Monday, March 28, 2016

Happy Easter (and Elder Oxspring's Birthday)!

Monday, March 28, 2016
       I hope everyone had a Happy Easter yesterday!! It wasn't really that much different for us. Surprisingly, Easter seemed to be hardly celebrated at all out here. I know there are a lot of atheists here, but I thought that people would still celebrate at least. But nope, we asked sooo many people yesterday on the street if they did anything to celebrate Easter, and not many people actually celebrated it at all. So that was a bit sad to see... But I am so grateful for the opportunity yesterday I had to remember the Savior, His Atonement, and especially the Resurrection. Our investigator John bought us these giant chocolate Easter eggs, so that was so nice. We love him so much- he is incredible!!
Scenery on the way to the ferry port

     This week wasn't too out of the ordinary besides our long journey on Monday from Glasgow, to the west coast ferry port in Cairnryan, to the mission home in Edinburgh, and then back to Glasgow- which took up almost our entire P-Day. But it was fun being able to spend a lot of time practicing my driving and seeing the beautiful views along the coast.
Elder Cook and Elder Oxspringmaking the long drive to the coast,
Edinburgh and back to Glasgow. 

 We were able to teach a LOT of lessons again this week, mainly first lessons though because we are rebuilding our teaching pool after a few people dropped us, but we still have so many of our friends with baptismal dates, so that's pretty exciting! John is all set to be baptised this Wednesday!!! Like I said earlier, he is so incredible. He is going to be such a great member of the ward, and he is excited to participate and hold callings and just do whatever he can to help the church because he knows it is true and the perfect place for him to be. Elder Cook will be baptising him this week, and then I will confirm him the Sunday after general conference.

John is getting baptized this week!
      So we didn't have quite as many of our friends at church this week, only 4, which is still really good, but just not quite as many as our 8 last week- which is incredibly good! It was almost stressful trying to take care of all our investigators and getting members to fellowship them and what not. There were also 3 others that we found and went to the other ward in Glasgow because of boundaries or they were Chinese, so from our efforts, there were about 11 people at church last week! I think that was about 10% of the mission total as well! We are so excited for this upcoming weekend, with general conference!! It is guaranteed to be super spiritually edifying and there are multiple sessions, so hopefully even more people can attend. Things are going so well for us and our zone!! I just pray that the Lord can keep blessing us with success as we do our best to be diligent and obedient. We owe it all to the Lord, and the Spirit that is with us, which helps others come unto Christ. 

One of the districts in Elders Cook and Oxspring's district:
Elders Corcoran, Bradshaw (St. Johns's, AZ) , Reece and Cropper
Exchanges with the AP's: Elder Ilori and Elder Haller

A cold night in front of the Glasgow chapel

Innocent's baptism day-
 Elder Oxspring taught him and set a baptism date the week before he left Galway


                               Glasgow Cathedral

Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art (Elder Oxspring emails from the library inside sometimes)

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Massive Success!

Monday, March 21, 2016    
     Well sorry, I really have almost no time to email today! Elder Cook and I were given a special assignment to pick up a car that was returning to the mission home from Ireland, so we had to drive to the west coast early in the morning at the ferry port and each of us had to drive a car back to the mission. So we have basically spent the whole day driving and therefore I have no time because we have some lessons soon.

     But wow what a great week it was!! Some of the most exciting news is that John has been doing so well lately is set with a baptismal date for March 30th! He is so solid now and will definitely be baptised on that day. He is really looking forward to it. We had many other massive successes this week! We had our zone conference this Wednesday, with the whole zone here in Glasgow. President Donaldson, his Assistants, and Elder Cook and I all presented some training- focusing mainly on becoming master teachers. All the missionaries thought it was really edifying, so we hope it will make a big difference! I went on a couple exchanges this week as well. One with a district leader Elder Tang, from Australia, who is going home soon. As well, we went to Edinburgh on Saturday, and I was on exchanges with one of the AP's Elder Ilori. He was my first zone leader as well, so it was so fun being with him again. We had a great day in Edinburgh!

     One of the highlights this week for sure was having 8 investigators at church! Eight!!!!! That was definitely a record for both Elder Cook and I! We had to move classrooms for gospel principles because there were so many people there. I think the members were pretty impressed. It was such a good Sunday!! 

     Well I don't have much time left, so I need to go, but I hope I will have a bit more time next week!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Another Busy Week

Monday, March 14, 2016
`Well it was quite another busy week for me and Elder Cook. Glasgow is so incredible! I feel like there is never enough time during the day to accomplish everything we need to get done. But I love keeping busy! We were able to teach quite a lot again this week! I believe we were top of the mission again this week for investigator lessons taught. However, lessons doesn't matter a whole lot unless we can get our friends to progress and come to church. 

