Saturday, 15 August 2015

Mother Dearest

A short excerpt from an email sent to Elder Nolan's Mum.

How are you doing? What have you been up to this week? I love you.
Well, I am feeling good. Spiritually I am feeling stronger than ever
and I just feel really blessed. My Mission experience has been such a
joy, so many powerful experiences, lessons and miracles. It really has
been wonderful. Who'd of thought it ey? Think to who I was 31/2 years
ago. I have changed somewhat since that time. Just a little bit.

Christine, Annabelle and Gabriel are getting baptised today :) when I
was at the temple last week I put them on the prayer roll. Last night
they were all glowing, previously Gabriel had hang ups about the Book
of Mormon but just before they went away on holiday we had a great
Lesson and finally got her to commit to praying about it. She had read
so much already but I think she was just scared that it actually was
true. Last night as we were leaving I just looked at her and said 'you
prayed about the book didn't you?' , and her face just lit up even
more and this huge grin appeared, they are so happy! I will send you
photos of the baptism today :)

Mother! The baptism today was wonderful even though I forgot my whites and had to wear a jumpsuit!!

We had zone conference all week this week which was actually really
good. Yesterday was the best meeting. A member of the Watford stake
presidency trained us on member missionary work. He was the man me and
you met at the pageant.  It was an incredible training. It gave me
some great insights and ideas to use before I leave.

I love you mum and I miss you. I'm so excited to see you. I really
don't want to leave the mission field. I wish you could just all come
and live with me.

Elder Nolan

Sunday, 9 August 2015

3 musketeers!

Me and Wentzel courtesy of Sister Stevens


How are you doing?

Another week has gone by and has been full of miracles, blessings and
many lessons learnt. Today is the day of Pare's baptism, she is so
excited and SO ready for it. We only met her 5 weeks ago and her faith
has rapidly grown in that time, she is so obedient - she has read the
Book of Mormon everyday since we first invited her to do so and that
is what makes all the difference. Pare has two masters degrees and is
beginning her PhD in September yet she has shown such humility and
meekness in learning the Gospel, her example has taught me a lot - no
matter how accomplished we are in our secular endeavours, we must
approach the Lord with humble hearts, meek minds and an unwavering
trust in His reception of our prayers. The only problem today is that
my baptismal trousers are falling off me!

I have been blessed to have been on some great exchanges recently, the
mission is full of great missionaries, young missionaries but
nevertheless great. This Friday I was with Elder Ramsay, a new zone
leader - the most enthusiastic missionary I have ever met. We had a
great day involving many aspects of the work, I took him to see Guarav
which was a sweet experience. As we talked with one another and set
goals for improvement it was so interesting to me that he is
encountering the same problems I had when I was younger in the
mission. It's become clear that we all go through the same process if
we choose to let it happen. Elder Ramsay is much humbler than I was in
recognising a need to improve - but the changes that need to be made
are exactly the same as the changes that I went through and still
going through now! He is a good man.

Now there has been a change in the team formation, we have gone from a
duo to a trio! Elder Wentzel has joined us. We were planning on it for
a while, it didn't work out at transfers but this week we had a
missionary end up not coming to the mission so we were at an odd
number and the time for Elder Wentzel to come to London had arrived.
President prayed for a long time over it. He is such a good man. Me
and him have had a great missionary relationship as well as being
great friends. When he became a district leader I was his zone leader,
and when I became an assistant I he was a zone leader and through that
I think I have had over 40 call in reports with him, so we know how
each other works. He is just so humble whilst being one of the
greatest missionaries I have ever met, this is probably the reason I
love him so much. He is from South Africa so we have plenty of
'banter' about that. He began his mission in London north and served
as a zone leader in Norwich, so we have taught many of the same
people. Fun fact, Elder Farley trained Elder Gore in Ely, straight
after that he came to me in London North and when I left he trained a
brand new missionary called Elder Wentzel. So we are all practically
family. All for one and one for all!

Now, yesterday me and a few other missionaries were allowed to visit
the temple. 

