Sunday, December 21, 2014

The Aftermath

So now that I've been home for almost three months, thought I should wrap things up on this blog. First of all, this was only ever meant to be a way to avoid having to do a forwarding thing to all my friends and family while I was gone, but I am fairly certain I have acquired some readers that don't actually know me in person so to you I say- Thanks for making me feel like my life is worth reading about! Much appreciated.

These past few months have gone by really fast but also painfully slow. I feel like I've been home for ages. Actually, to be honest, I feel like I never left. Which is sad really. I have become a new person, expected to fit into the mold of the old person I left behind last April. But as the time has gone by, it has become a little easier. Its just been very emotionally and psychologically challenging.

I would hands down say the adjustment to real life is a million times harder than I thought the adjustment to mission life was. And it has been made a bit harder being sent back to a town in the middle of no where, where there is not much missionary work to help with, and where I have absolutely no friends because they are all at school or on missions or married and moved away. So that was pretty difficult, until I got two jobs and I finally felt like I was doing SOMETHING with my life.

And now I go back to university in 2 weeks. And I am really determined to be a better student and be really involved and stuff. I am so grateful for the ways my mission has blessed my life and changed me into something better. I'm also really grateful that it didnt just change me, but showed me the recipe for continued change and progression, so that I'm not just sent back to plateau, but I can always keep moving forward.

Not a day goes by that I don't miss England and the people there. I have been really blessed to serve with sisters that live relatively close to me, so I have gone on a few road trips to see them all. I can't even really properly describe the impact the people I met and experiences I had on my mission have changed me and helped me, so I will just leave it at I'm thankful. So so so thankful. I would do it all again in a heartbeat if they would let me.

But I know the Lord doesnt want me sitting around moping that I can't go back, He wants me out in the world making a difference. And that's what I hope to do. I'm going back to BYUI here in two weeks, and I am so dang excited. I know He has a lot more for me to learn and do if I'm open to it, so bring on the next phase of my life.

Since this was my mission blog, I decided to make a different one for my post mission life. If you feel like it, you're welcome to go to it at

Amanda in Mormonland

Pictures from the last few days of my mission

Our awesome departing group. Love these people to death. 

Exercising at the hotel! Sorry it's blurry.

We look happy, but we were really upset.

Flippin sweet banner I came home to. 

First baby held! This was seriously my favourite moment maybe ever. 
Cafe Rio? Yes please.
And look who came to my homecoming. Sister Webster, my trainer!

The last few days of my mission

Sorry I have neglected this blog since returning home, but I figured I need to come and finish things up here.

On 7 October, we had our departing dinner and testimony meeting, and it basically ended up being one of the best days of my life. I just got to spend all day with 13 sisters that I adore, and President and Sister Jordan. The testimony meeting part was a bit emotional, but all night I was just in awe of how seriously blessed I have been for the past 18 months. Looking around the room at all these sisters who I love so much and have made a real impact on me, and looking out the window to the city and country that is home to me now. So when it was time to pack in some mini cabs and drive away to a hotel by the airport, it was pretty sad. Not bittersweet. Pretty much just bitter.

At the hotel, I stayed in a room with Sister Formica, my second to last companion. We went to another room though and stayed up until 3:30 am talking to some other sisters. Which was so much fun and I did not regret it at all, because I wouldnt have been able to sleep anyway. Like good little ELM missionaries, we woke up at 6:29am, went to go running but realized it was pouring rain outside, then did our exercise in the hotel gym, which was pretty fun.

When we got to the airport, 8 of us sisters were meant to be on the same flight to Dallas and then would all catch connecting flights from there. We were pretty excited to all fly together for a bit. But that dream was dashed pretty quickly when we got to group check in and they told us our "booking agent had cancelled our tickets." Meaning someone at the mission travel office made a mistake. Oops. They suggested we call them and clear it up and we were just like, "We don't have mobile phones!" So we go to a payphone nearby but can't figure out how to do international calls, so we called President Jordan. No answer. Sister Jordan. No answer. Then we call their landline in their flat, and Sister Jordan picked up after a few rings which was miracle #1, as she explained she never answers that phone ever, but strangely felt like she needed to. So President calls up the mission travel department and conferences us in, and all of us are just huddled around this payphone as she talks to each of us one by one, getting us new travel details. So we were then split into two flights: the 4 Utah sisters and Sister Formica, and then us 3 Nevada sisters. And when we got to the gate, who happens to be on our flight but Elder Helske, an elder that had gone home a few months after we started our missions. That was hilarious.

