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, 30 September 2013

Tanwaa and Femi got baptized!!

I will start this week with an official declaration for my remorse over my last P-day email!! My friends: Keep calm and carry on....because you ask, I deliver-- I promise that this week's email will knock your British socks off, in comparison to last week! I feel terrible for sending such a pathetic email last week! I will make up for it this week!!! Please accept this letter as my apology for that sad excuse for a mission email!!!!! :)

Sooooo Remek got cold feet.....again. Sighhhhh! But I wasn't terribly surprised (I had a gut feeling that it was going to happen). We met with him literally 1.5hr before his baptism (we literally slipped home just to have our tea). He was feeling great and was super excited for his baptism. Then about a hour before the baptism he texted us and backed out! Luckily a Polish man from Newcastle ward (a ward that is on the other side of our zone) had come to the baptism (he was supposed to give a talk in Polish for Remek), so he popped over to Remek's during the baptism and they had a longgggggggggggggggggg talk together. Polish translator for the win!!!!!!!!!! So the reason for the cold feet is actually Remek's parents back in Poland. They are strong Catholics and appararently they went crazy when they found out he wanted to be baptized. Remek said he loves this gospel though and still wants baptism....he just wants to give his family a little more time to get used to the idea. We will keep working with him! He is great and will one day get there!

Tanwaa and Femi's baptism was beautiful!!! Everything about their conversion is beautiful! Their gratitude is so inspiring and touches my heart. They were SO excited to go into the font! Tanwaa kept saying to me over and over again that she thanks God everyday that Sis. Shchur and I found her and persisted. We found them through tracting on my 2nd week in the mission field. We had been tracting in a village super far away and I felt very strongly that we were meant to be there. I had a very strong prompting that we needed to go to a street that we had seen. The 1st day we met her, she was angry and told us (very grumpily) to come back another day. We thought that there was no hope (it didn't look very promising), but we came back a few times, and no one answered. Then one day (over 1.5months later), we were prompted to try Tanwaa's home again. She let Sister Shchur and I in and the rest is history. She had a lot of anger...... she felt that God had forgotten her; because of this she had stopped going to church, and was very resistant to the idea of coming to church. After WEEKS of urging her to go, she went. She said that as soon as she went to church and starting reading the Book of Mormon, the blessings were almost instant!!!!! She had never looked back since. Femi was so adorable!!! The primary president gave him a CTR ring, and we gave him the children's Book of Mormon reader, and he was SO happy!!! He kept showing everyone his new ring, and was so excited that Sister Riley and him and I have matching rings now! Bernice (Tanwaa's 3 year old daughter) was so cute-- she was so jealous that her brother was getting baptized and wants to be baptized too! One day!!!!! I realized from this baptism how much we take the gospel for granted! Tanwaa kept saying how blessed she was that she gets to be an official member of the church! She has been asking me how she can help volunteer at the church (she is looking forward to being a visiting teacher). She is especially grateful to have the power of the Holy Ghost in her home. She said that she needs this power to guide her family! I wish we remembered to view the gospel in this way more often!!!!!!! Such miracles!!!

Bernice, Sister Martin, Tanwaa, Femi and Sister Riley

These people Jamaican Us Crazy!:
Random silly story: So I was on exchange last week with Sis. Hansen's new companion- Sis. Barney (from Utah....of course!!!!!), We had a great time and met many great prospective investigators. One of these potentials is a Jamaican man named Joe. I've met him many times around town and he keeps asking me when I'm going to teach him more! So we set an appointment up for when Sis. Riley would be back in Telford. Off we went a few days later to meet up with Joe. We stopped on the way to chat with some local neighbours we talk to everyday, and suddenly Sis. Riley looks across the street. There was a man wearing a rainbow beanie, had proper dreadlocks down to his waist, and was wearing billowy, tropical clothing. She whispered to me: "Sis. Martin, is that our friend Joe?"........I died laughing because it wasn't! All Sister Riley knew was that we were meeting a Jamaican funny!!!

The Church of Les:
We have the BEST neighbours ever!!! We are very good friends with a man who lives near us named Les. Les is the most popular man I have EVER met. He's old and retired (probably in his early 70's). Very rough around the edges, but the nicest, most social person I've ever met! He lives in a tiny little rundown bungalow, and his porch faces the street. EVERYONE in Wellington knows him. He always has at least 3 people sitting with him on his porch, drinking a coffee or smoking a cigarette with him. It's literally a permanent block party. He is ALWAYS outside on his porch. We love talking with him!!! We know call his porch the church of Les, and he always teases us that his congregation is larger than ours. The regular members of the "church of Les" that we are great friends with are Nas (a local taxidriver...he is Muslim and is the smartest man ever! So educated about all religions, politics etc. We love talking with him. He is an amazing example that you can have different religions, and still have incredible friendship/respect for each other). Jess and Simon are 2 younger people who hang out at Les' all the time. Simon wants to start trying out church so there's great potential there!!! The other day Tracey (another regular) was bugging Jess about trying out church....saying it could help her sort out her life. We just sat, smiled, and let Tracey do our job for us! There is so much potential here! You just never know!!! :)

