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....
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


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"


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.

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

A few people have asked me for Rebecca's blog.  It's very similar to Rachel's:   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  

Monday, August 4, 2014

A brilliant week

couldn't find ed or dad.... so add a s onto bro and dad you can be buddy.....

This week has been a brilliant week. honestly. such a good week. I got to go to Cambridge for an exchange! it is an amazing place! honestly. some p-day I want to go back there because it really is beautiful.  and such posh places to shop.... good thing i am not there so i do not spend money! 

MLC (Mission Leadership Conference?) on tuesday in london was great. like always. i love being able to counsel with President and Sister Jordan and the other leaders to find out better ways we can serve the other missionaries and help our mission reach its potential. the pic at the bottom is the Sister training Leaders after our sisters meeting after MLC! they are all the greatest!

I spoke with a 90 year old lady on the bus today.  she was so sweet.  I started asking her about her family and her husband.  they were married for 60 years and he just passed away.  She said it was love at first sight and that it was so romantic.  I asked her the biggest piece of advice she had for marriage, and she said to give and take; fighting is not worth it.  She also was in the Air Force!  What an amazing woman.  i love speaking with people because you get to meet the most interesting people, and you get to learn such great things from them and their lives.  

We went to the bishops house for dinner. I loved it! it reminded me of our house.  they have 4 boys from 21 to 10, and it was there was just a loud happy buzz the entire dinner.  such a great family.  there was a 16 year old and a 10 year old and it really made me miss you Mckay and Adam. You two are going to get so sick of me because i am going to want to spend 24/7 together! get readyyyyy!!! :)  

One of the pics is of our investigator Eleanor.  She is 82 and from Zimbabwe.  She is so lovely.  so excited to get baptised.  As she says,  she just needs to "focus on the baptism!  and everything else will be okay"... in her older Zimbabwean accent it is precious.  she gets baptised on the 16th along with another man we are teaching named Bill.... the one who changed his mind in the hospital.  I think i told you about him.  They are both so excited and determined! 

Another miracle. sister H. and I were teaching at man in the end of March, who was really incredible.  unfortunately his mum became extremely ill and we lost contact with him because he was so busy with that.  He just messaged me last week on facebook and explained the whole story about how he has had to quit his job and become a full time carer for her, and he is sorry he has not been in contact, but he is still extremely interested and would love to now meet up and continue learning!! unfortunately neither of us are still in London North but I referred him to sister B, so hopefully everything works out! 

As we were walking down the road from the bishop's house after dinner this week, we stopped a young man, and just said hello how are you, and he answered, "I am not religious" and kept walking.... we just threw out the question, well who do you know that would be interested in a message about finding happiness through God?  He came back and really thought about the question.... he said his sister might, and we were able to have a really brilliant gospel conversation with him.  After a while of chatting he completely changed and he agreed that he was interested and wanted to learn more. we just taught him this morning and it was so incredible. he is really looking to change his life, and he believes having a faith in God will be able to help him with that.  Preach My Gospel teaches us to ask referrals from everyone, and this was a perfect miracle to strengthen my testimony of doing that.  I know that if we do things in the Lord's way, that He will bless us beyond our comprehension.  

People just hear religion and shut off thinking about big fancy churches and confessions and priests and such.  that is not the message we share.  For me it is all about strengthening my faith and trust in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and what that faith leads me to do. and how it brings such perspective and happiness into my life. 

i can't believe rebecca is gone. it feels like she just opened up her call! 

loads of pics on dropbox because i am doing this whole take a picture a day thing.  some very random pictures because we get back in the flat late at night and realise we didn't take a picture, so I take them of my queen bed, or the massive water bottle i got for 50p (which is like 25 cents) or the wasp i killed.... and the light cover i killed with it by accident.

um i have no idea what i want for my birthday....... sorry! 

ps being friendly pays off. Every morning when we are running we say hi to everyone we pass. most people think we are mental, but we have seen this older lady a few times now. the other day we were lost in the hospital and guess who we ran into! that same lady.  she recognised us as the tall and short one ha but she works at the hospital and helped us find our way out and we were able to explain to her what we are doing here and we had a lovely chat!  Smiling and saying hi is such a easy but great thing.  try it! 

