Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Meetings, investigators & zombie training!

Hello Everyone!

So finally I have been able to get to a computer now.  We have been really busy and are working towards new goals.

So last week was pretty good but also pretty crazy ... I'm not going to lie!  I can barely remember it and have been struggling lately to write it in my journal. I have just got so busy with everything with leadership things and then preparing myself to help the district. So I am going to tell you about last week .. Don't worry about me though.

So on Monday, Elder Li and I had to travel all day on the bus to be able to get to a doctors consultancy appointment at the very edge of our area. While traveling there we took pictures of the wide open spaces ... man do I miss that!  All of the places that I have over here are closed and tight and I'm used to .. well ... not that!  But I am getting to feel like this is part of me now.  Like England is another part of my home. Just like the farm in Saskatchewan and the California road trips :)  Great memories have been made in my life through the hard work of my loving family. So when we got to Washington we realized that we had an hour to spare so we went and walked around the mall to see what was there and other things. We then traveled to the doctor and I had my consultancy appointment. He checked my vitals, my lungs, my heart, my history of health and other things. He is sending to me to get a ECG/EKG test while I am running on a treadmill and an echo test (ultrasound of my heart) next Friday April 4th. Then I have my result appointment the following Monday. After the appointment we went back to our area and had a lesson with a less active who is returning to church.

Tuesday was a pretty good day, we had great studies! I loved preparing for district meeting with President Pilkington that happened Friday. After that we took down all the chairs from stake conference and that took not long at all. That was quite a shock to me. We then cooked a really good meal of chicken breast bathed in cream sauce and some piri piri sauce. After that we went and saw E again. He is doing alright, I just wish he could pull himself out of depression and see the beauties of life. He has many grandchildren and a fun little bunny rabbit that hangs out with him all the time. After that we went and had a great tea appointment with the Liddle family. I love going there because we laugh ... A LOT! We just laugh about the stupid things often. After that we had a good lesson with Alex and Star at the chapel. On the way there though, I tripped and ATE IT ... HARD!!  It was great.

Wednesday was Elder Li's 20th birthday. I woke up early and made bacon, eggs and pancakes! With my peanut butter from home and authentic maple syrup. We then went finding the entire day! Throughout the day we had lunch with Mavis.  So good and then a lesson with some recent converts. We had tea with Geoff in which we had stir fry for Elder Li's birthday.  The evening of Wednesday consisted of ward council and a lesson with a less active that is returning to church.

Thursday we traveled to district meeting in Newcastle at noon where President and Sister Pilkington joined us. We discussed the opportunity of being on a mission and what it means to see people as they can become. We discussed how everyone has potential and the abilities to improve their lives ... even us  missionaries! We talked about the talk from President Monson in October 2012 General Conference called "See Others as They May Become". It was a great talk in which we learn that we must see through God's eyes and look at everyone with hope and patience for the people that they can become. I would recommend everyone watch it and read the talk. It has honestly changed me as a missionary and as a person. I used to be quite critical of people and their mistakes that they make but after this I have no desire to pull anyone down. Life is trying to pull us down as it is, we should lift each other higher to a new plane of thinking and a new vision of what they can become.
Here is the link for the talk:
Immediately when we got back into the area, we had a tea appointment to gravel to at the L family's house again. They made us burgers and pancakes. I was so full!  We then went on splits with the brethren from our ward. We met a less active and discussed the hard fact that if he does not do what he has promised to do when he was baptised that he would not receive the blessings that God has in store for him.

