Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014

I only asked Mason a few questions this week so here is his e-mail with a few comments from me (in blue) thrown in here and there . . . .
Hi - Thanks so much for the ring - it fits. I got it Wednesday and it was delivered to the flat. (He had a ring and he was playing with it - probably spinning it on a table or something - and it fell in a radiator.  I ordered a new one for him from Amazon UK and he got it in 2 days!).  I really like it. For Christmas (I have been asking him what he wants for Christmas . . . ) I can't think of anything I want for here in the mission, but one idea I had is that you could just get the presents and keep them in my room so when I come home it will be a giant delayed Christmas gift. (Really????) 
I have met Sister Douglas. (Sister Douglas is in our stake and I talked to her mother the other night at a stake primary meeting and we figured out they were in the same zone so I had asked him if he knew her.) I met her at the first district leader conference I went to because my companion is the district leader. I didn't recognize her but she recognized me. That was about my first or second week out here, so I just forgot to tell you in the other emails - sorry. I should be getting the package from the mission home this week or next cause the zone leaders need to go to the mission home to get it then it depends on when I see them next. So that's how that works. (I sent a package to the mission home about 4 weeks ago and he still doesn't have it!) I haven't gotten anything from G-ma yet did she send it to the mission home? (Yes, she did send it to the mission home so hopefully he will get both packages soon!) 
I really haven't done a whole lot new this week but we did get a new investigator named Christina.  She is a bit older like 55-60 (he better be careful throwing out those ages and saying she is a "bit older") and is lonely but we have seen her three times now and heard her whole life story 4 times. She has to keep telling it cause we have to bring a member with us every time we teach her. She is doing well and slightly progressing so we are hopeful. Other than that, there hasn't been anything too exciting here. I'll take some pictures of the flat for next week and send them to you (I told him we liked to get pictures so to take some of his flat or some of the things they do this week.)

 I'm going to be seeing Elder Barton today so I'll tell him hi (I told him to tell Elder Barton "hi" from me the next time he saw him.) and take pictures of what we do today.
Love and miss you guys.  

He didn't send these pictures, but someone posted them on the Scotland/Ireland mission Facebook page.  These are pictures taken at their last "zone deveopment/play day" they had with Mason's zone and the Glasgow zone. So I thought I would post them.  The first picture is just the Paisley zone and Mason is in the back left center and the Sister Douglas - the girl from our stake is on the front row second from the right.

And here is another one with his zone and the Glasgow zone together.

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014

Here is Mason's e-mail(s) from today - he wrote a short e-mail to Dru so I am including some of that with the main e-mail he sends to me. 

(From Dru) How is the weather - what is "Fall" like in Scotland?
The fall season is pretty nice over here the leaves are changing color but the sky seems to always be gray which I do like.

(From Dru) Why do you have so much planning time on Thursdays?
The Thursday planing is weekly planing so we plan for the whole week, if you look in preach my gospel you will see why it takes till 2 in the afternoon there are thirteen points we have to go through like goal setting, planing on how to help less actives, and how to find people so it takes a while.

How are things going?  Are you doing okay? Are you getting along with your companion?  How is Ayr?
Yes, I am doing fine I get along pretty well with my companion, the city is pretty nice better then Stranraer where Elder Barton is.

What has been your favorite thing and least favorite thing since you have been in Scotland?
My favorite thing so far was this past week I went on exchanges again but with one of the zone leaders Elder deVrise and Elder Penmen, they are in a trio. We taught this father and son and all throughout the lesson you could see and feel that they were as we put it ''hard core feeling the spirit''. We committed them to be baptized - it isn't in my area but still really cool. Then when we got in their car we just cheered and screamed with excitement. It was like the scene from the movie The Best Two Years. But my least favorite thing is all the walking we have to do. 

He sent us these pictures from a day he did exchanges and was with Elder Barton, and here is what he said about the rain:  I have never been in rain like this before - a good 15 minutes and water had soaked through my trousers and was freely running down my leg so that's how it is here.


One other thing on they came out with a lot of videos about the life of Christ, which are some of the best church videos I have seen, but the actor playing Christ sounds English to me and it just made me think of the line from Knight's Tale '' The Pope may be French, but Jesus is English.'' Thought you might appreciate that. 

Love and miss you!

Monday, October 13, 2014

October 13, 2014

Mason has now been gone 1 month - only 23 more to go!  If you have a minute to send him an e-mail I am sure he would love to hear from anyone who has time to write! His e-mail address and the address of his flat are on the right side of this blog.  As usual, we didn't get a lot of "extra" information from Mason and I didn't ask too many questions so it was kind of a short e-mail this week.  But here is what we got . . .

Do you get enough money in your monthly allowance to get what you need or do you feel like you don't get very much? And, do they have the members arrange to feed you dinner every night like they do in our ward?
I've got plenty to get what I need and we have dinners or lunch about twice a week with members. We had dinner with the Gilardi's as normal and then yesterday we had lunch right after church with another member, so we aren't just eating spaghetti or what ever else we have in the flat. 
What exactly was involved with the whole "kebaptism" you wrote about last week.  Did you just eat a kebab or what?
So with being kebaptized, Elder Tang performed it, my companion filmed it, and Elder Barton witnessed it. So Elder Tang said being commissioned by, and he said the name of the place where we got the kebabs, I kebaptize you in the name of the donner - a type of kebab, then something else, and the holy coke. Then I ate some of the kebab then Elder Tang said recieve the gift of the holy coke and I drank some coke. So that was the "kebaptism".  (So I guess it was pretty much just him eating a kebab . . . ) 
What did you do for zone development day?
For this zone development day my zone - the Paisley zone - got together with the Glasgow zone and we just played games the whole day like soccer with an exercise ball and capture the flag, stuff like that. It's also called zone play day. Then we went to a church and got some dinner.