Love you!! have a great week! rachel 

ps  i need becca's address!! asap please. the mission home one in Perth

pss i can't believe today is my 16 month mark.... and it is great because it is sister jacobsmeyers as well so we get to celebrate! 

Monday, July 28, 2014

"Wherever you are, be there"

Anca got baptised yesterday! :)  sister Bergstrom told me saturday night.  On saturday she decided that she knew it was right, and was going to be baptised regardless of her mum, and asked if she could get baptised tomorrow...... I am so happy.  I love that family so much.  

idk if i told you this or not, but did you know that London North was President Hinckley's first area on his mission?  

also i have a queen sized bed for the first time in my life.  there is one queen and one twin.... turns out i don't like having big beds, because i toss and turn and roll around, and with a bigger bed I do it wayyyy more.  so now i just sleep right next to the wall and don't even use half of the bed.  and we don't ever hang around the flat, so i don't ever just get to lounge around on it, so it is a wasted queen bed, but that is okay.  

I wonder if getting tattoos on your head hurts. there are quite a few people who have that here, and it looks so painful.  I am going to ask the next person i see that has one and see if it did hurt.... ( guy just walked into the internet cafe and had some, so my thought was not completely random....) 

This week the bishop asked us to go to an interfaith convention.  sounds like it would be really interesting right?.... wrong. i fell asleep. i tried really hard not to but i could not help it.  We thought it would be a discussion about all the different religions that were represented there. Instead it was just a 3 hour presentation by a few different people about how faith needs to be more present in the medical scene.  and then we split up into a few different groups for 15 mins, and considering sister jacobmeyers and i know very little about the healthcare system, let alone faith in the healthcare system we choose to go to a group on meditation.  It was lead by a proper old englishman who was hindu! you would never have guessed it by looking at him or speaking with him.  but he taught us how to meditate.  It was interestingish.... all it did was give me a headache though.  he told me i was doing it wrong. i was focusing too much on not focusing on anything at all..... oops.  

on thursday i went on an exchange to gorleston!  it was so crazy to be back there. i was there my second transfer and then back there on my second to last.... talk about coming full circle.  it seemed like i was just there a few weeks ago though. i remembered the people and the places and the buses..... seems like i never left! except for the fact that they let the back garden get ruined! so sad. so many weeds..... 

We met a young man from florida last week named timmy and had a really great step in with him and he seemed really interested.... but then he did not show up for our next appointment and we only had his address and it was a bit of a ways away, so we didn't put much priority into trying to go and see him soon.  on friday some of our plans fell through, mission life, and so we had a back-up plan of trying to go and see him.  we walked pretty far away to the address he gave us.  when we got to his home, it looked like an old person home.  no offense, but it had ramps and handrails up to the door, and some weird statue things on the front porch..... did not look like a young adults' home.  we knocked and no response.  we figured that he had given us the wrong address. as we turned to leave, he opened the door! he was so excited to see us.  he apologised for not coming to the appointment last week but something came up and he had lost our card with our number on it.  We had a great lesson and explained about the restoration and Book of Mormon.  He has had a rough past and has such great faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ.  He is really looking for truth and a new direction in his life.  We had a great lesson and he committed to baptism.  He says that it was not a coincidence that we met and that we saw each other on friday.  He had a few different things come up that day that he was supposed to go and do, but he felt like he should stay home..... and guess who comes knocking on his door. if he had not been home we would have assumed he had given us the wrong address and not gone back! good thing Heavenly Father is such a brilliant planner! 

on saturday we had a dinner appointment with this great portuguese/ brazilian family, and there was a massive amount of left over food. so we asked if we could have some to take to our homeless friend.  when we asked him if he wanted a home cooked meal, he was so grateful.  it made me want to just make a whole bunch of food and take it to all the people on the streets.  I am so thankful for the perspective my mission has given me.  before i would have just turned the other way and felt bad but not done anything about it.  now i either try and give them a little snack or at least talk to them like normal people. they are still children of God.  We have no idea what they have been through, it is not our place to judge.  That is why I am so thankful that Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father are the ones that judge, because they know exactly our situation.  exactly what we have gone through and exactly what we are capable of in our given circumstances.  makes them the perfect judge.  
We had a pretty jam-packed week of teaching, otherwise. Our investigators working towards baptismal dates are doing pretty well, but it was a shame because none of them were able to come to church for various reasons. We worked so hard to have investigators at church, we invited EVERYONE we spoke to, and lots of people said yes. But no one came.  during sacrament meeting we were feeling a bit down, but Half way through sacrament, this Romanian guy named Lawrence that the sisters had had a lesson with like 3 weeks ago just walks in, finds us, and sits by us.  such a shock because apparently the lesson with him ended in them having to physically leave because he was too bashy. Like he didnt listen to a single thing they said and was basically just trying to preach at them and tell them we are wrong the whole time. But at church yesterday he was so calm and participated really well in the lessons. I think Heavenly Father saw how hard we worked at getting people to church this week and was cutting us a break. Hopefully Lawrence felt the Spirit there and his heart was softened.

