Monday, October 16, 2017

deep fried oreos!!! (Week 61, Rwibina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim

Hey homies! I have so much to say to you all but I don’t wanna write too long of a novel so let’s just dive in! transfer calls came in yesterday and I’m getting moved to England! I’ll be in Stroud with ELDER EY! he’s from my MTC group and I’m so hyped! It’s gonna be a crazy six weeks! 
Here’s a few cool highlights from this week
  • so bishop asked us to be at the chapel to introduce ourselves to a part member/less active family who was there to organise a funeral for their mother, while they waited to meet with the bishop we got to just talk with them and take them into the chapel, we got to talk with them about the plan of Salvation and I bore my testimony of it and shared my experience with my mom, the spirit was so strong. And they even came to church yesterday! They are so cool!
  • This week was Chinese challenge week, which was pretty much created for the sake of getting rid of a ton of extra Chinese materials, and we pretty much lost from day 2 so we spent a lot of time helping the Cardiff sisters and the zone leaders and I think the Cardiff sisters won it in the end!
  • Deep fried oreos in city centre, not my smartest idea
  • Interviews with President and Sister Leppard and An awesome district meeting, I gave a Training on having faith in Jesus Christ. One of my favourite parts of being a district leader has to be how comfortable I’ve gotten at giving trainings. And that skill proved useful yesterday as I had to teach both gospel principles and elders quorum super last minute. In elders quorum there was one guy who started going on a tangent about how tampons are being taxed here now, it was so weird
  • Went to a super authentic Chinese restaurant courtesy of the homie leon 

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Yesterday, Elder Ballard spoke to the entire Europe area over broadcast and it was so awesome! I wish I could share everything I learned from it with you but I’ll just share a piece. He talked about how whenever he feels overwhelmed from anything, he thinks to the Garden of Gethsemane and Jesus Christ preforming the atonement. I’m so grateful for the Saviour and for his loving determination to give us all the opportunity to return to god again, it truly is up to us to use his atonement in our lives, and what a great rallying cry to us for when we feel overwhelmed or stressed. It could be summed into these two words: Remember Him!

Cardiff is a beautiful place, the people are lovely and I’ve loved my time here and the people I’ve met. The hardest goodbye had to be saying goodbye to the Gxxoulds, the family that lost their son back in June right when I got here. That was hard to say goodbye. But I am ready for a new area, to meet new people, to have a fresh start and I couldn’t be more hyped and also grateful. About to have a lit week with the homie Elder Ey! And speaking of homies, thanks for being the greatest homies a Jimmer fan could ask for, I love you all! Look unto Christ in every thought, doubt not, fear not 😘✌

Elder Varner











Monday, October 9, 2017

if it's true... (Week 60, Rwibina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

hey everyone! it’s been another great week out here filled with miracles and tender mercies left and right! our teaching pool has a ton of potential and it keeps growing, this week will be super exciting to see how stuff starts to roll out!
a few cool miracles we had this past week
while I was talking to people with elder Haynes on exchange in his area, we felt like we should go down a certain street. we did so and after having a long conversation with someone which included a less active member coming up to us, we turned around and ran into their investigator who was planning on bailing on their set appointment which was scheduled for an hour later. we sat down with him and got to teach him and resolve some of his concerns and it was just so cool how many factors led us to be in that spot at that time
later with elder Haynes we were heading back to our flat in our area and we were trying to decide to either go visit one more person or go back for dinner. we both decided to go visit a family who formerly investigated the church. when we knocked on the door we actually got let right in. they are from Iran and are Christians, and have been reading from the Book of Mormon a lot lately. Even though they haven’t met with missionaries in over a year they still find peace through reading it, and we are so hyped to see them this week!!

this week also included whiteboard finding in city centre, going back to Wylde green for MLC (missionary leadership council) where we were trained to use FACEBOOK, lots of visiting people, Pxxaul Pxxace and Sxxtephen Wxxood (2 less actives we are working with) miraculously coming to church, and more! and this morning to start off pday we went on a sheep hunt so we could get a “lost sheep” picture, let’s just say sheep run fast so maybe next time, we still got some sick pictures though!

a lot of you probably saw my post on Facebook last week, after MLC it was decided that we are not allowed to be friends with family or friends from back home for the foreseeable future, it might change in the future but I don’t know, so I just made a new account for missionary purposes only, please don’t add my new account, only try to reach me over this email :) I’ll let you all know if anything changes!

