Tuesday, May 26, 2015

May 5, 2015 Awesome Week!

I've had a great week!

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 much!!! 

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 time. 

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 stuff!)

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!!! :D  Remember, Satan tries hard. We just gotta try harder! 

Elder Bates

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