Monday, March 24, 2014

Friends, casual clothes and daffodils

Hello family!

I can't believe another week is gone! Sister Lau and I had a lot of fun this week. The funnest thing of them all though was sports day!! It was such a blast to be with all the sisters in the mission. It gave me a lot of strength to talk to my friends (and I'm happily realizing that I DO have friends out here) in the mission who are all going through similar trials and tests as me. I got to talk to Clara (Mimi's best friend from Austria) for a good long while too and that was the BEST because she really reminds me of Mimi. That was a real tender mercy from the Lord.

To start off the sports day we had a Preach My Gospel chase (which is like a scripture chase but with PMG)! We divided up into 4 groups. The top 6 people advanced to stage 2, and then the top 4 people of those 2 groups went to the final round. I got to stage 2 but then lost. It was really fun! It made me want to know Preach My Gospel better. But plus it was fun because we got to be a little competitive. I forgot that I'm competitive...I did my best to reign myself in though. I remember a speaker in the MTC told us "Christ is not competitive." So I did my best to be Christlike...but still really want to win...haha I'll work on that. :)

Here is Sister Lau and I in our casual clothes! Woot woot! It was nice to not be in a skirt all day. Oh things I took for grated before I was a missionary! :) We tried to match as best we could. Companionship unity! haha

This is Clara and I!

Here is a picture of Sister Sun, Lau, and I. This was the trio I was in for the first 2ish weeks here in England. It was SO good to see Sister Sun and talk to her again. I love her and miss her! She is a Sister Training Leader in Wales right now. She is amazing!

That's all the pictures I have of Sports day. To be honest, I did more talking than playing. I just wanted to talk to everyone! I started playing volleyball for like 10 seconds but there were too many people on the court to have a real game going. It kinda reminded me of young womens volleyball haha So mostly I just exercised my mouth by catching up with my sisters. :)

I was sick two days this week with a really bad cold. So not much else happened. But I did want to tell you something that has really made me appreciate the religious freedom we enjoy in America and England.

We are teaching a Chinese uni student right now who has been progressing REALLY well. Learning about prayer and god has made him so much happier and he is recognizing the feelings of peace he receives when he prays as answers from God. It's just so exciting and happy. We taught him the Plan of Salvation the other day and it rang true to his soul! The light of Christ really is in everyone. So we invited him to be baptised fully expecting that he would say yes. BUT. After we asked him he told us he was a communist. Not that he CHOSE to be communist but that his parents were and if your parents are, the government assumes you are as well. It would be really dangerous for him to be baptised and openly believe in God. So he can't be baptised. Isn't that sad? Here is a boy who has felt the truth and wants to make a commitment to Heavenly Father, but can't because it would be dangerous for him and his family. It makes me so sad. But we will keep teaching him and do all we can to help him progress spiritually. Someday I know that something will change and he will be able to get baptised.

Oh! The past weeks hundereds of dafodils have been popping up all over Lancaster! They are so beautiful. There is a field of them that we pass all the time on the bus ride to uni. This is it! It was so pretty we couldn't help but take pictures!

One more thing, this week we find out transfers. So don't send any mail directly to my flat until I tell you I'm either staying or leaving. The mission office address will be safer for the next week. :) 

That's all from Lancaster for now! Until next week!

Sister Bement

Monday, March 10, 2014

Exchanges, charity fundraiser, and Ingleton Waterfalls hike

Hello my lovely lovely family!!

This week has gone by SO FAST! What a blessing. We had an exchange with the Carlisle sisters this week. It started on Thursday afternoon and went untilSaturday afternoon. I was with an English sister named Sister McDonnell! She was absolutely lovely. We became really fast friends. We are both really young in the mission so it was a bit crazy for us to be in charge of ourselves. But we did it and had fun and saw miracles along the way! I know that Sister McDonnell will be one of my best friends in the mission. 

Saturday was the funnest day. Our ward mission leader, Brother Hester, arranged for us to collect money for a charity Saturday morning from 10-12 City Center. One of our investigators Leon came as well! It was a BLAST. Other members of the ward helped out too so we saw lots of familiar faces. Let me tell you, collecting for charity in City Center is WAY easier than street contacting there! We weren't allowed to proselyte while we were collecting but one man came up to Sister McDonnell and said "I really like your badge. You are doing a great thing." So people noticed we were missionaries and were engaged in a good cause. 

Every Wednesday and Saturday is market day in city center! So when we were done collecting we took our lunch in the city and bought yummy market food! It was such a beautiful day and it was so fun to be with Sister McDonnell. 

It was also pancake day last week! Pancake day is pretty big here. Although, English pancakes are more like crepes. They were selling them at uni so we bought some just to experience an English "pancake" day. :)

Last p-day brother Holden took us to the Ingleton Waterfalls! It is a four mile hike. All the elders, Dos, and Grace (aka Selene) came too. It was really fun. It also was one of the most beautiful places I have ever been. It reminded me of our family because we love going on hikes together! But here are the pictures. I don't think they quite capture how beautiful it was, but I hope you enjoy them. :)


That's all the exciting stuff of the week I think. There is never an easy day but the Lord ALWAYS gives me the strength needed to do what He asks. And I'm learning that if I don't get it right the first time, He let's me try again and again. I feel close to the Savior every step of the way. And it's so happy to see other people get closer to the Savior as well. 

I love and miss you all SO MUCH! Have a great week!

Sister Bement

Monday, March 3, 2014

Temple Trip, Basketball and the Refiner's Fire

Dear family,

Hello! This week has been one of tender mercies large and small. The biggest and greatest was the opportunity to attend the temple. It was a beautiful experience. I really love the temple. When it was time to leave the Celestial Room I cried because I just wanted to stay in the temple forever. But life goes on! And the strength I received from the temple has carried me through this week. 
Here are some pictures!

Something pretty fun that happened this week was we reserved a basketball court at Uni for the missionaries, recent converts, investigators, and really ANYONE to come play. It was really fun. Not as many people came as we hoped but it did a lot of good for the people who did come. Sister Lau and I made little sticky notes to add to cards to invite people to come play and we handed them out all week. Shout out to Sister Boyd for sending me the Seahawks t-shirt! Woot woot! 

This week I have really come to accept and embrace the fact that serving a mission is hard. I've felt Heavenly Father's love and support as he gently taught me this. The beauty of it is, He is there supporting me every step of the way! He has never once asked me to do anything alone. He is on my right hand and on my left (D&C 84:88). I'm coming to realize this experience as a refiners fire. I'm being shaped and molded into a new person. The Atonement makes that possible and I'm so grateful for that. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father sees a potential far greater than I could ever see. I'm learning to trust Him and the experiences He gives me. 

The week ended beautifully yesterday when Grace (Selene. She changed her name. So now Selene is Grace. Sorry if that's confusing) bore her testimony at church! She was really nervous but really brave and did it anyway. It was a tender mercy because it reminded me why I'm here, and also that people truly can change if they rely on the Atonement. 

I love and miss you all! I've felt your prayers and support all week. Whenever my thoughts turned towards home somehow they would always get jerked back to the mission. That was such a blessing! I've felt so happy to be here in England as a missionary! And I know that's what Heavenly Father wants me to feel. 

Have a wonderful week!
Sister Bement 

Here are a few more pictures from the week:
Trying on Emily's glasses. The reminded me of Aunt Annie!!!

Having tea with Grace (Selene) again. She cooks YUMMY FOOD.