Hear, O ye heavens, and give ear, O earth, and rejoice ye inhabitants thereof, for the Lord is God, and beside him there is no Savior. Great is his wisdom, marvelous are his ways, and the extent of his doings none can find out. His purposes fail not, neither are there any who can stay his hand. From eternity to eternity he is the same, and his years neverfail. For thus saith the Lord—I, the Lord, am merciful and gracious unto those who fear me, and delight to honor those who serve me in righteousness and in truth unto the end. Great shall be their reward and eternal shall be their glory.

Doctrine & Covenants 76:1-6

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Sister Doubt

I'm not gonna lie. . . the last couple of weeks have been pretty difficult. We haven't been able to find very many people to teach and we are doing hours upon hours upon hours of finding. So there really isn't anything fantastic to talk about . . . .
We saw some beautiful sights last p-day. We went to a town called Peterlee with some of the Elders in our zone and did some 'caving', which I'm pretty sure is something they made up. But Peterlee has these incredible cliffs by the sea where there are caves you can walk around in, when the tide is low. So that was lots of fun! 
The Elders have given me the name Sister Doubt, because I doubt everything that everyone says. Such as, my DL and his companion are 'escavating dinosaur bones' in their flat. To which I say, YEAH RIGHT! I don't believe it for a minute. They showed me pictures of it, but it looks fake to me. And then when we were in Peterlee and they were saying how a ship that was off the coast was a pirate ship and I said, 'I seriously doubt that'. That's when they gave me the name Sister Doubt. :)
Sister Terry has begun calling me Sister Stout Bird when we go knocking because the knock is as quiet as a bird. But I feel like I'm banging the door down. My hand HURTS after I knock, because I'm knocking that loudly. But appearently it's not good enough. :)
We are having our mission Christmas party tomorrow, so no p-day today. I'll tell you all about next week.
Merry Christmas Everyone!  Love you all!!
Sister Ali Stout

Monday, 12 December 2011

Exhausted but HAPPY!

Last week FLEW by! We spent a TON of hours finding... 32 hours. Normally we only get about 19ish, so A LOT of walking and A LOT of being EXHAUSTED. But it's all a part of the work. I'm figuring out how to be an effective missionary slowly but surely.
Last P-Day we went to Durham cathedral! It was magnificent! Unfortunately, my camera got left in the zone leaders car so I had to get pictures taken on Sister Terry's camera. I'm also going to get some pictures that shouldn't have gotten taken from INSIDE the cathedral from an Elder who was taking some. So that'll be good.
Last night we went to a part members (June and Eric's) home and helped them decorate their tree, it was SO much fun!! We are going to be spending Christmas at their house as well. Yesterday they got us cards and christmas crackers, and they said that they are going to be getting us Christmas boxes as well! :D
Not much else to say, honestly. I'm having a blast on my mission and I love every minute of it! :D
Sister Ali Stout

Monday, 5 December 2011

Tis the Season

Today is my four month mark! :D Haha . . . . so this week has been good. I was a bit sick for a bit of it and my feet are killing me. . . . but that's my own fault for being too lazy to buy new, comfy shoes. :)
But the thing about living in England in the winter is that it is MAJORLY COLD. The beginning of the week felt really bad, but as the week has gone on, the temperature has gotten lower, but I've been able to handle it better. So I'm acclimating, which is very good.
Ummmmmm, I can honestly say that this was the most blurred week of my life!  I'm having a hard time remembering what happened yesterday, let alone what happened earlier in the week.
OH! RIGHT! Haha, I remember what we did yesterday! We took two of our investigators to a Christmas fireside in Hartlepool. So it was a two hour bus ride one way. LONGEST THING EVER! But the fireside was wonderful! Our investigators liked it. And they kept asking me to show them pictures of my house so we did that on the way. Haha, he said that our house was 'mint'.
We had zone meeting on Wednesday, as well. We all had to make lists of things that we were grateful for and we gave them to the zone leaders and they went through them all to find common things that everyone was grateful for. They said that pretty much everyone had the same things EXCEPT for ONE person. Which just happened to be me. They read off most of my list (which had cute baby animals, old people's stories, yarn, and that moment when you are SO TIRED, but because you are just THAT TIRED you are extremely hyper, so you can't fall asleep, but it doesn't matter because you are having THAT MUCH FUN. . . . yes, I am turning into THAT kind of person). But it was super fun!

OH, RIGHT CHRISTMAS! For our flat, a member gave us a FIVE FOOT FIBREOPTIC TREE! It is SO incredibly EPIC. Sister Terry and I love it! We have also hung up some tinsel and we bought advent calenders, which are AMAZING!  So yes, mum, to answer your question, we did decorate for Christmas! :D

And to answer your other questions, NO, there are ZERO English people in my zone. Weird, I know!  Also, I don't feel like I have an accent at all, but I can DEFINITELY hear the American accent now. It is SO STRANGE. So harsh sounding. . . :)

Anyway, I don't have much time today, so I must dash.
Sister Stout

Monday, 28 November 2011

Epic Week

Everything in Redcar is going fabulously! This week we had Sisters Specialized Training (which was EPIC). We did sooooooooo many fun things like: watched the movie The Ultimate Gift, lit a chinese lantern with the things about ourselves that we wanted to let go of, ate a ton of food, had a tea party (lds approved tea, obvs) with fancy hats, and listened to President and Sister Lindley speak. We also all had to prepare a little talk thing about the things we've learned while being on our mission, and I talked about just being myself and how I know now that Heavenly Father actually has a plan FOR ME.
Oh my goodnesssssss, I cannot describe to you the LOVE I have for my mission.  I can honestly say I love being ME and I LOVE serving the Lord and I ADORE the people I'm meeting, other missionaries and members and invesitigators . . . EVERYONE! Even the people who yell at me. I love them ALLLLLL!!!!!
But this week was also Thanksgiving! Which is not an English holiday . . . but that's okay! Because on ACTUAL Thanksgiving Sister Terry and I went to the Morrison's and got a roast chicken and some rolls and an apple/toffee pie and then we ate it on the floor of our flat. So much FUN! Then we also had a proper Thanksgiving at the Stake President's home with our whole zone and that was massive amounts of fun. There was PUMPKIN PIEEEEE!!!! :D
Not too much else has happened. I'm just livin' life, and having a ball. :)
Wow, this is a pretty short email . . . .I don't know why. . . quite a bit has happened. . . .I suppose I've just summed it up quickly.
I love you all!!!!
Sister Stout

They told us to go all fancy to the Stake President's Thanksgiving, and I just got my handy dandy curling iron in the mail so SHABAM. FANCY.

