Monday, December 16, 2013

I’m a father!‏

Sis Watt's flat is above the Bridal shop, the dormer is where they sleep. It is a two level flat.


Weird huh? So with the mission if you train someone you’re their parent. So an Elder would be the Father of a new missionary and a Sister would be the mother of a new missionary. But when a trainee has 2 parents either at the same time, or follow-up trainer like me!, they have both parents. Sister Ricks trained my companion, Sister Jacques, for the first 6 weeks, and so she is her mum, and since I am follow-up training for the last 6 weeks I am Sister Jacques father! :) I never thought I would be a father one day. But alas, what can you do, Sister Ricks is definitely the more motherly type, so it works out! I have been working on my beard but I think it might take a while.
So here is a chart to let you know a little about my situation just now.

Benefits of East Kilbride:
Not in the city= less crazy bus traffic, less possibility of getting hit by cars, less noise, and quicker transportation (when you are actually on the bus)
Less foreign people, don’t get me wrong I love the foreigners but it does make communicating easier and also I actually feel like I am in Scotland again, as opposed to being in some strange melting pot!
Nicer People- Edinburgh is more posh (wealthy) so people can be kind of stuck up, not all of them, but a little.
Glaswegian accent back, that's my first Scottish language, I missed it so much! I love Glaswegian accent, it’s so thick.
Nicer flat- it’s a super cute flat that has two floors and is above a wedding dress shop so in the wee hours of the morning I can do jumping jacks without being worried about waking up anyone
Less Drunk People, I don’t know what it is about the city but people are just  drunk more often there

Downfalls of East Kilbride:
Well I left right before Christmas, so that’s not that fun.
Glasgow is colder than Edinburgh, and East Kilbride is colder than Glasgow- I have been having to re-adjust to this cold weather
Weekend raves- We live on main street so on Friday and Saturday night we can hear the club and pub and karaoke music just down the street, oh and all the drunk people
Less Scenic, Edinburgh is a beautiful city! East Kilbride is still pretty, but less historic and more modern
And I repeat, it’s colder and wetter! :(

So there you have it! Both places have their perks and their quarks. :) But I am happy to be here. I know I was pretty upset to leave Edinburgh, and I still have moments of missing Edinburgh but in the words of the Scotland/Ireland mission motto, "Where 'ere thou art, act well thy part". So I am trying my best to bloom where I am planted.

Sis. Watt said this reminded her of a scripture....
Sister Jacques is a great missionary. She is pretty bubbly, and so that is pretty good to lift my spirits a bit. It's weird follow-up training especially since Sister Ricks and I are so different. Sister Ricks was Sister Jacques first companion and we do missionary work differently. It’s the same work but we teach different, we go finding differently, and our personalities are way different, so I kind of feel bad for Sister Jacques because she has to learn from two different styles. But she is already so good, I don’t know if I will even teach her anything new. It’s also weird being a trainer and following your trainee around because you don’t know the area. Poor Sister Jacques has had to try to get us around everywhere. She is going to be a great missionary after having to deal with me! haha
I will quickly tell you about our week.

Monday and Tuesday consisted of packing and visiting people. It was pretty sad saying goodbye to some of the people. We taught Andrew and he is set his Baptism date for the 25th of December! Way exciting. Wednesday I went to a trainer meeting but had to leave early to catch my train. And then I went back to Glasgow, it was weird because I already knew where everything was and stuff. I didn’t have to get a new library card when I got here because I already have a South Lanarkshire library card, also I didn’t even have to get a new bus pass, all I had to do was top it up! So that makes for an easy transition.
Edinburgh Souvenir.
We played some football on Wednesday, which was awesome because I got my Edinburgh Souvenir on Tuesday, which was a Hibernian (hibs) football strip (jersey). So that is my special thing I got for Edinburgh. Then we had a dinner appointment with a family with the surname of the Rodgers that was really nice of them to have us. And we met with an investigator named Linda.

Thursday we weekly planned and had a Dinner appointment with another family, the Thompsons. And we found some really good potentials, including one who we have a return appointment with on Tuesday.

Friday we did some AUF's and then visited another investigator, a 10 year old named Scott. He would totally get baptized right now but because of custody issues with his father having to consent its currently being pushed back until the court is all done with. :( Then we had a dinner appointment with another family, the McNally's. As I am sure you can tell I am getting well fed. Saturday we met with a less active and the weather was atrocious! So wet and windy, we were drenched all day long. Because we didn’t have any appointments so we went finding in that weather! Oh man is was terrible!

