Monday, January 12, 2015

77, Loughborough


So I sent you loads of pictures, you got those right?  I hope you're happy because that took ages.  Now I'll email you.  I'm glad to hear that everything is going great over there, and Dad's back home safely and all of that.  TZ gets married on Thursday?!  That's crazy!  You have to send me a few pictures of that next week!  How exciting.  I wish I could be there.  I'm sure it'll be great.  So I guess I kind of owe you two weeks huh??  

So last time I mentioned Duo, we taught Duo and he was elect, such a great guy from China and excited to learn!  It was a powerful lesson and it just went really great and we were excited for him, but he dropped us yesterday unfortunately ):  It was a pretty learning experience though, we left the lesson really excited, having felt the spirit, and knowing that we did exactly what the Lord wanted of us, then he sent us a message saying he didn't want to learn more and obviously we're gutted about that, but it's comforting to know that we did what was expected of us.  Free agency just sucks sometimes.  

New Years was nothing really special ahah I'd say the most anticlimactic New Years I'll ever have.  We had to be in the flat at 6 so we were.  We just kind of laid around and relaxed for a while.  Listened to some music and ate some food.  Then took care of all the nightly planning and business we had to do.  It wasn't too long until it was night time and I just decided to go to bed a little early.  We set an alarm for 11:55 to be up for the new year.  The alarm went off, Elder Harris asked, what now?  I said I don't know... I'm going back to sleep and we slept through the new year.  We had to stay in in the morning as well to do weekly planning but with the new year we had some good studies and goal making so that's good (:  I can't believe my 'black year' is over.  (the full year I'll spend on my mission).  

I also mentioned Zoe and Michelle, Zoe has been investigator for a while but we saw her and a group of her friends at a bus stop and I ran up to them.  They were celebrating Michelle's birthday, we hadn't met her before though.  We started singing happy birthday in chinese and making jokes and things like that and michelle invited us over for their birthday party.  We went straight there and had a great time and Michelle liked it a lot, so we'll start teaching her as soon as exams are over.

Aurora was a cool miracle, we weren't sure if we should knock on a door or not but we decided to and Aurora answered and was amazing.  She was very interested in the gospel and thought that we were cool.  She invited us back and we taught her a little bit about the book of mormon and she said she'd read.  One of the heart breaks of this week though is that she read the book of mormon... and is really hung up on the Nephi killing Laban thing.  She said she was terrified when she heard that because it's completely against Buddhism.  It's such a genuine concern and we did everything to try to resolve it but it'll take some more time.  

Another highlight of the previous week was exchange with Elder Severe, he's just such a cool guy and we had a great time.  We taught Duo and Aurora together and were able to talk about a lot of great things.  He's into the same movies and music I am and he plays a lot of basketball.  It was fun to get to know him better.
On the Saturday morning we played a massive game of football with a bunch of investigators and recent converts and a couple of members which was great.  It was about 8 per side and a fast paced game.  When we exchanged back Elder Severe and I were both sore and hurt; in so much pain.  

So this week,
Last monday was so rushed because we had a DA at 5 and a member and a about to be baptized investigator came down from Cheltenham to hang out with us.  So we were with them all day and we had to take our car in to the garage and things like that.  One crazy thing was we went to pick up our car, and they had given our key away to someone else on accident and she had driven away in her own car, but with her key (she was using a spare key or something to drive her own) They did everything they could to get it back and we didn't have to wait to long.  We played a bit of football and just had a good time for p-day.  The DA was amazing, it was with a family called the Alexanders and we had a proper roast dinner.  The spirit was strong in that home.  We watched the video about Elder Hollands talk, An High Priest of Good Things To Come and the spirit was very strong.  I think it was a message we all needed to hear.  We then taught Aurora when she came out with this Laban thing, so maybe that DA was good preparations of that situation.  

