Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014 17 more days but who's counting?

Hi ya fam!

Not that I'm counting, or anything, but 17 more days until we talk!!!  This is going to be a very exciting couple of weeks!!!! 

I had a great week this week! I'm feeling 98% normal now! No more sickness for me! I'm excited to hear from you and to see you! We met with Bridy, James, Margaret, and Billy this week! That was really fun! On Monday we met with James for the first time in months! That was very exciting! On Tuesday, after District Meeting, I went on an Exchange with Elder Fassold. What an awesome guy! We had a great time, and we both said we'd love to serve together some day. He thinks it's going to happen! I hope so! He's a great missionary. He's really short haha he got a package from the YW of his home ward! The ironic thing is his parents moved to a new ward so he doesn't know any of them! We had dinner with the Foots for the first time in forever. (Oh great, now that song's in my head...) They were on holiday (or on vacation in American) in Turkey! Also, Saturday was that big Missionary Christmas choir! They performed at the Glasgow Stake Center, and they were really good! I got to meet up with Elder Livingstone (he was in my MTC group), and I also finally met my "brother", Elder Johnson. It was a good concert. I'll have to sign up next year. So funny story! At church on Sunday, I made a mistake and accidentally wore my blue trousers with my black suit coat!!!! It looked awful!! Luckily nobody said anything (except for Bishop, but that's only because Elder Hanson told him). Because of that, I was determined not to go up to the stand to bear my testimony, but I kept thinking of "I am not ashamed of the gospel", so I did. Oh! And I got four letters this week!! Two were from you! One was a card, the other was a Dear Elder.  The others were from the Bullard's and Bro. Cratch!  That was AWESOME!

You mentioned this book you were reading that is set in Edinburgh. All I can say is that you'd be absolutely amazed just how different people are here. Most people literally are born, live, and die in the exact same town/city. Because of that, two towns can be completely different, but only 30 minutes apart! So the people in Glasgow don't do almost any of the things you asked about, but that doesn't mean what you read isn't true.

Literally every investigator and Less Active we were working with just dropped off the radar! Some of them are trickling back, but that's why I haven't really been talking about lessons with investigators: because we haven't had any!! It's been really hard on us, we've been pretty discouraged. But things are going better, so that's good.  My Comp's Dad has cancer and has been going through some serious treatment lately. Last I heard he's pulled out all right, but you can tell it's really weighing on him.

We've been sharing the He is the Gift video with everyone. If you haven't seen that video, watch it! It's really good!  President Brown is ecstatic about it!  We love the cards! We're handing them out as much as we can and we're supposed to report how many people contact us because of them and such. We've been sharing the video with every member we go by! They like it! Love it, actually.


But don't be too excited. It was the kind of snow where it snows and rains at the same time. It just went right through you. Not fun. But it looked great from our window! I've never felt this cold in my life! Even when I almost got frostbite on Mount Rainier on a camping trip, it wasn't like this. This is bitter cold. Biting cold. But you know what? Beautiful Wife Points! They're adding up!! 

That reminds me of your question about Christmas in Scotland. Most people I talk to love Christmas just as much as we do. But you NEVER see any Christmas lights. There'll maybe be that one house on the block, but usually there isn't a single light. So I really don't know! There are decorations all over the Town Center (I'll have to take a picture. It's pretty sweet), but maybe five total homes with lights for the entire town of Cumbernauld. But everyone has a tree.

Keep reading the Book of Mormon! It's great! And read your Patriarchal Blessing too! I did on Sunday and it was a great experience! Write down your thoughts and questions that come into your mind while you read it. Any thought and question! It was really great doing that. That's my spiritual homework for you guys. Due next week. I want an essay. Don't worry, you'll be graded on a curve. ;)

Love you guys so much! I can't wait to skype with you guys!! Luv ya! I love you so much! I've been very trunky lately, but that's Christmas for a missionary! Thanks for your love and emails! I am soooooooo grateful that I had such a great childhood! Thank you!
Elder Bates

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