Monday, December 21, 2015

December 21, 2015

Here is the very short e-mail we got from Mason today - they had a short P-day today, I guess because of Christmas this week.

Elder Johnson was sick from Tuesday to Friday, so nothing really happened. We went to the ward Christmas party Friday night and that was pretty fun. The Ewarts came and had a really good time, their kids loved it. They would have been to church on Sunday but Irene had a performance at the other church so they weren't able to come.

Saturday we helped a member's sister move into the ward, and that was pretty much what we did all day after service at British Heart.  

Sunday church was really good - it was a big Christmas themed sacrament meeting. After church we went to the old bishop's house for lunch and that is about it. Sorry this hasn't been a very exciting week. We haven't seen William and Shannon this week since William has been away doing a roofing job in Glasgow but hopefully we will see them sometime this week. Love you and can't wait to Skype on Christmas. 

He did send some pictures with the Christmas tree they have in their flat. The tree was already there so I just sent some decorations from Amazon UK. The first one is a little blurry but the second one is better.

Monday, December 14, 2015

December 14, 2015

Here is the e-mail we got today -

I am staying in Montrose, I think only abut 9 people got moved this moves call.

Well this week on Tuesday we went out to a small town called Letham after lunch, we did a few hours of tracting but nothing to much happened than we came back and had dinner.

Wednesday we mainly did some GQing on the high street then after dinner we had to go to Dundee and spent the night with the district leader. That was pretty fun. Elder Johnson and Elder Benton are both really into this card game called Magic the Gathering. Elder Lauricella showed me how to play, and Elder Johnson and I have been playing with me just using some of his cards. So we played that for a while. 

Thursday we had to get up at 5 am to get our train to Edinburgh. We had an all Scotland conference since the area president was touring the mission. We arrived at the Edinburgh stake center about 9:30 so it took us a little while to get there. But the conference was great - Elder Kearon was really good and really funny. I didn't expect so much joking and laughing it was really good. I also got to talk with the sisters who are in Glasgow. It was fun to talk to them about the Austins and they said they are doing really well. When I starting talking to them they just said "the Austins love you so much" so it was good to hear how they are doing.  I also saw one of the sisters in my group who I haven't seen since the Christmas Concert last year and she said "just in case I don't see you again before I leave I will see you on Facebook." Things are getting real - the sisters in my group only have two moves left before they go home - it is crazy how fast it is going. But then after we got on the train and went back to Montrose. We finally got back to the flat at about 8:20 so it was a long day.  

Friday Elder Johnson wasn't feeling well so we didn't do too much except for seeing a less active in the afternoon, then we went and saw the Ewarts in the evening. That was really good.  A member who came with us, sister Maxton, is really good and is friends with the Ewarts. But we got on the subject of blessings and Sister Maxton said she felt like the Ewarts should have a blessing so before we left I gave blessings of guidance to Irene and Allen. The spirit was so strong there it was so great. So we should be able to get them with a baptism date here soon. 

Saturday we were having the zone caroling activity I was one of the missionaries out finding, and they said they would rotate between singing and finding but they never did - oh well. But they got some members to help since there are so few sisters and one of the members wasn't very good and she was the loudest so it wasn't the nicest sounding choir by far. After that we got lunch with some other Elders at KFC then since we had an hour until our bus we went and looked around in the mall and one shop then right back to the bus for Montrose. That was pretty much that day.

Sunday after church we went to the old bishop's house for lunch then after, since Elder Johnson still isn't feeling the best, we went back to the flat and waited for moves call. 

That was our week. Man only 11 more days till Christmas - I can't wait to Skype. Love and miss you guys.
In this picture Mason is standing in front of a statue called the Declaration of Arbroath - this is one of the most famous documents in Scottish history and was written in 1320. It asserted Scottish independence and was written at the Arbroath abbey.

Monday, December 7, 2015

December 7, 2015

Here is the e-mail we got from Mason today - 3 more days and we are at 15 months down! 
This week has been okay. Nothing really too exciting happened this week. We saw William and Shannon twice but the first one wasn't really a lesson since they just ranted about some things for an hour and a half. Then when we saw them on Saturday we watched On the Lords Errand, the movie about Pres. Monson. After the video they said that they don't believe there are prophets anymore; so we are going to need to talk to them about that. We had a joint district meeting and after that for district lunch we ordered Dominos and had a pizza party which was really fun. 