This is our first Thanksgiving dinner with just me and my comp
This is me super excited to eat Thanksgiving :D

This is our 'unofficial' district, even though we are no longer together...Elder Spratt, me, Sister Smith, Elder Taylor

Me knocking a TEENY TINY DOOR!!!!

ANOTHER TEENY TINY DOOR!!!! Cutest thing of my life!

Monday, 21 November 2011

Happy Early Thanksgiving :)

This has probably been the most stressful week of my life. Not that I'm complaining. I'm not at all!  It has been such a learning and growing experience taking over Redcar. I already feel like a million times better missionary. I'm really figuring out how to rely on the spirit! I love it. :)
An example of this relying on the spirit-ness: I had to give a talk in sacrament meeting . . . AGAIN. Haha, but it's really not that big of a thing. But, me being ME, I wrote out about 4 pages of things I was going to say when I was up there. I had about a gajillion scriptures picked out and I was SUPER prepared. I was the first speaker and President Benson called me up. . . and I literally felt like I couldn't read ANYTHING that I had written down! NOTHING. So once I was up there, I just said, 'I have a talk written down, but I don't think that it's what I'm supposed to say.' And then I gave a 15 minute talk on the Atonement of Jesus Christ. Haha, I've come pretty far from my farewell talk. :D And a lady from the branch came up to me after church and said, 'I am SO sorry!' And I was like, 'What on earth are you sorry for?' She said that she had to give a talk at a Christmas fireside and she was really nervous about it, so she prayed and asked Heavenly Father to let her know what she was supposed to speak on. She had thought previously that she should talk about the birth of Christ, and when I started to change what I was going to speak on she knew that I was going to answer her question. I started my 'new' talk talking about the birth of Chirst. So she apologized for making the spirit change my talk. :D But it was such an amazing experience just fully relying on the Holy Ghost!
Going to transfer meeting was fun . . . even though I didn't actually go to the meeting. I traveled all the way out to Leeds and then they made us go knocking. Haha, oh well. At least we got to hang out with the other missionaries before and after the meeting, which is the best part anyway :)
This week we DO get to have Thanksgiving! Which is FANTASTIC!!! :D The whole zone was invited to the Stake President's house. He's American and has the missionaries over every year, which is WONDERFUL!!! So I am super excited about that.
Also this week, we are going out to Leeds again! But this time it's for Sister's Specialized Training! So it's pretty much a sleepover and President and Sister Lindley will talk to us and a bunch of other really fun stuff. :) So that will be just about the BEST THING EVER!! Hahahahah. So excited.
Not too much else has happened.  My new companion, Sister Terry, is wonderful! She makes me feel like I'm hilarious. Haha, she laughs at everything I say. Which I am NOT complaining about at all! I love it! But she just says that she has a low happy tolerence, she can only handle hearing a certain level of funniness until she starts laughing for about an hour. Appearently I exceed her happy levels. Haha!
Sister Stout

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Stayin' in Redcar!

I'm in Redcar for another transfer! Which is nice, since I LOVE my zone! My new companion's name is Sister Terry. Transfers wil be happening tomorrow. :/ I will REALLY miss Sister Smith though. . . :(  But I'm ready for a new adventure with a new companion! :D

This last week has been CRAZY!
I went on my VERY FIRST EXCHANGE EVER. It was all VERY exciting. Sister Smith went up to Durham (where the Harry Potter castle is) and I stayed in Redcar. The Sister who came down from Durham's name is Sister Brown and she is WONDERFUL! We had so much fun! It was defintely interesting taking over the area for the first time, especially since Sister Smith had the map in her purse and the extra map we had in the flat had all of the Redcar pages torn out (obviously some previous missionaries thought they were BRILLIANT by not having to carry aound the WHOLE map, but it was very bad news for me). But I did the best I could with what I had. :)
THEN! When Sister Brown and I were traveling up to Durham to switch back . . . well, first, we had to take the train from Redcar to Darlington and once there we were going to catch a connecting train up to Durham. But once we got to Darlington. . . the WHOLE train station went to a stand sill. Appearently someone either threw themselves or was THROWN in front of a train. So Sister Brown and I (who are BOTH greenies) were stuck in this place and we DIDN'T KNOW WHAT TO DO!  We eventually called our mothers (Sisters Smith and Freeman, respectively) and just generally trying to stay calm. So we had to wait at the train station for TWO HOURS until the zone leaders came to save us. Then they drove us up to Durham to switch back, then they drove Sister Smith and I back down to Middlesbrough and from there we took the bus back to Redcar. It all took FIVE HOURS. Super long day, but it was a fun adventure!
We also had Zone Confrence this past week and it was WONDERFUL! President Lindley said that since we can't go to the temple he would bring the temple to US! It sounds pretty dodgy, but it was really amazing! I learned SO MANY THINGS! Haha. Remember when I was 15 or so and Brother Beck asked me to come up and bear my testimony about girls camp or something and I just shook my head and I didn't do it? Haha, well President Lindley asked me randomly during Zone Confrence to come up and bear my testimony. . . and I did it with ease! Haha, I love growing up!
Then my district leader, Elder Spencer, asked me to give a five minute talk on something that I've learned on my mission so far. . .and I chose hope. I am so much more hopeful than I once was and I am SO GRATEFUL! As long as we have hope, we will be okay! And that is something I have learned DRASTICALLY. Haha.
I LOVE this gospel! It is so amazing! And I am eternally grateful to my Saviour, Jesus Christ!
Sister Stout
ps. I spelled Saviour with a U without even thinking about it! SO WEIRD! MY BRAIN IS TURNING PROPER ENGLISH! Haha!

