Monday, April 29, 2013

Smiling more than ever!

I don't have that much time to respond -- sorry this week will be rather short.  So we had a baptism this weekend!!.... okay so technically we didn't... it was a little 8-yr old boy in our ward, but that's okay!! still a good thing right? 

So this week flew by so fast! feels like just yesterday I was sitting in this chair emailing.  We knocked A LOT of doors this week.  But hey we talked to some very interesting people.  One man told us that he didn't believe in God, he is a conspiracist. (spelling?) and so I asked what his favorite conspiracy was, and he said it is fluoride ... he went on this 5 minute rant about how it causes cancer and tumors.... he was a funny individual.  We meet some really great people as well!  We are teaching three moms that all have little babies.  They are really great, and from all over the world.  

It is weird everyone said that London is diverse, I am not even in London and it is 10000 times more diverse than I was imagining.  We teach and talk to people from ALL OVER!!  it is crazy.  It is a rare thing when we actually teach someone from England that speaks English as their first language.  It is difficult to teach that way, but I am getting used to it.  The spirit doesn't have a language right??! 

Rained and Hailed for the first time, but it only lasted about an hr.  So we are looking pretty good.  

I gave a 5 minute intro to me and talk thing in church on Sunday.  Definitely not good at English humor, but don't worry I am working on it.  I am smiling more than I ever have.  It is my goal is to get people to smile at me because no one here does.  It is interesting to see people's faces when I do smile at them.  One old man stopped me and asked if I knew him, when I replied no he asked why I smiled at him, and I just said to be friendly, and he told me that I made his day, so that was really cool.  It helps me be positive and cheerful, and you never know it could make someones day! try it out! 

Well that is about it! I have to run.  I will write more next week I promise! I love you all! 

Sister Formica 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Week 3 - From MTC to Watford

Rachel sent some MTC pictures -- to see more, look in the pictures section.  But here are a few: (below) her district and (right) sisters Garcia, O'Brien & Swain from Spain, Utah and Utah.   

The Ammon District

View from our flat
so London!!! (not really London... watford, but it is close enough) I decided I will either die of lung cancer from second hand smoke or getting hit by one of the INSANE drivers.

Everyone smokes! like everyone. i thought it was kinda going out of style, but not here.  

So I got here last week. crazy huh.  It was so insane on wednesday driving down, then meeting everyone then taking the train to my flat.  I don't know how handicap people or moms with strollers take the tube or train because there aren't elevators!! carrying my luggage through all the stations and up all the stairs and down all the stairs was literally the hardest thing ever. luckily a few times I looked so pathetic and helpless someone would come and help me.... but yes mom I am glad I brought everything I packed so it is fine. ha 

So in my last email I said it hadn't rained yet, but then the day I wrote that, it rained for the first time.... so I am scared to put it, but I am so happy I can't keep it inside. guess what. IT HASN'T RAINED YET!!! crazy huh. it has been pretty sunny.  everyone says i brought the CA sun with me.  Watford is half city half country so it is perfect.

The ward is great! I can't understand most, and most of the people aren't from England. They are from Africa, India, Portugal and other cool places. but it makes it really difficult to understand their second language British english accent.  

Books of Mormon in all diff't languages
I feel constantly judged being from America.  I dont think they like people from the states over here that much.  but that is okay.  I am still trying to figure out the money and the words, but hey i just smile big and usually they get less annoyed with me.  

The hard part is that right before I came they pretty much dropped all of the investigators because they weren't progressing, so we have no one to teach.  So we find, all the time. I really LOVE finding ( that is sarcasm, but I didn't want to say i don't like it because I am trying to be positive :) ha ) I love teaching but we don't get to do that much.  I am getting really good at being rejected though.  Lots of knocking doors.  I don't know what I thought mission life was like, but not this.  But i am getting used to it.  I love the study aspect. I have grown soooo much. like for example, the scriptures. they are so amazing! why i didn't read them all day every day I don't know!   

