Monday, September 18, 2017

Week 53

Another busy week!

Last p day we went to St. Andrews. We had a BBQ on the beach. Super fun! =) After the beach we went back to work and did some finding.

Tuesday we went to Montrose for their DM. After that we headed back to Dundee for more finding. We had a lesson with a girl named Zoe. I knew Zoe way back when i was first here last year. Then around 8:30 we went and picked up the Arbroath Elders for our exchanges with them.

Wednesday. I split with Elder Wilson. He is from South Africa. He was my ZL when I was in Edinburgh. This will be his last transfer and then he goes home. He is a good missionary. He has taught me a lot about missionary work. We were able to go eat some lunch with Anne Harrison. She has my kilt now! But she didn't have it yet when we went to lunch. The next time I see her I will get it! We also taught Sylvia. We taught her the plan of salvation. Later that night we sent the Arbroath Elders home and then went to Dunfermline for our next exchanges.

Thursday. I was with Elder Jensen and we taught a new girl who we are hoping will be able to progress a little bit more. We also had a LA with the Keogh kids in the city! Later they took us out for some chicken! =) What a great family! After that a lot more finding! And then to end the day we drove the Elders back to their area which is right next to Edinburgh.

Friday. Exchange with the AP's in Edinburgh. It was great! I was with Elder Gibb. We had a fun time. We taught six lessons so that is always cool. We were supposed to stay for part of Saturday but we had to travel back to Dundee for ZL responsibilities. We got home about 11 at night. It was a long day.

Saturday I split with the Elders from Montrose. They will be with us until tomorrow. I love working with them. We taught Sylvia our Chinese investigator. She ended up telling us she no longer wants to be baptized. She read some stuff on the internet as well as listened to stuff her flatmate told her. All lies... So that is always a hard pill to swallow.

Sunday was a great day! I had tea with my second family the Keogh's. It was yummy! =) This coming we will have a lot more exchanges which is always fun!

Love you all!

Monday, September 11, 2017

Week 52

This week was a great week. Elder Kitchen and I saw so many miracles from our hard work. From our finding to our teaching we were so blessed!

Last P Day we played sport at the church. Nothing to serious. Later that evening we went out and did some finding. 

Tuesday we went to district meeting out in Kirkcaldy! We worked with the missionaries on how to do role plays and the things we worked on at our last MLC. After that we had a day full day of finding. That is always so good.

While finding I was able to find one of the most prepared individuals I have ever met so far on my mission. She is from China. Her name is L**** Z****.  We were also blessed to have some members feed us which is always so good to get out of the rain and into someone's home!  =) 

Wednesday we taught some more people that are looking good and we are hoping to work with them some more. I was also on exchanges with another set of Elders in the city and we were able to have a really good day of finding and teaching. 

Thursday was my one year away from home mark! ONE YEAR! How crazy is that! I still feel so young as a missionary. It is so weird to me to think I have been out a year.

Thursday was a good day. We were able to send Mae off to Edinburgh for her to attend the University. She was one of my first converts from the first time I served here in Dundee. She will be missed. She has been to the church in the Burg so that will be a huge blessing for her. We also taught L**** Z****. Like I said before, she is so prepared. She has felt her entire life that she was a Christian. She had never really had the opportunity to live as one in China. This is what we do! When we are obedient the Lord truly blesses us. He blesses us that are diligent in the amount of hours we get out and get to work! 

Friday was a full day of humor! We had a legit flash flood rain storm. It literally dumped rain so hard in the afternoon. I have never seen it rain so hard or have been so wet in my life. It was wild! We had our DA meeting out in Cupar which was great. Right after I left Cupar I had to go to the bathroom so bad! The only option I had was run into a pub where everyone just looked at me like I was mad. Then they started laughing at me. Now you have to buy something in the pub to use there toilet. So I donated to a charity fund they had setup. Then finally I was able to have a much needed bathroom break! When I finally walked out they all were still laughing at me...  Oh how I love the drunk people of Scotland!

Saturday we taught L**** Z**** again. We also taught Alycia. Alycia is from Brussels! She is so cool! We also met some professional wrestlers that are from here in Scotland. They pulled up on a street where we happened to be working. They pulled up in this sweet hummer limo. We had just finished teaching a lesson so we got some cool pics with them!  =)

Sunday was another great day. We were blessed with 4 of our investigators coming to church. During the Sacrament I was reading the scriptures and found this in Mosiah. Mosiah 3: 7-8. As I read this new found scripture I felt my Saviors love for me. I truly am grateful for what He has done for me. I felt inside at that moment how much He has truly changed my life. My mission has been so blessed because of Him. I can't thank Him enough for his sacrifice for me.

