I hope everyone is excited for Christmas, because I am! I can’t wait to talk to you next week! 😍
Last Sunday I was sitting in sacrament meeting and all the sudden my throats just hurt really bad. It felt like it does when I get allergies all the sudden, but ten times worse, and by the end of the afternoon, I had an enormous headache and was coughing and hacking just like a smoker. I think I had strep throat.
On Monday night we had to take the bus to Merthyr again and this time it was really scary because it was dark, and the driver was speeding, and he almost hit like five people. I was convinced we would never make it off of that bus alive, and I think Sister Romero was just as sacred as I was because she had her eyes closed the whole time. It didn’t make matters any better that we were still recovering from our bout of stomach issues from the week before, so we both were wiped out by the time we got to Merthyr. Then, lo and behold, what did the STLs have for us to eat when we got there? Pizza. The exact thing that had made me sick the week before. Oh joy.
I slept pretty awful that night too because I coughed all night and could barely get up in the morning. Then I found out I was supposed to be singing at the COMBINED zone conference later that day. I think everyone hates me. I had to leave the conference several times because I was coughing so much and I couldn’t breath, but somehow I managed to sing in our four-person choir, and it sounded great! After that I resumed my coughing.
Zone conference was SO GOOD though, as it always is. Here is a video of President Leppard “handing out” Christmas presents to all the missionaries afterward.
This week at our zone conference the APs made a wonderful announcement. NO MORE GQing!!! Wahoo! I hate GQing. They’ve come up with a new system call the Powerful Approaches system, consisting of a power statement, testimony, and an inspired question. So for instance, if we were going to powerfully approach (PA) someone about the Restoration, one of us would give a power statement: “We’re sharing the message about how Jesus Christ has restored His original Gospel to the earth today through a living prophet, who speaks with God to lead the people.” Then the other would testify that they knew the Gospel was restored, and that there was a prophet on earth today. Then the other would speak again, and ask an inspired question, such as, “What would it mean to you if you knew that there is a living prophet on the earth today, who communicates with God?” And it’s really cool! Because the very first thing we’re doing is teaching, then someone testifies and just slams them with the Spirit, then we ask a question, and it makes them think, and give the Spirit a chance to work inside them. We’ve seen a TON of success with it just this week. It makes talking to people so much easier.
After the conference I was feeling about ten times worse. I could barely walk because I had such a big headache, so the zone leaders gave me a blessing and then I was well enough to walk with the others to the train station, and I got progressively better after that. I slept like a baby that night and only woke up once to cough. The rest of the week I felt much better, the only thing was that my voice didn’t work very well, and I still had a bit of a cough, but MUCH better than I had previously. I’m so grateful for the priesthood, in the blessing I was told that if I had faith and looked to Christ, remembering His suffering in the Garden of Gethsemane, I would be made well over time, according to my faith. I felt the Spirit very strongly during the blessing, and I could really feel that Elder Miner was being guided by the Spirit.
A couple of days later Elder Holbrook got my illness, and if I looked anything like he does, I feel bad for the people who saw me, because he looks TERRIBLE!!! His eyes are like different sizes and they’re all red and glazed over, and he can’t shut his mouth because he can’t breathe through his nose.
So I was most of the way being over strep throat and a cough, and then Elder Varner got food poisoning from the ward Christmas party. And I ate the same thing he did. So a day after he started throwing up, I did too, so I kinda got stuck with two things at once. Sunday morning I woke up and felt like I was going to throw up, but I had absolutely nothing that I could have, so I didn’t. We left for church an hour and a half early, because I had to walk so slow and take so many breaks. When we got there Elder Varner fed me some tums, and gave them to me periodically throughout the day, so I felt okay enough to sit through church and coordination. Once that got over I felt worse than I did that morning, so we got a ride home and I immediately slept for two hours, and after that I couldn’t sit or stand, so we did weekly planning and call ins laying in our beds.
So our district is taking quite a hit at the moment. Half of us are out of action, but we’re hoping with a new week we’ll feel like new people!
Do you remember Kayleigh? The one who was baptized in October. She’s the one I’ll be skyping with on Christmas. She’s a ward missionary now! I think she’s the best friend I’ve made out here on my mission. I feel so blessed to have been able to see her progress in the gospel, right from the moment she was found, to her baptism, and now her first calling, and next month she’ll receive her patriarchal blessing. We’ve been helping her get her new house fixed up. We helped her paint it last month, and now we’re putting up decorations and getting furniture and organising things, so here is a video of like four people trying to put together a wardrobe.
Our ward Christmas party was a good turn out, and we ended up having a lot of less actives and investigators there. During the evening I saw two Chinese girls peeking into the cultural hall, so I found Elder Miner and asked him if he’d invited a couple of Chinese girls, to which he responded (with an excited Gideon-style face), “Vivian!” 😂 Their names were both Vivian! 😂😂
Our investigators are doing good. We’re teaching two refugees from Eritria right now. The language barrier is kind of hard, but it isn’t too bad. We’re also teaching a woman from Lithuania, and one from Romania. And it stinks because we need Book of Mormons for them all in their own language, but it just so happened that last week the APs asked for all our extra supplies from everyone’s flats, because the mission is poor and our supplies are on freeze still, so we sent all our foreign language stuff to Birmingham. Uh! So now they have to get some back to us somehow. This week we have a Christmas zone meeting, and next week was have a member of the Seventy coming to do a mission tour, so we will be going to Cheltenham for that. The two days later, we have the mid-trainers meeting, so we’l be going all the way to the mission home again. So it’s gonna be a lot of travel again. Hopefully we don’t miss any coaches or trains this time…..
We just went for a walk/hike with Kayleigh to a small waterfall near the church here and it was so fun! Well, I was just loving the fact that I could wear jeans, boots, and a sweatshirt, and not have to worry about the fact that I was getting dirty.
And a couple pictures with some nice people. I look very…..glazed over in all of them, because I was!
In this one my face looks like, ‘Get me outa here. I want to die.’ It’s a true story. It was right after church yesterday and I felt like mud.
Oh well, this was an email that was just a bunch of complaints. I’m really not trying to complain at all. In reality, I’m very impressed how much Heavenly Father has blessed us this week because hey, we’re still alive! That in itself is something to be VERY grateful for. It’s just the winter season when missionary work slows down to a grind, and everyone gets sick. But this week, because we worked even when we were all very unwell, we’ve met some amazing people to work with, and we’re seeing a lot of success. Heavenly Father blesses us when we just try.
Have a wonderful week leading up to Christmas everyone! I love you and I can’t wait to see on next Sunday! 😘