Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Week 67

We spoke to Elder Gowans on Christmas day over Skype.

Elder Gowans is loving Cork, Ireland. He shared some fun stories and facts with us since his arrival to Cork last week.

There is one branch in Cork with 80 - 90 active members. Being a zone leader he has already had to make visits to Limerick, and Galway. He said the drive up north to those cities is beautiful. 

It is much warmer in Cork, Ireland than it is in Dundee, Scotland. Brett says he normally wears up to 4 layers of clothing at this time in Dundee. In Cork he is wearing just one light jacket. We have personally noticed that it is usually around 10 degrees warmer in Cork.

Brett has served 9 out of his 16 months on his mission in Dundee. This past Sunday the Bishop asked Brett to come up in sacrament meeting and share his testimony with the ward before leaving. Brett said that he had a real hard time doing this. He said he started to cry as he looked at the people he has served with for so long. He said that he loves Dundee and will never forget his time there.

Before the call ended he shared one more funny story that we thought we would pass along.

At 7:30 p.m. on Christmas Eve, Elder Gowans had both keys to the door of their flat in his pocket. When the flat door closes it locks automatically. He and his companion, Elder Selander, were moving stuff into the flat when Brett decided to put the keys on the counter inside the flat. There were still more items to be moved into the flat and when Brett walked outside where his companion was Elder Selander asked him if he had just locked them out of the flat! Yup.

They ended up calling the police but the police told them over the phone that there was nothing they could do. The police told them to try the fire department. Apparently they have a way where you can 'blow up' a lock. They called the fire department and they were able to help. They showed up in there fire truck. Brett said the he along with his companion and many 'neighbors' all looked on as the the firemen blew up the lock. (Don't worry. A new lock is on the door.)

Brett said that he got a picture taken with all of them and will send it next week.

He also wanted us to thank all of you that have supported him over these past 16 months.

Thank you!

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Week 66

Sorry for no e-mail yesterday. I don't have a lot of time to write today either.

I am doing good. I was moving all day yesterday and today. I am back in Ireland again! I am in a city at the very southern part of Ireland. I am in the city Cork! It reminds me of a mini Dublin. My mailing address is:

56 Lios Na Greine
South Douglas Road
Ballinlough, Cork, IrelandT12 DE7K

My new companion is Elder Selander. He is from Alpine, Utah. He is a very good missionary. He is very nice. I am still working as a Zone Leader.

I love you guys!

Monday, December 11, 2017

Week 65

This last Monday we went out to St. Andrews and had some fun looking around and just being with other missionaries. Halfway through p-day I started to feel really sick. Sure enough by 6:00 I was done. I had the flu. I was disappointed because I had it like 3 weeks ago.

Tuesday we had the All Scotland Christmas conference which was really fun. I did not enjoy it as much because I was so sick. We watched the Disney movie Moana. It was good. After that we played games. After that we went to bed. We got up the next morning at 5:30 a.m. so I did not get a lot of sleep.

Wednesday we had exchanges. I tried my best to work hard through it. I took a couple breaks here and there and made it through the day.

Thursday was sad day for us... I had to say goodbye to Henry our recent convert. He is so awesome! He is heading back to China for the holiday season and will not return until January. I got a picture taken with him when we said goodbye.

Friday I was feeling a wee bit better. Not as good as I had hoped but better. We worked all day finding.

Saturday we had a few lessons which was nice and then we went out and did more finding.

Sunday we had a our baptism! Athieng was baptized which was so great. It has been a blessing to be able to teach her. She is so great! She is our miracle from Uganda!

I love you all!

Monday, December 4, 2017

Week 64

Hey everyone! 

Here is what has happened this past week in Dundee.

Monday we had a friend come visit us missionaries! Her name is Zoe and she is from China. She is studying right now in Edinburgh. We spent our p-day with her and had dinner.

Tuesday we spent the entire day finding. It was freezing cold. I mean like really cold. We spent our day in the streets trying our best to stop and to talk people! We also had DA which was good and made it all better to get out of the cold. At night our recent convert Henry invited us over to his flat to watch the Prophet of the restoration movie. It was a great night to be to watch Henry better understand what the prophet Joseph really experienced.

