Goooooood morning, family!!! It is a beautiful morning over here. It's one of those freezing cold but gorgeous spring days.
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE England? I really know that there is nowhere else I should be right now. I wake up every morning, feel confused for a couple of seconds, and then remember I am a MISSIONARY! Bah!! Jump out of bed, woman, and get to WORK! I love it so much. And one of my favorite verses is now D&C 31:3.....
"Lift up your heart and rejoice, for the hour of your mission is come; and your tongue shall be loosed, and you shall declare glad tidings of great joy unto this generation."
This is what I've waited for! And I think of all my friends that are getting ready to leave on their missions as well. What an incredible time to be a missionary!!!! And it just got even better. The First Presidency announced that.... MISSIONARIES CAN NOW EMAIL FRIENDS!!!! Wahoooo!! And no. This is not an April Fool's joke. Although it would be a hilarious one. Really and truly, I can now email anyone! (Except males in the mission I'm serving in. That's fine though.) I am beyond excited to actually be able to afford to communicate with people now....because email is free, and this girl can afford that. So, Mom, would you be willing to post that as a fb status for me? (You could even just copy and paste the part about emails.) And could you copy and forward me the email list you forward my emails to? I can remember no one's emails. haha.
I've been so excited to tell you about that, I haven't really thought about what else to share. It's going to feel like Christmas to actually get to communicate! Yes! Speaking of which, do you realize next month we get to talk on the phone? (Or Skype. Whatever.) It came so fast!!! I've already been in Harborne for a month.
Oh man. So much good news. I am so grateful I am for my anatomy experience and TAing! Because we live right near the University of Birmingham with its Medical School, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, AND a women's hospital, we talk to people who study the human body ALL the time. Almost every day, I get to share how studying anatomy transformed my testimony, how I just stood in awe in the majesty of forethought of God as I learned about the human body. And I see they can relate! They know exactly the moments I'm talking about...when you study some structure and learn the function, and then realize that it wouldn't work if it was even just a little bit different. and you KNOW we are not created by chance. There's no way we could function as beautifully and completely as we do if it was just randomly things that started living symbiotically.
(Honestly though, my dream would be to teach a med school professor and have him go "Oh, would you like to come study on your PDay in my anatomy lab?". Of course!!!!!!!! haha. Super nerdy. And my companion would not go for that.)
But we met this INCREDIBLE photographer yesterday. He's just this old man that loves to take photos of birds, and he publishes them more for fun than anything else. He showed some of his photos to us, and it was so cool. And he said that he believes that nature is his way of worshipping God, that he knows that appreciating what He made is just as powerful as studying what He said. I loved that! And as we were talking, I just told him that nature told me that there was a God, because life is just too beautiful to have happened by accident. I love how the Spirit lets me say things I would never known how to word before.
I also love how fast I can love people here. If you've checked my fb recently, you probably saw a message from a girl named Paige. I LOVE her. She is adorable. She was just baptized in October, and she's 16. We see her a lot, and I feel like she's my little sister. I'm pretty sure my hugs crush her every time I see her. haha. Seeing people change when they understand the gospel is truly incredible. We've been watchign Legacy with her, and talking about the pioneers. I love how it's really the first time she's learned about it. You can see her reverence and respect for them increase all the time.
And I haven't mentioned this yet, but I haven't slept well since I got here. Like I don't fall into a deep sleep and then I wake up and lie awake for half the night. Which is super wonderful to keep missionary hours all day and then not sleep at night. Calm down, Mom....I mentioned it to Sister Rasmussen this past week when I had interviews with her. And she gave me a few tips to try for a week, and if they don't work they'll send me to a pharmacy for a drug. So, every night, I have to relax for half an hour (because apparently missionaries don't relax. Surpise!) and take a hot shower at night and drink something warm before I go to bed. And it's helping. I feel like I'm Emery and my mom is "sleep training" me. The only thing I'm missing is being swaddled. haha. So now I'm telling you about it because it isn't so much of a problem anymore. So relax Mom and Dad. I wouldn't tell you about it if it would worry you. ;)
We taught a lot of Chinese students this week. We had lessons with seven of them. And they want to know about God so badly! They never really heard about Him before, and He just clicks with them. (My companion has a saying when about us "being human" and searching for God...that it's because we are of Divine Origins that we look for our Creator.). But sometimes it's hard to remember they know NOTHING about Him, and so things I take for granted are brand new for them. And so far the only Chinese thing I know is like a what's up...."Knee how" (that's phonetically. Because I have no idea how to spell it.)
My favorite lesson this week was with a Jamaican man named Christopher. Let's just say is was a HUGE test of faith just getting to the lesson with him. We literally spent FIFTEEN minutes on the phone just trying to set up an appointment with him. Here? No? here? Then? When? Geerrr. Then, we went into City Centre to meet him at this university (it took an hour to get there), which seemed random. And then he called and said he didn't want to be taught there. He wanted us to go to this shop with him. Wait...what??? And so he tells us to just catch this bus and get off in three stops. We couldn't find the stop, and so just ended up walking behind the car he was in for half an hour till we got there. So strange, right? And then we don't even teach him IN the barbershop, we stand outside and teach him. Why did we need to go to this barbershop then? BUT the lesson was so worth it! The Spirit was so strong. We'd given him a Book of Mormon when we first met him, and he'd read it and liked it so far. And he and his "baby mother" came to church on Sunday and loved it. (Can someone explain the concept of a baby mother to me? He lives with her and she has two of his kids, but "they aren't dating, he just respects her". Which is so confusing.)
Anyway. This week has been wonderful. Mom and Dad, I miss you. A lot. The hardest part is when something happens that normally I'd call home and tell you about it.....and instead I wait until Mondays. And we all know how patient I am. Have a wonderful week! Enjoy Generall Conference! I'll be watching the two morning sessions at the same time as you, but not the afternoon ones. So we'll be doing the same thing for four hours this weekend. :D
The University at night. Is it beautiful, or WHAT? And I have like 5million pitures of the clocktower from this week. I'm resisting and just sending you this one.
Mind the gap! Remember this General Conference talk? I think about it every time we take the train.
Training follow up meeting! It was ridiculously exciting to see everyone from my MTC group. This is Sister Davis and Elder Martin, the only ones from my district that came to my mission. We sat and talked the whole time. (After the meeting, of course.)