Dear Friends and Family,
Dear Family and Friends,
This week was great! We had Zone Interview Training on Thursday which is when the entire Zone (I’m in the YSA Zone so we are spread out all over Scotland) gets together and has a day of instruction and everyone gets a 15 minute interview with President Donaldson. It was amazing. I learned so much about how to become a better missionary and how to truly live up to my potential and do everything in my power to bring people to Christ. The training lasted from about 10 in the morning to 4ish in the afternoon and the entire time I was just taking notes. When the training was done, we went on a Zone Blitz which just means that all the missionaries in the area or all the missionaries in the entire zone in this case, are out proselyting or GQ’ing. Sister Hinck and I are the only sisters in our zone but the Sister Training Leader Trainers -long name- haha came to the training to instruct so we were able to go on splits with them for the blitz. I got to go with Sister DeMille and Sister Hinck went with Sister Wagner and actually taught a lesson to one of our progressing investigators. It sounds like the lesson went really well and it must have because she came to church yesterday! But Sister DeMille and I were focusing on finding with discernment. So usually when we are finding or GQ’ing, we try to stop every YSA-aged person who walks past us but this time, we stopped only the people we felt we should. Everyone we stopped gave us their number and we have been able to contact them! It was absolutely amazing. One girl in particular, her name is Renee, when we stopped her said that she has been looking for direction in her life for a while and started crying when we assured her that we did stop her for a reason. She is so great. We taught her a lesson yesterday and she is so willing to learn. After we found Renee, we just had to stop a give a prayer of thanks because we know that finding her was an absolute miracle.
After the blitz, we went to dinner together as a zone which was really fun. We went to an “American Barbeque” place but it tasted nothing like American Barbeque. Haha. When we finished with dinner, Sister Hinck and I went on exchanges with Sister Wagner and Sister DeMille but because of a new rule, we both had to go their area in Alloa. It is so beautiful there. And being on exchange with Sister Wagner was amazing. I loved it. She is so fun. And what’s funny is that January 15th, the day we were on exchanges, was Sister Hinck’s year mark. And Sister DeMille’s year mark. And they were companions in the MTC and actually met each other in the airport on the way to MTC and then they got to be “companions” for a day on their year mark. So that was great for them.
Saturday was so busy. Were running everywhere and it seemed like there was just not enough time in the day. Dinner was so fun that night though. A recent Chinese convert, Sharry, invited us over to her house for some Chinese food and visiting with friends. That was so much fun!! Everybody there was a recent Chinese convert except us and one other girl who is YSA age and who teaches lessons with us sometimes. There was lots of food… haha. And lots of Chinese that I couldn’t understand which made it even funnier.
Sunday is probably the busiest day of the week for us. Or at least this Sunday was the busiest day we’d had all week… and we had some pretty busy days this week. So to get our progressing investigator that Sister Hinck and Sister Wagner taught during the Blitz to church, we had to walk with her from the university to the church. Which is an insanely long walk. Well, at least for me it is because back home, I wouldn’t walk anywhere. But anyway, it took us about 40 minutes to walk. Then we had church. Church is from 10:30 to 1:30 here and we had a lesson at 3 with Renee all the way on the other side of town. And obviously everyone wants to talk to the missionaries after church so we barely made it to our lesson on time. Which reminds me that I haven’t mentioned that there are 10 sets of missionaries in our ward. It’s not even a very big ward… There are just overlapping zones and districts and the Assistants to the President or AP’s. So there is Elder Haller and Elder Illori- the AP’s, Elder Tang and Elder White- Edinburgh Zone Leaders, Elder Housely and Elder Liu- YSA Zone Leaders, Elder Stevens and Elder Magby- Leith District Leaders, and us. Haha. But anyway, the lesson with Renee was amazing. And we ran from that lesson back to the church to teach something called Mormon Message. It’s something we do every Sunday for some people who live for church. They really don’t have a great home to go back to so on Sunday, they stay at the church all day and so we come and show a Mormon Message, read from the children’s picture Book of Mormon, and discuss it. I love doing that. But after Mormon Message, we ran to the mission home because we actually had a dinner appointment with President and Sister Donaldson. Which was so fun. They are amazing. And dinner was great. But after that, we ran to an appointment with a family we try to visit really often. But last night was really different. So this family- Paul, Kirsten, and their 3 year old daughter Edith- has a very different situation. Paul is a less-active former Bishop. And Kirsten is not a member. Paul actually wants nothing to do with the church and Kirsten isn’t super interested but they love having the missionaries over- and not just any missionaries, it has to be us- so we try to go over as often as time permits. And usually we go and visit and leave maybe with scripture. But last night, Paul asked us to teach Kirsten the 1st lesson. Which really surprised us but we did. And it was amazing. The Spirit was there and we still don’t think Paul is that interested but we could tell that he was really listening. Which is a miracle and an answer to a prayer. We had been praying all week to be able to bring the Spirit into Paul and Kirsten’s home and not just in passing with leaving them with a scripture. We were praying to have a teaching opportunity and out of the blue, Paul invites us to teach a lesson.
