Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hey everyone!!

I am just in shock how fast this week went by. But at the same time, Christmas feels like a month ago. 

Ahh Taylor and Samantha were baptised! I am so happy. I am just obsessed with that family. Those are such good kids. Didn't they move though?

Well this last week was packed and so is this week so time is just going by entirely too fast. Natasha was baptised this last saturday which is just such a huge miracle. Even more so, her fiance, Kevin, asked after the baptism if he could receive the discussions. We will be teaching the family later today! We are so excited and so blessed.

It sounds like everyone had a really good Christmas. I really enjoyed skyping with the family. Our Christmas day was exhausting so sorry if I seemed a bit off while skyping. 

I am sorry it is another short letter! I will send pictures of the baptism though.

Love you!!!

Elder Gurney

Christmas morning.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Hey everyone!

So this week has been great. We have been so busy! We had P-day on monday and a christmas party on tuesday last week, then spent half a day in Newcastle on friday, and still taught 13 lessons, none on splits. I am exhausted. But so happy. We went to Newcastle friday night and went caroling in the middle of the city shops. It was so much fun. I'll attach some pictures.

Natasha is doing great. She is so excited for her baptism on saturday. To be honest she is the type of person that if she was the only person I taught on my mission, it would still be worth it. She has so much faith it is so amazing. Her kids are so cute as well, gonna help the primary so much in the ward. Best Christmas present I could have ever asked for.

Speaking of Christmas, who is pumped?? I love this time of year. We haven't seen a single bit of snow:( I think it is because we are too close to the coast. Sounds like Utah is getting wrecked by snow, and no one is skiing. You guys need to get out there!

I really am so happy. Tired, stressed, too busy, but happy. I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas!

Love you

Elder G

Thursday, December 19, 2013

December 16, 2013

So this week has been great! I just love England.

The week went by super fast. I was so surprised. We did a lot of things that kept us busy. We did service like all of wednesday for a man in the ward named Michael Taylor. He needed help moving house. Then on thursday we had Patrick Kearon come and speak to the mission. He was so fantastic!

He talked a lot about "getting stuck in" and to do missionary work with "real intent". The quote I gathered from the conference was; 
"If you always do what you have always done, you will get what you always got."
-Patrick Kearon
So it was super inspiring and I have a new energy in the work now!

Natasha is doing good. She is really excited for her baptism but we got a phone call last night and she was pretty upset. Her best friend was just diagnosed terminally ill with leukemia. We have just been praying that she will turn towards Heavenly Father for strength and support at this time.

Saturday night I got a call from the bishopric and 10 pm asking me to speak in the morning for 10-20 minutes as the final speaker in sacrament meeting. I was really excited and had about an hour in the morning to prepare, but then the alarm didn't go off and we all woke up late. So I didn't have nearly as much time to prepare, but hey I hope it went okay.

I was asked to speak on how teaching about The Saviour has brought me closer to him. It was supposed to spark the interest of sharing the gospel in the ward. I learned so much preparing and giving the talk. One of the things I said that caught me by surprise while I was speaking was that I have a really hard time recognizing my testimony unless I am sharing it with someone. I had been wondering how I can recognize my testimony more about a week ago. But I was so excited when I found this out. It makes me so excited to just go up to people and bear my testimony to them.

Hey this gospel is true. It makes me so happy to say that. I know that the scriptures are given to us to help build our faith. I know that by reading them everyday and applying the things they teach with give us that testimony that makes us so happy. 

Love you!

Elder Gurney

Monday, December 9, 2013

December 9, 2013

Hey everyone!

So this week has gone by so fast!! I am sorry my emails have been lacking lately. North Shields is as good as ever! But it is starting to get cold. I guess it doesn't snow a lot here because we are right next to the coast.

Elder Sim is so much fun. He is such a good missionary as well. I wish I was like him when I came out. Way more prepared than me ha. You guys need to look up his videos on YouTube. He made a video called "Stuff Mormons Say" and it is really big here. All the dodgy young women in the stake love him.

We had an adventure earlier this week. So friday morning I woke up and went to do sit ups with the radiator holding my feet. As I sat down I held onto it for balance and the whole thing ripped out of the wall. This thing is big and heavy. We managed to prop it up and hold it with weight from the bench press but we lost our heating. Friday night was the coldest night ever. We all huddled in out bed room with one little space heater for a couple hours before bed then turned it off and woke up and turned it on at like 5 30. The house was so cold. We studied with coats and gloves and scarfs. I'll attach pictures.

I have been really focusing on study from the scriptures themselves. President Pilkington has been trying to show us where things like Preach My Gospel come from and it is so powerful. Every bit of doctrine comes from the standard works and it is so fun and interesting to find that by yourself. I really hope everyone reading this is reading their scriptures as often as they can, because mine sat on my desk for 17 years and I never touched them. Biggest regret.

Hey I love you guys, I pray for you and I appreciate everything you do for me.

Elder Gurney

"Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak. Courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen." -Winston Churchill

Sunday, December 8, 2013

December 2, 2013

Another exciting week in North Shields!

My new companion is named Elder Sim. He is from Calgary, Alberta, CANADA!

Alright before you get too excited, he is actually English. He grew up in Northamptonshire in the Midlands. But he was born in Scotland. So don't ask me where is actually from. He is so good though. I am so excited to be working with him, and I am so happy I can pronounce his name.
Oh he might be famous as well, I am not sure....Apparently he made a video called "stuff mormons say" on youtube or something so people keep knowing who he is.

