Monday, February 24, 2014

Transportation, a funeral, singing A Cappella

I don't think taxis are as expensive as back home, it's probably like 7 pounds from one side of our area to the other.  We only take them when members give us money for them because so few of them have cars, that's how they give us a ride home.  Trains are not too bad because everyone around here uses them.  It's a lot harder and expensive to get a driver's license here so everyone takes buses, that being said, buses are a lot more expensive There are pretty much only two buses that we use and we just get a bus pass for about 38£ a month but the mission will reimburse us. It's a little harder to pay for things here because the pounds add up to be a lot more than what we have. 
Not too much has happened this week but today we had to go to a funeral and speak at someone's that was less active.  The problem was 1. I was giving a talk,  and 2.  I didn't know him, and 90% of the people there were non-members, so I was pretty scared and to add on to that, if you had told me before my mission that I would sing A Cappella at a funeral with three other missionaries, "I Am a Child of God", I wouldn't have ever believed you. We did it at a crematorium that had a Catholicy feel. But I made it, and I'm still here. Today we are in Glasgow to get souvenirs for Elder Edward's family. I love you Mom!              

Letter home that arrived March 7.                                                                       Airdrie, Scotland 

Feb 17
For p-day we pretty much just shopped so Elder Edwards can get some more souvenirs because it is his second to last p-day.  It was pretty good.  I like some of the  European clothing and style and I will probably wear more stuff like that when I get back.  I think they call these pants chinos, or maybe it's the brand, but it's pretty much slim fit khaki pants and stuff like that.  American clothes are super baggy and I'm starting to like the more slim fit.  Elder Edwards got a football Rangers top and so did Elder Edwards.  Elder Utley got some Celtic shorts and they look really Irish and European shorts go up a lot higher than American ones so he looked like a leprechaun. 

Feb 18
Today was a pretty open day.  We tried by some people that weren't home, we went by some really old guy with only 4 toes on both feet.  Since he is old, he is pretty set in his ways.  He is still nice.  It just didn't go anywhere. We then went to Brother Mooney's house for dinner and he just got a bunch of Indian food take-out. I'm still blown away by how much Indian food everyone eats.

Feb 19  
Today we helped Sister Nielson shop and carried all her things.  It was good to help her.  I was so tired today I can't believe it.  I was pretty much just trying to make it through today.

Feb 20
Today's weekly planning was good.  Elder Edwards was like, "Yeah, forgive me if I'm not much help with weekly planning for next week."  Because he will be home.  I'm going to miss him, he has taught me SO much.

Feb 21
Today I went on exchange with Elder Utley and we went by some widows with Jamie and things went really well. They are always happy to see us and we are more than okay with helping them in any way.  At the end of the day we got back to the flat.  I was reading and I felt a prompting to check on one of the other Elders. I talked with him about how he is doing because I could tell something was wrong and I gave him some advice.  The atonement is an amazing thing.

Feb 22
So today we played sports with the Mooney's.  Unfortunately no one else showed up but Ian Smith's daughter was having her baptism because she had reached eight and it was great to see the less actives go to that.  We didn't have any investigators show because we don't have any at that point yet, but we will.

Feb 23
Today's sacrament was good.  We went to the Wark's for dinner and we played with their daughter while they made food and it was really good BBQ.

Feb 24
Today's p-day was an interesting one. We had to go to a funeral and that took up a large portion of the day. Good thing it was very eventful.  So we went to the funeral of Bill Salmon, a less-active that I've never seen or met in my life.  The Bishop was in charge of it because the man is still a member of our ward.  Bishop told us that the family couldn't decide on who to speak, so Bishop said he would handle it (meaning he'd call on us) and we also were going to sing "Families can be Together Forever" and "I am a Child of God".  But since 90% of the people were not members, and the other 10% weren't active, we all four Airdrie missionaries sang it in front of everyone. We were also in a crematorium which is a really creepy place.  But my talk involved parts of the scriptures, Jer 1:5, Alma 12:24, Moses 1:39, and D&C 42:46.  But I think it was all right.  I got nervous doing this in front of 70 people that had no idea who I was.  We later shopped in Glasgow and called it a day when we were done with FHE.  So, a pretty good day. 

