Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Christmas in Skipton!

Week 5, Transfer 4


Well, at 10pm last night..Sister Edgington and I…picked up the phone...and...were told…that Sister Edgington..is going to be serving...with.......ME!!!!!! FOR ANOTHER TRANSFER WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!! Another 6 weeks in Skipton!!!!!! Christmas in Skipton, winter in Skipton, yeahhh buddyyy!!!! My fave Zone Leader (but don't tell any of the other ZL's) Elder Esteves is leaving to Hull to be a ZL there. He's been my ZL for almost 6 months! Anyway, he's gone, and the District Leader for Leeds 1 District (Elder Thompson - he's Chinese speaking) is taking Elder Esteves' place as ZL in Leeds A Zone. My district (Keighley) is getting a new DL from Ireland. Never met him before but I'm sure he's great. Not a lot has changed other than that. A few elders and sisters coming and going, but our zone basically stays the same sort of. Happy days!

This is Matthew Meadows..he is SO CUTE. He is the son of a daughter of one of our favourite families. <3 them. Sister Meadows makes the BEST cakes.

That's the immediate news. Now that's out of the way..on to what happened last week.
It was a good week, did lots of finding, knocking, district meeting, district lunch with the Zone Leaders etc. and then..STAKE CONFERENCE !!!!!!

It was SO good. They have Saturday session and Sunday session. All full-time missionaries in the stake were told to come to the Sat night session - they used to only be able to come if they had an investigator. President Pilkington spoke, which was amazing and inspiring and hilarious as always. Everyone who meets him or hears him speak loves him. He is just the best!

Then on Sunday, Magdalena, Jan, and ONE of her boys (Simon) came, which was so good. Lukas stayed home. But so good that Simon came. The ward clerk in another ward speaks fluent Polish so he met Magda and Jan at the conference and sat with them and interpreted. So good. And Patsy and Maggie came too! Maggie and Patsy used to be taught by Elders ages ago, then we started teaching Patsy, we have a really strong connection with her, she is so receptive to the spirit she just feels it so strong whenever we're with her. Maggie moved in next door to Patsy and they both came to Sunday session of conference, which was GREAT. The miracle is probably the lesson we had with Patsy Sunday evening. She told us about her amazing experience  at conference that day. She said that during President McKeown's talk (a counsellor on the Leeds Stake Presidency), as he was talking about a lady who was a vent patient and her desire to want to be baptized, it felt as though he was talking straight at her. She wants to be baptized and quit smoking, so we rescheduled her for the 14 December. We will be praying for her as she is trying to quit smoking in 2 weeks. It will be very hard for her, as she has been smoking for probably over 30 or 40 years. We have a member in the branch called Margaret who was baptized about 3 years ago, who had a severe smoking addiction as well, but with prayers, a lot of faith and help from the missionaries and members, she was able to quit in just over 2 weeks. Margaret actually went through the temple for the first time about a month ago now. She is so amazing. We know that Patsy can quit smoking and be ready for baptism by the 14th of December. We are so excited for her. We called her last night and told her Sister Edgington and I were staying in Skipton for another 6 weeks and she cried. Please pray for Patsy that she won't have the desire to smoke anymore. She needs all the help she can get!

The theme for Saturday night session of conference was 'Hastening the Work of Salvation' and it was AMAZING, and then Sunday's was 'Come unto Christ' which was also amaaaazing. So great.

       Ordinary Winter's Day in Skipton

Well, it was a solid week. All the members of Skipton Branch are incredibly happy we are staying. There is so much work to do here!

Sister Edgington and I are so pumped to be together for Christmas. She's always saying how she wants to be with me for winter time because I say funny things when I'm cold apparently. Everyone thinks I'm hilarious over here for some reason.

