Monday, July 31, 2017

3 Warrington 3:6

"And it came to pass that Sister Wilkinson and Sister Taumalolo did take their journey into Chorley and they did hear the words of their leaders. They had a different experience than they had before, nevertheless, they were uplifted and strengthened by the things which they did hear and see. They also received many blessings from the Elders to lighten and uplift their spirits. They did learn much and had a great desire to share these truths with their fellow brethren."
Like how I just made a scripture? It was something that Sister Taumalolo challenged us to do in one of our lessons. It's 3 Warrington because its my third transfer and it's 6 days into the 3rd week of the transfer. You're welcome - that's how my week went in scripture terms.
Now in modern English, this week has been one of learning for me. Our investigators have had little progressions, but the less active members are progressing well. On Sunday, our friend named Sandra came to church. She hasn't been to church for years! We have been working with her for a while, and she has never had an interest in coming back to church until now. We were very happy to see her come back! There is also a woman that we met this week named Cara who happens to be a less active. Unfortunately, she did not make it on Sunday, but we won't give up on her! The Elders ran into her on the street and she said she had been baptised in the Wigan ward. She needed help moving boxes to a house across town. So, the Elders arranged for us and a member to meet her and help her move. She told us that she wanted to come back and to have a fresh start. She had past addictions, but has now been fighting them. It will be very hard for her to have this fresh start, but we feel that she is determined. We will continue to visit her and help her out and hope that she will come to church once again.
I'm not sure if I've told you about my district yet - it is doing well. It's been good to get to know everyone, and we are all very unified. We have street displays often all together, and it's a very good group of missionaries. Elder Barney has been a good District leader so far. My district currently is Elder Barney from Los Vegas, Nevada and Elder Schoonover from Ceder Hills, Utah - they are the elders here in Warrington. And then there's us, and the sisters serving in Wigan. Which is Sister Magumela from Losoto, Africa, and Sister Arthur who is originally from Ghana. She just started her mission.
also, we had a multi zone in Chorley this week. It was very different than all of the other multi zone's since President McReynolds is more settled now. Although it was different, I learned a lot! We spoke about having a vision for our investigators and others we are working with, and then planning according to that vision. We applied this during weekly planning and it helped us have more well thought out plans as well as plans that have real meaning behind them. I think that this vision and planning exercise also helped us have more charity for the people we discussed. I want to continue doing this for the rest of my mission. 
Something else that stood out to me was when we were in Elder Shima's breakout and we were split into groups to discuss hard work and smart work. Elder Cooper shared some really good sayings with us. The one that stayed with me was "I don't want to kill any sheep". As a missionary, we are called to "Feed his sheep". We should take that into more consideration. Feeding is the spiritual nourishment. If we don't share this gospel or help those around us, we are failing to feed his sheep. If we don't feed them for a while, they will die. We don't want to let our Father in Heaven down and kill his sheep instead of feeding them. I think this will be Council that will stay with me for a long time. It was a very powerful analogy.
Other than the multi zone, I don't have too many other stories for you. I have laughed lots this week from all the times we were caught in the crazy English weather, and also all the dumb things the elders do, and also with the stories the members share with us. Warrington is a good area!
Well, I love you all! Hope you have a great week!!! :)
Sister Wilkinson
England Manchester Mission

Here are a couple pictures from our street displays this week. The girl that is with us is named Claudia. She is getting her mission call soon :) She reminds me so much of Lindy. Such a sweet girl! 

"I snatched you right out of the air"

