Monday, April 22, 2013

Hiya Family and Friends!

Hiya Family and Friends!
Wow I cant believe that I have been in Scotland for over a week and, on my mission for almost a month! So my poor companion has to be attached at the hip with someone who has been cursed with bad luck! It must be bad luck to travel on a Thursday  ;)  I feel like its all been a jumbled mess, alright to answer some common questions. I must not have said anything on my last email because yes I got my luggage delivered to Sister Greens house on Sunday night last week! So that was a blessing. 

We moved into our flat on Tuesday! It was so nice to get there and finally feel like it would be normal (or so we thought). Turns out white washing it hard! Ha! Sister Parks and I have no idea where we are going half the time, but you will hear some funny stories about that later in this letter. Ok so last Monday for P-day we went into Glasgow to meet up with the rest of the Zone and play dodge-ball, that was fun. And Glasgow is a beautiful city! Absolutely breath taking! Its also a scary city, pretty sketch, don't worry mom I will spare you the details! Its fun taking the train to cities because you get off and it's just like in Harry Potter! There are platforms, and tons of people and trains everywhere and its just this huge beautiful building with a wicked clock and other thingy's! But the problem with Europe is that they just don't have trashcans everywhere so there is always bits (Scottish use the word bit a lot) of rubbish (trash) everywhere!  Anyway I tried fish and chips! Which really wasn't that good, but I am sure it would be good if I got it from a posh (fancy, rich, snooty depending on the context) restaurant, as opposed to Chippys! Chippys for fish and chips is like McDonalds is for hamburgers. So not really that good.  

People here always stare at us! For multiple reasons, one because Scottish people are very reserved, you will stand on a platform waiting for your train and it is dead silent. They don't talk and so they can always tell Americans because we are loud. Also we smile! At least I smile, and Scottish people don't smile to random strangers ever! Also we have white teeth, you will notice that Scottish people, when we are talking to them, look at our teeth a lot. We have even had people cover their mouths out of embarrassment for their teeth. So that's kind of awkward, and makes me sad. We had one lady apologize for her teeth. Also obviously we are two girls in skirts walking around with name tags so that's a given that people stare at us like we are zoo animals! haha I don't mind it i just keep a smile on my face and pretend that they are looking at me because of my beauty! ;) So Glasgow was fun, and we are going to go today as well, we will probably go most p-days. 

Then Tuesday we moved into our flat and that was super nice, and the Glasgow Zone Leaders drove us around and we had a lunch appointment with this lady in our ward and she took us to a restaurant and while we had the lunch the Zone Leaders rearranged the apartment and got all our luggage in and everything, they were sooooo nice! Ok so Scottish food is similar to America, they have a bunch of different types of restaurants like Chinese, and Indian (but not Mexican), their Chinese here is terrible! So gross! However there are a lot of Indian people here so their Indian food is amazing! The las Katie took us to an Indian restaurant and it was soooooo good! 

So I don't know if I already told you this but Scottish meals always start with a soup (well at least homemade meals), like almost always it starts with a soup. And then they serve up your food for you, after warming the plates in the oven! Which is weird that they do that. So they serve it up at the counter and then bring it to you. And since we are missionaries we always get dessert afterwards. So about my weight.....yeah I am going to gain so much weight. Last time a said 2 stones, nope probably 3, haha it am going to come back so fat! So after lunch we did some chapping (knocking) with the Zone Leaders and then they were nice enough to take us to our dinner appointment. The Wark family fed us, they are a brilliant family, absolutely grand! They have 6 boys, and most of them have red flaming hair, and their are all just the nicest guys you will ever meet. And their mom is a total sweetheart. So guess what they served me....haggis! Sister parks is constantly surprised about how much old fashioned Scottish food I am getting in one week. Alright, so haggis, not my favorite. It has a weird taste to it, but it is not bad enough that I cant eat it, so that's good. But I couldn't finish it, and Sister Wark was so kind about it. On the other hand their potatoes here are fab (slang for fabulous). Ok so we had no success on Tuesday, except we talked to this lady near the Wark's whose daughter knew the Wark boys and went to church with them a bit so she knew a little.

