Wednesday, November 19, 2014

November 19, 2014

Dear Family,

​It seems that everywhere Christmas begins to creep earlier and earlier into November each year. Because of the lack of Thanksgiving in the UK Christmas is the focus of November as well as December. The picture of the high street in Boscombe a little while ago is already outdated. Within this last week it has been decked out with all sorts of Christmas lights and displays. While we were street contacting a lady said "Merry Christmas" to us as we were parting ways and Elder Poulino and I were both pretty shocked. November has definitely gone by quickly. It's getting easier to see why so many experienced missionaries say that the time goes by really quickly.

I still find it hard sometimes not to think about home and how nice it would feel to be back even for just a little while but it's getting better. The harder I decide to work and focus my efforts outward rather than inward, the easier it feels to be a missionary and quicker the time passes. It's still 2 years though. I have confidence that it will always continue to get better and I will enjoy my time spent on my mission. The hardest thing I think is to get out of the mindset that all that I'm experiencing is temporary. While it is true that it is all extremely temporary it's also long enough that I should completely focus on doing the Lord's work while I am here. It is especially hard when tough days come because the nature of the work as you are aware is that it is always there and needs to be done so it is very likely that we will be doing the same thing the next day. But as with all things we can turn to the Lord and receive help and guidance and joy in our times of trouble.

That's an awful lot of whinging (complaining) isn't it? I apologize for talking about some of my trials so much but as you mentioned in your letter it does help to just let it out sometimes. The principle of forgetting myself is often the best answer to feeling overwhelmed about the future. I should also focus more on the day and week that I am in rather than thinking about the rest of my mission ahead of me.

We weren't able to meet with any of our investigators really this week, so we spent a lot of time contacting. I get more comfortable with it every time we set out to do it. We have a lot of potential investigators and some lessons planned for the near future. I really do enjoy talking to new people each day and having happy conversations with them. There are so many different people from so many different places in England that it always makes contacting interesting. We spent a few hours finding in Manchester while I was in the MTC and I remember being absolutely terrified of talking to anyone, but now it's not much of a problem. The MTC was definitely easier than being in the field haha. One of the members in the Christchurch Ward is leaving for the Preston MTC as I'm writing this email. He's going to Leeds on his mission. I'm excited for him but I definitely don't envy him in some ways.

Regardless of what it may sound like when I vented a little bit I am adjusting to being a missionary. Every now and then I still get little pangs of longing for particular things from back home but then I think about all the experiences I've had and get to have while I am in England. .

The chocolate is worlds better over here! Cadbury makes the majority of the different kinds of chocolate bars. My favorite one so far is Cadbury Oreo! It's like a Hershey's cookies and cream inside of a normal chocolate bar! So good! I'm definitely planning on making some sort of Christmas package with some of the English things I've enjoyed that you can't get in the U.S. and sending it to you for Christmas!

Hershey's is kind of a joke over here! Cadbury Oreo is the best thing ever. Before I was born I'm pretty sure I was the angel responsible for the maker of it receiving the revelation to put Oreo inside English chocolate.

Tell Colton 'thank you' for sending me a letter! I loved reading it even though it was a little short! I couldn't quite tell but I think it was supposed to be me and my companion talking to someone about heaven? But either way it was really exciting to get a letter.

I haven't seen yours or Cailtin's yet :( I only have the first set from all of the family and then the one from Colton. I'm fairly certain that it might have gone to flat number 7 because the first batch were just inside the first set of doors to the flats and not delivered through the letterbox. We're gotten letters to previous Elders in the flat that are pretty late (like last January type of late) that didn't put the '7' in front of Dragoon Way and made it here fine. Either way probably before Christmas we'll be moving flat but staying in the same area. The Sister's current area is really dry and there's more than enough people for all of us to work in Christchurch/Bournemouth so they will be taking our flat and we'll be getting a new one. But I will know well enough in advance to tell you to change the address and if the sisters get it they will gust bring it to me anyway.

One of the members in our ward does a lot of woodworking and made us wooden name tags!

The work is still progressing but we're needing to work hard all the time to accomplish our purpose as missionaries. Our Zone Leaders have asked us to make sure we make full use of our exercise time in the morning and use all of our time wisely in general. So that's what we're doing haha. I know that we will find success as long as we're working as hard as we can each day. It's exhausting, but it's worth it. Tyson said in one of his letters right before I left that if I work hard I will be happy, and I know that is true. Hopefully it will go by a little quicker as well. ;)

I love you all so much and thank you for all of your prayers!

Elder Draney

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