Monday, September 29, 2014

-- "I guess she ran out of headlines"... Mom

we had a great week last week. so many strange but great things. we are teaching such amazing people here, it breaks my heart to leave.....
mum you asked about some investigators:

C.- nicest most amazingly prepared person you ever did meet. she is getting baptised the Saturday after I leave..... she could this weekend, but because of conference the bishop doesn't want any baptisms. sad, but it doesn't really matter when, just the fact that she is, is the important thing. but honestly she is great I wish you could meet her. just this morning she called, and said, talking about conference, "I am so excited! and it is in the evening, so I was wondering if we could do a dinner before and after to bring everyone together from church and we could talk about the things we learned from one of the sessions together." she is going to make such a great contribution to the ward.

S. -- he is such a miracle. I'll tell you about him later though too long of a backstory. but he is a young single adult, about 26? works as a microbiologist something. it is so brilliant how the three of us just became like instant friends. so sad to be leaving. but he is progressing really well. has never been raised with a belief but really interested in finding out if God is there.

lots more people we are teaching but I am too tired to write about them. honestly I feel so blessed that God is allowing us to meet such amazing people here in this area.



strangest thing of the week: there was a traveling fair thing in old town. which is where we live. one morning we wake up and look out our window and BAM. street has been closed and there is this massive fair! open from 3-11PM for 2 days.... could not sleep at all. we decided the next night to walk down it and take a few pics and stuff. the next morning wake up and lo and behold..... gone as quickly as it came.

my ward is not too big. probably the standard English ward. i am so bad at estimating numbers. maybe like 70 people come? maybe more idk. a few families. there is only 1 YW i think and 1 YM.... probably 12 kids in primary.

you asked about why last p-day was on saturday....... Saturday was an adventure on it's own. honestly i will just tell you in person, long story. we attempted to see the Lion King. key word is attempted. crazy how even not doing missionary work, all plans never go as you expect them to ha but we had a great day in London anyways. really loved it. that's another thing i have learned. plans never go as you expect, but why get angry or upset? doesn't change anything! just enjoy the moment.

I asked her if she was still doing the list of things she loves about England -- ya i am the worst and completely have forgotten about the whole "things I love about England" thing. still love England, just forgot to write one each time. sorry! this weeks: you can ALWAYS talk about the weather. everyone does. honestly always. no matter what. because it is so crazy. always something to talk about. and people love talking about it. speaking of the weather, today it is spitting with a bit of misty fog.

got to play football with the whole zone today! well just all the other elders. the other sisters didn't come, and sister Larson didn't play.... but it was SO FUN!.... i forget how much i like sports until i play them. too bad i am going to be stuck in hemet with no one to play with. except you adam. i will make you play with me all the time :)  McKay could take offense at this, cause he loves to play, but he probably won't have time to play anyways. :(
  
sorry this is a lame email. so many miracles have been happening, but i will just tell them to you later. (when she gets home, we'll have her write them down and we'll put them on as a final blog post).   

i love England! i love being a missionary. and i love the gospel.

It is general conference this weekend! are you as excited as i am? probably not.... probably not possible. Our ward is having a challenge, to think of a question or concern or problem you are having in life and come to conference thinking about it, and if we come with a teachable heart and mind and ask Heavenly Father to help us receive and recognise an answer, I know that we will. how lucky are we that we have a prophet to help direct and guide us. I know that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever, and just as He worked in the past through a prophet, there is one leading and guiding us today.


loved this video - worth 1 minute and 5 seconds.  :) 


Monday, September 15, 2014

"Do Not Enter"

This week was a great week.  Honestly so good. we have found some amazing people.  Heavenly Father truly is preparing people and is at the head of this work.  

not much time so I will just tell one story, doesn't really  have to do with missionary work though. just me and my dumb ideas. luckily sister Larson is a champ.
 
but we were running a bit late one day. and on our map we saw this footpath (they are all over England) that would take us exactly where we needed to go. perfect right?..... at the end of the footpath there is this huge posh gate that is bolted and chained and a posh ancient mansion type place.  on the left of the path though there was a park, and we figured it was the park that was shown on the map. so we decided that instead of going all the way back the long way we would just hop the fence. now let me tell you. this wasn't some tiny little fence. it was tall and had pokey things on the top.  we almost ripped holes in our skirts, but we were able to hop it. 
 
turns out it wasn't the park we thought. but a private football training ground, with no exit except through a locker room thing. that definitely wasn't happening. so we were creeping around trying not to be seen, when we found this gate at the back that said Do Not Enter..... so what did we do? We entered.... looking back probably not the wisest thing to do, but we were desperate!   
 
