"Where ere thou art, Act well thy part"

Thursday, December 31, 2015

December 28, 2015

Hello All!! This weekly update won't be too long again since we only have about an hour to email and I'm flying through it! Here we go!

MONDAY -  We had a half P-Day since it is Christmas this week and we have a few more days off, so we just emailed.  Then we shopped and did some regular proselyting!  It seems to me, that the closer we get to Christmas, the more hardened people got.  Ireland is a place where the topic of religion is a wee bit…volatile.  So it gets hard sometimes, but we push through and make the best of it!

TUESDAY - We did a really giant GQ loop in the morning to make sure we shared as much Christmas spirit with people as we could and then in the evening, we taught a referral from one of the counselors in the mission presidency! And he was our joint teach! Lemme tell you, teaching with a member of the mission presidency is really good!  I highly recommend it! She committed to be baptized in the first weeks of February!

WEDNESDAY - We did another giant GQ loop and it was really fun.  Rejection is part of life and we just blow it off.  Sometimes if the person is particularly rude, we will say something along the lines of, "Your opinion does not change the fact that there is a God, and that he has restored His Church back to the Earth."  Thankfully, we don't have to say that hardly at all, but there was a time or two when we did.

THURSDAY (Christmas Eve) - We had weekly planning and then we went and did one final Christmas finding session.  Still, no one was very interested.  For the evening, we went to the Johnson's and had some take out.  Then we watched Big Hero 6, which is a fantastic movie, by the way.  Then we traveled home and hit the hay.

FRIDAY - Christmas!!! It was great!  Elder Allred and myself both opened our presents and then we proceeded to make a giant American breakfast as per the tradition of our forefathers.  

We made eggs and bacon, as well as hash browns and tiny little roasties.  We also made a big ol' stack of waffles with a waffle maker that we found underneath our sink!  It was such a delicious breakfast!  After that, we went out and delivered cookies to the single elderly sisters in our ward and shared a wee Christmas message with them.  It was very good.  After that, we went over to the Whithorns for a Christmas dinner and it was huge!  I didn't even come close to finishing!  And then we traveled to the Reid's, where they gave us free reign over their TV.  So we watched Dragon Ball Z with Nathan.  It was awesome!  Then we headed to the Johnson's again and Skyped our families.  That was really cool!  It has really been a long time since I had seen them! It was good to talk and to chat with them.  After our Skype call, the Johnsons let us play their Wii, since their kids were busy with a new PS4, so we played Super Smash Brothers for a bit.  It was awesome!  

SATURDAY - We had another day off! Boxing day is cool!  First off, we went to town and I picked up a new suit, then we went to the Parker's and watched the Man U Game.  It was pretty fun.  Then we played FIFA and got absolutely destroyed!  It was almost an embarrassment.  But it was fun. Then we went back over to the Reid's and watched the LEGO movie and Hercules and had some Chinese food.  It was pretty good day!

SUNDAY - Was back to work!  We went to church and then GQ'ed for a while.  We found a potential! She is an older lady named 'S'.  So we are excited to see if our teaching come through or not.  It should be good!  

Well, that is it for the week!  Hope you all have a fantastic week!  Talk to you soon!

Ponderize D&C 20:16 (Get it? 2016! Haha!  It's a good one!)

16 For the Lord God has spoken it; and we, the elders of the church, have heard and bear witness to the words of the glorious Majesty on high, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

-Elder Mickelsen

December 21, 2015

My Christmas Onesie PJ's

Hey Everybody! How are things going? Good to hear! (Just imagine me pausing to listen like Dora does!)  But things have been awesome here!!  I am going to give a short weekly update since we only have 1 hour to email today and I'll be Skyping on Friday!  Woohoo!! You know what that means??? It's Christmas!  I have been  out for a while now!  At the end of this transfer is my 6 month mark! WOW! That was fast! Anyway, here we go…

MONDAY - is the same as always.  We emailed, shopped and played snooker.  To which Elder Allred and myself are still tied.  The battle will continue after the New Year! But we also did a bit of finding to build our teaching pool!  No luck, but mean people are awesome! We just laugh at it now.  We love opposition! Just like in video games, it means we are going the right way!

TUESDAY - We just had a whole day of finding!  Woohoo!! Also, this week was pretty warm…lots of sunshine!  It should be close to 18 celsius on Christmas.  We have a jet stream from the Caribbean coming in! Woohoo!!

WEDNESDAY - You guessed it! Finding!  It was starting to get exhausting, but we powered through! We found 'N' exactly like this.  We have faith!  And FAITH IS POWER! (That's my motto!)

THURSDAY - Weekly Planning!  And we ate 6 tubes of sour cream and onion Pringles…which was a bad choice!  But is was awesome nonetheless.  Weekly planning can be a drag sometimes, but it is necessary!  The Lord can't guide your footsteps unless you are willing to move your feet!

FRIDAY - We had our Ward Christmas Party.  It was fun.  They did a little Nativity and it was a good one.  Roberts 1st has still got 'em though! They also had a ton of food!! Chicken curry is fantastic!  Put it over some rice and it's enough to make a grown man weak at the knees! It's awesome!!

SATURDAY - We taught 'T' and then we taught 'N' a recent convert lesson.  Her friend from England was there so we kind of taught her as well.  Her friend was interesting… but it was an okay lesson.  After 'N', we went finding! Woo!

SUNDAY - was the Christmas service in Church.  It was really good.  They read scriptures and sang all the songs.  It made me excited to be here for Christmas!  What better way to show my appreciation for the birth of the Saviour than to serve here!  Sunday was also spent finding!  We just love love love it!

