It hasn’t felt like summer much this year over here. For a couple of weeks last month it felt like summer, but ever since then its been pretty mellow and actually kinda cool and rainy. Last year (it’s so weird that I can say that and be talking about my mission) though the summer was awful and from about August through October was really beautiful and nice, so I’m hoping that’s the way it will be this year since its about time it was nice weather!
We had a cleaning emergency this week. We moved into the Cardiff A flat which has had elders in it for the past two to three years. Need I say more? We did a quick little clean the day we got there on Tuesday, then we went out and worked, and the next day the landlord came over to show us some things about the flat. Then he told us he was going to get a professional cleaner in to clean it because it was so bad. I told him that we were planning on cleaning it so he wouldn’t need to bother, but he said there was no way we’d be able to do a good enough job, so he would order a cleaner, but the mission would have to pay for it. Long story short, I called the housing coordinator and told her the situation, and she said President wasn’t going to allow money for a cleaner. I told her I didn’t blame him at all! I said we could do it, but the landlord called her and insisted on the professional coming the next day at 1:00 to look around and give a quote for how much it would cost her to clean it. So the housing coordinator called us back and told us to give it our very best possible clean. “Make the church look good!” She said. So we cleaned for the three hours of the day we had left, then the next morning we got up at 6:30, and cleaned for six hours straight until 12:30, stopping once for five minutes to eat a snack. Then we bailed before the cleaner got there because I was not hanging around for that. We scrubbed everything SO HARD. Well, I scrubbed everything so hard. I don’t think Sister Siri-ek has ever really cleaned before. I kind of had to teach her how. But anyway, being who I am I kind of felt a little put off that no one thought that I could clean properly. I mean, this gal has cleaned some things others probably have never even dreamed of! I was thinking of all the houses on the Smith place and all the deep cleans on the house, and the shops, and a hundred other things. Who says I can’t clean?! Then that night the landlord came back and said that when he brought the cleaner in she looked around and said there was no need at all for her to clean it because it was so good. Ha! Take that! The housing coordinator was so proud of us and Sister Leppard called us so happy! I feel quite pleased with myself having proved that Mormon missionary sisters can clean like a professional.
I think its funny that Jace is starting to be able to say his Rs because that’s what Sister Siri-ek is working on as well. She can say them, but she just rushes over them and says them like a W or an L. And then I have to stop her and tell her to go back, look at the word, and sound it out and pronounce it properly. The poor girl, she’s trying really hard, but almost too hard.
I drove for the first time in fourteen months this week! It felt SO GOOD! And also very strange and…..flipped. But over all it went well. I just have to take one more driving lesson and then take my driving test sometime within the next couple of weeks. Man, getting a license in Britain is way complicated and long.
A lot of people have been asking about how Joseph Smith translated the plates, and they try to get a technical answer out of us, but I just tell them that I don’t know for sure, and in all honesty it doesn’t really matter to me. The way that it was translated wouldn’t make it any less valid. I have no doubt it was translated by the gift and power of God, because there’s no way that someone could have just written a book like that; it’s too intricate, and spiritual, and true. I have felt my testimony of the Book of Mormon growing lately because I have realised that what Joseph Smith said about it in the introduction is absolutely true–a man will get nearer to God through the Book of Mormon than by any other way, and I know that the relationship I have developed with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ has largely been the result of the Book of Mormon in my life. And it’s because of Dad and Mom that I read it when I was younger, because I always saw you reading it, you always read it with us, and I always knew you believed it was true, and I wondered how you were so sure it was true. If it hadn’t been for that I don’t think I would have bothered at that time to want to find out, but I’m so glad that I did, because without it my life would be totally empty. I’m sure it’s the same with all the other kids as well. I just love the Book of Mormon, and I’m so grateful for Dad and Mom for loving it as well.
I’ve been studying Alma chapter five this week. I’m actually in Mosiah, but in our new area we are working with an excommunicated member, and I felt really impressed to tell him to read Alma 5, so I did, and then I went home and read it. It’s been a while since I’ve read it, and it’s one of my favourite chapters. But I’ve had a really strong desire lately to improve myself at a faster rate than I am, so I decided to go through Alma 5 and answer all of the questions Alma asks to the people for myself, and let me tell ya, it’s really deep and really enlightening. It’s a self evaluation that doesn’t lie at all, and I’ve sure learned quite a lot about myself as I ask the Holy Ghost to help me to know how I personally should answer the questions. I can’t do it unless I do it by the spirit. But it has helped me to grow a lot, and also made me feel much happier and more at peace than I thought I would. I didn’t think I would be able to answer as well to some of the questions as the Spirit led me to. But I’ve still got a lot to work on. It’s sure led me to understand myself and my standing with God better.
I’m glad Henry had a good birthday! Love you!