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: 
www.sisterrebeccaformica.blogspot.com   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!