Your son has arrived in the England Manchester Mission (EMM) safely and is ready to go to work as a missionary. We held a training session Wednesday morning, and we covered many things including their mission finances, their first three-months training schedule, becoming a “Christ-like Missionary” and the EMM vision and guiding principles. I held a personal interview with each missionary, and then they were assigned to their first companion and trainer. After this your son and his companion made their way to his first area.
As parents, the most important thing you can do for your son is to be supportive and encouraging. The first month or two can be challenging for a missionary with many adjustments having to be made in their life. But it normally does not take long until they capture the full vision of their calling, gain a love for the people of the United Kingdom, and lose themselves in the work.
Please be supportive of the Church’s revised policy on communications which allows missionaries to send and receive emails only with family members, friends and priesthood leaders.
We often talk and train on the principle of “Becoming a Christ-like Missionary.” While it is good to be an Honorable Missionary, there is a higher principle and that is becoming a Christ-like Missionary. This involves many things but it primarily is a commitment by the missionary to purify and sanctify their life and fully commit their heart and soul to their mission. The happiest and most effective missionaries are those who limit thoughts of their pre-mission life, put the world behind them and get completely lost in the work of serving the Lord. Your encouragement and support of this principle will help your son grow personally, gain a greater depth of spiritually and more easily affect for good the lives of others.
Attached is a picture of your son with Sister Ulrich and me in front of the mission home and also a picture of his first companion and trainer. Please know that we love the missionaries in the England Manchester Mission, and we watch over them with great care. May the Lord bless you during this time of sacrifice in the lives of both you and your son.
With warm regards,
President & Sister Mark D. Ulrich
All is going well, my companion is a good person and he’s fun. He is from Brazil and he already knows a lot of English and we get along well. We study a lot of the teaching material but that’s not as important as getting down how to build the investigator’s relationship with the Lord. We are being taught to invite people to pray about some problem in their lives or question in their life, then after they do this and receive and answer they can start to be taught doctrine and then know that it’s true through prayer.
Physically and mentally I’m ok– a little tired on both ends but they taught us yesterday to expect to be tired for the first little while. I felt well prepared. I now have changed they way I even think about teaching, it is completely different from how I thought it would be but in a good way. I feel like I’m learning it at the pace they want me to. I am working hard to understand it all, but don’t worry I’m doing great.
We do these practice teachings where our teacher will go into a room that looks like a living room and he’ll play the part of an investigator, and we have to start teaching him. We did this on my second day here, all of the lessons we teach are stuff I already know so its easy to learn how to teach it but its hard to make investigators interested. We have to get them be in a relationship of prayer with God to know stuff. So, the only thing we need to really making them know and feel is important is prayer. Lets just say that the way they teach around here is to first throw us in the deep end with no instructions, then give us a few hints and throw us back in, then they finally teach us and we make the connections so that we can finally swim. I’ts hard the first few times but when they finally tell us what we are missing, it seems really obvious and easy.
I will e-mail you later to day Love you
Hey Mom and Dad
I made it to the MTC safely. it was a very uneventful journey, the guys I traveled with are all going to England for their missions. I got plenty to eat after the flight from Denver to Newark and I got a dinner on the plane from Newark to Manchester. The customs line took a while but the person I was standing in line with happened to be member, so I talked to him and he told me some funny stories of his mission. Like how he got deported out of mexico because his visa ran out which he found and I did also, really ironic. Its pretty cool at the MTC here the weather is great right now but it sounds like it’s not going to last much longer.
I will be sure to email you again soon.
Your son Jacob