We had a great day, we took a member with us and did some
of his families work. Each time I go to the temple I feel like my
Spirit is going to school, this time I really had to apply myself to
learn and at the end of the session I received some wonderful
insights. Sitting in the celestial room yesterday was the first time
in a long time that my mind and soul felt truly still. I was able
focus my mind and meditate. I read from 2 Peter 1: 2-11 and whilst
reading these special verses I realised how grateful I was for the
temple and the relationship I have with God. Our understanding of
Heavenly Father is really quite unique, we know that He is a personal
God and understanding that changes everything. From these verses we
also learn that through 'exceeding great promises we can become
partakers of the divine nature', and by adding virtue, knowledge,
temperance and eventually charity to our faith we make our calling and
election sure - that 'an entrance maybe administered abundantly unto
you in the everlasting Kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ',
incredible right?


I love you all

Hugs and Handshakes

Elder Nolan

Saturday, 1 August 2015


                                     Elder Gore, Pare and Elder Nolan

Hello everyone,

How are you?

I am currently sat in a Watford barber shop waiting for Elder Gore's
hair to be cut. It's always strange coming back to an area, being on
exchange with Elder Wright (Sent from my iPad
This week has been great though, we had MLC this week and it was the
first one with President and sister Stevens - we also had 5 new zone
leaders. It's definitely a new era, I absolutely loved the meeting
though, we began with a group study on Doctrine & Covenants 121:
33-46. It's been a topic of study for me and Elder Gore of late, we
also trained on it later in the day and drew examples from the
relationship between Lehi and Nephi. It's incredible how from a young
age Nephi observed the example of his prophet father and when Nephi
was eventually called to be on the Lords errand his response to it was
so much influenced by what he had seen his father do. Nephi said 'I
will go and do' because he had seen his father do it time and time
again - prophesying in Jerusalem, pleading ' with all that his heart,
In behalf of his people' and leading his family into the wilderness,
leaving wealth and status behind. It made me think of the righteous
example's I have been so blessed with within my own family, I have a
close family full of disciples and they all set an individual example
to me which has greatly affected my missionary service. I have thanked
the Lord everyday for them for the past two years and I will continue
to for eternity!

Pare is doing incredibly well! Christine and the girls are preparing
for the 15th and we have Lauren preparing for the 29th! Too many

The time is far spent!

I love you all,

Hugs and handshakes,

Elder Nolan

Saturday, 18 July 2015


                                                                     New haircut!

                                     The wonderful Honn Family!

Brother George Stevens from Maldon, great to see him. 95 years old and still cleans the chapel twice a week!

Hello Everyone,

How are you?

This week has been great for our area, we have some wonderful friends
we are teaching and they are progressing so well. We have our friend
called Pare who we found two weeks ago and she is preparing to be
baptised on the 9th August. We found her after praying where we should
go in all of London after a day of phone calls with the zone leaders.
We felt prompted to travel to a place called Vauxhall - and so we set
off with a spring in our step, confident that the Lord had a work for
us to do there. As we walked we were finding by the way and after a
few dead end conversations we stopped this young, Thai student who had
a lovely cross necklace. It's always a great opener to point to that
and ask about their time as a Christian (it's incredible how many
people just wear it as a fashion item!). We then had the most amazing
step in lesson with Pare, the Spirit was so strong and she said she
felt like she wanted to cry. We talked about Ether 12:27 in the Book
of Mormon and it brought such comfort to her. We extended a baptismal
invitation and set a date on the spot. Since then she has met with us
3 times and we talk nearly everyday about her wonderful experiences
with the Book of Mormon. She is keeping the word of wisdom and when
she was taught the plan of salvation she expressed that now she
understands just how much God loves her 'this gives my life so much
meaning and purpose', we feel so blessed!

Next week we have the baptism of our friend Gem who is from Burnley of
all places! She is so great and is progressing really well. She
brought her friend to the church a few weeks ago and we taught them
both with President and Sister Stevens and it went really well. Gem
has quite an incredible story, she had some health trouble and
suffered some memory loss, when she woke up after the ordeal the only
thing she could see in her minds eye was the Book of Mormon despite
not remembering what the missionaries had previously taught her! How
crazy is that? And what a blessing in disguise when you think about
it, I think it really solidified her feeling that this was the most
important thing she could choose to do. So we are really excited for
her this week.