Thanksgiving sounded like lots of fun. We realized it was thanksgiving while riding a bus. So yeah we didn't do much. Good day though.

My memory card reader is broken, so sorry for the lack of pictures, I need to pick up a new one soon. 

Natasha is doing so good. She has been so accepting of the gospel and I can already see it blessing her life. I am so excited to see her progress.

I have learned a lot about agency this last week. We went by a guy named John, who has always been real nice to us at the door. He has had a really rough life and he is just unhappy. We taught him and testified so powerfully of the gospel, he felt the Spirit. But he didn't want to hear the message. He says he just can't believe in a God. It was really hard seeing this. I just know how much the gospel can help people, especially in his situation. But he chose not to accept it. Elder Sim and I were pretty discouraged, but as we talked about it we realized we did everything we possibly could for him. We brought the Spirit into his home and we loved him. But he still chose not to accept the gospel. The Lord helped us do our part, but John will always have his agency. We are hopefully going to go back and help him do some construction work and hopefully that will soften his heart a little.

Well I love all of you and I love the mission more and more everyday!

Elder Gurney

November 18, 2013

18 November 2013

Hey everyone!!

Okay I have really been slacking with this weekly letter thing. But hey I am alive and so happy! How is everyone doing?

Time is going by so fast!! I can't believe Christmas is in a month!! So i only have a few minutes to write but I want to tell you about Judy

So Judy Smith is a miracle. Me and Elder Krylborn decided to go by a less active member one day that had requested no visits from the church. Hey they can't get upset if you and just "knocking the street". Well we knocked on the door and Judy answered. Her daughter is who we were looking for. She invited us in and she told us she use to be a member but took her name off the records. She told us how she had almost died like 6 months ago and has felt like she has more of a purpose in life. Well a few weeks go by with canceled appointments and such but then me and elder kjeldsen go by a few weeks ago and we meet with her and she tells us she is going to come to church, and she does! We have met with her since and she is so excited to get back into church and get her two less active daughters and all her grandkids into church again as well. Ah she  is so great. Also one of the first missionaries to teach her was a Elder Douglas Gurney from Alberta. Whats up distant relative.

Love you all!

Elder Gurney

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Week 16: November 4, 2013

 P day p day gotta have fun on p day!

Heya family! How is everyone doing? North Shields is doing great! I love it here.

So I don't have a lot of time to write, but I want to share a few things from this week. So first. Robert. We have been trying to meet with him for a few weeks but he has been really busy. We finally set up a time to teach him at the Morrisons cafe. (Morrisons is a grocery store) (Note from Lisa:  Brits are usually very private people and are more hesitant than Americans to invite strangers into their homes.  It is much more common in GB to arrange to meet up with strangers at a local cafe/park/other public place) Well we went there a few minutes early and the cafe is closed! We didn't know what to do and so we decide to call sister thompson who lives a 10 minute walk away. Then Robert shows up. So we ask him if we can teach him in a members home 10 minutes away and he says yes! So we go over there and teach him and the Spirit was so strong. I know he needed that as well and Heavenly Father helped him to be able to feel that by not having the lesson is some dodgey cafe! There are so many miracles here. 

On Saturday I was on exchange with Elder Caldwell a greeny from Washington and we felt impressed to go by one of our investigators, Tracy, who had been struggling and we were thinking of how to help her. Her phone didn't work so we decided to pop by. She answered the door and explained that her mother had just passed away and we talked to her for a long time on the door step. She felt a lot better after and told us that she knew there was a reason we came by. Heavenly Father guides us so much.

Well I love all of you and pray for you all the time!

Elder Gurney

Week 15: October 28, 2013

 Hey family!

So you know how I always say how fast the week went by and things like that? Well this week went SLOW. My first slow week in the field. I still love it, but this week seemed to drag on. My new companion, Elder Kjeldsen is....different. Just very different from me or anyone I know really. He is such a good missionary though. I am learning so much. I love living with other missionaries. Elder Bagwell for example is obviously inspired to live in our same area. No matter how bad or rainy the day was every night I come back I can plan on just laughing myself to sleep because of him. He is just such a redneck I love it so much.

We taught the youth in the ward about the plan of salvation last night. It was such a fun thing to do. No parents, no teachers, just the youth and us missionaries. There was 7 of them total and they asked such good questions. It made me realize how little I knew about the Gospel before I came out. They are all so good. I love the youth. They better just stick me in young mens when I get back and never take me out.

Hey are we related to a Wayne Gurney from Mcgrath Alberta? There is a sister in the mission who knows him.

I have been studying a lot about charity and love. I have learned so much. If you don't have charity and love then everything else doesn't matter. (that's doctrine i promise) You could be the best person in the world and if you don't have charity it profiteth you nothing. Helping others is really what helps us become more Christlike. I love the scriptures and don't feel like I have enough time to read them each day.

I love you and pray for all of you!

Elder Gurney

PS you all have homework. Write me back and tell me your conversion story. Don't say you were born into the church. Tell me about when you were converted.

Week 13: Oct 15, 2013

Hello everyone!

