Wednesday, September 25, 2013

still don't know how to say ambulance right, but i know what the inside looks like....

can you believe next week is already transfers!!! crazy i know. i have a feeling that sister diaz and i will be staying here, but hey i am always wrong so who knows. 

guess what???!!!! Last monday and today i played volleyball and it was amazing.  I love this area just because Elder otoni, and sister diaz play volleyball, and Elder Davis plays rugby for utah state, so he is athletic enough that he can keep up.  It is sooooooooooooo fun! and literally feels so good. and good news i am not completely awful yet. only problem is it makes me pretty homesick to be playing intramurals and stuff, but oh well. i will be there soon enough. but i learned the hard way to wear long sweats when playing on carpet because i have a hugeeeeee rug burn on my leg.  Everyone keeps asking what happened, it looks a lot worse than it is.  

so some interesting things England has shown me this week: we were walking home around 9 the other friday night, and let me tell you, England people love the pubs.  when the weekend comes around everyone is there drinking their rainy sorrows away.  but in town centre they have this toilet in the middle of the walk way that raises up out of the ground, because apparently people can't control themselves, well the other night we walked right by the toilet and like a few feet away a man was just going in the middle of the walk way.... not in the toilet. apparently it was just too far to walk those couple of steps. 

and second when we were tracting the other day a man answered the door and said hellloooo in a deep voice without his shirt on flexing and making his pec muscles move up and down, when he saw who it was he turned bright red and said sorry i thought you were someone else! he wasn't interested, and as we were turning to leave we saw his wife pulling into the drive way. we tried so hard to keep from laughing, but we couldn't. i think she was a bit confused. 

We are teaching this amazing family from Chile called the Albanos, ( there you go mum a name for you! ha) they just arrived in England and speak verrryyyy little english.  Luckily i can understand spanish just not speak it, but we are teaching them English as well.  Mum she reminds me a lot of you.  they have two sons. one 10 and one 9. they make me miss you Adam!  anyways during our english lesson they were complaining how we pronounce some sounds that they just can't say, and then they said like if i were to try to roll my r's.   boy did i surprise them when i said carro with a perfect r roll.  I explained i was from california, almost part of mexico, and that taco shop was my favorite restaurant.  

we went to the bishops house last week, and they are from utah.  it was so great to eat some american family style cooking.  Their three daughters are adorable. 9,7, and 4.  I became best friends with them. but really. i am going to come back and babysit them when i come and visit in a few years.   but they served brownies with powder sugar on top and i should have remembered i have a problem eating powder sugar and choking on it easily, but i took a bite, and tried to keep my cough inside, but i couldn't..... poof a cloud of powder sugar erupted.... no worries, they are the kind of family that loved it. 

Phyllis a less active we visit is so sweet. she is always giving us the funniest little gifts.  the past couple have been a yo-yo those teeth that chatter, and the best was a proper whoopie cushion. like a nice one. i have to make room in my suitcase for it, because this will come in handy one day i am sure. 

mckay! that is so cool about your patriarchal blessing. (For an explanation of a Patriarchal Blessing, click here).  this literally is one of the coolest things since baptism.  i did not realise how important it was when i got mine. this will direct and guide you for the rest of your life.  it is Heavenly Father giving you promises and letting you see a bit of the potential that He sees in you.  I read a talk the other day and thought you should read it, it was good it was called.... i forgot.... dang! i think it is called be valiant in courage, strength, and activity..... but if not let me know and i will figure it out for you sorrrryyy  found it!!!,+strength,+and+activity
anyways how is life going? polo good? school, are you surviving? i am sure you are, you always do. i still can't believe you are driving.... and that i am not! that is one thing i miss a lot is driving! i love driving! when i get back home i am going to be complete rubbish. thats okay you can teach me how ha   

