Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Headed to Gorleston?

So it is transfers week this week, and drum roll please.... I am moving!! It came as a complete shock.  A) because new missionaries do this 12 week program, so they stay with their trainer for 12 weeks  B) if one of us was moving we thought it would be Sister Vermeer because she has been here for 4.5 months. but nope it is me.  President Jordan called me last night and told me that I am moving to gorleston.... I don't even know if that is how you spell it. but it is up north by Norwich by the sea! 

My companion has also only been out 6 weeks as well and is from Brazil and speaks portugese. and apparently the ward up there is predominatly portugese.  So President told me to start practicing my Portugese haha.  He said some really cool stuff as well, he said sorry to make me grow up so fast on the mission, becoming co-senior companion, but he knows I can do it. and that in this transfer I am going to have to pray harder than I have ever prayed before.

 I am so excited.  there are only three things I am not looking forward to.... 1. Packing. boo. i don't think i will be able to refit it all in my suitcase 2. carrying all of my suitcases on the tube and train again, up alll those stairs... literally was a miracle I made it to Watford.  3. leaving the people here in Watford.  It is crazy how much I love the members here and investigators when some I have only known a few weeks.  I can't imagine not teaching them and helping them and talking to them about some of the hard things going on in their lives!  I am nervous that the next sister isn't going to love them enough, but the Lord knows best! I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to anyone because we all thought that I was staying. oh well, yay for the internet and email and facebook when I get home.  
Yesterday we got to do a really cool thing.  It is a diversity celebration for religions, talents, and cultures.  It was at this really big catholic church and lots of different clubs, organisations, and religions, set up a booth and people came around and we would just talk to them about what we did and believed.  It was brilliant to see all the different beliefs and see them all come together and get along and learn about each other.  Also there was a program going on in the gym and each organisation did a little presentation, well on the program it said that an LDS choir was coming.... there was no choir.  So one of the YSA girls and I had to get up and sing for everyone. it was interesting.... it couldn't have been too bad because they didn't throw food at us or kick us off the stage. ha but also in that room there was food from all over the world.  Italy, India, English, Polish, Chinese, and lots of other weird looking food. Dad you would be proud I tried sushi again!!! guess what!!.... still hated it. 
My companion almost died this week.... okay well not really. but for the time we spent in the hospital she should have been dying. Hospitals are bad where ever you go.  We were there all saturday because she had a pain in her side, but it turned out to be nothing they just gave her some painkiller stuff, but we were there allllll day.
One miracle that happened a while ago and I don't remember if I told you or not... so if I did just skip this part, but I was on the bus sitting next to this older lady and we were talking blah blah blah and then she got off the bus (not the miracle) after she left a lady from the back came and sat down next to me.  Normally people don't do that here, but I didn't mind.  But you know when you miss the time to say hi and start talking at the very beginning it is weird to just randomly start talking to them.... well at least for me it is. anyways I missed the opportunity, so I was having a debate in my head, talk to her.... don't talk to her... talk to her... don't talk to her... finally I just blurted out what a beautiful day it was outside (luckily it was, that line doesn't work often) and we started a conversation, we were just starting to talk about missionary stuff when it was my stop.  I hurriedly asked if she had a phone number so that we could call and meet up and chat some more, but she didn't know it.  The bus driver was looking annoyed so I hurried and just gave her a mormon.org card with our phone number on the back and told her to call us.  I didn't even get her name....  When this happens it is rare that they ever call back. Sister Vermeer said we probably wouldn't ever hear from her. but what do you know about a week later she calls and we set up an appt!! She used to get taught by the elders, but they moved away and she just eventually stopped talking to them, but now she wants to start again. Her name is Nahid. So we had an appt with her for sat and she didn't show.... it was a pretty big let down. we would have called her but she had called with a private number so we could never call her back.  So as we were walking back from the appointment she didn't show for, she called and said so sorry she couldn't come but her daughter had gotten sick and is the hospital. sad that her daughter is sick, but so great that she called back and we were able to get her phone number and a new appointment.  Long story I know sorry, but it just shows that the people who are ready are out there, we just need to be brave enough to open our mouths and say hi on the bus.
So last monday we went to London! Great huh.... but not really... everyone thinks I am crazy I know. especially Sherri :) but I realised I am just definitely not a big city girl.  I did like going to the different places, we went and saw tower of london, Buckingham palace, big ben, and a few other things; and it is cool to see them and be able to say I have been there, but not my favourite thing.  I would much rather go hiking, or boating, or something active or outdoorsy.  Too many people, not enough sun, and too much just standing around.  Although I do admit it would have been better with like your best friend or spouse or someone who knows more of the history that could make it more fun.    

