Thursday, November 9, 2017

Week 41: Ophelia in Cumbernauld?

Oct 23, 2017

So the "hurricane" that was supposed to come across Scotland was basically half a day of really rainy weather with some wind. It didn't do much over here in Scotland but I heard in Ireland that it ripped the roofs off of some of the houses and caused some power outages as well. All of the missionaries in Ireland had to stay indoors on that day last week. I also heard the prime minister in Ireland had everyone staying in doors and everything was basically shut down. I also heard that the storm made the sun red in England. We didn't really have much service to do over here in Scotland because it wasn't much more than the typical weather over here. I'm sure they got some service opportunities over in Ireland though. 

Well that's good to heard you guys had a good week. Here in Cumbernauld it has been pretty good. We have been meeting with John this week. He apparently is going on a two week holiday to New York and Boston with a friend. But he has continued to read the scriptures and pray and he was at church yesterday so that was good. 

We were also on exchanges last Friday with the zone leaders in Glasgow. It was interesting to see the difference between a big city like Glasgow and a town like Cumbernauld. 
So I'm not sure if I have told you this word before but its one that I've heard quite a bit lately. (I don't think its been directed at me though). It's called skiving. It basically means talking all the time instead of working. Usually they will just say "stop your skiving" instead of start working. 

This week we also have a zone conference in Dundee with Elder Renlund. We also had interviews with President Donaldson and I heard Sister Donaldson say that they had ten minutes each to speak and then the rest of the meeting will be handed over to Elder Renlund. Zone conferences are several hours long so I wonder what he will speak about? Elder Renlund also gave all of us missionaries a few general conference talks to read. One of them was President Uchtdorf's talk "Fourth Floor Last Door" and in it he talks about faith and prayers. He talks about how prayers require faith but no matter how hard we pray or exercise faith there are two things that faith can't do. The first one is take away someones agency and the second one is force our will upon God. I thought that was really interesting because sometimes it can seem like there are a lot of things that we want and we are wondering why Heavenly Father isn't giving us what we are asking for. Sometimes I wonder if our prayers fall into one of those categories. However, I know that Heavenly Father answers prayers even though it may not be the answer we want here.

So I'm not sure if I have told you this word before but its one that I've heard quite a bit lately. (I don't think its been directed at me though). It's called skiving. It basically means talking all the time instead of working. Usually they will just say "stop your skiving" instead of start working. 

So I know the date on this one says it is July but I haven't been the best at taking pictures lately but here is one of Buchanan Street in Glasgow. It's pretty much the main street of the city.

Well I hope you guys have a great week! I'm doing grand here in Cumbernauld


Elder Calley

Week 40: Week 2 of Transfer 7?

Oct 16, 2017

Hey guys! It's great to hear from you! I didn't know that there was a storm supposed to hit Ireland. (Tropical Storm Ophelia — previously a hurricane, was to make landfall today) Over here in Cumbernauld it has just been really rainy, so not much different than the usual. Haha. I haven't heard anything about it but it sounds like we'll just have typical Scottish weather for another week. 

So this week, we did a lot of chapping. John and Gordon have both been going through a rough patch with things. John has had some negative comments from friends and family about meeting with us and Gordon has been struggling with feeling comfortable about coming back to church on a regular basis. 

Yesterday, however, was Stake Conference in Glasgow. It was very good! There was a General Authority from the Seventy there. I forget his name but it might have been Elder Boon? He gave a really good talk and he touched on missionary work and how great members are in helping the full-time missionaries. President and Sister Donaldson were also there. President Donaldson gave a really great analogy in his talk about the sacrament prayers that I thought was brilliant. He said, "The sacrament prayers have to be given word-perfect. Everyone knows that. But when the priest messes it up, what happens? Even though the expectation of perfection cannot be lowered, the person giving the prayer gets a second chance, and a third, and a fourth, if he needs them. No matter how many mistakes he makes along the way, when he does finally get it right, the outcome is counted as perfect and acceptable. God, like the bishop, cannot lower the standard that we ultimately become perfect, but He can give us many opportunities to start again." I really thought that analogy really helps us understand God's Plan for us and how essential the Atonement is in that Plan. 

So in two weeks time we are having a zone conference and Elder and Sister Renlund are going to be there. It should be really amazing to have an Apostle come and visit and instruct us. 

So I did learn another Scottish word this week while we were doing service at the garden right by our flat on Saturday. It's bowfing. Apparently bowfing means that you are smelly. We certainly were bowfing after service in the rain that day. 

Hope you guys have a great week!

Elder Calley

Thank you guys for the package! It was great!  I was really chuffed from all those letter. I loved all the candy especially the powerade and hichews. The candy here is not as good as back home. The French chocolate was really good as well!

 from the Mcgregor Family  

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Week 39: Well 9 months... It's gone by pretty fast

Oct 9, 2017

Hey guys!

This week has been rainy every day. Scotland must be taking all the rain next week. Haha. We met with John more this week. He is still taking small steps but progressing. We also went to the McGregor's last night. They are a very funny family. Brother McGregor is a diehard Rangers fan but his youngest son who is about five always says he likes Celtics whenever Brother McGregor mentions the Rangers. We did a lot of chapping the rest of the week. The ward here is nice, friendly, and willing to help us out where they can. 