8 "And he shall be called Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Father of heaven and earth, the Creator of all things from the beginning; and his mother shall be called Mary."

How blessed we are to have the scriptures in our lives. I would like to ask each of us to read from the scriptures daily. We all need to ponder, truly ponder, how they apply in our lives. And then go out and simply do. That is how we will come to know our Savior and be better and better for it!

Love you all!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Week 51

This week was good but a little crazy!

Monday we went to a really cool castle! We went with some cool people in the district!. That night we had DA. It was a pretty good day.

Tuesday I went on an exchange with a new missionary from the MTC. He is from Washington. He loved coming and working in Dundee. He serves in Montrose. We also went to St. Andrews and taught Mae again. We also taught one of there new investigators. We finished the day doing mostly finding. It was a really good day.

Thursday we had an All Scotland Conference in Edinburgh. It is always great coming back to mission conferences to be taught and instructed. It is also great to come back because I get to see all of my good friends again!

At this conference we were taught on how to serve Christlike centered missions! It helped me realize all the things I have been doing to weaken my power as a missionary! We were taught to be obedient in all things! Honestly, it is hard but so worth it!

The rest of the week was pretty much finding.

Love you all!

Monday, August 28, 2017

Week 50

What a week! 

Last Monday was obviously transfers. I said my goodbyes to Glasgow and then traveled up North to Dundee. When I arrived it felt like I had never left. Weird. My hope is that I will be able to help people here find the gospel!

Last Tuesday we helped move a lot of missionaries to new areas. We were also able to GQ and prepare for our MLC on Thursday.

Wednesday was a full day of GQ. The previous missionaries were not working with too many people. We will find them, no worries! We also had the ZLs from Aberdeen come over and stay the night at our flat. They wanted to stay here so the drive the next morning to our conference in Edinburgh would not be so far. 

Thursday we went to the Burg for our leadership conference. All of the other leaders from the mission came. It was a great meeting! The spirit was strong. It was also good to see some of my old mates again! I talked with Elder Woodfield at the conference about one of our solid investigators from Glasgow. He said that he is still totally prepared for his baptism on September 12th! I am so excited for him!

Friday I got to teach a little and also saw some of my old friends here in Dundee. It was great to get caught up and see how things are with them since I left! We also had to travel up North to Arbroath. We had to drop off some missionary supplies. It is always so good to go back to my family roots in Arbroath! So cool!

Saturday we went to St. Andrews. We were able to teach Mae while we were there. It was so great to see her again. She was another one of my early converts while in Dundee. She heads off to school at the University in three weeks. It will be sad when she leaves.

Sunday it was back to the ward where it all started. I saw so many familiar faces during sacrament meeting. I got up and shared with them my testimony. After church I went to the Keogh's for tea. They live in the other ward. It was so good to see them all again and say hi. They are my family! I also saw Ross who was also one of my first converts! It was such a blessing to see him again and to see how strong he is in the church! He has been faithful in the gospel since the day I left. What a good example he is. I love that guy. We will be having tea with him next week!

I love you all!

Monday, August 21, 2017

Week 49

Crazy week here in Glasgow.

I don't have much time to write. Big news. I am heading back to Dundee. I am going back home to be a ZL !! I will be there for my one year mark. I will be going back to where it all started. It is weird to think about going back to the Bingham ward again where I spent two transfers! My new companions name is Elder Kitchen. It is so awesome that I get to go back to where I learned how to be a missionary! Where I learned so much! I leave today at 1 o clock. I will get there around 4:00. This is all so exciting! I am super pumped to go back. Honestly right now I have no words to describe what I am thinking and feeling! This I do know. I am super excited!

Saturday I got a call from the AP's. They said we were going to have a unplanned move. In short they told me I need to pack my bags to go back to Dundee. They told me they are putting 5 new trainees there and needed a ZL to get things moving in the right direction. They said I was successful there before and they need that kind of example again. They know I have great relationships with the ward leaders and feel that is important also in sending me back. Please pray for me, for the zone, and for the our missions success!

This past week was so good in Glasgow. Hard work pays off. We were able to set 10 people with baptismal dates. It took a lot of hard work and Elder Woodfield will be able to stay to make sure everything is taken care of.

