Scotland/Ireland Mission Leadership Council
Well, what a week! I can say that I have the official day of my return will be *Drum roll* July 16! 12 weeks to go and I’m not counting.
The start of the week was pretty dang crazy and I’ll get to some stuff later on in the email that mom will love to hear about. So at the start of the week, because it was stake conference here, we had the whole Islands District living with us! We had all 8 Elders in our flat for a few days and what mess it was. But it’s all clean now. So Monday we were running around dropping missionaries off at the train station and picking them up later in the evening time, so just a bit all over the place and trying to get some other stuff done. But that was pretty much it. Then the following day we were out and about again with a few missionaries and we went to our Islands District meeting. Which was pretty fun. But after all the missionaries left we are out finding and later on in the day we went and did some service for some members. They needed help moving some dirt. So good thing they had the right missionary with the right kind of skills with dirt! I do have to say after the geo lab I’m very skilled in the ways of moving dirt. So we did that for an hour or two. The Sisters came along to help. It was all good stuff. Had some fun and then had some dinner. The members that we had dinner with were super cool they were telling us all about the missionary stuff that they are doing and handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and teaching all their friends about the church. It was pretty great. Well while dinner is going on I get a text from the Shetland Elders, they were supposed to be on the ferry back to Shetland but turns out the ferry left sooner than they thought and missed it. So we call them up and get out the door to go pick them up. The got to spend another day in the Deen.
Scotland/Ireland Mission Zone Leaders
Well in the evening time we went around to this lady that we had found a few days again. We knock on the door and she opens. She is from Slovakia and so we got to teach her and her English is pretty good. But just a few days ago we gave her a Book of Mormon in her language and she has been reading it and she told us that she believes it’s true! And she believes in that Joseph Smith was a prophet! It was so great to sit down and teach her all about the Restoration. I think the Restoration is one of my favorite lessons just because how much it makes sense and how much it helps people understand that God still speaks to us today. So we had a great lesson. Then the following day really turned in a lot of finding. Just kind of out and about, the Shetland Elders got their ferry. Thursday rocks around and we had our Mission Leadership Council. We were all still speaking about what President Nelson told all the missionaries here in the U.K. and Ireland. He spoke about when we first meet people and what to talk about. Then he told us to go up to people and tell them who you are and ask them who they are. Then tell them about your family and ask about their family. Ask them if they can name their parents, their grandparents. Can they name all 8 of their great-grandparents? Not very many people can do that. So tell them that we want to help them find their ancestors. Tell them we want to help them find their story. So during MLC we spoke a lot about different things. About Love, and Meekness and Lowliness of heart. We discussed the future of the mission and where it’s going. Then we got to Family History. Written on the board was the blessings that come from Family History from Elder Renlund’s talk in General Conference. So we shared experiences and I raised my hand and shared about the hobby of my mother in family history. So this went on for a while. Then the following day we went out to find. I then recommitted myself to the work for these final few months and to help as a missionary to find success. So going out with this in mind to share family history of course, I’m still going to talk about other things but I was on the lookout to introduce family history. Well we spoke to a few people, got a few appointments during this time, I spoke to one man and the time came. He started to tell me about his ancestors from Norway. I asked if he could share any stories from his grandparents, he shared a few. I then asked what about your great-grandparents? Only one could be named. I then told him how we can help find his family and learn more of his story. He got pretty excited and before I could set anything up he was asking for my number and times to meet. So after this nice chat we were then heading back to the car to go somewhere. Well we stopped people along the way. I then spoke to this one girl and almost the same thing happened. It actually started with speaking about Sisters and hair color. Hmm sounds familiar? Well she asked for a number and time to help her find her family. Well moral of the story… mom was right with Family History! We are now just waiting to meet up with them and get them to the family history center. Well Sunday did come around and it was pretty nice. We didn’t have any investigators there, but we did get one of our recent converts that went less active there. He had a great experience with conference and managed to get Sundays off from work so he can get to church. He shared a great story about it with us. Then we had an American dinner with the Zimmerman’s! Oh how I miss American BBQ!! Don’t get me wrong Scottish food is great but it’s ruined my diet. So much fat. So I look forward to my simple meals back home again. But it was all good. They had a family friend whose son just called to this mission and they were on the phone with them when we came so this nice family asked us a bunch of questions about the mission and it was pretty fun. So what a week eh? So to Annukkah, I have been doing my best to be an example to other missionaries in my leadership calling. My mission president was having a good laugh with me the other day about it. Then early this week I’ve been studying leadership actually in our missionary handbook and it spoke a lot about how to be an example and what I’m really supposed to do as a leader. Also I heard from a few other missionaries in my past areas that some people that I found have now been baptized and are active in the church with their families. In the past there have been 3 families that I have found and now they are going to the temple. So pretty cool stuff!
