Monday, October 28, 2013

Guy Forks Day....... just learned that it is guy fawkes. literally as i was about to press send. oops.

Maybe i am just completely out of the loop, wouldn't surprise me, but here in England on November 5th they celebrate Guy forks day or bonfire night.  brief history, dad i am sure you will either know about it or want to look up more of the historic details, but a long time ago some guys tried to blow up the house of parliament and the king, and they got caught and so they got tried for treason.  if you are squirmish don't read the next part........ the punishment was that they were hung until almost dead and then they cut up the stomach and something else and pulled the intestines out and burned them and the heart and the stuff and then dismembered the body and sent it to the four corners of the kingdom to warn others not to do it.  luckily for guy forks he jumped off the gallows and broke his neck before that happened to him. 
"Forks" ... "Fawkes" ?? must be the British accent.  Here is the history for us curious "folks".  FYI, he's NOT a hero in England.  They celebrate the fact that the plan failed, from what I read.  

anyways depressing story, but here in England it is the closest thing to 4th of July.  apparently there are huge fireworks and they dress up dummies and burn them in bonfires. should be fun. i love fireworks! 

I know exactly what you mean mum about technology.  hope it ended up working for you mckay! 
technology is so crazy in the fact that it can be sooooo useful, aka emailing you miles and miles away, but at the same time it can be the BIGGEST pain in the butt. i remember countless nights staying up wayyyy to late because technology was NOT cooperating ha it is weird being so out of the loop technology wise.  people looked shocked when we tell them we share a phone, don't have tv or computers, and our phone is about £5 and looks like a brick.  but yet we survive! 

SATURDAY WAS AMAZING BECAUSE WE CHANGED THE CLOCKS BACK AND GOT AN EXTRA HOUR OF SLEEP!!! i was a bit excited if you can't tell.  only problem is i keep forgetting and wear different watches and haven't changed them and have a mini heart attack every time i look at it and think we are wayyyy late.   
the hard part is now it gets pitch black at like half 4.  the people we try and stop get scared and think we are trying to mug them.  and when we knock on doors mums always tell us, don't you think it is a bit late to be knocking on doors. we are trying to put our kids to sleep. and i just stare at them like they are crazy because it is only 6! but oh well hopefully people will feel bad for us and invite us in, we chat a bit and bam! they will feel the spirit and they won't know what hit them. haha i have been trying to think of ways to still find people at night, and i have decided we should just get a day pass for the train and then evening time just ride up and down the 30 mins of our area talking to people on the train.    

currently there is this huge storm that is supposed to have happened last night, and right now.  everyone was talking it up, saying it was going to be huge.  winds of 80 miles per hour, crazy rain blah blah blah. i woke up last night and it was bit windy,  but not bad.  today it was pretty clear as well. there are a few trees that blew over, but it was nothing compared to what they said it was going to be. i am hoping that winters are like this. everyone talks about it like it is the north pole and that it will be not bad at all. we will see!  this is probably boring every email about the weather, but really everyday you get all 4 seasons, so it is what everyone talks about here. when i get home and all i can talk about is the weather people are going to think i am crazy.  
mum you would be proud of me, i am becoming such a good homemaker. ha  today i did a deep cleaning of the whole flat.  once again took a hammer and banged out the ice in the freezer to defrost it faster. and made apple crumble, and last p-day we went to a less actives house and we learned how to make a skirt. it is not the kind of skirt i will ever wear.... i am picky i know.  but my future little girls could definitely wear them.  i almost forgot to mention the part where it took me three times as long to make the skirt because i kept messing up and having to unpick things, but hey minor detail.    

last sunday we were knocking doors and it was pouring, but the next day a member told me something that i say to myself now, well i am already wet, i can't get more wet, so why not just stay out in the rain.

family, my commitment to you for the next couple weeks- be nice to the missionaries, make them feel welcome and at home.  talk to them. become their friends, even if they are weird and awkward. considering they are elders, they probably are, justtttkidding. but really do this, because it really makes the biggest difference to us.  the members here are so nice.  i love being in the same area because i now know mostly everyone.  i feel like i am part of the community and family of the ward.  one mum, when she asked what we eat and we told her, the next day she had her son deliver a bunch of groceries of good food to us.  it was the sweetest thing.  she has a big family and i am sure the groceries weren't cheap.  her daughter is on a mission in greece, and i am sure she was hoping there are mums in her daughters ward that would treat the missionaries the same way.  so be that family! be the family that takes notice of them, remembers their names and cares about them.  

