Christian is serving in the Stratford area in London.

He will arrive home in Salt Lake City on June 4 about 5:15 p.m. and will speak in church on June 8 @ 12:30.

The address of the mission office is:

England London Mission
64/68 Exhibition Road
South Kensington
London SW7 2PA
England, United Kingdom

Thursday, May 30, 2013

New Shoes, Lots of Walking

            Got some shoes, they are funky.   I am excited to wear them around.

            We have no car, just our feet.  I have no idea how big the area is yet ... hopefully not too big.  It might be hard because 80 percent of the members here don’t live in Hitchin.  They live in Letchworth Garden City or a surrounding village.  If I had a penny for every time I had to walk to a village on my mission ........         
Christian attached this picture of his new shoes to his last e-mail.  Funky fresh!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A New Adventure: Transfer to Hitchin

            Big news, big news … drum rollllllll …
            I am moving!!!  
            I will be whitewashing in Hitchin, which is up in Hertfordshire.  Whitewashing means that we are reopening an area.  I will be training and will still be district leader up there as well. It’s a tall order, but I am pretty excited about it.  It will be a new adventure fo sho!
            Hitchin is by St. Albans and it’s a London zone which will be nice.  I will still be in the country.  Elder Mongelli will be training a new missionary as well, which is crazy. I am a grandaddy!!  Quite fun.
            I am sad I am leaving as well though.  I am going to miss the people here, especially the Stockers.  I am so glad I got to become close with them, and I will be sad to not see them every Sunday.

from Jen:
We are so excited to hear more about the work here.  I looked up Hitchin and learned a few facts about Christian's new area.  
          1.  Hitchin is an old market town, first mentioned in a 7th-century document.
          2.  In 1697 the most severe hailstorm recorded in British history occurred in Hitchin.  Hailstones were reported to be over 4 inches in diameter.
          3.  Historically, the town prospered from the wool trade and its St. Mary's church is very large for a town of about 33,000 people.  Most of the church dates from the 15th century, with its tower dating from around 1190.  However, remains of a 7th-century basilica have also been found on the site.
          4.  Hitchin is located between London and Cambridge, which can both be reached in about 30 minutes by express train.
          5.  On Tuesdays and Saturdays you can still visit the traditional open market which has been held for over 500 years.
          6.  Hitchin is host to the annual Rhythms of the World music festival.

Here are some photos I found on the internet:

Hertfordshire country

the nearby Pegsdon Hills are a nature reserve

a historic hotel in Hitchin

Hitchin town square

St. Mary's

There Is No Other Work Like This Work

            Things are SO fast-paced in the mission now – it’s nuts! Time is flying by and I can’t remember a moment when I was not busy! I am sure this is just the beginning of it all as well.
            I love the mission field, it’s a crazy place.  It can be hard -- sometimes I feel like I have been thrown into the deep end of the pool and I just want to swim to the side and hold on, and other times I see how much love I have for people here and how I can see the gospel bless my life and absolutely bless the lives of others.  There is no other work like this work.
            We had a lesson with a girl named Emily this week.  Last week we were tracting in Rainham and we knocked on her door and she invited us in.  We talked a bit and gave her a Book of Mormon, asked her what is a question she had about life and then said that she could find the answer in the book.  This week when we came back ... she did! She found the answer.  She said her question was whether God answers and listens to our prayers.  She read Enos 1 and said she felt very peaceful and reassured after that. 
            This church is true! I know it is, and now our good friend Emily is coming to know the same. 
            Hope you all have a good week.

Elder Purdy

Monday, May 20, 2013

Refund/Return Policy?

One of our investigators just came to the chapel and “turned in their Book of Mormon” as a symbol of “I am finished with you.”  Rather interesting.

