Monday, December 30, 2013

24th (Sheldon)

Hey everyone!!

It really seems like there is nothing to tell any of you about because I just talked to (my family) on Skype on Wednesday.  But I'll go through the normal week as usual.  But first: to answer your questions. So we've been really reaching out to the ward and building relationships.  We've done a pretty good job and there are several people who I am getting quite a bit closer to.  Elder Chardon is in the other Sheldon team with a kid named Elder Peek.  My companions name is Elder Michael Hoffmann from Clinton Utah.  We get along fine, no fighting or anything like that. We're here to build up the ward and to really get them excited to do the work.   When Elder Hoffmann leaves I'll almost for sure stay here.  I know we're working on getting sisters here in Sheldon so Elder Chardon might leave.  Or just come with me.  Hopefully that will be the case.

Okay so this week.
Monday was not p-day so we just emailed really quick then went to try and do some work.  We had a potential from Yemen named Adam that we saw.  After that we did some other work around the area.  Then we decided to go caroling to members to try to build relationships.  That night we carolled to a family called the Maloneys and they invited us in for dinner.  Then the Matthews and we also saw a guy named President Abbott from the ward.  It was a great start to meeting all these people.

So Christmas eve is when we started getting a lot of work done.  We had district meeting in the morning in Solihull, then ate at subway.  After that Elder Hoffmann and I went caroling and were able to stop by 4 members houses.  All but one of them were able to let us in and the one who didn't only didn't because she was alone and that's against the rules.  We shared the Nephite Christmas Eve story from 3rd Nephi 1 and talked about how Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace (by the way, did y'all see the Christmas Devotional??  Elder Nelsons talk was amazing.)   I was getting excited for Christmas and to open all the presents!

So Christmas morning comes along and I wake up, take a shower and put my onesie on.  The first thing we did was open presents.  I had bought Elder Hoffman a box of Kraft Macoroni and Cheese, a delicacy for any foreign missionary.  I was shocked when I opened the things y'all sent me.  There was so much in there!  I love the Ghutra Ties the most I think.  It was weird seeing the Pez in the stocking!  I got kind of emotional ahah!  Then Kelcy sent me some icebreakers because I love those, and a picture in a frame of us (the one she posted on Facebook a couple weeks ago.)  That was nice.  That day we went to a family called the Camisani's.  They're from italy and we had italian starters, lasagna, then turkey and potatoes, then a cake!  It was a lot of food!  and extremely delicious.  We hung out with them.  Then of course we skyped home.  That was such a quick 40-50 minutes!  I'm glad to hear y'all are all doing well!  I can't believe the Zacharys are moving though!

Thursday was our P-Day and we went to Birmingham for boxing day.  Tons of sales.  (oh yeah, to answer your question, I didn't spend any of it I just took it out just in case)  I didn't end up buying anything but Elder Hoffmann bought some stuff for his family.  It was really hectic!  We went with Salin (our investigator) and he brought his friend named Tony who told us that he is interested in learning more about the gospel!  Such a huge blessing.  The other Elders also came, and brought a member Kenny Jones with them who I'll speak more about in a bit.  Some of the lines going into the stores were so incredibly long!  It was just daft.  Especially Next, and Hollister.

On Friday we had to Weekly plan then go and stop by a couple of less actives, neither of them were in.  We had a party to go to that night!  Kenny Jones's mission farewell!!!!  I'm so excited for him!  He's officially gone, he was set apart last night (sunday) and left at about 6 AM this morning to the Provo MTC.  He's going to be speaking Spanish and serving in the Texas McAllen (I think) mission.  He'll be a great missionary.  His farewell was fun, it was at the church and most members came.  We had some texmex food, sloppy joes and things like that.   We went on exchange that night so I was with Elder Chardon in our flat.

Saturday Elder Chardon and I wake up, and study.  We then went to visit a couple of members and just talked to everyone on the way.  We ended up getting about 6 potentials mostly with solid return appointments!  That's pretty good compared to how we've been doing.  I had a great time on exchange.  We exchanged back late that night and Elder Hoffmann and I didn't end up getting back to our flat until 10:30!  If you're in later than that you have to call president.

Sunday morning we got up and went to church.  Went to a joint sunday school, Priesthood Relief Society class.  It was by the bishopric on Hastening The Work of Salvation.  that's really good.  I'm excited for this new year.  It was Kenny's farewell talks that day, and so he talked, then his mom talked, then bishop talked.  We sang a special musical number in between and by we I mean us Elders and a few women.  I don't know why they keep wanting us to sing!  We got in after church and ate.  Then went to visit some more members and less actives.  It's been a pretty good week so far.

I'm getting a cold which sucks but its alright.  Just sinus' and all of that.  It was hard not to be with all of y'all this Christmas season but also very good being here.  I'm growing every day.  It's amazing the knowledge of the gospel and of the scriptures I've gained.

I can't believe that Piper is 4!!!  That's insane!

What are your plans for new years eve, I'm so grateful that nobody is going to try to convince me to go to a ridiculous stake dance and end up succeeding because I'd realize I had nothing better to do.  Ahaha, we have to be in our flat by 6 on New Years Eve...

Send me that package with the Tonys!!  (bold??)  and whatever else it was!  I'm dying without it.

I love and miss you all!

-Elder Evan Pogue  

23rd Letter from England (Sheldon)

Merry Christmas everyone!!!

Reading your email was so hard this week!  I can't imagine all of you in Louisiana without me... but that's okay.  The other day at church Elder Coppin (a senior, public relations missionary) said something like 'looking forward to Christmas gumbo??'  and he just laughed at the face I made.  He could tell it really hit a spot.  I wish I had time or money (or knew how) to make some!  How did Taylor and Mitchell do fishing??  I guess I'll talk to all of you about this on WEDNESDAY WHOOOO!  So today is technically not P-Day our P-day this week is going to be on the 26th of December, boxing day.  We probably won't email then though because we're emailing now and we want to go to Birmingham to get in on all the cheap sales, especially because Elder Hoffmann is going home soon and needs to buy souvenirs.

So I guess I'll go through the week as normal, even though this week has been very very uneventful.  Last Monday we were at the Stilgers house to email.  After that we got together with Elder Peek and Elder Chardon (the other Sheldon Elders) and we tried to go to a Seik temple but we couldn't go in because we needed a reservation.  We'll do that some other time.  That night Elder Hoffmann and I did our weekly planning because we didn't have an opportunity before then.

On Tuesday we got with Elder Peek and Chardon again to go over a list of less actives in the area and plan to meet them all.  Elder Hoffmann and I were going through our area book and found a lady with very little information except for the fact that her husband is a member and she wants to be baptised so she can be sealed to her husband.  We tried to contact her but we haven't found her in yet.  Tuesday I got our white board and drew a nice tree on it and put my presents under it.  Its not quite the same as having a real tree but it's better than nothing!

I'm sorry this week is so boring.  On Wednesday we went to Zone Meeting in Harborne.  It was a good meeting.  My new zone leaders are named Elder Kulow and Elder Parr.  They're really nice.  That meeting lasted a really long time though  we barely got in on time to go to our ward coordination meeting.  Elder and Sister Morris (senior missionaries) gave us some caramel popcorn that is extremely good.  It's nice getting ready for Christmas!

Thursday morning I was feeling sick so Sister Rasmussen told us to stay in the flat until I felt better.  It sucks being in the flat so we left as soon as we could really.  It just feels like so uch time is being wasted.  We tried again to contact that lady that wants to be sealed to her husband.  We also have been going around and trying to find members who are on the record that have kids that never got baptized.  That night we had a lesson with our investigator, Salin.   We watched the biography of President Monson with him and talked about the prophets.  Have you seen that documentary?  Its dead good.  I think its called On The Lords Errand.

Friday we had our weekly planning session again... the most boring time.  Our appointment that night was cancelled too so that sucks.  We have this potential family and I really want to teach them because they seem so nice!

Saturday was just like all of the rest of the days.  A lot of finding, going to try to see some members and less actives.  We really have had no success.  I've been studying this letter though that Elder Steel gave me from a missionary in the 80s.  It was cool as I was reading the part where he had the hardest time on his mission and he mentions that he was in a small town in the suburbs of Birmingham named Spark Hill.  That's really cool because Spark Hill is part of my area now.  Its nice to read another missionary's experience here.