On Tuesday morning we had Mission Leadership Council which was great as always.  We got some really good training from President and Sister Rasmussen and it was good to see a lot of our friends from around the mission.  It was weird because it was the last time I'll see some of them!  A lot of the Sisters are going home, like the sisters that are in my MTC group.  It was good to see Sister Stone again and Elder Harris.  Elder Harris said that that could be the last time we see him on the mission unless he gets transferred into our zone.  isn't that weird?  We went on exchange right after MLC and Elder Dryden and I went to teach Iffah at the Beasley's home.  We talked a lot about the Atonement of Christ and how important Jesus is as our Saviour.  It was a cool lesson to teach.  The spirit was definitely there and I just love how every time we have a lesson and teach a principle of the gospel, my testimony grows.  Doctrine and Covenants 88 says:

 77 And I give unto you a commandment that you shall teach one another the doctrine of the kingdom.

 78 Teach ye diligently and my grace shall attend you, that you may be instructed more perfectly in theory, in principle, in doctrine, in the law of the gospel, in all things that pertain unto the kingdom of God, that are expedient for you to understand;

I really hope I have the opportunities for the rest of my life to teach the gospel to people, whether in church callings or just working with missionaries or anything.  Obviously there will be in the family too, but I kind of mean independent of that.

On Wednesday morning we drove out to Melton Mowbray to contact some of the Address unknown files the church sends out.  Nobody was interested but we did some good finding.  Finding in Melton reminded me a bit of Eastwood because it's just kind of an old english community, it's a little more posh than Eastwood though.  I enjoyed it out there and we'll probably go back.  We exchanged back right after that and got ready for interviews the next day and did some finding. 

Thursday we had interview with President Rasmussen, so we had to wake up and leave early to get everything set and ready for him.  I like interview days because we get some one on one time with President (which always goes by so fast) and as a zone leader we get to see the whole zone and join their district meetings and all of that which is always great.  I had a good interview with him where we talked a little about leadership and things like that.  Again, it's really just all day of talking with other missionaries for us.

So on Friday morning we had our weekly planning and actually had a very good and effective planning session.  Immediately after that though I went on exchange in Evington.  I went with Elder Singleton.  I like him a lot, he's hilarious.  We just did a ton of walking though and it wasn't the most effective work.  We had a good time talking about a lot of different things though.  On the next morning we played some basketball which was a lot of fun.  I miss playing sports a lot!  We've been playing a lot recently though.  The highlight of Saturday was after we exchanged back Elder Harris and I went to see Darren Sprintall (remember the miracle dentist office guy with Elder Steel last November?)  Yeah, so it was great to see him and he really is just such a great guy.  Then he started talking about how he's been trying to be better and he met with John Kear (a member of the stake presidency) over the holiday and they'd seen a film together and things like that.  It was good to see him and his daughter.

So Sunday morning came and Darren came to church!  He hasn't been in probably 9 months, so we were so excited to see him there.  He say's we can meet up more during the week and he's back in it.  Elder Steel and I are actually going on exchange later this week so we'll go see him together.  A woman and her husband a baby came to church as well, named Fulana and Huan and Chenchen.  The Baby is the cutest 2 month old asian in the world.  It was great to see them there.  I think we will pass them on to Sister Chen though, so they can be taught in Chinese.  On Sunday after church we had to drive and meet up with Elder Harris and Lu to pick up a bag so most of our day was taken with that and then we had a DA with Yixing so not much happened.  Our call ins were really good though and the zone did great!  One of my favourite things about them are being able to hear of all the miracles the missionaries are having and seeing how happy they are.  It's great.

So one other thing, remember in the past I talked about Jason?  Well the reason I haven't spoken about him as much is because he's been on Holiday in Norwich.  We referred him to the missionaries down there and they have taken him in a bit.  He is planning on being baptized in the next couple of weeks but it's a little difficult because we don't know where to baptize him!  It's great though that he's doing so well.  Actually one of the missionaries in Norwich is Emri Haynies friend somehow?   They're cool and good missionaries but it's a little tough to work together from different missions.  It's great though that Jason's doing so great!  I remember street contacting him and he was very uninterested until I said 'we teach how people can receive answers to their prayers.' and it just clicked for him.  It's cool how the spirit can guide the words to be what will catch their attention.