We've been on 3 exchanges this week which has been fun! I was in St.
Albans with Elder Williams , then back to Maldon with Elder Helisto
who's only been out 3 months - he thought he was in big trouble when
he found out he was exchanging with us - he is a really promising
young missionary and we have planned to work more with the young ones
as the mission will need young leadership very soon. And then lastly I
was with Elder Patterson in London. Going back to Maldon was awesome,
I saw Irene again, Mani, Kavita and sveta and of course the Wheelers!
Such great people over there, I love it. Bro wheeler asked me what my
favourite meal was before I came, so I jokingly replied 'steak
and ribs', we got there on Thursday night and he had gone and sorted
it out hadn't he! What a lad! We had some good fun. It was just great
to see how well everyone was doing. Irene is just so pure and faithful
- she is preparing for the temple. Mani swung by the chapel just as
we're teaching a lesson and he was able to join us and bear testimony
of his experience with the Church and his testimony of Jesus Christ
and it was so powerful, it really benefitted our Romanian friend who
we were teaching. I really enjoy exchanges, it's such a blessing. In
the missionary handbook leaders are counselled to always remember that
exchanges are a time for learning just as much as they are a time for
training and I can testify that that is true. I think every exchange I
have been in I have returned as a better missionary because of the
example of the missionary I was with. This mission has awesome
missionaries and in a few transfers it will have the best missionaries
in the world.

                               Organising transfers - Before!!

                                       Transfers done! - After!!

So, transfer weekend. It has been quite the task getting it sorted,
but we got there. It is always a spiritual experience when we work on
the transfer board and organise the missionaries to where they need to
be and more importantly who they need to be with. The Spirit works 
with you in a very particular way. Your mind feels quickened in
organising and discerning what will happen in a certain
companionship. At each stage of the moves a feeling of rightness or
the opposite will testify to all of us in the room and we will know who
needs to stay or change. On my mission, one of the challenges that I have
loved most is problem solving and finding the best solution for
multiple parties and so doing the moves, whilst being challenging and
long, has been a lot of fun for me as well. I'm just so grateful for
these experiences. Sister Stevens cooked a wonderful meal for us last
night as well! Three courses, we were her guinea pigs for next weeks
departing dinner! This meal came after I had been taken by Elder Leite
to a Brazilian barbecue for lunch. So much meat! It was amazing. His
family friend from back home dropped by to take him out for dinner on
behalf of his parents for his birthday! It worked out that his
companion Elder Jackson and my companion had a family they baptised
together come and visit them. So I got to go to this epic feast.
Whenever me and Elder Leite are together we just get taken to the
fanciest restaurants - we got taken to the Langham together last time!
It was a lot of fun.

In other eating outings, the Honn Family came to visit on Friday! They
are from Idaho and Sister Honn was raised in Norwich, their son Ethan
enters the MTC in 3 weeks. We went to a chicken restaurant in
Piccadilly Circus and it was so good! It was such a blessing seeing
them again, they are a wonderful family and I have really bonded with
them. Me and Ethan talked about the mission and he asked for some
advice so I gave him Mosiah 24 to read. I love how many great people
we get to meet on a mission, I really hope I can keep in contact with
all of these great people.

In other news, I bought a suit this week for £30 from tesco's so we
will see how long that lasts. Hopefully for 6 weeks, right? Yikes!


Have a great sabbath!

I love you all

Hugs and handshakes

Elder Nolan

Sunday, 12 July 2015

Change is good

Not quite sure what this photo is all about - Elder Nolan has yet to tell us!!!

Hello everyone!

How are you doing?

This week has been a definite first time experience for me, the transition from President and Sister Jordan to President and Sister Stevens has brought with it a range of emotions but the whole thing has been quite a powerful witness that the Church has indeed been and continues to be divinely organised.

We also expected to have a new office couple, Elder and Sister Gale and they are lovely, I don't know if I have mentioned Elder and Sister Williams but me and Elder Gore refer to them as Granddad and Grandma.
Anyway, Elder Gale got the worse morning of his mission out of the way on Monday, we went with him to get Presidents car valeted, we couldnt find the company that Elder Gale had set the appointment with, we got about an hour past the allotted time and as we pulled into a side road to turn round, Elder Gale realises that his front left tyre was flat!
We then couldn't find a jack in our car or presidents, and when he called the RAC roadside recovery they said that the car in question wasn't registered on the mission fleet. Me and elder Gore left in Presidents car to get help and get it valeted some place else, we finally found a really good shop that would do it for a better price, we then walked back to where Elder Gale was stranded and grabbed him an apple pastry to cheer him up. When we got back we found him outside
the car which had now been fixed by the RAC but as we gazed upon Elder Gale we saw something wrong, his shoulder had fallen victim to a London bird with a seemingly unhealthy digestive system. Poor brother!

