Monday, November 20, 2017

Primary colours are One, Two, Three..

Hello everyone! What an eventful week :)


So, as you have heard, I am in a trio in Ashton. So far, I absolutely LOVE it here, and I'm SO grateful for this area and my companions.

Y'all know about my step-mom in the mission aka Sister Clawson. She is still just as fun and we are laughing lots.

So, now I'll tell you a bit about my wonderful other companion Sister Stohrer. She is from a small village near Stuttgart, Germany. Her English is amazing (many people actually think she is American) - We make fun of her 'New York' accent. Another thing about her is that she LOVES Disney! 😁 so, we have spent many hours belting Disney songs together, and stopping people on the streets to compliment their Disney bags. She also loves music and is an amazing singer. I have only known her for a week so far, but I absolutely love being her companion! She has made me laugh so hard at times - she's hilarious!

So, basically - We are just a trio of goofballs and it's the best thing :)

So my companionship is wonderful! The area is also nice, it's like the outskirts of Manchester City. We actually have the Manchester City Football Stadium in our area. It's HUGE! Other than that, we don't have much :P We have a song in the England Manchester Mission that goes through each zone and says something great about it, like the Temple in Chorley, or the Docks of Liverpool, and when it gets to Ashton, it says "the streets of Ashton" ... so basically, there's nothing here ;) but I love it! It's such a good area :) And the members that I have met before are amazing! I'm excited to have Christmas with them! It's really a great ward!

Okay, so I have a funny story for you all now (and there are many others that have happened this week!) but this is the one I decided was too good to not share! :)

So, I was walking with my companions and we said hello to this man that passed. He looked over at us and smiled, and then stopped to talk to us. He looked very confused at what we were saying, and then we found out that he is from Italy and didn't know much English. So, we then started to use all the Italian we knew, and had this half English half Italian baseline conversation that was hilarious! Then, he took off his backpack and opened it up. He started pulling out his groceries one by one while we named them in both Italian and English πŸ˜‚ So the conversation went something like this...
Joseph (the Italian) - "Asparagati!"
Us - "Ah, yes. Asparagus. Asparagus is good!"
Joseph - "Aaah, Formaggio!" πŸ§€
Us - "Oooh that looks like good cheese!"
Joseph - "Ah, Gelato!" 🍨
Us - "yes, yes"
And this went on until he had pulled out everything in his bag πŸ˜‚ and in the end, he gave us all a cannoli πŸ˜‚ it was such a funny conversation! It made our day!

So, that just about sums up my week. I've really had lots of fun :) stay tuned for my updates next week!

Also, before I leave, I want to share a quote with you all that I heard this week that really stood out to me.
"No one can reach lower than the light of Christ shines" - Jeffrey R. Holland
This is a very true statement! I have read so much about how Christ is the light that shines in darkness. Also, the Christmas initiative of "Light the World" is soon approaching, and the main theme of this initiative is to reach out to others, because Christ is the light of the world, and so are we when we become more like Him. I love the analogy of light, because there is so much to learn from it. I hope you will all be able to see the light of Christ shine through any dark time you may have.

Love you all!
Sister Wilkinson :)
Ashton 2nd ward :)


pic of Sister Stohrer and I 
She is sooo sweet :) she actually reminds me a lot of Emily in the way she speaks and tells stories :) it's so much fun! An older, and German version of Emily πŸ˜‚




My scriptures lately


I had to travel here for an hour by myself with 3 suitcases to get to Ashton



This is when we said goodbye to Chester :)

                                            image1.JPG



The trio






Monday, November 13, 2017

It's the most wonderful time of the year.

WHAT TIME IS IT...?

Nope, not Christmas yet... but good guess.

It's... TRANSFER TIME!!!

So, first thing: I have now finished EIGHT transfers! Only FIVE left to go. How crazy!

Second thing: I have been given a tender mercy this transfer! It's almost unbelievable- but this is for real!

So... I will actually be leaving Chester. And guess where I will be going? Ashton-under-Lyne 2nd ward. I've heard that it's an amazing ward with about 60-70 active members. And guess who one of those members is? My MTC President! :) So, now I will be serving in President Prestons ward! 

So that's amazing!!! BUT do you want to know the crazy thing? My companions. Yes, plural. I'm in a TRIO! 3 missionaries in Ashton! 

This will be such a new experience for me, but I feel it will be fun :) Want to know why? Guess who my companions will be? Firstly, there is Sister Stohrer from Germany! This will be my first companion to have English as their second language. She sounds like an amazing Sister, and I can't wait to hear all about Germany and the culture and getting to know her!

