Tuesday, January 31, 2017

I'm Going Back To My Roots (Week 24)

jimmer is balling up big time in China right now!! It's so sick! I heard they are calling him a basketball god! all the haters can just fredette about it! this week definitely had its ups and downs but I think the worst of it is over, and this new upcoming week should be a good one!

last monday was pretty sweet! we went to a carvery for lunch, it's like an all you can eat roast dinner place and it was wayy good! we just emailed and played chair soccer for the rest of the day!

Tuesday was a good day, but nothing too fun or anything haha. We visited some potentials, got our phone back so we had to get a ton of numbers back in our phone and we spent a few hours texting and calling potentials and former investigators, only time will tell to see if it was a good use of time haha. we went over to the Fell's for dinner, they are a really cool older couple in the ward, and we had some amazing chicken for dinner and then pie with custard for dessert! I keep forgetting that custard is hot here because back home it's like frozen yogurt and here it's hot as the devil! following the dinner we went with brother Fell to Syyya and Axxxn and PxxJxxx's which was good as always!

Wednesday was fun! We had district meeting, ate at McDonald's, did some district finding, and went to McDonald's again. I am SO SICK of McDonald's haha, I mean it's nicer than it is in the states, if you're at McDonald's in the states and you see someone you know, you just duck your head because you don't wanna get caught at McDonald's. But here it's like THE place to be here, but it's still not good. District finding was fun! I went with the homie O'Hare and we knocked into a Viking, two 95 year olds, and an 80 year old player. We knocked on one door and this 80 year old guy in a bikers outfit answered and said nah not interested, so then we went to the next door and knocked, and this 80 year old hot rod walked right in between us as this old lady opened the door, and he kisses her and then looks at us and says "what do you want?". I was like, fair enough man haha, me and Ohare were dying after! We all met up as a zone to watch a worldwide mission broadcast led by Elder Dallin H Oaks (an apostle) and it was pretty cool, he and a few others talked about teaching repentance in everything we do, and also we got told that our P-days are extended a bit of time so I'm hyped!

Thursday I woke up with a gnarly cold, oh man it sucked! Super stuffy nose, sore throat, ear infection, the whole deal. I spent most of the morning trying to rest and get better for the afternoon, but when I realised it wouldn't get better that quick, I pounded down on a bunch of drugs! I totally mean just like cold medicine drugs, don't worry haha. We went out to the town centre in Sutton C'field and I began my search for a bike! I said in Swansea that I'd never get a bike on my mission, well, then I was sent to this area...haha, it's all good though, it took forever but I eventually found her, the bike I was looking for! I had to pick it up on Friday though. After that we went back to Wylde Green and went to the Hammond's for dinner! They are a lovely, older couple in the ward and their two young grandchildren were there and they were so funny! I seriously wish I could go back to age 7 for a day haha. Following that we went over to PxxJxxx and Syyyya's to talk for an hour or so, and Syyya's sister and niece and her niece's boyfriend were all there going at it with the questions. The sister thought we were Amish so I'm glad we could clear that up! I ain't no amish! But they were all super cool and then PxxxJxxxx told us that he had never believed in God, even two weeks ago, but after coming to church a few days ago, he now believed in God and wanted to be baptised! So we are working on a wedding date for them and then hopefully a baptismal date! Even if I'm not here for the wedding or baptism, I'm so excited for them! They are lifelong homies!

Friday I still woke up to a stupid cold, so I rested for the morning and then we left around noon to get lunch and to get my bike. It's a pretty good bike, but man am I shaky on a bike. Like I knocked down a road sign on the way down a hill haha. We also knocked a street on Friday night in the freezing rain/now, and it was one that I prayed over earlier, and we even prayed before knocking the street, we got some cool potentials and then some couple actually let us in. I couldn't decide who was more shocked: me or the lightning that struck haha. It was way cool, we are gonna pop by them tomorrow. 

Saturday was kind of rough cuz my cold was bad and we didn't find any success in finding, but it's all good. we went over to PxxxJxxx's and Syyyya's and it was really good. We watched the Joseph Smith movie and I really think they felt the spirit. They are so solid, they even said they wanted to get married so they can be baptised soon!