Anyway, this week has been fantastic.  I encourage all of you to remember Christ this Christmas.  And always be grateful for all you receive! 

Moroni 10:33 is my ponderizing for the week! We can become holy without spot through Christ!

Merry Christmas Everybody! And a Happy New Year! And to my family, SEE YOU ON FRIDAY!

Til the work is done!

-Elder Mickelsen

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Monday December 14, 2015

Niamh's (Neve) baptism
December 12, 2015

Hello Again! This week has been jam packed and flew by quicker than I can possibly try to comprehend!  We had so much going on!  From teaching and finding, to playing a Farkle Tournament and getting our moves call! It has been a wonderful and miraculous week!

MONDAY- was P-Day, as we all are aware. (I'm pretty sure I say that every week, so I'm gonna roll with it) And it was a very good day.  We did our usual email and snooker, in which Elder Allred and myself tied.  So it's a tie breaker this week!  But we did our usual P-Day things and then headed over to the church to have 'N' try on a jumpsuit so we could take it to a member and have it washed for her baptism.  After that, we took her over to the Jackson's house to teach her another lesson.  We taught her on Enduring to the End and making sure her conversion was permanent.  And lemme tell you, 'N' has a very, very, very strong conversion.  It was truly a fantastic day.

TUESDAY- We went finding! Woohoo!  We haven't had a day to find in a very long time and it was pretty awesome to go out and knock on doors and talk to people in the rain!  We also read the Book of Mormon with Sister Walsh, and that is always a fun time.  We listen to her stories and talk to her for about 30 minutes and then we read a good chapter out of the good ole blue book, and leave her with a prayer.  They have been some good lessons.  

After Sister Walsh, we headed to the church to give 'N' a mock interview right before her real interview.  She aced our interview, and then after her real interview, Elder White (Our new district leader) told us that she was the most prepared person he had ever interviewed for baptism and that she was super solid.  That made Elder Allred and myself very happy!  It was awesome! We also had a District sleepover at our flat because we were taking the train to Dublin early the next morning.  We have been to Dublin twice this transfer, and it is really a great time!  After having a gospel discussion, we headed to bed for our early start the next morning.

WEDNESDAY- All Ireland Conference! They are so much fun!  We all get to meet together and see our friends and also hear from some pretty good speakers.  This time we heard from Elder Patrick Kearon of the Seventy, and he is also the Europe Area President.  It was awesome!  He had such good things to share with us and made us all super pumped to be missionaries! I have heard a good deal from Elder Kearon this past transfer, and I can testify that he is called of God!  After the conference, we made it back home and headed to bed.  Traveling like that really takes it out of you!

THURSDAY- We had our weekly planning and we also taught 'N' her LAST LESSON!!!! We weren't totally sure what to go over, but we covered what she can expect as a new member in the church and how she can best serve in the Ward.  It was a pretty good lesson.  We also had a dinner appointment that day with Daniel Hamilton, and it was a good dinner.  They had a chicken and leek bake that was more like soup, but it was delicious.  We also had coordination.  But Thursday was a great and marvelous day and a day well spent.

FRIDAY- was Awesome!! We got up and got to wear normal street clothes because we were going to the church to clean the font for our baptism!  Woot woot!  And after we had done so, we helped the Bishop clean up the kitchen since it was just barely renovated.  So that was pretty fun.  We also had a big old slot of time to go finding and we spent it GQ-ing in the park.  It was good!  We didn't get many people interested, but it doesn't really deter us.  We know we have the truth and nobody will stop it from coming forward.  After our big day of finding, we headed home around 8pm for dinner.  It was a spectacular day.
Happy Baptism Day!!

SATURDAY- is what you all have been waiting for!!! 'N's baptism!! It was fantastic!  But first we went up to 'T's house and taught him the Tree of Life.  We have these Book of Mormon animated stories and we showed him the tree.  It was a great lesson.  He is starting to come around and our work is beginning to pay off.  After that, we had lunch and then we headed to the church to get things set up.  We cleaned the chapel, set up chairs, turned the heating on, and of course, filled the font.  It was an amazing experience to finally see that font fill with water!  Then we finally had the baptism!  It was a fantastic service.  We had two speakers, Elder Allred and Nathan Reid.  Then we had the baptism, performed by Elder Allred.  During the time they were changing, we had a short testimony meeting and quite a few people bore their testimonies.  When 'N' finally did come back in, one of the members of the Bishopric asked her to bear her testimony and she got up and the first thing she said was, "This church is true.  I knew it from the moment I met the missionaries."  It was so powerful!  The best part though, was that she didn't now that you had to close in the name of Jesus Christ, and so she just finished talking and then she hit the podium and walked off.  We were stoked.  It was so awesome!!!  After the baptism, we cleaned up and headed home.
Elder Allred baptized Niamh on Saturday
Elder Mickelsen confirmed on Sunday

SUNDAY- was also a pretty good day.  We went to church and I had the opportunity to confirm 'N'.  It was a very spiritual experience.  I was excited and she was, too!  As I told her to receive the Holy Ghost, I felt it come to her and she knew she had it.  It was super awesome!  We also got a referral to teach one of our mission president's counselor's cousins!  They came to our Ward and said that they wanted and needed us to baptize them.  So we are committed to baptize more people now!  

And the moment we've all been waiting for… Elder Allred and myself are staying one more transfer in Lisburn!  Christmas in Lisburn is gonna be awesome!