Sunday church was good. A lot of members gave us food and a few presents!  That was nice.  After Church we got flogged by this guy from Yemen named Adam.  We were late though so it was more our fault.  After that we went and had lunch.  Then at around 4 we went to a methodist church service where they were singing Christmas hymns and stuff!  I really enjoyed that.  We met a lot of nice people and we were able to share a little bit of our beliefs without being disrespectful.  Only if they asked (because we were guests in their church).  We spoke with the reverand and he offered us some cordial because he knew we didn't drink tea or coffee.  It was really nice and they had a really good choir.

It's been raining like crazy here.  I'm so glad i bought those rain trousers a few weeks back!  I just really want it to snow already!  It's been well cold enough.  And also very wet.  Just not snowy yet.

So I guess the primary purpose of my emails today were supposed to set up skype times... so we are going to skype at 5 oclock our time.  So that should be about 11 for you i think???  Be logged in before that also though just in case.  I don't know which account I'll call from.  maybe mine maybe theirs.  Just if you get a call then tell me.  WAIT!  What's your skype name?!?!!  If I don't know it I'll have to call from mine but tell me what it is just in case!

I love you!
-Elder Pogue

Monday, December 16, 2013

22nd Letter from England (Sheldon area)

Hey everyone!  So I have a lot to talk about but the problem is I don't have enough time!  All of the library computers in the Birmingham area are crashed....  We're at a members house using two iPads to email so it's a little hard to type.  I guess I'll just start off at the beginning of the week as usual.  That seems like ages ago!
So on Monday after emailing ElderSteel and I went to Derby after emailing.  We just wanted to do some shopping and get out of Eastwood.  That night was 'dodge night'. Where we find out about transfers and all of that.  So as you know I'm in a place called Sheldon which is literally in Birmingham.  My companions name is Elder Hoffmann.  He's from Utah.  I'm actually killing him this transfer so I was scared that he was already 'dead' which means he's too trunky to want to work.  I'll talk more about us later. ("killing him" means his time is up and is heading home!). Not the case, though!

So Tuesday was my packing day.  That morning we went so I could have a last Eats n Treats breakfast. It was so sad telling Claire and Rachael that I was leaving. Amy wasn't there yet but I told her on the phone and she hung up on me. It was really upsetting. Anyways I ate my bacon and egg cobs and had to go pack some more. I packed and packed and packed and packed a little more. I still managed to forget my TONYS!  You should send me some (:  Tuesday night we had ward coordination so that was hard saying bye to Ruby.  She has done so much for me. She's the best. Also other members like Bill Marinas (who said that I'd be back). And Peter Morrison said some really nice things. Alan Stinson said that Gemma was going to be gutted. She had asked if I could be in the confirmation circle when she got the Holy Ghost on Sunday.  She just turned 8.  That night we had young single adult family home evening where we ate pizza, made cake and played Jenga. I had to say bye to Amy, Rachael, Claire and Martin which sucked. Hopefully Rachael will get baptised soon.  She knows she needs and wants to. Claire is going on a mission later this year so that will be exciting.

On Wednesday we had transfers so Elder Steel and I woke up early and got a train to the mission home. I basically just stayed there and hung out all day. It was nice seeing all my missionary friends like Elder Harris and other people from my MTC group. Elder Hoffmann and I made it to Sheldon pretty late at night after a lot of stressful train rides with two things of luggage and a bike. Walking through Birmingham town center was nice though. It's a lot different than Eastwood so far.

Thursday morning we went and taught our only investigator. His name is Salin and he's from India. That's cool!  Sheldon is very multi cultural.  We did some finding and went to see a lot of potentials we didn't have too much success but we had fun.  We've been working hard and having a good time. He hasn't had a baptism in like 18 months so it's my goal to send him home with one.

Friday was a really good day!  We had the mission Christmas conference in Harborne.  It was great having the whole mission together. Singing hymns with all 260+ missionaries was powerful. We had a good dinner and a good devotional by President and Sister Rasmussen. President gave us a temple recommend holder with pictures of us from our trip to Gadfield Elm chapel so that's really cool. Maybe that's why I could never find one that I liked. Remember?  Again it was really great to hang out with all my mission friends and to see how they're doing.  I got 3 packages.  I only opened one because it didn't have a name or anything.  It's a bunch of hand warmers so I'm assuming that's from you?  I'm glad I openned it before Christmas because they're handy! <--- get it?  Handy....  Anyways I'm saving the rest for Christmas.

Saturday morning we went "white board finding". We wrote on a whiteboard 'what does Christmas mean to you?'  Quite a few people stopped. We got a couple solid potentials. One of them was really great. His name is Martin so hopefully you'll hear more of him later.  Saturday night we had the Sheldon ward Christmas party. That was fun and it was nice to meet some ward members. We ate food and sang christmas songs and things like that.

Sunday was good too. Sheldon ward has sacrament meeting last which I don't like much.  I met a lot of people but now it's a struggle to remember their names.  The ward is also a lot smaller.

So it's been good so far!  I've spoken to a couple of people in Arabic!  There are more Arabs/Indian here than English people is what it seems like!  It turns out my mission call was to Pakistan and not England.  Just a small mix up.  (;  that's what it seems like at least. I'm loving it so far though! A huge change of pace from Eastwood. At the same time though I miss Eastwood so much.  My relationships with the members there was amazing.

So to answer at least a couple of your questions.  On Christmas we Skype. I don't know the exact details yet though.  Sorry.  I'll let you know. I don't have a car.  There are only two areas in the mission with cars unless you're a zone leader or ap.  I do like the area and the new companion.  My flat is small. Very small. It has a nice bath tub and a fake fire place though so that's amazing. Also carpet floors.  It's been nice and warm so that's a plus.

Hope you're all doing great. I love and miss you all!  I hope you're having a great Christmas season.


Elder Evan Pogue

PS typing that much on an iPad kills!

Monday, December 9, 2013


Hey everyone!
Okay so I guess I emailed last Tuesday, so you know we had Zone P-Day and all of 
I'll start on Tuesday, we had a crazy day booked.  After we emailed, we went to the Hole in the Wall Carvery with Peter Morrison.  We always love that place, but it's impossible to eat for days after.  We're always so stuffed when we leave.Later that day we had another big meal with the Rawson's which was awesome.  After the Rawsons we had our ward coordination meeting and the first Young Single Adult, Family Home Evening in the Eastwood ward!  It was a lot of fun, we played Charades, and pictionary.  Only Amy showed up other than Claire and Martin, and us but hopefully it will grow.
On Wednesday morning we had the motivation class again.  Then we went over the baptismal interview questions with Amy.  We didn't really get too much done on Wednesday because of lack of time.  We headed down to Ilkeston and met this bloke named Jeff from Texas!  I heard him say y'all and made me jump a little.  It was exciting to meet an American and especially one from around home.  We talked to him about American Football and stuff then got a return appointment.
Thursday was an exciting day!  We spent a lot of the morning at the church for District meeting, then we were going through the baptismal clothes looking for clothing for Amy to wear.  Then at 4 we had President Alick (second counselor to President Rasmussen) come to do the baptismal interview with Amy!  He came out of the interview saying she was definetely ready and he was surprised at how much she knew!  He said we were doing a great job and to keep it up!  That was so exciting!  So for the stop smoking program we promise a victory party if they succeed.  Amy succeeded and all she wanted was to play a few games of pool!  So we bought some cokes and played a few games of pool and had a great time!  The pool in England is smaller than American pool!  I was better than I thought I was, I never lost a game!  That night we had ward council and scheduled the Baptism for Saturday at half two!
Friday we had a lot of work to do for the baptism, we had to make programs, clean the font, get snacks, call to invite people, etc.  It's just a lot of work!  We spent a good amount of time on Friday doing that stuff but still weren't able to finish.  We had a dinner with Claire B. and Shaun that night so we went there, and had fish.  It was good. We missed our bus coming back so we were stuck in Ilkeston until 8.  We got to our flat just in time. 

