Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Week 20

Elder Charlesworth, one of Elder Gowans previous companions, sent us an e-mail on Monday morning informing us that Elder Gowans was transferred to Edinburgh. The transfer took place on the 30th of January. Because of the transfer we did not receive Elder Gowans weekly e-mail.

We were also sent this picture of Mae's baptism. Mae was baptized on Saturday the 28th of January.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Week 19

This week was amazing! Here is a quick update on our current investigators.

M** is getting baptized this Saturday! I will for sure be there before transfers. I am not sure who is going to baptize her. G**** is not responding to us anymore. D*** turns 18 in July. It is still aways away, but she is doing so good.

Last Monday, p-day, we went to Broughty Ferry. It is just a wee town 20 min outside of Dundee. We were able to go and see the beach there and go visit the castle! So cool! After 6:00 we hit the streets. I talked to a lady named F***** from Zambia! We sat down at a coffee shop and taught her about the restoration. She felt the spirit! We were supposed to see her today again but she dropped us. After getting dropped Elder Donavon did not feel good. The next morning, Tuesday he woke up feeling like crap. He had a bad fever and so we called Sister Donaldson. She told him to stay inside. We stayed in the flat pretty much all that day. I did make him get up and go to work for a wee 2 hours. I gave him a blessing at the end of the day. He said it really helped.

WEDNESDAY! What a day! On Tuesday's we go to ward council. In that meeting the High Priest leader gave two referrals. A family and one other older man. The family lives out in a place called Blair Gowrie (Gowans similar). It is a 30 min drive from Dundee. It is by Perth. Holy cow! The drive out there was amazing! Countryside the entire way. Rivers. Rolling green hills. Wee mountains in the distance with snow peaks, and sunlight streaming through the clouds! I can't fully describe it but I love this country! It gives me chills every time I think about it.

We went to a home and chapped a door with no answer. We went back outside and buzzed into the flat. This man then peeked out from his window and said to come back in an hour. He said that is when his daughter would be home. We said fair enough and left. We went to visit this second guy. Now this guys name is R*****. He let us in his home and said to us, "You are lucky you caught me. If you would have waited another hour I would have left!" That was the first miracle. So now we had time to talk to R*****.  (Lord Gowies name!) We sat down and began to talk. He is a inactive member. It has been 40 years since he has last been to church. He told us stories how he had been the Bishop. He has been married in the temple. R***** is a legend. He had been a member only 4 years before being called as the Bishop! He told us how he had felt somewhat like Lehi who had been wondering in the wilderness for 40 years. We talked for a good hour and then told us this was the first time someone from the church had come to see him... So sad. He said that he knows he needs to come back to church. He still knows it is true but it's just getting him there. I felt so much sadness yet joy for us coming and talking to him. We committed him to come to church in two weeks. What a special experience.

After talking to R***** we went back to the other flat and the man that told us to come back actually let us in. This man, R****** hasn't been to church for over 30 years! He was baptized when he was 17 years old. He went on to join the army and because of that never went back to church. He too still knows that the gospel is true. He said he felt like when we came over he had been 're-summoned' back to the church. He is such a cool guy. We got along so well with each other. We talked for a little over an hour and then his daughter, T****, came home! T**** is 18 years old and is very interested in the church. She has been being prepared for us for her whole life. When she walked into the flat we started to talk to her and taught a wee lesson. We knew that she was ready and committed her to be baptized on February 5th! She accepted without hesitation. Wow! This day was a special day to me.

Friday we had exchanges again with Kirkcaldy! This was a good day. I went with Elder Butler. We took a train and spent most of the day out in Kirkcaldy. Loads of fun! I have pics from that day.

Saturday, went back to Blair Gowrie with Ray, the member, and taught T**** again and her dad, R*****. She loved the lesson about the restoration. The Spirit was pumping! What a great day. We also taught our boy T******* from Zimbabwe. The drive out to Blair Gowrie the countryside was covered with fog. Amazing!

Sunday! R****** came to church like he said he would. Thirty years since that last time he came. He almost came to tears at church! T**** also came! We taught the Plan of Salvation to her after church. It all went so well! We are seeing them again on Tuesday.

Today is p-day. We are going to go to Baxter park and play futbol, basketball, tennis, and American football! Should be great!

Transfer calls are this Sunday. I already know I am gone. I feel it and everyone else knows it as well. Apparently, this is going to be a huge move for the mission, that is the word from our Mission President. I love Dundee too much. I will leave probably a couple days before T**** gets baptized. Sad.

Love you all!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Week 18

We hit the streets so hard this week for 27 hours to be exact. It was the lowest potential week I have had so far. But I also had the most finding time so far on my mission. I seriously just like laugh because we are having such a hard time.

I went to Law hill last Monday. It is where you can overlook the entire city of sacred Dundee. I seriously love it here. I love the town, sights, smells, noises. Just everything! And I love the people who hate me.

