Sunday, May 22, 2016

March 30, 2016 Happy Easter, Cheep, Cheep! Sorry this is so late!

Hiya Fam! 

Happy Easter!  Sorry I'm late.  Yesterday (Tuesday) was full of business, so we weren't able to email until today.

Okay, to start off, over here there's something called "Easter Monday". Not sure what it means, but essentially everything's closed, especially the library. So no email! Then Tuesday was filled, and I mean FILLED with stuff, so we weren't able to email then either. We only had time today. So sorry about that! But we've had a great week!! :)

Okay, so the week started off... awkward... So the only other missionaries in our District are the STLT's. And this Tuesday they were asked to go to another District Meeting. So it was just me and Elder Ward... What a lovely District Meeting!! Ha ha never had that before! Never HEARD of that before!! :) But it went well. The only really awkward part was the singing haha

Anyways later that day we met with the St's again, and watched the Hallelujah video with them. They really enjoyed it! They also invited us over for an Easter dinner! More on that later. After that we went by a woman, G L, that we had been told had just recently moved in. She turned out to live in a care home! We found her, called the Relief Society President, Sister M, who told us that she would come with us next time so she could know where Gene lived so she could assign visiting teachers. 

We later met with C. He's still doing well! Taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

So the next day, Wednesday, we went to help A, a friend of a member. She's moving this week, and she wanted some help with that. We later went by M. We taught him about repentance. On Sunday we'd met with President Kerr, who needed to meet with M so we could all figure out when he could be baptized. I can't tell you the details why, just that M's had a rough life. Anyways, he should have a date by the end of the week! He's so excited to be baptized, it's great!! :)

Thursday morning we met with Sister M to go by Gene Lawson. It's always been tough for me walking through those care homes, seeing all these old people suffering, but comfortable. I dunno, it's just tough. 

Anyways, we later met with E. She was having a really really rough day. M was supposed to be there but for various reasons he wasn't, so we had to teach her on her doorstep. We really just listened as she vented her frustration. She said a lot of things, but there were two things in particular that she said. The first was her frustration that people in the church weren't taking their covenants seriously, as she put it. It made her so upset. We gave her a commitment to study Elder Uchtdorf's talk "Come Join with Us", which discusses such a topic. She also said, and this was connected with the previous thing, that M was still smoking. That went through me like a knife. I'd had little inklings that that was going on, but I'd just hoped that there was some other reason. BUT there is a really good end to that story!! I'll tell you in a minute!

So that night we taught BSL again. Went really well, talked a lot about food. I thought it was funny that the sign for "pizza" and the sign for "pie" is the same. Pizza pie! :)

Anyways that night was momentous. We were just about to leave the church building when we got a call from the Zone Leaders, asking if we could let them into the flat. We couldn't of course, but we said we were on our way. They said there wasn't time, so they'd just leave the stuff on our doorstep. And we're thinking "what is going on? That's particularly dodgy because they'd have to leave the 'stuff', whatever this 'stuff' is, outside our flat complex!" But we show up at our flat, and, sure enough, there's quite a bit of stuff lying there. There was a package for Elder Ward, a letter for me from Mum (thanks Mum!) an Ensign, and about 100 door hangars with the Hallelujah video on them.

So we go back to our flat and give the ZL's a call. They tell us to distribute the hangars as much and as quickly as possible. And that the next day we are to go and actually knock the doors this time and see how many people saw the video. Well we're really excited! I mean, that's a brilliant idea! Talk about thinking outside the box! We tried to get a few members in on it to help us distribute them quickly, but only M ended up helping out. 

But they chose the worst day for us to do this! Friday was the only day where we had several appointments! We were helping T, a member, move in the morning. Then we had about two and a half hours to actually hang up these door hangars! Well, the three of us sped through as many neighborhoods as possible! I was really fired up about it! :) What made it even better was that M told us that he was smoking and said that he wanted a blessing as well as a fast so he could quit. We were happy to oblige!! :)

Then we had another appointment scheduled with a potential. Co was his name, but he failed to show up and plus his number didn't work, so that was a bummer. Then our appointment with C changed to the next day. But overall, it was a really great day! :)

Friday we started to reap where we had sown. We only had enough time to knock one of the streets we had hung those door hangars on, but we got several potentials! We're looking forward to finding more and turning those potentials into new investigators! :)

Earlier in the week we were walking through city center when we bumped into A M who immediately invited us over for dinner. How could we say no? He cooks really well, too. After dinner we also helped him move a piano up six floors. You know, no biggie.

