Hi Mom and Dad, and all the little rascals,
Happy Independence Day everyone! I can’t believe its the 4th of July and I’m in ENGLAND! I want you to know that I did listen to the Tabernacle Choir singing about American this morning, said the Pledge of Allegiance, sang the national anthem (and cried), and read about our country and the promised land in the Book of Mormon. And later I am going to eat some American food at an American restaurant (that is in England)
I hope everyone is doing well and that the farm is good. I think about and pray for you all so much every day.
We’ve been doing a lot of work. We got a list of less actives from the relief society president, and there are at least 50 on there, and we’re trying to track them all down. We also have a challenge from our Sister Training Leaders to give out 100 Book of Mormons as fast as possible, but make it as meaningful as possible, so we’ve been working with that. Last week we gave out 35, so I guess that’s pretty good.
I thought I’d tell you a little bit about the culture and some fun facts about England. I’ll send some pictures fromy my Ipad in another email.
People don’t rake their lawns here. They cut them, but apparently raking the grass off is too much work. I walk past and think, ‘That would look so nice, if it were raked.’
There are these people called chavs ( can’t spell it.) Basically, they are kids/teenagers that want to be cool gangsters, so they hang around trying to act like them, and they’ll try and insult you, but they’re so young and juvenile they can’t think of anything to say. So they just make fools of themselves all the time. It’s quite sad really, and so annoying, but the elders tell us to stay away from them, because (being elders) they’ve had strange experiences with them before.
We had one person who was on a baptismal date before I got here, but she’s off now, because she won’t come to church, and she won’t answer our calls, and we can’t go visit her, because the APs won’t let us. Apparently the area she lives in is too dodgey.
That’s another thing, they use the word ‘dodgey’ a lot, and I’ve started using it by accident.
They also say pop. ‘Pop around sometime!’ I’m trying not to say that though, because it sounds funny.
And they always say, ‘You all right?’ But really fast, and as a greeting. So if you say hi to someone, they say, “You all right, love?” I think it’s weird, but its England!
Mom, I think I have the scripture I want on my missionary plaque. (Is that the way you spell it, or is that the teeth plaque way? I don’t know.) Anyway, 2 Nephi 22:2 (also in Isaiah.) and Proverbs 27:1. I can’t decide between them. Is it okay to mix two of them, and add the references at the bottom. If its allowed, I think I want it to be, “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid, for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song.”
This week I had a JW (Jehovah’s Witness) lady kiss my cheek and say she would pray for me that my eyes would be opened. So I told her I’d do the same for her.
I’ve also had a man ask me to invoke God to give him a sign (that was a couple weeks ago).
And I told in Dad’s email about the guy on the street who we made cry, so you can read that. (We’ll share that in another post)
There are so many ice cream trucks around here in the evenings. I haven’t had ice cream from one of them yet (or any since I’ve been here. Why am I still alive?), but I WILL chase one down one of these days and get some ice cream.
Also, my face is getting fat. It’s sore today because I realized it, so I started doing face exercises. Maybe it isn’t, but it looks like it to me. Probably because the rest of me is slimming down a bit. And my arms are losing muscle! I’m going to be such a weakling them I get back because I don’t have anything for them to do. We can’t exercise with weights, and push ups can only do so much.
Sister Christy, is 28, and she was the first member in her family. Her mom joined a couple years after her, and her brother is taking the discussions from the missionaries right now. Her dad is almost 70! She says she’s Irish, but really she’s only lived there for about 4 years I think. She was born in Birmingham, spent her childhood in Saudi Arabia, and then moved to Ireland with her family, and went to university in Oxford, so I don’t know if she qualifies as a true Irish person.
She’s very bold as a missionary, which is good, but sometimes I think it makes people think she’s being smart aleck and arguing with them, so she’s been seeing problems with that and she’s trying to do better. She studied to teach math education (whoa) and she also studied theater (think Snow building, for those who know what I’m talking about), so she’s definitely got a sense of the loud and dramatic. But she’s a really good person, and she helps me learn a lot. She definitely keeps the work interesting! And it’s fun a lot of the time. She’s only been a member about three years, and she’s doing really good. She’s a good missionary.
I got the package you sent us Mom. Thank you! She loved the socks (I’m wearing mine today.) Thanks for all the letters, and the skittles, and especially for the pictures. I love them! Thanks for the compass too. It really helps to know which direction I’m facing, because I can’t tell where the sun sets and rises in the city.
We’ve been riding around on our bikes a LOT, and it’s been kind of rough, only because I’m never sure when it’s going to rain and get cold, so I pack a coat in my backpack and it makes it bulky and awkward. And I really don’t like wearing a helmet, but I wouldn’t dare ride around here without it. Today on the way to the mission office to email I went SUPER fast because I was wearing my jeans and it was great! I can’t believe how much faster it is to ride when I’m not in a skirt. (and how much more modest it is.)
I’ll try to send another email later with more things in it (because I can’t remember them all right now) but we are going up to Walsall for a district P-Day and I don’t know what time we’ll get back. We might be at the chapel there though, so we’ll see.
Oh, can you send me a brownie recipe. Somehow I got roped into making the APs brownies for no reason.
Can you also send me a banana bread recipe as well? Don’t worry about the units of measurement; we have American ones in our flat.
How are the Bayles’s doing? I’ve just been thinking about them lately. And the Hales? Has Mattie Swenson had her baby? I don’t remember when she was supposed to have it. And Sister Crawford as well.
I love you all so much! Tell all the little kids I said hi, and give them big hugs and kisses for me!