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Kirckaldy Elders. I don't know if you remember but I went on an exchange with a Ugandan Elder back in Glasgow.... He has now followed me again to our Dundee zone. I got to work with him again and it was great! Elder Cosmas! The best part of the day was he was able to help teach our investigator who is also from Uganda! It was really good to have someone from Uganda teach. Together we taught her the word of wisdom! She knows that the Book of Mormon is true. She also said that whatever the Lord asks her she is willing to follow. The Book of Mormon brings us so many miracles. After our second lesson with her I told her to read Alma 32. She did. She said she had one of the most spiritual experiences ever reading those versus! The Book of Mormon is true! I know it! It is true because I have witnessed first hand how it has blessed my life and other peoples lives from all around the world! She is getting baptized this Sunday! God is good. D&C 6:23

Thursday was another day full of finding! It was great but it was again very very cold. Go figure. It was the first snow of winter. Yep it has started snowing.

Friday. It was crazy to wake up and realize that it is December. And another full day of finding! It is really hard to find people to teach because everyone is so busy! We will keep trying. We will keep being obedient! Had another DA with a family that went really well!

Saturday. Another DA to keep us warm! We taught Athieng at the church at half 7. She is so prepared! She is honestly a good friend to me as well.

Sunday was stake conference. It was great. We had two investigators come to church. Sylvia, Henry, Majeed, and Ross were also at church! It is so good to see them all active! It was a great meeting where the Spirit was felt. a member of the quorum of the seventy spoke. Elder Homer. After stake conference we went out to find for the rest of the day!

I love you all!

Monday, November 27, 2017

Week 63

Good week here in the D!

Last Monday was great. We were able to have some fun on P-day and then go out and get some work in from the hours of 6:00-9:00.

Tuesday was our district meeting in the morning. We then got out and did some finding for the majority of the rest of the day. We also taught a lesson to our recent convert, Henry. We are preparing him about receiving the priesthood. This will happen this Sunday! This is so great! Later we went out to St. Andrews with Ross. We taught a lesson to one of our investigators. Ross gave me a pink Scotland jersey for Christmas. He is such a good guy. He told me that when I come back over after my mission I need to bring him a RSL jersey. I better make that happen!

Wednesday we went on exchanges with the Elders from Arbroath. I was with Elder Rodriguez. He is from Spain. It was a great day. We found and taught another one of our investigators! Athieng. She is from Uganda! She is already a legend. We taught her a great lesson where the Spirit was present. All is good!

Thursday we had another full day of finding. This baltic weather is so cold! End of story. We did not have a Thanksgiving dinner today. We did later in the week!

Friday another day of exchanges in Edinburgh. We worked with the APs. It was one of the coldest days of my life. I was dying. Even with 4 coats on..... ah oh well, the work goes on. It was great to be back in Edinburgh. It is always great to see some old faces and work the old area! I love it there.

Saturday we did more finding and did our best to get people out to church. Other than that just posting up in the city talking to people. At half 1:00 the Sisters and Elders went to a members home to have a proper Thanksgiving! It was the best!!!!! 

- Turkey
- Sweet Potatoes w/marshmallows
- Stuffing
- Mashed potatoes 
- Corn
- Gravy 
- And of course pumpkin pie!

It was so good! I ate so much food! I literally could not eat one more bite. So good.

Sunday was great day! We had our friend Athieng there! She came to all three hours. She stayed for the lunch and mingle after. She also attended the baptism. She was there for a long time! After all of that we went back over for leftovers from Thanksgiving dinner! It was with the same family! They are here from America. They live here now. It was the best!

Recently I have been studying the scriptural phrase 'Receive and Retain'. Mainly the word 'Retain'. There are many ways we can retain a remission of our sins. One of the best ways is by being humble and submissive. Read Mosiah 4:11-12 to find out why.

Love you all!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Week 62

What a blessed week we have had in Dundee! This last week was a grind but also so full of the Spirit. The Lord truly does want to shower his blessings upon those who are diligent and obedient! 

Last Monday was transfers. We spent all day driving everyone around and making sure they got to the right places and the right time! Then at 7:00 p.m. we drove the new Kirkcaldy Elders out to their flat. That took up most of the night.

Tuesday was a full day of finding. We didn't have a successful day but that is okay... One of our baptismal candidates had there baptismal interview on Tuesday. Everything went as planned which was great! 

Wednesday we had another full day of finding. 9 hours in the street. We also had some lessons planned but they fell through. Not good.

Thursday morning we drove to Edinburgh for MLC. It was great. Right now the mission has passed the number of baptisms we had last year at this time. We need about 90 more baptisms to complete our mission year goal! Every companionship needs to find one before the new year! Our meeting was focussed on 'finding the one'! We then came back to Dundee and went to work. It was so cold! I mean cold! I had on three jackets and a coat and I was still shivering! Crazy.