Then we went by C with M and talked about the Word of Wisdom. He's already living it! Love it when that happens!! :) M testified about it. He said that normally the moment he wakes up in the morning, he wants to smoke. But this morning, when he was fasting, never even thought about it!! :D What a boss!

Right after the lesson, M told us that his Mother, E wanted a blessing. So we went over to her house to do that real quick. E is particularly struggling, not just with the things she'd mentioned earlier, but also this week is the anniversary of her mother's death, whom she was really close to. Naturally. So we gave her a blessing. Wow, one of the most spiritual experiences in my life! What a special moment. Won't go into details, but it was great. 

So Sunday we had C and M at church. Ma was staying in Perthshire, in preparation for his moving. I also gave a talk that Sunday on preparing for General Conference. I made it as Easter-y as possible. Church went really well. We afterwards met with M, and taught him about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and really emphasized that yes, the Celestial Kingdom is in your reach!! It was a fantastic lesson! :D

We then had Easter dinner with the St's. That was delicious! Had a good talk about the church and where they stand. D loves, and I mean LOVES Family History, but he hasn't been able to figure out Family Search, so we got E to help him out. 

Oh, and you know how in America we always get chocolate bunnies? You don't really get those here. Instead it's chocolate eggs that are as big as your face and hollow. There's usually a little treat like a Mars bar or something inside. We got a plethora of eggs from members and the St's!! It was a really good Easter. 

So Monday, like I said, is Easter Monday. No idea what that means, but okay. We did our shopping, we were planning to climb the Okles or to go to Stirling Castle with the Sisters, but neither plan went through. But we did get to go to Callendar Park, where there's a museum. It was really cool! Going through Falkirk is the Antonine Wall, the furthest north the Roman Empire ever got. If you study about it and then compare it with Captain Moroni's fortifications, it's interesting the  similarities!!

After P-Day we went to visit S M, the American guy that's no longer LA! He's in the hospital. Not in a great shape. He says he doesn't have a year. Yet he is so bright and funny and happy! He said "If I'm not smiling, that's a sure sign that I must be dead." Ha! What a guy. We had a good time meeting with him.

So Tuesday was Moving Day. You might have noticed that there were three people I mentioned that we were helping to move. Well, as it so happened, they all actually moved all on the same day: Tuesday, March 29th. And they all asked if we could help. Thankfully, Ma cancelled. But still, two people needed our help. We helped T first, ate our packed lunch, then went to A's. She wanted us to dig out her memorial plants. Two trees and a bush, planted in memory of deceased family members. The bush and one tree were fairly easy. Got those done in a half hour or so. The other tree however was several years old and its roots were deep and spread out. Took several hours to dig that sucker out!! But both our backs are just destroyed. We both woke up this morning and were groaning as we hobbled around the flat! 

We then went to Mi and A's for some dinner (ever heard of a doughnut burger? You'll have to try it!) and then to C's. He was talking about a mission!! Asking how you become a missionary, what it's like, etc. It was so cool!!! :)

And now this morning we met with M again. He's not quite ready for a baptism date. Not that he won't be baptized, but he wants to learn as much as he can about the Book of Mormon. He's trying to memorize it. Yep, you heard me, MEMORIZE THE ENTIRE BOOK OF MORMON. We're hoping that when he starts to really feel the spirit more and have more experiences with it, that he'll be more willing to be baptized sooner. But he's still such a boss!

I was told about the Brussels bombings and the missionary's who were injured.  What a great missionary!! I feel really safe. Why would anyone attack Scotland? Of all places? I should be fine.

I laughed that your foreign exchange student wanted to shoot a gun.  Hahahaha that is a very common belief about Americans: everyone in America has a gun. Nuh uh. But oh well. They always seem so surprised, and some don't even believe us, when we tell them otherwise.

Mom asked about Elder Ward.  He's great! I swear, the Lord's saved my best companion for last! At least I hope he's my last! He's a really hard worker. Wants to go home and be an Agriculturalist. So basically a farmer ha. He's got a girlfriend waiting for him, who's apparently thinking about leaving on a mission. He loves dirtbike riding and motorcycles. I dunno, what else you want to know?

Anyways! Love you guys! Have a great week!

Elder Bates

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