Monday, June 30, 2014
Its the last day of June! How did that happen?! 2014 is now half over, that is so crazy to me. Well, this week has been largely uneventful, but I'll try my best to write some good stuff. But first, a joke:
How is England different than tea?
Tea stays in a cup longer!
hahahahahaha As you might be able to tell, the World Cup is talked about in literally every dinner appointment, every finding situation, every everything. The funny thing is I don't even like football, and I cant even watch it, but I'm rooting for USA with all I've got. Actually, we are allowed to watch the final, but I told Sister Curtis I will only watch it if the US is playing haha. I'll probably end up watching it anyway.
In other entertainment news, this week there was a program on telly called "Meet the Mormons" which apparently everyone and their dog watched. It is a documentary following a missionary in the Leeds mission. But apparently is showed more of the Church PR representative telling the reporter her question was inappropriate than it did of what we believe or what missionary work is actually like. We are getting a lot of questions about it, but all press is good press, because people know who we are and it starts a conversation!
This past week I went on an exchange with Sister Greenfield. She came to Ipswich with me, and we had a really good day. She is older than me in the mission, and she is the sweetest sister ever! Honestly so polite. We made dinner for a member family, guess what we made? Navajo tacos, of course! Nobody here knows what those are. Actually lots of the American missionaries dont even know what those are. Oh well, they are good anyway.
Thursday was MLC, which I always love going to. Except we caught a ride with the Cambridge elders and I had to wake up at 430 IN THE MORNING to get a train to Cambridge to meet them there on time. It was crazy. But yeah, the meeting was really good. Honestly my favourite missionary meeting.
On Friday, Sister Curtis hit her year mark! Crazy! That makes me feel insanely old, because my baby Sister Brady was also in her group. A year ago I became a mission mom haha. So we went out to lunch at Caffe Nero for some of her favourite soup. Fun stuff.
Guess what we are doing next week for PDay? We are going to Cambridge to watch the Tour de France! How cool is that?! We are dang excited for it. For todays PDay activity we went to the chapel and watched the David Archuleta FB chat thing on lds.org. It was really good, and he pretty much hit the nail on the head with all of his answers.
Tomorrow is zone conference, and we are having it here in Ipswich which is super convenient for us. Other things this week are exchanges with the Colchester and Chelmsford sisters. I think that's it. Nothing major. OH YEAH and its 4th of July, which is not a big deal here BUT we have a really awesome thing to do planned of which you will receive photos next week. Stay tuned. Love you all, hope your week is great!
Monday, June 23, 2014
Incredible week this week! We will start with the most important part, TWO BAPTISMS! On Saturday, we had a baptismal service for Shanice. It was excellent. It seriously went so smoothly. Sister Curtis and I sang a song called Valiant Faith. #crushedit. Shanice's family came and I think enjoyed themselves. We enjoyed having them, they are really cool. Shanice was teary the whole service, it was so sweet. Yesterday was her confirmation, she is now officially a member of the Church! Yay! We hope to take her teaching a bunch haha. Yesterday evening she texted saying that @shaycarl, the dad on Shaytards, favourited her picture from her baptism on Twitter! SO COOL! Like seriously, icing on the cake.
Sunday after church we had the baptism of the other investigator, the one that didnt have an address in Ipswich and then did and that was a miracle. I don't want to put his name out there (and sadly wont be posting the picture of his baptism either) because he does not want it on the internet, he comes from a Muslim family that would NOT be impressed. So for now we will call him Al. So Al's baptism was great. Funny story though, his girlfriend asked us to get a member of the ward to speak at it, and there is another member with an almost identical name, so we asked the wrong guy and didnt know until the day before! hahaha But they were all ok with it, it wasnt a big deal. Just a big oops on our part. After his baptism, Al bore his testimony and it was so great! Our first lesson with him he had said that he didnt believe Jesus was the Son of God, but he would pray about it. In his short time investigating the church, he has grown a very firm testimony of Christ's divinity. I had a huge smile on my face as he bore his testimony of the Saviour.
Both of these wonderful people are kingdom builders. And they were both born in 1994, so they are around our age and both are super cool, so I'm just really excited to be friends with them for life!
I was on an exchange with Sister Martineau in Norwich again this week. It was really fun. They have an investigator named Petya that I really like and requested to see, so we met up for some hot chocolate. Last time, we taught her word of wisdom. She is in love with coffee. I was really super bold with her and told her to knock it off, and this time I was so pleased to hear from her that she has not had coffee since! So cool! She is a sweet girl, I really like her.
So our whole companionship, Sister Curtis and I have been really interested in the doctrine of the pre-earth life, like who we were and what we were like there. We have read a lot about how the members of the Church on earth today were the really valiant, faithful ones apparently. It kind of solidified it when we read this quote from Boyd K Packer:
"You were in the War in Heaven and one day when you are in the spirit world you will be enthralled with those who you are associated with. You will ask someone in which time period they lived in and you might hear 'I was with Moses when he parted the read sea,' or 'I helped build the pyramids,' or 'I fought with Captian Moroni.' And as you are standing there in amazment, someone will turn to you and ask, 'which of the prophets time did you live in?' and when you say 'Thomas S. Monson', a hush will fall over every hall and every corridor in heaven, and all in attendance will bow at your presence. You were held back six thousand years because you were the most talented, most obedient, most courageous, and most righteous. Are you still? Remeber who you are."
