Called To Serve

Called To Serve

Monday, April 25, 2016


> Dearest Family!!
> We have just gotten back from getting the BEST SUPRISE!! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE FUN GIFT!!!!!!! I got your email yesterday and was SO excited! This morning too I was just waiting for the flat bell to ring. and I was expecting a couple little things but HOLY SMOKES! You are just the best family EVER! Oh thank you! And sister England says thank you too and that you are the best! As we were looking at all of the stuff she kept saying in her cute brittish accent "Oh this kind is proper good!" (that means really good! :) ) So yes! THANK YOU! It has made my week! I really needed it too... this last week was GREAT but also just one of those long ones. I missed you all a lot as well so today has just been an answer to prayers and the little boost that I needed! I LOVE YOU!!!
> So yeah. As we were walking to the chapel I was trying to think about what to tell you about my week.... and yeah. Both sister england and I were laughing becuase we are busy ALL day long but honestly I have no idea what to say about our week! It was a long one in that it was just a lot of days of finding. I feel like normally things are fine and I have been able to handle the long hours of knocking and finding with people telling me that they aren't interested or that they dont believe in God pretty well but this week I was kinda tired of it! I always feel bad too when I think things are long... I know that I should just be more focused on my saviour and that nothing should bring me greater happiness that getting to spread the gospel but on some days and some weeks its just kinda long and hard. BUT i think with that I am grateful to know that It is okay to have long days or hard weeks. We are definitely supposed to be happy and enjoy life but to have that happen we also need to have times that aren't as exciting or thrilling - it is all part of the plan. I am grateful to Heavenly Father who allows us to have longer weeks and harder days becuase that just makes the good weeks and the miracles even sweeter! So things are great! Im sorry I dont have more to update on... it was just a lot of finding and knocking.
> I am also really learning about how WONDERFUL agency is - I get to teach that a lot :) - but also how frustrating it can be for missionaries!:) we are working with some wonderful people who I LOVE. I love the people we are working with SO MUCH! I just want them to embrace this and understand and accept it becuase I know that it will help them and it will make them happy! But Its the frustrating thing that they have their choice as well. As much as I know that this is what they need, they have to come for that themselves. I kinda think it goes back to How Heavenly Father must feel about us sometimes - as silly as we are. He knows the right way and the best plan but sometimes we use our agency thinking that we know what is better. Ha it must get a little frustrating for him too! :) So grateful that he always loves us though and is SO patient. But yeah. We are working with great people but we aren't really sure if they are really committed.
> BUT besides that something that I just loved this week is durring studdies we have been going over the atonement as a mission. I was reading in 3 Nephi 11 when it talks about when christ came and how he let everyone come up "one by one" so they "could know of a surety" that he was the saviour. I LOVE that this gospel and the atonement is so personal - it is about the ONE. I am so grateful for a saviour who cares about each of us individually and wants US to know of him for ourselves. He doesn't want us to take anyones word for it - but wants us to be able to experience him and the power of his sacrifice for ourselves so that we can know of surety. Its just so individual and wonderful. I also loved though that for the people to be able to experience it they had to make the effort to go up to him. He had his arms out stretched but they had to go up and feel for themselves - make the effort to get to experience it and know. I know that is true for us as well. Our saviour is ALWAYS there for us - his hands outstretched and begging us to feel of his love and experience his atonement - but it is up to us to make that effort to really find him. I just loved that this week and the reminder it was for me. So grateful that the atonement and saviour is there for all of us but at the same time there for us so individually. Oh it is just the best.
> something fun from this week though is that it was the queens BIRTHDAY!! She turned 90!! I found out and wanted SO BADLY to celebrate!! Sister England thought I was silly... apparently no one does anything. which is CRAZY! Im so grateful to be american where we always look for a reason to celebrate! Our ward mission leader took us out for a roast dinner (SO english - we eat it all the time here) for coorelation so I counted that as celebrating. Doesn't get much more enlgish than a roast dinner. But I am planning on getting crumpets so that I can say for the queens birthday we had crumpets! I havent had them yet...ill let you know how they are! :)
> BUT ALSO! We have to figure out skyping!! Ill send it over in your email mom and dad... but yeah! OH I AM SO EXCITED!!!!!!! Just giddy at the thought of getting to talk to you all again! and heavens knows I need it!! So yes! We will get that all worked out! :)
> BUT I JUST LOVE YOU SO SO MUCH!! Things here are great and wonderful! Sister England is still the best and the flat is kinda coming together... and I have all of you supporting me back home so things are just WONDERFUL! Thank you for being so great and always supporting me and just loving me. Im working hard to make you and my heavenly father proud!
> Sister Gwililam

