12 lost and found golf balls! I laughed so hard when I tipped over my stocking and a bunch went bouncing across the floor. We had a great time all day watching movies and making ginger bread (graham cracker) houses and eating a wonderful Christmas dinner. Best part was talking to my family on Skype as seeing that they all were doing so well. I love the mission and know it is right where I need to be!

It was so good to get to talk to you all. It really helped me get energized for the work and help lessen the homesickness. I'm so glad that all of you are doing so well and looking so good! It was so good for me to get to bear my testimony. I really felt the spirit testify that what I was saying was true. I really have needed that for a while. Mom, the BYU bookstore package has arrived and I will be getting it from my district leader latter tonight I haven’t heard about any of the other packages though. I should be going into London on the eighth so I will have to check then. So I need a huge favor for you guys... I need to know the collar size for Brigg and Sheldon. The January sales are coming right quick so I need to get them there new Sunday shirts:) Brigg I will be sending home some notes but I’m going to look for the best ones copy them and then send them home. Oh, yea mom Brother Pratt's dad will be coming to Bedford in February. He lives in Buckeye and he (Bro. Pratt’s dad) said that if you would like to send anything to me to let him know and he will take it. So if you want to take him up on that offer just let me or Brother Pratt know and we will pass the message along and we will be able to figure something out. I will be sending stuff home with him... its brown and sweet if that gives you a hint:). So, I have decided to change our focus and we will be working on visiting every one in the ward, so I’m hoping to find some new people to teach that way! I got a call from Elder Tangulanu last night. Remember that training that I gave like four days into the mission field? The one that I was all nervous for cause it was the whole zone including the A.P’s? Well, at the time he was one of the district leaders and he remembered it this whole time and asked that I give the same training in our next coming district meeting. How cool it that?! I’m really glad that I kept those notes for it! I was reading 3 Nephi 27 today. That is such a good chapter. The Saviour teaches so many pure doctrine points. He even talks about record keeping.

Love,

Elder Solomon

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beautiful Day

Beautiful day of peace and rest, bright be thy dawn from east to west..... Well, that’s how p-day is supposed to be at least.

Sounds like I missed quite a memorable weekend [with Preston’s wedding]. Must have been really nice. I’m so glad everything went so well. Seems like you spared no efforts in making all of Hilary's, her mothers, and mom’s dreams come true with all the fancy decorations and attire. I can just see the whole family dancing and laughing and having a grand ole time. Saturday was a funny day for me. Elder Rallison got up around 11:30. We went in to the town center to do some finding but instead of people we found a nice breakfast shop. Then it started snowing and we went by to visit people that were not home. So we went to a charity shop, bought some boxing gloves and beat the crap out of each other. It continued to snow all day long and by the end we had eight inches of snow which is a lot for England. Went to a Christmas party in the evening and on the way there, made snow angels and had a wrestling match in the snow where we lost one of the set of keys for our flat. The Christmas party was poorly attended because all the roads shut down, but we still had a great time. Then Sunday we missed sacrament because we were late leaving the flat... awesome. [do you sense the sarcasm?].

So let me tell you about my amazing p-day that I just had which I had been looking forward to for a month. President Patch had three different zones come into Hyde Park for a zone meeting so that we could spend the rest of our p-day enjoying London. I planned and looked forward to going to the museums and doing some Christmas shopping for some people here. So in the morning the trains were a mess and we were an hour late to the meeting. They had to scrape the ice off of the trains coming from the north so that they could work properly. The ride was freezing and by the time we got into London my feet were frozen and the St. Pancras station was in emergency status because of all the cancelled trains. They were no longer selling tickets and were forcing people to leave the station and find somewhere else to stay. So we went to the second half of the meeting and I didn’t pay attention at all. But I did get some of my Christmas packages. One from Julie in Deal, one from Sister Ola in Lea Valley, then one from work and one from mom! And a Christmas card from Nana with pictures totally made my day. I decided not to open any of the packages until Christmas so I would have something to open. Then afterwards as I was getting ready to go sight seeing one of the A.P.’s needed someone who could drive and I volunteered. We went to Heathrow airport to pick up another car. We had two missionaries that were trying to get home from our mission and several others who were trying to get home from Africa and Italy and one Sister going to Spain that were stranded there, so we spent the day walking around the crowded airport looking for these missionaries without phones. Two rescheduled flights for tomorrow. We got the sister to Spain checked in to a plane. And couldn’t find the other missionaries anywhere. We assumed they were able to jump on a flight. The whole time I had people stopping me asking me if I could direct them or answer a question for them. I felt so bad the whole airport looked like a refugee camp. All these people trying to get somewhere for the holidays and were stranded because the British government does not plan for weather. So we spent 4:30 hours there getting it sorted then I had to drive back to London. I left at noon got back after six. My companion was gone and I had no where to go so I sat there till seven when they came back and then we left to go home. Best p-day of my life. I love chances to serve. And I got to spend time with the A.P. and get some juicy mission gossip. I ALMOST got him to slip and tell me where I was going next transfer.

Anyhow, life is going really good and I’m learning some good lessons in humility.... That’s always the FUNNEST lesson to learn.

Congrats to Kallen Craeger for his mission call! I’m excited for you buddy. My studies have been going well. I’m reading life of Christ so clear and easy to understand why He did and said what He did. But one of the best ways I have found to have a good study is to write down what I know and am learning. I might just be really weird but my thoughts are always clearest when I put them on paper. I’m learning that with journal writing it is not what you did in the day that is always most important. Travel logs are boring testimonies of the tender mercies are much better.

My mind cant help but be turned to the sober memories of five years ago today [when London died]. My heart is still torn apart. It’s hard to be away from home at this time of the year. I love the plan of salvation. God be thanked for the birth of Christ and His resurrection which conquered death. I love the Restoration and that with the priesthood we can be together forever.

I have a family here on earth, they are so good to me. I want to share my life with them through all eternity. Families can be together forever though Heavenly Father’s plan. I always want to be with my own family. And the Lord has shown me how I can. The Lord has shown me how I can.

I love and miss you all dearly,

Elder Solomon

Monday, December 13, 2010

Getting settled in

So I'm starting to get settled in quite well here. I like it. The ward is really good the only problem is that we have NO one to teach. It makes it really hard when you don’t have anyone to teach cause then you basically just wander around town center trying to talk to people or tracting at night. We are working really hard but are not seeing any results from it. It is quite difficult for my companion. We had a really good spiritual heart to heart last night. I'm beginning to understand the issues and concerns behind everything. Its funny that the most effective teaching that is happening is within our own flat. For both of us. We have this little missionary board game that is extremely cheesy but it was fun to play. It was amazingly prophetic though. At the beginning of the game we could not get any Investigators occasionally we would get one but then they would be Lost. We had all the resources to baptize but no one to baptize. Three times elder Rallison got stuck in the depression corner. We laughed about it a little bit then things started picking up. Soon we had baptisms and more and more people to teach. Then I got an unexpected trial and received a 'Dear John' I lost my investigator and next time around the board I got stuck in the depression corner. We were laughing so hard but at the same time it helped us realize that success comes after much trials. I'm sure most of us know that the best things cost a little more than the fleeting, easily breakable things. So if the Lord said 'how great will be your joy' with those that you help save in the kingdom of Heaven. That great joy I'm sure is bought with a price. Its not easy but it is worth it. I find the easiest way to get though anything is by looking at the bigger picture. See the end ya know?