Sunday was good meeting the ward and everything! And we met with a less active, Sister Betty, and a lady in a nursing home named Fay, she is a non-member and not interested in our church but her daughter is a member and she appreciates the visits. And now today; so that was my week!

I hope all is well! Sorry this wasn’t a very spiritual letter. I won’t be emailing next Monday on behalf of Christmas. So I think its appropriate to say...
Love you all!
Sister Watt
P.S. I never shared her Hamilton Souvenir, so here it is.

Half way there, "Do you Believe in Miracles", and a dreaded move.‏

"I am going to miss you Edinburgh!"
 Well I guess to start off I want to say that this is the end of my first half of my mission. I know the dates are off because actually my halfway point would be the 27th of December, but in transfer time table this is half of my mission done! CRAZY! I will be home in 9 months, that blows my mind. 
Also we got our moves call and I am moving to East Killbride. Now if you’re wondering why I didn't put an exclamation mark on the end of that statement is because I am not too happy about it. If you remember East Killbride is in the same district as Hamilton. I am literally a 30 minute bus ride from Hamilton. So much for a change of scenery eh! God has a sense of humor because he heard all the times I told Sister Hulet (while in Hamilton) how happy I was that we weren't serving in East Killbride.....and now I am going. I am also follow-up training; which basically means, my soon-to-be companion was being trained (which goes on for 12 weeks) by another Sister. Well that Sister just got moved to be a Sister Training Leader, and so they needed to bring in another Sister to finish off the training, so that’s what I will be doing. We will see how it goes. I am also pretty gutted (Scottish for upset) about leaving because as you can see by the subject we had a miracle happen.

This whole transfer Sister Cardon and I have been praying to find people who have been prepared to accept the gospel. We have been searching a lot for these people by doing a lot of finding this whole transfer. I guess we finally proved to God that we were willing to put the work in because instead of leading us to these people, God lead them to us. To start off we got a phone call from the mission home about a referral they received. It was a girl named Hannah, who watches a YouTube blog (I think it’s called the Shaytards) that a Mormon family does. One of the brothers or sons or something, just left for his mission. So Hannah wanted to know more about it all and sent a message to church headquarters. Well we went to her house and she let us in right away and we have met with her twice already. She is 21 and in university, and she just has loads of questions! It was so great, she is going home for Christmas on Wednesday so we won’t be able to teach her again until January, but I think it will go really good for her. Whether or not she gets baptized, it’s great to see someone who is genuinely interested in it all. She also came to church on Sunday, so that was really cool. So that was Thursday night we stopped by her.
This is the coffee shop that J.K.Rowling wrote a lot of her books in, including when she wrote it on napkins, it overlooks the castle in the back and she would look at the castle for inspiration. J.K.Rowling lives just outside of Edinburgh!
On Saturday morning we met Helen (recent convert) at the church to have a lesson and she says I have some good news. While we were walking into the room that has the seats and she says "Andrew, my son, has been reading the Book of Mormon and says he wants to get baptized."  I almost didn't make it to my seat. Seriously I think my knees just about buckled when she told us that! Ah it was crazy. So we talked to her a little bit more about it. Sister Birch and I taught Andrew once a LONG time ago. Helen says that Andrew has been reading it a lot and asking questions and just came in the other morning and told her he wanted to get baptized! So we told Helen to tell him that if he wants to get baptized he has to come to church and learn from us. I wasn’t completely sure if he would come, but he did! He was at church and we talked to him, gave him a baptism calendar, and showed him everything that he needs to learn, and explained how before we baptized him, we want to make sure he knows everything and believes it. And he was like "yeah I appreciate that" and we made an appointment with him for today! In fact, right after I finish emailing! So that was way cool, and such a great blessing! MIRACLE!

Alright I will quick to a wrap up of my week:
Monday we had an appointment with the Italian guy I mentioned. We taught his girlfriend and him, and after that lesson they weren’t that interested. So we didn’t set up a return appointment, but they were super kind! Tuesday was Sister Cardon’s birthday and we had zone meeting and we went and saw Deryll, we actually saw Deryll Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday night. But she still doesn't believe that man can see God, so therefore she doesn’t believe in Joseph Smiths vision, and she refuses to believe, and says she never will. So if she doesn’t get a spiritual conformation soon, we might have to drop her. :( I was sick this week and so I spent a good amount of the time in sleeping. I have conquered my cough though, which is amazing because I usually get bronchitis and have a cough for like a month! So that’s good!

