Friday, May 27, 2016

April 18, 2016 Doomsday

Hiya Fam!

I got a certain email this week... From the mission home... I'm just trying to ignore it... But it can be hard... ha ha I was doing Weekly Planning this week and because it's a new transfer, we got out brand new planners, and as we were doing our planning it struck me that "wow. This is my last planner!" Which was immediately followed by "AAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" Which was immediately followed by "Dang it! Stop thinking that!!" Ha ha

Anyways, that's enough of that. What a week what a week! Falkirk is great! Loving it lots! I'd forgotten how much I missed Scotland. Throughout the week we'll just be walking around, and I'll just think "Man, I just love this place!" It's a nice feeling. :)

Oh, and that Ninja challenge thing? Did it. And never gonna do it again!! XP It did make me have a greater appreciation for tasty food though! Also, Angela told us on Friday that we looked like we had lost weight!! So maybe it was worth it! 

We were just getting into spring this week when, literally out of nowhere we've been hit by a cold front!! Literally freezing cold!! But this week it should blow off. Hopefully...

So I accidentally left my old planner at the flat, so I don't have it with me to remember what exactly happened this week. But there were lots of great things! 

On Tuesday we went by G. She is a member that is going through a very rough time. Recently divorced? Tough. Left alone with several boys aged 3 - 16? Tougher. Throw in that several of those boys have mental disabilities and you've got one big trioblaid!! (That's "problem" in Gaelic) But she is an absolute champion. She's really struggling, but she is pushing through with all her might and doesn't think one whit for herself! Really impressive.

Wednesday was Branch Council and such, which went well too. Earlier in the day, and this is no joke, but we got a text from Ma where he accused us of stealing his remote! The day before we had come by his house see, so that's why he accused us. But just five minutes later, not even five, more like two, he texted us again saying "Never mind. Found it." We're going to give him some space for a time. 

I told you about E being in the hospital? Well, we've been visiting her as often as we can throughout the week. Our first visit didn't go very well. M came and had brought Ma. When we left, the look on her face... Oh it broke my heart. 

Here's a good story about it though! During that visit, we were reading from the Book of Mormon, and she started asking a question. Something along the lines of "If someone does something really bad, and another person don't forgive them, what happens?" And I told her that the person who doesn't forgive will be the worse off. She seemed very surprised by that response. We later got a text from her where she said some terrible things about her father, how he doesn't deserve forgiveness, stuff like that. It was very sad to hear, though I have no idea what her father had done to make her hate him so much. But before we could respond she sent us a text: "Could you send me some scriptures that I can read to help me learn to forgive? I don't want to let this hold me back." Now fam, THAT is humility! We gave her a few scriptures and led her to the talk in the Saturday Morning session of conference about forgiveness, all of which she loved. She's doing better. We gave her a blessing yesterday.

M and A are going through a rough patch in their relationship. Very sticky situation, on which I'm not going to elaborate. But we got to see them twice during the week. Got to help M put up some new wallpaper in their living room. Not to brag or anything, but it looks great!! 

It's been a struggle to meet up with Mi for a while now. We're going to try and focus a little better on him. He came to church as usual, and he decided to give Gospel Doctrine a try! We were very nervous about that, because certain individuals in that class go deep into the Gospel! But he enjoyed it. Hopefully we'll meet with him on Wednesday. 

We met with the St's again this week. They're doing fine. Nothing in particular to report on them. We invited them to church but they slept in. It's a struggle to teach them things because they love to "have a wee blether". In other words, they love to talk. 

The primary struggle this week, and also this last transfer in general, has been finding new investigators. Somehow we haven't had time to do very much finding. Now that C's gone, we've had more time, but we haven't gotten any potentials. This next District Meeting will be about Finding. Hopefully it'll give all of us new ideas and a fresh attitude. 

Saturday was a huge day of service. We went to Sister McCormack, the mother of the Branch President, who asked us to "prune the hedges!" I have to say, I really enjoy pruning! I've pruned quite a few hedges on my mission, and I really enjoy it! Dunno why. We also finished planting A's plants, which only took a half hour, and barely that. And we finished M's wallpapering. Fun day!

To close everything up, I have to tell you about Sunday. That evening we went to A M's for dinner. We've been told by our Branch Mission Leader to not waste too much time with him, but he's always inviting us over for dinner, and Elder Ward doesn't know how to say "No"! Interestingly enough, almost every single time he's set something up with us, something else has come up that cannot be moved at the same time! Same with this time, but not entirely. So we had dinner with him and his friend R. A M, I think I've told you, believes in pretty much every single Protestant church in Falkirk, and goes to all of them too. But of them all, he's more a Pentecostal. Same with his friend R. Devout Pentecostal. Nice guy though. After dinner they gave us a lift. A M had invited us to come to the Pentecostal church that night. We couldn't stay too long. We had to leave after about a half hour.

I've been to two other Born - Again church services on my mission. I'm always impressed with their deep faith and love for Jesus Christ. And this time was no exception. But oh man, each and every time I've left those services with a greater appreciation for the Light of the Restored Gospel in my life! And this time was even more so!! So many great people that are just so confused. A was standing next to Elder Ward and during one of the songs he apparently started "speaking in tongues." It was just too weird. 

I am so grateful for the Gospel we have. It's not confusing. It's not strange. It's not loud or flashy. It's simple. It's elegant. It's powerful. I am extremely grateful to have been brought up in it! For parents that care about me, about each other, and about the Gospel. I think it is so cool that they have their own little Church services when they're away on vacation. I don't think they realize just how rare they are, even among Latter - Day Saints. What great parents we have!

Mom, the guy you mentioned, I KNOW HIM!!! He was really cool! He was in Elder Schippers' group, but apparently came home just a month or two early for medical reasons. Crazy to think that they're roommates! That must be a fun apartment!  Please don't send me anything for my birthday! If you do, that's just one more thing I'll have to carry around in my suit cases when I go home (which will probably be their last trip: they're falling apart). We'll celebrate my birthday later. Okay? No negotiations.   Speaking of birthday, that is an awesome story, and very typical Bates Family Vacation about them singing Happy Birthday to Dad in Mexico!!   Oh, and I just got an email from prez. He did my endorsement this morning! So its all good! :)

Love you guys so much!! Thanks for your prayers and your emails and your support!! Have a great week, you're in my prayers daily!! :)  BTW, I should be going to a CASTLE today!!!! Woohoo!!!!!!  I have missed studying history so much!

Elder Bates

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