So this week has been good!  Transfers aren't for another couple of weeks, so we'll keep you updated!  Hope everythings going well for y'all.

Elder Pogue 

Friday, January 9, 2015

76th, Loughborough

Hey!  That was a great email from y'all!!  Thank you! :D  But I'm way sorry because I literally have no time AT ALL.  I'm basically just emailing to say sorry and hopefully I'll have more time next week!  I can go through really quick some highlights of the week, then next Monday I'll try to do a two week thing if you remind me!  I think that story about Taylor and Marlee is hilarious!   That's just such a hilarious story!  And I can only imagine sacrament meeting... I kinda miss  bizarre testimony meetings!  

So last monday the highlight was we went to a DA with Brother Hardy who is easily the biggest scriptorian I've ever met.  He just got me buzzing for scripture studies, which I already was, but just in a different way.  It was way cool, we just sat down and he pulled out his scriptures and just said, ask me anything.  He's such a great and cool guy.  

On Monday night after a family home evening activity that was great, we went on exchange and I was with Elder Haynie, we always have a great time.  I love him, he's just a great guy and we have loads of fun.  
Tuesday we got to teach a girl named Iffah which is a member referral that's way cool, her parents aren't really supportive or anything but we'll keep working with her.  I'll tell you more next week.  
Okay well, that didn't work.  I'm totally out of time.
So things I'll tell you about next week: this is more of a reminder for me.:
New Years,
Exchange with Elder Severe
Zoe and Michelle

I'll have to go through all that next week!  Love you!  
Sorry,  I know you, especially mom,  hate this and it sucks.  
Elder Pogue

75th, Loughborough

Hey everyone!  

It's good to hear that y'all have had a great week and a great holiday.  I really don't have too much to say because I talked to y'all already this week.  I really enjoyed skyping!  It was so great to talk to all y'all and Mitchell and Allen.  

We were able to have a zone meeting on Christmas eve which was a lot of fun.  We talked a bit about effective studies and then had a white elephant gift exchange and then went for a testimony meeting.  Early in the morning we had driven to Birmingham to get everyone's Christmas packages and spent some time trying to gather things for the people who didn't get anything, and had them so after the testimony meeting we sent out Elder Singleton and told him to put on a santa outfit so we could surprise everyone with their packages and Santa Clause.  It was good fun.  After that we had some errands to run then we went on a little exchange so I went to eat dinner with Albert Charlton and Elder Eyanson.  I love Albert, he's just such a great guy.  It was a good way to spend Christmas eve.

So Elder Harris and I had a funny idea that we would drive to the other Elders house a 5 in the morning and break in, then we'd just sleep on their floor so when they woke up we'd just be asleep on their floor.  So we did that, but unfortunately our key didn't work.  So we just had to wake them up and they let us in.  It was really fun Christmas morning though.  We went up to their loft and opened all of our packages.  It was great, we were all way excited about everything.  Then after that we all went to Beacon Hill and took some pictures.  Then we hurried back to go to the church service we were having.  It was a great Christmas morning.  So we went to the Rasmussons and Hoopes house all day, which was great and hilarious.  Graham Rasmusson is one of the funnier people I've met.  He bought his wife some earrings and after she openned it he yelled out 'okay then!  Come on, give me a snog!!'  Elder Harris and I were both laughing so hard and the whole family was just yelling at him and laughing.  We had a great dinner there.  Again it was great to skype as well. 

So Friday was boxing day and our p-day.  We woke up and went to Leicester for boxing day.  It was fun and we had a good time.  I didn't find any good deals but I always like watching everyone and see the craziness of the city.  After that we went back to lough and just played some football in the chapel.  It was a good p-day for sure.  

Saturday was great as well.  All day we spent getting ready for Lizzy's baptism.  Making sure she has the right clothes and cleaning and filling the font and all sorts of things like that.  Her baptism was good.  It was a small gathering but the talks were really great and it was just fantastic to see lizzy get baptized!  I'm so thankful for that (:  Lizzy is saying that she'll go to the US and visit all of us sometime.  

