Hiya Family and Friends!
Wow I cant believe that I have been in Scotland for over a week and, on my mission for almost a month! So my poor companion has to be attached at the hip with someone who has been cursed with bad luck! It must be bad luck to travel on a Thursday ;) I feel like its all been a jumbled mess, alright to answer some common questions. I must not have said anything on my last email because yes I got my luggage delivered to Sister Greens house on Sunday night last week! So that was a blessing.
We moved into our flat on Tuesday! It was so nice to get there and finally feel like it would be normal (or so we thought). Turns out white washing it hard! Ha! Sister Parks and I have no idea where we are going half the time, but you will hear some funny stories about that later in this letter. Ok so last Monday for P-day we went into Glasgow to meet up with the rest of the Zone and play dodge-ball, that was fun. And Glasgow is a beautiful city! Absolutely breath taking! Its also a scary city, pretty sketch, don't worry mom I will spare you the details! Its fun taking the train to cities because you get off and it's just like in Harry Potter! There are platforms, and tons of people and trains everywhere and its just this huge beautiful building with a wicked clock and other thingy's! But the problem with Europe is that they just don't have trashcans everywhere so there is always bits (Scottish use the word bit a lot) of rubbish (trash) everywhere! Anyway I tried fish and chips! Which really wasn't that good, but I am sure it would be good if I got it from a posh (fancy, rich, snooty depending on the context) restaurant, as opposed to Chippys! Chippys for fish and chips is like McDonalds is for hamburgers. So not really that good.
People here always stare at us! For multiple reasons, one because Scottish people are very reserved, you will stand on a platform waiting for your train and it is dead silent. They don't talk and so they can always tell Americans because we are loud. Also we smile! At least I smile, and Scottish people don't smile to random strangers ever! Also we have white teeth, you will notice that Scottish people, when we are talking to them, look at our teeth a lot. We have even had people cover their mouths out of embarrassment for their teeth. So that's kind of awkward, and makes me sad. We had one lady apologize for her teeth. Also obviously we are two girls in skirts walking around with name tags so that's a given that people stare at us like we are zoo animals! haha I don't mind it i just keep a smile on my face and pretend that they are looking at me because of my beauty! ;) So Glasgow was fun, and we are going to go today as well, we will probably go most p-days.
Then Tuesday we moved into our flat and that was super nice, and the Glasgow Zone Leaders drove us around and we had a lunch appointment with this lady in our ward and she took us to a restaurant and while we had the lunch the Zone Leaders rearranged the apartment and got all our luggage in and everything, they were sooooo nice! Ok so Scottish food is similar to America, they have a bunch of different types of restaurants like Chinese, and Indian (but not Mexican), their Chinese here is terrible! So gross! However there are a lot of Indian people here so their Indian food is amazing! The las Katie took us to an Indian restaurant and it was soooooo good!
So I don't know if I already told you this but Scottish meals always start with a soup (well at least homemade meals), like almost always it starts with a soup. And then they serve up your food for you, after warming the plates in the oven! Which is weird that they do that. So they serve it up at the counter and then bring it to you. And since we are missionaries we always get dessert afterwards. So about my weight.....yeah I am going to gain so much weight. Last time a said 2 stones, nope probably 3, haha it am going to come back so fat! So after lunch we did some chapping (knocking) with the Zone Leaders and then they were nice enough to take us to our dinner appointment. The Wark family fed us, they are a brilliant family, absolutely grand! They have 6 boys, and most of them have red flaming hair, and their are all just the nicest guys you will ever meet. And their mom is a total sweetheart. So guess what they served me....haggis! Sister parks is constantly surprised about how much old fashioned Scottish food I am getting in one week. Alright, so haggis, not my favorite. It has a weird taste to it, but it is not bad enough that I cant eat it, so that's good. But I couldn't finish it, and Sister Wark was so kind about it. On the other hand their potatoes here are fab (slang for fabulous). Ok so we had no success on Tuesday, except we talked to this lady near the Wark's whose daughter knew the Wark boys and went to church with them a bit so she knew a little.
Wednesday was a special day.....We got up and ran which felt so good because we live right next to a park and it was so pretty! Then we did our morning routine and I almost wore my wool coat but then had the feeling I should wear my rain coat, but I had accidentally left my hat at Sister Greens house, and I also had the feeling to wear my boots and thick tights, and its a good thing I did because we got drenched!!!!! Pouring rain the whole day, I didn't have my hat, and didn't think to bring my umbrella, so yeah we were soaked. And we walked a lot that day and did multiple hours of chapping, in the pouring rain. And even though we were soaked through (although I was dry because my home made rain coat from my loving mother worked brilliantly) no one let us in, they thought we were crazy and closed the door. But thankfully we did have a few interested people, one girl who said she has thought about religion more because her and her man are getting married next year. Then another lady who asked us to come back, and I think there was one more but I am not so sure. We ended up being way far away and had to walk home because the buses had stopped running to where we were by 6 pm. I have pictures below of me and my companion on our walk by that elderly sign.
