Monday, February 22, 2016

I love Glasgow!

A friend was in Edinburgh this week and stopped at the mission home to drop off a package for us.
February 22, 2016
     Wow time has been moving so fast! Because it is only a 4 week transfer, we will receive our moves call this Sunday! I am sure it is unlikely that I will be moving at all, and hopefully Elder Cook won't be moving either, but sometimes President Donaldson likes to make surprises, so we will see. I love Glasgow and I would be heartbroken to leave whilst experiencing so much success!

     This week was extremely busy, but extremely rewarding! We taught more lessons this week then I ever had previously on my mission by far!! Because Glasgow is so big, putting in the diligent effort is all it takes to see success. Elder Cook and I taught over 20 lessons and were able to set several new investigators with baptismal dates. Unfortunately were unable to have any baptisms this week, because John felt unprepared for baptism (even though he is so ready!) and we still have no contact with Idris sadly. But we have so many good things happening and March should be such a big month for us! 

     I went on 3 exchanges this week with some Elders in my zone. I was with Elder Mcpherson from Utah on Tuesday, Elder Arave from Utah, on Wednesday, and Elder Jones from Wales on Friday. It seems like I was hardly with Elder Cook at all this week because of all the exchanges. But it was a lot of fun and it's great being able to learn from and help out other missionaries. Our zone is doing pretty well right now in the mission as well! We had two baptisms in the zone this week, one of which Elder Cook and I attended with an investigator. So I don't know if I have mentioned yet, but there is a pretty big Chinese student population in Glasgow with all the universities here. Because of that, we have some missionaries in our zone who speak Chinese and are dedicated mainly to teaching Chinese students. The baptism we attended on Saturday was a Chinese girl getting baptised, and it was such a cool service! The speakers at the baptism were also a couple of Chinese recent converts as well. The other ward that meets in our church building has all the Chinese in their ward, so it's like a cool Chinese community within the ward! The Chinese Elders are doing really well- they have 3 more scheduled to be baptised in the next few weeks! 

Vauxhall Meriva- Zone car Elder Oxspring & Elder Cook drive 
       On Sunday, I gave a talk in church. It was on sharing the gospel, so it was pretty easy to prepare for that of course haha. I think it went pretty well though! We were fortunate to have two of our investigators at church this week. John was there of course- he is so committed! And a college student we began teaching this week named Lois came. She is so great and accepted a date for baptism on our first lesson. She seems very interested as well and is so fun to teach, so we are excited for her.


     We are anticipating another big week, so it should be exciting! Hopefully there will be no news next week that either Elder Cook or I are leaving Glasgow.


Inside Elder Oxspring's flat
in Glasgow

Monday, February 15, 2016

Fun and stressful week!

February 15, 2016
       So my first full week in Glasgow was quite exciting! Very fun... but very stressful at the same time. But Elder Cook and I work really well together to make the most of the time that we have. We work so effectively together, I love it!

      The week started out great! We were able to teach a lot of lessons and find so many great people to start teaching soon. I went on exchanges with one of our district leaders this week, Elder Corcoran, who is from Australia. He is so fun and we had a great day together. We were quite worried about our friend Idris who was to be baptised on Saturday because we hadn't taught him everything, but it finally worked out and he was interviewed for baptism on Wednesday and passed with flying colors, so we were a lot less worried and more excited for him to be baptised on Saturday. On Friday, we went to Edinburgh to go on exchanges with the Assistants to the President, Elder Haller and Elder Ilori. I was with Elder Haller for the day and it was another fun exchange. Edinburgh is such a beautiful city, I love going there! Elder Haller and did some really good work as well- we taught a girl who we had just met that day and she was so cool! And we taught a few other lessons as well. I learned a lot from Elder Haller and it was just an all-around fun day. We stayed the night in the mission home and got to interact with President Donaldson quite a bit as well, which is always such a great experience! 

