One Month!

Peyton posted an Instagram picture on July 26th.  Her comment was, "One month down, twenty-three more to go.  But, who's counting anyway?"  Honestly, his first month has flown by.  I hope it has for him, too.  I think the fact that he didn't even mention it in his email today is a good indicator.  He sounds great!

July 29, 2013

This last week flew by because it was quite busy! On Wednesday, I went on an exchange to the Hamble River area and worked with Elder Lane from Vegas. It was such a good day. I have gotten the British greeting down pretty well. When you pass someone here, instead of saying 'whats up' or whatever you say 'you alright' or 'you alright mate'. So I've got that down. So I greeted an older lady and her daughter on the street in Hamble River and they ACTUALLY said hi back.. that's crazy in itself. But, then for some reason, I felt I should stop. So I asked how their day was and such, and the older lady looked at me and asked if I was from Utah... I was like.. 'uh yeah!' and she said that she was raised in Wisconsin and was familiar with Mormons and just assumed that is where I was from! And, so that got us talking on a whole new topic and she said that she was a Spiritualist.. and her daughter that was standing right there said that she was just open to any religions... and I'm sure they could notice my eyes widen up and get brighter cause I'm thinking ahhh, the PERFECT investigators. So, getting a little ahead of myself, I just blasted the Gospel right in their faces and they were so receptive and the mom had many questions in which Elder Lane and I answered and the daughter was expressing that she had never drank or smoked or even really dated cause her mom wouldn't let her date British guys cause they aren't as nice as American guys. (They are planning on moving back to America soon.) So, I told them they should move to Utah ;) cause it's beautiful and all the people are so nice and such. But, long story short, we said a prayer with them and gave them a card to give us a call if they had any questions. L___  just had to check with her husband before she invited us to come over. So we went our separate ways. Elder Lane and I were like freaking out. We were like...'what did we even say!? ah the Spirit said everything there' and so on. And, then we figured we shouldn't get too excited cause no one ever calls back. Less than ten minutes later...THEY CALLED! and they wanted us to go meet with them next Sunday in their home. Only problem is...I'm not located in Hamble River and I did most the talking and getting to know them and such and they said and expressed that they didn't want other people they hadn't met coming to their home. So, we're trying to work something out with the district leader to let me go to Hamble River once a week to work with Elder Lane and L___ and I___. They are so prepared to hear and accept this message! They already teach and live the standards in their home. I'm so excited for them whether I get to teach them or not!!
Anyway, other than that, we had zone conference in Staines on Thursday which was a two hour train ride! That went really well.
The members of the ward are awesome. Especially a man named Ricky Watts, or Brother Watts I mean. He is the ward mission leader and he is incredible!
Speaking of incredible! MOM!! Holy thanks for the electric razor! You're a lifesaver. And, thanks for the pictures from DC and the letters and everything! You're amazing. I love you!
Mom, Dad, Tanner, Peyton! I love all of you! I love hearing about what's going on with all of you! So, thanks for the letters and emails and such! I love you all!! Have a great week!

"View from the flat in Hamble River."

"An investigator we did service for had a Pikachu stuffed animal!!!  :)"

"We went to Hythe again. :)"

 "We went to a member's house for dinner yesterday...THEY HAD GERBILS!"

"An incredible house I saw in the Chandlers Ford area the other day."

"Eggs on toast.  90% of my diet."

Try to keep up...

One of the challenges we are noticing, is the time delay between letters written and letters received.  When you mix in regular emails, it becomes hard to keep track of chronology.  I set up a Picasa Web Album, hoping it would provide an easy way for Elder Munson to share pictures and for me to organize and post them in "real time," but things haven't gone quite as planned.  The web album uploads take a long time and he doesn't have that much time on a computer on P days.  So, he sent home a data card with lots of pictures from the MTC!

Letters, letters, letters!