The lesson with the Newtons went really well they were open to tithing after the bishop and us explained it to them. But they still didn't come to church on Sunday, and we just got a text from them this morning saying that they are going to be really busy these next few weeks so they won't have time for us to come over until the new year. 

The Ewarts we weren't able to see this week because their oldest son had a ballet thing Friday night so we will be seeing them on Thursday this week

The big thing that happened this week was that we got a new bishop here in Montrose. The new bishop's name is Jeff Dibdin he is really cool! He had us over for dinner at his house this week and we kind of made planes to come over most likely for new years, he is really cool and fun. 

Other then that not much else happened sorry this email is pretty short. Love and miss you. 
These are pictures from the district meeting/pizza party - 

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

November 30, 2015

So for this week on Tuesday we had district meeting and after getting back to Montrose I got a haircut since the barber shops are closed on Monday. Then we went and saw William and Shannon we did a bit of a review of what we had taught them and they did pretty good. And that finished off Tuesday. 
Wednesday we pretty much did finding all day until dinner, and then we went and saw the Newtons. It was a good lesson and we learned that their big concern is tithing. So we will be teaching that this week with Bishop, so that should be good. 
Thursday, because of our English district leader's disrespect for American holidays, we went on exchanges so one of three full American teams in the zone was split up for Thanksgiving. I was down in Dundee and we did have a meal appointment with a recent convert, a college student from Germany, she made us lasagna and brownies for dessert. It was really good, but nothing like what Elders Johnson and Benton got at the Bishop's. 
Friday we exchanged back and then it was finding until we went to the Ewarts. We watched Elder Holland's testimony of the Book of Mormon with them. They really liked it, then we got talking a bit more and then Irene told us about her belief in past lives so we will need to talk about that one. But it went pretty well.

Saturday we did weekly planning then we went to see William and Shannon again but they weren't in so we just did some more finding but it was cold and not many people were out.

Sunday after church it was munch and mingle so that was fun and we left with a lot of food. Then we did some finding and then we purged the phone. That is were you call all the potentials in the phone and see which ones actually want to meet up, nothing from that and then we had dinner. So not the most eventful week.
 It is so crazy that Christmas is already coming up its coming so fast. It will be good to Skype again, for the second to last time. Love and miss you. 

Mason's companion sent some pictures home and his mom put them on Facebook so I "borrowed" them.

Monday, November 23, 2015

November 23, 2015

Here is today's e-mail from Mason - 

This has been a pretty good week. Tuesday we had Zone conference nothing really big there so that was all of Tuesday.

Wednesday we had a meeting with the ward mission leader in the morning. Then we went out to Arbroath and did some finding there. Then we went back for dinner and then taught the Newtons with brother Glanville which was really good. We taught the Word of Wisdom and Bro. Glanville is an ex-navy nurse so he knew a lot about that kind of stuff.

Thursday we went on exchanges. Our district leader came up here with me and Elder Johnson went down to Dundee, Our new district leader is Elder Benton from my MTC district so that was really cool. We mainly did finding in Arbroath and talked to some cool people but they all dodged the appointments we set up with them. Then we went to the Glanville's for dinner.

Friday after exchanging back I don't really remember what we did but at 6 we went to a quiz night the ward was having. William came with us, but Shannon was down in Glasgow so she couldn't come. But it was really fun our team was me and Elder Johnson, Bishop, and William and we came in dead last. But William still had a really fun time.

Saturday we went and saw a member out in a little place called Forfar she likes to be called Grandma and it was really fun. She gave us lunch then pulled out all this tartan scrap she had and told us to pick out a tartan and she would make us scripture covers so we will be going back this week so I can give her my scriptures. Then we did some service at British Heart and then we did some weekly planning since we had exchanges on Thursday.

Sunday we had stake conference it was pretty cool. President Brown (Mason's first mission president) was there since it’s his home stake so I got to talk with him for a bit which was really nice. Then after we got back and had lunch we went to Arbroath and did a wee bit of finding. So that was our week.

Christmas is coming up really fast I can't wait to Skype - second to last one. Love and miss you guys.

