Tuesday, February 17, 2015

February 16, 2015 Prayers work!

Hello Fam!

Thank you all for your prayers for Titch! I am so grateful that you guys did that! I've got some great news about the whole thing! 

So first of all, we were able to see Titch almost every single day this week! And except for two times, we had a Youth with us at each one! The second one the Youth backed out because it was Valentine's day and she wanted to go have dinner with her boyfriend. Uck. They were only going to McDonalds! Some boyfriend!  :)

Anyways! So on Friday, we weren't able to see her. Way too busy. But we got a text from her during the day, and she was OUT OF THE HOSPITAL!!!! The Doctors told her to stick around for a week to make sure she was back to normal, which was perfectly fine because the ferry back to the Isle of Lewis is out, so they're stuck here! So we taught her the last lesson at the church and showed her the font and everything! It was great! We also found out that Jen also wants to be baptized on Wednesday! So TWO baptisms this week!!! Elder Wells is doing the actual baptizing, and he's very excited! He hasn't had to break out the white trousers his whole mission! They're being interviewed by the Zone Leaders tomorrow. Oh, and Barry is coming to the baptism! We're hoping he has a good experience and comes to Church this week! 

So that's the update on Titch. We went by Maureen on Wednesday and brought Brother Gardener with us. He challenged her to get rid of everything in her life that makes her want to smoke. She said she would! Later in the week, I think it was Friday, she fell and broke her femur! According to Brian Regan that's a number 10! Not a very valid source, but still! She wasn't able to come to church because of it. So PLEASE pray for her now! Her body is degrading rapidly. She NEEDS prayers in her behalf! After breaking her femur, Brother McKay came by and spoke with her, and she told him to take all her cigarettes and lighters and everything out of her house! So she really wants to be baptized!! Such an amazing woman! 

Rieley went to a Youth Sports event on Saturday at the church. We came too. Rieley is so shy, and isn't very athletic, so I'm not sure how good a time he had. Some of the Youth there were getting too into the Kickball game (they call it California Kickball, btw. Why??) and were yelling at him. It made me mad. In particular was that one girls boyfriend I mentioned earlier. He wasn't a member, and he was just the worst! Claire, I want you to know something. Nice girls always date guys that are total jerks to them in every sense of the way. DO NOT BE LIKE THAT. No matter what, date a member. Even then, be careful. Don't EVER let any guy treat you like that guy treated her. Every time I think about it, my blood just boils. Sorry guys, don't mean to go like that on you.

Presidents day! That's cool! I'd forgotten about Presidents Day. We'll have to do something special for Presidents day today. Any ideas? Maybe some pizza. That reminds me! So Elder Glasgow back in Airdrie. His dad bought them all pizza online from Dominos! Can you believe that!? Now, I'm not making any nudges or anything, I'm just telling ya what happened once.

Good ol Alex! Love that guy! How has he been doing?

Sounds like a lovely Valentine's Day! I love Dad's humor.  I did get a card from you this week! I think it was on Friday. But nope, I won't get the package until at least the middle of March. Maybe even April! Sorry! But hey, rules are rules.

For the sweaters, things are warming up, ever so slightly, so I don't think I'll be needing any for the next seven or eight months. I'll keep one sweater for just wearing around the flat or on P-Day, but I'll start praying for opportunities to give them away. 

To answer a few of mom's questions:  Maureen is actually in her 70's. I really need to start taking more pictures of people. Titch is 17, Rieley is 13, Jen is in her 40's, and Barry is 30. Our new Bishop is in his 30's I think. Maybe early 40's. He's pretty young!

It went well, over all, having the youth teach with us. Hailey was the best! She went with us to teach Titch, and she did a great job fellowshipping with her. She's speaking at the Baptism actually! We were finally able to bring a member with us to Barry's. Ryan is 18, and he's preparing to go on a mission. He did okay. He just needs some practice, that's all. The only other youth that is preparing for a mission is Nathan. But he's dating Hailey, and he is torn between her and the mission. And she isn't helping. She doesn't want him to go. It's a bit frustrating, but I think we got him! We just need to take him on more teaching appointments with us, and I'm sure he'll turn. 

