Jan. 6, 2014

What a week! I don’t have much time so I want to really explain a crazy/eye opening experience I had this week. 

 
Yesterday as we were entering our flat complex after church, Roy, our upstairs neighbor saw us and said “Are you the Mormons?”….”Yes we are, can we help?”…”Well yes, Mandy needs to move by Tuesday and she is not well enough to pack anything, can you pack her clothes?” So, we ran upstairs and changed into sweats, Sister West was really sick and was running on two hours of sleep, but we thought we would only be packing up clothes and then we would be done. Were we wrong or what.. Mandy was incredibly drunk, and she was only wearing a robe. So yes, I saw this woman naked. Her house was a mess and the smell of vomit was so strong. There were sick stains all over her carpet, I am telling you her carpets were saturated with throw up. As we started packing away clothes, she was sitting on the bed trying to take anti-sick pills, when suddenly she said “I think I am going to be sick…” She projectile vomited as we were only a few feet from her. Sister West and I ran out quickly to get some fresh air… I said I quick prayer asking that we could have the energy to get through it to help her pack. So got back inside, put on some gloves, and began to just throw everything away. At one point, I was in the kitchen trying to sort everything out, I got the prompting to see where Sister West because she wasn’t in the kitchen. I found her as she stood next to Mandy…Mandy’s robe was down and Sister West was trying to help her put on a bra…Knowing Sister West was dying inside, I rushed and helped her hook her bra and put on a t shirt. 
We labored for 5 hours, and had to call the Elders to help us. I saw and touched things I never thought I would, ESPECIALLY as a missionary. But I learned a lot from this experience. I learned how to have Christlike love. We must forget ourselves and put ourselves in the place of the Savior. We must love people as He would. He loves everyone and we must try our hardest, no matter who it is, to serve them and to help them when needed. 
 
So that was my crazy experience with Mandy…I wish i could tell you the details of what happened and what I saw, but I will leave that out for you. I love you all! I hope you start this new year off right!

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Dec. 30, 2013

Well it’s been a long week! But it was great of course, because of Christmas 🙂 

 
On Christmas Eve we went with the Elders to the Neu’s! They are awesome. Brother Neu is from America so it felt somewhat like home. They have the cutest kids too, they are perfect and wear cute little English sweaters. Anyway, we ate a fajita dinner and then played games and made a chocolate house, full of crazy sweets. It was a lot of fun! And of course, Skyping the family 😀
 
Christmas Day was interesting. There was a giant storm that passed through so nobody had power. Well we had power in Guildford, but everyone that lives in the little villages didn’t. Like the Fotheringham’s, where we were supposed to have Christmas Dinner. So when she picked us up she told us to bundle up because there was no heating at their house. Brother Fotheringham was still able to pull a pretty nice Christmas dinner. We just had fried turkey instead of roast. No roast potatoes 😦 Actually, it was a miracle because Sister West was supposed to Skype at 3 and the power came on ten minutes before! That was pretty cool. I got to watch Tangled while she talked to family. I MISS MOVIES. Once she was done we ended up watching the Muppet Christmas Story. That movie is weird…
 
Boxing Day was spent at my all time favs, the Bairds! We had a nice little lunch and then just talked, played a game called Linkee which is a British trivia game. So me and Sister West failed miserably. but any time there was a question about America, we were on it! It was nice to hang out with a big family. Felt like home. 
 
So the holidays were good here! The ward showered us with gifts, it was really touching. They a lot of thought into things they got us and were so kind to us. I’m so thankful! 
 
On Saturday, I wasn’t feeling to good so we were in the flat. We heard a really faint knocking sound (side note: we realized that she was the source of the really scary knocking sound we heard in the middle of the night a few days before) and I looked through the peep hole and it was Mandy… We opened the door and she was really drunk and just started crying, she said “I feel so low..I didn’t know who to turn to but you girls” So we stood at our doorstep for 10 minutes as she talked about how she is so sad she has to move and how her family hates her. The whole time her eyes were rolling and she would fade in and out. We eventually helped her back to her flat and sat with her there. It was impossible to talk to her. She kept saying “Michael my neighbor really fancies you…well he fancies both of you…actually I quite fancy him” she said that like 8 times the whole time we spoke to her, and we had only met Michael once for like 2 minutes. So yeah, we finally told her she was to drunk to talk to us and we left. 
 
Oh hey, I would love updates on Jordan and Mason if someone would be kind of enough to send them to me!
 