And last but not least, I can tell you all that this transfer just keeps getting better and better. Guess who my other companion will be? Sister Clawson! Yep! The one who follow up trained me almost a year ago! What a tender mercy! It will be so much fun to be her companion again! Also, what's even crazier is that she is finishing her mission at the end of the transfer, which means that I will be her last companion. We call this "killing a missionary" - so now I get to kill BOTH my trainers! That absolutely amazes me, I'm still in shock!

Anyways, so for those of you who want a quicker update for transfers:
Area - Ashton
Companion(s) - Sister Stohrer and Sister Clawson

Sister Turnbull will be staying in Chester, and her new companion will be Sister Arthur. I served in the same district as Sister Arthur while I was in Warrington. She is from London and is also Ghanaian. She is a lovely sister and will take good care of Chester ward.

Okay... so besides the exciting news of transfers, what else has happened this week? Well, we have been able to teach many people, and learn many lessons. We had three families we are working with come to church. We are also having a baptism on the 25th of November!  How exciting is that? :) 

Now, for a quick story before this email is over. So, we were able to go to a baptism the other night for a girl that Sister Turnbull met and taught her very first transfer. It was amazing to see how the seed that she has planted has now been growing in the gospel soil. 

The funny part of this story is that it was about an hour away by car, so we needed a lift. Luckily, a member was able to save the day and be our hero because he gave us a ride there and back. But this one hour drive quickly (or I guess I should say slowly) turned into a two hour drive as we took random roads given to us by the SatNav, and also by going 35mph on a 70mph motorway. Yeah... it was a long drive :P but, I guess we got to know the member really well, so it was alright :)

Well, that's about all I've got for y'all this week. Chester is doing amazing, and I'm now off to Ashton! :)

Hope you all have an amazing week!

Sister Wilkinson :)

This is sister Dunlavy and I singing a verse of The Lord is My Light :)
















Monday, November 6, 2017

πŸπŸ¦‡πŸ•ΈHAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE πŸ•ΈπŸ•·πŸ”₯

First off, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! I hope you have all enjoyed dressing up and other various things as you have been able to celebrate this great holiday! It's not celebrated as much over here in the U.K., but it's getting bigger and bigger each year according to the members. Our ward had a trunk or treat and other various activities that the children enjoyed. There's not much as missionaries we are allowed to do Halloween night, but my companion and I still put in some effort and my companion was a witch and I was a cat :P not my average Halloween, but I still enjoyed it!
Now the reason I say Holidays (multiple) is because we also had Guy Fawkes night this weekend. It happened to land on a Sunday, so they celebrated both yesterday and Saturday night (and all week really). Little bit of background on this day (known also as Bon Fire night): This occurs on the 5th of November every year. In started in the 1600's when a man named Guy Fawkes was caught with explosives trying to kill the king. He was the only one out of a large group of people to be caught and captured, hence why he's the name people remember. So, in the early days, they had this celebration that the King survived, but the way they celebrated was by throwing dummies of Guy Fawkes himself into a Bonfire. So... that's how it all started. According to one of the members, when she was younger, they used to still make Guy Fawkes out of cloth/cardboard/whatever else and then sit in town and say, "Money for the Guy" and people would give them pennies, and then when it came to Bonfire Night, they threw Guy into the Fire. Kind of a scary tradition I'd say :P but it's not like that anymore. Mainly it's just a big firework show kind of like the Fourth of July. There was one bonfire we saw, but I didn't really see what was thrown in. Once again, we couldn't go out past a certain time that day, but before we had to go inside, we were able to see some fireworks in the middle of Chester. So, that was fun! :)
So yeah, happy holidays! We don't celebrate Thanksgiving here (obviously), so I hope you all enjoy that when it comes to the end of the month! Eat lots of potatoes for me! Oh, speaking of potatoes, this actually happened a while ago, but we went to an American members home, and they gave us meatloaf and potatoes. Even though I'm not a big meatloaf fan, it was actually one of the best meatloaves I've tasted! Karen can definitely cook! :) also, the potatoes were AMAZING! I had 3 serving of them, and then they sent me home with a whole bag :P so that was nice of them! Anyway, main story is: I've had a great week! Filled with Candy, Fireworks, Bonfires, Games, Jokes, and much laughter. I hope you all have had an equally enjoyable week.
If not, here is some advice for you:

"Remember that you are of the royal house of the kingdom of God, daughters of Heavenly Parents, who reign throughout the universe. 
You have the spiritual DNA of God. You have unique gifts that originated in your spiritual creation and that were developed during the vast span of your premortal life. You are the child of our merciful and everlasting Father in Heaven, the Lord of Hosts, the One who created the universe, spread the spinning stars across the vast expanse of space, and placed the planets in their appointed orbits.
You are in His hands.
Very good hands.
Loving hands.
Caring hands.
And nothing anyone ever says about you can change that. Their words are meaningless compared to what God has said about you.
You are His precious child.
He loves you.
Even when you stumble, even when you turn away from Him, God loves you. If you are feeling lost, abandoned, or forgotten--fear not. The Good Shepherd will find you. He will lift you upon His shoulders. And He will carry you home.
...You can rejoice that you are a daughter of God. You can find joy and happiness in the grace of God and in the love of Jesus Christ. You can be glad. I urge you to fill your hearts with gratitude for the abundant and limitless goodness of God. My beloved sisters, you can do this! I pray with all the affection of my soul that you will make the choice to press on toward the tree of life. I pray that you will choose to lift up your voice and make your life a glorious symphony of praise, rejoicing in what the love of God, the wonders of His Church, and the gospel of Jesus Christ can bring to the world."
-President Uctdorf, Three Sisters, Women's Conference October 2017

Love you all!
- Sister Wilkinson E.M.M. :)













Monday, October 30, 2017

"You're hot then you're cold"

Okay, so, about this title:

This week has been getting colder and colder, but also, we walked up to our flat on Thursday and there was ash in the air... it definitely wasn't coming from our flat, but we were a bit worried. Once we were in our flat, we looked out our window, and saw lots of smoke. It looked like it might be controlled, but we couldn't tell. We obviously didn't want the Fire to get any bigger, and we weren't sure what to do. We ended up calling the emergency department for help. We accidentally dialed 911 instead of 999, but we were still redirected, so all was well! The Fire brigade showed up, and informed us that it was just a man burning some trees and that it was a controlled fire. We then felt a bit dumb for getting the fire brigade involved, but hey, better safe than sorry. We left the flat, and when we came back, the whole street was full of smoke. Everyone is safe, but it just didn't seemed as "controlled" as we would have hoped. Other than the fact of my facing my fears all week... it's been really good! We have been progressing the work here in the Chester ward. There was a baptism that happened on Saturday and we were able to have 4 of our investigators attend. We also just had a new Bishopric called in the ward, and our new bishop, Bishop Marzal, said that he noticed all the good work we were doing in Chester and wants to coordinate with us in order to gain and keep new members. The Lord is definitely hastening his work here!
We now have three part member families we are working with, and there are SO MANY children that we are teaching! They are all very special, and I've been able to gain an even stronger love for children. Even when we are in members homes and I get to talk to them. They just have such amazing and innocent stories and they are so intelligent! Anyway, not much else has happened this week, but I want to share an insight I had while doing my studies this week.

"The greatest comfort in this life is the assurance of having close relationship with God. … The sacrament period should be a factor in awakening this sense of relationship... "There are three things fundamentally important associated with the administration of the sacrament. The first is self-discernment. It is introspection. “This do in remembrance of me,” but we should partake worthily, each one examining himself with respect to his worthiness. "Secondly, there is a covenant made; a covenant even more than a promise. … There is nothing more important in life than that. … A covenant, a promise, should be as sacred as life. That principle is involved every Sunday when we partake of the sacrament. "Thirdly, there is another blessing, and that is a sense of close relationship with the Lord. There is an opportunity to commune with oneself and to commune with the Lord. We meet in the house that is dedicated to him; we have turned it over to him; we call it his house. I believe the short period of administering the sacrament is one of the best opportunities we have for … meditation, and there should be nothing during that sacred period to distract our attention from the purpose of that ordinance... "We [must] surround this sacred ordinance with more reverence, with perfect order, that each one who comes to the house of God may meditate upon his goodness and silently and prayerfully express appreciation for God’s goodness. Let the sacrament hour be one experience of the day in which the worshiper tries at least to realize within himself that it is possible for him to commune with his God." - (Teachings of Presidents - David O. McKay - Chapter 4, Elements of Worship)

I know that when we truly take the Sacrament with meaning in our hearts, our entire outlook on the week changes. We will be able to "always remember Him" and to "always have His Spirit to be with [us]". When we make Christ the center of our lives and of our minds, everything falls into place, and we are able to overcome things with ease. One important thing I have learned on my mission is that we can do anything when we remember Christ and trust Him with all our heart. I hope that all of you can look at the ways the Lord is blessing your life, and that as you take the Sacrament, you can remember the sweet peace that the Saviour offers us as we turn to Him and rely on Him.

