Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Condies

Sister Condie sent Rick a friend request on facebook and he asked Mom to accept it.  Mom messaged her from his facebook on Monday and she messaged back last night:

We said good bye to our Elder Hanson yesterday afternoon and we are sad to see him go. He is a good Elder and will do much to strengthen people where ever he is at. We are holding him to coming and visiting us when he gets back. We live in Springville. There are some pictures of him on our FB page and some of yesterday will be posted in a little while. Thanks for the good wishes. Cheers, Elder and Sister Condie

Weird Rick

Monday, October 28, 2013

Moves Week - Leaving Aberdeen

This week is moves week and I'm moving to Airdrie near Glasgow and my new companion is Elder Edwards. We will be white washing (starting from scratch) and that's pretty scary because I guess that means I have a lot of work to do.  All I know is President told me it is a really large area and that there are a lot of people there. It's weird even thinking that I'm leaving Aberdeen.  I'm not sure what to expect because Aberdeen is all I know.  I will truly miss Elder Howie.  He hasn't been the easiest companion but I have learned so much from him and I know I was with him for a reason. It's weird thinking of all the members and investigators I will miss.  I feel like I've done so much work and it's finally getting good but I'm just going to be planting seeds so others can gather.  I know everything will be okay.

INFORMATION:  Airdrie is a town in North Lanarkshire, Scotland. It lies on a plateau roughly 400 ft above sea level, and is approximately 12 miles east of Glasgow city center.

                                         The Sims

                           In a taxi

Aberdeen Zone at Stake Conference

Elder Alyson and I being Geeks

Elder Kinard

Brother Brewster at Baskin and RODENT

The Livingtons

Sister Hollman, new convert: Lewis, me, new convert:Adam

Handwritten letter from Oct 21 to Oct 27, 2013.  Received in Seattle Nov 2, 2013

Dear Family                                                                              Aberdeen

Oct 21
Today was a pretty good P-day.  The emails I got were really good, especially from Brian.  For P-day the district met up at the church and we played basketball and made pizza for everyone and they really liked it.  It was a good fun day to rest up, blow off some steam, and get ready for the week.

Oct 22
Today was nice and very spiritual.  Today was a zone meeting and Elder Howie had the district fast and then he would give the district blessings.  We (all the Elders) placed our hands on the heads of eight missionaries.  My arm got so sore.  Then it was my turn.  Elder Howie gave me a pretty normal comforting blessing.  Then he stopped and paused and right when he paused, Elder Alyson put his hand on my shoulder.  Elder Howie said that "Your brother is watching over you.  He loves you and is rooting for you."  It felt like Elder Alyson's hand was Adam's.  He had no idea putting his hand on my shoulder meant anything but it's weird, I think it happened for a reason.  Heavenly Father was talking to me.  After the blessing I asked Elder Howie about it and he said he was going to end before that but  he had a prompting to say it.  While I got the blessing I was just blasted with emotion.

Oct 23
Today we met with Geoffrey Grant, a less active.  We had our second lesson with him and the first time he was telling us all the things wrong with the church (word of wisdom and tithing).  But today we found out he's just a lonely guy and that it was guilt of not obeying the commandments that made him leave and when it came to it, we asked if he thought the church is true and The Book of Mormon and he said, "Well there's not a doubt that it's true."  Anyway long story short, he ended up saying, "Okay, so I'll give it another go." 

Oct 24
I'm so tired of smelling like smoke!  So many people smoke here and my clothes just reek all the time.  We taught Jose tonight and got him to obey the word of wisdom which is amazing and I know he can do it.  He's going to need faith but I know he's got it in him.  He needed help putting together a book shelf but had no screw driver. I tried to screw them in with my hand...I was not successful.

Oct 25
Today went really smooth.  We stayed pretty busy.  We ran literally through town in service clothes on our way to do some service for the Goldies.  We took apart a house radiator and took 16 of the heaviest bricks out of it.  Then we taught some good lessons and just really listened to people and learned about their lives.

Oct 26
Today all missionaries got to go to the adult session of stake conference and it was all about hastening the work.  It was very spiritual and I could tell that I am part of the beginning of something big.  One thing I noticed was this work is hard, like really hard, but it wouldn't be if we evenly lift the yoke of salvation, not just the missionaries.

