Monday, August 27, 2012

Rain, slugs, service and high street contacting

Wassup up....! Anyways today went good. Everyone we get to meet and talk to usually aren’t from Croydon. Because it’s a city, a lot of people travel here from outside of our area. With that said we met this way cool guy who was totes accepting of everything but he lives outside our area, so we had to pass him on to other elders... that happened about 4 times this week. but then we got 4 referrals . 2 are families that only speak Portuguese so we can’t really communicate at all. Saturday was the first time that I’ve worn my rain jacket. When it rains no one is outside and everyone is in a bad mood. So contacting outside is pointless. But anyways we decided to go to the high street and do shop contacting. That’s when basically like you talk to the owners of the store and stuff.   It’s nice because you get out of the rain and the people always invite us to share more because they don’t want us to be stuck in the rain. We went into Moss which is like a nice suit store and one of the employees started to bash us and was just saying “What makes our church so different?” and that we pick and choose in the bible and how we are saying there are different Jeremiahs and Moses and Noahs, and we believe in a different Jesus. So I basically just handled him and asked what church he was from. He said some branch of the Protestants. I said so basically your church is a manmade church then right? And he said yes. So I said in the bible Jesus specifically says man made churches are of the devil. Then I asked him if he pays his preacher, and he said yes. So I said so you’re paying to be forgiven of your sins?  Then he started arguing about how in Revelations it says nothing can be added or taken away from this book. Then I told him it says the exact same thing in Deuteronomy and I told him how it’s talking about the different books individually. If it wasn’t then everything after Duet would be false. Then he brought up other stuff and I basically just told him that his church was the one that picks and chooses from the bible. I ended up finishing with, “We are all waiting on the same second coming though right?” and he said, “ Well yea of course.”  So I said ,  “Exactly, so how are we doing wrong trying to teach about Jesus. In the bible when the apostles got mad at other people for doing stuff in Christ’s name Jesus replied if they’re not against us they’re for us. And the guy basically said “yea you’re right.”  It’s really hard for me to not argue with people especially when people are so closed minded.

When it rains outside all the slugs and snails come out and are all over the side walk. So when we were knocking doors I made a game to see how many slugs I could pop by stepping on them. I lost count... same with the snails. People here hate snails and slugs because everyone loves to do gardening and they are ruining their gardens so everyone kills them. Last week we focused on service. So we helped a family move flats all day on Friday. On Thursday we helped a family clean their garden. And when they say garden they mean their backyard. So we looked back there and they said they needed help with their garden so we said okay. But we didn’t realize they actually meant their real garden, so we spent the whole day pulling weeds and chopping bushes down. it was a ton of work we had to get rid of like 50 bushes that were giant weeds... it took forever and we aren’t even a quarter done. I will have to send you a before and after picture. It is ridiculous how much there has to be done. Tuesday we played a giant game of soccer with the guys in our ward and the guys in Orpington. The cool thing is that we can go play soccer at any park and it turns into a finding activity. It’s pretty cool. We plan on getting a skim board and when it rains really heavy we go to a park and skim on the grass. We are also thinking of like racing kids and if we win they have to take a Book of Mormon and read it.

Our flat is right past a street of like clubs I guess. So every night we walk down the 'nightlife street'. It’s funny because we are walking home and they are walking to basically have their fun. It’s just a thing we do every night now. I got the box with the ties... that’s a sick Brooks bruva tie. We might go to the driving range later today or just play basketball. But to Millie. I would love to rewind to my junior year it was one of the best. Right after my senior year and freshman at college. I might buy a suit soon. Just a dark gray suit for like 80 quid that looks dope. But anyways that’s it for this week- bye nerds.

Joey-love you all

The questions of the week- 

1. How are things with you and Elder Hansen going?  Still having fun?  Great and yes.

2. Who are you teaching these days?  Lots of people, see letter.

3. When are you sending the SD card? (Please send it soon.) When I fill it up. I still have like 600 pics to take

4. Any new food adventures? I had fufu. Which is African and its fill you up in 3 bites

5. What are you reading? Still Alma?  Alma 50

6. Any letters arrive yet?  Yup, thanks Mary, Jordan and Katie

7. Are you able to understand all the accents? It’s just an inner city accent really. The posh accent is really easy to understand. The city is harder because they use a lot of slang. Basically any 'th' is a 'v' so its like 'wuddup bruv' is really common.

