Family, friends, and everyone else:
So the subject of this email is pretty much how I've been trying to handle this last week. People told me my mission was going to be hard, but I never anticipated something like this. I am doing much better now. I think I was just in such shock last week that it was hard to imagine 16 more months without being home with family. But I know now that this is where the Lord wants me to be and that through Him I will not only do missionary work but that I will become a missionary. I really do miss mom a lot and I think it is going to be hard when I come home and she's not there but I know the Lord will give me the strength I need to overcome this trial. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be sharing with people the same message that is giving me strength and comfort as I face this trial now. I love you all so much and I appreciate all the support and comfort you have given me through this hard time.
Also, this subject has led me to think more about the classic television show with its catchy theme song and 90's view of a Brady Bunch type family. But, question: Why didn't they just let the cousin (who's name I cannot remember for the life of me) live in the house rather than living in his van in the driveway? It doesn't seem very nice nor necessary to treat him like that. Just some food for thought (which is a phrase everyone around me has been saying so I thought I would try to use it in my email).
The work here is obviously a lot different than it is in Utah. Instead of tracting for referrals, we actually tract non-members which just seems crazy after being in Utah. There are some nice people who actually listen to what we have to say and then politely turn us down. And then there are others who aren't so nice and may use some extravagant wording before closing the door at a rather swift pace. But I'm not letting it get me down. We are teaching a good group of people and a couple of them have a baptismal date which is exciting. The branch is still really struggling though so we are going to have to have to work with a lot of less-active members. But one of my investigators told me that this town is the worst part of England so really my mission can only get better from here.
It's funny that so many people gave me advice about England like the food, the phrases and the accents but no one thought to warn me about places like Poundland and Poundworld. I've recently discovered my ignorance to the fact that these are not stores for dogs but rather comparable to dollar stores in the US. I feel foolish that I have lived in this lie for so long. So for all those who are planning to come to England in the future, consider yourself warned on the reality of pound stores.
The is this week. We are not allowed to watch it though and we are not allowed to knock on doors that day either, street contacting only. Which seems weird because the drinking laws here are "relaxed" that day so people can drink in the streets. I'm thinking though that it might be best to do some service that day because I don't think anyone, especially here, will be in the right state of mind to accept Jesus Christ into their lives. I did hear about the royal wedding donut though that has. Sounds classy.
Oh, something else I need to tell you. I know you have all been worrying about the fact that I am no longer in a trio (3 missionaries together) but don't worry because we are getting another sister here tomorrow. It's transfers week (hence why I am emailing on Tuesday, Pdays are on Tuesdays when its transfers) and we found out last night that they are going to put three sisters here to try and help the area out a little more. I think it will be nice to have 3 people again because that way there is more insight and I can learn more about how missionary work is done here. We are also getting a car which I guess is okay but I like walking so hopefully we wont use the car too much. we really only got it because a lot of less actives live farther away so it will be easier to visit them if we have a car. But yeah, that's pretty much it.
Well, I love you all SOOOOOOOOOO much and I miss you SOOOOOOOO much. I hope all is going well. And I know I was going to try and write written letters every other week but it is so expensive now with the international postage so I'll probably do quick emails to each of you as much as I can. Also, when if you do send me a package and they ask what is inside (if they do, I don't know) you have to say it is either "Used Clothes", a "Gift", or "Missionary Supplies" in order to keep it from getting a lot of duties taxed on. Oh and no meats, because you can't send it and I don't think I would want it. Well, I love and miss you tons! Keep showering and stay clean.