Monday, September 26, 2016

Laura's Baptism!!! and New Companion

Laura was baptised by Elder Rullis on Wednesday and I confirmed her a member of the Church on Sunday. 

Monday, September 26, 2016

So I don't have much time right now because of all the moves planning going on- it's sooo busy being here in Edinburgh! But it's been such a good week! Lots of big news... So Elder Tullis is leaving Edinburgh, and is moving to be Limerick zone leader based in Cork, and my new companion will be Elder Peacock, who is from England. Elder Peacock has been out 8 months and is a brand new zone leader, so I will be training him to be a zone leader. I have met him a couple times and have heard good things about him, so I am so excited! It's going to be a great transfer. 

Laura got baptised this week!!!! It was absolutely amazing!! She was beaming. Elder Tullis baptised her on Wednesday, and I had the opportunity to confirm her on Sunday at church, so I was very privileged! And she invited President Donaldson to be a part of the confirmation, so I got to confirm someone with my mission president in the circle as well- such a cool experience! She is still getting a very tough time from her parents, but she has no regrets and is just so happy all the time. It was incredible to be a part of her conversion.

Edinburgh is doing so well and I love it here! Keith is still doing really well and has been taught almost all the commandments, and really enjoyed church again. He is having a little bit of opposition from his family also, but he has already grown so much in his faith, so I don't think it will stop him. We have a lot of other great people we are working with also. John, who is 11 and isn't baptised will be getting baptised October 9th- his dad is refellowshipped now, so everything is set! We are pretty excited.

In other cool news, on Saturday I had to drive 2 hours to Dumfries, to interview a candidate for baptism named Miles. He was amazing and it was a privilege being able to see the faith that he has developed. And then I had a 2 hour drive back as well... So it was a lot of driving, but it was beautiful scenery driving through the borders of Scotland. Dumfries is right on the Scottish-English border.

Well it's going to be a realllly busy week again, with all the missionaries moving through Edinburgh, so it should be fun!! we'll see what happens.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Stake Conference

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wow what an exciting week it has been!! I love being here in Edinburgh! It is such a beautiful city and there are just so many opportunities.

So our friend Laura who has been taught for about 8 months came back to Edinburgh last Monday from Bristol where she is from. We have been meeting with her every day because she has been sooo close to baptism. She has had so many ups and downs over her investigation, but her testimony is so strong. She is like a best friend to Elder Tullis and I, and really all the missionaries and members of the ward to be honest. Her hold back for a good while has been her family... because they are very against the church (mainly because they just have a lot of misconceptions), so it's been a real hurdle to overcome. But we have had soooo many spiritual experiences with her this week, helping her get to a final decision that she could tell her parents about. She was interviewed for baptism this week and knew in her heart that she needed to be baptised... but the struggle was telling her parents about it. So she had a long night last night, and good while this morning talking to her parents about it. We met with her this morning and she said "I have made a decision." She told us how she will be getting baptised this week!! We are so pumped-she is getting baptised Wednesday! Her family still is not okay with it in the slightest, she just said that she needs to do it and she trusts that it will all work out okay. So we have put a lot of time in working with her Laura this week... but it is soooo worth it!

We have so many other great people we are working with as well!! There is guy named Keith who works part-time here in Edinburgh, and we have met with him a few times already, and he is such a cool guy! He essentially had no faith in God, but after praying on his own and meeting with us and says he has developed some faith. He is working towards baptism at the beginning of next month and we are excited to begin teaching him the commandments this week. He came to church this week as well, along with about 6 other investigators, so we had a total of 7 of our friends at church this week! And we have 12 people scheduled for baptism at the moment in our area. So things are going incredibly well!! We are so excited! We have a few Chinese students that are doing really well and came to church the least few weeks, so that's really exciting!

University of Edinburgh "The Meadows"
A great place to find students to teach

Church was especially great this week because it was stake conference!! So we had the opportunity to go with Laura to the Saturday session of Stake conference, and then went to the normal Sunday morning session as well. Luckily the chapel was almost all cleaned up already, so everything for stake conference was fine. They are saying now it was an electrical fire, not arson... so that would be good if that's true! Elder Mendoza, an area Seventy from Spain presided at stake conference as well and he gave some amazing talks so it was a privilege to hear from him!

So as things are going really well in our area, the Edinburgh zone is also doing amazing things!! We again have the highest number of people scheduled for baptism for the whole year, so we just keep reaching new heights. 

So moves call is this coming Sunday. I would say there's probably almost no chance that I will be moving since I just got to Edinburgh and my companion has already been here for 6 months. It seems likely that I will get a new companion though, so that would be exciting. Oh and a side note, is that my last companion Elder Stevens just got called to be a new Assistant to the President, so I will be around him a lot here in Edinburgh again. Lots to look forward to this week!! We are especially pumped for Laura's baptism!

-Elder Oxspring

    Views in Edinburgh City 

Edinburgh Castle 

Harry Potter Trivia:

Cemetery used as inspiration for names of characters in Harry Potter


                             Birthplace of Harry Potter

Cafe where JK Rowling began writing
the plot on napkins.  

Monday, September 12, 2016

We're on fire!! (good and bad)

Monday, September 12, 2016

So it was quite a crazy week!! Lots of ups and downs, but overall so amazing!! We'll start with the positives:

     So Elder Tullis and I are doing absolutely incredible in our own area, and the whole Edinburgh zone is reaching new heights! Elder Tullis and I currently have NINE people scheduled for baptism. Of course some are more solid than others, but it is pretty exciting nonetheless. Just to mention a fe of the really good people we are working with: there is this really awesome student named Laura who has been investigating for months but has finally reached the point where she has a powerhouse testimony and has a strong desire to be baptised... the only problem is that her parents aren't really approving of her decisions, so it is quite a strong influence on her, for good reason obviously, but she is so close to being baptised! John who is 10 is just waiting for his father to get paperwork back from Salt Lake that says he is refellowshipped so that  his Dad can baptise him. We have A LOT of others that we have only met once or twice but are still pretty good such as student from Taiwan and a Chinese girl who is also a student, but I will keep you updated as they progress. Sometimes it is really hard to tell how good people are because sometimes they just drop off the face of the Earth out of nowhere! But things are really looking up... not to mention we had like 4 dinner appointments with members this week, so that side of things is also really good! 

