Monday, September 29, 2014

Beautiful Baptism and Eternal Perspective

Hello family! I can't believe I'm at this computer typing again. This week has gone by so fast. I blink and another week is gone!

Well, first things first! I have to tell you about Taylor's baptism! She was so nervous but everything turned out perfectly. She looked beautiful and there was such a sweet spirit during the service. I love Taylor and am so proud of her! And she is already turning into a missionary. She invited 3 of her friends from college (which is the equivalent of high school to Americans) and they all came and were so supportive of her. The South Ribble Young Women have been so wonderful as well. They are all Taylor's besties! As well as Kerys and Mia (Talyor's younger sisters). All I can say is that Thursday night was perfect.


​Taylor's favourite colour is red so Sister Newton (Young Women's pres) came up with so many fun treats! We actually went and baked them with Sister Newton Thursday afternoon and it was so much fun.


Something else so wonderful this past week was we had a family home evening with Rachel, James, Katy, and Daisy at the wonderful Cooper home. Brother Cooper is our Ward Mission Leader and getting the Coopers and Rachel's family together is a BLAST. We did a "Sundae" lesson where we talked about keeping the Sabbath Day holy but really just got to eat ice cream sundaes. :) It was the best.

I don't even know how to describe this week! There were moments when I felt discouraged, but the longer I'm a missionary the shorter those moments last. I feel like I'm gaining a greater eternal perspective so the little pitfalls of life don't seem to matter anymore. The only thing that matters is getting back to Heavenly Father. As I look back on the months of my mission that have past, I can only remember the good times. Which is so interesting because I absolutely KNOW there were weeks, even months, when I felt low and homesick, but that is all gone now. Has been for months! And all I feel is intense gratitude for the joy and happiness I have found since starting my mission.

Well, another exciting week is ahead! I'm really looking forward to general conference this week. Having living day prophets and apostles is such a blessing! 

I love you all! SO MUCH!
Love,
Sister Bement

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Sing JOY

Well my wonderful family, this week has too many miracles to even name them all. But I will start with the most wonderful of them all:




Say hello to the three newest members of the South Ribble ward! James, Katy, and Daisy got baptised on Saturday. It was absolutely wonderful and beautiful. The girls were so cute and giddy and James was handsome and calm as ever. Rachel is amazingly supportive and lovely (she even made the yummiest baptism cake ever!) and I love her SO MUCH. It has been such a joy to get to know the whole family and I'm so thankful to be their eternal friend. 

Okay, next on the list of most wonderful things this week was spending all day Wednesday in Manchester! The new term is starting this week so all the new freshman were arriving and flooding the streets. We had an army of sister missionaries to greet them! The day I was there we had 14 of us on Oxford Road, talking to everyone and giving a lot of chapel tours. It was so much FUN! I got to speak to loads of Chinese people as well which was a blast! I love Manchester and it was nice to just go out and have a million people to talk to.

This was us right before we knelt down and prayed together to start our day of finding.



LUNCH BREAK IN MANCHESTER=FUN. We decided to match to be more "unified" :)



Wednesday was also amazing because it was the day that Taylor passed her baptismal interview! She is getting baptised this Thursday. It is so cute because the Young Women have completely taken over everything for us because they are so excited for Taylor to be baptised. It will be another wonderful baptismal service :)

I have to share more miracles!

WESLEY: A week ago we were spending our pday evening tracting. We were feeling so discouraged and confused because we know that tracting isn't effective, but in South Ribble, it's kinda the only way to go since not too many people are walking the streets. So we started doing a little wandering and just weren't feeling like we were in the right place. But then all of a sudden Sister Dushku marches up to a house and says, "That's it. We are finding someone to teach." The door opens and it is Wesley! He is a Christian and a true seeker of truth. We taught him the Restoration and he said we could come back again.On Saturday we went back! He had some concerns about Joseph Smith and how we could know that he wasn't just making it all up. So we taught him about the Book of Mormon again and read passages of it with him. The spirit was so strong and he committed to read the Book of Mormon and pray to know that it is true. We are seeing him again tomorrow!

