Friday, August 26, 2016

Welcome To Paisley

To my dearest friends and family. It’s been an absolutely amazing week! I can honestly say this is the busiest I have ever been in my life... but I love it. Life is great and the church is true! Time is short so I’ll have to be swift and dive right in!

 Aug. 15th
My last day in Dalkeith was filled with loads of amazing food and a lot of sad goodbyes. The saddest goodbye was with Jonathan, everyone was crying! I never really knew how close the relationships were here in Dalkeith until I had to say goodbye! I was also up late packing… UHG!
It's hard to say goodbye

Aug. 16th
Tuesday was absolutely wild! I was up bright and earlier in the morning, and I gathered up my entire luggage and slowly moved from bus to bus until we made it to the mission home. Once we arrived at the mission home I went with my good friend Elder McCappin on a train down to Glasgow Central via train. Let me tell ya, moving two suitcases, and a carry on, and a shoulder bag, and a guitar all on your own takes some serious skill. When we finally made it to Glasgow we met a group of missionaries at the train station. One of them being my new companion Elder Wilson, from Durban South Africa. Elder Wilson is a boss, we have a lot of fun together and are going to light this Zone on fire! Somehow we managed to get all of my bags, along with another companionship and their bags all in our little Mariva. I literally had a massive suitcase upside down sitting on my lap. From there we visited a missionary in the Hospital, dropped off some missionaries, and then made it to Irvine where I got to unload some of my junk into my new flat. Right after that we rushed back down to Glasgow and picked up a couple more missionaries that were coming in from Ireland. We made it back to our place just as the night was coming to a close. 

Aug. 17th
Wednesday was even crazier than Tuesday! Where to I even start?? First we dropped off the missionaries we picked up from Glasgow. Next we got a call from the Mission President saying a missionary from our zone left his last flat in a wreck, and that we had to pick him up, take him to clean it up till it was sparkling. So that’s exactly what we did. The upside was his old flat was in Greenock, this was the first time I’ve been back since my Greeny days! The bad part was helping him clean for hours... After that we had to rush some missionaries to the mission home for some strange reason, and then Elder Wilson tells me that we have a big instruction we need to do tonight for every Priesthood Leader and missionary in the Paisley Stake. We literally had to think of what we were going to teach on the car ride over, and then wing it! The Spirit helped us out with the words to say, and we actually delivered a pretty great instruction. It was a miracle!! It goes without saying that when I got home I slept like a log. 
It was so good to see Gavin Higgins again.
Aug. 18th
In the morning we had to drop some more Elders off in Glasgow, but then we finally got to do some work in our own area! Moves week is just ridiculous. We did some solid street contacting, and then I got to meet our investigators. The first one is named Jim. He has one heck of a mustache.
The other is named Nicola, she is super cool and is actually supposed to be baptized this Saturday!! Please keep them in your prayers :) Oh yeah and a man named George had us for dinner and fed us some prawn curry... That was an experience. 

Aug. 19th
Today we met a lot of crazy bitter Scots and got very wet in the pouring rain. It was pretty sweet. We also taught a Catholic lady named Margret!

Aug 20th
This morning we went to see depressed Jim and motivated the heck out of him. He is basically a new man. We also had a sweet lesson with Nicola about Joseph Smith. Later on we taught a man named John the Plan of Salvation on the street, we taught him how to pray and committed him to baptism. And then we finished off the night by talking to all the drunks on the streets and calling them to repentance. 
Aug 21st
Sunday was amazing, we managed to get both Jim and Nicola there and they both seemed to really enjoy it! Nicola felt the spirit super strong during sacrament and is now pretty solid for her baptism on Saturday! I also got the opportunity to give and mini talk and in sacrament and got to introduce myself. I spoke mostly about the power of a testimony and the experience I’ve had on my mission where I’ve seen others begin to build one of their own, and how I have seen their life’s change as they've begun to recognize and feel the love God has for them. It was pretty solid. 
Well there ya have it, a watered down version of my crazy week. Missionary life is just the best! I'm great full for all the new opportunities headed my way to learn, grow, and serve! And I'm especially grateful for all of you! I love you all and pray for you every night. 

Love, Elder Cluster

Monday, August 22, 2016

Paisley King! Zone Leader?

It’s been an incredible week that ended with quite the surprise! Unfortunately I am particularly short on time today as I still have all of my packing to do... This week’s email is going to be sweet and to the point! :)

Aug 8th
Today I had one of the best P-days of my life! The Campbell family is amazing and took us out partying all day long! First we had a blast at the trampoline park called Rize (it is owned by a super rich member in California, so that's cool.) Next we got some party sweets from the local Tesco and played an epic game of Monopoly (I won) and we finished it all off with some fish and chips!

