How are you all doing? I enjoyed your email this week, sounds like you guys are doing great! That is exciting you signed up for Lotoja again and your back on your bike mom. Road biking is really big over here, every time I see someone biking it reminds me of you guys. Yesterday was the Brighton Marathon, which is a pretty big deal here, and it started right outside our flat, so during our "Sacred Time"(study time) we got to hear all the announcements and watch them start. It was just like LOTOJA, it was fun. When I get home I am going to train and come back and run it....we will see if that happens haha.
Well this week was hard on us. We didn't have any member present lessons, which is when you teach an investigator with a member present, and we didn't have anyone at sacrament meeting or any new investigators. So numbers wise it was a terrible week, but despite all that we kept on going. I was never down or mad about that all week cause I knew that we were working diligently and doing our best. It is hard to account for basically nothing in the week, but what I have come to learn is that it isn't about the numbers. The Lord knows the intents of our heart and knows if we are giving it our all. We were able to keep the gospel discussions up, we had 53 gospel discussions this week and quite a few return appointments from them. This week we are going to see investigators start to progress, I am really excited. Sister Ghalkhani and I have definitely learned a lot from being together. We have both improved our finding skills dramatically and have become better missionaries. We are struggling to really have fun and laugh and be happy, but I am working on that. I read the talk Finding Joy in the Journey by President Monson yesterday and it was a great reminder of being happy in my circumstances and not wishing things would be different. It is really hard to not think about when I get home sometimes, but I am trying my best to really enjoy the time here, especially in Brighton. Transfers are on May 6, so I may only have 3 weeks here, most likely. It is crazy to think that in a few weeks I will be 1/3 done with my mission. It is going too fast. It’s scary. But I am really striving to enjoy the stress and madness and everything about being a missionary.
This week I had one of the harderst moments of my whole mission and maybe even my whole life. We were out in a place called Shoram street contacting before a DA and we have been really diligent in talking to everyone who is in our path. So I went up and started talking to this guy. I didn't realize it but he was standing right outside a pub and was really drunk. He started to make fun of us and get mad at us for talking to him about what we believe in. He was standing right outside a big window to the pub and knocked on the window and all I heard was everyone in the pub bust up laughing at us. He was walking behind us and doing a your crazy sign. It was just like the tree of life. I felt like the people in the pub were the great and spacious building and all I could do was remember who I am and what I stand for. It was terrible. We walked away and I tried to hold back my tears, but I couldn't. It was so hard on me and was really the first time I have felt like I have stood alone in the world. But it made me even prouder of who I am and more grateful that I have the gospel in my life.
We also got to do service this week for the first time on my whole mission! It is great being in a ward with elders, but one of the downfalls of it is that no one ever asks the sisters to do service, but finally we just told an older lady that we wanted to do service and to not have the elders do it. So we went and painted a wall in her garden, it was so fun and we are going back this week. The weather has gotten so nice here! It is sunny and warm, so that made it really nice.
On Saturday we were out street contacting and we were standing on the corner looking through our bags or something and I was just saying Hi to everyone that walked past, so I said hi to this man and he kept walking, but then he turned around and asked if that was a Book of Mormon I had in my hand. I said yes and he went on to say that he had the Aaronic Priesthood and used to be a member. He was so nice to us and explained to us his conversion story and why he doesn't come to church anymore. But at the end he told us we would have to come visit him, so we are going by this week and he asked us to bring a B.o.M as well. That was a huge miracle and tender mercy to me. He was so nice and we know that he will return to church, we just have to get him to have some friends in the ward. Saturday night it was Elder Smiths, one of the Chinese Elders, birthdays so to celebrate we went to the American Diner and had nice big American Hamburgers. That was fun to be with all the missionaries.
I did make sticky fingers for District Meeting this week. They have the hot sauce here. I made that with some ranch, all the Elders were freaking out haha. It was fun.
Life is good here in Brighton. I got really sad the other night on our bus ride home thinking that my time here is winding down. I am excited to see more of England, but Brighton will always be special to me. The members here are amazing. The missionaries here are amazing. And the atmosphere here is amazing. I just love it.
I love you all and hope you have a fantastic week! Thanks for all the prayers and love you give me.