Monday, March 31, 2014

Sheep, electric fences, and holes in my socks...

Me with the sheep...again, and an old country road out in Tangmere on exchange with Elder Lusty. It looks like more Flavia de Luce scenery! There were these old school planes flying overhead the entire time we were there.

"Happy Mothering Sunday!" It's basically the same as in the states - the Primary and Youth combined to sing a song for the Mothers during Sacrament meeting, and the Bishopric had the primary children running around handing out daffodils to the women. It was pretty cute.

Things have been going pretty well being District Leader. It can definitely be stressful, for sure, but I think that can come in getting used to anything, really. So, I'm totally fine with it. Luckily I didn't have to prepare District Meeting last week, since we had Zone Training, so I have that privilege this week. Elder Gull and I will also be going on exchange with the Zone Leaders, which will be great. Our Zone Leaders are superstars, so I'm excited to be able to learn a lot from them. I guess the main differences are that I'm on the phone a lot more, trying to help the other elders in the district to sort out issues and concerns, and I've got a lot more accounting to do. I'm on the phone for about fifteen-twenty minutes on Wednesday nights, and nearly an hour on Sunday nights getting numbers, concerns, etc. I'm learning a lot to rely on the Zone Leaders, which isn't necessarily as easy as I thought it would be. But, yeah, it's gone pretty well so far.

Man, I better not miss any other big earthquakes! Elder Gull and I were talking about this the other day. I miss having a little earthquake from time to time...
Super weird to hear about all the weddings I'm missing, as well.

As for us, our week's been pretty good. Jade's still coming along really well, though she's a bit nervous about her baptismal date. She feels rushed, and so I know I've got to relax a bit with my teaching. It's really easy to get into a rut and forget that we're working with people, not products sometimes. That's something I've definitely been struggling with lately, but the Lord's been helping me there. Also, John's been doing really well. He wasn't able to make it to church this Sunday, but he will be coming to General Conference, which is great. We're hoping to get quite a few investigators there, which should be really powerful.

That's about it. We're heading off to Portsmouth today. I need to get some socks from Primark, because nearly all of mine have holes in them...

Elder Lusty said, "Do you think that fence is electric? and I said, " couldn't be," so we had to test it out.
I felt jittery for the rest of the day.

An old guildhall in Chichester

Love you,

- Elder Green

Monday, March 24, 2014

Believe Christ

Thank you for your encouragement. It's funny just seeing how much Heavenly Father is helping me out. Elder Gull's doing a great job of helping me not to stress, which is great, seeing as my calling isn't particularly easy.

Work's still going strong. We've still got our three baptismal dates set for next month, and I'm fairly certain they'll make it there. They may not all make it for their date, but Jade, John and Pam all do have a strong desire to move forward with the work. And what's great is that the ward is still showing a bit more desire to help us out. We just had a prospective missionary called to be a ward missionary, and he's right chuffed about it. Man, you should have seen him in church yesterday! Hahaha. But he wants to come out with us as much as he can, and it's really good to see. Needless to say, we'll be taking advantage of him.

Life in general is still quite good here. We've not lost our hand at cooking yet. When we were shopping at Tesco last week, we noticed that there was a bag of mussels on sale, and feeling a little burnt out from the previous week, we decided it'd be fun to see what we could do with them. Got a recipe from the fishmonger, and took them home to make a really nice seafood pasta for quite cheap. I'll attach a picture.

The recipe called for white wine, which we didn't think was appropriate for missionaries to purchase,
so we used grape juice instead. A little sweet...but still delicious!

As for other things, Saturday was quite fun: we spent the morning doing service up at the church. The grounds needed a bit of maintenance, and so we were out there trimming trees and hedges. You don't know how good it was to smell garden clippings and the motors from the chainsaw going: felt just like being at home. I know you mentioned the landscaping crew was going to be needing a bit of help, so please sign me up when I get back. Following that we had District Leader's Council down in Portsmouth. It was a good experience to be able to see just how much our leaders care about the individual areas' growth. I think I'm going to enjoy serving in this capacity.

