Monday we went shopping. I had to get pictures and we also got some shoes. I think we ended up doing a stop by and did some finding before resting.
Tuesday we did service for our investigators, Joan and Alan, a cute older couple. They were found by a member that really likes to do missionary work. As of now, we have just been doing service when we met with them, but this time they invited us to eat with them, after painting a shed and gardening. It was fun and good to talk. We got to know them better. Joan had just had a hip replacement surgery and Alan has cancer. We have heard it might be terminal but we haven't heard from him if it really is or not. They are the sweetest couple ever. They asked us if we could come with them to see their church. They want to show us the architecture. They also want to take us to the Charnwood forest. To be honest, I do not know what that is, but they seemed excited to take us, so we are excited to go on Wednesday with them. It seems like we are starting to make some progress with them, which is really good!! After, we rested - service makes me pooped. Wayne, a recent convert who is really cool and preparing to serve a mission, called and we met up with him. He took us to a basketball court and we kept trying to get him to relate basketball to the gospel while he taught us. Wayne has this rating system for females. I don't really agree, but it doesn't look like he is going to change anytime soon. We tease him about it. On a scale of 1 to 10, if you run, you are an automatic 4. Wearing skirts takes you up 2 points. So we asked what being able to play basketball meant. He said if we run, when we are home, and we keep wearing skirts and play (and we were running around in skirts while playing basketball that day) then we are as close to a 10 as possible, so we claim he called us 10s! We don't take Wayne serious at all. Apparently all sisters, because of the tag, are 2s. Just something funny for the week!
Wednesday we had a good zone meeting in Leicester. I had to give my departing testimony to the zone. That was scary, but it felt good. It was a cool experience - kinda nice to look back on the mission. Sister Anderson said the spirit was so strong the moment I started speaking which I was grateful for, since words can't convey any of it. :) We came home and had dinner and needed rest. It was an all day experience. I found myself a creeper on the train. The elders, when they heard the story, felt bad that they didn't take the train with us, so they are most likely taking the train with us anytime we go anywhere now :)
Thursday we had district meeting with President, so back to Leicester - another full day of travel, so fun stuff. There was a lot of good talked about. I enjoy hearing from President, but I love seeing Sister Leppard - she is my favourite. So I got a picture with them since I don't have one. I look so tired in it, so no judging. Travel takes everything out of me. After we got home, we had a family home evening with Connie, a very elderly lady that gets lonely. She is a sweetheart. Wayne went with us. I got ridiculously cold that night. I think it has something to do with my blood problems. I was already wearing 2 coats, tights, shoes, a long skirt and gloves and I was still cold while biking. So Sister Anderson gave me her scarf she wasn't using and Wayne let me use his coat on top of the others while we went home, and with all that on and biking, I still didn't break a sweat. I don't get it, but it was a fun night. I was ready for bed.
Friday we had weekly planning. It was a day of rest, though - all the travel from the two days before killed me. We went out to stop by a member or two. We did a lot of area book finding and pinning on our maps, and we found a new potential and it was fun to get out. Then we went to basketball and fellowshipped some people. It was all good. Oh, I forgot - on our way back from stopping by some members we decided to stop by the flat of a less active member who was gone on her honeymoon, to see if her flat was okay. We walked into the complex's courtyard and saw that their windows were open. We were a bit worried. We went upstairs and saw their lights on! I saw Sister Anderson's eyes go wide, so I started to run down the stairs - we don't live in the best part of town. As we are running away, we hear someone yell, "Who's there!!" We recognized the voice of the less active member. They never told us when they were getting home, haha! They invited us in to say a prayer - crazy and so funny - never been so scared!
Saturday we got to do some service for a member from Mexico. She has 3 kids and all have some sort of special needs, the oldest boy with Down Syndrome is more severe than the others. With the two youngest, you can't really tell. But such cute kids!! We painted her baby girl's room and it was such a cute color. Just one wall and all lines were straight!! I still got it, Dad! ;) She fed us and it was so much fun to talk with her and to get to know her. We went home and rested a bit and then went to visit another member, just popping in to see how they were doing. When we walked in, they had dinner ready for us. They are the Alexander's and are so funny and crazy. She was giving us marriage advice and it was good and she made us laugh. After that we went by Stella, our investigator, and had a good lesson with her. Since we rested in between members we were able to stay out until 9 and it felt oh so good to walk the streets in the dark.
Sunday we went to church. It was an interesting fast Sunday - random testimonies. Someone's grandpa had passed away and another had just gotten back from going to conference. Others had come from other countries and were talking about what their first 6 months were like. I bore mine since it was my last one. It was weird. I really felt, since no one knew me, that I could say what I fully wanted - it was very vague, but it fit with the testimony meeting, haha. Then we had dinner with a fun family and they had their daughter and grandkids over too and it was a blast! We loved it. It was one of those moments when you know they will remember these missionaries and I am so grateful we can be examples to these awesome kids :)
This week, my studies were a bit all over the place. It felt like a reminder to rely on the Lord and to not be proud or forget Him. I am in Ether 12 now, and I love it. As I am reading it, I am going into all the stories Moroni talks about in Ether 12 and I love it. It really helps me to see how to apply faith and I'm learning so much - Alma and Amulek - Wow! From what I got so far, faith comes as we put our selfish desires to the side, humble ourselves and help others, not just say, "I have faith -this should work, because I want it to," but doing it because you understand that it's God's will and it will help to build you and others. It's about applying what you learn.... I always have to remind myself.
This week is mission challenge week so we are going all out to win the district prize. I am excited to be able to tell you all the stories next week :)
Sister Anderson is always letting me know how much longer I have left.... it's kinda annoying, but according to her I have 16 days haha....
But I love you!! Thanks for all your prayers and support!!
Sister Ashley MacKay