Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Week 15

Dear Family!

I hope you are all having a wonderful time! Just know that I love you all so very much! I hope that you all were able to watch 'A Very Merry Earth Worm Christmas!'

Thank you all for teaching me so much. You all, in one way or another, have helped me get to where I am today. I will be eternally grateful for you all.

Merry Christmas!

Love Elder Gowans

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 14

WOW what a week of miracles!! This week in my new area was so good. I am so grateful to be in Lochee. Where to start. Mom and Dad please thank the Burgener’s and the Robert’s for sending me Christmas cards! It means a lot to me. Here are a few of the past week miracles! We have 7 with a date!

C**** 5 of Jan
M**** 15 of Jan
G****  15 of Jan
M**** 15 of Jan
B**** 15 of Jan
K*** 31 of Jan
D*** 31 of Jan

Monday. P-day. I bought this sweet looking Scotland scarf one that you would wear to a futbol match! In the evening we went and taught our new investigators in our new area! Only two. The Lochee area has not seen success in a long time. At first I was scared to go from Bingham ward to the the Liff ward. The Bingham Terrace chapel has such a special place in my heart. I love the people there so dearly! To answer your question, yes I do go to a new chapel. It is on Liff road in Lochee. It is the Dundee 2nd ward. Tuesday I had one of the saddest days on my mission. I had to hand the people over who I have been teaching to the ZLs.

C***** was first. C***** is leaving to England to go visit his girlfriend. After that he may be going back to China. We don't know. But as we taught C***** I knew someday no matter where he goes he will join the church. He knows it is true. He knows what he needs to do. I have faith that even back in China he will join. C****** last words to me were, "Go-Ans, (that is how he says my name), thank you so much for helping me. Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for making me happy. I love you Go-Ans. Make sure you come visit me in China. It made me so sad.

Next up on the list is S***. Now S*** has such a special place in my heart too. I have known him since day 4 of my mission. I GQ’d him from the beginning and have taught him ever since. S*** was literally my first friend here on my mission besides Mark who is a recent convert. I taught S*** with Elder Calton my ZL. I shared my final testimony with him. I said to him how much I loved him. I told him that he knew that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ love him so much more than I do. I told him that They will always help him. S***, with tears in his eyes, stared at me. I lost it. I have grown to love these people so much here in Dundee. S*** then said the closing prayer. He said; “Thank you for my friend, Gowans. Thank you for making me meet him. Thank you for our friendship these past 3 months that we have had together. Please help me to get baptized. Please help me meet Gowans in the city and in China in the future. I love Gowans.” My good friend S***.  He will get baptized someday. I know it. It may not be here in Scotland but he knows what he needs to do.

The last person I said goodbye to was I**. I have not talked much about I** at all. I** has been investigating for 9 months now. He is also from China. I have grown to know him my whole time here. We went to his flat because he wanted to feed us a proper Chinese meal before I left. It was so yummy! I** is moving to London for work. He has to do this so he can stay here in the UK. I hope to be able to visit all three of them again some day.

Wednesday was awesome. We went Christmas caroling with the young men and woman in our new ward. It was such a good experience. I already feel so much love for the Liff ward.

On Saturday not much happened other than me and Elder Donavon were interviewed by a on-line newspaper. They asked us a bunch of questions about Christmas. The newspaper is called rebreaknews.comGo look at it. I am not sure when they will post the interview so just keep checking back. It should also be on Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and Faceboook.

We had our Christmas party on Saturday. It was so fun. We were able to meet so many of the new members of this ward and just talk. I met a guy who went to BYU in 2009 to study law. He was wearing all BYU stuff! It made me so happy. His last name is Brother Clancy. I also met his daughter who lives in Orem! She teaches at Timpview High school! What do you know! She teaches special ed. She is home now for Christmas. D*** and C**** came to the party as well. We had a great time!

Sunday was a special day. We were able to go to church and all three of us new missionaries bore our testimonies in Sacrament meeting. I bore a simple one. It was centered around Isiah 6:8. Why I am here. I am here to serve the Lord. I will do everything I can to ensure this ward is a great ward. But I can not do it alone. I need the help of our members. I told them I know that our Saviour will always help us. He will always look after us. We are his sheep. He will always come back for the one. He will because he knows what it is like to be alone and lost in this world. (D&C 121).

We had 5 people at church!! Can you believe that! What a miracle! We met so many new people this week. We have so many progressing!

