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 October 2014

Selfies, Stretford and the normal silliness!

Before I type anything else! Transfer news:
....Duh Duh Duh!
I am leaving Chorley and will be whitewash training a brand new missionary in ......STRETFORD!

(For non-missionary friends. Whitewash means neither one of us has every been there before, so essentially we are both going into the area blind! Not knowing anything or anyone! It's just going to be us, a map and a lot of prayers and asking for directions!)

Stretford is literally in the heart of Manchester (for the googling purposes of my friends at home, places like Manchester Piccadilly and the Trafford Centre are where my area of care covers). All the places I have served have been tiny little market towns, so this will be unlike anything I've ever experienced before! So exciting! :)

Today I must start by saying how grateful I am for Scouser's! (UK to Canadian translation: Scouser= a Liverpudlian!) I had the BEST thanksgiving! There were no Carvery's in Chorley that we could get to by bus (to be honest, besides the temple, there literally is nothing else in Chorley), so we went to this incredibly posh restaurant on the outskirts of our small village. We came in and immediately the host apologized and said they were closed (it was their prep break between lunch and tea). We asked him if we knew anywhere else we could try and get a turkey dinner-- explaining that it was Canadian thanksgiving and I missed celebrating it last year. 

...He suddenly told us to wait and left us...

 A couple of minutes later he showed up with the head chef (clearly by his accent he was from Liverpool). The chef said normally they only do roast dinners on Sunday, but because it was my thanksgiving he would be happy to make us a special turkey dinner! 

And oh boy he did! 

It was the most posh thanksgiving I've ever had! The food was delicious and so well cooked! I was so thankful for that kind act! And I stand by the fact that Liverpudlians are the nicest people you will ever meet! 

Happy Thanksgiving to me indeed!!

Reverse the Racism!:

The day after thanksgiving my companion was analyzing the thanksgiving card that my mum had sent to me in the post. She started jokingly commenting about how racist the card was because it had the turkey dressed as a pilgrim and the pumpkin he was holding was dressed like an Indian. (She was mainly teasing me because we are so politically correct in Canada and I have occasionally gone on rants about how they are Aboriginal or First Nations people and NOT Indians...they are not from India).

I could not help but immediately respond: "Well.....awkward for you because the card was made in America!"

Earlier on in the day we had been laughing about how it was ironic that my Canadian thanksgiving card had been made in Ohio! So it was priceless when I turned the table on my companion! We had a great laugh :) 

The Atonement for Dummies:

No! This is not an instruction course! This is just a fact.

As usual, my companions and I were being weird as always. In the middle of one our ridiculous laughing sessions, I looked up (with tear-filled eyes) at the large picture of Jesus that was on our living room door. I made the mistake of thinking out-loud as I observed:

"I can imagine Jesus watching us right now! He would probably be like 'I can't believe I atoned for these three ding dongs!'"

Well I'm sure glad that despite how weird we are, Christ still loves us and laughs with (and also sometimes probably at) us! :) 

The Raging Obesity Epidemic!
No.I am not referring to the weight that us UK missionaries gain as we serve in the land of yorkshire puddings, custard and cream on everything, and the best chocolate known to man! 

I'm referring to Japan!.... ???

A member was teasing my American companions with the same old "American is so fat" jokes. They then told us that they recently read somewhere that surprisingly, Japan is reported to be the 4th most obese country in the world (I still won't believe that one until I see it!).

My companions burst out in disbelief and started babbling about how there's no way that this could be true.

The member's response was classic!:

"Common! I mean, look at Kung Fu Panda! Now he's a big lad! Enough said!"

True indeed! Enough said! 

If there can be obese animated Asian pandas, there could just as easily be obese Asian people. Though I'm still a little doubtful about that!

Questions of the Soul:

One of my companions was impressed and shocked to hear that we have HP sauce AND A1 sauce in Canada (truly the best of both worlds! We are a healthy mix of England and America!). 

She then wondered out loud:

"Which came first? The HP or the A1?"

My lame logic: 

1, If we were to alphabetize it, then the A1?

2. Wait! Just kidding! It's the queens sauce! The monarchy of England has been around WAY longer than America has! Therefore, the HP came first!

Commonwealth victory!

X's and O's:

Nope! No kisses and hugs here! I mean, common, I'm still a missionary here! Gotta keep things PG! ;)

I'm talking about the childhood game. 

So fun fact of the week: in England, they do not call it "x's and o's"

They call it crosses and knots :) 

Sister Cross and I were discussing how we like this name and then she suddenly burst out:

"OH OH!! I want to make a version of that game where all the crosses are pictures of me!!"

So now it's definitely safe to say that Sister Cross prefers the English version of X's and O's over the North American version!

Where Utah's Mormon Swear Words Come From:

Attention! Attention! 

I've made a discovery!
Utah members may thing their preschool swear words are original!

I am here today to smash this myth!

It is official: They come from England (like anything that is white and cheesy)

How do I know? 

The favourite outburst in Chorley is: "Flipping heck" (pronounced "flippin' eck!)

So next time your LDS friend burst out with "Flip!" or "Oh my heck", just take a moment to pay tribute to the queen! 

The New Method of Performing the Heimlich:

Well, before I start writing this I will include the commentary from the members that are with me as I'm writing this blog post.

I turned to one of them and asked "How on earth do you spell Heimlich?!"

Her response (caked in sarcasm and cheekiness): "H-i-n-d-l-i-c-k?"

Then the other member laughs and pipes in: "Noo! That's what you do when you want a raise at work!"

