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, 24 November 2014

My 11th companion and the top 11 silly situations of the week :)

Before I start anything I have to declare something:

Because I just got back from Mr. Darcy's house. For anyone who has watched the Kiera Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice (no shame! I proudly admit that I have probably watched that film about 20 times!), I just got back from Lyme Park in Manchester, where "Pemberley" is located! Breath taking! I believe that the UK is the most beautiful place in the world!!!

Ok! Back to reality!

So it is official. My lovely Sister Sant is home and happy and getting healthy now :) She did a great job and I learned so much this transfer serving with her :) 

So the big question everyone is dying to ask!!! Who is the lucky sister that gets to be my companion for the last 12 days of my mission?!? 


Sister Once from the Philippines :) 

For my friends who are not fluent in Tagalog ;) The Once is pronounced like Beyonce! Those who know me well know that Beyonce is my girl!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (Sasha Fierce was my last cd before I left on my mission :P ) So this clearly was meant to be :) 

As you are probably already picturing, our height difference is hilarious and people on the streets are just loving it! It's not everyday that you get a 6ft tall, white Canadian, and a 5ish ft tall Philippino hanging out together on the mean streets of Manchester! 

This just continues to prove the point that anything is possible when you are a missionary!

People find it hilarious that the last name of my 11th companion is Once (which means 11 in a couple of languages). The irony kills me! 

In respect for the significance of the number 11 this week, I will talk about my top 11 moments of the week:

1. The atonement really does cover everything!!

I bet you think I'm about to go on a "holier than thou", almost returned missionary spiritual rant! 

Not today!

We had a wonderful tea appointment last night with some of the best food I've had in awhile! About 3 hours after the appointment, Sister Once surprised me when she suddenly burst out:

"Sister Martin, a miracle has happened!"

Curious- because we had had no miracles that day that I was aware of- I inquired further and was mind-blown by her response:

"I ate prawns tonight and I didn't die!"

....She confessed to me that she is really allergic to prawns. There was prawns in our tea that night. She told me that during the tea appointment she had prayed that she would be ok and wouldn't get ill. And she didn't.

So apparently the atonement even covers food allergies ;)

That being said, I will finish off this section with a quote that the President and Sister Preston put in our missionary health binder, which I think is wise and should be applied by everyone.

"Don't do dumb things, especially on p-days :) " 

In other words: please don't test this theory! I am not responsible for any allergic reactions that occur as a result from this story ;) 

2. Santa Claus isn't real in the Philippines:
Sister O was telling me how Christmas is so much better in England! Back home, kids freak out in the malls because Santa Claus is brown. She told me they used to cry to their parents and tell them that Santa can't be real because Santa doesn't have a tan! :P

She also described how they decorate little palm trees with ornaments in the Philippines and their version of reindeer is goats!

Safe to say, I will feel so lucky to be a Canadian this Christmas season. Having a cliche, cheesy Christmas makes enduring all the cold and rain worth it :)  

3. My new trunky voicemail:
I've been debating changing our voicemail this week. All of the missionaries phones have the same identical, scripted voicemail which goes as follows:

"You have reached the missionaries from the church of Jesus Christ of latter-day saints, serving in the (*insert area name here*) area. Please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as possible. Thank-you!"

After hearing the same voicemail for 18 months, it gets a little boring after a few hundred years!

Sister O and I decided that we want to change our voicemail to the following:

"WOOHOO I'M ALMOST DONE!!!! Sorry I can't get the phone right now because I'm too busy running to catch my plane and take a 15 hour nap, so don't bother leaving a message!! Thank-you BUH BYE!" 

In theory it sounds funny, but something deep down tells me I may need to save my sarcastic antics for another day ;) 

4. My favourite joke of the week:
My most awkward and hilarious moment of the week is brought to you by Sister Sant! We were having one of our bog-standard, normal boring/awkward nightly call-ins to our district leader. We didn't have much to report that night, so our district leader randomly burst out: "Tell me a joke!"

Immediately Sister Sant told the 1st joke she could think of:

"What is little mermaid's favourite subject in school?


She forgot that we were talking to a bunch of awkward elders before she told the joke! The response was soooo awkward! I was laughing because I though the joke was hilarious, Sister Sant was freaking out because she just realized that she had told an underwear joke to elders, and the elders were just awkwardly gaping like fish on the other side of the line!
I have come to just love the awkwardness of missionary life, and this moment topped off my week :) Just embrace the awkward, before the awkward embraces you! 

5. Asian priorities:

Sister Beyonce and I were talking about earthquakes (we both come from places that unfortunately are prone to getting nasty earthquakes). She told me about an earthquake that they had when she was a preteen. Her mum was helping them get out of the house to go somewhere safe when suddenly she stops helping them and leaves them to go and back into the house and rescue their rice cooker!

