What I love is the faith of these saints to keep coming every week even though there are so few of them.

I’m pretty sure I got down the days of the week, had a pretty good laugh with this one!
What a week full of the temple and other wonderful experiences for everyone back home. So this week not much has happened.

The Zone leaders came up on Monday and Tuesday to do exchanges with us and it was a great time. For P-day because it was raining so much here in Kirkwall, we spent most of the day inside playing ping pong and relaxing. Then we were out finding and the next day we had our District meeting. We could not get the Lerwick Elders onto Skype so it took forever, but we had an amazing breakfast. Sister Smith made so much food and it was really good. This week was their last week here in Orkney, they are now in Montrose. Tuesday was really great, we got to sit down with this person and we talked about the purpose of life with them and explained how this life is a time to find peace and happiness. Then we talked about how God can really be a part of that peace and happiness, and what he can do to help us with it. So the next few days there was a lot of finding and so forth.

Then we got to sit down with two less actives which they had us over for dinner and it was really good. We got to share our spiritual thought on the Restoration with them. On my mission I have really loved sharing the message of the restoration with everyone that I meet and with members as well, because we do need to be reminded of what really has been brought back to the earth. It was lost and when Christ died and the leaders of the Church were killed the Authority they had received was then gone. There was no one on the Earth saying “Thus sayth the lord” It was all “The Bible says this”. The Gospel was changed and lost. But through the prophet Joseph Smith it was restored! And as we share this message it always brings the spirit and it’s all centered on embracing the Book of Mormon. The Book of Mormon was written for our day. So we need to read it Daily. There cannot be a day where we don’t read from it. If there was anything that can help us in this day and age that is the Book of Mormon. It brings us closer to God and helps us to know that Jesus is the Christ. The message was great and we’ll be going back to their home to teach them again.
Then a funny short story. While chapping this neighborhood we usually take turns and switch back and forth with who gets to chap the door. This next door it was Elder Herr’s turn, so we go up to the door and *Knock*Knock*Knock* and this older woman comes to the door. “What do you want!” my companion answers “We are missionaries and we are sharing a message about…” and then he finishes and she stops and just stares. Then it felt like a good minute goes by and my companion goes on again “May we share this message with you?” and she looks closer and out of nowhere she starts to make like this grunting Indian sound, so my companion just kind of does like a good bye thing. As we walk away she is still making this sound and just watching us. I thought it was hilarious because it put my companion in the most awkward spot he had no idea what to do!

But it was good because as we kept chapping we were able to find some people that were interested in hearing from us! So looking forward to this next week!
Then Sunday was a great Sunday! Church was the smallest service I’ve ever seen. There was only 8 of us. But what I love is the faith of these saints to keep coming every week even though there are so few of them. The Orkney Branch is able to do a lot, we just need to get everyone on board and share the gospel with everyone by doing this it will help the branch grow. From what I’ve seen it’s coming down to the branches choice if they want to grow or not. As missionaries we are doing everything we can to find people to teach, but we really need the members to be one with us. So we’ll see how these next few weeks come along. I’m getting really excited.

Then before I forget Christmas the only thing that is wanted/ needed is “The Infinite Atonement” by Tad Callister. Don’t really need anything else but I’ll give it some thought this next week and let you know.

I’ve now traveled by car, train, boat, bicycle, and plane on my mission.

So Orkney is an interesting place and it’s really fun. A lot of the locals pretty much know each other, so it’s pretty funny when we run into someone because, we’ll run into their cousin or friends in the next few minutes. Also everyone on this whole island is pretty much related it’s pretty funny. I haven’t been out to Skara Brae, it’s been pretty crazy the last few P-days so haven’t had any time to go up there and it’s not really fun to go out to see the sights in a rain storm.

Then Shetland was really cool. It’s a beautiful place with tons of attractions. It’s small and I mean it’s so small you can walk from one side of the island to pretty much the other side. But the Elders there are doing some good work.
We flew up to Shetland Monday night and had a wonderful dinner with some members up there. Then the next day we had our district meeting and I went on exchanges with Elder Kroes from Germany. He is in my MTC group, so it was interesting to see how we’ve changed over this last year of our missions.

We had a good time finding around Lerwick, met some funny people. The people really do know the missionaries there. The following day I went off with Elder Arenas from the Philippines, he is funny! I loved the day with him so much. He is still working on his English, he has only been out for about 4 months now, but he is learning the language really well and I loved how he would talk to people.
Then in the evening we had a bit more fun with Chapping. So we decided that we would just run up and down the streets and knock on the doors that we felt we should knock on, and we found a lot of people that were interested! It was a great time and really fun! It really made the missionary work really fun and something new to do.

The next morning we flew back to Orkney. The plane ride was a lot faster than I thought. It was only about 30 minutes. So much better than a 6-7 hour ferry ride! But the sights were great and the people fun.

I’ve now traveled by car, train, boat, bicycle, and plane on my mission. It’s been really crazy of how much I’ve seen of Scotland. There are very few places where I haven’t been.

So got back to Orkney and we have spent the last few days really trying to find some new investigators. So we are trying more than anything to get more involved with the members and see what we can do to be more a part of the branch rather than the missionaries that just come and go and everyone just sees another Elder or something. So we got some fun things planned and hopefully it’s all going to go well and we’ll enjoy it.

So I haven’t seen the northern lights yet, but it is getting darker in the evening which is nice because now there isn’t sun light in our window at 3am!
Oh then only got one shirt so far. Just waiting for the other one.
Then yeah that was pretty much our week and it was really good and the rest of the time we’ve been out chapping doors and just inviting people to hear our message!

So I have heard about everything that is going on back home. I heard about the storms and yesterday I heard more about the rest and it’s just been really crazy. I have no idea what the world is going to be like when I come back. It’s just seems to be getting worse and worse and really it’s only going to be this gospel that can really help people and bring them back together. So it’s going to be a really fun week because I’m back in my area and we are going to see Miracles! So next week expect to hear a lot!