Sister Vermeer & Sister Formica

All the cars here are little.  and like I said the drivers are crazy.  We share the ward with the zone leaders and they have a car, so they drive us to church and stuff.  Elder Heno ( pronounced N,O) is from France and he is a crazy driver.  He is your standard frenchmen.  Very romantic and passionate and crazy  The other one (elder Hansen) is a lot better of a driver.  He is really funny.  My whole district only has about 3 months left on their missions so I am the only baby. It is strange.  They say it will go by fast, but I don't believe them ha 

My companion is 25 she has been out a year and she is from Holland.  Her name is sister Vermeer.  She is really great.  She is really positive and that is what I need right now.  

I decided I need to learn to like hugging girls.  I am not a huge fan, but I have quickly realized that all sisters hug.... all the time.... i am working on it don't worry. The only problem is they are all very short and so my shoulder kind of hits them in the face.  I am practicing though and I am getting better! 

We are doing the biggest loser between my companion and the two zone leaders so no worries dad I am not going to come home fat! well at least not from the first transfer.  Just went to the grocery store and bought all healthy food.  Aren't you proud of me? 

So you know the CD "the garden".  Well there was a huge production with people from all over England here in our building and we got to see it.  It was pretty good but wasnt nearly as good as the CD... But thats okay.  A for effort.  

So i have never really eaten nutella.  We never had it at home or up at school, but at the MTC  they had it and my roommates got me hooked.  Well I was like okay just for the two weeks at the MTC then I wont have it anymore in the field... But low and behold there is a new full jar at our flat.... I may have eaten a few spoonfuls over the past few days. hey it is my comfort food! kinda ruins the whole not get fat idea... oh well. it is worth it.  

Anyways I am running out of time, but that is just a little bit about life. There is so much to say but no time to say it.  Next time I will tell more stories I promise.  

Mom's note:  Here's a blog for the England London Mission ... I'm not sure how often it gets updated, but it's worth a try once in a while.  For those of you who know Destany Tabor, she's in a few of these pictures!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Short but sweet! Leaving the MTC.

Hi!  This is Rachel's mom.  Rachel emailed us a quick note on Monday.  Today was Wednesday spent traveling from the Preston England MTC to the mission home in London to meet her Mission president and his wife (David James Gordon & Holly Lynn Garrett Jordan).

So today she was assigned an area and a companion somewhere in the mission.  She'll let us know where she is next Preparation day (P stands for preparation...laundry, letters, E-MAILING HOME -- yippee!)   If I find out sooner, I'll post it.  So after giving me a pep talk about how to post pictures to her blog (if only we had some from her yet...), she wrote:

So this is just super fast today because wednesday we will be traveling all day and won't be able to write until a week from wednesday :(  but guess what?!! I got your letter today! with the great singing! thanks so much I loved it! and thanks for sending me the quotes because I couldn't print them out. you are so smart.  I can't believe the MTC is already over. I love it and don't want to leave! but thats okay... it is flying by. days long weeks fast exactly what you said. anyways tell everyone i love them!! and i miss them!! you guys are the best family ever! ... i figured when i got on today that i wouldnt get anything (emails) because i figured you would wait until tuesday night to send something.... procrastinating family ha love you!!
sister formica

Well, after 20 years, Rachel knows us well.  We hadn't emailed her yet.  She was TWO DAYS early!  As Mckay teased:  "She's been gone two weeks and we've already forgotten about her."  My frequent trips to the computer the past two days "just to see if she had time to send an email" would suggest otherwise.  So she didn't get a note from us this week.  Luckily, she still loves us!

If you're anything like I am (note the previous evidence), you haven't signed up to have Rachel's blog go directly to your email yet.  Well have I got a deal for you.  If you send me your email address, I'll sign up for you!  My address is:  (  I finally signed up on Addison's this past week and it was so much fun to open my email and have a "message" from her!  Almost like it was written just to me.  :)  Also, I guess the option to sign up for e-mails doesn't show up on smart phones, just on computers, so again, if you want me to sign you up, send me your email address.  You'll get a confirmation email to finalize it.

I know this blog post was more from me than Rachel.  It's probably an anomaly.  Have a BEAUTIFUL  Week!  

