Monday, 27 October 2014

We are in a trio for my last transfer!

Week 6, Transfer 12
It's now Monday - first day of my last transfer. Weird feeling.
On the upside, we had transfer calls on Thursday last week and transfer day on Saturday (a one-time thing the MTC had to do). We are in a trio! Sister Salcedo from Barcelona, Spain (originally from Peru) has joined us after 1 transfer serving in Hull and she was being trained down in Huddersfield by Sister Decker before that. Sister Salcedo…man, she is a fireball! She's 25 years YOUNG, confident, mature, hilarious, fun, loving, kind, crazy (just like us) and not afraid to be herself. We all clicked super fast and we're excited to work hard this transfer. We are squished in a tiny flat meant for 2 missionaries but it's ok because I'm getting kicked out in 5 or so weeks anyway.
We had Stake Conference on the weekend and it was fantastic! Sunderland Stake has such an inspired Stake President, President Spencer. The whole Presidency are just amazing! There were no topics assigned to the speakers on purpose so that it was truly inspired and coming from the hearts of every speaker. It was a testimony builder to listen to the speakers as they gave talks they felt inspired to give. They were all of such great quality, the spirit was so strong. We also had a less-active lady called Julie we'd never met come with another member who lived close by to her. She just felt like she should come to Stake Conference after years of being away from church. She's probably one of the nicest sweetest women you will ever meet. We're seeing her today :) 
Brother Kennington, the Stake Patriach, gave a wonderful talk. I liked one thing he said especially:
'Life isn't about waiting for the rain and the storms to pass, it's about learning how to dance in the rain'. I thought that was really cute :) and a good message too!
I know I'm jumping around the days of the week but that's my brain for you! So on Friday the Elders' investigator Rachel got BAPTISED!!!!!!!!!!! It was so good :) We're really happy for her. Also, Ashleigh's Mum Mary came to the baptism (and Saturday session of conference). After the baptism we met with Mary and had a quick lesson with her. We haven't been able to see her for a few weeks because she caught an illness. We asked her how her Book of Mormon reading was going and she said at first, it was just a book, she'd look at the cover from time to time, never really read any of it and never felt anything...but then she decided to read it, because she had to be at home all the time, and she said she just felt it all clicked together, it all made sense. We scheduled her for baptism on the 14th of November in the same lesson. She has been embraced by the people in this ward and she has never felt so much sincere and genuine love and concern from people about her well-being etc. Love really does change people. Love is the most powerful feeling in the world. It comes from God. It's such a blessing to be able to witness the miracle of Mary. Now, we know that Satan is hard at work, and with basically ALL our super solid and amazing investigators he's won with them for the time being. In the last week or 2 we've basically stopped teaching most of our investigators, but it's okay. I've been a missionary long enough that it doesn't (and never really has) bothered me that people choose to not accept the gospel right now. I know that Heavenly Father has the power and capacity to change people's hearts, and I've seen that happen many times, but when it doesn't happen, and someone doesn't decide to partake of this everlasting goodness of the gospel, it's just simply meant to be that way. I (like to) remember that, when these sort of things happen. I don't have a problem with disappointment now…and if I do get disappointed, it's not for long.
The blessing of the gospel isn't just about church and helping us get closer to God (however that’s basically its primary purpose), but when we live the gospel and essentially get closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, we are blessed in so many more ways in our lives, whether it be in work, school, university, family, friends, talents and abilities etc. It just enhances your whole being, your whole life, everything!
I know this is the true church of Jesus Christ. I can't deny that...and I only know it because I've put in the time and effort to find out. That's the simple reason. If we're willing to put in the time and effort and ACT in faith, we will be blessed with so much more than we are asking or searching for. I've seen and experienced that kind of 'conversion' many many times. I have a testimony that Christ lives, He is real, He loves and knows each of us by name. How cool is that?!
Keep it real, study your scriptures, pray sincerely, attend church, apply what you learn as you do all 3 of those things with a willing heart, and you will find happiness. You just will! It's a promise :)
Until next week!
Laaaaaaave you byeSister Kuhn  xoxoxox
P.S Shoutout to the best sister in the WORLD who sent me a WHOLE BOX full of timtams to share with the kind people of England...if they make it that far. Ha! THANK YOU. Much appreciated. It will keep me awake for the next 5 weeks :) 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Baptismal service in Newcastle

Sophie and I at her baptism in Newcastle on Saturday. I taught her whilst on exchange 2 weeks ago and I told her I'd be at her baptism so we went  :)  

A recent convert, Angela. Newcastle has a massive Chinese membership. I love the Chinese people!! The most sweet kind hearted loving people ever! 

