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, 29 September 2014

Real chippy's, rap super-stardom and religious Canadianism!

Jesus Eh?!:

We found the cutest typo on the weekly newsletter that we get from the mission. Our mission president writes a little article every week and this week's article included his testimony of Jesus Christ. I was peacefully reading and pondering his testimony when my eyes suddenly fell upon an awkward typo:

"I know that he was crucified on the cross at Calgary......"

I shouted to my companions to come into the living room and stood up and made an important announcement: "Hate to break it to you all, but it turns out that Jesus was actually Canadian! So much for the whole stereotype about this being an American church!"

I then read them the typo and they found it hilarious! So our joke of the week has been to go up to all the members and ask: "Did you know that Jesus was actually a Canadian eh?!"

M&M's Are Healthy!!! 
Some members in our ward recently returned from visiting family in Australia and shared with us the strangest thing!

Pineapple M&M's! They tasted different, but strangely good! 

So now I can justify chowing down on M&M's like a fat kid at a chinese buffet because M&M's are officially a fruit (as far as I'm concerned!!) Life is good! 

Wales or Whale??!

Every night we call our district leader and report and chat about the events of our day. Well, I guess you know that you've talked to district leaders too much when you default to reporting in whale (shout out to Finding Nemo--- best film ever!)

My companion was drinking water and suddenly decided that it would be fun to just randomly start to talk/gargle into the phone and see what our district leader would do! Not to any missionary's shock.... he gargled back! So we had an entire phone conversation in gargling and whale talk! So if you're looking for a way to jazz up your daily communication, just take some advice from Dory the fish and Sister Martin the missionary and give a new dialect of whale a try! 

I promise that if you do so, that you'll have a whale of a time!! (Har Har Har!)

Sticky and Stinky Situations:
I walk into the living room, where my two companions are hanging out doing random arts and crafts. My companions 1st words to me:

"Did you know that tape stinks?!"


Yup! Apparently tape smells bad! Fun fact of the week! Why my companion was smelling her roll of tape, I have no clue! But so it goes in missionary life!

The Greatest Gift:

Nope! Apparently to 2 random elders in this mission, the greatest gift is not the one that is described in Doctrine and Convents 14:7! 

We were at a multi-zone conference last week (i.e. a meeting where half the mission is together at one time-- lots of missionaries!!) and a couple of elders came running up to me so excited!!

They told me that some elders who lived in their flat before them had set up a treasure hunt in the flat for them! They spent like an hour going through the clues and what was the treasure at the end??!
A copy of my EMM rap! 

It's official! I'm famous! They even joked that next time they see me, they want me to autograph it so it will be worth money one day :P 

How To Know That Your Chippy Is Too Authentic!

The standard rule is that a real chippy (fish and chips) will be served to you wrapped up in real newspaper! Well we can now safely say that our favourite local chippy is certainly authentic......perhaps too authentic!
Sister Cross went to open up her chippy and noticed something disturbing:

The crosswords and Sudoku's in her newpaper were all filled in! Her food was wrapped in used newspaper! 


It was hilarious and disgusting all at the same time! Sister Cross was a good sport about it and said as long as her newspaper wasn't used for someone's puppy potty-training, she would be ok!   

Quote and Spiritual Thought Of The Week: JUST DO IT!:

I heard the best quote in church, which has fueled my thought for the week!

"If you pray to the Lord to bless you with enough faith to move a mountain, don't be surprised if in response to your prayer he gives you a shovel!"

Nike says it in simpler terms: "Just do it!"

I love the principle of this! With enough diligence, we can accomplish anything! And faith is the fuel that allows us to work!! 

It is so important that we remember to 'walk the talk'! It is wonderful to believe in Christ, to enjoy hearing his teachings, and to talk about how important his gospel is.....BUT....what use is it to us if we don't LIVE it!

The purpose of the gospel is to help us to change! To put aside our sins that weigh us down and pull us off the path leading towards our loving God (Hebrews 12:1)! Action is what changes us! Just like I will not get in shape if I just sit in the gym and admire the lovely treadmills and weights! I actually have to pick them up and lift them! Sweat a little! Experience some fatigue! And then when I have consistently done this over time, I will start to change for the better! 

