Monday, January 27, 2014
Seeing as I just emailed on Saturday, I really have nothing new to report except WICKED!!!
Oh my gosh. Every time I think my life can't get any better IT DOES. So the show was absolutely incredible. I felt like I was in it, I was so close. It was very in your face, being front row. Brilliant. I was the only one that had seen it before, so watching all the other missionaries experience it for the first time was great. Sister Hymas is as obsessed as I am now, so that is comforting.
So the show ends, and the Brittania elders told us that Savannah Stevenson (girl from Britannia ward that plays Glinda) told them to go buzz themselves in at the stage door. So we go to the stage door, they let us in, and we have to wait for her to get changed and stuff for a bit. While we were waiting pretty much the whole cast came to say hello. They had 2 hours before they needed to be back for the evening show, so the lady that played Nessa was just going out for a jog and the guy that played Fiyero was just like peace out I'm going to eat.
So Savannah's dresser came and got us, led us through backstage where all the costumes are, and then Savannah caught up with us. She is so stinkin nice! I just love her! And, I might be a little biased, but she played the best Glinda out of the 4 times I've seen the show. She is a really good actress. Brought a lot of substance to it.
Anyway, she leads us around and I take a really unflattering picture with the Wizards head thing, and then BOOM we are on stage. Seriously. I went on stage of the biggest West End production in London. It was amazing. My life was made.
So yesterday at church, like 5 minutes before sacrament started, the bishop's counsellor comes up to me and informs me I'm giving a talk. Surprisingly, this is the first time I have had to give a talk on the spot my entire mission. Great. So this week has just been full of surprise public speeches for me. Thankfully I have been studying the Book of Mormon and I just read a few scriptures and related them to each other. It turned out decently. I was definitely led by the Spirit, I couldn't have done it on my own.
Short update on Marvin- He is doing well, listening to the cds of the Book of Mormon we gave him. He just needs some time. We are gonna back off him a little and let him reach the decision on baptism in his own time, because we know eventually he will.
So this is the last week of the transfer. Pray really hard for me that Sister Hymas and I stay together. I really want that. Like, really. This transfer has gone way too fast. My PDay next week won't be until Tuesday, so don't get offended that I don't write until then. This week I'm supposed to be on an exchange with Sister Larson here in my area, and then going with the sisters in Enfield to their area. And then we have MLC again on Friday. Should be an exciting week!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Alright so I have like two weeks to tell you guys about! Good thing I took notes.
First of all, last week we did two exchanges. I went to Bedford and Northampton. My day back in Bedford was the best thing EVER! It was seriously one of the happiest days of my life. I loved getting to see the people I worked with there and seeing how much they have progressed in their life. I went for hot chocolate with Lesley, a less active we visited a lot while I was there. She is doing so great, I have missed her! We also went to the Hazell's house. James has the priesthood and he is on the YM presidency! So great! They are way on track to go to the temple in July, and I'm so excited that I might get to go with them! I also got to catch up with Gabriel, one of my favorite investigators ever. He moved away shortly after I did, but I guess he moved back after Christmas, so I got his new number from a member that has stayed FB friends with him and called him up. He met us at the train station before we switched back, and he totally wants to get back on track to get baptised as soon as he can! Which at the moment is March, because that is when his contract with the church he works for ends. So good. I didn't get to ride my bike though, sadly. I reallly really wanted to. But the sisters there now don't use the bikes because they don't like them. Bummer.
So the next day I was in Northampton. We did a lot of finding, but it was still fun. Except I got a ridiculously bad headache. Not sure if it qualifies as a migraine, but it was the worst headache I've ever had and I have no idea why I got it. But it slowed us down a bit. That's ok, I recovered quickly after getting a blessing.
But when I got back with Sister Hymas the next day, her throat was starting to get sore and she wasn't feeling well at all. That escalated quickly. She has been sick for about a week now. Last week was super rough for her, especially Friday-Monday she pretty much didn't have a voice. I felt so bad for her. I did as much as I could, but I felt a little helpless not being able to do more for her. Doctors don't really give antibiotics here unless you are dying, so no help there. We tried a lot of remedies. I kinda had to force her to rest for about three days. She is a great missionary and a really hard worker, so I think she was a little frustrated with the fact that she couldn't talk or really do any work. So we were in our flat basically all weekend and I just called every number in the area book and my phone. Which worked out beautifully, we set up a lot of appointments for when Sister Hymas felt well enough to teach. She is better now, though! I think she still has a sore throat, but she's trying to hide it. She's a trooper. I absolutely love her.