After church on Sunday we had ‘lunch and mingle’. It was so good. We also witnessed the baptism of Frank. Frank is a person that Sister Truman and her companion have been teaching. D*** and C**** were also there for the Baptism! They are doing so good! We still need their parents hearts to be softened.

I am still here with Sister Truman. She stayed here in Dundee so we are in the same ward now! Elder Charlesworth sadly left and went to Glasgow. Let me tell you about him. He joined my first companionship with Elder Yang a week in. We had a trio. HE IS ONE MY ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE companions! He is someone that I will always have great memories about and will always stay close to after the mission. He is one of the most interesting people you will ever meet. He is so funny. We are the best friends. He will be dearly missed.

I do have tea appointments. So grateful for that. I also got a present from the Liff ward yesterday. I feel so loved and so much at home here. I talked to this lady that said she has GOWANS ancestors! I wrote down for her Dad’s name, Grandpa’s name, James name, and Hugh’s name. She is going to see how we are related! So cool.

MERRY CHRISTMAS to you all! May you all have a wonderful week and enjoy this time with each other. I am excited for Sunday, Christmas day, to be able to see you all. I will be at our Bishop’s house for Christmas! He is a great man! He has a great family! 10 kids. 7 that live at home. Bishop Keogh. (key-o). They will have us and the Sisters over for Christmas day. I will call you from there! They have a daughter on a mission who will Skype them at 7:00 Scotland time. I will e-mail you during this week to let you know exactly what time. Plan on 11:00 your time 6:00 my time. The Keogh’s are a great family! I don't have much time left! I have to get a haircut today. Plus we still need to go grocery shopping. P-day goes only until 1:00 today!

I love you all!

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 13

This week was a good week.

This past Tuesday was a day I will never ever forget! We had our district meeting and right after we got some lunch and then headed off to St. Andrews! I love that place. On the way there we had just gone over the bridge, so we were in Fife and while on the motorway and all the sudden our car would not accelerate... We pulled over and eventually had to call a tow truck. It wouldn't be able to come for 3 hours... So what to do? We went on a flipping adventure out in the middle of farmland called Inverdovat. The day ended up being so fun. We went on a cool path and talked to people on the trail. We were able to see rivers and lakes and were able to look back over Dundee. I was wearing some black slacks I got for 10£ at a store and ended up slipping and ripped it from the back to the front of my pants. My long johns ended up hanging out of my pants!!! So funny. I had to tie my coat around my waist so no one could see them. It was pouring rain and freezing but we ended up coming back to the car after a hour to see if the police had shown up. They hadn't so we decided to go to a petrol station just down the motorway and we were waking along the motorway with cars going up to 70 mph. They were all splashing water on us!!!! It was a fun day. I got a IRN BRU and a Yorkie bar at the petro station. Finally the tow truck guy came and took us to the car dealership. We ended up finishing the the day by doing some caroling in the city centre with people in our ward! It was a good experience.

The sun has been setting here around 3:30. So weird. It is dark by 4:00. There have been musical players in the city. They were playing White Christmas the other day. I thought about our White Christmas parties. I got sad because I wouldn't be able to beat Matt in ping pong again….

We got a referral from our Sister missionaries in our area. His name is N*******! He is 49 years old and is awesome! He already has a baptismal date for December 31st We get along really well. I'm excited about that.

Sunday. Moves call. I am sad to say that I am not going to be in Dundee YSA ward anymore... At church before the call I was looking out at the view we have here from our chapel and I got the worst feeling!  I felt as if this view would be my last. I was so nervous for the rest of the day... Sure enough the AP's called at 6:00 p.m.. They gave us the word and said that the Lord has a new assignment for both me and Elder Donavon.. They said that we will now be serving in the other Dundee ward, The 2nd Ward!!!!!!!!! Let me explain. I am still in Dundee but my new area is in the Lochee area. It is the other area here in Dundee. We will be white washing this new area. No more Dundee YSA ward. There are too many missionaries in this ward right now. The other ward is also known as the LIff ward. I don't know what is happening with our Christmas anymore? I don't know the new ward at all. With that being said I am going to really miss our YSA Bingham ward! I will miss the members I have grown to love. I will miss our Bishop. I will miss the view we have even though I will still be able to see it sometimes. I am also not in the St. Andrews district anymore. I will  not be able to teach our recent converts anymore. I will not be able to teach our current investigators. We turn them over to our ZLs... On the bright side of this change we still get to teach all of Lochee's investigators. Some of those investigators that we will be teaching are C*****, D***, and C**** . They all live in that area! I wont know very many other people for my first Christmas and that makes me a little sad of course.