Whoa. I don't mean to share that to be like, "Look at us, we are awesome." But it is an amazing reminder of who we are and who our pre-earth life selves wanted to become when we signed up for this life. It is a blessing and privilege to live in this age and to know the truth. And I think about how easy I have had it being born into the church and stuff and how blessed I am for that. But in the context of this quote, I have more thought about Shanice and Al and all the other people that have grown up in completely different circumstances and as soon as they hear the truth embrace it. THEY are the truly valiant, I think. God knew He could trust them to go into a circumstance of not knowing the gospel and they would find it and jump on it anyway. So whether you are a convert or not, just remember who you are and who you wanted to become back before the veil.
This week should be fun, we have an exchange with Cambridge sisters and MLC. Have a great week, don't forget to tell me of your Preach My Gospel studies!
It appears that everyone has forgotten my address, so here you go: a gentle reminder that I LIKE POST!
Sister Amanda Jeanne Jacobsmeyer
England London Mission
64-68 Princes Gate
London, England SW7 2PA
Monday, June 16, 2014
What an epic week! On Monday we went to one of my favorite families, the Lambs, and took Shanice for another FHE. Brother Lamb has been studying Preach My Gospel, as challenged by Elder Ballard in General Conference in April, and so we had him teach a part of the lesson and it was brilliant! It really reminded me that I wanted to challenge you all to study Preach My Gospel and include what you have learned every week in your emails to me. Do it. You'll be blessed for it. Also, Shanice showed them her scripture journal at the beginning, and their daughter Naomi was like in and out of the room the rest of the lesson and at the end she comes and shows her parents a scripture journal she made! And when we left she was showing it to her neighbor! You really never know how your example will impact people, so be on your toes.
Wednesday I took over the area and had Sister Oliveira on an exchange with me. She is from Brazil, she is awesome, and she's the only member in her family. I loved hearing her conversion story and seeing her share her testimony with those we taught that day. I really do love and admire all the sisters that come from such different backgrounds and challenges, yet all serve with the same goal, to help Heavenly Father's children. We had a really good day together, and we got to teach with a lot of members. The best part was a YSA Raquel coming to find with us. She's a pro.
Thursday I left the area to go on an exchange to Thetford! Its the only sisters area in the mission with a car. So I got to ride around in a car all day, it was awesome! I can honestly say that the next morning was the only morning on my mission I have woken up actually feeling completely well rested. Because I didnt have to walk a million miles the day before. Anyway, I was with Sister Steele from Gilbert, AZ. She has been out about 3 months. She is a powerhouse. We had a lot of fun together, and I learned so much from her about recognising and following the Spirit. Thetford is close to an American army base, so when we tracted we talked to a lot of Americans which is so weird for me. I've never actually taught an American investigator, and for some reason it makes me nervous. Every American I know here is a member, whether active or less active. So weird.
So at the beginning of the transfer last week, Sister Curtis and I determined that we really wanted to have a week where we get 20 lessons taught to investigators with a member present. The mission average per companionship per week is about 4, and the standard of excellence is 12. Last week we got 14 and from that we could see that if we just worked it out and planned for it, we could get 20. We were at 15 by Saturday night, and Sundays are usually a slow go, but we determined to get those last 5 on Sunday. And we worked REALLY hard for it. Satan was really working hard to keep us from meeting our goal. By 7 pm we had 19, and we just needed one more and we had one more investigator we needed to go see, but no member to go with. We tried a lot of people, and finally one of the youth that lives close said she could and we went to this investigator and they told us through the front window that their door is broken and they cant open it. Gaaaaahhhh. But we were not going home without teaching them. Thankfully, one of the sons, the one we are working most with in this family, walked up just then and we were able to teach him and his two cousins. We were able to reach our goal! If you would have asked me to get 20 member presents a few months ago, I would have laughed it off saying it was impossible. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE! There is no limit to what we can do with the Lord on our side.
Shanice is doing great, we are going to lunch with her today. We are so excited for her baptism Saturday afternoon :) Our investigator who we said has an address here in Ipswich was meant to get baptised on the 28th, but he is ready and has decided to move it up to this Sunday. So we are going to have a weekend full of baptisms, it will be wonderful! I'm so grateful and I feel so blessed with all the great things God is allowing me to take part in. The gospel is true! Love you all, talk to you next week!
Monday, June 9, 2014
Soooooo, its been a good week. We reached a new record for our companionship on member present lessons. 14. It was awesome. We really want to break 20 sometime this transfer, that would be great!