 Wednesday was a special day.....We got up and ran which felt so good because we live right next to a park and it was so pretty! Then we did our morning routine and I almost wore my wool coat but then had the feeling I should wear my rain coat, but I had accidentally left my hat at Sister Greens house, and I also had the feeling to wear my boots and thick tights, and its a good thing I did because we got drenched!!!!! Pouring rain the whole day, I didn't have my hat, and didn't think to bring my umbrella, so yeah we were soaked. And we walked a lot that day and did multiple hours of chapping, in the pouring rain. And even though we were soaked through (although I was dry because my home made rain coat from my loving mother worked brilliantly) no one let us in, they thought we were crazy and closed the door. But thankfully we did have a few interested people, one girl who said she has thought about religion more because her and her man are getting married next year. Then another lady who asked us to come back, and I think there was one more but I am not so sure. We ended up being way far away and had to walk home because the buses had stopped running to where we were by 6 pm. I have  pictures below of me and my companion on our walk by that elderly sign. 

Thursday was a beautiful day I even took off my coat for a bit and the sun was shining most of the day. We did AUF's ( This is mom...I don't know what AUF's are if any of you do feel free to let us know) and while chapping on the doors we found a lady who had just gotten back from Australia and asked us to come back next week (this week)! Then we had a late lunch appointment with the Raphael's, and it was so good. Really the home cooked meals here are grand! The soup was a lentil soup and it was so good, I guess the Raphael's are famous for their soups. Then we had the usual potatoes and meat and greens, we had brusselsprouts and they tasted fantastic, so good. And also we had Yorkshire pudding which is just like a bland scone that you eat with your meat and potatoes and gravy. And then of course we had dessert. We always have dessert. So all that was a really good meal. Then we were behind on time because Scottish people can talk forever once you get them started, like really they talk a ton! So we had ward coordination and got some LA (less active) names that would actually be interested. Because so far most of the names we have received claim to never remember being baptized. Oh and Thursday morning we had zone teaching so that was good, our Branch President is amazing, he loves loves loves obedience. Its amazing so see someone love being obedient. What a great example. 

Friday was really good, we did some more AUF's and we stopped this African lady on the sidewalk and she told us to come on Saturday to her house, we did but she didn't answer the door, we saw someone walk up and leave and their was a car in the I don't know. Then we were walking somewhere and saw another African man walking and he smiled at me and Sister Parks was like "I dare you to chase him down", so I did. haha I ran after him saying excuse me hiya excuse me! haha and we talked to him and I placed a book of Mormon !!!!!! Yayayayaya! I was so happy, and he said that he lived far away but we gave him our number and he said he might stop by the church in Glasgow because that's where he works, so I don't know but he was way nice. Oh and we met a man while chapping that was the gardener for this house and we were talking to him and he said he has been questioning God because his good friend just got cancer. So we talked to him for a while and placed another book of Mormon. He said he only gardens every three weeks, but he told us next time he would be here and we offered to come help him and talk to him more, and he seemed excited. 

Saturday was not so fun. So we went to go find another AUF and we started walking on Strathaven (pronounced Straven) road and we were told by someone running by that Strathaven was way down the road. So we walked for an hour in the middle of farm country Scotland to this little place only to find that the houses on that road were in the 300's and we were looking for 89.... So after talking to people we realized we must have passed it, we walked all the way back on this deserted road with sheep and horses on the side and when we finally found it we realized it was right where we had started walking. We passed by the AUF's homes  3 other times that day. You see Scotland doesn't label streets! EVER! Its sooo frustrating. So it is hard to know what street your on.  Oh and by the way the guy we walked 6 miles for, wasn't home. :) BLAST! Well our last AUF of the night, was a woman named Tracy Bullock and she said she knew about the church because of her aunt. And she asked us to come talk to her next Wednesday. So we are crossing our fingers on that one. 

By the time Sunday came I was so excited for it. We fasted for our work to start coming along, and to have lessons. Since we didn't have any. Well our young man who is looking for peace said he was too busy and asked us to come back next Sunday so that was disappointing, and the other Catholic lady interested in family history didn't answer. So we started chapping and we came to this door and this lady saw us and said "ahh Mormons come on in." Well, she has had elders coming to her for 9 years and they last came about 5 or 6 years ago. She is very strong Catholic, and it will be a miracle to convert her, but God is a God of miracles.  So pray that we say something that will testify to her heart. Also at church one of our "Less Actives" we were looking for (but couldn't find because she moved) came to church, and a boy brought his girlfriend to church, so we got soooo blessed on Sunday it was great! 

