Scotland/Ireland Mission

On The Isle of Skye

Thursday, December 29, 2011

12/28/11

Glasgow Zone

Hey Mum,

 So apparently every day this week is a holiday. OK, maybe not that extreme, but yesterday was for some odd reason and all the libraries were closed. So that is why I am emailing you today. So glad to have talked to and seen you. It's kind of surreal seeing you as it's not long off and I'll be able to see you in person. I enjoyed it a lot.
This is another crazy week. After this week, though, things should be picking up. Hopefully anyway. Interesting note, by the way, and I should have mentioned this at first, but Elder -------- and I are staying in Pollok for another transfer. There must be something else that I'm supposed to do here, otherwise the Lord would have sent me elsewhere. I just need to find out what it is.
I love you lots and lots. I may be late emailing again next week as well due to the rest of the holidays, just so you're not worried. Take care!

Love ya!
Elder Trawick
PS: Loved the Moose Bark. I'm going to make the huckleberry scones at the Grawrock's and share it with them. Thank you so much for everything :)

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

12/12/11

Paisley City Centre

Heya,

 Another week goes by. Funny how fast things go. Yeah the storm was quite bad, but we were out in a bit of it and it wasn't too horrible. Quite entertaining actually. Anyway, we had a dinner appointment with some lovely members and because we were waiting for a bus that had stopped it's service, I had to call them to say that there was no way to make it out to their home. They wouldn't take this for an answer and decided that it would be prudent for us to get a taxi down and back and they would pay for it. What an amazing thing. I was so dumbfounded, I hadn't a clue what to say. Just amazes me the kind of generosity that they showed.
 The confirmation went well. Elder------- did a great job. He was a little nervous because English is still a second language for him of course, but he has a great command of the language. It was wonderful. Lorna is now the newest member of the Pollok ward and received a lovely welcome. We also have a few others we are working with just now, but mostly just trying to find some new people to teach. It's getting a bit more difficult as it gets closer to Christmas, but we keep pressing on. I can't believe it. It's less than two weeks away now... I guess I'll be hearing from you quite soon then, eh? Can't wait.
Yeah, good news about my back. I have an appointment with Physiotherapy on the 20th now. Looks like they'll start treating me. I can't wait. It's still bothering me but what can you do? You just deal with it, I guess. I remember some of grandpa's exercises for lower back pain, but the problem is it's all of my back and neck. As for the Acid Reflux, it was just as bad when I weighed 10st as it is now, so I'm just thinking it's going to be a chronic problem. Yet another one I'm just going to have to "deal with", ha ha ha... Oh well... 
 I don't know yet for sure what the plan is for Skype, but I'm fairly certain that we'll be at the American members' home for it. They Skype home to their families all the time too, so I wouldn't imagine that it will be altogether difficult to get it set up. Can't wait for the parcel. Sounds fantastic!
 Well, the same goes for me insofar that I don't have much news for you. We're incredibly excited about Lorna and we're excited about Christmas. What more do you need, right? Ha ha ha... Well, just this week and then the end of next week I'll be seeing you. Imagine that! Love you lots!

Your son
Paisley City Centre
The castle near us

12/5/11

Lorna and I at her baptism

Hiya,

 First things first, I guess. Lorna was baptised yesterday. It was a wonderful, powerful programme. She did fantastic and everything worked out well. She was so happy and you could tell that she was really feeling the spirit through the whole thing.
 Her older brother also attended and really enjoyed the service. Hopefully we'll be seeing him throughout the week and going to try and get him off of smoking as well. Lorna's mum did really well. For the last week she's been super supportive and provided a nice array of refreshments after the service. What a wonderful day.
 As for Christmas, we don't really have any offers yet, actually. I really hope that someone offers soon! Ha ha ha... There's another family here called the Grawrock's (Americans) and they are going to have us over for the day and I think that we'll be Skyping from there, but I'm not entirely sure. 
I told Dad a bit about my back in his email. I'll reiterate here. The situation hasn't really changed much. I saw the mission doctor this week, but he didn't really have any major advice for me. I talked to Sister Griffiths again and she and President want me to find a private Physical Therapist and get started on some treatment there. I'm going to try to work on that today actually. I'm really glad because I really think that it's going to help a lot. As for the Acid Reflux, I'm currently taking Lansoprazole which is another proton-pump inhibitor like Omeprazole. I'm not exactly sure how it differs, my GP here just decided to prescribe that to me. It works just fine, really. That's about it for a medical update. Anyway, that's about it for me. I'm just plugging along. Christmas is in no time, and I'm excited for it. I have some pictures for you.  
I love you so much!

Have a good week, mummy :)
Your Boy

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

11/14/11

Heya mummy,
Well OK, I'll try to take more pictures, even if they are of such mundane things as our transportation, ha ha ha... Just kiddin' ;). That's really sad about the Elders in Texas.
So for the biggest news this week. You are aware of my chronic back problems. Well lately it's been causing me a lot of hassle. But what made it worse is that on Friday I went out for our morning run. We didn't do anything different. If anything it was a light run. But when we were almost finished, something went out in my lower back and I had really bad pain there. We walked back to the house and I tried to stretch it a bit, but it didn't help much. It was really painful, so I called my GP and set up an appointment for him later on that day. He told me that it would eventually work itself out, but gave me some pain meds (including this NSAID gel stuff that I've never used before and I'm not too sure about it's effectiveness because it's not working that well). But anyway, I've been taking it easy for the past few days and probably will for another week or so. It really is painful sitting or standing for any moderate amount of time. Anyway, that's the news with me.
I'm staying in Pollok by the way. Elder Hawkes is moving to Tralee in the Republic and I'll be getting Elder I...... He's from ---------. I already know him as well.
Well other than that, not a whole lot is new. Lorna is the one who had a smoking problem and I say had because she hasn't touched a cigarette for over three weeks now and will be baptised on the fourth of December. Woohoo! We're really happy for the progress she's making. She was at church yesterday as well. 

Anyway, that's about it for me. I love you lots! 