turns out it meant do not enter. it was no man's land between people's back garden and this training facility.  and the entire thing was just trees bushes and thorns.  no you may think I am exaggerating about this, but as Sister Larson as my witness, and the videos I will show you when I get home, I am not. we were on our hands and knees crawling through stinging nettle, dirt, and thorns.  It was the funniest thing.  we were just laughing the entire time.  finally we heard a busy road and we able to make it to another big fence and hop it and end up on the side of a busy motorway. we were freeeee!
 
ended up taking WAY longer than just going back the way we came. but it worked out because A) it was a fun adventure and B)  we were able to use it the next day when we were teaching at a youth conference. 
 
It is a perfect demonstration of the fact that God has given us the gospel, the commandments, and standards to help us.  It is like the map we had.  How many times in our life though do we believe that it is easier, or more convenient, or more popular to disregard what the map says and take our own way.   and each time we took our own way it got harder and we got more and more over our heads.  if we just follow the map that Heavenly Father has given us we are able to avoid all the stinging nettles and thorns of sins.  and luckily we have repentance as well.   
ironically later that day, we lost our map  
 
pic from zone bbq last p-day

so much to say but like I said i'll just tell you in a few weeks. literally a few weeks.  it really has been a week of miracles though. 
 
and thanks for your prayers for Danie and Mario.  Mario was baptised on Saturday! Danie is getting baptised at the end of the month.  Stella is also getting baptised the week after I leave :( sad part about having General Conference the last weekend because no baptisms that day so we had to schedule it the week after. but that is okay, just so happy for her.  she is the cutest woman from Ghana, and probably has the 2 cutest children I have ever seen. believe you me, I love them. i'll send a pic next week of them. 
 
I had to give a talk this sunday, but it was definitely not as good as yours adam. that was so great!  thanks for sending it to me mum.
 
Love you! thanks for everything.  :) hope you have had a great week.  thanks for the emails you are the best.  love you!
Sister Formica
 
and I have been away from hemet too long, I am losing my gangsterness as you can tell from the pic....
 
ps
love this scripture: “...when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord” (D&C 117:13).    sometimes it isn't the result that Heavenly Father is interested in, but what we are willing to sacrifice 


 

Monday, September 8, 2014

ahhhhnotimeeeee

A lot to say and no time to say it!
 
We had a zone bbq with President and Sister Jordan in St. Albans at my old ward mission leaders home....... so posh..... but now I have no time to email! sorry
 
quick question. last few weeks for anyone to make a request of anything they want from England. Anyone anything.  food, chocolate, souvenirs.  Like ask Sherrie or Corisa if they want something or anyone else who has been to England and wants something or if people are just curious.  what chocolate would you like family? I don't know what kind to bring home so please tell me!
 
I am now wearing my moccasins (well actually Rebecca's moccasins that I stole about junior year in high school) around a lot because I am having some feet problems and all my shoes kill and they are the only ones that don't hurt.  Soooooo not quite sure how sister Jordan would feel about it, but they don't look THAT much different than my sperries right?   
 
also we had a zone meeting last week and at every zone meeting they have a man challenge for us to do as companions. guess who won the man challenge? but actually we had a big advantage, one of the four sisters in our zone didn't want to do it so we used all three of us. but one person would hold the plank position for as long as they could and when they fell their companion had to start and whichever companionship lasted the longest won!!  and we lasted the longest.  out of 22 elders.... I know I know be impressed haha  we discovered we just needed to talk to each other while we were doing it to distract the person holding it.  so they asked me math equations.  it really helped!
 
thank you so much Grandma Formica for the card. I loved it.  Also funny note they don't say Grandma here. you would be called nan...... 
 

 We ate popcorn on our roof to celebrate my 17 month mark :)

not going to lie this week there was a day that was one of the hardest days I have had in a while.  but it was good to be able to remember that we always need to rely on the Lord. that this is His work. we can't do it without Him.  And that no matter what if we are doing all we can then we can feel disappointed but never discouraged.  and I have realised that is good advice not just for a mission, but for life!

I love you! hope you have a great week.  ps so happy! people are saying there is going to be another heat wave! whoooooo
Love ya!
Sister Formica 

I (Mom) was reminded of this scripture in 2 Corinthians 4, vs. 8, especially:  
For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.
 We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
 10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.
 11 For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.

Monday, September 1, 2014

"granddad don't worry, I will teach how to play xbox."

