Tuesday, October 3, 2017

First Week of the Transfer (Miracle Week)

Hey everybody 😁
Hope everybody is alive and well!

So Monday was a good day, Elder Hardy and I had our last P-day
together so we played some hardcore chair football.  Good times.
Tuesday I picked up my new companion, Elder Bailey from Harriman Utah.
Really solid bloke, we served around each other in Leeds Zone and
actually teamed up for chair football once or twice so it's like we've
already served together! He's a hard worker though, very good when it
comes to exact obedience and has loads of faith in this area. He loves
it so far, so hopefully we will see many miracles together for the
next 5 weeks 😊
Wednesday was the first district meeting as a new district, it went
really well I believe. The district is incredibly young, every other
member of the district has only been out 6 months or less so I get to
do lots of teaching and get to give lots of advice! Which I love so
it's good. All of the missionaries are really hard workers though and
we have a lot of unity already so it'll be solid.
Thursday we went to a meeting for all the district leaders which was
loads of fun, took ages to drive down there though... But still worth
it. Half of the district leaders in the mission is from the same group
as I am so it's just a mini MTC reunion! Drove down for a couple of
hours with Elder Norton the zone leader, Elder Holyoak and Elder
Eliassen, legends love the guys.

Miracles! Managed to get in to contact with a former named I, we've
been trying for ages and have finally been able to see him! We brought
him to the church Friday night, he loved it, and we brought him on
Sunday as well! During the sacrament meeting he leaned over to me and
said, "God is definitely here". Which made me happy. Plus he said that
he didn't understand why everybody at church was so happy and
friendly. Said it was the weirdest thing ever, but he wished the whole
world was like it. He will be baptized next month, just have to sort a
day where his girlfriend can be there then we will plan the baptism 👍
Miracle #2, did the baptismal interviews for a lad named D and a
lass named M who will be getting baptized this Saturday! Super exciting stuff. Both of them just
loved how friendly church was, they just felt loved and both said it
was like having a family away from home. Really testified of the
comment I read in a book, that for most people the start of their
journey in to joining the church isn't because of a deep spiritual
experience, it's because we're a happy people, and they want it. And
as they desire happiness, God comes right on in and works his magic.
Miracle #3, we met with F and B and talked with F all
about the children's book of Mormon and having a personal testimony.
Getting baptized because she wants to not because we want her to. She
understood everything we believe and is now scheduled for the 25th of
August! Tried to do sooner but vacations suck. But we will be
preparing her, so hopefully we will have two baptisms next month, and
hopefully an additional one that we find along the way. They both came
to church and had a fantastic time! It was lovely 😊

Weeks been good though, Elder Bailey is a stud,
Church was fantastic, and the district is loads of fun!
This church is true, love it with all my heart!

Have a good week!
Love - Elder Zeck

Saying goodbye (he didn't know we were supposed to be sad), the district, MTC friends now district leaders

Musical Fireside and Transfers

Hello everybody 😊

Hope everybody is doing well.
So this week, I'll just illustrate some of the major miracles and
events that have happened.

This week we had the first lesson with our investigator D in his
home and as we taught, I realised that I had felt the spirit from the
moment we started teaching all the way to the end! My companion and I
were bouncing off one another with D the whole time and it was
just perfect. He accepted all of our commitments and brought forth all
of his concerns which we will cover in the future but it was just
amazing how the spirit truly is present when we talk about the gospel.
Just testifies to me every day that this gospel is true and it's such
a blessing to share it 😇 Elder Hardy said it was his best lesson on
his mission so D was a joy.

The past week, Elder Rhea and I met B who is a less active member,
and this week Elder Hardy and I were able to go over and see her and
her child F with her home teacher
and we just talked for a while, and taught the first lesson to F
using lots of pictures and lego analogys! It was lovely because as we
were teaching B would simplify and teach along side with us to
F if she didn't understand so well, so that's always nice 😁 but
the spirit was there, and they both felt it. B remembers what the
spirit feels like so she totally picked up on it, F wasn't so sure
but we helped her find how she was feeling.
The miracle with them though doesn't end there, the hometeacher
offered to take them to church, figured out all the timing and
everything, and then on Sunday they came! F had a lovely time in
primary, sang along even though she didn't know the words and answered
questions so hopefully we see that family coming back to church soon.
Hopefully we can baptise F, Praying for it!!

