Monday, March 31, 2014

Working hard

Well this week was another hard one.  We worked hard and my ego is a little shattered with only one less-active lesson for the entire week.  If you ask any missionary, that is really bad, but when I met with President this week he just said, "I could care less about numbers, success isn’t measured by numbers, but by your commitment to be diligent and try your hardest." It’s just weird how this mission is nothing at all like what I thought it would be. I thought the biggest problem I would have is people not coming to church, even though that happens all the time. I have been able to grow more as a member than I would have thought, as a missionary.  This mission thus far hasn't shown me how to be a better missionary, but a better member that does missionary work. Damian told us he would go to church and so did David.  I don’t understand the point of them telling us something that they will lie about week after week.  It’s pretty much a waste of our time. It's like telling a cop you weren’t speeding when they have the speed gun right in front of you.  I am meant to love these people.  It’s getting hard but I know I’ll get there. We don’t have any solid investigators.  We went to a door where a dog was practically breaking down the door and the guy looked really interested and said, “Well my dinner is on right now but can you come back in like 10- 15 minutes when I’m done?”  So we chapped a couple more houses and then went back and the guy didn’t answer his door... I just thought what was the point of that. Elder Patterson was just so let down and frustrated and I just said, "Well that bites" and we just kept going for a couple more houses. I later told Elder Patterson I really couldn't care less if he rejected us because he’s not really rejecting us, he’s rejecting joy. 
On P-day we went to the mining museum.

We have a new greenie in our district

Handwritten letter sent home, arriving in Seattle Saturday, April 19, 2014
March 24-28
So, I’ve forgotten to write in my journal pretty much all week.  So, I have a little catching up to do.  So on Monday, we went to Summer Lee, a museum about Airdrie and Coatbridge.  It just had a lot about steel and coal mining.  It was cool to see all the great history.  Tuesday we went on exchanges so I was with Elder Davis and we had lunch with Jonathan E.  It was great.  I love being around return missionaries because they know a lot of what we are dealing with.  We talked about how we need to just pretty much work with less actives because there are just far too many of them.  On Wednesday we had zone interview trainings.  I got interviewed by President and it was pretty good.  We laughed a couple times.  I love always seeing him.  On Thursday we had dinner at the Blacks and instead of them making us four missionaries dinner, I made everyone chocolate pancakes.  They said they were the best, but I thought they were just okay.  April and Shawn both said they tried to make them the same but they were nowhere near as good.  On Friday, I went with Elder Dalton on exchanges with Jamie to see widows in the ward and later that night we both got super lost and found a huge lake and thought it was pretty cool.

March 29
Today we played basketball with Thomas and Jonathan.  It was good to finally play an actual game of B-ball. T Then Br. Johnston took us out for Indian food.  We talked to a couple of crazy people on the bus.  It was a good day.

March 30
Sunday was good.  Again, no one that we invited came to church.  It is very discouraging with the amount of success we have made since I have been here.  This is just such a hard area.  The people are very ignorant and un-accepting but I will still work and always will.

March 31
Today’s P-day consisted of just a lot of shopping and we watched Sam and Luke’s 5000 Days Project, after we got permission from the APs.  That documentary has taught me many things.

April 1
Today was a little hard.  We had a lot of finding and a lot of walking but we had a great dinner at the Blacks.

April 2
Today was good.  The morning started off a little slow but we got to do more service and had a good lesson with Sister Jonson.  At the end of the night, I stayed up with Elder Dalton because we are in the same group that came into the mission, we talked about how we are both at the same point of our mission and we just talked a lot about our thoughts and how we never thought our missions would be like this at all.

April 3
Oh man, I love moving or just doing some good service.  I remember when I was younger and I hated it but now it’s pretty sweet.  We helped Sister Bryce move and she actually gave us her deep fryer!  Oh boy, we made so many chips and we fried chicken and tried to fry a candy bar…it didn’t work but it was a fun day.

April 4
Today we taught an actual good lesson!  We actually taught today for the first time in a month and it just felt amazing.  If I didn’t have such a hard time last month, I wouldn’t love teaching as much as I do.  It just makes me feel amazing.  I’m not sure how much will come out of it, but to testify and bring truth to someone is the best!

April 5
Today we got to play some football-volleyball which was interesting.  We did some finding in Glasgow and had lunch and then watched the Saturday morning session of General Conference.

April 6

Today was full of conference, it was great.  I got to meet up with a bunch of Elders and that was cool too.

