Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Mary's First Week in England!

Today, we got Mary's report of her first week in the Preston MTC! She seems so happy to be serving the Lord in England. Take a look for yourself:

MOMMY!! And Family,
Hi from England! Everything is going absolutely amazingly here! I LOVE it! The MTC is fantastic. The days are incredibly long here but I am accomplishing so much.
So, when I got off the plane, I felt immediately that this was the place for me. It's been really scary to get to know people here, but I have honestly loved every minute. Thank you for your email, it was so nice to hear from you! I had like 15 emails from everybody so it's been crazy to try to email everyone! I'm going to try to send pictures later tonight!
My companion is Sister Brooks from London. We are totally meant to be together. I cannot tell you how blessed I am to have her in my life. Our MTC president was inspired to put us together. I haven't laughed this hard in so long! I love it! My district is awesome. I have the funniest people in it. They are from all over. The sister are me, Sister Brooks, Sister Brittain (from Texas), Sister Tiu (from the Phillippeans) and the elders are Elder de Beer (South Africa), Elder Erickson (Kaysville, UT), Elder Romney (Mexico), Elder Brown (the one who fb me and is from Montana), Elder Thompson (Utah), Elder Judy (Utah), Elder Green (Utah), and Elder White (Coventry, England). We have so much fun!! We laugh all the time and have become so close as a district. The elders gave Sister Brooks a blessing the other night because she was feeling pretty homesick. I have not felt the spirit that strong in quite a while. It definitely testified to me of missionary work and the power of the priesthood. Surprisingly, I haven't been that homesick. I feel sad every once and a while, but it's okay because my district makes me feel awesome again! Dad, you would love Elder de Beer. He was absolutely shocked that I even knew what an Afikaner was let alone any Afrikaans. He is so funny and so animated when he talks. He has like white blonde hair and looks just like a Dutchman! We laugh so hard everyday. It's a little bad because we get off task, but hey, I need a little humor in my life, right?
We went to exchange our money today and I finally have British pounds!!! They are beautiful! I freaked out when the self checkout gave me pence and pounds back at the store. They have a store here called Asda that is the equivalent of a Walmart. It was amazing. And weird. It's strange to see pound signs everywhere instead of dollar signs. We bought a ton of English chocolate because Sister Brooks was grumpy and, let's face it, so was everyone else. We feel much better now. The guy who drove us to the store is a German guy who teaches at the MTC. He informed us as we were getting into the van that he's only driven in England three times. It was terrifying. I can't believe how fast the British drive. Everyone in the car was screaming as we were driving on the "wrong" side of the road. Scared the crap out of me too! It was such an adventure. We have so much fun here! I will miss the MTC terribly.
We got to be in the "Truth Will Prevail!" pagent this past week. It was incredible. It's about the saints who joined the church in England. It's the first pagent to happen outside the US! And I was in the FIRST PRODUCTION EVER! So exciting. And guess what?!?!? I got to MEET Elder Holland and Elder Nelson!! Yep, that's right. I got to shake both of their hands. They came to the MTC and talked to us. Elder Holland told us to swim when we didn't want to swim anymore and everything would work out. I love that man. I felt the spirit so strongly. They came to see the pagent and Elder Nelson said when he saw the missionaries come onto the stage it brought tears to his eyes. It was such a great experience.
Well, I'm doing great! I leave the MTC this Wednesday to go out into the field! I'm not ready yet! It's so scary, but it'll be great. The Lord is on my side. I won't be able to email for a while, so I'll have to unload all at once AGAIN next Monday I think. Unless they let me email sooner. I've heard my mission president is awesome and super relaxed. It'll be great. The lessons are hard to teach, but I'm doing better everyday. Sister Brooks and I are a power couple! I love all of you so much and appreciate your love and support. You guys mean the world to me. I miss all you like crazy! I'll keep in touch and send you pictures later tonight! I love, love, love you! The gospel is true and God loves you. I have no question of that now. I love what I'm doing out here!
God save the Queen.

Cheers (and love)

Here are some exciting picture updates!:

Loving the MTC!

The sisters of the district, Sister Tiu, Sister Brittain, Sister Stuart, and Sister Brooks

Mary and her companion,  Sister Brooks

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

And Away She Goes!

I'm Mary's favorite sister, Louisa, and I'll be taking care of her blog while she's off on her mission in England! I'm not as funny or clever as her but I'll try. 
Today was bittersweet as we dropped her off at the Salt Lake City Airport. It was amazing seeing all of the missionaries waiting to depart. We saw two other girls at the airport that were also going to the England London South Mission:

Mary and her fellow missionaries

After many tears and goodbyes, Mary departed.

I hope Mary has a great time on her mission and I know that through her, many people will see the light of Christ. I love you Mary!!!