The best moments out here are when you find those golden investigators that pretty much fall in your lap (it rarely happens, but when it does, you have a smile plastered on your face for weeks afterwards). We were on our way to Estella's for a late evening appointment. She's a 35min walk away, so we usually get many chances to meet people on the street when we walk to her place. Richard stopped us!!!! He has seen me walking around Wellington for months, and wondered what exactly I was doing. He was born in Jamaica, but has lived here all his life, so he knows almost everybody who lives here. We told him about our missionary work. He was extremely interested. He has faith in God...just trying to find the right religion. He has met many different people of different faiths, and has found that no one has been able to answer his questions. Well.....guess who had the answers! The restoration made sense to him...he was always confused about how there is supposed to be one gospel, and that it's supposed to be the gospel that Jesus established...yet most churches teachings don't line up with Christ's original organization. Golden!! And the bonus: he is normal!! Anyone who has served a mission knows what I'm talking about: for every 100 people you meet, maybe 5% will be normal...the rest are a bit strange to say the least!! We love teaching Richard! His questions are amazing and we have great back and forth discussion with him!!

We had to say goodbye to Estella this week as she left for Cambridge! She's our first baptism, and we have become very close friends, so that was so hard for us! She did something so special for us though: she got us all matching star bracelets! They are so cute, and have such special meaning to us. I wear mine everyday, to remind me of my new, wonderful friend, and to remind me that there are more Estella's out there!!!!

Funny/very disturbing discoveries:
1. So I've been sick all week. And because I love my companion so much, I thought it would be thoughtful to pass it on to her (sharing is caring...right?!). So we have had nasty, raspy voices all week. We discovered one day, as we were sick in bed, that we can make really good dolphin noises because of the way our sore throats cause our voices to crack. Called to Serve in dolphin noises anyone?? 

2. Sis. Riley has a strange, yet awe-inspiring talent.......she can do a perfect impression of Spongebob's laugh!!!! My love for this sister has grown even more!!!! Clearly we have the same, strange sense of humour, so we were obviously meant to be together!

3. I love drug tea! The Benson's (one of our fav families!) gave us a boat load of cold/flu meds!!!! I'm talking like enough drugs to support all of East Hastings street! There is this amazing herbal tea, that is full of paracetemol and other tylenolish stuff! So good! I would like to take a moment to dedicate this week to Testco's drug tea....without it, the work in Telford would not have moved forward!! ;)

4. There is nothing more disgusting and sad than Sis. Riley and I singing hymns in the morning with our nasty, crackly, dolphin voices! Everyday before comp. study, we sing a hymn. Worst hymn of the week: The Daydawn is Breaking. On the bright side, it certainly gave us a great laugh!!!

5, Word of Wisdom oops! So Sis. Cleary made me some crazy herbal lemon tea for my cold. It tasted nasty, but she swore it would help.....Right after I finished the tea, her husband walks in and goes "Dawn, what, don't you know that stuff has a whole-whack of caffeine in it?!!!!! Missionaries can't have that". She thought it was herbal tea, but guess it wasn't haha. Awkward!!! But it was too late. I can now say I know what caffeine is like haha! That being said definitely would never purposely choose to consume it! :P

President Preston:
- So I think I may be the first person in history to ever get the following counsel from her mission president: "Sister Martin: I order you to take a nap. You must take a nap. Schedule a time in your day to take a nap! If you don't take a nap, I have instructed your companion to tattle tale on you!". I've been working super hard, and we think that's why I've gotten sick. President and I had a good laugh as he lectured me 2 billion times to have a nap! I think it was fun for him to deal with this kind of problem, versus the other legitimate intense problems that he probably deals with, with other missionaries!!

Quote of the week: I think it summarizes my life out here:
"A little craziness every once in a while perpetuates sanity!". I put it up on my wall, and placed silly pics of my friends and family around it! The craziness is what I live for!!

Nanaimo Bars:
Fun fact: English people CANNOT say Nanaimo! It sounds hilarious! So with the help of Dawn Cleary (my sick hands, plus baking for other people= NO GO!) we made Nanaimo bars for our all sisters meeting in Manchester!!! They were gone in like 2 seconds flat!! No one knows what Nanaimo bars are!!!!!!! Only the Canadians knew!!! Everyone was going bonkers for them! They were all asking me what they were and how to make them! I think I just found the new fav dessert of the EMM (england man mission!).

I found the perfect place in our flat to scare people!! I discovered that if I just wait right outside the door of the toilet, when your comp opens the door and your creepy face is right in the crack of the door, you can scare them to death!!!! So now Sis. Riley and I have been finding creative ways to scare each other!!!! We are having fun!!

Cute moment of the week:
We were walking down the street one day and saw this old, frail man struggling to pull a weed from a crack in his driveway. We offered to help him. He said no (he's stubborn and still wants to do the little he can on his own). But we talked to him for probably 45 mins. Bill is a widower who is 88 years old. Lives on his own. It's so sad...he sits by himself ALL day and just watches people walk by his house! He is so lonely! He says he tries to talk to people and no one stops. We told him we'd come back to see him. We came 3 days later and when he saw us in the window, he was grinning ear-to-ear. He didn't think we were going to come back. This is what this mission is all about! I get so much joy from connecting with my brothers and sisters. He just sat and babbled on about all the cars he's had in his life (he loves cars), his grandson, his late wife etc. It was so cute! We made his day!!!! I love being a missionary!!!

Anyways, as always, email time is wayyyy too short!!! I love you all!!!!!!
Hope the time goes fast for you and slow for me!!

Love Sister Martin

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