Friday we were finally able to teach a lesson to someone. It went really good! She is really cool and ended coming to church this past week! At 3:00 we went to the church to fill up the Baptismal font. At half 6 we had our baptism! We had such a great turnout from the ward! We were able to baptize both Majeed and Henry! President Donaldson and I performed the ordinances. What a special night! That helped make the rest of the week. It was all worth it.

Saturday we had 5 lessons set up with new people but again they all fell through. It is so frustrating. We spent the rest of the day doing proselyting.

Sunday was great. Both of our baptisms were confirmed members. It was so great! We saw so many tender mercies this week. It was a Spirit filled week! ya ken?

I love you all!

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week 61

To get started. I will be staying in Dundee for another transfer. I will also continue working with Elder Keim! This transfer will last right up to Christmas. I will have officially served in Dundee now for 9 months of my mission when next transfers occur!

The other news is we will be baptizing 2 people this coming week! What a Miracle! Those being baptized are Majeed and H****. Majeed has been taught now for 8 months. President Donaldson came up and interviewed him this last week. After the interview we were told he can now be baptized this Friday! The other part of this story is that our other Investigator H**** was scared to death to be baptized this next Sunday. We had some really good spiritual lessons with him this past week and now he too wants to be baptized this Friday with Majeed! President Donaldson will come back to Dundee and baptize Majeed. This is so great! H**** is 18 years old. He is from China. He studies math here at the university. His faith is incredible. His willingness to act on what is good got him to where he is now.

Other than that nothing much new has happened here in Dundee. We have been doing a lot of finding and working with a lot people helping them progress towards baptism! How blessed both Elder Keim and I are to have seen all of these miracles!

Last p-day we were able to go to the coast and look at some cool old castle ruins. We had a bit of fun doing that!

Tuesday we had DM and then more finding. We also drove down to Kirkcaldy to do a baptismal interview. We also taught a new investigator named Cupar across the water.

Thursday was bitter cold! It's the darn wind that gets you! We taught Henry on Wednesday and Thursday. We also taught a couple of more lessons on Friday which also included Henry.

Saturday was move calls. This will be a 5 week transfer. We taught a lesson with Sam. Sam is a member who is from Hong Kong, he lives in St. Andrews. We also met up with President Donaldson again to talk through the baptismal plans regarding Majeed.

Sunday is always a great day. We said our goodbye's to Lucy Keogh. Lucy is leaving today for her full-time mission!

I love you all!

Monday, November 6, 2017

Week 60

What a great week here in Dundee!

Last Monday Elder Keim and I played some basketball out in Baxter park. I also practiced some futbol and juggled 200 first time back. It is now officially cold. The sun may be out but that doesn't stop the wind from cutting right through you to your very soul. We finished the day proselyting. We are trying our best to find the elect or to let them find us.

Tuesday we had district meeting here in Dundee. So no travel. We spent the rest of the day proselyting until 5:00. We then headed back to our flat because of mission rules for Halloween. Who knows what the Scots people are up to on Halloween night. Me and my boi Elder Keim, did go over to the church to see how the ward party was getting along.

Wednesday was good day. We taught one new lesson to a person we found.

My diet consists of either Subway or McDonald's for lunch. Then whichever one we did not eat at for lunch we eat at the other one for tea. My diet is so bad. I am getting fat hahah. But this is the best way to save time trying to do the Lord's work. It's so funny. Elder Keim and I lay down at night and talk about how fat we are getting. ahah.

Thursday was another great day! We went on exchanges with the Elders from Arbroath. I was with Elder Baklan. He is from the Ukraine. I worked with him previously when we both served in Edinburgh. It was a great split. We were able to set up some lessons as well as teach Sylvia. I also had a guy pay for our tea. Why? A while back, one night, he was so drunk he tried to punch me. When I saw him again in the street I reminded him of that night when he was drunk. He couldn't remember it but felt bad about it. So he bought us our tea! McDonald's ahhah! Good guy.  Good exchange. Fun day. 

Friday I went on another exchange with the Elders from Dunfermline. We taught a new investigator and then proselyted most of the day. Where did we go for lunch you ask? Subway. Overall just a good fun day. Not much else happened. I truly love being a missionary. I'm trying my best to help the Lord's work move forward. It is not my work, but His.