I was in a seat next to Sister Davis for the flight across the Atlantic. Take off was SUPER emotional, both of us sitting there crying like fools, because let's be real, I am way too poor to ever go back to England. It was really really sad. When we landed in Chicago, everyone's accents were so. Very. American. Kinda hurt my ears. And my heart. Sister Gibson had to go to a different flight to Reno, so then it was us on our flight to Vegas. It was fun with Sister Davis, we just talked the whole time and told stories and I was SO GRATEFUL that I had someone with me, because 14 hours of flying without anything but my scriptures to entertain me would have been a bit rough.

Landing in Las Vegas was weeeeiiiiiiiird. Like landing on another planet. We were not overly impatient about getting to baggage claim, so we took our sweet time prettying up in the bathroom, getting a drink, letting three trams pass before getting on one, finishing our last GAP drill of the day (and our lives), and saying a prayer. And then the escalator ride came. And it was so surreal. In the drop of a hat I wasn't Sister Jacobsmeyer anymore. And that was really depressing. It took several weeks to finally be ok with that.

My first meal was Cafe Rio, which I was so looking forward to. I held a baby immediately after being released the morning of 9 October. Called up all my friends and their accents really threw me off haha.

But yeah, that's the story of my last 72-ish hours as a missionary!

Monday, September 29, 2014

Sister Mlcochova and I. The town the sisters live in is called Brandon.

Elder Mitchell and Elder Nolan, my youngest sons.

​Our first born in the wilderness, Elder Brunstad. And that's Sister Jones, of course.

29 September 2014- This is it.

So this was a very interesting week, one where I saw the hand of the Lord in the work very clearly. 

On Tuesday we had zone conference in the Ipswich chapel. It was quite nice to not have to travel far for it. It was three zones together, and the theme of the day was the Book of Mormon. SUCH a powerful meeting. I learned so much and just generally strengthened my testimony of the divinity of the Book of Mormon. It is a miracle that we have it and it is a blessing to be able to study from it every day. Sister Jordan trained on how to teach investigators how to successfully study the scriptures instead of just say "Read it." President trained on the power of the Book of Mormon in conversion, and gave two really brilliant trainings on the translation process of the Book of Mormon and historical/geographical evidences that it is true. Mind blowing. The big take away, though, was that the truth of the scriptures will always remain in the realm of faith, and it is that way because God wants it that way. He won't force us to believe. I think that is a really beautiful part of His plan. 

After the conference, our investigator Colin, who is golden beyond belief, came to the chapel and President taught him with us. It was epic. Great lesson in which we got to apply the things we had just learned in the conference. All the missionaries leaving the chapel was sad because there are a lot that I will not see again. Pictures forth coming of me and my "sons". Well, 3 of them at least. 

Wednesday I went to Thetford for an exchange with Sister Mlcochova (can't pronounce it? Thats ok, no one else can either) from Czech Republic. This is her 2nd transfer. She is excellent! We had a fun day, and on top of all of that I got to ride around in a car all day because it is a car area, so that was nice. We helped a family from Texas unpack their boxes from moving. Later that night we went on the American military base to teach a lesson. Long security check process, and we weren't allowed to wear our badges on base, but it was a really neat experience. We taught an American in the home of some American members and it was well weird. I don't know how I'm gonna adjust to American accents all the time. 

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, our planners were filled up with appointments. We were booked solid. Except, although we confirmed all of them, every single appointment cancelled. Every one. Even the confirmed ones. How annoying is that? But it was all in God's wisdom, because we were really blessed to find some amazing people because of it! 

We had just been hosed in the park, by an investigator that has hosed us before, and so we went to finding. We approached this Chinese guy on a bench. His name is Simon, he's from mainland China, and only knows the name Jesus Christ but nothing about him. We took him to the nearest members' home and watched Finding Faith in Christ with him, he was well interested! He is a really nice guy, I hope we can at least help him develop faith in the Saviour in the short time that he is here in England. 

Sunday we got to an impromptu appointment early, so we tracted some houses. The second door we knocked, a young mother came to the door. She kind of believes in God, but is very on the fence after not having prayers answered. She was really open. And turns out, she has a 12 week old daughter born with a heart defect! So we kind of got to relate over that, and I was able to bear testimony how the gospel has brought our family peace in times where things seemed bleak. We will see her again on Friday :)

Well, this being my last official email from the mission, I guess I should say something special. But honestly I have no words. I love my mission. I love these people. I am so blessed to have my life touched by the amazing people of England. I want to thank everyone who has read my blog, because I wasn't really expecting anyone to. Hope it has entertained you. I am so sad to be leaving this amazing place and these brilliant people, but, as President Monson says, faith is always pointed toward the future. I have had this quote on my planner this transfer:
" In His plan, there are no true endings, only everlasting beginnings."- President Uchtdorf
I guess that is what brings me comfort, that it doesnt have to end, not really. As sad as I am to leave, I'm excited to be able to see all of you again! Talk to you next week! 

