Wednesday, November 26, 2014

I'm In England!

Hello family!  
This is crazy, I am actually in England.  To be honest, it doesn’t seem much different than America, or at least the area I am in.  It is different than what I was expecting at all, but I still love it.  

So we flew here Tuesday (I think, the days are all a blur).  The flight from Florida to England was good.  I took some melatonin right before I got on so I was lucky enough to sleep mostly the whole flight, and I had the window seat, which was so good!  I did notice as soon as I got on the flight that the people weren’t very friendly.  No one would help us get our carry on luggage in the bins; they wouldn't even look at us.  But that’s okay.  They fed us on the flight.  The food was nasty but it was food.  We flew into the Warwick airport, which is an hour outside of London, so I actually haven't even seen London yet cause it's not in our mission.  But I do get to go into London tomorrow!!!!! Quintin L. Cook is doing a mission conference at Hyde Park Chapel so we have permission to ride the train into London for that.  I am so excited.  I'll talk more about that later...

So we flew in and got through customs just fine.  Then we waited for the elders to come pick us up, they were late getting to the airport.  It was the office elders that picked us up in a huge van.  We spent the next 2 hours running back and forth from terminals to pick up the other missionaries flying in.  Then we had an hour car ride up to Staines for transfer meeting.  I was so tired by this point that I really don't remember much of what happened.  I did meet President Millar and he is a great guy!  He vaguely remembers Grandpa Robison, and he remembers Kirk (grandpa Smiths brother) that he went to school with, so that was cool.  I also saw Elder Idso, and he is just as happy and great as he was before.  He told me before I knew who my comp and my area was that I have the best area and comp, and let me tell you he is right!

My companions name is Sister Hickman, she is from Blackfoot, and she is amazing!  The new missionaries go through what’s called 12 week training, so technically I should be with her for 2 transfers, but this is her last transfer :(  I was pretty sad when she said she go homes the end of December.  But that’s what the Lord wants and I am so blessed to have her as a comp for this transfer.  We are serving in Brighton, which is the highest baptizing area in the mission!  We have three investigators with baptism dates in December!  Hopefully we can keep it up!  A little bit about it here, it is very diverse, so that makes it interesting...It means that no one judges though and everyone is accepting of everyone, so people are open to listening to us.  It is right on the coast, so it is super pretty here.  It reminds me a lot of New York City.  Everyone smokes weed, so it smells everywhere.  It is kind of the party place in England.  But I love it!  We ride double-decker busses everywhere, and they aren't as great as you would think.  But it is still an adventure!  

It took me a while to get used to driving on the other side of the road, I would get carsick if I thought about it too much, cause drivers here are crazy!  Kind of reminds me of Honduras and the weaving in and out of cars.  They are super good drivers though!  

I got unpacked into our flat, it is pretty small and old, but it is homey.  And we went and taught some lessons at the chapel.  We take a bus there, and it is about a half hour bus ride.  

Thursday we taught a lesson to an investigator in a cafe, and I heard real music for the first time in weeks.  It was weird, but I kind of enjoyed hearing stuff from the outside world.  I also got a bus pass that day, so I can go on a bus anytime I want!  woohoo #missionarylife 
We taught a recent convert in her house, and she had cats.  They were climbing all over the furniture.  But God loves her, and if she loves her cats then she can love her cats.  She is a really nice lady though.  We also got a full sized fridge on Thursday!  I will have to send pictures of our old fridge and freezer, they were Tiny!  The elders were moving flats and didn't need their fridge, so they gave it to us.  We are truly blessed.  

Sister Hickman is a Sister Training Leader, and they had Missionary Training Conference Friday in Staines, which is about 2 hours away from us.  We got a call from the office elders that afternoon saying we needed to take a train up to Crawley and stay with the Visitor Center Sisters for the night so she could make it to MLC.  So we rode a train up there, which was fun.  Not what I was expecting, it is not like the trains in Harry Potter, just kind of like a subway train.  We went on splits for that night and the next day.  I was with a sister that got released yesterday, so the day I was with her was her last day in the mission, and she didn't want to do anything.  We literally just sat at the VC all day I think.  It was nice to be able to just sit and relax though.  We also helped the Mission Office organize stuff.  I organized all the passports, and we rearranged the big board with all the missionaries, that reminded me of Grandma and Grandpa Robison’s board in their house.  
It was nice being in the VC cause I got to see Sister O'Grady, one of the sisters that flew with us from the MTC.  She is great and we get along really well.  I really hope we can be companions.  It was nice to talk to someone who understands what I am going through right now.  
For lunch that day and ward member made us some rice with tuna and vegetables.  As soon as she said tuna I was worried.  It was canned tuna, but I decided I just had to think it was chicken, so that’s what I did and I was able to eat it all.  I am going to have to get used to eating stuff like that.  

Once Sister Hickman got back from MLC we had to take the train back to Brighton.  We got to the train station like 3 minutes before the train was going to get there, so we were sprinting through the station in skirts with our luggage trying to make it.  Don't worry we made it, it was hilarious though.

That night we had correlation with the Ward Mission Leader.  That is when we go and he talks about what needs to be done in our area.  Let me just tell you, our ward mission leader is amazing.  He is only 20, and has been a member for almost a year.  His love for missionary work is out of this world and he would do anything for any of us.  We missed the meeting because of the train ride, but he took me and Sis. Hickman out to dinner to catch us up.  His name is Lewis, and he works in London most days.  He found out I am in love with One Direction and GUESS WHAT!  HE WAS IN LONDON ON THURSDAY AND SAW LIAM JUST WALKING AROUND.  I freaked out when he told me that, and he has met 3 of them in London.  So jealous.  And he always teases me about it and starts singing their songs in front of me...its so apostate (that is what missionaries use when something is bad haha).  But dinner was great, we had some good pizza.  One thing that is weird here is that you have to ask for the check when you are done eating, people go to eat and sit, not eat quickly and leave, so we sat forever and waited until he got the courage up to ask for the bill.  And I had a diet Pepsi, There isn't much carbonation in it.  But it was still refreshing.  