Well I just gotta say missions are hard. Hard but rewarding. Its almost been 5 months, time is going by so fast. I hope you all enjoyed your Christmas! The weather is awful and I have some type of flu. So i get to stay in a snuggle, watching a little of Nora’s Christmas 🙂
 
I wish you all the best!
Sister Brittain xx

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Dec. 23, 2013

Hello again! Well it really is Christmas time now. Tomorrow is Xmas Eve! Say what? But I shall recap this week!

 
So my birthday, was fabulous. The whole district, along with the Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came together at the chapel and we are a birthday party 🙂 This included an egg toss, charades, pass the parcel, musical chairs and many more.  All planned by Elder Schumann, the German who really does have a heart. It was fun! Then we went to the Jackson family, where we had a nice dinner. Debbie and Amy were there, we finally asked if they would be interested in our message. Amy said yes! But Debbie wasn’t kinda unsure about it so we will see. I love Amy and it would be so great to teach her!
 
Tuesday we got to go the Temple! How cool is it that I can say that I’ve been to BOTH temples in England? Pretty cool! We also had a nice dinner with part of the mission. 
 
One day this week we went finding in a village called Jacobswell. It was a 30 minute walk. No one was home and those that were could hardly hear what we were saying. Frustrating! But what can ya do? The bishop counseled us to go to Jacobswell and we did. So we were there for some reason!
 
So Darrel..met with him an Mcdonalds again. We kind of dropped him, we think he just visits with us for social part of it. Not that we are like super talkative and fun with him… But yeah, he flogged on church twice and just isn’t taking it seriously. We will see how he is in a few weeks.
 
Mandy…ooooh Mandy. She’s NUTS. And has lots of issues. We saw her as we were leaving the flat and she sounded like she was doing a lot better until she asked us if heard the big fight from our upstairs neighbors the night before. We were like “Uhh…we didn’t hear anything?” She went on about how this big black man came into house and was in her loo, taking a wee. What?! haha I think she was dreaming/hallucinating… Poor woman, she has a lot of problems in life right now Just not sure how we can help her. 
 
We taught Milford on Saturday. We met him at this place called the Spectrum and it was like being in America…sort of. There was an ice skating rink and bowling and get this a small water park! I saw people in their bathing suits…in England..in the winter! Never though I’d see the day.
 
Me and Sister West gave a talk in Relief Society. It went good expect that it was cut very short so that the primary could have their nativity. SO CUTE. 
 
Oh yeah, Sister West got sick so we made a fort, meaning made a big bed on the floor with our mattresses, watched Nora’s Christmas for like bagillionth time and ate soup and garlic bread. We may or may not have slept on the “fort” for another 2 nights…
 
Well I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas. The work is Guildford is slow, but I love the Gospel so much and I know things will pick up soon. I’m so happy to be on a mission.  I love you all!!!!!!!!!!!!
 
Love,
Sister Brittain xx

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December 16, 2013 (Happy Birthday Abby!)

Ok so I am 20 now…no longer a teenager. Its really weird and i don’t know how I feel about it!!! But the ward has been great, my fav families all gave me little gifts. Tonight I’m having a good bday dinner with the amazing Jackson family 🙂 Also, apparently the district is throwing a birthday party for me at the chapel today, so that will be fun! I wonder what Elder Schumann came up with… He had his guitar in the library soooo idk what will happen!

 
I just want to say a big THANK YOU to the ward. I’m so grateful for the amazing package yall put together. I loved it all!!! I will be writing back soon!
 
This week was kind of rough. On Saturday as we came to our a flat we saw an ambulance in the car park. Our first thought: Mandy. We were right. We stayed at the top of the stairs and listened in as the EMTs had to bang on the door and scream her name. When she finally opened up they said “Mandy, you cut your face…” We didn’t listen to the rest. We haven’t been able to see her and we are really worried. We aren’t sure what will happen :/
 
Darrel skipped out on church..again. This time he had a cold. He also skipped on our lesson with him. What was his reason? He was up all night listening to crickets….If he doesn’t show at church next week we will have to move on.
 
The news I am most gutted about is Latvian Laura is moving back to Latvia. I am SO sad. We were finally getting somewhere with her. She is so great and I really came to love her. But we will be referring her to some lucky missionaries in Latvia.
 
Other than that, not much happened. I met a girl from Texas!! She is from Austin!! how cool?!? She works at this craft store we always go too and when she heard my accent she asked where I was from and she freaked when I said Texas. She has actually heard of Nacogdoches and BEEN there. Never thought Id hear that in England.
 
Other cool fact, a husband to a member in the ward here is the guy that made all the swords and armor for movie Princess Bride! Thats pretty neat, he has also done some work for Lord of the Rings as well. 
 
Funny quote of the week: “Sorry can’t talk, I’m up to my knickers in chutney!” as this old woman at a door licks all her fingers. HAHA if you didn’t know chutney is a super british thing that they all eat here. its pretty much anything that has been pickled. EW. 
 
