Monday, March 21, 2016

"I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go"

To my amazing family and friends,
I am so sorry for not writing proper emails these past few weeks. It was been busy here in Newcastle. This past week we have been getting Dean ready for his baptism this weekend. He is so ready to make the change to follow Christ and his example. Shannon (his friend, who is a member) has been helping him along his journey of become a member of Christ's church. The both of them have helped me become stronger in so many ways. 
So I would like to share a hymn with all of you today. It is called "I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go."

Now my version...
🎶I will be on an air-plane, flyin' over that England sea, 
This Wednesday I'll be flying home
Cause the Lord told me, it must be. 
I am answering, the Holy Ghost's voice 
To come home three weeks early. 
I am singing this tune to tell all of you, you will get me sooner then you think
So..... I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord, 
To Utah's mountain over the sea; 
I'll head the call you asked me, dear Lord; 
To Utah, my friends, I will  to be.🎶
Hope that made sense. I did wrote that in 15 minutes so you will have to give me a break. Last p-day I thought I was going home in April but I received a prompting (as it states above) and I am coming home this Wednesday night. This was probably a shock to a lot of you, and I am still trying to wrap my head around it but you know what they say, “The Lord works in mysterious ways.” I am going to have to cut my email here but when I get home I will send a more detailed letter of my mission and all that I have learned. I have been so very grateful to have served a mission. It has blessed me in so many ways. I'm glad I have chosen to serve Heavenly Father and His children. When I first came out I thought I was going to change England. I was wrong. England changed me, for the better. Excited to see you all. 
With much love, 
Sister Garrett (soon to be Melissa.....weird....)

P.S.  By the way, my folks are having an open house for me on Saturday, but they will have to email the details because I really can’t think that far ahead right now. 

Monday, March 14, 2016

Newcastle with Chinese and Georgies!

Hello family and friends,

Just so you know, this email is going to be short and sweet. Newcastle is great! I am loving it!! It is massive though. I get lost sooo easily. Our area has a university and their are quite a lot of students. There are a lot of nationalities. Mainly Chinese. The Chinese sisters gave me a Chinese name, which is Sister Jia. They also helped me construct this in Chinese. 我是加姐妹 我是耶稣基督后期圣徒教会的传教士 (My name is Sister Jia. I am a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.) The accent here in Newcastle is quite unique. It is a mix of Scottish and English. I will get some sayings for you all next week.

We are working with two investigators right now who are working towards a baptismal date. Dean is scheduled to be baptised on the 26 of March and Rob is going to be baptised on the 2 or 9th of April. It is quite exciting! We have found some potentials this past week that we hope can become investigators.

To please, my parents here is a little bit about Sister Cockburn:
Age: 20
Hometown: New Zealand.
Also, lived in: Australia
Nationality: kiwi, Scottish, Samoan
Hobbies: too many. Sport, art, playing instruments (jamming), dancing, photography, camping. "Anything and everything. Oh wait, swimming."
Interests: music, India, beach, different cultures, (direct quote) "I'll stop it there before I get carried away... FASHION! and teeth."

Live anywhere: Hawaii
Dream Holiday: Japan
Future job: "Deciding. Dentistry."
dream job: fashion designer or singer
5 words that describe you: weird, non-judgmental, creative, caring, and zealous.
Worst fear: sharks

Favorite Color: Royal Purple
Favorite Animal: elephant!
Favorite Temple: Hawaii
Favorite Season: summer
Favorite Car: Range Rover 2014
Favorite Singer: Alisha Keys
Favorite Book of Mormon Prophet: Ammon
Favorite Disney Movie: Tangled

Favorite Food:
breakfast: crepes; cream, strawberry & chocolate
Lunch: Greek salad
Dinner: lazona w/ garlic bread
Dessert: Banoffee pie
Vegetable: potato
Fruit: watermelon

Hope you all have an exciting week! Next week I will try to write more. Emailing time feels like it is cutting down.

With much love,

Sister Garrett

Wednesday, March 2, 2016


Hiya mates, (family and friends)

I am sorry this email is going to be a short one but I am running out of time so I will tell you all the details as short as possible. Last Tuesday, Sister Weakley and I received a call from President Pilkington that Sister Weakley needed to go home and that he booked a flight. Sister Weakley and I packed up her stuff and she left the next morning for home. It was a very emotional week due to that. But I feel so very grateful that I got to serve with Sister Weakley. I learned so much from her. I learned how to serve, love, have fun, enjoy life, and become more Christlike. She really taught me much and I am glad I was her companion for two transfers.