the last few weeks we have seen so many people bash the Book of Mormon to us. one lady let us in and started telling us how it was the work of the devil. the point is, many people verbally tore apart the Book of Mormon this week, more so than ever before in my life. it is so important to gain our own testimonies of the Book of Mormon. And why? Because if the Book of Mormon is true, then Jesus Christ truly did atone for all of our sins, if it’s true Joseph Smith really did see God and Jesus Christ, if it’s true then we really do have a living prophet on the earth, if it’s true then we do have real authority from god to act in his name, and all our other beliefs are rightfully true. If it is false then our beliefs go out the window. All you have to figure out for yourself is if the Book is true. No amount of false doctrine you read on the internet will ever be enough to disprove this book. This book is truly another testament of Jesus Christ. It references the Saviour more times than any other book. And I know that it is true, with all my heart, it has continuously brought me closer to my Heavenly Father and my Saviour. I invite you all, with every ounce of my heart, to find out if it is true by reading it for yourself and praying to god, asking him if it is true. you can request a copy on Mormon.org  

I miss all of you so much, hit me up with some emails! this is the last week of the transfer and you know your boy DV is gonna go out with a bang in Cardiff! I love you homies! Go help someone in need!

Elder Varner













Monday, October 2, 2017

superbowl weekend!!! (Week 59, Rwibina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

hey everyone! what a weekend it’s been! conference weekend is like Super Bowl weekend for us! we just get together with other missionaries, eat food, and feast on the words of the lord’s chosen servants! It was such an uplifting week for me!

Not too much happened during the week, we did some service, met with some “born again” Christian guys who wanted to bash with us, we bore our testimonies of the restoration though and we knew that they knew that we knew that they felt the spirit, but sadly they denied it. elder dastrup and I had a mini trip to costco for a meal and it was so weird to be back in a Costco again after a year, but it’s pretty much the same over here! we had zone Conference on Friday and had some training on the poppy appeal which is a fundraiser we help out with for people serving in the forces over here, it’s actually really cool. and it was great to get some training from president leppard as well! he’s an amazing man! We had a big ice cream social at the church on Fridaynight and it was super well attended! 

Now the real part of the week! Conference! I wish I could share everything I learned with you guys but there’s so much, and you’d be here for daysssss. So much amazing stuff! If you didn’t watch it, go to LDS.org and check it out!!! I still haven’t seen the Sunday afternoon session but I’ll get to watch it sometime this upcoming week! it was super sad to hear elder Hales passed away, definitely keep his family in your prayers. he was a great man and I know he was an apostle of Jesus Christ! all my questions I had going into Conference were answered and I felt the spirit so strongly, this upcoming week I’m going to come up with some goals and plans to implement what I learned into my life! I liked how pretty much every talk was somewhat linked in the sense that the key points brought up included serving those around us, how we can all become effective instruments in the lord’s hands, and how to develop greater faith in the Savior! My fav talks had to be president eyrings talk on service or president Nelsons talk on the Book of Mormon! Hit me up with what you learned this weekend and what your favourite talks were!!!

A major happy bday shoutout to my dad, one of the strongest people I know, and my best friend and greatest example! also a happy birthday to one of the most Christlike people I’ve ever met and one of my best homies, Austin cook! Hope you both have amazing birthdays! also a major shoutout to Taylor Chavez for her mission call to PERU!!!

I can’t believe it’s October! I’ll see you guys somewhat soon! I love you all! Look unto Christ in EVERY thought, doubt not, fear not 😘✌

Elder Varner

heres some sweet links to check out, all of you!

an amazing talk that you homies gotta watch or read this week!!!! :   https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/a-summer-with-great-aunt-rose?lang=eng


Sent from my iPad






Monday, September 25, 2017

Open your mouth and DRINK IT!!!! (Week 58, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

Hey Everyone!


First off, major shoutouts to the homie DRECK on his mission call to
Oregon! And a major happy birthday to one of my fav homies Ben Edwards!
I'll add a little "memory Monday" throwback pic with these homies!!!!


This week flew by so fast, the weeks keep getting faster and faster and
faster and I can't help but to feel a sense of urgency and how we don't
have a lot of time out here so we need to use it to the max!!! I actually
gave a training on that during district meeting last week! It was a solid
week!! We took things to the next level this week through district finding
in Pontypridd and holding a district fast and more!!