Here are a couple of pictures he uploaded for us this week - 

Monday, November 16, 2015

November 16, 2015

Here is the e-mail we got today - 

So not much has happened this week. Elder Kemp got moved so Tuesday was really just packing. Then that night we went to Dundee and he continued on to Edinburgh and I stayed over night with the Zone leader and a few other missionaries. Then Wednesday morning we went to the train station and waited for about 2-3 hours for the missionaries to get in. Then me and my new companion, Elder Johnson, got a train to Montrose and then just chilled the rest of the day and he unpacked. Elder Johnson is from Grantsville "the hick town".

Thursday we went and saw William and Shannon who are doing pretty good. Then just some finding. Friday and Saturday were also just finding days so nothing to exciting this week. 

We did see the Newtons and the Ewarts this week. The Ewarts are doing great - they just need to get things all sorted out with her job before they get baptized.

Sunday at church everyone was surprised that Elder Kemp was gone since he was only here one move. But after church was some more finding.

So this move is a 5 week move they sent a moves calendar out to every one. Elder Johnson only has two moves left so if I don't get moved just before Christmas I may be spending six months here in Montrose.

But that's it for this week love and miss you.

Just a side note - I found Elder Johnson's mom on the Scotland/Ireland Mission Facebook page and her maiden name is Tippets and she is from Hooper. Dru said he had a companion named Jeff Tippets from Hooper and we had Mason ask Elder Johnson and Dru's companion from his mission is Mason's new companion's uncle - small world!!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

November 9, 2015

Here is Mason's e-mail for this week - and I just realized today is November 10 which means Mason has been gone 14 months today - only 10 more months to go (actually a little less)!!!

Moves call was last night and I am staying, and Elder Kemp is moving to Northern Ireland. My new companion's name is Elder Johnson who only has 2 moves left. The Hayballs left last week and just about gave us their whole kitchen. We got a new set of plates and bowls, silverware, and a rug and coffee table. Their car is gone no one is getting it so it is one of the 9 cars the mission is losing. 

So this week on Tuesday after district meeting we went and saw Fred, then we went and helped the Hayballs move their stuff out and over to our flat. Then we had dinner. 

Wednesday we went and saw William and Shannon, we started to do the stop smoking program with them. They are doing pretty well and it will be fun to keep teaching them. Then in the evening we had a lesson with the Newtons. We taught them about keeping the Sabbath day holy and it seemed to go pretty well, but they still didn't come to church. 

Thursday we saw Fred at the church and watched On the Lord's Errand,  the movie about Pres. Monson, then we taught a guy we met on the street named Simon who was pretty nice. We gave him a church tour and taught the Restoration so that went pretty well. Then since it was Bonfire night (Guy Fawkes night) we had to be in our flat by 5 unless we had an appointment we could get driven to and from. But we went to the Glanville's for dinner since they live just across the street from us. That was really fun we stayed there from 5:30 to 9 and we are going over tonight since Elder Kemp is moving. 

Friday we went and saw William and Shannon, they were at Shannon's parent's house so we went over there. Then we had another lesson with a guy we meet on the street named Adrian who we will probably not be going to see again.  Then we went to the Ewart's and had a really good Word of Wisdom lesson with them. They weren't able to make it to church this week cause Irene had a work meeting at the Cathedral she is employed with. Then it was back to the flat. 

Saturday we did service at the British Heart and I found a pretty cool laptop bag which I bought and will use when I come home. Then we went to Fred's and then did some finding the rest of the day. 

Sunday after church we had to hang around because the Hayball's couches were being brought from their flat since the ward bought them so we hung around to help get them into the church. Then we went and had lunch with Bishop and his wife and we ended up staying till almost 6. Then bishop gave us a lift to the flat where we dropped off our church stuff and got moves call. Then Elder Kemp spent the rest of the night packing. So that is what happened this week. Love and miss you guys. 

Monday, November 2, 2015

November 2, 2015

Mason's e-mail from today - 
So this week everything kinda fell through. Tuesday at district meeting we got a call from President and he said he couldn't let me go to the Austin's baptism since it would open up a whole can of worms of missionaries wanting to go all over the mission for baptisms. The Austins still got baptized and I talked to them on the phone for a little while. They were saying how they want me to move down to Glasgow ward. And we didn't go to the mission home because the Whites cancelled. 
Tuesday we had a lesson with the Newtons. Luke Glanville and his wife Eden came and it was really good. We talked quite a bit on scripture study and how the Book of Mormon answers questions of the soul. So it went really good. Luke is the Elders quorum President and is a really good teacher.