Really all we eat is pasta and anything that uses chicken. And cereal. Elder Wells taught me a nice recipe for Chicken Alfredo (can you believe they don't have Alfredo sauce out here!? I was speechless!) and he can also make a nice pizza! I would love a recipe for pizza dough, actually! Really anything so long as the ingredients are cheap and few. We exercise every day.

Something cool to tell! I forgot to mention last week that I went on an exchange up into Thurso! I want you to use the google maps thing that lets you see from the ground instead of from above on the coasts going up to Thurso. It is so beautiful!! Anyways, while there, we had dinner at this one members house, who also had us do some service. The service was taking care of their horses! We filled up their hay and their stables and it was cool! I was taking care of some horses! I haven't been that close to a horse since I was a kid at that one Western town, you remember that one? And guess what? We did it again this week! Only I was in Inverness! Brother McKay and his wife own three horses, and, since he owned horses back home, Elder Wells groomed them while I raked the lawn. You might think I got the short end of the stick, but I'm not gonna tell you what grooming horses fully entails. It's a bit icky at parts! But yeah, just thought I'd share that with you. 

Oh, and we came up with a new finding technique! Warhammer Finding! Warhammer is a board game, a war-strategy game. It's quite possibly the nerdiest game out there, level with Dungeons and Dragons. There's a shop in town that sells Warhammer figurines, and one of the members here is good friends with the owner. He hooked us up to do some service for the owner by helping her paint some of her models! So this week she taught us how to do it, and she's letting us keep our first ones! I'll have to shoot you a picture of my "Space Marine" haha it's been pretty cool! And it works! While we paint we talk with the other helpers and some of the people at the store, and it was great! Definitely doing that again!

Mom, we spend an hour or two cleaning the flat every P-Day. I vacuum and clean the bathroom and such while Elder Wells does the kitchen and the details. No idea what we're doing the rest of the day today. He has to write up what's called Eye of Faith, where he just tells the Zone Leaders about each missionary in his district: how they're doing, what they're struggling with, suggestions for next transfer, etc. So probably doing that. I dunno! We'll see!

Well, that's the week for ya. The Church is getting renovated, so the chapel isn't available for the service, and the font is under the floor (yep, under the floor) of the only classroom in the building, which isn't big enough to hold all the people we're hoping are coming, so we'll have to do the service in the hall! I'll send you a pic when I get it. My camera's charging right now back at the flat. 

Anyways, love you all! Thanks for the prayers! Keep them coming! Love you so much! So grateful for your prayers! Have a great Presidents day in the good ol' US of A! Can't wait to go back to that blessed land! :)

But this week is gonna be amazing!!! :D

Elder Bates

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

February 9, 2015 Best Week Eva!


Okay, I don't have long and this was the best week of my LIFE!

First, Mom, where did you find the SIM (Scotland/Ireland Mission) Logo? The tartan that is used is actually from clan McKay! Every Elder gets a free tie! We wear them every time we all meet together (i.e. District Meetings, Zone Meetings, Zone Interview Training, etc.) It's not actual tartan though, it's actually quite cheap. If I bought an actual tartan tie, do you think you could sew that logo onto it? I've heard of some missionaries doing that once they go home.

This week has been just totally BOSS!! So awesome! I've felt the spirit so strongly!! It's been amazing! :)

Okay so Thursday was Zone Interview Training again. We talked about the new curriculum for members. Have you ever heard of The Power of an Everyday Missionary? Well it's this awesome book and we're supposed to be teaching lessons out of it to the members when we go by them. It was really great! I'm super excited about it! My interview with President was really good too! He was very helpful and loving! I'll be sad to see him go in July. 