JULIE: About a month ago we met a woman named Julie who wasn't interested at all but told us her mom might be and gave us their address. Yesterday morning we finally followed up. Turns out, her mom isn't interested either. But Sister Dushku was really bold and kind of shouted into the house to Julie and invited her again to learn more about our message. Julie came to the door and apologised again for not being interested....45 minutes later we had the most amazing lesson, perhaps the most amazing of my entire mission. Julie doesn't believe in God but really is concerned about the state of our world. She has noticed that nobody really cares about anything anymore and that she is different to her friends at work because she actually cares about knowing what the purpose of life it but just hasn't seem to find it. We were able to use the Book of Mormon to answer her concerns. Towards the end of our lesson with her she was still frustrated because she just "couldn't believe in God". We told her that's fine because our job as missionaries is to meet with people regularly to help them develop that faith. Before we could even ask if we could come back she said, "Oh would you come back then? I would really appreciate it." So we are going back this Saturday

Well, I could go on an on about the miracles. I honestly can't even write half of them! But I've about written you a novel so I'll just stop there.

This missionary experience just keeps getting better and better. It seems too good to be true right now! But I know that it's all Heavenly Father hastening His work. I'm just lucky enough to be an instrument at this time. 

I hope you all have wonderful weeks! I love and miss you :)
Love,
Sister Jenni Bement

Just thought I'd send these two pictures because they completely describe my relationship with Katy and Daisy. These girls are hilarious.



And this is a more funny one of the kids. This shows their personalities perfectly.



Monday, September 15, 2014

Agents to ACT

My dear dear dearest family,

It's been another blessed week here in the England Manchester Mission. I've learned a lot and have also had so much fun! Tuesday we had our last zone meeting before transfers. It was in Lancaster so I got to see a few familiar faces!



The lovely Sister Rae (aka my Scottish Mom). She even brought soup that was SO YUMMY (I hope you are reading this Sis.Rae!)



On Friday I got to go to the mission home for a Chinese planning meeting. It was A BLAST. I love love love Chinese work and it has been such a treat to plan the October activity with the other Chinese speaking missionaries. Sister Lau is mostly in charge so it's been really fun to be able to see her/talk to her more even though we are in different multi-zones. She is my mama trainer and I love her!

(A mission generation pic for you)


On Saturday we had a full day of finding! Yippie :) We started off the day with investigator sports. It was a blast! I still am rubbish at football despite the more regular practise I've had this transfer. I'm pretty good at screaming and running around though. I'll get there. We took the lovely Bella with us out finding afterwards and she was AMAZING! She is working on her mission papers right now and is going to be a fantastic missionary. Absolutely brilliant. We got pizza for lunch :)




President and Sister Ulrich came to the South Ribble ward yesterday and spoke. It was great! They even stayed for our gospel principles class. Which was actually quite terrifying because Sister Dushku and I were teaching and hadn't prepared at all...oops. But our Ward Mission Leader helped us out a lot and it went well. It was such a powerful Sunday

There was also a broadcast for women in the Europe area on Tuesday night. Elder Bednar spoke and it was really moving. He talked about how to fully access the Atonement we must be agents, not objects (Helaman 14:30; 2 Nephi 10:23, 2 Nephi 2:26-27). It made me think about my prayers. Am I praying like an object ("Heavenly Father please make this happen, please change this, please change that") or an agent ("Heavenly Father, I'm willing to go out and do this, will you please give me strength to do what I need to do?" 1 Nephi 7:17)? I have realised that a lot of my prayers lately have made me sound like an jobect, like I can't actually go act for myself. But Heavenly Father can really bless us if we are willing to ACT. We can't really use the Atonement unless we are willing to change, which requires ACTION. So this week that is what I'm working on. Being an agent to ACT for myself, to choose which way to go, and allow the Spirit to change my plans if necessary. 

As always, I'm happy as ever to be a missionary. Sister Dushku is the sweetest and funniest thing that has ever walked this planet. So we are just having the time of our lives over here on the streets of Penwortham!

I love you all and hope you are well and safe!

