Monday, March 31, 2014

Caroline and I showed up in matching colors. Then Sister York photo-bombed haha.
Dreams do come true! I got to wear Sister York's headpiece at church!

31 March 2013

Alright, everybody, big news! WE GOT FACEBOOKS! The Lord is really hastening His work, and the internet will help us reach more people more quickly. Brilliant. But here's the deal: we have very strict guidelines so that we can use this blessing in the Lord's intended way. I am not allowed to have anyone outside of my mission boundaries as my friend. So if you add me and I don't accept you, don't be mad. It also means my old Facebook is currently deactivated so I can be obedient to Facebook's rule of only having one account per person. So there ya go.
This also means that people might assume that with a Facebook, I will be more in touch with the news, not only of the world but of my friends and family back home. This is not true. Please still email me and tell me about things. Because I'm not allowed to even look at the profiles of people from home, so don't mistake this as a possibility of me knowing whats going on. I hope I'm being clear enough that I want to be more informed about peoples lives dang it!
So this week has been....interesting. And a test of my patience I think. Lots of unforeseen issues that I'm not going to go into. It has also been a really busy week! We went on two exchanges this week. On Tuesday I was in the lovely town of Leighton Buzzard with Sister Andersen and Sister Maurer. Good times. Our fun activity of the night was drawing animals on each others feet. Don't ask me how that happened, but it did remind me of my dear friend Natalie and something she would do. Actually, something she has done several times before.
Wednesday I was in my area with Sister Osmeni, who is from my MTC group. She is from Albania, she has such an interesting conversion story. It was so fun to listen to her testify of that as we taught. Loved it.
Thursday was normal, and then Friday we had a conference to lay down the rules for Facebook. Hence the first paragraph of this post. Help me be exactly obedient by not providing temptations for me, ya'll!
Saturday we had a lovely MLC. I always LOVE these meetings that I get to not only learn from President and Sister Jordan, but to learn from the powerhouse missionaries that lead this mission. I find it so amazing how the Lord takes such young men and women and helps them become such powerful leaders with His Spirit. I'm learning a lot from the elders and sisters I serve around on how to invite that spiritual power into my life.
Sorry, that's about all I've got for this week. Love you all!

Monday, March 24, 2014

24 March 2014

We had an interesting week this week! Last Wednesday we got to stay all day at the chapel for the new missionary meeting. This group of new missionaries is made up of a lot of recent converts to the church, which is absolutely amazing. Reminds me of when I served with Sister Ovcharenko and how  powerful it is to have a companion who can testify of being raised in a different faith and coming to learn the truth. We had a fun day, we stayed with the trainers and kept them entertained while the new missionaries were having orientation. The new sister in our flat, Sister Phillips, is from Surrey, which is the bordering stake to ours in the London South mission. That must be weird. Especially because her dad works in our ward boundaries, so if she needs something from home she could just drop it at the chapel. Very convenient. She is really really cool. I'm glad we have her. We are already having a blast, the four of us in the Whitechapel flat. The other night we did facemasks and had a dance party to some EFY music. It was a hoot.
So Arthur, our dear Jamaican investigator, fell off the face of the earth this week. We don't have the address of the place he is staying because its just temporary, so our only communication with him is through the phone. Well, his phone was just ringing and ringing with no answer, so we came to the conclusion that he lost it. Which was quite a predicament for us. So Friday, we went with the only piece of helpful information- he had told us before that he goes to a friends Caribbean restaurant up on this road that is like 3 miles long- and tried to hunt him down. We were just scouring the road for a Caribbean restaurant, and the first one we found we went in and there's Arthur just sitting there! Miracle! He was happy we were able to find him, although he said if we didn't he was just going to show up to church. We felt like proper detectives haha. He is a great man, should be getting baptised early to mid- April. We still need to pound out the details of an actual date.
On Thursday we took Dean to the Jordan's flat and taught with Sister Jordan. This was my first time teaching with her, but she is AWESOME. She is super knowledgable about the scriptures, which was helpful because Dean always has questions about his reading. It was a great lesson on fasting, in which we decided to fast together on Sunday regarding his baptism decision. So we did. And then we also took him to a baptism to see what it is like Sunday afternoon. He is really cool, really prepared, and really wanting to do his best to follow God. Such a great guy.
Well, I don't have much else this week, besides Happy Spring! And happy birthday to my little munchkin Aria!
Oh, and I found out this transfer is a 5 week transfer meaning next moves is on my birthday! That should be interesting haha.
We love each other. And we love taking funny pictures when we are together. Yay roomies!
Facemask party. Sister Sua and Sister Phillips might just murder me for posting this. Do not tag them in it on facebook.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

18 March 2014- Happy St Patricks day!

So...Good news! Sister Butler and I are staying in Whitechapel! Sister Sua is staying as well, but our little baby Sister Hug is leaving us for full proselyting in Hayes. So we are getting a new NEW sister tomorrow named Sister Phillips. And she's from England! I get to live with a British person yay!