Elder Trawick

Sunday, November 13, 2011

11/7/11

Elder Hawkes and I

Mum,

 OK, you're lucky because I sent the pictures first. Well I'm glad that the girls got back safe and sound. Hope they had fun in Brazil. I'd like to make my way there some day. I'm just impressed with Daniel. He's doing quite well for himself, isn't he. I'm so glad that everything is working out for him. It sounds like he couldn't be more blessed.
 Things are really starting to get cold here. Had to cut our run short a little this morning because the cold air was restricting my breathing. Ever since Guy Fawkes night, things have been really cold. Oh yeah, do you know about that? Guy Fawkes night is something that they celebrate here in the UK. Guy Fawkes was a person who attempted to blow up Parliament. Well, he didn't succeed and they burned him. Now they celebrate every year on the fourth of Nov. by lighting bonfires everywhere and shooting off fireworks. Imagine that, celebrating something that almost happened. Strange people, these are. But it's the closest thing they've got to fourth of July, but nowhere near as spectacular. Anyway, it's been really cold since then.
 I didn't know that Grandma was 76. I'm the worst with dates and birthdays. Tell her that I'm thinking of her and I hope that she had a great birthday. There was a lady in Omagh that we were teaching (not that this is closely related or anything) who was 99 years old. OK, teaching would be a very loose application of the word. Preparing for the post-mortal spirit world is a more accurate description. Ha ha ha... Anyway, when her 99th birthday came around (because I was there when it happened), she hated it. She doesn't want anyone to mention her birthday, I guess. Anyway, little anecdote for you, ha ha ha...

(This next is in reference to my email to Elder Trawick in which I mentioned that we saw a German Shepherd puppy for sale in Missoula and he was so sweet and cuddly and I wanted to take him home with me!)

I hope that you don't take on another dog. You have three as it is. I know that you already know that, but sometimes it helps if someone else says it. I love German Shepherds just as much as the lot of you, but three is more than a handful, as you are quite familiar with. Just saying... Glad you got a good cuddle, though. :)

Oh and as a little side note, you mentioned Cain, and funny you should mention that, I was reading a bit about him this morning. You said:
 "Adam and his immediate posterity were such wonderful souls, except for Cain of course."
 I learned something new about Cain, maybe you already knew this. Moses 5:24 says:
 24 For from this time forth thou shalt be the father of his lies, thou shalt be called Perdition; for thou wast also before the world.
 So that denotes that he was disobedient in the pre-mortal spirit world. We know that we all made more that just one decision before we came to earth. It wasn't just a question of, "Will you follow the Christ, or will you rebel against God," although that was a major decision. We had agency and made untold choices before this life. Also, because we know that the Atonement of Christ the Lord is infinite (2 Nephi 9:7) which includes an infinity of time (as well as an infinity of other aspects such as power and coverage), we then know that we could repent in the pre-mortal realm. So this being said, Cain was evidently a disobedient spirit before his earthly probation, and yet still qualified for a body and thus a shot at godhood. He lost that opportunity, however, and then we learn that he was prone to rebellion "before the world." So the Atonement is retroactive and prospective (infinite), we know this because the gospel was preached to the saints in Adam's days and all through the ages and repentance was available in all times. Why not, then, in the pre-mortal world of spirits, since we were also disobedient at times there? An interesting thought, I think.
 Anyway, something to chew on...
 Well I hope that you have a great week. It will be moves call on Sunday and I could be moved. I'm unsure about this one. Anything could happen. I'll let you know what's going on on Monday. I love you lots and lots, though!

Love,
Elder Trawick

                                                      FOOD!
A nice salad I made the other day
Pumpkin soup (with nutmeg)
Sandwich (I'm suddenly realising how terribly unexciting this is, ha ha ha...)
Sweet Potato and Parsnip soup with home-made croƻtons and cheese

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

10/24/11

Dear Mum,
 
 We had such a good week this week. We had great success in teaching this week. Greater success than at least the 13 weeks previous, so that's major improvement. We've also had great improvement in our physical health. It's made me feel really good about myself, all the work we are doing to get fit and be healthy. I'm losing weight (haven't measured, but it's visible), and feeling generally better. We've kept up our morning run every morning this week but Sunday. And we ran this morning. I tried to really push myself this morning and I feel amazing now. It's astounding, the effects that good exercise and healthy eating will to do make you happier. 
We created some ground rules the other day about under what circumstances we could eat unhealthy food. Basically, we allow ourselves to eat whatever the members make for us or offer us in their homes, but at our house, we will only eat healthy. That worked very well until Sunday, when we noticed that we still had a good amount of "junk food" in the freezer. So we sort of splurged and had what I guess you could call a "cheat meal." It was two small pizzas and 10 fish sticks, so not too bad. Anyway, for the most part, we've been trying to eat well. We've made soups and salads with all fresh ingredients. So it's going well
I'm also convinced that it is linked with following the morning schedule as exactly as possible that makes our days go better. All in all, we feel great. And we're doing the best we can. I love this work so much.
I was studying this morning, just finishing up the last few chapters of Alma. During my study of the war chapters, I've taken a sort of scholarly approach. I still look for and glean the spiritual messages in the war chapters (and there are many), but I've also been keeping a look out for mentions of different military strategies and political movements. I've been surprised to find a lot of references to many aspects of warfare. This morning I found a classic example of reconnaissance when Moroni gets up onto the wall of the Nephihah which the Lamanites are encamped in and does a type of military intelligence surveillance. I've seen mentions of POW exchanges, assassinations, rules of engagement, espionage, a military draft, treason, a violent coup, and many other things that go into this long and drawn out war of fourteen years. There is no glorious victory in the end, no one is the winner of this war. Both sides suffered untold losses. Moroni, disgusted and finished with war and bloodshed, retires, yields up all power and position that he once held, and chooses to live out the remainder of his days in peace. That only ended up being about five years later and, I'm sure, was due to the many injuries sustained as a soldier. What an account. Could this really be made up? There is too much evidence for the contrary. And my own testimony of it's truth and divinity has already been firmly established. What a wonderful book. A true book.
Well, that is about it. I'm sorry about the pictures. I thought that I brought the camera, but it didn't make it, it seems. Next time. I'll try my best. Anyway, I love you. Have a great week, mummy :)
 
Love,
Elder Trawick

Sunday, October 23, 2011

10/17/11

Hey mum,
 
 OK, it's back to the questions, is it? I'll answer them then. I'm doing great; had another great week. 
 
Do you have any new people to tell about?
 
We're teaching a member's daughter, not sure if I mentioned it before, and helping her to stop smoking. She's a little interested in church as well, so we'll try to see where that goes. 
 
