Monday, November 28, 2016

Happy Thanksgiving


Monday, November 28, 2016
     It was a quite a fun and eventful week- I absolutely love being here in Edinburgh... so many perks!! 

     So we had a great opportunity to do a lot of work this week, especially because we had a few exchanges in our area with some Elders from just outside of Edinburgh. And then we also had some great meetings/events. On Thursday we had a our zone conference with all the missionaries in Edinburgh which was quite good! Our zone is doing so well at the moment... we have 3 more baptisms scheduled for this coming week. We will be ending November with the most baptisms Edinburgh zone has had all year, so it's pretty exciting stuff! We have to be ready for December though, as the mission is coming so close to reaching our 2016 goal of 360 baptisms... we are currently 320, so we have one month left! 
The Edinburgh Zone (minus the Sister Training leaders and AP's)


     Because of our conference, we celebrated Thanksgiving a day late with a big Thanksgiving dinner at the mission home with all the missionaries in Edinburgh! It was sooo good! It was like I was back home with so much amazing food!! we ate way too much haha... but it was great. We even got to take home some leftovers. The Donaldson's invited a couple of recent converts in Edinburgh ward as well, so that was quite fun!
A Thanksgiving I'll never forget! 






     We still have a few really great people we are working with also! Our Elderly friend Sylvia is progressing well and still so funny!! She came to church this week, and managed sit right next to President and Sister Donaldson (can you ask for even better fellowshippers?) and it was an amazing sacrament meeting as well! Sylvia tells everyone she is getting baptised soon, so that is pretty cool! We just need to teach her the commandments this week though... hopefully there are no hangups! Our Chinese friend Kai is doing quite well still also, and there's a few new we are also quite excited about! We are looking for a big December so we need to be preparing now!
 
A castle at the Edinburgh Christmas mart



     So in Edinburgh, things have been getting quite cold, but also quite festive! There are so many lights up and decorations, it's amazing!! We are going to the Christmas markets today so we are so excited- should be some good pictures next week! 

It's starting to get a bit frosty in Edinburgh




Monday, November 21, 2016

MLC

Previous companion, Elder Cook, returns home in 3 weeks.
Monday, November 21, 2016
 So to be honest, it wasn't that exciting of a week. But, we were able to get a lot of great things in our area going again and found a lot of great people to work with, so I am just happy to have some amazing people to help prepare for baptism in December!

We have this really great woman named Sylvia who is actually quite Elderly, but she just loves meeting with us and gets really excited when we talk about the Holy Spirit and Joseph Smith. We aren't able to meet her too frequently, but she is just hilarious and it is fun to speak with her. It might be difficult for her to turn away from the Church of Scotland that she attends (like most older people here), but we'll see!
We found this amazing Chinese girl that we taught after church yesterday named Kai. She is so enthusiastic and just so willing to learn about God. She is so prepared...she even started studying the Bible a little bit while she was in China, which is phenomenal for someone from China. She recognised the Spirit so quickly and is excited to start working towards baptism in December!  

One really cool highlight as well, was teaching this Italian girl who was kind of agnostic or atheist and just very adamant about religion being very negative. But after speaking for like 45 minutes about the true nature of God being a loving Heavenly Father, her heart softened tremendously and she remembered times when she prayed and how she felt peace. We are so excited to see her again. I can so why there are so many atheists though... many just have a wrong understanding of who God is and think of him as some authoritative stranger. 


In other news... we had our mission leadership council in Edinburgh. It was cool for me because I got to see all my companions still on their mission. So we were all together! 
Companions still in the mission:
Elder Tullis, Elder Cluster (MTC comp), Elder Peacock, me, Elder Carmichael,
 Elder Cook, Elder Stevens
We have a huge push as a mission to achieve 360 baptisms as a mission as we are currently at 316! So close, so we need to finish strong. There are several teams in Edinburgh zone struggling at the moment, so we have a lot of work to get things moving for December. But I am excited for the great opportunities ahead!

