There I was playing the Bagpipes in Edinburgh, in the Scotland/ Ireland Mission!

Aberdeen Zone 1

Aberdeen Zone

Well, it is the final countdown! Down to my last 3 weeks. Time has gone by super-fast. I for sure have learned a lot. Not going to say everything because that will wait for my last email. But this week has been a great week for us! At the start of the week, we were off filming our new incoming video. Which by the way is beyond the best thing ever.

We finished that video then we were out on the street talking to people. Spoke to a few good people but the time was short. The following day came and in the morning we took our drive down to Edinburgh. We drove Elder Palmer and Elder Masulonis. Taking the drive down gave me time to think about how this will be my last time seeing my Mission President. Now to let everyone know no one in this world could ever be as great as my Father Mark Augustine. But I would like to talk about my Mission President and his wife. President Donaldson loves his sweets and he loves his missionaries even more. He has a heart big enough for the whole world but is also stern and ready to correct with passion. Although I have only seen them every few weeks they have always born witness of the gospel and taught truths so simple there was no misunderstanding.

So heading down to the conference I was able to reflect and ponder. They had us come down earlier than the other missionaries because they had the departing missionaries go through a self-reliance course for a few short hours. Talked about going home and getting a job and plans for the future all good stuff. So that was that, then we finished and the actual conference started. It started with some musical items and then the departing testimonies. The Sisters went first and then it was myself for the first of the Elders. Walking up to that mic was something else. When I came into the mission I gave an incoming testimony. At that time I stood and spoke to a group of missionaries that had been out for so long and there I was telling them how excited I was to be there. That, by the way, was in the Glasgow building. So this time I stood up there and it is so hard to tell a group missionaries what happens over a simple time period of two years. I told them how I loved serving in the Scotland Mission. They all had a pretty good laugh at that. We can testify of the many, many truths we learn but you can never express fully the feelings of change that comes through understanding and teaching the gospel.

Well after the departing testimonies there were incoming testimonies. Then we heard some instructions and what not. It was all very good. So it came around to dinner time and the missionaries all went into the gym to eat and that was my cue! So everyone all sat down and I came marching in with the bagpipes. To be honest, I couldn’t really believe it and I was a bit nervous, but there I was playing the Bagpipes in Edinburgh, in the Scotland/ Ireland mission. I don’t think anyone a couple of years ago could have expected this. But I did it and I did my best. It was strange to hear missionaries clap at the end. Normally in most church meetings it’s the silent nod in a reverent manner that means “Well done, yes well done, I would clap if I could”. I am grateful for President Brown and the Stronachs to help out with this moment. It meant so much to me and those who listened. So we all ate dinner and enjoyed some food.

After dinner, we had the blessing of having a face to face event with Elder Bednar and his wife. He taught about who the real teacher is. I learned a lot. He had some funny things to say. For one I learned from an apostle about what it really means to take notes in these meetings. If we just write down everything that is said we create a history and we did not learn what we were supposed to learn. But if we listen and record thoughts and feelings we gain revelation. But we need to be still. I think I finally learned what it meant to be still. But through all the great questions and answers one of which we learned is what it felt like to be one of 13 men to be set apart by a Prophet of God. I would like to share two things which I think we should all apply at some point in our lives and that is gaining personal revelation through the Book of Mormon. Well, Elder Bednar answered a missionaries question with a commitment instead.  This missionary had a certain question about Hope. So Elder Bednar told him to get a blank copy of the Book of Mormon write down the topic or question then mark that whole Book with every reference to that topic or question. Then at the end to write a summary of what he learned. Then place that summary in the back of the book. Title it on the side of the book with that question or topic Hope Vol 1. Then get another Book of Mormon and do the same thing. In the end, you compare your two summaries to see what you have learned. That should also be titled Hope Vol 2. Then by the end of your life, you should have a whole bookcase full of copies of the Book of Mormon. But this revelation for you, if others want to know what you know, they can do the same thing and learn for themselves.

