Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2nd Letter from England

Hey guys!
 This first week at the MTC has been really awesome!  It's great here.  It's always really nice to be around all the missionaries and MTC workers.  The teachers and everyone here are super awesome.  We  got here about a week ago I guess...  that's weird to think about because it seems like it's been so much longer.  I've learned more than a weeks worth of stuff for sure. I feel like I've already grown in so many ways. I guess that's kind of the point of the MTC though.  The MTC President, President Edwards is really nice.    The practices and exercises that have us doing are really effective. Our main practice is going into 'TRC' rooms and our teachers act like investigators and they all have a huge back story and concerns.  The teachers are really great actors.  So right now we're "teaching" people named James, Catherine, Derek, and we're about to start teaching Alanna.  Some of the lessons we teach are recorded so we can go back and watch ourselves.  That's really fun though because you have to be prepared for anything.  It's funny to think about because it kind of reminds me of the scare simulator rooms from Monsters Inc.  One of our teachers is from Scotland, and the other from Manchester.  They're both really funny and great teachers.  To address Mom's question, the food here is decent its not GREAT though.  It got a lot better after we discovered we could have seconds ahah!  The first few days we were all quite a bit hungry.  We were under the impression that they had portions that were pretty exact to the amount of missionaries in each zone.  I guess that's not the case.  I'm in the Hinckley Zone, and the Lehi district.  We have the BEST district.  Everyone is so unified and awesome, we all get along great.  Elder Paton is from Australia, Elder Pallin is from Canada, the rest of the Elders are either from Idaho or Utah, and we have a companionship of sisters, Sister Vige from Norway and serving in Denmark and another sister who's name I can't remember right now and I kind of feel bad about that is from Paris.  I have a picture with my whole district but someone has to email it to me because I didn't take it with my camera.  My MTC companions name is Elder Patterson and he's from Idaho Falls.  He's a really nice guy, we get along and he's fun to be around.  He went to a year at Utah State I think.  So most of the time here we are in class or doing personal study.  Every once and a while we have devotionals and personal time.  Our exercise time was cancelled yesterday but I'm not complaining.
The weather here has been pretty awesome.  Sometimes it's a little hot but never unbearable but other than that it's been just nice a cool.  I can't complain because I know dad's been in Saudi all summer.  Its rained a little almost everyday but its never just a downpour like in Louisiana. 
Talking about dad is Saudi reminded me, there's a map downstairs with all the missionaries' picture on their home and I'm just randomly stuck in Saudi Arabia and a lot of people have been like WHAT!?  Where are you from?!  It's pretty funny.  One kid walked up to me and said salam alaykum.  It was nice.  
President Edwards told us an awesome experience he had with President Eyring.  He was with him one time while Pres. Eyring was assigning missions to missionaries.  He said Pres. Eyring would look at the name of the missionary on the screen and just close is eyes for a minute or so then ask like what missions do we have in the Philippines? (just as an example) So like Naga or Manila or there's some more and Pres Eyring would be like yeah Naga.  So I guess Pres Edwards asked how he knew what mission to send the people on and he said that when he closes his eyes he can see the missionaries coming home, and that's how he knows where to send them, by seeing where they're coming home from.  Isn't that awesome?  That went on to be like a you're all called of God to serve specifically in this mission.
So here's a couple of things that would be nice to have.  Other elders in my district have their patriarchal blessing on like a mini sheet of paper and laminated to a size that they fit in their scriptures.  You should find a way to make me one of those.  I'd also like my Priesthood line of authority in the same way.  You can just order that online.  
So today, on P-day I've already gone to the store.  I was excited because we're going on a church history tour (also because we can't go to the temple) around this area, but my zone is going in the afternoon.  I was excited to email y'all about that but I guess that will be for next week.  I'm excited for that though, it ll be fun.  

SO usually on P-day at this MTC they go to the Temple but its closed for two weeks.  But we're getting pretty awesome compensation.  Last night we went and saw the first ever pageant (kind of like the Palmyra pageant) outside of the US that's endorsed by the first presidency and it was extremely awesome!  The show was great!  It was all about 'Elders' Kimball and Fielding missionary work in this area of England and about all the converts and how all of the 12 apostles came over on missions too.  It was an awesome story and they had a lot of traditional music and dancing from Scotland Ireland England and Wales.  And the best part that the MTC Missionaries are singing in the finale.  So that's a really awesome experience.  Opening night is tonight and we go to sing every night.  We did sing in the dress rehearsal last night.  We sing called to serve then a medley of some song I don't remember and Redeemer of Israel.  That will be a lot of fun.  

I'm super excited to be out in the field.  The MTC is nice but it'll be more fun out there.  My last day here is August 6th!  So that's in a week.  That also means that I'll be gone by my birthday!  I have to go now.  I hope I didn't forget anything.  If I have time I'll try to upload the pictures I have!  Sorry!  I hope this is an adequate email???
I love y'all and I miss y'all! 
-Elder Evan Pogue

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