Monday, August 24, 2015

Another awesome week in Scotland!

Hello Everyone! I hope you're ready to hear about another awesome week in Scotland!

Monday ~ Half P-day and One Sketchy Neighborhood!  
Because it’s the week of transfers, we had to be done emailing and shopping by 3pm, and then it was back to work! We visited this lady we met on the street the other day; she invited us over to help her break her addiction to alcohol! Unfortunately she happens to live on the most ghetto street I’ve ever seen! We've driven passed it before on the bus and I always just thought it was abandoned, there isn’t a window in the place that’s not smashed in, dead birds on the sidewalks, barb wire on the side of the flats, and there were even trees growing through some of the windows! But the lesson still went well. It’s always a great feeling to help someone kick an addiction!

Tuesday ~ You can get a teaching appointment in Scotland! Even if they are a junky...
I woke up, and was excited to get out of bed for the first time in my life! Our Hot Waters back!! It felt amazing to have a hot shower again... The first one in three days! Today was pretty epic. We were able to set up 5 different teaching appointments, and then go on splits with the Branch pres, and his son in order to get them all done! Everyone we thought today had a pretty serious drug addiction of some kind. It's really sad to see these things controlling their lives, but I’m glad that they are looking for help and ready to make a change! 

Wednesday~ Our real P-day and Wet Largs
Today was our full p-day, it was really weird to have it on a Wednesday but I wasn't complaining! When we woke up it was BEAUTIFUL outside! I could see blue sky!!! So we decided we would go down to the isle of Cumbre and ride bikes around the Island! (It’s a big tourist thing to do) I was so stoked but when we got to Largs, it was pouring rain! Shouldn’t have gotten my hopes up I guess... Long story short we ended up just hopping from shop to shop. The highlight was when we went to this ice-cream shop It was called Nardinis, and it was amazing! Everyone calls it the best Ice-cream in Scotland! To finish off out p-day we had a long conversation with some Muslims in Pundbacket (kind of like the dollar store)


Thursday ~ 9 hours of street contacting in Glasgow
Thursday was rough... Because Elder Clawson is the new District leader he had some big training in Edinburgh. We ended up meeting another companionship in Glasgow and did an exchange. So there I was with Elder Rich in the middle of Glasgow central which is like time square in NY and probably the busiest area in Scotland at 7AM and nothing else to do but talk to people for 9 retched hours... I don’t think I’ve ever walked, or talked that much in my life. We ended up having an extremely successful day though, we placed 6 Book of Mormons, and got 3 potentials!

Friday ~ weekly planning and Dunoon
Not much to talk about for Friday, we planned for 3 hours and spent some time finding and having a coordination meeting in Dunoon.

Saturday ~ Service and Dinner with the Higgins
Saturday was awesome! We did our normal 2 hours of asking for ££ at British Heart Foundation, help some dude move stuff in this ancient dusty house, Then had a lesson with Saffron and Dinner with the Higgins! All I have to say is Kizzy and Gavin Higgins know how to make a mean roast!!!



Sunday ~ Gavin passed the Sacrament!!

Sunday was another amazing day! We did an awesome lesson in Gospel Principals, and I gave a talk in sacrament, but the highlight was watching Gavin going around with the sacrament trays for the first time! I loved every minute of it!

PS There has been a massive cruise ship right outside my flat everyday this week! Tourists are everywhere!! I even got to meet some members on vacation from Australia!

PPS Just to give you an idea on how much it actually rains here in Greenock, Greenock is the second rainiest area in all of Europe. But wait there’s more!! As of a couple weeks ago, this had been the rainiest summer Greenock has ever had. Ever! Sense the records began at least! In fact... it’s raining right now!

Thank you all for reading and keeping me in your thoughts and prayers ~ Love Elder Cluster

The American section!! 
Gavin bought me cereal! Happy Day!

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Adventures in Greenock

Hello everyone! This has been the weirdest week of my life! Hopefully I'll have time to fit all the craziness in :) 

Monday 8-10 (Crazy Rain and Our Old Library)

Last P day was interesting... We email in this ancient castle thing... I heard it’s the oldest building in Greenock! One half of the thing is the library we email in, and the other half is a museum! It’s pretty cool stuff! We also had a crazy intense rain storm; I’ve never seen anything like it before! The streets were flooded in seconds! I loved it!!

Tuesday 8-11 (RIP Elder Ward and Millport)

We started the day off with district meeting. It was our district leader’s Elder Wards very last one before he goes home! It was a great meeting, I got to instruct for 20 min about courage!
After the meeting we went down to that all you can eat Cosmos place... it was amazing. We took a bus down to Largs for our Ferry to the Isle of Cumbre, I think I’ve said it before, but the drive down to Largs is the most beautiful one you’ll ever have!! The Island is stunning too! One of the perks of Greenock :)

Wednesday 8-12 (Carbon monoxide and a sleep over with Greame)

This was one of the craziest days ever!!! One I will be talking about for a while!
We started the day by baking some cookies, and dropping them by some less actives and our investigators (The two Angelas.) Those cookies worked Miracles! We ended up having two lessons, both outside of their flats! (Because there wasn’t a man in the house, we can’t go in.) We probably look pretty strange, but the lessons were great! :)


Then we had a branch Council meeting. The branch is great when it comes to helping out the missionary's, even if there aren’t very many members in it!

