Hello everyone! What an eventful week it’s been here in the great land of SWANSEA! The only thing that would make it better would be if you all were here to share it with me.
We started off with Monday going for a p-day excursion including a picnic, sheep, cliffs, a beach, rock climbing and seals, and a lot of adrenaline. Rhossili Bay is honestly one of the most BEAUTIFUL places I’ve experienced on my mission. It’s about a 45 minutes drive from the chapel, so we got a pair of walkie talkies to use between the two vehicles we took. I have come to discover that the reason I am so tired the day after P-Day is not because we do tiring activities, the physical part of it doesn’t bother me at all, in fact I quite enjoy it. But it’s the fact that the Elders tend to do risky things, so it makes me really nervous the whole time watching them and hoping none of them die, and telling them not to do this, or do that, and trying to keep my anxiety down. They’re probably really annoyed at me always acting like a bossy mother, but I can’t help it! I just don’t want any of them to die! I’m not gonna lie, on P-days we tend to do more out-there things, just because we are dignified, proper human beings for the entire week before that, so we have to let it all out sometime. But we’re trying to keep it exciting.
Anyway, I’ll just let the pictures show off their own beauty.
We all brought food and had a nice picnic on the grass right next to the cliffs. It was such a nice day, the sun was shining, and it was warm enough that I only needed a t shirt! It’s January, and I’m in Wales! I don’t think this is normal at all….
The elders also had a lot of fun chasing the sheep around. Literally it was like little boys when they run through the flock of chickens and watch them all separate and run wild, only it was in man form, with sheep. For some reason they found it really entertaining. Until one of the sheep almost slipped off the cliff trying to run away, that’s when they stopped.
We also did a little bit of rock climbing. This stuff I was a little skeptical with, so I hung back and just took the videos. For some reason Elder Holbrook and Elder Hellyer both wore these wimpy little loafers with smooth bottoms and absolutely no traction, and those rocks were SLIPPERY! I wish I had on video all the times Elder Holbrook almost died, or slipped and smashed his face into a rock. 😂😂😂
From the cliff tops at sunset we saw a seal in the water! It was so cute!!!! His little head would watch us and he’d swim over closer when we would wave at it. Cute little sea animals!!!!
On Tuesday we had interviews with President, so we all made the arduous trek to Merthyr Tydfil that morning on the train. It takes 21/2 hours on the train, IF there are no disruptions or delays, which is rare. But it was worth it because interviews are very enjoyable and enlightening.
The next day was the worldwide missionary broadcast, again in Merthyr, so we only had the morning to work, and then jumped on a train yet again. The Elders were going to catch the bus because it takes less time, and it’s cheaper, but there was NO WAY I was taking that horrible bus that makes me sick again, which is why we caught the train. Good thing we did too, because if we’d gone with the elders we would have missed the bus like they did! Yikes! With the bus and the train both gone and no way to get to Merthyr, they were stuck. The zone leaders had to drive all the way back from Merthyr, pick them up, and drive back. Thanks heaven for small miracles, they got there with literally 30 seconds to spare. 😉 Such is the crazy life of a missionary.
The broadcast was really spiritual, I learned so much about how to do different things better. I’m so grateful for the Lord’s chosen apostles and church leaders! Without them we would certainly be lost. I sympathise for those who go through life without the direction of a living prophet and leader to guide them.
This week was a double birthday!!!
Mine was the 26th and Elder Holbrook’s was the 28th, and we both turned 20! Chinese New Year was on the 28th as well, which was fitting, since Elder Holbrook is a Chinese-speaking missionary. It felt like a party all week. Hehe, which in a lot of ways didn’t feel good, but…missionary mind. We had a lot of fun in the district celebrating our birthdays, Chinese New Year, and Burns Night. (More on that to come.)
I had a wonderful birthday on Thursday! Thanks everyone for the lovely birthday wishes, and videos. I loved the one of everyone singing, and it made me miss you so much, and also made me grateful for my family and how much I love them all. I’m so blessed to be in a family, and have friends who love me so much. 😊❤️
To be honest, when I woke up I felt like I was going to have a terrible day, because it was raining outside and I just didn’t feel like working that day. But at 6:45 the zone leaders and APs called and started singing a really terrible rendition of Happy Birthday over the phone, and it was so hilarious that I laid on my bed and just about died laughing! I wonder if I should class it as a small mercy? Anyway, thank goodness for that, It made the whole day better after that, and then Heavenly Father answered my prayers when He cleared the weather up and made the sun come out. 😊
Sîan came down for my birthday!!! Can I just take a minute to say how much I absolutely LOVE Sîan Helen Box. She is one of the most Christlike people in the whole world, and one of my best friends. Not only did she write my such a nice birthday card that it almost made me cry, she bought me a few birthday gifts that were essentials I absolutely NEEDED. Not to mention this cute magnet to remember Wales by. It says, “Cwtch me Cariad”, which in English means, “Hug me, Love.”
Oh, hehe. I also was given a balloon, which was probably my favourite thing because I got to suck the helium out of it and make my voice high and kill a couple brain cells. So much fun!!!