So, it is transfer week! I apologize for the late email. I am staying in North Shields for another transfer, with a new companion! My Swedish pal is off to serve in Leeds, but I am getting an Danish Elder in return! I just cannot get enough of the Scandinavian vikings! I am excited but also a little bummed to see Elder Krylborn go. I have learned so much from him. My new companion is named Elder Kelson. He is from the same ward as Elder Krylborn's girlfriend. So small world. I don't meet him till tomorrow though. Another big surprise, North Shields is getting two more missionaries!! Don't ask me where they are going to sleep because we don't have beds or anything. I guess that will get sorted soon. I am pumped to have flat mates.

Other than that this week has been pretty slow! We have had some good moments though. One was that we were out knocking doors before we were going to go in for the night and this lady answered the door and Elder Krylborn started talking to her about religion and things and I just looked at her shirt and see that is says "Star Trek Voyager" and I just cut in and say "are you a treky by chance?" We then had a fantastic conversation about star trek. I am embarrassed by how much I know. She was super nice but not interested in religion at all. Elder Krylborn then said as we were saying bye, "Yeah I have always been more into like Lord of the Rings rather than Star Wars." and me and her just go quiet and look at him....funniest thing of the day definitely. I have learned that it is so much better to go out and have good conversations with people and let them know who we are. We don't need to try and cram religion down their throat. We can let them know our purpose and invite them to listen, but I would rather have them walk away with a card thinking "what nice guys" then to be walking away thinking "I wish those crazy mormons would leave me alone" while throwing a leaflet in the nearest bin.

I love meeting and talking to people. I think the adversary makes me doubt this so much. I will walk onto a bus and think the last thing I want to do is talk to anyone on it, but as soon as I sit down and start a conversation with someone, I love it.

So I have talked about the Chhinas before I am sure. But they are doing great. Indion who is 12, and the only member of the family currently attending church regularly, has such a great testimony. She is thinking about baptism, but we are not pushing her at all because ideally we want more family support for her. Her mom did come to church for the second time on Sunday though. That was a miracle.

Our mission president was coming to speak in sacrament meeting on Sunday and like all of our investigators were being flaky as weather they were coming or not and like half of the ward was sick. Me and Elder Krylborn decided we were going to work our hardest to get investigators there and invite everyone we could because we wanted a good turn out for President Pilkington, then we decided to fast for the ward members. The night before church we got a call from our President Pilkington saying he can't make it, we were pretty disappointed because we were working so hard to get a good turn out at church. We decided to continue fasting for the ward though and Sunday was just amazing. We show up at church and are meeting with the bishop when a member knocks on the door and says hey elders Paul is here. We don't know a Paul so we go out and this man Paul said missionaries spoke to him several weeks ago inviting him to church and he just showed up! then Indion came, then during sacrament we had one of the biggest turn outs from the ward i have ever seen! then indions mom, Shiela, comes walking in! We honestly couldn't believe it. Heavenly Fathers hear and answers prayers. I know it because I see it everyday.

Alright, I am sorry I wrote an essay! I love being here and I love missionary work. It is hard, it is scary, it is fantastic. I wouldn't trade it, or all that I have learned for anything in the world.

You're in my prayers,
Elder Gurney

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Week 13

So, I've been remise about posting Nick's letters recently. Here is the letter he wrote on October 7, and since he didn't write on the 14th, I've also attached some news and pictures that has come to us through other means.  

Hello from the north of England!

Hey everyone! So I honestly feel like p-day was yesterday. Time flies so fast, and seems to go faster everyday. North Shields is doing great. I am happy here. I am going to hit my 3 month mark this week. Too soon!

Conference was brilliant! I think that is the first conference I have actually stayed awake and paid attention to the whole thing. Conference is a whole new thing when you don't have an iphone or ipad in front of you. I tried the pen and notebook approach and it kept me plenty entertained. We watched the saturday morning session live on saturday night then priesthood we saw recorded sunday morning, the saturday afternoon we watched recorded sunday in the middle of the day, then sunday morning live sunday night. We just watched them at Sister Thompsons home because she has BYUTV.

The talk that really stuck out to me was the end of President Uchdorf's talk in priesthood session. He said "You should hear President Monson pray for you." Which reminds me of what I read in the Book of Mormon the other day in 2 Nephi 33:

3 But I, Nephi, have written what I have written, and I esteem it as of great aworth, and especially unto my people. For I bpray continually for them by day, and mine ceyes water my pillow by night, because of them; and I cry unto my God in faith, and I know that he will hear my cry.
4 And I know that the Lord God will consecrate my prayers for the gain of my people. And the words which I have written in weakness will be made strong unto them; for it apersuadeth them to do good; it maketh known unto them of their fathers; and it speaketh of Jesus, and persuadeth them to believe in him, and to endure to the end, which is life beternal.
I love this chapter. It was kind of Nephi's last hurrah before he passed away. It just made me think of how much our prophet really cares for not only us, but the entire world. A bishop cares for a ward and all those who live within it, which in provo is a neighbourhood, or england it is a couple cities. But the prophet cares for an entire world. I have faith in the future because I know President Monson has a faith as strong as Nephi's. God will consecrate his and all of our prayers for the gain of all people.
I also really enjoyed President Uchdorf's talk in the saturday morning session. "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith."
When M. Russell Ballard spoke, it was so different hearing it as a congregation of members rather than when he spoke to us as missionaries. He essentially gave the same sort of talk, but it made me realize how much we rely on members. It is hard to see that in Utah, but here, missionary work does not happen without members. It just doesn't move forward. "What an exciting time to be a member of the church."
I love you and pray for you all the time!
Elder Gurney
PS I am terrible at taking new pictures so here is an old one from a castle we went to during p day several weeks ago.

