Monday, May 22, 2017

My return and testimony

Please come:
Elder Oxspring will be speaking and sharing his mission experiences on Sunday, June 11 at noon :                LDS church at 2740 S Lindsay Rd, Gilbert, AZ 85295

Pie & Ties Open House for Milan on Monday, June 12, 7-8:30 pm
           461 E Joseph Way, Gilbert 85295

My Testimony:

Well this has been an incredible past 2 years for me. Next week I will finish my missionary service for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Two years ago, I could never have imagined or dreamed of all the incredible experiences and most importantly, all the amazing people I have met while serving in Scotland and Ireland. I have had the privilege of serving in 4 cities that will always have the most special place in my heart:

Galway, Ireland ( July 8, 2015-  February 3, 2016)
Glasgow, Scotland ( February 3, 2016- August 16, 2016)
Edinburgh, Scotland (August 16, 2016- January 2, 2017)
Aberdeen, Scotland (January 2, 2017- May 29, 2017)

In my time as a missionary, I have seen so many lives change. I know that God lives and Jesus Christ is our Saviour. I have had the opportunity of witnessing and helping with Heavenly Father's work of bringing His children back to Him. I know for the past two years, I was called of God to be where I needed to be. I have formed relationships that will be everlasting and met people that I know I needed to meet.

I know the Atonement of Jesus Christ allows each and every one of us to change and become our best selves. We can all repent and receive lasting peace and forgiveness. I know God has called Prophets to guide us in our modern-time and the Church of Jesus Christ was restored by Joseph Smith. Trials are inevitable, but we can conquer any challenges we face in life. Now I will move on to a new phase of my life, but the lessons and principles I have learned as a missionary will forever guide me.  


Elder Milan Oxspring

The LAST week!

Aberdeen missionaries with Sister Milne, President and Sister Donaldson
Monday, May 22, 2017
Well this is it! The end of my two year journey! One more week until I see my parents and begin touring the Scotland/Ireland mission. I feel really motivated still, so I hope that continues through this last week. We have some really great opportunities ahead.

This past week was quite busy with organising everything for our combined zone conference on Tuesday. I gave my departing testimony in front of all the missionaries there and had my final interview with President on Wednesday. It was a really unique feeling. A lot of missionaries at the conference I saw for the last time as well, so it was bittersweet.

Arizona Crew:  Elder Price (from Mesa), me, Sister Coons (from Gilbert), Sister Clarke (from Glendale), Sister Hill (from Yuma), and Sister Six (from Ahwatukee) 

On Friday this week, I had my last time doing missionary work in Edinburgh! I was on exchanges with my former companion Elder Peacock who I served with in Edinburgh. It was soooo fun!! We taught some great lessons, found some good people, and got to see a whole lot of recent converts who we baptised together. It was amazing! As well, I got to see a girl named Cassidy who I spoke to on the street for the first time, last time I was on exchanges in Edinburgh in February, and she got baptised in March. She remembered me, and it was so good to see her. She is actually American and was just at Edinburgh Uni for a semester.

Me with Sister Dent (mission office staff,
Cassidy (who got baptised after I left Edinburgh,
Elder Peacock and Keith

Elder Peacock and Laura, who got
 baptised while I was in Edinburgh

So Elder Peacock and I were able to work pretty hard and find new people and progress some of our friends close to baptism. Unfortunately, after a powerful lesson with Ivar on Saturday, he does not quite feel ready for baptism this week, and Charlotte won't be either, but she is getting interviewed for baptism this week, so will probably get baptised right after I leave! She is doing so well! I will be really sad to leave Aberdeen. We have just started teaching some other really good people. This Italian guy named Stefano came to church and really enjoyed it. He is still learning English but is just attracted to the church and meeting with us and enjoys learning. We had an Indian University student named Francis who also came to church as well after we met with him a few times. Things are going really well and I am ready to work hard and keep busy for my final week as a missionary. This is it!! This Sunday I will be traveling down to Edinburgh in the morning for all of our departing activities, and then my parents on Monday.

Till the work is done

Monday, May 15, 2017

Orkney Islands

Monday, May 15, 2017
    So it has been a fun past couple of weeks! So obviously I didn't get to write last week so I have a lot to catch up on, but I guess I better start with our trip to Orkney. So last Sunday (May 7th) we left in the afternoon after church on our Ferry from Aberdeen.

         Starting out on the 7 hour ferry from Aberdeen
         to Kirkwall, Orkney Islands....before the
         sea got rough!

                                                Map of Scotland and the Orkney Islands

When we checked in at the terminal we got a notice that it could take an extra couple of hours to get to Kirkwall because of the rough waters. They gave us a few papers with notices and warnings because of the choppy seas. And wow it really was rough... worst 7 hours ever. About half an hour in, the ship just starts bouncing up and down and soon it just felt like a roller coaster. I, along with everyone around us, got pretty sick. I had never gotten sea sick before that. Not an enjoyable journey, we were pretty tired when we got into Kirkwall at about midnight.