In District meeting yesterday…oh and our current District leader Elder Berrio is going to whitewash and be a zone leader in Grimsby Zone (a new zone). Yayyy!! I predicted a few weeks ago that he is going to be a ZL with my first DL Elder Randall who has been a ZL in Hull for the past few transfers...and guess what, they are going to be companions!! Hahaha. What a prediction. Love Elder Randall though, he's so funny without him even knowing he is haha a few weeks ago we had a Zone training meeting and we all had our own folders with a picture of something that resembled us. My picture was the chilled out turtle on Finding Nemo that says 'duuude' all the time. My zone leaders think I'm super relaxed and laid back, like that turtle. Haha and I always say Dude (bad habit that I need to stop). Hahah. love that turtle

Sister Edgington has improved SO much since last transfer. There are times where I look at her when she's testifying and teaching and I'm so proud of her. She has a strong foundation now, and now she can build upon it and be even more amazing than she already is!! Oh and we're so excited to sing Christmas songs on everyone's doorstep for Christmas!!!!

The church is true. If you want to be truly happy, live the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is the one and only way to true eternal happiness. I know it is, try it!

Love y'all xxxxxx

Sister Kuhn

PS. Over the Christmas period, ANY PACKAGES OR MAIL MUST BE SENT STRAIGHT TO MY FLAT or I won't get them until like January. Write 'personal items NOT FOR RESALE' on the package and send it to:

6 Union House 
North Yorkshire
England   BD23 2UX          

This is a painting that one of our referrals from a member gave me - John Dinsdale. He is so lovely. We're happy to be here for 6 more weeks so we can still go and visit him. He is so talented! 

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Poppy Day, Planning Meetings and 1 degree Outside! (Emailed 18 Nov 2013)

WEEK 4, Transfer 4

It's approaching week FIVE of transfers this week coming. Transfer calls are next Monday and transfer meeting is on the Wednesday, which means I will be emailing on Tuesday next week. Just letting y'all know :)
 So last Monday was POPPY DAY. At 11am we had 2 minutes of silence on the way to the library to email. Everyone just stood stopped wherever they were in the street as the church bells went at 11am and then trumpets sounded, then when 2 minutes was up, the trumpets went again and everyone went back to normal life. It looked a bit funny actually, it was like a massive game of freeze. It was good to be a part of though :) That night we went to visit our mate John Dinsdale. He was a referral from a while ago from Sister Sheffi in the branch, she is friends with his daughter Ann. John is about 80-odd years old, Christian, and he's lovely. Says he's not changing, but we are just going to love him and see what happens! Things ended sort of badly when I first met him with my previous companion, he thought he was being pushed to being baptized, but it wasn't that way at all. He actually told us not to stop by for now. I knew he would soften later on. So when Sister Edgington went with me to see him again last week, he didn't even remember me! It was almost like Heavenly Father had put something over his eyes to forget that he had met me. He remembered the 'Australian' that was one of the missionaries he'd met before, and I even TOLD him it was me, but he said 'Hmm nope, not you' Well he actually said 'No, she was much skinnier than you' Haha WOW THANKS JOHN... We've seen John 2 or 3 times since the first time we went back last week, we love him! He loves us too :) He is extremelly talented at art and making things. We just really want to continue building that friendship with him and he will eventually come around, I know he will.

Tuesday we went to go see our friend in Cross Hills called Janet. She's old-ish too, very lovely, religious as well. We taught the Plan of Salvation with her a bit more. She agrees with it all but still says she won't change because she's too old to change. She is so sweet and kind and always lets us in to chat though, so we'll see. Then we saw Bobby-Jo, a less-active. She's a funny lady! Love Bobby-Jo. Tuesday evening we had a Relief Society activity at the chapel combined with Young Men and Young Women making cards. We have a VERY talented card maker/sugar crafter in the branch. If you don't know what Sugar Craft is, google it. She was the representative for England for the company of Sugar Craft. Her name is Dorothy. She is a convert of about 2 or 3 years. Her conversion story is amazing! She did the activity..and Patsy came! Patsy who fell off the face of the earth! She's back! We ended the night by going to see Magdalena who has been having on-going trouble with her ex-husband. So much drama. We just pray that it all works out.

We took a train to Settle on Thursday, had a bit of an adventure, talked to lots of people, saw our old lady mate Elsie. She's also really old and can't do much, but she believes everything we testify and teach about as well.

