It was great
getting to talk to you all yesterday! Except for Kate, unfortunately. Missed ya
Kate!I was sad you guys had to go. I
mentioned to Elder McPherson afterwards that I could have talked with you guys
for hours!! Which I intend to someday! One thing I did miss
yesterday was when I got to talk with just Mom and Dad, you remember? I liked
that. Shame you guys had to catch that plane. How did you score a small plane
like that? When I show that picture to others, it'll look like we've got a
Anyhow, yesterday, you'll never
guess, but I got a cake from the Hamilton's, a family in our ward! So kind of
them!! I've barely met them!! What an awesome family. Their daughter is the one
that had served in Batavia. I'll send a picture when I can. Haven't eaten it
yet! Gotta do that. :)
Well, I don't really know what to
tell ya that I didn't mention during the Skype.
I've been reading this textbook we have
in our flat of the history of the church. And in it there's this story I want
to tell yous: So Parley P. Pratt was leading an expedition to explore the Salt
Lake Valley. One day he woke up to find that they had been completely buried in
the snow! He said he "shouted for all to arise with the sound of a trump.
The mounds stirred, the graves were opened, and we all arised again. We called
it Resurrection Camp."
I was reading that and just laughed
right out loud at that one. Did you know Brigham Young got chased by a grizzly
bear during the trek?
Joseph Smith did so much. I can't
help but think that he didn't do all he was supposed to, but he must have. God
Himself said that he wouldn't be taken until he had done all he was supposed
to. Which is interesting. Why didn't we get all the Bible? Why just a small
hard. Very hard. Both Elder McPherson and I are pretty quiet, so it's hard for
both of us to talk to people sometimes. It's just hard to get
a gospel conversation going after small talk.I'm doing my best and hopefully representing the church well.We are kind to everybody.
Well, this has been a boring email.
Just know that I love you guys, and I was so grateful to talk with you. Love
I followed the prompting I received
to study the Atonement this week, and it has been FANTASTIC!!!! My testimony of
the Savior has multiplied and grown so much! I've been using True to the Faith,
Preach my Gospel and the Bible Dictionary, but just from those my understanding
and love for Jesus Christ has grown incredibly!! I love my Savior so
Thanks for sending the
obituary.What a perfect summary of a
great life! I wish I could be there for the ceremony. Be sure to send my love
to Grandpa and everybody. I was really sad to hear, but Dad sounded really
optimistic about the whole thing! I was really glad to have received that email
from him. Marie told me a bit about the miscarriage too. I've been praying for
her and Dad every night this week. What a trial they're going
through!! I'm sure the trip to Mexico will be a welcome respite for them. Sad
that they have to miss the funeral, but I'm sure they'll have a great
They have so many holidays out
here!! They have at least one Bank Holiday each month, and they always end up
on Mondays so the Libraries are closed!! Yesterday there was a Marathon as
well, which meant the buses were closed down, so we weren't able to go to the
church to email. Shame. But hey, better late than never, eh?
How adorable to hear Brielle saying
my name!Oh I wish I could be there to
hear that!! Take a video some time and send it to me. I've got some headphones
I could use.
We had to buy some things that our
new flat doesn't have. Like shower curtains (I had no idea how important those
curtains are until I stepped out of the shower and almost slipped on one of the
many large puddles!) and a toaster (do you realize how many things we eat using
a toaster? Crazy!) and a kettle (they've got these kettles that rapidly boil
water for ya. EXTREMELY useful for a missionary that only has an hour to cook
My birthday is on Stake
Conference.I actually got called by the
Mission Home yesterday! Tomorrow is Zone Interview Training, so they'll be
bringing those packages. They said they had 3!! I did get a package from the
Tolsmas, but I've been obedient to their instructions and haven't opened it
until my Birthday. Elder McPherson
and I get Ice Cream for Weekly Planning sessions so I'll have some ice cream
for my cake.As for skyping, we have a
member who has been very kind to have us over right after Stake Conference. I
don't know what time exactly, but Stake Conference ends at 1 pm our time, which
is 5 am your time. I go to bed at 2:30pm your time, and wake up at 10:30pm your
time, but I don't leave the flat until 2am your time. So, by the sound of it,
our only option is to skype in your morning.
Elder McPherson is from Utah, and he
is a very spiritual guy. He's really good at trying to use every minute of
personal study for studying. He's also been fantastic at leading out the area
while I'm getting my bearings. He's particularly impressed me in that department.
Our new flat is in the heart of
Belfast (which is technically out of our area, but we need to be here to catch
our buses so it's okay) so I get to experience a bit of city life, which is
different from my last two areas. It's loud and bright at night, which has been
a change for me. Strangely, the noise isn't really from cars so much as from
seagulls and pigeons, both of which I now consider the spawn of the devil.
There's nothing worse than waking up ten minutes early because a seagull,
perched on your window sill, has screeched as loud as it possibly can. Luckily,
that hasn't happened often. Today is the rainiest I've seen it so far. Luckily
I'm going on exchanges with the District Leader, Elder Preece, so hopefully his
area is a little drier. There's a common saying that in Ireland (I've also
heard this about Scotland, so I think it's interchangeable), you can get all
four seasons in one day. I found that to be true last Sunday. We were walking
along (we walked 8 miles that day to get to an AUF and back!) and I experienced
snow, rain, sun, and bitter wind within an hour or two.
