Wednesday, May 11, 2016

February 22, 2016 Vast Improvements

Hiya Fam!

VAST IMPROVEMENTS!  Sorry last week was a bit of a downer. This week will be better because it was so much better!!!

Still haven't found my scriptures. And this week is Moves Call too, so hope I don't move!!!

Yeah, this is moves Call week. This transfer was only 4 weeks!! Something to do with the Preston MTC or something. I hope I stay, for more than just the scriptures. I love Bray! It's a great area!! :) Elder Mickelsen is awesome too.

Anyways, we had an exchange on Tuesday this week. I was in Dublin with Elder Perkes while Elder McCappin came to Bray, or, more accurately, Arklow to visit Co. Elder Perkes and I had a good time. He struggles with depression a lot, but it went well. 

The next day we exchanged back and we, Elder Mickelsen and I, did a lot of finding, and also stopped by Paul Fox, whom we hadn't been by yet. He hasn't been reading his Book of Mormon as well as he did in January, so we challenged him to re-commit to doing so. 

Also, we got TWO referrals from two different missionary teams!! This is a significant event, in a few moments you'll find out why.

Thursday was a bit of a disaster. We had planned to visit the Sc's in the morning before Weekly Planning. Just a quick visit, no longer than a half hour, tops. I've been to their house twice before, but I couldn't remember which bus to take to get there, so I picked up our ward directory and it directed me to Newtownmountkennedy. Yes, that's a town. Yes that's just one word. No, I'm being serious. Yes, it's weird. Anyways, we go to the bus stop and find a bus going to Newtownmountkennedy. We hop on. I begin to recognize places from my last trip to the Sc's. So I'm sitting comfortable that we're on the right bus. 

As you can probably guess, we weren't on the right bus. We got all the way to Newtownmountkennedy (I'll just shorten it to Newt, okay?) we got all the way to Newt, and I did not see the stop we had to get off at. So we give Sister Sc a call. She told us she actually lives in Kilcoole. Different bus that goes mostly the same route, but takes a turn at some point to go to a different part of the countryside. Newt is a beautiful spot, but we had to wait a whole half hour for the next bus to take us back to Greystones so we can get the right bus!

During our call to Sister Sc, we found out that her husband had left for work. So there wasn't an adult Male there! She had thought that her 14 year old boy would count, but nope. So we had to frantically call around to see if anyone was available, spur of the moment, to come. Only J McD could come, but he didn't know how to get there. So we told him we'd meet him at Greystones. Unfortunately, the right bus we needed left just five minutes before J arrived! And we had to wait another hour for the next one!!! So long story short, we had planned to meet with the Sc's at 12, didn't actually get there until a little after 2. But she was totally fine with it. The kids had all week off (luckies... WE don't get a week off after finals...), so they weren't doing anything. Had a good lesson, then back, had little time for Weekly Planning but we got it all done in time to prepare for English class, which went well, and then Dinner!! Thursday was WILD!!! :D

Friday we met with Ch. He's doing okay. He started reading the Book of Mormon! But the moment he got to the verse that mentions King Zedekiah, he just had to learn who that guy was, so he spent several days researching who Zedekiah was on the internet. That's what he's like. He spends so much time studying the tiniest gnat while missing the actually important camels. (I know. I've been a missionary too long... I'm making Scriptural jokes!) Some gnats don't even exist!  Like he flipped to a random page and read something about the Zoramites, and asked if there was any relation to Zoroaster, the Prophet who founded the religion Zoroastrianism in Persia. So we spoke with him about his relationship with God. It seems that he believes in God because it logically makes sense to him. No spiritual reason, just logic. So our goal is to show him that there is a better way to know of God. 

The rest of the day was just finding. Elder Mickelsen was struggling with a cold, so we came home a little early for that, but nothing to really report.

Saturday was really good! We've been struggling lately with planning our days the night before. Not for a bad reason though. We'd just stay up too late chatting! But we decided to knuckle down and get our schedule done. And man, a WORLD of a difference!! Didn't get any potentials from our finding, but what a difference!! We also had something awesome happen that day.

We'd contacted those referrals right away. One, An, said that he couldn't talk until Saturday. So we called him Saturday and he said we could come over whenever. So we came over right away!! When we got there (it took a little bit to find his place: there were two number 2's on that street. Yah, I don't get it either...), he told us that he had a few friends over, hope you don't mind. We didn't! We walk into his living room.

It is PACKED!!! "A few friends"?? That was a whole Family Reunion!!

Everyone is so nice, they even force us to eat some cake (well, if you insist...). Everyone is from Moldova. Not all of them can speak English so some of them are translating for the others. And almost immediately the questions start coming. Oh, I just love it! One of the first questions they asked about the church was our belief regarding the Second Coming. Strange question, you'd have thought, but sadly many Christians don't believe that Christ will come physically but will come spiritually or something. We told them we believe that He will actually come, and they were happy to hear that. Asked us about our beliefs regarding the afterlife. I gave them a brief explanation on the Spirit World. They weren't so keen on that one. They believed once you're dead, you're dead until the resurrection. Nothing happens. You just sleep, or something. Then they asked about the Ten Commandments, specifically the Fourth: Sabbath Day. And that's when it starts to be clear: Seventh Day Adventists. They had a field day with that, asking that we prove using the Bible that the Sabbath is on Sunday. We just told them that the best way to find out is by asking God, and praying about the things we say. Don't think they really listened to that, but we did set up a return appointment! It was so great!! :)

That night we met with T McD. We read from the Book of Mormon with him. It was a good visit.

Sunday we didn't get anybody to church! :'( First time the whole time I've been in Bray when we had no one at a normal Sunday!! We got a phone call from T just a few hours ago explaining that she was sick, which certainly sounded true! We'll be going over to her place on Wednesday.

We weren't able to make it with A for lots of different reasons. The problem with A is consistency. If we could just meet with her every week and establish a pattern, things would really start to progress. Well, we'll see. And we haven't heard a word from St. We've called him so many times, never picked up. :(

But An is awesome! So we're really starting to pick up! :) Things are getting better, slowly ever so slowly...

Without my Quad, I've been able to turn my attention back to a project I'd started a long time ago but stopped: an Atonement Book of Mormon. You've heard of the advice to go through the Book of Mormon with a specific topic in mind (e.g. faith, prayer, the Second Coming, etc.) and go all the way through, marking it? Well I started doing that, and now I'm doing it again! I'm in the middle of 2 Nephi 2. And oh man, almost every single scripture is getting marked!!! It's looking like a rainbow!!! ps thanks for the coloured pencils you sent me!

So yeah, things are going well, very well indeed. The elections are this week, and the light posts are SMOTHERED in posters!! I saw one that had no less than five different posters on it! There isn't a single post that doesn't have at least one poster on it!! It's nuts! And these are just local elections too!! They get a lot more intense than the local American elections. 

I am completely full in my Camera memory!! I'm thinking of putting all the pictures on my flash drive, deleting all of the pictures on the camera, and just starting afresh. What do you think?

Love you guys! Hope everything goes well! Keep praying for my scriptures!! I know I will! :/ Have a fantastic week!!!!!! :D

Elder Bates

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