Monday, February 27, 2017

Dorris... I thought she was my friend

(Meet the Robinsons) 
I decided this title fit well because the highlight of this week was that Storm Dorris hit! And it hit Liverpool pretty hard! (Maybe it's a good thing I've gained 30lbs so far, or I'd probably be blown away). My companion and I were laughing about "giving up the ghost" and just being taken by the wind. At times, it really did feel like I would be carried away. The wind was CRAZY!!! 
But other than the storm, I have seen so many miracles this week!!! Last week was definitely a trial of our faith, but we are now finding the miracles that came from it.
Ready for my version of 17 miracles?? All in one week :)
Our first miracle - We have an investigator named Mark who is progressing SO well, and I have faith that he will be baptised on March 11 (the last Saturday of the transfer). This past week, we were able to teach him the Plan of Salvation and the Restoration. He is keeping all of our commitments, and he has come to Sacrament meeting twice now. He loves the Hymns and he enjoys the atmosphere. Both of the lessons this week went really well, and he had lots of good questions. When we taught the Plan of Salvation, we asked a member to help us. She was baptised almost a year ago, and was pretty less active when I came into Crosby, but she has now been coming to church regularly again. She was a perfect member for Mark to meet because they shared similar experiences, so she was able to explain how this gospel really has changed her life for the better. The other lesson we taught with the Elders (because there weren't any members that would help us), and their testimonies were sincere, and they helped Mark better understand the purpose of the gospel as well. He is such a good investigator, and I have the faith that he will be baptised soon.
Miracle number two - We saw a younger man pass (probably about 22) who had a Redsox ball cap on. Sister Clawson noticed right away (she has all brothers, so she knew her sports well), and was able to stop him by asking if he was a fan. He told us that he was, and that he went to school in Florida for one year going into business. He was very nice, and he loved seeing some Americans once again. He was also carrying a Trump philosophy book, which we found funny. But the miracle was that he asked about our religion quickly and we told him about what we believe. He said he has been looking for a good religion and told us to come by to talk more about it. He gave us all his contact details and we are going to see him sometime this week. 
Miracle number three - We were headed to the bus stop, and there was a man who was standing at his door, and letting his dog walk around while holding its leash. We were prompted to talk to him, so we asked about the storm. The more we got talking, the more he was interested in learning about the church. We gave him a Book of Mormon, and card, and had said we come come by again whenever. Later that night, he sent us a text and said that he would read our book and wanted us to come again and he set a real time. Unfortunately he wasn't able to keep to that time, but he has been keeping in touch with us to tell us when we can see him again.
Learn about the Mormon religion and meet members of the Mormon Church. Modern Mormons talk about their faith and answer common questions.

Miracle number four - This one is a crazy story. Ready? We stopped a man to talk about the church, but he was actually waiting for the ambulance. His wife was having a miscarriage, and he was worried about her. He was Romanian, so he was unsure if 999 could hear him correctly. So he asked us to call for him. We were able to help him out, and felt prompted to wait with him. We were able to give him a bit of a distraction and he really enjoyed talking to us. When we introduced ourselves as sisters, he introduced himself as "Brother George" He said he was glad he found some friends. Since we now have this friendship established, we are hoping to teach him and his wife about the Plan of Salvation, and how this gospel can strengthen them in their hardship.
Miracle number five - We have been teaching a man for a long time who hasn't been keeping commitments, and also works every Sunday. The miracle? He texted us Friday night and said, "I'm free on Sunday, so I will be at the 10am service". It was so good to see him there.
Miracle 6 - A less active member texted us and said that her health had improved and she wanted to become an active member again. She has been texting us every morning and showing us her love
Miracle 7 - We didn't die from the wind!! Storm Dorris hit hard, and we actually heard that it was an amber alert storm warning, and heard some pretty crazy stories, but we were safe :)
We also found many other people that have been so prepared, and I could honestly come up with 17 miracles if I had more time to email.
But with those miracles comes the trial...
The only problem? They are all male. So, now our struggle is working with the members. It's a bit of a challenge here, but we are doing the best we can in order to have a baptism by the end of this transfer.
I'm grateful for all the blessings and miracles we have seen this week, and hope we can continue seeing more as this transfer finishes.
Have a great week :)
Sister Wilkinson
England Manchester Mission ☔️