Not much really happened this week. On Wednesday we had a lesson with the Ewarts who are really cool. Irene, the mom, is employed by the cathedral by where they live and that is really the only thing stopping them from joining the church. So they are doing really well.

Friday was the ward Halloween party. We had a Trunk-or-Treat as well. Inside the church we also had some fun Halloween games. The Ewarts came and really had fun. During the actual Trunk-or-Treating me and Elder Kemp were manning the Hayball's car.

Saturday not much happened. We went and saw Fred. But other then that not much happened, and we were in the flat at 6 had dinner and weekly planned so that was our exciting Halloween.

Sunday after church we went and had lunch at the bishop's with the Hayballs. Then we went back to the Hayball's flat to help them close it down and we are getting quite a bit of stuff from them. Last night we got a rug for our living room and a whole bunch of food stuff so that was really nice. Then we went with the Hayballs as they said good-bye to some of the members. But there will be a big going away party for them tonight at the church so that should be fun,

Anyway that is all for this week. Love and miss you guys so much. 
Here is another picture Mason sent - he must be in the town center of Montrose.

Monday, October 26, 2015

October 26, 2015

Here is today's e-mail - 

Hey so this week has been kinda crazy.  Tuesday we had Zone Interview Training which was really good. That took up pretty much the whole day. It was at the Dundee stake center so it was about an hour bus ride. 

Wednesday we had a meeting with our ward mission leader in the morning. Then we went out to Brechin again to do some finding. Then we went to the Newton's who the sisters were working with and we had a really good lesson so Wednesday was really good.

Thursday after weekly planing we went to Fred nothing new there, but then we went to the Glanvilles for dinner which as always is super fun.

Friday the big thing we did was we went and met a family that the sisters were teaching, the Ewarts. The Dad is Scottish and the Mom is Russian but they are really cool. The member we brought with us, Sister Maxton, is good friends with them and even after we left at 8:00 she stayed and talked with them till 10:30 and they are really good. They even came to church on Sunday and the whole ward was talking to them so they are doing really good.

Saturday we did service at the British Heart charity shop were they had a nice pair of boots just my size - and the best part - brand new. So I got a nice pair of boots for under £20. Then we went to Fred's and for two hours helped clean his flat with the Hayballs. Then the Hayballs took us to their flat and we had dinner with them since they are trying to get rid of all the food they still have. Then they gave us a lift back to the flat.

Sunday church was really good, it was the primary program and the kids did pretty good. After church there was a munch and mingle so the Ewarts got to meet the whole ward. But the best part of the week happened after church I got a call from the Austins (the family he taught in Cumbernauld last winter/spring)! They called to invite me to their baptism and asked if I would baptize two of them and Elder Rogers would baptize the other two. So I called President Donaldson to see if I could and he said he would see. They are getting baptized Saturday morning and me and Elder Kemp will be at the mission home Friday night for dinner. President Donaldson invited one family that we are teaching, the White family, to dinner with him, so hopefully I will be able to just go to Glasgow from the mission home! Hopefully I will have some picture of the baptism to send to you next week!

Love and miss you!

Monday, October 19, 2015

October 19, 2015

Here is the e-mail we got from Mason today -   
This week was pretty good.So Tuesday we had district meeting in Dundee then I went on exchanges with our,district leader's companion who wasn't feeling good so it was a flat day. Except for Tuesday night cause Fred had his baptismal interview in Dundee with Pres. Donaldson. Fred won't be getting baptized really anytime soon. 
Wednesday after exchanges we went and saw Fred again, then I don't really remember what we did - most likely just finding. 
Thursday we made a progress record for the people we are working with. Then it was out to Arbroath to see Fred. After that we went to meet a girl that Elder Kemp and our district leader talked to on exchanges but she gave them a false address. Then we had dinner at the Glanville's which is always fun. After that was ward council. That was Thursday.

Friday we spent most of our day in a town called Brechin we just did some finding and also met an older couple that the sisters were teaching. They are pretty cool and solid so teaching them will be nice. And that was really the noteworthy stuff for Friday.

