Monday, September 29, 2014


Ha, yeah I feel like I’m pretty much back in Airdrie. It has a lot of differences but the people have a lot in common.  Elder Bates is a good guy.  He’s actually from Olympia.  We are teaching a couple of good people but I still haven’t met them all.  It’s pretty interesting because none of the missionaries are the same but it will be nice to see Airdrie again. To be honest I hope that I won’t spend too much time over here because I feel like I’m seeing a lot of the old things and it doesn’t keep things the most interesting.  I’m really happy to serve here but yeah, I’m going to miss Ireland, it took a piece of my heart when I left.
Wow that is a pretty big surprise that Shorewood is doing pretty well.  It’s going to be nice to go to see one of those games again I just wonder if I’ll be wearing a kilt or not haha. 
Ulster is kind-a the Northern Ireland thing so yeah, I meant ulster. I’m going to try to get the ulster flag before I go home (Northern Ireland flag) 
I wear my glasses off and on but I mostly wear contacts.  Yeah, I’ve pretty much dropped the ball on weekly handwritten letters it gets harder to think of things to write the further you get out because you just get used to things. 

I can tell from the few days that I have been here that this is going to be a pretty humbling area. There are about 30 members at church on Sunday and this area feels like the smallest place I have ever been which is the hardest part.  But I know that I was sent here and I am meant to find them and bring them back home. I love you and I have faith that Dad will be ok. 

I see old people.

Cumbernauld Apartment.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Talk about bawling my eyes out (Joy)

A message to us from the Amazing Bryson's as Elder Hanson leaves them in Belfast:
"Hi Joy & Jim, just now left your big son for a while at least. Our hearts are breaking and I have not stopped crying from Sunday night. I posted on his main page. We got him a couple of new jumpers as it is or can be very cold over there and plenty of sweets and snacks for the journey. Russell and I will be forever grateful to Heavenly Father for bringing your amazing son into our lives, he has made it possible for us to have a future with Heavenly Father and given us such hope. Russell and I are working towards a Temple Marriage and we want Elder Hanson by our side when that day comes. I have always had that fear throughout my time being inactive that I would end my life and be without my family and now that fear has gone and Elder Hanson is a huge reason why that fear is gone. You son is doing and going to do amazing things. My husband is a very quiet man and does not show his feelings but tonight he cried and told me that Elder Hanson is one of the best, inspiring young men he has ever met, even when he was serving his mission. We will always be here for him and he will always be part of our wee family. We have also asked him to be the one who will baptise our 17 year old Carter which we feel will happen through our example of us living the gospel. I know we have a long road ahead but I know we will be OK. Love and prayers always. Russell & Bernie oxox"

(Side note - I do have a question, Is a 'jumper' a sweater?)

What she posted on his facebook timeline:
"Yesterday was a day of two halves, Church was amazing, great afternoon spent with my Mum and then the news our wee family never wanted to hear. We are losing our big son Elder Hanson or as we refer to him Elder Handsome . There are no words to say how much our hearts are hurting right now and to say we are going to miss him is the understatement of the year!!! We know he has to go and serve where he is needed and Heavenly Father has work for him to do with other families. I know our feelings are selfish and we know we will always have him in our family and see him again. We are so blessed to have had the Sunday at church that we did, Elder Hanson said the Sacrament Prayer and that was so special as Sunday was the first time we had partaken of the Sacrament in over 10 years. We were able to find peace in our hearts to partake because of the support, teaching, love and example of Elder Hanson and Elder Simpson. We are and will continue to be blessed by the the example and inspiration he has shown us. We will always be here for him and he will always be part of this little bit of Ireland.  much love and prayer always xo Russell & Bernie Bryson"

Written on Elder Hanson's facebook page on September 20:
"Hi Joy and all the Hanson family. I think you all know by now how much we love having Elder Hanson teaching us and how heaven sent he is. My hubby Russell has just driven the Elders back home after the most amazing and spiritual evening. Tomorrow is transfer day and not one we are looking forward to. I know I have said thank you so many times for Elder Hanson and the sacrifice you all make not having him at home but tonight myself and Russell felt so privileged to have this young man in our home and the unbelievable spirit that was here which he brought in the words he spoke. We have had a very challenging week and the wise, calm words which Elder Hanson imparted in our home tonight were overwhelming. Russell and I both feel we can go to church tomorrow with an ease in our hearts and know we are in the right place. We know you are all proud of him and also that he is where he needs to be, this may sound selfish but Russell and I both feel he was sent here for us and he will be part of our life forever. It was an emotional night but the best ever.
May Heavenly Father bless all the family and once again Thank You. Love Russell & Bernie xo"

Monday, September 22, 2014

Good-bye to Holywood, Hell-o again Scotland!