sister coons has never carved a pumpkin!!! i know. she has lived a very sheltered life.... no halloween really is not big here. sad i know.  don't worry we carved some, and i cooked the seeds and everything! pics of the pumpkins ill send next time.  that is great that you had a trunk or treat.  and that Nolan came! that is cool! activities like that are great to just let people know that we aren't crazy closed off people.  but after hearing what you did at the trunk or treat with the "touch the gross stuff" booth, idk about the not crazy part....

so about our investigator. her life is so chaotic right now.  i wish we could help her do all the things she needs to do.  she is doing some things with court and her ex and her kids, and also her mum is having a hard time, and some other things, and she has a lot on her plate right now.  but it is amazing to see the peace and calmness with which she is dealing with it all.  a few weeks ago when we first started teaching her it was not like this at all. her whole atmosphere has changed.  even the way she physically looks is so much happier, and at peace.  her baptism has had to be pushed back to december 7th. because with her children and the case, they would not be able to come to it, and she wants them a part of it and by then the court case will be over, it is the end of november, and she wants to be able to fully appreciate it and not be going crazy. which is hard for us as missionaries because a month for us seems like FOREVER.  i could not be here by then, but i just had to step back and think what was best for her and her family and i read a scripture that made me chuckle about the matter. it said that "all is as one day with God and time only is measured unto men."  Alma 40.  kinda just reminded me that what matters is that she is making these covenants with Heavenly Father.  Whether i am there or not, doesn't matter. 

I have been thinking a lot this week about the many many ways that i need to improve, and what my weaknesses are.  I realized that we tend to not notice our weaknesses when things are going well for us.  when things are all peachy and fine and there is no stress or strain on us, our weaknesses lie in obscurity.  when everything is working out, there is no need to practice our patience, so we may not realise we are impatient.  when we are surrounded by people we are similar with there is no need to practice our tolerance.  or surrounded by people we love and get a long with, no need to practice loving everyone.  but that is not why we are here on Earth.  we are not here to slide by. we are here to learn, to grow, to try and become more Christlike, and prepare to meet God. we do this by being put in situations and going through trials that make us realise our weaknesses, humble ourselves, and rely on the Lord. In Ether 12:27  He tells us that He gives us weaknesses that we will be humble.  and only through our humility and faith in Him will He make these weak things strong.    
 we go through times in our life and ask why instead of focusing on what we are supposed to learn and how we are supposed to grow.  It reminds me of what you said mum about when they were building the Salt Lake temple and they had to bury and hide the foundations from the US army.  when they uncovered it they realised that there were large cracks in the foundation.  so many times a circumstance will reveal to us large cracks in our selves.  places where we need improvement and repairing.  instead of moaning and groaning that we need to start over we should thank Heavenly Father for revealing to us this weakness.  giving us the opportunity to grow and with His help turn it into a strength.  

I am really trying to now focus on turning my weaknesses into strengths. I am grateful to Heavenly Father for putting me in these situations to help me realise my weaknesses.  boy is it not easy.  it means going against our natural self.  it means thinking about what we say and do before we say and do it.  and sometimes it means biting our tongue when we REALLLLYYYY want to say something.  but as time goes on, i am confident that with Heavenly Father's help i will have to bite my tongue less and less, and eventually it will not be my natural response.  isn't life great.  that we get these amazing opportunities to learn and grow.  I am so grateful for life! and for the gospel that helps and guides me in my progression.  

sorry for the rant. just some of my thoughts lately.  hope you have a fantastic week! don't eat too much candy. love you!! rachel 


Monday, October 21, 2013

"...and my daddy is soooo handsome"

mum funny that you mentioned the whole thing about missionaries getting stalked, because we just met our flat neighbor.  He lives in the flat above us....  ya he is a middle aged man from Egypt who is bit creepy, and ya he may or may not have said he wanted to marry me, but no worries we met with him once because he said he was interested in learning more about the gospel, and i think he got the hint that we were so discreetly dropping: we are missionaries aka never happening aka not interested aka we just teach people about Christ.  now we just 007 status sneak in and out of our flat, and Elder Davis and Elder otoni have so kindly offered to go big brother status on him. but really don't worry. he is nice and understands we are not interested. don't freak out and like call President Jordan or anything okay?  but i really don't care if you make the blog private or not.  doesn't matter to me. 

the elders think it is funny to sing Christmas songs all the time, to play them whenever we are in the car, to call and sing them to us.  I should never have let them know how passionately i felt about Christmas being saved till after Thanksgiving.  it will be sad if any of us move before christmas actually gets here.  but really, christmas stuff everywhere. poor halloween and thanksgiving.  i am definitely calling dibs on going to an americans home on thanksgiving to celebrate properly.  

