Happy Belated Thanksgiving Everyone!
I’ve loved all the pictures you have sent me of the occasion and it looks like so much fun! I miss you all and our redneck ways so much! I’m sorry I missed all the being grateful together, and all the delicious Thanksgiving food. I got to celebrate Thanksgiving with a young woman who is from Minnesota, so she made an entire Thanksgiving dinner by herself and invited us over to eat it and it was SO GOOD. Thank heavens for Americans and all their fattening food.
Our week was…..crazy. Firstly, I had to go to Birmingham on Tuesday morning for the trainers meeting, and it started at 9:30. Now, we are just about the farthest away from the mission office that you can get while remaining in mission boundaries, so you can imagine how much travel time it takes to get from Swansea to Birmingham. We were told we needed to take a train to Cardiff where some other sisters would pick us up and drive us the remaining 2 1/2 hours to the office, but the APs didn’t make travel arrangements until everyone was supposed to be in, so we had to call them and have them look up train times for us because we couldn’t leave our flat and we didn’t have wifi. I wasn’t too excited when they called us at 10:30 Monday night to say we needed
to take a 4:50 train. Together with the hour it takes to walk to the station, and the hour it takes to get ready in the morning, that meant we were getting up at 3 am! Fun times. Actually, walking through Swansea that early was kind of scary, I’m not gonna lie.
The trainers meeting was very good though, even though I was scared to death the whole time. Three other people from my group are training, two sisters and an elder, and it was fun to see them again and we could share anxieties together. 😓
Sister Gjevik and I have been really distressed since last Sunday knowing that we can’t stay together another transfer, so at the beginning of the week we were a little bit unmotivated. But once we got over that, it’s crazy how many miracles we’ve seen in our short little last week together. Every single day has been filled with miracle after miracle, some big, some small; mostly big though. Sunday we had another young woman walk into the church who isn’t a member, and people who haven’t been progressing for a long time all the sudden just started rolling forward top speed, just in this last week. We’ve been so blessed together in this area, and I just hope that next transfer my companion and I will be worthy enough in the eyes of the Lord to continue to witness miracles like this.
On Saturday one of the recent converts wanted to go finding with us, so we took her tracting. It ended up that we only had time to knock one door, but the woman behind that door was another miracle. We told her we were from the church around the corner and we were just going around showing a short video about Christmas and she said she’d like to watch it. Then she asked if her daughter could watch it too, so she ran into the house and came back with one of the cutest little girls I’ve ever seen. They said they had just been making Christmas decorations when we knocked so watching a Christmas message would be perfect! She stood in the doorway and hugged her little girl while they watch the video and I could tell she was feeling the Spirit. She just had a lovely smile on her face the whole time. And then she asked if anyone could come to the church, because she’d gone to Sunday school when she was a little girl and she really liked it. So we invited her to church and she came yesterday! It was the children’s program and the Spirit was so lovely and strong, and she wants to continue to come so she is going to try and change her job so she can come on time each week.
Man, I’m just feeling really weird lately. Maybe it’s knowing I’m going to start training, maybe it’s because it’s the holidays, I don’t know. And I don’t even know exactly how I feel, just kind of tired, but nervous, and excited, and unsure all at the same time. But the more I’m pondering it and trying to figure out how I feel, the more I realise how much I absolutely love being a missionary. There’s nothing else like it in the whole world, and I wouldn’t trade the experiences I’m having here for anything, even when I miss my all of you and my home so much, and even when it’s hard, it’s still so amazing to be a missionary. I love serving the people and serving the Lord, and I love the friendships I’m making here with other missionaries, because I know I get to know and serve with each of them for a reason. I have many close friends that I’ve made being on my mission so far. It’s funny how serving together and being put through really rough things together makes us grow so close to each other, because we just have to rely on one another and the Lord to allow us to succeed, because literally it’s all we’ve got. It’s so weird and kind of amazing when I think about it. Just a bunch of 18-21 year old kids with no body but each other for direct support for two years. And somehow we all manage to take care of each other and survive quite nicely, and do amazing things along the way. I just don’t understand how it actually WORKS sometimes. It’s like a whole corporation of 200 totally inexperienced kids making almost impossible things happen everyday. Logically, this shouldn’t be working at all. And here I am and I get to experience such a powerful lifestyle. It’s just amazing!
We got our dodge calls last night and Sister Gjevik is going to Stanford in England as a sister training leader, so I get to stay in Swansea and train! I’m so relieved. So now I just have to go to the mission home tomorrow and pick up my girl. I’m excited to meet her and learn where she is from and get to know her. Even though I am really nervous. I woke up yesterday morning and my stomach just hurt because I was so nervous, I couldn’t eat anything all day, and then we had a dinner appointment and when I got back I just puked it all up. I also started crying after coordination yesterday because the elders were teasing me and I got so scared. I was laughing at the same time though because we did Book of Mormon dodge to predict what was happening to each of us during the next transfer, and my verse was about Ammon and his brethren when they were taken and bound and cast into prison. So hopefully nothing to that effect happens this transfer…..
I hope someone will update the mission blog this week because then you can see pictures of me and my girl before next p-day. I can’t wait to meet her tomorrow! 😅😅😅
I am sure you all have seen the new Christmas initiative video the Church has come out with, and we are all so excited to use it to proselyte! The mission ordered a whole bunch of Light the World pass along cards, and last year the missionaries ran out of cards because they gave so many out, so this year they ordered a whole bunch more, so now they are pushing to run out again, so that there aren’t any cards left sitting in the flats after Christmas. So now everything we do is with the Christmas initiative. We showed to video to several people the day it came out and challenged the people to follow the initiative to do 25 acts of service over 25 days. We are all doing the challenge starting on Thursday. You probably know more about this than I do, but the Church is trying to break the world record for people performing acts of service, and so far, just with the missionary force they have 3/4 of what they need to do it.
So now I want to challenge everyone to take part in the initiative and do an act of service for someone else every day in December, if you haven’t decided to already. I know that following the Saviours example and serving others will help us become more like Him, it will identify us as disciples of the Lord, and it will make us more worthy to be called the children of God. We will bless the lives of others and our lives will also be blessed. Our spirituality will grow and our divine character will deepen.
I hope we can all make it a goal this Christmas season to become more like our Saviour Jesus Christ. He is the light of the world, and so are we. O how I love my Saviour! What a wonderful blessing the Father bestowed upon us when He gave us His Only Begotten Son as an exemplar, a leader, and a Redeemer. He is the light, the life, and the hope of the world. Let’s all make this the most spiritual Christmas we’ve had so far, and I promise we will never regret it as long as we live.
I think you already know how much I love you all!
Have a wonderful week!
Love, Marie 😘