If you are reading my emails and are thinking about serving a mission, please go for it! I'm sick of feeling that I am just supposed to testify of missionary work because someone needs to hear it.
Just kidding. I love it.
But whoever it is that is thinking about it, you'd better start working on it before everyone else stops reading my emails because of all the “I love my mission rants”. Haha.
This week, I've been a missionary in Cardiff, Swindon, and Swansea as well as in Merthyr. I feel a little bit like an old-time circuit preacher. Haha.
I LOVE getting to go on so many exchanges, though. I learn so much from each of the sisters. And I get to see so much of the mission. It makes me so excited to be a missionary in the EBM. (In case you don't know, EBM is short for Earth's BEST Mission.)
Sister Lambert taught me how a better way to use members to work with less-actives. Sister Sassenus taught me how to be so bold you could be offensive, but to do it with love so instead they see you care. Sister Muhlmann taught me that the only way to be a good missionary is to get out of your comfort zone all day, and then your comfort zone will grow.
Basically, this is the most humbling thing I've done. How am I supposed to uplift these sisters? They are simply incredible on their own. I feel so small compared to them. But. My goal is to help them have love for their missions, hope for their area, and increasing effectiveness each day. Because that's what I want too!
Funny story of the week. When I was on exchange, my companion stopped a man who was clearly...not all there. I think he may have been a little drunk as well. When she asked if he was religious, all of a sudden he whips up his shirt! Of course, my mind is going: "what? WHAT ? OH NO!!!!" In stead of SIMPLY saying yes or pulling out his cross necklace to show us, he decided to yank up his shirt to show us his necklace.
Thank you, sir.
And then for the rest of the convo he held up his shirt. hahaha.
Maybe he was worried we'd forget he was religious? I don't know.
When we were finally able to end the conversation, I went to shake his hand, and he grabs it and starts kissing it. Remember that scene from Singing in the Rain where he was kissing her hand? Yeah, it was pretty much that. By the time I finally was able to yank out of his grasp, he'd worked partway up my forearm.
I am still grossing out about it. Blech. He gave us his address, in case we wanted to come see him. At the mental hospital. Uh, I think I'll pass.
Luckily we had enough time I could disinfect my arm before our next appointment.
Mum, you asked about the Welsh in comparison with the Brummies. Well, they are even less interested in religion, if that is possible. But, they will talk to you about ANYTHING. They are so proud of the history of their land.
Which is kind of cool, because sometimes they'll refuse to even take a pass along card, but if I start talking about Dan Jones—about how he's the most famous missionary—they will listen right up. They love it, especially when we testify that it was the Welsh saints who changed the early history of the church, and we could not have continued without them. In fact, a lot of them know about the church because some of their ancestors' families converted and went to Utah.
Which is kind of cool.
(BTW, our Welsh ancestors, what town are they from? No one here is satisfied when I say I have Welsh ancestors. They want to know the exact little village and county. Haha. So if someone would check up on that, I would appreciate it.)
I hope I didn't share this story in an earlier email. Because it didn't happen this week, but I want to share it now. So if I already shared it, humour me.
We knocked this lady's door. As soon as she opened the door, you could FEEL the sadness pouring out of it. I've never felt anything like it. We at first just started to talk to her normally, but then we paused and said “Are you alright? What happened?”
She told us her son had just died. (Later, we found out it's been over TWO years. But she talked about it as though it was yesterday.) We started talking about the Plan of Salvation and it just wasn't working. She couldn't accept it that God would make her experience something that hard.
Finally, we just invited her to pray. She said that God couldn't understand.
I love it when the Spirit takes over: we just said “Actually, God understands perfectly. Because He lost a Son, too. There is no one you could talk to about it that would give you more love and comfort in return because no one understands better or loves you more than Him.” and then we talked about the Atonement taking away our pains and sorrows.
We've tried stopping by again (which is what made me think to share it now), but we just cannot get a hold of her. I just am praying that she took the opportunity to pray.
Because it would have changed her completely.
But. We will keep trying!
Because that's my job!
Welcome to the U.K. This is thier shredded wheat. Two biscuits is a whole meal! haha. They are way better this way. Just saying.
A lady we were going to meet with had to cancel, so she left us a note letting us know. Can you read it? ... She thinks we're nuns. hahahahaha. We were gutted. But it was pretty funny. So, I'm a nun now. If you wanted an update about my week, you got it. I am officially a nun!
This is Swansea! Gorgeous, eh?