Sunday, August 23, 2015

Ulster Fry

An Ulster Fry, as referred to in his last email:

National dish of Northern Ireland

flag of Northern Ireland

Ulster fry

The traditional fry up that set up millions for a day of hard work or play.
Two fried eggs, the all-important lightly browned potato and soda bread, perfect pork sausages, crispy bacon, black and white pudding and a juicy red tomato– a great start to any day.
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  • It’s also the perfect recovery the morning after an evening of over indulging.

Ulster fry national food (dish) of Northern Ireland

August 10, 2015 New President, New Rules

Hiya Fam!

So my week got rocked more than a little bit on Tuesday! At the beginning of District Meeting, Elder C, our District Leader, announced that there are a few new rules from President Donaldson. The first two didn't really matter to me, but the third was the one that really changed things. The first one is actually for you guys: only send packages to the Rosetta address from now on (when I'm in Northern Ireland, that is). They're no longer sending packages over from the Mission Home in Edinburgh. So just giving yous a heads up. The second was about sports (basically, don't do them). And the third was a complete surprise: we are to drop all Less Actives. The only Less Actives we are allowed to work with are ones that the Ward Council gives us, or Part-Member families. Which means we're going to have to drop B and the A's! I was devastated! We're going to go by each of them and do it personally. It'll be sad, but we're being obedient. 

Anyhow, the rest of the week went by great! The B's had us and F over on Wednesday! The B's are a family with the only Young Man in the ward (he's 13), a son who's leaving on a mission in a month (New Zealand), and a YSA son. Oh, and the Dad is in the Stake Presidency. It was really great! We also told F then that we had ordered a Quad for her! She was so excited! She's also really nervous, cuz "I don't know how to work it"! Ha we'll teach her. She also agreed to start the Stop Smoking Program next week! Yay!

H is coming back from Paris this week. Can't wait to see him again! 

Oh, on Sunday, there was the "Catholic 12th". Basically, the Catholics did everything the Protestants did for the 12th: Bonfires, marches, wave flags, drink, etc. We stayed out of City Center yesterday.

I think that's it! It was a good week, all things considered! Btw, I was reading in 1 Corinthians today, I think chapters 6-12. Any thoughts on those? There were several great verses in there, like the man without the woman one, and the Gods many and Lords many, but overall I need some help understanding them. Even the Institute manual didn't help! Anybody else get anything from it? I understand the Book of Mormon quite well, really very well. But I just can't seem to understand the Bible as well. Probably because I don't spend as much time reading it as I do the Book of Mormon.  I would appreciate your thoughts on those chapters.

Anyhow, I love you guys a lot! Please if you have any questions, feel free to ask! I'm probably not going to answer any questions that aren't asked! Ha!

Totally random thought, but I really want to try an Ulster Fry. I don't know what it is, but I see signs for it everywhere. 

See ya next week! Miss yous! :)
Elder Bates

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Hilaire's Baptism

This picture is out of order, but this was a very special day!

The Latest Pictures

Belfast Zone
Belfast Castle

Burn Piles! 

Getting ready for the July 12th Burn.

Tall Ships Event

Visit with Bill and Judy Jacobs

And in conclusion.........


August 3, 2015 August??? Whaaa???

Hiya Fam!

Can you believe it's August already!? It seems like it was just thirteen months ago I was boarding a bus for Scotland... Oh, wait...

We had a great week this week! Brother M hosted a "Cottage Evening" on Sunday night. We made up a BINGO board, where each square had a Gospel principle on it, like Pre-Earth Life, or Baptism, etc. Elder Schippers would pull out a slip of paper from a bowl, and it'd have one of those things on it. We'd then "quiz" F on what it was, and just elaborate on it. One of F's friends, R, came along too! She seemed to have a great time, and understood everything very well! She also won. I was SO CLOSE!! I only needed Book of Mormon, or Repentance, and I'd have won. Dang it, R! ;)

Anyhow, the rest of the week went well too. There was a member, K, who approached us last Sunday and told us that her friend, Ka, who's also a Former Investigator, wanted us to come by and give her a blessing! We happily obliged! We talked with her for a while about the Holy Ghost, and how she felt in the past when reading from the Book of Mormon and other experiences. After we gave her the blessing, she said she felt really good and peaceful. It was great! We're hoping to have her as a new Investigator sometime soon! Yay!