A lot of crazy things have happened. I am now trying to get everything ready so I can go and to help the people in Dundee. I am sad to leave Glasgow but hey going back to sacred Dundee is what dreams are made of! Ah man so so weird.

Church was so good yesterday! Again it is always sad to leave one of your areas and I was able to say my good-byes to a lot of the missionaries in our zone. And to the members here that I have grown to love.

We had a great activity last week where we brought all of our Chinese investigators together and had a giant hot pot party. We ate a lot of food and just had a great time with them. We all had a really fun time!

I love you all!

Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 48

This past week was another wet one! But it was also a good one! =) 

Last p day Elder Woodfield and I were able to go on this awesome hike! We asked President Donaldson if we could go and he agreed! We drove by Loch Lomond and ended up hiking in the lowlands of Scotland. Lets just say I am so out of shape. On the hike we saw some of the most beautiful scenery that I have ever seen in my life! I felt like I was in the movie Lord of the Rings! I love Scotland! And I love Ireland of course! We hiked Ben Cobbler (the cool looking one). And Ben Ime. Ben Ime is the second largest mountain in the lowlands.

Tuesday we started out with our District meeting. We then went out and worked for most of the day. It ranked right up there as one of the most hardest days as missionary. We had so many lessons set up that fell through. So there we were in the streets of Glasgow and it seemed like we attracted almost every single person that has ever hated Mormons. Seriously. The people that we met that night literally hate our church. You always get the usuals but on this day they truly hated us. There was around 20+ people that I talked to and they just tried to hammer us on everything. The BOM. The prophet Joseph Smith. They were calling out our church as false, corrupt, and the Church of the Devil. Supposedly I am brainwashed, corrupt, and of course going to hell. You know me. I had a hard time putting up with all that crap. I came back at them and started to defend my beliefs. I couldn't answer all of there questions, but I did bear my testimony. I told them that I KNOW that what we have is true. They didn't care. They continued to rail on me. Finally I walked away but they pulled me back. And then it was yelling, and cursing. Some even spit at me. I just sat back and listened to them. There did come a point after one got after me I looked up at Heaven and actually wondered if God was there, watching all of this? I said a small prayer and simply asked Him if He was there. I asked Him if he loved me? Then, as I sat there in the middle of the street, with all of this hate surrounding me I felt the feeling of comfort rush through my entire body. I was good to go again! God is real! The story doesn’t end there! More and more people came up to me and and again started to  hammer on me. I again had to go sit down and pray again. This time I had the feeling to ask if the BOM was true! No feeling. I  continued to sit there and then the Spirit brought this thought into my mind. Read the BOM right now! It was right there in my hand, why not! I held it up right then and this is what I read:

And behold, ye do know of yourselves, for ye have witnessed it, that as many of them as are brought to the knowledge of the truth, and to know of the wicked and abominable traditions of their fathers, and are led to believe the holy scriptures, yea, the prophecies of the holy prophets, which are written, which leadeth them to faith on the Lord, and unto repentance, which faith and repentance bringeth a change of heart unto them—
Therefore, as many as have come to this, ye know of yourselves are firm and steadfast in the faith, and in the thing wherewith they have been made free.

God is real. I love this church so much!

Later on in the week I went exchanges with an Elder from Uganda who has no hands. He is one amazing missionary. He converted to the church 2 years ago. What a legend! l also went on exchanges with Elder Wang from China! He also is such a great missionary!

Today we are going out and doing some service. Move calls are also this week. It should be fun week! 

I love you all!

Monday, August 7, 2017

Week 47

This week here in Scotland was a wet one!

Monday. Not too much happened to be honest. We had a lot of things to do to prepare for our All Scotland South Conference in Edinburgh! We also had some free time while in Edinburgh to find a place where I can get an amazing deal on a kilt to bring home!

Tuesday. We attended the All Scotland South Conference! I was able to see Elders Elton, Donovan, Gunderson, Carter, and Swenson to name just a few. I also saw so many other missionaries! The conference itself was so good! We were able to be instructed on the power of inviting with promising specific blessings by President Donaldson! it was great to be apart of the spirit that was felt there! That evening we returned home to Glasgow and went to a pub for some good tea!

Wednesday. A full day of finding and teaching! We also had our interviews with President and Sister Donaldson! I love them both so much. I would say that President Donaldson is one of my biggest role models ever!

Thursday. Another regular day of working. Nothing to crazy happened but we did have to travel back to Edinburgh for our exchanges with the APs.

