Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hooray for Sister Missionaries!

Sister Missionaries for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (my definition): a unique group of beautiful, enthusiastic young women between the ages of 21 and 28 who voluntarily devote 18 months of their time, often in a foreign country, to lift and bless people by teaching them about Jesus Christ and His gospel.

From "Why would these young... women choose to put on their dress clothes and traipse around strange parts of the world...?  The Lord's Church has always been a missionary church. Just as Jesus Christ and His disciples preached the gospel, more than 50,000 missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are spreading His word today. They are called to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ in all parts of the world....  Missionaries voluntarily put aside school, work and dating for about two years in order to serve the Lord at their own expense. Communication with family is even limited to letters or email and very occasional phone calls so that they can focus wholeheartedly on serving the Lord and the people where they serve. During their two years of full time service they devote themselves to studying, meeting people and teaching about Jesus Christ and His restored Church. Their work is a labor of love, and most missionaries end up feeling they gained more than they gave by serving."

Exhibit A:  This is a short photo journal of the sisters we have grown to love and respect so much as we have worked side by side with them for the past nine months at the London Temple Visitors' Centre. They are each unique and amazing in their own way. If all young women were like our sister missionaries, the world would be a better place!

This is a photo of Sisters Jones, Corbett, Cabrera, Burrows and Casasola:  five terrific sisters who met us at the door of the Visitors' Centre and welcomed us last January 14th as we had arrived from Heathrow Airport. Having had just a few days of training at the MTC, we had a lot to learn. Lucky for us, they already knew how to run a Visitors' Centre and they taught us how!

(From the left) Sisters Jones, Corbett, Cabrera, Burrows and Casasola

Sister Jones is from Provo, Utah, Sister Corbett from Orem, Utah. Sister Cabrera from Chile, Sister Burrows from Provo, Utah, and Sister Casasola from southern California. In February, we added Sister Barber, who was a "visa waiter" from Dublin, Ireland. She stayed with us for a few months and then headed for the St. George Visitors' Center, where she will finish her mission.

Sisters Casasola, Cabrera, Jones, Barber, Burrows and Corbett

When Sister Casasola was transferred to another area of the mission. Sister Maughan (pronounced "Morn") joined us. She's our only official British sister, to date, hailing from Gloucester, England.

Sisters Burrows, Corbett, Jones, Cabrera, Barber and Maughan
In April, we received Sister Cardona from France and Sister Boman from Provo. Sister Boman was raised in Angola.

Sisters Cabrera, Jones, Cardona, Maughan and Boman

Sister Corner, also from England, joined us for a short time while she also waited for her visa. She is now finishing her mission in the California Anaheim Mission.

Sisters Corner, Maughan, Cabrera and Burrows
preparing a fun Monday night activity from families.

Here we all are with Elder Mark Lippert, who was asked to leave his home by his parents when he joined the Church last year. He lived with a wonderful family down the street from the temple and visited us often. While he waited for his mission call he received lessons from our sisters and  occasionally attended our training meetings. He is now serving in Romania and loving it.

April 2012 - outside our "flat"

Around Mothers' Day (the U.S. one), our sisters got together and cooked us a delicious dinner in the basement of the Accommodation Centre. What a surprise and a treat that was!

Sisters Cabrera, Corbett, Burrows, Barber and Maughan

I love the next photo. Our sisters often take one of the Savior's outstretched hands and hang on to it. They remind us of the need we all have for His help.

Sister Cabrera, in a reflective mood,
thinking abou our  Savior, Jesus Christ.
(You may remember she was the one who saved
nine ducklings in the early spring.)

Sisters Cabrera, Corbett, Boman, Jones, Burrows and Maughan

When the weather is good, our sisters give garden tours on the temple grounds.

Sister Howard (in pink), Sister Boman (beige and red)
and Sister Cabrera (in purple)

Companions:  Sister Maughan and Sister Burrows
Sister Rodrigues (in the purple) arrived from Portugal in May. We are so fortunate to have French, Portuguese, and Spanish speaking sisters at our Visitors' Centre. They use their native languages every week to teach those who come to the centre.

Sister Rodrigues, from Portugal, arrived in May.

On Fathers' Day, we took an excursion to the Hyde Park Visitors' Centre by train. We all loved it!!

All of us waiting for the train.

Sister Rodrigues and Sister Boman waiting at Lingfield Station.

Sisters Cabrera, Rodrigues, and Jones, Elder Carpenter,
Sisters Boman, Cardona and Maughan.

On the train from Lingfield to Victoria Station.

Sister Boman and Sister Rodrigues at
the Hyde Park Visitors' Centre.

We met with the Hyde Park Visitors' Centre sisters and learned a lot by sharing our experiences at both the Visitors' Centres.

Sisters serving at both the London Temple VC and the Hyde Park VC in June.

The view of the Christus statue at the Hyde Park VC
from Exhibition Road

We stopped to see the Thames and the London Eye
on our way back to Victoria Station.

Sister Cabrera and Sister Jones heading home.

In June, we added Brother and Sister Terry to our Visitors' Centre missionary group. They have come here from St. George, Utah. Shortly after they arrived, we had a training meeting and lunch together in our "flat."

The Terrys, with Sisters Cardona, Jones, Cabrera, Rodrigues, Boman and Maughan.

Sister Howard joined us in August. This is a photo of a  Monday evening activity at the VC. 

Sister Howard with Sister Cabrera and friend.

We love to have our photos taken in front of the temple.

Sisters Corbett and Cabrera (back) with
Sisters Cardona, Howard and Rodrigues (front).

A fun photo opp.

Sisters Corbett, Howard, Rodrigues and Cardona

Waiting for our Training Meeting to start.

Caught in the act: Twix for breakfast!

Sister Cardona with her adopted family, the Boutoilles.
Last week, on Monday, we all got together and spend part of our P-Day at Hever Castle. The weather was amazing and we had a great time.

(From the left) Sisters Corbett, Terry, Cardona, Elder Terry,
Sisters Howard, Rodrigues and Cabrera.

We love all the sister missionaries - and Seniors - who have served at the London Temple Visitors' Centre. Each one of them brings a special, unique perspective to the work that we do. All of them have a deep desire to serve others and bear powerful testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ. All of them are dedicated to doing their best and have made significant sacrifices to be here. It is a joy to know them, to work with them, and to learn from their courage, faith, and love. They are the best!                           ~Pat~

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