I just posted Elder Zachary Dotschkat's final letter home. He returns from his two year mission to Leeds England on Thursday night. You can see his final post on his blog. He will be speaking in church at 9am on Sunday May 17th.
I'm certain this is a bitter sweet moment for him as it is Wednesday morning in England and he is waking up to a transfer to the mission home where he will bid farewell to the Mission President & his wife and the missionaries that he's grown to love. He has made many many wonderful memories and he has met many many amazing people ... How grateful we are that he has had this opportunity. How grateful we are that he has been in the hollow of His hand. How grateful we are that he is coming home.
As I contemplated with much thought and effort the last thing that I want to be written down so many great and wonderful experiences have some to mind but how can you summarize the miracles, mercy and love for god that you experience over 2 years? It must needs suffice to say a few words further than what I have already expressed before.
I want to thank all of you, each one of you for your support, prayers and continued love during this wonderful season of my life and as it comes to a close I can look back on it with fondness and see that I did my best, I gave it my all. All my heart, might, mind and strength. The only way I was able to do this was because of you guys :)
Thank you for continuing to help me and strengthen me into becoming the man that God wants me to be. I feel that I have got to know my Father in Heaven more, and even though I do not know him perfectly I am grateful to know Him better than I did before.
I know that the Atonement is a true power to all who utilize it to helping them make more of themselves through the love and power of Christ, more than they could do by themselves.
I thank my Father daily for the special people that I have met and the wonderful experiences that have made me grow into who I am now. The good and the bad are both as necessary as ying and yang because one is not complete without the other. We cannot measure joy or know joy if we never experience the trials.
I know that God answers prayers. The earnest and sincere seeker of righteousness and truth will always have that assurance that what they ask for, if it be right and in the name of Christ, it can and will be theirs according to their faith.
I am thankful for all of these wonderful things that I have learnt and the many things that I continue to learn and I look forward to the day when I will see my Savior and can thank him for all that he has done for me :)
I love my mission.
I love my family.
I love God and Jesus Christ.
and I love each one of you. You are important and you are children of God.
2 Timothy 4:7- 7 I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith!
Have a great couple of days!
See you all soon and looking forward to the onslaught of hugs and smiles! :)
So here's hoping that you have had a great week just as much as I have and I am thankful to God for the blessings that he has given and continues to pour out on His children.
So to put it simply, this week was full of some great times and full of some great joys!
On Monday we went to the MetroCenter in Gateshead to do a little shopping and it was good fun. The place is massive!
On Tuesday we had a meeting with President Pilkington at our District Meeting and it was a good time to be able to have him give us some great advice. We discussed the importance of diligence in all aspects of missionary work and what we can do to encourage and grow in our diligence. After the meeting I was on exchange with Elder Jardine and we had a blast! We went and taught one of our investigators and they talked about how to take care of horses and let the gospel into your life as well. That night we had a great talk and got to know each other a lot better. I guess needless to say the biggest thing that I had learned was that God works in very mysterious ways.
On Wednesday the biggest thing was the funeral for one of our investigators. It was a very uplifting service (as far as funerals can go) and many people were very touched by the words that were shared. It is sad to see him go but we know that he is in a better place now :) Later in the day we had a good time discussing the gospel with his family members and friends that met at his home later in the afternoon.
On Thursday we helped some wonderful members with their horses and had some good fun with them. Elder Jardine was in his element there and it was great to see him happy. It was really good to also have a great talk with the members about missionary work and how we can all participate in our own individual way with it.
On Friday we had the special mission meeting in Leeds where we found out that we are going to be 1 of only 86 missions in the world that will have the opportunity to be a "test mission" for iPads and to see how they help the work. We are going to be the ones that help this work go forward in the technological age. The biggest thing that stood out to me that day is that I feel very privileged and blessed to be in my mission at this time under the direction of President Pilkington. He is a great man and I know he is called by God.
