Slacker, That's Me, Not Sister Smart!!!

Sorry, I'm a slacker, we received this message from Sister Smart yesterday, but I was involved with something else and didn't get round to updating the blog last night.

I'll try to mend my tardy ways
Well... I forgot my camera again so I can't attach all the photos that I want to :/ I'm going to write 20 notes to myself to remember next week.

This week has been something else... I am tired!!!! :) Everyday is a good day but with a little disappointment. On Saturday we went to a village called Chard, we have an investigator there. It takes 1 hour to get there on the bus. As we arrived we received a text from said investigator saying that she would have to cancel as her son was unwell... I nearly cried!!!!! Sister Brown and I hugged, bought some lunch and did our best to make good of the situation. I think we did a pretty good job... We were very cold but we managed to talk with a lot of people and taught some lessons. We ended our Chard adventure with a stop in at the Parkes for hot chocolate and a good northern chat. They are members and have been since the 1960's. Tommy Parkes is originally from Openshaw and has the most amazing accent!! Or at least it sounds that way now after hearing weird farmer and American/Canadian accents for a while :) Margaret Parkes is from around Yeovil somewhere... They met in WW2 when he was on leave. They lived in Manchester for many years and they were stake missionaries for some time. They know President Fletcher well as they were about when he was joining the church with his family. It's a small Mormon world!! They've not spoken to him for many years and they would like to so hopefully someone can let Pres Fletcher know... I have their number if he wants it.

So much has happened this week but I can't remember it all now plus I haven't the time to write it all... You should see my journal!! I brought two with me thinking that would suffice... I don't think it will as I write 2-4 pages a night. I'm just about 1 month into my mission and 1/4 way through the first journal. I wonder if I'll ever read it again!!

Wednesday was a good day... We had district meeting in Bournemouth. It's crazy how it takes 2 hours to get to meetings! I made brownies and everyone loved them... Get to them by their tummies. Maybe I should carry brownies around with my on a daily basis. The night before at 22.01, Elder Hilton our district leader called to say we had to take our (fully up to date) area book with us to DM to be checked. Sister Brown and I looked at each other with disbelief. Haha!! To be honest it was up date for the most part but we still got to bed 20 minutes late at 22.50 :/ I teased Elder Hilton the next day for forcing us to be disobedient... Clearly it was our fault as it wasn't up to date in the first place! Anyway... The meeting was good! nice to see how everyone else is doing in the district and we had a great lesson by Elder Hilton. Oh and I found out that Christchurch is inside the mission boundaries... Where Matt and Stacie now live. We originally thought it was in the London mission but we were wrong... How weird will that be if I serve in their ward!! If I do, I hope it's when they get married :).

We have has an invitation for Christmas day... The Hazel family! They're lovely!! They have Skype so I think we'll be skyping from there. They're a lot like the Smart family when it comes to missionaries, which I like. We don't really get fed here but they feed us. That's okay though as I like to cook! More and more members are asking us for dinner though and Sister Brown thinks it'd because I'm English. It's nice to get to know the members so we're happy that's happening.

My blisters got a lot worse and now they're kinda on the mend... They're not as bad as the blisters I had while I was in Singapore though so that's good. We walk a lot... Seriously!! If I'm not a size 6 when I get home I'll be very disapointed :)

This work is amazing to see... To watch people's expressions is ace. Some bad ones of course but with some people you can see the light bulb glow as they understand what you're telling them is truth.

Yesterday we knocked a door and the chap that answered was an anti-Christ... We had a good chat. He told me I was a fool, brain washed and naive. I told him that I wasn't a fool and that I only know that's it's true because I have tested it and I have received a personal witness of it's truthfulness. He couldn't think of much to say so we bid each other a good day and said goodbye.

Anyway... I've said enough and I'm running out of time!

I miss you all but what I'm doing is important and this 18 months will fly by. I'll be home before I know it and I will miss doing this work and having those matter of fact chats with an anti-Christ.

Remember how you are and try your best... Oh and keep smiling!!! :D

Love, Sister Smart 

First Real P' Day!!!

Sister Smart is now established in her first area, wearing her feet out but loving the work!!!

So I only have time for one email so it will have to be okay for the blog... I'll try to get better at replying :/

On our last day in the MTC one of the teachers (Sister Binnie) came into the room and said "I've just had a phone call with President Millar, the London South Mission President and there has been a problem with transfers. One of the Sisters has had to go home early so two of the Sister from this MTC group will be ‘white washing’ a new area without trainers and will be companions. Any volunteers?" WELL.... There were only three of us so Sister Steffensen and I were looking at each other thinking it has to be us if we're doing it. However before we had chance to say anything the other Sister volunteered and said I would be her companion. I stood there thinking I was about to have a slight heart attack, trying to figure out how the combination of the two of us would manage it. Just before my brain exploded Sister Binnie admitted that it was a lie/joke and explained that things like this do happen and we need to be ready for them PHEW!!!!!!!!!!! I'll never forgive Sister Binnie J I was very relieved to meet my trainer Sister Brown.

So Yeovil is the biggest area I've ever known... (I'll send photos next week). From what the Ward Mission Leader was saying, I think it's 50 miles north to south and 40 miles east to west :O. Way bigger than the Ashton areas, the area had a car once upon a time but doesn't many more so we walk ….. A LOT!!! I don't think I've ever walked so much in one day before and we do this every day. My feet are getting used to it but I have blisters but that's okay... I'll need 20 pedicures when I get home J

The area is good but quite slow. There is a lot more that we can be doing to be proactive so we're going to be working on that soon... Hopefully my trainer will agree... She has agreed with everything I've had to say so far which is nice because we're on the same page. She has only just finished her first 12 weeks herself! I know I'm being trained but you know me, I have an opinion and I think it's a good one! :/ Ha Ha. Her name is Sister Megan Brown... She's from Alberta, Canada and it's 95% Mormon where she is from :O. She tried to warn me about the ward before Sunday she said it was really small and what not.... However from the UK perspective it's not small at all and the members seem really nice! I haven't met a family like the Smart family yet though: / Ha Ha.

