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Yesterday morning we took Kate to the airport. We helped her check her luggage and then watched her go through the security line and up the escalator until she was no longer in site. There weren’t really any tears at that point since we did plenty of crying the night before when she was set apart. We will miss her, but we are happy for her and proud of her for making this sacrifice to the Lord. We were excited to wake up this morning and have an email that she wrote to my mom:

Once we got to Chicago our group increased to about 40 missionaries total, so it was a huge group! It was really fun to be in such a big group, and we instantly felt unity towards each other. Everyone is so different, but we are united in our cause. It’s really great! We met up with one sister missionary in Manchester, who came from Hong Kong by herself. She is really nice.

I sat by the same elder on both flights, Elder Wright. He is one of the 18-year-olds, but so cute and so nice to me. I feel like I’m surrounded by brothers; it’s nice. At one point I was sleeping and was trying to drape my blazer over myself because I was cold and he threw his coat jacket over me. So cute. I kept dozing off the whole time, but not very restful sleep. Luckily, I had the window seat on the way to Manchester. Also, I’ve gotten a lot of crap about my huge heavy bags. The elders helped me get them to the car and load them, but I might have overdone it. I realized that I don’t really have a way to push them all at once because none of them connect. The guys that met us at the airport were giving me a hard time and telling me that transfers will be fun for me! Ha. Also one of the elders has nicknamed me “60 pounds” giving me a hard time about my overweight bag. See what I mean by being surrounded by brothers?

The sisters are all really nice. I think there were about 10 total on the flight over, and all of them are 19. I feel like an old lady! One of the elders is 21 so we were bonding over the fact that we are old, but he was saying that he is glad he isn’t the oldest one. Ha ha. Maybe once all the missionaries get here someone will top my age (hopefully). I know it will end up being a huge advantage in the field, but it is just a little awkward right now. All the sisters are from the U.S. except 1 from Canada and 1 from Hong Kong. The majority of them are going to Manchester, but there are 3 total sisters going to Leeds.

We got a little packet with our badges once we got here to the MTC and everyone was thrilled to put them on. It’s the little things here. We have a big list of things to do, and this email to you is the last thing on mine. I was interviewed by one the members of the mission presidency and I really liked him. I guess President Pilkington is his uncle and he has nothing but great things to say about him. He mentioned that he thinks he’s a really powerful speaker so meetings should be great with him. Tonight, after everyone has been interviewed, we will meet again and they will put us in companionships and call zone leaders and everything. I’ll keep you posted on that…

They actually have all the bedding taken care of here, and they provide down comforters, but it will be nice to have mine out in the field. One of the wives did a demonstration about how to put the cover on the comforter, and she demonstrated the inside-out method you taught me. Kind of funny. We will have lunch here in about an hour and I hope I can make it through this whole day!  I’m not feeling very tired yet, but I feel like I’ll crash. I might try to fit in a nap.

I love you and I’m already a bit homesick, but I know the best cure for that is work and I’m sure they’ll be a lot of that in the next 13 days. The homsickness was hitting me on the car ride over because I was feeling sick and everything, but I’m okay now. I still miss you all though. I’m supposed to let you know that P-days are on Wednesdays, so you won’t hear from me next until then!

Love, Sister Zurcher (still trying to get used to introducing myself as that)
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In honor of leaving this great country for a year and a half, I felt it only appropriate to give homage to my new home and leave my mark in my old one. This is what that looks like.

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My Sunday started with giving my farewell talk at church, and ended with defacing a rock. Operation Union Jack started as a hair-brained scheme, but came together through the support of good friends and family and 30 cans of spray paint, which is sort of how the whole mission process has felt to me (minus the spray paint). We also decided to commemorate Mary’s name under the flag because we just know if she were here, she would have been right there with us, spray paint in hand. While on the path to get to suicide rock, we noticed sunflowers growing all along the way, although they hadn’t bloomed yet. If you don’t know the significance of this, sunflowers were Mary’s favorite flower, and we have had several instances, since she died, of sunflowers growing out of nowhere. We feel like it is Mary’s way of telling us she is there, or knows what is happening with us. In this case, it felt like Mary was telling us she wholeheartedly approved of our rebellious act. Isn’t the British flag just lovely?

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It has nothing on the American flag of course, but let me just have my moment. We did a terrible job of documenting the whole “British tea” in our yard after church, but I was so overwhelmed with all the people that came in support of me. It meant so much, and sometimes you just need a solid reminder in life of the people that are there for you and love you. Here is one of the few photos that I got thanks to a friend who snapped it.

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Thank you  again to all that came to support me, and to those that couldn’t make it, thank you for your endless support in other ways. I love you all!

Top 5 Things I’m Looking Forward To About England

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1. The idyllic English countryside, which BETTER be in my tracting routes.

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2. Mostly the non-British food, but who can pass up some fried food?

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3. My orange rain boots.  Sinatra once said, “Orange is the happiest color.”

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4. Revamping my driving skills: roundabouts will no doubt be the death of me.

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5. Passing up the crowds for the lovely Preston MTC grounds

Top 5 Things I’ll Miss About Home

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1. This awesome group of people (minus a crucial few) who are my foundation and rock.

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2. The dog shenanigans that are inevitably and continually occurring.

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3. This small little hobby of mine (I’ve already lost my calluses) Ahhh!

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4. The glory that is Cafe Rio, and all food of the Mexican persuasion.

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5. The Wasatch mountains, which are a symbol of home to me.