Monday for our last district P-day we went to a nature reserve with a big pond and had a nice picnic and played some sports. Monday night was spent saying goodbye to my loved ones of Stourbridge and lots of packing!
Tuesday was a very long and exhausting day! Birmingham zone is close enough to the mission office that instead of having a meeting place and taking a coach we had to find our own way to the mission office and be there by 1:30. The elders helped us take my luggage from our flat to the tram and then we were on our own with my two ginormous suitcases and my bike. The struggle was so real. We took a tram and then got on a train. Then we walked from that train station across Birmingham city to the main train station and caught another train near the mission office. From the train station to the mission office is about a mile walk and we were really struggling with everything by then and it was really close to 1:30. Of course to add to the stress of everything one of my suitcases was really struggling to move. This sweet girl stopped to help us and we tried and tried and finally it just broke. We ended up having to call for help and some sister training leaders came to our rescue. It was such a hot day and I was so sore all week from practically dragging my luggage so far! We watched the huge new group of missionaries be born into the mission and then loaded up all the coaches! I'm not sure how long the coach to Cardiff took but we got there around 7:30 and to my relief the sister training leaders in Wales came to bring us to Blackwood so I didn't have to worry about my broken suitcase on the trains again. It was quite late when we got back to the flat so Sister Tartaglia just filled me in on the area and we got some groceries.
No one was exaggerating when they said Wales was full of hills! We started off Wednesday with a long trek to the church. It takes us longer than 30 minutes to walk there and it is all uphill... and I mean big, long, and steep hills! We went to a relief society activity and I met a lot of the sisters here in the ward. Then we went and did service for a new mom in the ward. We got dinner with the elders, I have the same district leader (Elder Wallace) that I had in Nottingham so it was fun to catch up on everything! We had a missionary coordination meeting with some temporary helpers. Our ward mission leader had a stroke so we will have different members helping us for now. Then we went to the chapel to help with the youth night and I met more of the members and the bishop.
Thursday morning, we had district meeting so we made the long journey to the chapel again. My MTC companion Sister Sharp and her greenie Sister Carson are in my district! It had been about 6 months since the last time we saw each other so it was so great to catch up. We had a good district meeting and played some games during our lunch. Then we went and visited with a recent convert named Sam. She is 16 and quite hilarious. Then we went to teach our friends David and Madeleine about the sacrament. After that we went to teach our friend Jon. He's been meeting with the sisters for a few years so he had a lot of questions about my mission and to get to know me. He has a lot of good questions about the church and I'm excited to meet with him again!
Friday, we did our weekly planning in the morning and had lunch. Then we went to visit a member named Marcia. We stopped by a lot of different less active members and walked walked walked all over. Then we came home for a late dinner and had language study.
Saturday morning, we went through the area book to find some formers to visit. Then we did some finding in Blackwood centre. It's a very small town centre but we met some nice people. Then we went to stop by a referral and had a lesson with her and her husband. He's a minister for the local Methodist church so it was very interesting. Sister Tartaglia was teaching some of their family in her last area; the Forrest of Dean, so they were very kind. We got a call of distress from our friend who was very depressed so we went and visited her. We brought her chocolate and sang her some hymns to cheer her up. We kept trying to visit a member to take her a birthday card but kept missing her. She lives at the top of a very steep hill so that was exhausting!
Sunday morning we got a lift to church and made it just in time! The sisters here have been teaching a family of 6 and thanks to the bishop we were able to arrange a ride for them to all come since they do not drive. We taught the lesson in gospel principles, Amy and her husband really enjoyed it and the kids went to primary and enjoyed that. After church we had lunch with the Mannings which was very nice. They usually bring the sisters to and from church and lunch, but their car is broken. So we walked for about 2 hours to David and Madeleine's so that the elders could give them each a blessing. Then we walked home and had call-ins and organized the area book more.
I'm a sister missionary in beautiful Wales, my Italian companion is hilarious and life is good! What more could I want? ☺️ Hope you all have a fantastic week!
Love you all!
1. My wonderful new companion Sister Tartaglia from Italy!
2. Dinner with the Mannings
3/4. Birthday kisses for my sister McKall...she's 16!
5. I got to meet Sister McEwan!! She's from Utah and she followed my blog before she got here!! She's so fun and it was awesome to meet her at the mission office as she was starting her mission!