Tuesday, 10 September 2013
Life is Beautiful!!!
Life is beautiful!!!! Why? Because I have the Lord on my side. And also because he has been nice enough to throw a huge amount of blessings my way over the past week!!!!
Sister Riley is wonderful!!! We get along soooooooooooooooooo well (emphasis on the ooooooooooooooooo). We have very similar senses of humour (sarcasm with a slight occasional hint of sick and twisted) and both have a ridiculous sweet tooth and a love for all food (especially spicy curries!). Safe to say, we have committed to running everyday so that we will not gain 20billion pounds during our time together (every day I like to declare as we wake up to our alarm: "WILL YOU follow the example of healthier, better-looking people than us, and go running in the pouring rain/wind with me. I promise that as you do, we will not get too fat and ugly that no one will want to marry us when we get home"......................any return missionary will recognize/appreciate that this is textbook commitment pattern right here!!). We laugh too much! At everything! Weird fact: more than once now, we have had people ask if we are BOTH Americans-- I get them asking me, but seriously, I don't get how they think her accent is American!
Sister Martin and Sister Riley
Highlight of her week so far I think was me shocking her when I talked on the phone to get train times. You call a number and it's an automated computer system, where you talk into the phone and the computer gets train info for you.....the catch is that the computer does NOT like N. American accents....so I switch my accent when I call in for our trains. I forgot to tell S. Riley this, and she almost died when suddenly I was babbling away in an accent. She had no idea why I was doing it until halfway through the phone call! I do have to brag a little bit, I am getting pretty good at tricking the computer!! My impersonation of an English accent improves each day
I'm officially a local! The local taximan (Nas) knows me by name and always pulls over to chat with me. A local neighbouring family spends 24/7 out in their front garden and always stops me to chat. I have gotten on good terms with some of the bus drivers here and some of them don't even charge me fare anymore (my favourite thing is to try and get the bus driver to have a conversation with me on the bus....my goal is to one day convert a bus driver!). The librarians all know me, and 2 of our local crazy/strange people (Steven- the old man who sings Catholic hymns every time he sees us because he thinks we're nuns, and Percy- the Jamaican who is fascinated by ants) know me too well. Life in Telford is good (knock on wood----- there is no such thing as comfort zone out here, so I'm bracing myself for some challenges to come up haha).
Sister Riley and I are in such unity! Teaching with her is sooooo easy!! She is extremely talented at teaching (we both find teaching very easy, and teach in very similar styles)! We have had the most touching appointments together so far. The spirit is strong and we and our investigators are feeling it!!!!!
Sad news: We had to bump Remek’s baptism forward again. Hoping to have his baptism in 2 Saturdays from now! Ohhhh Remek! He got a blessing though and sent us a text saying how much it is helping him. I have no doubt he'll get baptised......I'm sure it'll happen while I'm still here (it's just a matter of when). AND WE GOT OUR FIRST REFERRAL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! We NEVER get referrals here! Remek gave us a solid referral! He's been talking to a friend from work about us, and the book of mormon etc. and the friend wants us to come teach him!!!!!! BAZINGA!!!! What a blessing!!!!! After endlessly asking everything living thing that breathes for a referral, we finally got one!!!
Estella's baptism is still looking good!! :) If all goes well, that will happen on the 21st.
Tanwaa, Bernice, and Femi!!!! They want to be baptised badly! THEY FINALLY CAME TO CHURCH!!!!! And seemed to love it! We are hoping to set baptismal dates for Tanwaa and Femi this week!!!! We're praying we can have them baptized by the end of the month!!! Our zone's goal for baptisms this month is 3! Our ZL's are telling me that Sister Riley and I are looking like the only hope for getting this goal completed. It feels so nice to start seeing the fruits of our labours!!!
I got invited by our zone leaders to attend our District Leaders Council Meeting on Saturday! It was so nice! And super strange that I've been here long enough that I can actually have LOTS of opinions on things! It was great to be able to discuss a ton of different things and really mind-blowing that I actually seem to know what's going on now! Craziness! I still really can't believe that I'm training!
Luke: he dumped us (sad face!!!). It's common for investigators to drop missionaries.....but I must say that this was the most harsh/sadly hilarious dumping I've witnessed yet. We got home from church yesterday to the craziest voicemail on our phone. Went along the lines of: "I will not be seeing you tomorrow. I don't want to stop giving in to my temptations- I don't think we're meant to. You're nice people and all, and the Book of Mormon is a great book, but I can't be bothered to see you again because this is all so crazy. By the way this is Luke." --- that is the watered down version of it. It was so crazy, S. Riley and I actually looked at each other and then laughed our heads off. It's really not funny, but sometimes things are so sad that you just have to learn to laugh at them! Good times! I hope one day Luke will change his mind. All we can do is hope and pray!
A joy of being a missionary: missionaries with such thick accents that you cannot understand them. We CANNOT understand our new district leader. He is from Italy, and his accent is ridiculously thick! S. Riley and I have to team up to do call-in reporting to him every night. It's a giant guessing game every 3rd word. FUN!! It makes for good entertainment! Bless his heart! (or as my English friends would so "oh bless!").
Miracle this week: the 1st Sat of every transfer is what we call 4 hour finding (literally it means we do finding activities for 4 hours of the day!). IT'S MY FAV!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4 hour train miracles:
- SISTER RILEY IS DOING AMAZING! She had her 1st train convo! And HAD A LESSON ON THE TRAIN!! She talked to a man a bit about the BOM and Joseph Smith!! She was too scared to ask to give him a BOM but that's ok!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The fact that on her 1st week she talked to someone on the train was AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- I literally burned through about 30 mormon.org cards in 2 days! Talked to soooooooo many people on the street!!!
- Meeting Peter on the train! So I was on the phone dealing with appointment stuff as I went on the train. I was carrying 20billion pounds of stuff and was struggling and a man helped me! I sat next to him and we had the best conversation During our 1 hr train ride together!!! He is hilarious!! And a classic Englishman (was on the train because he follows his football team to EVERY game....literally....his life consists of him following the team everywhere!). Super outgoing and loved my sense of humour (sarcasm for the win!) He asked me a billion questions about the church and about missionary work! I was able to teach him the entire 1st Preach My Gospel Lesson and give him a BOM for him and his mom, and about 4 pamphlets for him and a friend!
- Met an amazing woman on the 2nd train ride. From Sri Lanka originally. Just became a doctor here in the UK. She really wants to move to Canada but was unsure about it. I was able to tell her all about it and she was excited. Got to talking about faith and she really wants to have more faith! Was very excited to hear my beliefs and check out mormon.org.
Random fact: I've gotten SO awkward out here! I didn't realize it until I was paired with Sis. Riley, and I realized she was so embarrassed as I talked to everyone who crossed our paths (on the street, the store, the bus, train....you name it and I'm approaching them and talking to them). I have come up with a theory on missionary work: doing missionary work does not get less awkward....you just get more awkward, and therefore stop noticing how awkward talking to strangers is!! I tease S. Riley that I can't wait to watch her become as awkward as me over the coming weeks (ONE OF US, ONE OF US!!!). Hahaha!!!! I really do love this work!!!!!
Anyways, email is booting me off soon.
Hope time goes fast for you and slow for me!! <3
Always with you!!