Anyway, I hope all of you are having a fantastic time no matter where you are.  At this time of year, the most important thing we can do is think of the Savior and the great gift he was to not only us, but to mankind.  I encourage all of you to watch the Church's new Christmas initiative video on LDS.org and take Elder Ballard's Christmas invitation to bing a friend.  Tis the season!  Till the work is done!

Enos 1:7-8

And I said: Lord, how is it done?

And he said unto me: Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen.  And many years pass away before he shall manifest himself in the flesh; wherefore, go to, they faith hath made thee whole!

-Elder Mickelsen

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Hello All! This week has been fantastic! We have seen miracles in our area! The work is picking up pace! And Elder Allred and myself are so excited to be a part of it! Also, yesterday, I hit 4 months! 20 more to go! I have blinked and my mission has disappeared! I was still sitting there thinking, it's only August, and then I checked the calendar and saw that it was December 6th! I was blown away!
Anyway, here we go!

MONDAY-was Pday as we are all aware, I hope.  We spent the day doing our usual Pday things: We had a heated bet 2 out of 3 snooker match and then we had some lunch! It was awesome! I lost, then I won, and then Elder Allred made a run for it and won.  So I am gonna win this week!  Woohoo! After that, we had a lesson with the most golden investigator on the face of the planet! 'N'! She is so ready! Elder Allred and myself are experiencing things that only States missionaries have experienced! (No offense to yous in the States).  We have actually run out of things to teach her!  She accepts everything and she has a powerful testimony!  It is so great!  We actually taught her a deeper version of the Gospel of Jesus Christ today, but she already knew most of it! It is so awesome to see someone so prepared!  After that, we were going to have a lesson with Sister Walsh but couldn't find a male to go with us so we had to reschedule, buy hey! It all works out!

TUESDAY-we had District Meeting, which is always a blast.  We had it in the Lisburn building as opposed to our usual Belfast building, and it was pretty great.  I had to give instruction yet again, and it went well.  We always have great discussions.  It's awesome!  After District meeting, the whole district came back to our flat and we made a giant Mexican dinner!  It was amazing!  We had chicken burritos and nachos.  Boy oh boy has it been a while since I had eaten like that.  It was so delicious.  I miss Taco Bell :(  But I will be back soon enough at this rate!

After lunch, we taught 'N' again.  It was so good.  We taught her on the Grace of Jesus Christ and showed her the talk, "His Grace is Sufficient," by Brad Wilcox.  I encourage all of you to give that one a read!  It is a good talk!  Then we just GQ-ed and tracked for the rest of the evening.  We have much higher spirits right after a lesson and we love to share the gospel with everyone!  Rejection is very common here, and we run into more Born Again Christians than I would care to talk about, but nevertheless, we strive to carry this message to all the world.  People will reject us, but only because we have the truth!

WEDNESDAY-HUMP DAY! Not really, missionary hump day is really on Thursday since that is the middle of the week.  With only 1 day off a week, it gets pretty awesome! Anyway, we chapped and talked to people on the streets all day on Wednesday whilst we waited to teach 'N' in the Johnson's home to finish off our evening.  It was a pretty great day!  It was really sunny and warm as well.  The grass is green and it was 62 degrees outside, (15 celsius) but it was beautiful.  We taught 'N' the Ten Commandments and she loved it!  She is sooooo golden!

THURSDAY-MISSIONARY HUMP DAY! Woo!  We had weekly planning and we planned for a BAPTISM!!!! WOOO!!!! Weekly planning is legit. But anyway, after planning, we taught 'N' and recapped the Word of Wisdom and Tithing and also told her to keep going strong.  Afterwards, we talked to people for a while and then went over to Alice's house to have dinner with her and her parents.  It was a pretty good dinner!  We had mince pie and gravy, as well as pavlova for dessert!  Yum!!

FRIDAY-was fun.  We made some Rice Krispies for the Bishop and his family since we forgot them the last time we made them, (oops) and that went awesome.  The Rice Krispies are so good!  We also set 'N' up on family history and we taught her a little bit about it at the Edward's home.  She loved family history and is excited to keep going with it.  It is so awesome! I feel like I say 'awesome' almost every other word!! It's awesome! Woo!  Then after family history, we dropped off Bishop's treats and then went to teach Sister Walsh to finish off the night.  It was a great day!

SATURDAY- we had a full day of teaching!  We started off by teaching 'N', (big surprise), and then we taught 'A'.  She is progressing well! She has committed to baptism on the 30th of December! So we are going to have 2 baptisms this month!  It's incredible!  After that, we went and grabbed some lunch and then we had to catch a train to Belfast so we could take 'N' to a baptism that was happening in Rosetta.  She loved it!  It put her at ease about the last thing she really didn't know for sure.  She was really nervous about what baptism would be like, so that helped immensely!  Then we headed home.

SUNDAY-was great!  We had church, and then we did some GQ-ing in the park whilst we awaited a lesson we were having with 'N' at the Jacksons.  The lesson went fantastic.  We went over the Articles of Faith and she said they were awesome! Then we had dinner with the Jacksons and it was superb.  This area is so good! It is so incredible here!  I love it!  Miracles are here and they are here because the true work of God is here!

Well everybody, that has been my week! It has been incredible!  But to close me off, here is my ponderizing scripture:

Alma 26:5-8

5 Behold the field was ripe, and blessed are ye for ye did thrust in the sickle, and did reap with your might, yea, all the day long did ye labor; and behold the number of your sheaves! And they shall be gathered into the garners, that they are not wasted.

