Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Maybe Even The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

For 9 December 2013

Winter skies in Coventry

Dear Everyone,
     This week has been a tough one but it's been ok. Our investigators are all being a bit flakey which is quite annoying but there have been miracles. Remember when a few weeks ago, we lost contact with all of our investigators over a weekend? Well, over the course of the past two weeks, the three people we had preparing to be baptised on a date have all resurfaced. S was just bad at answering the phone, F has decided to move out from her boyfriend's house and into her own flat but until then her boyfriend doesn't want us to come over or text/call her and had her change her phone number (we ran into her at the end of a miraculous chain of events that started with deciding to walk instead of biking and then running into another investigator who had gone off the radar, teaching him (C), and then getting out of the lesson only to meet F walking by), and B has been having service problems with his phone and hasn't had credit (it's really annoying because many people in England don't have a plan, they just buy credit and then run out and can't call or text back...). So, all of those are back which is great even if they are somewhat hard to get in contact with. Plus, we were directed to and taught a few more amazing people. T and his wife (whose name we awkwardly don't know so we'll call her W) are students at Coventry University. They are from Tibet and really open. They accepted everything we taught them at the first lesson but they're going to London today for Christmas and won't be back so it's going to be hard. People go cold really fast. Also, A is a hillarious Polish lady in a weird family situation with a son D who is 2ish. We taught her for the first time. It was a bit tough since D was running around and getting into all the toys while we tried to teach so the lesson went way over time (=bad) but she's really awesome. We just have to hope and pray that the Book of Mormon (Ksiega Mormona or something in Polish) has the wonderful effect that it can and does have on A, B, C, D, F, L, S, T, and W. Now, try to figure out which one of those letters hasn't been represented and it's another investigator who can't read (and so is having a hard time having a spiritual experience from reading the Book of Mormon...). I think our new strategy for finding will just be to ask people their names and then fill them in on the Investigator Alphabet if there's an open spot. We did actually find an E but she lives in the Sisters' area so we had to hand her over to them--and she was amazing so it's a bit of a bummer. Edward, Edwin, Edna... where are you?
     Christmas in England is nice. I am coming to appreciate just how cultures are different. English people celebrate Christmas a bit differently from Americans. A member last night was stunned when he found that the expiry date on a Christmas cake he bought was December 13. What's the point of a Christmas cake that doesn't last until Christmas? Christmas cake is an English thing-everyone eats it on Christmas day. (Pakistani and Indian people celebrate it a lot differently (usually not at all) --> you can tell who the non-Muslim/Sikh/Hindu people are on our street based on decorations/lights --> an impression to knock a door with a Christmas tree in the window- -> amazing potential Investigator (J) (who unfortunately isn't available for a lesson until January but it's ok).) I still have little to no idea where we're going or what we're doing for Christmas day. One of the lame things about being in a ward with five sets of missionaries and a rule that missionaries aren't supposed to visit members with other companionships also present is that the families who normally have the missionaries over and had previously filled the missionaries' needs for Christmas (when there were only two or three companionships) live in the other missionaries' areas and don't know us. Note to the world: find out what your ward's missionaries are doing on Christmas day and then invite them over! Just do it. If they can't make it, they'll tell you and it will be alright but it's much nicer to be invited to someone's home than to have to awkwardly suggest it when no one invites you and hope that the family is going to be home for Christmas, has a computer with skype, and would be comfortable/happy with the missionaries visiting. Hopefully we can get that all figured out within the next week and I will be able to get details to you of how I'm going to get to make my bi-yearly call/skype home. I really have no idea how it works... The other joy is the fact that myself or Elder Ramos could be leaving Coventry C in two days dependent on a call that we will get tonight. I had initially thought that both of us would stay but really anything can happen and you never know until the Monday night. We'll see how it all goes.
      Sorry that if this email/blog isn't particularly inspiring. We have a District Preparation day and I won't have time to write letters so I've had to compensate and I'm running out of time.
      I love you all lots and I hope you are enjoying the spirit of Christmas! It is a wonderful time of the year. Maybe even the Most Wonderful Time of the Year...
Elder Houghton

P.S.  My family is amazing and sent me Christmas music from home!  They are the best!

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