I can't believe that rebecca is leaving on Wednesday. literally flew by.  i am so excited for you!!! you are going to love it.  dont get me wrong it is not going to be easy, but it will be soooooooooooo worth it :)  I was looking on a globe at a members house and dad you are so right for 2 months, the sun will never set on the formica family.   

sorry about your back mum! i am just permantely hunched from carrying my heavy bag all day every day, so we can be twins! yes send me a copy of dad's letter! 
(I hurt my back a bit...feeling a bit better now.   And Ed's cousin sent him a copy of a letter Ed wrote to him at the beginning of his mission.  Pretty illuminating.  haha)

sister jacobsmeyer is 5'1 good job mum.  and dad she says "thanks mate" ha but that you are pretty much right. it is a hole in the ground. 

ipswich is pretty small, but there are loads of little villages all around. the hard part is that the buses don't go there, so we dont get out to those villages very often.  it takes us about 1.5 on the train to get to london..... so it is like a whole other world. 

this week has been a week full of miracles.  It is so amazing how everything can go wrong and everything can go right all in one day.  we ride the buses so much that all the bus drivers know us and they laugh because we literally are all over the place all in one day.  well i have to run sorry i didn't get to attach any pics! but i will next week. i love you!!! 

Sister Formica 

ps adam i will respond to your part of the email next week! but i think obviously i was the cutest little kid..... jk i think hmmmm idk you were all cute in different ways! but i remember you being little the most so i would say you.... shhhh don't tell them :)   (We've been looking at old pictures and a battle ensued as to who was the cutest baby....  they were all adorable).  

Monday, July 21, 2014

i got nothing...

So much to say and such little time.  It reminds me of that song from Philadelphia Chickens....   "we are very very busy and we've got a lot to do and we haven't got a moment to explain it all to you....."
I was trying to describe this CD and song to sister Bergstrom, and really only then did I realise A) how very weird it is B) how NO ONE else has ever heard of it C) how it is a perfect CD for our family.  

I am now in ipswich with Sister Jacobsmeyer.  she is from Overton Neveda went to BYU-I for a year and a half.  LOVES harry potter, and music and she says "sup".  we get along great and i am really excited for the transfer!! these past few days have been incredible and i am so happy to be here for the next 2 months.  

THIS WARD IS BRILLIANT BEYOND BRILLIANT!  guess what this saturday was. lets just say it was a perfect intro to the ward...... stake sports day!  and they didn't have enough 18-30 runners so they asked us to run in the track and field events. lets just say it was so much fun and a great relaxed way to get to know a lot of the ward before sunday.  and our ward took first so how great is that.  the bishop is just as competitive as i am :) ha   we had to run the 100, 400, and 4x100.  we had appointments in the afternoon so we couldn't play the volleyball and football part, but thats okay missionary work first.  they have volleyball every night that we bring investigators to so i think i will survive. 
this ward really is great. they are really big and everyone is very friendly and so missionary focused. probably good to get me a bit adjusted for going back home to normal sized wards.  don't get me wrong i have LOVED all my previous wards as well.  you love each ward for different reasons.  

this sunday there was a member of the seventy at church, Elder David S Baxter.  and we had extra time so the bishop decided to call on me and have me say a few words about myself and missionary work.  fun stuff. luckily i am A LOT better at doing that now than i was at the beginning. still not good don't get me wrong, and i still get nervous, but at least i think it made a little bit of sense.  

we taught a professional boxer the other day from Nigeria that was in the austrailian olymipics.  he gave me a few pointers, so i am all set! when i get home mckay and adam we can put on those little kid gloves and box.... just kidding i am sure both of you could kick my butt. 

