Wow I know I say this every month, but I can't believe it's already October!
Monday night, our friends called to cancel our lesson and expressed that they hadn't been able to give up smoking for the day. So we visited Marcia instead and had a great time with her. When we returned to our flat our fridge was making all these weird gurgling noises and there was a big pool of water in the bottom. I'm not sure how old our fridge is, but it's pretty disgusting. We called the elders because we had no idea how to fix it but they weren't much help so we ended up just turning it off to be safe.
Tuesday morning, we had language study and then we walked to help Julia out. We talked and cleaned and shared a nice lunch all together. Then we visited another member named Lilian who gave me some clothes she didn't want anymore... I really need to stop accumulating new clothes…But who can say no to free clothes? We had a quick dinner and went to teach our friends. It's really all up to them to stop smoking and there's nothing we can do about it, but we still love them! If they don't have that personal desire they won't be able to change, no matter how much we try to help them. To wrap up the day we went and taught Jon and after the lesson he taught us some cool card tricks
Wednesday was a day full of meetings! We left the flat at 8:30 to catch a bus and some trains to our stake centre where we had double district meeting with President Leppard. The Cardiff districts met before us so we had lunch first. We were combined with the Cwmbran district so I got to see Sister Spangler whom I served with my two weeks in Stamford and Elder Quesada, my first district leader in Stourbridge. President and Sister Leppard gave us some pretty intense training on our emergency procedures, highlighted especially when he received an alert on his phone about 2 dead bodies found in Cardiff city and rushed out to inform the Cardiff districts who were taking their turn eating lunch. President gave a good training on involving the members more in our missionary work. Elder Wallace & Dodds gave training and used President and Sister Leppard for what turned into some hilarious role plays. We travelled back and visited some members and had dinner at the chapel. Then we had coordination meeting and after that we went to help with youth night. The young women were doing some cross stitching and we had a fun night with them.
Thursday morning started off a bit rough to be honest. We have been trying to contact our friend Annette since I came her and she finally texted us and set up a lesson. We didn't have much time to get there by the time we finished our studies and we knew we were going to be late. As we walked, as quick as we could manage, we were having a deep discussion about some of our friends, their struggles and what more we can do to help them. We passed a man walking his dog so we smiled and said hello, but had to continue on our way to our lesson. He then called to us to stop and reprimanded us for being in conversation with each other and only saying hello instead of stopping to try and teach him. He told us we were terrible missionaries and said some other very hurtful things. We do try to stop and talk to everyone we pass, but when we have appointments, it is not always possible. I had a hard time shaking off his words and found myself quite emotional and upset about it. This area has been so hard and we are trying our best to stay positive and work despite all the rejection. All the built up emotions and feeling of failure were intensified with his words and I just lost it. Sometimes you just need a good cry, ya know? We were both quite emotional in the lesson with Annette but I know she really felt the spirit as we testified of the restoration to her and especially of God's love for each of us. We came home and had lunch to refresh ourselves then went out to teach Eric with Sister Manning from the ward. Haha and let's not even talk about how many times 90 year old Eric tried hitting on Sister Manning as we taught him about obedience and prayer. Then we took the train to see Amy and her family. We shared dinner with them and shared a beautiful lesson of the plan of salvation with her. We also invited Amy to be baptized. She has been invited many times before from when they first investigated and still does not feel she is ready. But she said it would be nice for the children to be baptized so we can teach them more and invite them as we keep working to help Amy understand the importance for herself.
Friday morning, we did our weekly planning and had lunch. Then we walked up to Blackwood and visited a less active member named Ann. We had a really nice visit with her and she asked us to help her stop smoking! Then we made the journey back to our flat where Jenny Morgan picked us up for a delicious roast dinner and many laughs. She showed us all her albums of the missionaries that have served here and she just loves them all- especially elders haha- so so much! Friday night was very cold and we tried to visit some less active members near to our house. They weren't in so we went and visited with our good friend Megan who is so sweet!
Saturday morning the heavens opened and the rain came down and we had a few hours before general conference to do some finding. Some days we go out and have a "fourth floor, last door experience"... And other days the rain is pouring down, the wind is blowing, your favourite pair of boots, worn out with love, tear open at the toe and you knock 9 rows of houses with no interest whatsoever. But we still keep on knocking with a smile on our faces, because like President Uchtdorf also taught we need to exercise diligence and endure through the trials of our faith. We cannot change the will of God or the desire of others, we can only do our best to invite. We came home freezing, but satisfied that we had done our part. We changed into dry clothes and eagerly prepared for general conference. Sister Spragg picked us up and drove us to their home on Ysgwyddgwyn street (yes that's literally their street name, gotta love Wales!) and we watched the general women's session with her and enjoyed some delicious pizza. We started it a little late so when we turned on the 5 o'clock live session (Saturday morning for all of you) we had missed President Ucthdorf's talk.. But honestly the rest of the session was so amazing I forgot by the end. It was so special to watch it together in the home of Brother and Sister Spragg. When conference wrapped up at 7, we enjoyed the most beautiful roast dinner together and I just felt enveloped in so much love, peace and joy. We were struggling to find a ride for the sessions on Sunday as we had planned to just take a train and discovered there weren't any to our destination on a Sunday. Brother and Sister Spragg heard us making some calls and then volunteered to join us all day at the stake centre and drive us there, they are angels! I'm so thankful for them for helping us be able to view conference this weekend!
Sunday morning after studies we had lunch and the Spraggs picked us up for the 1 o'clock session (the Saturday afternoon session recorded) which was also so amazing! In Between sessions we gathered as missionaries in the zone for a potluck dinner and played a big game of mafia. Then we watched the 5 o'clock live session (Sunday morning). It was so amazing to hear President Thomas S. Monson speak, we are so blessed to have a prophet of God on the earth today. Unfortunately, the Sunday afternoon session isn't live until 9 here which is when we have to be back in our flats. But I'm excited to read and listen to the talks as they are available and gain more truth and knowledge! We are so blessed, so so blessed to live in these the latter days.
Life is so good and I'm so very thankful to be a missionary here in the UK! Lots of love and prayers your way!
England Birmingham Mission
This cute member in Cardiff found me at General Conference and moved my hair off my nametag and said, "Oh I need to meet you! I promised your mom!"
Pictured: Sister Cebollero, Michelle Webb, and Sister Sharp (MTC Comp)
BLACKWOOD Missionary Selfies!!