Cool story: That taxi driver we talked to on the way home from Sister Hymas' hospital visit last transfer? He AND his girlfriend are being taught and getting baptised!!!!! SO COOL! This is a big testimony builder to me that sometimes stupid or painful or inconvenient things happen to us, but God knows what He is doing. EVERYTHING that happens is for a reason. Take all the opportunities God puts in your path to share the gospel. 

This week has been really excellent. I went on an individual exchange to Bedford. We saw Gabriel, who says he wants to get baptised in April so we comitted him to April 26th, which is especially cool because thats the day I got baptised in 2001! He thought that was really cool too. I also got to go to youth, which was a blast. No picture because we had to leave early, but I got to see all my favorite people ever! 

Wednesday I brought Sister Formica (from my MTC group) to my area on an exchange and we had a lot of fun together. I learned a lot from her, she is a dang good missionary. And she was just made STL last night, she is Sister Hymas' new companion. So cool! We taught Dean with President Jordan, and Dean showed up with 2 bouquets of sunflowers and said, "I got these for you because everytime I meet with you the sun is shining." AWWWWWWW CUTE! He really does feel the Spirit so strongly I think, he is really in tune. The lesson was really great and President was able to resolve a few of his concerns about baptism. 

The next day, after we switched back, we went and taught this investigator named Reza at his flat. He has a hard time sleeping so he is always buying new pillows to see what works for him, so he has a bunch of pillows that he has used once. So he gave me one! Yay, because my pillow is rubbish. Same day, this less active named Rosie we are working with brought us a bunch of tubes of toothpaste from the dentist office she works at. So, basically, we were showered with gifts this week. It was funny. Very much appreciated as well.

So on Thursday or Friday, can't remember which, Curtis, the recent convert from London North, came and taught Dean with us. THAT was an amazing experience. I was able to see how much Curtis has grown since his baptism last October. He has a really good testimony and was really helpful in teaching Dean. They have similar backgrounds, which is why we set up the meeting. It was also just really good to see Curtis again. 

This new couple moved to our ward, the Millers, but only for 6 months so they are not moving their records into the ward. Which means they cant get a calling. So they told us that their self-inflicted calling is missionary work, and Sister Miller is now our best friend. She just got home from her mission in Germany like 2 years ago. She's from Hungary, married an American. She is just the coolest lady ever! I really love her! Well, I love this whole ward, but we have spent a lot of time with her recently so she is special. We went to Dean's house with her yesterday, and he played guitar for us and he is SO GOOD! He is in a band. Gave us his CD. Too bad we can't listen. 

Arthur is also doing great, he found a place to live and thankfully it is in our ward boundaries. He is just the sweetest guy, he never has any doctrinal concerns. Wish he asked more questions, but he is just so accepting of everything. I love him!

Well, this week is going to be fun. New missionary meeting all day tomorrow! I think we are teaching with Sister Jordan on Thursday, that should be awesome, and then Dean and Arthur are both being interviewed for baptism! Yay!

Love you all, have a great week!

This was just randomly on the ground. Cool.

This is Marvin. And his daughter Shyann. Yeah, this explains everything.

Dean brought us flowers! Sister Formica was unfortunately turning her head.

Sister Formica and I on our exchange. New STL!

Me and Meg at youth in Bedford. Her shirt makes me sad. And happy. Also, Sister Hug did a Katniss braid on me.

Sister Schubert and I on exchange #3 to Bedford.

Monday, March 10, 2014

10 March 2014

So this week, lots of exciting things have happened! On Tuesday we had zone meeting, and I turned 11 months! Elder Nolan, my son (so proud) gave a really moving training on the Atonement. I am so blessed to have this experience. On my mission, the Atonement has become so much more real to me. I have felt the effects of it in my own life and I've seen it affect other people. As we were discussing this in zone meeting, we were talking about the experience of Jonah. He was angry that the people he taught were forgiven or something like that. It was mentioned that Jonah needed the Atonement just as much as his converts. Its so true. Whether we are a faithful member of the Church or the "vilest of sinners", we all need the Atonement in our lives just the same. The Lord is so good to us!

Wednesday morning, before helping at the new missionary 3 week training meeting, Sister Butler and I had companionship study with President Jordan. Such an amazing experience. We talked about agency and it just never ceases to amaze me how perfect God's plan is for us! It is flawless. We also talked about covenants, and it is just so great that God offers such a great way to allow us to do the right things without forcing us to. Basically this whole week has been a great testimony boost that literally every thing to every happen, every principle of the gospel, every trial, every test, every commandment is in our lives only because our Heavenly Father loves us, infinitely and eternally. Amazing. 