Elder Gurney saying goodbye to Elder Krylborn and hello to Elder Kjeldsen, (at least thats how I think you spell his Danish name!) As you can see there are four Elders serving in the Ward.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 12

Aye family!

This mission thing is a lot of fun! This week has been hectic though! Busy busy busy. Finally we have real time to focus on our area, I feel like last transfer we were at a meeting every other day.

It is slowly getting colder here. Doesn't sound too warm at home. The rain isn't there? Everyone says that it rains all the time here but I am not seeing it...let's hope it stays that way! The English people love talking about the weather.....and their gardens. Two of possibly the most boring subjects in the world. But hey occasionally you meet a Cannucks fan on the bus and it is alright.

Okay story of the week. Me, Elder Krylborn, Elder Graham and Elder McAlister (as if names mean anything?) were driving from North Shields to Newcastle and stopped at Mcdonalds (or should I say Macdonalds) they really can't speak here. Well it is a common known fact that Elder McAlister is more than a little bit addicted to diet coke. We pull up and order and he says "...and a large diet coke." and the man replies "I'm sorry sir but we are out of diet coke." *gasps from all in the car* Elder McAlister is silent...." diet coke at all....?" and the man replied saying no. Well Elder McAlister made it obvious he was upset and ordered a large cup of ice, confusing all of us, then pulled forward. When he got in the line he put the car in park and got out. Walked to the back opened the hatch grabbed something then came back saying "you never leave home without an emergency diet coke". This could have been one of the funniest experiences in my life and re reading this story made it so apparent that you had to be there. Mom it made me think of you, go enjoy your diet coke.

So there are a lot of rumors flying around about the next transfer. We suspect our flat will be getting two more elders as will has the zone will be getting several new companionships. We currently have the biggest zone so there is a chance it could split! The work is progressing!

Yesterday we were a little bummed because we had two of our very investigators confirmed for church the morning of, then they just didn't come. They have been before so we are little concerned. Hopefully we can meet with them soon and resolve some concerns.

This week I am going to focus a lot on developing Christlike Attributes. I encourage everyone to find a Preach My Gospel and read chapter 6. Complete the Attribute Assessment at the end of it and then study it! I know that as you do you will find a joy in the gospel you never knew before!

Love you! I pray for all of you everyday!

Elder Gurney

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Week 11

Hello everyone! Or should I say hiya y'aright?

England has been so brilliant! It warmed up a little the last few days so that has been a blessing! I still need to buy a coat and stuff though.

So some sad news...Charlie does not want to join the church anymore! "I am a definite supporter or the Mormons but I just don't feel it is right for me". So hey that bummed us out a little. Thankfully the Lord watches out for us! This week a man named Leroy walked up to us on the street and told us he used to meet with missionaries in the past so we started teaching him. He is brilliant! He has been in and out of prison in the past but the last time he came out he went to church in Leeds with his sister who had joined while he was in prison and he loved it. So we are really excited to see where that goes.

Have I mentioned the Chinna family before? Well Sheela Chinna has 11 daughters. Yep, 11. She lives with her partner who is pretty anti and thinks he is a born again prophet of sorts? I don't know, we don't see much of him but the family is so great. Indion who is 12 loves coming to church and has only missed once since I have been here. So much potential in that family.

Something I learned this week. Oh! so at the start of the Isaiah chapters in 2 Nephi if you look at the footnotes it talks about how out of the 433 verses of Isaiah that are quoted only about 200 are the same as the KJV of the bible. Less that half! I thought that was super interesting.

This morning during breakfast I was reading an Ensign article about receiving revelation for ourselves. It uses the story of Nephi and him breaking his bow and how he doesn't just complain and pray asking for a new bow, he went to work! He built a new bow and starting hunting and while he was hunting he asked for guidance. He was already working when he asked for help. I cannot remember who said it but a quote I love is something like "Pray as if it all depends on God, then work as if it all depends on you."

I know that as we seek to learn we will find. "ask and ye shall recieve, knock and it shall be opened unto you" is repeated 120 times in some form in the standard works. I know that as we ask and pray often, then work and study and knock, God will answer our prayers. He loves us enough to help us reach our potential. He knows and loves every single one of us.