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


It was a superrrr early morning Wednesday morning, followed by an extremely long day, but that is okay, I survived!! Met up with about 20 other missionaries in Georgia all headed to the MTC in England. There were about 15 elders and 5 sisters. the plane ride was literally the longest thing ever. I can only sleep on planes if I am by the window... and I wasn't so it was 8 and a half hrs of moving around trying to sleep... and the food was terrible but thats okay.
Getting to england was kind of unreal. I am just happy that I could move all of my huge suitcases. We got on a bus and drove to the MTC about 30 minutes away. 

The first day we just unpacked and wandered around. It was the worst day because we had sooo much down time that all we had to do was pretty much sit around and be homesick. But that is all over now! No time to do anything ha Wednesday and Thursday were pretty much of a blur. they just blended together, so now I am completely off on days.

About 88% of the MTC is from Utah... exact number I know but it isn't quite 85, and it isn't quite 90.... anyways we have one from Italy, Spain, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Hong Kong, and Russia!! Cool huh. My roommates are awesome. 2 are from Utah and the other girl is from Spain. She knows a bit of English but it is fun kinda joking with her and teaching her new words. My companion is way cool. Her name is sister Swain.... It was soooo hard to not introduce myself as Rachel... another thing I am struggling with is not saying the word guys... we get in trouble. We have to say sisters and elders..... yay... She graduated the same year as Rebecca so that is kinda strange but we get along great!

Oh did I mention I am the oldest person in the MTC.... ya... oldest.. and I am not even 21 yet!! So none of the sisters who are here would be here without the announcement made in October. And most of the boys are 18 or just turned 19... pretty cool huh!! Soooo many missionaries ever since October. It is an amazing thing.... Except one thing I have learned... there is BIG difference between 18 year old boys and the 23 yr olds I am used to hanging out with....

So the first couple days we didn't do our set schedule we were just in big meetings learning rules, and watching conference... Which was great!! except we didn't get to watch Sunday afternoon because it is at 9-11pm here... I was so tired I was literally fighting to stay awake in conference. oops. and we also watched the Prophet of the Restored Gospel, the one about Joseph Smith... If anyone hasn't watched it recently, rewatch it. It was GREAT!! I bawled my eyes out. sooo good.  (

The MTC is so small, I love it!! It is only one building and three floors. there are 60 missionaries here. I like how we have gotten so close to the MTC presidency and the teachers and other missionaries and the Chef... It is soooo pretty here.  Our classroom has huge windows that overlook this huge pond and these pretty hills. The temple is about a 3 minute walk. There is a stake center across the street that we get to play in and a field around the backside.

Our district is called the Ammon District. There are 10 of us in it; 6 boys and 4 girls. The girls are my roommates. I LOVE MY DISTRICT! seriously everyone that isn't in it, wishes they were. and that isn't just cockiness, they literally have said they wish they were. We all get along really well and have a great balance of work and relax time haha don't worry mom I am working hard.  But the guys in it are either rednecks from Salem or Beaver Utah, or kinda nerdy quirky guys. It is awesome. Except we are actually the worst singers I have ever heard. Our teacher I swear is tone-deaf, he changes key every other word. And the other guys are pretty dang bad too. I think I was just getting used to BYU where everyone is amazing and can harmonize perfectly. But I actually starting laughing in the middle of one hymn... I felt pretty bad until I realized that everyone else was laughing too.

So on Monday we started our official schedule and it makes it go by soooo much faster!! Our teacher is so cool. He is 23, from England, and has been a teacher for a few years. He really knows how to explain it well and make it relatable. I have learned soooo much!! Seriously more in this past week than in most of my life. I love it. On Monday the other girls and I started to get a little bit loopy and giggly and were starting to lose it, so he made us run a lap around the MTC. We taught our first lesson on Monday, and I was so excited for it, and then Sister Swain ( my companion) and I went in and got completely chewed up and spit out ha... okay it wasn't that bad but it definitely was not as good as I thought it was going to be. But we teach two lessons every day and study and get taught for the rest of the day, so I have gotten soooo much better since monday... I used to hate role playing and pretending to teach people, but now I am pretty dang good at it.