6 Yea, they shall not be heated down by the storm at the last day, yea, neither shall they be harrowed up by the whirlwinds, but when the storm cometh, they shall be gathered together in their place, that the storm cannot penetrate to them; yea, neither shall they be driven with fierce winds whithersoever the enemy listeth to carry them.

7 But behold, they are in the hands of the Lord of the Harvest, and they are his; and he will raise them up at the last day.

8 Blessed be the name of our God; let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever!

-Elder Mickelsen

Monday, November 30, 2015

November 29, 2015

I'm just going to start off this update with the statement that this week was AWESOME! We have seen miracles and more and more progression with our work here.  Hard work really does pay off! It is so incredible!

MONDAY was P-Day! No surprise there, but, we did teach 'N'! We have been teaching her every day and she loves it.  Today she was taught the Word of Wisdom and she committed to live it right on the spot.  It was awesome.  She is progressing so well!  We are still debating on whether or not to move her date up, but both Elder Allred and I want to make sure she is 110% ready to be baptized.  We are still in shock.  People this prepared don't happen.  So we need to verify that we aren't really dreaming.  Indeed in the vernacular of today's youth, "It was awesome!"  But later that day we went over and read 3 Nephi 11 to Sister Walsh.  She really enjoyed it.  The part we focus on in when the Savior invited all the Nephites, one by one, to come and feel the prints in His hands and feet and to thrust their hands into his side.  The same thing happens today.  He does not invite only one or a few to partake of his goodness and to find out that He lives, but He invites us all, one by one, to come and feel of His goodness and love and mercy.  And that is a wonderful, wonderful thing!  

We then headed home and hit the hay.
 At the Johnsons after their son's mission farewell.  He's serving in the London England Mission
 Hard at work studying!
Elder Allred taking a little cat nap after all the chapping!

TUESDAY-was pretty great.  We had District Meeting, which is always good.  This was the first District Meeting we had this transfer.  Elder White is our new district leader and he had some great ways of teaching.  The meeting was truly Spirit led, and it enlightened us all! We learned so much and answered questions.  District Meetings are always great.  Then afterward, we went to Subway, as per tradition, and got some lunch.  Elder Allred and Elder White traveled to Portadown, and Elder Plewe and I were left to convert Lisburn.  It was a day filled with finding and chapping, and not many people were too chuffed to see us, but we smile and say our bit and them invite them to action.  We got one potential as well!  She is a Polish lady named 'M'.  She was really nice, but also busy and we only had a few seconds to get her information.  But we will be trying by her soon!  We then went chapping and GQ-ing for the remainder of the day.  Fruitless, but fun.

WEDNESDAY- was pretty great.  Really the only thing I want to focus on is the fact that we taught 'N' again, and this time it was the Law of Chastity and the Law of Tithing and the Law of the Fast. And she accepted all 3! It was incredible! All three without question or complaint!  She said that God wanted her to do it, so she would.  After Elder Allred and myself had closed our jaws, we went out chapping on a spiritual high! And let me tell you, it was awesome!  But, people don't really wanna talk when it's dark outside, even if it is only 5 o'clock.  But oh well.  The work will go on!

THURSDAY- We all know about Thursday or should I say, Turkey Day!!  It was pretty great.  'N' has finished all her lessons, so we decided to watch Prophet of the Restoration with more detail and doctrine. And that was a spiritual home run.  If any of you have not seen the Prophet of the Restoration, I would encourage you to go watch it.  It is so good!  The lessons was so spiritual and 'N' loved it!  After the lesson, we headed up to the Johnsons to have ourselves a Thanksgiving dinner!  It was pretty fantastic!  The turkey was good, and they also made cornbread and stuffing and potatoes (which I didn't partake of) and all other kinds of food.  It was awesome!  I was happy to have Thanksgiving, but unfortunately, it is not a holiday here, so we don't get it off.  We still had to go finding for 2 more hours after dinner.  That was awesome on full stomachs! Yee haw!!

FRIDAY- was a straight up full day of finding.  Really nothing to report.  Just talked to a ton of people and carried the work forward.

SATURDAY- was pretty good.  We had coordination, and then we had our usual meeting with 'T'.  We showed him the "Bearing our Burdens with Hope" Mormon Message.  It was really good.  Then after 'T', we went home for lunch and planned our next move.  We decided to go finding until we were to meet Sister Kirkpatrick at the Galley for dinner!  OOOOOOHHHHHH THE GALLEY!!!! It's pretty great!  She also took us out to an ice cream parlor for dessert.  WOOHOO!!!  

After that, we headed across town to go visit a part member family and we got there right when they were setting up their Christmas tree so it was pretty fun to see that.  We left the 3 Nephi 11 message with them and made our way back home.
Chatting with the Youth in the Lisburn Ward

SUNDAY- was great! We had 'N' and her friend 'S' at church and we taught them the detailed Plan of Salvation lesson afterward.  It was a dang good lesson.  Then we headed over to the Jacksons for lunch and they had roast beef and yorkshire pudding with sweet potatoes that were fantastic!!  So awesome!!  The Jacksons are the best!  

Then we traveled down to another less active's home in a freezing rain storm and he wasn't home so that was awful.  Then we went home, I put on my onesie and went to bed!

My Ponderizing Scripture:

Jacob 4:11
Wherefore, beloved brethren, be reconciled unto him through the Atonement of Christ, his Only Begotten Son, and ye may obtain a resurrection, according to the power of the resurrection which is in Christ, and be presented as the first fruits of Christ unto God, having faith and obtained a good hope of glory in him before he manifesteth himself in the flesh.

