Wednesday, March 20, 2013

"Kebabtism is a tradition in this mission, when an elder eats his first kebab."

Hey family!
Before I tell you about the week, I have a joke. A little background info first. Northern Ireland has always been a place of great religious disagreement. Irish people are mostly Catholic, but British are mostly Protestant. So N.I. is mostly split half and half, and a while back they used to have "the troubles", where actual fighting happened between
Protestants and Catholics. It's better now. But still some weird little things.
For example, Derry is the city where we have our district meetings every week. But its name is actually Derry/Londonderry. The Catholics/Irish call it Derry, and the Protestants/British call it Londonderry. And that part is necessary to understand this joke:

What does a lactose-intolerant Protestant say? "I don't drink London-dairy."

HAHA! I came up with that all myself. Haven't had the chance to say it to any other people, but I think it's flippin hilarious.

Well, on to the usual emailing stuff.
Last Tuesday was our first district meeting with our new district. Everyone seems pretty cool. Then afterward, we had an exchange. Elder Mills came with me to Omagh, and Elder Holm stayed in Londondairy with Elder South. Elder Mills is super fun. Just a goof. Example: He "Kebabtized" me!
Kebabtism is a tradition in this mission, when an elder eats his first kebab. Kebabs are a super common food over here. I think it's Indian  but lots of takeaway restaurants or "chippy's" sell them. It's lamb meat, with salad and a variety of sauces on naan bread. Super good! Elder Holm despises them. He's never had one, but he just talks about how bad they are for you and how disgusting they look. I don't care, it was delicious! So yeah, I am officially kebabtised.
Wednesday was my three month mark! Woohoo.
We tried a new finding method this week. Our mobile (cell phone) has a ton of former investigators that we have never heard of, so we decided to call them all. Some of them were not interested, some had moved and we gave their number to the zone leaders, but some accepted an appointment sometime later, or at least for us to call back at a better time. It was a genius idea! (Mine of course.)
Saturday was very productive as well. We drove to most of our investigators' houses, and taught two of them on the spot lessons and invited them to church. We even gave a blessing to one of the ladies we are teaching, and she had a great experience and cried a little. We also figured out their concerns with the church, and their intentions for learning about it. We told them both that we believe this IS the right path for them to follow. So it was good. Neither one came to church the next day though...
Sunday was St. Patrick's Day! But they held the "bank holiday" on Monday  which basically meant that all the festivities were Monday and everyone had work off Monday  This is why I'm emailing you Tuesday  the library was closed yesterday!
But St. Patrick's day was a pretty big deal. On Sunday night, we saw TONS of people out on the town, heading into bars and such. Monday, there was a huge parade and an outdoor concert, which we saw part of. We watched several bagpipe bands play throughout the day. Luckily it was p-day, so we got to experience it. I bought a big Irish flag for 3 pounds too. But the best part...we rode carnival rides!
There was this one called The Booster, which I'll send a picture of. We walked past the grounds for like three days straight before the festivities while they were setting up, and we were so excited to ride it. We also rode another one that was kind of like the Samurai but less intense. Pretty fun!
We also met a sweet old lady named Angela, who was not interested in leaving the Roman Catholic church, but she told us how great young boys we were, and how much she admired and respected us. It was nice.
So yeah, it was a pretty great week. Nice warm flat, fun times, and good spiritual stuff too.
This week should be good; we're going to Dublin on Wednesday for an all-Ireland zone conference. Then on Sunday I am giving a talk on why I decided to serve a mission. We/the branch council are focusing on this kid who just turned 18 in the branch, who will either serve a mission in the next few months or go to University. It's harder to leave school and come back two years later here than it is in Utah, so they're really trying to get him to go sooner than later. So I'll try to do my best to convince him, but subtly, to serve a mission.
Hope you all have a great week!

A self-pic in the new flat, with my nice parted hair.
Me on Monday, with my green tie, Irish flag, and a real shamrock boutonniere that Tom Henry made for us!
The Booster