Thursday, 16 May 2013

Word from Stroud

Hello all!
A little geography
This is Elder Houghton reporting a safe journey and arrival in Stroud, Gloucestershire (pronounced Gloster with an open o/ah sound), England. Our area is the Stroud Ward boundaries. It's quite large but the populated area is mostly walking distance and there's a bike here that I can use for now if I need it. Stroud is the only area with hills outside of Wales.  Our flat is rather dingy and needs some work but we're right in the middle of town. We had our first teaching appointment with Mike who we contacted last night to set up a first lesson. He's interesting to say the least. My companion/trainer is Elder Wood from some little town near St. George. He's awesome! I was a bit worried on the coach ride to the train station to get here about how we would work out but he's really dedicated and we've already gotten to work. He wanted me to check in even though P day isn't til Monday, just to report that I'm safely here as he has to be at the computer anyway to sign up for a driving lesson.

There's also a senior couple in our area who had us over for dinner (the Darracqs from Yuba City I think) last night. The ward here is apparently really small even for England standards but we have a pretty decent teaching pool and a few good appointments today. 

A Stroud Street
Stroud is a charming little English town in the South of the mission, North of Bristol. It's pretty much the dream of a picturesque European town with lots of red brick, narrow winding roads, people walking everywhere, etc. I feel a bit isolated from everything right now and we only had a very short few minutes with President Rasmussen but that's ok as we're getting straight to work. First door approach last night was unsuccessful but we did pray for two miracles and got one in the form of being invited over for our appointment today with Mike which was a much greater Miracle than we had anticipated. I'm Elder Wood's first trainee but he seems really dedicated to getting me to learn everything I need to and he's pretty bold/wise/mature compared to other missionaries I've seen. In mission lingo, he's my daddy and my grand daddy gave us a call last night to check on his grandson. Anyway, everything seems to be going well. I'm recovering from a bit of a cold that I got in the MTC. Elder Wood keeps telling me that I'm being really blessed to get a good impression of the weather here as it's sunny and beautiful with just a few clouds. One thing that I hadn't thought of is that England is so far North that the days are really long here. I hear that it's light from 4:00 am to 10:00 pm in the zenith of the summer. In the winter it gets down to like 8am to 5pm of daylight so it's pretty nice being able to walk around at 9 in broad daylight (no door approaches after 8 though Mom).
All is well. I'm a full blown real missionary. Talk to you for real on P day.
Lots of Love,
Elder Houghton

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