So the second thing that I learned was pretty funny. A missionary asked, “what does he still apply from his mission?” He shared this verse. D&C 88: 124 Cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault one with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated. Well, he still goes to bed really early and wakes up really early. Why because the Lord has told us that in the morning time our minds will be invigorated or given strength or energy to our minds. This is a time where the distractions of the world haven’t awaken yet and in the quiet peaceful morning, we can be more in-tune with the spirit and what to do that day. In fact, it was an early morning start that lead to the first vision, which has lead to the Restoration of the Gospel.

So after all this, we said goodbye to our mission president. There were a lot of tears but it was good. I had my last interview with President and that was it.

We traveled back to Aberdeen and got going for the next week. We have been out teaching a lot. We met with our friends Tunde and Kwadjo this week and that was great. Both are getting ready for baptism. Kwadjo came to church this week and loved it. A lot has happened in a few short days but I think I’ll leave some of these stories so that I can tell you when I see you all again.

Well, I’m off I’ll email next week!

Here you go. President Donaldson and Sister Donaldson and the shoes I’ve been wearing. I didn’t notice the holes till now! But don’t worry I bought some gel insoles! They work great!!

I love the name that I have because it is the name of my Father.

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Elder McLeish & Elder Augustine

Well Happy Father’s Day to Dad!! I hope it was a great day and everything went well! I know that Fathers are pretty great!

I think these scriptures fit into Father’s Day!

5 For they remembered the words which their father Helaman spake unto them. And these are the words which he spake:

6 Behold, my sons, I desire that ye should remember to keep the commandments of God; and I would that ye should declare unto the people these words. Behold, I have given unto you the names of our first parents who came out of the land of Jerusalem; and this I have done that when you remember your names ye may remember them; and when ye remember them ye may remember their works; and when ye remember their works ye may know how that it is said, and also written, that they were good.

7 Therefore, my sons, I would that ye should do that which is good, that it may be said of you, and also written, even as it has been said and written of them.

8 And now my sons, behold I have somewhat more to desire of you, which desire is, that ye may not do these things that ye may boast, but that ye may do these things to lay up for yourselves a treasure in heaven, yea, which is eternal, and which fadeth not away; yea, that ye may have that precious gift of eternal life, which we have reason to suppose hath been given to our fathers.

I love the name that I have because it is the name of my Father, and when I remember my name it helps me to do good and that name is to be shown for good.

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We have had a crazy week. We have been teaching our friend Tunde and she is all ready to be baptized, we just need to see when she has a Sunday off then she will be able to be baptized and confirmed. We have also been teaching our friend Kwadjo he is a funny guy. Really cool. We were able to sit down with him twice this past week and teach him the Plan of Salvation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He loved the lessons a lot from what he told us. But sadly, he didn’t make it out to church. So, we’ll have to get a hold of him and invite him again. So, the rest of the time we have been out on the street talking to people. Then just the other day we went on exchanges in Edinburgh that was pretty fun. We had a lot of finding time out in the rain and we taught a few lessons, so all was well with that. I then spoke to President Donaldson about a few things with the conference coming up tomorrow. A bit nervous so hope all goes well. Then last night we had a pretty cool experience. We were out doing some try byes of some people that said we could come back. So, we went around to this young family that told us we could come back. We knocked on the door and nothing at first but then the doors open and this lady screams. I guess she didn’t hear us, but it wasn’t the person we were looking for it was just the visitors leaving. So, we spoke to this mom and she had some questions like where did we come from, why do bad things happen, and where do we go? So, we taught the plan of salvation right there on the door step and she said that she hopes that it is the right plan because it’s the best plan she’s ever heard. So, spoke to her about the Holy Ghost and his role in teaching us and that is why she feels the way she does. So, she took a Book of Mormon and we should be going back tonight to see her and the kids again.

So today we have A LOT to do. We need to do this video thing and then get ready for the conference and all this stuff. So, I’m bit all over the place and this will probably be another short email. But no worries we are going to get photos. I have one photo of Elder McLeish and me. Well again I love my Father very much and I’m grateful for the example he is to me! I hope to be just like him one day.

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Elder Augustine and a food challenge that didn’t go so well

Justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions

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Mission Leadership Council

Well, this has been a week. So the start of the week I picked up Elder McLeish and he is from Idaho. My first Idaho companion!! And the last. So he likes to do sports and all that good stuff. He reads stuff. He said anything outdoors is good stuff.

