30 March 2015

I Am So Grateful for My Savior Jesus Christ.

WOW. Happy 2 months to me!!!!! TIME IS FLYING. But also it feels like I have been here forever!!! How does that even work? I don't know. But what I do know is that I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY SOOOOOOO MUCH. LIKE SERIOUSLY IT IS THE GREATEST CALLING IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD!!!!!! 

Well everything I told you about Sister Barbosa last week was false doctrine. She is actually from BRAZIL and speaks PORTUGUESE and she is BASICALLY THE GREATEST AND CUTEST LITTLE HUMAN BEING EVER. Ahh I seriously love her so much already. We have so much fun together!!! Get this..... I'M KILLING HER. For those of you who don't know missionary lingo that means that this is her last transfer.... So basically she is just full of knowledge and I am so excited to work with and learn from her!! She is just AMAZING!!!!

Thanks for the fun Easter stuff Mom
Okay funny story. So we have been preparing all of the recent converts of the last year to go to the temple!!! The temple trip was last Saturday and it went really well:) 5 recent converts went of 7 which is really good!!! They had such a great experience :) Okay now the funny part... This guy called Malcolm, he is in his 70's and super spacy and forgets I stuff really easily, but he has such a strong desire to do what is right. He always prays that he can forget his Catholic ways and remember the Mormon ways. haha I think I have told you a few stories about him? But we were talking to Bro Jest, the Ward Mission Leader, about how the temple went, and he just started laughing. we were like uhhh what? And he told us that no joke Malcolm dropped a few F bombs in the temple........ uhhhhhhh ahahahahahaha. We were dying laughing.

How come no one ever told me how loud I am all the time? hahah AGAIN someone told me this
Cool! A Soccer Game at Wembley Stadium.
week that I am the most "American" American they have ever met. hahahaha I don't mind:) It's just me! You probably all have the impression that I scream at people or something, but let me reassure that that is not the case. haha I just talk loud naturally...... As you all know....

You guys. I bought a bottle of sunscreen last week.... Uhhh my life. Hey at least everyone in England is really white too so I don't stick out as much. haha

Okay Shannon is basically the greatest ever. She has been a member for 1 week and has been meeting with the missionaries for only 1 month and guess how many times she has read the Book of Mormon.... Yup.....7 times. No joke. She is amazing!!!!

We got  a scary text from her last week... She sent a text to us at like 9 at night and said, "Are you sure I made the right choice to be baptized?" ....................... No worries we called her right away. 

She told us that she just found out that her family is disowning her because she got baptised. Her mom is NOT happy and doesn't want anything to do with her. She told us that she just talked to the Elders too and they made her feel better and she read some scriptures in Alma 38:3-5 that made her feel better as well. 

UMM WOW. SHE IS SO AMAZING HUH!!!

She's like, "I have my new family here at least. And I know that this is true. And I am not going to go back because my life has changed now for the better." 

Wow. That is all I can say, is wow. Talk about great faith eh? She has so much faith.

Yesterday, she was confirmed into the Church and received the Gift of the Holy Ghost!!! Which was great:) But then she was sitting by us in Sacrament Meeting and was super shaky, and said that she
Love my Easter Box from Mom
doesn't feel well at all. So we went into the bathroom with her and she said that her health is not doing well and she feels so sick right now. She has some kind of Blood disorder, problems with her heart, and she had eye surgery last week, and she is just super shaky today but said that she doesn't want to go home though because she will feel to guilty. I told her that she should get a priesthood blessing. She didn't know what that was, so we explained, but she kept saying, "No I'm fine, honestly, I will be fine! There are people out there who need it more than I do."

So selfless.

But she was not fine. So the next hour in Gospel Doctrine, she was sitting with the Elders in class, and I was with Sister Barbosa in a different room because she was not feeling well either.. sick to her stomach... so my two girls were both sick. I got to play #mamaranck.


The Elders sent us a text during the class and were like, Shannon is not doing well. She is shaking and stuff.... still. But she didn't want to receive a blessing. 

Sidewalk Chalk is So Much Fun.
Elders wanted an "N" but I don't know why?
Sister Barbosa wanted one, so we during the third hour of church, we went to a little room with the Elders and Shannon and one other guy, and Elder Cowan (Our new district leader, from Good 'ol Utah!) gave Sister Barbosa a blessing. We asked Shannon if she wanted one now and she said that she didn't quite understand a blessing still.

For the next 15 minutes we talked about the power of the priesthood, faith, and the atonement to help her understand more. That was one of the greatest spiritual experiences I have had so far on my mission. The Spirit was SOO strong as we talked about the priesthood and shared scriptures about miracles and trusting in God. We talked about how the atonement is for everyone. She kept saying that other people are worse off than her and she would be fine, but we helped her to see that the atonement really is for everyone single person. It is for you, and it is for me. 

