Monday, March 31, 2014

can't read it.... don't eat it....

so we are now the first mission outside the 30 pilot missions in the states to have facebook for proselyting purposes..... So i deactivated my account, so please no longer go on it.  So if anyone looks at my blog through fb.... they need to now just go straight to the page, not that anyone probably really reads it, let's be real, buttttttt ya. so i have a missionary one, and i don't like it at all. i liked being disconnected from technology, but i can see how it is helpful considering everyone is on fb all the time.  and if we are unable to see someone in person we can teach them a lesson over fb, or coordinate with the members and different things.  but it is also wayyyyyy a huge temptation for so many reasons for missionaries.  so one of our roles now is to monitor their fbs..... yay but i will keep you posted on how it goes.  It is interesting how we are using technological advances for the furthering of Heavenly Father's work.  

so next package. not expecting one soon don't worry, but just in the future.... could you maybe get me some bath and body lotion. there is this smell that i just discovered i love! and they don't have that store here. it is called twilight wood. thankssssss. 

the subject line is my policy for restaurants and dishes now.  There are some crazy ones, and loads of them we have no idea how to say or read or what it means, and i got something really scary the other day, so I decided that is a good rule of thumb. if you can't read it, don't eat it.  

so my companion and i listened to this great talk the other day. it was so good.... i want you to listen to it rebecca! it is called "spiritual conditioning" by hyrum smith. and i can't find it anywhere on or anything, so try youtube and see if it is there. and if it is listen to it! 

Miracle of the buzzer.  There is this 80 year old lady named Nancy.  She has been less active for like 30 years.... But just the other day she was driving past a church and told her friend that she needed to go back to church.... guess who showed up on her doorstep that night.  we were going through the ward list visiting the people that no one knew, and decided to try and visit her.  The amazing thing is, she lives in a building of flats that you have to be buzzed in to go to the door.  Well she said that she NEVER has her buzzer on, but that night for some strange reason she accidentally had it on.  and she didn't really understand who we were, but she buzzed us in anyway even though it was late and dark outside which is another thing she never does.  And her friend and her both came to church on Sunday!  They are so sweet. Her neighbor is her best friend and is about 70 and takes care of her and goes with her everywhere.  It took us all 2.5 hours to get to church.  we were 30 mins late.... but we got there!! slowly but surely. ha 

We forgot it was fast sunday, so when we showed up 30 mins late, we were sooooo confused.  We showed up during one testimony, and then the lady sat down and there was like a few minutes of waiting for someone else to get up to speak.  (normal for fast and testimony meeting, but not for regular meetings) so we were looking around wondering who was awkwardly forgetting to get up and give their talk or announce the next song. took me a while to figure out what was going on.  

Also did I tell you about our investigator in scotland a few weeks ago?? We got a call from the Senior couple in our ward telling us that a man had just called them by accident trying to call the sister missionaries he had met earlier that week.  Well we got his number called him and set up a time to meet.  We were supposed to meet at this place called overgate but we show up and it is this business building thing. he didn't answer so we texted him and he said he was there, but it wasn't a business building but a shopping center..... we asked if it was by st albans. he said he didn't know where st. albans was but he was in dundee..... we had no idea where dundee was, so we had a member google it for us..... turns out it is in scotland. so we were both at overgate but just in different countries. oops. sad because he sounded great! we passed him to the scotland missionaries, because we figured that was a bit too far to travel. 

I got hit by a car.  mum don't freak. it was just reversing, ha but we were crossing a street behind a stopped car and then all of a sudden he reversed right into me! but he didn't even notice! just switched to drive and drove away.... english drivers are mental

There is this older lady in the ward, and i am in love with her. she is sooooooo sweet. perfect example of childlike innocence, but not being childish.  but she has been a member for about 40 years.  She said the missionaries knocked on her door and told her they had another testament of Jesus Christ, The Book of Mormon, and she told them to come on in because she loved Jesus Christ, and if there was another testament she wanted to know about it!  She loves coming out teaching with us.  After one lesson, she kissed one of our investigators William on his cheek.  She is this tiny little english lady, and he is this big young african man.  It was such a funny picture. Also she is great because whenever she doesn't recognize someone at church she greets them and asks if they are investigating and welcomes them and bears her testimony to them.  But she met Nancy on sunday, and nancy told her that she was already a member just returning after 30 years, and Sis R.  gave her a huge hug and kissed her and said oh my goodness welcome home! it was one of the sweetest things I have seen.  If only we were all like that.  So loving and accepting. 