Our Bishop is originally from Leeds and his name is Bishop Hull... He is Laura Smith's (Will and Laura Smith) brother. Small Mormon world!! There are quite a few members from the north here so that's kinda weird as I didn't expect that. Our Ward Mission Leader is a guy by the name Brother Edwin Ralph and he has a brother in law that is going to the Manchester mission soon... Look out for him….. I think his name is Elder Dads. Oh btw they've got right farmer accents down here J

I'm running out of time!!!!!! :O

I love you all and I miss you but I'm where I'm meant to be. I love this gospel and I'm excited to tell everyone about it. Everything is fine if you just keep smiling!!!!! :D

Remember who you are!

Love, Sister Smart

Area 1 Yeovil - Poole Zone!!!

We received a letter today from Sister Smart's Mission President, just to again confirm all is well and to say that she had been assigned to work in the Yeovil Area which is in the Poole Zone.

Also enclosed was a picture of her with her new companion Sister LaRee Brown and the Mission President & his Wife.

Click Here To Read The Letter

Here is a map of the church she will be attending for the next few weeks

View Larger Map

Found a picture of the Yeovil Chapel - I guess Sister Smart will be giving her first talk to Ward members here !

Arrival In 'The Big Smoke' !!!

Another big day of excitement for Sister Smart as she arrives in London.
We received an email today, not from herself, but from the Mission Office to let us know that she had arrived safe & well and has been sent out to her very first area and had been given her very first 'real' companion...

Your Missionary Has Arrived

Dear Parents,

I am writing to inform you that your missionary was among those who arrived today safely in the England London South Mission. The missionaries have been assigned a trainer and started serving in their assigned area.

The Mission President will be sending you a letter soon which includes information about the area where your missionary was assigned and who their trainer/companion is.  The letter will also include a picture taken on the day of their arrival.

I am attaching a map for our mission. When you know where your missionary was assigned, you can find that area on the map.
We are glad for the willingness of those young missionaries to come and serve.  In the mission office we do everything we can to make sure their needs are met while in the field. Please know your missionary is well taken care of, and loved by us and by their mission president.

Let us know if you have any questions.

Best Regards
Sister Qumsiyeh
England London South Mission

The First Email!!!

Well after all the boasting about the blogging I was going to do, we got her first email yesterday and I  failed to post it.... I ought to be ashamed of myself.

However It was great to hear from her and just as we suspected she is having a whale of a time her email has a real positive vibe about it and she's not too good at concealing things like that, so we feel conformable that she is happy/

See for your self !!
I have to keep this brief as we really don’t have long ….Sorry if you have emailed me and I haven’t replied ! Please don’t take it personally, hopefully I’ll be able to address your questions in this email.

So I’ve officially been a Sister Missionary for 7 whole days…. It still feels sooo surreal !! I do feel different, just not like a missionary I think  …does that make sense ? :/

So all in all it’s a good experience, I am learning a lot about the Gospel and myself /my testimony.

There isn’t many Missionaries in the MTC right now …. about 25 of us. There are 12 learning German and they had been here for 2 weeks when we got here. The other 13 are mostly going to London or London South except for my district leader Elder Nunes ……He’s going to the Manchester Mission ! so watch out for …He’s from Brazil and just great, I will send a photo when I get chance.

We have 7 Sisters and as you can imagine it can be a little…  difficult ! You know me, I say it as it is and so I’ve told a couple of Sisters to be nicer to their companions:/…. In a good, constructive way though !

The teachers are amazing! It’s good to have known a few of them before hand and they say it as it is ! Maybe not quite as I do though ;) The other day I was having a tough moment and really wanted a hug and the first person I saw was Brother Rojas (Adrian) and I was sooo tempted to hug him…not good ! Ha ha ! Luckily Sister Bennie and Sister Richardson were there to hug ! They’re ACE ! They really get me and they understand how it is.

Oh, so sleeping…Hmmm ! We’re all struggling to sleep at night even though we are tired …. Too much in our heads ! The beds are OK though …better than I thought.

Food is important here …..mainly because as you eat you don’t have to think ;)

I am working hard….like really hard and it feels good ! People keep complaining about being tired but I feel great ….. I hope that lasts throughout my mission (fingers crossed and all that).

We’re having a devotional with Elder Donaldson tonight and we’re doing a musical item….. As Sister’s in Zion and The Army of Helamen…it’s so uplifting and refreshing !!!

Any way I am running out of time !

I love this Gospel and I know that my Saviour died for me and for you !

Remember who you are !!!

Love,  Sister Smart
Sorry I forgot to attach the photos she sent:

Sister Alipio and I... She is Brazilian. She doesn't speak much English but has so much love!! I love her!
 Sister Smith and I... My companion.

No News Is Good News, Right?

Well yesterday came and went without us hearing from her.

We were assuming that her Preparation Day (P' Day) was on a Tuesday, we based this upon asking a missionary who was fresh out of the Missionary Training Centre (MTC) "what day was P' Day in the MTC" and he told us Tuesday.

But upon reflection I don't think it would be practical for all Missionaries in the MTC at any given time to all have the same P' Day, I think it would make sense to stagger them. The Elder we asked may have just meant that Tuesday was his day.

So I guess we just have to stay on the positive side and think that her P' Day just hasn't come around yet, after all the first week is not up yet till tomorrow.

But I sure am looking forward to her first email.

Watch this space...