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, 20 January 2014


I believe in miracles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! No....really!!

After weeks and weeks and weeks of being super patient (anyone who knows me knows that Sister Martin and patient do not fit in the same sentence) we have hit a huge wave of miracles!!! MIRACLES EVERYWHERE (oh how I've missed my Nutri-grain commercial spoofs!!! Annnndd we are back!!!).

1. I Love Sushi!

I got to eat sushi this week! This is the 1st time I've eaten sushi since I've left home. I have been a sushi deprived human! I feel confident to officially say that there is a direct correlation between sushi intake and happiness! I should write a book about it! May blessings be poured upon the head of the YSA sister who was kind enough to pump this overexcited missionary full of sushi loving!

2. I Love Indian food (more fondly referred to as Brown food by my Indian friends back home!):

I got to eat Indian food this week! This is also the 1st time that I've eaten Indian since I've left home! Such a sad life!!!! How have I lived for the past 8 months?!!!!!! I think this proves that the way to a missionaries heart is through his/her stomach! After everything I've seen, I can testify that the church is fuelled by food! I think the spirit follows afterwards (everyone's gotta eat right?!).

.....but seriously, there is a real, legitimate miracle linked to this! We got the strangest prompting that I've ever gotten in my entire mission (and I've certainly gotten some crazy ones!). We got dropped by a family this week. They were content in their current faith (fair enough....happens all the time) but were super nice and invited us to come around anytime to share scriptures and chat. The husband manages a local Indian restaurant. Thurs night, we both felt prompted to go there (I wondered if my love for Indian food was fuelling this prompting and not the spirit, but turned out Sis. M had the same prompting so we went for it). We came in and the place was almost empty. This gave the husband tons of time to chat with us as we ate. We talked more about our beliefs, our role as missionaries etc. Then in the middle of the meal, the cook suddenly came out from the back kitchen to talk to us. He said that the manager (the husband) had told him to talk to us. The cook told of how he has been looking for a place to worship and for comfort: his wife recently found out she has lymphoma (the same cancer my dad has beaten twice). I was shocked. I was able to talk a lot with him about how my family dealt with it, and how the gospel played a massive role in our ability to endure the difficulties of that time of our lives. He immediately expressed the desire to come to church and be taught. He came to church yesterday but could only stay for some of sacrament meeting. He was sad to leave and wants to stay for all of the meetings next week. He said the manager (the one who dropped us) said he is going to come along next week as well. The Lord works in the most incredible ways! The man we have met is so humble, and so accepting of the gospel.

3. Surprise referral!!!

What?!?! Referrals?!?! I have spent 8 months desperately seeking out referrals and finally they have come with a fire!!!! We have 2 recent converts who have been fighting different struggles, but have been working hard to make good choices in the midst of hard temptations. They literally cheered and jumped up and down with excitement when we asked if we could reteach them the missionary lessons. It's those moments that make all the hard days so worth it! It touches my heart to see people so grateful to be taught by us, and to see them so hungry to grow and learn in the gospel and to change their lives. We asked them after the 1st lesson if they knew anyone we could teach. One of them quietly mumbled that she was thinking of one girl, but then her and the other friend both said they thought she'd not be a good person to teach (too far gone to change her ways now). I was very persistent with them and reminded them that they were the same way before missionaries met them. I invited them to pray about this person and reconsider their initial thoughts. We showed up to teach these girls last night again. As they opened the door, they were grinning and said they had a surprise for us! Turned out they had prayed about it and felt good about the answer, because sitting on the couch was their friend. And it turns out I've met this girl before....I would have never guessed her to be one who would be interested from my experience with her in the past. You truly never know who is ready!

It was one of the most spiritual lessons of my whole mission. All 3 of these girls were so into the lesson. You could tell they felt loved by their Saviour. The testimonies of these recent converts-- who are fighting hard battles-- was so motivating. Very simple, but powerful testimonies of how loved they feel. This girl accepted the invitation to be baptised! It was so amazing to see how the spirit works in peoples' hearts. The friends literally cheered as their friend agreed to work towards baptism. I am so overwhelmed at the love of the Lord for his missionaries and his children!!! We really have no idea who the Lord has prepared! It has been proven to me that it often is the one's you least expect that end up developing the most incredible faith!!

