Friday, March 25, 2016

English People and the Good Word

Week 19~ March 21, 2016

This week was an interesting one! We were so busy. 

On Wednesday on the train ride home from District Meeting there were two guys sitting in the aisle across from me and one was being SO LOUD. I was super annoyed so in an attempt to quiet him down I started proselyting (judge me for not doing it right away please). Well, it didn't work. Then at the next stop, the loud guy got off the train and I noticed the other guys actually studying the pass along card I gave him. So I genuinely started proselyting. Turns out he is GOLDEN. His name is Andrew. We taught him the Restoration two days later and he just ate it up. He came to church on Sunday and loved it and the ward LOVED him. Everyone was talking with him and he is YSA age and the YSA people did such a good job fellowshipping him. I have never been more proud of my sweet Bracknell Ward then I am right now. Andrew loved church and he fit right in. 

Wednesday night we also had a Reach Out night inviting investigators, less active members, and just anyone else. The Stake President and Bishop came and the success was good! There was 16 people there. Although it kind of turned into group therapy, it was still good.

We had many lessons this week and the work is really picking up. We had some awesome dinner appointments which I absolutely adore. One was with an American family. They are SO COOL. He is a lawyer and she is a doctor and they are just so interesting. Both of them have lived around the world and went to Ivy League Schools and its safe to say that I basically idol them. 

This ward has such good people. I LOVE LOVE LOVE English people. Best people. Phillip, a recent convert took us out to dinner and he ALWAYS spoils us. He is the kindest man ever. He bought us groceries as well and it was literally everything and so much more that we would have needed and wanted. And the Hamiltons are amazing as well. I think it is safe to say that this ward has the best ward mission leader in the church. He is always taking us out to teach and to visit people so we don't have to bike and I just love them. I think I love them so much because they feel like family to me, and they laugh at my dumb jokes.

We invited Albert to be baptized, and he isn't ready yet, but he is doing well too. Science studies the creation and religion studies the Creator. He has a hard time mixing the two. 

A few weeks ago we started teaching a man from Romania, English. He wasn't too keen about learning about the Gospel, but we were able to help him out for a bit. Then, we had to drop him because he tried to hold my hand and was asking me 'why I am so beautiful'.... It's amazing what people can learn in a new language when they want to. GAH. I have such a phobia to men nowadays. On a different day, a different investigator shook my hand and then leaned close to kiss me! I didn't know what the heck he was doing so I turned my head super quickly and he was like 'what? you don't do kisses?' and I was like NO. AWKWARD Sister missionary life at its finest. 

Sister Hailee
Anyways, lots of love, 

Sister Hailee

Sister Hailee
Sister Hailee and Sister Lacey
Sister Hailee and Sister Lacey

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Sun DOES shine in England

Week 16~ February 29, 2016

Are you alright? That's the English way of saying 'Hello, how are you?'

THE SUN IS SO GOOD. I think Heavenly Father has been making the days longer just for me. SO HAPPY. You wouldn't believe the difference it makes to have the sun out for longer. It's still chilly though. 

Things are going pretty good. This last week we did a MOUNTAIN of finding. We found plenty of potentials via street contacting. That is always good! Last week we decided to take an hour out of our P-day for a miracle hour. It was a miracle hour indeed! We found a ton of great potentials to teach. Although none of them have become progressing investigators yet, it is still so good to know Heavenly Father is placing people in our path.

Sister Lacey and I have been doing really well together. I really enjoy being with her. She has been really understanding and we laugh a lot which is good. She has helped me so much! She pushes me, but doesn't over do things. Last week she cut my hair for me. I know what you are thinking, I let an amateur cut my hair?! Well... the mission changes you. And I don't want to spend my time in a hair salon. 

As a companionship we set a goal to meet everyone on our ward last, and if they let us in (there are a LOT of less active members here) then we teach them a lesson we planned and knock the area around them. It has been pretty successful. Both of us are still getting to know the ward though so it is always pretty awkward when we knock on a door that we THINK is a less active because neither of us recognized the name, and then it turns out to be an active family. It's okay though because we want to teach EVERYONE. Basically our goal is to teach everyone the Restoration. I love the Restoration because it really does invite the Spirit and when people feel the Spirit they can hopefully remember the reasons they joined the Church in the first place. We are striving to get more members involved and to help them see us in action as missionaries.

One of the less active members we teach struggles with the Word of Wisdom. So in an attempt to help, we said we would eat more vegetables if he would follow the WOW. Then, we set a companionship goal to only eat dessert at dinner appointments.... That lasted about three hours. 

One of the sisters that used to serve here came back and stayed with Chelsea (love her!) And she is good friends with Sister Lacey. Funny story- her dad actually baptized the other sister's dad in Norway. They lost contact until both of their daughters showed up on their missions. So, on Friday we went on splits all day and then came back for a wonderful Roast Dinner. English people love their Roast Dinners. They are so good. It's like I get Thanksgiving (but not the same) all the time. Thanksgiving food still tops all Roast Dinners. Yorkshire puddings are the bee's knees though. DELISH.