As for a sermon, I'll do my best. Elder Dyck asked each of us in the district a few weeks ago to speak on a Christ-like attribute, and the one he asked me to speak on was faith. As I prepared the talk, the conclusion that I came to was that faith is, as the book by Stephen E. Robinson puts it, believing in Christ as well as believing Christ. So often we can say, "Yes, I know that Christ is there, but what does that matter to me?" though I don't think it comes out that way... It comes out as, "I know I'm supposed to follow this commandment, but does it really matter that much?" One of the experiences that I thought of was from the very beginning of my mission, when I was companions with Elder Schorzman. I remember reading through the white handbook with him, and reading the sentence that talked about the fact that we are to wear solid, dark socks that match our trousers. Well, I had been wearing socks with little Union Jacks on them because they were the coolest socks, and I was in England. Surely, the socks that I wore didn't matter that much. But as I understand it now, Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ don't ask us not to do something for no reason. If nothing else, it allows us to put more faith in Them, and allows us to grow thereby. Obedience is a sure measure of faith, as it demonstrates to our Father that we trust Him and His counsel.

A beautiful old church in Southbourne.

Anyhow, love you!

- Elder Green

Monday, March 17, 2014

District Leader..."Weird, right?"

Isn't this a cool picture? This is Brother Lake, from our ward, standing on the railway bridge on a very foggy night.

Man... I totally forgot it was St. Patrick's day today... It's very strange, because here in England, with there being such pride in your own country, they don't really celebrate the days of their patron saints as much. I asked a while ago if it would be offensive to pin a leek to my shirt for St. David's Day (the patron saint of Wales), and I was told, "You're in England! Why would you celebrate a Welsh holiday in England?" So, oh well. I'll go put my green tie on when I get back for lunch.

So, moves... I'm staying again! Actually, everyone in the district is staying the same. So, Elder Dyck will be here until he goes home, Elder Lusty may well do the same, and Elder Gull and I will be working hard for another transfer. There was one change, however... Elder Dyck's been released as District Leader and I've been called as the new one. Weird, right? We're still not used to it, and I'm feeling a lot more responsibility on my shoulders now, but I know that if the Lord trusts me, then I can do it.

Our week's been quite good. Joss is still going strong. The ward really has been a lot of help with her, which is absolutely wonderful. We'll be going to the temple with her in two weeks, hopefully. Kathy dropped us, but John is still going strong -- he received an answer this week to his prayer saying that he should be baptized, which is wonderful. We're going to be getting the ward to be working with him as much as possible so that he feels welcome at church and is able to get a second witness of all these things. Jade's also coming along very well. I'm really excited about her and her desire to keep on with everything.

Elder Gull and I with Jade.

Me and Steven.

 Oh yeah, with my driver's license... I've kind of been waiting on Elder Gull to get his stuff all together. I'll be sending in the application with the money order today, and I'll get on taking my test soon, so not too much going on there yet...

Elder Gull and I are doing fantastically, still working hard as ever. We found out this week that there's a South African stand at the Petersfield market on Saturdays, so we think we're going to go buy some alligator meat up there and bring it back to make some southern gumbo.

Oh, Elder Dyck and I were able to go to a brass band concert on Saturday. The Bishop really wanted us there because there would tons of non-members in the chapel. It was a cool experience, though I felt really strange trying to talk to brass players about music. Band and choir are two completely different worlds...

And for what to send over, I honestly don't have a clue. Socks, trousers, shirts, etc. I'll just get here, because there's no use sending them from the States. I don't really miss too many things, though more taco seasoning would be much appreciated, but not necessary because we've figured out how to make our own. What I would like is some recipes, actually. Elder Gull does most of the cooking, and when I try I usually just throw something together. It's never bad, but I could use some things like a good cookie recipe... You should have seen the one we tried to make... The only other thing would be CD's again. Ones that would be nice are the Lower Lights Volume 2, anything from Vocal Point, and Aaron Copland. That's really about it, honestly, but if I think of anything else throughout the week, I'll tell you.

Elder Gull being a dork!

Photo shoot

  Love you,

- Elder Green

Monday, March 10, 2014

Sunshine, a baptism, and Haggis...who could ask for more?

