Tuesday, 27 May 2014

The POWER HOUR and Zone Conference..

Week 2, Transfer 9

Hiya all, alright? I'm going to try type this as quick as I can so I can reply to some of you other wonderful people who write to me! 
THE POWER HOUR (you have to say it slowly and in a really intense deep voice for it to mean anything)
It all started at zone training last transfer..we were all discussing another missionaries idea of what's called a 'power hour' which is basically everyone in the zone street contacting or knocking for 1 hour at the same time (but different areas). So at Mission Leadership Council (MLC) which is every month, Sister Zurcher brought up the fantastic possibility of a mission wide power hour. Everyone really liked that idea. So we scheduled it just under a month ago for yesterday. So yesterday (which is actually the start of week 3 of the transfer), THE WHOLE MISSION, 230+ missionaries, the senior couples, even (and especially) President and Sister Pilkington! (Haha..classic.) It was from 6pm-7pm. Sister Zurcher and I went to Hyde Park with Jess (a ysa who is planning on serving a mission next year). It was so so good. We brainstormed a few different approaches and things we could say..one of them was 'guess where I'm from'. People here think I'm from America all the time?!?!!!?!? Or Canada..or South Africa..or New Zealand..but hardly ever Australia. So we played that game with some people and had a few good eventful conversations. It was also raining a bit for the whole hour (and magically stopped when we stopped) so we went up to girls with umbrella's and either asked where they got their umbrella from or just said anything to come under the umbrella with them and had a chat. That is when we found Kate. We were walking from meeting Jess to Hyde Park, and we see this Chinese girl with a cute umbrella walking towards us on the other side of the road about 100m up, so we crossed the road and proceeded to walk towards her to talk to her, then she crossed the road to the side we were just on, so we crossed BACK to the other side..then as we were almost in talking distance there was a road off the main road we were walking on between her and us. I said 'I bet you she'll turn that corner'..nek minut..she turns the corner to go down a different street. Sister Zurcher then started chasing her. I'm not talking like a brisk walk, I'm talking like running after her. She was about 10 or 20 meters away from this Chinese girl and yelled 'hi!', she didn't turn around..so I yell 'Hi!.........Hiya!............Ni hao!!' ('hello' in Chinese) and she turns around with Sister Zurcher standing almost behind her haha she then asks Kate about the good Chinese restaurants around, and we get talking to her for a while..in the rain....her name is Kate (which is Sister Zurcher's first name..so it's already meant to be) and then she says she's lived here for a year and is doing her masters and then on to her PhD in Chemistry. She held her umbrella over all of us. So there is 4 of us, under 1 small-ish umbrella, sharing the gospel message, talking to Kate. Kate is a small, funny, cute, young Chinese girl with a bright bubbly sweet personality. We just love her already :) She said she's wanted to try going to a church ever since she came to England. We exchanged numbers and thanked her for keeping us dry. And off we went...to Hyde Park! We talked to some characters indeed. This one guy with a hat that said Shakespeare on it..we mentioned we liked his hat. He said he did as well, and he bought it with the intention that he liked Shakespeare, but he told us that someone told him it's actually a fishing brand..and that he's never even gone fishing in his life, but he still wears it anyway. Then we met these 2 young people from Indonesia!!!!!!!! I USED MY INDONESIAN ON THEM!!!!! It was the best day of my life. They were well impressed. FINALLY. After years of studying it when I was young in Darwin at school..and I've finally used it on actual Indonesian people. I've come all this way to England to find people from Indo to practice my Indonesian on. We also talked to this lovely girl called Amy. She had such sparkly great shoes..and a great umbrella. Turns out Jess and Amy have a mutual friend. Small world!

So that's the POWER HOUR. So many miracles mission-wide! Super fun..even in the rain :) 

Update on Kaaron: we sort of dropped him - meaning we aren't going to teach him anymore we don't think. We're passing him on to the Zone Leaders. They're great, I have full faith that they can make a difference and have an impact on that family. We also passed on Kaaron's friend Ethan who comes to church as well and lives down the street. The elders probably should have got involved with Kaaron a year ago, I don't know why it's only been sisters teaching him, but I think they'll be good for him. I love that family, but Kaaron needs more male role models to look up to, and the elders are exactly that. We have such good zone leaders! 

