April 28, 2014
There's Nothing That the Road Cannot Heal
Hello, my little cute newts! How are you all doing during this beautiful spring season? I hope you're all having a grand time soaking in the sun, hiking, dancing in the rain, and ... oh, bashing around London? No comment, other than the fact that I am sick with jealousy of my family leaving for London without ME this week. Never mind that I'm only the biggest Anglophile on the planet, bawling my eyes out over the royal wedding, spending countless hours reading Austen novels, convulsively weeping over every single dang episode of Downton Abbey and BBC Masterpiece on the PLANET! I hope the trip is WORTH IT. For SHAME....
Alright, the rant is over. This week was just plain fabulous! We are seeing miracles GALORE out here! I don't really know what to do with myself at this point. My mission just keeps getting better and better, and I keep getting closer and closer to its grand finale. YIKES! Gotta make every moment count, eh? So this week we went on a sister exchange fiesta. Lots of driving, but it was SO worth it because we saved some of the best sisters for last. Well, they're all the best sisters, but these exchanges were especially exciting. Congratulations to ME, I got my International Drivers Permit renewed, which meant that I was able to DRIVE again for the first time in months! On Monday the dear sisters of Cornwall, Sister Rios and my grand baby Sister Gonzalez, drove down to Montreal to spend P-Day with us bashing around Vieux-Montreal, the closest I'm going to get to bashing around London. It was SO fun! We went to Chinatown and got *Mormon* bubble tea, and then spent the rest of a breezy, pleasant evening walking the streets of our historical city. Not as great as Vieux-Quebec, but I still love Montreal with all of my heart.
That night I got to cruise into Ontario and get to know my mission granddaughter. It turns out we're the same person! Good road trip conversations the whole way down. I got to spend the next day in Cornwall, which is so English that it frightens me. Not sure what I'm going to do when I get back and there are absolutely NO signs in French? Weird.
THEN on Thursday I had just about the most exciting exchange of my life. Sister Rebecca Smith of Vancouver Island came to LaSalle to spend the day with me, and oh my heavens. Did we ever have a riotous time! We may or may not have stayed up till 3 in the morning talking. She's pretty much the Canadian version of my best friend Ellie Parker, so you can imagine the glee and the joy and the sheer insanity that ensued when we were put together for twenty-four hours on an exchange. This is why I LOVE exchanges! Sometimes it's stressful hopping in and out of our area with new companions, but I have gotten to know so many fantastic girls that are serving around me. Biggest blessing of my mission by far!
Friday we had a big mission leadership council with some of the brethren from the missionary department. They talked about how we need to help people when we invite them to do something, not just hope that a miracle will happen. We've been stepping up our game now, trying to help people keep their commitments, but there's only so much you can do when personal agency comes into play. Still, it's a great way to love and serve others, and let's be honest... we all need a little (or in my case A LOT) of help enduring to the end.
Saturday we Zumba'd it up and now I am too sore/tired to even function, what with shimmying around and not getting any sleep this week, but I have had a wonderful April and am now looking forward to the glamorous month of MAY! It should be fabulous. Also.... speaking of April coming to a close... HAPPY 21st BIRTHDAY to my dearest, loveliest. most fabulous, cheetah-licious BEST FRIEND CHRISTINE! I hope you know I love you with ALL of my heart and desperately wish I could be there to PARTAYYYYYY on your 21st! You are truly a ray of sunshine in my life, and I honestly have NO idea where I would be without you. Thank you for being a fantastic friend. SEE YOU SOON! Birthday rain check. We'll all be celebrating in just a few more months there!
Well, Have a great week, yous guys! I love you all infinitely and MISS you to the point of pain, but that's to be expected. Take care, stay safe, don't do anything I wouldn't do! :) Peace and blessings!
