Thursday, November 26, 2015

Week 75: "I need to read that"

Hi world! Today we got to go to a cool place called black rock. Turns
out the Derby area is way bigger than I thought, and we have loads of
cute little villages, but most of the, are at least 40 minutes away by
bus, so we don't get to go often. But it was beautiful and I think it
was the closest thing to a hike you can get in our mission, it was
actually uphill!

Sister Nielsen and I have seen some amazing miracles this week. We
have been teaching a family called the Joseph's. The mom and dad
aren't married, and they have 5 kids together. The three oldest ones
are preparing to be baptised, but progress has been slow because they
are hard to meet with. The mom hasn't really been interested, but
the dad does want to be baptised. The only thing blocking his
progress is the fact that they aren't married. On Wednesday we just
decided to randomly call Mr. Joseph. He answered and he asked "will you
call bishop? We want to get married on February 13. And talk to Sister
Summerfield, she is sorting it and our baptisms."

We were freaking out to say the least, turns out they all want to get
baptised now and they want the kids to get baptised in December. So
everyone pray for that! December 12 is the first magical day.

Saturday was also a lovely day. We did some street contacting in the
morning, planning in the middle of the day, and service in the
evening. We got to feed the homeless in the centre of Derby, and ya
know what? The Lord works in mysterious ways. We were put on hot drink
duty. The options were hot chocolate, tea, coffee, and juice. We
brought a recent convert with us named Aleksandra, and I leaned to her
and I said "hey, how do you make coffee? I've never made it before."
She looked confused, showed me how to do it, and then said "I thought
you were joking when you said you've never made coffee before, but now
I realise you were serious!" So there we were serving everyone, and
the man helping us with the drinks was named Andy. He took one look at
my badge and told us that his brother just got sealed to his wife in
the Preston temple, and that he is a member too! He just hasn't been
to church in a few years. We had a great conversation and we'll see
him this week :)

On the streets as sister Nielsen and I walk along like the cool people
we are, we sometimes ask people what makes them happy. We stopped this
one guy named Robin, and he said "everything." He is just one happy
guy! We invited him to church, and he said he would love to come. He
is half Christian and half Hindu, and so we weren't sure what to
expect when Sunday came around.

Sunday morning, there he was! He showed up about 10 minutes late, but
he made it to church! He stayed all 3 hours and he loved it. I showed
him the Book of Mormon for the first time and he said "yes I need to
have a read of that!" It was so amazing to see how open he was, and
how well he fit in.

The Lord has many prepared people out there for us to reach out to. I
know that we are God's children, and that we are here because He loves
us. I said last week I'd include more about the Elder Ballard
conference, so here is a quote I loved from it. "When we have a tough
day, go to Gethsemane in your mind. Ponder and think of the life and
ministry of the Jesus Christ, our best friend. Our problems will
shrink, and strength will come, and our faith increases. Let your mind
go with him." He then pulled out a picture of the Savior and said "on
mornings I know are going to be hard, I look at him and think 'yep, I
can do it.' "  let us always remember to "look to God, and live."
(Alma 37:47)

Much love,
Sister Slack

Sleepover for Elder Ballard

Sisters at zone meeting. I love sisters :)

Monday, November 16, 2015

Week 74: Find a penny and pick it up

Hey world!

It has been a wonderful week. Transfers happened this week, and Sister
Grant and I were separated, and I have been sent off to Derby! I am
now with Sister Nielsen, she has been on he mission only for 6 weeks
and she is a fireball! We already get along great and are having fun.
We are so unified that we already say the same things at the same time
haha. She is from Orem, Utah and she even went to BYU! My
expectations? We are going to dominate Derby.

Before I left Nuneaton, Sister Grant and I got to teach a guy named
Victor for the first time. He is from Pakistan, and he is Christian!
That is a miracle itself, and we got to teach him the restoration. At
the end of the lesson he told us "if I study this and I know it is
true, I will do all I can to follow it." He has so much faith, and it
was a nice reminder that we do need to be fully committed, not just

Sister Grant and I also tried to make gluten free cookies that we
could give to people, and I learned that baking was not my strong
point.. They smelled nice, and they looked like cookies, but that's
about it. They tasted weird and fell apart. In the end it turned out
that we had made about 30+ cookies, and that was only half the
batter... When I got transferred I just left them for Sister Grant to
enjoy :)

In Derby we got to do some finding, and one day we met a ginger guy
pushing a bike. I stopped him and he said "whoa, you scared me, I was
watching to see if that lad was going to pick up that penny, because
find a penny pick it up, and all day you'll have good luck! And if he
didn't get it, I wanted to pick it up." We eventually moved up so he
could pick up the penny, and he was happy...a little too happy. Turns
out he had been smoking some weed and been wandering around. He was a
nice guy though, and I'm pretty sure he told us he belonged to his own
religion he made up on the spot.

