Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Breathe. Repeat. Take Courage!

From 20 February 2014

Dear Everyone,

So this week, we have Zone P day activities in Cheltenham so our emailing time is fairly limited. Also, we're in a brand new library with school children singing rather loudly so I'm having a hard time focusing.(Elder Decaudin says: "I'm not sure all these songs are mission-approved.")

This week has been good but also challenging. We've seen a lot of miracles and cool things happening but we're also still struggling to find some solid people to teach. We got a miracle referral from some other missionaries who ran into the partner of a less-active member in our area. The challenge was making it to the appointment out in a little tiny town that we originally had no idea how to get there. Then on the bus ride back from a great lesson, Elder Decaudin taught me how to talk to people on a bus. basically it just involves a few simple steps:
Newent Library

1. Breathe
2. Repeat
3. It only takes ten seconds of courage but it takes seven seconds to get to the other place on the bus so count to three and then go to the predetermined person and start the conversation
4. Repeat steps 1 and 2

So basically, Elder Decaudin got a return appointment with this cool man named R so we'll be teaching him on Tuesday in the Newent library. It was pretty cool. Elder Decaudin is such a good example to me!

So on other fronts, I realised that I've never really learned how to do member-missionary work. It's always a challenge and I don't think it's ever perfect. On Sunday we decided that instead of going tracting and/or street contacting in the potential rain, we were just going to try to see every active member in our area who we didn't know or hadn't seen at church that day. It was a miraculously inspired decision! We now are going to be teaching one family who really needs the church to be more involved in their life/lives every week and we think it will have a really big impact. Also, after having had only one Dinner Appointment in Gloucester since being here (Thanks Sister Julke!), we decided to ask every active member family in Gloucester C to have us over to teach them a lesson about the Book of Mormon (the PMG ch. 5 lesson that my last Ward Mission Leader had huge success with on his mission in Scotland). So, we were able to talk to remarkably few members at church on Sunday but we have a lesson scheduled and the member who accepted immediately invited us over for dinner when we suggested it (a much appreciated bonus). So, now we have two dinner appointments scheduled for this week (a dramatic improvement from 1 in 2.5 weeks) and I think we're going to get things going with member work. I'm really excited! It's not even the actual food because honestly, it's a bit inconvenient to have to bike out to some weird place where there aren't going to be tonnes of people we can talk to but it's really worth it in the long run (I hope!). So the new strategy should be good!

With the new focus on member work in Gloucester C, we're looking forward to things really getting going here this upcoming week. Basically, all of our somewhat solid investigators had weird stuff happening until this upcoming week so now they're all available and should come to church and learn and feel the spirit and develop faith and commit to be baptised!

The weather has been pretty dismal this week. The Bishop pointed out last week that there were lots of pot holes on the road now since it had been raining so badly. I'll have to consuly my civil engineer father on the veracity of that statement as I thought that asphalt was pretty water-resistant but the roads are pretty bad-I had thought it was just the fact that January isn't the time of year to be fixing roads but ya, Elder Decaudin hit a pretty bad one in the dark last night and it sounded like his tyre might have popped but it was ok.

Also, our District is awesome! We have amazing missionaries and because one of them is Lactose Intolerant but loves Froot Loops like no other, upon instruction to bring cereal and milk for Zone P day today, we're going to have Almond Milk with Froot Loops and we'll have a Canadian flag!

I've been bad about pictures this week but I'll work on it.

Heavenly Father has been really blessing me as I try to focus more and more on the Saviour. I'm trying to apply the Atonement more in the work here. I've been realising that I'm not the most patient person which makes it tough but He's helping me with that too. It is His work and sometimes, we just have to let Him do it and make sure we don't get in the way.

I love you lots and lots and hope that you have a wonderful week!
Elder Houghton

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