Are your exchanges working out for you?
 
 Exchanges are going just fine. I've been on one already, as you know, and will be going to Greenock tomorrow. They have a baptismal candidate that I need to interview. She's eight years old as well. So that should be fun. Elder Moore has a bad foot problem (it might be broken) so he's staying off his foot just now. So that changes exchanges just a little bit, but I'll still do four if I can make it happen. 
 
Tell a little about your current wards/branches. Are the congregations pretty good sized? Do you have mission leaders in each one? Are the members good at fellowshipping?
 
Well we just cover the Pollok ward here. Greenock has a branch out there. For Greenock, average church attendance is roughly 25-30. Ours has been around 40, but this week was closer to 56, which was amazing. Greenock has a branch mission leader, I think, and we just had a new ward mission leader called. His name is Joseph and he's 18. So we're helping him prepare for a mission and he's helping us and the ward coordinate the missionary work here in Pollok. He's a great kid. His dad was on the mission presidency for five years a few years back when Joseph Fielding McConkie was mission president here. Anyway, yeah the members should be good at fellowshipping once we get some investigators there. But they're bringing Less-actives back left and right, and the Less-actives are bringing other Less-actives. Things are going great here. 
 
Do you have a car? How many miles are you from the mission home? The closest you've ever been (living anyway).
 
I do not have a car, sadly. You can visit so many more people in a day with a car. Oh well... I'm not sure how far we are away from Spylaw road. I know that it's about 2 hours of travel taking two trains and a transit van lift from the train station to the mission home. I'll be going there in November for a District and Zone Leader council, so that should be interesting. And, yeah, this is the closest that I've been to the mission home. 
 
What is your flat like compared to the others you've had? Is it in a good neighborhood?
 
 Our flat is alright. I'll say its a step above the Omagh flat, so that puts it at second to last. But I'm alright with it. 
 
Do they celebrate anything like Halloween over there?
 
Yeah, they celebrate Halloween here, but it's not QUITE as big as it is in the US. It's big in Dublin, though. It was insane as well. They light bonfires everywhere (I mean everywhere, like every 50 yards or so) and people run around and mess about. There are fireworks going off all night as well. In fact, around this time last year I got an M-80 thrown at me twice. One nearly blew off Elder Parker's foot while I was on exchange with him in Clondalkin. Ha ha ha... Good times... Anyway, it's not nearly as bad here. I'm looking forward to it.
 
Are you still cooking?
 
I'm going to start cooking a little but. But most of the time I can't be bothered and my wallet just won't cut it. But Elder Hawkes has tasted of my cooking before and is anxious that we start cooking again. We've decided to eat a lot healthier and we've been running every morning. So I'm trying to lose a bit of weight before I head home. I went and bought (hopefully) the last suit. One that I plan on taking home with me. It was on a good sale as well, only £69 (that's a really good price here). I wore it Sunday. I only plan on wearing it on Sundays and Meetings. That way it will last. I also bought some bonding agent at a hardware shop the other day for like £3 or something and have fixed my knackered (worn out/exhausted) shoes. I just need to go over the line with a bit of sharpie and shoe polish to make it black again, but they're all mended now :). Wish I would have done that sooner. I've had wet feet for a while. Well, I take that back. I've got another pair that will keep all the rain in the world out (they're tanks), but I only wear them if it's really bad. They're just not as comfortable. Anyway, now these are waterproof and they are very comfy, so I'm happy. Well that's a lot of useless information. I hope that you have a great week, mum. I love you lots and lots. Won't be too long and we'll be talking again (Christmas is coming).
 
Cheerio!
Elder Trawick

Monday, October 10, 2011

10/4/11

myself and Elder Bowers
Heya Mum,
I'm sure you've already heard the news from Dad... or maybe not. In any case, Elder Bowers is off to Dunfermline which is in the Dundee zone and Elder Hawkes will be making his way here tomorrow. He won't need to go far, I think that he's in the Glasgow zone. It will probably only take him about an hour to travel, ha ha ha... Anyway, I'm already familiar with him as he was being trained in Coleraine as I was in my last transfer there. I've even been on exchange with him before.
Elder Hawkes at Giant's Causeway
 I also thought that conference was fantastic. We were able to watch 4 of the 5 sessions (excluding Sunday Afternoon) and I loved every minute of it. I don't have my notes handy, so this is a bit embarrassing, but I remember a talk about how we don't need to postpone having children for anything, and then they gave an example of someone who was in medical school. That really spoke to me, even though it is in the future, it's counsel that I will remember. As well as Sister Dalton's talk about being good fathers (I've met her, you know ;). It was all so good. Anyway, that's me. I will be emailing again on Monday and back to the regular schedule. I love you lots!
 
Elder Trawick

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

9/27/11

Heya Mum,
 
First of all to answer a few questions. No, none of my District Leader responsibilities really take away from my proselyting time. It says in the District Leader's handbook that a District Leader always carries a full proselyting load, just the same as Zone Leaders and Assistants (for the most part). So no. The only time I'm really away is when I'm out of my area on exchange, but then the other Elder is in my area, so there is no loss there. 
 
To answer your other question, we had a fantastic week this week. We really had a lot of fun yesterday. We got together with three other teams in the zone and had a joint P-day with them. We went bowling and did some other fun things at this place up in Braehead (it was really American which made it a bit surreal). And then after a bit of that, Elder Bowers and I headed back to our area to play a round of golf with a member named John and the Bishop. It was a fun time for all of us. Especially the other three as they laughed at my horrible performance. But I picked up a bit toward the end. I had a really rough start, though. 12 strokes on the first hole (a par 4 I think) but ended up with a consistent 7 strokes on the last three par 4's and 6 on the par 3's, so not too bad. I hadn't played a round of golf for about 3 or more years, so not too shabby. But anyway, we had SO much fun.
 
Funny that you guys would remember how I played Risk. I don't even remember how I played it. It's been quite a while, hasn't it. But oh well. We'll play again when I get back some time. I'm really glad that Dan's job is going well, that is great news. It's great that he has such a steady job in such turbulent times. I hope that he and Dad can hold on to employment and I also hope that I will find employment soon after getting home. I trust that the Lord will work things out for me, though. And my family, for that matter. He already has done to a great extent.
 