Monday, April 18, 2016

I can hear again! :)

> Hello Family!
> It has been a wonderful week here in the UK! ENgland is beautiful. I always mean to take pictures of it all and then i forget... i'll try and be better! But it is wonderful! England in the spring is great! Can't wait to show it to you when we all come back to visit! :) And its even better becuase the people here are affected by the weather SO much! So when the sunshine is out they are SO much happier.. and then they will actually talk to us! :) Its the best! :)
> This week has been BUSY! Which is so great! We have been working hard and seeing so much success! All thanks to our loving and so merciful Heavenly Father! :) I have really seen and gained a testimony that as we do our part and try that things IN THE END work out. Rarely do our prayers get answered right away - we have to continue having faith and being obedient and trying and then we see the blessings! This week we saw so many as so many friends we talked to were interested and we had incredible conversations! We had 22 lessons this week! Probably doesnt sound like too much... but typically we have been getting around 12 or 13. So it was INCREDIBLE! We have been very blessed!
> Biggest news ever though is KEVIN! Remember the miracle man who we met on the street and then he came to conference the next day and then for the sunday session as well? Well YES! After conference he had gone away for an assignement with the military and then couldn't meet with us and didn't end up going to church - it was a sad day and we were a little worried about it. BUT we got back in contact with him and had the BEST lesson with him on Friday, he came to church on Sunday, and now has a baptisimal date for the 7th of MAY! Isn't that INCREDIBLE!? Oh im so excited! The day before I get to talk to you all! :) what a wonderful weekend! :) So we are just so excited. He is GREAT! Please include him in your prayers! We also are teaching our friend stephen who has a date for the 14th of May and has committed to quit smoking as of TODAY! He has tried so many times in the past but has never made it all the way through. so extra prayers for him would really be appreciated as well! He is super great and has the STRONGEST desire to stop! And i know he can with help from the Saviour!
> Another great thing about this week is that I can hear again!!! YAY! On monday after I emailed, they ended up getting really clogged. Almost to the point where they both cant hear anything... and as a missionary when I am going out and talking and then hoping to listen to the people around me it was a big problem. haha poor sister england had to deal with me just staring at her or people we were talking to blankly becuase I just couldn't hear them! It was a good thing that we could just laugh about it! :) But on thursday we went to the doctor and I can Hear again! OH it is such a blessing! So grateful to be serving in a place that i can get doctors appointments so easily!!
> Something that really stood out to me this week was KINDNESS! On saturday we had a long day of finding... saturdays are always hard for me becuase by the end of the week I feel like im just exhausted and saturdays are the days that you really need the most energy to go out and find families that are home! We had a teach with the gelders as well which i was so excited about so all day I was looking forward to that to then get a text from holly cancelling... it was the saddest. So we went up to their area and prayed about a road to go work down. We were knocking for a little bit, finding a few people interested but no big success, when we got to Kathy's door! We talked to her for a minute and she was just SO KIND! She had grown up a quaker but had decided that wasn't right and was open minded to all religions. After talking for a minute she let us in to talk to her. She had the CUTEST little cottage (mom you would have LOVED it!) And she pulled chairs into her kitchen and just let us share the restoration. She got us a drink, let us use the bathroom, offered snacks, even offered to drive us home when she realized how far we would be walking home. As we left she opened up how her life was falling apart a little bit - her husband and her were going through a divorce and because of that he was taking the house and she was looking for a place to live, trying to stay close to her daughters, but the housing was too expensive in the area. She talked about how her marriage had struggled for a while and how she was living between houses becuase she and her husband couldn't live together anymore - it was just too much stress - and just all these different things that were going on for her. She was busy when we had come over and had hoped to go to her daughters that evening, but instead let us come in out of the cold to sit in her cute house and listen to us. It just really hit me that night of her genuine kindness. She wasn't interested in learning more, and im not sure she was really interested in the first place, but she was kind enough to give us a chance and then just be so wonderful. I think i thanked her 5 times as we left - i just dont think she realized how much it meant to us - 2 20 year old girls far from families and friends, spending the day talking to people who didn't want us to talk to them:), to have someone who was just so kind. I was jsut so grateful for her! And her example helped me to see how I want to be like that as well! No matter what is going on in my life, or what my schedule is, or how much I care or not - to just be kind! To give people time and attention and go above and beyond what I need to. It was just wonderful and something that I am going to be better at! SO with all of you too! Look for ways to help and serve people around you - just to be kind! It doesn't have to be anything big, to kathy it wasn't anything big, but it made the night for me! I know that by being kind we become more like the saviour and with that can bring people closer to him! :)
> Im glad that you got the bowling picture! It was the funnest. Joy and Martyn are the best! They are going to florida in a couple weeks for 2 weeks and then joy is going to austrailia for another 2. Im excited for them but also so sad they are leaving! They are so wonderful!!!
> And im so sad about kris' dad! Oh my goodness. I just can't even imagine. Ill definitely be keeping allof them in my prayers. Oh its so hard. But so grateful for our saviour who made it so that we will all be together after this as well! So grateful for him and to know of the plan of salvation.
> AND SCOTTY IS ENGAGED!!!! AHH!! im so excited!! Please send pictures! :)
> But i love you all SO MUCH!! hope you have the very best week and remember how much I love you and miss you! But I GET TO TALK TO YOU IN 3 WEEKS!!!!!!!!! Im so excited!!
> Love you!!!
> Sister GWilliam

