I wish I had more time to tell you all the crazy things that happened
this week, all the spiritual experiences I have had, etc etc, but I
will have to keep this brief as it is transfers!! Yay!
I will not lie, it was super hard to say bye to Sister Popa. I love
that girl so much, and I am so excited for her. But I am going to miss
her like crazy.
I am staying here in Chorley again, and serving with a sister Flake! I
can tell this is going to be a great transfer, and loads of changes.
Not just for me, but for the whole mission! We shall see...
I will update you more on next week!!
I love you all
Monday, January 23, 2017
It literally feels like yesterday that I was thinking, oh wow, it's Dad's Birthday this week.... WHATTT!!??? Why is time going so fast?! haha Happy Birthday Dad :D You are the best!
Thank you so much for all your prayers and support for our goal of the 28th. As it looks for right now, we probably won't have anyone for that day, but I have a strong testimony that the Lord works in mysterious ways. This goal has helped Sister Popa and I to work harder than ever for these past few weeks. We have had such purpose and drive, and it is exactly what we both need right now. Baptism or no, I know that Heavenly Father is blessing us so incredibly much. I fully trust Him, His will, and His timing.
This week has been great though. We had some funny moments, some inspiring moments, and frustrating moments. I love my mission so much because it is always changing. Always exciting. Some things don't really change, but it the chaos among the calm that I am so grateful for.
one funny thing that happened was . we had our district meeting, and so Sis P and i traveled up to blackburn ( a 2.5 hour journey by bus) and as we walk up to the church, there are no lights on... hmmm... maybe they are late? We call the District Leader to find out where everyone is. " oh sisters, so sorry we totally spaced. District meeting is at Chorley today......" DAH!! haha oh wow, so we were able to get someone who came with the Zone Leaders to come pick us up. And it all worked out.
While we were heading to our street display , a woman walked out of a shop right next to us. We kinda all were looking at each other, and I thought maybe she was a member (she looked like she could have been one, ya know what I mean), and she definitely recognised us. She goes, " hey! I recognise you two!" before we could even say anything! and then it clicks- we met her like my first week here, we had knocked on her door! She had scheduled an appointment with us, but her baby had gotten sick, and we hadn't been able to reschedule with her. She was so sweek and we chatted with her for a while. She told us to come by her home this week! It was so sweet to run into her, and I know that it wasn't a coincidence :)
We had interviews with President this week, and it was my favourite one so far. I had really prepared before hand with questions in mind, and as I asked them, i was able to get answers and inspired counsel from him and also from the spirit. I know that God truly qualifies those whom he calls. I can see it in President, in myself, and in so many others. He trusts us so much, and allows us to learn and grow through experience. He molds and shapes us. He gives us stewardships and responsibilities so that we can be humbled and refined. Most of all, I know that Heavenly Father and our Saviour Jesus Christ and the Holy Ghost each love me, and you perfectly. The know each of us by name, and they want us to be happy. Ether 12:4 says :"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." As we feel His love for us, and strive to show our love for Him, we can have that sure anchor in our lives. We can have that Hope and we can be happy. If we believe in God and trust Him, and show that through doing what is right, all will work together for our good. I know He is real. I know He lives. I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
I love you all! by for now :)
Monday, January 16, 2017
It is great to hear you all had a fab week! It has been a great one for us here as well. Also, something that Sis Popa and I just found out!! Our new Mission President has been announced on lds.org!!! WHAT!? I am in the same transfer as the Ulrich's, but crazy still!!
Ok, so let me see... lots of miracles have happened this week, and I firmly believe that it is due to our diligence. We have not gotten on a single bus that we haven't spoken to someone on! We have been finding ways to not only be effective, but also efficient with our time. But we are still kinda adjusting to our new schedule. It is basically a lot more flexibility, planning is now in the MORNING!! and Companionship study is only 30 min, sometime during the day that works best for us. It is so nice though, because we have time to really unwind and focus our energy. For those speaking a foreign language, language study is during a different time of day as well, so we are ALL out by 10, but honestly, it hasn't been too much of a change for Sis P and I... still! Crazy huh?
also, it snowed this week.... the day before it did though... I have never been so cold. I was wearing like every layer I owned, plus my vadar boots. yes. And I wonder why people do the missionary dodge ;) hahaha jk
Here's a few stories from this week:
We were waiting for a bus evening so that we could get in on time, and as we stood there, a woman passed by us. We stopped her and began talking to her, and as we told her that we share messages of hope that are centered on Jesus Christ, she went, "Oh how wonderful! that sounds like a great message!" haha it was amazing! And she accepted a return appointment, and we have her phone number, and it was a miracle! She is lovely, and we are seeing her again .