Shanice is doing SO WELL! She is seriously so cool. I love her. So we have taught her everything and she just accepts it so humbly and willingly. It really is inspiring to me, makes me want to be more trusting and obedient. So as we've met with her we have asked how her parents are reacting and they sound not super impressed. Like, they are not religious at all. They are letting her do what she wants though, but it would be ideal to have their support because it just makes it a lot easier to make changes to your life when your loved ones support you. So we have been trying to get her to set up a time for us to meet them, and we met her dad briefly when he dropped her off once, but we wanted a real sit down where we could explain things and answer their questions. Well, yesterday she showed up to church and was like, "My parents want you to come around tonight for dinner." Our meeting with them went swimmingly! They are really cool and really nice. They have raised their children very well, and they are just friendly people in general. They don't agree one bit with what we believe, but they respect that we believe it that their daughter wants to live the way we do. We answered a lot of their questions about the standards we live and why, and also just got to know them which was good so they actually know the people their daughter is spending so much time with. She is excited as ever for the 21st of June, and we are too! We are working on a musical number for her baptism :)
The rest of the week was pretty standard. Actually, we are teaching a members boyfriend and he accepted a baptismal date in our first lesson, but then we found out that he lives in another ward's boundaries. That makes things difficult, because he has been coming to our ward and already has friends there and stuff, but it is church policy that you have to be baptised in the ward you live in the boundaries of. So we didn't know what to do about that but we had faith, explained the situation to him, and then miracle of miracles, he said that the cousins he lives with have an address in Colchester where he currently lives, and one in Ipswich. And that he has been wanting to move to Ipswich anyway, so its already in the works. So he can be baptised in Ipswich! It doesnt really matter where he is baptised as long as he is, but just the whole fellowshipping situation and trying to have him start again with different missionaries and not have his girlfriend there during the teaching since she lives in Ipswich would have been really difficult.
Anyway, I have a great week coming up. I'll be in Thetford (the only sisters car area) on Thursday on an exchange, so I'm excited for that. We are seeing some more referrals this week, so hopefully that brings in new investigators that will progress.
I love being a missionary! I love the Spirit I feel as I do what the Lord asks. I know I am where He wants me doing what He wants me to do. There is no greater feeling! Love you all!
Tuesday, June 3, 2014
So for the big news: WE ARE BOTH STAYING!!!! Yay! I'm so stinkin happy. It never ceases to amaze me just how spoilt I have been on my mission. Heavenly Father has really blessed me with pretty much everything I have wanted. That's not to say that I haven't had disappointments, but for the most part, the most amazing things have happened and continue to happen to me! I am just so pleased with life. And I'm so grateful to be staying with Sister Curtis. She is really one of my best mates. And such a powerhouse missionary. She is teaching me a lot and helping me to grow in the ways I need to. And we have lots of fun together! I am really happy!
So the big news from this week is Shanice. So a few weeks ago we were at the Ipswich hospital to teach an investigator. We got there a few minutes early and decided to get hot chocolate at the Costa in the hospital. While we were ordering, the barista got really excited to meet "real Mormon missionaries." She is a big fan of a Mormon family that does a vlog on Youtube called the "Shaytards." After talking to her for a few minutes, we found out a couple in our ward are her godparents, so we got her number and scheduled an appointment. The Spirit was so strong at our first lesson as we taught about the Restoration and had another YSA member there to bear testimony. While we were doing how to begin teaching, she expressed that she has always been so interested in our religion and how she really wants to change her life, so before even teaching a principle, we extended a date to her and she accepted with tears in her eyes! The rest of the lesson went really well, and as we talked about the Book of Mormon, we discovered that a few weeks earlier as she had looked us up after we met her in Costa, she had downloaded the Gospel Library app and has been listening to the Book of Mormon every day since then! She is ridiculously prepared and so excited to be baptised on June 21st :) On top of just being the best person I have ever taught on my mission, she is so cool! She is 20, and we are already great friends! We had an FHE at the Pereira's home last night and just had so much fun with all of them! She is amazing.
On Tuesday I went to Norwich with Sister Martineau on an exchange. Its been so long since I've got to work with her, but I always love working with her! We had a lot of fun. Although it was raining literally all day long. And as you saw previously, my boots are busted. So I had some dang wet feel all day. I survived. While I was in Norwich, I got to see Tony, our investigator that moved to Norwich a few weeks ago. It is always so good to see people you used to teach and see how they are progressing in their learning.
On Thursday we had MLC. Sister Curtis and I gave a training on using Facebook more effectively, which I think went pretty well. We had a video presentation and everything, so it was pretty easy because we didn't have to do most of the teaching, the videos did.
Right now, our entire teaching pool is made up of member referrals. Well, except Shanice, she is technically someone we found but the fact that she knows members is a really big foot in the door. And because they are all member referrals, I would just like to note that they are all SOLID. They are all progressing really well. And it's because they already have a friend. Please take Elder Ballard's challenge from April general conference and give the missionaries at least one person to teach every quarter. When you invite your friends out of love for them and love for the Saviour, you cannot fail. The success is in the invitation.
I'm excited for this new transfer and all the miracles it will bring. I know the Lord has a lot in store for this little patch of His vineyard. Love you all!