I know that as we pray and ask specific questions, we will receive specific answers. That has been something that I have come to realize more as I’ve been on my mission. The Lord answers prayers. And He will continue to answer our prayers as long as we pray with a sincere heart and with real intent. I would invite you to pay a little more attention to things that happen throughout the day and to pray for specific things and then expect for those things to happen. I testify that they will happen.
I love you all and hope you are all doing well!
Dear Family and Friends,
Family and Friends,
I am so sorry that this is the first time I’ve officially written anything about an update on my mission. This is the first real p-day I’ve had since I’ve been out here. So here goes…
I am serving in the Edinburgh, Scotland area. I’m actually in the YSA zone which means that my companion and I focus almost exclusively on the university students from the University of Edinburgh. Due to Christmas break and the New Year, the work has been very slow because all the students are on holiday so all our investigators are gone and those we would normally find are out of town. But it’s been good.
Things here are a lot different. Kind of the same, but different. Apartments are actually called flats. Everybody says hiya instead of hey or hi. We don’t have a dryer in our flat but we have washing machine. The water doesn’t come out warm. It comes out hot -scalding hot- or freezing cold.
It rains a lot. Not everyday. But pretty much every other day. At least. And we walk everywhere. Which isn’t bad because for the most part everything is within 10 minutes of walking and if it’s not, the bus stop is. The buses we take are all double-decker buses. Which was completely odd to me the first couple times but now I’m getting used to it. And riding on the other side of the road. I’ve actually driven a few times, too. That’s been strange.
I think the biggest surprise I’ve had on my mission so far has been Chinese. 1. The amount of Chinese people here is so much higher than I ever thought it was cause they all come for university. 2. To teach these people (and some of them don’t know English very well) I actually have to learn a bit of Chinese. I don’t have to be fluent but just the fact that I have to learn a little Chinese threw me for such a loop. So far, the only “phrase” I know is “wo tingbadong” which means “I don’t understand.” Haha.
We really only have one investigator right now but she decided to go to London for the holidays so until all the university students come back, there’s not a whole lot of activity.
Christmas and Boxing Day were good. Boxing Day is a holiday celebrated in England because when there were nobility and servants, the servants would be serving the nobility on Christmas so they wouldn’t get a Christmas until the day after so I guess they celebrate Christmas twice and call it Boxing Day. Haha. But anyway, it was fun. We were at some member’s houses and because the mission home is in Edinburgh and directly next to the church here, we got to spend some time there as well. We actually get to spend time at the mission home almost every day so I’ll get to know the Mission President and his wife quite well.
New Year’s Eve was good. I had lots of food. New Year’s day was good as well. The night of January 1st was where it got a little iffy… Several teams of missionaries (mine included) got food poisoning. So the night of the first and the whole day of the 2nd, I was throwing up and for the most part incapacitated. I am feeling so much better from that but now I have a head cold… So instead of hugging the toilet, I am carrying around a roll of toilet paper. Haha. Oh, well.
The main idea is that I’ve been out for a month and that for the most part I am healthy and doing well!
Thank you all so much for your concern and love and support!