Well family, another week has come and gone. I am really sad to see this week go because it is one that I have been looking forward to all transfer, but it was good and I made lots of memories!
On Monday I WENT TO LONDON! I know I told you a bit about it when I skyped, but I will tell you about it again for journal purposes haha. So we had to book it to the train station because Lewis was supposed to drive us but then something happened and he couldn't, so we had about 40 minutes to take a 60 minute bus ride to the train station where our train left in 30 minutes. Hope that all made sense haha, anyways, we were sprinting from bus to bus to make it, but don't worry we got there 3 minutes before the train left! We jumped on with our district and were on our way. About 15 minutes into the ride the intercom came on saying there had been a system failure at Gatwick Airport, which we pass through, so no trains were going to go through there, and the train would return to Brighton. They didn't tell us what caused the system failure, so naturally I was thinking there was a terrorist attack or something, but don't worry there wasn't...so we got off the train and just waited at the station until they finally had one that was going through. We jumped on that and about an hour later we were in London! We got off the train at Piccadilly Circus and got on the Tube, yes I got to ride the Tube, it was really fun, but basically it's a subway and it was hot and stinky. We then saw the West End where all the theaters are. We went to the Book of Mormon Theater and took a bunch of pictures outside of it. The other sisters we were with were trying to hand out "real" Book of Mormons to people, it was pretty funny. And it was funny cause one of the main characters in the play is named Elder Green, and Elder Green is my district leader, so he was saying "I'm the real Elder Green" haha I just love my district so much.
Then we went over to China town cause we have Chinese elders in our district. We had some good fried custard thing that was shaped like a fish, and while we were eating those some people walked by and were like "Hey look missionaries", they were members from America so we talked to them for a bit.
Then we went to where all the major tourist stuff is, aka Big Ben. We came out of the Tube and it was like right in front of my face, it was kind of surreal. But it was cool. We took a whole bunch of pictures though because it is a super pretty area. On one side is Big Ben and Parliament, and on the other side of the bridge is the London Eye. That bridge, the London Bridge, is also our mission boundary, so we took a picture right on the line that separates our mission from the London mission. I felt pretty rebellious for being outside our mission boundary haha. The rest of the day we just kind of walked around, we walked through a Christmas festival thing that was fun, and I had some really good tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwich. We also saw Shakespeare’s Globe Theater and the Tower Bridge. I still can't believe that I was in London a week ago, who would have thought one year ago that I would be spending this Christmas in London? Life is crazy!
That night we went to an FHE at a members house where we just talked about Christmas and our traditions, it was really nice.
Tuesday was an interesting day. We traveled out to Shoreham to contact some referrals we had received for less actives. One of them was an older lady that lives in a rest home, and her son just happened to be there when we stopped in. He was a member, but just because of circumstances in his life he stopped coming to church. After we got done there we had McDonalds for lunch, which tasted soooooo good!
Oh and I got letters from the whole Smith family from Thanksgiving, so tell them thank you, I really enjoyed reading them!
Wednesday we had our last district meeting with Sister Hickman and man was that rough. We had to have a short one so we just went around and bore our testimonies about what we have learned on our missions, and I was just bawling the whole time. It was good though and the spirit there was really strong. Then we went to a couples home for dinner (the couple that was going to feed us kangaroo). I always love going there because they always have soda for us. This day he bought us Mountain Dew. They are a great family and we had a great time there having dinner with them.
Then we booked it over to another members home for another dinner and to go caroling. I have said it before and I'll say it again, I love that family, they make me feel so loved and welcome, it was a fun night with them.
|A family in her ward that she loves! Everyone says she could be one of them, since she looks like their girls|
Christmas Eve night was pretty hard. I was missing being home a lot and our traditions. I did do the sand dollar and I cried just like mom does, that is a good tradition. Sister Hickman and I bought matching PJ's at Primark to wear Christmas Eve night, so we did that and had a sleepover in our family room.
Christmas day!!!! Christmas was good, really just another average day in the mission field to be honest. We woke up and opened presents. I got lots of food/candy, which made me really happy. Oh if you ever want to send a package, send Krusteez pancake mix, you can't get that here and it always tastes so good when we get some! The Woods from our ward sent me some Alvey's Chocolate, which reminded me of Logan and put a smile on my face. Ya, I got lots of food, jewelry, and scarves. It was a good Christmas!
We then went to a members home for dinner. They are a family in our ward that is so nice. She is a professional ballerina, so we sat and listened to her stories from all the shows she has been in on West End, it was pretty cool.
Then we went to the chapel to get the Book of Mormon we had wrapped and try to hand them out to the homeless as a Christmas present, but we didn't see one homeless person, so that was a fail...oh well at least we tried.