On Saturday we had a full day of finding and boy! it was a pretty good day. We went out to a little village by the coastline and it was very beautiful to see the wodnerful sandy beaches. We met a few really nice people but alas did not meet anyone that desired to hear the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the evening we had tea with a member and her husband and played a fun board game after with them. It was a great time to get to know them both, especially after she admitted to us that she is from Edmonton .
On Sunday we had a great time at the Carlins and watching the Mountain of the Lord dvd. It was a great time to be able to explain and expand our knowledge of the restoration and feel the spirit empower us as we watched the film. In the evening we had a great missionary meeting to discuss the developments of the work in the branch and how we can help to move it forward.
Well thats my week!
Staying focused and working hard!!!
Leave it all in the field!
Have a great week!
HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO ALL THE WONDERFUL WOMEN IN MY LIFE! :D
On Monday we went to Alnwick castle which was super cool! Not enought time to truly enjoy it thoroughly but enough time to say I was there and to see that majesty of the building. Its super huge and super old and super awesome! I saw where they filmed some parts of Harry Potter and they had a gift shop with some of the Potter stuff but it was daylight robbery for most of it.
Then in the evening we helped Elder M pack again because he was getting moved AGAIN to the south of the mission. They split our trio :(
Tuesday I had a meeting in Billingham and had to be there for 9:00 so I was up SUPER early to catch a bus to New Castle and then a train to Billingham. It has taken me quite a while to recover from the early morning but I think I am almost there. In the evening we were blessed to have tea and spend some time with the Turnbull family. Its pretty cool how they got their name. Long story short, a bull was going to run over the king and one of their ancestors jumped and turned it by the horns to move it out of the way of the king.
Wednesday we just worked. Simply just got up and were so tired still from the early morning the day before that we slept for lunch and then worked the rest of the day. In the evening we were blessed to spend some great times with the Broadfoot family and just have some great laughs about the silly things that happen in life. Mostly silly things that I have done or that have happened to me. If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at?
Thursday we had DDM in New Castle and really enjoyed the district's participation and acceptance of what has recently been given down through the lines. Unfortunatly there was not enought time to get them everything so this week we are having a stick pull, tug of war and arm wrestle competition! Gotta love that doctrine behind it! hahaha. In the evening we were blessed to have some time and share a meal with the Redpaths and after the meal Brother Redpath took us to a really nice beach nearby. It was super beautiful and boy! The memories and fun thoughts that went into my head nearly exploded it! haha..
Funniest thing to happen to me that day, I accidentally stuck my hand in some bird poop!!!! GROSS!!!!
Friday we finally got out of our suits for service! Its a jugle out there! Twas a great day friday! And boy I was taken aback when my companion started to tickle them ivories! In the morning we had a great time planning and then we went to the school where one of the members works and showed the music teacher the talented fingers of my companion! MAN IS HE EVER GOOD! (my guess is that he will be famous one day lol) After that the music teacher had mentioned that possibly a recital in the near future might be good to invite the community to. After that we did 2x load of service for a bit (meaning it was at two members homes) and man! I got cuts all over my legs from them bramble bushes! hahahha - silly idea to wear shorts huh? (I only realized I had cuts on the legs in my shower the next day when the soap got in them! I was dancing like I was on burning coals! haha) In the evening we were treated to a very nice curry :) That makes me happy :)
Saturday included painting, HP boy time and sending a friend off. So it seemed like everybody was wanting our help the same week so we sacrificed a few of the personal hours that we would have for time to ourselves (meals) to help out some members with their needs. One was planned and the other just an emergency.
Saturday morning we helped this old man in the branch paint his new place that he is moving into. As we did that he told us about the war and the military that he was in and he is quite funny haha A good guy and I seriously respect him for what he sacrificed as he was there. In the evening we went and shovelled horse poop! hahahahahha HP BOY IS BACK!