When Sister Weakley left I went into a trio with the other sisters in the flat. Sister Gornicak and Sister Van Zyl. They were lovely and very understanding of the whole situation. The week was busy because we had to fit two missionary schedules but we made it work. So now comes transfers. I expected to stay and get a new companion. I was right with one thing.... I have a new comapaion. She is from New Zealand and her name is Sister Couburn. She is lovely and I am excited to serve with her. As for my area, I will be leaving South Shields which I am quite upset about. I was just starting to get to know the ward and get comfortable. I am sure there is a reason for me to leave. I am heading to Newcastle which is in the same Stake as South Shields so it is not to far away. Well that is all the news. I am doing well and I hope all of yous are too! Until next week.

Love, Sister Garrett

Monday, February 22, 2016

God pulls pranks when you go knocking

Good morning family and friends! I hope yous all (that is Jordy) had a great week. This week has been wonderful compared to the past few weeks. My companion, Sister Weakley, has been gaining some of her strength back. Sister Weakley has been told by doctors to start exercising so her body can get use to the work, because of that her blood has been going high and low randomly so we have stayed in the flat for that. This week we have been able to get out a lot more. In fact we went knocking for a bit last week (the first time since Sister Weakley has been out of hospital). Anyway it was quite funny. The layout of English houses is quite strange. The doors we were knocking are literally right next to each other. We knocked one house once. No answer. Knocked again. No answer again. No body home so we knock on the door right next to the other door. Then I said to Sister Weakley, "I always feel uncomfortable knocking these houses because I am afraid both people will come at the same. That would be so awkward." Guess what? That happened. How embarrassing!!! Sister Weakley and I handled the situation very well. I talked to one and she talked to the other. Thought you all would enjoy that story.

This week we have had a few little miracles. Lately Sister Weakley hasn't been healthy enough to go out and do proper finding so we have been trying by some less-actives. The two less-actives we tried by Saturday night we got TWO potentials. One was a daughter of a less-active and the other was the partner of the less-active. We are going to start working with those less-actives and their partners. This week has more miracles in store. 

My inspiring thought this week is a quote from Jeffrey R. Holland; "This church, the great institutional body of Christ, is a marvelous work and a wonder not only because of what it does for the faithful but also because of what the faithful do for it. Your lives are at the very heart of the marvel. You are the evidence of the wonder of it all." Do not need to add anything because he speaks for himself. Hope you all are doing well. Put your heart into all you do. Love you!!

with love,
Sister Garrett
Good morning family and friends,

The sun is up here in England so I think it will be a great day. I am so excited for spring weather!! I am kind of sick of winter so I hope England gets warm soon. I also hope the weather back at home is treating you all well. My week has been pretty good I think. Sister Weakley and I got out less then last week but I think we used our time more effectively. The past week weeks our finding has not been as successful due to our circumstances but this week was a lot better. Compared to my last week's story of knocking this week knocking went a lot better. 

Sister Weakley and I were heading to a tea appointment and decided to go by some less-actives in the area. The first person we decided to see was a woman named Lisa. We knocked on the door and a man answered the door. We asked if Lisa was home and he replied that she moved out and there have been living there for 4 months. Well we took our opportunity and transitioned to the gospel. He mentioned that he would like his daughter to have christian values and we replied we could help him. We talked to him for a good 10-15 minutes and we will be seeing him and his family this Thursday. I am pretty stoked! I actually haven't taught a lesson in ages. We keep getting flogged but I feel differently about Paul. 

Since Sister Weakley's health, we have been working with members and less-actives. Which seems to bare a lot of fruits lately. We have been building the trust of the members and they have been more excited to share the Gospel. On Saturday we received a referral from a member of a woman he came in contact with while doing his home teaching. There is no better way to do missionary work then as a member. So grateful to be a member of this amazing church. It has truly blessed my life. Thank you all for your amazing emails. Love you all!

