Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 9: Faith

I had to do a spiritual thought on faith at our last district meeting.
Faith is such an amazing thing. At stake conference, President
Pilkington gave a talk about the subject, and asked from Christ's
perspective, "do you trust me?" So this is something that I have been
thinking a lot about lately. How do I trust my saviour? How can I
better show my trust in Him?

Day 61: I reported two months ago, crazy!! Time is really flying by...
Not much happened since it was pday, a pretty chill pday. We went and
taught B in the evening. Because we don't live in our area any
more, I feel like all of our days are cut short due to travel time we
have to take. It's a struggle.

Day 62: We taught a lovely woman named A. She has three kids. She
totally felt the spirit,it was amazing. She agreed with basically
everything we were saying. She is such a sweet lady. We also taught
S again, so that was great. She has had such a hard life, every
time we go see her, you can just see how uplifted she is by the end
because of the spirit. It is amazing.

Day 63: Did lots of knocking. Went by some potentials that sadly
didn't work out. Made appointments with some other people. Normal
missionary stuff. 😊

Day 64: We went on exchange! And it was a beautiful day! Sister Barry
and I got so sunburned! Ack! Where am I!? Also, happy 90th birthday
to the queen! We saw a cool marching band in town. Taught some cool
investigators. Talked to a guy on the streets about records, that was
fun. By the way, York is a really beautiful city.

Day 65: Went knocking. Saw K again. Got cancelled on. Spoke to
some really great people on the streets.

Day 66: Taught S! She is so ready to be baptised! She is so
excited! She can't wait! We had the most wonderful lesson with her. We
were talking about the gospel of Jesus Christ and we had brought
Sister Gore with us. Sister Gore was so great. Her testimony really
touched S perfectly. She testified about how we are all Christs
brothers and sisters, and it really touched me as well. I am so
grateful that I know I am a daughter of an all powerful being who
loves me perfectly. It is amazing. I love this gospel. So later, we
went and saw L, ran into G on the street and also went by the
Hicktens. Also did a bit of knocking. A pretty good day basically.

Day 67: S came to church! And brought her mom! Sister Gore was
kind enough to pick them up. So many members came up to her to talk to
her about how they remember her and all that. It was great. They were
all so kind.  She liked being there, so that was a plus! Later, Sister
Wood and I went contacting in Rowntree park, which is a beautiful
place. I wish I could send photos from the iPad, but I can't.... I
will next time! We talked to this one lady who ended up crying because
her sister had just passed away and it was just really great. She told
us that she really appreciated us stopping and talking to her. So that
was awesome. It's moments like that where I am so grateful for this
opportunity that I have to be out and serving!

I love you all! Talk to you next week!

Sister Barret

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Week 8: Evacuated

Yes, you read that head line right. I have been moved for the time being to the York 2 sisters flat. It is a struggle, but also a good time.

Day 54: Not much happened... Normal p-day. Had some burgers. Went and saw the shambles of York. Cool stuff like that. Saw a random herd of cows on a moor.

Day 55: Had a good time knocking doors. Transfers happened, so Elder Vickers now has a new companion. He is training Elder Campbell, who is from Scotland and is kind of hard to understand over the phone. We had another lesson with S where she told us that she is determined to get baptized this time! We are so excited for her. After about a half hour of teaching her, her husband, K, and her son, S showed up and sat in. We talked more about the gospel and sometimes K would say something and S would defend the church quickly. It was super awesome. We also watched The Hope of God's Light all together which So said she felt the spirit strongly as she watched. I would suggest to anyone who hasn't seen it yet to watch it. So good.

Day 56: Another beautiful British day. Knocked more doors. Saw B. We were out street contacting when someone drove past, honked and waved. Took us a second to realize that it was actually S! Seemed like a good sign to us that he was a bit interested in the church. Got flogged a lot which was rough. But we made the most of it!

Day 57: We continued to knock lots of doors. Sister Wood and I have a good time with that though. Found some really solid potentials. We actually talked to this one lady, S, who investigated the church a long time ago with her family as well. We haven't seen her again yet, but we have hopes! We saw K again, who really is so sweet. I really just hope that we are helping her come closer again to Christ. Oh, also, I apparently street contact in my sleep. Sister Wood heard me sleep talking again.