 Anyway, not much else is new. Just carrying on here. Moves call is this Sunday. It will actually be occurring during General Conference. So when you are having your Sunday sessions of General Conference, just remember that I'm finding out where I'm going or if I'm staying right then! Ha ha ha... I love you lots!
 
Cheerio,
Elder Trawick

Monday, September 19, 2011

9/19/2011

Hi,
 
my new address is :
 
6 Dormanside Court
Pollok
Glasgow G53 5YX
Scotland
 
 Now that I've got that out of the way...
 
I'm really not being "modest," (about serving as a District Leader), I'm just being realistic. I enjoy the new responsibilities that I have that enable me to get more involved with the District than I could before, but I'm just the same as anyone else. Some of those responsibilities include: Companion Exchanges (I try to exchange as often as possible to promote District unity), Conducting and teaching District meetings, Taking accounting from missionaries and reports on numerical goals and actual statistics, and I get to participate in District Leader Councils which all of the District Leaders and the Zone Leaders of the Zone get together to plan the training curriculum and baptismal goals for each month. That's always a neat meeting. Other than that, it's normal life.
 
Things are great here in Pollok. It's an interesting place. The members of the Ward are great. They have a genuine interest in helping each other which is absolutely vital for a ward to have any kind of growth. 
 
I gave a talk on Sunday. It was about forgiveness and not taking offense. I used the epistles from Moroni to Pahoran (Alma 60-62) as an example. Then I talked a bit about how we need to let our divine nature override out natural tendencies. Anyway, Elder Bowers and I are doing great. We get along well. I've told him (ages ago actually) about Emilio, which is quite funny. No relation at all. Well I hope that you have a great week and have lots of fun. I love you so much!
 
Cheerio,
Elder Trawick

Monday, September 12, 2011

9/12/11

Hey Mummy,
 
 This week went very well. Obviously the highlight would be our meeting on Saturday. But I can't tell you how happy I was when I realised that they had called a meeting for all of the Bishops and Stake Presidencies in all of Scotland and Ireland for a separate meeting as well. The meeting closed just as we arrived, and I was blessed to see all of the unit leaders from all of the areas that I have served. In addition to that all of the missionaries in Scotland were gathered together. It was the sweetest reunion that I've know on my mission. As I spoke with Bishop Coffee (from Clondalkin) and President Nelson (Omagh) and also Bishop Kane (Inverness), all of the memories of those areas came flooding back. It was a wonderful time to speak with all of them. I asked Bishop Coffee about a few people that I was working with whilst I was in Dublin and I heard good news from nearly all of them. 
 
The meeting itself was quite extraordinary. We had the opportunity to individually meet each of the brethren. Elder Clayton presided. He explained that it was quite a treat to have Bishop Burton there because there is only one Presiding Bishop of the church and he's only in one place at one time. He had Elder Causse give a short talk (he talked about love), and Bishop Burton also (he spoke of the phenomenal growth of the church these days) and then he opened up the meeting to a Q&A session. It was a brilliant meeting and I learned some valuable things there that I hope to implement into the remainder of my mission.
 
Anyway, that is the big news this week. We're doing our best here in Pollok. Right now, I'm looking outside and it's hurricane weather out there (from the US actually, a little taste of home :). I hope that you have a great week and I love you so much!
 
Cheerio,
Elder Trawick

Thursday, September 8, 2011

9/7/11

Paisley Zone!(I'm in back, 4th from right)
 
Heya,
 
 Well I hope that Dad is back at work today then. It was Zone Development Meeting again yesterday, so that's why I'm emailing on Tuesday again. Sound like the fair was a lot of fun. Glad you all enjoyed it. I remember the Puyallup fair and how fun that was each year. Those were good times. Anwyay, things are going good here in Pollok. We're building up our teaching pool. I'm actually going to a place called Greenock on an exchange here in a few hours. But other than that, things are going well. 
 
We had a fantastic Stake Conference this weekend with President Griffiths there as well. All of the missionaries in the Paisley Zone/Stake participated in a Stake PEC meeting with President Griffiths and all of the PEC in the Stake. That was a very special meeting and they really focused on getting the members involved with the missionaries and coordinating our efforts. The same message was the focus of Sunday's meeting. This Stake President, President Yates, is very focused on missionary work, so we hope to see Paisley really growing here soon. On Saturday, we have a very special meeting in Edinburgh where we will be hearing from Elders Causse and Clayton (from the first quorum of Seventy) and also Bishop Burton (from the presiding Bishopric). I'm really excited for this meeting, so you'll hear from me how it went next week. 
 
I love you lots and lots!
 
Elder Trawick

Monday, August 29, 2011

8/29/11

Dear Mum,
 
 OK, so now I'm here in Pollok. Things are going great. I got your email about Pollok, yes, thanks :). About my new companion. His name is Elder Randall Bowers. He is from Blanding, Utah. He's been out about as long as I have. I've served around him in Omagh (he was serving in Derry) and also up in the Aberdeen Zone (he was in Aberdeen city). So I knew him already for a long time. As for Glasgow being wild and scary, it's never as bad as they tell you. Dublin is worse than Glasgow and I've already served there. It's just a big city here. We are part of Glasgow city. My trip down was nice. This was the easiest transfer I've had as far as travel goes. We just drove down to Edinburgh from Inverness on Tuesday (through Aberdeen to pick up a couple of Elders) and stayed the night in the Mission Home. There were 14 missionaries going home and I got to say goodbye to Elder Nicholls and Elder Olsen as well as a few others from that group. Then I took a train from Edinburgh to Glasgow, and from Glasgow to Pollok. Pretty simple.
 When I got to the flat, we just dropped all of our stuff and went straight to the A&E (that's the equivalent of the ER) because Elder Bowers was suffering from a really severe headache for about two or three days straight. They gave him some weak medication and told him it was a "wild bug" and sent him on his way. That night he took another really bad headache and was thrashing about the whole night until about four in the morning. He barely got two hours of sleep that night and I probably got three. We went to the doctors again, this time the local practice, and they said pretty much the same as the A&E and gave him a stronger dose of the medication. That seems to be working alright now, but he still has the headache, its just numbed by the medication that he has to take almost all day. I'm not sure what the issue is, but he goes back to the doctors tomorrow, so we'll see. He's alright for now, though.
 So that's probably the most interesting thing that's happened so far. I had heard about the ruckus happening over in New England. That is terrible. This world is falling apart. Wonder how long it will be now.
I may need a new suit in about 3-4 months. That's how long I expect this one I have to last, but we'll see. Anyway, that's the news here. I don't have any pictures for you this week, but I'll make sure I do for next week, sorry. I love you loads and loads!
 
