Thursday, December 26, 2013
So, my fate for the next 6 weeks (or something):
I'm moving one area over. I'll be in the same zone. But I'll be in Whitechapel, which basically covers half of central London. I'm going to be with Sister Hymas in a super posh flat that is meant for 4 sisters but currently just houses us. AND IM SISTER TRAINING LEADER AND IM SCARED OUT OF MY MIND. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I love Sister Hymas and she has been doing this for a transfer already, so I'm just gonna go with whatever she tells me to do. So my new ward is full of Africans, which I'm sure you can guess I'm extremely excited about.
OH and I'm STL over the Northampton zone, so I get to go back to Bedford for an exchange. WOOHOO! I'm really excited.
My Christmas has been so fun! I LOVED all the stuff you sent me for Christmas, now the question is how I'm gonna get it to my new flat.
For Christmas, we just watched a million movies as a district. Namely: Despicable Me 2 (I LOVED IT), Monsters University, The Muppets, Wreck it Ralph, The Sound of Music, and like half of Brave. I don't know how I did this all the time at home, because I feel like such a waster. We watched half the movies at the chapel, and a few at the Gants. I was talking to Sister Gant, and apparently her cousin is the girl that married Shawn Hilton, so .....small world.
We just got done with Sound of Music, and I'm glad to have introduced my district to a classic. I'm sad to be leaving, because I like London North, but I know I'm going to adore Whitechapel, and I'm so happy I get to stay in London, and I'm over the moon happy that I get to be with Sister Hymas. Apparently she's known for like a week and couldnt tell me, so that's funny. I don't know if you guys remember, but she is my roommate from the MTC. Thats my 4th companion from my MTC group.
So tomorrow morning, I'm going to my first MLC. I'm gonna make cookies for everyone there. I know, such a suck up.
Monday, December 16, 2013
Well shoot, I don't really have a lot to say about this week either. On Tuesday, Elder Dyches of the Seventy came and we had a zone conference with him. We had some excellent trainings, and I got to see Sister Jones, who I have been missing terribly! Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday were a whirlwind because we worked our butts off. It was wonderful, we got a whole lot done, and most of our teaching pool is progressing and on date. We are excited about it! The elders referred us to this lady named Christabel who is golden. She has a collection of Bibles. All different translations and editions and stuff. She wanted the Book of Mormon to add to it. She accepted a baptismal date of the 11th of January. She has 5 kids and a bunch of grandkids, so we are hoping to get her whole family on board as we continue teaching her.
So everything in the week was going great, and then Saturday happened. We had told the bishop's wife that we would help decorate for a bit for the ward Christmas party, and on Saturday morning we were at the chapel doing progress record when she called and said she had a family emergency and needed us to just do the whole thing. We were fine with that, it wasn't going to take too long. Then the lady in charge of all the food showed up with a car full of food that needed to be cooked in the dinky kitchen we have, and said her daughter just went into labor and left us with all the food. Great. So us 6 missionaries were in charge of the entire ward Christmas party. We were at the chapel from 10:30am to 9pm. Because we got left with clean up duty as well somehow. It was nuts. We were happy to serve the ward, though! The party turned out super fun, and we felt good about helping so much. Merry Christmas to us!
Today I am attending a funeral. The funeral of Sister King and Sister Belnap. For this funeral, we are playing a life sized game of Clue around London. Cool, huh? I think it is. Tomorrow we have our Christmas party, where we get our Christmas packages that we still can't open until next week. I'm excited to see them though!
Hope everyone has a great week, and a very merry Christmas. Don't forget the reason for the season! I love the Saviour, and especially getting to serve Him and represent Him at this special time of year.
(General side note: next week is moves, and we dont have pday until Thursday, so pardon the lack of a post or emails until then.)
Monday, December 9, 2013
And I've been singing all. flippin. week. Seriously, we barely got any work done because we were gone half the week.
Sorry in advance that this is going to be short, I have like 0 time.
So last week we had the performance on Monday that I talked about last time, then another on Friday in Watford, and another on Saturday in Ipswich. And then we recorded them all today (soundcloud.com/england-london-mission , check it out!) and I was put in charge of converting them and putting them up, and now I have like 5 seconds to email. So I apologize for no personalized responses this week.