The saying goes you aren't in England if you don't have a cold.  I didn't know that was a real saying, but apparently it is.  People have told me to just expect to have a cold from now until about june of next year.  I never fully appreciated CA. I will never take it for granted again. 

I am pretty sure that the ward got sick of me on Sunday.  Last week we were asked to teach RS about missionary week, and then Sat evening we got a call and were asked to teach the main Sunday school.... guess the topic..... missionary work! ha so it was hard because we had to make them different for the woman who would be in both, but i learned that i even though i get really nervous, i actually love teaching church classes.  I may have been sweating really badly the whole time, but i really enjoyed it.  and people said that they were really good... idk how much i believe them because everyone always says that, but hey why not believe them.  and then last but not least it was the primary program ( so adorable.... picture our program but with English accents!)  and we were asked to sing 2 of the songs with the primary kids, we'll bring the world his truth and a childs prayer.

funniest parts of the program were when the cutest little girl, 3 years old gets up and just says verrrryyyyy loudly, I AM A CHILD OF GOD!!!!   and another when this little 5 year old girl after she finished the part she was supposed to say said, and my daddy is soooooo handsome.  I wonder how much he paid her to say that. also there was a bit of nudity going on  because the little girls were showing their teacher the cool bike shorts they had on and lifted their dresses above their head.  aren't little kids the best.  

crazy thing we saw this week was this taxi driver was in the way of this huge lorrie (truck), and the lorrie driver kept yelling at him to move, and finally he just went BAM! and ran into the taxi and pushed it out of the way with his lorrie..... and I thought I had road rage. 

cool lesson we had with  Danielle.  We shared with her 1 Nephi 3:7   And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them.
she said that it was exactly the experience she had this week.  Sister Mukomba, (nicest older lady from Zimbabwe.  so cool.  very independent and strong.  reminds me a bit of Grandma Formica.)  gives her a ride to church, and on the way home Danielle was expressing her desire to have nice dress clothes for her two boys to go to church in, but that she didn't have the money to buy them.  well sister Muckomba told Danielle that the Lord would help her.  A few days later she found 2 outfits for them for 3£ in a charity shop.  She was so happy and excited.  She said it helped her to know that this is what Heavenly Father wants her to do, to keep going to church.  

mum your experience about praying for Danielle brought me to tears.  thank you so much for your love and care for her and her family.  you are so right about people not realising how much the gospel will bless their lives.  It takes a leap of faith, and it is so hard when we see people who are so close to taking that leap and for some reason don't, and they don't discover the tremendous blessings Heavenly Father has in store for them.  

as i was reading in the Book of Mormon this week i came across a part that talked about the success of the ancient missionaries in the Book of Mormon. Ether 12.  Read it.  It is a great chapter.  But when I was reading it what jumped out at me was the part that said their success and the amazing miracles that happened were all due to their faith.  over the past 7 months from meetings, scriptures, prayer, and experiences I have learned that faith is a gift from God.  It is a gift given to us for our obedience.  Obedience is a choice.  Therefore faith is a choice.  we can choose to have faith and we can choose to strengthen it.  we strengthen it by being obedient to God's commands.  We can always be more obedient.  study our scriptures better, pray more sincerely, try to serve more, continually be looking for ways to be more Christlike and improve.So this transfer I am striving to be 100% obedient in my actions, thoughts, everything.  I want to be the disciple of Christ that has the faith to work miracles.       

Dad- Sister Coons says hellllooooo. it a posh British accent.  also ya i have met quite a few people who have seen the musical or the adverts that were in the tube in London.  one of the things we talked about in our lesson on Sunday was that the church is coming out of obscurity.  and it is so true.  even just here in England the past few years so many things have been happening.  The Lord's work is going forth, it is so cool to be a part of it. 

been a great week! i am excited because we get to go to London this week and go to zone conference and listen to President Jordan and Sister Jordan! you guys are amazing.  I love you and pray for you everyday.  I think people are sick of me bragging about you, but i love you, you're amazing i can't help it! love ya!!! rachel   

Monday, October 14, 2013

small but cool miracles

It is a good thing I love listening.  I have been thinking about being like a therapist or whatever they are called because I really have found that I love listening and asking questions, and trying to help people work through different things.  

these couple weeks have been great - so many small but cool miracles.  good news!!! did i ever tell you about Jennifer?? in Romford, well guess what?!! she got baptized last saturday!!!! I am so happy for her.  i knew she would be, i was so sad to leave her, but i am so happy.  i may have done a happy dance in the middle of the tube station when i found out during transfers :) 

We are teaching this amazing lady.  Her name is Danielle.  She has had a really hard life, and it is amazing seeing the light that is coming into her life.  She is supposed to get baptized the beginning of November.  She has two sons 5 and 6.  She came to church for the first time this week, and really enjoyed it.  her boys who are normally pretty crazy did amazing in sacrament. and the last talk really was perfect for her.  The main struggle is she needs to quite smoking by then.  We know she can do it with Heavenly Father's help. 

