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What’s in a name?

Missionary coaching interviews – our favourite time as mission leaders!
It has been a busy week, filled with lots of interviews in Rotterdam.
Another missionary coaching interview session was drawing to a close.
After being reassigned from the Missouri Independence Mission, this was the first time the young sister missionary and I had met together.
Like the many other coaching interviews that day, we’d shared lots of insights together, but as usual, time had passed by too quickly for us.
It was time to close out the session, and I thanked the young sister missionary for her hard work, and wished her every success in the weeks ahead, until we met again.
We got down on our knees to close our session in prayer.
I started the prayer, sharing a few thoughts and expressing gratitude to Sister Jorgensen for her efforts in the mission since her arrival here, only a few short weeks ago. I mentioned her name again…
….And then it happened!
“𝑰𝒔 𝒕𝒉𝒊𝒔 𝑺𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑱𝒐𝒓𝒈𝒆𝒏𝒔𝒆𝒏 𝒐𝒓 𝒏𝒐𝒕?” I thought….
In that moment, I couldn’t remember – I certainly wasn’t sure!!!
Thinking further to myself – “I am sure it is…..but what if it isn’t?”
….“Perhaps I should check…?”
I stopped speaking.
I moved around a little, uncomfortable at my realisation, and opened my eyes, to check her nametag.
At that moment, realising that something wasn’t quite right, she too, opened her eyes.
Looking at each other, smiling, it was in fact 𝑺𝒊𝒔𝒕𝒆𝒓 𝑹𝒆𝒚𝒏𝒐𝒍𝒅𝒔!
We laughed.
We laughed again (a little harder).
It was just so funny.
Somehow – we managed to compose ourselves and I finished offering a prayer.
I don’t think either of us will ever forget those memorable seconds in laughter…
It was just so silly and yet so special, I’m sure it’ll connect the two of us together to that moment – forever!
I won’t ever forget Sister Jorgensen (oops) Sister Reynolds name ever again!!!! 😊
Have you ever made a silly mistake?

Dealing with stress…

Recently I was asked “How do you cope with stressful situations” .
Sometimes, it may just feel easier to hide and run away!
However, I recalled an experience from some 25 years ago that I’d like to share again today.
I was just finishing at University, newly married and working part time at an Asda petrol station to pay the bills.
It was a typical Saturday morning, just before Christmas, with traffic flow starting to build. Sadly, after opening up the forecourt at 7am, my colleague who was supposed to be in the second booth didn’t show up for work – I found out later he called in sick.
With no other trained Petrol Station colleagues available until 1pm, I knew I was in for a rough shift – especially if just one forecourt problem arose.
So with one booth closed and no pay at pump facility in those days, all the Saturday morning traffic was funnelled into my lane.
By 10am that morning, traffic was queuing all the way into the main car park, customers were becoming impatient and obscenities were starting to be hurled my way.
Luckily for me that day – there was no equipment failure – which had it occurred would have been disastrous – but I did learn five useful lessons about stress that I have never forgotten.
1. Ask for help
2. Control your emotions – as best you as you can.
3. Focus on the task at hand
4. Stay Calm – breathe
5. Find something to laugh about
I survived and you can too!
#stress

Oops!

Now that was a little embarrassing! 😅
Yesterday, Monic and I visited 4 different missionary apartments in Lelystad, Amsterdam (x2) and Haarlem. Over the last few weeks, we have visited nearly all of the apartments in the mission and only have a handful to go. It has given us a really good understanding of the state of repair of each of them, the good, the bad and the downright ugly!
Feeling tired, after a long day, and loaded down as usual, carrying bags of linen, bedding, pillows and our cleaning materials, we took the lift up to the last empty apartment of the day.
With the bunch of keys in hand for that specific apartment, (there were 8 different keys) I tried each of them, one by one. 1st – nope, 2nd – nope, 3rd – nope… You get the idea, until I reached the last one. None of them worked! Grrr….
Start again I thought. 1st – nope, 2nd – nope, 3rd – nope… and then I said to Monic, “do you hear that?”…”There is someone inside!” “Ring the doorbell” she said. We did so and a few moments later, a lovely old couple came to the door. We looked at them quizzically, thinking to ourselves “what are you doing here?”
A quick check of the address and to our embarrassment – we were at the wrong door! Oops! We were supposed to be at apartment 371 and had been trying the keys in door 317!!
Graciously the old couple gave us the directions to 371. We made our apologies, smiled and laughed a little and were then on our way.
With a glint in our eye, we looked at one another, chuckled together and a few minutes later found ourselves at 371!
Have you ever made a silly little mistake when you were tired?

