Thursday, September 17, 2015

September 7, 2015

Typed from a recording -

Hello, it's Elder Bates.  How are you guys?  This week's been great.  I hope you got the picture of F's baptism.  This week's been good.  We were really excited about it.  At the moment I'm at the church building.  We're doing our emailing here today.  Elder Schippers is emailing and I'm making the recording.  This week's been good.  On Tuesday we had what's called a blitz.  Elder Harmon and Elder Shepherd who are serving up in Newtonabbey came down to our area, Cave hill, and we all worked here on a blitz; multiple missionary' s in one area.  And that was good; that went well.  The next day was All- Ireland Conference.  We had to travel all the way down to Dublin which was about 2 1/2 hours on a bus and we had to be there by 9:30 and several elders from all over Northern Ireland came and stayed in our flat.  We had 8 missionary's there including us .  We picked them up Tuesday night then Wednesday took the bus over.  I pretty much slept most of the way up there but it was hard to do because there was a couple from Spain and they had a cat with them that kept meowing.  It was a kitten.  A cute cat, it was just annoying.  So we got to Dublin and it was cool seeing all the missionary's there.  All the training was good too.  There's a member over there - she said her son is on a mission - so she always makes really nice food for all the elders when we have our All-Ireland Conferences and such .  And it was really good.  It was potatoes and chili.  It was so good.  That went well.  We took the bus back. 
The day before, H called us and he specifically asked us to come by which I thought was a good sign but unfortunately our bus was really late.   We were really late getting back to Cavehill.  I think we got back at 7:30 and so we weren't able to make it to H's.  So we set up an appointment for later this week so we'll meet with him again.  But he gave us a call - I think that's a good sign.  So that happened.  The rest of the week went by normally.
On Friday we got a referral from a media referral.  A guy named A had requested a Book of Mormon.  I've had lots  of media referrals and so far I can't think of any of them that have ever turned out.  Sometimes they were pranks that one person would play on another person.  Sometimes, well,  I just haven't had media referrals turn out so I wasn't really that excited about it I'm afraid.  But we went by A on Saturday before we went to the church to prepare for the baptism.  He was really cool. We knocked on the door. 
"Are you Adam?" 
"Yea I'm Adam." 
"Did you request a book of Mormon?" 
"Yea, do you have one? "
"Yea, we've got one right here."  Talked to him for a brief moment and asked him if we could come by. 
"Yea. Come by tomorrow." 
And we were just really excited.  Then we walked away from the door to the street and, "Ok, where are we going now?" and we were looking through our planner and a woman on the other side of the street was like,  "Hey, are you Mormons?"

"Yea, we are!"
"Do you have a Book of Mormon on you?"

 "Can I have it?"

I was freaking out a little bit, I was like "Sweet!  This is our day!" And we started talking with her and to this day I have no idea why she wanted the Book of Mormon because it seemed to me like she had already made up her mind about it.  Anyhow, we were talking with her for awhile; about a half hour.  And it was incredible while we were talking with her.  I had never realized just how important knowing that we are children of Heavenly father is. She did not believe that.  She didn't believe that we are literally god's children .  She believed that we are only God's children if we become born again.  But we believe that everyone is god's children and she couldn't grasp that and she kept asking us questions, just really pointed questions and each question was answered by the fact that we are God's children. Like she asked about, "Jesus and Satan are brothers huh?"  And all these other different questions and we were like, " We lived with our Heavenly Father as a family before and once you understand that so many things make sense." It was really cool actually and I'm actually glad that we talked with her because now I have a greater appreciation for just how important that piece of knowledge is.  So just thought I'd tell you about it.  So far haven't had anything to do with her since.