Well tomorrow we go to the temple and have a Christmas dinner with the mission! I’m excited for that! I’m loving my mission, it really is going by so fast. By February I will only have a year left. 
 
I love you all so much and I hope you are staying warm. Please enjoy your Christmas and remember the reason we have this holiday time is because of the wonderful birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. 
 
Happy Christmas!!!
lots of love
Sister Brittain xxx

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December 9, 2013

This week was such a good one! I will first explain Milford! 

 
We were on exchange, so I was with Sister Anena (she’s from Uganda!) in Staines and Sister Adam and Sister West were in Guildford. So one of the days they planned to see a less active named Daniel, we had no clue who he was so we were trying to figure out who he was. Well basically, when they knocked on his door, nobody answered, but as they turned to leave two guys came up the stairs. Daniel and Milford! Daniel told them he wasn’t interested in coming back to church but that his brother Milford, was thinking about going back. They talked to him and found he served a mission in Germany and had a pretty rough divorce two years ago and since then hasn’t been to church. Well we met with on Saturday in the middle of a busy mall. Halfway through talking to him the fire alarm goes off and we were all rushed outside. No harm done though. Anyway, yeah! We invited him to the ward Christmas party that night, and he actually showed up! He had a lot of fun and everyone welcomed him! He is a super great guy and he is having a rough time right now, so it’s such a great opportunity to help him come back to church and realize that the Savior’s atonement can help him in this hard time. 
 
Well we are still teaching our downstairs neighbor Mandy! Sort of…Sister Adam and Sister West saw her on the exchange and she accepted a day to be baptised! She always talks about how we are the angels sent to save her. She REALLY needs the Gospel. She is a alcoholic… Every time we go to see her this week, we see her passed out on her bed. She finally left us a note on our door, saying she has been “busy being ill” but everything was so scribbly and spelled wrong, we are pretty sure she was drunk when she wrote it. Also, she might have cancer… So please keep her in your prayers. I love her and think she is just so great. She needs help turning her life around.
 
Our other guy is Darrel. He is interesting..haha We teach him at Mcdonalds everytime. One thing I will NOT miss about England, is that fact that people don’t have good hygiene! There is very distinctive “dirty” smell, we smell it ALL the time.Its a mix of BO, dust balls, and mold. Why am i saying this? Because Darrel has this smell. He told us that it makes him self conscious and we think that’s why he didn’t show up to church on Sunday. Poor guy… He is so sweet and kind. When we taught him the Plan of Salvation, he got  really happy because he has a fear of death. It’s so great to see the look in people’s eyes and to feel the Spirit when they realize the Gospel is true 🙂
 
Oh yeah, ward Xmas party was awesome. Got a cool pic with Santa (Brother Baird haha), I got to be a judge for the talent show, and got plenty of yummy food. So much fun 🙂 I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time! 
 
Well I have official been out 4 months, crazy. And next week I turn 20?!?!? Where is the time going? Next week we get to go the Temple and have a Christmas dinner with the mission. Can’t wait for that.
 
I hope you are all staying warm and enjoying the Christmas season 🙂 I know I am, what better way to spend this wonderful Christmas time, than as a missionary, serving the Lord! 
 
I love you all!
Much love, 
Sister Brittain xxx

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December 2, 2013

This week was pretty stinkin great! I don’t know where to begin! 

 
Well I will start with Gisel. She is a recent convert that the Elders baptised and this week they had an appointment with her but they couldn’t make it cause Elder Schumann had the flu. So we went instead. She’s from the Congo so she has a cool french accent. And her kids are adorable. Well we decided to reteach her the Restoration, as were teaching she was taking notes and kept saying “I didn’t know that! woooow, that is really great…” Turns out she thought Joseph Smith was still alive, didn’t know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared to him and didn’t know that Christ established the church before his crucifixion and much more that she had NO CLUE about. And she was baptised!!! At the end the lesson she was so happy and said we made things so clear for her, and that she really loved how we taught her. She invited us back again. Next time her two friends she has been sharing the gospel with will be there. Needless to say, the Elders were a bit angry that we took their Recent convert AND two referrals. 
 
I had a wonderful Thanksgiving! The Bull family is just awesome and they fed us the traditional turkey dinner. They are great! 
 
We had a zone conference on Friday, and the Europe Area President was there! Elder Teixeira and his wife are such amazing people and have an amazing story. It was so great to hear from them and give us counsel and guidance. I wish I had my notes to share!
 
I went on exchange with Sister Adam, the sister who used to be in my district but is now Sister Training Leader for our zone. She’s so scottish and she is really outspoken. I learned a lot from her! She just talks to everyone and will really say anything to anyone. She goes home soon too! 
 
