Monday, July 15, 2013

 Knickerbocker Glory

At the beach

July 15

It's been crazy nice weather this past week! It hasn't rained once and it's been warm (well, warm for Scotland).  It's funny when we'll ask someone how they're doing and they'll say, "Oh, it's roasting!" and it will only be like 19 degrees and cloudy.  People are definitely used to the cold around here. 
 Last week was a lot of fun! For P-day we went and played football on the beach.  We even had a former investigator join us.  It felt so good to be active and running around.  We all got super sunburnt though because for some reason no one thinks to wear sunscreen in Scotland (probably because you usually don't need to).  The beach was pretty packed because all the schools just got out for summer holiday but it was still really fun!
 Oh, and me and Sister Birch had our first knickerbocker glory this week, which is also a tradition here.  Think Harry Potter book 2 (?) when Harry goes with the Dursley's to the zoo and they get ice cream.  Dudley gets a knickerbocker glory and then gets scared by the snake so Harry gets to finish it.  Anyway, that's what I first thought of when I heard the name.  But I thought it would be this big thing of ice cream, but actually there's very little ice cream in it.  At least the one we had.  It was ice cream, jelly (jell-o in the states), digestive biscuits bits (kind of like cookies, but REALLY good), sprinkles, whipped cream, and a bunch of different colored sauces.  It was really colorful and almost didn't look real.  But it was so good.
 Me and Sister Passey were able to play a musical number in church this Sunday which was a lot of fun.  The mission president was able to borrow a violin from someone in Edinburgh and bring it down so Sister Passey played the violin and I played my viola.  We played "I Need Thee Every Hour" with some improv in it.  It turned out really well I thought and it was funny because after we were done you could hear an audible gasp from the congregation.  And someone started to clap which was funny.  But I was so grateful for that opportunity to play.  Actually I was wondering if I would even be able to because right after I got here the pegs on my viola expanded so they were completely stuck and I couldn't tune at all.  I think it happened because of the change in climate/humidity and elevation. I was really worried but we were able to take it to a music shop here in town and they fixed it for free.  I was so grateful for that! 
 We are teaching this sweet old lady who is so hilarious and fun to teach.  She is in her 80's.  She has a lot of health problems and she lives alone but she is so kind and is my favorite person to teach.  When we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ yesterday we laid out pieces of paper with all the steps on it.  We had one that said "You" and one that said "Heaven" and laid them on the floor and talked about what steps we need to take in order to get from one to the other.  We asked her what she thought about how we can get from here to heaven.  She said "well you could try to swim but I don't know if that would work too well." She says things like this all the time out of nowhere and it's so funny but I love teaching her because she is so sweet and it's easy to have the spirit in the lessons. 
 That's it for this week, love you and miss you all!
Sister Jackson

July 8

This week has been great! In large part because of the weather. We're in a heat wave right now as they call it. It should get up to 28 degrees this week (which is really hot for Scotland) and be sunny for the next 10 days! So that's awesome.
It amazes me every day how much Scottish people can talk haha. We stopped a man the other day on the street and he was super nice but he was blethering to us for over an hour! I love talking to people here but sometimes I wonder how they breathe with talking that much nonstop:)
For the Fourth of July we had a barbecue (indoor) and we ate American food which was awesome! We had beef burgers, potato salad, and apple pie. And we've been singing the patriotic hymns this week in our companionship study.
We got a new district this week since 3 of the elders in it went home. We now have 5 sisters and 2 elders in our district. But it's a lot of fun and everyone gets along great!
One miracle this past week. We were talking to people on the street and as we were walking towards this man on the street I felt like I should talk to him. I almost didn't but I'm really glad I did because we found out his brother has been meeting with the elders in our district. When we talked to him about the Book of Mormon he actually said, "oh my brother has one of those. He won't let me see it because he's always reading it but I'd like to have one." It was awesome! He gave us his address for us to come by sometime this week.
Another miracle: An investigator accepted a date to be baptised! She's been meeting with missionaries for years but she finally agreed to a baptismal date on August 4th. This was a testimony builder to me that we can't give up on people and we have to be persistent because you never know what can happen! We had done a zone fast this Sunday that every companionship would have an investigator with a baptismal date going in to August and it was a miracle to see this happen for us so quickly.
We took the train to Ayr yesterday for the mission president broadcast and it made me laugh when I looked out the window and saw a bunch of steeples. It reminded me of seeing all the steeples back home of all the church buildings in Utah. Except the ones we saw were castles. But it still made my day:)
Everything is going great and the work is really progressing here!
Sister Jackson

Monday, July 8, 2013

 A castle in Irvine that was built in 1297
 A building that used to be the school house that Edgar Allen Poe went to as a lad
 They have these little statues all over in Irvine.  It's the symbol of Irvine--a lion holding two sceptors in its hand
 Funny statue I found

July 1

This past Wednesday we were able to go on a historical tour of Irvine and that was really neat! We saw the school that Edgar Allan Poe went to and we saw some old castles and buildings that were built in the 1500s or earlier.  It was crazy! Also that day we tried an authentic Scottish food that is common for the locals to eat.  They're called bridies and they're kind of like mince pies except it's ground beef instead of lamb.  It's onions and ground beef and a sauce of some sort in a pastry.  It was SO good.
We had an interesting experience a few days ago.  We were leaving an investigator's house and this lady walking her dog saw us and stopped us.  We didn't even say anything before she proceeded to tell us her life story and her experiences with religion.  She told us that she had a really good friend who was a member of our church.  After talking for about 15 minutes we managed to talk with her a little and Sister Birch asked her why she had stopped us.  She thought for a moment and said, "I thought you could answer my questions." We quickly asked her if we could talk with her and help answer her questions but then she told us quickly that she wasn't interested and walked off soon after that.  It was kind of sad and all I wanted to do was to be able to talk with her and help her but she wouldn't let us.  Learning to accept that other people have agency has been a lesson that I've learned a lot this week.  For instance, we had 8 specific people tell us that they were planning on coming to church yesterday.  None of them showed up.  At first I was really disappointed but then it made me think more about agency and about how Heavenly Father feels when all of us make promises or commitments to Him and then don't keep them.  It was pretty humbling for me to think about.  I am so grateful that we have the ability to choose and especially choose to follow Jesus Christ.  Because that's how we really learn how to trust in Him and that's when our faith grows the most. 
Yesterday, all the missionaries in the ward and the ward mission leader gave the lesson the last hour.  It was a combined relief society and priesthood class.  We talked about how the ward and the missionaries need to work together in order for the work to really progress.  It was really neat as we discussed all the many ways that everyone can do missionary work.  It made me think about how missionary work was so hard for me to do (or so I thought) before my mission but that it doesn't have to be! Even doing something like inviting someone who is less-active over to your house for games and a spiritual movie can bring that person back to church, but beyond that, help them gain greater friendships with people in the church and just help them feel better. You never know the impact you can have on people by reaching out to someone and being an example of Christ.
Hope ye's are doing well!
Sister Caryn Jackson