On Saturday, an 8 year old African kid in our ward got baptised. It was a really good service. Right after the service, however, our chapel turned into the cultural hall and it was very....cultural. It just devolved into a huge party. Like there was a huge feast of African food, and someone brought a big sound system and they blasted dance music so loud that we couldn't hold a conversation, and everyone was dancing. It was hilarious and brilliant. I was just like wow is this really happening? Like I said, I love Africans. I've never been to a better baptism/birthday celebration. Also, in true Nigerian fashion, the boy being baptised showed up at 4:50 when the service was meant to start at 4.
So on Wednesday we had a big mission leadership council. All the district leaders, zone leaders, and sister training leaders were there. I know I've mentioned the gap before, right? The 2 minute teaching drills we do 4 times a day so that we can know the doctrine well when we teach? Yeah that. So at every mission meeting, two missionaries are chosen to do a gap in front of everyone. Guess who had to do it in front of every mission leader in the ELM? Yeah.......that would be me. Great. It was terrifying. I survived. Thankfully it was a principle I had the scripture memorised for.
So we are taking our PDay on Saturday this week because we are going to Wicked! And we can only go to the matinee and there is only a matinee on Saturdays. But just so everyone doesnt think I'm being apostate: we are allowed to go to one show once in our mission. Our options are The Lion King or Wicked. I haven't seen Lion King before, but I just really love Wicked ok? Sister Hymas hasn't seen it yet, so I'm excited for her to see it. We woke up at 5am this morning (uugggghhhh) and were first in line at the theatre at 6am. The ticket office opened at 10am. We got front row centre tickets for £29. Seriously. Like the very front row and the very centre. AAAAAAAND the girl that plays Glinda is an active member of the YSA ward here. And so she is taking us all backstage afterwards. aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I'M SO EXCITED!!!!!! Holy cow this is going to be the coolest thing ever.
Well, we are having PDay again in like 2 days, so there will not be much to write next time. But I better have a bunch of emails in my inbox by Monday so I have something to respond to!
Monday, January 13, 2014
It has been a beautiful, sunny week here in the Whitechapel ward. Well, ok, the second half of the week was sunny. First half was actually really cold.
So I haven't really talked about him yet, but we have exactly one investigator at the moment. His name is Marvin. He has been being taught since the summer, but now he is really getting serious about it. We had a POSH lesson with him on Monday in which he realized he wants to get baptised. He just thinks its a really big change and that he won't be able to keep it up. He is being a little stubborn, even against himself. Pray for him. He is great and he has a testimony, he just needs to use that testimony to get him to make the necessary changes in his life.
We did a lot of finding this week to build our teaching pool. We are focusing on finding families, and on Saturday we found 2 families that we are going to teach for the first time tonight! That will be really fun. Our zone conference this week was focused on how to teach families with small kids, so we are excited to use some of the things we learned there. As always, I loved zone conference. And Sister Jordan had us help with a training, which was...scary. Roleplaying in front of 3 zones of missionaries is a little nerve racking, but I wasn't nervous once we actually started doing it.
So here's a story for ya: We were in Pimlico on Friday night trying to visit a few potential investigators. We were walking through this courtyard thing, and we were walking past this small group of hoodlums. We were just innocently walking past them, and I hear one of them half whisper to their friends, "Don't stab them, don't stab them" and then alarms went off in my head. And then two of them started running at us and reaching into their pockets to pull something that I thought would most likely be a knife out. I like hunched over to protect my vital organs and got in the position to run away, and then they stopped a few feet short of us and turned back to their friends and started laughing. It was terrifying. It took us like 10 minutes to calm down over it, we seriously thought we were about to die. They didn't really have knives though, it was all just a joke. It was still really super scary for a split second.
My exchanges this week were in Leighton Buzzard and St Albans. I had a lot of fun! The former is a super small town and there was not a whole lot of people. It was adorable countryside though. St Albans is like a suburb of London, and we switched after zone meeting and got home late and had to switch back early in the morning though, so we didn't get much done and I didn't really get to see the area. I had fun with the sisters though!
I get to go back to Bedford tomorrow on an exchange!!!! I'M SO HAPPY!
Today for PDay we went to Westminster Abbey. It is actually just a big indoor celebrity cemetery. I'm glad I got free admission for being a missionary, because I would not want to pay that much otherwise. The rest of our day will be a doctors appointment than teaching those two families. Wish us luck!
