Monday, 23 September 2013

An Immigrant in Coventry!

Coventry. . .though not quite Elder Houghton's neighborhood!

Dear Everyone,
     Sorry for not sending out a general email last week. Our second library in Leamington closed right as we showed up so we only had the first hour and I usually write this email in my second hour.

Elders Maligon & Houghton
We're going to try to do one picture each day
which should be really good and fun
     I am in a new place and a new, different, and still challenging situation. Officially, I'm training a missionary in the Coventry C area. There are five sets of missionaries in the Coventry England ward so we're the C team (A-E)*. My trainee has actually been out already for 6 weeks now and I'm just finishing the second half of his training. Coventry is only a ten minute train from Leamington so it's not that far away geographically but it is a totally different world. I thought there were a lot of immigrants in Leamington. Not so. We're in the immigrant section of town so there are two Mosques and three Hindu Temples on our street. It's interesting to note that Muslims and Hindus are the nicest people ever! It's just kind of hard to invite them to to come unto Christ. Also, street contacting on our street on Friday is a no go because everyone is headed to the Mosque. Our area is a bit rougher though so I'm learning to be more aware of potential danger (we had an interesting encounter a few days ago that awoke me to some obvious things about staying in safe areas, etc.) It's not really that bad, I just need to pay attention. I realized that I've never been in a place that wasn't totally safe (Sonora, Stroud, Leamington were all basically crime free) and also that I don't any longer have a 6' 2" companion/former American Football player with me 24/7. This brings up an interesting point. My new companion is Elder Maligon from the Philippines. He's great! He's definitely not 6' 2" or an American football player though. It's interesting being with a companion who's not a Utahn and has many totally different cultural experiences and expectations than did Elder Wood and Elder Smart. We're working together on getting the work moving in our area as there is a lot of potential here and lots to do, we just need to get out and do it.

   So, Coventry C will be a different type of challenge than I've had before on my mission but I'm looking forward to being in a city for a bit with a really big ward (it's basically the opposite of Stroud and Warwick/Leamington in every way). Some cool people we're working with now:
The stack of materials in the Coventry C flat.
 Most of it is in other languages.
I think we have about 10 different Books of Mormons
 (that's how some missionaries here pluralize it--
just adding an s on each one instead of arguing about where to put one s)

  X is a Chinese student who arrived in Coventry from Beijing to go to Coventry University a few days before I got here. He is looking for greater peace and happiness in life and was happy to have us over to share some things with him. It's a different experience to teach people who have no concept of God or Religion but definitely still a good one. Unfortunately, though he did live in our area, he had to switch rooms to get away from some fleas and so now he's in the Coventry A (Sisters) area. We're probably still going to teach him a bit and be friends but he'll eventually transition over to the Sisters which kind of stinks.

  S is originally sort of from Jamaica. He lives about 5 minutes from our flat and is looking for the truth. We taught him on Sunday and helped him understand the restoration. We also committed him to be baptised but couldn't quite convince him to commit to a date since he doesn't feel like he's ready to make such a big life change yet (because he doesn't yet know it's 100% true). However, we are helping him figure out how to know the truth and gaining good experience teaching him. He's really prepared though which is great and we'll have great fellowshippers for him. It's just going to be awesome.

Some miracles from this week:

  Because I only moved to the next ward up from Leamington and we had to train through Coventry anyway, I didn't end up going to transfers in Birmingham. So, on Wednesday when we transferred, we got straight to work. We set a goal of finding 8 potential investigators from Street Contacting for three hours. It was a bit high of a goal since I'm still working on finding skills (we used to set a goal of finding 4 in a full day in Leamington) and Elder Maligon is as well. In the middle of it, we got a media referral text (manna from Heaven) for someone who had requested a missionary visit on Without that referral, we wouldn't have been able to achieve our goal. Basically, it was a blessing for getting straight to work, setting a goal by the spirit instead of by our own expectations, and not wasting time unpacking, etc. We also found X on that day. A few days later, we got another media referral which was super cool since I've only gotten three before on my whole mission.

So, this week has been a new and exciting adventure. Though in many ways, Elder Maligon already knows to some extent what he's doing, we also both have a lot to learn and figure out together. It's going to be great though. I'm definitely seeing the hand of the Lord in a lot of things and learning to rely on him. This is his work and I think sometimes I get in the way of that by assuming that it's my work. I'm grateful to be a tool in his hands at this exciting time for missionary work. I'm learning a lot and loving it!

Lots of Love,
Elder Houghton

*And we may have an article in the Ensign (but maybe just the additional UK/Ireland pages) with a picture of all of us that was taken yesterday by a Stake High Councillor who is also on our pass-along cards and was in Warwick quite a bit while I was there.

P.S. My address in Coventry is:
Elder Luke Houghton
31 Rathbone Court.
477 Stoney Stanton Road
Our Investigator P in Leamington last Monday night. He's great and came to Stake Priesthood on Wednesday which was really awesome because he didn't know I'd be there (it was in Coventry).

Violence in Coventry:  During our first personal study, there was a giant bang/thud on our window and then blood and feathers stuck there. Turns out this brown hawk took out a pigeon that was bigger than it. We're not sure if one or both ran into the window but it was pretty epic. Hopefully you can see them in the picture. Pretty soon after we took the picture, the hawk gave us a glare and then flew off and the pigeon was left there headless. The pigeon wasn't there later when we checked though...  

No comments:

Post a Comment