      Then Saturday began... It was pretty crazy right from the start. We started driving back to Glasgow from Edinburgh in the morning and we realized we forgot something part of the way, so we had to go back and get it. So we got back to Glasgow a bit later than we thought, then a few appointments dropped. There were some emergency moves that were happening in the mission because of certain situations, and it affected our zone a lot, so then we had to move some missionaries around with their luggage so they could get to their areas safely. Meanwhile, we were trying to organize everything for Idris' baptism later (sorting out the baptismal program and the members coming and filling the font and everything), so we were at least grateful to have a baptism that day. We had called Idris in the morning and he expressed how excited he was and everything! However... about an hour and a half before his baptism we got a text from Idris. He said he felt like he wasn't ready and needed to read the Book of Mormon more. We were shocked a little bit and tried to text and call him and even go by his home to talk with him about it... but we couldn't get any response! So we had to call off the baptism an hour before and it made things a bit tricky, but we are just hoping everything is okay with Idris! We still haven't heard from him, so we are praying that everything is okay. And then just about all the rest of our appointments on Saturday also dropped... so it was a pretty stressful day for sure.
   
     But we had a pretty good end to the week. It was stake conference on Sunday, which was fantastic! President Donaldson was there and gave such a powerful talk, it was incredible!!! He talked about three holies: the Holy Scriptures, the Holy Temple, and the Holy Sabbath. About how those three Holy things can help sanctify ourselves. It was a great conference and we got to see all the missionaries in our zone because they attended, so it was a good end to the week for sure!

     This upcoming week should be really fun! Hopefully we can get Idris prepared for baptism this coming week and we have another man named John who is so solid and scheduled for baptism this coming Saturday, so we are really excited! We also have about 3 exchanges planned, so it should be a great week for sure.

P.S.  Oh and I also failed to mention that it has been sooo cold lately! On Saturday it was snowing pretty good throughout the day! In the morning we usually have to scrape the ice off our car. It was -3 Celsius when we got in our car for church yesterday.

Clayton
Love these two converts in Galway!  
Victoria





Monday, February 8, 2016

Glasgow!!

February 8, 2015
So I don't have a whole lot of time right now, because we have teaching appointments soon and my computer was having some problems at the library, but I will do the best I can to convey as much as I can with the short time.

 On Tuesday I left Galway. It was sad to say goodbye to everyone, but I knew great adventures would lie ahead. Elder Carmichael and I experienced a lot of success in our last few days together! So all 4 of us in Galway bussed to Dublin where we stayed the night. On Wednesday, I bussed to Belfast, took a ferry across to Scotland and then bussed to Glasgow from the coast. there were about 20 missionaries ferrying across, so it was so much fun interacting with each other. 

I love Glasgow!!! It is such a big city, but I love it! There are so many people to find and talk to each day, I love it! Scotland is so much different from Ireland. I don't even know where to begin with everything that has happened. Right from the start when I got there on Wednesday it was busy because I met Elder Cook at the bus station and then we immediately had to start moving missionaries with their luggage to bus stations and train stations and everything because we had to get all the missionaries in our zone back to their areas. There are 12 companionships in Glasgow zone which Elder Cook and I are in charge of. But we have some really good missionaries in our zone, so I am very excited to work with all our missionaries and help them have incredible success.
My companion, Elder Cook is awesome!! He is from Pocatello, Idaho and has been out just over year. I think the two of us are the two youngest zone leaders, but we are left to run the biggest city in the mission! But we get along so well and we work so hard together, so I am really excited!
New companion- Elder Cook
We have so many great people we are working with right now! We actually have 6 people with baptismal dates right now and we are finding and teaching new people everyday! A man named Idris from Nigeria is getting baptized this week, so that is real exciting! I can explain more about the people we are working with another day when I have more time. But there are some wonderful, solid people we are working with.

