Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Week 36: Pretty much I love being a missionary!

Well well well. This week has been full of great things, as always. Yes, there were more love shakes eaten, the greatest milkshakes in all of Coventry. Of course, we got to work with some incredible people as well.

So, as we are lucky enough to have a car, my companion Sister Urbani would have to learn to drive it, right? She had her first driving lesson for an hour on Monday, and I think I only thought I was going to die 3 times. Not too bad for her first time driving around on the road! I said many silent prayers, and we survived. It's probably how my parents felt when teaching me how to drive, but maybe not because I am their favourite daughter. 

The next day we went on exchange with the sisters in Loughborough. So we swapped and I brought Sister Ronspies back to Coventry with me! It was a lot of fun, she's awesome. We found some pretty cool people, including a 6 ft 6 Nigerian man named Tony who had totally heard of BYU before! It was exciting. We even got love shakes together (see picture below). 

This week we had zone conference, where we had 3 of the zones get together to meet with President. It was AMAZING. President Rasmussen is so inspired. He focused on how we use our time effectively. How that doesn't mean we go outside and work more hours, but that we use those hours the way God wants us to. He also spoke about Joseph Smith, and testified of how he really did see God and Jesus Christ. As he was speaking, the spirit was so strong. It wasn't the fact that the words he used were super eloquent or fancy, but the fact that he knew with all of his heart that it was true. The spirit then reminded me of my own testimony that I had of the restoration of Jesus Christ's gospel. Plus, I got to see so many of my missionary friends that day! It was so exciting to see friends from the MTC and past areas. Missionaries love a good get together. 

So for a few days in the week I hadn't been feeling very well. I had woken up a few days in a row with a sore throat and a stuffed nose, and by Friday I was just feeling terrible. I decided to ask the Elders for a blessing. They came over, and as they spoke I didn't feel instantly better physically, but mentally I felt healed. I had been having a rough time staying positive this week, and it was the little extra boost that I needed. The priesthood power that Joseph Smith restored to the earth is real, and it is here to help God's children. It is amazing how God is involved in the small details of our lives, and of how He wants to take care of each of us all the time. His power isn't something I will ever understand, but it is something that I have felt over and over and I know that it is real. 

Later that day, we were in town and decided to take lunch. Because we were in town, we talked about staying to eat there. However, I hadn't been feeling so well, I wanted to go home for it. We decided going home was probably smart. On our way back to the car, we saw in front of us one of our investigators that we had lost contact with for over two weeks. We had previously stopped by many times, and she wouldn't open the door or answer her phone. She ran towards us and was so excited to see us! We talked with her, and she explained her situation, and she told us to come over to her home on Monday. It really was a miracle to be able to see her. We had been praying so hard to understand when we should try and contact her, to know what was going on, or if we should just move on. God answers prayers. I guess He needed me to be sick for that moment to be able to go that direction.

Pretty much I love being a missionary! We also met a new girl named Candy. She is from China, and is Christian. She just loves the feelings she has towards Him and loves to pray. We were able to see her for 3 days in a row last week, which is a lot for a student busy with studies. She loved church, even though she fell asleep in Relief Society haha. We get to work with some amazing people!!

That's about it for this week. Until next time!

Much love,
Sister Slack

Sunglasses with Sister Urbani

and some more sunglasses

 Love Shakes with Sister Ronspies

Outside the flat

Elder Gibbs and Elder Ashcraft--both friends from Swansea!

 Sister Thomson, Sister Caffrey, and I (MTC pals)

Sister Powley and I at Zone Conference

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Week 35: Bible Bashed

Well well here we are again! This week has definitely been a great one. We've been working hard and I can tell that only good things are headed our way! 

We had the opportunity to go to lunch with one of our investigators this week, and we were talking about his life and he told us that he has gotten into martial arts. We asked if he was training at this place nearby in town, and he said "That place? No way, they couldn't handle me." Sister Urbani and I definitely busted up laughing. Too much to handle haha. 

This week I also got to be on exchange with Sister Rasmusson (From Sweden), who is serving in Peterborough. We came back to Coventry (a 2 hour drive in between)  and got to do some finding. As we were passing this one guy on the street, he stopped us and exclaimed "Sisters! Oh my come here!" He grabbed our arms and saw our name tags, and we saw that he was holding a bible. Then he took his bible and patted us each on the head with it and said "Oh may the Lord bless you and everything.." And a couple of other things we couldn't really understand. Gotta say we were more than a little bit confused. After he went on about how we all must believe in the bible for about 5 minutes and being told to avoid the Book of Mormon, we escaped only to realize that he literally had just Bible bashed us. He had hit us on the heads with a Bible! It was a first for the both of us haha.

