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.
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