Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas is Coming

There aren't many lights on the outside of homes.  Most decorations are on the inside of the house
I'm not sure if we have them in the states, they have crackers and they look like big candy roles.  They are having a ward Christmas party on the 20th and they want us to dress up like elves.  We sing pretty much the same Christmas songs.  We got a small Christmas tree for our flat. 

At the moment our investigators are progressing slowly but at least they still want to see and hear from us!

For Skype I'm not totally sure what we are going to do.  We have a couple options.  I can go on my email so we can figure it out then but the people we are doing it with said you can go on my Facebook and they can talk to you and get things organized through communication that way. What time do you want to do it at? We can probably do it around 3:00 or 4:00 pm (7:00 or 8:00 am) your time. We can figure it more out next week but if you we can call Skype you it would good. I'll also figure it out with the members we are doing it with.
This week was a long one just because it was moves week and things were a little off.  I made some handout cards for the ward Christmas party for the ward so they can invite there friends and loved ones.  We have actually been pretty busy but we are still doing a lot of finding and looking for the people we are meant to teach. Elder Davis said, "Can you believe you will be talking to your parents in a week?" and it blew me away because in a way it feels like I haven't been away for that long, but also forever at the same time.  We get to go in at 6 P.M. on Christmas Eve and we get Christmas and Boxing Day off.  It's weird because we don't have Boxing Day in America of course.
Love you all!

Letter home arrived Saturday, December 28, 2013

Dear Family                                                                                          Airdrie Scotland

December 9, 2013
Today was another weird P-day.  Because of moves we only get to email and shop.  But because the library we wanted to go to was closed traveling took a lot of time so we didn't get to shop.  We had dinner at the Blacks and we went with Elder Utley and Parsons to say good bye to Elder Parsons for the last time before he went home.  It was weird.  I'm actually going to really miss him.  You cold see so much joy in his eyes and it finally hit me that that will happen to me some day.  I just can't comprehend that.

December 10, 2013
Today was just one of those days that you want to get over.  It was a pretty hard and slow day.  We just kind of went through it because we just wanted it to be tomorrow.  A lot of walking and a lot of chapping.  I hate how the harder we work, the worse our numbers are.  That's why I hate numbers but I'll do whatever I need to do.

December 11, 2013
So we have P-day on Wednesday every moves week so it was pretty during because we already email on Monday so we pretty much just looked at stuff in stores and got Elder Edward's hair cut and we had dinner at the Davidson's and went to see Bill.  Nothing too eventful but I was just super tired all day so now I'm going to sleep!  Oh, and we a Christmas tree for our flat.

December 12, 2013
Today was a  pretty ordinary day.  Because of it being moves week the week has gone incredibly slow.  We chapped a lot of doors and it was funny because we went to Bill's and in the end of our lesson, he wouldn't let us go until we watched the end of "Grease" and he tried to sing along and I forgot how corny that movie was, they don't even say words and on our way out he gave us two bags of candy.

December 13, 2013
This morning we went on a mini exchange so I was with Elder Utley and it was really good.  A lot of it was traveling and walking.  Unfortunately all the people we went by were not in.  At dinner we had all four of us for dinner at our flat and to end off the night we gave a "Joy to the World" DVD to a potential investigator.  I've noticed that things are just hard for me, like the ability to enjoy doing the things we do, mainly chapping and I've also noticed just how hard these two years are going to be. The average missionary gets 1.4 baptisms during their whole mission here.  I know it's just a number, but it shows what I'm dealing with.

December 14, 2013
Today we volunteered at a charity shop and it was weird being behind a register again.  Across the street they were having a big blow out sale thing and they had a blow up Santa, a tooth fairy on stilts, and a clown.  So after we went to go check it out and it was this place where they have a bunch of small businesses and we talked to a guy that was selling guitars and we talked a lot and it was really good.  I also got a letter post card from Cemmy and when I got it, I told Elder Edwards about all the times I went home teaching at her house and about her birds and every time I went to church she would call me Ricky and it made my Day!  We also got post cards from the old ladies in our flat complex that just love us and one always calls us "Boys", so she wrote that on the Christmas card.