So this last week has been. eventful. ha sister diaz has had a cold so we didn't go out and work, and then on Thursday she fell ( preface she is fine. just a bit.... overly cautious, but it is all good no need to worry) and we finally called the paramedics, and they came and checked her out and said she could go to hospital ( here they don't call it THE hospital, just hospital.....) if she wanted to but she didn't have to.... but to be safe, we went. so i got to ride in the back of an ambulance. that was cool. but everything was okay and we are back to working.  i now have a cold, but someone told me if you don't have a cold you aren't in england. so i think i should just get used to it ha  

the best part of the week hands down was interviews with President Jordan.  It was just great to talk to him about things that are happening and to learn that he trusts me and i should have more trust in myself. and guess what!!! he called me patient and calm. i was surprised. i thought, does he know who he is talking too??  but hey i guess we can all change haha it was just a much needed reassurance that He and Heavenly Father are aware of my efforts and are relying on me. President Jordan said sometimes on our missions we are called to an area for the people there, or for the missionaries there. and that there are few people that could handle this.  It didn't make the situation better, actually it has been the worst the past two days than it has been. (opposition always comes stronger when you are working at something) but the difference is, i have been 100% happy.  it is amazing the feeling of not letting anything or anyone affect your attitude and happiness.  literally nothing. i was amazed at the strength and happiness and humility Heavenly Father was blessing me with.  sorry i know this paragraph does not sound humble, but i promise i am learning a lot about humility and apologizing and taking criticism.  you are right mum this is going to help me SO MUCH when i am married. no joke 

dad- the ward has been here for quite some time. it is built upon 1 family.  i think 70% of the ward is related. which makes it hard sometimes, but it is the biggest ward i have been in.  quite a few families.  and I love romans 8:16 

Adam- i will respond personally to your email next week. sorry i ran out of time this week! i love you! 

Rebecca.... where is my email you bum. i know you are busy having a life but i mean come on. i am letting you wear my clothes!! haha love ya

this weekend i have really felt grateful for the gospel.  I love it so much, and I am so grateful for this opportunity to dedicate 100% of my time and effort into helping the Lord and serving Him and his children.  I have always loved learning things from my mission, but this weekend I have truly loved being here.  does that make sense? well i gotta run. quote that i loved this week 
"the best antidote i know for worry is work.  the best medicine for despair is service. the best cure for weariness is the challenge of helping someone who is even more tired." president Hinckley  

scripture that i flipped to and read that really helped when i was having a bit of a rough patch this week:  Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about toaturn back, behold, the Lord bcomforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with cpatience thinedafflictions, and I will give unto you success.   Alma 26:27

love you guys! have a fantastic week, and i will let you know if i am moving... again! love, rachel 

Monday, September 16, 2013

i can never think of something clever to put here..... dad's cleverness must have skipped a generation

It is amazing how many awkward, funny, embarrassing, or interesting things happen every day, but when i get here either i have forgotten them, or i realise that you had to be there..... 

something a bit more sad than funny, so someone told us that now we should be scared once it stops raining because that means the snow is coming..... everyone just keeps laughing at me when i tell them i am cold. i am bundled up in a sweater, scarf, jacket and my wellies, and there are people still in shorts and tee shirts.... oh ps apparently we aren't allowed to wear our hoods as missionaries, who knew, and mum the umbrella you gave me, you said it was good for wind because it won't break right? well.... the way that they made that possible is it just collapses. in a fancy way, but still it isn't that useful in the wind.    i found out the hard way last friday night.  i showed up to a less active ladies house named Phyllis completely soaked. she said i looked like drowned rat. cute huh. so i may have to splurge and get a pound shop umbrella and see how it holds up.  

Mum i loved your email. honestly it helped me so much.  This week, this whole transfer has been....difficult. it is very complicated and hard to explain ...  but stuff from her past transfers has been really affecting my companion, which in turn has really put a strain on our companionship.  It is also difficult because we had an exchange with the sister trainers, kind of like zone leaders for the sisters where we switch companions for a day every transfer and they help teach us and stuff, and on.  anyways on this exchange the sister trainer told me that it isn't my fault and that my companion has always been this way and President Jordan trusts me and blah blah blah..... you would think that would be a good thing, but i don't think it actually was.  it kinda gave me an excuse to be a butt head and to think well everything must be her fault and the sister said that it wasn't my fault.  so i think for a bit i stopped looking to try and work on things and just thought well this is just the way it is, not my fault. when that is not what i should have been doing.  but i am learning.  there are days when i feel i really will explode, and i am learning to try and figure out my feelings and express them.  man after this marriage should be a piece of cake...... justttttt kiddinggggg. but it will help 

dad in response to the part where you said i must have some characteristic that works in england, i think that my cheekiness is definitely the trait that got me sent to England.  and my love for rain haha but yes they really don't like Americans over here. but no worries my English accent is now flawless...... not really. i just know how to pronounce my t's now.  instead of wadder i say waTer and beTTer.   

