Monday, April 28, 2014

A whole new world- 28 April

It has been such a stellar week! I will not lie, I was very very sad to leave London. It has become like home to me. And its always a little scary to leave your comfort zone. So I shipped out of the Garden of Eden to the lone and dreary world of Ipswich. Which, as soon as I got here, was not lone nor dreary. It is absolutely amazing! 

So on my birthday, Wednesday, most of the missionaries were supposed to meet at Kings Cross to switch companions, so I got to see a lot of my mission friends. Sister Jones brought me a present, what a sweetie haha. When Elder Nolan found out it was my birthday, he led all like 50 missionaries there in singing to me. In the middle of the train station. It was a tad embarrassing but also pretty dang cool. How often do you get that many missionaries singing to you? 

Later that day when we got to Ipswich, we got on Facebook and had both of our very first Facebook lessons. Success! Seriously, FB makes things so much better! Much easier to get in touch with people on there, and it helps that it tells you if they have seen the message or not. 

So we have a great teaching pool here in Ipswich, its pretty cool. I really like all our investigators, they are sweet. I'm really hoping to get them progressing and find more people that will progress. Finding families to teach is a billion times easier out here. So I'm a fan of that. 

Now let me devote a paragraph to my new companion, Sister Emily Curtis from Provo, Utah. Yes, she is my third companion in a row from Utah. Oh well. She is AWESOME! I just love her. We are having so much fun together. And she is a dang good missionary. Keeps me on my toes for sure. Oh and guess what? Her dad is the mayor of Provo! So that's pretty stinkin cool. She is really into health and fitness, so I'm hoping she can help me with that. I need to get into a healthier eating habit. She is like a toothpick, so skinny and so tall. Oh, and she went to hair school haircuts! Woohoo! But for real, she is great and we have a blast together. Good pairing for sure. We have made some really excellent goals for this transfer, I'm excited to see what we can accomplish. 

The ward here is amazing. And I'm pretty sure the size of all my previous 3 wards combined. It is so big. And 50% Portugese. And they feed us really well. Like, I actually get dinner appointments. Its a miracle. And I just love everyone I've met so far, they are all so fun and friendly and fired up about missionary work! It is refreshing and exciting! Great things are going to happen here. 

So finally, one of our goals is to have fun this transfer. So we are trying to do a cup of fun, an idea stolen from previous sisters where we have little fun activities or dares or something that would only take 5-10 minutes each night. So we need suggestions for that. My inbox is open.

Love you all! Go share the gospel!

Dolores, a member of the ward from Espana, Sister Curtis, and I. Sorry, this is the only picture I have with my new companion so far.

Mini-birthday party. Appreciate all the hashtag signs.

The Sister J pose. This is like my only picture from my actual birthday, sorry.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Happy Days! (Easter, birthday, baptism, moves, lots of stuff)

