30 November 2015

I didn't know I could be this happy and so exhausted at the same time!

Sister Fenu.  My new companion from Italy.
Wells first things first, I don't even know what country I am in anymore because it sure doesn't feel like England! I stick out like a sore thumb here with my white hair and pink complexion! Haha. BUT OH MY DAYS THE WORK HERE IS CRAZY! I love it so much!!!! We don't have ANY people we are working with from England, they are all from different countries. The majority of the people here are from India, Middle eastern countries, or Africa! And literally everything inbetween. It is crazy! The nickname for this area is Ilford-Stan.......... Oh man I love it! I feel so happy I could just cry right now.

I love my companion as well! Sister Fenu is from Italy and is such a FANTASTIC missionary. Wow love her already! She has helped me out a lot. She speaks Italian and Spanish and we had a lesson on Saturday with someone all in Spanish. Hah I was pretty much useless the whole time. I am probably gonna be fluent in both of those languages in 6 weeks. Okay not really but I will try! She is wonderful and such a diligent worker! It is fun working with her because I have been training my whole mission so I have been the one who "knows what I am doing...." So it is nice to be with someone who actually does know what she is doing! We will be a great team this transfer:)

Billa is a recent convert.  He is from India and he is
Well if I thought my life was crazy before, it sure just got a whole heck of a lot crazier. So I am now on the mission leadership council so once a month I get to go to Hyde Park for MLC, which I am really excited for. It is all the zone leaders and sister training leaders and we go at the beginning of each month to have trainings from President and Sister Stevens and council together. We are going on Thursday. So some of the responsibilities I have as a sister training leader is I am responsible for 7 different sister companion ships..... ONE OF WHICH IS MY GIRLS SISTER HAYNIE AND SISTER MATHEWS IN GILLINGHAM!!!! FLIP YEAH! So once a transfer we go on exchanges with each companionship... So yes I will be going on 7 exchanges this transfer. So that is crazy, and also we give trainings at zone meetings and zone conferences. Life is hectic I tell you! The first few days of being here I felt very overwhelmed trying to get to know the area, my new companion, and everything and was super stressed. But last night I felt much better and today I feel great! I am excited for this new adventure:)

Laisvis and Kumar.
Okay GUESS WHAT. We have a baptism this Saturday and His name is Laisvis and he is from Lithuania!!!! OKAY I LOVE THIS GUY! He is 20 and has lived in England for 1 year. I feel bad for the sister who left because she taught him everything, but I also feel very blessed to be able to meet him and help him start this new journey of his life! Okay here is his story.......

A few months ago he was walking and it was raining outside, and some guy who was really happy stopped him on the street to invite him to church. He was thinking to himself, "how can this guy be so happy if it is cold and rainy outside?" He has never believed in God or anything at this point, so he decided to go and buy a bible and start going to different churches to see why everyone who believes is really happy! Well a little bit after this he was on a bus one day and was reading his bible, when a returned missionary asked him what he was reading? This returned missionary then invited him to come to a ward activity they were having the next day and he agreed, and since then he has been meeting with the sisters! That was like 2 months ago and now he is
Aylesbury Sisters!
FINALLY going to be baptized and he is soooo excited! Ah I love this kid! He has such a strong testimony! We have taught him a few times since I have been here and wow he is amazing! He is going to be a missionary one day!

So yes that is exciting! OH. And this weekend was stake conference and President and Sister Stevens were there and they spoke. After the conference, Sister Stevens came straight up to Laisvis and started getting emotional as she told him that her eyes were just drawn to him as she spoke because she just saw light and goodness radiating from him. It was a really neat moment! Wow I just feel very blessed to be here!!

Also, last night we had the most AMAZING lesson with another investigator called Henry. Top 3 most powerful lessons I have participated in on my mission. Henry is from Ghana and is a strong Christian. He met elders (actually Elder Haysman is the one who found him!) a few months ago and has been meeting with the missionaries for quite awhile now. Well he was on date to be baptized this
weekend as well and he really wants to be, but we felt he wasn't quite ready yet because he didn't understand that if he is baptised in our church he is now a member of OUR church. Anywho, long story and not quite sure how to explain his concern to you. So last week at the end of a lesson he asked us if we are trying to convert people to only coming to our church because he doesn't want to leave his church. Does that make more sense? Wow I am not explaining this well at all! Ha..

