Monday, November 14, 2011

Armistice Day

My second Armistice Day in the UK, although the lack of Harry Premier was definitely a bummer. November 11th, at 11am, is a mass 2-minute silence across the UK and France to remember all those who died in the World Wars and those who continue to fight today. Everyone had poppies again, including the missionaries, but riding on bikes through the Atlantic wind of St. Brelade's Bay made me want to splurge on one of those brass poppy pins only the posh people wear. Can I say how FRIGHTENING it is to ride through a roundabout? It's all fun and games in a little Fiat, but when you're cycling at 8pm and the only way to get home is through the city's biggest roundabout, that's when I know the Lord is looking out for His missionaries. Take that, James Bond! You're not cool!

In other news:

-"Jersey beans" are the ones who've lived here for two or more generations. Home-grown brand. They have WEIRD accents. (Everyone else, like foreigners, are "Cacas", or toads in French. We're frowned upon, but not yelled at.)

-They love American accents here.

-Investigators and people on the street offer to buy Christensen food. All the time. We got a huge crepe with bananas and Jersey vanilla the other day. This is the best companionship EVER. Housley said it never happened to her, but she just never said yes :)

-Everyone is so polite, even the local millionaires on the way to board meetings. They don't have time to listen, but at least they tell us so. And nicely :)

-I got to bust out my few Spanish skills with a Cuban woman named Milady who LOVED the Restoration. We're praying that her busy schedule will become less so next week so we can go back. She has a small curly boy named Geronimo.

-White hot chocolate is AMAZING!

-I'm getting so fit (you can't really say that here--it's the equivalent to "hot") and have been able to keep up with Sister Christensen. The Zone Leaders are actually coming to tour the Channel Islands, so they're staying with a part-member family and essentially working over Jersey with us. Yay! Other missionaries! AND we get to put them on bikes. I'm fiendishly excited to see them struggle...they WILL respect us, darnit...

-Did I mention Brother Schenk made us steak?

Jersey is well cool. We've got loads of PIs we'll hopefully turn into proper investigators next week and get them progressing. I've even been studying the Old Testament and seeing more modern parallels than ever before...senior year of seminary was definitely a wash in that regard...but it's so refreshing to study on my own and get more into the politics and the Hebrew meanings and even have answers to those Evolution questions. I used lessons on idolatry in two teaches and at church and was amazed how well it all tied together. Since forever, idols have been looked to as sources of ultimate power and beings/mediums/givers of salvation to mankind. Essentially, man will look to whomever he devotes his time to for salvation in times of trouble. It's so important to reassess our own relationships with God and our time we spend with Him.

I'm so grateful to be a missionary for the pure reason that the time I spend doing His work is so rewarding...I watch the Preach My Gospel training videos and see these elders from San Diego moaning about how no one's been baptized for a whole MONTH, and I'm like, come to England! The Lord will sustain you in times of trouble. Someone asked Mother Theresa about how Calcutta was worse than ever, despite her decades of service and love. She replied, "God did not send us here to be successful. He sent us here to be faithful." I'm confident that our efforts in knocking and cycling and handing out cards and asking people if they believe in God, all of these efforts serve many, many purposes BESIDES "getting baptisms". Perhaps those on the other side are being taught by our example. Perhaps we need to learn and grow to face some future trial. Perhaps that person had a seed planted in their heart that will be cultivated. Perhaps we are just crying repentance so these folks in the Spirit World can't say, "Well, I didn't know!" I do know that the Lord consecrates our efforts to mean SOMETHING to someone, somewhere. Heavenly Father sustains us and strengthens us to go on in the things that truly matter. If what we do, whether in the mission field or at home, doesn't matter or isn't that important, we will forfeit divine help and feel unduly exhausted. If it does matter, the Lord will strengthen us.

Yay, Sisters Conference! We're going to the temple at the end of the month to train with President Shamo! I'm so excited. It'll be cool to actually meet the rest of the sisters ;)

Love from,
Sister Willard

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