Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Temple visit, Singing in the streets, and Being a vessel of light

Hello my family! 

This is gonna be a quick one because I have 25 min left on this lovely public computer :) So bare with me if there are typos!

First things first, Sister Dushku and I got to go to the temple yesterday. It was, as always, a peaceful, powerful, and inspiring experience. I'm so grateful there is a temple so close to where I serve! Presidnet Ulrich has been challenging missionaries to, when they return home, attend the temple once a week for the rest of their lives. I definitely am going to do that.

The work is moving forward here. But the past weeks we have been experiencing a bit of an investigator famine. Everyone new that we found dropped us before we could even teach them the second lesson. That was pretty discouraging. It's a good thing that Sister Dushku and I are a pretty cheerful pair or else I'm pretty sure we would have been discouraged! We are trying to figure out what we can do differently to start finding the people who are willing and ready to preach the gospel. We are optimistic about this week though and are so excited to see what will happen! :)

The miracle of the week! This is a good one folks, so get ready.

Friday night we were out finding in the cold rain (even though it is August) with the lovely Bella. We were just knocking doors and trying our best to talk to anyone that was out. We were not seeing too much success. But then Bella said, "There is a lady on a street over there who I met on a walk the other day. I bet she would listen to you. I'll show you where she lives." So we made our way over to that direction. Right when we knocked on the door, this wonderful old lady opened up! For some reason she let us right in! She was horrified that we were out in the rain and commanded us to take off our coats and go sit down in her living room. She even gave us chocolate! Well, we are calling this lady Sister Hyde. Sister Hyde is almost 80 and has a lot of thoughts about life and God. She isn't quite a believer just because of all the bad things that go on in the world. But she let us share the message of the Restoration and we sang her a hymn as well. When we were singing she almost cried. She said our message was beautiful and that we could come back! So today after lunch we are gonna go back and teach her again. Horray! We are hoping and praying that she will be the one who God has been preparing and that she is ready to accept the gospel. The miracles of tracting on a rainy, cold night with a member. :) Yay!

Speaking of singing hymns, Sister Dushku is convinced that I am hiding my talents under a bushel so she has been making sure we sing a lot throughout the day. And we really have seen miracles with it! I haven't been brave enough to sing by myself on the street, but multiple times this last week we have sang people hymns on the street or on their door step together. It really softens hearts! There was this one man who was not very happy that we had knocked on his door and didn't quite like our message either. He was already Christian and as the English do, told us, "I've got me own religion!" But Sister Dushku asked him if we could sing him a hymn. He was very taken aback, but said yes. So we sang "Nearer My God to Thee" and when we finished he took both of our hands and said, "That was lovely! Keep spreading the word and praising God!" We left on such a positive and spiritual note. Maybe the next time he meets missionaries he will want to listen. 

So even though we aren't seeing the results of our efforts represented in our numbers, we are seeing it in the little changes people make after speaking with us. It's very rewarding and humbling as well. I've learned this week that I if I want to be, I can truly be a vessel of light and truth to someone who desperately needs it. Even if they aren't willing to fully commit or change yet, they needed a dose of Heavenly Father's spirit that day. And Sister Dushku and I can help them feel it. 

That's about all I have time for today folks! I've loved hearing from all of you am so grateful that you are my family. Have a great week!

Sister Bement

Another pic at the temple. This is Sister Fitia from Madagascar!

This is a RM from Austria who knows Mimi! It was so fun to meet her! She has family in Preston so she was just visiting for the week. She only got off her mission 3 week ago so it was really great to talk to her about her mission. She served in Germany.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gorgeous Hike and Finding Miracle

Hiya family!

It' been another glorious week as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I'm turning into one of those cheesy missionaries I swore I would never become who between 10-20 times a day has to shout "I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!" But it's okay because Sister Dushku is the same way, so we work well for each other. :)

This morning we went with our district to hike Pendle Hill. There is a lot of history there! Witches, Quakers, and Elder Holland. I'll let you all look it up if you want to know more. It was a beautiful 5 mile hike that Elder Meese (Senior Missionary) led us on. The scenery was stunning. I shouted, "What are men compared to rocks and mountains!" but nobody got the reference. Oh well! England really is a gorgeous country. I love it! Yesterday when I saw Sister Crowder we started talking about things we love about England and it made me realize just how much I do LOVE this place. When I first got here there were so many things that were different and made me homesick that I never thought I would feel at home here. But I definitely do now. Such a blessing!

Now for the miracle of the week! Saturday night we took a YSA named Becky out finding with us. It was cold and a little rainy so I was a bit worried how it would go. But we weren't out for long when Heavenly Father put someone prepared in our path. It was a woman named Marie and her daughter. Marie was just really cheerful from the start and made us feel really comfortable talking to her. But then when we started to talk about eternal families she started crying. She has had two babies die after only living a few hours or days and still feels so much pain when she thinks about it. We were able to testify to her that her babies are in Heavenly Father's care and that she will see them again. We are going to see her next Thursday! Yay for members helping with finding! Miracles are bound to happen.

Sister Dushku and I are a part of the Preston District and we had our first district meeting this week. It was so fun and is a huge district! 4 companionships plus a senior couple. Woo hoo! Here we are.

The Meeses (senior couple) host a YSA FHE every monday night and one of our investigators Linday came last week. It was so fun and a very positive experience. Sadly, this is the Meeses last transfer. They have served for 18 months. We will miss them!

