Monday, February 27, 2017

Week 24

Last P day we went to the beach with one of our investigators. Allison! We had a really fun time. I got to wear some normal clothes for the first time and run around. We had so much fun. After that we went and taught some investigators. It was then that I realized that our phone was missing? We were so stressed to think that our phone as gone. Elder Elton and I went into the bathroom and said a little prayer. We came out and taught the lesson and to our amazement our phone was found! All is well! Everything that we prayed for, besides the phone, was answered... It may sound like a weird and interesting story but the power of prayer is real! 

We have some new investigators that we are teaching. Ting Ting is one of those. Sadly she could not make it to church this past Sunday. She has a date set for the 15th of March.

Saturday was the last day of a Holiday so we were finally able to teach a lot of our investigators. We were able to help them solve some of there concerns. We are happy to see that they are all progressing!

Sophie- 8th of March 
Ainy - Possibly for the 8th or the 15th.
Echo- Possibly for the 8th or the 15th.
Renne- Likely the 15th. 
Ting Ting- Likely the 15th. 
Allison- No date yet. 
Juan Xin- No date yet.
Tom - No date yet.

Sunday was such a good day! It was Elder Elton’s Birthday. When he fell to sleep the night before, I got up and decorated our hallway that leads into our living room. He had received some stuff for his birthday from his girlfriend. I stayed up late at night trying to tie stupid ballon knots! When he woke up, he walked in the living room and was really confused. I then sprayed him with silly string. It was so funny! Elton then made a Chocolate cake for us. We ate it for breakfast... Oops. After breakfast we went to church.  We had five of our investigators there. Sophie, Ainy, Allison, Echo, and Tom. It was a good sacrament meeting.

After church Elder Elton’s friends from Glasgow came to see him. After meeting with them we went and did some finding. For tea that night Allison made us some hot pots and some other Chinese food. After tea we had some more of the chocolate cake and had a small party for Elton. It was a good day.

This week should be a great week. We need to meet with all of our investigators to prepare them for there baptisms. It is also now important for us to find new investigators to teach!

I am reading the Old testament for the first time in my life. I am in Leviticus. I am actually enjoying it! I told you a while back that Becky Keogh, in Dundee, bought me a mini quad. The other set I have is from when I was  eight years old. This set of scriptures will be the set I keep in the flat to use for my study. I had a tartan case made to cover it. It is actually the first sweet thing that I have ever created that is artsy!

I don’t ever remember a time in my life where I didn’t know that I was going serve a mission. I have always known. Since I was a wee lad I knew I wanted to be a missionary. I wanted to go to England just like my dad. I wanted to be a great missionary like him. I knew that I would need to work hard to be a great missionary. Then there was a time just before my mission where I started to doubt. I started to wonder why I needed to go on a mission. I wasn’t for sure if it would help me. Over that period of time God helped me realize again, in my own way, that I needed to go. I went to England for the first three weeks of my mission. Now, I am in the better part of the UK! I am in Scotland! I have been working hard for almost 6 months now. I have been doing what I know I need to do to be successful.

I will definitely always hold my first area, Dundee, close to my heart. I will miss the dock right outside our flat. I will miss the people that hated me because I would ask them if they wanted to know more about Jesus Christ. I will always miss the noises in Dundee. I will miss the weather in Dundee. I will miss it all.

Now Edinburgh is the same for me! I love this place! It is so beautiful here! Transfers are just under two weeks away. It’s crazy! Thank you for teaching me that missions change lives! It has changed mine!

I love you all!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Week 23

This week was a great week. A lot of things are going well here in Edinburgh. I am looking forward to the next couple weeks.

Monday. We went to the zoo. In the evening we taugh S*****. S***** is from China. She is preparing for her baptisim on the 8th of March!

Tuesday. A regular finding missionary day.

Wednesday. We went on some good exchanges with the other Elders in our district. I went with Elder Keim. Elder Keim is from Utah! He went to Alta High school. He is one tall guy! We had a great day of finding.