This is Martin, who got baptized last week!

This is Scott, who was baptized THIS WEEK! :D Also President Benson, the Branch President. (Scott on the left, P. Benson on the right)

Sister Brown and I when we were stuck at the Darlington train station!

All reunited again! :D
Billingham's fearless zone leaders coming to our rescue!
This is our neighbor, Mike, LIFE SIZE DARTH VARER EPICNESS!!!!!

Monday, 7 November 2011

Martin Accepts the Gospel

This week has been incredible! We had a baptism! And we will be having another one this week as well! :D
The man that got baptized this weekend's name is Martin and he was SOOOOO prepared to accept the gospel. We only met him about six weeks ago. And it was a miracle that we met him at all. We are supposed to do two hours of companion study in the morning, because I'm being trained, but Sister Smith felt that we were supposed to go to this potential's house at 10 am. So we did and . . . she wasn't in, but Sister Smith was feeling like we should stay in the area, so we started knocking.  As we were knocking, Sister Smith said that she didn't feel like it was the right thing to do, but that we needed to stay on that street. I felt really bad that we were skipping companion study, but Sister Smith was adament that we stay. And RIGHT before we got back in the car at 11:00 we saw this man walking down the street and we went up to talk to him and BAM - it's six weeks later and his life is completely changed. It is SOOOOOO AMAZING! I love the gospel SO much! 
And I didn't have enough time last week to write about everything that I wanted . . . so I will write about it . . . . NOW!
I've been wearing my glasses pretty much everyday since I got to Redcar, but last week I was like, 'UGH, I'm done with this. I'm ready to wear contacts again.' So that's what I did. And NOBODY recogized me. Everyone thought I was a new missionary. It was fun for a while because I felt like I was in disguise. . . but now everyone is used to it.
And you kow that pumpkin you sent me? Welllllll, I was SOOOOO exicted! So I made them for Halloween and since it was a p-day I was going to share them with all the Elders as well so I brought them to the bus stop. . . and I left them there. :/ So I only got to eat like two cookies and some homeless person got to eat the rest, I'm sure. So hooray for them. I wouldn't cry if I got some more. . . :)
I haven't been biting my nails! I'm really too busy (and I'm not as worried as I was at home . . . .) to think about it.  So my nails are growing, which is niiiiiiicccce.
This past Saturday was Guy Fox night, otherwise known as Bonfire night, which was pretty exciting. Lots of explosions. I thought about how Cassie would act if she were there. :) It made me happy. SO much screaming!
I'm gonna end this now so I can send some pictures as well! I LOVE YOU ALL!!! :D
Sister Stout

(She wasn't able to send pictures because her camera died, but hopefully next time.)

Monday, 31 October 2011

Hi everyone!

Everything here is going fantastically! The time changed here on Saturday so I got an extra hour of sleep, which would've been amazing except the alarm on our phone went off and I thought that the time changed on it, but it hadn't and I started to get ready for the day. When I got out of the shower I saw that Sister Smith was still asleep. Luckily, there was still a half an hour left so I just went back to sleep. :) But that extra half an hour was so so precious. Especially now that we don't have a car. I am SO TIRED EVERY SECOND OF MY LIFE. Not that I'm bitter about the car getting taking away. I'm just tired.
We have this investigator that every time we've gone over to see him he's either smashed or he's asleep. So his girlfriend, who is also an investigator, just lets us in and we teach her instead. But this week was weird. We showed up at the time that we ALWAYS show up and she answers and said that he was in the bath so we would have to come back at a different time. But he yelled about how we should come in. So she let us in. And the bathroom is RIGHT THERE in the flat as we walk in and the door is WIDE OPEN! So there is our investigator, in the bath, and the lights are off so it's SUPER dark, and he's soooo drunk. And Sister Smith and his girlfriend go off into the other room and I'm left to shut the front door and he's sitting there and TRYING to engage me conversation and I, for the life of me, could NOT get the front door to close. I started to FREAK OUT SO BAD. So I just shoved it as hard as I could and left it at that. So that was traumatizing. Then when he FINALLY got out of the bath we started to teach him and, well, he was drunk, so he starts spouting off about how he's God and Jesus Christ  and at first Sister Smith was laughing at him, because she thought it was a joke. But then he was dead serious and was slightly angry that she was laughing. Sooooo oops. :/ It was a very strange appointment. But then we saw him around town later in the week and he was still DRUNK and apologized about how he said that he was God and Jesus . . . so I don't know what's up with him.
We had our investigator, Martin, pass his baptismal interview on Saturday! SOOO EXCITED! He's getting baptized on the 4th of November. We had scheduled him for the 5th, but we forgot that it was bonfire night and we, as missionaries, aren't allowed to be out that night. So yeah. :)
But there are other missionaries waiting for me to get off, and I feel bad that they are wasting their p-day just waiting around. . . so farewell! :D
Sister Stout