Saturday. Another great day! =) We were able to teach one of our investigators, Henry. He is from China. Sylvia came and helped us teach him! He had taken so many notes from the Book of Mormon from the chapter we gave him to read. We taught him about the restoration. He really enjoyed it. After that we had tea with Anne Harrison. It is always so good to see her! She is so kind to us. Later on we drove out to St. Andrews to teach another investigator Feranndo. After our lesson he agreed to come to church!

Sunday was Bonfire night! Also called Guy Fawkes night.
We had our Sunday service and then went out and taught a investigator after church. We worked until 6:00 and then mission rules had back in our flat. We watched fireworks and a bonfire which was close to our flat. It was so fun! To finish off our day Elder Keim and I just laid down by our little fire.

That was my week =)

I love you all!

Monday, October 30, 2017

Week 59

This week was killer here in Dundee. The Spirit was felt throughout the week after seeing miracle after miracle.

Monday, p day, we went to St. Andrews. Elder Keim had never seen the old course and the bridge. After that we went and ate pizza at Law hill.

Tuesday and Wednesday were both full days of finding. We had no lessons set up so both days were just out kicking it in the city all day long. We did have a tea appointment at the Bishops home Wednesday evening. That is always so nice! 

Thursday we had 5 lessons set up and all of them fell through. We had our interviews with President Donaldson. And then later that evening we had a Dundee stake fireside! Elder Dale G Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke to us. President and Sister Donaldson also spoke. All of the talks were so amazing! I felt the Spirit so strong! We brought Sylvia to the fireside and and she really enjoyed it. Here are some quotes that I recorded from the fireside.

- It is my responsibility to decide what I want to be in life.
- Do I choose love or hate?
- Inspirational or cryptic? 
- Positive or negative?

These are all my choices. 

- The Saviors declaration to the Nephite people in 3rd Nephi: "MY JOY IS FULL" ponder on that.
- The Savior loves to heal. 
- 2nd Nephi chapter 1. Talks to parents and what they should want for their children. 

Friday was great too! Elder Renlund was present for our ALL SCOTLAND missionary conference here in Dundee! It is always great to see some old friends. And then to be able to hear a great talk from an Apostle of the Lord! Elder Renlund spoke to us about these three main messages.

1. The Lord wants to thank you on behalf of Him and His church. 
2. You have been called here by God. If you don't know that then you need to figure that out down to your bones!
3. President and Sister Donaldson are called here by God. They love you!

When Elder Renlund spoke to us about #2 the Spirit spoke to me. He testified again to me that this is true. When I opened my call a year ago I knew right then that this is where I needed to serve. This was just another powerful reminder from the Spirit and from an Apostle why I have been called here.

The SIM is best mission on the face of this earth!

After conference we were busy driving people to the bus and train stations. Once we finished all of that we took one of my first converts, my boy, Ross out to work with us to St. Andrews. We had a lesson to teach and it was great for him and for us to have him help teach. After that we all went to a chippy and got fish and chips! =)

Saturday was another day of miracles. We taught 4 new people. They were all out on a date! It was a miracle day after a lot of perseverance! =)

Sunday. Another great Sabbath day. After church we enjoyed getting out and finding for the rest of the day.

This coming Tuesday is obviously Halloween. Our day will finish at 5:00 p.m. It's a bummer but oh well!

Love you all!

Monday, October 23, 2017

Week 58

Don't let the title throw you off. It was not a week of being cool. It was a week where I was very sick...

Last Monday P-day was a 'eh' P day. Not much happened.

Tuesday we went down to Kirkcaldy for a DM. Then we drove back to up to Dundee for a lesson we had set up with a family in their home. We were super hyped for it but when we walked in the front door the dad of the family really did not want us to teach... He was a Born Again and wanted only to bash. That was a bummer.

Wednesday was a good day. We were able to go on exchanges with the Kirkcaldy Elders. We enjoyed the day working in Dundee. We also taught Sylvia, our recent convert, about temples. We are hoping that she will want to go on the YSA temple trip in November! We are preparing her for that day!

Thursday was a day of finding in the city. Around lunch time I started to feel sick. I felt like a truck had hit me. My body ached, my throat was on fire, and I had one of the worst fevers I have ever had. Top it off it was raining. It was a hard day. Then that night I got like 3 hours of sleep. We were outside working most of the day finding. It probably was not the smartest thing to do when you are sick but you gotta do what you gotta do and that is to find people to teach!

Friday was the same day. I was not feeling any better but we still went out and just grinded it out.