Monday, March 24, 2014

I'll do what He wants me to do

For this week, we didn't get any new investigators. We did a lot of tracting and talking to people on the street but not too many miracles this week. Not too much happened this week, pretty much the same old same old things. We just keep working. We’ve had some ideas for a lot of events that will be really good in the future.  I don't know, even though the work is going terrible and its unbelievably hard, I still think everything will be okay and that I had just a really good week!  Unfortunately Damian and David didn't show up to church because we couldn't get them a ride but later last night we went to his house and just explained that he shouldn’t rely on us to get him a ride every week.  I said, “You’re a grown man.  You should be able to figure out what you need to do to get to church."  It’s crazy how much effort people have put in for this church to go forth over the years. like those girls that took the pages of the Doctrine and Covenants and protected them with their lives, and the pioneers, and thousands of others that go great distances to make it too church.  But it’s hard to get someone from literally across the street to want to go. All I know is that I will never be lazy for any call that God gives me. 

Saint Patty's Day
Letter home, recieved April 1, 2014
Dear Famiy,                                                     Airdrie Scotland

March  17, 2014
Today was an amazing P-Day.  We took a hike to this place in the middle of nowhere.  The other Elders found this trail after getting lost for three hours.  So we took a bunch of awesome pictures.

March 18, 2014
Today I'm so tired, but it's good. We handed out a Book of Mormon to a man that was really good to talk to and we did some good chapping today.

March 19, 2014
Not much has happened lately.  It's getting harder to write about things when you have been in an area so long and you do the same things all the time.  Damien cancelled because his mom is going into surgery.  So hopefuly we will see him Sunday  I've been feeilng sick so we went inide a little early.

March 20, 2014
Today I felt terrible so just slept and took tons of medicine.  That was pretty much my day.  Elder Patterson said I looked like death.

March 21, 2014
We  had dinner with Ryan Wark and it was cool because we saw him walking when we were on the way to his house and he forgot that we had dinner and he just said, "Oh that's right, well we can do food."  So we made nachos and talked about stuff.  It was fun.  Then Br. -- made an amazing family history night at the ward and asked us to help and like 7 non-members showed up.  It was great for them to see us and to talk with them.

March 22
So I apparently made Elder Davis sick, so today they had a lot to do so we took shifts for one to stay with him and the other going with his companion, Elder Dalton.

March 23
Today no one showed up at Church. David didn't come, nor Damien, but church was really great and it just felt good.
P-Day Hike


The field is white....

All ready to HARVEST!


Monday, March 17, 2014

Trying to mix things up

I haven’t heard the name Colin since I have been here but maybe I’ll see a bunch randomly.  This week was a good growing week.  So every time you get a new companion, things change a little because this week it’s almost like a new area. Sadly our success has dropped, but the things we do are a little different. Since the beginning of the transfer we go by less actives and chap doors on each side of them.  We try to mix things up but just because where we are and there really isn’t much in Airdrea to mix things up we pretty much chap.  We haven’t gotten invited in for a long time. I’ve only been invited in like 2 or 3 times on my mission so far. This part is about as bad as Ireland.  Elder Patterson said as far as people on benefits, almost everyone we see doesn’t have a job because they can almost make more money on benefits than they would with some jobs. I’m not saying there aren’t people that don’t work or need benefits because they actually need them.  But, the people we work with literally watch TV all day and the high point of their day is to go to the store for food. You would think then they would have plenty of time to want to talk to us but I can’t think of how many times people tell me they are busy but they have like one thing to do that entire day that lasts an hour.  So, it gets frustrating.  We went by Bill, hoping some improvement happened but nothing has happened since last time.
Now for a good thing of this week. We taught a lesson to a woman named Mary.  she knocked on the door and when he opened the door she was shouting words to him behind the door and it was way obvious to us but she walked in and just said, “Hey boys.”  I just said, I’m guessing you know who we are. She said, “Yes, I know about your book and John Smith.”  It’s funny how people all around the world always say John Smith.  She said, “I don’t want to hurt your feelings, so I won’t talk.”  Like she was about to break this big news to us.   We just looked at her and said, “No matter what you say, we have heard worse, c'mon tell us.”  She said, “I think John Smith is a con man.”  I said, “Well, how do you know that if you haven’t read the book or studied anything about him?”  She just said, “No.”  and we just said, “Well then how can you say that if you know nothing about it?  I don’t say apples will kill you if I’ve never had one!” The problem with a lot of people, is they are brought up with thoughts that are not their own.  She said to us later after accepting a Book of Mormon, “Well, I’m Catholic and Bill and I know it’s something you can’t leave.”  Even though they haven’t been to mass for 30 or more years. We later just said, “Well, what do you believe, because honestly I want to know how people gain joy. She said, “Well, I believe in the big bang theory and I don’t believe in Christ.”  (So how are you Catholic?)  At the end, we gave her our information and a Book of Mormon and she said she would read it to know more, but she wouldn’t give us her information.  But I know that because that book is the most powerful book on the earth, so powerful that if anyone were to read it with good intent, and hope in their heart, then they will get closer to God.  And, how do you get closer than contacting back the missionaries. I know this church is true. I also know that I am serving the best mission ever!
Sorry if this email is not understandable. I love you mom and I hope I see Colin soon.