Fridayyyyy we had a wicked weekly planning! Made some fantastic plans for this week! On Saturday we drove to Grassington, about 20 min drive. Went by our mate Neil, but he was really busy and couldn't talk but said come back this next week (and we most definitely will!) We knocked about 3 hours in total on Saturday..and we got FIFTEEN potential investigators. FIF-TEEN. Yeah, that is a lot. 2 familes, 1 of them had 3 kids and the other has 2. We also went knocking in Skipton on George Street as well where we met some more lovely people. Our prayers were truly answered. I'd been praying so much about what we can do to improve and what we can do to find people who are being prepared, so we have the prompting to go knocking as much as we can, and find so many people who were willing to have us back to hear our message. We plan on visiting them all within the next few days, so I'll update you next week on the progress! Sunday was lovely, we had a few member visits which was really nice. We love the branch here. It will be sad to leave them!
 Sunday night we went to visit Patsy but she wasn't in. Her sister who was being taught by missionaries as well has just moved in next door to Patsy, so we went to see her. Her name is Maggie. She's lovely :) We'll go by and see her again on Tuesday hopefully.
 Transfer predictions: so our District Leader said that I am going to be transferred to a new zone and become a sister trainer leader, and Sister Edgington will be follow-up trained and then will train the transfer after next. I thought he could be right for a bit..and now I think I'll stay, might train again, and Sister Edgington will go. But we won't know until next Monday 'eve! Exciting times :)

In all honesty, these few last weeks have been a little bit challenging. Sister Edgington and I are coping with it fine, but we just haven't been able to find any new SOLID investigators for the past few weeks. We've been doing everything we normally do. We've been working hard, but we also have been visiting a lot of former investigators that previous missionaries have taught. After both having received revelation a few days ago to stop visiting them and to go knocking, we will continue to knock doors and try and find the people who are being prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.
 Also, Zone Conference is tomorrow. The whole northern zone of the mission AKA half the mission. I got a call from President Pilkington on Saturday (I think)..he says 'Sister Kuhn, I hear you are the best at lesson plans'. I was like 'ummmmm whaatttt?!?' As it happens, Sister Pilkington was in our FABULOUS zone training meeting last week and she was raving to President about how it is the best meeting she has been in that missionaries have organized since she's been out on her mission. I must admit it was a great meeting, but that has nothing to do with me. I was asked by the Zone Leaders to share what I do for my lesson plans though in the meeting, and Sister Pilkington brought my name up in the massive meeting they had on Saturday when they were discussing the northern Zone conference, so he calls me up and asks if I'll share 2, 3 or 4 points about what I do to plan well...in front of half the mission! Wow. He's getting missionaries to come up and share how they do things instead of him doing it I guess. What I heard was they get the best at finding, the best at teaching, the best at planning, the best at studying..and they get them to teach everyone else what they do to be successful at it. So there you go! The only thing I do to plan my lessons is do what my Zone Leaders Elder Esteves and Brase said to do about lesson plans and about asking questions! I love my leaders. I just do what they say and I complete faith in them, and I've proved to myself that I can be successful if I listen to my leaders.
 So it's been a solid week :) ups and downs as always, but we are doing well!
Our Zone Leaders are crazy, but I love them..in a missionary way.

Oh and just before I go, I just want to give a shout out to SISTER EDGINGTON'S FAMILY for raising such an outstanding, amazing, strong, smart, happy, daughter of God! She has blossomed in the last few weeks! When we were knocking on Saturday and she was talking and testifying I was looking at her like YEAHHH BUDDYYYYYY that's my girl! She is getting more and more confident and I am just SO proud of her!!!!! She will be training in no time :) once she increases that confidence of hers and confidence in her ability, she will be a fireball. I just love her!!!
 The church is true, the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Jesus Christ lives, he is my Savior, he is the Savior of the world, I know it. I love you all, I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. Thanks for the emails and letters and everything. I really really appreciate, I read every one of them and I smile the whole time! THANK YOU
 Keep it real, God bless xxxxx

p.s I neglected to acknowledge the ENGLAND WEATHER the past few days. I think my brain is purposely trying to forget it. It was ONE DEGREE YESTERDAY MORNING. And ZERO at 7pm LAST NIGHT. The only problem is..it's mostly beautiful blue skied days, but ONE to THREE DEGREES outside. I can't.I don't..I just..can't even. Cannot even comprehend how somewhere can be so cold. At least I'm not in Russia where it gets to like minus 30 or something crazy. Anyway, here's a few pictures of how it was yesterday and the degrees. Buurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Missionary Work is The Best ( Emailed 11 Nov 2013)