He hears our prayers, he understands who we are, and he invites us to learn of him.

I love the class room! I wish I had a teacher that would have done that for me! Well I can’t put everything that happened this week into words, but I can tell you most of the week in one word and that is TRAVEL. Oh my goodness so much travel when you live so far away from the mission home. We were able to do some work in our area just for about 1-2 days before we woke up early one morning and drove down to the ferry to get to the mainland. We then drove from Thurso down to Aberdeen and we spent the night there and then woke up early the next morning and drove down to Edinburgh.
The conference was all about being Christ Centered. We are a Christ Centered Mission. We have a goal to baptize 450 souls. That is a lot and we are almost there, but I think for a lot of us and maybe a bit for me as well, we were more focused on the goal than the people we were helping to baptism. We have a Savior for a reason and that is to repent and to strive to become like him. It is the best way to live in life. It is the only way to find happiness and direction in life. It is the way life was supposed to be lived. We have witnesses of his life and his teachings. We have an example to follow. All we need to do is to “Come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grave ye may be perfect in Christ, and if by the grave of God ye are perfect in Christ, ye can in nowise deny the power of God.”(Moroni 10:32)
He hears our prayers, he understands who we are, and he invites us to learn of him. Not for his benefit but for ours. The conference was centered on this and for us to reach our goal we need to forget the goal and focus on the bigger goal and then everything else will fall into place. A lot of time we get caught up in these things that we have to do and we come under pressure, but God doesn’t put us under pressure we do. When we focus on the small and simple goals of just reading scriptures and praying as much as we can and in all places. The windows of heaven are opened and everything else will fall into place. All the wants and desires will happen if we willingly give those desires to him. I’m grateful for a mission President that is a man of God that knows the Savior and is willing show me an example of who to follow. Nothing is ever easy but there are ways of making life easier, and that starts with prayer and feasting on the word of God. I know there are family and friends that read this email that is posted onto my blog and I would just like you to ponder the question, “How can I help someone come back to Chris?”
So this was the conference and there were a few other instructions that were given and it was really great. I had my Zone Leader Council right after so I didn’t get to talk to any other Elders or Sisters. But it was good to see everyone.
So after the conference we drove back to Aberdeen and stayed the night with the zone leaders. In the morning we headed back up to Orkney. The Smiths were on the same ferry as us so we got to chat with them back to Orkney. Then we’ve been able to spend a few days in our area before we go up to Shetland for a few more days. But it’s going to be great. Sunday was amazing as well I love the members of the Orkney Branch! They bore such powerful and wonderful testimonies. Each one of them has answered a prayer of mine in this past week and it was truly a blessing.

So I’ll make sure that Sister Park messages you. Those that I’m teaching in Orkney haven’t got a date yet but we are working with that. It’s great to hear about Dad and Alex. I hope everything goes well with Dad and what is going on.
Love, Elder Augustine

We’ve just become so busy with everything, but it’s been really great!

So first off Aunt Ann sent me a wonderful letter that was really, really nice! Now I need her email address. I’ve been gone the whole past week and will be gone for pretty much the next two weeks. We got a call last night that there is an All Scotland Conference this Thursday. So we are probably going to be leaving tomorrow or the next day and I have a leadership meeting on Friday and won’t get back to the Orkney’s till Saturday. Then next week I’ll be traveling up to Shetland on Monday and won’t get back until about Thursday or so. SO if I could Ann’s email so that I could send her a thank you because I’m traveling so much it’s hard to send a letter! And I won’t be able to write a letter till next Monday as I will be traveling quite a bit.

Oh then Elder Herr is hilarious. I love him so much. It is pretty funny that we are companions now. But I was thinking of X-Men t-shirts for us. You would have to do like the X-Men costume shirts.

So as District leader I am pretty limited on time. I get to plan a lot of stuff for the district and doing nightly calls with everyone which takes up a lot of time, but it’s good because it helps us to do better as missionaries.

So this past week was pretty crazy with all travel and stuff. I had a great leadership meeting on Thursday over Skype and then got back to Orkney that night and then started working Friday. We had a bit do that Friday because we’ve been gone for so long. But we got going and was running around to pretty much everyone and trying to set up as many appointments as we could for the following week.

There was a moment where Elder Herr and I were walking back to the flat and there was this car that was coming down the road and the next thing we know, the car is pretty much on the side walk heading right at us! So we jump off to the side and the door opens and the people in the car say that they are members but they haven’t been to church in a long time and they want us to come around and visit them and they’ll even give us food! It was pretty cool how they found us. But that appointment will have to change because we are gone again for a few days. Then the rest of the past few days have just gone by so fast. We have done a lot of planning for this next transfer, because for the last few months nothing has really been happening in this area, so we are going to start to try some different things, but it probably won’t happen for like another two weeks.
It sounds like everything back home is going well. The eclipse sounded really fun. Abi sent me an awesome picture of the temple with the eclipse it looked really awesome and I loved it!
So it’s been going really well but nothing new has happened besides all this travel. We’ve just become so busy with everything, but it’s been really great!

So we are teaching a few people and you asked about the young man, so we haven’t gotten with them as we have been traveling in order to set a date yet, but hopefully tonight we will be able set a date with him for his baptism.
Love you all hope you have an awesome week with back to School and work. I will let you know how the conference goes with all the travel, so no worries!

Staying in Orkney

So I’ll have to be fast because I’m in Aberdeen! To give you a hint…

I’m not moving. Elder Chapple will be moving down near Edinburgh and my new companion will be Elder Herr who was up in Shetland, so he just really moved in the district. So Shetland is being white washed by Elder Kroes and Elder Arenas. The moves call really surprised me this time. We were just walking around, then noon the phone went off and usually the AP’s don’t call till around 6 or 8 in the evening. But the call wasn’t coming from the AP’s it was coming from the President! So I answered and he started to tell me my moves and then he said you’re staying but we want to extend your call to District Leader. So that was pretty fun.

So this whole week I’m going to be in Aberdeen and Edinburgh for some leadership training. So won’t be back in Orkney till Friday night.

