How about I relate to you a rather embarrassing experience.
Tuesday was transfer day and new missionary day, and let me just say, the day was CRAZY. Those two events don’t normally happen on the same day, and for good reason. There were SO many missionaries running around and getting mixed up and there wasn’t enough room for all of them, and we had to keep the transferring missionaries outside the buildings the whole time, and help the assistants take care of the greenie orientation the whole time, and it was positively chaotic. Plus I was feeling sick, and there was so much stress, that, long story short, I pulled an Elder Lewis. That’s right, I passed out. But luckily it was during lunch and Sister Christy and I were the only ones out in the foyer when it happened. I just remember waking up halfway on the floor and halfway on the couch and all the old sister missionaries were around me putting wet rags on the back of my neck.
Unluckily, however, Sister Leppard drug a chair outside the church and made me sit in it to get some fresh air, and there were TONS of elders out there hanging around. You can picture the door opening and about 30 elders look as I wobble out and sit in he chair. It was SO EMBARRASSING. I’m sure I turned every shade of pink and red, but Sister Leppard said it brought colour back to my face. Then she waved Elder Wall and Elder Lewis back over and told them what happened and asked them to give me a blessing since I had to travel a really long ways before the day was over. So I got a blessing right there in the parking lot sitting in a chair, with about 30 other Elders watching from the sidelines. You know, not conspicuous or anything, not embarrassing at all, not attention grabbing, not unusual for the Mormon missionaries. It didn’t help that Sister Leppard guarded the door so that no one would go in or out during the blessing and disrupt it.
The ironic thing was that it was Elder Lewis that gave me the blessing, and then when Elder Wall ran off to make me a sandwich, Elder Lewis spent a good while talking me through exactly how I would feel at each moment during the next hour-he being the expert by now-and all the other Elders who had watched thronged over, “Oh! Sister Wadsworth, what happened, are you all right?” SO EMBARRASSING. I mean, I was flattered that everyone was so concerned and showing attention, but really I just wanted to curl up and go to sleep. Even the Assistants in the midst of all their crazy duties found time to come over and ask if I was all right and if there was anything they could do.
Altogether it was a strange morning, and I as far as Sister Leppard knows, I am the first missionary to receive a priesthood blessing in the parking lot of the mission office with an audience of 30 elders. We took a district picture afterward and had to do one of Elder Lewis and I passed out. Hence why I look googly-eyed in the normal picture. I wasn’t quite back to normal yet.
My new area is Swansea in southern Wales. It is pronounced with a Z — Swan-zee. The coach ride (bus ride) there was about four and a half hours and I felt ill the whole time. The coaches are really big and make you feel seasick. Plus the roads are really windy. At one point I was sleeping and the driver almost crashed so he slammed on the brakes and sent all of us flying forward, so I woke up slamming sideways into the seats in front of me. I hope my dress didn’t fly up…
On the coach ride a bunch of the Elders stole my iPad when I was taking a nap and looking at all my pictures, and they wouldn’t believe me when I told them all these dark kids like Ira, Sara, and Hen were my siblings. This one Elder from New Zealand was like, “Seesta Wadswuth! What heppened tu yu? You’re lak, so pale!” They saw a picture of Sara and were like, “Your sister looks Mexican! Why’s she so dark?!” It’s so funny. And then I showed them a picture of you and they understood. But they didn’t get how half of us were white like dad and half were dark like you, and that we weren’t all just mixed.
The members are AMAZING too. It’s kind of unbelievable, but they are SO GOOD. Welsh people are really friendly and spunky and funny. I love it! Anyone will talk to you. They love talking, they are super funny, and spunky, and a lot of the time, very blunt, which is great. On the coach ride out here we stopped in another city to drop of missionaries for that zone, and there were members waiting at the bus station with bags of snacks to give out to the missionaries for their journey, and then at church on Sunday, members show up with bags of groceries to give to us. It’s so cool, and they love missionary work and will do anything to help you.
Yes, Swansea is a really nice place. I definitely like coastal cities a LOT better than inland cities, even though it rains a lot, and sometimes there is a lot of wind. I think it just seems fresher by the ocean. Swansea is the wettest city in the UK😬. My goodness, pray for me. But it’s okay if we’re walking, which we are because Sister Swapp’s bike is being used by someone else, because then you can use and umbrella and your not trying to pedal against the rain and wind. I don’t know if we will be able to ride if/when her bike comes though. Swansea’s got some HILLS. Constitution Hill is massive. So I don’t know if I’ll be doing much biking in this area, which is fine with me, because I like walking and it keeps me a LOT warmer than biking, (keeps breezes out of certain underskirt areas, you know….)