Wednesday was our 8 month mark! Sister Diaz made tres leches for zone meeting the next day to celebrate, because Sister Hymas was also in our group. It was delicious.
We found a family this week, which makes me so happy because so far in my mission I have been pretty rubbish at finding families. They are so sweet! 4 kids- Julian is 11, Reese is 9, Aliyah is 7 and Mikell is 4. We found them by just stopping and inviting them to Primary on Sunday. They weren't able to come, but when we went over to teach them, their mom Nadena was so receptive and so prepared! I'm so excited to work with this family, and we are really trying to find more.
Ok so on Saturday we were getting a ride from the zone leaders in Ipswich and Elder Gonzalez from Spain was talking to me and I asked if he knows Mario. And he knows Mario from the reality show he was on, and I was like I KNOW HIM! He's my brother! So exciting haha. The world is a small place for Mormons.
So I'm just gonna let the pictures speak for themselves, sorry this week is so lame!
Monday, December 2, 2013
So last week after we emailed and had choir practice, us and the Whitechapel sisters went to Camden Town markets to look around and shop. It was really fun! Some lady was trying to sell us this hair removal thing and testing it on us and stuff, and while she was doing her sales pitch we started a gospel conversation and she requested a Book of Mormon. Love it when I make contacts while doing PDay fun stuff! And I ended up buying her product because it is like magic and it was only £10.
On Tuesday we had an exchange with the STLs. This time around I was in Hyde Park with Sister Portillo! She is from Bolivia, she served in Bedford w/ Sister Webster two transfers before me, and she is awesome! I love her to death. And I got to be in the visitors centre half of Tuesday, that was a new experience! She even left me to teach one visitor alone while she helped another one. Scary. There is definitely a reason I am not in the VC. While there, I saw one of my Christmas packages, so that was cool! Didn't get to open it though. But yeah, Sister Portillo and I had a lot of fun. We played basketball for exercise in the morning, and I was extremely happy about that.
One great thing I accomplished on my exchange is adding a whole lot of phrases to my collection of how to say Merry Christmas in a bunch of different languages. Whenever I meet someone that speaks a different language, I ask how to say it and have quite a list in the back of my planner. So far my favorite is "Afi shoppa" from Ghana. Probably not spelled like that.
Thursday we solicited the wards best cook, Sister Leavitt, to make us a Thanksgiving lunch for after district meeting. We usually eat lunch as a district after district meeting anyway, but this time we had a proper feast. It was so stinkin delicious. Probably not the best to stuff ourselves with right before going out for a full afternoon of proselyting haha. But good, nonetheless.
Friday we had a fireside in Ilford again. The entire chapel and overflow was full, definitely our best turn out ever. It went pretty smooth. Great fun! And we gave President the light up Christmas tie we bought him hahaha. It is quite frightening. We got it at Poundland, and its got a snowman that has eyes that light up red when you push the button as it plays a Christmas song in a really creepy off key way. So funny.
Sunday we went carrolling as a district to find new investigators. We sounded great! 4 part harmonies and everything. We didn't do it for too long, though because everyone kept trying to give us money and we had to tell them all "we aren't collecting!" England is weird sometimes.
Today we had another performance where we served food and sang for a bunch of senior citizens in Stratford. It was good fun! They seemed to really like it. Because of it, I didnt get much of a PDay, but I don't mind because I'm here to help not to have PDays. We did get to go to Shaftsbury Ave and look around a shop called Forbidden Planet, that was a nerds paradise right there. Look it up, it is nuts. I got a Harry Potter Oyester card holder, so I was happy.
Monday, November 25, 2013
Two great things to say:
I figured out how to do the cup song. Like, sing it and do the cup game at the same time. Blew my own mind.
and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I only forgot because they don't celebrate it here. I'm still going to eat like there's no tomorrow, though.
Don't know what that means? Just google it. Yeah, I'm learning pretty thuggin English slang.
So, general announcements first: My dearly beloved cousin Nikki whom I know reads this blog is the best human being on the planet. Thanks so much for your awesome card and the Scottish pounds! I really appreciate it! I would send you a thank you card but I don't feel like you get them when I send them and you mentioned moving, so I thought I'd wait until you are at your new residence. If you email me your new address, I would love to send you a Christmas card!
