Monday, August 22, 2016

Week 3 and Starting Week 4 - August 22, 2016


I have no clue where to start this email.  It's been chaos for me, but I am going to try my very best to get everything in that's happened this week!  I hope you guys all have a great week with school and work! 

Anyways onto my week.  We left the MTC and headed to the Mission home in Scotland.  It was hard to say goodbye to all my friends I had made there, but they're all going to be incredible missionaries and I know I'll see them again!  

Once we got to the mission home, we hopped back onto the bus we came in and headed out with the Mission President (who is awesome) to Pratts Hill, where Parley P Pratt dedicated this land to the missionaries.  It was a great view and we all got to pray and devote ourselves for these next 2 years to serve here, and I got a couple pics.


After that, we went back to the mission home and were there for about 6 hours where we learned what's going to happen on the missions, where our first area will be, and who our companion is, all that good stuff.  I was assigned to serve with Elder Elsmore, in the Scotland, Aberdeen City area. 

We immediately had to get on a bus, drive to the train station, and hop on a train to be able to get to our flat for the night.  There is so much to explain about everything haha.  I'll try my best to get it all in, in the short amount of time I have. 

Elder Elsmore is 19 years old (Just barely, his b day was Saturday) from Mona, Utah.  He went to a 3A high school, plays golf, and is the District Leader here and an incredible missionary!  He has been out for 11 months and It's crazy cause I am only two weeks older than him but he seems so much older.  He is the youngest missionary to ever come out on this mission.  He got here a month after he turned 18, so crazy.  I could go on about all the fun we have already had, but he is a great guy.  We do really well together and are pretty similar and he can cook well so that helps, too.  I can talk more about him over the next weeks since I will be with him for awhile haha.  

But now onto Aberdeen!  Our flat is right next to the Aberdeen sports village and lets just say this city is verrrryyyyy gray.  Like every single thing in this city is gray, except the cars because everyone drives posh ones here which is nice.  I know it's the granite city, but due to the lack of sun you think they would maybe color up their buildings to help out? 

I love the city and didn't have a chance to take many pics of it, but I can throughout the weeks.  We also live next to a golf course.  We're gonna go hit some balls after emailing, and we're right next to the beach!  I hope this is all making sense.  There is so much to explain haha. 

Anyways, the people here are pretty nice, everyone is atheist and always tell us we're wasting our time, but when you do find the people who want to listen, it makes it all the better.  I haven't knocked on any doors yet.  All we do is GQ (Golden question, as in just on the streets asking people to have a lesson with us) and teach planned lessons.  Luckily, Elder Elsmore and I can be pretty entertaining.  I'll try and briefly go through my days here since I don't have a ton of time.

Thursday- First day out on the streets of Aberdeen, Elder Elsmore set up some member lesson appointments to help me get familiar with teaching.  It was fun.  We then went and GQ'd for a few hours and had pretty good success setting up some lesson times for the coming days.  I got to meet two new members to the church named David and Becky. David is the most Scottish man I have ever seen, and even after a week I can barely understand him.  English is NOT English here.  The accents can be very mild or extremely crazy--tough to understand, so I am trying my best but I feel bad when I have to ask them to repeat what they told me 5 times and Elsmore just laughs.  Becky is a really nice girl who just got baptized, too.  She has a walking disability but is so sweet and helped me not be so nervous to teach.  It was a good day to get adjusted into the crazy schedule and try to learn how to cook on our own.. yikes haha.

Friday- We had some more lessons planned.  We met with a guy named Jim.  JIM IS CRAZY first off.  He has some sort of mental disability and claims that musicians like Johnny Cash are the true Prophets on earth.  He has been an investigator for 20 years and claims he'll be baptized at some point, just doesn't want to right now cause he loves to drink after a 'long day' of painting weird art hah.  We also went and had a great lesson with another recent convert guy named Mac Donnel.  He is from Nigeria here for college (It's called "University" here) and I forgot to mention that there are a lot of Nigerians and other ethnicities because of the University Of Aberdeen that is here--actually a lot of university age kids in general who will usually talk to us, so that is nice.  Anyways had a few more lessons, it is hard to remember because the days blend so quickly here, and then GQ'd.  I don't have time, but there are so many miracles I see here every day as we GQ and teach. God's presence is so close when you are on a mission and the Spirit flows through me stronger then I have ever felt!

Saturday- Was Elder Elsmore's birthday.  He said that you don't celebrate them on your mission, you just keep working and that kind of bummed me out since mine is in two months.  But we had a ward BBQ and it was nice to meet the members in our ward.  Not a lot of them, but they are the true saints of the church because they work so hard with little support to make the church run effectively, I love them a lot already.  After the BBQ, some more lessons and GQ'ing, not enough time for details sorry ;/  But I will say this, every Saturday there is a big football (soccer) game at the Aberdeen stadium which is right by our flat.  We were walking home just as the game finished and so there were hundreds of people looking at us like we were aliens.  A lot of people came up yelling in our face how we were wasting our time, (some other choice words haha) how God isn't real, and how dumb we are for doing this.  I really was down, and was verrryyy angry to say the least haha pushing my way through the crowds.  I wanted to walk over to these people and tell them how we sacrifice two years of our life for this gospel, and how it could change there lives, but I knew they wouldn't listen.  They thought it was funny.  So I walked very angrily and Elder Elsmore just smiled and said, "Elder, how do you think Jesus felt when people mocked him in the streets?"  It softened my heart and made me realize, we gotta feel a little of what the Savior has been through to grow. ;)

Sunday- Church!  It feels just like home at church and made me happy to be able to bless the sacrament (Which we'll do a lot I'm guessing) and have some great lessons with some investigators and the sister missionaries in our ward who are really nice and fun to be with! After Church we had some more lessons and GQ'd a lot. After that we went in to our flat, cleaned it all up (Even though it is very small it gets messy fast when are always in a hurry) and called all the missionaries in the district.  Since Elder Elsmore is DL, I get to see everything he does and learn how to do it myself so if I do become the DL when he leaves this area, I'll be ready.  I truly am grateful for him as my companion.  I love him a lot already and same with the other missionaries, members, and investigators.  I have never loved people more then I have here.  And I really have an increased love for everyone back at home :)

I hope this email made a little bit of sense. It was a lot of changes, and a lot has happened in such a little amount of time.  But when you are serving on the Lord's time, it speeds up very quickly and gives us a little insight to how time works for him.  I miss everyone a lot and even if I can't send super big emails to you guys, I read every one of them and they make my day and my week 1000 times better!  I am loving my mission and am working as hard as I can from 6:30 a.m.-10:30 p.m., 7 days a week.  I will speak to you guys soon and hopefully I can make it all a little more clearer when the chaos dies down, or maybe that is just how the mission is haha.  I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!  Have an amazing week, keep choosing the right and you will be blessed for It no matter how hard it may be!  I'll send some pictures to you guys and I can't wait to hear from you all soon. CHEERS! :)

Elder Copeland

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