Bloggity blog time!
I got me hurr did!!!!! FINALLY!
AKA I got a hair cut. So exciting. It's a bit shorter and healthier and lush now! Missionaries are a bit deprived when it comes to hair cuts and things :) Well, I am anyway haha  but hey, that's not the most exciting thing that's happened in the past week don't worry.

Monday till Tuesday we had the coordinating sisters on exchange with us! Sister Birningham and Sister Wynder. We love them both so much! We had such a fun time. I was with Sister Birningham for the whole exchange. We went by a few former investigators in an area called Cross Hills and did some knocking. Met some lovely people! I'll keep you updated if any of these people turn into investigators or not!

This is what I have to deal with here in England.  PARADISE. On the train to Settle looking out the window :)
On Wednesday we went to Settle, which is about a half hour drive from Skipton, to visit some potentials and some former investigators. We visited Pauline and Viv - Viv is hilarious, getting dementia, but shows off a lot when he's got company. Pauline is his wonderful amazing and incredibly patient wife. They're former investigators. We talked a bit about the Plan of Salvation. The first time we knocked on their door to visit, Viv answered and invited us in almost straight after we said Hello, then Pauline comes to the door and says 'noope, nope, no'…but we talked to them both at the door step for a while, we were all laughing and smiling after a while and Pauline said we can come visit any time. This happens a lot with people you see…they're so anti-Mormon/anti-religious, and then we sort of force our happiness and our bubbly attitude on them and we just love them, they feel it, and they end up talking to us for ages and say we can come back any time. It happens all the time! It's great :) After we visited V & P we went by this darling elderly lady called Elsie Prophet from Manchester. We knocked on her door and spoke to her last time we were in Settle a fair few weeks ago. She is so lovely. She loves her family so much, and she loves Manchester as well! Anyway, when we went the second time, she had her mate Florence over…now Florence is a very very very strong Jehovah Witness. We came to visit Elsie but Florence ended up asking us a million and one questions about the church and about the gospel. It was ................................yeah...that's about it. We were there for over an hour answering her questions. Then we asked Elsie if we could say a prayer because we had to go, and Florence (I like to call her Flo) said 'Oh right well I don't want to say a prayer with you..I'll leave you to it..yes because you don't believe that God is called Jehovah and I'll say that in my prayer...so I'm going to leave..' She waffled on for ages. We were quite alright with her praying how ever she wanted to pray, but she insisted she leave. So Elsie (who was quiet the WHOLE time) said 'Well go on then!' in the sweetest way possible. Haha love Elsie. Then after tea time all our plans fell through and we didn't know what to do, so we went street contacting, only there was NOBODY on the street. Nobody. We went walking for ages. Then, because this week the Zone Leaders AND our District Leader told Sister Edgington she's Senior Companion this week, I looked at her and was like 'So what are we going to do?' She decided to say a prayer, so we did. We had about 20 minutes until we had to be in, so we said a prayer, praying that we'd find someone to talk to. We were really close to our flat and we saw this man going to and from his car with boxes. We offered to help him but he said he was alright. We got chatting and found out he's moving just a few streets over, he's married, his name's John, middle-aged-ish-sort of (I really have no idea, he looked old to me). He was so great! He'd met missionaries like 2 or 3 years ago and had a 5 minute chat with them but nothing ever happened. He said we could go over to his new house and visit if we want, we talked to him for longer than 20 minutes, said a prayer with him as well on the street, and then went to the flat. It was so good :)