William is a man we are teaching and he is getting baptised April 20.  If you could remember him in your prayers that would be great! thanks for praying for Denise adam! it is making a difference i know it is.  You are going to have a long list by the time I get home! 

a few last thoughts: 

I AM SO EXCITED FOR GENERAL CONFERENCE! Everyone please watch it, i know that it will answer so many of our questions and help us in our trials if we allow it.  Here is a link to watch it for this weekend:  (Saturday and Sunday 9 am and 1 pm, on KBYU 9403 Dish... or on the interenet)

On a train ride home from our exchanges the man next to me was watching this movie, and when i glanced at the screen i caught a glimpse of awful violent immodest things! and it instantly filled me with such an awful feeling.  it strengthened my testimony of how the spirit really cannot be with us when we are watching, doing, or even just tolerating these things.  i realised how much media has really become filled with such filth.  and that it is completely normal! i almost started crying.  I just felt so bad for all the kids growing up with all of this surrounding them.  I pray everyday for you mckay and adam, that you will be able to stay away from such games, tv, films everything.  It is amazing how even if it is just for a second and not intentional how it stays in our mind.  I am still having to work hard to get that image of the violence out of my mind.  It is amazing how in the world we are as missionaries, but separated spiritually from the world.  i do not want to return to normal!  I am a weird missionary, and i like it :) 

i got to go to my first Missionary Leadership Council meeting.  i really enjoyed it.  about 25 of us missionaries meet with The Mission Presidency and discuss the past month and our goals as a mission and different things.  It was great! i don't have time to go into detail sorry! but i loved it.  

dad- yay! i want to read the books when i get home! remind me ya because I may forget ha but since i am not coming home till october, i will have enough time on my hands to read them....  oh also i decided during that time i want to go biking with you and get good! okay just get not awful. deal? 

adam! man sounds like you had a great week! with the raffle and getting all that stuff. and i am sure you are great at baseball! it runs in the family :) ha jk glad you got a new glove, dad's really did use to hurt. thanks for your email! i love you! and miss you. hope you like your present. is there anything you want i never know what to get you. have a great week! 

Mckay! hows life?  great i am sure. busy i am sure. how is the mustang?? and volleyball??  

LOVE YOU! have a great week! i have fallen in love with England, and i want my little kids to have an english accent..... but don't worry i won't move here when i get older. maybe just for a few months, too much rain still. i miss the sun.  miracles happen everyday to all who look for them.  

quote i liked this week 
"we are not here to know, but to grow"

love ya! rachel 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

don't ya hate when you have nothing clever to put here......

ahhhhh this computer does not have spell check.... sorry in advance for the misspellings..... is that even how you spell misspell? oh man this is going to be rough.  

Once again the experience of the suitcases on the tubes was the worst thing.  The next few days my arms were soooooooo sore. but i didn't realise what it was from.  If you ever want to get huge just do that for a few hours, your muscles will be tight for dayssss

I live in a place called East Finchley.  apparently two streets down from us is the 2nd most expensive street in England.  I want to go and try and knock on the doors, but there are HUGE gates in the front, but don't worry, i think the plan is going to be make cookies and just try and teach the guards about the gospel! i'll keep you posted on how that goes.  

Did i send an email last week? I tried to look under my sent stuff, and it didn't show up, but obviously i sent one because you knew that i moved, so it is strange that it just disappeared..... like with cars or washing machines, things just disappear. anyways the whole point of that was to apologise if I repeat some things from last week! 

We are currently emailing from this african barber/internet cafe combo thing.  While you are on the computer you can get a fresh hair cut! jk it isn't that cool they are on different sides of the room.... but still a funny mix of businesses. 

Definitely not volleyball shoes.  Bowling shoes? 
Moves day was crazy.  So Tuesday was p-day and yes we spent the whole day playing volleyball with Elder Hutchins and Elder Heperi, about 7 hours..... sister pope wanted to kill me :) oops, but it was so fun, and we made waffles with our waffle maker that we got! and then said some good byes, and then got home at 9:30 and then i proceeded to lay on the floor and say ahhhh i hate packing for about an hour.  No that's an exaggeration, sister pope and i were doing weird things like making videos of this water bottle thing we do and other very important stuff obviously, anyways went to bed at 12:30 woke up at 5..... and as a missionary we are exhausted as it is! 