Anyway, that night we grilled chicken on the chapel roof with President and then a bunch of missionaries turned up and we made them 'smores', another American method of cheating your way to a heart attack - delicious obviously. We had photos on the roof and just tried to soak up the moment as much as we could, President said 'you will tell your wives and children about this night', it's true, it was a great evening and send off for the Jordan's.

Tuesday came and we prepared every needful thing for the transition then at around 5.30 the Jordan's arrived with President and Sister Stevens and we got acquainted. The Jordan's then left and between the third floor of the building to them leaving the garage I think I hugged sister Jordan 10 times! It was just so tender and surreal to see them go. But they did indeed go and we got straight to work with President and Sister Stevens planning for the next three days of introduction conferences.

Now the conferences are done, we have gotten to know President and Sister Stevens pretty well and I can say with sincerity that I love them and know that they will do remarkable things for this mission.
Elder Gore put is so well the other day, he described the transition like an old cartoon where a dagger would be pointed into the side of a character and then when I was retrieved there was no hole, but seemingly the flesh of the cartoon character had been restored. When the Jordan's left it stung and I could feel a hole being made but then the Stevens came and the hole was quickly restored. I feel so blessed to have two mission presidents and wives and to have a close relationship with them both will bless me forever.

On Wednesday after the Ipswich conference we had dinner at the stake presidents home and the opportunity arose for an on the spot musical number, so me, elder Johnson, Elder Hesen, the stake presidents son in
law and President Stevens sang brightly beams - the one we used to sing in the mission band and it sounded pretty good! President Stevens used to sing bass in the Mormon tabernacle Choir and so I am confident the mission will continue its musical habits.

In our area we continue to see miracles, people texting us out the blue asking to come to church right after we finish our prayer to begin planning for the few people we have to work with, people are receiving answers to prayers and are having powerful experiences with the Book of Mormon and the Saviour Jesus Christ. The baptisms will be flooding in soon, we just have to be patient.

I love you all

Hugs and handshakes

Elder Nolan

Saturday, 27 June 2015


President and Sister Jordan in The Mews 

Hey Everyone,

So, this week has been busy, very busy indeed. The greatest blessings this week have come in the form of trainings and new lessons being learnt. 

I realised this week just how much President and Sister Jordan mean to me, they have become such a significant part of my life. I remember looking at their photo in my call packet just wondering what they were like and how we would get on. Being around them so much on my mission has taught me so many things, working closely with them for the past two months has helped me to grow and learn things that will bless the rest of my life. It has been really tender this week to see them say goodbye to so many missionaries. They have truly lost themselves in the work and in the lives of their missionaries. The mission loves them so much and it will be a very strange feeling not having them around, However, the greatest thing about them both is their understanding and testimony of Priesthood keys. President has stressed many times recently that the keys he holds are the same keys the new mission President holds, he encouraged the missionaries to pray for President and Sister Stevens and for a spiritual confirmation that the mantle of Presiding in the England London Mission will in due time pass from President Jordan and rest upon the shoulders of President Stevens. I have sought this witness and have received it. I already feel love growing for the Stevens' and I know that this is a gift from heaven. 

​We are teaching some wonderful people now and helping the Britannia ward to ​grow! The greatest thing about serving with Elder Gore is that we are both just striving as hard as we can to be consecrated unto the Lord. These are the 'days of the vow of our separation', we feel the weight of that - he has really helped me to regularly sacrifice my own will for the perfect will of my Father in heaven. This life is all about priorities, its all about consecration. You can spend two years as a missionary and come home without changing a whole lot, you can exchange two years of your life for regret - this isn't a bargain we are looking to make. As Nephi didn't build his ship after the manner of men, we are striving to build our souls in the Lords way. Missionary work has been pretty hard since coming to London, I didn't expect this - but my sense of fulfilment and happiness hasn't been higher than it is right now. 'My Joy s full'. My trust is in God and not the Arm of flesh. Me and Elder Gore love each other and we are just both trying to help each other to receive the Holy Ghost more fully. 