Elder Rallison has been really good this week though. Still not getting up on time but he has been much more motivated to work. I think it was because I sat him in a room and while I was cooking lunch I had him listen to some amazing talks two of which we George Durant’s BYU address Number One Christian (amazing! Sheldon you need to listen to it he talks about being the youngest boy and I thought of you the whole time) and President Hinckley’s Loneliness of Leadership BYU address. It was really good to see him get more and more excited about doing the right thing.

We are moving flats today so we will get out of the noisy drug dealing neighborhood we are in now to a more Polish area. Ok dad you always said that when the women started looking good it was time to go home right? I have to ask were their many immigrants then? I have found that Latvian, Lithuanian and Polish women are for the most part stunning. it tends to be distracting esspecially when they are the only people that your companion will talk to on the high street.

Ok, so remember when I was first in Deal and I commented that English people are the most miserable people on the earth? Well I lied. I have begun to learn something that has really helped me to love them. English people just have a really hard shell. They all seem to be standofish but as soon as they open up to you, you will find the most cheerful nice person as your new friend. This makes it really hard to meet new people and turn them into investigators, but as soon as you get a good English investigator they are awesome.

I still can’t believe that my family is passing such a huge milestone and I'm not even there for it. I was talking to Elder Rallison the other day and I realized that I'm getting and new sister. Oh my days! It was so weird I'm so happy to hear that everything is going well and that every one is so excited. I know I am. Looks like I'm going to be the only member of the family that is not there :( that’s ok ill pray for it all to work out smoothly.

I'm having a bit of a hard time. Elder Rallison loves to talk about home now that he has someone who understands what it is like to be a redneck. I'm not homesick but I miss it all. Not that I want to leave or anything but I'm getting a bit trunky like I can’t wait to get back. I think that the lesson that the Lord needs me to learn at this moment is to concentrate on that work. Even if you are the only one in the area that is.

You all will be proud of me!!! I have begun working out again in the morning and am dropping weight. I don’t know how much I weight but it is under 13 stones 13x14lbs=............. it’s going to be hard to pick up college again..... Any why it’s nice; it wakes me up in the morning and it is much easier to step into a freezing cold shower in the morning if you are sweating. Also I have found that I am as flexible as a slab of concrete. I can’t even touch my ankles anymore. And I'm kicking myself for not doing yoga with mom all those time that I choose to laugh at her instead.

There is a phrase in the Doctrine and Covenants where the Lord tells the Saints to let the 'solemnities of the eternities' rest on their minds. I have been doing a study on this phrase lately with some pretty good results. I have found that I need to learn how to meditate and control the thoughts in my mind so that they go in the direction that I want them to. Mom do you have any suggestions on how I can learn to control and direct my thoughts?

Well, I love you all and cant wait to call/see you on Christmas!!!!!

Love Elder Solomon

P.S. Brigg and Sheldon I am very proud of you with your recent wrestling

accomplishments. Brigg I'm happy that you are at least wrestling but

SERIOUSLY I want to hear it from you dangit!!!

P.S.S. if you want to hear President Hinckley curse look up his BYU

address 'the Loneliness of Leadership' it is an amazing talk and has

become one of my most favorite.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Kinda Scary

in the Zone

OK, so I really have been writing for a half hour but pressed the wrong button and erased it all. So I will summarize what I was going to say. I'm not happy about your Christmas plans (going snowmobiling in Utah) because I wanted to skype but, oh well. The latest I will be able to call will be 1330 for you. That’s 2030 for me. Just tell me when before then would be alright and I will do it. If you could get a hold of a computer/laptop with skype that would be even better.

159 Henley Road is our current flat but, due to bad neighbors and no hot water, we will be moving to 12 Conduit Road with its jet tube bath. That is in Bedford, Bedfordshire.

It is great being with Elder Rallison. He is proper redneck and we get along very well. We have so much in common it is scary. The only difference is he is in 'survival mode' and has no motivation. Its ok though cause I get an extra three hours in the morning to do my personal study while I wait for him to wake up. Pray for him and me. And us. Please.

Funny stories from yesterday. While tracting we had and angry lady send her very large husband on us. Kinda scary. We also went to Mount Zion Pentecostal Church were we bore testimony and I read to them from The Book of Mormon. Then the preacher delivered and hour and a half Sermon from Galatians 1 and boldly taught false doctrine condemning himself; he taught that every one that taught a gospel that was not a Gospel that Paul taught would be accused. All of his comments were directed indirectly at us. We laughed and cried because of the true lovers of Christ who he was blindly leading astray. We were nice and cordial to him after the service. And wished him a happy journey to Jamaica that he is due to depart on... tithing in good use.

This place has been nicknamed Deadford. I don’t believe it. President Patch pulled me aside on moves day after I gave him a very nasty look for moving me. He said he was sorry. Then explained the challenges that I will have to face this transfer with the area and with my companion but then also explained that he was confident that I could handle it and even make the situation better. I need a miracle. Faith precedes the miracle so lets see what happens after all I can do. I'm looking forward to see some cool things happen.

I love you all and keep you in my prayers always,

Elder Solomon

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

No harvest, First snow, Things you already knew

Castle on the hill.
The Hunt Family (Ward Mission Leader)
Sister Gipson (Hawaii), Edler Volpe (Italy) and me!
My companion Elder Engelbrektsson, the Swede.
Snow!

Ok, first I have a few additions to the Christmas list:

1 leather bound journal. (Mine is almost full; I have all ready written over 200 pages!)

2-powder Ranch mix

There was more I just know it!!

I will be sending a package home of stuff with a few Christmas presents. Since no one told me what he or she want you can’t complain about what you will be getting. Ill just try to include anything that is extremely English.

Ok, so serving with Elder Engelbrektsson is a bit like serving with Sheldon's buddy - You Know Who. I often used the line 'your perception of the obvious is incredible'. We had some good laughs but I got pretty annoyed whenever he would correct me on everything that I ever said. Even when I was right and mostly when it didn’t even matter. We were tracting yesterday and got a call from President Patch. I answered and he said, 'let me talk to your companion so that I can tell him that you are getting transferred'. I said, 'you just broke my heart'. He laughed and said, 'well someone had to'. Elder Engelbrektsson will be training and I will be transferred to Bedford in the North Hampton stake. So at least I will be going into the midlands for winter. I’ll be serving with Elder Rolleson? Supposedly a proper redneck from Idaho. So, I’ll be on my fifth companion. Still haven’t had one for more then six weeks.

This week was crazy. On Monday, Julie was visiting the Canterbury Cathedral and went for a trip down the stairs and broke her arm. The Archbishop of Canterbury (second in charge of the Church of England (next to the queen), sat her down and offered her a cup of tea. She refused and said that she only drinks drinking chocolate!! But because of it her baptism will have to be moved back. She is amazing though, and is already a great missionary. We teach one of he daughter’s friends and will start teaching this man named Peter who has kinda adopted her as his daughter.