 Then went to the train station and switched.  I knew sister pope and i were close, but it wasn't until we got around all the other sisters, that i realised how close we had become! it is still a bit weird not to have her around all the time laughing at my not funny jokes, and sharing our inside jokes, but i will survive.  
Sister Hymas is way brilliant and we get along great so it is fine. 

After that we went to the mission office, which is the chapel of hyde park. have i ever talked about that place? it is so cool. when we come back and visit i will have to show it you.  anyways all the zone leaders and then us sister training leaders had a meeting and then sister hymas and i had to stay around and help with the meetings and the new missionaries that arrived that afternoon.  we gave them an orientation with sister jordan, and then we had a meeting with sister jordan, and finally about 6:30 we were off to the tubes of death and then home.  

I guess I should maybe tell you what even a sister training leader is or does....... considering you both are pretty ancient and i don't know if they even had those back then! ha jk idk if they did, or if they did a little bit ago, or if different missions they are different, IDK! i don't really know anything.... including what the heck i am doing ha or what the heck President was thinking.... but anyways there are 6 of us STL.  and we pretty much just help look over the sisters..... the sisters are divded between us three companionships. and we live in diffrerent areas of the mission, and go on 2 or 3 exchanges with the sisters each week.  Where sister hymas takes one companion to our area, and i go to the other area with the other one and we work with the other sisters for 24 hours, and do some trainings and stuff.  does that make any sense?  I am trying to type this fast because it doesn't really matter.  We are regular missionaries, that go on 2-3 exchanges every week, and get to go to the big meetings and help president and sister jordan..... I think.... who knows i have only been one for a week haha but i am excited to get to serve the sisters and to learn from them and help all of us become better missionaries and servants of Heavenly Father. 

ADAM I LOVED LOVED LOVED YOUR SONG!!!!!! man you are so good at singing. when did you get so good??? you will have to teach me how when i get home..... 
Mom's note:  Rachel sent a bunch of pictures this week, spanning from November through March, so here is a sample.  More on the photo page of the blog.  They helped paint a house (where Rachel got mildly electrocuted), did some yard work, were angels in a Christmas pageant ...  and she sent some beautiful scenery pictures.  Made me wonder if she just took pictures of the postcards, they look so good.  jk

After the paint job?   Looks good!

 Christmas Pageant ...
The flat we are in is a 4 person flat. we are living with another set of sisters in the London North area. Sister Falco and Sister Su (Brazil and Tawain)  There are 8 of us in the ward, and 2 sets of senior missionaires.... crazy huh. and it is a pretty tiny ward.  but ya the flat is so posh.  has only been used by  missionaries for 6 weeks.  I will send pics next week, the kitchen is perfect for dance parties.  yes sister hymas and i have already had one :)   so Sister Hymas has only been to the area for 6 weeks, and with the exchanges last transfer they were unable to do as much work in our area as we would like, so we are kinda starting from scratch here with people to teach and less active and such.  The other missionaries have a companion that has been around for a while so it is a bit of a challenge to break into it here, but we are excited to work at it.   

So we have done lots of finding lately, which is great because i now love talking to people.  

Something I have been thinking about lately is leaving behind everything and following Christ and Heavenly Father.    Matthew 4:18-22 is such a great example of this.  When Christ asks them to come and follow Him, they leave behind everything and Immediately follow him.  They leave behind their livelihood, family, possessions, everything.  It made me think about what I need to leave behind.  Obviously I am not saying that we need to leave behind our families, but I think it is a great opportunity for us to reflect and think about where our priorities are, and what we are putting first in our lives.  Just a thought.  

