Families are Forever

Well this has been a pretty good week for us. I’m glad to hear that the baptism all went well and it was really good. So at the start of the week we went to Dundonald Castle with the Sisters. It was pretty cool I got a few photos of that. Then the rest of the week went by pretty slow, the work kind of slowed down for us this week and we were just out finding a lot, just looking for people. All in all there isn’t much to share at the start of the week. We were just out there looking for people. So of course we did speak to a lot of good people but didn’t set to many appointments for the week.

Later in the week we went on exchange with the Zone Leaders. Now the zone leader that I went with hasn’t been out very long and his name is Elder Spendlove. Now Elder Spendlove was trained by Elder Foster who I trained, so yes this is my grandson trainee. It was pretty funny. But we went out to Paisley and had a really good time. I meet a lady from Greece she had an interesting name like Andromeda or something it was pretty interesting. But gave a bunch of copies of the Book of Mormon and one of the guys we met we set an appointment with for later that day.

So in the evening time we go around out in the sketchy part of Paisley and we find the flat with broken glasses and beer bottles along the sidewalks. So what we do? We knock on the door of course! Gotta share the Gospel! The door opens and this drunk man screams something along the lines of “Oh no!” but with a few different words and he is just yelling and then comes the guy that we spoke to, he goes up to his friend and was like “I told them to come you blasted idiot!” So we go on in. We sit down and the one friend is drunk, but we are talking to the other guy and boy they could talk. They kept telling us about this and that, just all over the place and the drunk guy is totally against listening to us. But then he hears that we are from America and that changes him because it takes a lot to be far from home to come here. So we finally get around to talking about the Restoration and it is going terrible. Tried to play a video and it’s not going well with this drunk guy, the other guy is loving it though. We get to the part where its talking about families and the sober man just jumps up yelling “That’s all me! That’s all me!” He then rips off his shirt to show us his tattoo on his chest that said “Families are Forever”. So after this circus of something with a small dog and the drunk guy inviting us to his court case, I sit up straight and talk a bit louder and pretty much don’t stop talking and tell them the whole Restoration all the way through Joseph Smith and invite them to be Baptized. This was good because they stayed quiet till the end. But the message had been shared! The drunk man was like “I feel something! I feel something!” The other guy thought it was very nice and said he would come to church. So that was our fun teaching moment.

So after a fun exchange we head back to Irvine and the following day things are still a bit slow but then in the evening time we go around to go see our friend Linda and her two daughters. It was the funniest lesson. Her 6 yr. old with autism makes everything just great. But the 6yr old comes around and screams “I’ve missed you guys!” Then goes on to tell us about a million different things. I’m still not sure how we really teach them but we do! During the lesson my companion turns to the 6yr old and told her that she could come to church with us and she flipped out about this. Called someone and was yelling into the phone how she gets to go to church with her two friends. So early the next morning we go around knock the door to see if they are ready for church. Well they are all up just not ready. But the 6 yr. old would not stop talking about church all night long and how excited she was to go. So Linda got the two ready and the kept running up to the window to ask us which clothes they should wear. So we take them church and it was really great. They all really enjoyed it or I hope they did which she said they would be coming back.

So the rest of the day went by pretty good with a dinner with Sister Campbell and then out chapping doors…however, a nice surprise by the Stronach’s who came for a visit to the Irvine Ward and brought them a treat!

So today I’ll be going down to Ayr and visit Jean. I called her the other day and had a nice chat. Got permission from President Donaldson so we’ll head on down there. Some members will be driving us down and we’ll have a look around Ayr while I’m down there.

When everything seems to fall apart around us, when we hold to our simple and strong testimony of the Savior, we can withstand all things.

Well sounds like an exciting week back home. A lot seems to have happened! So that’s all good. Well what a week to tell you about mine. So last Sunday night Elder Myers and I were out chapping some doors and we were getting a few people to tell us that we could come back. So alright pretty normal stuff. We go back the following night and the first door. Go up *Chap*Chap* lady opens the door. “Hey it’s us again!” then “Oh no sorry we already know everything” Then the door shuts. Well alright, we still got two more to go by. Go to the next house. Go up to the door, this time it’s Elder Myers *Chap*Chap* “Hey it’s us again!” door shuts. Well third time is a charm. Then walking all the way to the end of the street we get to the last house. We go up and chap and the woman who answered the other day opens. Then she says that we can come in! At this point we are both like yeah we’ll come in. She was a nice woman with two kids. The younger one has autism and was super hilarious. She would come up to us and yell “I’m crazy” Then run into the door. She had non-stop energy that seemed to flow from some kind of endless battery with no off switch. So surprisingly we did teach the Restoration. I have no idea how but we did! And the mom said out of her whole life of going to Sunday school this makes sense. She told us that it freaked her out a little because it just seemed to click. Her many bible questions were answered and we all felt the spirit.

