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, 28 April 2014

I am boring! Booo me! Someone grab the tomatos (*pronounced English way) and start throwing them at me!

So it has been one of those weeks. Wandering between one cancelled appointment to another! It happens! We move on, wipe off the rain-drops and keep smiling, laughing and spreading the wonderful word of Christ! So to everyone's utter shock and amazement, I actually don't have a whole lot to say about this week! It has been a boring week!

......I know! Jaw drop! Boring and Sister Martin don't even fit together naturally in the same sentence. But it happens and that means that there is so much excitment and silliness built into my system that next week will be absolutely insane!! :)

We can liken Numbers chapter 22 unto.....
Shrek? Yup! That is what I heard the elders and a member whisper behind me as we were in Sunday school yesterday. We were studying the chapter in Numbers where the donkey talks to Balaam. All I heard behind me was "No way!! Just like Shrek!". And I proceeded to then burst into laughter! I love finding humour at church at totally inappropriate times!!

I wasn't kidding! That is the only joke/story of the week! I guess I can update you on the work a bit (for once). Can't get to detailed (personal stuff is personal ya know?) but we are teaching a few investigators! Yup! There you go! Detailed report of the week! We are working hard and loving it! The work grows here and even though finding people to teach is a hard task, my faith is still growing in the midst of all the no thank-yous!

I love you all! We are so blessed! Never forget it!

Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!
Sister Martin xoxo
Sister Pongi and I being silly

My rapper gear (union jack for the win)

Proselyting at the River Ribble (we had a couple of layover hours between exchanges in Preston so we street contact at the river for a couple hours)

Soaking wet!! 

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Easter EMM'er and Jesus Police in da house!!!

Hoppy (*insert cheese here!*)  belated Easter everyone!! Not much time to email so I'll just go straight into the highlights!

Deep questions of the soul:
So Sis. P randomly asked me a really deep, life-changing question during her language study. In typical Sis. Martin fashion, I turned it into one giant joke! :)

Sis P: "If you could ask the prophet one question, what would you ask him?"
Me (after some deep thought and contemplation): "..............Does God really have a beard, or is that just a really bad stereotype?!"

All the earth's a garden sweet....making life a bliss complete....when there's drugs(!?) England!:

*For those of my friends who are not church kids, the above title is a terrible spin on a lovely church hymn called Love at Home*

Weirdest finding moment of my week.

On Monday night I stopped a man on the street to try and talk to him. Upon my approach he freaked out and looks like he is going to run away (wish I could say that I was surprised by this reaction, but anything goes when you are a missionary). He kept pointing at my badge and apologizing. He then burst out in a confession to me (while looking around him dodgily---like there were secret agents spying on us or something):

"I do apologize! I'm smoking a flower....there's no such thing as weeds! Please, don't do anything to me..."

He kept apologizing and then stuttered away all embarrassed! It was like he thought I was the police or something and that I was going to arrest him! I kept joking that he just got scared by the Jesus police!

Drugs are a rubbish thing, but I have to admit that seeing him get all scared by our missionary badges was priceless!

My new criteria for a perfect husband:
I'm not an RM yet, but I need to start planning ahead and get a rough idea of what my perfect husband will be like.....right?! ;)

So I was on the bus in Liverpool and two men got on. Both of them were deaf and after watching them for a bit, I realized that they were arguing veryyyy veryyy intensely in sign language!  (I honestly thought they were going to punch each other).

Mute arguing!!!!

I know it's not nice to stare, but I was so fascinated watching them and was wondering what they were fighting about! I realized that a deaf husband would be brilliant! Arguing would be a lot quieter (it's always so scary when parents have "loud disagreements" when you're a kid) and I would probably win because I can out-talk anything on planet earth! I was glad to see by the end of the bus trip that they appeared to have made up and were friends again :)

Tongan word of the week:
This week’s word is: Palangi
Definition: White person

...... : /

We have so many white person jokes now as the sun comes out and I look like a vampire next to Sis. P! If you can't laugh at yourself, who can you laugh at then? That is my belief and I'm sticking to it!

Best door sign of the week:
We have been tracting like crazy and I saw a great sign the other day:

"Friends welcome.....relatives by appointment!"

For some reason I have a feeling my parents will be investing in one of these before I get home, considering the rate of embarrassing stories that I increasingly manage to share each week! ;)

1st world problems at the temple:
We were driving through the countryside to get to the temple yesterday and we were all having a fit as we were stuck behind the slowest tractor on planet earth for ages! I suddenly stepped back (not literally....always wear your seat belt kids!) and observed the whole situation!