Saturday!  Saturday was such a good day.  I'll never forget it.  We went to the Church as soon as we finished studies, to finish the programs, and cleaning the font.  There was a primary Christmas party there so there were a lot of kids running around.  Elder Steel and I got free happy meals out of it though. :P  Did you know that in England instead of cookies and milk, they leave things called mince pies for Santa?  We tried one and they're gross!  They aren't too terrible but I would much rather some cookies!  Anyways, we finished our work just in time for the baptism, I changed into 'the whites' and the service started!  Sister Eldredge gave the first talk on the Holy Ghost and it went really well!  She really invited the spirit to stay for the rest of the meeting.  Claire gave the second talk on Enduring to the End.  It was really sweet because she got emotional she was so excited for Amy.  She had made a 'candy gram' for her about how the Holy Ghost 'wispa's in your ear.  But now that I write that I realize that Americans don't know what Wispa's are!  They're delicious Cadbury chocolate bars.  Then right after that we had the Baptismal ordinance.  The spirit was so strong, and one memory I'll always have was when Amy came out of the water, they closed the curtain and Claire was jumping up and down on the side of the font yelling 'She's Perfect!  She's Perfect!  She's Perfect!  She's Perfect!'  Those words were so powerful, especially knowing how sincere she was because you could tell she just couldn't hold back her excitement.  It's amazing the transformation Amy has made over these past few weeks and months.  She's come such a long way.  That night her mom had a birthday party and someone asked her (who didn't know about the baptism or anything) 'How different do you feel now than this time last year?'  Amy responded smiling, 'You don't even want to know.'   I just thought that was funny!
On Sunday we gave Amy the gift of the Holy Ghost and confirmed her a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  We were all jumping up and down and saying, she's a member she's a member!  It really has been so fun teaching her, and watching her transform from someone who had no interest in learning about what we had to say, to being a little interested, to being completely converted.  After church Elder Steel and I just did some regular tracting.  On Sunday night though I played such a good prank on Elder Steel!  We have a CD player, radio in our flat and we had never used the remote.  I was pretty sure that Elder Steel didn't know there was a remote.  So I concealed it and skipped the song, and acted all shocked.  Then I kept doing it and Elder Steel took out the CD and cleaned it and put it back in and was getting a little frustrated.  When he put the CD back in I just started changing everything!  The volume, the songs, turned the whole thing off and on, just made it look like it had a life of his own and he started freaking out!  At one point he yelled, 'If that thing starts playing music, I'm leaving!!!!'  I waited a minute or so then pressed play.  He really thought something weird was happening in our flat!  I just couldn't hold in my laughter anymore.  It had been five or more minutes of Elder Steel running around freaking out.  It was so funny. 
Okay so that was this past week.  I've got to say, it's been great.  So transfers are Wednesday, and we find out tonight what happens.  I don't want to leave Eastwood, but we'll see.  I really have no idea what's going to happen.  I just know I want to do whatever I need to.  Things have been going really well here.
I'll end this email with a spiritual thought, I've been studying Captain Moroni a bit. (John Bytheway helps a lot with this) There is a point where Moroni is fortifying their cities so the Lamanites, their enemies, can't destroy them.  In doing this he builds ditches, then he builds, mounds of dirt, then he puts logs up to strengthen the mounds of dirt, then he puts spikes on the logs, then he builds towers, then finally he puts people in the towers.  The questions that arise from this is, what are we doing to protect ourselves from the enemies?  How are we fortifying our strongholds?  One thing that can be drawn from what Captain Moroni does, is pertaining to the towers and the people in them.  The people are in the towers to be able to see far off.  To warn the cities of enemies that are approaching.  They see more than the rest of the people.  We sustain our Prophets and Apostles as Prophets, SEERS and revelators.  the word seer, literally means See-er.  One who see's.  I can't count the amount of times I've said, 'I don't really see whats wrong with that though.'  John Bytheway would say, you're right, you don't see.  But there are people that do.  Those people are our prophet, and apostles.  Follow their guidance. 
I love and miss you all so much!
-Elder Evan Pogue

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

20th Letter

Hey everyone!!
I can't believe you're watching Breaking Bad.... ahahah it's such a good show!  But it's also terrible.  I'm glad to hear your Thanksgiving was good!  But I bet it wasn't as good as mine! (:
Sorry this email is a day late, we had zone p day yesterday which means we didn't have time to email.  That's good though because now I have more to talk about.  This week has been very good to say the least.  Last monday after emailing we went to Derby to buy some stuff for Christmas but didn't end up buying anything. 
So the week started off pretty slow and Tuesday we really didn't have anything either.  We did some work in Kirk Hallam and found a few good people.  We had a dinner that night at the Rigbys and had a great time there.  Ward Coordination meeting happens every Tuesday night and we ended up being there until almost 9.  It was the Eastwood Christmas light switch on that night so we stopped by Eats and Treats to see how it was.  They seemed to all have a great time. 
On Wednesday morning we had Zone Meeting which was really good.  The spirit was very strong and it was really motivating.  As a mission we're doing this Come Unto Christ month thing where every missionary chooses a couple of things to work on to come closer to Christ and as a challenge we've been 'invited' to find, teach, and baptize someone in the month of December as a Christmas gift to them, and the Lord.  I'm excited to see the miracles this Christmas season.  I can't believe it's already December!  Bill and Nancy took us to Hole in the Wall so that was nice.  That night we went on a walk with Ruby and did some tracting.  That was a good experience.

Thursday was such a good day. One I'll never forget.  We had a district meeting that morning which went really well.  After that we went to the Heanor area to do some work, and around 5 started walking to Eats and Treats for our Dinner Appointment where we were having 'lasagna.'  We were about 5 minutes late and they called and demanded we run to the cafe!  We diligently obeyed.  When we walked in they had a really fancy table set up with assigned seats and fancy plates and cups, and a big table with foil covering all of the food.  They pulled off the foil and yelled Happy Thanksgiving!  They had made a full, proper, American Thanksgiving meal!  They had to have worked for a couple of days to do it!  They talked to both Elder Steel and my mom to find out what our favorite Thanksgiving foods were and what the traditions are.  It was incredible, with Turkey, rolls, potatoes, corn, yams, EVERYTHING!  And topped it all off with pumpkin pie!   Claire and Amy then read a short message from each of our mom's about how thankful they are for us.  We both teared up.  It was so special that they would do that for us, and that's a night I'll never forget.  We had to leave a little earlier than we wanted though because we were going home teaching with a member from our ward.  I'm so thankful they did that for us.

Friday was another pretty good day, we were STUFFED from the night before!  We had an appointment with a guy named Steve but he flogged us ):  that sucked, but we were able to go and find some people around that area.  Also, I went into a charity shop and bought 2 suits for 5 pounds each!  The lady working there was extremely inappropriate but hilarious.  I was taking off my jumper to try on a jacket and she was like 'Oooh!  We're going to get a show!'  Then as we were paying for the suits she asked me 'You didn't try on any of the dresses while you were upstairs did you??'  to that the other lady said 'Oh!  Don't be cheeky!'  Then the crazy one said 'You'll be fetching ducks off water in those suits!'  We were all laughing, this lady was probably in her 70s!  I wasn't sure what fetching ducks off water meant, but supposedly it means that I'm handsome and I'll be getting all the girls.   
Saturday was a great day because we went to Loughborough!  Elder Steel's investigator Darren got baptized!  Elder Steel baptized him too so that was amazing!  It was a great baptismal service and we were both so excited for that!  That took up most of the day, we went to Heanor that night and tried to do some finding with little success.
Church on Sunday was good, Ruby taught the lesson on the gift of the holy ghost.  I shared the story about me getting trapped by the dresser for some reason... She did a great job with the lesson.  After church we went to the Birch's (which is Claire Sanderson's family) and ate a soup thing made up of the things from thanksgiving!  It was really good!  After that we did some 'service' by setting up and decorating their Christmas tree while listening to Christmas music!  It was great day!  I just feel like there's so many people here that are helping us have the same experiences and memories that we'd have at home.  After that we went to visit an unactive member named Shelley, she's so nice.  She's not really interested in the church but we're planting seeds and she seems to like having us around so we'll see.
On Monday we had zone p day, which is why I'm emailing on Tuesday.  It was a lot of fun!  We played Frisbee, American football, football, basketball, ate pizza and just hung out with the zone.  Its always fun to see all of the missionaries from the zone and see how they're doing.  That night was also great because Shelley texted us and reminded us of the Heanor Christmas Light Switch On.  So in England, the towns set up Christmas lights and a tree through the main parts of town and they have a big event when they switch them on.  We decided to head up there and see Shelley.  There ended up being hundreds of people there!  It was a huge event and we had no idea!  They had a band there playing songs, and some small rides and food booths.  We ate cheese burgers and chips from a booth.  Then at half 7 there was a really amazing fire work show.  The fireworks weren't the biggest I've ever seen but we were so close, and they didn't fly too high.  They also had a lot of them going off at once.  And to add to it, they were going off right in front of a Church of England so the fire works would light up the old church.  It was extremely beautiful and one of the best fire works shows i've seen.  I'm glad we did that. 
So that's been my week as far as events go.  I haven't even said the best part though,  A. has now been EIGHT DAYS without smoking and is being interviewed on Thursday and baptized on Saturday!!!  I'm so excited!  She asked me to baptize her and Elder Steel to give her the gift of the Holy Ghost.  I knew that she would be able to do it.  Thank you all for your prayers.  Keep praying for her this week of course.  Hopefully R. will follow soon after. 
Elder Pogue

