Monday, February 10, 2014

30th Letter from England (Sheldon)

Hey Everybody,

This week there isn't too much to report on day by day so I'll do that a little bit later.  I thought I'd use this opportunity to speak about some of the other little things about the mission! 
First, mom, you said hopefully I'll get to see some of the Olympics somewhere.  I didn't even know they had started yet.  I knew they'd be soon but that's really not on my mind.  It'd just make me trunky watching people snowboard.  I guess I don't really even want to watch the Olympics.  Not until I'm home at least.  
To answer your questions about my comp, Elder Tupou's name is Sione Tupou.  From the Island of Tonga in Tonga.  Tupou is his real last name!  

Crawfish Ettouffee doesn't make me to homesick but it reminds me of Jambalaya!  I really want some!  Actually, I've been making rice, baked beans, and mixing them and loading it with Tony's and it tastes pretty good!  The baked beans here a little different than America.  It tastes a bit southern.  
I just read Cameron's email and he said he was working out harder to be more obedient.  I think he was rebuking me.  I swear I do at least one sit up every morning!  I have to get out of bed somehow!  No, I really do exersize, I guess I could work out a little harder though!  
Because I'm training our schedule has been a little different.  We spent so much time studying, especially with language study, sometimes we don't get out of the flat until until late.  That's always hard.  
Elder Tupou is doing so great with English.  He says some really funny things sometimes!  So he knows enough English to make jokes!  He's also extremely bold with people!  It's really funny though because he speaks so well, and he understand so well too... if they're American.  He doesn't understand English people.  He'll get used to it though! 
How's American Idol?  Tell me about the contestants!  Is there anyone kind of folky?  I miss music, in particular the Avett Brothers of course.
What's going on in Dhahran?  Anything cool, interesting, different?  Within the ward?  the compound?  Tell me about some of the new people.

So this week has been great!  Luckily there was no sickness anymore! On Monday we went to the Maloney family and had a great time there.  They always make a good dinner and good pudding!  After that we went finding but it was dark and cold and there was nobody to really talk to.  A cat did follow us around for about 15 minutes though.  That was interesting.
On Tuesday we woke up and did our studies, then we had planned to find but Salin gave us a call and we ended up having a great lesson with him.  He wants to be baptized on the 21st.  We'll probably move that date back a week though because he didn't come to church yesterday.  This week he takes his big test to see if he can stay in the country even if his parents stop sponsoring him or something?  It just gives him more liberty.  Pray that he'll pass and that he'll be able to be baptized!  That night we went and  participated with seminary!  The seminary class here only has two young men.  That was well fun.  We also got a call from an Albanian girl requesting English lessons.  So we'll start that on Tuesday the 18th!  Isn't it cool that Cameron is in Albania, teaching English to Albanians.  I'm in England, teaching English to Albanians?
Wednesday was a pretty good day, we got a media referral!  So somebody gets on the internet and actually requests a visit from us!  We went far away and found his house but weren't able to get to the door to knock on it so we gave him a ring and I talked to him for about 10 minutes.  His name is Paul W. and he talked to a couple of Sister Missionaries in the Manchester mission on his way back from a funeral!  I asked what they taught him and he said 'I don't know... there was just... something more about what they were saying.'  We'll hopefully be able to see him around his hectic work schedule and teach him!  He seems extremely solid!  We had ward coordination meeting that night where we planned for our missionary fireside on Sunday.
Thursday we had district meeting and lunch.  It was a great meeting where we spoke a little bit about keeping our spiritual sensitivity high.  The Zone leaders came to that and brought some post.  I had a letter from Kelcy so that was cool.  We got some Albanian Books of Mormon just in case the English lessons progress to gospel lessons!  We had a dinner that night with the Reynolds-Jones, then helped Sister Wright set up some cabinets because she just moved in to her new flat (we helped her a few weeks ago move in).  
Friday we had our weekly planning day.  It wasn't bad though!  It went by pretty fast and we had three baptisms into the Sheldon ward!  The other elders had been teaching the 'yala' family.  The three kids got baptised and that went great!  They are the result of a member reaching out to share the gospel and bringing their friends into the church!  
Saturday was a bit miraculous.  We were really wanting to teach a lesson, just one!  but we didn't have any planned.  Nobody to teach.  So we studied then I prayed before we left (we always pray each time we leave the flat) and I asked for a miracle, just that we'd get a lesson.  We went and tracted a bit, and I knocked on a former potentials door that I'd never met before named Modicum.  He's a Church of England priest and he invited us in and we had a lesson with him!  He's a great guy but has some problems with our church.  Say's we're too focused on 'Mormon' and not Christ.  I tried to show him how it's not about Mormon how it's all about Christ but I'm not sure he got it!  He's from Uganda and very energetic.  So that was a miracle, one lesson.  THEN we got a call from the other Elders saying to meet them in the village because we were going to teach Wedwhattie!  So we went there and although it was mostly in Dutch we taught another lesson!  We had the Watsons dinner appointment after that and had a great time there.  We were soaking wet by the time we got there though.  
The weather has been awful.  Raining everyday, freezing penetrating cold.  

Sunday we went to church and had a good sabbath.  I was really expecting Salin to come to church but he didn't make it.  I haven't been able to talk to him since then though.  Hopefully next week.  I was hoping he would so that sucked.  Elder Tupou and I went home, ate then had to practically go straight back to the church for the fireside.  We are trying to encourage missionary work more and more in this ward.  There is great potential.  
I think I shared this same video a couple of months ago but it's worth watching again and again.  This is such a good testimony of the Book of Mormon.  Please watch this!

I love you all! 
-Elder Pogue

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