Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So it was transfers this week,and they didn't make the calls till 11:30... talk about suspense.   but our whole flat is staying, so it does not really feel like transfers. Which is fine because I love London.  Still does not really feel like i am here in england after a year.... sometimes i hear people talk, and it just blows my mind. buttttttt good news, the other day someone said i didn't sound American! except she was about 80 years old and i think pretty deaf, but i will take it :) 

I got the package! i loved it, the lotion was perfect! mmmmm smells so good.  thanks for the bunny and the peeps. i am giving the bunny to william but i forgot it on sunday so it is a bit late, but oh well. better late than never i guess. 

We taught William with President Jordan on Thursday.  It was a short 15 minutes on the Priesthood but the most inspiring ever.  William loved it.  You could tell in his face, it was lit up the whole time.  Especially when President asked him, "how would you feel to be able to baptize your children?" (he doesn't have a family yet.) "or how would you feel to know that you could give your wife and children blessings of health when they are sick?" All of those blessings can be his as he keeps his baptismal covenants.  Man, I just love President Jordan! 

And then on Sunday, William was baptized! Woo hoo!   I promise he was excited, you can't really tell from the picture.  He is not one to show excitement really.... but the Saturday before we had a lesson, and when i asked "well are you excited???" He smiled and replied, "yes i am very excited." so don't let the picture fool you. 
 It was an amazing service.  Except for a minor detail before church even started... So we are sitting in the chapel at 10 am waiting for Sacrament meeting to start and guess what?  William is not there.  We send him a text.  No reply.  I call him and says he is just walking in, so I thought, great! he's here and he'll be walking in at any moment.  Well, the meeting starts and William is not there.  10 minutes pass and still no sign of him.  20 minutes pass and we couldn't see him in the congregation over our shoulders.  Half past 10 and I am starting to freak out thinking he got hit by a car or something!  One last scan of the room before going out to search for his dead body, we see him!  Just a few rows behind us in the middle:) I then get a text from him. 40 minutes later.  I was gonna kill him. haha No worries everything turned out great!  He brought his close friend/flatmate, Dalton, and we had 2 other investigators at church as well. a recent convert, Anthony, baptized him, 3 times.  Third time's a charm, right? ha his forearm was not going under the water...   And Sister H, Sister S, and I sang a trio:) 

 My favourite part of the baptism was his testimony afterward.  He got up and said that he wasn't very good at public speaking, but then proceeded to give a 7 minute speech that was so spiritual and moving, that the room was completely captivated.  He expressed his gratitude to Heavenly Father and to Jesus Christ.  He bore his testimony on the Book of Mormon.  How everyday it is exactly what he needs to hear, and gives him that spiritual strength that he needs for the day.  He was so grateful for the support the ward showed him, he was only expecting about 4 or 5 people and there were about 25. and also he said he is so excited to be a good example to the people around him, and to share this incredible truth and knowledge he has now with his family.  He is going to make such an incredible husband and father, our next assignment we have decided is to find a wife for him ha 

For our exchange this week I was with the visitor center sisters.  Which is brilliant because you pretty much get to be a visitor center sister once month.  While we were there we taught a man on the phone from Pakistan.  It was incredible to see the way that technology can be used to further Heavenly Father's work.  Missionaries are not allowed there yet, but apparently he has about 100 friends and family members that he teaches from what we share with him.  It was such a miracle to hear his faith, and be able to share more of the gospel with him.  

Lunch time at the VC was just proof that even though we are missionaries, we are all still 20ish year old girls.  It was a bright sunny day, and the kitchen we use is right up by the roof, so we went out and all just laid out there eating for our lunch break.  oh the perks of serving in the visitor center.  

Donna's prayers are so sweet and sincere.  I love them.  Prayers of the people we teach are one of my favourite parts.  They are so sincere. and they just talk from the heart.  Such a good example to me and a reminder to me of how i need to better my own prayers. but last time we went in her prayer she asked "Heavenly Father to help her to understand the Book of Mormon, and to understand and take in our messages.  And that she thinks that she will join the church, and by thinks she probably will."   The gospel is for everyone, not our place to judge, we never know who God is preparing, so we have to courageously follow the promptings we get from the spirit to share our testimonies.  That is all we have to share.  We don't need loads of knowledge and a deep understanding of the scriptures.  We just need to be willing and ready to share our testimonies.    