Monday, November 25, 2013

19th Letter from England

Hey everyone!
   Good week..... My bike has been great but I haven't ridden it much because Elder Steel's bike is broken... just aftermath from the miraculous fall.  Yeah for some reason we both still think we'll only be together one transfer.  I'd really love to train but I think the chances of that are low because I'm still a 'young' missionary and there aren't a huge amount of new Elders coming in.  But we'll see.  I just don't want to leave Eastwood right before Christmas.  Transfers are in a couple weeks.  Okay here's my week.
Monday was P-day obviously so we just did some grocery shopping and hung around the flat.
On Tuesday we had a normal day, just full of regular missionary work.  That night we went to the Birch's (Claire Sanderson's family) for tea and guess what we ate... Faggots!  That's what they're called.  We were all kind of giggling at that.  They're like meatloaf, in giant meat ball form.  They're really good!  It was so funny to tell people that we had faggots for dinner though.  That night we did the young men activity.  It went really well, what we did was got the leaders to get behind a door and come up with a scenario and we split the young men into companionships and had them tract these doors.  The leaders and the boys were great!  It was awesome to see some of the people the leaders were and even more awesome to see the way some of the young men handled the situation.  E. S. really surprised me with his descriptions he came up with for the spirit, and repentance!  To describe the spirit he said, 'imagine you're trying to go to sleep and a small cat climbed up onto your chest and curled up in a ball.  That warmth and pressure on your chest with the love from the cat is kind of how the spirit feels!'  And about repentance, 'okay so if you stick your hands in mud then was them, then stick your hands in mud again and wash them again, you can do that over and over again and eventually it will get boring!  But to truly repent you was your hands and never stick them in mud again!.'  I thought both of those were quite genius. 
On Wednesday morning we had the Motivation class again by Sister Rigby.  That always seems to go really well.  Then we went to Ilkeston to do those AUF files which I'm pretty sure I explained in previous emails.  We met a guy named Steve though who is a history teacher and we had a really good conversation!  He is interested in learning more and we went back to him on Saturday, I'll say more about him then. 
On Thursday, we had district meeting, that went pretty well.  We were late getting started though after district meeting, so we didn't have time to do the plans we wanted to do.  We ended up visiting Niel (the sister's investigator) and then walking to our dinner appointment at the Dolphin-Rowlands house. 
Friday was a pretty good day!  We had weekly planning which I hate because it means we're in the flat for a lot of the day!  We also had to do a lot of cleaning because we had flat inspection on Saturday and our flat was a mess!  But we weekly planned and got done relatively early, we went and did some finding in Heanor and talked to this Polish guy, we need to drop off a Polish Book of Mormon at his house and hopefully teach him.  It'll be hard though because he understands little English.  We went to Betty B.'s house that night for a 'thanksgiving meal'  It was really good!  We had Turkey and Potatoes, Yorkshire Puddings, carrots, and other veg, and to finish it off we had a nice apple pie!  It was really nice of Betty to do that for us!  We went around the table and talked about what we were thankful for. 
Saturday we spent all morning cleaning, and did really well on our flat inspection!  We then went up to Heanor and then towards Ilkeston.  In Heanor I got to speak to a guy named Kamal in Arabic!  I always love when I get to use what I know!  He told me that my Arabic was really good!  We then wen to Ilkeston and went to see Steve, he openned the door really excited saying 'I'm a grandpa now!!!!'  He had told us last time we saw him that his daughter was expecting.  So that was really exciting.  He told us that he would be busy most of the week though but we should stop by Friday morning because he had read some of 'the testament' that we had given him and he really wanted to learn more!  We then went all around Ilkeston and met this cool guy named Alex (who strangely reminded me a lot like Alex Zachary) and got a return appointment with him, and he referred us to his parents who we had a really good meeting with and a return appointment! 
On Sunday we went to church but no investigators showed up so that sucked.  Church was really good though.  After church we went to Eats n Treats to help them decorate for Christmas!  I'm so excited for this Christmas season!  I can't believe it's already December and I've already been here for 4 months!  We went to visit some less actives after that and we ended up staying there for about half an hour.  They were really nice and we'll have to visit them more often!  It was a relatively good week especially towards the end. 
Good news, Darren, the guy from the dentist is getting baptised on Saturday!!!!  We're extremely excited about that, especially because he asked Elder Steel to baptize him!  I can't wait to do that, I wish we had a batpism here though!
Okay, so I thought this email was going to be short but it ended up being pretty long!  I love all of you guys and hope you're doing great!
Elder Evan Pogue


Monday, November 18, 2013

18th Letter from England (Eastwood)