Elder Trawick

Monday, August 22, 2011

Transferred :)

Hey Mum,

Not too sure how much time I have left. Just wanted to let you know that I'm moving from Inverness to Paisley Zone in a city called Pollok. I'm really very sad to leave this area, but I know that it is what the Lord wants of me. I love you so much and hope that I get to send you a bit more info soon.

Love,
Elder Trawick

Monday, August 15, 2011

8/15/11

Picture of the church (more below)
 
Hey there Mum,
 
We had a spectacular week. So many wonderful things happened that I can't remember them all. To highlight, there was a missionary re-dedication service for all of the Aberdeen Stake on Saturday morning where we re-dedicated the land for missionary work. The meeting was powerful and the results have already been seen. There is a noticeable difference already.

 Yeah those pictures (from last week) were with Simon MacDonald. He's one of the best friends I've made on my mission. I heard already from Andrea on Sunday that she emailed you. I told her that you'd love to get an email from her.  Just a few weeks ago, Elder Madsen and I decided to do a special fast for all of the part-member families in the area. There is also a small family that we are teaching that came to church and loved it. Next week we should have five people scheduled for baptism, so things are really looking up. Next week is transfer week, so I hope that I get to stay. 
Anyway, love you so much!
 
Elder Trawick

 

8/8/11

In Portmahomack with Simon MacDonald

Dear Mum,
 I'll need to keep it somewhat concise this week. I'm sorry about last week. I wanted to email you all but didn't have much time and I didn't get any emails (I thought you knew that it was a bank holiday and decided to leave it for a day :) so I just emailed President and went on to other things. We ended up teaching a lesson last P-Day during P-Day, by the way. Long story, but I'll have to tell you that one another time. I hope that everyone is well.
We've had a great couple of weeks. Total of 13 new investigators in the last two weeks which is truly a miracle. Holly and Leah are solid for the 27th and we are getting excited and ready for the baptism. Everything is going great here! I'll share a quick experience from church yesterday. I went to the Invergordon branch and it was fast and testimony meeting of course. Now, normally these meetings are something we almost dread our investigators to come to because there is so much anxiety about what people could say, but normally everything just turns out alright and it is a good meeting. I want to tell you that this testimony meeting was the most powerful meeting that I've attended since I was in the MTC. I cannot begin to describe to you how prevalent the Spirit was in this meeting. We had a few boys return from an EFY(Especially For Youth) trip down in England. What we witnessed is what Alma the younger would have called, "a mighty change of heart." There was one in particular that reminded me so much of myself at his age and the experiences that I had that still burn within me. He had experienced feelings of the Spirit that he hadn't before and he was able to testify of that and tell the branch that he has decided to make a change in his life and prepare to serve a mission. Everyone in the room was brought to tears as he bore powerful witness of the Spirit and all of the testimonies that came before or after echoed that. I'm so grateful to be a servant of the Lord and to witness the change that happens in someones life when they decide to follow the Saviour with all their heart. Whether it be a person being baptised, or a member having a complete paradigm shift, the Spirit will be manifest and we can feel it. I love this work so much and am aware how much it has changed my life. I love you so much Mum, and I so know what the overarching role that you and Dad have played in my life to shape me into what I have become. And what I am becoming. I hope that this week is a wonderful one. I know that it will be for me.
Love,
Elder Trawick
The lighthouse in Portmahomack

Friday, July 29, 2011

7/25/11

Dear Mum,
 
 We had a good week this week. A lot of hard working and not the most outwardly successful week we've had, really. But it was a good week. Elder Madsen has four brothers and two sisters and he's second to last of them all. He told me the other day that he wants to be a sound engineer when he gets home. Not sure what all that entails though. I'll have to ask more about it. Before he came out he taught piano for employment. He's a really great piano player. He's served all of his mission in Scotland so far. He's been in Ayr, Aberdeen, and Glasgow, and now he's back in Aberdeen zone.
 What you are describing to me is what we call a t-book (testimony book) and I haven't made one. I do have plenty of pictures of members from different areas, so that's a start eh? I'll have to consider starting a t-book.
 There have been loads of tourists round lately. Not sure when tourist season is over, but it is making Inverness quite busy. The weather has been quite hot lately, but I hear that's going to change on Thursday, so we'll see. There really isn't much else to report. Just another week gone by. Hard to believe how fast they are going.
 I keep meaning to take pictures of the town and the church and things, but I always forget until when I'm on my way to the library to email, which the church is not really in the way of. I'll try to get them this week. I'm not getting a kilt just yet. I realised that if I do, then I have to carry the thing around with me for the rest of my mission. I may wait until I'm in my last area. I also haven't had any time to do any work on genealogy. There's just not enough time on a p-day to do everything else and that, unfortunately. 
 Anyway, I'm still here and moving along. Things are going well and will continue to do so. I love you very much and hope that you have an exciting week.
 
Your son,
Elder Trawick

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

7/20/11

Elder Trawick and Elder Madsen
 
Dear Mum,
 
 Yeah it was a bit strange (that he didn't get moved), but not too out of the ordinary, really. I will most likely be moving at the end of this transfer, though, so that is exciting, although I will not want to leave this wonderful place. Since I've never been in an area this long before, this is breaking new ground. The members all know me really well and we get on so well. The saddest thing is that if I move, then I will miss Holly and Leah's baptisms on the 27th of August by about 3 days. Oh well, the important thing is that they are getting baptised.
 Whitewashed means to have both Elder's (or Sisters) moving out of an area and a new set moving in. I talked to Elder Reynolds just the other day and he said that things were going great in Antrim, so I'm happy for him. Elder Madsen and I are getting on great. He's a really good Elder from Lehi, UT. I asked him if was related to Matthew Leonards Madsen, and he said that he is not. But I should be sending you some pictures after this of us.
 I'm really glad that the road meeting went well. It really all comes down to uniting in one purpose to accomplish something. That is true in every aspect of life. There is strength in unity that you don't have individually. It's especially true in a companionship. If companions are united, they are successful, and usually very measurably.
 I gave a talk in church this Sunday in Inverness. The topic was given to me and it was "Let us forgive one another." I prayed and worked out what I was going to say for a few days before I gave it and felt like what I wanted to talk about was right. I know that the spirit attended me as I prepared my talk and I voiced that at the beginning of the talk, as well as my knowledge that the subject that I was given was what Heavenly Father wanted the people in Inverness to hear that day. I proceeded with my talk about forgiving others and not taking offence. Afterward I was told that one of our visitors that day wanted to speak with me. I met him outside and he shook my hand, told me that he was from Utah and that because of my words, he needed to write a letter to someone. I can't describe the feeling that I had to know that because of the preparation I made and being led by the Spirit, I was able to help someone repent and come unto Christ. It's the purpose of a missionary to do so.
 Anyway, I hope that everything is going well for you at home and that you are keeping happy and busy. I love you so much!
 
