Welcome to the week when the Swansea Sisters didn’t teach a single lesson, had zeros on all their other numbers, slept in their own flat only three nights out of the week, spent 180£ on travel EACH, spent over fifteen hours in travel, nearly killed themselves running for a train, and went from Swansea, to Bridgend, to Newport, to Cheltenham, to Merthyr, to Cardiff, to Swansea, to Newport, to Gloucester, to Birmingham, to Chester Road, to Birmingham, to Cardiff, to Swansea. If you follow our route of travel on a map, it was insane. That was three days!
Shall I begin on Tuesday when we could do NOTHING because the busses were off schedule, plus it was the day after Boxing Day, so everyone was hung over and we weren’t allowed to do much proselyting. In the evening we and Elder Sinclaire and Elder Varner traveled to Newport to stay the night with the elders and sisters there so that our travel wouldn’t be as far to the conference in Cheltenham the next day. We stayed with Sister Pike and Sister…I don’t know how to spell her name. She’s from Zimbabwe. Sister “Moyoshi” is how you pronounce it, but I’m sure that isn’t how you spell it. Anyways, she made us Sodza, an African food, and it was so good! I wonder if Brent eats anything similar… (Brent is her cousin serving a mission in Ghana)
We got up early the next morning and trained to Cheltenham where the conference was. Elder Paul V. Johnson of the Seventy came to speak to our mission, so we had two zone conferences–each was a quad-zone conference so that he could get all eight zones in two days.
It was a very spiritually filling experience. We heard many things that everyone in the mission really needed to hear, whether they realised it or not. We also introduced our new Finding approach to him that the mission has been implementing in the last month. Hehe, so at our previous zone conference we learned about the new approach, and we role played it and practiced it, and then the APs told us at the quad-conference they were going to pick random companionships to role play it for Elder Johnson, and right when they said it the Spirit whispered, ‘Listen up, that’s going to be you.” And I thought, ‘Great…’
So Sister Romero and I joked about it all transfer: “Oh, when we role play for Elder Johnson, la-dee-da…” and we practiced and practiced, but I just kept myself in denial because that sounded really scary. So then sitting in the quad-zone conference when the APs were beginning their presentation about the approach the Spirit was like, “Get ready, get ready. You’re coming up.” And I was like, ‘Haha. Out of four zones they’d pick this companionship? Not a chance.’ But then He reminded me of all those, ‘Of course it would happen to you out of all people,’ experiences. So then I began to think maybe I should prepare myself, when Elder Hellyer said, “Now we’ll have a role play by Sister Wadsworth and Sister Romero…” and the Spirit went, “See? I told you.” He certainly did. But then the APs made it worse by inviting Elder and Sister Johnson to be the subjects! So Sister Romero and I ended up “street contacting” and teaching a general authority and his wife. You know, just casually.
They had two other companionships role play after us, but we were the first companionship in the whole mission to demonstrate this Finding approach for him. It went really well though, and I knew I did a good job because I felt the Spirit as I was role playing. And a couple of days later the APs and several of the zone leaders in the mission thanked us and told us we did a really good job, and that out of the six companionships who demonstrated, we were the only ones who did it correctly and ACTUALLY demonstrated the approach, so it was good that we went first.
But hey, now I can say that I role played with a general authority. Add that to the bucket list. Life goals!
After the conference (which went from 10:00 – 3:00, with 30 minutes for lunch) we drove to Merthyr with the STLs for exchanges, which were also really good. So we slept at their flat that night, making it the second night we were out of our beds, and then spent half of Thursday with them for the exchange.
The next day–Friday–was our trainers meeting in Birmingham, and since it was to start at 10:00 the next morning, it meant we had to get up at 2:00am if we were to get ready, get to the station, and catch the right train to get us there on time, and I was already too exhausted to do that. So I called Elder Holbrook and he said to call Elder Hellyer. So I called Elder Hellyer and told him about the situation and asked him if we could stay with the Gloucester sisters, since it was much closer to the mission home so we could get there on time, plus the Gloucester sisters were going to the meeting as well. He said he’d get back to me later that afternoon, and to wait until he called me before doing anything. Well, long story short, he hadn’t gotten back to us by the time exchanges were over, and I really didn’t want to go back to Swansea if we were going to have to turn right around and go back in the other direction heading for Gloucester. Waste of time, and waste of money. But we didn’t have a choice because we couldn’t do anything without his permission, so we trained back to Swansea, and by the time our train got in and we got back to our flat it was 5:45.
We’d looked up train times to Gloucester and found only one that would get us there before 10:00, and it left Swansea at 6:24–the station is a 30-minute walk from our flat. So we REALY needed to know if we could go or not so that we could make the train if we needed it, but darn it, in the conference Elder Johnson chastened us about maintenance, and making sure we weren’t high maintenance missionaries, so I didn’t want to pester Elder Hellyer again, but we REALLY needed to know.
