Monday, July 27, 2015

Galway Races...and lots of food

July 27, 2015
Galway has been the place to be lately. There have been so many people here for vacations and for the arts festival that ended yesterday. But this week it's going to be even crazier (I'll explain later).

So this week was great! On Tuesday we had Zone Interview Training in Limerick. It's basically a zone conference where we receive instruction from the zone leaders and the mission president and the assistants to the president. Plus we get to have an interview with the mission president as well. President Donaldson is a great man and I love talking to him and getting counsel from him. A big part of the zone interview training was focusing on getting investigators to recognize the Holy Ghost. The Spirit is essential for conversion because it testifies of truth and allows people to truly receive answers from God by manifestations of the Spirit. In John 14: 26-27 and John 15: 26-27, there are some wonderful descriptions of what the Holy Ghost feels like and how it testifies of truth. So I really enjoyed meeting with the rest of the zone in Limerick. Oh and it is customary for all new missionaries to give testimonies at the first meeting as a zone so I and 3 other new missionaries all bore our testimony. Also, I was asked to be the pianist for the whole meeting, so I was happy to have the chance to use my piano skills again.

I went on a few exchanges this week with other missionaries from district. After Zone Interview training, Elder Christensen stayed in Limerick and I went back to Galway with Elder Bailey. Elder Bailey is such a cool guy and he's from Arizona! He lives in Mesa about 15 minutes from home, so I thought that was awesome. And he goes home in about 3 weeks, so I was able to ask him a lot about his experiences as a missionary. I had a great time with him and I also went on an exchange with his companion, Elder Buckley, on Friday and Saturday. Elder Buckley is from Las Vegas and has been out about 15 months so I was able to learn a lot from him as well.

On Friday night, the all 4 of us missionaries in Galway had dinner at the Senior couple's flat. The Reimers are a nice couple and always willing to help us. We ate a lot of food there when we there for dinner; probably the most food I had eaten since the MTC. They tried to get us to eat up all the food they made, which I was fine with because it was delicious. We had pot roast and corn bread and peanut butter cookies for dessert. And then we also ate a lot on Saturday because we went to the branch BBQ. I loved it! We went to this park in a nearby town called Oranmore and it was so fun! Most of the branch was there along with a few others. We ate hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, chicken, salad, cookies, and cake. I was full two days in a row with eating at the Reimers and having the branch BBQ. We also threw around an American football that somebody brought and kicked a football (I'm really used to calling soccer football now) around. There was also this fun game that is a hard to describe, but you basically throw this small ball somewhere and then you try to throw these heavier colored balls as close as you can to it. So the whole activity was really fun. All our branch members our great!

This week was pretty tough again with missionary work. A lot of our appointments fell through again and it was just difficult to meet with our investigators. I did teach one great lesson with Elder Bailey on Wednesday though. There is this great Irish man who loves meeting with the missionaries and says he gets a great feeling when he does. So hopefully we can continue to progress with him. However, we do keep finding more people on the streets who are willing to meet up in the future so I'm optimistic that in the next few weeks we will start having more lessons. 

This week in Galway is going to be crazy busy. Starting today are the Galway races. The Galway races are some of the biggest horse races in all of Europe. There will be close to 50 races happening throughout the week starting today and going all the way through Sunday. It's a huge event and one of our neighbors said there will be tens of thousands of people coming through to see them. The biggest race is on Wednesday for the Galway plate, which is a huge achievement. Probably equivalent to winning the Kentucky Derby or Belmont Stakes back in the US. Some members of the branch advised us to not be in the city centre at all during night time from Wednesday to Saturday because there will be so many drunk people and it could get violent around there. So it will be real interesting to see all the people coming through Galway. It's such an exciting time to be in this city.


I am so happy to be here and even though it is tough, I know I am here for a reason and will be able to accomplish great things!




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