We stopped by the Higgins on the way back to the flat; they had some enchiladas for us!! Gavin and Kizzy make killer enchiladas! Once we got into our flat, there was this really loud beeping sound! It took us a while to figure out where it was coming from, but eventually found this carbon monoxide detector! When I picked it up, it went nuts. The light that said "Move to fresher air" and it was blinking!! We freaked out and opened all the windows, and called the AP's. They told us that there was no way we could sleep in our flat tonight and to stay at our branch presidents, but he lives in Irvine!!! After some prayer and pondering we decided to go to this recent convert’s house, Greame. We tried calling him but couldn’t get an answer, so we grabbed our blankets, pillows, and Enchiladas, and headed over unannounced! 

So there we were, walking the streets of Greenock that 10:30pm with our bedding in one hand, and enchiladas in the other... oh yeah, and I was in my slickly pajamas! :) When we arrived at Greames he answered the door and didn’t even look surprised! Without asking any questions or anything he invited us in and started making us some soup!! We slept on his floor, and then snuck out the door the next morning! I got a legit video of the whole experience! 

Thursday 8-13 (Branch Film Night and Bye Bye Robby)

Thursday morning we walked back to our flat and waited from someone from the mission to come. When they got there they told us we didn’t even have gas in out flat!! They switched out the batteries and the beeping stopped... kind of embarrassing but I have no regrets!

Later we went up to Port Glasgow for our very last lesson with Robby before he goes back down to London with his mom. We grew to really love that kid, and it was hard to say goodbye. It's too bad that he wanted able to be baptized but couldn’t get permission. I know he'll get there someday! The poor kid was balling during our final hugs.....

Then we went to a branch Film night! Because we had an investigator come we were able to go and eat a ton of hot dogs! They watched the Home Teachers, I didn’t actually see much of it, but I could hear it the whole time, and it brought back some great memories! 

Friday 8-14 (No Angela or Sandra?)

Friday was interesting...
We had an appointment to meet one of our Angela's in the Cafe in this mall, long story short we waited forever and she didn’t show up.... it was pretty sad but I’m sure I’ll get used to that kind of stuff pretty fast!  

While we were on our way back to the flat something amazing happened, This Girl named Sandra came up to us crying and told us this story about how they found her cousin dead on this bench we were right next to a week ago. She noticed we were missionary's and asked us for help. The only way she knows how to cope with the pain is alcohol but she has massive ulcers in her stomach from it. I felt so bad for this girl; you'd be shocked how often this kind of thing happens. Scotland has a massive drug problem, especially in this area. Never in my life have I had such a strong testimony of the Word of Wisdom... It makes me sick how many of these people’s lives are controlled by this substances. 
 We are going to see Sandra tonight so pray for us!

Saturday 8-15 (A day of Service)

We started Saturday with a solid two hours begging for money for the British Heart Foundation.... Later we did and exchange with he Pollock Elders, Elder Johnson stared in Greenock with me! When elder Johnson arrived, a new member in the branch took us to his new house where we dug tons and tons of moss from his back yard! He also gave us a grand tour of the place. This house is massive! It is pretty much the definition of posh.  They let us stay for dinner; we had good old fashion hamburgers! It was nice to have something American!!!

Sunday 8.16 (MOVES CALLS)

 Here’s the news.... Elder Clawson and I are both staying in Greenock like we suspected, but Elder Clawson is going to be the new District Leader!! Everyone is saying this is the craziest moves call they've ever seen! Out zone is going to be very different this transfer!

Well that’s a wrap! Till next time!! 

Love, Elder Cluster

Greenock has the best sunsets! 

Ferry to the Isle of Cumbre

Scotlands National Flower (Thistle)

Greenie Care Package

Monday, August 10, 2015

A crazy week of Sickness, Work, Drugs, & Food! 8-10-15

It’s been a crazy week!!! And I only have fifteen minutes to try to fit it all in, so here goes nothing!!

Mon 8-3-15
I'm sickish, P-Days are always fun though, I got a Haircut!!

Tue 8-4-15
We had district meeting, and a weird exchange, where just one missionary came to work and stay with us. I was in a trio for a day!! This was probably the craziest day of my mission so far!! It started out with some disappointment because we found out that RB’s mom isn’t going to let him get baptized :( But my mind was taken away from that pretty fast when we went to “try by” this guy who had just gotten out of prison! He said he wanted to hear a bible story and seeing as we don’t get many teaching appointments we hopped right on it!
We showed up at this flat and he invited us in, and he had us take a seat right away... Then I turn around and there he was with a syringe of Heroine!! He stuck that sucker in his wrist and shot up right in front of our eyes! It was insane! The guys started shaking then said "sorry just wanted to get myself sorted out before we got into anything!" It’s so sad that he’s gotten to the point that he can’t function without it. Oh yeah, and there was dirty needles, more Heroine, and Cocaine on the table in front of us! His pant kept falling down too... I ended up seeing this dude butt like three times! It was nasty!!! We ended up giving him a blessing. He really needed it. It’s terrible how drugs control a lot of people here... After the blessing we booked it out of there as fast as we could!!

