Monday, April 25, 2016

Sunshine!!

Monday, April 25, 2016
      Wow what a great week it was!! This week had the most beautiful weather I have ever seen in Glasgow by far! The sun was shining and there were almost no clouds in the sky basically the whole week. Which was great for us because that meant that soooo many people were out enjoying the sun. It actually got pretty warm and I didn't need a coat for a couple days. It gave us so many great opportunities to find new people here. Whenever we were inside teaching this week, I felt like I almost had a nervous tick or something because I was just so anxious to be outside finding more people... So we spent almost no time in the flat this week because it just felt so wrong. 

     Luckily, we were able to spend lots of time finding people in the sun, but also did lots of teaching and taught over 20 lessons. There weren't a whole lot of exciting things that happened this week... but I am actually pretty grateful because that meant that I spent like all my time doing actual missionary work- teaching and finding. I went on exchanges with Elder Blettenberg this week, from Idaho. He is actually in my MTC group, so it was a real fun exchange being with him again.

     A miracle story this week, but also kind of a sad story is that one of my favorite investigators Rhianna, who had moved into a new flat in Glasgow out of our area, actually had to move into a new living place in Kilmarnock, a bit more east, where she went to church this Sunday, but then due to some very tough circumstances had to leave where she was living there, and is now back in our area in Glasgow. She is in a very difficult situation right now, but we have been trying to help her out a lot, but despite everything she has so much faith and has a really strong desire to be baptised, so as long as she stays in Glasgow, hopefully she will be baptised in the next couple weeks. 

John is still doing great!! He was interviewed this last Sunday for the Priesthood, so he should be ordained this coming week, so that is really exciting.
(Got this picture in a text as a nice surprise from someone visiting the Glasgow ward from the US this week!)  


      This week we have a lot of crazy things going on! We go to Edinburgh this Tuesday to exchange with the AP's, then go to Edinburgh again on Thursday for MLC, so there are a lot of meetings this week which means we will have to create a lot more opportunities for missionary work for sure. Elder V and I are getting along great and the zone seems to be improving a lot as well, so we are really excited for the opportunities ahead!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Fresh start after moves week

   
Elder Villanueva- New companion
      Wow what a wild week it was at the start! Of course it was moves week, which made things very busy for us at the start of the week. Moves day has been changed to Tuesday, so things started getting crazy right off the bat. Someone transferring from the Shetland Islands to Ireland left Sunday night and arrived in Glasgow on Monday night, so we had to pick him up and help him into another missionary flat for the night. I didn't get much sleep Monday night because I was up pretty late finalizing the moves plans, and Elder Cook was up packing. We had to get up at 4am to start picking up missionaries and taking them to train stations and what not. All of Tuesday was pretty crazy for me! It was a really big transfer! There were probably at least 40 missionaries leaving from, coming into, or passing through Glasgow on Tuesday, and Elder Cook left for Dundee before 8:30, so it left quite a lot for me to do! My new companion Elder Villanueva didn't get in until 3:30 from Aberdeen, so after that time it helped a bit. I collapsed on my bed Tuesday night after so much to do- and I even wore my glasses for a few days following moves day because I was pretty tired.

     But things have been really good!!! Despite a crazy start, Elder V and I have been working really hard! Elder V is from Austin, Texas and has about 6 months left of his mission. I love being with him; he is a really fun missionary, and I think we will get along really well. Although, it was sad to say goodbye to Elder Cook- he was such an incredible companion to be with. So it's been a fresh start for us as well... The last week Elder Cook was here we had to drop a lot of investigators, or they dropped us, and so it's been a bit of a rebuilding. We had one really, really solid girl named Rhianna, who we had just found a couple weeks ago and had been taught by missionaries in Northern Scotland before. She came to conference and church, and really wanted to be baptised!! However, she moved into a new flat... which isn't in our area... and not even in our zone!! It's weird how the boundaries work, but a portion of southern Glasgow is in Paisley zone/stake, not Glasgow. She moved in there, so we had to pass her to the other Elders there. So that was kind of sad because she was soooo good!! But we have found a lot of really great people this week and have loads of new investigators to work with. We still did lots of teaching despite everything we needed to get done. Oh and I am also the new designated driver for our car, so that's pretty exciting! It's going to be strange driving on the right side of the road when I come back home. Oh and this transfer is actually a bit longer than usual- it will be 7 weeks rather than 6, so I will be here in Glasgow all the way through May. I am so excited!! 