Talk to you all soon!

-Elder Mickelsen

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November 23, 2015

The Irish Moon

This weeks has been a week full of awesome!!! We have taught a new investigator, committed her to baptism, and she has already had 3 lessons, and we are teaching her the 4th lesson today! She is so prepared!!! We also had the opportunity to meet M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles this week but more details on that later.  But his week has been crazy awesome!!! And NO AUF's!!! Woohoo!!!!

MONDAY- Monday was P-day, as we all know.  We had emailing and played a round of snooker in which I beat Elder Allred, so I might have damaged his pride a little bit.  But after snooker, we went to Cafe Nero (which is like a Starbucks) to teach a lesson to a new investigator name 'N'.  She is so prepared! We can't even explain how prepared she is.  She is awesome.  We taught her the Plan of Salvation, which she loved since she has lost 4 family members in the last 4 months.  The most recent to a brutal murder.  But she loved the Plan of Salvation.  We also had a fantastic joint teach with Alice who is amazing.  She is so good.  She has changed so much since I met her back in August.  She actually identified the Spirit in the lesson.  She literally took our job from us! It was so awesome!  You know the lesson is going great when you can feel the Spirit in a COFFEE SHOP and your RECENTLY REACTIVATED joint teach identifies the feelings of the investigator as the HOLY GHOST!  It was so fantastic! She has committed to baptism on the 19th of December and she is so excited!  It set the tone for the rest of this absolutely amazing week!  Then after that, we went over and read the Book of Mormon with Sister W, who is an 87 year old ETERNIGATOR.  This is the real deal.  She has been meeting with the missionaries since 1960.  1960 PEOPLE!!! But she is so awesome. Then we chapped a little bit to end the night and retired home to have a good night's rest.

TUESDAY- Tuesday would normally by the day we would have District Meeting but we didn't because we had an All Ireland conference Saturday in Dublin but more on that later.  So on Tuesday, we walked clear across town in the pouring rain and gale force winds.  Yep, we are devoted.  My umbrella got eaten up and spit out by this Northern Irish weather, and I was left with nothing but a stick with a button that extended, which I continued to play with until it exploded in my hand at the door we had just chapped as the guy opened the door!  So that was kinda fun to play off. 

 But then after that, we taught a lesson to 'C.W.'  He is from South Africa and has been investigating the church for a while. He has the desire to join, but he is literally busy out of his mind.  He is an anesthesiologist and works in hospitals all over Northern Ireland so it's hard to catch him at his house.  But we have good lessons once we do.  Then after that, we traveled to Portadown, where I dropped Elder Allred off and brought our new District Leader, Elder White, up to Lisburn for an exchange.  

WEDNESDAY- Wednesday was pretty awesome.  The exchange went great.  We had a whole day of finding ahead of us and it was a lot of fun to go finding with Elder White and to see some of the different approaches he uses.  I really enjoyed the exchange.  We went over to Phil Hamilton's house for dinner and that was pretty fun.  He is a good guy and their family is pretty cool.  Their one year old boy had a break down while he was dancing to the song, "Everything is Awesome," and started throwing the training toilet across the room and just lost it.  It was hilarious.  Elder White and I could not stop laughing and we couldn't breathe!

THURSDAY- Thursday we had weekly planning like we always do, and then we taught 'N' at the church.  The lesson was fantastic.  It was so spiritual and she loved the restoration videos.  It was awesome!  We had Alice join us for the lesson again and she is so great.  She is getting really good at teaching and she makes comments that are good and she is really being a friend to 'N'.  Everything that needs to happen to an investigator and that can happen is happening to 'N' and it makes me and Elder Allred victory screech all the time!  It is so great!  

After the lesson, we GQ'ed a bit and then knocked some doors while we waited for our dinner appointment with Daniel Hamilton, which was awesome!  They are a really good family.  Then after dinner we had a couple of appointments fall through, but we weren't discouraged.  People will be people and their agency doesn't bother me.  I LOVE THIS WORK! There is no reason to fear! But then we returned home and headed to bed.  Great day!

FRIDAY-Friday was another great day.  We had a District Blitz in Belfast, and it was so much fun!  I love Belfast.  We spent the day GQ-ing and then we whiteboarded in the city center.  Belfast City Center is so beautiful this time of year.  The lights are incredible and they have a bit Christmas market right in front of the City Hall.  It is so cool!  And it actually snowed.  Not like Idaho snow, but Norther Ireland snow which is heavy and wet and sticks to you and makes you so wet and cold in about .3 seconds flat.  But it was awesome! It just turns to water on the ground, but it is snow while it is falling.  Then we stayed the night at the Rosetta's flat since we have to catch a bus at 5:50am to go to Dublin for the All-Ireland Conference which was pretty fun.  It was an 8-man flat that night!

SATURDAY-Saturday was absolutely fantastic!  We started off by getting up at 3:30 in the morning and getting ready for the day.  Gotta look sharp when you are meeting an Apostle! And we all started walking to the bus station which was 30 minutes away.  We left with about 20 minutes until the bus left and we all had to run to the bus station.  It happens every single time we travel.  We are all walking and then someone says, "What time is the bus leaving?" and then someone else goes, "5 minutes," and we all know full well that we are 10 minutes away and it is a mad dash to the station.  EVERY SINGLE TIME!!! I am so glad that I lost all that weight (20 lbs. in 7 weeks) or I never would have made it!! 

