Monday, January 27, 2014

28th (Sheldon)

Hey everyone!!  
 This week seems very long! A lot has changed. I already told you last time that on Monday we went to a Seik temple! They gave us a short tour and gave us some very interesting food... that was all good! So Tuesday was Elder Hoffmann's day to leave.  We spent all morning packing, cleaning, and just getting ready! Elder Hoffmann wouldn't really admit it but I know he was so excited to go home!  I had a good time last transfer with him.
So Tuesday was actually so sick! We went to the mission home to drop him off and I was going to stay with Elder Watt (Coventry Zone Leader) for the night. Anyways I get in Elder Watts car and in his Scottish accent said 'So, you're Pappa is in the district' Elder Watt let me spend 3 hours with Elder Harris! We taught a lesson to one of his Chinese investigators and then had a chippy for dinner. It was so great hanging out with my dad, the day before I got a son! (...hanging out with my trainer the day before I get my new trainee) Wednesday was transfers so we had to be at the mission home early. I had accidently left my exchange stuff at Elder Harris' flat so we went over there so I could change and then headed off for the mission home. For a few hours we just hung around and all the trainers got pizza for lunch. After that, we watched all of the new missionaries stand on the mission cornerstone and say who they are and where they are from. We then had a meeting with all of the new missionaries and trainers and at the end of the meeting they announced the new companionships. My new companions name is Elder Tupou from Tonga! It's so cool! He doesn't speak English very well so we have to do language study! It's really cool trying to talk him through everything in a way he'll understand. He's already such a great missionary though. He tracts and GQs better than I did when I was 2 days out! And I spoke the language! His testimony is so powerful too. He is the only member in his family and has only been a member for 2 years! Wednesday night we had ward coordination meeting. Thursday we had district meeting in Solihull, we woke up and studied then went straight there. It was nice to meet the new members of the district. When we got back we went finding until our dinner appointment at the Stilgers (Bishops family) Bishop was traveling for work though. We had a great time there and Elder Tupou's spiritual thought was extremely powerful.
Friday we had to weekly plan, I hate weekly planning! That took a couple of hours and then we had a bit of a miracle. Elder Chardon and Ruka called us and we had a lesson with our investigator that speaks Dutch! Her name is Wedwhatie and she talked to the missionaries 8 years ago in Holland. Elder Chardon is Dutch so we all four went and had a lesson completely in Dutch.  Saturday was my six month mark! I can't believe it, time has gone by so fast. We found all day on Saturday, then a storm started coming in. There was thunder and lightning and it didn't start raining, but hailing! That was extremely interesting, especially for Elder Tupou!  He was like 'is that ice!?' We escaped the storm for a little while and warmed up in our flat.
We had a dinner appointment at the Watsons again and had a really great time there. We burned a tie, well two ties that night in honor of my six month mark. The first one wouldn't start so I got another one and poured hand sanitizer all over them and caught them on fire. It seems like yesterday we were burning Elder Harris' tie in Shaun's back garden.  Sunday was another good day at church. After church we had a dinner appointment with the Matthews family. They are an awesome family. They made us big English meal with tons of... mushrooms. Again, you know my feelings about mushrooms, but guess what, I ate them all! And enjoyed it! Miracles happen every day. 
Things have been really great this week. It's been funny watching Elder Tupou deal with the cold weather here. He's been sleeping in thermals, a jacket, sweat trousers, a scarf, and socks all under a big duvet. He does have a pretty bad cold though. I can't wait for these next few weeks to watch the miracles that come. I hope all of y'all have been great!
Love you all, Elder Evan Pogue

Monday, January 20, 2014

27th Letter from England (Sheldon)

Excerpt from last weeks letter first:  (Take this out of the blog until next week as it is suppsoed to be a secret)  So I got the call to be a trainer!  I'm so excited for that!!  President called on what we know to be training dodge Monday and I heard the special president's ringtone and answered the phone, 'Hello, It's Elder Pogue!'  'Hello Elder Pogue, how are you?  It's President Rasmussen.'  'I'm great President, how are you?'  'I'm great, now Elder Pogue I have been engaged in much fasting and prayer and felt prompted to give you a call.  Have you been living your life in such a way that the spirit can work through you?'  'Yes president.' 'Are you willing to follow preach my gospel and do the work in the way the Prophets and apostles have outlined?'  'yes president!  'Well Elder Pogue, I'd like to extend a calling to you, I would like you to be a trainer, and train one of the new missionaries, would you be willing to accept that calling?' 'Yes, president!  Of course, I'd love to!'  'That's great!'  Then he gave me details on meetings we have and things like that.  I'm not sure how transfers go because Elder Hoffmann actually leaves a day earlier.  So I'll probably be with other missionaries next tuesday night, then on Wednesday morning I'll go and we'll have meetings then get assigned our 'greenies.'  I'm extremely excited!
Now to this week:
Hey everyone! 