Another miracle that we saw this week was when we got a text from a member letting us know that they were inviting their less active niece and her non member boyfriend over for tea, and that He had some questions to ask us. It was amazing to see that this family trusted us enough to answer his questions. And they also were so involved in helping him to understand more about what we believe. It felt like the first step for us in really helping the members get on board with the missionary work, especially in ward 2 :)
And last miracle I wanted to share was being invited into a home while we were tracting! This wonderful woman, Diane, answered her door, and as we spoke to her about who we are and what we do, she invited us to come in and tell her more. We were both SO EXCITED!!! As we spoke and taught her, and testified of the Book of Mormon, the spirit was sweet and real. I know that God is allowing these amazing miracles to occur in our lives because we are going forward, full steam ahead, with faith in Christ.
Otherwise though, we are still striving our hardest to reach our goal, and I truly believe that it can happen. I trust though, that whatever the Lord's will is, will be. I trust His timing.
Not loads happened this week, it were one of those odd and rare ones where the days are fast, but the weeks lasts for ages. But we are powering through!! YAY!!!
Thanks for all of your wonderful and encouraging notes- hope you know how much I appreciate each one. I love you all so very much!
pic:Throwback because Acer got BAPTISED!!
Monday, January 9, 2017
HiyaHere we go! The holiday festivities have come to an end, BACK TO WORK YALL! haha it is so good though, it is so good to have this feeling inside of me that I want the norm. You are so right Dad, I have found my groove. I don't like for it to change too much, and when it does, I enjoy it, but still thrive off of the missionary schedule and being able to earn my pillow each day.
This week has been great for us, we had some great miracles. Goes to show that even amid the trials, we can choose to be happy. Basically in England, we can get a lot of rejection. And this week was no exception. BUT Sister Popa and I have been re awakened to a new sense of all we can accomplish for the rest of this transfer. We had a vision meeting as the North Zones (Chorley, Ashton, Preston, and Liverpool zones) and it was Intensely spiritual. Probably the most powerful meetings I have been in to date. They announced a new daily schedule and pday schedule!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I KNOWWWWW!!!!!! it will go worldwide soon, but we are piloting it, by the time Ethan goes, it'll be in full swing! Sorry E, ya won't get what we are all used to, but it is SO GOOD!! aw man, i was sat there thinking, WOW the signs of the times, of the harvest, of the gathering is RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY EYES!!!! Literally, during my short mission so far, there have seen SO MANY CHANGES. Also, we have been "using" the area book app (which includes the planner on it), (i say using because we have all been bouncing between our paper planners and the ipads), and they told us all to throw them away! Wow. That was hard. I won't get my final few planners, but the area book app is sooooo incredible. and they were right, we just had to cut it off. We teach it all the time, but perhaps we are all a bit addicted to our planners... haha No it's the best thing ever, and we are really using the technology that we have been blessed with. So yes. Back to the vision meeting! So they talked about how things were going to really change in the way we approach missionary work. We want to all rise to a new level of consecration, and to really give all that we have to the Lord. (Something that really struck my is that true humility isn't just thinking less of myself, or more of others, it is 100% trusting the Lord. In fact it isn't even about me at all. It is realising that all i have all i desire, all that happens is thanks to Him.) As we do all we do in Christ's name, we are endowed with power and authority. I know that He is waiting for me to ask Him. To allow Him to do His work, and I am simply the instrument. I must allow Him to move me, to work through me. It was such a powerful meeting, and I can't say half the things we discussed, but just know it was great.
Last night was the missionary fireside, only this time it was here in Chorley as opposed to man south, and it was a musical fireside! of "our story goes on"..... It is like this British pageant type thing, about the plan of Salvation. It was brilliant! We all loved it so much!