Oct 27
Today's stake conference was amazing.  I liked seeing the entire Aberdeen stake and all it's members.  President Brown gave a talk at it and I could tell, really got the ward fired up for missionary work.  Then at the end he said, "And be nice to my boys and girls."  That was pretty funny.   Tonight we got moves call and I found out that I am moving to Airdrie in Glasgow and from what I hear, it is an awesome place.  But I am white washing so we will be the first missionaries in that area so I guess we will keep pretty busy.  It's sad how much I will miss Aberdeen.  I have seen so much growth and development.  Things are just getting good and I'm moving and starting over again.  It's going to be weird just being out of Aberdeen.  My new companion is Elder Edwards and I am excited to meet him.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Helping hearts and hands

They have a lot of holidays with bonfires and getting drunk but we as missionaries just pretty much have Mother's Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas.
Let me tell you about Tracy. We were walking down union street and see this woman with a bunch of bags and we offered her some help.  When she looked at us it was like she was looking at a pillar of light.  She was so happy and thankful. She told us that she had just gotten out of a coma and was scared of all the cars and the light and she was just having a panic attack. We walked with her to a Sainsury's (like a 7 Eleven) and we helped her get some things and pick some food because she had just forgotten what she used to eat for dinner. After that we helped take all of her bags to her flat all the way across town. We went and could see the inside of her flat and it was a huge mess, you couldn't even see the floor.  She explained how she needed help because she wanted to get it nice for Christmas and we were more then happy to help.  So the next day we went and we called Brother and Sister Brewster to help and we did some work on that house.  We must have had like 10 people from the ward helping and it took all day but we finished.  The next day we took her to church and when we were in sacrament, she didn't really know all of what to do because she hasn't really been to a church before and she said, "This might sound crazy but I feel something pulling me or grabbing me." and we just said, "That is the spirit."   At the end of the day she said "Sister Brewster said I could be a member of the church." and she said to us, without us even bringing it up, "Oh man, I would like to be baptized."  I know that what I am doing is for a reason and I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers.
In my Patriarchal blessing, it says that I will take my parent's teachings like scripture and I can see that everyday. Without Dad having me and Devin go to help so many people move or do yard work then I wouldn't know how to serve the way I do and without Mom teaching me how to be excited about the gospel, I would not have a love for it like I do now. I love you Mom and Dad. Thank you.

Cleaning Tracy's flat

I know it's a little early, but Happy Birthday Dad!
Here's a cool cake

More info from handwritten letter from Oct 14-20.  Received on October 28, 2013

Dear Family                                                                                 Aberdeen

Oct 14, 2013
I love p-days.  I have to have them.  The Condies picked us up and we went to Costco because I need to get vitamins for the cold season and some food.  We couldn't really afford much because Elder Howie likes to eat really healthy and it adds up.  I like to eat healthy but I'd rather not be starving all the time.  We then went to the Condies to email because it was on the way and it was nice to not be rushed like we are when we are in a public library.  It was just a good day to sit back and relax.  At night we got an address for a woman out in the middle of nowhere.  We must have walked a half mile into a barely lit path and we finally went to the only lit house in the field and we find out it's a camp for special needs kids.  So, that was awkward.

Oct 15, 2013
I have never been this tired in my life.  I almost fell asleep standing.  But it was still good.  During district lunch, a lady called on the church phone so I picked it up and she couldn't make it to an appointment she had with someone there and she forgot what he looked like.  The appointment was to have a prayer with her and she asked if I could pray with her.  I thought she meant make an appointment but she just started praying on the phone so I joined right on in.  Then later that day Elder Alyson pulled me to the side and asked if I could give him a comforting blessing.  He said, "This is so weird asking this but will you give me a blessing?"  So he just wanted me because he felt close enough to ask me and I was more than happy to.  It was just me and him in a room because he didn't want anyone else in the zone to see he needed comfort.  I felt the spirit talk to me so strong when I laid my hands on his head.  Then he gave me a big hug.  I love Elder Alyson, he's a good man.

Oct 16, 2013
It's a good thing numbers don't make me a little nervous (sarcasm).  We have been going through the ward directory and finding all the people that are less active and seeing if we can update all the info for all of them.  Let's just say there are like 500 people in the directory and 110 active so we have our work cut out for us.  We also taught English to a woman that works in a hair dresser that Lewis's Aunt owns.  Lewis is a recent convert that is 18 and is amazing and is planning on going on a mission and he stays with his Aunt since his Mom died and he pretty much already is a missionary even though he's only been a member over a year.  My legs are just forever tired from never getting rest but I have the rest of time to ease my feet.