(Emperor's New Groove) Okay, I used this title for one main reason - we were putting a note in a woman's postbox one day (they are just flaps in their door). So, we put it through their door, and the second we did, their dog jumped up and ate it out of my companion's hand! hahaha! It was sooo funny! and while that was happening, it was the end of the night and was raining HARD! So we ran home while laughing at singing primary songs really loudly. We've had a fun week ;)
Here are some more stories from this week:
1. We were having tea (dinner) at a member's home, and we were talking about Adam and Eve. Then, Sister Taumalolo said that her institute teacher taught her a good lesson. He said, "Adam and Eve were happy in the garden of Eden, but it was all part of God's plan for them to leave. They needed to have children, and in order to do that, they had to become mortal. They weren't mortal until they left the garden of Eden. Once they left, they became miserable and life became very difficult. They were also able to have children. So, this shows why having children makes you unhappy." We thought it would be this great analogy, but then it was just hilarious! So that was great!
2. An older woman (in her 80s) shared this poem/quote with us on Sunday.
"One night, I dreamt I died, I dreamt of a place of white.
There was a room filled with chairs - what a marvellous sight!
A man came towards me and asked where I was from.
I answered and said, "I'm from Warrington."
He was quite shocked, and gave me a good stare.
Then said, "Take a seat in the front, you're the first one from there!"
We thought it was pretty funny ;)
Also, I've now been out 8 months! Almost half way there! Woohoo!
And I don't really have too much time today to say much else, but I want to leave you all with something I learned this week.
I was studying in Preach my Gospel, and all it said was that the Atonement of Jesus Christ was central to Gods plan and that it included both his suffering in the garden of Gethsemane and also his death on the cross. But it then made me think about what the "Atonement" really means. And it's talking about how Christ suffered in order to save us. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be cleansed, we can be forgiven of our sins. Why is this? Because the Atonement means what he did for us. He knows exactly how we feel, and that is why he can forgive us and provide us with a clean slate. It reminded me of a scripture that is one of my favourites about the Atonement. It is Alma chapter 7 verses 11 and 12. It talks about how Christ took upon himself all of our pains, sicknesses, sorrows, temptations, and how he also took upon himself death. It then says, "according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities". He came into the world with a human body in order to feel exactly how we feel. He is the only one who can provide us with such mercy because He is the only one who knows how we feel. He is able to mourn with us, to rejoice with us, he is always there for us through the good and the bad. I always find it incredible to think about how much He cares for us. I think about those I love most and then it amazes me to think that he loves them more then we can even imagine. He has a perfect love for all of us, and that is why we can be healed through the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
Well, I've had a wonderful week! Hope you are all well!
Love you!
Sister Wilkinson
England Manchester Mission

Monday, July 17, 2017

Just my luck

Alright, first off, my ipad is having technical difficulties due to user error... so I'll try to think of everything I can while typing on the computer... hope you enjoy! ;)

So, My week? Well, its been basically the longest week ever.... but its been good as well :)

Its the first week of the transfer, which means my District Leader, Elder Thelier went back home. Before he went home, we asked him to give us blessings. It was a wonderful blessing and I'll never forget it! He said one phrase that helped me get through the week, and I feel will help me through the rest of the mission. That phrase is "Because He lives, and I love Him". Everything we do on the mission should be done because we love Jesus Christ. 

I feel that I have grown closer to Jesus Christ this week as I have more fully recognize his presence in my life. As a missionary, I am constantly blessed with miracles and when I open my eyes to see them, I am always amazed at how many there are. We talk to so many people each and every day and help them in any way they need. In a country like England, this is such a good thing to do.

This week, my companion and I have been thinking a lot about families and how important they are in your life. We have ran into SO MANY broken families here that have ended up in pretty tough situations. We walked this drunk man to town and he was telling us his story of why he was as drunk as he was, and it all based around his family and how he was abandoned. There is also this married couple we talk to in town that have 4 children, but they are homeless and aren't allowed to see any of them. There have been some seriously sad stories this week, and we have emphasized our teaching around families.

I am so grateful that I have been raised the way I have, and I know it was that way because of the gospel. The times we have said family prayer, read scriptures, had bonding time, and just based our lives around the teachings and standards of the gospel, the more our family grew together. I know that when we put the Lord first in our lives, that everything else will fall into place. 

I have honestly learned so much this week, and I feel that it is a new start in my mission and my attitude towards it. I know there is still so much to learn in these 11 months to come!

Sorry for the short one this week, but I love you all!!!

Sister Wilkinson

We went to Toby Carvery
There is a great place here that's kind of like an all you can eat buffet, and we went there today. It was GREAT!

