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)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Mission End Count Down Reflections & Pictures

"Yea, will ye sit in idleness?  . . .  begin to be up and doing."  Alma 60:21-24

In the verse above, Moroni was chastising someone he had hoped would help him, but wasn't aware of why he had not been rendered assistance.  In this case, there was a good reason the other person wasn't able to help at the time.  We all have good reasons at one time or another why we are not able to do as much as we'd like.  I suppose I'm reflecting on this today because I am ill and had to cancel going to see a sister in dire need, and wasn't able to go find the less-active people we need to locate.  We all, for one reason or another, aren't always able to serve as we'd like.  Heavenly Father knows our hearts.  He tells us there is a time an season for everything.

I know I'm not supposed to sit idly by while thousands around me lose hope and faith while suffering from loss of loved ones or property, from loneliness, despair, poverty, or any number of challenges.  Knowing this may cause me to wonder if I am "up and doing" enough to use my life and capabilities in a way that benefits others.  I hope to think that doing my best will be acceptable, though it seems daunting looking at the needs in the world.

When we feel inadequate and overwhelmed at all the needs around us, a gentle reminder brings peace in this quote from Edward Everett Hale:

"I am only one,
But still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
But I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do."

As our mission enters its last seven weeks, quite naturally there is evaluation as to what useful things we may have accomplished and what we might still be able to do in the short time left.  I take comfort in the words above. I also realize how blessed I've been by all the "ones" who have lived before I was born and others more currently who have contributed to make my life a marvelous experience.

As we drive about, I'm starting to realize some things I'm capturing in photos for the last time.  I must avoid trying to take all of England home with me in photographs, or drown all of you in pages of photos on the blog as I have so frequently done.
 Another quote I read today, seems to go with the appreciation of the things man does to improve and beautify the world with all the planting of trees, gardens, and landscaping schemes.  I've been the recipient of hundreds of years of building, planting, and beautifying this glorious country.  I've also been the beneficiary of technology and the skills of man that made so many comforts and means of communication available. 

“God left the world unfinished for man to work his skill upon. He left the electricity in the cloud, the oil in the earth. He left the rivers unbridged and the forests unfelled and the cities unbuilt. God gives to man the challenge of raw materials, not the ease of finished things. He leaves the pictures unpainted and the music unsung and the problems unsolved, that man might know the joys and glories of creation.”  (President Thomas S. Monson, 1988 Ensign, "In Quest of the Abundant Life.")

Each "one" has contributed somehow to the overall success of the things we have to enjoy.  Thank you to all of those individuals, both living and dead, who have made (for most of us) such an enjoyable earthly existence.

Someone said in a talk the other day that we think something that is 100 years old in America is really old, and people in England think 100 miles is a long way.  So true!  That is probably why many in England haven't traveled far from where they were born.  They have no idea what they are missing in their own country!  History is everywhere.  We Americans get so excited being in countries where we can see buildings still standing that are hundreds of years old, and walls that have been here since the Romans walked the land.  Grant you, we do have some old ruins in America, but they are not as accessible and with the written history as we find in Europe.
This 1641 "cottage" looks more like a mansion to me.  It was hard to get a good picture with the trees around.  I should have taken the picture in the winter before the trees leafed out.

An old church turned into . . .
A supermarket!  Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without--that's what the prophet said . . ."  (from "Provident Living"- a Primary song)

I've already posted pictures of the library in Darwen, but the purple door is new for you purple lovers' enjoyment
Never been in here, just snapped the photo as we drove past.  I like the roof angles in this old mill turned into a shopping mall or outlet stores of sorts.  We shall shop here for Elder Blain's "travel clothes" when we are off our mission.  See the white vans and how they compare in size to the cars?  The stripes are common on many vehicles, especially service ones of any kind.
Driving around our immediate area, I noticed the fields were not as green as usual.  The grass has been cut for hay during the past couple weeks.  With the sun not reaching the bottom layers of the tall grass that are now exposed, there is now more contrast and a patchwork look across the moors.  We didn't get out into this type of country in our last area and never noticed any change during this season.  Things are greening up quickly again with all the rain we are getting.  I'm sorry I've taken the pictures through the car window, but had no time to stop.
Heading home at the end of a busy day
Oh no!  The dreaded white van, which is an inside joke here in England because they take up more than their share of the road.  In fact, the middle of the road is their favorite place.  They are the bane of Elder Blain's existence.  He hates dealing with them.  It seems the attitude of the drivers is they own the road, since they are bigger than the cars!
Beautiful England, we shall truly miss this blessed country
The moors (with the grass cut) that are directly above out apartment
I won't quit taking pictures of old buildings, scenery, or canal boats when I find them--ha, ha.

This place is called "Botany Bay."  It is a shopping mall (you can see it in the distance).
I won't quit taking pictures of Elder Blain doing stuff like perfecting his shot so he can shoot with the best of 'um in the family when he returns off the mission
Fancy arm and foot work and more ballet moves.  He's "up and doing," right?


  1. I had never heard that quote of President Monson's before. Its something I've never thought about, but now that you've shared it, I can't help but be reminded of our Father's wonderful plan to help us learn and grow!
    Also... tell Gpa we've got the Hoop up in the driveway just waitin for him!!!!

  2. I have enjoyed all of your photo's and comments and will be looking forward to seeing you in Utah again. I hope you are feeling better. Hang in there.