Letter home arrived Tuesday, April 1, 2014                                  Airdrie Scotland

Dearest Family,
March 10, 2014
For P-Day we went into a kilt shop and found out the cheapest kilt they had was 300 quid so we turned around.  Then we went to the church and watched Mormon Channel videos and the new version of "Prophet of the Restoration".

March 11, 2014
Today was actually just a really good day.  We talked to a man on a bench that said he was the scariest man in Coatbridge. We gave him a Book of Mormon.  That's promising and the weather was amazing!

March 12, 2014
Today we had a lesson with David Orick that was pretty weird because he just called us and wanted to see us randomly, but it was good because I could tell we made some ground.  Hopefully he will just go to church!!

March 13, 2014
Today we just had a pretty intense weekly planning with just talk about what we can do for ideas of finding and just being better.  Things are going to be a lot better now that we know how each of us work and all that.

March 14, 2014
Today was super bad and just stressful.  Every single appointment cancelled within 10 minutes, even our back ups and plans for tomorrow.

March 15, 2014
Today the Blacks just tore into American clothing, mainly just baggy clothes and when people wear shorts and t shirts all the time, AKA me back home.  Because here people care a lot about their looks, except their teeth, which is ironic.  Then you will also see what we call NEDS (Non educated delinquents) and you can always spot them because they are always wearing matching sweat pants and sweat shirts.

March 16, 2014
So David Orick baled on church again but later that night we had an amazing missionary fireside.  We had everyone split into groups and go into rooms with RMs from the ward to share their experiences from their mission and answer questions.  It was just really good and everything worked out amazing.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Keep Plugging Along

It was harder than I thought it would be to say good bye to Elder Edwards, but it was his time. Elder Patterson is pretty good.   He’s great, and very obedient.  We goof off a little here and there but we have been working super hard! Oh man, I’ve never been this tired. He’s from good old Idaho Falls.  He’s been out one transfer less than me, so 7 months.  He was in Aberdeen before coming here.  He was trained in Bangor, Ireland.
We were going to teach the man that came to church with his fiancĂ© last week but unfortunately, right before our appointment his dad had a stroke and after that he went on holiday.
We met with David Orick on Saturday but he said he was "sick" on Sunday so he couldn’t go. We haven’t been able to get in contact with Willie lately either.  We pretty much started with nothing again and we pretty much chap all day every day. But, I just thought, 'This was enough, we need to be doing something better with our time.’ The ward mission leader that I love to bits, told me that "You know what, don’t worry about numbers this week, just have fun with it."  So I’m taking that to heart, I’ve been told that many times on my mission and it’s not what you do, it’s how you do it. as long as you’re doing something good, the Lord will bless you.
Being with Elder Patterson, I have realized my personality and how we are kind of the opposite but its good. Sometimes he’ll be so let down because our numbers are bad and he’ll be pretty hard on himself when things fall through, but I just feel that there are things out of our control and there is nothing we can do about it, as long as we are doing our best. This week was pretty hard but I hope that next week is a lot better.
Love you!

Letter home arrived 3/20/2014                                                                Aberdeen Scotland

March 3, 2014
Another moves week.  So we shopped and emailed but now Elder Edwards mission has come to an end. So he packed and Elder Utley is also leaving so I'll be losing two great friends.  I will be able to have another adventure and journey with Elder Patterson from Aberdeen.

March 4, 2014
Elder Edwards is off.  I went with the other two missionaries and we were a trio for the day so we just got Elder Utley ready to go and went by a few people.  It was good.

March 5, 2014
Today I met Elder Patterson.  He's really cool and we get along really well.  He is good because we really push each other.  He's from Idaho Falls and he went to Utah State.  He's the oldest of three brothers.