Wednesday we went to Bella's house for dinner. It was nice meeting with her again, and I really hope that God softens her boyfriend’s heart so she can start actively learning about the gospel again, because she wants to learn, her partner is just in the way! We don’t want to destroy any relationships so we are letting her take it at the pace she thinks her boyfriend can handle. Thursday we had dinner at the Boden’s (a senior missionary couple, they are great!) and like I already mentioned Thursday night we met Hannah.

Friday we saw Norm, I LOVE NORM! I love that she is active in the church now, and so does she. God really directed us on that one, because if she hadn’t come back to church when she did, she told us that she would have made it ten times harder for her to do that, because we met with her right in a critical time in her life. So I am grateful for God sending us there. We also saw Pam Hoyle (a less active) and had dinner at the Cunninghams. Saturday we met with Helen and Hannah again, and dinner at Ruths. Sunday we had 2 investigators at church!!!!!!!!!! And also visited Sappho and Maggie Scott (less actives), that’s where we got the moves call. So that was my week, sorry I made the ending of this email really boring; I started with all the exciting stuff. I should have spaced it out more so that my email was much more exciting! Anyway, I will be emailing you from East Killbride next week! I hope everyone is having a great Christmas season. Sister Cardon and I got a wee Christmas tree up....and now I am leaving it! :'( Its ok though, I am just being overly dramatic. I love you all and have a great week!

Sister Watt
I saw this girl get off the bus with a mustache tattoo on her finger like this, so I copied her!
 "I mustache you a question!"

Sometimes God gives us lemons to show us what it tastes like, so that when we taste lemonade we understand how sweet it actually is.

Sister Watt and Castle in Edinburgh.

Like my subject? I made that up, here is my explanation.

 I feel like the past couple of weeks have been sour! I keep on saying how this has been a rough week, over and over again. To be honest it hasn't gotten better either, and I don’t know when it will get better, but despite all the trials and struggles and frustrations and tears, I know that when the blessings come (and they will come!) I will thank God for the trials he put me through, because then I know what joy actually feels like. I know that if I continue to work hard I will receive blessings, and more importantly bless someone else life one day. This just made me think of this talk by Elder Holland to missionaries, it’s really good you should read it, but here is a quote from it, and this makes me feel better and understand better why times get hard!