Amber we haven’t seen for a while. So nothing to report there.

Chris Anstice, the oldest of the Peruvian family, made my week on Thursday. We went out to lunch with him and had a good chat. We talked about everything under the sun and he really opened up to us and told us all kinds of stuff that he hasn’t really told anyone else. We talked about missions and how to prepare for the future. He decided that he wants to go on a mission and agreed to be baptized in January!!!!!! I'm so happy! Then he has been amazing at all the other lessons we had this week. Finally after nearly three months of visiting them we are getting somewhere! Just in time for me to Freakin leave. I hate my luck.

Jim the guy who met President Hinckley is also being prepared to be baptized but it won’t be for a while. We also had a really good lesson with him. I'm so upset that all these people I have found and taught will be baptized AFTER I leave. What the heck man?

Anyhow. My biggest trial in this area was building the relationship with the ward back up. My first comp in this area kinda ruined it and destroyed any trust they had in us. I feel I was a bit of a success in that area. This past week we had 8 meal appointments with members and did 2 different service projects. I honestly feel that I have dug around the tree, pruned it, and watered it and now when it is time to harvest I get moved. That greenie Elder Engelbrektsson will be training is freakin lucky.

It was so good to get updated on the happenings at home. It was so funny that you got snowed in! I miss the cabin I just dreamed about it last night! How weird. But four days ago we had our first snow and I have never been so excited in my life! It was one of the best days so far everyone was happy and carefree and we set up a lot of appointments (all of which hosed us). But funny enough here in England the whole country SHUTS DOWN when it snows. During church it was snowing and the bishopric decided to cut church short. So after the first two hours we ended church so everyone could get home safely. Well, as soon as church was out there was about three inches of snow and we all had a huge snowball fight! It was so fun! I love my mission.

I finally got Preston's wedding invitation... its still really weird for me. But I'm happy for them.

Thanksgiving was amazing. We ate at a member’s home and we were on a work over to get me away from my companion for a day. So Elder Ashby from Utah came with me to the dinner and we enjoyed two hours of American jokes. It was hilarious. I have learned just to laugh about friendly fire, over spending, airhead girls, pompous politicians, huge food portions, and a lack of socialized heath care.

Life is really good. I'm excited to start out in a new area and finally have another American companion. Honestly serving with Europeans has been bad for my speech. I often times find myself speaking in broken English just because it is what I am use to hearing... kinda embarrassing.

One of the greatest things about serving a mission is learning things that you already knew. It’s like gaining the testimony that you had in primary. It’s amazing what happens when you begin to walk by faith and trust in the Lord. I'm really trying to learn humility but it doesn’t matter in what way you do it humility is one of the most difficult lessons to learn. I hope that this email finds you all well.

Much love,

ELDER SOLOMON

P.s. tell Zach not to get shot!

Here are as few pictures of the snow and me

Elder Engelbrektsson

Me Elder Volpe (Italy) and Sister Gipson (Hawai'i)

Me and the Hunt family (ward mission leader)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh My Days!

Oh my days!! It is so good to hear from you all! I'm getting a bit confused. They say you are most homesick for the first three months, then you get over it. That wasn’t the case with me, but now with Christmas season rolling around and all that comes with it in our family, it is starting to get a bit harder. It is so weird. I keep having dreams where I’m home for a week or to for the holidays then I have to go back on to England. Preston seriously I know you couldn’t really wait any longer but did you really have to add another significant day to December? It will be safe to say that December will be the most loaded month for our family forever. K question. Are you going to be home on Christmas? If I'm still here in Deal I will try to SKYPE home. Will that work for you.

Ok, so Julie is doing great! We are teaching her, her three children and one of their friends. However she is getting more comfortable with us which means she is talking more and we get to teach less. No disrespect to her at all but she is the biggest airhead I've ever known! It is hilarious she is always roeing with her 13 year old daughter to prove who is more intelligent. The lessons are progressing very slowly. One principle per lesson, it will be 42 lessons.... forever... before we get through them all. It will be a miracle if she can pass her baptism interview. I think I need to buy a white board and start drawing pictures.

Weird experience this week. We are teaching this lady named Amber who is a bit off her rocker. Mostly because she carries baggage of an abusive child hood. We came by this week and wanted to begin a lesson with a prayer as we always do and she didn’t let us. Then she told us that she was a psychic and that it is enhanced every time we or she prays. Then she started telling us some really weird stuff. Like for instance, she says she can 'pick up' on spirits. She claims that every time we come around there is the presence of a little girl with us (I hadn’t ever told her about London). She can sense people’s emotions concerning their past and also have premonitions of the future. Now, I would have thought she was full of a load of crap until she started talking about my past. Kinda creepy but I used it to my advantage. I told her when I gained a testimony and started living the gospel by my own choice and not because I was forced. Then I asked her to tell me when I was happier and she said after I made this conscious choice to change. I said 'that’s right', then ended up tell her that she needed to live the gospel to be happy. It turned out really well. The spirit guided everything I said. Elder Engelbrektsson so completely lost and had no idea what to say the whole time, so I was all on my own. We gave President Patch a call afterwards to see what he had to say about it. It was awesome he basically said, “boldly teach her about the priesthood and invite her to be baptized”. I'm excited for our next lesson.

Ok, I am learning patience but it has almost run out. I was always taught if you have nothing nice to say don’t say anything at all. My tongue is getting quite sore and covered with teeth marks. Transfers are next week and I’m crossing my fingers. Pray for me.

Ok, so Christmas list as much as I can think of right now:

Thermal bottoms.

Ranch dressing.

Raspberry chipotle sauce

Reese’s peanut butter cups

EFY CDs

It would be amazing if you could put all our Mo Tab music one to one of the scan disk that I send home then send it back. I had problems with the ipod and will be sending it back, but I bought a picture frame that plays music off of the scan disk from Elder Gallagher which works like a pro, plus I can show pictures on it. Novel idea right?

.... Brain freeze...

I was talking to Brother Fultz right after I got my mission call and I remember him telling me how all that Brock asked for was money for Christmas and I laughed but now I see the wisdom behind it. (P.S. Brock goes home tomorrow!)

You need to let me know if there is anything that anyone wants from here so I can send it. I'm already getting a box together but I still need to fill it up.

I'm so glad that everything is doing well at home. I didn’t even know that you were going to do a London’s Swim but good job! Now I have something else to brag about!! Seriously it might be a sin but bragging about my family is one of my favorite things to do!

Dad. I was just thinking about when we went to California together for a couple of days. That was so much fun. I really wish that I had spent less time trying to impress people and more time with my best friend. I probably would have learned a whole lot more.

Send my love to everyone who prays for me:)

Elder Solomon

Monday, November 15, 2010

Unlike Anything

Typical gray day.
We tracted this house out of envy!
My new coat - warm!