Sunday was good! Church was awesome! I had to teach a class last minute on the Holy Ghost but I thought it went really well! I felt the spirit guide me in that a lot so I was happy with it. It's so important to teach by the spirit, I'm gonna study that this week in my personal study! After church we went to the O'Grady's for a meal with PxxxJxxx and Syyya and it was so cool, such a fun time eating food, playing games, and talking about life and the gospel! 

It honestly was a really good week, but at the end of it, I just feel like I could have worked harder even though I was sick for most of it, but it's all good because it's a new week and I'm hyped for the new start to work even harder and to not be sick anymore! I'm excited to go back to how I felt a few weeks ago, back to my roots. That's part of a song lyric, but when I think of going back to my roots, I think of the sacrament, every Sunday we re-dedicate ourselves to following Jesus Christ. I guess that's something to think about.

I'll end with a spiritual thought: I thought a lot this week about Joseph Smith and the restoration of the gospel and I listened to an amazing devotional called "why 1820?" It talked about how after the apostles died, that there was no true church on the earth, and how churches were being corrupt, especially Constantine, it went through history up until the First Vision. So many things happened throughout the apostasy leading up to the restoration, and after studying it more, I truly know that Christ brought back his church as quick as he could. It talked about how God's hand was in the Revolutionary war, so there could be a land where the restoration could take place. I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet and that he did see God and Jesus Christ. There were prophets in the times of the bible, and we have a living prophet today, God is the same always, so he still speaks through prophets in this time. I know this to be true, and you can find out for yourself through reading the Book of Mormon, and asking god if it is true. 

Well, I know this next week will be another lit week out here so I'm hyped for the rise and grind! know that I miss and love you all! keep the emails coming too because I love each of you, and i truly mean that. have a legendary week across the pond! 

Elder Varner

also, I promise more pictures next week! I've been slackin! 

Sent from my iPad

pics and videos of...COSTCO, cool forest, elder ohare after the packers loss, and what its like for us knocking doors and finally being let in

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Hype Train (Week 23)

this has to be the most hyped I've been in awhile! things are going SO good out here and it's an absolute blast right now! still don't have a phone but we've been getting by and it's so sick!!!!

last monday was a good one. we all got together as a district, emailed, got lunch, and played chair soccer. not the most exciting day, but pretty fun. we tried contacting some people after and planned more for the busy week!

tuesday was a surprise exchange, I was with elder campbell out here in wylde green! a few appointments didn't show up but that ain't stopping us from rising and grinding out here! we got a ton of cool potentials that said to come back and a few were pretty solid! we also taught a lesson to a family that sister missionaries found a few weeks ago! the moms name is Syyyyy, the 8 year old son is axxxxn. They've been looking for a church and to grow closer to God and wow, they are so prepared for the gospel. It was amazing. Other than that we almost saw a fight break down at McDonald's, that was kind of cool I guess. Not much else but it was a good day!

Wednesday was cool. Elder Campbell and I did some finding in the Sutton Coldfield town centre. It was pretty cool, but not as big as Swansea's city centre. We met up with the other elders for some lunch later on and then elder Clayton and I went and visited a few potentials and stuff. Had dinner at a family named the Robertsons, they are super cool! They actually have kids my age so it was pretty fun to hangout and talk! After we went back to the mission home to start our exchanges with the APs.

Thursday was definitely one of the funnest days of my mission by far! The APs came with us to our district meeting in Walsall, and I gave a training on teaching repentance with love! It's so key, viewing others as Christ would, having Christlike attributes while teaching is SOO important! The big one I want to work on is patience! During lunch at the chapel in Walsall I realised they had something I didn't have in wylde green...a basketball court! You know I was hyped! And you know I balled up for a bit! I still got some Jimmer in me! Elder Searle and I after went out to Four Oaks to visit Syyya and Axxxn and they are both so cool! We did some knocking doors and someone actually let us in...but he wanted to bash big time haha! Both elder Searle and I tried to keep the lesson on point but he kept bashing us and i was like no way I'm bashing right now! I kept just bearing testimony and he got a bit more quiet after that cuz he couldn't take that away from me. Then we all went to BIRMINGHAM to get food and talk to people! I finally made it to Birmingham City Centre, I was so hyped cuz it's not in the zone so this was the one chance to go! We went to this super good Mexican place called Mission Burrito, and it was way good! I've never enjoyed Mexican food before but it's now one of my favourites! So hyped to hit up some good places after my mission in So Cal! Also got some five guys shakes! Then me and elder Searle talked to people on Birmingham College's campus and it was dark and quiet, I thought no way we get any potentials, but in ten minutes we got like 13 people wanting to meet up again! It was crazy! It was such a fun day! Elder Wagner and Searle are two of the funniest guys I've ever met!