Monday, 24 October 2011

My Life is Wonderful

Life is pretty grand right now! I'm always learning things. ALWAYS. And I'm getting pretty pro at finding situations! I get yelled at a lot, but it doesn't even bother me anymore! Which is a MIRACLE for me, as you know.
So many great things have been happening! Such as: I realized that England likes my hair. A LOT! I think I've only had two bad hair days since I've been on my mission. I don't know what it is, but even if I don't wash my hair it's always full and voluminous. It's WONDERFUL!
Also, I am no where NEAR as picky of an eater as I was before I left! I talked about Nasr, the old Egyptian man we eat tea at every Saturday, a couple weeks ago. Well, I eat Egyptain food all the time! It is SO GOOD! Also, I don't mind eating peppers anymore, which Cassie and Whitney will be happy about. :) I actually enjoy eating them now, crazy right?! Even spicy food. I have a higher tolerance for spicy food then Sister Smith, which is pretty crazy. To say that my spicy food tolerance is higher then ANYONE is insane for me! Haha!
The Branch President called us on Saturday and asked us if we could give talks in sacrament meeting the next day. To which we both agreed. There were supposed to be two speakers before us, but there must have been some miscomunication because they only bore their testimonies and the two of them combined only took five minutes! So then it was my turn and I was told to plan for only ten minutes, which I did, and you know how I'm not very good at public speaking in the first place, so I couldn't really just jabber up there to kill time. So after my ten minutes were up, Sister Smith got up there and she spoke for 35 minutes! Haha, but she did so good though!
Well, this is the end of this weeks email. I am loving it out here! I love you ALL!
Sister Stout

(Ali and I chatted through email for about 45 minutes.  Here are a few of the things she wrote to me that I thought some of you might be interested in.  Most of what we talked about was family stuff.  But I asked her a couple questions and it gave me a little better understanding of how she's doing.)

Sister Smith and I get along GREAT! It took a little bit of time to warm up to each other, but I think it's because both of us are naturally kind of shy. But this transfer has been crazy fun!

We have quite a large teaching pool. It's really great! I would say we have about 20-ish investigators. And we have a REALLY GOOD investigator who is scheduled for the 4th of November! His name is Martin and he's in his 40's and he is GREAT!

But anyway. I love talking to you. And it's so crazy how much I am changing here. But not really changing, I'm still me. But you know what I mean. :) I love being brave. BRAVERY! 

Monday, 17 October 2011

Busy Week


This week we worked SO HARD. Haha, we are doing so well here in Redcar! 

I honestly don't have too much to say this week, not much has happened. . . just work, work, work. :D

But I am doing extremely well. BUT it is getting SOSOSOSO cold. Insanely so at some moments. I wear tights every single day. . . except today, apparently. Haha, I forgot to put them on . . . oops.

A person we were talking to on the bus told me I have the whitest teeth they had ever seen. It took me so off guard, I don't know why. . . random. :)

I wish I had more to say. I'm thinking sooooo hard . . . OH, Sister Smith got an epic high five from a drunk guy as we were walking back to our flat one night this week. It was hilarious! 

Ugh, this email fails at being an email, so I'm sorry. My brain is just dead like a dead fish. But not in a bad way, just in a 'nothing happened and I'm working my brain too hard and I'm on the verge of making stories up' way.

But not having a car means that I'm gonna get into shape. Even though I've gained half a stone since we started walking. I'm calling it muscle though. . . :)

Well, this is gonna be the end.  

I love you all! With all my heart! :D

Sister Stout

Washing the car in preparation for it to be inspected! Never washed a car in a skirt before... haha!!!
This is ENGLAND! I took this picture at the top of Roseberry Topping.
This is me. . . just taking pictures. Just for the heck of it. I will not tell you how many of them there are. :)
This is Elder Plump and Sister Shorts. Haha, made courtesy by the Elders in our Zone.
This is Sister Smith and I after our traumatic experience of losing the car and having to walk home in the rain and then getting locked out of our flat. It was all very exciting.

(Allen was excited to see the peacock feather in the background... he sent that to her a few weeks ago.)

Monday, 10 October 2011

Car Blues

Another week has come and gone. . . haha. This week was interesting . . . they took our car away. :( So we are now on foot and buses. It's very different. My feet actually ache today. But it's alright. 

We put up a pretty good fight to keep the car though and our zone leader still feels bad that we don't have one. But now we only have one car for our entire zone. . . oh well. 

But anyway, funny story about when they took the car away. It was Wednesday and we knew we were giving it to another set of sisters that evening so we were planning to go out to see our investigators who live forever away, but we had already planned to get the MOT on the car done, before we were told we were giving the car away. So we took it in, thinking it would only take an hour or so. BUT WE FAILED! Ugh, it was horrible, so they had to keep the car the whole day and fix it. We got the car back an hour before they were taking it so we ZOOMED (at a reasonable pace, of course) out there, saw our investigators and ZOOMED back. 

Then we gave the car away. We took out all of our fun EFY cd's and stuff and we left MoTab in and as we were driving to the chapel, it felt like a funeral. So, it was gone after that. We had another appointment, so the zone leaders drove us to it and that was good. But after the appointment we had to walk back. It took us like 45 minutes AND it started to pour and poor Sister Smith only had a cardigan on. But we made it more fun by singing and rocking out. Haha.

Once we finally got back to the flat, we were SOPPING wet and COOOOLLLLLD. But then we couldn't find the keys to the flat. Neither of us had them, so we thought we had left them in the cup holder of the car that was now HOURS away. But luckily they were only at the chapel and the Branch President drove them over to us. But yes, we had a fun night. I had a picture that I was going to put along with this story, but I'm gonna have to put it up next week, because I forgot my camera at the flat. . . oops. Sorry. :)

This is the first day of my second transfer! It is rather remarkable! I almost can't believe it. . . 

But honestly, nothing much more has happened. Just trying to adjust to not having a car. It will come with time though. I am sore from all the walking. :{)

All right, this is the end of this weeks email. . . I LOVE YOU ALL! :D

Sista Stouta (don't ask, because I don't know. . .)

Ali with her distract.
Baptism of Jon Smith

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

Hellllllo wonderful people!