Sunday lizzy was confirmed and really this sunday was fantastic.  The talks were all by the bishopric and the lessons were about work.  It got me so pumped up to just always be doing something productive.  I was just really uplifted after church.  We got to finally see Joey again after he's been gone for a long time on holiday, and we also saw Chu who went to Italy for the holidays.  Chu is hilarious, he's Chinese but he tries so hard to be so western.  He told us a hilarious story about how he went into a church and saw a couple of asians and asked 'you Chinese?'  'No Korean.'  'Oh, what's going on here?' 'it's called a mass.'  And the story goes on to him just spending all day with these random Korean girls.  Basically he's just the most confident and just interesting guy I've met.

I can't believe it's p-day again already.  I feel like it's just been a week of relaxing and it'll be difficult to get back into the mode of things.  It should be really good though these next couple of weeks.  

I forgot to mention!  At the end of boxing day we looked out the door of the chapel and it was snowing!  It snowed a ton!  It probably snowed pretty hard for maybe 5 hours that night.  There is actually still a couple inches of snow on the ground.  The roads are icy and things, it's cool!  It's been quite cold though.  I figured out why England is so cold but the temperature never is.  It's the wind chill.  It's crazy.  But after Lizzy's baptism and in the morning before church we spent a sufficient amount of time clearing the parking lots and trying to grit the roads.  

It was great to see you this week! 

Love y'all,
Elder Pogue



So I really don't have time to email today, but we can email to set up our skype situation.  Our P-day is on Friday this week, but really I don't know if we'll be able to email then either...  So this Christmas we are going to the Rasmusson's and Hoope's house.  I'm really excited for that, it should be really fun.  

I'll try to briefly go through the week for you.  So we are both still here in Loughborough which is great.  Sister Stone left to be a Sister Training Leader but she has been replaced by Sister Allred which is cool.  Elder Matheus went home, so an Elder Eyanson came it.  We're way excited about him.  So on Tuesday we all just got together for a bit and took pictures.  Elder Matheus got on his train about 12 and Elder Haynie just hung out with us all day in a trio.  It was great!  

Flip... I just got a call, someone needs our help.. Long story.  I've got to go and don't know if I'll be able to finish this email.  

We'll skype sometime between 3 adn 5 PM our time.  Hopefully that works for you.  Love y'all!


73. Dec 13

Well it sounds like you all had a good week so that's great!  I'm way confused as to what your plans are for Christmas and things like that.  I thought you said it'd be just you and Taylor but now you're in Vegas and Dad's coming??  Or are you planning on leaving before Christmas?  
So Into the Woods is an old musical that's way good.  I don't know if the movie is based off of that?  I haven't heard of it really.  I'll have to check it out when I get back.

So this week was all pretty good.  This email though is going to be short... sorry about that.  

So last Monday we did what we do most of the time and we spent a lot of time with the district.  We really just hung out.  At the end of P-day we ended up at the chapel playing volleyball which was a lot of fun.  We really have a great district.  By the way, tonight is 'dodge night' where we find out about transfers.  We'll just have to see what happens!  I really have no idea.  After volleyball we had David come to an institute class.

So the truth is that I don't know where my planner is so I really just have no idea what we did throughout the week.  I can try to tell you but I don't think I'll go through day by day.  I think this will be the first time my whole mission I haven't said what I've done through the days.  

So most of the time we were just doing the basic missionary work.  We've done quite a bit of finding.  Street contacting is easily the most effective way to work and we do it all the time.  It's weird though because sometimes I love it and other times I hate it.  It really depends on how much energy I have. It's good though.  We talked to some really cool people this week.  I like it when the people we are talking to are wanting to talk back.  One thing that we found pretty interesting was when there is a day that we talk to a lot of people and really just do everything we can, at the end of the day we feel really productive no matter if any of them wanted to meet with us again.  

