Monday, September 18, 2017

"Adventure is a wonderful thing" (Pooh Bear)

Alright so, I want to go day by day and share one thing from each day. I've had a pretty great week! Unfortunately I don't have any photos this week - we have taken some, but we just can't upload them today) so there are more to come :P
Also, we are now on our way to Chester Zoo - The UKs #1 zoo :) I'm very excited!
But, in the meantime, I'll give you a rundown of the rest of my week :)

MONDAY: We hiked Maul Fameu! It was BEAUTIFUL! And it literally felt like I was inside of a wind tunnel once we made it to the top! I really had such a fun time there! We started comparing it to mission life. With the struggles, and the wind that is always around you, but that you are still able to see those small patches of sunshine and beauty. Once you make it to the top (endure to the end) you realise how far you've actually come. It brought to life the quote, "Often the deep valleys of our present will be understood only by looking back on them from the mountains of our future experience. Often we can’t see the Lord’s hand in our lives until long after trials have passed. Often the most difficult times of our lives are essential building blocks that form the foundation of our character and pave the way to future opportunity, understanding, and happiness." (President Uctdorf). I really enjoyed our adventure together, and the member who took us was SO NICE and made us some lunch. It was GREAT! :D

TUESDAY: I had companion exchange in Wrexham. I was with Sister Libron and she is sooo sweet! It was an amazing exchange and I learned a lot. We had many adventures together including finding a CASTLE! We stopped by a potential investigator and he lived at this place called "Castle House". And well, to say the least, it was named that for a reason. His backyard was like an entire Welsh hill, and the entrance to his house had an old style castle wall, and it was a beautiful white color. He was very nice and committed to come to church on Sunday. We had a very spiritual lesson with him - nice man and a nice house :) We also met a woman who was baptized about eight months ago who was struggling a lot. She was so sweet and we taught a very powerful lesson. I felt that I was very open and honest with her. This was when I realized what I loved most about missionary work. And that is the connections and friendships that I can make with others. I have met so many people throughout my mission that I have been able to strengthen their testimonies and help them come back to church. This is my favorite part of being on a mission. These people all mean so much to me and the love that I feel for them could never be replaced. This feeling is definitely something I wouldn't trade for the world - what makes all the hardships of a mission worth it.

WEDNESDAY: I finished exchanges, and had a bit of a hard time when we got back home. We don't have much teaching appointments in the Chester area, so my strength that i had just found was becoming hard to maintain. However, while I was struggling, Sister Turnbull was very helping. She turned to a Booklet called Adjusting to Missionary Life (a serious lifesaver) and read this to me: 
"Some people find talking with people energizing; others find it tiring. Both types of people can be effective missionaries. If you are someone who becomes weary talking with strangers, don’t give up trying. You have other strengths to contribute to missionary work, such as being a good friend to those you know well, having creative ideas, being insightful about people, or excelling at planning. You may assume others don’t like you, even though they really do. Seek inspiration and listen to the Spirit to help you use your strengths in His service and develop more of the attributes of Christ that you have access to as a missionary. You represent Jesus Christ, not yourself."
Even though talking to strangers is hard for me, I do have many other strengths as a misssionary. Reading this boosted my spirit completely and has helped me get through the rest of the week.

THURSDAY: Well (among many other things we did this day that I won't mention in this email), we taught a family whose son wants to be baptized. The family is a bit less active, but is now returning to church. The bishop visited him with a famous person in our ward, and they were able to bring them back to church. We are now working with them to get the son baptized. The father is very good, and we are now seeing them every Friday night. So, we finally have a progressing investigator and someone to teach! I love when things work out and the Lord hastens his work :)

This is taking lots longer than I expected... might not do this again :P but I still need to tell you about the rest of the week...

FRIDAY: So, we went on a bus to get to Chester, and the Elders happened to hop on it as well. However, we got off much before Chester in order to see if a less active member was home. After we found that all the people we planned on seeing couldn't see us, we received a call from the Elders that one of our bus passes was left on the bus. So, they had to hop off and catch a bus from the other side in order to save us from this situation. While waiting for the Elders, we decided to tract the street we were on, and guess who we found? A PUPPY! 🐶 And also, its owner ;) we took a photo of her dog, and shared our testimonies of the Book of Mormon. We ended us giving her a copy, and we will be seeing her (and her dog Teddy) tomorrow. 
Also, when the bus came, where were the Elders? Nowhere to be found. So, we called them and they said they were just at the next stop, so due to a very understanding bus driver, we were able to make it to Chester without waiting another hour to catch the next bus. Double blessings!