That was an awesome day in and of itself! But the rest of the week was just as good if not better! So there's this investigator named Titch. That's a nickname, her real name is Georgiana. Anyway, the whole story is a bit long, and I don't know it all. But basically, she was interested in learning more about the church from a friends posts on facebook, and so one day she just walked into church here in Inverness!! That was before I was here. However, she lives in the Isle of Lewis, which is in the Stornoway area. So they had to refer her to the sisters that were serving there. Anyways, after ZIT, we received a text from the Stornoway sisters telling us that Titch was in the hospital in Inverness because she was in a coma for 4 hours! She's a very sick girl, I don't know what it is though. Anyway so she was there and we had to go over there. So we did when she was better. And she is the most prepared person I've ever met! We've met with her every day for the past few days, and I've always felt the spirit so powerfully every time I went into the room! It was amazing! And she doesn't want what's happened to affect her progress in the church! She wants to continue to receive the lessons, and even wants to get baptized here! She's going to have to stay here for at least 4 weeks so we're definitely doing that! She prayed about a date and thinks the 18th will do! But she is uber uber sick! So please pray for her to get felling better! She needs to come to church this coming week! So please pray for her! I know that if all of us pray for her she WILL be able to come to church! SO please pray for her! 

Okay, so Titch and her mom are both awesome!!! Love them both! Her mom is investigating too, but she's been hampered by her eyesight. She's waiting for a large print copy of the Book of Mormon but she already believes it! So yeah, they're both sooooooo awesome!!! Jus the bomb diggity!! Or BOM diggity ha ha Great now I'm like Mom!

Anyways, so that was great, and Maureen and Rieley are doing well too. Progressing. Maureen is very bad physically too, so please pray for her too! Anyway, Barry, however, is progressing so well!! Friday we had the best lesson ever with him!!! Ever since he's been asking us questions and they're honest thoughtful questions too!! We're very excited about him!! Dad is partly to thank for that, but I'd ask him about it, I don't have that much time left. 

Okay, so I'll just have to skip to Sunday!! We got a new bishop this Sunday!! Bishop Kane is being released! But I'm gonna have to get to that in a moment. Gotta mention one quick thing. SO the Stake Presidency came over and one of them taught a joint Priesthood/Relief society meeting, talking about the Europe Area Goals. I don't know what its' like in the States, but all of Europe has gotten this new goal for every member to do: 1 Bring a friend 2 I can't remember!!! that's frustrating. And 3 bring an ancestor to the temple. It's really cool and mostly geared towards missionary work1! So all the members got really pumped up to do missionary work!! It was awesome!! And about the new bishopric! They had the old bishopric and the new bishopric all bear their testimonies, and it was soooooo cooool!!! The spirit was so strong!!!! It was awesome!!!!! Best sacrament meeting I've ever had!!! We also were able to get 5 different youth commit to coming out with us this week on teaching appointments!! We are uber excited!! This week is gonna be amazing!! So with Titch, our whole district is gonna have 4 baptisms this month!!! The Highlands District is on fiiiiiiiiiire!!!!! 

That's a really cool insight, Mom! I haven't actually thought about it in that way before! I've always been more focused on the tares instead of the wheat. But you're right! I'm planning on studying the Atonement more. Any ideas on what to read?

To answer your question, abuse is very rare. Course, my definition of abuse is probably different from yours. I haven't had any more cheese thrown at me, if that's what you're asking. ;) There was one guy we talked to that was pretty darn arrogant, but I don't even remember what he said exactly. Just that he felt so sorry that we were tied down to a God that was so condescending or something like that.

What a cool idea, Mom, to have Bring-A-Friend-To-Seminary!! I like it! I'm glad you had some non-members there! Especially since teenagers don't like mornings. I like what PMG says: "Numbers don't determine success in Missionary Work. The amount of work you do determines success." And sounds like you certainly did that! :)

I heard from Heather Layton!  That was cool!  Any news at all from home is wonderful! You could just tell me the days headlines and I'd be fascinated! Haha not really, don't do that. But still! Is there anything I can do better when it comes to emails? Or anything else? Feel free to tell me!

Love you so much! Thanks for everything!! Oh, and we won't be having another chance to get packages until at least half way through March, so I hope you haven't sent anything! Oh, and I'm sorry to tell you, but President Brown has banned sweaters that aren't V-necks. I don't know what to do with my sweaters because they're all crew neck! Any ideas?

Love you all!! Sorry about the misspellings, hope you can still read it!! If not, just know that this week was awesome!!!! Love you !!!!