I also got to go on Exchange with Sister Orro (from Australia), who is serving in Nuneaton-a town nearby Leicester. We got to go to a lovely dinner appointment with a sister who has traveled to Africa, and she had a didgeridoo in her front room. I had to play it. So, I grabbed it (with permission of course) and I got to play the didgeridoo! It was pretty dang exciting.

For the past two weeks we have been struggling to get people to church for some reason. We decided to really make things happen this week and do everything we could to get people to church. We asked all the members that we saw to pray for certain people to come to church. Specifically Grace and Dianne. Sunday morning comes along, and crossing our fingers and having prayers in our hearts, we made our way to church and both Grace and Dianne were able to come! It was amazing. They both loved it, and I know that especially Dianne felt the spirit. A member asked her if she was going to come again and she responded with "Definitely." It was incredible to see how our prayers were answered 100%. 

I know that the people in Coventry are definitely prepared to accept the gospel. It's amazing to be in a place where there are so many people and so many members and so many missionaries. It's an equation for miracles, and all we have to do is start it off by opening our mouths. 

I love being a missionary!

Keep it real, keep it classy everyone.

Much love,
Sister Slack
 Sunglasses swag

 Family home evening with everyone! Grace is the third one from the left.

Playing the Didgeridoo! 
 Love Shake time with Grace, Dianne, and Sister Orro

We had to ride the bus while the Elders took our car to the mission home.. it was an adventure!

 Exchange with Sister Rasmusson

 Valentines dinner. We put a candle on the table and everything!

Coventry life

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Week 34: The life in Coventry

Welcome to Sister Slack's weekly email! Thank you for joining us everyone.

Hmm well I guess at the beginning of the week we had the adventure of driving to Birmingham for a meeting with the mission president, the wonderful President Rasmussen! It was pretty awesome, we got to see how each part of the mission was doing, get training that we would share with our zones, and I got to see a lot of my missionary friends! On the way there, we typed in the address of the mission home into the SatNav (GPS in america) and got pretty close, trying our best to be on time, and we were going to make it! Until we hit about 20 minutes of traffic and it turns out we put the wrong address into the satnav... So after our 30 minute detour we finally got there! Fashionably late, of course. We didn't even miss anything, so I think it was alright. Plus, it was like my 4th day of driving in the UK, so I gave myself a pat on the back. 

On Thursday we had the opportunity to give some awesome training at zone meeting about how our attitudes can be awesome and how it can change everything about being on a mission. Which is 100% true. I really like what President Rasmussen said "Your mission can be the greatest time of your life, or it can just be another experience. You choose." I think this applies to all times of life. Whether we are in school, at home, doing whatever, the time we have now can be the greatest time of our lives if we make it that way. All we have to do is take advantage of what we do have, and focus on the positive. It's kind of crazy to think about how much power a positive attitude has. And it reminded me of President Utchdorf's talk called Grateful in Any Circumstances. You can all go and read it, it's awesome. 

Later Thursday night, we got to go on exchange with the Glenfield sisters! It was so awesome. Why? Because I was on exchange with Sister Powley! Who I went to school with from Kindergarten to 3rd grade, and even had a class with her at BYU. It was awesome to be with her. We saw so many miracles together, and were able to meet some incredible people. One in particular was named Dianne. She didn't seem too interested at first when we talked to her, but she eventually agreed to meet with us on sunday. So, Sunday comes along, and we couldn't get ahold of her to see if she could still meet with us. Eventually, after church she called us back (Miracle) and said she could still come but later in the day at the church. So 3 pm comes along (when we were to meet with her) and she tells us that it will take her an hour to get there, but she was still coming (miracle)! So we went back home and then came back and called her again, and she got a little lost. So we directed her and eventually she got to the church at 4.45pm, it took her nearly two hours to travel there but she wasn't even upset or bothered by it! MIRACLE. Then we proceeded to have a boss lesson with her and she totally wants to learn more. She's pretty awesome, and I'm sure I'll tell you all more about her later on. We should be able to see her a few times this week. 

