Friday, September 4, 2015

August 17, 2015 Greetings!

Hiya Fam!

So there's a wee problem with the voice recorder.... I can only send 15MB via email. Now I was able to record a message for each one of you last night as well as a group message for all of you. However, due to the restrictions imposed upon me, I am unable to send them all. Sort of. In reality, the only ones I can't send is the group recording and the recording to Mom and Dad. So, sorry Mom and Dad! Maybe next week! Everyone else gets a recording!! Yay! I'm going to try to make the recording in a lower quality so I can send more to yas, cuz right now I can't send 5 minutes ha! Hopefully it works!

So anyhow, I now have to do the EXHAUSTING work of typing out what I said in the recording! Shame.

Well, basically, you remember that new rule we got from President the other week? Well I mentioned it in my email to President. On Tuesday, on our way to District Meeting, we got a phone call from him!!! He had never heard of it!!! So until further notice, we're going to forbear dropping our Less Actives. 

Okay, so Monday was a great day! That evening was, in the words of Elder Schippers, the Best evening on my mission!! We found a LA from Portugal (luckily we have several Ward Members who speak Portugese), we GQ'd a lady who invited us back the next day, and a guy actually came up to us and asked for our number because he'd read the Book of Mormon twice already!! Unfortunately, the guy never called us back and the lady wasn't at the appointment. But still! We're meeting with the LA, M, tomorrow. 

Now I have to give you some really sad news. It's been quite the blow for me. 

H got back from his holiday in Paris this week. We called him on Friday and he told us that he didn't want to go back to church. He said "a church should be like a family, full of love and friendship. It's not the case." We asked if we could meet with him the next day and he was fine with that. We brought Brother H along, who's always been good friends with H, as well as N, a member from Newtonabbey who's come to some of H's lessons. H told us that he didn't feel welcome at church, that nobody from the Bishopric has even approached him, and that the people are unsociable. But, in all honesty, he's only been to church a handful of times since he's been baptized! He's been gone visiting family in Paris most of the time, so the ward hasn't had a lot of time to give him Home Teachers, for example. Regardless, he was feeling hurt by all this. It turns out that bringing N along was literally a God-send, because she is a convert herself, and she had the exact same experience when she first joined the church! She told H that she actually left the church for several years, but she deeply regrets it now. Anyhow, to make a long story short, we got H to commit to fasting and praying about church. He still believes in the Book of Mormon, and has been faithfully reading it. But I think some of his previous Protestant beliefs are intermixing with what we've taught him, because he kept saying that "I have the Book, so I don't need anything else." Anyways, please send some prayers his way. I know I am!! He didn't come to church yesterday, but I didn't really expect him to. He's still fine with having us over, and like I said, he still reads. So he hasn't turned anti or anything. He just feels uncomfortable in the ward.

Okay, so on a more positive note: F!!

Circle September 5th on your calendars, because she's agreed to be baptized on that day!!! :D

We've had an awesome week with her! We started the Stop Smoking Program with her on Thursday. Do you know what that is? If you don't, I refer you to Elder Nelson (sorry, it's President Nelson now) "Ask the Missionaries, they can help you!" Literally, the next day when we called her to check up on how it's going, she told us "I don't have any desire for a cigarette! It's so weird!" I was on an exchange on Tuesday, but Elder Schippers was able to teach her how to use her new Quad and also how to study the scriptures. She hasn't been using a Study Journal, but she's been doing everything else from what I've heard. Yeah, everything's going great. I'm really looking forward to her baptism.

Which reminds me! I haven't told you what's happening yet!


We're staying together!! Yep, I'm getting another transfer in Belfast!! We are literally the only ones staying the same in our entire Zone! The entire face of the mission is changing! President Donaldson is actually adding a new zone! It's over in Scotland, and it's just the Chinatown Missionaries, but still!! Add to that the fact that half the mission is training/being trained!! Things are never going to be the same! 

So happy that D has been going to church!  Just be careful not to pressure her. She should investigate because SHE wants to investigate. Not because her boss wants her to.  Still, great news!

I will be fasting for Becky on the 24th.  I have written it in my planner.

As for the Titanic Exhibit, yeah they gave us tickets. Unfortunately it's out of our area, and we're not allowed to leave our areas, so no we haven't gone. I was really bummed. You know me, big history guy. :(
Anyhow, love you all! Hope everybody (except Mom and Dad) enjoys the recordings! :)

Luv ya!

Elder Bates

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