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, 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 end.

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 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 miracles!!

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 ;)

Spiritual Story:
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 commandments.

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 competition!!!!!!!!!!

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 :)
Sister Martin!
This is where Erika lives.  Her home is the blue door!  It is a two story and she said she really likes it.

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