November 21: SNOW in Wales!
Monday was probably one of my favourite P-days on the mission so far! Our district went to Caerphilly Castle and it was so beautiful! It's the biggest castle in Wales and the 2nd biggest in the U.K. I'm just really mesmerised by castles and their history and beauty! I'd go to a castle every p-day if I could convince everyone. The weather was so so nice, unfortunately it was also probably the last nice day weather wise we will see for the next loooong while! After p-day was over all our lessons flogged... so we ended up visiting Marcia. She taught Sister Tartaglia the phrase "good grief" and she has laughed about it all week!
Tuesday a woman we tracted into asked us how we measure our success when people reject us all day...we explained to her that we are happy at the end of the day when we know we did ALL we could to invite and bring others unto Christ. Well, that's definitely the lesson Heavenly Father was trying to teach us Tuesday and pretty much all week because almost EVERYTHING fell through this week no matter how hard we tried.
In the morning, we went to Julia's and did some super cleaning and organizing service. Then we went to Crosskeys. Our biggest problem this week was our zone meeting was moved from Tuesday morning to Friday afternoon…which is when ALL our appointments with our new investigators in Crosskeys were. So Tuesday was our only free day to try and teach them or see if we could rearrange. Well, Luvenia had guests over and Rita's kids were sick so that didn't work out! We did some finding in Crosskeys and met a lot of people who weren't interested if you know what I mean. We bused to the next village and tried to visited some members, Brother and Sister Lewis. They were so nice but they were just on their way out so they gave us a lift to Newbridge. We tried some less actives and potentials but none were in. So we thought with our bus pass we'd go teach David and Madalaine and called them and they were free! But then NO buses came and it was too far and too late to walk there so we had to call and rearrange to make it in on time. So obviously as soon as we cancelled and started the long trek home not just 1 but 4 buses passed us on our journey!
Wednesday morning, we went to a relief society lesson which was on managing stress…all good things for a missionary to be reminded! We had a quick lunch and even received a media referral! We tried to visit some less active members but they were all busy. Then we went to Gareth's house and it's seriously all decked out for Christmas... seriously, every single room! His wife loves Christmas and gave us a house tour of all her decorations. This may or may not have prompted us to put our little Christmas tree up in our flat! Well we talked with Gareth and followed up on the gospel of Jesus Christ and talked more about how to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Coordination got cancelled so we had a dinner at the chapel. Then we saw Becky but she was completely knackered from college so we didn't really get to teach her much. We finished the night off making some Christmas ornaments with the young women! Our bishop's nonmember granddaughter has started coming each Wednesday so that has been great!
Thursday, we travelled to the stake centre for our district meeting and interviews with President & Sister Leppard. Elder Cook taught us about how apostles frequently assign missionaries to the mission president they need and it is so true, I just love them! We had a little freak out moment together when we realised it's been 10 months since I arrived we reminisced about that one time when we went and taught a Baptist church in Nottingham in my third week. It was a VERY cold day Thursday and we experienced the wrath of Welsh weather as the winds and rain finally broke my brolly (but I guess it was due because I have no idea how my Walmart umbrella lasted me 10 months in Britain!) and then also my winter coat broke...but no worries, All is Wales.... haha get it? We travelled back on the trains and buses and then walked to Newbridge. We had dinner with Hannah and had eggs and chips, a British classic.
Friday was a long cold travel day again! We had our zone meeting in the afternoon so after studies we had to go straight to catch the bus and trains to get to the stake centre again. We had an amazing zone meeting! They introduced the Christmas initiative #LIGHTTHEWORLD!! Guys, the video this year is amazing. Look for it this Friday on Mormon.org and light the world this Christmas season! We had some great trainings and some amazing departing testimonies! It's always so emotional and powerful to hear those you've come to love in the zone sharing their last testimony with us! Then we had lunch and the rain and sleet turned to snow and we may or may not have had a zone snowball fight! It took us an extra-long time to travel back because right when we ran up to the platform to catch our second train connection it pulled away. We just had time for a quick dinner and put some more formers in the area book app by the time we walked home from the bus.
Saturday morning, we did our weekly planning. Then we met an older sister, Joyce at a pub for a lunch out. She hasn't been well enough to take us lately so it was our first time eating with her and it was such a treat! She is so sweet and shared with us some really cool church history stories about areas in our mission! It was pouring down with rain and we went to Newbridge again to try and contact our media referral. It said to call first but the number didn't exist and we'd been trying all week. We thought we'd just try stopping by but the address didn't exist either, bummer! We did some tracting and then we were about to bus to David & Madalaine when they cancelled due to flu. So we decided to train to Crosskeys and try to see Luvenia again! She ended up being quite busy again so that didn't work out. Our train back was late and full of rugby fans but we met the nicest woman while waiting for the train! Too bad she lives out of our area haha!
Sunday I experienced my first primary presentation in Britain. It was absolutely adorable and just a much smaller scale of ours back home due to their tiny group. We had Brother & sister Spragg for lunch. They live far up in the valleys and they had lots of snow outside their home! Then we taught Chowa and Rahul more about faith in Jesus Christ and they asked lots of questions. With all their questions our lesson on Christ led to sharing about Christmas, the first vision, fasting, tithing and Adam & Eve. David & Madalaine were still sick so we visited some less active members on our way back towards our flat. Then we had our weekly call-ins and imported more formers into the area book.
It's definitely gotten quite colder and a lot wetter this week here in Wales! We're expecting a very snowy winter here in the valleys and it's already begun! Today we've just got LOADS of rain. It hasn't rained much since I've arrived to Wales but the wind and rain I've always heard of has definitely arrived!To all my friend in America and around the world, wishing you a happy thanksgiving! I'm so thankful for all your love and support that keeps me going!
England Birmingham Mission xx
Saying Good-bye to Sister Spangler! We were companions for 2 weeks back in Stamford. She's done with her mission this week!
Cardiff Zone: Sister Tartaglia (Italy), Me, Sister Timu (Austrailia), Sister Jampapan (Thailand)
It snowed in Wales!!
I'm so HAPPY for Adam! We started teaching him in Stourbridge and Sisters Jones and Pugmire got to finish teaching him. He got baptized last Saturday. I didn't get to go but my mom was able to get pictures from Sister Pugmire's mom! Happiness!!