Saturday, we had the incredible opportunity to meet Elder Ballard.
Yup, the apostle. It was amazing, I even got to ask him a question.
I'd tell you all about it, but alas the time has run short again. Next
time I'll share! Know that the spirit in the room was incredible, and
that Jesus Christ's church definitely is on the earth.

Sister Slack
(Comment from Sister Slack's mom: Sister Slack (Lara) didn't tell me who was in this picture. Sister Slack is wearing glasses and Sister Grant is on the far right- I will update when I know their names)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Week 73: Mud and Service

Hey people I love!
This week has been full of adventure. It was one of those weeks where everything out of the ordinary happened. To start, it was a week full of rain. You're probably thinking "that's normal for England". That's probably true, but it finally hit the part of autumn where now it rains every day. This means there is a lot more mud on the roads, and that bike paths turn into little streams. Sister Grant and I didn't have mud guards on our bikes up to this point, and we figured we'd be fine and save ourselves £3.50. This attitude worked out until Thursday, when the heavens opened and water would not stop. We went to an area to stop by a recent convert and a few members. I looked at the map and noticed that there was a lovely bike path that seemed to take us directly to our next destination!
Great idea, right? Wrong. That bike path was literally all mud. We could only bike a few feet, and I turned around and asked "Sister Grant, should we just take the long way?" And she said, "nah." So we trudged on in the mud, and it turns out the path got smaller and smaller until it was literally just a line of mud surrounded by spiky plants, and it eventually led to a farm. It was good fun. The next day we went out and bought mud guards. 

We had the opportunity to do lots of service this week. We stopped by a less active we'd never met before, and she accepted our offer to come back and help her out! Her name is Jannette. We helped her clean her front room and fold all of her family's laundry. After we left from cleaning her house, we felt a bit awkward and weren't sure why. Later that same day we helped out a lovely less active clean all the mold off of her walls! Her name is Cherise. We destroyed the mold with lots of bleach, but it looked and felt soo much better after we had finished the job. After this service project, we felt happy and like we had done some good in the Nuneaton world!

After we left Cherise's flat, I pondered the difference between helping Jannette and Cherise. Why did we feel weird after Jannette, but not Cherise? I realized then it was because of gratitude. Cherise was so grateful for our help, and she made it known. She was so happy that we had helped her and she definitely felt relieved that we had gotten rid of the mold. Jannette's attitude was a bit different. She seemed slightly annoyed that we were helping, and then when we had to leave she expressed she felt we hadn't done very much. Now I'm not one to look for praise or to expect anything from someone when we help them out, but the difference in feelings was clear. I learned that an attitude of gratitude not only affects our own perspective on life, but also affects the feelings of those around us. I definitely felt like I understood a little bit more about the 10 lepers. We are always happy to help, and both Cherise and Jannette needed it. We were glad that we were able to make a small difference, even if we couldn't see all of the impact.
We got to see Sabrina again this week! She is incredible. We spoke about a little bit of everything, but the spirit was strong in the lesson. She had been reading from the Book of Mormon in random places, and it had just flipped open to Alma 36. This is the chapter where Alma the Younger tells his conversion story, and it really hit home with Sabrina. She was so excited to share with us what she learned and that she really felt it was meant for her. It is so cool to see the hand of God in other people's lives!
It was Bonfire Night on Thursday, and on Friday we got to go to a little bonfire party! Nothing like celebrating the death of Guy Fawkes. There were so many fireworks lit off over the weekend. We would bike home every night in the dark and it would scare us sometimes when these giant explosions would happen right behind us, but we also felt like we were in a movie. 
Darren came back from holiday this week! He is our ginger friend who is learning about the gospel, and he came to church this week. We taught him about the ten commandments. We teach them using hand signs so they are easy to remember, and the 8th commandment is "thou shalt not steal". The hand sign shows that they used to chop off your thumbs if you stole stuff in the old days. He said to us "well they can still do that today. I can just send a dog after people!" Watch out world. Darren might get a thumb eating dog.
That's it for now, but I love being a missionary!
Sister Slack 

Ginger power!