I pray for you all the time! Love you

Elder Gurney

Friday, September 20, 2013

Week 10

Wow what a fantastic week! I love being a missionary!
Okay so I found out it doesn't rain as much here as everyone says....or maybe I'm just getting used to it. It is nice and sunny today, a little cold and windy, but sunny. There are some days where it just pours though sometimes. Last week we we're going to tea at a members home and it was like a 10-15 minute walk to and from the metro and it just poured. On the way back my coat was just a joke. I was absolutely drenched. But hey I was loving it. Me and Elder Krylborn were just singing Taking Back Sunday songs the whole way (that's spiritual.....right?).
We finally are in our new flat and finally have beds and finally are settled! It felt like that whole process took entirely too long. But hey the mission takes care of us. We are living way above missionary standards right now. The flat is just massive. It is a house actually. That means in the next few transfers the area could be getting two more missionaries but we will see.
So in Newcastle yesterday there were people from like the Ensign doing a story about the chinese teams in the area, so yeah i know all of them when you see the next ensign! I went on splits with Elder Liu from mainland china. Such a good elder.
So miracle at church yesterday! We have been working with this indian lady named shiela and her 11 (yes 11) daughters. One of her daughters comes to church every week and is twelve. We have been trying to get her mom to come to church for weeks but she just won't. Sister Thompson invited them all after a really powerful lesson on friday and she said eh probably not. But then on Sunday part way through sacrament she walks in with 3 of her daughters! It was amazing! We then sung Our Lovely Deseret (307). Yeah worst hymn ever for investigators. Look it up. But she loved it! We are meeting with her family again tonight.
I wish I could write more because there are so many different things this week that are truly blessings from the Lord. I have been studying a lot about like where happiness comes from the last little bit. Not really consciously, but just looking back. It is so simple. Not easy, but simple. I promise everyone that reads there scriptures and prays everyday, will generally be happy. Or at least happier that they would be without. The Book of Mormon is the most powerful book ever written. I have come to have such a love for my personal Book of Mormon. I hope everyone strives to have that.
I love this Gospel and I am so happy to be sharing it with people. Jesus Christ is the light of the world. His gospel has but one purpose, to bring joy unto all of us.
I love you and pray for you everyday!

Elder Gurney

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 9

Hello Everyone!!

So I am glad people are catching on to the letters are better than emails thing....I really wish I had more time to email but President just made email restricted to an hour. Before it was an hourish....which ment for the sister missionaries 3-4 hours (I'm not joking). This doesn't mean quit emailing me though!

This week has been absolutely hectic!! Meeting after meeting I can't believe it's already past. So I mentioned that Elder Krylborn is a district leader now. They didn't quite mention how much harder that makes my job. He is so busy doing DL stuff that I have to pretty much run the area myself. I absolutly love doing that it is just a lot to do! I used to have a goal to write in my journal for 15 minutes every night, that has gone out the window. I am lucky if I get two. But it is also so fun to plan everything and really have that huge hand in helping the area progress. I am learning so much.

One of the unique things I did was attend a funeral this week. Elder Krylborn had to go to transfer meeting because he was made DL so me and 6 other missionaries attended a funeral in South Shields. It was massive. Probably 600 kids. The funeral was for a man named Jonothan who took his own life he was 21 I think. It was so spiritual and amazing. Near everyone there was a nonmember. I am so greatful for the comfort of the Plan of Salvation.

So I just got a phone call. We are moving one wednesday! Finally we have a definite day and time!

I guess this week has been pretty slow for me as well! But I'll tell you of one miracle. Our zone focus this transfer is having the members at lessons invite the individual to church. Super simple but it is so powerful. We went and visited two Less active members one saturday with a member because they live so far away. We taught Sister Armstrong and it was so powerful and Sister Thompson invited her to church and she hestently agreed to next week. Then we just stopped by another less active a few minutes away who is really not too bothered. Sister Thompson asked her if she could give Sister Armstrong a lift to church next sunday, she agreed!! Two birds with one stone! Missionary work is inspired!

Love you guys!
Elder Gurney

PS read Mosiah 2:41

BONUS:  a couple of excerpts from Nick's letter to Mom:

I wish I had time to listen to or read Elder Uchtdorfs Talk (mom forwarded his talk from April's conference to Nick last week), maybe later this week. But the best part about it is your testimony. I would rather read that any day. Testimonies are so special and powerful, I feel like that is where members struggle the most in missionary work. They have no clue how powerful and influencial their testimony is. Share it, live it, don't ever hide it.

I love getting quotes! You should see my study desk. It is bombarded with quotes. A personal favorite from another missionary:
"If your heart is pure, you cannot fail."
-Elder T. McAllister

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Week 8

Hello everyone!

Wow I can't even believe it is week 8. I actually had to look that up I couldn't even remember. A month feels like a week honestly. It is transfer week! But don't worry I am staying in North Shields! My companion, Elder Krylborn, is being made a district leader! So we are pretty excited and nervous for that.

We are moving this week! I am not sure if I mentioned last week but we have a new flat. It is so big and so clean (something we are not used to) compared to the current one. Judging on the size of it, we could be getting two more missionaries in the area in the coming months. We are getting all new furniture and beds and everything so we are really pumped for that. The new address is:

Elder Gurney
20 Cecil Street
North Shields
Tyne and Wear
NE29 0DH

I can recieve post there as well so no need to send it to the member in our ward. Packages might still be best to go to the member or to the mission office though. Lisa that would be fantastic if you could update the address on the blog/facebook.

So it is starting to get a little chillier. But not really. I've heard some terrible things about the winter here though so it is time to grit my teeth and love it all the way through. But we also have good heating at our new flat and are getting new beds and blankets so that will help.

The area is doing fantastic. We are really seeing the work progress. It is nice when you are planning and you actually have things to do other than just knocking doors all day. I'll give you an update on Charlie just because I mention him every week. So he has been doing fantastic. He has been reading, praying and he says he will join the church after he feels in his heart he is ready. But then when I called him this morning he said he has felt a little overwhelmed with religion the last little bit and to call him when he gets back from holiday in a week and a half. So hey now it's just time to pray and leave it up to the Lord.

I love seeing the effect the Gospel has on people. It is hard to see sometimes when your helping people make these commitments but as you look back on their progress you get to see how happy they are. It is honeslty one of the biggest blessings of the mission.