Your boy,
Elder Trawick

Friday, July 15, 2011

7/11/11

Dear Mum,
 
 Last night was moves call and, this is surprising, Elder Reynolds is moving and I'll be staying. It's a bit unexpected but quite exciting. He'll be moving to Antrim and whitewashing in with Elder Burgess who is another Elder from our MTC group. It'll be sad to see him go. My new companion is Elder Madsen and I've already served around him so I know him. Other than that, not much else is new here. Just the same old.
 Seems like there have been some changes in the branch again. I don't particularly remember the Dewitt's but I might recognise them if I saw them. Oh, by the way, Sister Griffiths is fine. She's back and doing well. I'm hoping that Dan and Sandra can settle the deal and get that house. It would be really nice for them. Is Sandra getting excited about going to Brazil?
Well, I hope that you have a fantastic week. I love you LOTS!
 
Elder Joshua Trawick

Happy 4th of July!

Dear Mum,
 
 I'm glad that you all enjoyed the pictures from the baptism. It's one that I will definitely not forget any time soon. We had a good week this week. A bit slow in some areas, just trying to get things to pick up and a lot of the members are off on holiday. There weren't that many at church yesterday. President Allison of Invergordon asked me to teach the combined Priesthood and Relief Society on missionary work. I didn't want to give them the same missionary work lesson that they've had many times before, so I really tried to think and seek the spirit on how we could move it forward in that area best. What we ended up doing was talking through a lot of the concerns that they all have about missionary work and how they can overcome them. There was a lot of participation and I think that overall it was a good lesson. Unfortunately we only scratched the surface of what I had desired to cover, but it was productive nonetheless.
 Sister Griffiths wasn't in great health last week and flew home to Utah to receive some sort of treatment. President Griffiths didn't tell us much about the issue other than she had been experiencing pains and aches in her bones, but then asked us all in the mission to include her in our fast yesterday. According to the letter I got this morning, she's feeling much better and should be returning to the mission on Saturday, so no worries :).
 I haven't had a lot of time to do more family history research, but I did receive Grandma's info that she sent in the post. It's quite amazing the research that she's done that traces me back to King of Scotland Malcom II and also King of England Edward III, but it's always hard to tell if it is accurate. If it is I definitely have a claim to Scottish ancestry ;). As well as your side of course. So I'm doubly Scottish. Ha ha ha...
 As far as my health goes, things have been well. I haven't been sick since December if I remember right. Nothing bothering too much here, it's quite a civilised and clean country. Also, Elder Reynolds and I are celebrating Independence Day with a BBQ here as soon as we're done emailing. So that should be nice.
 Anyway, that's about it. I love you all so much and look forward to hearing from you next week.
 
Cheerio!
Elder Trawick

Monday, June 27, 2011

6/27/11

Elder Trawick, Aiden, and Elder Reynolds
 
 Dear Mum,
 
Aiden got baptised on Saturday!!! We are so proud of him. He's such a good lad. I'll send the pictures from the baptism in another email because I did remember my camera today. This week was so busy trying to get everything ready for the baptism. Aiden is a star, though. I love having baptisms because you really have a feeling, as a missionary, of fulfilling your purpose for serving a mission. He's going to be a great influence on his family as well.
 I went to the MacDonald's a while ago and left Nikki logged into my new.familysearch.org account and she did a bit of research for me and what she found was very interesting. I'm apparently related to two large Scottish Clans from her research. The first is, shocker, MacDonald! And the other is MacPherson. She gave me a bunch of info on the origin of a lot of names including Jessel and Barnett and the like. It's all very interesting.
 Well thats about it for this week. We're excited for Aiden, and Holly and Leah will be in August, so we're trying to get one for July as well. We'll keep plugging along. Anyway, have a wonderful week and I love you lots!
 
Elder Trawick
Norman (Great Grandad), and Aiden
Aiden and Melanie (Mum)
Elder Trawick, Aiden, Norman, and Elder Reynolds

Friday, June 24, 2011

6/20/11

Dear Mum,
 
 Yup, one whole year is gone and now I have less than a year left. It's hard to believe but I honestly don't think about it much. We had a fun day today I went to the Family History Centre and did a bit of work there. It was exciting work trying to find people, but I didn't stay too long. I input information on a .paf file for 5 generations back from me and then decided to do a bit of looking at the Trawick line. I got to looking at some records for Clarence S Trawick (Harvey's dad) and also Jasper Trawick (his father). It was interesting to see, but it seems that the records for Trawick's run out there. It would take more intensive digging to keep going with it, so I stopped there. But it was quite exciting. I haven't heard from Grandma about it yet, by the way. And also, have you started indexing yet?
 Well anyway, not much else is new, really. I gave another talk in Invergordon yesterday and it was on receiving personal revelation. To be brief, I really felt the spirit strong as I testified of the principles of personal revelation to them. I hope that someone was able to learn something new or make a change in their life.  But anyway, I'll hear from you next week. I love you lots!
 
Elder Trawick

Friday, June 17, 2011

6/14/11

Dear Mum,
 
 Well this last week was just... Well I can't describe how tiring and busy it was. We taught 32 lessons this week, which tops last week as my best week ever for lessons. We did have a setback, however, with Aiden's baptism. His granny can't make it on the 18th, so we had to push it back to the 25th, but I think that all is set for that date, so we are pressing forward with faith. Aiden's doing great, he's such a good kid.
 The reason I'm e-mailing today is that yesterday was an all-day event with the zone in Aberdeen and we didn't get back until 8PM.
 
