Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 7

Hey family and friends!

This week was one to remember. So many good things and also a few bad. But that is mission life. To start off I am doing great. I've lost all the weight I put on at the MTC. I am currently 156 lbs.

Transfers are also this next week. Sunday. I hope I stay here with Elder Yang in Dundee. Thank you Bailey, Mom, and Dad for your letters that your wrote me. It means a lot to me.

My week:
Monday: Monday was a good day. We were able to do all the usual things on a p-day but Elder Charlesworth, Elder Yang and I were able to go play some footy and American football at a field not too far from our flat. It was so fun! The grass was wet so we were slipping all over the place. So much fun. We then had tea and after that went and taught D*** and C**** and S**.

Tuesday: Awesome day. We had zone meeting. This was great day because President Donaldson came and talked to the Dundee zone. We read from Ether about the brother of Jared and Jared. President Donalson is a very wise and powerful speaker. He told us the goal for the Dundee zone in the coming month. We are to baptize 20 this month. I can't really describe what went on other than that the spirit was strong. We also did a lot of GQ.

Wednesday: Alright day. We had 6 lessons booked for the day but only 2 happened. All of the others fell through. We did have 2 tea appointments!! We have Elder Charlesworth with us so we have a lot of tea appointments in both Dundee wards.

Thursday: Another day we had 6 lessons and only two happened. We were able to teach S**** and R***. This was the best night of the week I'll explain later. We also had a tea appointment with Brother Thompson in our ward. He collects Nike, Adidas, Jordan, and Trainers all the way back from the 70's. He has a closet just full of shoes. I thought I was in the Celestial Kingdom! Our new ward Bishopric was called right as I arrived here. They are so amazing! our Bishop, Bishop Grant, is like 32 years old. We get on really well. We were able to teach with him last night. It was great!

Friday: We taught some lessons. Had a lunch appointment and one tea appointment. We taught a Chinese man, M***, who is a recent convert. He is my absolute favourite. He calls me "Baby" because I am only 18 years old. I love him.

Saturday: Great day! We were able to witness another a baptism. Colleen =) It was so good. We went to Nandos after the baptism. Nandos is a local restaurant. After that we were scheduled to teach some lessons that ended up not showing.. We were also to teach R*** again! This was the best part of the week. We taught a man by the nam of E*****, who I have never talked about, but will later.

Sunday: Worst day of the week, I'm sorry but it was. Sunday we were fasting for a lot of things. We woke up and received a text from S**. He texted us saying he couldn't come to church. I was scheduled to confirm him. This isin't like S**. I can't explain why he didn't come to church. We taught and GQ after that.

On to our investigators.

R*** hasn't been to excited about his baptism on the 5th. We met with him on Thursday. We taught a great lesson on Family History and Service. R*** has been taught everything. The spirit was so strong. He told us afterwards that he was so excited to be baptized!!! Ah SO GOOD. He is scheudled to be baptized on the 12th. I hope I am still here for that. He was at church yesterday.

D*** and C**** are also doing good. We were not able to meet with therm for a long time. We are taking it slow and hoping they have the same desire as they did before to get baptized. We are still meeting with them.

S*** came to church again. 4 weeks in a row! He was supposed to be baptized on the 5th but we have pushed that back to the 19th. He feels he needs more time =) which is good.

C***** has been very busy with UNI this week. He is still doing good. We will meet with him more after his exams.

E***** is from Germany. He moved to Scotland a long time ago. He originally was catholic but converted to Islamic like a year ago. He is now scheduled to be baptized on the 5th. He is so awesome. He lives in Arbroath but works and goes to UNI in Dundee. The only problem with E***** is that he struggles to come to church because of his work. He wants to get baptized in our ward because he likes it better here. He has talked to the Stake President and Bishop and as it looks like right now he will be baptized next week.

Thank you for all the prayers and e-mails. Oh and Happy Halloween! I have the rest of the day off now! We can't be in the streets on Halloween past 6:00. The past two nights have been crazy here. People love to spit alcohol on us lol. I'ts all good.

Much love - Elder Gowans



Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 6

Family and Friends!!

What a week of joy and hardship! the joy being S** got Baptized Yesterday!!!!! The hardship being it was just a really rough week haha.

Why it was so hard this past week. Nothing was going our way and all of our lessons kept getting dropped. Everything that happened went wrong. It was just a hard week. There were so many good things that happened as well!

The first one I will talk about is what happened on Saturday. Saturday we went on exchanges with the district leader. That meant I was able to go to work in St. Andrews!! Holy cow that place is so awesome! The people are all so nice and it is just a beautiful area and landscape. It is just awesome. I went with Elder Gunderson and Elder Charlesworth. It was probably the funniest day so far on my mission. We worked hard and pretty much GQ all day. I was having so much fun with them. We also went to a chippy shop there named Tailend. Wow it was soooooo goooood! The people in St. Andrews actually talk to you! Where as in Dundee people yell at you and spit at you, and do other things to you but its all good.