Ok, so life is great. I can’t say much more then that! Julie and her family are going to be baptized in December! It was so cool when she described her experience at church! She said that it was unlike anything she has every experienced. She felt a certain peace she had never known in her life. She talked about all the other churches she had gone to and how she would be happy there but would always come away feeling like something was missing. She said that she felt fulfilled when she came to our church! Unfortunately she went to the stake adult dance Saturday night and forgot to set the alarm so she wasn’t ready to go to church yesterday:( I finally got myself a winter coat, which is huge, and warm I love it! I look so funny with my flat cap scarf and huge coat!

We had zone conference this week and it was amazing! One of the Greenies right now is a sister from PAKISTAN can you believe it? And there is another one coming in a few months! President Patch is amazing. He is so funny he use to be a secretary to the Presiding Bishopric and he loves numbers. He told us all about the averages and percentages of missionary work. The LDS population of the British isle are .25% id say we are few in number... but the coolest thing that I learned is that the gathering of Israel isn’t just the Jews going to Jerusalem but the converting of the elect of God. He told us something Russell M Ballard said. 'The day will come when people will flock to the church as a last beacon of hope. It will happen in your lifetime and it will happen in mine' Big things are about to happen and I'm so excited to be apart of it.

Got the package thank you so much! Christmas list is on the way. Out of time.

Love you all forever,

Elder Solomon!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

600 something days to go

Family,

I think its a bit unfortunate that my p days are all on a Monday because Monday follows Sunday and Sundays are the most stressful frustrating day of the week. So, I'm still trying to wind down from this week. Our Ward Mission leader in priesthood announced the goals that we came up with for the month that we want to focus on. Bishop didn’t like that and pulled us aside and rebuked us for not involving the Ward Council in our goal setting. I was really confused because that had never been the case and amidst all the confusion and lack of communication somehow the entire fault fell on our laps. Kinda frustrating. On a brighter note we did have four investigators at church. Elisa, a retired dancer, has a year long commitment at 'her church' so she wont be baptized for a bit but comes to church whenever occasion permits so she was able to be there this week. Then we finally got Julie two of her daughters and one of her daughter’s friends to make it to church. They had to get a ride with our ward mission leader (Brother Hunt) in his 17-passenger van. The three-year-old daughter isn’t good in cars. Some time on the 20 minute ride to church, the 3 year old up chucked all over the 13 year old. So, when they did make it to church they were in a frightful state and the teenager was crying and wanted to go home. Props to mom though she made them all stay. Granted, Brother Hunt I'm sure, would not have taken them home anyhow. Last Sunday we all moved the clocks back an hour for 'daylight savings' and now the sun goes down at FOUR o'clock in the after noon. By six it is as dark and lonely as midnight. People yell at you for knocking at their doors at half past five and none of the investigators want to see you past six. I love it. Especially since my body is conditioned to rise with the sun and set with it. I'm going to have a lot of adjusting to do.

Sheldon-Congrats on 2ND [at State in Diving]! That’s awesome! It was funny- I saw that the winner was from Arcadia and I had this odd feeling rivalry stir in me. (Those pretty boys from Scottsdale always put up a good fight but we always beat them.) Will you be doing club is ASU? I'm so excited for you. I think you should do all you can to get into the 2012 Olympics in London! That would be so cool to be released from my mission and then come back a week later and watch my brother dive. So in all the town centers they have these huge TV screens that show local news and BBC broadcasts. With the news there is always a count down to the Olympics. I have realized that the Olympics start around the same time that I leave. So I have a constant reminder of the limited days I have to serve in England. Its kinda sad to see that I only have six hundred something days to go.

Brigg

I'm so happy that you are going to mission prep! That class became the highlight of my week. Ok, so the First Presidency has given us all eight specific lessons/ training that they want to incorporate into missionary life. These eight lessons will become the primary focus of all the MTC Classes around the time that you will be going out. I'm going to mail you a copy of the outlines of these lessons. Do with them what you would like but I would suggest that you study them. Add scriptures of your own to them and share them with the class. They started teaching us the lessons a couple of weeks after I got into the field and I have found that they have been a great help. I'm so sorry to hear about your knee. Its can be so frustrating when you do all that you can and wait on the Lord only to realize that He has something else in mind for you. I’m so happy and proud that you are taking the proper and positive attitude with these things. Life sucks but all the trials with are worth it if we remain faithful to the Lord. That is the lesson that I am learning. I know that the Lord has GREAT things in store for you. Although I am 6000 miles away with the little contact that I have I can see that you are changing and the Lord is beginning to shape and mold you so that you will fit the job description that He needs you to be. Never underestimate the power of your influence. You are in such a wonderful position that so many people love you and look up to you. Never forget it. You never know maybe a week before you leave on your mission someone that you never thought would will come up to you and ask you how soon they can be baptized. Brigg, I love you. Your email hit me right to the heart and for the first time in a long time I started to tear up. Right here in the Dover public library. I never appreciated the person you are. I’m sorry that it took me so long to be the brother that I should have been the whole time. I hope that above everything else you remember who I was for the last six months before it left. In begging for your forgiveness I want you to know that I forgive you. I hold no feelings but love and admiration for you. I often study and read about Joseph and Hyrum Smith. What an amazing relationship they had. Together they were ordained and set apart as President and Assistant President of the church. Everything they did was in harmony with each other. Even in death they were not separated. I feel that bond often when I think of my brothers and I think that there is no one in the world that it would have been better for me to grow up with then the three brothers I have.

Dad,

Love you to bits. But I never took you as adrenalin junky. I will not preach but I would like to share my testimony. I know that the Lord watches over us. Intently. He has promised us through His servants that all things work together for good for those that serve God. I know this is true. It is too burdensome to take upon us the responsibility of others actions. I have recently learned that it is not considered throwing someone under the bus when they themselves were jay walking. All men will be responsible for their OWN sins and not for Adams transgressions. I don’t know if it is the motto or slogan of the mission but it is a line that I often times heard you quote to me form Joseph Smith. 'We teach them correct principles and they govern themselves' I love it! Thank you for teaching me correct principles and then allowing me to stumble my ways to where I am now. Therefore my dearly beloved brethren let us cheerful do all that lies in our power and then stand still with them utmost assurance and the salvation of the Lord. Ok I didn’t have my scriptures with me but I tried to get that right. Love you dad you are the second greatest dad I have ever had and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Mom,

Press on. Thank you for all the care and kindness you have ever shown me. I have learned to recognize and predict the 'natural consequences' of my actions and have learned simply that obedience is life; disobedience is damnation. I often hear some of your stupid little phrases that I hated as a teenager run through my head. Almost every time I make my bed I pray. I should change that almost every time I pray I make my bed :) cuz now I pray all the time to an 'influence for good' in the life of others.

I'm out of time but thank you for all that has not yet been mentioned.

Much love,

Elder Solomon (yes like that one king in the Bible)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Life is Amazing!


