Monday, April 25, 2016

What Lack I Yet?


We've got another action packed, spiritual, and adventurous week on our hands. So sit tight and buckle up… let’s go!

Apr. 18th
This was one of the best P-day's I've had in a while! The best part was teaching Campbell the Plan of Salvation. The spirit was super strong and I know that deep down insides he knows that what we share is true. Today we also found and had some fun on a sandy beach and went for a nice walk with our friend Martine!

Apr. 19th
This morning I had my very first District Meeting as a District Leader! We focused on personal sanctification and teaching repentance to our investigators, what an important point for us all to understand! I know I had the Lord helping me out. After District meeting I found the funniest note on our car windshield "666 Stop parking here or in the name of Satan you will burn in hell for all eternity" I laughed so hard, it’s pretty weird but It actually made my day!

Apr. 20th
We had another lesson with Campbell today; it was a pretty discouraging one. He's starting to second guess a lot of stuff and doesn't want to see us as much. After talking with him awhile he said it was alright if we still saw him every now and then, and that he would still come to church. I know he's ready; we'll just have to be patient!

Apr. 21st
Today was interesting... In the morning we had a lesson with Kevin, but there was one problem. It’s the Queens 90th Birthday and Kevin wouldn’t turn off the TV! I've never seen someone so distracted! I don't get why people are so entertained by watching this old lady walk around shaking peoples hands... I guess that's pretty exciting stuff for Great Brittan though. We also had a great DA of Fish N' Tatties at the branch presidents house!

Apr. 22nd
Today we had lots of finding! It wasn’t so bad, it was actually pretty warm! I got to wear a short sleeve shirt for the 2nd time on my mission! It was quite the mile stone for me. We also got some weekly planning done (outside on the balcony) and went to Stranraers youth activity.

Apr. 23rd
We had another lesson with Kevin today, It was much better than the last! We also did some fun service and helped him hang wall paper. Later on we started the Stop Smoking Program with Campbell, visited our Baptist friend Arthur, and had a stellar curry at the Mcgillvary's. To finish of the night we had a short stay with a less active in Port William who had a couple English friends over. Those accents.... just a few miles down and you get that!? I never thought I'd be grateful for the Scottish accents, but there ya go.

Apr. 24th
Sunday Fun Day! We didn't have as many friends join us today at church as I had hoped, but we did have Campbell and Vicky and those are the two whom I think needed it most, so I was happy. I also got to teach the Priesthood lesson and Gospel Principals. Besides church we filled the day with finding and try by's. I got to finish the night by planning Tuesday's District Meeting, I'm excited for that! 

I'm so grateful for the all the opportunities I've had to learn and grow this week! In such a short period of time I've become significantly more independent in the work, and dependent on the Lord and the promptings of the spirit. I've learnt that as we ask ourselves "What Lack I Yet" It’s not hard to find a whole list of improvement we can make, and things we can do to shorten our distance from our Heavenly Father. Please keep praying for us.
Love you all!
Elder Cluster

Monday, April 18, 2016

Transfers, A New Companion, and Adventures in Glasgow

This week has been absolutely mad!! So much has happened with so many blessings and lessons along the way!

Apr. 11th
Not the most exciting P-day I've had, but it was nice and busy so I have no complaints! The day consisted of lots of goodbyes for Elder Hoppe, a wonderful lesson with Kevin, and helping Elder Hoppe pack everything up into his two little suitcases!

Apr. 12th
The alarm sounded at 5AM and the chaos of moves day had begun. It was a long and hectic drive down to Glasgow in thick traffic praying that we would make Elder Hoppes bus on time, It was a close call but our prayers were answered. The traffic began to break up and we arrived safe and sound. I was sad to see Elder Hoppe go so soon, along with many other friends begin their journey across the Irish Seas. I know I will see them all again soon! I was able to spend a good chunk of time exploring around Glasgow in between moving missionaries and luggage. My two favorite places we got to visit was this huge tower with a fun spiral staircase, and this massive, ancient cathedral! At 4:30PM I picked up my new companion Elder Wilson along with some Elders that will be serving in Greenock and traveled down to Pollock. I dropped the Greenock Elders off there and we made our way back up to Paisley where we got to do some finding and spend the night.

Apr. 13th
Wednesday was another 5AM alarm, this time with a drive back to Pollock to drop of my companion and to pick up an Elder Swartz to drive all the way to Edinburgh for a New Leadership Training. The drive was long and painful, but the conference was legit! I feel much more capable of this district leader stuff now! On the way back to Pollock we had some weird error codes come up on the car... seeing as we don't have a garage with our insurance anywhere near Stranraer we were forced to spend another night in Pollock.