8. Where do you email us from?  Library mostly

9. Do you see any other elders from your zone at all on Pdays? Do you do sports or anything? Yes, usually every pday we get together. We play chair soccer and basketball. (Which apparently everyone thinks I’m way good at bball...) because I am now. and that’s what i like to play lately.

10. Have you seen any good sites yet? No, not really

Monday, August 20, 2012

Service, Flat finds and the Apostle Paul

It’s been HOT AS HECK here. Like around 34 degrees, but the humidity is a killer. Nothing has been happening so met with the bishop on Sunday to see where he wants us to go work because the areas we have been working have been pointless really. He told us to go into the nice outskirts so Coulson and Woldingham area. We haven’t been knocking that much because it’s been nice outside so everyone is outside so we street contact. People here enjoy nice convos but as soon as you bring up church they will tell you they are either Muslims or Roman Catholic. But sometimes they will listen to what you say. It’s funny how much I have learned about other religions and stuff. People always talk to you about religion if you ask them what theirs is first. So it’s been really interesting to see what other people believe. It’s all about not being forceful. You have to actually be interested in what they are saying and ask those questions. Normally if they don’t want to talk to you they will just not talk to you or say no and walk away. Me and elder Hansen have been focusing on service. So basically helping everyone with anything. Every investigator always tells us they forgot to meet with us and basically just reschedules it
for a different time. Also I have officially passed my 1 MONTH MARK! Only 23 left. I try not to countdown but it is literally impossible. Even the tiniest things remind me of home. Like I took my shoes out of the freezer this morning and put them on and they reminded me of lax practice when I had to put on frozen boots before practice and then when practice started they would be melted and your feet would be cold and wet. This upcoming week is going to be awesome because we have like a service project every day and that includes lunch. Then we have a dinner appointment every single day. The ward loves us. I think it’s because we teach primary and their kids always want us over. Premier league just started on Saturday so everyone always wears their favorite team’s jersey. I have decided I am a Tottenham guy. And I heard they have been doing well. That’s another thing you can always talk to people about. Just mention football and they will start talking to you.  Same with weather. We are allowed to listen to any music that invites the spirit. So we have Faith Hill, Carrie Underwood Taylor Swift Trevor Hall and Explosions in the Sky. So we often play songs and have music playing softly when we get back to the flat. My first purchases have been a Great Britain Olympic tracksuit and 2 ties. I found 3 sick ties in our flat,(flat finds) and I bought the Olympic torch tie. We have been so busy since I’ve been here that we haven’t had time to weekly plan, which takes around 2 hours. There is a family here who moved from Texas the same time I arrived in England and his job is making him work here for 2 years, then they move back to the states. They made us really good burritos. We joke that we will be on the same plane coming back to the states. At the end of my mission I want to be able to say what the apostle Paul did in 2nd Timothy 4:7. That quickly became a top scripture for me. Oh so everyone has been saying Mecham right here and they always ask what nationality I am and I get confused if I should say Italian because that’s what I am or English because that’s what my name is. So I normally just say Italian and explain everything. I guess there is a family in my ward who is on vacation and their last name is Meacham and I was telling people that that’s how my name used to be spelled before the family came to AMERICA. So that’s weird. Also elder Hansen wants to know if you (dad) remember anyone from the cypress 2nd ward. It’s funny that Harrison is in AZ and we are still doing the same thing and sounds like the people are the same everywhere, kinda. I do run into mean people but I don’t tend to write about it because the 3-4 good people out weigh the 100 mean people throughout the day. That’s nice.  The church gives us an extra 120 quid to spend on travel, which a bus and tram pass cost 80 for the week. So no riding bikes for me. I am glad I am already out in the field, it’s so much better to be out in the field.  Also, I found out why we aren’t allowed to talk to Muslims. It’s not really that we can’t talk to them it’s just we can’t baptize them unless the mission president is there and we have to have him or the ap's or zl's when we teach them. If you do baptize a Muslim their extended family may get really angry and there will be bad consequences for the person who is baptized and for the people who were involved in teaching and baptizing the person. Something that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately was if Helaman struggled with his faith. I am because Alma took all his sons except Helaman to teach the Zoramites. And he counseled his sons about pride and other sins but he counsels Helaman about faith and tells Helaman about his own past. Later Alma asks Helaman all these questions if he believes in Jesus and the atonement and the gospel and stuff. I was thinking God gave the plates to Helaman to strengthen his beliefs. Kind of using the concept of we only know how strong we are when we are tested type of thing. But yea that was one thing I just read. But that’s all for now.