Sister Garrett

Zone Conference- 17th of February 2016

Zone Conference was amazing! I always think I am doing fairly well as a missionary until these meetings open your mind on how you can improve. The revelation I have received has expanded my knowledge. There are several things I want to change as a result of yesterday's meeting. So I hope I can convey my feelings to help you understand what I learned. The past few months President Pilkington has talked a lot about putting your heart in the right place. What he means by that is allowing your heart to be in the work and not focus about anything else. It is also aligning your will with God's will. My entire mission I have tried to develop my heart to become apart of the work. I have seen myself grow to look outward and serve others. I have been able to reach out of my comfort zone to share the Gospel. Many things that I thought were impossible at the beginning have been possible. I remember how I hated to knock, I was terrified of street contacting, I felt I was poor at teaching, and many more things. As I have been able to study and focus on my heart, I have been able to overcome those obstacles. I am not perfect in anyway and it was not my efforts but trusting in the Lord. That is what I have learned about the heart. That is it not being prideful and boastful but it is acknowledging God's hand in your life. 

I learned yesterday, at Zone Conference, that the heart is also realizing your motivation. President Pilkington asked a question to all the missionaries that struck me. He said, "What is your motivation for being on a mission?" As I sat there I asked myself, "Sister Garrett what is your motivation for being on a mission?" Before I tell you my response I will tell you what I would have said the first day of my mission. I would have said something along the lines of; "I have many reasons why I decided to serve a mission. One was that I felt like it was the right thing to do. Another was that I felt like that was expected of me. I also thought by going on a mission I would grow up and gain a stronger testimony. And the reason I am ashamed to admit, I wanted a break. A break from school and from running." That was my answer at the beginning of my mission. My motivation is completely different! I can sum up my motivation in just five words, "I want to serve God!" I honestly believe that is my motivation now. Nothing else matters but wanting to make God's children happy. I feel like my heart is in the work of God. Not only have I seen it help me in my work but I can also see how it will effect my future life. It has affected how I will accept and magnify my future callings. It has affected how I want to be a faithful visiting teacher. It has affected how I want to follow the spirit to help the needs of those around me. By allowing my heart to focus on the Lord's work it has affected my whole life. I am truly grateful for that.

President Pilkington had each companionship to write a four minute talk on obedience. At Zone Conference he said four companionship's were going to be called to share their message. Sister Weakley and I wrote our talk on how obedience and the heart correlate. Think of the story of Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel. The Lord commanded Lehi to have his sons go to receive the brass plates from Laban. All Lehi's sons went and obeyed. The next revelation Lehi received was for his son to go back to Jerusalem and bring Ishmael's family out to the wilderness. All Lehi's sons obeyed. Then Nephi was instructed to build a ship to take his family to the promise land. Nephi and his brothers all obeyed. Nephi, Laman, and Lemuel each reached the promise land. The difference between Nephi and Laman/Lemuel is that Nephi had his heart in the right place while Laman/Lemuel did not.  Laman & Lemuel were obedient to the Lord's commandments but were not blessed. Doctrine and Covenants 64:34 says, "Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days." If Laman and Lemuel will not be blessed with the any 'good of the land' because there hearts were not turned towards God. I have realized that obedience brings blessings when you desire to be obedient because you love the Lord. I have been able to relate this analogy to so many aspects of my life. Whether it be on my mission or even after my mission. Obedience pays a massive part to our eternity. "When that same call comes to you and to me, what will be our response? Will we murmur, as did Laman and Lemual, and say, 'This is a hard thing required of us?' or will we, with Nephi, individually declare, 'I will go. I will do.' (Thomas S. Monson, Willing and Worthy to Serve)" Nephi or Laman/Lemuel? Chose your pick. 

Sister Pilkington gave a talk and used lighthouses as an analogy. Lighthouses are built to withstand immense force from the waves of the sea. We are like those lighthouses strong and built to withstand against any storm. It is like the wise man who built his house on the sand and the foolish man who built his house on the sand. Will we build our spiritual lighthouses strong and with a good foundation? I will be striving to do so. Like any physical muscle we need to build our spirituality to withstand the forces against Satan. Like muscles grow through lifting weight, eating right, and drinking water our spirits need substance to grow us. For example, reading the scriptures, being obedient, praying personally to God, attending our church meetings, and so forth. President Pilkington mentioned something that I think we need all need to be reminded of. He said, "You are armed with the truth. You are given the truth. You are declaring the truth." We are in a spiritual battle against Satan. We are stronger then him and on the winning side. Place your trust in God and not in anything else. Do not waver and continue to build a strong foundation. Be obedient to the Lord and follow His counsel. Develop your heart to be in the right place. If you do these things God will keep you safe. This is what I learned at Zone Conference. I hope you learned something as well. Love you guys!