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Hello Family!


Oh my. it looks like it has been the greatest week! With tyses birthday! Oh I loved the picture you sent over dad! He is just the cutest thing! I hope he had the best day. I love that boy so much. And Ky in Hawaii! Those pictures are INCREDIBLE! OH! It looks like it was a BLAST! And so sunny. Oh my. Lets go again after we get back. Deal?

But this week in Lovely England was just marvelous! It was SO BUSY! THe weeks with meetings FLY by. On Monday it was typical Pday, Tuesday we had MLC which we didn't get back from until 6:30. IT WAS FROM 8 am TO 5.30 pm. Longest ever. Talk about patience! :) THen wednesday we had Zone Training and presdent interviews which were SO good!  i'll talk about that later! :) and then Thursday DLC which was super long as well. So i feel like i only had the weekend to actually do missionary things but it was great! Flew by! This week is back to normal though so we will have more time to go out and find people! :) Whoohoo!!


95 Bell Chase
Aldershot, Hampshire
GU11 3GZ
England, United Kingdom

YAY! :) Im SO EXCITED!! And with that the flat is still so nice. I LOVED getting your pictures this week dad! Oh my goodness. It was so fun! And so crazy what you lived in and what your areas were like. Wow. its humbling just to look at them. I definitley shouldn't complain about not having a table or chairs in our fancy heated super nice flat. I wonder what it will be like for ky! Oh crazy crazy.

