Monday, February 24, 2014

24 February 2014

Alrighty, I don't think I have much to say about this week. I'll start with exchanges.
I got to be companions with Sister Loveland for a day on Tuesday and IT WAS THE BEST! For those that don't remember, we were next door neighbors in uni, and she is basically the best person I've ever met. We had such a fun day together. We found a whole bunch of really good people, had really quality lessons, lots of miracles that day. We made some definitive plans about being roommates next winter in Rexburg. Should be awesome.
Then on Wednesday I was in Bedford, which was another excellent day! I just love being back home. It is so good, but I see it with new eyes. We went and visited a less active family that I had helped move into their new house pretty soon before I left Bedford, and they are doing really well. We visited with Lesley, whom I love, and she gave me salt and pepper shakers as a present. It was so nice! In the evening we went out to St Neots for a very small Relief Society activity. Lots of my favourite members that I haven't been able to see in forever were there. I think some people were confused why I was there but didn't want to ask hahaha. Well anyway, sadly I did not get pictures and I very much regret it. But Sister Nendick taught us to knit. I was unsuccessful. I wasn't a very good student.
Thursday and Friday we spent at the family history convention that I mentioned last week. It was so fun! Well, the first day I was like crawling out of my skin because we weren't allowed to actively proselyte, we just had to sit there and wait for people to talk to us and couldn't mention the gospel unless we were asked. That was out of my comfort zone. But it ended up being super good, and I was able to help some people a lot with their family history! Its funny cuz I just clicked some buttons and looked like a genius at family history haha. So this one Scottish couple (whose accents I ADORE) came up to me at the welcome desk and said another booth had pointed them to us because they had one great great great aunt or something that was part of the "Mormon migration" and had left Scotland for Utah. They were just looking for the name of the woman who immigrated's grandfather, but with a very quick search we not only found her, but like 6 generations back from her, plus pictures of her and travel logs and trail journals mentioning her. She was apparently in the Martin handcart company. It was amazing. They were so happy, said they had found out more in like 5 minutes than in months and months of researching. Hopefully as they learn about this ancestor they are intrigued as to why she would pack up and travel thousands of miles for this religion. They were so cool. We had a few actual gospel conversations, but for the most part we were just helping people like that and it was really fun!
Saturday was interviews, which is always so fun. I love President and Sister Jordan, and I always learn SO MUCH from them when they give trainings and things. Sister Jordan trained on becoming a consecrated missionary, which was excellent and exactly what I needed. I definitely have a long way to go to be a consecrated missionary, but at least now I know what I can actually do to get closer to that goal. President talked about using the scriptures, which was actually one of my personal goals for the week so really inspired. Big missionary meetings like this are a lot like general conference wherein if you really listen, you feel like all comments are directed exactly at you and what you are struggling with or working on right now in your life, even though the person sitting right next to you with completely different circumstances may feel the same way. Crazy how the Holy Ghost works like that to prick us in our hearts on specific things we can improve on. It is always inspiring. I'm a bit going through a refiners fire internally in the past few weeks, really trying to work out some kinks in my character. It takes a lot of prayer and a lot of work, but I know I can become who the Lord needs me to be if I'm willing to put for the effort.
This week will be a lot more chill, we only have one exchange. I'm going to Enfield, and I get to be reunited with my sweet little Russian Sister Ovcharenko for the day! I'm excited! I hope you all have a lovely week, love you all!

Family History Convention

Flatmates! Sister Butler, me, Sister Hug, Sister Sua
This is Elder Riki from New Zealand. He is literally the best missionary to ever grace the streets of London. He went home yesterday. What a boss.
Future roomies. We had SUCH a good day together on Tuesday. Love her. (By the way, this picture is meant to be awkward hahaha)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Happy Birthday Jenni!

Look how you've grown!
I love you and I'm happy to have you as a sister. See you in October!

Monday, February 17, 2014

17 February 2014

Great week, y'all! We started this transfer off pretty strong. Me and Sister Butler work well together, I'm excited to be with her. I'm already learning a lot from her. And yes, hopefully today she teaches me some bball skills, we are playing right after emailing. 

So this week has been really ridiculously windy. See the picture of the fallen over tree. A lady down the street from our flat was sitting in her car and got killed by a big chunk of building falling of and landing on her. Thats how windy it was. The wind made lots of noises that made is hard to sleep, so I have been dead tired all week. No worries, I took a nap earlier today. It was splendid.

One of the highlights of my week was when President Jordan came teaching Marvin with us. It was such a great lesson, we were really able to get to the bottom of lots of Marvins concerns. He is still putting up a fight, but he knows he wants to be baptised but is still having trouble committing. We are still working hard on him. 