Monday, September 22, 2014

​Sister Oliveira, me, Liam, Lois, and baby Nicklaus out to lunch. They are such an amazing family, I love them!
Me and Shane, the great-grandson of our recent convert Eliza. He is adorable! 

Sister Abby Wright from Logan, Utah. In Norwich, obviously!

​Last district meeting! Elders Adrian, Toledo, Yeap, Neilsen, Pullig, Vecchi,  me and Sister Eastin

22 September 2014

I finally went to Godric's Hollow today! It was delightfully quaint little English village. Beautiful countryside driving out to it. I will miss that so much. England is truly beautiful. 

So last Monday night, we had a YSA FHE and took an investigator with us to watch the CES Devotional from D Todd Christofferson. It was epic. He said exactly what our investigator needed to hear at the time, I just hope his heart was open enough to get the message. It was a really fun night. 

Tuesday was my last district meeting ever. That is the weirdest feeling. I love pretty much every missionary meeting. And we have a fun district this transfer. Elder Pullig made brigadera (no idea how to spell it but thats how it sounds) for us, which was basically like chocolate sauce but thicker. Yummy. We went from there to the Pereira's and made a delicious navajo taco lunch for Sister Pereira, who is a saint and always does so much for us so we decided to return the favour. It was a fun lunch, and I really enjoy cooking for other people. Its relaxing to me. 

Wednesday I wen to Norwich and spent the day with a sister who is in her second transfer, Sister Wright from Logan, Utah. We had a blast! It was such a fun day, really. I love the missionaries in this mission. Such great friends. She apparently graduated in Garrett's grade, so that made me feel super old. We saw this investigator named Petya that for some reason loves me so every time I go to Norwich on an exchange we see her. She gave me Bulgarian sweets and a bracelet, so sweet! 

Thursday I was in the area with Sister Oliveira, a sister I've been on several exchanges with that is from Brazil. Every time I bring her to my area we have a day full of miracles, and this day was no different. The best little recent convert family every, the Stophers, took us to Costa for lunch. I love being taken out for lunch haha. We ran into several investigators in town, taught with a youth preparing to leave on his mission to Greece in about a month, and then took our really solid investigator Colin to the ward mission leader's house to teach him about the plan of salvation. As we were walking there with him, we asked if he had any questions from his reading and he asked about the origin of Satan and what happens to people that didnt get to here the gospel before they die. It made the plan of salvation have a lot greater impact with those questions in his mind. It went great! 

Also on Thursday we went to see the little Polynesian family we found last Sunday. Turns out they are a  BIG Polynesian family. We were sitting there talking to the mum that we had met, and then her mum walked in looking confused and slightly unimpressed that we were there. Turns out she was just really surprised because she had been thinking of going back to church all day! We came into their lives at the exact right time, because they are really ready to return to church and they have a 10 year old that isnt baptized yet! The Lord's timing is great!

On Saturday we met Mario's parents. They are from Italy. Thick Italian accents. And lots of hand motions. I love them, they are great. Mario is a really good influence in his home. And he got the priesthood yesterday!!!! Woohoo! I'm so excited that I will be around to see him pass/bless the sacrament :)

Sunday was a challenge for me. We only had set appointments in the evening, so we were finding most of the afternoon and EVERYONE said no. I am usually ok with this, but with all my pent up anxiety over how short of a time I have left and stuff, it was really frustrating me. We finally managed to have one good conversation with someone. And then in the evening as we were walking home, I was pretty much done with this week. But I told the Lord I was gonna give it everything I've got, and right in front of our flat we passed these two people. It was dark so I couldnt make out their faces well as we approached, but I decided to stop them and try for one more person that day. After I started the initial approach, I recognized one of them as this investigator named Tommy that was really really good last transfer but had just dropped out of existence. We've been trying to get in contact with him for ages! So that was a miracle, and I think it was the Lord showing me that it doesnt matter how many people say no, it only matters how many people say yes. 

This week is a busy one. Today we are playing nerf gun capture the flag again, then we have a dinner appointment with this huge Portuguese family. Tomorrow is zone conference, the topic is The Book of Mormon and I am beyond excited. I love zone conference probably more than any other missionary meeting. Wednesday I'm in Thetford on an exchange. That area is on an American military base, so I'll be hearing lots of American accents. Yikes. 