Us with our food :)

Us after our food... ;)

Yup.... I'm a fattie ;) 7 months in!

Monday, July 10, 2017

President McReynolds + transfers

Hello everyone! So this week, I met my new mission President and its also transfers tomorrow! But I will send them in a separate email because I STILL haven't been informed if I'm leaving or going to stay.... so I'll update you once I can! I feel like I might stay here one more transfer. Not too sure...
But, In the meantime, I'll tell you about my week:
So, first off, I'll tell a funny story. So, we live across the street from a pub. And all the past week, there has been this man there (maybe he works there?) but anyway, every time we pass, he yells at us something like, "Come on girls, don't you want a drink?" The first few days we were annoyed, and then after that we just figured he was drunk so we would look over and wave a "no" and say "Never!" We had a bit of fun with it. Then one day, we got off the bus, and the bus stop is on the same side as the pub. He saw us and pointed at us and said, "Hey! Don't you girls go anywhere! Stay there! Stay there!" And then ran into the pub. A part of me just wanted to leave in case he forced us into some beer, but Sister Taumalolo wanted to find out what he was going to do. So we waited, and then he ran out with two cans of Coca Cola 😂 he then gave them to us and opened them for us and said, "Now there's a drink no Christian can refuse," Haha! 😂 I thought it was so funny! So then we just had a normal discussion with him, and gave him a card and it was great. He's a good man.

So, yeah that was funny! And now let me tell you about a miracle! (And then another funny story that topped it off perfectly).
So, on our way to the multi-zone, the train from Preston to Chorley was trying to connect with another train, and they wouldn't connect properly. They tried a few times until we had about a half hour delay, and still nothing worked. One of the missionaries had an idea to say a prayer. So, my district leader, Elder Thelier, said a prayer, and in that prayer, he used the power of the Priesthood and in the name of Jesus Christ, and also described why we wanted the trains to connect, and then asked very specifically that they would connect in the next 5-10 minutes. I thought that that was a very bold prayer, and I wasn't sure if it was going to work. Then I thought, "all prayers are answered according to our faith", so I asked myself if I had enough faith to witness this miracle, and for some reason, this feeling came over me, and my faith wasn't shaken. About 8 minutes later, there was an announcement that said the trains had connected successfully and that we would be on our way shortly! I thought that was such an amazing miracle! We all said a prayer of gratitude and we were able to make it to Chorley on time.
And now the funny side of this one was that since the trains were so delayed, another train came on the other platform. So a man on the train decided to get off our train (this was after they said we connected successfully) and we watched him sprint all the way to the other platform and he made it into that train! We all cheered for him! While he was running there, Elder Thelier said, "Now watch, ours will leave first!" Then as soon as we watched him get on his train, our tein left the station 😂 with the timing of when things were said, I just thought it was so funny! His train left only a few minutes after ours, so he still got there quickly, it was just so funny to see!
Also, our mission President is great! I think he will be perfect for the EMM! There was already lots that He said that really touched me. I'm excited to get to know him even more! I learned so much at the multi-zone! It was good to hear a new perspective on everything, and I think this mission will benefit a lot from President and Sister McReynolds. Something that stood out to me was that President said, "Jesus Christ is more important than your family" and then we discussed that a bit. At first I thought, "Well, my family is pretty important to me! So it's a bit hard to see that!" But the more we discussed it, the more I found that it was true. We teach people that "the gospel blesses families" and how when we put Christ first, that our family will grow even stronger together. Jesus Christ is more important because it is only through His power that we can be with our families for eternity. On a mission, if we give our all to Christ, then He will bless our families. This upcoming transfer, I want to do everything I can to forget myself and go to work and to be fully engaged in my service. The first presidency have promised, "More happiness awaits you than you have ever experienced as you labour among His children" (intro in Preach My Gospel). I have had some pretty happy moments in my life, but if I am promised more happiness than any of those days, you bet I'm willing to give everything I have to the Lord. 
Well, I love you all! Can't wait to tell you all the miracles we witness as we begin our new transfer (wherever I may be!)
Sister Wilkinson

WARNING WARNING - This email contains transfer news! ⚠️
Sorry if the title sacred anyone ;)


And I'm going to be really annoying in this email just for YOU (sorry) :P

Sister Wilkinson, you are hereby called to serve in the....