I love you all! Have a Wonderful week!
Sister Wilkinson :)


Photos of Chester




Monday, October 23, 2017

Attitude of Gratitude

Alright well, I'll quickly share a list of the funny/good things that
happened this week:
1 - We played a game of Monopoly with the District last week. ..
Basically, I lost... and then we related the game completely to our lives and our roles in the District, and it made perfect sense πŸ˜‚
2 - We all matched in colour for zone Conference and wore green and pink :)
3 - I picked up and got to pet a beautiful black cat 🐱
4 - We crashed a party held by the Zone Leaders and got to eat some of Elder Jensen's cake and Ice Cream (which was AMAZING by the way)
5 - I improved my basketball skills πŸ€

So, now y'all ready for a spiritual message? :)
This week was full of ups, but it was also full of downs. Every week will not end up perfect, and that's okay. I have learned a very valuable lesson this week which is to find joy in the little things. President Hinckley has given us a perfect example of this.

As he has taught, "With gratitude in our hearts, let us not dwell upon the few problems we have. Let us rather count our blessings and in a great spirit of gratitude, motivated by a great faith, go forth to build the kingdom of God in the earth. Let a spirit of thanksgiving guide and bless your days and nights. Work at it. You will find it will yield wonderful results. The Lord said: “Wherefore, lift up thy heart and rejoice, and cleave unto the covenants which thou hast made” [D&C 25:13]. I believe he is saying to each of us, be happy. The gospel is a thing of joy. It provides us with a reason for gladness. Never forget who you are. … You are in very deed a child of God. … He is your Eternal Father. He loves you. … He wants His sons and daughters to be happy. Sin never was happiness. Transgression never was happiness. Disobedience never was happiness. The way of happiness is found in the plan of our Father in Heaven and in obedience to the commandments of His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Regardless of your way of doing things in the past, I offer you a challenge … to square your lives with the teachings of the gospel, to look upon this Church with love and respect and appreciation as the mother of your faith, to live your lives as an example of what the gospel of Jesus Christ will do in bringing happiness to an individual. ...“Life is like an old-time rail journey--delays, sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders, and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. “The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride.” (Deseret News, 12 June 1973.)
..."Let there be something of a light tone in your life. Let there be fun and happiness, a sense of humor, the capacity to laugh occasionally at things that are funny. In all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

Although this life may be an old-time rail journey, it really is all about enjoying the ride. Looking for those little rays of sunshine that come through the stormy clouds of life. So, although this week was a bit of a rollercoaster, it ended beautifully and we could clearly see that the Lord was in our lives.

So, we were on this street, and two men passed us. We stopped them and introduced ourselves and he showed us his interest in learning about the gospel. We gave him a Book of Mormon and a Mormon.org card, and then when we got home that night, we received this text:

'Hey there, it's Louis. Was lovely meeting you both. Do you live local or do you travel the UK teaching Christ ? I found the closest church to me, St Davids Park, is that right ? 'Sorry for all the questions, I'm just really intrigued on what your role is over here but I've done some research so I know a bit more about sister missionaries. You're both roughly over here for 18 months if I'm right... I hate making long distance friends, I'm an emotional person at hear and very chatty as you can see haha. I typed in Utah in google as well. It's a beautiful place, Salt Lake, etc. and the Mormon church there is just breath-taking. You're very lucky to have been brought up there, I've been to a few places in the States. Love the place, got a lot more places to tick off my list yet, also heading to Australia to see my sister soon. Tell me to shut up if you want. I'm just a chatter box and I've only known you 5 minutes haha !

He clearly looked up the website and was interested in what we are sharing! It was amazing to see (and also a bit funny!) and we were glad that the week ended so well for us. We also have a dated investigator and also have one other friend who called that night and wanted to come to church. We are having so much success in our area, and it's just incredible! Goes to show that when we pass through hard times, there is always something good on its way. Things will always work out, and our trials will always pass. As we press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, we all can gain so much strength and wisdom. I have learned so much about my Saviour, Jesus Christ, and my relationship with him grows stronger and stronger each and every day. I love the lessons that I have come to learn on my mission and the sweet peace that the gospel brings to us all.

