Monday, 14 April 2014

Spring is in the Air!

The CofE St. Catharine's church across the street from our flat.
It looked nice with the trees and all.

Dear Everyone,

This week, I exercised mastery over my urge to respond immediately to emails by writing this, the general email, first. I don't know why I don't do this all the time.

Ancient Roman road in England

First, the random cool fact that our area boundary between Gloucester B and C (us and the Sisters) is an ancient Roman Road that originally went between the roman towns of Cirencester and Gloucester. Maybe the Romans can explain the cester being pronounced in Cirencester (which was the second biggest town in Stroud's area) and not in Gloucester! You can tell that it's really ancient and Roman by the fact that it's really straight (English Roads are the opposite).

Finally, a picture of my companion, Elder Bergquist
This week has been pretty good for missionary work. Transfers are this week which usually means that it's really hard for me to focus but possibly because I'm training and 90% sure I'll just stay and finish training, it's not been that distracting or worrying that transfers are coming. Mostly, I'm just worried about the new missionaries who will be coming into our District (as Sister Lambert is probably leaving along with Elder Orr or Elder Hunter (more likely the former) and possibly someone in the Forest of Dean). Also, there's the possibility that the Forest of Dean Elders will be swapped over to the Hereford District (which is just two Elders teams) so that the Districts will be more even within the zone (we have four teams and they have two and the Forest Elders live closer to Hereford than Gloucester). Also, we're getting a new Zone Leader which should be fun! 

Yes, this is four sets of Hush Puppies!
Can you tell which ones have been used for a year
(almost!) and which have only been out for six weeks?
Anyway, as far as missionary work in Gloucester C, it's been pretty good. We found a couple of fairly solid new people to teach who are sincerely interested and the others are moving along (though none are progressing as quickly as we'd like them to). Sad news was that the French/Sri Lankan family didn't come to church after solidly committing to do so in the best lesson that we've ever had with them teaching the Ten Commandments and the Doctrine of Obedience. It's frustrating when people just don't do the things that they need to do to become truly happy. The challenge I guess is helping them see the blessings in our lives and the lives of others so that they truly want to make the changes in their lives that will help them.

Also, we got a member referral! It's so great and so rare here. A Sister in the ward just told us of a Former Investigator who needed help right now and had asked for a vicar on facebook after some tough things in her life. So, we're going over this evening and praying for the best. The odd thing was that we'd just been looking at her Teaching Record from when missionaries originally taught her in 2012 and thought we should go by some time and then poof, when we got the referral, we knew who she was talking about. It was great. Also, the Sisters got a member referral as well this week and a bunch of members got up in Testimony Meeting and testified of missionary work and how we have great missionaries in the ward! It was an answer to a lot of prayers and also a blessing for Sister Lambert who has seen a massive change in the relationship between missionaries and the ward between coming to Gloucester 6 months ago and yesterday which was probably her last Sunday in the ward.

 Dinner! It was pretty good. I've added quite a
few simple recipes to my repertoire lately.
As part of the attempted but ultimately failed diet to reduce the rash on my legs and arms, I was directed to eat vegetables. So, I bought a pack of root vegetables to roast and they were really good. This is Swede which is sort of like Potato but has a different taste. Also in the mix were parsnip, carrot, and onion which were all pretty good as well just the Swede is weirder!

The Weather this week has been pretty good-only rained once I think. The trees are all springy and great. There's one road we've been on a few times with lots of cool bright colors of trees/blossoms with Green, light pink, a dark red/brown, a bright purply pink, white, and then a few more greens. It's really nice. I don't think I've appreciated Spring and Sunshine so much in my life. It's great. I'm wearing short sleeves!

The Lord has really blessed us lately for our efforts. It's been really great because it's been feeling lately like we were working hard for no reason because nothing seemed to come of it. We would go and talk to everyone and make many appointments with people on the street only to show up at a fake address or call a fake phone number or show up to an empty house or something. This week, however, it's been really hard to find even the fake appointments but the people we have been able to teach were older potential Investigators who we had almost given up on because they were never home or didn't show for an appointment or something. I think the thing that I learned is that this is truly the Lord's work and we have to let Him do it without replacing His plans with our plans and desires. It's hard for me to do but it really is the only thing that will work.

Thanks so much for all of your prayers for me, Elder Bergquist, and everyone we're working with. They really do help. I've been meaning to start a more concerted effort to pray for our Investigators because I've noticed a real difference when we pray for them and when we don't.

So, have a lovely week and don't forget to write!

Elder Houghton
Probably the last picture together with the whole District as it is currently composed before transfers.  From left to right:  Elder Wrenger (Forest of Dean), Elder Hunter (GLA), Sister Muhlmann (GLB), Sister Lambert (GLB), Elder Haynie (RoD), Elder Bergquist (GLC), Elder Houghton (GLC), and Elder Orr (GLA).

P.S. Brownie points for anyone who can look at a map of Gloucester and identify the Roman Road/Area Boundary.


  1. Hey, Brother Bowman's mother's maiden name is Haynie. I wonder if he's related to Elder Haynie. Great to see Elder Houghton!

  2. Elder Hunter is from our ward in Cardston.