Monday, September 15, 2014

61st Letter from England

Hey everyone!  It's weird sometimes as I sit here I honestly can not remember what we did this week.  It was a good week and I'll try to remember some things!  
I feel bad that Dad broke his toe!  You should have listened to him ahaha, maybe it was revelation...  I was thinking about Chili's the other day and how much I'd love to go there.  I miss proper American food sometimes.  

I'll try to go through the week and tell you what we did.

Monday we had a pretty normal p-day, as I said I went to Leicester to take my theory test so that went well.  Then we just relaxed and emailed.  After p-day we went street contacting and talked to some Chinese people then we went to the flat and prepared for zone conference the next day.

Tuesday was great, and a long day.  We woke up and basically headed straight for zone conference.  It was good to see everyone and great to see President.  I was asked to conduct the meeting which was cool.  We had a lot to do at the conference.  We had to get all the Subway and had to help set up and everything.  It's weird not just showing up and having it all done for us.  We had to do some training on teaching the law of tithing. President always gives really good training.  The best part about these meetings is seeing all the missionaries though.  That basically lasted all day.  

Wednesday we had a pretty good day.  We went and saw Alex and Ariel, and Anthea and taught all of them.  We had a lot of time to find as well.  We had to go to Leicester in the evening and meet with the stake president about the missionary work in the stake.  It was a good meeting and we had a good time.  While we were there we booked a practical driving test for me on Saturday morning.  We had the opportunity to teach a lady named M. that is going through a ton of stuff.  She really really wants to be baptized but she is addicted to heroin.  Heroin is so popular here in England.  It's just insane.  Wednesday we also said goodbye to David who is now back in China.  That sucks.

Thursday we went on exchange with the Elders in Glenfield.  I went with Elder Magda and Elder Harris came to Loughborough with Elder Harris.  Confusing.  Elder Magda is hilarious.  He's from Hungary.  One thing he did made me laugh so hard.  He was cycling down a hill and he put his stomach on the bike seat and stretch his legs out like he was superman, then he started moving his legs like he was swimming.  It was hilarious, I was laughing so hard.  We had a good exchange and were able to teach a couple lessons to their investigators.  

We exchanged back Friday morning then went to teach a lesson to a guy named K. He's from Nigeria.  I don't think he's too interested.  After K. we went to the church and I drove around the parking lot for preparation for the driving test.  It's ridiculous because I've driven for so long and have never been a bad driver but still needed to get used to it again.  We filled up the baptismal font then had a dinner appointment with the Hardy's.  Brother Hardy is the most knowledgeable person about the gospel I've ever met.  He's a genius.  He was a CES institute teacher for 40 years and just retired.  Basically the whole dinner was him telling us interesting things about the scriptures.  Right after the DA we went to Ariel's baptism!  Elder Harris baptised her and I gave a talk.  It was such a great service.  The spirit was so strong.  It was great to have another baptism after so many months without!  Her husband Alex will be baptized soon, then hopefully Anthea!  

Saturday morning we went to help a recent convert named Michael move house then I went for my driving test.  I drove like a pro.  I don't think I've ever driven as good as I did for that test.  My examiners name was Dennis, he was so hard to talk to!  He was very cold and stoic about everything.  So basically, I failed my test.  I can't believe how strict they are here about driving!  Literally my mistakes were the tiniest things you could ever think of.  One of them was his fault even.  And the thing is, if you get a mistake it's an instant fail.  So for example, he told me to turn right but because of traffic I couldn't get into the correct lane, so I missed the turn.  That was two serious mistakes, instant failure.  Ahah It basically all just depends on who your examiner is if you pass or fail.  
The highlight of Saturday was something called hotpot.  We went to some Chinese friends house and had hot pot which is basically a dinner where we all sit around a table with boiling water with spices in it, and raw meat.  Then we gradually just put what we want in and a couple minutes later it's finished and ready to eat.  It's great!  It's just a really social dish because you keep talking while the food is cooking.  I don't understand how it cooks so fast though!  I loved it.  