Apr. 14th
We made it way down to a garage that could fix us up. We were there at 8am sharp so we could get our car sorted and make our way back home. unfortunately nobody had the part we needed changed...It took a couple hours for them to get a hold of it and  everything sorted, so we had some solid finding time in Pollock. I was very grateful to get it all out of the way and have a nice safe journey back home. After we got Elder Wilson’s bags to the flat we were able to get out and do some real work! We had a couple great lessons, one with Vicky who we hadn't seen in ages. She's doing well but it’s going to be a longer process with her than we originally thought... I know she'll get there someday though!

Apr. 15th
Today consisted of coordination meeting, weekly planning, and a grand lesson with our Baptist friend Arthur.

Apr. 16th
On Saturday we taught Kevin Obedience, The Law of the Land, and Missionary Work! We also saw our friends Martin and Campbell, and invited everyone and their dogs to church! Our lesson with Campbell was my personal favorite; we got to teach him the Word of Wisdom and committed him to be baptized on the 7th of May!

Apr. 17th
Our friends Campbell, Martine, and Zach all joined us at church today. We had a great service, Elder Wilson and I got to do the Gospel Principles Lesson, Priesthood Lesson, and Bless/ Pass the Sacrament! To top it all off we had a rockin' Munch and Mingle! Later on we visited our new friends James and Amy, and then ended the night with a wonderful dinner at the McLeans!

There ya have it folks! Before I let you go I want to share my testimony of Gods Plan of Happiness. All but 30 minutes ago we taught this lesson to a 16 year old boy who lost him mum a year ago, and is now living in a homeless shelter. I know with all my heart that he will live with him mother again, in eternal happiness. I know that through Gods great plan of redemption I will spend all eternity with mine too.

Love, Elder Cluster  

Monday, April 11, 2016

District Leader??

Friends and family, what a week it’s been! The Lord has new and exciting blessings in store for me, my companion, and our investigators!

Apr 4th
Today we got rained on... a lot... We helped Kevin put up loads of wall paper, rode some busses, and played the guitar.

Apr 5th
On Tuesday we were up extra early and took a train to Ayr for District meeting. It was a really good one; we had the Zone Leaders down for some special instruction and everything! We learned and practiced how to extend the baptismal invitations during different points of the Restoration lesson; I'm excited to try it out! After DM we went to Kilmarnock to pick up a members phone from a hospital, I'm still kinda confused why... When we got home to Stranraer we had quite the experience with an investigator. The guy had us in, and we saw all these empty bottles of vodka. He was drunk out of his mind and was yelling at us to get an ambulance because his liver was going to explode. So he calls 999 (911) and gives me the phone, I tried to explain what was going on but the lady just said she couldn't help! We ended up getting him to let us say a prayer, after that he calmed down a little and we were able to sneak out the door with the promise that we would go to the hospital and get an ambulance over. We went to the hospital and did our best but they couldn't help so we just went home and said a prayer for him. The next morning was pretty suspenseful but we found out he is still alive, so all is well. Let me tell ya, its hard communicating with a drunk, frustrated, and violent man!  

Apr. 6th
Today we had another lovely lesson with Kevin; we focused on the Book of Mormon and coming to church. Another main event today was getting a chippy with a recent convert, and then we chapped in the rain till it was time for bed.

Apr. 7th
Not much to talk about for Thursday, We did lots of try by's, chapping, and weekly planed.

Apr. 8th
We got the car back!! Oh how I missed that beautiful silver Mariva. We had a nice lesson with our drunken friend today, we taught him about the addiction recovery program, and this time we brought our Branch President along just to be safe!
Apr. 9th
Saturday morning was great, More Scottish breakfast roles! And a spiritual less active lesson of course. We had more finding time and then finished the night off strong with the Branch Presidents family; they had us over for his birthday dinner! It was a lot of fun, we had yummy Chinese! I got some crispy beef with honey and chili thingmes!

Apr. 10th
Sunday was out of this world! I always get pretty anxious on the day of Moves Call but when we got to church I was able to get my mind off of it right away. Four of our friends managed to make it!! That means over 1/3 of the congregation was our investigators, what a blessing!! But it doesn't stop there; we had one of the most spiritual testimony meetings you can imagine! My favorite part was when our friend Campbell got up and bore his testimony. The spirit was so strong, and that was his first time at church! Time is running low so I will quickly give you the moves call. Elder Hoppe is off to Ireland and I will be the new District Leader. My new companion will be Elder Wilkins. I didn't see that one coming! The other areas in the district are also being white washed, a fresh new start!

Thank you so much for your prayers, especially the ones for our investigators! Please include the new missionaries in the district. Good things are happening in Stranraer!

Love you all
Elder Cluster

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Two Busy Weeks, One Email!