This week has been pretty good so far!  So I guess I emailed Tuesday??  That's right because I got the call that I would be training on Monday.  So because it wasn't put on the blog last week I'll kind of recap.
On Monday I got a call from the mission president, President Rasmussen and he asked me to serve as a trainer!  I'm so excited for that.  I'm already going to be a dad (trainer)! :D  I think Elder Harris might be one of the youngest grandpas (trainer's trainer) in the mission.  He trained me well.  So Tuesday we emailed and got on with our day.  I unfortunately forgot my planner and can't really remember all the details of what we did or when we did things.
Wednesday was interviews with President.  We have interviews for all the missionaries every once in a while.  That went really well, along with that we had district meeting.  I basically just asked President Rasmussen a couple of questions pertaining to some of our investigators.  Those interviews are typically quite rushed because he has so many to do.
On Thursday a lot of the day was spent cleaning and packing for Elder Hoffmann, that's actually been most of the week.
Friday was the trainers meeting for new trainers, so we went to the mission home early.  I was so excited when I saw Sister Stapley and Eldredge walking up to the mission home!  Sister Eldredge is training!  I got to talk with them all about Eastwood and catch up on things that have happened!  There are 19 trainers this transfer and only me and 2 others are from my group (Debeikes and Dunn).  Sister Eldredge is the only missionary younger than my group training.  That was an extremely good meeting, we talked a lot about how our patterns will greatly affect our new missionary.  I realize that I still follow so many of Elder Harris' missionary patterns.  He was the best trainer.  After the meeting we had a dinner appointment with the Hadleys.  Thats always great.
Saturday was a pretty good day, we had a lunch appointment with family named the Rollins.  Their son is autistic and requires full time attention.  He made us burgers.  We then went back to the flat and once again spent so much time packing and cleaning... too much time.  I was mostly preparing my talk though.
Sunday came, I did some last adjustments to my talk.  We had a really interesting 3 hours.  First was priesthood taught by Bro. Hadley.  It was a great lesson.  Then we had sunday school taught by... Bro. Hadley.  That lesson was even better.  We talked about the creation and the class got pretty lively.  A lot of people had good input.  Then we had sacrament meeting conducted by... Brother Hadley.  He just did everything this Sunday!  I spoke first, I was pleased with my talk.  It went a little longer than expected.  I can't believe I prepared a whole talk without a computer.  That just seems crazy to me.  Then Elder Hoffmann spoke on repentance that was really good.  Then a guy from the stake got up and said he didn't have time to share the message he wanted to but felt prompted to share a story. Basically it was, do your home teaching and magnify your calling.  It was a really powerful meeting.  I could tell it was a little weird for Elder Hoffmann to say goodbye to everyone.  We went to our flat and I literally cleaned all day.  I worked some miracles in the kitchen and living room.  I'll send before and after pictures. 
So today is Monday and we spent the morning as a district and went to a Siek temple!  That was really cool!  They gave us a slideshow and taught us a lot about their religion then even gave us free food!  They're really nice people.  It's an interesting religion.  My week has been really good so far.  I can't wait for Wednesday to get my new missionary!

Hope y'all are all doing great!
Elder Evan Pogue

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

26th Letter from England (Sheldon)

Hello everyone!!
This week has been a great week!  I've already sent so many emails today that I'm kind of worn out of typing but I'll still try to make this email good.  It has been a really great week though.
I don't think I want to write this email in the usual way I do, where I write day by day.  I don't know, I'll just start typing and see how it comes out.