There was one guy that called me over and looked interested and the first thing he said 'Sir Sir!  Do you know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is leading you down to Hell!?'  Also, did you know that Hell was a concept that you don't believe in, oh and Brigham Young this and Brigham Young that.  And You don't believe in this.  I was pretty unhappy with this guy.  I just hate it when people feel like they have the right or the knowledge to tell me what I believe.  I basically just said, thank you for your concern but we have to go.  He said 'No!  You can't, I'm challenging you!  I challenge you to leave the Mormon Church!'  It was cool because I turned around and bore my testimony and then we left.  I don't know why people feel like that's an effective way to try to convert someone.  There was just no spirit with him.  

We had Zone conference this week which was really amazing.  I got to see so many people that I haven't seen in a really long time.  One cool thing was that Elder Tupou and Elder Chugg were both there.  And also Elder Harris so we had a 'family picture' taken.  Zone Conference was just great.  We received quite a bit of training on Christ and his ministry.  So there's something that Michael Gwinye, A recent convert here in Loughborough has been doing where if you see someone and you put your hands over your eyes in the right way, the person who sees has to do a push up.  Elder Haynie tried to do that to Elder Harris and me and failed.  Next thing we know, President does it to us and it was just hilarious.  Then our district got together and got President.  It was hilarious.  President just did this little worm thing on the ground and did a push up.  It was great.  One really weird thing that happened at Zone conference is that the sisters that are in my MTC group bore their departing testimonies.... I can't believe that.

We were able to teach quite a few lessons this week so that was good.  We've basically been working with all of the same people.  David and Lizzy and Jason and a couple of other people here and there.  

One really fun thing, the thing I sent you a picture about was a hotpot activity we had on Saturday.  I think Hotpot needs to get big in America because it'd be a way good date place.  We had a lot of fun at hotpot.

So really it's been a good week and great things are happening.  Lizzy is hopefully going to be baptized this upcoming weekend so we're way excited about that.  It's all been good!  Hey, is it possible to email me one of those pictures of you and dad from a long time ago? Like one where dad has the afro and beard and stuff.  Like the Sadie's one.  

Well I hope you all have a great week.  Sorry for the rushed email.  
Elder Pogue

72nd Letter from England (Loughborough)

Hey everyone!

I think that's cool that I'll hopefully be able to go to Whit's wedding!  I still think it's weird that she's engaged.  I'm happy for her (:  I usually do get pictures you send, I don't think I got any this week though... did you send any?   
I'm not sure what to do about the parcels.  I'll talk to the mission home though.  Do you think they'll just leave a little letter or notice or something?  To be honest I wouldn't be surprised if Elder Gray just gives me a call and says something, that is if the company does somehow get in contact.  
That's way cool that you're having dinner with the missionaries, I really wonder what they're like and what kind of missionaries and stuff they are ahha.  I can't wait to go teaching with missionaries in the future.  

So we've had a pretty solid week.  I'm excited about the things that are happening, we've been fortunate these past weeks.  So monday we had a good day.  We just hung out with the district like we do every monday.  We emailed and then did a little bit of shopping and ended up at Costa Coffee and just all had fun together.  I heard a Belle and Sebastian song come on in Costa (the band we went to see right before my mission) and it was so weird that that was so long ago.  I can't believe the time I've been out and how fast it's gone.  After P-day ended we went to teach our investigator named Jason.  We saw him quite a bit this week and there's plenty of stuff to say about him, I'll share more later.  After that we went to FHE with the district and our investigators.  David Z came and had a good time.  It was a lot of fun at FHE.  We played a pretty fun charades game and everyone thought me acting like a chicken was pretty funny.  