Love you all, have a good week!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Really great quote shared in sacrament meeting yesterday

"This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in the cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not creat the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light."

C.S. Lewis

Our capture the flag team last week. We were the winning team 3/3 games. The losers didnt want a picture.

Mario's Facebook statuses make me happy!

​Sister Eastin, Mario, Tiago, and I. I'm trying to look taller, obviously.

Danie and Mario, happy with after-baptism refreshments.

​Hussein went to Egypt this week, so I won't see him again before I leave. He is great!

This is what happens when you leave your camera lying around at a baptism hahahaha. This is the Pereira family (minus a dad and a sister). I love them so much!

​Sister Ishizawa from Japan

Sister Welc from Brazil

15 September 2014

Crazy to hear about all the flooding in Moapa Valley! I hope the clean up is going well and those effected have been able to salvage some stuff at least. Although that much rain is not necessary, I sure am looking forward to the smell of the rain in the desert. It just doesnt smell the same here, although its far more frequent. 

This week has been so. stinkin. busy. But it's been great and I've learned a lot. On Tuesday night, there was a special Europe area women's broadcast, with talks from Elder Texeira, Elder and Sister Hallstrom, Sister Kearon (wife of Elder Kearon of the area presidency), Elder Bednar and Elder Ballard. It was broadcast from Germany, and it was amazing. Such powerful talks about tying our hearts to the Saviour, and not lowering our standards for anything. Elder Bednar's talk especially hit home with me. He talked about the empowerment that comes from the Atonement. Gave the example of Nephi, when he was bound by his brothers, he didn't pray for something to happen to his brothers to make them free him, and he didnt pray for the ropes to magically become untied, he prayed for the strength to burst  the bands by which he was bound. Just like Nephi, we need to not pray to be acted upon, but pray for added strength and help to be able to act. 

Tuesday I was also on an exchange with a sister who has been out for just a few months from Japan. She is so sweet, but communication is SO HARD for her. I am so extremely blessed to have been called to serve in English, because I don't think I'd have the patience with myself to learn another language. She is doing really well, but it is a slow go. 

On Thursday we were in London all day long for a mission leadership conference. All sister training leaders, zone leaders, and district leaders were there to be trained on different aspects of leadership. I loved this meeting! And they fed us taco salad for lunch so double bonus! Sister Jordan had us STL's help with a training on how to work more effectively with sisters. It might come as a shock to you, but teenage boys sometimes struggle with the right way to communicate with women effectively hahaha. It was a hilarious training, started off by a really funny video called "Its not about the nail" Look it up on YouTube. There was also a training on how leadership assignments in the church are meant to give us an opportunity to grow and change, and if by the end of our service we are not changed, we didn't do it right. Its a great principle for any leadership position, not just for mission leadership.

Friday I went to Colchester with this sister named Sister Welc. She is from Brazil and she is AWESOME! We had a lot of fun. Colchester is the closest ward to Ipswich, so lots of the people there are either related to or friends with the members in my ward, so it was fun to interact with them. We taught this Chinese student named Vincent, and he is really solid! He committed to be baptized in October. I'm always so happy when I get to be just a tiny little part of the teaching process of investigators in other areas to help them get to baptism.

Saturday was the big day, Mario's baptism! He was so excited, I will send pictures of his FB statuses on how excited/nervous he was. The program did not really go as planned, but the water was hot, the priesthood was there, and the baptism happened and thats all that matters. That will very likely be the last baptism of someone I've taught that I will get to see on my mission. It was a special evening, and Mario is just really excited to get to pay it forward and baptize others :)

Yesterday we had Colin (the chap that disappeared for a while but now is back) and Danie at church, and it was great! They are both so good. I love the people we are teaching, I love the ward, and I just love all the missionaries I serve with. I really didn't understand what love meant until I came on a mission. But nowadays I am just filled to bursting with love for the people of England. It will break my heart to leave them. 
Also yesterday we were walking through town and I saw this really cute little Polynesian family in front of us and I was thinking, "They are so cute, I want to teach them." And before we could stop them, they were like "Sisters!" Apparently they are members that just moved here like a year ago and have not been out to church yet. I'm excited to get to know them and help them!

I hope everyone has a great week and sees lots of miracles! Go share the gospel!

Monday, September 8, 2014

8 September 2014

17 months of missionary work + really ridiculous chest cold = I am really really really tired.

