Thursday, January 31, 2013

Week 1

I have been here 5 days. It has gone by somewhat slowly because everything is so new to me.
I have started feeling at home here since I feel more comfortable with what I am doing and am getting to know the people better.
I really enjoy my little apartment. It is nice because I don't need to do much cleaning. And it is always warm and comfortable. It is so nice to have some free time for a change. Because when I get back from the office I have nothing to do. I just read and relax. I am going to find something to do though because I don't want to have that much free time.

Sister Kae invited us to breakfast at her flat (and I am starting to call them flats not apartments) today. She made pancakes and bacon.

On my visa it says I should go register with the police as soon as I come. But, we tried to book an appointment and they could only fit us in on the 25th of February. Hopefully that won't be a problem, they said it is ok!

I went to the bank and they said you need to make an appointment in order to open a bank account, so we just went for nothing. I will get an appointment for tomorrow.
I feel very blessed to be here. I meet many missionaries who are the only members of their families and who don't speak English. They look so scared, but they will be blessed for their service.
We went to the temple yesterday and there was no one there. It was so sad...We seemed to be the only people there...But, it was nice and peaceful.

The things I do in the office are simple, but there is so much to do. Our office here deals with everything to facilitate what the missionaries in the field do. There is also so much involved in helping the missionaries get everything they need. (Housing, cars, finances, letters, tags, supplies...etc) So, I get to talk to almost everyone of the 177 missionaries we have in the mission). It is funny because most of the times they are shocked as to where I am from and that starts a conversation when they call to the office for something.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Arrival in England

The trip to Jordan was relatively fast. The taxi took me to the Palestinian side, I spent about half an hour at the Palestinian side, then took the bus to the Israeli side, then another bus to cross the border, then another bus to get the bags, then another bus to the Jordanian side, then after crossing the Jordanian side, I took a taxi to the airport. Only took me 4 hours or so. I only had 10 near-death experiences on the way from the bridge to the airport hotel (actually after the 8th one I stopped counting).  The people in Jordan drive so fast!
I forgot Jordan is an hour ahead of us, so that means I
did not get to sleep much. I am glad the lady at the hotel told me what time it was since I would not have known. Anyway, at least I had a nice dinner at the hotel and got to rest for a few hours.
Turkish Airlines is really nice but somehow Turkey has issues with me. So, the guy kept asking me all these questions and took pictures of my passport and my visa (I have never had that happen to me).
I went through passport control fast in London and the lady there was so nice. I was grateful for the pound Jessie gave me because I needed that exact change for the cart. I found the sister missionaries waiting to pick me up after I got my luggage. I thought the weather would be really cold, but it felt so nice as I walked out of the airport. I was so hot after dragging the suitcases and I was happy for cool weather. They said it was like 3 degrees, but it did not feel cold at all.
The driving on the left side of the road was a bit scary to watch. Actually, funny story is when I got in the car I thought I saw the steering wheel on the left side of the car. So, I thought, this is a normal car (because I know the UK may have cars with the steering on the left). So, all the way back I thought the person on the left was driving…well, until in the middle of the highway, she turned to me and kept looking at me for 2 minutes and talked…So, before I yelled at her to watch the road and before I passed out of fear I realized it was not her driving!! I think it was the lack of sleep and getting used to cars back home that I must have seen a steering wheel that does not exist!
Sister Kae (who I will be replacing) showed me my temporary apartment. I will take hers when she leaves in two weeks, so I will be here only 2 weeks. It is a studio, but really nice. She gave me also a lot of food, and other stuff. We had lunch at her place then she took me to the office and I met everyone. They are all so sweet.  This apartment does not have internet connection, but hopefully the new one will. And also the cell has no reception here. So, even though my Jawwal works in the UK, it does not work in this apartment!
Sister Kae taught me some things that she has been doing and had me try to do them. There is so much to learn, and I won’t remember anything probably. But, in time I am sure.  I’ll be doing things like getting reports from various missionaries, answering the phone, preparing files for new missionaries, getting their tags, …etc.  I got a call from a Muslim guy today who wanted to learn more about the church. We were on the phone for half an hour. He said he felt comfortable talking to me and that what I was saying made sense. He wanted me to call him again tonight as he had more questions, but the office closes so I could not do that.
The area is so beautiful here. I am right next to the temple. It was a bit scary and overwhelming at first, but we had dinner together with the other missionaries and I felt I have a family here. Then the electricity went out (it never does that), maybe so I can feel at home. It was fun to do dishes together in the dark…
I am getting invited to dinner a lot, but I do eat in my apartment sometimes. I went shopping today and bought so much stuff. I was worried it would be so expensive, but I filled up my fridge with so much stuff for 30 pounds. The weather is also very nice. I mean so much warmer than home. At least the apartment and office are really warm so I am hardly ever cold like at home.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

New Additions to the Family

We have had two cute angels be born in my family.

My niece Lina had a baby girl (Yara)
Born Jan 14, 2013

My Nephew Laith and his wife had a baby girl (Talya)
Born Jan 22, 2013