Busy busy busy week. We had zone training meeting Friday, mission leadership council Thursday, le tour de France depart Saturday, roads closed, bus routes cancelled or diverted, appointments, meetings, church. sleepovers with the other sisters because their church meeting was cancelled because of tour de france etc etc etc. HECTIC
Hai Yun is doing fine :) Her husband still isn't keen on her being baptised. He'll come around eventually no doubt.
Sam's Mum is also interested in the church! She is such a sweet and kind lady. She would just absorb the gospel and be such a great, faithful member. Last time we were teaching Sam she left us a note which basically said she would love to arrange a time to meet if we wanted to. We were like HECK YES OF COURSE WE WANT TO! She is wonderful! Sam is going through the challenges of opposition at the moment. He knows he will have to make some hard life-changing decisions regarding his friends and who he associates with, but he will get there. We know he will. He needs the gospel. He prayed for the first time out loud with us on Saturday. It was so sincere and honest. I LOVE hearing people who have never prayed out loud before. They are the most simple yet powerful prayers. It would be nice to always have prayers like that and to always understand the power that comes from it.
Lee and Alice are still going strong :) Kera says to us all the time that she wants to be a sister like us when she's 19. She has about 10 years to prepare haha I love that girl. Lee just needs to quit smoking and he'll be good for baptism. They want to be sealed in the temple as a family :) that would be the best thing in the world when that happens. I would love to see them go through the temple :)
The three /four Ethiopian girls we're teaching are doing great. Rhel, Fiori, Selam and Marty. Marty is very busy and is sometimes not there when we teach. Fiori is moving to Headingley, which is where I'm emailing right now actually! It's a student/modern/chill suburb on the outskirts on city center. So she will be SO much closer than Chapeltown where she is currently living. She really wants to come to church as well. Rhel LOVES us haha she is so funny and cheeky, but very invested in her church. She did love the chapel though when we took her inside at the ward bbq. So yep, they all have Amharic Book of Mormon's so they can read away even if they don't want to commit to anything yet. That's still progress! :)
Everything is going swell :) I can see at different points on my mission how far I've come and how much and in what ways I've changed and developed as a person. I can see at the moment the growth I've made since being here. It's HUGE haha not just in my knowledge in the gospel and my testimony, but in who I am as well, my take on life, the way I think, the way I treat people and different situations. I've just grown a lot and I can see that now more than ever..and it's pretty cool :) don't get me wrong, there are still so many things that have stayed the same, or even come out more haha but I know that the changes I've made and will continue to make are positive and I've been so blessed to be able to improve and progress.
I'm just so grateful for this gospel. I'm grateful for the missionaries and friends who influenced and taught my parents the gospel. What a blessing! I owe those people the biggest thank you in the world. I'm just realizing so many more things that I've grateful for as a result of serving a mission. I was super grateful for a lot of stuff before coming to England, but I'm able to recognize and be grateful for so much more. That, in itself is a blessing!
I just LOVE THIS EXPERIENCE. I don't love the doors being slammed in your face, the abuse, the long days, the freezing days in the rain, the sweltering hot days in the sun, the hours and hours of street contacting or knocking, the cancelled appointments, the let-downs, the transfers etc etc the list could go on for days. But you LEARN so much from those experiences. Hard times and sorrows expand your soul, so when you've gone through them and you feel joy and happiness, it fills you up the brim, and the hard times that you have experienced don't seem to matter other than what you've learnt from them. The happiness feels MORE than the negative or sad feelings you before experienced. It's amazing! I don't know how it works, I don't know, but that's the Atonement for you! I'm telling you, our lives are win-win situations. We sin - we truly repent, we feel better and we feel the unconditional love of our Saviour PLUS we take away a world of experience and knowledge about how great the gospel is (winning). We go through a hard time, no matter what it is - we learn so much about ourselves, about this life, about the love of our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and we become better and stronger from what we experienced and what we learned (winning). We get rejected - we become more resilient, stronger, and we care less about rejection because we've gained so much strength (winning). Someone close to us dies - we get stronger and our testimony gets stronger of the Plan of Salvation knowing we WILL see them again (winning). It just MAKES SENSE. The gospel makes sense. We win, no matter what. If win, we win, if we lose, we still win..even if it is in the end. The Plan of WINNING I'm going to start calling it.
Those are my thoughts for you all now :)
If any of you would like further explanation about how your trials and hardships in life are a win, feel free to email me, write to me, or just talk to me in a few months when I'm home. I'll be happy to chat!
Oh and a MASSIVE P.S - THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU FOR ALL THE BIRTHDAY WISHES AND CARDS AND EMAILS AND PACKAGES AND JUST EVERYTHING. If I didn't hear from you and you consider me a (good) friend of yours, it's OK, because life gets crazy and I know how it is. So don't even worry..because I probably missed 75% of all you people's birthdays anyway haha I'll just get you back when I get home! Just kidding..but really..but just kidding.
Love and peace !