James 2:17-18
 17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

 18 Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

James 1: 19-25
 19 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:

 20 For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God.

 21 Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.

 22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

 23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:

 24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.

 25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.

What more can I say! Pick something this week that you wish you could be better at! Set a goal and do it! It will bring satisfaction and joy in your life! It will draw you closer to your Heavenly Father! The pain and struggles you may face while trying to make these changes will be solaced by Jesus Christ! He has promised us that never ending support and love in our journeys to change and follow his example!! 

"Good, better, best, never let it rest! Until your good is better and your better is your best!" A volleyball coach made us memorize this quote when I was 15! I never forgot it! Religious or not, this applies to everyone! 

Change! Rise up! Be better today than you were yesterday!

I love you all! 

Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!
Sister Martin :) xoxoxo

Sister Cross...
Missionary friend!
More Missionary friends!!

Treats from their neighbour!

Wednesday, 24 September 2014

An email that for once is shorter than my height!

Hi all! 

So today I just want to share a quick miracle and a thought because I am short on time! 


So we have been doing the cookie challenge with our ward here. What is the cookie challenge?


Read Matthew 22: 36-39 and then go and make a plate of cookies and give it to a neighbour you don't know well. 

We do not reach out enough in our world today! We get so busy that we don't even know that people that live around us. Small acts of kindness go a long way. Especially acts of kindness that involve food :) 

So of course we could not invite everyone else to do the cookie challenge and not do it ourselves (that would be hypocritical), so of course we led by example and did it first with all of the people in our own flat building. 

We got the most delightful surprise last night! There was a small tap on our door at 9pm, and we opened it to see our upstairs Polish neighbour standing there with a plate of homemade pastries (yum!!). He said he and his little daughter made them for us-- so cute! :) 

The best part?! He was the one that was the most cynical about us giving him the cookies. He was so confused why we would do that. Asking us if we had put anything dodgy in the cookies. We just smiled and said we were just doing it to be nice and he took them, and we left-- feeling a bit awkward, but still knowing we had done the right thing. Then a week later there he was at our door :) 

It doesn't kill to be kind! We now have a good relationship with a neighbour and it barely took any effort :) This is missionary work! 

A Thought About Christ and Our Trials:

Mark 15: 33- 37
 33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.

 36 And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.

 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

So I have been rereading the 4 gospels in the New Testament over the past couple of months and have absolutely been loving it! I have learned so much more about our Saviour Jesus Christ and how much he loves us.

My thought came after reading verse 33. 

Some background: Crucifixion was a punishment that was only for slaves and the lowest of criminals-- certainly now Jesus Christ! More interesting though is that it typically took 2-3 days for a person being crucified to die.

Christ's death only took a few hours. 

So knowing this, as I read verse 33 I had the following thought.

As the darkness of the 6th hour arrives, how often do we struggle and wonder why we have to suffer so much when we have done nothing worng. And how often do we find ourselves in our 9th hour crying to God and asking Him why He has left us to suffer unfairly.

Only after our suffering has passed will we realize that He really did shorten our suffering. He only allowed us to suffer for 9 hours, instead of 3 days. He only let us suffer just enough so we could grow and overcome death, weakness and sin. He removed as many pains and trials as possible, but left behind just enough so we could become the great people He intended us to be. 

God loves us so much and the ultimate sign of His love is that He exercises enough self control to not pull us off our "crosses" (to give us the easy way out every single time). No parent wants to see their child suffer, but they allow it to sometime happen, knowing that sometimes the greatest strength and blessings can only obtained through enduring burdens. 

We are so blessed that we have a Heavenly Father who loves us. Who loved us enough to send his son to take some of the pain from us. And to be our guide, cheerleader, and friend as we carry our own burdens that seem long and hard! With an eternal perspective and God on our side, we will find peace in knowing that because of Christ, 3 days can be turned into 9 hours.

The gospel is true! We are so blessed to have it! I pray it will comfort all who are going through hard times!

I love you all!

I hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!
Sister Martin :) 

PS whoever sent that ASDA order thanks so much! My comps were so shocked and looked like it was Christmas haha! I have such great fam and friends! (It was her Grandpa and Grandma Mitchell that sent it)

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Reality television and celebrity conversions!