     Aside from teaching and finding so many new people this week, we had a big leadership training in Edinburgh on Wednesday. All the zone leaders and district leaders in Scotland were there, so there were a few missionaries from the MTC that I was really happy to see that I hadn't seen since I started my mission. The training was really good as well- I always love hearing counsel from President Donaldson and the Assistants. Elder Cook and I were also asked to present a 45 minute training on urgency as a part of it, and we felt like it went pretty well! 

     I went on exchanges with Elder Jameison this week, who is from Canada. He just started training a new missionary, named Elder Devainis who is a convert from Lithuania. I had a good day with Elder Jameison, and I am excited to exchange with Elder Devainis next transfer as well because he is a hard worker and has such a great testimony as a 3-year convert. He gave up like everything to go on a mission. 

     On Saturday night, we had about 11 people lined up who said they would be able to come to church, however we woke up Sunday morning, with loads of texts from people saying they wouldn't be able to make it, so that was disappointing because we only ended up having 2 investigators there, but it was still good! 

     I saw Mykayla Skinner (MyKayla was there for the World Cup
Gymnastic Competition-where she won the gold!) on the street on Sunday evening! It was the craziest thing!! We were just out on the street stopping people to talk to them, and then all of a sudden this girl starts walking towards us and I had to make a double take because I was so surprised! What are the chances of seeing someone from back home in such a big city as Glasgow?! But it was so nice to see her. Small world!! 

     We have a pretty busy week ahead with taking care of our zone interview training on Wednesday, and exchanges with the Assistants in Edinburgh on Saturday. But it will be another good week for sure!! 

P.S.  Oh and I also just found out that someone who I found my last week in Galway and who I taught and set with a baptismal date my last day in Galway, just got baptized!! His name is Innocent, and is from Malawi. I will send a baptismal photo next week.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Moves Week

Overlooking part of Glasgow
Monday, March 7, 2016
    So it was a pretty crazy week for us even though neither Elder Cook and I had to move areas. So we were in charge of all the missionaries moving in and out of our zone as well as everyone passing through Glasgow, which is a pretty big deal because everyone moving from Ireland to Scotland or vice versa passes through Glasgow. So we had quite a lot to handle this week. Last Monday was the moves planning day where we have to plan all the transportation and travel times for missionaries moving through our zone, which took up most of our day. Then on Wednesday, we spent most of the day transporting missionaries and making sure everyone got to the right places on time. It was quite stressful from the start... our first phone call in the morning we got at 6:45 when a couple missionaries missed their train to Glagow, so we had to quickly figure out some alternate arrangements. It was a pretty busy day to say the least... we probably had to handle 20 or 30 missionaries that were coming to, leaving, or passing through Glasgow.

     But we had a pretty great week anyway, despite having to take care of a lot of responsibilities. We were able to teach many, many lessons again and found so many new people. Elder Cook and I just get things done! We weren't quite able get quite as many people at church as last week, but we were still able to have 3 investigators there. It was a pretty special Sunday because it was Mother's Day here in the UK. I thought I had forgot about Mother's Day at first, but then I realized it was a different day here than the US, so I was relieved that was the case. 

     So it has been a bit difficult for our investigator, John. His family has been very against him joining the church, and it has been getting to him. He doesn't want to set any date for baptism, but we are really praying he can overcome some of the challenges and that we can still work with him. We are excited about a few of the others we are working with though. We have a few people scheduled for baptism at the end of this month, so hopefully the individuals we are with can continue to progress.
Missionary apartment building
     Our zone has been doing pretty well lately though. We had 3 more baptisms this week in our zone, including 2 more Chinese students, so we are really excited. We had a couple areas in our zone get shut down for this transfer because there wasn't much happening there, so we have a pretty small zone now, but we are confident we will still continue to do really well.

     Well that's all for this week. We are really excited for the month of March and for this transfer.
Great opportunities are ahead!

             A little tour
             of Glasgow

Staying in Glasgow!

Monday, February 29, 2016
As hoped for, Elder Cook and I will staying together here in Glasgow! We have been doing so well here, so we were thrilled to stay! There are also a lot of great changes to the zone which should bring some improvements, so we are pretty excited about that. 

I don't have a whole lot of time right now because we have to plan how all the missionaries leaving and coming into our zone will travel, so it will take a while to take care of all of that. But there were a lot of great experiences this week, so I will try to share some highlights. 

So we taught over 20 lessons again this week, so it was incredible! We also had 5 of our investigators at church this week, which I have never had before! 

I also conducted my first baptismal interview this week. I interviewed a 14 year old girl who got baptized in a ward just a little bit out of Glasgow. She was so ready and was so nice, so it made it very easy. She got baptized on Saturday and confirmed on Sunday, so it was great seeing another baptism in our zone. We also have 3 scheduled to be baptized in our zone in this upcoming week as well. Our zone is doing so well, and with the changes this transfer, we think that it will only get better!

So sorry I don't have much time this week, we just have a lot of planning to take care of, but I will try to send some more details next week.

click to learn more about Glasgow