Then on Thursday, we went to Sue's house. Ohhhh Sue…she is just amazing. She treats us like her daughters. She got her partner to print off 2 beautiful big photographs of the London Temple for us! She lived near it when it was being built when she was a little girl and she remembers it! I think I might have already explained that before but I think it's so amazing! We're going for tea at her house next week :) We feel like if we build this foundation with her and just love her and testify to her instead of jumping down her throat with doctrine and things, it will have an effect on her. She praises us all the time. She's wonderful. She's already acting like a member of the church! Bless her. Then at night weee went finding in Cross Hills again, went by a potential investigator, had a chat. Her name is Debbie. Then we were walking down the street and an automatic light went on outside someone's door, we were like 'Oh it's a sign!' so of course, we went and knocked on that random door, and Rita answered :) She's an older lady, we gave her a Book of Mormon, said a prayer with her, and left. She wasn't super interested but hey, the seed has been planted!

Zone training meeting on Friday. President Pilkington has changed how Zone training is done. Previously it has been the zone leaders getting up and instructing us all at the front and we're all sat in rows. NOW, we sit at a table so we can see everyone's faces and we can sit or stand depending on what we want to do, and it's more of a discussion. It's so good. Instead of just the Zone Leader's instructing, we have 5 minute topics and they get the best in the zone to talk about it. It's Planning, Teaching, Finding and Study. The Zone Leaders asked us to instruct for 5 minutes on study, especially our companion study and ESPECIALLY our lesson plans, because apparently they're really really good. The instruction went really well, everyone did such a great job. The new format is great. Soooo much better than before. They've never been like that before…well not in this mission anyway, so we're making history! We also had interviews with President as well. Every 3 months we have interviews. It went well :) President Pilkington is the man! So so so inspired, and so human and down to earth and hilarious. Great, great man.

The members of the branch trust us a lot now I think. We've had 2 baptisms since we've been here, and for the Poppy Appeal bake sale that we did a week ago, the members were all praising us for being so good at talking to people on the street. I laughed because it was so much easier than what we usually do! Maybe we should bring around trays of cupcakes when we knock on doors as well? Haha…but nah it was really successful. The members are such good cooks! We raised a lot of money for the poppy appeal I think. For all of you who don't know what the poppy appeal is, the 11th of November aka today is Poppy Day. And the Poppy Appeal is the few weeks before Poppy Day where everyone raises money. I don't know why, but I know that Poppy Day is to remember those who died in the war and the fight for freedom for the country. We all had 2 minutes of silence at 11am today and yesterday as well as it was Remembrance Sunday. Big week!

And we had a mission president fireside on Sunday. There were over 200 people there, which is an amazing turn out. We took Magdalena. Brother Simcock drove us :) Go brother Simcock!!! President got to meet Magdalena and it was all happy days :) The fireside was amazing as well. President Pilkington is one of the best public speakers in the whole world. He is so so so so so so so sosoooo good. 

Anyway, missionary work is the best. You are all the best. Keep spreading the gospel, love everyone, forgive always, be obedient, and leave everything else up to the Lord!

Thank you for all your emails and prayers and support as well. You will be blessed!

Love you!!!

Sister Kuhn

Monday, 4 November 2013

Magdalena's Baptism

Week 2

Ello gov'na!
It's Monday, the sky is blue, not a cloud in sight, and it's a lovely cool...5 degrees celsius. Yum! I'm not sure why England does this. Amazing blue sky, but then absolutely freezing cold air. Not sure about this 'worst winter in 100 years' business. I think they're all lying. It's meant to be winter time yeah? Well it doesn't look like it! I'll send a photo of what it looks like right now. However, the windscreens of all the cars this morning at 7am had frozen over and everyone needed to break the ice off so they could see where they were driving.

Taken on our way walking to the library to email. Lovely sunny FREEZING day! I can do winter if it's like this..if it gets all windy and rainy ( which is has been off and on that past few days at night time especially) I will DIE!!!