A cool experience we had was we were tracting and this man answered the door and said they are not interested they go to the church down the street.  he was shutting the door and the wife came up and said are you mormons?? She explained that they had an autistic son and they had gone to see the play The Book Of Mormon and he had become fixated on it and had lots of questions, and she asked if we would mind coming in and answering them.  We went in, just explained about our beliefs, the church, the Book of Mormon.  Pretty soon the Dad was asking some of the questions.  It was amazing to see the change, they completely became open and welcoming.  Nothing major came out of it, but it was a great experience, learned what we really believe, and they said they would watch some of the videos on .   

Also this one lady we started talking to on the street, after a little bit we brought up the gospel and stuff.  Had a great mini lesson and stuff shared the scripture from the Book of Mormon 2 Ne 25:26  And we atalk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we bprophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our cchildren may know to what source they may look for a dremission of their sins.    After reading it her whole countenance changed.  She admitted that when she first heard the word Mormon she thought she should run the other direction, but after we talked to her she had changed her mind and would like to learn more.  sadly she just moved out of our area but we gave a great referral to other missionaries. 
Mum you should make sure Mckay knows how to cook a little bit and do laundry.  it is so important out here!!   

Grandma and Grandpa Chipman!! i got your letter.  it was amazing thank you so much.  you guys are the best i love you :) 

dad your book sounds great.  Scar Wars sounds..... gruesome. knowing your past. i should be a surgeon. i helped mum stitch up your head too when i was little.  

my head is pounding so this is going to be it for now sorry. but i love you guys.  hope you have a great week.  love you!!! rach 

p.s. becca you aren't going to get your birthday present if you don't email me!!! adam your present is coming! happy early birthday!

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

sooooooo sorry

So no proper email this week because we had a sisters meeting on monday and it took the whole day and we have 0 time this week to email. which is technically a good thing, but bad because I want to email you!!! anywayssssss i am sure you are dying to know so drum roll please:
SISTER COONS! from DERBY ENGLAND! ( it is pronounced darby though, we already have had many discussions about the strange enlgish pronounciations)  she is so great and i am so excited to serve with her.  more info to come next week, but good news i have not completely killed her, yet. she says it will most likely happen in the next few days. :) 
Conference was amazing!!!! I am so excited to watch Sunday night session next monday.  It is amazing how they always know exactly what to say for each one of us and our needs.  I was a bit sad because i didn't get the regular tradition of watching in my pjs and eating tons and tons of food and quesche ( no clue how to spell, and this dumb computer doesn't have spell check!! what is the point of a computer if it doesnt have spell check..... ) we got stranded because the trains shut down, but we ended up being able to watch it at a members house, which was great being in a home to watch it.
well more details later, but i love you and i miss you so much! have a great week! rachel

Tuesday, October 1, 2013


Guess what??? I am not moving!!!! isn't that great! it was weird to watch someone else have to pack everything up..... looked like a big pain in the butt.

but ya I am staying here and I could not be more excited. My new companion is unknown. straight from the MTC. poor her, having to put up with me right off the bat, haha but really.... poor her, i will try and be a bit more normal for her sake... just a bit :)     but When president Jordan asked me to train he said to "light up St. Albans", and I am soooooooo ready. (like fire kind not lamp light kind)  i feel like a horse that has just been standing at the starting line gate thing waiting for the little stall gate to drop, and i am just ready to go! weird anaolgy i know  idk why it just came to my mind ha but Sister Diaz is going to London North, with Sister Jacobsmyer also from our MTC group.  cool huh. she is going to love it.  she is sad to leave, but i know she is going to have the most amazing transfer. She has made a ton of progress these past few weeks. it is amazing to see her so happy and smiling.  I am going to miss her, we had so many great times.  

few  questions  mum- you got a new phone??? which one?? and also you were talking about Elizabeth reading the Book of Mormon, what's she think?  and also where did you serve your mission?? this lady in the St. Albans ward served in Italy as well around your time and says Chipman sounds familiar, but she isn't sure, but it didn't sound like your mission, but i wasn't sure.  She is sooooo cute.  She is from Italy. She reminds me of you quite a bit. 

