Monday, July 25, 2016

Lisa's Baptism

Definitely ano

Monday, July 25, 2016

Another amazing week here in Glasgow!

 Of course, the highlight was Lisa's baptism on Friday. Wow it was such an incredible experience to be a part of. Lisa has changed so much in just 6 short weeks! It's been amazing to see her journey and especially to be part of her conversion process- all the way from talking to her for the first time on the street, teaching her everything, and eventually having the privilege of baptising her on Friday! She said she was terrified the whole week approaching the baptism, but she was so prepared and so ready, and it was an absolutely amazing service! The Stake President even came as well because his daughters participated with part of the service. Lisa has received so much support and I have no doubt that she will be an incredible addition to the ward here. After her baptism on Friday and Confirmation on Sunday she was just beaming!

Johannes continues to progress so well also! He attended Lisa's baptism and church on Sunday and seems to have really grown his testimony. He is preparing to be baptised this coming Saturday, so if everything goes well he will be all ready to go! It's been amazing to see so much change in him as well. The downside is that he is moving back to Estonia the week following his baptism, so he won't be able to stay to support the ward, but he said he wants to be baptised before he moves back so that he doesn't put it off or procrastinate his baptism. I am sure he will be a great blessing back in Estonia where the church is still pretty small though.

We have another new friend we have been teaching who is also doing really great! He is Chinese, but his English name is Tony. He is incredible! He picks up things so well and loves learning about the church. He came to church on Sunday and brought FOUR of his chinese friends. Unfortunately, their English wasn't as good so they will be taught by the Chinese Elders and go to the other ward in Glasgow where they have Chinese classes and more fellowship. We will probably have to pass over Tony to them as well, but it's great to see such a huge impact in Glasgow. Our zone is still doing so well, and it will only get better as students for the Universities move in for the next semester. There are so many missionaries coming in this upcoming transfer, so hopefully we can get some more Elders and Sisters in Glasgow!

Things are continuing to go well! Elder Stevens and I are working well together and we are excited for this week. We have basically a normal week of missionary work, so we are absolutely stoked to just go out and work hard, and not have to worry about extra meetings or anything. I love this work and I love this city!
Found some Krispy Kreme donuts and had to buy one- even though they were SO expensive.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Good things in Glasgow

Monday, July 18, 2016
It was another incredible week in Glasgow! Elder Stevens and I are getting along so well and we are finding and teaching so many great people. 

We had several exchanges this week, which made it lots of fun! I was with one of my former zone leaders, Elder Hansen, who is now one of the Assistants, on Tuesday, I was with a brand new missionary from England, Elder Milburn on Wednesday, and I was with Elder Chen from China who is about to go home next month. I had so much with Elder Chen talking to Chinese students at the University like all day. They are so funny!!

Tuesday we were on exchanges with the Assistants in Edinburgh, and while we were there Lisa texted us that she was taking a train to her home town for a day which isn't too far from Edinburgh, so when we told her we were in Edinburgh she decided to stop by the mission home and she hung out around there for a few hours. We taught her there and she got along so well with some of the office staff, so it was awesome!! In the evening when President Donaldson came home, he met Lisa as well and since she still needed to be interviewed for baptism, he just went ahead and interviewed her at the mission home. It was great!! Lisa is doing amazing and even went to the Glasgow ward (the other ward that meets at our building) BBQ. She is all prepared to be baptised this coming Friday, so we are ecstatic for her! She has made sooo much progression and positive changes in the last month or so. 

We have another amazing friend who we have been teaching lately as well. His name is Johannes, from Estonia. He didn't seem very interested at first because he didn't really grow up with any religion and was basically atheist, but we have been meeting with him for like 2 weeks now and he is praying and loves reading the scriptures. We have almost finished teaching him all the commandments and he is absorbing everything so well and has great questions. He seemed to really enjoy church as well, so he is scheduled to be baptised on July 30th the weekend after Lisa, so things are going really well at the moment.

I am so grateful for all the wonderful people here in Glasgow. It will be sad when I have to leave (probably next middle of next month for transfers), but I am enjoying it while I'm here! 
- Elder Oxspring 

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

New Transfer , Heather's baptism

Monday July 11, 2016
Wow what a great week it's been! I have really enjoyed my time with Elder Stevens thus far. He is a really hard worker and we get along great. He is very smart, and has aspirations to be a doctor like me and we have a similar vision with what we want to accomplish as missionaries, so I think we will get along great! He is from Southeast England, right by the London temple, and has been on his mission just 3 months longer than me. 

