October 27th Letter from Iowa City

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Ian has been dealing with anxiety for about a month. He is fine letting everyone know as he says it helps when people see these issues as a medical condition that needs to be fixed so he can heal.  He has just started getting help but has still not seen a doctor. I’m hopeful he gets in this week.  He wants to serve others and to  be his best so let’s hope he is on the mend soon. Lastly, Ian has dealt with anxiety on and off since he was ten years old but found healthy ways to cope with exercise, music and art.  He has been frustrated with himself that the issues have returned but is starting to understand that it’s not his fault.  Thanks for all your thought and prayers on his behalf. Here are excerpts from his most recent letter.  ~Susan 

Dear Mum,

Your trip to Disneyland  looks like a hoot in a half.

It was good to see Sister Black ( a mission counselor)  but things are not getting better. I am trying to be as busy as possible, mostly just to keep my mind distracted but it is not solving anything. This week was mostly just getting to know my situation but next week will be more how to treat the situation. She subscribed mandatory running for 20 minutes every morning regardless, and also to read this talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/1974/10/do-not-despair?lang=eng(

Sister Black said too often, people just say to read and pray and do service or “use the atonement” and all your problems go away, but it isn’t that simple, so I am hoping these prophetic words will help. To answer some of your questions…

We have a good number of investigators: the sweet old black lady is too mentally and temporally stressed to progress at this time. The young theologian we set a date with but his heart is not soft yet or comfortable with the idea.  The other cool Christian guy has been in Colorado enjoying the mountains and nature( that lucky duck).

I think I am doing good with being busy and have been working my hardest to keep my mind busy but at the end of the day, I’m still having difficulty. The other day, I  went to the pioneer handcart park, a hallowed place that is by a meadow and a creek, where the deer eat grass from your hand. The spirit is very strong there and it was good for my soul to be reminded of what is important.

We do not get fed to often, about 2 times a week is average. We eat out a lot, mostly with the Spanish elders so I can spend time with Elder Jackson who is a good friend. A homeless man forced us to buy food for him and he took advantage of us big time. It was one of those experiences that makes it hard to be charitable because we left not feeling edified but used. Well, at least we tried.

Here’s a funny story: a guy got a selfie with my companion because he was so excited to see a real life”Mormon missionary” because he loved the Book of Mormon musical. It was like he was posing with a Disney character.

Also, a Strangite came to church, who we are now studying with. He is a good guy who was first Jewish, then came to knowledge that the Book of Mormon was true but found the Strangites (somewhat of a sect of the church that had some Jewish customs like Sabbath on Saturday). There is only a few congregations in Wisconsin, so he decided to come to the true church for his spirituality supplement. Essentially they believe many of the same things. Strangites are an interesting subject for sure.

That’s all for the week. I am still hanging in there. Thank you so much for your prayers and love,

Elder Scott

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Ian’s latest letter- 20 October, 2014

Here is Ian’s most recent letter sent to me. We sent him short videos in his email letter this time. Why have I never thought of that before?  The first part of the letter is about the videos and photos I sent of our newly painting and arranged living room. He’s had a bit of a struggle lately, but sometimes that how life is, even for missionaries. The good thing is, he’s growing and becoming closer to Christ through it all. 
Dear Mum,
I loved the videos and though you thought they were pathetic, it doesn’t matter when I get to see Jet and to know he is still alive and happy, to see you and Dad and just hear your voice and see your face is such a blessing. It influences me to be better. You have no idea how thankful I am for those videos. Hearing Erik call me  “champ” ,”pal”, that has to be the best compliment Erik has ever given me!  You can tell him he is a real “buster”,  and a ” root’s toot’in buckaroo times two” Thanks again, I showed some of the missionaries and they say he is just like me.
 
I like what you did with the  living room. It looks good minus my ugly paintings.  I think I need to paint over the big one or just put something new in as  it looks like  modern color throw up. I’m a traditionalist and impressionist now so cubism is so not in style. Enough of this art rant.
 
The blog is not completely  accurate to how I spend my day, as there are not good days as well. We try to have good days. This week has been busy,  Sometimes my companion gets a little carried away with obedience and working hard and what that really implies. This week he wouldn’t  go the long way though the park so we I could see some beautiful oaks that have turned orange, but I let that go. Eventually, I told him how it was when he did not let me get a drink of water because we had so much to do. I did not get angry, I just used it as a teaching opportunity to express my thoughts. I have become very open with him and our relationship has been getting better because of it.
 