Sunday was good, Ariel got confirmed and we had a great sacrament meeting.  The worst part of the whole week though, was after sacrament meeting we had to say bye to Ivy.  She's on her way back to China.  That really sucked.  After church we had a really funny dinner with a family called the Rasmussen's.  Brother Rasmussen was one of the funniest guys I've ever met.  After that we just had our call-ins.

So this week was good.  It's the worst saying goodbye to these Chinese people though!  I was feeling pretty sick with a cold a couple days of the week but am better now.  I'll retake my driving test very soon.  As soon as I can.  I can't believe this transfer is already almost over.  It's gone way too fast.  

Transfers are not this Wednesday but the next!  

Hope you all have a great week.

Elder Pogue

60th Letter from England


How is everyone?   This week has been interesting...  up and down really.  We've had a lot of things come up that we had to take care of in the zone which took some time away from our own proselyting time.  I'll just start with the week though.

Monday was such a sick day, we spent all day with Barry in preparation for him going back to China )': .  But we had a great time and that night we were able to take Barry and another Chinese recent convert named David to get their patriarchal blessings.  I am so excited for them.  When they came out of the room from getting the blessings they were both just buzzin with the spirit.  They were so excited.  It was really a great experience for them, and it was cool for me to be able to see that.  I really believe that they, and especially Barry, will be the future leaders of the church in China.  Barry is one of my priesthood heroes already.

Tuesday was a great day as well because we had Mission Leadership Council where all the zone leaders, the Sister Training Leaders and the Assistants all go to Birmingham and have a meeting with President about the mission training plan and how we can improve the mission.  It was great to see some of my good mission friends like Elder Steel.  It was also really cool to just walk into the room and see tons of tanks sitting around the tables.  Elder Harris was pretty excited because he said one of the prayers and I guess that means he is dropping from Zone Leader this transfer.  We had a really good meeting about the Book of Mormon and how to use it in our work.  After the meeting Sister Rasmussen made us a massive dinner.  What she made was just unreal.  It was poppy seed chicken that was just perfect.  That was really cool.  After that meeting we drove back and Elder Harris and I prepared for our Zone Meeting that we had the next day.  Then we went and ate at a place called the flaming grill with Reece.  

Wednesday morning was a cool experience.  We woke up then drove to Leicester and prepared for our zone meeting.  We had a district leader council first then held a zone meeting.  It was a good experience to conduct zone meeting with Elder Harris.  Everyone seemed to really enjoy it.  We talked a lot about the Book of Mormon and did a couple little activities to express how we should use it.  The spirit was strong, especially when a few missionaries bore their testimony about the Book of Mormon.  That book is just the best thing in the world. 

 After Zone meeting we went over to Barry's and had a Chinese barbecue.  And had a great time.  We spent a lot of time throwing apples at the tree and playing guitar.  We had Alex, Ariel, Barry, Anthea, Ivy and David all over there and the other elders came a little later.  After the barbeque we all piled into a room and taught anthea a lesson.  The spirit was so strong as we were all in there testifying and take turns talking about the gospel.  After that was the worst part of the week.  I actually don't remember a single other time I cried out of sadness on my mission.  We said goodbye to Barry.   Everyone was crying and nobody wanted to leave.  I've only known him for 3 weeks but he really has made a profound influence in my life.  He's safely in China now.  We'll just have to travel to China sometime and visit him and Ivy and Barry and Anthea, and Alex and Arial and I'm sure there will be more soon (:  China is seriously on my top priority.  

Thursday we went on exchange with Elder Lee and Page.  I went to Peterborough with Elder Lee and it was good.  I was very impressed because Elder Lee literally talked to every single person there was to talk to.  He's a very diligent and very very obedient missionary. 

Friday morning I was still on exchange and we were able to see a little miracle.  We were near town center and some lady came running up to us saying Elders Elders!  She had been looking for the missionaries for about 6 months and couldn't find them.  But we were at the right place at the right time.  Friday night we exchanged back and talked about the exchange and went over to Ivy's for a bit.  Then did some weekly planning.