Our MTC president is such a spiritual giant!! but really I want my husband and I to be him and his wife when we grow up. He was a member of the seventy and they served two missions in Zimbabwe and the Phillipines, and now they are here!! cool huh. Our chef is also really cool! first off he is amazing! the food is great and the pineapple here is unbelieveable. I have it every meal. He sings at the top of his lungs like opera songs.... so funny.

One downside here is exercise time. We played soccer on monday and volleyball on Tuesday... Let me just say it is a good chance for me to practice my patience! haha If you catch my drift.... aka no one is very good, but that's okay because we were just playing for fun and not competitively.... ha Anyways i miss playing real sports, but like i said patience!

Also guess what!!! so far, wearing skirts all day every day hasn't been bad!! I haven't been bothered by it pretty much at all!! Probably because we are just sitting in a classroom from 7:30 in the morning till 9:30 at night, but still, I am very proud of myself.

And guess what again?!! IT HASN'T RAINED YET!!!! crazy huh! knock on wood... it has been beautiful. A little chilly but not bad.

So something that I feel bad about is dragging my companion to the bathroom all the time!! They gave us water bottles so that has become my best friend and I drink water pretty much 24/7... so ya... We have to go a lot... and I feel bad but oh well! guess I better get used to it!!
Anyways! I don't know where I will be next Wednesday, Tuesday is our last day here, but I will email you as soon as I can!! I love you and miss everyone!! Send this to everyone please mommmm.....
I actually love it! So glad I came!!

I am sure I forgot stuff but oh well I gotta run!

Love ya
Sister Formica

Thursday, April 4, 2013

She made it to England!

We left Rachel at 5 am at the airport.  At 4:30 am the next morning, she arrived at the Preston MTC and  sent us this quick message:  

We are only allowed a quick email, saying that we arrived safe... which we diidd!!!!  longgggg flight longggg day but I can't believe I am actually here. I didn't sleep at all the plane, go figure so I am running on about 2 hrs of sleep for 2 days. whoo!!! anyways my P-days are wednesday so you will here from me then! I have soooo much I want to tell you guys, all stupid stuff. I keep reaching for my phone to txt you or josh and realize I can't ha but it is kinda nice the whole no phone thing. The girls are amazing, and I want to make this longer but I really have to go... boo!

tell everyone hi for me and that I love them!!

Love you!!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Well I am off... See ya in 18 USA.

So the time has come!  I literally can't believe it is time for me to leave already... I remember opening my call right after Christmas and thinking that April was forever a ways away... good thing it was so far away because I am leaving tomorrow and I am STILL not ready! oh well. I am as ready as I will ever be I guess.

Let me just say for people who have never done it, packing for a year and a half stinks!! I over pack as it is on 3 day trips.  You can't even imagine how hard this is for me.  They say 5 church outfits on the packing list... are they serious?? for 18 months? All I can say is a guy must have made the packing list.  I know that because when I was talking to my dad about bringing exercise clothes, he said to bring one pair.... ONE! he said just let it sit in the closet all day then wear it the next morning... no thank you.

I can not describe how excited I am to be going... and also how nervous I am.  People say that it is good that I am not speaking a different language, but have they heard English people talk? "Rubbish, argy-bargy, berk, blues and twos, clapped out," and the list goes on and on... It really does I looked it up on Wikipedia.  But thats okay! I am excited to learn some of their interesting vocabulary!

My mom is going to up date the blog with how I am doing each week.  Be patient with her... she isn't the most tech-savy person.  This is her first endeavor with blogging and she is still trying to figure out facebook. Don't worry I am going to give her a tutorial before I leave... anyways you can sign up so that you get emailed each week when she puts up on a new post (on the right side there is a place to register your email) or you can just let my mom know and she will put you on the list! If you have any questions, you will have to ask her because if you didn't know, I AM LEAVING!!

 I heard there is a new church rule that missionaries can email anyone?? I don't know if my mission president is going to use that rule, so once I find out I will let everyone know so if I can email it won't be as big of a pain to write me! I would love to hear from people!! nod nod wink wink hint hint

I still can't believe the time as come! but here I go! Ready to go and serve the Lord and the people of London!!