Alright? You might be wondering why I asked that. This is because here in Northern Ireland, most people don't ask how you are, this simply just ask is you're alright. So we had a pretty good week. Let me tell you why. The best that happened was that we met with this lady named Christina who we met on the street a couple of weeks ago. She was baptized about 20 years ago, but fell away because she got in with the wrong crowd. A lot of bad things have happened to her, which caused her to lose her faith in God. Nonetheless, she consented to meet with us and on Saturday we did. We went with a member and helped her understand why bad things happen to good people and why we receive trials from our Heavenly Father. At the end, we invited her to church and she said that she would try her best to come. So on Sunday we went by with Brother Templeton, our ward mission leader, and gave her a lift to church. When she came in, the members helped her feel very welcome and she said that she would come back the next week. What a miracle that we found a lost sheep and she is now on her way to becoming active in the Gospel. I really feel that her soul is yearning to believe once again, to be happy once again. Later that day, I got an impression to go by this man we haven't been in contact with recently. So we did and he let us and said that he was thinking about us and was wanting us to come around once again. His name is Thomas and he really likes to learn. He answers the questions in the pamphlets and he has put aside today to just read from the Book of Mormon and really understand the history of these people. He also wants to learn more about why were are baptized. He said that he has liked everything that we have taught him so far and wants to learn so much more. Jimmy also came to church and enjoyed himself. He is working on overcoming his addictions before he is baptized.
The past two weeks i h ave been thinking of how we can get the members more excited about missionary work and I remember how way back in the Durango Ward, we were committed to read all of Preach My Gospel before a certain date. So after consulting with my companion, the ward mission leader who talked with the Bishop, we are going to give every member family a copy of preach my gospel that they can study from and as they learn the doctrines and apply the principles within, they can become better member-missionaries. I know that Preach My Gospel is an inspired manual and there are things in it for everyone as they strive to achieve eternal life.
Now to answer your questions:
1. The members are great here and we normally greet everyone that comes in the door of the church. Many of them become good friends with the missionaries.
2. Understanding the language is coming along. I still have a hard time understanding people when they are conversing with other natives. The accent here is very different from that the in the Republic. It is most similar to Scottish because of the people here, their ancestors are from Scotland (Ulster Scots they call themselves). So they say things like Aye and wee. There are differences and it is not as thick. Funny things they say are like Ackaye and So I did at the end of sentences.
3. My duties as District Leader is to encourage those under my stewardship to do better, to be better missionaries. So I plan District Meetings that are held every Tuesday and I report goals and actuals to the zone leaders.
4. My mission has been the greatest learning experience of my life. It's really incredible how much I have grown in my knowledge of the Gospel.
5. Days differ, but we try to have as many appointments as possible with investigators, less-actives, recent converts, and members. We fill in our other time by going by people, tracting, or street contacting.
6. The past couple of weeks we have been fed 3 times which is an enormous improvement. (Brother Templeton really got on their case).
7. Well, I would really like you to see places like Loch Ness, Cliffs of Moher, and the Giants Causeway. Right now I don't have much plans other than the Livingstons in Galway say that we could stay at their house if we want.
8. Right now I am in Mosiah 17. I normally read about a chapter each day and mark certain things.
9. Normally you just take the weather as it comes. I normally carry around an umbrella just in case I need it. If we think it might rain, we wear a rain coat. We did a fair amount of each. We take bus when possible or we just walk.
1. I am getting along with my companion just fine. I think he likes me somewhat. My favorite companion so far is Elder Stewart.
2. Finnish is really, really, really hard. Learning it is comparable to Chinese. I thought I might learn simple phrases, but the problem would be that I wouldn't know what they would respond.
3. The postcards were nice that you sent and interesting to talk to companions about.
About my tooth, I have an appointment on Wednesday to get it put back on. I really was doing quite well and wasn't even biting on anything hard. I was eating some Fruit and Fiber Cereal and there was a banana chip in it that just barely touched my tooth and it came off.
In answer to Matt's question. There is plenty of American food here: McDonald's, Burger King, KFC, Subway, Quiznos, etc. I love you all and hope from you soon.