Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Number 8 Aug 26 2014

Finally Caught up…

Well its been a cracker of a week, so busy that its actually insane.
We are moving house right now which has cut into a lot of our proselyting time, massive bummer. But wait! There is an up side, the Lord definitely blessed us in the little time that we did have out and about. We met quite a few new potential investigators and set up a lot of appointments for our week this week which is a super busy one too.
So my new born son, Elder Barton is quite the character, from guess where.... SALT LAKE CITY! Classic. Now when people ask if we are from salt lake we can no longer surprise them by being australian and german. But so far it hasnt hindered us at all. He is settling in really well, especially considering that Utah and Scotland are about as polar opposite as you can get.
We taught our Bulgarian friend Konstantin who seemed rather fascinated by the fact that he could oneday be a God, just a heads up, probably not something to bring up with a nonmember when they dont know a whole lot about church doctrine. But he just has so many weird questions, its a learning experience for sure. Its funny how you make lesson plans that never seem to work how you want them too, but i am convinced if we didnt make them we would be the most horrible teachers ever. That obedience business, its actually crazy how true it is.
Speaking of obedience we listened to a fantastic mtc devotional from elder holland about the mission call being forever. quality stuff, and he said "I hate talking about obedience, but seeing as obedience is the first law of EVERYTHING, being obedient is about as eternal as anything I could ever say to you." Even God is obedient, ponder that for a while, I promise it will be satisfying.
Becoming a trainer has offered heaps of opportunity to grow. Its amazing how quickly you learn to swim when you are tossed in with a 20ft wave. HAHA I know that sounds funny but its an eternal truth, God stretches us, makes us trust him more. This week made me think, "WOOWWW, God really knows what he is doing."
That he does my dearly loved ones.
The Fight Goes On, Lets all get involved.

ELder Tang

Number 7 Aug 11 2014

Ahhhhhh Hello Dear Friends and family.

The Winds of Change have gusted through the Stranraer area. Moves call came last night with some exciting news. I finished the first 12 weeks (greeny training program) and I have now been called to train a brand new missionary. I have no idea who, because the group gets here on wednesday and then President Brown will decide who is with who. But Its super exciting and nerve racking and scary all at once. My companion Elder Neideck is off to Edinburgh to the Dalkeith ward to be a District Leader. After an unbelievably short 3 months I am into the senior companion seat, didnt expect that. Most trainers have been out about a year, or between 6 months and a year. I had to double check with President Brown to make sure he knew who he was talking to and didnt have the wrong missionary on the phone haha. 

We have had an amazing week this week of teaching and finding. Not baptizing yet but we will definitely get there, and if things keep going the way they are it wont take too long. The Lord is working miracles here in Stranraer. This week we also found a new friend, his name is Moroni, he is a 1.5 week old garden snail. He was hanging out on my jacket on a rainy day, no idea how he got there, but he couldnt have been more than 1 day old at the time, his shell wasnt even colored yet. So we put some dirt and a plant in a measuring jug and now he just stays on our windowsill and sleeps all day. For those of you who know the missionary handbook where it says dont keep pets, I asked my District Leader who said its probably fine because we dont need to feed him, he just eats the plant, so i guess we just keep a plant and he just happens to live on it. Also I guess that means I lied about the no baptisms thing because we baptized our snail... if that counts. It was pretty funny, in a cup. He nearly drowned, lucky he made it. He is getting pretty big now though. Doubled in size in a week. Ok, enough about the snail. 

The work of Salvation is making leaps and bounds forward here in Stranraer, I hope you are all well and that you are eagerly engaged in sharing the Gospel with those around you. Prayer helps a lot. 

Until Next time my dear friends, 

Holiness to The Lord. 

Elder Tang

Number 6 Aug 4 2014

Such a beautiful Country..

Well this are becoming more and more of a rarity... 

Welcome to Elder Tangs week in Stranraer Scotland. And what a week it has been. Sorry for those who think I have neglected them, apparently though i spend way too much time writing personal emails and not enough time doing these big ones. But needless to say i found about 10 minutes today. haha

This week was crazy, so busy. We taught 8 investigator and less active lessons which is almost double what we normally do. And we have been running around, appointments dodged, books placed, names taken, conversations, pamphlets, cards, trying but not succeeding in getting referrals haha. Safe to say its been a big week. 

Story of the week. Lady named Grace in our ward, been battling cancer for years. Beat it a couple of times, although i dont know if you say she beat it if it comes back. Anyways its back, and in her tongue of all places. So today she is in sugery getting the tumor removed. (im not sure if you call it a tumor, good thing im not going into medicine) And she is so faithful its crazy. Asked her how she was, she said im ok, the Lord wont give me anything I cant handle. Elder Neideck and I were just stunned. We have no idea how a little old lady (dont mention i said old) could be so brave. But she is! Its Wild! 