Day 58: The Elder's investigator P got baptized! Yay! He is so awesome. We got to actually go due to some circumstances even though we didn't have an investigator with us. I actually ended up leading the music. Not sure how. But it was a lovely service. P's smile as he came out of the water was amazing. After the meeting, Sister Wood and I asked him how he felt, and he just didn't have words to describe it. But I could feel the spirit there. It was amazing. And then it was after this that Sister Wood and I were unexpectedly evacuated from our flat due to unforeseen circumstances.

Day 59: We taught S again! This time was just her. She believes in the Book of Mormon! Yay! She is just so great. We saw the Hicktens again and Sister Hickten said she can see a lot of improvement in me from the first time we visited. That made me feel good. :) We missed the bus that night to get home... So we walked the 45 minutes over. It was fun. Good thing Sister Wood and I get along well and can talk for that long!

Day 60: Yay church! I love church. Church is the best. Not taking the sacrament for two weeks is kind of the worst. I forget how much I need that weekly reminder and renewal until I don't have it. Speaking of which, Elder Bednar's talk about the sacrament and stuff this past conference was amazing. Look at it if you haven't yet. I gave the closing prayer in sacrament meeting... Which was fine. Saw G again! He is seriously so great. The only thing is that he doesn't want to leave his wife to come to church. And his wife is anti religion and poorly, so we haven't seen her. But he reads the Book of Mormon and prays every day! He says his testimony of Christ is growing! It's awesome.

That really is the greatest part of this church. It is all about the simple, daily things. Reading and praying every day. Partaking of the sacrament every week. Striving every day to become more like Christ. There is very little in the church that is done in just one go. There is continual progression, continual learning, continual blessings. It is amazing. I love this church and I am so grateful for it in my life.

I love you guys!!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 7: Surprise!

This week was actually relatively uneventful, but there were a couple of random good and bad surprises.....

Day 47: Had another zone p-day, that was fun. Went and visited P again... Not a very exciting day.

Day 48: S called us and asked us to come over that morning, that was awesome. So we were able to have a lesson with her, and we brought Sister Munzer with us, who was so great. She is such a sweet lady. They both are. Went knocking. Told some members we would sing in a little choir with them for the adult stake conference session, but when we actually went to practice they ended up just asking if Sister Wood would play violin instead. That was kind of funny that she got herself into that.

District Meeting
Day 49: Had our last district meeting as this district. Sister Silvennoinen (who is going home to Finland after this transfer!) brought us all baked goods she made, which was so sweet and awesome of her. We went out street contacting... I am starting to notice that I never refer to just myself. It is always "we" or "us" or "my friend and I." You can tell I have been on a mission for awhile now...

Day 50: We were knocking and this lady gave us an umbrella. She wouldn't take no for an answer. She was super nice. We also got caught in a huge hailstorm.... The worst one I have ever been out in ever in my life. That was exciting. We were visiting an older lady in the ward, Sister Barker when her neighbor dropped off her three girls for her to watch. They were so cute. They go to a Church of England school, so the little girls sang us a little song about Christ and it was so sweet. Little children are truly the best examples for all of us. That night.... I dropped our little rubbish phone in water. Surprise! Doing so effectively broke it. We did not sleep well that evening...

Good Times!
Day 51: For morning exercise, we ran to the Elder's place to tell our zone leaders who gave us one of their phones so we could contact the mission phone and so others could contact us. The mission office was super nice and they immediately got a new one in the mail. We went out knocking again, had some good conversations, found some people who were a bit interested. I love getting into conversations with people, it is always so interesting to see where the conversation goes.

