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.

Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Sorry for the late emails this week. It was a bank holiday on P-day yesterday, so the library was closed! (and it was delayed an extra day because Erika's Mom was away).  The email next week will be late as well as it is transfer week so P-Day gets moved to Wednesday or Thursday.

We got to go on the church history tour this week! It was so inspiring to go to all the places the 1st missionaries were sent to. We started in Liverpool-- we checked out a Maritime Museum there at the main docks. Liverpool is gorgeous!!!!! But the museum absolutely put me to sleep! I'm pretty sure I had drool running down my chin as I sleepwalked through the exhibits. Unfortunately my companion is a museum person (has to look at EVERY single exhibit! And read EVERY single description haha) so while the other missionaries were outside enjoying the gorgeous weather, I was being dragged around the museum staring at replicas of every single war ship known to mankind.

We then went to the River Ribble (the place where the first members of the church in England were baptized). The park around the river is so beautiful and the weather couldn't have been more perfect!! We went to Downham after (one of the first places the missionaries worked). We had a meeting in old chapel where the missionaries had one of their first meetings. It was the most beautiful meetings I've been to on my mission yet! The church was breath-taking (so old! The details were so incredible) and there was such a special spirit there as the hymns of our missionaries reverberated off the old stone walls. Our missionaries who will be going home next week bore their departing testimonies, and the spirit was so incredibly strong in that meeting. I've been having a really hard time with this companion, and that meeting gave me the strength I needed to get through another week.

MIRACLES!!! The church is true!! Heavenly Father is watching over me so much, and truly is blessing me for sticking it out with this companion. WE TAUGHT OUR 1ST FAMILY THIS WEEK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Tanwaa-- one of our investigators-- is now having us teach her 8 year old son (Abdul) and 3 year old daughter (Bernice). She wants all 3 of them baptized, and told us to teach them everything they need to know to be baptized into our church. She wants her kids to grow up to have a relationship with Jesus Christ and said she trusts us to help her with this!!! Fingers crossed things will go well!!!!!!!!

I went on exchange with our sister leader- Sister Leslie- this week. She is so wonderful and I enjoyed it so much. I stayed in Telford for the exchange, so I spent the better part of the exchange on the train going back and forth between Chester (where Sis D went on exchange) and back. I ended up spending 5+ hours on the train, in less than 24 hours (FUN!!). Together we saw incredible miracles. I had the most amazing lesson with a lady during one of the train rides. Her mother has cancer and she's been having such a hard time coping with things. I was able to teach her about how families can be together forever, how the BOM helped me keep my faith strong during hard times, and I was able to share our family's experiences with dad's sicknesses and how we dealt with it using the gospel and family support. I was meant to meet this lady. My experiences were exactly what she neeeded! We were both in tears on the train. She eagerly took the BOM from me and is desperate to find comfort from it--- and she will!

We also had a lesson with our 19 year old investigator Estella. Her 11 year old brother is not baptized either, but their mother got baptized back in 2012. Estella has really connected with me! I've been helping her with her concerns--mainly the difficulties of being a young adult and trying to live the gospel in a world where people our age do not live good lives. She came to church this Sunday-- she hasn't been in over a year!!! Such a miracle. Estella has asked us to visit her weekly until she leaves for Cambridge in October!!!! I pray that she'll be ready for baptism one day- she has a sweet spirit, and is a very special and talented young woman!!

As Sister Leslie and I were running (literally) out of our flat to sprint off to catch our train, a man outside our flat stopped us. He has had some really huge trials in his life-- his wife nearly died, he saved a lady's life (she was drowning and he saved her) and then watched her die 3 days later, amongst other things. We ended up having a 1+ lesson with him on the spot!! We talked about eternal families, why we have trials and their role in God's plan for us, the BOM and how important it is in helping us come closer to Christ. The spirit was SOOO strong in that lesson. We were all in tears. We had a beautiful prayer together!!! Devon is interested in talking more with us-- but I wrote his phone number down wrong (AHHHH FACE PALM) so we're praying so hard that he'll call us back (he has our number!!!!!).

Sister Leslie and I took a few mins to have a gratitude prayer in the middle of a pub parking lot before leaving to catch the next train (we definitely missed our last train because of the lesson with Devon) and were just in tears! The spirit throughout all our lessons was so incredibly strong (think about the best testimony meeting you've ever been to, and that was how we were feeling for 24 hours straight!!). Heavenly Father is carrying me through this challenging time by supplementing with such incredible miracles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Church yesterday was insane. We had FOUR investigators at sacrament meeting!!!!!! FOUR!!!! Remek, Luke, Estella and Ellis!!!! And we are expecting 3 more to come next Sunday (Tanwaa and her family!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Luke was in love with our family history center and is starting his own work this week. He's young- 24- we met him a month ago while street contacting and gave him a BOM. He just showed up to church on his own a month later!!! MIRACLES IN THE EMM!!!!! 

Last night was amazing as well. I've been really frustrated with the pace of the work lately! Last night the FHE we did ended way earlier than planned, so we found ourselves with 1hr 30mins of nothing to do. I really wanted to take full advantage of the time (I hate coming into our flat even a min before 9pm) so I suggested that we say a prayer and then just walk the streets (trying to find people) until it was time to go home.  Right before we had to go home, we met a lady on the street. Her son had died a few years ago, and she really has been working on increasing her faith in God in the past few years. We were able to have an incredible lesson with her and leave her with a BOM!!! Heavenly Father made me wait til the very last second of that finding time, but he did answer my prayer!!! And he always will!!!!!

We got to go to the temple yesterday!!! AND SEE THE NEW MOVIE!!!! All we needed was popcorn and it would have been perfect!!!!!! Alison Hoar (a wonderful lady in our ward) drove us out!!!! So grateful for that! I needed to go so badly (the spiritual boost was so badly needed!!!!!!!!!!!).

Today was sad as it was our last meeting together as a district! We have the silliest, BEST district ever (even the very experienced missionaries in our district have said that this is by far the best district they're ever been a part of!!). We are the goofiest bunch ever, and everyone of them are such good missionaries! I've made some lifelong friends out here and am sad to see this district change (one of the Elders hasn't moved in over 6 months, and the other in 4 so we know there's a 99.9999999% chance that they will be moving to new areas). Change is sad, but change is also good! Hopefully our new district will be just as fun!!!!!!

So much more I'd like to write this week, but unfortunately email time is shorter this week.................library is packed after bank holiday, so couldn't book as much time to email :(

Remember always:
- Heavenly Father always answers prayers
- The atonement can get you through ANYTHING 
- I love you all to death!!!!!!!!!

Hope that the time goes fast for you and slow for me,

With love,
Sister Martin

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