Sunday at church was hectic. One of the Elder’s investigators, Poppy had a breakdown in church because her best friend called her selfish. And of course, we sisters were sent in to be therapists. We sat and talked to her for about 20 minutes and said a prayer with her. This poor girl needed us to be teaching her but the Elders never wanted to hand her over. She’s 17 and lives in a hostel. So she has had a pretty rough life. Seen and done things a lot of 17 year olds shouldnt have. But she is moving to an area where the Aldershot sisters can teach her so thats good! Being a sister missionary is so awesome, always expect the unexpected. 
 
UPDATE ON MIRACLE MANDI
If you don’t remember, Mandi is the woman who asked if we saved he when she collapsed on the street and she lives in the flat right below us. Well we stopped by her house yesterday and she let us in! She is so awesome. her dad was the manager for Cliff Richard, she is good friends with Eric Clapton and is really into Blues and loves John Mayer. She told us she has pretty much lost all faith and that she was supposed to be at AA when we stopped by. We just bore our testimonies and said the gospel can really change her life. She was like “Its not a coincidence that we met the other day. You are like two beautiful little angels God have sent me” AH! She is letting us come back today to teach her! Such a miracle and blessing to have met her! Awesome thing is, we only have to go down one floor to see her!
It was hilarious though because when I told her I was from Texas she said “What! You’re not English?!” And I was like huh?! Apparently she said I sound soooo english….Hahaha. I think she has slight hearing loss from all the concerts she’s been too! 
 
Funny story:
One night when we were headed home (we leave in a very residential area, far away from the city center), this car came up to us with these two Indian guys and the oldest Grandpa looking one asked us “Where to London?” And we were like “uhhh do you mean London Road?” and he said “No, where to London the city?” HAHA you are a little lost dude, you are in the middle of a neighborhood like an hour away from London… We just told them to head back to the main road. He said “ok bye bye we are headed to London now!!” WHAT! ahahha we were dying.
 
This week has been so great! The time is flying so fast. Next week is my  4 month mark! I’m so happy here, sometimes I forget I’m in England haha. I hope you all remember the reason for the season! CHRIST. Be kinder, smile more and remember to charitable. 
I love you and miss you all!
lots of love,
sister Brittain xxxx

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November 25, 2013

It has been a great week! One of the best ones yet I would say! Why? Because Lara got baptised!!! It was a wonderful service! It was short and sweet. Surprisingly short since Freda Baird gave a talk! haha. But really, it was amazing. Afterward Lara said “I feel clean!” How wonderful. Such a blessing to be apart of her journey.

 
Before her baptism, we took her to the temple. Which went MUCH better than the last time. The visitor centre was empty and she was able to have the attention she needed. And instead of watching Johnny Lingo (yeah…thats what they showed her the last time…) we got to watch the Restoration! The Spirit was so strong throughout the day it was lovely. It was neat just to be at the London Temple 🙂 
A funny story from that day was when we were on the way there, we were with Sister Fotheringham, and she likes to talk…and talk. She’s one of those people that tells 5 stories in one. And there was awkward silence so to start a convo I said “So can you believe it was hailing in Aldershot yesterday?” and Sis Fotheringham says, “Oh yes! My cousin had prostate cancer…” and she starts going on and on in detail about her cousin who had prostate cancer. And me and sister West are looking at each other like “Did she not hear what I said?” and of course i’m trying sooo hard not to laugh. She talked for like ten mintues! Eventually she did reel it back in and said that this cousin got caught in the hail storm. But man, it was so funny trying not to die of laughter.
 
Anyway, a sad story is Latvian Laura saw anti-mormon videos online and started having doubts. It was so hard. I almost started crying in the lesson I was so sad. We just bore our testinmony and told her to ask God and get the right answers. She’s going to Latvia for 2 weeks and she might go to church there. 
 
Something cool though! We were leaving our flat and this woman that lives on the floor below us saw us and said “hey are you the two that saved me?” We had no idea what she was talking about. She started walking with us and told us that she collapsed in the street and someone called the ambulance but she doesnt know who it was and she wants to thank them. We gave her our card and said we were missionaries. And she said “oh that is great, I really need Jesus in my life right now” AH! We are making her cookies this week 😛
 
Well the work is great! I love being a missionary! It’s so great. I love it. You know, even if Lara is the only person I see baptised I would be happy. I hope you all know that Heavenly Father loves you dearly. Its unconditional. I hope you a fabulous Thanksgiving! Tis the Season y’all!
 
LOTS AND LOTS OF LOVE,
Sister Brittain xoxo 

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