And what greater way to begin the transfer than with a baptism!! This week, our friend Heather was baptised on Saturday, and confirmed on Sunday. Heather was originally taught in Dundee by other Elders, and then when she moved back to Glasgow for summer some other Elders in our ward started teaching her. She had been to church several times, so I already knew her. However, with moves last week, 4 out of the 6 missionaries in our ward left, including the 2 that were teaching Heather, so she asked me if I would continue to teach her. So Elder Stevens and I taught her this week and made all the preparations for her baptism on Saturday. I had the privilege of baptising and confirming Heather. She has such an incredible testimony, and she was even asked to bear testimony on Sunday right after her confirmation- it was amazing! So I am so grateful I had the opportunity to be a part of her conversion, even if it wasn't largely until the week before she was baptised.
Elder Stevens (new companion), Heather, me at her baptism
Things are going so well at the moment!! We got a lot of great new Elders and Sisters to the zone! Glasgow city now has the most missionaries serving in it out of all the cities in the mission!! There are 7 companionships that cover the 2 wards that cover Glasgow city, so I suppose President Donaldson really trusts that there is a lot of potential here! I believe over the last 6 weeks, Glasgow has had the most baptisms of any zone, so I am grateful for all the hard work the missionaries have put in here. I am so grateful for all the missionaries, members, and people I am teaching here in Glasgow at the moment. There are so many great people here!

It was quite a busy week at the beginning trying to take care of all the moves that happened, but I think things went pretty smoothly for the most part. I lost quite a bit of sleep from Monday to Wednesday from how early I had to wake up to start moving missionaries around, but things got a bit more relaxed by the end of the week. There was a bit more stress added trying to organize everything for the baptism, but everything worked out wonderfully! We've had a few more people that have dropped us, or for whatever reason have lost contact with, so for the most part we are starting pretty fresh. However, Lisa is still doing so great! She came at the tail end of Heather's baptism, and we had some great lessons with her where she really felt the Spirit strongly and recognised it!
Lisa at a Fireside a couple weeks ago with Elder V and me
We are setting up her baptismal interview this week, and we are looking at the the following weekend for her baptism. We are so excited for her and all the changes she has made in her life recently!

Things are going great and I am excited for this transfer ahead! Glasgow is the best.

Monday, July 4, 2016

Staying in Glasgow!!

Monday, July 4, 2016
Incredible news!!! I get to stay in Glasgow! Pretty Crazy that I'll have spent my first 10 transfers in 2 areas. But I am incredibly happy because so many good things are happening right now. Elder V is leaving and will be training a new missionary in Northern Ireland. Elders Stevens is coming to Glasgow to be my new companion. I will be training him as a new zone leader. I really don't know much about him, other than he is English and has been on his mission just a little longer than me. I have heard he is a hard worker though, so I am really excited! It'll be a great transfer with him. A lot of crazy things are happening in Glasgow with moves, so I don't have much time today because I need to do a lot of planning. We have a lot more missionaries coming into our zone- 2 more companionships! Which was unexpected since more missionaries are leaving than coming in this transfer. But Glasgow zone has been doing so well recently, so perhaps they just wanted more missionaries here! Our zone had another baptism this week in Airdrie just outside of Glasgow city.

This was an amazing week! On Tuesday, we had our Mission Leadership Council in Edinburgh which was a lot of fun! It was right around my year mark as well, and I got to see 5 others in the same MTC group as me at MLC who are also zone leaders. What made it even more special is that we hiked Pratt's hill (the hill you hike in Edinburgh when you enter the mission in Edinburgh) to reflect on half of the year so far. So that was a really great experience! We also were in Edinburgh Sunday night for a fireside which Lisa came to and was so incredible! The fireside had a lot of great testimonies and music (including bagpipes as well).

The reason I am so grateful to be staying in Glasgow is that we are working with so many amazing people at the moment! Lisa is doing so well still and came to church again and to the fireside with us and just seems to be really comfortable with all the members of the church. We fasted with her that she will be prepared for baptism this month, so we have a lot of faith that she will be ready in the month of July. I also found this man this week by the name of John, who is also amazing! He was almost baptised in London about a year ago and loves the church! His only hold back is his testimony of the Book of Mormon. He doesn't know yet if it is true... and that's his only concern! He came to church this week and really enjoyed it as well. He agreed to a baptismal date this month as well, but he just needs a testimony first. There's some other big news as well! So there is another amazing girl named Heather who was being taught by two Elders in my ward, but both of those Elders are leaving to new areas, so I will be teaching her now. And she is getting baptised this coming Saturday, so she has asked me to baptise her since I know her. So looks like we have a baptism to organize this week... not a bad problem to have! 

Our whole zone is just doing so well, and I am so so so happy to be staying in Glasgow!