Think about it this way, if Jesus is walking down the road and their is a person on both sides of him who both need help, but the person on the left needs in "more".... Who is going to help? Yup. Both of them.

By accepting and using the atonement, you are not taking away from anyone else. The atonement is for EVERYONE. EVERY DAY.

She finally agreed and received a beautiful blessing from God. 

The Spirit was so powerful as she received that blessing and I am so grateful that I had the opportunity to be there to witness the power of the priesthood.... The power of God. I have such a stronger testimony of the priesthood now. It is REAL. It is a REAL POWER. It is GOD's POWER. It is for EVERYONE. 

We called her this morning to see how she is doing, and she said she doesn't know how but she is feeling so much better. What a miracle.

Some days I realise how human I really am. 

We were talking to this guy the other day about Christ and this other guy joined in and said, "do you believe that Jesus died for our sins?" We said yes! Then he started laughing and said something like, "Then I can do whatever I want and still be saved!" And kept laughing and joking about it as we walked away.

Don't get me wrong it could have been much worse, but it was not funny. 

My heart broke as I thought about my Saviour. As I thought about the amount of love he STILL has for that man. Even though he makes fun of, ridicules, and laughs at him. Then I thought about all of the people in the world who do the same. It breaks my heart.

I thought about some scriptures from Isaiah 53:4-9.....
  1. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
  2. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
  3. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.
  4. He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.
  5. He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.
  6. And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.
I am so grateful for my Savior Jesus Christ. For his selfless life and sacrifice for me, a sinner. Oh how I need Him every single day. This Easter season, ask yourself these questions....

How are your feelings about Christ?

Is Christ implanted in your heart?

Is Christ a part of you?

I leave you with a challenge as we prepare to hear the words of our prophets and apostles this Easter
Yep.  There is a McDonalds here.
Eating with Shannon and my Companion
Weekend. Pray to know what gift you can give to Christ this next month? What you can be doing better in your own life to more fully appreciate the sacrifice that he has done for YOU. Then, APPLY IT. Wear Christ on your heart. Do not be ashamed of him. Do not be ashamed of your testimony. Because there will come a day when every ear shall hear and every knee shall bow, and everyone shall know of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 

I promise you that as you do this, you will feel closer to your Savior. You will feel closer to God. And your love for them and for those around you will grow. You will be much happier. 

"For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ; For it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth." 

I love you all. May each of us strive a little more to remember our Savior this Easter Season. And to LET OUR FAITH SHOW by who we are.

ONWARD AND UPWARD.

Sister Ranck

24 March 2015

I Feel Honored to Represent Jesus Christ

Transfer 1..... Check. 
I am going to miss Sister Hernes.  She was a great trainer!

We had move calls last night and.....  I AM STAYING IN LEIGHTON BUZZARD AND AYELSBURY!!!!!!!! AND SISTER HERNES IS.................. going to Norwich............... 0_o. 

I am way stoked for her though because Norwich is really cool I hear! But oh my goodness, this means that I am going to be the one that has to know the area and be able to figure out how in the world to work the train system here and not to mention that we will probably end up being stuck outside our flat all night because we have an old fashioned lock and key and Sister Hernes is the only one that can open the door and I haven't learned the trick yet........................ great.................

But all is well:) I am sure going to miss Sister Hernes though. She has been such an amazing trainer and I love her so much. We have definitely had some fun memories and laughs:) 

You are probably all wondering who my new companion will be... well at this point, I know just as much as you do. Her name is Sister Barbosa... yes like Captain Barbosa from Pirates... and she is from Spain and speaks Spanish! How much English does she know? I have no idea. How long has she been out? I have no idea. 

One thing I do know, is that this transfer I am going to have to step it up and I can no longer rely on my trainer anymore. I am excited for the challenge!!! I know that God will make up for the weaknesses that I have. The next 6 weeks will be a time of learning and growth. I CAN'T WAIT!!!! AND I AM SO GLAD I AM STAYING BECAUSE I LOVE IT HERE!!!! Oh and Elder Wentzel is being transferred to Norwich too! Bitter sweet. 

At Shannon's baptism
This week could NOT have gone any better. The transfer could NOT have ended more perfectly because....... SHANNON WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!!! 

You are probably all wondering who in the world Shannon is... well let me tell yah. She is one of the Elder's investigators and she moved here from Saudi Arabia 3 weeks ago to be a nanny for a family and she met the Elders in the street 2 days after she moved here. She then read the whole entire Book of Mormon in 2 DAYS. Yup. 2 days. I think the first time I read it it took me like 8 months or something.... And in the 3 weeks that she was meeting with the Elders she has read it 3 times.... yup not even joking.

Sister Ranck, Shannon, Sister Hernes, and Vida
Even though the Elders were teaching her, Sister Hernes and I got to know her really well at church and at relief society activities and such. She is probably one of the greatest human beings I have ever met. I have never seen someone so happy and so strong. The gospel came at the perfect time in her life. Her brother passed away 4 days before her baptism and she has said so many times how grateful that she is to the Elders for stopping her and teaching her about the Plan of Salvation. She finds a lot of comfort in that. 

Her baptism was amazing. She was so happy and it was her birthday too!!! She we got to celebrate her birth but also her rebirth:) She seriously is so incredible and I am so grateful that I have gotten to know her!!!! 

GET THIS. She is a nanny right and she works with another lady named Vida, and she told us that Vida wants to start learning more as well because Shannon has told her about it, except she doesn't want to meet with boys, she wants to meet with girls.... HECK YEAH. SISTER POWER. ha. 

Fufu - a Ghanian dish that is REALLY spicy
But okay VIDA IS AMAZING. She is from Ghana!!! And she has such a strong faith in God and reads the Bible every day and is seriously AMAZING!!! She is on date to be baptized on the 18th of April!!!!! WOOO. I love missionary work. 

After our first meeting with her, she was like, "wow you get to work for Jesus!" UMM YEAH WE DO AND IT IS THE GREATEST CALLING IN THE WORLD.

We taught her yesterday and then the Elders came over with Shannon afterwords and we had Fufu for lunch... for those of you who don't know what that is... it is a Ghanian dish that is really spicy. People in Ghana eat it all the time.... like Vida's brother for example eats it 3 meals a day. I thought it was weird... haha. But it was fun being with the Elders and with Shannon and Vida!!! 

I truly am a blessed missionary.

Sister Ranck, Sister Hernes, Elder Wentzel, and Elder Kendall
I feel like I am no longer just one person.... cause every time someone asks me, "how are you?" My response is always, "WE are great." hahaha I don't know why, but it just happens. haha Everything is "we" now. 

FUNNY STORY. Well I don't know if you will think it is funny, but I thought it was hilarious. 

So we had a lesson with an investigator this week who is the strongest atheist I have EVER known. Like he does not see ANY PROOF whatsoever that there is a God. He says that the only way that he will believe is if he sees a miracle himself that cannot be explained by science. Like for example if he sees someone walk on water, or an amputees arm grows back or something. It is so sad. Miracles are a response to faith. Without faith, you will never see miracles. 

FOOD FOR THOUGHT. 
You know the phrase, "the faith to move mountains...."......... Faith is a real power. So my question for you is, how do you get that kind of faith? 

Something to think about.

OH YEAH THE FUNNY STORY. 

Okay so we are teaching this atheist and he has a REAL problem with praying. So we have this commitment pattern we use when we teach... first you testify of something, then you commit them to live it or read something or whatever, then you promise blessings. 

So we testified of the Book of Mormon and prayer, then extended the invitation.... "Will you read and pray about the book of Mormon?" His response.... "I will read it but I won't pray about it....." Then Sister Hernes said..... "Well, I promise that you will not get an answer." Okay that doesn't sound funny when I type it but Sister Hernes and I both just started laughing so hard and I promise it was super funny if you were there!!!!!!
It is so sad though.. he has come to the conclusion that he WILL NOT pray because he thinks that if you try hard enough to believe anything, you will. Then he asked us if we would do something ridiculous.... that is along story, but his point was, that he won't do what we ask him to do unless we do what he asks us to do. Then I realized something very powerful about my calling as a missionary as I said,

"I am not asking you to do anything. I have been called by God to represent His son Jesus Christ. I am one of God's messengers on the earth. It is NOT me asking you to pray, it is God."

That moment spoke so strongly to me about the power of my calling. I am a representative of the
greatest man to EVER live..... Jesus Christ.

This moment reminded me of a quote I love by Bruce R. Mckonkie...

"I am called of God. My authority is above that of the kings of the earth. By revelation I have been selected as a personal representative of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is my Master and He has chosen me to represent Him to stand in his place, to say and do what he Himself would say and do if He personally were ministering to the very people whom He has sent me to serve.  My voice is His voice, and my acts are His acts; my words are His words, and my doctrine is His doctrine. My commission is to do what He wants done; to say what He wants said; to be a living modern witness in word and in deed of the divinity of His great and marvelous latter-day work. How great is my calling."

How great is my calling.

