This week Elder Robinson changed my life when he told me that J-walking isn’t actually illegal in England. So my life has gotten infinitely better since then.
Tuesday we taught a JW lady. Well, actually, she tried to teach us, but it went the other way around. It was rather aggravating when she just couldn’t understand that Jehovah was actually Jesus Christ, not Heavenly Father. Also, she thought Mormons were racist, but we quite cleared that up. I just can’t see how someone can have complete faith in God then believe that the Garden of Eden was a mistake God made in His Plan, that He then had to fix.
Brits give really weak handshakes, sadly. I think I’ve cracked almost every person’s hand that I’ve shook so far.
The most exciting thing that happened this week is that we have two people that are going to be baptised! It was the first time I had ever challenged someone to baptism before, and it was kind of scary. They are a father and son named Kevin and Jordy. Jordy is 20 and Kevin is in his 50s somewhere, but they are both so accepting of the gospel that it’s quite amazing. It almost seems too easy to teach them. They are supposed to be baptized on August 6th, and if it all goes well, they will by our first baptisms!
I made myself laugh all afternoon on Wednesday. So I told you about the Book of Mormon challenge (I think), and everyone calls the time we have set apart to hand out Book of Mormons “BOM-ing”, and when I found out we were going to “BOM” Shady Lane I started singing the song absently, “The Naughty Lady of Shady Lane” not knowing how appropriate it was until I got to “has hit the town like a bomb.” I personally thought it was pretty good.
I don’t know if I told you about the office Elders, so I will. They are two Elders serving service missions for just one year, and they serve in the mission office the whole time, so they are in our ward, since the mission office is in our area (right next to the church, in fact). Well, they turned into a trio this week because an elder from another area tried to jump a fence and lacerated his foot in the process. It was one of those tall green metal ones with spikes at the top…..He didn’t realize what had happened until he looked up and saw his shoe stuck on a spike. So now he’s waiting around immobile in the office for the time until he goes home next week. I guess he came down on one of the spikes, it stuck all the way through his foot, and then he fell forward, so it ripped back through his heel.
People here say pop a lot. “We’ll pop back in a few days.” And the other day I uncosciously said it to someone, then realized it, and thought, ‘No! No popping!’ It’s slightly disturbing how fast things rub off on you. And as much as I like Britain and my mission, I really don’t want to come home speaking like a Brit.
Tuesday evening we went to Tamworth to help the Elders there with a chapel tour they were doing for bunch of Sea Scout Cadets, which are a bunch of 11 year old kids in this scout troop to introduce them to the navy. (That’s another thing, they never say church here. Here the church building are called chapels, not churches.) Anyway, the scouts had to do an activity to earn a religion badge, so they set up an evening to come learn about our church. It was really good, and the kids and the leaders all asked a lot of good questions, and we got to teach them a lot about the church.
A lot of the time here before sacrament meeting, they have people sing the prelude music, instead of play it. And the ward mission leader likes the missionaries to sing it, because it brings a special spirit into the meeting, espcecially when we’re trying to get the ward involved in missionary work. Well, I was really scared for this Sunday, because Sister Christy is tone deaf and can’t carry a tune. (as much as I love her, opening hymn in companion study is murder). And the office elders…that’s a dodgy picture. But luckily the elder who lacerated his foot is from Samoa, and sings really well, and he and I were both able to sing loud enough to make it sound good.
They’ve added a new rule to the mission that we have to wear mosquito repellant starting at 6 every evening, and it’s kind of gross because the stuff they give us smells a bit weird, and it makes things sticky.
This coming Saturday we are moving to Harborne! Yay! (Hopefully) We haven’t been transferred (those are next Tuesday) but remember how I told you about how terrible the bathroom is in our flat, and how we think we’re going to fall through the floor each time we step out of the shower? Well the landlord is finally going to have it repaired, so they are going to renovate the entire bathroom, and it is going to take them at least a week, which means that we won’t have access to showers and things like that, so we have to more to a different flat for that time, and the closest one is in Harborne. (It’s to the southwest of us on my mission map.) They have a flat there that isn’t being used at the moment that is apparently really nice. But that means that we have to sleep there, take the train or bus back to our area every morning to proselyte, then travel back the same way in the evening to get in our flat before 9. It’ll be okay, it will just mean that we don’t have as much time to work in our area this week. Harborne is actually the AP’s area, but because they’re APs they live at the mission office, which is in our area, Wylde Green. And they have to drive out to Harborne every day to proselyte. I wish we could just switch apartments for a week, but I guess that would mean four people moving, instead of just two. But it’ll be an adventure, and nice to see another place besides Wylde Green.
Because we are “The Wylde Green Sisters” as everyone calls us, (because we’re serving in Wylde Green) we get to help out Sister Leppard a lot with all the stuff she has to do. So when there is a meeting of some kind, there is always a meal that has to be prepared for the people involved, so we get to help her with that (which is nice because all the leftovers we get to split–aka, fight over–with the APs). So it’s lots of fun getting to know her better, and we get to see President Leppard all the time too.
Next week will be my first transfer (even though I’m probably not getting transferred), but the general idea is that this is the first transfer that I will experience here. Also, tomorrow is the first Zone Conference for me as well, so I’m excited to see how that goes.
Things have also been getting better too since an Elder that was serving from the ward in Alpine got back this week. His name is Ammon Robertson, and the bishop has asked him to work with us to help get the ward going on missionary work. The bishop is trying to “light a fire under the ward” and he wants us to help. And Ammon is still in missionary mode since he only got back about four days ago, so its working out great. He is going to come with us and help us teach Jordy since they are about the same age, so that will be really good I think.
This week our district leader and his exchange companion were attacked by a group of chavs and got beat up a bit, but they’re fine. I thought Elder Robinson was kidding when he told me about the chavs making advances on people, but I guess he wasn’t. I think Elders have a very different experience than Sisters do though, and I don’t think any would ever try anything on us. Sister Christy’s pretty tough, even if I’m getting weaker and wimpier all the time.
The biking is getting a lot easier. Steep hills that we couldn’t bike up before are now bikeable! Which is such a relief, because now I feel like I can get around a lot better. I put the compass you sent me on the zipper of my backpack, so now I can pull it around and look at it when I need to, and it’s really helpful.
Well I’m almost out of time, and I’ll try to send an other email with the pictures from this week. The Lord is blessing us so much here, and I can tell He’s blessing you too. He’s so good to us all the time, and I feel like I don’t deserve even a little bit of what He does for me, but I just pray I can live up to the blessings I receive, and hopefully bring blessings to others.
I love you all, and I’m so thankful for the good people that you are, and that you all do your jobs and church callings. Sometimes I can’t wait to be just a plain member again so that I can help out the missionaries the way I now know they need to be helped out.
Thanks for all your prayers. I feel EXTREMELY strengthened by all of them, very literally.
I love you all so much!