Monday, February 17, 2014

Ups and Downs

Willie is doing really well.  We had a lesson with him last night that went really well.  He always loves having us around and talking with him.  Ingrid has just dropped off the face of the earth, she hasn't answered any of the calls that we give her.  It was devastating after having such an amazing lesson and it just shows that if people want an answer, it's not going to be at their own leisure and whenever they have time they will work on it. I just don't get how people can try once or twice and maybe pray here and there then not receive an answer and be put off.  It's so weird how we talk to people three times our age that still act like kids but as you know, Mom, you need to be patient with kids and still help them.  Man, I'm going to be a good dad! haha
  How has your week been? This week was good we are just kinda doing some of the same things. We are doing sports with the ward and I'm just loving it. I have no hand-eye coordination, but that's okay and we got to see a lot of members this week and we had stake conference 
We've had some good lessons here and there.  But no matter how lame they can sometimes be, they are all rewarding.
Transfers are in about three weeks. 
I'm pretty sure it has rained almost all day everyday since I've been in Airdrie.
Love You!

Elder Edwards Birthday

Hanson Plant

Snow we were out 'finding' in

Letter home, arrived Tuesday, February 25, 2014                                      Airdrie Scotland

Hey Family,

Feb 10, 2014
Finally, a good P-day.  But I'm just knackered (sore).  We played chair football and then played basketball with Scott and his friend.  We went over to the Black's home (Scott's home) and played board games.  It was really fun and I haven't played basketball in forever.  I have lost all hand-eye-coordination.

Feb 11
Today we had district meeting and it was about giving up things for the Lord and how much we give up to be here.  It's a lot and we also listened to the talk, "Feed my Sheep" By Elder Holland.  It really put things in perspective.  Then later it snowed like crazy and we had dinner at Bishop's.  We had a lesson with Willy that went pretty well.

Feb 12
Today was kind of slow.  We didn't have too much planned but it went okay.  We went by a lot of people and taught some good lessons.

Feb 13
Today was Elder Edward's birthday, it was pretty good!  I made him breakfast and the other Elders got him a bubble blower, a mini basketball and an exfoliating mask, one of those green slime things, and we had dinner at the Crain's and had steak and it was a good night!

Feb 14
Today we had dinner at Sister McGowin's and she is doing great.  She is a perfect example of how to deal with the loss of loved ones.  I can tell she still misses Brother McGowin though.  We later went to a less-active's house and it was an old guy with no teeth that invited us in, and just a wall of smell and stink punched me in the face.  It reeked like pee and I was just wondering in my head "how on earth does this place smell this bad?!" and just then, I see his dog that's crazy old, pee on the floor...and he didn't do much about it.  He's a nice old man, but I couldn't wait to get out and breath.

Feb 15
Today's session of stake conference was amazing.  it was all centered on missionary work and it was just powerful.  Earlier we did some football with some members and less actives and it was good.

Feb 16
So today was the Sunday session of conference and we were two minutes late to our train to Glasgow and the next train wasn't for another 65 minutes so we would be late, but we noticed there was a train only in Airdrie station that was leaving in ten minutes.  So we had to run from Drumgelloch to Airdrie in ten minutes.  So we just started running and took a bus that was just perfectly on time and we made it to the station on time and to conference on time and it was really great!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Happy Valentine's Day