AND ALSO with skyping so soon!! WHen do you leave for the DM again? We will get to skype on Sunday the 8th! YOU BETTER BE THERE!!!!!!!! And we can choose anytime. Becuase of church I wouldn't be able to do it between 1-4 our time here - hopefully a member will have us over so we can do it at their home. But besides that we can do it whenever works best for you! So let me know! Becuase we DEFINIELY will make it work before you have to leave for your plane!! Or i would be so sad!

So with the crazy week of sitting in meetings there isn't too much to update on.. BUT things are going really well here! We had our miracle man Kevin who ended up not being able to come to church! :( AH! It was the saddest day! He got caught up with work again over the weekend and then we just didn't hear from him and he didn't come. It was the saddest. And SUCH a good meeting. It was fast sunday over here and the spirit was so strong. so that was sad. BUT something that I am continuing to work on is just understanding that I can do by best but in the end the people still have agency. And whether they come or not it isn't on me - if I have done my best it is okay.

I feel like a lot of my emails are about this... which is so funny because i feel like before my mission I heard about these crazy, high strung, sister missionaries who just stressed over things and worried and because of that didn't enjoy the work and I thought they were CRAZY! I feel like i have always been really laid back and just trusted that things would work out! And then not gotten upset when things have gone wrong. ( like with driving and almost hitting the pole in the church parking lot. The important thing is I didn't, right dad!? :) ) BUT with that too often I BECOME ONE OF THOSE CRAZY MISSIONARIES! A lot of our zone training was on just doing your best and the idea of trying! I LOVED Elder Hollands talk about the idea that we are blessed when we try - even if we don't actually succeed. I need that reminder so much. I feel like it is just the idea that I really want to do my best. I want to help people, and be a good missionary not for myself but for president, all of you back home, and most importantly for my Heavenly Father and Saviour. To thank them for all that they have done. And with that I can sometimes get too focused. I constantly need to remember that there is so much that is out of our control and when we are too focused on the little things or put our blinders on and don't see the big picture its easy to get overwhelmed and really loose focus by being too focused. In my interview with president he talked to me about it. He said that it was one of my best qualities - I expect a lot of myself and because of that I work hard and that is a really good thing! But he also said how it can be my biggest vulnerablility. I constantly feel like I could be doing better and want to be more and then that is when it gets too much.

Last night in accounting my DL told us to remember to enjoy being a missionary. He said there were points on his mission where he has been too focused - and with that forgot the joy that comes from being a missionary. And i think that put things into perspective for me! And even with being back home. FAR too often all of us get consumed in things and put all of our focus on it. BUT i really know that when we keep our eyes on the eternal perspective of things and remember that all we have to do is follow the commandments and do our best that it will ALL BE OKAY! THat is the peace of the gospel. And I LOVE IT! And with this second half of my mission i am working really hard to remember that! I want to conintue to work hard but I want to HAVE FUN DOING IT! And that just goes with my mission but after as well. This life is meant to be enjoyed. I really do know too when we keep our focus on the saviour there is nothing but happiness that comes!:)

Saturday was super fun too! Still can't believe it has been half way! But it was so fun to get to celebrate with Sister England as well! WE were together in the very begining, hit our half way, and will get to go to the temple together right at the end of our missions so we will be there together as well! How fun is that? She is so great! WE have some pictures Ill send over! :)

But besides that things are going well! Alfie - The Gelders little brother who isn't baptized yet :) - has started coming out to a LOT of things and actually participating in the lessons! YAYYY!! We are super excited about it! So stay tuned for that as well! :)

I love you all so so much! CAn't wait to talk to you in LESS THAN A MONTH!!!!!!! YAYYY!!!!


Sister Gwilliam 

9 months / Hump Day

Happy 9 months to us!:) I know the pictures are ridiculous but apparently it's what sisters do when they hit half way!:) I LOVE YOU!!!!

Monday, April 4, 2016


Our view the past couple of mornings!:)


Dearest Family!