Friday was a fun day but kind of slow too, we did a ton of knocking doors and at the end of the night we wanted to just go in for dinner, but we decided to knock on one more street, and we found a new investigator in it named Yxxt, she's way cool! We are seeing her again tonight! Goes to show that god blesses us when we go the extra mile!!

Saturday was a B L A S T !!! We went to Walsall to start out the day to do some district  finding in their city centre! I was with elder Garrick for half of it and elder smith (my first Zone leader in Swansea) for the second half, he was there cuz they were on exchanges with the Walsall A elders! It was cool to catch up on old times, and it's crazy how much I've changed since the first time I went finding with him in September! I love that guy! After that we were standing at a train station and I was probably like 15 feet away from Elder Clayton, and this guy just comes up and starts talking to me casually, and eventually the topic that came up was what we did, and he was asking a ton of questions about it and was really interested, so we set up a time to see him this upcoming week! It's so much nicer to start normal and then transition into the gospel!Then we went to Four Oaks to visit Syyya and Axxxn and wow they are so cool, I say it again and again, I love them! And they actually love America, it's always cool to see that! One of our lessons ditched out, but we still had one heck of a day!

Sunday was sweet as always, but it had a cherry on top this time! PxxJxx (Syyyy's partner), Syyya, and Axxxn all came to church and it was so sick! The ward loved them and more importantly, they loved the ward!! We are gonna meet up with them a ton this week, and they are coming to a DA this weekend! It's sick too cuz PxxxJxxxx is taking me and elder Clayton to the Belfrey for some golf! It's a super famous course out here that the Ryder Cup was played at! Other than church we did some weekly planning and visited some people!

A quick spiritual thought for your week: president Monson once said "If we are on the Lords errand, we are entitled to his blessings" When we are serving God and following his commandments and doing what he wants us to do, we can rely on him to bless us with the blessings that he has promised us in the scriptures and through prophets! We can ask for those blessings as we are doing what is right! and God will never forsake us!

It really has been a good week out here, im excited for this coming week! Also a big birthday shoutout to Brigham and Brittany Hill! Hope you both have killer birthdays this week!!

Hope you all have LIT weeks because i know i will! Love you guys! Stay safe! 😘😘

Elder Varner

Sent from my iPad

heres a ton of random videos from soccer, random park, drum set at the APs flat, and going with elder wagner and elder searle to mission burrito in Birmingham!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Chavs and Where to Find Them (Week 22)

i swear every kid here looks like they are straight out of Harry Potter, it's nuts. also do you know how in the third Harry Potter there is that bus scene where the buses get super close to the other buses and like thin out to get through the space? I swear then buses do that here, no lie. I've seen so many buses almost hit a kid or another car or bus but by God's grace it just doesn't happen at all. for all of you who may say you have been to the world of Harry Potter at universal, I'm living in it. also had an encounter with some chavs, read more to find out!

last monday has to be one of the funnest p-days I've had. I got a haircut and did some emailing and then the district came down from Walsall and we went GOLFING! 9 holes with free rental clubs for like £7, dirt cheap and it was so sick! it didn't rain one bit the entire day until we got to the first tee box, it dumped rain for the first few holes, but didn't stop us from having a blast! we got some sick pics and videos too so check it! I still got some game too! after that I found out two things: first was that we are doing exchanges with the AP's this upcoming week which is unusual but I'm looking forward to the learning opportunity! second-the Owens called us and asked if we had dinner set for the night and they invited us over for dinner. I love that couple so much, they are amazing!