I am going to be in Redcar for another six weeks! YAY! With Sister Smith! Haha, after this transfer she will have been in Redcar for half of her mission. Crazy-ness. :)
For P-Day we drove out to Darlington and everyone played American football. Everyone, but me and two other Elders anyway. Haha. I'm not too fantastic at sports. And everyone gets SO competitive. It's slightly overwhelming. Haha. But yeah, so I just sat off to the side and talked to the Elders.
OH! Where we were sitting, there must've been a nest or something, because there were a GAJILLION spiders! They were EVERYWHERE. It was so gross. We were finding them all over our clothes and our bags. And then the worst thing happened. I had a feeling they might be crawling on my back so one of the Elders checked and he said there weren't any, but there WERE like four or five of them in my HAIR.
I FREAKED OUT and took my hair out of my ponytail and shook my head around. UGH just even thinking about it now. . . shuddershuddershudder!!! laskdfjlsdkjfkdfhalsdkjflk
So after about two hours of sitting and talking and getting attacked by itty bitty spiders, we got bored and started to throw an extra American football around. I don't think I've ever thrown one before. But Elder Spratt said I threw it perfectly. He said I threw it like Elder Parham, who got a bunch of scholarships to play for different universities. So appearently I have a hidden talent! Haha, my talent is so good in fact, that I threw it as hard as I could and Spratt tried to catch it and it hurt his finger! Like, really bad. Not broken, but it got all swollen and it turned all green and blue and purple. It was like that for a couple of days. Haha. I felt SO SO bad at first, but then he was just TRYING to make me feel bad about it, so I stopped feeling bad because it was his own fault to catching it WRONG! Haha.
So this week was fantastic! The baptism went so well! I have never had the feeling of a baptism being so . . . sacred before. It was really amazing. I loved it!
But, yeah, everything is going so well! I am having so much fun! The hardness of it all when I first got out here is really going away and time is going by so fast! I can't believe my first transfer is pretty much over. . . so WEIRD! Hahahahah.
My life is SO GOOD right now! I love p-days, haha, they are so much fun! And I LOVE missionary work!
Sister Stout

ps. MOM! I love you SO much! You are such an amazing mother! If you want you can make your emails a little longer. . . I normally run out of things to say and I LOVE hearing about home! 

pps. Could you send your letter seperate from the box? Maybe? It just takes longer for boxes and I love getting letters, especially from you! :D
ppps. Tell daddy sorry from me! Ahhh, so sad. But thank goodness that Dr. Beck is there to help out!
pppps. Dad, I love you sooo much! During that talk in General Confrence about dads and daughters, I started to cry. . . :) You are the most incredible dad I could've ever hoped for! Thank you for being so amazing and I'm sorry about your hand, but the story that goes along with it makes me laugh and it is SO YOU! Hahah, you are crazy, but in a really good way!
ppppps. Who is the new bishop?!?!?! You never told me . . .
pppppps. I LOVE YOU SOOOOO MUCH :D My family is amazing. . . I don't know what I did to deserve such a good one.

(Ali sometimes gets carried away with ps's... haha!  But we love them.  I don't usually add them and I did leave a few out, but I think they're cute :)  Her personality comes out through her emails so much - it's great!  We love and miss her so much!)

Monday, 26 September 2011

Roseberry Topping, Capture the Flag, and a Dead Bunny


This week went by so FAST! I can't believe my first transfer is almost over! Weird. . . :)
Sorry about how short last week's email was, we were having our zone p-day and our zone leaders made it sound like we had to be SUPER quick with our emails. We ended up having like 45 minutes to burn afterwards, hahaha.
We went hiking at a place called Roseberry Topping, and that was pretty fun. It was so steep though! When we got to the top we just hung out for a while taking pictures and stuff. Then we went down the . . . mountain. . . no it's more like a big hill. But, yeah, once we were off the big hill we played capture the flag, which was fun as well! Except for the part when I was running and then I saw this dead bunny and it was bloody and gross and very DEAD so I had to LEEEAAAAPPPP over it and I landed funny on my knee. I was running after one of my zone leaders afterwards and my knee started to really hurt and I kind of fell. . . and he was like, 'Oh! Man down!' and we was acting like he was gonna see if I was okay. . . yeah right! He came up to me and said, 'Are you okay?' then he ran around me and grabbed the flag and ran to his side! Unfair! But I was still on the ground nursing my knee after he got to his side and he came back over and made sure I was okay. So all was well. I showed him where the dead rabbit was and he picked it up and started to chase people around with it. The maturity level of some Elders is astounding. :) But it was funny. And disgusting. We all got bored of capture the flag and for the rest of the p-day we just threw rocks at the rabbit. Very exciting.
My knee hurt that night, a LOT, but since then my knee hasn't hurt at all. :)
The rest of this week has been kind of a blur. We had a fireside at our mini chapel on Saturday and President Lindley spoke. It was good! More people showed up then we expected so that was nice! But one of our investigators came to it and he was drunk. And after it was all over, he kind of made a scene. Luckily our Branch President was there to help us sort it all out. But all in all, it was a success. 
That same investigator said he was going to come to church yesterday, but he didn't show up. So we kept trying to get a hold of him, but he was kind of ignoring us. I think he was mostly embarassed about the whole situation. So Sister Smith and I went by his flat yesterday and we knew he was in, because his curtains were moving and he lives alone, but he wasn't answering the door. So I yelled through the post slot. Sister Smith was going to do it, but then I was like, 'I want to do it.' But then right after I said that, I regretted it. I didn't want to do it. But I did do it, because she woudn't let me not do it after that. :) She is such a fantastic trainer! :) 
I think that's all I have left to talk about for this week. . . :D
Sister Stout


(Ali send these pics along with some others, but some wouldn't download for some reason.  I'll add them later if I can get them downloaded.)

