Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sunday, May 26

Things have been wonderful here. The weather has finally improved and we are enjoying some warmth and we have had sunshine two days in a row now! I kept saying that I will go and look at the tulips behind the temple...I finally had time to do that today...but they were dying =( I waited too long! It is still beautiful here though. We were able to take a walk around the pond. One of our ducks disappeared and Sister Hess thinks that she is nesting somewhere. So, she keeps waiting for the duck to show up with it's baby ducks. We'll see...
 
I took both of those pictures so you can see the difference spring makes on the grounds here.
 
Winter:

 
 Spring

 I think I am going to start going on walks. It is so pretty these days.
My new companion arrived yesterday. Her name is sister Cates. She seems really nice. She is from Washington State. Sister Hess leaves in 3 weeks or so. We are going to go do some site seeing before she leaves. We will be gone this coming weekend and the one after that. I hope that after this week things will calm down in the office. It has been so busy. We had to furnish many apartments for the missionaries. We had so many apartments that we started getting confused as to which place has what. Hopefully having sister Cates in the office with us will help us get things done. We have a really cool missionary from Germany. He has such amazing faith! We put him to work to help us furnish the flats. He said he felt impressed to go to this little town and when he did, he found someone who sells used furniture and was able to buy everything he needed from him. He was able to furnish 3 flats for only 400 pounds!!  He said he even gave the salesman a copy of the book of Mormon and taught him about the gospel. His famous sentence is "The Lord will provide." He prays, then goes in faith and often finds what He needs.  I wish we had someone like Elder La Mazza in each of the Stakes. We would be able to furnish all our flats this way.

I had two missionaries request Braille books of Mormon. I asked how much they are and the church said they were $3 each. So, I decided to order 3 of them. People told me they were large, but I didn't realize how large. When we got the boxes we were all shocked. They each come in 6 volumes and the box is half my size as you can see in the picture below.  This box contains ONE Braille Book of Mormon.  I am holding one of the volumes in my hands. 1 Nephi and part of 2nd Nephi. I still can't believe the church only sells them for $3 because it must cost them 100 dollars to ship them from the US to England!

 


I was asked to speak to the youth of the Wandsworth Stake last week. I enjoyed talking to them about the atonement and shared with them my experiences in Palestine. What I said touched someone's heart; someone who had a large load to carry. We were able to visit and talk afterwards. She shared with me some things about her life that she has not talked to anyone about. It was such a special experience to be able to talk to her and show her how the atonement can help her. And explain that our Savior carried our burdens and He can carry hers.

I really love being here, I have learned so much. I miss you all...I miss Palestine and everyone there. But, I know I am where I am supposed to be.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Saturday, May 18

Happy Birthday to all Family members who have a birthday today (May 18th). I have quite a few who were born on this day.

I am sorry that I have not posted anything lately. I don't have an excuse. So, maybe I should put up two posts to make up for it (?)

It has been a busy week at the office. We had a couple come down to help us in the office so it was good. We had one of the mothers of the missionaries complain that we don't send her regular updates about her missionary. I could not believe that. We have over 180 missionaries, and imagine if we were to send the parents an update on each one of them regularly? We would not be able to do nothing else in the office, there would be no time left.

We've been eating out a lot this week. On Monday we discovered this place that was a Mexican, Chinese and Indian open buffet. You get all you can eat from each of the different kinds of food. And you have a dessert section and a lady who would make you waffles as you stand, any kind you want. You can also order bread and they will make it in front of you.  It was really SO good. We'll have to go again of course because we didn't even try 10% of the food they had.

Yesterday we had a cultural night activity at the church. I was going to make stuffed cabbage, but after stuffing it, I realized I won't have enough time to cook it. So, I ended up making Mujadara. The foods everyone made from different countries were amazing. We ate SO much.  Some of the dishes were quite interesting and no one dared try them--like this dish had two balls in it. We did not know what was inside. We finally cut one of them and it was just meat stuffed in a big ball made of some sort of skin.
I had the cabbage today for lunch. It was good, I missed it. I never have the motivation to cook something like that because it takes so long to make.

Sister Hess leaves in 3 weeks. We have another sister coming next Saturday. She will be my new companion. We are trying to do some fun things before sister Hess leaves. Her son comes the end of this month and we are going to take a few days off and go see some sites with him and his wife. It should be fun.