Well, Elder Myers and I walked away with a fist bump because it was an amazing lesson and she invited us back. So right after this we, had planned to go and see our friend Alex but it was getting late and we were unsure if we would be able to get the bus back to the flat on time. So we prayed and felt that we needed to go anyways. So we got on the bus having no idea what was going to happen. We run to Alex’s house and the lights were on so there was hope that he was in. We chap the door and it wasn’t Alex but a bunch of his friends. They told us that Alex had run off somewhere. Well dang we, tell them to let him know that we came by and then they shut the door. Standing there I had the thought well if we didn’t come here for Alex maybe we came here for them. So we knock on the door again. They all answer and I tell them we are missionaries and we are sharing a message of the Restored Gospel may we share that with you. They all said yes and we set a time to go around tomorrow. The following day we had a district cluster with the Ayr Elders and the Pollock Elders. All the Sisters were gone to some Sisters conference or something. I’m not really sure. But all the Elders got together for a great meeting. We spoke about a lot of different things but really 3 many things. Which were one using the Book of Mormon in the work, two getting our friends to church, and three getting the members involved. So it was really good stuff then from there the rest of the day was pretty normal. We would go out and talk to people and then in the evening time we went back to Alex’s house. Alex was there, we spoke to him about the things he needs to get baptized. Then we invited all his friends into the room and we taught 4 of them the Restoration. Gave each of them a copy of the Book of Mormon and invited them to read it. I know they felt the power of the message. I’m not sure really what will happen with them or if we’ll even be able to sit down with them again but at least I can I say I declared the truth of our message. We walked away feeling calm and that we did our part.

Then the following day was another great story. We were going through the whole day and not much was really happening. Just the day before I had set a lesson up with this girl on the high street and she didn’t really seem like she would show up. But low and behold she came. She only had a few mins before going to work. So while standing there on the street we taught and testified of the Restoration and gave her a Book of Mormon an invited her to read it. She knew that what we shared with her was true and she didn’t really know how to take it in. She didn’t want to set another time to meet because she wanted to think about we shared with her so we said okay. I know we’ll see her again.

For the next few days things seemed to really calm down and we were going around and doing the best we could. I had the Bieth Elders come over for exchange so that I could get to know them a bit better. It was a pretty short exchange, but it was good. Then Saturday came around. The whole day was pretty normal, out finding and talking to people on the street. Then it came to the evening time. We went around to the woman with the two daughters. Knocked the door and there was the young one “You came back!” Once again and hour of radio-active energy was poured into that girl and the off button was nowhere in sight. Like the time before we taught a lesson, have no idea how but we did and it made sense. However this time the mom was completely blown away. We taught the plan of salvation. She was a little unsure about a few things but when we shared the scriptures that taught the doctrine from the Bible and the Book of Mormon she was amazed. We invited her to baptism and she agreed. We’ll be going back tonight for a third lesson. She was unable to come to church because they all slept in. We woke them all up and she couldn’t get the youngest one up.
Sunday was pretty good. It seems to be the Augustine week in Church because you can guess it, I also gave a talk in sacrament. Never saw that one coming did you? I had the opportunity to speak about how we can develop a powerful and strong testimony and share that with others. I wrote the talk the day before but didn’t pull it out to read from during the talk. I shared that a simple testimony is powerful. I used the same scripture that I sent to you from last week in Mormon chapter 8 and showed how Moroni shared his simple testimony in Moroni chapter 1 that he will not deny the Christ. His example is that even when everything seems to fall apart around us when we hold to our simple and strong testimony of the Savior, we can withstand all things. I then reminded everyone of the teachings of Helaman to his son in chapter 5 verse 12. Then bore my testimony of the Gospel. I do enjoy speaking in church.

Then the rest of the day was food and try byes and that was really about it to be honest. So I’ll type up a talk for Alex to read and you can send me photos and I’ll call my mission president to see if I can go down there next Monday for P-day and visit her.

We are never alone in this journey of life.

What an assignment! Mom will give a great talk. I’ll send my thoughts at the end of the email of family history work and the temple.