-Joey- love you all

This week’s questions from me with Joey’s answers.

1. How is Mark (the investigator) doing- He is doing fine.

2. How was dinner at the Bishop's house? It was really good.

3. So what kind of food are you eating? I had poikey (South African dish) guinea fowl (Ghana food) fufu (African) lasagna (Italian) and some stew (Jamaican) desserts are huge here. So after every meal I get a desert.

4. What does your flat look like? How big? How many rooms? 2 bedroom 1 living room 1 kitchen 1 bathroom

5. Have you gotten the package I sent you last week with the ties? Nope, not yet

6. Getting letters? Haven’t gotten any mail at all here in Croydon yet

7. How is the Italian family coming? They are fine

8. Do you need anything? I need an electric razor. Hand shaving stinks. A few requirements- it need to be rechargeable- it needs to be a coil razor- not the one with 3 circles- just Google foil razors-and it needs to have at least 2 foils. Also please buy  Austin Eckel’s music and send it all to me. ask alexis about it.

10. How is President Millar? Do you write to him every week? Fine. Yes

11. Did President Millar remember you? Yes

12. Is everything super expensive there? Not really

12. What do you do at church? Do you teach? Go to Elders' Quorum? I haven’t taught yet... we do go to church of course.

Olympic Track suit/ Gangster pose

Olympic Track suit/ Joey pose

Beautiful England

The torch tie

Friday, August 17, 2012

A letter from President Millar and more photos!

Today we got a letter from Joey's mission President.  He enclosed photos of Joey and his companion as well as a photo of Joey with President Millar and his wife.  Happy day!

Joey and his companion 

Joey and President and Sister Millar

The newbies and the trainers

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A note from Joey's Companion

Joey's companion, Elder Hansen is from Southern California.  As you have read in Joey's letters the two get along really well.  Elder Hansen's mom and I have chatted a few times (Thanks Missionary moms and Facebook!) and today she sent me some comments her son made about Joey in his most recent email to her.  I love it!

training is off to a sickk start!! things have been hectic ever since i got my boy......we havent even had time to weekly plan yet...things are good, i took my boy out for his first street contact, and hahah it was so funny, we were walking down a quieter street and we see this black lady about 30's walking towards us, so im like alright my son, this is your first contact, you'll always remember this one. get it done! so as we walk buy he says, hey......then she takes out her headphones and she's all, hey hows it going.....then he just freezes and with this look of desperation turns to me as if to say, dude help me !!! hahah but to be fair, the first person he stops turns into an investigator, so whos laughing now
i also got my oppurtunity to play my greenie me and mark planned it all out. we decided to go high streeting, and we would meet mark there....only my boy has never met mark yet, so i see mark coming down the road and im all, alright mah man, this ones all you, and ima let you do the talking, im here if you need me....and you know what, he actually did such a good job. but dang he did a great job, and poor man, mark had him going. he was playing the golden man on the streets, he gave him a book of mormon and everything, and after this great convo he turns to me and was like, wait, was that mark... mark?!? he was not a happy camper, he got punkd!! haha but he was all game for it, he wasnt mad or upset or anything....
weve had a few good teaches together as well. i see the potential he has and its a huge upside, which means, pressures on me to make sure he lives up to it. i was really nervous at first, but now im really excited. my boy has broughten fire!!! Life has been really good, and were hoping to keep things rollin.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Teaching, dinners and a baptism- 2nd week in Croydon

