Monday, July 9, 2012

Second Week in Trowbridge

Hello all! I just burnt my finger quite badly taking a pizza out of the oven so my right fingers are soaking in water.... as such, this email might take a while to type since I'm only typing with my left hand. 

This has been an absolutely crazy week! I didn't really talk about this at all last week so I figured that this week I'd start by telling you guys what an average day is like. We wake up at 6:30 every day. No exceptions. This is never fun, for the record hahaha I've done a pretty good job at that though. The latest I've gotten out of bed is 6:40 and I've never gone back to bed! It's just strange going to bed and getting up so early! After that, Elder von Allmen and I exercise. We usually play football. Not to be confused with American football :) hahaha I'm still rubbish at it but I get better every day! After that, we have personal and companion study til about 10. Since I'm in my first twelve weeks, I also get an hour of additional study where we review MTC stuff... NOT FUN haha I thought I'd never have to do that again, but that is okay. We then go out proselyting! Seldom do we set aside time specifically for knocking or street contacting, simply because we need to spend so much time traveling from place to place. We usually stay around Trowbridge in the morning, because we only have an hour until we have lunch. After lunch, we usually have a couple of teaching appointments. We do TONS of traveling by train since we have to get to all the towns (Warminster, Westbury, Frome, Bradford-on-Avon) for our teaching appointment... I have a love/hate relationship with the trains haha I'll go into that later. After our teaching and proselyting is done, we head in at 8 PM for dinner. I'm actually learning how to cook haha so yeah that's an adventure! But, like football, I'm getting better every day! Tonight, I think I am going to make teriyaki chicken :) then, at 9, we plan for the next day. Finally, we account to our district leader at 9:30. Then we go to bed. The days are long and hard but they are always worth it. 

Now for some details about the adventures of the last week! Our investigators are a fascinating group of people. First, we have Adam... he is a true test of our patience and ability to love. He says he believes, but is an alcoholic who drinks eight bottles of beer every night. He then drunk texts us about how depressed he is. He comes to church and loves being taught, but is prone to massive mood swings. In church, he prays to himself in Spanish. My solution to this is to give him chapters in the Book of Mormon to read. He says we are his only friends, so that puts a lot of pressure on us. Last Friday, on our way to a dinner appointment, we stopped at Tescos to get some ice cream. We saw him with a cart with 32 beer bottles in it. He was SOOOO embarrassed. I told him straight up that he needed to put all of those back but he did not. Kind of disappointing. We'll see what happens with him. We might be taking him to the temple/visitors center on Saturday. We'll see.

On the MUCH brighter side, we committed Louisa, a Fijian woman who lives on the army base in Warminster (we learned in a moderately unpleasant way that we were not supposed to knock doors there... oops!) to be baptized on August 4th! We are so excited for her and hope that she starts coming to church and listening to us! 

Anthony and Katie are an engaged couple living at a members house... it's an interesting situation. It's kind of hard to gauge where they are spiritually, but they are coming to our FHE tonight (an event we have every Monday night for our investigators and single adults in the ward, tonight we are playing a Brother Okiishi-inspired game!) so hopefully they continue to progress!

We are also hoping to teach a family from Ghana whose names are Hope (father) Patience (mother) Emmanuel (son) and Praise (daughter) but we haven't been able to meet with them yet. They also live on the army base. We knocked on their door to see if we could teach them but they said they were busy. We began our trek back to the train station (about a mile and a half) through the pouring rain and about ten minutes into the walk, Hope and Emmanuel pulled up and offered to drive us back to Trowbridge (a good 20 minute drive.) What an incredible example of selfless, Christ-like service. I really hope that we can bring them into the gospel, they are so well prepared for it. On an unrelated note, my companion and I bought battered Mars Bars. I am convinced that, as a result, I have gained back all 13 pounds that I've lost since I left hahaha. 

Last Thursday, I had my first zone conference down in Bournemouth. Our zone (Bristol), Plymouth zone, and Poole zone were all there. We had to wake up at 4:30 AM to catch our train there... NOT FUN AT ALL. It ended up being okay though because I slept on the train hahaha. Elder Grachev and Elder Merrill, two of my good friends from the MTC were there, so it was great to see them. President and Sister Millar were WAY late. They showed up halfway through because they put the wrong kind of gas in their car. They were pretty flustered when they showed up. They each spoke for about 45 minutes. I was a bit bummed we didn't do interviews or anything, but they seem just great. We also had Papa Johns for lunch so that was delicious. After zone conference was a real adventure... we (Trowbridge, Bath, and Taunton districts) all missed our train back, so we decided it would be a good idea to go from Bournemouth to Reading to Bath to Trowbridge. What we did not know was that, when you bought your £30 ticket, you had to take a specific route, so we found out (TEN MINUTES outside of Reading) that our tickets were not valid, and we had to pay £50 to make them valid. So yeah the train service is now £300 richer because of this unfortunate blunder. It took us about 90 minutes to get all of this cleared up at the Reading train station. Then, Taunton had to take a different train, so us and Bath went to Bath to have dinner. Then we went back to the train station. Our wallets £80 thinner we got back to Trowbridge at 9. Luckily, travel money gets reimbursed though. Such a relief.  All things considered, it as a great day! :)

Another funny story. When we were in Warminster last Wednesday (the 4th of July!) we were knocking doors with no success. At about 2:45, the Turveys called us. Zach Turvey wanted us to meet his fiance from America, Julie, and have a 4th of July dinner at their house. We were VERY excited and immediately changed our plans. We speed-walked to the military base, got all our work done, scheduled appointments for Saturday, and finished up around 3:50. We were about a 25 minute walk from the train station. We called to see when the next train was. Turns out it left in 11 minutes. It was the last train for two hours. We broke into a sprint, and not far along the way. there was a convoy of tanks crossing the street. We stood for about two minutes as like ten tanks turned onto the road. This was not good. We then sprinted (in our suits with our bags) all the way to the train station. My companion barely got on and as I approached, the doors started closing. I then grabbed the doors to prevent them from shutting and was able to get on. My companion says I screamed "NOOOO" but that didn't actually happen hahahaha the 4th of July dinner was lovely, we had burgers and sausages, they were absolutely delicious! I felt right at home.

So, that was my week! I hope that's enough detail for you guys hahaha. I loved getting letters from Grandma F and Becky! I also loved the letters I got at Zone conference from Mom, Becky, Grandma S, and Katherine :) made me so happy! I still want more people to write me though hahaha getting mail is such a good feeling! I am glad to hear that the beach was so much fun, I so wish I could've been there! It's okay though, Nags Head awaits me when I come home! It's so crazy that I've already been out here for more than a month! It feels like it's been maybe two weeks? Anyways, I love all of you so much! Keep writing and keep emailing! There is no where in the world I would rather be then here :) the gospel is true, my friends.

Elder Frederickson

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