There is just something about getting a letter in the mail!  It is the best surprise ever!  We have received three letters in the past seven days.  I am not the only one who likes getting "snail mail."  Elder Munson LOVES getting mail.  Email is great, but it just isn't the same as opening your mailbox and finding a letter you weren't expecting.  Here are a few parts of his recent letters...

July 15, 2013

  It has been freaking hot here since I've been here.  At nearly 90 degrees, plus humidity.  It makes for a lot of sweat when you're in a shirt and tie and slacks all day.  Every day when we return to the flat, I just feel like passing out.  It's hard work out here.  The days are long.  But, when it's night, Elder Yu provides nice comic relief.
  England really is beautiful.  I love it.  And, I definitely want to come back someday!
  P day has been nice.  But, it has gone a lot faster than the other days.  A man named Dave, from the ward, took us food shopping today because he has a Costco card.  That was nice of him.  We have a lesson planned with a less active family later tonight.  I hope it goes well.
  Everyone told me the first month or two in the field is the hardest.  And, I hope they're right because along with learning a ton and having good experiences, comes a lot of homesickness and times of frustration.  I know I can talk to the Lord, and I do.  I am so blessed to be able to be here, and I can't wait to see what's in store for the rest of my mission.
  I love and miss you all!

July 19, 2013

  Ah!  I got my package today while Elder Buglass and I were having lunch at the flat.  I got so excited!  I love getting mail!  I loved everyone's letters!  Thank you so much!  I love hearing how Tanner and Peyton are doing, and Elder Buglass got a kick out of Mom's card!  Getting mail, of any sort, is so exciting!
  It has continued to be SO hot and humid here in Southampton!  I sweat like crazy.  My face is getting quite dark though from being in the sun all day.
  Things are going well.  Yesterday, we did service for an investigator named S___!  And, tomorrow we are teaching a brand new investigator and his family.
  Street contacting is fun.  Elder Yu is teaching me a lot of Chinese, so I say hello to all the Chinese people here.  And, trust me, there are a ton!  Gall, my Mandarin is already better than my English accent.  So dumb!
  Anyway, thanks again so much for the package.  It really means a lot.  I miss you all so much!
  I love you, Mom, Dad, Tanner, and Peyton!

July 23, 2013

  First of all, Dad, thanks for the postcard from Connecticut!  I think that's a great idea.  I got it yesterday.  Also, thanks so much for the envelope full of stuff that's going on back home!  I got it today and I think that's such a good idea as well.  I loved it!  That's so awesome that PG is getting attention and got some votes to be close to the top five.
  Anyway, yesterday was P day.  We went to the library to email.  Then, we went to the town center, or the shopping centre.  Elder Buglass showed me some stores I might like...and, holy cow!  England shopping and fashion is unreal!
  We also went grocery shopping and then just relaxed in the flat for a few hours until we went to meet with S___, one of our investigators.
  It was a good day.  Right now, it's our lunch hour so we have a little time to eat and whatnot.
  Oh, and Mom, I forgot to thank you for the tie in the package!  You can never have enough ties!  Ha!  I wore it yesterday.
  Today, there is finally some cloud cover and it's not freaking hot.  I'm not sticky and sweaty for the first time!  Yay!  :)
  I'm going to make some eggs on toast now.  Just wanted to thank you all and say I love you.  Getting mail is like the greatest feeling ever.  I love you and miss you!  I hope all is well!

Pretty exciting, huh?

Last Thursday, I received a call from our bank notifying us that Skyler's Visa debit card had been compromised.  Charges were being attempted from all around the world - Saudi Arabia, Spain, England, USA.  Thankfully, our bank caught the fraud, denied all of the charges (the attempts were for very large sums, and that account only has the bare minimum "emergency fund" recommended for missionaries), but had to cancel the card.  I was able to work things out with our bank, but he will be without a personal debit card for a while.  It shouldn't be too big of a deal.  So, unfortunately, this week's email from Elder Munson mostly consisted of answering questions about activity on his account and verifying where he had used the card (because I suspect the fraud is a result of him using it in England).  He only used his personal debit card for a few things because there was a problem with his mission issued debit card!  Ah!  But, he said he thinks all of that is worked out now, too.

