Tuesday, December 19, 2017

This week tho

Wow. What more can I say?
SO much happened this week!
Firstly, all THREE of my previous companions fly home today. It's such a strange feeling. I mean, I know I don't have too much longer on my mission, but sometimes it feels like I still have ages. I have served with Sister Clawson for 3 transfers, Sister Turnbull for 2 transfers, and Sister Taumalolo for 2 transfers. It has been such a privilege to serve with these three wonderful sisters. I can see the lessons they have learned and the skills they have gained for each one individually. I hope I will be able to learn and grow as much as they have ❤️ I am truly grateful for the memories and miracles I've shared with them ❤️ and I'll definitely miss them!
My only companion (besides my current companion) left in the mission is Sister Limb. It's a strange feeling - I'm starting to feel like an old missionary already.
Secondly, we had the Christmas Party this week! The talent show portion was hilarious! And I was able to see all my good friends :) I'm so grateful for my district!
Transfers have happened, and I'm staying here in Ashton with Sister Stohrer. I am SO greatful for my previous district, and I know that they have helped me so much! I know that this was truly inspired. I have been able to meet great new friends and I'm grateful for this upcoming transfer as well. The people in my district seem really great and I'm excited to get to know them!
We said goodbye to Elder Cumagun and helped clean his flat, and we gave our new Elder, Elder Bishop a proper welcome with welcome home balloons and also little sticky notes all over the flat :) it was so much fun and he enjoyed it! 
There's really so much on my mind this week, but unfortunately not much time to tell you all everything. But this week was probably one of my favorite weeks of my mission :) I will have such a great Christmas! 
I hope that all of you do to!
Speak to lots of you in 6 days 😊 
Love you!
Sister Wilkinson

Sorry this is such a short email! But Photos say more than words, so here are some photos with what happened this week :)

My week in pictures:

The best type of wrapping paper

Sister Stohrer's mom got her a fun Christmas countdown

 Sister Stohrer got these for her secret santa gift! SO FUNNY! Its of Elder Tangiora, Elder Malpage, Elder Burton, and Lee :) 

We deep cleaned the elders flat cuz we love them. It was Elder Cumigan's last day, so we helped him clean and then the next morning, they made us breakfast and we said goodbye 

 - We welcomed Elder Bishop (our new elder) into his flat and district :) (next 3 pictures)


Our Christmas Party

Monday, December 11, 2017

Woof... you won't read this email

So, to explain my heading, I have had lots of fun in my district. The Ashton 1 Elders are funny, and Elder Burton says "Woof" all the time, and also "You won't". He makes everything into a challenge so we are more willing to do it :P so, you won't read this email... you won't. Lol 
This email will actually be a novel... so I don't blame you if you don't end up reading it all :P but I didn't send a group email last week, so I'm making up for it now :P

Anyways, speaking of my fabulous district, here are some other things we have done recently (since it's coming up to transfers soon, I'm taking time to reflect).
1 - we went bowling 🎳 last week! Elder Cannon took a model shot of our trio on his Polaroid camera and it looked amazing and old school.   I also didn't lose! Which was surprising! I think it's because I promised Elder Burton I would lose, so he decided to lose instead :P 
2 - We have an IKEA near our flat and it has become my favorite thing! So, we have been there on multiple occasions with various people in our district and also with other sisters in our zone.   #MeatballsAreLife. I also tried their Salmon at one point, and it was amazing! :)
3 - Our street Displays.   So, we have been decorating for Christmas every time we go to town. It started with just a blank tree on a table, and then the next time, we added some ornaments and lights to the tree, then we wrapped some copies of the Book of Mormon to put under the tree, then we got some Christmas music and put a speaker behind the tree, and added some Light the World cards to the display... yeah, we've gone all out :) We've had some funny stories at these displays too, from getting fully snowed on, to Elder Burton almost getting ran over multiple times, to running into members from around the world, and so many other things. I always have a laugh at street displays!

