Monday, December 6, 2010


Things are still great with Sister Snell. She is fabulous to work with and constantly teaching me by example. We are spending the majority of our time finding new investigators and luckily we have a lot of fun doing it! I'm getting better at fearing God more than man and find joy in speaking to my brothers and sisters who need the truth. Most of the time we go to busy areas of the city and street contact. It gets dark here around 3:30 (getting a taste of Max's mission) and no one is out, so we spend evenings tracting. It doesn't get old because you never know what the response will be! When my mind wanders I often just feel fascinated by the things some people come up with!

It's just...fascinating! And sometimes frustrating : ) the "all roads lead to Rome" take on religion is so hard to combat (i.e. "i think everyone just needs to find their own way and we'll all end up fine"). The only way is really the Spirit. We were tracting on Saturday night and found a couple who attend an Evangelical church. We had a great conversation with them about Christ but they were doing most of the talking. When I brought it back to the Restoration and bore my testimony of the Prophet, I had the most powerful surge of the Spirit backing me up! I thought I felt the mantle every day, but this was much bigger...the most I've experienced yet! They accepted a Book of Mormon and I could tell Sandy had felt something. I hope and pray that she reads it! It is so humbling to feel that and know that the Lord is truly using us as tools to help His children know the Truth. And it's also amazing to know that there is more power available to me as I do the Lord's work if I will embrace it!

In my study of knowledge this week I was struck by the words of Alma when he said, "And now, how much more cursed is he that knoweth the will of God and doeth it not, than he that only believeth, or only hath cause to believe, and falleth into transgression?" (Alma 32:19) When the Plan was laid out, it was clear that we would make mistakes on Earth regardless of our knowledge. Our merciful Heavenly Father gave us a veil that would cloud our knowledge. That knowledge returns to us only as we prove that we are strong enough and diligent enough to live by it. It will not come to us if we are too weak to keep the commandments. In his mercy the Lord keeps us from absolute assurity until we have proven our consistency. My knowledge of missionary work will only come as I prove that I am strong enough to live by it. How do I prove that? By living everything I already know and working diligently and consistently despite lacking knowledge of the rest! Similarly, knowledge of the truth will only come to the investigators who are willing to change. Alma said, "Now of this thing ye must judge, Behold, I say unto you that it is on the one hand even as it is on the other; and it shall be unto every man according to his work." We will keep working to find those who have the desire to change and be changed!

The work continues to roll forth! And how privileged I am to be involved!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Let virtue garnish our thoughts

Virtue is all about safe-guarding your mind and heart from outside influences. As missionaries we have to be extra on-guard, don't we? I learned from studying virtue that the best way to combat him is to proactively fill our minds with the Word of God, through hymns and scripture. It also helps to think of the love I have for people here in Lancaster. When I picture their faces and all the things they need from me it snaps me back into focus. It seems that the Lord was helping me go back to the basics this week and just focus on the simple things.

Sounds like Thanksgiving was fabulous! Sister Snell and I had a sweet potato. mash and carrots with brown gravy. It was delicious :) we played the Thankful ABCs during the day between talking to people. I am working really hard talking to everyone come rain, shine or snow (it is snowing here now). The Lord is blessing us for our efforts. Sacrifice brings for the blessings of heaven...I know that.

Monday, November 22, 2010


I cannot believe that Thanksgiving is this week. So odd! This will be the second Thanksgiving in a row that I am out of the country. I've been thinking a lot about Galilee this week (that's where we were at this time last year) and remembering the amazing spiritual nourishment I received there. Wow! The things I experienced there changed my whole life.

My studies this week on the subject have been inspiring. Do you read about the attribute in PMG? Chapter 10 just has a short paragraph on each attribute and coordinating scriptures. It is a great place to kick off. As I was studying I remembered a talk that Sister Bullock gave in my first Zone Conference. She talked about the three kinds of love being, "I will love you if...," "I love you because...," and "I love you even though...." I decided to give them names. The first is conditional love. In order to receive the love you must meet certain conditions. This is the love of the world. The world says, "We will love you if you look and act like us." A bad group of friends says to a teenager, "We will love you if you smoke with us." A manipulative partner says, "I will love you if you do what I want." The second kind of love is very familiar to us. I call it reactive love. This is the husband who returns from a long day of work and says to his wife, "I love you because you cook such nice meals." This is the Relief Society sister who turns to her visiting teaching companion and says, "I love you because you are always prompt." Expressing reactive love is nice and helps build others, but at the end of the day, reactive love is still conditional love. The only difference is the conditions have already been met.

The Saviour loves neither conditionally nor re-actively. I like to call the Saviour's love proactive love. He is always the first to reach out and he expects nothing in return. His love is Charity. Charity says to the leper, "I love you even though others shun you." Charity says to the little children, "I love you even though I am tired." It was through charity that the Saviour asked the Father to forgive the Roman soldiers even though they mocked, scourged and crucified him. It was through charity, proactive love, that Jesus Christ suffered for our sins even though he knew many of us would not accept his sacrifice. We know we must have Charity to enter into the Kingdom of God (Moroni 7) and it occurred to me that in order to say "I love you even though..." we must be given "even though" experiences. We could not love those who persecuted us if we were not persecuted! I now see that I can thank the Lord for all of the "even though" experiences I've had in my life and while on my mission.

Sister Snell continues to be a strength and a joy to serve with! The Lord is blessing us for our desires to work hard. I am becoming stronger in spirit and in skill. I had some "aha!" moments this week when I realised just how much the Lord has been blessing me. He has blessed me a lot. When I step back and look at it, I am shocked at how He has enabled me. Here's an example: We have a former investigator, Joe, who has been on my mind a lot lately. I only met him twice but last night I saw this young man at least a hundred yards ahead of us. It was from the back AND it was dark. There's no way I could know who he was, but the Spirit said, "There's Joe." It came so strong, I almost just shouted his name, but I decided instead to power walk and catch up with him. Besides, he seemed taller than Joe had been and we were in a totally different area. I was doubting the Spirit (don't do that). As we nonchalantly passed him, I turned, "Good evening, sir. Oh! Joe?" Smoooooth : ) But yes. It was him and we had a good conversation. His little brother just went into the hospital for a serious mental breakdown and we were able to provide comfort. It's so good to feel the Spirit working through you, even for something as small as that. There are others ways the Lord has magnified me. Simply staying awake during lessons can be a miracle when I consider how tired I am/should be. My eyes are also being opened (no pun intended...teehee) to everything I need to improve. There's a lot. But it's coming. And Sister Snell is very patient with my shortcomings. I am trying to be better about using prayer as a return and report system. In the mornings I ask what I should work on that day and at night I report on how it went. If I can really learn how to include the Lord that way, I know it will change my life.

We have three new investigators this week! I won't jinx them, but as they progress I will let you know more about them.

The weather is very cold. People were right when they said the dampness adds to the chill. But, as cheesy as it sounds, being filled with the Spirit can really keep you warm. There are nights where we tract for hours and I don't seem to feel a thing until I walk into the flat and realise just how cold I am! Miracle. The boots I brought with me (and the Dansko shoes) are PERFECT. I feel so, so, so, so blessed and lucky that I have had no shoe problems!

We listened to the Nauvoo Pageant CD while cleaning our flat this morning. It brought back such great memories. Nauvoo is so precious to me. I want to go every summer for the rest of my life!! Can I do that?

Missions are just like meat tenderizers for your heart. I do not want to leave England at all and yet I would give anything to be with you on a cozy Rexburg Thanksgiving! I would just cry for the joy of being with our family! Makes no sense at all.

Oh! I got your letter of the "admirations." That meant a whole lot to me! You really lose your identity as a missionary. Everyone in the ward loves you, but at the same time, they don't really love you....they love the missionaries. It's wonderful to be swallowed up in the service of the Lord, but it is also touching to remember there are people who love me without the tag : )

President Bullock is inspired. Again.

Tranfers are so inspired. I NEEDED Sister Snell. She has such a desire to be exactly obedient and loves the work! I came out of the MTC so full of hope and drive, and Sister Snell has helped me have that back. It feels wonderful! I really have hope that I'll be able to be the missionary I want to be. Hallelujah! We are getting on really well. We have fun finding together and our teaching styles are very compatible. It's great going out and talking to people. We both find it fascinating! When Sister Snell sees a problem she just charges it with faith that we can do it with the Lord's help. I feel that part of myself reawakening. I just feel like myself again!

We had a great experience with obedience this week! The ward really wanted us to come participate in the talent show. We really wanted to go, but upon reflection of our calling, realised attendance would not add to our key indicators and we decided against it (I was going to play something on the you see this was a big sacrifice). We bundled up and prepared for an evening of cold, damp tracting in faith that we would be blessed for our desire to find those searching for the gospel. The Lord saw our hearts and knew our sacrifice and we met the most amazing people tracting! One young man, Chris, began reading the Book of Mormon that moment and called us later that night with questions. The Lord truly blessed us for our desire to be obedient! Woohoo! It's going to be a GREAT transfer.

Brother Appleby passed the sacrament for the first time yesterday! It was a joy to see : )

My study on Hope this week focused primarily on the phrase in Preach My Gospel that says, "Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill his promises to you." I went through my Patriarchal Blessing and my setting apart blessing and wrote down the gifts and blessings the Lord has promised me personally in connection with missionary work. I pondered on those promises. Do I trust that the Lord will fulfill these promises? How am I showing that trust? I realised that I show that trust by living as if I had already received those blessings. I determined to begin exercising the gifts I have been promised even though I don't see that I have them! I'm going to step into the dark and see if the Lord doesn't light my way.

Another amazing thing I learned about hope is that it is directly connected to repentance. Hope comes through the Atonement (Moroni 7: 41). It comes through using the Atonement. What do we use the Atonement for? To become "At-one" with REPENT. In Alma 22:16 Aaron says to King Lamoni's father, "If thou wilt repent of all of thy sins, and will bow down before God, and call on his name in faith, believing that ye shall receive, then shalt thou receive the hope which thou desirest." WOW! If we ever need hope, we just need to find something to repent of (none of us should have to look very far). Once we experience the power of the Atonement that hope with be revived within us. Amazing.

I am really finding joy and satisfaction in the work! I feel honored to be able to serve the Saviour in this way.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

She's still in Lancaster!

I get to stay in Lancaster! Sister Anderson was transferred to Swinton (Manchester area) and I have a new senior companion: Sister Snell from Colorado! Sister Snell is so easy to work with! I've only spent 24 hours with her and it's been amazing. I know that I am going to learn a lot from her!

We were discussing last night about how much we appreciate serving in an exactly obedient mission. President Bullock told us last interviews that over ninety percent of the mission really strives to follow all the rules exactly. I guess not all missions are like that. There are a lot of missionaries out there that are simply disobedient! But not here! It makes transfers so much easier knowing you don't need to ask your new companion, "So...which rules do you keep?" No. We follow all the rules and we do it with our whole hearts! In the England Manchester Mission that goes without saying, and so much time and energy is saved because of it! Time and energy that can be put into the work.

So you got the study schedule from President? [she's referring to a program in the mission this Christmas where they focus on one Christ-like attribute a week until Christmas. We have been invited to join her.) Isn't it amazing!? Becoming Like Him could not have been more perfectly timed. I have been needing a lift and studying about faith was the perfect thing! I found a talk by President Bednar ("Seek Learning by Faith") which really affected me. He said, "Faith in Jesus Christ is inextricably tied to, and results in, hope in Christ for our redemption and exaltation. And assurance and hope make it possible for us to walk to the edge of the light and take a few steps into the darkness - expecting and trusting the light to move and illuminate the way." President Bullock told me at interviews that I am lingering at the edge of the light and need to step into the darkness. I came home thinking: what is the darkness? When I studied faith and its connection to miracles I suddenly discovered it! The darkness, the thing I am most scared of, is faith that I can make miracles happen. I studied the miracles of Jesus Christ. Do you know how many times he told people, "Thy faith hath made thee whole?" A lot. Miracles are dependent upon our faith and we show our faith through our actions (ex: the woman with an issue of blood pressed through the crowds; Barnabas cried to the Savior and walked, blindly, to find him). At my first Zone Conference President Bullock shared about miracles and a lot of of it has lingered with me. This week's study of faith strengthened my resolve to live worthy of witnessing miracles. I'm pushing my limits into the darkness! Watch me fly!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cold legs. Warm heart.

The temperature has really dropped here in Lancaster and it feels a lot colder than it is because of the humidity! I've been layering three pairs of tights : S and it's supposed to get colder! Luckily we have really nice radiators in our flat that I can cuddle up to during meals. To answer your question, our flat is pretty nice. It's small and the carpet is really old and nasty but we have the nicest coach in the mission and a great kitchen : ) I feel blessed. I can take some photos and send them on to you next week.

My district is great. Remember that sweet Portugese sister we met on temple square whose brother had just been camping on his mission here? Haha well Elder Dantas is now my district leader! He is so full of faith and we think it's pretty fun that we have that crazy connection with his sister. I am in a district with the Elders serving in Preston (which includes the Zone Leaders), Blackpool and South Ribble. So, basically the most church history in England is in the boundaries of my district. Pretty cool. I am so grateful for the hard work the Elders in our district display. They really are a great example to me in word and deed, and to be honest, I don't feel like they are younger than me! I thought I was going to hate all the little Elders who would be so immature, but so far I've been very impressed. They are obedient, they work hard and they are very profession and kind to the Sisters. President Bullock lectures them frequently ... This is a great mission to be a sister ; )

Sister Anderson wrote this experience to her family and I copied it for you:

So the MTC missionaries come out and tract different areas in England as a way to have them introduced to missionary work (remember when I did it last September?), anyway, they came to our area and did some tracting. Well, they gave us like 35 referrals that we've been having to sift through, which has been a lot of fun. Mostly because a lot of people lie, and MTC missionaries believe everything that people tell them. So we've been able to have some really great awkward moments with people trying to pretend that it was their friend that the missionaries met and not them. haha. So, we stopped by this one house to see a university student named Joe that the elders had left a Book of Mormon with. His roommate Miles came to the door and said that Joe was out, so we left our card with him to contact us. As we were walking away, Sister Davis said, "how funny would it have been if the whole time we were there talking, Joe was hiding in the front room telling Miles to tell us that he was away?" then I responded with, "for all we know, Miles IS Joe."

It was classic! Sister Anderson and I had a hard week but we really laughed through it all. I love being a missionary and knowing that this work is the best thing I could ever be doing, even on weeks when people don't listen.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Fishers of men...

So, wow, what a week! We are truly seeing miracles here in Lancaster. We feel so blessed. I want to tell you a story. The bus drivers in Lancaster have been nasty in the past, threatening to ban Sisters from riding and so forth. When I arrived, Sister Anderson told me it was good for us to not bus contact for a while and let them cool down. About a month ago I started really feeling a push from the Spirit to contact on the buses. I felt there was someone I needed to find. Bus contacting is scary to me in the first place and then extra scary because of the bus drivers, but I determined to dive in. As I have the Lord has blessed me with confidence and greater skill! There was one day two weeks back that I struck up conversation with a man who was pleasant but by no means enthusiastic. I didn't know how close our stop was and was about to ask for his information when Sister Anderson was getting off the bus! I quickly told him where and when church was and jumped off without leaving him with so much as a website card. Sister Anderson kindly explained to me the importance of keeping bus conversations short and to the point. I felt regret but this gentle thought rested in my mind: I am proud of you. Don't worry. If he is prepared, you will see him again. Well, guess who was at church on Sunday? Geoffrey! I almost fell over when I saw him walk in. We have met with him twice and he is really pure in heart. He says he is looking for meaning in his life and I have great hopes for him! The Lord truly works through us despite our imperfections.

Andrew's baptism on Saturday was such a spiritual feast! You know when the Spirit is so strong you feel like you are swimming in warm molasses (only not sticky)? That's what it was like. The ward showed a lot of support and love. I don't know how much I've told you of him. Andrew Collinson is in his 40s. He's had really rough things in his life which shows on his weather-worn, pierced face. He has an absolute heart of gold. We found him by the hospital and taught him a lesson on the street. What really changed him was understanding the Plan of Salvation and realising that he will be able to be with his mother again! He has met with us consistently ever since and never missed a church activity. Although his conversion process was longer than we expected, it was thorough. He had so much to change. By Saturday he was spiritually prepared for that sacred ordinance and he emerged from the water with tears streaming down his face. It was such a joy to witness! He cried for the rest of the service as well as sacrament meeting yesterday when he received the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I think in that moment I finally felt the joy of missionary work! In that moment I discovered how sacred this mission really is to me. I'm sure as my sacrifices increase my understanding of the sacredness will deepen.

Another special moment was at church yesterday when Bishop Johnson called us into his office for a moment between classes and looked at us in amazement. With a big grin he told us that an excommunicated member showed up at church asking to be retaught and a less-active from Barrow (who just moved but was in hospital) called asking for a visit and a priesthood blessing. He had also noticed the two new investigators at church. He smiled,"I can't believe what is happening in the Lancaster Ward!" I am amused that he thinks it is because of us, when I know it is a combination of faith coming from many different directions. Though I cannot take any credit I can try to live up to the blessings of the Lord.

In short, this week was wonderful.

Oh my goodness I almost forgot! We have District Meetings in Preston every Tuesday. Last week, Sister Anderson and I were walking through the town center to catch our train back to Lancaster when we heard, "Sisters!" THERE WAS A RELIGIOUS STUDIES TOUR GROUP FROM BYU-IDAHO! Fifty some odd students thronged us! We were like celebrities! They found it very amusing that I was from Rexburg (I only knew one of the teachers, Brother Allison) and I was just asking if anyone in their group was from Rexburg when I hear, "MOLLY!!!!" It was Elizabeth Zenger! It was so trippy first of all to hear my NAME (so weird...) and then to see her! It felt like the Twilight Zone! She got a photo, so when she gets back from Europe you'll have to see it! Such a tender mercy. As I saw all of the students I remembered how fun it had been to go to Europe with Max, Annie, BJ, Carlie, Renee and the Geddes. It reminded it's just fantastic that I'm living in England! AND it made me realise how truly important this work is when compared to touring. My head just kind of snapped back into place and I thought, "Pull yourself together, Sister. You are having an amazing experience!" As Sister Anderson and I rushed off to get our train we both had the distinct impression that this clandestine meeting was very carefully planned by the Lord and not just for our sake. There was a girl in that group that has been wondering about a mission and she is going to go because she saw us. I feel that very strongly. SO cool.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Working with unwearyingness always pays off.

I got my new scriptures and have been marking them up! I am marking them according to the lessons in PMG and the color code matches the color of the lessons. I underline the verse in the appropriate color and then bold the key word ("atonement," "fall," "obedience," etc.) with a very careful hand in black...It's great because the word really pops out! Now when I am in lessons and I want a scripture on resurrection, for example, I just flip through looking for orange (Plan of Salvation) and the word pops out at me. It's great fun : )

We did exchanges this week and I had Sister Holbrook with me in Lancaster. She is from Wasilla, Alaska, but doesn't remember Max. I had the chance to experience what it feels like to essentially be the senior companion was very humbling. I have so much to improve on: logistics, member relationships, following the Spirit. Basically name anything that has to do with missionary work and I need to improve it! Sister Holbrook is incredible and taught me so much by example. Even though I was supposed to be the "area expert", I really knew I could lean on her. She is so strong in her testimony! Finding with her was like clockwork. She has urgency and such a sense of duty: two things that I really want to keep up! She really is an example to me of a missionary who has jumped out of the boat with both feet. We really experienced miracles on Thursday. We did a lot of finding, which is typically street contacting in the busier streets and bus contacting (Yes on the red doubledecker buses. I always pictured myself as a tourist on one, so it's funny being a missionary contacting on them). I worked harder than any day yet and we were literally four times more effective in setting up appointments than the average day here in Lancaster! AND we taught four lessons! The other amazing thing is that all last week I was praying for appointments on Thursday and Friday so that I could learn how Sister Holbrook teaches. On the first day of the exchange we taught Restoration, Gospel of Jesus Christ and Plan of Salvation. Isn't that amazing! The Lord really provides when we express the desire to learn.

Sister Anderson and I have seen some encouraging progress with our YSA investigator, Liam, this week! He has slight learning disabilities and we've wondered how much we were getting through. We have been praying that he will begin to understand and really love the Book of Mormon. The last two lessons he suddenly seems on fire and has so many questions. He is also calling us at least twice a day to confirm future appointments! It's pretty incredible. I love being a missionary during those moments that you see the spark of a testimony beginning to catch! It's the best.

Andrew is scheduled to be baptised this Saturday! Pray for him!! Satan is working very hard on Andrew and he really needs prayers.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

General Conference provides the needed spiritual boost...again.

Conference WAS joyous. I expected to be so depressed because whenever I watch Conference away, I miss home, but I left feeling so renewed. THERE IS POWER IN GATHERING! And there was such comfort in knowing that however far away you are, the whole family was watching at the same time! I kept thinking of you, Mom, and the parts you were loving most. I could almost hear the tapping of your keyboard! And when they announced that the opening hymn was "Let Nauvoo In Her Beauty Rise" I just heard you say, "Oh!! Nauvoo!" ... That hymn is where the tender mercies started for me. The second tender mercy (Nanny nailed it!) was when President Monson thanked the Sister Missionaries. The very first message he gave, and it was on missionary work! That just set the stage for the rest of the revelations and support I received throughout conference.

Wasn't Elder Holland's talk so tender? And Elder McConkie's was AMAZING! I kept switching between, "This talk is for Mom! She is loving this!" and "This is perfect for missionary work!" Because missionary work is all about teaching. I loved the phrase, "We could have warmed our hands by the fire of his faith." I wish I had time to go through all of my insights, but suffice it to say, all of my prepared questions were answered. I felt that there was a general emphasis on agency and the power to choose for ourselves. I have the opportunity to choose how this mission will be, and the Lord expects me to act, not be acted upon. Also, every person we speak to has their own power to choose and we mustn't be discouraged by their choices when we are doing the best we can. I've needed guidance on how I can find the strength to keep pressing forward and serve the Lord "with unwearyingness" and the answer to that came in President Monson's talk: GRATITUDE. He quoted Joseph F. Smith saying something like, "For the grateful man the good outweighs the evil." I must become a grateful missionary. I LOVED "To live with gratitude ever in our hearts is to touch heaven." YES!

This week has been full of hilarious moments, but I haven't the time to write them! I promise I'll dedicate a paragraph next week to funny missionary moments...

We are still teaching Andrew, Liam and Kyle. They all have their own struggles and we have been praying very earnestly to know how we can help them. I've learned a lot this week about our role. As missionaries we do not force others to Christ; we do not profess to be their Savior; but rather we gently and insistently invite them to the Savior. His power to heal is infinite if we desire to be perfected. It's that desire part that you can't force on anyone. Which, I will admit, is frustrating. I pray every day that our words will be inspiring and empowering and that others might find that desire within themselves on account of the light we bring.

I pray that I have a testimony burning so strongly the people of Lancaster will be able to warm their hands by it! With the turn in the weather, they will need warm hands soon ;)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

She survived her first six weeks! Lancaster is blessed to have her for another six.

I have experienced a lot of disappointments this week, and I am learning how to more readily cast my burden upon the Lord's shoulders. Suffice it to say we did not have a baptism on Saturday, but I am carrying forward. My hope grows dim sometimes, but I'm in the process of polishing it up. All I need is a bit of elbow grease and I know I will have faith in the human race once more! The Lord is so amazing. I cannot comprehend how He is willing to love His children so much and feel so much pain at our failures. He must see something in us that we cannot see, but that vision must also make our rebellions from Him extraordinarily painful. I'm getting a taste of that as I feel tremendous love for these Lancastrians and they fail to recognize the importance of this message. They refuse to believe it can change their lives... There are some out there that are willing to hear. Some who are willing to change for the Savior. Some who know they need the sweetness this Gospel brings. I know they are there, and the Lord will lead us to them in His timing as long as week keep our faith and hope bright!

I look at my 'hineni'(Hebrew for: "Here am I; send me") ring often. Different thoughts go through my mind when I consider that I have made covenants with the Lord to build up His kingdom...

President and Sister Bullock are absolutely amazing. I kid you not, they are angelic. Every time I see them I just feel so much confidence and reassurance and inspiration and EVERYTHING! ...They are so dedicated to the Lord's work. One of the most bolstering thoughts as I roll out of my bed in the morning is that President and Sister Bullock are not too far away, already out of bed and serving the Lord. We are all in this work together and their commitment really inspires me.

One reason I love being on a mission is that the scriptures mean so much more to me. When we are in need of spiritual support, the scriptures really open up and provide it for us. Morning study time is so delicious! I really feel like I'm feasting and it is wonderful. Remember how lovingly and protectively I used to hold my violin? Well, the same feeling I got when I had my violin in-hand now comes when I hold my scriptures! I just feel this power. I feel the magnitude of them. They fit in my hands as if they always belonged there.

Monday, September 20, 2010

I will prepare a way...

I thought I would give you some member profiles this week!

Gallighers: amazing young family in the ward with two young boys (Hyrum and Samson) and a girl on the way. Brother Galligher taught at the MTC a few years ago, so he's very keen on missionary work and takes every opportunity to check up on us and the work. He's been a blessing several Sundays when he's said things I really needed to hear. He is the first counselor in the bishopric. Sister Galligher is a spitfire redhead once you get past her shy facade. She is a Mrs. Weasley in the making :) I really love her. She is a perfect example of a Brit who is hard to get to know but once you do she's a loyal friend. We helped the Galligher scrape wallpaper for our service last week!

Brother Holden: Single. In his forties. Wants to help the sisters but can't have us over for dinner without another two men or a woman (missionary rules) so instead he brings us cheese at church. I don't know why cheese. But every week we can count on cheese from Brother Holden :) Bless his heart!

Danny Burba: 16. Baptized two months ago. He's on fire! He comes from such a bad background. We are not allowed to step foot in his home, but we drop by a lot and walk with him to church every Sunday. He is crazy sometimes, but he is so excited about the gospel. He plays football like a pro. Wiry with reddish-blond hair. Early morning seminary just started and it was so hard to convince him to go, but it only took two times and now he's addicted! Sister Anderson and I were street contacting a woman up by the castle and we were telling her about the Book of Mormon and all of the sudden Danny and some friends popped out of nowhere and he said, "Heya, Sisters!" He saw the Book of Mormon and spontaneously bore his testimony! "I know that Book is TRUE. It changed my life. Two months ago I was in a mess and know I am so happy! The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has made me so happy. You need to read that." Then he just ran off. The Spirit was really strong as he spoke. The woman was moving to London that week, but she took the Book of Mormon and I'm sure she will not forget Danny's testimony. Then, get this, Danny invited two friends to church! I wish I had time to tell you about both of them, but suffice it to say, they are both planning on being baptized. AMAZING. Pray for Liam and Kyle.

Ali Kurezco: 28. Served his mission in Poland! Unfortunately it was long before BJ. His grandmum is Polish and his father, Brother Kurescko, speaks Polish also. The most amazing thing is that we contacted a Polish couple that literally do NOT speak English (though I suspect they will be speaking it before long... I don't know how they can survive). We asked Ali to go with us to their home and we taught them the first lesson with him translating. They live in a tiny flat, so we were all seated on a mattress in the living room drinking orange juice and eating Polish cookies. They want to have their new baby baptized and that was a task trying to explain that :) Once we got into the doctrine of it, Dagmara, the mother, actually agreed that little kids shouldn't have to be baptized. I think we resolved the concern, but I don't really know since I hadn't a clue what she was saying. Ali was ace. He was blessed to remember his Polish and the Spirit was very strong in the room. We had special ordered them a copy of the Book of Mormon in Polish and Ali had an old pamphlet from his mission, also. On the pamphlet was the first vision. Lucas read it, and afterward we asked them if they believed it to be true. Dagmara put her hand over her heart and said lots of things in Polish. The suspense! Ali translated, "She says she feels so peaceful and she says it must be true." We set up another appointment :) Keep praying.

That gives you a teeny, tiny taste of everything! Time went quicker than I realized! I have to sign off, but I love you so much! The work is moving forward and we are seeing miracles. I hope that miracles continue to take place in my heart as well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


This week has been incredible in so many ways. We had an exchange with the Chorley sisters for two days and I learned so much from being with Sister Holbrook in Chorley (her companion stayed here in Lancaster with Sister A). Chorley is where the MTC and temple are and I got to walk past them so much! I even saw two of my MTC teachers! One was just driving by and he took a double take and then waved at me laughing. I'm sure he didn't expect to see me again so soon. The other one, Sister Wittmaak, actually came teaching with us for an afternoon. It was great : ) It is weird how each area of the mission is so different. Finding in Chorley was tricky because everyone knows about the temple and they have a lot of preconceived notions about Mormons. In Lancaster no one knows much, so we are coming from a different angle. The exchanged ended with...drum roll, my first zone conference!

Zone conference was INCREDIBLE! My spirit was so invigorated. Sister Bullock made us cookies : ) They were heart-shaped which tied into her talk, which was about being Pure in Heart. President Bullock talked to us about the power of the priesthood and the reality of miracles. I know I have seen miracles in my life and it was good to be reminded of that. I decided to buy "miracle journal" where I will record the miracles I've had before now and start to record the ones I see on my mission. I think I need to show the Lord how much those miracles mean to me, and Lancaster is seeing lots of them!

My first investigator was baptized this week! It was incredible. When Philip was drawn up out of the water I had the most exhilarating feeling of accomplishment and simultaneously knew that it was not me at all, but the Lord, that brought him to that point. It's a beautiful combination of emotions. Yes, we worked hard to bring the Spirit, but the Spirit is what changed Philip. He was so happy and I loved testifying to him that all of this happiness is because of Christ! It truly is, and I feel privileged to be the one to proclaim it.

Sister Anderson is teaching me so much! She is very patient with my shortcomings and takes every opportunity to remind me that we are supposed to be equally yoked. She trusts me enough to let me have a say and learn from my experiences teaching. I'm just grateful the Spirit is always there to make up the difference, because sometimes I think I make no sense at all to these Brits! She is also helping me understand the English culture better. I had a breakthrough this week when I realized that people really are happy at church, they just don't show it the way I do! Because the culture is reserved in general, even members don't wear their emotions on their sleeves, which, coming from the Mindy Davis home, you can imagine is something for me to get used to! I know that seems silly, but it makes such a difference to realize that. This gospel is about joy and knowing I'm bringing that joy to others (be it members, my companion, investigators or strangers) is the only thing that could keep me going! It has been frustrating feeling like I'm NOT bringing that joy to others, but I think I am. It's just not communicated the way I'm accustomed to.

We have two more investigators preparing to be baptized! They are both shooting for the 25th so it will be a combined baptism. I don't have time to go into detail, but their names are Andrew and Liam and they are both ace. Sister Anderson just keeps saying, "This doesn't happen in Lancaster, Sister. This does not happen!" We are so being blessed. I'm so aware that this is not me but the Lord. I still get the feeling that there are more out there, though. I am focusing my efforts on refining my skills to show the Lord that I want to be ready to teach them.

All of these things are miraculous, but in between amazing experiences, there is, of course, drudgery. I am still learning how to push through those hours with a perfect brightness of hope. It is hard. And I suppose it's good that it is hard. My faith IS growing because of my challenges. I want you to know that I get distinct promptings daily that my success in overcoming the obstacles is directly linked to the power of YOUR prayers, the prayers of the rest of the family, and the prayers of friends. The Lord doesn't spare an opportunity to let me know that I'm not alone (in my success or my challenges). This is a team effort!

Monday, September 6, 2010

A trip to Manchester and SUCCESS!

Blessings this week: There was a training meeting for the trainers in the mission for three days. It was in Manchester (which is a journey for us) so we packed bags and stayed with the Sisters in Manchester South. The Sister are...drum roll please...Sister Hulet and Sister Low! I was such a JOY to see Sister Low again and rejoice together in how we have both grown. The really amazing part of the experience is that while our trainers were in meetings those three days there were four of us new sisters that were turned loose on Manchester! We basically did street contacting for seven hours each of those days and it was SO hard. And I LOVED it! I think it is the first time that I have really felt that I was thrashing the field : ) We just let the rubber hit the road and stopped everyone! People in Manchester are in general more willing to talk than in Lancaster, so in that sense it was a break.

The best, best, best was that on the third day Sister Gallozo (she is from Spain and was in the MTC with me) and I actually found someone that was really waiting for us! It was the first Divine Appointment I've had (that I can be SURE of). Ann is about sixty and she was just sitting on a bench looking lonely. When we asked her what it would mean to her to be able to be with her family after death she looked at us and said, "Well, that would be the most wonderful thing, wouldn't it?" I almost fell over. NO ONE says that. It came out that most of her family members (husband and children included) have died. She has attended many churches but felt something has been missing. We bore testimony to her of the restoration and then the two of us taught her the first lesson right on that bench. When we recited the first vision we waited for a long time for her to open her eyes. I asked her how she felt and her face just broke into this HUGE smile. She said she felt happy and relaxed for the first time in years. We testified of the power of the Spirit in confirming truth and she said she knew that the Book of Mormon had to be true. We invited her to be baptized in four weeks and she said yes. (No, I'm not making this up!) After setting up a follow-up appointment we told her the Book of Mormon was hers to keep and she kissed it. I promised her that this marks the beginning of a new life for her. I am SO sad that I can't teach her, but I know that Sister Low and Sister Hulet will be just what she needs and I feel privileged to have been the first one to share with her the wonderful light of the gospel. I know that it was a gift to me from the Lord and I will always remember it.

Another miracle: Last week, Sister Anderson and I taught a street lesson in Lancaster (the only one since I've been out). Andrew was not touched immediately but he came to church. It was there that he really felt the Spirit and our next lesson was incredible. He is so comforted that he will be able to see his mother again after this life. He's had a rough go of it, and after making some changes and meeting with us even just twice, he is SO much happier. He just decided on Saturday to get baptized on September 25. I know. I'm being so blessed. I know. No really, I know. I feel so privileged to witness his conversion. He is amazing. He's taking to the gospel like a fish to water. You can see this light come on when we teach him a new principle and then he just expounds on it, like he has known it forever. The Plan of Salvation becomes more real to me every day. What I mean by that is that it has become so clear that those we are teaching have already known these things before. It has become so clear that working with the Savior is the ONLY way for each of us to fulfill our earthly purpose. It has become so clear to me that Heavenly Father loves each of his children desperately and want them back, and that is painful.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Molly is in Lancaster!

We have one solid investigator who is in his thirties. Sister Anderson and her previous companion street contacted him right before the transfer. He loves to cycle and says he loves reading the Book of Mormon because it gives him energy. He came to church for the first time yesterday and loved the feelings he had. I was asked to bear my testimony, being the new Sister and all, and he loved it. Afterward, he said he felt my sincerity so deeply (as he touched his heart). He has agreed to be baptized on the eleventh of September!

When we street contact we are usually going back and forth on the Millennium Bridge (which is close to our flat) or in the town center. I feel like we have better conversations on the bridge, because people are in less of a hurry. We went tracting yesterday and set one appointment. It's always tricky because lots of people give us fake addresses and numbers on the street, but tracting is nice because we already know where they live! The little family that agreed to see us again would be so amazing! I'm praying so hard that they really let us in long enough for them to feel the Spirit. The Spirit is the only teacher.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Arrived safe and sound...30 minutes away from the Preston MTC

And she's off!

I just finished my last full day at the Preston MTC! Tomorrow morning I will be loading a coach at 6:30 and driving thirty miles to my mission home. We all went to the temple today. What a blessing that Holy place is! First, seeing my Elders and Sisters all together in white was enough to move me to tears. We have all changed so much. I love these missionaries They each have a story of sacrifice and I know the Lord is mindful of each one of them. The next two years will continue to be full of sacrifice for all of us, but from sacrifice comes sanctification, and, of course, blessings. I know that I am on the verge of so many blessings!

I am becoming increasingly familiar with the gospel contradiction that as soon as you give you get more back. I know this is true because of the Savior. I love him. I have grown so much here, but I get the feeling that the best is yet to come!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Molly's second week in England

E-Maaaaaiiiiiiiiillllllll!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sorry I didn't know this was happening today! JK I did know but I'm still so excited!


This really is such a build up and then you sit down and it's hard to get anything down!

Sister Low and I improved so much in our teaching this week! It did not come without challenges and hard work, but we've really been focusing on ways we can depend on the Spirit, which has proven to be very fruitful.

Last Friday we went contacting on buses and in downtown Manchester for two hours. Generally, "contacting" means you stop everyone you see, share the gospel and invite them to do something (take a Book of Mormon, come to church, meet with the missionaries, etc.) I'm not sure I could say it worked quite that way with us on Friday. There wasn't much stopping involved: most people seemed to see the long skirts and tag and sort of walk briskly the other direction. Didn't have much success chasing people down, so we tried with those that were stationary. Had varied responses. We either found that they were so unresponsive that we force-fed them, or so passionately opposed that they force-fed us. There are only two conversations that were actually felt like "sharing." We bore testimony of God's love of his children loads and gave out lots of cards. Our purpose is to invite others to come unto Christ, and although we didn't have immediate success I pray that we planted seeds. We came home a little worse for the wear but not broken. We've worked harder than ever for the ability to asking questions that will bring people to the place where they are open to hearing us. If we can find a way into their mind or hearts, I know the Spirit will work the magic.

I met my mission president, President Bullock! He and Sister Bullock came on Sunday and had lunch with us. They are wonderful. They already feel like home. I will be officially under their guidance a week from today, and I can't wait!

I appreciate your love and prayers. I do feel them every day!

Molly and her companion, Sister Low, on the way to the Preston MTC

Wow. My head is reeling! I didn't expect to have the computer until later this afternoon, so you'll have to give me a second to collect my thoughts. I think it is so hard to start because my life has changed so, so much! Haha I planned on having this long report for you but now I just feel like crying! It's almost too overwhelming to think of how I have grown, how much I've learned and how blessed I have been. In only one week!

My companion, Sister Low from Murray Utah, is incredible! She is probably the best proof to me at this moment that God knows and loves me. First off, we have almost too much fun together. Our humor is so similar. She also understands all my deep feelings about Nauvoo and Pangeanteers because she was in the Blue cast in 2007! I kid you not. We've had a great time swapping stories and remeniscing. Lastly, her strengths really help me with my weaknesses. She knows the scriptures and Preach My Gospel so well! And she has been very supportive in helping me fill my well.

The Manchester area is stunningly beautiful and the Preston MTC felt like home the instant I stepped through the door. It reminds me SO much of the Jerusalem Center! Not just the feeling of being isolated with the same amazing people (eating, sleeping, exercising and learning together) but also the Spirit that is here. It really feels like I'm home! Everyone told me that I would be sick of sitting in class, but on the contrary, I honestly feel like I have not had enough of it! Also, there seems to be hardly a minute for personal study or reflection (partially becaue I have some extra responsibilities that take that time) and I want to just lock myself in a room and read the scriptures for a week. Now that I am beginning to look at the gospel through the eyes of an investigator, everything takes on new meaning! It's wonderful and exhilarating.

The food is just as greasy as everyone said it would be and I haven't gotten used to it (good or bad thing? I'm not sure) but I've been so blessed to sleep really well and have plenty of energy. In two days we will go contacting as companionships on trains and in public squares throughout Manchester. I CAN'T WAIT! I really feel the fire to share.

Please keep praying for me. The learning curve is steep, but I feel all of the prayers already and I have faith that I will continue to be enabled.

Much love,