I did get the letter I think. I’ll have to check when I get back to the flat.
So yeah this week has been a bit crazy we had exchanges and the Shetland Elders came down to Orkney (Elder Herr and Elder Devainas) for a few days. So we were just all over the place doing things. But it was just getting more and crazier towards moves. We all figured that Elder Chapple would move because he has been here for a while.

So overall I really don’t have a lot of time to email but I’ll print those two talks off and give them a read love you!

There has been so many wonderful things happening more and more

What a week for you it sounds like it has been all over the place but it does sound like a good week. The temple is just a wonderful place and I really do miss it. When you go around and teach people about it for a year, you really want to go there yourself after awhile. I did hear all about Alex and winning the tournament which is really awesome! I’m really proud of him and what he has been able to do.

So the past few days have been really crazy for myself and the next week will be even more so. The past week we had the conference down in Aberdeen and being down there was really great. I love going to the conferences mostly because it’s always what I need to hear every 6 weeks. So this past conference we really talked a lot about inviting others to come to Christ. How pretty much that’s our whole purpose as missionaries is to invite, if we don’t invite then we are not

following the commandments which have been given to us. The funny thing is, is that I was thinking of that same scripture that you shared with me 1 Nephi 3:7. There are a lot of people that think we are being pushy when we invite them to baptism but no one will ever change unless we ask them to. And it’s a

commandment for everyone to get baptized and to also invite those that have not yet have had the chance to hear the gospel on this side as well. So there is a way prepared for both sides to accomplish that, which is very comforting. So we had the conference and we were down there in Aberdeen for about 3 days. The

first day was just a lot of travel and that was long. The second day was the conference were we just learned a lot of great things. The following day we drove with the Smiths to a castle because that is where the Parks were going to pick them up for their temple trip. So we to the meeting place and the Parks

came we were off back home. We drove through the national park because that’s where the GPS took us. Got to see the beautiful hills of Scotland on the back to Orkney. So we spent the rest of the day traveling all the way back to the top of Scotland and got the ferry to the islands. We didn’t get home till right at 9:30 I think. But we made it!

Then the next few days went by fast. We are pretty much finished with are a little chapping area and it’s time to move on to the next. We were able to find a few more people that are interesting in learning more so praying that we will be able to see them again. So just the other day yesterday. We had church and it

went pretty well. We had an interesting investigator show up. He said it would probably be his last Sunday in Orkney so he thought he would just come around. So after church as we were walking around town trying to talk to people and we ran into this one lady. And we got talking and she told us a question that she

has had for a long time and we told her that we have an answer. So she told us to wait and she’ll be back in 30 mins. So we waiting and she came back. So we were looking for a place to sit and she kept saying the pub. And we weren’t really wanting to go into a pub to have a gospel conversation. So she said that was fine but she wanted a drink. So she went into the pub and came back with her

drink and we found a bench and we started to teach her or give her the answer to her questions which were why bad things do happen and where is my child that died when it was born? So we started to explain and we got through part of the answer and she stopped us and asked do you really believe that. So we of course

said “We know that” and then we started talking again and then out of nowhere she gets up leaves. She said she would be right back. So we wait 10-15mins not coming back. So we do companion study for an hour. And still she hasn’t come back and well we couldn’t keep waiting and so we ended up leaving and it was just interesting for it to happen. I don’t think I’ve ever had someone just get

up and leave. So I’m still reflecting on the experience and praying that we will see her again and explain more to her. So we went chapping to finish that night off and we found 2 really great guys that wanted to read the Book of Mormon and learn more about it. We are going back this next week to go and teach them.
So this next week will be crazy because the Elders from Shetland are coming down for a few days. We are having a 2-3 day exchange so should be a lot of fun. We’ve been doing really well and I’ve been getting really excited cause we have been finding more and more people here on this tiny island that want to learn more. Oh also this past week we got a wonderful new investigator named Dan and we played the Restoration movie for him which I have never really done before but we were able to talk about it and what it means and we invited him to baptism and he said yes! And that he is wanting to learn more! We are going places on this Island!

There has been so many wonderful things happening more and more. It really has been a blessing and really because we have been doing our best. It’s one thing I love about being a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints, is that it is the true church and it has the fullness of the Gospel so we are going to see the miracles. Just the other day I was listening to a talk called the Blue Prints of the True Church. It was a BYU devotional and the speaker talks all about what Christ’s church was like found in the Bible. And the only church that matches that same blue print is the Church of Jesus of Latter day saints. So all those wonderful blessings that we gain from the temple are real and then do happen. I love that a lot. So it’s wonderful to hear about your past week and the wonderful things that you were able to learn about in the temple. I’m happy for Alex and what he is doing and for Annukkah and Dad in being the wonderful family that they are. So I hope this next week goes well and I look forward to hearing from you next week.

Love you all I’m heading off now! To go and get some twin photos! Have a great week and I’ll hear from you next week!

*The above pictures of from Braemar Castle in Aberdeen, Scotland. For more information about Braemar please visit this site: http://www.braemarcastle.co.uk/

If someone joins the church here in Orkney we baptize them in the ocean

August 3, 2017
So the last few days have just flown on by it was pretty crazy. But also the last few days haven’t been the best either but oh well. We’ve had a lot of rejection the last two days so that wasn’t really fun but we can’t change if people will accept the message or not. So it mostly spent chapping and finding and going around to teach people. Yesterday we taught Grahame we talked about the Plan of Salvation and it was pretty cool. He had a lot of questions around the purpose of this earth life and really the question came down to if God had directly interfered at the moment the bad things were happening would he be the man he is today? So we were just helping him answer that question. Then we today we were teaching Mark and that was a pretty fun lesson again we taught about the Plan of Salvation and it was pretty interesting to talk about with him. I hope he could come to church because it would be really awesome for him to come along. He has been thinking more about it which is good. Which I know is the spirit really trying to work on him cause that’s one way the spirit works is by those thoughts. Well just praying that he will come along. So that has really been the last few days.

