This was a good week. We went on exchange with the sisters in the Leeds 4 area, Sister Prawitt from California, and Sister Jodicke from Germany! What brilliant sisters. They both came to our area to get some fresh perspective, and we were able to learn a lot from each other. I’m so glad the number of sisters has increased so much here; there is great strength in numbers. I think we have about 60 sisters here now, and they are each brilliant.
That woman that I have told you about got baptized! After about 25 years, she finally came to the realization that this is the path that the Lord was always leading her towards. It was so fun to be a part of her story. Her story epitomizes what President always tells us, which is that no words are ever wasted. Those sister missionaries that taught her 25 years ago have no idea what reward their works reaped. Sue has been trying to find them actually, but it’s hard because she doesn’t know their first names, and likely they are both married now. The ward has been so incredible in helping her though, and after she got confirmed in church yesterday, we could barely talk to her because so many people were going up to her. Members make a difference in this work. A huge difference.
Sister Wynder and I are working on getting our licenses right now, so that is a huge adventure. The theory test is pretty simple, but the practical is a lot harder to pass than in the states. Driving schools are a huge business here because of that, so you always see the driving cars from different school EVERYWHERE. One of the maneuvers you possibly have to do on the test is back around a corner, which totally breaks Dad’s #1 rule about backing up as little as possible. Ha. Luckily there is a guy in our ward that gives lessons. Roundabouts have gotten slightly less scary, but sometimes the multi-lane ones still make me grip the wheel. One of the Elders was telling me that having a licence in the US, as well as here, makes your insurance go down in the states. Good news for Dad *double eyebrow raise. It also makes it less to rent a car here, and I think it lasts for about 50 years, so quite the investment overall.
We have gotten to know this one couple in the ward pretty well. The wife isn’t a member, but their home is so filled with love and the spirit. We love going over there for tea appointments, and we held an FHE at their home a couple of months ago. We did the lesson about general conference since it is coming up, and then they provided some snacks. Scones with clotted cream and jam. The British scones. Like the ones with the raisins in them, and no, they aren’t rock hard. Possibly the best thing in the world! Get your hands on some clotted cream ASAP. Not sure if they have it in the states? They also introduced us to anise seed balls and lemon sherbets. I feel like I’m in a Harry Potter novel. Moral of the story? England is cool. I love it.
Love, Sister Zurcher
Last P-day we spent the day with the Keighley sisters, Sister Decker from Lehi, and Sister Schmidt from Germany, because we were going on exchange with them that night. Bronte-land is nearby where they live, so we took a train to Keighley, and then a bus to Haworth. We were able to go inside the church the Brontes lived by and where their father was a minister. The sisters are buried underneath the church. I think the coolest thing was to walk around the church and the nearby countryside that surrounded and think that this was where they grew up and drew their inspiration from. I love being in a land with such rich history.
There was a quote I liked that they had up from a letter that Charlotte wrote to a friend. “My home is humble and unattractive to strangers, but to me it contains what I shall find nowhere else in the world–the profound and intense affection which brothers and sisters feel for each other when their minds are cast in the same mould…” Being in many different homes since I have been here, both of members and non-members of the church, it’s interesting to observe how other families operate. Every family, or person has certain things and routines they are used to, and every family has a bit of dysfunction. It’s interesting to see the effect that the gospel of Jesus Christ has upon the home, despite dysfunction. It brings charity, love, patience, kindness, and hope.
Also, kind of a funny story, we went to an old-fashioned sweet shop. I went to buy what I thought were coke bottle gummy sweets. I ate a few after I came out of the shop and they just didn’t taste quite right. I looked down to inspect them, and sort of smelled the bag…it reeked of alcohol. I had accidentally bought beer bottle gummy sweets..only in Europe ha ha. We all laughed about that one for a while.
Sue is doing so well. Her date is one March 21. We had a lesson with her last week and she was saying that this is the happiest she has ever been. I love to see the light of Christ reflect on the people we are teaching. It’s great. I’m still striving to turn outside myself more, to be less self-centered, less selfish, etc. To think about others more around me, Sister Wynder, the other missionaries, the people we teach and interact with. It’s a frustrating exercise because I lose my patience a lot, mostly with myself. The incredible thing is, I can keep trying, and keep striving to be more like Christ, and He will always be my side. I love my Savior. I love all of you.
Love, Sister Zurcher
It seems as though spring comes pretty early here in good old England. I have been so lucky with weather since I have come. We still haven’t had any snow! There are daffodil stems coming up all over, and the snow drops have been blooming the past couple of weeks. I love spring. I have missed it since living in Arizona the past five years. Nothing can surpass the tulips in Salt Lake that will be coming up pretty soon though.
I can’t think of much to say except the woman we have been teaching, Sue, is incredible. After looking into the church twenty years ago she is back and hungry for the gospel of Jesus Christ and the truth His church has to offer. I think she always felt the truth that rang in our message, but the Lord has been preparing her the past twenty years to fully accept it. It always amazes me the power and help that people receive to overcome obstacles such as following the word of wisdom. Along with teaching the doctrine and principles, we promise great blessings. The Lord rarely gives a commandment without promising a blessing. The Lord is incredibly merciful. I’m grateful for Him in my life and the opportunity to help those that are looking to find Him.
I hope you appreciate the miracle of spring this year!
Love, Sister Zurcher