It's been a great and very full week, I have lots to tell about! But first off, we'll get the big announcement out of the way. I'm getting kicked out of London! After 6 transfers here, I'm finally shipping out. I'm moving to Ipswich to be with Sister Curtis, my third companion in a row from Utah haha. But she is really awesome and I'm so stinkin excited to be with her. We are gonna crush it. And I've heard about how awesome Ipswich is like my whole mission, so I'm excited. I sure will miss Whitechapel though, I love this ward so dang much! They have been so great to me!
So last Tuesday I had Sister Loveland with me here on an exchange. We had a ridiculous amount of fun. She said something hilarious but profound I thought. She said, "Don't follow the antelope off the cliff." Now she was referring to not following me crossing the street when we didn't have a green man, but I thought it was actually a pretty good saying for most instances. Don't be an antelope. Don't follow your friends off a cliff.
Anyway, Wednesday I was in Bedford with Sister Som for an exchange. Unfortunately we forgot to take a picture together. But I got to see a lot of the members there that I absolutely love, which is lucky because it was my last opportunity to go there. I even got to see one of my old investigators, Blessing! Talked him into going to church, hopefully he went. It was a really fun day. Oh and I got to see James, Elouise, Charlotte, and Mitchell, they came to say hello to me for a second. So great!
Thursday night there was a really cool activity at Hyde Park chapel. Elder Ohman, one of the senior couples, plays organ professionally, so they showed a silent film from 1927 called King of Kings and he played organ to it. It was like 2 hours long, but it was really really good! I really enjoyed it, it definitely got me in the Easter spirit.
Friday was zone conference and WOW it was a good one. We talked about the Fall of Adam and Eve, and I learned so stinkin much! It was profound. The Hayes sisters did a musical item and it was beautiful. Big fan. I love zone conferences!
So the big event of the week was Arthur's baptism on Sunday evening! We picked him up for church and he wore a suit and it was just stinkin adorable. He was so excited all week for this. So we went to church, had fun there, then took him to Hyde Park where the baptism was going to be, then went and picked up the other sisters' investigator Vilma that was getting baptised and went to the chapel, got there just in time. Let me tell you, the Whitechapel ward SHOWED UP. We had really great attendance and it was such an amazing service. At the end, Vilma and Arthur both got up to bear their testimonies. Arthur usually doesn't show much emotion, but he got teary as he explained how he had grown up in Jamaica seeing missionaries and wondering what they were about, then meeting the sisters in Enfield and learning from us, feeling as though God was telling him it was time for him to settle down, start a new life, follow and serve Him. It was amazing. He has come so far since we met him. He is so excited to be a part of the ward and help other people strengthen their testimonies. I love Arthur so dang much! I'm so sad to be leaving him right after his baptism. This has definitely been my favourite Easter of all time. There is no better way to celebrate the Saviour's atonement than by watching somebody take full advantage of it and make covenants with their Heavenly Father.
Yesterday we had companionship study with Sister Jordan. We talked about charity and it was really lovely. I learned how faith is in Jesus Christ, hope is in our own efforts, and charity is about others. They all three are so intertwined and so important to becoming more like Jesus Christ. I love Sister Jordan and the insights she had for us, it was a really great experience.
Well, I'm sad to be leaving Whitechapel because it has been an amazing three transfers, but I'm so excited for new adventures in Ipswich. We will see if I take the transition to country life better than I took the transition into city life. I know there is someone in Ipswich the Lord has prepared for me and Sister Curtis to find, teach, and baptise!!!
Arthur's baptism! With the Yorke's, some of my favourite Africans ever.
The beloved Elder Larsen, who is leaving us tomorrow. I'm going to be a mission orphan!
King of Kings, the silent film night last Thursday
Sister Loveland and I went to Buckingham Palace for our morning run
I got to see Blessing on my exchange to Bedford!

Monday, April 14, 2014

This is a member named Lucy that I just adore. She is the sweetest!

Me, Sister Patterson, Sister Couper, and Sister Hug

We were finding with this lovely banner in St Albans

14 April 2014- WARNING: My birthday is next week. Hint Hint.

Well, I've had a pretty swell week this week. Already told you about Pday last week, that was super fun. Today we haven't done much besides going to the Primark on Oxford Street (Primark is like Forever 21 only everything is dirt cheap and this particular Primark is 4 stories tall.) just to get me some shoes for spring. £17 later, I now have three new pairs of shoes that are all super cute and I'm excited not to wear boots all the time anymore. Later today we are going to Hyde Park to have a picnic with some other sisters and elders, and then we are going to teach a woman named Wendy tonight who is SO nice, we are excited about her.

Anyway, back to last week. On Tuesday I went to Hayes, where there is currently a trio. Sister Patterson, Sister Hug, and Sister Couper, and I got to do an exchange with them. First of all, I love all three of them so stinkin much. Sister Patterson is just one of my best friends, Sister Hug was in our flat last transfer and I've missed her dearly, and Sister Couper is just adorable and we had a really fun exchange last transfer together. So I was pretty excited to be with them. And they all three sing so stinkin good! They have got all these beautiful 3 part harmonies figured out for a bunch of hymns. I taught them a song I learnt in 3rd grade, and that was fun. So basically we did splits all day and I just got passed around, and then it ended in a dinner appointment. Excellent.

Wednesday we were home for new missionary meeting and then to see all our investigators. It was a long day for some reason. I don't think I got very good sleep the night before or something, because I felt like I had been hit by a truck all day. 

Thursday I went on an exchange to St Albans with Sister Jones. Reunion! It was really fun being with her again, we have both grown so much since we were together last summer. Good times. It was weird being together but in a different place, but let me just say that I LOVE St Albans. It is beautiful up there. 

Saturday was great, Arthur had his baptismal interview and passed with flying colours. He is the man. We did it at his new place, and then helped him unpack lots of the stuff he hasnt been able to yet. He very much appreciated it. Saturday night was the adult session of stake conference, which I absolutely loved. President and Sister Jordan spoke, and I just love listening to them talk, they are very very good. Others from our stake spoke on family history and missionary work, and it was all really inspiring. 

