DSC07156So is everybody wondering what news transfers brought??? Can you guess? The big news is…..I’m leaving the good city of Hull for the big bad streets of Leeds! Sister Lam is training again…for the third time in a row. Yikes. We were both pretty stressed out yesterday because we had to wait until around 8 or 9 PM to find out. We knew one of us was leaving, but not sure who it was going to be. I’m truly sad to have to leave this area and the temporary family of missionaries and members that I’ve formed here, but leaving will be a new adventure and I think I’m ready for it. I don’t know much about my new companion yet, other than that she trained the sister missionary that trained Sister Lam, so technically she is my great grandma. Sister Lam and I will both drive up to Leeds on the coach tomorrow for the transfer meeting where she will meet her new trainee and I’ll head off with my new companion. Did I mention how much I hate change? I already feel emotionally drained thinking about the goodbyes I will have to say today. We are having dinner at the Gibbs with some of our good Chinese friends tonight, so that will be sad, but fun. The Gibbs have pretty much become my temporary parents, so that one will be hard. It’s hard to say if it will be harder to say goodbye to them or Oscar. It’s kind of a toss up. I think we will also stop by the Martins house tonight (who are members that live nearby and have let us use their front room for Chinese FHE) and have a chat and hot chocolate together.

This last week has been a good one. We have built up our teaching pool quite a bit with the students, so that will be good for the newbie coming in. I definitely feel like I’ve left some sort of small impact in this area in working with the members and those we have had the privilege to baptize. It’s weird to look at our whiteboard with the list of people we are teaching and think of all of their potential and wonder what will happen with all of them in the coming months. Sadly I will no longer be a part of the story. It will also be strange not to have the challenge of a Chinese area any longer, and to see what teaching the people of England is really like. Sounds tough. Good news is, packages should be really fast in getting to me.

I hope your foot surgery goes well and according to plan. I don’t really like the idea of you having surgery while I’m away, even if it’s not that serious. Tell Emily to sit in on the surgery and make sure they do their job right. I feel like I don’t have much else to say this morning. It was hard to fall asleep last night thinking about my last day in Hull and transition to Leeds. I got most of my packing done before we came to email, which was a miracle. You know how much I hate packing. I’m sending some skirts back home because they don’t work and are just taking up room in my suitcase, so just expect that.

The words that have been reverberating in my head since I found out about transfers are “Be still and know that I am God.” Those words came to me when I was first in this area as well, and it reminds me to just remember that everything is in the Lord’s hands and to rely on Him. It will all work out!

I should have more to tell you on Monday!

Love you lots!

XOXO Sister Zurcher

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DSC07116First of all I’m doing fine. I think I was the most homesick I’ve ever been in my life this weekend, thinking of home and wanting to be with my family during this special conference weekend, but I lived through it, and now it’s not so bad. I think I have this disorder of not being able to stand missing out on things…maybe it comes from being the youngest child, having a need to always be included. Knowing that I was missing out on the comfort of home this weekend was hard! One of the talks that I loved (can’t remember who it was at the moment) was focused on building our spiritual strength or becoming spiritually “in shape” to be able to withstand all the problems and hardships that we face in life. I feel like I am being allowed to focus on that here…even if I’m simultaneously becoming out of shape physically, ha.

So glad to hear about your conference weekend. It sounds like it was divine. It sounds like you really spoiled Toni and Victoria. Being converts, they were excited to travel from England to conference. I was told of Cafe Rio, Nordstrom’s bread pudding, and homemade apple pie! These things come to me in my dreams every night, ha ha. I’m so glad that they were able to stay at our house because I knew that you would treat them like gold. I’m so proud of my dear parents! I too admire both of these girls for the choices they have made in coming to know God and follow Him. Thanks for giving them the best SLC experience since I couldn’t do it!

We were able to watch the Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning session at the chapel yesterday. When we were watching the live Sunday morning one, I was thinking of you at home the whole time wondering if you had made pancakes and bacon to accompany the inspired words. Knowing that it was morning there and night here made me feel l like I was living in a parallel universe. Did you notice the story from one of the seventies who has ancestors from Hull? I imagined Dad’s reaction, and it made me laugh. The talks in the Sunday morning session were so powerful, and the comfort of the spirit washed over me as I listened to them. Elder Holland’s talk was amazing as usual, and made me feel so powerfully that the Lord is aware of me personally. So I haven’t been able to watch the Sunday afternoon yet, but hopefully we will be able to in one of the member’s homes this coming week. We watched the Relief Society meeting in Sister Martin’s home, who lives really nearby us. She fed us a nice warm dinner and then we cozied up by the fire in her front room. She is also working on a project of collecting 8 inch knitted squares for a charity project in South Africa. She will send the squares in and then people there put the squares together to make blankets for orphans in Africa. So she put us to work while we watched. It was fun to be in a home, and it ALMOST felt like home 🙂

So I got the envelope that you sent by express. Thank you, thank you for everything in it! The new skirts have saved my life! Thanks especially for the ear bags! I am still trying to get over how weird they look, so I’m trying to create a trend in the mission so I don’t feel like a weirdo.