Saturday we did service at British Heart then back out to Brechin to meet with someone we talked to the day before but he was busy when we came by so nothing happened there. We also saw Fred again.
Sunday after church we had lunch with the Bishop and his wife and the Hayballs and their daughter and granddaughter, that was really fun. The Hayball's daughter is so funny. Then we went and saw this one less active member who I think I told you about last week. That was really good we shared the Mormon messages bearing your burdens with hope. It went really well, then it was back to the flat for dinner and that was our week. Love you.
The Hayball's daughter from California was visiting her parents before they leave to go home. She took a picture of Mason and his companion and sent me a text yesterday with the picture.

Monday, October 12, 2015

October 12, 2015

Mason has been gone 13 months (and 2 days) now - here is the e-mail we got today -

We are starting to figure things out here in Montrose. There are a few investigators left from the sisters that were here before us and we have started working with a few of them. Things have been kinda busy and the days go by really fast.
So this week on Tuesday we had a zone meeting it wasn't anything big that President came to. The Zone Leaders want us to commit at least one person a day to baptism which is pretty crazy. But after that the Hayballs took us to KFC for lunch, then they took us to meet a member of the ward who has some kind of cancer. Then we went to a member's house for dinner. The Rollo's they are really cool and the husband does falconry so he has some falcons and even an owl which is really cool. It took a while to get there since they are in the middle of nowhere. 
Wednesday we pretty much spent the whole day with the Hayballs. They where putting together a packet with some flyers from the ward and a DVD to give to less active and part member families. Then we went and delivered a few of them. Then we went back to the Hayball's flat and had a late lunch with them. Then we went and did a bit of finding, but nobody was out cause it was raining. Then it was back to the Hayball's for ice cream with some kids from a part member family. Then we went and saw some of the investigators that the sisters where teaching, the Newtons. 
Thursday the Zone Leaders came and blitzed our area. I was with Elder Ilori the elder who trained Elder Campbell. That day was crazy. We went and saw another investigator that the sisters had, a man named Fred. Then we did a lot of finding in the small city centre and Elder Ilori is crazy - he made so many appointments with people who didn't keep them so we had to sort that out later. Then we went to the Glanville's for dinner - that is kinda the highlight of the week. They are just so funny. Then after that we had some time so we decided to do some finding and we met this young couple and ended up going to their house and teaching them. They are pretty cool - they both from traveller backgrounds and they said they would come to church but they didn't so not too sure how solid they are but we will see. 
Friday nothing to exciting - we had to do weekly planning since the Zone Leaders came on Thursday. We met with Fred again, and the sisters had him scheduled for baptism this Saturday so we are trying to get him ready for that. Other than that not too much happened on Friday. 
Saturday we did service at British Heart in the morning. We then went and saw Fred again. We then went to the church and started making his baptismal program. And that was pretty much it.

Sunday after church we went to the bishop's house for a late lunch. The Bishop and his wife just got back from a trip to the temple and they got some root beer from an LDS book store right by the temple so they gave us two cans, I was loving that. Then we had a less active who wants to start coming back to church call us out of the blue so we went and saw him and that was it. 

So this week has been a bit crazy. Love and miss you guys so much. 

Monday, October 5, 2015

October 5, 2015

Mason is now back in Scotland in the Montrose ward - here is the e-mail we got today.

Hey Mom things are going good over here so far.  Montrose is a little like Ayr but much much much smaller. But coming over on the ferry was pretty much the same as last time. Getting up here was a bit of a hassle since we had to go to Edinburgh then catch a train, then get off of that train in Dundee cause there was a train derailed so we got a bus to the next train stop and got on a train to Montrose, but the flat is pretty close to the train station so it wasn't too bad. But we did drive through Ayr on the bus and me and Elder Cragie who also served there were just like "I still remember how to get around here." It felt weird to be back in Ayr.
So anyway on Thursday we unpacked and did some shopping and just got settled in. We also met the bishop and his wife, they are really nice. Then we had dinner with the Glanville family who live just across the street from us. They are so funny and crazy like each of them are AT LEAST as crazy as Bryn. So it's going to be really fun having dinner with them every Thursday. 
Friday the senior couple up here gave us a tour of the area. They will be going home in a month so they are going to try and talk Pres. Donaldson into letting us keep the car which would be really nice. Pres. Donaldson is also really fond of the area cause this is were he was trained when he first was a missionary.  