Everyone in our car was moaning and yelling at the tractor driver to turn onto another street or get off the road (like he could hear us from inside our car! Right?!). 20 or so cars lined up behind us. All of them looked like a pack of angry monkeys that had just had their lifetime supply of bananas (pronounced the English way!) stolen from them and then to be extra cruel the thief decided to have a banana bonfire right before their eyes!

I realized this as I sat next to my Tongan companion, who told me a couple of weeks ago that they cook all their food in the ground and they use collected rain-water for their daily needs.!!!!!  (seriously?! someone needs to update me! Do they still use hashtags or what? Not that I ever used them before my mission, but I am now because it's the only thing that makes me feel up to date and relevant in this world!).

Let's be more grateful for the wonderful things we are blessed with! We 1st worlders are certainly a funny lot!

Speaking of being grateful:
I am grateful that our flat is located right next to a pub.

Because we get free entertainment every night. This pub does karaoke! Last night I got to be lulled to sleep to the soothing overtones of a veryyyy druken lady singing a horrendous version of a Celine Dion song! It is the most hilarious thing ever! Every night is a treat and we are in fits giggling before we go to bed!

English- Canadian translations of jokes:
So I shared my multi-national, super lame pirate jokes last week! I've got another treat this week!
We were at a members home for a ward Easter activity! They live on a beautiful farm estate out in the countryside. We were doing an easter egg hunt (really hard! Lots of riddles that led us to multiple clues hidden throughout the property) and everytime we passed their turkey, it seemed like it was cackling at us! The teenager on our team suddenly yelled out to the turkey!

"You just wait until Christmas!" 

Right as she did that, the turkey stopped laughing as if it understood her!

I then yelled out, "Wouldn't it be more appropriate to say Thanksgiving instead?!"
As I said that he started laughing again!

The member replied: "He's an English turkey! That's why he doesn't understand that joke!"
She then yelled out "Christmas" again and no joke, he stopped laughing again!

The ironies of life are hilarious!!!

Best quote of today:
I was getting on the bus today and as I was getting ready to go on a very old man in the cue behind me elbowed me and said "You're getting on the wrong bus! This is the geriatrics bus only!"

I burst out laughing! The entire cue of 20+ people were all pensioners! I love the English sense of humour!

My frustration of the week:
Often sister missionaries have a common struggle with male investigators! We often have to pass them over to the elders because they'll confess being attracted to one of the sisters. We had one of these awkward situations happen recently and in my frustration I burst out:

"I hate it when our investigators try to date us instead of us dating them!"

(Explanation for those not familiar with mission lingo: When we set a date for baptism for an investigator, we will call them a "dated investigator", or i.e. we have "dated!" them!......)

True story. The end! #Sistermissionaryproblems!

We became like little children in our zone meeting on Tuesday!:
So we were in the middle of our zone meeting when suddenly some people came in the chapel and said we had to leave because there was a funeral booked to start in 30 mins. Awkward! Double booking!

So off to the primary room we went! Not so bad.....except....

The chairs were all being used for the funeral (for food afterwards) so there were no adult sized chairs for us to use. So all 30ish of us we all had to cram into the tiny primary room (English chapels are a lot more compact and small than the ones back home) and were all sitting on the tiny little Sunbeam chairs (chairs for the 3 year old kids). We literally had no elbow room and were packed on top of each other like sardines! It looked hilarious with our knees up to our faces and our elbows crammed into our sides. Missionaries in the front row were lifting their cameras into the air facing backwards and the whole room started posing for group selfies!  Priceless moments on the mission!

My favourite comment came from a random elder in the back row who burst out saying: "When Christ said we should be like little children, I don't think he meant it literally!"

I wrote a rap!
So our district leader announced last week that we would do a talent show as an ice-breaker for our 1st district meeting. My companion is shy and looked like she was going to die when she heard the news. So I came up with a brilliant way for us to do a talent together that would take a bit of the spotlight off of her (rather than her doing something by herself).

I taught Sis. P to beatbox while we were waiting for a bus the other week, so I decided to write a rap about the EMM while she laid the beat for me! In typical Sister Martin fashion, I sported my England flag cowboy hat and my new England flag football sunglasses while rapping!

My EMM Rap:
Called to serve in these mean English streets
Preaching day after day to all da homies that I meet

Defeat is not an option, the blessings are too great!
So shape up and start repenting, before it grows too late!

My waistline is expanding, from all these bowls of spag.
This helping is ginormous tea appointment hashtag!

"Truth will prevail!", I shout this everyday
In my EMM accent that sounds super..........

Wayyyyyyy out in the sticks we are only finding sheep,
Human life does not exist here, fatigue is growing deep.

I think this is an all time low my friends are super strange
The only man who talks to me is homeless and deranged!