Tuesday was tight! We went to the mission home to see the new greenies come in, only five of them but pretty cool. We did a lot of knocking doors the entire day, but we found from it, some super cool people that we will continue to follow up with. Really finding people at doors is what we do and then eventually the one will appear through hard work, it just takes faith and time. We went to the O'Gradys for dinner which was awesome! We had curry! Not much else for the day but still a fun one!

Wednesday was cool! We met with a guy named Mxxk, he's had a hard life up to this point but wants to change it around, we put him on a baptismal date for February! Such a cool dude! After that we did a ton of finding which I think went well, we also had dinner at the Fells and it was amazing! They fed us some sweet curry!

Thursday was so long, it was good, but way long. We had zone meeting which was in litchfield. It was good, but not the same as Merthyr zone meetings. The zone is pretty cool though! We didn't get back until like 4 and then we had to rush over to a dinner at the Fishers and we had bangers and mash! aka sausage and mashed potatoes, it's so good! then visited a few members.

Friday was pretty fun! We went to the mission home in the morning to work on the EBM website and then we went back to our flat and contacted potentials for a few hours. We set up a ton of appointments for this upcoming week so you know I'm hyped about that! Not much else other than visiting a few less actives! We also went to Walsall cuz we were doing district finding the next morning so we decided to do travel at night rather than getting up extra early, it was fun to be with those guys!

Saturday had its ups and downs, but overall it was such a sweet day! We did some district finding in Walsall and I went with Elder Ohare from Gilbert AZ, big shout out to all the homies from Gilbert including Braeden Johnson!!! Elder Ohare is such a stud, he's been out for one transfer less than me and he is one of the best missionaries I've spent time with. Watching him talk to people is amazing just because he is so genuine, me and him had a blast talking to people for a few hours! I went up to stop this one girl and talk to her and as soon as I said hi and made eye contact, she went complete 180 on me, it's like I parted the Red Sea, dang! But we talked to some really cool people that the Walsall elders will be able to see again so I'm hyped! After district finding, elder Clayton and i went back to wylde green and went to stop at a potentials house to teach a lesson, well, we thought it was a potential, on the phone it said Potential Nameless. It turned out to be a member couple that's kind of less active, but they are super cool, they invited us back for this upcoming week, the guy served in the Manchester mission and his mission president was the mtc president for me, so we talked a bit about that! Then we went to see this guy named Axxx, he's 29, married, and has to be one of the coolest guys I've met my entire mission. He got baptised but not confirmed cuz he had some doubts and stuff, so we are working with him, and he's been meeting with missionaries for years, but he's so close to recommitting and getting baptised again, him and his wife are lovely people, and they love us enough to feed us this upcoming week! In other news Elder Clayton had the phone and I guess it fell out of his pocket and was left on the bus, and some stupid Chavs got it (chavs are white trash, they are the stupidest people ever, it's pretty much teenage gangsters that are about as intimidating as middle schoolers). We tried calling our number at the mission home and the chav gang picked up and started mocking us and Clayton was getting pretty upset saying they were acting childish, they wouldn't budge, long story short we had to get the phone shut down and we were at the mission home until like 10:15 until the APs drove us home, we get a new phone today I think, but man I hate chavs. It made for a good laugh though with the APs on the way back to our flat haha.

Sunday was good, I gave a talk in church last minute on prayer and I think it went pretty well. After church we went over to the Mxxx's for lunch and oh my gosh it was amazing. It was like a roast dinner with Yorkshire and more, SOO good! Then we stopped by a few people's houses and no one was home so we did some weekly planning, did call ins at the mission home and then hung out with the APs and Birmingham zone leaders for dinner, ''twas a good night.

It was a good week, looking back on it, it went super fast, and I'm really growing to love this place and these people, being a missionary has to be one of the coolest things ever.

I'll end with this spiritual thought: sister Nelson said in a devotional last year, "What if you learned that the Savior had already returned to this earth--that He, as part of His Second Coming, had already met with some of His true followers in several marvelous, large gatherings--gatherings about which the world, including CNN and the blogosphere, knew nothing. If you found out that the Savior was already on the earth, what would you desperately want to do today, and what would you be willing and ready to do tomorrow?" This statement made me think a ton, if you knew the Saviour was coming for his second coming soon, like really soon, what would you do? What would you change? How would you act and think? Just some self reflection questions, it's interesting though. I'd ask each of you to prayerfully consider that!

another week gone by, tune in next week for a more interesting email hopefully! also late happy birthday to my grandpa! hope you guys have a lit week! count tender mercies this week! you know I love you guys! Don't fredette it!

