Met Nashville Tribute Band

Well, what a fun week! Sounds like everyone back home is having a grand time. I guess it’s summer for everyone so that’s exciting. It’s almost summer here. Well actually it’s been pretty hot here in Scotland the last few days. So that’s been really nice. It’s more and more sunny like the sun comes up at 4:30 or something like that so that’s pretty fun. Yes, it is moves call this coming Saturday. The Last Moves Call. So where will Elder Augustine end up? Probably still in Aberdeen. Yeah, I’ll probably just end up here for the last month of my mission. To be honest.

Money was just for a few groceries to be honest. Didn’t need that much. Yep I have a cow. And the bookmark came from Sister Campbell in the Irvine Ward. The bagpipe reeds came and I’m just waiting for the pipes Sister Stronach said she would bring me them in a few weeks.

So, this week was pretty fun. P-day we went and hiked this tall hill. It wasn’t a mountain. But it was really tall. The guy that took us said it was the tallest point in Aberdeen Shire. So that was cool. Got to the top and got to see all of Aberdeen Shire. Got some cool photos of all of that. Then the rest of the week was pretty normal to be honest. We spent a lot of time out on the streets and knocking doors and trying to teach people. Taught a few people but not many. Friday, we had exchanges with the Seaton Elders and I was off with Elder Palmer so that was really great. We had a pretty fun time. They had their friend who is getting ready for Baptism, so I got to interview, and he is more than ready so that was really cool. Very smart man who has like two master’s degrees and is just ready to be baptized and go to the temple.

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Then Saturday was fun. All the Scotland missionaries got to drive down to Edinburgh for this concert from the Nashville Tribute Band. They played some songs and talked and actually one of them shared a cool teaching from his mission president. Where his mission president asked all the missionaries what their whole purpose of a mission is, and many of them yelled To Baptize! and the mission president said that’s a great purpose but that’s the second focus right now. The First is to learn how to gain personal revelation because without that you aren’t going to find anyone to baptize. It will also prepare you for the future of what to do when you have a huge choice to make. So, I thought that was really cool, gave me a few things to think about and a few songs to listen to. Church was pretty fun yesterday because it was the ward conference. So surprisingly a lot of people came. Like filled the whole place! It was crazy. I just sat there wondering why don’t all these people come every week? It would make such the difference in the growth of the church. The doctrine of Church is taught greatly in Moroni 6. But throughout the Book of Mormon whenever the people came together and prayed together. Not only did they prosper in temporal needs and but they all grew spiritual in ways of kindness and honesty faster than anything else could have done.

Well I look forward to telling you what happens this Saturday!

“What matters most is what lasts the longest, and our families are for eternity.” M. Russell Ballard

Well the start of the week was fun. We went through the national park up to Inverness, I’ve been through that park many times now. But this time we stopped by all the castles and other stuff so that was cool, and we got to check out these places. In the park we meet up with the Inverness District and we went on this fun hike around a loch so that was fun.

Then after all that fun stuff we drove up to Inverness did a little short exchange with a few Elders for the evening and went around working there, so that was fun. We stayed the night and then went to the district meeting in the morning, it was an alright meeting nothing to special really. So, after the meeting we were back on our way to Aberdeen.

We were both tired from all the traveling so the rest of the day work was tough, but it was all good stuff. Well we were only back in Aberdeen for a short while before we were on a train down to Edinburgh. We had exchanges with the AP’s and those are two-day exchanges. So, we got a train Thursday evening and the following day I was with Elder Wright. I don’t think I got any photos of the exchange, so my bad.

But it was all pretty good stuff. We were out on the streets just talking to people and trying to teach people. Most of the lessons that we had planned fell through, so we were back on the streets again out finding. On the street I found two people that seem to be promising about meeting up with the missionaries. So that was cool. I met this one guy and he was very interested, said he would meet with the missionaries but he was from a different area in Scotland, so I got him in contact with those missionaries. And all seemed normal till he started to text me in the evening and he kept referring himself in third person and it got a bit creepy so that was odd.

The rest of the exchange was great, and we got back Saturday night. Next day was church and I was still tired, so I fell asleep for most of it to be honest. But there is no better sleep than church sleep. In fact, it’s the healthiest kind of sleep. Well what a fun day that was. We then spent most of the day just out trying to visit families and what not so all good things.