OH i just love you! It sounds like it was the best week! I hope you LOVED conference! It was so good! Kinda crazy over here (i'll tell you about it! :) ) But still so good! I have gotten to the point where the 2 hours just FLY by! Almost like emailing! :) I just Love sitting there and getting so much guidance and feeling the spirit so strong! And then that mo tab music! Mom! Im still set on us being in it together eventually! so excited about it!

AND SCOTTY IS GETTING MARRIED!!!??? AHHHH!!! Oh my heck! SEND ME A PICTURE OF THEM! please! :) OH i am SO SO SO SO SO HAPPY! I could just cry! He is the best and im sure togethery THEY are the best and he just deserves it! So sad that I will miss it! But oh. Im just so happy!! And so excited for them!! How are grandma and grandpa? Freaking out?:) and how fun to all get to be in cali for the wedding! Oh that will be a BLAST! ah! Im just so excited! Ill be sending all my love from england!

But this last week has been SO GREAT! We have worked so hard! The week before when we had accounting on sunday night I was a little discouraged at the numbers. We said a prayer and accounted to the Lord and I did feel like I had tried hard, but the numbers just weren't showing what I wanted to accomplish - it is definitely NOT about the numbers- but I just wanted to do better for my Heavenly Father and felt like I could push myself harder this next week! And so I was determined to do better and Heavenly Father was SO kind and merciful in helping us have the BEST week people and numbers wise that I have had in a LONG time! THere are so many different stories but for sake of time... and boring you:) I'll just tell you the COOLEST one!

So with feeling like I needed to push myself this week something I decided was that I needed to talk to EVERYONE! Ive always been pretty good with this but I decided to step it up and just talk with everyone I could - including all the cute nepalese people who can't say anything but hello and namaste! :) But i still talked to them and did my part of giving them the chance - even if they couldn't understand me! :) So after visiting a former we were walking and this big figian ( is that how you would spell it? Anyways.. he is from figi! :) ) man was walking up headed towards the military housing. he was a big guy and my immediate thoughts were a little bit of fear and thinking a guy like him wouldn't be interested BUT we were talking to everyone so we stopped him and started talking about the restoration. We introduced the book of mormon - he mentioned two men had told him about it before - so we had a really good converstaion but he said after going to Afganistan and seeing all that he saw he had lost his faith and wasn't sure if god was really there. We talked a little longer but in the end he said that he wasn't sure he was really interested in learning more about it. So we left him with a pass along card with our number on the back telling him to get in contact with us when he was ready becuase it would bless him and then as we left we felt prompted to ask if we could say a prayer. When we first said it he looked at us like we were crazy and said, "just right here?" ( we were just out on the street) but we said YES! and he finally decided it wouldn't do any harm so he let us! ANYWAYS fast forward to that night at Joys we got a text from him saying that he wanted to meet with us again and asked if we could the next day (saturday)! we were FREAKING out! We ended up meeting with him to him saying that the prayer had really touched him ( i guess there is a reason for praying with people on the streets :) ) and that he wanted to get back into church. We did the restoration and he loved it! Said that the idea of a living prophet really made sense to him and how he wanted to come to a service! We told him about how this week we actually had general conference so the normal service wasn't until next week but he was welcome to come to see the living prophet today. And guess what!? HE DID! He came with us satruday night and then again on sunday!! MIRACLE! And he LOVES it! We had left him with a book of mormon on saturday and on sunday he went on about nephi and his brothers and how they had to go back to get the plates and then get wives... i was SHOCKED! Oh its just so cool! He is away for militry training all this week which is sad but he comes back on the weekend and has committed to church next week and then wants to meet up again! Isn't that SO COOL?? Ah im so excited! And then we got a text from him last night saying how much he loved it and how he really liked what he was seeing and excited to continue learning and someday maybe become a mormon himself. WHAT? Things like this dont happen. Not in england that is! ;) So its just super cool! Definitely learned the power of talking with everyone and that praying with people is what we are supposed to do! Becuase then the spirit can touch them and the spirit works MIRACLES!

