Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 9, 2015 Moves Call!

So yesterday was the dreaded Moves Call! But before I get to that, I'll tell ya more about the week, which I'm sure is what you really want to know right now! ;)

So I was pretty sick Monday and Tuesday. Stayed inside all day and slept or just rested. I hated it, but it's what you gotta do! Anyways, I was feeling loads better Wednesday! My nose was still stuffy and my throat was a tad sore, but that was a major improvement! After chapping a street, we turned around and there was this massive graveyard! I'm talking massive! With a massive hill that was right in the middle of it! We decided to climb to the top of the hill! Oh, man it was steep! It was quite the hike! But it was fun! There were so many graves along the trail up, as well as at the top. It was cool. Halfway up we got to a spot that gave us a great view of the cemetery. So many headstones! Elder Wells said "You know, I bet you that 90% of the people that are buried here died without the Gospel." That was really sobering, especially seeing just how many graves there were! 

Anyways, we went to see the Kemps after that. The Kemps are this family living in Nairn, which is a town an hours bus ride from Inverness. The mother, Claire, is a member, and no one else has been baptized. Good family though, very nice to us. We helped them set up their trampoline, had some dinner and then helped them lift some stuff up into their attic. Yup, it was pretty fun. 

We went by a lot of Members this week, come to think of it! We went by Gail's on Thursday. Riley was sick and home from school, and Gail asked if we could come and help paint her ceiling. It took many more hours that we thought we'd be there, but it looks great!

We went by the Martin/Theyers, had a blast with those guys. The next day we went by Georgiana and Jen. She can't make up her mind on whether she should get the lung transplant or not. Because the surgery is very rigorous, and there isn't even much of a possibility that she'll get the lung at all. So she asked if we could pop by and give her a blessing. Bishop randomly called us and when we told him we were going by Georgiana and Jen, he asked if he could come! That was certainly guided by the spirit, because he was great! He's a dentist, so he has a bit more medical knowledge than we do! He was a great help, and was able to give some really good feedback. What a great guy! Love that man. 

Anyways, after that we went by the Williams. Sister Williams has recently become unemployed, and she's having a rough time dealing with that. So we came by to cheer her up with the "Good News"! After a while we said we should go, but she invited us for dinner! It was delicious too! It was chili, and it was so good! The best I've had out here! Nathan came over and so we had a good time with him and the Williams. 

Saturday was Youth Sports! The Missionaries (us) are supposed to organize it. So before it started we zipped over to the mall and bought a Yoga Ball and played around with that! SO. MUCH. FUN. Best £10 I've ever spent! We played dodgeball, basketball, baseball, sumo wrestling, you name it! It's more fun with a Yoga Ball! We finally got tired. Anyways, after that we went by Georgiana and Jen again because Georgiana had read the entire Ensign and wanted more! Which we were happy to oblige! She's such a spiritual giant! Both of them! Jen had been reading the "Teachings of President Ezra Taft Benson" book she'd gotten at church a few weeks ago, and she told us about some amazing spiritual experiences she'd had with it! We're like, "if she's having those kinds of experiences with that book, imagine the Book of Mormon!" But yeah, awesome people. Georgiana asked if we could re-teach her all the lessons again. We're totally fine with that, since that's what we're supposed to do anyways! :)

Saturday was also MANOK, Moves Anticipation Night of Kebabs! Elder Wells hates Kebabs, so he does MANOC, or Moves Anticipation Night of Cereal. Something I've noticed, a lot of Missionaries just eat cereal breakfast lunch and/or dinner. Anyways, I got Kebab. I tried it with garlic sauce instead of the traditional spicy red sauce. It was alright, but I prefer the spicy sauce! :9 You know me! That shouldn't come as much of a surprise!

So Sunday was great! Gail gave us both a present! I want to keep it, so I'll mail it home to ya. I just need a box. Which I hopefully will be getting sometime soon! :D Church was fun, we had a great Gospel Principles lesson taught by a rather handsome young Elder... ;) After Church we went by Georgiana and Jen again and taught them the Restoration lesson. Well, kind of. We decided to have them teach us, and just fill in the gaps if they miss anything. Which worked pretty well, actually! We got to clear up the Great Apostasy for them and such. We were invited by Gail over for dinner (she wanted to be the first to hear if we were staying or moving!) so we were waiting for a bus out there, when we saw Bishop and one of the young men, Rory, walking up to bring Georgiana the sacrament! We had a fun chat with those guys. So nice of them to take time out of their Sabbath to go by a member that isn't even in our ward! Yet! They're hoping to move in soon. In the middle of our conversation, Sister Scott, Gail's mother, drove up to pick us up! We had a blast with Gail, Sister Scott, and Riley. We had chili, and played some games.