We have a massive Waters of Mormon baptism fireside bash THING happening in a few weeks. We have a few people scheduled for baptism on the 14th of June, so Sister Zurcher had the brilliant idea of making it like a huge thing, inviting the whole stake, getting President Pilkington involved, the stake presidency, getting a harp for Sister Zurcher to play and put her masters in harp performance to good use on her mission! We hit a bit of a speed bump with the date as there are other things on that night involving three stakes apparently so we're trying our best to sort that out. With hard work, faith, and diligence, we can pull this off! We're excited :) It's also Month of Invitation in June for a lot of Stakes over here so we're having a lot of activities to invite people to, this one will be SUPER good to invite people too. The spirit is going to be so strong and people will be entering the waters of baptism and it will just be amazing.

Other than that, we're just still doing our thing. Teaching, finding, scheduling, trying to align our will with Heavenly Father, trusting in Him, going with the flow etc. so many miracles happen all the time. I wish I could bottle them up and show them to everyone who doesn't believe in miracles. It's such a privilege to be serving here in this mission as a missionary for the Lord. Such a blessing!

Sister Zurcher and I have decided to study The New Testament together with the institute manual in companion study. Instead of reading it book by book, we're going to read the gospels (or 'testimonies') chronologically so we get an even better understand of Christ and His ministry. I heard from a member (I THINK it was in Skipton and I THINK it was Brother Simcock but I'm not sure) that he studied the gospels chronologically and by the time you get to the end of Christ's mortal ministry and the garden of Gethsemane, His death and resurrection etc, you can't help but get emotional. We can't wait to start studying it. 

The scriptures have come alive on my mission. If anything, if nothing happened on my mission (but loads has happened so everyone's winning really) but if all that happened was I got a love of the scriptures like I have now, then this experience was well worth it. I've loved every minute of studying the scriptures. I don't know why I didn't love them like this before?! I'm just glad I love and appreciate and have a testimony of them now :)   
Love y'all! 
Sister Kuhn

p.s Oh and ZONE CONFERENCE..that's a whole other story. It was AMAZING. So much was covered. If I bring my notebook one of these days I'll write up some of it for you! Oh..man..so good. Love zone conference
Before zone conference, we got there like an hour early (oops) so we walked to the York Minster since all four of us sisters haven't been there before and we took some photos and went inside and had a look. First of all, it's MASSIVE. SO so so huge, and it was beautiful, and inside was intense. It was half spooky and half peaceful..I couldn't quite make up my mind, but it was so worth waking up at 5:30am for accidentally. 

Then at zone conference I got a photo with ONE of (I can't have favourites so I have to say 'one of') my favourite zone leaders Elder Esteves, and I can say this...my favourite district leader Elder Berrio. Both are going home end of the transfer. Bless 'em..oh and also at zone conference they announce the birthdays in the last month and the next 2 months, and we all get a chocolate bar and on it will say what we've won. I got a cereal box of Peanut Butter Cap'n Crunch cereal (they import stuff from America). I'm being healthy and Elder Esteves the cheeky kid came up and asked if he could have it so I gave it to him so I didn't have to get fat(er) eating it :)  tactics! 

Elder Berrio and Sister Jodicke and I..BOOK OF MORMON DISTANCE

So that's a description of the photos and a bit of what happened at zone conference. I'll have to write up my notes I took and post them on here at a later date. xx

                                                         The temptations we're faced with as missionaries.... 

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Sunshine in Leeds!

Week 1, Transfer 9

It's SUCH a glorious day here in Leeds! The sun is out (and it's actually hot!), the sky is blue, and people in England are usually more happy when the weather's nice..so it's a bonus for everyone really!

President has called us twice in the past 2 weeks to congratulate us on how hard we've been working. It's always really refreshing and lovely to get a call with encouraging words from him. 

We currently have 3 people scheduled for baptism, 2 on the way, and we received a referral from elders in Manchester Mission a few days ago. We called them straight away. They've been taught almost everything - Alice and Lee, and they have FIVE children ranging from 8 years old down to 1 years old. We're calling them today and setting up an appointment for this week and they might be at church on Sunday :)

Tango and Aaron are still scheduled. We're seeing Tango tonight and we had a great lesson directed by the spirit about prophets and apostles and receiving inspiration/revelation from God. Chinese people are very interested in prophets and apostles I've found..and the Plan of Salvation.

