Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Doing well

I'm fantastic.  I love it here so much and I'm having a blast.  No one that we invited to church came Sunday but we almost got a couple to go to a baptism the sisters in the ward were having. It's hard to get in to teach lessons in this area, we aren't having too much success but we are working hard on it all the time.  We always ask people when we can see them again.  I spoke in church, it went pretty well and I can already tell the ward likes me a lot. Our flat is alright, it's pretty average, kinda small but its a typical missionary flat. We live just two blocks from the building which is really nice.  It's just the two of us, me and Elder McDonald but we also have a set of sisters in the ward that will randomly make us baked goods (I think it's because they know we aren't getting too many dinner appointments).  It's a lot warmer here than it was in Scotland because it's in a gulf stream or something like that and it's getting close to summer time, so far almost every day has been really nice. The food is pretty much the same as Scotland, a lot of meat and potatoes, but other than that, pretty average like home.  Northern Ireland people don't like to be catergorized as Ireland because NI is mostly protestant and they want to be part of the UK but the republic (Ireland) dooesn't.   
I have no idea what I want for my birthday but I'll try to think of something and if I do I'll tell you.

Members give us American goodies

The picture is of the baptism of an investigator, Robert  that the sisters taught.  I got to be a witness and join in the confirmation. 

We found a bull!

I got caught eating a cupcake

Our flat


Wednesday, April 23, 2014


In Airdrie saying good bye to the Blacks and Craigs

Farewell to Elder Patterson

So I'm working in the Belfast city and it's pretty great and I'm in the stake building. The stake is all of northern Ireland (don't get it mixed up with Ireland).  The ward, from what I have seen so far, will be the best ward I have been in. Everyone is so nice and inviting! I already love the Irish people, They aren't too different from the Scottish. So the mission home made a mistake with buying ferry tickets, so I had to pack a day earlier so that was pretty crazy because we weren't packed all the way until I had to go, then I went to the zone leaders flat and went around Glasgow for the last time.  Then in the morning I took a 3 hour bus to the ferry and a 2 hour ferry, and  like a 15 minute bus ride to Belfast where I met Elder McDonald. Oh man, I love this guy.  I don't think I've gotten along better with a companion. The work here is slightly different so there is a little more I need to learn and get used to. I feel like I must be a good finder because at the moment we don't have anyone too solid, but I'm just excited about everything! 

Rick answering some questions that were posed to him:
It's hard to name off all of the things to tell you because there is just so much. 
How was the trip? 
It was amazing.  We had a bus that went through the most beautiful highlands that I have ever seen.  I wish I had taken pictures but they couldn't even look close to as amazing as it was. 

What time of day did you leave, what time did you arrive, who went with you? I left like at 5:30 a.m. and arrived around 3:00 p.m.   
How is your new companion, Elder McDonald, where's he from? 
Oh man, he's amazing.  He reminds me of Bryan so much... so yeah we get along pretty well. He's from southern Utah.
What's it like there? 
It's a lot like Scotland but also so different. The people are really nice and the accent is the greatest thing ever. I'm mainly in the city and the area is a little small but I love it.  Oh man, yeah, they still really pride themselves that they built the titanic, like crazy, I see signs about the titanic everywhere.  
Yeah, Elder Clement is my zone leader and I know Giant's Causeway very well.  I'll probably go there one of these p-days.  I see Elder Clement all the time, he's a really cool guy.

A member gave me this white shirt.  I look like a Pilot!

Well that's a nice morning wake up call. (10 feet away from my bed window).
Get into Google and look into parades or marches in Ireland.  They have the two days off for holiday where the town shuts down and they have marches and stuff like that for the separation of Ireland. I'll try to send more pictures next week. 

At least my suitcase made it to Ireland!

Outside my new flat.
Letter home, received May 19, written on days posted

                                                          Airdrie, Scotland
Tuesday, April 15
So someone messed up my tickets so I'll have to go to the zone leader's flat a day early.  It was good, just really stressful with packing in one night.  When we were going to the train station Elder Patterson accidentally broke my wheel on my suitcase, so now it's completely grounded down and it still needs to make it to Ireland.  I'll miss him.

                                                          Belfast, Northern Ireland
Wed, April 16
So today I'm off.  I woke up at 5:30 and met with some missionaries on a bus to a ferry, then another bus to meet Elder McDonald and I met him and he's exactly like Bryan (Monica's husband)...oh, we are going to get along.  He's awesome.  We got around and I unpacked.

Thurs, April 17
Today felt like the longest day of my life.  It wasn't bad, just everything we did just drug on forever.  There is also a lot less travel time to get used to but for weekly planning we were super hungry so we went to this all you can eat pizza hut.  We went to like an outside mall, it was amazing looking, then we went by loads of people and our only solid investigator at the moment dropped.  So, that was a nice welcoming.  From what I've seen, this area might be even harder than the last.