Church went pretty well.  None of our investigators went today and Ingrid is on holiday in Ireland, so she didn’t go.  We haven’t seen her since that first lesson just because she has let life and just things get in the way but that doesn’t mean she wants to stop.  We hope she’ll come next week!
We aren’t really teaching Bill anymore because he didn’t progress and teaching someone that is drunk a lot is pretty much pointless, but we still stop by to see him every once in a while 
Let me tell you about Willy,  Elder Edwards and Elder Utley went on exchange and found Willy and the next day we got an appointment and Elder Edwards said, “Oh you’ll like him.”  So I thought, “Ok, we will see what happens.”  And right when he opened the door I was like, “Wow, you’re right!”  He’s super funny and talks super fast! When we taught him he pretty much knew all he needed to do and we just pointed him in the right direction. We asked him if he could believe in a prophet today and he was the first person that I have met that has honestly said, Yeah, I think that’s just what this world needs.”  We gave him a Book of Mormon and he even said, “God will show me and tell me all I need to do so if this is right I’ll know that it’s God telling me keep going.”   He is very Glassgoweegin in just the way he acted and talked and I just love him, he is a great guy. The members are doing their best, One thing you can do when you have missionaries over is just ask, “How do I do member missionary work?”   Because that’s pretty much what our job is’ to just teach the members how to help and they are also called to where we live because they are meant to help the members specifically.
I can’t believe that happened to Heather, she is by far one of the strongest people I know and I will pray for her as much as I can.
My companion and I were actually just talking about the plan of salvation last night on how amazing it is and how great it is to just learn and become better.  We even will talk to members who think that they would have had second thoughts if they knew what their life would be like now.  But they did know and they even accepted it, jumping for joy. It still blows me away on how great God’s plan is and even when I teach it every day, I'm constantly learning more about it.
Things are going well here.  I have gotten the hang of pretty much everything now and I know I have a lot to improve on but I believe I’ll get there. I am loving my mission and it’s been more than great to me. I love you Dad!

Haggis in a can!  They better have this in the States!
[Haggis is a Scottish dish made of the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or lamb, combined with oats, suet and other herbs and spices, and then cooked in a casing traditionally made of the animal's stomach. Thus, haggis is essentially a form of sausage.]


Love, Rick

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Monday February 3, 2014 e-mail

Ingrid is just doing amazing, a couple of snags here and there but I know that if she works for it she will get an answer.  That’s mainly what we are working on now. We will also call her today to set up another appointment. Teaching lessons to people is going a lot better.  The ward is using us for a lot more things and we are more than happy to work for them.  We have talked to some pretty interesting people on the street and are just hoping a little more will come out of it.  Next month the ward is going to do a ward fast for us to find that family that is being prepared.   Unfortunately no investigators came to church Sunday.  Some of them had some things that had come up and a large problem is just getting people to understand the importance of all that we have to offer them. 
This week we went with a lot of members to help with the home teaching and we also had a lesson with Ingrid that was nothing short of a miracle.  Let’s just say at the end of it, everyone in the room had tears falling down their face.  We brought Brother Ryan Wark with us and he’s just one of the best people to bring. At the end of a lesson she said, “Okay, I’ll try to pray and read.”  He pulls out a pen and says, “Here try to take this pen out of my hand.” and she gets ready and tries to grab it before he closes his hand but he doesn’t move his hand he just keeps it open and she takes it.  He says. “Here do it again.”  The same thing happened. He then said, “You didn’t try to get that pen.  You either got it or you didn’t. You either read and pray or you don’t.”  I learned and studied a lot this week about why bad things happen to good people because that is the one things that people we talk to can’t understand. With clarity it shows that God is a just, but merciful God. If the wicked didn’t do anything bad to the good then there would be nothing to judge and if there was nothing to judge then why would we go on this earth to learn.  It’s all about agency. The scriptures are full of this answer and many others and it should scare me with how much I know I have to learn but I'll just invite it.  Bring it on. 

-Elder Hanson
Elder Davis has lost a little weight also.

We were in the UK Ensign from when we helped Br. B. in his wheelchair up the mountain.

Beautiful rainbow
Just passing a little message along.
Rival Game Ties!

Elder Utley (from Colorado) and I in our Super Bowl Ties.
He can burn his now.  YEAHHHH HAWKS!!!!

Letter written home received February 19, 2014          Airdrie Scotland

Jan 27, 2014  On P-day it was a good day.  It wasn't a usual one.  We did a lot of things with the members.  After emailing we picked up Sister Neilson's glasses and finished p-day early to have dinner at the Cummings and then finished the night with FHE.  Traci came and it was great, I gave the spiritual thought.