Monday, 13 October 2014

Another hardworking week in South Shields flies by!

Quick blog :)
If any of you has seen the Grand Prix  or any worldwide famous car race, and you see how fast they all go by the starting line each lap? You blink, and they go past flying in less than a second. Well, that's how this last week was for Sister Ahola and me!
I'll first answer the questions Mother dearest wrote in her email this week:
​How has your proselyting week been?
It's been busy! We've had our ups and downs with people we've found and are just being the patient, hardworking missionaries that we are. We found a young lad called George last night. He and a wonderful lady who doesn't come to church anymore are the only 2 successes we had in 3 hours of finding and going by less-actives. But you know what? It was worth it!  We're seeing him this evening. What I love about being a missionary is that the message we share is 100% good for everyone in every way at any time anywhere at any stage in their life. That to me alone is a testimony that it is God's gospel we're sharing, because He loves everyone and has a perfect plan for EVERYONE. No wonder it applies to all mankind! The message aka the gospel is also free, and it gives SO much more back to those who accept it and live it. I sometimes wonder why everyone isn't running up to us asking how THEY can have eternal and everlasting happiness! Then I remember what it says in the scriptures about people seeking truth 'they know not where to find it', so it's our job as members (not just full-time missionaries) to SHARE the gospel, so people CAN know where to find it and choose to accept it, live it, and see how it blesses them and their families' lives.
How is the weather?
The weather is getting COLD...BUT blue skies mostly every day. Rain and grey skies are rare! As long as there's blue somewhere in the sky, Sister Kuhn is happy about the weather. In saying that though, I've had some of the funnest moments on my mission running around in the rain (or hail) lol Hopefully the weather keeps up until AT LEAST the 4th of December...
 Your district?
Oh I love my district. Elder Boyer is our District Leader. He instructs and prepares a meeting each week where we meet with the district. It's a chance to practice teaching and using our skills and knowledge, receving revelation for the people we're working with, and feeling spiritually strengthened. He also calls us every night at 9.30pm after we plan for the next day (from 9-9.30pm) to follow up on our day, making sure we're in our flat and we're safe, give us instruction and advice on the people we're teaching etc. He's a busy guy! I served with him when I was in Beverley all those months ago only for 6 weeks, so it's funny that now he's my District Leader! We also have Elder Price who came out with Sister Ahola, so they're best buds. He's being trained by Elder McBride who has about 6 months left of his mission. All from America - Sister Ahola and I are the only one's who aren't. We have a close district, all in the same ward, we all get along great and we all work hard.
The ward?
Oh man, that ward is AMAZING. It never ceases to amaze me how dedicated, helpful, loving, strong and kind all the members are in the wards I've had the pleasure of serving in here. It's like WOW! South Shields is no exception :) The leaders are all fab and they're so willing to come out and help us teach or have us teach in their home, have us over for tea...all sorts. I'm so so grateful for the wards I've served in. All have been just marvellous!
I really like Shields (that's what the cool kids call it now days. Aint nobody got time to say 'South Shields'). I love being by the beach. It's very peaceful there.
Sister Kuhn and Sister Monroy
I went on exchange to Newcastle last week as well. I love that place :) The ward is also great there too! I was with Sister Monroy from Guatemala. She has a very interesting mission story! She served in Colombia for 4-6 months because of her visa..and then she came here and she is trying really hard to learn English better. She is a convert and she is so much fun haha I just love her. I test out my horrible Spanish all the time with her, especially over the phone. She laughs because she doesn't get to speak Spanish very often..but really we all know she's just laughing at my Spanish. We can have about a 15 second conversation so far..I'm trying to increase it to 30 seconds and then a minute and next thing you know I will have learnt Spanish perfectly! I had SO much fun with her on exchange. She is so fiery and powerful! A testimony like a massive boulder that just comes rolling on in, in every finding or teaching situation. I loved the time I was able to spend with her. She and Sister Rossi have a baptism this Saturday. I hope we can get an investigator and go to it with them to see it. Sister Rossi is from Italy. She goes home at the end of the transfer and she came down to Shields with Sister Ahola :) She also really enjoyed herself. They live with the Newcastle University sisters so I was able to be in a 4-man flat again which was splendid! I go on exchange with one of the uni sisters this next week. So exciting!!! I really love being able to serve these sisters. They are SO powerful and so special in their own way. I learn more from them than they do from me I know that's for sure! I'm also becoming more and more comfortable being a leader on my own (without an STL companion anymore). It's teaching me a lot more about leadership and about myself which I'm really enjoying. What a privilege it is to serve in the church. Not only do things get planned and accomplished, but there is always so much growth when you serve others.
We're doing a lot of teaching and finding and just running around like chickens with our heads cut off!
Week 5 up next! Our week is already looking scoopa doopa busy - so I'm sure it'll feel like a blink of an eye until I'm sitting down on this computer writing to you all again!
I also got many emails this week which I thoroughly enjoyed. I'm sorry if I don't reply to them all this time around. Time goes so fast and we have a time limit on how long to email for. Gotta be speedy! I'll see all you Aussie peeps soon-ish anyway! Warm it up over there for me! :)
Love y'all !
Sister Kuhn