It made me think of an analogy. Sharing the gospel is like when your friend has something in their teeth. Initially, you are kind of scared to tell them they have something in their teeth because you don't want to embarrass them, but then you tell them and they really appreciate that you did something so simple as to point something out to them so that they could do something about it. That's like the gospel. Lots of our friends have things "stuck in their teeth," that they don't even know are there. And you see what they need, and all it takes is for you to tell them, and they will be really grateful to you for simply opening your mouth and saying something to help them. So share the gospel people. In the grand scheme of things, your friends will not ever get mad or stop being your friend because you share something that is important to you with them.

The Sunday general session was also very good. We sang He Is Risen and More Holiness Give Me in the YSA choir. They asked the missionaries to join because they needed more voices or something. So I got to sit on the stand the whole time. Moses, our investigator from Ghana who is just about the coolest, most hard working man ever, came. He had worked from 7pm to 7am Saturday night, then trekked all the way across town for stake conference at 10, just to have to work that same shift Sunday night. He was asleep for most of the meeting, but the fact that he came really tells a lot about his character and how the gospel is affecting him and helping him have a desire to change. So cool.

So this week I'm in our area with Sister Loveland tomorrow (YAY!) and in Bedford with Sister Som Wednesday (double yay!). Those are our last two exchanges of the transfer, and then moves are next week. Meaning I won't be emailing until Tuesday the 22nd. For this moves, I would really like to stay, but I know the Lord needs me wherever He puts me, so I'm pretty much cool with whatever happens. I do love Whitechapel though, the people here are great. The most exciting thing about this upcoming week is Arthur's baptism on Sunday! Yay for Easter baptisms! Pray hard for him that he will be able to withstand adversity this week, because heaven knows the week before is the hardest, Satan really works hard to keep people from taking steps toward the celestial kingdom. 

This is me unashamedly reminding you all that next Wednesday is my birthday. I would love some post! 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rebecca and us at Chipotle. Good food.

Nanny Jean! Oh I love her.

Sister Shalvis and I. Notice the honeycomb hot chocolate from Costa in her hand. I'm trying to introduce any and all sisters to it, because it is DELICIOUS.

Sister Rodrigues and I on my one year mark. We were bored. Also, I'm not wearing make up so I look gross.

This is our feet on our walk through Hyde Park

Zone meeting. President showed up to join us, so that was cool.

Gardens at Kensington Palace

Peter Pan!

7 April 2014

Well this week went a lot smoother than the last, so it was nice! Obviously the big news is that I've been out ONE WHOLE YEAR! Woohoo. We didn't do much for it really. Our friend Rebecca, a girl we are teaching, took us to Chipotle. That was good. And then the next day we ordered in pizza. Also very good. My week has been filled with good food.

So last week after we emailed, we went on a walk in Hyde Park with Sister Jordan and the VC sisters. It was way fun! We fed squirrels, went by Kensington Palace, and saw the Peter Pan statue. Great PDay. Today for PDay we went to the Jordan's flat and watched the Sunday afternoon session of General Conference since we didn't get to see it live. We made Navajo tacos for this occasion, it was delicious. 

So last week, I was in London on an exchange with Sister Shalvis from Utah. I have never served around her, but she is dang cool. I just love the sisters I get to work with. They are the best. On Thursday I was in Milton Keynes on an exchange with Sister Rodrigues from England, and that was also a good time. We actually had a really excellent day. Found lots of really solid investigators, it was a much needed faith boosting day. 

Conference at Hyde Park chapel was excellent, as per usual. I got to see lots of my favorites from London North, especially Sister Rainsley who I have now nicknamed Nanny Jean. Here are my thoughts that I wrote down:

-The words of Let Us All Press On: "Fear not though the enemy deride. Courage, for the Lord is on our side. We will heed not what the wicked may say but the Lord alone we will obey." I really felt like that was a fitting song for MoTab to sing, because it seemed to me to be the theme of the majority of the talks. 

-Don't worry everybody, I have yet to get food thrown on me or been spit on. I have been yelled at by a few angry drunk people about how Mormons are incestual, but that caused no physical harm. 

-Elder Holland's talk was spot on, as per usual. I just loved it. 

-Kim B Clark got released. When they said his name I was like "Hey! I know him!"

-Another big theme was President Monson. I feel like they talked specifically about President Monson a lot more than they usually do, and most of the quotes were President Monson quotes. 

-I LOVED President Uchtdorf's talk. It was exactly what I needed, and answered one of the questions I went into conference with. 

Sorry, not much else to say. We watched Elder Oaks priesthood session talk today and that was super excellent. Gave me a new perspective on priesthood. I heard about all the craziness with the protests and whatever. Perfect talk for that. 

Other than that, my week was pretty standard. Enjoy all the pictures!