Oct 17, 2013
Today was the fastest long day ever.  We called a ton of people.  We called people in the directory again and I've never had so many sweet old ladies angrily telling us to never call them again.  It was a tough day seeing so many people of the Church turn their back and become less active.  At the end of the night we talked to an Asian man that was very interested named Naresh.  I'm sorry if my handwriting is so bad because I'm so tired but we didn't really do that much today but tomorrow will be better.  The YSA want me to make pizza for them.  So we'll see how that's going to go.  We just called Gordon Adams today and he said he's "In space" and that hes talking to an Indian trying to go to India and then he asked what planet we were from, then something about marriage and stuff like that...

Oct 18, 2013
Today was awesome.  We started with teaching English then we did service at the Goldies and cut through feet and feet of bushes.  Then we taught Franco, the Italian man and it was really good.  We showed the Restoration video and they loved it.  His wife fed us tons of food and then we were walking down Union Street (the main street) and we see a woman with tons of bags and ask her if she needs help and she looked up at us like it was a pillar of light.  She was so thankful.  We found out she had just come out of the hospital after being in a coma.  She was a little scared of the lights in the city and she explained how it's hard to get used to things again.  I felt so bad for her and felt o much love from her.  We took her bags with her all the way across town to her flat and she explained how a man broke into her car and beat her into a coma.  When we got to her flat the walls were torn up and she needed help painting so we said we would help.  She was so thankful and wants to really come to Church.  We asked her if we could pray with her before we went and we asked if we could pray for anyone and she said her daughter  After the prayer she lifted her head with tears in her eyes.  This is why I'm on a mission.  I'm also so thankful for all the years Dad has taught me hard work and to work with my hands because you can tell when missionaries know how to work.

Oct 19, 2013
I will remember today for the rest of my life.  We went to Tracy's, the woman we met last night to do service.  We started off with needing another male so we called everyone on the phone we could but we got Br. Brewster and his wife (Relief Society President) and she brought cleaning supplies and we got tons of people from the ward to help.  Her house was such a mess you couldn';t see the floor.  We got there at 11;00 and finished at 6:00.  We were thinking we didn't have enough time but all of our other lessons canceled so I guess Heavenly Father wanted us to help longer.  At the end she was in tears and so thankful and she calls Elder Howie her brother she calls me her big brother.  She is coming to Church tomorrow and I know she will do what is right.  

Oct 20, 2013
Today was a good Sunday.  We had Tracy at Church and Lewis (The Lewis that we met at the bus stop) and unfortunately we had to pass him off but that's just what we need to do.  Then we met with George Grant, a less active that didn't fully understand the commandments and left the Church for it. 

Monday, October 14, 2013

Trucking along

Unfortunately we had to drop Todor again for now. He still won't pray but that's not keeping us from praying for him, This week has been cold but we are still just trucking a long. We have been talking to a lot of people and we have Lewis and Ewem and they are golden and Ewem wants to get baptized.  There's still no date yet but we are going to see her this week. I almost forget just everything that happens in the week. I can only remember what has happened today, it's weird just because sooo much goes on I never know what to email. I have been doing a lot of walking and I'm pretty sure I've seen every inch of Aberdeen.  The only part left is the people's homes of Aberdeen. which I'll work on, haha. The work is good but I'm ready for change or something exciting which I know will happen. I found out that I'm an emotional person and that I used to just distance myself from people and things so I never really got connected to things and people like I do now.  I'm starting to get used to just everything but I don't think I will fully until I'm almost done.
I love you mom, You have taught me more then you will ever know and you were one of the greatest examples ever.
I loved the cards I got from the High Priests and the Hickman's.  
This is Peter.  We are helping him give up smoking.

UK Fish -n- Chips!

Always walking
See Mom, even the Costco in Scotland has peanut butter

Handwritten letter from October 7 to October 13, 2013.  Received October 21, 2013
Dear Family                                                                                                           Aberdeen

Oct 7
Today was actually a really good day.  For P-day we went to the Condie's and watched some conference just hung out for P-day.  It's weird, I forgot what it's like to get "Mommed".  She made us cookies and brought us food and stuff like that.  It was a nice simple day.  We actually got out of the flat for P-day!

