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, 15 July 2013

Erika's Comfort Zone Challenge!

OK! Here we go! Rapid fire emailing begins NOW!

So after such a miraculous week last week, I knew that this week was guaranteed to have some trials...and I was right! BUT thankfully Heavenly Father ALWAYS compensates in some way, and he certainly managed to embed some miracles into this week.

We had a zone meeting this week! Zone meetings are officially my FAVOURITE! I love seeing all my dear missionary friends at these meetings. I honestly have made some best friends out here. There's a 99.9999999999999999% chance I'll be sobbing when I have to leave them all and say goodbye to some of them forever! They will have to literally drag me onto the plane when it is time to go home! I just love being a missionary so much, it hurts! The only word that comes to mind when describe this week's zone meeting is EPIC. We did a preach my gospel version of a scripture chase, where the 4 districts competed against each other BUT here's the catch. It was scripture chase mixed with JENGA! The 2 losing districts of each round had to pull a block from the Jenga tower. Long story short, we had a 45 min game of Jenga! I have NO IDEA how that tower stayed up! It was practically standing on one block. It was insane. Everyone was screaming and cheering like it was the most exciting thing of their lives (and lets be honest, it probably was. We are missionaries. I've learned being here, that the simplest things can amuse a bunch of 20 year olds when you take away their internet, tv, and free time. Gotta love the missionary life!).

This week we have officially initiated the comfort zone challenge! I came up with this idea (I was actually inspired by it from hearing about how my family was challenged by our missionaries back home to find a person to teach by a specific date!). What we're doing is going to members' homes, and sitting with them and determining what missionary actions they are comfortable with (e.g. posting a mormon message on fb, mentioning church in a conversation etc.) We then help determine a step that is ONE step out of their comfort zone. They select a date they will do it by, a person they have in mind to try it with, and then write this down and sign it. We will follow up with the members after the 'due date' and see how it went. If it went well, we'll take another step out of the comfort zone. If not, we will figure out what we can do to help them succeed. So far it has been going great!!

Remek is STILL our continuous miracle! As his English improves (it is rapidly improving!) he is able to tell us more about him. Remek is like a puzzle that we get the pieces to as his English grows. We found out an incredible story about him this week. So it turns out he was hit by a truck back in Poland and was in a coma. While unconscious, he had a dream where he saw his deceased family members in heaven and then he heard Heavenly Father's voice telling him he needed to change his life and move to England. 3 weeks after his recovery, with pure faith he quit his job and moved to England. He realized that we were the reason he needed to be here! CRAZY! He is accepting the gospel with such faith! He is touching the hearts of our ward members as they join us in lessons with him. We got Polish pamphlets FINALLY so we've been able to officially start the discussions with him. We taught him the entire restoration. We will be teaching him the plan of salvation this Wed. He has already learned the gospel of Jesus Christ. If all goes well, by the next time I email you, we are praying that he will have a baptismal date set! So exciting!

We had a random miracle on Thursday. Every Thurs before our weekly planning session, we have 1 hour where we go finding (tracting, street contacting etc.). We found Jenny during this hour! She had actually met with elders a couple years back, but was intimidated having to meet with so many men, so she stopped lessons with them. She was thrilled to talk to us and booked an appointment on the spot (and gave us her phone number AND address- which is rare for missionaries to get on a 1st meeting). She likes the idea of meeting with other girls! I pray that our appointment will result in miracles!

So a few weeks back we met a man named Gena and gave him a Latvian Book of Mormon. Well, turns out 'Gena' is actually named Roman. Roman is Gena's twin brother. Roman was semi-interested in our message, but decided it would be fun to mess with us and book an appointment for us to meet his identical twin brother Gena. So we showed up, and obviously no one was home. Well Heavenly Father works in strange ways. We had an appointment fall through (1 of 10,000 that fell through this week), so we felt strongly that we should go check up on Gena again. Gena's wife Eleina answered the door. She explained that Roman had played a trick on us! (Roman was hoping that Gena would be home for that day he booked the appointment, so Gena and ourselves would be super confused about what was going on). She felt so bad that she invited us in. She was super curious about the Latvian BOM we had given Roman. She really wanted to know what we taught, and we ended up teaching the entire 1st discussion to Eleina and Roman right then and there (talked for over an hour). It was wonderful! We pray we will see growth in their faith in the coming weeks! We laughed as we realized that Gena really does have an evil twin! :)