Sorry this was such a long letter! There is just so much to say. I love it here, somehow throughout all the struggles and disappointment I can just keep smiling. Its natural, I love serving the Lord 24/7.  I love studying everyday for as long as I can. And I love meeting crazy people! I love this work. I know so much that this is the true church and I am sad that so many people don't accept it! I know Joseph Smith is a true prophet of God, and that Thomas Monson is one as well. I know God loves us so much, that he sent his Son to help us come back to him, I know that God wants to direct us, and that's why he gives us prophets. I love you all and thanks for your prayers
Sister Watt

Monday, April 15, 2013

She is in Scotland, but it wasn't easy.

Pres and Sister Brown and Sis Christine Watt
Hiya Family and Friends!
So I will go ahead and take the liberty of throwing in a few random Scottish words and phrases just to make my letter more exciting. (Hiya is one of those words) So I am sorry I didn't get to email any of you to tell you I made it here ok. They never offered it and I didn't want to ask. I figured you guys would have understood that no news was good news. 
So here is a quick recap for those that don't know of the horror I went through to get here, it was pure awful (Scottish phrase). So yes I got sick. I started getting sick Friday night. Saturday my companion and I had decided to fast for our other companion because she was struggling, so fasting for her while I was deathly ill was probably not the best decision, but I know that it really helped out my companion. So I guess whatever I can do to help! 
I felt really bad because I had a hard time completely paying attention to General Conference because of my sickness so I will definitely reread that in the Ensign to refresh my brain. But I do remember that all the talks were really good, and I have semi legible notes :) Sunday I ended up getting three blessings. In the morning before General Conference I asked the Elders in my district to give me a blessing because I really struggled the day before in General Conference.  I was super hot and had body aches and stuff, I thought I made it clear that I wanted a healing blessing with like oil but apparently I didn't. So Elder Ward gave me a regular blessing, blessing me for strength...awkward. But non the less it was a very good blessing and I felt better during General Conference, then after Conference I asked different Elders in our zone to give me a healing blessing (I didn't want to offend any of our district Elders) and they did. Then my district thought it would be a good idea to have the Elders give everyone a blessing. So that was really good, it was awesome too hear the blessings they gave even to my companions, especially since I knew what issues where going on in their lives, and so I witnessed prayers being answered, super cool! 
A couple of things they said in my blessing is, that I was reminded twice and told not to forget that I am a daughter of God.  The other thing that was stressed in my blessing is that I could NOT give up, it said Never give up, Christine, Never give up! So that's cool. 
Well on Sunday night I didn't sleep at all, so I promised Heavenly Father I would go to the doctor in the morning if he would let me sleep! And so I slept for about 3 hours and then I went to the doctor on Monday, and was told I had influenza B and that I couldn't go with my district to Scotland the next day.  And that I would have to be quarantined; so I was for 48 hours. I had an influenza B buddy though and we actually had a class together last semester, we got to know each other real well. After that I met with a District President and they set up my flight to my mission for Thursday morning.
 For all of Wednesday ( before I left the MTC)  I just followed this district of Sister Missionaries around. They are going to Washington DC. I think I learned a little bit of the reason I went through what I did and I stayed behind. These girls were a week into their MTC experience and I realized they weren't doing some things that are important like praying before basically everything. Praying before they study and praying before they practiced teaching and other stuff. So I explained how important it was that they do that. After that they practice a lesson on me and they could feel the difference. Another thing they told me was how they didn't feel like they had learned really anything in their time so far at the MTC. I talked to them about how in a couple of days they will find that they have had sooooo much information stuffed in their heads that they just don't feel like they have learned anything because it hasn't made since to them yet. And I explained that looking back on them right now helped me realize how much I had changed and grown in that last week. So I felt like the first week you get stuffed with information and then the second week you start applying it, and that's when the real growth comes. I told them how easy it is to get proud in the MTC because you are constantly comparing yourself to other people.  And even though you are not actually in real missionary situations you need to remember that this is the Lords work.  And keep in mind that their progressive investigators (although they are just being acted out by their teachers) they were once real investigators, they are based off of real people. So once you recognize that,  you will start to love the character of your progressive investigator and almost forget that your talking to your teacher and not to Erin, or Luke, or David. Talking to these Sisters about that humbled me and made me realize how much I had grown. The Sisters told me later that although I was upset that I was held behind they were happy I talked to them and that it was a real blessing to them. So I am so happy that I got to participate in Gods gift and love to some fellow sisters! 