What a week is has been indeed. Well to start once again I’ve been sick so that hasn’t been the best but it’s been okay. At the start of the week we’ve spent most of the time out finding and just talking to people. Elder Myers and I have been working on using the Book of Mormon more in our finding and sharing it with others. During all this though we have been waiting to hear about the new Sister trainee in the district. That’s right there is a trio of Sisters in the area. Well the Sister didn’t show up till yesterday. We all thought that she got lost or something. But it turns out the Provo mtc kept her there in Provo because she was super sick. Then she got stuck in France in the airport because her flight got cancelled. But all is well so we got 5 missionaries now in the Irvine ward which should be fun.

SO back to my week. Once again Elder Myers and I were out on the high street of Irvine just stopping people and chatting to them. The great thing about a mission is that you have every chance to teach the gospel every conversation is a teaching and learning experience. Well Elder Myers was chatting to someone and I noticed this woman walking with a pram and had a small kid so I go up and just starts very simple about asking her a question and we went on to chat a bit about families and how a belief in Christ can bring them closer together. Then she shared with me about she has been struggling with a few family issues and when she said it actually reminded me of something that I just read that morning in the Book of Mormon. So I opened to Mosiah chapter 2 verses 22-24. I went on to explain how during these times in our lives even when we feel far from God or any hope when we do our best to learn and live the commandments that He has given us. He will help us and bless us with the things that we need. It won’t always be easy but the promise is there. Then she was just staring at the verses that I gave to her, no idea what she was thinking. But she turned and said “I think I really need this”. Well I gave her the book and set a time to meet with her. Which should be tomorrow. Best time to study the scriptures is always at the start of the day cause at some point in the day you’ll need to use what you study that morning. We continued to speak to people on the street for the rest of the day. As the week went on we went around to visit some less active members and some other members. The visits were good but towards the end of the week I became ill, everything just became really blurry so I’ll do my best here to remember what else happened. Well Saturday came around and I had to travel to Paisley for a leadership meeting. The meeting was pretty good. It was long I know I like to talk but some missionaries love to talk for a long time. We spoke a lot about the Restoration and giving Joseph voice and what role the Book of Mormon has to play in all this. So lately I’ve been thinking a lot about the miraculous gift that has been given to us in this day. It is a voice from the dust that rings with power and authority. I was thinking a lot about the men who gave their lives for this record and my mind went straight to chapter 8 of Mormon verse 1-8
“Behold I, Moroni, do finish the record of my father, Mormon. Behold, I have but few things to write, which things I have been commanded by my father. And now it came to pass that after the great and tremendous battle at Cumorah, behold, the Nephites who had escaped into the country southward were hunted by the Lamanites, until they were all destroyed. And my father also was killed by them, and I even remain alone to write the sad tale of the destruction of my people. But behold, they are gone, and I fulfil the commandment of my father. And whether they will slay me, I know not. Therefore I will write and hide up the records in the earth; and whither I go it mattereth not. Behold, my father hath made this record, and he hath written the intent thereof. And behold, I would write it also if I had room upon the plates, but I have not; and ore I have none, for I am alone. My father hath been slain in battle, and all my kinsfolk, and I have not friends nor whither to go; and how long the Lord will suffer that I may live I know not. Behold, four hundred years have passed away since the coming of our Lord and Savior. And behold, the Lamanites have hunted my people, the Nephites, down from city to city and from place to place, even until they are no more; and great has been their fall; yea, great and marvelous is the destruction of my people, the Nephites. And behold, it is the hand of the Lord which hath done it. And behold also, the Lamanites are at war one with another; and the whole face of this land is one continual round of murder and bloodshed; and no one knoweth the end of the war.”

I think this also relates to family history. Many times we feel alone or lost in the dark and no way to see the end of the trials we are going through. But we have the examples and testimonies of those before us. It is important for us as well to preserve a record of our days for those to come long after we are gone so that they may look to how we came to believe in Christ. And we must look to the past to see the examples of those who went through so much so that we could be here today. Family History stirs our hearts to the remembrance of our fathers and sufferings that they went through. Even though Moroni saw the full destruction of his people, he held strong to his testimony “For behold, their wars are exceedingly fierce among themselves; and because of their hatred they put to death every Nephite that will not deny the Christ. And I, Moroni, will not deny the Christ” (Moroni 1:2-1). We are never alone in this journey of life. Even though many of the ones we love go on, their Spirit lives on and their teachings become eternal truths that are written upon our hearts. We must look to our fathers, as Moroni did to his, to hold strong to our testimonies. We then go to one place that has been prepared for us to remember them, the House of the Lord. This is where the convents and promises are made to aid our ancestors to receive these truths and enter into the presence of their God. We go to the temple to become more like the Savior. The Temple needs to become our focal point in life. When reading through the Book of Mormon I have found that many of the righteous kings and prophets have called the people to gather together at temples to not only be taught on high but to be directed in what they need to do. We go for the same reason to be taught and receive direction to any course we need to take in our daily lives. If we do not do our family history to help us to the temple then those that have died mourn for us. They need to be found. Without the continually light from the temple then we as the Lamanites fall and we lose sight of the purpose of this life and the work which have been called to do.
Just Saturday after the meeting we had to rush back to Irvine to help with a baptism for two young kids. I was able to interview them just a week before and found them worthy and happy to be baptized. Every time I have been able to see a baptism it reminds me of the work I have been called to do here. So should the temple be in the daily life of members. When we have gone through the temple for someone else we should be reminded of the work we have been asked to do.

