Monday, August 29, 2016

Exchange Week

Recent convert, Eveline, who is moving back to China
Monday, August 29, 2016

What another busy week it was!! It feels like I never have time to breathe anymore, but I love it! I feel like after this week is finished, things will begin to settle at least a little bit. I went on exchanges 3 times this week, so it was loads of fun! On Tuesday, we went up to Alloa for district meeting, which is just about an hour northwest of Edinburgh. We drove back to Edinburgh and went on exchanges with the Falkirk Elders- I was with Elder Moore, who is from California. On Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Thomson who is from South Africa and was in the MTC with me. And on Friday I was on exchanges with Elder Donovan who is from Utah but is a Chinese speaking Elder and still learning. So with all the exchanges and things happening, it was sooooo busy, but so much fun! We were able to teach so many new people and so many amazing progressing people. There was a baptism on Wednesday that another companionship in Edinburgh ward had- it was amazing! It this lady in her 70s that got baptised, so it was really cool! With 5 sets of missionaries in Edinburgh city, there are baptisms almost every week.

There are so many amazing people we are working with. So the Chinese student Humphrey who came to church last Sunday for the first time is an absolute champ!! After one week... He read the ENTIRE Book of Mormon! He is a miracle! And he understands all the stories and everything from the Book of Mormon... it was the most impressive thing I have ever seen. He came to church this Sunday again and loved it and is just taking everything in so incredibly well! He asks superb questions when we teach him and I am just amazed at how well he picks things up. He is scheduled to be baptised next week on Wednesday, so we will need to teach him everything this week. I have never seen someone progress so fast. 

We are working with a this great part-member family as well. There is a 10 year-old son named John who is not baptised, but we have been working with the family a lot and they came to church this week! The father has a had big change of heart and has been to church the last 2 weeks now, which has been the first time in months. So we have goals and plans in place for John to be baptised in the next 2 weeks... pretty exciting! There are a good amount of other people we are working with also, especially many Chinese students- in fact we had 6 of our friends come to church this week, and most of them were Chinese. We are still working with Julia as well, but she is overcoming some struggles at the moment and will be moving back to St.Andrews soon... so it's going to be difficult to help her reach baptism. 

Ryan, got baptised in Glasgow last week
This upcoming week will be super busy yet again! We have mission leadership council on Thursday and our zone interview training on Friday, so it will be pretty crazy. It's nice I don't have 
to travel for those meetings now though. There are so many great things happening in Edinburgh and I am so excited for the opportunities coming ahead.

P.S. Oh, and a cool side note!
 In Glasgow this weekend, Ryan who is dating Rhianna (who I baptised) was baptised, as well this Chinese girl who I first contacted on the street was also baptised! So many cool results from my time in Glasgow!

My new flat- one of the nicest in the mission:

We have a tv in our flat, but obviously don't use it.  

Monday, August 22, 2016

BUSY week in Edinburgh

Monday, August 22, 2016
   Well it's been a crazy busy here my first week in Edinburgh! It is hard to believe how much different it is here compared to Glasgow even though they are only like an hour away from each other. The city of Edinburgh is absolutely beautiful, and at the moment the city is so incredibly busy with lots of crazy summer festivals going on, so it's difficult to find local people at the moment. But I am really excited for September when all the university students come back. Edinburgh zone is amazing as well! We have 8 companionships of Elders including the Assistants, and 4 sets of Sisters, so it's a pretty big zone and includes a big geographic area. It goes all the way up North to Alloa, West to Falkirk, and goes all the way down South to the border of England. But we have some great missionaries, so I am excited to be here. I love my companion as well! Elder Tullis is great and full of so much energy! He is from Centerville, Utah and we started our missions together. I think we are going to get along great together! Our flat is right near the mission home and it is sooo nice!!! Probably one of the nicest flats in the mission to be honest. I will send pictures next week after we get it all cleaned up today.