Oct 8
I love Africans!  Uwen is a girl that we found in our phone and we met with her today and she talked about how she met with Elder Holbrook once and we had the Condies there for a joint teach and they invited her to YSA activities.  She was amazing.  She actually wants to find the page for herself, "Wait, I got it, I want to try myself."  She has accepted being baptized!  No date but we will work on that.  She is from Nigeria and we stopped a man that was Nigerian and we met a less active named Elvie and we lit the chime lanterns that float in the air with him and we had another lesson with a man on the bus that was very interested and guess what! He's Nigerian!  He just gave us a call while I'm writing this to set up an appointment to meet with hm.  His name is Lewis "Lawes'.  When they call you, it's a good sign.

Oct 9
Today was really really windy and cold.  We went to the family history center to have them show us a couple things to explain to people.  Then we taught Todor.  Sadly, he hasn't progressed still so we will be seeing him less.  We had a meeting and Bishop joined.  The ward is really coming along and things are really happening.  I am really growing close to this ward and I almost don't want to leave it.  

Oct 10
Today was pretty lame, we just have been doing a lot of sorting through records.  But if we don't do it, no one will.  Today has been freezing.  We taught Gordon Adams and he just kept talking and talking.  We then just tried to visit a bunch of people.  I want to do more and be better but I don't know how to do it.

Oct 11
Today I went on exchanges with Elder Kinard and I was in the Bridge of Dawn area and it was nice just to be around and talk to college kids.  Today went by fast.  We went by a man in the ward that has a lot of health issues and you can tell he just enjoyed life.  A man came up to us on the bus and asked us to pray for his grandmother who is dying.  It's just weird how people think of us.

Oct 12
Today was just a blah day, I am exhausted in so many ways.  I exchanged back to Aberdeen.  We just went by a lot of people today and knocked on doors.  Unfortunately a lot of doors got slammed in our faces.  We talked to a really nice guy on the street with a HUGE dog but it was nice too.  One thing I learned from Elder Howie is to be a human before  a missionary sometimes.  He cancelled a dinner with Maureen because she didn't invite our investigator because she forgot. He said it was 'a waste of time'.  But I was excited because Maureen is a recent convert that was baptized a couple months ago and I wanted to go because when you become with friends with people, you still want to be friends after they are baptized because they are people.

Oct 13
Today was a good Sunday.  A man named Tom walked into Church and later explained that he hasn't been to church for 30 years and he explained that his friends just invited him and he felt like he was coming home, with tears in his eyes, just showing me the joy the church brings people and it is never too late.  George came to church!  Dalah also stopped in (the man we helped move a TV) and Lewis ran into the sister and they asked, "Have you heard of Mormons?"  He said, "Yeah, my friend is one."  They asked, "What's his name?"  He said, "Howie, he's from Canada."  So I guess we are friends! Ha! and he is really good.  We are also going to give Uwen a date.  Good things are coming.
This week I found out that I am just an emotional person and that is okay.  It hurts more when you attach to people but you also love them more.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Conference was amazing!

Conference was amazing!  On Saturday we went to see the Saturday morning (5 p.m. our time) broadcast live at the stake building. On Sunday we watched the recording of the priesthood session and a recording of the second Saturday broadcast. We then watched the live showing of the first Sunday session. But I still haven't seen the second session from Sunday because it wasn't until 9:00 at night so we will have to watch it in our free time.
We didn't get to see Todor this week. We invited him to conference but he cancelled.
This week has been mainly inviting people to conference and cleaning up old records to work more efficiently.   We met Frank and his wife and they have met with missionaries before and Frank has read the Book of Mormon 3 times already and they are really interested!
This week went by super fast! It feels like yesterday that I just emailed you. We learned more instruction to use family history to help with finding people and its pretty interesting. We also have been doing a lot of walking and chapping. We met a man named Grim from Tori and he loved talking to us about family and stories that he remembered when he was younger. We had a lot of people cancel on us this week, its a huge bummer, and the work hasn't been that easy but that's okay because I'm still learning. I'm still learning a lot from Elder Howie. This week was kind of boring, nothing really eventful happened. But, I just have to keep on working. Next week we are going to go by a lot of less actives and do a lot of service for them.
One thing that I've noticed about myself is that I really miss the little things and they are way more important to me now. I know I shouldn't be thinking about what I'm going to be doing after my mission, but let's just say I have a long list. I love you mom and dad! I have printed off almost all of dad's emails and read them sometimes.  I love you with all my heart, Mom!

There's a youtube video called "Keith's Dream" from when a whole group of us helped the man in the wheelchair up the mountain the second week of my mission.  I can't watch it but you should be able to find it.

