FYI: This blog is being taken care of by Sister Martin's mom Sharon Martin - She is posting emails and pictures that I am sending to her each week.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Erika has already managed to give the "finger" or should we say fingers!!

Some experiences from the MTC I didn't get to share with you because I didn't have a full P-day last week:

Fun fact I discovered. Korea and career sound the same when you say it in an English accent! So when our district teacher was trying to tell us a story about how the career counselors came to his high school and told him he should be a children's entertainer (a clown) when he grew up, it made for a very confusing/hilarious story!

Bro Rojas and Bro. Llyones 
(my district teachers and basically my fav people on planet earth!!)

Another fun fact! My last name sounds so much lovelier in an English accent!! I'm never going back to the Canadian version of my name!

I discovered that I say the word basically.....a lot. During one of my mock lessons, my investigator (my district teacher) commented that I say basically a lot. I had said it 5x in one sentence. From that point on, my teacher made it a point to insert the word basically into every single sentence he spoke when I was around (I'm 100% serious.....not exaggerating). He ended up getting my entire zone in on the fun, so my whole zone would constantly come up to me and say "basically" sentences left, right, and center! Since this teacher and I dedicated 99.9% of our time together teasing each other and throwing sarcastic remarks back and forth, this really wasn't anything out of the ordinary!

Sad fact. I was one of the only missionaries in my zone, who had, had fish and chips before! So sad! I guess I take for granted the beautiful fish-filled ocean that we live so close to at home! From that experience I have concluded that people from Utah are deprived! How can you have never had fish and chips?!!! Such a pity!

Amazing epiphany I had at the MTC:
I know what you're thinking.....this is going to be a super inspiring, spiritual discovery that Sister Martin had. Nope! I discovered that one of our room-mates, Sis. Tebao (the girl from that crazy awesome island in the Pacific Islands that I can't spell!) is RAPUNZEL!! As part of her culture, she has never cut her hair. So her hair literally touches the floor! I knew this already, because the 1st day we met she took her hair out before bed and our jaws dropped to the ground, BUT it wasn't until a week later that I made the Rapunzel connection. I took an amazing pic with her, where she's on the top bunk bed, with her hair draping to the floor, and I'm on the ground, posing like I'm the prince calling for her to let down her hair. Will send that pic home asap!

That's BASICALLY a high-light reel of my last week at the MTC! I loved it there! There was not a second that I did not enjoy!! I made some wonderful friends there, who I'm excited to continue my friendship with after our missions are finished! I'm especially feel blessed that I was given such an amazing companion! Sister Cochran is the bomb! I think her and I spent more time laughing than learning about the gospel! What a blessing she was to me!

 I'm officially in the mission field!! Crazy!! So basic info to start. I'm in the county of Telford. Specifically staying in the village of Wellington. It's beautiful here! So different from Canada! The homes are so.....charming...there's really no word for it! I love England so much!!!! My companion is Sis. Shchurr. She's from Eastern Russia (very close to China and Korea). She's very quiet and conservative and of course English is her 2nd language that she just learned a few months ago, so I'm very much craving girl-talk (or any talk for that matter!!). BUT she is very kind and I'm grateful for that. She was a boxer in Russia, and apparently was really good (competed at the national level). She is a bit older, 27. Her story is kind of cool. She was converted 5 years ago. Some missionaries found her mom at a bus stop, invited her to English classes at the church. Her mom brought Sis. Shchur and her sister along, and all 3 were baptized a month later. Sis. Shchur has 4 brothers and a sister! Big family!

Anyways! My car adventure. So right after I got assigned my location, the AP handed me car keys and told me that I would be driving to our area (which is 3 hours away). My companion doesn't drive. He handed me a SATNAV (english word for GPS), wished me luck, and left. I proceeded to pee my pants (because I was so terrified), say a prayer, and then enter the tiny little car (everyone drives small cars here)......on the wrong side of the car. I got into the passenger seat. Good start!

To sum up, the driving did not go so well. I had never even seen an English roadway yet (because up to that point we had only travelled by charter bus). We got sooooo lost! I had no idea what the speed limit was! There aren't stop signs here, so I had no clue what to do. It was a nightmare. With time I'm hoping I'll master the left-side of the road deal! Til then, please pray for me to get through this transfer alive!!!!!

