Monday, April 24, 2017

Moves week, Last MLC

Saying goodbye to Elder Butler as he leaves for Ireland
Monday, April 24, 2017

      So the new transfer has officially begun. What a crazy way to start it out. There has been loads going on this entire week. From Monday to Friday, missionaries were moving in and out of Aberdeen every day. It was a really weird schedule this week with new missionaries arriving on Wednesday, leadership training for missionaries entering leadership was on Wednesday, and Moves day was officially on Thursday which was the same day as our Mission Leadership council. So Elder Butler was in Aberdeen still until Thursday morning, but with extra missionaries around in Aberdeen, I went with a different missionary every day doing missionary work and handling missionaries' moves as they came in and out. To get to MLC in Edinburgh, a missionary in Aberdeen traveling to Glasgow drove me to Dundee on Wednesday night where I stayed with the Dundee zone leaders, and then the 3 of us drove to Edinburgh on Thursday morning. My new companion, Elder Crawley I met in Edinburgh at MLC. So this was my last MLC, which was really sad. I got to say goodbye to a lot great missionary friends and former companions. It was a strange feeling when they talked about actions to take that we'll follow up with the next meeting or how to prepare for the coming months or things like that, but me thinking in my head that I won't be here for that. There are so many aspects of missionary work and people here that I will miss. It was a very powerful meeting though and I love hearing President Donaldson's testimony. 

Elder Parsons at MLC

Catching up with Elder Peacock
     So Elder Crawley and I drove back to Aberdeen on Thursday afternoon after MLC. We are getting along so well. This has probably been the smoothest transition for a companion I have ever had. We have been on exchanges in the past, know each other quite well, and he has experience as a zone leader in 2 other zones already also. We have the same desires and work ethic and it is just great! I don't feel too much pressure and don't have too many worries. I think it is going to be a great way to end my mission. We have a lot of fun plans for this coming transfer! We are taking another trip to the Orkney islands this transfer for 3 days beginning May 7th!! Our last trip to Orkney was very successful... ready for this huge miracle story?? When I was street contacting in Kirkwall last time I was in Orkney, like the very first person I spoke to was a lady named Kerry. I was able to set up an appointment with her to meet with the Orkney Elders the next week. They have been teaching her the last 2 months and she got baptised on Saturday!! She has a husband who is becoming more open and 2 young kids also. She has developed an incredible testimony apparently and is a huge help to the small branch there. So exciting to amazing miracles like that. We also have two exchanges in Edinburgh this transfer (one this week actually). So there is so much to look forward to this transfer.

Our area is doing pretty well. Our friend Ivar came to church for all three hours for the first time yesterday and he seemed to really love it! He is making a lot of progress, and we are praying that his wife's heart will soften so he can be baptised. Our friend Fiona who we have been teaching for several months has been making more strides as well. We had a really powerful lesson with her on Friday where she recognised the Spirit, and is scheduled for baptism next month. We have found a couple of new people recently also, which we are excited about. I feel really pleased with how things have been going recently. I know there are great miracles in store for the last few weeks of my mission.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Staying in Aberdeen until the END

Monday, April 17, 2017
Well my last moves call has come! I will be staying here in Aberdeen until the end of my mission. However, I will have a different companion. Elder Butler, is leaving to go to Mullingar in the centre of Ireland and my new companion is Elder Crawley! I love Elder Crawley so much! We served in the same ward in Edinburgh for 1 transfer, and he started his mission in Galway just like me. He is from Utah, and he is already a pretty experienced zone leader so I won't have quite as much responsibility which is nice. I am really excited to finish my last transfer here strong.

It was quite a fun week for us. We went to Loch Ness on Monday and it was soooo cool!!


                  Loch Ness 

 We went to this castle right on the water called Urquhart castle- it is such a touristy place.
Urquhart Castle 

We stayed the night in Inverness until district meeting there.  We drove back and were able to have a pretty productive rest of the week. We got our moves call on Saturday afternoon, quite earlier than usual. There are a lot of changes happening in our zone!! It is going to be quite a busy week for us as there are at least a few missionaries moving on each day of the week. MLC is on Thursday in Edinburgh this week also which is where I am meeting Elder Crawley and then we are driving back to Aberdeen together. 

Want to learn more about Urquhart castle? Click here!
Me and Elder Butler at Loch Ness 
Sunday was Easter of course! We had the privilege of having Stake Conference on Easter and there were a ton of great speakers. President Donaldson came and gave an incredible talk about finding peace through repentance, I loved it! True peace in the world comes from Jesus Christ and his infinite Atonement. Easter as a missionary is the most special because we are inviting all to come unto Christ and the only reason that is possible is because of the Atonement and Resurrection of Christ. It was a great day to reflect because it is my last Easter as a missionary. Our friend Ivar came to Stake conference and he seemed to really enjoy it. He is so close to being baptised, he just needs to reach more of an agreement with his wife who is not so supportive.