Thursday. What a crazy hectic day. It started out with us running around all day trying to get things figured out with the interviews that we had with President Donaldson. We had lunch and did some service for an older member in our ward. I mowed his garden! It was fun. Elder Elton and I had such a great time.

Friday was a good day! We got word from some of our investigators that this place named BarBurrito has a ping pong table. Since lunches are only thirty minutes we bought a hot dog. We were his first customers! We are so tight with him now! Then for the rest of the 20 minutes Elton and I played some ping pong. It was good to unwind and smash Elton for 20 minutes!

On Saturday not much happened. We did have a DA with the Nelsons. There was this girl there from Orem, Utah! She is here in Scotland for just a little while. She knew so many people that I know!

Sunday was a great day! It is always great to go to church and partake of the Sacrament. The Sacrament fills me with so much joy, to know that I can be forgiven of my shortcomings. I know I am becoming a better person. I am trying to improve to the end! Later that day we ate Hot Pots with some Chinese members that are recent converts. They love us! We had a great time!

I know I have not talked much about our investigators as of late. Here are the people that we are currently teaching and preparing for baptism:

S***** She is from China. Scheduled for the 8th of March.
R**** She is from Hong Kong. Scheduled for the 8th of March.
A*** She is from China. Scheduled for the 8th of March.
J*** *** She is from China. Scheduled for the 8th of March. She was supposed to come to church yesterday but her phone ran out of data so she got lost and wandered around looking for the church for 2 hours! So sad. But she did make it right as church was ending.

As you can see they are all working towards the 8th of March. They are very prepared. We are also working with a lot of other people, they are just not progressing as fast.

I hope all is well back home in Orem. I miss you all! I love you!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Week 22

Family and friends!
It has been so good to be able to hear from a lot of you. I am doing so well here in Edinburgh.  We are having such a good time even though it is way colder here than in Dundee. Elder Elton and I are such good friends already. Did you read in my letter last week that we are both closely related? We are having such a fun time.

Monday. P-day. We went and played frisbee and rugby with other missionaries from our district. The APs and ZLs.

Tuesday. We went on exchanges with the ZLs, which is always a good time! I was with Elder Peacock form Watford! We had such a good time. He has only been out for about a year. We worked all day finding. It rained the entire day. All is well!

Wednesday. Elder Elton and I spend the day finding and teaching our investigators.

Thursday was a crazy day. I will not go into details but this was one of the weirdest days of my mission.

Friday we taught some of our friends and then later on we had a huge hail and snowstorm. It was so cool! In the evening we went and ate at some hotpot, Chinese food, with our Chinese friends.

Saturday was another day of finding and teaching our investigators.

Sunday. We had no one at church. It was a Chinese holiday. It was the Lantern festival. All is well. We are looking to change that this week and our goal is 8 at church.

Today! - Such a good day! Our friend Allison form China texted us and said she bought us tickets to the Edinburgh Zoo!!! We left early this morning. After the zoo we went and ate at a place called ‘Calle Doink’. This place serves haggis, Scottish food, and pork. It was really yummy place. We then went to Calton Hill. I will send pictures. Then we ended our p-day by going to a museum. It was a great day. I love my mission so much! Time is flying by. I really don’t like that fact. I am starving myself and just freezing my fingers to the literal bone.

I know that God has a plan for each and every one of us. In the mission field you realize how much time you spent your entire life so far by trying to be apart of the world. But now when you ask your self is this true happiness? Ask yourself if what you are doing is bringing you closer to the Saviour? If it is not brining you closer then you need to repent. Repentance is what will bring you true happiness. It is as simple as that. Yes, the journey will be hard at times. Yes, it will be long at times but the joy and comfort you feel when you are pleasing God by walking in His path is the feeling we should all be aiming for. John 14:26. I promise that as we come to know our Saviour and walk His path then you will have true happiness. Your decisions in life become simple and you become happy.

