This past week has been great! And really exciting! We're teaching a lot of less actives in the ward as well as recent converts. But we've also gotten a few new investigators which is really exciting! A couple of cool stories about that. We're teaching this woman who was baptised last September and then never went to church after that. But we found her again and are teaching her and she came to church this week! We had dinner with her and a member yesterday and we had lamb and totties. So good! I wish we ate lamb in the states because it really is delicious! Then a few days ago while we were chapping we met a man and I thought he wouldn't be interested in the gospel at all. He kept saying that the idea of God is impossible and that he only believes in science. But we shared the Plan of Salvation pamphlet with him and he actually looked interested. He said he would be willing to meet with us again so we're going to go see him tomorrow. I've been amazed at how many times already on my mission I've seen the Spirit touch people in ways that we never could. So many times I've thought, oh they wouldn't be interested in learning about the Plan of Salvation or Joseph Smith but we teach them anyways and they want to meet with us again! It doesn't happen every time but a lot more than I'd have thought! It just goes to show that this is the Lord's work, not ours.
Another really cool story. We've been teaching a less active lady in the ward who's about 88 and has Alzheimers and cancer. She hasn't come to church in years because she says she won't go until she has a nice dress to wear. We've explained to her that that doesn't matter--we have quite a few women who come to church in slacks--but she refuses. But she's hilarious and seriously the nicest person I've ever met. And I've never met anyone who loves Jesus more than her. But she forgets most of what we teach her (she still believes in reincarnation and that we'll be born again after we die no matter how many times we teach her the Plan of Salvation:) and she's a wee blother to the max so it's hard to teach her most of the time. Anyway, her son came over yesterday while we were teaching her and we found out that Mark was almost baptised when he was 10 but then backed out at the last minute because he "didn't feel settled about it." He's been researching every religion out there since then and he's in his 40s now. He was telling us that he liked the Mormon church and the people in it but there were some points of doctrine that he disagreed with. Like how we believe we can continue to progress and eventually become like God. And he doesn't believe that Christ died for our sins. He just believes that Christ was a nice man who was trying to share with the world a nice message but that he was murdered and that's it. He also was confused about how Joseph Smith found the gold plates. While he was talking on and on (he takes after his mum) about this I admit I had some doubts and I was thinking to myself that he would never accept the gospel. I felt sad because I really wanted to share with him what we believe but he wouldn't let us talk very much. Finally, Sister Passey cut in and taught him briefly about Joseph Smith and how he got the plates. She showed him a copy of the Book of Mormon and we had an hour long discussion about the pictures in the front of it and about Joseph Smith and Jesus Christ. We explained to him that there were a lot of false rumors about the LDS church and he was willing to hear us out. Anyway, it was an amazing lesson and I was shocked to see how receptive he was to it! He said that he would be interested in coming to church and meeting with us again. We also invited him to a baptism we will be having next week so that he can see that. Mark kept saying that he felt something while he looked at the pictures and that he was impressed at how calm and solid the Mormons are. That they have a purpose in life. It was such a neat experience and strengthened my testimony even more that we have to talk to everyone about the gospel. Because everyone needs to hear it!
Weatherwise, we've actually been really lucky this past week. It's been sunny and warm and today was the first day it's really rained a lot. Everyone keeps telling me that what we've had isn't typical Scottish weather and I believe them. But still, it's been nice!
I haven't played my viola yet but I've actually been able to play the piano a lot more than I thought I would! Hardly anyone is musical in this area and as soon as they found out I play the piano somewhat they immediately asked me to play for Relief Society and different ward and stake meetings we've gone to. Because they usually just sing the hymns a capella. Hopefully I'll be able to play my viola for a musical number or at a cottage evening sometime. I'm planning on playing it during some free time today during our P-day just for fun.
So here's a little bit more about the food here. They almost always eat mince (like ground beef) or lamb or another type of meat and totties (potatoes). They'll also have cooked carrots, califlower, peas (their peas are so good!), or cabbage. And they drink soda a lot over here. They call it juice. And they'll almost always have biscuits or sweeties or puddin' for dessert. Those are all words for cakes or candy bars or basically candy. Haha I'm kind of glad we walk so much so I can get more excercise! They also have cream and custard a lot over here which I'm actually not that fond of. I've been told I need to have a Scottish breakfast sometime while I'm here. A Scottish breakfast is usually blood pudding, haggis, and sausage. Doesn't sound too appetizing honestly. They have a lot of Indian restaurants here but unfortunately no Mexican food! Peanut butter is pretty pitiful here too. Which is a shame since it's basically my favorite food. :) But still, I love the food here and it's all been great!
Some interesting words/phrases:
They pronounce the word police as "pole-iss" with the emphasis at the beginning. And they prounce garage "gare (like stare)-ij." I hear the words "wee" and "aye" all the time as well. I don't think I've ever heard anyone say the words "little" or "yes":) They'll also say "I donna ken" a lot which means "I don't know." And "I canna do it" which is "I can't do it." They'll also say "cheers" or "ta" for saying thank you. And everyone says "definitely" like "defi-net-ly", emphasizing the "net."
I rode a double decker bus for the first time yesterday! I probably was a little more excited than I should have been...haha.
Anyways, that's it for this week! I miss all of you a lot but I'm so grateful to be out here in Scotland serving a mission for the Lord!
Sister Caryn Jackson