It finally stopped raining today, so we decided to go do something fun. We went to Hever Castle which was about 30 minutes away from where we live. It was a nice drive as everything is so green now and beautiful. The castle itself is small inside. It was where Anne Boleyn lived (who was Henry VIII's second wife--He cut her head off!). But, the gardens are remarkable. So beautiful and peaceful and very well kept. I included some pictures below for you to see. I could just spend hours there in nature.
If you click on one of the pictures, it should show it bigger and you can view all the pictures.










Friday, May 10, 2013

George Part 2

If you have not read about George, go to my previous posts and read about him. (and by the way, George is not his real name. I changed it)
Here is a picture of him (and his Jacket---sorry I had to take a picture of the jacket):





During the past month and since I met George he has managed to quit smoking and he made changes in his life. He was baptized on Wednesday, May 8. Sister Hess and I drove for 2 hours to go to his baptism.

The hardest thing for George was to wear white. He said he never wore white in his life. He always dressed in black or dark colors. He was very uncomfortable about the white clothes. I think how we dress shows a bit how we feel. I was like him before I joined the church. I was always depressed and always wore dark colors. After I joined the church and felt happy inside I started wearing light colors. Now, wearing black or dark colors makes me uncomfortable.
Anyway, even though they managed to get him to wear white, still George refused to wear the tie. He took the tie and wrapped it around his long hair! He's funny. Here is a picture of him in white (acting silly of course):



I know that anyone can change. Through the atonement of Jesus Christ, anyone can repent and turn back to Him. After I got to know George I learned not to judge. Because when we see people who look different, we may automatically assume something about them...But, I saw how good George's heart is. He has a true desire to do what is right. One day, he will wear a tie and cut his hair...and one day he'll go to the temple. All things are possible through Christ. Happiness, peace, joy and forgiveness are all possible through Him..

 

 

 

 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday, May 5th

I guess not many read my blog . I don't blame you, it does get kind of boring. There is nothing exciting going on. My family celebrated Easter today so I spent some time talking to them and it was nice. 

We are still busy in the office. There were days when I didn't have much to do and now I wish I could go back to those days. Pres. Millar told all the missionaries to go out and try and find apartments so we can find housing for our 37 missionaries arriving this month. Sister Hess is getting all these calls now and can barely keep up. I support her in whatever way, but I am glad she is the one dealing with it all not me.

Yesterday we decided to go to Hever castle, but of course it started raining. I think we are just cursed or something. We said, well, lets go see a movie. Sadly all the movies these days are really bad. Nothing we would want to watch. So, we ended up watching an animated movie "the Croods". Although violent at the start it was a fun movie and has a good theme. So, this prehistoric family lives in a cave in darkness most of their lives because they are trying to survive. When an earthquake happens and their cave is destroyed they notice that next door is this beautiful forest, water and sunshine. How often do we choose to live in darkness when making a small change in our lives could lead us to the mansion that is next door to us.  They took a leap of faith and moved from the darkness and kept following the light.  They changed from being a rough, barbaric family into a loving family who knew how to express love to each other. Anyway, see I got nothing better to talk about than a silly movie I watched =)

Today at church a man spoke about losing his vision and said he went to a school for the blind. He said that he learned so much from them. He said they never judge anyone like we do based on appearance because they can't see the person in front of you, their skin color, clothing or hair. So, you are more likely to love the person for who they are.  We tend to judge too much on appearance. We can't help it sometimes, but we need to focus on what a person may become. Because that is how Heavenly Father sees us.  If we think of ourselves as a house we see Heavenly Father letting us go through changes so we can be better.  We may see ourselves as a cottage and we see Heavenly Father doing changes to us; fixing a leaky roof, or adjusting things here and there. Sometimes what He is going to shape us may hurt and we may not understand it until we realize that He was never trying to build a cottage, but a palace.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Church Ads in London

We went to look at the ads the church has put up at various places in London. They were mainly in the Charing Cross train station where the church bought almost all the posters there. It was really cool looking at that. I have included some pictures below.

We went to eat at McDonalds after we walked around and sat next to an older guy. He started talking to Sister Hess and he was so interested in knowing more about what we believe. He said that we made his day because he has seen all these ads about the Mormons and wanted to know about them. He said he had a book of Mormon on his shelf, so we told him to go home and read it =)
Next to him was also a younger man who seemed to be listening in. He said he noticed my ring and badge and said he has some Mormon friends back in New Jersey.  I have not seen positive responses about the church before so this was really a nice change.  Then as we walked down the street a large group of Americans stopped us and shouted "Missionaries!". They were so thrilled to see Mormons too.

Church advertisements in Charing Cross and other areas in London:


 





At M&M Store
 


Trafalgar Square