I don't think I have ever been this tired on my mission. I literally go to bed and wake up the next morning only to find myself more tired. We hope to have a better week this next week. We have been doing a lot of member work here in the Liff ward. We are hoping to get 3 referral's this week from members. Sadly I feel as if my time is coming to an end here in Dundee. Everybody else thinks so too. That will push me harder to finish out my home city with diligence and with humility. I hope to be able to find that Gowans touch. But we need to be able to find and teach the elect people who we are here to find. Elder Donavon and I are doing good.

The one girl, M**, that we were teaching and had to give to the other Elders went to church yesterday. She is doing great! She really wanted to see us again so we took her for hot chocolate for lunch on Friday. We just talked and used our lunch hour to be with her.

All is well! I love the mission. I never thought I would love it this much. I love reading the scriptures. A member in the Liff ward gave me a new pair of scriptures. The ones I brought over were the same ones that I have had since my baptism 10 years ago. It is a mini quad! If I get any free time I am burying my face into the scriptures. I started reading the D&C on Tuesday. I am now in section 60. I love missionary work! I am changing as a person. I love it so much. I am sorry for the weird e-mail. I know it is not like the others I have sent.

Finally Sunday was a good day. A girl named G****, who had dropped us a week ago, texted us Friday wanting to meet up with us again. We met with her yesterday and got her with a new date for baptisim on the 12th of February. A tender mercy.

I love you all!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Week 17

This week was a great week! I love missionary work! It truly is so fun and so rewarding. I'll get right into it.

Friday was a sweet day. We went on exchanges with our new District Leader Elder Butler. We went to Kirkcaldy! This is just a wee town between the Burg and Dundee. We spent the entire day there. I was with an Elder from Canada, Elder Nelson. We get along so well. He loves to hunt and fish. He lived in a town called Mountain View. Supposedly it's in the middle of nowhere. We became such good friends. We spent the entire day chapping! It was my first time doing this for an entire day. I freaking loved it. I know that contacting in the city center is way more efficient but I thought this was fun. We did not get in any doors but it was a blast. Elder Nelson looks exactly like Ryde Casper. The weirdest part is that his first name is Ryder!! MENTAL I KNOW. The picture I sent you  shows me with no food and only 1 hour of sleep. Elder Nelson had no-where for me to sleep last night. I ended up sleeping on the smallest couch I swear has ever been made. It was not comfy. Elder Nelson is a transfer behind me so it was weird for me being the old one. He has already invited me up to Canada after our missions to go hunt some bears, moose and then chill at his cabin. What a good guy.

Saturday was also a good day. We took the train back into the best place in the mission, Dundee baby. It was sooooo cool. The fog in the city was unreal. It was the first time I had seen it like that. I could literally only see 5 feet in front of me. It was so thick. I could actually look at what looked like the sun and see the sphere of it without going blind. I sent two pics, one with the fog and one without fog. I took it from our flat's window. Crazy.

Sunday was the best day of the week. In my personal study I finished reading the Book of Mormon. I said a wee prayer to God asking him to give me another witness of the truthfulness of this book. Later on, in fast and testimony meeting, I was sitting back, relaxing, and listening. After the third testimony from the pulpit I realized all three had been about Joseph Smith, the Book of Mormon, and the Restoration. It ended up for the day 12/17 testimonies were in some way about the Book of Mormon. Every time the spirit spoke to me as I was sitting there closing my eyes. I soaked it all in like a sponge. I felt like this the Spirit was tangible. I ended up bearing my testimony as well in church. I testified of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I said that the Spirit had again witnessed to me today of that fact. Right after I sat down the Bishop got up and said, "Elder Gowans, add my testimony to yours on that list." My testimony increased so much yesterday in regards to the Book of Mormon, and of Joseph Smith. I also know that God knows me and my desires. Now I know why every time I have been on a bus or train in the past while I have been pulling out my Book of Mormon wanting to read. I didn't know why at first but now I know. I know it was to help me finish reading that book by this Sunday. I needed to have it read so I could bear testimony of the Book of Mormon to these ward members. And by doing that I could also increase my testimony. What a special experience.

I love being a missionary. This week, to be honest, was not all great. People with dates dropped us. The one really solid person we have is M**. She does not live in our boundaries so we have to give her away anyways. But she went to church yesterday and loved it. I have taught her most of the lessons. The worth of souls is great and it doesn't matter if it is me or other missionaries that are teaching her. The one other person who is progressing is D***. She wants so badly to be baptized. We got word this morning that her dad says no. I can't understand why. Why does all of our hard work seem to be turning into nothing? I am confused, frustrated and at a lost right now. But I do know that not working hard will only make matters worse. So we will just get back at it and hit the streets.

I love you all so very much!

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Week 16

Wow! There is so much I want to say and not enough time! I will start by saying it was so good to see you all on Christmas. Right as you came on the screen my heart filled with so much joy and happiness. I love you all so much! It was so good to talk and see your faces again.