Once again out of time sorry so i will send pics next week.... (because the place with the really nice guy who knows all of us missionaries is closed for a week, so we came to this other place that is really expensive and so we have to run) 

can you believe mother's day is in just 3 weeks?? what the.... i just talked to you! not that i am not excited but just wow. 

LOVE YOU!!! rachel 

Monday, April 14, 2014

Garra Ruffa

Such a fun p-day! and week and life :) it was sunny if you can't tell; it especially affects my mood, i was happy already, and the sun and BAM instant high on life  

so we cleaned for a few hours. you know how much i like that. but really. it is weird. i really like it. yay spring cleaning. 

then we went to camden town, where the adventures began. so we got bang bang chicken. yum. missionaries always go there, so they give us free drinks!  

background on camden town. such a ghetto scary but great place. it is definitely a place where sister missionaries stand out like a sore thumb.... i think i got high just from walking around. and you can buy the cheapest (in price and quality) stuff. but it is also full of adventures. every other shop is a tattoo piercing or something or other parlor..... wouldn't know we look the other way ha 

but i decided to get all of my souvenirs. because next week is transfers, and who knows i could be moved up to ipswich and never come back to london! so don't worry i bought loads of london things! 

then we went and got our feet eaten by well-trained baby Piranhas!  no but really.....  not joking there is this place and you sit with your feet in this pool, and the fish eat the dead, hard skin off of your feet! IT WAS SO COOL! it tickled so much slash felt like little vibrations on your feet.   But just kidding about the baby piranhas.... they are called garra rufa. look them up! apparently there is this place in Turkey that you can swim in a whole lake full of them and they do it on your whole body, but  thats just too much. 

Then we went to Hyde Park and it is beautiful!!! today was the most gorgeous day ever.  i realised it is a good thing it isn't sunny here all the time, the English people wouldn't be able to handle it.  they go crazy when it is nice outside.  so we went and decided to ride the Barclay bikes! you can rent a bike for however long you want and then just drop it off at any of the Barclay bike stations, which are ALL over london.  but let me tell you, idk how sisters ride in skirts, because I was struggling!!! i ended up just standing up the whole time, which worked. but it was so beautiful.  I can't believe I am so blessed to be able to live in this incredible place, doing missionary work! the greatest thing that I could be doing! life is great :) 

Also we saw a guy slack lining in the park!!!! he was soooooooo good.  doing tricks on it and everything. reminded me of the time we tried it at the school up at BYU..... we were awful. i almost went and asked him for some tips and if i could try, but i figured it would not be a good skirt activity.  i took a creepy stalker pic but it isn't working, will send it next week.  

The other day I was on an exchange with Sister B! she is serving in the Portuguese branch, so it is her job to just find Portuguese people. It is fun. Also they can go anywhere in London to do it.  So we went to London South, out of the mission boundaries. so rebellious i know.  also I got to have guyana and coxinha and brigadarios. (look up how to make them, and make brigadarios, they are incredible! but i don't usually wait for it to cool and harden to make the balls, I just eat them with a spoon out of the bowl. ha) 

the flat in south kensington has the coolest balcony. except you can't tell from the picture, but just trust me, it is cool. but i don't think sister B was that happy with me making her take a pic on it at 6:30 in the morning.... but she wouldn't sleep outside with me on it, so she owed me at least a picture.   

I decided I am probably the worst sister trainer ever. after one exchange on tuesday, we were meeting at the train station and switching to another one for wednesday/thursday, we were almost there on the tube and i realised i forgot my suitcase back at the flat, even though we went specifically back to the flat to grab it, i was just so excited about my guynana and coxinha that i forgot to grab it.... oops... oh well.... 

I learned a really funny Hungarian Easter tradition. A lady from our ward taught us.  Back in the old days, boys used to dumb a bucket of water on the girls! isn't that funny, the reasoning behind it is because they are watering them just like they water flowers.... idk i guess it makes sense in Hungary. ha but now they don't do a huge bucket, just a little capsule. but still i think it is funny. sometimes wives and mothers would wake up to a bucket of water getting dumped on them! i think i will adopt this tradition in my family, but obviously roles reversed. this tradition is almost as good as the duffins shooting the turkey! 