Aug 6, 2017
Well again it’s been a really busy last few days have no idea where the time has gone off to. It’s been a pretty crazy time here. So it’s really been just a lot of finding. Thursday we spent most of the day just finding. Oh we did go over to the Smiths for lunch and while we over there we were helping Sister Heyward with her computer cause it’s just a mess. So we got it all cleaned up and then we were trying to get her LDS account works and getting her family history stuff up and running. But no one could remember the passwords that was set up for her. So we spent so much time just trying to figuring it out. Then because we kept trying so much we got locked out of the website that we were using so we had to put it off till the next day but we did get it then so that was good! And now Sister Heyward is doing family history and finding all her family which is just wonderful.
So then following all that the rest of the time was just finding. But we were able to find some cool people! So yesterday while we were chapping there was this one house that we kept walking by we’ve already knocked it like twice and there was no answer. So we are like okay they seem like they are home. So we go up to the door and just as we are about to chap the door, the door opens! But there was this guy leaving and this little girl with him. So as they were walking away another lady was behind them and we were just like hello there. But it was this ladies son and granddaughter and she just watches the little girl while the parents go off to work. So we go talking about family and about her family. Well do get around to the Well we’re missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints. And she is like I know you guys. So it turns out she was meeting with missionaries like over the past 20yrs and the last ones to come around was about a few years ago. But she remembers the first two missionaries she meet about 20yrs ago. Elder Winkle and someone else. But that was really cool so she took a Book of Mormon and we’ll be going back next week go and talk to her.
Then following that we were chapping and we chapped into this other women who doesn’t really know what to believe in but she was willing to sit down with us but next week as well.
So over it all it was a really good week.

Aug 7, 2017
Well woke up at 4:30 this morning to get ready. Elder Chapple took a while in the shower so I only had a few mins to get ready but we got ready and then we picked up the Smiths and off we were to the ferry. So I’m on the ferry now typing this all up. Everyone was going to sleep but it doesn’t seem like they are going to. Elder Smith is talking to Elder Chapple about Australia it’s a pretty funny conversation. So today we are on the ferry all the way down to Thurso and there the Smiths will do a flat check for Thurso and we’ll get some breakfast and then we’ll go to Lidl for some breakfast! And off we are again down to Elgin for a district lunch. The sisters and other senior couple from Stornaway will be meeting us in Elgin for the lunch. Not sure if our district leader from Shetland will be meeting us there or not. Be cool if he was. So after that we should go down to Aberdeen and spend the rest of P-day doing something down there and street contacting for the last part of the day. Then tomorrow we will be having the conference following the meeting I’m not sure what we’ll do. But it’ll be something and then we’ll spend the night again and then drive up the next morning to get our ferry. So should be a fun time.
So it sounds like a fun week!
That’s okay that I don’t have a room anymore the Smiths says that I’m a man now because we sleep on the floor when we go to conferences like today. That’s pretty cool that you went around to the MTC it looks like a fun place but I’ll always love the Preston England MTC. It’s wonderful to hear about everything else and all about Annukkah and Alex.
So the work in Orkney is going great and moving forward still a lot to do but it’s getting there. I loved the package I’ve already started using the book marks to try it out. SO if someone joins the church here in Orkney we baptize them in the ocean! So I’m working on getting a baptism! All other than that it’s been really great and already a long day!
Oh so I have photos but no way to send them so you’ll have to wait till next week!
*Here is a video of Elder Augustine’s last 6 months

Happy One Year Mission Birthday to me!

July 24, 2017
Well today was a pretty great day. We did emails this morning and got to see what was happening with everyone back home so that was great. Then we went off to go see Dave Scott. He has all the budgies or parakeets.

He had like a hundred of them. So we went around and went out to his shed where he has them all and he told us all about them and man there were a ton! Got to see them all and Dave takes them to bird shows and he gets all these prizes for them. It was really cool. So we got to talk to Dave and he said that we could come back anytime to chat and so we will! Well he had a friend or something coming over so we went off to go and do some shopping.

We got back to the flat and off we were again and we went with the Smiths to another Island.

Some of the Islands you can drive to because they have bridges built so it makes it a bit easier, but the rest you do need to take the ferry. So we went to this really cool cliff place, and we walked along this path which was really cool. Got to go right up to the edge and it was just a drop off. Elder Smith wouldn’t go near the edge, oh he hates the edge of cliffs. So we would get really close and just lean over and freak him out.

So we got some great photos and there came a point on the path where he had to jump the barb wire fence. They had built like a ladder/ steps for you to just climb over the fence and continue along this path. It was really fun. Then during the walk we just started to hear ‘MOOOOOO!’ this heard of cattle was just making so much noise. I took a video of it and in the video you see the top of the hill and the cattle are on the other side! So loud! So we kept going and get roughly to top of the hike and we did had to turn back to get dinner.

We had dinner with the Smiths which was great I love the Smiths they are an amazing missionary couple and just great. So after having dinner with the Smiths we went off chapping for the night. We got chapping the doors and had some good conversions and we chapped one door and this was a bed and breakfast place. I really didn’t want to chap the house because it’s a bed and breakfast but Elder Chapple did. So we chapped it and we did talk to a really nice older women and we did give her a Book of Mormon which she said she would have a look at it and that we can come back when the place isn’t as busy and we’ll have a chat. So that was pretty cool. So we went on. We had a lesson kind of planned with someone we ran into a while ago but they didn’t answer. So we went around to an investigator and we knocked on his door and no answer. Knocked a bit louder the next time. Greoger came to the door and we had freaked him out. He was watching a movie and we made him jump knocking the door. But we set up a better time to go around in a few days. So thus we go on chapping for the night. We get chapping this really long street. So pretty much its last hour of the day and like every missionary moment of the last hour you always find the person at the end of the street. This always happens. SO take a guess what happened we start chapping this really long street having no success until we come to about the last door and a guy named Paul answers. We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to read a bit of it and we’ll come back and he can tell us what he thinks of it and he was just like yeah I’ll do that far enough. So we are going to go back to hear what he thinks. I’m really praying that we will be able to talk to him and teach him, because I really want to find people to teach because everything we have to share with people is just so amazing and will help people either find their faith or it will strengthen their faith. I find that interesting with some people here in Scotland they are just so comfortable with where they are at that they aren’t willing to strengthen that belief and make it stronger.