ANYWHO. We have been studying for him for the past few days and prepared a really good lesson on the priesthood and what makes our church different from other churches... And boy as we taught that lesson the Spirit was so powerful and he really understood what we were teaching him! It is crazy because sometimes someone will ask a question that you have heard and answered a hundred times, but sometimes you get this same question and as you open your mouth to answer, the Spirit takes over and you suddenly find yourself answering the question in a way you have never done before, in a way the investigator can
understand. After that I just sit back and think, where the heck did that come from? That happened a few times in this lesson with Henry. Goodness the way the Spirit works is amazing! God really does know all of us so well and teaches us according to our own understanding! Ahhhh I just love this work!! 

So yes we postponed his date for one more week!

Okay one last story! We had a crazy experience on Saturday..... So we had an appointment with a potential investigator but he didn't show up. So we decided to go get dinner down the road from the chapel. Well while we were there we got a call from a member and he said he was at the chapel with someone and we needed to come...... Alrighty then! So we booked it to the chapel and his member just happened to come to the chapel at the same time this potential investigator showed up! #miraclenumberone. 

AND THEN. This other guy from Nigeria just decided to come to the church as well at the same time and he said that he has been in Nigeria for the past 10 months and literally got back that morning! He was going to church a little bit in Nigeria and before that he was meeting with missionaries in Hyde Park! CRAZY. Um his never happens....... #miraclenumbertwo

So we split up and I taught one guy and Sister Fenu taught the other and we got two new investigators and both of them accepted a baptismal date for the same day! It was crazy!!!! Haha that was really cool. Gods timing is so perfect!

Wow I love this work. I didn't know I could be this happy and so exhausted at the same time! I sure do know that God loves us all so much. He is in the details of our lives, all we have to do is pay attention!



Sister Sara Ranck

We went to transfers early so we could stop at
Kings Cross and take a classic touristy photo

Elder Packer!

24 November 2015

You may think you know what is coming at transfers, but really, you have no idea

I love Sister Mathews <3
Wow! Just wow. What I have learned this week is that you may think you know what is coming at transfers, but really, you have no idea. The least expected thing always happens! And that is what happened this transfer especially.

I have been called to be a Sister Training Leader and will be serving with Sister Fenu in Illford. (Sister training leaders are responsible for the training and welfare of sister missionaries that are assigned to them.  They also participate in leadership council.  They also work closely with the Mission President and his wife.) Illford is in Essex and is on the outskirts of London. So yes I will be serving in LONDON!!!! WOOO! With the red buses, undergrounds, oyster cards, and everything! Sister Fenu is from Italy. I don't know much about her but I have heard she is a fantastic missionary! I am excited to serve with her! I am especially humbled to have this call! I feel very inadequate, but I have strong faith and trust in God and Jesus Christ and I know they will help me! President Stevens when he called and told me yesterday, he said that the Lord has been preparing me for this call. I am very grateful for his confidence in me!

AND GET THIS!!! SISTER HAYNIE IS COMING BACK TO GILLINGHAM TO SERVE WITH SISTER MATHEWS!!!! SAY WHAAA??? THIS IS THE CRAZIEST THING OF MY LIFE. Because 2 transfers ago they switched areas and trainers and now she is coming back! I am so stoked for them! I absolutely LOVE this area and ward and we have seen great success these past 3 weeks! President congratulated us on our success the last few weeks and told us he wants to keep this momentum going so that is why Sister Haynie is coming back! Aw my two baby girls <3 haha! If anyone is going to continue to help this area grow it is those two!

Aw man I am going to miss Sister Mathews so much. She has become my best friend out here! It is crazy how we literally spend 24/7 together and you just grow to love your companions so much! We have overcome a lot together and work so well together! Ahh I am going to miss this girl. She is wonderful!
This is Fran! We found her on my last Saturday
here and she came to church!

Well yes, anywho, this past week was CRAZY! So much happened but I won't be able to write everything unfortunately. So here are a few highlight......

- I went on exchange in London with Sister Grant and LOVED IT! I also went running on the most expensive road in London... Bishops Avenue I think is what it was called. And dang those houses are huge. I also had a really crazy experience in London on a bus. We got on the bus and I sat down and turned to the lady next to me and just kindly asked her how her day has been. She looked at me and said very rudely, "why are you talking to me?" I was shocked I just said sorry, I am just trying to be friendly! Then she looked at me and told me to shut up! Well, this little exchange kind of made a scene on the bus and then everyone around us started being overly nice to me and everyone else and I just felt so bad for this poor lady! She was probably just having a bad day! It was pretty intense.

Scott and Vikki:)
-We had the most AMAZING lesson again with Clayton!!!!! We went to dinner at the Dobbies house and that was probably the most hilarious hour of my life. Then we had such an amazing lesson the Spirit was so powerful! AND HE ACCEPTED A BAPTISMAL DATE IN DECEMBER. Ahh flippin heck! I have been on my misison for 10 months and never experienced the Spirit work in a lesson like that before. It was powerful stuff! I was praying so hard in that lesson. Sometimes it would get a little out of control, but then I would open up my mouth to say something, and I had no idea what the heck I was saying, and after I couldn't even remember what I said, the Spirit seriously took over it was incredible. He is progressing so well and I am so proud of him!!!! To be continued.....

WE have seen so many great miracles for the last two weeks! There is a baptism this Saturday as well. His name is Jack and he is 11! Poor guy, he is so nervous and doesn't say a word! That is why he hasn't been baptized yet, but we have been teaching him over the past 2 weeks and he is going to be baptized this weekend! We have so many good things going right now! I am sad I am leaving, but I am so excited though as well!

-We also had a great miracle this weekend! On Friday night Elder Packer our district leader gave us a challenge to find someone on Saturday to come to church. He promised us that we would. Challenge accepted. So on Saturday we got to work. Well, we had no luck until it was dark outside and we were heading to our dinner appointment around 5 and stopped this lady with headphones on the street. Well boom she was perfect! The more we got talking to her the better she got! She told us that she feels it was some kind of sign that she bumped into us.... and I definitely told her it was! And that we had prayed specifically prayed that day for someone who was searching for truth, and we were lead to her. She came to church and had a good but slightly overwhelming experience! It was great!!!!!! And the Sisters are seeing her on Wednesday! I am so excited for her:)

Yes as I said, I am leaving right when everything is getting really good:) haha. I am going to miss everything so much! I am going to miss the missionaries I serve around especially!!!! Here is another quote of the week from the great Elder Packer....

"Welcome to district meeting on the 19th day of the 11th month of the 2015th year of our Lord......"

Oh Geez I am going to miss these fools!!!!

Wow God is so in this work it is incredible. I know that this is His true church and that any sincere seeker of truth will be able to come to know that for himself. What a wonderful blessing it is to be a part of it!


Sister Sara Ranck

1 Pound bowling for the win.

The Tuttles have been amazing!

George and Suzanne have my heart!!!

I love these two ladies!!!

RS activity!

I love this beautiful lady<3

Sister Grant is amazing! She's from Finland

16 November 2015

What an honor it is to be serving and representing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

Best district ever!!!
Wow it is the last week of the transfer... I cannot believe how fast time is flying! I love it here so much! I love the ward and I especially love my companion!! She has become one of my best friends! I have learned so much from her example and love. She is amazing and I really am going to miss serving with her whenever that time comes!!

This week we had a cool experience! Okay rewind, so ever since I have been in this area, there was a less active that we have been trying to contact. I have probably knocked on her door like 15 times, but she was never home. Well this one time a few weeks ago we went to try again and we knocked... and waited..... then knocked... and waited..... and waited.... and for some reason we couldn't get ourselves to leave..... so we decided to try yelling her name.... so we did and guess what.... SHE CAME! WOO! That was great. So yes she FINALLY came to the door and let us in!

We love FHE with the Stocker's!
She is hilarious. And she will just talk your ear off forever! haha. So we have seen her every week for the past few weeks and she came to church on Sunday! WOO! When we saw her last Tuesday she said a beautiful prayer and thanked Heavenly Father for sending the sisters to come and find her so she can start coming back to church. That was a great little miracle:)

We had zone conference this week and man I always LOVE being able to go to London to be taught and instructed by President and Sister Stevens and the spirit! Oh man and can I just say that I serve around the greatest and most hilarious missionaries ever. We sat in our districts and goodness I just love these elders! So sad that it is all going to be split up just next week.

What I got out of zone conference was this.... Missionary work is full of awkward moments. One elder commented and said, "The first time you stop someone, you look like a fool. And every other time you stop someone, you still look like a fool." haha I just thought that was really funny. But it is so true... We are always stopping people on the streets and 90% of the time they don't stop to talk to us so we just look like fools and I just always laugh at these hilarious moments! haha #lifeofamissionary

I left feeling very uplifted by the Spirit with a greater resolve to serve more faithfully and diligently. President Stevens reminded us of our Sacred call and about what an honor it is to be serving and representing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I just pray I can always be a true disciple of our Savior for the rest of my life.

There was a musical number of "Savior Redeemer of My Soul" and wow the Spirit really hit me during this song. I KNOW my Savior lives. At this time in history, as we are preparing ourselves and the world for the second coming, we need to be more strong. We need to be firmer in our testimonies and in our faith. So do what is necessary to get there! And don't wait.

"Once we enter into covenants with God, there is no going back. Giving in, giving up, and giving out are not options. In the kingdom of God, there is a standard of excellence for exaltation. It requires valiant discipleship! There is no room for average or complacent disciples. Average is the enemy of excellence, and average commitment will prevent you from enduring to the end."
-Kevin W. Pearson

Love you all!



Sister Sara Ranck

PS Shoutout to my girl Jessica Duffin for getting her call to the SPAIN MADRID MISSION!!

09 November 2015

Yup I'm pretty sure I am not a robot

Way to go WAC Champs! My girls!

Click here for a shout out!

Wow okay, I just don't know what to do with myself right now I am so excited!

Anywho,, this week was great! The sky pretty much exploded this week with fireworks because it was bonfire night on Thursday.... So what that is, no joke, they celebrate when this guy in the early 1600's tried to blow up parliament but failed. I don't really get it but whatever! We had a ward bonfire night on Friday AT THE BEACH so that was fun:) I got to wear JEANS! That was definitely the highlight. Here is the poem they use to commemorate it.

My Zone
"Remember remember the 5th of November
gun powder treason and plot 
for I see no reason 
that gun powder treason 
should ever be forgot."

So we had an interesting experience this week. Apparently Sister Mathews and I are going to hell according to two very not nice ladies that stopped us on the street and tried to convince us that we are robots and do not believe in Jesus Christ....... Yup I'm pretty sure I am not a robot........  and I am pretty sure I believe in Jesus Christ. Yes so that was a very lovely conversation. At first it was great because they were the ones who stopped us and we started with a nice conversation as believers of Christ, but then they started getting all up in our face telling us that we believe in a man made book and that we aren't even Christians. Ah they were just horrible! Well I didn't let that conversation last long because I learned my lesson the first time a few months ago, so we found our way out of that one pretty quickly and as we walked away they kept yelling at us telling us that we are going to hell and that they will pray for our souls.

It always takes a bit to recover from those kind of experiences. But to be honest, it is those moments
We love the rain:)
that really strengthen my testimony the most. I just love this gospel so much! It is a gospel of love and service. I love the quote in the Joseph Smith movie where the lady says something like, "I do not believe in your religion Mr. Smith, but I do appreciate your kindness." Then Joseph Smith responds by saying, "that is our religion!" And it is so true. We aren't trying to belittle anyone or tear down their faith, all we do is serve and invite them to add to the truths that they already treasure! And if they accept it, then they will experience the greatest joys they have ever felt. Goodness I just love the gospel!

At Zone Meeting this week we did a cool object lesson. We had a powerful training about Jesus Christ and our need for a Redeemer. The Spirit was very powerful. Then to illustrate what Christ does for us, we had a plate with some horse radish and then some lamb. What we had to do was put the horse radish on our tongue and hold it there. It was awful oh my goodness! It was bitter and it stung your tongue, nose, and throat and it was awful. So we held that in our mouth for a minute. Poor Sister Mathews literally started crying. After that, we put the lamb in our mouth and all of the bitterness and stinging completely went away it was amazing! 

We had so much fun at the ward bonfire!
Wow I am just so grateful for my Savior. 

Clayton, our investigator that doesn't live here is doing really well. He usually said that when he prayers he feels empty, but this week he said he is beginning to feel something!!! And last week he definitely felt the Spirit when we taught about Joseph Smith! Ahhh I think I just had a smile on my face forever after that lesson. 

I cannot believe there is only two more weeks in this transfer. A few days ago Sister Mathews and I were walking home and it took like an hour, and we were just talking about how much we have done this transfer together and ahh I am going to miss that girl. I LOVE serving with her so much! I love the missionaries I serve with, the ward I serve in, and just everything about my life right now. 

I LOVE serving my Heavenly Father and my Savior Jesus Christ. I feel honored and humbled every
day to put on this badge. I just pray I can represent Him well and do all that I came here to do.

This work is amazing! 

Quote of the week:

"When you choose to follow Christ, you choose the Way, the Truth, the Life--the right way, the saving truth, the abundant life."

Two talks to study this week....

-"Born of God" by Ezra Taft Benson
-"The Abundant Life" by Joseph B. Wirthlin

You never know what you will find
cleaning out a missionaries flat...
especially an old Elders flat...
Funny quote of the week: This one comes from Elder Packer. We had a zone conference call on Saturday and all of us were to report a miracle from the day so this was Elder Packers miracle being dead serious.......

"We saved a dog....... *pause* ......... From another dog...."

Okay you probably thought that wasn't funny but Sister Mathews and I were completely dying!! hahahaha




PS google missionaries finding and tell me what you see.........

02 November 2015

"Those who reach out to lift and serve others will come to know a happiness" - President Gordon B. Hinckley

This photo describes our relationship.
Well today was an interesting week!! We went to Rochester today and toured the cathedral and also
the castle which was so cool! Wow you would never see anything like that in America it was so sweet!!!! It was super foggy too so it looked really cool:) Then we went to a Pancake Parlour and got some crepes and it was sooooooo delicious:) yes so that was a fun!!!!

Not gonna lie this week was not the greatest week of my life and at the end of this week we found ourselves having 1 investigator and he doesn't even live in our area. Lisa dropped us this morning and it shattered my heart. The time just isn't now for her, I am just praying she finds the gospel again soon..... She will. I know that!

We had a great lesson with Clayton this week though! (Our investigator who doesn't live in our area.) we taught the restoration and man the Spirit was SOOO powerful! WOW IT IS JUST TRUE I KNOW IT. That was a really cool moment being in that lesson. It was kind of a breakthrough for him.

At the end of the second day of straight cancelations, we called Elder Packer and Elder Haysman for some motivation (they were on exchange) and no joke Elder Haysman gives us tips on how to catch a crocodile for motivation.... Ha I would expect nothing less than that from that Australian elder:) haha bless his heart. Well it worked! And we were able to finish out the day! He said, in the most Australian accent you have ever heard.... "Don't go from the side, you have to go straight on and stare them in the eye." So if you ever want to catch a crocodile..., there you have it!:)
This is the cutest little family!

I really love the ward here!!!!  I have had two people try to set me up with someone in the ward this week.... Mary the other week... Bless her heart. She was like, "you two just need to stay here forever!
Let's marry you off to someone in the ward....." Then as she looks around she says, "dang it there is nobody." Haha and then another lady wants me to marry her son. Goodness me what is going on here! Ummmmmm sorry but this girl is taken... Okay yeah that is lie. But nope I love England but I don't think I could ever live her personally! Ha.......

We worked SOO hard this week but didn't see really much fruit. Not gonna lie it is frustrating and I find myself constantly analyzing trying to figure out what we can do differently and better. We did a
whole lot of walking this week and my feet are just tired. But somehow every day we are able to get
through it just fine. I think that all comes down to God. Sometimes I wonder about how often he helps us and guides us throughout our daily lives and we don't even see it. If only we could I think we would be amazed. He sure does love us a whole lot!

Oh since you are all probably wondering about Halloween..... It is starting to be a big thing for the kids here! But there were also a lot of signs on the door that said, "NO TRICK OR TREATERS!" How sad huh. The most Halloween thing Sister Mathews and I did was make THEE BEST pumpkins chocolate chip cookies and we gave them to Lisa and her family! There were a few houses here and there that were decorated and had pumpkins and stuff... But not too many!

On Halloween night we went to George's house. Suzanne has been in the hospital for the past few
weeks and everything about their situation just hurts my heart. I couldn't help but just think of the love that our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have for every single one of us. I just pray that I can see others the way that they see them..... As sons and daughters of an all loving and merciful Heavenly Father with divine potential. I just wish that there was a lot more love in this world.

Oh Mara and Elizabeth also came to church!!! That is the second time in a row and they stayed for all three hours!!!! AHH I JUST LOVE THEM. Mara is like a little sister! I love that girl so much! And Elizabeth told us the other day that we are like her daughters:) haha she always gets excited when her daughters come for dinner every week.

Sorry this email is super scattered right now! I guess it just reflects my brain at the moment! But life is good and I am happy:) here is a quote that I loved this week!!

"President Gordon B. Hinckley has said that those who reach out to lift and serve others will come to know a happiness … never known before. … Heaven knows there are so very, very, very many people in this world who need help. Oh, so very … many. Let’s get the cankering, selfish attitude out
of our lives, my brothers and sisters, and stand a little taller and reach a little higher in the service of others.'

"We are all busy. It’s easy to find excuses for not reaching out to others, but I imagine they will sound hollow to our Heavenly Father." -Joseph B Wirthlin

The church is true. Embrace it fully. Love you all!



Sister Sara Ranck

My best friends....

Rochester Castle

Rochester Cathedral!

"Do not place anything on the alter..."

I love these missionaries so so much.