Monday, January 7, 2013

"They love singing; we sang three opening hymns and three closing hymns. Most of which we didn't know the tune to..."

Hey guys!

Here are some cool stories from Omagh. (it's pronounced OH-mah in case you didn't know)
First off, some stuff about how they talk. They use "wee" a lot. I know it sounds silly when Americans imitate it and say "a wee bit" or something like that, but they really use it a lot. Just for any use of "little". "Wee bit" is the most common use of it probably.
Also, they say "yous" for the plural of you. Instead of You Guys. Or y'all. Kinda like how in Spanish they say ''ustedes''. Americans should adapt ''yous'', it's really quite practical.
They do say ''aye'' sometimes, for yes or yeah. I haven't heard ''aye, and for sure!'' at all yet. Sorry mom.
This area is not very big with the LDS church. Basically everyone is devout Catholic or Protestant. So here we have the Omagh Branch. I guess all of Northern Ireland is a stake, so that's crazy. Even though it's a pretty small branch, we have our own building. It's pretty nice. They said it was built just about six months ago, and they love it because before they were meeting in some "porta-cabins." I'm not sure what they are exactly but it sounds like maybe a trailer.
There were probably like 30 people there on Sunday  (Not sure. I've never been good at estimating groups of people) The branch president is from the US, and I guess moved here  because his wife is from here. His kids and he all speak American, but his wife sounds Irish. He has like five kids I think.
Most of the people in the branch are descendants of Sister Deary, an old lady in the branch who I have never heard speak. She has three daughters in the branch.
The Lees are the only big family in the branch who aren't related to the rest of them. They have a few kids that come. Another great member of the branch is Tom Henry. He's a retired widower, so he has lots of time on his hands. he takes us to church, shopping (later today), to some teaching appointments that are real far, and he feeds us on Sundays. Super friendly guy. Real contagious smile and laugh. Yeah, I guess he met the missionaries seven years ago, and he has been taking good care of them ever since.
There's also Tommy Riley, a 91 year old who has been a faithful member for years, but hasn't been able to attend these past few weeks because he's getting ill. Also there's Elder and Sister Chamberlain; a senior missionary couple from Farmington. They drive us around a little bit too. Also real friendly.
So far, we've been mostly teaching lessons to members of record who might not attend. My first home visit was to Alan and Nigel, two middle aged special needs guys who live together. I guess the Chamberlains have been taking the elders to go see them every week for the past year or so. Super nice guys. They love singing; we sang three opening hymns and three closing hymns. Most of which we didn't know the tune to so we kinda recited them more than actually singing.
We also visited Ian and Vera. Not married or dating, just friends. Ian lives across the street from Vera, but he spends all his time over there watching tv together. Both older. They are quite funny, just the jokes they make and the things they talk about. I've gotten better at understanding the accent here. I can't explain how it sounds, but I just love it.
Other than teaching those people, we've been walking a lot and knocking doors. This part of the work has been a bit frustrating and discouraging. I don't mind the walking, it's just that we have to walk miles to get to areas who haven't been tracted before. The walking part is fine, I just don't like how if we tract for about two hours, we only knock a small number of doors.
Also, no one we've knocked has been very interested. We've passed out several pamphlets, but usually it's because they say they're not interested and we ask if we can at least give them a pamphlet.
I've been quite discouraged at times, but then I read something or a hymn pops into my mind that helps me feel better. To be honest the things that most improved my mood/attitude was reading little bits of emails I printed out from you guys the past few weeks, they really keep me going.
I think it's just me not being used to the drastic change from MTC to the field. I've been feeling more positive each day, so I think everything will work out ok.
Well, if any of you want to write me, I'll be at this address for the next 3 months or so.

Elder Spencer Burt
10 Campsie Court
Omagh BT79 OAF
Co. Tyrone
Northern Ireland

Well, thanks for the emails! I'm glad to have such loving supportive family.
Love yous!
Elder Burt