Hello Home Fries! (or should I say chips?! confusing!)

What is life like in a trio? Ridiculous! And Hilarious! Please refer to the below as evidence: :) 

Where's Waldo!

Just purely a fun fact for my friends back home. (I already knew this months ago, but had completely forgotten to tell you all about it!)

Where's Waldo = Where's Wally in England.

Waldo looks exactly the same. The game is exactly the same (try and find Waldo in the midst of loads of random stuff). They just have a different name for him. 

Why??! I have absolutely no idea, but this week I will try to find out from random people on the street (as I always do). My theory is that Wally is simply easier for their accent to pronounce! Some words are just too harsh for the English (thus, why it is rubbish here instead of garbage! The R is just too harsh for their accents!!). We'll see if I'm right :) 

Streetcontacting into Snoop!
A member shared the most inspiring thing with us ever! A picture of 2 sister missionaries giving a Book of Mormon to SNOOP DOG at an American football game!!!!! Ummmm! WHAT?!?!?! SHUT THE FRONT DOOR!!!!

I'm so jealous! Probably the most legit thing I've ever seen! 

And it has re-inspired me! My double cousin and I (my mum's brother married my dad's sister......just think about that for a minute and let it blow your mind!) had this vision and goal before I left that I would convert David Beckham! I have not given up! Though I must admit I think it now might be more appropriate for me to try and convert the members of N-dubs (Dappy I think the main rappers name was) instead since my missionary rapping career took off a few months back ;) I would like to thank those sister missionaries for giving me the hope to never give up on my celebrity conversion dreams!!! With God anything is possible! 

It sucks to be that duck!
I told you all about "Duckshaw" village the other week! Well we saw a wondrous thing the other day:

As we were observing our normal swarms of Buckshaw ducks the other day, we saw........


Wa-bam! What?!

In a dorky, messed-up way, it was really inspiring! His beak was cracked a bit, and he had his one leg, but he just kept hopping along like nothing was wrong! He played and moved around just as good as all the other ducks (feels like I'm about to start breaking into a twisted version of Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reighdeer!) and seemed like a perfectly happy creature! 

I decided to name him Terry Fox! (appropriate that we saw him in September-- the month back home where we honour Terry Fox and all he did for cancer research)

Who would have thought something so random could actually be endearing and inspiring! Only in missionary life!

Classifications of Rejection: Part 3(? I think ?)

We discovered another classification of rejection this week (we must have over 10 now!). 

Constipation: Missionary talks to random person on street or at door step. Person just stares at missionary with a look that closely resembles somebody who is really constipated. Missionary asks person question/tries to talk to them more. Person continues to give no reply and just make the constipated face. Missionary feels awkward and finds a smooth way to end the conversation......Person just continues in constipation until said missionary is gone. 

I had that happen the other day. We were going all around the village handing out invites to a community centre again. We were doing absolutely no preaching (just giving away the flyers) so there really was no reason for any constipation this time! But anything is possible when you are a missionary! 

I tell this man about the event and hold out my arm to give him a flyer. He just stares in silence. I politely tell him he doesn't have to take it if he doesn't want to. Continues to just stare....I finally cracked and asked him "Are you alright?!". He finally snaps out of his constipation trance, takes the flyer and shuts the door. 


But so goes the life of a missionary :) 

Funniest Tongue Twister of the Week:
A member had a funniest tongue twister moment of the week. She went to try and tell someone that "that was a funny faux pas!" 

Instead it came out:

"That was a funny par feau!"

Her daughter's response:

"Mum, stop trying to make par fau happen!" (this is the family that constantly inserts Mean Girls quotes into conversations at the most inappropriate times! Hilarious!!)

Funniest Church Joke of the Week:
Tip for friends back home that want to have a successful tea appointment with their local missionaries! Just start swapping church jokes! We love it, and guarantee the missionaries will know loads that they can entertain you with!

My 2 favourites of this week!

-Moses is the bigger sinner in the Bible because he broke the 10 commandments.

- What was the 1st sport in the Bible? Tennis! Because Joseph served in Pharaohs court! 

Favourite Hymn of the Week:
159! I just discovered this hymn this morning! I've never in my entire life of going to church noticed it in the hymn book before! I relate to this hymn so much!! 