On to the good stuff: This was definitely not our best week. But not our worst. Last Monday after we emailed, we went to Oxford Street with Sister King and Sister Hymas (my MTC roomie, for those who dont remember, and one of my best friends in the mission). It was already all prettified for Christmas, which made it a whole lot more fun. They even put a big bubble around the fountain at Piccadilly Circus to make it look like a snow globe. Posh.
That evening we were walking to an appointment when I felt impressed to stop this guy walking past and before I could say much he said, "You guys are Mormons? So am I!" He explained his mom is on the stake primary presidency, but he's been inactive for a few years simply because he got out of the habit of living the gospel. It's definitely a habit you have to work to keep up, people! He is interested in being reactivated, so we are going to start teaching him. I know us stopping him was an answer to many prayers said by his mother, so it made me really happy.
On Tuesday we started teaching Sebastian, the reverse tracting guy, and set a baptismal date! He is a great investigator. So prepared, and understands the doctrine so well. He gets it. I love it when they get it.
The rest of the week was pretty standard. Definitely one of our slowest weeks, but it turned out decent. It has been really extremely cold, but dry mostly so its all good. Quite glad a splurged on boots a while ago.
There is this couple in our ward that have been gone for the past few months, and just got back and I love them! Guess where they met? Performing on a cruise ship! They are both performers and just extremely cool people. The wife, Jess, looks so so so familiar to me and when I told her that, she said the same about me and we can't figure out why for the life of us. So we decided we were premortal bestites. She got baptised fairly recently, and now their goal is to go to the temple, so we are starting to teach them temple prep.
Interviews with President were on Friday. They were excellent, as usual. And he made me go first, as usual. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but every time we have interviews, Sister Jordan makes the best brownies known to man. So that was definitely the highlight of my week.
We are finding and teaching a lot of Spanish people. I can't really say anything, but I understand the whole conversation when Sister Diaz is teaching them. I'm working on it. Hopefully I'll be able to at least bear my testimony soon.
This week we have a performance in Ilford, our first Christmas one. We are practicing today. And today pretty much all the sisters in London are going to Camden Town with us. Its gonna be a party! I'm quite excited. Hope you all have a great week, love you lots!
Monday, November 18, 2013
So I forgot to explain last week why I didn't email until Wednesday and why I was so busy on Tuesday. So a few weeks ago, our bishop's wife, Sister Toler, asked us if she could have us for one of our PDays to do like a whole spa/makeover day with us. We scheduled it for this week because we figured we wouldn't have choir practice, but we did. We had to skip though, because she already had all these appointments for us. So we were with her all day, and it was really fun! We got like a clothing consultation from a stylist, she took us to a salon and we got our hair done, she took us to a charity shop and bought us clothes, and she had her neighbour Shirley Ann come do our make up! It was really fun, and the best part is that every person she had involved was someone she wanted to refer us to for us to teach! It was a good day, but very busy.
This week has not been the best, but it has been decent. We have had more disappointments this week than most weeks, but we are picking ourselves back up. We found a lot of new people, so we are hoping something comes from each of those.
1. We were taking a cake and a card to the people that own the charity shop Sister Toler took us to, and to see if we could set an appointment with them. We delivered it and they didn't have any time and weren't super interested, so we walk out and are half way down the street when one of the employees comes running after us. She was like, "I didn't notice you guys are Mormons, but I am so interested in you guys!" So we have an appointment with her tonight.
2. We were at our flat for lunch yesterday after church, and we were just sitting around for a second and the doorbell rings. We figured it was the elders because they are the only ones who know where we live. Sister Diaz answers the door and its a guy going door to door registering people to vote or something, and as he is talking he asks about her name tag and we had a lesson with him on our doorstep. He is super interested! Reverse tracting! haha love it.