This week I have been focusing a lot on not comparing myself to others and recognizing my own progress. It has made a HUGE difference. How often do we compare our own weaknesses to other's strengths? Too often. Weaknesses are not a sin, they make us humble and allow Heavenly Father to strengthen us. Yet, sometimes weaknesses can consume us. I am starting to recognize that I have to applaud myself for my strengths and still recognize my weaknesses, but not focus on them. It is tough, but worth it. 

Anyways, I love your emails and hearing from everyone. It truly makes a difference!!

Love always,

Sister Hailee

Sunday, February 21, 2016

.... And then I broke my toe.


Last week was a good one! We had Specialized Zone Training meeting with President Gubler, and the Assistants came and taught us. It was SO good. President Gubler is amazing. He spoke about how usually a missionary gets his mission call based off of the mission president and not the location of the mission. I am certain I was sent here to have him as my mission president because he has already helped me so much. We had president interviews as well and he just told me how divine I am as a daughter of God. It was so nice. 

We took one of our investigators, Albert, to the temple on Saturday to the Visitor's Center and to watch the Restoration. I love that movie! Every time I watch it I always feel the Spirit so strongly and it reconfirms to me that Joseph Smith really was called of God and translated the Book of Mormon through the power of God. It is incredible! Every time I read the Book of Mormon I always learn so much more about Christ. Being on a mission really does heighten the spirit as you read scriptures and it seems like every verse has so much more meaning. Albert talks A LOT. We kept having to tell him to stop talking and listen to the VC sister's presentation. Those poor sisters. They looked so frustrated. He has such a good heart though! He is just so intellectual being a world renowned scientist and all...

Last week we also taught Owen and committed him to setting his own baptismal date. Sisters have been teaching Owen for years and he has never fully committed but he loves the church. Well, this morning we got dropped by him. Such a disappointment! It's okay though because if he isn't ready to commit then someone else will be. 

I gotta say, riding bikes as a sister mish is a love hate relationship. I love that I get to exercise and breath the fresh air (if you can call it that, it seems like EVERYONE smokes here), but it sure gets cold too. Last week as we were riding my brakes decided they didn't want to work anymore, so I ran into a metal fence on my bike. BIKE WRECK. I got the wind knocked right out of me as my handlebars slammed into me. Worst of all, my big toe is broken! It is pretty cool though since it is swollen and bruised. I couldn't walk much on it for a couple of days and I had to wear fuzzy wanna-be UGG boots since I couldn't get any other shoes on. Super missionary professional... 

So something that I have learned about England is that there are a TON of cats here. Everyone has cats. We go visit Sister Georgina every week and she has 11. I LOVE HER. I attached a picture of me holding her one-eyed cat. He had glaucoma. Poor guy. She is so cool though. She is crazy in the best way possible! 

On Friday as a celebration/ hazing for being trained, Sister Torvinen dyed my hair and I dyed hers. I was terrified. I haven't used a box hair dye in so long. It turned out alright. I hear that every sister missionary has to do something like that with her hair. It's part of the culture. 

I am OFFICIALLY done with training. Hallelujah! BEST DAY EVER. As of about one hour ago,  I picked up my new companion and am leading my area, Bracknell BERKSHIRE. I love Bracknell. English people are seriously the best people ever! So the rules changed that missionaries will now be traveling alone for transfers. So, when Sister Torvinen left this morning I was companion-less for awhile. The Hamiltons drove us to the train station, and the Sister Training Leaders came to spend a few hours with me, but for about 30 minutes I was without a companion. It would be so strange to travel alone... and all my luggage on a train during rush hour sounds awful. I think I'll stay in Bracknell FOREVER. 

 My new companion is Sister Lacey from UTAH! GOD BLESS AMERICA. For real though, I love her already. She has been on her mission for 14 months and stayed in the same area the WHOLE time. So, this is only her second area. I think we are going to be great together.

Love you all!!

Sister Hailee 

Sister Coulson with Sister Torvinen
Sister Coulson

Future cat lady!
Visiting  Sister Georgin with Sister Torvinen
At the Visitor's Center with Albert. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Last Week in Training

Hello everyone!

So I haven't written a 'weekly email' basically since the MTC for multiple reasons, but I am going to try that again.

HALLELUJAH It is my last week in training! I ALMOST MADE IT THROUGH 12 WEEK. I can't even begin to describe how happy that is making me.

This past week was quite eventful.  On Monday the ward mission leader and another member took us to Oxford. It was so nice! I absolutely loved Oxford. It was the 'real deal' English feel to it. They also took us to lunch for my birthday. We went to one of the oldest pubs in England. It was so neat to actually be in Oxford. That night at FHE everyone sang 'Happy Birthday' to me and we ate cake. So nice!! 