Aug 9th
District meeting was just grand this morning. I had a real heart to heart with all the missionaries and discussed the things we need as individuals, then as a companionship, and then as a District. My District is full of a bunch of boss's! We got rained on a lot today.... Another highlight was going to Young Mens with Jonathon, we got to teach everyone ultimate Frisbee, it got pretty intense!

Aug 10th
We re-taught Jonathon the restoration today was a new member. This kid's learning super fast, it’s so excited and rewarding to see it happen. We got fed some amazing mushroom spaghetti stuff at our ward mission leader’s house, food is always a blessing. To put a close to the night, we hosted the Addiction Recovery Program at the church. It was a good experience as always. I love being around a group of open and honest people, all trying their best to change their lives! 

Aug 11th
Today we had even more rain then on Tuesday. We got wet!! We did some work inside by doing our weekly planning and area book stuff; we also had the plumber up to fix our sink! He was an interesting guy.... The best part of today was probably a lesson we had with our recent convert named Annette. We went into detail on patience (Something everyone can work on.) We also talked about the experience Job had, and the attitude and the way we reacted to everything in life. Job is a real champ.

Aug 12th
Not really much to report on from Friday, we had a lot of lessons fall through and a lot of chapping. I did find this one funny old lady though, she believes her dog was shot in another life and got reincarnated... she'll get baptized for sure though!

Aug 13th
Saturday we had more appointments fall through and lots more finding. We ran into a lot of trouble making hooligans today.... it’s hard not to hurt people sometimes. We got some pretty great Kebabs to celebrate the upcoming transfers and anticipated moves call coming on Sunday! That's always fun, I'm still not convinced Kebabs are safe though....

Aug 14th
Sunday was definitely the craziest day of the week! Church was wonderful, we had Jonathon's Mum and Aunt join us for the full three hour block, and a linger longer! I gave a talk in Sacrament on "My Faith Hath Made Me Whole" I felt like it went really well, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. It was great studying all the times Jesus said "Thy faith hath made thee whole" when he was going about performing miracles, and then relating that to my own life and how my faith has made me whole. I looked at the miracles God has performed in me. After church the Campbells' had us over for dinner, mash tatties and mince. You can't go wrong with mash tatties and mince. We also got our moves call while we were at the Campbell's, that was the real surprise! "Elder Crockett, you will be staying in Dalkeith, and Elder Cluster. The Lord had a new calling for you to be the Paisley Zone Leader." Flip! I don't know what's crazier, the fact that I'm going to be Zone Leader, or the fact that I'm going back to Paisley! I'm excited for it all though, Paisley is my home, and I will officially be the Paisley King! It will be hard to leave Dalkeith, I was blessed to get to know a lot of amazing people in my short time here. However I know that our friendships will last long beyond this life. I also trust that the Lord needs me back in Paisley for a reason. I’m excited to see what new experiences and blessing are in store for me there!

Please continue to pray for the investigators, members, and missionary work here in Dalkeith. You're prayers are heard and answered. They make such a huge difference here in the SIM mission!

I love and miss you all!

Love, Elder Cluster

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Jonathon Entered the Waters of Baptism

It's been an absolutely incredible week, full of blessings, excitement, and adventure! It’s weeks like this where you're just happy to be out there, and proud to be a missionary! I'm so thankful for the many experiences and stories that happened this week that I will truly remember for the rest of my life!

P-day. This was definitely the best P-day I've had since I've come to Dalkeith, which isn’t really saying much, but I did have some good fun on a rope swing we found in the forest that’s in our backyard! These little kids came about 15 minutes after us and were doing come crazy tricks on it! I felt like they should all be in the circus or something! After that Josie and Jonathon had us over for dinner, we had Mince and Tatties, a Scottish classic!

Today had an interesting start.... Earlier on in the week we ran into this crazy old man that everyone knows as Irish Joe. He was super excited to see us and told us he wanted to give us some food, so he quickly gave us his address and told us to come up to his flat on Tuesday morning and to bring some bags! So that is what we did… My whole plan was just to get into the door and get him to sit down for the restoration lesson. However, when we showed up to his humble flat he demanded to have our bags, then started clearing out  his cupboards! I started to panic knowing that Irish Joe is broke as a joke will end up starving himself! I started to tell him "Don't give us anything you'll eat!!" that didn't seem to make any difference, so I started to take stuff back out of the bags saying " Irish Joe, you look like a man who really likes his canned hamburgers, you better keep these for yourself." He yelled at me to shut up then put it back in the bag. When he was all finished the little fella didn't even want to chat, he just kicked us straight back out of his place! Long story short, there is now a starving Irish man up the road and around the corner, and our flat is full of strange canned hamburgers and Irish stew...  That was pretty exciting stuff. Jonathon also passed his baptismal interview!! I am so stoked for him!! We ended the night off with a super frustrating ward council meeting. L

The main event of Wednesday was while we were chapping some doors… For the first time in my life I ran into a lady and thought to myself "I really hope this person doesn't invite us back!!" She made me really uncomfortable, and was sucking on a massive toe nail, but she was so excited to see us, and wants to have us back ASAP! I know she needs the gospel, but I’ll need to pray for strength for our next visit...