KAARON IS BACK ON THE RADAR! Boy oh boy has that been stressful. So we went a whole 5 week transfer without ever going to see him. No reason why, we just never seemed to get around there to see him, but we saw him at church because he comes every week and he comes to mutual on Tuesday. The best part about it is he brings all his friends haha he's the best. SO..we see him last week with Victor (his best mate) and Lawrence (VIctor's 19 year old sister who we know really well) and we touched base with him. This is round three for me with Kaaron. I really hope this is the last round we'll have. He's been almost baptized once, passed his interview and all..and he's been so close to baptism so many times..but this time feels different. He says he's ready to be baptized, but he wants his family to support him and I don't think they know anything about the church so it's a bit foreign for them. They're less inclined to support Kaaron because of that, So we've been praying SO much that Heavenly Father will just enable us to speak to his Mum Sharon for longer than a minute about Kaaron's baptism and about the church just so she understands a little bit. She has no interest in the church but she professes to be Christian. She always seems like she's in a rush and never wants to speak to us, but she's not rude or anything. I've known her for ages now. Kaaron was interviewed for baptism on Sunday (deja vu) and he passed. Now we're just waiting for him to talk to his Mum and we're going to as well. The first miracle of today was we went around to see Kaaron's Mum this morning quickly before we emailed, she was in but she was cleaning and she was just about to take Kaaron to an appointment. We had a really brief conversation with her while she stuck her head out of her bedroom window upstairs (I seem to have a habit of teaching and talking to people while they poke their head out the window) and she basically said she needs to talk to Kaaron about being Mormon because her family are Christians, not Mormons etc etc. Then it clicked..she doesn't even know we're Christian! We told her straight away that we're Christian and Jesus Christ is the center of everything we teach and believe. She actually warmed up a little bit and said we can come back later and sit down and have a chat. As we left I whispered to Sister Zurcher 'PROGRESS!'. Man..so happy. So we're cutting out P-day short but we don't even care because Kaaron has been going to church for a year and all that's stopping him is support from his family, but they don't know anything about the church anyway and we have a golden opportunity FINALLY to talk to his Mum. We're really hoping it goes well. If it does, Kaaron will be baptized either tomorrow night or next Tuesday because it's mutual and all his friends will be there anyway.

We also have the Manuel family. I love that family. Joseph Manuel lives up in Scotland and Carmelita and him are not together anymore but they have 3 kids and they live with her here in Leeds. The two boys, Igor and Denilson really want to get baptized. They've been members for 14 years or something but Carm doesn't come anymore. We got Joseph's number and called him a few days ago and got his side of the story of why the boys aren't baptized yet. Moral is, he's going to Portugal for a few months in 2 weeks, so we're hoping the boys can be baptized before he goes because Carm really wants him to baptize the boys and of course Joseph and the boys want that as well. So we're really busy and under the gun at the moment because so many baptisms in such a short space of time and we need to coordinate so many things! It's pretty uncertain at the moment but it's hopeful. We're just going one day at a time with this. We're seeing them on Thursday. Carm's home teacher is Elder Dryden in our ward, he got called as a Seventy over a year ago now I believe. The Dryden's are the best. They are SUCH good missionaries and fellow-shippers. We're having tea at their house and then going to the Maneul's afterwards.

The work is going at a pretty fast pace at the moment. Keeping us on our toes and busy!

Heavenly Father's hand is in everything. I see it in everything and I know He's guiding us.

Oh one more thing! (well, there are hundreds but I need to get going soon!). We went to Susan Magg's (recent convert's) house for Sunday dinner yesterday She did a lovely roast with all the trimmings and things. Traditional English Sunday dinner! She had her son Ashley and daughter Chloe there, and Ash's friend Sam was there again. Sam has such a kind and loving believing spirit, he got caught up with the wrong people when he was younger and was influenced a lot which left him in jail for a few years. He just seems like he needs love and he needs a relationship with his Father in heaven. He has believes and he always sticks around for our message at the end of our visits. We taught the Plan of Salvation using the puzzle/diagram thing that my sister Emily gave to me to use for my mission (it's helped LOADS by the way Em!). We taught him and Chloe (Chloe isn't too interested in the church atm, she just turned 18 and is trying all the things of the world but she's got a good heart) and of course Susan was there too. Ashley left and went outside to see to some of his mates but Sam stayed. We thought that was really significant. He asked us questions and he wanted to know how to get to the celestial kingdom. We told him that what we've done in our past doesn't define who we are. It's through the saving grace of the Atonement where we can feel whole and clean. He looked like he was about to cry at some points. He's a really good lad...you can just tell when you talk to him or you're around him. He also said he might come to church on Sunday. He has so much potential. There's a reason we met him again and keep running into him at Sue's house. Again, I can see Heavenly Father's hand in this great work. I love it! No matter how great or small the miracle, it's still a miracle, and Heavenly Father is manifesting his love for us in EVERYTHING he does. 

Well, that's me done. There's heaps I could talk about, but I'm off to enjoy the sunshine and smile at everyone! 

Love you all lots and lots

Sister Kuhn

Monday, 12 May 2014

A really fulfilling week!

