Friday, January 19, 2018

Week 53: One Year

January 15, 2018

Well, this week has been good. We got a lot done. This week Elder Derry and I were chapping in some student housing by the I.T. here in Sligo and we knocked into this one house which had about 7 college students in it. Most of them were Christian but only two of them seemed to be really interested. We were able to give them a Book of Mormon and they were willing to read it but we're going back tonight to follow up and teach them more. We haven't gotten to meet with Francis yet since he came to church. We've called him though and he said that he'll probably be able to meet sometime this week. 

So this week we had All-Ireland. It was very good. We stayed the night at Mullingar and then drove early morning to Dublin. President and Sister Donaldson spoke, the Assistants, Sister Training Leader Trainers and the Dublin Zone Leaders. The Dublin Zone Leaders gave an instruction on the Atonement and missionary work. One of the unique things they taught was that one of the Hebrew meanings of the Atonement is to cover. They compared the Atonement to the analogy of a Band-Aid. Just like how when we get a cut, we put a band-aid on it and it is able to heal and is protected from infection. It's kind of similar with the Atonement. When we are going through tough trials and challenges as we turn to Jesus Christ and use His Atonement we are able to heal in an environment that will give us the strength to press forward. The healing can be hard and sometimes a dramatic change might need to take place but the Atonement can give us the strength to be whole.

The members in Sligo were sad for the passing of President Monson. There were quite a few testimonies about prophets last Sunday. We didn't get to watch the funeral proceedings but we get to watch the broadcast from President Nelson this Tuesday.

Dad you also weren't the only one who had to speak this Sunday on New Beginnings. I got asked to speak for 10-15 minutes as the first speaker on Wednesday but when we got there on Sunday I guess no one else had been assigned to give a talk except me. So I had to stretch for about 30 minutes and a member of the Branch Presidency gave a ten minute testimony afterwards. It was good though. I don't think I bored anyone too much.

Well I'm sorry I didn't get to take any pictures this week. I'm happy and healthy here in Sligo though. I love you guys! Have a great week!

Love, Elder Calley

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Week:52 Sligo is Awesome!

January 8, 2018

Hey guys so this week has been good. It hasn't been as cold as negative 15 but it's about 0 Celsius here right now. It's also sunny today for a change which is nice. 

So this week Francis came to church. He took an hour break from his work just to come to church for part of sacrament meeting and gospel principles. Gospel principles was on charity. There was a lot of love in that class and the Spirit was there as well. Elder Derry and I usually teach the class but Francis was eager to join in and add comments. The branch here in Sligo is extremely friendly and is also quite diverse as well. We're hoping to visit some more with Francis later this week. 

We also taught a few lessons this week but they didn't really go the way we had planned. We taught a nice man from Nigeria who we're pretty sure was a born again Christian and didn't understand why we would need another book of scripture beside the Bible. We tried a lot of different ways of explaining it including how God is the same yesterday today and forever, but it didn't seem to click for him. We also taught a Muslim man who was really kind to us but seemed to be quite set as sticking with his beliefs. We were able to focus a lot on the similarities of our beliefs and about how a belief in God is better than no belief in God. 

I was sad to here that President Monson passed away this week as well. He had a great sense of humor and he also told a lot of good stories. One of my favorites is the one when he was in the Navy and the Seargent told everyone to go to church but the Mormons hadn't been called to go some place to meet so he stood there and felt like he was all alone but when he answered the Seargent he then realised that he was never alone. I will definitely miss all the stories he told but I am grateful for his service.

Well on a happier note, this morning Elder Derry and I decided to hike Knocknarea, which is a mountain near Sligo that is supposedly supposed to have an ancient Queen buried at the top but I think it might just be a tall tale. I took a lot of pictures so there's a lot of them attached below. The hike took about 45 minutes up and about 30 minutes down but the view was quite stunning. 

So Mom, I didn't know that we have ancestry from Ballyshannon and Roscommon. I believe both of them are in my area. And the funny part is, the Sligo's branch mission leader's last name is Tiernan and I think he's from Roscommon so I'll ask him at coordination if he's related to a Patrick or Catherine Tiernan. 

Well, not much else happened this week. On Wednesday we have All-Ireland in Dublin so generally whenever we have to go to Dublin we drive to Mullingar the night before and then drive the remaining hour the day of. We do a lot of driving if we have to go outside of Sligo. 