Last Pday we hung out at the Brown's

Walking through fields.. this was the easier bit with not as much mud

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Week 72: Happy November!

Hey outside world! Time to tell you all about our awesome week last
week. On Monday we got to feed all the lovely ducks in the river that
we bike by! It was great fun, and the elders brought loads of bread
for them. It's crazy how throwing bread like a frisby at some ducks
can be so entertaining. They would pretty much swarm and chase the
bread around. Yay ducks!

Two weeks ago we did a family history day, and we met loads of people
from it. We finally had our first appointment with someone from it
that didn't cancel or not show up! We met with this guy named Aaron in
his flat, and It turns out he is the nicest person. He is into strong
man competitions (like heavy weight lifting) and is massive, but a big
softie. As we taught and testified of the restoration, we felt the
spirit enter the room. When we introduced him to the Book of Mormon,
he told us "yeah, I'm definitely in need of guidance." He seemed to
just absorb everything we said, and agreed to prepare for baptism.
He's awesome.

One day we were just walking down the street and we stopped a Scottish
guy. He looked at our badges and told us he knew about the church and
that he holds the Aaronic Priesthood. Both Sister Grant and I were
like... Wait, is this guy being serious? Or is he one of those crazy
people that don't know what they are talking about? Turns out he is
legitimate! His parents raised him in the church but when he joined
the military he drifted away. He explained that he goes to church
every time he goes home to Scotland, so there is definitely some nice
potential here! The only awkward thing is that he told us his name,
but we aren't exactly sure what he said. So we are calling him Tim.

Sadly this week was filled with more bike troubles. It seems like we
can't get away from them! Sister Grant and I both got punctures in our
back tires, so that left us stranded to take the bus for one night
before we could fix them. As we were waiting for the bus, an older
lady came and stood next to where we were sitting. Sister Grant kindly
offered to give up her seat to her. The lady rejected it, but then
this lady seemed to be hooked on talking to us! Prime missionary
opportunity. We eventually got to set up a time to see her the next
day at her home. She is from Germany and her name is Bahereh. It was
crazy though, we all got on the same bus and a former investigator
named Vierra also got on the bus. She is also from Germany, and so we
introduced them and they were like instant friends! It's a fun world
to live in.

The next day when we got to see Bahereh we showed up to her home and
got to introduce her and her husband to the gospel, and then they
decided to introduce us to their beliefs. That is how you get trapped
in someone's home. They are of the Baha'i faith. They tried to explain
a lot of it, and even after being there for 2 hours Sister Grant and I
still aren't exactly sure what they believe.. But hey they are really
nice and lovely people! She even made a cake for us :) too bad I don't
eat cake. I got fruit instead.

Kerry is doing amazing. We taught her about fasting because Sunday was
fast Sunday. As we explained it to her, she got so excited to try it
out! She decided to fast to overcome smoking, and we decided to fast
with her. We told her about fast offerings, and showed her the tithing
slip you fill out with it. She looked at it and told us she remembered
seeing those in her childhood! It's amazing what people can remember.
She came to church yesterday and was able to remember to fast :) she
is amazing, and we love her.

Saturday we got to do some awesome service for the Browns and chop
some firewood! It is the day I will always remember as the day I
learned how to use an ax. Yes, I may have missed the first 5 times I
swung, but eventually I learned how to aim and things worked out
alright. I still have all of my limbs, and so does my companion! That
night the Browns brought us a pumpkin to carve, and Sister Grant had
her first pumpkin carving experience. We carved into an 'avatar, the
last air bender' pumpkin. It's sweet and is living in our window now.

Missionary life is incredible! Heavenly Father teaches me things every
day, and I try to enjoy each moment the best I can. Miracles happen
all the time, big and small. As it says in Mormon 9: 19 "And behold, I say
unto you he changeth not; if so he would cease to be God; and he
ceaseth not to be God, and is a God of miracles."

Sister Slack

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