18 ¶And Jesus, walking by the sea of Galilee, saw two brethren, Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea: for they were afishers.
 19 And he saith unto them, aFollow me, and I will make youbfishers of men.
 20 And they straightway left their nets, and afollowed him.
 21 And going on from thence, he saw other two brethren, James the son of aZebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he bcalled them.
 22 And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.
 have a great week! I love you all and pray for you daily.  Happy late birthday pops.  you look younger everyday.  and i am sure that your hairline looks a lot better than my tan and waist line haha love you! rachel

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

satan is in the form of a huge killer bee

sooooooo don't hate me :) but once again I have zero time. but literally zero.  i haven't even packed yet or done my laundry which i need to do before i pack and i didn't say good bye to anyone because..... we may or may not have played volleyball alllllll day! man i realized playing is bad because it makes me miss home and i just want to keep playing. but not that bad don't worry 

anyways this bee has followed us around from city to city and it just flies straight at our faces and is huge! but don't worry we are surviving.  

as you probably guess i am moving! I am going to what is called London north??? no idea what that means or anything I have heard it is by a place called Finchley? i don't even know if i spelled that right.  But i am companions with Sister Hymas, who I flew over to England with, we were super close from the start. We are something called sister training leaders? idk if you have heard of it.  but we are kinda over the sisters in the mission and help them? ya more details to come! love you miss you! love ya rach

ps adam your talk was really good! and mum and dad you sound super busy. and becca you better video tape your mission call opening for me!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

"We're pretty much in Africa"

Here are the pics from the Baptism, even though we were super prepared and everything we were still running around crazy before hand..... so we didn't get the standard pic in white before the baptism, oops.... but kat is the one in the glasses, and that is her older sister Annie.  I don't remember if I told you about it, but it was such an incredible experience;  she bore her testimony as part of the service, and the spirit was so strong.  It makes all the rainy, freezing days of rejection worth it :)

The other pic is in our flat, obviously, but for Sister Jordan. she rebuked all of us missionaries on our flats, so we have to seriously scrub them top to bottom, and then send her pics of it. here is one we sent.  we don't take many pics so i included this one. better lame one then nothing ya? don't be picky mum 

This week was a great week! they all are great and they are all blending together... can you believe i am moving next week? already another transfer! and i am for sure moving there is no way i am here again, it is already a record being here this long.  Even though Sister Jordan at interviews said that I was called to the St. Albans mission.  I just feel that obviously I am supposed to be doing something here that I haven't quite figured out yet, so I am working on figuring that out... I have a week to do it! but surprisingly i would be completely okay with staying another transfer. love the ward, we are working with some people that I absolutely love, and sister pope and I have fun, so what more could I ask for? 

the subject line, brace yourself this is not going to be funny to you but it is our quote for the week. we were late for the bus so we were running ( yes running, we do it a lot. people around here probably know us for the girls dressed up that run down the street chasing the bus. it is ALWAYS late, except for when we are.... funny how that works out. ) anyways we were running and this HUGEEEEEE bee flew out of the bush, and scared us and we both kinda freaked out, and of course the first thought that comes to mind was "man,we are pretty much in Africa"..... okay told you it wasn't funny. but now whenever we have first world problems  we say it.... good thing i got sent to england.  

Brother Whittaker, the senior couple here in the ward is a church history GENIUS. like literally, he has read everything and knows everything.  He was working on the Joseph Smith project with the brethren, his library has 30,000 books, and he was a church history professor at BYU,.  last P day we went and spent a few hours just talking to him and learning so many brilliant things.  I wish I could read sooooo many books out here on my mission, because I know once I get home I am going to get busy and just not read them.  It is funny how even growing up in the church you would think that you learn most things, when in reality there are soooo many things i have no clue about.  That is something that has strengthened my testimony of the Book of Mormon, is that every single time I read it, I learn something new.  Everytime.  Even if it is the same passage.  I am so happy that we have this time here on Earth to learn and to grow, and that our learning and growing does not stop after this life! 

funny video that you should watch, it is called "from the mouth of babes"..... just look it up on youtube.  Yes it is 13 mins, but it is worth it.  It is little kids thoughts on the gospel.  So funny.  so many funny lines, but one that sticks in my head is, "if you weren't mormon, what would you be?"....... I think I'd be a Mexican..... 
This past week we had zone training meeting with our zone.  and part of the training was on getting out of our comfort zone.  They read off a list of things and we had to rate them how far in or out of our comfort zone they were.  later on they made us do one of the things...... guess who had to do the douggie in front of the whole zone.....yaaaaaaa i rocked it, just kidding I was awful...... lets just say I'll stick to playing sports. 

