Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Week 45: Amazing Grace

Well well well. What a week it has been. First of all, it was sunny ALL week! Incredible, right? I actually went outside without a coat on, so that was a miracle in itself. 

This week was probably one of my most favourite weeks I've had in my mission. Why? Many reasons. One, we got to help a wonderful family called the Top's move house. We haven't had many opportunities to do much service during the winter, so it was really awesome to be able to help them move all of their stuff. It amazes me how much people can fit into these tiny houses in the UK. Two: we got to have dinner with Kristina (remember her?) and some of her friends. They are such lovely women with warm hearts, we were fed a nice meal and were able to have full bellies and happy faces. 

And of course, Grace. I'm sure some of you already looked at the pictures first and put it together. I'll give you the whole story. We were walking along one chilly day in February, when we stop this chinese girl on the street. We start talking, and ask her how long she's been in Coventry. "Only a few weeks, I just moved here from Swansea Uni." At this time, I had just moved from Swansea to Coventry. We were instantly connected, and agreed to meet up again later. We met her in the library at first, and she confessed that she had just met with us because she wanted to be friends, not because she wanted to learn about God. We talked more and found out that her mom was Christian, and Grace went to church with her every week for a few years, but never felt anything and refused to think that God could be there for her. 

Fast forward to over 3 months later, and  on Saturday she was baptised. She knows for a fact that God is there and cares about her. Talking to her after she got baptised, she explained "I feel so brave, like the bravest person in the world! I feel amazing, this is the best day!" and after receiving the Gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday she ran to us and hugged us, saying "Thank you! Thank you, I have changed so much, you have worked so hard, thank  you for this." Words can't describe how much happiness there was that day. We have gone through rough and wonderful times with her, and it it is the most amazing feeling to know that a friend has joined the church of God. 

Another miracle happened this week as well. The Elders in our district have been teaching a 14 year old girl named Chloe for a few months now. She has basically been absorbed as part of the ward already, and she is amazing. Her mom, however, would not let her get baptised. After lots of prayers and fasting from everyone, her mom finally agreed to let it happen. She is the sweetest, and she got baptised this last weekend as well. The world is on fire!

Also, on Monday we went to the Coventry Cathedral. We got to walk up 180 spiral stairs to the top, and it felt like we were walking forever in circles. Never ending staircase. But it was beautiful! It always blows my mind that people can build such beautiful buildings without modern tools. But that would explain why the tower is slightly crooked...

Anyway, til next time!
Sister Slack

 District time at the Cathedral 

When Grace decided to get Baptised 

Grace's Baptism

Everyone getting baptised/baptising
Atop the cathedral
can't get enough of GRACE

 We also helped with the family history fair, so here we are!
Chloe after her getting baptised! She is awesome.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Week 44: Best surprise EVER

Here we are again. Another transfer has come and gone, and Sister Urbani is on her way to London right now and then off to France! Where does that leave me? With a new companion! Here is the story of what happened when I found out what was going on: "Sister Slack you will be getting Sister Thomson as your new companion" 3 seconds of silence, then jumping around with joy and singing some songs about happiness. 

Yeah, I couldn't believe it! Sister Thomson and I get to serve together in Coventry now. We were in the MTC together 10 months ago, and had a few adventures together over in Wales, and now it is just going to be a party every day together. We are so excited to go to work and see miracles happen all the time. Yup. Best surprise EVER. 

But what else happened this week? ON Tuesday I headed over to De Montfort for exchange with Sister Monnapula, and it was so fun. We were walking down the street talking to some people, and every person we met so far had said "This is too personal." or "Not a chance." It was going kinda rough, when suddenly we run into this girl named Chloe. Turns out she had met missionaries before on the street, and she had given them her number but they never called her. She really wanted to meet with them and now they have an appointment for this week. MIRACLE. It was awesome. 

Also, yet another week of working with Grace has past. As we keep talking with her about baptism, she is slowly but surely getting over her fears about it and will take the step eventually. She knows that it is right, but she is so afraid of making a promise. But, on the bright side we have an amazing girl we are working with named Joyce. She is christian, and she came to church for the first time this last week. We talked about what her favorite part of church was, and she explained how she loved applying the scriptures to herself. That's what we all need to do in life, apply the things we learn. That's really the whole reason we have the scriptures, is to see what we can change in our own lives. 