The elders also gave me a nice head band ear warmer, something I’ve really needed for a long time. So they did good!
I also want to say thank you to everyone who sent me gifts and cards and letters! You are all wonderful and made my birthday away from home quite enjoyable.
I’m just gonna say, missionary birthdays are the best! Everyone feels for you, so everyone makes you a cake, and if everyone is going to make you a cake, you can tell each person that a different kind is your favourite, and then you get every which kind of cake you want!. We ended up with a carrot cake (my choice), an Oreo cake (Elder Holbrook’s choice), and an extremely delicious double chocolate (courtesy of a surprise from one of my favourite members in the world, Sally Howell. She’s like every missionary’s mom. ☺️) You can tell we were some happy campers with this in front of us. 😋 Yes, mother, it made me think of you.
Kayleigh held a very nice cottage evening birthday party at her house for Elder Holbrook and I. Also, one of our investigators named Mimi had a birthday in the 24th (also turning 20), so we did a triple-blow-out-the-candles!
Now for the tale of the Scotsmen. Burns Night. A Scottish holiday. Now, this was the first time I had heard bagpipes live (yes LIVE), and you can imagine how I almost cried because the music was so beautiful. It filled the hall right up and made me have chills the whole time. They played Amazing Grace, and also Praise to the Man (which I didn’t manage to get a video of). Two of the men playing here in the pipe band are members, and a third we are going to begin teaching this week! The man to the left is in our ward, and he was very surprised when I recognised Highland Cathedral when they started playing it, and now he loves me because I told him I listened to bagpipes back home that they were my favourite instrument.
Alrighty, now for the haggis. Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of it, but perhaps it’s best. Yall can feel free to look up for yourselves what it is, but neither Elder Hellyer nor I had tried it before, so we braved it together, knowing previously what was inside it. Don’t judge me when I say, it was REALLY good! I was quite surprised with myself for being such a brave girl, and enjoying it! It tasted really nice, but I thought I’d be nice to my digestive system and only have a couple bites. I didn’t know if it could handle all the internals that were contained in the traditional Scottish dish. May I just say, I love Scotland, and I am very proud of the part of my heritage that originates there. Go Murdocks!
Saturday was a busy day. We did district finding in city centre, but all of us were late, hehe….. So rather than it lasting an hour and a half, it was 20 minutes, and we had planned to get ice cream afterward for Elder Holbrook’s birthday. But we didn’t want to do it unless we had something to show for it first. So we met up like a bunch of frazzled chickens, prayed, did a really sloppy district handshake, and ran off into the city, promising ourselves that if we each got two potentials before twenty minutes, we would reward ourselves with ice cream. It was a birthday miracle! After ten minutes we were all calling each other saying we were ready for ice cream.
I have to say, I don’t think I’ve street contacted at that pace in my life! The things a Wadsworth will do for ice cream..🍦I probably should have been motivated by something better, and I really was thinking about the people we were talking to, but at the back of my head I was going, ‘I REALLY WANT ICE CREAM RIGHT NOW!’
Let’s talk about Churro Shake now. It’s a little place in city centre that sells milkshakes and churros. I met the owner on the bus this week, and found out his ancestors came from Spain, so we talked about that for a while, and then about churros and chocolate. He was a really nice guy, and his little boy really liked us. We we decided to go in for shakes, and he ended up giving us two free bags of genuine Spanish churros! They were SO GOOD, and it reminded me of Spain!
Today we went to a trampoline park together. Talk about TIRING! I went way overboard with the jumping and the competitions. I just jumped my heart out, and almost jumped my breakfast out too. I’m going to be SO sore tomorrow. We played dodge ball for a LONG time, and it was super tiring. I basically exhausted all my energy playing it. By the end of it I was the only girl who was still going, and the elders were really lagging down too, but I just got NAILED that whole game, because it was boys against girls, and I was the only girl actually doing anything, so naturally they all targeted me. I got hit in the face over and over and over again, and they weren’t doing it on purpose, but it did end up becoming a rather painful thing. But I didn’t give up! Elder Holbrook was the main one making these target shots and in the end it was just me and him, basically laying on the trampolines out of utter exhaustion and whimpily chucking lame shots at each other. I kept having to take a break so that I wouldn’t throw up, so we finally decided to stop.
All I can say is, I’m going to be really, REALLY sore tomorrow!
We’ve had quite a bit of success this week with missionary work! We are teaching a really nice young man from Hong Kong who has been coming out to church for the past couple of weeks, and things are going really well with him. It’s so interesting to teach someone who has absolutely no perception of God or Jesus Christ. To me, I kind of like it more, because watching the light come into their eyes when they realize that there is such thing as a God just fills my soul with so much joy. Teaching people that there is a God who is their Heavenly Father, who loves them more than they can comprehend is my favourite thing in the world.
I love this gospel so much! What would we do without the Gospel in our lives? I just want to shout it from the rooftops and let everyone know about Heavenly Father’s amazing Plan of Salvation, and let them know how they can return to live with Him again someday.
Have a wonderful week everyone! I love you!