Now the Day is Over:

1. Now the day is over;
Night is drawing nigh;
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.

2. Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With thy tend'rest blessing
May our eyelids close.

There is nothing more beautiful than a song all about going to sleep! I LOVE SLEEP!!!!!!! 

Can-eh-dian Sister Problems:

That awkward moment when................

You get teased 24/7 for pronouncing your new companion's accent with a super Canadian accent!

People love bagging  us out (note the pun!) about the way we say "tag" and "bag". So you can imagine how much I get teased by my two American companions whenever I say the name Sister TAGgart!  

What can I say! I'm proud to be a Canadian :) 

Team MTC:
I don't remember if I told you last week, but we had an amazing epiphany the other week! The 1st letter of our last names creates the acronymn: MTC!!

And our area covers the MTC!
What what!?

This has not only turned out to be incredibly fun, but also very practical! We now pray in MTC order, so it's impossible for us to forget who prayed last! Genius!! 

Who needs television when you're a missionary?!
I can now tell you with a real-life example why having an 18 month break from tv is no big deal at all :)

We were at the bus stop the other day and there were a bunch of weird people doing a bunch of really weird things (unfortunately, that is very normal to witness when you take the bus every day, multiple times a day). 

An old man waddles towards us, observes the weirdness, and with a wink says to us: "Don't need to watch Coronation street do ya?!" 

I love English humour if I haven't stated that enough times already over the course of my mission! They are a hilarious bunch!!

I got distracted and forgot to finish my email! Ooops! I had a fab spiritual thought but I guess I'll have to share next week :( But I'll leave you with my fav scripture of the week at least!

Jacob 3: 1-2
 1 But behold, I, Jacob, would speak unto you that are pure in heart. Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith, and he will console you in your afflictions, and he will plead your cause, and send down justice upon those who seek your destruction.

 2 O all ye that are pure in heart, lift up your heads and receive the pleasing word of God, and feast upon his love; for ye may, if your minds are firm, forever.

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

Monday, 8 September 2014

All for one and one for all!!

Well, in 3 days you can just start calling the Chorley sister missionaries the 3 musketeers because............


Yup! Sis. Cross and I both are staying AND Sis. Taggart will be joining our companionship! We both know Sis. T quite well (she is super nice)-- Sis. Cross and her were in the MTC together and I have been on exchange with her-- so we are nothing but absolutely excited for her to join us!

It will be interesting to see how life will change after spending 15 months of doing EVERYTHING in two's! Food for 2, chores for 2, conversation for 2, teaching in 2's! This will be an insane, but fun adjustment! The potential for us to double our work efforts though are marvelous!!  What a unique experience we will get to have! 

Triple Threat!! :)

Time for your weekly highlight reel!

Missionary's First........Kebab??

I can now say that I have had a kebab! We have something kind of similar back home-- donairs.....(I think that's how you spell it). I would say a kebab is quite similar to a donair (those meat pita things you can get a Greek shops back home!)

For my Canadian friends, I shall define a kebab.

Basically in any chippie (which I defined for you last week) you can get a kebab. They are as dodgy as the greasy chippie that makes them! So essentially how a kebab is made: there is a giant, spinning, vertical skewer type thing that has this giant long wad of unknown meat on it. The chippie worker then uses this shaver thing to shave off massively long strips of the mystery meat, which is then thrown into a pita with lettuce, other veg, and usually a sauce of your choice. A kebab is about 95% meat (just packed as full as possible with long mystery meat strips) and probably the unhealthiest thing you could find in the UK! Kebabs are famous for making people sick all the time, but they are so delicious that most people will take the risk of spending their whole day afterwards in the toilet! I am grateful to say I guess the Lord protects his missionaries because we were just fine (...this time). And I hate to admit that it tasted really good! I probably will not have another one though, as I value my life more than 10 kilos of mystery meat!

Best part of my week though was actually not eating the kebab, but discovering (after telling a member about our kebab experience) that there is a chain of kebab shops in Ireland called Abra Kebabra! Maybe I have a ridiculously childish sense of humour, but I found this to be both catchy and absolutely hilarious!

That Awkward Moment When....

A member accidentally calls you by your first name??

