Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving! I know I'm right this time!

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!! Enjoy your turkey! We've got a Dinner Appointment with the Greers on Thursday. I'm not sure if they know about Thanksgiving though. Oh well.  So we might get Turkey, we might get Haggis. Who knows!
My Grateful List:
2. Having perfect parents that actually care about their children (never realized just how rare that is until I came here)
3. Brother and Sisters that are awesome
4. Smartphones that allow you to answer random questions you just have
5. Bible Videos and Mormon Messages
6. 15 Prophets, Seers, and Revelators on the Earth
7. I'm thankful that Mormon was able to stay righteous while literally everyone around him was "more wicked than any other people in the History of Israel"
8. I'm thankful for a government that's at least less corrupt than other governments
 9. The Internet
10. Toothbrushes and Dentist

Anyhow, this week was pretty fun! Elder Massey came back for an exchange on Friday. It was really fun going talking about old investigators, and even visiting some of them. We were chapping some doors, and we met this guy, Dave, who is actually the Organist for the Anglican church nearby. His mother is also a priest. And you know what? HE DOESN'T BELIEVE IN THE BIBLE. Nor does he believe that Jesus Christ did all the miracles that are written in there! He was pretty interested in the Book of Mormon, and we're going by him on Wednesday. 
It's been absolutely freezing lately! The sun is down by 5, so the rest of the evening is reeeeeeallly cold! I need to get some gloves: earlier this week I had to write down people's addresses but my fingers were so numb that my handwriting was atrocious!! I could laugh about it afterwards, so all's well. I haven't gotten frostbite, but I will if I don't get any gloves soon!
Beyond that, not much to talk about. We've been going by a ton of AUF's, and so far no biters. Shame. But we'll keep up the good work!  This week is Zone Interview Training, where we all meet one on one with President Brown. That's when I'll get your packages. After that, the next time I'll probably receive any packages is right before Christmas. Tomorrow, btw, marks ONE MONTH UNTIL CHRISTMAS!!  .

Love you guys! Keep up the good work!

 Elder Bates

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

November 17, 2014 Happy Thanksgiving! I think...

I'm glad you got the letter! I tried sending your letter months ago, but they sent it back for some reason. So I sent it again. I'm glad you enjoyed it so much! I got three letters this week, one from Mom, one from Dad, and one from Laura! It was great! I feel bad for Elder Hanson though. He doesn't get much mail.

 I'm glad Ward Conference was good! I wish I could've been there for Bishop's! Anything about history is a talk for me! Haha btw could you send me Bishop's email address? Thank you!

 The other day I had such a powerful prayer at my bed before I went to sleep! I am so grateful for prayer! I still can't believe what happened the other week!! That God would be so mindful of me is unfathomable! What a blessing! If I came home right now, I'd still be so much better spiritually than I was before. I am so grateful!!!! :) :) :)
So we finally met with Bridy this week. She told us about how she finally reached the decision to put her dog, Gypsie, down. She was just bawling, but not as much as her granddaughter Ann Marie. She was sobbing and had her head in Bridy's lap. Ann Marie also showed us her new tattoo of Gypsie's paw print. But we really did have a good lesson. It was really great!
Also, we found out that Steve, who was in jail last week, probably wont be back for months. So that's really sad. Keep him in your prayers. He's been going through a really rough time. 
Saturday, there was the Stake Movie Night. Each ward had to submit 15 minutes of video. Our ward just did a modge podge of different clips, and we got to be in one of them! I sent it to Mom, hopefully you can see it.
Elder Hanson is actually quite sick right now, so we won't be able to do much the next day or two until he's up for working. Having a sick companion is difficult. But, you've gotta help them. So pray for him too. I know I am!
I love you guys so much!! I love prayer too, it's been awesome!!! Keep being great and don't be ashamed of the gospel! Love it, live it.  Keep staying strong and be an example.
Love ya!

Elder Bates

November 10, 2014 Happy Half-Birthday to me!

Thanks for the news! Marie had told me about moving back to Provo! Sounds exciting to me! I'm glad you told me about Grandma Bates, I've been worried about them! I'll keep them in my prayers this week. And I will definitely ask Claire about the play! So cool!

 So for the questions:

1. It wasn't called Burns night, it was Guy Fawkes day. I'll have you look it up for the details on what that is, but basically they're supposed to do HUGE bonfires where they burn effigies of Guy Fawkes, who tried to blow up the Parliament building a long time ago. Nowadays, they do both bonfires and fireworks, and I mean a TON of fireworks!! I took a video, but I can't send videos so you'll just have to wait for that one. But it was sick!!! Super cool! And they still do bonfires, some are bigger than houses!!!! Seriously!!! It's actually illegal now to start a bonfire that big, but once it's lit what can you do? You gotta wait for it to go.

2. I didn't get a single letter this week! :( I don't know when I'll get your package. I'm excited to get it though!! Thanks a lot! We have a mail slot right in our door, so mail comes right into our flat.  Mail comes between 10 and 11 so we might have your letter right now!

3. This winter is supposed to be the worst in decades! Already it's been absolutely freezing, and it's just the beginning of November! It's not even winter yet!

4. Mosiah 8:8. It's talking about these men that King Limhi sent to find the land of Zarahemla. "And they were lost in the wilderness for the space of many days, YET THEY WERE DILIGENT" I read that, and it was really powerful. I felt like I was 'lost in the wilderness', but if I was diligent like these men were, the Lord will guide me. It's also interesting to note, that it says "they found not the land of Zarahemla", and instead found the land of the Jaredites, and the plates of Ether. So God needed them to find something else, not Zarahemla. As long as we're diligent and hang on to what we know, we'll accomplish what God needs us to accomplish.