I'm so excited about family history work. We've booked an appointment with the family history consultants here in Inverness for next Monday so that I can get on and get cracking with it. I asked president and got permission to do some work on that on Preparation days. I also want to put a word in for indexing. If you're not already doing it, you should be. It's great fun and it is a great work that needs to be done. They are really pushing for it over here and I think church wide. If you go to familysearch.org and click on the Indexing tab, you'll find the info you need on it. Download the program and get started with it, because it's a lot of fun and it's a great way to do some genealogy work.
 Thank you for the info on the MacEwen's. I'll ask the MacDonalds (the one's we Skyped from) about that. They've been helping Elder Reynolds and I with some family history work as well. Sister MacDonald seems to know her stuff. I told them a few names on the Trawick side and I think that we might actually be related, funnily enough (they're originally from England). Haven't got the info from grandma yet. Anyway, other than that, we're just moving along. I hope that all is well at home. Send my best to everyone. I love you loads!
 
Elder Trawick

Monday, June 6, 2011

6/6/11

Mum,
 
Well we just had a really great week. Things seem to be on fire here in Inverness. Well in Invergordon anyway, and we're trying really hard to get Inverness going well too. The kids we're teaching are all progressing well. I taught them in a lesson after church in Invergordon yesterday and brought a lot of the adults in as well. The great thing about it is that I feel that I'm teaching the adults more than I'm teaching the children. They know this stuff, they are stars. But perhaps the adults have forgotten the importance of it a bit. I'm glad to have a chance to teach a proper lesson with them. Well anyway, I taught the Plan of Salvation and it was a great lesson because the kids were basically teaching me. So wonderful to see that, I love to see these little ones so excited for their baptism.
 We taught thirty lessons this week! I've never taught that many in all the time I've been out, so that's fantastic. We are really trying to build up Inverness. They're in a bit of a rut, but hopefully that will change soon. We've been on a bit of a Less-Active campaign and trying to find the lost sheep as President Monson instructed us in Stake Conference last weekend. Did I tell you about that, by the way? That the Stake Conference was broadcast from Salt Lake to all of the UK and Ireland? Anyway, President Monson talked about rescuing our "lost battalions" so that is precisely what we are attempting.
 I looked up a wee bit on Family Search and saw some of my pedigree there. It's just hard to find time to pin down my ancestry. You could send a .paf through an E-Mail to me and I'll be able to read that. Or a hard-copy would be good as well.
Anyway, I love you lots. Keep praying for me!
 
Cheerio,
Elder Trawick

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

6/1/11

Hiya!
 
 Elder Trawick did not move. Elder Reynolds and I had no change this moves which is great! We are really starting to see a lot of success lately. We have Aiden, Holly and Leah scheduled for baptism in Invergordon. Aiden is moving forward great for the 18th. It's going to be a fantastic day, as it also happens to be our year mark that day. So Elder Reynolds and I will be celebrating our year mark with baptising Aiden which is wonderful.
 Glad you were able to get some material to get moving on the buildings. So you're not going to start a house this year? What sort of building are you planning on building other than the storage shed?
 So the trip to Conrad sounds like it was a lot of fun. Did you talk to grandma about how I was asking about family history? I'm still really excited to get the pedigree chart from you.
 So Dan never emailed me so I don't know what his new calling is. You should make sure he emails me about it or you can tell me next week. So how are the things around the house? Hows the Mangy Moose doing? Still pretty busy or no? Is petrol up to $4.00 a gallon over there? I heard from Guy and Casey that it was in Utah. That is absurd. The thing is, though, that petrol here is (at the cheapest place you can get it) £1.64 per litre. That equates to about $8 or $9 a gallon. Insane isn't it?
 Well not much else is new this week. Things are moving along nicely here. I'll hear from you again on Monday.
 
Love you lots!
Elder Trawick

Monday, May 23, 2011

5/23/11

Dear Mum,
 
 We had a fantastic week this week for numbers. Quite possibly the best I've seen for my mission. We're really seeing the blessings from the member work that we are doing. On Sunday in Invergordon a member turned to me after sacrament and asked me if we could start teaching her daughter and another member's daughter the lessons. I said of course we could and asked their ages which were 10 and 11. That astounded me, I thought that they were members already! Anyway, they have a baptismal date for August and there's another boy we're working with that is scheduled for June. There's also a woman in Inverness that is scheduled for June as well. Things are heating up here.
 This next week will be moves week, just so you know, so I'll be e-mailing on Wednesday I think, but I might email on Monday. I just don't know yet, ha ha ha... But I hope that Elder Reynolds and I stay together because we are doing quite well together. It'd be a pity to change a good thing.
 As for family history, I vaguely remember tracing back the Trawick line to the early 1600s and I believe that it was in Sussex, England. Could you have Grandma Lynda send me the info on that if she can, I know that her records are quite good on all of those lines. If there is any work that I can do here, let me know because we have a lot of great resources here for that and I'll reserve some P-Day time for it.
 About the Zone Conference, it was just a Zone Development Meeting which is like a group District Meeting. Quite normal. We trained a bit and then played a few games as a zone. 
 Yes we heard a lot about the "end of the world" stuff going around. Seems like that one didn't pan out. I can't wait for 2012, because that one is going to be fun. It's going to be another Y2K, ha ha ha... 
Anyway, other than that, not much else is going on.
Well I love you. I hope your week goes well. I also hope that this week goes as well as last week. That would be fantastic! Love you so much!
 