Yep, things are going well! The only blight on our week was on Saturday. There was a MASSIVE Gay Pride Parade. All of city center was arrayed with rainbow flags and everything. We avoided City Center like the plague that day. That evening, just before Dinner, we got back to the flat, but had to go through city center to do it. It was horrible. F had a few friends show up at her flat high or drunk. Or both. It wasn't a very pleasing night. Reminded me of Alma 31: 30-31

But everything else went great!!

I'm doing great! :D  Thanks so much for fasting for me!  

The Jacobs were fantastic! I was worried I'd walk right past them and not recognize them, but I didn't. I remembered them the moment I saw them. And man, all that stuff!! You really went all out for this!!! That bag was overflowing!!!! 

Chapman's, Hey! That's great!!! Congrats!! Things are really starting to look up! I love you guys a lot! :)
Btw, about the recorder, I'm thinking I'll just get it out here. It'd be simpler that way. Sound good?
Right when we enter the Mission Field, we were given two talks. One was Beware of Pride by President Benson. Really good talk. Really woke me up haha! Thanks for sharing!

Well, I love you all! I just started Third Nephi this week! Great book! For one thing, we're told that the events in the Book of Mormon preceding Christ's coming is a parallel with what will happen preceding His Second coming. It really makes the Book pop out, ya know?

Anyhow, love you all so much! Have a great week! :)

Elder Bates

Monday, August 3, 2015

July 27, 2015 It's raining, it's pouring!

Hiya Fam!

 Yesterday was particularly bad with the rain. We had to wait outside by a bus stop for a long time without any shelter. But then this really kind couple, who were members of another ward, picked us up!! It was awesome!

 Well, my interview with President went well. The whole day went really well! We were taught the "Holy Ghost Principle". Basically it was a new way to teach the Restoration lesson, putting much greater emphasis on the investigator feeling the Holy Ghost and recognizing it. We tried it out the next day with F. It was a little weird, because the Principle was designed more for New Investigators, and we were reteaching F about the Restoration, but it was totally worth it! She agreed to be baptized!! We don't have her with a date because she has to get off of cigarettes. That threw me for a loop!! I never would have even guessed that she was addicted to cigarettes! Never even detected a hint of cigarette smoke in her house or around her!! Anyhow, she's going to be baptized! Yay!! :D

The rest of the week was just a blur. We had dinner with AA, because his Mum was away. He needed company. He made what he calls "Concoction". It's really good and really simple! But, I can't tell you how to make it, because, in the words of A, if I tell anyone, I'll have to kill them. Sorry. 

Mom asked how I do with the mission schedule.  It's just regular routine to me now, although I still have a hard time getting up at 6:30.  But I always do.  :)
Everything is set up to meet the Jacobs?  My Mission President said I can have dinner with them from 5:00 - 6:00 PM, same as a dinner appointment with any member.  I'm looking so forward to it!

Yeah, we live in the perfect part of Belfast. Right next to everything! There's a place nearby, Boojums, which makes Burritos! You can't find Mexican food anywhere else but Boojums is the BEST!! I've fallen in love with it! Ha! The Big Fish is kinda cool. It's just what it's name implies, a Big Fish. The clock tower is right next to us. It's bells always alert us to what time it is. Fun. 

Sorry to hear about Kate's grandma! I hope everything goes alright. 

I remember those days in the garden. Good times. 

Thanks for the news about D! That came out of nowhere! So exciting! I'm so glad for both of you! Great job being missionary's!  I remember this one Sunday there was a man that got up to speak. We had an investigator in the audience.  Any active member would understand what he was talking about, but it didn't paint a good picture for the investigator. Some people don't think about how a non-member would react to what they're saying.  But I'm glad you guys now have a better understanding. 