I love the talk from President Oaks from this past General Conference about the small and simple things. It’s always a great reminder and it’s what I really do my best at teaching my investigators about. The 3 simplest things to do that will carry us through the rest of this mortal life into Eternal Life is Prayer, The Book of Mormon, and attending Church, so all good stuff.
Well, this week was pretty exciting, we’ve been out on the street a lot trying of course to find new investigators to teach! We’ve been having a hard time on the main street known as Union Street. You know for a street named Union the people on that street aren’t really unified. Oh well, so we’ve been moving around to smaller streets where we’ve been finding more people! I’ve been telling missionaries for months that it’s not where the most people are that you find. Yet sadly many come in and see the big group and just assume that is where they are needed. No, it’s where the Lord needs you and where the Lord needs you is to minister to one individual at a time, just as the savior did! So it’s been pretty fun.
There are so many people that I run into on a daily basis that it’s hard to keep track of all of them. But I’ll share a fun moment with teaching a small family. So we got this referral from one of the teams here in Aberdeen. They passed them over to us because this guy lives out in Stonehaven and we are the only ones with a car. So no one knows the name of this guy. All we know he is from somewhere in Africa and he wants to meet. So I get ahold of him. At first, he wasn’t free to meet till about a month, but after some small talk, we were able to get a time to meet on the coming Saturday. Well, this Saturday we had President Donaldson coming up to Aberdeen to interview all the missionaries in the zone. So we were helping with that when we had to go for this lesson. We show up and it’s a man named Ola. So we sit down in his home and get talking, learn more about him and he learns more about us. Then he asked the question “So why do you have the Book of Mormon?” and away we go! First lesson it went so well. I know the hardest part of the message is learning about the great apostasy, but he understood it. We finished teaching and he was more than willing to read the Book of Mormon. However, at this point, his wife came home and she wasn’t very keen on some things. But we boldly answered her questions as well and nothing to misunderstanding what we taught. Both by the end where more than willing to read the Book of Mormon. Now, none of this happened because we knew the lesson so well. It happened because this man was the example of being open-minded and open to the feelings of the spirit. It is only that Holy Ghost that can have an effect on others as to help them understand and learn what is true and what is not.
So following this lesson we went on with the day. We were out finding a lot and we got the moves call and both of us are staying. We also got the moves call for our zone, so I got to call the missionaries that were staying. Not too many moves out of our zone but its moves right now so we are getting everyone all sorted. Well Sunday was pretty fun we had the Aberdeen stake conference and it was all about the Book of Mormon. I’m grateful that so many other people love the Book of Mormon. President and Sister Donaldson where there and spoke about the Book of Mormon as well both giving powerful testimonies of the Book which they know to be true.
So overall a fun week! But this email is all over the place because we need to get back to helping missionaries move!
We had a pretty exciting week. The start of the week we had like the whole zone come to Aberdeen so we could all travel down to Edinburgh. Monday was just crazy, but the drive down was pretty fun. We get to Edinburgh and we were going to spend the night with the ZL’s down there, but then one of the AP’s called us and told us to come to the mission home. So we went to the Mission Home. Never spent the night in the mission home before so that was pretty new for me. It wasn’t anything exciting, to be honest. But spent the night and off we were to the conference.
The conference was pretty good. President Donaldson had a friend that was visiting him. His friend Brother Baker was one of President Donaldson’s former companions from his mission here in Scotland. So he got up at the start of the meeting and spoke to all of us. Spoke for a long time but it was all pretty good stuff. President Donaldson told us how Elder Baker would go into an area and find all these people then he would come in and baptize them all. The rest of the conference was all about the Sabbath Day and Baptism.