Jan 28, 2014  Today we had a lesson with Ingrid!  well, we made her cry but it was in a good way.  We had Ryan Wark as a joint teach and we all bore our testimonies and she has a true desire for an answer.  I can see iit in her eyes.  She feels alone and forsaken.  We took a big bold step and gave her a blessing and she was more than okay with it.  Ii could see almost a physical change with her when I saw her open her eyes.  But, she is still a little hesitant that she will receive an answer but I know with all my heart she will.

Jan 29, 2014    Today was a B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L day of service.  We saw an amazing rainbow out of our window this morning and we did a lot of service.  We helped paint and helped move furniture, then helped with the ward clean-up.  We are a part of the ward, just like members are a part of missionary work.

Jan 30, 2014    We did mainly weekly planning today and unfortunately both Elder Edwards and Elder Davis got food poisoning from something but Elder Bentley and I were feeling good enough to still go out, then we went home teaching with Thomas and it was pretty good.

January 31, 2014    today we taught Traci and we are just helping her know the right path and I can tell she just needs a lot of help and today was just a good old day of finding.

February 1, 2014   Today kind of just dragged on and I was pretty much just looking forward to a lesson with Ingrid but unfortunately she cancelled, so we had a pretty long night.

Feb 2, 2014    Today's fast Sunday was pretty crazy.  We found out that Br. McGowin passed away this morning and that was heart breaking.  I loved that man.  We had a very touching testimony meeting and after that, we had dinner after church with the Blyes because they noticed our dinner sheet was a little empty (we only have one dinner appointment this week), but that's okay.

Feb 3, 2014    Today's P-day was really boring.  We just emailed and that's about the only good part. We just didn't do anything because there is nothing around here.  Hopefully we have a better one next week.  I feel that whenever I have a good P-day my week always goes better.

Feb 4, 2014    Today we had a West Scotland conference with all the missionaries from Glasgow and Paisley all together and it was by far one of the best meetings I have attended.  It was pretty much about how it's not what you do, it's how you do it because if we do it without love, it benefits in no way.  Also, that Heavenly Father owns everything but our hearts, so the greatest gift we can give him is just that.  it opened my eyes.  I want nothing more than to be an exactly obedient missionary and to be always diligent but I know I have a lot to work on and I will get there.

Feb 5, 2014    Today we had dinner at the Davidson's and they are temple workers so we just talked about people all over Scotland temples.  It was really good.  Sister Davis made some cut cabbage, almost like mashed.  I thought not too much of it but Elder Edwards told me how he had to force it down.  I haven't had too bad of a problem with food on my mission so far.  I'm pretty much fine with anything.

Feb 6, 2014    So today was pretty weird.  We had almost everything planned with lessons, a dinner appointment, and meetings, but everything cancelled.  So we thought, "Oh no, what do we do?"  Because I was looking forward to everything.  We were half way though making dinner close to the end of the night thinking of what to do with our little time left and Sister Black called telling us that dinner was back on so we threw everything in the fridge and went to their house and it's always a good time over there. 

Feb 7, 2014    Today we went to Br. McGowin's funeral, so it was a  pretty sad day but Sis. McGowin is always good at staying happy and not letting too much bring her down.  later I went on exchange with Elder Davis and the taxis were terrible today when we went with Jamie to see widows.  We had to wait two hours for one, it was crazy.  Later, we went to see Chelsea, an investigator  the other Elders have.  She is really solid and we gave her Karo, fake coffee to help her with the Word of Wisdom.  it was good getting to know her and after, I played with her chiwawa by putting the light reflection off my water on the wall and had him chase the little white dot.

Feb 8, 2014      Today we did service at the charity shop and we got together some less actives and played basketball.  It was great!  

Feb 9, 2014    Today was a good Sunday.  We taught Gospel Principles and we had a lesson with Willy and the second we walked into his house, I said to Elder Edwards, "I like this guy!"  He was perfect, we didn't really need to say much because we just lead and moved the discussion.  We gave him a Book of Mormon and asked him to pray about it.  We will see him again on Tuesday.