Also, we had a Christmas carol concert over last weekend and it was so good! 😊 At one point, the Primary children went up and were dressed as angels, and sang three songs. That was my favourite part! Everyone just did a wonderful job :) 

Okay, last thing - We were asked to give the lesson in Relief Society yesterday, and the chapter we taught was on the blessings of the temple. Since I was able to serve as an ordinance worker in the Mt. Timpanogas temple, I have become passionate about this topic, so I enjoyed teaching the class. Something that stood out to me in this chapter was a quote from one of my favorite talks from President Hinckley. 
"I am satisfied that every man or woman who goes to the temple in a spirit of sincerity and faith leaves the house of the Lord a better man or woman. There is need for constant improvement in all of our lives. There is need occasionally to leave the noise and the tumult of the world and step within the walls of a sacred house of God, there to feel His Spirit in an environment of holiness and peace... I urge our people everywhere, with all of the persuasiveness of which I am capable, to live worthy to hold a temple recommend, to secure one and regard it as a precious asset, and to make a greater effort to go to the house of the Lord and partake of the spirit and the blessings to be had therein." - (Of Missions, Temples, and Stewardship; Gordon B. Hinckley; October 1995)
This talk is one that helped me decide to go on a mission, so I've basically memorised the whole talk, but it's a good one! 
Anyways, I really love how President Hinckley describes the temple as a place of peace. I definitely know that to be true! I would like to add my urge to all of you who are reading this to also visit the temple whenever you are able to. It will give you a spiritual recharge and such an amazing experience. 
President Hinckley also said that temples are "the bridge from this life to the next". I love that statement because it is so true. I have heard many times that the veil is the thinnest in the temple. I have many experiences (and I'm sure many of you have as well) where I have felt the presence of angels so strongly, and I have seen others and witnessed their experiences of when the have been touched by those who have passed on. 
For our #LightTheWorld initiative this year, the Ashton Stake has decided to add on "Light the SPIRIT world". This means that we find an ancestor and take their name to the temple. I think that this idea should spread, so there you go - take this idea and go with it! :) 

I hope you can all find time for the temple this week to #LightTheSpiritWorld :)
Love you all! 

Th-Th-t-t-th-tha- tha - that's all folks!

Sister Wilkinson :)

Monday, November 27, 2017

And I cannot forget the way I feel right now 🎶

(Little wonders)

So, this week I'll start by telling you all a story and a miracle :) 

Firstly, I had my first baptism this week! It's great to see the fruits of your labours start to come up :) I can't wait for his family to progress and to eventually be sealed for all eternity. 

Secondly, We met this man named Simon at a bus stop and he seemed interested in our message.  We were able to set a return appointment with him, and we met with him again yesterday. He is very soft spoken and sometimes hard to understand, but we were able to talk to him about why we are here, and we also taught him the whole Restoration, and gave him a Book of Mormon. He seemed very willing to learn more and he enjoyed the first lesson. He is coming to our Family Home Evening tonight and we will set another appointment with him there. It's amazing to see someone's face light up at the gospel message. :)

Something else that happened this week is that I officially hit my year mark! It's now been a whole year since I left my family and came to England and found my other family :) There are so many people here that I am so grateful to have met. They are people that I have met before I came on the earth, and have now had a sweet reunion with. I am truly grateful for the experiences I have had so far on my mission! And I have 6 more months of lessons to learn! :)

And speaking of gratitude - it was also THANKSGIVING this week! I hope all you Americans enjoyed your turkey and potatoes! In the meantime, I was eating Deep Dish Pizza that a member gave us. It was pretty American though, so I guess it works ;) what was best about this Thanksgiving meal though is that the members I ate with were President and Sister Preston - who were also serving at the MTC a year ago when I had Thanksgiving there. So, now I've had TWO Thanksgiving meals with them :) so crazy! And what's even better is that Thanksgiving was on my year mark, so it gave me a perfect opportunity to reflect on what I have learned on my mission so far.

And because it was Thanksgiving week, I decided I should share some spiritual thoughts on gratitude. 

"We feel grateful for many things: a kindness from a stranger, a meal when we are hungry, a dry roof over our heads when storms arise, a broken bone that heals, and the hearty cry of a newborn baby. Many of us will remember feeling gratitude at such moments. " (Gratitude on the Sabbath Day - Henry B. Eyring - October 2016)

Also, the words of an amazing hymn that I hope you can all take to heart: 

"When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings; name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.
Count your blessings;
Name them one by one.
Count your blessings;
See what God hath done. …
Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings; ev’ry doubt will fly,
And you will be singing as the days go by."

I love you all and hope you have an amazing week! Happy December! 

Oh - p.s. It SNOWED the other day! 😁 It made me really happy! :)

- Sister Wilkinson

My package arrived

It looks like I'm being blessed with Funyuns!
...funyuns make me happy!

It's Snowing and our street display

Brendan's baptism

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 😂 So the conversation went something like this...
Joseph (the Italian) - "Asparagati!"
Us - "Ah, yes. Asparagus. Asparagus is good!"
Joseph - "Aaah, Formaggio!" 🧀
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 😂 and in the end, he gave us all a cannoli 😂 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 😂

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 :)


The trio