One of my favorite things of my mission, is seeing the change in people.  seeing them find that lasting happiness and perspective that it has brought me. 

out of time again, but quickly..... today, we went bowling with the elders. it was fun, but anyone who has ever bowled with me will know, that i am rubbish.  like actually rubbish. one of the elders almost doubled sister pope and my score, but hey ahhhhh  some one needs my help and i have to run! but i love you and i miss you! i will let you know where i am moving next week :)  

thank you so much for the music. (finally got sent yesterday - hope it makes it before she leaves St. Albans), Can you put the hallelujah on there by Jeff Burke maybe??? idk there are different versions you pick your fave, thats the only request, or like soul black person kinda music, we are teaching this wife of a member and she likes that kind and she thinks our hymns are boring, so before the lesson when we sing we want to do one of those haha   (I think this will do it -- It's Gladys Knight.  I heard her sing at Women's Conference in 1998.  Worth listening to - 4 minutes long.  Here's the video:   Gladys Knight - Mercy's Arms). 

Monday, March 3, 2014

ahhh no time i feel pressure there is a guy waiting to use the computer and i don't have time to think of something to write here..... sorry!

So you asked some tough questions mother you are right haha I don't know yet about fall or winter, I will let you know by next week, is that a deal? well you don't really have a choice so.... ya :)  

Tell adam hello and that i miss him and I like his thought of not writing to me so that we have more to talk about when I see him, very logical. but he better not forget me either though! 

I realised a few things this week, parents LOVE having us come over, because during the message it is one time that they can talk about the gospel and kinda lecture their teenagers about it and have the teenagers just sit there and listen. One family in particular does it, and it is so funny, but the parents are such incredible people that what they share always ends up inspiring us! the past few weeks we have gone to their house after church for dinner, pancake sundays :) and they are actually proper pancakes.  most pancakes over here are about the size of a quarter. 
Elephant & Castle, Amwell Village, Wheathampstead, Herts  - in June 2008
Elephant & Castle Pub, or so says the Internet

This other family, took us to the quaintest place ever last week! it is called elephant and castle pub.... I think.... but it is in wheathampstead, and it was so cool.  one place i will come back to and visit because it was just so english and old.  

we got interviewed this week for a man's dissertation on modesty and today's society and our church's view on it. it seemed like a cool idea, and before hand when we were discussing the concept with him it was interesting, but when we got on camera the whole attitude changed and the interview went around in circles.  His questions were not similar to the ones he asked before hand and you could tell he was not getting the answers he wanted.  i think it was a waste of his time, but it was interesting to think about why we are modest, and what drives our desire to be modest, and that combined with people's free agency and affecting other people through your own actions.  cool things to reflect on.  

There is this man in our ward who is such a champ.  there isn't really a better way to describe him...... He is in his late 70's and his whole life is dedicated to missionary work.  He has gotten special permission, so he can go around and knock on doors and such, ANYWAYSSSSSS he locked the keys in his car, when he called to see if there was anything they could do they said they would come and break the window and get them out, and he said well hey i can do that.    but the best part of the story is, ready are you bracing yourselves, he waited until some teenagers were walking down the street then he yelled " this is what you get for parking in my driveway!!!" and bashed his own window in with a rock.  my favourite person ever.  
you could eat off of any surface in our flat. so beautiful.  3 hours later and hands so raw that i don't think i have any finger prints left, but sister jordan will be pleased.  all the missionaries got in trouble for not having our flats clean enough, so she gave us veryyyyyy strict guidelines on what needs to be done, but i am pretty sure sister pope and i are the onlyyyyyy ones who did everything.  yes we unscrewed the double paned glass on the stove and scrubbed both of them, and washed the washing machine, cleaned the windsills, outside of the window, vacuumed the baseboards.... underneath our beds. the list could go on, but i don't want to overwhelm you   

so the scotch bonnet challenge, i will send the video next week, but quick thought, when you eat one after you HAVE to eat ice cream or you will literally die. well anyways my analogy, you know in Matilda when the fat kid is eating the chocolate cat, and he is SOOOO sick and SOOOO full but has to keep eating, well that is how i felt eating this ice cream, i felt so sick but i couldnt stop or else my mouth would explode. so ya. video coming. there were tears, there was pain, there was a lot of yelling. be excited. 

so i once again have run out of time, so i didn't get to talk about kat's baptism!!!! but it was great :) she is so incredible, and pics are coming next week :) love you all!! sorry again. dad, mckay the replies to your emails are coming!!!! i promise. have a great week! mum the answer to your thoughts are coming as well. i will ponder about it and respond next week!