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, 24 March 2014

Travelling.....(dodgy) truffles....travelling.....accent take-downs and more travelling!!

So I have spent about 90% of my week on buses and trains (or at least it certainly feels like it). We got to do 4 days straight of blitzing this week. Translation into normal people talk: Sister McD and I slept-over at different sisters flats for 4 days and us and the other sisters all worked in their area together (double trouble!!). By some miracle I am not dying of exhaustion after all the travelling and a few nights of sleeping on cold, hard floors! It was a fun experience filled with great laughs and loads of personal growth!

We went to Southport-- a BEAUTIFUL ocean-side town with the nicest people on planet was SHOCKING to have so many people stop and actually listen to us for once! Cumbrian people aren't bred to be as friendly and chatty as the people in Southport apparently :)  (I feel like it would be like comparing trying to talk to easy-going California beach bums (Southport) vs. mean-street, thug-like people in the Bronx or something!) We then went to Manchester for a sisters sport day: no shock to anybody who knows me well, I was ballin' hard on the b-ball court for a good portion of the day....after attempting and failing harsh at playing some football earlier in the day (there was no way I was not going to play football in England at some point...even if I am absolute rubbish at it!). We spent our last 2 days in South Ribble (Preston) with our sister training leaders. I was companions with the sister who had the car, so I pretty much died and went to heaven on our 2nd blitz (10 months of being in areas with rubbish bus systems and many resoled pairs of shoes= me happy dancing in mission cars!). All in all, good week of exchanges! No funny stories to really tell! Simply just a beautiful week (what is new in the EMM though?! I love it out here!).

The most controversial phrase of the week?: Nike! Just do it!:
So English people pronounce Nike funny. End of story.  ....just kidding, that would be a lame story! They pronounce it like Nike, minus the EEE. So as always, Sister McD and I were mocking/impersonating each other's accents and got into a great debate on who is right! I usually win with cheeky, but correct arguments (my favourite is to get them to say tomato and then say potato....automatic win for the N.American team!), but I have to give my beautiful commonwealth companion some credit this week: she shut me down hard!!!

Me: "No, it's Nikeeeee, Nike just sounds dumb!"
Her: "Nikeeeeee! Sounds like a 3 year old is saying that! Did you say I'm going for a ride on my bike-eeeeee when you were a kid?!"

England: 1
Me: Nil (this week!......I'm always working on good comebacks! I love serving with commonwealth people! The sarcasm is always running thick!)

That awkward moment when a box of chocolates debases all of your missionary credibility!:
So I got a box of super expensive, fancy chocolate truffles from a non-member friend for my birthday. We were preparing to go and teach a lesson about the word of wisdom to a less active (who had some good questions about it that we were all ready to help her understand better) and were craving chocolate. Sis. McD goes to rip open the truffles and I freak out and stop her, remembering that there was some dodgy sounding ingredient in it that potentially was liquor (it was some French-ish, fancy name so we had no idea if it was or not). My brilliant response: "Let's take it to Laura's house! She'll know if it's booze or not!"
Sis McD's response: "That would make us look like the dumbest teachers ever! Hey, we're here to teach YOU about the word of wisdom....but before we do that, can you tell us if the chocolates that we just attempted to devour are alcoholic?!"

Oh the silly little ironies of life!

You know you've been in your area for too long when........
You realize you've tried to stop a person on the street before.....not because you recognize the person, but because you recognize their DOG! Sad day! I've been up here wayyy too long! I'm terrible at remembering peoples' faces, but apparently I can remember all of the neighbours' dogs (English people LOVE dogs.....everyone has a billion dogs here and we try and stop and teach dog walkers alllll the time by our house).

Random fact:
English people don't use the word barf. Don't even ask me how the word came up in our conversations, but I used it at some point and Sister McD asked me what that meant. Weird....

Sister McD has officially graduated uni!!!:
So Sister McD was lamenting the fact that she is going to miss her graduation next month! So the South Ribble sisters and I decided to throw a graduation ceremony for her! Phrase of the day: cheesy goodness! We went all out! Made a grad certificate for her! Had some random classical music playing. Had her dress up in a proper gown (aka the sister training leaders bathrobe and a home-made grad-cap (aka a folded towel and scarf!). Sister McD is now officially graduated, and us sister missionaries are now officially cheesier than we ever have been before :)

We taught Vin Diesel's doppelganger!:
There is NOTHING more funny then teaching the gospel to Vin Diesel! We taught the nicest man in South Ribble, who is a spitting image of him! It was hilarious to teach this man with arms the size of tree trunks! He looks like he could snap you in half, but he was one of the nicest people I've ever met! Never judge a book by its cover! :)

Spiritual thought of the week:
Ether 12:4 and Moroni 7
So I was comparing these two this week and got some brilliant new insights from them. I went through Ether 12:4 and defined the key words in the scripture with a dictionary and the bible dictionary....these led to some new thoughts and interpretations!

Hope: to expect something or intend for something to happen
faith: to trust in a source
glorify: to represent something as good

As we have hope that we will one day be exalted (we expect that this will happen), this influences our faith because we must trust that if Heavenly Father says we can be exalted one day through the gospel of Jesus Christ, then we have to live the gospel with everything we've got. Therefore as we have hope (intend for exaltation in the celestial kingdom), we live the gospel (faith) diligently.

As we live the gospel, we will be applying key things in our lives such as scripture study, church attendance and especially prayer and repentance. According to the bible dictionary, prayer and repentance particularly will cause us to gradually align our will with God's will (prayer and repentance do not change God's will....they change ours! They help us see things the way He does! (eternal viewpoint). He already has blessings He is ready to give us, we just have to ask for them, or ask for guidance as to what WE need to do/change to unlock those blessings in our lives).

God's will: "This is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man" (Moses 1:39). So with time, faith (actively repenting, praying etc.) will cause us to desire the salvation/exaltation of others!

Suddenly, with this changed will, our level of charity will start to increase, because we desire for the salvation of our brothers and sisters! This will affect how we begin to act!  This will cause us to strive to glorify (represent as good) our father in heaven in all we do. We desire all to see how the gospel has changed us! As we show people how the gospel has changed us, and as we demonstrate acts of charity (Christlike love) to these people, they will desire the gospel too! They will develop their own HOPE for exaltation, and then the hope-faith-charity cycle renews itself! It is through this cycle that exaltation is spread forth amongst mankind. The miracle of our day is that imperfect people perpetuate exaltation through this cycle! (Moroni 7:27-33) God needs us just as much as we need Him! This is why it is important to live each day so carefully! Not only does our salvation depend on it, but so does others'!

It is vital that we heed the words in Moroni 7:47-48! Doing this daily will allow this cycle of exaltation to continue!! What a miracle it is!

Anyways.....Another week gone! We are seeing miracles in Carlisle! We are slowly picking up a couple of investigators! The weather has been beautiful! We just got back from spending the whole day in the Lake District and on the coast (Keswick, Cockermouth, Silloth, Whinlatter, the Castlerigg Stone Circle). The scenery was breathtaking!! It has been really hard work up here, but the most beautiful experience! I have grown really fond of Carlisle! We'll know next week if I'm staying or leaving. Time will tell! Until then...

I hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!

Sister Martin :) 

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