"My Zone! :D"

"My District on P-day"

"Sister Smith and I at our District P-day"
"Our victory picture for winning the Billiham Belt thing for most investigators present!" (I have no idea what that means exactly, but she and her comp were pretty excited about winning it :)

Monday, 19 September 2011

Such a Great Week... I'm Speechless

Dear Spectacular People!
My week has been fantabulous! Hahahah, so GOOD! The investigator that was having suicidal thoughts got an ANSWER and now wants to be baptized as soon as possible! YESSSSSSSSS.
Hahaha, I cannot stop SMILING! :D But this week has been great! My thoughts are so incoherent right now. We had so many lessons this week. SO MANY.
Okay, gathering thoughts. We had District P-Day on Tuesday and that was fun. We almost got killed . . . hahah, not really, but it felt like it. We let another set of Elders drive and . . . yeah. That was fun. Crying from laughter.
But, yeah, nothing too exciting has been happening. We have a baptism set for the 28th of September, for a different investigator, and it's going to be epic!
I don't have much time at all to email today. . . I wish I did!  We have a zone p-day today and we are going hiking, so that should be fun. I love everyone and miss you all as well! Time is starting to FLY haha.
Sister Stout

ps - I'm so sorry this email is rubbish.  My thoughts are just all over the place today :) 

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Here's What's Up!

Weeellll, this week should have been a 'bad' week. Considering I have been sick for exactly seven days today. SEVEN! Yes, I am still sick. But it hasn't been that bad. It's helping me to find out just how tough I am. Normally at any signs of illness I just get in my bed and watch telly for a couple of days. But here. . . I just want to work work work! Hahaha.
So, last Monday, something very exciting happened! In the morning we got a call from one of Sister Smith's former investigators. She was very surprised that he called! But he said that he had to talk to us that night. Sister Smith told me that the reason he was a FORMER investigator was because she had a dream that her and her comp should drop him. So they did. But now, about six months later, he calls us up and we met with him and then . . . he asked US if he can be baptized! Haha. It was amazing! He said that once the sisters stopped coming by that his life went down the tubes. And once he knew what it was like to have that faith in his life, he didn't want to live without it! It was incredible! It was a miracle! Haha, Sister Smith was inspired, the time that he had to learn on his own was exactly what he needed in order to fully commit himself to the gospel!
On Tuesday, I FELL DOWN A FLIGHT OF STAIRS. Oh my goodness, it was terrifying. I just lost my footing, fell on my bum and slipped more than half way down. Hahaha, I have the grossest looking bruise on the top of my foot. But I'm okay. It was more scary then anything. I'm so clumsy. :) The stairs were very narrow and steep though. . . .
I am feeling much more comfortable every single day. It was hard at first, and it is still difficult, but seriously, every day it gets easier and easier. I love that. The Lord is most definitely carrying me. I couldn't do it without him!
I don't have quite as much time to write today, as we are going to Middlesbrough to pick up the Elders serving there and then going to Hartlepoole (sp?) to go to the beach for our district p-day (we're just eating and playing sports. . . no water for us :). Also the reason we didn't have p-day yesterday was because we had a mission tour. It was spectacular! So inspirational.
Sister Stout

Monday, 5 September 2011

I've Snipered...Haha

Hello EVERYONE!!!!!! :D

This week was pretty intense here. . . one of our investigators texted us Tuesday night and was saying he was gonna end his life. So we dropped what we were doing and spent nearly two hours telling him why that was not the right way to handle things. So, that was something I never thought I would experience. He is still alive, which is a blessing. But he is very depressed. But apart from that experience, things have been good! We scheduled three more for baptism. Oh, one of our other investigators was telling us about how since he has been investigating the Mormon church . . . a mole that he's had for as long as he can remember and always gave him problems, has mysteriously disappeared! IT'S A MIRICLE! I guess the Lord really does work in mysterious ways! :D :D :D

I have been experiencing some mild home sickness. . . but I know that it's just because I'm scared to push myself out of my comfort zone. Haha, but the missionaries here are quickly curing me of the dreaded 'comfort zone'. Two days ago, our zone leaders came down to see how we street contact and knock. At the end of street contacting, Elder Pahrem said that we couldn't leave until I had snipered someone. Which is to see someone who is far away from you, then yell out to them to get their attention, then you run up to them and start talking to them. Ugh, I did NOT want to do it. At all. But I did. . . .and it wasn't as difficult as I made it out to be. :)

Lucky, getting to be at the cabin. :) It sounds fun! I can't believe that I've been in Redcar for almost two weeks now. Oh my goodness. It feels like it's been way longer then that. Haha, but also shorter, at the same time. I keep getting told that the time will speed up . . . kind of looking forward to that moment. Oh, tell Aunt Ashley congrats! Also, send me a picture of the baby! I love that you sent me a picture of Cassie and Whitney. . . NEVER hesitate to send me pictures! :D Oh my goodness, I love Cass and Whit. . . and I miss them. And I miss all of you. Pictures are wonderful things.

NO! I have not driven yet. . . I have to take two lessons first. . . and I'm actually slightly terrified of driving . . . hahah. I'm sure it will be good though. I will eventually! But not many areas use cars. We are lucky that Redcar covers so much area, otherwise we would be walkers. But I'm sure I will learn how to drive eventually!

I love everyone and I LOOOVVVVEEEE getting letters! Oh my, I got five this week and it was GREAT!

Sister Stout

ps. Oh! I got a letter from Elder Davies mom! It was so sweet! It warmed my heart! :D

pps. I got letters from Cabel and Whitney as well, and tell Whit to send me a picture of her new hair! I want to see it soooooo bad! I bet it's amazing!

ppps. MOM! I love you with all of my heart! :D

Tuesday, 30 August 2011

First Week in the Field

Hello everyone!!! So, yes, I am finally in the field! I'm in a little town on the coast called Redcar! I actually live just half a block from the sea. Sooo, it is a bit cold, and I wish I had brought some more long sleeve shirts, haha, but I am doing fantastic!

