The mission president allowed us to write our family after zone conference and so I learned a few major things from zone conference. 1- to devote ourselves to the work and 2- the condition of our hearts determines our level of happiness. I will strive to devote myself to the work, this has been a goal of mine since I saw Elder Bednar's talk on Characters of Christ (http://www2.byui.edu/Presentations/Transcripts/ReligionSymposium/2003_01_25_Bednar.htm). I will be more outward instead of inward. I will use this sacred calling and time to serve the Lord and hasten the work.
I will also try to have a positive outlook on life and see things in more of a positive manner. By doing these things I know that I will become a better missionary and have no regrets by the end of my mission. And this is the goal of my mission, to have no regrets and do all that I could possibly do. I will ask myself the question on the flight home at the end of my mission, "Did I do my best and everything I could as a missionary?" As I fulfill and apply the things I learned in zone conference I know that my answer to that question will be, "yes, yes I did."
Just a little more about England: the candy here taste so weird, they don't have good candy. I guess it's different but at the same time it is a bad flavor or not enough flavor. I might send you some later. Or bring it back home after my mission. The weather here is mostly like Half Moon Bay or San Francisco -- there are spurts of sunniness but in a few hours it goes away. It hasn't been raining in a few days, I hope I don't jinx myself! The weather isn't so bad, if you got clothes to keep warm and I'm blessed that I do!
The accent here is very difficult, even in the London airport I had a hard time understanding people. I basically have to learn a few languages -- Mandarin, English (all over), and Geordie. All of it is so different than American Engish, but I am excited to learn all the terminology and such(: The first 2 days I was absolutely stressed about learning Mando, all the Chinese and English people here assume I know Mando already but all I know is English and Spanish. They all express disappointment and I guess this is what Dad felt like going to Taiwan. But hopefully I'll pick it up quick. My trainer is Mando speaking and in our flat we have 4 sisters, my trainer and I and Sister Lu and Sister Monroy. Sister Lu is from China and was hoping I speak Canto and Mando. But I don't ahaha She's learning English. She's really nice and helps me a lot with my Chinese. I am so blessed to have a Mando speaking trainer and a native Mando speaker in my flat. Sister Monroy is from Guatemala and she speaks Spanish and is learning English. I keep up my Spanish with her so that's another blessing too!(: All of my flat mates are super friendly and kind. We all like to have fun, which is great because that's how I relieve stress but when it is time to work we work.
I get SO confused when I cross streets! They drive on the other side, luckily I have a trainer who watches over me, else I probably would've already been hit by a car ahah They mostly use roundabouts here and they have weird roads and they sort of drive like the people in Taiwan. The roads are pretty skinny and the cars get super close, cars also drive on the other side of the road into on coming traffic to pass parked cars. But the scary part about that is the on coming cars are super close when the bus or car wants to go onto the other side to pass parked cars.
I also realized that if you want to flush the toilet you need to hold the button or lever for about 3 seconds. Weird. But I am getting used to that. They also have two faucets for kitchens or sinks, one for hot water and one for cold...that makes no sense to me because one faucet will be scalding and the other ice! I don't know why they don't just have two twisties for hot and cold and one faucet. So that takes some getting used to, if you want to wash you hards or do the dishes with HOT water or COLD water, there is no in between! Something cool about England is that the outlets have switches so you don't waste electricity! That is pretty darn handy!
On my first Sunday at Church, I bore my testimony of Jesus Christ and tried to get to know the Church members. The Newcastle ward is pretty small and diverse in ages. There's one Brother who has the thickest English accent and loves to talk to me. I just nod and smile when I don't understand what he's saying ahah and another Brother said I looked like the Asian girl on Hawaii Five-0, which isn't a bad thing because she's a boss and pretty.
A sad thing I found out about the Leeds mission is that missionaries are not allowed to play sports anymore...so sad! No more basketball or volleyball! The only sports we are allowed to play are tennis, ping pong and catch, pretty lame. But apparently a lot of missionaries have been injured from playing too hard.
I had my first Preparation Day on this past Monday. We buy our groceries at Asda (British version of Walmart) and do emails at the library close to our flat, then we have the rest of the day to go site seeing or have free time. But this P day was a get together with all the sister missionaries at the Marsh's home. They are a senior missionary couple, we watched Enchanted (we can only watch Disney movies or movies the president allows). They also fed us-cookies, pop and vegetable soup, which reminded me of Mom's veggie soup with noodle alphabets! It was nice to go to a home, sit in a living room and relax and watch a movie. P day is from 11am-6pm and before 11 we study and after 6 we go out to teach lessons or find people.
Oh one cool thing, Elder Sorenson and I are serving in the same area, so it's nice to have a friend and someone you know from before coming to England. Sis Christensen is in Hull and Elder Von Cannon I believe is in York, not exactly sure but we will all see each other eventually!(:
And that fulfills week one!(:
What easy fast foods can I make?
Don't worry, england si treatuing me well
Oh and if you want to send me a package send it to the Lister House address:
Sister Aria Chee
England Leeds Mission
Lister House, Lister Hill, Horsforth
Leeds LS18 5AZ England
Remember don't say how much it is worth and say it is "gift not for resale". You can say worth is $20 or anything under that and they won't tax it.