March 6, 2014
Today was good.  We worked really hard!  I'm tired but excited about the great work we are going to do.  He has been out six weeks less than me so we are at the same level and we had ward missionary correlation and a lot of big things are coming.

March 7, 2014
Today was good.  Unfortunately Damien cancelled because his father had a stroke.  So we had to chap the rest of the night instead.  We have done a lot of chapping lately and I'm so sick of it.  It's also worse because I wish I liked it more.  I try and I just don't.  It makes days feel longer and it makes me feel miserable.  We taught not a single lesson today.

March 8, 2014
So today we walked forever and it felt like all the morning was an entire week.  I'm getting pretty down just because I wish I was better and I wish I just liked and had fun with everything.  But, at the end of the day I was just tired and felt unaccomplished.  These are going to be a long six weeks.

March 9, 2014
So this morning I woke up thinking, "Oh no, all we have is chapping after church."  During church I got some revelation through the lessons that I know was from Heavenly Father because I asked him how I am just so unhappy with doing the Lord's work and what things I will change.  Things I will change is, my praying will be more frequent and in depth, another is that Jordan Wark challenged me to just have a fun week and not worry about numbers but be creative in the work.  It's interesting because he was giving me the answer I needed from God.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Sunday Church Visitors

Transfers are on Wednesday.  I will be getting my new companion, Elder Patterson!   I don’t know too much about him but he went into Aberdeen right after me and took my place.  This will be 6 months in Airdrie and it feels like I just got here. Today or tomorrow I’ll be saying goodbye to Elder Edwards and he will go home after touring around Scotland/ Ireland for a week.  I’m going to miss him, he was a great friend.
Yesterday was an interesting Sunday. Do you remember that guy that I wrote about that stopped his car and had us pray for his mom?  Well he went to church yesterday and had his non-member fiancĂ© there and it was great!  They are both really great, I can tell. We will try to set up a time to meet with them this week. He is a mechanic and so it was cool talking about cars and fixing them.  She is a phone person that works for Scottish gas and I can tell she’s really nice and talks really fast. We also had David Orick come to church and it was kind of amazing. Half way through testimony meeting I was afraid because he walked out, but later I found out it was because he was starting to cry from hearing all the testimonies. Willie was busy all this week but we will try to see him again soon.
Things are going well, I’m really liking it here.  I have a lot to do, but I know I’ll get there.
Love you!  Elder Hanson

Quite a  "Lord of the Rings" collection!


I needed that!

Letter home, arrived March 20, 2014                                                          Aberdeen Scotland

February 25, 2014
Today we had district meeting and it was good.  We talked about finding and when we meet with members for it to be commitment focused for their progression with anything.  We went home teaching with Gordon Bathgate and we walked with him back to his home and it took forever because I'm not used to walking that slow anymore.

February 26, 2014
Today we are pretty full because Elder Edwards is going home and we are seeing a bunch of members this week.  We had lunch with Brian Johnston at an Indian place.  Then we went to an old folks home and got told by an old lady to get out of her house because she didn't know us.  We were just like, "We are here to see Davie."  But she thought this was place was her that was an ordeal.  Later that night we did some finding ad went home teaching with Brother Easton.

February 27, 2014
Today was another funeral for a person I didn't know.  I have heard so many times in Aberdeen and in Airdrie about how many people come out to church and were active but we are lucky if a fourth of them show up and the only thing that brings some members to even step in the building again is a baby blessing or a funeral.  I don't get it.  It's so discouraging on how hard hearted the people are here.  The main religion is football.  I know more about other people's religion than they do.  Pretty much my whole mission has been like walking up a downwards escalator.

February 28, 2014
This morning we looked around the city center for medicine because I have the worse cough ever and last night I could hardly breathe, it was pretty scary.  It's hard to get some medicine because everything is named differently so we just got some crazy powerful cough drops.  Later that night all the Elders went to Brother Warks because his wife was working.  We had a good night and had chips and curry.

March 1, 2014
Today we helped the Black family clean the church building and played some basketball with Brother Smith and his children.  Afterwards we went to the Cummings and Elder Edwards wanted to see Brother Cummings' Lord of the Rings collection so we helped him dust all of it.  It was crazy.  (See picture above).

March 2, 2014
My Sunday was amazing.  We got David Orick to go to Church and we saw him tearing up after the meeting.  It was very spiritual and very good.  Later through church a man with long black hair sat next to me.  It was the man I prayed with months ago about his mother being sick.  He showed up and brought his fiance.  So we will be teaching them.