It rains a lot here. So seeing as my other letter was cut short because of time constraints, I will try to sum up all the new sights, experiences, and whatever I might remember in between that. Haha, I know how much dad likes my organized e-mails. The first week is not over yet... but It has been fairly good. So much of a culture shock to tell you the truth. Switzerland and China don't really compare. It wouldn't be that bad except for the fact that as a missionary you are doing different things than you normally would.
The first thing that was interesting was our flat. It is pretty nice actually, but because of the people who had stayed in it before and because it is built for two people not three, it is really messy. I have found that I really don't work well in messy. Haha, imagine that. Fortunately today we were able to clean up a little bit and make it better, plus we should all be getting real beds some time this week.
Shopping here is fine, really england is not too different than the U.S. in that regard so that makes me quite happy. No really funny foods.... yet. We cook together mostly, and we eat fairly well, as in health wise. So far we have been to two members houses to eat dinner, both of which have been really good. My trainer Elder Smart says that we average 2 or 3 dinner or (Tea) appointments a week. So that is nice as well.
Yesterday we had church of course. And I really enjoyed it, there are probably around 150 memebers in the ward. Active members that is, there is actually around 300 is what I am told. So the ward is pretty big and the people are really nice. The Ward Mission Leader is a man around his 30's from California. He is super awesome!!! He is completely stoked about missionary work and really gets the ward involved with the missionaries. The whole ward in general is very supportive and really loves working with the missionaries.
This week we ended up with two investigators at church for our companionship. Both of which are Chinese College students that we found at Liverpool University. My chinese is actually being used some here, not quite as much as I would like, but it is being used. So I have motivation to study and really get better in the language.
I don't know what I was thinking. For some reason I had this idea or picture in my mind that I would be working with Chinese people mostly. I was pretty wrong. We actually work with them a lot, but that is because they are more willing to listen to you. I think it is truly because they are just nice enough not to say no, or they don't know how to. On average we talk to 95% English people and 5% Chinese people, but we teach about 60% Chinese people and 40% everything else. Tells you how Europe is.
For some reason I also thought that English people were nice in regards to politeness. I mean they don't yell at you (most of the time) but they also don't really give you the time of day. It is really sad how little people actually care about God in general. I mean no one likes the LDS church really, but usually people believe in God. So often have I heard the words "I don't care." It saddens, dissapoints, and discourages me.
Haha, I have also found out that I am very much a coward and proud. Street and Bus Contacting scares me sooo much. I didn't think I would have such a problem with it, but I sure do. I am really trying to work on it, but it really bugs me and I hate it. I feel really bad for my previous MTC companion Elder Peterson and how he must be feeling right now. If there is anyone that doesn't like bugging people it is Elder Peterson. And that is what we as missionaries do.
So this first week is nothing like I thought it would be. I am contuniously lost when it comes to the city, I am scared to bother people because of what they will think of the Church and us as missionaries, my companions are good, but not really anything like me, and I actually miss home. Haha I do miss my family and just being able to talk to you all. But I do know why i am out here and why it is important, but I didn't think it would be this hard for me the first couple of weeks. My trainer and the Mission president both said that this is how everyone is at first. Just because it is such a shock to you culturally and spiritually coming out of the MTC. THey say it will start feeling more natural, and I really hope it does, because the way I feel right now is not what I expected at all.
I really am enjoying it though, don't get me wrong. I know rejection will become a part of my life and that it will hurt every time. But as Alma said, focus on those who are ready and willing to listen. Love everyone, invite everyone, but focus on those who really care and who you can ultimately help the most. I hope and believe that by this time next week I will be a little bit more settled in, less sleep deprived from Jet Lag, and overall a better person/ missionary.
I do have to say that I really ended up loving my MTC companion and my MTC district more than I actually knew. I really do love them and can't wait to see Elder Peterson in the next Zone Conference. And now I know we will be life friends and companions in the Lord. I just want that to be a lesson to all of you that you need to take the time you have with the people you have and truly show your love for them, because it means a lot.
I love teaching people the gospel and sharing my testimony and the gospel of Christ to those who will listen. Especially the Chinese people. I feel a special connection to them because of my time learning Chinese. I love seeing them progress in the Gospel, and I hope that I can really come to love and understand them in more than just a language level.
I love you all and I know this gospel is the center of our family and our lives. And that without it we can't be as happy as we are now. Thank you for all your love and support.
Keep working, Keep loving, and remember who you are and who you want to become, because we are all children of God and we can always become better.
Have a great week!!!!
Elder Fawcett (Fang Zhanglao) :)