Love,
Sister Bement

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Baptisms this month and some football

Dearest family,

The big news of the week is that Sister Dushku and I are staying in South Ribble together for another transfer! We are so excited. To be honest, if one of us would have had to leave our hearts would've broken because we've become close to so many people here. Horray for inspired transfer calls :)

So last p-day was one of the funnest and happiest ever! We went to a park and played football with Rachel's family and the Thresh family and the Elders. It was a blast! I haven't run around that crazy for a long time! I'm rubbish at football, but it was fun to just run around and not be in a skirt :) Here's a picture.



Something really fun about serving in South Ribble is that every monday night they do a combined Young Single Adult Family home evening with Preston. Elder and Sister Meese have been running it for 18 months but the YSA are bravely continuing it even though the Meeses left on Wednesday. Since this was their last week, we documented it with a picture.



Our beautiful investigator Lindsay has come a couple times and really likes it :)



The happiest news of the week is all the people getting baptised this month! All 3 of Rachel's children are getting baptised on the 20th and a 17 year old girl named Taylor is getting baptised on the 27th. South Ribble is doing amazing. The past transfer of my mission has been the happiest. And I think it's because I'm learning how to surrender to the Lord. At Mission Leadership Council last week someone read a quotation that said, "The only way to win is to loose." Meaning, when we loose ourselves in the work of salvation, that is when we are truly successful. And I believe that because I'm experiencing it first hand! Sometimes Sister Dushku and I just step back and look at how blessed we are and are truly overwhelmed with gratitude.

Long story short, I'm doing well over here in jolly old England! So much has happened this week, I don't really know how to document it all. But just know I'm happy, healthy, and feeling the best I ever have. :)

I love you all and hope you have a great week!
Love,
Sister Bement

Monday, September 1, 2014

Chinese, Goodbyes and Happiness

Hello my wonderful family!

It's been a great week. Full of fun and adventures.

Some wonderful news-I got to use Chinese a lot this week! The Preston missionaries have referred two Chinese people to Sister Dushku and me. On Saturday morning we were able to go to UCLAN (the Uni in Preston) and teach someone. It felt so so good to use Chinese to teach. After all, I was called to preach the gospel in the Mandarin Chinese language! Today we are hoping that a Chinese boy named Frank that the elders referred to us will come to the YSA FHE. I was able to talk to him on the phone last night in Chinese. I don't know how it is possible! It truly is the gift of tongues. There were times where I had no idea of the meaning of the individual words he was saying, but somehow I KNEW what he was saying...it's hard to explain. But Heavenly Father is really helping me out when I don't have a companion who speaks fluently. Yay for Chinese work!

Something else fun this week was we had a farewell party for Elder and Sister Meese. It was the first time that the Preston ward and South Ribble ward had gotten together in a long time apparently. It was SO MUCH FUN. We are so sad to see the Meeses go home. They have served such a faithful mission! I can't wait to serve a senior mission someday. We will miss them! Here are some pics of the party.

Elder Meese doing the ice bucket challenge. Is that happening in America? Because it is EVERYWHERE here!



Dance party :)



The MOST wonderful thing of the week was that our friends Rachel, James, Katy, and Daisy came to church this week. Their family is amazing and we are SO lucky to know them. They make every week so joyful. This is us with Katy and Daisy. I LOVE THEM!



Well, in short, we see miracles everyday and my faith is growing. I'm so happy to be here for this short time. I feel like I always end my emails to you with this cheesy happiness that I feel. But I hope you can feel that it is real. I can't really explain what every single week is like over here. I wish I could describe what the hours in between the big events are like. That's where the real missionary work happens and I can't really capture it in pictures or describe it in words. But I find so much joy in my purpose. I read this morning in 3 Nephi 5 ,"I am a disciple of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I have been called of him to declare his word among his people, that they might have everlasting life." I'm so grateful to be set apart as a true messenger of good tidings and great joy. The Lord is hastening His work (D&C 88:73). It's TIME. I'm just grateful to be a part of it. 

I miss you all and am astounded at how fast time is flying. I hope all is well!

All my love,
Sister Bement