Elder Gurney

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Week 7

Hello everyone!!

Thank you so much for all the letters!! I don't have a lot of time to write, and I am sorry about the confusion on monday. It was a bank holiday here so the library was closed and then we had zone conference yesterday so this is the first opprotunity I have had to email!

North Shields is doing fantastic. We are finally seeing some progress with our investigators which is such a blessing. I cannot believe how much I am learning! I am finally over my cold as well which is fantastic.

Zone conference yesteday was so powerful! President Pilkington is so powerful and funny. The way he speaks reminds me of the manager of the museum in Night at the Museum. No, we are not getting ipads! at least not right now. I did hear a rumor that ever mission will have them by the end of the year but President hasnt mentioned anything about it. We do have an hour set aside each week though to go on any church websites, such as, and find videos and other things that could be beneficial to our investigators.

We officially have a new flat! We aren't living in it...but the church owns it. They are waiting till after transfers to move us in. We might be getting two more elders in the area.

Oh yeah, its almost transfer week! I can't believe it! That also means I'll be having P-Day on Tuesday next week instead of monday. I should be staying in North Shields though so no worries.

Hmmm story of the week.....well I am going to talk about Charlie again just because he cracks me up so much. If you havent been following along, Charlie has been investigating the church for years. When we first met him we thought ahh maybe we shouldnt spend much time with him he doesnt seem that solid. But then we brought a member over named Bill Johnson. They hit it off so good. Long story short, Charlie knows the gospel is true, has a baptismal date, and has been coming to church. Miracles!

Love you all!

Elder Gurney

Week 3

So apparently Nick sent a letter on July 29th that I never received.  I finally got ahold of it and will post it now.

Wow where do I start?? This has been the hardest week of my life! But it has been so amazing! My companion is fantastic. His name is Elder Krylborn and he is from Stolkholm Sweden but he sound more American than me!
He is super nice and loves all the same music as me so we get along great. I'm his second 'son' or trainee. Also he loves hockey! But he is a LA Kings fan and loves Jonathan Quick (stupid.) But we somehow work past that! Also he is a celiac so yeah that sucks.

So my area! I'm in the North Shields ward which is part of Newcastle so I am way up north! Jordy land! They don't speak english I don't care what anyone else tells me. But Elder Krylborn is teaching me! We are whitewashing so we are both new in the area and the last missionaries litterally left us no teaching pool so we have been knocking and working with the ward and calling a lot of former investigators to get appointments. I litterally have not been in one lesson. Other that asking people on the street to be baptised. But I'm loving it. The ward is pretty small about 65-70 active members but we are working our hardest to build that! The ward mission leader is amazing he works as hard as us!

So Sister Thompson deserves a paragaraph to herself, she deserves a whole letter! This sister is AMAZING. She is paralized from the waist down because of a motorcycle accident and she is a widow. But she is the happiest most amazing member of the ward. She is the one that makes sure we have tea (dinner) appointments EVERY night! She works so hard to bring the ward together and does such a great job!  Love that woman. Also our flat is a joke so our post gets broken into so if you want to send me any packages or letters send it to Sister Thompson:

Elder Nicholas Gurney
3 Cleehill Drive
Preston Grange
North Shields, Tyre & Wear
NE29 9EW

So everything in England is tiny. Everything. Cars, houses, garages (never have I seen someone park their car in a garage). Nothing is really much more expensive either. Some things are a lot cheaper. Like suits. I am never buying an american suit again in my life. The suits here and so nice and so cheap. Oh and yes this last couple weeks especially while I was in the MTC was hot!!! But yesterday in dumped rain all night and in the morning and we had to walk for 30 minutes to church! Me and my compainon are both broke till like the first then we will buy a bus pass for the month which we will be reimbursed for!

The flat is getto. But roomy. I hated it at first but I have come to love my extremely humble abode. The shower is the only thing I don't like.

SCOTT! Elder Paris Thomas was a zone leader in my mission when my companion came out! (about a year ago) so thats pretty cool i guess!

Story of the week: so yesterday we were walking home from our bishops house after tea which was a bummer cuz it was like a 50 minute walk and i was on the phone setting up and appointment with a former investigator when something hit my leg. I looked down and there was egg all over my suit! I got egged on day 3! I guess I am doing something right! I kept my cool and set up the appt and then hung up and laughed. Then right after we went knocking and this guy yelled at us and tried to tell us there was no God and that we are stupid (he was trying to say since Jesus is a Jew we should all be Jewish if we believe in Christ....? Ignorance at its finest) but we decided to leave instead of start bashing. So it should have been a terrible day right? Wrong. I could not stop smiling. The first few days in the field I was super trunky and missing everyone and scared and confused but then I realized after these things that it wasn't about me. I mean I've always known that but now I understand that it really is not about me at all. It doesn't matter that i got egged or cussed out on a doorstep and told that my religion is a joke. Because it's God's work I'm doing. So I just walked the rest of the way home with the cheesiest grin on my face.
Also the jordys are fantastic they are super nice and straightforward. But sometimes they are just straightforward by throwing eggs out of their car.

I love you guys and pray for you ever day! If you're reading this write me! I want to know how you are doing!

Elder Gurney

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Week SIX??

Family and Friends!

I love all of you! The mission is doing great, I am doing great as well. I wish I even knew where to start.