Me and Angel Rickard
My Pumpkin...get it?
Big Ben

November 1, 2010

Family!!
Life is amazing! Angel Rickard got baptized this week, which makes the first person I officially taught as a missionary to be baptized. Of course it didn’t count as a convert baptism but still it was really cool. The Peruvian family is doing really good. The Anstice children are amazing and I have figured out how to work with them. It is the easiest thing. I am just myself! I have just begun to act like the teenager that I still am and we get along now! Of course I refrain from certain things cause I still am a representative of Christ but I have found how to keep their attention and motivate them selves. I was having a chat with Chris the oldest son walking back from the church the other night after an activity there and he explained how the missionaries use to come around but they hated it because they were SO boring. Then the 13 year old told me how she use to stay at school extra long cause she knew that the 'Mormons' would be at her house that night. It is amazing how people can get more excited about the gospel when it is relevant to them! We have started reading with them from the war chapters, which are a bit more excited then, the allegory of the olive tree. Elder Engelbrektsson and I have been able to masterfully weave in spiritual messages amidst all the gore and blood shed of the stories. The other night I almost shouted for joy when I walked in to the house and saw Tiffany (13) with the Book of Mormon open on her lap looking for the answer to the question I had left them with! It is our plan to slowly introduce more the spiritually uplifting chapters once they are a bit more excited about reading the Book of Mormon. I can’t wait to keep working with them.

My heart dropped when I heard about Brigg’s knee. What a shame but I do know that miracles do happen. Look at me the doctors told me that after my junior year of football I would need surgery to fix my ACL then after the season the MRI showed that my knee was perfectly health. You have my prayers little bro. Ok I will think of my Christmas list as soon as you send my yours:) Sheldon good luck at state! Knock them dead in that flashy Speedo of yours! Kallen called me from the mission home of Friday and I got to chat with him for a bit it was soo good I'm so happy that he is getting ready to go on a mission. Thank you for the package but it will probably sit in the office for another two weeks before I can travel in there. I noticed this week that my body has become conditioned to constant work. I almost went crazy when I had to waste an hour waiting for a train. Two years is too short to idle away time. I am going to do better at that.

As always I love you all and hope and pray for the very best for you! Always remember there are greater things to come!

Much love,

Elder Solomon

P.S. So in my spare time I have begun to pursue one of my dreams. I'm writing a story that I will publish and make millions. OK, maybe it won’t be that good but I’ll send it home when I can and let you judge for yourself.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Spirit Is Amazing!

Ok I am so happy right now!!!
I didn’t have time to email in the library today. Just enough time to print off the emails that I had received last week so I was kinda sad, then all of our appointments cancelled for the night so we went over to the Elder Quorum president’s house and are using his computers.
I cannot tell you how happy I am to receive the wonderful news from the families. Dave and Nancy’s emails we particularly good. I loved hearing about their mission experiences. Especially Dave’s although he told them twice it was so good to hear about them I really hope that I will be able to one day come back to England and visit some converts and have similar experiences. The new training that the first Presidency is stressing for missionaries is brilliant. It really helps us understand what the missionaries and the investigators need to feel for conversion to take place. The spirit is an amazing thing I absolutely love how it feels and directs me. Today we went bowling with the zone and at the alley they were playing some worldly music and then I was getting quite competitive with the game and it was amazing how horrible I felt when I lost contact with the spirit. I felt so lost and even had a bit of a panic attack. I truly felt helpless! It was so silly cause I was just bowling and I wasn’t really in a situation that I was relying on the spirit to teach or anything but I felt so alone it was incredible! I have really been focusing on putting off the natural man lately and I was getting frustrated because I would often let myself get distracted by different things but that experience today kind of helped me see the difference between who I am and who I was and how far I have come. I can just see y'all rolling your eyes at my story... I think it is funny myself. But the spirit it so necessary for the teaching of the gospel. I never really paid attention to most of the doctrine and covenants because it was always addressed to random people going out on missions so now it applies so much to me and I cannot get enough.

So Elder Engelbrektsson... my days! Love him. He grew up with five sisters... need I say more? He is a very nice sensitive guy who is soft spoken and enjoys long walks on the beach... Ok, he never told me that but I'm just assuming. He is a really good missionary though. He is even softer then Elder Enenkel. It is so weird cause he is the district leader but acts like the junior companion. Its like pulling teeth to get him to say anything in a teaching appointment. I have so much to learn from him and I cannot wait to see how this transfer goes!

So investigator update the Peruvian family is doing well we always have amazing lessons with them but we just cannot get them to keep any commitments! The mother is good though and has gone to church three times now but we can only get the kids to the Friday night sports night at the church. I guess we are facing the same issue as almost every parent in the church. 'How do I get my teenagers interested in the gospel?'

Mom and dad, thank you so much for your thoughts it is so refreshing to know that my family is so strong. That they do read and pray together AND go to church. That is almost unheard of here. I was so happy to hear about Brigg and Sheldon preparing the sacrament. I was so proud I started tearing up here at Brother Trice’s home. I love my family. I can attribute all of my good qualities to my upbringing. Today at zone meeting I was talking with the zone leaders about how our parents brought us up. I decided that if I were to use the same means as dad to teach lessons I would probably be put in jail. I remember one time as we were walking to the hunted house one Sunday evening I was not listening to dad and he was getting frustrated with me. He put me in the ditch and held me under the water just long enough to get my attention. If I were perfect I would say that from that day on I always listened to my dad but that was not the case. But it did impress the importance on listening to dad. I believe that I was placed in this family to help me be in the most successful situation. Life is a funny thing. It can be the cruelest thing you have to go through but it is the greatest gift we have been given.

It was funny that you mentioned Regan and sister Clifford. I was in someone’s home the other day and their surname was Clifford and they had the names back ground and history written out in old English on the wall and after I had read through it I remembered that I knew someone named Clifford. I'm glad to hear that she is doing well.

Thank you Meagan, Lindy, Kassidee, Taylor, mom, Jamie and Taylor for you post (letters) over the last two weeks. I am working on a reply but I currently have no stamps so don’t expect anything for at least two weeks!

With all the love that I can send over and email,

Elder Solomon

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Simple As That

Family,

Ok, so it is transfer week this week so we have a funky p-day. I've been waiting this whole time to have a p-day on the weekend so that I could take a look at the shops they set up in the market but as usual we don’t have time!!!! Turns out that we will not be able to do our shopping again for the fourth week in a row. It’s driving me crazy especially since we have nothing to treat the mold and different species of fungi growing in the bathroom. Its really cool though, looks like a science experiment...
So I'm now starting my fourth transfer and will be getting another companion! Can you believe it? Elder Enenkel will now be a zone leader for the North Hampton area and I will stay here in the best area in the mission and get Elder Engelbreksson (don’t ask me to say it). He is from Sweden and I haven’t heard much about him except this will be his first transfer as a district leader. I will probably have to drive this next transfer so I ask that EVERY one pray extra hard that I be kept safe. I need it.

Had a bit of a sad day yesterday. We visited Chris and he gave us back every thing we had ever given him and told us he believed that the Mormon’s religion was set up by Americans so that they could have a name in something and stay true to the American way and use various different means to usurp the world in an oppressive dominance. Then he went on a tyrant about the American’s claiming that they had won WWII, when in fact it was the British and all we did was help. I couldn’t help but notice also all the Jehovah’s Witness material lying scattered across the room. I was a bit upset and choose to say nothing but grab my bag and walk out. It was really funny though when Elder Enenkel tried to share with Chris a scripture Chris got huffy puffy and told him not to make it worse. It was like he was breaking up with us. Oh well. That is my venting of the week.