 Honestly, things really are looking up! It's been really good this past week!  This transfer will be different, I know it! But honestly, I can already see the blessings from your fast last week! This week was so much better!! Anyhow, this week was pretty good! It was Moves week, and it was pretty sad saying goodbye to some of the Elders who've been here since I arrived. Elder Hanson and I spent the day in Airdrie with Elders Glasgow and Fassold, and we went to this awesome Chinese buffet place and played Uno and some game called scum. We got two new Elders in our District: Elder Smith is Elder Glasgow's companion, and another Elder who's name escapes me is our District Leader. 

 We had lunch with Teresa and Stewart for the first time in forever!  Also, Bridy said she'd be able to meet with us this week! Can't wait to report on how that goes. 

I'll try to take a picture of myself with my kilt. You'll have it tomorrow. Hopefully. Unless I forget. ;)

So it's my half - birthday today!  I've been wondering about how things are over there! Everyone getting geared up for Thanksgiving? Are there Christmas decorations up? They're EVERYWHERE here! There's no thanksgiving for people to wait for!  

Thanks for the emails and the pics! I love you and the whole family!! :)  I learn something new every day! It's awesome! Keep working hard and keep learning the gospel! There is so much to learn! Never be content!
Your Son, Elder Bates

Halloween 2014

Elder Bates and Elder Hanson

November 3, 2014 Guess who's staying in Cumbernauld?

Thanks to everyone who prayed and fasted for me! I'm really looking forward to this next month! I'm sure it's going to be great because of you!! :)
I still can't thank you enough for what Mom and Dad did! What a powerful experience!! I later printed out our entire conversation, as well as Dad's, and that article you sent me, and I read a couple of talks from the April 2011 conference, including Bednar's!! So I really basked in what you guys gave me!! It was so powerful! So wonderful! It brought tears to my eyes each time. Thank you thank you thank you!! When did you read that article, and that talk? It was absolutely perfect! The Lord was preparing you to teach me, I know it!

Guess who's staying in Cumbernauld! Seriously, guess. Not kidding. Guess. JUST GUESS!

 So! Is it:

 A) Elder Bates

 B) Elder Hanson

 C) Elder Bates + Elder Hanson

If you guessed A.... You're wrong.
If you guessed B..... You're also wrong.
If you guessed C.... Congrats! You win a hug! You may cash in in 20 months. 

Yep, we're staying in Cumbernauld and we're staying together! Pretty cool! I'm glad we're staying, because we've got a lunch appointment with Stuart and Teresa on Wednesday! Also! Elder Massey is coming back! To be our new Zone Leader! How crazy is that?? 

 I'm going to give my all and really try to make this transfer great!! :)

 Mom asked about my nutrition. I have been eating apples and bananas whenever I can. Same with vegetables. I've really come to love Subway!! Love it love it love it!! We get both fruit and veggies a lot at DA's. I'm getting plenty of milk each morning with cereal. I've been healthy, overall.

We were told we'd get ipads by the end of the year, but apparently they said that last year. And the year before that. So I really don't know when. But when we do get them, you'll have to send $400. I think. I'll keep you updated when I know more. 

This week I got a letter from Laura with a paper that all of you signed! Thanks for sending that! It was really cool! I especially liked what Mom wrote! ;)

Anyhow, Halloween was fun! Elder Hanson and I dressed up as Mario and Luigi for the Ward Halloween party. There was only about 15 kids. But we had fun anyways! On Halloween itself, we're not allowed out past 6 (unless we're at a member's house). We had dinner with the Bishop's family just before that, and it was delicious! Then we went back to the flat and listened to talks, watched this cool documentary Elder Hanson had about these two Mormon Brothers from his ward. The next morning I realized why we weren't allowed out past 6. There were beer cans EVERYWHERE!!!!   Anyhow, this Wednesday is another holiday, called Burns Night, I think. To celebrate they set off a TON of fireworks and firecrackers!!! People have been setting them off since Halloween! We wake up in the middle of the night to the loud bang of firecrackers! It's cool. Look it up!
Also, Mom, I certainly agree that God sends the weak and simple hahaha In fact, my testimony of that has grown most of all!! ;)

I  have a spiritual thought!

So why do we have all these rules? Why are we not allowed to watch R movies? They don't do anything physical to us. Well, have you ever wondered why the Prophets sometimes call the commandments the Celestial Law? It's because the commandments are the law in the Celestial kingdom!! We won't be able to do those things up there, so why do them down here? We obey the commandments, not to earn our trip to heaven, but to learn how to live in Heaven! Also, in the Millennium, the scriptures say that everything telestial will be burned up, including R rated movies, and honestly most PG-13 movies! So why become attached to those things we won't have if the Millennium came tomorrow? We should all take a moment and think about which things we do we'd still do in the Millennium?

Just think about that for a week. I'd love to hear your thoughts on that too! Love you all so much!! Thanks for the emails and the prayers and the fast! I'm going to have a great month!! :)

Elder Bates

Sunday, November 2, 2014

October 27, 2014 Happy Halloween!

Dear Fam,
Happy holidays!! The Christmas decorations are up and the Santa clauses are everywhere!! It's too early!!!! To be fair, they don't have Thanksgiving, but still...

Anyways, it's been very windy out here!! Seriously, the strongest wind I've ever felt! And it's been constant!! 

So good news! GRACE IS OUT!! We haven't seen her yet, but she got out of Prison on Friday or Saturday. So thanks for all your prayers on her behalf!

I'm afraid I don't have time to say anything else. Just that Prayer WORKS!!! There is nothing more powerful as prayer!!!!!! Please use it!
Love you all SOOOOOOO much!  Thank you for all of your support!!!
Elder Bates