At Joss' s baptism...Elder Gull, Joss, me, Elder Lusty and Elder Dyck.

Joss's baptism went fantastically on Saturday! Well, all except for my forgetful mind... You know how easily I forget little key things... Like the words for the baptism, and a towel for afterward... Hahahaha, no, we had a great turnout, and it actually went over really well. Joss was very excited to have her sister and brother-in-law there, and they really enjoyed the service. The confirmation the next day was very powerful, too. She got pretty overwhelmed by all of it, but it was a great experience.

Yes, we do have daylight savings time here, but they do it later on in the year, for some reason. I don't know, they've also got Mother's day on a different day, as well as a few other things. I'll probably still wait for American Mother's day to Skype, though, since that's closer to the middle of the year. The weather's been absolutely beautiful here, though, nice and sunny and "warm". Warm enough, that is, that we're not sweating in our shirt and tie, so I'm not complaining.

On exchanges...there is an old manor house behind me.

Chichester Cathedral with Saint Richard in front.

This last week went really well. We've had quite a few more lessons with members along with us, and have picked up a few new people we're working with. One of them, John we met on the street just over a week ago, and he referred himself on He's really cool. I knew I liked him when I walked into his flat and saw on the background of his computer a typography joke as his background (it said, "This is the FUTURA: 1927") Needless to say, he does a bit of graphic design. He just soaks up the lessons, and has already agreed to a baptismal date on the 12th of April.

We also got to meet with Jade a few times. She's just really cool. I think I might get she and Katie in touch on Facebook, or something, since they're both the same age. I'll ask Kate, of course. She's coming along really well, reading the Book of Mormon on her own, coming to mutual, really fitting in well at church. Her date's for the 12th as well.

So, yeah, things are going well. Moves are a week from Wednesday, and I'm fairly certain I'm off, but it's really anyone's guess as to what could happen.

Oh, by the by, I had haggis this week. It was okay. Nothing fantastic - I preferred the black pudding. And we've been eating a lot more Mexican with our discovery of home-made refried beans. Needless to say, we're pretty happy.

HAGGIS!...(don't really know what else to say about this picture.)

Love you,

Elder Green

Monday, March 3, 2014

"Work here is on fire!"

Cool bridge up in Petersfield

Super psyched about Tahoe! Man, he and I will fershtaff be tearing it up at the 'Y' when we get home. I do miss school from time to time, sure, but I almost don't want to come home either -- missionary work is just too much fun.

Work here is on fire! Joss will be getting baptized this weekend, and she's really happy about it. She's such a spiritual giant. I was trying to see if I could get her to ask Bishop Grant or someone in the ward to baptize her, but she asked me to, which I feel quite honored about. The ward absolutely loves her anyway, so we've got no problems. She had initially asked me to give a talk, but Elder Gull will be giving that instead, and Sister Grant and I will be performing a nice arrangement of "Abide With Me," which is her favorite hymn. It's the Sally DeFord version, if you want to check it out. Just a few more lessons this week, an interview, and paperwork and she'll be set.

Everyone else is doing great as well. Kathy just looks so much happier lately, Jade is still coming to church every week, and mutual (even though we still haven't been able to meet with her for reasons outside our control...), and she's excited to see us this week (though we had to promise her cookies for all these things that have been coming up...). Nick's back, though we thought he had dropped us, and our new investigator Pam looks super solid. Her partner's a less-active member, and she really wants to join the church, which is pretty exciting.

So, as for Kennington... I'm not sure when or if I'll get to go there, but I sure hope so. The whole ward is apparently South American -- mostly people who emigrated from South America to Spain, and then up to England. Apparently, they pretty much function on referrals up there, and are teaching all the time, which will be an interesting change. I'm trying to brush up on my Spanish by talking to anyone I see who looks remotely Hispanic, reading my Libro de Mormón, and writing friends in Spanish speaking missions. So, we'll see how it goes.

Elder Gull trying to hunt pigeons in the backyard.
He made a dart shooter out of a pen, a needle, a stick and superglue.

Tell Scotty and Rick that I miss hearing from them.

Anyway, love you,

- Elder Green