Second thing I loved about this past week was our tea appointments. The first was with a lady and her daughter. They lived in Argentina for 16 years so she knows Spanish! She is a member and had us over for tea. She also had her auntie there and she did not speak any English. I guess the two years of Spanish I took actually came in handy. I was able to talk really well with them in Spanish and actually explained so much that the auntie could understand! I thought that was awesome.

Third, we had another dinner appointment with a less active lady. She is so funny. She had the hardest accent to understand. When people have a deep Scottish accent you have a hard time understanding them. At the end of the meal she had made some custard!!! It was so good! It reminded me of home and dad making us all custard. So that was also great!

Fourth. The two seventeen year old girls we have been teaching us texted us and said that there parents are allowing them do what they want in regards to the church!!!! They left for October holidays but when they return home we will be able to teach them. Hopefully we can still get them ready for the 5th of November!!! So awesome!

Last but not least. Yesterday was the best day of my mission so far! S** got baptized!!!!!  =) Ah it was so amazing. The spirit at his baptism was unexplainable. I was filled with joy and even though our week had not been good it was all worth the wait. Honestly, I wish I could feel like that everyday. It truly was an experience I will never forget.

At the Baptism our two seventeen year olds also attended to watch how it goes. Our other investigator, R***, attended as well. They all loved it. They said that it felt so good. R*** has been really dodgy with us this past week. We actually didn't get to meet with him. So when he came to the baptism we were happy. He said he was really excited for his own. He said he felt more comfortable with it. Awe it was so good! So many miracles are happening to us right now.

D*** and C**** are the 17 year olds. The loved the baptism as well. Our other two Chinese guys are progressing really well. S*** and C*****! They both came to church and liked it. They can't really understand very much. Me and Elder Yang both explained very simply what was being said. I am also learning a lot of Chinese! Well I try. But yeah we are doing good!

1 Baptized
0 Confirmed ( next week at church Sam will get confirmed)
5 with a baptismal date
3 at church
1 new investigator 
13 lessons taught

We are going to work even harder this week to increase those numbers! =)

Halloween is coming up and apparently in Scotland we have to be back in our flat by 1:00 because of what goes down on that day... Oh! Guy Faux night is on November 5th. We celebrate that day too! lol. Dundee is great place but it can also be a really sketchy place at night.

Yesterday we had a dinner appointment with a member in the Liff ward. Elder Charlesworth's area. She lives on a farmland above the city of Dundee. The beautiful view we had of Dundee was for miles! So pretty.

Anyway, I love you guys and miss you all a lot, thank you for the e-mails, it means a lot.


Love Elder Gowans



Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 5

Another good week! ill just start off with last week.

Monday: didn't do anything really that special just your average P day. E mailed, Shopped, And cleaned and then at 6 we taught lessons till 9.

Tuesday: Tuesday was a good day! I was able to go on exchanges with one of our zone leaders, Elder Calton form Lehi Utah. I learned a lot from him and we taught some of his investigators and GQ for a while. I also met this guy from Manchester at this Cottage evening. It is just something the wards do here where the missionaries come over and play games and then share a message. I met this guy Jamie Roper from Manchester. He is the ward mission leader in the Lochee ward. He said he grew up in the Manchester south ward. He told me that Dad might know these last names. Robinson, Cook, and Pickington. Hopefully you do that would be cool.

Wednesday: Wednesday was a good day as well we were able to teach a lot of lessons and get some good finding hours in.

Thursday: Thursday was such a good day! We travelled to Edinburgh to go to the Mission conference! All missionaries in Scotland came. It was so good. We got to bear incoming testimonies and those leaving give departure testimonies. Then we had workshops and other things. But the last hour, President Donaldson gave such a powerful talk. It was so good. We then returned home to Dundee at 6:00 and had lessons to teach.

Friday: Another day full of lessons! We also committed 'S****' a Chinese lad to baptism. We committed him to baptized on the 5th of November! We are so were excited about that.     

Saturday: Saturday was also good. We did service for a lady in Lochee who was moving. The flat complex smelled so bad. Smelled like straight weed. But we did all of the heavy lifting. Doing service is always a good way to start the day. Then we were able to teach and find but we also had a dinner appointment with a guy named Daniel. He lives in the Lochee ward. We had kebabs! It was so good. There is a drink here in Scotland named IRN-BRU. It is so good!!! It is an orange drink. I don't know if you have ever had it Dad but wow! I am addicted to it already.

