Monday, June 30, 2014

Letter #50

Hey everyone,
This week has been a good wind down to the end of the tranfer.  We find out tonight if anyones leaving.  Odds are nobody is becuase I'm not done training Elder Chugg but we'll see.  I love Stroud so much though.  Lately just riding around I've thought about how beautiful this area is.  If you haven't already, go look at pictures of the Cotswolds, especially around Stroud area. 
Every week emailing I think about how boring it is to go through day by day but I don't really know of a better way to do it without missing things. 
Last Monday I said I'd tell you what we did and send a picture so I'll start from there.  Last Monday we went to a place called Avebury, near Swindon.  Avebury has a bunch of neolithic rocks in a circle formation.  It's kind of like Stonehenge but with a lot more rocks.  It was very cool.  Then after that we went to Sister Jacqui Webb's house for her birthday.  She really, really likes cheese so Elder Chugg and I bought her some Comte cheese (Taylor's mission affected mine in weird ways).  She loved it, and really that cheese is so good.  That was good fun.  That evening we had a neat experience.  We went to visit a less actives who's best friend had committed suicide the day before.  His name is Richard Y.  Richard has been going through an insanely rough time with all of that.  We talked to him for about an hour and at the end it didn't seem like we'd helped him at all.  We gave him a blessing though and he was immediately peaceful.  It was a neat experience especially for Elder Chugg being able to relate to someone who had lost such a close friend.
Tuesday we spent all day in Stonehouse.  That was nice I ate a nice kebab for lunch.  We knocked on door after door though with nothing.  It's amazing how many people just aren't interested at all.  We ended up seeing Jamie and Angie that night with Brother Naulls.  Brother Naulls is a cop, and I laughed so hard because the first thing Angie said when he walked in was,  "Recognize me?"  He said yep.  I thought they were talking about because he was a cop but he said he only recognized her from Church.  She said, "well, I'm a criminal".  It was hilarious, but really a great lesson.  We're still working on them getting married and preparing them for baptism.  It's just a process with different things we need to work on.  They are awesome.
Wednesday we had exchanges, so that was nice.  Elder Allred came with me in Stroud.  It's always nice to have a little change every now and then.  We unfortunately didn't have any miracles though like sometimes we do on exchange.
Thursday was a great district meeting.  It was Elder Keirs last.  He goes home this Wednesday.  He's been pretty excited for that but regardless he did a good district meeting about weekly planning.  After the meeting we went back, and I don't know if I mentioned this before but a couple of weeks ago we got a potential investigator named Carmella.  She's an old Italian lady who lost her husband a couple of months ago.  We gave her a Book of Mormon in Italian.  We really hadn't seen her since then though.  But on Thursday we stopped by and she has read all the way through second Nephi!  Isn't that insane!?  It was a miracle.  Hopefully we'll be able to officially teach her soon.  That night we saw Ana as well.  That went great.
Friday was of course the dreaded weekly planning, but it wasn't half bad this time because of our district meeting.  We had to split it in half because of a Dinner appointment with the Mansfields which also helps.  After that we just went finding.  A lot of people have been talking to us lately because BBC channel 4 had a program on Thursday night called Meet the Mormons.  You should watch it.  Maybe go to or something?  I've heard mixed reviews about it.  Regardless it gets us to be a little more familiar to people, whether that's a good thing or a bad thing, I don't know. 
Saturday we were supposed to teach Tracy but she had to cancel.  We ended up going and see Jamie and Angie anyways though.  We had a good time with them and went to talk to a few more people in Stonehouse.  Like Beverly.  That evening I spent some extra time preparing for my talk for Sunday.  (I spoke Sunday)  I had to speak on Covenants so I hoping tons of investigators and nonmembers would be there and we had planned for quite a few.  Jamie and Angie and Beverly and Ana were all going to be there for sure.
Sunday morning comes, my talk was ready and not a single investigator came to church.  That was the first time my whole time in Stroud that we had nobody.  So that obviously sucked.  It was nice though.  Richard came and that was really good to see him.  Also Peter Beasor spoke so his whole family came to see him.   Something funny happened that morning.  So I gave a talk yesterday but before church even started a member of the bishopric came up to me and handed me a paper, with a talk assignment on the 27th of July.  I said '...I'm speaking today....'  I guess one of the bishopric does the assignments for the first half of the year and the other one does the next half.  So I'm speaking again in a month.  I'm okay with that though.  I gave my talk and it went well.  Sister Darracq said something nice, she said she thinks that's the best talk she's heard from a missionary the whole time they've been in Stroud.  So it must've been at least a little bearable.  I told the story about Darren and Elder Steel falling off of his bike from earlier in my mission.  (if you go back to maybe around October or November 2013 you could find it). 
Sunday night we went to the Markham's house.  They are really really cool.  Brother Markham is the best musician I've ever met.  He composed and wrote Faith: the musical.  Have you ever heard of that?  And also one in the 80's called Truth Will Prevail.  They told their conversion story and it really is amazing.   Sometime after the mission, we can sit down and talk about it. 
This week has been pretty good, and the mission has been amazing.  I keep noticing something more and more as my mission goes on, especially when I speak in church and things like that.  That is that my love for this gospel has grown so much.  I love testifying about the Atonement.  I love teaching people about the love the Lord has for us.  It's really been great.  About 25 days and I've been out for a year.  I can't believe it. 
I hope all of y'all are doing great.  I love y'all. 
PS:  There's a Sister Missionary in my zone named Sister Urbani.  The other week she said 'Elder Pogue.  Did you have a brother that served in the Toulouse Mission?'  I said yeah I did!  She doesn't really remember him but she remembered that an Elder Pogue served in her ward in Toulouse.  Maybe Taylor remembers some Urbani's from when he was in Toulouse. 


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