Alright enough with that story. So I got on the plane Thursday morning but it was 2 hours delayed so when I got to Chicago I missed my connecting flight. Apparently so did the whole world! Because the next flight going to London was filled already with people rescheduling their flights. So I was put on standby. I waited and prayed for a few hours until they started boarding. I'll tell you I got real nervous waiting there because they sent in like 4 standby families and they didn't call my name. They continued boarding and then there were 4 people left and the time to fly out was past, and I could hear the airport attendants saying stuff like,  "I hope we can get these standbys on the flight because they deserve to get on." Then like a minute after that they called my name and I almost cried with relief. So yup I got on, and that was all grand (Scottish word) The flight was really long and I coughed a lot, I felt bad for the people around me. 
 I was fed dinner and it was super weird because it felt like I was already in England. I was one of maybe 6 people (just guessing because that plane was HUGE) who had an American accent. They served us dinner and my options were chicken curry or pasta, so naturally I chose pasta because that sounds like the safer choice.  My tray came and I had a salad, pasta, a mug with creamer and sugar nearby, a roll, and a slice of cake!  The lady asked if I wanted some wine! Haha so that was weird. Also my pasta was spicy, which was also weird. Afterward they all went around and asked if anyone wanted coffee or tea! In fact they offered wine and coffee or tea like every hour! 
I slept a little on the plane but i was coughing a lot so not that much. And then we finally landed and to my awesome luck the walkway that comes out and attaches to the plane was broken. Oh and by the way I had an hour to get to my connecting flight while still going through immigration and customs and passport stuff....oh and also I was sitting at the window seat next to two big men who slept the whole way there so I also needed to go to the toilet (Scottish wording) because I held it for 7 hours! we sat on the plane for 30 more minutes and all of the sudden I had 30 minutes to do an hour job! I ran and asked the airport attendants where to go and told them that I didn't have much time, I was blessed because I didn't have a line through immigration and the attendant let me go in front of a lot of people because I didn't have much time. I had to leave security and go to another terminal and then re-enter security; that was my longest line and that was super stressful because by the time I was getting there my plane was supposed to be boarding. I looked at my ticket and realized my gate number wasn't on it so I had no idea where I was supposed to go.  I saw that there was supposed to be a flight to Edinburgh that was supposed to leave 10 minutes after mine, that was strange, so I went there and asked the attendants and they said that that was my flight. I got there right when they were boarding my section! WOOOH! I was sweating like no other. But I was blessed. I got on that flight and flew to the Edinburgh airport which is just a wee (Scottish wording) airport and my companion and mission president wife met me! 
Sis Parks and Sis Watt
So now about my companion, my companions name is Sister Parks, she has been out for over a year, and has only served in Edinburgh and Polluck. She is from Payson Utah and is a wee soul (Scottish phrase, meaning precious). She laughs at everything which is good because that lets me know when to laugh; because 80% of the time I don't know that the Scottish people are telling a joke. In fact I don't understand about 30% of what thing me's (Scottish phrase for basically anything people, objects, and so on) are saying. So yeah my companion and I have a good time together. Back to the airport... I walked over to the baggage claim and surprise surprise my luggage is lost! They said it was still in Chicago, I have been pretty mingin (Scottish word meaning stinky) for the past couple of days. I take a shower obviously but I don't have any of my shampoo or conditioner and since I am on a strict shampoo and conditioner 'diet' I haven't washed my hair for like a week, haha its pure awful! 