I went on an exchange this week with our sister training leaders in Chester. I set foot in Wales for the 1st time since getting here! It's beautiful and it's neat seeing all the signs in English and in Welsh! I was with Sister Milbin from Edmonton! It was nice to be with a fellow Canadian and hear a familiar accent for once! Our exchange was extremely quick (less than 24 hours) but lovely! Sister Milbin is a pro at street contacting, and I learned a load from her! To be honest, it was a pretty average exchange so I don't have much to say about it! We did manage to teach a lesson on the train on the way to Chester though. It was a 20ish year old girl, travelling back home after a term of university. She was super excited about the BOM and was wanting to share it with some friends back home as well. We got all her info, and I'm sure the missionaries in Wales (where she lives) will be thrilled at our meeting with her!

Though we had a million frustrations this week, on the bright side we found 5 really solid potential investigators this week- 2 which are families with children! We are so excited at the potential that lies here! This work is so rewarding! I am happy ALL the time!!! It's all completely worth it!

Random silly things that happened in the week:

I HAD BORSCHT FOR THE 1ST TIME YESTERDAY!!!! Sister Shchur made me borscht yesterday (a traditional Russian/Ukrainian dish). It was AMAZING! She's going to teach me how to make it so I can make it myself (it's so cheap to make, delicious, and it makes a HUGE pot full-- essentially the perfect missionary dish!).

Language study blooper: between my 12 week training program, language study for Sis S, plus our regular personal and companionship study, we spend a total of 4 hours a day studying! So naturally we are bound to have silly/going insane moments from time to time. Usually I just study my own thing while Sis S does her language study. During this time, she just asks me questions if they come up. Yesterday she asked me what the saying "You can't have your cake and eat it too" meant. I struggled to explain it. We gave up and continued doing our own quiet study. She suddenly said: "I think we have a Russian proverb that is like that saying". She wrote it down and then translated in her head to English. She asked me "do you know what a tit is? Do you have tits in Canada?". Well, obviously, because I am so mature, I was rolling on the floor in tears laughing. She was confused. She is not familiar with the slang meaning of this word in English. I was laughing too hard to explain, so she looked it up in her dictionary and DIED LAUGHING as she suddenly understood as her dictionary said "tit: (vulgar) word referring to breast". I laughed even harder as I saw the English translation of the proverb written on her paper "a tit in hand is better than a crane in the sky". The 1st part of it made me DIE laughing, and her as well. I love our random language study bloopers!

I came up with a genius way to do missionary work! We have worked our rear ends off to find a handful of investigators, but getting members to come on our appointments has been like pulling teeth. Because most of our investigators are male, this means we've had to cancel a ton of lessons! Really upsetting and frustrating. So on the way home from church yesterday I came up with a knew way of inviting members to get off their rear ends and stop making lame excuses. I'll just say "Hi Brother (insert name here): Do you love Jesus? Then FEED HIS SHEEP. Do youuuuuu love Jesus? FEED HIS SHEEP!! I said do you love Jesus? (in a baptist, happy clappy preacher voice). Then PLEASEEEE FEED HIS SHEEP!!!!!!" I am convinced that this guilt trip would do the trick!! The church will thank me later when fellowshippers go up 2,00000% ;)

It's transfers this coming week, so possibly no email next week. My p-day will be on WED, NOT MONDAY for that week. It's unlikely that I'll be transferred, but there are 25 new missionaries coming in next week, so apparently we have to be ready for anything!

Please pray for your local missionaries! They work so hard! I never understood it until this mission! If they ask you to go on a lesson with them DO IT! The spirit is soooo strong, and you will leave with the biggest, fattest smile on your face. We pretty much worship the ground of anyone who helps us out! You have NO idea how much it actually means to the missionaries if you offer to go on lessons with them. And don't forget to feed your missionaries!!!!!!!! I've learned that everyone assumes that someone else is feeding them. Take this advice from someone who knows. The honeymoon phase is officially over in Telford and the feeding of the missionaries stopped about 2 weeks ago! Do me a big, fat favour and feed the Vancouver missionaries! They are WONDERFUL and think and care about you ALLLLLLL the time!!!!

Can't wait to report more miracles next week! Love you all so much! 17 months to go (hopefully they go slowly for me, and quickly for you!!)
Love Sister Martin <3

No comments:

Post a Comment