Friday was an interesting day. We had one zone leader and one assistant to the president join our weekly planning - that was stressful! LOL  After that we found out that we are not allowed to play board games in the flat other than on P-day ... whoops!  Didn't know that. So after that Elder Li and I went finding around Roker Beach and had a pretty good conversation with this guy who was adamant that there are problems in this world right now that could have been avoided if people minded their own business. He was pretty interesting hahaha. We then went and had tea at the flat, went to meet Jack but he didn't show up :(  So we were kind of worried about him because we haven't had contact with him for almost two weeks.  We then went straight to sport night where there were only four of us. Two recent converts, 1 less active and .... Jack!  It was so great to see that he was still alive to be honest. He looked so tired. There is a major job shortage over here so he had taken a job to make some money for food and was not able to meet us because he couldn't spare the time and couldn't let us know because he couldn't afford the $30 a month for a cell phone to contact us. We had a lesson with him and he told us that he had a job interview for MacDonalds on Saturday! At least its a job right! We had a wonderful spiritual lesson with him ... honestly the best lesson of my mission thus far. We scheduled him fro baptism on April 12th and he is very He said he could do the rest. We then went and had an ....... interesting ward coordination meeting. We changed the time so that a ward missionary could come but it was not the best decision in my mind because the entire time they were contentious, always believing they were right and just wouldn't listen at all. Lets just say as soon as closing prayer was said I was out of that room in no more than 10 seconds. We then went to go finding which was fun. As we were on the bus to go on to an area to go finding I saw a guy with a Canada hoodie and we IMMEDIATELY got off the bus to find him and talk to him. We spent an hour just having fun talking to a lot of people in town trying to locate this man but sadly in the end we were not able to find him ... shucks! After that we had tea with Mavis. We just enjoyed the possible last time with her because she is in Utah now and wont get back til after transfers. Then we had a lesson with the ward mission leader at his Nana's house. Took some pretty great pictures and headed home.

Sunday was church. We were at the chapel from 9:40 in the morning to 8:40 in the night! WHEW! I learned a lot more about the atonement and not only the redeeming power of it but also the enabling power of it. After church we had a tea appointment at the chapel with the bishop, his wife and their five kids! It was fun because it was a beautiful sunny day so as they were preparing the food Elder L and I played with the kids outside. After that we had a cottage evening at the chapel in which we discussed the things that truly matter the most. We watched that Mormon Message called Moments That Matter Most. I would suggest everyone watch it!
Here's the link for it:
Then we went home and I went to be early at 9:30 and then we got woken up by the elders yelling the code word to practice our zombie war plans. We needed to fortify the flat, get dressed, get weapons from the stuff in the flat and choose a vehicle to take. Lets just say that it was funny cause I was half asleep and nearly fell down the stairs :P Hahahahahaha  As soon as it was done I went back to sleep in moments.

Monday was a good day! I woke up at 6am with Elder Fischer and we went on a run to the top of a big hill behind the chapel and the bishops home. We could see the entire coast from the top of it! It was a beautiful and sunny morning! We took some pretty epic pictures at the top of the coast and me with  my new rugby ball. Also some pretty gross selfies, be warned I just woke up lol.  After breakfast we went shopping at Tesco again with the member of the ward that buys us the food. We spent the equivalent of over $500 for food for us and I bought food to keep helping me lose weight! I am now down to 91 kg! So I'm hoping that I stay when transfer calls come (I like the food lol). After that we went to the chapel to have zone P-day. We played a few games and ate pizza (I cheated on my "diet" or "eating habits" :P) after that Elder Mielacher and I went on an exchange in Sunderland and Elder Li went to South Shields with Elder Koojiman. We were meant to have a lesson with Jack at Geoff's house but once again he never showed up. Can you all please pray for him by name  ... Thank you!  When we were done our lesson with Geoff we travelled to FHE with Alex & Star at the tip of our area. Before we got into the house a miracle happened ... Elder Koojiman and Elder Li found and scheduled one new investigator and scheduled another one of theirs that they have been working with for over three months!  Whoot!  After that we had FHE with Alex and Star. When we were heading home though, NONE OF THE BUSSES WOULD PICK UP UP!!!  We finally called Star's dad and got a ride home with him. When we got home we were alone in the huge house the entire night because the other team went to York for a training/trainee conference.