We did lots of good finding and found new investigators this week as well. Hopefully that will be bringing some good progressing investigators onto our radar this upcoming week. Other than working in my own area, I've been able to do two exchanges. We did an exchange with the Watford sisters in which Sister Butler went to Watford with Sister Allred and I had Sister Patterson in London with me. She is hilarious! She's my buddy from choir, and I've always wanted to serve with her. It was a blast. She is one of my favourite people on the planet. And we bond over our love of TSwift. Who was apparently in London for the past 2 weeks for her tour and NOBODY TOLD ME!!!!! Grrrrr. So upset. 

My second exchange, I went to Milton Keynes with Sister Rodrigues and Sister Carvalho. Sister Rodrigues apparently has the same condition as Jenni, she has a pacemaker and everything. Cool stuff. We chatted a bit about that. Sister Carvalho is my favorite Brazilian EVER. She is seriously adorable. 

Sad story: while I was in Milton Keynes my £75 boots broke. The zipper. So I have been freezing cold in normal shoes all week. Don't fret, I bought boots at Primark this morning. They will last me the rest of the winter.

Our Valentine's Day celebration consisted of us having a "Lock Your Heart" party, in which we just made little love hearts and wrote different stuff on each of them. For example:
"Just say no to 'flirt to convert'"
"Bridle your passions"
And several white handbook quotes.
It was really funny, to say the least. I love our flat. We are having such a fun time. 

So upcoming in my week is a lot of great stuff. Tomorrow I am bringing Sister Loveland (my neighbor from uni) on exchange with me here in London. She is the best person I've ever met, so it should be fun. Then on Wednesday I'm going back to Bedford again, which I'm extremely excited for. Over the weekend we are working a church booth at the worlds largest family history convention, taking place this week in London. I'm getting trained on how to do that today. Saturday we are having a cinema night where we are renting a little private cinema and showing Joseph Smith:Prophet of the Restoration. It should be awesome. 

Sister Butler and I, Elder David creepin in the background

This is how bad the wind was the other night. This is not the only tree we saw like this.

This happened like 3 minutes before we got there. We were on our way to pick Marvin up for church.

Valentines day celebration

This is the big ad campaign in London at the moment

Sister Patterson and I. We make no sense.

The ADORABLE Milton Keynes sisters- Sister Rodrigues (Birmingham, England) and Sister Carvalho (Brazil)

Monday, February 10, 2014

10 February 2014

New transfer woohoo! It has been a really good week. Well, Tuesday and Wednesday were really sad. But the rest of the week was really good!
So Tuesday, me and Sister Hymas just chilled at home all day. She curled my hair, I decorated her planner, and we made some sweet videos of us singing which I sadly cannot send because the file size is too big. But they are pretty dang cool.
Wednesday was moves day. AND, as luck would have it, there was a tube strike in which all tube lines except for like 2 were completely shut down. That means everyone was on the buses. And a bunch of missionaries lugging like 3 suitcases each on crowded buses was not a great idea. Thankfully, Sister Hymas had moved her stuff on Tuesday because we knew about the strike and thought it might be a smart idea. So getting everyone everywhere was stressful. We were in Hyde Park all day for the new missionary and trainer meeting. I got to be the first of the sisters to meet the new sisters that came in, they are all so cute! We were just helping Sister Jordan with trainings and stuff all day, it reminded me of my first day and the day I was a trainer, and it is really different being on the other side of the meeting haha. Really fun though, we got a really good group of new missionaries. One of them lives in my flat, Sister Hug (pronounced Hoog) from Switzerland.
Yeah, did I mention that another companionship lives with us now? Its a party! Sister Hug and her trainer Sister Sua from Sydney, Australia. She is  such a dang good missionary. I love these sisters! Living with 4 sisters in a flat is really fun!
So my new companion is Sister Meagan Butler. She's from Syracuse, Utah and she is a BALLER. No really she played at a junior college in Wyoming. She is dang good. And a great missionary as well. I'm excited to be with her. We are having lots of fun together already.
So on Saturday we took our investigator Marvin and his 5 year old daughter Shyann on a field trip to the visitor's centre. He got a tour, we watch a video, and we called President Jordan over to meet him. It was a really good day, and it helped him realize his answer that God wants him to get baptised. Although he still doesn't feel ready and he is still putting it off, he is that much closer to taking the plunge. President is going to come teach him with us this week, so that should help him. I am really pushy with Marvin because I know he can handle it. And he takes it well. We are buddies, I'm pretty sure he is really the only reason I was moved to Whitechapel.
We started teaching a girl named Juliana this week, and she came to church! She actually lives around the corner from the school we meet at on Sundays, but that wasn't how we met her oddly enough. I was talking to Marvin on the phone and sharing scriptures with him while we were on the bus, and this girl sitting by us leans to Sister Hymas and says, "Are you guys Christians?" And they got in a whole conversation and set an appointment, which Sister Butler and I went to this Friday. She is really good, genuinely curious and just wants to learn, and is so open to whatever answer God will give her. She is perfect!
We also ended up at a Pentacostal prayer group the past 2 Sundays, and that has just been a very eye-opening experience. I love knowing my relationship with God, that He is my Father and just wants me to have a normal conversation with Him. Knowing who He really is helps us know how best to communicate with Him. I just love having the Restored gospel in my life!
Alright, that's about all I've got to say for this week. Peace and blessings!
This is what 50% of the buses in London look like right now.
Saw this in a restaurant and liked it.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Enfield sisters
Our favourite Italian AP, Elder Tobia, is going home tomorrow. Sad.
Sister Larson and I
Twix Tam slams with the Enfield sisters