Friday. We spent the entire day in Edinburgh. I worked with Elder Peacock. He was my old zone leader in the Burgh. I got to spend the entire day there in the Burgh! I love that place so much! I miss it! Sister Donaldson also made us breakfast. It was the best! Exchanges went really well. I had a lot of fun. As you can tell I am enjoying life so much right now!

Saturday. We first had some teaching lessons with some investigators. And then we headed back to Glasgow.

Sunday. Another great day at church. We also worked later on finding and teaching. We are working with a lot of good people right now. We just need to help them progress!

I saw Sister Stapley this past week. She was a sister missionary that I worked with while in the Burgh. She recently finished her mission but came back to do some touring. I miss my fam.... She was an amazing missionary! ​

I love you all and thanks for all you do!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Week 46

It was a good wet week here in Glasgee =)  It was a week full of missionary work and other fun stuff!

Elder Woodfield and I spent most of our mornings and evenings cleaning a flat that has been lived in by missionaries for 9 years. It is time to close it down so lets just say it wasn't to pretty.

We have been teaching and finding many people. We have a friend named Kirste. She is so cool. She came to church and enjoyed sacrament meeting. We are seeing her again on Tuesday. Sadly, the girl Ruby I told you about last week went on the internet and looked up a lot of lies and rubbish about us so she does not want to see us anymore. So sad. uugghhhh!

We also went on exchanges with the DLs throughout the zone. I was able to work with a new missionary, Elder Siswick from England. I also worked with Elder Baklan from Airdre. I served with in Elder Baklan in Edinburgh. He was a new missionary then. It was great to see him again and work with him.

Scotland is definitely more colder than Ireland! It looks like I am about to finish off my first pair of shoes. They are wrecked. My nice Eccos were supposed to last me for two years! They have holes right in the bottom of them! The insoles also have holes and my feet get soaked everyday it rains. 

I love this Gospel! I love my mission with all my heart! Last night I was talking with a missionary that I had served with back in Dundee. We were talking about how great the mission is and how great Dundee was. I talked also about how cool Edinburgh and Ireland are. Ireland is one of the coolest places in the world. We talked about how we would not trade these experiences for anything. I cant think of anywhere else I would rather be than right here right now doing what I am doing. Yes, it is hard and yes it is tiring. But it is worth it!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Week 45

What a week we have had here in Glasgow!

I would just like to echo the words of Jacob. 2nd Nephi 10:20And now, my beloved brethren, seeing that our merciful God has given us so great knowledge concerning these things, let us remember him, and lay aside our sins, and not hang down our heads, for we are not cast off; nevertheless, we have been driven out of the land of our inheritance; but we have been led to a better land, for the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle of the sea.
1. Let us remember 
2. Lay aside our sins
3. Not hang down our heads

This week in Glasgow, to be honest, was rough. We have been working so hard being the most obedient missionaries we can be and it felt like we have had no success.

To start off the week Elder Woodfield and I had our ZLC. This is where all the DLs come together and we discuss how to help the zone and instruct and help our DLs know how to best move forward. Our APs made an appearance as well. We then had DM and I sat in with the Motherwell district. After DM we were scheduled to go out and teach. All of our appointments canceled. However, we did end up finding one girl on the street named Kirstie. We have met with her a lot but she was unable to make it to church.

I also went on my first exchanges since being made a Zone Leader. I split with Elder Turner from Iowa while Elder Woodfield and Elder Williams stayed and taught three lessons. We spent the day finding and let me remind you it does not stop raining here in Glasgow.... Elder Woodfield and Elder Williams taught this really cool girl from China whose name is Ruby.

Sunday morning I was feeling pretty discouraged. We honestly had worked so hard this past week and it seemed like we had very little success. We had 14 lessons planned this past week and 12 fell through. Then on Sunday morning miracles started to occur. Ruby, the girl who we had met earlier in the week, came to church! She LOVED it!  She also attended the gospel principles class and ended up bearing her testimony on prayer. She came up to us after church and asked us when she could be baptized? She told us that she wants to be baptized before she goes back home to China. We told her that we will start preparing her!

We also had sent out a text message to everyone in our phone who we knew and invited them all to come to church. One man from Angola came! He was taught by missionaries while living back in Angola. He even brought his Book of Mormon to church! We are seeing him later this week! We also have some other people that we are now working with so I am excited for the possibilities that we have this week!

Now I want to go back to the scripture I previously mentioned and the beginning of this letter. 

1. As missionaries, if you go throughout the day not remembering why you are even standing in the rain talking to people you wont be very fruitful. Remember Him in everything you do! Not just some things here and there but in everything. He will provide! 