Anyway, we've gotta get going. But just know that this week is going to be amazing! 

Love you all,
Sister Slack

 Sister Monnapula and I on exchange

The district

Trio Exchange with Sister Stone and Sister Pickett

Sister Thomson and I!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Week 43: I don't have money in my pockets!

Hello dear family and friends!

Well once again, it's sort of the beginning of the month. You know what that means? Meetings! Yay. So many meetings. I almost died from meetings. No worries, I made it through it all. 

This week I got to go on exchange with Sister Schwendiman in Peterborough. It was pretty awesome, I don't think we talked to one person who spoke very well at all. Except for the members who fed us a 4 course meal for dinner. That's right 4 course. Too bad I couldn't eat two of them, due to gluten and late notice. 

When we were in Peterborough we were talking to some people on the street and we tried to stop these two guys. They were speaking in a different language, and once we spoke to them, it scared them and so they jumped back, they both put their hands up and one of them shouted "No! I have no money in my pockets, only drugs!" and then they ran away. You never know who you're gonna meet, I guess. Earlier that day a little kid also stabbed one of our bike seats, but that's another story. I guess you could say Peterborough is a little more sketch than Coventry.

I hope everyone has caught up on General Conference, because it was awesome! So awesome, in fact, that we wanted to show a specific talk with our investigator Grace. Grace has been going up and down with her journey through the gospel, from drunk texts sent our way to saying she would never believe in God, and then coming to church every week. Pretty much it's always unexpected. We decided to show her President Utchdorf's talk about grace with her (hah, get it?) because we thought it was super good and answered all her questions. Also because it was her name. 

We took her to the Thompson's home and taught her with a member named Dili. We were actually fasting that day for things to go well in the mission, because bad things have been happening all over the place. We started off by talking about it, and Dili bore a powerful testimony of how it has made such a difference in her life. It was a really great way to invite the spirit. We all got out a piece of paper and wrote down a question we all wanted answered, and we promised her that she would get an answer to it while she listened. She told us "But that's impossible to know!" We turned on the section of General Conference, and it was amazing.  I looked over at her while she was watching it, and she had tears in her eyes. After we turned it off, we sat in silence for a bit, and then I asked her what she thought. She told us "I definitely got an answer to my question, but I will need some time to accept it." We all got some answers to questions and prayers that day.

Fast forward to church yesterday. Grace talked to both me and Sister Urbani about baptism, and she told us "I want to be baptised soon. I know I need to be baptised." So everyone, miracles are real. She should be baptised this weekend if everything goes well. It's amazing. 

Anyway, time to go. OH. Also, next week PDay is moved to tuesday, because transfers are on Monday. So no emails til then :) 

Stay classy,
Sister Slack

 Outside the church

Crazy hair
We went to the park last pday

Pomegranate heads! 

 Peterborough cathedral

Sister Schwendiman!

More park

Park park park


Sunday, April 12, 2015

Week 42: Post Easter Week

Hey everyone!

Wow, wasn't General Conference amazing? It definitely was inspired. One of my favourite lines from it was from Elder Clayton, where he used the phrase "Twas I, but Tis not I." I loved hearing this and remembering that it is ok to change. It is ok to become someone better. Of course, I will always be Sister Lara Slack. I will always love llamas, and water, and mountains, and having fun (doi), but changing to think more of others, to be kinder, and to love people more is never a bad thing. 

So what else happened this week? Well, it was the first of April! Yes, April fools day. No, we didn't really do anything too crazy that day. However, my wonderful family sent me a practical joke kit for my birthday (thank you for that), and on thursday we had lunch with the 10 missionaries in Coventry. Inside this practical joke set there is this very real looking fake plastic poop. Brown? yes. Sticky? you bet. Smelly? No way. Thank goodness. Sister Urbani and I decided that it would be great to stick it inside of the microwave. Here is how it went: "Hey you should look inside the microwave Elder." "Ok!" he then opens it, looks inside and says.. "Wow. That's disgusting." And closes it, and carries on as though nothing had happened. Yup. No one else even opened the microwave.. well we tried our best, but nothing really happened. Such is life.

