And the adventure begins! This is a record of my experiences as I serve as a missionary of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the England Manchester Mission.
I am humbled to be so blessed to have this opportunity to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ every day for the next 18 months. Many trials await me in the form of slammed doors, pouring rain, and tons of homesickness, but with Jesus Christ I can overcome all of that and more.
Love you all!
FYI: This blog is being taken care of by Sister Martin's mom Sharon Martin - firstname.lastname@example.org. She is posting emails and pictures that I am sending to her each week.
Monday, 6 October 2014
Llamas, pizza fails and the wardrobe!
There is never a dull moment when elders are about!
So in my opinion, district meeting could easily be renamed:
"day of nasty lunches". After every district meeting the
missionaries always have lunch together and it is here that you can witness how
pathetic a lunch can get. Because we have to rush out the door extra early to
catch buses and travel to our meetings, and combine that with the fact that the
only tools we have to cook with are a microwave and an oven (no plates,
utensils, or anything in our chapel) lunches are always rushed and neglected on
Due to these circumstances, usually the only meal option is
pizza, or PB &J sandwiches for lunch.
Well, lunch for our elders unfortunately the regular lunch
special "burned out" this week.
So the pizzas are cooking like normal, when suddenly the
elders go to check the oven to see if they're done. Hard to tell, because you
could not see through the glass panel in the oven door! The oven was so full of
thick, yellow/green smoke that you could not see the pizzas! This elder then
proceeds to turn off the oven and open the door-- instantly billows of yellow
smoke filled the whole kitchen! We started freaking out:
1. Because we could barely breath
2. Because we were wondering if the oven was going to
3. Because we were scared the
smoke alarms were going to get set off!
We must have looked hilarious! I'm running around opening
every window and door in sight! The elders are standing on chairs and using
random books and wash cloths to wave smoke away from the alarms!
And after all was said and done!
The elders still tried to eat the pizza! (They weren't going
to waste a perfectly good pizza). It actually looked fine, but as soon as they
bit into it they were gagging! Apparently concepts like smoked-salmon don't
apply to pepperoni pizzas!
The reason I moved to England:
People ask us all the time why on earth we chose to come to
England (they view their own country different than we do! They think it is
rubbish and cold here and can't imagine why anyone would voluntarily leave
North America to live here.....definitely a grass is always greener concept
because I think it's lovely here!).
We finally came up with a good answer to use:
I fell into my wardrobe this morning and ended up here! Can
you please to help how to get to Narnia from here!?!?!
Confession: I am so tempted to try this line on my last week
in England! I think it would be priceless! That plus my Diagon Alley ploy and I
could go down in missionary history!
How To Commute Sci-Fi Style:
We saw a giant van this week that had: "Van Solo"
painted on the side of it. May the fuel be with you?
English Translation of Classic Childhood Music:
So this week I realized that living in England has brought a
new meaning to a classic song that we sang as kids!
Remember the song, "skip to my lou my darling!"
Think about it!........
We have been having good laughs this week since I realized
how funny it is from the English perspective: as we have been running
between members homes trying to use their toilets when we are far away from
home, we have had fun singing this song! It is now our potty time theme song!
Skip to my LOO my darling!
A not so spiritual, spiritual thought:
My companion pointed out something so interesting this week
that I just HAD to share!
Most church members are pretty familiar with the story where
Ammon defends the Lamanite king's flocks of sheep and ends up gaining favour
with the king by saving his flocks from the robbers.
Sis. Cross pointed out that nowhere (that she has found)
does it say that Ammon necessarily defended sheep! It just says that he
defended the flocks. Yet, we almost always say sheep when we tell the story (an
With this new insight, we started joking and guessing what
kind of animals he could have been defending. I then got really excited when I
suddenly realized that it was possible that Ammon could have been defending
flocks of llamas. It actually makes sense considering their geographical
location! You would probably be more like to see flocks of llamas in the
Mid-South American Continents than sheep!
So I stand by my belief that Ammon defended flocks of
A more spiritual, spiritual thought:
I was reading Matthew 26: the chapter where Christ performs
the atonement (prayed to Heavenly Father and felt all our sins and pains) in
the garden of Gethsemane.
I noticed that there is such a contrast between the
disciples in the book of Matthew and in the Book of Mormon (3 Nephi 19: 17-36).
Growing-up, I never understood why Christ wanted his disciples to stay awake
while he went off alone in the garden-- they weren't sitting right next to him
as he performed the atonement, so how could them forcing themselves to stay
awake be of any help to Jesus? I knew there had to be a reason, I just couldn't
figure out why!
It finally hit me today that he probably wanted to them to
be using that time to pray for him! Maybe this has been an obvious point to
many and I just managed to miss it, but for me that was such a huge insight! We
aren't always capable of doing it all ourselves (to carry the crosses that are
too great for our weak, mortal flesh) but we can always do something!! Prayer
is one of those somethings!
6 And Jesus said, Let her alone; why trouble ye her? she
hath wrought a good work on me.
7 For ye have the poor with you always, and whensoever
ye will ye may do them good: but me ye have not always.
8 She hath done what she
could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying.
She couldn't take away all of his burden from him. But she
did all she could to help and comfort him!
Her act of service in helping prepare him for his burial
would have seemed like a small offering, but because it was her best it was
appreciated and comforting to the Saviour, who I'm sure was beginning to feel
the weight and fear and pain of what was about to come to pass. Now contrast
this to 3 Nephi 19:17-36 (Book of Mormon) where Christ's disciples in that part
of the world prayed without ceasing! The Lord was revealing to them what to
pray for and they prayed for so long that their countenances because white like
unto Christ (they were sanctified--made pure and clean and holy!)
To put things in perspective, praying with this intensity
wouldn't have been easy. They were still mortal, therefore they would have been
tired! They also just went through all the destruction of their land
(earthquakes, utter darkness for 3 days, fires etc etc etc.) Surely that would
not have been physically or emotionally easy to go through! But they prayed
with all their might! And these prayers brought joy and relief to Christ! He
was so joyed to see their faith and love for their father in heaven! What
excuses did the apostles in Matthew have to not be awake and praying? None that
were any different from the excuses the Nephites (that I just described) could
So my conclusion from this insight? What on earth is
stopping you or me from having that power in our lives!? What makes us any
different from those disciples in the Americas! Nothing! I have the choice to
sleep, or to stand up and align my will with God's! To take the time to pray
with real meaning for others to be comforted, blessed, and helped. And to pray
that I will be able to recognize opportunities to stand by my neighbours and
help them and serve them! Prayer has more power than we realize! Clearly,
otherwise I don't think it would have mattered so much to Christ that his
disciples stay awake and pray for him while he suffered for us.
This realization really blessed me this weekend! I hope it
blesses you too!
I love you all!
I hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!