Monday, November 21, 2011

Arriving Safely on the Isle of Man

Just me today on the Quay. Give you a taste of the Island..

We are safe and sound on the Island and I’m settling in nicely!
It was an adventure, though!

You remember that the ferry was cancelled? Well,
the next day the Assistants were unavoidably detained and couldn't
take us to the ferry. We ended up going (with all my luggage and
Sister Rothmund's overnight bags) on an hour long bus ride to
Manchester (the Picadilly train station), then a train to Preston.
There we were picked up by the Preston Zone Leaders who drove us to
the dock in Heysham and there we caught the ferry! We had barely
settled down on the ferry when this lady came right up to me and
hugged me saying, “Hi, Sister!” Took me a little off-guard! It was
Tanya Dobbie, one of the members of the Douglas ward. She sat with us
for the whole three hours. She knows and loves Alex! I loved getting
to know her and it was good she was there because she had some
motion-sickness arm bands that came in really handy :) I didn't get
sick, just a little green. They say the more trips I go on the
stronger my stomach will get. We will see :) Anyways, we arrived
safely. The Clarkes (the WML and his wife) were waiting for us on the
docks and they drove us to the church where our car was parked. We are
the only sisters in the mission with a car and I feel so, so blessed.
The Lord knew my body was on the edge. Since I've been in the UK over
a year, I'm not allowed to drive, unless I get a UK license, but I
doubt the mission will invest in me - they'll just send me a young
sister that can drive next transfer. So, I get to be a permanent
passenger/secretary - and backer-upper (yes, Max, we actually do this
in the EMM :) but no orange vests! It was you that told me that
mission story, right?)

I assume you have probably researched a little bit about the Isle of
Man by now. The natives call themselves "Manx" (like "banks") and they
have a language (also Manx) that has celtic roots. Most of the signs
are written in English and Manx, even though no one really speaks it.
The actual climate of the island reminds me of some of the islands in
Alaska when we went to pick up Max. It's a similar feel, as well,
where everyone sort of knows each-other and there are so many
connections. Sister Rothmund and I live in an apartment at the back of
a member's home (in England they call that a "granny flat" - oops, but
we are not in England. Make no mistake! This is the British Isles! And
no one's going to let me forget it : ) Any ways, they call it a
"granny flat" in the British Isles, too ). Sister Bradshaw must be in
her 60s and lives alone. She loves having us coming in and out and
bringing the missionary spirit with us. She has a black cat, Thomas,
who will be the closest I'll ever come to a pet on my mission (see the
white handbook) :)

Sister Rothmund is a great driver and this is absolutely gorgeous
little Island! The people are also very lovely. It doesn't surprise me
that Alex "loved it loved it loved it!" You are right, Mum, there is
one ward. The Douglas ward is extremely loving and welcoming. Case in
point: we received four referrals at church on Sunday, were recruited
into the Christmas choir and someone knows where I can borrow a
violin! There are also some connections in the ward to Lancaster and
Wigan, which is so fun. One member of the ward, Ning, is from Thailand
and her friend, Tiny, just moved over here. Tiny was at church and we
asked her if we could teach her later on in the evening. We had a
wonderful lesson together! She is Buddhist but loves church and is
open to learning more. We truly hope that she is a part of our White
Christmas. The miracles are starting. I am amazed, Mum, that you
fasted yesterday. Little did you know that it was our appointed to day
to fast as a mission! Every single missionary was fasting to be able
to achieve their baptismal goal...and you participated! I truly pray
that the Lord will pour out His blessings upon us that we may be
fruitful here in the Douglas ward. I know He wants to bless us!

Yesterday was Ward Conference, which was great. The Stake presidency
don't get the chance to come to the Island too often, so the Douglas
Ward was really excited. Wigan is in the Liverpool Stake so I already
knew most of the officers that came over ( "from across" as the Manx
would say...). They didn't know about transfers so they got a little
shock when they saw me here :) President Marshall told a story in his
talk that really touched me:

There was an English woman who went to a small Asian island to teach
English. During her last week there one of her little students went
missing! She was relieved when the day before her departure this
little student appeared. She was bearing a beautiful, rare shell that
was not found on that side of the island. It turned out that that girl
had walked for three days to find the shell to give as a gift to her
teacher. The teacher accepted the gift gladly but remarked, “You
didn’t have to walk all that way to get me a gift; a shell from this
beach would have done.” The little girl smiled and said, “Walk part of
gift. Walk part of gift.” As President Marshall told this I remember
all of the walking that I have done on my mission: between doors, on
the streets – sometimes it feels like that kind of work doesn’t bear
fruit for the Lord. But with President Marshall’s story came to my
mind an insight that I had earlier on my mission. My service is a gift
to the Lord, and maybe a night of tracting can feel pointles and is
not directly handing Him one of His precious children, but it is an
indication of my love and devotion. “Walk part of gift.” This transfer
I’m in a car, but I know that I can show my dedication to the Lord by
going the extra mile in other areas of the work. I want to give Him a
gift this Christmas. I want Him to smile at me and say, “You didn’t
have to do all of that...” so that I can say, “But it was part of Your

The time is far spent! I will give you bios on all of our
investigators next week!

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