Tuesday, Elder Mielacher and I sent to Seaham all day! It is the edge of the are on the coast and it was pretty good. We almost got kicked off the bus though because our ticket does not cover that area .. weird huh? People are a lot nicer there and more open to give us directions and help. We even got invited back to this one lady's house and taught her and made her our new investigator.  She is 35 and is just so nice :)  She just wanted to take care of us and help us. She even suggested that her partner would listen to us and get baptized. Her partner is an underwater worker. He is down near Liverpool right now building a wind farm off the coast. They have a 14 month baby and two dogs. It was great to talk to her and see how God blesses us with miracles. After that Elder Mielacher and I went around Seaham talking to some pretty nice people. We talked to a cop, a body builder/body guard and a nurse. They all had dogs as well. We played with them and I got mud on my suit trousers lol.  In the evening Elder Mielacher and I traveled back home to have tea and poor Elder Mielacher got cornered on the bus by a guy who was having a diabetic fit (we thought he was high on drugs). He asked if we had anything to boost his blood sugar and we sadly didn't so I went up and down the bus explaining to people what was going on and bless those people they gave him some stuff to help it. The guy then invited us back to his house to teach him and help him so we traveled to the opposite tip of our area to make sure that he got home safe and sound. We were excited to teach him, but over time he admitted to us that he was a hard drug addict and we graciously declined the offer to come into his home and watch him do drugs. It was weird cause he even showed us some of the stuff that he had so when we got home I called the assistants to the president and asked what I should do and they told me that I had to report it to the cops.  That was an interesting call to the cops.  Kind of an exciting day (not really but definitely a good story to tell).

Today we had District Meeting in Sunderland, in which we discussed the difference in thinking that we need to have so that we can work more effectively and truly see people as they become. To me there is no such thing as a potential investigator. Either they are an investigator or they are not. The time that we say that there is chance of working with them is when we sat that they are a FUTURE investigator. They are people who we plan when to see them, where to see them and what we want teach to them. I was feeling fired up and was very worried about the district because they did not react the way that I thought that they would. I was expecting them to be fired up and ready to take on the world but nope ... I am not upset anymore because I have realized that I am a very outspoken person with my feelings about what I think and the rest of the district isn't.  They are a quiet bunch of lads but I love each of them as my brothers in the gospel and in the service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. After DDM we had lunch in which I had a salad of 1/4 cucumber, 1/2 tomato, 1/2 can tuna, 1 hard boiled egg, 100g of spring onion filled cottage cheese, 1/2 onion, 1 TBSP Chinese chili sauce and 1 tsp of lemon infused olive oil! YUM! So after that we went emailing and here I am now ... whew! That took me a long time to write all that! I must go now and talk to those children of God that need this glorious gospel.

Talk to you next Tuesday because of transfers. I don't think that I am moving because of my doctors appointments for my tests are after transfers but who knows. I will keep you all posted.  Tuesday is P-day.
I love you all! Take care of yourselves and remember that your Heavenly Father loves you.
You are in my prayers.
Elder Zachary Lee Dotschkat

As a missionary you learn to sleep when you can, where you can 

Monday, 17 March 2014

Meeting a General Authority!

Hello Everybody!

So this week I'm sending pictures about my days!

Monday - P'day in South Shields.  We played sports and watched Surfs Up!

Tuesday - I had a doctors appointment and BLITZ South Shields

Wednesday - We gave a presentation about Canada, Taiwan, China and Hawaii in the bishop's daughters class at school!

Thursday - We set up 555 chairs for stake conference

Friday - Run around the city just meeting lots and lots of people!

Saturday - BLITZ town centre with Elder R. Stake Conference with Elder Christofferson of the quorum of the twelve.

Sunday - We took pictures with ELDER CHRISTOFFERSON!!!!!!!!!

Those are the most exciting parts of my week. Sorry its short but I have another doctor appointment in a bit!

