The weather has been awesome this past week. Sunny and warm. I've even gotten a little tan which is crazy haha. I think it's the "week of summer" they have here before the year of rain.
Yesterday, Sunday, was amazing! We had 8 people we've been teaching come! After much persuasion we finally convinced the lady in her 80's that refused to come to church because she didn't think she had anything suitable to wear. But she came yesterday and she loved it! She says she wants to keep coming. This was definitely a miracle, no question. Also, a man who's in his 30's and was inactive for many years finally came back to church with his mum a little while ago, was able to pass the Sacrament for the first time yesterday! That was really cool to see. The woman I invited to be baptized my first day also came. I don't think I've told that story yet, but if so, I'll just tell it again:) She has been a heroine addict for most of her life but her father is a less-active member and she's been investigating the church. On my first day we taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ and about the need for baptism. Sister Passey set it up perfectly and right when I said, "Will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be--" her father cut in and said, "What's the Church's views on gay marriage?" It was completely random! We hadn't talked about gay marriage at all in the lesson! This was proof to me that Satan is very much aware of what we do on our missions and is trying to stop us in whatever way we can. Anyway, we finally were able to bring the conversation back to baptism and I was able to ask her to be baptized. She said yes (which I wasn't expecting so I kind of just sat there in shock for a little bit) but then we found out she has to be off the methadone program she's on to be completely free of any drugs in her system before she's baptized. That was kind of sad because it will probably be a few more years before she can be baptized but it's still a miracle how much she's progressed and that she was able to come to church yesterday. I know that Satan is real, especially in those kinds of situations, but I also know that our Heavenly Father is mindful of us and that we just have to keep trying to do what's right and He won't let us be tempted or tried above what we can handle.
We had a funny lesson yesterday at church. Elder Smithers, our district leader, was teaching the Gospel Principles class, which is mostly for investigators, less-actives, and those that have disabilities so they learn a little bit slower than others. He was teaching about the temple and showing pictures of some. He showed a picture of the baptismal font in the Salt Lake Temple and one of the ladies we've been teaching asked, "They have real cows in the temple?" Everyone was laughing and we explained that they were just statues, but as I thought about it later I realized how strange a lot of the things are in the temple to someone who hasn't grown up in the church. I think I take that for granted sometimes.
We had the nastiest food yesterday. We got held up in a lesson and we didn't have time to go back to the flat to eat dinner so we decided to go to a corner fish 'n chips shop and get something to eat there. Sister Birch and Sister Passey ordered a cheeseburger and were expecting a normal cheeseburger. No. They deep fry everything there! It was gross. The hamburger was breaded and red inside and dripping with grease. We all felt so sick that night and resolved to never go there again. Speaking of food, a member gave us black pudding yesterday (otherwise known as blood pudding, blood sausage, or black sausage) in a package to take home and cook. We're kind of scared to but I want to try some just to say that I have. It really does look pretty dodgy haha. Everyone thinks it's strange that kebabs are banned in the U.S. (because of the dodgy meat) but I'm not surprised. They definitely have different health standards over here. But also, have really good food. For the most part haha.
That's it for this week! I miss you all!
Sister Caryn Jackson