SATURDAY: Okay, so this was a very strange experience. We had told the Elders that we were tracting and that they should join us (also, background information- it is becoming winded here and it was the end of the day, so to set the scene, it was very dark outside). They said they might, and we didn't hear from them since then. We started tracting and we got to this house with a woman from New Zealand. She was very nice, and we talked to her about who we are and what we did as missionaries. We gave her a Book of Mormon as well, and she was very nice about it and seemed very convinced to read it. So that was a great and uplifting experience for us! As we left her house, we saw two boys at the end of the street walking the same way the elders do. One of them was laughing and it very much sounded like them. So, we assumed that it was them, and we hurried to the next house so they wouldn't see us. After we knocked on a few more doors, we decided to go find them... and all the streets were empty. So, we called them to see where they were, and they had never been in the area we were. I found it so weird that those two boys weren't actually the Elders! Crazy!

SUNDAY: We went into a members home and it was really great! They fed us and talked to us for a while. Their oldest boy is on a mission in Germany, so it was easy to relate them to my family. Also, the mom was very similar to me. We both liked cats, scrap booking, and also Good Mythical Morning. It was really great to be around their family. It really made me feel right at home. They also had another boy who reminded me of one of my friends. And we are also going to be working with him more as he is now a ward missionary and he is planning on serving a mission as well. This is a really great ward, so I am very grateful to be serving around such great leaders and members! They are always willing to help!

So, that is my week!
This took me like, all day to write, so also, the Chester Zoo was AMAZING! They even had an Okapi - my favorite animal! And also, there was this Bat cave that was INCREDIBLE! And also a Butterfly Garden! :) More stories and photos to come next week!

I love this area, and I love the gospel, and also the opportunity to be a missionary. I also love all of you! And I hope you have a great week of adventure just like me! ;) 

Remember to always look for those days of sunshine that are with you through the foggy days!

Sister Wilkinson

Monday, September 11, 2017

My Weekly Update :)

So... I want to start off with sharing my experience on one of the days this week.
Many of you were enjoying your weekend, but this is how my Saturday went: (hour by hour)
6am - I got out of bed and said a prayer, read some scriptures, and then I did some exercise for half an hour
7am - I got ready for the day and ate breakfast
8am - I planned for the day with my companion 
9am - I was doing personal Study. I read about the Restoration and the Plan of Salvation in Preach My Gospel and read a bit from the beginning of Alma
10am - We were out the door and on our way to Ewloe to do some finding. We stopped and talked to EVERYONE on our way there.
11am -  We tracted a whole street. Knocked on many doors.
12am - We went to 6 different people's homes that were listed as potential investegators, and updated the information in our area book. We also did a bit of online proselytising
1pm - Lunch and companion Study. We read some of the new information that we have been given in relation to our technology
2pm - We made our way to Drury and again, spoke to everyone on our way there.
3pm - We called by 5 different people in that area and updated area book
4pm - We tracted another street. This one was longer than the first
5pm - We travelled home for tea (dinner) and had some food to eat 
6pm - We Travelled to Penyfordd (pronounced Penny-forth - yeah... it's a Welsh name). Once again, talked to everyone.
7pm - We called by 5 more people in that area to update things in our area Book.
8pm - We ended up missing our bus home.... so... we got a bit stuck, but we talked to people on the street, and tracted a few doors. We met a woman who was walking a husky. We stopped to pet her dog, and we gave her a card. She started to listen and so we gave her more information, and told her a bit about her church. She told us to come see her next week. So that was great to meet her!
9pm - We travelled home and made it back after about 45 minutes.

We were SO DILIGENT that day! We spoke to literally everyone in our path all day long, and we talked to many people at the door and where were the "fruits of our labours"? Well, besides that woman that we found, we also got literal fruit. While we were away, one of the members stopped by our flat and left us a bag filled with fresh apples from their tree. So, I think that will count as the fruit of our labour ;) I thought it was pretty funny.

But yeah, that day was really exhausting for me. Especially because finding is not my big strength since I have been on my mission, but it was all made up for the next day with church, and going to two members home and feeling welcomed and we were also able to help uplift all of them. So it was very nice. Also, this week, there was a Multi-zone conference where we learned all about our technology. Some missionaries are taking it a bit too far, but I'm sure after time, all will be well.