All I can say is that the three biggest things that I learned this week were:
1. Sometimes life may be hard and you may get upset, just take some time for yourself and then work out your problems.
2. Family Home Evening, Family Prayer and Family Scripture Study are ESSENTIAL in the home to destroy contention and protect our families against the influence and the temptations of the adversary!

Love you all!
Elder Dotschkat

Door knocking lol

Sunset over Sunderland

English homes and park

Roker Beach

Lighthouse at Roker Beach

Sunderland Museum

My new suit (looks handsome!)

The Missionaries with Elder Christofferson

The Missionaries with Elder Christofferson
(I totally shook his hand four times!)

Monday, 10 March 2014

Durham Cathedral and a baptism

This week is a picture letter.  So many exciting things this week!

Monday - we visited Durham Cathedral! Whoot! We saw where the Harry Potter scenes were filmed. It was very exciting to be in a place where some of my favourite actors and actresses have been! The architecture and the stained glass windows of it all were really good! Nothing like our temples though. I still and always will have a soft spot for the Calgary Temple in my heart. The Cathedral was kind of dimly lit so it made it feel as if you were walking back in time to a period where skylights and torches were used. Pretty neat.

Here is a website to check out all the history on it.

This is obviously the corridor from the movie  (Harry told Cedric Diggory about the dragons in the green space and then Cedric told Harry to go take a bath in the Prefects bath on the second floor inside the corridor)

So on Tuesday we went finding all day and the most exciting thing was my food that I cooked. I cooked a chicken breast, cut it open, put some cream cheese in it until it melted then put some piri piri salt and salsa on top. It was also the day that I started to learn how hard the adversary works on us when a miracle is going to happen. For some reason Elder Li and I just felt horrible emotionally and mentally, we got to a point where we had to take a few moments to pray and to read our scriptures and read letters from home and look at pictures of those that are important to us :)  Thank you for all you send because at times like these, they truly help! When we had finally picked ourselves up enough to work we went out and hit the ground running!  Nothing gonna keep me down!

Wednesday was District meeting in Newcastle! Elder Berrio. came and joined the conversation! It was really funny to have him there to crack jokes and lighten the mood of the other elders! We talked about what we had learned at Zone conference and what I had learned was that we all have the opportunity to change at any time in our lives. We all can work to be perfect, exact obedience may be a difficult thing to achieve but perfection is not a position but rather a pursuit! I am so glad that we have the atonement to use so that we can work in becoming better than show e used to be and come closer to God through it. The power of the Atonement is a real and great power that I am so grateful to have it as such a blessing in my life!

Thursday and Friday are kind of a blur haha! They were days that were pretty much the same. We taught both of our investigators and prepared A. For his baptism on Saturday. He is excited to be able to start new and to be able to have his mistakes of his past behind him! So the most exciting things that happened that day was when the elders came home and had thawed out our steaks for us. We were kind of having a more difficult day and it was very touching for them to do that. I know it sounds weird but it meant a lot to me. On Friday we did service and ripped out some carpets for a lady in the ward. That was fun.

Alex's baptism was Saturday and it was a wonderful day to be able to see him enter into that sacred promise with his Heavenly Father! His fiancé Star was so happy because she will now get married to a member of the church! Its a pretty great start for that little family to have such a wonderful beginning! These two members of this ward will do great things! Alex is also getting interviewed for the priesthood this coming week!

Well that was my week! Hope that you all are doing well and that you have a great week!

Elder Dotschkat

Angel of the North monument in Gateshead

Monday, 3 March 2014

I'm naming this post 5 kg down & 13 to go!!