Tuesday morning we woke up and went to Leicester because Elder Haynie needed a lift there so Elder Harris and I did some finding there.  I had the most awkward GQ where I GQed this guy, I was alone because Elder Harris was talking to someone, not out of sight or sound.  I stopped this guy and he asked where my comp was and said it was illegal to be away from him, he asked where I thought he was from.  Then he says "I'm from the CAPITAL"!!  He pulled out a Utah drivers license and then I asked so are you a member then?  He said no, I'm too old to believe in fairy tales.  It was just extremely awkward and then I later found out that he's a less active. It was just a little funny experience.
After that we headed back to loughborough and went to teach Jason.  Jason is way cool and just is so accepting of everything we're teaching.  He has such a desire to learn.  On Tuesday night he prayed in Chinese and it was very powerful. We then went to teach David Z again and try to implement the stop smoking program.  Really just introducing it and setting some goals for it.  We had promised Michael G. a pizza for teaching with us so often and that kind of didn't work out so we went over to his place and one if his housemates named Nina was there and we just started talking about what we do and about Christ.  She's from Nigeria and a strong Christian.  It was ideal to just have a really good lesson that seemed so natural inside that house.  Michael is such a great missionary.  Unfortunately Michael goes back to Zimbabwe next week so we're all pretty gutted about that.  We ended up going to eat with Michael at a pub with Reece.  It was cool because Leicester was playing Liverpool in football and the atmosphere of the room was all on edge and fun.  

So Wednesday morning Mum, I finally met someone from Guernsey or whatever it is. I promise you, it's not even close to our mission.  we had a district meeting and then we went to go exchange with Stamford.  Stamford though is a town that I'm sure you'd be very interested it.  Stamford epitomizes old England.  There were bits of Pride and Prejudice filmed there and it's just an amazing place.  I was with Elder Gull and we had a good time.  We really just did finding most of the time and had a DA with their branch president.  

Thursday morning we went to Peterborough's district meeting which was good and then headed back to Loughborough.  We went over to see David and had a great talk with him. Next we had a good lesson with Jason. We taught Jason about Jesus Christ and showed some videos.  It was really cool because we asked how he felt about Jesus Christ and he said 'hmm, when I was young my dad would point to a really good student and tell me to follow him and try to do what he does. I feel like Jesus is the same.  I should follow him and try to do what he does.'  It was a really cool moment and the spirit was strong.  We had ward coordination that night and were going through the ward list.  We came across Darren Sprintall's name (remember about a year ago with Elder Steel in the Dentist office?)  He's been pretty less active but I felt very strongly that I need to see him.  

Friday morning we spent a lot of the morning working on the area book which was terribly boring, but we had some good music to listen to.  We then went on exchagne with the Elders in Loughborough. Elder Haynie came with me and we just went around to find and teach a couple of people.  So we saw Zoe and David. We had a first lesson with a girl named Omo which was really good.  She said we could see her again on Saturday.  It was cool because  Then we took some time to go and see Darren.  It was way good to see him again.  He welcomed us in and we just hung around for a while then had to head off.  He said we could shoot him a text anytime and we could meet together sometime.  Hopefully it we'll be able to work something out.  Elder Haynie and I had a great time on exchange.

Saturday morning was great.  We all went to town center to do some finding, Elder Haynie and I ended up doing some split GQing with the Sisters so I found with Sister Stone and he went with Sister Chen (obviously still in sight and sound).  It was cool to see how the sisters GQ though.  It was a pretty busy day but it was good.  We then all met together as a district for lunch and I saw this place that said exotic meats from the wild.  So what we ended up eating was a Kangaroo burger and a Zebra burger!  Who would have thought I'd ever eat a Zebra.  To be honest I wasn't the biggest fan of either of them but they were alright.  It was mainly the experience!   Saturday afternoon we went to do some service for Reece which was really good because we sang Christmas carols as a small choir for a bunch of kids.  That was a lot of fun and I'm so excited for Christmas!  We went to see Omo again after that and it was cool because she'd looked up a lot of information about us and said she got a little freaked out and didn't pray because she's scared to know if it's true... sounds to me she already know's it is (:  ahah.  

Sunday was way good as well because he had Church.  Unfortunately David didn't get to come.  But church was good.  Right after church we went to see David and see why he wasn't able to come and he said 'I'm sorry but I've changed my mind about being baptized.'  He felt bad like he was letting us down.  Obviously that's a sad moment, but we started just talking about why and about Christ and the Atonement.  The spirit was incredibly strong the whole time we talked.  It was one of the top most powerful lessons I've been in.  It was amazing.  After the lesson David texted us saying sorry, and is really back to how it was before.  David's great.  After that we had a DA with the Ford's.  Camerons mission President!  They talked about Albania the whole time and it  was great.  For the rest of the day we just had try by's and call ins.  and that was the end of our week.