Hey everyone!
I'm glad to hear that everything sounds like it's going great!  When is Khobar going to get a new place?  Yeah, I'm not too concerned about Christmas gifts or anything.  You know how I am, I never really need or want very much.  I got the triple combination on Friday so that was really good!  Maybe you could send some good music?  Maybe some of the good MoTab CD's and stuff like that.  Not necessarily their hymns but their special events.  I don't know what there is.  Even if you get it off iTunes and send it to me on a usb.  Other than that, the bike and the coat are good enough! 
Does the LuLu's commissary look like it's going to be good?  I bet the cheese bread won't be as good.  I miss that stuff!  Friday for some reason was a day that made me miss Saudi in a weird way.  I'll talk about that as I go through my week though... it was a crazy week.  We were tried very hard this week.
So MONDAY, we went to Derby to buy me some rain trousers and to just hang around in a bigger city, but I ate a Kebab and I started feeling extremely sick.  Nothing too bad though.  We got my rain
trousers then went back to Eastwood.  We ended up cancelling our dinner appointment that night and I called Sister Rasmussen and got permission to stay in.  I just went to sleep early and was feeling better the next day.
So on TUESDAY we taught Amy in the morning and had a really good lesson.  That night is when the awful things started to happen.  We had an dinner appointment at the Rawson's house.  They're so great. (That's definitely not the awful part!) They always feed us curry and for pudding we have a chocolate cake and blueberries with blueberry yoghurt. On the way over there we went through the fields and it was extremely muddy and almost impossible to go through.  We miraculously made it on time.  After the DA we start biking to our ward coordination meeting and Elder Steel gets a flat.  The walk is probably over an hour and a half.  We called Allen Stinson to pick us up and we got to the meeting but we had to leave our bikes in Jacksdale. 
On WEDNESDAY we had the MotivateU class, I'm pretty sure I've spoken about it before.  Amy came so that was great.  Then immediately after that we had to start walking to Jacksdale.  We got there over an hour later, fixed the bike.  Thankfully Nancy, Bill Marina's wife, made us some lunch!  I'm glad she did because otherwise we would not of had time.  We then started cycling back, and we find out that Elder Steel's bike still isn't fixed so we have to walk back!  We barely made it to Eats n Treats for a lesson with Rachael and Amy at 3.  We did some work in Langley Mill that night and almost got in a fight with a couple of chavs.  They were punks who were too afraid to hit us.  It was really funny because they were yelling that they were going to 'knock us out' and Elder Steel and I just kind of laughed.  Eventually one of them went inside and got his dad to come out to yell at us.  It was pathetic.  We happened to run into Ruby and talked to her for a few minutes.  It got extremely cold that night. 
On THURSDAY we walked down to a store called Decathelon to buy me a bike.  I got a nicer one than I had before.  It's really nice except I haven't been able to ride it much since then, I'll get to that in a second.  We ate lunch at Ikea!  Ikea hotdogs are only 60P each so we each got a few and started up with the bike.  We went to Heanor to talk to a less active and she was great!  Hopefully we'll be able to teach her!  On our way towards our DA though we were going down a hill, rounded a corner and Elder Steel's bike just catches an edge somehow and he slams into the ground and slides.  He had a glove on that was completely shredded and his face was on the ground the same amount as his hand!  It's a miracle he wasn't more hurt!  He did chip his tooth though, which has a follow up story on Friday.  We went to Luis' house to get him cleaned up, and left our bikes there because President Rasmussen told us to get him to drive us home and to stay in for the night. 
So this bike accident is actually a miracle.  On FRIDAY we had Zone Conference.  Elder Timothy Dyches of the 70 was there to talk to us.  So President and Sister Rasmussen, then Sister and Elder Dyches spoke to us and it was extremely good.  It was sad to hear some of the departing missionary testimonies, especially Elder Patten's (my old district leader).  So we would be in Leicester that whole day so we figured we'd get a dentist appointment for Elder Steel while we were there.  After calling several dentists we finally got an appointment at 3:00.  We leave Elder Dyches a little bit early and get to the dentist office.  Now let me give you a little backstory about Elder Steel.  Elder Steel's last area was Loughborough.  While he was there his mom had a feeling they should go to the nearest cemetery, they did and found this guy in the cemetery who was praying for the right path to go.  They started teaching him and his name is Darren.  So Darren was a miracle find to start out with.  After Elder Steel was transferred Darren kind of lost contact with the missionaries.  So back to the dentist office.  We're sitting in the lobby of this dentist office in Leicester, which is a couple hours away from Eastwood, and about 1 hour away from Loughborough and this man walks in and him and Elder Steel stare at each other then after a few strange seconds from my perspective Elder Steel says 'DARREN!'  We were able to teach Darren at the dentists office that he recognizes he was led to.  Darren went to church for the first time yesterday and we just got a text from him that says :
'Thank you my dear friend.  The righteous path is the rocky road I choose to walk.  No more hanging on the side of doing right, pretending I might have a slight inclination. I know what God intends.  I must follow the signs, that led me back to you when I was crying out for the chance to speak with you.  Wish granted.  I now surrender my self to the divine and ask,  What do you want of me oh Lord?  Show me so I may do what you will, and no longer what I want.'  (This is a picture of us teaching Darren in the dentist's office.)
THAT WAS A MIRICLE AT ITS FINEST!!  That was such a testimony builder that we are put where we need to be, even if it causes us a little bit of pain along the way. 
On SATURDAY we did our weekly planning, went to Heanor with no success and went to get our bikes. 
SUNDAY was great because Amy came!  Amy really loved church and had a great time.  She has now not smoked for over 35 hours!  We called President Rasmussen last night to try to schedule a baptismal interview for this Wednesday, there is a possibility that she will be baptized on Thursday, or maybe next Tuesday.  I am so excited for that.
It's starting to get really cold these days.  Sister Rasmussen said that below freezing temperatures with snow and ice is predicted for this week. D: 
Well I hope everything is going great for all of y'all!  I love and miss you all!
-Elder Evan Pogue
A lot of times at night we'll tract doors with lights on so we'll be walking along the roads where all the lights are off with just one or two houses with their lights on and we'll hurry over to those houses.  This week Elder Steel said that we're just like a couple of bugs chasing around the lights.  I thought that was pretty funny. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

17th Letter from Eastwood

Hey everyone! 
I can't believe it's only been a week when I look at what I did last week, but also it feels like just a few days ago I was here emailing.  The way time goes by on a mission is extremely bizzarre.  First to address the questions mom asked me.  Yeah for some reason we both think we'll only be together one transfer, the problem is I DON'T want to leave Eastwood right now, especially right before Christmas!  But we'll see.  Glad to hear Dad and Taylor are working out everyday.  I'm slowly working on getting back in shape.  The biking has helped my legs for sure but I just need to do some more exercise in the morning.  This lady named Betty is making us a Thanksgiving meal, but no they don't have Thanksgiving.  It's a very American holiday, of course. 
Okay so here's the start of the real email I guess.
We had a pretty good time on Monday, we spent wayyy to long at the library though.  We had no idea what to do so we just decided to be very rash and hop on a bus to Nottingham.  It took a long time and we weren't there for long but we had a great time.  I got myself a coat.  It's very warm and dry, it was definitely a good purchase.  They're pretty popular over here.  They're called Superdry jackets.  I couldn't have gotten it at a better time because this week the weather went nowhere but down.  It's FREEZING.
On Tuesday we went to the Spanish member named Luis to help him make phone calls because his English isn't the best.  We helped him out and they made us hot chocolate so that was nice.  We then had a lesson with A. in her back garden with the beautiful view.  It was a really good lesson on the Atonement.  We don't typically teach a lesson on just the atonement but we felt prompted to do that and it went great.  The spirit was very strong during the lesson.  Hopefully it helps A. with quitting smoking.  She's already doing so well but is still struggling to give up those last few 'fags' a day.  (by fags i of course mean cigarrettes) I bet you will all get a little laugh out of me using the word fag properly.  That was the even of our Tuesday. 
Wednesday KILLED me.  I don't know why but I had a really really tough day on Wednesday.  It started off great, we went to a motivation class that Sister Rigby is holding at the church and A. came along.  Also the Sisters' investigators went.  Then we had lunch and went to Ilkeston.  We had no luck at all all day, it was cold and rainy.  Then we went to Shaun's to have dinner and watch a few fire works for bonfire night.  We had been planning for Louise to get baptized this Saturday so I was super pumped about that but she really really wants her dad to baptize her.  I was bummed that it wasn't going to be this week but I also see that Shaun baptizing Louise could be such a pivotol moment in their conversion to the Gospel.  It'll be a good memory for the rest of their lives.  Then we had to cycle extremely hard to ward council in the rain and cold.  By the time we got there we were both soaked, and freezing.  Told them the news about the baptism then did some tracting after that.  I don't know why it was so hard, but I was really discouraged that night for the first time my whole mission.  I got over it extremely quickly though and as I'm typing this email I maybe the most excited for the work that I've ever been.  I'll talk more about that later.
Thursday is when the week started picking up, we went to district meeting and the zone leaders were there but they didn't bring post.... >:|  so that sucked but it was a great meeting.  We then went on exchange so Elder Taylor and I were here in Eastwood while Elder Steel went to Nottingham.  We taught A. a really fun lesson on the Anti-Nephi-Lehis who buried their weapons which were their main temptation.  So with that we literally dug a hole and buried all of her smoking stuff!  Lighters, fags, nicotene gum, everything.  Then we went to Heanor to follow up with some potentials with no luck.  We spoke to a lot of chavs that night so that was pretty fun.  They're all teenage punks who think they're the coolest people on the planet.  It's really quite sad to see how little hope they have...
Friday morning we exchanged back and did some planning.  Then we had a great dinner appointment at Rubys. 
Saturday was awesome.  We had a couple of miracles.  We first went to Heanor and had basically no luck at all with our potential investigators so we were bummed about that and headed off to Ilkeston.  In Ilkeston we started doing this thing called AUF and it's a thing the church is doing to find 'lost-sheep'  It's Address Unknown Files so basically we go around and knock on doors that have records of a member living there and seeing what happened to them.  So we did that with one lady and she was very uninterested.  The thing about AUF's though is basically a promise that some type of miracle will happen while doing it.  So on the way to our next area we stopped this guy and literally talked to him for 30 minutes in the freezing cold.  He had his 10 year old son Harvey with him too.  We were both testifying to him about the church then I felt really prompted to talk about the 'journey he was on.'  It was very weird but as I was telling him that we were the next part of his journey he started crying and thanking us!  We have an appointment with him tonight so we'll see.
Sunday we had a really good day at church then went to Heanor again to see some former investigators and more AUFs.  We knocked on one AUF door and a 12 year old girl named Lauren answered and said her mom (the unactive member) wasn't home so we came back a couple hours later and still Lauren answered but said that her mom talks about the church sometimes.  Lauren also said that she really wanted to learn more about it and said her mom would love for us to come around sometime.  We have an appointment Wednesday with them.  Then we went to another part of town and knocked on a door and met a guy Ruby works with.  Her example has been amazing to those people she works around.  He didn't want to learn more at this time but that was definitely a seed planted. 
This week has been great and my mission is just as good, if not better, than ever.  There is a quote from the notes after Joseph Smith-History that I think describe this time perfectly Oliver Cowdery says 'These were days never to be forgotten.'  and that is so true about this time on my mission.  And one of my favorite quotes from the Best Two Years is from the song.  It says 'I may not be kissing the one who will be my wife, but these two lips with thank the Lord for the best two years of my whole life.'  I can't imagine being anywhere else but here right now.  I was reading a story about an elder that served in the England Coventry Mission back in the day and in it he talks about why we come on missions as 18-21 year olds. He was saying that the ages 18-21 are the most eventful of our lives in shaping the way the rest of our lives will be.  For example this is when we pursue higher education, search for a carreer, start a family, leave home etc.  The Lord is so smart in sending us on a mission now, to start these 10 years with an experience that will improve who we are for the rest of our lives, and theoretically completely convert us to the Gospel.
I hope all of you are doing great, I love and miss you all.
-Elder Evan Pogue