So with that I LOVED conference but I was also incredibly distracted becuase the whole time i was just PRAYING that Kevin (our friend:) ) would feel something and that it would make sense to him! So it was so great but I am defintiely excited for the talks to come out so I can properly study them out! :) And becuase of the time change I havent seen the sunday afternoon session yet - they dont show it at the chapels becuase its too late here! So im SUPER excited about it! Especially hollands! I LOVE elder holland!!!

BUT craziest thing ever is that on Saturday I will be half way through my mission! ISNT THAT NUTS? I don't know how on earth it happened. I was talking with sister england and we were laughing that the first month of the mission felt longer than these 9 months have felt! :) haha! Just warning ya ky! The first month is DEFINTIELY the longest of your life and you think there is NO WAY you will be able to do this for another 2 years... but dont worry! Promise it gets better and then speeds by! :) But yeah. its just weird. BUT ive been thinking a lot about these last 9 months and things that have happened and how I have changed and lessons Ive learned AND ive decided that I would love to share them all with you! :)

Top 10 things I have learned so far -
1. That the Atonement of Jesus Christ is real. I believed in it before but I have experienced it for myself now and It is real. I don't understand how it works and am continually humbled that my saviour would do it for someone so sinful as me but he did, and it works. Guilt and regret truly can become peace and hope and the past can be done away with. I love MY Saviour. He has become SO real to me.
2. The gospel brings peace! Something that I have realized being out here that no matter what is going on, how hard things are, what we have done, or hurt we are feeling there is SO MUCH PEACE to know that it will all be okay as long as we are anchored to Jesus Christ. No matter the sin or mistake or trial or situation can ever be more than the fact that if we are truly doing our best, living righteous lives, and depending on our saviour that it will all be made right. There is so much peace in knowing that he is always there and the only thing we really need to worry about is being close to him!
3. That Pray is KEY! I have learned to LOVE praying! I do it all throughout the day and the best part of nights is getting to kneel down and counsel with my Heavenly Father. Ask him for his help and guidance and opinion and just talk to him. Its become a conversation with him and he listens and always gives the BEST solutions to anything i am needed help with! :)
4. When we put the gospel first, everything else falls into place. I am still blown away with how true this is! In regards to going on a mission and having my pharm tech license just go through, to just being obedient and trying my hardest and then having friends to teach, all sorts of things. I know that as we do our best and have our priorities strait we dont have to worry about anything else. Heavenly Father takes care of it.
5. The gospel CHANGES people. I have seen that in Rob and Holly. They are completely different and it is the neatest thing to get to see!
6. The book of Mormon is TRUE! It has taught me who I am, who my saviour is, reminded me of his love for me, taugh me how to be a better missionary, friend, and disciple of my saviour. I LOVE THE BOOK OF MORMON!
7. That my family is EVERYTHING to me. I love you all SO SO SO MUCH!
8. That i am not perfect and that is okay.
9. Dont stress over what is out of your control. This is one that i am still trying and working on learning but I know that it is true! There is so much that is hard and unfair about this life but so much that we just cant do anything about it. So it is better to just let Heavenly Father take care of it and be happy! :)
10. That Heavenly Father has a plan for me. That he loves me, and knows me and wants me to be happy! And because of that he allows me to have trials and have times of suffering so I can learn and grow and ultimately be happiest! he knows what is best! :)

I am so grateful to be a missionary and learning so much! Its the hardest thing I have ever done but I wouldn't trade it for the relationsip I have with my Heavenly Father and Saviour now!

I hope you all have a big party on Saturday to celebrate for me! :) We are trying to figure out what we can do with our hour break for lunch or dinner! :) it will be a party though... i'll send pictures next week! :)


Sister Gwilliam