Other than that, Elder Neideck and I found a sweet EFY version of Praise to the Man, with the Bagpipes and everything. For those of you who may not know, praise to the man is sung to the tune scotland the brave, classic folk song. So we have been driving around stranraer and have listened to it maybe 50 times. You cant listen to it and not know that Joseph was a Prophet, crazy stuff. And sister McGilvary (who i could possibly be related to) said she would get me a chanter, which is the pipe that you play the notes on from the bagpipe that i can take around with me and learn. which would be cool because maybe then i could learn the pipes when i get home. Thatd be an experience. And it would be sweet to sit around in a kilt and play. maybe not in public though. 

Well I love you all and hope you are well. Sorry if i hadnt replied to any mail. i tried really hard to get to everyone. but just know that i love you all. 

Youre all the man. 

Elder Tang

Number 5 July 14 2014 Missionary Selfies

Missionary Selfies on a swing!

Not a newsletter, but a letter to his Mum worth reading. He might not write to everyone every week, but he does write his Mother every week. What a Good Lad.

My Dearest Mother. This week went really fast. But we didnt really have any lessons with investigators so that was a little disappointing. But I have a story. So we are moving flats soon because our flat is really nasty, and we have been looking for a new flat. Remember that for later. And we have a talk in the car from Elder Holland where he talks about his "standard speech for missionaries" where he says its always hard. Its always the last 5 minutes of the day, its always the last house, its always raining. Inspirational talk. Anyways so we were tracting in the pouring rain (atleast my upperbody was dry cause of my new jacket that I got... I figured out that jackets without hoods are useless in scotloand) and we had knocked the whole street with no success. We had only about 4 doors left, and we only had 10 minutes until we needed to go back to the flat for language study (not curfew) It was about 7:50. And so we went to knock these last few houses, and the LAST HOUSE, rain started coming down even heavier, and a man opened the door. Spoke to us for about 2 minutes, then invited us in to sit with him and his wife. That has never happened to me, we have never been invited in off the doorstep. So we went in and started talking. Doing the how to begin teaching points from Preach my Gospel, more like a conversation than a lesson. And at the end, Campell (the mans name) said to us, "well, i wouldnt say that you have converted me, but you sure are some great young guys" (or something like that) and then we asked if we could return to give them a copy of the Book of Mormon to read, and they said definitely yes. That was really cool. And then just in talking they mentioned that they have a friend who is trying to find someone to rent a flat he owns in town. And he gave us the number for the man! The blessings in that hour that we were there were crazy. 

So thats the story. 7 weeks in the field now. And I am over the halfway point with my training, which means that soon I will be a normal missionary. That has gone so fast. Its actually crazy how fast it all goes. Its good to see the pics of the little mates. I hope they are doing well. Thats so interesting that my baby blessing said that I would have the patience of Job, because I really think that patience is something I have really grown in over the last year. Like a lot. I have been able to be patient and push through things I never could have. Not just in the mission field either, but when I was living in Australia. I wish I had a copy of my baby blessing, that would be cool to read. Tell me anything else you remember about it please. Its really crazy how I have felt my faith growing a lot lately. Thats a really important thing, without faith your ability to endure will crumble (President Eyring said that, see Mountains to Climb) Great talk. I have some more good scriptures for you to read mum. Check out D&C 31. Its a short one. But it gives me a lot of comfort while I am out here, especially when things with the boys dont always go too well. 

I love you mum, I know the Lord is looking after you and me. And the whole family. Righteousness is the key to happiness. And the Lord knows your feelings better than you know them yourself. 


Elder Tang.

heres a photo of us on some swings. (I promise we actuaslly do work hard) 

Number 4 July 7

First off, sorry I probably am missing some people on this. But Im sure they will survive. 

Newsletter for this week. 

So the last few weeks we have seen some more progress in the right direction. We finally got our investigator Bridget to church. Massive step for her and for me. Its my first investigator at church. Cool stuff right? Stranraer is a really small place and I am starting to learn every ones faces... Thats not so good hahha. I hope we dont run out of people rto talk to. That would make things tough. 

Loving the Mission life. We had moves call and Elder Neideck and I are staying together for another 6 weeks. Which is awesome! But not too surprising because im still on the rookie first 12 week program and they probably wouldnt move me from my trainer before my training is done. So looking at another 6 weeks in the beautiful Stranraer, not bad eh? 

We fixed Daves printer this week (which means we plugged it in and turned it on [he is the husband of a lady in our branch, not a member]) and he was really grateful. Then we read the Book of Mormon with him, 1 Nephi 4 and 5. He enjoyed it. Then he said the prayer! He has never prayed with missionaries before and they have been going over for like a whole year. He is starting to come round, slowly. But hey, the tortoise won the race didnt he? 

Elder Neideck and I decided that we really wanted to know what it would be like if we were celestial beings. And I had a wonderful idea, and Ill attach a picture. So if you see us like that after we die, you will know whats going on. (special note- no proselyting time was wasted in this photography experiment) haha just in case you think im apostate... im not. 

I love you all dearly and hope life is treating you all lovely. 
Take care.


Elder Tang.     

Number 3 June 9 2014

Hello from Beautiful Stranraer Scotland!

Its Elder Tang!

