We were able to e-mail from the library closer to our flat today, but we could only have one hour there. So I didn’t get a chance to e-mail much. Mostly read what I had received. And need to e-mail some reports to the Mission President each week. The e-mail time seems to tick down way too fast, not a chance to do as much e-mailing as I would like. Sorry! Then we walked into city center today and so we were able to e-mail just a little more. Still only have 1 ½ hours per week for e-mails. Not enough to send to everyone. Hope the updates on the blog make up for not being able to email everyone.
My mission is going okay- still not finding a lot of people to teach, so we aren’t able to do much each day besides tracting. Most days are about the same as the day before and the day after that, not a lot changes from day to day. We get up at 6:29 a.m. The mission rules say 6:30, but in the London England Mission, we get up at 6:29 a.m. The whole mission does this, and we plan, as a mission, to get blessings as a mission for doing so. We start the day with making preparations for the day and have breakfast before 8:00. We study for two hours every day from 8 to 10. Mornings are typically the least productive time for tracting, we do go out for a couple of hours and then come back to the apartment from lunch. We eat a lot of pasta and curry. We try to find something to do for the afternoon and by 5:00 are out hitting the streets tracting again until about 8. The evening times are the best for tracting, because most are at work during the day. We head back to the flat around 8 for more studying, dinner and going to bed at 10 after a long day. We don’t eat out too much, mostly we cook. But we have been lucky enough to have one or two dinner appointments a week with members in the ward. And we did have a couple of scheduled appointments that actually happened this week, and a lot that didn’t. There hasn’t been a baptism in this area for about 6 months as far as I can tell.
My allergies are getting better. But I have been super sick this week with a cold as well. The days are getting shorter here, about the same as home. We are the same Latitude as home, sunset is about 7 at night. Fall time is coming on and the weather is getting cooler.
I did start taking my driving lessons this week with a member’s daughter. We spent about an hour, and I only drove on the wrong side of the road once. That was when I was coming out of a turn. There are a lot of round-abouts in Luton, so it took me a lot to just get used to them since we don’t have them at home and I have never driven in round-abouts. I’m still a Stevenson, I caught myself speeding, not excessive, but 10 over a few times. Just something that is genetics. Stevensons must all drive that way. We had a member meeting with the Stevenson’s here and he drives just like us. It’s weird, riding in a car makes me so car sick. Everything is backwards. I just get so sick in riding in cars here.
Our next transfers will be on October 2nd- so don’t send letters after Sept 21st because they might not get to me if I am transferred. They might come half way around the world only to go back halfway around the world…. [side note- that’s what happened to the ties I sent to the MTC. There was an issue with his ties when he first got to the MTC, so I bought a few more to send to him. I mailed them on June 28th and they should have gotten there just before he left the MTC. They didn’t make it at the MTC, so we figured he would get them within a couple of weeks as he was serving in the Greater London area. But no- they didn’t make it. Then thought perhaps it would be transfer day before he got them. Still no! Then this week we got a notice there was a package at the post office needing a signature. Interestingly the sender of the package was “you.” Sure enough, it was the ties. They had gone halfway around the world, only to be “unclaimed” and shipped back. Not sure why they were unclaimed, no explanation of that. So that’s what he’s referring to about letters going halfway around the world and coming back. I don’t know that it would happen with letters because there isn’t a customs fee to be paid, as was the case with the ties. But either way, he doesn’t want to miss anything that anyone sends. He loves mail! He can read and re-read letters. Only having access to the Internet and emails once a week on P-days. And for now, he is not able to print off the e-mails for future readings.]
We had a lesson on Faith this week and I made this analogy. Faith is fire. Doubt is water. When we have doubt it puts the fire out! When we have the hard trials come, we doubt if God is there, if God loves us, if we can handle this! We doubt it all, when we doubt anything, it’s putting the flame out. This is the reason things are so hard! We can’t doubt anything, when we doubt it weakens our faith. It weakens us and decreases the chance for the spirit to reside in us. To keep that flame burning we need to live the commandments, pray, do all we can to strengthen our faith in God. When we keep the commandments and do all we can to strengthen our faith we are putting more wood on the fire. But no matter how big the fire is, you can always put it out with water (doubt.) So no matter how strong the fire is, doubt or water can weaken all of us. No one has fire strong enough to not be put out by water. We need to prepare the wood to keep our fires burning brightly.
By the way I will be coming home early…. My release date is June 24th 2015 and that’s three days before two full years. [Technically he flew out on the 26th, and got there on the 27th and being released on the 24th, he will fly home and not get here until the 25th- so it’s only one day early! But who’s counting!?!?]
I have already seen myself grow up a lot on my mission. Not so much physically, I still don’t need to shave more than once a week…. But spiritually I have grown sooo much!
Love, Elder Stevenson
If you are looking for a good laugh about difference in the US and the UK, here's a fun blog suggested by other Missionary Moms in the UK.