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