Sunday, June 30, 2013

My World in Wales

Welcome to My Welsh Morning

In Which Sister Gish Types Rhyl Fast and Has Zero Transitioning Abilities.

It's going to be a bunch of randoms today - apologies for the nuttiness.  But it's me right? When am I ever NOT running late? 

Answer: all the time here in the mission.  I'm so punctual, it's insane.

Bus Contacting Highlights:

Sister Nemec has been very patient with my terror of bus contacting.  Such as: when there was only one person on the bus (a mohawked pierced blue haired fellow) she GENTLY encouraged me to go.  (ie ever so subtly shoved me in his direction.)  As I sat close by trying to think of something to say (I always feel like an idiot) I noticed he smelled rather body odorish.  Just as I thought this, he pulled out a can of spray deodorant and proceed to spritz his entire body. 

 Smelled delightful by the way. 

I've actually found that the crazier punkier looking a person is, the nicer they tend to be.  I have a fond spot for them.

The next time we were on a bus, I struck up a conversation with a lovely girl by asking her where she got her rings and bracelets because I wanted to buy some for my friends birthday.  (Spoiler alert - I was thinking of you Allison White.  Guess what you're getting next year?)  We talked for about 20 minutes and I invited her to a special musical fireside this Sunday* and gave her a card with our number on it.  Well that simply wouldn't do.  Sister Nemec watched this interaction and then "dropped" her map close to my seat so she could walk over, pick it up, and say in my ear - get HER number."  After a few more minutes of talking, and as her stop approached, Sister Nemec again came over to "borrow my planner" which she then handed back to me with the page open to where she'd written GET HER NUMBER.

I got it. 

Have I mentioned I love my trainer? 

Actually I really do, and I even felt (a little) bit guilty for laughing at her today when she got pooped on by a seagull.  (Pictures to follow).  Have I mentioned I detest those animals?  Again - sorry Utah.  Sorry pioneers who were rescued from the crickets.

We had the YW over to our flat on Wednesday to talk to them about missionary work.  We told them all the crazy things we do in a day and about the rules and schedule.  But then we switched it up on them and explained WHY it was we're willing to do all this.  The spirit that came into the house was just ... beyond words really.  We're taking them on splits next week. 

Tomorrow we get to go to the Temple.  I'm so excited.  Catch you all in a week.

*All the sister missionaries sang and Sister Nemec played the guitar.  It was amazing.  Hashtagsomuchspirichal.  But really I loved it.  I felt like the entire chapel was just lifted up.  There are so many wonderful things here.
Oh. one more thing.  Sister Nemec bought some new sheets.  I think the pictures will do enough for the explanation.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


Overlooking Our Area - We cannot stop smiling!

In Which Sister Gish Experiences Whitewashing, and (Naturally) Trips

Ok I didn't just trip.  I full on biffed it.  We were knocking doors, and and someone came outside to answer us.  Of course it startled the bejeebers out of me so I jumped and when I turned around to talk to this nice man and stepped off the walk, causing me to stumble and fall onto his (rather nice) car.  Needless to say, we didn't go into that home.

I can't believe I'm going to turn into a total lame-o and talk about the weather, but I'm going to.  Hashtagsorrynotsorry.  The first day I was here, after I emailed, Sister Nemecs and I went outside into the absolutely drenching rain.  I'll send photos.  I hope wet dog look is in.  But I loved every minute of it.  There are seagulls EVERYWHERE.  I know they're the Utah State Bird and all but they are quickly growing to be my least favorite creatures. So loud. one day I'm going to pull a papa jim and soak bread in tabasco sauce and feed it to the gulls. (Thanks for telling me that story Pops, the mission tradition must go on)

I have to be honest, whitewashing is difficult.  We're starting from scratch with no teaching pool, no investigators, no idea who anyone in the ward is.  Luckily we're doing our best to stop by members home and getting competely lost.  We walk around with a map book like a five year old with a security blanket.  But it's the best way to learn the area.  And I taught myself to learn to like tomatoes, I can teach myself to like knocking doors.

Sister Nemec and I have developed a few strategies though for street contacting.

#1 The lost and lonesome look.
"Excuse me! (hold out map and look non threatening - difficult for me really)

I'm new here (Not a lie for at least a few more weeks)
And I'm a bit lost, will you tell me where this street is?"

"Oh yeah I'm from Utah.  What am I doing here?  Well let me tell you..."

#2 the animal enthusiast approach
I suddenly have turned into a big dog petter.  The sacrifices I make.  Sheesh
"Wow hi there!  What a cute dog!  May I pet it?  Where are you from?  Oh that's really great.  (I don't say cool anymore.  I say Fantastic!  like a true Brit.)  What do you like about living here?  I'm new."  (Still not a lie.)