dad in your request for stories here is one that i think i forgot to tell you guys, but is one that always reminds me of how much Heavenly Father knows and loves every single one of us.  If i already told you this, sorrrrryyyyy. but this was at the very end of last transfer and i don't think i did in the shuffle of moving and everything, but sister chan and i had time to track just a bit before our appointment with this amazing lady.  anyways we knocked on the door of a less active and she wasn't home.  we had already knocked on her neighbors doors so we turned to find another group of houses when we saw one of her neighbor standing in the window.  and we thought what the heck why not knock again. so we did.  a very sad man opened the door.  after a few minutes we learned that his wife had just passed away a few weeks ago.  He looked miserable.  we talked to him a bit about how he could see his wife again, and be married to her for forever.  He said he believed it was true but didn't know anything about it.  we were able to have a really spiritual moment and he was very interested in learning more and said he would do anything to be able to be with his wife again.  The most amazing part though was he said he remembered us knocking his door a month earlier and he was not interested or ready to listen at all, but now he was ready.  It was such a testimony strengthener to me that Heavenly Father was very aware of Richard.  He knew what he was feeling and how his heart had been opened.  He knew that he was now ready and willing to listen to the gospel of Jesus Christ and He knew that it would help him in his life.  

A quote that it reminds me of is " your Father in Heaven knows your name and knows your circumstance.  He hears your prayers.  He knows your hopes and dreams including your fears and frustrations.  and He knows what you can become through faith in Him." Elder Holland    

I know this is true.  I have seen it so much these past 6 months.  The love Heavenly Father has for His children that we talk to each day.  and for me.  Even in the littlest concern, He cares about it.  Thank you for everything!!! i love you guys. i can't believe transfers are coming up. crazy huh. i love st. albans. maybe i will get to stay here. the zone leaders are amazing and i love the district.  Love you guys! have a great week. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

bad news .... winter is here!

Dad- coolest thing ever, the fighting cocks, the pub you talked about in your letter, we were just there the day before, but i didn't know that it was the oldest pub in england! so cool! it is right by this gorgeous park with a huge lake that we run to in the mornings and play sports at on p-day. next time i will make sure to take a picture.... it definitely looks like the oldest pub in england ha now i understand why there was this older Swedish couple that was so excited about it and asked us to take a picture of them by it..... it all makes sense now.  

hahahah mom!  i can just picture you and adam trying to do the baby freeze. harder than it looks huh?? and okay i thought it was a bit strange that you insisted on the doors being varnished... can't believe i believed that for a bit. 

so guess what i learned how to do this week?? change a tire!  it was part of a relief society activity. don't want to brag, but i was the best tire changer out of my group  i think it may have helped that i was a good 50 years younger than everyone that was there... 

So I am teaching English to one of the new members in the ward, Daniella. She is early thirties from Chile, she just moved to England.  She is the cutest sweetest lady ever. she reminds me a bit of ana bradshaw. she has the cutest little boy; he is 4 named Dankito. and when we come over he runs up and gives me a big kiss on the cheek and just starts talking away in spanish.... I just smile and nod.  i don't know if he has figured out that i can't understand him or if he just does not care.  but he is so cute.  when he speaks Spanish it just melts my heart. i decided i want my kids to be bilingual.... idk how that will work with me being so rubbish at speaking other languages, but it is going to happen.  

