Thursday, 8 January 2015

Nadolig Llawen oddi wrth Aberdaugleddau, Cymru! (Merry Christmas from Milford Haven, Wales!)

From 22 December 2014

Dear Everyone,

It's been a fantastic week. I was transferred. Leaving Walsall was sad. There are so many people there that I care for and love who are just wonderful and I'll really miss them. So, here's the rundown:
  • Monday: District P day in Wylde Green (the mission office chapel), get a call from President Rasmussen that I'm being released as District Leader, Dodge Night-Elder Houghton to go to Milford Haven (the area I've joked is the outer darkness of the mission for the past 19 months-oh boy how I was wrong)-not sure what to think-sleep
  • Tuesday: Pack and say goodbye to people in Walsall. We tried to start the Stop Smoking Program with the Slovaks but it fizzled mostly because of the language barrier. They did cut down a lot though I've heard.
  • Wednesday: Wake up early to finish packing, go to mission office early, baptismal interview for the Sisters in Wylder Green, see loads of missionaries (who I may never see again...), eat leftovers of pizza for the new missionaries, help get everything on the coach to Wales, board coach (2:20ish?), travel to Swansea via Cardiff, arrive at 6:40 ish and discover that we've missed our train, spend the night with Zone Leaders in Swansea
  • Thursday: train to Milford Haven (1.5 hours), get to flat, unpack a bit, and hit the ground. It was great other than that I got a puncture. Dinner with the Galloways (Sr. Couple serving in Milford Haven from Nottinghamshire)
  • Friday: Start weekly planning, go out to work again in Haverford West and but new intertubes (too many patches on the old ones), realise that my back tyre is worn out, find, and teach some, go to a traditional community "9 Lessons and Carols Service" at the main CofE church in Milford Haven-quite well done. The Galloways took us and it was a good opportunity to interact with the public though not much came from it.
  • Saturday: more weekly planning, clean chapel with members (the chapel here is new and small-perfect for the branch and I love it!), teach some more people (more on the people we're teaching next week)
  • Sunday: go to church with Galloways (~25 min drive), Church (awesome in every way-the members here are great), play the piano for the Christmas carol program after the pianist is unable to play (not my best performance but I guess it worked...), lunch with Galloways, teach a lady we found on Thursday with Elder Galloway, finish weekly planning, dinner and tidying in the flat, a tiny bit of finding (Milford Haven at 8:30 is a ghost town though).
Elder Woodruff on the train with some scenery
Some things:
  • My new companion is Elder Luke Woodruff. He found out my first name before I learned his so he told me to guess his name and then as I guessed gave me the hint that it was the same as mine-pretty funny. He's from Idaho and his Bishop's son was Elder Leavitt who was my home teaching companion at BYU who served in the Birmingham Mission. Elder Woodruff is the best! He's a super solid missionary and really knows why he's here. He's only been out for 3 transfers and all of those with his trainer in Milford Haven but he's the best. He's hilarious as well!
  • I'm in Wales! It's weird because a lot is the same but a lot is different. All the signs are in Welsh and English but it's tricky because Welsh is a load of w, ll, y, dd, and other stuff which don't sound like they do in English (the ll is something like a THL plus the S in Sid the Sloth). Some places are usually called by their Welsh names and others usually their English names. Milford Haven is Aberdaugleddau but we're in the Llanelli district (try saying THLHSANETHLHSEE or something like that). It's beautiful here though. the people are way way nice and friendly here.
  • The Branch is amazing!
  • Dobby Died in our area! That's right. I guess they went there for P day a while ago but the beach he died on is at Fresh Water West which is Sort of South West of the town of Milford Haven.
  • Milford Haven is a port. There's a way nice Marina and a bunch of oil refineries in the area-big big ships! Apparently in the summer, there are cruise ships that come to Milford Haven because it's very deep. It's really pretty being by the sea!
I absolutely love it here. It's only been a few days but it will be great I'm sure! I'm looking forward to skyping my amazing family on Christmas Day. It will be a really great Christmas!

Love you all and have a great week!
Elder Houghton

District P day from last Monday

Goodbye Wylde Green Sisters
 (Sisters MacKay and Leiss, me, and Elder Tukuafu)

The train stations here only have one platform
because the trains are so infrequent
Elder Maligon is training! I now have two South African
mission grandsons! I don't know how that w
orked out
genetically but it's pretty cool. Can't remember his name
exactly or see it on the picture but it's like Mtwetwe
or something. He's from Durban.
Elder Maligon in the right of the picture.

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