I’m so happy to hear that Jared and Laurel had their baby this week!!! That’s the third person to join the family since I’ve been gone 😉
I’m so sorry I couldn’t tell you anything about what happened the week before, but things have been just crazy here, and I didn’t have time to write a proper email. I sent some pictures, but none of my explanations made it through. The conference with Elder Cook went really well. All of the missionaries had to travel the day before and spend the night with others closer to Solihull, so we left right after church and took a train to Cardiff, then a bus to Newport Wales, and then another train to Birmingham. All together the travel cost for each of us was about 60 quid. The mission office added that much to each missionary’s account for travel though, so it was fine. On the train they wouldn’t take either of my cards because they were both American, and they were going to kick me off the train, but a couple of the elders put their money together and paid for my ticket. I was SO grateful and made sure to pay them back.
The travel arrangements in general were REALLY out of whack, and the zone leaders were super stressed out with trying to get everyone from Wales hundreds of miles across Britain safely and on time, without anyone getting hurt or list. Elder Miner just about wore holes in the carpet pacing back and forth Saturday night making frantic phone calls. They got up really early Sunday morning to go to the train station to check train times for everyone, and then spent the rest of the morning before church calling everyone and telling them when and where they needed to be. I sat next to Elder Miner in gospel principles and he was fidgeting and shaking the WHOLE time because he was so stressed. After the class I tried to calm him down, and he just jumped up and started pacing again and wringing his hands and checking his phone and breathing really hard, and basically having an anxiety attack. When I asked him to tell me about it so he could let it all out, he just burst into tears and I felt so bad! Then he just stood there and told me about the whole ordeal while he bawled at the back of the room. I guess I didn’t realise how much pressure it is for the priesthood to have to worry about and take care of everyone. They called us literally every 20 minutes of our four hour journey across country after they’d put us on the train to check where we were at, and to have us check the times at other stations along the way. It was a little bit hectic, but we all made it safe! I quite enjoyed the journey though; train travel is pretty nice, and we met most of the other missionaries coming from Wales at the station at Newport and rode together to Birmingham.
When we got there some sisters there picked us up and we drove to the church building in Solihull and spent an hour and a half cleaning it with 20 others, and then helped the APs set up the chapel for the meeting. It was fun to see so many missionaries getting ready for an apostle, and there was a lot of fun and laughs, and a lot of excited reunions. I enjoyed it a lot. 😊 We spent the night with some sisters in Harborne that night, and left early the next morning to get to Solihull, because they wanted everyone there an hour early. We heard some wonderful things from the apostle, and felt a wonderful, sweet spirit. All had a precious experience.
Afterward we took lunch together as a mission, and that was more of fun reunions.
The journey back we just had to take a coach from the Solihull chapel ALL THE WAY to Swansea Wales, aka, a five hour ride. Everyone got car sick. It was awful. We were al just so tired and so sick that we fell asleep, and there were a lot of us in that coach. I’m not sure how appropriate it was, but there really wasn’t anything we could do about it. 😐
Tuesday night the STLs stayed the night with us because sister Gjevik and Sister Vousden had a meeting in Birmingham the next morning, so we decided to go on splits. They left at 5:30 Wednesday morning to get there in time for their meeting, and Sister Berrett and I spent the day together working in Swansea. Ive taken to mapping out our routes at the end of the day, just to see how far we’ve traveled; Tuesday Sister Gjevik and I walked over ten miles, and Wednesday I dragged Sister Berrett around for another ten. I sure sleep good at night. Last week altogether, we walked 50 miles. It felt like a lot longer, but I guess it wasn’t.
Out our kitchen window we can see he back windows of a bunch of other houses, and last week Sister Gjevik walked into the kitchen and FLIPPED OUT when she saw a bunch of Norwegian flags hanging in one of them. So the next day we went and knocked on the door and met a nice Norwegian man named Fredrik. He and Sister Gjevik spoke to one another in Norwegian for about 30 minutes on the door while I stood there awkwardly, and smiled, and in English testified to what my companion had said. We are going to start teaching him this week. Sometimes the Lord works in mysterious ways to lead us to people.
On Thursday we had district meeting. We discussed having real intent in the work we are doing, and also in the way we communicate with Heavenly Father. Having real intent is what is going to bring success, no matter what area of our lives we are currently focusing on. When we pray to Heavenly Father especially, it is of the utmost importance that we are as sincere and intent as possible.
After the meeting I made pancakes for everyone, and became the favorite person in the district really quickly. Elder Miner and Elder Smith agreed that “Sister Wadsworth is the sweetest person!” Yeah, I know…💁🏻 No. I’m kidding.
Saturday night we had a baptism for a young woman, Kayleigh. Elders Mthethwa and Varner had been teaching her. It was such a beautiful baptism, and I can’t believe how prepared she was to begin learning the gospel!
Afterwards we had a ward trunk or treat and it was a GREAT turn out. We had eight investigators there, not including the children of one family, and they all had a GREAT time. We all had so much fun, and it was just a really good night for everyone. It was especially great to see our investigators getting to know each other and the members, and becoming comfortable with one another. We even had three of our recent converts there teaching some of our investigators gospel principles just in their conversation. Let’s just say, the night was a great success, and our district felt so blessed. We agreed that it was one of the great times when we felt like we were actually making a difference as missionaries.
I gave Sister Howell the peanut butter cookie recipe and she got super excited. She said she is going to make it this week and bring us some on Sunday. 😋 Today she made us spiced pumpkin cake. 👌🏼 I love people that love food. Also, I’m going to get extremely fat. 🍪🍫🍰🍦🍩🍪 But hey! I’ll need the insulation for the winter so, I’m fine with it, as long as I slim back down in the spring. Actually, I’m not sure I could gain weight accurately if I go back and forth between being stressed and calm, because stress makes me shred.
Today Elder Mthethwa left. He has to go home early because he has visa issues. It’s only about three four weeks early though. But we didn’t get a chance to go to dinner as a district one last time because we had the trunk or treat on Saturday night, so we went to breakfast this morning instead. Kayleigh who was baptised on Saturday also came with us. Here are a few pictures.
Well, I’d like to leave you with a quote I heard by Brigham Young this week. It was given in a talk by President Hinckley some time ago titled Let Not You Heart Be Troubled. President Young said, “The worst fear that I have about this people is that they will get rich in this country, forget God and his people, wax fat, and kick themselves out of the Church and go to hell.”
Yes, I about died laughing when I listened to it. President Hinckley also talked about America a lot in this address and I would highly recommend it to everyone if you are feeling discouraged about her current state of affairs.
But with this I have been studying humility this week, and I have decided that humility is one of the most important Christlike qualities that I desire. It is something that I am not very good at. I feel like I am a very proud person a lot of the time, but humility allows us to grow closer to God, and to become more dependent on His power, and less dependent upon our own.
I love my Heavenly Father with all my heart, and I know that without Him I am nothing.
I love you all and pray that you will have a wonderful week and feel His love for you.