Hey there! So sorry about not sending pictures home just yet--we've only got thirty minutes to email, and I didn't bring my cable with me. I think I'll just mail the sims card home and make everything so much easier, however, if you'd like to go Netflix on me and send a SECOND card, I am not against it...:)
Anyways, just got back from a delightful Church tour in Preston, Downham, and Chatburn. Those are the places where the very first British saints joined and were baptized. The sun is so beautiful here and I think it's global warming (not). Or the Spirit. Whatever. The villages here are so old andso cottage-y that leaving the MTC is doubly rewarding. Bit of a prison by the second week, right?
Unlike any other MTC in the world, we had the unique opportunity to go tracting in Preston and Manchester on Thursday. Armed with mormon.org pass-along cards, Book of Mormons (calm down, I know it's wrong), Proclamations to the Family, Joseph Smith histories, and Restoration pamphlets, we boarded a train in Chorley and took five pounds down mainstreet Preston. Me and Sister Filichia admit we were a bit nervous, but once we started talking to people and testifying of what we knew, I just started to feel elated--buoyed up by some unseen hands to declare the word of God.
We talked to a lot of old people (they're slow, and polite enough to say hi), and even though none were willing to give up their "baby faith", I still felt really successful. We made it to the square where President Hinckley did his first preaching and had only handed out cards. We talked to a man on a bench in that park, and he just went off on us about him having the spirit of discernment and knew that we were from the devil and how we had to pray to "his" god, and the Spirit totally vacated the premises. I was confused as to how to get out of there. Sister Filichia said later that she could feel the love Heavenly Father has for that man, despite his being totally deluded, whereas I felt only frustration. She's such a sweet spirit, my companion. It's a rare person who doesn't want to talk to her.
So, after the crazy guy, we had to get back to the station. We were surrounded by people up and down the road, and I didn't want to hurry because someone had been prepared to hear the gospel. At one point, I looked over on a street bench a few toddlers were playing on, and saw a girl our age just eating her lunch. I made a beeline for her (disclaimer: I didn't get a spiritual epiphany or bolt of lightning or whatever, I just felt like I had to talk to her.) Sister Filichia didn't realize where I'd got to for a while--The girl (Holly) looked up and smiled. I asked if she'd ever seen missionaries before. Holly said her friend from uni was a member, and she just started talking about how happy we were and how she wanted that happiness in her life. We did our best not to explode with exuberance (that crazy guy had us there for like twenty minutes with no Spirit at all). I offered her a card and a Book of Mormon. She said she would call her friend again and she promised to read it. We practically skipped all the way back to the station, confident that we had given this girl a chance to change her life. It's not really up to the missionaries to do it for her, but if she's been prepared like we prayed she would be, this would be a turning point for her.
This MTC is so fantastic. We've been able to get on mormon.org and chat with people who really want to know the truth, teach the instructors who have real-life conversion stories, and just learn about planning and teaching all in really little classrooms where everyone knows everyone else's name. Speaking of which, the sisters became nine this week, with Sister Keogh's friend Sister Binnie joining London South. It's so fun to see who will likely be my companion in future!
Anyways, it looks like time's up. Mother's Day is right around the corner--so everyone knows, I will be calling home 8:30am on Sunday (can't be helped). Love you all and I'm excited to hear from you soon!