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, 16 September 2013

We are going bananas here is Telford!


Let's just kick this email off with the mother of all miracles!!

WE HAVE 4 (yes, this is not a typo) INVESTIGATORS GETTING BAPTIZED IN THE NEXT 2 WEEKS! 4!!!!! DID I MENTION THE NUMBER 4?!?!?!?!?!?!?!!?

 Estella this Saturday; Tanwaa and her son Femi, and also Remek the Saturday after!!! All of our investigators are doing incredible!!!! They are so faithful! They are keeping commitments! Our lessons knock me off my feet!!! The spirit is so strong. I love them so much, and I feel their love back!! The gospel really does change lives!!!!!!!!!!! It's a blessing to see all the hard work we've done yield some results! Sister Riley is excited for us to find a new investigator together (she feels "like she's eating someone elses left-overs)! I'm excited for all the potential that lies in this blessed area!!

We also got in contact with OUR FIRST REFERRAL EVER and he's seriously interested in what we have to teach!!! Exciting prospects!!!!!!!!

 Besides this, this week I plan to share more silly random moments, than spiritual ones since my last letter was overload spiritual (lots of what Erika sent last week was not put on the blog because it was of a more personal nature)......good to have some fun too! :)

We are going bananas here in Telford: 
So Jonna (THANK YOU JONNA) ordered us groceries----seriously the biggest blessing ever!!!! (Editor's Note:  One cool thing in England is that the grocery stores all have online ordering and home delivery - it has been fun to send Erika and her companion food and treats a couple of times in lieu of mailing care packages). With that grocery order were 4 bunches of bananas. Well anyone who knows me well knows that I'm a banana monster!!!!! So we already had 2 bunches in our flat for eating, plus a frozen bunch (for bread etc) in our freezer. Official count after grocery delivery: more than 50 bananas!! So we are cranking out banana bread like it was going out of style!!! The ward is going to love us! We have perfected our banana bread!! The bad news is that both of us have a major sweet tooth, and cannot resist the urge to test every loaf to make sure it's not poisoned (we do it because we love our ward....can't have us giving out rubbish banana bread!)

I am officially committed to this work:
Anyone who knows me knows that I was not born to sing. I am verrrrrrrrry self-conscious about singing. I will never be a sololist. Well, this news proves that I would do the unthinkable for my investigators. Estella asked me and S. Riley to sing a hymn for her at her baptism. I reluctantly agreed because she reallllllllllllly wanted us to do it. So S. Riley is the soprano and I am the alto (thank you Jenna Mattie for teaching me to sing alto while we were in YSA together). I am seriously going to need a brown paper bag to hyperventilate into before this baptism--I will be more nervous than Estella.

Yes. You read this next subheading correctly. So Sister Cleary was so kind to point out to me during a tea appointment that someone we know is a spitting image of Chewbacca (unfortunately.....though I hate to admit's true). Yup. I had some major repenting to do that night, as I begged forgiveness for laughing myself into tears. Well, unfortunately the story gets better. The next day I took Sister Riley out to go tracting for the first time ever. We picked a random street.....well what are the chances! We managed to knock on Chewbacca's door. It took EVERY ounce of self-discipline to not burst out laughing as we were talking with her. After we left, Sister Riley (who didn't know the person before, and therefore couldn't appreciate the comment at the tea appointment) right away asked: Chewbacca?  We died laughing. Once again, this missionary has some MAJOR repenting to do. Oh dear!!!!!!

 Camping in England:
So there is literally almost nowhere you can camp out here in the Midlands (too many people on too small of an island), so we do what we can. I had told a less active girl we teach about graham crackers (because I wanted some for Nanaimo bars and couldn't find them---they don't have them here). She ordered a box and we decided to make s'mores (will probably have her order some more so I can make those Nanaimo bars I've been craving to no end!). Well, no camping, therefore no camp fires, so we did the next best thing: turned on the gas stove and roasted marshmellows over the tiny hob! BEAUTIFUL!!!! I love s'mores! I was in heaven! The best part was when our little intimate moment was corrupted by me, and turned into a melted chocolate and marshmellow fight. Messy and delicious! It was also a special day because I got to make Sister Riley her FIRST s'more ever!!!!!!!

 I love missionary work YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN?:
Fun fact: everyone in this part of the Midlands says the phrase: "You know what I mean?" allllllllllllllllllllll the time. It drives you crazy after awhile.You know what I mean? Well, one less active we teach literally says it at the end of EVERY sentence she says. You know what I mean? And Sister Riley is about ready to quit life because she can't deal with it. You know what I mean? Just wanted to share that random bit of English culture with you. You know what I mean? ;)

 Weird and creepy fact:
Australians can change accents REALLY easy. It's a really subtle accent, so the switch isn't terribly hard. Sister Riley can switch from N. American to English to Australian flawlessely. She can't stand how I pronounce some words, so she's working on converting me by the end of this transfer (HAHAHAHAHA she can try her best, but I think this accent is ingrained into me!)

 Meghan's restraunt:
We had a gourmet dining experience at our tea appointment the other night. The 5 year old non-member grand-daughter of a family in our ward loves us coming over. She opened a restraunt for us, where she took our orders (even made a menu) and served us a wonderful selection of cold garlic bread, doughnuts, water, fizzy drink, and apples. It was adorable. She even had a cloth draped over her arm like the legitimate servers do!!!! I love cute missionary moments like this!!

Email time is short this week, so that's all I can do for you today!!! I love you all! Your emails and letters keep me going!!!!! It's hard work out here, but every second is so worth it! I still LOVE training! We see miracles together! It's been a humbling experience!! I wouldn't trade it for the world!!!
I hope time goes fast for you and slow for me!
Love you all to the moon and back!

Sister Martin

PS:  Erika sent a 2nd email outlining what a regular P-Day looks like for her.  P-Day is preparation day.  One day a week (usually Monday) the missionaries take care of things like emails, laundry, shopping, cleaning and sometimes try to squeeze in some fun (this is the day they would visit touristy type things in their mission area, do an activity with other missionaries, etc.)

P-day= Crazy:

6:30: wake up exercise
7-8: get ready/eat
8-9: personal study
9-10: companion study
10-10:30: clean the flat
10:30: go to library and pray that we can get a computer (the computers are dodgy here and it's sooooo hard to get time on's always so busy and the cue is massive!)  2 hours emailing....
approx 3-6 (all the waiting for computers takes a ton of time). Run to the store, shop as fast as possible! Walk home with groceries as fast as possible.
5-6: madly eat, and try and squeeze in a letter or power nap.
6: p-day over and back to business!

 Essentially P-day is insane!! We run around like mad trying to get everything done before 6 haha. To be honest, it's not the most relaxing day (if we had cars, it'd be a different story, but because we walk everywhere, errands take much longer).

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