Thursday was a beautiful day I even took off my coat for a bit and the sun was shining most of the day. We did AUF's ( This is mom...I don't know what AUF's are if any of you do feel free to let us know) and while chapping on the doors we found a lady who had just gotten back from Australia and asked us to come back next week (this week)! Then we had a late lunch appointment with the Raphael's, and it was so good. Really the home cooked meals here are grand! The soup was a lentil soup and it was so good, I guess the Raphael's are famous for their soups. Then we had the usual potatoes and meat and greens, we had brusselsprouts and they tasted fantastic, so good. And also we had Yorkshire pudding which is just like a bland scone that you eat with your meat and potatoes and gravy. And then of course we had dessert. We always have dessert. So all that was a really good meal. Then we were behind on time because Scottish people can talk forever once you get them started, like really they talk a ton! So we had ward coordination and got some LA (less active) names that would actually be interested. Because so far most of the names we have received claim to never remember being baptized. Oh and Thursday morning we had zone teaching so that was good, our Branch President is amazing, he loves loves loves obedience. Its amazing so see someone love being obedient. What a great example.
Friday was really good, we did some more AUF's and we stopped this African lady on the sidewalk and she told us to come on Saturday to her house, we did but she didn't answer the door, we saw someone walk up and leave and their was a car in the lot....so I don't know. Then we were walking somewhere and saw another African man walking and he smiled at me and Sister Parks was like "I dare you to chase him down", so I did. haha I ran after him saying excuse me hiya excuse me! haha and we talked to him and I placed a book of Mormon !!!!!! Yayayayaya! I was so happy, and he said that he lived far away but we gave him our number and he said he might stop by the church in Glasgow because that's where he works, so I don't know but he was way nice. Oh and we met a man while chapping that was the gardener for this house and we were talking to him and he said he has been questioning God because his good friend just got cancer. So we talked to him for a while and placed another book of Mormon. He said he only gardens every three weeks, but he told us next time he would be here and we offered to come help him and talk to him more, and he seemed excited.
Saturday was not so fun. So we went to go find another AUF and we started walking on Strathaven (pronounced Straven) road and we were told by someone running by that Strathaven was way down the road. So we walked for an hour in the middle of farm country Scotland to this little place only to find that the houses on that road were in the 300's and we were looking for 89.... So after talking to people we realized we must have passed it, we walked all the way back on this deserted road with sheep and horses on the side and when we finally found it we realized it was right where we had started walking. We passed by the AUF's homes 3 other times that day. You see Scotland doesn't label streets! EVER! Its sooo frustrating. So it is hard to know what street your on. Oh and by the way the guy we walked 6 miles for, wasn't home. :) BLAST! Well our last AUF of the night, was a woman named Tracy Bullock and she said she knew about the church because of her aunt. And she asked us to come talk to her next Wednesday. So we are crossing our fingers on that one.
By the time Sunday came I was so excited for it. We fasted for our work to start coming along, and to have lessons. Since we didn't have any. Well our young man who is looking for peace said he was too busy and asked us to come back next Sunday so that was disappointing, and the other Catholic lady interested in family history didn't answer. So we started chapping and we came to this door and this lady saw us and said "ahh Mormons come on in." Well, she has had elders coming to her for 9 years and they last came about 5 or 6 years ago. She is very strong Catholic, and it will be a miracle to convert her, but God is a God of miracles. So pray that we say something that will testify to her heart. Also at church one of our "Less Actives" we were looking for (but couldn't find because she moved) came to church, and a boy brought his girlfriend to church, so we got soooo blessed on Sunday it was great!
Sorry this was such a long letter! There is just so much to say. I love it here, somehow throughout all the struggles and disappointment I can just keep smiling. Its natural, I love serving the Lord 24/7. I love studying everyday for as long as I can. And I love meeting crazy people! I love this work. I know so much that this is the true church and I am sad that so many people don't accept it! I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, and that Thomas Monson is one as well. I know God loves us so much, that he sent his Son to help us come back to him, I know that God wants to direct us, and that's why he gives us prophets. I love you all and thanks for your prayers