She said her mum was screaming out "I need to save the rice cooker!!!". Her dad stopped her mum and they just left and went to safety! To say that Filipinos love rice is an understatement! They literally eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! And this proves my point!

6. Mr. Bean transcends all cultures:

Last year in Carlisle I planned a cultural night and the theme was "Love transcends all cultures" 

I officially want to revoke this statement and change it:

"Mr. Bean transcends all cultures"

Sister O and I discovered that we were both raised watching Mr. Bean. (Our parents both love him!). We were talking about our favourite episodes (while simultaneously embarrassing ourselves as we imitated and acted them out) and realized that Mr. Bean is perfect because anyone can watch it. He doesn't talk at all, so it doesn't matter what language you speak! Anyone can enjoy it!
It was strangely beautiful to make this connection with my companion who comes from such a different culture from me! Proves that you can find things in common with anyone if you try hard enough! 

7. Funny pub names.....continued:
I have ranted many times previously about how funny I find the pub and chippy names in England. They are always random and always sound like they were selected by the drunk Englishmen who sit inside of them. 

Example 1:
I am emailing just down the street from The Old Monkey!! 

My favourite pubs/chippy of the week?:

Peter PAN and Captain Cook

They are both on the same street as each other, not far from our home! So clever!

8. Likening the gospel to .....tanning?!

We had a marvelous stake conference this weekend (the best I've honestly ever been to). The best part though was when a young returned missionary gave a talk and used an analogy about fake tanning. He talked about how the gospel was lots of work, just like when his mum goes tanning. You have to sit under the sun for hours! You have to endure the horrible heat, the indecent, awkward public exposure and all the sand that likes to creep into every single crevice. But the result is worth it! You are filled with light (big fat LOL) and look and feel great after. All that enduring was worth it!

HAHAHAHA! That's all I have to say about that.

The best part though was the fact that as he was giving this analogy about tans, I was sitting between a sister from Tonga, Fiji and my Filipino companion-- all with their beautiful dark skin. They all held their arms out and held them up to mine and started teasing me, whispering to me: "Palangi Palangi! You need to get a tan!"

I love being a missionary! It's fun being from different countries and being able to tease each other and have so much fun! 

9. Sneezing does NOT transcend all cultures: 
I wrote about sneezing wayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy back at the beginning of my mission! When I was a greenie, I learned that they sneeze differently in Russia ("aaaap-chi!)  haha :) 

Well the sneeze strikes again!

Filipinos sneeze differently too!!!

"Hah- ching!"

It sounds like kung-fu to me! So hard-core!!!! I am beginning to think that our sneeze is pretty week! We just sound like a bunch of choo-choo trains when we sneeze! 

10. Living Life: Gourmet French Style 
I was talking with a French elder the other day in the tiny bit of broken French that I could still remember from school. As we were speaking (and laughing about the funny Quebecois accent that Candians have), Sister BEYonce piped in that she knew some French. 

She was about to say whatever phrase she had in mind, when she suddenly forgot it and got all frustrated! She turned to me and said:

"How do you say cauliflower and cheese again?!"

I was useless because:
1. I'm rubbish at French, the only help I could offer her was "fromage"
2. I was too busy laughing with tears rolling down my eyes

Ce la vie! Just gotta roll with the punches and laugh at the random things like throws at you :) 

11. Choirs of angels:

I never had much of a testimony of music and hymns until this weekend. This weekend was one of the most touching stake conferences I have ever been to.....all because of the music!

The choir clearly has been preparing for a long long time! I have never heard such enthusiastic singing from a choir and congregation in my life! Everyone was putting their heart and soul into the hymns and I could swear that there were angels singing with us! I was just in tears and so touched at the power of music! 

Too often we shy away from singing praises to the Lord, out of fear that our voices aren't beautiful enough! We just need to forget ourselves and remember who we are singing to! I have not felt a spirit like that in ages and it was powerful to stand with my brothers and sisters and sing praises to our Lord! 

A random thought of the week to consider! 

Phew! Rambling done!!!!!!!! Cherish the weirdness everyone, because in two weeks it will all be over :( 

I love you all so much and continually encourage you to look beyond yourselves and see how you can be a blessing in the lives of others! Serve! Love! Laugh! That is the secret to happiness! 

Hope the time goes quickly for you and slowly for me!
With love,

Sister Martin xoxoxoxoxo 

1 comment:

  1. Dear Erika (Sister Martin, I should say),
    I have never read one of your posts before. I'm not sure how I got this one actually. But I can tell you that I have not enjoyed reading anything as much in a long time. What a wonderful sense of humour you have! I'm sure your companions loved being with you.
    I can also tell you that you parents are wild with excitement about you coming home. See you in a couple of weeks.
    Sister Stanton