He sounded a little disheartened that they haven't had more teaching opportunities and said that people don't seem to want to talk to the missionaries and aren't interested in religion.  He didn't sound too discouraged, just disappointed.  

Other than that, it was pretty much "housekeeping" dialogue:  he seems to have everything he needs, he loves the blanket Grandma and Grandpa gave him, his electric razor broke, and, like I mentioned before, all of the banking issues.  Pretty exciting, huh?  He did send two new pictures.  

"Elder Yu and I walking to Ward Council yesterday."

I'm not sure about his face in this one! ;)

It really is a small world after all...especially in the LDS Church!  It seems extremely small when you factor in technology and the conveniences it provides.  I joined a Missionary Mom email group shortly after Skyler received his call.  I have loved trading emails with other mothers whose sons are serving in the UK.  A few members of the group live in England.  One of the moms, Julie, responded when I sent out an email about Elder Munson's first area.  She has a friend who lives in Southampton, and, as luck would have it, Julie's friend fed the Elders on Sunday.  When I got home from our Church meetings yesterday, I found an email and picture in my inbox.  This is Elder Munson and Elder Buglass at their dinner appointment yesterday!  How cool is that?!?!  I miss my boy.


"The Titanic left from here."

"Across the channel is a little town called Hythe.  It is absolutely my favorite place so far.  It is so pretty, and to get there, we get to take a ferry which is so cool!"

"I told him to pose, and this is what I got."
ELDER YU (from China)

"The library where I go to email."

"We street contact here a lot."

 "Found a dead squirrel!"

"A road in Southampton."

"First road where I went door knocking."



First Companion/Trainer
ELDER BUGLASS (from York, England)

MTC Pics




SISTER WELC (from Brazil)

ELDER FISO (from Utah)



First P Day Email from Southampton

Elder Munson hit the ground running last week in Southampton.  His email was upbeat and quirky -- just like the Skyler we know and love!  He sounds truly happy and his growth and maturity is apparent already.  He has had wonderful teaching opportunities and absolutely loves Southampton!  They walk a lot and take double decker "coaches" and he thinks it's all pretty awesome.  He said they sometimes go to Hythe, a little town across the channel, and they have to take a ferry which he thinks is very cool.

A few excerpts from his email today...

Today is my first official P day! P days are on Mondays in this area! The weather has been super hot! And, I sweat a lot! hahahahahaahaha. I love the Chinese elders. Especially Elder Yu. He and I talk and laugh a lot. Elder Buglass is a good trainer. He knows his stuff and he is good at studying. 

I am really learning how to let the Spirit guide me in discussions and while talking to and teaching members and investigators. 

My ward is great! The people are nice. We've been fed for dinner almost every night since I've been here. There's a family here with the surname Watts, and they are my favorite family for sure. Brother Watts is the ward mission leader, so we work with him a lot. He and his wife are young and have one little son. They are the best. 

I love you guys! I hope all is well! I'm praying for you all! And, Elder Yu says, "Hello, Munson family. I love you.

Love, Elder Munson

Another Letter

I was so surprised to find another letter in our mailbox today!  It is post marked from the UK on July 10, 2013.  So, it only took three days to get here.  That is really fast!  I am looking forward to Monday because we should receive an email.  It will be hard not to get my hopes up or have expectations of a letter AND an email each week.  I am sure there will be a natural tapering off the longer he is out.  But, I will enjoy it while it lasts! 

July 9, 2013

Dear Family,

So, I leave the MTC tomorrow.  I can't believe it!  I'm actually going to be in the field!  And, I can't wait.  It was hard saying bye to my teachers though.  My two teachers over the last two weeks were Brother Loynes and Brother Rojas.  They would switch off every other day.  Brother Loynes was raised in England and served in the Greece Athens mission.  Brother Rojas was also raised in England and served in the England London South mission.  I got super close with both of them and I will miss them dearly.  They are both incredible.

