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

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.)