Strange thing of the week, sister H and i were walking down the high street, and this guy walks up to us, kinda looks like he is in a circus, and asks us if we would like to hear his new song called mother earth.... he was really creepy so we just kept walking, and then he gets really close to us and makes that farting noise with his hands.... and runs away. it was actually hilarious/pretty creepy.    

This past weekend was stake conference, and the Young single adult ward was singing, and they asked us to sing with them.  We sang He is Risen and More Holiness Give me. Mum, our choir was about the exact opposite of yours. (Mom note:  I sent this to Rachel:  "For Easter, our choir is singing "He Is Risen".  There are about 12 people in the choir.  Dad is singing tenor in the choir, McKay is singing bass, I'm singing alto, and Adam sings Bass an octave higher (which is usually the melody). So maybe for family night we'll tape us singing it and send it to you.  :)  haha.  could be really scary" ... back to Rachel's choir)   there was about 40 of us! but I am sure your choir is great too. (I WOULD LOVE A VIDEO OF IT!)  but our conductor was fantastic, she is a senior couple missionary, and she is a expert you can tell, and she helped us to sing it with such feeling.  It was an incredible experience to be a part of.  I love how strongly the spirit is present with music.  It touches the heart in a way that just words can never do.  Singing about our Savior and how He is truly risen was such a beautiful thing. and helped me to understand and feel the spirit about this truth on a much deeper level than ever before.  

Also a few sundays ago, we were waiting with a couple members at the bus stop after church, and i saw this old lady in a window watching all of us. she waved, and I waved back, but then the bus came and we got on.  I made a mental note of the old lady to go back and visit, and while we were on the bus, the senior missionary couple walked up and he said, " did you see that old lady in the window? she needs the gospel."   so we went back the next day and just visited for a quick sec because she couldn't talk, but we gave her a plan of salvation pamphlet.  she didn't seem all that interested but she said we could just stop by sometime during the week, she couldn't give us a specific time.    

about a week and a half later we visited her and after we knocked a few times she didn't answer so we left the complex.  As we were outside of the flats we paused for a few minutes deciding where to next go, and which bus to take.  After a few minutes we hear this little old lady saying "hello.... hello?"  we went back to the door and it was Donna! she is very old and moves slowly and said she is so sorry but she was on the toilet. but we started sharing a bit about the plan of salvation.  Her questions were so deep and sincere it was brilliant.  You would not expect that from a very older lady that seems sickly. and a few minutes in, she asks, "last time you came you had a book with you, can i buy it from you?" our favourite kinda question!!! (They are free and we LOVE to share them).  we are so excited to continue to teach her.  Her neighbor is a member, and said she has talked to her about the church before, but she was never interested.  It just goes to show that it is all in the Lord's timing.  and bonus, she lives about a 2 minute walk from the chapel!! but for her probably a 10 min walk, but still. really close :)  

adam i hear you are a stud at baseball!! good work! dad thanks for the medical advice! i'll stretch better, i am the most inflexible person in the world.  i love your one sentence thoughts. exactly how my brain works. and d. is going with sister k then!!! soo cool. i am sure your lesson was great. who is in charge of singles ward?  mum i liked addisons comment. i also liked the fact that they have technology that can use wifi.... you should see our bricks we use.... its a good thing though i drop it all the time! 

I love you so much! have a great week!!! Jesus Christ is truly our Savior and He is Risen! He lives, and the evidence of it is all around us, if we open our eyes and truly look.  love you!!! rachel 
"To This End I was Born" - 4 min. video

Monday, April 7, 2014

Missionaries can change the weather!!

warning this email is random and I kept skipping around and ya, just my thoughts exploding on the paper, so sorry in advance if it doesn't make sense! 
 For those of you who miss hearing Rachel's singing, she sent this video!  :)  Click on the words below, then the link. I've watched it about 10 times.  Yep.  Gotta love her. 