So those are the two big things to have happened this week. I hit my 17 month mark and I have been sick pretty much all week. It hasnt been too bad though. I've had a really annoying cough/stuffy head, but it hasnt really made me miserable or unable to go out and work. So that was a blessing. The only time it slowed me down was Saturday morning because I had a really bad night Friday night, so we spent a few hours at the flat getting me rested up and downing lots of ginger and lemon tea (which is nasty, btw). I've still got the cough going on, but I'm on the mend I think. I hope. 

Even though I was poorly most of the week, we got lots accomplished this week. Found a lot of new investigators, and had a lot of success in helping those we are already teaching to progress. We will have a baptism this Saturday of a young guy named Mario who is absolutely brilliant. He is so faithful and wants very badly to do the right thing all the time! We are excited for him! His friend Danie, our investigator that introduced us to Mario, will be joining him in baptism in a few weeks from now. They are both excellent!

So on Monday we didnt end up getting to go to Lavenham (Godric's Hollow). Still on the schedule for sometime this transfer, but it was better that we didnt go on Monday because it was raining a bunch and that wouldnt be very fun. Instead we went to dinner at the home of this family that just moved here from Arizona and their house is EPIC. Its this 700 year old little English cottage, with a massive garden and an ancient wood burning stove and stuff. Really cool. Their daughter Carissa is most likely going to be at school with me in January, so we got excited about that. She plays fiddle, so we are forming a band haha. 

Most of the week went pretty standard, just finding and teaching. I read a talk about being a "testifying and challenging" missionary, meaning making the focus of each lesson bringing the Spirit by testifying and then challenging them to act on that Spirit with commitments. It really makes a difference. There is a lot more power in a testimony than in an intricate explanation of a principle. 

Saturday we had the best miracle EVER! It is one that I have been praying for for about 5 weeks now. So last transfer we started teaching this guy that was absolutely golden. He is just finishing his masters degree, he is super intelligent and very receptive. He even asked if he needed to go on a mission after baptism, explaining that it would not be a problem he just needed to shift his life plans around a bit. Like, the investigator that every missionary dreams of. But then he hosed our 4th appointment with him. And didnt answer our calls or texts. We genuinely thought he had died. Sister Formica and I were so sad. We kept trying him and kept praying for him all last transfer, but no word from him. Saturday night I tried calling again because it had been about a week, and he actually answered! He said he would come to church with us in the morning, but when the morning rolled around he didnt show up and didnt answer his phone. 
At that point I was really rather annoyed. I think that is the only thing that really gets to me, is when someone tells you they will be somewhere like less than 24 hours before, and then when it gets to the actual time they stand you up and arent even considerate enough to call or text to say nevermind. I think people think they are being nice when they say yes and dont show up, but they are really being more rude that way. So I was a bit annoyed. But then on the way home from church we got a text from him apologized profusely an saying we could meet up that afternoon. And we met up and it was brilliant! Apparently he ran into some anti- Mormon literature, which is bound to happen at some point in life, an it made him have doubts. But he felt really touched by our persistence in calling him, like we actually care about him and that we feel our message is important for him, and thats what made him decide to meet up again. He is a really nice guy, and I love teaching him, so I'm really excited he's back. Pray hard for him, he is really trying to find the right spiritual path for himself. 

So today for PDay we are doing a big game of capture the flag at the chrurch. With nerf guns. Its going to be really really fun. We have an exchange tomorrow and then on Thursday we are in London all day for a meeting. On Friday I go to Colchester for another exchange, and then Saturday is Mario's baptism! Should be a jam-packed week! 

Love you all, hope you enjoy your week and see lots of miracles!

Monday, September 1, 2014

1 September 2014

It's been a great week, not much to report on. Wednesday was my last moves, and it was kind of sad because I was hoping to see a lot of people I need to see before leaving but none of them were switching at the station I switched at. It was sad to leave Sister Formica, but I was excited to pick up Sister Eastin. 

Sister Eastin is from Pheonix, AZ. She's about my height too, so I'm finally back to having a short companion :) She loves all things nerdy, like me, so we have a lot of in depth discussion on the deeper meaning behind Harry Potter story lines and stuff. Shes great! She is my youngest (in the mission) companion I've ever had, she just hit her year mark last month. So that's pretty cool!

On Thursday we went back into London for MLC. Best part of the month really. It is always such an inspirational and uplifting meeting. That took up our whole day on Thursday. 

The rest of the week was finding, finding finding. Not because we don't have a teaching pool, but because they are all out of town this week. So we are working on finding new investigators. It wasn't extremely fruitful, but we did find a few good people. 