SO ILL! Anyway the Evan R Lawson ties sounds good. I needed more ties. Elder Hansen is way chill. He is exactly like me. He played football and soccer in high school, then played football in college. He is from Cypress, So Cal. We have a ton of fun but this whole week we have been so busy we haven’t even had time to plan or anything. We have had DA's (dinner appointments) every night so far. We even had some LA's (lunch appointments) so I have been fed really well by the members. They pass around an eating schedule every week in church so we barely have days when we aren’t fed. And also we got the bishop for a DA later this week, which I guess is unheard of. Elder Paulo, the elder in Croydon before me, said he was in the area for 6 months and never got to eat at the bishop’s house. So I guess something is going well. Oh there really is no time limit on how much I can email in the mission Which is cool I guess. Right now we are teaching a kid who is 19 who has been coming to everything, like church and every activity and also comes out with us whenever we ask for like 8 months. But he won’t get baptized and we aren’t sure why. He believes the church is true and everything so it’s kinda strange. Then we taught Jxxxxx he is a black kid and he is from the Caribbean. He just came up to us and started asking about our church and said, ' If I have time to sin then I must make time for the Lord too.' he is really funny. He is covered in tattoos and you would think he is just a hood kid but he told us whenever we wanted to stop by we could. Then we visited some former investigators and got an appointment. Then we got to teach a guy we met on the street. And that’s about it. It’s been sunny since I got here so everyone is in like a happy mood and actually willing to talk. Our chapel is in Selsdon which is like 20 minutes from where we live. There are about 80 members or so. Most are English but some are from South Africa and Guinea and Ghana. That’s good that the Pats are looking good for this year and same with the Packers. We have to take like trams and double deckers everywhere basically. There really isn’t anyone in the actually city so you have to go to the suburbs outside. There are a ton of Muslims and Hindu people but other than that everyone is basically agnostic. Everything had the Olympic rings and stuff on it so it’s pretty big. I guess one of GB's sprinters was from Croydon so it’s pretty big here. I understand most everything people say to me, the only thing that’s hard is people talk really quietly. I don’t really have an accent, but I am starting to ask questions in the tone that the English do. You will have to ask pres. Moody to give you an example. I was a witness at my first baptism on Saturday. It was a 17 year old girl from Sierra Leone. Her name is Dxxxxxxx. She lives in Orpington, which is like 30 minutes away from Croydon. That was cool.

Anyways... it’s been real!

Love you all -Joey

I also saw this on a little card. "The number of 'followers' you have does not make you better than anyone else. Hitler had millions, Jesus had 12."

Thursday, August 9, 2012

1st email from the field- Elder Mecham is in Croydon

So first things first.  This email will be mostly informational and I will write you more on Monday. My pdays are Monday from now on. I’m in the Croydon area. It is part of London but it’s like the slums. The city is all worn down with dodgy people everywhere. But according to my trainer the outskirts of Croydon are nicer.

My trainer Elder Hansen is so dope. He is from Huntington Beach. Just a typical Cali surf bro. I was like worried the whole time that I would get a jerk for a companion and just be like a super strict or super lazy trainer. But he is really chill and laid back. Can’t say enough about the guy but he is way cool so it’s a relief. We study every day until 11. And then go out and do what needs to be done. It’s just me and elder Hansen in our flat. And I am the DLB which means (district leader's boy) he is the district leader. Apparently being the DLB is a sign for good things in the future everyone was saying. And it’s also the best because I get from 9 to 10:30 to do what I want (write letters, read scriptures etc) while he is on the phone listening to reports and talking to all the elders in the district too.