Anyway, back to the exchange. Friday night we exchanged back and everything, and we're driving home--Sister Urbani and I are reunited-- and then she asks me "Where is the phone?" Oh no. Glenfield is a half hour drive away and we were nearly home. We get all the way back and... YUP. It was left in Glenfield. So the next morning we had to go and retrieve it, but they had no way to let us in the building or know if we were there due to the lack of phone, so I just scaled the gate that surrounded the compound like flat complex and knocked and threw rocks at their window. It was pretty exciting. I don't think any of their neighbors saw us, and hopefully they realized we weren't thieving, just retrieving our beloved lost phone. Long story short we eventually got in and got it back! 

Pretty much it was a great week. I hope you are all doing great, and I'd love to hear from everyone :) 

Much love,
Sister Slack

Mission Leadership council, all the people there from my last zone!

a bit of Coventry

Exchange with Sister Powley!

 Love shakes-- deliciousness in a plastic cup

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Week 33: You are being transferred to...

Hello everybody! WOW what a week it has been. So every last Monday night of the transfer, we have something called "Dodge Night" where we get a call telling us where we are being transferred to and who our new companions will be. So we waited ALL Monday for our news to come in, and (Drumroll please...) I've been transferred to Coventry with Sister Urbani! My last companion, Sister Butler, is staying in Swansea to train a new missionary named Sister Marsden and look after everyone there. 

My last 2 days in Swansea were amazing. It just so happened to be my birthday last tuesday (thanks for the wishes everyone!) and so we had breakfast and dinner appointments to get to for those days, and we got to see so many wonderful people that we've gotten to know in Swansea. It was pretty much the best birthday gift ever to be able to see so many people that I love.

So, there was a little more to transfers but in summary I've now been called to be a Sister Training Leader in Coventry, which basically means 3 things: 1. We get a car 2. We get to go on exchanges with a lot of the sisters and 3. I had to learn how to drive on the left really quickly. I had assumed that since I was moving to Coventry that my new companion would be driving us home. I arrived in Coventry on the coach only to be told by a few Elders "No, Sister Urbani doesn't have her license." That's also when I found out that I'd be driven to our car, have to get inside, and then drive around and pick up people for transfers. WHAT. 

I hadn't driven for over 7 months! And the last time I had driven was in America, where we drive on the right side in nice big lanes with traffic lights and the American flag flying high with the star spangled banner playing.. Ok maybe a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the picture. Anyway, after we got dropped off at our car, I proceeded to try and figure out how British roads work and how to properly enter a roundabout with 4 lanes inside to go and pick up some Elders waiting patiently in the cold for us. It was only supposed to be about a 5 minute drive.. but because I had been in the city for about 15 minutes total and I had never driven in England, it took us about 40 minutes to get there because I kept getting lost. Needless to say, I did not crash. Victory!

In this past week we have also seen some incredible miracles. We got to teach one of our Albanian investigators about temples and family history, and in the lesson she explained to us that her whole family back in Albania should know about this. She decided then and there to send the missionaries to their door and to call up her family the next day to let them know that missionaries should turn up, and that they need to listen to them. She is such an incredible lady! She really loves feeling the spirit and wants everyone to know about her feelings in the gospel. 

We also got to meet with an 18 year old kid about the plan of salvation. He lost his mom a few years ago, and when we started talking about how his prayers went he explained that he had been praying to see his mom again. That night after he had prayed, he saw his mom in a dream and he knew that was an answer to his prayers. It was incredible to hear how the gospel is blessing his life already. 

I know that this gospel is what brings me the most happiness, and I am so excited to share it with the people in Coventry. 

Much love,

Sister Slack

Ps: Since I moved, my address is now:

Sister Slack
67 Blondvil Street
Coventry, England

letters are always welcome ;)

 The gate to Singleton park we always walked through in Swansea

 Goodbye to Sherlock

Dawn Morgan--She made us gluten free red velvet cake for my birthday! She's amazing :)

Me & Owen (from swansea)

Somehow me and Sister Thomson went on exchange again

Transfers (Sister Butler --my missionary daughter, and Sister Marsden- my missionary granddaughter) sorry my eyes are closed...

 Me and Karl (a less active we worked with a lot, and now he's back to church!) (he's looking like a champ)
My birthday egg that Sister Butler made me (yes, we were SO sick of cake)
 Me + the Roberts family--they are amazing!

Snowing! Me & Sister Urbani