On Sunday, President and Sister Jordan came and spoke in our ward. It was so excellent. I just love listening to them speak! They also taught the 5th Sunday lesson on retention, and I think it helped a lot. This ward is so missionary focused, and it was a good refresher on how to help the people that come into the church stay there. Shanice was asked to bear her testimony in sacrament meeting. That always makes me so happy, listening to her talk about how the gospel has impacted her life. 

Our investigators Danie and Mario, the two young men preparing for baptism next week, are doing excellent! I love teaching them, they are excellent. Its a bit like teaching Primary children, they are just really accepting and wanting to do the right thing. They are excited to be baptised next week!

Today for PDay we are going out to this village called Lavenham which is apparently where they shot the scenes for Godric's Hollow in the 7th Harry Potter film. It is going to be brilliant! 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

P.S. it has been raining for like 24 hours straight. Happy Bank Holiday weekend.

Miriam, one of my favourite ladies EVER!

FHE last week with Sister Watson (in the green) and two investigators, a mother and daughter.

26 August 2014

Alright, the big news. My fate for the last six weeks of my mission. First of all, it was pretty much everyones assumption that I would be leaving and getting released as STL and definitely that was my prediction as well but....

I'm staying in Ipswich!!!!!!!!

I am so ecstatic! Man, I am so spoiled. I really was wishing I could stay but not assuming I would. But I get to! I'm feeling very blessed. I will be getting a sister named Sister Danielle Eastin from Arizona. Which is funny to me because my first companion was also from Arizona. Its like bookends. Sister Formica sadly is leaving me. She's going to Stevenage. But its only a short separation because we will be together in 6 weeks time! Our transfer together has been really fun and so full of miracles! I know the miracles will continue, it was just really fun to share them with her. It is her 22nd birthday today, we had a bit of a celebration in the morning listening to Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat and opening presents. Hopefully the party will last all day. 

Other than that, our week has been pretty average. I really have no stories to tell really.

I'm really excited for this transfer. I'm planning on thrusting in the sickle hard core. Going out with a bang. I absolutely love this place and the people here. They, and God, deserve my best. I hope I can give it to them with my whole heart these last 6 weeks. And hopefully not think too much about how it is my last 6 weeks. It will be fun!

Monday, August 18, 2014

​This is how the sky looked all day. All week, really.

This is me standing in the pouring rain waiting for a bus that was unfortunately 20 minutes late. 

Oh yeah one more thing

Next week is moves so I am not emailing until Tuesday, just a heads up!


Sister Formica, Brother Donker, Barry, Carolyn, and I

​Sister Aliberti and I


So we got to the chapel early on Saturday to fill the font for the baptism. After like 30 minutes we checked it and the water was not warm at all, so we called the member that is in charge of that sort of thing. He was leaving for Portugal so had to instruct us over the phone on how to get the boiler running. He really said to us, "Sisters, what you are about to do it really dangerous and you need to listen really carefully, because if you do it wrong at all, the boiler will explode and you will die. I'm no joking. Are you still sure you want to do this?" 

It was frightening. But we needed hot water dang it so we did it anyway and thankfully we did not blow ourselves to bits. It was really scary though. We really risked our lives for this baptism.

Thought you might find that a good story.

Our only pictures with the legendary Sister King

​Dinner with Brother Florey, Sister Emily King (RM), me, Miriam, and Sister Formica

​Dinner at the Pereira's house: Paulo, Tiago, Paula, me, Sister Emily King, Sister Formica, Raquel

18 August 2014

What a week! We will start with the most exciting stuff, TWO BAPTISMS!!!!! YAY! Barry and Eliza got baptised! So Barry is the husband of a recent convert named Carolyn. She was baptised in February and he has always said he will do it when he's ready. Well last month he spent some time in the hospital and we went and visited him and he said he was ready, so its finally happened! They are both so excited for the time next year when they can be sealed in the temple. They are so stinkin cute. Barry is 71 years old and a massive fan of football (like proper football, not American football.)

Eliza is 82 and from Zimbabwe. She is the most faithful lady you will ever meet, so stinkin cute!  She has been being taught for about 6 or 7 months, but with a 2 month hiatus to London in there. But she is just the sweetest little thing, I love her. 

Other than the two baptisms, we had a bunch of other amazing miracles this week as well. Our investigator Danie, the one that wasn't interested and then we asked him for referrals and now he's on date, he came to church last week and invited a friend, Mario. Mario loved it and is now getting baptised the same day as Danie. We just had a lesson with them, they are outstanding young men! They are both just very accepting and they feel the Spirit very purely, it is amazing to watch them learn because it is completely driven by Spiritual promptings, because the info we are throwing at them is pretty new. They are great!