Musical fireside! This past Sunday, in Billingham they had a stake
music and spoken word event hosted by us missionaries. Elder Iakopo
spear headed it and a bunch of us Sunderland missionaries were asked
to join in so a few of us popped down and sang a few songs. It was all
centered on our saviour Jesus Christ and the spirit was so there! It
was crazy how spiritual that meeting was.. Man we were dead tired by
the end of Sunday. Felt the spirit for 3 hours at church, and then 4
hours at the Billingham chapel for rehearsal and actual fireside, all
of us were exhausted 😜 but it was so good. I sang with a few other
missionaries an arrangement of silent night by Pentatonix, had a solo
for O Lord my redeemer, and sang in another group Lord Fill my soul
with peace. President Turvey recorded the entire thing so he will
segment the videos and I'll try to get them from him. Either way
should be on Facebook sometime soon. But music always brightens the
soul!! So good.

Last but not least, transfers!!!!
So big changes in the district. Sister Bensige is leaving to
Harrogate, and sister Watson is training so I'll be helping her train
a new star, I no longer have the zone Lords and STLs in my district,
not I'll be with Chinese Elders and Sisters also serving in New
Castle, so I'll now have Elder Luo, Pitcher, Sister Ligaliga and her
new star as well! I will be staying in South Shields another transfer,
and Elder Hardy will be heading off to Hull 2! He's proper excited. My
new companion will be good old Elder Bailey! He's a good lad, been in
the mission for 6 months now, from Utah. We served around each other
in Leeds so hopefully he's as excited as I am to serve around each
other 👍 I'll pick him up Tuesday morning and we will get to work.
Lots happening!

Anyways, the work is lovely! Things are happening. Finding joy every
step of the way, especially through the tough times. Opposition has
been real for all of us missionaries. Not work wise but personal wise.
We as a mission fasted and prayed for our investigators to be
protected from Satan, and now our investigators are amazing! So good.
But all of a sudden right after missionaries started having personal
problems come up and lots of emotional and mental anxiety. It's really
sad but we've all had discussions and have come to the same
conclusion. As taught in the Scriptures, the more you know sorrow and
pain, the greater your sense and appreciation for the joy the gospel
brings! So times are going to get lower from here on out, but the
highs will be so much higher! Just gotta help each other out along the

Love you all! I know this church is true, I know the spirit bears
witness of the truth, and I know that Jesus is the Christ and our
saviour. Love him.

With love -Elder Zeck

The ward picture, had to say goodbye to sister Connolly on the right
side yesterday so much crying. Post service (Elder Luo is the one with
the glasses and Elder Pitcher is leaning on Elder Hardy)

South Shields Continued

Hey everybody! 😁

So, this week honestly nothing too crazy to report on. Pretty average
week in the area but I will point out some of the miracles.

First off, serving a mission has really strengthened my testimony of
how important the word of wisdom is. Many of the people we teach
struggle with some aspect of the word of wisdom and it slowly destroys
them unless treated. 

Miracle #2,  the travelling Assistants (missionaries assigned to
literally only do exchanges all around the mission, every day, it's
awesome) came in to our area and worked with us for a day. So I worked
with Elder Rhea my old zone Lord from Bradford, and in the evening I
worked with Elder Thompson my Canadian friend. Such a sweet day,
handed out loads of books of Mormons and found a couple new
investigators. My miracle with Elder Rhea was we were Street
Contacting and while talking to everybody, we talked to his lady named
B and walked with her home and she invited us in to chat more!
Turned out she was a less active member and we were able to help
resolve some of her concerns. She also has quite a few kids that were
never baptized and had never really gone to church, but she said it
would be okay to teach her child F, so we will start
working on trying to help bring the family back in to activation and
also to the waters of baptism 😁. With Elder Thompson no crazy awesome
finding miracle happened, but we had a good talk on how to be an
awesome companion and leader and some good words of advice were
shared. And also at a tea appointment we got banana splits, that was
lovely as well.
Miracle #3, Elder Hardy and I were out in an area I'm not too fond of
working in to see an investigator who ended up last minute cancelling
the appointment so for the same of time we got to do some knocking in
the area. Honestly I wasn't too excited about it, but Elder Hardy
asked which Street I wanted to knock and I just took a quick look
around, saw a road and picked a side I just "felt" like knocking.
Didn't feel a strong spiritual prompting or anything, just saw a road,
picked a side, and thought to go for it (which is the spirit). During
that knocking we met a lovely woman named P who is also a less
active! We talked with her for quite a while and we will be seeing her
soon and hopefully helping her to feel the spirit more as well.

