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.

Curious about Mormons? Go to the source and find real people at mormon.org--read what they believe and have live chats if you wish! (an official Church website)

Or, go to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, official web site: lds.org.

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.

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)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Peaceable in Preston?--& Pictures

"If possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men."  Romans 12:18

Okay, so does this scripture mean living peaceably with my husband?  It says something to the effect as much as I am able.  Hum.  Not much albeness for peacefulness liest in me lately.  Yes, I know it says "men" and I have noticed he is not only a man, but my senior missionary companion.  Not only is he senior due to his age, but I think if we were both males, he would still be my trainer because I'm not what you'd say exactly mellow and grounded on any given day.  My personality is such that I can be counted on to do a job, but I may need to be reined in a bit from time to time or I'll go over the cliff on it.  I'm all over the place with moods, overreactions to things, and excitement levels lately.  He calls me "driven."  I may be a bit task oriented . . .

I do admit I may not be exactly the perfect missionary companion with whom to work, and I may be called interesting to live with (my senior companion may use a different word), but I am my own worst enemy when it comes to creating stress where there doesn't need to be any.  It isn't all my fault!!  I was born wired as a female hyper-type A personality.  My worst is coming out with our new assignment--EEEEK!

Take this new flat/apartment finding job we have.  We will look at a place after I have spent hours researching and calling for appointments.  We drive hours to see the places.  We walk in and I'm gushing all over that it is totally perfect and my companion/husband is making slit your throat signs.  When we get to the car, he's like, "Do us a favor and don't commit to some place before we have a chance to talk!"  Then, he proceeds to tell me why he hates the place.  I proceed to tell him why it is perfect and how I had this really good feeling that it is the right one.

He says he dropped liking one place because I said I didn't like it.  I told him I never said I didn't like it, I was just pouring over the pros and cons of it.  These conversations go around in circles and nowhere.  It is like we cannot communicate AT ALL!  What frustration!

Does anyone remember Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, who wrote You Just Don't Understand--Women and Men in Conversation?  She hits the nail on the head of what I'm trying to explain is going on with us with our decision making process.  She gives a taste of the book's entertaining and informative contents in a condensed article entitled, "Can't We Talk?"  It is worth a read.  Type in her name and "Can't We Talk?" on Google.  It covers the differences in communication between men and women and how to adjust to spare misunderstanding and contention.  Some of the topics covered will help you understand why I'm having these infuriating problems communicating with my husband and why he is being frustrated with me.  Some of the topics:   Information verses feelings, status verses support, advice verses understanding, etc.  Anyway, you get the drift.  I like to negotiate and verbalize and think out loud.  It drives him nuts and gets him all mixed up.  He thinks he is supposed to make a decision based on things I'm rambling on about when I'm just trying to sort out things in my head. 

Elder Blain may express a preference and I think it is a ruling.  I may be making a proposal and he thinks it is an order (which he no longer takes now that he is out of the military--ha, ha).  If I need to discuss things and say something negative about a place, he marks it off his list as a "no" when all the while I am thinking "yes, except for this and that, which we can live with."  Anyway, we have to figure out way of deciding on a place with less stress.

We've made it through five rentals thus far and I fear we won't make it through the rest without me getting a ticket for home.  Just kidding, of course, but those are the challenges of a mission for any companionship, male or female.  We all have to adjust and work together.  It helps us grow or else we fail, which we won't let happen because we have a bigger purpose in mind.  Our end result can be won with much less hassle, though, if we can get our "decide on a flat" conversation polished to efficiency, throwing out the squirrel cage decision-making process of my verbalization and his misunderstanding of my verbalization, and keeping a smile in our faces and sharing a laugh along the way (turn that frown upside down).  This past week I used Halloween as an excuse for being witchy.  It is now November and time to move into gratitude mode.  I AM thankful for a loving, good, and patient husband, even though he is making me pull my hair out.  You've probably noticed he has pulled out most of his.  Oh, and thanks for the prayers.  You never know when a little prayer on our behalf saves us from ourselves--ha, ha!

 All that silly venting aside now and enjoy what we saw today in the flat hunting process. 
Leaving at 7:30 a.m. this morning, I looked up at the sky . . .
We drove out on to our street to go to Preston to find a flat for the Zone Leaders there.
Preston's sky line as we drove into the city

A walk in a woods near a flat we were checking out. 

Lots of cobblestone streets still, which are bumpy to drive on.  Can you imagine being in a carriage bumping along on as your teeth are rattled out?
An Elder told us this is supposed to be one of the tallest steeples in England.  We were waiting to see a flat and it was across the way.  It is quite prominent wherever we were in the city today.

Here's a zoomed in image of the tall steeple.

This is a converted cotton mill.  Four Chinese-speaking Elders live in this place.  We need to move them out.  There are hundreds of apartments inside and it kind of looks like a prison inside--all gray and steel stairs with apartments many floors up.  Think of a large open area, like in Vegas, and the indoor motel rooms you can see along the walls looking up.  I'm sorry I didn't take a picture inside.  We were rushing through on a tight time schedule.
This church has been turned into apartments.  We parked here to see a
flat and it turned out not to be in this building, so we didn't get to see the inside to my disappointment.

This more modern church is a different color than the old ones we are used to seeing.
Overlooking part of Preston where the university is.   We were looking at a flat on 17th floor of an apartment building and decided it wouldn't be a good thing to have a missionary fall off the balcony . . .
This was a mystery theatre with tons of delicious food.  It was called, "Polter-Heist," and L., a member of our English family was in it.  Everyone had to guess who   the murderer was.  We guessed it was L. and we were correct, but not for the reason we thought.  We saw this play last week when looking for flats during the day.

Earlier in the day, we were able to take the "murderer" out to lunch.  The only hint she gave us was to watch for the small things.  It didn't help.  We weren't that observant and the play was too tricky.

Here are some cast members, with L. hiding behind her sun  glasses
I've stylized the photo I took of the villain because it make her look even more devious
These horses know they are very fancy, don't you think?
A close up for you horse lovers

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