This week has been full of ups and downs for me, it's been a week of intense study and praying.  In the past few weeks we hadn't had very many lessons, and not very many people to find answers for.  I had gotten a little discouraged, and I noticed that it was becoming easier to wake up a little later, and studying a little less, and talking to a few less people.  I'm glad that I caught on really quickly though!  This past week has been so rewarding and so great as I studied and worked harder, and refound my desire to work as hard as I can! 
Last Monday we went and had Zone P-Day.  We had fun there, I played some ping pong and volley ball.  Nothing much went on other than that though.  We had a dinner appointment with the Stilgers (bishop).  We went to this really good buffet place.  I finally got to have some hummus!!  I had been craving some good hummus for  a while!  After that we had a lesson that night with Salin that went great.  We taught him the law of chastity and he really already knows and lives it!  Those are the best kinds of lessons.  On Monday I had really made the goal to wake up on time every day, get to study on time every day, and do everything I could.
Tuesday morning, I had a great study.  I studied tithing because that's what we were going to teach Salin that night.  So then we went to the chapel to get some stories of miracles of tithing and also find a nice video to share.  We found a really good one by President Hinkley, where he told a story that could be the same situation as Salin is in!  So at the chapel we were going to fix Elder Hoffmann's bike... but then we looked and my bike wasn't there.  It was locked up in a way that the wheel couldn't move and locked inside of the chapel!  I feel like a member just moved it somewhere or something but we looked everywhere and couldn't find it.  We'll see though.  That night we had our lesson with Salin, we went in a little nervous knowing that money is a concern for him.  He accepted it immediately and knew its something he should do.  What a blessing.
Wednesday morning we had Zone meeting in Harborne.  That went really well!  I got a present from Ruby and also the thermal g's finally!  They're so great!  The gift from Ruby was the book 'The Continuous Conversion' By Brad Wilcox.  Which I've already read all the way through and am planning to start it over again.  It's amazing.  Conversion has been my main personal study topic all week!  Wednesday night we had a lesson with a lady named Donna and her family.  We taught the restoration and it went really well.  I hope they read and pray!
Thursday was another good day, we went and tried to visit a few people we'd previously talked to. We had a dinner appointment at the Reynolds-Jones house.  (Guess what!  It was a dish with rice and mushrooms and lots of them... I ate ALL of them!  It was not easy but I did it!  What a miracle.) That night we had another lesson with Salin.  We taught him the importance of baptism, and coming to church.  It's great to see how much he is learning and progressing.  He has such a strong desire to learn more. 
Friday, as usual, we have weekly planning which takes so long.  Elder Hoffmann was sick that morning as well and slept in a little.  We really didn't get much done.  We went GQing that night.
Saturday was a good day as well, we woke up and had to cut study short for a lesson with a referral we got named Wayne.  He is a really solid Christian guy, he kept saying AMEN AMEN!  To everything we said!  He went to some prayer revival thing in 2003 in New York and just really trusts God.  We went there and he promises he'll read the book of mormon and pray about it.  I'm excited to see how that progresses.  On the way back to our flat for lunch we stopped in this little corner store in the middle of a prominant Arab neighborhood and guess what I got!  Mountain dew and Arab Coke!  I was so excited!  They taste just like the mountain dews and coke I had in Saudi all the time!  That night we had a dinner with a family named the Watsons.  That went really well!  They have us over every Saturday and are really great people.
Sunday we had a good day at church.  After Church we went and stopped by a potential named Wedwati.  She lived in Holland some years ago and met with missionaries there.  She's hesitant to start investigating again now because she's moving back to Holland soon.  We are going to get Elder Chardon to call her because he is Dutch himself so maybe he can sweet talk her in Dutch! (:   At church that day Brother Hadley asked Elder Hoffmann to speak in church next week on repentance, then turned to me (uh oh) and said 'and You'll speak on conversion!'  How convenient!  I'm so excited and prepared for that talk. All thanks to Ruby!  :D  I miss all of them in Eastwood.
I hope everything is going great at home!! I love and miss you all!
Elder Evan Pogue

Monday, January 6, 2014

25th Letter from England (Sheldon)


So here's my first question, what are you doing in Louisiana by yourself for a few weeks?!  Why'd you stay!  Poor dad is going to be so lonely, he doesn't even have a dog to keep him company... is that taboo to talk about??

So for some reason, I'm in a weird mood right now and would like to take a minute to talk about some funny quirks of the English.  
1. The young english generation (chavs) have much less moral standings and values that anything I've ever imagined.
2. English people tend to say bye about 100 different times in at least 50 different ways before you can actually leave (ta!  Bye now!  Bye!  Cheerio!  Take care!  bye again!  Bye bye!  Ta!  See you later!  Bye!  Alrighty then!  See you later!  Bye now!  Bye!)
3. For some reason chavs think yelling and swearing at you to leave their country is good ole and I quote, 'English banter'.
4. They apologize ALOT if they almost run into each other on the streets.
5. There's much more but I'll end with they 'can't be bothered'. 

 Now I mean these in the best way possible.  I'm trying to be satirical about it all, much in the same way every American is 'fat' and things like that. In all honesty, I LOVE it here.  It's been great.  I love the people!!