so two pet peeves i have of good old england...... 1) on their sinks they don't have just one facet, they have two.... one for hot and one for cold.  so when washing your hands it is impossible to get warm because either it is FREEZING cold coming out of one, or SCALDING hot out of the other...... the only way not to hurt your hands is to plug the sink and fill it up and balance the temperature between the two, and who has the time to do that for just washing their hands.... so whoever created this two facet thing was not the smartest cookie..... my poor hands. 2) halloween is not a big holiday here, so THEY ARE ALREADY PUTTING CHRISTMAS STUFF UP IN THE STORES!!!! back at home at least we are a bit distracted by halloween so christmas stuff doesn't come into the stores too early, but not here.  and with christmas, comes winter.... which as of last week, everyone says is here already..... been raining for days and i think it is going to stay this way till next april..... yay.

so mum you mentioned that you hope people here give us food..... and guess what? they do!  we have a box at the chapel for members to drop off food for us like cans and stuff, but most of it is not really meant for humans to eat.... we get the weirdest stuff. i think a lot of the members just use it as a way to clean out their cupboards. just yesterday i found a can of sardines in it..... yuck. i thought sardines were just for cats and dolphins.... don't worry we gave it to the elders haha    

dad! that is so funny that you mentioned about the drive from Yellowstone and you dumping water all over the back seat on rebecca mckay and adam to get them to be quiet with mum on the phone with the stake president, because i just told someone that story this week. we were dying laughing.... our family does not have the best track record with leaving messages 

tell the dunns thank you so much for the package as well!!! i loved their note, and the candy was great of course :) and i loved the cute little sayings on the candies.... it really meant a lot to know that they remember and took the time to send it.  i love them so much, they are so great.  

also tell grandma formica thank you so much for the card and money. and the picture was best of all! she looks so good. and I LOVE HER T-SHIRT!!!! i want one when i get home! so cool.  

(come back next week for a picture of Grandma's T-shirt!)

so sad news, i just burned a hole through my sock by running and sliding on the carpet.... i felt a burning/tingling sensation on my big toe and didn't realise that i burned a hole right through my sock and was getting a rug burn on my toe..... but it was fun so worth it.  don't worry not the nice new socks you just sent me.  

also my companion peed her trousers haha when we came down to the computers in the chapel to email she said she heard something and thought the elders were still here hiding.... so she went looking for them in the neighboring rooms, i waited for a bit then snuck up behind her and scared her sooooo bad. she fell on the ground and almost started crying (she gets scared really easily...) well then like 1 min later the elders snuck up and scared her again..... so funny. she is so jumpy. like a little kid. sometimes i feel a bit like her mum, especially with the hard time she has been having, but then she cooks for me so we are both the mum in certain ways

so ya it has a difficult week, but i am learning a lot and i know that i am supposed to be here with sister diaz at this time.  I know that I am learning things that i will be able to use my entire life. getting up when i don't want to, smiling when i feel like crying, learning to bite my tongue at the little things, but also learning to stand up for things when i need to, even if it means a bit of discussion with people we love.  i have learned that the only real control we have, is self- control. we do not have control over most things in life, and that is okay; someone way wiser than us is in control.  When we learn to accept that, not sweat the small stuff out of our control, and trust in Him, life is a lot easier. 

This week I have read the most amazing book.  It is called " our search for happiness".

here is a link but i would recommend reading the book it is easier. anyone who hasn't read it, member or not a member of the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints., should read it.  i loved it. learned so much. it is amazing how we are always learning. every single day of our lives.  i am so grateful for that. i have so much to learn and i know that i will not come anywhere close to learning everything i need to learn, but that will not stop me from trying.    love you guys!!!   have a fantastic week! today i was looking at a picture of us, and i was just so happy and grateful for our family.  thanks for being so supportive. i can't wait to talk to you guys at christmas, and according to the stores, that isn't too far away! 

ha love ya, rach  

A few of Rachel's comments don't make sense unless you know what we wrote.  So here are a few excerpts that'll help her blog make sense, in case you're curious like me.  If not, no need to read on.  

Ed's e-mail:  

Last week in your pictures, there is one of you and your comp by a lake on the grass.  did you notice, you do not have a shadow.  a lot like Peter Pan.  Your mother and I are worried you are taking this whole England thing too seriously. 
We had a very busy weekend.  Stake conference and the Western Center fundraiser and Mom insisted that I refinish the wood doors to the house.  So we now have no door knobs to get into and out of our house,   you have to go out the back door or out the garage.  The problem is it takes 3 coats of varnish and it is supposed to be 24 hours between coats.   On Saturday we had a service project to set up at the western center mckay had a h2o tournament.  We have had lightening  and storms all week and the last games got cancelled but Hemet played 4 times.  The rain got really intense the curbs were full and flooded.  it rained right up until the start of the fundraiser dinner.   

