Monday, September 9, 2013

Aberdeen, Oh, Aberdeen

I can’t really speak like the Scotts. I can understand it like English but I can’t roll my r's like they can and there are so many accents, it’s almost impossible to imitate. 
This week was really good.  We have been doing a lot of work and we might not have any progressing investigators at the moment.  I know that if we have faith the lord will provide. An interesting thing this week was we got in contact with a less active named Gordan and he wanted to make his life more peaceful and happy so he wanted us to read scriptures with him and talk to him. He was a pretty normal guy but his life wasn’t going the way he would have liked it to.  We were talking to him for a while and he seemed pretty normal and fine but then he talked about how he’s gotten possessed a couple times and he wakes up at night with his tongue rambling and him hitting himself.  Then he went on talking about how he thinks his neighbor is a demon with the "pizza" shaped head.  So you know, the usual and we are going to see him every Thursday, haha.
Yeah, I can definitely tell this is hard work. I watched the Mormon message "Good things to come" by Elder Holland and when he says "just keep going.”  That’s what I really needed.  So I just keep telling myself that. Unfortunately, we had to drop Todor because he wasn’t progressing and that was really hard. Fidel has been busy so we haven’t been able to see them. It's super depressing that we are one of the few missionaries with like-no good investigators.  Elder Holbrook explained Aberdeen as a refiner’s fire and I can testify to that. I know that miracles will happen, I just need hope and strength and I’ve just realized that I will need to get broken down time and time again so I can truly learn.     
We also have been doing a lot of street contacting, and it’s just getting really hard doing the same thing all day every day because Aberdeen is a small city so we try to think of new things to do but we can never think of anything, haha. Also it was a little hard because last p-day we only shopped and didn’t really do anything, so these last two weeks have felt like one month. Hopefully this p-day will be good. I have gotten really good at talking to people and I have noticed myself getting better.  I understand the gospel sooo much now and life is more meaningful to me now. I love being a missionary and I love the people of Scotland.  I also have noticed that this mission is a very hard one.  Scotland is one of the least religious places in the world and it has been so messed up by other religions that they really don’t want to have anything to do with it sometimes. It’s funny because we can always tell if people are from America if they know who we are straight away. You can also tell if they are 'Aberdeenian' if they have no idea who we are or they think we are just a new church that started up down the street. I know that the only way people will get to know the Church of Jesus Christ is through us, and it’s going to take a lot of work, but I’m ok with that. 
I also loved reading about dad’s life and his conversion story.  I’ve noticed that I am way closer to you guys now and I know it could have only been done through a mission. I love you and pray for all of you. - Rick - Elder Hanson

View from our flat window

Elder Holbrook going into our building

Outside our flat


Hand written letter received on September 9, 2013 to re-cap the previous week:

Dear Family,

August 26, 2013

Today was an adventure.  We went to two castles and they were amazing.  We didn't go in because it cost 10 pounds to go in per castle but we played ultimate frisbee by them and every time I go to the countryside, it reminds me of how much I love Scotland.  Then we got to the market at like 5:30 so we had to rush to throw all of our groceries in and be done shopping before 6:00 so that was interesting.  Now it's another week and a lot of work ahead of me.

August 27, 2013  

Today was just a really good day for me but Elder Holbrook got a lot of return appointments and so we will be busy for the week and our area is doing amazing.  Tomorrow will be super busy but I'm going on exchanges tomorrow with Bridge of Dawn and they are just finding all day and that's super lame.  They are good missionaries.  We have been working our heads off and we have been so blessed for that.  They are struggling because they don't get along very well and that's also why I'm going over tomorrow.  Today we had Elder Fisher with us and we taught a really good lesson on the street and I noticed a house by us had "Gold Rush" playing in the window and it was the new season. That was distracting, but we are having another lesson with the man later in the week so that's awesome.

August 28, 2013

Today was a pretty good exchange.  We were talking to people at city center and an old man that was super nice and super funny approached us and said, "Wait here and in five minutes I'll show you the best views in Aberdeen."  So we waited and he showed us some of the castles right around city center and he told us their history and we talked about our beliefs and he took pictures of us at the city council building and it was awesome.  Then we talked to a man from East Africa and he was super solid and he practically believes everything we do.  He was a philosophy major and he actually asked for a Book of Mormon.  Then the lame part of the night was calling Elder Holbrook to see how our area (Aberdeen) was today and Edgar actually has a baptism date set but he is in Bridge of Dawn boundaries so we need to give him to them.

August 29, 2013

Today was a day of ser vice.  We exchanged back and then we helped a guy from the ward set up his wireless internet.  We helped Br. Shawn Goldie cut down a huge tree and then we helped Sister Land move things in her attic. There are four Goldie families in the ward, there are the McCrays and their daughter is married to Brother Goldie that owns a Baskin & Robbins in Aberdeen, then he has three sons that each have families and one is the Bishop so it's cool that half the ward is one family.

August 30, 2013

Today has been really good.  This week has been super busy and we have been so blessed.  We taught a man named Tom from Nigeria and we actually will be seeing him tomorrow and we had nacho night tonight.  That's where you watch some Mormon messages and we just talk to people while having nachos.  We were also going to get an investigator handed off to us from the sisters and they made him sound so golden.  But when we were talking to him, he sounded more interested in the sisters than in the Gospel but I hope that I'm wrong.  The work is doing amazing and as Elder Holbrook said, "Tomorrow will be the best day I have had on my mission so far."

August 31, 2013

I don't know if I want to even write about today.  It's about a joke how terrible it went.  We had a day packed with lessons and we were planning on running from place to place and within a half hour, all four of our appointments cancelled and I have never felt so beaten down in my life.  The rest of the day was just ineffective chapping all day.

September 1, 2013

Today was nae' bad (Aberdeen expression).  We had a really good turn out at Church and the testimonies were really good.  Brother Ray bore his testimony about missionary work so that was awesome.  I love Brother Ray.  This week was nae' bad, it went super fast until about Saturday but that's okay.  I guess we weren't meant to see those people that day.  We also had a good lesson with Todor.  It was rough but I think we made some progress.  I can tell this week is going to be a lot better.  Today was also the only day we haven't had Elder Fisher.  Trios are sometimes hard to figure out logistics with.  The Sisters are starting to take all of our dinner appointments and it's super lame.  But I'm getting into the work and I'm starting to really like it.  I want to and really need to be a better missionary.
--Elder Hanson

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