Monday, 14 October 2013

It Finally Started Raining!

Dear Everyone,
     It finally started raining. This is not the best thing but it's alright. One day it was cold. The next day it was colder. The next day it started raining and it hasn't really stopped yet. Saturday night biking in what I realized were not waterproof trousers and jacket, with soaking wet gloves was a bit of an adventure. Especially since we were going to a place I'd never been before and Elder Maligon's former companion knew the area so well that Elder Maligon never realised where he was going... so we had no idea except for a map in a waterproof bag that wouldn't allow us to turn pages and see part of the journey. So yes, it was an adventure.
Pictures speak a thousand words.

The first person I've taught who was baptised! M lives in Warwick. We were led to her in the park and she taught herself the Gospel with only a bit of direction from us. She was baptised on Saturday in Warwick and one of the perks of being transferred only 10 minutes up the train line (but almost an hour journey when things are said and done from our flat to the chapel in Warwick) is that I got to go to her baptism. I spoke about Baptism at the service. It was short and sweet. M is golden. Literally, she taught herself the Gospel.

My first PB&J sandwich. Note English Jelly is American Jell-O. The funny thing is the Peanut Butter was alright but weird, and the Jam (which was more like American Jelly but called Jam here) is called Florida but made in Belgium and eaten in England. both the PB and J were left over from previous missionaries in our flat.

My little brother is awesome! And he sent me a ninja star that he used as campaign material. He is the best. Also, I'm not sure if he remembers the fact that I was the treasurer at Soulsbyvill Elementary as well for a bit. I didn't run nearly as cool of a campaign though.

Just a few people we're working with:
X is Chinese and studying for a year at Coventry University. He really loves learning and sees the joy that comes from having a relationship with God. He had us over for real Chinese food (many dishes) and then again for real Chinese noodles. He's amazing but it's kind of hard to teach people with no concept of God. Preach My Gospel lessons kind of assume a bit of a Christian or at least religious background so we're trying to figure out a good approach with all of the people we're teaching who don't have that background. It's interesting and with Xu Yang it's a bit slower. He said he would be baptised once he knows it's true though and he's on the right path and has already changed his life a lot.
S is Jamaican and has had a really rough past. He's awesome and really prepared to receive the gospel-it's just a bit of a challenge to help him see the importance of doing the daily things that will help him learn the gospel. He too said he would be baptised but has cold feet on a date at this point. We're teaching him tonight and we asked him to pray about the date we suggested for him. Pray that it goes well
The As are from Romania. I think they were taught by missionaries there but they don't speak very good English so we're trying to figure things out. Fortunately they have a cousin who does speak English. There are four A sisters and then their cousin/translator who we have taught. Their father is a Pentecostal pastor but is fine with us teaching them and actually seems to like us. It will be interesting. All five of them said that they would be baptised if they found out it was the truth (which they will if they will just read, ponder, and pray about the Book of Mormon) and all five were going to walk about an hour to church on Sunday but then it started raining so they didn't come. We're going to stop by them tonight as well so keep them in your prayers!
     The week has been alright but a bit slow. A bunch of our key appointments got cancelled last minute for various legitimate reasons which kind of slowed all of our plans and goals down but it's alright. We just have a lot of catch up to do this week. We're going to the Gadfield Elm Chapel on Friday for a mission even which should be cool. Hopefully it isn't raining.
     Also, I realised how much my knowledge and testimony of the Gospel and particularly the Book of Mormon has grown since I've been serving my mission here in England. It's easy to believe something but much harder to know it and believe it enough to defend it and support it 24/7. So yes, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. Heavenly Father has a plan for us and he's sent me here as a missionary to help other people know that plan. It is so sad that so many people do not know the truth. A week back, an investigator commented that, if it really was the restored truth, shouldn't Joseph Smith have gone out and preached the word-not just established a church. And then it was like, well ya, he did go and preach and he sent others and published materials so everyone could hear the glorious message of the Restoration. The church he established now sends missionaries to every corner of the world to proclaim the gospel. I am one of them. It's really quite marvelous.
Other random/unimportant things that might interest you:
 I really like Indian food. I think all the stuff I've had has been a bit cooled down from their normal but it has been all really good at members' homes in our area.
  I bought some waterproofing detergent today. I really hope it works. I really need my clothes to be waterproof. Not water-resistant, waterproof. We'll see how it goes.
  I also bought some thermals because it's getting cold and will get colder. Combatting the wet and wind will be all about layering and staying dry.
  Ties in England are really cheap and a bit of a different cut from American ties. So I got two cool ties for £5 today. Woot woot!
  I found some socks with names written on them at the store where I got the thermals. They had Mark and John but no Luke. I got some with Mark on them for cheap and am debating between wearing them just to get back at Dad for always wearing my socks at home and turning the other cheek and sending them home to him.
I love you all lots and lots and hope everything is going well in the U.S. of A. I heard the federal Government was shut down. It's funny though because as a missionary, I'm so out of the loop (especially compared to how keyed in I was to those things before) that I didn't hear about it until it had already been shut down for a week or something. I don't really know...?
Elder Houghton

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