Well during this week I’ve heard from several people that are going to the Temple and I just want to join them! But I guess I can wait a few more weeks where I’ll be able to enjoy going to the Temple again. So, I guess I might as well share these thoughts. Well over the last two weeks I have emailed Dad about what engineering field I would like to go into and I made a mistake, I made my final choice on civil. So, it’s funny how these simple mistakes seem so natural to every person. One of the greatest gifts given to man is the ability to choose for one’s self. This gift leads to mistakes and failures. But to find success we move from failure to failure then to success.

What I love about the gospel is that the plan is perfect there are no mistakes, only mistakes made by those who are living in the plan. But the Atonement of Jesus Christ was performed knowing that we would make mistakes. What a perfect plan that it is! And even better there is no place greater than to learn of the Eternal Plan than in the House of the Lord or the Temples. So, a simple mistake which can lead to anger or discouragement should be looked upon as the ability to grow or to learn from.

I love what Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said, once we’ve made a mistake “The first thing we can do is learn to laugh.” It will extend our life and make the life around us more enjoyable. Then we seek the eternal remembrance that these are only small moments in the vast span of eternity. Then “The third thing we can do is understand the principle of compensation. The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be added unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, the faithful will know that every tear today will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude.” So hopefully through my inspired message Dad won’t be so upset about a simple mistake of changing a major! Love you Dad! And of course, this is to Mom and Annukkah! With each year there are more and more learning experiences and what an opportunity it is to share a special day with those you love most!

I got flashed by a homeless man and worshipped as a Saint.

Well, what a fun week. So this email will be a bit short because we are heading up to Inverness today and we want an early start so we can check out all the cool things along the way!
Well, the start of the week was pretty fun with P-day we had a bunch of Elders at our flat. The whole islands district came down and we just kinda had a fun sporty day and then we went on exchange with the Elders from Stornoway the following day so like on Tuesday. That was alright. We all went to this Mexican place and it wasn’t that bad. Like it was pretty alright. It wasn’t the best or was it right but it was close. So that was all fun stuff. So the night came and we ended up with 16 Elders in our flat. So what a night that was. I don’t think much more needs to be said of that. Then the following morning we had our Scotland North Conference! So we had the Aberdeen Zone and the Dundee Zone all together and we got to hear about a lot of stuff that we covered in MLC but it all still really good. I really enjoyed it. We talked about love and meekness and the future of the mission which was great. President gave some really good advice about the new mission president and that is this the opportunity for us to start over and really become something else or become what we really want to be. And I think that really goes with myself in a few months and that is. This is my chance to become something better than I was and to show that. So the conference ended and we got everyone back to their areas and we started work again the following day. So a few days later after a lot of finding and normal missionary stuff we got to sit down with Tunde. And she is doing great! We got talking and she told us how she felt about church and how she wants that good feeling with her all the time. Well, we told her that she could once she is baptized and confirmed a member of the church. Then we spoke about Prophets today and what they are able to do for us and teach us and how we can follow them. She loved it. But then she asked the question about coffee. So it fit well into the lesson. And we taught her the Word of Wisdom and why it was so important to follow. At first, she was a bit unsure but she knew that the prophet was speaking for God so she agreed to follow it. She said she would have no problem living it so that was good. Then we just kinda of kept going for the week, to be honest. I got flashed by a homeless man and worshiped as a saint. Not sure if that has anything to do with Saint Augustine. But oh well. Then Sunday comes and I was able to call home and speak to everyone! Which was great! I think it’s weirder to say that the next time I see everyone it will be at the airport.
Also driving through the national park today so going to get a lot of photos! Don’t worry it won’t all be car photos!

Out finding and enjoying a nice sunny Sunday

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Well the start of the week was alright not much really happened. Most of the days was spent out finding. Talking to a lot of people. The sun believe it or not has started to come out and stay out. Which has been very nice. Living in Scotland you tend to miss the sun for a few months out of the year. So that has made people a bit more talkative which is always good. Well I think it was about Wednesday I ran into this guy on the street and we had a brief conversation but he said he would be interested in meeting up. So we set a time to meet the following day. The rest of the day was pretty alright.

A few appointments fell through but oh well. Well the next day comes and we do a bit of service in the morning for a member. Then we meet with the guy that I spoke to yesterday. Well he is from Greek and he loves the Book of Mormon. It was actually a pretty great lesson. He has had questions about Christianity for a long time. He himself is a Christian but he still has had these questions and we answered them for him and he loved it. So that was just a great first lesson that we had him and we are hoping to see him the next week and get him to church. Friday came around, which was May the 4th. So that was a pretty great day. I just enjoyed the day overall.

