Happy Monday! This week has been a busy one, but good! First of all, I got to take my driving lessons and Sister Wynder and I have both been asked to apply for a UK licence. Sister Wynder and I agree that two of the things we miss the most here are driving, and sleep. One of the members in the ward, Brother Richmond, is a driving instructor, so we set up an appointment with him. The car was a manual, so that was interesting, but I only stalled 3 or 4 times ha. One of the times I stalled right before a roundabout, so that was kind of scary. Luckily the cars we drive in the mission are all automatics. Brother Richmond has a great sense of humor though, so we were all laughing the whole time and he said he would have us over for tea one night and cook for us (he says his wife has been banned from the kitchen for years). The members are incredible. I love getting to know them and hearing their diverse stories about life and the church, it really is great. These people become my family while I am here.
We have been meeting with a woman who has been in and out of the church in the past years. We’ve been meeting with her since about October, and also attended her mother’s funeral in that month as well. I’m not sure if she has ever had a sure, solid, foundation in the church, but recently we found out that her father, before he died was really involved in our ward. He used to teach Sunday school. She found a letter from him recently that she misplaced and she read it to us the last time we visited. She couldn’t quite finish it because it brought her to tears, so we finished reading it for her. It was really touching, and just focused on how important it is to involve Heavenly Father in your life. He told her to realize how important forgiveness is and to always use words in kindness. She still has a ways to go in her progress, but it’s been enlightening to be involved in her life and become her friend. I love her.
A couple days ago Sister Wynder and I were out in Hyde Park near the university area talking to people. We were talking to this uni age student that was from London, having a great conversation, and all the sudden the sun disappeared and we were all pelted by a hail storm. And then it started pouring. We asked him if this ever happened in London, and he said “I don’t think this happens anywhere except right here.” We gave him a card and went on our way, getting soaked the whole time. I think we had to take about an hour long shower that night to get warm again ha.
We have also been teaching an older lady recently who is looking into the church again after 20 years. Sometimes people aren’t quite ready to take the steps it takes to join the church. Sometimes it takes certain experiences in life to bring them to the point where they realize that they want a relationship with Heavenly Father, and in fact need a relationship with Him. It’s great to be able to witness that journey and be a part in helping facilitate it.
If you pray for sunny weather here, I’ll pray for sunny and inversionless weather there!
Love, Sister Zurcher
Glad to hear updates from you as always. It’s the closest to feeling like we had a nice chat on the phone like when I used to live in Tucson. Obviously it’s not quite the same, but it will do. I love you. The work here has been great this week. We went on our first exchange with two other sisters, and one of them, was in my same MTC group. So that was really fun to serve with her for a day! I think a sign of a successful exchange is that Sister Wynder and I both came away uplifted and motivated. I hope the other two sisters did as well. This is a completely different type of missionary work, but I really love it so far. It’s exhausting at the same time, but one of those rewarding exhausting types of work. You know what I mean?
Sister Wynder and I cleaned the crap out of our flat today. That’s why we are later emailing. It was like a preemptive spring cleaning. It feels good, but I’m still mad at whoever thought white carpet was a good idea. It’s like the Tucson house all over again…I think we will have better peace of mind and perhaps be able to feel the influence of the spirit more fully with a clean and organized space. The house felt empty at first without two other sisters, but somehow we’ve been able to fill it and spread out a little bit. So that is nice.
We were having a conversation this morning about how we can retain the things we learn here and the habits we form and somehow embed them into normal life when the time comes to return. We both have some time before this will happen, but we’ve both seen it happen so many times that people become casual when returning home and fall back into old habits. The thing that I think people lose sight of is that progression and growth continue after a mission. People sometimes look back to that time as the ultimate time of spiritual enlightenment and growth, but of course we can continue to learn and grow once we return home. Faith is always pointed towards the future. I want the things I learn here and the experiences I have to be something I can look back at to encourage me to rely on the Lord and keep my faith in Him. Does this make sense? I hope so. I hope the January weather is treating you well. Winter can’t last forever right? Still no snow here yet!
Love, Sister Zurcher
You must be wondering what’s happening with me! This last week has completely flown by. I love the feeling of promise and hope that a brand new year brings. It kind of settles in the air as soon as the Christmas decorations are packed up, and the sleep deprivation wears off from New Year’s Eve…but wait, the feeling of sleep deprivation never wears off here. Ha okay, so guess what?!? Sister Wynder and I are staying together here in Leeds!!! Yes! What an incredible transfer this will be. I was also called as a Sister Training Leader, so we will get to serve together in that calling, as she has been serving as one already. Basically what we do in the calling is go on exchange once a week with the other surrounding sister missionaries and simply try to help and uplift them. I’m so excited. The sister missionaries in our mission are seriously top notch! It will be such a privilege to work with them and serve them. I couldn’t be happier. Somehow this work seems to function despite having so many people from so many different walks of life and cultures. We all somehow get along and it works out despite challenges and setbacks. I love to be able to associate with the other missionaries here. They really are exceptional, and everyone here has given up something to be able to be here and serve the Lord with all their heart. I love this work.
I loved your email this week about Mary. It was such an incredible testimony, and it just reconfirms to me that the reason I know what I know, and have the faith that I do, is because you have shown me the way. Sorry this is short this week but I love you incredibly! Stay tuned.
Love, Sister Zurcher
I loved the pictures you sent of Christmas. It looked like a fun gathering, especially with Claire in the mix. She is the most adorable thing I’ve ever seen. I can definitely see the Zurcher in her…am I imagining it, or does she look a bit like I did as a baby? Oh man I can’t wait to give her a squeeze when I get home. That’s the first item of business.
We had such a great Christmas, and are looking forward to the New Year coming up. Can you believe it’s 2014?!? The work has been kind of slow going lately because of the holidays and everything, so we are all kind of anxious to jump back into it once the holidays are over and done with. Transfers are ominously looming in the future though. But, we’ll all make it through regardless. I am truly confident that the Lord is helping direct this work, and no matter who gets put with who or where, he will always provide a way to accomplish what He needs us to. So let’s just put it out of our minds for now. I don’t know how I got so lucky, but Sister Kuhn, Sister Edgington, and Sister Wynder are the best thing that’s ever happened to me. I love these girls so so much.
Do you want to hear the biggest travesty though? England doesn’t sell eggnog! Anywhere! What the heck man? You know how I love eggnog. Nothing beats that high viscosity. Ha. Instead we enjoyed punch and mince pies at the Christmas party, which was alright.
We definitely have some work to do in the coming months. I can’t wait. The best is yet to come right? Of course there will be some more hard times, but this work is some of the most rewarding work around. Cheers to a New Year!! I hope you all can prioritize spiritual things in the coming year, even among all the millions of things on your plate. Something I’ve realized here is just how very important our relationship is with Heavenly Father. I love you!
Love, Sister Zurcher