So we took the bus down to Dublin and then had a Zone Conference.  It was so good.  We learned so much in the morning session but the afternoon session is where it is at.  We got to meet Elder Ballard.  He wanted to shake each of our hands and then after he said, "I wanted to look into each of your souls and you all look great!" It was so awesome to hear that!  To know that I am where I need to be is such a great feeling!  He gave the best instruction.  President Donaldson promised us that if we each came with a question, that our question would be answered and it was!  It was so incredible!!!  I loved every minute of it!!  he told us that we have amazing potential here and that we will baptize more people than ever!  It was so great!  I wish I could send off to all of you what I learned but I'd have to write for days.  I took soooo many notes! But it was so great to hear from him!  Then we headed back home and hit the hay after a long and crazy day!

SUNDAY- Sunday was awesome!  We had 3 investigators at church!!!!! It was amazing!!!  'N' brought a friend! She has been telling her friends everything about the gospel!  HOLY COW SHE IS AWESOME!!! It was great!  I also had to speak in church and I think I did a good job.  I wanted it to be investigator friendly and it turned out great.  I love this work and everything in it.  It is soooooooooo great!!!  It is hard to believe that I have been out almost 4 months.  And I have just blinked.  It is awesome! 

After church, we taught 'N' and she was just eating it up.  She loves the Gospel of Jesus Christ and it was such a spiritual lesson.  We are thinking she will be able to move up a week if she keeps progressing like she is.  It is sooooo exciting!  After that, we chapped a bit and got let in by a Fijian Seventh Day Adventist.  It was quite the odd lesson.  He fed us some of his boiled sea bass, which was cold, and some Fijian potatoes and some coconut milk salad.  It was pretty mingen. (Mom side note: I had to look up what that meant but couldn't find it so I figured it was some Irish slang.  I asked my friend who lives near London and she answered with this: Haha! It means horrible! It usually refers to food or girls! Haha!)
But oh well, it got us out of the cold for a bit!  Then we traveled home and headed to bed.

This week has been filled with miracle and I can't even begin to express my thanks to the Lord for his willingness to bless us in this great work.  We can do nothing without Him, and without Him, we are nothing.

2 Nephi 26:23-24 for ponderization!  I love it!

23 For behold, my beloved brethren, I say unto you that the lord God worketh not in darkness.

24 He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world; for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men unto him. Wherefore, he commandeth none that they shall not partake of his salvation.


-Elder Mickelsen

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

This week was pretty great! I could not believe some of the things that happened this week! I also learned that "waterproof" doesn't necessarily mean, Scotland/Ireland waterproof! haha! Anyway, lets get in to the nitty gritty of the week.  You'll have to forgive me, normally I use my planner to write the weekly update but with the new transfer starting today, I have the new empty one, as opposed to the one that has the past week on it.  So I am going completely by memory here.
Weekly Planning in our Flat

MONDAY- Monday was pretty great as they always are.  We only had a half P-Day since it was moves week.  So, we emailed and then we cleaned.  We then headed out to so some work which really consisted of chapping and doing some more AUF's.  Oh how I am coming to love AUF's. (again, heavy sarcasm!) But we are almost done so that is a bonus.  

TUESDAY- Tuesday was a full day of work and since neither Elder Allred or myself were moving, we had a whole day to do more AUF's.  Only this time, we did not plan smart and we walked all the way across town, almost a total of 6 miles, round trip; in the rain, and wind, and cold.  IT WAS AWESOME.  My umbrella gave up the ghost, though, so I have done some patchwork to keep it alive until further notice.  But Tuesday was kind of uneventful as well.  We did, however, order Dominos so we arrived home right at the pizza guy got there and it was awesome.  I haven't had pizza in a while! It was pretty good, but America does it better!
Elders Thayne, Allred, Stanley, Plewe, Mickelsen & Parkinson
The true Belfast District Elders

WEDNESDAY- Wednesday was moves day, but really just a regular P-Day for us since we weren't moving.  So, we went to the pool hall and played some pool and snooker.  Then we walked around town for a while looking at some of the random shops and stuff that are around here.  Then at 6:00, we headed out to finish the night by doing more AUF's.  So, just a regular ol' P-Day.

THURSDAY- Thursday was weekly planning.  We were also going to teach a lesson to a new investigator named 'N' but her mom collapsed an hour before the lesson and she had to cancel at the last minute.  But, she did thank us for the Book of Mormon we gave her and said that it had been helping her tremendously in her life with the stress she has been under lately.  We are teaching her in a couple of hours and I'll be able to tell you about her more next week.  But we are super excited for her.  The rest of Thursday was pretty wet and cold, so we tracked and that's about it.  Exciting, I know.

FRIDAY- Friday we went to Dunmurry.  Dunmurry is just North of Lisburn and is still in our area.  We had some AUF's to do up there so we decided to dedicate a day to it.  The weather started out really nice and we took advantage of that by knocking all 14 floors of and indoor high flat.  Then, when the weather worsened, we decided to knock doors outside.  WE ARE SO SMART!  But, the sympathy card doesn't really work here with the rain.  People just look at us like we're crazy.  Elder Allred even wrings out his gloves on some people's doorsteps and that doesn't soften hearts at all.  But Dunmurry was good and we shouldn't have to go back up for a while.

SATURDAY- Saturday we had coordination, but it fell through so we went over to 'T's house and showed him some Mormon Messages.  We always have pretty good lessons with 'T'.  I just wish he would come to church but he'll get there.  Then we did our usual Subway run after 'T's and we headed out to start marking more doors off our AUF's list.  We are so close! But that was Saturday.