"Anyone who does any kind of missionary work will have occasion to ask, why is this so hard? Why doesn’t it go better? Why can’t our success be more rapid? Why aren’t there more people joining the Church? It is the truth. We believe in angels. We trust in miracles. Why don’t people just flock to the font? Why isn’t the only risk in missionary work that of pneumonia from being soaking wet all day and all night in the baptismal font?
You will have occasion to ask those questions. I have thought about this a great deal. I offer this as my personal feeling. I am convinced that missionary work is not easy because salvation is not a cheap experience. Salvation never was easy. We are The Church of Jesus Christ, this is the truth, and He is our Great Eternal Head. How could we believe it would be easy for us when it was never, ever easy for Him? It seems to me that missionaries and mission leaders have to spend at least a few moments in Gethsemane. Missionaries and mission leaders have to take at least a step or two toward the summit of Calvary.
Now, please don’t misunderstand. I’m not talking about anything anywhere near what Christ experienced. That would be presumptuous and sacrilegious. But I believe that missionaries and investigators, to come to the truth, to come to salvation, to know something of this price that has been paid, will have to pay a token of that same price.
For that reason I don’t believe missionary work has ever been easy, nor that conversion is, nor that retention is, nor that continued faithfulness is. I believe it is supposed to require some effort, something from the depths of our soul.
If He could come forward in the night, kneel down, fall on His face, bleed from every pore, and cry, “Abba, Father (Papa), if this cup can pass, let it pass,” 16 then little wonder that salvation is not a whimsical or easy thing for us. If you wonder if there isn’t an easier way, you should remember you are not the first one to ask that. Someone a lot greater and a lot grander asked a long time ago if there wasn’t an easier way.
The Atonement will carry the missionaries perhaps even more importantly than it will carry the investigators. When you struggle, when you are rejected, when you are spit upon and cast out and made a hiss and a byword, you are standing with the best life this world has ever known, the only pure and perfect life ever lived. You have reason to stand tall and be grateful that the Living Son of the Living God knows all about your sorrows and afflictions. The only way to salvation is through Gethsemane and on to Calvary. The only way to eternity is through Him—the Way, the Truth, and the Life." -Missionary Work and the Atonement
Here is another quote from Elder Holland,
"Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come." -"An High Priest of Good Things to Come"
These are just some things that have been going through my mind that last couple of days.
Now that that is over with, I will tell a little about my week. We have found a lot of good potentials this week and unfortunately with the appointments we had set up all of them fell through but we still have more and we will continue bugging the others for a few more try by’s and such. On Wednesday we had exchanges, that day I started to get sick so I have been pretty tired. but I learned a lot with the Sister Training Leader, and we got a lot of potential investigators because instead of one of us going to their area, they both just came here and we went on what’s called a blitz, so that was nice because everyone we talked to both Sister Shead and I and Sister Cardon and Sister Passey contributed to the Corstorphine area. We met with Deryll twice this week, and hopefully we can start making some progress on helping her find truth. She is willing to listen and learn but it has to come from God for her, which is great! That is how we like our investigators, only taking truth from personal revelation. She isn't quite progressing yet, but if she keeps her commitments she made last week when we see her tomorrow she will be, so hopefully that will happen.
We got to visit a recent convert Sally Hunter, and I have only met with her once, but she was super happy to have us come by, we helped her move into her new house a bit. We also gave her this Christmas heart ornament we made. We had another relief society activity, where some less-actives attended so we were able to attend and we made some more ornaments, and they provided felt. So we mum and Amber, remember the felt roses on the Christmas wreath we made a few years ago? Well I made an ornament with a similar thing on a Styrofoam ball! It was awesome! Sister Cardon made a cool one too, so we gave hers to another person we are working with, so we right now for our non-existent Christmas tree we have 2ornaments, a Christmas heart that Sister Cardon made and a felt Rose ball thing that I made! Fun huh!
One of several trees blown over by the huge wind storm.
A lot of the formers we have found have been foreigners, so we have been making a lot of trips to the mission home for Book of Mormons in different languages. It’s super nice having the mission home so close. So for the past couple of weeks we have given out Book of Mormons in Russian, Portuguese, Polish, Italian, and Indonesian and I think that’s it, but we have given out 2 Portuguese ones so that’s cool! We have a tradition here to stop all foreigners because if it wasn’t to accept the gospel, why would they come to Scotland! ;) Haha I’m kidding besides the cold it’s a wonderful place. But it is getting really cold. And the fact that there is no snow is frustrating because I feel like there is no point to the cold if there is no snow!
Norma was officially reactivated into the church this week! She even got up and bore her testimony!   As did Ruth…Ruth made us chum her up though. Chum means to go with them.
We had some dinner appointments and that was nice, including thanksgiving dinner, which I made funeral potatoes for. I was pretty proud of myself!
Well I am running out of time. That’s basically all my week anyway! I hope all is well with everyone at home! Love you all and I hope everyone had a good thanksgiving!
Love you!
Sister Watt
P.s. on Saturday we manned a booth for this woman’s religious organization fair. It the first time that the church was allowed a booth so that was good. We talked to a lot of people of different faiths, especially the Sikh faith! It was really interesting. They had henna, and I almost thought about getting a henna tattoo but then I thought I probably shouldn’t as a missionary! ;) Love you!

Moving and Cop Cars! ‏

Just a cool picture.


Like the subject of this email? I am going to start off with a crazy story. So a couple of days ago Sister Cardon and I were finding on the street. It was 8:30 so we were near our flat so we could get in at 9 and we stopped this old lady. Well we asked her how she was doing and she said that she was having a terribly bad day and that she could find her way home. So we pulled out our trusty map and find the street she was looking for. She was a pretty good distance from home and it was late and dark and not in the best of areas so we walked her home. Mind you this becomes like a 45 minute walk. So now we are late for getting home but that’s ok, we are helping someone out. 