When I first got here, I started to feel a little overwhelmed and cried a few times, but considering this would be the first time I've cried since I've come on my mission, I would say job well done on my part! Everything is getting much easier. Street contacting was so hard for me at first, but now I can just drum up a conversation pretty easily now. I get turned down most of the time, but that's okay. Knocking has also gotten easier. It was always the easier of the two, but now I am relying on the Spirit more to tell me what to say rather than having a pre-planned idea.

My trainer is really great and has helped me out a lot! Her name is Sister Smith and she is wonderful! She is from Boston, but she goes to school at BYU. She's been here in Redcar for six months. . . which is when she came out on her mission! She is training in her first area!
Here in Redcar, we have just a tiny little branch. There are about, maybe, 30 people. And that's a big maybe! The chapel is so tiny! And nobody knows how to play the piano so we sing a cappella.

The investigators are good. On Saturday I scheduled someone to be baptized! It was so cool! His name is Gary and he is a very kind person. We also started teaching a Filipino man and his wife yesterday and scheduled them both for baptism as well. That was the lesson where I felt the Spirit the most. They have such stong testimonies of Jesus Christ! And his wife seemed very interested in the Book of Mormon!

The food has been SO GOOD! I don't know what people were on about before! Haha, so yes. So so good. I love that they just put stuff in a pastry and call it dinner. . . most brilliant idea ever. Pastries are . . . heaven sent. Mmmm. We don't get many tea appointments though, so not too many opportunities to try authentic English food, but the appointments I have had, have not been a disappointment! By the way, in this area of England, breakfast is still breakfast, but lunch is called dinner and dinner is called tea. The sister missionaries eat at this Egyptian man's house every Saturday for tea, and that is pretty cool. He's not interested in the church (he's Muslim) but he loves us! Haha.

I'm so happy to hear that Miss DeeAnn liked church! I know that she will come to know that the gospel is true! She is such a sweet person and so loving! Aww, I miss Miss DeeAnn. And Tanci! Tell everyone I say hi and that I love them!

So, yes, yesterday was p-day and it was a bank holiday so we couldn't come to the library. P-day was fun, we went to the Middlesbrough Chapel and played chair football and some other ball game that the elders wanted to play. . . gatorball or something like that. Then we watched Hook! Haha, it's funny to watch a movie with elders. The movie is approved by our mission president, but there was a kiss or two and everytime that happened they would say, ugh, sick or something like that. Haha.

I'm very happy to hear that Brandon is doing better! I was going to write him, but I wasn't sure what to say. . . but it gives me a lot of peace to know that his testimony is growing.

Tell Robbie congrats for me!

Is that mom that you were talking about Elder Davies mom? Haha, he told me that his mom and my mom had been talking. We thought that was pretty funny. Elder Davies was in my MTC district.

Well, I really don't know what else to say. . . I am very happy to be out here and I know that I can do it! It's going to be tough, but nothing worth having comes easily! This gospel is amazing and I love the Spirit that it brings! I know that I'm out here doing the Lord's work and he is my constant companion on this journey!

I love you all and I hope to get some more letters soon!

Sister Stout

President Lindley, Sister Stout, Sister Smith (her trainer) and Sister Lindley

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Last Day at the MTC

The MTC group excited to get out to there missions and get started with the Lord's work!
Hello everyone! I don't have too much time to write today, as they are only letting us write for a few minutes. We get transfered on P-day so we won't have any time to write . . . at least I don't think we do. We may, I guess. But I did read both of the emails you sent, mom! :D I got both of the boxes this week! Thank you so much, I really appreciated it!
I can't wait to get the letters waiting for me at the mission home! I hope they get there in time.
My week has been fantastic and I get to go into the field tomorrow!! :D I am so excited and so READY! I am a little bit nervous, but all is well. I know I can do it.
Oh, yeah! I went prostelyting this week and that was quite the experience! I got yelled at twice and no one took any of my BoM's. . . but that was okay. I only cried for a second. Haha! I'll get use to it. But after looking back on it, Heavenly Father knows how to teach me. He knew that I needed to have a slightly rough first go. This expericence is going to be so awesome for me. It already has been awesome.
Everyone got to have a meeting with President Walker and that was cool. He said that he never would have imagined that I was shy before . . . haha. He said he thought I was just one of those naturally confident types. Which I guess I am, really. Well, actually, I know I am. Being at the MTC has taught me so much and even if I am a little sad to be leaving, I know that I am off to bigger and better things!
Well, I love everyone and I'll write next P-day! (which I have no idea when that'll be! hahaha)
Sister Stout

And so the work begins....
All the Sisters
Ali with her MTC companion, Sister Belliston
America being represented at the MTC
The Moroni District

Ali in front of the Preston Temple

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Hey mom (and family)

No I haven't gotten either boxes. :( I hope I get them soon. . . You should be getting some pictures from the MTC from when we went on the Church History Tour, which was WAY fun, by the way. We got to go to where some of the early missionaries lived and then we also went to where President Hinckley got his letter fom his dad . . . well you know the story. It was way fun! It was nice to get out of the MTC anyway. :)

Everything is going SO well! My teaching is really improving! I am getting so much better. At first my comp and I would talk realy fast, no silences or anything, but that is so much different than how it is now. We are 'teaching' a Jewish woman and the last lesson we had with her she said that she is starting to have faith in Jesus Christ! So that is way exciting. . . and she isn't just easy on us because we are new missionaries, she said that me and my comp were the only ones to actually get her to have faith in Christ! Haha, not that I'm boasting . . . it's just exciting!
There are four of us going to Leeds in my district, me and my comp and two elders. My whole district is fantastic and hilarious! We all have so much fun together. One of the Elders said last night that it seems like we have all known each other for years. . . and it really does. It's crazy how short of an amount of time it has actually been! Haha. We spend so much time together, because we are in class by district and we have class for at least 8 hours a day.
I leave the MTC next Wednesday. :D I am so excited to go to the field, but I love the MTC so much! So it's a bittersweet situation. But mostly sweet. :)
I played volleyball with my zone yesterday and I hurt my right wrist. . . remember how I said I thought I had carpal tunnel in that wrist from knitting? Yeah, well, now it's way more irritated. But it's honestly not too bad.