watched the world cup at donna's! i can't remember if i told you that or not. i don't think so.  sister bergstrom fell asleep, donna did some cross word puzzles, and there were some workers at her home painting, so we watched it together.  

we are teaching a man who has had a pretty rough past, but we briefly mentioned word of wisdom and what we can't do, not as part of the lesson, but in conversation, and the next lesson he came and told us about his 6 week plan to quit drinking coffee and smoking. we then had a great second lesson with him, and he has accepted a baptismal date.  i love how the gospel is a gospel of change.  no one has ever gone too far to change. Heavenly Father loves each and every one of us. always. Romans 3:38-39
 38 For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
 39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We have a recent convert woman whose husband Bill is pretty poorly. He always says he wants to be a member but doesnt want to get baptized (dont ask me how that makes sense) and whenever we breach that subject he says he will do it when he is good and ready. Well, he is currently in the hospital and we went yesterday to visit him with our ward mission leader and his wife, and we were just making small talk and Bill turned to our ward mission leader and said, "When is the next baptism?" and then asked him to baptize him, saying he had finally made a decision because being in the hospital has given him time and space to think about it! 

sooo many miracles have happened the past few days.  This really is Heavenly Father's work, and if we have faith and are obedient and diligent He will allow us to be the instruments in His hands.  His work will go forward regardless of us.  Our faith and obedience just determine whether we are going to be a part of it or not! 

i am doing a picture a day till the end so there are a lot of pictures on dropbox! loads and loads.  if you have questions of what they are, let me know.  also there was a mental thunderstrom the past two nights. the loudest thunder ever and the craziest lightening.  I think i sent a video on dropbox.  then i jinxed it because it had just been pouring at night, and then really hot and sunny days, and as soon as i said that, the next day it poured on us.... 

a cute little Hong Kongian?? (what would you call him?) who was baptised recently asked me on the bus ride to church if i had any friends here in Ipswich.  I said i hadn't really met too many people, and then he said, "well you've got 1 friend now, me!"  if only we all were like this.  

good quote: 
"People don't care how much you know, until they know how much you care."    
pics are of me and my new companion and my last day in actual london london.  such a bitter sweet day.  

life is great! i hope you always remember that! we have so many things to be grateful for. if we ever catch ourselves forgetting that, just look around and you will realise how blessed we truly are.  

here is my address mum because nod nod wink wink l guess i could fit in reading a letter or two:
14 Centrum Ct, 42 Ranelagh Rd Ipswich IP2 0AR

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

well…. all part of missionary work


well…..It was transfers and I am moving! 

not too happy but hey it is mission life right?

I love the people here i love the ward i love the people we are teaching i LOVE my companion, just too much love.  

but I am sure I am going to love my new area and the people there. I am at President Jordans' helping sister Jordan make the departing dinner for the missionaries leaving, so I have to go and don't have time to email.  Sorry!! but i will do a proper email next week.  

I am going up to a place called Ipswich.  With sister Jacobsmeyer who also is in my group so that is brilliant.  The ward is huge and majority is Portuguese and apparently a GREAT ward for missionary work, so i am excited. and I am excited to be able to go and work with other sister missionaries up there.  It is just hard to leave this place and the people. and since I only have two transfers left I will probably die there. so weird! but i went to london today for probably the last time besides missionary leadership meetings, so that was hard/weird, but on to another adventure! 

I love you! becca I am sure that your farewell talk was great! I am so proud of you! I have pics and everything but zero time! LOVE YOU!!! Sister Formica 

ps loved the email mckay. so you. bullet style works for you :) 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Tour de France

Zone Conference, July 4, 2014

fourth of july at zone conference!! sooooo much fun! I love President and Sister Jordan so much.  honestly they are some of the best people i know.  i feel so blessed to be serving under them! 

i am a bit confused on how this whole race works. you think after watching it with you dad so much i would know a bit more, but i saw a sign that said it was going through part of London north, and so some roads were shut down and stuff, but isn't it in France? is that a very dumb thought on my part? anyways if it isn't just in france, then part of it is here in london north! if it is only in France, someone is playing a good joke and i totally fell for it.  