And in the middle of dinner we got a phone call from President! Everyone knows, if President calls, one of you is moving. He spoke with Elder Wells first. They spoke for a while. Then he handed the phone over to me. I'M STAYING!!!! Thank goodness! I'd have hated to leave! I mean, I'd have been fine with going to Ireland for St. Patrick's Day, but even so! My new companion is named Elder Carter. He's going to be the new District Leader, too. I know little more about him, but Elder Wells says he's a funny guy. Elder Wells is going down to Dundee! TO BE A ZONE LEADER!!!! He is absolutely panicking!!!! He doesn't think he's good enough to be a Zone Leader, but I think he'll do great. He's the most amazing Missionary I've ever met! Oh, and guess what!? Elder Massey is coming to Aberdeen!! That kid is following me, I swear! Haha This'll be fun! :)

Well, that's all for me. Great week, I'm sad to say goodbye to a companion that's taught me so much, but I'm looking forward to staying in Inverness. It's a wonderful area, and I can't wait to help it grow! :)

Sounds like you had a really fun week! Can't wait to see the house!  Congrats and Good Luck to Dad and the new office!  I got the calendar hung and I love all the pictures!  I'd love to see a picture of that dress and see what color it is!  Ha, ha.

Love you all! Keep reading the Book of Mormon! Jeff (B) tells me that he's just finished reading it!

Elder Bates

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

March 2, 2015 What a week!

Whew! This week started awesome, but didn't end so awesomely. 

First off, I'm pretty sick with a bad cold. So I'm typing this with my gloves on to try and prevent the germs from spreading. So if there's typos, I apologize. 

First off some good news! Rieley is progressing really well!! He's really opening up more, and has been awesome! We were able to get him with a date in fact! March 28th! We met with him four times in a row! Hopefully he isn't sick of us haha But yeah, we're really excited about him! He's been reading the scriptures we've told him to read, and he seems to have a fairly good understanding of what they're saying. We decided to teach him our most favorite lesson, the Law of Chastity!! As you can imagine, he was positively squirming in his seat hahaha.

Other good news, on Tuesday we spent four hours chapping! We got three return appointments! The problem is that they're tomorrow, and I don't want to be sick when we go over there. One of them is pregnant. So please pray that I'll make a miracle recovery! I'll tell you more about them next week if everything turns out well.

Now for the sad news. Maureen is doing terribly. A "friend" of hers just walked into her house, grabbed all her money (£200) and walked out. Maureen couldn't do a thing because she's on morphine and everything. And she refuses to go to the hospital! Until finally the police, when they investigated the robbery, forced her to come with them to the hospital. So she's there now.

Also, Titch is back in Hospital, and it's looking really bad. We literally just got a text from her saying that she needs a lung transplant or she'll die. Please pray for her! If you could get her on the prayer list at the Temple, that'd be great too. We're sending her scriptures to look up, but I have no idea what else to do.

My testimony is doing well. Titch really strengthened it! Very grateful to be a part of her conversion. What an experience! The moment I walked into her hospital room it was like WOOSH!! Spirit! It was so cool! :)  

And then there's Barry. Oh Barry. On Friday he started arguing, and bashing with us over text. He was determined to prove that he doesn't have to pay tithing using the Bible! He was so determined, it lasted Friday through Saturday, and he even started on Sunday but by then Elder Wells and I had agreed to stop. The sad part is that he was saying horrible things about everything: God, President Monson, Jesus, us, etc. It made me really sad. Still does. I fasted for him yesterday. I hope one day he changes his mind. The crazy thing is, this came out of nowhere!! This level of hatred and aggression hadn't been seen before, so I'm totally confused as to what brought it on. But hey, all we can do is invite.