So that pretty much sums it up. Nothing too exciting.  When I email next I will be in a different place! weird.... I don't know my address but I will give it to you next week. 
Send Rachel your muscles!  She wasn't exaggerating about getting her stuff back into those suitcases!  I have no idea how she'll do it.  And then carrying them!  It took three of us to get her stuff from the car to the terminal.  Wishing her luck!  

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Pigeons, teeth and Blessings

So a few things.   I hate pigeons. and they seem to love me. it is not a good combination. also they have a ton over here. they are literally every where. I have this desire to run up and kick one and just see a puff of feathers go in every direction... but then I remember I am a missionary and that probably wouldn't be a good idea.....

Second thing, I just learned that we don't get to go to the dentist..... for 18 months. I know most people hate the dentist, but I am a little biased towards mine.... and not visiting one for that long is gross. my poor teeth.
Will Rachel come home toothless or grinning to hide them?   

This week has been full of little miracles.  It has been great to see the Lord's hand in my every day life.  I have learned that if we take time at the end of the night and think about all the Lord did for us that day, we see and realize miracles we would have never seen before.  try it! it is great. 
So guess where I was Tuesday night at 10:30pm.... you'll never guess.  the police station.... told you you wouldn't guess haha so short version of the story, we were teaching Patrick an investigator at the library.  I was turned facing him and my bag was sitting next to/kinda behind me.    (For all those of you who warned me about thieves, mainly aunt susan, I am sorry and you can go ahead and say I told you so.... because you did. and i didn't listen, but I learned my lesson!)  anyways we were just about 10 mins into the lesson, when I  reach for my bag and guess what.... not there.  So what we thought was there was this drunk guy sleeping right in front of us, a little before I reached for my bag he woke up staggered past, kinda paused by us but kept moving.  I was obviously so focused on the lesson, and I knew he was drunk, so I didn't want to stare at him and stuff so I just ignored him. bad move on my part.  Anyways long story short.  he took my bag.  the police came and looked at the cameras and saw him do it.  but little miracle #1 had my scriptures in my hand so he didn't get those.  miracle #2 one of our friends was there and he went out and searched around the area and found my bag dumped out in the rain a little ways away. so I got my bag and all my stuff back except my wallet! which is great because shout out to Aunt Susan and Uncle Roger, best bag ever.  miracle #3 we tried to call president and get permission to call home so I could cancel my credit cards and stuff but he didn't answer, and we called the office to have them cancel my missionary credit card.  but a few minutes later a guy comes in holding my wallet and asked if it is mine.  he found it out in the car park.  All my cards are there only the cash was missing!! We hurried and called the office to see if they had cancelled it yet, and they said no because when they had tried to call the number nothing happened.... it was the weirdest thing.  they tried again and it was working fine, it was just that call, so none of my cards were cancelled! and they caught the guy later that day.  so I had to go and make a statement and stuff, hence the police station late Tuesday night. 
Anyways there is soooo much more I need to say I am getting kicked off the computer, but I will write more next week! I love you guys have a great week!!
Sister Formica 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Watford, Week 3 - Bus Etiquette

For Lion King, Wicked or Sporting Event suggestions, see the bottom of this blog post... or even better, read the comments on last week's blog.  Pretty funny.  :)

sunset one day from my flat

So another week down here in good old watford.  it is crazy how the time flies.  guess what we did today!! a less active member took us to Costco and it was beautiful! it felt like home.  There were brands that I actually recognized. the worst is the cereal.  You know how much i love my cereal, but the cereal here is complete rubbish. I have been trying out different brands, but they are not the same as home.  Like rice krispers, and Frosties instead of frosted flakes, and min munch, for frosted shredded wheat.  I don't know how i will survive.  

I have discovered something.... I am in love with croissants. like to the point where i should just move to France. not really, because French people are very interesting. haha but like for dinner last night i just had 5 croissants. not exaggerating. its fine. i have time to work it all off before I come home. 

So one thing I have been discovering is how much of a bubble I have lived in.  Being a Latter-day saint in Hemet, and then going up to BYU, and even just living in the States, I was very sheltered from a lot of the world.  Not just the bad stuff, but like the suffering of people.  There are so many families and situations I see here in England that just break my heart.  It is crazy how much love I have for people I have never met.  I want to help everyone and it is frustrating when I can't help them.  It is also frustrating when I know that if people listened to what we as missionaries had to say, their life would change so much for the better, but they don't listen.  Oh well, I am here to talk to everyone and find the people who God is preparing for me to teach! 

