Finally, a full week here in Galashiels and it’s been interesting!
He’s a 93-year-old man who is living in a care home and is a member of the church. A member told us about him and that he can’t come to church because he’s there. So, we decided to stop by and say hi to him and OH BOY! Best part of our week! Apparently, he was a part of the Royal Navy as a young lad and he is pretty famous, I guess! He was a gunman and was just recognized here in Gala for still being alive? hahaha He told us some fun stories about going to New York while in the Military and then proceeded to tell us how he accidentally proposed to a girl while he was there. He then asked, “Do you have any boys waiting for you back home?” to us and Sister Westbroek goes (totally kidding), “Ya I’ve got a few lined up…” and then Brother Smith goes, “That’s good, keep playing the field…”. We died laughing…. I love getting courting advice from these people! He then gave us some crisps (chips) that were 2 months expired and a chocolate bar that was two years expired. Needless to say, we feasted that night. The dates are more like suggestions right?
KATE AND MARK:
Okay, the story behind Kate: We saw on our area map that she was a less active and the missionaries used to be working with her. We have been trying to track her down and have even asked around quite a bit ever since we got to Gala. WE FINALLY FOUND HER THIS WEEK! She has sclerosis and her partner Mark has just gotten out of jail. Okay, but they are the perfect example of why we shouldn’t judge. Kate is such a sweet lady but looks a bit different and often is teased or bullied around town. But she is an angel and is such a trooper. And Mark! Oh man! He’s soooo funny! He is a big giant, but such a soft heart. He loves Kate so much and protects her like Tarzan protects Jane! He was in jail because a guy came to their door with a knife and threatened Kate and so Mark punched the guy unconscious, I guess, but it turns out the kid was a minor… soooo problems. But they live very modestly and struggle with a lot of things. But in their flat, I felt more at home than I have ever while on my mission. I love them so much and they take care of the missionaries here. They talk about the other Elders and Sisters that have come through quite often. Our goal is to have Kate come to church and to for Mark to be baptized, because they are amazing, and I don’t know why they aren’t active or baptized! We will be seeing them soon again!
So, chapping is what we call door knocking and Sister Westbroek and I did that a ton this week. There were some missionaries who did a parody of Adele’s Hello song about door knocking on the mission and if you haven’t seen it, please look it up, because that is what the title of my email references this week. Sadly, we were never invited into anyone’s house, but we met so many wonderful people. I think I will have a super awesome callus on my knuckle when I get back 🙂
The chapel here is really small, like maybe five cars could fit in the building. Maybe. And even less people hahaha only about 13 come to church every week. Most of them are over the age of 60. It is quite a new experience for me considering all the congregations I have been in have been much larger. But the testimonies that were given during the meeting pricked my heart with the spirit and I got the gift of knowing that no matter how small the congregation, no matter the building or the age of the people in it, the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true. It’s about the relationship you gain with God and how we can get back to him because He loves us. It’s all possible through Jesus Christ. It doesn’t matter that I’m in Scotland, or if I was in the Philippines, or if I was in the farms of Kansas. It is true. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is for everyone. I loved that small confirmation this week about that.
I have started settling into the mission life here, but as I have done so, I have also been wondering more about my purpose here. I was a nanny before I left for my mission and I realized how much I missed hugging them and being with my sweet kids. The love I have for them and my family gives me compassion for the families I run into here. Don’t they know that this immense joy with their family doesn’t have to end with death? They don’t seem to care! I felt such a push this week to find a family to teach, to share the restored gospel with them and to let them know their family can be together forever. With the gospel in their lives, their family will become stronger and closer like never before. I love my mission and I love having the opportunity to spend 11 hours every day searching the streets and houses for those people that will be willing to hear this wonderful message of joy that will change their lives for the better. But that being said, it is also the hardest thing because a good .05% will listen. BUT, at least we gave them a chance to listen. I love the people, and I love you guys! Thank you for all the support!
Days without rain: I think 2? It got reaaaalllly windy one day… that was an adventure with our skirts!
Words I learned:
They say Hiya a lot instead of hello.
They also say “just now” a lot. Like, “Thanks for calling just now”
OH THAT’S ANOTHER THING! “Calling” is coming to someone’s house and ringing is phoning them. Ya, there’s a difference and yes, it gets very confusing. So, don’t tell people that you will call them later because they will expect you to be coming by the house.