Okay so I guess I will answer a few of your questions-I heard that we have to wear a suit every day in this mission but found out it’s only to meetings. I might go buy some English suits anyways. I found out there is a nice suit shop in Croydon where you can get dope authentic English suits for like 50-80 quid other than that we can wear whatever we want. Which was also a big time relief. I got to see the London temple but didn’t get to really go inside it yet. It was way cool and totally beautiful. Also mail takes a week or so to get to me and I got the package yesterday. Thanks and thanks to the girls in the neighborhood for the letters and also thanks to Blake for the cool package too. I am glad he is laxing it up.  It’s nice to be out of the mtc but it’s crazy that I am actually in the field. I will get authentic fish and chips today too. It sounds good with all the emails that you get from my friends in the field if you just mail them to me. There were 11 kids going to London south. But there are about 170 in the mission so I probably won’t be with anyone. Basically anyone can email my email.  They don’t really mind at all. But letters are better so my comps can think I’m the man. Everyone in the MTC kept think that a girl named Nancy (our street) kept writing me so everyone thought I had a girlfriend named Nancy. They also kept asking who Dee (moody) was and for some reason everyone jumped to the conclusion that she was hot and all I do is get letters from her. (Which is disgusting.Sorry Dee if you are reading this.) A little more about my area. We get to teach with a family from Italy but it’s hard for them to communicate in English so I guess we go over and set up skype for them so the missionaries in Guernsey can speak to them in Italian. So today will be first day teaching.  Being out in the field is much more exciting than being in the mtc. In the mtc every day is planned and it’s the same in the field, but you don’t really know what you will be doing. There’s a heat wave so it’s like 26 degrees and just really humid and really hot but at least it’s sunny for the next couple of days. They also give us 2 hours to use the computer so it’s really relaxed in the mission. How is dad with the Packer players? I could always use more ties. Manchester Piccadilly stunk for contacting because it’s a lot like New York where people are in a rush to go everywhere and a lot of people barely speak English and the mtc has been going there for like 4 years so they probably have it circled on a map that the Mormons are coming that day! Ha.  Everyone in the ward here I guess is really nice so we have dinner appointments most of the nights. We have 2 tonight one in an hour and a half (2) and then one at 6pm so it’s a ton of eating. My bed is ridiculously uncomfortable but its whatevs I’m so tired at the end of the day that I don’t even care. Tell dad he has to protect my hardrive with his life. It has all my college papers and music on there so I’ll need that when I return. Just make sure all my stuff doesn’t get thrown away.. I’ve been emailing some of the guys who are on missions or home, Harrison and McKay and Johnson and Hayden just little short emails. My mission is way relaxed but we work hard.President Millar is brand new so it’s cool and a nice transition. I’ve taken about 180 pictures so far. So in a couple of weeks I might send the sdcard to you so you can put them up. With mail you can either mail it to my flat or to the London temple. It just needs to say elder.... my address for the flat in Croydon is.

Flat 3

12 Bramley hill

Croydon, London, England


I don’t think I will write family back just because I can email you guys and it cost about 80p to send a letter. But I will usually write friends back .It was cool to get a letter from Blake. Croydon is literally a giant melting pot. Every race you can think of is here. All the elders I’ve met so far are really cool. I met elder Amijo who is friends with Taylor Hayman. He was cool. I haven’t done too much yet just because I just got here. But I will email you in 4 days with more stories I guess.  Hopefully I will have more to tell you about the work I am doing.

 love you all-Joey

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

On his way to London South

Elders headed to Brimingham and London South left the MTC in Preston today at 6am.  Our love and prayers are with Elder Mecham as he travels to his first area. 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Road to London... Missionary style

This past week Millie and I took a short trip to Massachusetts so I have had little computer access.  I will post a few of the many photos that we got during the past 6 days.  We also got Joey's email this morning and can I say it was a DISAPPOINTMENT here.  Yes, yes I can!
Here it is:
i cant email today. all i have time to say is im going to london tomorrow morning at 4am and my pday will most likely be monday... i'll send a better email to everyone soon
Joey- love you all

The photos below are photos taken over the past few days. 

In class

Fish and Chips and Cornish pastries

Note: Joey has the Tabasco!

Singing God Save The Queen

It was one of the Elder's birthday so the chefs made  a cake.

Happy to work out, of course.

Flags of the countries represented in the MTC

Before lessons

Singing the National Anthem

Elders stood with their fellow countrymen and sang.  Then each Elder mentioned something they loved a bout their homeland.  Some of the things mentioned:  Football, country music, lacrosse, freedom...Guess which one Joey said.

After their last meeting

Farewell dessert in the President's apartment.