Hello Family and Friends!
So as many of you know I have left the promised land and hopped over the Atlantic to the Motherland. I got a call at 4:00 on Wednesday telling me that I would need to be at the MTC travel office at 8:00 a.m. the next morning to go to . We still had lessons for that night so we didn't get back to the apartment until 9:30. So I quickly packed and then the next morning we met with our district for a quick goodbye breakfast which was fun. And then I hopped on a plan to Atlanta and then I had an overnight flight to . That is the quick version of what happened. I didn't really sleep at all on the plane so by the time I went to bed Friday night I had been up for about 36 hours. So since then I have been a little tired but I'm starting to get used to it all.
So I know that this all happened very quick and there really wasn't a lot of time for you all to do the math that I am either 5 or 7 hours ahead of you but I thought at least one of you would have figured it out and would have emailed me on time this week. I forgive you all but I am expecting at least 2 emails/letters from all of you this week to make up for your lack of emails this week.
So being here is England is going really well! The missionary work here is a lot different than it is in Utah which is to be expected but I had adjusted to being a missionary there and now I have to readjust to being a missionary here which is harder than I thought it would be but I know with time I'll become more accustomed to it all (sorry for the run-on sentence). Right now I am serving in Redcar which is right next to the North Sea. Our flat is only a five minute walk to the beach which is nice, even though we can't go swimming it's still nice to look at. The area isn't as "posh" as other areas of England are. They call it shavvy (and that's two v's) which kinda means ghetto but its not like there are gangs and violence. It's more of the attitude and trends here. Some people are nice and some people aren't, which is also to be expected wherever you go. The branch here is super small. There are only about 90 members and only half of them are active. We were suppose to "white wash" the area but it didn't really work out because I didn't come right away. But now that I'm here were going to start on first building the existing branch up so that it is able to support new members that come in and then find new people to help the branch grow. It is going to take a lot of work but I think we can do it. The branch president is only 23 but he's really motivated to try and help stabilize the branch. I think this is one of the harder areas to serve in in the mission so I think I will be able to learn a lot right away and then be able to use it all when I serve in other areas.
England is also very pretty and there are a lot more sheep here than I expected. And they are numbered which brought a whole new meaning to counting sheep to me. The lambs are also really cute and I have decided that when I get home I want a lamb as a welcome home present. However, it has to be a lamb that will stay a lamb and wont grow up into a sheep because the sheep aren't cute. And for those who are now thinking of a stuffed animal, the lamb has to be alive.
My trainer's name is actually Sister Lamb, no joke. She is really nice and really fun. She is also really bold and has followed people down the street trying to talk to them. Perhaps someday I'll be able to do that too. We get along really great though and she has already taught me so much. And for all of those who were worried about my well being here you'll be happy to know that my mission president was in church security and was a personal body guard for President Hinckley. So if he was given the responsibility to protect the life of a prophet I think I will be okay with him watching over me. His wife and him are both super nice and really welcoming. Apparently my delayed arrival was the talk of the mission for the past couple of weeks which is also to be expected. Just kidding.
The accents aren't hard to understand it's just the weird phrases that I'm like I know what each one of the words you just said mean but I don't know what they mean when you put them altogether like that. But I'm catching on and my trainer usually translates for me. Most people like to hear me speak because my voice is so melodic and calming and american which I'm sure is something you all already realized.I don't really have a British accent yet but you can kinda hear one when I ask questions because there is a different inflection.
No, I have not seen anyone from Harry Potter yet. I do constantly keep my eyes out though just in case and I have more time here to find and teach them. The Hogwarts Castle and Diagon Alley are both in my mission so hopefully one day I'll be able to go there. I would attach some pictures of England but I don't really have any good ones yet so I'll hopefully send some next week.
Well, I love and miss you all very much and I hope you all have the most stellar week in the whole wide world!!
Sister Smiff (a lot of the and elders have had hard time pronouncing the "th" so I have had to change my name for the duration of my mission)