So yeah, what a week. Lots of craziness.  I got your calendar this week! On Thursday if I remember correctly. Thanks a lot guys! Loved it!! Perfect timing too! :)

I love the story of the cats!! Those poor cats!  Mom, sorry you're teaching the sad part of church history now.  It's hard to read that stuff.  Mom, Please, I BEG OF YOU, send those cookies with the kiss on top that are the best.  I don't know yet when the next Zone Conference is. This week is Moves Call! So that's going to be interesting. If either of us is moving, it'll probably be Elder Wells. He's really sad about that though. 

Thanks for your prayers! I've been praying for all of you! Good luck with the move, Laura and Jeff! The house looks great!

Love you all!
Elder Bates

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Georgiana's Baptism

 Elder Bates, Georgiana, Elder Wells
The font in the Inverness Building is under the floor!

February 24, 2015 Baptism Week!

Dear Fam,

I've got a lot to cover! This week has been through a lot!! Haha  Thanks a lot for the news! Sounds like everything is going great!! I am very glad to hear it!! :)

Okay so on Tuesday we went on an exchange with the Zone Leaders Elder Christensen and Elder Dickinson. I was with Elder Dickinson, who's from Nottingham actually! That's an actual place! So is Sherwood Forest! Anyways, we went on the exchange so they could interview Titch and Jen for Baptism. In the end it was Elder Dickinson who did the interview. The others were in Nairn. Georgiana passed with flying colors! So we went home, had dinner and went to bed. At 4:20 in the morning, I woke up to my bed shaking and Elder Dickinson moaning. I turned on the light. Oh, it looked scary! He was having a seizure!! I've never seen one before, and it was scary! We were able to calm him down, and finally woke him up! He seemed fine, and he's had them before on his mission. So after a while we all went back to bed. Then it started all over again!! He had two seizures within an hour! We called President, who told us to phone the UK equivalent of 911, and an ambulance came over. He had just gotten out of it when they came and took him to the hospital. We got there around 6 or 7, and we stayed there until 11. He was doing fine, and didn't have any more. This was the morning of the Baptism!! We all went back to the flat, had a bite to eat, and then the Zone Leaders went back to Aberdeen. Elder Wells and I went off to the church building to prepare the font. We started filling it at 2:11. It didn't finish until 6!

There's a faucet on the side. It either does boiling water or freezing, so we have it on boiling for the first 3/4 and then turn off the water heater. But when it's boiling, it turns the church building into a sauna!!! 

So our chapel is getting renovated, btw, so our main concern was where to have the service! We thought we'd get a couple of families, which meant that the room the font was in was out, and we weren't allowed the chapel. So our only option was the hallway! I wish I'd taken a picture of that! The hallway isn't much larger than our family room! And, as it turns out, almost the entire ward turned up!!!! We were spilling into the Bishop's office!!! It was bad, but it all turned out fine.

Oh, funny story! So Titch accidentally ripped her stitches on Monday, so she had to get new ones. When she did the doctor said "Okay, so don't get these wet!" and one of the nurses, who knows her well, said "Doctor, she's a smart girl! It's not like she's going to just jump into a body of water!" So that was funny. And worrisome. She seemed to be okay when she got out, but she was coughing more. Anyways, they got a ticket on the next ferry back to Stornoway, which was actually Thursday! So that was the last I've seen her. The sisters in Stornoway had her confirmed this Sunday, so everything's going great!

Barry and Rieley both came to the baptism! Didn't get much of a chance to speak to Rieley, but Barry said he'd had a great time! It was a great experience for him I think! 

Oh, and funny story. So the next days I was on an exchange in Invergordon with Elder Livingston and his new companion Elder Stobbs. But I accidentally left my shaver in their car! And they lost it! I got my shaver back yesterday, so all is good.

Yesterday was actually Zone Development! SO that's why I'm writing on Tuesday!  We all met up in Aberdeen and just hung out as missionaries. It was a lot of fun! We played Chair Football and Volleyball and Dodgeball.

Yesterday we were driving to Aberdeen, and I saw this fast food place called "Mike's Famous Fish and Chips", and I saw it and then was like "Oh yeah, that's my name!" THAT was weird!!

I got a letter from Grandpa this week. He mentioned Grandma's birthday. He'd sent some Family History stuff! It was some excerpts from his book  One Line of Bates Men. It was fascinating!

Love you all!!! You guys are awesome!!!!! Keep Praying for this missionary somewhere in the middle of the Highlands!! :)

Elder Bates