I've said it once and I'll say it again! I love the snarky UK humour!!

Andddddd we're back!

Yesterday an elderly sister in our ward (who-- fun fact-- is Marjorie Pay Hinckley's doppelganger!!) started choking during our Relief Society lesson. She was fine! It was just the awkward half choking (not choking enough that you are in distress, but enough that you keep awkwardly coughing non-stop for ten minutes).

All the sisters were fussing over her and running to get water, and to cut the tension another sister leans over to her and shouts out: "Excuse me, but could you please choke more quietly!?" We all were in fits laughing and it was perfectly timed as we were having a lesson on charity!


That awkward moment when....... get busted taking MTC selfies by a general authority!! 

Yup! Only would this happen to a missionary!
We were taking a couple of selfies in front of the MTC after church (since the first letter of our last names make the acronym MTC, we just HAD to get a picture in front of the MTC sign before we got transferred out).

Right as we were doing it, Elder Charles (of the 70) and his wife (who both had spoken in our ward that day) came up behind us and caught us. We proceeded to sheepishly explain why we were doing it and then stick our feet in our mouths!

They were great sports and just smiled and laughed and made a bit of small talk before they went into the MTC. 

Shut Your Pie Hole:

I was telling some members the other day about a weird experience I had had while serving in Wigan.

Their response:

"I'm not surprised at all! They're a bunch of pie eaters!"

It honestly sounded like one of those 5-year old playground insults you would use in school (e.g. you dumb-head, stupid face.......pie-eater!  ...?)

She then said: "Seriously! Wigan's favourite butty is 2 pieces of bread with a meat pie in the middle!" 

I wonder what people say about kooky Canadians. They're a bunch of syrup slurpers?!? 

Payback as sweet as maple syrup!:

For the first time in my entire mission, someone was ragging on my country, and not my American companions'. 


Don't ask me why, but a lady (we know well) starting bagging (*insert Canadian accent here*) on Canada the other day (because her friend had a bad experience with a Canadian....therefore all Canadians must be like that...right?!)

I didn't mind! It was kind of funny and I watch my American companions endure this mass labeling on a daily basis so I figured that if they have to deal with it daily, then I can survive the awkwardness of it just once! 

You know those moments where in hindsight you wish you had thought to respond in 20 different ways than you actually did?

Well that certainly happened to me, and it's not what you think (no, I didn't snap back at her!). I responded by just laughing and saying I'm sorry to hear her friend had such a hard time when she visited Canada.

I kicked myself later that night when in hindsight I wish I had said: "Well! Jesus was Canadian so take that!!"  **If you are confused, refer to my previous blog where I explain how I know that Jesus hung on the cross in Calgary and not Calvary** ;)

A New Catchphrase For The End of My Email?!?!:

No! Don't worry y'all! I think I'll keep my cheesy, standard catchphrase ("hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!")....but this one made for healthy competition!
For when I have to say the heartbreaking goodbyes to my dear friends in the UK: "If I don't see you in the UK, I'll see you in the CK" (celestial kingdom!)

Spiritual Thought of the Week:

Today's thought is brought to you by Isaiah!


Don't run away! Come back! I promise it won't be too deep or confusing! 

Isaiah for dummies!

 Isaiah 60:22 A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.

So I have absolutely loved this scripture this week! This concept is so simple! With God our small efforts can be magnified and can result in great things!!

Now let me explain this in more detail with some analogies. For some reason I found 2 key analogies to this scripture and water:

Water has the potential to be so powerful in 2 different ways.... as does God and Satan

You can compare Satan to water that seeps into the tiniest cracks of a strong concrete foundation. All that is needed is one crack, and the liquid can seep in and destroy the entire home that is built on it. 

God can be compared to the currents of the ocean, with rip tides so powerful they can take a life in seconds. They can be used to generate energy. They are the home of so many beautiful creatures. Their useful purposes are endless. When many small drops of water combine together to form great bodies of water, a power that cannot be achieved by one drop alone is seen!

The following scripture explains this concept well:
1 Corinthians 3: 6-9
6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.

 7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.

 8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.

 9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God’s husbandry, ye are God’s building.

Each of us has small bits and pieces to offer. But without God we will only get so far on our own. As we become converted to the gospel, and then unite as children of God (spirit brothers and sisters) in the same cause, these united and combined efforts stretch far beyond our individual limitations!

Now taking my example of God's form of water and applying it to Corinthians. Think of irrigation channels! How do so many crops get watered at once! We connect our channels together, and then connect them to a great source of water! Thus, all the crops are continually nourished and thrive, with way less effort on our parts than would have been originally required if we had been nourishing the crops without the help of others. 

When we connect our channels (work together and united in the same righteous causes) and then use the well of Jacob (symbolically- John 4) as our source of water, these living waters of Christ, which overfloweth and never run out will provide greater power than ever seen before!

And when it is all said and done we will find ourselves proclaiming with joy!

Isaiah 52: 7 ¶How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!

 8 Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.

 9 ¶Break forth into joy, sing together, ye waste places of Jerusalem: for the Lord hath comforted his people, he hath redeemed Jerusalem.

 10 The Lord hath made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God.

Pitching in and working together to make good happen is always worth the time and effort! Never let petty things stop us from connecting our "irrigation channels" and working together! It just is not worth it! This attitude will only limit us to the power of Satan (small drops of water that seep in) rather than enable us to tap into the powers and love of God (great mighty waters that empower all living things). There in no greater joy than serving God in his united causes! Go and do something good this week! Feel the joy of it!
Now that wasn't so bad was it?? :) 

Until next week

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

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