Monday, July 29, 2013

Details...details! (For my mother)

Mom asked for more details about how I spend my week, so here's an overview:

Sundays: Church starts at 10 o'clock, but we usually have to be there around 8:15 for Ward Council. Luckily, it only takes a minute for us to walk to the church, so we're never in too much of a hurry. We're at church from 10:00 to about 1:30, 1:45ish, visiting with members, and lately practicing music. After that, we usually go to appointments that we've made, or stop by investigators' houses until 6:00, when we have choir practice. We spend the rest of the night at the church, as Elder Schorzman is District Leader and has to do accounting. I just practice piano or organ during that time.

Mondays: Monday's P-Day, and so after studying from 8:00 to 10:00, we usually head over to the Senior Couple's flat to Email. Sometimes we'll be over here playing games with the Sister Missionaries in our ward (Sister Nelson from Idaho and Sister Clark from Glendora). Last week we headed up the high street (Oh, Dad, I found out, the high street is the main street in the town with all the shops.) and looked through charity shops. Elder and Sister McMurtry really want to plan a trip to Dartmoor, but Elder Schorzman isn't a fan of super fun P-Days, because he worries that it takes too much focus from the rest of the week. I honestly wouldn't mind doing something really fun, but oh well.

St. Leonard's Tower on the high street in the center of town. The tower is all that remains
of the medieval chapel of St. Leonard, founded in 1220.

Tuesdays through Saturdays: These days are filled mostly with appointments. We have a substantial number of investigators and less-actives to visit, and so we get most of our days packed with visiting them. We do service a few times a week: once for an older woman in the ward who we help with her gardening; once for a man we'd like to teach who has an allotment where he grows vegetables. He's interesting. He used to be a chemistry teacher, but now is an amateur entomologist. We do most of our contacting on the bus, as we've found that to be most effective. People generally like to have conversations, and so it makes it easy to get onto the topic of the gospel somehow, even if they initially don't want to talk about religion. We had one experience where a man refused to talk to us, and not two minutes later leaned over and told us a bible-related joke. We exchanged jokes with him for the remainder of the bus ride, and gave him a pass-along card when the bus stopped. And getting off the bus, he called after us and asked for a Book of Mormon. It was really cool. Other than that, we try to talk to people on the street between appointments or in the park. We've knocked doors a few times, but it isn't effective.

We've been eating dinner with members more often as the weeks go on. One family, the Julian's, feed us every week. They are incredible. They've been really helping us with an investigator we've been working with. Brother Julian goes with us to every appointment, and last week, they invited him for dinner with us. It was so spiritually charged. I'm so excited for him. And the food? Oh my gosh. I mean, sister Julian always feeds us well, but this meal was something else. She's French, so she made scallops, toast with duck and wild boar patte, and the most tender, delicious ham I have ever eaten in my life. And then the investigator's a professional chef, and so he made this carrot cake that I was nearly crying over.

Let me tell you a little bit about him...his name is Charlie and he's so interesting. His parents were from Poland, but were forced to move to Siberia during WWII because of the Soviets taking control. When Roosevelt made a pact with the Soviets, they moved down through the Middle East to Uganda, which is where he was born. They were supposed to move to Australia, but his mother had Malaria, and so they missed the boat, and had to move to England instead. He's so amazing--he already believes most of what we believe, we just feel like we need to get him friends in the church, which the Julian's are helping to be.

Me and Charlie...and my hair, which was really something else that day. Blame it on the humidity!

We also did some other service this week. Two less-active members were getting married in the chapel, and asked if I and Sister McMurtry would play for it. We did the prelude music, which the Stake President really appreciated. Her father is very, very anti-Mormon, and so the hymns that I picked for prelude (which I just played just because those were the ones I knew) really helped bring the spirit. We played 'I Giorni' together, and I also was asked to sing 'A Thousand Years' by Christina Perri, and they really appreciated that. We're hoping it will open some doors for us as we contact.

Finally, we had our musical fireside last night. I don't think I should plan any pieces for the next one... I performed in seven out of the thirteen pieces... Granted, two were choir, and one was a missionary ensemble. The others were 'I Giorni' (which I had initially planned to play), 'I Heard Him Come' (which I was later asked to sing for), the number the primary was supposed to do (which only a few of the primary showed up to) and a piece I volunteered to play guitar for with one of the YSA's (young single adults) in the ward. But our investigator came with the Julian's! He was so stoked about it. He really felt the spirit there too.

Anyway, I've got way too much to write about... I love you all!

-Elder Green

Old Forde House, a 17th century manor house in Newton Abbot.
Houses in Teignmouth.

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