The rest of the week was great. On Wednesday I asked President Donaldson about what my purpose is as a missionary, what could I contribute that others can't, what are my talents, that kind of thing. And he told me to go through my Patriarchal Blessing and write down in two columns 1: Talents that I have and 2: Talents that I am promised. After that, he told me to write myself a letter about how those things have been manifest on my mission. I tried to do it. It's hard to tell the difference between blessings and talents. The list wasn't long!

So the beer truck isn't really a truck. I don't know how to describe it. Basically, it's a mobile bar. Where the bar stool is, there are pedals, which propel the truck. There a bartender with a massive keg of beer, and everyone is drinking. The best part, though, is the bell. When the people get drunk, they LOVE to ring that bell!

Thanks so much for the advice! I will definitely put it to use. I love you so much! Thanks a bunch!

I've been thinking a lot about buying a personal voice recorder. I've met several missionaries who have bought one, and they make voice recordings the night before P-Day, and send those recordings via email to their family! I think they're between £35-£45. What are your thoughts on that?

I hope you guys have a great week! Stay awesome!! Love you guys so much!!! :)

Elder Bates

July 20, 2015

Hiya Fam!
     Greetings from wet Norn Irn! (That's how they pronounce it here)
     Things are going swell here.
     F came to church again yesterday, and there was this Recent Convert YSA who's staying in Belfast for a few months that was there and they seemed to have a good time together. We also brought a YSA from Hollywood (that's a ward in Belfast, it's not just in California!) to our lesson on Friday. She's from another ward, but it went well. So things are looking up! 
     V called us and told us about an Isis attack in Tennessee! Is that true? How sad! 
     We had dinner with AA on Thursday, and dinner with the M's on Friday. And we met with the M's on Friday as well. 
     Yesterday there were a TON of kids in City Center, and the Police were trying to surround them, in their massive tank/cars but they kept running away. Still have no idea what that was about. That night we were in the Shankill, when Elder Schippers turned to me and said that he felt like we should go back to the flat. We still had another hour before dinner. He suggested we pray about it, and I felt the same way afterwards. Still don't know why, but there was something going on yesterday. Something didn't feel right. No idea what. 
     Have I told you about the Beer Truck? I'm sure I have, but I'm just checking. 
     Anyhow, glad Girls camp went well! Please tell me why Dad river danced! And, if you could, a video of it would be great. ;) 
     I do compare myself with other missionaries, which has been one of my biggest problems. But, as President Brown told me when I talked with him about it, judging your worst against someone's best gives you a very skewed view, and really makes no sense.
     So here's how the system works out here. You mail stuff to the church building, as you've been instructed. The issue is that there is no system set up to get the mail from the building to the missionaries. So I get things really late. But yes, I did enjoy the 4th package! :) I was so happy to have an American flag of my own! I've missed the stars and stripes. 
     Elder Schippers is a really fun guy. I've had a great time with him. He's really into GQing, which I honestly haven't done consistently since I was with Elder Massey. So he's been helping me with that! He's a good missionary.
     So E, serves in Primary so she can't help with F. We haven't had Ward Council in a few weeks, so that's why I haven't asked yet. H we weren't able to meet with this week, which was really unfortunate. G is in Stornoway, which is off the coast of Scotland, so no she can't help with F either. 
     I'll be able to tell you more about the Donaldsons next week after Zone Interview Training. 
     Okay so the Jacobs. I am actually quite excited about it! It'd be great to send a few things home, too. I'll go through my stuff and see what I can send home. I think it'd be best if we met up at City Hall. It's nearby our flat, so it won't be too far. 
     Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Sacrament. It's so hard sometimes to make the Sacrament meaningful, you know? We do it every week, so it becomes all too monotonous. I'll try what you said!
     I did get the letters from Grandma's funeral. Thanks for sending those! 
     Is there anything else you'd like to know? Thanks for all the info you send me and the jokes as well! I hope everything works out all right. I need some prayers. I don't know what's dragging me down, but something is. That makes it sound a lot worse than it really is, but that's the best I can do to describe it.  Thanks.

I love you so much! Can't wait to talk with you in five months!
Love you all!
Elder Bates