Monday, November 2, 2015

Teaching in Merlin Woods

November 2, 2015

I can't believe it is already the next to last month of the year! Looking back, it's weird to think that I have spent nearly 4 months in Galway because it has gone by so fast! It's even weirder to think that this could be my last week in Galway and by next week I possibly be packing to move to a different country. Next Sunday night we will get our moves call again, and it seems very likely that I could move this time, so don't send any kind of packages or letters this week because by the time they get to the flat, I could be gone!! 

Well this week was pretty fantastic! Definitely much better than last week at least. Elder Christensen and I had loads of success teaching people this week! We were so excited to teach Clayton this week because he is progressing so well and basically ready for baptism! We taught him a few times and taught him all the commandments and reviewed all the baptismal questions with him and he is just a legend! He is pretty quiet, but when we ask him questions he has incredible answers and seems to understand everything! And he expressed to us a few different times how excited he is for baptism, so we started making arrangements with the Branch President for his baptism and scheduling him a baptismal interview date and everything, so we were getting pretty excited as well! There was a good possibly of him getting baptized this upcoming weekend too... Except one problem. He didn't come to church again! He was working late again and we expressed how important it was for him to come so he could get baptized, but unfortunately he didn't show up. We were pretty disappointed, but we are excited to keep working with him and helping him to keep commitments. 

We had a lot of other great lessons this week as well too! Stephanie took us to another awesome location for a lesson. We went to this little area in Galway with some woods and a cool castle/tower. It is called Merlin Woods and Merlin Castle and it was a beautiful day, so it was gorgeous 
We also taught two of our investigators who have been gone on holiday for a long time, named Victor and Paloma who are learning English here. We had a great lesson with them, where they told us they believe all that we have been teaching them and will pray about a baptismal date. We are so excited for everything happening in Galway! However, we weren't able to get any investigators at church again this week, and it was too bad because it was an incredible testimony meeting. Oh and the Branch President is starting to make a big push for missionary work, so the whole branch should be getting involved more and more with the missionaries in the coming weeks.

So obviously Halloween was this week as well, so I'll talk a bit about Halloween in Ireland. It was a pretty big event in the city, I think especially because it was the weekend, but it's a bit different from back home. I saw quite a few kids out trick-or-treating, but it is sad because there aren't a lot of people home to give out candy- the kids probably get an answer at the door every 4 or 5 houses. Most people just go out to the pubs or have big parties, and even most teenagers are out at house parties doing sketchy things at night. There were also a lot of bonfires and fireworks going off, so it was a bit different from the Halloween I am used to. We missionaries in Galway went to a member's house for dinner and then got a lift back to our flat for the rest of the evening because we weren't allowed to be out past 6. So we pretty much just partied in our flat and carved a pumpkin and ate loads of sweets and popcorn and watched church videos and played games all night. It was actually a lot of fun! 
We have been teaching a lot of Plan of Salvation lessons in the last couple weeks, and I started thinking about this great analogy of why we are sent here to Earth. We were all safe and happy with Heavenly Father before coming to Earth, so why do we need to be here? Well God is our Father and we are his children, and if you think about parents here on Earth, it starts to make more sense. Children are kept in the home with parents for a few years of their lives, but why do parents eventually allow their children to leave home? Well usually it is so they can attend school and continue to grow and learn. In the pre-mortal life we reached a point where we could no longer progress and grow and learn without coming to Earth, gaining bodies, and experiencing the joys and sorrow of life. Heavenly Father saw our potential as eternal beings and knew there was a way that we could ultimately become greater beings and become like him. Even though parents probably worry about children going to school where they could be bullied or have other bad things happen to them, they know it is best because they will return home better than when they left. Heavenly Father provided an opportunity for us to learn and grow and eventually return to him as greater beings just like parents who send their children off. There are so many other aspects you could also compare, but I just really love that analogy. I know I am here on Earth to progress and return to Heavenly Father as a greater person- a person who is like Him.
Merlin Woods
Merlin Castle
More about Merlin Castle

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