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.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

hello from cold, beautiful, historic......................................CLIFFHANGER

I AM IN CARLISLE!!!!!! For those not familiar with EMM geography, I am literally in the most North area of the entire mission. My last area was pretty much at the bottom of the mission. So in one day I have literally crossed the entire length of the mission! It's pretty much on the border of Scotland and England. It is GORGEOUS here!!!!!! There are castles and old buildings, and incredible shopping and great places to eat everywhere! There is certainly a strong Scottish influence in the accent here! Basically I will be able to have all the cliche English missionary experiences that everyone hopes to have out here!  This seems like a place for missionaries to get spoiled sick! 

There is a small branch here! Lots of potential for some great missionary work to be done! My new companion is Sis. Burridge--- from Australia as well haha!!! Her and Sis. Riley were in the MTC together, so when we heard the news Sis. Riley thought is was hilarious!! Apparently these laid-back Aussies are good for this uptight, perfectionist, workaholic Canadian :) Sis. Riley left Telford as well, so they will now have 2 sets of elders. It was so sad to say goodbye to her, as she has become one of my best friends over the course of these last 3 months!

Ok, enough blabbering...time for my last bit of Telford highlights before I begin this new adventure in Carlisle.

We learned a new second language........parsletongue:
So the temperature has certainly dropped in the last couple weeks! Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Sis. Riley has never really been in a climate cold enough where she can see her breath, so she found it quite funny to try and make silly shapes with her breath. Like the dork I am, I quite profoundly pointed out that the noises being emitted from her mouth as she was doing this sounded like parsletongue. Well you can picture the rest of that evening. Walking around in the freezing, trying to speak in parsletongue (kind of like Dory in Finding Nemo translated normal sentences into different dialects of whale). Can you really blame us? We are in England! Some bad Harry Potter jokes are bound to happen every once in awhile!

Sis. Riley's 1st snow....flake:
The other week the temp dropped low enough that we had some rain mixed with the odd snowflake here and there. I was calmly sitting and studying my scriptures, when suddenly I look up and Sis. R was squeeling and screaming and jumping up and down with a giant grin on her face. I turn around and there were like 4 snowflakes falling from the sky....that was it. But she was so excited (she has never seen snow before) and began to bundle up and prepare to go outside and play in the snow. Life truly has a different perspective through the eyes of a foreign companion. I love it!!!!

General Authority Interview:
No big deal, but we got interviewed by a member of the quorum of the 70!! Elder Tiexera (pretty sure I spelled it wrong) picked 2 companionships out of 2 zones to interview. He picked us and a set of elders!!!!! OH MY GOODNESS!!!! He was so kind and easy to talk to!! It wasn't really an interview, more than just a wonderful discussion about life and the mission. We literally sat down, and he says we can ask him any question we want. Once in a lifetime experience much?!?!?!?!?!?! It was mind-blowing! The things he said to us and shared with us were so profound. It was like he knew exactly what we were going through personally and in our area as well. The advice was perfect for that moment in time. He gave me the most beautiful advice/insights on the virtue of patience (I had simply asked him what his favourite Christ-like attribute was. He didn't tell me his favourite, but told me what one he thought was most important right now.....fancy that! Patience has been the attribute that I have been studying, focusing on, developing and struggling with on this mission!!!!). He talked about trials and how to get through them. He gave us advice on missionary work and gave us some new things to try!!!! One of the most spiritual experiences of my life and one that I will never forget!

Helium Balloon:
So I have never tried the whole sucking helium out of a balloon and talking in a squeeky annoying voice thing. I've always been too scared to try (I just picture me reacting badly to the helium and my throat closing and me dropping dead............yeah I know I'm weird!). As we were packing up our stuff, Sis. R didn't know what to do with her old birthday balloon. I admitted that I've never done the helium thing and with that she insisted we do it! Picture this: Me+ Helium Balloon+ quoting lines from the district (missionary training videos that we watch 2 billion times over on the mission......RM's will appreciate this). The smallest things in life truly please missionaries!!!

Random Sis. Riley Quotes of the Week:
1. We were talking about our weight and how fat we've gotten on the mission. Then out of no where:
Sis R: "Why do they call it skinny's not like you get skinnier from it. Maybe it's because only skinny people should do it...the other alternative is not very pretty. On of my friends back home used to say that 'I don't skinny dip...I chunky dunk'"

2. A lady was walking down the street with a pram (baby carriage). As she passed us, Sis. R exclaims:
"There is no baby in the pram! That is so weird! Maybe that lady is crazy! Wait! I shouldn't of said that! Maybe she is grieving over a deceased child and is in denial" 

3. We were at a members home. They have the most scary, psycho kitten ever! It attacks everything and everyone! It's hilarious!!! We were sitting in the members living room. Suddenly the kitten flew out from under the couch. Out of nowhere Sis. R jumps up and in the perfect Steve Irwine voice:

"Crickey!!! WHAT's THAT!!!!!!!!! This animal is veryyyyy dangerous, but I have had years of experience, so I'm gonna go and catch it!" She then pounces on the cat and snatches it up and begins to play with it!!! Nothing more perfect than an actual Aussie quoting the Crocodile Hunter! It's just not the same when we N. Americans do it (we try.....but!!).

 There are truly never dull moments in the mission field.

Fun Fact:
Rice Krispies in Australia are called rice bubbles! When I learned this I then asked Sis. R: "What do you call rice krispy squares then?! Rice bubble squares/! A square and a bubble (circle shape) clearly do not make sense in the same sentence!". To my shock, she said she's never had one!!!! SHAME SHAME SHAME!!! If transfers weren't right around the corner, I would have made her some!!!!!! Do the world a favour, and go and find the nearest Aussie and give them a rice krispy square!!!!!

I'm now a babe magnet:
So poor Remek was devastated to find out that sisters were leaving Telford. He kept asking what happens to me when I come home. Being as cheeky as she is, Sis Riley says "She has to go home and find a really attractive husband!" I rolled my eyes (the thought of going home to face all the marriage pressure makes me want to cry) and quickly changed the topic. Well, at the end of the appointment, right as I'm about to leave Remek suddenly calls for me to wait. He runs to his room, and lo and behold he returns with a babe magnet. It is literally a keychain, with a magnet on it that says "babe magnet" on it (one of those cheap gag gifts you can get at a pound store). Then in his broken English he says: "This to help you find beautiful husband in Canada". Well looks like I'm all set for when I get home (NOT!). Gotta love Remek! Truly a funny man!

I discovered what Sis. Riley does NOT want for Christmas:
I had random Christmas songs in my head the other day. I was quietly singing "I want a hippopotamus for Christmas". Sis. Riley gave me the silliest look, and burst out laughing. She has never heard that song before! They don't have it in Australia!!! She thought it was ridiculous and super annoying, so of course I made sure to sing it in the most loud, annoying voice (with a great emphasis on my N. American accent) possible! Good thing she loves me, otherwise I think she would have fired me as her companion right there :)

Anyways, that is all for now! I haven't even been here for 1 day, so there isn't much to say yet! This area is gorgeous!!! My companion is a barrel (not Beryl ;) ) of laughs, is almost as tall as me and is even more Aussie than Sis. Riley!!! Life is good because I still have a source to get Tim Tams and Milo from! Change is happening and it is beautiful! Can't wait to see what trials and growth await me here!!!

Until next week! Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!
<3 Sister Martin

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