Saturday was a really interesting day as well.  A couple funny things happened.  So Boyd K Packers grandson is in the zone, which I think is just awesome.  He's such a great guy.  But anyways they asked us to come down to their area and help them because they thought they didn't know how to work on a University effectively so we went down there.  I walk in to their flat and see a mug on his desk with a picture of him and Boyd K just chilling there which was cool, then we got a call that an investigator from another team just had been missing for a day and needed our help to find him.  He's actually still missing, and the police are trying to find him.  Then Elder Harris asked Elder Packer what his middle name was and he said 'Boyd'.  I just thought that was so funny, because that's one thing that you don't just bring up all the time, because you know he probably doesn't like being singled out because of it. But it was funny.  We went on a little workover exchange and I worked with Elder Lindquist from Sweden.  We talked to some great people.  A couple of them were Chinese students and they were League of Legend professionals in China.  They were so cool.  Then, the we talked to this Asian looking girl from Brazil that was super interested so that was a good miracle. 
Sunday morning we of course went to church and had a good Sunday, then right after we were so tired and fasting that we took a nap for our lunch break. and right after that went over to Bob and Gillians for another Barbeque.  It was so nice, they actually printed all of us a picture of us standing on the patio.  They have one framed in their house.  That's just a huge testimony that what we did really means a lot to them that they'd print out a picture of us and frame it and display it in their house.  I love Bob and Gillian.  Sound as a pound!

This morning has been good, we traveled to Leicester to take my theory test again and I passed it with flying colours.  It wasn't even close to failing.  Just shows you how stupid the test is.  

But anyways, this week has been great, but slow with our missionary work, and full of ups and downs.  One thing that we talked about at Mission Leadership Council that I thought was pretty cool was the patterns of a prophet.  We went over only 1 Nephi 1 about Lehi.  What happens to Lehi is, he prays, then he receives a vision in which he sees heavenly beings.  Then they give him a book to read, he does.  Then he prophecies about what he reads, then people mock him and threaten his life.  We went over that and compared it to the life of Joseph Smith and talked about 1st, how the Book of Mormon is true, and second how Joseph Smith must have felt translating that and realizing that he was the Prophet and those things would happen to him.  

I hope you all have a great week!  Love you!
Elder Pogue

Monday, September 1, 2014

59th Letter from England (Loughborough)

Hey Everyone!  I'm still recovering from the Sheep guy, it may be a little too soon to mention that... ahaha.  I'm actually thankful for the 3000 pens.  They are very useful sometimes.  We can never say we don't have any pens because there are always about 3000 floating around somewhere.  

I'm basically for sure only serving with Elder Harris for 1 transfer but I'm just thankful that I get to at all.  So I think dad is right.  
Nigel is going to Oxford?  That's crazy!  It's really a beautiful area. we drove through it on our way back from London with the Darracqs a few transfers ago.  It's really close to Stroud actually.  
Sounds like y'all are doing great.

Last Monday was great, it was bank holiday Monday so the library was closed but we just went to Barry and Ivy's house and emailed there.  We literally spent all day at their house.  Ivy cooked all of the missionaries Chinese food and we just had a massive meal together.  They have an apple tree in the back garden and we always pick the apples and throw them at another tree, baseball practice.  Barry also taught us an amazing Chinese song on the guitar.  It has to be one of my favorite songs now.  We never left their house that day because after p-day ended we taught our investigator Alex at his house then we taught our investigators Frankie, Danny and Yang at his house.  We then went and taught our investigator Michael.  
Tuesday morning we woke up and went straight to Bob and Gillian's determined to finally finish the service work. We didn't quite finish but we nearly did.  Right after that we went on exchange.  I went to Leicester with a missionary named Elder Sibyeng from South Africa.  He actually goes home in a couple of weeks.  We had a good time, but didn't have too much success.  He's such a funny kid though. 