Bad memories on the MV Hrossey Ferry 

     The next morning was our P-day and it was absolutely incredible.
Leaving on the boat for the Island of Hoy 

Sea Stack on the island- Old Man of Hoy

We took a short Ferry to a smaller island called Hoy and went on this incredible hike up some of the highest cliffs in the UK. We have some incredible pictures from the hike, especially with a famous sea stack (like a big stone pillar) called the Old Man of Hoy.

We also visited this neolithic stone (called Dwarfie Stane) which was carved hollow with stone tools around 4000 years ago.

We also visited this WWI/WWII museum as Orkney was the Naval Base for the Royal Navy in Britain. So it was a pretty legendary day.

A couple of mornings while we were there, we saw a couple of cool sights for morning exercise including some standing stones/stone circles (like Stonehenge).

The few days we were there were great! We had a district meeting in the home of the Senior couple there (the Smith's from Australia). They were so nice and fed us breakfast. We were blessed with some beautiful weather on Monday but the next couple of days were really wet and cold. But from all of our finding efforts in a couple of days they got 4 new investigators in the following days from the people we found. The Elders up there, Elder Smith and Elder Chapple are doing great and Elder Chapple just started his mission a few weeks ago, so it was fun being with a new missionary! Another highlight was seeing Kerry who was recently baptised up in Orkney a few weeks ago. My last trip to Orkney in February, I was the first one to speak to Kerry on the street, and then the Elders taught and baptised her in the following two months. She remembered me and it was so cool to see her. 

Me, Kerry who was recently baptised and Elder Chapple  

     Luckily our ferry back from Orkney on Wednesday was smoother and we slept the whole thing because it was overnight. So the rest of the two weeks not being on Orkney was just focused on finding new people and progressing some of our really good friends towards baptism before I go home. We had a couple of exchanges in our area which really helped out. We have some incredible people we are working with! There are 3 that could be baptised before I finish my mission. So Ivar is still doing really well and came to church yesterday. We had a very spiritual, powerhouse lesson speaking about him bearing testimony to his wife, so she can understand where he is coming from. He came to church yesterday and is progressing quite a lot. Fiona who we have been teaching but but is in a different ward boundary and will be getting baptised in the other ward is doing really well. She will be interviewed for baptism this coming week. And then we have seen miracles with our new friend Charlotte who has now been taught for 2 weeks. When we first met with her two Sundays ago, her faith in God was a bit shaky but since then has been praying and reading a lot and has loved coming to church! She has a few concerns but has gained such a strong testimony already and the members love her, so she is also looking to get baptised soon when she is ready. 

      Obviously skyping yesterday for Mother's day was a highlight! Things are going really well, and I am staying quite busy to finish my mission. Just 2 weeks left! This coming week is my last zone conference and my last exchange in Edinburgh. It's the beginning of the end.

     Cliff sitting  

St John's Head, some of the highest cliffs in the United Kingdom
Some are almost 12, 000 ft

Ring of Brodgar
A henge that is believed to be constructed around 2000 B.C

Click here to learn about the Ring of Brodgar

Monday, May 1, 2017

Winter #2

My new companion, Elder Crawley

Monday, May 01, 2017
So this week started COLD! It was like a second winter hit us. On Monday we went to visit a few castles nearby:  Crathes Castle and Drum Castle. 

Crathes Castle 

They weren't that spectacular, but our visits got cut short as it started hailing and snowing on us. Then for the next 3 or 4 days, it at least hailed every single day and some days we woke up to snow on the ground. I had to pull out my thicker coats and scarves and everything again. So despite the bitter cold at the beginning of the week, things have been going soooo well!

Elder Crawley and I have been getting on really well together and have been super focused on our work. I hardly ever think about home, even though now I actually finish my mission THIS month. But we have had some really good things happen in our area that makes me excited to finish strong. 

So our friend Fiona who has been investigating for several months, and who I have been teaching since I got to Aberdeen, has progressed so much. She actually lives out of Aberdeen by like 45 minutes, but we have just been teaching her since she goes to college in Aberdeen. Well in the actual ward she is boundaried for, we were able to teach her in a member's home with the Elders in that ward. She went to church in that ward on Sunday and loved it, and apparently is preparing to be baptised right before I leave. Pretty exciting! We started teaching this great girl named Rebecca who is also a college student and was taught by missionaries like a year ago, and she seems really interested again and is really fun to meet with. We just started teaching a few new university students who are quite interested as well. Ivar is doing great as well, just still trying to sort some things out so he can also feel comfortable getting baptised.

We had a pretty unique church service on Sunday, as we were celebrating the 50th anniversary of the chapel in Aberdeen being built, The 2 wards in Aberdeen met together for it, and there were a lot of special guests and speakers who helped build the chapel and other people who were around 50 years ago. It was a big event and the Lord Provost (like a mayor) of Aberdeen attended the service

We have some really exciting things coming up though. We leave this coming Sunday to go back up to Orkney for a few days, so next Monday I will be emailing from Kirkwall on the Orkney Islands. This will be a great week ahead.

Drum Castle

Click to learn about the Drum castle and Irvine family