"granddad don't worry, I will teach how to play xbox."
so cute. we heard a little boy say that to his granddad as they were walking ahead of us.  It is insane how great little kids are with technology.  when I get home I am sure that adam is going to be showing me how to do and work everything!
 
I know I have said how much I love England. but I decided (at the very end of my mission oops), that each week I am going to say a reason why I love it! 
1. everywhere you go there are wild blackberries growing. everywhere. without fail and they are so delicious. 

 
I read this verse this morning and I loved it.  so true.  it is right when Ammon is reflecting on the missionary work that he and his brothers have been able to be a part of.  Alma 26:35-37

"Now have we not reason to rejoice? Yea, I say unto you, there never were men that had so great reason to rejoice as we, since the world began; yea, and my joy is carried away, even unto boasting in my God; for he has all power, all wisdom, and all understanding; he comprehendeth all things, and he is a merciful Being, even unto salvation, to those who will repent and believe on his name."
 
This just describes exactly how I feel.  I could not have said it better myself.  
 


This area is beautiful! it reminds me a bit of Colorado. without the amazing mountains of course.  but it really is a nice place. and the ward is good as well. it is predominately English and pretty small , but there are some great families.  Sister Larson is so funny. honestly hilarious. she should be a comedian.  She is from Utah and we could not be more opposite but we get along brilliantly.  She does not like sports one bit. she is a beautician, and knows all things hair, make-up and nails.  and she loves theatre and acting.  we are having a lot of fun together. she is having some health challenges.  we have had to go to the doctor and get some tests done, so I feel really bad for her having to deal with this, but she has been feeling better lately so hopefully she will recover soon!
 
I am so excited to serve here and really get to know the members here and serve them! I think that is going to be my focus this transfer -- service.  Serving my companion, serving the members, and the people here in Stevenage. 
 
speaking of service, quick little miracle. we were in the library teaching a member how to use the computer (such a cute lady from Ghana) and this gentleman called me over and asked for my help on how to scan something.  (I think he thought I worked there)  but I showed him how and we got talking and started talking about my missionary work and everything and we ended up calling over the member and Sister Larson and having a lesson right there about the Book of Mormon and the Restoration.  The more I learn about the Saviour, the more I learn his way of teaching and going about His work was all centred on serving others.  It truly helps us have pure love for the people around us. 
 
I hope you have a great week.  I love you!!
 
Ps thank you so much Grandma and Grandpa Chipman; I got the card you sent and loved it!      
 
pps when I get home can we go to the dentist like straight away. it has been way to long.  I think we have good enough hook ups to work that out. ya?
 
 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

"you is well old innit"

HAPPY BIRTHDAY RACHEL!!!

If you think the subject line and this next joke are funny, then you understand English humor.  How do you know that Heavenly Father is English?  Because every time He introduces His son, He says that He is well pleased..... ha ha ha it's funny i promise. 

so I decided since I am going to see you soon,  i have to leave some stories and pics for then, so we will have something to talk about and I won't be boring! so the rest of my emails will be pretty bland sorryyyyyy :) 

but other news many first of my lasts. i am moving again. i know i was not expecting it.  at all. wasn't too pleased originally, but I realised I was probably a bit too comfortable and happy here, and life is about growing and stretching and improving, and this is giving me a great opportunity for all of those. I am moving to Stevenage with Sister L. from Utah.  it'll be good.  So off I go. feel a bit jipped getting moved away from this amazing area after just 6 weeks, but hey I'll go where you need me to go! 

I am also really sad to leave Sister Jacobsmeyer. she has been such an amazing companion. we have seen sooooo many miracles together, and have had so much fun! good news is she is transferring from BYU-I to BYU next spring, so we are going to room together! look at everything she did for my birthday! (pic) it was so sweet. even sweeter was she woke up in the middle of the night to do it, and sleep is a VERY precious thing as a missionary..... 




England is the most beautiful place in the world. full stop. I can't imagine leaving and not seeing places like the pic outside my train window every week. 
 really love this video. It is about pornography which is such a devatsting thing, and is all around us today.  but the power they describe that comes through Jesus Christ can and does help us not only in this addiction, but in every aspect of our lives.  I know that this is true. 


http://www.mormonchannel.org/video/mormon-messages?v=3736551143001&cid=HPFR082214366



Loved hearing from you! Sounds like life is in full swing. I hope you have a great week! I love you and miss you!
Love,
Sister Formica 

A few people have asked me for Rebecca's blog.  It's very similar to Rachel's: 
www.sisterrebeccaformica.blogspot.com   She's just starting out, serving in the Tempe, AZ mission until her visa arrives for Australia.  It's been a joy sharing Rachel's experiences with you all ... slowly coming to a close.  Enjoy!