I love Sister Swapp! She’s from Sandy, Utah, and she’s been out for about 14 1/2 months. She’s really nice, and really good at missionary work. She’s kind of quiet, but once you get to know her, she’s really funny, and she’s got this funny sense of humour, so I guess we’re a lot alike, and we’ve been doing really well together so far. We both have the same style of working, which is great. I, find that even though our lives back at home are way different, we have a LOT of things in common otherwise. She has an identical twin, two other sisters, and one other brother. And she hates riding bikes, which is okay with me right now, because we probably couldn’t any ways with all the hills around Swansea, and the rain. Here is a picture of us Friday when we were walking beside the beach.
There used to be only two teams covering the Swansea area, but just this transfer they brought in another one, so now we have three teams in our ward. But so many people were transferred that there are only two people in this area that were here before, and they were both only here for a transfer before this. So there are six of us in Swansea, and we’re all new, so we basically are starting from scratch. The teaching pools are pretty much empty, the district leader is brand new, but we’re getting the hang of it and getting things going.
In our district are Sister Swapp and I, the zone leaders, and the district leader and his companion. The zone leaders are Elder Miner (California) and Elder Smith (Utah). The district leader is a black guy from South Africa named Elder Mthethwa and he’s super great and a really good missionary; and his companion is a greenie named Elder Varner, also from California.
We had district meeting the next day, and Elder Mthethwa is really good. We had a discussion and made some plans and goals for the transfer, and then I felt better. The next day, we did district finding and found a lot of good people, and then had some great appointments that day and the next, and things are looking really good now.
Since our districts teaching pool is pretty much empty right now, we had district finding on Friday, so we all met in City Centre and GQd (Golden Question) for an hour and a half, and found a LOT of really cool people. We played Finding Bingo to make it more fun, and then went and got kebabs afterward. Before we went to get food though, we were all standing in the city centre together talking and this guy walked up who Sister Swapp and I had talked to the day before; a young guy. Anyway, he started talking to us, and the Elders slowly backed away until they were breaking for it up the street, and totally LEFT us to the mercy of dear, sweet Rory. He started telling us about the holy grail, and Indiana Jones, and giving us a full reenactment of…something. And in the process he got down on one knee (talking REALLY) loud EVERYBODY looked at us, because they thought he was proposing to both of us. You know my laughing problem….I could hardly contain myself!!! I was trying SO HARD, and not succeeding very well. We finally escaped a minute later, because I basically started running away so I could lose it in a little bit more privacy. So we ran around the corner and ran up the street, just laughing like chickens to where the Elders were, and I really didn’t believe Elder Smith when he said, “Oops. Shoulda got you outa that one.”
Sister Swapp has only been here in Swansea for six weeks and been proposed to three times. We have one investigator who came to church on Sunday who is a little bit more interested in us than the gospel at the moment. We’ve tried giving him to the Elders, but he doesn’t want it. But he seemed a lot more interested in the gospel when he came to church, and he sat with the Elders, and afterward he had a lot of questions about different gospel principles, so it looks a lot more promising. We both didn’t want him to come to church, which is kind of bad. So we prayed that he wouldn’t come unless he had real intent, and he ended up coming, so we’ll see. But he lives in the same general area that we do, so we always check around before going up to our flat to make sure he isn’t around.
It’s really nice serving with the Elders, because we can switch off investigators and pass them back and forth if we need to, so it is helpful to find the ones that are actually really interested in the gospel.
It is definitely turning into Autumn here, but it’s nice. It isn’t extremely cold, but there is a nip to the air and the breezes are a little crisp. I’ve been eating pears because they’re on sale, and the taste definitely remind me of Autumn. It’s nice though. I like it when the seasons change because it means we’re moving on. But it’s sad at the same time. Moving on is just a part of life, and if we’re doing what’s right, we’ll always be moving on in a good way, and to better things. It makes me think that what’s behind isn’t nearly as good as what’s ahead.
A member was talking to us last week, and she was saying that she was so jealous of the blessings we would receive when we got home. She said there are such great blessings waiting that we can’t imagine them right now. I like thinking that, but I’m not doing it for the blessings, I’m just doing it because I love the Lord.
America really likes to celebrate, and I’m so glad! I just love America! England only celebrates Christmas and Easter. They don’t have Valentines, Thanksgiving, Halloween (like I care about that one, but it’s a good excuse to make treats and eat candy). And at home we’ve got all these extras like Presidents Day, Labor Day, donut day, pie day, ice cream day, Independence Day and then on the weeks we don’t have a holiday, we have a BBQ, or a cookout, or dessert party, or something else, just so we can celebrate. I’ve heard though that because Christmas is one of the only ones, it’s really decked out here. I guess we’ll see in December.
Today we went to a dessert restaurant called Kaspa’s. Literally, they just sell desserts–ice cream sundaes, dessert waffles and crepes with ice cream, brownies. I got a pistaschio chocolate sundae. It was amazing.
I love you all so much! Please don’t ever stop going to church, and fulfilling your callings, and if the missionaries bring investigators to church, shake their hands, but don’t JUST shake their hands. TALK to them and take care of them. And don’t make the missionaries eat a ton when you feed them, and never stop praying and reading the scriptures. Everyone is brighter with the gospel.