Thursday, October 30, 2014

Goodbyes and Hello's

Hello wonderful family,

Well, I don't even know where to begin! It's been a fast week. With getting Sister Dushku all packed and ready, saying a few tearful goodbyes, going to transfers, and then coming home with a new companion, it's been a crazy fast week! But it was definitely a joyful week too. I'm now here in South Ribbs (as I affectionately call it) with the lovely Sister Nelson. She is wonderful! We've only been together a day and a half so far but I can tell it's gonna be a great transfer. Plus, she loves sharing clothes. What could be better? :)

The most bitter sweet moment of the week was saying Sister Dushku saying goodbye to Rachel and the kiddos. We had a really sweet Thursday evening together where I might have cried. Rachel took this picture that I love. Luckily, RACHEL IS GETTING BAPTISED IN A COUPLE WEEKS so we will all be together again soon! Yay yay yay!

My favorite

Here are a couple pictures from transfer meeting. Sister Lau is training again so I have a "little sister" in the mission. I'll try not to be too jealous.

Saying goodbye to my best friend. 

And hello to my new one! Isn't she cute? :)

Honestly, I'm really excited for this new transfer. Sister Nelson and I are so pumped to just go out there and find who we need to find. Also, Rachel's baptism is this transfer which will basically be the greatest day of my life. I'm happy, healthy, and trusting the Lord for whatever he throws our way over the next couple months. As I've said many times before, Heavenly Father allowing me to come here and serve is the greatest blessing I've ever received. I'll be forever grateful. 

I hope that all y'all have a great week! I love and miss you!
Sister Bement

How could I forget?! Last p-day we went to the Lake district with Sister Odonoan. It was absolutely gorgeous! Sadly, all the pictures worth sending are on Sister Dushku's camera. So you will have to be satisfied with this one of the beautiful Lake District parking lot. :)

​As well as Sister Odonovan and me :)

Pps-Sister Dushku cut my hair Tuesday night! I really like it. Now people can see my name tag and it doesn't get disgustingly knotty after 10 seconds in the wind and rain. 

Okay, that is all!
Love you!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Transfer News

Dear family,

Sadly, the dream team is coming to an end. Sister Dushku and I found out this week that she is leaving South Ribble. I'm so devastated! These past 2 transfers have been 3 months of pure bliss. Sister Dushku and I will be friends forever because we have experienced the true joy of the gospel together. As Sister Dushku said in her farewell testimony yesterday, "I will praise God forever for letting me come to South Ribble". And personally I will add, "and serving with Sister Dushku".

We were on exchange when we found out so Sister Dushku had to call me to tell me the sad news. I answered the phone and heard, "Sister Bement. We are over. But it's me, not you." And I honestly felt like she was breaking up with me! We laughed. :) Sister Dushku is going to Oldham, where she started her mission. So it's actually mostly sweet and just a little bitter. I'm happy for her! 

PLUS, an amazing Sister is coming to be my companion. Her name is Sister Nelson and she is the cutest sister eva. So it will be great :) 

This was our cheesy last Sunday together picture. I was trying to frown to show I was sad but it's hard when my best friend is hugging me (ick I'm getting so cheesy). 

This week was busy! First of all, I had a lovely exchange with Sister Thomson. She goes home tomorrow so it was really interesting being with someone on the final few days of their mission. She gave a lot of good advice on how to stay focused for the last 6 months and made me really excited because she said that at the end of your mission Heavenly Father just polishes and paints what he has been molding for the first year. I'm just so excited for what the next 6 months will bring!

We also had the Chinese activity in Liverpool! It was fun to be back in the Liverpool chapel. I felt like I had never left it. Everything went really well. I was in charge of the testimony meeting at the end which had been kind of stressing me out for the past month. So part of me is just glad it's over! We were able to get 8 non members from Preston there and 2 members. I thought that was pretty good since we probably only spent a total of 5 hours in Preston inviting people. The Lord really provided!

I got to see Grace and Emily from Lancaster! It was such a joyful reunion!

Well, we are off to the Lake district now with Sister Odonovan! I'm so excited! I've never been before and I've wanted to my whole mission. Yay for living so close!

This coming week is going to be wonderful. We get to see Rachel like 3 times (which is the best!) and we have so many tea appointments because everyone wants to say goodbye to Sister Dushku. SCORE! 

I love you all and hope you have a great week. The gospel is true! The Atonement is infinite. And it's even for YOU. (I read Mosiah 3-4 this morning. The Book of Mormon is the best book in the world).

Sister Bement

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Great to Be Alive! It's Great to Be a Missionary!

Hello family!

I have 27 minutes to communicate to you one of the best weeks of my mission. Here we go!

First things first, we had zone meeting on Tuesday. Afterwards we had a pumpkin carving contest. Sister Dushku and I were trying to carve the Godhead lesson on a didn't really work. But we were the runners up for the "sweet spirit" award. Which I think is code for "Nice-try-but-it-looks-terrible" award. But we had a good laugh so all is well. :)

We also saw too many miracles to count. I'll just share my favourite with you to save time.