Oh no it's the Jehova's, they give me dirty looks,
Payback is too easy, I just flash them my blue book!

I'm not supposed to covet, but this is really hard
When the zone leaders blow past me in their really fancy cars.

Despite the opposition I keep facing in this mission
My line stays in the water and I'll never cease my fishin'

I love the EMM!! It makes my joy so great!
Happiness is only found when Jesus is your mate!

Do not forget he loves you! The gospel is superb!
There is nothing truly better than the spreading of his word.

Word!! (**Inserted Manchest gangster hand sign here**)

Anyways! That is it for this week! (My mum probably just breathed a sigh of relief at that! No doubt she is probably questioning what on earth she has produced!!). Life is great! We are teaching a few solid people now so hopefully there will be some baptisms in the future! This work is truly the best!! Even during the hard times!

Until next week!

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

Sister Martin

Sadly she wasn't able to send any pictures this week but fortunately a sister in our ward sent me a couple from their Ward Easter Activity

Monday, 14 April 2014

Tacos, obesity and bright ideas!

What a week! We are working hard.....and harder....and then some! And yet I still love being a missionary!

Finding vs. Football:
Fact. Trying to go finding during the football semi-final (Wigan vs. Arsenal) is ridiculous! Every transfer we have something called 4 hour finding. If the name doesn't tell all, it is where we spent at least 4 hours on a Saturday doing finding activities--trying to find new people to teach. I joke that 4 hour finding is nothing special for me-- with the tougher areas I've served in, every day is 4 hour finding (or 6....or 8....).

Lucky for us, it was 4 hour finding......AND Wigan vs. Arsenal. FAIL! I have never seen so many drunk people at 11am in my life!

Drunk Airguitar Man:
In a nutshell, picture a 65ish year old man, covered in blue warpaint singing rock music and "air-guitaring" (yes...I have now officially invented a new verb!) all up and down high street! No shame! Got to love intoxicated people! Never a dull moment!

Dignified Dares:
So our district is doing this new challenge where we have to give our companions one "dignified" dare per day (have to emphasize the word dignified, or else we missionaries sometimes get a little to excited/crazy and do stuff that could embarrass the church or our companion etc. But lets be honest! I am embarrassing about 99% of the time with all my lame jokes anyways, so it would be nothing new for our companionship).

Sister P dared me to start all our conversations on the street with a joke. So I decided to make up a European/Canadian twist to a classic, ultra-lame joke.

What is a pirates favourite letter?  Arrgggggg  (R).
What is an English pirates favourite letter? Ayeeeeeee (I)
What is a Canadian pirates favourite letter? Ehhhhhh (A)

As terrible as my jokes were, surprisingly they worked! I managed to end up giving away a BOM and teach a lesson from the conversations that started with that joke! And the ultimate win? I put a lot of smiles on peoples' faces (not quite sure if they were laughing at me or with me, but lets just go with the latter!).

I saw an obese pigeon:
I am in England, beholding daily some the most beautiful and historical places in the world, and that is the news I have to share this week? Yup! Pretty much!
Small things excite missionaries! We were sitting in the bus station and I saw the fattest pigeon my eyes have ever beheld! It could barely walk! Safe to say, it must get fed a lot by people at the station! I would compare it to the Mattie's fat cat, except it is a pigeon, not a cat!

I saw a zebra (pronounced the English way) pigeon:
Crikey! What's that?! This is bird watching on a whole new level! No joke, at the bus station (again) I saw a pigeon with zebra stripes! Intense! I know!

My chortle of the week!
We had a zone meeting and in preparing for 4 hour finding, they were reading out a list of new finding approaches for us to try out if we wanted to. One of the suggestions was to use your companion to start conversations (e.g. "Hey! She's from Tonga!....or "Hey! Try and guess where she is from!"). One my favourite sarcastic sister in my zone, who was sitting next to me whispers: "Hi! This is my companion and she is a ginger and she actually does have a soul! Do you?"
Well safe to say I was in tears laughing! Clever! I always wondered where that whole "gingers have no soul" thing started! Likely on facebook! Funniest line of the week in my books!

Little Wigan??:
So I was in a weird/funny mood the other night (when am I ever not?) during Sister P's language study! I was unpacking my things and found a case of fake stick-on mustaches that I got as a gag gift for Christmas. As I was holding them, I noticed out of the corner of my eye my England flag cowboy hat (only cost me like 13p!! Seriously! Cannot beat prices like that!!!).

Not to anyone's surprise I'm sure, 2 seconds later I was down the stairs with a fake moustache, donning my cowboy hat! Sister P was in tears laughing! It didn't take her long to stick one on, stick another moustache on to create a unibrow, and put my other hat on. We were being silly and were in fits laughing when suddenly I had a bright idea! I noticed a box of taco shells on our shelf, and happened to know that we had onions and peppers in the fridge! MEXICAN PHOTO SHOOT! Tongan/Canadian style!