The rest of Easter was not that miraculous as we spent the rest of the day planning the moves for this coming week. There are a lot!! So it took quite a while. This will really be last time having to take care of moves though, so I am pretty grateful. I am ready to go forth with all my effort this last transfer- so it starts this week.

More photos of Urquhart Castle 

Monday, April 10, 2017

Wild Week

              Loch Muick
Monday, April 10, 2017
So it has been another eventful and interesting week for us. It started off pretty fun and also a bit crazy. So we had a combined conference with our zone (Aberdeen), and Dundee zone. Some missionaries traveling from the Northern and Western Isles got to Aberdeen on Monday, so we had a fun time together. Most of the city missionaries and the Elders from Shetland drove out to the Cairngorms national park (lots of mountains and beautiful scenery) and went to a lake called Loch Muick. It was gorgeous! We also tried to make it to Balmoral Castle where the Queen stays in the summer, but it was too expensive to 
even get on the grounds to see it.

Then it was madness on Monday evening and Tuesday morning managing to arrange all the missionaries from both zones to get to the Aberdeen stake centre for our conference. So after that and our interviews with President on Wednesday, things were able to even out a bit. We were also to go to Edinburgh on Friday for an exchange with the Assistants, but that was canceled last minute the night before, sadly, because we had our whole day cleared out. So it was a bit of a tougher week with lots of things going on, but still some positive things happening. Our friend Ivar was interviewed for baptism and passed!! However, there is still some resistance from his wife, which then makes it difficult for him to come to church. So he will need to start attending church regularly in order to actually make the step to be baptised. Most of our other friends we have been teaching we were not able to see this week sadly.

But I am really looking forward to our week ahead. There are lots of new people that we are excited about and of course it is Easter weekend coming up. This Saturday will be my last moves call of my mission. I feel pretty certain I will be staying here in Aberdeen, but you never know.

Well today we are headed to Loch Ness with the Inverness Elders for P-day as we will be in Inverness for district meeting tomorrow, so I have to go for now.

My friend, Elder Powell, down from the Shetland Islands

Traveling to  Cairngorms Park

Monday, April 3, 2017

Birthday Week and General Conference

Monday, April 3, 2017

So it has been a pretty eventful but also strange week, with a few unexpected things happening. So Tuesday it was my birthday of course, and it was a spectacular day! We had a district meeting, and then celebrated with root beer floats afterward.

 I was on an exchange with Elder Grabe from Denmark the rest of the day, and we had a lot of fun. My companion and all the Aberdeen city missionaries surprised me for dinner with pizza and cake to celebrate my birthday so it was so nice of them.

Surprise district pizza dinner !
We met with our Brazilian investigator Lahna on Tuesday as well and she knew it was my birthday so she made me a Brazilian dessert, it was so good! Definitely a great 20th Birthday!

So the rest of the week was a bit strange. Elder Butler was a bit ill on Wednesday, so I had to split with the district leader for Aberdeen city, Elder Carlisle and I had to cover all the appointments in both our areas that day, while his companion stayed with Elder Butler. Then on Friday we meant to have an exchange with the Elders from Invergordon (highlands), so they came in on Thursday night, but one of them got really sick over night, so I had to stay with him on Friday while his companion and Elder Butler went out. I think it was the first day of my mission staying in, but it was okay because I had to time to catch up on some paperwork and contacting people, so it was good.

Then obviously we had general conference on Saturday and Sunday!! We got to watch the Saturday morning session live on Saturday evening, and then saw Saturday afternoon, Priesthood, and Sunday morning on Sunday. So many great talks!! I especially liked the opening talk from President Eyring, the talk from Elder Ballard about goals and plans, Elder Rasband's about Spiritual promptings, and Elder Oaks' talk about the Godhead! So many talks were really inspiring for me as my mission comes to a close as I have set many goals to ensure that I finish strong and as I transition to go home. 

Our friends Ivar and Bob were able to come to a session of conference, and I think they really enjoyed it! They are both working to be baptised in the coming month. We also met some other really great people this week. We started teaching this man named David who is so incredibly prepared . He has read so much about Christianity but has never really felt a part of any church, he said he has been wanting to coming to our church for a while as it is near him. We taught him the Restoration which he had never heard before, and he loved it and thought it made perfect sense, so he agreed to be baptised and we are really excited to see him again! 

Things are going really well and I am excited for my last 2 months.

Buffet birthday lunch with some of my district and ward members.