It isn't going to to be hard to leave the cold, but the snow is soooo beautiful! I will miss that in England. Snow is such a gift this time of year because it transforms the dried out weeds, brown undergrowth, naked shrubs, and bare ground into a wonderland that sparkles in the sun and gleams when moonlight touches it. There won't be snow like that where we are going, though I suppose all the green in England won't be hard to get used to. I do know we need to take warm clothing because the dampness chills one to the bone. Georgia was like that as well, but this time I won't have Cailin mail me my long wool coat since I'll be wearing it. I plan to wear all the heavy stuff to lighten the baggage load. I am being very scientific about luggage and clothes weight. It remains to be seen if I'll survive living out of two suitcases for 18 months!
Ercell and I are going back to our ancestral roots, with his grandfather coming from Carlisle (which is in our mission) and my great, great grandmother from somewhere in Yorkshire (which is east of our mission boundaries). We hope preparation days allow for a wee bit of exploring in the graveyards. Across the way, in Ireland are more of my family roots, and some in Scotland, which borders the mission.
Another missionary couple getting ready for their mission in Barcelona, Spain (Hadleys) sent us a check list to prepare for missionary service. Number one suggestions for preparation guidelines suggest that we "spend as much time together as husband and wife as possible to help you adjust to missionary life." I didn't know we spent any of our time together other than as husband and wife.
Maybe it means we need to practice getting along in close quarters, but if we decide to be in the same room too long here at home we may drive one another crazy. We are both the type who needs elbow room and personal space. Putting two would-be hermits together in a room together for a long period of time is dangerous without that mantel of the missionary calling. From past experience, it seems once we are set apart, we know we are representing someone other than ourselves and we will be a bit more "inspired" to help things work out in a tiny flat. Having the name of our Savior on our tags almost 24-7 (no, we don't sleep in our name tags) is a very positive motivator. We learned that in Georgia as we learned to live in a small two bedroom apartment. One bedroom was used for an office and the computer allowed for a retreat to home and family and escape from the present surroundings. We may not have such luxury in England. I expect prayers answered will take care of any issues we may encounter. I figured out that people praying for the missionaries' welfare actually do not realize that a good portion of prayers for their safety, success, and sanity is applied to working with companions. LOL!
I have decided this blog will be as honest as possible about adjusting and dealing with the challenges of a couple's mission, but I expect there will be much more about the marvelous blessings and experiences we enjoy for being willing to go where He wants us to go. Overcoming challenges, discouragement, trials, and our human frailties is just part of life that perhaps magnified a bit in the fishbowl environment of a mission. I wouldn't trade the experience for a cruise around the world or for the luxury of kicking back in retirement and lulling away the days. Yes, as some once said, we plan to use up our lives serving our Father in Heaven. Pray for us and help us stay on track, okay?
Missions are Fun
Preston Temple photo taken 21 Nov. 2010
A missionary is someone who leaves his or her home for a little while so others can have their families forever.
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Note: The Blain's England Manchester Mission blog is a personal blog that is not endorsed, approved, or sponsored by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
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Our Mission Scriptures
Our Mission Scriptures:
"Oh, that I were an angel, and could have the wish of mine heart . . . Yea, I would declare unto every soul, as with the voice of thunder, repentance and the plan of redemption, that they should repent and come unto our God, that there might not be more sorrow upon all the face of the earth." Alma 29:1-2 (Book of Mormon)
" . . . be ye steadfast, unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:58 (Bible)