Thanks for your love this week. I truly have the best family in the world! I would never be where I am in life without each of the people in our family. Know that I love you each individually and uniquely.

Love always,
Sister Zurcher

P.S. As I told you, transfers are next week, on your birthday, and so P-day is on Tuesday, not Monday. Just want you to know so you don’t think the British weather killed me off already. Can you even stand the anticipation? I know I’m already nervous. Who’s it going to be? Me or Sister Lam? Stay tuned for next week!!

Muah!

Oh yeah, I wouldn’t be a missionary if I didn’t issue you all a challenge to take the advice of the apostles and get more involved in missionary work! How many of the talks were focused on missionaries and members working together? A lot. One of them (maybe Elder Scott’s) talked about three things you can do to be involved.

1) Pray specifically for missionary opportunites and do everything you can to make those opportunities happen

2) Pray for the missionaries in your area and their investigators by NAME

3) Invite someone not in the church to an activity at church or in your home

Pray about these things in the coming weeks and let me know of your experiences! Like Elder Scott said, we need to eliminate the fear involved in sharing what we believe!

Cheers!

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DSC07089So let me tell you a little more about Shelly (the girl we baptized this week) because she is amazing. I just love this girl. I don’t remember what I told you about her last week, but she has been roommates and friends with one of the Chinese members, Cherry, for the past while. Cherry and Shelly are actually both from Beijing, and even went to the same high school, but didn’t become friends until they came to England and came into contact here. In the past Shelly has had zero knowledge or belief in God, and Cherry had invited her to activities in the past, but Shelly never showed much interest in church things. But in the past month, Cherry decided to invite her to church and at that meeting Shelly described feeling incredibly “comfortable.” She kept these feelings to herself, but then again attended church the following week and felt the same way and told Cherry that she wanted to be baptized. After this she was still pretty hesitant and maybe even a little scared to meet with missionaries, but once we actually met she was really eager to learn more. The Lord really prepared Shelly throughout the past couple of years, and so our job was pretty easy. In meeting with her the past couple of weeks I have seen her faith and desire to follow Christ really grow, and she just has the sweetest spirit about her. Her baptism on Friday was a sweet experience. Cherry and Shelly will both be leaving towards the end of October to go back to China, so we are sad, but I’m grateful for the brief experience I could share with them here.

The rest of the week was sort of uneventful, everything kind of built towards the baptism, but we are still seeing a lot of new students coming in and we are trying to talk to all of them. We talked to 3 Chinese people on the street this week actually that agreed to come to church. It was the Primary program on Sunday, so the spirit was strong (in between some of the shenanigans, ha ha). Hopefully we can start teaching some of these people because of that. I will have a chance to watch conference this weekend, and it will be a good tool to use with investigators as we tell people about it this week. I can’t wait. We weren’t able to watch the RS broadcast, but are going to try to watch it in a members home sometime this week.

I hope you have a great week and can’t wait to talk to you after conference!

Love always,
Sister Zurcher

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DSC07035Ni hao! I went through a roller coaster of emotions as I read your email. It made me laugh, some of it made me want to cry, I felt happy, I felt wistful. It was all information I needed, and don’t ever feel like you can’t send pictures because I love it, it’s the best. So thank you for once again being my rock this week and talking me off the ledge. When will you ever be free from doing this with your children? We fasted on Sunday for the people we are teaching, and of course in my personal fast I fasted for the strength to be able to endure the homesickness and discouragement. The Lord has helped me this week. I know He is there. I’ve had various impressions this week, over and over, that I am needed here. Wednesday was the day that was hardest for whatever reason, and I kept thinking “I’m not necessary here, I’m not making a difference,” but that morning while I was making breakfast and going about other things, this thought kept coming back to my mind. “Kate, I need you.” That was it, simple and not very explanatory, but it’s what I needed to hear. Of course thoughts kept coming back into my mind trying to refute those four words, but I know that was an answer from the Lord, and I just have to be able to stay persistent and diligent. One day at a time right?

As far as the running thing goes, I can’t change the situation much. I have come to terms with the fact that it is just another thing that I have to sacrifice while I’m here. I’m willing to do that. I already am dreaming of running the St. George marathon the October after I get back. I really didn’t realize how much I’ve grown to love running until I got here. It really became an outlet for me in Tucson, and sometimes I just wish I could transport straight to Sabino Canyon and feel my feet hitting the trails there. This is something that again there will be plenty of time for when I get back.