Monday, November 4, 2013

16th Letter from Eastwood

This week has really been quite eventful so I can't wait to tell you guys all about it!  To answer your questions first: I have not gotten my triple combination yet because I actually didn't go to the mission home this week ):  But I was blessed for it!  Ruby loves her quilt.  She even spoke about it in our gospel principles class and spoke about how happy it made her and how great of a missionary opportunity it opened up for her with the facebook comments.  You're the best, Mom. That's sick that Ivy's next door neighbor's brother is the lead singer of Panic! at the Disco.  They're alright, but Imagine Dragons is way good.  I think Ivy knows of two members of that band, or maybe it's the same guy?  This week has been pretty fun and I emailed dad about my bike, or current lack of one...  (Hey Dad,   My new companion had a pretty good idea.  He got his parents to order his bike off of amazon and get it shipped to the mission home.  Along with it he got a huge lock that has like a £2500 warranty.  Maybe I'll do some shopping for a bike and send you guys a link of it?) 
Okay, so this week.  On Monday Elder Harris and I went to Derby and ate kebabs, and hung out in Derby.  We went and bought Sister Wenghert and Perronet some groceries because Sister Wengert was in quite a bit of pain from being hit by the car.  It's really a miracle that she didn't break any bones.  To answer mom, I got my jumper (sweater??) at Primark in Derby for £12, Primark is pretty much the best store in the world.  Everything there is dead cheap.  We got back to Eastwood and Elder Harris was feeling really sick so we went in early and waited for 'dodge night' which is the night we get the call telling us what is happening at transfers.  We found out that Elder Harris was going to Coventry.  He's doing great there and loves it so far.  It's a way different environment than here.  We also found out that Elder Steel is my new comp.  He came from Loughborough and he is the man!  We're having a lot of fun together and of course I miss Elder Harris but it's all good.  I've been very fortunate with new companions lately.
On Tuesday we woke up, went down to Eats and Treats to let them know the news, then we went to Hole in the Wall (the carvery with all you can eat) with Peter Morrison.  That was really good because a non-member and a less active where with us.  We had a good time.  We spent most of the time packing that day and cleaning up.  We also got to teach Amy and Rachael again.  We had a really good lesson then a Dinner Appointment at the Birch's.  After the Birchs we had ward coordination meeting then we went to visit Susan Matthews.  She is the lady that Elder Harris baptized before I came on my mission.  All in all it was a great day.  It was weird having that last night with Elder Harris.
Wednesday was nothing short of a crazy day.  We got up early to travel to Nottingham and Elder Harris got on a coach and headed off to Coventry.  I was with the Zone Leaders all day, Elder Akebran and Elder Taylor.  We had a crazy hour of GQing, which is just talking to people on the street.  So Elder Akebrand and I just start talking to this one lady name Shannon and she starts crying!  We were both like did we say something wrong???  But she said 'I'm sorry!  I just had a premonition earlier today that two guys were going to talk to me about God and that I should listen to them!'  We both felt like freaking out because that NEVER happens!  We set up a return appointment and she gave us both hugs.  Then not 5 minutes later we talked to another lady on the street and we ended up teaching her the full restoration lesson right there on the street and committed her to be baptized!  Then a little later we talked to a kid named Drew that was pretty solid.  Since then both Shannon and Drew have been committed to baptism and put on a date!  I wish they were in my area but it's nice to know that I had a hand in finding them!  It was really a miracle.  That night me and the Zone Leaders went to Subway but they wouldn't take our cards so we had to go to Burger King.  We had a ton of fun there and got crowns.  I know you don't care about that but I'm writing it mainly so I remember it when I read these emails in a few years.  Elder Steel got in really late and we just unpacked that night.
On Thursday it was Halloween.  We had to be in by 6 PM because of Halloween which kind of sucked but we had a good day!  All morning we went to Heanor and GQed.  We talked to a few good people.  At 2 we went to Eats and Treats and spent two hours helping them decorate the Cafe and garden for a Halloween event they were having.  Then at 4 we went to meet Ruby and that's when I gave her the quilt. 
On Friday we went back to Eats and Treats to help take down decorations!  I love hanging out in there.  We got paid with free breakfast cobs so there's no complaining there (:  After that we went to weekly plan and have lunch.  We taught Amy the 15 step program to stop smoking on Friday.  It went really well, she's still struggling to quit smoking but she's trying and I know that she can do it.  It's just a matter of time.  Rachael sat in on that lesson.  In the middle of the lesson Rachael was on her phone and she said... 'I just got a chat from one of your friends Elder Pogue, her name is Kelcy.'  Elder Steel started laughing so hard.  It was so weird that she chatted Rachael right as I was sitting across from her!  I sent a picture message and she sent one back.  It was nice and very funny to hear from her in such an unexpected time.  After that we went to Betty Breen's house for a nice dinner.  We ended up staying there for a really long time!  The conversations where very interesting and they were just getting to know Elder Steel. 
Saturday was a pretty good day.  We woke up and went to Heanor, then back for lunch and went to Ilkeston.  Taylor will think this is cool, we take a path along a canal and on Saturday they were having a winter fishing league tournament.  They were boring fishermen though, they're poles were extremely long, with no reel.  But it was cool because one guy had a sling shot and he was shooting fish food in areas he wanted them to go.  That seemed like fun.  There were loads of fireworks and bonfires on Saturday because on this coming Thursday is bonfire night.  It's a holiday based around this guy named Guy Fawkes who tried to blow up parliament a long time ago but failed... really its just an excuse for a holiday.  They were doing it on Saturday just because Thursday is such an inconvenient time for bonfires and fireworks.  We GQ'd a guy named Lesean from Bermuda!  He was in England for a football tryout and he was extremely interested.  I also got to speak to a couple of Arabs in Arabic!  They kept telling me Islam was the best religion and he asked if I ever tried converting, I replied 'no, have you ever tried converting to Christianity?'  Ha, we both laughed.  It was really just fun to talk in Arabic to him! 
Sunday was a very good but also strange day.  It was fast and testimony meeting and let's just say there was a little too much talk about 'angels and visions' for my comfort.  Oddly it was a very spiritual meeting.  I did find out that one of my favorite members of the ward has cancer again.  It's so sad to see him going through it, but he bore such a strong testimony then his wife did as well. 
Sorry this email is so long!  It's just been a very eventful week!  I've been spending all week trying to think of quotes to go on my planner for this transfer.  I found in Joseph Smith history notes at the very end, Oliver Cowdery says, 'These were days never to be forgotten.'  That's what I'm feeling about my mission!  These are days I will never forget!  It's been absolutely great so far and Elder Steel and I are getting along great and having a great time doing the work!
This week I want to encourage everyone to look for a missionary experience and to try to spread the gospel!  Alma 13:24 says 'For behold, angels are declaring it unto many at this time in our land; and this is for the purpose of preparing the hearts of the children of men to receive his word at the time of his coming in his glory.'
There are people all around us who have been prepared to recieve the message of the restored gospel!  Pray and seek for these people!  Share the message with them. 
I love you all so much!  And miss you!
Elder Evan Pogue

Monday, October 28, 2013

15th Letter from England (Eastwood)