We still have no door knobs.  I forgot to tell you we made salsa and went to Eleia Coopers wedding reception.  
McKay is learning to drive,  remember when mom was on the phone with president steadman?  we were driving in  yellowstone.   You guys did something wrong I had to quietly correct you and some water got spilt?  we had another thing like that happen  mckay was driving and turning left in front of an oncoming car.  i was on the phone leaving a message with craig pulsipher.  and told McKay to slow down, which he promptly  did not do, so i said it again, "Slow down slow down,"  When it became obvious that he was ignoring me,  and was about to pull out in front of the car, I yelled, "SLOW DOWN"  which worked and gave craig pulsipher a  very funny message. 

The Jones' are bored.  we will have to take car of them as soon as we get door knobs.  It is a good way to keep the missionaries from coming over.

Take  care

and My email (ok, just one part of it ... too long and boring):  

I just read Dad's letter.  Pretty funny, except I did NOT insist he varnish the doors!  As usual, I tried to talk him out of doing it this weekend, since we wouldn't be home enough to finish 3 coats.  I think we're doing the last coat for family night.   ...  And the baby freeze is HARD!!  You should have seen Adam and I try it.  Looked up directions on YouTube.  Pretty hilarious. 

Monday, September 2, 2013

Baby Freeze, Mormon Helping Hands, and more ... pictures!

We asked for pictures.  I guess timewise it's either pictures or a long email...  this week it's pictures.  Enjoy!

zone leaders and us at mormon helping hands. they are the coolest elders ever.  
Elder Davis from Sandy and Elder Otoni from Brasil.  
 This is the Josh Dunn twin.  (See blog from 8.26).  

baby freeze fail.... but i can do it i promise!!

see!!! kinda looks photo shopped, but i promise it isn't!!! 
and it looks cooler in person.... or when an Asian or good dancer does it. 

St. Albans is gorgeous!  

Phyllis!! a less active lady we visit.  she is sooooo nice. 
we are all going to Hawaii together to swim with dolphins 
and go to the Hawaii temple together in 4 yrs.

so this is the one flat i have been in with an electric stove, right when i get marshmallows to roast.... so i decided to try and toast them.... not one of my better ideas.  it is pretty near impossible to try and clean marshmallow out of a toaster.  now whenever we try and toast bread the left over remains of marshmallow in the toaster burns and the room fills with smoke..... but the one smore we got to eat was worth it.  
(We sent her s'mores ingredients for her birthday).  

Best Surprise Ever!
(Groceries delivered on my birthday).

cool huh! no wonder people over here don't like 
Americans. we can be pretty obnoxious. 

Ran out of clean bowls for cereal.... 
definitely does not stop me. 
regular bowls are not big enough anyways.

I am spoiled i know. when she does something mean or rude this is how she apologizes.
i said she can be mean more often.

Mormon helping hands  So fun. So wet. So muddy.  I was so proud of Sister Diaz.  
She was working in the dirt and mud with bugs and everything.

shirt officially ruined... the mud stain didn't come out. oh well.... funny how we took the most pictures when we were the wettest and dirtiest....

Elder Jensen, Sister Diaz - we were all in the MTC together. he is soooooo good at football.
so this is why i don't do pics!!! it took so long that i don't have any time to type! but i will write a long one next week! just to sum it up, 

GOT THE PACKAGE!!!!! loved it! every single thing! honestly best thing ever.  
This week has been really hard for a few reasons.... more details next week.

I love the cooks!! they are so amazing. please let them know that I love nancy and she is in my prayers.  I remember we would go over to their house a lot! and i think we used to play dominoes right??  

Anyways like i said present = best thing ever. 

I love you guys! Have a great week! 

Missionary Conference in London - Wow!  Sister Formica is first face left of President Jordan.  Center.