Monday, September 29, 2014

What Happens in Liverpool Stays in Liverpool...

The week was pretty good, not my best.  YSA was a different vibe than last time.  All the new students are more anxious and uppity about getting to places on time and more closed off.  However, there were some good things, I think.
My favourite part of the week was the talent show the ward held on Saturday.  Of course the missionaries were involved.  sister Lau had a brilliant idea she'd done in high school :

The Bellagio Fountains... Live!

So we all tied white sheets around us, toga-style, and walked in holding large jugs of water in our hands.  We taped some plastic on the gymnasium floor and played music in the background.  Then in coordination with the music and choreography we toodk big slurps of water and spit them out.  It was hysterical.  The ward was surprised to say the least but I think they liked it.  We certainly had a lot of fun.

Toga Time


Monday, September 22, 2014

Fishing for A Compliment?

With a last name like Gish, I'm always susceptible to people making "clever" rhymes about it, usually involving small animals that swim in the sea. 

This began in junior high, happened in the temple once when the man called me "Sister Fish," and continued in university when 
Papa Jim told me he wanted to set me up with one of his students.
"I have a student I want to set you up with.  He's great.  You'll love him.  He's almost out of the hospital!"...
and if that didn't do enough to beat romance into my soul, he continued with, "Oh but his last name is Fish."

I'd be Sister Gish Fish for the rest of my life.  No thank you.  Needless to say, we didn't work out.

Well the trend has followed me to England.  Last week Liverpool had a large commemorative event for World War One.  There were different stalls set up in the town center and the missionaries were involved in a family history stall, talking to people about their families and helping them set up their own accounts. 

Well one of the members from the Crosby ward asked if I was related to Lillian Gish.  I replied yes (I love it when people know her, I feel soooo important and I usually follow up a bit smugly by asking if they want my autograph.) and she continued the conversation by telling me a story about street hawkers long ago with cockney accents.

Apparently the big thing to do in that *time was to get people's attention by making a rhyme.  Example: Hey I like your whistle translates into, Hey I like your suit.  Because a whistle goes with whistle and flute and flute rhymes with suit.  Well guess how you'd order fish from a chippy shop?  You'd order a Lillian Gish. 

And just like that every missionary within earshot permanently formed a connection between me and fish.  My link to fame has been permanently stained.

Sister Gish  (Fish)

*This must have been the time before television and around the prohibition because it's possibly the lamest pastime I've heard of. 
I don't think it would have worked on me. 
"hey nice whistle"  "hey nice... shut up.  It rhymes with ... don't ever speak to me again.  you're tacky and i hate you."

Monday, September 15, 2014

Liverpool Living 
We are slowly making friends in the ward.  There are some really great families that I want to get to know  - they are letting us come visit in the next couple of weeks. I don't think I realised before I came out here, how dependent I was on those relationships and having warm people around me and warm homes to be in. 
This week we get to go to Manchester to work in the YSA ward. It's freshman week and they're overrun with trying to contact everyone.  Seeing as the building is in the middle of three universities we're going to do some crazy finding.  I'm looking forward to it.  I'm sure I'll have lots of stories to share from it!
Had a zone meeting this week, one of the elders has a pair of glasses almost identical to mine.
On Wednesday morning at 6:25 our phone started ringing. 
 Sister Hansen hung up but then it rang again. 
 The label said office elders and I answered, "Elder Ahlstrom, I'm going to kill you. 
Why in the world would you call when we have five minutes left?" 
It was actually Sister Nemec, being taken to the airport and calling to say one last goodbye.  She told me she had 4 hours of sleep and then played the mission song REALLY loudly.  That's my trainer for you.

Said goodbye to Sister Nemec, she flew home on Thursday.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Conversations with people I meet on the street.
Because missionaries will talk about anything, even rice.
(One sided conversation)
"You're from Gambia?  That's really neat, how long have you been there?"
"I have some friends from close by in Africa.  They always make ... Jalaf rice?  I've never had it but I've heard it's really delicious."
(While desperately thinking of how I can relate rice to the gospel)
"What's that?  You're putting down your backpack... because you have a container of Jalaf rice with you?"
"Wow look at that.  It fills a whole plastic container that used to be for Caesar salad.  Yup that looks really good.  Great idea to put it in a garbage bag as well so it doesn't leak."
".... You want to give it to me?  Noooooooooooo that's ok.  I mean it's really nice.  No really you don't have to do... ok yup yup you are insisting so I will take that garbage bag holding the Caesar container holding the Jalaf rice."

"Thank you.  I can't wait to carry this around for the next 5 hours till I can get home to eat it!  YUM! I'm sure no one will think that's strange."
Needless to say the Jalaf rice was REALLY delicous.  At least that's what the rubbish bin told me. 
 Our house still smells of it.

Monday, September 1, 2014

Transfer Tremors
The more you get along with your companion, the faster the transfer goes, even if you are just finding all of the time.  So this transfer has gone by very, very, very quickly.  We get calls on Saturday.  I think Sister Hansen might go, since she has served here before.  We are getting 7 new sisters this transfer.  I would actually really like to train (but I'd never say that because people will judge you for being prideful).  It would be such a great way to end, I learn sooo much while training.  Liverpool is a good area for it but I guess we'll just see!  It's up to the Lord.
Happy Birthday to my trainer!
I attended the mission call opening of one of the ward members here.  She's a convert of about 3 or 4 years.  Her aunt came but her mom didn't.  She's going to Vancouver, Canada.  I had so many mixed emotions as I watched her.  She has no idea what is in store for her (neither did I!)  I couldn't imagine doing it all over again.  I would never erase the experiences I have had. 
Even the ones where I taught men in bathrobes wearing bike helmets.  England is perfect for me.  It's so trying.  But It's perfect.