She had groceries and flowers and she kept on saying that she just thought she would go out to get her messages (groceries) and try to be back before it got dark. So let’s think about this, its winter in Scotland. It gets dark at around 4:30-5, its now 8:30! How long has this woman been walking around!!!!!! Anyway, poor old lady must have dementia or something because she didn’t even know what her house looked like. So finally after this long walk we get to her street and we are looking for number 82. Well we are getting close to it and a cop car is parked at the curb. Well he got out and asked what we were looking for and we told him house number 82. And he asked the old lady what her name is and she said May Gibson, and he puts his mouth to his walky talky and asks what is the name of the lady they are searching for and there is a little pause then "May Gibson". So the officer starts asking us questions and we waves at the window in the flat and turns out there is an officer in her flat. Well he takes May and us up to her flat where there are 2 more officers and a very worried daughter. 

Basically this woman went out to get groceries at 2 and had been walking around since then. She is a great walker, I must say, she was walking fast and still had stylish shoes on. Anyway, so the cops take Sister Cardon and me to get statements. We are both taken to two separate rooms and we got questioned. Like where we found her and what state of mind she was in, and what’s our address, what are we doing here in Scotland, what’s our number, and then where we found her again and again asked what we said to her yada yada! I think they considered for a second that we kidnapped this old grandma. :) haha Well then afterwards the cops and the daughter thanked us and also gave us her flowers that she bought. I tried to insist that she kept them but they wouldn’t have it.  And then the Sargent was like alright you two , you are free to go home.......We are a 45 minute walk from home and its now 9:45!!!!! So I asked the guy if there was a bus that connected the two areas, and he tried to explain to me for a few seconds and then the other cop was just like, eh we will take you home! So to top it off we got to ride home in the backseat of a cop car. It was AWESOME! Can you just imagine two missionaries getting out of a cop car! :) Yeah so that was good, we talked to the cops a little bit about the gospel but they were too busy dealing with other things. So yes that is my story, basically the most exciting thing that has happened all week! 

Sis. Cardon's Birthday!
Also we moved, which was terrible! It took all day on Tuesday to move, and we still have to go back to the other flat to deep cleanse it! WE had a really rough week. We got lots of potentials and some set up appointments and even an accepted invitation to church.....and they all fell through! So that’s fun. I feel like we just spent the whole week just on buses going to one canceled appointment to another! Not to be bitter about it or anything but it was quite frustrating, and mentally draining.

On the plus side we got fed a lot this week, and a couple in the ward took us to meet their friend. She has investigated before but her husband is a big deterrent for her actively investigating, but she is interested. And she has had all the lessons and everything, she is even the head to the ward activities committee, basically she is pretty well off and sponsors every activity our ward has, and is in charge of all of it! So that’s really cool, but she doesn’t believe the Book of Mormon is true. So that’s also a problem. But she is super nice and is having us over for Thanksgiving (she is American!) and so we will have the opportunity to meet her husband. So hopefully that goes well. We were invited to enrichment where they made Christmas wreaths and cute heart things, and we had 2 investigators there, and a few less actives. So that was really good. Norma came to church again this week and was able to take the sacrament and she is just doing awesome. She finished her 2 week spiritual recovery program ;) and now we have her on a 1 week spiritual retention program! haha she loves these programs. We met with a lot of the usual’s and also did a lot of finding. 

There is this guy Jose that is bound to get baptized, because we have run into him on the street 3 times! The first time we got his number and said we would get a Portuguese Book of Mormon for him. Then the 2nd time he got on the bus when we were heading home so we set up to see him Sunday morning to bring the Book of Mormon and he agreed to go to church. Sunday morning came and he wasn't home, well Sunday night we were street contacting and guess who walks up with his wife. José! So we stopped him and met his wife, Rita, and we gave him the Book of Mormon that we still had in our bag from the morning. We are pretty sure that we just had to meet his wife and that’s why this has all happened. Because she was so cute, she opened the Book of Mormon and was flipping through it and we asked him if we could set up a time with him, he said he was really busy so we asked about Sunday, and he said he had something going on. And Rita looked at him and was like "not on Sunday!" and hit him on the head with the Book of Mormon and was like "stop lying!" and then she gave us her number and told us to call her on Wednesday. Haha so that was really good and exciting! Fingers crossed. 

Well there is probably more, but that is all I have time for. I just gave the highlights, it really was a hard week, but hopefully it will get better. :) I hope all is well at home. Keep going, enduring to the end is the hardest part but we have the tools to accomplish it, so use those tools and endure!

Love you all!