On Tuesday we went to Roehampton just outside of London for a doctor's appointment. It takes so long to get there, but it was nice to be able to be out of the area on my birthday. Yay 22! Everyone feel free to play some T-swift for me because I definitely sang it inside my head basically all day. Sister Torvinen took me to lunch as well for my birthday. One thing that the UK is really lacking is some Mexican food, but we went to Portuguese food which was also delicious. After doing some missionary work, one of the members took us out to pizza at Pizza Hut for my birthday as well. They spoiled me! 

Wednesday we were out visiting some less active members and teaching recent coverts and then we went to a family that we teach that lives right next to us. They are Baptist, but so great! I love being in homes with people. They fed us Nachos. We invited them to go to the London Temple Visitor's Center so hopefully that happens. The ward here would love to have another family! Isn't that everyone's dream though? Baptize a whole family? 

Thursday we had District meeting and that was fun. Our district is great. We have the Sister Training Leaders in our district so after the meeting we went on an exchange with them in Farnborough.... not that any of you really know where that is, but that's okay. The 'exchange rules' have changed, at least for our mission. Instead of a going to separate areas with the STL's, we all go to their area for the time. It was basically a big slumber party after planning session. They are great. It is crazy to me how many countries people in this mission come from. Sister du Plessis is from South Africa and Sister Thompson is from Mississippi. We pulled all of the mattresses into the living room and went to sleep there. 

Friday we returned from the exchange and worked in our area. That night, a member, Philip, spoiled us for my birthday and took us out to Chinese food. It was so nice! He is always spoiling the missionaries. Members really take care of us here, especially when it comes to dinner appointments.

This weekend we had stake conference. We took one of our investigators, who is a famous scientist. I'm not even kidding. He always tells us about these science things and the stuff he is working on, and we knew he was really smart. Then, the Ward Mission Leader 'Googled' his name and found a whole bunch of stuff about it. He was on Planet Earth talking about his work and there was all of these other things that were so extreme. We were shocked. He has been telling us how in 2020's there is going to be famine across the world and about how the glaciers in Greenland are melting. Our meeting on Saturday at Stake Conference was about Self-Reliance and talked about different aspects of it (mental, spiritual, temporal) and he loved that our church is preparing for 'destruction'

The people here are what make England the best! 

Thank you everyone that wished me a Happy Birthday. I miss and love you all and am grateful for each of your love and support. It means so much! 


Sister Hailee
Sister Coulson in Oxford

Oxford is COOL

Lunch at the Pub~ Happy Birthday!

The Reading Zone

Monday, January 4, 2016

Becoming Sister Coulson

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hello Family and Friends!!

I am so happy here. I truly am becoming 'Sister Coulson' and I love it. I think I was born for this!  I have learned so much about faith, humility, and the Spirit. I smile basically all the time. Being here this week has already added a substantial amount of strength to my testimony. 

Flying into England was so cool. The sun was rising and we saw Ireland and then Wales and then landed in Manchester. The only reason I knew we were flying over those other countries was because the Irish man in the seat next to me pointed it out. He was so adorable. He was a cute Irish grandpa and his wife was next to him. Irish accents are my FAVORITE so far. They gave me jolly ranchers and were so kind during the entire flight. When I got to the airport I was so relieved to see the man holding the MTC sign. My flight was an hour late and customs took a long time so I thought I would have to call the MTC. I flew alone, but was greet at the airport by four other Americans. They are all going to the London Mission. Surprisingly I didn't have jet lag. I was essentially fine. 

England is beautiful from what I can tell. We haven't been outside much. Of course it has been raining almost constantly, but I don't mind.

Honestly though, being here is the greatest. I love it. Don't get me wrong, it is hard, but not in the way I thought it would be. The biggest challenge is mentally. For the first two days there were moments when the only thing keeping me from going home was the fact that I was not about to take another 22 hours series of plane rides or however long that was. Just kidding, it was the fact that I knew I was supposed to be here. I wasn't homesick, just stressed. This place is EFY on steroids and you can't talk to the boys. It keeps you focused though.

My teacher is Sister Harkness. She is fantastic. I told her that I would have wanted to be her friend growing up. She has helped me a lot here. I have been so afraid of offending people because the cultural differences are a lot harder than I thought. American humor is so different from other countries.... I know what you are thinking, 'your humor is just different from anyone else'. That's true too, but this really is a cultural thing. The other Americans think I am humorous.

So, upon arrival the MTC President informed us that it was time to clean up our language. He said American slang was no longer appropriate. I have been practicing a lot, but I can't say 'guys, cool, awesome, man, like, ext...' anymore. I have to limit the use of 'good, and great' as well. I have been writing down a list of phrases that English people say and trying to change my language along with a list of adjectives. Google would be so helpful right about now. 