So Saturday night it was dark, cold, and quiet in South Ribble and our plans had fallen through. We prayed when we got in the car to know where to go. Sister Dushku said she felt like we should go to a certain area. We drove there. Before we got out of the car to start finding, we promised the Lord we would talk to everyone in our path and do our best. And that if we would do that, could he please lead us to a family? We hadn't been out of the car for 10 seconds when we saw an older woman unloading groceries from her car. We went up to her and told her we were helping people with their family history. She said, "How much money?" we said, "Free!" and she invited us into her home. Her name is Pamela. She is almost 70 years old. We taught her the Restoration while at the same time filling out a 4 generation pedigree chart with her. As I was writing down the names of her parents, I felt their presence so strongly! The thought came to me, God DID lead us to a family! Pamela's family! Even though she lives alone, her parents are desperate for the gospel. Pamela is the last living child, so she needs to do their work for them. In the end, even though she is Church of England, she accepted a Book of Mormon and we are going back Wednesday night to continue helping her with family history and teach her a bit more. When we drove away, we could see her through the window holding and looking at an open Book of Mormon. The Spirit of Elijah is REAL.

Actually, I lied. I have to share one more miracle! We are teaching a wonderful Chinese girl in Preston. Her name is Ayan. I have NEVER met a Chinese girl so prepared for the restored gospel of Jesus Christ before. During our first follow up appointment, I was explaining the godhead. When we started talking about Jesus Christ she said, "So, was Jesus Christ prepared before this life to be the Saviour? Or was he just born and was good enough to be the world's Saviour?" When I was explaining prayer she asked, "So, to receive a remission of sins, do you just have to pray and that's it? It seems like there is more you would have to do." Aren't those amazing questions? I love Ayan! I'm so grateful that President Ulrich has let us do some Chinese work in Preston this transfer. It has really given me a lot of joy.

Our greatest source of joy right now is still Rachel and her family (that never changes from week to wee). Every time we get to see them is such a blessing and an uplifting experience. They mean everything to us and are the greatest blessing of my mission. "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel" (Alma 26:16) would be an accurate description when it comes to Rachel, James, Katy, and Daisy. 

Sister Dushku and I are absolutely loving life! This week I randomly remembered being at Kentwood Highschool assemblies and everyone yelling, "It's great to be alive! It's great to be a Conk! It's great to be a Conk! It's great to be alive!" So I decided to change it to, "It's great to be alive! It's great to be a missionary! It's great to be a missionary! It's great to be alive!". That is how I feel about life right now.
I love you all and hope you have a wonderful week!
Sister Bement

Another picture

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Motivations, and Another Blessed Week

Dear dear family,

Hello again from the wonderful South Ribble! This week has been great. I love my companion, this area, and the amazing people here. Couldn't be happier :)I got to go on exchange with the cute Sister Guyman this week! I really love getting to know so many sisters. At first, each exchange would stress me out a bit. But now I'm getting more used to it and can really enjoy it and help the sisters without getting too stressed. This is Sister Guyman and me and also sadly the only picture I took this week. Sorry!

So, how about general conference?! Was it amazing or WHAT? So far I've seen the women's meeting, both Saturday sessions, and the Sunday morning session. And I probably won't ever get to sit down and finish all the rest until I'm not a missionary anymore. But oh well! It was a wonderful experience for me. My favourite talks were by Lynn G. Robbins, D. Todd Christofferson, and Elder Jorg Klebingat. The questions I had prepared were mostly about what I needed to change to be a more consecrated and sanctified disciple of Jesus Christ. And let me tell you, Heavenly Father wasted no time in showing me a few things that I need to change in order to get closer to His son. But I'm truly grateful for personal revelation or else I would never change.

Along with specific things I need to change to become more Christlike, I've also been pondering my motivations for missionary work. I honestly have no idea WHY I decided to serve a mission. I can't remember! All I remember is just feeling like I should and that I would regret it the rest of my life if I didn't. So I did! But I don't think I was prepared for the amount of love that is required to be a good missionary. Maybe that's why I struggled so much at the beginning, who knows. But lately I've wondered if all my actions as a missionary (studying, finding, teaching) are really motivated by love or instead by a desire to follow the missionary schedule exactly. For example, when I was on exchange with Sister Guyman, we both had TERRIBLE colds so we had permission to sleep in to fight it off. That meant we missed our study time. That night when I got into bed I realised I hadn't read my scriptures that day! And it hit me! Do I only study the scriptures daily because the missionary schedule provides me with one hour when it would actually be disobedient to be doing anything else? Or do I actually love the word of God and am willing to MAKE time in my life for the scriptures? And I can apply that to finding and teaching as well. Lately when I'm talking to someone on the street and am feeling a bit fidgety or bored, I ask myself: WHY AM I TALKING TO THIS PERSON? Is it because I would feel guilty letting someone pass me without at least trying to share the gospel with them? Or is it because I have a love of the gospel and really truly believe that it would change their life for the better? Would I talk to them even if I wasn't specifically assigned to because I'm a missionary? Basically, I want to become a more pure in heart, gospel loving, Saviour following PERSON. I want the changes that I've made in the last year of my life to last much longer than 18 months. I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father has taught me this lesson. And luckily, I still have 6 months to figure out what I can change to truly become a sanctified disciple of Christ for the rest of my life, not just until the end of my mission.

I love you all! I'm so thankful for this experience. I'm so thankful that I'm having this opportunity to really put my trust in the Lord and let him shape and refine me. I'm thankful for goodly parents who reared me completely motivated by gospel love and a desire to help me be worthy to live with them forever one day. I'm thankful for a loving God, my Heavenly Father, who sent His Son, even Jesus Christ, to satisfy the demands of justice and allow change, progression, and salvation. I'm thankful for the organization of the church, namely apostles, prophets, pastors, teachers, evangelists and so forth. I'm thankful for my witness from the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. If my mission has done anything, it has strengthened my testimony of those simple truths. Those truths are treasures in heaven for me. I share these things with you, my wonderful family, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

All my love,
Sister Bement