     The zone has so many incredible missionaries here as well. It's so great being around Elder Carmichael again! We are serving in the same ward, and we see each other a lot, so I love it! He will do so well here in Glasgow! There were a lot of changes in the zone, but I think they will all be really beneficial! Exciting times! 
Elder Tang- going home (Glasgow zone)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Goodbye Elder Cook

 Monday, April 11, 2015
    Well our moves calls are in! Sadly, Elder Cook will be leaving and will be headed off to be Dundee zone leader. I am pretty sad about that, but I am really excited to be staying here in Glasgow!! My new companion is Elder Villanueva (usually goes by Elder V) from Texas. I have met him a few times, but I don't know him personally a whole lot. We became zone leaders right about the same time, but he is pretty close to the end of the mission. I will have to show him the ropes around Glasgow and help sustain the success we have had recently! There are so many changes in the zone, but SO many great missionaries coming in, so I am really excited! I think we have the best zones in the mission by far! What's exciting is that Elder Carmichael is coming to Glasgow!! He will be a district leader here, and we will even be serving in the same ward. I am so excited to serve around him again!

     Elder Cook and I had another incredible week! The best part about it was that there was no "extra stuff" like meetings or conferences that took up time. So we could literally just spend all our time doing missionary work- teaching and finding. We did a LOT of teaching and a LOT of finding; we were pretty exhausted the whole week from working. But there are so many great things happening. We have a few new investigators that are really incredible, especially this student-age guy named Jason. He loved the plan of Salvation and after we shared it, we asked him what he would do with this knowledge he now has, and he said he should probably follow the steps of the gosepl of Jesus Christ (faith, repentance, baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost), and so he agreed to be baptised at the end of this month, April 30th. We really think he can make that baptismal date! Lois, who we have been working with for a while, and who was going through a rough patch for a little while, is regaining a lot of faith and is working towards baptism again! She came to church this week and really enjoyed it again.

     Sunday was a really great day all-around. We had 4 of our friends at church (including Lois), as well it was John's confirmation day! I had the privilege of confirming John into the church and giving him the Gift of the Holy Ghost. It was amazing!! I had never done it before, but I really felt guided in my words. The Spirit was incredibly strong- I almost felt as if I was floating strangely, but it really was incredible! And the members welcomed him so much into the ward after his confirmation, and he bore a bit of his testimony in Priesthood about how great he feels about making his decision. He is such a great member already!


      Well I have a pretty busy week, starting today with planning all the moves for missionaries travelling to, from, and through Glasgow and then moving everyone around on Tuesday. It should be pretty crazy, but it will be a great week nonetheless! So many great opportunities ahead for me and for the Glasgow zone!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Baptism, Conference and MLC

John, newest member in Glasgow
Monday, April 4, 2016
       Wow I can't believe how crazy busy it was this week!! I feel like I say that every week, but it really was this week again.

     On Tuesday, I went on exchanges with Elder Cropper, from California. He is only been out about 2 months, so it was a lot of fun being with a relatively new missionary. He is really good for being so young though, I was impressed with his missionary skills and we had a good day!

     On Wednesday, John got baptised!!!!! Wow, what an incredible day it was. John had to overcome a lot of difficulties to get to where he is and to be comfortable with his decision. He said it was such a peaceful feeling, and the baptismal service was just perfect! I am so proud of John- one of the most incredible people I have met. He will be such a great addition to the ward!
Baptism Day



     On Thursday, we had the Mission Leadership Council (MLC) in Edinburgh, which included all the zone leaders, the AP's, and Sister Training Leaders. It was a great experience trying to help the mission move forward to have greater success. We had a great council and Elder Cook and I began forming a plan out of it to help our zone specifically achieve really great things!! 

     On Friday, we had our zone Leadership council, where Elder Cook and I gathered all the district leaders in our zone to council together and finalize a plan for our zone. We feel really good about the plan we have and that it will help all the missionaries in our zone achieve their potential. We have a high emphasis on mastering Preach My Gospel, being accountable, and being Christ-like.

    Saturday and Sunday of course were General Conference!! Soooo many great talks again! We watched the Saturday morning session live on Saturday evening, and then watched rebroadcasts of the Priesthood session and Saturday afternoon session on Sunday, along with watching the live session of the Sunday morning session. Sadly, we were unable to watch the Sunday afternoon session, which I was disappointed by because I heard Elder Kearon gave a GREAT talk, and I met him twice at our two All-Ireland conference in December. Conference was incredible!! I don't have my notes with me right now, but there were so many great talks I liked. The first talk of the conference by Henry B. Eyring was so powerful though!! I got a lot out of all the sessions, I especially felt a strong theme of charity and love that came from the talks. Nothing beats General Conference as a missionary!! :) Oh and we were able to bring 7 of our investigators to church to watch conference, between all 4 of the sessions. And John was with us to watch 3 of them- he loved conference as well!


     We were able to teach a LOT again this week!! There are soooo many great people we are working with. There are a few scheduled for baptism at the end of April, so we are looking forward to hopefully seeing a few of our friends enter into covenants with Heavenly Father.
Birthday package finally arrived (after 3 trips across the Atlantic)