Day 52: We got our phone, yay! So we actually had two phones all day. We felt like AP's. ;) We saw G for the first time in weeks... And he has been reading the Book of Mormon everyday! We didn't think he was all that interested, but yeah! We are pretty excited about him now. Another surprise of this week... So the adult stake conference was this evening, and we were under the impression that Sister Wood would be playing violin with the member playing piano. But then the member's mom's health turned more poorly so she wasn't coming... So she and I and Sister Berg (from my district) pulled a musical number out of nowhere! We performed I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go. It turned out better than we anticipated. Sister Berg is an amazing pianist, Sister Wood was able to pick up the violin and play just fine after seven months and then I sang. Which I do everyday. But yeah, it was very stressful, but it went well and people appreciated the spirit it brought into the meeting, since we were the first thing in the program. That stake conference was the best. And surprise! S actually came without telling us! That was also awesome, and all of the messages seemed to really apply to her and her situation. It was an amazing meeting.

Day 53: Had more great stake conference, where as missionaries we all sang Called To Serve. Knocked some doors, talked to some people, visited with the Bishop and his family. It was good. Oh, we also got transfer calls. Surprise! Nothing is happening. :) I will be here in York for another transfer, this next one is actually going to be 7 weeks! I'll be here forever!

Being a missionary is the best thing ever. And I wish I had realized this before I ever left, that we are all missionaries. We can all share the gospel. Even just being an example of what you believe in helps to share the gospel. Because people notice. And I promise, it is not as weird as one may think to bring up the gospel with people. It's the start that is the most awkward. But as long as you are firm and true to what you believe, it doesn't matter. This has obviously been on my mind a lot lately!

I love you all! Hope things are going well for you guys!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 6: Conference

This week was a weird one. But conference was amazing! I hope everyone was able to watch and have questions answered and in general be uplifted and edified!

Day 41: Not a huge fan of Tuesday p-day. Really throws things off for us. We went to the chapel again for p-day, that was pretty fun. So many missionaries go there, it's always a good time. That night we had a really great lesson with S. She told us about more things that had happened recently so we were able to listen and comfort her. We had brought Brother Wilkinson with us, our ward mission leader, and he gave her a blessing. We also scheduled her for May 7! We are really excited about helping her on her journey to come closer to Christ.

Day 42: We went out knocking for a bit... In the pouring rain. Which caused us to get let in! That was awesome. He was on his way out though, but he said he would meet with us again, so we are hopeful! We went over to K's again to help her out in her yard, which was kind of nice to do not only for her, but also for us. It was fun doing a bit of yard work for the first time in a very long time. We met with a man who we met on the streets the other day, K. We taught him the Restoration and he also accepted a date for baptism! That was pretty awesome. He has lost a lot of people close to him recently, so we just know the peace and happiness that our message can bring to his life. That night we went and visited Elder Narine again. He has been improving leaps and bounds! It has been one miracle after another with his healing. He really doesn't want to have to go home.

Day 43: We had zone training! That was super awesome. President Pilkington is the best. He always has such great things to teach us. We did some more knocking, and it was actually nice enough out that we were able to take our coats off for a bit! We saw L, a less active lady in our ward. She has such a testimony, it's amazing. She is so great.

Day44: We got a new big whiteboard put up, that was awesome. Sad the things that get you excited as a missionary sometimes... We also visited Elder Narine again, who has continued to heal! He had walked a mile that morning, which is huge. By the way, we are told when to visit him, don't think we are just wasting time by going to see him. We had a lesson with the guy who let us in when we were knocking in the rain. His name is T. We would have scheduled him, but he is apparently going to Thailand for a few weeks, so we had no idea when he would be back. We also found out he is married and that she had expressed a bit of interest as well. So yay!

Day 45: Yay conference! We watched the Saturday morning session at the church at 5 pm. It was really good. I think my favourite talk from that session was Donald L. Hallstrom's. That one was really great. Afterwards, we went and visited with R again which is always super. She is so sweet. The rest of that day we basically just did various finding activities.

Day 46: Yay more conference! We were able to watch the Saturday afternoon session (my favourite talk was probably Bednar's) and then the Sunday morning session (my favourite being both Sister Oscarson's and Uchtdorf's). I had written some questions down before conference started and basically all of them were answered. It was so amazing. I love conference so much. But yeah, I have not seen the Sunday afternoon session yet, so no spoilers! ;) Went about doing more contacting between sessions, which is always great.

This week was filled with really great spiritual meetings. I am so grateful that the Lord answers our questions, even if it isn't exactly how we anticipate it! Love you guys!

Sister Barret