July 25, 2017
So today was a really good day. This morning we went off to the Smiths and had some breakfast and had a great district meeting. We talked a lot about things we can do to improve our efforts and what we hope to achieve this week. It was really good and pretty motivating. So I took a lot of notes and I got a lot to think about which is really good. So after the meeting we went and got some lunch then we went around talking to people. Today we did something a bit different we went around showing people a picture of the temple and asking them about it and then explaining it which was really good we got two families that want to learn more and we are going to be seeing another guy on Thursday. It was really cool. So we went and did a companion study and we talked about the Holy Ghost and what it does and how we know if it’s the spirit prompting us to do something. Well after the study went over to Stromness and as we get down to the high street this guy see’s us and yells ‘Mormon missionaries!’ and he says good bye to one of his friends and comes over to us. So we get talking to him and he starts to tell us how we knows about the church and really soon he really starts to open up and explain that he left the church because of these reasons. He said that he would only come back if he felt the spirit again. He then informed us that he has now joined the Church of Scotland but from being a part of the Church of Jesus Christ of latter day saints no other church is the same. Nothing can be the same. So he started again to state his concerns and we just listened. We got to a point though in the discussion where we asked him if he wanted to feel the spirit again, and he said he did and we testified of the Book of Mormon and reading it is how we can feel the spirit which we shared with him. He just starts to cry. He simply says that he is feeling the spirit again. I felt the spirit and so did my companion, and it was just one of the sweetest moments where the lord just brings a feeling of peace or in other words the Holy Ghost fell upon us. It was wonderful. So we gave him a copy of the Book of Mormon and he said he would read it because he hasn’t and he had never really read it before. Then he took us on a small hike up a hill to show us what he saw the other day, and we got a few photos. It was really great and I hope that he will read the Book of Mormon and feel the joy that it brings again in his life, because if any man or women wants to get closer or to know Heavenly Father, then they will want to read the Book of Mormon. So the rest of the night went alright nothing to exciting besides a cat that followed us from door to door while we chapped doors.

July 26, 2017
What a day of miracles I would say. So this morning we met up with Anthony and we saw his cool little boat that he lives on and travels around on. So we met him and he told us that he had read 10 chapters of the Book of Mormon last night then 7 this morning, and he is doing great it will be awhile for him to get everything back together but he is starting to do it which is great! It was so wonderful to talk to him and to help him out. We even had a good lesson with him and talked about life and the church. More than anything what he is going to do now to come back. It was an uplifting moment for all of us. Following him we went back to Kirkwall because we went out to Stromness to meet up with him. We had lunch and then got on our way street contacting for a while before we had another appointment. The appointment was with this younger guy but he didn’t answer his door. So as we walked back Elder Chapple said that he hadn’t chapped the next door neighbor’s house because Elder Smith was always scared of the dog. So we go up to this door and knock, and this bigger man opens the door and we say Hello. Then we pretty much got talking to him and then he just stepped to one side and told us to come on in. Oh man this is one of the best feelings as a missionary. Well it turns out he had been meeting with Missionaries about 10 years ago and that he did have a copy of the Book of Mormon. So his name is Grahame and his dogs name is Sofie. Grahame is just an amazing man he loves the Titanic which is pretty cool, and he just had all this stuff all about it. Well we were able to talk to him about the Restoration and why we had the Book of Mormon and the importance of it, and he told us that he really wanted to read it. That was really cool. So we’ll be seeing him soon and going back to teach him more hopefully and to help him out anyway that we can. So following him, the day didn’t get as exciting. Just kind of finding and dinner.

We had an awesome dinner of homemade Mac and cheese and mashed potatoes and some chicken. It was well put together if I do say so myself. Then we just spent the night going around trying by people and finding. We talked to our one investigator Mark. He is a pretty cool guy and I can’t wait to teach him again and share some more stuff with him.

July 27, 2017
Well Happy One Year Mission Birthday to me!
Today was a pretty alright day we found a pretty cool girl this morning and had a great lunch over with Sister Flett.
Well it’s been a full year on a mission, so I guess I should reflect on this whole past year. But I don’t think I have anything profound or exciting to say about it. I would have to say that I have changed a lot in the past year, which is good it’s been great. I have loved my mission and I still don’t know everything but I do know that I love the Gospel and I never want to be without it. So the last year has been up and down for sure but it has helped me to become the person I am now. I guess that would be the biggest thing that I have learned in the past year, is just how the Restored Gospel can change someone into something even greater. I would say that is due to the fact that this is the true church of God and the only Church on Earth that has the fullness of the Everlasting Gospel. From reading and pondering the Book of Mormon my whole life seems to have changed.