Monday, November 14, 2016

Keith's Baptism, Moves Week

Keith, on his baptism day
Monday, November 14, 2016

Well it's been quite a hectic week for us! I had 2 goals at the start of the week... Make sure everyone got to their areas safely with no messed up travel plans, and for Keith to get baptised. Both of those happened! So I am pretty satisfied with this week.

Elder Stanley before he goes home.
So it wasn't quite as big of a moves this transfer, so that was nice. It was mainly because there were only 7 missionaries that came in. However, we still had quite a lot to do obviously. We had at least 2 extra Elders in our flat from Sunday to Wednesday night, so it was a bit hectic, but I got to see a lot of good friends- for example Elder Stanley, who has been in my zone the last 5 transfers was with me on Sunday, and Elder Carmichael was at our flat Monday on his way down being transferred to Dublin
from Dundee. So it was quite some work trying to get everyone to catch all their trains, planes, ferrys, etc along with a lot of early mornings, but it is all done now for at least 5 weeks.

Wednesday was Keith's baptism, towards the end of all the moves being done. It was quite difficult trying to organise the baptismal service because they released our ward mission leader 4 weeks ago, and they haven't called a new one yet. So that's been a bit troubling, but we were able to sort everything out whilst taking care of all of the moves. We had a lot of last minute things happening, so it started a little late, and the font water was blazing hot because there were some mishaps with filling the font... but the important thing is that Keith got baptised, and another man named Jack who is a Chinese student also got baptised in the same service from another companionship in Edinburgh. So we have had 6 baptisms in Edinburgh ward in the last 3 weeks! It's pretty incredible really!


Things are going really well for us here and I am really excited for this coming transfer. We have a lot of great new missionaries in Edinburgh zone now as well, that we are so happy to be here. We'll have a few meetings this week, but the Mission Leadership council will be fun, and the rest of the time we should be able to have some good proselyting. We have been baptising everyone so we don't have too many solid people other than perhaps Olivia who came to church again this week. So we have a lot of work to do!
Lots of history here in Edinburgh

Christmas lights in the city centre 


Monday, November 7, 2016

Linda's Baptism, Staying in Edinburgh!

Monday, November 7, 2016
Well, just as I hoped I will be staying here in Edinburgh with Elder Peacock for another transfer! So this transfer is 5 weeks, but they usually won't move many people before Christmas, so I think I am likely staying for Christmas, which I would be so excited for! Elder Peacock and I are doing so well, but we are kind of starting fresh with a new transfer starting as well. 

So this week, Linda got baptised!! It was an amazing service joint with 2 others who got baptised the same night in Edinburgh, so it was a triple baptism night for the ward! So exciting to be a part of. Elder Peacock baptised Linda on Wednesday, and I was able to confirm her at church yesterday. She seemed to be so happy! I love Chinese people, they are just so funny. Linda will be such a great addition to the ward as well, as we begin teaching more Chinese people.


This week, we will have Keith's baptism on Wednesday night, which has been like 2 months in the making so we are so pumped! I will have the privilege of baptising Keith Wednesday, and then Elder Peacock will confirm him, so we get to swap roles this week. So many great things are happening, it's incredible!

Our zone is also doing so well, and we have a few brand new missionaries coming in to be trained in Edinburgh, so it should be fun to have them around. A lot of really experienced missionaries are coming to other parts of the zone as well. 

It was a pretty fun week with a few cool events. Monday was Halloween obviously, so we had to stay in the night, so we played volleyball with all the missionaries in Edinburgh.



 Saturday we did the same thing because it was bonfire night (Guy Fawke's night)... which is celebrated in the UK in remembrance of when Guy Fawkes tried to blow up English parliament a long time ago. Really it's
just an excuse to blow off loads of fireworks and light massive bonfires. We were eating with members on that evening as well and we saw huge bonfires get lit up so it was pretty cool.





Then Sunday night we had a mission home fireside, so it was exciting for me because I got to see a lot of the recent converts from Glasgow which was so fun.


So I’ve got a busy day today and busy week really with all the moves planning and then moving all the missionaries around. But it is always fun seeing so many missionaries, so I will enjoy that aspect. The highlight will definitely be Keith's baptism this week though. I am so excited!


Bonfire celebrating Guy Fawke's night