We went on exchanges with the Inverness Elders and I was with Elder Barlow. Pretty cool guy. So we had a great time out finding on the street. We meet this one girl in the morning and was chatting then out of nowhere she just says “Ah screw it, we’ll just go sit down now and have a chat.” So we sit down and to be honest it really didn’t go anywhere. It was funny though. She did want to learn more of like the overall beliefs but didn’t want to do anything with it. So we kept on finding. It wasn’t until the evening time where we ran into the woman from Maine that we set up a really great appointment. She’s pretty honest and has read all the religious texts, well I think most of them and she asked for a Book of Mormon. Because I guess she has never heard of us before. So that was interesting. Hoping to meet with her later today.

Then the weekend came around and we were out finding again. Sat down with a few people but over it all it was pretty normal. During the day there was some trade union march thingy, not too sure exactly but that was interesting. Then Elder Palmer and Elder Masulonis came with us to this Mexican place for Cinco de Mayo. So I think after my many travels this place was the closest in getting it right. It was very good. So I did have to tell them well done. Because there are no good Mexican food places in Scotland. Then Sunday came around! We had a great time because our friend Tunde came and is looking to be baptized. We had a few other… interesting people come as well. Didn’t invite them but they were nice just a bit odd. Not really sure what to think. But it was great and the rest of the day was out finding and enjoying a nice sunny Sunday.

So I believe next Sunday, May 13th is mother’s day. So I should be calling home and chatting with everyone again.

My thoughts in the evening time has been going to my plan for home. I’ll sit there and ponder how I’m going to continue the habits of my mission and use it in my daily life.

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Well, first thing first. My friend Richard Coffey has received his mission call! He has been called to the Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia Mission!!!! I’m very excited for him to go and serve the people there. However, my friend leaves July 11th, five days before I get home. I’ll miss my friend for another 2 years. So I’ll get to see him after 4 years.

So the start of the week was pretty fun. We’ve been working on this video for incoming missionaries so we went to a castle to go get some shots. We aren’t done with it yet so we’ll get to finish that today and then I’ll send it to everyone so we can all have a laugh. So I will be honest with this week. We have been just out finding on the street and chapping doors this whole time.

We were able to teach our friend Tunde, We brought Bro. Zimmerman along and we sat down with her and she loves the Book of Mormon but still wants to go to her church. Which is fine but we want her to come and experience what has been restored so we had a great lesson about scripture study and church and really just what it is all about. So after that, we have just been out and about really.

Another funny story from this week. We were out chapping and we chap this one door. This young kid comes to the door. “Hey there, are your parents’ home?” and then answer “Yeah one sec”. Shuts the doors “MOM! MORMONS!” We just had to have a bit of laugh. Then we hear some chatting and then the door opens and this other kid about the same age opens the door then in a deep voice says “I’m Stephens Father” We all just had a laugh together it was pretty funny. Then the rest of the time we’ve just run into some normal people. We talked to one guy that was telling us about weed and how that has been curing his skin cancer for like a couple of years. So pretty normal stuff. To be honest that’s about it. We haven’t been able to get out to that house but we will.

I’ll probably have more exciting stories for next week. Because we have a lot planned for this coming week with exchanges and meetings and out talking to people.

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Well, I guess to go from our monthly topic to the next. From an example to Joseph Smith. I had a day this week where my companion sadly felt ill for the whole day. So that left me with a whole day with the Book of Mormon and some church videos. But more so the Book of Mormon. Well of course at this time in my mission my thoughts in the evening time has been going to my plan for home. I’ll sit there and ponder how I’m going to continue the habits of my mission and use it in my daily life. What are the simple things I need to do? Well, President Nelson gave me the answer in conference talk on Revelation. For the Heavens to be opened in my life. There are 4 things I need to do. 1. Have increased Purity 2. Exact Obedience to the Commandments 3. Daily Feasting on the Book of Mormon 4. Temple and Family History Work. These are the focuses to have that will help not only myself but all of us. So an early morning in the Book of Mormon can set the course of a day with what the Lord would want us to do. It helps us become an example and look to the example of others to know what to do.

And so an example to us on this topic of planning for the future and searching for answers is Joseph Smith. “The Prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions. Drawn to the promise of James that if we lack wisdom we may ask of God, the boy Joseph took his question directly to Heavenly Father. He sought personal revelation, and his seeking opened this last dispensation.” (From President Nelsons talk)

So I have put into practice the example of Joseph Smith and have spiritual planned the simple things to do in the coming days. The promise from President Nelson is if I do this I will grow into the principle of Revelation. The same is for anyone else that follows this counsel from the prophet.

Well, hope all goes with the teeth! I expect a video.

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