My Presidents wife is a just a wee bird (Scottish wording they call all woman birds here) she is so small and petite its adorable. President Brown is such a nice man, oh and Edinburgh is so pretty, so European I didn't get to see much of it, but our mission home is adorable! Anywho, I talked to my mission President and they got me set up and told me where my area is. Sister Parks and I are white washing an area, Hamilton, its southeast of Glasgow. The elders used to cover two areas Motherwell and Hamilton, so they split the area and now the sisters are in Hamilton and the elders have Motherwell. Although the Hamilton and Motherwell areas are all in one ward and they meet in Motherwell. Hamilton is so cute! Right now our flat (Scottish word for apartment) isn't ready so we have been staying with Sister Green who is a wee old lass who lives in East Kilbride. She is the most darling woman! She loves us to death and she says she is our granny Green! haha  She was a professional singer and still sings today, the first night we got there she made us food. She made us homemade soup (here in Scotland they have soup before almost every meal, its the first course) and then after the soup she made a Scottish classic especially for me! Potato and Minse.  I have had potatoes in almost every meal, and minse is like ground beef but better. So they give you a big serving of potatoes and a big serving of minse and you eat it together. Super good! I have also had hot chocolate almost every night, its the Mormon substitution for coffee or tea at night! haha. I am definitely going to gain a stone (Scottish measurement for 14lbs) or two! 
Since we are whitewashing the area the work has been hard. We have no potential investigators no up to date ward list, no area book right now, nothing. Sister Parks has never been to Hamilton either so we have been doing a lot of exploring, our flat is in the cutest area, its called old town Hamilton and it is exactly that, old town. and it is in the perfect place!  Right next to a park to go running, and also its next to an Asda (Walmart) and next to city square and the Hamilton Bus Station. That's our mode of transportation, the bus, everywhere! So Scotland is beautiful the people are great. Their accents are thick and I have to really pay attention to understand like 70% of what they are saying; my companion translates a lot of things.  Yesterday in our ward, which is grand I love it, people kept on pulling me a side and asking me questions and stuff and they would say something and start laughing and I would just kind of laugh and nod my head and awkwardly walk away! hahahahaha oh man its hilarious. So a funny story,  two days ago we started talking to this lady on the street and she was looking at us weird and we asked her a question and she just looked at us like she was freaked out and awkwardly turned around and half walked half ran away! Hahahaha! It was soooo weird, but funny. Oh so on one of the doors that we chapped (Scottish word for knocked, we go chapping not knocking) it was my turn to talk to the person, and I talked to her and she agreed to see us on Sunday (we chapped her door on Saturday) her name is Gail, so we went back on Saturday but she wasn't there and her man (Scottish phrase for her husband, they call them my woman, or my man, not husband or wife) said she was not interested and to not come back, that was kind of disappointing. But I am getting used to chapping.  
Yesterday we chapped a young mans door who said that he was spiritual and we gave him a pamphlet and he agreed to us coming by next Sunday! He seemed super interested he said that he is trying to find peace! So hopefully that goes well. Then we talked to this Catholic lady and she wasn't really interested but we talked to her a little bit, and then I brought up family history and that made her more interested. We are going to find out if we have a family history center here,  she wants us to call her about it, because I told her that the church has a lot of really good resources for family history! So that's good. 
Oh guess what I found out! I get to Skye when I call!!!!!!! YAYAYAYAYA! So I am excited for that. 
Oh sorry for that brief interruption. I am almost out of time, but you know its going great and I love it here and I am loving the work more and more! I am starting to really love the people, they are super nice.  They really are just nice people. I think they would all make really good Mormons :)  The hardest thing is the Word of Wisdom stuff it is a huge problem here, smoking, alcohol, coffee, tea, its super sad;  but I love the people and it is possible to not have that here. 
The ward members are fantastic and just so nice; we have dinner appointments lined up almost every day and a few lunch appointments. I love this gospel! I know its true! As you all read your scriptures I invite you to really try to always figure out how it relates to Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father, sometimes its hard but the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ, it goes hand in hand with the Bible (you have no idea how many times I have said that this week) in 1 Nephi 1: 20 Nephi gives his thesis for his book and he says that he will show Gods tender mercies to those who have faith. I know that that is the thesis for the whole Book of Mormon! Jesus Christ is involved in every aspect of it! I love the book of Mormon, it is the true converter along with Holy Spirit. I love you and miss you but wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I love you and thank you so much for your prayers! Ta (Scottish for thanks)
Love Sister Watt

