Hello hello hello!
Currently emailing in Starbucks sipping a £2.65 small cup of hot chocolate #ripoff. The things you'll do for wifi haha. This week has been pretty weird to be honest, getting back to the swing of things in Gillingham. It was quite a weird experience to serve in another area for a week, and then BOOM be back here. It was almost like a mini vacation... yet it wasn't a vacation because we still did missionary work... but I am still looking forward to what this transfer has to offer!
Sister Garcia is just soooo amazing! She's been on her mission for six months, but this is only her second area (just like what happened to me) so I know it is an adjustment for her. She just never has a negative attitude. She's such a trooper for keeping the smile on her face despite the [tons of] people that tell her this area is a bit... rough. She is indeed from Mexico (wasn't sure last week), and she's just so much fun and such a hard worker! I couldn't think of a better companion to have as I near the end of my mission. I know that we will see miracles here! And I'm learning some Spanish along the way! She's so great, though, and she said she'll make me some authentic Mexican food #score. I'm really feeling the hashtags today, so I'm just going to apologise in advance.
Also with a new transfer comes a new district! Some new faces, but also some that stayed. Elder Meier (my mission son) is still sticking with me. I think he'll stick around until the day I die (in mission terms of course). Elder Meas is staying as well! Just found out this week he can literally bark like a dog. Back home in Cambodia he had a chicken farm and he would scare off predators by barking like a dog, so he perfected it hahaha. I'll try and get a video this week for your viewing pleasure. And we got my good friend Elder Nakaima from the MTC! NO one probably recalls since it was so long ago, but he is HILARIOUS. Japanese people, man. They're the greatest. And I now have a fellow American, Elder Andrews from Boston. Everyone is great and this will be a super fun transfer!
This week I had some interaction with my least favourite species, cats. #ew (sorry for all you cat lovers out there). We went to a couple of homes and they all had cats, and for some unknown reason they were ALL over me... jumping on my lap, rubbing up against me, the works. I am VERY allergic to cats, so immediately my eyes started watering and I started sneezing, but I tried to hold it back. Man oh man, that affected me for nearly 2 days. But I'm willing to take some allergies on if it means preachin' the good word.
We also went out this week and couldn't find our normal set of keys (ok fine, I'll be honest with you, they were upstairs and I was too lazy to go get them #thestruggleisreal), so we grabbed the backup set and upon our return to our flat, realised that the key to the flat was BROKEN. Now who would keep a broken key I just don't know. It resulted in doing our mega long weekly planning session in the hallway where lights automatically turn off about every 2 minutes. It was a joy. But someone came and saved us, so all was well.
Well, folks, I love being a missionary! I love my Saviour. I am so grateful for this opportunity I've had to be serving as a missionary because I don't think I would have quite the same appreciation for the Atonement if I was not here. I truly do "stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me." I have been reflecting on last year when I was really struggling. It was the first time I had ever struggled with any depressed feelings, feelings of anxiety, and honestly just feelings of mental distress. I was feeling like I was treading water, but that I had bricks tied to both of my feet and was slowly sinking. Each day was filled with pleading to my Heavenly Father that these feelings of sadness would go away. And then, in a way I can't quite describe, happiness started creeping back into my life. I received a priesthood blessing and was promised that I would be able to return to my happy self. When that blessing was promised, I started seeing things in a new light. The Atonement began to change me. I felt the healing of Jesus Christ. Each time I took the sacrament I could literally feel a weight being eased from my shoulders.
Something interesting that I found in my studies this week was in Alma 7:12: "And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities." I learned that "succor" literally means "to run to." As I reflected on my experience, I was able to see that Jesus Christ was literally running to me. The Atonement is something that is so magnificent and indescribable, but it is something that I am so eternally grateful for.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!
I you all! Have a wonderful week :)
#love #peace #happiness