Elder Bates

Monday, February 2, 2015

Scotland/Irland Mission Logo

February 1, 2015

This week would have been just great if I hadn't gotten a bad cold in the middle of it. :( I'm almost perfectly normal now, but it was unfortunate. It didn't stop us from teaching though!! First of all, I've got good news and bad news. The good news is, Maureen wants to come back to church!!! She said she's noticed a huge difference in her life since she stopped coming! She also wants to be baptized! The reason she didn't want to come anymore was because she felt like the members were too good for her. But now she's going to come! The bad news is that it took some pretty big measures for her to confess her desire to return. She was attacked and assaulted. Her good friend, Brother Mackay, gave her a blessing and she expressed her desire to return. So she wasn't able to come this Sunday because her ribs still hurt like crazy. But hopefully next Sunday!

As for Rieley, he's doing fine. He's a typical 13 year old. Any time we ask him a question, no matter the question, he says "Ummmm... I don't know..." It's a bit frustrating. We weren't able to get him to commit to a baptism date, but we're going over tonight for Family Home Evening! 

Barry is okay. He can't stay focused, that's the problem. But we left him with a Restoration DVD, so we'll just talk about it with him next time we see him. 

Is there anything I can pray for, for anyone in the family? I'd love to get requests haha Oh and I got Mom's two letters today! The one with the Family History and the one with the Seminary quotes. So Brielle and Ros are talking!! That's so cool!!

Last night Elder Wells and I were preparing for FHE today. He's got this game he wants to play. I don't know what it is, he won't tell me, but it requires a lot of pictures! If it's good, I'll tell you about it next week. He was actually looking for a specific picture of Jesus Christ with everyone around him. We tried everything, but we didn't find it.  Do you know the one I'm talking about? If you could email me it, I'd appreciate it. If this game is good, we'll be using it with other members, so that would be awesome. Thanks!

I'm glad everyone's doing well! Thanks for the picture of Marie and Jeff at the Temple! That was really great!

The last missionary here had a coupon for SuperDry, this Japanese store that sells some pretty nice jackets. So I bought one last week! It's not as nice as I'd hoped, but it should last me for the rest of my mission! And my gloves and scarf's are absolutely fine! So don't worry about me! Just pray that we can have a ton of investigators, and then we'll be inside all day long!! Haha :)

I like what you said about missionaries coming home exhausted! Every time I think about getting off that plane when I go home, I can't help comparing it to death. Think about it! Like, when you die, your soul gets on a plane to the spirit world. And if you did everything right, you'll stumble off that plane, exhausted. But then before you collapse, someone will catch you. And when they do, they'll say with tears in their eyes "Well done, my son. Welcome home." I always have that picture in my head every time I think about coming home. I like it. I don't know if it's true, but I like it. The days are like weeks and the weeks are like days. January went by like that *finger snap*!! I was talking with Elder Jamieson (he's in my group) earlier, and we were both like "I can't believe it's been 7 months already!!" So yeah, missions are swift for the missionary!

Satan is good at what he does! He's clever. Any time I have just a moment of weakness, just a moment of letting my guard down, BOOM! Satan's good. But the trick is to be better! :)

As for the Superbowl, Aw, dang it! We were so close!! Gah. Oh well! Next year! I hope Jeff and Kate had a good time with you guys! They were probably the life of the party sine they're used to being up in the middle of the night!

Thanks for the scriptures and the advice about church, Mom. I'll do that. Thank you for the reminder! You're sweet, awesome and powerful, Mom!  Dad, I like that quote you sent, too! Don't do all you can do, do the best of all you can do! That doesn't just mean do all you can do, but do those things that are best! Don't waste your time on random things that don't matter anyways. I like it, thanks! :)  How's being in the Stake Presidency? Sounds like you've got a lot of stuff on your plate! I have no idea how you even have time to think! I love you Dad and admire you greatly! You're such an example to me! Keep being awesome!

I love you all so much! Say hi to everyone back home for me!! Thanks for the scriptures and the love! And especially the family history! I'm looking forward to devouring that letter! :)

Elder Bates