Well, I am going to send you pictures, and I need some time to figure out how to do it, so I'm gonna leave this one short. But I'm learning and growing a lot and having so much fun!
Sister Stout

ps. Tell every one I love them and I miss you all, but it's really not bad. It's so great here!


(She couldn't figure out how to send the pics :(  Oh well, maybe next time)

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

First Email and She's Loving It!

OHHHH, I'm so sorry for not writing yesterday. They told us p-day would be yesterday, but the temple was closed until today, so . . . yeah. :) Sorry!

Everything is going wonderfully! There are five other sister missionaries here and they are all great. My companion's name is Sister Belliston, she's from Logan, is super sweet, and was homeschooled as well! She is absolutly great! My district is really nice as well. We are the only sisters in our district, but the Elders are really great. We have three Elders from England and one from Austrialia in the district. We are all getting along really well. They get distracted really easily, but when they talk it reminds me of being home with all of those boys hanging out at our house. Like yesterday or two days ago they had this super long drawn out argument over how to say the letter Z. The English say Zed, we say Zee. . . you know. Just a lot of arguments. But pleasant arguments. I really enjoy it, but I think other sisters get annoyed, a bit. But out of all of the sisters I am, at least, tied for first on the outgoing level, which I know will make you happy, mom. :)

I'm doing really well. Like really, really well. You know how I've always had a hard time speaking up in class and stuff. . . that's all gone. I am literally not even the tiniest bit afraid of any of that. I have also taught three lessons so far, and some were better than others. My favorite one was when we were teaching this Jewish woman . . . it was awesome. The other two were alright. I still have a lot to learn! All of my teachers here have been fantastic as well! It's almost strange just how much I think I've changed in the last . . . wow, it hasn't even been a week! I feel so much more comfortable and confident, it's crazy. Not as comfortable and confident as I know I can be, but I'm getting there.

I've been having a little bit of a hard time sleeping, or at least getting to sleep. But the beds are really comfy and nice. The food is also fantastic! We get dessert pretty much every dinner, but I'm working out pretty darn good, so I'm not too worried about that. :)

We get lots and lots and lots of studying time. But then again it feels like not enough. A single day seems to last days and days. But not in a bad way.

England is beautiful! Lots and lots of liquid sunshine (as Sister Walker, the president's wife and President Hinckley's oldest daughter, says)! We went to the temple and that was amazing as well, I felt the spirit so strong!

I would love more letters! Anything would be nice. I got the one you sent right away, but I wouldn't complain about getting more. ;)  TELL THE KIDS TO WRITE ME. And Whitney! PLEEEAAASSSEEE!

I will be sending the family a letter today and hopfully there will be pictures along with it. It just depends on if I can get them developed in town today.
Well, I only have five more minutes. And I feel like I want to say so much but don't quite know what to say. . .

I love you all and I miss you (but I haven't even cried since I got here, which is good, I didn't want to be too homescick). I feel a tad homesick now as I'm writing this, but it's been really great!

I know that I'm doing the right thing by serving the Lord. I love this Gospel so so much and I am so honored to be a missionary in England!

Sister Stout

I know that this church is true! Heavenly Father loves us all so much!
Have a super special Wednesday and I will have a great rest of my p-day! :)
Love you!!!!! :D

Thursday, 4 August 2011

God Be With You Till We Meet Again

Well, my baby's on her mission!  It was difficult to say goodbye but I feel very at peace with it.  I really feel like she's doing well and loving her time there so far.  I do look forward to hearing from her though!

This was the group of missionaries that flew out together from Las Vegas.
From Vegas she flew with 3 elders and one of the elders mother flew with them to Atlanta.  One of the elders who flew from Vegas will also be serving in her mission.  She called from Atlanta and said she would be traveling to the MTC with 3 other sisters and about 30 elders.  I would have loved to have seen them all there at the gate ready and excited to go - so many missionaries!  We were both a little sad to say goodbye over the phone... I'm sure it's because we knew we would not speak again until Christmas.  

She was able to send a short email when she arrived to the MTC to let us know she was safe.  Her p-days will be on Tuesday while she's in the MTC.  I'm excited to get a nice long email from her!  

I'm so proud of her.  I know she was a little scared to go, but she knew this was what Heavenly Father wanted her to do.  I also know that she is putting all her faith in the Lord to carry her through her mission.

Brandon's and Ali's missions will most likely overlap quite a bit.  Chances are they won't see each other for about 3 or more years.  But they are both very excited for each other!
On our way to security... 
Christian was very excited for Ali!
My three beautiful daughters.  When the time came, it was a difficult goodbye.

Ali and Cassie's last hug for a while.... which lasted a long time :(
I miss you so much Ali, but I'm very proud of you!  You will be a great missionary!

Sunday, 31 July 2011

Farewell & Open House

Ali gave her farewell talk today in church about the Atonement.  The spirit was strong.  We had lots of friends and family come to support her.  Brandon also spoke about missionary work and Melanie sang "I Need Thee Every Hour". They both did a great job.  After sacrament meeting all our family and friends met in the Cultural Hall and Ali was set apart as a full-time missionary.  It was a beautiful blessing.

Later that afternoon, we invited the ward and of course our family and friends to an open house we had in honor of Ali and a young man (Matt Boyd) who just returned from Cambodia from his mission.  He also spoke in Sacrament meeting.  I love missionary meetings!  Anyway, we had a great day with our family, friends and ward family!  Thanks to all who helped and showed up for both Ali and Matt - it was a great day!

This was taken right after church in the back yard (or as they say in England... the garden)

Elder Ellis' birthday is coming up, so we set up a table for writing him birthday cards and also words of encouragement to our 2 favorite missionaries!

The "after party" with some of the kids friends.