The baptism.  So we got to the church a little earlier than we had planned and we started working on the program and then we decided,  "Let's check the water and make sure it's hot enough."  Turned it on and it was freezing cold!  We had left the boiler on - we set it to go to 41 degrees Celsius. So we gathered up all the pots, the biggest pots in the kitchen, which is connected to the room that has the font in it.  There's the kitchen and then there's a little opening with one of those - a window/door thingamabob's to the Relief Society room which has the font in it.  We opened the door, we started boiling as much water as we could.   Oh, before we did that we decided to turn up the water in the boiler to 81 degrees Celsius. Now I don't have a converter with me so I don't' know what that translates into Fahrenheit but it's pretty darn high!  We started boiling as much water as we could and just dumping it into the font as quickly as we could.   We tried turning on the faucet again and it was extremely hot for 2 seconds and then it was back to freezing cold again and so we were just getting really frustrated but honestly it was a god send that we were there so early because we wouldn't have been able to get it high enough and warm enough if we hadn't started on it when we did.  Finally we actually had to ask F who lives near by the church if she could pop by a little early and bring her own kettle so that we could use that for her.  They've got these really cool things, they're called kettles where you just pour water in it, click a button, and it just heats it up in a minute. It gets it boiling in a minute and it's so useful especially for a missionary when you have  to make your meals quickly.  Anyhow, so basically we had 2 of those going, we had 3 pots on the stove filling up with water, and we had a couple of jugs that we would fill up with water, stick them in the microwave, nuke it for a minute or two, and then pour it in.  By the time we had finally finished and the baptism was about to start, the water, it was to about just above my knee.  It was really interesting.
We got it high enough that eventually the boiler actually got over heated.  But on the plus side the water was no longer cold it was just lukewarm so that helped alot.  We got it high enough, we got it warm enough.  Then people came.  F was able to bring her sister and her mother to the baptism and I think she had 4 of her friends also come so like 1/3 of the people that were at the baptism were non members which was really cool.  The baptism itself went great.  I was the one that baptized her.  It wasn't an issue.  She'd told us beforehand that she's been afraid of water for a long time.  We kept promising her, "You're going to be under the water for 2 seconds, tops." Everything went good; we didn't have to rebaptize her or anything which was cool.  The services went great.  Everything was really good.
Then on Sunday I think I had told you guys last week a bit about how the YSA have their own sacrament meeting time.  So they did that.  F decided to get confirmed here in Cavehill and then after the sacrament she got a lift from one of the YSA to the YSA building - it's called Rosetta - so that they could be at that, which was really kind of that guy.  Really kind of him.  Church was good. 

 We went to go by A and we brought along Brother M.  It was a really interesting lesson.  His flat - he shares his flat with 2 of his friends.  A is 21 and I assume his friends are also about the same age and they're just extremely messy.  Mom, you would have passed out!  There wasn't a place for us to sit.  We came into his room where there were guinea pigs,  there was his bed which was actually a sofa that converted into a bed.  There was a TV with a couple of play stations and a video game going on - I think it was Destiny or something like that.  There wasn't really anywhere to sit.  He sat on his bed. Me and Elder Schippers sat on the other edge of his bed. Bro. M was able to find a seat somewhere and he sat down.  It was really strange but the lesson itself went  good.  I'm hopeful for A.  He told us that he's a bit of an atheist but he's always been really interested in religion.  He seemed to understand everything that we were teaching him so I'm sure he'll progress.  He said he's moving over to Banger which is outside of our area but he doesn't have to be out until the end of the month.  Hopefully we'll be able to qualify him a little more.  We'll see what happens. 
That was pretty much our week.  It's been good.  Really exciting - F being baptized and all that.  She's now a member!!!  Ah, that's so cool!  We're meeting with her today and we're celebrating her baptism with Froyo.  There's a new frozen yogurt place that just opened up called Yogi Berry's.  We're getting some FroYo and then we're coming to the church with some of the YSA in our ward; come to think of it I think almost the entire YSA in our ward are from the same family!  It's kind of funny.  Anyhow, we're playing ping pong.  So today should be fun.  I can't wait to email you guys.  Hear about all you're doing.  Love you all so much and also I know that this week is a very special week seeing how it's the birthday of two lovely lady's both of whom have the same initials -  Kate Bates - just want to wish both of you Happy Birthday!  Hope you guys get a chance to celebrate it and have a good time.   I'm in a process of writing a letter.  I started it on Friday, and I haven't finished it yet but I'm hopefully going to mail it to you guys.  So have a good day.  Enjoy yourselves.  Love you guys alot.  BYE!
PS  I bore my testimony Sunday.  I really loved the testimony you sent, Mom.  It really strengthens me.  You have taught me so much.
Answers to questions:  I remember those days!  Claire will do fine with Mr. Taylor. 
F's family is basically apathetic towards the church, but they're not against it. 
On your missionary efforts, remember you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink it.
Oh man, I forgot about Labor Day!
Yea, I can't wait to go to the temple the day I get home.  I've forgotten a lot of it.
I pray for you guys and I thank you for your prayers.

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