July 28, 2017
Well today was an interesting day for sure. So this morning it started off not so well. We were out Gqing and it wasn’t the best but we did keep going. There was just so many tourist and it was making it hard to find people to talk to. There was this really big cruise ship that came in and it had like 4,000 people on it which just made it really hard to talk to people, because that is like the same population as Kirkwall. So after going around this morning for a while we just kind of gave up and went and had some lunch. We were feeling a bit low so we did companion study to lift our spirits and we had a really good study. We practiced setting up appointments with people on the street. So we are like okay we are really going to do everything we can to follow these steps so that we can find some people that are willing to learn. So we get out of the flat and we set up two appointments with people that live in Orkney among this massive crowd of tourist. (We also ran into some of our members, which reminds me we ran into some other members from New Jersey which were from the Moores Town Ward so if you could give that ward a shout out for being awesome and having great members please do!). So we set up the appointments with these two awesome people that I’m looking forward to meeting tomorrow. Then we went and saw Audrey who is an older woman and was less active for a really long time but she is now coming back and she loves it. We went around and we were reading the Book of Mormon with her and it was just so wonderful. Then towards the end I think I had something happen which I will never forget. She said that she wanted to ask a question, but she didn’t want anyone to answer it and she pointed at me and she said that she wanted me to answer and no one else was allowed to answer. So the spot light was on me and I was a bit nervous and I have heard the question before but this is something I will never forget. She looked right at me with those young eyes and just the look of yearning for an answer said ‘I had a baby once, a very long time ago. She died two days after she was born. Is it true that I will see her again and she will be mine?’ I knew the answer long before she asked the question. I will remember the question but I will never forget the look she had. She truly wanted to know if she would hold the child she never had the chance to hold. I said ‘Yes I know you will see her again’. Which is true. Then Elder and Sister Smith jumped into the conversation. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone so happy. She wanted to go to the temple so that she could be sealed to her husband and have his work done as well. It was an amazing moment.
So following the visit we went around to say hello to our friend Grahme Nelson. Great man just real great. We had a small talk and then we asked if we could come back around Monday evening. Then we back around town to go and GQ for the rest of the time before dinner. Dinner of course was well done because it was done by two amazing chefs in Orkney – ha-ha. Following a wonderful meal we went out chapping. We didn’t have too much success tonight but something cool did happen. So we got talking to this one older woman and we asked before leaving if there was anything we could do for her. Then she said ‘OH there is something’ and she took us around her house to the garage and she opened the door. In this garage was this massive collection of rocks from all over the world. She just asks people to send her rocks from all over the world because she just loves Geology. So we got her address and I’m going to give it to guys back home and I need everyone’s help here. If you could send her rocks and she said to surprise her, but if you do send something tell her where it is from and what you think it is. So if you could do that but also for fun you could go around to all the historical church sites and send a rock or two from around there and send that. So find a rock that is same rock that used to build the Salt Lake Temple or something. But what would be really cool if you could get somewhere on Facebook and tell people to just send anything to her and it doesn’t have to be anything big just a surprise and where the rock is from that would be awesome!

July 29, 2017
Well today wasn’t the best of days our appointments didn’t hold but we did have crab rolls! Seafood for the win! So the day pretty much went from going to appointment to appointment just waiting for people to show up that never did. Then it just started raining and raining so that was fun to talk to people in the rain. We did talk to a lot of nice people but nothing really came from it. There was this blackening that we saw. Which is a weird tradition here on the Island for when someone is getting married they get them really drunk and throw all kinds of stuff on them (food, mud, junk) and then they tied them to the town mast. That was pretty funny. I’m glad I’m not getting married in Orkney! So then the rest of the night was spent chapping!

Well it sounds like you’ve had a fun week with family history and the leak in the bathroom! Pretty crazy stuff, but I really enjoyed the email thank you so much. In fact just on Sunday we had a pretty great lesson about family history work and talking a lot about it and what is our part and he brought up D&C 128: 18 Which would be a good one for you to read and to think about.
So I do have a name tag for Alex I just have to send it. Hopefully this next week. Funds I am a bit low because I did have to use some of it for Food a while ago because of way too much traveling and all that stuff so yeah, but I should be fine. So I have been to a few other Islands but we don’t really go to the other islands because we have to get the ferry and that would be for P-day and would use personal funds for that. Then I am waiting on the package but hopefully it will get here this next week and I did get the shirts so we are just pondering a way to do the photo ha-ha. I didn’t expect this one but it will be pretty funny.

I didn’t see him as just another person, but saw him as a Son of God

All right so a lot has happened this last week and to be honest, I have just spaced out on writing in the journal till about Saturday/Sunday night. So I’m going to go through the week and tell you all about it!

So the start of the week was pretty great just having P-day and I don’t remember what we did for P-day besides just go looking around Orkney. It was a lot of fun though.

Tuesday we had District meeting and we had an awesome breakfast at the Smiths, we did our District meeting over Skype. I really look forward to District meetings, because they are always what I need to hear that week to improve myself for the coming week. So this past District meeting we talked a lot about faith and why we should teach it to people. So this was a lot of fun to think about. Faith is a gift from God and it can do so much for us. As we help our faith to grow we are able to reach higher goals then we thought we ever could. Just as Alma talked about faith in Alma 32 “How it is that seed and that it does live and die depending on how we nourish it”. So later on Tuesday night we went and taught this to one of our investigators here, and he is an interesting guy. He has a lot of questions and I mean a lot. We have given him the answers but he doesn’t accept, then he goes on with some more questions. I know the answer to all his questions and all his questions can be answered by the Book of Mormon. The interesting thing with questions and the Book of Mormon is when we apply the faith, so we search with the expectation of receiving the answer then we will find it. It might not be right away, but the answer will come and when it involves the Book of Mormon then you will receive the answer that God has given.

So then the rest of the week was going by pretty normal. Then I had a pretty cool thing happen. We were able to teach a guy named Mark. Now Mark’s uncle Magnus was baptized just last year and is an amazing man. So we were able to bring him along to our lesson and we sat down with Mark.  We started to teach the Restoration and I thought it was just a great lesson, Mark really seemed to understand it all. During the lesson when seeing Mark learn about this, I had just a small moment were I didn’t see Mark as just another person, but saw him as a Son of God. Sometimes as missionaries we often say to imagine your investigator already in white twice and I felt like I really saw that when I was teaching Mark. It was just wonderful. So later that night we went out chapping and we were able to chap into a lovely little older lady that had just had a hip surgery and we’ll be going back in a few days to go and see her.  I’m looking forward to seeing her and being able to teach her because I know how much this Gospel could change her life and just bring a smile to her.