To feed your hunger, here are some photos :)

Monday, February 20, 2017

The Blessings come AFTER the trial of your faith

Well this week has been a bit of a trial. About everyone was rejecting us, and a few people dropped us. But we found a bit of success these last two days. So, we decided that this past week has just been a trial of our faith. One night, we said a prayer to find what we were doing wrong, if it was something on our part. We then wrote down a list of things that we could try to improve, and started to work on changing. It was hard to do this while there was still no success, but I have more faith in this upcoming week. We are starting to see miracles. 
We were given blessings yesterday, and both mine and Sister Clawson's mentioned that we would start to see miracles and that we would find many people this week. Because of this, I have increased confidence that we will find at least one person to be baptised. 
We are already starting to see those miracles. On Saturday, we stopped a man who was walking 3 dogs. At first, he didn't seem very interested. He said that he had a Book of Mormon, and that he reads from it occasionally, and that the men who gave it to him were happy, and so were we. He said he had never met a Mormon without a smile on their face. He liked our positive energy, but didn't seem very responsive when we invited him to church and when we tried to set a return appointment.
Sister Clawson and I started a fast last night to find at least one person who would become a progressing investigator. In my personal prayer both last night and this morning, I asked specifically that someone we spoke to throughout the week would show up to Sacrament Meeting. A few minutes before church, that man walked through the door in nice clothing. A member from our ward talked to him right away, and then we went up and said Hello. He sat with us for the meeting, and he said that the hymns were really powerful and that they touched his heart. This was a direct answer to my prayer, and I know that when we ask specific things, in faith, Heavenly Father will answer our prayers. My testimony was strengthened so much yesterday, and with getting a blessing as well, I'm ready to see those miracles come. I really do believe that we will have a baptism this transfer.
Our mission President challenged us to say a prayer in the baptismal font and make a promise with the Lord. As we did this, I could feel the Spirit so strong. We are going to do everything we can in order to have someone in that font in the 3 weeks we have left of this transfer.
We are going to meet him again on Tuesday. My hope is to be able to baptise him soon. We hope that we can help him get through his trials, and that he will feel the spirit every time he meets with us. Another thing that happened yesterday was that we got a call from a girl who we found while Street contacting last week. She is turning 20 next week, so she felt that she could talk to us comfortably since we were her age. She loves our American accent and loves listening to us. She also took a bit of Religious studies, so our beliefs really interested her. She wouldn't ever set a time to meet with us, or come to church, but last night, she called us and said that she had time off of work, and would love to meet with us this week. This is another miracle. 
Our teaching pool has been increasing and we hope to have a promising investigator that will be baptised. 
Although most of this week was a challenge, we are now starting to see the blessings and miracles. 
"For the hearts of many were hardened, and their names were blotted out, that they were remembered no more among the people of God. And also many withdrew themselves from among them.
"Now this was a great trial to those that did stand fast in the faith; nevertheless, they were steadfast and immovable in keeping the commandments of God, and they bore with patience the persecution which was heaped upon them." -Alma 1:24-25
"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
"For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.
"But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen." - Ether 12:6-8
We have been put through this trial, but because of it, our faith has increased and I have high hopes for this upcoming week. I love my companion and we are getting along so well. I believe I have found myself again, and because of that, I'm finding the joy of being on a mission. Sister Clawson is such a wonderful missionary and I'm blessed to have her as my companion. I'm having so much fun here in England :) 
Also, Liverpool is BEAUTIFUL. We are going there again today :)
Hopefully I'll be able to take and send a few pictures. Love you all!!! 
-Sister Wilkinson

England Manchester Mission ☔️

Monday, February 13, 2017

Adventure is out there!