We just had a great time with those wonderful creatures (the horses, not the poop) and had a great time taking some of the load of the members backs. In the evening we also found out that they needed us to dig a hole in emergency for one of their pet cats that had died. So Elder Young and I got to work and just did the best we could with all things in mind. I thought I hit a water pipe with the pitch fork but just some splashed inside of it. Anyways, it was a good time to help our fellow travellers on this road of life.
Sunday was church and then it was tea with a great family in the ward. We had a great time of laughs and just talking about life in general. I feel very privileged to be here and know these great people. The husband then played some guitar with me and taught me a new song to serenade people around the camp fire.
Hey guys! Daylight is burning quick! I am loving the mission though and lets just say that we are working super hard now. I have really enjoyed this past week and look forward to the coming days ahead!
So now I am in a tripanionship with Elder Young (from Buffalo NY and related to Brigham Young but some weird relation lol) and my other companion is Elder Muhlmann (from Frankfurt Germany and he is a really funny guy). We are enjoying the great times that we are having right now and look forward to the great times ahead.
Transfer day I was stuck in Sunderland to work for the day but I had a great time with my mission great-great grandson. His name is Elder Tuala and he is a born in the Philippines but grew up in Belgium. He is also about 5 feet tall. So it was a great time with him working one of my previous areas. It was pretty good because the area that we were assigned to labour for the day included good old Mavis Spence's house! So we went in and got a drink and just read some scriptures with her as we caught up on the last 15 months of my life since I had been there. She is a wonderful lady and gave me her secret recipe for her bannaffi pie! BOOYAH! Gonna get my sweet tooth happy again lol. Also had a great time talking to literally everyone we saw on the street that we ran into this dance crew from Durban, South Africa that I challenged them to a singing competition. I sang I am a Child of God and they sang some zulu music for me … they won! lol Four against one though so I held my own.
The rest of the evening was spent with my companions getting to know them a little on our three hour transport home. The miracle of the day, one of them had their wallet nearly stolen but the bus driver booted the thief off the bus and got the wallet back. A great start to whats going to be an awesome transfer!!!
Thursday we had a mission meeting in Newcastle in which we discussed diligence. Simply my thoughts are the same as President Brigham Young "I will not ask the Lord something that I am not willing to do myself". We as the children of God are accountable for our works and labours here in this mortal existence and if we desire the blessings we must be ready to sacrifice and work for them! Then the rest of the day was spent knocking on doors and boy we are having a great time here! So weird working in a tripanionship and even though I have had three before this one I can just seem to quite work out how to work it … three big guys at someones door is only slightly intimidating lol.
Friday was spent knocking on doors to locate people that have either moved or their whereabouts has been lost from the church. All I'm going to say is home teaching and visiting teaching is a must for the work of God to move forward. He will not bless sue to find his children if we are not already taking care of the ones that we have currently. We must BE brothers and sisters to those people and remember our divine origin so that we may help others to remember theirs. Brother and Sister is merely a title, it is a compliment and a way for us to recognize who we are and who the people around us.
Saturday was another mission meeting in which I conducted it. It was really nice that Elder Young plays the piano (he's a professional concert pianist and has played all over the world including Austria and China) and so to have him in the district is a great blessing to keep us on key lol. They meeting went well. Although I am currently in a district with a bunch of jokesters!
After the meeting we went and knocked some more doors and found some AUFs that we were looking for. In the evening we traveled to Sunderland to help set up for their choir production and we were very privileged to stay and feel of the spirit so strongly. Several people were moved to tears and the spirit could have been cut with a knife it was so thick! It was also a really great time to see some more people of sunderland ward and feel the warm welcome back :) Now I know and feel that I am not a simple missionary in the passage of time but one that made a difference. I have completed that part of my life and a new page has turned.
Sunday was a great day full of testimonies and organization. I really enjoy keeping on top of things and planning it all out so that I can know where I am going to be in the coming days. After Sunday dinner with the Carlin family I was privileged to receive a hair cut from David as we visited with him and his family. I feel as light a feather now lol
Well today we are going INSIDE Alnwick castle so I must run to get the bus.
Hope you have a great week