This week I read a good article in this month’s  Ensign  called, “Upon the Waters”, about a man who compared  anxiety to the barges in Ether that would get buried  by the waves.  The Jaredites would be delivered and then buried by the waves again, but it was all for the purpose of moving forward to a place where God wanted them to be.  I am trusting that that is what is going on and I am getting to where I need to be through Heavenly Father’s help. I pray to get though the day and I do, not knowing what we are going to do. Then, people who need help come in to my mind. I have been able to better relate to people with similar challenges, although I cannot provide an answer, I  can make them feel like they are not being judged or misunderstood, and I guess that really is the answer to our problems anyways.
I love you,
Elder Scott
On his last prep day, he went on a run and met up with a deer…..

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It’s about time

I’ve been meaning to get a missionary letter blog up and running for months for my son, Ian but failed to find the time. With my son, Erik getting ready to serve  a mission to Sweden in November, a blog seemed the easiest way to keep two missionaries and their letters updated for family and friends. I will be posting their letters home on this blog once a week, so expect Ian’s next Monday.

To begin this whole blog experience, here’s a brief look at Ian and Erik to get a glimpse of  their personality and interests. Of course, this is from a mom’s perspective.

Elder Ian Blackhall Scott

10479046_10152302685937737_4034914915456637571_nIan is very much a type A personality who always  works hard at all he does. He loves the outdoors and being in them to hike, backpack, ski, run, mountain bike, white water raft, kayak and swim. He also is blessed with talent in music ( plays the trumpet, french horn, piano, guitar, ukele and just picked up the Irish whistle) and art. He plans to pursue a career in art, and with his drive, ability and hard work ethic, he has the ability to succeed. Ian is also super funny, witty and creative and adventurous.

Ian has been serving a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints since July 3, 2013. He serves in the Des Moines, Iowa mission. He has served in the towns of Grimes, Cedar Rapids, Mason City and is currently in Iowa City.

His typical day starts with waking up at 6 am, followed by exercising, personal scripture study, gospel study with his companion and possibly time for a bit of art. After 10 am, he and his and his companion tend to do quite a bit of service, be it helping people move, doing yard work or a construction project for a family.  During the day, they hopefully have a few people to  meet with to teach gospel discussions, followed by dinner at an LDS member’s home. In the evening, they may have more investigators  or inactive members to meet with.  Currently, Ian is on a biking route, which he loves, which means they get around only on a bike. This is a typical day Tuesday-Saturday with possibly other activities thrown in. Sundays are spent going to church services, in meetings and either eating dinner with LDS members or investigators. Monday is his day off, when he can use email to write home and chat online with me for about an hour. He does laundry, shops, goes on hikes or mountain bikes with other missionaries, visits museums, plays the piano and hangs out with other missionaries.  Ian loves being a missionary and is learning and growing so much as a follower of Christ through difficult and enjoyable experiences.

Erik Anderson Scott

1264555_10151792569262737_949275237_oErik is 23 months younger than Ian and the youngest in our family, which makes him a natural entertainer. Erik loves adventure with less safety precautions than his brother, so enjoys cliff jumping from crazy heights. He also loves to ski, backpack, hike, kayak, takes photos as well as play soccer.  Erik is an avid  learner and reader with a love especially for Harry Potter. His has loved history since he could read and most especially European history. Shakespeare and classical theatre are not only his hobbies but interests he hopes to pursue as a career.  Erik loves music and plays the guitar and ukulele.   Erik  is a total extrovert who loves to make people laugh and find ways to help people, so people are pretty much his favourite thing and learning about what makes them tick.

Erik will be serving an LDS mission for two years in the Stockholm, Sweden Mission, which covers all of Sweden. Erik has had a life long interest in Vikings and Scandanavia, so he is super enthused to go to Sweden. Erik is nearly half Norwegian with a touch of Swedish (the rest is mainly Scottish/English ancestry) so going to Sweden is even more exciting for him and our family.  Erik leaves for missionary and language training on November 19th.