Wednesday I had Sister Aliberti with me here on an exchange. She served here before me. She is so sweet. And super smart! She goes home to Italy next week, so we will be sad to see her go.

 Thursday was so interesting. We had pretty much everything that we had scheduled cancel, and as we were standing waiting for a bus where there was absolutely no where to take cover, the sky opened up and just rained and rained and rained. I was drenched. Pictures to follow. So we went to teach Eliza, and then went home to put on dry clothes because I was also freezing cold. While we were at home, my phone rang and it was a number I didnt have saved. The lady on the other end explained that she had known the sisters like 5 years ago and had always helped them and gave them rides and stuff, so we had just popped into her mind and she was calling to see if we needed any help. So sweet! We arranged to see her that night. We met her and her 14 year old daughter (most clever teenager I've ever met) and they came to the baptism on Saturday and church on Sunday and they accepted a baptismal invitation! Such an amazing miracle! 

Not much else to report on this week, but it was a really good one. Sister Formica and I are having a blast. I am so lucky to have been able to serve with such amazing sisters in my mission and to make lasting friendships. I love my companion! And its her birthday next week so I have to think up something good for that. 

This week I go on an exchange to Kings Lynn and one with the Thetford sisters. Should be pretty exciting! Love you all, have a great week!

Monday, August 11, 2014

This pretty much explains the weather here.

Some cool beach huts that we thought were pretty

Mini golf! I shot 10 over par if everyone wanted to know

Us in Felixstowe on the peir. It was really windy

We went on a sight-seeing tour of London!

11 August 2014

This week has been a busy one! We had our interviews with President Jordan on Tuesday in Cambridge. It was our last formal interviews until our departing interviews the day we go home. That was super weird, and hasnt really sunk in yet anyway. But it was really good, he trained us on letting the Holy Ghost be the teacher and Sister Jordan taught about being a consecrated missionary. I always leave meetings with them renewed in my desire to get out and do work. It was great. At the end of the meeting, a missionary that finished his mission after my first transfer showed up because he was visiting. It is so weird to see people you know from the mission that have since gone home as normal people when you are still a missionary.

Which leads to the next story. Sister Emily King from Australia, who was STL last year (but never my STL, sadly) has been in Ipswich for the week, and we have been with her every day for the last 4, and have things scheduled with her the next 2 days. It is so fun having her! She is still a rock star, even though she went home like 8 months ago. She has been teaching with us, and it is just really fun to be with her and talk about how adjusting to home was and stuff. 

Remember the guy I said we had a lesson with last Monday? The one that initially wasn't interested? Well now he has a baptismal date and he came to church yesterday! So great. He is really doing well. And so are Barry and Eliza, the two investigators that are getting baptised this Saturday! Barry is 71 and Eliza is 82, so it is going to be a real treat figuring out logistics of getting them under the water. They are both amazing, pray for them!

Today we went to this beach town called Felixstowe with Barry's wife, Carolyn. It was fun, although it was pretty much us looking around! We played mini golf, and although I was probably the most skilled golfer there, I got last place. Of course. 

President wrote something in his email to us this week that really hit home. He was talking about a returned missionary that found a new investigator for the sisters in an area, and he said, "She didn't just go through her mission, her mission went through her." I love that! I hope the same can be said of me. I love my mission, and I hope it has changed me for the better!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Sister Formica killed a wasp that was sitting in our light fixture by slapping it with her shoes. Unfortunately she also killed the light fixture.

​Miriam, Sister Formica, Eliza (who is getting baptised next Saturday!) and I

Sister Formica, me, Sister Greenfield, and Sister McNamee

​The STLs! (Sisters Jensen, Curtis, Wang Foo, Bergstrom, Formica, Jordan, Stewart, me and Eastin) Love em!

4 August 2014 (My 16 month mark, YIKES!)

Its been another miracle-filled week here in Ipswich! I sweat this is the best place ever, every single week is just jam-packed with awesomeness. We just got done with a lesson with this 20 year old guy. We found him Friday and as we were approaching him he just said, "I'm not religious" and moved to keep walking past us, but we asked him who he knew that would be interested in a message about Jesus Christ (great PMG principle, ask for referrals from everyone) and he just stopped in his tracks and him thinking about who he knew gave us an opportunity to talk to him about why he is "not religious." Had a great conversation with him, and our first lesson today he talked about how he has had at the back of his mind for a while that he wants to change his life and he thinks a belief in God will help him with that. He is SO prepared!