Gillingham chapel

The Gift of the Holy Ghost and Listening

Ahoy again,

            Well we had a pretty uneventful week.  We taught lots of lessons, interviewed a kid for baptism, and went into London for Zone Conference -- all of which were very good.
             I liked Zone Conference a lot. President Jordan talked about how the Holy Ghost is not an on/off switch, like a light switch. But it is more like a dimmer switch, which I thought was a very interesting thing to say.  I really agree with that.  It made me look back and think how I have taken the gift of the Holy Ghost for granted since I was eight.  I looked back and thought about how strongly it has influenced me on my mission.  It’s everything out here.
            One of our investigators is really feelin’ it right now, which is good.  They all say we bring a good feeling into their home.  One lesson we had this week was when we stopped by the home of a guy who had not been taught in a long time.  He didn’t know we were coming by but when he opened the door he let us in and sat us down and just talked the whole time.  We didn’t even get a word in, really.  He talked about the gospel, coming to church -- all sorts of things. It was crazy for him to do that.  He just sat us down and then talked about how we can help him.  It was pretty easy.  We really didn’t have to do much.
            Listening is much more important than speaking, and that is a perfect example.  That is something I have been trying to do more is listen more than I talk.  Letting the person you are teaching do most of the talking will help them understand the gospel more, and help you resolve whatever is holding them back. It’s a hard thing to do but it makes all the difference.
            Other than that we are just having a good time.  I am pretty sure this will be my last week here in Sittingbourne with Elder Mongelli.  One of us will get moved next week for sure so I will let you know about that one.
            That’s all I’ve got to say, really.  Hope you all have a good week.

Elder Purdy

Bumpin' That MoTab

            Driving has been fun.  I still enjoy cruising around bumping that MoTab. 

Elder Purdy and Elder Mongelli in their car

Monday, May 13, 2013

I Know This is the Lord's Work

        I am making some wonderful memories.  I feel like I have some very dear friends this side of the pond.  Things are good here, lots of miracles.  I am SOOO busy with things it is unreal.
             We saw our investigator Rose again this week.  She was talking about how she had been praying that God would uplift her the day we knocked on her door, and how she always feels the spirit when we teach and talk to her. Very welcome news indeed! It is always good to see the Lord’s hand in your life so simply. I know this is the Lord’s work.
            Something Elder Mongelli and I have been trying to really do recently is do more finding. When our finding goes up our teaching goes up!  And we definitely need more of both. Another thing we are pushing for is getting the members more involved. Our ward mission leader has been bringing chocolate for the Relief Society every Sunday to get them excited about sharing the gospel with their friends and families.  I hope we will see the fruits of this soon.
            It is all about sharing the gospel with families and friends.  If you look back into the early days of the church that is exactly how the church grew. Almost all of the converts were not complete strangers to one another -- they knew each other! That is what we want to do here, share it with their friends and family.

Love you all, have a good week!
Elder Purdy

          This picture is by a statue of Pocahontas in Gravesend ... apparently she is buried there.  Could just be a story though.

StGeorges Gravesend
from Jen:  
          I looked it up and Pocahontas did die at Gravesend.  The website for St. George's church in Gravesend says: "The original church was destroyed by fire on 24th August 1727 and later rebuilt. In 1923 a Virginian received permission to search for the remains of Pocahontas, but nothing conclusive was found. Entry in the Gravesend St. George composite parish register recording the burial of Princess Pocahontas on 21 March 1616/1617 reads:  Rebecca Wroth wyffe [i.e. wife] of Thomas Wroth/ gent[leman] [i.e.gentleman] a Virginia [America] Lady borne [i.e. born] was buried/ in the Chauncell[i.e. chancel]"

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Baby Needs Shoes

        Christian also reported that he has worn through both pairs of shoes he brought with him.  His waterproof Rockports bit the dust during the winter, and the Eccos are so worn they are "like wearing moccasins."

         Wow, that's a lot of walking.

Mission Prep Advice for Liam

"If you are called to a European mission, DO NOT buy your suits from Mr. Mac.  Go to H&M or somewhere and get their slim-fit suits.  Otherwise you'll walk around looking like you're wearing a bathrobe and pajamas."

Alrighty, then.

Get this ...

... not this.

Best. Mother's. Day. Ever.