There's a few cool experiences I wanna share from this week:

  - while in Pontypridd I was with elder Haynes and we got to this door
  where three of the most worldly university students you'll ever meet lived,
  they weren't interested in the slightest until they decided to ask us why
  bad things happen to good people-good question-I bore my testimony and
  testified to them of the plan of Salvation and why we are here and the
  spirit was so strong, it literally smacked them because they had nothing to
  say after and it was cool because I knew that they knew they felt
  something, the ponty sisters are gonna go back and see them this week!
  - We met a young mom while knocking doors on Thursday who said to come
  back on Sunday and we went back yesterday, to be honest I really didn't
  think she was gonna let us in or talk more but to our surprise she let us
  right in and we taught her the restoration. It was perfect for her because
  she used to be catholic but isn't very active in church anymore and she
  wants her kids to be raised in a church, she was more than happy to read
  the Book of Mormon and pray about it! Rack up another tender mercy!!!


There was a ton of stuff that happened this week including basketball,
dinner with the homie Lxeon, two exchanges with the zone leaders, and more!
We knocked one door and this girl and her mom opened up and the mom was
pretty rude to us and as we walked away the daughter straight up rebuked
her mom for being rude! What a homie! Also in church yesterday a girl who
just got back from Spain on her mission gave her homecoming talk and she
knew Claire gentry, who is finishing up her mission there, which was crazy,
such a small world!!


I felt overwhelmed at a few points this week due to health issues, harsh
rejection, being bashed a ton, bad weather, and multiple people I know
choosing to let doubts get at them and if there was one thing I learned
this week it was a principle taught in the last general conference from
elder choi who said "Do not lose your faith because of the people around
you, but build a strong relationship with Jesus Christ. Don’t look around,
look up!” and he went on with some advice he gave to his missionaries when
he served as a mission president saying "I used to tell them, “Go out in
the rain, look up to heaven, open your mouth, and drink it! When you look
up, you will be strengthened to open your mouth to everyone without any
fear.” It was a symbolic lesson for them to look up when they faced
challenges even after their mission." Whenever I turn to God with all my
problems, doubts, whatever it may be, he strengthens me and gives me what I
need to endure. When I left I chose Alma 36:27 as my missionary plaque
scripture and I can testify that I am seeing that scripture come to
fulfilment in my own life. Build your foundation on Jesus Christ and you
will never fall. He has made some of my hardest times the happiest times.
Next time it "rains" in your life look up and DRINK IT!


Conference is this weekend and you can listen to a prophet of god THIS
Saturday and Sunday!!! Check it out at LDS.org. I'm so grateful that god
loves us enough to bless us with a modern prophet. His love is truly
perfect and unfailing. He loves each of you and I do as well!


Elder Varner









Monday, September 18, 2017

king of the court!!!! (Week 57, Rwibina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

if any of you had an idea of how hyped I am for this upcoming week! this week is gonna be so lit! I just can feel it! the last week was actually pretty good, my health wasn't the best but oh well, we met some cool people and had a lot of "good touches" as my homie t money would put it! also I hit my 13 month mark yesterday, and it's so crazy how fast time is going by! It is actually getting faster and faster and I kinda want it to slow down!

we had dinner at vyyerena's this week and we sat there for maybe five minutes tops with her and then her partner came in and she left for a bit and we talked to her partner, Jxxames, for over 30 minutes about good vs evil and how serving others brings true joy. a month ago jxxames would always leave the room when we came and now he loves talking to us and a friendship is really starting to develop, he's starting to trust us a ton and we are starting to ease into the gospel with him, he has so much potential!

on Tuesday we asked our beast Ward mission leader for some advice and he told us we should start working in a place called thornhill. I had worked there a few times but no one was ever interested and we got some harder rejection. when he told us we should start working there I felt like Alma when he was told to go back to Ammonihah after facing much rejection. we haven't had any success there yet but I know it'll come!  at one door, a young mother opened and we talked with her about how families are eternal and she wasn't too believing of that, I bore my testimony of how families truly are forever and she totally felt the spirit, you could literally see that she was feeling it and she knew she was feeling something, she then declined our offer to teach her and her family, but it was so cool cuz the spirit was just so present!

lots of random stuff this week but here's a few honourable mentions:
  • some guy wished us a merry Christmas because he thought we were jehovah witnesses, either way, Christmas in September?!?
  • winter has pretty much arrived, I guess the UK just decided to skip over Fall and head straight into winter, it's been getting so cold here!
  • Had a visit with an awesome couple, the Nyyaylors, they are pretty much a senior missionary couple, they spend all their time visiting people and when we stopped by they fed us a ton of food, gave us a few referrals without us even saying a word, and even had their professional nutrionalist friend give me advice for my stomach problem over the phone. god bless the naylors!
  • we helped the gxxould's move a bunch of stuff and they told us that because of our help that the wife was able to make it to her job and that their daughter made it to an audition in Bristol. It was nice to hear that something we did really helped someone.
  • #starspangledbanner at district meeting
  • a lit basketball evening, we got twelve homies there and we did king of the court! you know I was king!