Now, this is where miracles and faith come in. It probably seems like a really unimportant, whimsical situation, but at the time it was really important. We decided to just say a prayer and ask for help and guidance about what to do. So we knelt down, we prayed and just asked Heavenly Father if we might be able to know our travel arrangements soon because we didn’t know what to do. Literally 30 seconds after finishing the prayer, Elder Holbrook called and said he just happened to be thinking about us and wondered if we got our travel sorted out. When we quickly told him the situation he hung up and called Elder Hellyer, while we quickly changed out our duffle bag with fresh clothes. A minute later he called back and said we had the okay–go to Gloucester.
This was when Sister Romero found out that training actually meant marathon training. We RAN the two miles to the train station in eighteen minutes, in skirts, boots that were definitely NOT running material, in the dark, carrying a duffle bag, and my companion is definitely not a runner. She was about to keel over and die, but I just pushed her and told her we had to keep going or else we were going to miss the train, and then I just prayed for angels to help her along. I was fine, my old running stamina came back, but she’s never really run before. Long story short, we made it literally BARELY on time.
This might seem like a pretty cliche, kind of ridiculous story/situation to a lot of people, but the fact that we got an answer to our prayer 30 seconds after we asked for it was pretty miraculous in my eyes. And then when we slumped down on the train, Sister Romero turned to me and said, “Sister Wadz, I don’t know how I just did that. There were definitely angels making me run because that was definitely not my own strength back there.”
God really answered our prayer in very immediate, straight-forward ways that night. I’m really grateful for that, and I’m also grateful for Elder Holbrook for being in tune with the Spirit, and being worthy to receive and heed Its promptings.
In Gloucester four of us slept on two mattresses smashed together on the living room floor. It was a hot night. We got up early the next morning and trained into Birmingham. The mid-trainers meeting was really good. All the trainees went with President and Sister Leppard, and the trainers got to go with the APs. We pretty much just told funny stories about funny things our greenies had done and it was tons of fun! Man, I’m still such a greenie myself. I felt like I was the one who should be in with President.
It was really fun though to see so many people from my group, especially Sister Swasey and Elder Robinson. Sister Swasey and I are so dang similar we’re sure we’re going to serve together sometime. I love her so much! We got to talk for a really long time, and it just makes me feel so much better to talk to her, because we just get each other.
On the way back to Wales we had to wait in Birmingham for a train, so Elder Robinson took us to the MUJI store. I’m gonna tell you a little bit about EBM culture. MUJI pens are special pens made in Japan which are mostly just sold in the UK, and every missionary needs MUJI pens because they have very fine tips, so they’re perfect for writing in planners. If you’ve got a MUJI pen, your officially a part of the EBM, so we had to take our two greenies just to break them in. Hehe, I feel like a mommy teaching her baby and letting her experience things for the first time! She’s growing up so fast! 💁🏻
Well this week I am grateful for the way Heavenly Father answers prayers through other people. He used Elder Holbrook to answer our prayer on Thursday, and then on Friday I was SO INCREDIBLY TIRED and we had SO MUCH TRAVEL to do, and we all know how much I can mess up travel, so I was REALLY scared, especially on Friday, and having an anxiety attack the whole time, so I just PRAYED CONSTANTLY all day that if there was any possible way for us to make it through all our travel without anything happening, could it PLEASE happen. I just prayed and prayed because I didn’t know what was going to happen on the way back home. Then after the trainers meeting when we were all getting ready to leave, Elder Robinson just walked up and said, “Hey we’re leaving in fifteen minutes. We’ll walk you to the train station and travel with you as far as Cardiff, and from there we’ll put you on a train to Swansea, and then we’ll get our train to our area from there. Just give me a few minutes to do my reimbursements and then we’ll get started.” I literally could have started crying! I felt so relaxed after that, and I didn’t have to do anything, except follow Elder Robinson around. And he even took us to the Muji store! Man, Heavenly Father is the best! I’m so grateful for worthy people who the Lord can use to answer the prayers of others.
Well, a new year, a new transfer, a new district! I’m so pumped up about this coming transfer! We’ve set some really great goals for ourselves, and I can’t wait to begin work on achieving them. I just feel like we’re going to get a lot done this transfer. In our conference, Elder Johnson talked to us about being high-yield, low-maintenance missionaries, and with the goals we’ve set, the spirit we’ve felt, I feel as if we’re going to be a high-yielding companionship, and a high-yielding district.
Elder Varner will be leaving tomorrow. He’s going to Wylde Green! My greenie area! His replacement will be Elder Bassett. Elder Miner is also leaving for Cardiff, and his replacement will be Elder Hellyer after being released as AP. Pictures of the new district next week.
Sorry this is such a long email and that not much happened in it. Yeah, we didn’t get a lot of work done this week, but we were so spiritually fed that it made op for it. We didn’t teach anyone because the Lord was teaching us, so now we can use what He’s taught us to teach others.
Have a really good week everyone! Love you!