Tuesday we went to some appointments and then packed for most of the day... I have so much stuff!! Its not good haha. I need to start going through it. I left some clothes that I first brought out. They don't even fit any more. I look like I am drowning in them - so that's good.
Wednesday... we had transfers. I ate breakfast and then traveled for the rest of the day. I went into Birmingham, then on a coach that stopped in Coventry, Leister, and then Nottingham. I am in the most north area of our mission. Once we got to Nottingham, the sister training leaders drove us to our flat. One of them served in Lincoln for 6 months, so we got a lot of information out of her. It was a blessing! We got to our flat at about 8:30 and I was not in any mood to eat - so tired and overwhelmed. I got to catch up with Elder Stout. We are back in the same district, so that was nice to know.
Thursday morning we met up with the second set of elders in our ward and traveled to Nottingham for zone meeting. I spent so much money on travel this past month - 70 pounds. My comp is running low on it and I had enough to cover both of us. Zone meeting... Elder Clarke is my zone leader, so that is exciting!! Some of my favorite sisters are in this zone. Recently so many people have told me that they were hoping that I would come serve with them and they are still hoping something will happen so that I can serve with them before they or I go home haha. Its nice to feel so loved. We got some awesome training on faith. I loved it!! We have a fun district with some familiar faces for me. It makes whitewashing a bit easier.
Friday we had the morning to work, but we found a lot of mold in the flat so we cleaned while we waited for the shower guy to come get us some hot water haha. We had an appointment and got to meet a member or two here and there. Really we spent most of this last week away from our area. Friday night we traveled to Nottingham again to spend the night there so we could travel to Birmingham the next morning. Elder Ballard came!!!! It was amazing - very different to Elder Holland coming. It was so much more about missionary work and it was so good. I am excited for this new start in this area and to have a new companion to do crazy things with me.
To be honest I forgot my notes at home... but I will try to talk about what we learned.
We had Elder and Sister Johnson, members of the Area Seventy Presidency, come. They talked briefly about Joseph Smith and the impact prayer and faith can have on us.
Elder and Sister Kearon - they were so cute. I was sitting next to Elder Hatch, and I kept him laughing because I kept commenting on the brethren and their wives and saying "they are so cute!" They were so good. Sister Kearon talked about darkness and light and how light stands out where there is so much darkness. No wonder, in the world we live in, we stand out. Elder Kearon commented on how with the event that has happened in Paris over the weekend. They knew the Paris mission and knew that those missionaries were obedient. They had no reason to worry, because all of them were in on time. They did stress obedience with what they world is doing. This morning we got a voice mail from our leaders letting us know that in consequence of events in Paris that if there is any sign of distress from the public that we need to return to our living quarters immediately and we cannot leave until we have heard from president. But, back to the Kearons... Elder Kearon told the elders that they need to marry up from them, and then let his wife take over. It was very cute.
We then got to hear from Elder Craig C. Christensen and his wife. They talked about discovering who you are on the mission and how Satan will try and convince you otherwise. It was really good. But, the best was Elder Ballard!!!
His favorite phrase was "Wake up!" He even said he himself needs to wake up haha. This is the time that Heavenly Father need his best teachers and his best messengers out there working. He got after us sisters for not thinking that we have the same power that the elders have. We do.
He said that we are capable of talking to so many more people than we are and that as we try we will be able to do it. He encouraged us to invite someone else to come on a mission. and to help the youth. He invited us to work with the wards so much more, become their friends and help them with what they need.
He encouraged us to strengthen our own faith, because we radiate through our faces what we believe. He talked about never letting our purpose leave our minds even as we sleep and then, just like the members of the 12, Heavenly Father will wake us up in the night to reveal something to us.
He did say he has never been as cold as he was on his mission here in England. It was so cool to have someone who served his own mission here come and give us training - really insightful. He was so cute. As he talked about missionary work and the restoration, you could see it made him so excited. He really wanted to be out with us rather than in a meeting with all the stake presidents and bishops. He is full of jokes. We got to ask him some questions and some counsel he gave us was to make sure we teach with the Spirit and make sure they pray because the first step to conversion is when they feel something in the first lesson. Once they have felt something they are on the path to exaltation. Yes, they get to choose, but it helps if we point it out and identify that those are fruits of the Spirit.
One sister asked how we align our will with the Lord's and he said it is line upon line, precept upon precept. So, that was cool - definitely something to think about and to continue working towards. He invited each of us to make sure we smile and wake up happy. Then, to hurry and work. He told about a revelation, one of Wilford Woodruff's, I think. Everyone was in a hurry, and Elder Ballard said that we to need to be in a hurry. The Lord is coming and we need to get this message out there for everyone to hear. We need to stop everyone. The sisters before us had no solid investigators and so we have no appointments. I love it because, as we whitewash, we really do get to stop everyone. This past week, we really didn't have time to do much proselyting but we were still able to get new investigators. It really helped me feel like not only does Heavenly Father, but President really does trust me to get this area up and going now. Tonight we are going to try to get in contact with most of their people, get appointments set up and invite them to act - to be baptised and to come to church. If they are not willing, we are dropping them. That is what whitewashing is about. I really enjoyed this week. Back to missionary life, we only have 4 and a half weeks this transfer!!!!
Thanks for all the prayers
Sister Ashley MacKay