Monday, August 18, 2014

"If you push the wrong button, it will explode and you will die......i'm not joking."

first things first..... BILL AND ELEANOR GOT BAPTISED!!!! it was such an incredible experience.  I loved being able to be a part of it.  It was such a spiritual service.  everything went smoothly.  loads of people came to support, and you could see the joy on their faces.  


Bill and his wife Caren and our ward mission leader, Brother D... (he is amazing) 

Eleanor is the cutest dang thing in the world
but BEFORE it all went so great, Sister Jacobsmeyer and I were there filling up the font a few hours before, and the hot water was not working. so we called the guy in charge, and he starts to give us instructions for the boiler, and then says the subject line quote, "If you push the wrong button, it will explode and you will die......I'm not joking."  ..... and the scary part. he wasn't joking.  Kinda freaking out we go in and push the button he told us, all of a sudden it starts to make this whrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr sound (kinda like a wookie) we both jumped so high! but since I am emailing you obviously.... it did not explode. but it was pretty dang scary.  

Eleanor is the cutest dang thing in the world. honestly if you met her you just want to pick her up and give her a squeeze.  she has more faith than the world put together.  she just wants to follow Jesus Christ and do what is right.  She was beaming on her baptism day. 

Bill is one of my favourite people I have met here on the mission.  He acts all big and tough and grumpy, but he has a heart of gold.  he is so genuinely kind and such a big teddy bear.  

With the baptisms, both of them are not so great with their motor skills.  It was very touching to see their complete faith and trust in the person that was baptising them to be able to lower them into the water and then help them to straighten back up.  I was a bit nervous for both of them, but they went off without a hitch! They are such great examples that no one is every too old to change.  We hear the excuse a lot that I am too old and set in my ways and can't change.  Not true.  you can never be too old to follow our Saviour.  so many times in the scriptures he beckons the old and the young to come unto Him. 

 and lately I have been thinking about this in relation to other things outside of the gospel as well!  people think that if you have not been doing something since you were young, that there is no use starting later in life. why the heck not? that is why we are here to learn and to grow. so if you want to start a hobby or skill just go for it! if you want to learn to play the piano, do it! if you want to start painting or sewing, or a new sport, why not! just because you won't be an expert in it, and there may be people younger and better than you, does not mean anything. swallow your pride and have some fun. so i have a long list of things i want to learn and and do when I get home! :) dust off the banjo dad because that is on the list.   

there were fireworks going off last night! not quite sure why, but we figured obviously it was in celebration for Barry and Eliza's baptism and confirmation.  


I got to go to norwich this week, and it is so beautiful there. so much posh shopping and such old buildings.  the history and culture here in England amazes me everyday.  

because of the sensitiveness of the situation i won't go into detail, but this week I realised a big lesson that I have learned on my mission is to let things go.  Pride really is a root of all evil.  It says such great things about someone's character if they are able to just let things go.  Even if they are not wrong, to just say I am sorry, what can we do to resolve this and move forward.  It does nothing arguing back and forth, trying to get the last word in.  Not worth it. 

Miracle that happened this week.  On thursday, it poured. i mean the sky opened and buckets of water came down on us, and all of our appointments canceled or postponed, and our backup plans also fell through so we were unsure what to do.  just a bit after everything fell through, we get a phone call from a lady named Patty.  She called and said that she used to see the missionaries about 4 years ago, and she used to help them out with lifts and stuff, and she was just calling to see if there was anything she could do to help us..............  miracle from heaven just fell into our lap!  we went over to her house that night and met with her and her 14 year old daughter Lisa.  we had a great lesson, and they came to the baptism and to church on Sunday!  She loves the church and the standards it has and the programs it has for the youth and members. it is brilliant how Heavenly Father knows our lives and He knows when the timing is right for each one of us.  4 years later with different experiences and situations, and now she and her daughter are ready to accept and live the gospel.  

i wish i could send a video of the raining pic. made us quite the little jingle to the beat of the thunder. and of course the bus was 30 mins late. i was over hiding under a little bush thing trying to stay dry. didn't work. 
This week was another brilliant beyond brilliant week.  I can't believe next week is transfers. we have no idea what is going on. there are about a million and one ways he could move us, because we can't both stay together because we are both leaving next transfer..... but we would love to stay together.  we keep asking President Jordan what is going on, but he is not giving us anything! 