Yeah people are adults when they are 16 in Scotland. In Europe the clothing is a lot tighter and I've gotten pretty used to it and now I don't like baggy trousers at all. A lot happened this week, Bernice's Pastor came by her house the other day and told her that if she joined the church then she would go to hell. So she has stopped taking lessons with us but I have a feeling that she will come back in her own time. Zarah also kinda got scared because of the Word of Wisdom and tithing and we also found out that she has a boy friend now so she stopped contact with us and we haven't seen her in a couple of weeks 
Well I'm going back to Scotland!  I'm moving to Cumberland which is actually right by Airdrie and so I'll actually be able to see some old members whenever I go on exchanges over there. I was kinda hoping I was going to the Republic but whatever happens, happens.  I'm actually so sad to be leaving Holywood! I never thought I could miss a place this much, it's really hard to say goodbye to all the members and especially the Brysons. It was a really good way to finish my service here with me blessing the sacrament and Elder Simpson sitting by them while they all took the sacrament. I don't even feel like I'm leaving right now. It hasn't hit me and so I don't even want to think about what it will be like when I'm finished with my mission.  I now know what they mean when they say another country will own your heart. I have grown so much since I have been here it has been just amazing. My new comp is Elder Bates and he's just finished being trained and President told me when he gave me my moves that I'm going to make him into the amazing missionary he will become, so no pressure- haha

Farewell at the Bus Station

Good-bye to the Bryson's

The Shearers


Johnny Shearer


A Fry Feed

Good-Bye Elder & Sister Forsyth!

Elder Simpson and I

Exchanges in Port-a-down, it's still pretty nice there.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Monday, September 15, 2014

We're Still Fishin'

Mom, Never put any of your grandkids on a child leash. So many moms do that here and it is so weird.
It would just be easier to send things to the mission home. This week was pretty interesting. On Sunday Sister Tracy asked the ward to pray for Bernice to find out a way to leave her church without offending anyone.  Later in the week we found out that her church just went through a huge financial scandal and there were tons of cameras and she didn’t want to be a part of it.  So I guess you should be careful what you pray for- haha.  She also said, “Well I guess I know this church is true and God knows I know it is too.”  She’s already making the steps for baptism and it’s just amazing.  It’s just a bummer that I’ll probably be gone before she is baptized.  She also went to church on Sunday and it was really good.  I taught the YSA class and I really like teaching in that class. The Bryson’s are also doing great.  Bro. Bryson showed up with a suit and white shirt on and it was the best sight ever.  Other than that, we are still always chappin and street contacting.  This next week should be a lot of fun and today we are going mini golfing for p-day! 

District Meeting (Elder Forsyth's pix)


Temperature:  Low 54, High 66, partly sunny.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Good Week

"Good Morning on another stunning sunny Sabbath day. We have just come back from fast and testimony Sunday it was amazing the spirit was so strong and we loved it. We sat together as a family with Elder Hanson on one side and his companion on the other. We had a lesson on Friday night with Elder Hanson and it was the best, We have noticed how he is changing and really growing into his mission. My husband said he knew what this meant cause when he got to the same stage he felt he had turned a corner. Elder Hanson had a greenie with so it may have been that which made us see it more. We told him how proud we are of him and how we've seen him as a teenager before but now he stands taller and looks so different, he is such an amazing young man. The way he talks, he is now confident to take the lead and the way he talks about the Gospel is so inspired. On a different note just to reassure you, we got him all new socks so he has 15 new pairs and can now throw out the ones with holes. We got dress and sport socks and we will make sure he had gloves, a scarf and hat for winter. We took a pic outside church this morning not mine and Russell's best look. Sorry I have not been in touch for over a week, I have been working late a lot if nights so come home and flake out. I work in the main college here in Belfast. Well love to you all hope your hubby is doing well he is in our prayers always as are all of you. Love you all chat soon Bernie, Russell & Cater xoxoxo"

From Elder Hanson:
This week was really fun! We are still teaching Bernice, but we have lost contact with Zarah and we are trying by her tonight hopefully to clear anything up.  The Bryson’s came to church and I don’t see them leaving anytime soon :). This week Elder Simpson and I were trying by a less active family that weren’t in and we saw this opening in the woods and almost simultaneously said, “Let’s see where that goes.”  So we took this trail that ended up at a farm with a petting zoo and we saw a sign that said creamery and so we thought let’s get some ice cream and we walked in the ice cream store and had just a really nice conversation with the girl that worked there on why as Americans we came all the way over there for some ice cream –haha.  Anyways, it was really fun and I got to touch a pig! 
Later on in the week I went to Portadown and we went over to the Stevenson’s and Bro. Stevenson is a Viking at the history museum and Sis. Stevenson taught me how to spin wool from scratch and that was really cool and even later that week I went to the Willis's for dinner and got to go see their cows. So this week was pretty full of animals and I think it was awesome. I love you Mom, and I know Dad is the best example I could have and hope you have fun with Zoey and Ivy!  

The Bryson's!

Ice Cream!
WILLIS Pasture

I want chocolate milk!

Elder Simpson got these pants from his sister who served in Hong Kong.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Going Well

We weren't able to teach Bernice this week but we are scheduled for next week and things are looking good. We also got to teach Zarah and it went really well.  We got to teach "the scary lessons", the word of wisdom and tithing, but it was good because she was really fine with following both, with no problem. We also went to the Bryson's last night and they are just doing amazing.  They are giving their oldest son a Book of Mormon to help him strengthen his belief. It was just a really good lesson.  I also got to just go on a bunch of exchanges this week and I had a blast with both of them! I got to go to Brother Bonalie's farm again and got fed the most food ever. It was crazy, but really fun.  I was with Elder Cavalero and I love him so much.  He's from Italy and we just get along super well. That's pretty crazy that Sam is already home.  I can tell he's changed a lot and that's really good! 
I love you and hope everything went well with dad. Love you all! 
Belfast Zone Meeting September 2, 2014.


Belfast Castle

Elder & Sister Forsyth

We both got new coats because ours were trashed last winter so we
decided to take some pictures because we look good.