I just need to move forward with firm faith that what has happened will be for the best. I will probably still be in Dundee for a quite a while now. I am excited to stay in Dundee and serve in Lochee. I hope everything will go right.

I love you all!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 12

How are you all doing? Just to let you all know I am doing good and enjoying these cold cold days here in Dundee. This week has been a good week not much has changed but still always trying to find and always trying to teach more.

This past week on Monday some of the missionaries in our zone all went to St. Andrews. Yep that's right we got to go to the old course and go out on the range and have some fun hitting golf balls. We had such a good time! I'm not half that bad!

Tuesday was just your regular day of missionary work. But later that night we were able to have a late Thanksgiving dinner with the young women in our ward! It was so good! I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday was awesome! We were blessed to be able to go out of our area and go witness Eamonn's baptism!! It was all the way up North in Montrose. I was able go through Arbroath where the Gowans ancestors are from! I have been teaching Eamonn since the day I got here in Scotland. Due to where he lives we were not able to baptize him in Dundee. But we were able to go be the witnesses and were blessed to confirm him a member of the church and give him the gift of the Holy Ghost! What a special day. Our Bishop, Bishop Grant, drove us. We get on really well. He is a young Bishop. He is 35 years old. He is so awesome. I can't wait to come back here to Dundee at some point and see him again.

Saturday was a good and rough day. We had 4 lessons planned and once again they all fell through. So we ended up finding for the rest of the day and night. This was the first time I have had to do this on my mission. It was very tiring but just as good as well.

Sunday is always a good day. I love going to church and being able to recharge spiritually for the coming week. There is something about church I have grown to love. I love singing the hymns now. I love actually paying attention in all of our classes and meetings.

This week should be a good week. Tuesday we are going on exchanges to St. Andrews again. I will be chapping doors for the first time! I'm actually so excited! But just to let you know I am sending you guys a Christmas package. I know that dad will be mad at me because I am supposed to save money. But this is what I need to do for you. My family. I hope you will all appreciate the presents. This will probably be the only time I ever do this. So don't worry or be mad.

I love you all so much! I have been reading in the Book of Mormon in my studies every morning and I am in Alma 40. The book of Alma is full of gold. This morning I was reading where Alma is telling his sons that they are called of God to preach to the Zoramites. Recently I have been pondering if I am a good missionary. I wonder if I am good enough in the sight of God. I wonder sometimes why I am here. Then this verse hit me hard and the Spirit testified to me that I am called by god here in Scotland to preach and teach and call upon people to repentance. I have been very bold with our investigators. Elder Donavon tells me that when I say bold things the spirit is strong. Even though half the time I do not know what I am saying. The spirit is working through me and into the hearts of our people.

I am very excited for the upcoming weeks. Transfer calls are in a week. I don't think I will be moving. I love Dundee! It is really easy for me to say that to you. I truly love this place! I love the smells! I love the city! I love the people I teach! I love the routes we take to get to the city! I love looking out over the city every morning! I love being able to just talk to people! I love going to visit members! I love buying Scottish things that remind me of this place! The present I got for you is important to me. I hope it will be just as important to you. I am buying presents so you all know how much I love you and how much I love Scotland. I want you to know that I honestly love this place. I don't ever want to be moved. I love our recent converts.

Ross says we will be friends forever. Dad, when we come back we need to visit him. Me you and him will have to go and watch a Dundee football game. He told me I need to be a Dundee fan! I am officially a Dundee fan now. I am not a Ranger or a Celtic. I am Dundee! It’s just like you and Man City. It's me and Dundee.

I am trying to keep the best journal I can. I love my journal. I read a passage every morning.

I love this time of year and that happiness I feel. I try to share that with the people. Lastly when I teach I imagine myself as Amulek. He always is bearing testimony of what he knows and then Alma expounds. This is like me and my comps. I am here bearing testimony of what I know. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me. I know He cares for me no matter what I do. Sometimes I feel ashamed to call myself an Elder but then I know I can use the Atonement and continue to try. I am trying to shape my life here on my mission. I have already grown so much. I am trying to improve every day. There is a scripture in Alma I read the other day about improving to the end. I loved it!

I love you all!