Saturday was laid back as well.  We had 2 appointments scheduled, but they both either forgot or cancelled on us.  So we did weekly planning/12 week study instead.  Weekly planning takes forever, like 2-3 hours usually.  We didn't even get it all done.  I also finished the Book of Mormon that day (yes finally, I did it) I would suggest reading Moroni 7, it is an amazing chapter about Faith, Hope, and Charity.  I learned a lot from it and how we wouldn't have faith hope or charity if it weren't for the atonement.  That night we went back up to the Visitor Center for a Fireside.  The sister I was comp with the day before is extremely talented and wrote 22 songs while on her mission.  Her family came to pick her up, so she did one last musical fireside with them there, and it was amazing.  Her songs are so good.  Then we traveled back to Brighton.  

Finally to Sunday, sorry this letter is so long!  So we got to church and it was the Primary Program!  I was so excited cause I missed ours back home.  The only difference is there is only 6 kids in the primary it was a lot different.  They all did so well though and they are all so cute!  We had 3 investigators at church, and one of them was terrified to come, and he finally came, so we were pretty happy!  
After church we ate lunch at the chapel and did more planning (cause we were so booked we had no other time to do it...), then we had an appointment with 2 old ladies.  They say English Ladies talk a lot, but they really do.  They just talked for half the time we were there.  Neither of them is too interested in the gospel though, which is too bad.  But it was still a good lesson.  
Then we had a dinner appointment in New Haven, which is an hour bus ride.  Luckily a ward member offered to drive us so we didn't have to be on the bus for so long.  The dinner was delicious.  A lot of food though.  If I come home fat it is because of this.  They served us:  chicken, 2 sausages (like little smokies), roll. carrots, stuffing, broccoli, cheesy cauliflower, potatoes, and a big slice of chocolate cake.  It was funny though cause this family has 2 little boys, and one of them kept farting, or fluffing as they call it here at the table.  Rebecca’s the mom kept saying how she wanted her family to be a part of the gospel cause member families are always put together, I had to laugh cause I was thinking of our family, and we are not put together at all haha.  

But that was Sunday, it was crazy busy, but it was so good!  I have learned that when you are busy the days go by faster!  I also learned that I need to take the mission one day at a time, I can't sit and think about when I will be seeing you guys again, cause then I just get down cause it seems so far away.  So one day or one week at a time is what I have to do. I do miss you guys’ a lot, and always think about what you would be doing back at home.  But that comes with being a missionary I think.  

Something super frustrating here is that no one is married.  Everyone just lives with their boyfriend or girlfriend, which means they can't get baptized.  We have 2 investigators that want to be baptized so bad, but they aren't married so they can't be.  And neither are planning on getting married until like June.  So frustrating.  
But I may be here for it still, everyone tells me I should plan on being here like 6 months.  I do love it here!  

Some cool stuff me and my comp are doing this month.  We decided we need to be more grateful for what we have.  So every night before we go to bed one of us says a pray of just thanks, it is super hard.  Try it.  You have to really think about what you are saying so you don't ask for anything.  We have only done it for a few days now, but it is amazing to sit down and really think about what you are grateful for and how much you are blessed.  

Another thing is the Church is doing a Christmas campaign, a lot like the Easter #becauseofhim one.  They have stuff in Times Square and everything, which is super exciting.  So from now until Christmas we are studying Christ.  We are sitting down today and writing our testimony of Christ, then spending a little time everyday until Christmas studying about Christ and his life.  We will rewrite our testimony on Christmas day, and then read them both and see how much it's grown.  I am super excited to do this, you should all do this too.  

Well there is my week.  It was definitely crazy, but it was a good one.  I need to work on bus contacting more and talking to everyone I come in contact with, because I'm not good at that. 
And tomorrow we go to London!  My comp has only got to go to London once the whole time she has been here, so I am super blessed to have been able to come into the mission when I did.  It will be so good!  And we have Thanksgiving dinner at the chapel Thursday, which I am excited for.  I miss America.  Everything is so expensive here.  
Me and sister Hickman only have like 8 pounds right now...we have no money.  She only had 4 left from the last transfer, and they gave me 40 when I got here.  But that money was used to buy my bus and train tickets.  So we are so poor right now.  We just have to last until tomorrow though, then hopefully we will have enough money to buy food and stuff. haha, don't worry though, we aren't starving.  

My address is;

30 Bourne Court
London Road
Brighton, Sussex

You can send letters to that address, but send packages to the mission home.  
I had my package with my bedding when I got to the transfer meeting, but somehow my packages from Preston ended up at Presidents house.  So I am getting those in 2 weeks at Stake Conference.  

Well I love you all so much and miss you all.  You are in my prayers everyday.  Sorry, I haven't read your emails yet, so I may not have answered all your questions...but I will get to that. Have a good Thanksgiving and tell all the family hi for me if you see them!  I love you all; this is what I am supposed to be doing with my life.  There are so many people without the gospel in their lives that need it.  I am happy serving the Lord.


Sister Robison

My Flat

Sister O'Grady

My trainer Sister Hickman

Waiting in Salt Lake City

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