Basically, life is wonderful here in South RIbble, England. Couldn't be better. I've truly learned to love every phase of missionary work. I can honestly say that I love finding. There is just no other time in my life when I will get to cross the street to talk to someone mowing their lawn and interrupt them to try and share the gospel with them and not feel weird about it! Woo hoo! Time is flying and everyday I learn a little bit more about the Atonement, the Spirit, and how to get back to my Heavenly Father. I'm so grateful for every experience, hard, easy, good, or bad. Because it's all chipping away at my weaknesses and helping me become the person Heavenly Father wants me to be.

I love you all! I hope you have a great week and your testimony grows a little stronger than it was last week. 

All my love,
Sister Bement

P.S Next week is a bank holiday so I won't get to email until Tuesday :( BUT that also means I get to go to the temple on Monday. Horray!

Monday, August 11, 2014

More Family History and a bull ride!

Dear Family,

There are too many miracles to even tell you all of them this week! 

One miracle has to do with my favourite subject, FAMILY HISTORY! Sister Dushku and I have been going crazy using family history to invite others to lean more about the gospel. We have also given two training this week to other missionaries on the doctrine behind it and how we can better use it in our work. So I'm pretty much obsessed with it and wish that I had more time to work on my own. But anyways, we were doing some Sunday morning rain finding yesterday and met this indian woman who was Hindu. I pulled out my My Family booklet and showed her how I was documenting the memories I had of my Grandma who I'd lived with for a few months before coming to England. She grabbed my book and started flipping through it and said, "This is amazing! How can I get on of these?" We told her we could give her one for free and even help her get started on one. She said, "When can you come?" She invited us into her home because she needed to grab her phone and when she let us in she said, "My husband would probably be really interested in this too because he isn't very close with his extended family. He would probably really want to learn more about it." So we are going back tomorrow to help her and her husband get started! Woo hoo! I just know that there would be no other way to get into that home unless we were sharing a message about family history. The Spirit of Elijah is REAL!

We also got to go to the Preston Fun Day! It was held at the chapel and was packed. It was a stake activity so I got to see people from Lancaster as well! We got to wear pants and we just had a blast. I even rode Bull Ride...don't know how dignified that was but there was no strike of lightning so I think I'll be forgiven. One of our wonderful investigators brought her daughter as well and they had a blast. So it was just a great week!

Okay, I'm really running out of time here so I'll just attatch a couple pictures and call it good for this week. I love you all so so so so much!

Sister Bement

Monday, August 4, 2014

Family History Miracles and Driving on the Wrong Side

What a wonderful week! Serving in South Ribble is absolutely amazing. The missionary work here is exploding. Especially in regards to family history. I've developed such a strong testimony of the Spirit of Elijah in the recent months. Family History is a huge focus in the EMM right now and I'm so grateful because it's teaching me so much!

Here is a miracle of using family history. Thursday night we had invited a member out to go finding with us. Her name is Hilda and she said yes! We were walking to go call by some people but there was a woman out doing some gardening that we stopped and spoke to. She was obviously not really in the mood to talk and really weirded out that these strangers were talking to her. BUT. Then Sister Dushku showed this woman (her name is Nicola) her My Family booklet which has a picture of her family on it. Sister Dushku has 7 siblings and just loves big families which she told Nicola. Then Nicola said that she had 7 children of her own and they all lived with her still! She opened right up and started talking about what it is like to be a mother of a big family. Then Sister Dushku shared Helaman 5:12 with Nicola and said how even though family life is sometimes crazy, her family always felt grounded because of Jesus Christ. After we read that scripture together, Nicola paused and said, "What is that book?" That's when having Hilda there came in handy! Good ol' Hilda opened right up and told her about the Book of Mormon. Hilda announced that she is reading through the Book of Mormon for the second time now and that she just loves it and knows it's true. Then (this is the best part!) Hilda said, "Isn't there another time we could stop by and tell you and your family about the Book of Mormon?" And Nicola said YES!!! WOO HOO!!! So we are going back tonight. And it all started because of family history!

The gorgeous Sister Dushku 
Another miracle of the week is Shauna, Lindsay, Tamsin, and Melissa. Shauna is someone that Sister Dushku met a couple days before I came to South Ribble. She was super stressed and busy when they talked to Shauna said to come back a different time. We went back just to call by and see if she was interested and Shauna invited us right in. At first we were just talking to Shaun and her 6 year old daughter. But then some scary teenagers walked in. I was legitimately scared (just shows how awkward I've become since becoming a missionary). But Sister Dushku is super brave and invited them all to come in. At first it was a bit crazy because they kept asking us random questions, but as we got to know them a bit more, we recognised that a few of them had sincere desires to learn about the gospel and were confused about what they knew about God so far in their lives. So we made an appointment to come back the next day. We did, and taught them all the Restoration! Then two of Shauna's children and one of their friends came to church yesterday and LOVED IT! It is just so exciting to see what can happen if you have faith and are willing to be where the Lord puts you.

I'm really learning a lot from Sister Dushku. She is so brave and is teaching me SO MUCH. She LOVES being a missionary and is such a good finder. We use family history ALL the time and she really talks to everyone. I thought I could honestly say I talked to everyone, but she takes it to a whole new level! I'm really out of my comfort zone and it feels good! The more I serve with her the more I want to be a better missionary. It's been such a blessing. We are so unified and feel a lot of peace and love in this companionship. It's great!

Oh, I should also probably mention driving. It was super scary at first! After all, they drive on the wrong side of the road here. But now I'm pretty used to it and it's actually super fun. Last night we had to drive to Manchester for a fireside and I actually made it to the speed limit (70mph) for the first time. Pretty sure I got an adrenaline rush since I haven't driven in so long haha

Sister McDonnell, Sister Alston, and me saying good bye to each other at transfers. Sister Alston is back home in Canada and I miss her so much :( She is my first friend in the mission to go home so it's been a bit sad.
The 4 Sister Flat saying goodbye :(