My time in Sheldon has been a challenge but I've also enjoyed it.  I'm almost for sure not leaving this transfer but I'm having a good time!  I'm actually really looking forward to next transfer, to start off a transfer kind of knowing the members, knowing where I'm going, and having a little more to work from. It should be good.  

So for my week, 
Last Monday we emailed, then we hung out with Jeremiah and Jake!  (a couple of young men from the ward.)  We spent the day going to charity shops and buying cheap treasures.  Elder Hoffmann and I had a Christmas Miracle!  We found a £4 waffle iron!  I also found some good CD's, and was able to download a nice gospel CD from Amazon.  :D  We had a great time.  Monday was the start of my seriously considering buying new shoes.  Both of my black pairs of shoes are warn down far too much to be good for my feet.  I just want to make sure I buy a decent enough pair.

On Tuesday we tried to go around, find some new investigators, and see some potentials.  We talked to a few people, got a few return appointments, but without much luck.  Things have been like that for a while, but it's okay.  I'm optimistic for these next couple weeks.  President promised that January would be the most baptizing month in years.  We had to be in the flat by 6 because of the risk of drunk chavs stabbing us or something daft like that on New Years Eve.  We spent the time playing cards and listening to some old talks.  It was nice.  We talked until midnight when we heard tons of fireworks going off.  I can't believe it's 2014!  Where has the time gone?  How have I already almost hit my six month?  I'm not ready to go home!  (;

On Wednesday, it was the new year.  So I got to start of the year with a wonderful cold that gave me a fever and took my voice away for a couple of days.  That was not so great.  We spent a lot of time in the flat, fearing mixing the fever with the cold and rain.  At 5 we had a dinner appointment at the Martins house.  He's our ward mission leader.  Then we had ward coordination.  

On Thursday We had district meeting!  That was a lot of fun!  Actually to back up a little, we were supposed to have a breakfast at a members house called the Wilkins, then we get nearly there, then we call the other Elders and they had 'forgotten' to tell us that the appointment was cancelled!  We ended up going to Lidl, buying donuts and having breakfast at their flat.  (:  We then had district meeting, it was a nice meeting where we talked about the importance of working with members.  We then had lunch at a chippy, where I got a kebab that was the greasiest thing I've ever seen.  Elder Hoffmann bought some pickled cockles...  <-- I refused to try one, but it was fairly unanimous that they were disgusting.  I don't know what they are.

On Friday we had a funeral to go to.  This man named John Pritchard from the ward died, I never met him.  It was a nice service, the first funeral I've ever been to.  The spirit was very strong there.  We then had lunch, started weekly planning, and had a dinner appointment at the Hadleys house.  They are cool!

On Saturday, our day was devoted to  helping a lady named Sister Wright move into her new home.  Only us, and one member showed up.  That was disappointing and we ended up taking about 6 hours of heavy lifting work.  We got most of it done just in time though, Brother Camiasani drove us to our dinner appointment at the Watsons house.  Brother Watson is a cool guy!  He's just in the wrong country though!  He likes fishing, carving wood, cooking, and he just bought a mandolin to learn how to play.  He reminded me of someone you'd find in Louisiana.  

Sunday, was another good day at church.  Fast and testimony meeting, for some reason I let Elder Hoffmann to convince me to fast for lunch and dinner instead of breakfast and lunch though...  So I ate a couple waffles and a quesadilla.  We went to church, taught priesthood on the Holy Ghost.  We had a nice testimony meeting, Elder Hoffmann and I passed the Sacrament (it's been ages since I've done that).  After that we went to see a media referral we'd gotten!  This indian lady who lived in Holland 8 years before answered the door!  She had talked to the missionaries 8 years ago!  I'm excited to start teaching her!

So now today is Monday and we're actually in Birmingham library.  It's huge, and looks like a birthday cake.  The poshest library I've ever seen.  Maybe I can find a quick picture.    
 We have Zone P-day today then a dinner with Bishop Stilger and his family.  I'm looking forward to this!

So I recognize that this email is written in a different mood/style than usual, I'm not sure why!  I've had a great week, and really look forward to the weeks to come!  (15 days and a new transfer!!!)  

I love you all!  Hope you've had a great week and a happy new year!
Y'all are the best!
Elder Evan Pogue
Bye!  Bye now! Ta!  Cheerio!  Bye!  See you!  Take Care!!  Bye!  Love you!  Bye!  Be safe!  Careful how you go!  Bye!  Ta! Bye now!  (: