16 February 2015

My First Area - Leighton Buzzard England

Well here is the news you have all been waiting for.... I have been assigned to the LEIGHTON BUZZARD AREA IN THE AYLESBURY WARD!!! 

Leighton Buzzard is so beautiful.  I LOVE IT HERE.
And my companion is Sister Hernes from..... wait for it..... NORWAY!!!  I know Grandma Jarvis will be happy about that one. No, she does not have blond hair so I look more Norwegian than she does pretty much.

So to pronounce her name think of Hans from Frozen, then add an "es" to the end.... HAN-ES... Okay get it?

But she is basically amazing and teaches so well. Thank goodness I have her or I would be a lost soul I tell yah. Our flat is in Linslade, and it is basically Candyland. Like you know.. the board game. Because every wall is a different color of either pink or blue and the curtains are like this purple pink and the other curtains are blue and green polka dots. It is old and real real small but real real cute at the same time. 

Sooooo I over packed. Big time. Like seriously after we got assigned to our companions we had to go to the underground trains.. or the tube... in London and we had to get on like 3 different trains to get to where we had to go and it was packed with people.. like basically Disneyland down there. and I am trying to carry 3 HUGE suitcases. Okay well 2 huge ones and one smaller one... but it was a nightmare and I was literally sweating trying to get from train to train with all of those people. And get this... my forearms were sore the next day from it. How embarrassing.

President and Sister Jordan
and the new missionaries that started with me
Umm okay basically my Mission President and his wife are AMAZING!!!! Like seriously they are the best ever and so welcoming! Look up the mission home/visitors center in London... It is incredible!

After doing like an orientation thing, we all went out to the streets to do some finding.... AND WE GAVE OUT A BOOK OF MORMON!!! We had an awesome conversation with this guy from Oregon actually of all places.. hahaha and taught him a little about the BOM and he took a selfie with us on his GoPro after... haha. It was hilarious. But super awesome.

OKAY COOL STORY!!!!!!! So on the drive from the MTC to the mission home, we drove in a bus.. there were four of us missionaries and we had an awesome convo with the bus driver!!!! We talked about God and asked her if she could ask God one question what it would be.. she said forgiveness. We talked some more, and soon enough I fell asleep cause it was like a 5 hour drive. So in the middle of my nap I suddenly woke up with the thought to find a scripture to give to her. So I went on a frantic search to find an awesome scripture passage and felt good about Alma 7:10-16. THEN I had the idea to give her the Book of Mormon that my amazing Brother Thomas wrote his testimony in. I cannot even tell you how special having those BOM's that my bros wrote their testimonies in with me. They always bring me such comfort and peace. And giving it away, even though I know I had to, was like giving away a little piece of my heart. But I did it anyway and when we got off the bus I gave it to her and showed her my bros testimony and literally started crying as I told her about it and how special it was to me and how I wanted her to have it. She was so touched and she started crying to and refused to take it because she saw how much I cared about it, but I insisted. She just gave me a big hug for like a minute and we were both crying because the spirit was just really strong. She looked at my name tag and told me that she will always remember me and find me some day. I gave her my email so she can contact me. Oh my that was a very special experience for me. So pray for Kate the bus driver and her little family. 

Yup. Guess what. I actually went for a run in England last week... TWICE. Yup. You should all be jealous right now........ In all reality don't be because it just about killed me. Yeah and we only went for 20 minutes. And get this..... I WAS SORE. I think I am just a little bit slightly out of shape. 

My 1st Flat 
Here is my address so you can send me letters. SEND ME LETTERS OR ELSE YOU WILL BE HAUNTED IN YOUR SLEEP. MARK MY WORDS. 

Do you all understand how serious I am about this whole letter thing??? Okay good.

The Ward House from the Front
So yesterday was Sunday and what do we do on Sunday? Oh yeah.. we go to church. The ward here is amazing and all of the members are incredible and help us out so much!!! The church building is really cute too! Look it up... it's on Thame Road South in Aylesbury England! This little girl named Martha who is 11 took my badge off me and put some stickers on the back... one of them was this big red foot... yeah.. a foot... okay? But whatevs it is cute!! I also gave her and some of the other kids a CTR ring!!! So thanks Daddy:) 

The Ward House from the Back
So now some small talk about the weather. So far in the past 5 days that I have been in Leighton Buzzard, the sun has shown a total of 1 times and it was only for like 2 hours and it was during our study time so we didn't even get to enjoy it. Today it was raining.... but it's England so that is what we expected right? It's cold but whoever said that it was the coldest ever is lying. Because it is cold but personally I think Utah can get much colder... knock on wood. 

Look up the little town in Leighton Buzzard... it is exactly what you would picture England to look like and I love it! It's amazing here and there are so many little ally ways to take you to the little streets and they are all so cute!!!!! 

So we are teaching this guy named Connor... and last Thursday we had our first lesson with him and he is a very intelligent guy and an atheist.... and oh my heavens that was the hardest lesson I have ever been through and not gonna lie I didn't really say much at all... THANK GOODNESS FOR COMPANIONS. So he had 2 pages worth of questions about why God does certain things and about all of these "hard topics" and I realized in that lesson how much I walk by faith. I have so much faith in God, and I KNOW that he loves His children. and I KNOW that everything happens for a reason. How do I know? Because I have felt and seen a spiritual witness that it is true. The problem with Connor is he is looking for physical evidence, but the thing is, we are NEVER going to understand everything in this life and really, even Elder Holland said it, EVERYONE IS TO WALK BY FAITH. So we had an interesting lesson, and basically told him, that the only way he is going to know is if he prays and receives that spiritual witness. PLEASE PRAY FOR HIM. Like right now. Say silent prayer in your head for him. Literally do it.

I love this quote... I have no idea who it is from.... but it is amazing and I have really been holding onto it this week.

"Challenges that tax our faith are usually opportunities to stretch and strengthen our faith by finding out if we really believe the Lord will help us." 

Read that again and let it sink in. 

Whoever said England is a "hard" mission because the people are so set in their ways.. you are all wrong. Last year this mission baptized 474 people and our goal this year is 600. That is 474 more people who have entered through the gate and are on their way to eternal life. This mission is a baptising mission. That is one of the first things president told us. Have you ever wondered why missions put so much emphasis on baptism? Well.. think about it. BAPTISM IS LITERALLY THE GATEWAY TO HEAVEN. That is why we press it so hard. Sister Hernes and I have a lot of potentials that I am really excited about for this week.

I am constantly amazed by how much God is in the details of our lives..... On Saturday we had our day all planned out with people we were going to go see and stuff.. But literally NOTHING went as planned. Long story short... We ended up running into some people that knew some members and got some contact info, AND we talked to this guy named Steven for like 45 minutes on the street about God and it was seriously awesome and he is super interested and we have a return appointment with him this week!!!! We would have never met him if we wouldn't have been at this certain place at the exact time that he was... GOD IS IN THE DETAILS OF OUR LIVES AND I KNOW HE IS IN YOURS TOO!!! But sometimes we just don't see it.

So here is your challenge for this week. Pray every day to see the hand of the Lord in your life.I PROMISE you that as you go about your day, with that in mind, you WILL see His hand in your life. Because he is there. No doubt about it.

I love you all. Your prayers mean the absolute world to me. This work is amazing. God is amazing. He loves us all, no doubt about it.


Sister Ranck

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