I feel honored to represent Jesus Christ. He is my Savior. He is my best friend. He is everything to me. I love him.

Especially this Easter Season, may we all remember the life of Jesus Christ, and strive to build a more personal relationship with our Savior.

I can testify that I know He knows each of you. He knows each of you by name. He knows your thoughts. He knows your struggles. He knows your feelings. Your name passed through His head when he was in the Garden of Gethsemane. He suffered for you so you don't have to do it alone. YOU ARE NEVER ALONE. I can testify of that.


Thank you for all of the love and prayers!!!! 

ONWARD AND UPWARD.


Sister Sara Ranck



16 March 2015

Moments That Make Missionary Work All Worth It

English people are like M&M's. That is one thing that I have especially learned this week. They are hard and stoned faced on the outside, but once you get to know them, they are sweet and delicious and chocolatey! 

Like for real we say hi to everyone we see because... well.... we are missionaries. Most of the time people just look at us weird and wonder why we said hi to them..... For example... the other day we said hi to this lady and she stopped and looked at us excitedly trying to figure out where she has seen us from, and I just said "hi what is your name!" Then she looked at both of our badges and her face immediately turned from happy straight to fear.... then she said "gotta go sorry!" and turned and ran away.... hahahhahaha it was hilarious.

My favorite compliment is, "Wow you sure are happy!" Well yeah I am! And here is why! I have an all loving God! Who has a plan for my happiness and for the happiness of my family! And he still speaks to us today! And I have the evidence of this right here in my hands! Here read it! It will make you happy to!

I wish I could say that the response was like how the people responded in Mosiah chapter 5 to King Benjamins address.... 

We went to London again this week!!!!!! For the 4 week meeting!!! I love going to London! Except the tubes are scary because there are people everywhere running around trying to catch the trains and it is madness I tell you. But all is well and we made it safe and sound with just a few drops of sweat on our foreheads.
The street sign from the street that I live on

So this was a meeting with all of the new missionaries and their trainers with President and Sister Jordan so naturally it rocked! And was super inspiring!!!! 

Let's just say I am really starting to get the hint that I am a little loud for England people... hahahaha. At this meeting we did a role play where all of us greenies had to pretend like we were on a bus and we were going to sit by an old English man, (President Jordan was playing as the old English man...) and each of us, one at a time, in front of everyone, had 30 seconds to sit down next to him and start a conversation and get to the point where we could relate the conversation to some kind of gospel topic or principle.... So when it was my turn I was really nervous because everyone was watching and I went in a little too loud...... just being myself...... haha and I asked if I could sit by him really loudly and he looked at me weird and said, "uhh sure." Then I tried to start a conversation.... and anyways... let's just say after that President Jordan gave me the same advice that he did last week to tone it down from a 10 to an 8.... hahahha. It was bad. But really funny as well. 

I had another "moment" in the middle of the night..... So I woke up in the middle of the night randomly and was on my knees in the middle of a prayer...... I was half awake and was so confused about what was going on, and couldn't figure out why I was praying, but I finished the prayer anyways and said "amen," then I hear Sister Hernes say "amen" and I got even more confused and looked over at her and she was laying in bed.... Then I was MORE confused. The next morning she said that I said a prayer in the middle of the night.... hahaha seriously what is going on with me. I must be a real missionary now that I legit pray in my sleep. Kneeling down by my bed and everything! hahaha....

This is my zone! Elder Kashari from Albania, Elder Elder Wright from California, Elder Jones from Utah, Elder Nolan from Manchester England, Elder Kendall from Utah, Elder Wentzel from South Africa, Sister Maurer from Switzerland, and Sister Mochahova from Czech Republic!

My District at District Lunch
OKAY COOL STORY. So on Thursday we have district meeting in Aylesbury so we take the bus there in the mornings, but this Thursday it was 45 minutes late, so we were going to be late to the meeting. So it finally came and we made it to Aylesbury, then as we were walking to the chapel, a lady stopped us and said she used to be a member of our church, and started explaining about how she stopped coming because she didn't have any money to buy dresses or skirts, and how she felt looked down upon because she has tattoos. Then she started crying to us and was saying how she was really struggling because she has 2 15 year old twin boys with autism and she struggles to feed them every week and is barely scraping by. She said that before bumping into us she was praying for some kind of peace, then she saw us! UMM MIRACLE. And here I was complaining cause the bus was late.... But God was up there saying, "you just wait and see what I have in store for you!" Seriously that was amazing.  After, when we had to go she just thanked us and said that she felt so much better now that she had talked to us!!!  She is the sweetest lady!!! We are going to see her on Thursday this week. The Elders said they saw her the next day and she said that she just loved us! She is great.  Moments like that make missionary work all worth it.
This is the mission home/visitor 
center/hyde park chapel!!!

Okay I LOVE my district. Next week is transfers and I am so sad that half of us will probably be gone.... Everyone is sooo fun and funny!!! We had district lunch this week and we just went to a grocery store to buy some food and then we went out by the car to eat and turned on some music...... And guess what the Zone leaders were listening to in their car.....  MY FAVORITE MISSIONARY CD!...... "I'm gonna go on a mission and I want to..... be ready......." Yup it sure was a party rockin' out to church music in the parking lot eating out lunch. haha

OKAY ANOTHER COOL STORY!!!! So we have an investigator who is struggling with depression and he drinks and he is just not doing so well. We met with him on Friday and we taught him the Word of Wisdom and helped him to set goals to stop drinking, because he really wants to stop! And this is the best part.... We challenged him to go home and pour all of the alcohol he has in his flat down the drain...... and we told him we were going to give him an hour and then call him to see if he did it. So we call him......... AND HE DID IT!!!!! WOOOOO!!!!! I AM SO PROUD OF HIM!!!! Seriously he is the greatest and wants to build a closer relationship with God really bad!!!!! He also has a hard time praying... he always says... "okay I will pray in 5 more minutes."........5 minutes later...... "okay 5 more minutes!" So we told him that we were going to call him every morning at 9 am to pray with him and so far that has been going super well!!! He stopped working for 3 weeks because of his depression but has started working again this week!!! He is doing so well:) Now he just needs to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon then the next step.... baptism. WOOO. Man I love him so much already!!! He is seriously so great.

Yup. Jeffery R. Holland may or may not be coming to my mission in the next few months. He is the apostle I would want most to come. He is also the apostle I would want least to come if you know what I mean.... We are going to all be called to repentance that is for sure... haha. #bejealous.

We are reading the Book of Mormon as a mission and we are in 3 Nephi right now. AKA THE BEST PART OF THE BOOK OF MORMON BECAUSE WELL DUH THAT IS WHEN CHRIST VISITS THE AMERICAS. SUCH POWERFUL CHAPTERS! 

London rooftops at sunset
So I was reading in 3 Nephi chapter 12 vs 2-12 (Click here to read it), and I was writing down the different attributes of God, and things we need to do and become as it says in those verses, and then I would write down next to it the associated blessings. As I was doing this, it just kind of struck me what great blessings God has in store for each of us!!! It reminded me of a quote and forgive me as I no longer have the luxury or time to search for quotes whenever I want so this is straight from memory and I don't know who said it.... But it goes something like this... :

"Some blessings come soon, and some come late, but for those who embrace the Gospel of Jesus christ, I testify to you, they come."

May we all strive to look for the blessings of God in our lives each day. And as one of my new favorite scriptures says....:

"Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of god, and for his arm to be revealed." (D&C 123:17)

God is everywhere if you will just look.

Thank you for the love and prayers. 

ONWARD AND UPWARD.

Sister Ranck

Rockin' Out with the Elders and Sisters at Lunch Time



09 March 2015

Faith is a Choice - Happiness is a Choice


Wow. I can't believe another week has already come and gone.... Time is already flying here. AND I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY





GUESS WHAT I SAW TODAY. SWANS. YES. SWANS. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Remember how at the MTC I was praying for swans like crazy??! Well today Sister Hernes and I as we were walking into town went on a little walk down this canal where there were lots of ducks and we saw 4 swans!!!!! IT MADE MY DAY.

So they have these canals that run all through England and they have these boats and people actually live in them... or you can go on a canal trip and stay in one for a few weeks! That should be all of your summer vacations... come stay in one of these boats cause they are awesome! And then you know... come stalk me and find me or something....

Guess what else happened today. We were talking to this lady in town and these girls walk by me and are like, "Woah are you American??" and they thought my accent was the coolest thing ever.. haha they had never met an American before so they were asking me to say all these things and they pointed to their pants and were like, "what are these?" I said pants, and they laughed. hahaha If you don't get it, look up what pants are in England. It was funny because they were so obsessed with my accent and the fact that I was from America.

This week overall was a good week! Monday was awesome... we had Zone P-day in Wembley and I definitely stood outside of Wembley stadium. Jealous? 
Wembley Stadium in the background.  Wembley Stadium is
home to England's National Football (Soccer) Team

There are around 24 missionaries in the Watford Zone, and 8 of them are sisters! So we did a picture scavenger-hunt and split up into groups and had 1.5 hours to run around Watford and find/take pictures of all of the things on the list! It was fun except we ended up running half the time and I was sore for the next week because of it... seriously I am a missionary and I still end up running everywhere. Goodness.

British Brownies - YUM
We also had a British bake off and everyone was in charge of bringing some kind of treat. Sister Hernes and I got creative and made some British brownies. I am pretty dang proud of that flag... 

We met at the Watford chapel, and we played a game of 3v3 football (soccer) for 10 minutes. Me and a bunch of elders. And I was wearing jeans and boots. And I scored. Yup, still got it! Except I was a sweaty pig after that. And was exhausted and felt like I was going to die afterwords. How in the world did I play a 90 minute game....? I will never know.

This week I also went on exchanges with Sister Maurer! She is a sister training leader from Switzerland. She has only one more transfer left, so it was awesome being with her because she is soooooo good!  Here are a few things I learned while I was with her:
  • I teach lessons to my companion while I sleep.... using scriptures, the whole 9 yards....
  • England has very bipolar weather. Literally it was sunny and blue skies one second, then we turn around to walk in the opposite direction and before we know it it was hailing on us for the next 30 minutes, then after that it was sunny and blue skies again. Oh England! 


AHHH! Guess what else we did this week! Sister Hernes, and I and the elders serving in our ward (Elder Kendall and Elder Wentzel) filmed a video for the "Aylesbury Mormon Helpers!" facebook page.  It was so funny while we were filming it and it turned out so fun! You should all watch it... It's to promote the missionaries as "helpers" and also to raise publicity for the ward and the "Aylesbury Mormon Helpers" program they have here!

video

You don't know hard until you have carried a box of 40 Book of Mormon's all the way from the Hyde Park Chapel in London, through the tubes, and all the way to your flat in Leighton Buzzard. Like for reals. My arms were sore the next day. 

Yes, we went to London last Friday!!! For Zone conference!!! It was amazing! President and Sister Jordan are the best ever. We spent the day doing trainings and learning how to be better missionaries!

President Jordan was talking to Sister Hernes and I about how Americans are so much louder than the people here in England. He told me he loves how happy and loud I am and that I shouldn't lose my personality, but to maybe turn down the volume a little from a 10 to an 8... . hahahaha........ am I really that loud??!!?

Okay so since I am a "greenie", I got picked on at Zone conference. hahah. I had to do the gap.. and give the 1 minute family history talk... okay let me explain:

Sisters in my zone with Sister Jordan
In our mission we have this program called "mind the gap." I don't know how to explain this, but basically what it is, each week we have 4 different parts of the lessons that we practice 4 times each day. So we pretend like we are teaching the point of the lesson to our companion and a perfect gap is if you hit all of the bullet points and teach it in under 2 minutes.  As part of this you memorize the scripture that goes along with the point and recite it as you teach. 

So at each meeting we have a gap training and a companionship is called on to teach a gap in front of everyone. So of course, I got picked to do the gap. In front of President Jordan, and all 40 missionaries that were there........ yup. I'm pretty sure my face was the color of a tomato. We taught "the gospel blesses families" and we did pretty well actually but holy goodness that was scary hahaha.

Yup...this bipolar weather!
For this Zone Conference we were all supposed to prepare a 1 minute talk on family history, and then they had a spinner with all of the letters on the alphabet on it and they would spin the wheel then whatever letter it lands on, if your name starts with that letter you have to give the talk. Yup. Out of all 26 letters it landed on "R". So I had to give the 1 minute talk. Like come on! Are you serious!?? hahahaha. But all is well! Sister Hernes said I did well, but then again she's my companion and has to say that. hahaha. 

But besides being picked on I left zone conference very inspired. Two things that really stuck out to me....

FAITH IS A CHOICE.

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE.

And outside circumstances do not determine how happy you are or your faith.

I've got a story about this. So there was one day this week where I just wasn't in a good mood. I was exhausted. All of our appointments that day fell through. One of our investigators texted us and said that they don't want to meet with us anymore. And I was really letting all of these things get to me...  Because of that, I didn't really feel like I had the Spirit with me because I was in a sense choosing to be in a bad mood. 

So that night we were walking to an appointment and we were going to go on a walk with this lovely young women named Chloe. We met her last week and she couldn't believe that two people our age would be doing what we are doing and leave our families for 18 months. She is a baptist and has a very strong belief in God and she agreed to meet with us to learn more about the church! She is basically the greatest ever!

As we were walking to her home, I told Sister Hernes that she is going to have to really take this
lesson because I didn't really feel like I had the Spirit with me. She asked me why, and I told her that it was because I have had a bad attitude all day. She said, "Sister, we are only human, and it's okay to have a bad day, but we shouldn't let that hinder our ability to feel the Spirit." 

So we got to Chloe's house and knocked on the door, and we said a prayer. My comp said it out loud, while I repented in my head and pleaded for forgiveness and for the spirit to be with me. Boy am I glad I did that because I immediately felt a difference after and we had such an amazing conversation with her and I was able to teach and bear testimony with great power and with the Spirit! And I know that she felt the Spirit as well. If I would have kept my bad attitude, what an opportunity that I would have lost. 

She said that she will read the Book of Mormon and talk to her husband about it and let us know what she wants to do. I have complete confidence that if she really does read and pray about it, that she will have that desire to learn more. I am praying so hard for her! Because she is seriously so amazing.

I am so grateful for the lesson that I learned during that experience.

FAITH IS A CHOICE. 

HAPPINESS IS A CHOICE.

Cute Rita
Now for some wise words from our friend Rita, who we go and visit every Sunday after church. 

"Whenever you feel discouraged, just tell Satan to 'GET THEE BEHIND ME YOU UGLY MAN!'" Hahaha no joke she told us that yesterday!!! Ahh she is the greatest ever. 

But really though, think about that for a sec. It reminded me of Christ, I don't even know the story off the top of my head, but there was a time when Satan was trying to tempt him and he said something like, "Get thee hence Satan!"

This one is for my soccer girls!!
Any time you ever feel discouraged, or have negative thoughts come into your mind, or you feel that you faith is dwindling, just remember. That is Satan. Tell him to get out! Tell him to go away! Literally. Say that out loud! 

In Christ we can find peace. In Christ we can find joy. In Christ we can find happiness. In Christ we can find love. All negative things, they are from Satan. He doesn't deserve to be in your head. SO FILL YOUR HEAD WITH CHRIST AND THEN THERE WILL BE NO ROOM FOR SATAN!

I love you all seriously so much. Thank you for the support and prayers. 

May we all try a little harder to be a little better this week.

Onward and Upward!

Sister Ranck

PS. It is mothers day here in England this Sunday so HAPPY MOTHERS DAY TO THE GREATEST "MUM" IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE PLANET!!!



02 March 2015

Miracles - Too Many to Even Count

Jesus Raises Jairus's Daughter
Miracles.

That is the word to define my week.

Did I see somebody raised from the dead? 

No.

Did I see somebody miraculously be healed?

No.

Did I see God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ?

I wish. 

Did I see miracles?

Too many to even count.

Plans falling through so we could be lead to somebody else, randomly sitting by somebody on the bus and they turn out to be a less active, someone talking to us for 2 hours.. literally 2 hours... in the street asking us all these questions about the Book of Mormon even though we had an appointment, so we ended up going to the appointment later that night and we ended up meeting this guys brother and sister who are really interested... Yup. Those are the kind of miracles we saw. Plus countless others. It truly amazes me how much God is in the details of His great work.

So on Wednesday nights we have correlation with the Ward Mission Leader where we talk about our investigators and the ward and different things. This week we walked with the elders to correlation, because Elder Kendall and Elder Wentzel are serving in Aylesbury and we are in the same ward, so as we were walking we decided to knock on a few doors. The first one this guy opened and we sang I am a Child of God.... yeah he doesn't believe in God and that didn't go over too well.... 

Then the next one Elder Kendall knocked on the door and said to us, "watch this." Uhh okay... So a lady answered and he said, "Hi we are the local missionaries for our church and we were just wondering... do you want to be baptised?"

...................She said no.......................

Well, that's one way to do a door approach...... Oh Elders.......

Sister Hernes and Sister Ranck
As a missionary you have a very special gift of remembering names.. I don't know how I do it. But I can remember almost everyones name that I talk to. Ask me in a month and I probably won't..... It truly is amazing.

Here is some information to get to know Sister Hernes! She loves to sing. haha she is always singing! We get along really well and she is actually younger than me. She will turn 20 at the end of this year.  Also, she is amazing. I am very blessed to have her as my trainer. 

Oh guess what..... HAPPY ONE MONTH TO ME. I am no longer a baby. I am probably about 4 years old in mission years.... Boy has it gone by fast. I feel like yesterday I just left. Literally I can't believe how fast time flies.

So we are helping this recent convert prepare for the temple and he is like 84 or so, so we were teaching him about what we do in the temple and how we can be sealed together as families, and he looks at us and says..... "I want to be cremated...." No joke. The most random thing ever and Sister Hernes and I just look at each other and are like uhhhhhh brilliant whatever you want! And we couldn't help ourself but just laugh about it and it was seriously just so funny because he was so serious and it was so random and yeah. .............I promise if you were there it would be funny too........

Thanks Dad for sending me a rubix cube this week..... God bless you. Those are my favorite things ever. No joke.