Things are looking up though we have some really promising fresh new investigators that I'm looking forward to teaching. The only difficulty that I'm running into is scheduling our time efficiently so that we will be able to see them all each week. It makes it difficult when it takes an hour to get from one side of the area to another and you have a limited amount of miles per month.

So I read a little story this morning that I just love (Luke 19). It was of the little chief publican named Zacchaeus. He heard that the Lord was coming and because he was of 'little stature' he couldn’t get through the crowd so he climbed in a tree to get the chance to see our Saviour. When Christ came by he looked up and called Zacchaeus down from the tree and set up a dinner appointment with him. Zacchaeus jumped for joy and laughed out loud. This is the best part though. The stubborn blind Jews all murmured about how Zacchaeus was a sinner for collecting the taxes (although he gave half of his money in fast offerings and when he wronged people he paid them back x4) and Christ turned and called him a 'Son of Abraham' . I'm sure that was quite a sting to the proud Jews. I love the Saviour’s example. Some one said that books could not contain all the works of the Lord. If they could I would spend all my time reading and learning about Him.

Two years is such a short time and I'm really trying to cram in all I can. The experiences are so good and the never-ending flow of knowledge is amazing. I don’t learn new stuff all the time every day but I'm starting to internalize things that I have been told all my life and it is awesome. I love teaching children. We have a family that adopted kids a few months back and they want us to teach their eight-year-old daughter. I think I walk away a better person every time I see them. The Spirit is so strong with them. It is amazing how that can fully comprehend principles that I’ve been trying to get grown ups to learn for months. The humility and faith of a child is inspiring. She bore her testimony without really intending to and it is so powerfully simple. She said that she believed it because she loves Jesus and she knew that what we were teaching was true because we knew it and because her parents knew it. If only for a day each of us could be like a little child, forget our pride and selfishness and be faithful it would be amazing. The saddest story of our day is that we cannot trust each other anymore. Guile deceptiveness pride and selfishness ruin everything. I just take joy in knowing that it is only during this testing period that we will have to endure it. It just kills me to see all who fall victim to the natural man and lose their inheritance for temporary gratification and security. Faith is seldom comfortable, but faith breeds trust and trust begets comfort. Perfect Faith in the Perfect Being is the only way to find Perfect Comfort. I love the simplicity of the gospel. It is so simple. Have faith, repent, be baptized receive the gift of the Holy Ghost, and endure to the end. That is the Teachers answer sheet to this test of life. Keep the commandments and prosper. That is the advice given to us by those who have gone on before us. Pass the test and you can have all that the Father has. Simple as that. Nothing else should take preference and everything else should lead right back to these basics. It is my hope and prayer that I will be able to remember this through out my life.

I miss grandpa. The more I look back the more I love him. I wish I had taken the time to get to know him better. I know he helps me from time to time. I always think of him when I come up with something witty to say and often times I will use a line of his in the prefect situations. I remember the night before he passed away dad and I visited him. He grabbed my hand and tired to look and me and kept trying to repeat 'I'm proud of you, I'm proud of you.' I’ll never forget it. One day I hope to be half the man he is. Maybe one day in the next life I’ll be blessed to see him again and he will repeat those same words to me. I look forward to that glorious day when finally we will all be together again. London, Grandpa and everyone. No more sorrow no more worldly cares, just peace and rest. What a thought!

Remember 'to be spiritually minded is life eternal'
Send my best to everyone!

Love
Elder Brighton Solomon

P.S.
Thank you Lindy and Meagan and Kassidee for your letters! Taylor I can’t wait to get yours!
Brigg and Sheldon I don’t care what anyone else says you’re alright in my book
Dad is there a chance you could tell me when and where you served? I have people all the time asking me, and who was your mission president?

Monday, October 11, 2010

Pain in the Neck

Hello family! So I took forever to read that amazingly long email that you wrote for me!! Thank you ever so much! Looks like Sheldon is still alive I'm happy to hear from him! Thank you for the picture... Jake Hamblin looks like he fits right in there with the rest of our family. I couldn’t really see Presto as his face was a bit blurry cause he was moving to get ever closer to his squeeze. You guys really didn’t have to get all dresses up for me though! That is so kind. So I couldn’t find my memory card reader thing so I cant send you the pictures of my amazing second trip to Dover castle. Its ok though, I guess it just means I’ll have to send twice as many pictures next time. I'm going to the Canterbury Christ Church Cathedral today which is like the Salt Lake Temple of the Church of England. It’s pretty cool cause as 'Christian ministers' we get to get in for free :)

I love my mission! Although its a pain in the neck to get people to realize that the 'sacrifices' they should make to follow the Lord really are not that big of a deal, it is always gratifying to be able to daily bear testimony and stand as a witness. There really is no greater calling then to teach. Teaching is the best way to be taught. The spirit is always testifying to you and enlightening your understanding - it is amazing!! I love teaching and I really wish that sometimes we just had people who really wanted to learn and had 'real intent'. I would like you and everyone to invite friends to meet with the missionaries in your home. You never know if the missionaries with say the right thing that will strike them to the core.
What ever happened to that police officer in our ward that got shot?

Out of time.

Much love,

Elder Solomon

Thank you Dave Haynes kids for you email! I loved it.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Look out for scorpions

Ok, so because of my philosophical tangent yesterday I didn’t have time to finish my email. Now Elder Koppe needs to finish his progress record so now I have a bit of time for my update.

I'm so excited about this Peruvian family we are now teaching! They are five children and a mom. They were not brought up in the church and now that the mother has to raise them on her own she wants so bad for them to learn what the church teaches. They really don’t know much about religion so its good we don’t have to pull out any weeds we just need to till the earth and plant the seeds. We built a really good relationship with them right off by taking them to on of our Friday night activites. Chris (18) Tiffany (13) and William (10) came and had a great time playing football with some of the members. They quickly became friends. Then the next night Elder Enenkel and I came over to teach a lesson. The mother Zulie was out because she had had enough, so then after a while when she came back we had the most amazing lesson. We didn’t really teach any principles but we shared our testimonies. It was so cool cause so many different words were put in my mouth. I thought that they would not be interested at all cause they are teenagers. But much to my surprise Stephanie (16) sat there starry eyed the whole time and on a few occasions started crying.

Chris likewise was captivated. So we came by again last night and taught them about the Book of Mormon, Unfortunately, Stephanie and Tiffany decided not to be there but Natalie was there for the first time and they all were really excited to learn that the Book of Mormon talks about their ancestors. Both times Chris said the closing prayer and thanked the Lord for their new friends, the Mormons who are now a part of their family. It was SO neat! I love my mission. I'm scared though, cause transfers are coming up on the 17th and I have a feeling I’ll be leaving and Elder Enenkel will be training in Deal. I love this area and just recently it has exploded. We are having a hard time keeping up with our investigators and visiting them all. Chris (our eternigator) just had his appendix burst so he is in the hospital in Ashford (zone leader area). So tonight I'm on a work over and will go visiting him. He has been waiting for a sign from God that he needs to stop drinking wine and he really likes to excuse himself and says that God says it’s ok if he doesn’t keep the commandments 100% so I'm hoping that he will see this as a sign. He was supposed to go on holiday for a month the day it burst so we will see how this turns out.

