Monday, August 19, 2013

Week 4 - Mullingar Ireland

This week has been a little tough but not too bad. We only taught 10 lessons total (our goal was 20) and 5 of those were to the same less active person. So only 5 lessons were taught to non-members! Our main investigator started his job this week so he wasn't able to come to church for the first time in 5 weeks. We are going to see him tomorrow and we'll find out from him if he was able to get his time that he trains changed. Our guess is he didn't get it switched since we didn't see him at church. It's really sad because he is such an awesome guy!! We taught him about the priesthood this week and he talked about how jealous he was that we hold the priesthood and how he wants to hold the priesthood! Ahhh its tough to see him have such a desire to be baptized but his job is holding him back. He is praying and fasting to know what to do and who knows, the Lord may have a way prepared for him to be baptized and we just haven't found it yet! All the missionaries here can definitely see the difference between people here and the people in Scotland. Also one of the missionaries at our district meeting said there was a poll done among young adults (18-25ish) in the U.K. and 90% of them are atheist! You'll have to do some checking to make sure that's true but I wouldn't doubt it.  The worst is seeing 11 year old girls smoking and 6 year old girls swearing at us!  I have been fed dinner 3 times already, and have another dinner appointment this Wednesday! (I think its because all the members here like me - haha).  We had dinner with the branch president and his wife this past week and it was awesome. He is a great man who taught me a lot about the importance of learning the simple parts of the Gospel. Making sure I know and have a testimony of the basics is so important as a missionary, because that is the only thing I should be teaching. Those "simple" parts of the gospel aren't just important for missionaries to know, they are what really matter for our own salvation. If there is one thing I have learned so far on my mission is that the Lord has joy in simple things. He teaches us very simply what we need to do to live with him again. All we need to do is first have faith in him, and then because of that faith we desire to follow him by living his commandments. We are then commanded to repent and be baptized and receive the Holy Ghost. After we have been baptized we commit to follow Christ for our entire lives, and to follow all the commandments he gives us. We constantly must repent but as long as we endure to the end and do all he asks us to, including going to the temple and making more covenants, we can live with him again! Talking about where God lives or where the 3 Nephites are is really cool and can help us gain knowledge, however it isn't necessary for our eternal salvation. As long as we have balance in what we study and always keep those first principles of the Gospel in our hearts we will live our lives in the way God wants us to!

Alright well I have some fun stories to share with you guys as well! First of all, you know in the movie Brave the really fat kid who nobody can understand? He's one of the young guys that is trying to marry the main character girl I think. Well apparently he is speaking English with a super thick, old Scottish accent! So I'll definitely need your prayers if I ever get sent to Glasgow, Scotland because that's what I'll be trying to understand!! Another funny thing I heard about in the mission home that I forget to tell you all last week is a motto for one of the missions in Germany about 10 years ago. They said "We knock on doors here! Every door we knock on here is a baptism for a missionary in Mexico!" Haha I thought that was a pretty funny motto about missionary work in Europe in general. Another kinda funny thing I have had to get used to here is our missions version of "handshakes." In our mission we never shake hands with President Brown or with other missionaries, we only hug!! I thought it was kinda funny. All those hugs after family prayer prepared me for it though! hahaha

Well now for some of the crazier stories I already have. I already mentioned how obnoxious a lot of the kids are here, especially the boys that are around 12-14. We were walking around an estate doing some tracting and street contacting, and this group of boys started yelling and swearing at us, which sadly is pretty normal. But then they threw an apple at us! I guess that's pretty normal too, but it was the first time it happened to me. We just ignored them but then as we were knocking on a door, I got drilled by a bottle of soda that was half full! The kid took of running but wanted us to chase him. I had studied patience that morning and luckily I just let it go. Then at the next door the kid threw another bottle of soda at me! I caught this one and just stared at the kid, and my companion grabbed the bottle out of my hand. I wanted to drill the kid (the entire time this was going on he was was cussing and yelling and saying to us that God wasn't even real) but I didn't so that was good. Then the next day as we were walking down the street we got shot at by some dad and his kids with air soft guns!! One hit Elder Goldie but they didn't get me. We just kinda laughed at it and let it go. They said they were gonna shoot us and we just figured they were joking so we jokingly said back go for it, not thinking they actually would. So we kinda brought it upon ourselves I guess!

Now to answer all of your questions Mom! We shop at Aldi because it's a very cheap grocery store! We haven't been to the store I think you're talking about yet. We live on the very top floor! And I don't really think it smells at all, almost every house in town that isn't a members smells like cigarette smoke though. Luckily you aren't allowed to smoke in our flat! Our branch usually has around 35-40 people that come regularly, and a lot of less-active people. We meet in this office complex about a 40 minute walk from our flat. I don't know the address since for the most part there aren't any road names here. I'm still learning how to get around! It's really confusing.

Avery didn't explain what the pictures were so I'm guessing that they include his ferry ride over to Ireland and pictures outside his flat.  I know he said he can see the stadium from his flat & the Cathedral isn't too far away.