In the past, Elders have usually had
about 2 or 3 DA's a week, but due to random events we haven't had as much. One
family that usually has us out basically dropped us due to their health. The
Armstrongs. I can promise you that you'll hear more about them as time goes on!
They are great!
Anyhow, I'll keep praying for everyone!
Stay strong! Good luck with Seminary! Love you!! Miss you so much!!! See you
next week!!! :DRemember, Satan tries
hard. We just gotta try harder!
What a week. Moves day is normally
on Wednesday, but since I was traveling so far, I left on Tuesday instead.
Elder Livingston and Elder Jamieson and I are all going to Ireland, so we all
traveled together. Elder Jamieson drove us to Aberdeen to catch a train to
Edinburgh. We got there just a few minutes before the train left! We were
flying through the terminal!! And when we got there, there weren't any seats
open so we just stood there, occasionally sitting on our luggage, the whole
train ride. We made it to Edinburgh, where the Mission Home Van, which is
massive, picked us up and brought us to the Mission Home with all the other
Elders going to Ireland. We stayed there that night, and the next morning we were
off to the bus station! We got a bus to Glasgow, where we picked up a few more
missionaries going to Ireland, and then down to the coast, where we boarded a
ferry! It was MASSIVE and it was POSH! More like a cruise ship! It had a few
restaurants, a spa, a bar, a few arcades, a casino, and a movie theater! We
were all hungry, not having had any breakfast or dinner the night before, so we
all bought whatever on the ship. I was totally ripped off though. I paid £6 for
what turned out to be five hot wings. The hot wings were fantastic because I
haven't had a hot wing in forever. So we got off the ferry only to jump on
another bus to the Belfast train station, where we met our companions. I
met Elder McPherson there. He rushed us back to our NICE flat in the middle of
It was a lot of traveling, and I am STILL
tired from it! On top of that, I've arrived in the middle of moving flats!
Their old flat was way far from the City Center which is where they n
take the bus from. So now I'm at the top of this really posh apartment building
in the middle of downtown Belfast! So I've been spending the past several days
cleaning out the old flat and moving all the stuff to our new flat! It's been a
crazy couple of days. Also, because of the chaos caused by moving flats, I
probably won't receive any of your letters for a while.
The missionaries had to leave the
last flat for reasons that Mom is not allowed to know (someone threw a molotov
cocktail into the shop below their flat).
So I've been thrust right in the
middle of moving! We don't even have silverware! For breakfast, I had to
fashion a spoon out of tin foil (which I thought was pretty sweet) in order to
eat my cereal.
We've really only gone by our
investigators, and haven't done much proselyting. We're just about done now. A
really nice family in the ward gave us a bunch of board games! Including
Monopoly, Risk, and chess!! I've played chess with Elder McPherson a few times
So the ward seems great! Almost all
of the members are older.The Bishop is
an American, who served his mission here, then later came back, got married,
and has lived here ever since! One family, the Hamiltons, their daughter
recently served her mission in Chicago, and her last area was Geneva Ward!!!
She posted a picture on Facebook, and a lot of people said stuff about it, remember? It
was fun talking with her about some old friends.
I don't know much about all our
investigators right now, but we do have several. One in particular is Vincent.
He's an American as well! We're trying to get him to stop praying to Mary, and
to get over his fear of the Book of Mormon.
As for Northern Ireland, the Protestants want to remain part of the UK, but the
Catholics want to join with the Republic of Ireland. This causes a lot of
contention, particularly in the name of religion.
You remember how I was
telling you all about how I'm not supposed to wear green or blue? Well that is
MUCH more intense here! It's not as bad anymore, but I still shouldn't wear a
green tie in the Shankill district (which is very Protestant) or a Red tie in
the Falls district (which is very Catholic). But, if I do the opposite, I might
get more investigators! :) I'd actually love for you to look it up and send me
some of the information. I'm DYING to know a bit of the history out here! And
if you look it up, I suggest you look up July 12th. Missionaries are not
allowed to leave their flats that day!! They have to stay inside all day!! But
when you do, don't get too worried. Last year was their calmest year in a long
time, so things aren't that bad now.
Thanks for the advice
Mom! It's kind of funny, when they're slamming the church, I'll ask them
"Have you read the Book of Mormon cover to cover? Have you ever been to
one of our Sacrament Meetings? Have you ever listened to a full and complete
talk by one of our Prophets?The answer
is always no.
I'll be sure to direct
my prayers to the family. Looks like this is a
difficult time for all of us! You can count on me.
I miss you so much!
Can't wait to speak with you! Less than two weeks now! :)
Anyhow, that's been my week! I've
been absolutely exhausted since moves, so please pray for me to come back to
myself. Sorry to hear that things are getting difficult over there! Stay happy!
And read the Book of Mormon!