Then we had a fun zone council at the end of it. Where we spoke to the missionaries in our zone about basic missionary skills and attitude. We are going to be trying out a few different things in the zone and getting everyone all excited about it all.
Well, the conference came to an end and once again we were on the road back to Aberdeen. See Aberdeen is great but we just have drive everywhere so much. So for the rest of the week, we were all around the city finding new people. We went on an exchange with the Elders from Stornoway. I was with Elder Agovofo, I have no idea how to spell his name but he is from Russia. He actually came out with me. So I haven’t seen him really since the MTC and I think Glasgow, but it was a fun day with him.
So Saturday came around and we got to drive back to Edinburgh for an exchange there. I went off with Elder Grant who turns out lives right next to Jake Gardner. So that was bit interesting to chat throughout the day about all the people that we knew. The exchange was good, we mostly just found the whole day. Then once again we had the long drive all the back to Aberdeen.
That was pretty much the week. This week is going to be pretty cool. President Nelson and Elder Holland will be visiting the U.K. and there will be a special broadcast out to Great Britain and Ireland. Then we’ll have stake conference here in Aberdeen on Saturday and Sunday. So should be all exciting. Also, it will be moves call on Saturday. No, it hasn’t been 6 weeks. This transfer was only 4 weeks. So yes after this Saturday I will have one transfer left on my mission.
So I got the shirts and hats we will go and get some great photos today for P-day!
What a spirit filled week with General Conference. This past week for Elder Smith and I has been a bit interesting. We were in the city a lot, just out trying to find some new investigators and well we found a few! We have been able to teach a few new friends and set them on a date to be baptized. But because of some funny stories they are either a bit crazy or going on holiday for a few weeks or they are going home to England in a few weeks as well! So just trying to find the elect of God you could say. But every soul is important so we are doing our best. So a lot of our week is out walking around Union Street in the middle of Aberdeen. Thursday was pretty fun we did an exchange with the Seaton Elders, Elder Palmer (previous companion) and his trainee Elder Masulonis. I went with Elder Masulonis and it was pretty dang fun. There are so many new missionaries in the mission. It’s pretty crazy. Everyone I know has pretty much gone home and now I’m just meeting all these new trainees! They’ll do some really great things in this mission. So the whole day we were just out talking to everyone and we did a pretty good job by the end of the day. Then the rest of the week has just gone on by.
So far I have been able to watch all of General Conference but the Sunday Afternoon. However, I did see the announcements for the change in Home and Visiting teaching. There was a lot of announcements made at this conference. A lot of my thoughts are it just goes to show how the Lord is hastening the work. There was a lot of great things that were taught in the conference and I’ll be going back to watch them all again for sure in the coming weeks. I loved a lot of talks and I found each one very insightful and inspiring. When watching General Conference I like to think back to Elder Anderson’s talk about General Conference talks. He explained in a previous conference about the time and preparation that goes into each and every talk. Some talks take years to put together while others take only a few short weeks. But at any moment the Lord’s voice is with every speaker. I will have to say that my favorite talk so far was the warning voice of President Nelsen. He has taught us very simply how to gain personal revelation. What I got out of it was that we must learn to gain personal revelation if we are to go through the future and what it tells. Many things are happening in the world and I would say with each passing day we need a prophet’s voice more and more. In his instruction of gaining personal revelation he really put it down to a few simple steps of 1. Finding a place to be alone with the Lord 2. Humble yourself in prayer 3. Listen 4. Record your thoughts and feelings. If we do this then we will be more entitled to receive direction when we need it.
Well, what a week. So much is going on and it’s all hard to put down in an email. But tomorrow we are heading down to Edinburgh for an All Scotland Conference. So a fun-filled week of conferences! We have been having all the missionaries come down to Aberdeen so that we can then later today travel down to Dundee and Edinburgh. Then the conference will be really fun. This will be really my second to the last conference on the mission. As the last one, I’ll be with the going home missionaries for some class thingy. But no worries I’m working hard!