Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014

Last e-mail of 2014 - he didn't have a lot to say since we just talked to him a few days ago, but he did send some pictures.

I'm doing really good and I pretty much knew that as soon as the Skype started that you and Syd would start crying (which we did!). On Christmas we went to breakfast at Gilardi's and dinner at the Lang's where I Skyped from. In between going to those two families we went out and did service with the sisters.  We went around caroling but it was mostly us walking around.  Then on Boxing Day we went over to another member's house and watched and episode of Doctor Who which was pretty fun and we watched How to Train Your Dragon 2. Then he took us up to Culzean Castle where we fed some reindeer.  There was one that we named Sven since we had just watched Frozen the night before at the Lang's and he would come to us whenever we would call "Sven" so that was fun. I don't know how big New Year's is over here so we will just have to wait and see.

We haven't met with Alistair again yet, but we will this week and he will be coming to church on Sunday. When we were out tracting yesterday, the new sister texted us saying "Can we borrow the deep fryer (we sent him a little mini deep fryer so he could make homemade fries which are his favorite . . .) because Sister Buhler wants crispy burritos." We told her they could if they would bake us a cake, so we will be getting a cake!

It has been really good around here but it is getting colder and there is frost everywhere, but I am doing really good now with all of the thermals and the sweater.  Love you!

Pictures of Culzean Castle - me on a cannon and a thistle that was on the base of the cannons.

Monday, December 22, 2014

December 22, 2014

We got a really short e-mail from Mason today, and he did send a few pictures. Here is what we got - 

The zone leaders came Saturday night and dropped all of the Christmas presents off.  I really like my new companion, Elder Scheuermann, and I'm keeping really warm right now actually. The excommunicated crazy guy I told you about last week we have to go back and see because he is trying to come back to the church. One of the appointments we had last week went really great. His name is Alister, he is about 19-20 years old, and is studying Gaelic which I think is really cool. Other than that not much else has been happening this week and I finally got my hair cut on Wednesday. 

We will be at a member family, the Langs, for dinner on Christmas and we will be skyping later in the day here so it will be earlier for you guys when we Skype. it will probably be between half 6 and 8 o'clock. we will be going to the Gilardi's for Christmas breakfast so we will be at two member homes on Christmas. 

They cut emailing time short today so this is all I have time to send. I will be skyping at 7 o'clock Scottish time (which is 12, noon our time).

I can't wait to talk to you guys  I brought my camera so I can send a few pictures today.  

This picture is from the mission choir - these were Mason's companions while they were on the choir tour and the one on the left his is his new companion, Elder Scheuermann.

This is a picture from St. Giles cathedral in Edinburgh.

Mason, Elder Lauricella, Elder Barton and Elder Stringer decorating the little Christmas tree we sent.

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014

We passed the 3-month mark since Mason left last week.  Other than being freezing cold he seems to be doing great!  So here is today's e-mail . . .

I am staying in Ayr. The moves (they call transfers "moves" in this mission) call was last night and my new companion is the tall skinny one from the Christmas choir picture I sent so that will be a lot of fun! (He sent the picture last week and I saw the picture when I checked the e-mail on my phone, but then when I got on the computer to put the picture on the blog it had disappeared - Mason didn't tell us his name but I think it is Elder Scheuermann and they were "temporary companions while they were on the choir tour a couple of weeks ago.) And Elder Barton (one of the boys that went to Cottonwood and has been in the area next to Mason) is getting moved to Edinburgh and Elder Campbell (the other boy that went to Cottonwood) is moving in his place. It is crazy half the district is changing - there are three companionships in the district and three of them are moving. One of the sisters from my group who is here and just finished her training is getting a new sister to train.

I have been wearing the thermals you sent every day!!! It is cold here I thought that once winter came I could just be like Elsa from Frozen and just go "the cold never bothered me anyway" but I was so wrong! The cold does bother me and the thermals are great thanks again for that. But this week the weather has been cold and windy and wet.

I decorated the Christmas tree with the ornaments you sent. Elders Barton and Stringer came up on Monday night and had a sleepover because we have district meetings on Tuesday mornings and we all decorated the tree.  I have pictures but left my bag and camera back at the flat.  But now that we know who will be here on Christmas we can start to really make plans. I don't know when the zone leaders will be bringing the Christmas packages it will probably be just a few days before Christmas or I think the earliest they will give them out is next Monday since they don't really trust us not to open the presents early. But opening the cards is my favorite part of the day (I sent Mason a bunch of Christmas cards from family and friends and there is one for him to open every day in December). I just opened the one signed by the guys from Cottonwood and that was awesome! Did you guys get them to sign it at Shrek (yes - Sydney did)? The cards are great.

This week has been pretty interesting we found two people we will be meeting with this week and one of them seems really solid so hopefully that will be good. But we tried by an excommunicated member who is trying to come back to Church and that guy has just completely fried his brain on drugs. He comes up with some weird story every time we are over there and this last time was the craziest. He thinks that the guy who lives above him is a murderer who cooks people alive with some kind of microwave device thing and that he got told be MI 5 to just keep harassing him to get him to confess. So while we were there he just kept yelling at the guy to go and confess - it's really crazy. Then there was a less active guy we have been trying to see for a while but just finally saw him this week. It started off normally saying that he got offended by someone and left and that we was going to go into the army and then it took a nose dive into crazy town. The guy thinks he is an angel who took over a human body as a vessel and that he didn't remember who he was until the archangel Gabriel came and unblocked his mind and he said he had been possessed by demons twice but managed to get in control again and he said he can hear and see angels and all this other stuff like that he has died several times but God has kept bringing him back so that was the weirdest thing of my life and we are never going back to that guy again!!!!!!!! So yea, interesting stuff.

