Thursday, January 19, 2012

Moving to Winchester!

This week was moves week, and as Sister Christensen had been in Jersey for 6 months, we both knew it was time for her to go. We got the phone call, however, NOT on Sunday night as anticipated, but on Tuesday NIGHT, 6pm. (Flight plans for the following morning.) Elder Farnsworth told her she was headed to Winchester to be replaced by Sister Kernek. Initially it was really exciting, but I was legitimately miffed that I would be back-up-trained AGAIN, by the third of five sisters in Housley's group. But I tried to swallow my pride. I know that Sister Kernek is exactly what this ward needs.

Twenty minutes later, Elder Turner called from the office and said, "Okay, Sister Willard, your flight leaves at 2:50 tomorrow afternoon--" when both of us were like, "Pardon?" Pretty soon moves calls had degenerated into us shouting into the phone, "Which one of us is moving?!" They grabbed a nearby assistant, and as it turned out, I was the one headed to Winchester.

So after a crazy night packing, no one to pick me up at the airport and half the mission panicking that I was lost and all of them thinking I'd fainted in the airport or something and bad reception on the train home resulting in Bishop calling President and telling him that me and Sister Sebald were lost (again), we got home quarter past ten, hungry and exhausted and very, very broke (£42 to get home from East Grinstead). Sheesh. So much for grocery shopping tomorrow.

Happily I'm now with Sister Sebald from Frankfurt, Germany (unless you're talking to anyone English, in which case she's from Switzerland. Too many people have made Hitler comments to her.) She is the cutest little redhead and has been here in Winchester for three months. Her English is fantastic and perfect for the very posh town of Winchester--this place is legitimately posh, there are dozens of churches (although Jehovah's Witnesses are a non-entity, which is such a relief), and we teach investigators one by one. So far my only news comes from a teach this morning. Chris is a recent convert from September, and he is going to get his patriarchal blessing on Sunday. It's so exciting to teach him. It feels like I'm teaching Steve again :) The ward here is fantastic at fellowshipping, the youth are well cool, and apparently we get fed every night. I'm really excited to be here. Although the work is difficult in the way of getting new investigators, it means we take good care of the ones we've got and it gives us ample opportunity to build relationships with the members and less-actives.

After Sisters Fekete, Jonutz, and now Christensen have been on Jersey for 9, 7.5 and 7.5 months, once again it came as a huge surprise to find out I was the one going. But the longer I'm here in Winchester, the more I'm convinced that this is where my talents and abilities are needed most. And it's so fun to be with someone from my MTC group NOT from America, so I'm excited for the things I'll learn.

The biggest trouble I think I'll have is being humble enough not to bash--I'm not used to bashing anyway, but according to Sister Sebald, these people tend to provoke you. I will do my best to hold back and not eviscerate them with doctrine. Nephi says in 2 Nephi 33 that he delights in proving unto his brethren the reality of Jesus Christ. That makes me feel much better. Sometimes you really do pray for patience until the other side when everyone will find out the truth for themselves.

Please pray that we will find new investigators. The members here are doing a forty-day fast, where each member fasts for one day (you sign up for your day) for missionary work to progress. Sister Sebald says it's working. I love it! Miracles already! Even if there isn't a baptism to be had when I arrive, it's so good to see the members involved in our work. It'll be a tall order to replace Sister Kernek--no doubt she will be legendary here, just like Elder Farnsworth.

Thank you so much for all your support and prayers! Winchester is the promised land, land of solid members. I suppose that's why you do all this finding anyway--to find the good ones who will build the kingdom. Sometimes the kingdom is built with tiny, tiny bricks and it doesn't look like you've done any good at all--but the Lord doesn't care. He cares that you do what you are capable of. If you sit on a pile of mortar and complain about having to work at all, Heavenly Father will be very displeased. You can only do what you can do, and the Lord makes it count. I'm grateful to be His missionary. I've only got nine months left--there's so much work to do!

Love from
Sister Willard

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