I told you also that we get to watch the final game of the world cup right?? i am so excited! it is next week! whoooo 

I also have figured out what I am going to do with my 3 months that I have nothing to do.... wait for it..... drum role...... INDEXING! we had a stake relief society conference workshop thingy and one of them was on family history and indexing and i got so excited! Also there was a workshop on things to do with your family on Sunday to keep the Sabbath Day Holy, there is a list of 110.... and boy am i excited to try them. brace yourself dad we are going to do all of them! not on one sunday don't worry.  and the third workshop was on the temple and being a temple worker! i would love that.  maybe i can do that one day a week as well. all in all it was so great and i felt the spirit so strong, but none of it was usable to me now.... oh well in 12 weeks i will be able to do everything i just learned. 

The conference was saturday morning.  and Donna really really wanted to go.  so we had exchanges all week and then friday we had a zone conference, so we didn't think about the logistics of taking her until friday night.....  and we realised we needed to get a wheelchair. because there is no way she would be able to walk to all the bus stops and different things and then take the two buses and all that jazz.....  but let me just tell you. you would think it would be a bit easier to get a find a wheelchair. especially when you go to a ward that has an over 70's club that meets every week ha   but we couldn't find one anywhere.  but we finally found one and picked it up and it was a big huge ordeal and as we are leaving with the wheelchair donna called and said her daughter insisted that we take a cab because she could fall and get hurt..... but hey luckily she called before we had left with the wheelchair so we easily just returned it!! 

but the cab right was so great. i forgot how much i love car rides, and feeling the breeze in your face and driving through london was so beautiful.  i felt like i was on the one scene from parent trap.  

but Donna was so cute. the cab driver is a family friend and the conversation went like this. 
" Have you heard of the mormon church?  that is where we are going.   that is our religion. mormons. we are going to learn how we can help each other and become better people because we all love God.  we would invite you, but it is for women only."  - donna      best missionary ever.  

we had this incredible drink called mango lassi. so. good. it is my new favourite thing. you have to try it. it is PERFECT for a hot summers day.  and use the fage yogurt.  mmmmm mmmm good. 

mango lassi!! yum! 
we taught this lady the other day who is in a wheelchair ( it was on an exchange or we would have called her for donna!! )  but she has the best thing I have ever seen and I really really want one. maybe for a homecoming present ya?  it is this trike, but it is a car, but it is like a motorcycle but car sized, but no top, but she just rides her wheelchair right up into it and drives from her wheelchair!  and it goes as fast as a car and everything.  maybe see if you can look up a pic it is some assisted mobility contraption. but i want one! i just realised my description of it did not make any sense, but that is the only way to describe it. 

for exchanges this week i went back to watford with sister pope! talk about deja vu. ( sister bergstrom says this is how you spell that, looks really weird, but she is wayyyy better at spelling than me so i will just go with it)    but ya to go back to my first area with one of my former companions was really fun.  

this weekend sister bergstrom and I got really sick.  we think it was the flu, but maybe it was something we ate, not sure.... but sunday night we wanted to die.  we had to go home a bit early in the evening and we just both laid on the ground.  and i will spare you the details, but lets just say we couldn't throw up but we both really wanted to and felt like we needed to. i guess i didn't really spare you the details ha but we called this elder because he said for wrestling he had to throw up all the time.... (worst most unhealthy sport ever) anyways he told us to drink a glass full of salt water. and i am not talking about some water with salt in it. i am talking about salt with a bit of water in it.  it was the worst experience of my life! and it did not work.....i literally thought i was going to die. but good news i survived. and I am feeling better now!   

This week we taught William about adam and eve again, but we went into a lot more detail.  At the end it was really amazing,  he said that he had never believed what most of the other churches believe about adam and eve, that he always just knew that wasn't right, and what we told him, was exactly what he had always believed.  Just strengthened my testimony that Heavenly Father really is preparing people! and people may be looking for the truth, but not know where to find it, so all we have to do is invite people to learn more! i love that our role is to invite. if it was to convince people, i would be home already.  we just invite and testify to what we know for ourselves.  our own feelings, our own experiences.  It is the Holy Ghost who testifies of the truth in a way that they truly learn and have experiences for themselves. It really is one of the greatest gifts Heavenly Father has given us here on Earth! 

I love you!!! I hope you have a brilliant week!  

ps here is the video they showed at indexing that made me fall in love with it!