At last! Sister Nelson and I have had every element combine to hedge up our way, including useless buses (Me to Nelson as she checks the schedule again: "Don't even LOOK at it! It'll just LIE to you!"), ancient computers all booked by old people who don't show up until the last minute, and the fact that our district meets at noon in town. We left super early this morning and I still haven't started emailing until an hour after the fact. It's a conspiracy, I tell you what.
Here's some of our highlights:
-Half the district is Chinese--Elders Wu, Huang, and Wan. Confusing, yes. We conference call to sing, pray, read the handbook, do a spiritual thought and tell a joke every morning. Do we get comp study? Nope, but we get to hear what sounds like a lot of geese from Kung Fu Panda on the other side. Elder Hilton is from Idaho. He's the calm reassurance :)
-Lots of investigators were left by the elders, all of whom had baptismal dates. It's a bummer to leave dates behind.
-However, on further visiting and gauging their understanding, we've hosed all those baptismal dates and have determined to reteach everyone. They do not understand basic things like the Plan of Salvation and they talk about how much they loved the elders. Be that as it may, I refuse to baptise any of them until they have a spiritual conversion of some species.
-Once again, we had a concern brought up about women not holding the priesthood and being inferior to men. The asker? A man. It's always blokes that have a problem with it--I've never had women ask me about this my entire mission.
-The people in Bristol are sooo friendly--I was a little affronted when someone asked me how I was on the street, like they knew me. Happily so, because Sister Nelson and I have been looking so lost the last week and a half. Both of us were trained whitewashing, so I feel much more in my element than I have done since Weymouth.
-The ward is HUGE! We're systematically stopping by less-actives, and for the first time ever, some of them did not recognize who we were. At all. It was like knocking on a regular door. We even got the response, "I'm happy in my own faith." What the? We have the same faith! Awkward for everyone.
-Moves happen next week. If they move either of us, I will reject that moves call altogether. I expect Sister Nelson to train after I die--she's an animal and asks things like, "Sooo--what's your problem?" when I am too scared to ;) Brings me joy.
I’m trying desperately to finish the Old Testament. Psalms are so booooring. I like Jeremiah, but he's properly depressing. But I'm almost there! Also I found an article about the first French Book of Mormon featuring my great-grandfather Curtis Edwin Bolton. That was really exciting :)
The ward seems to like us, and we've got a lot of leads. The best one was a referral given to the elders NINE MONTHS AGO but they didn't do anything about it. We went round. Her name is Shirley. Her daughter Tara joined the Church in Arizona when she moved there, and she didn't fess to her mother for ages. She welcomed us in and told us she thought the Book of Mormon was the biggest sham ever, but Tara is this brilliant scientist who definitely spent much of her life not believing in God. This church has changed all that. Marvelous. We are so excited to teach her--she's already reading the Book of Mormon daily and praying to know. Golden.
Hope all is well at home. We're so excited to serve here in Downend--there are five ward missionaries, a mission leader, an assistant, and they get us dinner appointments each day and members for each lesson. It's like stepping into the Celestial Kingdom.
P.S. New Pictures are up at Mom's Flickr Site.