Early morning climb up Pratt's Hill in Edinburgh. 
Elder Crowe, Sister Muller, Elder Crawley, me, Elder Hansen,
Elder Tullis (new companion), Sister Paxman, and Elder Donovan 


Views from Pratt's Hill
          (Arthur's Seat)  

   So it was a pretty hectic week!! In Glasgow on Monday, I had moves planning all day and had to pack in the evening. On Tuesday, I got up super early and was in Edinburgh by 8. I helped with
Me and Elder Tullis helping missionaries move
moves all day which is tough because sooo many missionaries move through Edinburgh. It was also madness helping all the new missionaries that got here- there were like 26 new missionaries or something. It was crazy trying to get them all off to their new areas after the new missionary orientation. All the missionaries going to Ireland stayed the night in the mission home Tuesday, so we had to get up super early again so we could get about 30 missionaries to the bus station to leave before 7.00 on the bus to the ferry to Ireland. Wednesday we had a few trips to the airport to pickup and drop off missionaries flying from Ireland for leadership training in Edinburgh. I had to get up before 5:30 every day until Saturday. The rest of the week after Wednesday was somewhat normal, but we still had a few tasks to do.

   There are some absolutely great people we are working with though! We've already seen so many miracles. We have this amazing girl named Julia who has a few concerns but is preparing for baptism soon. We are praying that she will be able to baptised this week! So I met this Chinese student on Saturday named Humphrey, who said he would come to church on Sunday.. and he did!! He really enjoyed it and we taught him right after church... no joke his first question was "how can I be relieved from sin?"... We were shocked! And he happily accepted a baptismal date! There are lots of other great people we are working with as well. 

   I am so excited for Edinburgh and all the opportunities that lie ahead!

Hard to say goodbye to these friends in Glasgow: 
Jane was baptised while I was in Glasgow

My favorite man, John, who 
I baptised. 

Rhianna, who I baptised and her boyfriend, Ryan,
who we've been teaching. 

Grand, one of our investigators 

My new city:  Edinburgh

Monday, August 15, 2016

Off to Edinburgh!

 Monday, August 15, 2016
        Well the big news is here... I'll be headed off tomorrow down the road to EDINBURGH! So I will be the the new zone leader there. It's going to be a really crazy week because the most moving happens in Edinburgh during moves week trying to transport everyone around. My new companion will be Elder Tullis, who is from Utah I believe. I know him pretty well already because he was in the MTC with me, so I am really really excited to be with him!! It'll be so much fun to serve with him and to be close to the mission home and everything. It's a great time to be in Edinburgh as well because all the Universities will be starting up pretty soon!

     It was a pretty crazy moves week again... So many incredible missionaries are coming into Glasgow, so I will be even more sad leaving here.... It's been so amazing here and I love all the people. There have been so many amazing changes that I have seen and even have been a part of. I will never forget this city or the people here. But I suppose it's time for another adventure. Edinburgh is a beautiful city, so I am very lucky. 

     This was a pretty great week for us again! We've had a few people drop us recently, but we have a lot of referrals we have been able to teach recently, so it's been pretty nice! The weather here has been really cold! It basically feels like an Arizona winter in Glasgow, which is weird because it's August!! Lots of rain as well. But even despite the weather, we've done pretty well. Glasgow is in good shape and in great hands with Elder Stevens to take over. One cool story this week is that we ate dinner with a professional Rugby player who plays here in Glasgow... He is in our ward!! He is Tongan, Brother Puafisi, -he's huge! And they had us over for dinner on Saturday and it was so good! I really will miss the ward here a lot, I've gotten to know some of them really well and I think the ward has become a lot more united with missionaries since I have been here. 

     Well, it's going to be a really busy day moves planning for me, and a busy week with moves in Edinburgh, so I don't have much time. I'm sure I'll have lots to say next week in Edinburgh!

Click to learn about Edinburgh

Monday, August 8, 2016

Edinburgh x3

 Well it was quite a busy week for Elder Stevens and me! We ended up driving to and from Edinburgh three times this week! Wednesday we had our Mission Leadership Council with Elder Herbertson of the Seventy as a guest. It was an incredible meeting and I got to see lot of my favorite missionaries there. We had an scripture study as council under the direction of Elder Herbertson based on the parable of the Talents, which was amazing! It was a very spiritual meeting and there was a lot to bring back to our zone. After MLC, we had to drive back the Irish Zone leaders and Sister Training leaders to Glasgow airport where they flew back to Ireland from. To bring them all, I drove the big mission van, which was a little tricky to drive, but it was fun! And we got to keep the van over night which made things a lot simpler to drive our missionaries to the All-Scotland conference the next day.
The All-Scotland conference on Thursday was amazing also. Elder Herbertson spoke for most of it and shared plenty of amazing stories from his mission as well. I was great to be around so many missionaries for those couple of days. There were a lot of great people to catch up with! 
Galway 4-man flat back together at All-Scotland
Conference (Me, Elder Carmichael, Elder Scholz
Elder Williams)

On Sunday we went back to Edinburgh again in the evening for a Recent convert/ investigators fireside, which was great fun as well! The former mission President, President Brown, along with his wife spoke at the fireside, so it was cool to meet them.

