Friday, January 9, 2015

71st Letter from England (Loughborough)

Hey Everyone,

First off, that's way cool that Whit's engaged!  I'm excited for that!  Hopefully I'll be home for that.  I can't believe how fast time is flying and I'm really unsure about how to feel about it.  Also, it's already Christmas time!  I love how the feeling of the season changes around this time.  It's starting to be really dark when we wake up in the morning and really dark at about 3 or 4 in the afternoon which isn't the best for missionary work but Christmas kind of helps it all along.  

So this week has actually been really exciting.  Mainly because of the He Is The Gift Initiative.  Hopefully you've heard about this??  I'll talk about it a bit later.  

So last Monday we had p-day as usual and really we just hung out with the district all day.  It was a fun day, but nothing interesting to report on.  One thing that was cool was we brought David to an institute class they have every fortnight and he really enjoyed that!  

So Tuesday was a quite good day.  We had to wake up early and head off to Birmingham for our Mission Leadership Council Meeting.  Our zone has pretty much been struggling the past few weeks which really sucks, but the training we received should really help everyone!  So Mission Leadership council was all about the He Is the Gift Initiative which is way cool.  Especially for us missionaries to be able to see all of this stuff happening around the world.  I think it's amazing how much the church is doing to make sure everyone remembers Christ this Christmas.  Especially things like having the video playing in Times Square 24/7 for the entire month, and being the main advertiser on Youtube.  So we left that meeting really just excited for everything!  We went after the MLC to teach a guy named Jason.  We taught him in McDonalds and were able to invite him to be baptized and he accepted which we're well excited about!  Jason's a cool guy from China.  Right after Jason we went to the Buntains for a DA and then came back to teach David Z.  David is doing really great.  We were able to talk about a lot of things that he's had on his mind and resolve some concerns.  David is such a great example of someone who is really being converted and changing from the gospel.  He's really come so far and has been so prepared the past few months for this.  Tuesday night we had a late night preparing for zone meeting.  We knew that the zone meeting had to be ace or else it would be a big waste of an opportunity.  

So Wednesday morning came and we were pretty excited for the Zone meeting.  We got to Leicester and started zone meeting.  We started by talking about how to commit people on baptismal dates and having the faith to do that.  Then we started talking about Christmas and the spirit was just so strong.  Everyone got extremely excited as we talked about how cool it is to be a part of something like this.  I think the promise that the honest in heart will seek Christ pat this time of year.  I'm really expecting some great miracles to happen.  We left the zone meeting just so happy.  Elder Harris and I were just saying over and over again how thankful we were for the spirit, especially in leading that meeting.  The spirit was so strong at the end.  After zone meeting I got the opportunity to go on exchange to Peterborough with Elder Hunter.  It was great to stay with him for the night.  About 5 minutes on Elder Lee's bike I just busted it and crashed so hard.  That was pretty funny.  We had a good time that night.

Thursday morning we went to the chapel and their recent convert named Andre came and was very distraught about some family problems he's had.  It was a great experience to be able to talk to him about the gospel and about the Book of Mormon and really to see how the gospel helped him realize that through these really hard times that he can have peace and comfort.  We exchanged back after that.   After we exchanged back we went to see David again and taught him.  As usual the lesson went great and David's just so prepared.  We were still pretty unsure about what to do with baptism though because the church still hasn't gotten back to us about if they have his records or not.  (He remembers being baptised but not confirmed and we just don't know if he's already a member or not.)  So Thursday night we had a dinner appointment with the Mattsons, the American family in the ward!  It was great and I was really happy to be with them on Thanksgiving.  It was a great meal and just like a proper Thanksgiving.  After that we had ward coordination and it was fine.

Friday morning we had to do weekly planning which nobody wants to do, ever.  Really, Friday wasn't the best day.  We just got flogged a couple of times.  One thing really exciting happened though.  So, we called President on Thursday night and talked about David's records and President said that we should just baptize him.  So David's looking to be baptized this Saturday!  It's just really great that he's so converted to the gospel and progressing so well.  That night we went to see him and talk to him about that.  Another cool thing that happened was that Reece called and said he wanted to see us.  We ended up going to the pub that he works at and he bought us dinner.  I got something called the Doughnut burger which was incredible.  It was a burger, with bacon, cheese, bbq sauce, and the bun was a glazed doughnut.  It was delicious.  

So Sister Chen called Saturday, our 'waster day'.  Because Saturday morning we had thanksgiving dinner with a couple half american families in the ward.  That was great.  Especially to have a second thanksgiving.  All of the missionaries were there for that too.  After that we had to go almost immediately to Leicester for a stake activity. The stake activity was great, it was called a night in Bethlehem.  I spent the whole night doing the cup and ball game where they have to follow the ball and guess what cup it's under.  It was way fun and the kids were loving it.  Then there was a big nativity scene and we sang the christmas songs.  It was probably one of the best stake activities i'd seen.  The whole cultural hall was designed to look like old Israel and they served tons of Jewish foods.  I know that there were quite a few investigators there that really loved it.

Sunday morning was good.  Lizzy and Jason were out of town, but David made it to church which was good.  It was a really good Sunday, I guess all of the lessons and talks were just good.  I think the highlight of Sunday was a DA we had at the Sanderson's house.  I love the Sanderson's I think they're great.  (Brother Sanderson is Claire Sanderson's uncle).  This whole week it's been cool to share the Christmas message with all the people we see and it seems to be catching on really well.

One thing that wasn't the most exciting thing that happened is that Chen had to go back to China and he probably won't be coming back.  I think it's cool that we got in contact with him just before he left and now hopefully we'll be able to pass him on to some people there to help him find the church.  

This week has been pretty good overall.  I hope you all have a great week!

Love you!

-Elder Pogue

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