Well, first of all, I am on my way to Manchester right now for a sisters time out! Which will be so much fun 😁 But because of that, there won't be any pictures in this weeks email (although I hardly send them anyway - sorry).
This week, my companion and I have both been focusing on the attribute of Faith. The faith to find those that Heavenly Father has prepared, as well as faith and confidence in our abilities to share the gospel. While studying faith, I read one of my favourite scriptures. This scripture always helps boost my confidence as a missionary. It's found in 2 Nephi chapter 32, verses 2 and 3.
"Do ye not remember that I said unto you that after ye had received the Holy Ghost ye could speak with the tongue of angels? And now, how could ye speak with the tongue of angels save it were by the Holy Ghost?
"Angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore, they speak the words of Christ. Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do."
I know that as a missionary, I can speak with the tongue of angels, and I have the same power and authority to do all of the things that the prophets of the Book of Mormon do. Amaleki is one of my favourite Book of Mormon missionaries. He was bold and always spoke with so much power. I know that I can be just as bold as him when I exercise my faith. I know that before my mission, I was very timid and quiet, and it was hard for me to socialise. It's still definitely hard for me, but I have been jumping out of my comfort zone and trying to be more comfortable with it. I know that I wasn't shy in the pre-existence (as President Ulrich tells us every day) so I know have the capability of speaking to others about the gospel. Even when I have to pretend that I'm actually a social person - sometimes it's good to "fake it 'til you make it". 
We have a Book of Mormon reading class every Thursday night, and one of the members that was there used me as a reference while talking about a quiet and timid person. He was telling everyone that we are all able to talk about the gospel, and then he said, "Well, we think of the small, young missionaries and the power they have. Like Sister Wilkinson. She is pretty quiet and maybe a bit timid, but I can just imagine the power that she has when speaking to people. I just imagine people shaking when she speaks to them boldly." It was sort of a funny example, but it helped me realise the power of the authority I have been given. I am confident that we will have at least one baptism this transfer and find at least one progressing investigator. 
The Crosby area is (from what I've heard) very different than the other areas in the mission. The majority of the members are over 60 years old, and many have health problems, so the fellowshipping is somewhat hard, and we don't have too many investigators at the moment either. There are are also many less active members. Most of our time is used to find new people and reactivate the members. I actually love it in this area though, and because of that, I want to do everything I can to make others feel excited about he work. We have found many people that could possibly become new investigators. 
Sister Clawson and I both got blessings yesterday, and it really helped strengthen both of us. I know that I have been sent on this mission for a reason, and there are so many people in this Crosby area that I am meant to meet. Already many of them have had such an impact on my life, and I'm excited for the new people I will meet this transfer.
Also, our companionship is such a blessing. I love Sister Clawson so much, and I am so grateful to have her as my companion. We have gotten to know each other really well, and we both feel that we can be ourselves around each other. I'm starting to feel more like myself again, which is good because the first month I was struggling trying to find my own personality because I was so overly focused on being a perfect missionary. I know that I have been given certain gifts and talents and that I also have a unique light. I have been given all of these things so that I can touch the lives of others. I have now been able to use a few of my talents as I become myself again. I also have felt more joy in serving a mission. 
I feel that our companionship is very strong, and that we will be able to see miracles happen as we test our faith. This week, we challenged ourselves to be more prayerful. We have said so many prayers throughout this week, and I have actually felt the presence of the Spirit even more. There was a moment when we were tracking where I could actually feel that the Holy Ghost was standing right in front of us as we spoke to a man about the Book of Mormon. I know that the Holy Ghost is real and that he can give us the words to say. It is his mission to testify of the Saviour, and he can do that through us as missionaries. I really a, grateful to be on a mission. This week has been so wonderful.
Also, my iPad forces me to use British spelling, so I apologise for all the strange looking words. 
I'm not sure if I have used these before (because my list of words is back in Crosby, and I'm almost to Manchester now) but here are 2 British terms, and one Scouse term for y'all (Oh also, I know I'm serving in England, but I'm actually gaining a southern accent). 😜
1. Trousers - pantsπŸ‘–
2. Trainers- tennis shoesπŸ‘Ÿ
3. Mingin - Scouse term for filthy πŸ’©