With lots of love,
Sister Garrett

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Resting and reading.

Sister Weakley is doing better. For the most part she has been able to control her blood but sometimes it randomly shoots down or spikes up. She seems frustrated that she cannot control it but I think she is handling it very well! She is an inspiration to me! :) Since her body is adjusting to sugar and insulin we have been resting a lot. As I have been in the flat I have been keeping up on my scripture reading. I love it. Since nothing has happened I would like to share with you more revelation I have received this week and about our testimony meeting yesterday.

I have come to appreciate testimony meetings even more being on a mission. The spirit was so strong yesterday that I had to go up. I shared my feelings that I have had the past few weeks with the ward. They were along the lines of trials and their purpose. As individuals we have many struggles in life that make us question life, and even God. God loves each of His children. Those who are hurting and the ones that are struggling. He loves each of us. Because He loves us and wants us to grow he allows us to have trials to help us grow. He does not like to see us struggle and in pain but he knows our potential.

I was reading about Nephi's life and how positive of an attitude he chose to have admit all his circumstances. The time he broke his bow effected him and his family. (1 Nephi 16:21-25) Nephi must have struggled. He could have easily murmured like his brothers but he didn't he accepted that his bow broke and did something about it! Richard G. Scott said,

"May I share some suggestions with you who face... the testing that a wise Heavenly Father determines is needed even when you are living worthy, righteous life, and are obedient to His commandments. Just when all seems to be going right , challenges often come in multiple does applied simultaneously. When those trials are not consequences of your disobedience they are evidence that the Lord feels you are prepared to grow more. He therefore gives you experiences that stimulate growth, understanding, and compassion which polish you for your everlasting benefit. To get you from where you are to where He wants you to be requires a lot of stretching and that generally entails discomfort and pain." (Oct. 1995)

We can chose to murmur and complain but we will benefit a lot more if we follow Nephi's example. Trials are for our benefit. God does love us and he reaches out for us with open arms! Hope you all have a great week! :)

Until next time,
Sister Garrett

Monday, February 1, 2016

What a mission is about.

I feel like the other sisters and I just celebrated the new year and now it is February. I still cannot believe it. So since Sister Weakley has been out of the hospital she has been very tired. We have been managing her sugar and she has stayed consistent the past few days. But she has been really tired. The past few months her sugars have been really high and now since it is at a reasonable number her body is just trying to adjust back to normal. She has been told to take it easy until she gets back to normal. So that is what has happened the past few days. Last night though we were able to go out and have an experience that has helped to realize how much Heavenly Father and our Savior love each of us.

While Sister Weakley was in the hospital I went to visit her once or even twice a day. As I did so, I realized an elderly woman who was a patient next to Sister Weakley's. I noticed that every time I went to visit Sister Weakley that this woman never had anyone visit her. The other four people in the room, and Sister Weakley got visited but this woman never did. So I decided to talk to her as I visited Sister Weakley.Her name is Majorie. She has been a widow for sometime now. She has no siblings, no children, and not many friends. We talked about her life and laughed. One day I decided to bring her flowers. You should have seen the smile on her face. The more I got to know her the more I began to feel Christlike love for her.  A few days ago after Sister Weakley was released from the hospital we had a feeling to go and visit her. The spirit came over me and testified to me that this is what Christ would have done. I love visiting Marjorie. So much that we are going to continue to visit her and plant a seed in her so that one day she will accept the Gospel.

The past few weeks I have noticed myself grow spiritually. I have been feeling so grateful for the many blessings that I have. Being able to be on a mission has helped me grow in ways that I have never imagined. I thought by going on a mission I would be able to help many people, which has been the case, but I have been surprised to see that I have been helped along the way. That is what the Gospel provides for us, help along the journey of life. I have met so many people on my mission and have taken them by the hand and lead them to Jesus Christ. I have come to realize
that not only have I helped someone come closer to the Savior but I have also come closer to Him myself.

I have tried to learn more of Him by reading the scriptures, specifically the Book of Mormon. I have learned so much the past few weeks. I have been studying the Book of Mormon along with the Institute manual (which I encourage you all to do) and I have received so much insight. One day I came across Omni 1:26 which reads:

"And now, my beloved brethren, I would that ye should come unto Christ, who is the Holy One of Israel and partake of his salvation, and the power of his redemption. Yea, come unto him, and offer your whole souls as an offering unto him, and continue in fasting and praying, and endure to the end; and as the Lord liveth ye will be saved." 

Elder Neal A. Maxwell said to this scripture, "As you submit your wills to God, you are giving Him the only thing you can actually give Him that is really yours to give." (April 2004) I have notice the change in myself as I have committed to come closer to the Savior. I am striving to make my will His and I am noticing the blessings. I love this Gospel and I love Jesus Christ. He wants us to come unto him "and be transformed." (Elder David A. Bednar) Come closer to Him. You can start now. I love you all so very much! Make the most of every moment and enjoy life.

Your friend in England,
Sister Garrett

Thursday, January 28, 2016

What a week....

So sorry family and friends for writing so late. This week has been crazy. Let me explain. Two Saturdays ago (16 Jan.) Sister Weakley was having really bad back pains, so we made an appointment at the A&E. Within just an hour she found out she had a urinary tract infection. The doctor prescribed her some medication and said the pain should be gone within three days. Three days passed and the pain was still there. It did not hurt as bad but I could tell she was still in pain. I told her that she needed to call Sister Pilkington (President's wife) and make another appointment. After some time she finally called Sister Pilkington and we made an appointment to see the doctor within 30 minutes. At 3:40 we were at the hospital and the doctor asked to test her urine. After they tested it they said that she has a lot of sugar in her urine and that she needed to take a blood test.

After the blood test we were told to wait an hour and a half for the results. At 7:30 we were taken into see a doctor and he told her that she has type 1 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is hereditary. The doctor then said to Sister Weakley that she needed to stay overnight for treatment. I freaked out. The night without a companion was long. For the past year I have never been without one. 

To cut the story short, Sister Weakley has been in the hospital and was released yesterday. S
o that is why I am emailing today. The health system here in England is different then it is in America. You are only allowed to visit within certain hours which are 2-4 and 7-8. I went on exchanges with members and with the other sisters in our flat. It was a long interesting week but I am glad to have my companion again and to get back to work. Sorry this is a short email but hope you all have a good week!

With love,

Sister Garrett

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

A New Year for New Beginnings!

Wow. I cannot believe it is 2016. Where did 2015 go? It has been a great year though. Full of many miracles and memories.The year 2015 for me, was dedicated completely to the Lord and his work. I have loved every minute of it. I am so grateful I have been able to serve a mission. Of course because it is a new year we as individuals make new years resolutions. I have pondered on what I personally need to improve upon and what I can do is to become a better servant of the Lord. I would recommend that each of you do the same. I love this quote by President Monson: "It is not enough to want to make the effort and to say we'll make the effort... It's in the doing, not just the thinking, that we accomplish our goals. If we constantly put our goals off, we will never see them fulfilled." Set goals and achieve them. With the Lord's help you can do all things!

On New Year's Eve Sister Weakley and I watched a film. Which we enjoyed every much. On New Year's day itself we went to the beach and took lovely pictures. We also watched some more films at the chapel and had a very enjoyable day.

Here in South Shields we have had a lot of rain. I have never seen so much rain in my life! I understand why England is so green. Other then the weather things here are going well. Sister Weakley and I have been getting to know the ward even
more. We have been trying by members and less-actives to introduce ourselves and to teach them.

Sister Weakley and I have been doing a lot of finding as well. Which seems to have little success as of now but during weekly planning we discussed on how we can find those individuals who are prepared. We have plans this week to try by all of our potentials and former investigators we found in the area book. We are keeping our heads up and working hard. I am sorry my emails have been so short lately but nothing much has happened. Hope everyone is doing well! Keep your heads up and have a great week!!

That missionary in England,
Sister Garrett

P.S. Our ceiling is not fixed yet but it is getting there