Ah Monday! Feels good to be writing you all again on a Monday. Happy Memorial Day! In England it is actually a bank holiday so everyone is enjoying that. These English people just take off whenever they feel like it haha it seems like there have been a lot of bank holidays recently.
Good news first: my friends in Arizona got baptized! Yay! Shirley requested a Bible back in January and now she and her husband got baptized. Whoop whoop.
This week was super hot. London had a weird heat flash early this year. And remember, there is no AC in London because it’s only hot enough where you need AC a few weeks out of the year. So everyone was sweaty and a bit miserable in the underground, but I was loving the sunshine. Even managed to get some sweet tan lines on my feet from my lovely Doc Martin missionary shoes.
Last preparation day, we also went on a Harry Potter tour which was super neat. Learned a lot about London and probably know more about Harry Potter than I have ever desired to know, but totally worth it. Found a place that sells decently priced American food as well, so I got myself some goldfish, apple sauce, cookies and a tootsie pop. Good stuff.
My dad told me to include a funny story and I don’t know how funny this is but it was funny after it happened. So! We were on the tube and a bunch of very drunk men got on the train. Within just a single stop, one of them sat on me, squirted beer on us, offered me something I didn’t even bother to look at what it was, and then tried to kiss me. I’m grateful for a wise companion who said, “Hey let’s get off the train.” Good idea Sister Kõiv! For awhile we just were like, “what just happened” but then it was pretty funny after the fact. Classic London.
Oh and we met a super sweet old nun who was going to visit her friend turning 103! & I had a good laugh when we were walking by a restaurant in the rain and a worker put his towel underneath the roof to get some rain water and proceeded to clean the table. Classic London x2.
In the month of May, the Hyde Park Chapel Visitors’ Centre has been crushing it. I’m so proud of these sisters. Most recent update (and we still have a day left!) of baptisms of people we’ve taught from either coming into the Visitors’ Centre or from online work during the month of May is 27. TWENTY SEVEN! To put that into perspective, last year in the entire year the Hyde Park Chapel Visitors’ Centre had 67 baptisms. And in one month this year we’ve had 27. I’m amazed. The work is truly progressing.
Throughout the past few weeks, I’ve really taken in the beauty of where I’m living. Running through Hyde Park, adventuring through the streets of London, and taking a jog along the Thames River passing the London Eye and Big Ben. I feel very blessed to be in this beautiful place.
Well quick thought to conclude this email. Lately I’ve been talking to this very sweet lady and she told me something that has stuck with me ever since. She said, “You are capable of great adventures.”
I’ve always been one to adventure and I’m on the greatest adventure of my life so far at the moment. But sometimes things get routine and so I’ve wanted to do something adventurous. But this sweet lady reminded me what an adventure can be and that we are all capable of making great adventures.
Oxford Dictionary describes adventure as “an unusual and exciting or daring experience.” I used to think an adventure only meant going for a hike or jumping out of an airplane. But I’ve recently found an adventure can be something as simple as taking a different path home or trying that weird Chinese restaurant you walk by each day or even stopping a nun to talk to. Each were unusual and exciting.
Flash back to 1971, an article was written in the New Era magazine about London. I loved this statement- “We soon found out why walking is the best way to see London. Strolling down the winding streets, breathing the misty air, slowly drinking in the legends, traditions, pageantry, and customs makes you more than just a spectator–you become a participant in a great adventure that fills you with pride and respect for the British people.” (https://www.lds.org/new-era/1971/11/how-to-see-london-on-your-own-two-feet-if-you-can-just-get-there?lang=eng)
I feel like sometimes we can get so caught up in the regulars of life that we become simply spectators rather than participants of great adventures. And yes, this will relate to the gospel, because all things do. And it’s best said by my fave Elder Holland. “We invite you to join in the adventure of the earliest disciples of Christ who also yearned for the bread of life–those who did not go back but who came to Him, stayed with Him, and who recognized that for safety and salvation there was no other to whom they could ever go.”
As missionaries, we invite people to not just be spectators but to join the adventure of being followers of Jesus Christ. Being a believer and disciple of Jesus Christ in my opinion is in today’s society sometimes “unusual and exciting or daring.” But it’s an adventure worth taking and one we are all so very capable of if we but have that desire to do so.
This week I would invite each of you, and I am even inviting myself, to think of how you can find your great adventures in following the Savior. For most of my friends here, try something new like reading the Book of Mormon. Or maybe it’s even to pray. Join me in the adventure. It’s one I’m taking. And so the adventure begins! We are all capable of great adventures.