I love you all. It’s sad but listening to Zulie and how hard she works to provide the best for her family of unappreciative teenagers has made me feel so sorry that I was snot nose brat.
Mom this is me hugging you giving you a kiss on the cheek and saying thank you for every thing you have ever done.

Love,
Elder Solomon

Watch out for the scorpions and wear proper shoes

Monday, October 4, 2010

Moral standards matter!!!!

My Dearest Family,

Ok, so conference was amazing but I did miss two sessions the Saturday morning and Sunday Afternoon. Unfortunately we had to travel to Canterbury to watch it so we couldn’t go on Saturday. On Sunday they replayed the Saturday afternoon session. Then because of the time difference we couldn’t watch the Sunday afternoon session; it was on from 9-11. It was so good!!! President Monson is getting a bit more animated then usual. I have not seen a lack of supporting the prophet but across the pond here, not supporting local church leaders is a plague. It seems like each time a new Bishop is called half of the ward falls away. Agency and accountability and humility are the lessons that the British Saints need to hear more then anything. Many people are like the Lamanites like in Alma 17 where they supposed that 'whatsoever they did was right'. Or like the followers of Nehor that they could do whatever they wanted and God would save them. It makes it really hard because when you tell them, as it is they just harden their heart and call you a blasphemer and a liar. 'God wouldn’t condemn any of His children.' I will be eternally grateful for parents who struggled and fought with me to teach me personal accountability. Lazy patents breed unruly children. Unruly children grow up and ruin moral standard. Without moral standards humanity suffers. Parents you are the only people who can bring peace to this world. Please don’t be selfish. No matter how hard it can be every sacrifice is worth having righteous children... as if I have enough experience to speak.

So this week has been amazing. We have picked up some golden investigators including a Peruvian family!

I’m out of time ill try to finish my email later.

Love lots

Elder Solomon

Monday, September 27, 2010

I love my mission!

So before I forget is it possible that I could get a digital copy of some of our family pictures so I can print them out here? So life is good elder Enenkel and I have been working really hard. I had a really cool experience this week that was one of those moments that kind of made all of this worth it. The sister missionaries called us and gave us a referral. This guys name was Jim and he had spent some time in the states and was interested in our beliefs. So being me, I forgot about it until on Monday of last week. I was on a work over here with Elder Volpe (Italy). After we got stood up twice, we decided to drop by. Jim let us in right off and we started talking to him. It turns out that through business he made friends with some really rich Mormons. His friends actually donated their personal jet to President Hinckley! And once a year he would go spend a week or so with them. He even met president Hinckley one of those times! We learned that he had absolutely no religious background and had never prayed in his life. We taught him about the Restoration and he recognizing answers from the spirit. Then at the end of the lesson we invited him to pray. He was really nervous and refused, so I knelt on his floor and Elder Volpe and Adon Giboin (local prospective elder) followed suit. Then we compromised with him. We three each said a little pray then he said one! He was hesitant at first but he prayed! It was amazing! Then when I returned on Thursday with Elder Muro (Brazil) and showed him the Restoration DVD we did the same thing and he prayed again. It was so cool to see this man, who had never even thought about God before in his life, pray. I really look forward to meeting with him again!

We had a bit of drama this weekend that we had to fix. One of the members was suppose to go through the temple this weekend and get sealed to her dead husband. The recommend wasn’t signed in time so she swore in her wrath that she would never set foot in a church again. So after about fifteen minutes of rebuking, encouraging and lifting we got her to change her mind. It was after I appealed to her American pride that I got her to see that she was 'digging her heels in' on the wrong path. Its funny how you get such opposite reactions whenever you tell people you are from America. Oh, also on Tuesday I had to get my three hours of driving instruction... that was crazy, this guy is an advanced police pursuit driver. It was like driving with dad again... but the difference was that he had his own brake pedal on the other side so I often found him slamming on the brakes for what I thought was no apparent reason. Then I would see a mile up a lorry (semi) driver cutting off traffic. I hardly survived but it was really cool to drive a brand new mini around the streets of London:) I love my mission!!

Ok, so thanks to Mikalie, Meagan, Jamie, Grandma, Kassidee, Maggie, Elder Brock Matthews and Elder Edwards for writing me letters it was awesome when President Patch came to our district meeting and brought me the letters I was so happy!! The church is true. Some times the people aren’t but the Lord is always there and always will be. So Elder Muro is one of those too deep doctrine type guys and he claims that the second coming will be in the next thirty years on account that his patriarchal blessing says that his children will usher in the second coming and that President Hinckley apparently said that the last prophet had been born or something like that... and also scientist claim that the moon is cracking... personally I think thirty years is a long way away but it got me wondering if I am ready... are you?

Love Elder Solomon

P.S. you have a small package on the way that I sent today hope it doesn’t melt:)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Drunks can enjoy church too!

Ok, so sorry for not emailing again this week. On p-day we had a special zone meeting with President Patch then I had to get my required 3 hours of driver training so I can drive now. Then the library was closed so I couldn’t do my emailing. Life is great and the work is progressing. we have had two investigators come to church over the past two weeks. Although they both were drunk they said they enjoyed church. I got a letter form Elder Matthews in the Birmingham Mission (Brock Matthews, Linden’s boy) and finally I got one from Elder Edwards in Peru. It was so good to hear from them and that they are doing well. It’s been weird taking over an area. I'm used to just following my companion around and then testifying when I need to. Since I have been in the area longer then Elder Enenkel he relies on me to make all the decisions on where to go who to see and what to teach. It’s been stressful but good. It has really forced me to be more observant too. Well, I better get back to out progress record for the week.

Sheldon congrats on being a priest! Little by little you are getting there. Now remember, it is in the priest quorum that every missionary should learn the doctrine and principles of the lessons then it is in the mission prep classes and the MTC that they learn how to teach. Make Preach My Gospel your best friend. Practice teaching principles in Family Home Evening. That goes for you to Brigg... especially you.

Ya’ll are great and I love you.

Elder Solomon

P.S. Will you please send me family pictures? Fanks!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Game over,Soft hands, and Monopoly

Ok so I could completely see Brigg and Dad’s little girl play giggle fight going on as I read that last email. Hilarious. Ok, I thought that it was suppose to be the second year of my mission that everyone started getting engaged and married...WHAT THE HECK?!?!?! We have one missionary from Italy and he is the typical Italian lover. He is Elder Boer and he is my brother. Anyhow, whenever her hears of someone getting married he always shakes his head and says, “game over”. Its funny cause while Elder Gallagher was training him in Lea Valley, Elder Gallagher got a wedding invitation to his girlfriend’s wedding. It still stands in that flat with a nice little note from Elder Boer telling the story of when he read the letter.

