Monday, August 12, 2013

I've Got Good News...and Bad News...

I'm sorry for the lack of details... I try to write about the things that I find most important while I'm out here: how some of our investigators are doing, etc. But let me fill in some of the gaps.

Like I said before, P-Days haven't been filled with anything spectacular so far. Cleaning the flat, shopping, Emailing at the McMurtry's, playing board games with them or going shopping at the High Street. We love the charity shops down there. I picked up a tie that I really liked the other week for two quid, and a few weeks later was told that it's a really expensive brand (Tiger of Sweden?) and that the fact that I got it new for that price is insane. We've been trying to organize a district P-day, as transfers are a week from Wednesday, but that kind of fell through... We were going to go down to Shaldon, which is near the beach, and go hiking in some caves. But alas. Perhaps another time.

Zone Conference was a lot of fun. We took the train up to Christchurch, where we stayed with some missionaries living there. Zone Conference was mostly us being addressed by the Mission President and a local Stake President. A few other missionaries (including Elder Schorzman) spoke on other topics. What President Millar talked about was quite important. As I told you last week, he spoke a lot on pride, and how to combat it. It was really helpful.

Hmm... What's been going on this week? Well, we've got good and bad news to report. One of the families we're teaching is really moving forward! They are so excited to be baptized. We met with them on Saturday morning, and brought them one of those Book of Mormon comic books for their daughter Phoebe. It turns out they'd been looking all over eBay for a children's Book of Mormon, so they were very appreciative of it. The mother, Terrina, and Phoebe came to church yesterday and loved it. The father, Steve, will be coming next week.

Bad news is that, well, there's a lot of opposition. I think I told you that last week Charlie came with us to church, and loved it so much. He was actually supposed to meet his son at noon, and decided to stay for church instead. His son wasn't very happy, obviously... He gave Charlie an ultimatum: the church or his family. So, Charlie chose his family, and wrote a letter to the Julian's telling them that he was sorry, but couldn't keep meeting with us. Elder Schorzman and I each wrote him a letter bearing our testimonies. We went in the middle of the week to deliver them and it was so sad... He was really disappointed he couldn't keep meeting with us, but we told him we'll keep in touch.

Other details: our dinner appointments vary... Some weeks we have them nearly every other day. Other weeks, not so much. When we don't, we just make dinner at our flat: pasta, or breakfast burritos, or something like that. We're pretty creative, and Elder Schorzman is a pretty good cook. We don't eat out much at all. Every once in a while we'll grab a pasty (they're savory pastries, usually with meat or vegetables in them) from a local shop, mainly because they're only a few quid each (and half price if they're cold).

By the by, "quid" is slang for "pound."

Here we are with Phil. We help him in his garden up at the "allotments." He is a retired Chemistry teacher
and a pretty pro Entomologist.  He brings us beatles to look at, each week, when we are finished working.
What a great guy!

We have a variety of methods for finding people to teach: knocking doors (of course), talking to people on the street, etc. We'll often go to parks to try and talk to people, as it's quite common here to just go to the park to relax. That works a bit better than talking to people on the high street, since people aren't usually busy, and open to talking. Bus contacting also works fairly well, as most people on the bus don't have much more to do than sit there and talk with the person next to them. We want to try out what's called "Smile-boarding" this week. You basically have a big whiteboard with the word "SMILE!" written on it really big, and you try your hardest to get people to smile and be happy. We'll see how that goes.

It varies how receptive people are here. Most are happy to talk about life, and many are okay to talk religion, but most of them dismiss invitations to learn more, as they're "C of E" (Church of England). But, hey, you roll with the punches.

Anyhow, that's all I've got for the week. Send your prayers this way, because it's kind of hard some times.

Love you all,

Elder Green

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