Saturday the same. I was hating life. Everyone was telling me to go back to the flat. People in the street would be like; "Why are you trying to talk to me if you are sick?" It also didn't help that I sounded like the joker... But in the end we had a good day. That night we had our DA at one of the bishopric members home. It was a good way to end the day.

By the time Sunday came around I was starting to feel a little better. Not 100% but better. Church was good. And then we were still able to go out and find some cool people this week to teach. Not a ton but hopefully this week will change because I will be feeling better. Sorry for a bummer week but I promise this week will be better!

Another reason why this week will be better is for our All Mission Conference on Thursday and Friday. A member of the quorum of the 12 apostles is coming to Dundee! Elder Renlund! He will be doing a fireside right here in Dundee at the Bingham chapel! That is probably the coolest news ever!

Monday, October 16, 2017

Week 57

Another great week we here in Scotland.

Ya ken? Dunny ken pal. Pure drik outside right now. (just speaking some Scots language.)

Today and tomorrow there is supposed to be a category 2 hurricane coming over Ireland and northern part of the UK. Hurricane Opheilia. Should be some some fun with 60-80 mph winds and a lot of rain.

This last p-day we went on a cool little hike and took some cool pics that I am sending.

Tuesday we went to Montrose for a DM and then after that we visited Arbroath. I was able to take some pictures of the  St. Vigeans parish. We met the person over the parish, Rick. He was very nice and told us stories about it. I loved it there. As soon as I saw the parish I was filled with a lot of happiness. This is where my great-great-great grandfather Hugh Sidley Gowans was christened and married. He was the first in the Gowans line from Arbroath to join the church at a very young age. It was great to be able to walk around and see it all!

Wednesday we had a day full of finding and just grinding it out. We need more people to teach! It was a bit wet this day. We also went on exchanges with the Arbroath Elders. I was with Elder Allen. We to a DA on the beach. The Elders made J Dawgs because they had the recipe from Utah =) so good! 

Thursday we were able did more finding and then we left for the Burgh to go on exchanges with the AP's.

Friday I split with Elder Gibb. We had a really fun day and we were there a part of Saturday too. It was great to be there and see some old faces haha.

Sunday we went to church first and then we drove back up to Arbroath to do a baptismal interview. I love being here in Scotland.

Love you all!

Monday, October 9, 2017

Week 56

What a great week in Dundee!

Last Monday was our p-day. Before Elder Keim showed up we all went to Law Hill. We had some pizza and Irn-Bru. It was nice to have sorta of rest after moving so many missionaries. I finally picked up my new mate Elder Keim and we got to work right away. We have already been blessed by finding some new people to teach! We also had a lot of fun doing it!

Tuesday and Wednesday were full days of finding and teaching prepared people. Wednesday was the last day for Elder Kitchen. He left for his move assignment to Northern Ireland. Antrim.

Thursday was a great day! We were able to leave early for Edinburgh for our usual MLC. This was one of the best MLC meetings we have had. We talked about our goals and how as a mission we are currently at 305 baptisms. This in not our goal for the year. Our year end goal is 450. Obviously by the numbers you can tell if we are going to make it it will take a lot of work for each us. We talked a lot about the Spirit of urgency. It is through that Spirit we are going to achieve this year end goal. We were instructed to make goals for each individual zone on how we can reach our goals moving forward. It was a great spiritual experience and we are pumped to get back to work in the D and find those people who are ready to be baptized!

We also had President Donaldson take pictures of us in front of the President David O. Mckay stone. He asked Elder Keim to do a special pose. You can see the pose in the picture I sent. It was so funny. President got a kick out of it! 

Friday our Investigator Sylvia was able to be interviewed for her baptism! She is ready for Sunday. We also continued to work hard and went and did some finding and taught some more lessons.

Saturday we were asked to do our ZLC. We got all the district leaders together and instructed them on what we had learned in MLC. It was great to have it so early. Now they know earlier what needs to happen in order for us to reach our mission goal. It too was another great meeting. Later that evening I was given a bike! hahaha. One of my good mates who I see almost everyday just gave me a bike!

Yesterday we were able to see our friend Liang zhiyu Sylvia be baptized! What a great feeling it was to end the week! There is no better feeling knowing that a person just changed their life forever. She said afterwards how she felt so good. She said she knew it was the right thing to do!

This next week should be killer week. We are going to work hard and have a lot of fun doing it! We have exchanges with the AP's on Friday and Saturday. I will be in the Burg for that!

I love you all!