Sometimes we get concerned because we don't feel the spirit as
strongly as we would like to, or we don't feel it specifically direct
us on which path we need to take, but this week has really testified
to me that if we just live righteously and trust our impressions and
feelings when looking for guidance, even if it's not discernable, the
spirit will direct us and guide us and the outcome will be a blessing

This church is true, I know Joseph Smith saw what he said he saw, I
know the book of Mormon is true and that God is there.
Love you all! - Elder Zeck

Our travelling Assistants and banana splits, our church is celebrating
Eid, south Shields squad, a lovely guitar.

Baptism Week!!!

Hey everybody! 😊

I apologize, feeling lazy. Main events of the week,

super fun interview and training from president Turvey and the

Assistants! Learned all about the aspect of social conversion as

opposed to spiritual conversion when working with investigators.

Talked about how to properly help members build a relationship with

the investigator, super good stuff. Learned some good tips and ideas.

Planned some solid baptismal stuff for Friday! Made a program, bought

some chocolate bars, invited everybody, cleaned a font, lots of good

stuff. Throughout the week it was mainly seeing all of the

investigators we see and inviting them to the baptism and helping

our investigators be ready and keeping them safe from the fiery darts of

the adversary! Always fun stuff.. Haha baptismal week is such a

stressful week... Hehe, not so much stressful for myself but it's

mentally and spiritually draining... P-day is looked forward to 😜

Finally Friday came along! Baptisms day!!

So Elder Hardy and I cleaned the chapel up right well, hoovered some

floors and cleaned out the font, got it nice and hot for A and

L. Just had a good time getting everything sorted.

Baptism started, some people in the program that said they could come

didn't so things were a bit mixed up but we got it all sorted. A

and L entered the waters of baptism, my good friend Elder Hardy

baptized L and A's few year long friend brother M baptized

him. It was a lovely night and the spirit was very prominent 😊

A and L both loved the experience and came out of the font just

beaming their heads off its lovely and pure. Really hits me how

spiritually happy they feel and how pure they feel because each week

when I partake of the sacrament, I know that that's how I should feel!

We renew those exact covenants and we renew ourselves! Sometimes we

take the sacrament for granted, just puts in to perspective how happy

we should feel every time we are spiritually renewed.

Saturday was a fun day of seeing L and A making sure they're

solid for Sunday, had a good day of finding which was sorely missed

and found some new people to hopefully start working with for the

month of July, just a solid day!

Finally Sunday! L and A were confirmed in to the church! I got

to confirm L and brother M confirmed A as well so it was

good. The talks were really good, classes were good, just a sweet day

of church 😇. Afterwards we re-found two formers that hopefully we

will start working with again, met with bishop Cave and discussed

where he feels we should go and who he feels we should visit. Such a

good sabbath say. To close off, Elder Hardy and I made some pancakes,

and used the Canadian maple syrup I was given during the week while

knocking by a lovely Canadian woman I met! Quick miracle, knocking,

kinda sucked, knocked in to a Canadian woman, I naturally brought up

Canadian syrup, she being a proper Canadian said she had a storage

full of maple syrup and gave me a jar of it, I almost cried on the

doorstep, I then prayed for her down the road. Such a lovely blessing

that day.

Man miracles are everywhere though, the Lord is definitely bringing

forth a marvelous work! So much good is happening here in the mission

field, so much joy is being felt and so much love is being shared.

It's such an amazing experience being a part of this great work in

such an in depth way. Of course though, there is no such thing as a

regular member of the church because we are all missionaries! So I

hope we all feel and understand the joy of missionary work, and for

those of you who don't go invite a friend to church or something, it's

fun 😁 or be a good example and give a book of Mormon away. Just pray

to God and ask for a missionary experience, and he will deliver so

long as we ask with real intent. The blessings that come from sharing

the gospel are immeasurable. So awesome.

I love you all! Have a great week

Monday, June 19, 2017

South Shields Miracles

Hello everybody!

So this week was pretty solid, Elder Hardy and I got right stuck in
and had a really good week here. Sadly also the week I get super sick
and hay fever destroys me but we still worked hard.
Monday started off well, we saw A and had a good lesson
with him, preparing him for the interview and going over what's
required again. We stopped by to see L but she wasn't in sadly, so
slightly disheartened we looked around for someone to talk to and her
son drives on past who I have never met but he stopped and we
chatted for a good half hour about his life and what's going on, and
after talking about his mom for quite a while and expressing that we
teach her because we care about her, without any push from us he goes
right in to spiritual talk! Haha so he told us a few really cool
experiences he's had with prayer, yet he's never gone to church and
started asking us very intellectual questions and actually wanting
answers which is refreshing, so we had a good chat and he told his mom
all about our conversation which she thought was ace because she
really wants him to have a faith. With time!
Lastly we had another miracle of seeing a former named R and his
son M and had a really good time with them reconnecting. He's
super busy with work however hence the former but we will see.
The rest of the week was loads of finding, met some cool new people,
had a couple teaching appointment with members which was nice, saw
A and L throughout the week which was lovely, and had a good
fun district meeting!

