|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!.....so 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