Friday, April 5, 2013

Last week at the MTC

Christine's words "Pure Awesomeness" Her glasses crack me up.

Hey family!

Man so much has happened since I last emailed you I cant even remember everything. Lets see, Easter Sunday was good. I don't really remember what I said to you last week so if I repeat anything I am sorry. But yeah so Easter Sunday was good, the dinner was alright that night, and it was great just spending the whole time listening to people talk about really spiritual things and build us up! As opposed to constantly learning and practicing missionary teaching and the lessons. But of course after being built up on Sunday we got humbled on Monday.
Sisters in my district Back: Sister Adams, Sister Galbraith Front: Sister Lund, Sister Rousseau

I think I told you that our first lesson with our pi (a.k.a fake investigator) Erin went really well. Since then we had a few more rough lessons with her and then she came to us saying that her friend brought up the scripture in Revelations 22:18 where it says that there will be no more revelations after that. But its funny because John wrote Revelations before he wrote his own book, anyway so we had a really good and long discussion with Erin, and she is progressing again, and so are we! We are still learning and we definitely struggle a lot but we are getting better and that's all that matters!

Sister Watt's district The whole district, the guys: L-R: Elders: Carlson, Singleton, Hess, Ward
My relationship with my companions just keep on getting better and better. We had the coolest thing happen. one of my companions has really been struggling with confidence in herself and feeling like she isn't feeling the spirit and problems at home. She told us all about whats going on at home. Anyway so I think it was Monday that she just broke down and Monday night Elder Singleton (who is our district leader) asked if she wanted a Priesthood Blessing and she said she did. So he gave her one and it was the most inspired blessing I have ever heard. He said things about her parents and it was crazy because he never knew anything about her family situation! Honestly everyone in the room was crying it was so amazing! It is amazing to see the love that God has for his children and how the priesthood can harness that love perfectly and show that every word is coming from our Heavenly Father! That blessing was truly from our Heavenly Father through the spirit, through the priesthood! So amazing.

Lets see I have learned a lot! Remember how I used to have a problem with getting my thoughts formed into words and out of my mouth? Well that happens a lot when I am practicing my lessons with my companions or teachers, but its amazing how rare that happens when I am actually teaching an investigator. So that it pretty cool.

My companionship: Sister Adams, Sister Watt, Sister Galbraith
I love how strong the spirit is here! The other day my companions and I were discussing what we wanted to prepare for a TRC (which is a random investigator, not one we have been teaching multiple times) and originally we had talked about how our investigator Luwanna seemed like she needed purpose in her life and so we were going to give her the second lesson. So when we were actually planning our lesson I brought that up, and we decided to pray about it individually. So I started my prayer and I said Heavenly Father we have decided that lesson 2 is the lesson we want to teach Luwanna and I didn't even finish my statement when a clear voice said to me, "This is my restored gospel, it is the most important thing, teach my restored gospel." And I said ok, and I finished my prayer and waited for my other companions to finish their prayers, seriously my prayer was no longer than a minute. When my companions finished they said they all felt that lesson 1 was what we needed to teach. Later that night we had our lesson with Luwanna and it went really well, it was super rough at the beginning but then Sister Galbraith brought out the scripture Isaiah 49: 15-16 and the spirit hit like a ton of bricks, and Luwanna felt like that was the perfect scripture.

Yesterday we had in-field training which is preparing missionaries who are leaving soon, and it made me realize how close it actually is! I am so excited to get out of here and teach. I love this gospel, I know that this church is true with my whole heart. I love the atonement and I love the part it plays in my life. I use the atonement every day without fail! This is the Lords work and I can see that change in me to be a better tool in Gods vineyard. Sister Sheri Dew gave us a challenge at the end of her Sunday devotional talk. She asked us to read D&C 138 and Abraham 3 and then ask God to talk to us about how he feels about us. I invite you to do the same.

I love you all and I am so excited to share the gospel!

Sister Watt