Sunday: Yesterday we had a great time at church. The ward is so good and so friendly. I always enjoy going to church just to regenerate and relax. I miss Sunday dinners at home.

That was my week. Now for the good and bad news... Bad news. The two 17 year old girls we were teaching can not meet with us anymore. Their parents did not like the idea of them being baptized. They also did not like them meeting with us. I don't know what is going to happen with them and there date of the 29th of November. We well see.

S** is still doing awesome! His baptism is this week on Sunday. Looking forward to that! We also were able to teach R*** twice. Our goal with him was to get him really excited for his baptism on the 5th of November. We were able to teach him with Brother Snee from the bishopric. We taught a very good lesson and got him excited about baptism. The other High school girl we are teaching is not responding to us anymore....  We also have two Chinese guys we are teaching that are still doing really good and progressing. That's all for now.

Numbers this week
4 with a date
2 at church
4 lessons with a member present
5 New investigators
19 lessons total

It has been raining so much every day. I just get absolutely soaked. And honestly, I like it. I love trying to be happy while it is pouring. It is fun. It is also getting really cold. Elder Charlesworth and Elder Lampropoulos live just down the road from us so that is good. They are both from Utah.

I'm am going to buy some Tartan ties. I figured out our family clan names. We are from the clans of Macpherson, Gow, Macdonald, and Chattan. I will get some for Dad and Matt as well. Probably towards the end of my mission.

I miss you all and love you all. I'm enjoying the mission so much and am trying to love every second. Tomorrow morning we are running the Tay bridge. We do it a lot. I hate it but you gotta love it. Thank you for all you are sacrificing!

-Elder Gowans


Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 4

Hey Family!!!!!

Wow what an awesome week! Elder Yang and I worked our butts off! No joke! I'm doing so good. I'm loving it here and am just trying to take it all in. I'm loving the people the ward and the other Elders.

The weather here is either really good or just straight crap. When I say crap it rains a little but the wind will go straight through your body and to your bones. It's honestly bone chilling. That is so cool about BYU I wish I could have watched it. 

Elder Yang and I are killing it. Are you ready for this?
6 investigators with a date
4 at church
4 new investigators
18 lessons this week
4 progressing investigators (like street contacted people that want to meet)

Zone stats
14 with a date
7 at church
6 progressing
38 lessons
16 new Investigators

Obviously, I am not trying to brag about the numbers we have. The only reason we have these numbers is because of our Heavenly Father. He is blessing us because we are working hard. It really is just that simple. The work is good. We are trying.

18 year old R***: Still working towards the 5th of November, taught him everything. we are just really trying to get him to have a burning desire to be baptized.

D*** and C****: School friends. Only 17 years old. We just found out that their parents do not like them meeting with us. They don't want them to get baptized... All we can do is have faith and hope their parents will let them. We cant baptize under 18 unless parents approval. Praying for the 29th of October still.

C*****: Goes to Uni. She is like 21. He doesn't speak to good of English. Elder yang will speak Chinese to him. I then help him learn English. I'm also studying Chinese lol. I'm not to good at it but I will try and say a few sentences. I try to speak to all of the Chinese people here. We are shooting for the 12th of November for his baptism.

C*****: She is also 17. She is golden. She is the nicest person ever. She told us when we taught her the restoration of the Gospel she felt happy inside. She then realized that the feelings she was having were of the Spirit. She is also scheduled for the 12th of November. The bad thing about C***** and D*** and C**** is that they all live in the Lochee area. We told them they have a choice to be taught by us or the other missionaries. We may not get to baptize them. It is the Lords plan. We are trying to be obedient. 

S**: This is the best part of my mission so far. It is a really long story. Last year in Dundee Elder Yang was here teaching S**. He had a baptismal date and everything. Then complications happened. He was not able to be baptized. Elder Yang kept working with him until transfers. Elder Yang was then transferred and before he left he told S** he would come back and baptize him. Well the other missionaries started to teach him and he just lost his faith. He stopped taking lessons and everything just dropped. ONE YEAR later in Dundee Elder Yang And Elder Gowans are GQ-ing in the town city centre and guess who sees Elder Yang. S** does. He comes and gives Elder Yang the biggest hug! To shorten the Story. S** has a date now on the 22nd of October. 12 days. He is the most amazing young man. His story is unbelievable. We teach him everyday. If this is all that happens to me on my mission then it was worth teaching him and seeing his conversion. God truly does love us and knows what we want. I cant wait to tell you everything one day.

We still haven't reached our goal of 8 with a date and 8 at church. We are trying.

Other things. We usually have had to have tea at our flat. But yesterday we got a lot of tea appointments I think 3. I'm excited for that. Transfers happen every 6 weeks here. President Donaldson is so awesome and his wife is amazing. She is so kind. I met Madeline Graves at church! She went to Orem High with Makayle. She is attending school here in Dundee.