I didn't think that could happen, but it did.

A lot of members have me on facebook, so naturally they know and see my first name often. It was so hilarious last night as during tea we are chatting with the members and one of them goes

"How old are you again Erika??"

The second it left her mouth she looked so shocked and horrified at herself. I was stunned for a second (hearing your first name is super strange and foreign once you've been on the mission for awhile), but then it took me about 2 seconds before I burst out laughing! I thought it was cute and funny to see how embarrassed she was! Who thought first names could be such a funny thing!? :) 

DJ Brotab!
We are throwing a massive family history event in the community this weekend and the member we asked to organize music for the event made the most profound comment:

"We can't have any boring MOTAB at this event! Nothing but Brotab will be pumping in da house!"


I met a Canadian on a bus!!!:

I met a random lady from Richmond on the bus! I was more excited than a kid on Christmas morning when I realized she was Canadian! She was one the phone talking to someone and as I listened to her accent, my "Eh!-dar" was on full-gear! The second she said "bag", my suspicion that she was a fellow Canuck was confirmed and the second she hung up I was like: "What part of Canada are you from?!?"

It's always nice to meet someone from home! It definitely made my day :) 

The Perpetual RM Fund!:
I decided that I want to convince the church to start a new program! 

Sorry President Hinckley! Time to throw out the old and bring in the new! The perpetual education fund is old news! Time for The Perpetual RM Fund!! 

I just think about how poor and sad my life will be when I go home and then I realized how all RM's must go through this same thing! Obviously we need a Perpetual RM Fund!! I've been asking members if they would donate towards it on my behalf if it existed! It is so shocking every time they just reply with a laugh and tell me to keep eating my tea! ;) 

Marriage is like a deck of cards (member quote of the week):
A member was joking and ranting about how husbands never listen and all of the other weird habits that they have. She shared the funniest quote with us this week to summarize all her feelings!: 

"Marriage is like a deck of cards. You need a heart to love him, a diamond to marry him, a club to hit him, and a spade to bury him!"

Enough said :P Next time your husband is driving you nuts, just ask him if he wants to play a round of cards!

I have a great spiritual thought that I wanted to share, but I am really short on time so I'm going to save it for next week so I can do it justice! Instead I will just leave you with my favourite scripture of the week:

 37 Therefore, care not for the body, neither the life of the body; but care for the soul, and for the life of the soul.

 38 And seek the face of the Lord always, that in patience ye may possess your souls, and ye shall have eternal life.

Always keep the eternal in mind! Cherish those things that will last beyond this life on earth: family, God, Jesus Christ, changing and becoming the best you, you can be! 

I love you all!

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

Harry Potter Business...

Sister Hunter and Sister Martin

Sunset - Buckshaw Village where Erika lives

Sister Cross and Sister Martin

Size Difference! - Sister Cross and Sister Martin

A kite found in a tree after a wind storm

A member's garden complete with telephone box!

Fun at the Bishop's home...

This is an African boy band (literally) that sings gospel music in Africa.  They were on holiday for a month in England and took the missionary lessons.

Chippy on the wall - see her last post for the story to go with it

The Preston Temple

Monday, 1 September 2014

Dodgy chippys and tangy tarts!

Happy September! :)

I would say that September has finally come, but I'm pretty sure that it has been September here for the past month! Strangely enough, I'm grateful that it's September because its less depressing to get soaked in September (when it is actually supposed to be raining) than it is to get soaked in August (when it should be sunny and beautiful!). 

The Ice Bucket Challenge.....According to the English:
So members have been telling us all about this ice-bucket challenge thing that has been going on. My understanding of it is that you basically video-tape yourself as you get a bucket of ice-water dumped on your head and if you don't do it you have to donate to charity....sounds fun(...ny)! 

We were talking about it with some members and one of them was saying that it would be a total joke if she got nominated because everyday in the UK is like a human ice-bucket challenge:

"Hi! My name is blahblahblah and I am doing the ice-bucket we call it leaving the house!!"

What can I say?! The UK and ridiculous amounts of rain are like PB and J! They just go together (my wet shoes and brollies can testify of this!). So I can proudly say that I have been doing the ice-bucket challenge everyday for 15 months! How's that for charity?! :) 

A Lesson In English History!:
Breaking news! I realized that we have a rare, ancient artifact right here in Chorley!!!'s called the library carpets!