My district is the BEST. I am the only American who is going to the London South Mission. My companion is from Madagascar. She has been here for five weeks now and she didn't speak any English when she got here. Yesterday she said the Restoration lesson to me in English and we were SOOOOO happy. She has worked hard. GIFT OF TONGUES PEOPLE. It's a real thing. I am chalking that up as my first miracle out in the field. I love her though. It is fun having a companion. It makes me laugh when she randomly starts singing an American pop song. Now she understands the lyrics. 

Four of the sisters in my district are all speaking English as a second (or third) language. They like my American accent because it is easier to understand than the British people. My first day here I wanted to plug my ears all day because all of the variety accents was driving me insane. It was so hard to listen. They all sound so different. Now I am used to the accents. I don't even hear them. It is so funny to be in our room because everyone is trying to communicate but they all grew up with different first languages. Sister Gumares is from Brazil, Sister Mura is from France, and then Sister Andriamihirisoa (took me all week to learn that) is my companion. I feel so under educated compared to them. They all know so many languages. People here seriously speak like five languages. I am so grateful to have grown up learning English. 

They definitely think I am a loud, obnoxious American, but it is all out of love. We have a good time. I'm not even the old Grandma like I thought I would be. There are a variety of ages.  There are people from ALL over here. Two African elders were supposed to be in my district, but they didn't get their visas. If they had shown up we would have had someone from every continent where humans live. Elder Biddle is our district leader and he is from Australia. We agreed that we have a love hate relationship. We love to hate each other. It's just a joke though because we are actually good friends. He is the only elder going to London South. 

Teaching lessons has been pretty easy for me. I about had a break down the second day though. I was so stressed out because I felt like I needed to memorize all of the material, and it wasn't happening. I just had to take a step back and recognize that it comes with time. As of under a week later I am pretty confident in the Restoration lesson and several other things. I am working on the Plan of Salvation. I have since recognized that I need to study the material, but having it memorized isn't what is going to make me the 'best teacher'. That is the Spirit's job. Our lessons have been much better. I enjoy teaching. I am trying to help Sister Andria become a more confident teacher. She is so spiritual and surely has something more substantial to say than I do, but it is still hard for her to communicate. I am so grateful that I have the opportunity to be here companion and help her. The Lord has blessed me with much patience. 

At night when we are all going to bed we all talk about what our families are doing at that moment and it is extremely funny (keep in mind that we don't get much humor around here). On Sunday I said 'my parents are still in church' and we burst out laughing because we were all so tired and the idea of still being in church was unbearable. 

I know this is so long and I am sorry. You all asked so many questions, but I love you all. Thank you for being so supportive. I am the most blessed girl in the world, no doubt. 

Tomorrow we are going to Manchester which is about 45 minutes away and we are doing a street finding activity. I'm excited to leave the MTC for awhile.

We went to the temple here is Preston this morning. I loved it. I am so excited that the London temple is in my mission.

Have a great day, you are loved by me!!


Sister Hailee Coulson

Me! "Sister Coulson"

My first companion

Here are the Americans in front of the Preston, London Temple 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hi from the MTC!

Hi from the MTC!

I made it!! It was a long flight and I didn't meet up with any other missionaries along the way, but that's okay. The people I sat with on both flights were super nice. The first guy was a lawyer from Portland who was LDS. He was taking his family to Walt Disney World.  The next flight I sat by a man from Ireland and his wife. They were the nicest people!! They gave me candy and treated me like a grand daughter. It wasn't as creepy as it probably sounds. 

Anyways, I'm kind of tired, but good for now. Everyone says that the jet lag hits you the second day. People are nice. The MTC is pretty small, but good. Most of the missionaries are going to the Alpine German speaking mission, except for a few that are heading to the London mission. 

It wasn't raining this morning when we landed and the sky was decently clear. I saw Ireland and Wales flying in. It doesn't feel like I am very far. It kind of just looks like the Pacific Northwest or the east coast with different kinds of trees. It was weird watching the cars on the wrong side of the road as I flew in. 

I think I will be happy here! It is a change, but it's good. It is weird hearing all the British accents.

Love ya!

Sister Hailee

Hailee saying good-bye at the airport.

Allison, Mom, Hailee, and Dad at the airport.
Hailee heading through security.
Allison and Hailee at the airport.

Monday, November 9, 2015


I was pretty blessed to have most of my family and several friends at my farewell. They all went above and beyond to make it here to hear me speak and say goodbye. I felt pretty special. Thank you everyone for so much love and support!!

Great friends!! Thank you all for coming.

The District! I spent countless hours teaching, tracting, and laughing with these missionaries! They definitely helped me prepare for my own mission.

I love my family!

Mom and Dad! The best mission supporters.