We exchanged back the next morning and had district meeting in Loughborough.  Then we had our district lunch which is always fun.  The sisters had to run off to a lesson though.  Really all of our days are typically filled with teaching Chinese investigators and Barry and ivy's house.  Really Barry and Ivy are the best fellowshippers and teachers.  There's another recent convert named David that is really just as good too.  Barry goes home to China this Thursday though and I really think I'll probably cry.  It'll be cool in like 20 years we'll be watching conference and we'll here him sustained as a general authority.  He will for sure be a future church leader in China.  

Thursday morning we went to Peterborough for their district meeting, we were going to go on exchange but we decided not to because we had too much going on.  It took ages to get there though and ages to get back.  It was a good meeting though and I got to see the Peterborough Cathedral.  Then when we got back we had a dinner appointment with a family called the Sandersons.  They're actually Claire Sanderson's cousins.  Right after the DA we had ward coordination meeting and that went great.  A man from Logan Utah randomly showed up and was buzzing for our coordination meeting.  He was over for business and just likes to go see the local church buildings, he was lucky we were there.  

Friday was a really fun and kind of funny day.  It was Elder Harris Birthday so we went to Ivy's in the morning and she made us some noodles for breakfast.  Noodles are in their culture for birthdays because they represent a long life.  It was delicious.   So we went to Derby for my theory test and I... failed!  Ahaha, It's such a stupid test.  So the multiple choice is really extremely easy, but then they have something called Hazard Perception which is the stupidest thing in the world.  Basically there are these really obvious hazards and you have to click when you see them.  That's so easy except you have to click exactly when it wants you to and if you don't you fail.  So the test is easy but nobody really knows what they want from you.  So many people fail it.  There was one Elder that failed 7 times.  We had a good time though.  We went to the Derby mall for lunch.  We had Kebabs at the same place we used to back in the Eastwood days.  It was really weird being back there and knowing where to go and seeing the familiar places.  It was kind of like we had never left.  I'll retake the test soon though.  After Derby we had just a little bit of time for District finding and we found a couple of potentials but then we had to shoot off to a lesson with Anthea.  We had a good lesson with her, hopefully she will be baptised this weekend with Ariel and hopefully Alex.  After that lesson we went to meet with a recent convert named Jill and she took us out to the Driving range for Elder Harris' birthday.  It was so fun, and made me really want to play golf a lot when I get home.  

Saturday we were supposed to have a baptism for Ariel but she had to shoot off to London on Sunday Morning so we decided to just wait for this Saturday and hopefully Alex and Anthea can join her.  We had a good day Saturday though because we did finish Bob's patio!  It was really great to be done!  After so much time especially.  After that, we taught Alex, Ariel, and Anthea and got fed by all of them!  I am loving the Chinese food.  My favorite on Saturday was a chicken curry and it had a hint of coconut taste in it.  

Sunday we had a great church service.  Both speakers did amazing and it was all focused around reading the Book of Mormon and how the scriptures are our compass.  It was a great Sunday then right after church we helped Barry and David get interviewed so they can have their patriarchal blessings.  I'm so excited for them to do that!  They are getting them tonight, before they leave on Thursday for China.  We had a DA at a family called the Young's then went to a really quiet wooded area and just read our scriptures for a while.  The spirit was really strong there and it was just really peaceful and nice.  Then we went to Bob and Gillian's for a BBQ with their neighbours and all the other missionaries in celebration of the patio being done and nice.  It was great!  Bob is just one of the greatest people I've ever met. 

After the BBQ we had to go in to do our call ins with the district leaders.  It's pretty boring but I really enjoy talking with the different teams in the zone and also it's great because our zone is just doing amazing.  

So this week has been pretty great and we have a lot of exciting plans for this next week.  

Also, I've had this weird infection or something on my big toe for like 2 weeks, it reminded me of Taylor on his mission, because he had the same thing.  I don't know why I thought about that.  I think it might be better now though.  Elder Harris is really converting me to DoTerra.  I put it on a blister I had on my thumb, and ulcer I had in my mouth and on my toe and they all seemed to miraculously heal.  

Hope y'all have a great week!  

Elder Pogue