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!

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....



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.



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!!!

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