5. Textbook Hastening The Work of Salvation!!

We were planning on doing a mormon messages movie night with this same group of people tonight! Yesterday after church, they came running up to us all excited about this idea they came up with. Instead of holding the movie night at the chapel, they chose to move it to the home of one of the recent converts, so her 2 nonmember family members (whom she's been hoping to get us to work with soon) and another less active recent convert can join us! This is hastening the work of salvation at it's best! I'm so grateful for the efforts of the recent converts in this small branch!! They are making all the difference!!

4. What?! More referrals?!?!?!

As I was typing this email we literally just got a phone call! We were very direct with one of our families this week and invited them quite boldly to invite all their friends to an international food night that we plan on doing soon at the chapel. I guess this sparked their thoughts because the mother just called us and said her friend is interested in doing scripture studies with us!! I'm so overwhelmed by the miracles that are hitting Carlisle. The harvest is beginning here, and the love of Christ is ready to break all barriers and reach those waiting for relief and love!!!

5. Just call me your local English teacher.....again!

I'm so grateful for the experiences I had with Remek!! And I'm so grateful that Sis. Shchur was bold enough to volunteer me (as a spanking, brand new, terrified missionary) to teach him English! He is such a wonderful man, and I learned so much as we taught him English for all those months in Telford! I've been able to use these experiences to help with the work here! I've met 3 Polish people this week! I've been able to us my broken Polish and the Polish BOM that I carry with me everyday to invite them to take English lessons with us. We met a lovely man on the street who we will be starting lessons with this week!!!! The knowledge we acquire is truly so precious! There is a reason that we are commanded to try and learn as much as we can! It is our knowledge that stays with us, even after we die! And I truly learning out here that you never know when you'll be given opportunities to us the skills you acquire for good in this life!!!!!

6. The seeds have been planting! The harvest has begun!

I'm so thankful for all of the work that the previous EMM missionaries have done here! We have finally organized all of our old potential investigator forms and started working through them on the weekend. We booked 5 appointments in less than an hour!! We really do not know what impact our efforts make for the future! We have literally hundreds of untouched names to work on, so this is only the beginning of something incredibly great!!! Keep praying for your missionaries! Prayers and faith are what make the difference because that is what leads to the motivation to act!

Ok! Miracle rant over.

Favourite lines of the week:
Sis McD has been doing a great job at cutting out the slang. Some new missionaries were accidentally saying some slang words at a meeting. I jokingly yelled out to her: "Ahhh! Cover your ears.......oh...wait!". I'm too sarcastic for my own good! It just slips out! I'm so grateful that she has an incredible sense of humour and is able to laugh at herself!

Accent Reversals!:
We've been having so much fun laughing at each other's accents! We mimic each other so much it's crazy!! We came up with a clever idea! Fact: Sister Missionaries are SUPER cheesy and most of us set up our voicemail so one sister reads the 1st half of the greeting and the other reads the other half (companionship unity cheesiness!). We have decided to do that as well, except we will be doing an accent reversal for it! It is hilarious! We are going to see how well our colleagues know us and see if they can pick up on it!!

Gypsy Blooper:
We were walking to church when suddenly we saw a horse and buggy flying up the street ahead of us! Sis. McD was going on about how there was a good chance that it was gypsies (travellers)-- they are known for travelling around by horse.

I suddenly blurt out-- look, it's Susie (NAME CHANGED), she's rushing to get to church. Annnnnnd my sarcasm wins again! I had Sis. McD nearly in tears! The elders met a super interesting Gypsy (since they are newer to England..... bless their hearts they couldn't tell that she was a Gypsy) and were all excited as they invited her to church. We have been laughing and making jokes about this all week! We kept joking after that, that we would be proven wrong and when we turned the corner to get to the chapel that we'd find a horse tied up in the car park!!

Anyways! Time always flies too quickly!!! Email time is up! Life is great! The work and trials are constant! But I wouldn't have it any other way!! There is nothing better than missionary work!!!!!!

Love you all!!

Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!
XxX Sister Martin

Building in Workington that Erika goes to for District Meetings
 - it was a mansion that is now used as a church building.

Area just outside the church building in Workington

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