Question: What do you think people would do if I stood up in town center and yelled, "Repent! Repent! All ye ends of the earth!" Like they used to in the olden days. I really want to sometime...... JK I'm too chicken.

Guess what. I have something I need to tell you all.... I went to a Baptist church last night... I decided that Mormon is no longer for me.....
Brother and Sister Richardson from the Aylesbury ward

haha JOKE. I'm funny. But I really did go to a Baptist church... that was completely the truth. Why you ask? Well you see we have a neighbor who is a baptist. He is an old guy named Bill and he is soo cute! He told us if we go to his church he will come to ours. Brilliant idea! So yes I went to a baptist church!!!! Did I feel the Spirit there? Yes. The Spirit testifies of truth. Do they have portions of the truth? Of course they do! They talked about Jesus Christ! 

Being there made me really appreciate even more how blessed we are to have the RESTORED gospel. The FULLNESS of the gospel. With ALL the truth. All other churches have portions of the truth! They are great people who are trying to do their absolute best! But what they don't know is that God has so much more in store for them! That there are more things that they can learn! More truth out there! Where can they find that truth? IN THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER DAY SAINTS. We are not asking people to leave everything and join our church, we are inviting them to learn more truth! Because it is here on the earth. We have a living prophet. We have the priesthood. And as members of this church, we have a very big responsibility of spreading the word. Of inviting people to learn more. Because others are "only kept from the truth because they know not where to find it." So may we all be a little bit better and helping others come unto Christ. 

Sara's Mission Scripture
We had an AMAZING lesson with this guy named Zack last Saturday. He is 29 and was taught by the Sisters 8 months ago. He even came to church yesterday!!!!! WOOO! He LOVES to pray... Like seriously he LOVES it. We have bumped into him in the library a few times, and the library is quiet and their are lots of people around, and he always asks us to pray for him right then and there... not that I am embarrassed to pray or anything! Of course not... my mission scripture says that "I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ" and I'm not. It's just funny because he loves praying! So we say a prayer right then and there in the library with him. I love it.

We are teaching him twice this week and I am way stoked about it! So pray for him! Also, we had a great lesson with Steven and Lois last week also! THEY ARE GOING TO GET BAPTISED! Okay well they haven't committed yet but I know they are! We are meeting with them again this week so pray for them as well!!!!! 

I bore my testimony the other day in district meeting, cause well, I am a greenie so I was "strongly encouraged." So I bore my testimony about how I KNOW that this church is true. And I KNOW that the Book of mormon is the word of God. And I KNOW that we have a living prophet on the earth. And I KNOW that Jesus Christ came to the earth for us. 

A few days later, I saw one of the elders in my district, and he said to me, "Sister Ranck, in your testimony the other day, you said you know all those things. This is a sincere question, how do you know? Because I guess since I have been out on my mission, I don't know if I know anymore!" 

So I thought about it for a minute. Then I asked him, "Elder, do you know that the Book of Mormon
The Book of Mormon is True
is the word of God?" He said yes. I responded.. "Then that is all you need to know."

There is a reason that the Book of Mormon is the keystone to our religion. It is the evidence that we believe. 

If the book of Mormon is true, then Joseph Smith was a prophet called by God.

If Joseph Smith is a prophet, then the priesthood has been restored to the earth.

If the priesthood has been restored to the earth, then this is the ONLY true church on the face of the earth with the proper authority and the FULLNESS of the gospel, and Jesus Christ at it's head. 

And we know all of these things are true because the Book of Mormon is true. 

If you don't have a solid testimony of the Book of Mormon, get one. And always remember, DOUBT YOUR DOUBTS BEFORE YOU DOUBT YOUR FAITH. 

This week I prayed for my testimony of the Book of Mormon to be renewed. God answered my prayer. This morning I was reading the account of King Benjamin to his people in Mosiah chapters 2-5. The Spirit confirmed in my heart this morning, once again, that the Book of Mormon is true.

I don't know everything. I don't have all the answers to people questions. I don't know why some things are the way that they are. But I KNOW, I am absolutely certain, that the Book of Mormon is the word of God, and that is all I need to know.

I love you all so much. Thank you for your love and prayers. Being a missionary is the greatest calling in the world. Absolutely no doubt about that. Okay well being a mother will probably top that.. but for now.... I feel very privileged to have this great calling.

ONWARD AND UPWARD!

Sister Ranck


PS THANK YOU for all of the emails! We have zone p day today (WOOOOO!) and not a lot of time to email, but I print off all of your emails to read throughout the week and seriously you have no idea how much they mean to me. Know that I pray for each of you every single day!