One of the miracles happened . Sister Popa and I set a goal to baptise someone on the . (if you also want to pray with us to accomplish that, feel free). We went out with certain things we were going to improve upon to do all within our power to do so. One of these being bus contacting, quite an interesting way of finding, but we do is loads here in la englatera. Yes. SO we went throughout the day, and talked to literally EVERY PERSON. and nothing. then at the very end of the day, we get on the bus to head home. Done for the day. ( Background: President always tell us that we have to stay so diligent all day, that miracles happen between ). We are riding along, and there is the man sat behind Sister Popa. I didn't know if she would turn to talk to him, but I felt that we needed to speak to him. We keep going along, and then finally she does turn around, and immediately he is way interested. He must have recognised us, because he goes, "oh my uncle joined your church a while back, and it really changed his life!" Turns out our new friend, Darren, has had a tough year, and the changes he saw in his uncles life are what he wants and needs in his own right now!!! WOW!!! What a huge answer to prayer! we were just scribbling down his information as we pressed the button to get off! haha it was amazing, and I am so grateful for the tender mercies of the Lord.
I know that He lives. He loves us. Truly He wants what is best for us, and even if we have to go through the Fiery furnace to get there, we always come out better for it. I know that as we strive with all our might to do His will, He can magnify our efforts, and allow miracles to happen in our behalf. He is only a prayer away and He listens to every one we say. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Monday, January 2, 2017
Yes, just when you got used to writing /16 is the day 2017 starts, I know haha But WE MADE IT THROUGH 2016!!! What an incredible year it was, hey?? More on that in a bit.
It was SO GOOD TO SKYPE YOU FAM!!!!!!!!!!!! ahhhh haha I was quite worried actually that it would be super weird, or that I wouldn't be able to get back to work well, etc etc, the normal worries, but it was SO fun to talk to you, and it didn't sway me much from my focus! haha aka boxing day= regular proselyting day ;) But yes, thank you Brooke and Christian for letting me see and talk to Fay and Nash, they are SO STINKING CUTE, and I loved it so much, even if I couldn't talk amid all the...emotion! haha ah, and sorry if I was awkward at all, something happens to you as a missionary... (you'll find this out soon Ethan) you can get kinda awkward! But Austin forewarned me, so I am happily accepting it all! Cheers Brotha!
Christmas though on a mission, it was amazing, I absolutely loved getting to go to church and to really remember what this holiday is all about as I partook of the Sacrament. We are eternally blessed that our Saviour was born that day. And what a blessing to be a missionary and to declare His gospel at this time of year! You'd caught me/us after a long week of finding, rather unsuccessfully as well, so sorry if I sounded less than enthusiastic about it. But someone in Sacrament meeting said something that really hit home for me. It seems that Satan tries really hard to discourage us just before something amazing is about to happen (Christmas), to try to knock our faith, but Sister Popa and I did our best to keep our spirits up, and prayed a lot a lot, and this week was incredible!! Yay yay! p.s. sorry I didn't take my camera with me throughout the day on Christmas to the different members homes we went to, but we had a blast at the Hoyles and the Botts! Lots of kids, and south africans, yesss!!
Anyways, yes, this has been an interesting, but really fun week. Boxing day, everything is down... no buses, no shops, nothing! So we had to walk everywhere! Which was fun, we found new places in our area we have never been to before! We also found out that day that we would be having an exchange with the Rossendale Valley sisters, surprise! The exchange was amazing, and we all saw miracles here in Chorley (we all stayed in our area)! One was right after Sister Taumalolo and I started tracting, this lady opened up, and imediately invited us in! (that never happens first of all) and then proceeded to tell us that she wants us to take her and her granddaughter on a tour of the temple! She was so enthusiastic about it all, and we got to explain to her why we have temples, and as we left her eyes got teary as she thanked us so sincerely for doing what we do :)) It was the sweetest thing ever. We saw lots of other miracles throughout the day, but also some trying times as well, our appointments falling through, and roads we'd planned to tract not being tract-able... BUT I have a firm testimony that God blesses those who diligently trust and obey Him. Who go forth with faith. It is real, and we were able to really help their companionship in their time of need. Such an inspired exchange! YES!
We finished the week off with New years eve and new years!! It was actually kind of weird for both Sis P and I... We were like... oh no, 2017 is here?? ALREADY??? haha but I am so excited for this year! I feel such excitement within me. As i pondered on this past year and how I can improve and what will happen, I had an overwhelming feeling that if I just go forth with all I have, relying on the Lord for whatever I lack, this year will be the best yet! I can truly do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Phil ). I know that this is true. I invite you all to set goals, with the Lord, write them down, and then tell someone them who will keep you accountable. Set up a time when they will regularly follow up on those goals (FHE, nights, whenever). Make an inspiration board! It's time to BECOME all that we want, and God wants us to become. YAY 2017!!
I love you all!! Thank you for being so supportive to me all throughout 2016, and always!
Keep it real!