However, with all the travel and meetings, we basically had a full 3 days eaten up during the week that we couldn't do missionary work, so that was the only downside. And it was pretty rough because the days that were open for missionary work, we had stacked with teaching appointments, but a majority of lessons canceled... so it was kinda sad. But it's alright because this week we have almost entirely free for missionary work!! We have some more good people we are working with for sure! If you remember Rhianna, who I baptised a few months ago- she moved into our ward a week ago, so she came to our ward this week and brought her friend Ryan who we started teaching and set a baptismal date with. He and Rhianna also came to the mission home fireside, so that's really exciting! 

I am really excited to leave Glasgow strong! It appears basically guaranteed that I will leave Glasgow because I have been here so long and because of some abrupt changes in mission leadership. There was a new Assistant to the President called this weekend, and he just came from Dublin, so some people think I might be going there to fill the Dublin zone leader spot. But we got some heartbreaking news this week about a missionary called Elder Taylor who I was in the MTC with. He was a zone leader in Dundee and he got diagnosed with a form of cancer this week and had to go home immediately for treatment (so please keep him in your prayers!!). He gave such a powerful testimony at All-Scotland conference that put everyone in tears. 

Glasgow has been amazing while I've been here and I know the work has progressed so much. This week will be full of tears and goodbyes, but I think I am ready for a new challenge ahead. The big news will come this Sunday, so it will be pretty exciting! 
Missionaries from my MTC group together at the All-Scotland Conference

Monday, August 1, 2016

Johannes' Baptism!

Elder Stevens baptised Johannes on Saturday. 

Monday, August 1, 2016

What another amazing week!

The highlight again was another baptism woohoo!! Our friend Johannes is incredible! He has built so much faith in the last few weeks and it has been amazing to see such great change in him. His baptismal service on Saturday was wonderful, and I am grateful for all the support from the ward strengthening the recent converts. Unfortunately, Johannes is leaving Glasgow today, but he is returning to his home country in Estonia and then to America for another exchange semester. I have no doubt wherever he ends up, he will help build the church so much. 
I confirmed Johannes a member of the Church on Sunday. 
Elder Stevens and I have continued to do great work together! We have a lot of great things happening at the moment. It exciting to have so many baptisms in a row, but now it will be a goal to keep up the pace so we can continue the success we've had. It is tricky to continually be consistent and I think it is the same for our zone as we have done so well recently! It is amazing to have so many great people to work with at a time. As we continue to baptise our friends, we still keep teaching them as well, so keeping up teaching all our recent converts while also finding new people all the time is great fun. I am grateful for all the great support that our recent converts get. John, Heather, Lisa, and others are all doing pretty well and is amazing to see growth in the ward. I feel that I have accomplished a lot in Glasgow and even though I love this city so much, I think in 2 weeks I will feel prepared to move on. I feel that I am almost guaranteed to leave, so a new adventure ahead will be exciting. I will definitely enjoy Glasgow while my time here lasts.

This upcoming week will be really busy!! We have mission leadership conference on Wednesday that we will be in Edinburgh for, and then we will be headed back to Edinburgh on Thursday also for our All-Scotland conference, which I am really excited for because there are a lot of missionaries in Scotland that I haven't seen in ages. Elder Herbertson, who is an area Seventy will be at both meetings, so it should be incredible! We probably will also be back in Edinburgh on Sunday also for a mission home fireside. So a lot of things to look forward to! It will be a challenge to get as much missionary work done as we can amongst all the meetings.

Recent convert, Jane, made an amazing Chinese dinner for
Elder Stevens, Elder Parsons, me, and Elder Scholz