Moves and such

Another month has flashed by in the blink of an eye, and I have now reached my 10 month mark today. Little baby missionaries that I feel are way younger than me are now like 6 months out and I'm like whoa how did that happen?
So basically my heart has shattered into a million little pieces because me and Sister Hymas are splitting up. Which I was not expecting AT ALL. I really thought we were just going to stay. But nope, last night we were just sitting down with the Bicar family when President called. I'll be staying in Whitechapel and training a new STL, Sister Butler. She is one transfer ahead of me, so I will be with her for her year mark. She is really cool, she was in my district in Bedford. I'm excited because I like her. But it is really hard to not be super depressed about not being with Sister Hymas. We are best friends, no lie. And things were just picking up for us as well. So Sister Hymas will be opening a new sisters area in London North! Woohoo my old stomping grounds! Sister Diaz will still be there as well, so she will be in a flat with her and get all her awesome cooking so I'm pretty jealous.
We have had a pretty good last week of the transfer. So I haven't mentioned this, but Whitechapel doesn't have our own meetinghouse because the church is still trying to find a place for one in our ward boundaries, so we have been meeting way up at the Lea Valley chapel way out of our area, so it is really hard to get investigators, and members for that matter, to church. But this Sunday started us meeting in a secondary school we are now renting on the weekends. It was really strange having church in a school, but it was great because everyone could get there really easily. We had 4 investigators at church! The whole Bicar family except for the dad came, and they loved it! The ward embraced them so well. It was a great Sunday.
Last night we taught the Bicars the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was a really good lesson, and the Lord blessed me a lot to be able to hold it together and not burst out crying because 2 minutes earlier we got our call from President about moves. It was a really good lesson, and the Spirit was strong. They all accepted baptismal dates! So the 4 members of the Bicar family that are over the age of 8 will be baptised February 23rd if all goes according to plan. It is excellent, because we set a very faith-filled goal to have 4 baptisms in the month of February and the Lord is blessing our efforts. Pray really hard that they can keep this date, we are going to be working really hard with them.
This past week I've had some insight into the health care in this country. Sister Hymas needed a small little 5 minute procedure done, which is easily doable in a normal doctors office, but it all got blown way out of proportion and we spent all of Wednesday in a hospital. We got our own private hospital suite though, that was cool. So basically my health care insight is that if they can make things a big deal, they will. But trust me, it was not a big deal, just getting her nose cauterized. Which they found it necessary to sedate her for. She was really in and out of consciousness after this whole process, and we had our suitcases with us for exchanges, so when we were finally discharged, there was no way I was taking my have conscious companion and 2 suitcases on the tube to get home. We called a cab, and we ended up having the best conversation with the cab driver! His name was Waleed. His aunt is a temple worker, so he has been to the temple a bunch of times but he knows nothing about our church except that we don't drink tea or coffee. We got his details, and Sister Portillo and Sister Loveland are teaching him now!
I'm really excited for the adventures this next transfer are going to bring. I'm not really sure how well I'll fare training a new STL, seeing as I barely know what I'm doing myself. But we will figure it out. This will be the first time since I was trained that I have had a companion NOT from my MTC group. I'm going to be junior companion! Woohoo! It will be a party. And I'll still get to see Sister Hymas all the time because she is still in my zone and we have a bunch of leadership meetings and blah blah blah. Dang I love her. I'm really lucky I got to serve with her for even the short time that I did.
Have a great week y'all!