May 5, 2014
Drowning in My Tears
Hello, beautiful family! The natural woman side of me was debating whether or not I should even write you today after reading about your fabulous first week in London. Luckily my companion didn't notice the sob fest I had moments ago sitting here reading my weekly emails. No comment. Just shear jealousy currently being unleashed in my heart like an untamed beast. Pure havoc to my soul, I tell you. Enjoy your stay!
Alright, let's talk about MY fabulous week. I may not be trouncing around London but I AM seeing miracles galore. It's a great time to be a missionary in Montreal! We have some sweet new investigators who have been so prepared to hear the message of the restored gospel. I have to remind myself daily that I am privileged to have spent the last fifteen, yes, FIFTEEN months of my life being a missionary.
So for starters... Sister Sherwood and I had to give a bunch of trainings this week as part of our sister training leader calling. We talked about the importance of helping people. We often think our job is to invite, which is true, but the second part of the missionary purpose is to actually help people do what we invite them to do. Aren't we all in need of a little help? Basically the missionary department came to the mission last week and told us plainly, "The reason people in your mission aren't getting baptized is because you're not HELPING them enough." OUCH? Don't people have free agency? Haha no, it was good to hear. We've been keeping ourselves plenty busy now as we've creatively searched for ways to "help" people honor their commitments. Missionary FUN!
On Tuesday we went on member exchanges, which are always fun because I separate from my companion and spend the evening with one of the groovy sisters in the LaSalle ward. I was with the Bishop's wife, Sister May, who was the perfect companion, because she is from London and mourned with me about my family being in London without me. It was nice to have someone sympathize with me. We had a fun night and I pretended that perhaps I too was in London as I let her talk the night away with her beautiful British accent. It's the closest thing I'll ever have to a real London experience, I suppose. Gah. I thought I had control over my vicious envyings... I'll stop now.
We went on exchanges this week as well. I FINALLY got to go with Sister Berry, a sister I knew in the MTC but haven't been able to serve with yet. She. Is. So. COOL! I found out that she too is a feminist, and so... we had long, heated, rants/discussions about everything that I love. Haha. It was a super fun day. I think they shipped all of those feminist Mormons out to the Canada Montreal mission. She was telling me about who all of the other underground Mormon feminists were in the mission, which is like half of the sisters here. Too great. This really is the mission meant for me!
On Friday we had TWO fabulous lessons with member referrals! Gotta love LaSalle. One was a sweet 17 year old girl that is friends with one of the young men in our ward. He courageously invited her to take the discussions, and she was FLOORED. I recited the first vision to her and she CRIED! It was a great experience for us all. She reminds me a lot of my sweet cousin Jessica. Super cool, super smart. She lives kind of far away from our area so we won't get to teach her for long, but it was great to meet a youth who had such a personal testimony of Heavenly Father's love for her and His willingness to answer prayer.
Our next lesson was with our investigator that we've been seeing for a few weeks now. We watched the #BecauseofHim video and invited her to be baptized! It was just a beautiful, powerful experience. She is an amazing woman and would be an incredible member of the church. Keep praying for these people! It's not easy to join the church. I'm amazed when people are able to give up everything they once knew and start a new life as a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Pray that these people will feel accepted, that their testimonies will grow, and that their faith will overcome doubts.
Well, that was the week that was! The APs told us that sisters and elders can't have P-Day activities together anymore... hmmm... wonder why that happened. So mad. BUT. After our training on Wednesday our zone leaders decided that "going out to lunch with our zone after a training meeting" was not a P-Day activity, so we went with a big gang of missionaries to Thai Express. Ha ha. Gotta love those zone leaders for bending the rules to their own liking. Then again with our other zone our other zone leader decided to treat us all to Wendy's because he has over $500 saved on his mission card. And even President got a Double and joined us for the event, so I say it's okay. ;)
Anyway, have a GREAT week! I love you all so much and miss you terribly. More than I can describe. We'll SEE if I decide to call on Mother's Day.... I'm a little sad right now. Meh. You won't notice. You're all having tons of fun without me. Well, take care! Bisou bisou!
Syl the Pill