So the beginning of this week was rough, I got sick, blew a lesson, and got really fed up. But the Lord has only made me stronger! I look back now and all I really remember is the good!

Tuesday night I went on exchange to Newcastle City with my zone leader, Elder McAlister. I might of mentioned him before but he is brilliant. He comes from Richfield Utah so naturally his dad builds jeeps for a living. Ha actually his dad is loaded and he owns a company that builds jeeps for a living, but redneck none the less. He is hands down one of the best leaders I have ever met and he is only 21! He told me that he came out and hated his mission, asked the president to send him home. Now he is a zone leader and one of the best missionaries in the mission. The Lord changes people for the better! Well wednesday ended up being terrible in terms of missionary work because I got really sick and he was just super busy with zone leader stuff all day so we stayed exchanged on thursday as well. We got a lot more missionary work done thursday which was a treat. I love newcastle! I would not mind coming to school there some day. Oh thursday was also his 21st birthday so we went to lunch and stuff it was so much fun.

So let me tell you about Anna! While on exchange a few weeks ago Elder Krylborn and Elder Harris (I was in Gateshead on exchange) knocked into this 65 year old lady. She was interested in talking about religion and invited the elders back as well as warned that she is an extremely solid Roman Catholic and basically runs her church and she knows she already has the truth because Jesus Christ passed his authority on through Peter. So we went back on friday, and that was one of the best discussions I have had! We taught her the restoration and she loved it and we asked her if she would be baptised. She answered "If I was baptised there would be uproar in my church, ...but if I knew the Book of Mormon comes from God I would jump in with both feet" she committed to reading and praying about it! Me and Elder Krylborn are so pumped!

Everyone send me post! My companions girlfriend sends him something like every week I am looking pathetic! and include pictures!

love you guys!

elder g

so that is mine and elder mcalisters selfie exchange pic adn then below is some famous bridge in newcastle lisa will probably know it.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Week 5 with pictures from the castle we went to last p day

Wow thank you so much for all the love and support and LETTERS! I love letters!
These week has been great! I finally feel like I am getting this down! I wish i had time to write everyone back but I dont i am really sorry! But your letters do get read and i do appreciate them so much!

North Shields is doing great. We have a new goal of baptising ever month here which is ambitious for an area that hasnt baptised in over 6 months but we know we can do it!

So elder ballard came to huttersfield and spoke to us last wednesday as well as president rasband of the 70. That was amazing! His words were so inspired even though they are what we have been hearing for a year now. We need to work with members! the statistics are like 1 in 3 member referrals get baptised and 1 in 2000 missionary effort finds get baptised. Which is easily believable. No dad we are not getting ipads any time soon we havent heard any word at all about them. But hey we do have interviews with president tomorrow so we will see. but i doubt it.

So we aquired an absolutely massive bible this week from one of our investigators named charlie hall. It probably weighs 15 pounds. This man is a character. He is a former investigator who is starting to seem more solid but hey all you can do is work your hardest and pray the lord will do the rest.

I am not sure if i told you about chyvonne and rebecca. their religious views are absolutely wack but they are amazing people. Chyvonne is rebeccas mom and she is a spiritualist. so they like summon spirits at church...super dodgey. then rebecca is a wiken of sorts and i guess buries half her food in the ground and gives it back to mother earth. but fantastic people!

We are moving soon! from our super ghetto 2 man flat to a really posh 4 man flat! and we heard rumors we will be getting another set of missionaries!

sorry no really cool pictures or stories this week!

Love you all so much!!

Elder G

me then elder krylborn and our zone leader elder mcallister from richfield!

Monday, August 5, 2013

5/8/13 Week Four!!

Wow where do i start?? This week has been brilliant! Like I honestly don't know where to start. Being a missionary is HARD. Like really really hard. People told me too often that I'm going to love my mission and not often enough it is the hardest thing ever. Both are true. If anyone out there is heading out soon grit your teeth and go for it. The MTC was great. But when you come out in the field the first few days are really rough. If you dont want to come home at some point there is something wrong.

Okay now that I've scared everyone, It is so amazing. I have honestly never been happier in my life. It is the BEST decision I have made so far in life. You will never regret sticking it out.

Okay so last week i mentioned that we are white washing, what a blessing! It has been so good to start fresh! We went from 0 investigators and 0 lessons to NINE new investigators this week! Nine is unheard of! These people are amazing. It is amazing how you find a love for some of these people!

Constantly I feel the Lord's hand in everything I do. Like a couple days ago we were walking to an appointment and as I was walking past this house I was like I need to knock on that door, so without saying anything to the comp I just walked up and knocked. No one answered. Huh okay thats weird. Then as I turned to walk away I felt like I needed to do more. So I walked back and slipped a pamphlet in the post slot. No idea why I did that but I'm only praying it planted a seed or something.

After this we kept knocking on this street and just a few doors down a Chinese man answered the door and told us he had no religion but he wants faith and committed to being taught and getting a chapel tour this week. Tender mercies!

Christians are great. Spiritualists are great? Ah they are so apostate! But good people. We are teaching this spiritualist lady and her wiken daughter so its a little different but they both committed to reading the BoM and praying so they'll be fantastic!

Scott and Sarah's wedding reception sounded like a ton of fun! I'm almost a little jealous but then again I get to go to the beach for P-Day today anyway.
The weather has been great for the most part but last sunday we got rained on like mad on the way to church and didn't have bus passes yet so we had to walk for like 30 min in pouring rain. But we made it! We also have bus passes now.