Cheerio,
Elder Trawick

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

5/17/11

View from Skye Bridge
 
Hey Mum,
 
Thanks for giving my letters out. I appreciate that. Some of the ones I got from the YW I have never met so it would be helpful if you went around with a camera at church next Sunday and got pictures of the whole branch. Just get pictures of everyone, because it will be good to see the branch. Then caption them so that I can get an idea of whom I am writing. Thanks!
 Your Primary activity sounds like it went very well. I'm glad. The children and the youth are the most important thing that this church needs to focus on. They are the structural support of the church and if we lose them, then we have a serious problem on our hands. Too many youth these days are lost by the wayside sometimes due to lack of attention. I'm seeing what happens in a unit if the young members lose interest and go less-active here. The unit dies. It's as simple as that. So I'm glad when I hear of successes in Primary and YW/YM, it's what we need the most.
Heard about the greenhouse. Sounds like a good plan. I hope that it all goes well, and you might have some tasty produce on your hands :).
Also, lately I've really felt a push to do some family history here on P-Days. When I think about it, it almost seems like I'd be wasting valuable P-Day time, but I feel that there is a reason that I'm feeling this way at this particular time. I would really appreciate a pedigree chart from both sides of the family and also you can get from Grandma the .paf file for Family Search and I can use that here. That would be much appreciated.
 Well, I love you and hope that your week is a good one. By the way, I'm emailing today because we spent all day yesterday in Aberdeen at a Zone meeting. Anyway, I love you lots!
 
Cheerio!
Elder Trawick
Elder Reynolds and myself in Skye at Elgol
 
Our Flat (#12 on the left)
The Cuillin (a range of rocky mountains located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland)
The Ceremonial Ness Tankard (for drinking out of Loch Ness)
Loch Ness ritual site
The Ritual
Loch Ness ritual site
The following were taken from Skye Bridge

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

5/3/11

Dear Mum,

 I think my time might be short, and I'm sorry, but I'll have to make it quick. First and foremost: Yes we will be calling on Sunday. Depending on time differences, we are planning on calling 6PM and 7PM here. That should make it 12AM and 1PM for you. I'm hoping that you are out of church by 1PM or can be this Sunday. Sorry to rush it but we will be about 30 minutes from home, so we need to give ourselves good buffer. But it doesn't have to be right at 6 or 7, just around there. Elder Reynolds will go first and then I'll go.
Anyway, this week was really very good. I'll give you a quick success story. We have a standard to reach called Quality Gospel Conversations and Potential Investigators. I don't remember if I told you this already or not. It basically entails a pattern which constitutes a QGC and then when we get a return appointment with a person for a specific time and place, that is called a potential investigator. The standard to reach for these numbers a week is 50/12, which, believe me, is a tough goal. Sunday night, Elder Reynolds and I were just finishing up our hour of consecrated finding and we were 6 QGC's and 1 potential short of our goal. We decided we would go the extra mile even though success had been limited for that whole hour. In about 30 minutes time we had exceeded our goals to reach a total of 52/15 for the week. We really saw the hand of the Lord help us as we committed to stretch ourselves and go for it. This was an eye-opener for me. I've never had a total like that and few companionships in the mission reach that. Now, I'm not saying that to brag. We REALLY saw the Lord help us in that last 30 minutes. Anyway, I hope that all is well at home.
Also, could you find out who the seventy that visited you was? Elder Alan F. Packer is coming to speak to the mission next Wednesday, so we're all excited about that. Anyway, I'll speak to you on Sunday. I'm looking forward to it! Love you so much!
 
Elder Trawick

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

4/25/11

Amazing battlegrounds not far from Kyle
Hey Mum,
 Luckily enough, the library was open today although it is still Easter Holidays. Glad to know that things are OK at the home front. I loved the pictures of Sarah, she is getting cuter every day. I can see the same Trawick features in her little face as Dan and I had. Dan seems to be doing good as well. I'm glad that the overall report is good.

Things are going so well here in Inverness. Covering two units is a bit of hard work but it really keeps us busy and it's never been so tricky to plan things, but it's good experience and we're getting things done. My new companion is a star, we're going to have a really good transfers and we're both focusing on getting some baptisms and increasing church attendance. I really like him and I can tell that he will be one of my favorite companions. It does really help that we've been out the same amount of time. We have a lot in common as well. For your info, he's from Utah. Anyway, good things ahead.

I've been doing a lot of service in this area, including some carpentry here and there. I did some trim work for someone who was remodeling their house the other day and they were quite pleased with it. I did some wiring the other day (moved a socket) which was interesting the 240v, but it went well and looks nice. And then Saturday I even did a bit of plumbing, so lots of interesting things to do here. The framers here (they call them joiners) do things SO different! They use the metric system for starters. They never use compressors, they just have a few Paslode guns. No SKIL saws, just hand saws. Anyway, it's fun to talk about the differences, and I do with our Ward Mission Leader who is a joiner.

I just remembered about the excellent Zone Conference we had in Dundee on Friday. It was amazing! Elder Kerr and Elder Donaldson (area seventies) came to speak to us along with President and Sister Griffiths of course. The meeting was spectacular. There were three Zones there as well so a lot of missionaries. Elder Donaldson called on a few Elders to come up and then bear their testimony on various subjects. He called on me and so I expected the same, but then he asked me to train the rest on the role of the Holy Ghost for about 3 or 4 minutes and then sat down. It was crazy, but I learned so much and it was brilliant. I love those conferences. Elder Kerr is Scottish and Elder Donaldson is English and they are both hilarious. Very funny and spiritual giants. It was something to remember.
Anyway, I love you very much and I hope that you are doing well. I'll hear from you next week. 
Love,
Elder Trawick
On the way back from Skye
Urquhart castle I think?
Another take of battlegrounds not far from Kyle

Monday, April 18, 2011

4/18/11

Visit to the Isle of Skye

Hello again!
I want to tell you about the amazing week Elder Sindylek and I had. We far exceeded many of our goals this week and ended up with four investigators at church. That investigating family in Invergordon that I was telling you about attended church as well as another from a part member family and another in Inverness. We were very blessed with that success this week. Not to mention our great numbers in all other areas. It was the best week this area has seen in far more than six months. I'm very excited for the things that are happening here. I know that we will see baptisms soon.
 I've really been blessed with having my eyes opened to the workings of the Lord in our labours each day. It really is magnificent. The news for moves is that Elder Sindylek will be leaving for Dundee and my new companion is called Elder Reynolds. Elder Reynolds was in my MTC group and I'll see if I can send you a picture from my camera of him.
Elder Reynolds on right
 I've attached a few photos in the email from Elder Erickson and my trip to Skye a few weeks ago. It was really beautiful.
I really do love you all and everything that you do for me and your positive encouragement. Hope to hear from you soon.
 
Love you so much!
Elder Joshua Trawick
 
Sheep on Skye
Looking at the bridge from Kyle to Skye
Roads in Skye
Garth Duncan is a member in Skye
Portmohomack at night