What is your schedule for a typical day?

So a typical missionary day is we get up at 6:30 exercise for a 1/2 hour, then shower and get ready. Then it is personal study for an hour then companionship study for an hour. After that we go and try street contacting or trying by people we talked to on the street or less actives or former investigators; and if we don't have a dinner appointment we do that most of the day then at 8:00 we go back to the flat eat and plan then go to sleep. Thursdays are our weekly planing days so we are in the flat till about 2:00. 
Do you have anything planned for the rest of your P-day today, and where do you go to read and send e-mails?
So far we really don't have anything planed for P-day other then email, lunch, and shopping we will just see what happens YOLO! For emails we go to the ward building and use the computers there so we don't have to go to the library. 

How has the weather been so far?
The weather here has been fine most of the time. It's just perfect for me - a little on the colder side. But this past Thursday I was on exchanges with Elder Barton, so he is now my godfather in Stranraer (not sure what that means - that will be on my list of questions next week). After we got done doing service for an old man and got changed and had lunch it started to rain like crazy. Think of one of the worst rain storms in Utah and we were out knocking doors, but he does have a car so it's not like we had to walk three miles back to his place. But we had to go back to dry our clothes and go shopping then we made dinner so it was a pretty good day. We did get pictures of me and Elder Barton in the rain but I forgot my camera in the flat so I'll send the pictures next week.
Love you and miss you!



Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014

This post has some pictures sent from the mission office from when Mason arrived in Scotland and his latest e-mail.

This is a picture of Mason with his mission president and his wife - President and Sister Brown.

This is Mason and his companion - Elder Lauricello - this was taken outside of the mission home. The story of the stone they are standing by happened in Stirling, Scotland, in 1898 with David O. McKay when he was a missionary.  "I was homesick and a little discouraged on this day.  As we were coming back into town, I saw an unfinished dwelling, over the front door of which was a stone on which there was a carving.  That was most unusual, so I said to Elder Johnston, 'I'm going to see what that is.' I was half way up the graveled walk when there came to my eyesight a striking motto as follows, carved in stone: 'Whate'er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.' I said to myself, or the Spirit within me, you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ.  That afternoon, I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in Scotland."

And here is the e-mail we got today.

How do you like your companion? Where is he from?
My companion is pretty cool he is from California.

We tried to find your apartment on Google street view maps but we couldn’t see it – we could find the house numbers 4 and 6 and then higher numbers but we couldn’t find yours or at least we couldn't see the number "8".  The picture I attached is what we found on the street view maps - is this about where your apartment is?  Do you have a washer and dryer where you live or do you have to go a laundromat kind of place to do your laundry? (And here is the picture of the street he lives on that I sent him.)


 My flat is in the picture you sent it is the white building on the left and my window is the one closest to the door on the right. So that is where I live right now.  we have a washer and dryer in the flat so its easy to do laundry.
Can you understand people when they talk or are their accents pretty strong?
Some of the people I can understand pretty well then there are others were I have no idea what they are saying there is a less active elderly man in the ward named Lenny and I can really only get about 5% of what he says.  
I can see from your bank account you haven't had to buy a bike yet - how are you getting around?
We mainly just walk if we have to go someplace that's a bit out there we will take the bus but we already have two bikes in the storage shed for the flat. 
Have you heard anything about your mission getting iPads?
At the mission home they said we where getting iPads some time in the future, but I was out with Elder Barton (one of the other kids from Cottonwood), him and Elder Tang came over for a four day sleepover because of conference and then tomorrow we have zone development day so the zone is going to get together and play some fun games, then we have splits later on - but he said that he heard we will be getting them sometime around January.
What did you think of your mission president and his wife?
Pres. Brown and his wife are great they are really nice.
Have you taught any discussions yet?  Do you knock on doors? Get referrals?
We are mostly knocking doors, street contacting or trying find potential investigators and less actives. We haven't really taught a lesson yet mostly just spiritual thoughts with members and others that we visit.
What did you do on your first P-day in Scotland?  Have you been able to visit any castles yet?
I haven't been to any castles yet sadly and last P-day it was mainly shop, email, clean and rest.
Did you get to watch conference? Did you see any of the sessions live?
They showed conference at the church so we were able to watch all of it except for the Sunday afternoon session. We watched the Sunday morning session live at like 5 p.m.
Have you been grocery shopping?  What kinds of things did you buy? How has the food been that you have eaten so far?
We went shopping on our P-day and we got stuff like spaghetti, apples, cereal, and frozen chicken burgers, which are actually pretty good. So far no haggis or scotch eggs yet but Brother Gilardi and his wife feed us every Thursday and they make some good food. 
So not much has happened this week that I haven't already told you about. So that's pretty much it for this email.

 Love and miss you guys. 

And then about 15 minutes later we got another e-mail.

I don't know how I forgot to tell you this but Saturday after conference I was "kabaptized" and received the gift of the "holy coke". So what happened was that the four of us went to this kebab shop and I had my first one - we recorded it on my camera but I can't email videos so you'll  just have to wait a while before you see it. So elder Tang was the one who "kebaptized" me, my companion recorded it, and Elder Barton witnessed it. It's a right of passage for every one in this mission so that was kinda one of the highlights of this week.