So we had a pretty alright week so far. We spent most of the time out finding on the street because people kept dropping appointments. But it has been good so far. We have found a few new people that we are hoping to see again. So this week we also had our MLC in Edinburgh. It was pretty good.  The first 3 discussions were about personal revelation and how we are following the spirit and not just following ourselves. Then we had a pretty good chat on Our Purpose and how it is supposed to change us. Then Elder and Sister Thompson spoke to us about where are our Anchors. They shared the scripture in Ether 12: 4 “Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.”  So they shared that and spoke about what really is our anchors. There are really two that should be: One is Jesus Christ and the second would be the first vision with Joseph Smith. Then after lunch we went to Arthur’s Seat or as we call it Pratt’s Hill. We climbed to the top and had a council on how to prepare the mission for the new mission president. It was pretty great. So then we made our nice trip back down the hill and finished the meeting and off we were back to the faraway land of Aberdeen. When we got back we then had our Zone meeting with the District Leaders and shared everything we learned with them.  Now we are hoping that it gets to all the missionaries and we’ll have a great transfer.

This week has been well teaching Tunde and she has loved reading the Book of Mormon. The other day she read Alma 42 which talks about Justice and Mercy, she was a bit confused so we did our best to explain these two eternal laws. It’s a pretty hard concept to understand when we haven’t learned too much about it. But Elder Packer gives a great parable about the two laws and how they both are full filled through Jesus Christ. In scriptural terms, justice is the unchanging law that brings consequences for actions. Because of the law of justice, we receive blessings when we obey God’s commandments. The law of justice also demands that a penalty is paid for every sin we commit. When the Savior carried out the Atonement, He took our sins upon Himself. He was able to “answer the ends of the law” (2 Nephi 2:7) because He subjected Himself to the penalty that the law required for our sins. In doing so, He “satisfied the demands of justice” and extended mercy to everyone who repents and follows Him (see Mosiah 15:9; Alma 34:14-16). Because He has paid the price for our sins, we will not have to suffer that punishment if we repent (see D&C 19:15-20). So explaining this was a bit hard but there was a great talk from the last conference that was able to answer her question. That was a lot easier than trying to explain it to her. I’m so grateful for General Conference. They always have the answers. Well, so far we are looking at it being a good week. I’m going to try to get up to Rita this week hopefully. We have become pretty busy with a lot of appointments so we’ll see. Well, I think I’ll get to more of the reflection part of the mission when I get down to my very last week. Still, got a few weeks left still got a lot to learn because every experience is a learning opportunity. So I have been practicing and it’s getting a bit better.

Last transfer, staying in Aberdeen

For your information, I will be staying in Aberdeen for my last 6 weeks of my mission. Today is moves so everything is pretty crazy with moving missionaries around. My new companion will be Elder McLeish. I believe he is from Idaho. He is just coming from Ayr actually so that’ll be fun to chat about. Well, it’s wonderful to hear all about the stuff that is happening back home. I’m glad that everything went well.

It’s been a fun week. Monday was odd. That’s all you need to know. Then the rest of the week was alright we were out on the street a lot. It was pretty fun because we found some new investigators and we were hoping for them to come to church but they didn’t show up sadly. So hopefully next time. So overall too really sum up the week we were out finding and some more finding. Taught a few first lessons and that was really about it. So not too much happened. But I’m excited about these last few weeks and I feel like It’s going to be a really great transfer, we’ll be able to get a lot done and just work hard really.

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So yes I did get a set of bagpipes to play and I was trying to get them all together, but I think I got it now. So no worries I just need to practice a bit more and I think I’ll be able to manage a few songs for the Missionary Conference. I’ll be doing that in the morning so I hope my new companion doesn’t mind. But it was very nice of President Brown to let me borrow them and for the Stronarchs to bring them to me! I need to get going here to pick up my new companion so I might be able to send another email before the day is over. But I guess for now just count your many blessings! I’m grateful for the time that I have served and for the last few weeks I have left to serve! I love missionary work and the blessings that come from it!