Last week was so cold, but the past two days the sun has been out and it’s actually been warm. The cold will return I’m sure, but it’s a nice reprieve for now. We have another baptism this coming Friday! Yea! It’s Shelly, who is one of the Chinese member’s friends. She was such a miracle and surprise. She has known about the church for a while through the member, Cherry, but hasn’t really been interested until really recently. She was so prepared for this, it is incredible.  The teaching process with her really has been about 2 weeks total because she already has known and accepted a lot through Cherry. I’m so excited for her and she is just the sweetest! Friday will be a great day, and I think we will grab dinner with her and Cherry after to celebrate.

Speaking of celebrations, there was a lot of that this week. Oscar had a birthday, and he invited us, and some other Chinese friends over for hot pot (which is kind of like fondue, but different.) Basically you have a thing of simmering broth in the middle, and you gradually throw different things in like meat, vegetables, etc., wait for it to cook, and then grab it out and eat it. It was a lot of fun and the food was great. We also celebrated Mid-autumn festival this week, so we wrapped some more dumplings with Bruce and ate moon cakes. Also fun, but moon cakes are not my favorite…but still a necessary life experience.

I’m really short on time, so I’m sorry, but that’s all for the week! I love you Mom! Don’t worry about me too much, but thank you for your prayers and good thoughts. I definitely felt them holding me up this week.

Love, Sister Zurcher

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DSC07016Sorry to email so late, but today was zone P-day. We had to all get together at a chapel down in Grimsby, and didn’t have time to email this morning. We watched some movies together and played some cards, so that was fun. The sisters in our zone are still outnumbered 6 to about 20 probably. I love the pictures you sent of Claire, especially the one of you holding her. She is just too cute! I can’t wait to see more pictures of her as she grows the next year and a half. I hope you are enforcing the mandate I gave Jacob, that he shows her a picture of me every night. In fact, why not just paint a giant mural of me on her ceiling? That way she will be sure to recognize me when I get home. Ha ha.

This week has been good, but it’s just gotten so cold so fast! Last week it still felt like summer, and now it feels like full blown winter. It’s given me whiplash, but I’m trying to keep warm somehow. I’ve pretty much bid the sun farewell at this point. We’ve been instructed to take daily Vitamin D to supplement for the lack of sun. So sad. I miss that warm Arizona sunshine. Luckily the heat in our flat functions well, so we always come back to a warm, cozy place to sleep. I did find a variety of warm tights at Primark thank goodness, but more are always welcome. I will for sure get the package soon. I don’t know why it got screened and taxed, but I feel like they are profiling packages from Utah because Sister Lam said that her previous companion was also from Utah and that happened to her as well. It hasn’t ever happened to any of the packages she’s received from the U.S. I’m not sure if it is random or not, but it’s annoying. I’m sure the other envelope will make it to our flat safe and sound, don’t worry too much about it.

Last week Sister Lam had an idea to start up a weekly Family Home Evening night for the Chinese members that are younger students. We thought it might be a more casual way for members to invite friends to a church event and just be able to feel the spirit in a less intimidating environment than church. We held it for the first time on Wednesday in a British member’s home who lives nearby, and it seemed to be pretty successful. We did it in her front room, which has a nice electric fire, and so it was nice and toasty after a rainy day. We just had a short spiritual thought at the beginning, sang some Chinese hymns, played some games, and ate some cookies. It was good, and hopefully can become something bigger as we continue to hold it.

I accompanied the mom of a boy who got baptized in the ward on Sunday. She played the flute, and I accompanied her on the piano. It was fun to be able to perform. She was so grateful that I was able to do it with her, she gave me this huge box of candy to tell me thanks.  She also fed us dinner this week and told me that if I bring my parents to England one day, we will all have to stay at her house. Last night we were having a meeting with all the missionaries in the ward, talking about upcoming baptisms in the ward. One of the investigators of one of the sets of elders, knows that I play the harp, and she told one of them that she wants me to play the harp at her baptism. I told them that if they can find me one, I would love to. Fat chance here in Hull.

Thanks for the love and support this week.  It really keeps me going, and will keep me warm this week.

Cheers!

XOXO
Sister Zurcher

Sorry the pictures this week are kind of a let down. Don't ask me what I was thinking about my outfits in half of them...I'm just trying to make it work and stay warm, which kind of equals frump-town USA
Sorry the pictures this week are kind of a let down. Don’t ask me what I was thinking about my outfits in half of them…I’m just trying to make it work and stay warm, which kind of equals frump-town USA
The dog is named Bella, and she is my new friend. By the way, she is supposed to be a jack russel terrier, but is seriously the fattest Jack Russel I've ever seen in my life!
The dog is named Bella, and she is my new friend. By the way, she is supposed to be a jack russel terrier, but is seriously the fattest Jack Russel I’ve ever seen in my life!
We made more food at Bruce's this week. It was homemade noodles this time!
We made more food at Bruce’s this week. It was homemade noodles this time!

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