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! 


Thursday, July 3, 2014

el diablo! SatanĂ¡s! & HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! :)

This week literally flew by.  they all seem to do that now a days.  especially when the week is so busy!  we had a few exchanges with the sisters and we had our mission leadership conference.  It is my favourite meeting.  there are about 25 of us and the the mission presidency.  I always learn so much.  

We went to Ally Pally. aka alexandra palace.  my 2nd favourite place that i have been. it was beautiful! i'll send pics next week. honestly beautiful. and i saw some young men probably 14,  (i typed mckay's age, and then i realised that he isn't 14 anymore!!! this is not okay with me.......)   looking for geocaches! reminded me of you dad and Mckay. do you ever still do that?  the few times i have done it were fun. maybe i will get into that my three months of nothing ha 

did i ever tell you how weird the pub names here are.  it is like they asked 3 drunk people the first word that came to their mind and put them together. lately i have been writing them down. here are the ones i found this week : 

The Queen's head, The bald faced Stag, and The old white lion      

HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUBREE!!!!! so i have a present for you, but i haven't sent it yet...... i know i am the worst, but at least i have one right? it is coming, but i probably wouldn't check the post everyday. i'll email you when i send it so then you will know. I hope you have a great birthday! and you should probably go to ihop or something like that to celebrate. i haven't thought about ihop in forever!!!! mmmm.... breakfasts here are weird. and they pride themselves on it, but the only thing i like and will bring back home from english breakfasts are beans on toast.... yum! 

so this is a random email. but i haven't gotten your emails yet familia, so i hoping that everything is okay and you are just busy and have forgotten, i would rather have that then something be wrong! also this week was a blur and i am too tired to think of clever or funny or spiritual things to write!  (Not sure why our emails didn't go through ... I guess she'll get twice as many next week).  

so despite the very eventful baptism, Carmen's confirmation happened without a hitch! (that means it went well right?)  but it did and it was an incredible sunday and she really seemed happy. 

the subject line was what some old spanish man kept repeating over and over when we stopped him on the street. finally we got him to stop and then he realised we were not understanding his spanish.... my 2 years of spanish failed me haha and then he switched to french.... and our faces were still confused and finally he asked, well what language do you speak?? and after he spoke perfect beautiful english.  idk why he assumed we spoke spanish or french, we were talking to him in english... i love the culture here. 

Quote i liked this week:

"the attitude you have about your mission is a reflection of your love for Heavenly Father and His Son."     

really makes you think.  and it is not just about your mission, but about anything.  the attitude you have towards your callings in the church, or your responsibilities as a spouse, parent, friend, sister.  If we truly love Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, it will be reflected in all aspects of our lives.  

goes along with a talk i read this morning! so good.  by Elder Uchtdorf.  Gratitude In Any Circumstance. Read it!!

Well I love you! hope you had a great week! don't forget work hard, but have fun :) life is too great to be stressed and sad.  if you find yourself down, laugh.  laughing is the best.  it is good for the soul!! Love ya! rachel