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, 6 October 2014

Llamas, pizza fails and the wardrobe!

Elderism 101:
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 meeting days! 

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 explode
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? 

The end!

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 assumed stereotype!). 

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 llamas!!! 

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! 

I was able to then connect that to what Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said in general conference yesterday (  when he talked about the woman (Mary) annointing Jesus with oil. The disciples told her off for wasting expensive oil that could have been used to bless the poor. But in turn Jesus replied to them:

Mark 14:6-8
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 have had. 

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!
Sister Martin 

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