I was sure to read Megans email first! (Note:  His friend Meg get her mission call to Helsinki, Finland)  So she told me herself where she was going!  I'm so stoked for her!  I hope she read that story I shared a couple weeks ago about how hard that Finnish is (:  She's going to love it!
That's interesting about your Friday.  I wish I could have been there.  Like you I had a really, really good Sabbath but I'll tell you about that when its time for me to talk about Sunday! 
I knew Taylor would be laughing about my bike! Honestly, I was laughing a bit.  Elder Harris was more cross about it than I was! 
This is probably going to be the most boring, uninteresting email because I look back on the week and nothing too big really happened with us, but lots of little blessings. On Monday we just hung out.  We went to a less active couple's house for tea and had a great time.  They're the Ellis' (the people lending me their bike).  We had a ton of fun.  We're going back tonight actually.  They're awesome.
On Tuesday we had an amazing lesson with Amy.  Amy is so fun to teach.  She's been reading the Book of Mormon and asking us questions and is wanting to know more and all of that.  It's just so much fun to have an investigator that's so excited to learn more.  We taught her on her back porch which overlooks hills and stuff and it's really just a beautiful view.  Unfortunately we weren't able to meet with her sister Rachael this week but we will soon.  They're just so awesome. 
I'm not going to lie, I have no idea what we did Wednesday.  We just did regular work.  That May have been when we  taught our investigator Jason.  He's cool, we're just not too sure about how interested he is.  But he said he read the Book of Mormon and if he likes it he'll probably 'just read it again!' 
On Thursday we had district meeting!  I always love district meeting.  Elder Patton is our district leader and he really is such a great guy and awesome missionary.  I look up to him a lot.  After district meeting we had a dinner appointment with the Leach's.  Brother Leach is the funniest man I've ever met.  His humour is the dryest and quickest I've ever heard and he just always says the most comical things. 
Friday was a fun day.  Elder Harris had to go to Nottingham with Elder Akebrand so I was with Elder Taylor for a couple of hours and we went to Heanor to talk to people on the street. (GQ)  We got really lucky and got two pretty good potentials.  They seemed to be coming to us and asking us what we were doing.  It usually doesn't happen like that!  After Elder Harris got back we weekly planned and just sat around. We did some garden work for the Evan's family so that was good.
Friday night we got a text saying that Sister Wengert (from our district) was hit by a car!  That was extremely scary but she's perfectly fine.  She's awesome. 
Saturday was a fun day.  We went and did some more finding in Heanor then went to Luis' house.  He's Spanish and has an awesome family.  He taught Elder Harris how to make rice and we ate this amazing rice meal.  It was great, we then helped his son Andy write his talk for sacrament meeting because he doesn't speak too much English.  Guess what!  I'm totally picking up Spanish... Luis' wife, Rocio (I dont know how to spell it) asked me a question in Spanish and without thinking about it I said before is fine.  After Luis' we had to go straight to Ilkeston to Claire and Shaun and they had a huge meal for us too!  We were so stuffed by the end of that day! 
Yesterday was probably one of the best Sundays of my life.  It was very bitter sweet.  The spirit was so strong all day but it was also extremely sad.  It was so sad because Elder Harris is most likely leaving this week.  Transfers are Wednesday and we find out tonight what happens.  He's been in Eastwood for 7 months now, and it's practically unheard of that anyone would stay in an area for longer than that.  At church he and lots of members were crying saying goodbye to each other.  We then went to Bill Marina's house for dinner and had Paella and Lasagna and the pudding was three different types of cake and ice cream.  We then played a game and then everyone shared their testimony about when they first k
new the church was true.  The spirit was so strong in there.  After that Ruby asked Elder Harris to say what he'd miss the most about everyone.  He was hestitant but he did.  He said, I'm not going to talk about Elder Pogue or else I'd just lose it immediately.  He talked about everyone and we were all crying by the end of it.
Right now I want to tell you all about how awesome Elder Harris has been.  I know when I first came out on my mission I was talking to President in our first interview together.  This was when he was assigning companionships.  I told President I wanted the best he had and someone who loved the work and would work hard.  President gave me that and so much more.  I know this is way cheesy to write about him like this but he really has been a huge blessing to me.  Elder Harris and I have grown so close and we just laugh and have fun all the time.  We work really well together and we probably get along better than any set of missionaries ever in history of missionary work.  In our whole time together we have not gotten in a single argument or even had cross feelings towards each other.  I know he'll be a really great friend for the rest of my life.  There's a quote from the best two years and it's Elder Rogers looking at pictures of his companions and Elder Calhoun asks him about one of the pictures.  Elder Rogers says that that was his 'first companion and [his] favorite too.'  I would not be surprised at all if at the end of my mission I'll be saying that about Elder Harris.  I'm going to miss him like crazy.
Now watch the call tonight we will find out that he's actually staying... I wouldn't be complaining.
So overall its been a really great week and I'm excited and nervous for this coming week.  I'll probably have a new companion next time I email.  I love you all.
Elder Pogue


Monday, October 21, 2013


Guess what guys!?  This email I have NO BIKE! 
Okay, so I just want to express the irony of this.  My last email started saying how excited I was and how miraculous it was that I had no bike problems.  Anyways, Tuesday morning Elder Harris and I walk down our stairs, open the door, and find laying on the ground two helmets, one bike, and a heavy bike lock which has been cut by someone who must have been 400 pounds of pure muscle because that could have been no easy feat.  Anyways my bike was gone, I guess they didn't want Elder Harris'.  We went to the police station, got them on it.  We talked to our neighbor, he was ticked and he said he'd already called all his mates and they are on it, and Elder Harris and I got the Eastwood Chavs looking out for it too.  But in short.  Say goodbye to my bike.
Thats okay though, Elder Harris is much more upset about it than I am.  It's just sad that someone felt like they had to steal a bike. 
So that was pretty much my Tuesday morning.  After that we went to a carvery with Peter Morrison.  I'm sure I've mentioned it before.  Its called Hole-in-the-wall and its all you can eat of deliciousness.  It's pretty much you eat that at lunch time and you don't eat for the rest of the day.  We then went and taught a lesson with Amy (one of the Eats and Treats girls) and that went awesome.  She is so excited to learn more and really change her life.  She wants to quit smoking and she LOVES the book of mormon.  She calls and texts us all the time with questions about the book of mormon!  I'm excited for her to be baptized.  We put her on a date!  The 23 of November. 
We had Zone Meeting on Wednesday so that's where we all go to Nottingham and listen to the Zone Leaders.  I learned a lot there.  They gave us some good finding methods that I'm excited to use.  That takes up a lot of time though.  We also borrowed a bike from a sick family called the Ellis'.  They're extremely nice and fun.  She's 24 and he's 29 so they're young and stuff. 
On Thursday we went on exchange.  I was with Elder Shipp in Eastwood.  I'm glad I stayed here this time around.  We went to Ilkeston and went to check on a few potentials but none of them really were interested.  Then we were going up to Ilkeston town center to talk to people and when we got there, there was a huge fair!  It was packed and crowded.  By the time we got through the people it was time to go to the store and buy food because we volunteered  to make tea for Claire and Shaun!  Ahaha We ended up just getting frozen pizza and told them we were going to make them a real American thing next time when Elder Harris was in town.  We had fun and taught Louise.  Louise by the way is getting baptized this Saturday!!  I'm extremely excited for that! 
Friday was an interesting day, so we woke up at half 5.  We went to Nottingham and the whole Zone rode a coach to Benbow Farms!  That was pretty cool.  Tons of people were baptized there a whole long time ago.  We took picturese there and President Rasmussen talked to us a bit.  Then we went to The Gadfield Elm Chapel which is the oldest LDS chapel in the world.  It was pretty cool!  There have been many prophets and apostles who have spoken there.  We didn't get home till very late.  It was a nice break from the usual missionary schedule. 
On Saturday we couldn't teach English because we had a meeting at 2 that got flogged so that sucked.  We went and talked to a lot of people though and one was VERY interesting and VERY funny.  So we talked to a former investigator named Edward.  He's 72 years old and frankly, a little senile.  So we get to talking and he was talking about how he is going with his family to the States.  He said, 'I really want to go to Florida but my family wants to go to Miami!  So thats kind of awkward.'  He said they got in arguments about it!  So Elder Harris and I are chuckling already then Elder Harris says to Edward in the same way he'd like give a promise about living the Gospel and how it would improve his life. 'Edward, I have a really strong feeling that you'll be able to go to Florida.'  We both died laughing!  Poor man.  Then later this meeting we were talking to him about baptism and he said well I was baptized in the 60's and we were like oh really!?  And he say yeah!  Into your guys' church!  And he said after he was baptized three men stood around him and put their hands on his head.  We were so confused and we think we may have found a very, very lost sheep.  It was a good day.
This week has been a downpour.  Literally every day its rained a lot.  It's not too bad though.  The pictures attached are me eating a Kebab, which we have all the time.  They are delicious, then a blurry one of Elder Harris and I at Benbow Farm, then a picture of the 'crime scene.'
So I've been studying the Atonement of Jesus Christ a lot this week.  Its amazing what has been done for us.  Because of the Atonement, no matter where we are in our lives we can change.  We can be forgiven, and have eternal joy.  That is such an amazing gift.  There is a book (that I have not read) called the Continuous Atonement and in it it talks about a young priest blessing the sacrament.  As he says the prayer he messes up, and the bishop looks at him smiles and says with love, 'do it again.'  Once again the priest starts to pray, but doesn't quite get it right.  The bishop once again smiles and says 'do it again.'  One more time the priest starts to pray and messes up and one more time the bishop encourages him to give it another go.  The priest starts the prayer and does it correctly.  Never once did the bishop get upset at or embarrased for the boy.  The bishop did not say move over let some one else do it.  Every time he encouraged him to back up, slow down, and try it one more time.  This is comparable to the way the Lord is with us.  We aren't expected to be perfect.  We will make mistakes but every time the Lord will smile, and say 'try it again.'  As we really incorporate the atonement in our lives, as we 'try it again' and really refine ourselves and strive towards self mastery we will grow, we will gradually see ourselves come closer to Christ and we will better recognize the blessings we gain as we strive for these worthy goals.  What a great gift we have been given.
I really miss all of you guys and love all of y'all!
-Elder Evan Pogue
 The crime scene:
Elder Pogue and Elder Harris