 We had a lovely week. The highlight was obviously that MAGDALENA WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!!! The members of Skipton branch are so supportive. There was quite a good turn out. The spirit was so strong. Everyone felt it. Sister Riozzi and I sang I Am a Child of God accapella, it sounded really nice (if I say so myself. lol nah some of the branch said it sounded nice) Sister Riozzi is a music teacher and has a lovely voice of an angel. Jan, Magdalena's friend from Poland came on Tuesday. Our lovely District leader and his companion picked him up from Bradford, which is about a 20 minute drive from Skipton, or about 40 mins on the train. Jan is so hilarious. He speaks like 3% English and 97% Polish...and by that I mean the only words he knows are 'OK' 'super' 'hello'…and I think that's it. He is so funny though. We've learnt through teaching Magdalena that you don't need to know the language to communicate with someone. Jan (in English his name is John) is lovely. Been a member for 12 years or so. He bore his testimony at the baptism, and Magdalena said the closing prayer at her own baptism...in Polish of course! :) We're learning Polish as we go as well! Can't spell any of it, but can speak it!  Who would've thought I'd learn Polish! It's a tricky language, but we know some words :) anyway so yup! The baptism was great. Jan is a good support for Magdalena. They're just friends right now but (perhaps) marriage will happen eventually :)

We had a lesson with Stuart, our athiest investigator. He's going to the Canary Islands in a week and he said he's taking the Book of Mormon with him! He doesn't understand it very well but he reads it. He's showing faith and he doesn't even know it!  We love Stuart, but he needs to pray or else he'll never be able to have that foundation of if God even exists! And he sort of needs to know that in order for what we teach to make any sense whatsoever. We think it'll just click one day and BOOMMMMM he knows it's true! We'll see :)

What else…oh we made Dino and Olive investigators last night. They're former investigators. Dino used to talk a lot but Sister Edgington and I are bold enough to just continue teaching. Olive is a sweetheart...and hilarious in her own way. Dino talks so much so when Olive wants to say something she'll just say it and hope that someone hears her haha she said 'People ask me how I put up with him' (points to Dino) and then she says 'and I say ''With great difficulty!''' haha we love Olive. They've both been married before, both had bad experiences, and they came across one another and that was that! Dino is a lovely man, he likes to remind us he is a genius ALL the time and he always starts everything he says with 'Let me tell you something you won't believe' or 'Let me tell ya something you don't know'...and we interrupted him and said 'No Dino let us tell you something YOU don't know!' he just laughs...we have a friendly relationship with them both, always joking around but being serious when we need to be. We'll see how we go with them.
We're going to go on a mamma MEGA finding excursion this week! We have like 483091 areas we're going to go to and plant seeds with EVERYONE and also find people who are being prepared to hear our message. It's all very exciting. We're in the 3rd week of the transfer! at the end of the week we'll be half way through the transfer. Time is going pretty quickly!
We had a great District meeting last Wednesday about 'Mountains to Climb'. Elder Berrio is a really great district leader. He always gives good instruction at district meetings. We have zone training this Friday and interviews with President Pilkington (our Mission President) which should be good! The Zone Leaders came to our nightly planning on Saturday (they do it with all the companionships in the zone once a transfer usually). Our Zone Leaders are the best. Either I just find everything everyone says hilarious or they're genuinely funny people. I'm pretty sure they're just genuinely funny. I'm so grateful for my leaders. They do such an amazing job at helping all the other missionaries. Sister Edgington and I always try and ask them how they are..because they said nobody cares about the zone leaders. Haha unnnnlucky.
Sister Edgington is going fantastically as well. She is taking the lead in everything this week. It will be great! She will learn how to take the lead and I will learn to be more patient :) One of the best things about being a missionary is all the change and improvements we make within ourselves. We're always asking each other and everyone what we can do to improve. It's the best! I love the Atonement because that is how we can repent and improve, constantly keep progressing in one way or another. I love the gospel. It's the way for eternal happiness.
Well, this feels like a shorter blog than usual today, but not much happened other than the highlight of the week being the baptism!
Love you all! Keep doing your bit of missionary work wherever you are. In unity there is strength, if we're all doing a little bit, we will triumph! We will feel the joy of helping others come closer to God and we will be happy. I promise!
Lots of love xxx
‪Sister Kuhn‬