Week 5, Transfer 8
GOOOOOOOAL (not football (soccer) goals) 
Last weekly planning on Friday we set some pretty high goals for this last week. We've almost had a whole transfer of just being sick and not doing a whole lot. So we set high goals and got stuck in! President wants us teaching 20 lessons a week. Since we only averaged like 5 lessons, if that, for the past month, we set a goal of 20 lessons last week. We ended up with 19, and we did service and tried our best to help and uplift and love as many people as we can. It was a really fulfilling week. 
Glenda's Laundry
We went to Susan Magg's house, a recent convert, and taught her about temples. She's going to the temple for the first time on Tuesday. She is absolutely AMAZING. She has kids and she is just fantastic. She has so much faith and patience, amidst all the trials she's trying to overcome. We do some unplanned service by helping her take some more wallpaper off because she's redecorating. I've discovered that I like decorating, like painting and taking off wallpaper. It's actually quite relaxing. Anyway so she lives close to the Richmond's, and previously we went over there and they told us about their neighbour Glenda. She's an older lady apparently. Sister Richmond said Glenda might need some help with her garden, so we pop over after we see Susan. We knock. No answer. We knock again. No answer. So because it's England and they always have like 3801932 doors to the houses here, we go around the other side of the house where there's another door. Her door was barricaded by her massive long double clothes line overflowing with old ladies white bras, undies and other clothes pegged on it. Once we make our way through the amazon of clothes, we finally get to her door. We knock. No answer. We knock again. No answer. So, after all that, I turn to walk back up the steps to the gate. To my surprise, Sister Zurcher says "hey, should we fold her laundry?" I turn around and say "Dude. English people don't even like giving you their name let alone getting all up in their laundry", but because we're so unified, I turn around and start taking off Glenda's laundry from her clothes line. Sister Zurcher takes off a purple jumper and folds it up and puts it on a bench near the door. First thing I take off the line, it's wet. Second thing, wet. Everything else is wet. So we just stare at each other for a second, and then we bail pretty quickly leaving Glenda with one folded purple jumper on the bench near her door. So awkward. We laughed our faces off afterwards haha Glenda's laundry..r.i.p. 
Chinese students out the ying yang
So we're teaching two Chinese students at the moment, Aaron and Tango. They're fab. They both really want to develop their relationship with God and know more about the purpose of life. Aaron meditates a lot. He's probably one of the happiest people I've ever met. Tango came to church on Sunday and he said he loved it and he felt so much peace. He has such a sincere desire to want to have a relationship with his Heavenly Father. I love helping people develop and strengthen their relationship with their Heavenly Father. It's why I'm here, it's why I'm a missionary. I love it!

Mexican, scones, jam and clotted cream. They definitely mix. 
We had tea with Max and Katie. Max is a member, Katie isn't yet. They fed us chicken enchiladas (so yum!) and scones with clotted cream and jam for desert. Sister Zurcher LOVES scones with jam and clotted cream ever since she's discovered it here in England. I feel so spoiled with being brought up with that. Lucky Australia and England are pretty good friends, we have a lot of English foods. We talked about prayer and talking to Heavenly Father so we can develop a relationship with Him and know that He's there. 

We had 5 investigators at church. Maria (she's Chinese but grew up down Essex way - she's 21 and  we love her!), Denelson, Igor, and Gina Manuel (their Mum doesn't come to church and hasn't for a while but Denelson and Igor are both 9 and 10 yrs old and really want to be baptized. Gina is 16 and it's great she came to church. She's doing her own thing at the moment, they're all great though. They hug you when they see you. It's so cute! Then we had Tango come as well :) We had a great week. I can't really remember a lot other than that without looking at my journal..but my journal isn't here, so that's a bit of a downer. But hey, solid week.
Love you all! 

Peace, love, and chicken grease  xxx Sister Kuhn

Oh!!! a MASSIVE P.S to the blog. It was the 50th Anniversary of the Leeds 1st Ward chapel on the weekend. They had a big celebration on Saturday. The ward choir did Music and the Spoken Word, there was a tree planted, and then a DISCO (I didn't even know they used that word anymore). We had the oldest living and bishop of the ward speak as well. And the RUSHWORTH'S WERE THERE!!! They're from Skipton! So I got a picture with them :) Sister Rushworth does the best trifle ever!!! I love these two people :) 

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

A Fantastic Week of Miracles!


Week 5, Transfer 8

It has been a fantastic week full of miracles!

Today is P-day! We went to Harewood House just out of Leeds with Sarah Boycott (a member in Leeds 1 Ward) and Hamilton her son who is super cute :) It was really nice. I'll attach some pictures! The grounds were gorgeous. You'd love it Mum!

