Tuesday, July 22, 2014

23 more to go! - July 21, 2014

One month down!! It's really flown by, too! This week in particular! That's probably due to two reasons:

1. I had TWO exchanges this week! Both times I stayed here while Elder Massey went off somewhere else. I was absolutly terrified that I would get lost or something, but overall we were fine.

2. Scotland West Conference. All the missionaries from Western Scotland met together in Glasgow to be taught by President and Sister Browne and a member of the Seventy and his wife. It was a great experience! Learned a lot, bonded with other missionaries, even saw a couple from my MTC group. I just got some pics from it, which I'll forward to you guys.

Anyhow, like I said, this week flew by! The exchanges were the biggest thing this past week. My "Godfather" (or my first exchange companion) is Elder Dewsberry, from Canada. His companion, Elder Allen, btw, is from Grays Harbor, and was actually a member of O-Zone at Camp Helaman my first year! He was pretty cool, and very nice. My second exhange was with a different Elder Allen from Denver. He's only been out 8 months, so I felt like we were closer in experience and age, something that was refreshing, actually. We had a good time, and learned a lot from each other. 

In my exhange with Elder Dewsberry, we met this man, Ronnie, on the street. He was very kind to us, and accepted a Book of Mormon and we set up an appointment for Sunday (yesterday). We called the night before, and he said he'd been reading a lot fo the Book of Mormon and actually had a lot of questions for us! He is so solid!! The only drawback to my story is that he had to cancel on us at the last moment to help his mom over in Glasgow. But the fact that he called and cancelled is amazing!! Most people don't call, and we go to their houses only to find they're not there. We often have members with us too, so it's pretty embaressing. I mean, if you don't really want to meet with us, SAY IT!! So many times we get an appointment with someone on the street or at the doorstep, but when we show up they say they're not interested! "Why didn't you tell us the first time?" "I didn't want to offend you." WHAT!?

Anyways, overall everyone is so nice! Elder Allen even said that everyone is much nicer here than where he's serving (Glasgow). I'm really glad I got an area that's like that though. It's a great place to start my mission! 
Anyhow, everything's fine here. Everyone's really excited about the Commonwealth Games, which starts this week. We're expecting some more cancelations because of it, unfortunately, but hey, what can you do?

Anyhow, I'm afraid there's not much else to say this email. No new stories really, everything's just going fine. All I can say is that I love the Book of Mormon! It is such an awesome book, and I literally can't put it down! I've been trying to study the lessons lately in personal study, but once I open the Book of Mormon to read a passage pertaining to the lesson, I jsut get lost in it and next thing I know, Personal Study is over and I spent the entire time reading the Book of Mormon! But it's okay, I guess, cuz the Book of Mormon is what we teach, it's what we share. I love it so much! You guys had better be reading it too!! Haha

I love you all and I truly enjoy all the emails you all send me! I'm always grateful to read all that's going on in your lives! Thanks for all the love and support and prayers! I miss you all and hope you all are doing well! 
Elder Bates

Scotland West (Mike is 2nd row from the top, 4th from the left)

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