I've been thinking a lot about having an eternal perspective and how important it is. Spencer W Kimball once said “If we looked at mortality as the whole of existence, then pain, sorrow, failure, and short life would be calamity. But if we look upon life as an eternal thing stretching far into the premortal past and on into the eternal post-death future, then all happenings may be put in proper perspective.” We can feel peace and hope when we remember that life is eternal, and that one day we will be victorious over all the trials we are facing in this life. Hold on, believe in good things to come. One day things will truly be better. Even if you feel broken, know that one day you will be made whole, and you will feel a fullness of joy, whether that comes in this life or the next, just keep pressing forward.

The last few weeks have definitely been rougher on me with health problems and the slowness of the work here, but I really, fully heartedly know that this week is going to be so much better and I'm looking forward to telling you about it next week. Don't worry about me, I'm ALIVE AND WELL AND STILL HAPPIER THAN IVE EVER BEEN! I love these Welsh homies and I love you all, and I'm so grateful for each of you. don't ever fredette that! now go serve someone who is feeling down!

Elder Varner








Monday, September 11, 2017

operation talybont!!!! (Week 56, Rhiwbina, Cardiff, Wales, Elder Yim)

hey hey hey! whats up fam!

the time has been flying out here, I know I say that every week but it seriously has! this was a good week, but the work is so slow here though. we are really struggling to build a teaching pool and im not gonna lie it's frustrating because I feel like we are working so hard and we just aren't getting anywhere with it. I know that things are gonna start heating up with the work soon, just gotta keep doing our part and working our hardest, we don't control other's agency, we just invite them to act. I'd love any finding advice though if any of yall have some! we are really trying to work with members now so we will see how that goes, just gotta trust the process and trust the lord and be patient! we are starting to work in a little uni village area called talybont that we think might be private property so we are going all mission impossible status and have come up with a plan to creep in and knock a few doors at a time to not get caught haha

man we had such a sick hoop session on Saturday night, like so sick!! there was one point in our game where I just was draining back to back to back shots, I seriously felt like Jimmer! made me miss the good ole church ball days haha! we had an awesome district meeting as well, I gave a training on enduring to the end and how charity and love is such a key part to that. love is the best motivation to keep going! our district is great right now as well! it's me, elder yim (Hong Kong), sister Olsen, and sister swasey (both from Utah). It's a pretty cool district.

we had plenty of little tender mercies along the way this week, whether that be someone just taking the time to talk to us for a few minutes or random last minute lessons, it's been good. even though you can count the amount of lessons we teach each week on one hand, I feel like we are doing what the Lord wants us to do and I feel like he is shaping me into the servant and son he wants me to become. it definitely can be rough sometimes out here but it's been a blast so far and I love these people, it's not supposed to be easy, just worth it. it is so worth every minute out here, and it's so cool to read journal entries from the beginning of my mission and to see how much I've changed and how much stronger my testimony is, I know that Jesus Christ lives.

lastly I thought I'd share a quote with yall: president uchtdorf said once "So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial. The older we get, the more we look back and realize that external circumstances don’t really matter or determine our happiness. We do matter. We determine our happiness." Happiness is a choice which we make every day. We can choose to be happy no matter what the circumstances of our life are. Our focus, not our circumstances, determine our life. And if we choose to have that focus be on Jesus Christ and his gospel, we can be happy no matter what. So, CHOOSE today to be happy, don't wait. Don't wait for better circumstances to come to choose to be happy, or one day you may look back and realise that you chose never to be happy. Choose today to be happy!

A major shoutout to all my homies who are finishing their missions and have gotten back recently including the homies benjo wenjo, Austin cook, the biggest patriot I know-Jacob Buchanan, kolton McCluskey, cayden norton, and Ben hill! I know there's more but I don't have a perfect memory right now-anyways thank you for being amazing examples to me!

I realise today is the anniversary of 9/11, and many are suffering due to natural disasters at this time. May our prayers go out to them from the bottom of our hearts, may we stand a little taller and help others, may we be a little kinder, go out of the way to help others, be a friend to the lonely, reach out to those in need, we need more of that in the world we live in. I love you guys and trust that you'll be the kind of person this world needs at this time. Now go have a lit week! Look unto Christ in every thought, doubt not, fear not 😘

Elder Varner