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)

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Party With the Scotsman & Christmas Crackers

Great is my boldness of speech toward you, great is my glorying of you:  I am filled with comfort, I am exceeding joyful in all our tribulation.  2 Corinthians 7:4
This is me on my way last night to death by dinner at the Chinese Buffet.  This is the first night in a string of four nights with HUGE dinner celebrations!  How shall I survive?   Say goodbye to whatever pathetic amount I'm already overweight in this picture and be ready at the plane to carry me off in a wheelbarrow when we return in nine months!
This is our favorite Scotsman and a dear friend.  It was his birthday yesterday and we took him to the buffet to celebrate.
Here we are at the Preach My Gospel class that is held every Wednesday night (the class sang Happy Birthday)
Do we look a little cold in our class?  The room is always freezing!  These are the regular attenders.  It is a fun and spiritual group.  We learn a lot from one another and from the sharing of special experiences in life and in the Church.  The man in the front on the right is the person who had the special experience with the bedraggled pigeon that was shared many blogs ago.  He is a gardener by trade and used to be a bishop in the Stoke Ward.  These people are all really good folks--salt of the earth types and they'd give the shirt off their backs to anyone even though none of them have all that much to begin with.  Their lives are full of charity towards others.  The thing that is so marvelous more than anything is, most of these people in this room have had serious trials, illnesses, and challenging times most of their lives.  Yet, they are so joyful in their lives and fun to be around.  It seems those who suffer have soft hearts and are able to be more loving, generous, and non-judgmental of others.  Does this mean our trials are really blessings for our overall good?
After Preach My Gospel class, we checked in on Young Women's.  They were making modest wedding dresses out of plastic.  N. (from our English family) is all dolled up.  Her mother said she'd take a picture and send it to N.'s dad and freak him out.  She's too young for marriage!!
This is our fiber optics tree, so it doesn't look too great without lights turned on and with the remainders of our birthday celebration hanging on it.  The hats came out of what are called Christmas Crackers.  You pull and break them open and there is a hat, a small prize, and a silly joke in each one.  The more money you pay for a cracker, the nicer hat and prize you get (I got a tiny green frog and Elder Blain got a tiny green jet plane).  Obviously, the restaurant version is at the low end of crackers.  It was still really fun. 

The jokes for the evening were: (answers at the bottom of the page).
1.  Why couldn't the skeleton go to the New Year's Eve Party?
2.  Who writes the most letter?
These are our broken Christmas Crackers.  Notice the pass along I left on the table?  We always leave one at restaurants.
History of Tom Smith, the inventor of Christmas Crackers (since 1847)

It was on a trip to Paris, in 1840 that an adventurous and forward thinking Tom Smith discover the 'bon bon' sugared almond, wrapped in a twist of tissue paper.  Seven years later this simple idea evolved into the Christmas Cracker.
By placing a small love motto in the tissue paper he created enormous interest in this product, especially at Christmas and it was during a search for inspiration to achieve even greater sales that he casually threw a log on the fire.  The crackle sound, made by the burning log, gave him the idea that would eventually lead to the crackers we know and love today.  After a great deal of hard work and experimentation, he came up with a cracking mechanism that created a "pop' as the "bon bon" wrapping was broken.  This eventually became the snap and the cracker was born.

Over the next few years his idea evolved and grew and he moved from his original premises in Clerkenwell, East London, to Finsbury Square, in the City.  His sons, Tom, Walter and Henry took over the business when he died and later a drinking fountain was erected in Finsbury Square, by Walter, in memory of his mother and to commemorate the life of the man who invented the Christmas Cracker.
It was Walter who introduced the paper hats and he toured the world to find new and unusual ideas for the gifts.

The company was very aware of current affairs and crackers were created for the Suffragettes, War Heroes, Charlie Chaplin The Coronation and many other great occasions.  Exclusive crackers were also made for the Royal Family and still are to this day. 

1.  He had no body to go with him.
2.  A fisherman because he always drops a line. 

TRA, as they say here!  A new tradition has been born for the Blain family--Christmas Crackers!!

1 comment:

  1. Yay! New traditions are so fun! I've been experiences many of those myself. :-) You ARE NOT fat. You look wonderful!!!