I can't wait to talk to you on Christmas love you guys!

Here is the short message he sent to Dru - 

Hey Dad so moves call was last night and I'll be staying in Ayr but my trainer is moving so now we can really plan what we will be doing for Christmas, so next week we should have the details for you guys. I feel lucky that I haven't died from hypothermia yet that is with the thermals that mom sent me my white shirt the black sweater both layers of the coat my hat and gloves so its pretty cold here. The Christmas concert was tons of fun and I can't wait until Christmas. It is crazy that it is less than a fortnight away and if you are wondering . . . yes everyone here still says fortnight. 

And dad something else really quick you guys are not allowed to watch the 3rd Hobbit movie until September 2016!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014

So, here is Mason's e-mail for this week, but before you read the e-mail I need to give a little background information.  I have a first cousin, Debbie, who lived and worked as a nurse in Scotland for several years. She now lives in Idaho, but she is back in Scotland for a vist right now.  She posted on Facebook last week that she was at the airport waiting for her flight to the UK.  I just commented on her post that if she made it to Ayr she should look for the missionaries because that is where Mason is serving.  One of her friends, from Scotland, mentioned me in a comment and asked me if my son was in Scotland with the Church of Latter-day Saints/Mormons.  I commented back that he was and she said she was visiting her brother who lived in Ayr (she lives in another town not too far away) and he invited two young men that were in the neighborhood to come in forand have lunch with them while she was there visiting.  She ended up looking at pictures on my Facebook page and said it was Mason who she had lunch with - they fed them stovies (some kind of potato/meat stew) and bread.  She said they were members of the Church of Scotland but they had enjoyed visiting with the two nice young men from another faith. It is such a small world and it is crazy that we were able to make that connection with just a few comments on my cousin's Facebook post.  Debbie was in Ayr, but she was there while Mason was traveling around Scotland with the mission choir.

So with all of that, here is Mason's e-mail that we got today!

(I told him the whole story about my cousin's friend and asked him that sounded familiar.)  I do remember - that is so flipping crazy and the thing is we didn't even knock on their door. The brother was outside or something and we were on the other side of the street and he yelled "hey boys" and told us to come inside and have some lunch. (I asked him about the stovies . . .) Stovies is a kind of I guess Scottish soup it has bits of sausage and it is really hearty - it filled me up really quick. So that is the craziest thing of my life.

So the mission choir was so much fun but all of us were ready to die by the end. Some guys could barely speak by day two or three of performing.  We went to Glasgow, Paisley, Dundee, Aberdeen and Edinburgh so that was really fun. We really didn't have any time to do any sightseeing because every morning we had to be back on the bus by 9:30, travel, then perform at a mall then pass out flyers for the performance that night and eat lunch. Then we would go right on over to the stake centers for practice and dinner. I took quite a few pictures and there is a big photo pool going on so when that is all up and ready I'll send you more pictures. One elder filmed the Edinburgh performance so once they have it all edited they might post it on Facebook or just give the missionaries a copy. So I'll tell you lots more on the skype on Christmas.

(I told Mason that I had done something for the missionaries in our ward so that hopefully there would be people in Scotland doing nice things for him). You don't need to worry about people doing nice things for me because we have the Gilardi's! One of the sisters here mentioned that she had a hole in one of her shoes one night at dinner with them and they went out and bought her a really nice pair of boots and then said if any of us needed new shoes to come and talk to them. So that is the kind of people they are.

And with the concert, one more cool thing was that I got to see a lot of people from my MTC group. In fact a lot of the sisters in the concert are from my group so it was cool to see everyone again.  Love you guys and I can't wait till Christmas.  

And he sent a few pictures -

For the afternoon performance in Glasgow we performed at a museum and so I beelined it for the arms and armor. These are some really cool old swords and some armor.



Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014

We actually got an e-mail from Mason yesterday (Sunday) because he is at the mission home.  But, he also got to check his e-mail today (Monday) so he got our e-mails.  His e-mail was actually a little longer than this, but he was asking us to put some music on an old iPod nano he has to send to him.  He said the mission rule is that they can listen to "uplifting" music so he wanted some music from musicals that he thought would be "uplifting" so most of his e-mail was just a list of songs that he wanted on the iPod and I didn't include all of that here. So this is a combination of what we got yesterday and today.  Not a lot of information, but hopefully next week he will write about his week on the "mission choir tour" and send some pictures.

Hi Mom - They're are letting some of us email today because we are at the mission home because it is the week of the Christmas concert, but I should be able to email tomorrow as well. I got the tree yesterday (I sent him a little Christmas tree from, thanks. So this week we really haven't done a whole lot that is really exciting, We went on exchanges with Elder Barton and Elder Stringer and we had zone interview training on Thursday but other then that there really hasn't been a whole lot. Me and three other elders from the zone (my companion isn't in the Christmas choir) took a train up here to Edinburgh on Saturday and had practice then today we had sacrament meeting in the mission home and now it is all going to be music practice today so hopefully I won't lose my voice. We will have a show every day starting Tuesday then we will also be performing in shopping centers so it will be a lot of fun. The most fun thing we did this week though was on Monday we went to a castle. I got some pictures I'll  send them to you when I can. And, I'll have a lot of pictures to send to you guys next week after the concert. Love you guys and I can't wait for Christmas so I can talk to you.