So advertising for Catching Fire is EVERYWHERE. At first it made me sad, but I would much rather be here. Although it looks like it is going to be SO GOOD. But as I've seen the adverts, I've quite liked the tag like "Remember who the enemy is". I think it can really apply in our lives spiritually. A lot of times we get mad at other people or God or the government or whatever because of adversity and trials. But we need to remember who the enemy is. Satan is the enemy, and he is pretty dang sneaky. If we remember that he is who we are really fighting, we can be more on guard for his tactics. And that's how I relate the gospel to the Hunger Games even when I'm on a mission.
This week should be a really good one, we have interviews with President Jordan on Friday! Today we are going to Oxford Street to go to the Disney store with Sister King and Sister Hymas, should be a party!
Wednesday, November 13, 2013
What a crazy week! Hence why I'm not emailing until WEDNESDAY. Goodness, I've been busy. So at our zone meeting on October 31st, they announced new standards of excellence for lessons taught: 12 member presents, 11 other lessons, and 7 recent converts/less actives lessons. We got 9 member presents the other week and that was crazy enough, so we were like whoa thats a big task. But guess what? 12 member presents, 11 other lessons, and 9 RCLAs! Woot woot! Our week was literally excellent! We finished off the transfer good. Thank goodness, because so far this week is not looking stellar. At least numbers wise. It really has been fine, we just haven't been able to count lots of the work we have been doing.
Tuesday was Guy Fawke's night, where everyone sets off fireworks either because a guy tried to blow up parliament, or because he didnt succeed. Not really sure which reason they celebrate. So instead of ping pong night (because only Nigel showed up), we went up to Alexandra Palace, which overlooks the whole city, and watched fireworks go off all across the city. It. Was. Brilliant. Note to future husband: that is where you should propose.
On Wednesday/Thursday we had an exchange with Sister Wuthrich! It was her last exchange of her mission, we were honored. But also very sad. She is such a rock star, I always learn so much from her. I love her dearly, I'm gonna miss her! And her wonderful voice in choir. We had a lot of fun on our exchange though. She has more fun pictures of it than I do, hopefully I'll get those at some point.
The rest of our week was pretty standard, except we had a lot more member involvement which was wonderful. So much more fun bringing the members to lessons. And Nigel is always willing to teach with us, so its good to be able to strengthen his testimony as well.
On Monday something sad happened. Our investigator William, who is supposed to be getting baptised this Sunday, called and said he had a dream in which God told him not to worship with us and he never wants to see us again. He said it in a nice way, but it was still really sad! He was really cool, and all our lessons with him have been so filled with the Spirit. It is always a shame when that happens. But we are ready to start this transfer fresh and find people that are prepared and willing to follow the Saviour!
Two funny stories:
1. The other night we were on the bus and this Rasta looking guy comes and sits next to us, so we start talking to him because he was eyeballing our Book of Mormon. He started telling us about some plant called Moringa and how it is the tree of life and does all these diffferent things and I swear it was like on Forrest Gump where Bubba is listing all the uses of shrimp, he went on for 15 minutes about moringa. I had no idea what it was, but I guess Sister Diaz did, so when he got off the bus I was like "Its a drug,. isnt it?" Its not, but the story would have been funnier if it was.
2. Last week I sat next to a lady on the bus and we started talking and having a really good conversation and she seemed really interested. Five minutes later I find out she is a Jehovah's Witness and for the next 45 minutes I was preached to. She was really nice and we shared some good ideas, but there are some things we just did not come to an agreement on. We prayed together though, and that was nice. I like making friends! The whole situation was kind of funny to me though.
Monday, November 4, 2013
I'm 7 months old today! The time is going way too quickly. I really don't like how fast it goes. Still crossing my fingers that they will announce that sisters can serve for 2 years. This week has been a great one, full of miracles. Let me tell you about two.
On Thursday night, we were on the bus on our way home from English class at the chapel. The elders got off a few stops before us where they live, and a couple came back and sat by us. We commented on their costumes and started talking with them, and the guy is like, "She's a member of your church, you know" and she says " I used to be ". So we discover that she got baptised but stopped going because she was the only member in her family and the church was too family oriented to go at alone, from her perspective. But this guy is her fiancé and she wanted to take him to a testimony meeting and stuff and we had a nice little lesson with them on the bus and it was way cool! They didn't end up coming to church but we are still hoping to teach them.