Driving the Dumfries Elders home: Elder Stanley and Elder Butler

     So this week on Tuesday I was on an exchange with a brand new missionary named Elder Butler who is serving in Dumfries. We had a really amazing day together, but on Wednesday it was a pretty crazy morning trying to get the Dumfries Elders back to their area. So Dumfries is way down in the borders of Scotland, and so it is tricky trying to travel down there. The train they were supposed to catch, they missed, and there weren't many other options, so Elder Tullis and I just started driving them as far as they could so they could catch a different train or bus. And we ended up driving like an hour and a half one-way to a little town named Sanqhuar. And on the way down we got some beautiful pictures in the borders of Scotland!! it was an amazing drive!

      So there were also some pretty crazy, not-so positive events this week. So on late Tuesday night/ Wednesday morning, the Edinburgh chapel was set on fire. It looks like it was arson as well. So that was pretty shocking. There was so much smoke and electrical damage, that it is still shut down and out of use at the moment. We had to use a school across the street for church on Sunday, which was a bit different. I think there is a rapid work underway to get it repaired though, because we have stake conference this Sunday as well! So hopefully it will be done by this weekend.

We are really optimistic for the future though! This week Edinburgh University is back in so there will be soooo many students out that are fresh and have never met missionaries before, so it will be Heavenly for us! It will definitely be another fantastic week :) The Edinburgh zone also currently has more people scheduled for baptism than any week previously this year... so we are at a high point and will just keep moving upward.

. Finding near the university in the evening with some other missionaries in Edinburgh-
Elder Crawley, Elder Donovan, Sister Muller, Sister Paxman, Me, and Elder Tullis

Monday, September 5, 2016

Meetings all Week Long

Monday, September 5, 2016

So it was quite an eventful week... Not quite in my favorite way, but there were still so many amazing experiences! 

From Thursday to Sunday there were so many events and meetings to go prepare for! On Thursday was our mission leadership conference here in Edinburgh. You would think that it would make things a little bit easier, not having to travel for the meeting, but as Edinburgh zone leader, it made things even more hectic! We had to take care all of the zone leaders that were traveling from Ireland... So on Wednesday night we had to pick up the Belfast zone leaders from the Airport, who also stayed at our flat. Which was actually really fun because it was Elder Cook (my former companion) and Elder Stoker who is in my MTC group! On Thursday morning we picked up the Dublin Zone leaders early in the morning, and made preparations for the meeting. MLC was so fun and with so many great missionaries. Elder Tullis and I led a discussion on having a model area for missionaries in our zone. It was a really spiritual meeting as well with a lot of discussion on how we can move the mission forward. The mission is doing so well right now, so everyone is really excited! After MLC we also had to take some Ireland missionaries back to the airport, and Belfast stayed the night with us again. Friday morning we had to get Belfast zone leaders to the airport at like 5.30 am so it was a really early morning for us.

Friday during the day we had our zone interview training which went really, really well! We have some amazing Elders and Sisters in the zone who participated so much and everything went really smoothly. Our zone is performing really well at the moment also! Right after our zone conference, we had a short exchange with the assistants.Then on Saturday, we had a short Zone leadership council with all the district leaders to review what we learned from zone conference, instructions from MLC, and set goals and plans for our zone. 

Sunday after church we had a mission home fireside in the evening! Which was so so fun because normally I have been the one traveling with all our investigators and recent converts from Glasgow, but this time I got to be at the mission home and see all my favorite people from Glasgow traveling in. I got to see all the missionaries from Glasgow, as well as some of the people I helped baptised: John, Lisa, and Heather, and some other members as well. They seem to be doing great so I really enjoyed it a lot!!!

So we didn't get loads of proselyting time this week, but we did have so many amazing experiences with the time we did have. We had an incredible experience on Saturday evening... so we had a few hours left of finding in the day, so we got out the city map and prayed as to where we should go find people. We ended up pointing to this area which is normally really not that inhabited with people, but we went there anyway. It wasn't where we would normally go because there wasn’t a massive amount of people, but we met a couple of really great people. One lady was waiting outside a hospital for her little boy to get out, so we started talking with her and we started sharing a bit about families and we said a prayer with her and she said she felt this just amazing feeling! She said we were crazy but she felt good! She didn't have much time there, but we are meeting with her later. Then we started walking down a couple other streets, and I felt an impression to go to a door at one of the flat buildings, which my companion was pretty surprised at because we NEVER knock doors in Edinburgh because there are always just so many people outside, but I followed the impression and we buzzed one of the flats and got let in the building! Just about every person answered the door and we held a quality conversation with everyone! It was getting pretty late, but we only had the top floor left, so we decided to just go to the top and knock it, and this girl answered who was about to leave for the night and she was so cool! She had grown up with a really good Mormon friend, and knew just a little bit about the church. She seemed to be really interested and agreed to meet with us another time, so we were so pumped!! It is the Lord's work after all, so He can direct us to the people we need to speak to.

Some of our other investigators are a little up and down. Humphrey was completely solid all week, but we woke up Sunday morning with a text from Humphrey about how joining the church would betray his family and political party in China, so it was a bit discouraging but hopefully we can still teach him. There are some really good people who should be baptised pretty soon though, so we are excited!!