Monday, October 14, 2013

13th letter from England (Eastwood)

Guess what?! This email does NOT consist of bike problems!  Miracles man, miracles.

Okay, so Monday was obviously, P-Day.  We had district P-Day in Derby so that was a lot of fun!  My district consists of Elder Patten from St. George Utah, Elder Shipp from Arkansas/Texas, Elder Harris and I, Sister Wengert from Arizona, Sister Perronet from Switzerland, Sister Stapley from Arizona/Utah and Sister Eldredge from Utah.  We all had a great time eating Kebabs, then we went and played frizbee and football at a park.  We ended with a game of signs and went home.  We then went to visit Shaun and Claire.  I love being in their houses.  Its amazing the way the spirit of the houses has changed since we've started teaching them.  That night we got a text from a lady we taught one lesson to that said 'so when do you baptize.'  What a crazy text to get as a missionary!  Her name is Sarah and she is super funny.

On Tuesday we just basically had a normal missionary day, we went to a town called Heanor to find people to teach with little success.  There are several spanish families in Eastwood ward so we ended up going to Luis' house and talking to them in English for practice.  We had dinner that night with the Birch's and had Ward coordination that night.

On Wednesday we had interviews with President Rasmussen!  Our district was supposed to go at 3 to Nottingham but Elder Harris and I went at 11 because we had 3 teaching appointments set up for that night!  That's not a very common occurance, especially because we had members present for all 3 of them.  It's always a great experience meeting with President and Sister Rasmussen.  They're so supportive and loving. Our investigators Rachael, and Amy who are the sisters that work at Eats n Treats were the first of our appointments.  They made us like a home made paella that was really just a bunch of random things thrown into the rice.  It was extremely delicious!  We then ate Crepes for pudding and I definitely had too many (:  Immediately after that we had to cycle to Ilkeston to teach Sarah.  We brought Shaun with us and taught a great lesson.  Everything we teach seems to make sense to her.  It's also a great experience for Shaun to hear the lessons again.  Unfortunately by the time we were done with Sarah, it was too late to teach Louise.  As we cycled home that night, it was pitch black and we had no lights.  The stars were beautiful though and Elder Harris and I took a few minutes to admire them.  That's a memory I'll always have.

On Thursday we went on exchange so I went to Derby with the district leader Elder Patten, we had such a great time together!  We didn't have much time to find but we had an amazing dinner appointment with a really awesome family.  Guess what Dad!  The guy in that family's job is to climb those big radio tower things like that video you showed me a long time ago!  I couldn't believe I actually met someone with that job!  He says it terrified him when he first started but by now he's used to the heights.  I just thought it was crazy.  Then Elder Patten had a baptismal interview for a kid named Jack.  He's extremely funny and energetic.  He's baptized now.

The next morning was Friday and we made our way back to Eastwood to meet up with Elder Harris and Shipp.  I got the package from Saudi with the shirts in it!  We really like them and will be sure to wear them!  That reminded me though!  One thing I think I'd really like is one of those ties like Rusty Mosley has of the ghutra fabric!  If you find one send it to me!  Also, Mom, did you look at the triple combination unindexed thing.  I really could use that!
That day Elder Harris and I just weekly planned then went to Ilkeston.  We got flogged 3 times that day.  We had a dinner at Claire and Shaun's that night and enjoyed ourselves there.  Cycling back was freezing cold.  The weather here has taken a dramatic turn south and it's been extremely cold and windy and rainy every day.

Saturday was an interesting day, all of our morning plans got cancelled for one reason or another.  Basically the first thing we did all day was go to Luis' house for dinner.  That was at 2 o'clock and then after that we tracted in Heanor.  Elder Harris and I split up and were knocking house after house on opposite sides of the road.  It was pouring down rain and extremely cold.  We got one pretty solid person though.  Elder Harris practically taught him the whole Restoration while I was knocking on door after door.  It would have been the perfect day for a nice hot chocolate when we got back from our flat except it was fast Sunday...

Sunday came and church was fine.  We had three investigators at church so that was awesome.  Elder Harris and I watched the rest of conference that night.

This spiritual thought is for anyone who is deciding whether or not they should go on a mission.  It's from the June 2013 Ensign and I just want to share one portion of this article.

The Roundabout of Deciding to Serve a Mission
The prophets and apostles have made it clear that every able, worthy young man should serve an honorable, full-time mission. President Thomas S. Monson has also welcomed young women to serve a mission if they choose.  The Savior’s call is clear: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19).  My mission in Finland changed my life. Because Finland is on the top of the world, it is often dark. It is also extremely cold; the snow melts in May and comes again in September. My first winter there I spent in Rovaniemi, a few miles south of the Arctic Circle. When the sun went down the first part of December, we rarely saw it again until February. The temperature was often below zero (-18°C).
We were asked to find people to teach. I would wear two pairs of socks, two pairs of gloves, a shirt, a sweater, my suit, a heavy coat, a hat, and a scarf. As we would leave our apartment, my eyes were the only part of my body not covered. After walking just 100 yards (90 m) from our apartment, I would be freezing cold. We would be out working from 9:00 in the morning until 9:00 at night. We had little success.
The Finnish people thought we had lost our minds; I wondered the same thing. All I could do was ask the Lord if the work really was true. He often answered me in no uncertain terms. It was in the icy winter of Finland that the fire of the Spirit bore witness to me of the truthfulness of the gospel. Had I not gone there, been pushed to those extremes, and had cause to truly find out for myself, I might have never received the confirming witness that came—the kind of witness that goes deep down inside and never leaves you.
During my time in Finland, I taught and baptized three people. Up to that time I had never experienced the great joy I felt as I watched someone accept the gospel of Jesus Christ. But the truth is, there was a fourth convert—me. Had I labored all my days and converted only myself, the experience would still have been worth it to me.
The Lord needs you on a mission, but perhaps even more important, you need a mission for yourself. It is there you will feel and understand the sweet whisperings of the Spirit and learn the lessons you need to know to be a good husband or wife, a good parent, and an outstanding member of the Church.
If you are worried about serving a mission, follow the Savior’s call. You will need to exercise both faith and courage to leave the roundabout of indecision, but choosing to serve a mission will be one of the most important decisions you make in your life.

Me again:
Okay, so I just want to testify of the truthfulness of this article.  Especially this week, it has been cold and rainy.  Not very many people are listening to us.  Some days it seems like we are doing nothing to help the English people.  But regardless of what success I have everyday, I grow as a person.  If you are not sure if you should go on a mission or maybe you don't think you want to, I promise you that going will be the best decision you ever make.  I'm only 3 months in and I can't believe how much more prepared I already am for the future.  My testimony of this gospel grows every day, and I can say now more than I ever could before that I recognize the blessings that come from it and I know that the Book of Mormon is true and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church.

I hope you are all doing great, I love you all and miss you all.
-Elder Evan Pogue