Our ward seems pretty great as well! I am in the Springboig ward and I go to church at the Glasgow Stake centre. Another ward also meets there on Sunday as well- the Glasgow ward. It is a pretty big building! Our ward has about 100 people and we had a great testimony meeting at church yesterday. Everything is so much different from Galway obviously, because it is so much bigger. But I think it's great! 

I guess a little bit more about Scotland... The Scottish accent is tough. I am still trying to pick it up because sometimes it is very difficult to understand a few people with thicker accents.... I'm used to the Irish haha. It rains A LOT here in Glasgow! So far, it seems even more than Galway. But it's nice that we have a car and get to do a lot of teaching, so I don't get nearly as soaked. 


Well I think that's all I have time for for now, but I well do my best to have more time to explain more things next week. Glasgow is incredible!

Glasgow City Centre
(George Square)   


Friday, February 5, 2016

Goodbye Galway...Hello Glasgow!

February 1, 2016
Well I couldn't be more excited right now!!! So unfortunately, I will no longer be serving here in Ireland... but I am really not disappointed at all. I am headed off to Glasgow, Scotland!!!! And guess what?!? I am going to be a zone leader there!! I have no idea how... I feel like my mission just started... I've only been out 7 months. But somehow it was deemed that I would be worthy to be a zone leader. I feel like I am going to learn and grow A LOT over the next few months. There are so many more responsibilities that I have to take on to lead a zone and the expectations will be high. But it will be quite an adventure! I am humbled to be given this opportunity. And I am even more excited because I already know my next companion! I will be with Elder Cook, who is from Idaho. I love Elder Cook!!! So he trained a missionary that was in the MTC with me, so he was one of the first missionaries I met when I got to the mission home. And I actually talked with him quite a bit on the first day before we got assigned trainers. And he served in Limerick Zone for my first 3 transfers, so I have had a lot of interactions with him. He is such a great missionary! I am seriously ecstatic to be serving with him. We are going to have so much fun in Glasgow! 
     Well I haven't gotten all my travel plans yet, but I got my bus and ferry tickets to make it from Dublin to Glasgow, so I will likely travel to Dublin tomorrow night! It will be quite annoying to pack up everything... I haven't packed since the MTC! Hopefully I can fit everything that I have bought and acquired here in Galway. So there is some pretty cool news for the other Elders here in Galway also! Elder Carmichael is becoming the new district leader and is also training a new missionary! So he will have a lot of travel also going to Edinburgh and back. Elder Williams is going up to serve in Northern Ireland and Elder Scholz is staying Galway and getting a new companion who is coming from Edinburgh. So it was a real exciting moves call for us last night!
     Elder Carmichael and I finished pretty strong this last week together in Galway! We were able to teach a lot and taught 8 new investigators!! That is the most I have had in a long time!! So it was a great way to finish my time here. I honestly would really love to stay here in Galway... it's just great, but I think I am finally prepared to leave. I know Elder Carmichael will do a great job continuing all the success we have had here! He will be a great example to a new missionary. Unfortunately, we were not able to get any of our investigators at church this week, but with all the new people we just started teaching, I know there will be some very committed people that will come out of it. Elder Williams and Elder Scholz started teaching a super solid person this week who already has a baptismal date, and she came to church and she loved it, so I am so excited for their success as well! As a district, this was probably the best week we have had in the last few months! I am so happy to be leaving Galway on a high note!
I'll miss this city! 
     So Elder Carmichael just came from Glasgow zone before coming to Galway, so he was able to fill me in a bit on what it is like. Glasgow is huge!! Biggest city in the mission. So with so many people, there is so much potential. I will be in the Springboig ward in the Glasgow Stake. Elder Carmichael said it is a good-sized ward, so it will be quite a contrast from Galway. There are so many people to say goodbye to and packing and preparations to do, so I will leave it a that for now, but I will probably have sooooo much to say about my new area next week! I am incredibly excited for the opportunities ahead!



Last look at the seashore