It was an incredible meeting though, and I really enjoyed the things that were taught. An insight that I had after the meeting was that I was reading in my Book of Mormon, and there was a sentence that stood out to me. It said, "Let your hearts rejoice." I came to the realisation that joy is a choice. We have the ability to LET ourselves be happy and remain joyful. "Men are that they might have joy" - this is God's plan for us. So, in turn, we can let ourselves be happy and rejoice in all of the things we do have. We can be filled with so much gratitude if we let it into our lives. 

"Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, “You cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven’t time to be concerned for others.” Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord. In moments when the light of resolution dims and when the heart grows faint, we can take comfort from His promise: “Be not weary in well-doing. … Out of small things proceedeth that which is great. "Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind.” ("The Path to Peace" - Thomas S. Monson - April 1994)"

The Lord does require our heart, and when we open it to him, we receive so much strength. Lately, I have been writing 10 things I am grateful for in a journal every single day. I have also written 3 funny stories, and 3 things I feel I did well each day. This has helped me stay grateful, happy, and has increased my self confidence. I encourage all of you to do the same. If you ever feel down, pray to the Lord for strength, and lift up your hearts in gratitude to Him.

"Behold, my beloved brethren, remember the words of your God; pray unto Him continually by day, and give thanks unto his holy name by night. Let your hearts rejoice." - 2 Nephi 9:52

The Lord can give us so much strength as long as we allow it. We can be grateful for the every day things that we have been blessed with.

"Think of all that you have that is good--life itself, health, strength, food to eat and clothing to wear, parents, brothers and sisters, and friends. All are gifts from the Lord." - President Hinckley

Always remember the gifts you have been given by the Lord and thank him continually for them. I leave you with these things in the name of our Saviour, Jesus Christ, Amen.

I love you all and hope you have a great day!
Sister Wilkinson

us at McDonalds while waiting for a bus at like 7am

us in front of the chapel

This is us in front of the Chester horse race course :) its HUGE

This was when we were stuck in Penyffordd in the dark (when we missed the bus on Saturday)

hiking Mael Famau (Pronounced Mole-Fam-I)

 We can see the castle at the top! Our goal is in our sight! Also, it's SO windy!

this is a photo of me at the castle, you can tell I was REALLY cold :P it was like standing in a wind tunnel!

The view of the Welsh Hills from Moel Fameu

Me in front of a beautiful view while hiking Moel Fameu

Monday, September 4, 2017


Hello my wonderful family and friends!
So... biggest update is that I got Facebook! So so so strange to look back through all my old things. I'll will get updates later in the week about what to do with the app. This will be an exciting adventure!
Nothing huge happened besides that. We've spent many hours watching some Safeguard videos, and deleting old posts etc. throughout the whole week, so that was fun. We also went gardening this week, and that was lots of fun. Their boy, Elliot turned 6 this week, and he was showing us all the gifts he got.
This ward is really wonderful, and very welcoming. I really enjoy being with them!
My companion is great as well! And Wales is still BEAUTIFUL!
Sorry, it's kinda been a boring week, so... not too much to report. I want to leave you all with this thought that I came across while reading the Book of Mormon. Okay, first off: background info - I've been reading the Book of Mormon very thoroughly and I have been wanted to read all of it in one to two transfers. I've already finished 1 Nephi. This has helped me SO MUCH and it's helped me stay focused on my purpose as a missionary. I have began each time I read with a prayer and I always feel the spirit so strongly. I just wanted to invite all of you to also read the Book of Mormon (maybe not as in depth as I am currently reading), but just because I know how much strength it gives us. In the last verses of 1 Nephi chapter 19, Nephi explains perfectly why the scriptures mean so much to us, and how they can help us in our lives.

22 Now it came to pass that I, Nephi, did teach my brethren these things; and it came to pass that I did read many things to them, which were engraven upon the plates of brass, that they might know concerning the doings of the Lord in other lands, among people of old.
23 And I did read many things unto them which were written in the books of Moses; but that I might more fully persuade them to believe in the Lord their Redeemer I did read unto them that which was written by the prophet Isaiah; for I did liken all scriptures unto us, that it might be for our profit and learning.
24 Wherefore I spake unto them, saying: Hear ye the words of the prophet, ye who are a remnant of the house of Israel, a branch who have been broken off; hear ye the words of the prophet, which were written unto all the house of Israel, and liken them unto yourselves, that ye may have hope as well as your brethren from whom ye have been broken off; for after this manner has the prophet written.

These scriptures were written for our benefit. I want to let all of you know that I love the Book of Mormon and I have such a strong testimony of it. Even if you read only one verse each day, it gives you so much power. I know this to be true, and I testify of it in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Love you all! Hope you are having a wonderful week!