So my birthday was great! Thank you all very much for your support and wishes and gifts and just everything wonderful that you did to make this day truly special even though I was away from home! :) 

So as I told you (in my email Wednesday morning) Elder Fischer woke up to make us breakfast and then I emailed you from that point! After that we went and had a lunch with Brother Jubb at his house and boy was it ever spicy! We had some Filipino rice and some curry that was so spicy! Then he brought out a chocolate gateau! After that we went to contact a referral but they were not home so we went to email president. Whilst emailing president I got a nasty bit of chest pain, the stuff that I have been getting for years but the doctors cant figure out what is broken inside of me :( Either way it took all of my energy out and so I just kinda passed out :P Hahahah....fell asleep more like it! When I woke up I felt a lot better! Then we went back to Brother Jubb's house to have a lesson with our investigator Jack, he is scheduled for the 22 of March!  The next 3 weekends are so busy! A passed his baptism interview and is getting baptized this weekend! Next weekend we are having stake conference in which Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the 12 is coming here and then the weekend after that Jack is getting baptized!!!! YAY!!!! Soooooo happy! 

After the lesson with Jack we went to Mavis's house for tea (where we skyped at Christmas) She got me a 1D cake :) Yup! then we went to the bishops, or rather we ran to the bishops and their kids all under 10 had made me cookies and they gave me the game called words with friends! Its like scrabble so I wont get rusty! Watch out Grandma!  Then in the evening I opened my package from Cassie who had made me a wonderful pair of pj bottoms!!!! I love them! They are so soft !!!!!

The next few days were kind of a blur, Thursday Elder Li was SICK, like REALLY SICK! so that day I just had a pajama day, updated my journal, prepared DDM and wrote some letters:) In the evening some members came by and dropped off some home made hamburgers that were absolutely delicious! Oh do I ever miss burgers! They would probably be the last meal that I would have before I left this mortal existence if I had a choice :) 

Friday was a classic Friday with planning and study and stuff but in the evening we had organized it so that Jack and Alex could go to the baptism in South Shields! It was a great time there! The guy who just got baptized is either a really good story teller or crazy because he told me that he jumped out of a plane without a parachute and trusted his dad so much to put it on! CRAZY!!!! I would go sky diving if I had the chance but DEFINITELY not like that! So anyways, the baptism was great because of all of the support that the ward was giving the missionaries there! Also Alex was interviewed for his baptism and passed! WOOOOT!!!  Then when we went home before bed we wrestled for like 40 min! OH SO FUN!!!! I'm a little rusty but still can throw my weight around! 

Saturday was another good day! We had ward correlation and then went and did some service for bishop! He was chopping down this tree in his yard so we went to help cut the wood and gather it so that they can use it for their homemade pizza oven! Its like a little brick house that is insulated and it just smells great!  When we were chopping the tree this huge branch fell into the neighbors yard :S I went to pick it up and it was like 130 pounds!!! YIKES! It hit the fence post on the way down and dropped it into the ground a good 5 inches! Anyways, after that we went to Mavis's house for our tea again and I nearly could not finish it! It was the same amount of food that she normally makes us but I have been eating less and a lot healthier things! In the last week I have lost 5 Kg and my goal is to lose another 13 Kg! 

The biggest thing that happened yesterday was I had a bowl of my favorite cereal to break my fast! REESES PEANUT BUTTER PUFFS!!!!! sooooooooo GOOD! Throughout the day Elder L. and I were finding, went and visited a less active who was watching football (proper football, not american) and Sunderland was playing against Man City for the cup! They lost 3-1 though.  Anyways, was all in all a good day!  

Today we are going to Durham Cathedral!  I will take pictures mom - promise!
Have a great week! Love you all
You are in my Prayers
Elder Dotschkat

My present from Cassie that arrived about a month early … patience is a virtue!

My cake at Brother J's house (note from Mom - so excited that he carried his 2-0 candles with him all day :)

Blowing out my candles

Present from the bishop's children

Making a wish over my One Direction caked (yes, that is 1D).
BURGERS - yum!  Delivered by ward members as my companion was sick at home.  Fabulous meal. Love burgers!

The hat from my mom