I love you guys a lot,
Elder Calley

So as far as I know when we go to Mullingar on Tuesdays we generally just leave at 7:10am to get to Mullingar by 9:30am for district meeting but we haven't had a district meeting this transfer yet due to Christmas, New Year's and All-Ireland this week.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Week 51: Happy New Year too!

January 3, 2018

Hey guys!

Sorry this email is a day late. We didn't have any access to a computer yesterday in Sligo so we got permission to email this morning really quick. 

This week has been good. For New Year's we played some games over at the Walsh's. We had to be in by six on New Year's Eve as well. We also had a really neat experience this week. 

So Elder Derry and I were chapping one night last week and we ran into this nice Nigerian lady whose name is Juliette. We talked to her a little bit about God and how he can help us to find greater happiness in out lives. She said that we could come back the next day and share a brief message with her. So we came back the next day, she let us in and we started teaching the Restoration and her husband, his name is Francis, comes in about halfway through the lesson and starts asking us a lot of questions about the Apostles and what it means to be a disciple of Christ. He also asked us what should we do if there is someone we know that isn't on the path back to our Heavenly Father but is still doing things like coming to church. We told him that we all have our own individual struggles and it isn't our place to judge even if we sometimes stagger on the path back to God. Francis seemed interested in our response and was willing to meet up with us again to talk more. We were able to share the rest of the Restoration with them and give them a copy of the Book of Mormon to read. Francis said he had been to the church in Sligo before but we don't know why he stopped investigating. 

So I'm getting pretty used to Sligo and where everything is and I've noticed that one thing they say over here in Ireland is "what's the craic?" which essentially means what's up?

I'm sorry this email is shorter but I hope you guys have a fantastic week! I am so excited to be here in Sligo sharing the gospel!

I love you guys!
Elder Calley

So for groceries we go to Lidl. It's a grocery store similar to Aldi. For an ATM we go to Ulster Bank most of the time and we have a washer dryer combo in the flat. We don't use the car to travel everyday unless we need to visit someone that lives in one of the suburbs. Usually we just stay in Sligo to GQ,. We don't really use public transportation or bikes because our flat is 2 minutes from the town centre so we just take the car if we need to go anywhere. 

Elder Derry is a great companion. We shop and cook together and usually work out together.  Elder Derry is a really big guy and everything in Ireland is smaller compared to back home so he's usually towering over everyone.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Week 50: Christmas was Wonderful!

December 27, 2017

Hey ya guys,

It was so great to be able to skype you two days ago. Forty-five minutes goes by too fast on Christmas Day. Well, the rest of Christmas was great. We were at the Christiansen's for dinner. They fed us ham, turkey, sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, and corn. It was very good! We also opened some Christmas crackers and had some Christmas pudding.

Then for Boxing Day, (I guess they call Boxing Day St. Stephen's Day here in Ireland) we went to the Walsh's. They're in Sligo Branch and live about ten minutes drive from town. The Christiansen's are about halfway between Mullingar and Sligo which is in Mullingar's boundaries but they have permission to come to Sligo branch We played a lot of board and card games with the Walsh's and it was a lot of fun. I'm not entirely sure where all of the members live but most of them live about ten to fifteen minutes outside of town. I think the Christiansen's are the farthest away. They don't really live too close to a town because they're more just out in the country. The branch is really great though. They are very friendly and were so surprised when I told them that I could play piano because didn't have someone who could play. 

There are a few Christmas traditions/things they do here in Ireland/Scotland that they don't do back home. They mainly say "Have a happy Christmas" instead of a merry Christmas. A traditional dessert around Christmas time is mince pies which have fruity mince meat in them. (They taste a lot better than what I just made them sound). They also have a lot of Christmas crackers. I think you can get them back home in the States but they are big here this time of year. 

So I told you a little bit about John (I guess John is a very popular name in Scotland/Ireland) but Elder Derry and I found him GQing. We asked him if he had twenty minutes to meet with us and he said yes so we walked to a bench and taught him the Restoration. He seemed really interested since he was asking a lot of questions but we haven't been able to meet up with him again due to him, along with a lot of other people being busy celebrating Christmas but we're still in contact with him.

The area here in Sligo is one of the biggest in Ireland. We don't really go to visit the other areas to proselyte but we drive to Mullingar every Tuesday for District Meeting which is two hours there and two hours back. There are quite a few castles in our area as well as a lot of hills.

