Saturday, 12 December 2015
How to spend a week . . .
All of my weeks begin in the same way . . . going to church, partaking of the Sacrament and renewing my Baptismal Covenants, pondering what the Saviour did for us, etc. Some people might wonder why my week begins with Sunday instead of ends. I would say my week both begins and ends with Sunday. Sunday is like two pillars which support and provide a sound foundation for my weeks and indeed my life, from the beginning to the end. The fact is as a Latter Day Saint . . . the Saviour . . . my faith . . . my religion . . . this IS how I define myself. These things underpin my whole life and are the basis for everything I do. Our church is not just a place that we go to on Sundays, but a whole way of living . . . and being able to partake of the Sacrament each week is one of the most important things which we do each week.
We are asked to keep the Sabbath day holy, which means we don't do certain things on Sundays. The Lord has taught us that man was not made for the Sabbath, but that the Sabbath was made for man. We need a special time during the week where we can put aside all of the cares of the world, and dwell on all that is good in our lives . . . a time of renewal. That is why we don't shop on Sundays, or eat in restaurants, or watch unsavory things on the television, go to football matches, parties, clean our homes, etc. Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest and reflection. A time when we can visit with family and friends, when we can renew our covenants, do special studies, ponder things, etc. I always call my mom on Sundays and it is good to talk with each other. I also try to speak with my father as well. We watch Songs of Praise on the television and find it very uplifting. Todd and I speak together about things we may have learned during our weekly Scripture studies and any impressions we may have gotten during the lessons or during our prayer time, etc. It is a Sacred day and keeping it Holy makes all the difference in the world. It sets our week up in a special way and it caps our week in a special way.
Monday is our Preparation Day. This is the day we catch up on laundry and housekeeping. The day we plan our activities for the week ahead, which visits we are going to do, the meetings we plan on attending, etc. We are leading a very busy life now with our being on a Mission and its really important that we have this time together at the beginning of the week to plan. Normally we would also do grocery shopping on this day, etc. I didn't do that this week. I actually felt quite ill all day Monday, with a bit of an upset tummy. I was supposed to go to a Diabetic eye screening appointment in the afternoon, which we had to cancel, so we just had a quiet day and evening.
On Tuesday we did Missionary Flat Inspections in Wrexham. We found out on Monday that the Sister Missionaries would be leaving Wrexham on Wednesday for good, and that they wouldn't be putting new Sisters into Wrexham so their apartment was going to be what they call "White-washed," meaning closed down. So it was really important that we get over there and inspect it., and we thought we might as well inspect the Elder's flat in Wrexham as well. These inspections are not just for cleanliness, but also to see if there are any small repairs which need doing, or even large repairs that the Landlords need to attend to. To check on the security of the Missionary flats, that all the locks are working properly, etc. To check that they have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. To make sure there isn't anything in the flat that might detract from the purpose of their mission, ie. inappropriate games etc. For instance, dart boards, etc. Because the Sisters were going to be vacating their flat they had a whole lot of stuff which needed to be taken over to the Elder's flat and so we helped with that. I think that is where my elbow problem started as I was carrying a very heavy bag of groceries down and up stairs. I had hit my elbow on Monday and I think the heavy lifting caused some extra stress to it. I always enjoy spending this extra time with our Missionaries as well. We get to talk to them in their own "home" (as it were) environment and make observations as to their emotional well being as well. Todd usually does the inspection of the property and I do all the talking, coz I'm good at that. ☺
Wednesday was Transfer Meeting and so we travelled up to Manchester for that. This special meeting happens every six weeks. This is the meeting where new Missionaries come into the field and get their first companions, so we get introduced to them and meet them for the first time and learn a little about them and where they come from, etc. It's all very exciting. This is also the day that any transfers of companionships happen within the mission . . . most missionaries only serve in an area for 6 to 12 weeks, depending . . . and sometimes (but only rarely) longer. Transfer meeting is where they will make companionship changes etc. So that is exciting as well. Transfer meeting is also the meetign where we get to say goodby to the missionaries who are finishing their missions and leaving to go home to their families, so this is exciting also and a bit bittersweet. A part of you is very happy that they are finally getting to go home, and another part of you is sad because you know you wont' see them again for a very long time, if ever, at least not on this side of the veil. So, it is a day charged with emotion. Its also really nice to see all the other Senior Missionary couples. The departing Missionaries always bear their testimonies as well and this is such a wonderful part of it. They speak of how they have grown on their missions, what they have learned, etc. I have never yet heard one get up and say . . . "I hated it." Transfer Meeting is one of my favourite of all the meetings.
The traffic was horrendous on the way up to Manchester and I was hanging onto the door strap the whole way with my heart in my mouth . . . too many trucks on the road. I think this put even more stress on my elbow. By mid afternoon I was in agony and could hardly wait to get home, so we didn't hang around after the meeting. There had been a couple of missionaries I really wanted to say some special goodbyes to, but I couldn't face it. Bad accident on the way home so our journey was delayed and took longer. I did not sleep all night, the pain in my arm was excruciating.
I got an appointment at the Doctor's as soon as I could on Thursday. I saw a Nurse Practitioner who felt that my pain was muscular and gave me some tablets to take. Needless to say not much else has gone on because this pain is so distracting . . .
Yesterday morning Mitzie had an appointment at the Dog Groomers. I did not go because of my arm. I stayed home and cleaned out the fridge for Christmas and made some peanut butter balls and tried not to pay attention to the pain as best as I could. Then in the afternoon my Visiting Teacher came. I love it when my VT's come. This month it was only the one because the other one was working. I have been friends with my VT'er since I first moved over here to the UK. We have been friends and VT partners as well. She is a lovely person and it was really nice spending some special time with her yesterday. I love her to bits. I tried to do some colouring in the evening in my colouring book. My good friend Suzan sent me this lovely colouring book a while back. Johanna Basford's My Secret Garden.
I LOVE IT! I am saving up for the Enchanted Forest one now. Colouring is so relaxing and a great way to practice mindfulness . . . I lose myself in it's pages . . . and I have only just done the title page and half of the next page. There is so much detail in these books. I think they are the best. I am so grateful to Suzan for sending this to me. It was such a thoughtful gift and has already brought me many hours of pleasure in just those two pages. Who would have ever thought that colouring as an adult would be so amazingly pleasurable! Actually when I do my art that is all I basically do . . . colour. The only difference there is that I also draw the pictures.
And now it is Saturday. I am thinking I really need to go to the grocery store . . . we are almost out of loo roll and I need some dry dog food for Mitzie. I want to go and get back early. The grocery store on the second Saturday before Christmas is not a really pleasant place to be. Far too busy.
My week has also been punctuated with the arrival of lovely Christmas Cards. I love this time of year when you get to touch base with special people that you perhaps never hear from at any other time of year. Each card that arrives is like a special little hug from afar. It's nice to know you have been remembered in this special way.
And that is how you spend a week.
A thought to carry with you through today . . .
“You can never truly enjoy Christmas
until you can look up into the Father’s face
and tell him you have received
his Christmas gift.”
~John R Rice
Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Leona's Peanutbutter Balls. These are so easy to make and it just wouldn't be Christmas without them. This is a recipe I have been making each year since the early 1980's when I got it from my friend Leona. Leona was like a mother/sister to me. We are still friends to this day and have never lost touch. I love making recipes which have lovely feelings and memories attached to them, and there is no better time to do that than at Christmas! Crunchy little peanut flavoured balls, coated in semi sweet chocolate. I like to add some sprinkles for extra festive flair!
Have a wonderful Saturday! Whever you go and whatever you get up to, don't forget!
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And I do too!