​This week coming looks a little crazy, President Stevens arrives on Tuesday and we will have conferences with him for the rest of the week. ​Please pray that miracles happen in our area, even if we are out of it for the most part! 

I love you all

Hugs and handshakes

Elder Nolan

Sent from my iPad            #withanipadsingletothegloryofgod

Monday, 15 June 2015

Battle of the Roses

Hello friends!

How are you?

This week has been a refiners fire. It's feels like a month rather
than a week. Monday to Wednesday consisted of organising and executing
a missionary transfer which is best described as acutely organised
chaos. Elder David and I parted on Tuesday night after a delicious
departing dinner prepared by Sister Jordan. Elder Gore is my new
companion, he is a beast and he is from Yorkshire! Most of you
probably know him or his family. I'm so grateful to be serving with
him, he has really inspired me to more fully consecrate myself to the
work for these next two transfers, and we are working out hard in the
morning! We went all the way to Cambridge on sat to clear out a flat
which he began his mission in, in the process we recovered the bench
press he bought whilst he was there! Our new flat has turned into gym
and this morning we had other missionaries turn up to exercise with
us, we might start charging.

So, Friday was the day that the whole mission had been waiting for -
Elder Holland came to see us. I was really feeling the Spirit in the
build up to the meeting, London South mission joined us and I got to
see all my MTC friends including Elder Belnap who was my companion.
The meeting began with Elder Holland shaking all of our hands. When he
stood up he said, 'I just stared into each of your souls and
interviewed you, for the most part you are doing okay, some are
struggling and some are working on changing a few things - you know
who you are'. Right now , this day I am more certain of Elder Holland
being an ordained Apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ than I ever have
been before, especially immediately after the meeting on Friday. His
message on Friday was uncomfortably frank and his delivery of it was
fearless. Parts of it seemed to stick in my conscience and as I look
back at my internal reaction to what he was saying, my thought process
was that of a prideful little boy. 'That's a bit much', 'We didn't
deserve that', 'this surely doesn't apply to me', 'this must be for
the South mission'. Alas, the words of Nephi have provided me with a
powerful learning experience 'For the guilty taketh the truth to be
hard'. I hope tevery missionary left that meeting feeling sufficiently
pricked, all of us feeling the pain of it in different areas of our
souls and if their resolve to repent wasn't as immediate as mine, I
really hope it is now. For the record I left that meeting feeling
confused, offended and less than edified. Since then, I have pondered,
prayed and fasted about the message Elder Holland gave and I have now
realised just how inspired and on point he actually was. He didn't
waste time on tell us the things we did know, he didn't talk about any
program, initiative or teaching method. He spoke about his conversion
and our conversion, what it meant, what it should mean and what the
fruits of it should be. He spoke directly about the effect a mission
should have on a young man or young woman and declared is pain,
confusion and lack of empathy for those who stray after coming home.
What struck me about him was just how brilliant his mind is, he is
scarily fast and quick witted - which also effects his ability to
expound the scriptures and quickly take away the comfortable traps we
can sometimes let ourselves fall into. He was like an immunisation
jab, one of those ones where the needle is massive and the nurse is
brand new and takes no time to warn you about the incoming spike into
your unsuspecting arm and then proceeds to inject a throbbing wave of
calculated sickness which then leaves you with a short course of
discomfort and mild regret. But then what you find, is that when you
are alone on the borders of Babylon, when your downtrodden whilst
wading through the wilderness and when the mighty storms of the
adversary are trying to sink your sail boat, the sickness that could
arise within in you is muted and you realise that distinctly
uncomfortable jab in the arm has saved you from a pitfall you have
have never climbed out of. So simply, I am grateful that Elder Holland
loved us enough to hurt us, just a little bit - because I can testify
that It did and will continue to do me a world of good.

There is so many things that have happened this week and I just don't
have time to list them off to you, I really hope we have a highlight
reel in the spirit world and that our loved ones get to watch it with

I love you all,

Hugs and handshakes

Elder Nolan


                          Departure photos - Elder David is going home.

                         Elder David, Nolan President Jordan and Elder Gore


Elder David's Family waited patiently for his return ... but wait a minute isn't that Elder Nolan??

I took this last night at the Chinese dragon boat festival held at President and Sister Jordan's! It was so cool, they had a powerful testimony meeting and some delicious food

                                         Me and The Piano Guys

What a week!

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