(maybe take this out... I don't really mind but whatever you think.)  I had a pretty cool dream the other night and it was kind of terrifying.  So in the dream I finished my mission and went home and it was good.  A few days home though I went through the whole day, then went to sleep, then woke up the next morning (still in the dream) and freaked out thinking, I didn't pray or read my scriptures yesterday!  I couldn't believe that I'd gone a day without doing that.  I know there hasn't been a day my whole mission that I haven't prayed AND read the scriptures but for some reason I had this dream and really felt bad when I woke up. I don't want to just spout out a random scripture, but I thought about it a ton and thought about 1 Samuel 15:22 which says ,
'And Samuel said, Hath the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams.'

It made me think a lot about how reliant I am on the scriptures and on prayer.  It's not that God care's much about what we read or how much we read but really why, and how much we get from what we read and pray.  I felt maybe I'm going through motions really well and really benefiting from it, but maybe it's time that I gain a deeper need for these things.  I guess it was just a good opportunity to set goals for relying on prayer and scriptures and making sure that I am setting habits that last long after I go home.
That was my main lesson learned this week.  

Okay, cool side note.  So remember I? The one that was here when I first came to Loughborough?  She lives in Birmingham now with J, (her fiance) and so Elder Eunice and Lu in Birmingham have been seeing them quite a bit but J has never really been interested.  One day they were there and I. just went off on J. saying 'I want a temple marriage!  You need to listen to these guys!  I'm not giving you an option anymore!'  So he started listening.  I called the Elders a few days later and was crying because she had walked in on J  on his knees saying a prayer.  What a cool moment.  My role has been small with J  but it's cool to know that I've played any role at all.  Also it just show's God's hand in so much because the only reason that the Elders have contact with him is because a long time ago J called us frantic saying he had no place to go and he had to store all of his stuff at our flat.  A couple months later when he got to Birmingham we had to get his stuff to him and we met up with J  and he took us out to dinner and stuff but he forgot one thing in our flat.  We had to give that to Elder Eunice and Lu to get to him and that's how they were able to start meeting with him.  Just a lot of small things working out perfectly.  I'm so happy for that situation!

Well, I'm happy to hear that all of you are having a great week.

Love y'all!
Elder Pogue

71st Letter from England (Loughborough)

Hey Everyone,

First off, that's way cool that Whit's engaged!  I'm excited for that!  Hopefully I'll be home for that.  I can't believe how fast time is flying and I'm really unsure about how to feel about it.  Also, it's already Christmas time!  I love how the feeling of the season changes around this time.  It's starting to be really dark when we wake up in the morning and really dark at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon which isn't the best for missionary work but Christmas kind of helps it all along.  

So this week has actually been really exciting.  Mainly because of the He Is The Gift Initiative.  Hopefully you've heard about this??  I'll talk about it a bit later.  

So last Monday we had p-day as usual and really we just hung out with the district all day.  It was a fun day, but nothing interesting to report on.  One thing that was cool was we brought David to an institute class they have every fortnight and he really enjoyed that!  

So Tuesday was a quite good day.  We had to wake up early and head off to Birmingham for our Mission Leadership Council Meeting.  Our zone has pretty much been struggling the past few weeks which really sucks, but the training we received should really help everyone!  So Mission Leadership council was all about the He Is the Gift Initiative which is way cool.  Especially for us missionaries to be able to see all of this stuff happening around the world.  I think it's amazing how much the church is doing to make sure everyone remembers Christ this Christmas.  Especially things like having the video playing in Times Square 24/7 for the entire month, and being the main advertiser on Youtube.  So we left that meeting really just excited for everything!  We went after the MLC to teach a guy named Jason.  We taught him in McDonalds and were able to invite him to be baptized and he accepted which we're well excited about!  Jason's a cool guy from China.  Right after Jason we went to the Buntains for a DA and then came back to teach David Z.  David is doing really great.  We were able to talk about a lot of things that he's had on his mind and resolve some concerns.  David is such a great example of someone who is really being converted and changing from the gospel.  He's really come so far and has been so prepared the past few months for this.  Tuesday night we had a late night preparing for zone meeting.  We knew that the zone meeting had to be ace or else it would be a big waste of an opportunity.  