Elder Enenkel is an amazing missionary and is defiantly in the top three of all my companions. We had to, of course, drive back from London on moves day and I was in charge of navigating. It took a little longer then it should have... I was a bit selfish and at one point we found our self-driving down Park lane and Mill lane is it? We also traveled down Old Kent road... is anyone recognizing these names form dad’s English Monopoly game? Anyhow we found our selves driving past Westminster Abbey and Big Ben it was awesome!!!

So this week was amazing! Chris (who is sitting right next to me in the library.) Finally got his revelation and is going to be baptized! Yea!! But we still need to wean him off of his wine. He has a metal plate in his head so he has problems sleeping cause his brain won’t calm down so I'm going to give him my bottle of Quiensecent essential oils...or what ever it is. I'm going to miss that bottle and the good sleep that comes with it, but hopefully it will help him get a good nights rest on Saturdays so that he won’t miss church anymore. Life is great we really started working more with the members so now they are happy and love us again. By the way the checkered shirt was a flat find that I now wear on P-days so people don’t see my hideous neck tan. Oh, and by the way I am completely white now... my arms are the same tone of color as the bottom of my feet and I hate it... don’t laugh. And my hands are getting soft. You don’t get to many blisters or calices by handing out pass along cards and tracting, Maybe a paper cut but those are few and far between. Congrats to Aunt Brigdett and Uncle Rob that’s is awesome!! I keep thinking of Rob Haynes whenever those two are mentioned together and I think to myself 'isn’t that an Alabama side of the family thing ' but then I remember it s Rob Ronan.

Well, I keep working and the Lord keeps working on me. I’m glad that it’s Him that is working on me cause I don’t think anyone else could do it. We have some exciting things ahead including a missionary fireside that we are in charge of getting President Patch to and now I have to get my British license.... I saw at church yesterday a couple from Mesa who where here doing family history. It was good to talk so someone who knew what Ned's subs was! Well, I hope the best for you all and I know that as you stay close to God and always remember the sacrifice of His Son that no matter what happens you will get through it and in the end it will be all good. I always like to keep in mind that this life is the worst it will ever get. Having said that aku na ma ta ta and farewell, salaam and may you live long and prosper (that’s for dad and the rest of the star trek fans)

Love,
Elder Solomon

(P.S. mom and dad we are meeting with a family who has a 11 year old girl named Gabby who has a brain tumor, can you send me a letter addressed to Duane and Sara Challis talking about how you were able to get through our ordeal? or is that not a good idea?)

P.S.S. Sheldon I love you

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

BBQ Tomoto tuna on rice with egg and peas.

Ok, finally I get a bit of time to sit down and write a proper email! So we have had a crazy week full of bad news. We had been having a really bad time with all our investigators. At one point we only had one investigator! They keep moving and losing interest! But at the end of the week things started turning for the better and now I'm happy. We have many good appointments set up for the following week so it’ll be good. The news came yesterday. Elder Hansen got a call from President Patch and he was called to be a zone leader in Basildon in Essex. Which mean I get a new companion... again. My new companion is Elder Enenkel and he is from Austria. I pick him up tomorrow so I don’t really know anything about him just yet. The weather here is absolutely crazy. It’s like the attitude of a fifteen-year-old girl. You never know what it will be like each day and with out one sign of warning it will do a complete about face!!! (No offence to any 15 year old girl that may read this I’m just saying...) Thank you mom for putting the money in my account but I must admit I used some of it for the wrong reason.... August was hard for us and we spent the last month with out any money and it got a bit interesting with food. I used some money for at train ticket into London for zone conference.

But back to the food. Missionaries do not have a years supply (except sister missionaries but then again what don’t they have?). So Elder Hansen and I had some interesting dinners. We basically would find whatever was in the house and boil it and put it with pasta. My favorite dinner, which sounds nasty but actually turned out quite good was tomato tuna on rice that was boiled with an egg and peas with bbq sauce and beef gravy. Elder Hansen added the gravy and I wasn’t to excited about that. I'm sad that Elder Hansen is leaving. I have had so much fun with him. Although he has extreme anti-American views, believes in global warming as a fact, and dislikes capitalism, we had a great time together and were always laughing.

Anyway news from home: Mom- keep at it I know that it is stressful but you have no idea the impact that you are having on those kids. Looking back Coach Leblanc and Workman had a more profound impact on those four years of my life then any other person at that school. You are an amazing role model for them and are teaching them the most important lesson that any teenager can learn. Hard work pays off and is always worth it. It sad how people have gotten so use to instant gratification that if something takes three minutes to download their blood pressure rises and they get up set. I wish that every one in the world could just take one week and worry about nothing and just enjoy time rather then trying to make more of it.

Sheldon did you get my letter/birthday card? I hope so I spent Hours working on it and I know that you love it! Brigg I laughed when mom told me that you were finally comfortable with swimming in a jammer! I thought that you would love to wear one and show off you manly muscular legs. Are you enjoying swim? Is it really that hard or are swimmers just girls? I have heard nothing about the Thompson’s house but if that is the case that is the saddest news I got all week. I love that place something is wrong with the computer I'm using and I cannot use the shift key or do any punctuation so please know that I am still smart and now how to write correctly. Dad: sounds like you really are having a good time with your new job but I'm really glad that you also got some time to spend with the family. The saddest thing about England and probably the root to all their social problems is that there in no such thing as a family unit. People just have "partners" and live with them for a couple of years and move on. Also England goes through two generations before we go through one. No kidding! I saw a twelve-year-old girl who looked nine months pregnant the other day. It was so sad. Then I had a ten year old ask me if I had a spare cigarette. It is sick to see what happens to a whole society when correct family principles are thrown out the window. It’s so sad to see when people have kids before they are ready and then try to raise them before they themselves are mature. I see all the time pregnant teenagers pushing a stroller with a cigarette in their mouth talking on the phone and screaming at their baby to shut up. I just want to scream. But I've been quite negative for a bit.

Guys at work: I want Robin to know how sorry I am that I cannot email you back but I love all the emails I get keeping me in the loop. Sounds like Brian is doing awesome and I have to admit when you told me about your dog I thought you were talking about a person and I was getting all worked up until I saw that you took him to the vet and then I calmed down and laughed. Congrats to Kayla. I’m so happy for her!

I wish all the best for everyone back at home. Preston! Holy cow my friend, I'm so happy for you! You are doing great and I hope that everything continues to go your way as you reap the blessings of serving the Lord faithfully for two years! Dad, I love the biscuits and I haven’t seen any of those meat pies that you are talking about but I have seen enough dogs and cats to last me a while. There isn’t enough room for people in the town yet less dogs and cats! They are everywhere and every one has at least two of each! Well, I love you all and I keep you in my prayers. I know that you do the same for me and you are the best people I could ever ask to support me in this great calling.

Love,
Elder Solomon

P.S. Elder Hansen loves that chipotle sauce! He puts it on his pasta every night with a bit (big bit) of mayo):) love you all!