We spent most of our day in Edinburgh at a conference with every missionary in Scotland and Elder Herburtson of the 70! It was an absolutely amazing meeting; I received personal revelation on how I can improve myself and better help the work progress in Dalkeith. I felt the spirit so strongly. I'd have to say that my favorite part was hearing the testimonies of the missionaries heading home. First was one from my good friend Elder Gates. It'll be rough to see him go, I've learned so much from this chap! The good news is he lives just over the boarder so he promised to come back and take me out for lunch! :) Next up was Elder Chen. Elder Chen was the Chinese man I had to stop from getting on the ferry to Ireland while I was in Starnraer and ended up serving a three day trio with him. Elder Chen is a Complete Champion! My respect for him is through the roof! Elder Chen's family didn't want him here. Elder Chens family didn't want him to even be a Mormon. Elder Chen has no LDS friends even remotely close to him and has to drive by himself for 3 and a half hours just to get to church. Elder Chen still has one of the most solid testimonies I have ever heard! "I am Chinese, and I am a Mormon!" Sadly I don't think he'll be back to take me out to lunch... Last but not least was my friend Elder Taylor whom I've known since the MTC. Elder Taylor found out that he has cancer and had to be put on a plane home on Saturday. He will be home receiving treatment for a minimum of a year but this gave a pure testimony about how excited he is for the day he will get come back and finish the job because of his love for the Savoir. Please keep Elder Taylor in your prayers.

Today was a long one. It started off great with our last lesson with Jonathon before his baptism. He is so ready and excited; he couldn't sit still even thinking about it! However, after the lesson we got on the bus to go home for some lunch…. As soon as I sat down on the bus seat my butt got completely wet and soaked all the way through my pants. I quickly moved a seat over then just prayed for patience till I got back home to worry about it, knowing there was nothing I could do while I was on the bus. As soon as we got home I took off my trousers and smelled them. I was pee!!! Somebody straight up wet themselves all over the bus, and I sat in it!!! Now knowing I was covered in someone else's urine I ran to the shower and used my whole lunch break, and about half a bottle of body wash scrubbing myself down! Flippin' Satin is pulling some low blows to get back at me for this baptism! After that experience we headed over to this toe nail lady for our appointment. She stood us which was actually a blessing because I really don't think I could have handled her and sitting in a puddle a pee in one day. We finished the night by bringing a mango to this 8 year old Filipino kid who lives with a less active we have been working with. Last week he told us how much he missed them in the Philippine's so we got him one for his birthday! I've never seen a kid get so excited for a mango in my entire life!! He was bouncing off the walling and singing songs!

I'm starting to run low on time so I'm just going to cut straight to the Baptism. Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did. First we went to get changed and Jonathon say's to me, "What about my boxer's" and I'm like "yeah, keep em on, we just change after" he responded with "You didn't tell me to bring any extra!!!" In a panic he ran out the door in his white jumpsuit and started trying to give a member his house keys and explaining where he could find some boxers for him. After a minute or two a got him to his senses and told him that everything would be okay. We came up with a solid plan where he would just wring them out really well and play it cool. The service was really good, and then it came time for the baptism. I step into the font and the water was boiling hot!! Knowing that the font takes two hours to fill I knew we had no choice but to take it like a man. So I go all the way in, but Jonathon stopped at the very first step and said "I can't do it, it’s too hot!" At this point everyone is already sitting in their seats and awkwardly just looking at us. So I called someone over and asked them if they could just turn on the cold water for a while. They turn it on and it was still coming out warm! I knew this thing would have to fun for at least forty minutes for us to even feel a difference! So I start praying like mad to try to figure out what to do, and all of a sudden I find myself telling Jonathon, "this water is coming out ice cold, we'll be good to go in no time!" After about 10 minutes of awkwardly getting starred at by the congregation I told Jonathon "It feels really good now, and to take a couple more steps down and see how it feels" So he stepped down and said "Yep, That's much better" It was a miracle! I had to bite my tongue to stop myself some singing hallelujah!! Next he was baptized, and the spirit was incredible. Jonathon came up looking like a lobster but at least we know his sins were washed away! When they closed the curtains I pulled the plug to the font and asked him how he felt, his reply was "Amazing! I knew when you pulled that plug my worries and mistakes were getting sucked down that drain! I'm so happy for him, but I was pretty relieved when it was all over!