So Wednesday morning came and we were pretty excited for the Zone meeting.  We got to Leicester and started zone meeting.  We started by talking about how to commit people on baptismal dates and having the faith to do that.  Then we started talking about Christmas and the spirit was just so strong.  Everyone got extremely excited as we talked about how cool it is to be a part of something like this.  I think the promise that the honest in heart will seek Christ pat this time of year.  I'm really expecting some great miracles to happen.  We left the zone meeting just so happy.  Elder Harris and I were just saying over and over again how thankful we were for the spirit, especially in leading that meeting.  The spirit was so strong at the end.  After zone meeting I got the opportunity to go on exchange to Peterborough with Elder Hunter.  It was great to stay with him for the night.  About 5 minutes on Elder Lee's bike I just busted it and crashed so hard.  That was pretty funny.  We had a good time that night.

Thursday morning we went to the chapel and their recent convert named Andre came and was very distraught about some family problems he's had.  It was a great experience to be able to talk to him about the gospel and about the Book of Mormon and really to see how the gospel helped him realize that through these really hard times that he can have peace and comfort.  We exchanged back after that.   After we exchanged back we went to see David again and taught him.  As usual the lesson went great and David's just so prepared.  We were still pretty unsure about what to do with baptism though because the church still hasn't gotten back to us about if they have his records or not.  (He remembers being baptised but not confirmed and we just don't know if he's already a member or not.)  So Thursday night we had a dinner appointment with the Mattsons, the American family in the ward!  It was great and I was really happy to be with them on Thanksgiving.  It was a great meal and just like a proper Thanksgiving.  After that we had ward coordination and it was fine.

Friday morning we had to do weekly planning which nobody wants to do, ever.  Really, Friday wasn't the best day.  We just got flogged a couple of times.  One thing really exciting happened though.  So, we called President on Thursday night and talked about David's records and President said that we should just baptize him.  So David's looking to be baptized this Saturday!  It's just really great that he's so converted to the gospel and progressing so well.  That night we went to see him and talk to him about that.  Another cool thing that happened was that Reece called and said he wanted to see us.  We ended up going to the pub that he works at and he bought us dinner.  I got something called the Doughnut burger which was incredible.  It was a burger, with bacon, cheese, bbq sauce, and the bun was a glazed doughnut.  It was delicious.  

So Sister Chen called Saturday, our 'waster day'.  Because Saturday morning we had thanksgiving dinner with a couple half american families in the ward.  That was great.  Especially to have a second thanksgiving.  All of the missionaries were there for that too.  After that we had to go almost immediately to Leicester for a stake activity. The stake activity was great, it was called a night in Bethlehem.  I spent the whole night doing the cup and ball game where they have to follow the ball and guess what cup it's under.  It was way fun and the kids were loving it.  Then there was a big nativity scene and we sang the christmas songs.  It was probably one of the best stake activities i'd seen.  The whole cultural hall was designed to look like old Israel and they served tons of Jewish foods.  I know that there were quite a few investigators there that really loved it.

Sunday morning was good.  Lizzy and Jason were out of town, but David made it to church which was good.  It was a really good Sunday, I guess all of the lessons and talks were just good.  I think the highlight of Sunday was a DA we had at the Sanderson's house.  I love the Sanderson's I think they're great.  (Brother Sanderson is Claire Sanderson's uncle).  This whole week it's been cool to share the Christmas message with all the people we see and it seems to be catching on really well.

One thing that wasn't the most exciting thing that happened is that Chen had to go back to China and he probably won't be coming back.  I think it's cool that we got in contact with him just before he left and now hopefully we'll be able to pass him on to some people there to help him find the church.  

This week has been pretty good overall.  I hope you all have a great week!

Love you!

-Elder Pogue