This week I had an interview with President Brown for zone interview training and I got to see the AP's and the zone leaders. Why do I have such awesome leaders in my mission? I dont know, but I do. We had a big talk about the importance of planners and they told me mine was good, so I saved a lot of sweat that day. 
Elder Neideck and I are out and about spreading the gospel and trying to find people to teach. The numbers say its not working but we are feeling inspired and awesome. The days are long but its so worth it. We spoke to a guy named Robert who said he had no belief in God, but he seemed really intrigued as to why there were two smiling young men in suits talking to him about it. He was cutting his neighbors grass and we offered to help him with his yard sometime, he was shocked and said yes. We have an appointment with him on sunday and we left him with a Book of Mormon. I think that was the last thing he expected us to do. I am so greatful for the example of the Saviour in serving those around us. Its such a blessing to be able to serve and love the people. Even when it is hard sometimes. What a marvelous work and a wonder. 
Also Elder Neideck is teaching me German and I have started reading the Book of Mormon in German. One of the great advantages to being a missionary is free church supplies haha. Still eating wraps almost everyday, but this week we bought some stuff for tikki masala (dont know how to spell that one) Hopefully it works out. Mum makes a good one but I dont know if I ever watched close enough to inherit the skill. And Sister Mclaen gave us YORKSHIRE PUDDINGS!!! Not as good as Aunty Eileens but they were up there. My goodness. 

Until next week. The Gospel is true. And if any of you forget I might have to chase you into the ocean... 

Elder Tang

Newsletter 1. He's not the strongest writer in the world

Looks and acts like a local already..

Hello all, 

I have found myself with not much time left for my newsletter. Sorry.
The work is great, doing so much finding because we are really struggling to find people to teach. Its really good practise though because you will never be perfect at finding. 
Sister McLaen and Brother Mclaen (members in the branch) are feeding us like 3 times a week. Im sure you can all imagine that I am loving that. 

Next week I will try to manage more time for this. 

I love you all. This work is great. 

Elder Tang

On Mon, May 26, 2014 at 12:25 PM, Nathanael Tang <nathanael.tang@myldsmail.net> wrote:
Hello you four people whos emails i have. First up i love you guys, please send this to other people who love me a little bit, but not enough to email me. I understand they are busy. But i can raise my eyebrows cheekily and say i am busier than they are... Slackers. 
Jokes haha love them all. But for reals, so lonesome on a monday with like 4 emails. Not really... But really. 

Ok so hopefully you will actually understand this part of the email. 

I have been assigned to serve in the stranraer branch. Its and itty bitty little town on the south east coast of scotland. Try and find it on a map, i dare you. 
My companion is from germany, his name is elder neideck, he has a massive crush on danya (for those of you reading this who know her), i showed him photos of my friends and now he reminds me to get her email for him every single night... Hahaha he is a funny guy. Fun to work with. 
Together we make the dynamic duo taking on the most difficult people in the british isles. Literally. 

Our flat is about as old as elder packer haha but atleast it has hot water in abundance (sorry for anyone in the phillipines, not that you need hot water there) our fridge defrosted this week and flooded the kitchen, had to get every towel in the flat to mop it up, and then it just started working again... As the scottish say, i dunni can. (I dont know) 

We met all the members this week (about 16 of them) and its the smallest branch i have ever been to. Quite the experience. 
Tracting in the freezing rain has been the highlight of my finding experience. Fully getting into the scottish environment. 

Hahaha now a little more serious. 

There is a lot of work to be done here in stranraer. I am not sure how the lord can entrust so much to a boy so young with so little knowledge. But as history shows i guess thats his style. At night i find myself praying more earnestly than ever before for the people of this area. They do not know or want to know what God has for them. It can often make me sad. But God has given them to choose, and they will make their choice as i have made mine. I will serve my maker. 
I feel like alma when he said of my own strength i do not boast. But of my God i boast. 
He has power to save and he has prepared this area for the gospel, how can we let such negativity discourage us when we have God behind us who will never fail or forsake us? We can not. 

All power is his, without him I am nothing, and with him i rejoice. 

Love Elder Tang. 

The Start May 2014

Elder Tang with Elder Neideck 

Stirling, Scotland, 1898, David O. McKay: “I was homesick and a little discouraged on this day. As we were coming back into town, I saw an unfinished dwelling, over the front door of which was a stone on which there was a carving. That was most unusual, so I said to Elder Johnston, ‘I’m going to see what that is.’ I was half way up the graveled walk when there came to my eyesight a strik-ing motto as follows, carved in stone: “ ‘Whate’er Thou Art, Act Well Thy Part.’ I said to myself, or the Spirit within me, you are here as a representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. That afternoon, I accepted the message given to me on that stone, and from that moment we tried to do our part as missionaries in Scotland” 

President and Sister Brown..

Edinburgh Scotland

In 1840 Elder Orson Pratt, an LDS Apostle, climbed to the top of Arthur's Seat. There he dedicated the country of Scot-land for the preaching of the gospel. Today your missionary climbed the hill and dedicated themselves to the preaching of the gospel in this great land.