We also had exchanges with the sisters from Loughborough! I got to go out to their city with Sister Chen. She is from Taiwan, and is pretty amazing. When I first got there I boldly made the claim that "I love biking!". Little did I know that we would be biking everywhere, in the cold rain, with my very out of shape legs, up a small hill for most of the day. And at the end of it, yup. I still love biking. While I got to do that, I loved the feeling of being a missionary. I kept thinking, "this is what I get to do, to be here and bike to someone's home to serve them. This is so awesome!" Everything is more fun when you have a purpose. 

Yesterday, our friend Grace came back from holiday in Spain. She is from China, and is one amazing soul. She came back raving about an experience she had, and so I'll share it with you guys. She arrived to the city in Spain, by herself, knowing zero spanish, and looking for one friend. Her phone had 2% battery left, and she couldn't find where she was supposed to meet her friend. They agreed to meet at the bus station, but since she was in a brand new country she had no idea where that was. She tried talking to several taxi drivers, but they couldn't communicate due to the language barrier. She decided to say a prayer, and tried to talk to another driver to figure out how to get there. At that moment, she heard "Grace!!" being shouted out at her, and she looked up and her friend was just passing on the bus. The bus driver was able to stop, and Grace and her friend were reunited. 

The first time we met her, she was nearly certain that God did not exist. She had gone to church before, but never felt as though he was there.  Now she knows for sure that He is watching out for her. I know that God watches out for all of us, no matter who we are or where we are or what our past has been. He is always there for us. 

Time's up!

Much love,
Sister Slack
Chocolate easter eggs



MORE chocolate eggs

Spring flowers!

Always treasure lunch

 All we do is vote for people to be baptised!

 Exchange with Sister Chen

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Week 41: "Please, sister, just give me a kiss..."


Well here we are again! SO this last week.. hmm. Well. Yes, it involved eating chocolate Easter eggs. And yes, it involved seeing everything as Easter themed. We see Easter flowers, easter animals, and easter people! They are waiting for us to feed them the gospel and they don't even know it. 

We had some sweet stuff happen this week. We had more exchanges, and this time I actually got to travel OUT of Coventry! Yeah! I went off to a part of Leicester called Westcotes. It was amazing. We got fed 2ce by 2 different families, and they both made delicious gluten free food for me, and even had extra gluten free brownies ready for us. How awesome is that? I love it when people feed us food. I was there with Sister Leiss, she's from Germany, and she taught me the difference between the two stages of the dandelion because they are different in the German language. We also experienced an interesting drink called dandelion and burdock... gotta say it tasted exactly like cough medicine. 

We actually acquired that drink from an old man named Henry. We visited him for a few minutes and after he gave us this mysterious drink, we were leaving and shaking hands. I happened to be the last one to shake his hand and he proceeds to beg me "Please, sister, just give me a kiss, come on." Uhhhh.. Yup I didn't know how to react so I just nicely said "Sorry, I'm a missionary" and then ran away! But it's ok everyone, he had a cat to keep him company once we left. 

We also had exchanges with Glenfield this week. I got to bring Sister Crowley here to Coventry, and it was great! We had a cool experience together. We set a goal to find 6 people who wanted to learn about the church in the morning, and we also wanted to follow the spirit more completely. Our time to talk to people went by, and we had 5 people so far, and it was time to start heading back. So, I turned to her and told her that we needed to find that one more soul, but we needed to use the spirit to find him/her. So, we stood there in city centre, and started to walk towards a statue, and then we both saw this one guy wearing headphones. We said to each other "Let's talk to him". We did, and we ended up having a really nice conversation and he became our 6th person! It was awesome. 

Sister Crowley and I also decided to do some old school doorbell ditching to the bishop. It was pretty exciting, and we even left their family a little box of cookies. Annnnd yesterday it rained and we got to see an awesome rainbow!! 

Yeah well the time has come to go, but I love all of you! Keep on truckin, and remember to not get too friendly with crazy old men.

Sister Slack

Email time last week!

 I spilled some soup...

Exchange with Sister Crowley and Sister Alexandroia 

We made some fruit for our friend Uche, he needs vitamins while he studies

Talkin on the phoneee

Driving with sister Urbani

crazy cat (an Easter cat!) 

exchange with Sister Leiss!