Dad- a game camera huh?? sounds interesting. leave it to you to take something and use it for a completely different purpose, but inventive.  hope it works so you can like you said expose them for filthy lucre, so when i get home some of that filthy lucre can go towards my lucreless bank account. don't think thats a word, but you get the hint ;) haha 

This week I had an exchange with Sister Steele, Kylie!!! if you just skim this, read this part! ha she is from Tanner's town and knows him from back when they were younger.  Her name is Brittany Steele.  Ask if he knows her. she is 23, ran cross country, and is the type of personality that, he would definitely..... know , and have a strong opinion about, knowing tanner.  haha I miss him and his hilarious and philosophical but logical comments about everything.
anywayssssss I went on an exchange to London, and surprisingly i didn't mind working in London.  I always thought I would not like it at all, not enough green or enough open space, but it was not bad.  For our morning run we ran to Big Ben, and then right by the flat is the Warner Brothers Office.  walking home at night i looked up and there was this creepy figure in one of the upper floor windows, it was Batman!! and they had the Harry Potter House Banners up and displayed in the Main Window, it was really cool. and there is a Chipotle!! we didn't go to it, but just the fact that it is there was amazing. one day i will go.  we had so much fun and worked so hard.  one of the coolest things of the day was we started talking to the cutest girl from China, CJ.  She actually just moved to London this week from Penn State for an internship at Oxford, and she has been looking for a Christian church to go to during her time here.   We had a lesson on the train, and she is going to meet with the missionaries up at Oxford and go to church there! Heavenly Father truly knows each one of His children and has an amazing plan for all of us.  Sad part of the day was we stopped by a less active lady and when we walked in, the house was in complete chaos.  It was so sad.  She is not in a proper state of mind at this time in her life, and she is really distressed from some reasons. and She has a 2 year old son, and there was pee and poop all over the floor, and just a mess.  We spent about an hr cleaning up everything.  It looked amazing after we finished.  once again mum thank you for teaching me how  to clean and how  to love cleaning.  but i just felt so sad for her little boy.  We told the proper people and hopefully she gets help and the situation gets sorted out soon.  
this part is a bit awkward and gross, but just to let you know what i have to put up with here in this district haha Elder ---- our district leader from Hong Kong, who went to university in Utah for a year was talking to the 4 of us during a district meeting and all of a sudden in the middle of his sentence he walks halfway outside the room and sticks his butt out and well ya use your imagination.... we just sat there like, did you really just do that? and he said better than inside the room..... 19 yr old boys haha 
So we stopped this one girl by Hatfield University.  It just started school this week so there are LOADSSSS of students everywhere.  Anyways we stopped and talked to this really nice girl from Kenya.  She invited us to a BBQ her church was having to meet some more people.  It was an interesting slash funny experience.  Mum it kinda reminded me of my Monte vista days where I was one of the few white students, but here at the BBQ i was the only white person.  It was funny. who would have thought in england that would have happened.  They had the BEST food.  and some fun games.  They thought we were pretty strange though crashing their church bbq 
i got an egg thrown at me the other day. okay it technically wasn't at me.... but at the bus i was on, but it hit right by my face and i jumped sooooo bad.  the lady next to me started laughing 
Idk what i am going to do without sister diaz and teaching the Albanos, my spanish is limited to food, colors, numbers, and some strange objects. church stuff does not fall under my limited ability ha but that is okay. we had a great lesson with them where we taught about the restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is amazing what strong spirits little children have.  When we taught them about it, we talked about praying to know the truth of what we share, and the feelings they will feel in their heart to know it is true.  Fransico said he knew  it was true, he could feel it in his heart, and Patrick bowed his head and prayed the second we told him that was how he would get his answer.   Christ really does mean for us to become like little children.  their faith and sincereity is unmeasurable.  
ALSO I AM SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!! if anyone isn't a member and are a bit curious about things we believe or just want to be spiritually uplifted you can watch it on  about half way down the page is a link to watch it this next weekend.  I am so excited because I know  these men are called of God and have His authority to lead and guide us.   The spirit is always so strong when they speak, and I am always so uplifted and rejuvenated.  I can't wait till Saturday! even though the timing is off, so we don't watch it till later, but that is okay! 

In California, Conference is Saturday and Sunday from 9 to 11 am and 1 to 3 pm.  At or on KBYU Channel (9403 for Dish users).  It's an easy way to hear what we hear at church.  haha.  It's one of my favorite weekends, too!   (Chris) 

Next week I will have some info on my new companion! I love you guys so much! have a fantastic week! you are always in my heart and prayers!!  

love you! Rachel