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, 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!