Then I got to skype you! That was soooo good, but 40 minutes was not long enough. It was fun to see you guys though and hear how you are doing. It seems like just yesterday I was saying good-bye to everyone and having a crying attack on the way to the MTC haha. Only 3 transfers and I get to skype you again though!
That night we had a Christmas party at the chapel with the missionaries, Bishop and his wife, and a couple investigators. We ate some food and just played games and stuff, it was a fun relaxed night.
Friday I found out who my new companion is going to be!!! Her name is Sister Stuart, and she actually started her mission here in Brighton, which is good cause that means she knows her way around. And this is her last transfer as well; President must think I am really good at killing off my companions or something. I have heard awesome things about her, all the ward members love her, so I am really excited to meet her! It is sad that I will have to say goodbye to another companion though...maybe one day I won't be killing off my companions. That means that next transfer, after this one, I will most likely be training, which means that I will stay in Brighton for at least 6 months of my mission!!!!!
Nothing too exciting happened Friday, missionary work wise. It was a holiday here, so everyone was gone still. But I did dye my hair...hahahahaha. My gray hair was growing back and I was starting to have a line from when I died my hair before, so I decided YOSO (you only serve once), why not dye my hair? And every sister does something dramatic to their hair at least once while on their mission, so I might as well get mine over with and let it grow out throughout the rest of my mission. I went darker, it was like black the first few days, but now it has faded into a dark brown and I actually really like it. The elders made fun of me the first day they saw me and said I have Halloween hair, but that’s okay, cause it's not black anymore...
Then Saturday was Brother T’s (she has asked us not to put peoples names in the blog so we just shorten them or leave them out) baptism!!!! Woot Woot! It was such a good day and such a good way to end Sister Hickman’s mission! It was the best baptism I have been to yet (and I have been to a few). The missionaries got roped into singing Come Unto Christ again, and T even sang it with us. Then T gave his testimony/conversion story, which was amazing, and he gave the closing prayer. He is just such a cool guy and the smile he had when he came out of the water was amazing. What a good day. Definitely one of the best days of my mission so far!
Yesterday was rough, knowing it was my last day with Sister Hickman. To start it off, the missionaries sang Come Unto Christ in church for prelude. The do musical numbers before church starts here. Good thing I am a really good singer and am super comfortable singing in front of crowds...not! haha. But it went okay. Then Sis H and I had to speak in Sacrament Meeting. It was just a short 5-minute thing about how I wanted the spirit to change me over my mission. As I was thinking about it, I decided that I am so glad that I am not the one going home. I am no where near the person I want to be and I would be so disappointed in myself if I had to go home now, so I need to change some stuff and keep improving every day. It was a hard day though seeing Sister Hickman say goodbye to everyone, it was really hard for her.
That night we went to visit a less active and on the bus ride back we basically "bus preached", which is when you teach the whole bus. Granted there were only 3 people on the bus, but they were all asking questions, which was really fun!
On Sunday nights we account with the DL, Elder Green for the week. At the end he asks us what our goals are for the week and all that stuff, so I told him mine, then sister Hickman asked him if he has any advice for either of us. When he started talking to me I lost it. He was talking about how it seems like I am scared for this transfer and how I need to just trust in the Lord and love my companion. I was crying so hard and it really hit me how different this transfer is going to be. Honestly all I wanted was a big hug from Dad, but I couldn't have that. I will be fine; I think I am going to get a priesthood blessing in the next few days just to bring me peace. I am just really nervous for what this transfer will bring. I know that I can love people as Christ Loves them, that is something that Sister Hickman and I have really tried to work on this week. I just have to remember to trust in the Lord. Anyways, sorry for that depressing bit, it just hit me last night that this transfer is over and it won't be the same.
But we had a little going away party for Sister Hickman last night at the chapel and watched the First Presidency Christmas Devotional; yes that is a party for missionaries’ haha. We popped popcorn and everything, it was loads of fun. We got a call last night while we were watching it with travel plans for Sister Hickman today, and you will never believe it, I GET TO GO TO THE TEMPLE TODAY/TOMORROW WITH HER! We had been hoping and praying that I would be able to at least go up to drop her off and say goodbye, but now I get to stay the night up there! I was so happy and it made my day so much better!!! I am hoping now that I get to go to the temple tomorrow with her, because that would just be the cherry on top!
It got super cold here this week too...it’s about 25 degrees F, plus humidity, so winter has hit...
Well that was my week. It was definitely one to remember and a Christmas I will never forget. I am nervous about what is to come this week, but I have complete faith that it will all be okay. It will be a hard transition, but I know that as I turn to the Lord I will be able to do it.
I love you guys and I love hearing from you every week! 1 transfer down, 11 more to go! Before we know it I will be packing up and having a hard time leaving England...
Love you, have a good week!