Mom thanks so much for the package! It got here super fast. Like Thursday, maybe friday. Also, we get the ensign ever month;) but hey i appreciate it so much!

I love you guys and pray for you all the time!
Elder Gurney

Sunday, July 28, 2013

To the Field

Nick left the Preston MTC to go to his area in the Leeds mission last Wednesday.  These are some pictures we received from his mission president soon after he arrived.  We have not yet heard from him in his area (so we don't know when his P-day is), but the mission president said he is in the North Shields area of the Sunderland zone (which appears to be a suburb of New Castle, right on the coast).  His companion is Elder Krylborn, shown with him in the first picture. 


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Week one, still don't sound like Daniel Craig.

I've tried and tried but to no avail this horrible American accent has stuck with me. England is so different I didn't expect it to be so much different!

So dad yes the weather is WARM. Like it's barely okay to wear suit coats outside and we have to were them EVERYWHERE except the residence hall and during class time. The MTC is fantastic and absolutely horrible at the same time. I've found it directly correlates on how obedient I am so I've been doing the best I can!

My companion is fantastic! His name is Elder Walter from South Salt Lake City and he just graduated 6 weeks ago. He comes from a yours mine and ours type family with 10 kids! He is the 6th missionary and currently has two other brothers serving right now. My district is great we have a sister from Scotland who is teaching us a ton about the culture because her fiance is from Leeds and serving in Orem right now! If you see an Elder Parr tell him his fiance is doing great.

My roomates are great, we're rooming with a Somoan Elder named Elder Soalatonga(it is harder to say than you think) from Australia that converted 4 years ago but only started taking the church seriously about 2 years ago. He's so great and inspiring! He is the only member of his family but his parents are extremely supportive of what he is doing. Then there is Elder Wright. Who is great. He reminds me a lot of Taylor, except Taylor is way more mature and .....cooler. Ha this kid is fresh out of high school and is a trial at times! But he has such a great heart. Also our room smells horribly of feet because of him and he is the only missionary any of the teachers have ever heard of yelling "this is too difficult!!" and running out of a practice teaching. But great kid.

The food is okay. I bet the Provo MTC food is better (go Jae) but I've never been hungry.

Okay so spiritually....I can't even believe how amazing this place is. The spirit is so easy to be in tune with, I never want to lose that! All the teacher and staff are so great! every meeting and every lesson is fantastic. I can't believe all the amazing stuff I'm learning it's so hard not to forget it. I'm filling up my study journal FAST. Everyone go read your scriptures right now and try and understand how amazing and what a blessing they are. If you can't find anything to read go read 3 Nephi chapter 11.

Around 6 months ago I really struggled because I could never tell if what i'm being told to do was actually the Holy Ghost or if it was just me telling  myself to do something. I was never certain on my promptings. I prayed and prayed and studied and wanted the answer so bad but I never remember recieving one. I kinda just got over it and forgot. Well Elder Bednar spoke at Provo MTC on Sunday night and it was brodcast here. Guess what the title of the talk was? 'Is it the Holy Ghost or just me?' When they announced that I straight up almost went straight to tears. No one would have even understood. He gave the most uplifting and encouaging talk and said "Quit worrying about be a good boy, you be a good girl, honor your covenants, keep the commandments. Press forward with a steadfastness in Christ." It was exactly what I was praying for. The power of prayer is real! I've come to be closer to God than I ever have in my entire life. The only regret I have is not gaining this relationship earlier.

I love you guys! Every last one of you, and pray for you guys all the time!

Elder Nicholas Gurney

P.S. The peace sign is flipping someone off over here. Someone could have mentioned that.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

From Across The Pond!

Hey guys!
So I made it safe! Jetlag is terrible but I'm pulling through! The other missionarys are great, gotta try and get along with everyone! England is so....different. There is SO much green and it is so gorgeous! But I already miss those rocky mountains. We drove past a indoor skiing gym on the way to the MTC...torture. (Chan quit laughing).
So I miss everyone a ton. But I have to get lost in the work! I honestly am so excited, I can't believe this day is actually here! They say P-day is wednesday so you'll here from me more then. I honestly had to think about what day it was for awhile...Thursday right? I have no idea it's been a long time since I've slept.
There are so many missionaries! I was so suprised. Elder Hotchkiss who you saw at check in is really cool. His dad got to come to the gate because he is a pilot for fedex. I slept a little on the plane...but not enough. Hopefully I'll sleep good tonight.
I'm sitting here trying to think what to type but honestly all I've done is fly to England for two big right?  
The roads are terrifying I hope I don't have to drive here. The lanes are way too narrow and everyone drives way too fast.
The staff here is amazing. Everyone is honestly so nice and understanding. I volunteered to move luggage from downstairs to up for was so hot! Like they have these huge sunlights up stairs and it just bakes up there and I probably moved 30-40 suitcases. It was good though it helped me wake up from traveling.
I wish I had more to write about but I don't even know who my comp is! I added a couple pictures the first is from SLC and has all the missionaries from Utah and the second is in Chicago! We met with even more once we landed in Machester. The work is hastening!
Love you guys! Ask me questions! I think I have an hour to write whileI'm at the MTC so I want lots of emails!
Elder Gurney