SUNDAY- Sunday was awesome!! We went to church, but that morning we were feeling kind of bummed that we didn't have any investigators at church.  We we go to church though, some girl just walked in! She is 15 years old and her name is 'A'.  She walked in and she didn't talk to me when I said good morning and tried to shake her hand, so I thought she was a family member of someone in the ward.  But, nobody knew who she was so we sat by her and got to know her a little bit.  She was researching online about churches in the area and felt good about coming to ours! She had remembered that her uncle in the States was a lot happier when he was in the church so she decided to give it a shot.  She came and she got to know a lot of the Young Women and has friends and has accepted to be taught and accepted a Book of Mormon!  So that was pretty awesome!!  The rest of Sunday flew by as we tracked while we waited for our dinner appointment with the Jacksons.  Then we left there and did some tracting to finish out the night.

This week was very awesome!  I cannot explain how good is was!  The Lord is ready to bless us all if we are willing to put the work in.  Nothing will change my mind on that.  The key to missionary work is work.  Work, work, work.  

Love to you all!! Talk to you soon!

My Ponderizing scripture: 3 Nephi 17:1-3
1: Behold now is came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked around about again on the multitude, and he said unto them: Behold, my time is at hand.

2: I perceive that ye are weak, that ye cannot understand all my words which I am commanded of the Father to speak unto you at this time.

3: Therefore, go ye unto your homes, and ponder upon the things which I have said, and ask of the Father in my name, that ye may understand, and prepare your minds for the morrow, and I come unto you again.

Til the work is done!

-Elder Mickelsen

Monday, November 9, 2015

November 9, 2015

The boys survived another transfer! Still in Lisburn!

Hello All!  This week has been fantastic! We spent pretty much all of it tracting, but hey, it is all worth it!  I have learned a lot this week, and we have met some solid opposition this week, but it doesn't matter.  The Lord's purposes will be fulfilled.

MONDAY- Monday was P-Day as it always is.  We spent it by emailing, shopping and spending a little bit of time playing a few rounds of snooker.  It was a pretty good P-Day.  Also, our Family Home Evening fell through for that night, so we got to go do more AUF's (Address Unknown File) Woo Hoo!! AUF's make me so happy! (With HEAVY sarcasm) But, we have been asked to do so, and we will continue on until we finish the task with which we have been assigned.  But time goes quickly when you're working so hard, so it was bedtime before we knew it!
Our Bus Stop in Lisburn

TUESDAY- Tuesday we had District Meeting.  It was a good one.  We had some people instruct on the Christlike attributes listed in Preach My Gospel.  And I was assigned to instruct on humility.  I had a very in depth study on humility that morning in preparation for my instruction, and I wanted to share one key phrase with you all:

    "Humility is a willingness to submit to the will of the Lord, and to give Him the glory for what you accomplish."

That is the missionary definition of humility.  And that opened up a whole new world of studies for me. But the District Meeting was bittersweet because our District Leader, Elder Thayne, would be leaving us.  As moves call was this week and he had been in the same area for 7 1/2 months.  But it was a great meeting.  After the meeting, we went to lunch with the Portadown Elders (our usual Subway run) and it was all good.  After lunch, we were privileged to do AUF's until 7:30 when we would be going out with the Ward Council to hand out Stake Conference invitations.  The Stake is really pushing for 1000 people at the Conference.  To show that the Irish Saints are willing to come to Church and take the work seriously.  That put a close on Tuesday.

WEDNESDAY- Nothing much to report on Wednesday.  Just AUF's.  We want to push forward with them so we don't have to worry about them.  We are making really great progress.  But Wednesday was just your average normal day.

THURSDAY- Thursday was okay.  We had a lesson fall through in the morning, so we just did an AUF to kill time.  Then we had another lesson fall through with a new investigator, but we got let in a few doors down so that made up the difference.  Then we had to head back to the flat at 5:00 because it was Guy Fawkes night and President Donaldson wanted us inside. (Guy Fawkes was a guy who tried to blow up Parliament a while back and he failed, so the Irish people here celebrate.)  So we saved the weekly planning meeting for the evening and made a turkey dinner and listened to the Joseph Smith Lectures.  Those were pretty dang good.  But I really did enjoy Thursday.  It was a nice break from AUF's!

FRIDAY- We started off the morning with our usual studies and then did some AUF's in the morning.  We then were supposed to have another lesson with 'S' and his girlfriend at the church but it fell through and now we can't get a hold of them.  It seems like every time we get an investigator with a baptismal date, they disappear off the face of the earth.  'S' makes 3 now! Ugh.  People and their agency are the worst.  I just want people to take us seriously and know that we are just trying to help.  Then we headed to another investigator who gave us the wrong address.  Woopity Doo.  Friday night, a guy driving into his neighborhood stopped us and started bashing us and telling us that we needed Jesus and that we were destroying his teachings by preaching a denomination.  Sucker Punch.  But he was not able to confound us.  He just straight up pulled over, turned his car off, and fought with us for a solid 40 minutes.  I just stood there fuming.  I wanted to hit him.  It was really aggravating to have someone tell you that what you believe is garbage.  That made me unrealistically angry.  We thought we were done with him when we turned around and left the area but more to that in a minute...