Elder Varner

187 Penns Lane
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
England B76 1JU
United Kingdom

Sent from my iPad

videos and pictures of golf, zone metting, meals with the district, SNOW, random pisc of england, the dab, and more!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Missed Bus - Saved From Being Stabbed! (Week 21)

never have I ever...had a weirder week in my entire life. this last week has been a blast out here in england, the area is so sick and I can see so many sweet things happening here, and it's only the beginning! there were a few hard points at the beginning but the hype is real right now! 

last Monday was such a good day, but it was probably the saddest day of my mission. I felt kinda sick throughout the day but I was not gonna let that ruin my last day in Swansea! No chance! Me and miner went to visit Royston and Fionna, and then the Fishes for the last time. After emailing me and elder Sinclaire, the sisters, kxxxx and Kexx Hxxx, and Axxx all went to Five guys for my farewell dinner, cuz there's no five guys in my new zone. Saying goodbye to these people had to be the hardest thing I've ever done, like for example I was talking to Royston over the phone at night and by the end of it I was just in tears, I never thought I'd grow to love a place so much.

Tuesday I woke up and had to be at the train station early for the coach to pick us up in front of it, kayleigh and the sisters came to say goodbye and that was super sad to leave. Swansea will always have a special place in my heart. On the coach ride to the mission home I had to say goodbye to elder miner too, which was sad. I got to talk to Ben hill for a bit though. Once I got to the mission home I was reunited with my mtc group which was soooo sick! The squad!! Then I met elder Clayton, who is super rad, and we went to go visit a potential and went knocking doors. These people in England are way nicer than people made them out to be. Two catholic priests let us in and fed us some food and just talked with us, and they lived in a MANSION! So tight! The day had its hard points because I missed Swansea so much and the people there, it's so weird being in a new place, but I'll press on! The flat is super sick, way nicer than the flat in Swansea and everything seems good!

Wednesday was a pretty good day. It definitely started out harder just because of how much I missed Swansea, but we had a boss comp study and studied the talk Choose Wisely by Elder Cook! It was so sick, check it! After that we did some grocery shopping cuz we had NO food except a mega bag of krusteaz pancake mix that a senior missionary couple got us from Costco, so we are set for good pancakes! we knocked a ton of doors and it was an interesting time to say the least haha, these English people are actually pretty nice, but they aren't too interested. We knocked one door and these two girls came up to us and said that the lady at that house was old and we should've already known that and that we were annoying the lady, well, the lady answers the door and the girl tells this lady she is looking out for her, and the lady thinks she said something different, she comes out slow as a slug and starts yelling at her, then laughs, kisses her on the cheek, walks back, smiles at us, sees our name tags, immediately says no repeatedly, walks into her doorway still saying no, shuts the door, and then we finally got a word in by saying ok, oh my gosh I was dying. If that story didn't make sense, the moral of it is that England is weird. We stopped by the O'Gradys couple, young couple from chelmsey wood, shoutout to the homie elder Gilbert! (And also elder ey! Love that guy! Keep having fun in the hood dude!), and they are super cool. Then we had ward coordination with our ward mission leader, brother Owens, then he took us back to his place to have dinner with him and his wife, it was SOO good, they are such a cool couple, they remind me of the Mehners, 100%, i love it!

