Scotland/Ireland Mission

On The Isle of Skye

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