Tips!

The problem with the word “tip” is that it has many definitions.

At a recent CIPD event, we had a few moments of miscommunication and hilarity, as we tried to contextualise a three-letter word into a definitive description!

For example, consider the following…..

– Leaving a tip for the waiter is good practice.
– Fly tipping is a problem around the country.
– It was on the tip of my tongue to say exactly what I thought.
– Tipping the glass of water over wasn’t what I’d planned.
– The tip of the pencil needs to be sharpened.
– The goalkeeper tipped the ball over the crossbar.
– A good tip for the Grand National is Tiger Roll.

We were trying to get to a succinct definition of the word “tip”! In our case it was about a good idea or more specifically a “helpful hint”.

And so, my tip (oops) helpful hint for today is simply this one life saving daily habit – have a talk with yourself and don’t take life so seriously! “In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured” said Gordon B. Hinckley.

A little craziness once in a while perpetuates sanity! Learn to laugh at the little things, and life will be easier. Laughter is the best form of therapy.

Remember, life isn’t all business, it can be mixed with fun & laughter too.

Look out for some laughter today!

Forgetfulness!

“That’ll be £29.50 please.” “No problem” I replied…. And then it happened!

I checked my jacket pocket for my wallet, then my other pocket, then my trouser pockets. “What a plonker” I thought and confessed to the checkout operator, that I’d forgotten my wallet. She laughed. “Don’t worry about it, it happens all the time!” I laughed too. I realised I’d changed my winter jacket to a summer jacket and simply hadn’t put my wallet in my pocket. The shopping was set aside and I promised I’d be back in 20 minutes.

On arriving home, my wife was working in the garden. She looked at me quizzically and asked “where’s the shopping?” I responded “I forgot my wallet.” She burst out in laughter too!

Back to Tesco. I collected the frozen products, back to the same checkout, paid my £29.50 and we laughed together a little more…

Almost all of us do thoughtless, impulsive silly things, sometimes through a simple oversight. In fact, blunders are not only an acceptable part of life, but they may even be very helpful. Mistakes frequently help us learn and grow. My experience is that past failures may be guideposts to future success!

Thank you Tesco for helping me see the funny side of my little gaffe and for the good laugh too!

Pranks!

Siblings can be annoying at times, right? (I guess I can be too sometimes – LOL!) Challenging behaviour isn’t only limited to siblings, but work colleagues and others too. Here’s one solution that worked for me!
Visiting the beach in summertime was a regular occurrence in our family. It was a short train ride to the beach at Kinghorn. Arriving at the station, we’d walk down the steep slope and then create many fond childhood memories on the beach together, sandcastles, swimming, ice cream, games – the whole shebang.
I recall one particular trip, my big brother was even more annoying than usual with his pranks. As time passed by that day, in a moment of playfulness, I hatched a master-plan. Along the beachfront, I went hunting for a starfish (he didn’t like them). After finding one, I searched for my brother. I managed to sneak up on him, starfish in hand, yet at the last moment, he saw me coming and he took off! I took aim and threw the starfish at my brother. And then, the moment of real joy, with its strong glue like suction pads it fastened itself to my brothers back! The terror on my brothers face was a delight to behold!!
The moral of the story, well that’s debatable! I’m sure you’ll find your own. For me, sometimes its best to reprove with sharpness and show an increase of love afterwards! 😍
What is your favourite prank?

Its time to laugh!

Sometimes when it gets really tough, perhaps in a challenging situation or conversation, the best remedy is simply to add in a touch of humour and laugh!

A guest speaker at a Yale University devotional took as his text the four letters ‘Y-A-L-E.’

“Y” he said “means youth” and he talked about that for 15 minutes.

“A” he continued, “stands for ambition” and that took another 15 minutes.

“L is for life,” another 15 minutes.

“E is for enthusiasm”… another 15 minutes to fill the hour.

As soon as the lecture was finished the students rushed to their classes as fast as they could go, all except one.

She knelt, apparently in prayer.

The speaker was deeply touched that he had so influenced at least one listener. He went down into the seats, touched the student on the shoulder and enquired why she was praying so earnestly. She lifted her face and said “I’m giving thanks that this is not the Massachusetts Institute of Technology!” 😅

If it’s a tough day ahead don’t forget to stop and have some fun too! 😊