Handwritten letter home dated Sept 30-Oct 6, 2013, received October 12, 2013
Dear Family,                                                                                        Aberdeen
Sept 30, 2013
Today was a day of growth.  Elder Howie and I got done emailing and shopping and then he decided for the day we were going to clean the fridge.  So that's what we did for our p-day and let me tell you, he is teaching me about patience.  But I've also decided to memorize all the scriptures you send me for encouragement because I listened to a talk that said if you memorize scriptures and always keep it in your heart you will gain the attributes from it and you will also be able to recall it when you most need it.

Oct 1, 2013
Today was a good day!  I was reading Ether 12:27 and it talks about if we come to Him then he will show us our weaknesses so that when we feel weak sometimes because we are meant to turn those into strengths.  I was thinking about the Shaytards video on and it made me miss watching their videos really bad.  It also made me miss home and the summer and it made me really want to have that, just thinking of having a campfire with the whole family talking and dad making dutch oven food on the 4th of July and many other details that I have thought thoroughly through but I decided to make a bucket list of all the things I missed and change them to goals and putting them on paper is just helping so I can say, "You don't need to always think about it, you have it here and it can wait for a little."  So now it's a strength because I have a goal of making all that happen and I know I will get at it if I give the Lord my all NOW.  Elder Howie also got his Dear John and it was super funny because it was expected because she hasn't written him in a year.  We also ran into some college kids that invited us in and we showed them "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" and you could feel the spirit in the room and what grabbed them was after Elder Howie bore his testimony they said, "It's like you're just so sure."  Over all it was a good day in Aberdeen.

Oct 2, 2013
Today was a calm day, looking out I can tell it's becoming Fall from all the leaves on the ground and it's gotten a lot colder.  Today we taught English and were pretty much at the Church all day because of meetings and doing reports and stuff like that.  We had a lesson with Steve and he kept getting caught on the trinity and he just kept trying to battle us even though he was trying not to look like it.  We showed him a talk from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland that made me really feel the spirit and couldn't have answered more clearly but then he just brought up "But it says in Mormon they are one."  Anyways, he needs to be humbled.

Oct 3, 2013
Today was really good.  We had interviews with President and received training on finding using Family History.  We are the first mission to implement some of the things relating to family history.  Make sure you guys go to and use it too. Part of it is that in order for us to teach people about it, we also need to do it ourselves which is going to be interesting  but I think it will be cool.  Tonight we were actually in Tori and we were talking to a man that loves family history and we used some of the ideas that they trained us with to get closer to him.  Interviews with President were amazing. I just love him.  He helped give me a lot of pointers and gave me a lot of hope.

Oct 4, 2013
Today was really good!  We visited Frank, an Italian chef that has taken many lessons from missionaries and actually read the Book of Mormon three times! But he was very set in his Roman catholic ways just because that's how he was brought up.  We invited them to conference and his wife was very interested.  We also taught another student girl that speaks Portuguese.  There are a ton of students around because school is back and we are next to RGU and we love teaching college kids.  Me and Elder Howie are getting along a lot better and it makes everything work out better.  He's super clean still but I'm learning a lot from him and the work is going really well!

Oct 5, 2013
Today was a day to remember in many ways.  We did service for the Goldies and took down wall paper and it was nah' bad.  Then we took all our records and started digitizing them and let's just say we have a ways to go.  We were going to have an amazing day and have a lesson every half hour until conference then they would all stay and watch it afterwards.  But all three of the people cancelled.  That was  SUPER LAME!  But conference really made up for it.  Then we ended the night at the Brewsters with all the missionaries and that was super fun.  Here they have the Saturday broadcast at 5:00-7:00 p.m.  Then they replay Priesthood tomorrow at 12:00 and the rest are at night.  I'm super excited.

Oct 6, 2013
Today was amazing!  Listening to conference and I took some amazing notes and Elder Holland gave an amazing talk that spoke to me.  Then President Monson just showed to me that He is the true prophet.  I also liked how they really talked about missionary work and the role of the members.  I have pages of notes and I just know I have a lot to learn and the spirit is really helping me with that.
"Our Ward and quorum don't belong to us."  - Gerald Causse'
"Stand up, walk tall in God's love."  -Uchtdorf
"Hope is never lost!"  - Holland
"Now is the time for everyone to labor in the vineyard."  -Ballard
"I gave him to you because I knew you would love him."  -Eyring