And the adventure begins! This is a record of my experiences as I serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the England Manchester Mission.
I am humbled to be so blessed to have this opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ every day for the next 18 months. Many trials await me in the form of slammed doors, pouring rain, and tons of homesickness, but with Jesus Christ I can overcome all of that and more.
Love you all!
FYI: This blog is being taken care of by Sister Martin's mom Sharon Martin - firstname.lastname@example.org. She is posting emails and pictures that I am sending to her each week.
Monday, 9 December 2013
Windstorms and.............pool parties??
Carlisle is still beautiful! The people are still lovely!
The accents are still brilliant! And the weather is still so cold it's
ridiculous! Oh I love being a missionary!
Time for your weekly highlight reel:
Can I Get An Aaaaaamen?!:
No. This is not another story about me and an Australian
making badly-timed, inappropriate happy-clappy imitations in Sunday school.
This week we had a special zone meeting. We were the only zone in the whole
mission that got to have a special family history workshop this week. The
catch: It was getting video-taped live.....with Elder Bednar watching it on the
other end. No pressure right?! So of course, as they told us to act natural
(with an apostle of the Lord seeing and hearing everything we said), we were
all super nervous and were about as natural as a robot trying to do the worm
would be! The workshop was great and all went fine....until the closing prayer.
They asked a poor elder who has only been out 2 months to give the prayer
and is not a native english speaker. In the middle of his prayer, he said
something along the lines of "we thank thee for the gospel of Jesus
Christ"....just as he said this, a big, loud voice booms out
"Aaaaaaaamen". Another elder had thought that this elder had ended
the prayer (In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen. Versus. Thanks for the gospel of
Jesus Christ". AWKWARD SILENCE!!!!! The elder praying had no clue what to
do, and stood silent for the longest 15 seconds of my life. Half of us opened
our eyes confused, and as the prayer continued, you could see a chain of
shaking shoulders as every single missionary in the room was mustering every
ounce of strength to suppress our laughter and tears on the live broadcast.
Safe to say, the second the prayer ended for real, the camera-man shut the
camera off immediately, just before we all BURST into laughter.
The Ultimate Bad Joke about Balding Men:
We have the BEST branch mission leader ever!
Seriously!!! I wish we could clone him and send him to every ward/branch on
planet earth!! One reason he is so good is that he has a great sense of
humour as well. I guess he was helping out in primary with an activity of some
kind that involved glitter. As we met him after church for a quick meeting,
we were all quite perplexed as he had glitter all over the bald part of
his head. At first I thought for sure that his 2 young boys must have
attacked him with glitter. Nope! He had no clue until he had come out
into the corridor and everyone was teasing/commenting about it. I guess he had,
had glitter on his hands and then had rubbed/scratched his head. You know
all those terrible jokes people make to balding men about
the reflecting burning their eyes, asking if they polish it before going
out etc. Well you can imagine how many bad jokes were flying about
yesterday! I'm glad we have a leader who can laugh at himself, otherwise it
would have just been awkward.
I Declare that English Ice-Cream Men Are CRAZY!: You can hear the ice-cream man every day. All day. Until 9pm at night. The
I'm not in Kansas anymore:
So we had a massive wind-storm the other night. The
following morning the storm was still in full swing (some of the strongest wind
I've ever experienced.....literally was knocking us off our feet). The way luck
had it, that morning was the morning that we had our 1 hour of mandatory
finding. It was also rubbish collection day, so ALL the bins during the night
had been knocked over and there was rubbish EVERYWHERE! The streets were
covered in rubbish. So picture us, out in the wind trying to knock doors and
stop people on the deserted, rubbbish filled streets. In all my maturity, as we
were being blown around, I was screaming out "Aunty Emm, Aunty Emm"
and "I don't think we're in Kansas anymore": couldn't resist the
terrible Wizard of Oz quotes! When we returned to our house and opened our back
curtains, to our shock we saw a kiddy-pool sitting in our garden. We reckon it
must be a neighbour's pool, and it must have flown over our fence during the
night. Sis. Burridge pointed out what a rip-off it was that we won a free pool,
but missionaries aren't allowed to swim! How's that for irony!?
4 Hours Christmas Finding:
The 2nd Saturday of every transfer, as a mission
we participate in 4 hours of finding activities. This time we were
asked to make it Christmas themed! I thought hard for ideas and ended up
coming up with the idea to wrap up Book of Mormons and Joy to the World DVDs
like presents. We then taped cards to them, which had a poem called "The
Night Before Jesus Came" (a twist on "The Night Before
Christmas". Inside the presents were mormon.org card, family history card,
and a card I created on the computer that had info on our local sacrament
meeting services. It went amazing!! We did our finding in the lanes (the place
where all the shopping in Carlisle is). We gave away over 10 BOMs, all the
DVDs, and taught so many lessons!! It was so easy! All we did was ask people
what the greatest gift they ever gave or received was. So many good
conversations! We invited heaps of people to church! Sometimes the simplest
things are the most successful!!! We laughed that people seemed so much more
willing to take a BOM when it was wrapped like a present. They still knew what
it was, but for some reason it seemed less formidable to them in that form. My
dreaming of going on splits was also finally fulfilled! We had a lady from
Workington (the area next to ours) call us and ask to go on splits. So we got
to double our finding time as Sis. B and I took out 2 members finding! So many
I ate my first kidney:
That is all. It tasted alright. I actually would eat it
again. People are always asking me about the food I eat (but I never have
anything to say because it's pretty much the same as Canada....just more roast
dinners, better yogurt/rice pudding/ice cream and bigger Yorkshire
puddings), so there you go! Food report done!
A man in this library coughs exactly like my dad:
I'm now writing whatever comes immediately to my mind. It is
super weird to hear my dad's cough. I jump and look up every time I hear it.
Maybe I should offer him some coughdrops before I start getting homesick ;)
I always have lots of silly things to share, but I'll give
you a little spiritual story as well. We are working with a convert who has
been fighting hard to overcome multiple addictions. She has been doing well and
really trying and we saw the most beautiful miracle from it!!! One of our
investigators (who is really struggling himself) was given a whole bunch of
food for Christmas. He called us and said he was given way more than he needed
and asked if we knew anyone who could use it. Immediately this convert came to
our mind....we had talked to her a couple days earlier and she wasn't sure how
she was going to get through the week and was really stressed (she
had paid her tithing with the money she would have normally spend on her
addictions). It was touching to be able to call her and give her the news that
we had food for her. And more touching that the food came from someone who
probably could have used all of it for himself (he insisted on sharing it,
since he was so blessed to receive it out of someone else's kindness). There is
still good in this world, and God really does bless us for keeping the
That is all folks! It has been a crazy week!!! We are
teaching more than we are eating/sleeping/breathing and I love it!!!!!!! Do
yourself a favour and go and visit someone lonely this Christmas!!!!! It makes
you and them feel great! This has been the greatest Christmas season of my
life! Nothing is better than being able to spend all my time visiting with
people who are lonely and need cheering up!! The love of Christ is better than
any gift I could ever receive!!!!!! Missionary life is the best. No
Love you all! Keep being great! Keep supporting your
missionaries! They love you and work hard!!!!!!! Prayers and thoughts are with
you this Christmas season!!
Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me :)
This is where Erika lives. Her home is the blue door! It is a two story and she said she really likes it.