 Hello everyone, I would like to apologize for not being able to email last week. Apparently they celebrate Easter for like a whole week here in Scotland, and all the libraries were closed! So buckle up because I'm going to try and fit all the excitement of two weeks into one!

Mar 21st
I'm not gonna lie, this was a pretty flippin' boring p-day; I don't even really remember what we did! I know we finished the night off strong with some good old fashion chapping though!

Mar 22nd
Today we had an extra early morning and a nice long train ride to Ayr. We had a nice and spiritual district meeting then an exciting Blitz in Ayr! I was on exchange with Elder Ararve. Together we reminded loads of folk what Easter is all about or taught... you'd be surprised how many people didn't know why we celebrate Easter! By the time Elder Hoppe and I made it back home to Stranraer it was getting late, but we still managed to have a wonderful recent convert lesson.

Mar 23rd
Two main things for today, first was a sketchy drive to Kirkcowon on bad tires. We made it safely and had a rockin' lesson on the 10 commandments with Kevin. We topped it all off with the Law of Chastity. That’s one more chaste man in Scotland! Next was a another sketchy drive, this time all the way up to Ayr to get the tries changed (we had to go to Ayr because Stranraer is too small to have a shop the church can work with)

Mar 24th
Thursday we have coordination meeting then made out way up to Newtown Stewart where we had a good time chapping. We chapped into this crazy catholic lady who invited us in to meet her daughters then kicked us back out when we tried talking about the church!

Mar 25th

Today the Mcleans had us over for pancakes! You can't find any decent maple syrup over here but it was still a tender mercy and a little taste of home! We also got to help Kevin out with some painting. It was a lot of fun but I think I got some paint in my eye....

Mar 26th
In the morning we had a lovely less active lesson where they surprised us with Scottish breakfast roles! There nothing like a good slice of black pudding and haggis in a bun with a fried egg! Today we also had some ridiculous winds and a spiritual lesson with Dave!

Mar 27th
Yay, its Easter!! I couldn't have asked for a better Easter Sunday. All through church and throughout the day I felt the spirit as I reflected on the resurrection of my Savior and what all that meant to me. I thought of the song "I know that my Redeemer lives" I do know my redeemer lives. But not only that, I know that He loves me. I know that I will live with Him again. One highlight of the day was going on a picnic in to countryside with the branch president and his family. We colored eggs and rolled them down a hill to resemble the rolling of the stone of Christ's grave. It’s a fun British tradition!

Mar 28th
Today’s P-day definitely made up for the last one! Because the library was closed we had a little extra time to go on some adventures we did it all, from hunting for muscles (Elder Hoppe cooked those suckers up and ate em!) to watching a highland coo crossing on a kind mans massive farm, all the way to trying to build a dam across the river! It was a good thing we had fun because for the rest of the night we went to hell and back cleaning out the mold and dust off the old flat so we could hand the keys in. I think there is something growing in my lungs now...

Mar 29th
Today we taught Kevin more about family history and did some service helping the McLeans out with their Garden. Later on some other members had us over for a classic "British High-T" This thing was a heart attack of happiness! It started with Fish and Chips then lead to a tower of British desserts. You eat the deserts on the bottom level of this thingme then work your way up to the Meringue on top! It was quite the experience, but I cannot officially say I survived a British high-T!

Mar 30th
Today we had the old flat checked out by the land lord "This is the cleanest I've ever seen it!" You probably could have heard our sigh of relief from Ogden! Besides that it was a load of finding.

Mar 31st
Thursday was sweet! I'm talkin' 5 new investigators baby! Three came from a group of kids we met at the park when we went to have a lesson with Vicky, One was a kind Baptist we chapped earlier on in the month, and the last was someone we chapped into and let us in to talk about the second coming. He had a weird Oriental cat! 

Apr. 1st
Today was extra stormy! This was pretty unfortunate because we mostly just chapped doors all day!

Apr. 2nd
General Conference again already!? I loved every second of it, with the time difference we were only able to watch the morning session. It felt weird watching it live at 5pm! I wish I had more time to talk about it but I will say this, our leaders are inspired all the way! We also had a fantastic lesson with our new investigator Campbell.
This is where our Branch meets for sacrament meeting. 
Apr. 3rd
We got to watch the Sunday morning session of general conference again, what a blessing! I'm still trying to figure out what my favorite talk was... I loved them all! We also did weekly planning today and I had a bubble bath where I was able to soak in all the wise words of our prophet and apostles.

These two weeks has been all over the place but I am so grateful for the experiences I had. Between Easter and General Conference I've been reminded just how very blessed I am to know of our saviors perfect Plan of Happiness for me and all my brothers and sisters. I pray that we will never take our knowledge of this gospel and our Heavenly Fathers love for us for granted.

Love you all!     
                  -Elder Cluster