Second miracle: We were out walking somewhere we needed to go and street contacting along the way, and we got to this street we needed to cross and there was a guy on the other side about to cross our way, but I rushed across the road and caught him before he started into the street and we talked to him and set an appointment. We took Nigel, our recent convert, to the lesson and it was amazing! This guy was so prepared. He said he had been approached by so many religious people before and had ignored them, but when we stopped him we were kind of the straw that broke the camels back. He knew it was God trying to tell him something. And he has been wanting to increase his relationship with God for a while now. People: God knows His children!!! Never forget that. He knows each one of you individually and personally and wants to help you with what you want and need! This guy is named William. He came to church yesterday and accepted the Sunday school teacher's challenge to read the Book of Mormon in 30 days. Solid.
So on Thursday it was Halloween. And Nevada Day. And Sister Belnap's birthday. We had zone meeting, thank goodness, and so we turned it into a big ol' party! After the meeting, Sister Diaz and I did a lunch for the sisters in our zone because it was also Sister Steele's birthday this week. It was really a lot of fun! There have been fireworks all weekend for Guy Fawkes day this week, so that has also been pretty fun.
Just a quick announcement, not that anyone will, but if you would like to send me a package for Christmas, it needs to be addressed to the mission office and say Christmas somewhere on it, because if I open a Christmas present before I'm supposed to, the wrath of Sister Jordan will be incurred. Ok, that's about all I've go for you all. Have a wonderful week! Oh, and don't forget next week is my transfers week so I won't be emailing until Tuesday!
Monday, October 28, 2013
So this week was excellent! We got a whole lot done and finished off the week with a double baptism! So Curtis, a great guy I met by a bus stop about a month or so ago, and Nigel, a guy we met on the bus the Friday before general conference. It was a really great service, and the members brought a whole buffet of refreshments! It was so crazy awesome! I am still having trouble believing it. I can't take any credit for it, I know the Lord took care of the whole thing. I just showed up and talked and God made it happen. Their whole teaching process was way too fast and miraculous to think that I had anything to do with their decision to be baptised. I just feel really blessed that Heavenly Father allowed me to be His hands in this whole experience. I love being a missionary!
The other highlight of the week was zone conference. It was kind of a split themed one, the first half theme was the Great Apostasy and the second half was Hastening the Work of Salvation (basically working with members). We had great trainings from President and Sister Jordan and the APs.
So, story of the week: After zone conference we got on the tube and two girls in their 20s sat on my right and were talking about random stuff, and the girl right next to me made a comment to her friend about how great the Book of Mormon play was. She didn't see me or my Book of Mormon sitting on my lap. After about 5 minutes, the guy across the aisle looked at us and was like "Are you guys cast members?" and I said, "Nope we're the real deal." At which point the girl next to me looked over and she was like "Oh my gosh, I didn't even notice you there!" And we had a nice chat about how she saw the play and got on the website and asked for a Book of Mormon but when the elders called her she didnt want them to visit her, so she never got one. At this point I say, "Your wish is my command." And pull one out of my bag and we talked a little more about what it is and what we do as missionaries and stuff. It was a really good conversation, and hopefully she has a spiritual experience as she reads the Book of Mormon!
Monday, October 21, 2013
I have felt like death this week. Being sick is no fun, but I guess it is to be expected when you live in a city that is literally a breeding ground of germs. It's dirty, but I love it. I'm on the mend though, probably something to do with the three hour nap I took yesterday. Yikes. I feel like such a waster. But I need to get better so it doesn't get worse.
This week has been good in the fact that we have been able to work a lot with the members and have a lot of member present lessons with our two wonderful guys getting baptised, Nigel and Curtis. They are both getting baptised on Sunday! Curtis was found about a month and a half ago. We were waiting for a bus at a bus stop and he was the only one I could see around, so I went up to stop him and we had a really long, in depth conversation where I pretty much taught him all the lessons in one condensed version. He is having crazy challenges in his life, we met him at just the right time. I found Nigel on the bus the Friday of General Conference. He has just jumped right into the gospel. When we taught WoW, he was in the habit of using 4 of the 5 things that we shouldn't, and he just quit cold turkey, right there. He is doing so good and trying so hard to keep the commandments. The smile on his face when we talk about the gospel is just the best thing every to see. I'm so excited to get these two baptised because it is such a great turning point in both of their lives and will bring a lot of light to the trials they are both facing at the moment. AND they will be the first people I've baptised that I actually found. I'm so excited!
