Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A week filled with rainbows and rain!

Hello everyone! I hope you have all had such an amazing week! Lots has
happened this past week and it's left me feeling pretty tired now but
it was all so great and I learned so much. The week started out with
Sister Nguyen and I working hard to accomplish much since it would be
her last week here in England before she would leave for Vietnam to
serve in that mission. It felt so unreal for the both of us. We didn't
try to think about it though and we focused on thoughts and attention
to the friends we are working with, especially Sally. Sally is amazing
and we have loved working with her. Sister Nguyen and I went to her
house earlier this week and she was helping us plan out her baptismal
service which was great because Sally was so organised and basically
had already asked certain people to give talks/prayers. The week
continued and we visited some of our less active friends and members.
While at the home of a member's home, we came to find out about the
news of the Belgium bombing which was sad. We are keeping those
missionaries in our prayers as they are our brothers and sisters in
this work. As we continued to go throughout this week, we were able to
visit Nina (a wonderful member) who fed us African food-gari
(something very similar to fufu) and also ground mayes which we ate
with our hands. It was a fun experience. We were able to do many other
things during the week like doing service for a non-member and her two
kids. We got to take apart a wardrobe and a bed which I had never done
before but I enjoyed doing it. Some of the highlights of this week was
being able to go to the temple last Friday with Sally and the next day
too, she was baptized! What amazing experiences for all of us. It was
not an easy week for Sally and it was a bit hard to know how we could
help her. After a few trials coming all of our ways, we were able to
make it to the temple and visitor centre with her and it was
incredible. The sun was shining and the skies were so blue. It is by
far getting much more warmer which is great. The visitor centre
sisters gave Sally a tour of the grounds and as we were walking
around, Sally commented on how she felt that peace and reverence here
at the temple. We shook our heads in agreement and testified of the
joy we felt while we go to the temple. Following the temple grounds
tour, Sally was able to see "Meet the Mormons" movie which she really
enjoyed. She really reflected on the peoples' experiences in the movie
and was able to see the joy that comes from being a member of the
Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. That next day, this past
Saturday and Sunday, Sally was baptised as a member and confirmed. It
was such a blessing and privilege to be a part of her journey. We all
learned and grew from each other. Sister Nguyen and I were able to
spend Sister Nguyen's last three days in England helping a daughter of
God make a covenant with Him. It was such a blessing and we are so
grateful that God places in our pathway the people we need to meet.
The weekend consisted of lots of saying goodbyes for Sister Nguyen.
Brenda (recent convert) and Nina (member) took us out to lunch to
Nando's and we were able to talk with them for sometime. It was not
easy for Sister Nguyen to part with the members but we all knew too
that the Lord has great plans for Sister Nguyen. How I love that
companion. She helped me through the thick and thin. She cheered me up
when I was down. She pushed me to go even an extra mile and together,
we become even better than we were before. I'm reminded back to the
time Sister Schmidt left to go home to Germany and how I felt then. It
feels the same now with Sister Nguyen. It's different knowing that
they are going back to their own original country rather than moving
to another area not too far from here. I hope to go out to Vietnam and
visit her. Sister Nguyen left a great impact in my life and I'll never
forget that. Yesterday, it was our last full working day together. We
were walking in the pouring rain to go to the chapel and grab
something and as we came back out, the rain was clearing up and there
was a big beautiful rainbow. I smiled as well as Sister Nguyen. We
couldn't have asked for a better last day together. The night drew
closer and it got to the time where Sister Nguyen packed and we both
cleaned the flat for the next companion to come in. This morning, we
got down on our knees for the last time together near as we were able
to head out to go the train station. She looked at me and I looked at
her as tears flowed down our cheeks. We both knew that this was it but
oh how grateful we are for each other. I am so grateful that God
places great people in my path. I know that part of my mission isn't
just only teaching the gospel but it's also about what I learn from my
companions and the people I meet. I learned the greater quality and
attribute of charity, hard work, compassion, and love from Sister
Nguyen. We waved goodbye to each other as she stepped into the train
doors and into her new journey. I am excited to keep writing her
though and I know that it's not completely the end. I'll see her
again...just need to start saving up to go to Vietnam! :) The Mitcham
sisters, Sister Meyer and Sister Couper, were with me and we went to
find my new companion. I have been asked to continue to serve in
Clapham and help my new companion, Sister Fromgren, from Norway to
become an STL. It's her first transfer being one so it'll be fun to
show her how it goes. What is really funny is that when Sister
Fromgren started her mission, I was her sister training leader back in
the Plymouth Zone and actually went on a exchange with her once or
twice which was fun. She is now my companion so it was fun to see a
familiar face. What a week. I know I have much to learn and I look
forward to the new adventures ahead of me but also reflect and cherish
the moments I've had this past week. I love you all and hope you
remember and cherish the moments that you have had as well.
Sister Burtis

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