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!

Nigel and Curtis at their baptism yesterday. Love these guys!

Just out and about.

Don't worry, someone just left a bathtub on the side of the road.

The Watford and London North zones at zone conference. Note the gold plates on President's lap. They are really really heavy.

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 heading down to the basement of the Hyde Park chapel. For some reason, everyone likes to laugh at me when I pass this sign.
President and Sister Jordan have a bowl of scrabble tiles on their table, and I was bored waiting for the elders to practice their song.
The fire station in Finchley. It's like the first one I've seen here.
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

14 October 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!

Me and Sister Belnap. Pretend this is in our flat 2 days ago when we had an exchange (but really it was like 30 seconds ago haha). She is seriously the coolest. Love her.

Don't know what this is but it looked cool

Self explanatory

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

So this was at the sisters day. We were doing weird stuff.

Family reunion! Awkward family photo.

Gelato for our 6 month!

An empty train. This never happens.

Sister Ovcharenko and I. This pose is mandatory for every companion.

This is how I flag down the buses.

The Sister J pose with Sister Ovcharenko. Mandatory for every companion.

8 October 2013

Friday was my 6 month mark!!! AAAAHHHHH I don't like thinking about how fast time flies on the mission. I want to stay here doing this forever! It is honestly the best thing ever. I'm glad I still have a whole year left, but the fact that the last 6 months went as fast as they did scares me. Sister Diaz and I celebrated our 6 month with gelato! 

So this week was crazy busy but not fruitful at all. We had moves day on Wednesday, which was pretty easy because I'm so central, I didnt have to go too far to switch companions. On Friday we had a fireside in Ilford. We sounded awesome, but we didnt have very good attendance. We sang a lot of new songs we have worked out and it was awesome. Saturday morning we had zone meeting in the morning at Hyde Park, then conference started at 5, so by the time we got back to our area we would only have 2 hours to work then go back, so we just stayed in South Kensington all day. Conference was great! But I was so tired, it was hard to concentrate at times. Sunday we were also in South Kensington all day for 2 more conference sessions. Between sessions, Sister Diaz and I went to Presidents flat and made dinner for President and Sister Jordan, and Elder Hein and Nolan, who are in our district. It was way fun! I loved the opportunity to serve them, because they do so much for our mission. It was great. 

Yesterday we had a special sisters training day. All 64 sisters in the mission (as opposed to the 18 that were in the mission just 15 months ago) gathered and we had trainings from Sister Jordan and the sister training leaders. It was a fun time! I got to see all my old companions (except Sister Webster, peace be upon her) and all my mission friends, it was a blast! But once that was over we didnt have time to email, which is why we are emailing today. 

It was a pretty lazy weekend, so I am ready to get back to work in my area. Our zone set a goal of 22 baptisms in October and we have a companionship goal of 2 in October, and we are ready to work our butts off to get it. I'm excited to see what miracles this week brings! Hope you all have an equally miracle-filled week!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

This is the kind of random stuff you see on the buildings in London. 

Sister Rainsley, a sweet old lady in the ward that always comes teaching with us. We love her!

Our last district meeting. Sister Ovcharenko, Elder David, Mourra Netto, Larsen,  Hutchins, Gregson (with the blurry face. He is my third son), Hein, and me in the front. 

Me with Abigail, Lucy, and Ethiopia. This was the first time in my mission that I curled my hair and the wind ruined it. And also I was cold if you couldnt tell. 

1 October 2013

Band practice ran until 3 today, so I have like no time to email, so this will be short. I am staying in London North! My favorite Russian, sadly, is not. She is moving to Kings Lynn, which is like 4 hours north. I will be serving this transfer with Sister Diaz. She is from the Dominican Republic, she was in my MTC group, and she is flippin gorgeous. I'm excited to have her. She is so so sweet, and I hear she cooks really good. 

It has been a busy week, full of lessons! This week I hit my mission high on lessons taught (so far). Now I have a new personal best to beat! And our investigators are all making slow but steady progress. I'm happy with how things are going, and I'm excited to start a new transfer with renewed dedication, because honestly I tend to die at the end of transfers. We finished this one strong though. 

Oh hey, and guess what? I'VE BEEN OUT FOR SIX MONTHS!!! How crazy is that? I still feel like a baby, and I'm still not 100% I'm doing things right, but hey I'm happy to always have new things to learn and ways to grow. Keeps me on my toes. 

Talk to you all next week!