That is so awesome about Blake. I love that guy. St. Andrews was awesome! I stood on the the famous bridge on 18th hole! Then we went down to the beach. Just amazing.

The town square, where we find people to teach, is so cool! People are always there playing the bag pipes. There is also a park named Baxter Park. That is where we taught R*** one time. They had a Scottish wedding outside of this building. Way cool!

I have already grown so much spiritually. Crazy. General Conference was so amazing. You should pick one talk a week to study. I liked the talk "Boys be Ambitious". It was so good. All of them were amazing.

I love you all so much!



Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 3

Heyya!

Wow it is so good to hear from you guys! I'll just jump right in. I was able to spend 1 day and night in the mission home in Edinburgh. I got to go GQ in Edinburgh. GQ means street contacting. Get used to that word.

Then from Edinburgh I was able to take a train to Dundee. It was beautiful. Scotland is so pretty like literally breath taking. In fact the 4 hour bus ride from the MTC in England to Scotland was amazing. Then that train ride to Dundee was honestly so amazing. When we got to Dundee two Elders were there to pick us up. We went straight to the city square and started street contacting, GQ. I finally meet my companion Elder Yang!!

Elder Yang is so awesome, He is a work horse! We work work work all day. Because of this the days go by fast. He also knows how to have fun. I'm super pumped to just start working. We were able watch Conference at our church. Our chapel is so cool. The church overlooks the bay. The members seem so nice. Apparently our ward is like the biggest in Scotland.

Elder Yang is from China. He joined the church like 3 years ago. He is 24 years old. We get along so well. I love him already. He speaks very good English. He went to a University in Australia. Because he grew up in China he knows Chinese and talks to a lot of Chinese people here in Dundee. We are right by the University. I need to learn Chinese a little lol.

My address is:
60 South Victoria Dock Road
Dundee, Angus, Scotland
DD1 3BQ

My flat is nice. It is right by the bay so I get to see the ocean everyday. We are also right next to the Tay bridge! It is 1.5 miles long. We are going to run it a lot in the mornings. On the other side of the bridge is the old course of St. Andrews. First golf course in the world. It is in my area! So for P day today me and other Elders are going to St. Andrews and the St. Andrews cathedral!!!! Professionals are practicing on it today. I'm super excited. We will also do our shopping and cleaning. Our flat has two bathrooms and three bedrooms. We also have a small kitchen. It is good here. Only me and Elder Yang live here. Their is another companionship here in Dundee and they like live 30 seconds away from us.

So my schedule goes like this.
Wake up
Exercise
Study till 10
Go to town Square - GQ all day
If we have lessons go to lessons
Lunch
Lessons go to lesson if not GQ
Dinner
8:00 We have a program called '12 weeks' until 9:00
9:00 go home and get ready for bed.

We don't have bikes. I didn't want a bike anyways. We can take buses but we usually don't ride them. Some Elders have cars. But we don't.

We have taught a lot of lessons as a companionship already! One person we taught was a guy named R***. He is 18 and he likes Futbol. He goes to University and is studying cooking. He also wants to join the Army. He his really quiet and shy. I have gotten to know him really well he is such a good guy. The spirit is always so strong during our lessons. I asked him to be baptized! He accepted a date for the 5 of November!! I have a good feeling about him.

We also are teaching two girls. C**** and D***. They are 17. They are super good. C**** is just like Bailey. It is weird. They have a baptism date set for the 29th of October. The sad thing is they are not in our area so we have to refer them to the other Elders. They are also so shy. They don't want to be taught by anyone else but us. Hopefully we will baptize them.

Elder Yang and I made transfer goals yesterday. Boy oh boy we prayed for about two days to know what goal we should set. We decided we want 8 people to be at church at the end of this week. 8 people to have a baptismal date. 3 of them to be baptized. It is going to be hard. I know as we rely on the Lord and his Atonement and be happy we will find people that God has been preparing. Even if we don't accomplish this goal we will work hard. I love it.

Sometimes I wonder how I can keep this up for two years! Then I think about how the Savior gave up his life for the sins of all of us. And then I feel I have the strength and determination to keep going. The mission has already changed me. I feel the spirit so much when I am exactly obedient. It is awesome. It is hard to see people reject what you have to share with them because you know what it can do for them.

Dundee is honestly so pretty, so cool, so amazing. The work here is good. I cant wait to take you back Dad, and show you everything. I know I've been here for only a week but truly is amazing. I love it.

I love you all so much and miss you guys. Tell Crosby that Uncle Brett loves her. I love you guys!!

Elder Gowans