Monday, December 9, 2013

Contacting at "Uni", learning English English, and love

Lancaster, England

Hello everyone!

What a week! Can I just say first of all that being a missionary is absolutely the craziest, scariest, most amazing, faith testing, faith STRENGTHENING thing I have ever done? And probably ever will do? Because that is the way to sum up this week. I want to firstly tell of some miracles.

University of Lancaster (from google)

Saturday was what is called a "4 Hour Consecrated Finding" day. We fasted on Friday to be able to find the people that Heavenly Father has prepared to hear the gospel. I was a little apprehensive about Saturday because right now finding (which is street contacting or tracting) is the scariest part about being a missionary. But I prayed a lot for the courage to be able to talk to whoever the Lord had prepared me to talk to. We spend A LOT of time at Lancaster University or "Uni" as the people here call it. There are a ton of Chinese students and we make anyone Chinese our first priority to talk to. But we will talk and teach anyone obviously. So our goal on Saturday was to teach 11 lesson and get 8 new investigators. We ended up teaching 13 lessons. 12 of them were unplanned, just outside on the Unitversity campus! 10 of them were to Chinese students. And 4 of them made appointments to meet up with us again! I couldn't believe it. There were moments when I was just standing there taking someone's phone number and thinking, "Why in the world are you giving me your contact information? You don't even know me!" But then I remembered that we had fasted and prayed hard, and that the Lord really has prepared the people of Lancaster England to hear the gospel, and that the gospel is true, and that the Holy Ghost was touching their hearts, and then it all made sense. If anyone didn't know this already, I'll just give you a little wake up call. PEOPLE ACTUALLY WANT TO HEAR ABOUT THE GOSPEL. For some reason I didn't realize this before I got here. But people are willing and ready. Especially the Chinese people. Something I've realized in this last week is that proabably 1 in 10 English people will stop and talk to you if you stop them on the street. I would say 8 in 10 Chinese people will stop if you start talking to them on the street. I'm really blessed to be allowed to focus most of my efforts on these wonderful and willing people!

My beautiful companions 

My companions, Sister Sun and Sister Lau, are pretty much pro missionaries. They are fearless it seems! We have a ton of investigators and are teaching many lessons every single day. And most of them are Chinese students at the |University. Something I've noticed about being a missionary is how fast you can love people. Now that I've been here a week some of the investigators have seen me more than once, but a fair few of them have only met me one time. And I LOVE THEM. I care about them SO MUCH. There is one particular girl, Selene, that for some reason I love so dearly. I've taught her one time and she came to church for the first time yesterday. Sister Sun, Lau, and I walked with a group of 4 investigators to church yesterday and I talked to Selene the whole time. She is from China but is studying English and Linguistics at Uni so her English is very good. She speaks Chinese to me because she knows I'm trying to learn, but pretty much everything she says she ends up having to translate because I don't understand. But anyways, it was just so fun to be with her and learn about her life. It's so fun teaching Chinese people because a lot of them don't even know who Jesus Christ is. Or that God is their loving Heavenly Father. Sometimes when we say things like, "So through prayer, you can communicate with Heavenly Father and ask Him for things you need help with. He hears your prayers and will answer them because you are His child and loves you SO much." they will say, "Ohhh. Yes I understand." And nod and smile really big. It's beautiful. 

I'm also realizing that the Sunday school answers about how it feels to experience the Holy Ghost are so true. I've heard so many times this week that people feel "peace" and "warm" after praying for the first time. There was one girl we street contacted into on Saturday who just started crying when we were telling her about God. She was Chinese and talking really fast so I couldn't understand but my companions told me later what she said. She said she had no idea why she was crying but she just felt warm inside and needed to cry. Isn't that amazing? The gospel can touch EVERY SINGLE PERSON. 

Okay before I end this I want to talk a little bit about England! 

First of all, I feel like I'm learning 2 new languages here! Chinese and English English! There are many words that are different here. The one that confused me most is "tea" which means dinner. And dinner means lunch. Or lunch means lunch. But dinner never means dinner. haha. So people from the ward have us over for "tea" most nights. I'm getting used to it but it still confuses me sometimes! Fast food joints are called "Chippies". One of our investigators owns a chippie. We went and ate food there on Thursday and it was SOOOOO good. There is this thing here called Curry & Chips. It is pretty much amazing. It's just french fries covered in curry sauce. But it's popular here and I love it. Some English things that are not exactly my cup of tea per se are Cornish Pasties and Shepards pie. Mostly, I feel like the food here is just a little bland...apparently American food has taught me to want lots of salt and lots of sugar! But I'm sure I will adjust soon enough. :) It's probably healthier this way anyways.

Something else interesting here is that the houses are SO SMALL. It doesn't matter how many people are in the house, it's the same size. People really aren't afraid to squish into a room. If there is a family of 5 plus 3 just squish around a small table and make the best of it. It's actually kind of fun. 

It is also pretty cold. On Saturday when we were four hour finding it was raining sometimes and my feet felt numb when we finally got to go inside. Inside our flat the heater in the bedroom is broken so it's freezing every night. I wear my wool socks, sweats, and a sweatshirt to bed and feel pretty warm though. I'm sleeping here much better than I did at the MTC which is a blessing!!!

Living Room

WOW sorry this is so long. I thought I should mention how Chinese is coming. I would say horribly. But my companions say differently. Last night after our investigator, JJ, walked away I had a little breakdown right there in the learning lab of Lancaster University. I felt so useless most of the lesson because I had no idea what she was saying!!! I Just had to nod and smile and pretend! I feel so bad for my companions because they pretty much have to carry every single lesson. In a week Sister Sun is being transferred somewhere else and it will just be me and Sister Lau and then I'm REALLY gonna feel bad because Sister Lau will be stuck with just me! Ugh. But my companions say they don't feel like that and that it's okay and blah blah blah. But I need to study Chinese harder. 

I love you all! Thank you for your prayers and support as always. I miss you and pray for you.

Sister Bement

1 comment:

  1. Hang in there Jenni. Keep praying for Heavenly Father to help you learn the language. He will. Miss you. Take care. Sister Terri Neal.