Monday, July 22, 2013

The Joy in Missionary Work

Let me give you my flat address really quick. I know that you were able to find it on Google Maps, but post (or mail, as it's called back in the States) will probably arrive quicker this way. (The Mission Office address, on the right side of blog is always good, as well, as they always know where he is and can forward the mail to him.)

1 The Sand Martins
St. Marychurch Rd.
Newton Abbot, Devon
TQ12 4BU

I'm not really sure how that's supposed to be formatted... But I think they'll get the gist if you put it like that. At this point, well, I haven't received any post... But that doesn't bother me at all. You can give people my address if you'd like. We don't have a ton of time to Email on P-Day, as we have to go to the Senior Missionaries' flat to do it (they have a laptop). Plus, I don't really have much time to think about that. After we're done studying in the morning, we're out of the flat until 9:00 PM at the earliest, unless we stop back for lunch and dinner. We walk and take the bus everywhere--whichever is most convenient. Our area covers a number of towns (Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Kingkerrswell, Buckland, etc.) and so we have to catch the bus out there quite frequently, but if we're just going across town, it's easier to just walk.

This is Teignmouth, it's a little port town in our area. The boats are all floating in the Teign River
that leads out to the British Channel. (Hence the name, Teign Mouth.)

Shopping is, well, shopping... We get what we need on P-Day, and don't worry too much about it. It's not like we took any class on how to shop thriftily, but Elder Schorzman has been out a while, and so he knows how to take care of it. Plus, when you're only getting the things you need, and buying them on sale, or store brand, it's not hard to be thrifty.

The food here is pretty good. When the members feed us, we definitely eat well. On our own, we kind of just throw stuff together. Sometimes. Elder Schorzman made some really good pasta the other day, though. Oh, and I told Taylor, but apparently, a common dinner item here is those barbecue baked beans on top of toast, appropriately named, beans and toast. It's okay.

(This is the explanation about the question Mom asked about the MTC picture.)
By the by, with Elder Cullimore and I--he had started putting his pen behind his ear over the week, and so he and I both did it for the picture. It wasn't fully intended as a funny thing, just one of those last minute decisions.

I really like my trainer. To be honest, it took a little while getting used to him, though. I think it was partially the Lord's sense of humour putting us together. You see, he sings around the flat all the time. That, at first, bothered me quite a bit, until I realized, "Oh wait... That's me..." Elder Schorzman is such a great missionary. He's been through a lot in his life, and because of that, he really understands how the Gospel can really change someone's life. When we're out working, he's working hard, and trying to help everyone that we see to learn.

We actually had a really cool experience the other day. Though at the end of the day, I'm always so thrilled by the amazing things that are going on here, every morning when I wake up, I seem to have forgotten most of that. Because of that, I can often feel pretty reluctant to get out there and start working. Sometimes, that's because of homesickness, others just pure laziness. Well, last week I woke up feeling especially burned out, and not wanting to go out and work. I wasn't going to let that affect my efforts, but still it was bothering me. So, I said a prayer asking to see the joy in missionary work that day. When we went out, I got right back into my rhythm of things, and pushed forward, trying to work my hardest. I quickly forgot about the fact that I had been so homesick that morning, and got lost in doing the work. That evening, we caught the bus home from Teignmouth. We sat next to a man in the back, and Elder Schorzman started talking to him. I was kind of seated in a position so that it wouldn't be easy for me to join in the conversation, and so I kind of just listened to them. It turns out that the man had had quite a hard life, and served a good amount of time in prison for an addiction to heroin. He's been clean for the past two years, though, and was telling Elder Schorzman a lot about how you just have to take things a step at a time with a thing like that, but that you still have to cut a lot of ties. Elder Schorzman told him a bit about the church's Addiction Recovery Program, and also taught him quite a lot about Jesus Christ and the Atonement, and how God loves us personally. What he said really seemed to comfort the man, and so we gave him a Book of Mormon and a pass-a-long card. He ended up asking us for more of the cards, so that he could put them out in the home that he shared with a number of other recovering addicts. As we walked home from the bus station, I just couldn't believe how lucky we were, to be here with people prepared for us to teach. Who knows if he'll be baptized. Who knows if he'll even contact missionaries ever. That would be nice, as they could help him so much more, but the fact that we were there for a moment to help bless his life with a little comfort is a wonderful thing.

I've got a million other stories I could tell you, but I feel like it would take far too long to write them all out... I've got them all in my journal, though, so I'll have plenty to talk to you all about when I get home.

Love you all,

-Elder Green

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