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!
We had a wonderful hour plus long visit with Sister Hassing via Skype. It was clearly evident that she is doing very well. Some of the highlights to share with each of you are below.
Sister Hassing arrived at the mission home in Edinburgh on Dec 16 after a four-hour bus ride from the England MTC where she immediately met with her mission president. Her first assignment is in Edinburgh in the Young Single Adult zone. The YSA zone overlaps with the rest of the mission and is focused on the YSA population in Edinburgh and primarily on the university students. Something that she surprised us with is that she is learning some Chinese. There are a lot of Chinese students at the university and there is a Chinese-speaking Scotland/Ireland Mission. Sister Hassing is not required to learn Chinese but she said it was helpful as many of the investigators are Chinese students. She is working with one right now that is on date for a Jan 16 baptism. We were also surprised to learn that the mission had 40 baptisms last month. We had thought it was a bit slower than that.
Riding and walking on the “wrong side” of the street has taken some time to get used to but it’s getting more comfortable.
Sister Hassing is definitely busy with her schedule but is loving it. You can tell from the conversation that her testimony is strong and she is loving the work already. She has a wonderful trainer, Sister Hinck, who we got to meet via Skype.
On Christmas day, she ended up feeling a bit full from all the meals she received. She had a large breakfast with one family, a large lunch with another family and a large dinner with yet another. The members are very kind and have been welcoming Michayla to their homes.
Church is about 10 minutes from her flat as is the mission home so things are pretty close. She walks everywhere for now as she doesn’t have a bicycle and she doesn’t get to drive for at least a year.
She definitely welcomes emails, packages and letters from home and is looking forward to receiving them over the next months.
On the 16th I arrived in Scotland!
(A part of a letter from the mission president)
On 16 Dec 2015 we welcomed Sister Michayla Hassing to the Scotland/Ireland Mission. She arrived safely from the Missionary Training Centre and we are excited to have her in our mission. I interviewed her and felt her spirit and desire to serve our Heavenly Father. One of our very best missionaries, Sister Sara Hinck has been assigned to be her trainer.
We are grateful for the part you have played in preparing your daughter to serve in this important work. We would encourage you to write her weekly letters of encouragement. Letters from home provide a powerful sustaining effect on the confidence and morale of our missionaries.
If you at any time have a concern about your missionary, please feel free to contact us here at the Mission Home in Edinburgh. We testify of the truthfulness of this work and are grateful to be a part of it.
George R Donaldson
(And then from Michayla)
I only have like 20 minutes to email today because of our 2 holidays later this week- Christmas and Boxing Day. So glad you got snow. It just rains here but it hasn’t been too bad so far.
Love you and miss you!
—Concerning Letters and Packages—
Airmail letters arrive in 6 to 7 days. Packages cannot be forwarded or delivered to the apartments. Mark all packages “Personal belongings” or “gift”. Regardless where you send your package, we encourage you to mail packages within the first two to three weeks of a six-week move cycle.
For all Christmas packages and for missionaries serving in Scotland, send packages to:
51 Spylaw Road
Edinburgh EH10 5BP
(Link to some pictures the mission president sent) Hassing, Michayla Mission Home Dec2015
I am so sorry about not emailing on Monday but our P-Day isn’t till Wednesday in the MTC because on Sunday we don’t have any classes so our teachers aren’t working and we can’t have two “free” days in a row. And our free days aren’t even free. Every second of every day is scheduled. From the time we wake up to the time we go to bed, every minute is accounted for and worth something. Not that I mind that- haha. It’s great. My companion is amazing. Her name is Sister Muller and the u is long and has two little dots over it but I can’t find how to do that on the computer- lol. She is from Switzerland and English is not her first language- German is. So while she is trying to learn more English (she already speaks it really well) I am trying to learn some German so when she doesn’t know how to explain something, I can help her to understand what word she is trying to say. She is doing so well though. My other roommates are Sister Dignos who is from the Philippines, and Sister Price who is from Salt Lake City. We have such a good time together. Actually just last night, we were all laughing so hard that Sister Price was rolling around on the ground in tears. I love my district too. There were about 30 missionaries who came in the same day that I did and to make it easier to know people and so we could have classes with all the same people, we were put in MTC districts. My district is so nice and caring. I wouldn’t trade any missionaries in my district for any other missionaries. There is Elder Ofasi who is the district leader, Elder Turnbow his companion, Elder Corcran who is one of the missionaries I was able to meet up with in Newark, Elder Carlisle, Elder Pierson, and Elder Erlandsson. We are so much like a family. None of the other districts are as close as we are. Before breakfast we have a morning prayer together in our district room and after planning before bed we have an evening prayer together as a district. When Sister Muller was feeling really frustrated one night with English, they gave her a blessing. It touched me so much to realize that all these young men who are here hold the Holy Priesthood, are worthy to exercise it, and do without hesitation in order to bless someone else’s life. But anyway, I’ve always heard that MTC food is really bad but everyone who has said that must not have gone to the England MTC. The chef here is amazing! They feed us so much. The smallest meal we’ve had has been a breakfast and it was a buffet table of pastries and yogurt and cereal- haha. I have found a new love as well. There is a drink called “vimto” and I think it’s like a sparkling cranberry soda… I think. It’s good. Also, I have tried some weird food. There’s another drink here that is Dandelion and Burbank. that tastes like a sour rootbeer. And I think they’ve fed us a horse meat hamburger cause that’s what I’ve heard and I might agree with that cause it didn’t taste like any other meat that I’ve ever had. Everything is in brick. We had to go into town for a doctor’s appointment Sister Muller had and everything is in brick- even the new buildings. We got to have a session in the Preston Temple this morning. It was wonderful and I loved it. I can’t believe that we leave the MTC next Wednesday. And because P-day is on Wednesday, I actually have no idea when I can email you next.
Thanks guys!! Love you so much! When I wrote earlier, I forgot to mention one of the miracles we experienced this week which was actually last night. So this is kind of funny and random but it just shows how much the Lord cares about and knows us. So Sister Price is always the last one awake in our room and so she gets to listen to all the weird sounds we make in our sleep and if we talk lol. Well, every night we’ve been here, Sister Muller has spoke German in her sleep and last night, she spoke English haha. Apparently, she sat up and stared at Sister Price, stared at the floor then stared saying, “I lost my companion! Dang it, dang it, dang it, dang it!!” hahaha So that was a small and simple miracle about how Sister Muller is already so much better at English now than she was when she got here. And according to her family, she’s also worse at German.
Michayla let us know that she has made it to the MTC in Preston, England and is doing really well. She met a sister missionary in Denver and then met one more in Newark as well as three elders in Newark.
She is excited to be in England and starting her mission. Receiving her name badge made her feel official. Her testimony of the Gospel and of the tender mercies of Lord is really strong. We are proud of her for her choice to serve the Lord and the people of Scotland and Ireland.
Once she starts writing to us, we will make posts to this blog. They will also be posted on Facebook.
Welcome to my mission blog. I am just setting this up right now but will soon be adding content regarding my mission experience.