Elder Gowans

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Week 21

What a amazing past two weeks! As most of you are aware I was unable to get a chance to email last Monday. I was busy housing everyone in Dundee at our flat. Then I needed to make sure they all made it on time to the bus and train stations. Then, sadly, my time came to an end in Dundee. I know I will forget things as time goes on but I was sad to leave my home. Before I left on Saturday January 28th I was able to baptize MAE!!!! It was such a special experience. It was my last memory in Dundee. My mind is still a blur but right after the baptism I received the phone call to be moved to Edinburgh.

On Sunday the 29th I had to say goodbye to all of my friends and family here in Dundee. We ate lunch at the Keogh's. They all talked about what they liked most about Sister Truman and me. Sister Truman was also transferred to Northern Ireland. It really touched my heart to hear the things they said about us. Sheila, the mother of the family, gave me a big hug and said; "You are one of the missionaries over all the years here who we truly love." She had tears in her eyes when she spoke. "You are welcome back anytime so please keep in touch with us." I was so sad but also grateful to hear those words.

Monday the 30th I left Dundee in the morning just before noon. I got on the train to leave by myself and my heart felt so torn... I sat down and watched Dundee get smaller and smaller behind me as the train left. It was sad but it also brought peace to my mind. I knew as I left that I had done what was needed for me to do in Dundee. I was fine with leaving. It was such a a spiritual experience.

This past week in Edinburgh was amazing. I will be serving in the YSA ward with my companion Elder Elton! Elton is a stud. He is from the Seattle area and has been out 6 months. That means he has been out just 1 month longer than me. We are District or SAs Leaders here. It is confusing how it works but I cover 2 teams and Elder Elton covers 4 teams. And we are both related! His ancestors tie back to Tooele, Utah and James Gowans.

When I arrived in Edinburgh and met my new zone leaders. They drove me and Elder Elton to our flat and then said "cya later!" We had no idea what was happening. We knew we were white washing the area meaning the past two Elders serving here both left. They also only left us with one investigator which dropped us the next day.

We have worked so HARD this past week! Tuesday and Wednesday we spent the entire two days finding. We talked everyone we met. We worked 10 hours straight both days. We did not take any breaks for lunch or dinner. No food. We knew we needed to build up our teaching pool!

On Thursday we had our all Scotland conference. Elder Johnson from the Quorum of the Seventy came and spoke to us. He spoke about the new missionary schedule. At the conference I saw Elder Thompson! He was in my district while at the MTC!!! I love that guy. I also saw Elder Yang my trainer. He came over from Ireland. Friday we worked another straight 10 hours. No lunch. No dinner.

Saturday our hard work finally started to pay off. We taught so many people lessons! We have now set dates with a lot of these people. It is such a blessing.

Sunday February 5th. I am not sure of all of the details but Terri was baptized in Dundee! Elder Donavon baptized her. Ricky also was at church again. That means he has now been to church 4 weeks in a row! Reactivation! So many blessings. I was sent a picture of Terri's baptisim so I am sending it on to you.

This past week we have found so many potentials people to teach. It's around seventy. It's unheard of. We have taught so many Chinese people in the last couple of days. It is seriously getting to the point that, that is all we do! Teach! I can help Elder Elton teach in Chinese! My Chinese is actually pretty good. Not bad for someone not being called to learn the Chinese language. We had 6 investigators to church on Sunday! I guess that is what you get for not eating for a week! I am totally exhausted every-night. We finally bought some food today. I will now get a chance to finally eat. Our investigators that came to church were; Zhong Yu, Reaven, Jane, Sophie, Ai ne, and Yu Lei. At church we taught the Chinese gospel principal class with some other Chinese Rcs! We now have 12 new investigators we are teaching since arriving. We went from 0 to 12. Heavenly Father is showering gifts upon me and Elder Elton! Because of this I have not had time to think about Dundee! I have not stopped working for 50 hours. In Dundee we would average around 36 hours of finding and teaching. This past week we had 51 hours. No breaks. We go to the grocery store and buy 1£ bag of rolls and eat for 5 minutes and then go back out and work again!

I love missionary work! I love life! The Burgh is so Beautiful! Today for p-day we got up at 6:30 and hiked Arthur's Seat! I am sending you some of those pictures as well.

I love you all!