I'm here on my first p-day in my first area! Mullingar, Ireland. It's a rural town in the middle of the Republic of Ireland, and my area covers a huge chunk. Some of the other neighboring cities we cover are Athlone, Tellamur, Longford, Trim, Portolaise, and Birr. I probably spelt that wrong but hopefully it can give you an idea of how big of an area me and my companion Elder Goldie cover. We don't have a car or bikes so the only way we can get to other cities is by bus, which costs about 20 euro everytime we go. I will be here for 2 moves (moves are every 6 weeks) so 3 months! My companion lives in California and has been out on his mission for 4 and half months! He is only 6 weeks out being trained himself and this is the first time he has been senior companion. Our flat is actually fairly nice! Our window overlooks a stadium where they play semi-pro Hurling and Gaelic Football! Hurling is like a mix of lacrosse and baseball and Gaelic Football is like a mix of soccer and football. So far I've only seen them play hurling but I'll let you know what Gaelic Football is like when a game is going on!
To get here I started on a bus and went from the MTC to the mission home in Edinburgh Scotland where I stayed the night there. We got to climb Arthur's Seat, which is where Orson Pratt would go to pray during his mission in 1840. Thursday, I then took a taxi to the bus station. Took the bus from Edinburgh to a town called Stranraer. Then from Stranraer we rode the ferry (which felt like a cruise ship) to Belfast, Northern Ireland. There some members picked us up and we stayed the night with them. Friday they dropped us off at the train station in Belfast. Took a train from Belfast to Dublin, and then we hopped on a train from Dublin to Mullingar!! We got in late friday afternoon!
So far I've been here 3 days and I have yet to teach a lesson! haha the people here just aren't very open to hearing the gospel I guess. There hasn't been a baptism here in 3 years and that one person who was baptized went inactive like right after. However I think me and my companion can change that! We do have one investigator that is doing very well. Elder Goldie and his last companion had been teaching him a little over a month before I got here, and they even had a baptismal date set up. He is from Nigeria where he used to play professional soccer. He just recently signed a 5 year contract with this soccer club that requires him to coach on Sundays during church, so that is the reason he can't be baptized yet. If he figures out a way to enable himself to come to church on Sundays our district leader will give us the okay to baptize him!! It would be awesome to have him be baptized and then hopefully we could teach all of his family. His wife right now doesn't want to hear the gospel because she is worried it will affect her kids futures in soccer. They are 8, 10, and 12 (i don't know their names) and all of them are very good in soccer. The 10 year old is the fastest kid in his age group in Ireland. I've also learned that a lot of people here like the Pubs! In preach my gospel it talks about how Saturdays and Sundays are the best time for proselyting because people are usually home with their families. However here Saturday is our worst day because everyone is at the pub the entire day! Then Sunday's people are nursing hangovers and don't want anything to do with us. On Sunday at church I got to meet everyone in the branch. It was good to see people here that care about the gospel! Our branch is very happy and very focused on the gospel. Now we just have to get them excited about missionary work! Our branch president understands it though so hopefully we can get the entire branch excited. We are trying to organize some activities so that members can invite out non-member friends. I got to bare my testimony and introduce myself and I tried to talk a lot on how important member missionary work is. Which by the way, you need to know how important it is too!! Knocking on doors and talking to people in the streets is very ineffective. I've been doing 3 days straight and the closest I've gotten to an actual gospel conversation is one guy told us about how he believes in Jesus and that he doesn't need to know anymore!