A few of our investigators, and also a recently re-activated member here struggle with addictions, mostly with smoking, and also gambling. The member is the only one who openly admits it and wants to change, but he has a hard time.
We may try the 12-step stop smoking program, which I found a few copies of in our flat.
We also encouraged him to pay tithing before anything else as soon as he gets paid, and the Lord will help him manage the rest of his money. Perhaps that means his temptation to gamble will be less, perhaps one of those classic tithing miracle stories will happen. Who knows.
It's interesting, here in the UK, on practically every street corner, they have "Bookies" short for Bookmaker. Basically it's where people go to bet on horse races, football matches, etc. But they are also like a miniature casino, with slot machines and roulettes and such.
They are almost as common as convenience stores. And even in the convenience stores they have Lottery scratch-cards for sale. So there is a lot of opportunity for gambling, therefore if someone has a gambling addiction, they can hardly leave the house without a huge temptation to gamble. It's difficult.
We're trying to help these guys with their addictions, but it is hard to relate to them. Perhaps I will vow to give up chocolate if they give up one of their things...one of the sister missionaries in the ward is doing that for her investigator and maybe I'll give it a shot. It would be good for me AND them!
A funny quote from a lady we stopped to talk to on the street: "I'm a lesbian beyond saving." Oh well, we tried.
Last week we helped a member move. She was just swapping houses with a guy who lived down the street, because hers was just a small one-bedroom apartment with no stairs, and the old guy she is swapping with was having trouble with the stairs in his house, and with maintaining the garden.
So we went to help her move her stuff from her house to the new one. And while we were there, we helped the old guy's family help move his stuff as well. And apparently they were quite surprised; they originally thought we were college students or something, but we told them we were on our missions and told them a bit about it, and they seemed a bit intrigued.
At church on Sunday, the member said that the old guy's daughters who were taking care of his move were so surprised and grateful that we helped them move as well, even though we just met them! So I guess that's a seed planted. Yes!!
On Saturday we played football with the big group of missionaries and members from the stake. It was fun.
Later that evening, we did splits with the elders from the Springboig Ward, basically who cover the other half of Glasgow. We met in City Centre and changed companions for an hour or so.
We met some interesting people; one homeless Albanian guy who had a big toy dinosaur on his shoulder. He let me pet it.
We gave away 3 Books of Mormons, one to an interested YSA-age girl, one to a Catholic, one to a Muslim from the Middle East.
Then we walked past a born-again Christian gathering, where one guy was giving a speech into a microphone and a few other volunteers were passing out small pamphlets. We stood and listened for a few minutes, and one guy approached us. He said, "Mormons? So you're actually NOT Christians."
So we quickly jumped to the defense, and I guess we did ok because he changed the subject to why we believe in Joseph Smith. We talked a bit about grace and works, the Godhead, and a few other things.
Toward the end, he seemed to be asking more questions of actual interest, rather than accusing and condemning questions. It almost sounded like he was beginning to question his belief of the 3-in-1 Trinity.
We ended on good terms, and he only accused us of false beliefs like twice. I guess you could say it was a friendly wee bash session. Fun times.
Then as we were about to head back home, we got mobbed by a bunch of retired couples, who were on a bus tour of Scotland. They were all LDS, and apparently the rest of the bus was as well because it was a Utah-based tour group. It was fun!
Church was good on Sunday as well. Paul came, and it was his first time! Although he was a bit confused by the order of the verses in the hymnbook, he got used to it and said he liked it a lot and he'll come next week to.
I like sitting by investigators on their first day at church. Just to kind of experience the new-ness and excitement with them.
Alright that's all folks, talk to yous next week!
By the way, I'd suggest you ALL watch this Mormon Message. It's the best one I have ever seen. Everyone should watch it, member or non-member. It's amazing.
Photos all from the Kelvingrove Museum last week.