I love you all dearly 😘
Speak to you next week
-Sister Wilkinson

Monday, February 6, 2017

All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them

(Walt Disney)

We need to have SO MUCH courage to be missionaries!

Also, this week has been so good! I love my follow up trainer and we have been getting along so well. I think this transfer will be wonderful. We are already seeing success, and I have the faith that we will be able to have at least one baptism this transfer. She uses so many different approaches and techniques, and it has really stretched my abilities and helped me to make those steps out of my comfort zone. It's so nice to look at all the ways that the missionaries do their work here. I am constantly learning new things and I'm so grateful for all the examples I have been given. 

Although it was hard to see my trainer (and my mother) leave, I know that the Lord will protect her and constantly bless her because she has served so faithfully. She was a very obedient and diligent missionary and I've learned how important those qualities are while serving. I am so blessed to have been able to know her. She also gave me an amazing example of who I want to become while on my mission. Just in these first two months, I'm already becoming a different person than I was before I left. I'm gaining many skills already that will help me in my future life. I still feel that I need to be constantly changing my nature, and becoming a bold, confident, and dignified missionary. She always showed me my strengths and helped me to become that missionary I desired to be. At times, I wished I could trade her places, and go home while she stayed here. But I started to pray specifically to find the joy in serving, and as I have done this, I have a stronger desire to stay here. The best advice that my trainer gave me was to not wish the time away, and to enjoy every moment because it passes a lot sooner than you think. She also told me that the joy comes once you have charity towards the people and the area.

For a long time, I didn't enjoy this area very much, and I've definitely had to learn to love it. One of the Elders served here for 14 months! I didn't think I would ever want to be in Crosby that long. But I'm now starting to find the joy in being here. I really do love all of the members in this ward.

I've also learned many things this week during my personal study time. Something that stood out to me most this week was in the end of Jacob. In chapter 6, verse 12, it says, "Oh be wise, what can I say more?". That is such a short scripture that summarizes and simplifies our whole purpose in life. This gospel has so many specific things that we should do that will help us live with Heavenly Father again, and they are all wise things. This scripture has really stuck out to me, and I've been focusing on it all week. It's simple and bold and it touches my heart.

Also, while we were doing companion study this week, we were talking about tithing and did a role play teaching the topic. It helped me see how much the Lord really has "opened the windows of heaven" and poured out his blessings to me and my family as we have paid our tithing. These are experiences I can always share to help show others the joy living this commandment has brought to my life. I know that the Lord really does give us so many blessings that we have no room to receive them. I have seen this countless times in my life.

I have an increased testimony, and I'm also excited for the rest of this transfer. I thought that this week would be one of the hardest, since I had to lead out the area, but it has honestly been so incredible. I know that all of the prayers and the fasting that has gone towards this transfer really is giving me so much strength. I've felt an increase of the spirit in my life this week. I am so blessed to be serving with my new trainer. She is from Utah as well, and we have already become good friends. I feel that we can be very powerful, unified missionaries as we constantly help each other become better. She is a wonderful follow-up trainer, and I'm learning so much from her. I'm excited to see what this transfer brings!

Love you all!!! Xxx

-Sister Wilkinson

Ps... sorry I haven't been sending British words. I keep forgetting.

Here are 3 for this week:

1. Jumper - a pullover sweater

2. Lorry - a semi truck

3. Knackered - very tired

Sister Wilkinson and Sister Clawson in Liverpool