We also started teaching another man this week that is also SUPER prepared. When we met him, he talked about how he likes to keep busy (if you want to be busy, being LDS is your best bet). We met with him this week and he has been searching for truth for ages, has gone to many churches with all these questions that they can't answer and really loved the message of the Restoration. Yesterday we called to follow up on how he is liking the Book of Mormon, and he said that he feels very different than his previous times with other faiths, he feels like he is finally headed in the right direction. How brilliant is that?!

So, that's been the great miracles this week, we are finding super prepared people. YSA are my favourite to teach, I think. 

On Tuesday we had MLC (my last one, so so sad) and it was excellent as usual. It is honestly my favourite meeting on the mission. It is so powerful to sit in a room full of really young people who are being expected to carry the Lord's work in this corner of the vineyard. And these are the future leaders of the Church! It is just so amazing to sit in a room amongst so many amazing missionaries and feel of the Spirit and the sacrifices they have made to serve the Lord. I love my brothers and sisters in the ELM!

Wednesday we had an exchange with the Cambridge sisters. I brought Sister McNamee, a brand new missionary, to Ipswich for the day. On the train ride to Ipswich, I was getting to know her and found out her conversion story. She is from Tennessee, but was found by missionaries while going to Ohio State. And then she got taught and got baptised. But here is the kicker. SHE GOT BAPTISED WHILE I WAS ON MY MISSION! Yes, I have been a missionary longer than she has been a member. WHAT?! That made me feel sooooooooo old. But also super inspired because she has such a strong desire to serve, and I didnt have that desire until I had been a member almost 20 years haha. Anyway, she is cool and we had a good time. 

Yesterday in church, both Shanice and "Al" (remember, I changed his name for anonymity purposes) bore their testimonies and it. was. AWESOME! Aaksdfasdklfasdkfjasdf I just love them both so much. Oh and guess what? Al proposed to his girlfriend this week! Yay for eternal families! Sure hope I can scrape together the money to come back for their sealing next year. 

Hope you all have a great week. Seek ye first the kingdom of God and all things will be added unto you!

Monday, July 28, 2014

I really needed a new FB profile pic, so we had a photoshoot with Raquel, a YSA in our ward

​I like to think this is what I look like at all times. And no, this is not what I chose for my profile picture.

​We love studying the scriptures! haha

Photoshoot with Raquel

Ensign worthy?

​It was Elder Weinheimer's birthday last Monday, so we went to Fernando's for cake.

​Us at the Sousa's house. Such a great family!

28 July 2014

So....this week. Not a whole lot to say about it really. On Tuesday, we were asked to go represent our ward at an inter-faith day thing and the topic was "How can the different faiths contribute to caring?" like health care. It was way over my head. Lots of presentations and such, not a lot of learning what other people believe. But it was still alright, I suppose.
We had a pretty jam-packed week of teaching, otherwise. Our investigators working towards baptismal dates are doing pretty well, but it was a shame because none of them were able to come to church for various reasons. We worked so stinkin hard to have investigators at church, like we invited everyone we spoke to, and lots of people said yes. But no one came. But HUGE MIRACLE. Half way through sacrament, this Romanian guy named Lucian that Sister Curtis and I had a lesson with like two weeks ago just walks in, finds us, and sits by us. This was the biggest surprise of my life because our lesson with him ended in us having to physically leave because he was too bashy. Like he didnt listen to a single thing we said and was basically just trying to preach at us and tell us we are wrong the whole time. But at church yesterday he was so calm and participated really well in the lessons. I think Heavenly Father saw how hard we worked at getting people to church this week and was cutting us a break. Hopefully Lucian felt the Spirit there and his heart was softened. 

On Thursday, Sister Soares from Brazil came to Ipswich with me on an exchange. We had an exciting day of meeting new people and contacting referrals. One of our referrals ended up being from Brazil so it was a real blessing to have Sister Soares there. 

Saturday we had a lesson in the park that we brought a member to, but our investigator was an hour and a half late, so we talked to some people in the park and ended up finding a guy that lives right next door to the bishop and his family. We have talked to this guy before, but werent able to get his contact details so it is really a miracle we found him again.

This week is MLC, most likely my last one :( But it will be really good, I'm looking forward to it. And an exchange with a new missionary from Tennessee, which I'm pumped for. I love new missionaries. I really hope President has me training next transfer. 

Have a great week, everyone!

Monday, July 21, 2014

​Outside a cool mansion in the park. We then ended up having a great convo with the guy taking the picture! Great finding approach ;)

​And this says California because there is an area of town named California so of course we need a picture

​Sister Curtis and I

​Sister Som, Sister Hymas, and I. These two will be serving in Bedford, my home! I'm so stoked for them to be there and do work!