                In his e-mail, Christian said he could Skype around 10 a.m. our time so we came home from church about 9:55, set up the computer, and there he was!  I don’t know if there was supposed to be a time limit, but we Skyped with Christian for over 2 ½ hours!  He looked and sounded great.  
              Busier than he’s ever been in his life, he spends a lot of time on the phone with his missionaries and driving around to the villages in his district.  In his district, he is the only missionary from America.  The other sisters and elders are from Italy, Brazil, South Africa, Malaysia, and England.  
                He said that Kent is absolutely beautiful and he loves England. His flat is on the old Roman road that became the pilgrimage road to Canterbury Cathedral.  (Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, anyone?) He loves all the ancient churches, old Roman burial grounds, and historical sights.
                He said studying is one of his favorite parts of being a missionary.  After reading the Book of Mormon four times during the first six months of his mission, he studied parts of the Old Testament, finished the Pearl of Great Price, and is now studying the Doctrine and Covenants.
                He reported that the London mission will be changing dramatically in the next few months.  There will be 45 people going home before July and 80 new missionaries coming in.  That will make Christian one of the elders who has been there the longest.  “It’s mental!”
                We told him how we went to the temple as a family the day before, and he mentioned how he really misses the temple.  The London temple is out of their mission boundaries, but he is hoping he'll have at least one chance to go before the end of his mission.
                A few of our conversational highlights included when Michael asked if street-contacting in the town square was how they found people to teach.  Christian said Sittingbourne is so small that there isn’t really a town square.  He said one time when they were in town where the shops are that some guy literally came walking out of the woods with a dog on a rope.  The man and the dog looked like they’d been living in the woods for quite some time -- and that it had been rough living. 
                Christian’s area is very rural.  There are lots of woods, dry stone fences, hedgerows, old buildings, and fluffy sheep.  He told Sean that he would appreciate the fact that there are a lot of graffiti artists around, which is not that unusual.  But the fact that they graffiti sheep is a bit odd.
                We asked him how people responded when he knocked on their doors.  One man burst out laughing when he opened the door and saw two elders.  “I just saw your play in London!” he said.  But the most common answer when people were asked how they felt about religion in general was, “Not bovvered, Mate.”
                Which led to us being entertained with his renditions of various accents – Scottish, Irish, Cockney (wow, that’s a whole different language -- and nothing like the way Dick VanDyke spoke in Mary Poppins), Jamaican, and Essex where they commonly end sentences with “I’n’it?”  One time someone on the street in Southend offered him a snack.  “Would you like some popcorn i’n’it?”
                We got to speak with his companion for a few minutes.  What a great guy!  Elder Mongelli was full of happiness and had a very infectious smile.  I don’t think he understood us very well, but he laughed and smiled a lot.  Soon after he arrived in Sittingbourne, Elder Mongelli's parents sent him a huge box of food – pasta, an entire wheel of Parmesan, bottles of his mother’s sun-dried tomatoes, a jar of peanut butter and M&M’s “for Elder Purdy,” and a ton of other stuff.  He said his family was afraid there was no food in England.  He and Christian probably set some kind of record for making pasta every day for six weeks until they couldn’t stand it anymore.  Even Elder Mongelli groaned when he told us "Six weeks!"
                We also spoke with some of the members of the ward who have grown especially close to Christian.  It was so fun to talk to them and hear their stories and insights.  It seems that Christian is known as a pretty serious guy who rarely smiles.  Hard to believe, i’n’it?  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Good T'ings Happening in the 'Bourne

Hello hello,
            Well first let me start out with a cool event. 
            Elder Mongelli and I were tracting in a place called Newington, with no success really, until we came to a door where an African lady answered.  She looked pleased to see us and said, "I wish you would have come sooner because I am busy right now but I want you to teach me." So we set up a return appointment, gave her our number and a card, and left. The next day we got a call from her and she said that she checked out the website, loved it, and that she wanted to come to church! Which never happens here ever!! So we gave her the address and told her how to get there. She actually showed up much to my surprise and she loved church.  She goes to some Zimbabwean church where they believe that some guy there got the priesthood keys from John the Baptist and he started their church, but she loved our church.  She even bore her testimony in fast and testimony meeting about how she knew this is where she needed to be that Sunday. Everyone loved her at church and we are seeing her on Saturday. 
            Good t'ings happening over here in "the 'bourne" as the chavy kids would call Sittingbourne haha.
            My driving is better.  I actually really enjoy driving here -- lots of cool flowers and stuff on the road and everything is so green.  It’s beautiful. 
            We still are trying to find all of these less actives that dropped off the face of the earth, and we are teaching some good investigators as well. It’s really warm here now, and at any sight of the sun, English people will take off all their clothes even if it is just a break of sun between the clouds.  So to say the least I have seen some unusual outfits.  Never a dull moment.
            We are teaching a guy named Ian who owns a peanut stand.  He is Jamaican, a proper cool guy, except he lives far away on the Isle of Sheppey.  Hopefully more on him later.

I love you all,
Elder Purdy

Here's a screen shot of the Isle of Sheppey from Google Maps.  

Christmas in May

When we were planning for Christmas five months ago, Christian said all he wanted was a small set of scriptures that he could easily carry around and a pair of white pants for baptisms.  We ordered them from Church Distribution and felt confident they would arrive in England well before Christmas Day.  Well they didn't.  Nor did they arrive in January, February, March, or April.  But finally ...

By the way, my mini quad and my baptismal trousers came!!!
Merry Christmas to all.
Love you.