Monday, January 6, 2014
Alright so my week was a whirlwind! Not a whole lot of new stuff to talk about. On Thursday I went on my first Sister Training Leader exchange! It was weird being on the other side of it. I've had them in the past when an STL would come and train me, and that always made me nervous because I'm basically being evaluated. Being the evaluater made me WAY MORE NERVOUS. Especially because I'm meant to set a good example to these sisters in every aspect. It was scary. But it turned out really fun! I was in Canterbury (which is number 1 on my list of places I've wanted to serve. Its beautiful.) with Sister Gorniak from Tasmania (we are already FB friends) and Sister Gundestrup from Utah. We had a really fun day, and that day we were participating in a mission wide fast, so that night we had a pizza party/ tim tam slams to break our fast. Except the tim tam slams were with twix, so it wasnt legit but it was delicious. I love being a sister training leader! I learned so much from being out with these two excellent sisters. I think this calling is a great opportunity for me to learn and get ideas on how I can improve from other sisters. And also, Canterbury was just as beautiful as I imagined. Pictures forthcoming of me in front of a castle just chilling in their town centre. I also got to see Sister Jones since Sister Hymas went on the exchange with her and her companion over in Ashford. Love that girl. Glad I got to see her.
The rest of our week was pretty standard except SATURDAY WAS OUR 9 MONTH MARK! How in the world did that happen? It was made especially weird because we were in the MTC together, and then all of a sudden we are 9 months out and old and I don't know where the time has gone. I still feel like a baby. But now that I'm more than halfway out, I am officially an old missionary. I dunno, its crazy.
This next week is zone conferences, and I'm going on exchanges to Leighton Buzzard and St Albans. I'm pretty excited, it should be a fun week! Sorry I don't have more time to say cool things, talk to you next week!
Wednesday, January 1, 2014
So I have had one heck of a week! Right after we changed companions at Euston station on Friday, Sister Hymas and I headed off to Hyde Park and we were there all day for mission leadership council. Thats apparently a thing I get to do as a sister training leader. Its a big meeting with all 20 zone leaders, 6 sister training leaders, and President and Sister Jordan. It was the longest meeting I have ever been to, and it was just a huge spiritual feast. We set a mission goal for how many baptisms we will have in 2014. I felt so privileged to get to participate in that, and it makes me a lot more comitted to the goal because I helped set it.
I love my new area and my new ward. The ward is full of Africans, so needless to say I love it. I am walking in the footsteps of some really flippin good missionaries here in this ward, so expectations on me are high and thats scary. Like seriously, very recently the best sisters in the mission have served in this ward. That does make me happy though, because they left a lot of good investigators behind. I'm so excited to be working here, I already love this area so much. And its in the same stake/zone, so I don't feel like I went too far.
I LOVE SISTER HYMAS SO MUCH! I am seriously so happy with my life right now. We have been dying to be companions for the last 9 months, and now that we actually are, it doesnt seem real. We are having way too much fun. And on top of being one of my best friends, she is just a ridiculously good missionary! I'm so excited to be working with her and learning from her. I have loved my mission so far, but I am seriously happier than I've ever been right here, right now.
So last night, New Year's Eve, we were commanded to be in our flat no later than 7. And when you don't go to sleep until 10:30, thats a lot of time to just sit around. So we had a grand old time last night. We made ourselves a delicious dinner. Then we sat around, read some articles, quoted a million movies, and laughed our heads off. And then we went to bed. And then at midnight I was woken up by a barrage of fireworks. They were SO LOUD. And they went off like 5 every second for 10 minutes straight. I couldnt see any from the window, but thats ok because I wanted to go back to bed anyway. Happy New Year everyone!
So, to kind of explain my new calling of being sister training leader, because I had no idea what it was before I came out. So basically, me and Sister Hymas are over 4 zones, 12 companionships, 24 sisters. We do an exchange with each companionship every transfer cycle. Meaning for the next 6 weeks, I will be spending half my week on an exchange, away from my companion and my area. (One of the areas we are over is Bedford, so I am beyond pleased that I get to go back). So we do these exchanges and train the sisters in the things President wants us to focus on and helping them improve their teaching and finding and whatever. And giving moral support, basically helping with anything at all they need help with. I'm so excited for the opportunity to serve the other sisters in the mission, because I seriously love all of them. I am extremely nervous and not very sure of my capabilities, however, of my job to train people and be an example in finding and teaching. I know I wouldn't have been called to this position if Heavenly Father and President Jordan didn't think I could do it, but I am still a little shaky on my conviction that I'm the right sister for the job. One thing I am excited for is that I get to see a bunch of different areas in the mission. I start tomorrow in Canterbury, which is at the top of my list of places I really want to go to, so yay! It is sad though, because that means for half of the week I don't get to work in my area and help the people we are teaching to progress, and I have to spend a lot of time away from Sister Hymas, who as you all know, I adore. This is an exciting new chapter in my mission, and I feel really humbled and excited to be called to help the mission in this way.
Anyway, that's it from me. I can't wait to tell you all about my first exchange experience next week!