The day after Christmas, Monday, was Boxing day. The mission president told us we had the whole day off. Elder Donavon and I got on a bus and took a small trip to the village of Arbroath! What a dream! I was able to see the town that my ancestors came from! It is a small fishing town. We were going to go to a place named Gowan Brye but sadly we did not have enough time so we just toured as much as Arbroath as we could. We were able to see the harbor. The cliffs that over look the North sea. The old ruined Arbroath abbey. The beach. We went to Keptie pond. We visited the lighthouse. When I looked out over the city I got a feeling that I had never felt before. It was if I felt like I was at home. It felt like I belong here. I felt like I knew where every good chippy was. I seemed to know all the back roads. When we were walking to the abbey, we were also at the same time trying to find the bus station. Elder Donavon said "we are going to miss our bus!" I told him, "we're fine trust me."  I walked in this back alley not even knowing where I was going and we found the bus station. It was such a cool experience! That day was a dream come true.

On Tuesday we taught this girl named M**. She is so awesome! She lives in Wormit. We challenged her to a baptismal date. Sadly we will have to give her to the other Elders. She does not live in our area. She is so awesome.

On Friday we taught D*** and C****. We had a great lesson. They felt the spirit. I pray that it will all work out for them.

Saturday was amazing! We were doing missionary work until 6:00 that night. When we were in the downtown part of Dundee we saw these huge St. Bernard dogs. I swear they were the largest and laziest dogs I have ever seen! We then went to the Bishop Keogh's for our missionary New Year's Eve party! We had a great tea. After tea we played a lot of fun games! I was the highlight in one of the games we played. Now every single family member thinks they have to try and re-inact what I did. I'll have to admit it was pretty funny! Also that morning in personal study I was reading in the 1st chapter of 4 Nephi and found so much from verses 12-17. I realized that this mission is already four months done! This has been my dream since I was a wee little boy. Now, it's just flying by! While thinking about this it made me so much more want to be the best missionary I can be. I am trying my absolute best to be the most exact obedient missionary I can be! I have been so happy recently. Whatever happens to me, I don't care. I am living a higher law now.

Sunday! what a great day! 2017! This was another day we had off. We first went to church and had a great church service. Then the Bishop invited us to come over to there house again to play games. We got to play Fifa! I beat Josh 3-0!! Put the crown on my head!

We also had 5 tea appointments this past week with members in my new ward! At one home we had some steak pies. They were super good! At the Williams we played this really stupid game where they blind folded all of us missionaries and then made us eat weird foods! I ate and swallowed a entire pickled onion... I swear I wanted to throw up. It was so gross. Then in the middle of playing this game we got a phone call from our zone leader, Elder Calton. He told us because of new circumstances we would need to pack our bags that night and move to a new flat? To make a long story short two new AP's were called. And because of this we had to change from our flat to the sisters flat. And the Sisters are moving to our flat. These two new AP's are now also going to be living in Dundee. We went home and packed up our stuff. I am going to miss my first home. I am going to miss looking at the city at night. I am going to miss the smells and all of the noises. I will miss everything about my first home.

Monday! what a legendary day. This was our last day to have off. In the morning we moved flats. I am going to miss not being able to walk to the city everyday. But on a positive note, the new flat is one of the nicest flats in the mission! I have no idea what to do with all this new space! It is crazy. It is so big and so nice. and we have a good view of the Tay river and the Tay bridge. The kingdom of fife. It is so beautiful! We will get to watch the sunrise every morning.

Then we went to St Andrew's and spent the whole day there! We visited some of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. We went back to the Old course and got more pictures on the Swally bridge. After that we went and got some burgers at this burger place which reminded me a lot of haunted hamburger in Jerome! After that we went to the most amazing thing ever. We went to St Andrews Cathedral! This place was absolutely amazing. It is half torn down but it was so massive and so beautiful! I couldn't believe some of the things I was seeing. I forgot my camera but hopefully I will get you pics soon. I can only imagine what it was like when it was still fully intact. So beautiful. After the Cathedral we went and looked at St Andrews Castle! This castle is also half torn down... It was so cool to look at when we went down by the beach and looked back up at it. After all this we went to the pier. The Pier jets out far into the ocean. The waves would constantly crash up against wall where we stood. It really was a special day. I was able to see some of the culture here in Scotland! At the end of the day we had some of the best vanilla ice cream you will ever taste. That night we slept at Elder Calton's flat because he is alone. Our other Zone leader was transferred to Glasgow. All because of the two new AP's that were called. The two new AP's basically changed the entire mission.

I have loved these past two weeks. We have made some precious memories! I love being a missionary. It is so much fun. I am loving it! This transfer goes until the end of January. So I will still have at least a month here in Dundee. I love it!

Here is my new mailing address:
12 Dock Street Flat 5
Dundee, Scotland

I love you all!
Elder Gowans