Friday, May 27, 2016

April 25, 2016 A Plethora of Referrals!

Hiya Fam!

I feel so happy to have people writing me!! It's great!! :) Only had a few emails from family this week, but it was a hidden blessing because I had a lot of DL stuff to do, which I was worried about accomplishing. I barely have enough time to email family normally! So what a blessing! :)

We've had a great week this week! Lots of fun. This coming week we will be going on an exchange with the Stirling Elders. That'll be fun! We'll also be on an exchange with the Zone Leaders over in Edinburgh. So this week will be packed!

Monday I got to go to my first castle!! Blackness Castle. M took us. Elder Ward had been told by his previous companion that Blackness Castle wasn't that good. So I had low expectations. But it was incredible!! We only had a half hour before the place closed down, but it was awesome!!!! The History Nerd inside of me was just freaking out!! What an incredible structure!

After that we visited E in the hospital with M, A and Ma. That was our last visit with her there. She got let out the next day. Woo! The difference from our first hospital visit and our last was incredible! She was a lot better. She's still struggling, but there was a difference.

Tuesday's District Meeting had Elder Ensign, our Zone Leader, and Elder Haller, our AP, there with us. I was reeeeeeeeally nervous, as you can imagine, but they said it went well! They gave me a few things to work on, but I had already thought of those, so it wasn't anything too bad. It was all focused around finding, and I'd asked Sister Paxman to give some training on Former Investigators, and she gave a great idea: bring our area book to our Branch Mission Leader and have him look through the records to find people he remembered. More on that one later.

It was a long day, we got in contact with a few people we were looking for, we had dinner with G, and that was us.

Wednesday afternoon we went to Brother McGowan's house to have our Coordination meeting with him and we brought our area books. He gave us 10 names initially, but asked to keep going through the records. So we left our book with him. That evening we did some service for C G in his garden. He's a LA. Nice guy, he just has really bad anxiety, particularly around crowds of people. He had an ancient lawn mower, probably from the time of Mom and Dad!! You pushed it, and it spun these blades around and chopped up the grass! As old as it was, I was surprised at how well it cut the grass! I actually enjoyed using it, in all honesty ha 

Thursday was absolutely gorgeous weather! First time in a loooooong time that I specifically chose a short sleeve white shirt! Normally I only wear them because they're in my rotation of shirts, but not that day! Elder Ward actually got a sunburn ha

Anyways, we spent most of the day finding. We were looking for a few people that we had been given by Brother McGowan. We found one. The other had moved from the address we had been given. We knocked into a guy who said "I'm the wrong person to talk to, lads." Naturally we asked why and he told us he had just finished reading a book on demonism. Then he closed the door. Looking back on it, I think he was just trying to scare us away. Had a similar guy use a similar tactic in Bray. But oh well. Still a story to tell!

We had BSL class that night, which went well. Taught colors, clothes, and such.

Friday morning we went to Sister Major's house. She'd asked for help with moving some new furniture into the house and some yardwork. G came along and brought her lawnmower. You remember the one that I just mentioned? Well this one was perhaps the first lawnmower to ever be powered by something other than pure muscle!! Like all British lawnmowers it had to be plugged in to work it. Again, it was kind of fun! After we were all done, Sister Major made for us chili dogs!! I haven't had THOSE in ages!! 

After that we went by a LA named J B. He recently had a fall where he broke his collarbone. Poor guy. But really nice. Strong testimony of the gospel. But pretty old. After our visit with him I prepared my next District Meeting. Looking forward to this! I've told you about the Big Five? Five trainings the AP's have given that they want us all to emphasize. So Elder Ward and I will be giving some training on how we can make them more natural, instinctive, and flowing. It'll be good! I hope...

Then we met with A and M. Had a good lesson with them! They are doing very well! A has just finished reading the Book of Mormon! She said she reads it during her breaks at work, particularly if it's a rough day at work (which, unfortunately for her, is all too often). M wants to get back into the habit, so we're calling him every night and quizzing him on what he read.

Saturday was a special day! In the morning we met with Ma! (As if I don't have enough names to confuse, now we have two Ma's!!) He is a referral who, throughout the week, would call us to confirm our appointment! We unfortunately met with him at a cafe. I can't stand cafe lessons. Some missionaries love them. I cannot focus enough. Oh well. Despite all this, the lesson went really well, primarily because he's a very spiritual guy! He's a Catholic, but he's had some great experiences with the Holy Ghost. We'll be meeting with him soon. 

We also met with the St's. Did some service for them, then had dinner with them. I had the best Chinese takeout I've ever had!! Unfortunately we didn't share a lesson with them. :/

After that we met with M S. We were able to get the Ir's, a wonderful member couple, to come along. Sister Ir was a close friend with M when they were growing up. M's doing a lot better now because she's started praying every day. What a change prayer makes!! :)

Sunday we got our Area Books back from Brother McGowan. All total we received 35 referrals from giving him our records!!! The Zone Leaders just about fell off their chairs when I told them last night ha ha! We've contacted a few of them, so far no takers, but I'm certain there'll be more. We spent the rest of Sunday contacting as many as we could. 

Two sad things about Sunday. First one was that M never came. No idea why. He said he would. Haven't heard from him yet. Second was with E. She texted us last night and said she wouldn't come to church. We immediately called her and spoke with her for about an hour. I poured out my soul for her to come to church and she said she would! Then just before church started she texted us again saying she changed her mind. Well Elder Ward and I marched right out of church to her front door (just across the street from the church) and spoke with her. She came! But later that night we were in M and A's neighborhood contacting those referrals. We had ten minutes before the bus came, so we stopped by their house. E was there. And they were all eating food from a chippie. I was furious. But we didn't say anything about it, hoping that the guilt they were surely feeling would take care of that for us.

So please pray for Mi, E, M and A. 

That was our week! Not bad, eh? I'll be sure to send pictures of the castle for ya. I love Scotland.  I'm more excited to someday come back and visit Scotland than Ireland. Strange. I love both, don't get me wrong.

Love you guys so much! And I LOVE the scriptures!!! They have been so great!! Cannot possibly express how I feel about those wonderful books!! :)  Mom told me about the change to the Doctrine Mastery for seminary.  I am all for that!! The scriptures are important, but the doctrine behind the scripture is what makes the scripture powerful! Do it do it do it!! Those luckies!  Oh, and I tried Haggis Fried Rice! It was gooooooooood!!

Have a great week!!

Elder Bates

PS Remember Elder McPherson? My companion in Belfast? He's in Cumbernauld now!! How crazy is that?

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