Nice eh?

So although knocking doors is not the most productive, we're working really hard to friendship the ward members (wonderful ward) so they trust us with their referrals.  There are a lot of less actives and recent converts to work with as well.  In fact we have a *tea appointment tonight with a family and we'll teach then.  While I may not love initial contacting, I really love teaching.  The homes in the ward have a great spirit.  We have a really amazing ward mission leader with vision and enthusiasm.  It's a good system and I know a lot of things will start happening. 

You all got my new address RIGHT?  

Sister Sierra Jade Gish
3 Glendower Ct.
LL18 3SG


Right that's it for now.  Happy Fathers Day to my favorite Pa!

*a tea appointment.  I love that.

Sunday, June 16, 2013


Yesterday was a whirlwind.  WARNING: to all those tender hearts out there - this may make you cry.  Papa Jim, pull out those tissues.  It is my intention.

We sat around at the Manchester stake center for waay too long, waiting while President Preston interviewed each one of individually.  We played some of those brilliant missionary games like giving each person a random object and 10 seconds to relate it to the gospel.  Finally, FINALLY our new trainers arrived.  We, new missionaries (greenie as now a derogatory term apparently) were led out of one door by President and Sister Preston and around the building to enter another door. 

Inside the door and lining the hall the were all of the missionaries in the England Manchester Mission.  The elders began singing to us, "Called to Serve" in those booming men voices that I've always loved.  Despite feeling a bit like they were looking at us like new puppies, the hymn and the excitement and the spirit hit me hard.  This uniqe combination also served the purpose of completely undoing any composure I had (little to begin with) and I started laughing and crying. All the anticipation had built up and up (I'd been waiting for about 8 hours at this point) so that I could barely contain myself.  I looked like an idiot I'm sure.

 Once in the chapel there was a line of all the new trainers there to greet us with hugs and handshakes.  We sat on the stand and President Preston called us one by one to meet our trainers (who he'd just assigned a half hour ago.)

And that's how I ended up sharing a flat with another companionship in a lovely area called Rhyl.  In Wales.  We went running on the beach this morning.  My trainer has been out a mere 12 weeks and we're white washing this area -  meaning neither of us have been here before.  Usually the trainer has some background experience.  This is going to be fantastic.  Take a close look at some pictures of me because I may never come back. 

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

England Manchester Mission!

President and Sister Preston

Welcome Sister Gish

"Your daughter has arrived in the England Manchester Mission safely and is ready to go to work as a Missionary."

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

In Which Sister Gish Kisses Planes 
and Breaks Her First Rule

Did I ever tell you *guys about the tradition started on my trip back East a few weeks ago?  Probably not because I'm a lazy blogger.  Well it all started when Griffin, being the mature adult that he is, dared me to lick the plane before we boarded.  And I, being the mature adult that I am, refused to turn down this dare.  So I walked closely behind Griffin to hide any suspicious activity, cozied on up to the plane and licked it.  I did this in New York and where ever we had that one layover.  It's good luck I think. I also got sick that trip.  No direct relation I'm sure.  

BUT.  Now that I'm a missionary, a dignified representative and all that, I settled on a little better version.  Plane kisses.  Kissed each and every one of them.  You know how they say you kiss all the people your boyfriend/girlfriend has kissed?  Right, well if you kiss me you're getting New York, Chicago, England...  Lucky lucky!  Not that I'm thinking about kissing.  Never.  I'm a good missionary.

Speaking of which, it took me a total of 12 hours to break my first rule.  It was an honest mistake I swear.  After I got set apart, I remembered to shake Clyde's and Justin's hands, NO PROBLEM.  But then the next morning I was saying all of these goodbyes.  Hug Grace, she's a girl it's cool.  Same goes for Allie.  And Mom.  Oh and Griff is family so a nice big hug there.  Papa Jim - Yeah I love that man!  Come here Pops!  Hey my good neighbor Max!  Max!  Let me run up and throw my arms around you!  ...


 Vaguely in the background I heard Allison or Grace go "Wait!..."  But I had no idea what the fetch they were talking about.  Why are those girls so weird?  It took a good 2 or 3 minutes after that to realize I'd broken the "no touchy for non-related-dudes-rule."

Honest mistake.  

I've only been at the MTC for and hour and a half, so not much to report.  But I feel good and excited to be here.  This is awesome.  Stay tuned for more stories next week.  Looks like Billy BYU made it to England with me.  

Love ya!

Seeester Geesh

*Elders and Sisters for those of us in the mission field.  I was informed on the bus that "guys" no longer exist.  No, "hey you guys" or "these guys."