England Manchester Mission!

In the...

Liverpool zone!!

In the....

Warrington area!!!


Sister Taumalolo!!!!

Well, there you have it! I guessed right! Staying for one more
transfer - guess I have some time to help this area even more! I
thought I'd have a bit of fun with my transfer announcements ;) Also,
I'm a bit bored ;)

Love you all!
Sister Wilkinson

Our investigators at church :) Lorna and Joe. These are my pre-existent best friends! I have such a strong love for them!

Cute desk creatures I've collected in this transfer ;)

I found red white and blue lights so I decided to take a 4th of July photo ;)

Not sure how well you can see it, but I have a great tan line from this English sun ;) that's where my watch usually goes.

 Aldi had "American Style" food.... yeah, except we don't put our hot dogs in cans... game over, you lost England, but thanks for trying! ;)

Monday, July 3, 2017

It's a small world after all

Well, the reason I decided to title it this is because of all the miracles we saw this week. The main focus was about all the connections we have with people. This is what really testifies to me that the Lord puts these people in our paths for a reason. The first one, we were waiting for a bus, and it was taking FOREVER. We could have gotten a bus on the other side and it would have taken us to town much quicker. So, I felt a bit upset about it, but our first instinct was to keep waiting on the side that we were on, so we stayed there. Eventually, the bus came, and a woman got on the bus with us. We had a casual conversation with her, then she asked, "you're Mormon right?" So we started talking, and her daughter in law actually comes to our ward! She is a member we know quite well. So that was crazy! 
Later in the week, we felt prompted to stop a man that was walking past us. He was from Italy, and said that he used to meet with the sister missionaries over there. In fact, he planned on marrying one of them! So, he knew everything about our church. He said that he was always back and forth to Italy for his work, so he couldn't commit to meeting with us, but we told him where our ward met, and we are hoping he can show up one day!
Then, towards the end of the week, we met a woman who said that she knew the missionaries her whole life because she grew up in a city were there were many Elders. We had a good conversation with her as well. 
These were all just little moments that testified to me that the Lord places us in the paths of others. 
Other updates on me? Well, I meet my new mission President on Wednesday, so that is exciting!According to some other missionaries, his accent is crazy. He is originally from the south of England, but has also lived in many places including America, Australia, and I believe Canada as well. So, I'm excited to meet him and get to know him better!
I'm still in Warrington with Sister Taumalolo, and transfers are coming up in a week or two, if you all wanna guess where I'm going or if I'm staying. 
This week has been so good. Ooh I just remembered something that was really special. So, there's this tradition that happens every year in Warrington called, "Walking Day" where all the local churches and bands get together and walk around town with big banners. It was SO great to see! The bands were AMAZING! If I could have taken pics, I would have! It was really an incredible thing to see! We also saw our investigator, Joe, in the walking day. It was great to see a familiar face. Other than that, there's not much else to report. We are currently working with some wonderful people and have great investigators so that's been good! 
I wanted to leave you all with a quote that we heard from a less active member that really stood out to me. "Satan won't turn off our light, but he will dim it". This is so true. Satan does everything he can to make us feel miserable. He will dim our light more and more until it eventually goes out. But the second we turn our lives to Christ, He will turn that light back on and keep it even brighter than it was before. He is the light of the world, and he brings that light and hope to all of us. I want to let all of you know that I have a testimony of Jesus Christ and of his divine authority and calling. Everything He did while on the Earth he did because he loves us. When He was in the Garden of Gethsemane, he did not want to "drink the bitter cup". But (nevertheless) he drank it anyway. Why? Because of his infinite love for each and every one of us. I testify that the Lord, Jesus Christ, knows and loves every one of us. And the closer we get to Him, the more light will come into our lives. And I say this in His name, Jesus Christ, Amen.
Love you all!
Sister Wilkinson