Thursday, January 2, 2014

"...they all loved it and felt the spirit and prayed together after it."

First time emailing in 2014!
Well, it was a good start to the year so far. Yesterday we went to Paisley and played some New Year's Day football, a tradition in the stake. We went down with the Cox family, the same ones who I Skyped from.
Unfortunately we were playing on a wet, muddy pitch, and I didn't have any cleats to wear, so I was slipping and sliding all around in my running shoes. It was fun though! Might consider getting myself a pair of boots if we end up playing regularly.
Then we went to the house of our super-friendly investigator and watched a couple movies, because A) No members invited us over ... and B) He didn't have anyone to spend the day with so it was a win win! 
We watched DARBY O'GILL AND THE LITTLE PEOPLE! It was pretty funny. Now that I'm out here, it's easier to distinguish which of the actors have legitimate Irish accents and which ones are super fake. Good classic film. 
Then we watched Shrek The Third and Shrek Forever After, sort of a Shrek movie marathon. I thought they were both brilliant! 
Which is odd because I remember seeing Shrek 3 and thinking it was rubbish a few years ago, but maybe all movies seem really good because we aren't allowed to watch them ever out here. So far, it's a good 2014.
Other cool wee stories: 
We went to visit this one guy we met a couple weeks ago. When we first taught him he was drunk as a skunk, and the lesson wasn't that spiritual or promising. So we kind of had him at the back of our mind, but then we thought we should go visit him again and see how he was doing. 
Turns out, he had watched the Joy To The World DVD we left with him...multiple times, and he invited friends over to watch it with him, and they all loved it and felt the spirit and prayed together after it. 
So although they were all likely drunk at the time they watched it, they were still quite receptive. So we talked with him a bit, set up a time to come back the next day, and when we did his two friends were there. 
They were all drunk, with bottles of vodka and "cider" sitting on the floor, so at times they were yelling at each other to shut up but other times they were listening intently to what we had to say. Interesting, and yet spiritual experience. Drunks are always interesting.
We went to Wemyss Bay the other day (which looks like it would be BEAUTIFUL in the summer time) to try to contact an AUF. 
While tracting near his house, we knocked on this door where as soon as the lady answered she called for her husband and said, "I think you have some visitors!" Then he came to the door and warmly greeted us, said it's been a long time since he's seen any of us. 
We were wondering at first if it was another long lost member, or what, but turns out he's a Jehovah's Witness who used to have discussions with missionaries quite often. He says he has a copy of the Book of Mormon AND The Pearl of Great Price, and he reads them every so often. 
Which says a lot, because every other Jehovah's Witness we've met has accused the Church of being wrong for having additional scriptures. But apparently he's a bit more receptive. We didn't get much time to talk, but we're seeing him again this weekend. Should be fun.
Let's see...other stuff to tell you...Oh yeah so New Year's eve we were MEANT to be in bed at 10:30 as usual. Our plan was to be IN BED at that time, but stay up until midnight watching Animated Book of Mormon stories that Elder Smiler has on our wee dvd player. 
However the fun kept us up a bit late...and when I finally laid down in my bed I was totally knackered. We were laying down just talking for a while, then I started to drift off around 11:55, then woke up at 12:01. So I wasn't even conscious for the New Year! Oh well. That's missionary life for ya. Tired all the time.
No updates on Traci and her family, they have all been sick lately so we haven't had a chance to visit them and they weren't at church. 
So there ya go, that's my week for you all. Next email will be quite short; we will be back to Monday emails as far as I know, so only like four days until I email again. Have a good four days!
Love, Spencer

Too many Christmas gifts to hold at once, so here are some select ones! Thanks again!

My very first district...REUNITED! 
L to R: Elder Neilsen the DL, Elder Maughan, Me, Elder Holm, Elder South. 
Only one missing is Elder Kelly and he is away home now. And the Chamberlains as well, also home. 
But it was great to see them all! (Elder Maughan is in my district now, and the other three were in the Missionary Christmas Choir a couple weeks ago.)

"He laid down his sweet head, so he did!"

Friday, December 27, 2013
Well, Skyping was great with you all the other day. Time sure flew by! It was a great time. I feel like we could have talked for hours and hours! I guess we'll have to save it for Mum's Day.
Christmas was nice. We had a nice meal with the Cox family, we watched a bit of Despicable Me 2 and Toy Story 3 at the members' homes we visited that day, and then yesterday we watched Monsters University!
It was really good. Moral of the story: College is pointless; just quit and go work in the mailroom and you'll end up at the top! Just kidding. It was really good.
I think the Scottish couple we watched it with was probably really confused about the whole fraternity/sorority thing because I don't think they have that here. Remind me to never "go greek" when I get back to USU so I don't end up like those monsters.
Well the past week and a half have been really good. Lots and lots of travel.
We went to Glasgow for our district meetings last Tuesday and this past Monday, so we could practice our Christmas carol singing with both Glasgow and Paisley zones for our Christmas Eve performance.
It went really well; we sang in the middle of this posh indoor shopping mall. People were gathered around just listening to us for the whole two hours. It was awesome!
I have grown to love learning to sing actual choir parts. I'm a tenor, I discovered. Sometimes my voice is strained or cracks when I try to hit some of the higher notes, but I noticed myself getting a lot better even in these past two weeks of practice.
The highlight of the weeks: The Missionary Christmas Concert in Paisley last Wednesday. (Different from the previously mentioned one.)
This was a group of uber-talented singers from our mission who traveled around that whole week to each of the five stakes in Scotland and performed. It was amazing.
There were some really powerful performances. A few men's ensembles, a few a cappella duets, some piano and violin performances. Overall I just left feeling amazing, feeling like I was on a spiritual high. Music is amazing. Also Elder Holm was there as part of the choir and I got to talk to him for the first time since a Dublin conference over six months ago! It was nice.
Funny Ollie story (Traci's three year old son) we were with them on Christmas Eve talking about the nativity, and asking what they knew about the birth of Jesus. He said, "He laid down his sweet head, so he did!" It was adorable.
And I was sitting next to him on the couch as we watched a Christmas movie, and he offered me some of his blanket, "Elder, do you need some covers?" So cute and funny.
Well I forgot to bring my camera with me so I can't send photos of the Christmas festivities. But I will on Thursday. (Unfortunately no email this Monday again for some reason...) We have less email time today because we Skyped for an hour the other day. I loved talking with you all, it was great! Just wish it coulda been more time! Thanks so much for the gifts as well. I have enjoyed them thus far. Unwrapping each wee thing was so exciting to discover what surprises lay on the other side of the paper. And Skype was even better.
Hope you all had a great Christmas and have a happy New Year!!!