Next it was off to Brewers Fair for dinner with Anne! I got a Full Rack of Ribs! It was true happiness.... But the fun wasn’t over after the ribs; Anne had a package from my mom for me! It was a Greenie Care Package!! She fit everything in there! You name it! It was there, and it was green! It was a very memorable day! 

Wed 8-5-15
I was feeling even sicker today, but we got to work. We started Angela on a smoking recovery program! Later we met with another Angela with Bro Cain and committed her to be baptized! Today was one of those great days where I was just happy to be a missionary and to be making a difference!

Later Brother Cain took as down to the Chippie for a couple of slices of deep fried and battered Pizza!!! Wow what an experience! Why don’t we do this in America!?!?!

Thurs 8-6-15
I was deathly ill and forbidden to leave the flat from my branch president. Here are some pictures of my flat. (Sorry it's kind of messy)

My bed is on the right

The view from my window


Fri 8-7-15
We went to Dunoon for coordination meeting, and it was stunning!! I love those ferry rides! I got to watch the sunset over the Highlands on the way back! It was breathtaking!

Sat 8-8-15
Donated some time at the British Heart Foundation and saw a lot of cross dressed men.

Sun 8-9-15
Our investigators didn’t come to church, and I wanted to cry!


Monday, August 3, 2015

Another Amazing Week!!

It’s been Another Amazing week! This week flew by! I really don’t know where the time goes sometimes!

Tue 7-28-15
This was a super busy and rainy day, but also VERY successful! The day consisted of a bunch of “try byes”, but to my surprise, every single person we visited not only answered the door, but invited us in!! All together we saw 5 people, and got 4 appointments! Not to mention the two potential investigators we found while traveling!

The last person we saw was this girl named Kay. Fun Fact about Kay is that she’s an elder in the Church of Scotland, and she’s actually going to University to become a minister for her church! She was really nice and open minded. We were able to sit down and just talk about the difference between our two churches, and share our faith of Jesus Christ! Oh yeah, and her house is a massive ancient castle thing!

Wed 7-29-15
Wednesday was an adventure to say the least! We were on a bus going to “try by” the potential that lives just a little past Port Glasgow, because we knew she lived past Port Glasgow, we didn’t get off at the stop we usually do. Anyway, long story short, the stop we usually get off at was the last stop till Glasgow! We got stuck on and hour and a half bus ride that took us out of our zone!! Ugh!! It was great fun! :)

Thurs 7-30-15
Thursday was really inspirational. We caught a train down to Irvine for Zone Interview Training! It was nice to finally meet my whole zone! President really helped me learn how to rely on the spirit! After ZIT I went on an exchange with Elder Johnson to Pollock! I love Elder Johnson, but Pollock isn’t half as great as Greenock! I did get to go on splits with the Bishop there, and got visit a nice lady with 9 kids!

Fri 7-31-15
We did our whole unchanged thing in the morning, and then Elder Clawson and I took another ferry back to Dunoon to have dinner with the Cains! The Cains are amazing; Brother Cain is still as funny as ever!

Sat 8-1-15
Saturday was interesting... We went to Windsbay to drop some cookies off to Elder Clawson’s friend Frank. The night ended with a really great lesson with the Higgins! It was our first lesson with Saffron! (Gavin’s 12 year old daughter) She is sooo awesome! Just like the rest of the Higgins! The lesson was wonderful! She said she felt the spirit and she even committed to being baptized! After the lesson they had us stay for soup, because they are amazing, and never let us leave without some kind of food!

Sun 8-2-15
Sunday was definitely my favorite day of the week. The very best part, maybe even the best part of my mission so far was being able to confirm Gavin a member of the church. It was the first time ever confirming anyone so I was a little nervous, but the Lord directed me, and the spirit was incredibly strong. I feel very blessed and privileged to have been able to perform that ordinance for him.

Straight out of church we had to literally run down to the train station to catch a lift to Edinburgh!  President Donaldson was having new members and investigators from all of Scotland come down to the mission home for a big testimony meeting! The Higgins family and Greame drove down and met us there! It was such a neat and powerful experience to hear so many of the new members share their conversion stories! Of course, the Higgins story will always be my favorite!! 
Because of how long the train ride was, we didn’t end up getting back to the flat till 10:30pm (an hour past curfew!) It felt so weird to be on the street that late! But don’t worry, we had permission from President! 

Thanks for reading my emails everyone! Hope everything is going well back home! Enjoy the sunshine because I haven’t seen any yet! ;) (It literally didn't stop raining once yesterday) Fun Fact, I’ve been able to see my breath outside almost every day since I arrived in Greenock!