This weekend was stake conference, so I was in Hyde Park a lot again. It was a really good conference! Saturday was completely about hastening the work of salvation and I LOVED IT! Gosh I love missionary work, and I'm so excited for the members to get more involved and feel the blessings that I feel from sharing the gospel. I know if all the members of the church would do the simple things the First Presidency is trying to implement, the gospel would spread like wildfire! The secret recipe is faith and works! Can't forget faith, but if you don't work, nothing will happen. Theme of my mission, basically.
We got fed a lot this week by the lovely members of the London North ward. Love dinner appointments. The best was going to the Leavitts (yes, there is a Leavitt family here too. I just can't escape them) and Sister Leavitt making delicious roast beef and home made rolls and mashed potatoes and it was delightfully American. I'm afraid I'm probably gaining a lot of weight now that I'm not on bikes anymore. We take the bus most places. It isn't good for me haha.
So we teach an English class every Thursday night, and this Thursday we actually had a really good turn out! I'm hoping it grows more and more because it is a wonderful opportunity to find people to teach, and especially for our members that are from other countries to bring in their friends and let them feel the Spirit at the chapel.
That's about all I've got for this week. I'm really working on being better at remembering good stories to tell when I sit down to email so that these are more interesting to read. Be patient with me.
Stay classy, San Diego. (P.S. I'm seeing posters for Anchorman 2 and boy that makes me sad.)
This is son #5, Elder Nolan, on the bus. Earlier in the day he found this crappy old chair with a sign that says "Please take me" and so he did. He carried it around all day, and used it as an extra seat when all other seats were taken on the bus.
Some pretty footpath on the way to a dinner appointment. Sister Diaz dubbed it the Secret Garden Footpath.
Monday, October 14, 2013
This week has been a super good one! There is a family that lives up the street that we are teaching that we put on date for November 10th this week! They are not married, though, and convincing them to get that done soon is the hardest part. When we extended the date, I asked Kelly, the mom, how she felt and she just had this solemn look on her face and said, "I feel like I'm on a rocket ship." hahaha I loved it. Pray for them please. They are great though and I really love teaching them. Gart is from Jamaica, and Kelly is his partner. They have two sons, Tirell and Tyvell, and they had a daughter named Kailey like 5 days before our first lesson. They are great and love us coming around, but getting them to keep commitments is hard.
A few weeks ago in zone meeting, our zone made a goal of 22 baptisms in the month of October. That is like the biggest goal of an individual zone ever set for our mission. Every companionship has a goal of 2 baptisms. We literally pray for this to happen in every single prayer we offer, personal or companionship. I'm happy to say we have worked our butts off and prayed really hard, and we now have two investigators on date for October 27th. One of them is named Nigel, he is English and I met him on a bus. We talked briefly and set an appointment, and at the appointment I asked why he decided to meet with us and he said he had recently decided to find faith again and had been praying for direction and thats when he met us. Miracle! Our other on date is Curtis, he is English with Barbados roots. He is very intelligent, and he was going to be a Catholic priest back in the day but decided not to. He loves coming to church, he likes the atmosphere there more than any other church he has been to. He will be a solid member once he is baptised. Please keep these two in your prayers to stay on date, we really want to make this happen. It is a goal we made prayerfully and we know God has opened up the way for it to happen, now it is up to us and Him to help them stay on date.
This week I had an exchange with Sister Belnap again. This is like our third exchange together. I just love her so much! We get along great, and I learn a whole lot from her. She is an excellent missionary. She goes home in December and I'm going to be sooooo sad. Anyway, we had a grand old time. Sister Diaz and I are also having a blast. I'm reading all the leaflets in Spanish and trying to construct sentences. I can understand when people talk, but I can't talk back, so that's what I'm working on.
I forgot to mention how much I loved conference, but I did. Did you notice Elder Ballard mentioned us? Kind of, in a roundabout way. It was great. That's about all I've got this week. We started practicing Christmas music this week and I'm so pumped. Have a great week!