Saturday not much happened but then we got a lift from the senior couple, the Hayballs, to the Dundee stake center for conference. They showed the Saturday morning session, then we stayed the night with the zone leaders. Then Sunday was all conference with the Priesthood session in the morning then the Saturday afternoon, then Sunday morning. My favorite talk was Pres. Uchtdorf's Priesthood session. Then the Hayballs took us back to the flat. So its been a bit of a crazy week. Love and miss you guys.  

I "borrowed" this picture from Elder Kinville's blog - this was while they were traveling to Edinburgh. I will miss his pictures since Mason hasn't been great about taking and/or uploading a lot of pictures lately.

As usual I did a street view of his new flat address and here is a picture - it is the first black door (on the right).

Monday, September 28, 2015

September 28, 2015

After only 6 weeks in Dublin, Mason is headed back to Scotland - here is the e-mail we got today with the details. 

Hey so first off the reason there wasn't much info about moves on Facebook is because the APs sent out a text telling everyone not to tell members where they are getting moved to so they can't put it on Facebook. (Usually we find out about transfers as soon as the missionaries get moves calls because the church members in the mission post it on the mission Facebook page. I told Mason there wasn't a lot of news about moves on the Facebook page so I guess that is why!) But me and Elder Kinville are moving! I was really surprised to hear that. I'm whitewashing into the Montrose Ward in Scotland; I might see Pres. Brown (his first mission president) since that ward is in his stake. My new companion is going to be Elder Kemp. We were companions for a day when Elder Carter went home and I had to go back and pack to leave Inverness. He is cool, and I am kinda happy to be going back to Scotland. But it will be crazy since we are whitewashing into an area so we are going to need to figure out everything when we get there. It’s going to be crazy this next week or two.

But as for this week, Tuesday, after district meeting we went on exchanges, and I was up here with Elder Stoker. We went and saw a recent convert from one of the past sets of missionaries, then it was lots of finding and we were able to talk to some pretty cool people.

Wednesday we did our weekly planning a day early after exchanging back. We did go to Pizza Hut one last time. Then we went to the church to prepare a presentation about the church we were going to give at Trinity College. That took up the rest of the day.

Thursday all I can really remember is that we worked out with Marcin which was really fun. He had us do the Zuu test which you need to pass to become a Zuu instructor and we did fairly well. It's ten minutes of non-stop workouts and every minute you have to do a certain amount and then switch to the next workout even if you haven't finished the other one.

Friday we had Reynaldo come and follow us around all day which was pretty fun. He bought us KFC for lunch. We taught a lesson with him to a guy named Ozzy - a Brazilian born again. It went pretty well. He just has a lot of questions and things that need to get cleared up. Then we went and did some finding in St. Stephens Green but we were told by one of the officers there that we can't approach people in the park and that was our prime finding place. So after that me and Elder Kinville went and got gelato at this one really good place in City Centre.

Saturday we had to do some more work on the presentation in the morning. Then in the afternoon we did a zone blitz in Dublin just outside our area which was crazy. So one of the reasons it was so crazy was right as we were setting up, a protest for abortion came right down the other side of the street. Also a bunch of crazy people. We couldn't stay for too long cause we had a lesson to teach with a Brazilian girl, Nubia. But we came back just as it ended, and some of us went out for dinner. We went to this one American diner called Eddie Rockets which is really good.

Sunday after church nothing much really happened other then we went and saw Marcin and had a lesson with his family which was pretty good we mainly talked about family with him. Then we went back to the flat and played Disney monopoly as we were waiting for moves call.

Then so far today, we went and saw Marcin at 6:30 this morning which was really good. He was sad to hear that we are both leaving.

So the rest of the week will be taken up with packing and getting to my new area. 

Love and miss you guys.

This is a picture Mason sent from their last Pizza Hut buffet - I am guessing these are supposed to be their "sad" faces that Pizza Hut is closing!

Mason is moving to Montrose, Scotland. It is about 60 miles north (and a little east) of Edinburgh and it is right on the east coast of Scotland. Wikipedia says Montrose is a "coastal resort town" and it actually sounds a little like his first area in Ayr - just on the other side of Scotland.

This is a picture of Montrose (thanks to Google images) - 

And here is my Google street view picture of the church in Montrose