Well as you are probably aware, I was transferred last week to Cannock. My new companion, Elder Bass, is from Salt Lake City, Utah, he also one of the District Leaders for this Area. It is funny how we missionaries travel thousands of miles away from home and then meet and become companions with people around our own homes. Elder Bass is almost done with his Mission, he goes home around the first of March.
The area so far is pretty good. Elder Doty and I left Worcester at about 11:03am on Wednesday, January 22nd and got into Glouster at 11:50am. We then jumped on a Charter Bus and drove an hour and a half to the Mission Office in Birmingham. Where Elder Doty met his new companion and I met up with Elder Bass. We then walked to the train station and had about a forty minute train ride to Cannock. So it was a long day of traveling. I am adjusting to the Ward pretty well. I think that it will be a good area. I have had this feeling that I will be here in Cannock for a while though. Not just your regular 1 to 2 transfers but longer. I was looking back at the last sets of Elders that have served in Cannock and they are in the six to nine month range of being here. So, it might be a while, but that will be good.
I was asked in my new Ward if I knew the Pope family in Blackfoot. They are a family that lived in England and attended the Cannock Ward but now live in Blackfoot, Idaho. My mom just happens to work with Liam Pope, so it is a small world. So it will be interesting to meet Ward members who have friends in common with us.
Well anyway, this week has been a pretty busy one that is for sure with transfers and such. Tuesday was mostly just packing and getting things ready for the new Elder coming into Worcester.
Wednesday was travel and then we had dinner with the Elders Quorum. We went to an American Diner. It was pretty good.
Thursday we had meetings so it was lots of busing and traveling to get to the Chapel. Friday we just went and worked and set up appointments for the next week.
Saturday was fun though. We went to another meeting which was in Lichfield. So we traveled into Lichfield and there where some very black clouds as we got there. I said to Elder Bass, "the way the wind is blowing it should miss us", made me think of something from Mary Poppins. But we went into a corner shop to get a drink and when we came out, the black clouds were right over us. I said, "I guess I am wrong". So Elder Bass and I walked quickly to the Chapel and as soon as we got in it began to dump. I have never seen so much rain come down in so little time as I have while being here in England. I was was really grateful that we where inside when it dumped. Saturday was also Burns Night. Burns Night is a celebration of the life and poetry of the poet Robert Burns, author of many Scots poems. The suppers are normally held on or near the poet's birthday, 25 January. The supper usually will include haggis and Scotch whiskey and the recitation of Burns poetry. We had a supper that consisted of haggis, neaps, and tatties and not the Scotch whiskey. I did not think that the haggis was bad at all. Haggis is a savory pudding containing sheep's pluck (heart, liver and lungs); minced with onion, oatmeal, suet, spices, and salt, mixed with stock, and traditionally encased in a casing. I really liked the haggis. The neeps are turnips I think not sure though and the tatties are potatoes. It was a really fun meal and I had a great time the the Scottish family in our Ward that put together the who Burns night.
Sunday I met the Ward and introduced myself to them. It will be a great Ward to be in and I hope to make many new friends.
I love this gospel and hope to be able to find those that are seeking the plan of happiness. Thanks for all your prayers and emails.
Love, Elder Nielsen