SATURDAY- Saturday it rained.  Nuff said.  But we did have a good Saturday.  We travelled up to 'T's house for his weekly lesson and showed him a really good Bible video called John the Beloved's witness.  I really encourage all of you to watch it.  It is really good.  We then invited 'T' to come to Stake Conference and he said he would try.  So we were content with that and off we went to do some AUF's.  We then had the good fortune of knocking on the same guy's door who yesterday pulled over to fight with us.  We didn't know he lived in the area but there he was and he started fighting with us again.  We left quicker that time.
Another delicious chippy's dinner

SUNDAY- Sunday was awesome.  We had Stake Conference at the Ulster Hall.  It was really great.  They had a giant organ and everything.  We had the Europe Area President, Elder Kearon, speak as well as President and Sister Donaldson.  It was a fantastic Conference.  Then we travelled home and started working on more AUF's until 7:00pm when we retired to our flat for 12 week evaluation and dinner, and to await moves call.  And the verdict is: Elder Allred and myself are staying in Lisburn for another transfer! Woo Hoo! So now I don't have to worry about moving for now!

Anyway, that is all I have for this week.  Talk to you soon! Here is my ponderizing scripture:
1 John 2:1-2;6

My little children, these things I write unto you, that ye sin not.  And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ, the righteous:

And he is the propitiation for our sins; and not for our sins only, but also for the sins of the whole world.

He that saith he abideth in him ought to himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

-Elder Mickelsen
More AUF's! Yay!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

November 2, 2015

Elder Allred and Elder Mickelsen

Hello again everybody!! This week has been really fantastic! It was filled with hard work and success, as well as let downs, but for the most part, we worked ourselves to death this week.  Every night we came in and were exhausted! Bedtime came early every night this week.

MONDAY- Monday was P-Day, as you all know.  And it was really great! We started by emailing and shopping.  We were broke all this week so we lived off of pink lady apples and cereal.  With some good old fashioned chicken goujon wraps! Woo!  This week, however, we get our monthly allowance so we won't have to live off of cereal anymore.  Yay!! We also went and played snooker with the Portadown Elders for the last 2 hours of P-Day.  And then we went over to the Harkness home to teach their family home evening.  Sister Harkness, who was my MTC teacher, was also there and it was really cool to see her!  She was the best teacher!  The lesson went well and then we headed home for bed.  Mondays are always awesome!

TUESDAY- Tuesday was pretty okay.  We had District Meeting in the morning as usual, and it was actually really good.  It got us pumped up to go out and meet our goals.  We had to set a new Standard of Excellence for November because the next time we would meet would be in November.  So that was really good.  We are seeing a ton of referrals come from the Belfast Blitz we did last week but mostly to the Elders in Belfast.  But hey, they are in our District, so that has gotta count for something.  Then we spent the rest of the day trying by people who dropped our appointments.  We had 3 dropped appointments so we pretty much spent the whole day chapping.  So that was awesome.

WEDNESDAY- Wednesday was a really good day.  To start the day off, we met with 'S', a new investigator and gave him a church tour.  Then we taught him a lesson with 'A' as our joint teach.  It went really really well.  'S' had said that he felt something that morning tell him to take us and the teachings seriously and to come and meet with us.  He loved the lesson and accepted the invitation to be baptized on the 12th of December!  It was so great to see blessings come from all our hard work! We did a happy dance in the church after we taught him.  It was awesome!  We then spent the rest of the day doing AUF's (address unknown files) and had dinner at a chippy called the Galley with Sister Kirkpatrick.   It was really good.  The Galley is great!   We then had another dropped appointment after dinner and chapped the night away.  Be we were still in good spirits so we weren't too bent up about it.
This must be after the happy dance! hahaha

THURSDAY- Thursday was weekly planning.  Weekly planning always goes great.  We forgot we had investigators to plan for this week.  So we went over our budgeted time…But it was the opposite of having a problem!  Having investigators is awesome!! We then continued working on the AUF in the afternoon and made some good progress.  We then headed to the Johnson's for dinner and taught another investigator, also 'S'.  He is an eternigator but he is progressing.  We read the Book of Mormon with him to keep the Spirit in his life and make sure that he stays strong.  Thursday was really good.

FRIDAY- Nothing much to report Friday.  We had 2 dropped appointments and we did AUF's for the rest of the day.  So chapping! Woo Hoo!

SATURDAY- Halloween!!! Saturdays are always good.  We went over to the church for coordination and after that we headed to 'T's house to show him a Jeffrey R. Holland talk.  It was the First Great Commandment from 2012.  It was really good.  'T' really liked it.  We are just trying to keep meeting him to encourage him to come to church and become reactivated.  We are so close!  After 'T', we headed over to a guy name 'CW' from South Africa.  He is a former investigator with whom we met for the first time.  He was really nice and open to the gospel and said he would like to learn more.  he also committed to baptism, but we didn't give him a specific date.  It was really a great lesson! After that, we chapped in his area a little bit and then we headed home for dinner.  We had to be to the flat by 6:00 so we took dinner at 5:00 and headed to our ward activity at 6:00.  It was a great activity! We did dunking for apples and we helped the Elders Quorum with the spook alley.  So it was great fun.  Alas, we didn't get any candy, but the members did give us a whole cheesecake, so that is pretty legit!!  Halloween was awesome!  Gotta admit, it was definitely different from what I'm used to, but I loved it!

SUNDAY- Sunday was really good!  It was fast and testimony meeting and the meeting was really good.  The ward just got back from a Temple trip and so all the testimonies were on the Temple and everything.  The whole day was really great!  After church, we did a try by but they weren't home.  Then we chapped on our way over to the Jackson's for dinner.  And we also taught them a lesson.  We gave advice to their son, David, who is going on his mission to London in 10 days.  But that ends my week!

Hopefully things are going well with all of you!  Things are definitely going well here!  I will talk to all of you soon!!

-Elder Mickelsen