Monday, 6 October 2014

Geordie language alert

Hello everyone! Yes, I'm alive. I know it's been a week or 2 or 3 since me last blog (Geordie language alert) but I've landed back on my feet from the whirlwind I found myself in the past 2 weeks training and being in a new area and I'm ready to get back to writing fantastic tales about South Shields! ​
First item of business, I now speak with a thick Geordie accent. I call boys 'lads' and instead of using 'my' everything is 'me'...instead of YES it's 'aye' or 'why aye man' if it's a HECK YES, 'no worries' has turned into 'no bother', 'goodbye' is 'turrah!', and 'good' is now 'canny'.
Geordie Land <3
Ok I was just kidding......sort of......not really. I don't have the thick accent but the vocabulary here is rubbing off on us! Oh that's another thing, instead of 'me' it's 'us' but you're still only talking about yourself. I forget if some of these words are words we use anyway..I've basically just lost all sense of reality and am so busy here that I forget what life is like not being a missionary in South Shields. Oh well :) Anyway so the vocab is a lot different to...  well, everywhere else. I imagine it's a lot like the Darwin/Northern Territory slang that the rest of Australia doesn't ever use, but here the accent is on a whole different level as well. I love it though it's mad fun trying to understand and then copy their accent.
Secondly, the photos are of the beach that we live close to, we ran there last week in the morning, it was LOVELYYY. We will be spending time at the beach today also relaxing :) and the night time picture is our balcony (Halelujah!). It's prettyyyy gangsta ay. 

We also visited these lovely members on Saturday, and they have THE BIGGEST DOG OF MY LIFE. AMERICAN BULLDOG. He's deaf and even though he has blue eyes he's not blind as well luckily. He's 14 stone! Which is about 89kg for all the people who don't know what a stone is. HUGE. A big softie though, I like him :) we're good mates now. I think his name is Bronson, but he's deaf anyway so it doesn't matter to him. He knows sign language and that's how they tell him to sit or lie down etc. It was so cool watching them communicate with him. He's more obedient than dogs who can hear!!

Another photo has 2 parts - the one of Salt Lake temple (front and back). We were walking to an appointment and Sister Ahola saw a Lexus (her Dad likes Lexus cars) and so she got the pass along card out and we wrote that on it and put it on the windshield haha it was crack up. The poor bloke probably thought he had a ticket!

I could write for ages about this area and the people etc. But I'll just skim over bits and pieces. The elders had a baptism on Friday, Sister Ahola and I sang at it, 2 of our investigators came, John and Abbie. Abbie is 13, she's mates with a recent convert called Talyia who is also 13 and she is a BOSS of a missionary. Always referring her friends to the missionaries and all sorts. Basically, everyone in this ward and everyone we teach are super great. We're always laughing with someone about something up here in the Great North!
I don't have long to go now. Time is a tickin!
I've learnt a lot of life lessons through this experience. Not only has it strengthened my testimony immensely, it has taught me so many things about the general wants and desires of people in the world (which is to be happy). It's taught me to pace myself, take a day at a time if I need to, and just press forward like it says in the scriptures...with a perfect brightness of hope and a love of God. I feel a bit like a wise old owl coming to the end of my mission. A wise old owl with so so so much more to learn lol ah well, for me, right now, this is the most important thing I could be doing, so I'm going to do my best at it!
Love you all, thanks for the support. Forever grateful. Seriously!
Peace x
Sister Kuhn