Friday, May 13, 2011

New Area in Weymouth

Hey all!

So after five hours on the coach and even longer sitting in our
transfer meeting, our trainers spilled in and made quite a show. We
got pics with the president and his wife (who are so quirky and fun
and would despise anyone who made them stop doooing that) and I waited
down the line for my trainer. Her name is Sister Hously--she claims
Utah, but she's been all over. She said "rad" and the "bomb" in our
first ever conversation, and I knew it was destiny that we be

After waiting ages for the office to uncover our flat keys (soooo
hungry after that), we got into a brand new couples' car with the
Poole Zone leaders, Elders Smyth and Roe. Super nice guys, so enthused
to have me come around. (Never eat an entire thing of fish and chips
in a legit place--she and I just shared, and it all turned into a
stomach-brick. Although vinegar and salt was really good, in place of
tartar sauce.) Turns out me and Hously were assigned to whitewash
Weymouth (the leaders are washing out Poole). So basically my trainer
knows nothing about the ward, the p.i.s, the members, where the
library is (although we made it successful then, ha!), the bus
station, the train station, formers, recent converts...everything I
was gonna ask has all gone to the wayside. What's a bit scary for me
is that I'm green, they haven't had a lot of baptisms for some months
now, and definitely haven't had any sisters in YEARS. So no pressure.

As soon as I get to Boots and make a CD of these rad pictures of our
oh-so-kitschy flat (English ghetto, go figure), you all can put names
to places and such. There are seventies style floral curtains, red
velvet in the bedroom, a new boiler struggling to work, a washer and
dryer in the kitchen, lots of food and candy and crisps (elders) in
the cupboards, and a Narnia wardrobe in back with tons of ties and
shoes and pday clothes and a Brookstone converter we are DEFINITELY
keeping. We had to call in the landlord this morning to come check out
the heat, and he explained about revamping the entire outside so we
won't get molded out (Hously kept coughing this morning during study)
and kindly asked us to mow. (Lovely guy, would make a great
Scoutmaster. We might have to break something so he'll come back and
get taught). We're at the top of a hill, with a lovely garden in the
back and a front door that, if you step out and you're not looking,
you could get soaked by a passing car. Down the lane is Asda (so
excited, it's owned by Walmart and has all the bells and whistles) and
the High Street. We've got a JP Morgan card with 120 pounds on it that
gets refilled each month, although I think half of it goes to an
exorbitant bus pass. Sad. But we have to get to church somehow, right?
So glad we don't have bikes yet. Maybe if we make a great impression
on the branch, they'll feed us each night.

Despite our ominous/miraculous beginning, (like as of this morning)
we've run into people who are so willing to hear about the gospel and
we've run out of cards and everything. One of the people we stopped,
her name was Zoe, and apparently she ran into two elders last week on
Portland, the local island. Since no missionaries have been here for
five weeks, either they were out of their area, came down to holiday,
are two of the three Nephites, or they were Jehovah's Witness. She
looked at us like, oh, this is a really strange coincidence and seemed
really happy to talk to us. We prayed with her on the street and were
excited to set an appointment. The zone leaders were excited to hear
about our whitewashing miracles, and I have complete faith that there
are people here who have been prepared to hear the gospel. We just
gotta go and find them.

It's so sunny out on the coast here--all the rowing and boating events
for the Olympics will be here, and just outside our flat is a whole
field of sailboats just waiting to go out. Such happy people here,
even folks who don't believe in anything are happy to talk to us.
Sister Hously taught me to pray with people after you've taught them a
principle and testified and exchanged digits, so as to send them on
their way and invite the Lord into their lives and give a
demonstration about prayer. I think it's been really effective so far.
You've really got to be humble around these proud Englishmen--act like
a cocky American come to save their souls, and they'll kick you to the
curb without blinking. But I think they can feel our love for them. I
certainly can each time we talk to someone--I hope Heavenly Father can
work through me, at least in that way. It's been such a marvelous few
hours already, and I can't wait to carry on.

Sister Hously is really enthused about the work and loves being with
people and making them feel comfortable. She's laid back normally, but
definitely not about the work. We spent comp study this morning (two
hours, whoa) teaching a styrofoam cup with a smiley face on it the
first lesson. He seemed really interested. Then we practiced finding
with the map on the back of the hall door. No numbers yet, but I'm
hopeful. It's always good to practice and get your confidence up, even
if you've only been in the country for three weeks. I prefer talking
to warm bodies rather than inanimate objects personally, but the
practice sure helps you get over the fear and be guided by the spirit
instead. And when your trainer is doing dorky British accents in
answer to my "inspired questions", it helps guide the lesson wherever
you'd like it to go.

Sister Hously is totally boss--she keeps saying she got me "because
I'm smart" (whatever, knowing what Tesco is does not qualify as smart)
but it's been great to have a companion so interested in you and your
life. It's been a stressful week for both of us, but now that we know
that neither of us is crazy/uber-trunky/Korean-speaking only, it's
been such a fun ride since. Basically it's been the best week ever.
Again. I highly recommend it :)

Love you all!

Sister Willard

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