So one thing I have been studying this week is charity. I came across a scripture this week in 1 Nephi 26:30-31 that I think really explains charity, "Behold, the Lord hath forbidden this thing; wherefore, the Lord God hath given a commandment that all men should have charity, which charity is love. And except they should have charity they were nothing. Wherefore, if they should have charity they would not suffer the laborer in Zion to perish. But the laborer in Zion shall labor for Zion; for if they labor for money they shall perish." I really like how if we have charity we understand why we are being serviceable. We shouldn't be doing service or showing love towards others because of the things that we will gain but for the sake of others. 

Here is a picture of Elder Orchard and I in typical Scottish weather. It's starting to get pretty dark in the evening. 

 So I have mainly seen men wearing a kilt in Glasgow in the city centre playing the bagpipes. They sell kilts for about £85 in the tourist shops but they are usually made out of cheaper material. The wool kilts are more around £600 (really expensive) and can be found in a kiltmaker shop. There are a few of those around Glasgow. 

So I do most of the cooking between the two of us. We buy food together and cook together. I think that is what most elders do. They have some good food here but a lot of the American sweets such as twizzlers they don't have over here. 

Wow, I can't believe Halloween is at the end of the month. They do celebrate halloween in Scotland but not as much back home. From what I've heard, only a few of the little kids go tricker treating and most people use it as an excuse to go to the pub. We have to be in our flat by 6pm on Halloween. 

Today we will probably just go to Glasgow for p-day. Usually we go to Glasgow but sometimes we do something with the other elders in our district in Airdrie. Wow, stake presidency is getting changed! President Foote has left some big shoes to fill. This next week for Cumbernauld is Stake Conference which is in Glasgow.

Well, sorry this email is short. I'll try to make the next one longer.  Hope you guys have a great week! Thank you for your emails. They make my p-day!

Love you guys a lot,

Elder Calley

Monday, October 2, 2017

Week 38: Well Transfers happened

Oct. 2, 2017
Sounds like you guys had an amazing trip in France. Thanks for the pictures. So transfers happened this weekend. I am still in Cumbernauld but Elder Bain swapped places with Elder Orchard in Livingston. Elder Orchard is from St. Louis has been out for three months. He just moved from Livingston to Cumbernauld this morning so I am sure that I will be able to get to know him a bit better as the transfer moves on. ( I'll make sure to send a picture next week)

Conference was awesome! We got John to come with us to see the first three sessions in Glasgow. Elder Uchtdorf's talk in the Saturday Morning Session was one of my favorites.  We didn't get to see the Sunday Afternoon Session yesterday due to the time difference and so I didn't know that Elder Hales died until I read your emails. That is sad to hear.

Well, John is doing good. He continues to meet with us and keeps thinking about baptism. He takes really good care of us here in Cumbernauld. He had us over for dinner quite a few times this week. He said his favorite speaker from conference was Elder David F. Evans who spoke a lot on building a personal testimony and how we can through things such as scripture study and prayer.

By the way, I'm not sure if I told you this but John used to be a Free Mason and told us where the masonic lodge is in Cumbernauld so we took pictures in front of it.

We also rode bikes to a loch last p-day in Airdrie with the other Elders in our district. 

Elder Baklan is on the left and Elder Bain is on the right

So the closest soccer stadium I know of is in Glasgow. I think that is where the Celtics and Rangers play. Hot cereal is a thing here in Scotland and Ireland but its called porridge over here and is not as popular as back home I think.

I love you guys. Hope you have a good week of recuperation.


Elder Calley

Week 37: Wow Paris . . .

Sep 25, 2017
Hey that's good to hear that the race in Paris was good. Sounds like a lot of travelling though. Have you gotten over the jet lag yet? Euros are a lot different than US dollars as well. I'm pretty sure that they have 1 Euro coins. Has Google translate been working out okay?

So, Cumbernauld has been going good. We met with John almost every day this week and visited with Gordon as well. John is taking small steps and still reads his scriptures and prays everyday. He takes really good care of us though. We saw both of them at church yesterday.

One of the things I have been studying this week is patience and how patience is an important attribute to learn. It's interesting how patience is an attribute that requires patience in order to learn. One scripture I really like that talks about patience is Mosiah 23:21 which says, "Nevertheless the Lord seeth fit to chasten his people; yea, he trieth their patience and their faith." Sometimes it is hard to be patient or we may not know why we have to be patient but it always works for our benefit when we are patient.

We have also been doing quite a bit of finding this week. We came across this one house that was really run down though.


I can't believe that General Conference is already this week. I am really looking forward to hearing from the Prophet and Apostles. Conference is always a good time to recharge spiritual batteries. Last Conference was fantastic so I'm sure this one will be as well.

That's interesting that breakfast is different in France. The food over here in Scotland is different as well. The milk tastes different over here. For breakfast, you can eat cereal, porridge, eggs, essentially anything you could back home. A traditional Scottish breakfast would consist of eggs, rashers (Scottish bacon which is thicker than it is back home), hashbrowns, beans, and ketchup. Almost every meal over here is served with some form of potatoes. Potatoes are like the staple for meals here.

There are a lot of people that smoke here as well. There are more people that smoke here than people who don't it seems like at times. No one really pays attention to the no smoking signs either.

We will generally pull out the cash because there is an international transaction with every payment of the card and it is easier to keep track of how much money you have then checking the ATM every time.

By the way today is a bank holiday so the library is closed and Elder Bain and I are taking turns emailing from the church so I hope that you guys enjoy France. Take some pictures of Normandy will you?

By the way here are is a picture of Elder Bain, me, and John.


I hope you enjoy your week in France!

Love you guys a lot,

Elder Calley