So the week goes on and we had a great BBQ with the branch and I loved it. The food was great and we got to talk to people and it was just a lot of fun. So then today was also really great and I really enjoyed my morning studies as well. So I was reading through the New Testament and I came across this scripture. 2 Cor 12: 2 which says in one part of it ‘Such an one caught up to the third heaven.’ Well to myself I’m like this is just basic gospel Doctrine, but it stood out to me that the Bible is teaching me that there is a third heaven, and of course this scripture linking over to 1 Cor 15: 40-42 talking about the different degrees of bodies AFTER the resurrection. The whole Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians is about the Resurrection and what happens after because I guess these people we were having a hard time with that doctrine. So I was thinking about what else can I learn that pertains to the Plan of Salvation. So I started to go backwards in the plan but only focusing on the Bible and its teachings. So I get to the Spirit world. Simple, so I know where it talks about Spirit Prison 1 Peter 3: 18-20. After the Death of Christ he taught those in spirit prison and the reasoning is found in the next chapter in verse 6. So we have the prison but how about the spirit Paradise? Well Christ teaches us about Paradise. On the cross he says to one of the thief’s that ‘To day shalt thou be with me in paradise’ Luke 23:43. So now we are told that Christ went to Paradise but then went to Prison to teach the Gospel to those that haven’t heard it before so that they might be judged in the judgement day? Well these two places have to be next to each other, and I was wondering how some people don’t know this mostly because I have found that there are a lot of people that just think that Christ went to Heaven for a few days before his was risen. However,  Heaven is where God dwells and Christ when he was risen and appeared to Mary said ‘Touch me not for I am not yet ascended to my Father’ SO… Christ did not go to Heaven after his death because he did not go to the place where his Father dwells. SO Christ went to a place of Paradise and Prison in the spirit before being resurrected. Christ’s example teaches us about the spirit world. I thought it was all really cool. And from there I was able to find more evidence for explaining Salvation and the Baptism for the Dead and a whole bunch more! it was just a great study this morning! So more of less this was just fun to think about for explaining the Spirit world with just the Bible mostly, because I usually turn to Alma 40 to explain it but it was fun to think about using the Bible. Then the rest of the day was great, Church was just a great time I really enjoyed it a lot. Then the rest of day was finding and helping a lady find a cat and having dinner. It was a good day.

Well I guess that’s my spiritual thought for you from my studies.

So I’m going to spend this next week reflecting on this past year and I guess my goals for this next year. To me it almost feels like at New Years Eve, so going to make some goals and hope they last longer than a week!

So Orkney is just great, I love the scenery and I love just being out on this island. Everywhere I go I just see the ocean and it’s pretty nice. Then the rolling green hills there is nothing really like it. I like it when I see how green it is as I often think of what Rey said in Star Wars “I never knew there was this much green in the whole universe” I hope I got that quote right. But it is great. So this morning I was listening to a talk about how the solar system and the universe goes together. Because there are a lot of us out there that seem to put a wedge called science between us and God. When to myself they go hand and hand. The sciences explain how something happens but the religion teaches us why something happens. So when I look out in this world and see tons of people walking past each other while there is this amazing landscape around them and they just don’t notice or give time to admire it. It is a bit upsetting. This world is beautiful and wonderful and is full and amazing things. I love to look at this world and look at the small things and see the evidence of God. I like it most when Alma is teaching Korihor the anti-Christ and very simply he says to him, “The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator.”  Everything around us is here to help us see the beauty of the world and really it’s not till we all can stop and pause and admire it do we really see the great blessing of our home. A place of learning and growth. Scotland is an amazing place I love it very much.

So I can’t name all the members of the branch because I’m really bad with names and I’ve been able to see most of them on Sunday. But I can almost name them all. We do only have 3 priesthood holders and one of them lives out on one of the smaller islands so he doesn’t come out to church that often. But he was here this past Sunday and we did a combined priesthood/ Relief society lesson on family history and how to do it and about indexing it was really cool.

So the people here are interesting. They have a different accent. It’s Scottish but then it’s not Scottish. It sounds more like Norwegian or something. There are tons of tourist here every day because the cruise ships stop here in Orkney. So just a few days ago there was a cruise ship from Germany and it was just full of Germans, everyone around us was speaking German so we just went over to the next town where there was this festival going on in Stromness.

But over all just like the mainland Scots they are very stubborn and they enjoy their drink. But people up here are also really nice and friendly. It’s interesting because there are no beggars here at all. The council will house all homeless people. So it’s just like this nice little place where nothing to exciting goes on. Like in newspaper a member was telling us that the most exciting thing is a man trying to rob a bank with a banana and he got told to wait in line and so he did.

So I do believe that’s it for this week I don’t really have anything else that happened besides just got super busy in the evenings and what not, so this week should be better than the last because it’s my new year! And that means New Year goals! So I’ll tell you all about my thoughts of this past year next time.


So we do something called the Model Area

July 3, 2017

P-day was a pretty crazy day today. This morning we got up and just started to clean up and then we went out and did some shopping. The Elders from Thurso were coming down so we went to Invergordon to go and email. Following emailing we just went back to Inverness we got lunch at this Chinese buffet which wasn’t the best but it was okay. Then we spent the rest of the day just looking around in all the shops and man stuff here is really expense. So not going to be spending any money here. Then the rest of the day went by pretty fast. The Zone Leaders came up from Aberdeen and we spent the evening just street contacting around town and we talked to some good people but not too much came from it.

July 4, 2017

Well this morning we all got up super early and went out running and it was a lot of fun but I’m so out of shape. So going to be hitting the gym a lot when I go home.

After all the running exercise we had District meeting and it was a lot of fun. It was Elder Parsons last district meeting so we all had pie. Later Elder Wood and I went out and just got going on the day. We spent afternoon GQing didn’t find too much out of it but we did go and stop by a less active and talked to her and hopefully she will be coming around to Church this Sunday. Then the rest of the day went by really fast not really sure where it all went. But we did end the night with going around to go and see Stacey. We had a great talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and I really enjoyed the lesson a lot. Elder Wood shared some really great stuff that I really liked. And then that was about it.