So we are teaching two really solid investigators. Arthur, the older gentleman from Jamaica, is getting baptised on March 29th. We taught him two commandments this week and he was just like, "Well if its a commandment from God then why would I not keep it?" Oh, he is great. Such a sweet guy. We are also teaching a guy in his mid 30s named Dean. He's a pianist, plays at the Ritz. Seriously. He is really cool, was just athiest like 7 months ago. Anyway, he is really soaking in the message and keeping commitments and came to church and he is just great! He was having second thoughts about meeting with us mid-week, and we didnt try to talk him into doing it anyway, and by the next morning he had a change of heart and now he is more solid than ever. I just love the people we teach! week is moves. So I won't email until Tuesday. Sorry folks. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that everything just stays the same. I really want to stay in Whitechapel one more transfer. One more transfer and I'll have lived in London for 9 months! Wish me luck!

Love you all!

We are 11 months old! Sister Diaz, me, Sister Hymas and Elder Bell.

Our district at the stake activity. Elder Harding, Elder Botcha, Sister Hug, me, Sister Sua, and Sister Butler

Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy March!

So, this week! It was a dang good one. Monday for PDay we went to St Pauls Cathedral, which was WAY cooler than Westminster Abbey. And we climbed the dome. It was a lot of steps. Very beautiful cathedral though. That night, we took Marvin and his daughter to a member family's house for FHE. It was really fun! We played a game and watched a conference talk. Great start to the week. Oh, also on Monday WE GOT A CROCKPOT!!!! Hallelujah. I really needed one. Now I can actually cook decent meals form me and my flatmates. So far I have made a whole chicken (with gravy), BBQ pulled pork, and Navajo tacos are on the agenda for this week. Hooray!
Tuesday I went on an exchange with Enfield, where my dear little Russian Sister Ovcharenko is. It was so fun to be with her again! And with her companion, Sister Hansen. They are so lovely. We had a really great day, lots of new investigators, and even a great family to teach!
This week we have had a lot of success in starting to teach solid investigators. We are teaching this Nigerian family- a woman named Kemi and her three boys. We are really excited for them. And she is awesome, she sends us home with food every time we go to her house. Another new investigator is named Reza, he investigated like 4 years ago for a year straight down in London South, and he approached us a few weeks ago. He has been at church for the past 2 weeks, its been great! We are now teaching a man named Dean that Sister Loveland and I found when she was here, and he is really really cool. Reminds me a lot of Curtis, the guy that I taught in London North. They should meet.
Our big miracle investigator though is Arthur. He was found by the Enfield sisters actually, but he lives in our area so they referred him to us, and now he has accepted the invitation to be baptised! Hopefully that will be happening this month! So great, he is the sweetest Jamaican man, so accepting of the doctrine and very soft spoken. Yay new investigators!
I love the Whitechapel ward. They are excellent. We invited all the members that taught with us this week to bear their testimony about it yesterday, and they all did and it was just wonderful. I think one of the greatest ways to get the members excited about the work is to have those that are involved already share their good experiences. It works a lot better than the missionaries badgering them all the time.
We had MLC again this past Saturday, and as always it was excellent. I really do love missionary meetings, but I feel the Spirit especially strong in MLC. I'm so excited and humbled to be a leader in this mission. It is a big responsibility and blessing.
Today we had a funeral for Sister Portillo, who goes home on Wednesday. It was hilarious. We sang funeral-y hymns, had a eulogy, scripture reading, and Returned Missionary Purpose recitation (Basically "Our purpose is to get married") hahaha it was fun. It ended in a 21 popper salute while Sister Sua played God Be With You Til We Meet Again on the piano. Very dramatic. I'm really going to miss Sister Portillo though, she is seriously so sweet! I just love her.
Alright, that's about all I've got this week. Love you all! Stay classy.
Lunch at Slug & Lettuce (Me, Sister Butler, Sister Hug, Sister Portillo, Sister Ferrell, Sister Gibson, Sister Gjevik who is not looking, and Sister Sua)

Some big events this week

Sister Butler's year mark!!!
Sister Portillo's funeral (the banner in the back says Farewell, and the sister mourning her loss is her companion, Sister Ferrell) She is covered in confetti from the 21 popper salute that we gave her.
Sometimes our proselyting work takes us to cool places. Twentieth Century Fox headquarters.
....and the Les Miserables theatre. This was all within like 5 minutes.
Me at St Pauls Cathedral last Monday
Russian reunion! And Sister Hansen, whom I also love dearly.