Our flat is super nice. It used to be a senior couples flat!!!!! It's huge! Which is rare for a missionary to have!!! Very spoiled :)

My 1st dinner appointment was nuts: It was with the Hoar (Jr.) family (they have the best last name ever...and they know it!). So we were at Bro/Sis Hoar senior's home and were supposed to get picked up (our car was in the repair shop at that time). A car pulls up and they ask us if we were Jehovah's witnesses. It was Bro. Hoar. He is a jokester! So we get in the car, and it's Bro. Hoar and 2 non-member friends! We proceed to pull through the KFC drive-through to pick up our dinner! Awesome! Weird fact: people here LOVE KFC (or at least they do in the village of Hadley!). During dinner Sis. Hoar asked me how long I've been on my mission. As I lifted up 2 fingers, I responded "only 2 weeks". With that, they all started roaring with laughter and starting waving 2 fingers at me going "How many weeks Sister Martin??!" Yes. I had just given them the English version of the middle finger! I was sooooooooo embarassed! I almost died!! But they have a great sense of humour and thought it was the funniest thing ever. They kept saying to me that night, "I bet you didn't think you would have met 2 Hoars in one night (*as they waved the English middle finger at me)".

Right before we were about to share our spiritual thought, Bro. Hoar stopped us, and informed us that Leigh- one of the "non-members" at the dinner, was actually an RM (served in Birmingham). They had been messing with us all night! The Hoars are officially my favourite family! Leigh is already a great friend and is planning on going on a lot of splits with us!

Every Friday night here, the Telford ward has a sports night. We attended our 1st one last Friday and had a blast! The ward members here are soooo excited to have sister missionaries and are basically lining up to book us for tea (dinner) appointments! Sports night was great and we had a blast playing volleyball and table tennis.

On Saturday, all the missionaries in our zone (Newcastle zone) got to go to Stafford to help out with country-wide youth activity. They had tons of inflatable obstacle courses, those sumo suit things, etc. There were 400 youth there! It was crazy! It was really nice to see some of the missionaries from the MTC and hear all their crazy stories from their 1st couple of days.

 I placed my 1st Book of Mormon on my 3rd day! We were walking down high street (almost every town in England has a high's basically the place in town where all the shops are located. Seriously looks like Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies! So cool!) and I approached a lady named F... I was able to talk to her for 40 mins. She gave us her life story. Very tough life. Her dad recently committed suicide. I was able to share my testimony of the BOM and she easily agreed to read it. We read a bit from the BOM and then talked about the plan of salvation. We're hoping to be able to meet with her soon to set up an actual, formalized lesson. I basically conducted this entire conversation on my own, because F… has an incredibly thick accent (I think she's from somewhere around Liverpool), so my comp. had no idea what she was saying the entire time!
Experience with a woman who has been a lifelong member with quite a few children, but went recently inactive: She called us the 1st day we got here, and wanted to set an appointment up asap! She came to pick us up and she looked nothing like I expected her to. She could have been a mom on the real housewives of orange county! Bleach blonde hair, fake tan, wearing a skimpy dress and 6 inch stiletto heels, picking us up in a BMW convertible! I must admit, I was a little surprised! Long story short, she talked to us for almost 3 hours. Pretty much gave us her life story! She basically realizes that she's not happy and needs the church back in her life. We had an incredibly spiritual experience as we shared a message of the restoration, (to remind her of the basic doctrines that she once believed). The spirit was so strong. I was saying things I never thought I could. I was really bold. It shocked me. I basically promised her that if she would come back to the Saviour, that she would be blessed. I referred to that quote from one of the last general conferences....don't remember who said it...basically the quote that said "If you have marriage problems, talk to the missionaries. If you have financial to the missionaries. etc.". It was a powerful moment as I told her that if she will listen to us and work with us, that we can fix the unhappiness in her life. I can't describe the spirit in the room at that time, or the words that were coming out of my mouth. It was mind-blowing. Anyways, we will be working with her a lot and hopefully repairing the damage that has occurred in her family.

Other random missionary things: I love street-contacting! I find it super fun to talk to random people on the streets and hear their stories! We've met tons of weird, crazy people, but they're all great! I also am really good at door-to-door tracting. Only thing I'm not great at is bus contacting. I hate going to people on the bus/train and trying to talk to them. But I'm working on it and get better day by day. Anyways, my computer is about to time out. I'll write more next week. Please pray for seriously, why aren't you on your knees praying right now??! HAHA I need prayers!!!

Love you!!!!

Sister Martin (aka Sista Maaatin)

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