Thursday was good I think, to be honest, I can't remember it at all and I'm too lazy to check my planner over it. At night we had the Walsall elders, elder Blair from Arizona and elder Campbell from Scotland stay at our flat which was fun, super late night. Oh I almost forgot! So we were about to get on a bus but we barely missed it, so we walked to the next stop and the bus was stopped there and apparently some guy in between stops tried to stab someone so god really saved us on that one! that could have been us haha

Friday was probably one of the best days of my mission! We had interviews with president in the morning and it was so sick to talk to p-Leppard! I asked him about patriarchal blessings and other sick stuff! My favourite thing he said was how patriarchal blessings are for our entire life's, meaning pre existence, this life, and the life to come! We shared some good heart to heart personal stories and more. I love president and sister Leppard! After that we did district finding in wylde green which was tight cuz we got 10 new people for us to visit out here! Then me and elder Blaire, homie from Arizona who has been out one month less than me, went on exchanges. We went to Walsall to a dinner appointment with a member named Sue who is super sweet and also an investigator of theirs, he's had a rough past but we got him to commit to being baptised in two weeks and he is so hyped up about it, like so sick! I'm hyped for the Walsall elders and more importantly, this homie Dxx! We walked back to their flat which is in the hood, I swear this part of Walsall is so sketchy, we almost saw a fight break out and I was ready to jump on those cats!

Saturday was a great day too, me and elder blair went to the town center in Walsall and  just talked to pretty much everyone, we found a few interested people, but also had two weird encounters. One of them was a big black guy holding up a straw with a paper that said "Jesus" on it, I went up and said "heck yeah!" and he gave me a high five and we were hyped and I thought I'd be on my way, but then he starts talking to us and out of no where a super weird old lady comes up to us on one side and then an Asian lady with two young kids on the other, and in a ten second span it went from two of us and one guy to two of us and five others. They started talking about there religion, it might have been the j-dubs but I wasn't too sure, they were trying to get us to convert to their thing for like 30 minutes and I was just so confused, they were contradicting themselves so much by saying things like only grace can save you, your works will never do it, but in the bible it says faith without works is dead, and they were saying we could do anything, i don't know, it was dumb, it almost got to a bash, but we held back cuz we didn't want to wreck them. After that we met up with two other elders in Walsall to get Nando's for lunch, did some knockin and then met up with one of their investigators which was good. While knocking some guy lectured us about body language for twenty minutes too, not cuz we had bad body language, but it came up some how and then he just shredded (jokingly of course) elder Blair apart, I was dying! we had to stay again in Walsall because the train schedule sucks and the other elders came too late for us to make it back, so we had a late night of playing darts and just relaxing.

Sunday was good as always. The ward here is so cool, it's not as funny as Swansea ward, but the people are sooo kind and there's youth here so that's cool! The bishop asked me to bear my testimony at the beginning of the meeting and then I also taught gospel principles about fasting, but there were only missionaries and the ward mission leader there so not a big crowd haha. Also we got called into relief society to bear our testimonies of the restoration and what it means to us individually, so yes, I went to relief society (women class at church for those who aren't mormons) haha.

I guess this will lead into my spiritual thought, this week I want each of you to think about what the restoration means to you individually, and if you feel comfortable with sharing, email me about it because I think it's so cool to hear from others what this gospel means to them. For me, the best part of the restoration is that through Joseph Smith, temples were restored. In most churches, you are married "til death do you part", but in temples you are sealed for time and ALL ETERNITY. There is nothing more comforting to me than the fact that I know I'll be with my family forever. The restoration wasn't just an event 200 years ago, it's something that is still going on today. As you constantly reflect on it's personal meaning to you, your hearts will flow with gratitude for that sacred moment. 

This area is pretty sweet so far, it's definitely been one of the more interesting weeks of my mission. Still keep me in your prayers, I miss Swansea a ton but this place is rising and we are grinding out in the work! I'm hyped for what will be another LIT week!  I gotta run and kick these other elder's butts in 9 holes of GOLF, DV classic English rain edition! Hope you guys have a sick week and always remember that I love you!!