And L and A are both set for their
baptisms this coming Friday so if all goes to plan we will see them
both baptized and confirmed by next Monday which is exciting 😊 this

All will hopefully continue to go well, having fun! Allergies suck.
But missionary life is the best!
Love you all!
- Elder Ze

His area

Nice shoes and broken glasses

Thursday, June 15, 2017


South Shields and What Not - June 12th

Pretty solid week, nothing too eventful happening!
Monday was good, some ping pong and shopping on P-day, tea with L was ace she made good fajita so good P-day!

Wednesday was chill, did some zone service at Salt Well Park and cleaned some gardens. Pulled some weeds. Wheeled a barrel. All the good yard work! 

The rest of the week, lots of finding and lots of teaching! A and L are progressing well. I've seen it quite a few times now but it always happens, the closer we get a friend to the final steps towards baptism, Satan throws this crazy curve ball we never would have expected and it always threatens to turn everything over. With L we had that curve ball thrown a couple days back and this coming week will really determine whether she pushes past it or whether she gives in. Were going to do everything in our power to help her but it goes to show that were probably always going to go through some major adversity right before something amazing happens. Just a testimony to me that whenever life seems to get extra stressful and when I want to not give my all to the Lord, that's when I know that if I do push forward a little bit longer, something amazing is right around the corner. I've seen it many times in my life, never give up when threatened by the fiery darts of the adversary. Just means you're in for a nice treat around the bend

Tuesday was zone conference, large focus on high faith and high expectations and it was just a really good meeting. Also good of course seeing all the good friends in the mission! Saw a couple elders and sisters from my group and it's always good reminiscing with them.
My favorite part from zone conference was probably the portion where president Turvey focused on "not looking back" like lots wife. Really focusing on consecration to the missionary work we are involved in and not longing to be anywhere else or doing anything else.

He started off with a load of Scriptures referring to a change of heart (Mosiah 3:19, 5:2, Alma 5:14, Luke 17: 32-33). We can do the Lords work and follow him obediently and diligently, but if our heart is far from him and we bare our loads with resentment and wish we could do things our way instead, we don't benefit at all. Our progression to the Lord ceases when our hearts stray from him so his commitment to all of us missionaries was to prayerfully Ponder what keeps us from being consecrated to the will of God, and then of course to cut those binding ties and dedicate our hearts willingly to the will of God. Even as regular members of the church, we can always take time and reflect every now and then on whether we are following the Lord because we love him and desire to do his will, or just because we know we have to and so we do it.
His next point that I loved, was a couple quotes from president Holland I'll copy and paste.

"The road to salvation, always goes through gethsemane " - Elder Holland

"salvation is not a cheap experience, it has a price" - Elder Holland

If I'm not having a rich and abundant experience yet, have I given my heart?

"God's opportunity is man's extremity" - Elder Holland

Hymn 116, we must follow Christ through the path he followed. (Ouch)

Simply, the path we as latter day saints walk is not an easy one, we will be tried and tested because if we are not we won't ever progress. We will eventually have to feel a small portion of what the saviour felt and God will ask of us to give him the one thing we wish to hold back. For Abraham it was his son Isaac, for some people it's Tithing, smoking, something. But salvation is definitely not a cheap experience, and it's not an easy path, but it can be travelled with joy nonetheless and God will help us every step of the way if we ask for it.

I'd like to bare my witness that true joy comes from aligning oneself with God's will. Nothing makes me happier than living the life of a missionary and testifying of Christ to my fellow brothers and sisters. Disobedience and the lack of the spirit are the scariest things as missionaries. And in regular life those should also be the scariest things. The goal for all of us is to one day be as the Anti-Nephi-Lehis, where we would rather suffer death than even consider sinning before our God. It's a process, but we will all get there step by step.

I love this gospel, so excited to continue to learn and grow and feel the spirit in my life. God lives, and there's always hope at the end of the tunnel. I pray for all of you, and I hope that all starts or continues to go well!