My sweet family and friends,
At this moment I am indulging in Cadbury dark chocolate while watching the sun go down here in England! It is only here, but it is nearly dark! And the sun barely rises at It is the weirdest thing!
I am so excited to finally be emailing home and to tell you about the beginning of my adventures here in the motherland! It is going beautifully here in the Preston England MTC.
|Leaving Idaho Falls, ID|
This place is lovely. It is SO green here. Driving on the left side of the road is just freaky. It just feels super uncomfortable to be honest! I hope to not be driving for a bit!
The first day was hard and it didn't help that I was literally awake for 47 hours! I was sick to my stomach and dizzy and all sorts of struggle. I was filled with worry and thoughts of "Man, I just want to go home and snuggle with my mom and puppy!"
But, we soon got into the work and I was remembered of why I left all that to begin with. The spirit here is constant. It is REAL.
The Elders and Sisters here are all here for the same purpose. It is wonderful to be able to turn to anyone in the MTC and share a spiritual experience with them; it builds a bond so quickly and we automatically become friends. I am so blessed to be here.
My companions are Sister Belnap from Gilbert Arizona (coming to Birmingham with me) and Sister Atkins (waiting for a visa to go to the Omaha, Nebraska mission.) from here in Chorley, England. Elder Garrett Broulim is actually in Sister B's home ward and her dad is the ward mission leader! Small world! Sister Belnap ran D1 track for NAU and she is SO MUCH FUN! We have a blast together and our words just flow so easily. I pray that we will be companions in the field, because we are already becoming best friends which is sweeettt!
Sister Atkins is absolutely hilarious and we often find ourselves speaking with an English accent because of her! She is a convert (baptized at 13) and her mother lives in Sydney, Australia and went to BYUI until July of this year. Small world yet again! We all have such a strong bond growing and our teaching has reflected that.
It has been so cool to find a new love in the Book of Mormon, through missionary eyes. Every scripture holds new meaning and my focus is different as well. The teachers here are so genuine and conscience of how we are learning, which is just brilliant. I am so thankful to be in this smaller MTC where I can have that intimate learning experience, I feel like I would've gotten lost in the Provo MTC because of all the missionaries there. They teach Greek, German, and English here. Greek is a beautiful language by the way! All of our teachers have different accents (LOVE IT) and it seriously makes me pay attention more than usual. Foreign people are just so fascinating to me!
The food here is GLORIOUS. The bacon here is real, thick, and scrumptious. So different than American bacon. I tried fish and chips for the first time here and actually like it! I was super proud of myself! I also tried sweet potato fries! Why didn't anyone tell me they were so delicious?! I didn't know what I was missing out on! The cookies here are thick and so yummy! They feed us well here. Too well! :)
My district is great! We are in the Jacob district and have so much personality here. Elder Decker is from the Netherlands and Elder Mkhoulise is from South Africa. All the others are from America.
We are learning, everyday how to become better missionaries. It is hard process to learn and to grow. But to learn and grow, we must be okay with being uncomfortable. And that has taken some time to get used to. I'm not quite sure I'll ever be quite used to it but it is so worth it. I am learning so much about myself and about Christ. I am learning to adjust to the investigators and to adapt in various situations. This Gospel is work and it is hard, but so wonderful. If it was easy, I don't know if I would so invested!
So I am grateful for the difficult moments, because it means that I am growing. I am so blessed to be here and to be studying and teaching for 12 hours a day. It isn't easy and it is SO exhausting at times. But this is my life now, this is the adventure of a life time and I am learning to love every single second of it!
We had the opportunity to attend the temple this morning and it was just incredible to sit in the celestial room as a missionary. I felt the spirit more strongly than I ever have before. It was wonderful! And to see so many missionaries there beside me was such a sight to see! I was so grateful that we were able to attend.
|The trees here are flat!|
Fast was also great! Hearing so many testimonies from other Sisters and Elders was powerful! A lot of the testimonies were in German and Greek, but you couldn't question the spirit that was there. It was incredible. These experiences are building up my testimony more and more!!
Some other fun facts for you:
-They play Christmas music to wake us up in the morning which is so peaceful and lovely! It reminds me of home.
-The wind gusts here and insane! Almost worse than Idaho.
-I have fallen asleep 5 nights out of 6, on my journal! We work hard here. As soon as my head hits the pillow, nothing else matters!
-Sister Atkins puts 1000 island dressing and cucumbers on everything. It is WEIRD. I almost gag every time I see her eating it.
-They do have Ketchup here, holla! (Dad, there is hope.) They have an alternative called 'brown sauce' which tastes like horseradish and brown sugar. DISGUSTING.
-Hell is not a swear word here. Not even a little bit. Our teacher said "What the hell?" to an elder the other day and I about died! So that is interesting.
-, it was bright and sunny nearly all day! It didn't rain a lick. It was beautiful.
-They call the bathroom 'toilet' here.
-Sister Atkins literally has a bladder the size of a pea and both of us have to go with her literally every single hour. And when she needs to go, she politely says"I need to wee". Gosh, hahahah she's a good time.
-There are two swans who flew in from the east on the day that we arrived. They just chill in the front pond and just look so pure and beautiful, but apparently they are super mean! They are actually protected by the queen!
-I accidentally put my hand on an elders leg while laughing last night (without realizing it) and while I was pulling away I got quietly reprimanded by a teacher. Not my proudest moment.. Totally forgot that it wasn't appropriate to do such things! :) We laughed even more after that.
I love this work and am so grateful to be here. I hope you are all well and you are continuing to strive in goodness and to be closer to the Lord. He loves you. He wants to hear from you. Give him that time and you will reap the blessings.
Have a splendid week.