Elder Varner

send all letters/packages to:
187 Penns Lane
Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands
England B76 1JU
United Kingdom

video 1: tracting life (golf ball idea from trev thomp!)
pics 1-2: nandos with blair, garrick, and ohare
pic 3: part of the mtc squad
pic 4: miner man
pic 5: last look out at swansea
pic 6: axxx

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Wylde Green on the Rise and Grind! Wales to England (Week 20 - Second Area Wylde Green, Sutton Coldfield, England)

this week has been a long week, like really long. I've been feeling sick for the past 48 hours and then bam! transfer calls. elder miner will be headed to cardiff and I'll be headed to the wylde green ward which is in Sutton Coldfield ENGLAND! The church building is right next to the mission home so should be a sick transfer! I'll be serving with Elder Clayton from Utah. I'll talk more about it later in the email.

last Monday was pretty sick! there was a Boxing Day soccer game with the ward, it was like the turkey bowl back home! I got wrecked! I suck at soccer! Haha, but I did get to play basketball which I was better at! After emailing we went over to Royston's house for a nice dinner! He made Brussels sprouts taste amazing, miracle worker!!

tuesday we started out by going to the church to help clean it, then we had to wait forever to catch a bus to the Robert's to say goodbye to Will, who went to America a few days later. the buses sucked on tuesday because it was a bank holiday and we had to wait like 25 minutes for a bus to the Roberts from near the church. Not gonna lie, didn't really want to work but we pushed through and knocked some doors and we got a few return appointments set up! when you show god that you are willing to go the extra mile, he blesses you for it! we went over and said goodbye to will, then ran to the train station to catch a train to Newport because we had to stay there so we could go to the mission tour early the next morning.

after about two hours of sleep, I got up super early on Wednesday morning to get ready and then took a train to the mission tour in Cheltenham where Elder Paul Johnson came to speak to us, that was pretty sick, he's such a good speaker, I left totally motivated! he gave a talk in the April general conference on how we will be able to live with our families forever in the next life, and after he was done speaking I went up to him and spoke to him for a bit about how my mom passed away and we talked about my mom and his daughter who passed away, we also shared with each other how knowledge of eternal families has brought us so much joy, definitely my favourite part of the day, not too often that you get to have a personal conversation with a general authority. Miner and Holbrook drove us back to Swansea, and on the way we listened to Dating 911 by John Bytheway, and it was hilarious, a total Utah Mormon thing and it was so funny! pretty good day!

thursday was a slow day, a good day, but a slow one. we did some knocking doors mixed throughout the day and found a few cool people who invited us back to talk more so hopefully that'll work out. we saw the less active guy who use to be a bishop and stuff, he is super cool, only a matter of time until he comes back to church. we also got dinner with kxxx which was fun. it was a good day, but it felt like it took forever haha

Friday wasn't the best day at all everything we had planned pretty much blew up in our faces. But we did have some good parts to the day, we were going knocking doors and the first door we knocked on a guy answered and was super cool, he lives in Liverpool but we gave him a Book of Mormon and he committed to reading it which got me super hyped, after that we found a sick park and took some videos there! not much else except sports night after.

Saturday was decent, we did a lot of finding with not a lot of success. No one really was down to talk cuz it was New Year's Eve, we had to be in by 6:00 and then we just had to hangout at our flat, I felt super sick around 8:00 and I just passed out by 11.

Sunday was decent, not a bad day, but just one that dragged on, I felt sick on and off. We were able to go to sacrament meeting but after first hour I felt sick again so we went back to the flat. At night we got "dodge calls" where we find out where people are going for transfers, like I said at the beginning I'll be going to Wylde Green Ward!

This week was both good and bad, it really had every emotion. I have no idea what to expect for the future transfers, I'm torn to be leaving Swansea, this place will always have a special place in my heart, and I honestly have tears in my eyes writing this, I never thought I'd grow to love a place and a people so much ever, but I'm looking forward to the future out here and hopefully it all goes well! 

Well I almost forgot a spiritual thought so I'll share a quote that's been running through my head non stop from Elder Wirthlin, "COME WHAT MAY AND LOVE IT". In life we can go through unexpected trials that bring us anxiety and heart ache, but as we turn towards the gospel in all aspects of our life, we can feel joy in any situation, whatever may come, love it. Christ will be with you every step of the way. His love is unfailing.

This is my last email in WALES for a while, I'll finally be in England, keep me in your prayers because I'm pretty nervous about it. I love you guys. Have a lit week! I'll try to do the same. 

hwyl fawr cymru,

Elder Varner

video 1: cool park slide
vid 2: sports night
pic 1: mtc mini reunion
pic 2: quick pic before will left for the promised land!
pic 3: out for dayzzzz
pic 4: farewell to the fishes today