2. It is hard to help other people come unto Christ when you yourself have not. Lay aside every sin. Again, you can not pick and choose which sins you want to give up. Here a little then there a little. Every sin needs to be laid aside. The Lord will provide! 

3. Do not get discouraged. We are apart of the greatest work ever! We are preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ! Why is it that we get discouraged? The end of this scripture reads, "For the Lord has made the sea our path, and we are upon an isle (Scotland/Ireland) of the sea".

When we are striving to be the best that we can. That is when we reap our rewards of our long-suffering and diligence.


Love you all till next week

Monday, July 17, 2017

Week 44

Well I said goodbye to the Emerald isle this past week and it was rough. I will miss Ireland. I love it!

It was a crazy week! I am super tired but super pumped for this new transfer!  Last week when I e-mailed I was helping move missionaries around. I was always up super late and then up really early in the mornings.

The work here in Glasgow is so good! There are so many people here. The only thing is Scotland is cold and Ireland is hot. It has also been dumping rain here everyday since I came back. It's all okay. I am used to it. I learned it from good ole Dundee!

Finally on Wednesday we had a great full day of finding and teaching again! It was so good to just get out and do missionary work again!

Thursday was great day too! I got to go back to Edinburgh for a training conference. It was a training for all of the ZLs and STLs. It is always great to learn from the Mission Presidency. One of our main goals is to to accomplish 450 baptisms! Right now as a mission we are at 207. It is always a spiritual time when you are at the mission home. I feel the spirit so much. It is such a great time. We talked about how we as a mission need to be more sanctified. We need to have more faith! We are so blessed right now as a mission. But we can do more if we sanctify ourselves even more, which means even more blessings. It is crazy to think about, but so good!

I got to see so many old friends at the conference. Elder Carter from Dublin. He is a  ZL now in Edinburgh. Elder Swenson a ZL in Dublin. Elder Jones, my past AP who is now a ZL in Limerick. And of course Elder Elton. I got to see Elton for just brief moment. I LOVE ELDER ELTON!

Friday and Saturday were full days of finding in the rain and teaching those who want to learn!

Sunday we had a great sacrament service. President Donaldson was speaking at another ward so I got to see him and Sister Donaldson for just a minute. You know how I feel about those two. They are so special!

I am enjoying my mission so much! I am learning so much! I just finished the book of 1st Nephi again. It has become one of my most favorite reads. It teaches us if we do our best the Lord will provide a way. How true that is. When we are devoted missionaries and members of His church, HE WILL PROVIDE A WAY!

Thank you again for all of your love and support!

Elder Gowans

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Week 43

It has been a crazy week! It feels like I have gotten no sleep. I will not be able to explain all that has happened this past week but know that I am doing so good!

have been moved to Glasgow, Scotland. Glasgow is the largest city in the mission. I will be trained as a Zone Leader! I did not see this coming but I am excited and ready to help the missionaries in my zone work their hardest. I am prepared to work harder than I ever have!

My companion is Elder Woodfield. He is from Texas. He is such a good Elder. He has been out for 13 months. I met him for the first time yesterday! Now I know why the entire mission loves him!

Because of transfers yesterday, I first traveled to Belfast and then took the ferry back to Scotland. Once I arrived we had to drive missionaries around until 11:00 p.m. The next day I was up at 5:00 a.m. to again help drive missionaries to where they needed to be. There are about 36 missionaries in our zone. I will take this assignment to learn all that I can and continue to work as hard as I can and improve! We go to Edinburgh this Thursday for MLC training which will be cool.

Dublin is in great hands with Mano and Elder Keim. I worked with Elder Keim in Edinburgh. He is the Elder that is 6 feet 8 inches tall. I love him! He will be the new DL in Dublin. He will continue to train Mano. Mano was in tears when I left for Belfast yesterday. It is always sad and hard to leave someone you love so much. I will miss my boy.

Last week we had the opportunity to go open up a new area in Ireland! Dundalk. We were able to find a flat for the new missionaries coming in. We also went to the Dundalk branch last Sunday. We had 19 members at church!

The Lord is merciful to all those who come unto him with a broken heart and a contrite spirit. I have a testimony of this. I also have a testimony that positive potential demands true repentance. You will have a hard life if there is no change for the positive.

Tell Makayle and Ed congrats! I can't wait to see Isla! Also tell Nicole I love her! I am praying for her too.

I love you all