We were walking through the library last week and as the overpowering, musty stench of the nasty, ancient carpets hit my nostrils, I may or may not have burst out to my companion a little too loudly:

"I'm pretty sure the library carpets are older than the country!" 

Today I am grateful for the modern housing and appliances that awaits me back home! It is a beautiful country here, but sometimes its beauty does come with the price of putting up with its ripened, aged architecture! ;) 

Call-In Craziness:
Every night we talk to our district leader on the phone and tell him all about our day. One particular night I had remembered a pack of malteasers that a member had given to us and cracked it open as we were chatting away. Sis. C and I were happily chomping away on them, when for whatever reason I thought it would be fun for us to stand on opposite ends of the room and try and throw them into each others mouths in as many different ways as possible. As we were doing this (just picture the chocolate balls flying all over the flat)-- while still reporting on our day to our district leader-- I froze, realized how silly and immature this probably looked and made a conclusion:

This is what happens when you take all technology and free time away from a bunch of 20-something year-olds! 

And this is also the reason why missions are the best! No technology means you can expect the unexpected 24/7! "Good-old fashioned fun" truly does make for the best memories!

What to do when tea falls through:
So we found ourselves in a bit of a pickle (or as they prefer to say here: a gherkin) the other night. 

Planned Schedule: 
6pm: Tea at a member's home. 
7pm: Ward sealing night at the temple (which is just across the street from the member's home). 

What really happened: 
5:45pm: Get out late from teaching appointment. We call the member and ask if they can come and get us so we aren't late for tea. 

Member's response: "Sure thing! Where am I giving you a lift to?"
Me: "Ummmmm (**awkward**)...yours....for tea???"
Member: "Ahhh (**freakout**) we totally forgot, meet us at this random restaurant as soon as you can and we'll have a meal there"
Me: "Ummmm (**awkward again**), we totally would do that any other time, but we have to be at the temple for 7ish so we wouldn't have enough time to have a sit-down meal......but don't worry about it, we'll have tea another time, it's totally no problem! We have plenty of money so Sister C and I can just grab a quick fast food meal on our own instead!"
Member: "Sorry...blahblahblah I feel so bad...." The end. 

We really didn't mind at all grabbing our own tea. We had budgeted wisely and had plenty of money to grab tea somewhere so it was no big deal. Our only problem was that there are no fast-food places in our area, so (very aware of limited time) we dashed for the bus and headed towards town (out of our area) to try and find something.

Halfway into town, I noticed a sign for a chippy (a chippy is kind of like a fish and chips shop but they sell more than just fish and chips. They sell all kinds of random deep-fried things and can be found all over the place in England. You know one when you see one: A. Because of it's smell: they smell like grease and random dodgy meat.  AND  B. Because they all look kinda of dodgy, but usually taste pretty good....just don't ask what they do to make it taste good and you'll be fine). I couldn't even see the chippy but in faith desperately hit the button to get off the bus and hoped that we would find it (I knew we wouldn't have enough time to go all the way into town and back, so this mystery chippy was our only option at this point). 

We get off the bus and find this chippy down a tiny random back alleyway. As fast as we could we ordered our food and ran back for the bus. Despite our best efforts, we still missed the bus by about 3 minutes. The buses only run every 30 mins so our genius plan to grab a chippy and go back to the chapel and eat it before the temple was dashed. 
We realized we had not choice but to eat it at the bus stop (this way we could get straight off the bus and go straight into the temple and still make it just barely on time). We desperately looked around trying to find somewhere to put down our food (they put your fish and chips in newspaper and don't give you a fork and you could imagine how it is literally impossible to eat a chippy without being able to set it down on something). We looked at our dining options and we had 2 choices:

1. There was a rubbish bin with an big ashtray on top that looked clean (because of the rain).

2. A dirty, mud-covered brick wall behind the bus stop. 

We honestly debated the ashtray (it didn't look that bad), but decided it would not look good for 2 sister missionaries to eat off of a ashtray, so we opted for the brick wall. 