One of the questions we've been asking people this week is what is your favorite part about Christmas? We usually get two responses: the drink, or spending time with family. With the latter one being what most people say. 

Thank you guys so much for the Christmas packages and all of those letters! They were wonderful!

Hope you guys have a great week,
Elder Calley

Monday, December 25, 2017

Week 50: Christmas Day

December 25, 2017

Christmas Message From Kyle

Week 49: So Transfers happened

December 19, 2017

Hey guys!

So transfers were yesterday. I am no longer in Cumbernauld. I'm now in Sligo with Elder Derry. Sligo is on the west coast of the Republic of Ireland. It seems really nice here. Elder Derry is awesome as well. He's from Texas and has been on his mission for about 6 months. I haven't seen too much of the area yet but I'm sure I'll be able to tell you more about it next week. It is much warmer over here than in Cumbernauld. There was a lot of ice there when I left. 

So the rest of my week was great. Elder Hoaldridge and I continued to visit with John. Him and the rest of the ward were pretty sad to see us leave right before Christmas but he was doing good when I left. Still reading the Book of Mormon every night and praying. We also had a ward Christmas party on Sunday night. There was a nice live nativity, some games, and some food at the end. John was there and he really enjoyed being able to talk to everyone in the ward. 

Speaking about Christmas, I did get your guys package, a day before I found out I was leaving Cumbernauld. I might have had to open it, sorry, because I couldn't take the box with me but I haven't read the letters yet. I'll save them till Christmas day. We also have a place to skype in Sligo so I'll probably be skyping around 3 to 3:30 pm my time. We've been instructed to keep them pretty short. President Donaldson wants us to keep them no longer than 45 minutes. 

Here's a couple pictures of me and Elder Derry. Elder Derry is bigger than what the photos show.

Well I love you guys. I hope you have a very merry Christmas up at the Hadley's. I'm looking forward to skyping you guys in a week!

Elder Calley

So as far as how I got there. I took a bus to Glasgow from Cumbernauld. Then  a bus from Glasgow to Stranraer. Then a ferry from Stranraer to Belfast. Then a bus from Belfast to Dublin and then we drove from Dublin to Sligo.We have a car here so that is really neat. Not many areas do in the mission. I also got to drive this morning. It was sweet but was really weird to drive on the left side of the road.  Elder Derry and I can both drive. I can only drive for about a month though because after one year your driving elegibility expires. So for question number one, I see President Donaldson at least once a transfer. We see him at each zone conference and at interviews each six weeks.

So in Scotland, one tradition is that they have a Christmas service on Christmas Day of just carols and being able to share the Christmas spirit with others. So the ward in Cumbernauld was having theirs on 11 to 12 on Christmas day.

Week 48: Transfers in a week...

December 11, 2017

Hey ya!

This week was great and cold! It's been about 10-15 degrees farenheit here for the past couple of days. It reminds me of the weather back home. We had an all-Scotland conference on Tuesday, went on exchanges with the zone leaders on Wednesday, and found and taught Niamh on Friday. She's really cool. She goes to a catholic church in Cumbernauld but is interested to learn more about the church. We taught her the restoration and she wanted to learn more. We're planning to see her on Wednesday.

So I find out Saturday if I am staying or leaving. Even though I've been in Cumbernauld for about 5 months, I've heard President Donaldson doesn't move many missionaries right before Christmas, so I'll let you guys know next week where I am. 

So a Scottish word I learned this week was lowse. It means to be finished with something like work. Everyone here is lowsing up with work and school next week. For the past few days though everyone has just been keeping warm indoors. There are not too many people out doing outside activities because it hasn't snowed yet, but everything just freezes over with a layer of ice. During this Christmas time of year although the weather is cold most people are warming up to taking a few minutes to talk to us. We usually tell people we have a brief Christmas message to share with them. Even if they are busy or not interested it's wonderful to be able to share about the true meaning of Christmas. It's so easy this time of year to be caught up in the hustle and bustle of getting everything done but really Christmas is about what we can give and how we can share the gift of Jesus Christ with others.

Here's a picture of the motorway that runs through Cumbernauld from one of the main blue cross walk bridges.

Hope you guys have a great week!
Love you a bunch,
Elder Calley

I forget who's statue this is but it's in Glasgow and they put cones on it.