I feel ready to leave the MTC...but not ready at the same time.  I have learned so much, and my testimony has grown a ton.  But, life out in the real mission field will be a BIG time adjustment.  

I miss you all a ton.  Your pictures from the trip look incredible.  I hope everyone had fun.  And, I know Tanner tore it up at camp.

I love you guys.  I am so blessed to have the family I have and to be where I am today!  Much love from my last day in Preston!

Love, Elder Munson

First Assignment

View Larger Map
Elder Munson departed the England MTC this morning at 4:30 AM.  We thought we may not hear from him until next week, but we were happily surprised to receive a short email this afternoon.  

July 10, 2013

So, guess where I am?! I am in Southampton on the southern coast of England! It is so humid and hot here. I just finished having dinner at a member's house with my companion and our two roommates. The members house that we were at asked if I was nearing the end of my mission. And, when I told them it was my first day, they didn't believe me because they said I had the presence of an experienced missionary, which I guess is a pretty good thing. Our flat is pretty nice. Two bed rooms. Pretty old though. My companion is Elder Buglass From York, England. Our two roommates are Chinese guys who are Mandarin speaking, but they speak English well too. They are both funny. Elder Yu and Elder Ng (pronounced Elder Mm). We are now at the church using the computers until Young Mens starts, then we are going to join with the Young Men and be a part of their activity. So, it should be a good night. Today has been such a long day though and I can't wait to sleep. :) I'm glad you guys had fun on your trip. I miss you all! Love you!

Love, Elder Munson

Good-bye, England MTC

Elder Munson's last email (I think) from the MTC...

July 8, 2013

I love you all! I leave the MTC on Wednesday but because P day is normally on Wednesday, I only have a few minutes to email you guys today, then a proper email will be sent next week! I love you guys so much, and I am learning so much here in England.  I just cant wait to get out in the field.  It will be incredible!

Love, Elder Munson

On July 5, 2013, we received a letter from the England MTC President notifying us of Elder Munson's upcoming departure from the MTC.  He will leave the MTC on Wednesday morning, July 10th.  I know he has been prepared to give full time service in the England London South Mission.  His excitement is contagious, and although my heart still aches because I miss him so much, I am finding it easier to be completely excited as he is.

First {Real} Letter!

I am grateful for email and, of course, have loved the speed and convenience of that communication.  So far, he has had two occasions to email us, and I can't tell you how happy it makes me to read his emails.  I can just feel his excitement through each of them.  Two days after we said good-bye to Elder Munson, we left for family vacation.  While we were gone, his first letter was delivered.  We arrived home yesterday and were so excited to read it.  Emails are great, but there is just something special about a handwritten letter!  Here is a portion of that letter...

June 28, 2013

Dear Family,

So far, the MTC has been great.  My companion is Elder Ganta from India.  Our other two roommates are Elder Pulman from Wales and Elder Richy from Alaska.  Yesterday, all the Elders and Sisters were interviewed by a member of the Presidency.  I was interviewed by President Hughes.  He seemed to really like me...but, I knew that meant trouble.  Later in the day yesterday, I got called as a district leader!  Holy cow!  A district leader!?  Me?!  I am in charge of 10 people.  My companionship and four others.  I was so excited to be called to leadership and I've loved every second of it.  It's a lot of keeping track to do and a lot of being in front of people, conducting and talking.  My testimony has grown so much and I've learned a ton.  I am taking lots of pictures, so be expecting them soon.  I love you all and miss you a ton!

Elder Munson

P.S.  Oh, and my black mission belt got stolen out of my luggage, over the course of traveling here, along with my red work out bands. :(

P.S.S.  Thank you all so much for the letters!  I loved them and they meant so much!  I love you all.

New Beginnings

Tomorrow will mark two weeks since we said good-bye to Elder Munson at the SLC airport.  It was a bittersweet day.  I have created this blog to share my son's missionary experiences with all those who love him.  Thank you for whatever role you've played in Skyler's life.  He is a remarkable person and I am honored to be his mother.