We looked like the worlds biggest chavs as we ate fish and chips with our hands (no serviettes or cutlery) in the rain at the bus stop. The top of the wall was angled (kind of like a roof) so the fish and chips was balanced on the angled top of the wall. 

Whenever people were approaching, we would pack up our food as fast as we could and hide it away so we didn't embarrass ourselves. We made so many jokes as we ate our meal. We debated offering to use our food as a object lesson to teach people the gospel:

"Hi! Today we are teaching about the word of wisdom, which teaches you to take good care of your body! "Know ye not that your body is a temple of God? (*insert Paul here*)...."...we are going to the temple right after we are done this big, greasy chippy! LOL!..." 

I also realized that this meal meant we were good missionaries:
My justification and logic for this:
- Samuel the Lamanite preached the gospel on a wall! So what?! We ate fish on a wall, so who is the better fisherman now?!?! (Take that Samuel!)

Pretty much this wayyy too long description of a random story that is probably not interesting or funny to you at all is just to reiterate the point I made earlier:

This is what happens when you take all technology and free time away from a bunch of 20-something year-olds! 

And this is also the reason why missions are the best! No technology means you can expect the unexpected 24/7! "Good-old fashioned fun" truly does make for the best memories!


New Catchphrase of the Transfer:
It seems that every transfer my companion and I come up with some kind of random catchphrase that we use everywhere. Last transfer's was the following:

"Are you calling me fat?!"

We would just say that in response to anything and everything and it was really funny!

As of Friday our new catchphrase is:
"I blame the chippy!"

That will now be our excuse and answer for everything! Try it! It's actually really funny! 

Awkward Tall Girl Moments:
I can truly say that these types of moments happen daily! Especially when you live in a country where everything from the cars, roads, portion sizes and homes are small! 

We were getting a lift to a baptism with some members and I had to wedge myself awkwardly into the back seat to be able to fit my long legs behind the front seat. When we arrived to the chapel, the members discussed with us for ages where they could go to get a meal while they waited for us to be done at the baptism. Once we had helped them decide what to eat for tea, I began the process of trying to get out of the car. I was really struggling to unwedge myself out of the car!! In my attempt to get out, my skirt had shimmied up a decent amount and my knees where exposed (**gasp!! #sistermissionarysin). 

The brother at the wheel looked back to ask if I needed any help getting out and I yelled out "Don't look at me! My knees are showing!" (obviously said in my classic Sister Martin sarcasm!) His YSA daughter (in the back with us) then one-up'd my sarcasm and piped in: 

"Oh my! Looks like we're having TARTS for dinner instead!

And this is why I love this country! They can keep up with the sarcasm! I am truly at home here!!

The Classifications of Rejection: Part 3:
We came up with another form of rejection this week!

Oh Poo!: When a person claims they cannot stop and talk because they are walking their dogs (note the plural form of the word dog is used! It almost seems like its a law that if you have a dog in England, that you need to have at least 3! You rarely find someone who has only one dog). Apparently if they stop walking, their dogs will just twitch and spontaneously implode!!  

Car Shopping: 
As we were driving to the baptism, tart girl made the funniest comment ever! We were looking at cars in car parks and asking each other which one we'd like to have. Her dad goes "I like that black one!". The daughter responds: "It's not black dad! It's African American!" 

The funny part is that they moved here from South Africa only a couple of years ago. So it was a like a two-edged sword (as we'd say in the scriptures!). One-side was taking the mickey out of Americans (i.e my companion--whose family is all from Southern, super red-neck parts of the USA) and the other side was taking the mickey out of their own selves! 

It's official. No one understands me. Literally! 

I actually am starting to want to come home! Not because I want my mission to be over, but because I want my original accent back so people can understand me again.

At least once (or more) a day now, people do not understand my accent. I have seriously gotten a terrible hybrid accent! Everybody thinks I'm Irish or from some really random European places! My companion finds this hilarious! I do not! Time to put the Eh back in this Canadian I think! 

Thought of the Week:
I have nothing to say. I think it says everything for itself! 

Come What May and Love It! That is truly the secret to having a happy life! This phrase perfectly summarizes my last week! This is the reason I have a smile on my face and have loved every second of my mission! 

Anyways! Time to go! Email time is short here in temple land! 

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