I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! I am so thankful for a living prophet and apostles.  Each session I had a question that I had prayed about, and every single time my question was answered. Even if it was not flat out said, it was answered through my thoughts and feelings as I watched.  We went to Hyde Park chapel to watch it, and 2 of our investigators came and absolutely loved it!  Monica, Nancy's friend, who is late 70's, came by herself on the buses over an hr of travel to come and watch. The other is William who is getting baptised on the 20th!! he is incredible, honestly I feel so blessed to be able to be a part of this process for him.  He loved conference, and we advised him to watch with a question, and afterwards he said that it was answered.  also we traveled with him, and we got there a bit early just by coincidence, and there was a baptism happening at that moment from another ward.  we got to watch it and William loved it.  good thing I don't believe in coincidences :) 

also this morning we were headed to teach a lesson to him, and it was pouring, and we had tried to get another member to come teach with us so that we could go in ( missionary rule, we can't be alone in a house with the opposite sex) but none could come.  So when we were by his house we said a prayer before the lesson, and asked that the spirit be there and we asked that if possible the rain could stop.... we had an incredible lesson even though it was on the doorstep, he truly is amazing. but it wasn't until after we were walking away that we realised something. it had stopped raining :)  President Jordan always tells us "missionaries can change the weather". today we learned that it is true.      

quote from sister H. for the week, "what would happen if you super glued your eyes shut??" haha  

also another question, sister H., who is a future nurse... has diagnosed me and we think i have this pinched nerve in my hamstring, because there is a tingle all the way down my leg, and my second big toe is always numb.... any way to easily fix that? 

pics attached to this email- our year mark celebration!!!! so on the 4th we had officially been out a year, so we went to a pub for lunch.... the old great lion. what an brilliant name right? don't worry the bottles on the table are just sparkling water, we didn't go that crazy ha
sister B. and I on an exchange on an epic balcony at their flat! she is so great, loves volleyball and track, we are going to be best friends when we get home.... except she has only been out a month, so i will just have to wait for a year and a half.... but no worries, i will STILL be at byu.... yay for being in school for foreverrrrrr  
third is one of the Book of Mormon musical adds that are all over London.  great adverts for us :) 

and us shopping. after teaching william, nothing could wipe the smiles off of our faces, we felt on top of the world 

guess who i saw at conference!!! well the only person that really will appreciate this is Laurie,  I saw Dr. Otterstrom and his family! it was so funny. I saw him walk in and had to do a double take, and then remembered he is here on study abroad. It took a while for him to recognize me, but then he did, all those hours of grading his tests, and he almost forgot me..... ha

I almost teared up in the tube last night. on our way home from conference, we were with the elders and this man from our ward. get this, he is 94 and he traveled on the tubes all by himself to general conference! talk about a boss. such an amazing example to me of always putting the Lord first and never making excuses.  So the elders were escorting him home, and when they were getting off the tubes the doors started beeping and closing right when the old man was in the doorway! it was all slow motion.  then one of the elders in our district, elder W (just came out a few weeks ago from South Africa, he is just like the cutest little boy, except he is not that little he played rugby ha) but he just picked the old man up and grabbed him out of the way and set him down safely on the ground while he got jammed in the door.  It was incredible. i think you had to be there, but the other sisters we live with saw it also, and all of us were just touched. 

well i have to run, like always but i love you! your camping trip sounded like so much fun! i know exactly what you mean about hating to get into trouble mum. also i would not come pick me up.  it is a rule.  if you have any questions feel free to ask sister jordan. but i wouldn't. i will go back one time in my life, you might not come with me if you and dad don't make it a priority ha but i know that i will at least maybe with my husband, idk but ya don't want to leave by breaking a rule. (Good to know.  Makes October simpler too).  Adam i am glad you wanted to put the fish back :) and i am glad you all liked the present! sorry it was just a wee bit late.... but thought that counts right?

address: 11 Mansfield Heights, East Finchley London N2 ONY   i think that is right, maybe test it out with a letter before you send a package haha love you!! 
have a great week! love, rachel 

ps i heard in a talk that if you don't go over the notes you made from a meeting (aka general conference) your retention drops down to 25%. so go read through the notes you took, and if you didn't take notes, go read them online, take notes, then review them haha

mum you are going to loveeee me :) just added loads of pics and some videos to dropbox (Yes, I LOVE you Rachel!!!  Even without pictures, but pictures help.  haha)    

one of them was of my really destroyed shoes, the heel used to be a bit higher, and it wore down a lot, but apparently i walk like a crazy person, because it wore down uneven, and the flap...i tried to super glue it and safety pin it even, didn't work, and there are holes in the heels, because they were hollow i guess idk but they were great, lasted me through winter.... i loved them, thought about just getting them resoled or something, but then i figured they were past help.  (Like mother like daughter -- I hate getting rid of shoes!). 
also pics of our flat, sooooo posh, yes a square toliet...

(there are a lot more pictures, but it's taken me a while to figure this much out ... gotta go!).