Also forgot that it was the 4th of July. There was no fireworks here…

July 6, 2017

Today was an alright day again nothing to exciting mostly because I’m forgetting about the day already. We did street contacting this morning and in the afternoon and it was alright we talked to a lot of good people. I ran into this guy from England who was up visiting the highlands with his son. And he told me about he was a really bad alcoholic and it wasn’t until he came back to church that things started to improve and that he was able to find a recovery program. It was really cool but then he told me he didn’t really agree with the churches in today’s world and in fact he didn’t even agree with his own church. So I was a bit curious and I asked him why not. He told me about he thinks the trinity is wrong and that he doesn’t think they are all the same person because he can’t find anywhere that really explains it. He also talked about how he doesn’t think God is talking to himself in the Garden of Eden in the Book Genesis. It was pretty interesting. So we had a great chat about that and I did end up giving him the Book of Mormon in my hand and he thanked me for it and said that he will for sure read it cause he wants to find out the truth out there. Then the rest of the day was going great then I had a Korihor moment. This man was talking to us and really trying to get us to say that God doesn’t exist it’s kind of weird because everything he said was everything that Korihor said in Alma 30. But he didn’t get struck dumb so yeah.

Then we saw Abi! Not Abby. She read my blog the other day and said that I spelled her name wrong so I’m fixing it just in case if she reads my blog again. But it was a great chat with her! She is really awesome and doing great to learn more! We talked about the plan of salvation and it was awesome. It’s one of my favorite things to share with people just because it answers so many questions about life. Then that was the night.


July 7, 2017

Today was the day I was attacked by flying rats. Seagull’s are just down right annoying. Well we get to the church this morning and this seagull is just going crazy and is flying at us over and over but it doesn’t really hit us it’s more just trying to scare us away. Because it turns out its baby or something is running around in the grass next to the church. So going in and out of the church was just having this Seagull come flying at us every time.

But the day went by really well nothing exciting happened at all. We were just mostly out finding Inverness before heading out to Invergordon to do some try byes.

The try byes were good, we got a lot of appointments set up for Sunday night. We ran into some Utah Mormons. They were on a cruise that was stopping in Invergordon. It was pretty funny, and we had some kebabs for Dinner because tomorrow is Moves call, so we’ll find out what happens. I think we are both staying but I honestly never know with moves. So should be exciting.




July 13, 2017

Well a lot has happened the last few days which has been really crazy. So pretty much Monday we drove down to Aberdeen stayed the night there. Tuesday we took the car into a garage to get serviced and that took like the whole day and we were going to take the ferry that day but we had to move it to Wednesday. So after we got the car back after hours of waiting we drove to Inverness and spent the night there. The next morning we picked up the Thurso Elders, Elder Wood and his Trainee. We then drove all the way to Thurso and that was a long drive and really great landscapes. So we got to Thurso and we dropped the Elders off at their flat and we then went and got the Ferry to Orkney. It was about an hour and half ride, we got to see a lot on that ride as well, it was really cool. So checking out the ferry and then we got to Orkney and we got to the flat and it is a nice flat. One of the nicest flats I’ve seen, super clean and just great. Then we got going on street contacting and talking to people. We meet a girl named Natilie and we are going to see her in the future hopefully. So we then had a dinner with the Smiths and they are awesome! So that was the first night, we also had to do some shopping.

DSC01561 (2)

So today! Woke up and had a killer work out and got ready for the day. Did a lot of planning for the next week and there are a lot of people to teach in this area which is crazy but we’ll do great! Had Dinner with the Smiths and Sister Flet (I hope I spelled that right) which was filling. Really great food up here in Orkney. After wards we went and did some service in a charity shop for the Red Cross here in Kirkwall. That was cool because we were able to talk to people and show them that we were missionaries and what not. It was a lot of fun. Then after that we had to do some studies and dinner. We were going to go and teach a lesson but that fell through so we went around to go and visit people. Trying to see everyone in the branch and meet all the investigators as soon as possible so that we can just get going and get people progressing.

So all this and I got a fun talk that I’m preparing for Sunday and I need to email a report to the home ward about my mission. I think. So got a lot to do.


Picture by Sister Juanita Smith, “Our missionaries are home. Ready for chapping after a nice dinner.”


July 14-16, 2017

Alright so the days have just gone by so fast the last couple of days of just figuring everything out. We’ve been all over the place. So yesterday it was raining a lot and we were just out talking to people and it was alright nothing to exciting we went around and tried by a few people but didn’t get to much success out of that so the day ended and nothing seemed to come from it. But today! The 16 was pretty awesome.

Today was church which we have in the high school here in Kirkwall. This is the smallest church meeting I’ve ever been to. It was a real eye opener. I was asked to conduct the music during the meeting and that was alight and I also gave a talk and my talk was about Matt 5:14 Let your light shine. Really Matt 5:14-16 is really good. I loved it and really enjoyed talking. Probably could have done a better job because only about 30 mins to prepare for a talk isn’t always enough time to sit and think about what to say, but it was good. So after church we went around to this lovely older women named Audrey. We were able to give her the sacrament and see her with the Smiths. Oh the Smiths are just amazing I love them both so much already! So after the visit we went around to go and see an Investigator named Roy. Roy is an interesting guy he doesn’t feel ready to really do anything he is a great guy but there is something that is holding him back so hopefully we will help him out so that he can feel better and more ready to come to church.

Then we went around,  here is the awesome part of the day so we do something called the Model Area. Where we cut up the area into small bits and we have the Bishop or Branch President pray about an area and we start chapping out that area and really do a lot of finding in that area and keep a record of it. So Pres Scollie prayed about an area and off we went and already we have 3 lessons planned for the next week! It was really cool, l I’m super excited to get all the work done.

So we email at the Library and the branch is very very little. Add we do get to Island hop every now and again. For P-day really. We were going to go today but we just have had a lot to do and won’t have enough time to get back from the other islands. Elder Chapple is a funny guy from West Jordan Utah. He has pretty much read every book ever, so he loves to read. That’s what he loves to talk about.  I got to get going here so talk to you next week!