December 15, 2013
Sunday was really good!  I really love this ward.  They have so much love for us and you can tell they really want us around.  One thing we are focusing on is the members and just going to see them and spend time with them.  I also have noticed how much we can help this ward and make it stronger.  We went to go teach Shane today and he likes us around but it's just hard to see him progress because he likes us as friends more than wanting to hear the Gospel and I almost say to myself, 'I don't want to give up on him because I do see him slowly opening up to us', but it's just hard to not have people progress.

Letter mailed home that arrived along with another letter on the same day - January 6, 2014

December 16, 2013
Today was a pretty ordinary p-day.  We went to Motherwell to email because our library is too small and doesn't have enough computers.  We had to travel to Motherwell by bus to get there and today we finally found out there is a big library in Coatbridge which is only like a 10-15 minute bus ride and we just found it out.  I also bought a cool moose sweater for the ward Christmas party.  We watched the Christmas devotional at FHE tonight and it was pretty good.  

December 17, 2013
Today we had district meeting and then we practiced singing for a missionary caroling activity coming up.  Later in the night, we went to go help set up for the ward Christmas party and they had me put up a lot of high things.  It was funny, they kept calling me the 'tall one' and they were very thankful for my work and they said, "Oh Elder Hanson can figure this out."  But everything was pretty easy.  It was a fast busy day in Airdrie.

December 18, 2013
Today was a really good day.  It started off a little slow but at the end of the night we went to the Mathisons and they are amazing.  I've always felt that I wasn't meant for chapping doors all the time and I think Heavenly Father has been telling me that.  Something that a lot of missionaries forget to do is just see the ward members and bring the spirit in their homes with a little message and the result is that they will want you to teach people they love.  If they don't know you, they won't want to trust you with a task like that.  My new goal for this little while is, yes, I will chap and talk to people on the street, ,but the goal is to have the entire ward know me and just have me over for a small message and get to know them and hopefully that will be my way of feeding His sheep because it is crazy how much better missionary work goes when the ward brings people they are close to and then we teach them.

December 19, 2013
Today flew by.  We did weekly planning and saw that my bed frame had snapped because Elder Utley sat on it wrong or something because it must have been super cheap.  Then we all had dinner at the McGowin's and finished the night with a missionary caroling concert and it was amazing.

December 20, 2013
Today we went to see some widows in the ward with Jamie and got to just keep them company and it was really good.  We had dinner at the Black's and finished the night off with the Christmas party.  They gave us green Santa hats and we were Santa's helpers and it was a really good night and a lot of fun.

December 21, 2013
Today was a really good day.  We taught a bunch of lessons and we made a lot of good ground with people.  Bill is trying to change his life and not drink.  Shane has stopped smoking and we stayed pretty busy today.  On another note, there were huge puddles everywhere and there was one that was at least a foot deep and a car actually swerved so it would splash us and it was the grossest water ever and I was soaked but I just laughed it off because it was funny.

December 22, 2013
Today was a pretty amazing Christmas sacrament meeting, lots of music, and lots of talks about the Savior.  After church, we waited to go caroling because it would take to much time to travel back to the flat and back for lunch.  We were starving and we ate a box of chocolates a member gave us and I got a can of tuna from the Relief Society room and Elder Davis and I shared this one can, huddled over it and he said, "I feel homeless."  Then we went caroling at the local old folk's home and you could tell they loved it and when I shook the old people's hands, half of them were old ladies that called me 'Handsome'.  Afterwards we went to the Munklands hospital to visit a member's wife in the emergency care ward and it was amazing to see her husband standing over her with tears on his face singing with us.  I later found out that she was sent to the hospital a few weeks ago with only a few hours to live but got a Priesthood blessing and is still going.  I went to get a little closer to shake her hand after and Elder Utley stopped me and later I found out she hates missionaries because she had a set of "Hammer Time" missionaries that ruined her view of missionaries.  I knew exactly what he meant.  "Hammer time" was a thing they had in this mission years ago and what it was is the zone leaders would randomly search your flat to find anything and they would constantly call you to make sure they knew what you were doing.  The problem with that is it made some crazy missionaries that would demand referrals and call members to repentance and it has destroyed this country's view of missionaries to this day.  At the end of the night, all four of the Airdrie missionaries had dinner together and it was good.

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