One thing I am finding interesting is trying to find people on the bus.... It is custom here that if there are empty seats on the bus, you don't sit next to another person.  I have gotten some people give me some dirty looks for sitting down next to them when there are empty seats haha but I just smile and say how are you.  Sometimes it works out well and sometimes they just don't answer... that makes for a long awkward 45 min bus ride, but that is okay.  One thing I am learning is that as missionaries, we are weird, and awkward.  It is kind of in our job description.   And when we get together for meetings in big groups, I was listening to everyone, and we were talking about and laughing at things that no normal person would talk and laugh about .... man the life of a missionary ha 

We have been pretty busy! lots of people are showing some interest.  The only thing is people don't realise the importance of the message we are sharing.    Like it is a "Oh well great if I feel like it i will come to church", and situations like that.  It is hard to change the way of thinking that they have grown up with their whole life.  But life is great.  Just chugging along.  Finding the little things to smile and laugh at.  Gotta go talk to you next week! 


sister formica 

Well, Rachel's friends know her well ... most voted Sporting event, for various reasons.  Most of the moms voted for Lion King or Wicked.  I originally thought Lion King since she hasn't seen it, and you never know whether a sporting event's going to be a close match or slow.  But Wimbledon was a good idea, Larry.  And Kaitlin - some very good points.  Rachel finally sent two pictures -- neither of which have her in them.  :/  It was wonderful to talk with Rachel on Mother's Day!  She sounds happy and funny.  Says she still doesn't get British humor.  She said she hasn't made anyone there laugh yet, and she's been really trying!  She won't give up, though.  :)  Thanks for keeping her in your thoughts and prayers and enjoying her blog!  Love, Chris (Rachel's mom)

Monday, May 6, 2013

Lion King, Wicked, or a Sports Event? and... favorite scripture?

Wow I can't believe it has already been a month... literally it has flown by. feels like just last week I was giving you a tutorial mom about how to work the blog!!   This is Mom.  My comments are in blue... doing the blog gives me the right to give running commentary ... which I LOVE to give, as anyone with whom I've watched a movie knows already.  

So much has happened but then at the same time nothing at all.... The days blend together. and I can't remember what I have already told you guys and what I haven't.  

Watford is great.  High street, which there is one in every town - it is the main street, is pretty interesting. It is kinda dirty and full of shops and pubs and different things.  So people told me England was diverse.... but I had no idea how diverse.  It is CRAZY!  we talk to people from literally all over. Mention a country and I bet you I have talked to someone from there.  We are only teaching one English lady.  Foreigners tend to be a bit more receptive than the English people.  

12 different languages ... and we thought she went English speaking!

The ward is great. I am still trying to get to know everyone... and since everyone is from all over, they have the hardest names to remember.  I just met the bishop yesterday because he has been out of town for 3 weeks.  He seems like a great guy, and he is from the States so I can understand him ha 

So i realised there is a sport that I know absolutely nothing about.... and it is cricket.... watched some people play it for a few minutes the other day, and was so lost.  and futbol.... is HUGE here. Like I knew they liked it, but that is the understatement of the year. it is like breathing over here.  

We wondered what cricket was like too, so we found a few excerpts -- if you're curious, go to this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNggUD_MrNY or look up "Ian Botham smashes Merv Hughes for 22 in an over! (Cricket)".  Yep, it was confusing.  We didn't get it either, so we looked up the rules:  www.cricket-rules.com  Could come in handy someday.  

So I am in a dilemma, we are allowed to go to either one sports event, or the Lion King or Wicked while we are here.... which one should I do?? thoughts??  Cast your VOTE in the comments below.  We'll tally them and report back next week.  Also, she told us she had too many favorite scriptures to decide which one to put on her plaque, so you can send us a favorite scripture suggestion too!    

We are teaching a few different people.  no one too crazy.  One guy from kenya, one from Romania, a few people from Zimbabwe, one lady from South Africa, One lady from Switzerland, and one from England.  They are all quite interesting... great I love every single one of them, but they are characters.  I am so excited to teach them though, and when I see it in their eyes that they understand something or feel the spirit it is the best feeling ever.  

Sorry this is such a quick one but I have to go!! Love you! 

Sister Formica   

Rachel asked us to share this link: http://www.ldsliving.com/story/72382-reactions-to-the-im-a-mormon-campaign-in-uk  It's a news report about the new "I'm a Mormon" campaign launched in London on April 8 (a week after Rachel got to the MTC in Preston).  It was amazing to see how extensive it is and to hear random people's impressions and comments.   

WE sure miss her.  She promised pictures next week.  Can't wait!