oh well whatever happens is going to be great! because missionary work is the best gig in the world. we get to go around meeting new people from all over the world with different experiences and situations, and we get to share the gospel with them.  The thing that brings me the most joy and perspective, and I get to tell people about it all day everyday.  AND I happen to be serving in the most incredible place. London. lets be real. I never want to leave!         but i do miss and love you! have a great week! :)  Rachel 



Monday, August 11, 2014

Heavenly Father is so kind sometimes

This week was interviews with President Jordan and trainings with Sister Jordan.  boy oh boy do I love them.  Sister Jacobsmeyer and I are doing well at not being trunky, but President Jordan likes to make it as hard as possible.  In my interview, the entire time he was talking about how fast time has gone, how short of a time I have left, and that this is my last interview before my departing interview...but then he told me to make sure that I ring every last drop out of this because i have only have 18 months to serve, and an eternity to think about it.   

Primark is the greatest store in the world. whoever franchises it in the states will be the richest person ever. best stuff for soooooo cheap. 

Portuguese food is the best food ever..... it is also the most fattening food ever. and they don't take "no thank you I am completely stuffed and I am going to explode" as an answer.....but it is sooooo good.  trip to Portugal is definitely now on the books. 

Heavenly Father is so kind sometimes.  This week we were teaching a man who is less active in the court yard of this old church in town centre, and this man walks by and hears part of the conversation and asks if he could buy a Book of Mormon.  we got into a gospel conversation with him and he is incredible knowledgeable about the Bible and religions and just everything around the subject.  He has some mental health problems, but we have had a few lessons with him since, Sister Jacobsmeyer and I are pretty convinced that he is a bible savant! 

We were doing some finding with an older member, who is such a great member, but a bit forward and crazy in his "finding".... we ended up in a dodgier part of town, and we stopped a man who said he was not interested at all, he is Muslim. when we asked who he knows who would be interested in learning more about Jesus Christ, he calls over this guy from a group of men. the guy reminded me of person who would be a shark on west side story.  we explain who we are and he laughs and calls over another guy, who in turn calls over another guy and another until we have quite a few very big very strong very muslim men trying to convince us that Jesus is just a prophet.  luckily they were very nice, but just very muslim.  we just left because we were not getting anywhere, but the member was so excited! he is from india, and no one can really understand what he says, but he was like "we are making progress!" ha 

We went to go visit E., and we walk into her back garden and there she is hacking away at this huge weed with a hoe.  she told us she redid the whole garden that week! she is 83 and is still out there working away. that is how i want to be! 


We went on 2 exchanges this week! I had an overload of Portuguese this week.  I went with Sister Welc (pic of us on dropbox) and with Sister Benetti! that was fun. major flashback.  were together out 2nd transfer out and together again our 2nd to last.  when I was with sister benetti it POURED!!! and they appointments they had were about an hour plus walk to all three of them. in separate directions. not the best planning ha but we had to walk along this tiny foot-path on the side of a major motor way, and the cars just splashed huge puddles at us the entire time.  I think it was the wettest i have ever been on my whole mission. and that is saying something!    

This week sister King has come back to visit. well i guess she is now emily.  She is from Australia! other side from perth though. but she came teaching with us a lot, and she was at dinner at the Pereira's with us (best family ever!!!) she has been home about 8 months and she said it was the weirdest thing ever.  hardest things to adjust, she said not doing missionary work, not being sister king, and not having a companion.....   mum i will probably just be glued to your side for a while :) 

pics are of the bipolar weather here in england..... perfect example. literally hot one moment and stormy the next. 

and the others are C. ( a recent convert, the wife or B. who is getting baptised on Saturday! ) took us to felixstow. it was so fun.  we just walked up and down the front, aka the beach, and played some mini golf, shockingly  i won, i'm rubbish at golf. and then tried to fit into the bus! trust me it was wayyyy smaller than it looks. i almost got stuck! such a beautiful place.  i cannot wait to one day come back and visit!  more pics on dropbox.  



it was seriously such a great week.  the work here is fantastic. it is amazing how much Heavenly Father blesses this area because the members are such great missionaries.  I am so lucky to be serving here at this time.  Serving the Lord and the people here in Ipswich and the sisters of this mission has seriously been such a blessing.  

I can't believe you are starting school this week. ew  because summer is over, but at the same time i love school supplies shopping! the beginning of the school year is always a bit magical. that is my nerd coming out i know.  but it is such a fresh start. a chance to do so many great things.  I can't believe you two are in 4 and 11 grade. not cool. stop getting older.  soon i won't be able to wrestle you both off of my spot on the couch. but i hope you have a great first day! 

i love you! have a great week!! Rachel