Friday, April 18
Today went a lot smoother.  We visited an old couple in an old folks home, then went by less actives and members for me to meet them and get to know them.  We had a good fireside at the church where I met the Bishop and other people.  This ward, from what I can see, is pretty amazing and I love the Allen's!

Saturday, April 19
Today we played football in the morning and a lot of investigators and the sisters showed up.  That was pretty cool.  A two year old is better than I am at football (soccer).  Today was just fun, I'm loving it here.

Sunday, April 20
Today I finally got to meet the ward and they are just all amazing.  The Bishop is a spiritual giant and the members are so into missionary work.  We actually have meetings for missionary work!  After church we went to the Willis's and they live all the way up the countryside and it's beautiful.  Then we had a stake Easter fireside and I met the Stake President who served his mission in Washington state, and then was a cop in Seattle after that, so we got along well. 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Going to Ireland!

Good-bye to the Airdrie building.
I’m going to Holywood and Belfast city and I’m super excited.  I’ve been in Airdrie for six months now and its going to be way harder to leave than I thought. My new companion is Elder McDonald and I’ll be moving there on Wednesday. It’s funny, I wasn’t expecting it, but members told me that they will honestly miss me when I’m gone and I’ve grown so much while I’ve been in this area. I just learned to be thankful no matter what, even if you don’t think you have anything to be thankful for, and to not talk bad about anyone no matter how much you want to. I really love the Scottish people and I know I’ll miss them for however long the time I will be gone from them but I’m sure I’m going to love the Irish. I’ll be able to see my trainer Elder Holbrook, every Tuesday. 

We have gotten some new investigators and things are starting to pick up. We have gotten to meet a lot of interesting people this week and gotten to know so much about them. Sometimes I’ve had complete strangers tell me their deepest darkest secrets and I never ask for them to, haha. Also, because of where I am, I almost never see the dark, it doesn't get dark until like 8 or 9 at night and when we wake up its usually pretty bright and sunny. 
Last Monday we had one of the members take us on like a football exercise mini boot camp and my entire body was sore for about three days after. This week flew by just so fast, I can’t even believe it.  I’ll miss Elder Patterson and him singing country while we walk for hours at a time and all that we’ve been able to do and learn from each other.
Love you mom! I’ll try to make my email next week better. 

Belfast Ireland Information from Wiki:

"Belfast from IrishBéal Feirste, meaning "mouth of the sandbanks") is the administrative capital and largest city of Northern Ireland. It is on the flood plain of the River Lagan.
By population, Belfast is the eighteenth largest city in the United Kingdom and second largest on the island of Ireland. It is the seat of the devolved government and legislative Northern Ireland Assembly."

Having a car this small is dumb

We have foot soak every Friday and eat cake and this Friday we had Combernald over and all wore face masks.  One Elder has a cool setting on his camera to make things intense. 


Saying goodbye to the Airdrie building 
Letter home received May, 19, written days posted              
                                                                                Airdrie Scotland
Monday April 7, 2014
For P-day we got the district together and Scott Crain (the Black's son) and had an insane crazy workout and got super sore and played some chair football and jammed my foot really bad.

Tuesday, April 8
Today was Elder Davidson's last district meeting and we took some good pictures.
Later we chapped and had no success but later we were in charge of the ward's mutual and taught about talking to friends about the Gospel and showed some good videos to the youth.

Wednesday, April 9
Today we did service at the thrift shop and went by some former investigators but they were not in.  Later that night we had a lesson with Willie and he's reading! He's getting a little more open.

Thursday, April 10
Today was awesome.  Elder Davis and I went to a member's who took us out to lunch at Nandes, a really good chicken place and then we had missionary correlation and to end off the night, we had dinner with Brother Wark and he told us stories about his mission in Canada.

Friday, April 11
Today we went with Jamie to see widows and they are just so nice to us and I can just see how much they love visitors.  We also went to the Black's and said good-bye because I could be moving before I see him next time.

Saturday, April 12
We did sports today with the ward and got to say good-bye to Scott Crain before he goes to a soccer tournament  where he might get recruited for a professional team.  He said he'll pretty much play for anywhere in England.

Sunday, April 13
We had an API with a guy named Chris and that fell through and I got moves call!  I'm going to Belfast in Ireland.

Monday, April 14
Today was normal email, shop pack.


Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter from President Brown to all Scotland/Ireland missionaries

I just thought I'd forward this from President so you'd know what's happening if I don't write on some Mondays:

"My Dear Elders and Sisters,
This past week I have been led to ponder more on the great sacrifice you have all made to serve as missionaries. I have thought over all the things that you give up and leave behind for the period of your service – of the things you do each and every day to search for those people who are ready for the gospel. My son Sandy recently remarked that his mission in West Africa was easy when compared to serving here – he even said he didn’t know if he could have done what you do! So basically what I’m trying to say is that I continue to stand in awe of the strength of your dedication and commitment to this work. These thoughts lift, inspire and keep me going in my futile attempt to try to match your diligence. It is much easier for me at my age and stage in life to be here because I’ve done all the other stuff and am heading for the twilight years – not only that but I have the best companion in the mission, and I get to be with her for the whole three years – not to mention the little matter of eternity! 
A wee while ago I received a letter from an investigator, and this is an extract from it;
“I want to write to express my gratitude for the work of the LDS missionaries in Scotland. In this age of secularism and materialism it is heartening to meet young people who are committed to putting spiritual priorities first in their lives.
Their lives of sacrifice and service have been a great inspiration to me and my family; even helping us with our allotment which is essential for feeding our family. Thank you for sending them to this area.”
So, you see that I am not alone is my appreciation for what you do for the Lords children in these lands amongst my countrymen.  I share below an extract from my journal dated June 12th 2012 just a couple of weeks before we left for our mission. Apologies for the pre-mission language – I learned pretty quickly under the tutelage of the Assistants, Elder Costley and Elder Bland to drop the “Awesome” “Guys” etc.!!

“We were invited to attend the Zone Leaders Council meeting in the mission training room and it was amazing – the mission leaders are just awesome – these guys are like professionally trained teachers of the highest quality – they teach, testify to and edify each other in a way which demonstrates their unity as a group, their faith and commitment as individuals to their purpose as missionaries and their great enthusiasm for their subject which is the Doctrine of Christ. I felt a great love for them and for President Griffiths. It was obvious how much they esteemed each other and President Griffiths was very emotional as he gave his closing presentation for the last time as their mission president. I felt it was a real privilege to be there and enjoyed the experience immensely.”

My admiration just grows and grows – how I love you all – no words are enough!

I’m delighted to announce details of;

Zone Development Days
Purpose: Build unity and release stress for all the missionaries.
·         Under the Zone Leader’s direction.
·         The second Monday of each transfer.
·         Have activities that will allow everyone to participate.
·         Meet together at a location that is as convenient as can be for all teams. Preferably a church building or conveniently located park. Stay away from lakes. No beaches. Page 21 MHB – Avoid large gatherings in public places – so no restaurants.
·         The zone must stay together in the same location – no branching off into groups.
·         Start at noon.
·         Teams travelling long distances may leave after personal study, but the teams that are closer will leave after companionship study.
·         Only Thurso and the islanders will travel the night before.
·         Funds will be provided for food. £3 or €4 per missionary. These funds will be used to supplement lunch and dinner (so plan wisely!). The funds will be allocated to the Zone Leader’s account. Surplus funds should be returned.
·         Drink plenty of water!
·         All teams must be back in their (not any other team’s) flats by 9pm.
·         There will be no District Meeting on the Tuesday.
·         The Tuesday will be used to email, shop, and clean. Missionaries will begin proselyting at 3pm that day.
·         Have fun!
·         Don’t get hurt!"

Conference weekend

Yeah, I find a lot of people can "over-doe" (over-do) it when they don't really undestand how little light a person has so that person doesn't really understand anything because of what they are brought up with. Then when they are shown a crazy amount of light, it blinds them. As a member all you really need to do is tell people about your life and if you have the gospel in your life as much as we do, it's pretty dang hard for them not to notice something that you have with you every second of the day.  A lot of members are also afraid to bring up things that we do but that's a whole other thing.  Members also don't need to worry about going into deep doctrine. That's the missionaries job and that's what they are set apart to do. -Just saying. 

I'm not really sure how to explain this week. It went well.  We got back in touch with Willie and are teaching him. He's still pretty comfortable in how he is now, but he's more than happy to learn more. Other than that, we are still on the hunt. We had a pretty funny conversation with some drunk people on Saturday.  I'm pretty sure they always draw to us.  We were at a train stop and two drunk guys fall out of a train and you could smell them from 50 feet away and we all just said, "Oh no, here they come" and one came up to us and was pretty calm and wanted to "inspire us" anyways, so he later said, "Are you not supposed to smoke or drink?"  and I just pointed at his bottle and just said, "Especially not Buckfats." (pretty much known for being the worst alcohol ever, its pretty much just pure alcohol) So we got a laugh out of that. Then a train got there and he asked where we are going and we said Airdrie and he just yelled, "Hey man, let's go, we're going with the boys to Airdrie."  But good thing his friend stopped him from coming with us. Other than that, just been still doing finding all day every day. When I was at the stake center for Gen. Conf., we were talking with all the other missionaries and just laughing about how the district show the church put out is nothing like our mission, "They have a goal of like 7 joint teaches that day / hey we actually had someone talk to us today" and "they have problems with scheduling enough time for finding...  We are lucky if we only get spit on once today"  Ha-ha, yeah things are a little more than I expected. - Love you mom, I'm trying. 

Building signs