Jonathon was confirmed today, nobody hot burned and everything went much smoother than yesterday! My favorite part of church was when he got up and boar his testimony about how much this gospel as changed him and how grateful he is that the missionaries knocked on his door...

There you have it, my week in a nutshell! I am so grateful today, and every day for the opportunity I have to actively do the Lords work, and to invite others to come unto Christ and become perfected in him.  

Love you all. 
-Elder Cluster

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Big Blessing, and Little Miracles

This week as been slow and steady..... But I hear that's how you win a race, and Jonathan is getting baptized this Saturday on Aug 6th, so that's gotta be true! Through small and simple things are great things brought to pass. Dalkeith as given me a testimony of that! 

July 25th
P-day today was pretty boring again... I've really gotta figure out how out how to have some fun in this place! It was my Mums birthday today, though so that was pretty exciting to think about! After P-day we had a pretty great lesson with Josie and Jonathan. We started a non smoking program with Josie and she seems pretty stoked and committed to it. I know she can do it!

 July 26th
District Meeting was a real hit on Tuesday. We focused on teaching skills, and how to getting our investigators more involved in lessons. However bad news was on its way…  We got a phone call from Jonathan right after DM saying his bunny rabbit that he's had since he was 3 had just passed away. Poor little snowball... He asked us to come up and have a little funeral with him. Jonathan gave a great service and a beautiful prayer for the fluffy little guy. After that we had some good old chapping in the rain, followed by a lesson with Dorothy. She committed to come to church! To finish off the night, we played a good game of chair football with Jonathan and the youth! Jonathan seemed to really enjoyed it, I was thankful it helped him keep his mind off of little Snowball.

July 27th
Not too much to report on for Wednesday, the best part of the day was probably the burger I ate at our ward mission leaders house. We also did the Addiction Recovery Program, and that’s always exciting!

July 28th
Thursday started out a bit rough but had a beautiful ending! First we got stood up for an appointment with a new investigator, next we got dropped by Born-Again John because he wanted to take my shoes and socks off so he could do a "Hands on Prayer" on my feet. I told him we do things a bit different, and I think he got a little offended. What’s up with strange men wanting to mess with my feet! But let’s skip to the spiritual part of the day. We got a message from a member talking about some really serious struggles she's been going through. She invited us to share a message with her. After loads of praying I decided to teach about the Atonement out of the Gospel Principles book. As soon as she read the part about Jesus’ suffering for us in the Garden of Gethsemane she burst into tears. That was the strongest I've fest the spirit in a while! It felt amazing to be able to remind her of the sacrifice that has been made for us, and how much we are loved by our Heavenly Father.

July 29th
Today we taught Josie and Jonathan the Law of Chastity! That's always a fun one. I think it took them by surprise, but they took it all in! Apart from that, we just did more finding today. We got lost for little while, and that was fun!

July 30th
This morning we had pancakes with the Campbell family! What an awesome group! They know just how to make a missionary feel at home! They are a super big blessing! After breakfast we taught a less active about the atonement. It was a really good lesson but his Cat named Ruby kept rubbing all over me the whole time. I don't think I've ever been covered in so much cat hair in my life! We saw Jonathan again today. That was a really good experience. I got him a white shirt and tie… He was stoked! I got to teach him how to tie a tie for the first time... He was especially grateful for that. After we went through the baptismal interview with him, as far as we can tell he is good to go! Something kinda crazy happened right before our lesson was over. We heard a big bang from up stairs, so Jonathan ran up to see what happened, and his only other rabbit Lenny was laying dead in his cage!! I thought to myself "Flip, not again!!" They took this one a lot better; it was still a pretty sad time though. So yeah, we ended the night with another rabbit funeral.

July 31st
Sunday was wonderful! Jonathan and Dorothy joined us for sacrament. We arranged a lift for little old Dorothy, but the member forgot all about it. Right as sacrament was starting we hopped in a car and headed to go get her. We found her halfway to the church cruising on her walker; we gave her a ride the rest of the way up. I asked her at the end how she liked everything and she said "I won't say I enjoyed it." It’s alright because Dorothy had a stroke a while back and has trouble remembering things, so l just reminded her how great sacrament was…She'll probably be back next week. The rest of the day was filled with frustration because of the crummy Sunday bus schedule, but eventually we made it to a less actives home for a lesson with him and his son. It was a really good lesson; we were able to talk some sense into him about coming to church. His boy turns 8 this Tuesday and he wants him to be baptized so that’s pretty promising!

That was a pretty exciting week Eh? This week will be even better! Please keep Jonathan in your prayers for his baptism on Saturday! Also we have a big conference coming up on Thursday in Edinburgh. A member of the Seventy is coming to speak to us, and every missionary in Scotland will be there!

Thank you all for the Love, Support, and Prayers.

Love, Elder Cluster