All those are form Harewood House today. You can Google all about it :) It was beautiful! They had bird gardens and penguines and all sorts!  

President Pilkington was able to meet our investigator Francis on Sunday at church. We met him in Hyde Park last Tuesday. It was beautiful weather and we decided to do some finding in the park in Leeds! Francis is from Italy. He came to an Institute class on stress that Elder Vingoe (Elder and Sister Vingoe are the Institute senior couple) taught on Thursday. He stayed and talked to him for an hour at the Institute building after we left. He's very interested in learning more. He studies Chemical Engineering and is also in one of the same classes as Chris Vingoe (Elder Vingoe's son). Small world! He looked up the website we gave him and he mentioned he lives the same lifestyle as us. He doesn't drink, smoke, drink tea or coffee, and he's vegan. He really liked church as well. He's got a very active and deep way of thinking. He also has a lot of great questions. So on Sunday it was Fast and Testimony meeting. Now, when you invite investigators to church and it falls on a fast Sunday..it can be make or break. Every time for me almost it's been a bit of a disaster. The one time you have someone there for Fast and Testimony meeting, everyone decides to get up and talk about all the trials and hardships they've had and the mood is really down and sad. The lessons are always on like Kolob or baptisms for the dead or something. BUT, last Sunday was PERFECT. First of all, Bishop Parr started off the testimonies and basically talked about the whole first vision which is what we briefly talked to Francis about on the bus but really brief. Then everyone after that just testified about how the church was true and Joseph Smith was a true prophet etc. It was AMAZING. It was like an answer to our prayers. Sunday School was about the original church Jesus Christ had when he was on the earth..which was great for Francis because of his Catholic background. He didn't stay for Priesthood because he didn't eat breakfast and was really hungry..but I think he gave it a good shot because not everyone comes for the first 2 hours anyway when they first come! That Sunday was just a huge blessing. A true and obvious answer to our prayers :)
We're also teaching 2 Chinese students, Tango and Aaron. They will progress in their own time I think. They have a sincere to know more about Heavenly Father though. They are really wonderful to teach. It's different to teaching people who have a religious background or even a basic religious knowledge..because the Chinese students don't usually have any religious knowledge about God. It's good to have so much variety with all the people we're teaching.

We also have a fantastic miracle about a less-active. It's a bit of a long story how she got in contact with the missionaries recently but Sister Zurcher took me to go and see Cassy Booth (that's the second time she's seen her). She has an 8yr old girl called Madison and a 2 year old called Kaleb and a daughter that lives in Keighley (a city 20 min from Leeds). Cassy left the church at 14. She explained herself as a bit of a rebellious child...but she wants her daughter Madison to have the choice to be baptized/go to church more etc. if she wants to. She currently goes to church in Keighley to stay with Cassy's Mum every now and then. Madison loves church. In that same lesson, we invited Cassy and Madison to the 50th Anniversary of the Leeds 1 chapel this Saturday and Cassy said she'd come. She also agreed to coming to church on Sunday because Madison wants to. We think Madison will be an essential tool in reactivating Cassy. She knows the gospel principles, she just needs to strengthen her testimony. She's so wonderful though. Super chilled.

We were also knocking for a bit after trying to find someone on the AUF list (Address Unknown File). The person we were looking for doesn't exist apparently. But usually there are usually great miracles that come from knocking the houses near the address we're given to check if a less-active lives there. The people in this area were not particularly friendly, until we met June :) She's a 70-odd year old lady who invited us in. She is our English grandma now :) We had a wonderful chat with her. She might come to church this week and she wants to come to the 50th Anniversary because there's a family history party and she's interested in that. 

We had afternoon tea at Aysia and Lucy's house on Sunday. It was so lovely! 
They really made it super cute :) 

Those were just some of the miracles this last week.

Life is definitely like a roller-coaster. I feel like Heavenly Father is constantly reminding me to just enjoy the ride. I feel overwhelmed sometimes that I have so much to improve on....but I just need to do my best and keep my mind focused on my purpose. It gets a little simpler then :)
I'm also SO excited to be staying in Leeds for another transfer!!!! I absolutely love this area. There is so much potential here. Sister Zurcher is an incredible missionary as well. She is such a strength to those around her, especially me. She is a great teacher. I feel like we balance each other out really well. She is just fantastic! We're super excited for the transfer to come!
Everyone that emailed me this week: I'm sorry I didn't reply to you all. I didn't have long to email! I'll reply next week :) Love you all!!!!

Sister Kuhn