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, 10 February 2014

Bunk beds, borsht and breathing easy (...maybe not) in Burnley!

This has been a hard week! This has been a fun week! But as always it has been a week of learning and growing!

For the 1st time since my 1st transfer, I got to go on exchange with a sister who is the same age or older than me. Strange! I have been senior companion since my second transfer and all my non sister training leader exchanges have been with younger missionaries. I got to serve in Burnley with a CANADIAN sister from my MTC group! It was so much fun to be able to reunite with one of my originals and a fellow Canuck!! I have been a bit isolated in the mission (I have been on the south/east and north border of the mission for my whole mission....therefore I don't get to see a lot of other missionaries too often) so to just talk and catch up on what everyone is up to was a nice break for me!!

In the morning I'm making.....borsht?!
We are having an international food night for the branch this weekend! I was inspired yesterday! Time to break out the borsht! I've been wanting to make it so bad, but keep forgetting about it! I haven't had it since I was Sis. Shchur at the beginning of my mission! I pictured feeding our Scots a big bowl-full of borsht and was in fits laughing! I'm excited to see how this goes!!

Random accent jokes that I will only probably appreciate:
Earlier in the week Sis McD was telling me about how she played a game called Farm Yard Explosion when she was an EFY counsellor. Me-- clearly demonstrating a great level of maturity and listening skills as I completely ignored the story and very brilliantly pointed out. "WOW! For once there is a phrase that sounds better in N. American than in English". Think about it! Farrrrrm Yarrrrd Explosion (*insert posh sounding accent here), sounds so much less and intense and way more boring than "FARM YARD EXPLOSION!!!" in a thick American, sport announcer voice!! 8 long months and finally my accent is vindicated!!

The most mind-blowing scriptural insight of my entire life!!
We were in our gospel principles class with a couple recent converts. We were talking about Adam and Eve and discussing how strange it was that God chose fruit to kick off mortality. Then our conversation drifted a bit and ended up on the topic of the weirdest deep fried food we've ever heard of (don't ask how we go from talking about eternal salvation to deep fried food in the space of 3 mins! That is missionary life in a nutshell). Our recent convert then proceeded to blow our minds:

"Maybe the fruit on the tree of knowledge of good and evil was deep fried! I wouldn't blame them for eating it! It would be impossible to resist eating that stuff!". True story. The End.

Exchange Adventures in the Big City:

It was SO nice to serve in an actual city for a couple of days! It was even nicer to serve with an experienced missionary so I could kick back a bit and enjoy serving without heaps of responsibility!!

I'm a Bunk Bed Burn Out:
So the Burnley flat has bunk beds. Normally that is no problem for me. I'm tall. I can easily hop up into a bunk bed. I had a top bunk as a kid. I had top bunk in the MTC with no issues. Essentially I am a seasoned pro when it comes to bunk beds....EXCEPT, when they are flimsiest bunk beds I've ever seen in my life!! I set one knee on the top bunk and felt like I was going to break the bed. My companion is lovely and compact, standing at a massive height of 5'2''. All I pictured was that scene in the RM where the Tongan is on the top bunk and falls on top of Jared and breaks his neck!! I reminded my companion of that movie scene and adamantly refused to sleep on the top bunk! No ukuleles or broken necks please and thank you!!

Quintessential Canadian Dessert!:
We had a tea appointment!!! I have almost forgot what those are up here!! But that was not the highlight! The highlight was that we were served ice-cream and MAPLE SYRUP for dessert! The member had no idea that I was coming on exchange, so it was such a beautiful coincidence that this dessert happened to fall on the day that 2 Canadians were serving together!! Happy Canadian in da house!!!

The Sights in Burnley (or maybe it was my asthma) Took My Breath Away!:
So I am blessed to have some solid asthma attacks now and again. Me (being the smart sister that I am) packed too quickly for my exchange and forgot to toss my rescue inhaler in my overnight bag. All was fine until the last couple hours of the exchange. Pouring rain, wind and freezing temperatures (cold air is what makes for unhappy lungs) and we were running behind schedule. My companion was newer to her area and was unsure of how to get to the train station. Long story short, we got some rubbish directions and RAN (literally) for 45 mins in a giant circle (lucky me, I was doing this with a heavy overnight bag on my shoulder). Just as we turned the 45 min corner and realized what had happened, my lungs were shutting down for business. Before I knew it, I was seeing stars and blackness and collapsed. The police came. They were trying to call an ambulance. It was awkward. We had a train to catch (there were no other trains that would get me home that night). So we told the police I would be ok, prayed and ran for the train. Prayer works! My attack settled itself very quickly after the prayer. Our train was 20 mins late so we caught it. It was a miracle! The second we got on the train, we burst into laughter/tears (and coughing/wheezing fits for me) from the craziness and stress of it all.

 From all of this came my new mission motto:
"Pray your face off and then laugh your face off!"
Learn it and love it! I have now found my new catchphrase out here! Tried and true, this is the reason that I have had such a life changing mission! I wouldn't have it any other way!!!

Sorry for the short email this week! Will write with some more love and care next week! I love you all! Keep loving life! Keep loving the Lord!! I love you!

Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!

Xx Sister Martin

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