Here are the answers to your questions.
Question #1: What have you learned about your new companion, Elder Hansen?
My companion is from Sandy, Utah. He is a bigger chap, probably about 6 foot, 200 lbs. Joey, why need a strong companion when you're a gorilla yourself. Haha. So far we get along so great. To be honest, it's nice to have someone from my same state and culture. He is a good guy. We have some major laughs and do some great work.
Question #2: Who did you meet at church on Sunday? Hint: the man from Orem who called us to let us know what an amazing missionary you are.
Church was quite good, we got to meet a lot of people. Probably 60% of the ward are African and there are more Americans in this ward than in both of my last wards put together (don't think Southend had any). That guy was there at church early and we talked to him whilst waiting for investigators. He is a bishop in Orem. It was great to talk to him and he said he wanted to call our moms to tell them he met us.
Question #3: What is your impression of central London after your first few days there?
London has 6 zones, zone 1 is in the center, our area is in zones 2 and 3, so I guess it's not totally central. We did have a Zone P-day in London and did a sort of scavenger hunt game. We briefly saw Big Ben, London Eye, Trafalga Square, and a few other things. I was misinformed, my area does not have Hackney, so sad. It is so great to be able to walk in so many different places to find people rather than up and down the same high streets, haha. Funny, in our area we probably talk to literally 5 British people a day and most are Eastern European, Indian, Pakistani, and African. I love it.
Matt, I am so proud of you for bearing your testimony. As a misionary the chance to frequently bear testimony is something I cherish. Just like our muscles, it grows when we use it. President Patch recently said to the mission as a whole, "You are the best missionaries yet because you are standing on the shoulders of giants." It will be the same when you are a missionary.
This area is so great, we have one investigator that was left by the previous missionaries. We met him and set a date for baptism on the 18th of February. His name is Kingsley, he is a great guy and wants to be baptized, the only problem is work. He wasn't able to come to church this week because he was scheduled to work.
Another investigator we're working with came to church and was fellowshipped by the Young Women very well. We will teach her Wednesday with 2 young women and a Priesthood holder.
The ward here seems to be pretty good with missionary work. I am excited to meet with the Bishop and the Ward Mission Leader to set goals and see what we can do to make it even better. I think we will bring up the idea of having a missionary tie like Joey once emailed me about. (Joey's Elders Quorum gives out a tie to one of the Elders each week and they are supposed to seek out missionary opportunities and share their experiences with the quorum the next week.)
The flat that we're in is the biggest in the mission, they call it the Lee Valley Mansion. It has 3 floors, 3 bathrooms, washer, dryer, dishwasher, 2 study rooms, dining room, and a giant dinner table. We live in the flat with the Zone Leaders and it is so amazing. We even have a backyard that is full of junk.
Recently I have been studying the Psalms and Proverbs, they are amazing to read. Psalms is so much about Trust and Proverbs about Wisdom. Once again it is a great example of the importance of attitude. David is being chased around by his enemies yet never loses trust in the Lord. I always find it astounding that someone may have seemingly little worldly possessions and may be much happier than a rich man. Sometimes we have so much but are never satisfied.
This transfer we have President Interviews and Zone Conference. I can't wait.
Tonight I will start a work-over with an Assistant, Elder Hansen and Elder Paramalingam will go to South Kensington and 2 of the 3 Assistants will come here with us. Hopefully Elder Hansen can bring my package which I assume is there now.
Love you guys a lot. I am uplifted by your prayers and need them.