Monday, September 19, 2016

Week 7 - September 19, 2016

AH, man, this week was a good one!

So many great memories and lessons taught to people.  My heart is filled with so much love for my fellow missionaries and the people of Aberdeen!!  I'll go through my week as always now!

Tuesday:  We started off going to our District meeting for the week.  All ten of us were there for the first time, and I really learned a lot about how to find people, and be able to help investigators make commitments so that they can reach their goal of being baptized! After District meeting, Elder Elsmore and I hit the city and had a few lessons planned for the day.  We taught Vicky the importance of family history, and I was able to show her my own family tree, which is massive, thanks to everyone who has worked on my family history.  It's quite impressive!  We then taught an inactive member named Robert Gordan. He is a nice guy and has been struggling with some trials in his life, but we taught him that through Christ's love for us (and our love for him), we could help him get back on the right path!  He agreed to come to church Sunday and work to get re-activated!  After that, we went over to the Williams' home for a nice Scottish dinner full of potatoes and mince, and taught them the importance of member work!  A really solid day.  We got lots of new potential's numbers as well.

Wednesday:  After morning studies, the Zone Leaders came over and we went on exchanges with them!  I got to go with Elder Calton from Lehi.  We get along so well! We talked about a bunch of people back at home and all our stupid, funny stories.  Something that really stuck out to me was during the day as we were GQ'ing, we started to have some deep talks about our past selves that we aren't too proud of, and mistakes we have made like any other teenage boy does.  But he said something to me that I'll never forget. He told me, "Don't get down on yourself for your past mistakes.  God knows us perfectly and loves us, and those mistakes are NOTHING anymore.  The past is in the PAST, none of us are proud of who we were coming out.  We are proud of who we will be returning."  I love that guy with all my heart.  We had lots of great lessons with his investigators, and the Spirit was so strong throughout the rest of the day it really motivated me to work harder!
Thursday:  We studied at the ZL's huuuge flat, said goodbye to them, and then headed off for the day.  It was the first week of University, and we literally GQ'd for 8 hours at the entrance of it.  So many kids were willing to listen to us, not sure if some of the girls had the same intention as us though to meet up haha.  We had to explain very clearly why we are here.  But we got loads of new numbers from potentials!  We also got invited to go over for dinner at this couple from California's flat.  Their names are Kevin and Chrissy. They love us, but they HATE Mormonism haha!  It was really funny.  They asked so many questions about Mormons, and by the end of the night, they actually seemed a lot cooler about our church.  Maybe one day we can teach them more, just gotta wait and see if they're prepared!  After dinner, just more GQ'ing until it was time to call it a night!

Friday:  Another really great day!  We went on exchanges with some more Elders in our district, and I got to go with Elder Ritchie.  Elder Ritchie went to Utah State for a year, but came out with my group so were both the greenies out here.  We had a pretty solid day. We spent it in his area so we taught a few of his investigators, but Elder Ritchie is just a really inspirational wise guy.  We talked about back at home, trials we went through, and how our missions have been so far.  He gave me some great advice, too.  He told me that once you get to college, everything changes.  High school is over, and it is time to grow up and stop being a dumb teenager.  I can defiantly say I was a pretty stupid guy in high school, but that time is over, and I have already grown up and learned so much!  It was good to work with him, and we had a great day!

Saturday:  I was back with Elder Elsmore, and this was one of the GREATEST days on my mission so far!!  I did not stop smiling the entire day!  We started off teaching Jim about forgiveness because he hates some people at church simply because they are FC Rangers fans instead of Celtics fans (Sounds like Utah v BYU haha), which was good.   Then we headed off into the city and taught there.  We taught another solid investigator we have named Pawel, who is from Poland, and has had some rough times.  We got him to commit to work for baptism so we will see how that goes!  We then taught Matthew, a 17 year old guy trying to find the right church.  We have taught him a few times already, and its going well.  But about halfway through our lesson, this guy named Sergio from Portugal (as he said 20 times) walked up to us and was beyondddd drunk.  He wanted to trade his nice leather jacket for my trousers.  I had to keep saying, "No, thanks, no, thanks.  He then sat next to me and asked me if I like Jesus, I told him, "I love Jesus and that is why I am here."  He then gave me a biggg bear hug. . . and.. gave me a massive smooch on the cheek!  Ah mann.  It was pretty hilarious and pretty gross!  Elder Elsmore and Matthew were dying and I learned that I am now a true Scotland/Ireland missionary because I have been kissed by a drunk guy hah! 

The ZL's then came over to our flat for dinner and they brought with them two MASSIVE boxes, filled with my birthday packages!!!!  I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!  Thank you to the entire family who sent me stuff.  I love it all and was beyond happy, to sum it up, for the rest of the night.  You guys are the ones who keep me going through the rough days! THANK YOU!!!!  I'll send pictures too!  Such an incredible day!!!

Sunday:  Another great Sabbath as always on the mission!  Some of our investigators who were supposed to show up sadly didn't though, and this week we're going to have to emphasize how important church is and how they can only get baptized if they come!  But Elder Elsmore and I got to teach Elders' Quorum on the spot which was pretty funny. Everyone just assumes in Scotland they can throw everything they don't want to do on the missionaries cause they can't say no.  But it went well, and we taught how important service is for your fellow being! 

After church, we had a lesson with these two girls from California who came running up to us saying they love Mormons and have a ton of Mormon friends back in the states and want to learn about our religion!  It went pretty well.  After teaching, I wanted to go eat cause I was starving haha.  After their lesson, we went over to another guy's house we were suppose to teach and shocker, he cancelled and moved it to this week haha.  But overall, Sunday was really good.  I was filled with so much love for everyone.

This week went by so incredibly fast, and I have to go soon, but I just wanted to leave a short thought for you all this week.  Try to give up some of your time this week to serve others!  We only are filled with true happiness as we help and love others, not ourselves. No matter how big or small it is, serve someone or just do something for a family member and you will feel the love of Christ.  Strive to be more like Christ and remember that your past is in the PAST.  Do not dwell on your mistakes or trials, instead dwell on the positives and realize that God loves you so much and is always rooting for you to do his will.

I love you all so much.  Thank you once again for the support, without you there, I would not be able to do this because no matter how happy I make it sound, this mission is a tough one.  Only 200 out of 75,000 missionaries get sent here every year, and I know that I am here for a reason.  I hope I can continue to feel that love and that Spirit every day this week, even if it is raining on me, I have sunshine in my soul today :)

Elder Copeland

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