The following day of course was Sunday we had a pretty good Sunday. The priesthood once again is speaking about home teaching. Very important and is a duty that should take a full month to do. Then in the Sunday school the teacher had my companion hold hymn books for the whole class. The books were representing sin and how at first it’s easy to hold but after a while they become more and heavier so we spoke about repentance! Then last of all was fast and testimony meeting. Which is always good. For the rest of the day we went to Sister Campbell’s for dinner. Followed by some chapping and we got a lot of people that invited us back so we’ll see how it goes.

Well I’ll see what I can do about skyping for the baptism and let you know. Talk you to next week.

We have found ourselves just getting more busier.

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Well Happy Birthday to Alex! I sent a card but not sure when it’ll get there.
Well, the start of the week was pretty cool. The last P-day we actually didn’t get around to anything, we didn’t go out to that store so I’ll try again next week. But it was a pretty normal day. Then Tuesday came around and we had a really cool District Meeting. I invited Bishop Yates to come around and speak to all the missionaries. That guy knows a lot about the gospel. It was pretty crazy but really cool. He spoke about the challenges of working with less actives and recent converts. Then the zone leaders gave a short instruction about the difference between a full-time missionary and a fill time missionary. Then last of all, I spoke to the district about using the Book of Mormon to answer questions and objectives. It was pretty cool. Then we were off for the day and it really just got busy. That evening we got invited to the young men’s activity at the church where we spoke to the youth about baptisms. They are going to be doing a youth temple trip soon so we were helping all the priests get ready to help with the baptisms in the temple because they can do that now. Which will be really cool for all them.
So as the week goes on by, we have found ourselves just getting more and more busy. Then I think the great part about the week was running into these two potential investigators. The guy we had a great chat about religion and really just getting away from the world and finding joy or trying to find God. We were then able to set a time to meet with him and I’m really looking forward to that. Then I ran into this woman and she was really nice. She had actually come to the church once before and she loved the idea of temples and that’s what she told me so we had a great chat and I’m hoping to see her again tomorrow. Then we ran into this interesting man. The guy told us he was taught by missionaries in the past and we sat down with him and he told us that he could read minds. Well he wanted to hear what we had to share and he said he enjoyed it and that God was telling him in his mind to get baptized. It was a really good lesson I will admit that, but the guy later texted us and said no thanks doesn’t want to get baptized but thanked us for the book. So that was odd and funny.
Then came moves call on Saturday. We didn’t get too much done because we were thinking about the call all day. We tried to keep ourselves busy but that didn’t work out so well. Well it was getting late we hadn’t had the call yet so we for some food from a kebab shop and came back to the flat to have dinner. Elder Palmer was thinking more and more that he was going to stay, but the call came and Elder Palmer is off to Livingstone. I’m staying here in Irvine and I’ll be with Elder Myers who I just picked up.
This morning we went to Paisley and we get to the train station and Sister Kearns got a new companion as well. Well Elder Myers and Sister Kotter (Sister Kearns new companion) were on the train together coming to Paisley. Well for a while no one knew where Elder Myers went to. He was lost but then found and got on this train. So Sister Kotter was going to stay on the train and Sister Kearns would get on and go to Stevenson with them. Elder Myers would get off and we would get the next train because the train with the Sisters doesn’t go to Irvine. Well the train comes and we see them and Sister Kearns gets on but Elder Myers doesn’t get off and then I see him getting his bags and running to the door but it’s too late the door shuts and the trains starts off again. We all just look as Elder Myers wave’s good bye on the train. It was pretty funny. So lucky the sisters with him had a phone so we call and have him get off at a stop, and then I got onto the next train and then meet him at the stop we told him to get off at. So that was a fun start! The rest of week will be really good though. I’m excited to see what happens. I’ll see if I can skype into the baptism and let you know.