I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!
Love from Wales (Cymru) ❤️
Sister Wilkinson :)










Wednesday, October 18, 2017

99 Red Balloons

Okay, we didn't really count how many of the balloons were red balloons, but there were quite a lot of them! Highlight of this week?
We blew up 180 balloons for our District Leaders birthday! (And it still wasn't enough to fill their flat). Our original plan was to fill each room with balloons... but their flat was much bigger than we thought it was. But that's alright, because we still went crazy decorating his flat. It was his 21st birthday, so we figured we had to spoil him. We decided to buy a gift for each room, and decorate the flat. What did we do for decorations? Well, the 180 balloons (that made both our hands swell, ran us out of breath, and also destroyed my poor companions finger). Was it worth it though? I'd like to think so.... We also stuck up 6 banners that said "Hooray! 21 Today!" And we sprinkled little plastic stars all over Elder Ogbeide's bed (which he probably hated us for), AND - the best part/finishing touch: We got them a disco light for both their study room and bedroom! The flat looked pretty great by the time we finished! (I'll be sending photos as well for visual aid - the bathroom looks hilarious) As far as the gifts for each room, I'll list them below:
Dressing Room - A nice navy tie
Bathroom - Body wash / Deodorant
Bedroom - All those glitter stars, plus a happy birthday card signed
by the people in our district (that said "Penblwyd Hapus" - Happy
Birthday in Welsh)
Kitchen - Crunchy Nut Cereal and Milk (his favourite)
Study room - Smart Water (because it improves your intelligence), Lion
bars (candy), a Welsh Book of Mormon, and some pens.
Was he spoiled?

Yes....

Also...

We had a fun dinner together at their flat that night with all the missionaries in our ward (which is us, the District Leader companionship (Elder Ogbeide and Elder Stiff), and the Zone Leaders (Elder Jensen and Elder LeSueur). Elder LeSueur made us all Fajitas! It was great to have Mexican food once again - don't get it very often in England). We had great conversations as we ate and got to know each other. It was really fun, and he had a good birthday!

In other news, I have found a new favourite Conference talk (to be honest, it probably changes every week). So, I was going through a challenge, and this talk helped me immensely this week, and I thought I should share some of it with all of you.

"Hard makes us stronger, humbles us, and gives us a chance to prove ourselves. Our beloved handcart pioneers came to know God in their extremities. Why did it take two chapters for Nephi and his brothers to obtain the brass plates and only three verses to enlist Ishmael’s family to join them in the wilderness? (see 1 Nephi 3–4; 7:3–5). It seems the Lord wanted to strengthen Nephi through the struggle of obtaining the plates. "The hard things in our lives should come as no surprise. One of the earliest covenants we make with the Lord is to live the law of sacrifice. Sacrifice, by definition, involves giving up something desirable. With experience we realize it is a small price to pay in relation to the blessings that follow. Under the direction of Joseph
Smith, it was said that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation.” ..."Hard is part of the gospel plan. One of the purposes of this life is for us to be proven (see Abraham 3:25). Few have suffered more undeservedly than the people of Alma. They fled from wicked King Noah, only to become slaves to the Lamanites! Through those trials the Lord
taught them that He chastens His people and tries “their patience and their faith” (Mosiah 23:21). ..."hard is the constant! We all have challenges. The variable is our reaction to the hard. "At one point, some Book of Mormon people suffered “great persecutions” and “much affliction” (Helaman 3:34). How did they react? “They did fast and pray oft, and did wax stronger and stronger in their humility, and firmer and firmer in the faith of Christ, unto the filling their souls with joy and consolation” (Helaman 3:35). Another example occurred after years of war: “Because of the exceedingly great length of the war between the Nephites and the Lamanites many had become hardened, … and many were softened because of their afflictions, insomuch that they did humble themselves before God” (Alma 62:41). We each choose our reaction to hard. ..."In whatever we do, we should not decide nor act out of a spirit of fear. Truly, “God hath not given us the spirit of fear” (2 Timothy 1:7). (Do you realize the idea of “fear not” is emphasized throughout the scriptures?) The Lord has taught me that discouragement and fear are tools of the adversary. The Lord’s answer to hard times is to go forward with faith."

I know that when a hard time comes into our lives, we can move forward in faith as we focus on the Saviour. The Lord is always with us and he is willing to help us. When he suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane, he gave us the enabling power to repent and to also feel comfort. No matter what we struggle with, we can find strength when we acknowledge the Saviour in our lives, and let him take our burdens. He is my light, my strength, and my song, and he will always lead me along. I have grown a strong appreciation for Jesus Christ and the things he has done for me. And I know he can help anyone through any trial.

Hope you all have a great time this week! :)

Sister Wilkinson