Sounds like you had a fun filled week with Thanksgiving! I'm glad your life is continuing without me..haha. My week was good! Time on a mission is a very weird thing, a day feels like a week, a week feels like a month, and a month feels like a day. I will hit my one-month mark on Friday and it is crazy to think I am one month in! It feels like just yesterday I was walking away from you at the MTC, but at the same time it feels like ages ago! Its super weird, but I have come to realize that my time here is very limited and that it is going to fly by so I need to take every chance I get to let the Lord work through me.
So on Monday after I emailed we did nothing. It was great. We went back to our flat and wrote letters and took naps. It was needed and I was so grateful for P-day! I haven't had an opportunity to buy stamps yet, so the letters I wrote haven't been sent yet, sorry! Then that night we went to the chapel for FHE with the YSA. Activities with the YSA are always so much fun. There are quite a few YSA members in our ward and they are the ones who always go and teach with us, so we have become pretty good friends with all of them.
Tuesday was the big day that we got to go to London! We woke up at 5 AM, yes 5 in the morning, so we could get ready and catch our bus by 6:20. We then took the bus to the Brighton Train Station and got our train tickets. We were there 45 minutes early haha. The elders in our district showed up like 10 minutes before the train left, so we were there for a while by ourselves. We had some hot chocolate and a chocolate croissant thing that was really good! The train ride was about an hour. We got into the London Victoria Station and then had a 45 minute walk to the Hyde Park Chapel.
|Sister Hickman and me outside the Hyde Park Chapel|
After he spoke we took a whole bunch of pictures outside the chapel. It was like a sea of missionaries, they were everywhere! haha. We had to go straight back to the train station after so no tourist time then either. But the Wicked Theater was right by our train station, so I did see that :)
|A sea of Missionaries|
|Elder Idso from my home ward|
|Waiting for the Train|
Wednesday was an interesting day. We had like 6 appointments to go teach but all but our very first one cancelled on us. So we spent a lot of time studying and we tried to do some street contacting. I also had my first chocolate bar here, and let me tell you, they are amazing! I think I am addicted to chocolate! haha.
Thursday!!! It was a different Thanksgiving. It didn't feel like Thanksgiving at all, and that’s probably because I wasn't home...haha. We planned contacting time into our schedule that day though, and I was determined to talk to somebody. I let Sister HIckman take the lead for the first few, and then we saw a nice old guy sitting on a park bench. We thought he would be harmless and nice to us, so she told me to take the lead. I was terrified, but I did it. I sat down and started talking to him and all he said was "I don't want to talk to you, I want to eat my lunch in peace” so that was awkward. I was proud of myself for trying though! haha.
Brighton is on the coast, so we went and walked along the pier and tried contacting there. It is a very pretty area; I love it when we get to go to the pier!
|The Brighton Pier|
We had to take a bus for about 45 minutes to get to an appointment, and we were determined to talk to people, so me and sis Hickman sat away from each other, thinking it would be a crowded bus ride, but no. It was pretty much empty the whole time. It is the thought that counts though haha.
We had Thanksgiving dinner at the chapel that night, or a "Giving thanks dinner”. We helped in the kitchen serving food and doing some of the behind the scenes work. The elders had to carve the turkeys, and that was hilarious because they didn't know what they were doing haha. It made me really appreciate all the people that make Thanksgiving for me back home :)
|Turkey leg reminded me of Disneyland|
We had a talent show for the entertainment part of the dinner. One of our potential investigators used to sew dresses. She wanted others to see these dresses, so me and two of the girls from the ward modeled them. It made her day.
|Model for a Day|
On Friday we had a very good day. We were at the chapel in the morning to teach an investigator so we stayed and had lunch there. We have an hour for lunch, and it usually only takes us a half hour to eat, so for the other 30 minutes we took a nap in the foyer. The sun was shining through the doors and it was so nice. The weather has been pretty nice here still. The sun was shining for most of the week, and it hasn't rained too much. It is getting cold though.
We had a teaching appointment with a couple of families that afternoon, and families are so hard to teach! There are so many distractions. Right when you get to the point of the lesson that they need to hear, something always seems to happen. Hopefully one day we will be able to get the whole thing across...
On Saturday night we took one of our investigators to a baptism. He is getting baptized in 2 weeks and he wanted to see what it was like. It was such a neat experience and he had a huge smile on his face the whole time. I cannot wait until he gets baptized! I have learned that a common misconception of sister missionaries is that they can all play the piano. That is so false. I had to accompany some sisters for a musical number at the baptism. I had never heard the song before and only had time to play through half of it before hand. I played it almost perfectly though, such a miracle. I am playing more on a mission than I ever have before. But its good for me, I enjoy it.
Then yesterday was a typical Sunday. It was fast Sunday because we have stake conference next week, so I bore my testimony. It was a little intimidating. I haven't gotten to know too many of the people yet. There is one family I love though. They have teenage girls that I get along with so good! The ward is getting bigger though. We took a ward picture (because the bishop wanted one, they hang them up in the hall), and it is almost too big to fit in a picture. They say the ward has grown a lot since last year, which is awesome!
That evening we went to the bishops for a proper Sunday dinner, and it was delicious! We had turkey and potatoes, and Yorkshire pudding (which is so good!) and stuffing and a whole bunch of vegetables. Everyone here eats broccoli, so I have started to kind of like it. It was such a good meal though!
We had an amazing lesson last night. Our investigator said one of the most sincere prayers I have ever heard and he really thought about his baptism and what it means to him, the spirit was so strong and it was one of the highlights of my mission for sure. He is such an amazing guy!
So that was my week!! My daily schedule usually goes like this:
6:30 exercise (yes I do exercise, me and my comp decided we would be diligent and we are getting in super good shape)
7:00 get ready/eat breakfast (I have plenty of time to get ready every morning)
8:00 personal study
9:00 companionship study
10:00 leave for appointments. We usually head to the chapel cause that is where we teach most of our investigators.
1:00-5:00 roughly is appointments and traveling
5:00 dinner, unless we have a dinner appointment, then it is 90 minutes
9:00 daily planning for the next day
That is a rough lay out, we have to add 12-week study in, which is an hour a day where I learn how to teach. But that is my day. If you are ever wondering where I am, I am most likely on a bus or at the chapel. That is where I live basically haha.
I have been thinking a lot about my mission this week and I am already so grateful for it. I have only been out a month, but I can't imagine my life without it. There is no better work than hastening the salvation and bringing people unto Christ and I am so blessed to be able to have that opportunity. Missions are amazing. They are exhausting, and everyday I don't think I can go any further, but somehow, through Christ’s help I always do.
I love you all and hope you have a great week! Have a good Christmas holiday and remember the true meaning of Christmas!