That is not where our story ends though! The next day we were waiting at the bus stop. To practice English, Sister P often reads the bus stop ads and asks me what certain words mean. Well.....this ad happened to be a "stop hate crimes" ad. It was talking about saying no to discrimination, racism, etc. Sister P innocently was asking me: "What does racism, discrimination etc. mean?". All I did was take out my camera and jokingly show her our Mexico pictures! And then I went on to actually define what a hate crime was! Oh the irony of life!

A week of bright ideas!:
I was changing lightbulbs last week and had a spare lightbulb sitting on my study desk! My new favourite thing of the week is to stick the lightbulb over my head when I get a bright idea! We'll see how long it takes before Sister P stops finding it hilarious and is ready to punch my lights out! ;)

Beatboxing in Britain:
There is a village in Wigan called Ince. Every time I say it out loud, I HAVE to start beat-boxing! Ince-ince-ince!! It's too hard to resist the urge! Sister P started learning how to beat-box this week! We will soon be the most fly companionship on the island!

Dazzeling door-knockers!:
When you dedicate 18 months of your life to knocking hundreds of doors and talking to random people on the street all day, you cannot help after awhile but to compare peoples doors (the type of wood, doorknockers, door-bells etc.! It is exciting for us! Keeps things fresh). We came across a fox- door knocker the other day (as in the animal!). The people weren't home, but we ended up spending 7 mins at the door making the door knocker talk: "Let me in! Let me in! I wanna be baptized...etc. etc.". 

Probably safe to say I may have hit an all-time low! But at least I'm happy! With that, you'll have to excuse me while I start running! The people with straight-jackets are coming after me! ;) Gotta split!
Love you all!!!

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

The Burrows family in Carlisle
Eddith's family in Carlisle
Bridge from Harry Potter movie (Erika thinks it is from the 2nd movie)

Sister Martin and Sister P at the Preston Temple

Monday, 7 April 2014

My new "more-ish" emails that will not satiate your or my needs, coutesy of Wigan library!

Heads-up for everyone: The library here is rubbish and we don't get very much email time, so I may not be able to respond to emails every week! Sorry everyone! :(

This also means my emails may be shorter and a little less sarcastic (in true Sister Martin fashion!). I'll do my best!

Everyone was alive with the spirit at conference:
Highlight of conference was an older lady who fell asleep during a session and was snoring SOOOOOO LOUD for over an hour! Hellloooooo awkwardness! Sister P struggled through the whole sessions, trying to fight back fits of laughter! Memory making is the best!

New word of the week, brought to you by a pack of crisps:
The word of the week is: More-ish!

Definition: an adjective; describes a food that you want to eat more and more of.

Use of word in a sentence:
"These crisps are so more-ish!" -- Sis. McD
"?????"-- Me

My warmest welcome came from my new mobile phone:
Our missionary phones may be ancient, but they at least got this nifty feature where you can have a welcome message show up when you turn on your phone! Super duper!!

I went to go see what our new phone had for it's message. The following appeared: "I am from America and I want a burger". Minus the America part, I have to concur with this message. You really cannot find a proper burger in England (luckily, they have many other foods that are very "more-ish", which makes up for the lack of greasy, All- American burger goodness).

Me being the patriotic Commonwealther I am though, could not help but change it. Our phone now says: "Sister Martin was here! Go Canada! I want (real) bacon and maple syrup!"

My sarcasm has successfully corrupted another soul:
I was kind enough to point out to a member that throughout my whole life, my family and I have had a habit of making general conference interesting by picking out the funniest singing faces in the choir! I couldn't help but notice that the member was snickering when the camera panned over the face of one of my favourite faces (bulging eyeballs and fish lips). Another Molly Mormon has been removed from the ranks courtesy of me!

Wigan is great!
The end.

Just kidding!...I'll tell you why! We are literally a 1 min walk from a massive bus station, a 2/3 min walk from town (shopping! Helllllo!), a 4 min walk from the train station, and a 7 min walk from the library! Our house is clean and new-ish! This area is MASSIVE (I would compare it to covering the whole city of Surrey for my BC people!)! Our area map covers an entire wall! I AM SO EXCITED! So many people to potentially talk to! NO SHEEP OR PEOPLE FROM SCOTLAND (I have nothing against Scottish people...I actually love them! We just don't get to teach them--they get passed to Scotland mission--which is sad for us)! So much work to do here! I am going to be busy and very happy! Let the work begin!

Anyways love you all!
Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!

Xoxoxoxo Sister Martin